WWW Wednesday: 3.20.2019

Hi Friends! Happy Spring! WWW Wednesday is here once more so I figured I would update on my reading agenda. Today’s post will be done in twos, meaning two books for each W!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Alrighty! Let’s get started!

81AG0bQkYDL71kGvbCnfXLCurrently Reading:

I’m working on this eArc from NetGalley called, The Remarkable Inventions of Walter Martinson by Quinn Sosna-Spear. I really like the steampunk vibe this book gave me when I initially read the synopsis. I’m still at the beginning, but I’m already excited to see how it will turn out. Released date is 4.2.2019.

The second book I’m working on is Laurie Halse Anderson’s poetry memoir, ShoutMost known for her work, Speak, Anderson has never been afraid to write, speak out, and advocate for survivors of sexual assault. For the first time in 25 years, she is telling her story. I’m only halfway through this book and I can feel the raw emotion that Anderson has poured into her poetry. Like Speak, this is not for the faint of heart, but definitely one of the most important works I’ve ever picked up. This book was released 3.12.2019.

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Recently Finished:

A friend of mine on Goodreads finished the book, The Boy, The Bird, & The Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods (released 5.1.2017) and, like so many people out there, I judged the book by its cover and was intrigued to see what it was about. This fairytale-like story was as hopeful as it was sad, and the illustrations were whimsical. Did I mention the text and illustrations are printed in blue? Because that was an awesome surprise when I opened this book!

Of course, I could not pass up the opportunity to read Angie Thomas’ latest book, On the Come Up (released 2.5.2019). If you have not read her first book, The Hate U Give, you should stop reading this post and go get that book now! On the Come Up is a separate novel set in the same neighborhood as the previous story. This book is about Bri and her fierce passion to become a famous rapper. Like The Hate U Give, this is a book you will have A LOT of trouble putting down once you’ve started reading it.

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Reading Next:

The next eArc on my list is Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby. Looking at the title, it may seem obvious what the book could be about, but after reading the synopsis, it seems to be more of a metaphorical title than a literal one. I’m looking forward to reading this one and seeing how it unfolds. In this story, 12-year-old Fig wants nothing more than to be closer to her father. But with her being a math and science wiz and her father a once renowned pianist, Fig feels far from understanding him. This book will be released 5.7.2019.

The next book I’ll be reading next is Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeymi (released 3.6.2019). I have been seeing this book all over social media and have heard AMAZING things. When the book appeared in the stack at my library, I snagged it before anyone else could. I read the synopsis and now I’m itching to get started. I have a feeling this is going to be a un-put-downable book.

 

That’s all for now, friends! Feel free to take a look at my book reviews by clicking the Home page. I review picture books, middle grade, and young adult novels! You can also follow me on twitter!

Until next time!

 

 

 

Nonfiction Children’s Book Review – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood by Fred Rogers

Hi friends! I’ve been out for a while due to medical leave, but I’m back now! And what better way to kick off my hiatus than with this gem! Let’s get started!

51XRZj+WgJL._SX342_QL70_ Details:

Title: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Author: Fred Rogers, Illus. by Luke Flowers

Pages: 128

Exp. Publication: March 19th, 2019 by Quirk Books

Source: NetGalley

Rating: 5/5 Stars

 

 

Plot (via Goodreads):

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood had a revolutionary impact on children’s television and on millions of children themselves. Through songs, puppets, and frank conversations, Mister Rogers instilled the values of kindness, patience, and self-esteem in his viewers, and most of all, taught children how loved they were, just by being themselves. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhoodreimagines the songs from the show as poetry, ranging from the iconic (“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”) to the forgotten gems. The poems are funny, sweet, silly, and sincere, dealing with topics of difficult feelings, new siblings, everyday routines, imagination, and more. Perfect for bedtime, sing-along, or quiet time, this book of nostalgic and meaningful poetry is the perfect gift for every child–including the child in all of us.

Review:

I could not tell you how excited I was to read and review this book for you all. Mister Rogers was an amazing human being who taught children to love themselves and to be kind to others. The book is the complete collection of poems Mister Roger’s wrote for his show starting with his famous poem, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”.

