Friday, June 8, 2018

Books for Father's Day: If I Didn't Have You by

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

When he sees a fancy car drive by, Mike asks his dad why he doesn't have a car like that. In jest, his dad points out that the car only seats two and they have a family of three but if he didn't have Mike then he could have a car like that. Mike joins the playful antics by declaring that, "I could eat candy for every meal... if I didn't have you." But his dad one ups him, "I could take sky-diving lessons...if I didn't have you."

Through wit and humor the father and son admit having each other is better than joining a circus and following a dream to join a rock band. The playful story takes a hilarious turn when Mom arrives to join the teasing. The bright colors of Robertson's digital illustrations enhance the light-hearted family relationships woven by Alan Katz. A perfect Father's Day addition to the family library.

Rating ★★★★☆

Publishing Information

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (April 10, 2018)
Pages: 32
Age: 4-8

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Book Review: Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol: The Haunted House Next Door

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.
Moving to a new house is hard enough. But for a normal kid like Andres, his move proves far from normal. In fact, he discovers his house is haunted after weird things start happening like silverware flying out of drawers and furniture rearranging itself. Andres' parents don't see what he sees, leaving Andres scared and alone. Alas! Along comes his not so weird neighbor, Desmond Cole, Ghost Patrol with his ghost gadgets . Together they discover Zax, a friendly ghost living in the basement. Andres can't help feeling sorry for the ghost after he gets sick eating lasagne and strikes an agreement with him. Will it be enough to calm Andres' fears? Stay tuned.

Andres Miedoso's Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol Series strikes a new friendship and a new chord for young readers making the transition from picture books to chapter books. Short chapters with simple words and plenty of illustrations make the transition smooth. An engaging storyline helps encourage the reader to follow through to the very end and will hook the reader with anticipation for the next book in the series.


Publishing Information:

Publisher: Little Simon (December 12, 2017)
ISBN: 9781534410428
Ages: 4-6

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Lucky Enough by Fred Bowen: Book Review

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Trey's lucky token, a piece of blue sea glass he found with his grandmother, has brought a string of good luck. His performance on the baseball field exceeds his expectations and he scores well on tests at school with very little effort. When he makes the Ravens team, he carries the piece of glass with him during every play, hoping it will continue helping him with his lucky streak.

His luck turns when Trey loses his precious shard of glass. When his mom and uncle reminisce at dinner about their mother's work ethic, Trey comes to the conclusion that he has put too much emphasis on his grandmother's "lucky enough" sign. Could it be that his grandmother felt stronger about hard work leading to success rather than luck and that his good luck charm really doesn't matter?

Detailed descriptions of all things baseball, including practice and games by Bowen will have the young sports enthusiast fully engrossed in the game. Even better, the subtle life lesson of the value of work will make an impression on the back of the mind. Fun facts about about the rituals of famous baseball players make a good bonus read.

Rating ★★★★☆

Publishing Information

Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (March 2017)
ISBN: 978-1-56145-957-5
Ages: 7-12

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Book Review: The Player King by Avi

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Cruelty and hard work make up the only life Lambert Simnel has ever known. Orphaned as a young boy, Lambert doesn't know anything of his past, not even his real age. The whisper, "Boy, I know who you really are," of the friar, Brother Simonds give Lambert a hint of his destiny.

Brother Simonds purchases Lambert and takes him away to school him on the art of becoming king. According to Brother Simonds, Lambert is the previous king's nephew, and rightful heir to the throne.       Lambert takes his cue from the street actors he's watched and strives to become a convincing king. Will the friar's selfish motives turn into a disaster for Lambert or will he sit upon the throne of Ireland? Though Lambert nearly convinces himself, truth prevails and brings an unfortunate twist of fate.

Readers of historical fiction will enjoy Lambert's adventure and may sympathize with his quest for belonging. A solid first person account of what might have happened in the history of Ireland.

Publishing Information 

Publisher: Atheneum
ISBN: 978-1-48143768-4
Pages: 208
Ages: 9-12

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