Tag Archives: this kid reviews books

Perfect Picture Book Friday! All About Korea by Ann Martin Bowler

27 Mar

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 is a great nonfiction book that teaches in a fun way. 

koreaAll About Korea

By Ann Martin Bowler

Illustrations by Soosoonam Barg

64 pages – ages 7+

Published by Tuttle Publishing on April 10, 2011

Opening and Synopsis-

Opening: “What’s the spiciest food you’ve ever eaten? How do you break a board with your bare hand? Why in the world would you send a message off on a kite at the end of the year? Can Blue Dragons protect you?

Synopsis from publisher: “Perfect for educators or parents wishing to teach kids about different Asian cultures, this new book in the Tuttle All About Asia series includes favorite games, foods, special holiday times and after-school activities unique to Korea. All About Korea is a fun-filled journey to a new place. Korean culture and history are featured prominently in this colorful Korean book for kids, allowing an educational as well as entertaining experience.

  • Learn how to play the exciting Korean see-saw game with a friend, how to sing “Happy Birthday” in Korean, and how kids say “hello!”
  • Other activities include making a White Tiger puppet, playing jegi (Korean hacky-sack) and singing “Arirang,” Korea’s most beloved song.
  • Enjoy the traditional Korean stories “Taming a Tiger” and “Two Foolish Green Frogs.”
  • Easy Korean recipes are included for delicious treats like kimbap (roll-your-own wraps) and songpyeon (sweet filled rice cakes).

All About Korea is a book for families to treasure together. It offers not only the most important facts about Korean, but also reflects the spirit that makes Korea one-of-a-kind.

What I Thought- This is a great activity-filled ,information-packed book that teaches you about life as it is and was in Korea (see my review of All About China from the same publisher HERE). It talks about the activities of Korea, daily life in Korea, games and traditions of Korea, and much more! It says a little about the separating of North and South Korea, and that there is now a huge military boarder in between (in the “A Bit of History” section). It says that the book is about life in South Korea, because the two governments have gone different ways. There is a huge diversity in the things to read about. Ms. Bowler has written a wonderful encyclopedia-like resource, with lots of activities to make it more exciting than just reading a textbook. Ms. Barg’s illustrations are a cool format and make the story come to life. They are realistic and captivating. I could see schools or homeschool families using this book to teach a whole unit on Korea.

Activities and Resources –  Tuttle Publishing has a ton of resources to go along with the book – Click HERE to get it.

One of the crafts I really like in the packet from Tuttle is to make a folding fan –

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

 

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.

prizepack

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!

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

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.

pssh1pssh2

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!

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

 

Review! The Three Thorns by Michael Gibney

14 Mar

 

Before I get to today’s review, I get to announce that Anne S. won the signed copy of Chris Rylander’s newest book – COUNTDOWN ZERO!!! YAAAAAY! :) Click HERE to read my review of this great read! Thank you to all who entered. I will be emailing the winner to get the address you’d like your book sent to!

Countdown Zero

Now on to today’s review!

 

 

3thornsThe Three Thorns

by Michael Gibney

Series: The Brotherhood and the Shield

300 pages – ages 9+

Published by Tantrum Books on February 24, 2015

Synopsis- From GoodReads: “Three brothers born to a powerful fallen king were abandoned at birth and cast out as orphans. By order of the false king, three of the most lethal assassins have been sent to kill the children before they come of age and plot to avenge their father’s throne. No one knows where the children are, and the children have no knowledge of one another. But that all changes when Benjamin, Tommy, and Sebastian join together to face adversity, an unspeakable evil, and the temptations of magical powers. This is the first installment of an exciting children’s fantasy series about the power of family.

What I Thought- Wow – what a great opening book for a new series. This was a fun book that really keeps you reading. There is plenty of action to keep the reader interested and a great plot and terrific writing to get you into the story. Tommy, Benjamin, and Sebastian are great characters that you really cheer on. The setting of the “new world” (the magical world they get taken to right after they meet each other) is fantastically described and makes you wish that you were there! Mr. Gibney’s writing is solid – he gives you enough background to have you understand the characters and plot without dragging the story down with too many details.  I like how everything falls into place as the story goes on. The characters make you smile and feel that the Brotherhood is in good hands. The writing and dialogue is realistic. Mr. Gibney is a great author who I can’t wait to read more from.

The website for the new series – The Brotherhood and the Shield – is worth checking out. There is information about the first book and the series. You can also hear actor Chris R Wright read excerpts from book 1. Click HERE to go to the site.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

The Day We Saved The World by Katie Smotherman

11 Mar

thedayweThe Day We Saved The World

By Katie Smotherman

147 pages – ages 8+

Published by CreateSpace  on November 13, 2014

Synopsis- 13-year-old Alex Tice didn’t know what to think when two government officials came to his house and one of them telepathically talked to him – communicated just by thinking! The other one seemed to brain-wash his parents. Apparently, Alex is a “gifted” individual – he has a genetic mutation (that usually skips a generation) that causes the mutated being to have superpowers. All superpowers are charted and numbered. Alex has a unique power – he can absorb others’ powers if he is in close proximity to the other “superhero.” Because of this, he gets taken to a government-run camp for other nearby powered beings. He makes new friends there and quickly learns to use his power.

What I Thought- This was an amazing book! I love how it clearly explains how people get their powers and sets up the story perfectly. I like the cover a lot too, but I don’t like how Alex looks more like 9, 13. Alex is a great main character who you come to care for. While the characters are 13+, the story is completely appropriate for younger readers and I think kids 8+ will totally get into the story. Ms. Smotherman has written a fun and adventurous story about a fantastic group of superpowered teens saving the world. There were some well-executed plot twists and turns. The book is a quick read, but a good one. It is perfect for reluctant readers that like superheroes! This is another example of a very well edited and thought out self-published book.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Review! License To Thrill by Dan Gutman

9 Mar

geniusLicense To Thrill

By Dan Gutman

272 pages – ages 8+

Published by HarperCollins on January 27, 2015

Synopsis- From Goodreads: “The wackiest road trip in history comes to an action-packed conclusion in book five of the New York Times bestselling Genius Files series.

When we last left our heroes, twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald were in Roswell, New Mexico, and they had just seen a strange beam of light. Now their cross-country road trip is about to take a detour that’s out of this world–literally!

Once the twins get their feet back on the ground, they embark on the final leg of their trip, which will take them from the Hoover Dam all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. Chased by nefarious villains, the twins will be trapped with a venomous snake, pushed through a deadly turbine, and thrown into a volcano. And craziest of all, their parents might finally believe them!

What I Thought- This was a marvelous conclusion to the Genius Files. Mr. Gutman knows how to pull the reader into a story, and then completely throw you off your guard. Mr. Gutman has narrated the story in a funny way, he tells you right from the beginning that Coke will get thrown into a volcano (which actually happens in Chapter Twenty). Mr. Gutman injects a lot of humor into his stories. I really enjoy his writing style. It is helpful to read the other Genius Files books before reading this one, but not necessary, as Mr. Gutman pretty much brings the reader up to speed. Coke and Pepsi have changed a lot from the first book to this one, and it really shows – I like that their personalities developed over the series.  There are pictures throughout the book of real-life places that the characters went to – some of which I’ve been to (but some not) which are a nice addition to the book. This was a thrilling fifth book in the series!

I give “License To Thrill” 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Legends of the Rif by Joe O’Neill

8 Mar

riffLegends of the Rif

By Joe O’Neill

Series: Red Hand Adventures (Book 3)
372 pages – ages 9+

Published by Black Ship Publishing on April 14th, 2015

Synopsis- From Goodreads: “In the catacombs of Kathmandu, a young boy learns the ancient ways of Nepal and the Red Hand legend. In the cities of Morocco, an underground resistance of street boys and outcasts gives support to three young friends who must rely on their wits and courage as they are hunted across the Sahara. Their British friend, Margaret,risks everything to save her wrongly imprisoned father. With the help of her French schoolmates, Margaret defies authority in search of justice. Meanwhile, Tariq learns of the Red Hand from Melbourne Jack as he explains the importance of his journey to North Africa. And, a new enemy is discovered in the dark jungles of Ceylon as the courageous Foster Crowe is determined to balance the scales. As the winds of war sweep across Morocco, the infamous Caid prepares to declare himself as supreme dictator. Morocco’s only hope is our treasured ragtag group of resistance fighters from Rebels of the Kasbah, who are scattered all across the country. A battle of good against evil will echo through eternity.

What I Thought- THis is the third book in the Red Hand Adventure series (check out my reviews of the other books HERE and HERE). I’ve always enjoyed this series because of the characters and setting but the third book is my favorite so far. Wow. Just “Wow”. This was amazing. Mr. O’Neill really knows how to draw you in. He quickly restates what has happened in the first two books of the series to bring the reader “up to speed.” Then he throws a wrench into the heroes’ well-thought out plan, and that keeps the reader from putting the book down! There is a ton of unrest in this book with all the characters wondering what is happening to the others, some thinking the others are dead. The book is full of action, and close encounters. The setting is described well. It makes you feel like you are there in the Middle East. There are some fantasy elements, in the fact that gypsies can curse others, predict the future, etc. In a whole it just shows the superstitious-ness that the Moroccans had at that time period. The story jumps from characters’ points of view, and you overall learn back-stories while the story goes on. Although some of the storyline is tied up at the end – there is enough to make the reader want another book in the series. Fortunately for us, there will be another book which will be published in April of 2016, titled “Thieves of the Black Sea.”

I give “Legends of the Rif” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Want to know more? Check out the official Red Hand Adventure website HERE.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,966 other followers

%d bloggers like this: