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: 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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August Wrap-Up!

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August was a fast month for me! It was filled with great new and upcoming reads. Back-to-school is happening all around me, and summer is winding down with the long Labor Day weekend. Fall is just around the corner, and the truth is that I can’t wait for it! It is strange not going back to school this Fall, and I’ll admit I felt a little sad on Monday when my Alma Mater started the Fall semester. As stressful as it was, I enjoyed my back to school experience. But I am thankful to finally be working full time in a field I love and excited to be able to really relax and enjoy a Fall season again (my favorite time of year!). There are so many books I am excited for this Fall, and I’ll be sharing them in the coming weeks. But for now, let’s recap the last of my summer reads with my August wrap-up!

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Friday Firsts: Frog and Toad

20170818_173027I have decided to start a new blog series called Friday Firsts. Each post will feature a first book-related experience like my first mystery read, my first scary book, the first time I really fell in love with reading, etc. For my first Friday First post, I would like to talk about the first book I remember reading by myself.

The Adventures of Frog and Toad! 

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Book Review: What Do You Do With a Problem? By Kobi Yamada

What Do You Do With A ProblemI love picture books. I loved them as a child, and I still love them as an adult. When I went back to school, one of the first classes I took was a Children’s Literature course. One of the things I learned in that course is that picture books are designed so that the pictures are for the kids and the words are for the adults. I can see how that’s true with several picture books. There are jokes in certain books that go over kiddos’ heads but manage to give the adults a chuckle. (Shel Silverstein books come to mind!)

But, as an adult, I have developed a real appreciation of both the text and the illustrations in picture books. It’s not just an appreciation of the art that goes into these books, though the art is often what makes a few words on a page come to life. But it’s more about the life lessons that picture books instill in children while offering a gentle reminder to adults as well.

One such picture book is What Do You Do With A Problem? by Kobi Yamada, illustrated by Mae Besom.
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On My Radar for Fall: New Children’s and Middle Grade Reads

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There are so many upcoming releases for Fall in the children’s and middle grade genres that choosing just a few to feature on the blog was a painstaking process. But I have managed to narrow it down to a handful of titles that have piqued my interest for one reason or another. So, here it is, the list of children’s and middle grade titles I am most excited about for Fall!
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