Tag Archives: bibliophile

Supernatural Hero by Eran Gadot

23 Apr

supernaturalSupernatural Hero
by Eran Gadot
158 pages – ages 9+
Published by CreateSpace on November 28, 2013

 

Summary- Andy is the class nerd. He is picked on and bullied and almost no one will talk to him,(other than to ridicule him). He has only on friend, Tom. Tom is a genius and a fellow nerd. Andy is in love with the prettiest girl in the sixth grade (Zoe), but she will never notice him. Andy keeps his feelings bottled up inside. He is very angry. He wants to talk to his parents, but is afraid to do it. The only person Andy can really open up to is his Grandfather. He can tell his Grandpa anything, but Grandpa has cancer and is going to die. Andy is even more alone. Grandpa tells Andy he is ready to die, that it is his time. He also tells Andy that he will never leave him until he gets Zoe to be his girlfriend. Grandpa is true to his word, even in death. Andy realizes he can still see Grandpa even though he is a ghost. But it’s not just Grandpa, Andy can see all kinds of ghosts walking the Earth! Soon Andy realizes that Zoe is in horrible trouble . He enlists the help of Tom and together they set off to save the day.

What I thought- At first I really didn’t like Andy’s character. He was creepy and it sounded like he wanted to hurt people. I really couldn’t relate to him – at first. As I read further, I could understand why Andy was feeling the way he was. He was completely tortured at school and he had no one to talk to. I found myself turning from not liking Andy to rooting for him. Andy just wanted to be himself and have people accept him. The whole part of the plot where Andy develops a super power – to see ghosts – is a cool twist to the plot. Mr. Gadot’s writing style, how the book is narrated, reminded me of Neil Gaiman’s. I like that the story deals with some very tough subjects, (bullying, death of a loved one), but Andy handles them very well and he is a very believable character. The other characters in the book are good, even the minor ones. I like how Andy’s character develops in the story. The trouble that Andy finds Zoe in was an unexpected but very cool twist in the story (not telling you what it is ;) ). I found myself enjoying this story very much.

Five out of five bookworms. fivebooks

Like the Supernatural Hero’s Facebook page HERE.

Codename Zero: The Code Name Conspiracy by Chris Rylander

22 Apr

HAPPY EARTHDAY! :D

codenamezeroCodename Zero: The Codename Conspiracy
by Chris Rylander
368 pages – ages 9+
Published by Walden Pond Press on February 4, 2014

Everything was going as planned for Carson Fender. The goats were distracting everyone at school. Now, he and his friends, could glue down everything in the school’s classrooms (and the principal’s office). This practical joke would be his finest!

Suddenly, he found himself being handed a box by a guy in a black suit and dark sunglasses. The guy told him not to open the box and deliver it to Mr. Jensen. The problem is, Carson opened it and now it will self-destruct in 48 hours unless he finds the correct Mr. Jensen (there are two in school). Carson soon realizes that his boring home town is home to a secret government agency and he’s the newest recruit.

I found this book not to be the typical spy story (which I thought it was going to be at first)- Carson has to help a kid in a witness protection program “fit in” so he wouldn’t be noticed. I liked that this story had a different plot idea. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story. It was funny, exciting and fast-paced. Carson was a great main character. I loved his personality. The book had a great ending -almost too good. I would love to read another book about Carson (I don’t think this is a series). I would have liked to know more about the kid in the witness protection program, but it wasn’t necessary for the story to be complete. I haven’t read Mr. Rylander’s Fourth Stall series. After reading this, I am going to pick those up. He writes a great book!

I give “Codename Zero” 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Mr. Rylander and his other books, please visit his website by clicking HERE.

