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

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
Planning

The Bookworm’s Guide to Travel

Today I am heading to Portland to visit one of my bookstagram reps and friends. I am PUMPED!

There are certain items you always know to pack when you are travelling like a toothbrush and extra socks. Seasoned travelers are better at packing than those of us who only take one vacation every three years. My sister can pack for a week in a tiny suitcase where sometimes I feel like I have enough stuff to last a month when I travel. But all bookworm’s know there is nothing worse than a 4 hour layover in an airport without a book and a dead e-reader battery. So here are 7 things every bookworm should travel with.

  1. A Bookish Star Designs Rice Bag – This is for when you get to your destination and you have been sitting in the car or on a plane for hours and your shoulders are sore and you just want to relax in your hotel room. These rice bags just need a microwave to be heated up and they come in so many bookish and nerdy patterns. There is something in Laura’s shop for everyone. I highly recommend the large size to drape over your shoulders. You can get this March exclusive pattern here. Use the code WELLREAD10 to save 10%

2. An e-reader – You cannot lug around your entire physical library easily. I mean maybe you have room for 2 or 3 books but you need choices right? Make sure you grab an e-reader to travel with and don’t forget the charger. Before you leave home load it up with free books from BookBub and your library. I recommend the Kindle Fire 32 GB e-reader which allows you to also download music and games.

3. A Book Sleeve … or 2 – Book sleeves are made to keep your books cozy in your bag without getting damaged. There are many book sleeve companies and some are much better than others. This book sleeve comes from InLumosLibertas and you can get it here. Use ReadBreathe10 at checkout for 10% off.

4. Headphones – Pack a good pair of headphones so you can read peacefully on the plane and drown out those screaming babies with some classical music. Or load up some audiobooks to listen to in the car if someone else is driving. I recommend this pair from Amazon which comes if 5 different colors.

5. Bookmarks – Make sure that for every physical book you have that you have packed a pretty bookmark inside of it. I always like to get bookmarks that match the books I am reading in some way or another. This bookmark and more are available at BibliophilePrints. Use code TOREAD10 to save 10%

6. A Bookish Water Bottle – For those long drives you need a good sized water bottle. I know on flights you cannot take liquids, but you could stick this in your suitcase so that when you get where you are going you have something cute to put a drink in when you go to the pool or to the beach. This adorable one is from EnchantedFandom and you can grab it here.

7. Bookish Enamel Pins – You definitely need these to put on your travel backpack so that other people know you are a bookworm. If you are flying stick them in your checked luggage so you can go through security! This one is from one of my favorite bookish pin shops, FableandBlack and you can get it here.

Let’s Chat

What are your favorite bookish items to travel with besides books?

Categories
Children's Lit Middle Grade Reads Weekly Reviews

Spindrift and the Orchid

In a world full of magic, there is only a handful of items that can grant the owner full and complete power: the Orchids. Spindrift is a girl who lives with her grandfather above his shop full of curious magical items. She knows her parents died when she was a baby in a shipwreck and somehow that she was sent away from the ship in a small boat with a glass ball. She doesn’t know much else about her parents until her grandfather pulls out a box full of letters that were written by Spindrift’s mother. Together they read the letters one by one in the evenings. As she finds out the secrets that led Sprindrift’s mother to her death, Spindrift has a decision to make: does she let the Orchid’s control her or does she let them go, once and for all?

Orchid Divider

There were many elements to this book that I absolutely loved. This world has a sense of magic that is unlike most and the ideas behind the orchids was absolutely beautiful. I liked Spindrift as a character, but most of the other characters fell flat for me. They just didn’t have much of a personality. The twins, Spindrift’s friends, could have been interchangeable because they both had the same personality which was that they didn’t have a personality. Spindrift’s grandfather as the secondary character in this novel should have had more of a presence but even he had some major flaws and conflicting story lines.

Orchid Divider

There were many moments in this book where the writing was clumsy or a little awkward. When I finished I thought for sure that this was a debut novel because the writing style just didn’t seem developed enough to be from an author who has had more than a dozen books published.

Orchid Divider

I gave this book 3 out 5 stars. I would recommend this to middle grade readers who like a fantasy adventure book with a female protagonist.

