Tag Archives: book review

Book Review! Jesper Jinx by Marko Kitti

20 Aug

 

Wish me luck! Today is my first day of MIDDLE SCHOOL!!

 

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Creative Commons License


Now on to my review!

jesperJesper Jinx

Written and Illustrated by Marko Kitti

150 pages – ages 8+

Published by CreateSpace on April 28, 2014

Jesper Jinx may be one of the unluckiest (or maybe the luckiest?) kids in Puffington Hill, England. Everything he does somehow comes out hilariously messed up. When Jesper accidentally (and literally) bumps into a children’s books author who had rented a nearby house, Jesper makes the author promise to write his real-life stories, as long as he doesn’t share it with anybody else. The author was not true to his word, well, as long as the reader promises not to tell Jesper! He shares 3 short stories – each with a prank that Jesper does. This includes staining the white cat red, and swapping his sister’s favorite drink out for a concoction that is undeniably foul.

This book, all in all, is hilarious. I love that the author is a character that interacts with the reader through notes. That provides a bit of humor right there. Then you add in all of Jesper’s kooky actions and you get a ton of laughs. I like the fact that the reader can be involved in the story, it feels like the author is talking to you. The illustrations remind me of the kind in most of Roald Dahl’s books. I like that touch. It provides a nice feeling that draws you into the story. Jesper is a nice kid who likes to do pranks and practical jokes. It’s not his fault that they normally backfire on him. He’s just a normal kid trying to “break the boredom”. The book was a quick read for me at 150 pages with illustrations, but it is meant for younger kids so the reading level is just right for 8+ or young advanced readers. I am looking forward to reading more of Mr. Kitti’s work.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

For more information on Mr. Kitti and Jesper Jinx, please visit the Jesper Jinx website HERE.

Greenhorn by Anna Olswanger and Audubon Zoo WINNERS!!

18 Aug

HELLO blogosphere! I’ve missed you while I was away camping – okay not really the blogosphere but the awesome people I get to talk to on it. :)

So the big question was – how many books will I read while I was away camping for a whole week –

Here is the run down –

12 middle grade books and 2 graphic novellas (so I am not sure if I should say I read 12 or 14) and yes I did go fishing, hiking, bike riding, visited touristy things, roasted marshmallows and got bit by misquotes had a really great time! :)

 

What books did I read?

1. Spirit Animals #3 Blood Ties by Garth Nix and Sean Williams

2. Cassidy Jones and the Luminous by Elise Stokes

4. Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

5. After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

6. Greenhorn by Anna Olswanger

7. Hardy Belch and the Internet Predator by William G Bentrim

8. Choice of Twilight by Tyler Wise

9. Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting by Erin Dionne

10. The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson

11. Mystery on a Church Hill by Steven K. Smith

12. Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus by Tom Angleberger

13. Toto Trouble by Thierry Coppee

14. The Legend of Chima: The Right Decision

Guess what else I found on vacation? A LITTLE FREE LIBRARY! It was right in Lackawanna State Park where we were camping! How cool!

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Now for a review of a great book I read while I was away!

 

greenhornGreenhorn

By Anna Olswanger

Illustrated by Miriam Nerlove

48 pages – ages Middle grade

Published by NewSouth Books on December 3, 2012

Aaron, a young Jewish boy living in 1946 Brooklyn, attends a yeshiva (boarding school for Jewish boys). When 20 boys who survived the holocaust and came from a concentration camp arrive at the yeshiva, they fit right in. All except one. Daniel barely talked, and he always kept a hold of a small tin box. Daniel goes through relentless teasing from the other boys (except Aaron, who is also teased because of his stutter, and became a friend of Daniel’s) because he would not say what it contained. When the boys get fed up, they manhandle the box away from Daniel. When the rebbe (teacher) walks in on this, he has Daniel open the box (after stopping the boys, of course). It contains a bar of soap. Not a big deal, right? Not quite. Apparently, the Nazis had experimented making soap in the concentration camps. Daniel has it to remember his deceased parents.

