Thursday, October 22, 2020

Review: Throwaway Girls

There’s nothing better than a page turner, and Andrea Congo’s delivers with the thriller and socially conscious THROWAWAY GIRLS from Kids Can Press, released in September 2020. ⁣

⁣Caroline is where every senior wants to be: a few, short months from high school graduation. Attending an elite private high school, Caroline is trying to show her parents than she can be the perfect daughter and the perfect student. The problem is: Caroline’s mom doesn’t support Caroline’s homosexuality, and not only does she feel like her mom has abandoned her through her lack of unconditional love, but the girl Caroline loves has moved to another state. ⁣

⁣Caroline is left with a broken heart and a broken family support system. ⁣

⁣On top of all of that, Caroline’s best friend is missing under mysterious circumstances, and she’s not the only girl in to be missing. Not many books begin with the main character finding a dead girl’s body in the woods. And while this isn’t Madison’s body, it begs the question: why are so so many girls dying in Caroline’s town? And why is the police only looking for Madison? ⁣

Contos keeps readers guessing with clues from the first chapter as she takes readers on a dangerous journey to find Madison before it’s too late...if it’s not already too late. ⁣

Beyond the book being a thriller, Contos dives into LBGTQ topics as well as includes commentary on teen health with the dangers of vaping. Contos is definitely a YA author to start watching! ⁣

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Review: Pumpkin Magic

Released in July by @scholasticinc, PUMPKIN MAGIC is the perfect #kidsread for Spooky Season and all things #Halloween. ⁣

⁣By the magic of moonlight, these luminous pumpkins come to life and have fun all over town. They play games, they dress up in Halloween costumes all through the night until it’s time for the sun to come up. Then, these bright and and bouncy pumpkins return to their homes until the next night of moonlight magic! ⁣

⁣Ed Masessa and Nate Wragg write and illustrate this whimsical tale with fluorescent oranges, yellows, and greens. Rhyming shapes and actions at prefect to teach young readers. A playful read for kids this and every Halloween! 






#childrensbooks #picturebooks #raisingreaders #kidlit #booklover #reader #kidsbookstagram #booksforchildren #childrensbookillustration #kidbookstagram #booksforkids #kids #illustration #bookworm #bookstagram #illustrator #halloween #pumpkins #trickortreat #pumpkinmagic #scholastic

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Feature: The Second Best Hotel on Mercer Street


It’s the first day of Fall and time to start Spooky Season (unless you’re like me, and you started in August)! The Second Best Haunted Hotel by Cory Putnam Oaks and illustrated by Jane Pica is the perfect middle grade book to step out of September and into the best, ghoulish month of the year!! ⁣
From the publisher @abramsbooks: “A family-run haunted hotel’s livelihood is threatened when a bigger haunted hotel opens nearby in this hilarious, spooky story.⁣
Twelve-year-old Willow Ivan’s family has run the Hotel Ivan for four hundred years. Through thick and thin, they’ve held on tight to their title as the Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street. That is, until the Hauntery—a corporate chain of haunted hotels—moves in down the street. As the Ivan’s business fades, so do their ghostly staff. And Willow begins to worry that The Ivan’s days are numbered.⁣
Then Willow meets Evie, a Hauntery ghost who’s forced to play the part of a Spooky Little Girl even though she longs to be a Terrifying Phantasm. So when Willow offers her a job at The Ivan, Evie accepts—but she doesn’t tell Willow that she’s still working for The Ivan’s competition, for fear of losing her new job and friend.⁣
Together, the girls come up with a plan to save The Ivan. But with The Ivan ghosts already fading and Evie’s secret threatening to come out, will it be too late?”

Buy your copy today!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Book Review: Diwali by Thrity Umrigar


“All over the world, Diwali marked the victory of goodness and light.” ⁣
Couldn’t we all use some goodness and light right now? ⁣
Diwali, written by Thrity Umrigar (@thrity_umrigar) and illustrated by Nidhi Chanani (@nidhiart) tells the story of Binny who must present Diwali to her classmates. ⁣
Like most children, Binny is nervous, so her mother and father cook some of her favorites for breakfast on the day of her presentation: jalebis and pedals.⁣
But once the teacher calls on her to tell about Diwali, Binny freezes. Awkwardly, her classmates giggle or wait silently for her to continue. With the the help of her teacher, Binny finds the confidence to tell about her favorite holiday to a room of kids who, like myself, don’t know much about the Indian Festival of Lights. ⁣
For young readers and parents, @scholastic presents a beautifully bright and colorful history of Diwali so that every child can learn about this colorful and peaceful holiday. With purples, yellows, oranges, reds, greens, and blues, Chanani illustrates a brilliant canvas to showcase the colors and lights of the Diwali holiday. ⁣
In the back of the book is the story of Diwali and the Five Days of Diwali for readers who would like to know more about the origin and celebration of the holiday. 🎆🎇

Monday, August 10, 2020

Review: Fright Favorites

For my review of Fright Favorites, I decided to ask my husband to guest post. Brett Gallman writes for and @dailygrindhouse, and he’s been published on @fangoria so you can definitely trust his opinion. So here’s his take on the book!⁣

⁣Fright Favorites is a terrific horror movie primer that includes a fascinating preface about the history of Halloween on film starting with the silent era. David Skal’s selections to “haunt your Halloween and beyond” feature some interesting anecdotes and photographs, plus a companion selection for each entry that highlights relatively obscure titles. An essential book especially for those just starting their journey into horror movie history.⁣

⁣I’ve included photos of one of the opening pages and a feature on SCREAM, which is my favorite horror movie. Another favorite section is Hocus Pocus. It really doesn’t matter what mode of horror you like, this book covers classics to modern frights like GET OUT. 

Definitely check this one out! ⁣

You can pre-order Fright Favorites now at or 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Review: Embassy of the Dead by Will Mabbitt

Some say that children (and cats) can see things no one else can. Some children are referred to as sensitive because they can sense when something is off...or they can tell when something paranormal is near. ⁣
Jake Green is sensitive, and when he coincidentally meets (and talks to!) his first ghost (spectre to be exact), Stiffkey, he mistakenly takes a package meant for someone else. Now that he’s opened the package, the Embassy of the Dead is looking for him, and they won’t stop until the grim reaper Mawkins finds Jake and plunges him into the Eternal Void. ⁣
Releasing in September, (author) Will Mabbitt) and (illustrator) Taryn Knight take young readers on a ghost-filled adventure as Jake and Stiffkey (with the help of a spirited young ghost named Cora) set to make things right. ⁣
I love ghost stories, especially ones where the writer, and in this case writer and illustrator) can create an entire world set with the living and the dead.⁣
Mabbitt creates a paranormal universe that reminds me of Beetlejuice with quirky ghosts and a journey to the spirit world. Knight’s illustrations bring the characters (both dead and undead) to life throughout the book. Together, they show young readers a world outside of reality (for James, dealing with his parents’ separation). ⁣
Their first book in a new series, I can’t wait to read more of Jake’s paranormal adventures

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Review: The Sisters of Straygarden Place by Hayley Chewins

“Because the cost of light is darkness.”⁣
Out for publication (@candlewickpress) in September, Hayley Chewins creates a magical new world for young readers. Straygarden Place is no ordinary house, and the Ballastian sisters are no ordinary sisters. ⁣
Mayhap, Winnow, and Pavonine Ballastian were brought to Straygarden by their parents who were seeking botanical research. ⁣
For reasons unknown, they leave the girls with explicit instructions: “Do not leave the house. Do not go into the grass. Wait for us. Sleep darkly.” Being stuck in a place is hard, even a magical house like Straygarden that takes care of every material need you may have, and Mayhap catches Winnow sneaking outside into the grass. That’s where the book begins. ⁣
What follows is a mystery filled with magical, talking objects and an unbroken bond between sisters as they fight to save Winnow from the silver poison.⁣
Chewins invents unique vocabulary (dog=droomhund) and labels for her characters, human and inhuman, as well as a story never told before.⁣
Readers are transported in and through Straygarden as each room in the house, each page in the book, presents a new adventure.