Finding picture books that are non-fiction and as beautiful as fiction books is sort of one of my joyful librarian wins. Twenty-One Steps promised to be thoughtful, beautiful, informational, and emotional – and it fulfilled those things.
The history of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier isn’t known by children, unless they perhaps have a military family member or have visited it. This little-known history is both sad and beautiful. The story behind it haunting, yet necessary to our country’s history. This book was so well written and captured these feelings perfectly. The illustrations were gorgeous and I took my time flipping through this book to really soak up these thoughts.
I gave this book 5/5 stars for its uniqueness and for the beautiful writing accompanied by equally beautiful illustrations. The powerful message, fantastic vocabulary, and stunning verse will keep kids engaged with this text more than once. A perfect read aloud for teachers, librarians and parents. Recommended by me for grades 3 to 7.
Picture book biographies are always on my radar because I think they make good read-alouds for all grade levels and they are such a great way for me to learn nuggets of information about people I have never heard of. I have read other picture book biographies by Laurie Wallmark and really enjoyed them so I was really glad to get this one and be able to read it.
Elizabeth Friedman was a code cracker during WWI and WWII when women really weren’t present in the organizations that used code breakers. I didn’t know her story until I read this lovely picture book. The art is so much fun with codes woven into the illustrations throughout the story. This story was just another reminder that women can do anything, even when its something that is suppose to be for boys.
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for grades 3 to 7. This is a perfect read aloud for Classroom Book a Day for educators and a great bedtime story for parents. This will grab the attention of kids who love history.
This beautiful immigration story told in prose is one for every middle grade bookshelf, whether at home, in the library or in the classroom. Nurah, the main character, is just trying to blend in and find her place in her new school in Georgia after moving from Pakistan.
The characters weave this story together in ways that everyone reading it can relate to someone along the way, whether or not they have experienced moving across the world. I related to Nurah so much, because I had moved across the US at her age and felt so different in my new school in Texas. I loved reading Nurah’s story as she found her voice, and found a place to fit in , in her new world.
I highly recommend this to readers who love novels in verse, quick, beautiful reads, and realistic fiction. Recommended for grades 4-6 specifically. Nothing stood out to me as content to be aware of, but this is a good book to read about tackling bullying as well.
When I picked this up on May 31, I was already most of the way through this collection as I had started it in February and had slowly been making my way through it.
Jasmin Kaur has a beautiful way with words and art to make this amazing collection of poems and prose. There were a lot of poems I bookmarked because they had such a deep meaning to me and I understood them so well because of things I had personally experienced.
Throughout this book Jasmin explores what it means to be a young woman in today’s society and what it means to be a minority woman in today’s society. Her points of view are powerful and meaningful. I think there is something in this collection that will speak to every young woman who reads this.
I gave this book 5/5 stars because I know I will pick this up again and find something new to love about it. This is definitely a collection for adults, anyone who has enjoyed collections such as The Princess Will Save Herself in This One, and The Sun and Her Flowers.
You can order this collection from Amazon in Paperback for $9.99 or from Bookshop.org for $10.11 (10% goes back to support Indie bookstores). Both links give me a little kickback which I use to add books to our school library!
The Hate U Give is a timely and necessary novel that follows the story of Starr, a Black teen girl living in a rough neighborhood, but attending a private, and mostly white populated school. She often feels like she is split between two worlds. When her best friend is shot in front of her and killed by a cop, her entire world turns upside down – and the two parts of her collide in a poetic way.
Angie Thomas is a master of emotion. She writes her characters with such depth that you feel as if you know them. You will be immersed in Starr’s world, and gain a deeper understanding about Black Lives Matter is so important, why our culture is so divided, and how frustrating it must be to be Black in America in this day and age. This should be a must read for all high school students.
Recommended ages 14+
Trigger Warnings for violence, police brutality, under age drinking, drug use, gangs, sexual consent
The Lone Star State doesn’t have to be lonely during Christmas time!
Legendary author Jodi Thomas headlines a new holiday-themed Western historical romance collection featuring three Texas-set stories of romance and adventure.
The Civil War is over, Christmas is coming—and it’s time for three rugged cowboys to hang-up their spurs and settle down. These authors combine their talents and excel at creating atmosphere and complex characters which infuse these stories with Texas history and evoke the grandeur of a bygone era and the indomitable pioneer spirit of the region.
