Month: April 2019

Yara’s Tawari Tree

Yara’s Tawari Tree is a children’s picture book written by Yossi Lapid.⁣ ⁣Tara lives in the Amazon forest with her mother and a pet bird, Chant. The forest was getting cleared tree by tree in the name of modernization. Tara saves one tiny seedling’s life by planting it in her garden. This story drives home an important point that when you protect nature, it protects you. ⁣ I loved the bright colors in this book, the greenery, the green parrot and the red dress of Tara. It is a perfect book to introduce the importance of plants to 3-5 year olds.⁣ Thank you to Netgalley and Independent Book Publishers Association for the ARC.⁣ Rating: 4/5⁣ Publication date: July 1, 2019⁣

A Room Away from the Wolves

Nova Ren Suma’s A Room Away from the wolves is a young adult fantasy novel. It is a coming-of-age novel which seems simple on the surface but has layered complexity beneath that deceptively calm veneer. Bina, the protagonist leases a room at Catherine house to get away from the wolves in her life. Bina’s story is a reverse fairy tale. She and her mom escape from her abusive father. Her mother gives up on her dreams of becoming an actress in New York city and marries a man who has two children. Bina and her step sisters hate one another, trouble her and take advantage of her. Bina’s mother becomes tired of Bina’s lies and her attempts to get back at her step sisters. She wants to send Bina to stay with her church friends for sometime and packs Bina’s suitcase. Bina leaves the house, but goes to Catherine House instead, a mystical place where her mother spent one glorious summer. The ending came at me like a bullet train and went away before I …

To Bloom or Not To Bloom

In the age of climate change and global warming, ‘to bloom or not to bloom’, is an important question every flower should ask itself before blooming. This the story is about a tulip who ponders whether to bloom or not. The Baby Bud had a terrible experience when he bloomed for the first time. His parents are worried that he might not bloom at all this Spring and miss the wonder of Spring. Will the Baby Bud bloom or not? Read more at

The Night Diary

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandini, is a series of letters written by Nisha to her deceased mother. Nisha is 12 years old and this novel is her view of the tumultuous period when India got independence. The country was split into a new India for the Hindus and Pakistan for the Muslims. Millions of people migrated across the border and were killed in the riots. Nisha and her family had to leave Mirpur Khas and embark on a dangerous journey to the new India. This book is similar in format to the Diary of Anne Frank. We learn how the partition of India affected Nisha and her family. After reading this book, I understood that the dark periods in world history leave an unforgettable mark on children who live through it. They lose their childhood and are scarred for the rest of their lives. This book is a must read if you love learning about history and culture of other countries. I was surprised that this book was in middle-grade fiction because adults can …

Murder Lo Mein

Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien is a murder mystery. Lana is the owner of Ho Lee’s restaurant. The restaurant participates in the noodle contest to vie for the top restaurant spot in the Asian Village. One of the most notorious judges of the contest, Norman Pan is murdered. Lara investigates his murder and the string of murders that plague the noodle contest. Were the murders related to the contest or did they have a personal connection? This is my first book by Vivian Chen. I felt that the character description needed a bit of work. I did not care about the murder of Norman Pan. Unlike Agatha Christie novels, where the victim has a rich financial and emotional background, none of it was provided for Norman Pan. He was just a harsh critic whom no one liked. I also did not care about who won the noodle contest because I knew Lana’s restaurant would win. Lana was also a rookie in solving the murder case. I rate this book a 3 out of 5 …