Showing posts with label March 2023. Show all posts
Showing posts with label March 2023. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Easter Bible Story About Jesus for Children from MamTalk Publishing


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

This is another Easter Story from MamTalk. This one takes the reader from the reason for Jesus' arrival on Earth to how he helps us every day. The story talks about the miracles he performed. Then it goes into his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the last supper, and then into his arrest and crucifixion. It doesn't stop there, we next learn of his resurrection and why it was important. We learn that his death paved the way for our eternal life It ends with the ascension into Heaven. Children reading this book will learn about God's ultimate love.

I highly recommend this book for children 6-12. It is a great story with a great message.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Before You Go by James Preller


Genre:  Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source:  I purchased a copy

This is the third book I’ve read this week that had a drowning in it. This is another story where the sibling feels the drowning is his fault and where the parents deal with grief in different ways. Jude’s dad jogs to try to forget and his mom self-medicates.  At the end of the school year Jude gets a job and meets Becca. She is easy to talk to and so he shares his grief with her.  Then he is hit with another tragedy when he loses a close friend in a car accident.  Once again this is a story about dealing with grief. So many times people shut themselves up to grief. This story is divided into two parts: Before and After. I felt like the second half was better, stronger than the first half. Would I recommend this to my students? You bet. Can they get it from my shelves? No. This is another one that had to be pulled due to district guidelines.  I still recommend it.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Student Saturday: My Cousin's Keeper by Simon French


Sttudent Reviewer: Humberto G.

Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction

The characters in "My cousin's Keeper" are Benn,Kieran, Renee, and Gina The setting takes place at his home and school.

Kieran, and Ben are related. At the start of the school year a boy shows up, which is Kieran ' cousin he doesn't know. Ben is in a really bad conditiona at home and at school. There are people at school who bully him. Kieran wants to be in a popular group with teh popular kids. When seh found out that they were relatedhe feels embarassed because of the way Ben looks. At home Ben has a mom who doesn't take good care of him. Ben has long braids, a babyish hat, and has a funny voice. Ben has an only friend which is Julia who likes Kieran.

Things I would do in this situation would be stand up for family. As we know Kieran and Ben are relatives and Kieran feels embarrassed to be Ben's cousin. Kieran lets people bully his cousin. I I was in this situation I would stand up and not be embarrassed over family and the way they look. This story has a big meaning to it and would recommend it to people who dealt with this tough time. I would also recommend this book to people who love drama.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Alias Anna by Susan Hood

Gene:  Middle Grade, Biography
Source: I own a copy

I knew I couldn’t get through Spring Break without reading at least one Holocaust book. I had five selected. This is the one I got to. We learn that this book came about when Zhanna’s granddaughter had to write about her grandparent’s history and any major thing that had happened in their life. The story is co-written by her son Greg Dawson, whose daughter sent the letter.

Zhanna Arshanskaya was a child when she, her sister, mother and father and grandparents were sent on a death march. Her father was a candymaker and played violin. He helped his daughters Zhanna and Frina develop a love of music, playing the family’s piano. They were sent to a music conservatory until Jews were no longer welcome.  Their father offers a bribe to one of the guards while on the march to look away so his daughter Zhanna can step out of the line. A while later she was joined by her sister. They changed their names to better blend in. Zhanna became Anna and Frina became Marina.  The help from a Christian family, an orphanage and believe it or not the Nazis themselves helped them to survive. This is a story that must be read and recommended to students everywhere. I strongly recommend it.

Make sure you check out all of the resources at the end of the story. There are websites, books, etc to help you learn more.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction
Source: I own this book

I think I am drawn to books with characters who are on the autism spectrum because I have a grandson who is on the spectrum. I have taught many students that fell somewhere on the spectrum and it has been a pleasure. I was even more thrilled to see that I can keep this book on my shelf.  If you don’t know what I am talking about go back and read my posts for January 19 and March 20.

I love the main character in this story. Rose has what I call autism quirks. She loves homophones. If you don’t remember what they are they are words that sound alike but have different spellings and different meaning. An example would be “write/right, or the title rain/reign”.   I have met parent’s like Rose’s dad who don’t understand or want to understand their child’s “condition”. Often they are in denial that their child is different, or they blame someone else for their child’s condition. In Rose’s case she is often left at home while her dad goes out drinking.  Then there is her teacher.  I wanted to scream at her and ask why she was a teacher.  I have loved teaching every autistic child I have had. I have learned so much from them.  Rose has an ally, her Uncle Weldon. He is more like a father to her than her on dad. Of course she has her best friend in the world her dog Rain, who goes missing. Rain was a stray her dad brought home to her. This book is emotional and hard to put down. I would definitely recommend it to my students if for no other reason to help create empathy in them. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Missing Okalee by Laura Ojeda Melchor


Genre: Mddle Grade, Realistic Fiction
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

This is one of those stories that will tug at your heart strings. This book is an emotional roller coaster. It deals with death, grief and how each person handles it differently. Phoebe and her sister have a ritual they have secretly performed for years crossing the river. This time things go wrong and Okalee drowns. What happens after that is terrible. Phoebe feels guilty about it. Her mother becomes very depressed. A kid at school spreads rumors about the drowning that push Phoebe deeper into her guilt. We see the toll it takes on her. She stops singing, she doesn’t report the bullying. At some point Phoebe decides to talk to get some help. If this book does nothing else but reach out to a student reading it and teach them that it is okay to talk to someone when they have a problem, then it has done more than provide a good read. We need more books like this in our schools and on our classroom shelves. Unfortunately, this is a book I can recommend to students, but can’t have on my classroom shelves. Our media specialist has not read and approved it and is no where else in out district’s schools. It therefore had to be pulled from my shelves. Don’t think I won’t tell my kids what a wonderful book it is

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata


Genre: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction
Source: I purchased a copy to facilitate my review.

