Tag Archives: bibliophile

An Interview with Monster & Boy — Not To Be Missed! – Reblog

1 Sep Featured Image -- 14202

ThisKidReviewsBooks:

I ran across this fun interview over at Sue Morris’ blog, Kid-Lit-Reviews. It is with a potential 2016 candidate – MONSTER! Forget Hillary and Donald, MONSTER NEEDS YOUR VOTE! Check out the whole interview and Monster’s new book by clicking on the link below.

Originally posted on Kid Lit Reviews:

Today I am honored to have two wonderful guests from the Monster & Me series, including the recently released Monster Needs Your Vote (reviewed here). You might remember them from another interview (read it here). There is no better way to get at the story than from the view point of the characters.

monster-banner-1

Monster and Boy cut to the chase as they answer a few of my hard-hitting questions. Of course, you’d expect nothing less from an interview with a political candidate. Monster is vying for President! Yep, he doesn’t play around folks (well, not much), and aims for the top! Monster’s long-time friend goes along on the campaign trail, giving guidance and help as only Boy can. (NOTE:  Kids, any Boy—or Girl—and any Monster can aspire to this relationship, as enviable as it is.)

HOLD ON, HERE WE GO!

Welcome Monster and Boy. Your new book

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National Geographic Nonfiction Review! Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey

31 Aug

janegoodUntamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall

Written by Anita Silvey

Foreword by Jane Goodall

96 pages (hardcover) – ages 8+

Published by National Geographic Children’s Books on June 9, 2015

Synopsis- Jane Goodall always loved animals, ever since her childhood. When given an opportunity to visit Africa, Jane pounces on the idea – imagine the wildlife there! When in Africa, she realized she needs a job. That leads her to animal and historical enthusiast, Louis Leakey. Working as his secretary Jane soon steps up to a job that Louis has been looking for a person to do. That job? Visit the nearby, unmapped Gombe forest and study the chimpanzees living there. It was something no trained field expert had ever done, and Jane had no field experience. Was this the opportunity of a life time or huge mistake?

What I Thought- This is a wonderful resource about the life of Jane Goodall. It starts from her young childhood and goes to current-day. The book even includes a foreword by Ms. Goodall. I like how, while the book is meant for kids, it puts the parts of the book in a cool, easy-to-read, but was also informational and succinct. I actually prefer these to what NatGeo puts out for adults (but maybe that is because I am a  kid ;) ). This has fun facts, easy-to-read pages, and much more! Besides learning about Ms. Goodall’s work with chimpanzees, did you know that Ms. Goodall was a great waitress, and could carry around 12 plates without a tray? I learned a lot, and the book really brought Ms. Goodall to life for me. The real life photographs added so much to the story. All I have to say is WOW! I enjoyed every bit of this. I highly recommend the book!

I give this five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

BONUS REVIEW!

 

My sister Josie  just read a National Geographic Kids book she was very excited about. She wanted to review it also.

dirtDirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth: All About Rocks, Minerals, Fossils, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, & Even Dirt!

by Steve Tomecek

Illustrated by Fred Harper

128 pages – ages 8+
Published by National Geographic Children’s Books on June 9, 2015

Summary – (from the publisher) – Come and explore the world under your feet with the Dirtmeister and friends! Part graphic novel, part fun guidebook, this very cool, rocky journey introduces both eager and reluctant readers to the basic geologic processes that shape our Earth. Clear and concise explanations of the various geologic processes reveal the comprehensive science behind each fascinating topic. Fun facts and simple DIY experiments reinforce the concepts while short biographies of important scientists inspire future geo-scientists.

What Josie thought – This was one of the coolest books I ever read. I collect rocks and love to play in the dirt and dig in the dirt. This book was awesome. It told me about rocks and how they form and different types. It told me about earthquakes and the Earth and volcanoes too. It was interesting to read how mountains are made. I like all the pictures in the book. Some were real pictures and some were cartoons. I liked that the words are spread all over (not like in a story). I think all kids will like this book!

I will give this book eighteen bookworms out of five ha ha ha Erik won’t let me do that so I give it five bookworms fivebooks

Review! Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett

28 Aug

leoLeo: A Ghost Story
Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrations by Christian Robinson
52 pages – ages 5+
Published by Chronicle Books on August 25, 2015

Theme/Topic- Friendships / Imaginary Friends

Genre- Fiction

Synopsis- Leo is a ghost. He’s lived by himself for many years. Not many people can see him. One day, a family moves into the house, and when Leo greets them with tea, they freak out. Leo, feeling unwanted, leaves the house. After wandering the city streets for a bit, Leo meets Jane, a young girl. Jane can see him. They have a lot of fun together. When a robber tries to ruin their fun, Leo learns that being a ghost can be a very good thing.