This was a well-written nonfiction story about a holocaust concentration camp survivor and the friend he makes in Aaron. But, it is also about so much more. The story is for middle grade readers but it is only 48 pages (with illustrations). The writing was solid and the story was incredible but I would have liked the story to be expanded into a full novel – it was that good and it would be better for kids my age to have more details/backstory.  The book is based on a true story. Aaron is a real person (with a different name of course) and I think that I would’ve liked to have met the young Rabbi Rafael Grossman (AKA Aaron). The color illustrations were a nice addition to the story and went well with it. The history taught in the book and the message – is very important. I’d just love to see this as a novel. The publisher has a parent and teacher guide to go along with the story. You can find it HERE.

 

To learn more about Ms. Olswanger, Greenhorn and the film that the book is being turned into, please visit her website HERE.

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms.fourbooks

 

And, remember that post 2 weeks ago? What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo? Well, remember the giveaway? Guess what?

WE HAVE WINNERS!!!

I get to give away 2 copies of the awesome picture book “What the Sleepy Animals do at the Audubon Zoo!”

sleepyanimals

They are -

Anne McKernan of the Itsy Bitsy Mom blog HERE

Donna Marie from The Writer Side Up blog (click HERE)

CONGRATULATIONS! :D

 I will send you an email to get your mailing address!

The Platypus Police Squad Book 1: The Frog Who Croaked by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

15 Aug

ppsfrog

 

The Platypus Police Squad Book 1: The Frog Who Croaked

by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

240 pages – ages 8+
Published by Walden Pond Press on May 7, 2013

 

Rick Zengo was excited. It was his first day for his new job. Zengo was going to be joining Kalamazoo City’s police force, the Platypus Police Squad (PPS for short). He spilled some hot chocolate on his partner in the first hour. On the second hour, they get a case about an illegal fish exchange gone wrong. But, that’s not important. Nope, not at all. We’re talking about Zengo’s first hour at work. So… He spilled some hot chocolate on his grumpy (but kindly) partner, Corey O’Malley, and they both got made fun of by two over-confident platypi detectives (can someone lend a helping mouse? ;) Platypi or platypuses?). It was a perfectly normal hour. Nothing out of the ordinary. No wondering if the local billionaire panda is behind the fish exchange. No fretting over where the school professor was who apparently disappeared at the fish exchange. Not a minute spent over worrying that a night club owned by the billionaire panda is behind the illegal fish market. No pondering how many hot dogs Corey O’Malley can eat at a time. Nope. None of that. Now, on the other hand, about that second hour…

THIS WAS HILARIOUS!!! The title is a wonderfully done pun and a marvelous hooker! The book was well done and was fun to read. I read it in one day. Mr. Krosoczkais a great author who has a way of creating a wacky world that pulls you in and only lets you out when the mystery has been solved. Detective Rick Zengo is a great guy, er… platypus… who tries to do the best he can, even if he messes up sometimes. I love all the goofy characters in the book. This is a fun book! I already read Book 2 (see my review HERE) which prompted me to go back and read book 1. I am glad I did (and obviously you don’t have to read the books in order to enjoy them!)! I am already waiting for the third book…

yup still waiting…

…someone please tell Mr. Krosoczka I’m waiting…

okay, okay I’ll get on with it -

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

 

Chase Tinker and the House of Destiny by Malia Ann Haberman

9 Aug

chase3Chase Tinker and the House of Destiny

by Malia Ann Haberman

211 pages – ages 8+
Published by Crossroad Press; Otherside Press Digital Edition edition  on May 27, 2014

Chase Tinker is back for a third adventure! When two Marlowes (the evil British family that is the arch-enemies of the Tinkers) show up at the Tinker House (a magical house that the Tinkers live in) with a message – Surrender or die. At the end of August, we are coming. – the Tinker family realize that they are out-numbered. They do the only thing that they can think of – go to the magical communities to ask for help. The team of Tinkers taken to see the communities are shocked – the leprechauns’ shillelaghs are useless sticks, and their rainbows are gray; the vampires are all tired and wimpy and lazy; the witches’ and wizards’ wands are just twigs, and they couldn’t make a potion to save their lives (which explains why they can’t save themselves) – all of their magic is gone! The Marlowes are stealing it!

