Tag Archives: book review

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

REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW! Picture Book Triple Play!!!

28 Jul

Have I got a great deal for you! Three great picture books! :D

planesgoPlanes Go

By Steve Light

16 pages – ages pre-K +

Published by Chronicle Books on August 12, 2014

About: Publisher’s description – “The helicopter goes, “PITTATATATA PITTATATATA PITTATATATA.” The jumbo jet goes “Wheeeeeeeee VRRRRRRRRRRUUUHHHHHHHHHMMM.” The propeller plane goes “HUK HUK HUK WHIRRRRRRR WHIRRRRRR.” Prepare for liftoff with 8 exciting aircraft and the noises they make in this irresistible board book! The long oversized format lends itself to the shape of the vehicles and stands out on the shelf and the boisterous text begs to be read aloud.  “

What I like about it: This book is simply amazing! The size of the book is perfect for young kids’ attention spans, and perfect for a bedtime story. Although the size of the book makes it difficult to fit on a book self – it’s 12 inches x 6 inches – the size and shape is kind of cool when it’s showing airplanes. The art is big, bright and wonderful! The text is easy do young kids can read along. I love the sound effects of the planes (and the one helicopter). Kids will love saying them out loud – I know I did! Mr. Light has other transportation themed picture books (Trains Go, Diggers Go) which I want to GO check out now. ;)

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Mr. Light, please go to his website HERE.

Check out Sue Morris’ review of this book HERE.

Check out Chronicle Book’s page for this book HERE!

bearsseaThe Bear’s Sea Escape

By Benjamin Chaud

32 pages – ages 3-6

Published by Chronicle Books on August 5, 2014

About: From Inside Cover: “Papa Bear and Little Bear were trying to sleep… Suddenly, a case of mistaken identity results in a big adventure for Little Bear, with Papa Bear in pursuit!”

What I like about it: This is a wonderful Look&Find book. In the pages, you can search for Papa Bear and Little Bear in the crowded scenes. It is a very cute book, and Mr. Chaud’s art style adds lots of humor to it. Mr. Chaud is the guy who illustrated “I Didn’t Do My Homework Because…” (see my review HERE). I admire his art, and now I admire his writing skills. I love this book. I hope to be able to check out the first book in this series (The Bear’s Song). Take a look at an interior page!

BearsSeaEscape_INT_1G.indd

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Check out Chronicle Book’s page for this book HERE!

mixit

 

Mix It Up!

By Hervé Tullet

56 pages – ages pre-K +

Published by Chronicle Books on September 14, 2014

About: Publisher’s description “Accept Hervé Tullet’s irresistible invitation to mix it up in a dazzling adventure of whimsy and wonder. Follow the artist’s simple instructions, and suddenly colors appear, mix, splatter, and vanish in a world powered only by the reader’s imagination. Tullet—who joins such greats as Eric Carle and Leo Lionni as a master of his craft—sets readers on an extraordinary interactive journey all within the printed page. Tullet prompts plenty of giggles in addition to a profound understanding of colors, and once again displays his unique genius and vision in a work that is a glorious and richly satisfying companion to Press Here.  “

What I like about it: This is an amazing sequel to Press Here. M. Tullet is a great author, and he has a whimsical style for his books. :) I think that tons of kids would enjoy this. Mix It Up has lots of interactiveness in it – all without flaps or apps! I have fun doing the instructions. This book introduces the mixing of colors (blue + yellow = green, add white to lighten, etc.), in simple instructions, as in below. It is quite fun to do and it is super educational. Make sure to get this one for your pre-schooler or kindergartener!

mixitint

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about M. Tullet, click HERE to go to his website.

Visit the Chronicle Books page for this book HERE.

Book Review! Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption by Mark Myers

27 Jul

virgilVirgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption

By Mark Myers

211 pages – ages 9+

Published by Pelican Hater Books on December 19, 2013

It all started with a ball game between four kids, an army veteran out for a walk, and the little town in Georgia called Portsong in the 1920’s. When Virgil Creech (the youngest in the nasty Creech family), and his friends Henry Lee, Joe, and Willie, are playing a ball game, and Virgil’s team is losing, he starts throwing a temper tantrum, kicking the ball at Henry. It went over Henry’s head, and it hit a retired military man from England, the Colonel Clarence Birdwhistle, injuring him and knocking him unconscious. The boys get an ambulance, but don’t tell how the Colonel got in that condition. Through a misunderstanding, the boys think that the Colonel was blinded by the accident. So, Henry, Joe, and Willie decide to get him a seeing-eye dog. They take a dog from the junkyard and give him a night’s training, and then Henry drops it off in the Colonel’s hospital room. Unbeknownst to the boys, the dog was once owned by nasty Virgil, and he’ll do anything to get that dog back, no matter how happy the dog makes the Colonel.