His full collection of poems is also depicted through illustrations, which are as fun, warm, and colorful as the poems themselves. The connections between the poems and the illustrations are as powerful as the subject matter in each one. My personal favorites include, “Things Are Different”, “What Can You Hear?”, and “I’m Glad I’m the Way I am”.

Things are Different

This is one of those books that should be on every shelf. Everyone could always use more of Mister Rogers. All of the poems have a subject for feelings children face but may not know how to express. This is an all around feel good book. This book, although geared for children, is one that I recommend to EVERYONE!

This book will be out TOMORROW! You can order it on Amazon or check it out from your local library!

 

Nonfiction Children’s Book Review – A Voice for the Spirit Bears

a voice for the spirit bears

Details:

Title: A Voice for the Spirit Bears

Author: Carmen Oliver, Illus. by Katy Dockrill

Pages: 36

Exp. Publication: May 7th, 2019 by Kids Can Press

Source: NetGalley

Rating: 4/5 Stars

 

 

Plot: (via Goodreads):

As a child, Simon Jackson found navigating the world of the school playground difficult. He felt most at home in the woodlands, learning about and photographing wildlife. As a teenager, he became fascinated with spirit bears, a rare subspecies of black bear with creamy white fur. These elusive creatures were losing their habitat to deforestation, and Simon knew he had to do something to protect them. He decided he would become the voice for the spirit bears. But first, he would have to find his own. Carmen Oliver’s inspiring true story is based on the early life of Simon Jackson, who founded the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition.

Review:

My first impression on this book was the illustrations. I loved the softness the illustrator portrayed in each picture. It definitely felt right for the theme of the story. The writing style also stuck out to me in this book. It was like how a storyteller would speak to a small group of children, which I really liked. Throughout Simon’s childhood, he suffered from a speech impediment so it wasn’t easy for him to speak in front of his class. He was bullied a lot, but found peace when he was out with nature and observing the wildlife. I loved the overall message Simon gives about finding his voice so he can give the Spirit Bears ones. “Stand tall, like the grizzly from Yellowstone Park.” was a motto he lived by after seeing a standing grizzly on one of his nature outings. With his motto, he was able to overcome his fear and speak about the endangered species not just to his class, but later to organizations and businesses. It’s amazing the impact he and drive had to save these beautiful animals. 700 letters were sent out from his school! That’s amazing! In the back of the book, the information about Simon, the Spirit Bears, and what the reader “Can Do to Make a Difference” I thought were excellent and inspiring additions. Simon wasn’t afraid to follow his dreams. Not only did he later get to meet the infamous Jane Goodall, but the animal he worked so hard to save, the Spirit Bear!

Overall, I thought this book was endearing as well as inspirational. This book is good for young school-age children who like nature, bears, and true stories.

Interested in this book? You can pre-order it on Amazon or wait to check it out from your local library

Want to stay connected? You can follow me on twitter for updates!

WWW Wednesday: 1.16.2019

Hey everyone! I thought I would take on WWW Wednesday today, revived by Taking on a World of Words! Go check out their blog and participate!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Okay. Here goes…


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Currently reading: I downloaded this eARC from Netgalley a while ago. The cover of The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away by Ronald L. Smith was caught my eye when I first came across this book. I had never read anything by this author but became interested after reading the synopsis. I love a good suspense/paranormal story and am eager to see how this will play out in a middle grade novel. I’m only in the first few chapters so it’s a little early to give too much of an opinion, but upon first impressions, I’m definitely seeing this as a book for older readers. Maybe 10-13 years old. Unfortunately the rating it’s been given on Goodreads makes this book seems not as promising, but I’m giving it a chance. This book will be published 2.19.2019.

 

a voice for the spirit bears

Recently Finished: I actually finished two books this week, but I’ll show the cover of the one I wrapped up last night. A Voice for the Spirit Bears  by Carmen Oliver with illustrations by Katy Dockrill is a beautiful non-fiction picture book about a boy named Simon Jackson who found his voice by advocating to save the rare Kermode bears, or Spirit bears. I loved the artwork and writing style as well as Simon’s passion to save these animals. There will be a more extensive review on this book later this week. It is set to be released 5.7.2019.

The other book I just finished is The Girl with the Dragon Heart by Stephanie Burgis. This is the second book in the Tales from the Chocolate Heart series and was released 11.6.2018. I loved this book even better than the first and am excited to read the next one! You can read my review here and check out the first book in the series here if you’re interested!

 

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Reading Next: I’m really looking forward to reading this YA graphic novel. The book is Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle. This author is more known for writing middle grade fiction, but I do admire that she branched out to YA. I’m interested to see the outcome of this graphic novel. This one is also set to be published on 5.7.2019.

 

 

 

 

 

Hey guys! I’m on twitter! so feel free to check out my profile and follow me! Thanks! Until the next review!

Middle Grade Book Review – The Girl with the Dragon Heart by Stephanie Burgis

thegirlwiththedragonheart-uscover Details:

Title: The Girl with the Dragon Heart

Author: Stephanie Burgis

Pages: 278

Publication Date: November 6th, 2018 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Source: NetGalley

Rating: 4/5

 

 

Plot (via Goodreads):

Once upon a time, in a beautiful city famous for chocolate and protected by dragons, there was a girl so fearless that she dared to try to tell the greatest story of all: the truth.

Silke has always been good at spinning the truth and storytelling. So good that just years after arriving as a penniless orphan, she has found her way up to working for the most splendid chocolate makers in the city (oh, and becoming best friends with a dragon). Now her gift for weaving words has caught the eye of the royal family, who want to use her as a spy when the mysterious and dangerous fairy royal family announce they will visit the city. But Silke has her own dark, secret reasons for not trusting fairies …

Can Silke find out the truth about the fairies while keeping her own secrets hidden?

Review:

When I saw that the sequel to the book, The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart was coming out, I definitely had to get a copy. I loved the fantasy, humor, and character development in the first one and this book also did not disappoint. If you have not read the first of this series, I would recommend reading that first as some parts of this review might be a little confusing.

In this book, the story of Drachenburg continues from Aventurine’s best friend Silke’s perspective. Silke is told from the first book is an amazing storyteller and can essentially talk her way through anything. When she is summoned by the crown princess and given a task that hits a little too close to home, she takes on the job in hopes to learn more about her past gone awry.

I felt that the author’s writing style flowed even better in this book than in the first. The backstories of Silke’s past connecting to her task with spying on the fairies kept me reading so I can see what her next move is when the fairies and the royal court respond to her. I was kept on the edge of my seat when Silke ended up in some intense situations that seemed like they were going to be pretty difficult for her to talk herself out of. Silke’s internal struggle with what home is to her starts to take over throughout the book as well. The constant battle with her brother and her village, her confusion with her feelings of the Chocolate Heart where Aventurine, Marina, and Horst work, and her neverending battle with the crown princess’ cross sister Sofia. But while facing her task she learns that her friends would do anything to ensure her safety, even if it’s her friends that need her protection more than ever. Silke begins to understand that sometimes family does not mean blood relative.

This is definitely a great fantasy book that talks about the power of friendship, family, and empathy. This would be a good read for tweens.

Interested in this book? You can find a copy at your local bookstore or check it out at your public library! You can read more reviews like this one on Goodreads!

Young Adult Book Review: The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

Details: Light Between Worlds

Title: The Light Between Worlds

Author: Laura E. Weymouth

Pages: 368

Publication Date: October 23rd, 2018 by HaperTeen

Source: ARC from the Author

Rating:  4/5

 

 

Plot (via ARC cover):

What happens when you return to the real world after being in a fantastical one like Narnia?

Six years ago, sisters Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell were swept away to a strange and beautiful kingdom called the Woodlands, where they lived for years. But ever since they returned to their lives in post-World War II England, they have struggled to adjust.

Ev desperately wants to return to the Woodlands, and Philippa just wants to move on. When Ev goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.

Walking the line between where fantasy and reality meet, this lyrical and magical novel is, above all else, an exploration of loss and healing, and what it means to find where you belong.

Review:

I read this book knowing that it was definitely going to give off Narnia vibes. What I didn’t expect was how in depth the character development would go with the two main characters. Weymouth left no stone unturned when it came to the mental impact Evelyn took upon returning from the Woodlands and the guilt and responsibility her sister Phillipa would take trying to keep her sound.

