All posts tagged: book review

The Day Saida Arrived

Did you have a friend who did not speak your language? I was not lucky enough to have a friend like that. The Day Saida Arrived is a beautiful book about friendship, acceptance and immigration. The book is written by Susana Gomez Redondo and illustrated by Sonja Winner. The book tells the tale of friendship between a girl who speaks only English and a Moroccan girl who can speak only Arabic. The girl teaches Saida English and in return she learns Arabic. It is also a story about how friendship has the power to heal and bring joy. Saida has a tough time living in a new country which has different language and customs but her friend helps her accept the new place. I loved the below quote from the book: And we knew that in all languages, there are words as warm as breath and others as cold as metal. Words that bring together, and words that separate. Words that cause hurt; words that awaken laughter. Words that tickle when they are spoken, and …

The Mutant Mushroom Takeover

It is that time of the year again. As a Halloween tradition, I pick up a few spooky books in September and October. The Mutant Mushroom Takeover by Summer Rachel Short(@summerrachelwrites) is a perfect and chilling read for this Halloween. Maggie is an aspiring young naturalist who lives in Shady Pines with her grandmother and elder brother, Ezra. Maggie’s best friend is Nate, who is a wannabe YouTube Star and alien conspiracy theorist. Maggie’s dream is to win Vitaccino Junior Naturalist Award. Nate has an idea that can make Maggie the winner. Nate and Maggie go to scary old man Bell’s land and discover bioluminescent fungus. Due to an unfortunate incident, Maggie’s brother, who also joined them inhales spores. Now, his brother is having a cough. Maggie also finds animals sprouting unusual growths and displaying herd behavior. Are all these related? As things gets worse in Shady Pines, it is up to Maggie to make their town safe. I loved the dynamic between Maggie and Nate, scientific Maggie and weird and unrealistic Nate. The town …

The Reindeer Girl

Happy book publication month to The Reindeer Girl by Holly Webb (@hollywebbauthor) Lotta goes to Norway with her family to celebrate her great-grandmother, Erika’s birthday. Lotta grew up listening to stories about reindeer herding from her mother and great-grandmother. Lotta loves reindeers and wishes she had a reindeer to take care of. Lotta’s wish comes true, she travels back in time to when her great grandmother is a kid and Lotta is her cousin. Lotta and Erika embark on a dangerous journey to save the Reindeer mother and calf, who were in their care. This book is a great read for middle graders who like diverse literature and want to learn about Norway culture and customs and Reindeers. Thanks to @netgalley and @pubspotlight for the ARC.

A Pinch of Magic

Happy Book Publication Month to A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison. Three Widdershins sisters live in a dreary place called Crowstone under the care of their grandmother. The middle sister wants to escape Crowstone and see the outside world. She secretly plans an outing with her younger sister. Her grandmother appears out of nowhere, takes them home and reveals a family secret. The Widdershins are cursed to remain in Crowstone forever. Nine women from Winddershins family met their death when they crossed the border. Their grandmother also gives them three magical items passed down from one generation of Widdershins women to the next. The magical items are a traveling bag that can take you anywhere, the Russian dolls that can make a person vanish and a mirror which can show anyone in the world. The middle sister is determined to break the curse. With the help of her other sisters she embarks on a dangerous journey which involves helping a criminal escape from the Crowstone jail. Will the sister be able to break the …

Quintessence

Happy Book Publication Year to Quintessence by Jess Redman (@jess__red) Alma’s family moves to Four Points and Alma has trouble acclimating to the new middleschool and making friends. There is a mysterious shop in the city and the owner gives Alma a quintescope. When Alma looks through the quintescope that night, she sees a star falling and a starling, a glowing girl in need of help. Alma wants to help the starling but she escapes and hides in the woods. Alma joins astronomy club and meets Shirin, Hugo and Dustin. Alma and her friends are Elementals and they each have to gather an element of nature to send the starling back to her home. I loved the diverse nature of Alma’s friends. Alma is shy, Shirin is outgoing and loud, Hugo is a geek and Dustin is a bully. I liked the concepts of quintessence, the light inside us, and the importance of elements of nature. The author also touches upon mental health issues. This book is a great read for geeky middle schoolers interested …

