Parkland Speaks

Survivors From Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories

Edited by MSD teacher Sarah Lerner

This book was a powerful, emotional raw book to read. I had to read it in short spurts because I would get emotional and go back to that day watching the news filter in through the internet.  The poems, journal entry accounts, pictures and drawings were done by the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas themselves. These kids lived that day and still to this day live that day. They experienced something I haven’t and can’t even imagine how it would impact me as an adult let alone a teenager. I work in an elementary school and have gone through the training’s – they scare me and stay with me long after I’m done. I can’t even wrap my head around it being the real thing. These kids are survivors, brave, strong and a voice that will not be silenced!  We need to stand up with these kids – our kids and make sure this and other school shootings do not get swiped under the rug. Kids should not have to worry about this, their biggest school worries should be grades, friends, etc.. School is supposed to be a safe place and so many middle school and high school kids I’ve heard from are scared every day that this could happen to them and that breaks my heart. Each journal entry, poem, drawing and photo was a personal glimpse into what they are feeling after the horrific Valentines Day that forever changed the lives of so many at Stoneman Douglas. I know this book touched me and want to thank each one of them for allowing me to read PARKLAND SPEAKS.

The closig line from CAN’T YOU HEAR by Allyson Sheehy  ” Can’t You Hear the screams now? Cause they are only growing louder.” PARKLAND SPEAKS is making sure that happens and I hope they continue to grow louder till reform and change happens.

About the book: Featuring art and writing from the students of the Parkland tragedy, this is a raw look at the events of February 14, and a poignant representation of grief, healing, and hope.

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School share their emotional journeys that began on February 14, 2018, and continue today. This revealing and unfiltered look at teens living in the wake of tragedy is a poignant representation of grief, anger, determination, healing, and hope.

The intimate collection includes poetry, eyewitness accounts, letters, speeches, journal entries, drawings, and photographs from the events of February 14 and its aftermath. Full of heartbreaking loss, a rally cry for change, and hope for a safe future, these artistic pieces will inspire readers to reflect on their own lives and the importance of valuing and protecting the ones you love.

Thank you Crown Books for Young Readers and Get Underlined for allowing me to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

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Arnold and Louise series

by Erica S Perl

Arnold and Louise is a cute new series hitting bookshelf this month. They are fairly easy to read chapters that are short and perfect for an independent reader. There might be a few words they will need help on but this series will fun for them to read. The stories are also short enough that they would be a fun read aloud for story time or bedtime.  Right now there are 2 books in the series The Great Louweezie and Lost and Found. I hope there are more coming because they are such cute stories. They remind me of the Frog and Toad series I read when I was little. There are lessons to be learned in each book with forgiveness in the end.  I know the kids at the elementary school will enjoy seeing these for check out at the school library. I think they might be some hot ticket books that don’t stay on the shelves for long.

Arnold is a sweet big bear who likes naps, his marbles and his best friend Louise. He  has lots of fun times and adventures with Louise.

Louise is a cute spunky chipmunk. She can be loud and you just never know what’s going to happen next when your hanging out with her.

I can’t wait to read more books from this adorable book series. I know if these had been around when my girls were beginning to read we would have bought them all and had the stories memorized from reading them so much!

The Great Louweezie : Arnold is a large black bear. His best friend, Louise, is a small chipmunk. But one day, Louise insists she is NOT Louise–she’s the Great Louweezie, and she can predict the future! But when the Great Louweezie’s demands begin to test Arnold’s patience, the game feels much less fun. What will happen if friendship isn’t in their future?

Lost and Found : When Louise borrows Arnold’s newly found treasure, he’s sure he’ll never see it again. After all, she loses just about everything he lends her. Louise swears she hasn’t lost it, but to get it back, she sends Arnold on a treasure hunt of her own–or is it a wild goose chase?

Thank you so much Random House for Young Readers and Penguin Workshop for sending me copies of The Great Louweezie and Lost and Found. All opinions are my own and not influenced by the free books.

Sleepover At The Museum

by Karen LeFrak

illustrated by David Bucs

Publication Date: January 15th 2019

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Buy the Book:  AmazonBarnes and NobleIndigo! ( I’m not affiliated with any of these so if you click and buy I don’t receive any money. I just like the book and wanted to share easy to buy links for you.)

First thing I thought of when I saw and read the title of this book was one of our favorite family movies: Night at the Museum! We love the whole series and watch them a lot. This book is adorable and sure to be a hit with kids. I know my girls would have read this one over and over. Sleepover At The Museum is fun because you get to solve the clues along with Mason and his two best friends. The clue is given in bold type and then you flip the page to find out answer is along with information on the answer and room in the Museum of Natural History. You could wait to flip the page till after your reader/listener has given their answer or just flip the page right away. I really liked the fun educational mystery riddles part of this book. At the end of the book you get to find out what room Mason picked to have his sleepover in and I have to say he picked a good one. This book really makes me want to have a sleepover at the Museum of Natural History even as an adult! That would be so much fun. The illustrations are bright and full of bold colors and really captures the rooms in the museum. This picture book is definitely on my top 10 of 2019 and I’m pretty sure it will stay there.

About the book: Mason couldn’t wait to celebrate his birthday with a sleepover at the museum of natural history–his favorite place to visit.

Armed with headlamps for the dark hallways, a map, and a list of clues, Mason and his two best friends take off on a scavenger hunt through each hall of the museum. But they aren’t just trying to solve the clues. They’re scouting for the best place to spend the night.

Sleeping next to a T. rex in the Hall of Dinosaurs felt too scary. And sleeping with the monarch butterflies would probably tickle. This decision isn’t as easy as Mason thought it would be….

Wherever they end up, the museum at night is the best place for a birthday adventure!

Thank you Random House Kids and Crown Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of Sleepover At The Museum. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

There Are No Bears In This Bakery

written and illustrated by Julia Sarcone Roach

Publication Date: January 8th 2019

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I read The Bear Ate My Sandwich and it was so cute. I love her fun stories and bright vibrant illustrations. In There Are No Bears In This Bakery you follow a cat as he investigates the source of a loud noise at his bakery. He assumes it’s a mouse or two. To his surprise he finds a cute hungry baby bear, so Muffin helps baby bear out by giving him some yummy baked goods to curb that growling stomach. Problem is where there is a baby bear there is a momma bear…

This story is cute and sure to tickle the youngest listener to older listener. Loved how she made the colors of the illustrations really put the emotions into the illustrations. When Muffin was scared the colors in the  illustrations are dark, happy feelings lighter colors in the illustrations. This would be a fun book for storytime, and great for a book to craft activity at home – making some muffins, cookies etc…

About the book: A tough gumshoe of a cat–the name’s Muffin–protects his territory: The Little Bear Bakery. But there are no bears here. Not on Muffin’s watch.

One night, Muffin hears a suspicious noise. Mouse? Raccoon? Bat? Nope, not the usual suspects. But Muffin hears . . . growling. Could it be? Yup. A bear. Just a cub. Whose stomach is definitely growling. Muffin’s got this case solved–clearly this bear needs some donuts.

In this wonderfully noir-tinged tale, Julia Sarcone-Roach gives us another funny story of a hungry bear in the wrong place at the right time. This tale is sly and sweet, with sprinkles on top.

Thank you Alfred A Knopf and Random House Kids for sending me a copy of There Are No Bears In This Bakery. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Fairy In Waiting

by Sophie Kinsella

illustrated by Marta Kissi

Publication Date:  January 29th 2019

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Buy the book: AmazonBarnes and NobleIndigo!  ( I’m not affiliated with any of these so if you click and buy I don’t receive any money. I just like the book and wanted to share easy to buy links for you.)

 

I loved the first book in this cute series Fairy Mom and Me so I was happy to see the next one Fairy In Waiting had arrived. The book is pure magic, it has funny stories, great friends, family fun, and magic. This book had 4 fairy spell stories which read like short stories. This book had a meet fairy mom and me introduction so if you haven’t read the first book that is okay you can know exactly what is going on. All for fairy spell stories were cute but I had a few favorites.

Fairy Spell #1 Monkeridoo! – was cute and funny had lots of animal antics and is sure to make kids laugh

Fairy Spell #2 Stoperidoo! – has a magic wardrobe so this was a favorite because who doesn’t love a magic wardrobe. However this did have a burglar in the house at night so that might scare a younger reader / listener. The author did a great job at making it not scary but for sensitive ones you might want to save this one for another time ( or at least not right at bedtime)

Fairy Spell #3 Sprinkleridoo! – super cute family vacation where they meet another fairy family! There is lots of fun family time and maybe even some ice cream magic.