Title: Spindrift and the Orchid

Author: Emma Trevayne

Publishing Date: May 8, 2018

Amazon Purchase: Click Here

Categories
Children's Lit

Favorite Books from My Childhood

All bookworms link the magical feeling of reading to something that sparked their interest in reading at a young age. There are those  magical books that you wish you could read again for the first time and those that make you feel all the warm-fuzzy-nostalgic feels. You see the covers of those books and it takes you back in place to a time and place where you are sitting in your dad’s recliner and smelling your mom’s cooking. You pick it up and you remember exactly where you were when you read it and how it made you feel. 

These are the books from my childhood that bring back that warmth and make me want to be a kid again just so I can reread these for the first time. 

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The Chronicles of Narnia series is one of the first series of books I remember my mom reading to me. Looking at the books reminds me of how my sister and I used to clamber up into her bed and huddle around her while she read. I still remember the soft glow of the lamp beside her bed and the way my parents’ room smelled in our childhood home. I remember the floral comforter my parents had and the pink pajamas I wore. This series really ignited my love for all fantasy books. I always hoped that one day I would open my closet door and discover it had changed into a snowy landscape or an ocean full of adventure.

Little House Series

Back in the day, Scholastic Book Club was the OG subscription box service for kids. We used to sign up for a club at the beginning of each school year and each month we would get a package with a book and some other goodies. In 5th grade my mom signed me up for the Little House Club and I managed to get all of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and then some. I think each month I got one from the Little House series, a related activity book, and a non series book like her journals and some of the prequels and sequels about her mom, grandmother, and daughter (written by other authors). I still have my original set of books in this series and I remember that red and white box being delivered to my teacher each month and tearing into the goodies that came with it when I got home.

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In 4th grade I was obsessed with the Dear America books. I remember loving the diary format. I started keeping my own diary then thinking that one day my thoughts might be important enough to turn into a book (HAHA). The first one I read was The Winter of Red Snow about The Revolutionary War. I still remember exactly where these were in my elementary school library and I still remember reading my favorites and putting them carefully into my backpack as the school day wound down. Someone recently told me that in Canada there was a Dear Canada series that was like the same thing. It blew my mind.

The Boxcar Children

The Boxcar Children was one of those older books that delighted me because the idea of living a life without adults seemed fantastic in some ways. I loved the first and second book enough to reread them several times in my life. The last year I taught 3rd grade, we read this as a class book. I know I read a lot more than the first 2 in this series but I don’t think the mysteries appealed to me as much as the adventure in the first 2 books.

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I saved my favorite for last. I feel like I grew up with Harry Potter in some ways. I read the first book when I first got ahold of it at the end of second grade. It had already gotten a lot of buzz in the book world because it had been published a year before in the UK. By the time my mom had put a hold on it at out library we were 135th in line to get it. When I finally got it in my hands I was so excited. I had heard so much about the magical world contained in the pages. At this time, I wasn’t reading chapter books to myself. My mom would read with me. She looked at the size of the book and told me there was NO WAY she was going to read it out loud to me. I was devastated. But then I was determined. I read Harry Potter to myself. And then with each additional publishing I read those too. I read the first book when I was 7 and the last one came out right after my 16th birthday. I had truly grown up with Harry by my side. 

What childhood books were your favorites? I cannot wait to hear your memories associated with them.

 

 

NOTE: All links are affiliate links and I get a small percentage of all sales associated with the clicking and purchasing of the links embedded in this post. 

Categories
TTT

Top Ten Tuesday – Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With

Top Ten Tuesday is a Bookish Blog Series hosted by That Artsy Reader

 

Oh man. I know I read to escape the day-to-day in life and there are many a times I wish I could switch places with a character in a book. In no particular order here are the characters I would switch places with.

One

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter Series. I would rather be Ginny than one of the Golden Trio because she still plays an important role in the series without being a huge part of the drama. I don’t think I could handle the stress of being Hermione. I mean. The time turner thing in book 3 boggles my mind. I would mess everything up because I would be too stressed out to sleep.

Two

fangirlCath from Fangirl. I loved Cath in this novel and her sweet romance in real life. Plus I love the idea of having a twin sister. I absolutely adore my own sister and we are very close but I know twins share a closeness that is a little different.  I also wish I could write more and could go back to college and learn more creative writing skills.

Three

The Raven Boys

Blue from the Raven Boys. Hanging out with sweet and hot guys with a fun secret? Yes please! I loved Blue in this novel. I think it would be interesting to live the life she has in her less-than-normal home environment full of psychics.

