Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell Book Review

Book received at no charge in exchange for an honest review.

When their plane crashes in the Amazon rain forest on their way back to England, Fred, Con, Lila and Lila's brother, 5 year-old Max fight to survive. Finding shelter and edible fruits poses proves challenging for the inexperienced children. Through their resourcefulness, the children find things like mixing ground up grubs and cocoa give them a paste and the protein they need for survival.

Max stumbles onto a map and convinces the other children to follow it to the X. The course of their adventure presents new dangers from predators and the elements. They manage to build a makeshift raft and travel down the river where they discover the remnants of an ancient city. To their surprise, a mysterious lives amongst the ruins. He refuses to give the children his name but Max assumes he is the missing explorer from 1925. Does the explorer hold the key to the children's chance at rescue?

Rundell captures the beauty of the Amazon through vivd description of everything from the lush vegetation to the smells of the rainforest. Both the setting and adventure will captivate the reader and perhaps motivate further exploration. It may also inspire the reader to gain further understanding of the effects of imperialism in the Amazon. Despite the lack of depth in the characters, the suspense will hold interest to the end.
Rating ★★★★☆

Publishing Information

Publisher: Simon and Shuster Books for Young Readers (Sept. 12, 2017)
ISBN: 9781481419451
Ages: 8-12

Purchase this book HERE.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Point Guard (Home Team #3) by Mike Lupica Book Review

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.
Gus can't wait for the basketball season to get underway. Being from the Dominican Republic, those around him expect him to be a baseball guy but his skills on the basketball court back up his confidence. With his friends Jack and Teddy trying out for the team, Gus looks forward to an awesome season.

Tryouts don't go as planned when his friend Cassie shows up to try out for the boys team. Cassie excels in many sports the 8th grade boys basketball team proves no exception. As Gus grapples with mixed feelings of having to answer to a girl and trying to maintain his friendship with Cassie, he is forced to question his place on the team.

Those who love sports will have no problem relating to the dynamics between the players. Even though the story touches on some side social themes, it does lack depth at times. Otherwise, a solid story.

Publishing Information

Publisher: Simon & Shuster Books for Young Readers (April 4, 2017)
ISBN: 9781481410038
Ages: 8-12

This book can be purchased on AMAZON.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Pablo and Birdy by Alison McGhee and Ilustrated by Ana Juan Book Review

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.
As an infant, Pablo arrived on the Island of Isla nestled in an inflatable swimming pool with nothing but his lavender parrot to protect him. Adopted by Emmanuel and embraced by the locals, Pablo grows weary of the stories they tell about where he came from. After 10 years, Pablo wants the truth.

Although Pablo doesn't want to hear about the possibility of being a pirate baby or coming from a place where people live underground anymore, one legend intrigues him: The legend of the Seafaring Parrot. Pablo dares to wonder if his parrot, Birdy could be the bird of the legend. But Birdy can't talk or fly and the locals insist that the Seafarer remembers every sound. At the time that Birdy starts to mumble, strong winds begin to blow on Isla which makes Pablo ponder the saying: winds of change mean fortune lost or fortune gained. 

While Pablo seeks courage and tries to find his place in the world, a scraggly dog looks for love and acceptance. The committee, a group of parrots all with distinct personalities, add humor to the poignant search of belonging. Be ready to shed a tear or two in this endearing tale of friendship, courage, and loss. Detailed illustrations capture the sweetness of a beautifully written novel.

Rating ★★★★

Publishing Information

Publisher: A Caitlyn Dloughy Book/Atheneum (August 22, 2017)
ISBN: 978-1481470261
Ages: 8-12

This book can be purchased from the following retailer:

Friday, October 6, 2017

Charlie Bumpers Vs. His Big Blabby Mouth by Bill Harley and Illustrated by Adam Gustavson: Book Review

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.
Career Week has everyone buzzing about whose parents will come to speak to their class. With his classmates bragging about their parent's jobs, Charlie can't help but open his blabby mouth about his dad's work. Unfortunately, he leaves the impression that his dad is president of his company and that he will bring calculators to the entire class when he comes to speak for Career Week.

Not only does Charlie have to convince his dad to come to school, he has to deal with his dad losing his job during the fiasco he created. Charlie wishes he would have kept his mouth shut. Will his dad even make it to Career Week? And if he does, what will his classmates think of him? 

 Charlie learns the hard way that words or lack of them can create conflict. The reluctant reader will easily relate to Charlie's predicament and the way his family works through it together emphasizes the importance of home and family.

Rating ★★★★☆

Publishing Information

Publisher: Peachtree Publishing (September 2017)
ISBN: 978-156145-940-7
Ages: 7-10

Book can be purchased from the following retailer: