Rocket Says Look Up!

by Nathan Bryon

illustrated by Dapo Adeola

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Publication Day: June 25, 2019

Check your local library or book store or buy the book online : AmazonBooks A MillionBarnes and Noble!indigo 

(I’m not affiliated with any of these sites just making it easy to preorder)

 

Rocket Says Look Up! is a sweet story about a big brother and little sister. Rocket is interested in all things space, knowing one day she will be just like her idol Mae Jamison. I think the characters were written very realistically. Jamal being a sterotypical teen in behaviors and actions – on the net, not really wanting to run errands for mom and hang with his little sister. Rocket enthusiastic and excited about up coming meteor shower that night, telling everyone and anyone who will listen. Even handing out flyers about it while with Jamal on an errand that day. I loved all the fun meteor facts that were sprinkled through out the book. Jamal comes through when his sister is sad about meteor shower and they have a great bonding moment. Rocket Says Look Up! is a great picture book – a fun story, educational science facts, bold bright illustrations, great characters and the perfect message: When you Dream – Dream Big!

About the book: Meet Rocket–a plucky aspiring astronaut intent on getting her community to LOOK UP! from what they’re doing and reach for the stars in this auspicious debut picture book. A comet will be visible tonight, and Rocket wants everyone to see it with her–even her big brother, Jamal, whose attention is usually trained on his phone or video games. Rocket’s enthusiasm brings neighbors and family together to witness a once-in-a-lifetime sighting. Perfect for fans of Ada Twist, Scientist and young science lovers excited about the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Look Up! will inspire readers of all ages to dream big as it models Rocket’s passion for science and infectious curiosity. Author Nathan Bryon, an actor and screenwriter, and Dapo Adeola, a community-minded freelance illustrator, bring their fresh talents, passion, and enthusiasm to the picture book medium.

Thank you Random House for Young Readers for sending me a copy of Rocket Says Look Up! All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

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Shred Girls

Lindsay’s Joyride

by Molly Hurford

illustrations by Violet Lemay

 

I simply loved Shred Girls Lindsay’s Joyride. It is a girl power book that is sure to capture the reader young and old. We follow Lindsay’s journey from being a shy girl that would love to be a superhero that defeats the super villain’s of the world. Her summer plans are turned upside down when her parents leave her with her older cousin for the whole summer. Phoebe has always fit what Lindsay pictured as a villain all mean and stuff. However Phoebe is not only cool but she is going to give Lindsay and all a summer to remember. Lindsay learns to “fly” in a way. She grows into a confident girl. She learns all there is to know about the world of BMX and becomes not only confident in her riding but learns with a lot of work and getting up every time you fall you just might learn to fly and follow your dreams. This book is great for upper elementary and even middle school. I’d say 4th and up would really love this book with strong girl characters , fun graphic novel like illustrations and a heartwarming coming of age story about family, friendship and working hard for what you want. I know the kids at my school will enjoy this one in the upcoming school year.

About the book: It’s time to ride and save the day!

Lindsay can’t wait to spend her summer break reading comics and watching superhero movies–until she finds out she’ll be moving in with her weird older cousin Phoebe instead. And Phoebe has big plans for Lindsay: a BMX class at her bike park with cool-girl Jen and perfectionist Ali.

Lindsay’s summer of learning awesome BMX tricks with new friends and a new bike turns out to be more epic than any comic book–and it’s all leading up to a jumping competition.

But some of the biker boys don’t think girls should be allowed to compete in BMX. Now it’s up to Lindsay, Jen, and Ali to win the competition and prove that anyone can be great at BMX

Thank you Random House Children’s  for sending me the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

I Wanna Be Where You Are

by Kristina Forest

publication day: June 4 2019

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I loved this book so much. I started and finished it in 1 day, didn’t get any house work done but I’m not sad about that. This was just what I needed  after reading a very heavy topic book. I loved all the characters and could totally see and understand the teens point of view and while I could see the parents I’m also glad the parents came around and supported their kids in the end. I will be suggesting this to anyone who ask me what to read this summer! This book is perfect for fun, sweet summer reading! There is a few scenes where there is a kiss or 2 and they have to share a room with a double bed, however nothing happens so I would give this to my middle grade reader if she liked sweet romance books. This would be a great one for middle grade readers who are looking for sweet innocent first love.

 

About the book: When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a spot at the dance conservatory of her dreams, she devises a secret plan to drive two hundred miles to the nearest audition. But Chloe hits her first speed bump when her annoying neighbor Eli insists upon hitching a ride, threatening to tell Chloe’s mom if she leaves him and his smelly dog, Geezer, behind. So now Chloe’s chasing her ballet dreams down the east coast―two unwanted (but kinda cute) passengers in her car, butterflies in her stomach, and a really dope playlist on repeat.

Thank you Netgalley and Roaring Book Press for allowing me to read I Wanna Be Where You Are. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Bright Burning Stars

by A.K. Small

 

 

I love the cover it’s very striking and will make you pick up the book as you walk by it.  I’m still trying to decide where I stand on it. It was hard to read and there are a lot of triggers for some readers. It offers what I think could be a pretty accurate world of ballet for some. At least it seemed like a lot that is in the book I’ve heard about from ballerina’s. It is a cut throat sport, yes ballet is a sport have you seen their muscles!?  Overall I think it is one that many will love and while others will have a tough time reading. This is a YA novel that I would not put in the hands of a middle grade reader. It  for me is considered more New Adult. Overall is was beautifully written I just wish there wasn’t so many triggers in the book. It was a hard book to read and I wish some of the heavy topics had been discussed and resolved in a positive manner.

Trigger Warnings: Eating disorders, body dysmorphia, mental illness, mentions of previous suicides, discussion of suicide, attempted suicide, substance abuse, emotionally abusive relationships, toxic friendships and more.

 

About the book: Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School since childhood, where they’ve formed an inseparable bond forged by respective family tragedies and a fierce love for dance. When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves what they would do to win the ultimate prize: to be the one girl selected to join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. Would they die? Cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic would make them shine, too? Neither girl is sure.

But then Kate gets closer to the Demigod, even as Marine has begun to capture his heart. And as selection day draws near, the competition—for the prize, for the Demigod—becomes fiercer, and Marine and Kate realize they have everything to lose, including each other.

Thank you Algonquin Young Readers for allowing me to read the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

The Things She’s Seen

by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Winner of Australia’s prestigious Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Writing for Young Adults

Shortlisted for Australia’s Indie Book Awards

 

This book looks slim and comes in at just 208 pages but it a packed through story that grabs the reader instantly. The story is told is written and in verse formats. When you are in the main part of the book you get regular written format. When you are listening to Catching’s story you get it in verse format. The story is told by many view points Catching and Beth Teller are the main characters but really the whole cast of characters are equally important. This story unfolds immediately.  The reader follows Beth, Beth’s dad, Catching and Allie through the small Australian town trying to solve the reason behind the fire, the murder of key figures and maybe the disappearance that happened 20 years ago. Could they all be connected? This ARC copy is full of wonderful quotes that I highlighted and hope they stay in the final copy.  The story highlights magical realism, true crime, the treatment of the Aboriginal people and heartbreaking pain a parent goes through after losing a child. A heavy hard hitting YA book that is perfect for readers from middle grade through adult.

About the book: This brilliantly written thriller explores the lives–and deaths–of two girls, and what they will do to win justice. Sure to be one of the most talked-about books of the year!

Nothing’s been the same for Beth Teller since the day she died.

Her dad is drowning in grief. He’s also the only one who has been able to see and hear her since the accident. But now she’s got a mystery to solve, a mystery that will hopefully remind her detective father that he needs to reconnect with the living.

The case takes them to a remote Australian town, where there’s been a suspicious fire. All that remains are an unidentifiable body and an unreliable witness found wandering nearby. This witness speaks in riddles. Isobel Catching has a story to tell, and it’s a tale to haunt your dreams–but does it even connect to the case at hand?

As Beth and her father unravel the mystery, they find a shocking and heartbreaking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town.

Thank you Alfred A Knopf for sending me a copy of The Thing’s She’s Seen. All thoughts and opinions are mine and not influenced by the free book.

Theodore Boone: The Accomplice

by John Grisham

 

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Theodore Boone book and I think I’ve read them all but there might be a few I haven’t. Theodore Boone is a kid lawyer not a real lawyer but one in training and one that is learning the ropes in the trenches.  and a really great series for middle school. Some of the topics are a bit more heavy so use your best judgement if your kid is upper elementary. My girls read the series while they were 5th grade and up I believe but it might have been 4th grade. What I love about this series is that the books can be read in order but also you can just grab a book and be fine. The reader doesn’t have to read them in order if their library doesn’t have all the books or if some are checked out. In all this is book 7 so this would be a great series to tackle this summer. I love the fact that the character’s are all written like the age they are. The writing is one that catches the reader right away. Theodore Boone might just strike an interest in the judicial system and becoming a lawyer. I know my now 7th grader really thought long and hard about being a lawyer and I’m sure these books help strike that interest (in the end forensics won).  The Accomplice  was good maybe not my favorite. I didn’t really like the holding up a convenience store with a fake gun after drinking. I know I know that can and does really happen but just so many kids and guns in the news. Would I recommend this to my nephews? Absolutely to two of them and Possibly to the other one ( he is more into graphic novels). I know I have and will always recommend this series whether or not I love each one in the series.

About the book: Theodore Boone is back on the case in an all-new adventure! Bestselling author John Grisham delivers a page-turning legal thriller for a new generation of readers.

Theo has been worried about his good friend Woody Lambert. Woody is struggling at school and making bad choices. But when Woody is arrested—an unwitting accomplice to armed robbery—Theo knows he is innocent. Racing the clock while Woody sits in jail, Theo will do everything in his power to help his friend and save Woody from an unforgiving system where justice is not equal for all.

Brimming with the intrigue and suspense that made John Grisham a #1 international bestseller and undisputed master of the modern legal thriller, Theodore Boone’s trials and triumphs will keep readers hooked until the very last page.

My middle school age kid and I love watching this good legal drama. Have you heard of it Proven Innocent? I does have some very tough subjects and some adult scenes but overall it a great show and I love that it sheds light on the wrongfully convicted and the background of being a lawyer isn’t all dressing nice and going into court to argue your case. There is a lot of gathering the information, facts and digging through law books to find cases that match yours for the ruling you want.

Proven Innocent is on Hulu as well as Fox. If you are looking for a great show that will open up some conversations check out Proven Innocent.  It is rated TV14 so use your best judgement on if you feel it is appropriate  for your family.

A legal drama that follows an underdog criminal defense firm led by a fierce and uncompromising lawyer who was wrongfully convicted in a sensational murder case that made her an infamous media obsession.

I tried to find a few other lawyer based shows but couldn’t find any I felt comfortable having my middle school kid watch.

 

Thank you Dutton Books for Young Readers for allowing me to read Theodore Boone The Accomplice. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

 

Rumple Buttercup

A Story of Bananas, Belonging, and Being Yourself

written and illustrated by Matthew Gray Guber

 

I loved this picture book! It is all about how we are all weird and we all need to embrace our weird and not judge other’s. This book is a sparse is written text and simple drawings and it makes it all work! You can read it aloud or to yourself in under 15 minutes no more than 30. It is 136 pages but it is a fast read and would be good for a classroom read aloud. It has a very important message that we should all embrace. Deep down we all want to belong and be accepted for who we are not what someone wants us to be. It is a picture book but really I feel it is for all ages from children to tweens/teens and adults.

Rumple Buttercup is a monster ( or so he thinks) it lives in the sewer but loves to see what all is going on around him, and loves to observe people. He hides for the most part and takes peeks with a disguise of a banana peel on top of his head. He’s lonely and wants to talk to someone so he uses trash to create Candy Corn Carl.  As the story progresses you really feel for Rumple and hope he gets to see the parade he has been looking forward to all year. However when he goes to get his banana peel from the trash it’s not there. He is sad he is going to miss it but then a boy ask through the storm drain if he is going to watch the parade. He finds out while he thought he was being sneaky he really wasn’t and everyone saw him. They all accept him and talk about their own weird (or as I like to call it quirks.) . We all have a quirk or two and it’s what makes us – US and unique. If we didn’t then we’d all be cookie cutter’s of each other and that would not be a fun place to be.

A fun fact you might recognize the name Matthew Gray Guber is on the very popular and very good show Criminal Minds. I LOVE that show so I was happy to see his creative side since I’ve been a fan of his acting/directing side for many years.

About the book: A charming and inspiring story about embracing your weird, written and illustrated by Criminal Minds actor/director, Matthew Gray Gubler.

Rumple Buttercup has five crooked teeth, three strands of hair, green skin, and his left foot is slightly bigger than his right.

He is weird.

Join him as he and Candy Corn Carl, his imaginary friend made of trash, learn the joy of individuality as well as the magic of belonging.

Thank you so very much Random House for Young Readers for sending me a copy of Rumple Buttercup. It has a spotlight spot on my bookshelf! All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.