Posts from the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

A FOR CREATIVITY

Do Not Wish For a Pet Ostrich:

Written by Sarina Siebenater

Illustrated by Gabby Correia

Sally’s parents have given her permission to choose a pet. Previously, she had a dog that chewed everything up. She thinks about a cat or a parrot, but decides she wants a unique pet.

One night she wishes upon a star for an ostrich! The next day, Sally gets her wish. But an ostrich proves to be a problem pet for many reasons. Will Sally ever find the perfect pet?

The book contains lots of humor and vibrant illustrations. Primary grade and preschool readers will want to hear it read aloud. Bonus questions included at the end of the tale stimulate discussion and creativity among young readers.

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SPREADING THE WORD

Why We Wear a Mask: How a squirrel is helping to stop the spread of Covid-19

Written and Photographed by Lieve Snellings

I am a big fan of the Margot book series. In this new book, Margot’s family doctor, Dr. Sarah shares her concern about a new sickness affecting all her squirrel patients.

The author uses adorable photographs of squirrels exhibiting symptoms of the virus like headaches, upset stomach, shortness of breath, and sore throats to illustrate effects of the virus in a clear but non-threatening way. Snellings shows them wearing masks because they want to protect vulnerable members of their families as well as themselves. The author explains how the disease is transmitted, and exactly what needs to be done to keep ourselves and others safe.

Young readers will inevitably be enthralled with these adorable, personified squirrel messengers of information needed to assist children in understanding this disease without alarming them. I would highly recommend it to parents and educators of elementary school and middle-grade readers.

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#SAVING DR. WARREN -BOOK TOUR and GIVEAWAY

In partnership with The Awareness Tour hosted by The Children’s Book Review and Jeffrey J. McKenna

TRAVERSING TIME

Saving Dr. Warren… A True Patriot

Written by Jeffery J. McKenna

ABOUT THE BOOK

Saving Dr. Warren … A True Patriot

Written by Jeffery McKenna

Publisher’s Synopsis: Patriotism Prevailed in…

  ✯ The American Revolution

  ✯ WWII

  ✯ 9-11

What About Today?

How do we share Patriotism with America’s Future?

The novel Saving Dr. Warren… A True Patriot answers that question through the eyes of a 14 year old boy.

Steve O’Dell loves to write and does it well. But as an eighth-grade student at Needham Middle School, his talent sometimes seems more an embarrassment than a blessing.

Then, on Veterans Day 2001, Steve’s award-winning essay propels him into an adventure twisting through Revolutionary battles and bloodshed. Thanks to the bizarre bequest of a manuscript and a musket ball from a long-lost family war hero, Steve’s journey with the Revolutionary War hero Dr. Joseph Warren begins.

A time-traveling talisman missing from the archives of one of Boston’s oldest historical societies takes Steve through portals of history, where he walks side by side with a real Boston patriot. He makes house calls with Dr. Warren on March 5, 1770, and stumbles onto the bloodstained streets of the Boston Massacre. From the killings of March 5 to boarding tea ships in 1773, Steve’s history book explodes to life as he helps Dr. Warren and forges a friendship with Boston’s True Patriot. Steve watches Dr. Warren launch Paul Revere on his midnight ride, and he helps Dr. Warren dodge British musket balls in the first battles of the War for Independence. With each adventure, Steve tastes the light that ignites The Revolution.

Steve will eventually convince others that the Revolutionary relic he was given really does open portals through time, but he faces his most difficult quest alone—saving Dr. Warren from the onslaught at Bunker Hill. Can he do it? And if he fails, will he ever return to this century?

Saving Dr. Warren…A True Patriot rips through the pages of history. From the Revolutionary War to the vanishing veterans of World War II, to the ashes of September 11, 2001, Saving Dr. Warren demonstrates to both old and young that patriotism, standing like an old oak tree on a grandfather’s farm, has and will endure.

Ages 11-15 | 366 Pages | Publisher: Jeffery J. McKenna | ISBN-13: 978-0999901205

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mXKR1x

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Mckenna resides in a peaceful Southern Utah town amidst the red rocks that make up National Parks like Zion and Arches. He loves mountain biking over the brightly colored sandstone that surrounds him, as well as new trails he finds when he goes on cross-country RV trips with his wife. Along with reading entertaining historical fiction novels, Jeff believes a great way to learn to love America is by exploring her beautiful landscape and visiting cities and states from sea to shining sea. 

