Category Archives: Children’s Books
Children’s readers don’t have much text, and – unfortunately – my review copy was in black and white, so you can’t appreciate the pictures.
However, I think the author did a pretty good job of capturing the highlights of an enormous city with more attractions than almost anywhere in the world, all within a few words. It must have been hard to narrow it down.
HOWEVER – it is inexcusable to change the spelling of London place names. I don’t care if – for example – Americans spell “Theatre” differently. If it’s a proper noun, you do not get to change it.
Additionally: it’s Tower Bridge, and is never referred to as “The Tower Bridge”. On the other hand, at least the bridge’s name was the correct one; most people mix up London and Tower Bridges!
Well-simplified language, with plenty of information in a small word count, but with some errors that could have been easily fixed.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.
Romeo and Juliet needs no introduction. Younger readers with be suitably introduced to one the greatest love stories ever to be written. Romeo and Juliet is the tragic love story of the “star-crossed lovers,” Romeo and Juliet. Set in the city of Verona, Italy, the play revolves around the feud between two affluent families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Despite the enmity, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall passionately in love and wed in secret. However, the enmity between both disapproving families overpowers and leads everything to go terribly wrong.
I was interested to see how someone could possibly tackle Romeo and Juliet to make it into something palatable for readers even younger than Juliet herself.
This highly condensed version of Shakespeare’s dramatic play focuses mostly on the title characters and devotes more time to the developing relationship than the death-fest that comes afterwards. There are some illustrations throughout.
In order to simplify things, some characters are changed a little. Paris is no longer some titled guy looking for a well-bred baby-maker, but is now a man who comes to the Capulet ball already knowing Juliet and in love with her. The nurse becomes some random servant in the background of the story.
I think the violent aspects of the story were explained as briefly and best as they could be for the target readers.
Still, it’s an extraordinary choice of story for a middle grade book!
Review copy provided by NetGalley.
Twelve-year-old BFF’s Ginnie and Tillie, want to be sisters. Tillie’s divorced mom plus Ginnie’s widowed dad could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie form a secret club. They come up with the perfect mission to change his mind: ‘Operation Secret Sisters’. Before long, Tillie seems happier about gaining a dad than a sister. Ginnie suspects that Tillie has turned ‘Operation Secret Sisters’ into a scam called ‘Operation Steal My Dad.’ Things get more complicated when Ginnie stumbles across her real mom’s hidden journals. Ginnie can finally get to know the mother she doesn’t remember and Dad doesn’t talk about. When Dad discovers she has the journals, he takes them away. Ginnie needs to figure out what the big mystery is before her relationship with her father and her best friend are ruined forever.
This was a lovely little book for preteens. It is exactly the kind of thing I would have loved to read at that age.
With a plot that encompasses all the things girls stereotypically like, from best friends to horses to a crazy scheme to make parents fall in love, I was reminded of the movies of the 80s and 90s, with the universally popular themes for younger readers.
The author’s writing style was light-hearted and fun, and though I’m far from the target audience for such a story, it made for an entertaining quick read.
Review copy from NetGalley.
Welcome to Andrew High, a school for mages…
That is, until its doors are opened to the non-magical, or “normie,” population. That means no more magic allowed on school property. For Tabetha Long, whose powers are directly related to emotions, hiding her magic is difficult. When her mother is hired as the new gym teacher, and her father comes back to town with his reality television show, difficult becomes impossible.
Now her every move is being caught on video and everyone else at school wants in too. All Tabetha wants is to become invisible.
But then the mysterious and cute new guy, Eric wouldn’t be able to see her either…
Barre Hopping at Midnight (Dani Spevak Mystery #2.5) by Amanda Brice is free at the moment.
Aspiring ballerina-slash-amateur detective Dani Spevak is back in this humorous short story!
Dani and her friends are spending spring break in beautiful Sedona, Arizona for the annual Southwest Teen Arts Festival. But how can she concentrate on performing when her not-quite-boyfriend is in town filming the lead in a hot new vampire movie… and he was seen kissing his costar?
The Hounds of Set by Troy A. Carrington is FREE.
Young Alex Chronos always wanted his life to matter. Other than having the full attention of the school bully, he was virtually invisible. He longed for adventure, but adventure, it seemed, never happened his way. That was all about to change.
On the night of his thirteenth birthday, Alex is terrified at the sight of a cloaked figure lumbering on his doorstep. But it isn’t the stranger that should worry him. A mysterious package left by the stranger turns his unassuming world upside down. In his quest for answers, Alex finds himself an unwilling traveller through time and space. Suddenly alone in ancient Egypt, surrounded by hot desert sands, the real adventure begins; only things weren’t what he’d imagined. His only desire now is to find his way back to his own comfortable world. It seems Egypt has other plans.