Thursday, July 31, 2014

If Kids Ran the World
by Leo & Diane Dillon
Blue Sky Press
2014
32 pages
ISBN: 9780545441964

Available August 26, 2014

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

Kids can and WILL change the world. This beautifully inspired multicultural children's book embraces children of the world and the strength of the human spirit. Leo and Diane Dillon, highly regarded by critics and honors committees, have written and illustrated stories for over 50 years. Past honors include two Caldecott Medals, five Coretta Scott King Awards and induction into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame. If Kids Ran the World will cement the Dillons' place in children's publishing and in children's hearts.

If kids ran the world, children would work together to solve the world's biggest problems: hunger and poverty, having a safe place to live, and not worrying about sickness. All people would have access to medical care and everyone in hospitals would get happy, smiling visitors. People would greet each other with smiles and laughter, more people would play and laugh, more would dance, some would even sing.

If kids ran the world, every school would be well funded with great teachers and interesting classes. All schools would be fun and inspirational. Every place would be considered an all use space; there would be no special clubs that didn't allow some people to join. All kids know what's the most important thing in the world--far more important than money--and it is, "...love: giving it, sharing it, showing it."

If Kids Ran the World is a great addition to any young child's book collection. Illustrations speak for this book. Even if there were no copy, the illustrations alone would  carry this book.

Recommended pre-K-up. This little book would be an inspirational bedtime read.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the F & G from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)






Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Series Pick: Gasp

Gasp
Visions, Book 3
by Lisa McMann
Simon Pulse
2014
273 pages
ISBN: 9781442466302

Exhilarating, exciting, enticing and inviting, Gasp wraps up one of the most innovative and creative trilogies of recent years.

Jules and Sawyer have finally  lost their visions but they worry that their "gift" may have been passed on to someone they touched that terrible day. The two were able to save themselves and others, but now they need to find out who, if anyone, has been seeing terrifying visions of death and destruction and help that person sort out the  mystery in time to stop the visions from coming true.

Jules goes into detective mode enlisting Sawyer and Trey to help her question those who were unlucky enough to have been in the room at the time of the shooting. They start a "support group" for the students hoping that someone will mention that he or she  keeps seeing visions.

Jules' family is facing a crisis; their restaurant burns down and their home with it. Now they are forced to stay with relatives and are faced with homelessness. Sawyer supports Jules through her hard time, and girls will find him swoon-worthy and noble. Although Sawyer rarely drives the plot, he is the best thing about the Visions series. Every girl will want a boyfriend like Sawyer and every guy will want him for a friend.

When they get answers about  who has the visions, they realize that they have to stop a huge catastrophe. Thinking that they know where it is likely to take place leads them in the wrong direction, and unless someone can figure the location out--and fast--many will die.

Problems brewing in Jules' family are finally addressed in book 3, and characters accept their own faults and move on. Jules and Sawyer emerge unscathed and stronger in their love and devotion to each other.

Gasp wraps up the trilogy nicely. Fans of this series will not be disappointed. Lisa McMann continues to deliver what teen readers want. She has a knack for dialog and interesting characters. Jules sweet relationship with her siblings and her affection for her mother and brother make her a person of empathy.

Recommended grade 9-up. Some profanity. Some mature situations.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Graphic Pick: Sisters

Sisters
by Raina Telgemeier
Graphix (Scholastic)
2014
208 pages
full color
ISBN: 9780545540067

Available August 26, 2014

Raina Telgemeier has done it again! She continues to reach tween and teen readers with her humor, candor, teen angst, sister sibling rivalry and captivating art.

Only child Raina dreams of becoming a big sister, but she has no idea how horrible her life is about to become. From the time baby Amara arrives, Raina's world is turned upside down. Not only is she not the center of her parents' universe, she is expected to act like an older sibling. As a toddler and small child, Amara has nothing in common with Raina.

Both girls set off on a road trip with their mother and little brother. The trip takes several days and they see the glorious southwest. The travel by day and camp out at night. Once their van breaks down, the girls are left behind to wait in the car for help or their mother's return. This is just what the two girls needed--time to stew over their troubles and an enclosed territory. They both realize that they are sisters and family and family sticks together through thick and thin.

Tweens and graphic novel enthusiasts will love Sisters. Even though I have no sister, I could empathize with the rivalry between the girls; it's no different with my brothers. All kids vie for their parents' attention and love.  Recommended for reluctant readers and visual learners.