Prepare to be swept off your feet by these heroic cowboys who will stop at nothing to make sure this Christmas is one to remember. Ideal for gift giving, The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas will be the fan-favorite collection of romance for the 2020 Christmas season!
PRAISE FOR THE COWBOY WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS:
“FATHER GOOSE is a warm, entertaining story, with Trapper and Emery starting with nothing, yet finding love and hoping for a future.” — Rose from Roses Are Blue
“It was a pitch-perfect reading experience that left my heart bursting with joy. This story has become an instant classic in my holiday reading canon.” — PJ Ausdenmore from The Romance Dish
“I love an anthology at this busy time of the year because I can read a complete story in a short time–this book hit the mark.”
Jodi Thomas is a New York Times bestselling author and fifth-generation Texan who sets many of her award-winning stories in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A multi-RITA Award winner and member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame, she’s written over 50 novels with millions of copies in print. Her most recent releases are The Little Tea Shop on Main and the first book in her new Honey Creek series, Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café, which is out now.
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.
Don’t Check Out This Book is the perfect title for reluctant readers in 2nd through 5th grade. This novel is full of hilarious puns in a wild format of letters, emails, newspapers, post it notes and pictures. I found myself laughing out loud and not able to put this one down until I had finished it.
My favorite character in the novel is the librarian, who doesn’t follow the rules and always manages to get everyone to read more books. She is the perfect example of “librarians are the rebels of schools”.
I gave this book a 5 out of 5 for its clever antics. Go ahead, pick it up, just don’t check it out. Recommended for grades 2-5, for the young rebels, the reluctant readers, the kids who are a little different, and for those who enjoy hilarious stories.
I haven’t been on in awhile in part because I have been writing and in part because I have been working. I miss blogging though. I miss reviewing books and taking pictures and making book lists up.
I finished My Lady Jane last night written my the self-coined “Lady Janies” and man was this a FUN book.
Title: My Lady Jane Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows Publisher: HarperTeen Year: 2016 Add It: Goodreads Buy It: Amazon
My Lady Jane is the fantasy retelling of the story of Lady Jane Grey. Jane Grey was the infamous 9 day queen between King Edward and Bloody Mary, the children of King Henry VIII. In this version of history, the country of England isn’t torn between the Catholics and the Protestants but rather those with magical abilities to transform into animals and those that admonish them. Lady Jane Grey is married off to a man she has never met and in a plot to overthrow England entirely, she is made into queen when Edward is pronounced dead.
In short, this book was hilarious. Laugh out loud funny! While rather long, the pages flew by because the story and characters were interesting and there was humor in all the plots and narration. The plot is very vastly different than the actual historical events, and although you do not need to have background knowledge on this part of history it does help you as a reader, to know what was really going on. I definitely suggest reading a couple short articles about the history of Lady Jane Grey and King Edward before you read the story.
This story is told from 3 different points of view – King Edwards, Lady Jane Grey, and her husband, Gifford. Each character is so easy to relate to and has their own little back stories and complicated teenage thoughts – as they are all teenagers with very adult problems. My favorite character of the 3 was Lady Jane as she has an addiction to books and libraries and wants to make sure the country invests more in libraries and less money in war. A very admirable idea if you ask me.
Overall I LOVED this book and gave it 5 stars which makes it one of the first 5 star books I have read in awhile. I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes a little humor in their books, just as much action as romance, and anyone who enjoys a historical fiction novel.
I thought I would start adding a section into my reviews to help out anyone who is looking to purchase this book so they know the content and the intended age audience of the books I am reviewing. I know as a librarian and teacher I cannot read all the books my students do, so I am constantly looking for reviews of the books.
Recommended Age: 14+ Sexual Content: A hint that a marriage was consummated with no details as to what that means except it is referred to by Jane’s mother as “the special hug”. Lots of dreaming of kissing a girl from Edward and one kissing scene between Jane and Gifford after they are married. Drinking: Gifford gets drunk on ale at the wedding feast. Wine and alcohol are mentioned as normal day to day life. Drugs: None. Violence: There is a bar fight and a battle scene, but both are very short and don’t have a lot of details.
Anything else you would want to know about a book as an adult looking to recommend it to students/patrons/ children ? Just let me know what I should put in this section of my reviews
Enjoy this free wallpaper with a quote on it from My Lady Jane.