Jeff’s love for his country is what has fostered his love for writing. Uncovering America’s history can be messy, but Jeff dives in with both hands to uncover what lies hidden in our nation’s past. He loves to reveal forgotten heroes and help them come alive for young Americans as they race through the pages of his historical fiction novel, Saving Dr. Warren… “A True Patriot.” 

Jeff would love to hear about the American heroes you’ve discovered as you’ve dived into history! 

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

My Book Review:

As a historian and educator, I applaud the author’s mission to teach young people history while making their journey an entertaining one. I try to do the same with my nonfiction history series.

McKenna pens a novel of historical fiction in which the reader embarks on a time travel adventure. One learns about 9-11, World War II, and the American Revolution. In Part One, readers meet Steve O’Dell, the protagonist. When his eighth-grade teacher announces a Veterans Day essay contest, Steve’s only interest is winning the $500 prize. He gets his best friend Grace to brainstorm with him for ideas, but he decides to pitch the piece only to what he thinks the judges want to hear. When Steve wins the contest, he gets annoyed about the publicity it engenders.

Then Steve discovers an uncle who was a World War II hero. He has been given a manuscript and a musket ball that will allow him to travel back in time to the American Revolution. He walks alongside Dr. Joseph Warren. Steve will find himself at The Boston Massacre and The Boston Tea Party, watch Dr. Warren dispatch Paul Revere, and dodge the musket balls at The Battle of Bunker Hill. Will Steve survive the carnage and find a way to return to the twenty-first century?

This exciting adventure packs lots of historical knowledge inside a compelling middle-grade adventure that will be enjoyed by adult readers as well.

GIVEAWAY

Click on the link below to enter

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282198/

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A copy of Saving Dr. Warren … “A True Patriot,” autographed by Jeffery McKenna
  • An original 1700’s musket ball

Two (2) winners receive:

  • A copy of Saving Dr. Warren … “A True Patriot,” autographed by Jeffery McKenna

The giveaway begins December 10, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends January 10, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

TOUR SCHEDULE

Dec 10The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Book Review
Dec 11Lisa’s Readinghttps://lisasreading.comInterview
Dec 12Life Is What It’s Calledwww.lifeiswhatitscalled.blogspot.comInterview
Dec 14Life Is What It’s Calledwww.lifeiswhatitscalled.blogspot.comBook Review
Dec 15Confessions of a Book Addicthttp://www.confessionsofabookaddict.comBook Giveaway
Dec 16Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttps://bamauthor.meBook Review
Dec 17icefairy’s Treasure Chesthttp://icefairystreasurechest.blogspot.com/Book Review
Dec 18The Lovely Bookshttps://thelovelybooksbookblog.blogspot.com/Interview
Dec 21Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Momhttp://wannabesuperheromom.blogspot.com/Book Giveaway
Dec 22J.R.s Book Reviewshttps://jrsbookreviews.wordpress.com/Book Review
Dec 23Fairview Elementary School (Library)https://fveslibrary.blogspot.com/Book Review
Dec 28Library Lady’s Kid Lithttps://janemouttet.wordpress.com/Book Review

THE TRUE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT

Belle’s Christmas Surprise

Written by Carrie Joy Schafer Krause

Illustrated by Stef

This children’s picture book is beautifully illustrated with soft colors and detailed images of a close-knit family living in a small cabin on the Canadian prairie at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Belle is one of eight children living with her parents. Christmas is nearly here. She is excited. Each family member receives one small gift. Belle cherishes her delightful wiener treat. When she wakes up the next morning, her gift has disappeared! Will her Christmas be spoiled? Read the heartwarming tale to find out.

This multicultural book entertains and educates children. They learn a bit of history, culture and family traditions. Bonus activities include a find the hidden picture on each page, discussion questions for parents and teachers to use after reading, a Christmas cookie recipe, and instructions for a walnut Christmas decoration.

I recommend this book for elementary school and middle school children and their families or classrooms to share.

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LET YOUR IMAGINATION SOAR

Where Dragons Fly: Land of Stars Book 1

Written by Hannah Sparks

Illustrated by Katherine Newton

Eight-year-old Ethan lives with his hard-working dad. Ethan is not looking forward to summer when he will be alone six days a week. Ethan does not make friends easily; the neighborhood kids make fun of him because his last name is Broom.

Life changes when Ethan’s dad comes home with a box that he found. It contains two glass dragons. Ethan’s dad hopes they will entertain his son. Ethan does not think much of this gift until he picks one of the dragons up and is transported to a magical land called Steorra. He gets the opportunity to ride on a dragon, meet a talking penguin, and envision a sky filled with stars.

When Ethan’s neighbor, Amelia, comes to visit, she picks up the orange dragon. They are both transported to Steorra where more adventures and new characters await them. Amelia encourages Ethan to be more outgoing. The book ends with the promise of many more adventures.

I would classify this book as a beginning chapter book. It contains just over one hundred pages filled with black and white illustrations. It is also a good choice for reluctant readers or adults seeking a fun read-aloud that can be utilized as a serial bedtime story for younger children.

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Check out my award-winning book series and all my learning opportunities for the whole family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.COM

Algorithms, family, and holidays, a winning combination.

Merlin Raj and the Santa Algorithm: A Holiday Yuletide Dog’s Tale

Written by D.G.Priya

Illustrated by Shelley Hampe

The author creates a unique plot that will engage middle-grade and young teens. She does a good job of explaining how algorithms work, while creating a heart-warming tale of family devotion and holiday spirit.

Peter has a service dog named Merlin who accompanies him to school. His Golden Retriever friend tries hard to serve his master but often winds up in trouble instead. Readers are treated to a Christmas tale in while the family struggles to maintain traditions like baking and cutting down the Christmas tree while mom is traveling for work.

Along the way, readers learn how algorithms work, enjoy a bit of humor, and empathize with a close family who just want to get things right.

The black and while illustrations are charming. They enhance the feeling of identification with both human and animal characters. Recommended for ages eight and older.

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#MIGHTIERTHANTHESWORDBOOKS GIVEAWAY AND BOOK REVIEWS

Awareness tour in partnership with The Children’s Book Review, Drew Callander, and Alana Harrison

GIVEAWAY

Click on the link below to enter

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282196/

Enter for a chance to win a Mightier Than the Sword prize pack!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

Three (3) winners receive:

Five (5) winners receive:

The giveaway begins November 16, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends December 16, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Alana Harrison and Drew Callander have spent their lives telling stories and cracking jokes. Alana graduated from The College of William and Mary with a degree in Comedic Writing and Performance. Drew graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Fiction Writing. Together they have created cartoons and short films with Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien, John Oliver, and Kristen Schaal. Their work as writers and improv comedians has aired on Sirius XM Radio, NBC, and Comedy Central. Mightier Than the Sword is their first book series. They live with their two kids and one exquisitely talented cat (none of whom help with the dishes).

ABOUT THE IllUSTRATOR

Ryan Andrews lives in the Japanese countryside, with his wife, two kids, and their dog, Lucky. A friendly Kodama or two have been known to take up residence in the giant acorn tree that shades the house. Ryan often works at his drawing desk in the early-morning hours, to the sound of rummaging wild boar and badgers, who come from the surrounding forest seeking out shiitake mushrooms and fallen chestnuts.

OFFICIAL LINKS

https://www.mightierthantheswordbooks.com.

In my blog post on November 18, 2020, I reviewed Mightier Than The Sword Book 1

Today, I am reviewing Book 2, Mightier Than The Sword: The Edge of the Word

In this exciting sequel to Book One of the middle-grade chapter series, once again the reader is a superhero who holds the fate of the fictional land of Astorya in your hands.

At the end of the first book in the series, you rescued Prince S from the evil Queen Rulette and wrote your way out of trouble time and time again. Now you are determined to protect your fictional friends by hiding the Original Story that created the kingdom. You volunteer to accompany Prince S on his journey to the evil dark side where all sorts of villains await.

The reader will need to assist and hold on to these precious memories. Together with the Prince, you will encounter gargoyles, monsters, deadly ooze, an Ice Dragon, wrestlers, and fiery lava. The sights and sounds that assault you threaten your resolve. It will be difficult to prevent surrendering to your darker side.

Can you succeed in your mission? What may you lose in the process? Readers will sharpen writing skills by participating and creating the story, learn lots of new vocabulary, develop puzzle skills, and learn a bit of French. Buckle your seatbelt and get ready for the journey of your life.

