THE RIGHT HOME

The Puppy Place # 1 Where Every Puppy Finds a Home

 Written by Ellen Miles

This is my first time reading a book in this series. I enjoyed reading this chapter book that is perfect for beginning readers who love dogs. Lizzie and Charles are two siblings who really want a dog, but their mom favors cats and feels that their family is not ready to shoulder the responsibility of caring for a dog. One day, their father, who is a volunteer fireman, rescues a golden retriever puppy from a fire. The children plead with their parents to keep the pup. When their two year old brother falls in love with “Goldie,” and follows her everywhere, mom reluctantly agrees to adopt the dog temporarily as a foster pup. Lizzie researches how to train puppies, and Charles helps out with socialization training.. Mom insists that they advertise in the community for a permanent placement, and the children reluctantly agree. They come up with a plan to keep the pup nearby. In the end, the family is surprised at how this golden retriever has transformed them.

This chapter book is charming; it tells the story from the viewpoint of the children as well as in first person from the viewpoint of a puppy. In the process, children learn responsibility and the proper way to care for a puppy. Recommended especially for readers ages seven through ten, but the tale can be enjoyed by all ages.

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MONSTERS NO MORE

Christy’s win over her fear! “I’m not afraid anymore!”

Written by Emma Gertony

Eight-year-old Christy is a happy child, but when night rolls around, she has many fears. Christy imagines the monster under her bed and in her closet. Her brain works overtime reminding her of her fears. When daylight arrives, she is happy and confident once more.

One day Christy decides to admit her fears to her mother. Her mother develops a plan to dispel the monsters and fears. By using pencil, crayons, Play-doh, construction paper and dolls, Christy learns to confront and destroy the monsters in her mind.

This short three chapter book has three parts. First, Christy walks the reader through her fears of the dark, second, she explains how the brain, senses, and organs work together to protect us, and third, Christy and her mother demonstrate how to face our fears and overcome them. This book is targeted for children from kindergarten through grade five. The sentences in the text are quite long and complex making them difficult for young children to understand. On the other hand, there are some pictures to portray the emotions Christy is undergoing. In general, I would recommend the book for children over age seven who have phobias. Parents would need to elaborate on and discuss the text with younger children.

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THE RIGHT HOME

The Puppy Place # 1 Where Every Puppy Finds a Home

Written by Ellen Miles

This is my first time reading a book in this series. I enjoyed reading this chapter book that is perfect for beginning readers who love dogs. Lizzie and Charles are two siblings who really want a dog, but their mom favors cats and feels that their family is not ready to shoulder the responsibility of caring for a dog. One day, their father, who is a volunteer fireman, rescues a golden retriever puppy from a fire. The children plead with their parents to keep the pup. When their two-year-old brother falls in love with “Goldie,” and follows her everywhere, mom reluctantly agrees to adopt the dog temporarily as a foster pup. Lizzie researchers how to train puppies and Charles helps out with socialization training. Mom insists that they advertise in the community for a permanent placement, and the children reluctantly agree. They come up with a plan to keep the pup nearby. In the end, the family is surprised at how this golden retriever has transformed them.

This chapter book is charming; it tells the story from the viewpoint of the children as well as in the first person from the viewpoint of a puppy. In the process, children learn responsibility and the proper way to care for a puppy. Recommended especially for readers ages seven through ten, but the tale can be enjoyed by all ages.

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DRESS FOR SUCCESS

HAILEY’S WHITE DRESS

Written by Sigalit Benbenishti

Illustrated by Ambadi Kumar

Hailey is a young girl with a flair for fashion. She has a closet full of colorful dresses. One day her mother brings her a gift. Hailey is delighted to find a beautiful white dress decorated with flowers inside. She decides to save this dress for a special occasion, her upcoming birthday. When that day finally arrives, Hailey wears the dress and enjoys her birthday celebration with friends and family. Hailey’s neighbor notices a stain on the dress. Hailey tries to remove the stain. When she is unsuccessful, Hailey determinedly searches the internet for a solution to her dilemma. Hailey finds something guaranteed to work and eagerly awaits the washing machine cycle to finish. Will she get her dress back again, good as new?