Blog Tour! Odin’s Promise by Sandy Brehl

21 Apr
odinsOdin’s Promise
by Sandy Brehl
238 pages – ages 9+
Published by Crispin Books (imprint of Cricket Hollow) on April 20, 2014
Publisher’s description -
“Odin’s Promise is a historical novel for middle-grade readers, a story of the first year of German occupation of Norway as seen through the eyes of a young girl. Eleven-year-old Mari grew up tucked safely under the wings of her parents, grandma, and her older siblings.  When Hitler’s troops invaded Norway in Spring 1940, she is forced to grow beyond her “little girl” nickname and comfortable patterns to deal with harsh new realities. At her side for support and protection is Odin, her faithful elkhound. After she witnesses a troubling event on the mountainside, truths are revealed: the involvement of her family and friends in the resistance; the value of humor in surviving hard times; the hidden radio in her grandma’s cottage.”
What I Thought -
I loved this story! I first read about the German occupation of Norway and the Norwegian resistance in Steve Sheinkin’s BOMB and I thought the subject was interesting. I like World War II history and that time period in general, so this book was something I really wanted to read. While reading this book, I learned even more about the Norwegian resistance and the culture/history of Norway. Ms. Brehl wrote a believable, exciting story with characters you care for. I like that she wrote a sub-plot into the story to show that sometimes even the “enemy” is thrown into situations they can’t help being in or maybe don’t want to be in. Mari is a great main character. The reader can really understand how she feels throughout the story. Ms. Brehl includes a bibliography and glossary in the back section of the book , which is very helpful. I enjoyed the descriptions of the Norwegian setting. I could picture the small streets and hillsides in my mind. It is a good contrast when Ms. Brehl describes the beautiful scenery and the harsh reality of the German occupation. I liked learning about the rationing during this time and how the citizens bartered with and helped one and other. I completely enjoyed this book!
Five out of five bookworms for Odin’s Promise! fivebooks
Get the book on  Amazon HERE
Get the book at Barnes and Noble HERE

 

About the author – Sandy Brehl

 

Sandy Brehl is a retired educator and active member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). She enjoys gardening when she’s not reading and writing. She lives in the Milwaukee area and hopes you’ll visit her website (www.SandyBrehl.com) to learn more about ODIN’S PROMISE and follow her blog. She also posts reviews and commentary about picture books at  http://UnpackingPictureBookPower.blogpot.com

Follow her on Twitter @SandyBrehl and @PBWorkshop.

Follow her on Facebook HERE
Blog tour Dates!

 

April 21 –      Erik at http://thiskidreviewsbooks.com

April 24-        Guest post/Rochelle Melander ‘s http://www.writenowcoach.com

April 28         Suzanne Warr interview at http://suzannewarr.com/

April 29         Alex Bough at http://thechildrenswar.blogspot.com

April 30         Margo Tanenbaum at www.fourthmusketeer.blogspot.com

May 1-          Heidi Grange at      http://geolibrarian.blogspot.com

 

Sticks N’ Stones and the Garden of Phea by Angela Burkhead – Book Blast!

19 Apr

Today I am taking part in a Book Blast hosted by Mother, Daughter, & Son Book Reviews.

About the Book:

Sticks n Stones and the Garden of Phea by Angela BurkheadTitle: Sticks n’ Stones and the Garden of Phea | Author: Angela Burkhead | Publication Date: February 6, 2014 | Publisher: Maple Hill Publishing | Pages: 152 | Recommended Ages: 9+

Summary: Rather than spending one more day amongst the humiliating remarks to the amusement of her fellow peers, Emily Fickeltin runs away. Or, rather, walks away. Emily is misunderstood and disliked but what seems to be every other child her age and on top of it all, she is overweight. Perfectly pleasantly plump, her mother calls her, but Emily feels far from perfect. Her attempt to escape her pain leads her to discover a hidden place with new hope for friends and acceptance. Stumbling into Phea’s garden, an eccentric woman skilled in the arts of gardening and imagination, Emily finds she is not alone in her troubles. Phea and her friend rabbit have a past of their own they wish to run from and together the three battle their innermost demons as their world crumbles around them. Will they ever discover peace and acceptance? These lost and disheartened souls must find who they are before they are all lost forever.

What I Thought:

Ms. Burkhead wrote a very imaginative story. Emily is an amazing character. She is bullied for being over-weight and her parents and teachers don’t realize or pretty much ignore how miserable she is. I like that Emily doesn’t try to become someone different – she really likes herself. Her character does make healthier eating choices and gets more exercise after meeting Phea and exploring her garden, but that is only a minor point to the whole story. Emily’s story is told in parallel with the story of another little girl who lived in the past and was bullied (Phyllda) and the two stories connect together in the book. One part of the story was a bit confusing for me – the origins of Phea – how she got to the garden and how Mr. Twinkletoes (her bunny) met her, but it wasn’t necessary for the story to be complete. I do wish it was explained more. The book was a quick read for me but it was a very enjoyable story.

Purchase

Amazon

 

About the Author: Angela Burkhead

Angela Burkhead

Angela Burkhead is a full time writer and a full time mom. Of the two jobs, she cannot decide which is more difficult and time consuming, but both bring the joys of fulfillment and accomplishment. She and her son currently reside in Richmond, Ky, just north of Kentucky’s arts and crafts capital, Berea, Ky, where she was born and raised. Her newest book, Sticks n’ Stones and the Garden of Phea, an upper middle grade/young adult fantasy novel, was published February of 2014.

