Tag Archives: book review

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- 

-

-

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!

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!

Creative Kid Thursday! Guest Book Review by Rena Marthaler!

10 Apr

houseofhad

Welcome to Creative Kid Thursday where I like to feature the awesome things kids are doing and also host guest kid book reviewers. Today Rena Marthaler is going to review —

 

The House of Hades
By Rick Riordan
608 pages – ages 10+
Published by Disney-Hyperion on October 8, 2013

Reviewed by 4th grader Rena Marthaler, author of the adventure novel “Magic The Crest” (click HERE to go to Rena’s blog).

The first sentence is my favorite: “During the third attack, Hazel almost ate a boulder.”

This book is perfect for people who like Greek gods and goddesses, sword fighting, giants, titans, and more monsters. It is the fourth book in the series “Heroes of Olympus.” (I recommend reading the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series and other three Heroes of Olympus first.) This book is really good.

In the book, Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, Jason Grace, Piper McLean, Leo Valdez, Frank Zhang and Hazel Levesque go on a quest following the Prophecy of Seven in a heavily armed warship called the Argo II.

But only five of of the seven are on the ship. In the earlier book, Percy and Annabeth fall into a very dangerous place called Tartarus, and the only way to get out is to through the “Doors of Death.”

Piper, Jason, Leo, Frank, Hazel, and their rescued friend Nico Di Angelo go through many adventures to reach the Doors of Death and rescue their friends.

Meanwhile, Percy and Annabeth struggle through Tartarus, half dead, to reach the same destination.

Stay tuned for the fifth book in the Heroes of Olympus series, “Blood of Olympus,” coming out in Fall, 2014. I assure you it will be awesome!

 

Be sure to check back because I will be interviewing Rena about her book “Magic The Crest” on April 24th!

Remember on Tuesday, the Writing Process Blog Tour and I tagged Rena? Well, Rena has already responded! Click HERE to go THERE!

Faery Swap by Susan Kaye Quinn

9 Apr

faery-swapFaery Swap
by Susan Kaye Quinn
280 pages – ages 8+
Published by CreateSpace on December 16, 2013

Finn didn’t know what had happened. All he knew was that there was a strange kid in front of his sister’s school and the kid wanted Finn to hand him a coin that was laying on the road. Finn picked it up and gave it to him. The next thing Finn knew, his aman (his soul) was sent to a timeless world and the strange kid (a faery named Zaneyr)took over his body, impersonating him. Finn, with help from the faery Liranna, plans to get back to Earth. But all is not as it seems…

Well, if it takes a rocket scientist to write a good book, Dr. Quinn fits the bill. ;) Dr. Quinn has a PhD in Engineering and she combined Faeries, adventure, math and science into a fabulous story. Hmm I wonder if she can help me design Tomato and Pea’s rocket ship they need to get back to planet Oarg in my next book… – but that’s not the point! This is a great book! I really like Finn. He’s a good boy, practically being a parent to his younger sister, because after their mom died, their dad became reclusive. Zaneyr is actually pretty cool. You can understand why he does what he does. I really like the ending of the book – it was well done, and no questions are left with answers floating around. The story is well done and encourages math – this book is a winner in my book blog!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Dr. Quinn also has a ton of parent and teacher resources on her website. Teachers can even get free ebook copies or discounted paperbacks. On the official website, you’ll find:

a “9-minute Virtual Author Visit video called “Warrior Faeries and Math Magick” as well as a Teacher’s Guide for Faery Swap. [Dr. Quinn's] hope is that it will help teachers bring the story into the classroom and use it to show students the power of math and equations (in the story and in real life). You can find the video and the teacher’s guide, as well as a card-based Knowledge Seekers game designed for the classroom at [the official website].” CLICK HERE to go THERE!!!

Check out the book’s trailer!

The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems Review and GIVEAWAY!!!

7 Apr

Pigeon-BloggerImage

I’ll get right to the point. I’ve got three – YES 3! – copies of Mo Willems new book The Pigeon Needs a Bath to give away! Let me know in the comments if you want to be included in the drawing. On April 14th I will announce the winners. To pick the winners, I will put all the names of the commentors who say they want to win the Pigeon in a hat and my sister Josie will pick 3 names out. You have until Sunday April 13th to enter. I am sorry but the contest is only open to US addresses (no PO boxes). Good luck!

