Source: Purchased


Aug 19
Two Books by Natalie Rompella: Secrets of Storytelling: A Creative Writing Workbook for Kids & Cookie Cutters and Sled Runners – PLUS Rompella’s Top Ten Addictions!

Two Books by Natalie Rompella: Secrets of Storytelling: A Creative Writing Workbook for Kids & Cookie Cutters and Sled Runners – PLUS Rompella’s Top Ten Addictions!

Reviews 10 ★★★★★

Today I’m featuring two books by Natalie Rompella: her newly-released kids’ writing book, Secrets of Storytelling: A Creative Writing Workbook for Kids, and her MG contemporary, Cookie Cutters and Sled Runners. Plus, scroll down to see Natalie’s top ten addictions! Natalie is a friend of mine from my SCBWI critique group, so I was excited to get this chance to feature her! Purchase Links: This workbook is perfect for the budding writer! Filled with interesting prompts and writing exercises, the book has a lot of the same insights you’d see in a writing craft book for grown-ups, but everything is written in a way kids can understand and relate to. I love that Rompella includes so many creative and clever examples with each exercise—I find that kids crave solid (and interesting!) examples when they’re learning a new writing concept. The book is more than just prompts, though. It contains valuable guidance… Read more »


Jul 29
Bite-Sized Reviews of Cinderella Is Dead, The Elephant’s Girl & New Kid

Bite-Sized Reviews of Cinderella Is Dead, The Elephant’s Girl & New Kid

Reviews 14

  I’ve got three reviews for you today: a YA fantasy retelling, a MG contemporary fantasy, and a MG contemporary graphic novel. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! What if the stories that we think of as fairy tales were historical accounts? And what if those accounts had been twisted to serve the purposes of the people in power? This is the case in Cinderella Is Dead. Cinderella’s story has been told for generations as an example—and now every girl is expected to go to the ball to be “chosen” by her husband. She has no say in the matter, or in basically any other matter in her life. Girls are considered property and are meant to serve (and look pretty for) their husbands, nothing more. On the surface, it’s easy to feel like this society is over-the-top. So many of the women… Read more »


Apr 17
Man Up by Kim Oclon: Review & Giveaway. Plus Author & Character Top Ten Addictions Lists!

Man Up by Kim Oclon: Review & Giveaway. Plus Author & Character Top Ten Addictions Lists!

Author Top Ten Lists, Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 16 ★★★★★

Today I have a super fun post highlighting my friend Kim Oclon’s debut MAN UP. Not only do I have a review and giveaway of the book, but I’m also featuring top ten addictions lists from both Kim AND David, the MC of her book (I think lists from characters’ perspectives are so interesting!). Read on to find out more!! Purchase Links: This LGBT story highlights the importance of taking control of your own destiny and your own narrative. David is going into his senior year feeling uncertain about his future—he needs a scholarship in order to be able to afford college, and baseball is his best chance for that. He’s been one of the star players on his team since sophomore year. But when a teammate goes to the coach with the accusation that David is gay, he has to decide how to handle it. Should he ignore it,… Read more »


Dec 06
Thunderhead and The Toll: More Proof that Neal Shusterman is Genius

Thunderhead and The Toll: More Proof that Neal Shusterman is Genius

Reviews 22 ★★★★★

If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you know that the Unwind Series is my absolute favorite series of all time. Neal Shusterman always manages to write books that are both exciting and philosophical—a difficult feat. Well, this latest series is no exception. I’ve already reviewed Scythe, so click the link to read what I had to say about the book (spoiler alert—I thought it was incredible with a small reservation about the way that the Scythes go about the business of killing). But, strangely I hadn’t read Thunderhead yet, despite my deep love for Scythe, so I’m going to start with a quick review of that one… Thunderhead was even better than Scythe (in my opinion) because it was less about the ways that the Scythes gleaned (though there were still some really interesting gleaning discussions—especially when it came to the way that Anastasia chose to do it)… Read more »


Nov 12
The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

Dual Reviews, Reviews 12 ★★★★

(No actual dueling—or even arm-twisting—was involved. Don’t worry, this is a dual review, not a duel review. Sorry if you’re disappointed.) Danielle Hammelef was the latest winner of my Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up “Make Me Read It” giveaway, and she chose to make me read The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta. I’d bought this book at a Scholastic Book Fair awhile back because it looked like such a fun MG fantasy. I’m so glad she made me read it! Read on to see what we thought of the book… An imaginative middle grade fantasy that weaves Bengali folklore into the life of an everyday sixth grader!  What Fed Our Addiction: NICOLE SAYS: The Bengali folklore! If you’ve been around my blog for long, you know that I’m a fan of books that focus on cultures that haven’t been in the mainstream a whole lot. This book definitely fits the bill. I hadn’t heard… Read more »