I would describe this book as a beginning reader that will also appeal to reluctant readers. There are a few minor editing issues. The text is not overly challenging and there are lots of color illustrations to assist the reader. Recommended especially for young girls who love pretty dresses.

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SPIDER SLEUTHS

The Spider Quest: The Secret Life of Lollipop Lisa

Written by Sharon Skretting

Illustrated by Elizabeth Porter

 

Lisa is an independent strong willed fourth grader who isn’t afraid of being different. She does not conform to the crowd in the way she dresses or how she expresses her opinions. Lisa received the nickname Lollipop or Lolli because she does enjoy eating lollipops and because they are as colorful as her appearance.

When Miss Warner decides that the class will keep a daily journal, Lisa is reluctant because she is afraid someone will read her private thoughts. After thinking about it, Lisa decides she will solve that problem by keeping two journals, the second one to record her private thoughts. Unlike the other girls in the class, Lisa is not afraid of the spiders kept inside a jar. One day, they escape from the science corner and screaming chaos erupts inside the classroom. Once Miss Warner establishes order, the students put their minds to work employing all the things they learned about spiders in order to find them. They discuss how spiderlings hatch, the kinds of food they eat, where they hide, how they molt, and the way spiders move from place to place.

Will Lolli and her friends use their smarts to find the missing spiders? If found, what should they do to prevent their escape in the future? In reading this adventure, one discovers a lot about spiders and the reasons we should not be afraid of them. This book is recommended especially for children ages seven to ten. It is an excellent choice for reluctant readers because the length is manageable and the pictures make it easy to follow the text. As an added bonus, both students and teachers are given the opportunity to download their very own secret journal.

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LOVE AND LEADERSHIP

Leadership Lessons Learned from Mom

Written by Mark Villareal

An interesting book that discusses qualities of leadership by correlating them with lessons that the author learned from his mother. The author begins the book in early childhood when his mother guided him to listen to the little voice in his head whenever he needed to decide whether something was right or wrong. She taught him not to be a loner, and to push himself to become involved. Villareal explains how his mother encouraged him to dream big and reach for the top while teaching him to understand not everyone will get the trophy. As he grew older, she taught him not to exclude others, be a good example, and avoid taking shortcuts to success. The author learned to stand up for himself when he believed that he was right, but to learn the difference between having pride and being too full of pride. Life will not always be convenient and be accommodating, we must learn to accept defeat graciously at times, then pick ourselves up to try harder next time.

These are all valuable lessons in developing leadership. Rather than learning these skills by reading a leadership training manual, Villareal tells a charming story that entertains and inspires. Unfortunately, not all children grow up in an environment with parents who make the effort to teach and model these values. Recommended for young adult and adult audiences.

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TRANSFORMATION FROM WITHIN

Raywyn and the Golden Bow

Written by Angelos Ashes

Young Raywyn and her parents are journeying from London to Australia by sea when they are shipwrecked. Raywyn has washed ashore where she is discovered by beachcombers. When she wakes up in the hospital, she realizes that her parents are dead. Raywyn meets her uncle, Patrick Blake, who will become her guardian. She is whisked away to his home named Black Swan at the southern tip of Australia.

Once there, Raywyn is immersed in a totally different environment. Patrick and his friend Rollo introduce her to archery, philosophy, literature and meditation. Raywyn discovers how to meditate and transform herself from within. The reader participates in her spiritual journey to the netherworld, the City of Light and the Ganges. Raywyn discovers how and when to fight. Her spiritual journey takes the reader on a roller coaster ride immersed in fantasy, science fiction and reality filled with interesting characters and life lessons. Recommended for readers ages eight and older who enjoy these genres.

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