Tag Archives: bookworm

I am feeling a bit purple today.

26 Mar

I am feeling a bit purple today. If you haven’t noticed, my blog is a bit purple – I am wearing purple heading off to school. Why all the purple?!?

Today is PURPLE DAY!

A day to bring awareness about epilepsy.

purpleday

According to the Purple Day website “Cassidy Megan created the idea of Purple Day in 2008, motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy. Cassidy’s goal is to get people talking about epilepsy in an effort to dispel myths and inform those with seizures that they are not alone.” Click HERE to learn more.

I first became aware of epilepsy through Bethany Telles and reading about her son (Master Jedi) Renn. Renn has gone through some scary things with the condition and I’ve learned a lot about epilepsy through reading about him. I am happy to say that Mrs. Telles reports Renn is doing well and (after a very scary brain surgery), has been seizure free for one year! To read more about Renn CLICK HERE. After learning about Renn and epilepsy, I learned some of the kids at school have it some of my blogger friends (their loved ones) have it – I think it is a subject that kids need to know about it even if you don’t have epilepsy. It will help you understand what is happening to people in your lives who may have it.

In my effort to spread awareness about epilepsy, I have two book recommendations for you.

mommyIfeelfunny

Mommy, I Feel Funny!

By Danielle M. Rocheford

Illustrated by Chris Herrick 

40 pages – ages 8+
Published by Green Swing, A Wyatt-MacKenzie Imprint on March 1, 2009

GoodReads SummaryBased on a true story, Mommy, I Feel Funny! introduces the reader to Nel, a little girl who is diagnosed with epilepsy. The story takes you through the days following Nels first seizure. Suddenly, Nel and her family are faced with thoughts, fears and emotions that come with the discovery, understanding and acceptance of epilepsy. 

katethegreatThe Great Katie Kate Explains Epilepsy

by M. Maitland DeLand

Illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin

32 pages – ages 5+
Published by Greenleaf Book Group Press on January 7, 2014

GoodReads Summary – Jimmy and the other young patients in the neurologist’s office get a visit from the Great Katie Kate, a spunky redheaded superhero who appears when kids get worried. Katie Kate takes the children on a medical adventure to learn about the various forms of epileptic seizures and treatments. Along the way, they meet the Worry Wombat, a creature that appears when worries loom large. As Jimmy and his new friends to ask questions about their condition and its triggers, they make the Worry Wombat disappear!

This superhero saga provides an entertaining and indispensable tool for parents and medical professionals who are seeking a positive way to help young epilepsy patients understand their condition and deal with their fears. As a well-respected physician who specializes in the treatment of women and children, the author presents challenging medical concepts in clear, accurate, and understandable prose.

Do you have any book recommendations that teach about epilepsy?

Now go wear some purple!

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Review! The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein

24 Mar

Before I get to my review, I get to announce that Mr. Laj won the James Patterson Prize Pack o’ Books I am giving away on my blog!!! CONGRATULATIONS! I will be emailing you to see where you’d like the books sent.

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So the FABULOUS James Patterson series- I Funny, Treasure Hunters and House of Robots have a SUPER FANTABULOUS co-author CHRIS GRABENSTEIN! Felicia and I just interviewed Mr. Grabentein on the Write Chat – Click HERE to see the vlog! AND Mr. Grabenstein just happens to be the author of the book I am reviewing today! (I feel like I am playing the Kevin Bacon game) .

