Posts tagged ‘family and sibling relationships’

DOUBLE CHRISTMAS MYSTERY

The Happy Hollisters and The Trading Post Mystery (Volume 7)

Written by Jerry West

Illustrated by Helen S. Hamilton

I love the Hollister series of books. They are vintage mysteries that harken back to a simpler life in the 1950s.

Sue has made a Christmas wish for a donkey. When the family receives a telegram to pick it up at the airport in New Mexico, Sue is elated. Soon they notice a note pinned around its neck.

How will the family use this Christmas gift to help other members of their community? What obstacles will they need to solve both mysteries?

Rollicking good fun with black and white illustrations of the period that will bring back memories to parents and grandparents and lots of questions from young readers.

This book is a good read for any age but especially for middle-grade readers.

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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 Now she has willingly withdrawn from her surroundings and lives a life of misery.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

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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SLAVE OR FREE

Vengeance of a Slave

Written by V.M. Sang

Adelbehrd and his family live in the Roman provinces. Their simple life is suddenly turned upside down when Roman soldiers come to exact revenge for a rebellion in which they played no part.

They randomly choose men to be examples. Adelbehrd’s father is crucified. He and his sister are singled out to be sold as slaves because of their blond hair. Torn from their grieving mother, the two terrified children are carted off to a far-off villa to be enslaved.

For many years, their monotonous life continues. One day, Adelbehrd discovers that his sister is about to be sold. A friend tells him about a group of Britons who rescue slaves. Adelbehrd is determined to protect his sister and hatches a plan to escape. Will they be successful, or will they suffer the dire consequences?

The book appears to be well researched. The plot moves along and keeps the reader’s interest. I would recommend it to those who enjoy history and intriguing characters.

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MONSTERS BEGONE

The Night the Monsters Came: A Fun Way to Teach Kids Healthy Habits as Part of Their Bedtime Routine

Written by Junia Wonders

Illustrated by Lisa Ciccone

Siblings Jack and Joy are getting ready for bed when Jack warns his sister, the monsters are outside and hungry. He dresses as a wizard and Joy puts on her fairy dress and crown.

As the monsters barge through the door, the children are steadfast. They warn the monsters they are not appealing targets because they follow good hygiene. Why does that turn the monsters off? Read the book to find out.

The rhymes are clever with extensive use of onomatopoeia and bright colors outlining new vocabulary. Illustrations are appropriate and colorful. I highly recommend the book for toddlers and primary grade children.

AN ADVENTURE FOR THE AGES

The Time Hunters and the Box of Eternity

Written by Carl Ashmore

Illustrated by Andrew Gaia

This is the second book in the series. Becky and Joe Mellon return home on school break to learn that nothing has changed at home. That home is as weird and unusual as ever. Saber-tooth tigers, a dodo, and a dinosaur share the home with the rest of the family. Things become more bizarre when an American named Bruce Westlake arrives. This time traveler has in his possession gold doubloons that contain magic powers.

In no time at all, Becky, and Joe, accompanied by their Uncle Percy and Will, find themselves time traveling to Victorian England, the 18th century Caribbean, and the city of Chicago in the 1920s. They will encounter gangsters, sharks and sea demons, and blood-thirsty pirates. What is their goal? Their quest is to find the elusive Pandora’s box.

This fantasy time-travel thriller will appeal to middle-grade, young adult, and adult audiences.

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WHAT’S OLD IS NEW…

As You Wish

Written by Tyler W. Kurt

This book is a charming, coffee table book that can be used to spark conversations with family or friends. An elderly woman dressed in retro fifties clothing discovers an old trunk in the attic. The stuffed animals that are trapped inside have been there since their former owner abandoned them. They are torn, soiled, and tattered. The old woman can communicate with the stuffed animals. She offers to repair them and make them new once more. Then one of them announces he doesn’t want to change the way he looks or feels.

At the end of this short story, there is a set of discussion questions for readers with open minds and open hearts. I would recommend the book for all ages.

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SIBLING LOYALTY

What It Means to be a Big Brother

Written and illustrated by Lindsey Coker Luckey

This charming picture book is told in the first person. The older sibling professes his unending love and loyalty toward his younger brother.

The book is written in rhyme. While I believe the story would be just as effective if told in verse, the rhyme succeeds for the most part. This older brother promises to protect his brother from harm, and teach him new skills like how to fish, ride a bike, and play games. He promises lots of adventures. The older sibling injects realism and humor into the story. He admits there will be times when they play pranks on their parents or get into trouble for drawing on the table or bringing bugs into the house.

Many books written on siblings focus on the rivalry and adjustment issues when a new sibling enters the family. This one focuses on the family’s love for one another. The soft, gentle illustrations work to enhance the mood. Recommended for any age reader.

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A Math Problem

Math on the Table (The Gracie Series)

Written and illustrated by Grace La Joy Henderson

Gracie loves to do math problems. When she finds a blank math worksheet on the table in the living room, she becomes excited. Gracie inquires of her parents where it came from. Both joke that they don’t know the answer. Gracie decides that it must have been placed there for her. She hurries to solve all the problems on the paper and feels elated when she accomplishes the task.

When Gracie’s younger brother discovers the completed worksheet, he becomes distraught. It turns out this was his homework. Gracie feels ashamed. She apologizes to her brother and learns a valuable lesson. This book is part of a series in which Gracie learns life lessons through personal experiences. The series is recommended for ages three through eleven but probably most appropriate for ages seven and older.

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CHOOSING YOUR OWN WAY

The Village Alien

Written by Steve and Kathleen Donoho

On a sunny Saturday morning in Zionsville, Indiana, the protagonist and his younger brother, Andy head off to Lions Park on their bikes. The reader will determine the outcome of this interactive alien adventure. The boys encounter an alien spaceship landing in the park, setting the table for the rest of the story. Readers are given three choices at the end of each chapter. Plot outcome changes according to the reader’s decision.

This book affords readers the opportunity to revisit the scene several times, changing the outcome each time. It would be fun for siblings or friends to share it together. I like the fact that children can see that making choices affect outcomes and the characters. It allows them the opportunity to take risks or to play it safe.

Recommended for middle-grade readers. The length of sentences and manageable vocabulary will appeal to reluctant readers. It might also be a good choice for a classroom discussion group.

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