Posts from the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

PIECES OF OURSELVES #fragments

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Big Ideas Press

ABOUT THE BOOK

Fragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection

Written by Maura Pierlot

Ages 12+ | 126 Pages

Publisher: Big Ideas Press | ISBN-13: 978-0645099805

I feel like I’m a piece, a fragment that’s missing all the good bits, but I don’t know where to find the rest … the parts I need to work properly. I bet they wouldn’t fit anyway. (Lexy, age 17)

Publisher’s Synopsis: Eight young people navigating high school and beyond, each struggling to hold on – to family, to friends, to a piece of themselves. Perhaps you know them. The bubbly girl who keeps telling you she’s okay. The high achiever who’s suddenly so intense. The young teen obsessed with social media. The boy challenged by communication. Every single day they, and others, are working hard to keep it together. So hard, they don’t see their friends are struggling, too. Through eight imagined stories, Fragments moves from a place of disconnection to connectedness.

The action of Fragments takes place in the minds and hearts of an ordinary group of young people. Their stories encompass anxiety, depression, neurodivergence, gender dysphoria, social media, bullying, family dysfunction, cross-cultural diversity, and more, culminating in a sense of hope. Although set in Australia, their stories could take place anywhere.

From the Playwright: Rarely presenting as neat packages, mental health issues often involve feelings and behaviors with jagged edges and blurred origins. Fragments embodies the theme that stress at home, at school, and in life is challenging young people beyond their usual coping abilities, leaving them disenfranchised and vulnerable. So much of adolescent life is spent looking inwards that it’s perhaps not surprising that mental health issues are often internalized. I wrote Fragments to start a conversation. It’s only when we speak openly about mental health issues – without fear or judgment – that we can chip away at the stigma that prevents many people from seeking help. It is my hope that the work will find its way into schools in Australia and overseas. The publication includes a comprehensive Study Guide, detailing activities and curriculum links for English, Drama/Arts, Health & PE, Civics, and more.

A powerful and timely mental health resource for young people and their families. Essential reading for high school.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gZPBCJ

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9780645099805

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Fragments-Maura-Pierlot/9780645099805

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maura Pierlot is an award-winning author and playwright who hails from New York but has called Canberra, Australia home since the early 1990s. Her writing delves into complex issues including memory, identity, self, and, more recently, mental health. Following its sellout 2019 season in Canberra, Maura’s debut professional theatre production, Fragments is being adapted for the digital space, supported by artsACT. The work is published online by Australian Plays Transforms and in print by Big Ideas Press.

Maura is a past winner of the SOLO Monologue Competition, Hothouse Theatre for her play, Tapping Out. Her plays have been performed in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, and Hollywood. A former medical news reporter and editor of Australian Medicine, Maura also writes for children and young adults. In 2017 she was named winner of the CBCA Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program, and recipient of the Charlotte Waring Barton Award, for her young adult manuscript, Freefalling (now True North). Maura’s debut picture book, The Trouble in Tune Town won the 2018 ACT Writing and Publishing Award (Children’s category) along with international accolades.

Maura’s poetry, short stories, microfiction, and essays appear in various literary journals and anthologies. Maura has a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate, each in philosophy, specializing in ethics. When she’s not busy writing, Maura visits schools and libraries as a guest reader and speaker, serves as a Role Model for Books in Homes, and contributes reviews for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s online magazine, Reading Time.

For further information on Maura and her work, Fragments please visit: https: //maurapierlot.com and https: //fragmentstheplay.com.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Fragments and a $50 Amazon gift card!

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

https://gleam.io/bJGIX/fragments-giveaway

A copy of Fragments

A $50 Amazon gift card

Four (4) winners receive:

A copy of Fragments

The giveaway begins September 6, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 6, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

MY REVIEW OF FRAGMENTS:

FRAGMENTS: Journeys from Isolation to Connection

Written by Maura Pierlot

Fragments is a series of monologues that lend a voice to issues of mental health faced by teens all over the world today. In these monologues, readers follow the struggles of eight teens who seek hope as they fight mental health challenges. Each fight to maintain their connections to family, friends, and the community in which they live. The monologues are representative of the issues faced by youth and adults in the challenging times of which we live.

The actors represent young people around the world struggling with emotional, social, physical, and mental issues during their teenage years. As they reveal themselves, readers at once laugh, cry, feel their pain, and empathize with one or more of the issues described. The actors may appear to be disconnected, but in truth, they are seeking the possibility of connecting with one another.

The study guide included delineates themes, the background of characters, summaries of each monologue, and curriculum guide. While the monologues are matched to the Australian curriculum for high school studies, it can readily be adapted to standards used around the world.

Pierlot’s play provided her audience an opportunity to witness the problems and challenges facing youth today. Now readers of Fragments are given the opportunity to read and ponder the insights of these teens into the causes of mental issues and the realities they present for those who are suffering. Highly recommended read and discussion opportunity for teens and adults.

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, September 6, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewTour Kick-OffFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Tuesday, September 7, 2021Over Coffee ConversationA guest article fromMaura Pierlot
Wednesday, September 8, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Thursday, September 9, 2021Tales of a Wanna-Be SuperHero MomA book giveaway ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Friday, September 10, 2021A Dream Within a DreamA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Monday, September 13, 2021icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Tuesday, September 14, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Wednesday, September 15, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Thursday, September 16, 2021Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Friday, September 17, 2021The Momma SpotA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Saturday, September 18, 2021The Momma SpotAn interview withMaura Pierlot

DANCING THE NIGHT AWAY

JULIA JONES – My Worst Day Ever! – Book 1: Diary Book for Girls aged 9 – 12 (Julia Jones’ Diary)

Written by Katrina Kahler

Julia and Millie are best friends in seventh grade. Their very cool teacher, Mrs. Sheldon, is supervising the school musical. Millie and Julia have landed lead roles and Julia’s dancing experience gives her a prominent role in the choreography.

Enter Sara, a brand new classmate. While pretending to be friendly to everyone, including Julia, she is soon bullying her way into control. Whether it’s wearing the best clothes, buying the most expensive gifts, or flirting with Blake, Julia’s secret crush, Sara appears determined to show Julia in a bad light. Things go from bad to worse as a series of “coincidences” lead up to embarrassment and failure for Julia.

This book contains little more than 100 pages and moves quickly. It will appeal to reluctant readers and middle-school students as well as early teens. It’s the first book of the series and ends in a cliff-hanger.

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Check out a zillion learning opportunities for the whole family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

BUILDING A STRONG FOUNDATION

The Top Secret List to Becoming a Superhero

Created by Adisan Books

This book is recommended for children ages two through five. It teaches them that a superhero should focus on helping all members of the community through acts of kindness, empathy, making others happy, and treating others just the way you would like to be treated. A superhero does not need to perform herculean physical tasks.

The picture book is very short but gets the message across in easy-to-read speech bubbles with large colorful illustrations, reminiscent of a comic book format. It is a good introduction to digital citizenship and the building of strong community and family ties.

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Check out my learning library for all ages at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

RAINY DAY FUN FOR ALL

Ultimate At Home Activities for Kids: 159 ways to keep children busy

Designed by Kate and Chris Stead

This activity book is a parent or caretaker’s go to resource when the kids are bored. The only materials needed are paper, pencils, the internet and common household materials like glue and scissors.

It is not age specific. Some activities are simple enough for preschoolers while others will entertain teens. Here are some of the topics: zoos, Olympics, arts and crafts, movement activities, bears, pirates, legos, music, and libraries.

Children can perform the activities by themselves, in groups, or have a competition.

I highly recommend it for entertaining children of any age.

Check out my learning opportunities for the entire family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

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A Melting Pot

One Big Heart: A Celebration of Being More Alike Than Different

Written by Linsey Davis

Illustrated by Lucy Fleming

This is a very short interactive book that parents or teachers may use to discuss diversity with preschool and primary grade children. The author presents the material from a Christian viewpoint. Some families who reject that concept will need to explain or eliminate those parts of the story.

Children are asked to study the pictures and relate how we are all alike, make friendship bracelets, draw faces with different skin tones, and share their favorite foods. The heart activity demonstrates the love we feel within for all.

The book is a good starting point on the topic of multiculturalism.

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Check out a zillion learning opportunities for the whole family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

A nice way to learn about African history

Njinga of Ndongo

Written by Ekiuwe Aire

Illustrated by Natalia Popova

This beautifully written picture book is a wonderful addition to the library of late elementary and middle-school students. It relates the story of an African princess who became queen of two African kingdoms of the 1600s.

Njinga survived a difficult birth. After her father breathed life into her, he realized she was a survivor. Despite the jealousy of her older brother, Njinga succeeded in school and observed carefully. When her brother became king, she had to flee, but she returned when the country needed her.

This story is told simply yet eloquently. The illustrations are exquisite. There are beautiful maps, a timeline and historical facts that provide a plethora of information on African and Portuguese history.

I highly recommend the book to parents, teachers and librarians as a valuable reference book on medieval African history. It also provides a strong role model for young women who seek to be the future leaders of tomorrow.

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Check out learning opportunities for the whole family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

#EudoraSpaceKid

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and David Horn

ABOUT THE BOOK

Eudora Space Kid

Written by David Horn

Ages 6-10 | 97 Pages

Publisher: David Horn | ISBN-13: 9781736677407

Publisher’s Synopsis: Eudora is a typical 3rd grader. A typical 3rd grader who lives on a 36 deck AstroLiner. In space. A normal girl adopted by what you might call… aliens. Her mom is a dog-like species named a Pox and runs the onboard jail (brig). Her dad is an octopus-like species from the planet Pow. She is a girl who has normal ambitions, like being the chief engineer on an AstroLiner.

Eudora is a girl who comes up with a plan to prove her worth by improving her AstroLiner’s engines and breaking all known speed records. Will she succeed and earn a promotion? Or will she end up in the brig? Again…

Brilliant for engaging emergent and early chapter book readers.

PURCHASE LINKS

https://amzn.to/3j0gaIn

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Horn is a huge science fiction fan. While his wife sometimes feels like they live in outer space, they really live in New Jersey with their two human daughters and one doggy daughter named Trixie. 

David loves reading science fiction books from both the old and new greats like Asimov, McDevitt, Scalzi, Howey, and more. He also loves reading his kids’ books like My Weird School, Just Grace, The Baby-Sitters Club, Ramona, and the list goes on.

David and his daughters also love watching sci-fi shows like Star Trek, Babylon 5, Stargate, and Star Wars

Eudora Space Kid started as stories he told his daughters at dinner.  They loved Eudora’s antics in space.  So now The Great Engine Room Takeover is his first book in the Eudora Space Kid early reader chapter book series.  He can’t wait for you to love Eudora’s stories too. 

For more information, visit https://www.eudoraspacekid.com/.

MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK:

MISCHIEF AND MAYHEM

Eudora the Space Kid: The Great Engine Room Takeover

Written by David Horn

Illustrated by Talitha Shipman

This is the first book in a chapter book series sure to delight beginning readers, especially those interested in space travel.

Eudora is a third grader who has been adopted by animal creatures from another planet. She and her older sister, Molly are earth orphans. They live on a spaceship named the Athena, where they travel through the galaxies maintaining peace among the federation. Eudora loves science and experimentation. She constantly gets in trouble for “inventing” things. As the tale opens, she is on a class trip to the flight deck when she decides to fire the plasma cannons. Eudora is put in the brig, but her mother is soon willing to forgive her. On another occasion, Eudora is determined to break the record for traveling past the speed of light. Eudora is determined to become a member of the Astro Fleet command. Do you think she will succeed?

Lots of black and white illustrations enhance the large easy-to-read font for new readers. The dialogue is fun to read, and the plot moves along quickly. Quirky characters and humorous antics create a winning combination for the six to ten age group.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Eudora Space Kid and a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card!

One (1) grand prize winner receives: A signed copy of Eudora Space Kid and a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card.

Three (3) winners receive: A signed copy of Eudora Space Kid.

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

https://gleam.io/FBh2q/eudora-space-kid-book-giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

Sunday, August 15, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewA book review ofEudora Space Kid: The Great Engine Room
Monday, August 16, 2021The Momma SpotA book review ofEudora Space Kid: The Great Engine Room
Tuesday, August 17, 2021Over Coffee ConversationA book review ofEudora Space Kid: The Great Engine Room
Wednesday, August 18, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledAn interview withDavid Horn
Thursday, August 19, 2021Glass of Wine, Glass of MilkAn interview withDavid Horn
Friday, August 20, 2021Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review ofEudora Space Kid: The Great Engine Room
Monday, August 23, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book review ofEudora Space Kid: The Great Engine Room
Tuesday, August 24, 2021Tales of a Wanna-Be SuperHero MomA book giveaway ofEudora Space Kid: The Great Engine Room
Wednesday, August 25, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofEudora Space Kid: The Great Engine Room
Thursday, August 26, 2021icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofEudora Space Kid: The Great Engine Room
Friday, August 27, 2021Me Two BooksA book review ofEudora Space Kid: The Great Engine Room
Monday, August 30, 2021A Dream Within a DreamA book review ofEudora Space Kid: The Great Engine Room
Tuesday, August 31, 2021Some the WiserA book review ofEudora Space Kid: The Great Engine Room
Wednesday, September 1, 2021Heart to HeartA book giveaway ofEudora Space Kid: The Great Engine Room
Thursday, September 2, 2021Library Lady’s Kid LitA book review ofEudora Space Kid: The Great Engine Room
Friday, September 3, 2021Lisa’s ReadingA book review ofEudora Space Kid: The Great Engine Room

Means to an end…

New Worlds: The Secret World of Curly Jones #1

Written by Louise Guy

Curly Jones is eleven years old. He is bullied by his fifth-grade classmates and a mean teacher. Nothing seems to be going right until he meets a new neighbor, Belle. He is happy to learn she will be in his class.