Now today is not only the day I review Chris Grabenstein’s new book, it is the day it is released! HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!!! WOO! Mr. Lemoncello’s Library fans will NOT be disappointed in Chris Grabenstein’s latest fantastic story!

drlibThe Island of Dr. Libris

By Chris Grabenstein

256 pages – ages 9+

Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on March 24, 2015

Synopsis- Billy Gillfoyle’s parents may be getting separated. This may explain why his mom is spending the summer at a rented lake house owned by one of her colleagues, Dr. Xiang Libris, and Billy is to spend the summer with her while she works on a very important paper for work. The house is on the shore of a lake overlooking an island in the middle of the lake – Dr. Libris’ Island. Dr. Libris owns it all. The lake house has no TV or video game system, and shortly after coming, Billy accidentally breaks his iPhone (and simultaneously made a friend and some enemies). Desperate for entertainment, Billy decides to turn to the library room, which has a bookcase full of amazing books, with one drawback – the bookcase is locked. After an intensive search, Billy finds the key, and when he opens the books and reads them, he seems to hear the swords clashing, the voices yelling, the feet trampling. And it all seems to come from Dr. Libris’ island in the middle of the lake…

What I Thought- This was an amazing book. It really creates a world one would love to join. Characters coming to life by reading – in my mind, that is PARADISE! The story is cool and very suspenseful. I like how everything ties together in the end. Mr. Grabenstein has written a fun action-adventure book that, I bet, almost every reader will hope were true! Billy still likes his parents and believes that they will stay together. Billy, thinks they have the perfect marriage and they seem like a nice family. His mom is more serious, but still fun, in a way, while his dad is more laid back and thrill-seeking. It was good that his parents didn’t hate each other, and that they seemed to have a nice relationship with each other. All that added to the depth of the story. I REALLY loved this book! The characters in the book feel so realistic that you believe that this could happen. It was cool that Dr. Libris himself was kind of a background character in the story – kind of remaining mysterious.

I give “The Island of Dr. Libris” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

WANT TO LEARN MORE?!? You can read sample chapters and get an educator’s guide to go with the book at Chris Grabentein’s website – CLICK HERE!

The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake by Robin Newman

23 Mar

carrotcakeThe Case of the Missing Carrot Cake

By Robin Newman

Illustrated by Deborah Zemke

40 pages – ages 5+

Published by Creston Books  on May 12, 2015

Synopsis- From GoodReads: “When food goes missing on Ed’s farm, Detectives Wilcox and Griswold do what it takes to track down the thieves. In this case, Miss Rabbit’s carrot cake has disappeared. Has it been stolen? Or eaten? Or both? Who dunnit?

What I Thought- First off, I love the fact that the detectives are mice, and that they are MFI’s (Missing Food Investigators). That is just plain awesomeness there! The story is everything a kid would want – the writing is kid-friendly, there are cute main characters, a mystery to solve, humor, and great illustrations. The mystery keeps the main characters wrapped up in it and guessing. As more and more carrot cake goes missing, more and more suspects are added! The MFI’s have a big problem on their hands! The illustrations are great, with some funny details (the cop-car has a wind-up key on the side of it), and remind me of Roald Dahl’s illustrations. They compliment the story very well. Kids are going to love this one!

WANT TO WIN A COPY?!?

There is a GoodReads giveaway going on right now! CLICK HERE!

I give “The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

WANT TO KNOW MORE?!?

You can download a copy of the teacher’s guide that goes along with THE CASE OF THE MISSING CARROT CAKE – click HERE!

Check out Ms. Newman’s website by clicking HERE!

Check out Ms. Zemke’s site HERE!

Review! Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist By Jacqueline Houtman, Walter Naegle, and Michael G. Long

22 Mar

 

Babayardyard Rustin: The Invisible Activist

By Jacqueline Houtman, Walter Naegle, and Michael G. Long

166 pages – ages 10+
Published by QuakerPress of FGC on November 13, 2014

Summary – (from GoodReads) “We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers” -Bayard Rustin Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist is a new biography for ages 10 and up. . . To many, the civil rights movement brings to mind protests, marches, boycotts, and freedom rides. They often think of people like Martin Luther King, Jr. or Rosa Parks. They seldom think of Bayard Rustin. Raised by his Quaker grandmother to believe in the value of every human being, Bayard made trouble wherever he saw injustice. As a teenager, he was arrested for sitting in the whites only section of a theater. More arrests followed, for protesting against segregation, discrimination, and war. His belief in nonviolent action as a means for social change gave him a guiding vision for the civil rights movement, which he used to mentor the young Martin Luther King, Jr. When A. Philip Randolph needed the best organizer on the planet, he turned to Bayard Rustin to bring 250,000 people to the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Illustrated with over sixty photos, this book is the product of a unique collaboration between three authors: Bayard’s partner of ten years, a professor of religious studies, and a children’s book author. Though he is largely ignored in history books, Bayard’s ideas and actions will inspire today’s young (and not-so-young) readers to be angelic troublemakers.

What I Thought – There is obviously a great need for this book because Bayard Rustin is a name I have never heard. I’ve studied the Civil Rights movement in school and it is sad I have never heard of Mr. Rustin. I was interested that Mr. Rustin grew up as a Quaker (his grandmother was a Quaker and she raised him). He grew up near where I used to live. His upbringing gave Mr. Rustin a desire to bring change through peaceful means or passive resistance. I also found it very interesting that Mr. Rustin was himself discriminated against by some of the very people he was trying to help during the Civil Rights movement, because of him being gay. The book is not just a good resource on Mr. Rustin, but also a good resource for information on the Civil Rights movement, segregation and pacifism. There is a ton of references in the back for further reading or to see where the information in the book comes from. There are little fact boxes spread through the book that gives details on some of the subjects touched upon in the book. Photographs of historical and events in Mr. Rustin’s life are sprinkled in the book. They add a level of interest to the story. The one issue I had with the book is that it reads more like a text book than a book kids will pick up to read. Having said that, I think the book would be an excellent resource for teachers when they are covering the Civil Rights movement in their class.

Four out of five book worms for Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist. fourbooks

The Missing Alchemist by Caldric Blackwell

21 Mar

alchemisThe Missing Alchemist

By Caldric Blackwell

128 pages – ages 8+

Published by Icasm Press January 13, 2015

 

Synopsis- From the back cover: “Having grown up in an orphanage, Craig Pike appreciates his comfortable life as a student of Cornelius, a famous alchemist. But when Cornelius is kidnapped, Craig leaves comfort behind to search for him. Craig teams up with Audrey Clife, a clever archer, and together they travel across mysterious lands and battle otherworldly creatures. Their journey reveals that Cornelius’s kidnapping is only a small part of an evil alchemist’s elaborate grab for power, and the only people standing in his way are Craig and Audrey…

What I Thought- This was a really cool fantasy story. It explains how magic is incorporated into the world (and how it is used) very effectively. Craig is a good kid, whom you instantly want to cheer on. Audrey is a good character and she’s also a girl, which is awesome. She saves Craig multiple times, due to her creativity, and skill with a bow and swords. The land that the story takes place in is described well. Mr. Blackwell has written a good fantasy story (plot-wise and reading level) for young middle-grade readers or elementary kids just getting into fantasy. The story has the potential of being a great fantasy novel for older MG readers if the plot and characters were a bit more involved and expanded on.

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms!fourbooks

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Cat & Bunny By Mary Lundquist

20 Mar

Before I get to another fabulous Perfect Picture Book Friday pick – when you are done here, click on over the Felicia and my vlog The Write Chat where we are interviewing JENNIFER LYNN ALVAREZ today! CLICK HERE!

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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 it has a really cute story.

catandbunnyCat & Bunny

Written and Illustrated By Mary Lundquist

4 – 8 years
32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Balzer + Bray on January 27, 2015

Genre: Fiction

Theme/Topic: Friendship/Making New Friends/Keeping Old Friends

Opening and Synopsis:Cat and Bunny were born on the same day of the same month in the same year. Right from the start, they did everything together. Just the two of them.

What I Thought- This is a marvelous picture book! It really makes you feel good inside. Congratulations to Ms. Lundquist because this is her debut picture book! Judging from this one, we are in for more great stories! The illustrations are very sweet and cute. I like how they look like kids in animal footie pajamas. :)  The story is a great way to teach kids that you can have more than one friend. It also gives the message that you can play with more than one friend and still have a BFF. This is a wonderful picture book!

You can check out interior illustrations at Ms. Lundquist’s website – click HERE.

Activities and Resources-

Teacher Planet has a ton of suggested lesson plans for making friends in school. Click HERE to go THERE.

In the book, Cat made up a new game (called the “Made-Up Game). It would be a fun activity for kids to make up their own game and have others play it. My sister and I used to do this all the time. :)

 

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Review! Banneker Bones and the Giant Robot Bees by Robert Kent

18 Mar

WATCH OUT – A NINJA HAS INVADED MY BLOG!!!

Middle Grade NinjaOh **PHEW** it’s Robert Kent! The MIDDLE GRADE NINJA! Not one of those Ra’s al Ghul going-to-get-rid-of-Batman kind of ninjas.

Mr. Kent runs a blog called –

robotbeesBanneker Bones and the Giant Robot Bees

by Robert Kent

Illustrated by Adam Smith

Series The And Then Story

354 pages – ages 8+
Published by CreateSpace on September 18, 2014

Summary (from GoodReads) – “Fifth grader Ellicott Skullworth has always felt out of place at public school and now he’s tested into the Archimedes Program at Latimer University. While in Latimer City, he’ll be living with his world famous and insane(ly) brilliant cousin, Banneker Bones, the eleven-year-old inventor of robots. The only problem: Banneker doesn’t want to share his room. And he’s got an army of robots to make Ellicott miserable until he goes home.

When the boys are ambushed by robot bees as big as cars, Ellicott’s only friend is carried off and held for ransom. To rescue him, Ellicott has no choice but to partner with his maniacal cousin. Ellicott doesn’t know what’s worse: facing a hive of giant robot bees or spending more time with Banneker Bones.

BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES features original illustrations by Adam Smith. It’s a humorous, science fiction adventure for readers of all ages written in the spirit of a comic book.

What I Thought – This is a really cool book. Mr. Kent has written a unique story where the government’s fear is that robots will be taking over everyone’s jobs. And Banneker’s family are the ones making the robots. I like the fact that Banneker Bones isn’t the main character, and that he’s a jerk. It provided a lot of humor in the story. Ellicott is a great kid that you really feel for. It’s not his fault that his cousin wrongly hates him – like I said Banneker is a jerk!  The robots described in the book are really amazing. They are state-of-the-art technology, and the world still hates them! There is a ton of character development in the book. Reggie and Ellicott (sort of) bond, while Banneker just gets grumpier, but in a way you kind of like him. The black and white illustrations really do the story justice (there are a few scattered throughout the book). They picture the characters and setting just like what is described in the book, giving the story another dimension. The story is at a great reading level for MG readers. This new s is a really fun book to read!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

WAIT! HERE’S SOME AWESOME NEWS!

Click HERE to get a free Kindle copy of BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES ! This great story is FREE today and tomorrow! Hurry on over!

Want to know more? Click on over to MIDDLE GRADE NINJA (click HERE) and read excerpts from Mr. Kent’s books. You can also read more about Mr. Kent and his writings.

Review! Public School Superhero by James Patterson PLUS A HUGE GIVEAWAY!

17 Mar

I have so many awesome things to tell you about in today’s post! I have this great new book by James Patterson PLUS a HUGE James Patterson book prize pack to give away, PLUS I get to tell you about James Patterson’s First Book Donation and his plan to help public school libraries!

I have been a huge fan of James Patterson’s MG books – the I Funny series, Middle School, Alex Cross, House of Robots – so many great books. What I really have come to appreciate about Mr. Patterson is not just that he is a hugely talented author, but he gets out there and helps! He is a great supporter of literacy, independent book stores and schools.

First up – here is Mr. Patterson’s latest book! It was just released yesterday!

pssh

Public School Superhero

Written by James Patterson & Chris Tebbetts

Illustrated by Cory Thomas

304 pages – ages 8+

Published by Little, Brown Young Readers on March 16, 2015

ABOUT THE BOOK

(from the publisher) In this story about a good kid with a great imagination struggling in a less-than-ideal world, James Patterson brings his bestselling “Middle School”-style humor and sensibility to an urban setting.

Kenny Wright is a kid with a secret identity. In his mind, he’s Stainlezz Steel, super-powered defender of the weak. In reality, he’s a chess club devotee known as a “Grandma’s Boy,” a label that makes him an easy target for bullies. Kenny wants to bring a little more Steel to the real world, but the question is: can he recognize his own true strength before peer pressure forces him to make the worst choice of his life?

 James Patterson’s newest illustrated novel is a genuinely funny yet poignant look at middle school in a challenging urban setting, where a kid’s life can depend on the everyday decisions he makes.

What I Thought- (from me) This was a really well-done school story. Mr. Patterson really knows how to get into the head of a geeky, nerdy, chess-playing, superhero-loving, awkward teenage boy entering a run-down middle school. I may have first-hand knowledge of this type of character. *cough cough* ANYWAY, the book is packed full of the kind of humor we kids like to read in our books – some of it is subtle and some out right hysterical. I really enjoyed the style of this book. I like how the book is half comic-fantasy (Kenny imagining himself as a superhero, with a mini-plot, related to the main plot) and the other half illustrated novel. The pictures are creative and resemble comic art.

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They give this book a cool feeling. The book has diverse characters (Kenny and the majority of the kids in school are African American). Besides from all the humor and awesome comic-style adventure, there is a great story! Kenny has to deal with all the usual life issues of being a kid (and kind of nerdy) – Kenny is a great character that kids can relate to. This is a fun book for any day and any kid!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JamesPattersonCreditDavidBurnett

Photo credit: David Burnett

 

James Patterson was selected by readers across America as the Children’s Choice Book Awards Author of the Year in 2010. He is the internationally bestselling author of the highly praised Middle School books, I Funny, Confessions of a Murder Suspect, and the Maximum Ride, Witch & Wizard, Daniel X, and Alex Cross series. His books have sold over 275 million copies worldwide, making him one of the bestselling authors of all time.

 Want to know more?!?

Learn More at PublicSchoolSuperhero.com

Visit the Author Site at JamesPatterson.com

Follow James Patterson on Twitter and Facebook

#PublicSchoolSuperhero

NOW FOR THE JAMES PATTERSON READS PRIZE PACK!!!

Make it through middle school with James Patterson! Enter for a chance to win copies of:

  • Public School Superhero
  • I Funny
  • Treasure Hunters
  • House of Robots

prizepackYOU ASK HOW DO I ENTER TO WIN THIS PRIZE OF AWESOMENESS?!?!

Leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite James Patterson book is (kid or adult) or if you have not read one of Mr. Patterson’s books – tell me which one you are looking forward to reading! Next Tuesday (March 24th) I will announce the winner of the prize pack. My sister Josie will pick a name out of a hat from all the people who entered. Good luck!

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE AWESOMENESS!

FIRST BOOK DONATION

firstbook

In 2015, James Patterson will donate 100,000 copies of PUBLIC SCHOOL SUPERHERO to some of the most neglected and underfunded schools in America, and he will launch a major campaign to support school libraries. In 2014, in addition to giving a copy of one of his middle grade books to every sixth grader in the New York City and Chicago public school systems, Patterson gave $1,000,000 to independent bookstores with children’s sections.  

 When James Patterson meets with underprivileged kids at schools in some of the country’s poorest neighborhoods, they often ask him, “Why can’t we be heroes in any books?”  To answer that question and to bring more books into more kids’ lives, James Patterson is donating 100,000 copies of his new book for young readers, Public School Superhero, to some of the most under-resourced schools and youth programs in the country.  He was moved to make this donation after recognizing a large and underserved community of children who don’t see themselves portrayed in dynamic, entertaining stories often enough.