Why I liked this book- This is a fun book to read. I like how it ends in a unique, marvelous way (read the book to find out!). The book itself is a sweet book about friendship. Mr. Barnett is a great author, and Mr. Robinson is a great illustrator, so it’s no wonder they make an amazing team! The simple illustrations go really well with the story line, as if you see the book from a child’s view. I think all younger kids looking for a good read will enjoy this story!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Stick Dog Dreams of Ice Cream by Tom Watson

25 Aug

stickiceStick Dog Dreams of Ice Cream

Book 4 Stick Dog Series

By Tom Watson

244 pages – ages 7+

Published by HarperCollins on May 19, 2015

Synopsis- It’s a hot summer day, the hottest of the hot, and Stick Dog and his gang are in need of something cool. But nothing they try seems to work. That is, until they find a big, odd-shaped truck that plays an annoying song comes around. The dogs don’t know what is going on, but when it leaves, there are sometimes little puddles of cool, multi-colored, yummy liquid. So, the dogs chase after the truck, always getting those puddles. But it’s not enough! They need MORE!

What I Thought- I LOVE the Stick Dog books (See my review HERE). They genuinely look like they came from a notebook The drawings are funny and capture the feelings of the dogs perfectly. Mr. Watson has a fun writing style that really sounds like it’s a kid telling the story. The only thing I didn’t like was that the book didn’t even re-introduce the characters and if kids were picking the series up with this book, it would have helped with a little more introduction. The books are an awesome read for their intended age. The silly humor is a favorite of mine and I am sure other kids feel the same. Book 4 of the series didn’t disappoint with the wacky humor and even sillier drawings.

I give this book four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

Review! The Gift of Sunderland by Jeanne E. Rogers

24 Aug

sunderlandThe Gift of Sunderland: An Australian Fantasy Adventure #2

Written by Jeanne E. Rogers

Illustrated by Guy Atherfold

213 pages – ages 9+

Published by Acadia Publishing Group, LLC on February 17, 2015

Synopsis- Waylond Ayers, part of the royal Numbat family had accidentally shattered his family to pieces. His older brother Morlund, angry that his weak brother was named successor to be the Guardian of the Forest, decided that he would be rid of Waylond. Father Roland paid the price as he lay, dead, in their burning house. Waylond goes into a self-imposed exile, denying to himself who he truly is. When he finds a lost young girl, he decides to help her. Soon, Waylond is on his way, with a small posse of characters, and a mindset to free an enslaved group. But can he come to terms with his brother, let alone himself?

What I Thought- This was an amazing book! It reminded me of my favorite series (Redwall, by Brian Jacques), but was also a unique story and book within itself too. Ms. Rogers gives a shout-out to endangered, threatened, and other animals (and places) in Australia. That was a nice addition. I liked how the characters were realistic and had distinct personalities. I didn’t really understand the magic-y of the Forest (like their gods), but that was okay. Waylond is someone you can admire. The story shows his growth as a character and a person (or animal in this case)? He really becomes something great. I really like the black-and-white images throughout the book of the characters. It adds a lot to the story. Ms. Rogers also included a Glossary of the animals and real-life places in the book at the back. And, yes, the book deals with hard topics, as there is some killing, slavery, beatings, etc. Nothing graphic or gory. Appropriate for a 4th grade reading level and up. I highly recommend this series!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Frankie Dupont and the Science Fair Sabotage by Julie Anne Grasso

19 Aug

frankie#3Frankie Dupont and the Science Fair Sabotage

Written by Julie Anne Grasso

Illustrated by Alexander Avellino

134 pages – ages 8+

Published by Julie Anne Grasso on May 10, 2015

Synopsis- Frankie Dupont, Junior-Investigator-In-Training, was going to a local science fair, when he learns that a friend’s brothers’ project was sabotaged! Their robot’s robotic chip was stolen! Can Frankie find the thief before the show starts and the two twins get disqualified?

What I Thought- I really like this series. Ms. Grasso writes these mysteries really well. She adds just enough clues so that the reader is solving the mystery along with Frankie. There is a good amount of humor in this book. For example, I was literally laughing out loud when Frankie decided that a person wasn’t lying, because, when people lie, their eyes go up and to the right, but one character was definitely telling the truth because their eyes went up and to the left. There are cool illustrations throughout the book that add a lot to the story. The stories are great for young kids looking for a good mystery. The story flows well and it gets the reader involved. I really like this series and the Frankie Dupont character. I can’t wait to read more!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Top Secret Files: The Cold War by Stephanie Bearce AND A GIVEAWAY!

