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Children's Lit Middle Grade Reads Weekly Reviews

From the Desk of Zoe Washington – MG Book Review

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Title: From the Desk of Zoe Washington
Author: Janae Marks
Date Published: January 14, 2020
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
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I have two words: MOST NEEDED. This should be the book put into every single classroom curriculum this year from 4th through 8th grade. Seriously, the discussions that could be had because of this book would change the way we discuss race with our students completely.

Let me back up, Zoe Washington is the story of a girl who loves baking, her best friend, her parents, and writing letters with her two besties. Then she discovers a letter from her dad, her biological dad who has been in prison her entire life. When she hides the letter and writes back the discussion about race and wrongful imprisonment come to light and shine throughout this book which is a great conversation starter for younger kids and definitely should not be the end of that discussion with them. Thankfully Zoe has a happy ending but I won’t reveal what it is or how we got there.

Though the material presented in this book is heavy, the way it is presented is easily relatable and understandable for our middle grade kiddos. I am so glad I had an opportunity to read this book, and I know most readers will. I recommend this book to everyone, young and old, of all races, religions, etc. Everyone needs to know Zoe’s story because it is the story of thousands of Black girls throughout our country. Thank you Janae Marks for writing this story.

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Children's Lit Middle Grade Reads Weekly Reviews

Curse of the Night Witch (Emblem Island #1) by Alex Aster

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Title:Curse of the Night Witch
Author: Alex Aster
Publisher: Sourcebooks Young Readers
Publishing Date: June 9, 2020
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In the spirit of Percy Jackson, this epic fantasy adventure novel had me turning the pages as fast as I could! Emblem Island is a place of magic, but none like we have read about before. And when a young boy wishes for a future different that what he has been given, he ends up cursed along with his best friend, and a girl from his class. They must break the curse by finding the Night Witch.

What I found the most lovable about this trio is that they reminded me so much of Harry, Ron and Hermione from the Harry Potter franchise. Tor, born with the leadership emblem, is our fearless hero, his best friend, Engle, is the lovable side kick, and Melda, is witty, brave, and sometimes annoying, but overall a wonderful friend to have by Tor’s side. This type of trio is often found in epic fantasies and is one of my favorite parts of the structure of these types of middle grade literature.

The most frustrating part was the ending… WHAT A CLIFF HANGER! I cannot wait to see what happens in book 2! I highly recommend this to fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, For readers ages 9- 14, and for anyone who needs a little magic and a little adventure in their lives.

Categories
Weekly Reviews YA Reviews

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

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Title: The Grace Year
Author: Kim Liggett
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publishing Date: October 8, 2019
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WOW! This was a phenomenal story and a phenomenal audio book. In a dystopian world, women are born with magic and during their grace year, are banished from the community into the wilderness to burn it all off. It becomes clear the the main character, Tierney, that this is just a way to keep the women in control and to keep them oppressed, but when she tries to point the truth out to the other girls in her grace year, they turn on her.

Tierney is a wonderful and strong character in the likeness of other strong girls coming out of dystopian literature such as Katniss and Tris. She was relatable and likeable in many ways and imperfect in many ways. I was on the edge of my seat listening to this story, wondering what was going to happen to Tierney and the women in her community.

This is a YA book recommended to ages 14 and up. I definitely recommend it to women who like feminist works, anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction, and those who are fans of The Hunger Games, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Divergent.

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bookstagram

Getting ARCs – A Free Comprehensive Guide

What is an ARC?
ARC stands for Advanced Reader Copy sometimes also known as a galley copy. They are books printed during the editing process before the publication date. They are printed in small batches and are distributed for free to reviewers, librarians, award committees etc. that will give feedback to the author and publisher before the final edition is printed and who will get the word out about the book to get preorder numbers on the book up.

Why do I want an ARC?
Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Usually when you request an ARC you are promising the publisher or author an honest review before the publication date. So if you cannot write a full review before publishing, make sure you don’t ask for an ARC as they are limited and expensive for the publisher and author to have printed. If you aren’t sure if you can get to it, but want to try, request an e-ARC (more information to come below)

Before Requesting

Gather your social media and blog stats. To do this on Instagram and Twitter you will have to switch to a business account (which is free). The more you know and can prove your worth, the better your chance will be to recieve ARCs. Know your followers on all platforms, how many people see your posts on average and how many people take actions based on your posts on average (likes, RT, saves, profile visits etc.) Make sure you have samples of book reviews ready and have posted several on Goodreads and Amazon. Make sure they are lengthy and thorough, but not terribly long, so that the publishers can get a good feel for how you review books without having to read a novel. Set up your Netgalley account and Edelweiss accounts for E-Arcs.

