Friday, April 9, 2021

Book Review: My Life as a Potato by Arianne Costner

 Book: My Life as a Potato by Arianne Costner

Genre: MG contemporary

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

What a fun cute story! I really enjoyed this one about a middle grade kid who feels like he is cursed by potatoes! And that seems to be confirmed when he ends up having to be the mascot at his new school where the mascot is... A POTATO! 

Turns out he kind of has a knack for this sort of thing, but still he doesn't want anyone to know. So ends up lying to get away with it all. Which makes him feel bad towards his friends. 

It also turns out he's becoming popular at this new school. And he sometimes finds himself wanting to help the underdogs, but remain popular. Which as we all know, is sometimes a conflict of interest. 

So how does he solve all this issues?

I fell in love with this character from the very first page and I love it when that happens. Rooting for him all the way! He's an adorable kid, I know this! LOL. A truly funny story with lots of heart. Awesome.

(This one read a little bit older than some of the other MG books I've been reading lately... which probably contributed to the fact that I enjoyed it a lot. But not TOO much older. It was pretty spot on, really, perfect for grabbing all sorts of audiences.)

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Book Review: Kits and Cubbyholes by Loralee Evans

 Book: Kits and Cubbyholes by Loralee Evans

Genre: MG fantasy

Rating: ★ ★ 

This one is along the vein of Magic Treehouse, where our kids have the ability to time travel. In this particular story, a kid from the 1700's comes to the present day and the kids are all like... "Hey, don't you remember the time we visited YOU?" 

But alas, he doesn't! Which means somehow perhaps something happens to the memory of the kids in the past? 

Anyway, so this book is the present day kids trying to figure out how to get this kids back to his time. In process they all end up witnessing an event they've heard about.

The fun thing about this book is the premise that when they kids go back in time, they end up in the stories of their very own ancestors. Which would be pretty cook, yeah? But also quite disconcerting! 

The part that made me a little crazy was that they just kept referring to their previous adventures, and I kinda wish we were experiencing an adventure... but it just felt like they were trying to get the one kid back and not a whole lot was happening. Until that event at the end, which was just a little bit of this book.

Anyway. Cute story. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Book Review: Horace and Bunwinkle by P.J. Gardner

 Book: Horace and Bunwinkle by P.J. Gardner

Genre: MG 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

I wasn't too sure about this one, not being a huge fan of talking animal books. But it looked fun and easy, so I jumped in and guess what?

I thought it was adorable! An ornery stuffy dog and a cute lovable pig become siblings... and they end up teaching each other all kinds of things about getting along and loving life. 

They get in all sorts of trouble and have all kinds of adventures... along with the fact that there's a mystery to solve. The mystery of the missing pets!

Very cute with loads of fun animal characters. My immediate thought was how fun it would be to read aloud, especially by someone who loves to do voices. So upon finishing it, I sent it to my granddaughters with the suggestion that their mom and/or dad read it with voices! I'll let you know how that goes over!

But regardless, hopefully they'll have fun with it (yes there are even cute fun pictures!) and it will get a second life with them. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Reading Recap: March 2021


On our walk one day in March.

Here's what I read this month:

A Captain for Caroline Gray by Julie Wright: Our girl is on her way to India to meet her potential husband, but meets the captain of the ship in the meantime. 

On These Magic Shores by Yamile Saied Mendez: Three sisters trying to survive when their mom suddenly disappears.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue: Our heroine goes to see if the talk of a young girl starving herself, yet surviving, is true or a hoax.

96 Miles by J.L. Esplin: A survival type story of two brothers and their two friends walking the 96 miles to get help during a countrywide blackout.

Kits and Cubbyholes by Loralee Evans: The coolness of traveling back in time and meeting up with your actual ancestors.

Horace and Bunwinkle by P.J. Gardner: The antics of stuffy uppity dog and a cute piglet... and how they solve mystery of the missing pets. 

Favorite was for sure 96 Miles. 

