Kait's Bookshelf

Book Reviews and Literary Services


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February Book Bucket List: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

a wrinkle in time“’Well, then, someone just tell me how we got here!’ Calvin’s voice was still angry and his freckles seemed to stand out on his face. ‘Even traveling at the speed of light, it would take us years and years to get here.’

‘Oh, we don’t travel at the speed of anything,’ Mrs. Whatsit explained earnestly. ‘We tesser. Or you might say, we wrinkle.’” – A Wrinkle in Time

I chose A Wrinkle in Time as my book bucket list pick for February for a couple of reasons. One, I’ve wanted to re-read this book for years. When I picked it up this month, it had been at least twenty years since I’d read it. I remember it having a science fiction and fantasy feel to it, but I was fuzzy on the details. Two, I wanted to brush up on the book before the new Disney film version releases in March.

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January Wrap-Up and Reading Plans for February

February Reads

Here we are, a full week into February already! I can’t believe how quickly the weeks are flying by in 2018. January was a great month for me. I took on a couple of new book projects (more to come on those later!) and I read some great books. My February reading is also off to a great start with a debut novel from a talented author that is turning out to be a wonderful young adult fantasy read. Added bonus: I’m reading it from sunny Arizona, getting a much needed break from winter in the northeast. In today’s post, I will recap my January reads and share my reading plans for February, all while sending sunny vibes your way!

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Book Reviews: Code Name Butterfly and Toletis

This month I was fortunate to receive two new titles in the young adult and middle grade genres from a new indie publisher called Neem Tree Press. Neem Tree Press is a publisher of international fiction in translation in the UK. Both of these books were intriguing stories told with a unique voice. I love reading stories told from a young person’s perspective. Children see the world in a way that adults can’t or won’t, and they usually offer some eye-opening insights while telling their stories. Today, I’d like to highlight both of these new books and invite you to explore them further.

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January Book Bucket List: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

Mary Poppins

“But Jane and Michael were not taken in by that snap. For they could see in Mary Poppins’s eyes something that, if she were anybody else but Mary Poppins, might have been described as tears…”             – Mary Poppins

Earlier this month I shared part of my Book Bucket List. It is a list of books that I feel I must read in my lifetime. It differs from my To Be Read list in that these are books that I really feel compelled to read for one reason or another. On the other hand, my To Be Read list is a list of books that I think look interesting or amusing or that someone gave to me and I’d like to read eventually. But they are not books that I’ve always wanted to read nor will I be devastated if I don’t get to them in my lifetime.

My Book Bucket List consists of a variety of titles of literature for adults and children. Maybe it’s a book that has been traditionally controversial and I need to know what all the fuss is about. Maybe it’s a historically important piece of literature. Or maybe it’s a book I’ve heard referenced throughout my life but have never read myself. In some cases, they are books from my childhood, classic children’s tales that I remember enjoying but am fuzzy on the stories themselves. So I’d like to revisit them as an adult to fully appreciate their contributions to children’s literature and to my childhood as well. My January Book Bucket List pick is Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers. Continue reading


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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: 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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Book Review: The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street

“Mom once told me she sees a story in everything. A lopsided sand castle at high tide might look terrible but could have been built by a future architect. A small blob of jellyfish glistening in the sand might seem harmless but could be more dangerous than a vial of poison. A rainbow might be the brightest one you’ve ever seen but could be the result of a hurricane…” – The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street

I loved this book and the above passage sums up why. There is always more to a story than what we see on the surface. Any given circumstance could turn out to be the exact opposite of what it looks like. I feel that lesson resonates through these pages and drives home a great point about not judging circumstances or people by the way they initially appear.
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September Wrap-Up!

September Wrap Up

I don’t know about you, but for me September went by in the blink of an eye! It brought with it our first taste of crisp, fall air in the northeast followed by an usual heat wave. The weather was not the only thing that seemed to be all over the place. I had an interesting run of reads in September that ranged from wonderful to disappointing. In this blog, I will recap my September reads, highlight my title of the month, and share what is upcoming in October.

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Book Review: The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill

The Girl Who Drank the MoonThe first thing that drew my attention to this book was its cover. It is taken up largely by a full moon with a young girl standing under it, surrounded by illuminated white bird silhouettes and a small, colorful dragon. This was obviously a magical story. The second thing I noticed was the large, shiny Newbery Medal sticker. This book was a Newbery winner, so it must be something special. I picked up the book and, in reading the inside flap, learned that this book was about a witch, a magical baby, a swamp monster, a dragon, innocent townspeople, and a whole lot of magic. I was sold!
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