Ways to Get ARCs Before You have a Huge Following

There are several ways to get ARCs while you are still building a large following on platforms. If you don’t have a TWITTER get one! Authors and Readers giveaway ARCs like crazy on Twitter. If you are a teacher or librarian there are even more opportunities for you there. Follow all your favorite authors. Anytime I read a book I follow the author that wrote it. Also follow as many publishers as you can find. Tag these accounts in positive reviews and shout outs as much as possible. Sometimes when they see you shouting from the rooftops how much you love their books, they will remember you when their next one comes out.

Goodreads giveaways are a good place to win ARCs. The more reviews you write on Goodreads compared to how may books you have on your shelf, the more likely you will win a book on Goodreads. I am not sure what the statistics are or the ratio, but I have heard from several sources that you are more likely to win if you have written reviews.

Bookish First is another great community for receiving ARCs. Bookish First is a platform in which you leave the publishers first look feedback, get entered to win an ARC and earn points to turn in for ARCs. I have already received 2 ARCS from them and just joined in April (and haven’t been active this month AT ALL ). Go to BookishFirst.com and when you join, enter in my referral code for some extra bonus points to start off with a9f935be700381f89

Netgalley is by far the easiest place to get ARCs. Make sure you have a well filled out profile. You can start requesting eARCs right away. Make sure you check out a couple that are “instant approvals” or “read now” books. Keep your review percentage above 80% before you request more books (hint: request a picture book every so often so you have an easy and quick read to boost that percentage up!)

The Email to Send to Publishers

Okay so if you are wanting a specific list of PHYSICAL ARCs you will most likely have to request them from the marketing department of the publishers. If you have a small following, or have never requested before, start with small indie publishers first! A lot of the big publishers won’t work with you until you have a massive following (10K and up on Instagram) You need to request ARCs in a 3 to 5 month window of the book being published. For example: It is June 26th so if I were going to request ARCs today I would be looking at books publishing between September and November. I could possibly look at early December publications and request them as well, but likely wouldn’t be able to receive those yet. Note: During the COVID pandemic A LOT of publishers are not able to distribute physical ARCs or review copies of books so be aware that you will likely be offered an eARC of a book if you request physical copies at this time.

Here is the email I send: Make sure you put in ALL of your social media platforms in the email not just the ones I included (I do not have a bookish facebook page/group and I do not have booktube so those would be 2 that you could include.)

Hello, My name is Erin Decker McDowell and I am a PreK through 12th grade librarian, education fantastic, book reviewer and literacy advocate. I am really interested in the following books coming out in the near future and I was wondering if you had any ARCs available of any of these or similar titles. I am willing to publish reviews on my blog, Goodreads and Amazon for anything I request and share anything else that you send with my followers as well as the ARC trading group, #BookPosse on Twitter which is comprised of 32 members who retweet each other’s ARC shares, reviews etc. and ship ARCS within our group. I am interested in these titles because I mostly read YA and MG fiction and particularly enjoy fantasy stories. I of course read other things such as picture books, adult titles, MG/YA historical fiction and contemporary fiction.

Here are the titles I am interested in as well as my current social media stats:
[INCLUDE SPECIFIC LIST OF BOOKS WITH TITLE, AUTHOR and ISBN NUMBER]

Instagram: @BibliophilePrints 6153 Followers with 10 – 20 new followers each week 25,000-30,000 Impressions each week 300 Website clicks each week (including an Amazon link in which I list all books sent to me for marketing purposes) Audience is 95% Women, mostly #bookstagram
Twitter: @ErinBookDragon 1446 Followers 375.8K impressions a month 
20 link clicks each day 550 Retweets each month

Part of #BookPosse (at least 3 tweets per title per reader that receives it) Audience is mostly educators and librarians
Blog: ErinDeckerBlog.wordpress.com (165 followers) 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/erindecker (157 Followers) 
If you decide to ship these or any other books my address is 
[INCLUDE YOUR ADDRESS HERE]

Thank you so much for your consideration! -Erin Decker McDowell

This is MY email. So make sure to edit and tailor it to YOUR truth. I will say, I mostly receive ARCs BECAUSE I am a librarian, not because my social media accounts have a high following or interactions. If you are interested in ARC sharing groups, I have more information below about that. Please note that I am not the person to ask to join #BookPosse and at the time of this article, Book Posse is not taking new members.

