Tag Archives: bookworm

Review! Young-hee and the Pullocho by Mark James Russell

1 Oct

young-heeYoung-hee and the Pullocho

Written by Mark James Russell

256 pages – ages 8+

Published by Tuttle Publishing on May 12th 2015

Synopsis- Young-hee hated that her family was back in Korea. They had traveled abroad, but now they were back. Her dad was away and they lived in a run-down apartment. Add her annoying toddler-brother, Young-beom, into the mess, and Young-hee is miserable. But when she finds a doorway into a magical world, her life starts to turn around. When she brings Young-beom there, however, he gets tricked into being held captive by a goblin. To save him, Young-hee must go and travel to find a mysterious magical root called a pullocho. The only problem is that a pullocho hasn’t been seen in centuries…

What I Thought- This was a good book. Young-hee is a marvelous main character. You can really see how her character changes throughout the book, but it is subtle until the end then you realize the growth of the character. The book is a nice solid story with an interesting plot. I found some editing errors in the text throughout the story that are slightly distracting and a few instances where I thought some of the words in the story could be cut. I enjoyed the realistic writing style of Mr. Russell. I liked that he threw in a few Korean words into the story as it is based on Korean folklore. The story was compelling and the world created by Mr. Russell was exciting and described vividly. This was a cool multi-cultural story that many kids would enjoy. This is a debut MG story for Mr. Russell, I’d be quick to pick up his next.

I give this book four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

Review! The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester

28 Sep

shrunkenheadThe Shrunken Head

Series: The Curiosity House (Book #1)

Co-written by Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester

368 pages – ages 9+

Will be published by HarperCollins on September 29, 2015

Synopsis- In New York City, there is a building. The sign outside reads “Dumfrey’s Dime Museum”, and it has the “Largest Collection of Oddities, the Strangest Assortment of Freaks, and Novel and Astounding Exhibitions Comprising More Than One Thousand Curiosities from Every Portion of the Globe.” In it, lives the performers.

Orphans Sam, Philippa, and Thomas have been raised by Mr. Dumfrey, the owner, along with the other performers. Sam is extremely strong – so strong that he breaks things without even trying. Thomas is a contortionist – it’s like his bones turn to rubber. Philippa is a mentalist – a true one, who, at the least, can see the contents of your pocket. Then an orphan girl named Max shows up – she can throw a knife like nobody’s business, and she’ll make sure it’s not your business! When the Museum’s newest claim to fame is stolen, and people who interacted with it start turning up dead, the kids decide to take things into their own hands, especially when the police start barking up the wrong tree! Can they find the murderer before Mr. Dumfrey gets put into the slammer (on accusations of child-cruelty and possible murder)?

What I Thought- This was a thrilling book. It has a good murder mystery. The book has a rather dark tone to it, but that being said, I rather much enjoyed it and even though there are some heavy subjects in the book (murder) I found the story appropriate for a younger audience too. I think it is a credit to the authors. The characters are top-notch realistic. You really feel for them. It is really cool how the authors bring the story together after setting up the plot. At several points I thought that I knew who was behind it, but the authors added a good amount of twists and turns that I soon was guessing what I thought was true. It was a very fun read. I really enjoyed every minute with the characters, and am happy that there is at least one other book to look forward to.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Confessions of an Imaginary Friend by Michelle Cuevas

24 Sep

jackieConfessions of an Imaginary Friend – a memoir by Jacques Papier

As told to Michelle Cuevas

176 pages – ages 9+

Published by Dial Books on Dial Books, September 8, 2015

Synopsis- Somewhere in France, there lived an evil wiener dog named François. In François’ house, there lived a young girl named Fleur Papier, and she had a twin brother named Jacques. This book is about Jacques. Jacques is a good brother. Polite, fun, imaginative, and so much more. That is, until Jacques accidentally overhears his parents talking and learns that… Fleur has an imaginary friend. How could she have one, and if anything, not tell him? That wasn’t a nice thing! Well, two can play at that game. But when Jacques’ imaginary friend is huge, and takes up a lot of room, his parents yell out that an imaginary friend having an imaginary friend was “too much imagination” – and that was saying a lot, as they work in the imagination business. Wait. What? Can it be true? That Jacques is… An imaginary friend? Jacques soon realizes it is true, but he has a hard time adjusting. What if that by finding out he was an imaginary friend ends up driving him away from Fleur?

What I Thought- This was an amazing book about learning who you really are. Jacques (who we thinks is based off of Jackie Paper from Puff the Magic Dragon) is a memorable character who tugs at your heart strings. You really feel for him as he realizes that he is really his “sister’s” imaginary friend. The sad thing is, she didn’t even know he was imaginary! At least it explains how no one paid attention to him. Imagine if you were ignored all of your life, and then suddenly find out that you aren’t real. There are some simple illustrations in the book that add a lot to the story. I would really recommend this book to anyone looking for a really meaningful story that makes you think. I think that this book is good for an older audience (at least 12+), as they will get the impact behind it, but the story is all clean, and good for younger kids.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks


Review! Headwinds by Gretchen K. Wing

22 Sep


Series: The Flying Burgowski (Book #2)

By Gretchen K.Wing

288 pages – ages 12+

Published by Madrona Branch Press on November 24th, 2014

Synopsis- The Flying Burgowski…flies…again! Jocelyn Burgowski is pretty happy. Her mom is back on Dalby Island, her brother Michael is [mostly] nice to her, and she flies on an almost regularly basis. What can go wrong? Well, Jocelyn’s mom is (pretty much) seen, as she was forced to land on her boss’ roof. Then at Joss’ birthday party, Michael goes, and tries to fly by jumping off of a cliff. He lives, but is pretty messed up, and in the hospital. Add the fact that there is at least one person on Dalby Island from a strange, ancient cult that was formed pretty much for the purpose of grounding Flyers like Jocelyn and her mom, and Jocelyn has no idea what is going on with her life. There is only a small amount of people on Dalby, but a lot of suspects…

