Lucy and Andy Neanderthal

The Stone Cold Age

by Jeffery Brown

I know I said I wasn’t really into graphic novels, however I can now say I’m a fan. I’ve read several over the summer and you know what they are great! I can see why kids and adults love them. I know they are a big hit in the elementary school I work at. Jeffery Brown is best known for the Darth Vader and Kids as well as Jedi Academy books but I really think Lucy and Andy Neanderthal will become just as popular.

Lucy and Andy Neanderthal is a mix of fiction and non fiction. The author sprinkles in scientist throughout the graphic novel to discuss scientific facts about caves, finding fossils from that era and human remains. Glacier formation and more is discussed as well. I think he does a good job at separating the fact and fiction for the reader.  He also presents the readers with a family from the stone cold age. They have a saber tooth for a pet, I mean hey maybe they did back then. The family and characters are likable and I enjoyed the graphic novel. The illustrations are done in black and white and simple but pleasing to the eye. My middle grade reader liked that they were in black and white and they weren’t real involved with tons of detail. If you wanted to read this as a read aloud with your younger reader/listener then you could read 1 story a night. There are a total of 10 stories with the last part of the book for more facts and explanations and a timeline. Overall I’m very pleased with this series Stone Cold Age is book 2. You can start off with book 1 Lucy and Andy Neanderthal, or just jump right in with Stone Cold Age.

About the Book: Neanderthal siblings Lucy and Andy are back to their paleo pranks. This time, they have to put up with more than just each other the cave is feeling awfully cramped since the humans moved in. They’re in the Ice Age, and legroom comes at a real premium!  Jeffrey Brown skillfully blends humor and history with paleontologist sections: Timeline of Key Discoveries, Ice Age Fact vs. Fiction, Silly Cavemen Myths, and more.

Thank you Crown Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of Lucy and Andy Neanderthal The Stone Cold Age. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free graphic novel.

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Lemon

by Melissa Savage

Page total: 308

Suggested Reading Level: Middle Grade (I think upper elementary grade readers would enjoy this as well)

I simply loved this sweet, charming book. Lemonade “Lemon” Liberty Witt has been dealt a big bowl of lemons in life. The whole world has been upended and the rug was pulled out from under her (Trigger: her mom dies, so some kids might find this hard). She has to go live with her grandpa, someone she has never meet before. She has to live her hometown where all her friends live and the memories of just her and her mom are. While there all she can think about is going back.  However Willow Creek California is full of fun quirky characters that you just can’t help but like (well there were a few sour lemons in the bunch). Lemon begins to make friends, has a best friend in Tobin. She starts to enjoy searching for and possibly finding Big Foot. Mostly she is enjoying learning all about her mom when she was Lemons age, talking to friends of her moms and just being with her grandpa. I just loved Lemon and Tobin, they are really sweet middle grade characters. They were well written and realistic. Tobin is dealing with his dad who is MIA after returning the US after fighting in the Vietnam war. This book will be the top suggested book when the 5th graders ask me for book suggestions. I hope many middle grade readers and upper elementary readers read Lemons! Grab a copy and read it aloud, or grab a copy and have family book club this summer.

About the book: After her mother dies in 1975, ten-year-old Lemonade must live with her grandfather in a small town famous for Bigfoot sightings and soon becomes friends with Tobin, a quirky Bigfoot investigator.

Thank you Random House Kids and Crown Books for Young Readers. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Curse of the Boggin and Dr Fell and the Playground of Doom

I have 2 great little books perfect for the upper elementary through middle grade reading crowd. If you are looking for some somewhat spooky but not scary books for your kids who have already read every and all GooseBumps books than look no further.  Curse of the Boggin and Dr Fell and the Playground of Doom just might be what they are looking for.

First up or hands down favorite of the 2:

Curse of the Boggin (The Library #1) by D.J. McHale

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This one was our favorite of the 2 books and we can’t wait for book 2. The book is perfect and we loved every creepy moment of it. The cover will have every kid that loves a good spooky book grabbing it off the shelves, it is perfect and really sums up the book. Curse of the Boggin has 2 stories with in this one. There is of course the main story that the book is based on but the back story as to why the Boggin wants the key so badly. This book is a bit more creepy and scary so not for the easily scared readers. Upper elementary through middle grade will devour this book and series – I even think some YA readers would enjoy this one. The kids are great and read like real kids. They are sarcastic – stick together – and jump feet first into the unknown world to save not only their families but their best friend. Marcus learns a lot in a very short time. First he learns that he is gifted or cursed depending on how you want to look at it with a gift. He learns he is adopted and that his parents didn’t pass away like he thought they did. Than he learns he is the keeper of this very special key and it can not – I repeat can not fall into the hands of the boggin or we are all doomed. Curse of the Boggin is a grand slam and sure to delight readers with the creepy supernatural elements,  friendships and both strong boy and girl main characters. Grab a copy of this one and add it to your middle grade spooktober reading list.

summary: There’s a place beyond this world, beyond the land of the living, where ghosts go to write their unfinished stories—stories that ended too soon. It’s a place for unexplained phenomena: mysteries that have never been solved, spirits that have never been laid to rest. And there’s only one way in or out.

It’s called the Library, and you can get there with a special key. But beware! Don’t start a story you can’t finish. Because in this library, the stories you can’t finish just might finish you.

Marcus O’Mara is a 13 year old guy at a crossroads. He constantly finds himself in trouble at school, with his friends, and with his adoptive parents. Marcus doesn’t believe things can get any worse for him…until they get worse.

