Saturday, December 31, 2016

Noah Webster's Fighting Words Book Review

Noah Webster's Fighting Words is a fun mix of interesting history and facts coupled with a fictionalized ghost of Webster who inserts his opinion by occasionally editing or rewriting sections of the text. Noah Webster's Fighting Words

Tracy Nelson Maurer (Author)
Mircea Catusanu (Illustrator)
Millbrook Press
Children’s Nonfiction

Publication Date: April 1, 2017


Noah Webster's Fighting Words is a fun mix of interesting history and facts coupled with a fictionalized ghost of Webster who inserts his opinion by occasionally editing or rewriting sections of the text.

Kids will appreciate Webster's aim to simplify spelling but may be glad that his idea to create new letters for an American alphabet didn't catch on. Catusanu's collage-style illustrations are the perfect match for the story combining modern graphic design and historical images which match the blend of historical nonfiction and whimsical ghost editing.

If you’re interested in reading Noah Webster's Fighting Words, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon 


*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Lost Girls Book Review

Lost Girls by Merrie Destefano – It’s like Black Swan meets Fight Club in this YA thriller!  Rachel wakes up in a ditch after being missing for two weeks, and even though she’s only been gone for a few days, she can’t remember the last year of her life.  The good girl ballerina is now a popular raver who likes to fight.  As Rachel pieces together her past, can she stay safe?Lost Girls

Merrie Destefano (author)
Entangled: Teen
Young Adult, Thriller, Fiction

Publication Date: January 3, 2017


After being missing for two weeks Rachel wakes up in a ditch, crawling up to the road for help. And even though she's only been gone for a few days, she can't remember the last year of her life, a life that has changed drastically. A former Taylor Swift loving ballerina, Rachel is now popular, dating her long time crush, dresses in black, and knows how to fight.

As her memories come back and as she tries to navigate this new life she doesn't remember, Rachel starts to piece together how she went from a ballerina to a raver who loves to fight.

Lost Girls is the perfect teen read! Fast-paced and thrilling, it will keep you reading - can Rachel stay safe as she pieces together her past?

If you’re interested in reading Lost Girls, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon


*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

10 Books For Boys

10 Books for Boys - Boys love these books!


Here is a list of books for boys with some classics and some new favorites!


The True Story of the Three Little Pigs - 10 Books For Boys


2) Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

Jumanji - 10 Books for Boys

3) Beekle by Dan Santat

Beekle - 10 Books For Boys


4) Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty

Iggy Peck, Architect  - 10 Books For Boys



Guinness Book of World Records  - 10 Books For Boys



Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted To Dance  - 10 Books For Boys


7) Too Much Glue by Jason Lefebvre

Too Much Glue  - 10 Books For Boys


8) The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

The Book With No Pictures  - 10 Books For Boys



The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales  - 10 Books For Boys


10) Whose Poop Is That? by Darrin Lunde

Whose Poop Is That? - 10 Books For Boys


Do you have other favorites?  Let us know in the comments section!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Happiness Doesn't Come from Headstands Book Review

Written as an alternative to The Little Engine that Could, Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands focuses on finding happiness within ourselves rather than from achieving an external goal.Happiness Doesn't Come from Headstands

Tamara Levitt (Author, Illustrator)
Wisdom Publications
Children’s Fiction

Publication Date: April 4, 2017


Leela and her best friend Lyle love to do yoga! They practice every week and can do a lot of different yoga positions. But there is one position Leela can't do: a headstand. No matter how hard she tries, it is impossible even when Lyle helps her! When Leela gets frustrated, Lyle reminds her of all the great things she can do. So instead of focusing on what Leela can't do, she focuses on what she can and she finds a lot of happiness along the way.

Written as an alternative to The Little Engine that Could, Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands focuses on finding happiness within ourselves rather than from achieving an external goal.

As one who likes setting and achieving goals, I was worried how the message of Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands might come across. Was it going to be an "everyone gets a trophy for trying so hard" type book? Thankfully, no! Happiness Doesn't Come from Headstands helps build the mindset that just because we cannot do something *yet* doesn't mean we have to be so frustrated that it ruins our day.