Four

Caraval

Tella from Caraval. Or Scarlett. Really either of them. I just want to experience Caraval once and the magic that it brings to a fun game. I cannot wait for Finale to be released this year!!!

Five

Fire and Heist

Sky in Fire & Heist. I WANT TO BE A WEREDRAGON. Isn’t that enough reason? No? Okay how about I want to be rich, save my family, and have an awesome wyvern boyfriend. Okay that is all.

Six

The Wicked King

Jude from The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King. I love Jude. She is ruthless and brave and ultimately very flawed. I would love to experience the terrifying yet beautiful world of the Fae.

Seven

warcross

Emika from Warcross. I loved the idea of the game of Warcross and would love to just experience it and play it. I also love Hideo’s character and would love to meet him in real life even though he is pretty intimidating,

Eight

A Great and Terrible BEauty

Gemma Doyle from A Great and Terrible Beauty. This is one of those series I really need to reread because I absolutely loved it and I remember wishing I could live inside the pages BUT I don’t really rememeber why…. Is that weird? Should I even include this?

Nine

Wolf Tower

Claidi from the The Claidi Journals Series. Okay. I literally don’t know another soul who has read these BUT if you are a fan of YA Fantasy I highly encourage you to look these up. I adored this series the first time I read it when I was 14 and then again when I reread it a couple years later. I discovered these at the library. This world is dangerous and beautiful and magical. I want to experience it all.

Ten

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Lucy from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. There is no secret that this is my favorite series right behind Harry Potter. I loved Lucy’s character in these books and hello HIGH QUEEN OF ANYTHING. I just can’t imagine discovering a secret world in your weird uncle’s closet and being so calm about it at such a young age. I mean she wasn’t totally calm, but she could have been more ecstatic about it all. 

 

Note: All Amazon Purchase Links are from my Affiliate store, so I make a small percentage of all purchases.

Categories
Weekly Reviews YA Reviews

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell Book Review

** spoiler alert ** 4.5/ 5 Stars

Carry On is a magical story that is a reminder of the magic we felt when we first read Harry Potter without being too much like Harry Potter. Sure the beginning seems like it is desperately trying to be Potter, but as you get into the details, the plot, and most importantly, the characters, you realize that it isn’t much like Harry Potter except that there is magic and it takes place at a magic school in Britain.

The characters were believable and well thought out. The Mage was a complicated character who was the antihero throughout the novel. Each character, even minor characters like Ebb the goat herder, had a complicated and twisted past.

My favorite character was Baz who was broody, moody, and dark because of a past that haunted him, a family that ignored who he really was, and his secret crush: his roommate, Simon Snow. Though Simon has a girlfriend and so Baz knows he will never be with Simon.

I think I mostly related to Agatha, who seemed determined to keep herself safe no matter what that meant. She seems hated among the fans of this novel, but I think she acted the most realistically of the characters. Most 17/18 year old girls would act the way she does in this novel, at least on certain subjects. I also liked the way her story ended – saving a dog and running away to California.

The only thing I really didn’t like was the corniness in the way that spells were cast. It just seemed like saying normal phrases in a “magic way” would end up in a lot of disasters which are mentioned throughout the book “Be careful or instead of flying, Up, Up and Away could rip your lungs up out of your mouth” LIKE WHAT.

Seriously though, I recommend this 100% to anyone who is craving that “reading Harry Potter for the first time” feeling.

Categories
Weekly Reviews

Review: Legend of the Silver Skinner

Title: The Legend of the Silver Skinner
Author: John Mowbray
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publishing Date: 2016
Number of Pages: 302
Amazon Link:     Kindle   Paperback

The Legend of the Silver Skinner is the story of a young man,Haroway, who has a run in with a witch at the beginning of the story who predicts Haroway’s demise. Haroway ends up running into the despicable character, Conrad, who ultimately becomes his friend and together they join Captain Black’s crew of likable pirates. Haroway has many adventures on Captain Black’s ship – including slaughtering mysterious creatures, getting lost in a jungle, and meeting the girl of his dreams.

John Mowbray has a very unique writing style that is comparable to the classics I have read in my past. He completely separates himself as the narrator from the characters and gives an unbiased view of the plot and characters as the story progresses. I was impressed with the story line and the complexity of the plot in this story. My only problem with this story was the complexity of the characters – or lack thereof. For the majority of the book, I kept getting the characters confused because their individual personalities were extremely similar which was a problem since the three main characters were all suppose to be completely different ages and come from different parts of this world as well as have different backgrounds and stories. This problem seemed to get better and better throughout the book and overall was well done for a debut novel.

