I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me want to read a book more than someone telling me I can’t or shouldn’t read it. Maybe this is why I love banned books so much. I just have to know what all the fuss is about! Today’s review is of the newly released Don’t Check Out This Book! by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise from Algonquin Young Readers. The book is an illustrated novel for young readers in grades 3 through 7. As the title suggests, it’s all about fighting censorship and corruption.
So far 2020 has brought incredible reading my way. If you missed my review of Cynthia L. Copeland’s debut graphic novel for young readers, Cub, you can go back and read it here. My second read of the New Year, Front Desk by Kelly Yang, has been on my TBR for some time. I am so happy I finally got to read this book and only wish that I’d pushed some others out of the way and gotten to it sooner!
Front Desk is a book I will keep, re-read, and recommend. In fact, I hope everyone reads and recommends this book, especially teachers. Front Desk is a timely tale about a ten year old Chinese girl named Mia who immigrates to America with her parents. Drawn largely from Ms. Yang’s own experiences growing up, Front Desk is an emotionally charged novel sure to tug on your heart strings and get you fired up at the same time.
From the publisher:
“Mia Tang has a lot of secrets. Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests. Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed. Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language? It will take all of Mia’s courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?”
The humid summer weather is finally letting up here, bringing a welcome rush of cool air. There’s nothing quite like opening the windows and having that fresh, crisp air breeze through the house. Of course with the cooler weather comes back to school followed by all things Halloween. I was surprised to see Halloween décor hitting shelves in August, but now that we’re a couple of weeks from October, I don’t mind it so much. I really enjoyed the displays of scary stories I saw at the bookstore this week. There was something for everyone, from Stephen King’s newest release, The Institute, to middle grade scary stories and even Halloween and monster themed picture and board books for kiddos. Today I’ll be reviewing two new children’s picture books that have released just in time for scary story season.
Today, I’ll be sharing reviews of two new picture book releases from Sourcebooks. One is about the Apollo 11 mission and is a great way to introduce kids to science and space. The other is a whimsical story of inclusion and acceptance featuring unicorns and rhyming words.
What a month! What a couple of months actually! I have been very busy with work over the last six weeks or so – but that’s a great thing! I love being a writer and working on articles and new book projects.
I have been fortunate enough in my writing career to become a published author. I have written several nonfiction educational books for children and teens, and just recently finished working on a couple of new ones that will be out in 2020.
In January, I had a new book release as part of a middle grade series called Inventions That Changed the World. I wrote about Facebook. There’s no denying that social media, and Facebook in particular, has had a huge impact on our world. That’s what I dive into in my latest book, How Facebook Changed the World.
Well, July is in full swing and that “summer vacation” feeling is in the air! I stated in my last post that I often gravitate toward middle grade and young adult books in the summer. I chose The Borrowers as my July book bucket list pick for this very reason. I figured that I would probably be in the mood for something light and imaginative, and I have wanted to revisit this childhood favorite for some time. It seemed like the timing would be perfect, and it was.
Today I’m excited to talk about the first two novels in Disney’s Tangled series. Anyone who knows me knows about my love of all things Disney. Disney’s Tangled was a big hit with me. It was the first animated movie in a long time that had created such a buzz with both the kids and adults in my life. The movie was entertaining and funny, even earning a chuckle or two from my hubby who’s not exactly a Disney fan but watched it to humor me. 🙂
I’ve been a fan of Leila Howland’s writing since Disney kindly gave me an advance reader copy of her young adult book Hello Sunshine last year. I loved that book about an eighteen year old heading to Hollywood in pursuit of her dream, and I’ve been watching for Ms. Howland’s writing ever since. So you can imagine how excited I was when an author I love started a book series for Disney!
“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
I 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.
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.
I’ve been hoping to do a review of a children’s book for some time and I thought Halloween might be a fun time to start! I paid a little visit to the bookstore the other night and had fun browsing the kids section. It’s always fun to pop over there around a holiday because there are so many fun books on display. The bookstore did not disappoint (does it ever?), and to my delight, I found a beautiful display filled with spooky stories for little ones. I will share here two new stories (new to me at least!) which caught my eye and one classic that I think every kid should experience while they are young and enjoying the fun of Halloween. Keep on Reading!