Category Archives: Children

The Beast by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs

The Beast by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs

Just when the kids thought the Darkdeep was under control, everything goes nuts. Figments they didn’t conjure, a voice in their heads, and an actual Beast complicate their fall break and create a Halloween they’ll never forget. The action is nonstop. The story is told alternating focused on Nico and Opal. Just when I thought everything was resolving way too long before the end of the book, the situation got even worse. There were things I definitely didn’t expect and thank goodness for the comic relief offered by Colton Bridger and his Freakshow. Otherwise the book just might have been too intense (yes, I realize I am an adult and this is a kids book… I am a wimp). I recommend this book (the whole series) to children and adults alike.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 1
Pages Read in 2022: 325

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Filed under Children, Fantasy, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Gossamer by Lois Lowry

Gossamer by Lois Lowry

Have you ever wondered where good dreams and terrible nightmares come from? Gossamer answers that question in such a gentle, sweet, and slightly fanciful way. The triggers experienced and words used by the boy, John, were very well written and not surprising for a child in foster care who has dealt with the things he had dealt with. Thin Elderly was such a patient and kind dreamgiving character and was paralleled in the real world by the old woman who fostered John. I absolutely adore Gossamer. She’s so fun. I’d love for her to be my dreamgiver. I recommend this book to kids and adults, though be aware that parts could trigger kids who are or have been in foster care.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 93
Pages Read in 2021: 29,716

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Filed under Children, Fantasy, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: LitHub Bingo

The Best School Year Ever by Barbara Robinson

The Best School Year Ever by Barbara Robinson

The Best School Year Ever is a cute book full of stories about the Herdman kids’ antics. All through the book, the narrator is trying to come up with a word to use to compliment Imogene Herdman for a class project and in the end discovers she must come up with way more than one, something she finds is not so hard to do. It’s a short book, excellent for reading aloud to middle grade age kids. I recommend it to kids and adults alike, particularly those who enjoyed The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 92
Pages Read in 2021: 29,569

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Filed under Children, Reason: LitHub Bingo

The Bobbsey Twins on a Houseboat by Laura Lee Hope

The Bobbsey Twins on a Houseboat by Laura Lee Hope

When I was a kid (in the 80s) I read my mom’s old Bobbsey Twins books (that she got in the 50s). The Bobbsey Twins on a Houseboat was my favorite one. I read it on my Kindle and I could’ve sworn I smelled the old book smell while I read it. Crazy how smell memories work. There are some cringy things in this book (mainly due to when it was written), but the story is fun and I still enjoyed it all these years later.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 89
Pages Read in 2021: 28,801

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Filed under Children, Reason: We Be Book'N

Black Women in Science by Kimberly Brown Pellum, PhD

Black Women in Science is full of short bios on some inspiring Black women who have done extraordinary things in various fields of science. Each one ends with ideas to learn more and think about their own spot in science and the world. It is aimed at young Black girls with the hopes of motivating them to become whatever they dream they can be. I highly recommend it!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 45
Pages Read in 2020: 11,979
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Biography, Children, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: Vine Review

Wayside School is Falling Down by Louis Sachar

The second book is the Wayside School series, Wayside School Is Falling Down is full of puns, wit, and just plain silly fun. My boys and I laughed a lot as we read it. I highly recommend it to kids of all ages. It makes an excellent family read aloud.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 29
Pages Read in 2020: 6856
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Children, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

I read Sideways Stories from Wayside School to my 11- and 13-year-old sons and all three of us found it absolutely hysterical. My boys told other people some of the stories (each chapter is a little story) and couldn’t stop laughing as they did. Some of the stories are downright bizarre, but all of them are quite funny and clever. I highly recommend this book to anyone with a sense of humor. It makes a very excellent family read-aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 26
Pages Read in 2020: 6177
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Children, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

Second Chances by Valerie Tripp

Second Chances is the second American Girl book about Josefina. This one covers several months following the first book. The end is predictable, but exactly how you want it be. American Girl books are historical fiction for kids done right. I highly recommend this book to tweens. It makes a great family readaloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 25
Pages Read in 2020: 6014
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Children, Historical Fiction, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Vine Review

Sunlight and Shadows by Valerie Tripp

Josefina, the American Girl of 1824, is coming to terms with the loss of her mother and the addition of her aunt to her life. She lives in New Mexico (part of Mexico) and is learning to run a household. The story is very sweet and surprisingly not nearly as depressing as some of the other American Girl historical books. As with all American Girl books I’ve read to my boys, it’s historical fiction for kids done right. I highly recommend it, especially as a family read aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 21
Pages Read in 2020: 5272
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Children, Historical Fiction, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

The Big Break by Megan McDonald

An expanded version of the original first Julie book, The Big Break is all about the 1974 American Girl doll. The story is well-written and has lots of little callouts to the time period. The last couple pages give non-fiction information about life as Julie would’ve experienced it and explains why certain things were included (like Julie struggling with her parents’ divorce and working to get on the boy’s basketball team at school). I recommend this book to kids who enjoy American Girl books. It makes an excellent family read-aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 17
Pages Read in 2020: 4372
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Children, Historical Fiction, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Vine Review