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


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Book Review: The Boy, the Boat and the Beast by Samantha M. Clark

Book received at no charge to facilitate review
What wonders would the world hold if one day you woke up not knowing who you are? When a boy wakes up on the beach in a world he doesn't recognize, he struggles to discover why he's there and who he is. Food and water comes easily to him but his bigger desire to know his place in the world doesn't come easy. An eerie feeling for a young boy.

It doesn't help that an unknown voice occupies his mind. A voice he nicknames "the bully" because of the negative thoughts it fills his brain. As if the bully isn't bad enough, a monstrous beast sits ready to devour him if the water doesn't pull him under first.

The boy focuses his energy into building a boat in an attempt to get back to his parents. The boy's adventure captivates the reader though the melancholy tone makes for slower reading. Perhaps slowing down is a good thing as it helps the reader catch the allegories of the story and appreciate the lyrical writing. A solid fantasy for those who love solving mysteries.

Rating ★★★★☆

Publishing Information

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (June 26, 2018)
                                                                              ISBN:  978-1-5344-1255-2
Pages: 256
Ages: 8-12