Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Monday, June 29, 2020
Friday, June 26, 2020
Sunday, June 21, 2020
"They say if you see him, it's already too late."
I remember being obsessed with Ghost Hunters back when the show started in 2004 as I love all things paranormal. So when I saw the synopsis of Poblacki’s new book following the daughter of a famous tv ghost hunter, I was hooked.
Claire lost her mother suddenly and has been trying to find out if she is still with her, spiritually, but when the book opens, Claire has not received any messages from her so maybe Claire isn’t as sensitive as she would like, considering her father’s profession. She regularly meets up with her friends Norma, Francine, Mikey, and Whit after school to tell ghost stories and try to find their own evidence that ghosts exist.
Before they can start their next ghost hunt, Claire notices that she is being followed by a kid named Lucas whose Aunt LIzzie is known for being able to communicate with the dead, supposedly. Claire isn’t sure she believes it until Lucas tells her that her father is in trouble (he’s away on a ghost hunting adventure) and that the message to save her dad is coming from her mom. At first, Claire doesn't believe Lucas, but then she tries to contact her dad, and he doesn’t answer. He’s missing.
Claire enlists Lucas for his help, and they run away to take the bus to find her dead, with Claire’s mother following along through Lucas who has inherited his family’s “gift”. But Claire’s mom can only go so far as the outskirts of Hush Falls where Claire’s dad could be is filled with spirits, both good and evil, following a historic flood. Together, Claire and Lucas have to find and save Claire’s father before it’s too late.
Set for publication on July 7, 2020, Poblocki takes readers on a wild ghost ride with many twists and turns. Perfect for those young ghost hunters who love to read about action and adventure within the horror genre. Scary but not gory--enough to make you leave the night light one for at least one night!
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Monday, June 15, 2020
@scholasticinc presents the furry, black Fuzzball, queen of her loving and loyal subjects...her human family. They give her daily massages and presents and all the attention a queen requires. Until they go away on vacation. Fuzzball is confused and wonders why her subjects would abandon their queen. She decided to get the house ready for their return except in Fuzzball’s Brian, making the house look tidy is the complete opposite of what she thinks tidy should look like. Not only that but her human family is going to return with something more than souvenirs from their trip.
Isabella Kung’s (@isabellakung) debut is perfect for PreK to age 3. My two year old especially loves the front and back covers with Fuzzball in her various states of queendom.
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Finders Creepers (Half Past Peculiar, Book 1)
Derek Fridolphs (writer) and Dustin Nguyen (Illustrator)
You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover...usually...but Half Past Peculiar has a beautifully creepy cover to match the mysterious tales inside of missing pets and a mysterious house owned by the Mordreds (even the name is creepy!).
Set to release on July 7, 2020, the first installment of the Scholastic Finder Keeper’s series will hook you from the jump. The story follows twins Esmerelda and Atticus Fetch who, after the dog disappeared years ago, find lost pets for their neighbors. From frogs to ferrets to dogs, Esmerelda and Atticus follow maps, information from books, and common sense pet clues to find these lost and beloved pets and return them to their anxious owners.
As the story unfolds, Illustrator Dustin Nguyen creates thrilling comics of the twins’ pet rescue adventures, all the while sacrificing their homework time to look for their own lost dog. But don’t tell their adventurous mom who is away collecting artifacts for the museum. Within the narrative, Fridolphs and Nguyen show readers letters and postcards from the twins’ mom as another example of the immersion into the story.
It seems like an easy job for the twins to find lost pets until one mysterious lost flyer for a dog shows up in the basement and leads them to an unfriendly house with its own secret.
*I received this copy from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review.*
Saturday, June 6, 2020
True Hauntings: Deadly Disasters 👻
First of all, seeing the cover of this book took me back to my elementary school days waiting for the Scholastic Book Fair to come to my school because I would totally buy all of the horror books. Today, as an adult in my thirties, I still love horror, and I was so excited to read this one!
Set to release on July 7, 2020, Dinah Williams presents ten gruesomely tragic stories across the globe. From the deadly 2011 Japanese tsunami to the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, Williams tells the stories of tragic accidents that left behind hundreds, if not thousands, of restless spirits.
Marketed for 8-12 years olds, I often yelled out “gross” or “eww” while reading, but I know I would have loved it even more as a kid. Williams also provides related facts and tidbits throughout the book which made me pull out my laptop and research. While I do wish the book provided photos of some of the supposed ghosts caught on camera, I looked each story up myself to find the evidence to support each tragedy.
In the introduction, Williams says that “20%” of people believe in ghosts. Count me as part of that 20%!