Goodreads | Author Blog | Twitter

Facebook | Tumblr

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

 

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: May 13, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, David Chuka and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!!!

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Cat Says Meow: And Other Animalopoeia by Michael Arndt

18 Apr

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I love onomatopoeia!
catsaysCat Says Meow: And Other Animalopoeia
by Michael Arndt

36 pages – ages 3+
Published by Chronicle Books on March 4, 2014

Theme/Topic- Onomatopoeia

Genre- Nonfiction

Opening and Synopsis- 

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Opening: First page (used with permission from Chronicle Books)

Cat Says Meow_Int_WoofPublisher’s description “Dog says woof . . . pig says oink . . . cow says moo. Animals and the sounds they make are paired up in playfully compelling ways in this eye-catching illustrated gift book featuring bold colors and an engaging use of onomatopoeia. Kids and parents will delight in discovering the ways in which the letters that spell out each animal’s sound are key elements of that animal’s illustration. With so much to see and to sound out, kids will relish this unique visual and educational experience, brimming with color and letters.”

 

Why I liked this book- I love onomatopoeia and aninalopoeia! This is an awesome book. The whole book is well done. I think it is great for kids learning to read and learning animal sounds. I think that the pictures are extremely unusual and eye-pleasing. I really like how the book is organized, and that the pictures have different fonts for different purposes. It is totally cool. I think that kids and parents will love this book.

Activities and Resources-

I found some great onomatopoeia worksheets for teachers and parents to use HERE and HERE.

Check out this Onomatopoeia video!


 

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Creative Kid Thursday! Meet Kid Author Sophie Quay-Clark!

17 Apr

Today’s Creative Kid I have to tell you about is a kid author who has self-published not one but two books! She wrote her first book at age 7!

Meet Sophie Quay-Clark!

photo(1)

bloglogoHi Sophie, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

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photo(1)My name is Sophie and I am 9 years old. I live in Berkshire in England with my little brother, my mum, dad and my three cats!
I love playing Minecraft; I play on a server with my friends and also by myself. I belong to our local triathlon club and I train a few times a week and compete in junior triathlons. I also play the viola and I compete in local running races. I love cats and most cute animals. I enjoy basic computer programming like Scratch and Python. I’m trying to teach myself some Latin at the moment. I also love to write and I have now written two books. I started learning to read at 18 months of age; Mummy was a bit shocked. By 2.5yrs old I was reading easy chapter books like ‘Rainbow Magic Fairies’. I liked typing and wrote my first short sentence just before I was 2 years old, I then just carried on writing!

photo(2)

 

bloglogoI’ve read both of your books and was very interested in your stories! FireFall is a school for dragons where they learn how to do dragon things like fly and growl, but they also learn how to be dragon warriors. I thought this was a very unique idea! I assumed dragons already knew how to do these things. How did you get the idea for FireFall?

photo(1)I wrote the first Firefall when I was 7 years old, I had just read all the Harry Potter books, all the Last Dragon Chronicle books by Chris d’Lacey and every Warrior Cat book written at the time! I joined all the books together and came up with Firefall. I like reading lots of different types of books so I used some ideas from them.

bloglogoIt is true that the more you read, the better writer you become! I really like all the different kind of dragons you write about in your book (ice dragons, bloom dragons, rainbow dragons, air dragon, etc.) and all the different abilities they have. Which one is your favorite type of dragon?firefall

photo(1)I really like the Rainbow Dragons as their colours are the best. My favourite character is Flash as she is completely crazy and mad, she was a lot of fun to write about as she is really silly and kept doing daft things. I got the idea for the different types of dragons from one of my favourite game apps.

bloglogoFlash is a very fun character, I liked how she was constantly getting into trouble! The dragons seem to like Pumpermelons. What do they taste like?

photo(1)The taste of a pumpermelon is a mixture of melon, pumpkin and carrot. They are bright red, mixed with dark orange flecks. The inside is white and has a spongy texture. They are quite large, almost as big as a beach ball.

bloglogoSounds yummy! :) When do you take time to write? Do you have to think about a story before you write it or does it come out as you are writing?

photo(1)With the two Firefall books, I had to plan them in detail. I wanted to write the books during NaNoWriMo. I wrote the books mainly in bed or in the car coming home from school. I tend to plan a week before I start NaNoWriMo. The second Firefall book was 12,000 words and took just over 3 weeks of typing. I then had to re-read it and correct my mistakes…then I let Mummy read it. I write lots of other stories when I feel like it, mostly in the car on my iPod using Pages.