This was a great historical fiction novel about friendship, being a good person, and about community. The story was very well done, and I think that Mr. Myers got the feel, language, and authenticity of the time period down pat. Virgil is a character you come to care for, but, to me, it seemed like Henry was the real main character. I didn’t mind that. Virgil still played an important part. I loved to read about Virgil plotting to get his dog back. The cover of the book is magnificent and goes well with the story. I would really like to read other books by Mr. Myers. I think that this book is a lot of fun to read and kids who wouldn’t normally read a historical fiction-type book will enjoy reading this story.

I give Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

To read an adults view on this book, check out Michelle Isenhoff’s review HERE.

Rayne Shines by Bonnie Ferrante

26 Jul

rayneshinesRayne Shines

By Bonnie Ferrante

30 pages – ages 4-7

Published by Single Drop Publishing on March 3, 2014

The Grays don’t have that much fun. They don’t enjoy anything they do. Rayne Gray, the youngest, was bored with her toys, grossed out by the food at the restaurant, and acted just like her parents who found something wrong with EVERYTHING! Most of all, Rayne couldn’t understand why the new neighbors were so HAPPY. When Sunny, the new frogs’ daughter, invites Rayne to play, Rayne is taught to see life in a new way.

This is a wonderful book with a marvelous message. It tells you that, if you look at life positively, you can enjoy it more or appreciate little things. I like that the Gray family are green frogs, while Sunny’s family are poison dart frogs – extremely colorful! The illustrations were cute, but not my favorite style. The message of the story is so great, I think a lot of kids and adult will love it.  The book is perfect for kindergarteners. It helps them understand the message in a subtle way.

I give this four out of five bookworms!fourbooks

Book Review – Kat McGee Saves America! by Kristin Riddick

25 Jul

katmcgeeKat McGee Saves America!

By Kristin Riddick

104 pages – ages 7+

Published by In This Together Media on June 2, 2014 (ebook)

After her adventures at the North Pole and Treatsville, Kat McGee was ready to just sit back and relax for the 4th of July. But that doesn’t go as planned. When her Gram asks the McGee kids what they know about the 4th of July, the kids don’t really answer, Gram takes them to Philadelphia to learn about what happened there to help make the 4th of July so important. When Kat goes through a door and pops up in a place called Libertyland, she is shocked. Kat meets a giant lady in a greenish dress called Liberty. She is the governor of Libertyland, and she needs Kat’s help. The Declaration of Independence has gone missing, along with Thomas Jefferson, two days before he was supposed to present it to the Continental Congress! Kat must go back in time and find Jefferson and the Declaration before the fate of the United States is changed forever!

YAY – Historical fiction for younger kids! This was a great book. Ms. Riddick writes stories that are easy and fun to read. I like how she incorporated the time travel, and historical facts into this book. I really enjoyed Kat McGee and the School of Christmas Spirit (see my review HERE).  I didn’t know that there was a second in the series (this is book 3) and I saw on the publisher’s website a book 4 is planned (click HERE). Good news for parents looking for a great Magic School Bus type series for their kids! I like the character of Kat McGee a lot. She is a great girl who perseveres. I also like that she meets John Quincy Adams in the book (just because I am a super American history buff).  The story is packed with American history facts and kids will learn without knowing it! The cover art is pretty cool too. I am looking forward to reading the other books in this series.

I give Kat McGee Saves America five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Interview with Author Lisa Orchard about her book series, The Super Spies!

23 Jul

Howdy, Readers! Have I got a treat for you guys! Not only do I get to tell you about a great, or should I say, SUPER series, I also get to enlighten you with a thrilling interview with the author!

What series is this, you ask? What author is this, you also ask? Why, it’s none other than the Super Spies series, and its author, Lisa Orchard!

lisaor

Ms. Orchard writes wonderful mysteries for middle grade readers.

Book 1
Book 1
HSbomb
Book 2

 

Book 3
Book 3

The Super Spies are about a group of girls (Sarah, her sister Lacy, her friend Jackie), but they do sometimes team up with Scott – the police chief’s son. They all work together to solve mysteries that are happening in their small town. They have plenty of adventures, and always get more than they bargained for. They have had a total of 3 adventures so far (see my review of book 1 HERE) and I have reviews of books 2 and 3 posted on Amazon and GoodReads. Check out Ms. Orchard’s Amazon author page HERE and her GoodReads author page HERE.

These books are amazing and full of adventures, and mysteries that kept me guessing “who did it?”!