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Eleven-year-old Julie Sweet never expected to find a baby on the children's library steps, and she certainly never expected to take the baby home with her and her six-year old sister Martha. But before she can think about what she's doing, she's running towards Belle Beach with a baby in a basket! Martha, who first thinks the baby is a doll, is mad at Julie for not letting her carry the baby, as if that is the biggest problem right now. Twelve-year-old Bruno Ben-Eli is on his way to NYC for his first trip on a train into the city after a secretive letter from his brother who is away in the military. Before he can get to the train, he sees Julie and Martha taking a baby off of the stops and running away. Does he follow the instructions in his brother's letter, or does he follow the girls with the mysterious baby to the beach?
Told in alternating narratives between Julie, Martha, and Bruno, Amy Hest presents a unique situation for these children that proves to be more than meets the eye. Julie, Martha, and Bruno have to face adult-like situations where they have to make tough decisions that only they can process in the moment. Not only do they face a tough situation with this mysterious baby, but Ben learns something new about his brother that changes his entire family.
With a faced-paced triple narrative Hest creates a tenderhearted, yet suspenseful, book for young readers that features a famous historical cameo in the end.
About Beverley Naidoo:
Amy Hest is the author of many beloved books for young readers, including Remembering Mrs. Rossi, Letters to Leo, and the Katie Roberts novels. She is also the author of many picture books, including Kiss Good Night, When Jessie Came Across the Sea, and On the Night of the Shooting Star. Amy lives in New York City.
About JOURNEY TO JO’BURG:On the morning of the dedication of the new children’s library in Belle Beach, Long Island, eleven-year-old Julie Sweet and her six-year-old sister, Martha, find a baby in a basket on the library steps. At the same time, twelve-year-old Bruno Ben-Eli is on his way to catch the 9:15 train into New York City. He is on an important errand for his brother, Ben, who is serving in World War II. But when Bruno spies Julie, who hasn’t spoken to him for sixteen days, heading away from the library carrying a baby in a basket, he has to follow her. Holy everything, he thinks. Julie Sweet is a kidnapper. Of course, the truth about the baby they’ve found is much more complicated than the children know in this heartwarming and beautifully textured family story by award-winning author Amy Hest.
Thursday, January 16, 2020
HarperCollins; November 12, 2019; Paperback; ISBN: 9780064402378; 96 pages; $6.99
In my tenth grade class, I have been reading aloud Trevor Noah's Born a Crime, and when I read Journey to Jo'Burg, I couldn't help but notice the similarities in the stories and the suffering of so many people during apartheid in South Africa. While Trevor Noah's memoir is geared towards young adults and adults, Journey to Jo'Burg is perfect for older children to tweens. Siblings Naledi and Tiro must find their mother in Johannesburg, after their younger sister becomes sick, and they need to get to a hospital. The problem with finding their mother in Johannesburg is finding their way through apartheid borders. Traveling through Soweto (with much the same experience as Noah), Naledi and Tiro face unmistakable and unforgiving discrimination and injustice.
Heartbreaking and angry, Naidoo paints a story of struggle, racism, and poverty while also depicting characters who never give up and do what they need to do to save their family. While the book focuses on the journey to find their mother, Mma has her story told from the perspective of someone who works for the rich. She barely makes any money nor can she provide a lot of basic necessities for her children.
The reader simultaneously roots for the children to find their mother, and the family to survive and fight the apartheid system.
About Beverley Naidoo:Beverley Naidoo is the award-winning author of several children’s books, including The Other Side of Truth, No Turning Back, and Chain of Fire. Her books center on political corruption, struggle, and injustices that occur in South Africa. After being exiled, Naidoo moved to England where she married and had children with another South African exile.About JOURNEY TO JO’BURG:Separated from their mother by the harsh social and economic conditions prevalent among blacks in South Africa, thirteen-year-old Naledi and her younger brother make a journey over 300 kilometers to find her in Johannesburg. Mma lives and works in Johannesburg, far from the village Naledi and Tiro call home. When their baby sister suddenly becomes very sick, Naledi and Tiro know, deep down, that only one person can save her. Bravely, alone, they set off on a journey to find Mma and bring her back. It isn't until they reach the city that they come to understand the dangers of their country, and the painful struggle for freedom and dignity that is taking place all around them.Additional Praise for the Book"Growing awareness of the sufferings of South Africa's black children brings renewed point to Beverley Naidoo's Journey to Joburg, a story for young readers, the more searing for its gentleness, that makes them ask questions we must learn to answer."-Guardian, UK
“...so simple and straightforward that it makes accessible even to quite young children the difficult and the profound.”-Times Educational Supplement, UK