returnfirefall

bloglogoThe ending of your second book “Return to Firefall” leave us with quite a cliffhanger when we find out the final battle between the FireFall dragons and the evil HornClaw dragons isn’t really the FINAL battle! Are you currently writing another book in the series? How many books are you planning to write in the series?

photo(1)Yes, I have to finish the story off so I will write the final Firefall book during NaNoWriMo this year. I have some ideas of how to plan the story already but I will plan properly just before NaNoWriMo starts. My friends are wanting to know what happens to all the dragons!

bloglogoI can’t wait to read what happens! What do you want to be when you grow up?

photo(1)At the moment I want to be lots of different things. I’d love to work for Minecraft because I have so many different ideas for the game. I love animals so working as a Vet would be good, but then I might be a writer so I could write about animals.

Thank you, Sophie, for answering my questions!

Check out Spohie’s books on Amazon UK HERE!

Poetry Picks For April – National Poetry Month!

16 Apr

April is National Poetry Month and I have great choices for kids!

depotPoem Depot: Aisles of Smiles
Written and illustrated by  Douglas Florian
160 pages – ages 9+
Published by Dial on February 20, 2014

Summary – Taken from the back of the book

Load up on laughs in this one-stop poetry shop!

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Th s po m is mis ing le ters.
It’s mis ing q ite a f w.
Wh re did th y go
I do n t kno.
I do n t kno.
Do y u?

 What I thought – I love poetry books like this one. Short funny poems that make you smile. I think books like Poem Depot are a great way to get kids to read and think about poetry. The poems are short, fun to read and they all have nice black and white illustrations to go with them. Topics of the poem is anything and everything – from Spacemen to Mermaids – Broccoli to Cereal and beyond! Fans of Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein (like me) will love this book. I like how there is an index to the poems in the back and also an index of first lines – very nice touch.

To learn more about Mr. Florian, please visit his website by clicking HERE.

Five out of five bookworms for Poem Depot! fivebooks

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Now some sophisticated poetry.  Nothing says poetry to a kid like me more than farts…

judd-goobey-artsy-fartsy
Judd Goobey: Less Artsy More Fartsy
By M. Tompson Lane
Illustrated by Paige Lane
78 pages – ages 9+
Published by eBookPartnership.com on October 18, 2013

Summary – Taken from the Amazon description -

Many poetry books promise cutesy, eloquent wit and charm. This is not one of those books. This is Judd Goobey.

Packed with thirty disgustingly hilarious poems and deftly uproarious illustrations, Judd Goobey: Less Artsy More Fartsy explores the rich and universal culture of childhood in its purest and funniest form.

What I thought – BWAHAHAHAHA!!! :D

First I love how the book is divided into “Gross, Grosser and Grossest” sections. The poems are just that! If you have a kids who loves booger and fart jokes – get them into poetry with this book. The book is written and illustrated by a father and daughter team. The illustrations go along with the poems very well (many make the poems even more gross). There is nothing offensive or any bad language in any of the poems – they’re just gross. Okay a few of the poems really grossed me out – but that’s what it’s supposed to do. :)

Please visit the book’s official website by clicking HERE.

Four out of five bookworms for Judd Goobey! fourbooks

The Merman and The Moon Forgotten by Kevin McGill

15 Apr

merman and the moon forgottenThe Merman and The Moon Forgotten

Series: Nikolas and Company: Episode #1

By Kevin McGill

Illustrated by Carlyle McCullough

233 pages (ebook reviewed) – ages 12+
Published Aero Studios on January 2, 2014

14-year-old Nick desperately wants to get off Earth (a dystopian/futuristic Earth). His parents are crazy, he sees injustice all around him and he feels drawn toward the moon, as if it’s his real home. Nick tries everything to run away and hop a ride to the moon even though life there is much less comfortable compared to his privileged life on Earth. And then there’s the voice in Nick’s head that keeps repeating the same warning message.

Yeri is a driver for the Fungman, Zedock and Josiah Stagecoach Company. He lives on the moon. Not the moon you see in Nick’s world, but the moon from tens of thousands of years ago, when the moon was tethered to the Earth through a magic force. The moon was packed with life, both human and other, and magic. Yeri was responsible for trying to save the lives of a group of Mermen (or Merrows as they are called) who inhabit the moon and walk on its surface in automaton legs.

These two worlds are destined to collide – only first Nick has to figure out how he’s going to explain to his parents that he blew up their shed, dismantled his dad’s Validate (some sort of futuristic vehicle) and set Hiker’s Canyon on fire.

First of all the book gets bonus points for an awesome cover. The story is really what is depicted on the cover – excitement – danger – steampunk meets Harry Potter meets Doctor Who. The story plot, characters and setting are so good, I can’t get it out of my mind.  The book is one where you literally have to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. The steampunk (mixing of old and new technology and lifestyles) feel to the book was an extra for me. The alternate world Mr. McGill created is incredible! The story is totally unique and one that I found fascinating. There are a couple of creepy things that go on in the book (for example the government runs refugee camps where the people who live in them are actually owned by an organ donating company) that may not be appropriate for younger kids, but there is nothing graphic about it and there is no bad language. I’d rate it at a 12+ age level.

This book is so close to total and complete awesomeness – like Percy Jackson/Redwall awesomeness, but it made me mad too. I actually yelled at the book when it ended because it didn’t end in a cliff hanger, it ended in the middle of the story!  >:/  The reader (me) had no sense of completion. I know it’s the first book in the series, but in my opinion, it needed some kind of end. The beginning chapters were a bit confusing and they drug down the rest of the book a bit. I had to reread in a couple of places. After getting past them the rest of the book flowed easily. Mr. McGill’s writing style is a joy to read. His imagination is incredible. I actually went back and forth on giving this book 3 (good) or 4 (great) bookworms (mostly because I was mad at the ending), but I literally can’t keep the story out of my head. Any book that can do that gets the extra worm. I will be reading Episode 2!

Four out of five book worms for The Merman and The Moon Forgotten.fourbooks

 Check out the book’s trailer!

Little Dog in the Middle of the Road by Sharon P. Stanley

14 Apr

Happy Monday!

Before my review today, I get to announce the winners of Mo Willems’ newest book, “The Pigeon Needs A Bath!”

PigeonNeedsaBath

The lucky winners were chosen by putting all the names in a hat and my sister Josie picked them out.

The winners are -

DEBBIE AUSTIN (who really, really, really wanted to win)

KIMBERLY (and her hot-dog obsessed toddler),

and,

STACY JENSEN (which is good because apparently Enzo needs a bath too)!!!

Congratulations!!!

I’ll email you guys so you can claim your prize! :)

 

little dog cover finalLittle Dog in the Middle of the Road
by Sharon P. Stanley
Illustrated by Deidre Carr
28 pages – ages 4+
Published by Silver Tongue Press on November 3, 2013

Little dog’s owner is going on a trip and she tells him to stay put. Don’t worry, Mrs. Thistleberry is going to come look after him. But Mrs. Thistleberry doesn’t like Little Dog very much. She doesn’t play games with him. Little Dog decides there is only one thing to do  – go look for his person! Little Dog wiggles out of the yard and sets off to search. After a while, Little Dog decides this wasn’t such a great idea. Will he ever find his person?

Who doesn’t love a good “lost dog” story? :) This is a very good book for young kids to read by themselves and I think it would also make a great read-aloud. I think that Ms. Stanley’s writing style is one that kids will enjoy. The words are simple so younger kids will be able to read it by themselves. The illustrations are very cute and will make you smile. The cover image is a bit “smushed” but I think that was just a publication problem. The interior illustrations don’t have that problem. This book would make an excellent bedtime story.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

This book was nominated as a perfect picture book by Susanna Leonard Hill! Check out Ms. Hill’s review HERE.

Sue Morris of Kid-Lit Reviews, reviewed the book too – Click HERE!

Check out the book’s trailer!

Easter pick – God’s Amazing World by Eileen Spinelli

13 Apr

Here’s a great book for Easter by one of my favorite authors!

 

godsamazin

God’s Amazing World
by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Mélanie Florian
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Ideals Children’s Books, an imprint of Ideals Publications on March 1, 2014

Cousins Gracie and Bo are amazed by the world around them. Gracie tells Bo about the 7 Days of Creation. Together the children discover how great and beautiful the world is.

This is an extremely cute book! The illustrations are just beautiful and a perfect fit for the story. I love the two little cats in the background of  pretty much all the pictures. They are funny. Gracie and Bo are great characters. I like the happy feeling the story has. I like how Gracie explains the 7 Days of Creation to her younger cousin by just playing outside. It is very simple and fun but not “preachy”. Mrs. Spinelli has done it yet again! :D

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Mrs. Spinelli and her other books, please visit her website HERE.

To learn more about Ms. Florian and her illustrations, please visit her website HERE.

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