Belle introduces him to a secret world. She shows him a magic tree house that transports her to a fantasy world. Curly cannot believe that Belle accepts him as her best friend. Together, they enter a secret world with magical creatures and fascinating adventures.

Curly discovers that Belle has magical powers, but that is just the beginning. After a few trips through the tree house portal, Curtly discovers a long-lost heritage that affords him the power to change his life and that of others.

This is the beginning of an adventure/fantasy series that will appeal to the eight to twelve year old reader. The book is an easy read with short chapters that are perfect for reluctant readers.

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Check out resources for your whole family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.COM

Learning to fit in…

Children’s Book: The Sparkling Red Shoes

Written by Miley Smiley

The sparkly little red shoes sit on the shelf in the shoe store. They cannot believe no one has chosen them because they feel themselves superior to all the other kinds of shoes.

One day, Lisa and her mother visit the shop seeking a pair of shoes to wear on her birthday. Lisa chooses the red shoes, but after her birthday they are put away in the closet. The little red shoes need to learn there is a place and time for everything.

This is a short picture book with color illustrations. There is quite a bit of text in this short story which makes it suitable for a beginning reader. Recommended for ages four through seven.

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Check out videos, books, teaching lessons and lots more at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

The Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book tour #theofficialdoodleboy

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Tom Durwood

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book

Created by Joe Whale

Ages 4-10 | 96 Pages

Publisher: Dover Publications | ISBN-13: 9780486849003

Publisher’s Synopsis: Welcome to a fantastic world of doodles! Over 90 pages of awesome art are waiting for your creative color choices to make them your own. The delightful doodles are the original creations of Joe Whale, also known as the “Doodle Boy,” an inspirational young artist who’s been painting and drawing from a very young age. Join the fun with these playful pictures and ready-to-color doodles!

PURCHASE LINKS

https://amzn.to/2WiefqI

https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9780486849003

ABOUT THE CREATOR

Joe Whale, known as “The Doodle Boy,” is a talented 11-year-old artist from Shrewsbury, United Kingdom. He started drawing at the age of six, creating charming doodles of food, monsters, aliens, and any other characters his imagination creates. He’s made many television appearances in the United States and his native United Kingdom, and his signature doodles have earned him many social media followers.

His website can be found at www.thedoodleboy.com.

My Review of the Book

Doodle Boy

Created by Joe Whale

For any child who loves to let his/her imagination soar. Created by an eleven-year-boy with a passion for doodling, this coloring book focuses on the thoughts and dreams of children who cannot stop moving that pencil. If you know a doodler, put this book on your must purchase list.

It reminds me of the hidden pictures pages I used to love as a child. Children are invited to discover, sports, food, alien, dinosaur, faces, computer, and environmental pictures, to name just a few. Some pages contain clearly delineated people, while others are a collage of mixed-up themes.

These could be colored with pencils, watercolors, or crayons. Younger and older siblings might enjoy working on a page together. After finishing a page, the child might enjoy creating a story to accompany his illustration. A group of children might take a few completed pages on a common theme and create a play to act out together. There are lots of creative possibilities.

Highly recommended for budding artists, children who need to express their energy in a productive way, and families looking for a family activity to share.

GIVEAWAY

Enter this giveaway and you’ll earn the chance to win a copy of The Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book!

Three (3) winners receive: A copy of The Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book

The giveaway begins August 9, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends September 9, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway.

https://gleam.io/u56Ig/the-official-doodle-boy-coloring-book-giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, August 9, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewBook Review ofThe Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book
Tuesday, August 10, 2021The Momma SpotA book review ofThe Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book
Wednesday, August 11, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofThe Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book

Thursday, August 12, 2021Some the WiserA book review ofThe Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book
Friday, August 13, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledA book review ofThe Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book
Monday, August 16, 2021J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review ofThe Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book
Tuesday, August 17, 2021icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofThe Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book
Wednesday, August 18, 2021Lisa’s ReadingA book review ofThe Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book
Thursday, August 19, 2021Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review ofThe Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book
Friday, August 20, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book giveaway ofThe Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book
Monday, August 23, 2021A Dream Within a DreamA book review ofThe Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book
Tuesday, August 24, 2020Shooting Stars MagA book review ofThe Official Doodle Boy™ Coloring Book

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