Now, onto the interview! :)

bloglogoWhen did you get into writing thrilling mysteries? Is that your genre of choice?

piedpiperI became interested in mysteries at a very young age. I started writing my own in fifth grade, but didn’t pursue publication until I stayed home with my kids.

bloglogo Your stories remind me of a modern-day Nancy Drew. What were some of your favorite mysteries to read while you were growing up? Why did you like them?

piedpiperIt’s funny you should mention this because I devoured Nancy Drew books along with the Bobbsey Twins and Trixie Belden when I was younger. These books stand out as my favorite when I was growing up and I liked them because they had strong female characters in them. I’ve always liked a strong female who’s a bit of a rebel. ;)

bloglogoI like a good Nancy Drew mystery too. :) How did you get the idea for Scoop Davis, the veteran, retired investigative reporter (he’s possibly one of my favorite characters) for your Super Spies series?

piedpiperHe’s one of my favorite characters too. I felt the girls needed an ally who could travel through the adult world and gather information or act as a chauffeur and chaperon. I liken him to a kindly uncle who’s a kid at heart himself.

bloglogoScoop is one of my favorites too. The characters and plots are very believable in your books. How do you research your books? Do you look at real-life crimes or police work?

piedpiperYes, I do. I do quite a bit of research on the internet, but nothing compares to running my ideas by a detective with the State Police. When I get to a scene that needs some input, I give her a call and she tells me if my scene is accurate or not. If it is, I’m good to go. If it isn’t she tells me the info I need to make it accurate. She’s a great source and I appreciate all the help she has given me on the Super Spies series.

bloglogoThe research sounds cool! Your 3rd Super Spies book (The Pied Piper) ended very well and thoroughly. Do you plan on writing a 4th book? I really liked the series and think it ended well, but I just don’t want to leave the characters!

piedpiperYes. I’m planning on a fourth book and I have a couple of ideas that I’m mulling over. I’ve been so busy with the coming of age novel that I just finished that I haven’t had time to write it out yet. J Once, I decide on the idea, I’ll start writing it.

bloglogoAwesome! Any other projects you would like to share with us?

piedpiperYes. I just completed a coming of age novel that my publisher is dividing into three separate books. I’m really excited about this series. It was a lot of fun to write and I’m currently working on the next one in the Starlight Chronicles (that’s the name of the series).

 

Thank you Ms. Orchard!

To learn more about Ms. Orchard and her books, visit her website HERE!

Follow Ms. Orchard on Twitter HERE

Like her on Facebook HERE

Fiona Thorn and the Carapacem Spell by Jen Barton

22 Jul

fiona thornFiona Thorn and the Carapacem Spell

By Jen Barton

201 pages – ages 9+

Published by Flickerfawn on September 3, 2012

It wasn’t Jaydin the fairy prince’s fault. He was framed. Fiona Thorn, his best friend, knew that. She was going to break him out – ER rather BLOW him out of jail. After all, she IS an explosive worker. Taught by the Demolitions master McClane, Fiona knows just about everything about explosives. She’ll use that knowledge to bust Jaydin out. Riding her trusty Bright Eye horse (Bright Eyes are extremely smart animals, as in that they can talk to humans), Manzanita Rose (or Manzy, for short), Fiona knows that nothing can stop her. What she didn’t expect was 3 princesses to get in her way. 3 spoiled princesses, at that. Soon Fiona finds herself (and the royal pains) on the run from the King because of a misread letter, which made it seem like Fiona kidnapped the princesses. It doesn’t help that there is a murder plot against the king, his brother, and Jaydin. What will Fiona do?

This was a fun book. I think that Ms. Barton did a great job of creating this fantasy world. I really felt like I was there. I loved the sense of adventure and the fact that Fiona is a demolition expert. The magic in it was pretty cool. I loved the “gifts” that the 4 girls got. Fiona is a great female heroine for this book. I loved that she always kept her cool (despite her being hotheaded) and knew what to do. Manzy is a great supporting character. The book is a good reading level for middle grade readers or young advanced readers. At 201 pages, the book was a quick read for me but the story felt very complete. I would really like to read another book by Ms. Barton.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

The Dark Eagles Book 2: Wells In Desolation by David R. Smith

21 Jul

wellsThe Dark Eagles Book 2: Wells In Desolation

By David R. Smith

320 pages – ages 12+

Published by Vrigham Distribution on February 13, 2014

Kief and his friends are back in an all new adventure. After breaking Flinch, a friend, out of jail, Kief and Tarc, along with Flinch flee their country, which was invaded by soldiers from Gar. They are going to Gar to find Kief’s father, who had been held captive there for a long time. When mysterious “Stone Hunters” start chasing Kief, going after the mysterious stone that his grandfather gave to him, the friends get reckless and get a job on a ship that will take them to Gar. Little do they know that they will soon become prisoners for no good reason. Making a friend with a fellow prisoner, they escape. The man joins them and they head towards the Wells In Desolation – where Kief’s father is being held. But will they make it there, and back, ALIVE?