Rather than an alternative, I think Happiness Doesn't Come from Headstands would make a great paired text with The Little Engine that Could. It's important to set goals and work toward them, but it's sometimes not as simple as practicing and "thinking you can." Sometimes, even with a lot of hard work, we don't achieve a goal. It's important to have a healthy perspective on failure and challenges. Happiness Doesn't Come from Headstands helps provide that perspective.

If you’re interested in reading Happiness Doesn't Come from Headstands, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon



*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


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Thursday, December 8, 2016

If You Were the Moon Book Review

If You Were the Moon is a beautifully illustrated combination of descriptive prose and interesting facts. It's a nonfiction text with a fiction flare that will hook kids in and make them think about how important the moon is. #picturebook #nonfiction

If You Were the Moon

Laura Purdie Salas (Author)
Jaime Kim (Illustrator)
Millbrook Press
Children’s Non-Fiction

Publication Date: March 1, 2017


If You Were the Moon is a beautifully illustrated combination of descriptive prose and interesting facts. It's a nonfiction text with a fiction flare that will hook kids in and make them think about how important the moon is.

If you’re interested in reading If You Were the Moon, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon. 



*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Whose Poop Is That? Book Review

Poop is a perennial favorite of little kids and Whose Poop Is That? will be too! Funny and informative, Whose Poop Is That? gives factoids about different animals' droppings along with accurate yet not gross illustrations. With a wide range of animals, kids are sure to have fun guessing whose poop that is!Whose Poop Is That?

Darrin Lunde (Author)
Kelsey Oseid (Illustrator)
Charlesbridge
Children’s Non-Fiction

Publication Date: January 10, 2017


Poop is a perennial favorite of little kids and Whose Poop Is That? will be too! Funny and informative, Whose Poop Is That? gives factoids about different animals' droppings along with accurate yet not gross illustrations. With a wide range of animals, kids are sure to have fun guessing whose poop that is!

If you’re interested in reading Whose Poop Is That?, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon. 


*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


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Monday, December 5, 2016

I Feel Worried: Tips for Kids on Overcoming Anxiety Book Review

In a time when teachers are also expected to be social workers and counselors, I Feel Worried can be a useful individual or whole class resource to address how students are feeling. I Feel Worried: Tips for Kids on Overcoming AnxietyI Feel Worried: Tips for Kids on Overcoming Anxiety

Nadine Briggs and Donna Shea (Authors)
Ryan Flynn (Illustrator)
How to Make and Keep Friends, LLC
Children’s Non-Fiction

Publication Date: September 28, 2016

More and more often teachers are facing challenging issues in their classrooms with fewer and fewer resources to help. One issue that I've seen a lot of in recent years is childhood anxiety. I Feel Worried: Tips for Kids on Overcoming Anxiety is a great resource for teachers (or parents) to help students who struggle with anxiety. The book gives background information about "worry" and provides ideas to help children identify what they're feeling, why, and how to deal with it.

In a time when teachers are also expected to be social workers and counselors, I Feel Worried can be a useful individual or whole class resource to address how students are feeling.

If you’re interested in reading I Feel Worried: Tipsfor Kids on Overcoming Anxiety, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon. 


*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


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Quote of the Week

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. -Nelson Mandela #inspiration

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Dalmatian in a Digger Book Review

Dalmatian in a Digger

Rebecca Elliott (Author, Illustrator)
Capstone Young Readers
Children’s Fiction, Picture Book

Publication Date: February 1, 2017

Dalmatain in a Digger: This picture book combines two things little kids love: animals and machines! A fun story with great sounds, big machines, and a variety of animals. What are these animals building? #picturebook

This picture book combines two things little kids love: animals and machines! A fun story with great illustrations, sounds, big machines, and a variety of animals. What are these animals building?

My son and I both loved it!

If you’re interested in reading Dalmatian in a Digger, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon. 



*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


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Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Girl Before Book Review

Then: After a burglary Emma needed a home she would feel safe in.  Now: After a tragedy, Jane needs to start over.  Both women find themselves at One Folgate Street, but at different times.  And as Jane finds out more about the house, and about Emma’s death, she dives deeper and deeper in the past, entangling her life into Emma’s and putting herself in danger. The Girl Before

JP Delaney
Ballantine Books
Adult Fiction

Publication Date: January 24, 2017

Then: After a burglary Emma needed a home she would feel safe in, a home that would give her a fresh start. She and her boyfriend Simon find that refuge in One Folgate Street, a minimalist stone structure infused with technology to make life simpler. But the modern house comes with a long list of rules created by its austere architect.

Now: After a tragedy, Jane needs to start over. She's instantly drawn to the minimalist stone look of One Folgate Street and is ready to declutter her life. Intrigued but not put off by both the rules of the lease and the house's architect, Jane readily moves in.

The Girl Before shifts between these two women as Jane tries to uncover the secrets that surround Emma - a previous tenant of her house. As Jane dives deeper into the past, her and Emma's lives entangle. Is she bound to follow Emma's mistakes and misfortune?

The Bradbury-esque house at One Folgate Street immediately caught my attention, and while I was interested in how the story would end, middle sections of the novel weren't as intriguing. That being said, I'm glad I read through to the end.

If you’re interested in reading The Girl Before, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon. 




*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cyber Sale TPT Gift Card Giveaway!

The TPT Cyber Sale is almost here!  

The 2016 TPT Cyber Sale is this Monday and Tuesday November 28th and 29th!!

To help you gear up for the big sale I'm giving away five $10 TPT gift cards!

Hurry!  
You can only enter to win today and the winners will be e-mailed their girft cards early Monday morning in time for the sale!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck!


Saturday, November 26, 2016

How to Tame a Triceratops Book Review

Dinosaurs meet the old west in How to Train a Triceratops! This adventurous chapter book is the perfect mashup of cowboys and dinosaurs.
How to Tame a Triceratops
(Dino Riders)

Will Dare
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Children’s Fiction, Western & Sci-Fi

Publication Date: April 4, 2016


Dinosaurs meet the old west in How to Train a Triceratops! This adventurous chapter book is the perfect mashup of cowboys and dinosaurs.

Josh wants to be the best dino-rider around, just like his idol Terrordactyl Bill, but a few things stand in his way of winning the annual settlement race. First, his trusty dino Plodder is a great dinosaur. He just isn’t fast. Second, the town brute Amos has Clubber, a fast ankylosaur. With the help of his friends Sam and Abi, Josh attempts to go for greatness and enters the race. Will Josh be able to roar past the others and become a dino-riding champ?

This dino-western is a fun read that will have kids coming back for more books in the series!

If you’re interested in reading How to Tame a Triceratops, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon




*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

I Want That Love Book Review

I Want That Love - Tyrannosaurus thinks that strength is the most important thing in the world, but as he ages he learns that love is more important than strength.  Through his actions he shares this lesson with a group of baby Triceratops. Those little Triceratops grow up and in turn pass the message of love along to their children.  #picturebook

I Want That Love

Tatsuya Miyanishi (Author)
Museyon
Children’s Fiction

Publication Date: December 1, 2016


Tyrannosaurus thinks that strength is the most important thing in the world, but as he ages he learns that love is more important than strength.  Through his actions he shares this lesson with a group of baby Triceratops. Those little Triceratops grow up and in turn pass the message of love along to their children.

I Want That Love illustrates a powerful message on the importance of love, but that message is delivered by aggressive, carnivorous dinosaurs doing what aggressive, carnivorous dinosaurs do. While the message is strong, some may prefer to avoid the violence of the book.  It is important to note, that while there is dinosaur on dinosaur violence in the book, the pictures are not gory. The book does an excellent job of showing the lengths that love can go in order to protect the ones you love.

If you’re interested in reading I Want That Love, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon




*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Move It, Miss Macintosh! Book Review

Move It, Miss Macintosh! is a funny picture book about a kindergarten teacher who is so nervous about the first day of school that she doesn't want to go. The principal and her teacher friends have to encourage her and help her get moving. Can Miss Macintosh make it to school and survive her first day? #kindergartenMove It, Miss Macintosh!

Peggy Robbins Janousky (Author)
Meghan Lands (Illustrator)
Annick Press
Children’s Fiction

Publication Date: October 11, 2016


Move It, Miss Macintosh! is a funny picture book about a kindergarten teacher who is so nervous about the first day of school that she doesn't want to go. The principal and her teacher friends have to encourage her and help her get moving. Can Miss Macintosh make it to school and survive her first day?

While some may say having a nervous wreck for a teacher may be disconcerting for nervous kindergartners, I think most if not all will find humor in Move It, Miss Macintosh! and identify with Miss Macintosh's feelings. It's good to know that others--even adults-- can get nervous too!