Sep 09
Bite-Sized Reviews of Vow of Thieves; Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss; The Okay Witch; and Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

Bite-Sized Reviews of Vow of Thieves; Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss; The Okay Witch; and Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

Reviews 20

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA fantasy a YA contemp, and two MG graphic novels. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! First off, I didn’t realize when I started reading this that the series is a duology. So I was expecting perhaps a bit of middle-book syndrome and was surprised when the book didn’t feel sluggish in the least. In fact, I found myself eager to read this book every chance I got. The book starts out with Kazi very hurt and in captivity and then moves back a couple of weeks to show us how she got there. So, of course, I was eagerly reading to find out what happened and how she was separated from Jase. Surprisingly, it wasn’t one of those cases where it took us half the book to get back to where we’d started, though. No,… Read more »


Aug 30
Bite-Sized Reviews of Awesome Dog 5000, The Fourteenth Goldfish, The Third Mushroom, and A Boy Called Bat

Bite-Sized Reviews of Awesome Dog 5000, The Fourteenth Goldfish, The Third Mushroom, and A Boy Called Bat

Reviews 26

I’ve got four reviews for you today: one MG contemp and three MG science fiction books (or maybe one is fantasy? A superhero story with robots and … I’m just going with sci-fi). I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book is hilarious!! I literally laughed through pretty much the whole book. (My mom can attest to this, as she was sitting next to me when I read it. I kept stopping to read her funny quotes.) There were also cute little footnotes like this one: Book safety disclaimer: This dangerous trick should only be attempted by professionally trained stunt babies. I mean, if a book needs disclaimers like that, you have to know some amusing stuff is happening. There were a few of the typical fart jokes and butt jokes (those aren’t my favorite), but they were overwhelmed by the just pure funny… Read more »


Aug 20
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

Dual Reviews, Reviews 14 ★★★★

(No actual dueling—or even arm-twisting—was involved. Don’t worry, this is a dual review, not a duel review. Sorry if you’re disappointed.) Danielle Hammelef was the latest winner of my Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up “Make Me Read It” giveaway, and she chose to make me read Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly. I’d bought this book since it was the 2018 Newbery Medal winner, and I was excited that Danielle chose it for us to read! Read on to see what we thought of the book… A quiet middle grade read about the connections between us and the mysterious ways that fate can bring us together.  What Fed Our Addiction: NICOLE SAYS: Valencia’s experiences as a deaf child. I think my favorite character in this book was Valencia. She’s got a certain strength to her, even as she’s dealing with difficult situations (like her best friend ditching her when it gets too “hard” to communicate with… Read more »


Jun 04
Bite-Sized Reviews of I Love You So Mochi, Girl Against the Universe, Midsummer’s Mayhem, and Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray

Bite-Sized Reviews of I Love You So Mochi, Girl Against the Universe, Midsummer’s Mayhem, and Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray

Reviews 31 ★★★★

I’ve got four reviews for you today: two YA contemporaries, a MG contemporary fantasy, and a MG adventure. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! I picked this book up on a whim when I saw two glowing reviews from fellow bloggers (Dani @ Perspective of a Writer and Sam @ We Live and Breathe Books), and I’m so glad I did! This is the type of book that puts a smile on your face and makes you feel like all is right with the universe. The book is set (mostly) in Kyoto, Japan, and Kuhn does a fabulous job of making us feel like we’re right there with Kimi. There are so many cultural details that ground us in a sense of setting, and it’s easy to understand Kimi’s mixed feelings of blending in and standing out in a country that provided her heritage… Read more »


May 21
Bite-Sized Reviews of The Truth About Leaving, City of Ghosts, The Forever Song, & Educated

Bite-Sized Reviews of The Truth About Leaving, City of Ghosts, The Forever Song, & Educated

Reviews 22 ★★★★

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA contemporary, a MG contemporary fantasy, a YA fantasy and a memoir. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! Lucy has spent her whole life living for other people: when her mom moves for work, she sacrifices her own time and energy to help take care of her little brothers; when it’s time to think about college, she doesn’t consider anywhere but where her parents want her to go; when her boyfriend wants more of her time, she quits dance, her one true outlet. She doesn’t know who she wants to be because she’s never given herself a chance to think about it—she just fills whatever roles are “assigned” to her in life. This book is about Lucy finding herself in a sea of other people’s expectations.  When Lucy meets Dov, her perceptions of the world… Read more »