Much worse.

He begins seeing strange and impossible visions; gets thrown into paranormal danger and is haunted by a mysterious ghost with a singular goal: to give him a key.

It’s a key that opens the door to a mysterious library. When that door opens, the incredible adventure for Marcus and his friends begins as they learn the truth about Marcus’ past and uncover the strange world of unfinished stories that are found on the shelves of the Library.

Dr Fell and the Playground of Doom by David Neilsen

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This book was a small book and a quick read but not lacking it is a story that is packed full of mystery, fantasy and tween heroes. The tween kids are funny, sarcastic and not afraid of Dr Fell. They want to know what is up with him since something doesn’t seem right. This is a first book for my by David Neilsen and it was a delight to read his writing. He creates such a great enchanting book. I instantly fell into the book and didn’t want it to end. While it was a spooky book perfect for tween spooktober reading, it wasn’t I can’t sleep it was so scary. However if your child does scare easy than you might want to read it first just to make sure it would be OK. My tween reader has been reading spooky books for quite a while now and for her she said it wasn’t spooky enough – so definitely mildly spooky. The plot of the book is fast paced and will have your child reading all day long so they can find out how this book is going to end. Sadly the ending comes fast but is the perfect ending. Overall I really enjoyed this one and so did my middle grade reader (5th grader). The only thing she said she didn’t like was the cover. She said the cover would have her reaching for the book at the store or school library.

summary: When the mysterious Dr. Fell moves into the abandoned house that had once been the neighborhood kids’ hangout, he immediately builds a playground to win them over. But as the ever-changing play space becomes bigger and more elaborate, the children and their parents fall deeper under the doctor’s spell.

Only Jerry, Nancy, and Gail are immune to the lure of his extravagant wonderland. And they alone notice that when the injuries begin to pile up on the jungle gym, somehow Dr. Fell is able to heal each one with miraculous speed. Now the three children must find a way to uncover the doctor’s secret power without being captivated by his trickery.

Thank you so much Random House Books for Young Readers and Crown Books for Young Readers. We enjoyed Curse of the Boggin and Dr Fell and the Playground of Doom. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free books.

The Safest Lies

by Megan Miranda

The Safest Lies was a good weekend book and I liked it. Yes, it was predictable but that’s OK the description was very lengthy and pretty much tells you what to expect. There were some parts though that I didn’t expect and liked that she threw a curve ball in the story. Those are always good and keep you reading. The budding romance between the main character Kelsey and Ryan was sweet. I really was kinda questioning if Ryan was a good guy at one point. Kelsey is not your average teen this girl could get herself out of any situation thanks to her mom’s fear of being found. All that training she thought was not necessary ending up coming in handy. Kelsey was a think fast and on the spot tough girl. I liked her character as well as Ryan’s. The mystery and mom’s story within the story that is The Safest Lie was good and made for a great book to read over the weekend. This one is perfect of YA readers and really I’d let me middle grade reader read this one. There was kissing but nothing more, one scene where she falls asleep in Ryan’s room but that is it and she has seen that on Grimm. Over all it is pretty clean and fast paced, geared for YA so use your judgement on if you’d let your tween middle grade reader read this one.


summary: Kelsey has lived most of her life in a shadow of suspicion, raised to see danger everywhere. Her mother hasn’t set foot outside their front door in seventeen years, since she escaped from her kidnappers with nothing but her attacker’s baby growing inside her—Kelsey.

Kelsey knows she’s supposed to keep a low profile and stay off the grid for their protection, but that plan is shattered when her dramatic car accident and rescue by volunteer firefighter and classmate Ryan Baker sparks media coverage.

A few days later, she arrives home to find her mother missing. Now, to have a chance at a future, Kelsey will have to face her darkest fears. Because someone is coming for her. And the truth about the past may end up being the most dangerous thing of all.

Dear Malala

We Stand With You

by Rosemary McCarney with Plan International

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I am so happy that Malala is getting the Nobel Peace Prize, ok she has to share it but she is getting it! She deserves it so much! All that she has done and stood up for, never wavering or backing down. She is a true hero, one kids can look up to and while she isn’t a celebrity in the true sense of the word. She is famous, and for all the right reasons.

Malala Yousafzai was a girl on a mission and even getting shot by the Taliban wasn’t going to silence her. She believed that girls had a right to get an education. Her bravery has given a voice to so many young girls around the world who also have to fight for the right to an education!

Dear Malala We Stand With You is an open letter in book format to Malala. They are not only saying thank you to her but sharing in the sisterhood of education. So many admire her and can sympathize with her plight. Girls in many countries can not get a full education and that is just sad! The last page states that the book is dedicated to 65 million girls in the world today who are not in school! That just makes me want to cry!

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This book is simple to read that even the beginning reader could read on their own. This would also be great to read aloud during storytime or circle time to a class. I think this is a picture book that every family with girls should have.  The simple sentences and pictures of girls all around the world make this book a perfect conversation starter for you and your daughter! So grab Dear Malala We Stand With You and share this wonderful open letter to a wonderful girl who all girls can look up to!

Dear Malala We Stand With You has many ways you can join the movement and help. For places to gather more information and donate. They also have some great social media hashtags that you can participate in.

thank you Random House Kids and Crown Books for Young Readers for sending us a copy of this inspiring picture book! We love Dear Malala We Stand With You and I am so happy to have it on our bookshelf!