Fairy Spell #4: Flyeridoo! – Ella has her birthday party and things get a little out of hand when 3 fairies work their magic. A funny story full of a mountain sized cake and flying party guest.

At the end of the book the author includes some fun activities the reader can do by themselves or with family. This series is just so sweet and cute and perfect for any reader / listener who likes fairies and magic in their stories.

About the book: Ella Brook is used to being a Fairy-in-Waiting. It means that one day she will become a fairy with her own sparkly wings and Computawand just like her mom.
But sometimes Ella doesn’t want to have to wait any longer. After all, she helps her mom remember magic codes all the time! If only there was a spell for growing up faster.
Will Ella prove that she’s ready to become a fairy? Or will she learn that she doesn’t need real magic to save the day?

Thank you Random House Kids and Sophie Kinsella for sending me a copy of Fairy In Waiting. All thoughts and opinions are mine and not influenced by the free book.

Snow in Love

by Aimee Friedman –  Kasie West – Melissa De La Cruz – Nic Stone

I said I’d never read a Christmas / Hanukkah / Winter themed YA compilation again after Let It Snow. I didn’t like that book at all. However I’m a sucker for sweet holiday themed stories so I knew if I saw there was a new compilation made I’d check it out from the library. I’m so glad I did I really liked these stories, some more than others but they were all great.

SNOW AND MISTLETOE by Kasie West: ( 4 stars )  The first story in the book and the best one! I really loved everything about this story from Amalie and Sawyer secretly crushing on each other to the great road trip that followed. The story was sweet and innocent and a great way to start off this book. This was my favorite of the four.

WORKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND by Aimee Friedman:  ( 3 stars ) This story I guess was okay. I was happy to find out the main character Maxine was Jewish. There are so few Hanukkah books out there for teens. So I was excited to dive into it. However it didn’t really even touch Hanukkah this holiday and all the rich traditions that come with it. I guess in a way it did show us what’s it is like to have Christmas everywhere and very little Hanukkah anywhere.

THE MAGI’S GIFTS by Melissa De La Cruz: ( 2 stars ) I just didn’t click with this one. Nothing wrong with the story really just didn’t hook me like the first two.  I mean come on you sell a family heirloom to buy a gift for a friend and not get in trouble really!

GROUNDED by Nic Stone: ( 3.75 stars ) I super sweet cute story. I really enjoyed the storyline and characters. This was a first for me to read Nic Stone but I think I need to read more. If Nic Stone can write such a fully developed story in so few pages I really need to read one of their books and ASAP.

Mother Ghost

Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters

by Rachel Kolar

illustrated by Roland Garrigue

Borrowed on HooplaDigital

 

I loved this book and wish it had been around when my kids were little I would have bought this in a heartbeat. I think I still will just for me. I love picture books they are just so magical. The stories or in this case nursery rhymes combined with beautiful illustrations really bring this fun Halloween book to life. The dark deep purples and blacks with pops of color really set the mood for a funny semi spooky book. The nursery rhymes are all funny and while I say semi spooky they are very calm and tame. They include ghost – zombies and graveyards all very much associated with Halloween but the funny nursery rhymes take away the fear factor.  Some of my favorite nursery rhymes: Mary Mary Tall and Scary – Twinkle Twinkle Lantern Jack  and Wee Willie WereWolf . To be honest I really loved them all but these 3 I can’t get out of my head and loved the rhymes and illustrations so much. If you have little bookworms are home or even at school this would be a cute one to have out for the next few weeks. I would gift this one for moms to be or for a fun themed birthday gift for a fall little bookworms birthday. I am so glad I found this book through Hoopla and was able to read it. On a side note have you checked out Hoopla? It’s a great e-book library that has no waiting list some of the hot new releases that have huge waits on overdrive for me I’ve been able to read right away through Hoopla! It’s free to join and has a pretty good selection, so check them out if you don’t mind e-books (I linked to Hoopla right above the book picture.)

About the Book: From “Mary, Mary, Tall and Scary” to “Wee Willie Werewolf,” this collection of classic nursery rhymes turned on their heads will give readers the chills–and a serious case of belly laughs. With clever rhyme and spooky illustrations, Mother Ghost is perfect for getting in the Halloween spirit. Boo!