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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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6 11, 2016

Review: Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

By | November 6th, 2016|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Rating:

furthermore book coverReviewed by Christen Krumm

“Unfold your heart. Sharpen your ears. And never say no to the world when it asks you to dance.”

Furthermore is Tahereh Mafi’s break into the world of middle grade fiction. Alice Queensmeadow is a twelve-year-old who must travel to an unknown land in order to save her father—the one person, she believes, that loves her completely colorless self (a bit of a big deal in her home of Ferenwood). Alice’s father has been missing for over three years having left town with only a ruler. Alice must complete the father-finding quest with Oliver, who just happens to be her worst enemy (or so she thinks), and the pair must overcome many obstacles on their journey—avoid being eaten by the citizens of Furthermore, broken rulers, stolen time, and miscommunication with each other.

29 10, 2016

Review: Happy Birthday to You! by Michelle Adams

By | October 29th, 2016|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books|Tags: , |2 Comments

Rating:

happy birthday to you book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

Happy Birthday to You! by Michelle Adams highlights the story of a little boy who wakes up to his birthday. The book opens with the boy waking up (he seems to be a happy grade-schooler), and his family is getting ready for the festivities. The story progresses on to show the party moving forward, happy kids coming over to hit the piñata, share cake and presents, and finally to the boy saying goodbye to his friends. The top right center of the board book has a button to push that plays the “Happy Birthday” song, and the last thick page of the book offers a spot for putting in your little one’s own photo, to personalize this book as his / her very own.

29 10, 2016

Review: Goodnight Bob by Ann Hassett & John Hassett

By | October 29th, 2016|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books|Tags: , |0 Comments

Rating:

goodnight bob book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

Goodnight Bob tells the story of a little guy named Bob, who is supposed to be going to sleep. Bob is apparently afraid of creepy shadows that inhabit his bedroom, walls, windows and closets. He therefore sleeps with a trusty flashlight next to him in the bed. When he hears a strange noise, or sees eyes in the dark, the reader has to turn the page to find out what innocuous object is really there (a nice mouse, or a friendly cat or even a smiling Bigfoot, who all say “Goodnight Bob” to Bob).

20 10, 2016

Review: Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast

By | October 20th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Paranormal, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Series, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

moon chosen book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

Mari feels like an outcast among her clan, called Earth Walkers. Like her mother, she has the unique ability to use the powers of the moon to heal. But her father, a man she never knew, was of another clan. Once Mari bonds with a canine Companion, she begins to learn more about the people whom her father belonged to. Mari had always expected to take up her mother’s mantle, but destiny has chosen another path for her. Mari, with the help of her Companion, and Nik, the son of her clan’s rival, may be the one needed to bring solidarity between the two tribes.

P.C. Cast has been a longtime favorite author of mine, with the exception of her co-authored House of Night series. Moon Chosen was an obvious read for me; I was curious to see how P.C. Cast would do solo-penning a YA series, but unfortunately for me, this effort failed on a few fronts.

27 09, 2016

Review: The Dead Boyfriend by R.L. Stine

By | September 27th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Horror, Young Adult|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Rating:

the dead boyfriend book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

In 2014, the YA thriller author R.L. Stine relaunched his popular Fear Street series with Party Games. Yesterday, the fifth book in the relaunch series, The Dead Boyfriend, was released, ready to terrorize a new generation of readers. Although I’m not the target audience anymore for R.L. Stine publications, I can’t help but read them every now and then just for the nostalgia.

The Dead Boyfriend is a first-person narrative told in diary format. Caitlyn is over the moon about her new boyfriend Blade, until he stands her up one night. A little overly emotional, Cynthia haunts places she suspects he might hang out and discovers him with another girl. When she confronts him about his betrayal, Caitlyn finds herself with a new title: murderer.

4 09, 2016

Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

By | September 4th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Myths & Legends, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

Rating:

star touched queen book coverReviewed by Amanda Farmer

The Star-Touched Queen is the first in the Star-Touched Queen series and it doesn’t disappoint. I knew I wanted to read this story just by looking at the cover–it is beautiful and who doesn’t want to read a book where the main character is cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction? I had to know more. I also loved that it was inspired by Indian folklore.

This book drew me right in from the very beginning. I loved the writing and didn’t want the book to end. I still want more of Maya and Amar (prince of Akaran)–they were perfect for one another and complimented each other so well. I enjoyed reading about Akaran and the Otherworld realms. Akaran is not what it seems. It holds many secrets of its own and Maya must unravel them before it’s too late.

3 09, 2016

Review: Ruined by Amy Tintera

By | September 3rd, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Love & Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

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ruined tintera book coverReviewed by Sarah Lelonek

There is a lot of young adult fiction out there. I know, I’ve read a ton of it. However, I prefer YA lit that has a fantasy element and a little magic and war thrown in. If you’re into the same kinds of books, Ruined by Amy Tintera may be a good book for you.

Set in a kingdom on a different planet in a different time, Em Flores is a bit of an outcast. Not only is she from the conquered realm of Ruina, a place where people have magic, but she was born a shell of sorts, meaning she doesn’t possess the same magic as her peers. Even though she was meant to be queen of Ruina, her “useless” self was passed on as royalty. But when her sister is kidnapped and her parents are killed by the ruling kingdom, it is time for Em to assert herself by infiltrating the castle as a princess with wicked fighting abilities. What she didn’t expect was love to be a part of her mission.

26 08, 2016

Review: Throne of Lies by Sara Secora

By | August 26th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Series, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

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throne of lies book coverReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Princess Amythesta is on the horizon of her 18th birthday and has absolutely no patience for the requirements and duties delegated to her as the princess of Northwinds. Currently betrothed to a horridly behaved highborn, she truly dreams to be free of her royal duties, but at what cost?

As Amythesta pushes the boundaries and vexes her parents thoroughly, she finds herself entangled in secrets and heartbreak. Will she be able to accept her duties as the royal heir to the throne? Or will she find true love and unexpected freedom? Only time will tell.

18 08, 2016

Review: Awesome America by Katy Steinmetz

By | August 18th, 2016|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books|Tags: , |1 Comment

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awesome america book coverReviewed by Alyssa Katanic

What better time to gather with your little ones to learn more about America than during a presidential election year? Time for Kids has introduced a wonderful new book to help in this endeavor titled Awesome America: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the History, People, and Culture by Katy Steinmetz.

Awesome America includes a timeline of the nation from Native Americans through the present day. Not only does it cover major historical happenings like wars, civil rights, and national achievements, but it also provides snapshots into cultural icons, sports, and our diverse landscape.

15 08, 2016

Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

By | August 15th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

Rating:

girl against the universe book coverReviewed by Christen Krumm

I had no idea what I was in for, going into Girl Against the Universe. Paula Stokes hits on the tough issues—OCD, PTSD, teen stress and anxiety—all with poise and tasteful humor. Girl Against the Universe had me laughing, tearing up (because I cannot remember the last time I cried over a book—shame!), and quickly turning pages all through this year’s summer vacation.

Maguire is cursed. Or at least has horrible case of bad luck. From being the only living survivor in a terrible car wreck to house fires and crashing roller coasters, the universe clearly has it out for her. To keep those she loves—and innocent strangers around her – safe, Maguire decides the best thing is for her to hide her life away in her room.