Posts tagged ‘peer and school relationships’

SIZING THINGS UP

Short or Tall Doesn’t Matter at All

Written by Asaf Rozanes

Mia is very short. This distresses her because her classmates often make fun of her and exclude her from activities.

Mia reveals her problem to her father. He tells her a fairytale about the sun and moon and how they became friends. One day a situation unfolds at school that proves to the other children there is value in being small. The other children learn an important lesson from Mia. They now understand she also has many special talents. Size does not matter.

This picture book is written in rhyme. It works, for the most part, but the story would have been just as effective if written in prose. Recommended especially for students in the six to ten age group but an important lesson for middle-school students as well.

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SECRET SANTA

Sophie Washington: Secret Santa

Written and Illustrated by Tonya Duncan Ellis

This Christmas themed story adds a nice touch to the Sophie Washington series of books. These chapter books are geared to middle-grade readers. The black and white line drawings enhance the tale and provide added incentives for beginning readers.

Sophie is now a sixth-grader at Xavier Academy. Her younger brother, Cole, is sometimes a thorn in her side, but she loves him dearly. Sophie steps in to protect him from a new neighbor who is bullying Cole. The main part of the plot involves a series of Christmas gifts that mysteriously appear on Sophie’s doorstep. The signature says from your Secret Santa. Sophie is puzzled. She and her girlfriends try to figure out the mystery. Then she learns that another boy in school is also receiving gifts. Sophie’s grandmother helps them to solve the mystery when a clue emerges. The giver is certainly not anyone they might have suspected.

This book is a beautiful story portraying the true Christmas spirit. Lots of wholesome family values, like supportive family relationships, bullying, and preteen angst are addressed. I highly recommend the book to lift holiday spirits. If you enjoy it, check out the entire Sophie Washington book series.

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Mind over Matter

Hello Brain: A Book about Talking to Your Brain

Written by Clarissa Johnson

This book discusses mindfulness for children. It contains six stories about students in a classroom who experience different troubling situations. It begins with Sam, who is terribly shy and afraid to talk with anyone at school. Eve is frustrated because she views herself not smart enough to learn. Jane talks too much in class and can’t concentrate. Nick is grumpy, unhappy and cannot focus. Kate excels in school and sports, but cannot see the worth of other students. Will is a shy boy, who is often the victim of others who take advantage of him with unkind words and acts. In each situation, one of the other students approaches the child with a problem and reminds him that he can talk to his brain and take control of the situation to remedy the problem.

This book can be used by parents or teachers to guide discussions with individual children or a classroom group. It could be an effective resource for elementary and middle school students who are struggling with individual emotions and peer relationships. It is particularly recommended for students in the six to twelve age range.

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#mattmonroebooks #Giveaway #bookreview

Edward Torba’s Matt Monroe and the Haunted House blog tour!

Sponsored by The Children’s Book Review and New Shelves Books

GIVEAWAY
Enter For A Chance To Win A Matt Monroe Series Gift Basket!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A copy of Matt Monroe and the Secret Society of Odontology (Book 1)
  • An advanced reader copy of Matt Monroe and the Haunted House (Book 2)
  • Dental supplies!

Two (2) winners receive:

  • A copy of Matt Monroe and the Haunted House (Book 2)

Two (2) winners receive:

  • A digital copy of Matt Monroe and the Haunted House (Book 2)
    • This digital prize is open to worldwide entrants

Giveaway begins October 1, 2019, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 31, 2019, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

New Shelves Books is responsible for prize fulfillment.

https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/weblog/2019/10/matt-monroe-and-the-haunted-house-by-edward-torba-awareness-tour.html

ABOUT THE BOOK
Matt Monroe and the Haunted House

Written by Edward Torba

Publisher’s Synopsis: A haunted mansion. A community at risk. A group of teens with mysterious abilities. Strange sightings at the Payne mansion and baffling incidents in the countryside place the community of Kingston on edge. Did opening the portal to Paragon draw evil entities to Kingston? In facing this new threat, Matt Monroe soon realizes he is not the only one who has secret talents. Many of his companions have hidden abilities that are exposed as Matt and his friends confront a terrifying, ethereal foe.

Ages 9-12 | Publisher: All Points Press, LLC | October 15, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-0985082765

PURCHASE LINK
Amazon

OFFICIAL LINKS
https://edwardtorba.com

My Review

Matt Monroe and The Haunted House

Written by Edward Torba

This book is the second in the middle-grade adventure series featuring the Monroe boys and their select group of friends known as The Brotherhood. Matt and his older brother, Josh, live in the town of Kingston located in rural Pennsylvania. In Book One of the series, the boys discover wooden tablets and a mysterious ring in the attic of the family home. Together with their five friends who all have special talents, they move through a portal to a magical dimension, Paragon. Here they battle the evil one, Damien. During the battle, Josh is wounded by a dragon and still suffers from the injury.

Book Two opens with Matt discovering two children, Annabelle and Nathaniel, dressed in early twentieth century clothing, who a hiding from their evil stepfather. Matt has been experiencing strange dreams and is determined to save these children. At school, there are some curious new additions to the faculty. As the story evolves, new friends are introduced, each of which possesses a strange power. Rico Steele, the school bully, plagues and conspires against Matt and the Brotherhood. The parents of the children also have connections to Paragon.

The story contains magic, tarot readings, fantasy, and time travel as well as the usual conflicts of peer and student relationships. When Halloween arrives, they must all meet at the Payne house once again to confront the evil forces of Paragon. Will the Monroe family and their friends be able to overcome them?

There are many different story elements in this adventure that will appeal to a wide variety of preteen and teen readers. Many twists and turns keep the plot exciting and keep the reader in suspense. For me, the only con was it took a while to get up to speed on the characters because I did not read Book One.

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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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CASE SOLVED?

The MEAN GIRL Who NEVER SPEAKS: (The Maya Dove Case Files Book 1)

Written by Zuni Blue

Maya Dove is a six-year-old detective who has already established her reputation at school. One of Maya’s classmates asks her to determine if a new girl at school, Libby Smith is mean or nice. Instead of chapters, the book is presented as a day of the week chronicle as Maya attempts to solve the case. Readers are brought through the day’s happenings in the classroom. Maya gathers her clues, but when Friday arrives she reveals her opinions in a classroom speech.

I am not sure whether Maya really solves the case. She does not state whether Libby is mean or nice but presents her solution in a way that introduces an important social issue. Certainly, Maya’s opinions are quite sophisticated for a six-year-old.

This book is targeted for 5 to 11-year-old readers. The text and vocabulary are an easy read until readers come to the end and Maya’s conclusion. I am not sure whether younger readers will understand the concept of social anxiety. That part of the book is most appropriate for readers ages nine and older. Younger readers will probably need adult help in understanding this concept. I was left with the feeling that the book ended a bit abruptly and the characters might have been fleshed out with more detail.

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THREE STARS FOR ADULTS, FIVE FOR KIDS

My Giant Farts

Written by Neil Roy McFarlane

 

This book might be considered a fractured fairy tale with humor in the vein of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Personally, I am not a fan of this kind of humor, but I do know how popular it is with middle grade students.

The plot involves Tom, a boy who is playing down by the old factory and comes across a pile of rubbish. He spies a shiny metal object sticking out. Tom discovers a lamp like Aladdin’s lamp, so he rubs it. Instead of a genie, a giant pops out. Tom thinks he can make wishes. He asks for a time machine and a flying car but the giant informs Tom that he cannot grant wishes.

During the day, Tom meets a few of his friends. Sally Patterson shows him her new dog who fetches, Horace Chomsky demonstrates how his parrot talks and Becky Wilkinson shows him her flea that does circus tricks. Tom is dismayed that his giant has no unique qualities. But when Tom crosses paths with Basher Bates and his gang, the giant’s response is an unexpected relief.

This book is targeted for ages five and older. I believe eight to twelve-year-old readers will particularly find it to their liking.

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