Posts tagged ‘sibling relationships’

BOOK REVIEW BLITZ – MIKE AND THE LABRADOODLE

Title: Mike and the Dog-Gone Labradoodle: The Pet Shop Society, Book 1

Written by Emlyn Chand

MikeandLabradoodle,pic

First in a series of mystery detective chapter books for young readers in the seven to eleven age group. The eight chapters are only five or six pages each, and they are content referenced in The Table of Contents. Book is perfect for a teacher read aloud or an independent reluctant reader as the text provides a good balance of humor, interesting characters, and an age appropriate story line.

Main characters, Maddie and Mike are sixth grade twins who could not be more opposite. Maddie loves reading and school: Mike loves sports and watching TV. When Nic Chang’s Labradoodle named Baxter goes missing, Baxter and his friend, Tyler, offer to help. But Maddie and her friend, Bree, overhear and come up with the suggestion that they need to go back and retrace Baxter’s steps. They piece together clues to solve the mystery. At the same time, Nic reveals a secret about herself. Solving the mystery leads to the five becoming friends and discovering a common bond. They decide to form The Pet Shop Society dedicated to solving more mysteries around their community. Their adventures will continue in the next two books of the series. Recommended for early readers who enjoy mysteries.

Also a good choice for exploring family and peer relationships.

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About the Author: Emlyn Chand

Emlyn (4)From an early age, Emlyn Chand has counted books among her best friends. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her affinity for the written word extends to absolutely every area of her life: she has published fiction across multiple genres, oversees and contributes as both an editor and an author to the Novel Publicity Guides for Writing & Marketing Fiction series, and loves the written word so much, she even married author Falcon Storm! Don’t forget that she is the founder and president of Novel Publicity too.

The book that changed Emlyn’s life is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson. It opened her eyes to the world that could exist if only she was willing to create it—a lesson she has never forgotten. Maybe that’s why she loves writing her Bird Brain Book series for children so much!

Emlyn’s first novel, Farsighted, won the prestigious Writer’s Digest Self-Published Novel of the Year award in 2012 for the YA category. She now writes most of her fiction under her real name, Melissa Storm.

Website * Facebook * Goodreads

ODD ONE OUT?

A Sliver of Sun (The Piper Lee DeLuna Series Book 2)

Written by Dianna Dorisi Winget

ASliverofSun,picThis is the second book in a series centering around the character of Piper Lee DeLuna, but I did not read the first book and feel this second book can easily be read as a stand alone story. Piper is ten years old. She is trying desperately to fit in with her new family. Piper’s dad died in an airplane crash, her mother has recently remarried. Her stepdad, Ben, also has a ten year old daughter. Now Piper has a new dad, stepsister, and a new home. To complicate matters further, the girls soon find out a new baby is on the way.

Piper is funny and clever; the book covers issues of bullying, blended families, struggling to fit in, and the everyday problems children in middle school face. You want to root for Piper; the reader empathizes with her struggles and laughs at her foibles. One of the funniest incidents involves the girls’ attempt to control the sex of their soon to be born sibling. The dialogue is fun and authentic; the characters are believable and the text flows along well. Middle grade readers and teens will probably find themselves identifying with many aspects of this tale. Look forward to seeing what happens to Piper next. Recommended for readers age eight and older.

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FAMILY SECRETS

Sophie And Crystal Carter and the Unexpected Secret

Written by Kelly Cairns

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Looking at this title and cover, you probably would  guess that this story is a magical adventure. The author has seamlessly interwoven a diversity of elements into an intriguing plot with so many twists and turns that the reader is left guessing right up to the end of the story.

At first glance, ten year old fraternal twins Sophie and Crystal Carter are just like most girls their age. They live with their mom, Sarah in a small town. Sophie is shy and nervous, while her sister is rather confident and bossy. This summer, the girls are surprised to hear that they would be staying with their maternal grandfather, whom they had never met. Their mother needs to take care of some business; she appears irritable and upset. Upon arrival at the house, the girls discover it is creepy and old. Soon the girls hear strange noises, and upon investigating the twins find some disturbing things in the basement. When the girls confront their grandfather, they are astonished to discover that everyone in the family is not who they appear to be—even themselves. Granddad decides to come clean and tell them the truth.

I don’t want to give away the intricate and well-written plot filled with surprises. Readers will find spiders, witches, leprechauns, bats, pixies, winged horses, magic mushrooms, spells, and potions with plenty of evil forces at work. This newly thrown together family will need to fight for their survival. In doing so, they will learn a lot a about themselves in the process. Cairns does an excellent job with character development; I really felt as if I were in all the character’s shoes. Things never get dull. The reader will be left guessing as to the outcome right up to the end of the adventure. Be forewarned, the ending is a bit of a tearjerker.

This book is targeted for ages seven and up. Despite the lack of illustrations, the story of less than 100 pages is so well written that it should hold the interest of younger readers once they get past the first few pages. As an adult reader, I could not stop reading until I got to the end. Looking forward to more adventures with the Carter family.

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