17 Aug

Be sure to read to the bottom of this post for the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a copy of this book!

coldwarTop Secret Files: The Cold War

Written by Stephanie Bearce

128 pages – ages 8+

Published by Prufrock Press on August 1, 2015

 Summary- From the Publisher: “Take a look if you dare, but be careful! Some secrets are meant to stay hidden…

Poison dart umbrellas and cyanide guns were all a part of the arsenal of tools used by spies of the Soviet KGB, American CIA, and the British MI6, but you won’t learn that in your history books! Learn true stories of the Cold War and how spies used listening devices planted in live cats and wristwatch cameras. Discover how East Germans tried to ride zip lines to freedom, while the Cambridge Four infiltrated Britain and master spy catchers like Charles Elwell were celebrated. Then make your own secret codes and practice sending shoe messages. It’s all part of the true stories from Top Secret Files: Cold War.

What I Thought- I love history. I love spies. This book has both. I often am hesitant to review books on subjects I am very fond of because, I find myself being very picky on how things are presented. I was very happy with this book because I learned from it, I think it is written well for the audience it is for (8+) and I think it is very well presented. Ms. Bearce also includes activities related to the book that would be a great resource for teachers. She also includes some really cool facts about what was going on during the cold war. I was fascinated to learn that the really cool, stereotypical spy gear actually existed (well, at least some of them). That was a real eye-opener. There is really cool true stories about some of the real spies. I like how Ms. Bearce doesn’t really bias herself on which side she portraits and offers a fair assessment of both sides. This is an interesting, introduction to the history of the cold war and will lead kids to looking further into the topics covered. Ms. Bearce I think kids in the fourth grade and up would like it, but the book is suited for younger advanced readers too.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Top 3 Cold War Secrets

1)     The Big Dog Escape– Would you believe that one secret agent made his escape disguised as a dog? During the 1970’s, the CIA disguised one of their agents as a St. Bernard to get him out of Europe. The operative wore a fake dog suit and was concealed in a dog kennel. Nobody was suspicious when the dog was taken to the vet for a check-up, and the operative made his escape.

2)     Flying Saucers- In 1956, the U.S. Air Force experimented with building its own flying saucer. The plans called for a disc shaped flying machine that would reach altitudes of 100,000 feet and fly at Mach 4. The machine they built didn’t work quite as well as they hoped. It wobbled uncontrollably if it went higher than 3 feet of the ground and its top speed was 35mph. The project was scrapped.

3)     Moon Bomb– Scientists came up with some wild ideas during the Cold War, but one of the craziest was to bomb the moon. Some U.S. scientists thought that if they exploded an atomic bomb on the moon, then it would scare the Soviet Union. Other scientists argued that a mistake could seriously hurt the earth and ruin the surface of the moon. The plan was scrapped and no bombs were sent to the moon.

About the Author: Stephanie Bearce is a writer, teacher, and history detective. She loves tracking down spies and uncovering secret missions from the comfort of her library in St. Charles, MO. When she isn’t writing or teaching, Stephanie loves to travel the world and go on adventures with her husband, Darrell.

 Website: http://www.stephaniebearce.com/about.html

Buy the Book!:

Amazon- http://ow.ly/PpgP4

Barnes & Noble- http://ow.ly/PphXb

Books A Million- http://ow.ly/Ppiet

!ndigo-  http://ow.ly/Ppina

Indiebound- http://ow.ly/PpixJ

Also Available in this series:

Top Secret Files: American Revolution

Top Secret Files: The Civil War

Top Secret Files: World War I

Top Secret Files: World War II

Top Secret Files: Pirates & Buried Treasure

Enter to win a copy of this book!:
Click HERE

Review! Nanny X Returns by Madelyn Rosenberg

14 Aug

nannyx2Nanny X Returns

By Madelyn Rosenberg

128 pages – ages 8+

Will be Published by Holiday House on September 15, 2015

Synopsis- Ali, Jake, and their baby sister got excited when Nanny X walked through their doorway once more. After all, Nanny X was a secret agent with lots of cool gadgets, and she even let them help her on a case! But, all is normal now. After that case, Nanny X is now acting like… well, like a normal nanny. That is, until they find out about a criminal called the Angler. The Angler has threatened to destroy precious national treasures if a fish stature that was sent isn’t put up at the White House lawn. Will Nanny X and the kids save the day in time?

