Tag Archives: families

Book Review: Brightwood

5 Jul

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Daisy only knows the house and gardens of Brightwood Hall, her mother suffered from a horrible tragedy and only goes out when it’s completely necessary and never allows Daisy to leave. With a stockpile of food and her mother’s Day Boxes (a box for each day filled with things that her mother believes she can keep forever), Daisy awakens one morning and realizes her mother has returned from the store.  And she doesn’t return that evening or the next day, in fact the only person to appear is a distant cousin who breaks the lock on the garden’s gate and enters the property. Daisy must decide whether this man is someone who can help her or hurt her as she tries to figure out what happened to her mom.

The back cover describes this as the perfect book for fans of Coraline and Doll Bones, although I would also compare this with Serafina and the Black Cloak for the estate itself feels almost like a character in the story with a touch of magic where you don’t expect it. I really enjoyed this thrilled and would definitely pass it on to any kid looking for a scary book in those middle grades. Daisy has a great voice that sometimes skews on the older side (But having only ever interacted with her mother, what do you expect?), but is also at times vulnerable and afraid. The other characters in the house include a talking rat named Tar, a topiary horse, a painting of a young boy from the 1500s and the ghost of a girl about Daisy’s age. The cast of characters is unique, but also what makes the story really work.  This book is being published at the tail end of September – just int time for the perfect October/Halloween booktalk!

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): When Daisy’s mother disappears, Daisy must outwit a distant cousin to save her home and find her mom. The only problem-She’s never left home

Title: Brightwood
Author: Tania Unsworth
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: September 27, 2017
Page Number: 260 pgs.

15 Picture Books to Celebrate Armed Forces Day

19 May

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  1. H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet by Devin Scillian, illustrated by Victor Juhasz
  2. Alpha, Bravo, Charlie: The Military Alphabet by Chris L. Demarest
  3. Memorial Day Surprise by Theresa Martin Golding, illustrated by Alexandra Artigas
  4. Night Catch by Brenda Ehrmantraut, illustrated by Vicki Wehrman
  5. Our Daddy Is Invincible! by Shannon Maxwell, illustrated by Liza Biggers
  6. Hero Mom by Melinda Hardin, illustrated by Bryan Langdo
  7. Hero Dad by Melinda Hardin, illustrated by Bryan Langdo
  8. Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops by Jill Biden, illustrated by Raúl Colón
  9. Tuesday Tucks Me In: The Loyal Bond Between a Soldier and His Service Dog by Luis Carlos Montalván with Bret Witter, photographs by Dan Dion
  10. Brave Like Me by Barbara Kerley
  11. Sometimes We Were Brave by Pat Brisson, illustrated by France Brassard
  12. Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion by Jane Barclay, illustrated by Renné Benoit
  13. Love, Lizzie: Letters to a Military Mom by Lisa Tucker McElroy

  14. The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh, illustrated by Layne Johnson
  15. The Impossible Patriotism Project by Linda Skeers, illustrated by Ard Hoyt

Top Ten Tuesday: Great Middle Grade Moms (or at least ones that try really hard)

16 May

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This was a really difficult list to create – apparently I don’t pay close attention to the adults in middle grade fiction (when they exist, which is a whole other issue). And then when I was creating the list, I wanted to come up with a diverse list of families and found it shocking that I can’t remember ever reading a middle grade book with two moms – check out this post on SLJ which makes me feel better (and gave me a bunch of books to add to my TBR list). Granted, not all of these moms are “great,” but they all love truly and deeply. Continue reading

Summer Reading: Book Lists and Tips for Every Age

23 Jun

oyAsslVDPenguin Random House is on point right now, promoting audiobooks at the gym and partnering to create Brightly – a resources for families to encourage and engage lifelong readers.  And what I appreciate so much about Brightly is that recommendations are not only books published by Penguin Random House, but by all publishers for everyone from babies to adults.

You’ve got to check out their Summer Reading area with book recommendations for the whole family this summer.  Studies show that parents that make reading a priority in their own lives, are more likely to have kids that want to read.  So as an adult, there’s always another time to mop the floor (maybe not to make dinner), but take a few minutes each day to read something for yourself and try and make it at a time that your kids will see you!

Check out the fun list of read alouds for Pre-K kids (ages 3 – 5) which also includes activities and extension activities to encourage reading.  Brightly even has a complete fun pack for preschoolers that families can download and explore all summer long!

Growing readers has their own list (ages 6 – 8) which doesn’t include just one summer reading list, but a few different lists including an audiobook list, perfect for those long summer car trips.

The Tween page has activities like Madlibs (using different parts of speech to create fun stories), booklists and ways to prevent summer slide in children ages 9 – 12.

Teens can be difficult to find books for – they tend to have little free time and can be very picky about what they want to read.  Brightly has some great suggestions for readers of all kinds this summer and some ideas on increasing writing skills this summer.

And Brightly didn’t forget the adults this summer – check out there multiple reading lists for adults.  Although the lists, I feel, tend to lean toward more female-interest, there are still some great suggestions for dads too!

 

LGBT Pride Month

15 Jun

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  1. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
  2. Red: A Crayon Story by Michael Hall
  3. Worm Loves Worm by J. J. Austrian
  4. Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah Hoffman
  5. This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
  6. Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer
  7. Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman
  8. The Purim Superhero by Elisabeth Kushner
  9. Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne Lang
  10. One Family by George Shannon
  11. Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino
  12. Rumplepimple by
  13. Normal Norman by Tara Lazar
  14. The Family Book by Todd Parr
  15. The Manny Files by Christian Burch
  16. The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy
  17. The Marvels by Brian Selznick
  18. Marco Impossible by Hannah Moskowitz
  19. George by Alex Gino
  20. Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart
  21. Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
  22. Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle
  23. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
  24. Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community by Robin Stevenson
  25. Families by Shelley Rotner

These are just a few suggestions?  What else would you add?

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