This is one of those books I have had on my school shelves for quite some time. A student read it and then asked “the question”, Have you read this book? Why no I had not gotten to it yet. So they recommend it be one I read over Spring Break. Unlike my students I grew up as a young teen during the Vietnam War. I had background knowledge they didn’t have. Dogs were used for scouting, to check out tunnels, find hidden enemies. Many of these dogs were left behind after the war.

Cracker is a dog who was paired with Rick, a young man who enlisted in the army. She had been a show dog, then the dog of a young boy who had to give her up. An ad in the newspaper is how she ended up in the army. When Rick is injured Cracker does her best to protect him. This is a story about a brave dog, a young man and his love and trust in this dog. There are some very tense moments in the book. This is definitely a book I want to pass on to my grandson Jacob. I think with some front loading of information about the Vietnam War, this will become one of his favorite books as well.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Student Saturday: Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet


TThis week's student reviewer is Conner M.

This book is about a boy and his family. One day his parents picked him up from school in a hurry with the car all packed up headed for East Berlin. The boy not knowing what was going on started to ask questions. By the time they got to the Iron Curtain (Berlin Wall) it explained everything. By the time they got to the wall it was laready too late. The curtain was already closed with guards all around. The boy's name is Noah. His parent found a way to get him to East Berlin where he meets a girl named Claudia. He calls her Cloud. She lives with her scary grandmother a floor away from him.

If you don't know anything about the Berlin Wall then this is a good book to get you started. I recommend this book to everyone.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Easter story About Jesus by MamTalk Publishing


Genre: Children's Picture Book, Christian

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

I love these books by Mamtalk. This is the story about why we celebrate Easter. In a day and age where children focus on the "Easter Bunny" and candy, it is nice to see someone who wants to promote the true reason for the Holicay. The story is told in a simple manner so that the youngest child can understand. The pictures are simple, yet bright and colorful. What I love more than anything is that as the child grows older the reader can use the scripture text that accompanies the book. A great way to teach about Easter and a great way teach kids to love reading the Bible.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Noises From the Other Side by Tabatha Shipley


Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Mystery
Source: I won a copy from LibraryThing

This was one of the quirkiest books I have read in a long time. Annie Lewis and her mother move into a duplex after her parents split up. It's bad enough being pulled away from all of your friends your senior year. However, Annie begins hearing noises from the other side of the duplex that is empty. I have lived in duplexes before and they can be quite creepy.

This is where things are quirky, and I mean that in a good way. I believe it is a ghost, so I read on trying to figure out who would be haunting the place. Like Annie I missed so many clues along the way. The author did a great job building the world in this book. It takes place in reality and then also in an alternate reality. That's all I will say about that. I didn't see the person who ends up as the antagonist as the one. The pacing and the twists and turns kept me reading non-stop. I literally read this book in a little over four hours. Would I recommend this book? Definitely! I love the way this author thinks as they write. Awesome book!

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Student Saturday: The Plot to Kill Hitler by Andy Marino

Student Reviewer: Langdon

Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fiction

“The Plot to Kill Hitler” by Andy Marino, book one, is a thrilling story set in Berlin in the year 1943. The main character Max, a twelve year old boy, and his sister Gerta, age thirteen are living with their mom and dad in Berlin. At this time, Berlin, Germany is under Nazi Control. This causes Berlin to get air  raided every night by the allies. One cay Max and Gerta discover their parents are a part of an anti-Nazi rebel group and they are dragged into it. Their parents don’t agree to this demand, but the leader of this rebel group does. Once Max and Gerta went on their first mission they noticed a suspicious man seeming to follow them. Max acts normal walking away but takes a long way home Will Max escape?- To sum it up, “The Plot to Kill Hitler,” by Andy Marino, is a thrilling story about love, conspiracy, and mystery.

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Student Saturday: Seventy Times Seven by Sandra Stiles

Student Reviewer:  Genesis L.

Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction

The main character in this story is Frankie. We see his struggles and what he goes through . This story starts out with seeing how Frankie releases his stress in an unhealthy way. The reason behind it is because he’s having a rough time at school. His math teacher Mr. Fugate is picking on Frankie because he is Hispanic. We see later how far Mr. Fugate will go just to make Frankie suffer. Then a new kid moves to town. Jacob Wingate and his family move to town and meet the Bonitas. They get along great. Jacob has never really had someone to talk to or any real friends because being a pastor’s kid, people tend to distance themselves from him. With Frankie and Tanya it was different. Jacob could be himself. When Mr. Bonita and Mr. Wingate start talking more it gets rough for Frankie and his family. In the past Frankie has had a lot of problems, but no matter what it will always be okay because he will always have his sister Tanya and Jacob.  What will he do when all of a sudden they both go missing?

I would definitely recommend this book to kids who have problems at home or who have strict parents. Frankie and Jacob’s characters are just so relatable. It really shows that teens can be going through something at a young age that they shouldn’t be dealing with at all. I honestly did not expect the book to show such overlooked but real topics. It definitely exceeded my expectations. Overall I rate the book a 10/10 or 5 stars!