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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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12 08, 2016

Review: Animal Bites Books by Laaren Brown

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

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animal planet farm animals book coverReviewed by Alyssa Katanic

Animal Planet has been a loved source for learning about the habits of all different kinds of animals for decades now. Their cable network has put forth wonderful programs for animal lovers of all ages. They have also put out some amazing books, the newest of which is their Animal Bites series by Laaren Brown. Within this series, young readers can explore the habits & habitats of Polar, Ocean, Wild and Farm animals.

As always, the Animal Planet photography in these books is amazing! The pictures are gorgeous and include full page and two page spreads, as well as smaller pictures and collages.

8 08, 2016

Review: The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen

By | August 8th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Family, Friendships, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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last time we were us book coverReviewed by Amanda Farmer

When I read the description for The Last Time We Were Us, I thought it would be right up my alley. I love friendship stories–throw in one of the friends having juvie in their past and I am sold.

This is the story of Liz who wants nothing more than to be popular, have the perfect boyfriend, Innis, and rebuild her friendship with Jason, who has just gotten out of juvie for hurting Innis’ brother, Skip. This book is described as a southern story but there wasn’t a whole lot of southern charm in it. And even though there were a lot of typical teenage issues covered, I didn’t feel that the author handled any of them in the right way.

I struggled with reading this book and had to put it down many times.

30 07, 2016

Review: If You Were Me and Lived In Ancient Greece by Carole P. Roman

By | July 30th, 2016|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books|Tags: , |2 Comments

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if you were me and lived in ancient greece book coverReviewed by Alyssa Katanic

I have so much enjoyed Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived In… series, which introduces young children to cultures from around the globe. These sweet, simple books are great interest sparkers for young children just beginning to learn about the world outside of their own community. Roman introduces them to modern countries with rich roots like Kenya, Peru, Hungary, and many others, with a simple format that includes vocabulary from the native language, foods, traditional costumes, festivals, and favored vacation spots. Her newest series in this line, however, is historical!

29 07, 2016

Review: Black River Falls by Jeff Hirsch

By | July 29th, 2016|Categories: Adventures & Thrillers, Children's Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , |3 Comments

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black river falls book coverReviewed by Sarah Lelonek

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Black River Falls by Jeff Hirsch. I knew the book was about a quarantined town, and that’s about it. Really, that’s all I need to suck me into a young adult book. I like books with a darker premise. While I felt this particular novel took a few chapters to really get going, I thought Hirsch did a fantastic job at looking into what family means when memories are gone.

Cardinal, or Card as the kids he helps take care of call him, is one of the very few who weren’t infected by a virus that strips people of their memories. Interestingly, this virus was only distributed in one town.

24 07, 2016

Review: Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann

By | July 24th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Friendships, Pregnancy, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , |5 Comments

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ask me how i got here book coverReviewed by Alexander Morrison

Adrienne was living the good life of a suburban teenager. She had a nice, funny boyfriend. She was a track star for her Catholic high school. She was friendly with her mom and engaged in class. But when she gets pregnant accidentally, all that changes. She wants an abortion, but as a minor, there are roadblocks in her way. As she deals with the emotional fallout from her decision, she finds her relationships with her family, friends, and boyfriend changing, often in ways she never could have predicted.

The plot is familiar, but author Christine Heppermann comes at it from some intriguing, fascinating directions.

19 07, 2016

Review: You Know Me Well by David Levithan & Nina LaCour

By | July 19th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Friendships, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , |5 Comments

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you know me well book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

I may have a different sexual orientation and be almost twenty years older than the narrators of David Levithan and Nina LaCour’s You Know Me Well, but they are the most relatable fictional characters I’ve come across in a long time. High school and its drama may be well behind me, but even in adulthood there are still struggles with love, loss, fear, becoming, and moving forward—all things that Mark and Katie face both together and alone.

In an effort to impress his best friend Ryan, the object of his affections, Mark takes a chance and puts himself in the spotlight at a Pride party. But his decision has some unexpected results;

10 07, 2016

Review: Being a Captain is Hard Work by Carole P. Roman

By | July 10th, 2016|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books|Tags: , |0 Comments

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being a captain is hard work book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

Being a Captain is Hard Work begins with Captain No Beard on the deck of his ship, The Flying Dragon. This particular Captain is a bright eyed cartoon figure who has many friends on his crew–Mongo, Hallie, Polly, Cayla, and Zachary. At the start, Mongo looks through his telescope and notices a storm coming at the ship. He has a disagreement with the Captain who believes that the clouds are not stratocumulus (typical rain clouds) but rather white fluffy clouds that are cumulus in nature. As the storm clouds begin to rock the ship, the Captain relents and agrees that the storm clouds will prevent him from going to his destination, Dew Rite Volcano. We are not told why he wants to go there, but the story is pretty interesting so far.

3 07, 2016

Review: If You Were Me and Lived in…Egypt by Carole P. Roman

By | July 3rd, 2016|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books|Tags: , |0 Comments

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if you were me and lived in egypt book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

As the title suggests, If You Were Me and Lived in…Egypt describes what it’s like to live as a child in Egypt. The book begins by explaining to children where Egypt is located on the globe and that it’s a transcontinental country, meaning that it is located in both Africa and Asia. The author, Carole P. Roman, discusses the culture of Egypt, the capital city of Cairo, the Middle East in general, and provides an overall good introduction for children who may not be familiar with this region of the world.

25 06, 2016

Review: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

By | June 25th, 2016|Categories: Adventures & Thrillers, Children's Books, Love & Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Series, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |3 Comments

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exquisite captive book coverReviewed by Jamie Friddle

Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios is a thrilling and sensuous fantasy about a jinni named Nalia who has been sold into slavery. The story rapidly captivates the audience and keeps a steady yet fast pace throughout the novel. Fans of myths, fantasy, and magic will adore this new series that has a modern twist!

Demetrios is an excellent creator of worlds and is very unique, using imagery to create a glorious yet chilling setting. The main protagonist and heroine is Nalia, the only surviving Ghan Aisouri, and the rightful heir to the Arjinni throne. Nalia was the only survivor of a deadly attack that killed nearly everyone she loved, except her young brother who is in a work camp, held captive by the Ifrits.

19 06, 2016

Review: A Sunny Day by Eric Cash

By | June 19th, 2016|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books|Tags: , |0 Comments

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a sunny day book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

A Sunny Day is part of the Cave Kiddos series by the author Eric Cash. On the back of the book, Cash talks about being interested in children’s speech development because his own children experienced delays in their speech.

Cave children Alk, Haha, Lala, and Zee have a short adventure where they discover water in bowls. The book begins with Alk, the main character, coming out of his cave, raising his club, and yelling “Waaa!” The rest of the children follow, carrying four bowls of water and saying, “Wa” while another cave child says “Ter.” Everyone seems surprised.