Categories
Children's Lit

New Book Mail – Sourcebooks

Thank you to Sourcebooks for sending me mail!

Once More Upon a Time is 130 pages, adult fantasy romance, and will be released in hardback on October 5, 2021

PreOrder Link for $13.79: https://bookshop.org/a/9858/9781728239828

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight is YA, 242 pages, is currently out in Hardback ( https://bookshop.org/a/9858/9781492678892 ) and will be released in paperback on September 7, 2021 for $10.11
Preorder the Paperback: https://bookshop.org/a/9858/9781728240237

Beaver and Otter Get Along… Sort Of is a Non Fiction picture book for ages 4+ which releases September 7th in hardcover and paperback simultaneously
PreOrder the Paperback ($8.27) : https://bookshop.org/a/9858/9781728232256
PreOrder the Hardcover ($15.62): https://bookshop.org/a/9858/9781728232249

Categories
Children's Lit Middle Grade Reads Weekly Reviews

Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie- MG Fiction Review

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Title: Scritch Scratch
Author: Lindsay Currie
Publisher: SourceBooks for Young Readers
Publishing Date: September 1, 2020
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Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this e-ARC

Scritch Scratch had me on the edge of my seat for the entirety of this story! I couldn’t put this down. I was asked to be on Lindsay’s street team for this novel and I have enjoyed getting to know her while helping her get the word out about this story. when I finally sat down to read it I couldn’t have been more impressed. Horror is not an easy genre to write for kids. You can’t make it too scary or it becomes too much, but you don’t want it to come off as too silly either. Kids like to be thrilled and scared sometimes! I know this will be recommended in my library to my students who love a good thrill!

The characters in Scritch Scratch are so relatable so I know students in grades 4-8 will be able to relate to them as well. There is a good blend of frightening scenes with realistic friendships, sibling relationships, and relationships with parents.

I would recommend this to fans of Goosebumps and Mary Downing Hahn books.

Categories
Children's Lit Middle Grade Reads Weekly Reviews

Maurice and His Dictionary- Picture Book Review

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Title: Maurice and His Dictionary: A True Story
Author: Cary Fagan
Publisher: Owlkid Books
Publishing Date: October 15, 2020
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Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an E-Arc of this book.

Maurice and His Dictionary is a wonderful true story of a boy who worked around so many roadblocks to get his education. Maurice fled Europe during WWII and ended up in an internment camp where he couldn’t finish high school. He managed to get tutors from all over the camp and studied to get into a local school and take a test to finally get his diploma. He then pursued University in Canada at the age of 16.

I really liked the perseverance of Maurice and his family as well as the fact that this was a true story. I do wish the ending was a little more resolved so that it was just a bit longer and we could find out what happened to Maurice in the later years of his life. The author’s note provides a little of this and the real history behind this story, but it still doesn’t feel totally wrapped up like it should.

Would recommend to lovers of history, fans of graphic novels and students in grades 3-6.

Categories
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.

Categories
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
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!

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
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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
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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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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
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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.