Some Popular Publishers Marketing Accounts

Here are the contact Emails for some of the publishers that I have requested from. Note these are current as of June 2020 and may change at a later date so be sure to look up name of publisher MARKETING to find the correct email addresses if these bounce back. When you email, you will PROBABLY not get a reply from anyone. Do not hound publishers. Books may show up at your home, they may not. If they don’t try again in a month with a new request and updated stats.

Penguin Random House Group:

AVERY and VIKING STUDIO
averystudiopublicity@us.penguingroup.com
Fax: 212-366-2636

BERKLEY, NAL, ACE, ROC, DAW BOOKS, PERIGEE, HP BOOKS, CELEBRA, JOVE, ONYX, PRENTICE HALL, PRIME CRIME, SIGNET
BerkleyNALpublicity@us.penguingroup.com

BLUE RIDER PRESS
blueriderpublicity@us.penguingroup.com

DK
publicity@dk.com
e-mail only

DK EYEWITNESS TRAVEL
DKtravelpublicity@us.penguingroup.com
e-mail only

DUTTON
duttonpublicity@us.penguingroup.com
Fax: 212-366-2262

G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS
putnampublicity@us.penguingroup.com
Fax: 212-366-2636

GOTHAM
gothampublicity@us.penguingroup.com
Fax: 212-366-2262

HUDSON STREET PRESS
hudsonstreetpresspublicity@us.penguingroup.com
e-mail only

PENGUIN BOOKS
penguinpublicity@us.penguingroup.com
e-mail only

Note: Penguin Books and The Penguin Press are two separate departments. If you are uncertain which department to contact, please look up the book/author on the website for further details. Also, this email address is for books published specifically by the Penguin Books imprint (department), not for any and all titles published by the company, The Penguin Group (USA). Misdirected requests may be delayed, so please use the information listed on our site to direct your correspondence to the appropriate division.

THE PENGUIN PRESS
ppresspublicity@us.penguingroup.com
e-mail only

Note: Penguin Books and The Penguin Press are two separate departments. If you are uncertain which department to contact, please look up the book/author on the website for further details.

PLUME
plumepublicity@us.penguingroup.com
Fax: 212-366-2815

PORTFOLIO SENTINEL
portfoliopublicity@us.penguingroup.com
e-mail only

RIVERHEAD HARDCOVER
publicityriverhead@penguinrandomhouse.com
Fax: 212-366-2636

RIVERHEAD TRADE PAPERBACKS
publicityriverhead@penguinrandomhouse.com
Fax: 212-366-2385

ROUGH GUIDES
roughguidespublicity@us.penguingroup.com
e-mail only

SENTINEL
sentinelpublicity@us.penguingroup.com
e-mail only

TARCHER
tarcherpublicity@us.penguingroup.com
Fax: 212-366-2636

VIKING
vikingpublicity@us.penguingroup.com
e-mail only

YOUNG READERS: DIAL BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS, DUTTON CHILDREN’S BOOKS, FIREBIRD, FREDERICK WARNE, G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS, GROSSET & DUNLAP, MINEDITION, PHILOMEL BOOKS, PRICE STERN SLOAN, PUFFIN, RAZORBILL, SPEAK, VIKING CHILDREN’S BOOKS
youngreaderspublicity@us.penguingroup.com
Fax: 212-414-3393

Hachette Group:

Grand Central Publishing: grandcentralpublishing@hbgusa.com

Little, Brown and Company: publicity@littlebrown.com

Hachette Audio: audiobooks.generic@hbgusa.com

Little Brown Books for Young Readers: publicity@lbchildrens.com

Center Street: centerstreetpub@hbgusa.com

FaithWords: fwpublicity@hbgusa.com

Orbit: orbit.generic@hbgusa.com

Perseus Books:

HBG Canada:publicity@hbgcanada.com

HarperCollins Group:

Amistad – Courtney.Nobile@harpercollins.com
Avon – MorrowGroupPRrequests@harpercollins.com
Broadside Books – Tina.Andreadis@harpercollins.com
Custom House – MorrowGroupPRrequests@harpercollins.com
Dey Street – MorrowGroupPRrequests@harpercollins.com
Ecco Books – Sonya.Cheuse@harpercollins.com
Harper Books, Harper Business, Harper Design – Tina.Andreadis@harpercollins.com
Harper Luxe – Pamela.Jaffee@harpercollins.com
Harper Paperbacks – Kelly.Rudolph@harpercollins.com
Harper Perennial – Tina.Andreadis@harpercollins.com
William Morrow – MorrowGroupPRrequests@harpercollins.com
HarperCollins Children’s Books (all imprints) – HCCBpublicity@harpercollins.com
Harlequin – Lisa.Wray@harpercollins.com , Heather.Connor@harpercollins.com

Simon & Schuster

Corporate Communications
General Phone: 212-698-7033
General Fax: 212-698-7035
Adam Rothberg
Vice President, Director of
Corporate Communications
Corporate.Communications
@simonandschuster.com

Adams Media
General Phone: 508-427-7100
General Fax: 508-427-6790
Beth Gissinger
Director of Marketing and Publicity
AdamsPublicity@simonandschuster.com

Atria Books, Howard Books
General Phone: 212-698-7086
General Fax: 212-632-8083
Kristin Fassler
Vice President, Director of Integrated Marketing
AtriaPublicity@simonandschuster.com
HowardPublicity@simonandschuster.com

Avid Reader Press
General Phone: 212-698-7433
General Fax: 212-632-7695
Jordan Rodman
Deputy Director of Publicity
AvidReaderPublicity@simonandschuster.com

Children’s Publishing
(All Imprints)
General Phone: 212-698-2808
General Fax: 212-698-4350
Lauren Hoffman
Vice President, Marketing and Publicity
ChildrensPublicity@simonandschuster.com

Gallery Books, Pocket Books, Saga Press
General Phone: 212-698-7625
General Fax: 212-698-8083
Sally Marvin
Vice President, Director of Publicity
GalleryPublicity@simonandschuster.com

Scribner
General Phone: 212-632-4915
General Fax: 212-632-4957
Brian Belfiglio
Vice President, Director of Publicity
ScribnerPublicity@simonandschuster.com

Simon & Schuster, Free Press, Threshold Editions
General Phone: 212-698-7541
General Fax: 212-698-7336
Julia Prosser
Vice President, Director of
Publicity
SSPublicity@simonandschuster.com

Simon & Schuster Audio
General Phone: 212-698-2837
General Fax: 212-698-7664
Lauren Pires
Publicity Manager
AudioPublicity@simonandschuster.com

Tiller Press
General Phone: 212-698-7285
Marlena Brown
Publicity Manager
TillerPublicity@simonandschuster.com

Touchstone
General Phone: 212-698-7466
General Fax: 212-632-7695
Meredith Vilarello
TouchstonePublicity@
simonandschuster.com

International

Canada
General Phone: 800-387-0446
General Fax: 647-430-9446
Adria Iwasutiak
Director of Publicity
SSCanadaPublicity@Simonandschuster.ca

United Kingdom
General Phone: 0207 316 1942
General Fax: 0207 3160331
Polly Osborn
Adult Marketing and Publicity Director
Publicity.Enquiries@simonandschuster.co.uk

Australia
General Phone: 612 9983 6654
Anna O’Grady
Director of Publicity
PR@Simonandschuster.au

India
Tel: +91 120 4089389
Shobhita Narayan
Manager, Publicity and Marketing
publicity@simonandschuster.co.in

Macmillan Group

 Celadon Books: contact@celadonbooks.com
• Farrar, Straus and Giroux: fsg.publicity@fsgbooks.com
• Flatiron Books: publicity@flatironbooks.com
• Henry Holt: publicity@hholt.com
• Macmillan Audio: macmillan.audio@macmillan.com
• Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group: childrens.publicity@macmillanusa.com
• Picador: publicity@picadorusa.com
• St. Martin’s Press: publicity@stmartins.com
• Tor/Forge: Torpublicity@tor.com
• Tor.com Publishing: TorDotComPub@tor.com

These are just some of the MANY MANY publishers out there. If you find a book whose publisher is NOT on this look google the name of the publisher + “publicity contact” to find the correct contact information.

ARC Sharing Groups

So an ARC sharing group is exactly what it sounds like: a group of like minded readers, who share ARCs with one another. There are a LOT of ARC sharing groups amongst the librarian community, but I have not seen it so much in the reader community especially in regards to YA and Adult books. Authors and publishers are more likely to send ARCs to members of an ARC sharing group with a good reputation because they know that the group will do a good job with marketing the book. They also know that sending their 1 copy to a group will not just be reviewed once, but potentially many times. If you cannot find a group to join, I suggest starting one. Make sure you start a group WITH ARCS READY TO SHARE. Don’t start one and expect people to come to you with their ARCs. Even if you just start with one or two ARCs and recruit trustworthy members with one or two, this is a good start. Come up with a name for your group and keep it small to begin with (less than 10 members and I would suggest never getting bigger than 30) Make sure all members have reviewed books before, are familiar with emailing publishers, and are willing to promote posts amongst members. For the ARC sharing group I am a part of we are required on Twitter to share the book 3 times tagging all publishers and authors (when we receive, while reading and again while we pass it on) then all 30 members of our group must RT the book giving each book we ALL read a total of 2700 tweets! That is a lot of exposure between the 30 of us and all of our followers which is why we are more likely to get ARCs sent to us. Actually since the group is fairly established, authors and publishers often come to us and not the other way around. If you start a group keep track of member information and ARC information in an organized Google spreadsheet. Make sure everyone can afford to ship books to one another often. Keep everyone in the group circulating books so they can reach as many members as possible before publication.

What to do with an ARC when you are finished with it?
Keep it or pass it on. I personally know how much work goes into the production of ARCs and hate keeping them sitting on my shelf. I only keep them if they are signed or especially special to me. Otherwise I share them with my ARC sharing group or a friend I know will review or enjoy it. My last resort is to put it in a Free Little Library. The one thing you should not do with an ARC is sell it! DO NOT SELL ARCS. It is not illegal, BUT it will get you blacklisted by publishers and will ruin your relationship with them.

Answering Your Q&A:

Do publishers ship internationally? Honestly… I have no idea! Probably some do to huge accounts that are worth the shipping and customs fees. My suggestion is to look into publishers in your country to start with.

Are you obligated to review? IF YOU ASK FOR AN ARC YES! If you win an ARC or are sent one unsolicited, no. Publishers watch though, if you email a publisher and ask for an ARC they will watch for your review. If you want to continue working for them, review it!

Should I pay $95 to get advice on requesting ARCS? NO. This is such a waste of money. There is SO much information online to getting ARCS. Besides what I just spent a couple hours writing above here are some other great guides:

How to Get ARCS – A guide

How to Get Advanced Reader Copies for Free

On Requesting ARCs and Working with Publishers

Got more questions? DM me on Instagram @BibliophilePrints OR email me erin@bibliophileprints.com and I will try to answer your questions or find someone who can!

Categories
Children's Lit Middle Grade Reads Weekly Reviews

Horace & Bunwinkle by P.J. Gardner

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Title: Horace and Bunwinkle
Author: PJ Gardner
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publishing Date: September 15, 2020
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This is one of the cutest debut novels I have read this year! I absolutely adored the premise of this story and the characters. Ellie is the owner of Horace, a slightly grumpy and anxiety filled Boston Terrier. When she moves herself and Horace out to a farm and adopts the adorable Bunwinkle, a piglet with a heart on her nose, chaos and mystery ensue!

I absolutely adored the playful and sweet relationship between Horace and Bunwinkle. This is a perfect example of a friendship where opposites attract.

This book is perfect for reluctant readers as it is just plain fun! I recommend for ages 7 – 9 (late 1st grade to early 4th grade), for anyone who loves a mystery or fun animal story!

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Uncategorized

Five on Friday – Diverse Literature Week 1

I am hoping that this post will become a weekly discussion of my favorite diverse books. Now, more than ever we need to support diverse voices and make sure that our children are hearing them too so that they can understand a variety of communities.

