Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Wildfire by Rodman Philbrick

 Genre:  Middle Grades, Adventure

Source: Purchased

    This book definitely kept me reading. One of my biggest fears is fire. The main character makes a bad decision to go back to his cabin from which they are being evacuated, because he left his phone. That one decision led to him being left behind. He found his phone but on the way back to the bus he finds himself surrounded by fire. He runs to save his life.   Along the way he finds a jeep and then a girl who is also trapped in the fire. Together they must find a way out to survive.

     This definitely would have been my nightmare. The fact that Sam's father is ex-military and has taken Sam camping and taught him survival skills may just get him out of this alive. I loved when I started feeling really comfortable with their situation the author through in a black bear and a pair of people helping set more fires.  This is one of this year's Sunshine State Reader books. I try to buy them every year. I had forgotten how awesome this author's books are as it has been awhile since I have read any of them.  This is one I will promote with all my heart to my students.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

The Uncanny Express – The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sister by Kara LaReau


Genre:  Middle Grade, Mystery, Adventure

Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.


This is the first book I have read by this author. There is so much to love. First we have the Bland sisters named Jaundice and Kale. From the minute I saw their names I knew this would be a very unusual book. This is a humorous mystery book with allusions to Murder on the Orient Express.  The girls go to meet their aunt at the train station. They are snatched as assistants to the magician Magique, Queen of Magic. While on the train Magique disappears and they are assisted by the famous detective Hugo Fromage, in finding her. I loved that the characters are very bland yet their adventures are completely the opposite. I felt like I was reading a book very similar to the Lemony Snickett series, which I loved. I have read so many serious books lately that this was a refreshing break. This is a fun and quirky book that I highly recommend.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Hey, Kiddo by Jarret J. Krosoczka

Genre: Young Adult, Graphic, Biography

Source: I purchased a copy


This was a tough book to read as I  lost my niece to heroin a year ago. She left behind four kids. This is a book I want my nephews to read and later their sisters. My sister did her best to raise the kids  but had her own issues.  They were eventually put in foster care until other arrangements could be made. I think they will be able to identify quite a bit with the author and I believe it may actually show them that no matter what happens in your past, you can always move ahead in life. This is a book I will definitely recommend to my students.  As a teacher I hear stories from my students like this all the time. I am so happy the author decided to share his story and how his past shaped his present. This is such an important message.