PigeonNeedsaBathThe Pigeon Needs a Bath

By Mo Willems

40 pages – ages 3+
Published by Disney-Hyperion on April 1, 2014

Summary - The Pigeon really needs a bath! Except, the Pigeon‘s not so sure about that. Besides, he took a bath last month! Maybe. It’s going to take some serious convincing to try and get the Pigeon to take the plunge.

What I thought –

Mo Willems + Pigeon = Awesomesauce

I love Mo Willems. His humor and story telling skills are incredible. He didn’t disappoint with his newest Pigeon book. I love how there are “stink” fumes drawn coming off Pigeon and the flies are even grossed out by him… or is Pigeon a her… gee, I never really thought about that… *NOTE* just googled it – Mo Willems purposely doesn’t have Pigeon being a guy or girl, that’s why he likes animals, you don’t have to say (click HERE for the interview I found that answer to in People Magazine) what gender the animal is. Very cool!  I think parents with kids who don’t like to take baths or maybe are scared of the water can read this with their kids and they can have fun with it. Like all other Mo Willems’ books, I found myself reading this a couple of times over already. His books never get old!

Five out of five bookworms – and get that Pigeon a bath!!! fivebooks

To learn more -

Visit the Official Site

Follow @The_Pigeon on Twitter

 

MoWillems

About the Author
Mo Willems, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity). Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was also an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. And his celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions (for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside?) as well as three Honors (for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, and Let’s Go for a Drive!). Other favorites include Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed and City Dog, Country Frog, illustrated by Jon J Muth. Mo lives in Massachusetts with his family.

Don’t forget to comment and tell me if you want in the drawing for a copy of The Pigeon Needs a Bath!!!

Check out the book’s trailer -

Project X-Calibur by Greg Pace

2 Apr

Two things before I get to my review today.

First – today is Autism Awareness Day! I’ve turned my blog blue to bring awareness to Autism and ask that you talk to kids you know about it and help them understand it! Click on the picture below to find out how to help!

autismSecond – Felicia (A.K.A. Neighbor Girl of Stanley and Katrina fame) and I will be interviewing Rick Riordan live tomorrow (April 3rd) at 330 EDT on Huffpost Live’s “Tell Me Why” segment. The Tell Me Why program has kids asking professionals in different fields about their passions. Our passion is reading and writing. I am very excited and honored to be chosen to be on the segment (and, to tell the truth, super nervous). You can click on the graphic to go to the event and you may or may not see me there depending on if I pass-out due to nervousness or not. ;) KIDS – ask your parents first before clicking over to the Huffpost Live site!

HuffPostLiveSqueeCollage

Graphic courtesy of Cool Mom

NOW ON TO TODAY’S REVIEW!!!!

 

caliburProject X-Calibur

by Greg Pace

256 pages – ages 9+
Published by Putnam Juvenile on October 31, 2013

Synopsis - It took some convincing to get Ben Stone to believe that this odd little kid in front of him was Merlin, THE  Merlin. It turns out that the 1000-year-old wizard really was in the form of an 8-year-old boy. If that’s not weird enough, Merlin tells Ben that aliens are about to attack and conquer Earth, and that Merlin is here to recruit Ben to be part of the super secret group – The Round Table Reboot. Merlin needs Ben to fly X-Calibur (X-Calibur being a high-tech space ship not the sword, but the sword DOES exist) to fight off the aliens. X-Calibur runs best in the hands of kids. Merlin and Percival Pellinore (who is immortal because he drank from the Holy Grail back in King Arthur’s day) are forming a new group of knights (who happen to be kids) to face an even bigger danger!

What I thought - Think of King Arthur meets Science Fiction and ends up in your back yard. WOW. I am a fan of the King Arthur legends and I thought this modern story idea was cool. I get nervous when people rewrite stories I love, but Mr. Pace put an awesome slant on this story! I love how there is no magic in the book – it’s all done with electronics and technology. Ben is a great main character. He’s a typical kid who has a kind of rough life so you end up rooting for him and liking him. The other kid characters that get recruited are also enjoyable to read about. They all have very different personalities. Mr. Pace writes incredible action scenes that kept me turning the pages. I’d love to see another book in this series.

Five out of five bookworms for Project X-Calibur. fivebooks

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