TOUR SCHEDULE

November 16The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Book List
November 17Lisa’s Readinghttps://lisasreading.comBook Review: Book One
November 18Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttps://bamauthor.meBook Review: Book One
November 19Fairview Elementary School (Library)https://fveslibrary.blogspot.com/Book Review: One and Two
November 20Satisfaction for Insatiable Readershttps://insatiablereaders.blogspot.comBook Review: One and Two
November 23Some the Wiserhttps://somethewiser.comBook List
November 24ShootingStarsMaghttps://shootingstarsmag.net/Book List
November 25icefairy’s Treasure Chesthttp://icefairystreasurechest.blogspot.com/Book Review: One and Two
November 26THANKSGIVING
November 27Word Spelunkinghttp://wordspelunking.blogspot.com/Book Review: One and Two
November 30Glass of Wine, Glass of Milkhttp://glassofwineglassofmilk.blogspot.com/Book Review: Book One
December 1Glass of Wine, Glass of Milkhttp://glassofwineglassofmilk.blogspot.com/Book Review: Book Two
December 2Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttps://bamauthor.meBook Review: Book Two
December 3Jrsbookreviewshttps://jrsbookreviews.wordpress.com/Book Review: Book One
December 4Library Lady’s Kid Lithttps://janemouttet.wordpress.com/Book Review: One and Two
December 7Some the Wiserhttps://somethewiser.comBook Review: Book Two
December 8Jrsbookreviewshttps://jrsbookreviews.wordpress.com/Book Review: Book Two
December 9ShootingStarsMaghttps://shootingstarsmag.net/Book Review: Book Two
December 10Lisa’s Readinghttps://lisasreading.comBook Review: Book Two
December 11Life Is What It’s Calledlifeiswhatitscalled.blogspot.comBook Review: One and Two
December 14The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Book Review: Book Two

THE GENUINE ARTICLE

Just Between Sam and Me

Written by Cat Michaels and Rosie Russell

This middle-grade novel presents the triumphs and tribulations of Olivia Martin, a student beginning sixth grade in rural Spring Hope. She lives on a farm with her parents and older brother, Link. They all work hard to make ends meet.

Olivia’s best friends are a classmate named Isabelle, her cat, Sam, and her Palomino pony, Star. Olivia is saving up to buy a halter for Star because she hopes to enter him in The Spring Daze Festival next May. She will need to work hard to earn the money. Her plan is to create and sell beaded bracelets.

When Candace moves from New York City to Spring Hope, Olivia’s world is turned upside down. Candace is mean, bullying, and a gossip who tries to thwart Olivia at every turn. Olivia confides her problems to Sam by writing them down in her journal. Isabella proves to be a compassionate and wise friend who steadfastly stands behind her.

A series of unexpected events lead to successes and failures for Olivia, as well as the other characters in this touching tale. There are twists and turns that keep the plot interesting. Readers will empathize with Olivia’s trials and admire her tenacity and strength. The characters are so believable and relatable. The story brought me along a roller coaster of emotions. At times, I laughed, at other points in the story, I wanted to cry.

I applaud the authors for creating a deeply engaging plot and characters that will surely resonate with middle-grade readers. Highly recommended!

I received an advanced review copy of this book and voluntarily chose to read and review it with my honest opinions for no compensation.

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PUTTING THE 3 R’S TO GOOD USE

Fernando Invents Socks, A Gripping Story, About the Perils of Ocean Trash!

Written and lllustrated by Brad Pohl

An adorable rhyming picture book for elementary school eco conscious readers! The author employs clever rhymes, onomatopoeia, and alliteration to create this fun read-aloud.

The plot is original and creative. Fernando, a penguin, has a guest visiting him. Judith, a brown chicken is walking with Fernando along the Arctic shore when they both become entangled with yellow string around their feet. Fearful of becoming bait for sea lions, Fernando thinks quickly. He plucks two of Judith’s largest feathers.

What does he do with them and how does his discovery lead to an ingenious invention? Read this beautifully illustrated picture book to find out.

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SHORT AND SWEET

The Mystery of Santa Claus

Written by Paul Moxham

Will is spending the Christmas holidays in Scotland at his grandparents house. His three best friends, Joe, Amy, and Sarah have joined him.

The foursome venture out to check out the scene of a recent accident in which a tree fell on a vehicle narrowly missing killing the driver. They are distracted when their dog follows another dog. Of course, they need to investigate the urgency. When they come upon a man dressed as Santa Claus in the snow, the mystery deepens. It’s Christmas Eve and the snow is falling. How will the children be able to rescue the injured driver and solve the mystery?

This thirty page short story is a page turned. Although it is written for middle-grade audiences, I could not put the book down. American readers should note that this book is written in British English, but it is an easy read.

I highly recommend adding it to your holiday reading list.

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