Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Book Review: Lowriders Blast from the Past by Cathy Camper and Raúl The Third

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Lupé, Flapjack and Elirio travel back in time to when they first met and became friends. They bonded after being bullied by Las Matamoscas. The bullies pull every punch to keep the Lowriders out of the car show. They simply won't let girls into the show but Lupé, and her friends are determined to get her two mothers, Mamá Impala and Mamá Gazelle into the show. Will they be able to master the art of making sure no visible brush strokes are on their car or can they keep a 5-gallon jar of agua fresca from spilling around the track?

While it takes some time to get to the heart of the story, slap stick humor keeps the pages turning. In the end, a heartwarming lesson about standing up for what is right prevails. An amusing look into the lowrider culture with an easy way to learn some new Spanish words.


Sunday, May 26, 2019

Picture Book Review: Little Brown by Marla Frazee

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Little Brown spends his time at the dog park cranky. Is he cranky because no one ever plays with him or does no one play with him because he is cranky? Little Brown doesn't really know he keeps getting crankier and decides to action. He nabs the ball and grabs the tassel toy. He even takes a blanket and stick. In fact, he amasses quite a collection of things from the other dogs. 

While he looks at his collection, Little Brown wonders if the other dogs will like him or play with him if he returns the belongings. His dilemma presents a great lesson in how to start conversation with others in the struggle to belong. Unfortunately, the story ends with no resolution leaving some disappointment but also room for open ended discussion.


Publishing Information

Publisher: Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster (Oct. 2, 2018)
ISBN: 9781481425223
Ages: 4-8

Monday, May 6, 2019

I'm Ok by Patti Kim: Book Review

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Ever since Ok's dad died, he and his mom have struggled to make ends meet. As the man of the house, Ok feels a big responsibility to help her out. Though he would love to win the cash prize at his school's talent show, Ok realizes he lacks in the talent department. Instead he hatches a plan to start his own hair braiding business. With a few library books and a little practice, Ok is ready.

While he dreams of making big money, the reality is the girls at school can't pay Ok much. To make matters worse the strange girl, Mickey McDonald blackmails him and in doing so inserts herself into an unwitting friendship. The class bully, Asa, also gives OK unwanted attention. If that weren't bad enough, Deacon Koh of the First Korean Full Gospel Church starts dating Ok's mom.

It's enough to make OK want to get away. He hatches an escape plan but will it work?

Quirky humor helps lighten the load of heavy grief. Readers can't help but feel for Ok and will relate to the other characters as well.

Rating ★★★★☆

Publishing Information:

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster (Oct. 9, 2018)
ISBN: 9781534419292
Ages 10 & up

Monday, February 25, 2019

Book Review: Bounce Back Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream by Hena Khad

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Zayd can't wait to take over as captain of the Gold Team. What he didn't plan was getting injured and watching his team from the bench.

With his family focused on his uncle's wedding, Zayd can't get sympathy from home. Instead he must find a way to lead on his own from the bench. But maybe the wedding is the diversion he needs to get his mind off how much he hates his crutches.

Will Zayd get back into the game before the season ends? Will he become the leader his team needs? Basketball fans will love following Zayd on the court while others will relate to the strong family ties off the court. Relatable characters make for a solid story in the series.

Rating ★★★★☆

Publishing Information:

Publisher: Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date:  October 2, 2018
ISBN:  9781534412047
Pages: 144
Ages: 7-10