Goals for April: 

  • The book club this month is Spinning Silver. I need to find it at the library.
  • I want to read some books that are laying around being neglected. 
  • I need to find some good love story books. 

What are you all loving lately? Let me know!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Book Club Picks 2021-2022

Here's our schedule for book club this next year! We are doing DOUBLE THE BOOKS during the summer! This cracks me up given that the whole book club is experiencing a slump. Maybe this will help? I guess we'll see!

Anyway, over the years our book club lists have been popular, so I wouldn't want to neglect you all of seeing what we've chosen yet again. 

Have you read any and do you have thoughts about what we have coming up?

The Giver of Stars AND The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: June

Born a Crime/ They Called Us Enemy: July

Seven Deadly Shadows/My Plain Jane: August

Anxious People: September

The Picture of Dorian Gray: October

I am the Messenger: November

Emily of New Moon: December

Keep Moving: January

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: February

Nine Perfect Strangers: March

Dread Nation: April

Carve the Mark: May

Wish us luck!!

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Book Review: 96 Miles by J.L. Esplin


Book: 96 Miles by J.L. Esplin

Genre: MG contemporary survival

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Wow, but I haven't read a book that gripped me like this one for quite awhile. It's a survival story that really had me on the edge of my reading seat the whole time, and I devoured it. (Ha devoured... because yet again, this book will make you HUNGRY and THIRSTY both, like... literally!)

It's about two brothers (ages 13 and 11) who are trying to walk the 96 miles across the Nevada dessert to get to family friends who they hope will help them. Because there's been a country-wide blackout and it's been about a month now with no electricity. Which means that society is falling apart.

Just before the blackout, their dad had gone on a business trip, leaving the boys alone. And it appears he is having a problem getting back to them, because they have heard nothing from him at all. 

Normally they'd be fine, because their dad is one who has prepared... they have food storage and a generator and all the things they need. But the neighbors raid it and steal everything. This is a problem in more ways than one, and so they head off for help.

It's written in such an engaging way that I was invested from page one. It read very much like a YA for me and not sure why... the characters just felt a bit older than they actually were, but not in a way that bothered me, you know? They are awesome kids. We do meet up with another sibling pair and the four of them face this adventure together. It's very heartwarming. And rough, and scary. And sad, once again showing an idea of what people will do in the face of survival. 

Anyway. Yeah. I loved it. Now, I kind of want to go take drive and see this road they had to walk down. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Book Review: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

 Book: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Genre: historical fiction-ish (man who thought naming a genre would be so hard lately?)

Rating: ★ ★ 

We read this one for book club this past month and I must say, it's one of the weirdest books I've read in a long long time! I went in expecting absolutely nothing, but what I got was REALLY not expected. LOL!

It's about a girl in Ireland in the 1800s who appears to be starving herself, but staying alive. So people are starting to look at her like she is something divine, some sort of saint... a "wonder!" So a couple of nurses (well, our main character nurse and a nun) are sent in to watch her 24/7 to make sure that her family isn't sneaking her food and then claiming her to be this saint-like thing. 

Our main character girl goes in with a really bad attitude about it thinking she is going to figure it all out right away and that every one is really stupid and she is going to be in and out and yeah... she is just rolling her eyes over it all. 

Turns out things are much more complicated than she expected, and suddenly she finds herself  much more invested in this girl and everything that's going on than she planned!

The first half or so of this book was VERY slow... and it seriously was just us as readers going every day into this girl and watching her.... and absolutely nothing was happening. Our main character did A LOT of complaining and such... but yeah. I was like... please let something happen soon!

And yet I felt this weird draw to keep reading and to see what WOULD happen. And what was actually up with this girl. And in the end it started to get much more crazy I said.. .so very weird, that the last bit I read nearly in one sitting until it was done. Such a crazy story!

Not based on a true story, but based on stuff like this that really happened, which makes it all even weirder. Anyway, I'm glad it showed up on our list this year and added some diversity to my reading for sure. Be warned though, reading this while you are hungry is not recommended! It will make you even hungrier!


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