Source: The Publisher


Sep 26
Cursed by Thomas Wheeler & Frank Miller: Review & Giveaway

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler & Frank Miller: Review & Giveaway

Reviews 14 ★★★★

Just the pitch for this book told me there was a whole lot to love: an illustrated YA King Arthur retelling from the perspective of Nimue (the Lady in the Lake). First of all, why aren’t more books for older readers illustrated? I didn’t stop loving artwork when I was a little kid, and I think many other people feel similarly, so I would love to see more illustrated books for older readers. But I digress… I’ll confess that I don’t remember much about the tale of King Arthur beyond the basics: the sword in the stone, King Arthur’s court, Guenivere and Lancelot’s shenanigans. None of that is in this book. This all takes place before you would get to the point of the knights of the round table, so if you go into this book looking for that story you might be disappointed. In fact, I have no idea if any of… Read more »


Sep 20
Picture Book Spotlight: Sulwe and Smarter Than a Monster

Picture Book Spotlight: Sulwe and Smarter Than a Monster

Reviews 14 ★★★★★

Today I’ve got two soon-to-be-released picture books under the spotlight. Check out these two adorable reads! This book is stunning in just about every way imaginable. The story follows little Sulwe, who struggles to see her own beauty because of the darkness of her skin. Sulwe wishes she could look more like her parents, more like her sister, more like the other boys and girls at her school. Like most children, she doesn’t want to feel different—and her dark skin doesn’t make her feel special or unique, no matter what her mother might tell her. It takes a beautiful fable about day and night to make her see how she brings beauty to the world. As a reader, your heart goes out to Sulwe, and it soars with hers as she discovers her true worth. The depth and detail of every illustration in this book is incredible. I’m amazed at how… Read more »


Sep 05
Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan: Review & Giveaway

Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 26 ★★★★

When I heard that Annie Sullivan had written a retelling of “The Lady or the Tiger” I was incredibly excited! I’d loved her unique retelling of “The Midas Touch,” and I had no doubt she’d do one of my favorite short stories justice. I distinctly remember reading this story when I was a teenager and being left with that agonizing open ending. I read the story again with my own students when I taught at my homeschool co-op, and one of our exercises was to write their own ending (and, yes, a few of my students did have the princess sick the tiger on her lost love). I was curious to see if Sullivan would leave us with an open ending as well or give us her own version of closure. Of course, I can’t tell you the answer to that. You’ll have to read to find out! Sullivan has created… 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 23
Bite-Sized Reviews of The Lady Rogue, The Silence Between Us, The Kingdom, and Sorry for Your Loss

Bite-Sized Reviews of The Lady Rogue, The Silence Between Us, The Kingdom, and Sorry for Your Loss

Reviews 20 ★★★½

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA historical fantasy, a YA sci fi, and two YA  contemps. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! If you’re a fan of historical fiction with a gothic feel and a paranormal twist, this book will make your heart happy. The story follows Theodora as she travels across 1930’s Romania with her ex (who she has no closure with) in order to save her father from a mysterious group of people who want to get their hands on Vlad the Impaler’s evil magical ring. Theodora is plucky and intelligent—a woman who holds her own in a man’s world. The romantic tension between her and Huck is palpable, which I loved. I did wish the magical elements had been a bit more pronounced throughout the book, but that’s just my personal preference. Things took a definitively supernatural turn… Read more »


Aug 06
Cape by Kate Hannigan: A High-Flying Historical Adventure!

Cape by Kate Hannigan: A High-Flying Historical Adventure!