Chase Tinker and the House of Destiny is the third book in the series. Read my review for book 1 HERE and for book 2 HERE. The third book in the series was great! Ms. Haberman knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat! This book is full of action and adventure! I loved the plot (and character) development in the book. It really revealed a lot about the characters. I think that Ms. Haberman has gotten into the minds of her characters really easy and realistically. The vampire section was pretty funny, as were using a “vicious” magical hugging plant as a “torture/interrogation” base. I do think that this book got a bit dark and somewhat depressing at times (especially the ending). At times I got “angry” at Chase for being so arrogant and stubborn, when if he had thought it through, he would’ve realized something (can’t tell you what ;) ). I think this also shows how talented Ms. Haberman is as a writer and really getting the reader involved in the story and how well she gets into her characters’ minds. I can’t wait for book 4!

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms!fourbooks

 

Check out Ms. Haberman’s website HERE!

 

Find Ms. Haberman on Facebook HERE.

 

Follow her on Twitter  HERE.

 WAIT! – BEFORE YOU GO – 

I am taking a couple of days off. We are going camping. :) I will be back next week! How many books do you think I’ll read while I’m gone? ;)

Alphabet Wildlife A to Z by Nata Romeo

7 Aug

 

IT’S A BLOG TOUR!

natablog

 

natacoverAlphabet Wildlife A to Z

Written and Illustrated by Nata Romeo

Paperback: 32 pages – ages 4+

Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on July 7, 2014

Author’s Summary – “Alphabet Wildlife A to Z invites young readers into an enchanting world of animals.”

What I thought -This is a cool ABC book. Ms. Romeo is an amazing artist! The animal images are MARVELOUS! They look very realistic, and all are extremely beautiful! The book is a simple ABC book. On each page the only words are A is for…, B is for… so it is very easy to read. Also young kids will love looking at the illustrations and the patterns in the drawings! I found that the book is much better  when I read it on my cloud reader on my computer rather than my kindle because the larger screen is what the illustrations deserve. I liked that Ms. Romeo included some unusual animals (some of which I never heard of). Ms. Romeo is a wonderful artist. I think that kids will love the book – especially the art in it.

Check out an interior page -

nataint

 

Want to win a copy? Ms. Romeo has a Goodreads giveaway going on right now! Click HERE to go to the giveaway!

Want to know more about Ms. Romeo?

Here is how!

nataAbout the author:

Nata Romeo is an author, illustrator, blogger, and freelance writer.

Authors Website:   www.nataromeo.com

 

 

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook

Twitter

Google +

Linkedin

You tube

Goodreads

 EBSQART

Amazon

Where to get the book -

Amazon

CreateSpace e Store

For an interview with Ms. Romeo, click over to Catherine Johnson’s blog! Click HERE to go THERE!

The Tail of a Boy Named Harvey by Gregory E. Bray

6 Aug

harvey

The Tail of a Boy Named Harvey

by Gregory E. Bray

Illustrated by Holly J Bray-Cook

32 pages  ages 4+

Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on June 1, 2013

My summary – Sometimes kids play with pets a little too rough. What a kid thinks is fun, isn’t always what their pet thinks is fun. Harvey didn’t was a kid who played with his pets in an unkind way. Harvey didn’t know why his dog and cat hid from him. One night Harvey had a dream and in his dream he became the pet… and he didn’t like getting “played” with! Seeing the world through his pet’s eyes changed the way he plays with his pets!

This was a funny, cute book. I like the idea of it – be nice to your pets. It is a unique story idea about teaching kids the right way to play with pets. Harvey is a nice kid – he’s not purposefully mean to the pets – he just doesn’t know any better. I think that kids will really like this book, and get a giggle when the tables are turned on Harvey. The illustrations are not my style, but they followed the story well. I think that young kids will love this book and any family or class room with a pet can benefit from it.

