Kait's Bookshelf

Book Reviews and Literary Services


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My First Children’s Book!

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I am very excited to share the news of my first children’s book from Cavendish Square Publishing! The title is Property Rights, and it is part of a series that teaches Civic Values to grades 2-4. I am very proud to be a part of this project. I signed on for this series last year and it is so exciting to finally see the finished product! Continue reading

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Book Review: The Ghosts & Jamal by Bridget Blankley

The Ghosts & Jamal“It had been good to climb, as good as anything he had ever done. It had not been so good to fall, but he would recover. All in all, he thought, it was worth the fall, just to have climbed the tree.” – The Ghosts & Jamal

Jamal is a thirteen year old boy in rural Nigeria whose favorite drinks include Fanta and Sprite. He seems like everyone else except that he lives with epilepsy. His epileptic episodes are misinterpreted by his family as “bad spirits” coming upon him. So Jamal lives apart from his family, in a separate hut on the outskirts of his village. This isolation will ultimately save Jamal’s life during a terrorist attack on his village. I read Jamal’s story in one sitting. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. I was worried for this young man – for his health, for his safety, and for his feelings – as he set out on his own to try to escape the attackers and to find his grandfather, or anyone else who survived, and might be able to help him. I feared for him and wanted to help and protect him. Continue reading


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Book Review: All the Beautiful Girls by Elizabeth J. Church

All the Beautiful Girls

Cover art is copyright of Ballantine Books

If you follow my blog or my Instagram page, then you probably know how much I love reading books set in the Golden Age of Hollywood. By the Golden Age, I’m referring to the period of the 1930s to the 1960s. There is just something I love about being transported back to a time when Hollywood and the movies were truly magical. So when I read the synopsis of All the Beautiful Girls, I jumped at the chance to read it. While not set in Hollywood (it largely takes place in Las Vegas during the 1960s) it still had that allure of the early days of entertainment out west. All the Beautiful Girls is the story of Lily Decker, or as she becomes known in Las Vegas, Ruby Wilde. I couldn’t put this book down.

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2017 Wrap-Up and Reading Plans for 2018

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I love New Year’s Eve/ Day! It is always so nice to get a fresh start. I often get the urge to clean and organize my house around the New Year holiday. This includes my bookshelves. I often rearrange them and round up a box of books to be donated to the library. I have a really hard time letting books go, so these are usually books that I finally read over the previous year and don’t feel that I will re-read them. Or they are books that served a purpose during certain periods of my life and are now no longer necessary. Cleaning out and rearranging my bookshelves always makes me anxious for new reads and nostalgic for some old reads, too. Here are my highlights from 2017 and my reading goals for 2018.

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Friday Firsts: Cozy Christmas Mysteries by Barbara Early

death-of-a-toy-soldier.jpgIt’s been a while since I wrote a Friday Firsts post. And yes, I realize it’s Saturday. But with the holiday this week, my days are mixed up! I intended to post this on Friday, and since today feels like Friday, here you go – a Friday Firsts! This month, I read my first cozy Christmas mystery, Death of a Toy Soldier by Barbara Early. I liked it so much that I immediately read the sequel, Murder on the Toy Town Express. Before I get into the books, let me answer the question you’re probably asking yourself…what is a cozy Christmas mystery?

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Book Review: Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Wishtree“Trees can’t tell jokes. But we can certainly tell stories. And if all you hear is the whisper of leaves, don’t worry. Most trees are introverts at heart.”

– Wishtree

I love books told from an unusual perspective. The point of view in Wishtree is what initially grabbed my attention. I’ve been looking forward to reading this book since fall, when I included it in my post of upcoming children’s and middle grade reads. In Wishtree, we hear from Red, a very old red oak tree. Red has seen and heard a lot over her many hundreds of years. She is very wise, but she knows the rules – no speaking to humans, ever. So, when Red sees a new family move into the neighborhood and quickly realizes that things aren’t quite right, she sets about trying to find a way to fix it.
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Promoting Your Book for the Holidays

Holiday Promotions

Was 2017 the year you finally wrote and published that book you’ve been dreaming of writing for years? Or was it the year you had a new release come out and you’d like to create some hype around it? Or do you create unique products that pair well with books like bookmarks, literary-inspired jewelry or clothing, or delicious teas or coffees? If so, then a social media blast or product promotion from Kait’s Bookshelf might be just what you’re looking for to help give your books or products a boost for the holidays! With only a couple of shopping weeks left before Christmas, there is no time like the present to promote your new book or products.
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The Next Harry Potter?

Book Review: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Morrigan let Jupiter’s overcoat fall in a pile at her feet. Climbing onto the balustrade, she opened her new oilskin umbrella with shaking hands.

Don’t look down don’t look down don’t look down.

The air felt thin. ‘Step boldly,’ Morrigan whispered.

Then she closed her eyes.

And jumped.”

– Nevermoor The Trials of Morrigan Crow


Each month, I usually do a month-end wrap-up to recap the books I’ve reviewed that month and highlight any other posts I’ve written as well as upcoming reads and posts for the new month ahead. However, since I only had three reviews in November, I will be rolling them into my year-end wrap-up in late December. November was a tough month with a very sad loss for our family. So I spent some time away from the blog and work to be with family. Even though I only reviewed three books in November, I am pleased to report that they were all books I enjoyed. I will highlight those titles as well as my book plans for the New Year in an upcoming post. For now, I’d like to talk about a new release that I’ve been waiting to read since early fall – Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow.
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Book Review: Surprise Me By Sophie Kinsella

Surprise Me

Cover art copyright of Random House Publishing Group

I had intended for my next post to be about book promotion services that I offer through Kait’s Bookshelf, such as a Social Media Blast. My thought was that with Black Friday and Cyber Monday approaching, authors might want to take advantage of those services to promote their books. But, life had other plans. Just after my last blog post, our family lost someone very special to us. My father-in-law received a stage four cancer diagnosis in January. He lived this last year of his life like he always did – enjoying life. He spent a lot of time with family doing the things he loved. On Thursday, November 16, 2017, he passed away peacefully surrounded by family.

In the days following his passing, I tried to write a new post and keep reading. But I found myself unable to concentrate. Before I knew it, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday had all passed me by. After a few days of sadness and grief, once the “dust settled” so to speak, I found myself able to once again take comfort in reading. Reading has always been an escape for me. It was nice to pick up a new book by one of my favorite authors and disappear into a new, wacky world for a little while. I still plan to blog about book promotion services as they can still be used for the upcoming Christmas holiday and anytime of the year. But, for today, I’d like to focus on a new book review.
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Book Review: Digby of the Dinosaurs by Linda Yiannakis

Digby of the DinosaursThis must be what it’s like to have a mother, thought Digby sleepily. Even a bird mother…or whatever these creatures are. That baby is lucky that’s she’s his mother. Digby scooted a little closer to Dakaana. I think she could be my mother, too, thought Digby the orphan boy. My real mother.” – Digby of the Dinosaurs

This new middle grade book from author Linda Yiannakis is, at its heart, a story about family. What makes a family? Love. That is the underlying message. When young orphan, Digby, goes out for a walk one day, he falls into a canyon and finds himself amongst strange, large creatures. Could they possibly be dinosaurs? Didn’t dinosaurs go extinct? What ensues is an adventure in which Digby will learn what it means to love, to be loved, and to belong.

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