  1. A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat
    Publisher: Candlewick Press
    Publishing Date: March 25, 2020
    My Review: 5 Stars
    Age Group: MG – 4-8th grades
    Sensitive Content: classism, prison, children born out of wedlock, abuse of power
    Diversity: Christina Soontornvat is Thai and this book is influenced heavily on Thai culture
    Add on Goodreads
    Purchase on Amazon
  2. Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
    Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
    Publishing Date: October 8, 2019
    My Review: 3 Stars
    Age Group: MG – 4-8th grades
    Sensitive Content: bullying, death, homophobia
    Diversity: Jason Reynolds is a Black author and his characters in this novel span through different ethnicities, races, and across the LBGTQ spectrum
    Add on Goodreads
    Purchase on Amazon
  3. They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
    Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
    Publishing Date: July 16, 2019
    My Review: 5 Stars
    Age Group: YA Graphic Novel
    Sensitive Content: internment camps, homophobia, racism
    Diversity: George Takei is a Japanese American and gay
    Add on Goodreads
    Purchase on Amazon
  4. Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo
    Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
    Publishing Date: October 23, 2018
    My Review: 5 Stars
    Age Group: MG – 3rd – 8th grade
    Sensitive Content: bullying, monster fighting, some allusion to curse words
    Diversity: Ryan Calejo is hispanic and Charlie Hernandez brings in a lot of Latin American myths and legends into his story
    Add on Goodreads
    Purchase on Amazon
  5. The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
    Publisher: Kokila
    Publishing Date: March 6, 2018
    My Review: 5 Stars
    Age Group: MG – 4th- 8th grade
    Sensitive Content: death, violence, illness
    Diversity: Author is Jewish American/ Hindu Indian, characters in this book are in India and the MC is half-Muslim, half-Hindu
    Add on Goodreads
    Purchase on Amazon
Categories
Children's Lit Weekly Reviews

Noodle Bear by Mark Graves: Picture Book Review

Title: Noodle Bear
Author: Mark Graves
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publishing Date: July 14, 2020
Ages: 3-7 Years Old
Sensitive Content: None
Add on Goodreads
Purchase on Amazon

Noodle Bear is a fun and entertaining book about a bear obsessed with Noodles. I enjoyed this cute story and I can see my students in early grades really enjoying this silly little bear. This is a great story to just escape into with your kids and read over and over again. I know as a child I loved pasta and would have found this little bear so silly, yet so relatable. I gave this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend to teachers and parents of 3-5 year olds.

Categories
Children's Lit Weekly Reviews

Catkwondo by Lisl H. Detlefsen: Picture Book Review

Title: Catkwondo
Author: Lisl H. Detlefsen
Publisher: Capstone
Publishing Date: September 1, 2020
For Ages: 4-7
Sensitive Content: None
Add on Goodreads
Purchase on Amazon

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an E-ARC of this cute book!

I picked out Catkwondo to request because of the adorable little kitty on the cover. While I did enjoy the illustrations throughout, I found the storyline a little lacking. This isn’t a book that all children will enjoy, but it is a book that children interested in martial arts will enjoy. I did appreciate the Korean words thrown throughout the story as well as the glossary of these words in the back of the book. This type type of diversity is needed in stories. Overall I gave this book a 3/5 just because it wasn’t a story for me, or for any child that I know as well as for being a little flat in the storyline. The pictures are adorable and I know if I ever have a child in my life that loves Karate or Taekwondo that I will get this book for them.

Categories
Children's Lit Weekly Reviews

The Lady with the Books by Kathy Stinson – Children’s Book Review

Title: The Lady with the Books
Author: Kathy Stinson
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publishing Date: October 6, 2020
Sensitive Content: Mention of a dead father (killed in WWII)
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Purchase on Amazon

The Lady with the Books is the tale of children after World War II in Germany. Their city is destroyed and they are starving. But they find solace in a book display at a nearby museum and leave inspired to perhaps change the world. I loved this little slice of history that hardly anyone talks about. After WWII, German children were the victims of so much hate, a poor economy, and lost parents. This book reminds us that there is hope out there in the world with the next generation and that we can always find hope and solace in books.

I was happy to read in the footnotes of the book who “The Lady with the Books” actually was and how she brought this exhibit to cities around Germany. I was also happy to learn about what happened to the collection and the Book Castle.

I would recommend this book to my early non fiction readers, anyone who adores children’s literature, and to students learning about the aftermath of WWII.

Categories
Children's Lit Weekly Reviews

Through the Night Sky by DK: Children’s Book Review

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Title: Through the Night Sky
Author: DK
Publisher: DK
Publishing Date: September 8, 2020
Sensitive Content: None
Add on Goodreads
Purchase on Amazon

Through the Night Sky offers a non-fiction narrative of different short entries about things that happen in the night. From what animals do, to bits and pieces about space to solar eclipses, comets, and the northern lights. This is the perfect book for young readers who love little snippets of facts about different subjects, especially science.

Perhaps my favorite part of this book is the way the pictures are laid out throughout this book. They are a mix of layered media art with photographs, painted collages similar to Eric Carle’s work, and splatter paints. I was amazed by the beauty in these pages and could look through them over and over again.

A solid 4.5 stars for this non fiction children’s book. Perfect for little scientists in the making ages 6 – 10.