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




Sunday, February 17, 2019

Lu by Jason Reynolds Book Review

Book received at no charge to facilitate review

As co-captain of the Defenders, Lu shoulders the responsibility of leading the track team to their upcoming championship. But Lu faces his own hurdles before he can lead the team to a win.

Just before the big week, Lu finds out his mom is expecting a baby. While his mom struggles with morning sickness that lasts all day, Lu tries to help her with her business, stepping up as delivery boy. He faces inner turmoil at the discovery that his dad acquired his coach's Olympic gold in a less than moral way. Will he be able to convince his dad to return it?

Not only does Lu face hurdles with his parents but with himself as well. He can't seem to get over  the real hurdles on the track. Lu has poor eyesight caused by being an albino. When he loses a contact, the coach discovers he can barely see. The coach comes up with a brilliant idea to teach Lu how to get over the hurdles without the contacts.

In one of life's great lessons, Lu learns winning gold in life doesn't always mean on the track. Relatable characters mixed with a realistic look into middle class family life make a dazzling gold medal ending to Reynolds Track series.

Rating ★★★★☆

Publishing Information

Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books (October 23, 2018)
Series: Track (Book #4)
Pages 224
ISBN: 978-1481450249
Ages: 10 and up






Sunday, January 20, 2019

Book Review: Bear Can't Sleep by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

Book received at no charge to facilitate review

Deep in the forest the cold wind blows while bear cuddles under his warm quilt in for his long winter nap. He closes his eyes, and tosses and turns but sleep eludes him. 

His friends become alarmed and rally around to help get him to sleep. Mouse serves mint tea. Hare offers warm milk and Badger builds a toasyt fire but "Bear can't sleep." Perhaps Gopher and Mole can something that will get bear to sleep. Wren, Owl and Raven join the others to no avail. That is until they put their minds together. Will they formulate a successful plan to get Bear sleeping through the winter.

The darling illustrations make it too irresistible not to pause on each page. The lolling rhyme will have the young reader drowsing off as soon as Bear finds a solution. A delightful read aloud that even parents will love reading over and over again.

Rating ★★★★☆

Publishing Information

Publisher: