Five Books for This Fall

September 14th, 2017 by

School’s back in session, so I know you’re busy busy busy! You’ve got homework to finish, friends to catch up with, lockers to decorate… But in addition to the books assigned by your teacher, don’t forget to find time to read for FUN!

Here are some awesome new releases to add to your to-read pile, with descriptions from the publishers:

#1. Click’d by Tamara Ireland Stone

Allie Navarro can’t wait to show her best friends the app she built at CodeGirls summer camp. Click’d pairs users based on common interests and sends them on a fun (and occasionally rule-breaking) scavenger hunt to find each other. And it’s a hit. By the second day of school, everyone is talking about Click’d.

Watching her app go viral is amazing. Leaderboards are filling up! Everyone’s making new friends. And with all the data Allie is collecting, she has an even better shot at beating her archenemy, Nathan, at the upcoming youth coding competition. But when Allie discovers a glitch that threatens to expose everyone’s secrets, she has to figure out how to make things right, even if that means sharing the computer lab with Nathan. Can Allie fix her app, stop it from doing any more damage, and win back the friends it hurt — all before she steps on stage to present Click’d to the judges?

2. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.

Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It’s hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven’s about to discover she can do it all… even without arms.

#3. Littler Women: a modern retelling by Laura Schaefer

The March sisters encounter new friends, challenges, school dances, and more in this fresh, modern retelling of the perennial classic, Little Women.

Thirteen-year-old Meg March and her sisters Jo (12), Beth (10), and Amy (9) are a close-knit group who share in one another’s hopes and dreams, as well as struggles and frustrations. Over the course of one year they get to know their neighbors the Lawrences, attend school dances and sleepovers, have first crushes, and grow closer as sisters despite their differences.

#4. The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente

Inside a small Yorkshire parsonage, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne Brontë have invented a game called Glass Town, where their toy soldiers fight Napoleon and no one dies. This make-believe land helps the four escape from a harsh reality: Charlotte and Emily are being sent away to a dangerous boarding school, a school they might not return from. But on this Beastliest Day, the day Anne and Branwell walk their sisters to the train station, something incredible happens: The train whisks them all away to a real Glass Town, and the children trade the moors for a wonderland all their own.

This is their Glass Town, exactly like they envisioned it… almost. They certainly never gave Napoleon a fire-breathing porcelain rooster instead of a horse. And their soldiers can die; wars are fought over the potion that raises the dead, a potion Anne would very much like to bring back to England. But when Anne and Branwell are kidnapped, Charlotte and Emily must find a way to save their siblings. Can two English girls stand against Napoleon’s armies, especially now that he has a new weapon from the real world? And if he escapes Glass Town, will England ever be safe again?

5. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, 800-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type.

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts to trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his afterlife without a side of eternal servitude, thanks. But with the help of his long-lost uncle, Barnabas, and his daughter, Nell, a witch-in-training, it seems like Prosper has at least a fighting chance of ridding himself of Alastor before the demon escapes and wreaks havoc on his family.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host.


Okay, just kidding! I couldn’t help myself and must recommend another one (but “Six Books for This Fall” isn’t as cool of a title). Plus, we’re a fan of Cassie Beasley on Kidsmomo!

#6. Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley

When the red moon rises over the heart of the Okefenokee swamp, legend says that the mysterious golden gator Munch will grant good luck to the poor soul foolish enough to face him.

But in 1817, when TWO fools reach him at the same time, the night’s fate is split. With disastrous consequences for both… and their descendants. Half of the descendants have great fates, and the other half have terrible ones.

Now, Tumble Wilson and Blue Montgomery are determined to fix their ancestors’ mistakes and banish the bad luck that’s followed them around for all of their lives. They’re going to face Munch the gator themselves, and they’re going to reclaim their destinies.

But what if the legend of Munch is nothing but a legend, after all?

Are you as excited about any of these books as I am? Leave a comment below!

— Nancy

Nancy has been reading grown-up books lately, but her reading list is getting revamped with these new releases!

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Dog Day Books

August 30th, 2017 by

dogsNational Dog Day was last weekend, on August 26th, so we must celebrate with a good old-fashioned barklist! Oops. I mean, booklist.

Like many Rovers and Spots out in the world, I did some digging and retrieved our Books About Dogs booklist — but doggone it, it’s been eight years since we made that list, so I’ve added some more suggestions!

Check out these pawesome books featuring dogs:

  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  • The Wolfling by Sterling North
  • Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  • Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
  • Henry and Ribsy by Beverly Cleary
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • A Dog’s Life by Ann M. Martin
  • The Good Dog by Avi
  • Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
  • Pet Trouble series by T.T. Sutherland
  • Hank the Cowdog series by John R. Erickson
  • Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties by Dav Pilkey
  • The Survivors series by Erin Hunter
  • A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
  • Maxi’s Secrets (Or, What You Can Learn from a Dog) by Lynn Plourde
  • Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

If you have a favorite book featuring a puppy, leave a comment below!

— Nancy

Nancy loves dogs, but is super allergic, so she’ll just have to make do with hugging her fictional puppies instead. 🎵 sad trombone 🎵

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Photo from Flickr user scuglik, under Creative Commons license

Binny for Short by Hilary McKay: Book Review

August 13th, 2017 by

I am SO GLAD I randomly discovered Binny for Short by Hilary McKay when I was browsing the library one day. In fact, the whole 3-book series was on the bookshelf and all of the book flap descriptions sounded really intriguing… but I restrained myself by checking out just the first book in the Binny series. (It’s a known fact that it’s kind of uncool to hoard books from the library, but we all solemnly nod in acceptance if you’ve done it. It’s okay. We all give into the call of the pile-o’-books once in a while.)

Binny, short for Belinda, was 8 years old when her father suddenly passed away. Life before that was idyllic: Binny Cornwallis had her mom, her dad, her older sister Clem, her little brother James, and Max, the most perfect dog in the world.

After Binny’s father dies, the Cornwallis family is left with very little money and has to move from their house into a cramped apartment. Max is sent first to Binny’s grandmother’s home, and then to live with her grandmother’s sister: the hateful Aunt Violet, who gives Max away without first telling Binny. When Aunt Violet herself passes away, she leaves Binny her cluttered, rundown house by the sea — but it’s still bigger than a cramped apartment — so the Cornwallis family moves in with Aunt Violet’s ghost.

Oh, just kidding… This isn’t a ghost story! Or is it?! Binny feels like Aunt Violet is haunting the house, so she spends as much time as possible out and about in town: helping Kate, who runs the local cafe, or the gorgeous Liam, who drives a seal-watching boat. She makes friends enemies (but really, friends) with Gareth, the boy vacationing next door. But even after so many years, she still hasn’t forgotten her dog, Max.

Binny for Short is a little slow-paced at the beginning, but I love feeling like I hung out with Binny all throughout her summer vacation. Hilary McKay describes the characters so perfectly in their own way: Clem could have easily been my orderly older sister, and James my imaginative younger brother. And best of all, I wanted to be friends with Binny. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequels, Binny in Secret and Binny Bewitched!

Binny for Short is great summer vacation book for fans of the Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall or Summerlost by Ally Condie. The book was not just a lovely introduction to the series and the characters; there are two important plot lines in the book that eventually intersect. The story slowly unfolds over the chapters, with a very satisfying ending. I don’t want to spoil any more for potential readers, so you’ll just have to find a copy and read it for yourselves!

— Nancy

Nancy was camping in a seaside town when she finished reading Binny for Short; she highly recommends matching the book you’re reading to the setting you’re actually in, if possible.

New Book-to-Movie Trailers

August 1st, 2017 by

Alert: Your summer vacation may be half over. For those of you in certain school districts, it might be soon over! How have you been spending your time away from the classroom? At the beach, camping, or activity-filled day camps? Are you making new friends at summer school? Or enjoying the air conditioning and the thousands of amazing free books in your local library?

No matter how you’ve been spending your vacation, take a break from your break, ’cause you’re gonna want to see these movie trailers and teasers for upcoming book-to-movie adaptations!

Wonderstruck

Based on the novel by Brian Selznick

The Breadwinner

Based on the novel by Deborah Ellis, of which we have 101 book reviews from You(th)!

A Wrinkle in Time

Based on the novel by Madeleine L’Engle

Bonus: Ferdinand

This animated movie adaptation is based on the picture book The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, which you may have read when you were younger — it looks fun!

Bad news: We’re going to have to wait months for these movies.

Good news: The videos above for A Wrinkle in Time and Wonderstruck were just teasers, so we’ll be treated to more movie footage soon.

Even better news: You can read all of these books and submit a book review to Kidsmomo while waiting for them to hit the silver screen!

— Nancy

Nancy wants to call out another excellent trailer for A Wrinkle in Time — this one with perhaps just a wee less production budget:

Hidden Gems of July

July 16th, 2017 by

These past few weeks have been just AWESOME for new releases. We’ve got the conclusion to Chris Colfer’s Land of Stories series, Worlds Collide. Serafina is back in Serafina and the Splintered Heart, courtesy of Robert Beatty. Even Geronimo Stilton sailed in at the end of June in The Ship of Secrets. But if you’re interested in reading about completely new characters and plots, there’s something for everyone!

Check out these three hidden gems of the summer (official descriptions from the book publishers):

If you shout “Hooray!” for Historical Fiction:

It All Comes Down to This by Karen English

It’s 1965, Los Angeles. All 12-year-old Sophie wants to do is write her book, star in the community play, and hang out with her friend Jennifer. But she’s the new black kid in a nearly all-white neighborhood; her beloved sister, Lily, is going away to college soon; and her parents’ marriage is rocky. There’s also her family’s new, disapproving housekeeper to deal with. When riots erupt in nearby Watts and a friend is unfairly arrested, Sophie learns that life — and her own place in it — is even more complicated than she’d once thought.

If you’re in the Contemporary Fiction Club:

You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee Ellis

Twelve-year-old Olivia Hales has a foolproof plan for winning a million dollars so that she and her little sister, Berkeley, can leave behind Sunny Pines Trailer Park.

But first she has to:
· Fix the swamp cooler and make dinner and put Berkeley to bed because her mom is too busy to do all that
· Write another letter to her dad even though he hasn’t written back yet
· Teach Berk the important stuff, like how to make chalk drawings, because they can’t afford day care and Olivia has to stay home from school to watch her
· Petition her oddball neighbors for a circus spectacular, because there needs to be something to look forward to at dumb-bum Sunny Pines
· Become a super-secret spy to impress her new friend Bart
· Enter a minimum of 14 sweepstakes a day. Who knows? She may already be a winner!

Olivia has thought of everything… except herself. Who will take care of her when she needs it? Luckily, somewhere deep down between her small intestine and stomach is a tiny voice reminding her that sometimes people can surprise you — and sometimes your family is right next door.

If you’re a Fantasy Fanatic:

The Song From Somewhere Else, written by A.F. Harrold and illustrated by Levi Pinfold

Frank thought her summer couldn’t get any worse — until big, weird, smelly Nick Underbridge rescues her from a bully, and she winds up at his house.

Frank quickly realizes there’s more to Nick than meets the eye. When she’s at his house, she hears the strangest, most beautiful music, music which leads her to a mysterious, hidden door. Beyond the door are amazing creatures that she never even dreamed could be real. For the first time in forever, Frank feels happy… and she and Nick start to become friends.

But Nick’s incredible secrets are also accompanied by great danger. Frank must figure out how to help her new friend, the same way that he has helped her.

Personally, I’m the most excited about You May Already Be a Winner… but let’s face it, The Song From Somewhere Else and It All Comes Down to This are both getting onto my to-read pile. How about you? Leave a comment below about the book you’re most excited to read!

— Nancy

Nancy would very much like to win the lottery so she can spend all of her time reading and hanging out on the Internet. She would also buy a bakery and eat cake. Lots of cake.

Meet Nancy »

Book Quote Trivia Quiz

June 18th, 2017 by

Ahem. Can we all agree that highlighters are super fun and the best stationery thingy? Okay, maybe highlighters are tied with a multiple color click pen. But definitely in the Top 10 on a back-to-school shopping list. Well, one of my favorite things to do when I read is highlighting interesting sentences in a book*. I even do this when I read ebooks on my computer or smartphone!

*Only do this with your own books, obviously. Only monsters highlight library books! Don’t be a monster.

Could you recognize a book by just one, two, or three sentences? Take this quiz and find out!

"In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle."

"Monday morning found Tom miserable."

"You can always trust a dog that likes peanut butter."

"I'm twelve years old. Until a few months ago, I was a boarding student at Yancy Academy, a private school for troubled kids in upstate New York. Am I a troubled kid? Yeah. You could say that."

"'Is the spring coming?' he said. 'What is it like?'"

"Some people spend all their time on a vacation taking pictures so that when they get home they can show their friends evidence that they had a good time. They don't pause to let the vacation enter inside of them and take that home."

"People are more than just the way they look."

"When you’ve lived in a cage, you can’t bear not to run, even if what you’re running towards is an illusion."

"Sitting in cold wet britches for an hour was no fun even in a magic kingdom."

"'Words,' he said, 'is oh such a twitch-tickling problem to me all my life.'"

 

— Nancy

Confession: Nancy would have gotten a 0/10 on this quiz if she hadn’t written it herself.

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New Summer, New Books: June 2017 New Releases

June 4th, 2017 by

If the sun blasting into my window has anything to say about it, it’s SUMMER! Do you have your summer reading book list all set? If not, you’ve come to the right place: Here’s a list of new books releasing in June.

You might be indignantly waving your summer reading list at your screen… Well, get ready to make room for some additions! My personal top picks are noted with a ❤️ … but everything on this list is bookshelf worthy!

Note: This list features stand-alone novels and does not include any sequels in well-known series. I would love to go on and on and on about my excitement over Jaleigh Johnson’s The Quest to the Uncharted Lands (second companion book to The Mark of the Dragonfly) and others, but then you’d be reading this blog post until July.

Click on the plus signs next to the book titles to read the full descriptions from the publishers:

Don’t Drink and Read: Laughing Causes Milk Out the Nose

  

❤️ Lint Boy by Aileen Leijten
 Lint Boy and Lint Bear live in their cozy dryer home, carefree and happy — until the day Lint Bear is snatched away by a cruel woman with a vendetta against dolls! Can Lint Boy unite a group of lost dolls to vanquish the villain and save his brother?

This magical story is showcased in the stunning full-color art of this young graphic novel. A gently gothic, age-appropriate blend of Roald Dahl and Tim Burton, Lint Boy is a compelling tale of good vs. evil that will leave readers spellbound.

Pottymouth and Stoopid by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

David and his best friend Michael were tagged with awful nicknames way back in preschool when everyone did silly things. Fast-forward to 7th grade: “Pottymouth” and “Stoopid” are still stuck with the names — and everyone in school, including the teachers and their principal, believe the labels are true.

So how do they go about changing everyone’s minds? By turning their misery into megastardom on TV, of course! And this important story delivers more than just laughs — it shows that the worst bullying doesn’t have to be physical… and that things will get better.

Official Notice to Parents:
There is no actual pottymouthing or stupidity in this entire book!
(Psst, kids: That second part might not be entirely true.)

The Strongest Man in the World: The Legend of Louis Cyr by Lucie Papineau and Caroline Hamel

North America, late 19th century: A little boy is born whose destiny will prove exceptional. Traveling across the Northeast, he will show extraordinary physical strength. Soon, his exploits will spread around the North American continent, then Europe, making him truly the strongest man in the world!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, open this book and be amazed by this incredible story!

These Main Characters Could Be Your BFFs

  

❤️ Let’s Pretend We Never Met by Melissa Walker

If it were up to Mattie Markham, there would be a law that said your family wasn’t allowed to move in the middle of the school year. After all, 6th grade is hard enough without wondering if you’ll be able to make new friends or worrying that the kids in Pennsylvania won’t like your North Carolina accent.

But when Mattie meets her next-door neighbor and classmate, she begins to think maybe she was silly to fear being the “new girl.” Agnes is like no one Mattie has ever met — she’s curious, hilarious, smart, and makes up the best games. If winter break is anything to go by, the rest of the school year should be a breeze.

Only it isn’t, because when vacation ends and school starts, Mattie realizes something: At school Agnes is known as the weird girl who no one likes. All Mattie wants is to fit in (okay, and maybe be a little popular too), but is that worth ending her friendship with Agnes?

Superstar by Mandy Davis

Lester’s first days as a 5th grader at Quarry Elementary School are not even a little bit like he thought they would be — the cafeteria is too loud for Lester’s ears, there are too many kids, and then there’s the bully.

Lester was always home-schooled, and now he’s shocked to be stuck in a school where everything just seems wrong. That’s until he hears about the science fair, which goes really well for Lester! This is it. The moment where I find out for 100% sure that I won.

But then things go a bit sideways, and Lester has to find his way back. A touching peek into the life of a sensitive autism-spectrum boy facing the everydayness of elementary school, Superstar testifies that what you can do isn’t nearly as important as who you are.

This Is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang

David Da-Wei Horowitz has a lot on his plate. Preparing for his upcoming bar mitzvah would be enough work even if it didn’t involve trying to please his Jewish and Chinese grandmothers, who argue about everything. But David just wants everyone to be happy.

That includes his friend Scott, who is determined to win their upcoming trivia tournament but doesn’t like their teammate — and David’s best friend — Hector. Scott and David begin digging a fallout shelter just in case this Cold War stuff with the Soviets turns south… but David’s not so convinced he wants to spend forever in an underground bunker with Scott. Maybe it would be better if Hector and Kelli Ann came with them. But that would mean David has to figure out how to stand up for Hector and talk to Kelli Ann. Some days, surviving nuclear war feels like the least of David’s problems.

The Last Page Might May You Say, “Whoa.”

  

Felix Yz by Lisa Bunker

When Felix Yz was 3 years old, a hyperintelligent 4th-dimensional being became fused inside him after one of his father’s science experiments went terribly wrong. The creature is friendly, but Felix — now 13 — won’t be able to grow to adulthood while they’re still melded together. So a risky Procedure is planned to separate them… but it may end up killing them both instead.

This book is Felix’s secret blog, a chronicle of the days leading up to the Procedure. Some days it’s business as usual — time with his close-knit family, run-ins with a bully at school, anxiety about his crush. But life becomes more out of the ordinary with the arrival of an Estonian chess Grandmaster, the revelation of family secrets, and a train-hopping journey. When it all might be over in a few days, what matters most?

Told in an unforgettable voice full of heart and humor, Felix Yz is a groundbreaking story about how we are all separate, but all connected too.

❤️ The Someday Suitcase by Corey Ann Haydu

Clover and Danny are the kind of best friends who make each other even better. They’re so important to each other that Clover believes they’re symbiotic: her favorite science word, which describes two beings who can’t function without the other. But when Danny comes down with a mysterious illness that won’t go away, the doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong with him. So Clover decides to take matters into her own hands by making lists — list of Danny’s symptoms, his good days, his bad days.

As the evidence piles up, only one thing becomes clear: Danny is only better when Clover is around.

Suddenly it feels like time is running out for Clover and Danny to do everything they’ve planned together — to finally see snow, to go on a trip with the suitcase they picked out together. Will science be able to save Danny, or is this the one time when magic can overcome the unthinkable?

Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Prez knows that the best way to keep track of things is to make a list. That’s important when you have a grandfather who is constantly forgetting. And it’s even more important when your grandfather can’t care for you anymore and you have to go live with a foster family out in the country.

Prez is still learning to fit in at his new home when he answers the door to meet Sputnik — a kid who is more than a little strange. First, he can hear what Prez is thinking. Second, he looks like a dog to everyone except Prez. Third, he can manipulate the laws of space and time. Sputnik, it turns out, is an alien, and he’s got a mission that requires Prez’s help: The Earth has been marked for destruction, and the only way they can stop it is to come up with ten reasons why the planet should be saved.

Thus begins one of the most fun and eventful summers of Prez’s life, as he and Sputnik set out on a journey to compile the most important list Prez has ever made — and discover just what makes our world so remarkable.

My Summer Vacation: (Vicarious) Heart-Pounding Adventures

  

Hell and High Water by Tanya Landman

Mystery turns to mortal danger as one young man’s quest to clear his father’s name ensnares him in a net of deceit, conspiracy, and intrigue in 1750s England.

Caleb has spent his life roaming southern England with his Pa, little to their names but his father’s signet ring and a puppet theater for popular, raunchy Punch and Judy shows — until the day Pa is convicted of a theft he didn’t commit and sentenced to transportation to the colonies in America. From prison, Caleb’s father sends him to the coast to find an aunt Caleb never knew he had. His aunt welcomes him into her home, but her neighbors see only Caleb’s dark skin. Still, Caleb slowly falls into a strange rhythm in his new life… until one morning he finds a body washed up on the shore. The face is unrecognizable after its time at sea, but the signet ring is unmistakable: It can only be Caleb’s father. Mystery piles on mystery as both church and state deny what Caleb knows. From award-winning British author Tanya Landman comes a heart-stopping story of race, class, family, and corruption so deep it can kill.

❤️ Joplin, Wishing by Diane Stanley

While cleaning out her reclusive grandfather’s house, Joplin discovers pieces of a broken platter in a cookie tin. After having the platter repaired, Joplin wishes that she could both find a friend at school, and befriend the girl pictured in the platter. The next day, Joplin befriends a boy named Barrett, and also notices a girl outside her apartment. A girl who looks remarkably like the girl in the platter…

The girl introduces herself as Sofie, and she has a terrible secret. Cursed to grant wishes for the owner of the platter for all of time, she has been trapped for centuries. Joplin and Barrett vow to help her, but freeing Sofie is more complicated than they could have imagined, and the three friends end up against a sinister foe who could put them all in terrible danger.

The Quest for Z: The True Story of Explorer Percy Fawcett and a Lost City in the Amazon by Greg Pizzoli

British explorer Percy Fawcett believed that hidden deep within the Amazon rainforest was an ancient city, lost for the ages. Most people didn’t even believe this city existed. But if Fawcett could find it, he would be rich and famous forever. This is the true story of one man’s thrilling, dangerous journey into the jungle, and what he found on his quest for the lost city of Z.

What books are on your summer reading list? Did any of my awesome recommendations get added? Let me know in the comments below!

— Nancy

As the last category suggests, the most thrilling activity Nancy partakes in during the summer is turning on the air conditioner and curling up with a good book.

Ten Images to Sum Up A Reader

May 24th, 2017 by

Psst. Hey, you. Yeah. You over there. Looking at this blog post. You might be visiting Kidsmomo because your teacher or another grown-up told you to. Or maybe you happened here by accident. But I know what you’re here for. You’re here for some sweet, sweet, book recommendations. I know, because when you see something like this…

… you think, Yup. I could totally sit there for hours with a book.

And in those hours, you may ponder, I should get cards like this printed up:

After reading a particularly sad book, you’ll shift in your seat and think, I could really use a pillow like this:

But because you’re tough, you wipe away your tears and pick up the next book from your always-growing TO READ pile. You think fondly about an excellent mantra:

And how do you get those many lives? By visiting a bookstore, or…

And you always end up leaving the library like Lisa Simpson:

Because books are like delicious (and healthy!) snacks:

If only potato chips were as healthy as reading books.

If someone could cartoon-ify readers, we’d look like this:

Okay, maybe this cartoon takes the word “devour” a little too seriously.

Even when you’re grounded and sent to your room:

Cat optional

You know that it’s not all that bad, because:

You know who had a problem with souls? Voldemort. And no one wants to be that guy!

— Nancy

Nancy realized you might actually looking for some sweet book recommendations, so look no further — wait, look one more link further: click here!

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All images taken from the Interwebs.

Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere: Book Review

May 8th, 2017 by

You learn a lot about the main character, Olga, just by looking at the cover of Elise Gravel’s new book, Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere:

 

  • She’s grumpy
  • She likes animals
  • This book includes science — weird science
  • Some humans annoy her (keep in mind Olga is human too)

If just one portion of this book cover entices you, then you should definitely read Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere!

The book is half-illustrations, half-text, and all-fun! Olga, is a sarcastic, witty, science-loving girl who aspires to be a zoologist — a scientist who studies animals. Fortuitously, Olga discovers a funky potato-shaped pink creature (seen on the cover of the book), which she names “Meh” after the sound it makes all the time. Meh is smelly, furry, has a skinny tail and spindly feet, farts and burps a lot, and is about the size of a small pig.

Olga carefully catalogs her scientific observations on Meh and when she realizes she can’t match Meh to any existing species in any book, she names it olgamus ridiculus. With the help of the local librarian, new friends, and other quirky characters in her town, Olga is on a mission to study Meh. She even learns a thing or two from “the Lalas,” two girls her age who love make-up, boys, and just don’t seem “get” her.

But where does Meh come from? What does it eat? Can Olga take care of it properly? Read the book to find out!

Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere is perfect for fans of Captain Underpants, Dear Dumb Diary, or Wimpy Kid. It’s a very quick read, and the drawings and observations in the book will probably make you laugh out loud. I loved how Olga truly loves all animals, no matter how large, small, or creepy crawly:

This book is brand-new on shelves, but I’m excited to see what other nerdy adventures are in store for Olga in the future! Will she find other animals, and what will happen to Meh? I hope we find out in the rest of the series!

— Nancy

Nancy does not like slugs, but she does not mind drawings of slugs. Most of the time.

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Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King: Book Review

April 23rd, 2017 by

Most people know that recycling and reducing waste is important, but for some reason, there’s always that one annoying person who doesn’t do their part. 🙁 Eleven-year-old Obe Devlin, the main character of Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King, is NOT that person. Recycling and reducing the amount of plastic in the world really matters to him, especially on his ancestral land of Devlin, which is now being taken over by housing developments.

New neighbors aren’t the only addition to Obe’s life. While he picks up trash in the local creek, he discovers a new animal: part dog, part pig, very slimy, and most interestingly… it loves to eat plastic. Obe names his new friend Marvin Gardens, after the property in the game Monopoly. Could Marvin Gardens be the solution to the plastic problem on Earth?

In addition to discovering an entirely new species (and keeping it secret), Obe has to deal with math homework, his dad who just doesn’t understand him, and a former best friend who has turned into his bully. Keeping Marvin Gardens a secret turns out to be an excellent idea, especially when Obe discovers that Marvin’s extremely smelly poop could be toxic. But Obe can’t keep Marvin a secret forever, especially with all the construction happening in his neighborhood. What happens when other people find out about him? Could Marvin Gardens be the solution to the plastic problem on our planet? Will ex-best-friend Tommy ever stop being a jerk? Read Me and Marvin Gardens to find out!

I have to admit this book took me by surprise because even though there aren’t any big action scenes, I kept turning every page because I needed to know what would happen to Obe and Marvin. My only concern was that some questions are left open-ended at the end of the book — but that means there could be a sequel! Right, Amy Sarig King? Right?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and any reader who cares about the environment and the fate of our planet should check it out. It’s a great read if you’re ever feeling lonely and want to know if picking up litter will actually make a difference in the world — turns out it could, especially if you end up finding a fantastical animal like Obe does!

— Nancy

Nancy gets annoyed by people who litter, and fervently prays that one day the litter will magically awake and attack the litterbug.

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