 These same kids also inspired Public School Superhero, by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, with illustrations by Cory Thomas, a book about an African American sixth-grade chess devotee named Kenny Wright who lives in an inner city. It’s a story brimming with wit, action, and heart, one all kids are bound to find relatable and entertaining.

 The books will be distributed through First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides new books for kids in need. First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 125 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families in the United States and Canada. By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information visit firstbook.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

 James Patterson really is a superhero!

Think Outside the Circle with Seaver the Weaver by Paul Czajak

16 Mar

Okay, HOLD IT! Before you read about this awesome book, check this out! Stanley and Katrina (from stanleyandkatrina.com) kindly invited the Write Chat co-hosts (Felicia and me) to be a guest on their Word of The Week video thingy! ;) Why don’t you go PERUSE it?

peruse

Now on to the review!

Get ready to think outside the circle (or orb as the case may be) with Seaver the Weaver! Seaver is a little orb spider who likes to spin all sorts of shapes – not the orbs the rest of his family spins. Seaver the Weaver will be published tomorrow! Read down to the bottom to see how to enter a GoodReads giveaway for a copy of this wonderful book!

Seaver-Cover

Seaver the Weaver

By Paul Czajak

Illustrated by The Brothers Hilts

32 pages – ages 6+
Published by Mighty Media Kids on March 17, 2015

Summary from GoodReads : “Seaver is an orb spider with a sky full of inspiration. His siblings prefer tradition and aren’t afraid to let him know. But Seaver doesn’t mind! He loves his new shapes and isn’t afraid to stand out. Told with quiet charm, this picture book tangles readers in a web of delight.

 

What I Thought- This is a marvelous picture book on being yourself and succeeding. I like how Seaver keeps building a geometric web, and saying he’ll make an orb, right after he takes care of his guest (a trapped insect). The orb spiders’ webs are perfect orbs, but they are still untouched by their “guests”. Mr. Czajak has written a beautiful book that makes you feel good about being you. Seaver ultimately shows that being unique instead of perfect is a better option. The story is great for young kids. I love Mr. Czajak’s books!

If you hurry on over to GoodReads, you can still enter to win a copy of Seaver the Weaver! The giveaway ends on March 17th. Click HERE to go THERE!

Mighty Media Press has put together a great activity packet to go along with this book. Click HERE to get it!

seavercolorWant to learn more?

Author and Illustrator Websites:

Review! Stellarcadia by Julie Anne Grasso

15 Mar

sellarcadiaStellarcadia

By Julie Anne Grasso

Series: Adventures of Caramel Cardamom (Book 3)

102 pages – ages 8+

Published by Julie Anne Grasso on January 21, 2015

Synopsis- From Goodreads: “Caramel Cinnamon is one lucky elf. She can hardly believe has been invited to attend the first Intergalactic Youth Summit, on-board the Stellarcadia.

Her friends can’t wait to go “hyper,” but even the thought of it chills Caramel to the bone. However, nothing could compare to the icy reception she receives upon her arrival. Keen to get to the bottom of it, Caramel stumbles on a dangerous conspiracy, but no one will believe her.

What I Thought- I am a huge fan of Ms. Grasso’s books. (See my reviews of Book 1 HERE, Book 2 THERE of the Caramel Cardamom series and a review of the first book in a new series by Ms. Grasso (Frankie Dupont) HERE!) She writes fabulous adventures for young people that make you keep reading. The action was non-stop! Caramel is a great main character that one really wants to know more about. She interacts with her friends in a positive way, and is always curious! I like that the characters travel into space in this book. The story was a quick and easy read for me, but a fun read. Ms. Grasso ‘s writing style keeps a smooth flow to the story. The plot is solid and keeps you interested in the story. This is the third book in the series, but it can be read as a stand alone. Apparently, this is the last book in the series, but there is room at the end to have the story go on *hint, hint*  4th book Please! ;)

I give Stellarcadia five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Want to learn more? Find Ms. Grasso at –

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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