Meet the Chapter Books

I had the chance to read some great little beginning chapter books for the lower to mid elementary age readers. These are cute and have illustrations so they would also be a good introduction into longer books for even the young listener from preschool up. When I introduced both my readers to chapter books we started off with small beginner ones. That made it really fun when they finally reached the phase where they were no longer the listener but now the reader. It was something familiar and loved so it made reading on their own for the first time not so scary and they were so proud.

 

The Kid from Planet Z: Crash! by Nancy Krulik illustrated by Louis Thomas

about the book: When Zeke Zander’s spaceship crashes on Earth, he and his family must pretend to be humans until they can fix the ship and return home to Planet Z. But with antennae on their heads and a talking cat named Zeus, fitting in is easier said than done!

This was the first of the 3 I read and it was adorable! It would be perfect for any preschool through mid elementary aged bookworm who has just recently moved and will be starting a new school or even a soon to be kindergarten aged child who is starting school for the first time. Zeke Zander and his family are from Planet Z they didn’t mean to crash here but they did and until they get their spaceship fixed they have to act like they are humans from planet earth. Zeke is not to happy when he finds out he has to be a second grader and attend school. This is all new to him and he is scared of not fitting in and be found out he is different and an alien. He soon learns all about all things earth kids and even makes some friends along the way. The head of the Zander family is their cat Zeus, see on Planet Z the cats are smarter than the aliens. I got the idea that Zeus was very much liking being a lazy earth cat and was in no hurry to fix the spaceship. My favorite line in the book is so true, on page 59 Zeus the cat says: “Exactly, Zeus purred. Because cats are always in charge, no matter what planet they are on.” Well said Zeus! I can’t wait to read more adventures from Planet Z. I know the kids at my elementary school are going to love this fun book!

Bea Garcia: The Curse of Einstein’s Pencil written and illustrated by Deborah Zemke

about the book:  Bea Garcia wants to impress her brainy new friend by excelling at the geography contest, but her talents lie elsewhere and she learns that the best way to make friends is by being herself.

The Curse of Einstein’s Pencil tackles the subject of how we all have our strength’s and they might be different from another classmates. It doesn’t mean they have a magical pencil or something just that they are good in a certain subject or talent. This book also tackles how it feels when your best friend moves away and you’re looking for a new friend at school. My favorite part was when Bea found out that Einstein wasn’t perfect and her pencil wasn’t magical and filled with all the right answers. Einstein just studied a lot and hard. This is another great first day / week of school chapter book that would be a quick read aloud for a classroom or home setting as well as an easy beginning chapter book for the beginning reader.

The Escapades of Clint McCool: Octoman and the Headless Monster by Jane Kelley illustrated by Jessika Von Innerebner

about the book: Clint McCool always has a lot of great ideas. That’s what makes him such a great hero. But sometimes he has too many great ideas. Armed with his super-powered cap, his brain flashes, and his two best friends, Clint is ready to solve any problem and find adventure anywhere. When he runs onto a film set, he gets into trouble. A lot of trouble. Can Clint McCool still save the day?

Walter aka: Clint McCool is a boy who thinks before he leaps. He isn’t a bad kid he just gets into fixes. What we call trouble he calls escapades. It also kinda seemed like his mom and 2 friends Marco and M.L. let him get by with it. They didn’t really speak up and say hey slow down, let’s think things through. I expect that from the kids but not the parents. All that being said Clint is a lot of boys and girls from youngster to adult. I can really see some of the elementary kid readers really enjoying Clint McCool books and being a hit with those readers. It was a fun story with lots of great pictures and I enjoyed it, just the planner in me was thinking no you got to think it all out before you do something. 🙂

Thank you so much Penguin Young Readers for sending me this trio of beginning chapter books. I can’t wait to share them with the elementary students when school starts back. 

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Doctor Who (meets Mr Men and Little Miss)

originated by Roger Hargreaves

written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves

I have to say I’ve never actually read or even looked at a Mr Men or Little Miss book. I guess when my bookworms were little they never grabbed copies from the library. I don’t remember having them in my Pre-K classroom but I might have that was a very very long time ago. I am a huge Doctor Who fan – well I’m a big David Tennant and Matt Smith as the Doctor fan.  I started watching when the 9th Doctor came on and while he was OK I was happy when he made the switch. Anyway back to these cute books.

