Addie Bell’s ShortCut to Growing Up

by Jessica Brody

 

 

Oh my gosh this book is simply precious! I loved every minute of this cute book! I reminded me of one of my all time favorite movies: 13 Going on 30.  Lucky for  Addie Bell doesn’t skip all those years and head straight to 30 she just skips those wonderful awkward tween years. In doing so she has altered everything she thought high school was going to be like. She soon see’s popularity comes with a price and she wants everything to go back to the way it was before she made that wish. So many times kids want to grow up to fast or think if only I was older things would be so much better. This book represents those feelings so well. I simply can not recommend it enough. This book will be gifted to every tween girl reader I know. I think this is a great summer read for girls entering middle school for the first time or even high school for the first time. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Addie Bell’s ShortCut to Growing Up – this book was my first 5 star read of 2017!!!

summary: Seventh grader Addie Bell can’t wait to be in high school, where everything seems cooler and more fun. What if there was a way to be older . . . right now?

Addie’s parents won’t let her have her own phone, she doesn’t have any curves, and her best friend, Grace, isn’t at all interested in makeup or boys. Then, on the night of her twelfth birthday, Addie makes a wish on a magic jewelry box to be sixteen . . . and wakes up to find that her life has been fast-forwarded four years! Suddenly she has everything she’s always wanted (like a driver’s license and a closet full of cool clothes). But Addie soon discovers that a lot more has changed than she expected—including her friendship with Grace. Can Addie turn back time and take back her wish . . . or has she lost the chance to experience what could have been the best years of her life?

Thank you so very much Jessica Brody and Delacorte for allowing me to read Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

A Boy Called Christmas

by Matt Haig

illustrations by Chris Mould

a-boy-called-christmas-by-matt-haig-illustrations-by-chris-mould

 

 

A Boy Called Christmas  in a nutshell is AMAZING! This book captures all the magic of Christmas and being a kid and wrapped it up into a book. This book is for all ages and perfect to read this holiday season! I just felt so happy and so wrapped up in the Christmas spirit while reading this. It makes you really see Christmas and all the magic, joy and wonder of the season. There are some darker moments but nothing so scary that it isn’t suitable for young bookworms. This is a must READ and must BUY – it is perfect for reading aloud around the Christmas Tree with your family. You will be truly captivated and transported into the magical world that the author and illustrator created! I can not say enough great things about this book. It’s on my top 5 list of best books I read this year! Grab a copy for your family – gift copies to your family and friends. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this becomes a Christmas classic in years to come.

 

Summary: Before there was Santa Claus, there was a young boy who believed in the impossible. . . . Lemony Snicket meets Elf in this warmhearted Christmas caper.
 
Eleven-year-old Nikolas—nicknamed “Christmas”—has received only one toy in his life: a doll carved out of a turnip. But he’s happy with his turnip doll, because it came from his parents, who love him. Then one day his father goes missing, and Nikolas must travel to the North Pole to save him.

Along the way, Nikolas befriends a surly reindeer, bests a troublesome troll, and discovers a hidden world of enchantment in the frozen village of Elfhelm. But the elves of Elfhelm have troubles of their own: Christmas spirit and goodwill are at an all-time low, and Nikolas may be the only person who can fix things—if only he can reach his father before it’s too late. . . .

Thank you so very much Knopf Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of A Boy Called Christmas for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Wildings

by Eleanor Glewwe

wildings-by-eleanor-glewwe

 

 

Do your kids (and you) love the magic of Harry Potter, InkHeart, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe? Do they love fantasy fiction but have run out of books to read? I know my middle grade reader has read just about every fantasy book under the sun. I was happy to pass on Wildings to her after I read it, I know she is going to fall in love with this book. I had not read or heard of the book Sparkers so this was my first introduction to the magical world that Rivka, Arik and other Wildings live in. I will go back and read it this book was so good I didn’t want it to end. I loved that Rivka is a strong girl who doesn’t back down if she feels she is doing what is right! We need more books with good, positive girls. This book deals with the topic of racism within the magical world and Rivka doing everything she can to reunite and change the laws so other wildings can be reunited with their families. Grab a copy for your fellow bookworms and gift it this holiday season. I really hope this story line continues I would love to read more and see where they go from here.

summary: Rivka is one of the magical elite and the daughter of an important ambassador. But she harbors a deep secret: She once had a twin brother, Arik. When Arik failed to develop his own magical abilities, the government declared him a wilding, removed him from his home, placed him with non-magical adoptive parents, and forbade him any contact with his birth family. Now it is as if he never existed at all.

But Rivka refuses to forget her twin brother. Even though she knows she could lose everything—her father, her friends, even her freedom—she sets out to find Arik. She has nothing to go on except her still-new magical powers and her love for her brother. Can that possibly be enough to bring them together again, when all of society believes they belong apart?

Thank you Viking Books for Young Readers for allowing me to read Wildings. 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

curse-of-the-boggin-the-library-1-by-d-j-machale

 

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

dr-fell-and-the-playground-of-doom-by-david-neilsen

 

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.

