Posts tagged ‘strong female characters’

THE RIGHT DECISION

The Doll Dilemma (Kids’ Court Book 1)

Written by Caron Pescatore

When Jenny accuses her twin brother, Jimmy of breaking the head off of her favorite doll, Jimmy swears that he is innocent. But Jimmy has a history of breaking his sister’s toys. Jimmy’s friend Luanna tries to intercede. Luanna’s parents are a lawyer and a judge and she has spent lots of time at work with them. So Luanna suggests that the local kids get together and have a trial to prove Jimmy’s guilt or innocence. They set up the court in Luanna’s basement. The group chooses a bailiff, investigators, attorneys, and witnesses. Because they don’t have enough children to set up a jury, they decide on a bench trial.

Readers are guided through the whole legal process. They learn about legal terminology and procedure. There is also an element of mystery that sharp detectives use to resolve Jimmy’s guilt or innocence. The dialogue moves along well and is authentic for the age group. Middle-grade readers who enjoy humor, detective stories, strong characters, and legal procedures will find something to learn and enjoy.

Highly recommended for readers in the middle-grades or anyone who enjoys a fun, fast read.

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The Peaceable Prince

Alf The Workshop Dog: An illustrated, interactive, magical bedtime story chapter book adventure for kids (Once upon a NOW 1)

Written by Emma Calin

Illustrated by Michael “Miko” Abellara

Alftheworkshop,picQuite a mouthful for a title; first in a series of books. This chapter book of approximately sixty pages is available in kindle format, paperback and audio. An interesting feature is the quality code imprint set into the text which allows the reader to access video, coloring pages, and more background on the story. If this book is broken down into chapters for a read aloud, it could be used as a bedtime story.

The fairy tale adventure opens in the kingdom of Zanubia where Alfredo, a gentle and lonely boy, struggles in his role as prince. The king expects him to become a great warrior and conqueror. Alfredo is only at peace when the king is off to battle. Alfred’s mother allows him to sing and play in the forest where he meets a girl named Laura who becomes his friend. When Alfred grows up and refuses to fight, he is thrown into prison. Eventually Alfred is released with the expectation that he will become a merciless hunter and warrior. The king is dismayed when his son stands up for Laura who is accused of stealing. She escapes and Alfred follows., but they are not destined to be together. A golden crow warns the prince he must hide if he does not want to be killer. Alfred is transformed into a dog named Alf, who will lead many interesting lives while observing humans.

What will happen on Alf’s many adventures? Is Prince Alfred gone forever? Does Laura survive? What happens to the kingdom of Zanubia?

The length of this chapter book makes it a good choice for reluctant and beginning readers. Charming pencil drawings and those interactive bonus features keep things interesting. The plot is easy to follow and the characters believable. Great choice for boys and girls in the seven to eleven age range.

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A GUIDING HAND

The Angel Knew Papa And The Dog

Written by Douglas Kaine McKelvey

AngelIKnew,pic

A heartwarming tale of love, faith and heartbreak narrated by a charming, sweet girl named Evangelina Elizabeth Blake. Living at the edge of the woods in a small log cabin by the river, she works hard alongside her father to farm the land, borrowing a neighbor’s mules to help them plow. Evangelina has lost her mother; she takes delight in nature and the few books her father has managed to purchase for her to read. One of her favorite stories from the Bible is Noah’s flood; this foreshadows the adventure that will follow.

When Evangelina is six, a huge dog rescues her from a serpent which appears during a thunderstorm. She names the dog, Lewis and Clark because he likes to explore and frequently disappears. Not long after, a flood overtakes the area and Evangelina’s father is swept away while trying to rescue one of the mules. She is terribly frightened as the cabin is flooded. An angel carrying a lantern appears to guide her. The young girl hears Lewis and Clark barking. A woman named Mary rows to her and pulls her into the boat. Taking her downstream, Evangelina is gratified to learn that her father is alive, but seriously injured. Is Evangelina dreaming? What will her future bring?

This book is well written in almost a lyrical style. The reader empathizes with the carefully crafted characters and is swept up in the adventure. I would consider this less than one hundred page book perfect for middle grade readers, but teens and adults will enjoy it as well. Look forward to reading more by this author.

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HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! – GRANDPA’S SECRET

The Time Machine Girls:Book One:Secrets

Written by Ernestine Tito Jones

TimeMachineGirls

Charming chapter book featuring two sisters, eight year old Hazel and six year old Bess. The girls could not be more different: Hazel is responsible, truthful and obedient, Bess is unrestrained, mischievous and prone to hide the truth.

The sisters are trapped in their grandparents home for the summer while their mother helps them clean out the house in preparation for downsizing. Because the girls have no TV and no internet, the opportunity for getting into trouble immediately presents itself. Hazel has been given a book of rules; under no circumstances can they go into the attic. When Hazel consents to play hide and seek with Bess, little Bess runs to hide in the attic. There the girls find some strange books about time travel and a unusual contraption, which Bess promptly decides to sit in. Sure enough, they find themselves back in time. The sisters find themselves in the year 1738 on the lawn of George Washington’s boyhood farm. He is a six year old boy. What connection does their time machine have with George? Will the girls be able to find their way back home to the twenty first century? If so, how can they explain what they did to their parents and grandparents?

This book is the introduction to a series that promises to hold lots of fun for beginning and early middle grade readers. A house full of secrets, strange grandparents, and two inquisitive and intelligent sisters sound like the beginning of an interesting adventure series for readers in the seven to twelve age group.

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