I was sent Dr First – Dr Fourth – Dr Eleventh and Dr Twelfth. I really wish they had a Dr Tenth but oh well maybe it will be in the works. These books are made for Dr Who fans from older readers to adult. While they are picture books I’m not sure they would hold the younger picture book readers and listeners attention. I really love the Dr Eleventh book the most. The author really captured Matt Smith’s characters personality and I could hear his voice and River Songs as I was reading. We have this on display with our adipose, Tenth and Eleventh doctors wands and the Tardis.  While I read the First, Fourth and Twelfth there wasn’t the connection of watching and loving them for me. I still enjoyed the books but missed that connection to the story. We kept the Dr Eleventh book and passed on the other 3 to a big Dr Who fan we know. 🙂 They were really happy and loved them very much.

If you know of a big Dr Who fan that has loved them through all the long years these little books would be perfect for them. They would really enjoy them and they would be cute in a Dr Who display.

Thank you so much BBC and Penguin Young Readers for sending us these 4 Dr Who books. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Lock and Key and Just Listen

 

 

 

by Sarah Dessen

Enter Giveaway for Complete set of Sarah Dessen in paperback

 

 

Lock and Key was nothing like I expected. Usually I can whiz through a Sarah Dessen book pretty fast. This one was a bit more character driven and with a lot of back story weaved through out the book. I really enjoyed how Ruby and her cast of friends and family all had their own stories to tell. This book would be what I consider an ensemble cast each one just as important as the main character. I liked all the characters except Ruby and Cora’s mom and Mr Cross. I loved that Ruby had a big project about a single word: FAMILY and that many characters had to give their definition of the word. That little extra bit was fun and I loved all of Sarah Dessen’s explanations for Family.  Each time I read one and thought about the character that was giving it I thought it fit that person perfectly and was a good way to define family. The theme’s in Lock and Key: Family, Hope, Perseverance, Abandonment, Love, Trust, Loss and Acceptance. That is a lot for Teen Chick Lit right?! Lock and Key is a wonderful heartwarming book to read this summer – or anytime!

About the Book: Ruby, where is your mother?

Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she’s been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.

That’s how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn’t seen in ten years, and Cora’s husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it’s a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

Just Listen

 

 

I really enjoyed Just Listen as well. It a win win week reading wise and I’m loving this ReadADessen campaign! Annabel is just a semi normal teen who is going through a lot. So many kids are bullied and harassed at school so this book will really hit home with those. School should be a safe buffer zone that kids can go to and not have to worry about what people are saying or be judged! In the beginning I wasn’t really invested in the story but I’d say with in the first 4 chapters I was hooked and wanted to know how Annabel’s story was going to play out. I didn’t like Sophie and really just wish she would go away. So much was going on at home that I really just wanted Annabel to have a happy time at school. Overall out of the two I read I really can’t pick a winner I loved them both and gave both a A- these are 2 I think would be great for some summer YA Chick Lit reading and something you and your teen could enjoy.

About the Book: Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.

This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

Thank you Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of Lock and Key for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book. I grabbed a copy of Lock and Key at my library for the ReadADessen campaign.

Giveaway Legal Copy:
Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Countdown to Once and For All book birthday: June 6th 2017

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The Truth About Forever

 

 

 

Enter Giveaway for Complete set of Sarah Dessen in paperback

by Sarah Dessen

 

 

My ReadADessen continues and this time I picked up The Truth About Forever. I had not read this one before – well I’m pretty sure I haven’t since nothing seemed familiar to me while reading it. This book was really great and I like that while her books would be considered YA Chick Lit they are not light and fluffy. She has some grit and heavy topics in her books but doesn’t make them so heavy that they are too much to handle. The topic is a big hard and heavy hitting one: A Parents Death. Macy was a such a sweet likable character and this one might just be my new favorite of Sarah Dessen’s. This story was filled with happy and sweet moments along with the sad and bittersweet moments. I think the author did a great job and touching on all the stages of grief and how we all grief differently. I really could have read a couple hundred more about Macy and really wish there was a book 2 to continue her life story. So I’ll just have to cherish what I read and be so happy I picked this one up at the library for the ReadADessen reading campaign, next up Lock and Key!

About the Book: Expect the unexpected.

Macy’s got her whole summer carefully planned.

But her plans didn’t include a job at Wish Catering. And they certainly didn’t include Wes.

But Macy soon discovers that the things you expect least are sometimes the things you need most.

Giveaway Legal Copy:
 
Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Someone Like You

by Sarah Dessen

Add to your GoodReads shelf

Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).

 

It’s been a while since I’ve read any Sarah Dessen so it was like reading Someone Like You for the first time. I’ve always thought her books were good and tackled some big issues at times. She has a new book coming out titled Once and For All. So leading up to the June 6th release date Penguin is having a ReadADessen campaign.

How fun is that? I think this is a great time to reread some of my favorites and read some that I’ve been meaning to read. First up is Someone Like You, this one tackles quite a bit from first loves, unplanned teen pregnancy and some teen rebellion.

 

 

Halley and Scarlett are best friends and inseparable, even if they are polar opposites. Halley is an introvert – shy – good girl that doesn’t break the rules much. Scarlet is an extrovert – talkative  and outgoing. Halley has always been in the shadow of her friend Scarlett and that is OK and part of what works with them. She is the more level-headed thinker of the two. Scarlet lives life to the fullest and sometimes does things first then thinks of what it means after. Scarlet is the first of the 2 to get a boyfriend, we only get to find out about him through flashbacks since in the very beginning we find out her has been killed in a motorcycle accident. Halley rushes home from summer camp and is by her best friends side through it all. This is also the year that she starts to break out of her shell and at times makes some not so Halley decisions.  It is almost like the friends have reversed their roles. Scarlett is thinking things through more now and Halley is living life to the fullest, but through it all they have each other’s back. I think Sarah Dessen handles the teen pregnancy well and doesn’t make it seem like your playing house. I guess if I had any issues I wish she made it seem harder to adjust and not so accepting.  I enjoyed the book and story line, even skipped the season premiere of iZombie because I was hooked reading this one. Overall all the ups and downs these to best friends and their circle of friends had were believable and the story flowed well. Someone Like You or any of Sarah Dessen books make great summer reads and ones both your teen and even you can enjoy!

About the book:  Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she’s carrying his baby, she was devastated. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley. Their friendship may bend under the weight, but it’ll never break–because a true friendship is a promise you keep forever.

A copy of Someone Like You was provided to me for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book. I would like to thank Penguin for allowing me to be a part of the Read A Dessen campaign.

Giveaway Legal: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law

 

The Whole Thing Together

by Ann Brashares

 

 

The Whole Thing Together was a slower paced book and a lot of character driven plots with in plots blended families stories all put together. At first I was thinking I’m not to sure this book is for me, then the plot twist happened that I never saw coming. While this story has a big cast of characters the two main ones that it is told through are Ray and Sasha. Their lives are intertwined and shared through their 3 sisters. They are the same age and share the same life but only every other week. See Ray’s mom was married to Sasha’s dad they have the 3 sister’s and a beach house and the same job but it alternates throughout the years. They have never meet and are curious about each other. I mean that is understandable and the never meeting and they are old enough to have a job and in their teens just had me shaking my head. I mean even the worse divorces and trying to stay apart as much as possible I think you’d still run into each other but hey New York City is a big big city so maybe not. Ray and Sasha start exchanging emails and getting to know each other. They have chance encounter, a family get together that ends in a heartbreaking tragedy. This is where the characters lives fall apart and I think the author did a great job at portraying their pain and grief in a realistic manner. Truly till that moment in the book I wasn’t that invested and was thinking it was a so-so book. After that moment I got more invested in the characters they seemed to have more depth and I ended up liking the book. I feel there was just so much back story about their lives before that moment that it was just a lot for the reader to keep straight. Now I know why we needed all that and I think the author because with out all of the life stories I think the tragedy wouldn’t have made such a big impact. Overall I really enjoyed it and would recommend it for any YA or adult reader looking for a good character driven novel this summer.

Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.

Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.

The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control…or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.

Thank you Penguin Books – Delcorte Press for sending me a copy of The Whole Thing Together. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

That Inevitable Victorian Thing

By E.K. Johnston

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First thing that makes me pick up a book is the cover. I’m a sucker for a good pretty cover, they are like works of art. Pretty ones I love to display around the house. Hey some people buy knick knacks to decorate their house I buy books and have them all over the house. This book is one that will be displayed (and read), I mean look at this pretty cover!

 

 

summary: Set in a near-future world where the British Empire never fell and the United States never rose, That Inevitable Victorian Thing is a novel of love, duty, and the small moments that can change people and the world.

Victoria-Margaret is the crown princess of the empire, a direct descendent of Victoria I, the queen who changed the course of history two centuries earlier. The imperial practice of genetically arranged matchmaking will soon guide Margaret into a politically advantageous marriage like her mother before her, but before she does her duty, she’ll have one summer incognito in a far corner of empire. In Toronto, she meets Helena Marcus, daughter of one of the empire’s greatest placement geneticists, and August Callaghan, the heir apparent to a powerful shipping firm currently besieged by American pirates. In a summer of high-society debutante balls, politically charged tea parties, and romantic country dances, Margaret, Helena, and August discover they share an unusual bond and maybe a one in a million chance to have what they want and to change the world in the process —just like the first Queen Victoria.