Garden of My Imaan – book review

The Garden of My Imaan By Farhana Zia Juvenile Fiction Realistic Fiction / Grades 4-7 * * * * Stars (Great!) Aliyah, fifth grader, is having a difficult year.  She’s got two big projects to complete – one for elementary school on the topic “Respecting Ourselves and Others,” and another for religious school on self-improvement.  Her biggest problem is that she’s still figuring out and getting comfortable with who she is – particularly as a … Read more

Prairie Evers by Ellen Airgood

When Prairie’s parents move them to New York (from North Carolina) to take over Prairie’s grandparents’ farmstead, Prairie isn’t thrilled – especially when her Grammy, who lives with them, announces that she’s moving back to NC.   And things don’t improve immediately, either.  Prairie also has to go to public school for the first time in her life and the kids there tease her about her name (and because she’s new).  The only thing Prairie has … Read more

Hippospotamus by Jeanne Willis

Hippopotamus discovers a red spot on her bottom(us) and tries to do something about it. Her friends and acquaintances all have ideas about what may have caused it and how Hippopotamus can cure it. To no avail – none of their treatments work. Hippopotamus remains be-spotted until a boy makes a positive identification. Not a spot after all, it’s a…well, that would be telling. This story is silly, but fun to read. Hippo would do … Read more

Bad to the Bone, Down Girl & Sit #2 by Lucy Nolan

Down Girl and Sit are back (as are Hush and Here Kitty Kitty)!  In book #2, the dogs try to keep their owners safe (by patrolling their backyards at night) and end up keeping the whole neighborhood awake.  When their owners (at the end of their leashes!) get fed up with their dogs’ behavior, they take them to a trainer who gets all their names wrong – mass hilarity and confusion ensues (imagine the Who’s … Read more

Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken Adventure Classics Historical Fiction Suspense Thriller Bonnie’s cousin Sylvia comes to live with her when Sylvia’s elderly aunt Jane feels she can no longer care for her properly.  Bonnie’s own parents are leaving on a sea voyage – in an attempt to improve her mother’s health – and the girls are to be left in the care of a distant relative, Miss Slighcarp.  As soon as the … Read more

Christmas Quiet Book – book review

The Christmas Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood Illustrated by Renata Liwska Picture book * * * * Stars (Great!) Experience these carefully selected, quiet moments of Christmas through, “The Christmas Quiet Book.”  There are all kinds of quiet: Hoping for a snow day quiet, Knocking with mittens quiet, Shattered ornament quiet, Listening for sleigh bells quiet, and more.  Readers of all ages will enjoy the memories, feelings, and emotions they evoke. Sometimes, when a picture … Read more

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

This is Rob Buyea’s first novel. It is an exciting ride, with twists and turns about friendships, growing up and life. The story is told from seven students’ viewpoints from Mr. Terupt’s fifth grade class, which might sound like a lot, but each one has a distinct personality which shines through in his writing. And it reminds us that each of us has a different perspective. Because of Mr. Terupt is true to life in … Read more

Star Wars: Jedi Academy #1 by Jeffrey Brown

Graphic Novel/Journal Science Fiction Grades 4+   Roan lives on Tatooine.  He likes drawing comics and is looking forward to going to Pilot School.  But his hopes are dashed when he learns that his application to Pilot School has been rejected – what now?  Will he have to stay on Tatooine and be a farmer?  He doesn’t exactly have a green thumb.  Just as he’s about to despair, Roan receives a letter from Master Yoda … Read more

Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems By Jack Prelutsky

Jack Prelutsky’s poetic field guide to some neologistic creatures – carefully documented in the collages created by artist, Carin Berger – offers much to delight.  From the titular “Stardines” which light the night skies and grant wishes, to the ChOrMOranTs who spend all their time engaged in pointless (but very important to them!) tasks (CHORES), and the “Fountain Lions” (“FOUNTAIN LIONS, lithe and lean, Add gaiety to any scene.  The only lions no one dreads, … Read more

Three Ninja Pigs – book review

The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz illustrated by Dan Santat Picture book * * * * Stars (Great!) This book gets points for being an excellent (and funny) story that actually uses rhyme to good effect (unlike a lot of the picture books I’ve been reading lately).  A retelling of the Three Little Pigs, these 3 pigs decide to go on the offensive and prepare themselves for a wolf attack by taking classes … Read more

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