If you’re interested in reading Move It, Miss Macintosh!, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon



*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett Book Review

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett - Hawthorn has always been a little obsessed about Lizzie Lovett. And now, a few years after Lizzie graduated and Hawthorn is in high school, Lizzie is missing. She went camping with her boyfriend and *poof* she's gone.  In an attempt to find Lizzie, Hawthorn makes up her own theory about Lizzie's disappearance and begins to take on Lizzie's life getting a job at the dinner Lizzie worked at and spending a lot of time with Lizzie's boyfriend. #YAChelsea Sedoti
Sourcebooks Fire
Young Adult, Fiction

Publication Date: January 3, 2017


Hawthorn has always been a little obsessed about Lizzie Lovett. In high school Lizzie was popular, the kind of girl all guys would want to date, but Hawthorn was not impressed. Or at least, she would never admit that she was impressed by Lizzie. And now, a few years after Lizzie graduated and Hawthorn is in high school, Lizzie is missing. She went camping with her boyfriend and *poof* she's gone.

In an attempt to find Lizzie, Hawthorn makes up her own theory about Lizzie's disappearance and begins to take on Lizzie's life getting a job at the dinner Lizzie worked at and spending a lot of time with Lizzie's boyfriend. As Hawthorn discovers more about Lizzie's life, she also learns more about herself.

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
is a coming of age story with a unique narrator. Hawthorn's theories and ideas may be a bit out there, but many young adult readers will identify with her feelings of angst and trouble fitting in.

If you’re interested in reading The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon




*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Amateurs Book Review

The Amateurs Book 1 - Seneca Frazier is a college freshman who loves true crime, and when high schooler Aerin Kelley posts a message on Case Not Closed for help solving her sister's infamous murder case, Seneca can't stop herself from volunteering. Teaming up with her friend Maddy from the board, Seneca and a few other teens band together as detectives to solve Helena Kelley's high-profile disappearance and murder.  #YA #MysteryThe Amateurs Book 1

Sara Shepard (Author)
Disney-Hyperion
Young Adult, Mystery

Publication Date: November 1, 2016


Seneca Frazier is a college freshman who loves true crime, and when high schooler Aerin Kelley posts a message on Case Not Closed for help solving her sister's infamous murder case, Seneca can't stop herself from volunteering. Teaming up with her friend Maddy from the board, Seneca and a few other teens band together as detectives to solve Helena Kelley's high-profile disappearance and murder.

The Amateurs is a plot driven novel with intrigue but not a lot of substance. I really wanted to like the novel, and it had potential, but the characters are not well developed and the writing is a bit flat.
Some teens might appreciate the lack of complexity within The Amateurs, but others will find it lacking.

If you’d like to give The Amateurs a try, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon




*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Cloud and Wallfish Book Review

Cloud and Wallfish - Noah Keller is just your normal, average, every-day kid except for two things. One, he has an "Astonishing Stutter" that makes speaking difficult. And two, his parents just told him that his name isn't actually Noah Keller. It's Jonah Brown. And his birthday isn't his birthday. And he's not even eleven. He's still ten. And they're leaving town. Today. For East Berlin.   Set just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Cloud and Wallfish follows Noah's/Jonah's journey from America to East Berlin where his name and his parents’ names are different, where there are bugs in the walls that always listen, and where there is an intriguing new friend named Claudia. #middlegrades #historicalfictionCloud and Wallfish

Anne Nesbet (Author)
Candlewick
Middle Grades, Historical Fiction

Publication Date: September 2, 2016

Noah Keller is just your normal, average, every-day kid except for two things. One, he has an "Astonishing Stutter" that makes speaking difficult. And two, his parents just told him that his name isn't actually Noah Keller. It's Jonah Brown. And his birthday isn't his birthday. And he's not even eleven. He's still ten. And they're leaving town. Today. For East Berlin.

Set just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Cloud and Wallfish follows Noah's/Jonah's journey from America to East Berlin where his name and his parents’ names are different, where there are bugs in the walls that always listen, and where there is an intriguing new friend named Claudia.

While historical fiction can be dry, Cloud and Wallfish is not! Noah's journey keeps you guessing about who is listening, how he will survive in a new land, and what the truth about his situation and his parents truly is.