This was an action-packed book, much like the first book (to read my review of it, click HERE)! I love the thrills. Mr. Smith has got the fantasy world down! I love the descriptions and the humor in the dialogue. At first I was confused at the beginning of the book because it didn’t recap the first book (and I read the first book a while ago), but I soon got past it and just enjoyed the story. Kief is a great main character. He acts like you would expect him to act. At first I wasn’t sure about his age, but apparently, because Fundautum is a different planet, they age differently. That really helped, it’s just that it explained the aging differently at the end of the book – I wish it was sooner. I DO think that it was cool and nice of the author to have information about Fundautum at the beginning and end of the book – nice touch. The story is good and the plot is solid. I really like how the characters get along with each other. The book is a tad violent but not graphically. It is a great read for middle graders.

I give this book four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

Check out Mr. Smith’s website HERE!

 

 

MINION by John David Anderson – BLOG TOUR!!!

14 Jul

minion1

 

Have I got a treat for you! Not only do I have a review of a great superhero book, but I also have videos of the author, John David Anderson, reading aloud from it!

 

minion2MINION

By John David Anderson

288 pages – ages 9+

Published by Walden Pond Press on June 24, 2014

My Summary – New Liberty. The city that nobody’s ever heard of. The town with two rival crime bosses (Tony Romano and Mickey “Six Fingers” Maloney). The town with no Super. The town that Michael Marion Magdalene Morn lives in, with his adoptive father, Professor Benjamin Edson. They make electronic boxes with unique powers, and sell them to the highest buyer. They do small crimes, only stealing what they need. It may help that Michael has a hypnotizing “gift”. Surprisingly, the town’s crime rate isn’t out of hand (a few banks robbed, a couple of houses broken into, etc.). That is, until a supervillain calling himself The Dictator shows up, with henchmen in bullet-proof outfits and silver masks. And, as most things happen, when a supervillain comes, a superhero soon follows. The Comet. A bullet-proof, super-strength, flying superhero who leaves a blue streak in the air when he blasts off. The Comet may ruin everything that Michael and his dad have built (literally and figuratively). And it doesn’t help that The Dictator has taken an interest in the Edson family…

THIS IS AN AWESOME STORY!!! Mr. Anderson is an awesome author of superhero stories! At first, reading the summary for Minion, and seeing that it is a companion to Mr. Anderson’s book, Sidekicked, I thought the superhero would be The Sensationalist (Sidekicked’s Main Character), but I was pleasantly surprised to see a new superhero. Michael Morn is a great character. I like how this book isn’t about good or evil. It’s about doing what you believe in. It’s about being true to yourself. Michael and his dad aren’t bad, but they aren’t completely good either. They’re… neutral-ish. Mr. Anderson handles these subjects very well. New Liberty is actually nice. The crime bosses aren’t tyrants to the people – in fact, I think that most people don’t really know that they exist (except from what they read in newspapers). They’re just rivals to each other. This is an extremely well-written story, especially for us Middle Graders. I really like the world Mr. Anderson has created. The book is pretty much everything I want in a story. I can’t wait until his next book comes out!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Now, onto the fun stuff!

I asked Mr. Anderson if he’d read an excerpt from Minon for my wonderful blog readers as part of the blog tour! He agreed to do it! :) Plus he sent a hysterical version of it in which he has a “chipmunk voice.” :)

Check them out!

Normal Voice:

Chipmunk voice. (Mr. Anderson wanted me to share this too, for “people with not a lot of time on their hands” ;) )

Who is this John David Anderson?!?

John David Anderson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, IN HIS OWN WORDS:

John David Anderson writes novels for young people and then, occasionally, gets them published. Besides Minion, he is the author of Sidekicked, and Standard Hero Behavior. He lives with his patient wife and brilliant twins in Indianapolis, Indiana, right next to a State park and a Walmart. He enjoys hiking, reading, chocolate, spending time with his family, playing the piano, chocolate, making board games, chocolate, not putting away his laundry, watching movies, and chocolate. Those aren’t his real teeth.

To find out more: www.johndavidanderson.org

Check out the book’s trailer too!

 

Follow Walden Pond Press on Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Check out the other stops in the blog tour!

June 23 Maria’s Melange

June 24 The Library Fanatic

June 25 The Next Best Book 

June 26 Jean Book Nerd

June 27 Book Egg

June 28 Word Spelunking Book Blog

June 30 Ms. Yingling Reads

July 1     The Book Monsters

July 2     The Book Monsters

July 3     Read Now, Sleep Later

July 6 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

July 7 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

July 8 Candace’s Book Blog

July 9 Middle Grade Mafioso

July10 Librarian’s Quest

July 11 Unleashing Readers

July 12 Trisha Perry

July 14 This Kid Reviews Books

July 16 Charlotte’s Library

July 17 Literacy Toolbox

Go to Mr. Anderson’s website HERE!

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