What I Thought- This was a great book! The adventure is fun, and really nails pretty realistically the life of a teenager (even with a flying teenager). The second book in the series catches the reader right up with what is going on. Ms. Wing has a great writing style that really brings you into the story and lets you visualize the setting. You feel for Jocelyn as she is trying to figure out who is trying to bring the Flyers down. Her character is believable and well-developed. The book has a thrilling plot that keeps you on the edge of your beanbag chair (which is a hard thing). I really hope that there is a book three, but this book ended well giving the reader a satisfying feeling.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Dot Day 2015!

16 Sep

Hi Blogosphere! Guess what day it is?

That’s right! It’s  INTERNATIONAL DOT DAY!!!!

Okay, well it’s actually September 15th-ish and I already had a post scheduled yesterday so I am taking advantage of the “ish” part. ;)

As Thedotclub.org (via Peter H. Reynolds, author of “The Dot”) states: “

Celebrate Creativity, Courage & Collaboration!

Imagine the power and potential of millions of people around the world connecting, collaborating, creating and celebrating all that creativity inspires and invites. I hope you will join the growing global community of creativity champions using their talents, gifts and energy to move the world to a better place.”

Dot Day is a day celebrating creativity. It was created for the purpose of bringing people together. So, on that theme, and I was feeling a bit mathematical today, I give you my dot.


Thank you for reading my post! For more information, visit the official website HERE!

Review! The Glass Gauntlet by Carter Roy and GIVEAWAY!!!

15 Sep

glassgauntletThe Glass Gauntlet

Series: The Blood Guard (Book #2)

Written by Carter Roy

272 pages – ages 9+

Published by Two Lions on August 18th, 2015

Synopsis- Ronan is a new member of the Blood Guard. They protect certain souls (called “Pures”), that, if unbalanced, could destroy the world. The Bend Sinister, the bad guys, for some odd reason really want to unbalance the Pures. Ronan and his friends, one of whom is unknowingly a Pure, are going to a sort of maniacal testing, and are trying to find an ancient device that can put a Pure’s soul back into their body while at the testing site. Will they succeed?

What I Thought- This was a really unique book. I didn’t read the first book in the series, but  this book gives you the main details needed so you aren’t lost. I think any series that you can pick up the books out of order and still get what is going on is a sign of great writing. Mr. Roy created a fun series. The characters are realistic, and it was a cool twist (I think it happened in book #1) that Ronan’s mom is a good guy, but his dad is the head of the bad guys. That made it interesting. Mr. Roy has a riveting plot and an interesting way that defines the magic in the book. There is a lot of action in the story that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

If you want to win a copy of this amazing book, all you need is to comment between now and September 21! I will announce the winner on September 22, next Tuesday. US entries only.

Review! Max: Best Friend Hero Marine by Boaz Yakin and Sheldon Lettich

9 Sep

maxMax: Best Friend. Hero. Marine.

Based on the Major Motion Picture

Written by Boaz Yakin and Sheldon Lettich

253 pages – ages 9+

Published by Harper Collins on June 9, 2015

Synopsis- Justin wasn’t sure what to do with his deceased military brother’s dog, Max. Max had been trained as a military dog. He only lets Justin approach it, but Justin wants nothing to do with Max. But what happens when Max and Justin start unearthing secrets involving Justin’s brother’s death? Justin is about to get the adventure of his lifetime!

What I Thought- This was an amazing book! I haven’t seen the movie yet, but this book really draws you in! The authors have a writing style that makes you feel like you are there with Justin and Max. You feel all of their pain and troubles. The book handles it all very well. The story was so compelling I read the whole book in one sitting. The content, while some is slightly mature themes, is still appropriate for a younger audience. This book would be a good companion for the movie, and it could be used in the classroom. Now, I really want to watch the movie! I recommend this book to kids in the 4th grade and above.

I give this book five out of five bookworms.fivebooks


Review! Comic Phonics books by Kevin Bolger and Ben Hodson

7 Sep

61X3WYIbHeL._SX388_BO1,204,203,200_Lazy Bear, Crazy Bear: Loony Long Vowels
Written by Kevin Bolger
Illustrations by Ben Hodson
40 pages – ages 4+
Published by HarperCollins on June 23, 2015

9780062285966Gran on a Fan: Silly Short Vowels
Written by Kevin Bolger
Illustrations by Ben Hodson
40 pages – ages 4+
Published by HarperCollins on June 23, 2015

Synopsis- Do you have trouble with your vowel sounds? Do you like to read funny comics? Do you like grandmothers swinging from fans? If so, these books are perfect for you! They are comics with simple words to encourage kids to read them and learn about the vowel sounds. Meet up with Gran and Crazy Bear in these teaching comic books!

What I Thought- These are great books. I really like the unique idea of using comics to teach kids about the vowel sounds. The mini-stories in the books are hilarious and crazy – in a good way, of course! My favorite(s) is in the Gran on a Fan book. Nell falls into a well early on, and nobody gets her out. The last few pages of the book? The return of Nell! I laughed out loud when I read that. Mr. Hodson’s illustrations are great attributes to the story, putting even more humor into the book. The cartoon feel will make kids smile. I can promise you that! I think that this book series will be a huge hit with kids. It’s perfect for reluctant readers, and for bedtimes, you just read one comic per night!

I give this series five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

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



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

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


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