If you’re interested in reading Cloud and Wallfish, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon



*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


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Quote of the Week

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. -Nelson Mandela

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Striker, Slow Down! Book Review

Striker, Slow Down! - Striker the cat is wild and free! He is always on the go. There is too much to do. There is too much fun to have.  But one day when Striker is go-go-going, he bumps his head and learns an important lesson: it's okay to relax and have a bit of calm in your life.Striker, Slow Down! A calming book for children who are always on the go

Emma Hughes (Author)
John Smisson (Illustrator)
Singing Dragon
Children’s Fiction

Publication Date: October 21, 2016




Striker the cat is wild and free! He is always on the go. There is too much to do. There is too much fun to have.

But one day when Striker is go-go-going, he bumps his head and learns an important lesson: it's okay to relax and have a bit of calm in your life.

Striker, Slow Down! is well written with fun illustrations. Kids will be drawn to the rhythm of the words and to its message.

If you’re interested in reading Striker, Slow Down!, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon




*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


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To Burp or Not to Burp Book Review

To Burp or Not to Burp - From how to use the bathroom (there are a few more steps in space!) to bathing to brushing your teeth or blowing your nose to passing gas and just eating: To Burp or Not to Burp covers a wide range of topics that kids will love to learn about. They will laugh as they learn some of the more basic human aspects of being an astronaut.To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space

Dave Williams and Loredana Cunti (Authors)
Theo Krynauw (Illustrator)
Annick Press Ltd.
Children’s Non-Fiction, Middle Grades

Publication Date: October 11, 2016


To Burp or Not to Burp give kids an amusing yet realistic overview of how a body functions in space. 

From how to use the bathroom (there are a few more steps in space!) to bathing to brushing your teeth or blowing your nose to passing gas and just eating: To Burp or Not to Burp covers a wide range of topics that kids will love to learn about. They will laugh as they learn some of the more basic human aspects of being an astronaut.

If you’re interested in reading To Burp or Not to Burp, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon



*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


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Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Dragon of The Month Club Book Review

The Dragon of the Month Club is a good mix of adventure and fantasy that middle grade readers will enjoy.  Ayana and Tyler, two tweens, become fast friends amongst dusty bookshelves in the back corner of the library. In their corner, Ayana and Tyler come across a magical book that allows them to conjure dragons. While their first attempts to conjure dragons go well, a mishap when conjuring a new, special dragon pulls Ayana and Tyler into a fantasy world created by the books scattered around Tyler's bedroom. Stuck in a world of forests, oceans, islands, deserts, and cities filled with book-inspired characters and villains, the two friends and their band of dragons must find their way home. The Dragon of The Month Club

Iain Reading
CreateSpace Independent Publishing 
Middle Grades

Publication Date: December 18, 2014


Ayana and Tyler, two tweens, become fast friends amongst dusty bookshelves in the back corner of the library. In their corner, Ayana and Tyler come across a magical book that allows them to conjure dragons. While their first attempts to conjure dragons go well, a mishap when conjuring a new, special dragon pulls Ayana and Tyler into a fantasy world created by the books scattered around Tyler's bedroom. Stuck in a world of forests, oceans, islands, deserts, and cities populated with book-inspired characters and villains, the two friends and their band of dragons must find their way home.

The Dragon of the Month Club is a good mix of adventure and fantasy that middle grade readers will enjoy. While the cover may look slightly childish, the story itself is full of action as Tyler and Ayana travel from book-world to book-world. The Dragon of the Month Club lets kids do something they've always wanted to do - live within the books they love.  Plus, it’s the first books in its series, so expect more to come!

If you’re interested in reading The Dragon of the Month Club, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon



*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


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Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Friendship Experiment Book Review

The Friendship Experiment by Erin Teagan - Aspiring scientist Maddie Little is having a terrible first year in middle school. Her grandfather whom she loved and admired past away, her best friend is going to a new private school (a school Maddie would love to go to), her older eighth grade sister is just that – an older sister, and she has a rare bleeding disorder that runs in her family. Fifth and sixth graders will love The Friendship Experiment.  They’ll relate to Maddie’s troubles and to how difficult life can seem at times, but they’ll find hope within her family and friendships.  A great middle grades novel!The Friendship Experiment

Erin Teagan
HMH Books for Young Readers
Middle Grades, Fiction

Publication Date: November 1, 2016


Aspiring scientist Maddie Little is having a terrible first year in middle school. Her grandfather whom she loved and admired past away, her best friend is going to a new private school (a school Maddie would love to go to), her older eighth grade sister is just that – an older sister, and she has a rare bleeding disorder that runs in her family.