Grade 5-up.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the arc from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)


Friday, July 18, 2014

Picture Book Pick: The Night Parade

The Night Parade
by Lily Roscoe
Illustrations by David Walker
Orchard Books
2014
page count undetermined (not published on website)
ISBN: 9780545396233

Available August 26, 2014

Beautiful, captivating and friendly watercolor and pen and ink illustrations feature alive, energetic, and wide awake children who leave their homes and go on adventures while their parents and siblings sleep. The children build sandcastles and visit faraway lands. They play hide and seek and paint pictures. They practice somersaults and parade in the night.

An eager dog follows the children on all their adventures. He is a constant companion and takes part in the magical mayhem. The children read books and say good night to their friends. Just before dawn, the children return home and wave at the moon as they climb into their beds.

If you've ever wondered what goes on after the lights go out, this picture book will give you the answers. Charming, fun and clever, The Night Parade is a magical jaunt for young readers and sure to be a bedtime favorite.

Highly, highly recommended for young readers  and bedtime reading time.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the F & G from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)




Thursday, July 17, 2014

Green Teen Pick: The Green Teen Cookbook

The Green Teen Cookbook: Recipes for all Seasons--Written by Teens, For Teens
edited by Lauran Marchive & Pam McElroy
Zest Books
2014
9781936976584
144 pages


The Green Teen Cookbook is a  unique fresh approach to eating and cooking green for teens--and big news! It's written by actual teens for their teen counterparts. When the editors asked teens for recipes that used fresh ingredients, they received thousands of submissions from around the world. They were surprised by  the excitement that teens had for food, cooking and eating green and seasonally. This little green book will excite the new chef in the teen kitchen and awaken the sleeping chef in all the rest of us.

Many cooks and eaters do not eat green or healthy. We grab and go. We overspend on produce that is not seasonal. We end up wasting food and throwing away our hard earned money. The Green Teen Cookbook shows cooks how to plan and prepare tasty food following a few easy rules.

Eating seasonally allows eaters and cooks to eat healthy, more flavorful foods at a premium price. Tomatoes in season are delicious at every meal--slice them on a sandwich, puree them for a sauce or make a nice salsa using the fresh bounty.  Zucchini and asparagus are also seasonal gifts.  Once these foods are gone for the season, look forward to eating them again next year.  According to chef Andy Gold, "Tests show that leafy greens like spinach lose around half of their nutrients in the first twenty=four hours after they're harvested." No wonder the spinach in the market is not as flavorful as that you pick up at a farmer's stand. It's been packaged and shipped, sometimes over thousands of miles! Eating local produce and products is a big boon to practicing being green. Teens support local growers and cut out the cost of transportation and the burning of fuels to transport those  goods.

Recipes run the gamut of tastes from making your own peanut butter and Chocolate Hazelnut spread (compare to Nutella) to homemade energy bars to seasonal frittatas to Sausage Bolognese to hummus to guacamole. Colorful photos accompany every page; as every cookbook junkie knows, a cookbook just isn't a good cookbook unless it comes with color photos on every page! The recipes included are easy to follow, include quick tips, and are user friendly for beginner chefs.

I say, let's roll up our sleeves, wash our hands, and start cooking! This is one great gift for that foodie tween or teen in  your life!

From the back cover: "The Green Teen Cookbook is more than just another set of recipes: it's an all-in-one guide for going green and eating well."

Highly, highly recommended for every teen wannabe chef and foodie. Grade 5-up with some supervision  for younger chefs.


This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)


FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tween Pick: Found Things

Found Things
by Marilyn Hilton
Atheneum Books For Young Readers
240 pages
ISBN: 9781442460874

Read an excerpt


Lyrical, magical, sweet and perfect, Found Things is a sweet treasure for middle grade readers.

When her older brother is in an accident and kicked out of the house, River begins to talk differently. She remembers a house she has never seen before. River doesn't know how to explain it, but she finds a friend in the new girl at the school. River and Meadow Lark are different from other kids--they are usually singled out and snubbed. River sees herself in Meadow Lark and the girls form a fast friendship. Their outings occur around the river nearby. River finds many treasures from the river and makes a collage of all her found things.

The girls rescue an injured bird and secretly nurse it back to health in River's room. Meadow Lark begins to stay overnight at River's house--every night. She doesn't seem to have a home or a family. She produces a typewritten letter from her father thanking the family for allowing Meadow Lark to stay with them. Meadow Lark is  magical--she seems like a fairy godmother disguised as a young girl--she arrives in time to grant River's secret wishes and to save River from despair and heartbreak.

River begins to dream of the house she sees. She knows that she's been there before but can't conjure up clear images. Her mother forbids her from going near the river saying it's too dangerous.

One of the girls is saved from drowning by a shadowy figure. Their bird escapes and flies away, but River follows a trail of feathers and discovers much more than she bargained for. Secrets from her past and her birth are revealed and River holds on to those she loves and keeps their memories forever.

Masterful storytelling and the kind of story you can wrap yourself up in on a cold winter night or a starry summer night. This novel has Newberry written all over it! Many states are likely to choose Found Things as one of the best for their reading lists.

Simply charming and the best time I've had reading!

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Early Reader Pick: Fairy Tale Fun

The Cat, The Dog, Little Red, The Exploding Eggs, The Wolf, and Grandma
by Diane and Christyan Fox
Scholastic Press
2014
32 pages
ISBN: 9780545694810

Available August 26, 2014

A cute cartoon cat and dog caper comes to life and careens across the pages of this charming early reader. The buttoned-up cat is reading the story of Little Red Riding Hood to an energetic, precocious dog. The cat, becomes increasingly perplexed, then downright irritable as the witty, wag (yes, pun intended) of a dog continues to question the story.

The cat begins reading until the dog hears that Little Red wears a cape...he becomes exhilarated...he loves capes, and superheroes and superpowers! As the story continues, the dog interjects with questions kids are likely to think of and interrupt the story when they hear it. The dog seemingly wants to rewrite the story so it makes sense! Why would the wolf not eat Little Red when he first sees her in the forest? What is he waiting for? By this time, the cat asks the dog if he wants to hear the story or not.

Uproariously hilarious! Utterly captivating with unique insight and wisdom, this little gem will have wide kid and parent appeal. Giggles galore for everyone and sure to bring a smile. The dog is charming and cool and kids will love him!

Highly, highly recommended for early readers and witty parents. What a great whimsical romp with the clever, quizzical canine and forthright feline.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the F&G from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.



Monday, July 7, 2014

The Burn Outs Book Giveaway and Review

 

I have FIVE free copies of The Burn Outs up for grabs! Scroll down for details how to win a free copy of The Burnouts!




my review:

The Burnouts
Quarantine, book 3
by Lex Thomas
Egmont
2014
272 pages
ISBN: 9781606843383

Available July 22, 2014 (date from publisher's website)

The Burnouts takes readers out with a flash, bang, boom! Lightning paced, reeking of madness, sadness, grittiness, and dirt, The Burnouts delivers a TKO.

Brothers Will and David are reunited on the outside of McKinley, but both of them feel the  need to save Lucy who remains inside. There is talk that the government has finally found a cure for the infected and David wants to travel to Minnesota and check it out. Meanwhile, things have deteriorated beyond control inside the high school.

Gangs of kids roam the school looking for food, fights, and drugs. Some will do anything for a quick high: sniff gasoline, markers, paint or whatever they can "cook" up. There is no medicine and no clean water. Kids are dying every day waiting to be evacuated. Only the lucky will survive; only the sly will live to see another day.

Lucy is all alone--she's smart and  savage when she needs to be. Having survived a few battles of her own, she is not ready to face any more strife. When she realizes that both Will and David have entered the school, she is afraid for them all. How will the three of them escape the madness? And how will they remain human?

Book 3 is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. Recommended for high school readers and fans of the trilogy. This book is much edgier than The Hunger Games trilogy. The Burnouts is intended for mature readers--I do NOT recommend it  for middle school readers. Blood, gore, sex, deviant acts, and drug use abound. Although The Burnouts depicts a world gone mad, it is certainly a world that humans can imagine--in our darkest nightmares.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the arc from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

For your chance to win a free copy:

Post a comment to the blog and please include your first name, city, state and email contact. Deadline for posts is July 21 at noon MST! Winners are chosen randomly by Randomizer. Winners will be notified on July 22 in the afternoon. Winners have 24 hours to respond to my email. Books will ship from New York. Good luck and start posting, Pamela