What I Thought– This was a really great sequel to Nanny X (see my review HERE)! Nanny X (the character) is a fun, slightly wacky, nanny who just so happens to be a secret government agent working for NAP (Nanny Action Patrol).  That’s just the icing on the cake. It was a nice touch to have siblings Ali and Jake get along (well, maybe not 100%, but realistically close :) ). I really like Ms. Rosenberg’s writing style. It captures the essence of being a kid perfectly (it’s told from Jake and Ali’s point-of-view, every other chapter (Jake, then Ali, then Jake, etc.)). I really like this series. It has just enough realism to make you think that it could happen in real life. This is a great book and a good series for young readers!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Double Review! Lawless and Justice by Jeffrey Salane

13 Aug

These both get five bookworms! They are the first two books from a series I was just introduced to. I don’t know how this series flew under my radar for so long (Lawless was originally published in 2013). I am hooked on the story!

fivebooks

lawlessLawless

By Jeffrey Salane

288 pages – ages 9+

Published by Scholastic Press; Reprint edition on February 24, 2015

Synopsis- Publisher’s summary: “Welcome to Lawless, where the head of the class is a dangerous place to be.


M Freeman is the newest student at the prestigious (and mysterious) Lawless School. All she really wants is to fit in, but from the moment she arrives, her unusual skills have the whole academy buzzing. M excels at escape tactics. She’s a whiz at spotting a forgery. But can she tell right from wrong? She’ll have to figure it out fast, because some of her teachers are planning the crime of the century . . . and M and her classmates might be the only people who can stop them.

But, who can M trust?

What I Thought- This was a fun book. I liked the idea of a criminal school. This may sound kind of scary, but I would like to go there. It would be really cool. I am interested in criminology, and also activities like lock picking, pick-pocketing, etc. (Don’t ask why – I don’t know). Putting these skills to a use would be awesome (but for a good cause like counter-espionage or something like that – I digress…). M was a great character. She is everything I look for in a main character and Mr. Salane lets the reader really get into her head. Plus it was cool and mysterious how her name was only “M”. Her personality was well-developed. You feel like you really know M by the end of the book. I liked reading about her adventures in the school (and also outside of it). The book brings up incredibly strong self-provoking philosophical points – what is considered bad? -good? How far would you go on either way? I enjoyed reading this great debut every second. I read it in one day it was that good!

justiceJustice

Book #2 in the Lawless series

By Jeffrey Salane

288 pages – ages 9+

Published by Scholastic Press on March 31, 2015

 

Synopsis- Publisher’s summary: “M Freeman thought she had finally found a place where she belonged: the Lawless School, where the children of master criminals trained to become master criminals themselves. She took her studies seriously, never suspecting she was a pawn in a dangerous game.

Now she knows the truth: The forces of Lawless are after a weapon that threatens all life on earth. M and her crew are determined to stop them – but they can’t do it alone. And that means joining the Fulbright Academy.

But what if the Fulbrights aren’t as “good” as they seem? What is going to happen to M and her friends? And how does her deceased father play a part in this?

What I Thought- This was an amazing sequel. It was extremely well-crafted. You really feel sorry for M when she realizes that she can’t trust anyone, maybe not even her own friends! This one was kind of on the depressing side, but I’m assuming it is like the bridge between the ultimate final “battle” in the series. This is the book where all hope seems gone. The characters that you meet are intriguing and keep you guessing at their motives. Justice brings up more thought-provoking questions such as in Lawless. Mr. Salane has a great writing style. It really draws you in and holds you there. Like Lawless, I couldn’t put this book down! I can’t wait to read more from Mr. Salane!

Review! Brickabrack Hall by David Eveleigh

11 Aug

brickbrackBrickabrack Hall

Written by David Eveleigh

Illustrated by Cheyenne Quimby

7,130 words – ages 6+

Published by Smashwords on October 31, 2014

Synopsis- Brickabrack Hall. A famous hotel for famous people (of nefarious deeds). The ginormous hotel has only three underpaid employees. One is from Transylvania, one has a hunched back, and one is a creepy butler-ish type. They do all the work there. When a ghost starts haunting one of the rooms one day, the three employees are ordered to catch it. How will they ever catch a ghost? And, with all of the employees out ghost-hunting, who will do the work around the hotel? Certainly not their pompous manager!

What I Thought- This was a good book. The characters’ personalities are realistic. I like how the book doesn’t flat out say that the characters are monsters, but hints at it. That was cool. The story rolls along, with lots of humor and twists. The fact that the characters come up with all these elaborate ghost catching schemes only to have the manager befriend the ghost gave me a good chuckle. The short length of the book (about 4 chapters) makes it a good read for a rainy day or for kids wanting a quick story. There are really cool illustrations at the beginning of every chapter. They really add a lot to the story. Kids will love them, and the humor in them. I recommend this book as a perfect read for younger kids’ Halloweens!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

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