Saturday, August 17, 2019

Book Review: Charlie Hernández & The League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Charlie Hernández can't seem to catch a break. First his house burns down then his parents go missing. If that isn't bad enough, he grows horns and feathers. It goes from bizarre to creepy when he moves in with Mrs. Wilson and has to stare at her unusually odd doll collection.

A quick search of the lost and found gives Charlie a hilarious jacket to hide his new feathers. He can't seem to hide from Violet Rey, the girl he has a crush on. She discovers his secret and they become partners in mystery solving. Their first task leads them to a cemetery and introduces them to a shadowy world of Hispanic myths, full of mythical creatures like La Calaca and El Cadejo.

The Hispanic myths and adventure combine for a thrilling tale with strong characters that will have the reader glued to the pages. A whole new world opens up for those not acquainted with the Hispanic culture. Hispanic and Latin children can stand proud at the thrilling look inside their mythical world.
Rating ★★★★★

Publishing Information

Publisher: Aladdin (Oct. 23, 2018)
Ages: 10-14
ISBN: 9781534426580

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Book Review: Rising Water by Marc Aronson

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

In June and July 2018, the world sat riveted to their television screens, grasping at every bit of news of the twelve members of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach trapped deep inside the Tham Luang Cave Complex. Families and strangers wept and cheered when news reached them that the boys had been found alive.

Author, Marc Aronson, puts the emotion aside to bring the engrossing back story about the initial cave exploration of the soccer team and the ensuing rescue. Detailed accounts of the rescue teams from different countries show just how well the international community worked together to save the lives of team. From the top cave divers who were flown in from around the world to the brave Thai Navy Seal who lost his life placing oxygen tanks along the way, the reader gets a glimpse into just how dangerous the rescue mission really was. The account of the three day rescue is truly spine chilling. Aronson's attention to detail from press releases, interviews, press conferences, and television from sources of many countries involved in the rescue, gives a complete and accurate account of the near disastrous rescue mission. 

Rising Water keeps the reader engrossed in what feels like a new story all over again. Kudos to Aronson for highlighting social issues of the stateless team members. A definite must read for those who love real life adventure.


Publishing Information:

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (March 19, 2019)
ISBN: 9781534444133
Ages: 10-14

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