I pretty much hate it when I am reading a series and the author reintroduces characters and themes passed the first book. I have great appreciation for an author who has confidence in her/his readers’ intelligence.  That being said; some series must be read in order, this book being a prime example. Cole Gibsen‘s Shinobi is the third book of Gibsen’s Katana series.  As engaging as this book may be, it does not stand alone. As the characters are reincarnated samurai, this book alternates between the past and present.  There were many poignant, important memories from which I was left out. In fact, it wasn’t untilRead More →

Green dust and meteors streak across the sky in Scrap Town Sixteen, bringing with them remnants of other worlds. On the eve of an imposing chair, Micah arrives at the door of Piper, music box in hand, ready to let the master do her work. Piper has always had a way with machines. She is recognized as the town machinist – even though a young, orphaned teenager. Micah’s music box is in almost perfect condition, amazing for something streaking through the universe.  The scrappers scour the earth after each storm, but Micah is too young to beat off the experienced scavengers, so how did heRead More →

I tend to love Civil War Era novels. This may be because the absolute horror of the time tends to lend itself really well to dramatic tension.  The conflicts present in Jane Nickerson‘s The Mirk and Midnight Hour most certainly could have made for a lot of high tension drama, but, unfortunately, they fell short. Ms. Nickerson introduces a wide range of themes throughout the novel; communicating with wildlife, the Civil War, slave society, voodoo, xenophobia, blended families, love, and treachery.  A strong development of any of these would have made for a really interesting story, but none were ever completely explored. Violet is living duringRead More →

When Theodora “Theo” Tenpenney’s grandfather, Frank, dies unexpectedly, she is left to take care of her mother – a recluse obsessed with mathematical equations. The family house in Greenwich Village is in disrepair. The food is almost gone, except for the chicken eggs. Each morning Theo gathers the new eggs and places the purest, most perfect, egg in the place of honor on the mantel. Serving as an enlarged reflection is Frank’s painting – a large white egg. Theo knows there is something special about that egg. Frank had managed to whisper something about “treasure” and “under the egg”. But what was it? When someRead More →

The first time I picked up Moonday by Adam Rex I only looked at the pictures. BEAUTIFUL illustrations help to tell the story of the day the moon comes out of the sky and hangs in a girl’s backyard. It’s so imaginative and something I think most children wish would happen to them! I love how the story also follows the town and answers the question, what would happen in our town if the sun did not come up one day? This is the perfect book to aid in a teacher’s writing lessons. It would be great for teaching detail because the girl describes whatRead More →

“I’ll be all right, I’ll be all right, I’ll be all right some day.” So begin the words of a song deeply rooted in the Civil Rights history of our country. Beginning in the time of slavery and continuing until present day We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song-written by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton-takes readers on a journey of a song that positively influenced African American people as they fought for freedom and equal rights. The book would be a great addition to any elementary classroom studying Civil Rights as it touches on slavery, the fight for equal rights, theRead More →

Most middle school students dream of days off of school – not the student’s of Kaboom Middle School. A brand new school 20 miles from Horsemouth, New Hampshire has opened up.  Desperate parents find flyers promising information, and more importantly, refreshments, at an informational meeting. Though the headmaster’s teeth and mixed up speech seem strange, there’s no other choice. By the time the last paper cup was thrown away 55 students were on the list – destined for some educationology (Marcel S. Kaboom, patent pending). The campus is a converted asylum and uses unconventional methods. Students swallow their books in the form of pills, dodgeRead More →

If you’re looking for a fun, easy book for a beginning reader, this is it!  Duck, Duck, Moose! by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen with pictures by Noah Z. Jones would be a great addition to any new or beginning reader’s library. With only two words throughout the book, children have the opportunity to comprehend the story on their own by looking at the pictures. It is also a great story for teaching students about being good friends with anyone. The main characters, Duck and Moose, are opposites in every way but they are still best friends Posted by Dani R.Read More →

It’s time to go wild! In Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, author and illustrator Peter Brown tackles the tough topic of being unique. It’s the story of Mr. Tiger, who is bored with his life and looking for a change. Slowly but surely, Mr. Tiger begins to break away from the mold and become himself. Despite feeling alone, he continues to be his own person. Mr. Tiger Goes Wild is a story that teaches children to be confident in who they are, no matter what. See what happens as Mr. Tiger continues to change and takes a walk on the wild side!  Posted by Dani R.Read More →