I give this book four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY!

4 Aug

sleepyanimalsWhat the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo

by Grace Millsaps & Ryan Murphy

Illustrated by John Clark IV & Alyson Kilday

44 pages – ages 4+
Publisher: The Sleepy Animals, LLC; 1st edition  on July 15, 2013

This is an awesome picture book! What’s even better is I have TWO copies to give away to TWO lucky people! (Sorry US addresses only)

“Erik, How do we enter such an awesome give away?!?” you ask…

Well read to the bottom and find out!

Goodreads description -

Rhinos rock out. Alligators stroll under limbo polls. Elephants pound the piano. Pelicans cater.

Ever wonder why the animals at the zoo are always so sleepy? What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo will answer your questions once and for all.

When Renee asks her father why the zoo animals are snoozing all day, he dreams up an elaborate answer. At night, the monkeys steal the zookeeper’s keys, and all of the animals come out of their cages to dance, eat, and play. By the time the visitors arrive in the morning, the animals are all tuckered out. Renee doesn’t believe her father’s tale, but dads have a way of being right about these things…”

What I thought- Who hasn’t wondered why the zoo animals are always sleepy? Well, you can find out in this hilarious book! The illustrations are big, bright, kooky and super fun to look at. You could read this book 5 times, and catch something new each time in each illustration! I swear that I have seen a dinosaur or two in the details! Even the end pages of the book are fun to look at. The pictures make it seem like you are right in the party with the animal! The story is great too! The rhyme is great, and is kind of sing-song when you read it. It makes the story fun to read! This book makes a great bedtime story – or for kids interested in animals or zoos. I would certainly read other books by this team! :)

I give this hilarious book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

HOW DO I WIN A COPY OF THIS GREAT BOOK, ERIK?!?

Hey – I make it easy – just comment and say you’d like to be in the drawing. :) My sister will pick 2 lucky names out of a hat (US addresses only, please) and I will announce the winners on August 18th. Good Luck!

To learn more about this book, check out the website HERE!

Like the Sleepy Animals on Facebook HERE!

Find the Sleepy ANimals on Twitter HERE!

Check out this fun video about the book!

 

Check out more great Kid Lit posts at the Kid Lit Blog Hop! Click on the image to see more!

mdbloghoop

Book Review! How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes are Untied by Jess Keating

1 Aug

ourtruncrocHow to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes are Untied

My Life is a Zoo Series: Book 1

By Jess Keating

288 pages – age 9+

Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on June 3, 2014

Ana Wright was having a horrible year. Her best friend, Liv, has moved to New Zealand (A.K.A. Half-Way around the World), and doesn’t seem to want to move back. Her famous grandfather is having a documentary on his life filmed, and will be featuring his family in it, including socially awkward, extremely shy Ana (UGH!). It doesn’t help that her parents, zoo workers at the local zoo, are moving them into a house at the zoo for the summer (now Ana actually LIVES in a zoo). And don’t forget those nasty Sneerers (the three popular girls who hate Ana)! Will Ana Wright ever make her life right?

This was a great book. I read it in one sitting – that’s how good the story was – I didn’t want to put it down. It was very realistic, and I thought that, given certain circumstances, it could actually happen. Ms. Keating has gotten the middle school experience down pat. Ana is a nice girl and I think if I knew her, I would be friends with her. I was cheering her on while she tries to make sense of her life. Ms. Keating is a great author. Her writing style draws one in. There is a good amount of humor in it. I love the ending of the book. I thought it suited the book well. I would like to read other books from her and am looking forward to the next book in this series. I think that the book is a good length, and that it is good for kids who like school stories.

I give “How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes are Untied” 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Ms. Keating and her books, visit her webpage, click HERE.

Find Ms. Keating on Twitter HERE.

I already have Ms. Keating’s next book in this series on my TBR list. It comes out in January 2015

howtoshark

Creative Kid Thursday! Tarleton’s Spy by David Slaughter

31 Jul

Welcome to Creative Kid Thursday!

I have a great book for you, loyal readers! A historical fiction novel that was written by David Slaughter, who was 14 when he started writing it.

Here is a bit about David Slaughter from his author page on Tate Books’ website:

“David Slaughter, a young author from Westerville, Ohio, began writing Tarleton’s Spy when he was fourteen. He enjoys the flexibility of his home school and is furthering his avid interest in the details of America’s history and language with a degree from Patrick Henry College.” To learn more, visit his author’s page HERE.

tarlatonTarleton’s Spy

By David Slaughter

120 pages – ages 9+

Published by Tate Publishing on June 10, 2014

16-year-old Jimmy was both excited and scared. He was leaving Britain to serve as an errand runner/message boy in the Americans’ rebellion. He would be serving under the British General Banastre Tarleton. The Americans were rebelling for reasons that he didn’t understand. Making friends with an American boy who was captured, Jimmy soon learns everything he needs to know. It only confuses him about which side to fight for. What can the lad do? It also doesn’t help that he has heard a mysterious murder plot being whispered among some of the men. Jimmy decides to investigate the murder plot while also deciding where his loyalty lays.

This was a great historical fiction novel written by a kid. David Slaughter was 14 when he started Tarleton’s Spy. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I also think it is a very hard genre to write in because the story has to be believable for the time/event it is set around. I think that David did a wonderful job of writing the facts into a great fiction story. From the title I thought that the story would be about Jimmy being a spy for/on Tarleton but really it is about the events leading up to Jimmy deciding to be a spy. I would have liked to read about Jimmy as a spy, maybe David can write a follow-up! Jimmy was a great character who you come to like. I understand why he feels so conflicted about who is right in the war. I think the story was good, and I would be happy to read other works by David Slaughter. The story is completely appropriate for younger kids. Young Mr. Slaughter uses great language, and doesn’t go into great detail in the fight scenes, but adds enough action and adventure to make the story exciting.

 Find Tarleton’s Spy on AMAZON HERE

Find it at Tate’s website HERE.

Review! Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor by Julie Ann Grasso

30 Jul

frankieFrankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor

By Julie Ann Grasso

Illustrated by David Blackwell and Samantha Yallope

136 pages – age 8+

Published by Julie Ann Grasso on July 11, 2014

Summary: Frankie Dupont’s family is traumatized because a family member went missing. When Frankie’s uncle, aunt, and cousin were staying in a nearby hotel while their house was getting fixed, Kat, Frankie’s cousin, went missing. Because Frankie’s dad, a private eye, is away on a case, Frankie goes himself to check it out. The hotel, Enderby Manor, has very strange employees, and Frankie is very curious about the hotel and why he’s never heard of it. With the help of a teenage boy named Lachy who just started working there, Frankie is going to unravel the mystery of Enderby Manor.

What I liked about it: This was a fun, kid-friendly, exciting mystery. Ms. Grasso is a great author. I love the paranormal aspect of this book. Frankie is a great kid. He is very devoted to being a detective, which I am glad of. He is a great role-model for other kids. I think that Ms. Grasso has written a wonderful story that kids will love. It is a quick and easy read, very appropriate for 7 year olds. The characters are quirky and funny. The hotel seems like a very nice and fun place. If it wouldn’t… Oh, I probably shouldn’t tell you that. Spoilers and all, y’know? Well, if the hotel didn’t do a major setback, I would like to go there. :) I can’t wait for book 2!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To check out an adult’s review of this book, click HERE to go to the Kid Lit Reviews site!
Check out the book’s trailer!

 

Where to find Ms. Grasso!

Website:  www.julieannegrassobooks.com

Blog: http://www.whenigrowupiwannawriteakidsbook.blogspot.com.au/

Creative Kids Tales: http://www.creativekidstales.com.au/book-reviewers/book-reviewers.html

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Julie-Anne-Grasso-books/287496411357122

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jujuberry37

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jujuberry37/

YouTube: http://youtu.be/NGlsriYtqHw

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