The only people Maddie can find to sit with at lunch are an eclectic bunch that include a new girl who wants to be an astronaut (stealing Maddie’s scientist-niche) and a spelling bee whizz who spells every word she can, among others. Rather than socializing, Maddie spends as much time as she can in her father’s laboratory and writing standard operating procedures (like her grandfather did) in her lab notebook.

Maddie’s world crumbles further when her somewhat friends discover just what’s included in those SOPs in her secret lab notebook. Coupled with other setbacks, how can Maddie push through to survive life and middle school?

Fifth and sixth graders will love The Friendship Experiment.  They’ll relate to Maddie’s troubles and to how difficult life can seem at times, but they’ll find hope within her family and friendships. 

If you’re interested in reading The Friendship Experiment, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon




*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The War that Saved My Life Review

The War That Saved My Life - While set with the backdrop of World War II, Ada’s war is much more personal.  Ada’s mother rejects and abuses Ada since she was born with a club foot.  She never lets Ada go outside, so Ada knows little of the outside world.  As WWII draws closer to London, Ada’s mother evacuates her son Jamie to the countryside.  When Ada sneaks off with him, their world’s change. The War That Saved My Life is a great middle grades novel and a Newberry Honor Book!The War that Saved My Life

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
*Newbery Honor Book*
Dial Books
Middle Grades, Historical Fiction

Publication Date: January 8, 2015


While set with the backdrop of World War II, Ada’s war is much more personal.  Born with a club foot, Ada is rejected and neglected by her mother and forced to stay inside their house at all times, only knowing about the outside world from what she sees out the window.  Her brother Jamie is allowed outside, to go to school, and to play with friends, but Ada still has to protect him from her mother’s wrath.

As the outside war draws nearer, Ada’s mother plans to evacuate Jamie, and only Jamie, from London but Ada sneaks off with him.  Their new life in the rural village is miles apart from their home both in distance and in life experiences.  Ada and Jamie are taken in by a recluse named Susan Smith and together they stumble through the obstacles of their new situation. 

Though a middle grades novel, readers of all ages are quickly drawn in by Ada’s deplorable living conditions, but also by her voice and her wit. The War the Saved My Life is an excellent piece of historical fiction where the historical setting strengthens an already remarkable story.  It would be a great addition to upper elementary classrooms studying historical fiction or for middle school classrooms looking to pair literature with a study of World War II.   


If you’re interested in reading The War that Saved My Life, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Small Great Things Book Review

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult - Ruth Jefferson, a labor and delivery nurse for more than twenty years who is African American, is removed from caring for a newborn patient by his white supremacist parents. But, when the newborn goes into cardiac arrest and Ruth is the only nurse available to help, how should she react? Does she disobey orders and help the child, or does she abide by the directive given to her and not care for the patient? This incident sets into motion a lawsuit and a candid look at race and racism in America today. Small Great Things

Jodi Picoult (Author)
Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine
Adult Fiction

Publication Date: October 11, 2016


Ruth Jefferson, a labor and delivery nurse for more than twenty years who is African American, is removed from caring for a newborn patient by his white supremacist parents. But, when the newborn goes into cardiac arrest and Ruth is the only nurse available to help, how should she react? Does she disobey orders and help the child, or does she abide by the directive given to her and not care for the patient? This incident sets into motion a lawsuit and a candid look at race and racism in America today.


While it's easy to point a finger at overt racism and racists (like the confederate flag and swastika tattooed father), Small Great Things dives deeper illuminating shades of racism from intentional to unintentional to well-intentioned ignorance.
As a white woman, Small Great Things was at times familiar at times eye opening and at times jarring. Small Great Things will make you think about race in America and how you fit into the wider discourse. When you read this book, I highly recommend also reading the Author's Note that explains why Jodi Picoult wrote it. It's important to understand perspectives outside of our own, and even though it is fiction, Small Great Things offers insight into a multitude of experiences Americans live every day.

If you’re interested in reading Small Great Things, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon




*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


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