Along with the brutal effects mental health can have on both the sufferer and the observers in this story, Weymouth writes all the trials and tribulations in a beautiful and poetic way that makes some of the dark content come subtly and not in your face. I felt a lot of the emotions and struggles that came from Evelyn as she journeyed through her mind and spiral out of control. Same with Phillipa and the grief she kept bottled up inside as well as her refusal to believe the worst had happened when Ev went missing.

The book is split up into two halves. Evelyn’s story and Phillipa’s. I like the alternating chapters between discovering and living in the magical world of the Woodlands and her present state 6 years after her return to London in Evelyn’s half. Weymouth describes the world of the Woodlands beautifully and full of imagery. It was a world that seemed full of hope, considering the inevitable war that was about to come from the neighboring kingdom. I could see how Evelyn would be so connected to it as well as why she was so mentally broken after she was forced back to the real world. The frustrations and sadness felt from the side characters as they tried (and failed) to help her were all too real as Ev spiraled faster and faster into depression.

Phillipa’s half also had alternating chapters, but they were between the present day after her sister went missing and a few months before with her decision to leave her sister and go to America. The entire section dealt with different levels of guilt as well as displaying a strong outer shell so no one could see her vulnerability. While Evelyn felt like the Woodlands were her home, Phillipa had only London in mind while they were facing the war. And though Phillipa got her wish to return to the real world, she knew she had made a grave mistake bringing Evelyn back with her, even if it was the right thing to do. I did feel Phillipa’s emotions a little more deeply as she tried to go about her days like she had complete control. When in reality she was crumbling from the weight of guilt and wondering the worst of her sister. She definitely had a certain persona when interacting with other people until she was alone.

There is so much more I could say about this book, but that would be major spoilers. And what fun is that? All in all, however, this book is much more than a trip to a different world. It handles deeper mental repercussions and never letting go of hope, but written in a way that is poetic and subtle. This book would be great for young adult readers who love subjects on fantasy, inner demons, and romance.

Interested in this book? You can order it on Amazon or check it out from your local library!

Middle Grade Book Review – Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo

download Details:

Title: Louisiana’s Way Home

Author: Kate DiCamillo

Pages: 240

Publication Date: October 2nd, 2018 by Candlewick Press

Source: NetGalley

Rating: 5/5 Stars

 

Plot (Via Goodreads):

When Louisiana Elefante’s granny wakes her up in the middle of the night to tell her that the day of reckoning has arrived and they have to leave home immediately, Louisiana isn’t overly worried. After all, Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas. But this time, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return. Separated from her best friends, Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana struggles to oppose the winds of fate (and Granny) and find a way home. But as Louisiana’s life becomes entwined with the lives of the people of a small Georgia town — including a surly motel owner, a walrus-like minister, and a mysterious boy with a crow on his shoulder — she starts to worry that she is destined only for good-byes. (Which could be due to the curse on Louisiana’s and Granny’s heads. But that is a story for another time.)

Review:

This was a continued story from Kate DiCamillo’s novel Raymie Nightingale, where Louisiana was first introduced but is a side character. Between the two novels, I loved this one even more. Lousiana’s story is both heartbreaking and full of hope. Just when she thinks her unexpected journey couldn’t get any worse, it does in a way that even moved me to tears. It’s not all sadness though, Louisiana meets an unlikely new animal friend as well as its owner, a boy around Louisiana’s age that can break into any vending machine, can climb up a hotel wall without fear, and is the kind of person that will give you two instead of one bologna sandwich. Louisiana instantly becomes friends with him and his family and learns so much about this group of heartwarming people and the town she stumbled upon in such a short time. Not all of Louisiana’s encounters are friendly, but thanks to her life lessons from Granny, she never lets them get the better of her. Even when her world is turned completely upside down, she is never alone and begins to learn a whole new meaning of family and love.

Overall, this book touches on a lot of hard topics but is written beautifully and with a lot of emotion. There was never a doubt about any of Louisiana’s feelings or how the reader was supposed to feel throughout the story. This book was definitely a triumph on DiCamillo’s part.

Interested in this book? You can order NOW on Amazon, Barned & Noble, or borrow it from your local library!