Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Book Review: The Marvelous Thing That Came From a Spring by Gilbert Ford

Book received at no charge for review purposes

When Richard James worked as an engineer for the United States Navy, he never thought he would stumble across an invention for a toy. His job was to create a device that would keep the ship equipment from vibrating. His mind raced after watching a torsion spring fall from a shelf and take a walk.

Richard's young son let go of the springs by the stairs and it walked all the way down. With the help of his wife, Betty, Richard named his new toy. The Slinky was born. The husband and wife team sold their first run of Slinky's in one day and built a machine to manufacture the Slinky to keep up with the greater demand.

What happens with the production of the Slinky will fascinate the young budding inventor or engineer. The dioramic illustrations add visual play worthy of one of the most beloved toys in American History. An informational book that feels more like fun that learning.

Rating ★★★★☆

Publishing Information

Atheneum Books for Young Readers (September 2016)
ISBN: 9781481450652
Pages: 32
Ages: 4-8 

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Nightsiders #2: Vault of Shadows by Jonathan Maberry: Book Review

Book received at no charge for book review consideration.
The leader of the Orphan Army, eleven-year-ol Milo Silk, has just escaped the evil Huntsman. Together with a Evangelyne the werewolf girl, Shark and his other friends, Milo faces the task of keeping the Heart of Darkness along with the Dissosterin crystal egg safe. The vengeful Huntsman, Queen Mab with her group of fairies, and the zombielike holo men could all destroy Milo and his friends.

After a rescue mission gone wrong in which many innocent lives are lost and the Heart is fractured, Milo and his group set out to find the Heir of Gadfellyn Hall .The quest makes them question the cost of war. Not only has Milo lost many of his friends, but he must face another boy in his troubling dreams. Plenty of action combined with aliens, zombies and magic make for a page turning novel the preteen and teen will have a hard time putting down. Along with the action, it will also leave the reader questioning the purpose of war. 

Publishing Information
Simon & Schuster Book for Young Readers (August 30, 2016)
Author: Jonathan Maberry
ISBN 9781481415781
Ages 8-12

Purchase this book:

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Picture Book Review: Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Ashram life seems easy enough when the purpose is to live simply and nonviolently. While Arun has no trouble with most of the eleven vows of ashram living, he has a hard time with the vow not to waste. He can't understand how throwing away a worn-down pencil can hurt anyone, let alone lead to violence.

As Arun follows his grandfather and hears him speak about passive nonviolence, he struggles to understand the meaning behind it and how a worn-down pencil applies. In time, learns that every act affects others and the world around him in small ways. His grandfather tells him, "Be the change you wish to see in the world, Arun." These words remind him to think always about his actions and how they can bring about peace.

The mixed media illustrations with striking colors may catch the attention of the young reader while the concepts explored may teach a better lesson with the guidance of an adult. A great story for the child and parent to experience together.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Publishing Information:
Publisher: Atheneum (August 30, 2016)
By Arun Gandhi and Bethany Heeds
Illustrated by Evan Turk
ISBN: 978-1481442657
Ages: 4-8


Monday, October 31, 2016

Book Review: Charlie Bumpers Vs. the Puny Pirates

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Charlie Bumpers joins forces with his best friends, Tommy and Hector, on what he's sure will be his best soccer team ever. With the three of them on offense, Charlie figures they can win every game.

That is until he meets the other players.

To Charlie's dismay, his other teammates not only have no experience with the soccer ball but they lack size and speed as well. As if the team isn't dismal enough, their coach won't even put the terrific trio together at the same time. Instead the coach opts to have the players learn each position. Though the league doesn't keep score, Charlie can't help but count every loss.

To add insult to an already frustrating season, Charlie and his friends have to sell candy bars for the team but end up creating another disaster instead. To top it off, Charlie's brother films every bad play.

While Charlie learns life doesn't always work out the way he wants, he does find out what growing up really feels like. He also discovers his brother isn't as bad as he thought.  As always, Harley offers a touching glimpse into friendship and family life while creating a relatable story line.

Rating ★★★★☆

Publishing Information
Peachtree Publishers (September 1, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1561459391
Hardcover: 160 pages
Grade: 3-7
Ages: 8-12