Publisher: Random House Children’s Publishing
Published: June 11, 2019
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Willow knows the unknown is scary. Especially when your little brother has been sick for a long time and nobody has been able to figure out why. All Willow wants is for her brother to get better and for her life to go back to normal.
But after a bad stroke of luck, Willow and her family find themselves stranded in an unusual town in the middle of nowhere and their life begins to change in the most unexpected way. Willow soon discovers that the town isn’t just unusual—it’s magical—and the truth is more exciting than she ever imagined.
Will Willow find that this could be the secret to saving her family—or discover that the root of magic could lead them to something greater?
Would you want to know what each day would bring before it happened? This is the question Willow must answer when a terrifying accident brings her and her family to Kismet, Maine.
The Root of Magic is a story filled with the wonders of magic, love, and acceptance of yourself and others.
Appropriate for children of ages 8 – 12. There is no foul language and no sex (a first kiss only). It would make a great read-aloud for families. Discussions will abound.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Random House Children’s Publishing, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.
Publisher: Random House Children’s
Published: May 21, 2019
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
NetGalley: At the end of every summer, Madeline Island hosts its famous pumpkin race. All summer, adults, and kids across the island grow giant, thousand-pound pumpkins, then hollow one out and paddle in it across the lake to the cheers of the entire town.
Twelve-year-old Billie loves to win; she has a bulletin board overflowing with first-prize ribbons. Her best friend Sam doesn’t care much about winning, or at least Billie didn’t think so until last summer’s race when his pumpkin crashed into her as she was about to cross the finish line and he won. This summer, Billie is determined to get revenge by growing the best and biggest pumpkin and beating Sam in the race. It’s a tricky science to grow pumpkins since weather, bugs, and critters can wipe out a crop. Then a surprise visit from a long-lost relative shakes things up, and Billie begins to see her family, and her bond with Sam, in a new way.
My Review: A beautifully written book showing young readers how the world around them isn’t always about them. Billie is very self-absorbed but I don’t think any more so than other children her age. This her summer of growing and learning for the next stage of her life.
I was very impressed with how the author weaved science and math into the story without the reader feeling like they just received a lesson.
I would definitely recommend this book to any on my middle-grade readers with confidence.
I received a complimentary copy from Random House Children’s through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.
Pages: 448 (eBook)
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Published: April 17, 2018
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
As World War II blazes through Europe and Hitler becomes a menace, Augusta “Gusta” Neubronner is sent to live with her grandma she barely knows in Springdale, Maine. Her father was escorting her but in Providence they became separated so she trudges on until she finds her grandmother’s doorstep. She brings very few possessions but her treasured French horn as made the journey with her. As she learns her way in life and the new town will the French horn be able to save her and her family as family secrets start leaking out at the seams?
What a treasured read. The book is loosely based on the author’s own mother’s life as a child during wartime in Maine. You can see the trueness of the story shine through the words on the page. I was enthralled with this different aspect of a children’s book during World War Two. As a reader you learn about Alienation registration and how children treated other children who seemed un-American based on their name or look. At times it reminded me of what is going on the America today with the immigration disputes among people.
This may be a children’s fiction book but anyone who loves a good story, no matter the age, will find themselves cheering gutsy Gusta as she learns her way in life.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Candlewick Press through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in the review are completely my own.
Publisher: Annick Press Ltd.
Published: March 27, 2018
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
It is 1936 in Krakow, Poland and Hitler is making his move on the Jewish families. Anna has always led an idyllic and mostly happy childhood going to school and listening to her father play his clarinet in the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra. As Hitler starts enforcing his reign outside of Germany her family understands it is time to move. Bronislaw Huberman is taking auditions for his new orchestra in Palestine, a city that is safer for Jewish families. Will Anna’s father get a spot and the family get their travel visas before it is too late?
I am a big reader of World War 2 fiction at it doesn’t matter if it is an adult book or a children book I want to read it. The Sound of Freedom was extremely interesting as it was a story from a different country than Germany. I was also interested as it based loosely on a true story as Bronsilaw Huberman really did start an orchestra in Palestine and go to Poland auditioning people for spots and provided thousands of travel visas for families. I would like to read more about him.
The view point from Anna is very relatable for children in grades 4-7 as she talks about the things that are important to her at that age and those things are important to every child no matter the year or surroundings. She thinks about leaving her friends and how she will feel. She thinks about what to leave and what to take. She thinks about making new friends in a country that she does not know the language. Anna also shows how to gather courage and lets the reader know that each one of us is stronger than we think.
I hope to see this book in school libraries very soon.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Annick Press Ltd. through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Pages: 93 (eBook)
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Published: November 15, 2017
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I grew up with box turtles as pets. We usually found them on the side of a busy road. My all time favorite one was Junkyard (found in a junkyard) and he was so much like Buttons. He loved for me to pet his head, he ate out of my hand and loved for me to talk to him. He would do a happy turtle dance when he saw me.
Reading My Turtle Journal made me think of him so much. I was disappointed with a scene towards the end. I was very teary eyed. This book would be good for third grade and above but younger than that might be a little disturbing to them towards the end. As a reader you might want to skip that part if you share the story with younger kids.
A great story to teach kids how to care for a turtle and help them understand their hard shell can protect them but they can still get hurt.
Thank you to NetGalley and Dog Ear Publishing for a copy to read in exchange for my honest review in my own words.