Dive In! Exploring Our Connection with the Ocean by Ann Eriksson

cover147880-mediumDive In! Exploring Our Connection with the Ocean by Ann Eriksson is a great introduction to the impact on this earth, more specifically on the health of our oceans and sea life. The reader learns that making our waterways healthier through our daily choices, volunteer opportunities and possible career paths can make a difference. The author highlights young people for their personal efforts in improving the health of the oceans and waterways throughout the book. Having young people highlighted is a great way to inspire kids to get involved and for them to make a difference.

I received this e-ARC from Orca Book Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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A Little Princess Finds Her Voice by Holly Webb

cover139880-mediumA Little Princess Finds Her Voice by Holly Webb is a good continuation novel to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess. I enjoyed having an older Lottie as the central character and how Sara was there but in the background. It weaves the suffragette movement as witnessed by Lottie which I thought was done in a great way.

Holly Webb has taken the characters from a classic and given them a new lease of life. Lottie’s political awakening is a slow and honest journey. She starts to see things in a different light, and decides to follow her heart and find out more about the suffragette movement. In The Princess and the Suffragette we find out more about Lottie’s story , about the social atmosphere she is growing up in, about the restrictions on her life in Miss Minchin’s school.

I throughly enjoy this sequel to A Little Princess. Holly Webb’s style of writing is different from Burnett’s but I think she did a great job of taking the reader on a new adventure with the same characters we have come to love.

I received an e-ARC from SOURCEBOOKS Jabberwocky via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Green Eyed Goose by Lisa Griffin

cover147122-mediumGreen Eyed Goose by Lisa Griffin is a cute story about a goose that isn’t first at anything. He sits around feeling jealous and sorry for himself. After talking to a little bird about being happy where you’re at instead what you are not and working for what you want. The goose’s attitude began to change for the better. What a great story about working hard and being grateful for what you have!

Green Eyed Goose will be a great way to explain jealousy and understanding why we should be thankful for the gifts, talents and attributes we each have instead of coveting what others have. Boone, the duck looks at his siblings and friends and wonders why he doesn’t have what they have or why he isn’t ever first. He soon realizes that he has his own qualities that make him unique and created as he was designed to be.

I received an e-ARC from Boys Town Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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A Promise Stitched in Time by Colleen Rowan Kosinski

cover141651-mediumA Promise Stitched in Time by Colleen Rowan Kosinski was an interesting middle grade book about grief, acceptance and friendship, with a touch of historical mystery. It introduces young readers to a heavy topic: the Holocaust.

Maggie must create a thought-provoking art piece to complete her application to a prestigious art school and admission to Peabody will allow her to fulfill a promise to her father who died three years previously. But inspiration alludes her until an out-dated tweed coat seems to call her name as she searches for a subject in a thrift store. From the moment the coat is in her possession, a painting of a young girl begins to flow onto the canvas and unusual dreams and thought begin to haunt her. Taj, a friend from Maggie’s preschool days who has returned to town, tries to help figure out what’s happening and in the process, becomes important to Maggie and a source of irritation to her sister.

I found A Promise Stitched in Time to be a heartwarming story that not only introduces the Holocaust to today’s young readers, but also an important book that addresses the grieving process.

Thank you Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Schiffer Kids and NetGalley for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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All About Anne by Anne Frank House

cover139133-mediumAll About Anne by Anne Frank House is a middle grade book about the life and death of Anne Frank, compiled by The Anne Frank House is an vitally important book that should be read by everyone, regardless of age.  It explains in great detail, yet in child language, how the Frank family hid, why they hid and how this whole horrible chapter in our history came about. This book is a well written and a thoroughly researched book, that puts Anne Frank’s diary in focus, and in context.

Anne’s life and death are presented in a simple, yet fact filled eighty-page book that takes readers beyond Anne’s diary to include her life from birth to death with many photographs. The book includes important historical facts about the Holocaust, including America’s refusal of refugees during that period. Using photographs and drawings, it depicts the city where the Franks hid, Mr. Frank’s office and how the true heroes came daily with supplies to help hide the family from Nazis.

I highly recommend this book for children to learn about holocaust and the impact it had on innocent lives.

I received this e-ARC from Second Story Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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The Train to Impossible Places: A Cursed Delivery by P.G. Bell

cover139505-mediumThe Train to Impossible Places: A Cursed Delivery by P.G. Bell is an exciting, imaginative, wild ride of a story that never lets up for a moment. This was a whimsical and fun middle grade read full of interesting characters and fantastic places. There is also a good adventure with some science.

Suzy and her friends visit are really the stars of this book. The plot is fast paced and you are always amazed with the places that the train visits. I loved the Troll bridge and the pirate shipwreck. As I mentioned before there are some physics involved and gravity is not always working the way you would expect. The trolls were also great inventors and the glimpse we get of what they are capable of is really interesting. The story has some nice plot twists that I think will keep kids invested in the story and characters.

Great story for kids who love adventure and science.

I received this e-ARC from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Adventure, ARC, book, book review, books, children, Children's Fiction, diverse, diversity, fantasy, fiction, kids, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, Magic, magical, Middle grade, NetGalley, Science, series, train, upperelem series, whimsical | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Little Orphan Girl by Sandy Taylor

cover147300-mediumThe Little Orphan Girl: The heartbreaking and gripping journey of an Irish orphan by Sandy Taylor is a beautifully written, emotional story of romance, hardships, heartbreak and the innocence of youth.

The book is set in Ireland in the early 1900’s and tells the story of Cissy Ryan. For the first years of her life she is brought up in the workhouse thinking she’s an orphan. Cissy leaves the workhouse with a woman called Moira, who she later learns is in fact her Mother. Cissy and Moira move in with her Grandfather and her life starts to change for the better. At first her grandfather does not acknowledge Cissie since she is the product of a relationship out of wedlock. Cissie adjusts to her new life making new friends and talking “at” her grandfather until he begins to respond. There are a lot of ups and downs in Cissy’s life, some of this I found predictable, but it didn’t stop the enjoyment of the book

I loved the characters in this book.  The author has a knack for injecting the right amount of humor into what is a bleak and poor existence.

Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with this ARC e-book in exchange for an honest review.

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Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

40216800Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris is a historical fiction. The idea of the novel came from a real photograph the author found advertising children for sale. The ideas are all fictional within the book though with even moving the time frame to that of the great depression.

The book follows Ellis Reed, a reporter that happened upon the children and took a photo of them and the sign advertising their sale while looking for inspiration. And then there is Lillian Palmer who worked at the paper and saw Ellis’ photo and couldn’t help but want to know more. As Ellis’ story hits the papers the book then follows the characters from there but the children are never forgotten from that moment.

The writing is beautifully descriptive and emotionally provocative. The heartbreaking photograph evokes painful memories for both Lily and Ellis, ultimately motivating them to action at any cost. The brilliantly plotted story takes us on a wild ride from that front porch, to the hectic city newsroom, to a dilapidated boarding house, a swanky dinner club, an encounter with the mob, the home of a rich banker, a warehouse break in, and a barn in the middle of sprawling fields. It’s a fast paced novel rich with suspense and full of well-defined characters. Ellis’s struggles with his decisions, his career, and his father were readily apparent and made him seem vulnerable and real. Lily, my favorite character was smart and diligent, and knew she could do so much more than be a secretary. Her strength, persistence and bravery in the quest to make things right is what makes this book come alive.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it.

I received an e-ARC from Sourcebooks via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in American History, ARC, book, book review, books, chapter book, children, depression era, fiction, great depression, historical fiction, history, honest review, Kristina McMorris, landmark, Literary Fiction, NetGalley, Review, Sold on a MOnday, Sourcebooks, Women's Fiction, Womens fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sing to the Moon by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl, and Sandra Van Doorn

40088687Sing to the Moon by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl, and Sandra Van Doorn is a wonderful A rhyming story with a nice cadence. This book is about the loving relationship between a boy and his Jjajja (grandfather) and how stories can make a long rainy day come alive. Throughout the long rainy day, a young boy wishes he could ride a supernova or cross the ocean to Zanzibar. His Jjajja helps him see that everything they do together can be the basis for a story, real or imagined. Digitally finished pastel artwork evokes the moods and locale of the story, and the little boy’s eyes are so expressive as we see him enjoy the people and places his grandfather tell him about. Although the setting is Uganda, the theme is universal.

This is a story that children can learn about enjoying the rain and stories from Grandpa. I recommend this story. Parents should read this story to their children to teach kids that people of all ages have stories to tell.

I received an e-ARC from Lantana Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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Anne Frank by Isabel Sanchez Vegara

cover145809-mediumAnne Frank by Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Little People, Big Dreams series, is a really nice introduction to Anne Frank.  This is an early picture book biography. The story is a very simplified version of the diary of Anne Frank. The pictures are cartoony, yet match the photos we have of her.

I enjoyed the illustrations that accompany the telling of Anne’s story and how her diary came to be published, and also the short section at the back with a greater level of detail that may be more suited towards older readers.

The story begins with some background to who Anne was (an ordinary girl) when she received her diary, and the historical events that led up to Anne and her family having to hide in the secret annex of a warehouse.

The focus of the book thereafter remained heavily on the diary and how Anne dreamed of becoming a writer. Due to her early death at the Bergen-Belsen camp in 1945, it was her father Otto (the only secret annex survivor) had her diary published so her story may be shared with readers forever. This fact, alongside others are shared in the books end pages which also includes a timeline of Anne’s life and where to find more information about her.

I received an e-ARC from Quarto Publishing Group – Frances Lincoln Childrens via NetGalley.

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