I would recommend this book to people who enjoy pirate stories or the classics. Overall I gave this book 3 of 5 stars.

 

Categories
To Be Read Uncategorized

Behind on My Reading Goal and a Plan to catch up

This year I set a VERY ambitious reading goal of 75 books read in 2018. This comes down to 6 or 7 books per month or one book every 4 or 5 days. I am now 11 books behind schedule. So I need to catch up or attempt to catch up and with just 3 weeks left in summer how do I intend to do this…

  1. Read-a-thons:

    There are several read-a-thons that happen at the end of July and I plan on participating in all of them that I can. The 24-in-48 is happening on July 21st and 22nd in which you read for 24 hours within the 48 hour period. I think I can finish at least 3 books on this weekend. Then on the 23rd the 7 in 7 challenge starts in which you are suppose to read 7 books in just 7 days which, if completed, would have me maybe just 2 or 3 books behind schedule depending on what I can finish up between now and the 21st. Then for the month of August I am running a read-a-thon for my bookmark box at BibliophilePrints which has 7 challenges. I am hoping to read one book for each challegne throughout August which should at the very least keep me on track. With no distractions from my fiance being around, I may be able to read more. We will see with the school year starting.
    Links to the Twitter accounts and websites for all three read a thons:
    24 in 48: Twitter    Website 
    7in7 Challenge: Twitter
    BibliophileThon: Twitter

  2. Setting a Daily Reading Timer:

    I try to read 1 hour a day on days off or weekends and 30 minutes a day on work nights. I didn’t do so well with this in the Spring but I am hoping that by setting timers for myself each day, I can make myself read more.

  3. Picking at least 1 easy book to read each month:

    This is a no brainer – pick one book a month for my TBR that is an easy, quick read to try to get ahead for at least a couple days. I have plenty of these on my TBR shelf to pick from. These can be middle grade books, short romance chick flicks, and books of short stories or poetry.

  4. Document, Document, Document :

    I keep a reading planner to remind me of upcoming book tours but each day I also write down what I have read and how much of it I read. This keeps me honest and pushes me to read more the next day or to finish a book I have spent too much time reading.

 

What do you do to read more? I would love to know. Leave me some ideas down below.

Categories
Monthly Wrap-Up

June Wrap Up

I had an amazing reading month and amazing buy-all-the-books month. I haven’t indulged myself on book buying sprees in a long time but with it being my birthday month I went a little crazy.

Here is what I read:

  1. IS
    Is” by Masakazu Katsura – A Manga obsessed with a girl and having perverted daydreams about her. I didn’t care for it, but I loved the majority of the illustrations. 2/5 stars
  2. Last Day On Mars
    Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson – This middle grade sci-fi is now one of my favorite sci-fi novels. I cannot wait to read book 2. 5/5 stars
  3. The Lucky One
    The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks – I liked it as a typical Nicholas Sparks novel. This may be one of my favorites of his books. I listened to half of this on audiobook 4/5 stars Candle from Little Mouse Bookshelf on Etsy
  4. FURTHERMORE
    Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi – This middle grade Alice in Wonderland retelling is amazing! I thought it was well done being different and whimsical in its own way. 5/5 Stars
  5. Nevermoor
    Nevermoor and the Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend- This middle grade fantasy blew me away. On the back it says “For fans of Harry Potter” which made me interested, but it truly was magical. An absolutely delightful novel that reminded me of the magic in the HP series and some of the whimsical agony and humor of A Series of Unfortunate events. 5/5 Stars and my favorite read this month!
  6. The Raven Boys
    The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater was so magical. I felt like I was friends with Blue’s friends. I cannot wait to read The Dream Thieves this month! 5/5 Stars
  7. She Walks in Moonlight
    The last book I finished was She Walks in Moonlight by Jennifer Silverwood. I wrote a full review of this for the author which is posted below. I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 

7 books in one month is really good for me. I am hoping to keep this number of books per month up because I actually love getting this much accomplished. This month I am participating in the 24 in 48 read-a-thon. Please let me know of any other July Read-a-thon’s happening so I can get through my July TBR!

Oh and here is a picture of all the books I acquired this month which is abnormal. I am thankful for a wonderful reading month!

June Haul

What did you read in June that you loved? What in this giant stack should I read next?