Don’t Stay Up Late: A Fear Street Novel

by R.L. Stine

Don't Stay Up Late by R.L. Stine

My kids have always been big R.L. Stine fans. I think we have owned every Goosebumps and watched every episode and movie over the years. My oldest still enjoys a good scary book and so I knew I had to grab her a copy. Little did I know we would all read it and love it. It was like our own little book club and it was fun! R.L. Stine has a great series for kids who are out of elementary school and into the bigger books and bigger scares. Fear Street is for middle and high school readers. I love a good scary books as much as my girls and R.L. Stine is a master storyteller right up there with Stephen King in my book. Now we just wish the Fear Street Relaunch would launch into a series like his fabulous book series Goosebumps! 🙂 Wishful thinking we know but hey maybe one day…

Don’t Stay Up Late had me grabbing minutes here and there so I could finish it. I had to know if I was right about what was going on. Don’t Stay Up Late will keep you staying up late just to finish it. R.L. Stine is the master at writing creepy scary books that are real page turners but not so scary they cause nightmares! Grab a copy and block out a chunk of time because you will not want to put this down! Now we are off to read The Lost Girl, and Can You Keep A Secret before My Dead Boyfriend comes out September 27.

summary: Ever since a car accident killed her father and gave her a severe concussion, high school junior Lisa’s been plagued by nightmares and hallucinations, and when she accepts a babysitting job in hopes it will banish the disturbing images, she faces new terror as she begins to question exactly who–or what–she’s babysitting.

Red Girl Blue Boy

If Only Series #5

by Lauren Baratz Logsted

red girl blue boy

 

Red Girl Blue Boy is a sweet  clean romance that YA reading girls will enjoy. I enjoyed the characters and banter they had throughout the book. Although I will say I enjoyed the less uptight Katie to the beginning mini politician Katie. Drew was likable from the very beginning and always stayed true to himself. Drew was the kinda boy all the girls would want to be friends with. He was an honest boy and didn’t change who he was just to fit his mom’s presidential bid campaign.  The book was written with alternating view points every other chapter, it flowed well and didn’t mess you up while reading. Red Girl Blue Boy is perfect reading right now with all the politics and campaigning going on. I think this would be fine for middle school through high school. It is a clean sweet book that might not appeal to all high school aged YA readers but if they are looking for a fun fluffy chick lit book than this is for them. The If Only series is a perfect introduction to the fluffy  fun young chick lit is all about with out the  adult situations of course. I know many middle grade age girls have read these and while it might not be a book I’d gift to them they are innocent enough that you can feel OK with your middle school aged girl reading them as well. This one had a kissing scene and then they talked about kissing more  but that was as heavy as it got. All in all  I’d give  Red Girl Blue Boy 3 stars it was a fun light-hearted book to read.

summary: Sixteen-year-old Katie and Drew really shouldn’t get along. After all, her father is the Republican nominee for President of the United States while his mother is at the top of the Democratic ticket. But when Katie and Drew are thrown together in a joint interview on a morning talk show, they can’t ignore the chemistry between them. With an entire nation tuned into and taking sides in your parents’ fight, and the knowledge that–ultimately–someone has to lose, how can you fall in love with the one person you’re supposed to hate?

Autumn Wish

Autumn Falls trilogy book 3

by Bella Thorne

Autumn Wish by Bella Thorne

 

Autumn Falls trilogy  has been a yearly event in this house. My middle grade reader has enjoyed them and is a big Bella Thorne fan. This one is a bit different from the other two books since this involves a special gift from her dad.  I know your thinking but each book is about a special gift from her dad. Yes that is true but I have to agree with my middle grade reader in the fact that this is best one by far. Are you ready for it, Time Travel! I mean you have a YA book that has time travel and you will hook the reader. I know these books are geared more towards the YA genre but many of her fans are middle grade and read these books as well. Bella Thorne did a great job with the final book. She keeps the reader flipping the pages and fans of the books will love reading all about their senior year. The ending was a solid ending that was realistic and while we are sad to see this series end we are hoping she continues her writing and publishes more books.

summary: Senior year is here, and everyone has a plan—except Autumn Falls. So many crazy-important decisions lie ahead, and she’s scared to make the wrong one. So when she receives a magical locket that enables her to travel through time (!!!), Autumn hopes she can correct all her past mistakes—with her friends, with boys—and maybe even prevent her dad from dying. But the locket doesn’t work that way. Instead, Autumn discovers that she’s only able to visit the future—and she doesn’t like what she sees. Autumn can change her destiny . . . but what does she really want?

thank you Delcorte Books for Young Readers, Random House and Bella Thorne for allowing us to read and review Autumn Wishes. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

The rest in the series:

Autumn Falls (our review)

Autumn Falls by Bella Thorne

 

 

summary: With her fiery red hair, new-girl outsider status, and tendency to be a total klutz, Autumn Falls definitely isn’t flying below the radar at Aventura High. Luckily, she makes some genuine friends who take her under their wing. But she also manages to get on the wrong side of the school’s queen bee, and then finds out the guy she’s started to like, funny and sweet Sean, hangs with the mean crowd. Now her rep and her potential love life are at stake.

When Autumn vents her feelings in a journal that belonged to her late father, suddenly her wildest wishes start coming true. Is it coincidence? Or can writing in the journal solve all her problems? And if the journal doesn’t work that way,  is there a bigger purpose for it—and for her?

Autumn’s Kiss (our review)

Autumn's Kiss by Bella Thorne

 

 

summary: Everyone knows how crazy junior year is, but Autumn Falls never imagined it would be so flirty. The wish-granting diary her father left her stopped working, leaving Autumn to decode what’s going on with her and Sean on her own. He seems into her…and he also seems into Reenzie. But when J.J. steps up and tells Autumn he’s the one she should be with if she wants someone who really cares about her, and a pop star makes a major play for her, Autumn is totally confused. Her friends have Big Drama issues going on, too, and Autumn wants to be there for them. Then something mind-blowing happens. She’s suddenly given an incredible, crazy-fun opportunity: a map that takes her anyplace she wants to go. At first it seems like an amazing gift. But showing up IRL where you’re least expected has life-changing consequences. Is Autumn ready to handle the fallout?

thank you Delacorte Books for Young Readers, Random House and Bella Thorne for allowing us to read and review The Autumn Falls trilogy as the books were published. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free books.