Saturday, April 26, 2014

Book Review: Coming Home (Bushido Chronicles #1) by Jason Brick

Book received at no charge to facilitate review. 

When Connor Morgan and his mother move to Portland, Oregon to escape his abusive father, he finds himself facing a new set of problems. While struggling to land a spot on the varsity wrestling team, he faces three of his teammates who would like nothing more than to destroy him. It's bad enough that they chase him from the locker room in his underwear past the girl he likes outside into the cold, but worse, he discovers the dark secret of his teammates.

It turns out the bullies are possessed by ancient Japanese spirits who not only want to destroy him but the entire school and beyond.

Some of Connor's other team mates help protect him as he learns his destiny and how it fits into Japanese Samurai legends. He will have to learn to trust those closest to him as he prepares to fight the enemy. Though the romantic aspect seemed forced at times, plenty of action mixed with and interesting take on Japanese legend holds the reader's interest and will especially appeal to those interested in wrestling and the martial arts.

 Rating:  Recommended ★★★★☆

Publishing Information: 
Publisher: Bree Noa Publishing (March 15, 2014)
Pages: 272
Ages: 14 and up
ISBN: 978-1-938445-12-5

This book can be purchased from the following retailer:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Book Review: Bugged! How Insects Changed History by Sarah Albee and Illustrated by Robert Leighton

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Throughout history, humans have been getting sick and grossed out by bugs, literally. In fact, bugs have destroyed entire empires. Do you have the insatiable curiosity that wants to find out how bugs make people sick? Do you want a look into what famous person may have died from a mosquito bite? Did you know that bugs might have taken down entire armies. If you want to find the relationship to bugs and diseases, you may just be the next budding epidemiologist.

Reader take warning: Sara Albee does not write for the squeamish. In fact, she warns the faint of heart to stay away from the "TMI" side boxes but who can resist a "Pox Box" that reveals, "More awful tropical afflictions?" With all of the creepy illness causing parasites and horrible diseases spread by mosquitos, the reader will never want to skip hand washing and mosquito repellent again.

The reader can't help but getting the the creepy, crawlies from reading about bugs but their intrigue will help them push past the stomach jitters to delve into the fascinating historical facts.

Rating: Recommended ★★★★☆

Publishing Information:
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers (April 2014)
ISBN: 978-0-8027-3422-8
Ages: 10-14

Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Review: Three Hens and a Peacock by Lester L. Laminack & Illustrated by Henry Cole

Book received at no charge from the publisher to facilitate review.
Nothing much ever happened on the Tucker Farm. The cows go about chewing their cud, the hens peck and lay their eggs while the hound lays around on the porch. But things on the farm get crazy when a peacock shows up.

The peacock struts about with his feather's spread and attracts the attention of folks just driving by. Soon they stop to admire him while they buy up all of the eggs, corn and milk. The hens can't help but notice how all of the peacock's prancing doesn't produce a single contribution to the roadside stand. They team up against him and demand that he stay back at the hen house and tend to the nests while they dress up for the glamorous job of stopping cars. Sadly, their antics fall short of their desired result.

The hilarious illustrations will elicit giggles from young readers while they learn a valuable lesson on why each individual's contribution is important. The cartoon like expressions on the faces of the farm animals will charm children of all ages.

Rating: Recommended ★★★★☆

Publishing Information:
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (Reprint Feb. 1, 2014)
ISBN: 978-1561457267
Pages: 32
Ages 5 & up
This book can be purchased from the following retailers:">Three Hens and a Peacock</a><img src="" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;