Posts tagged ‘blended families’

DANCING TO A DIFFERENT TUNE

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Harper Collins Book Publishers

My review of the book:

The Sea in Winter

Written by Christine Day

Maisie is a seventh-grade student in Seattle who feels like a fish out of water. Until recently, her entire life has revolved around ballet dancing. She has committed herself to a successful career in dance. That world came crashing down when she torn an ACL muscle. Now she has willingly withdrawn from her surroundings and lives a life of misery.

Maisie is part of a blended family. She is Native American. Her mother is Makah, and her stepfather is Piscataway. Maisie’s mother lost her husband during the war in Afghanistan: she later married and had a son, Connor. They are supportive parents who want to help Maisie. She tries hard to fight against the effects of her unforeseen accident and the love her family shower upon her. One thing she cannot resist is her six-year-old brother who adores Maisie.

The family is about to embark upon a trip to visit nearby Makah homelands. Maisie is hopeful that her recent physical therapy will lead her back to her dreams. But it turns out, this trip will not end the way she expects.

Will Maisie find a way back to complete recovery and fulfillment of her dreams or will she need to find a new course?

Day has a magical way of portraying each character in depth. Her description of the sights and sounds of their journey jump off the pages. This novel is a page turner that will have middle-grade readers gripped by the events and the emotions the characters feel as they each complete their journey. Readers will surely empathize and may find themselves associating those emotions with similar experiences. Highly recommended.

Enter for a chance to win a set of two books by Christine Day, including The Sea in Winter.

GIVEAWAY

  • A hardcover copy of The Sea in Winter by Christine Day
  • A hardcover copy of I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

Four (4) winners receive:

  • A hardcover copy of The Sea in Winter by Christine Day

The giveaway begins January 5, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends February 5, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Click on the link below to enter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282202/

OFFICIAL LINK

Publisher’s Synopsis: In this evocative and heartwarming novel for readers who loved The Thing About Jellyfish, the author of I Can Make This Promise tells the story of a Native American girl struggling to find her joy again.

It’s been a hard year for Maisie Cannon, ever since she hurt her leg and could not keep up with her ballet training and auditions.

Her blended family is loving and supportive, but Maisie knows that they just can’t understand how hopeless she feels. With everything she’s dealing with, Maisie is not excited for their family midwinter road trip along the coast, near the Makah community where her mother grew up.

But soon, Maisie’s anxieties and dark moods start to hurt as much as the pain in her knee. How can she keep pretending to be strong when on the inside she feels as roiling and cold as the ocean?

Ages 8-12 | 272 Pages | Publisher: HarperCollins | ISBN-13: 9780063078222

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mZ0XXQ

Audible: https://amzn.to/3aPSfsy

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9780062872043

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christine Day is the author of The Sea in Winter and I Can Make This Promise, which was a best book of the year from Kirkus, School Library Journal, NPR, and the Chicago Public Library as well as an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book and a Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book.

You can visit her online at www.bychristineday.com.

TOUR SCHEDULE
Jan 5Some the Wiserhttps://somethewiser.comReview
Jan 6Lisa’s Readinghttps://lisasreading.comBook List
Jan 7Life Is What It’s Calledwww.lifeiswhatitscalled.blogspot.comReview
Jan 8Library Lady’s Kid Lithttps://janemouttet.wordpress.com/Review
Jan 11Fairview Elementary School (Library)https://fveslibrary.blogspot.com/Review
Jan 12The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Review & Book List
Jan 13Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttps://bamauthor.meReview
Jan 14icefairy’s Treasure Chesthttp://icefairystreasurechest.blogspot.com/Review
Jan 15Heart to Hearttynea-lewis.comGiveaway
Jan 18A Dream Within A Dreamhttp://adreamwithindream.blogspot.comReview
Jan 19Satisfaction for Insatiable Readershttps://insatiablereaders.blogspot.comReview
Jan 20Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Momhttp://wannabesuperheromom.blogspot.com/Review
Jan 21Word Spelunkinghttp://wordspelunking.blogspot.com/Giveaway
Jan 22ShootingStarsMaghttps://shootingstarsmag.net/Review
Jan 23Glass of Wine, Glass of Milkhttp://glassofwineglassofmilk.blogspot.com/Review

CYBILS BLOGGING AWARDS 2017

This year I had the honor of participating on a panel of judges to determine the winners in the Easy Reader and Early Chapter Book categories of the 2017 Cybils Blogging Awards for Children’s Literature.

Today I would like to share my reviews of the winning books in the Easy Reader and Early Chapter Books. I will share reviews of the finalists in each category in the next few weeks.

EASY READER WINNER!

King and Kayla and the Case of the Secret Code

Written by Dori Hillstead Butler

Illustrated by Nancy Meyers

This is the first book in the mystery series featuring Kayla and her golden retriever, King. I enjoyed the author’s approach of first introducing the dog and later his human, Kayla. King is frustrated that he cannot communicate to his owner in words, so he uses actions to express himself. By the end of the tale, readers learn more about King’s intelligence.

Kayla and King answer the doorbell. No one is there but a letter has been left on the doorstep. When Kayla’s friend Mason comes to visit, he reveals that he has received a letter as well. Neither of the friends can read the letter because it is written in secret code. Kayla and Nathan set out to decode the letters. They find that only the second word is different. King is sure he knows the author, but the humans don’t understand what he is saying. A chance meeting with Jillian, who lives a few houses away may hold the key to the mystery.

I would consider this book more of a chapter book than an easy reader. Children in second and third grade will better understand the nuances and messages of the plot. This book presents multicultural characters and interactive learning opportunities. Recommended for boys and girls in the seven to nine age range.

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK WINNER!

Wedgie & Gizmo

Written by Suzanne Selfors

Illustrated by Barbara Fisinger

Book 1 of a new series featuring a cavy named Gizmo and a corgi named Wedgie. Gizmo introduces himself as a Genius with an Evil Plan. Gizmo has recently been uprooted once again. He began his life in a pet store where a parrot taught him to read. His human, Elliot, chose him and brought him home. But Elliot’s dad has remarried and now Gizmo must learn to live in a new human house. Elliot now has a stepsister named Jasmine and a stepbrother named Jackson. Worst of all, Wedgie, their corgi pet, wears a cap and thinks he is the protector of the family.

The book hilariously describes how Gizmo and Wedgie compete for control and human attention. Gizmo gets seriously ill when he attacks a cereal box in the pantry, and Gizmo hatches a scheme to get Wedgie in trouble with Jasmine. Selfors artfully weaves the animal conversations into the story. Children who feel displaced by moving or becoming a part of a blended family will empathize with their situation. Gizmo undergoes serious trauma when he learns the grandmother comes from Peru where caves are eaten. There are a lot of twists and turns, laughter, and tears, as the new family learns to live and love each other.

The illustrations are fun and humorous. My favorite illustration depicts grandmother (abuela) sleeping in bed with curlers in her hair while Gizmo places a delivery label addressed to Peru on her head. The story is almost two hundred pages and that might be a challenge for beginning readers. While the plot moves along quickly and is really entertaining, I believe it better suited to a third to a fifth-grade audience. Can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

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MAGIC AND MYSTERY

From the Magical Mind of Mindy Munson

Written by Nikki Bennett

MindyMunson,pic

I am delighted to take part in the Blog Tour for this book for which I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. It is an interesting middle grade chapter book story that combines so many wonderful elements.

This story relates what happens to the Munson family after their parents are killed in a car accident. Susie, the eldest at age eleven, narrates the tale. Other members of the family include Tucker, age nine, and twins Jesse and Mindy, age five. They have recently moved into a dilapidated house purchased by their Aunt Julie, who is now their legal guardian. Mindy has been traumatized by her parents’ death and refuses to speak. Her only communication is occasional whisperings to her twin Jesse. All the children still see a psychologist weekly.

Their adventures are told by Susie even though most the imaginary characters are seen through the mind of young Mindy. Oh, yes, this house is haunted. There are monsters, spiders, ghosts, dragons, a leprechaun and something sinister that lives in the basement. Together with Danny and Anna, the kids who live next door, the children spend the summer exploring the huge backyard and house. The older children suspect that Mindy is imagining all these things, yet they hear the noises and see the clues left behind like a toy triceratops and a red feather. When the new school year comes around, the children are apprehensive about beginning all over again. At first Mindy is bullied because she does not speak. The winter brings more adventures like a new boarder named Adam who lives in the cottage, an abominable snowman, and a close call when Tucker falls through the frozen pond.

In little more than one hundred pages, Bennett manages to deal with so many issues: death, bullying, unsolved mysteries, coming of age, blended families, and childhood fears. The story is told with lots of humor, authentic dialogue, and well-developed characters. Chapters are short; many have charming pencil drawn illustrations. This keeps the book interesting for the younger reader. Length of chapters make it a good choice for a classroom read aloud. Highly recommended for boys and girls ages seven through twelve. Don’t miss it!

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