Reviews 14

This book is such a fun mixture of genres and formats: a historical fiction superhero novel with graphic novel elements! Right there, I was sold. This book will appeal to such a wide variety of kids, and I think it will get many of them reading about an era that they wouldn’t otherwise have thought they’d be interested in. The book is set in the US during WWII, and it highlights the real-life women (and a few men) who contributed to the war effort in truly unique ways! I actually felt like I learned a lot from the book (and the author’s note at the end), but it definitely doesn’t feel like learning while you’re reading. The superhero elements are incredibly fun, and many of the most active superhero sections of the book are told via graphic novel format (via the amazing illustrations from Patrick Spaziante). The book also features… Read more »


Jul 30
Amelia Fang Series by Laura Ellen Anderson: An Adorably Creepy Middle Grade Fantasy

Amelia Fang Series by Laura Ellen Anderson: An Adorably Creepy Middle Grade Fantasy

Reviews 14 ★★★★½

These books are so incredibly adorable! I just wanted to stare and stare at the illustrations all day long, and the story matched them pretty much perfectly. The series is a truly delightful concoction of creepiness and cuteness! The Goodreads description says that these books are written for reluctant readers, and I can see how they’d be perfect for that group. They feature short chapters and plenty of wonderfully quirky illustrations so the books don’t feel overwhelming, but the storylines don’t seem too “little kiddish.” Plus, I think these storylines would be engaging for older readers as well as younger ones! This book introduces us to the spooky cast of characters—Amelia (the vampire) and her friends (a Yeti, a grim reaper, and her pet pumpkin). Like I said, it’s really impressive how well Anderson managed to merge creepy and cute. These books sort of remind me of Monster High for… Read more »


Jul 08
Storm Blown by Nick Courage: Review of an Epic Adventure!

Storm Blown by Nick Courage: Review of an Epic Adventure!

Reviews 16 ★★★★

A gripping, disaster-filled adventure of epic proportions, this MG book will certainly blow you away! What Fed My Addiction: Realistic storm experiences. In the author’s note, you find that Nick Courage grew up in New Orleans, so he grew up with tropical storms and hurricanes. That shows in the book. The storm itself is so vivid, it almost feels like a character. And the build from calm (where many characters assumed the storm wasn’t really even going to hit) to mega-hurricane was all laid out in such detail that it was easy to imagine being in the storm yourself. Speaking of that build… So. Much. Suspense. I flew through this book in practically one sitting (I did have to stop for dinner with the family). There is never a moment of dullness in this book: the tension builds and builds and builds until it hits a crazy crescendo at the… Read more »


May 31
No Place Like Here by Christina June: Review & Giveaway

No Place Like Here by Christina June: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 24 ★★★★

Ashlyn has lived her life trying to measure up to her father’s expectations, but it’s always been a losing battle. So, even when he ends up in prison for tax evasion, he somehow still has a hold over her that she can’t quite break. She’s shipped off to work at a wilderness camp with her cousin—something she never would have chosen for herself—and she spends the summer wishing she could just go back home again. But the camp teaches her a few things about how capable she truly is, and she starts to realize that if she wants change, she’ll have to learn to speak up—as terrifying as that is for her. I felt for Ashlyn, and I could relate to her inability to speak up and her desperate need to avoid conflict. And I think almost any teen will understand Ashlyn’s sense of powerlessness in a situation that feels… Read more »


Mar 29
Samantha Spinner Series by Russell Ginns: Review & Giveaway

Samantha Spinner Series by Russell Ginns: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 6

This first book in the Samantha Spinner Series introduces us to Samantha and her wacky family. Her dad is a lightbulb expert, her mom is a lizard veterinarian, her older sister Buffy is a fashion-obsessed shopping machine, and her little brother Nipper is just an annoying little brother–who loses stuff a lot (and knows a lot of random facts). But strangest of all is Uncle Paul, who goes missing at the very beginning of the book. He leaves behind amazing presents for Buffy and Nipper–and a red umbrella for Samantha. As you can imagine, Samantha’s pretty sure she got a raw deal. Until she discovers that the umbrella is actually a map that leads to a super secret transportation system … and a whole lot of adventure. The book is zany in so many over-the-top ways. Sometimes it’s a bit nonsensical, but it’s always fun. Ginns’ creativity knows no bounds, and… Read more »