Summer Feet

Happy Book Publication Month to Summer Feet written by Sheree Fitch and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher. Today’s the day we kick off shoes hide away socks Today’s the day Our summer feet shout LET US OUT. The main characters in this book are the feet of the children. In Summer, the feet come out of the shoes and socks and explore nature in their bare-naked form. The bare-naked feet walk over hard rocks, tumble down hills, climb trees, play hide-and-seek and many other activities. Summer Feet is a perfect picture book to read with children this Summer. It also provides for activities to do in Summer. Hurry up and grab this book because Autumn is coming and the feet have to be imprisoned in boots and socks soon. Thank you to @netgalley and @nimbuspub for the ARC.

The Tears of Monterini

Happy Publication Month to The Tears of Monterini by Amanda Weinberg (@amandaweinbergauthor). The Tears of Monterini is a historical women’s fiction set in the fictional town of Monterini, Italy. The novel is set in in time period of 1921-1946, when Mussolini rose and fell from power in Italy. The novel is about two families of different faiths, a Jew and a Catholic, but with friendship lasting for six generations. Yacobo is Jewish and has a book store and Angelo is a contadino, who is a winemaker. Yacobo’s daughter, Bella falls in love with Angelo’s son, Rico. Their love is forbidden in the eyes of the society and due to condemnation of Jews, as Hilter rose to power. The peaceful town of Monterini is torn apart, as the villagers decide what to do with the Jews in the village. No Jew was safe in that tumultuous time and the small town of Monterini was not an exception. I loved the descriptions about the town of Monterini and the various residents of the town. The reader follows …

Kiki Mcadoo and the graveyard ballerinas

Happy publication month to Kiki Mcadoo and the Graveyard Ballerinas by Colette Sewall. Kiki and her sister, Alison are ballerinas in training. They go to Mount Faylinn, a ballet school in Summer. Mount Faylinn is surrounded by a magical forest, a lake and a forbidden forest beyond the lake. Kiki meets Oliver at the school who introduces her to fairies of the forest and also takes her to darker parts of the forest. While Kiki struggles to perfect her ballet poses, she faces a new problem. Her sister is at the right age to be influenced by the darker forces of the forest. Will Kiki be able to save her sister? I loved the mystery surrounding the non-human characters in the book. This book also highlights the love between sisters and the sacrifices they make for one another. The unique plot of this book, which involved ballet, fairies, ghosts and alchemy made it difficult to put it down. A great read that will keep you at the edge of your seat. Thank you to @netgalley …

Different Like Me

Happy publication month to Different like me written by Xochitl Dixon (@xochitl.e.dixon) and illustrated by Bonnie Lui (@superbonart). We are all unique in our differences. We are dark and fair and all colors in between. We follow different religions of faith and speak different languages. We belong to different countries. Some speak with their hands, see with sticks and can move only in a wheelchair. Despite our differences we share the same feelings of hope, despair and yearn to be cared and loved by others. In this book, a group of diverse children are walking with a balloon to a surprise destination. As they make their journey, they make new friends and explore the differences, similarities and learn how to overcome a hurdle together. This picturebook touches on the most important concept that even though children look different but we are all human and have to look after one another. I loved the colorful illustrations and the fish balloon is a ‘cool’ character with interesting emotions. Thanks to @netgalley and @ourdailybread for the ARC.

The Book of Selkie

Happy Book Publication Year to The Book of Selkie by Briana Corr Scott. The Book of Selkie is a children’s picturebook which introduces a selkie to children. Selfies are faerie people who live part their lives as a seal. The selkies are seals that can shed their coat and land and transforms into humans. They live part of their life on land. In simple text, this book explains the yearning of a selkie to be on land and also return to the sea. This book talks about a typical ‘selkie’ day. With soothing illustrations, this book is appropriate to teach young children about Scottish and Irish legends of selkie. Thank you to @netgalley and @nimbuspub for the ARC.