Review: Nine Open Arms by Benny Lindelauf
Nine Open Arms by Benny Lindelauf Translated from the original Dutch, this book is the story of Fing and her family. Fing’s mother died years ago and since then her father and her grandmother have taken care of them. They are a big family, with Fing’s three older brothers and her two sisters, Muulke and Jess. Fing’s father has decided to start a cigar business, so they move out of town to a big old house that has something very strange about it that Fing can’t quite figure out. They call it Nine Open Arms, because that is how far across it is. The house is near a cemetery, the front door is at the back, and there is a bed in storage that looks like a tombstone. As the girls start a new school, they slowly begin to discover the secrets of Nine Open Arms and of their own community and family.
Review: Little Green Peas by Keith Baker
Little Green Peas: A Big Book of Color by Keith Baker The peas return for their third book, this time focusing on colors. Peas play on each page, surrounded by a specific color that also shows up in huge letters across the double page spread. Told in rhyme, the colors are named and objects that are that color are named too. Young readers can find those objects on the page. Turn to the next and you get to see even more little green peas enjoying themselves with that color. Then on to the next. This colorful read has a great playfulness to it that will keep the youngest readers giggling as they learn their colors.
Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo The final book in the Grisha trilogy, this is an amazing ending to an incredible series. After her failed battle with the Darkling, Alina has been hiding in the White Cathedral, slowing healing from the damage of the fight. But Alina has lost much of her power and must rely on trickery to display the light of the Sun Summoner. She is surrounded by those who believe her to be a saint, but also by those who would control her for their own means. It is soon time for Alina to escape, but in her battered body and mind, planning such a thing is insurmountable. Luckily, she still has some of her faithful friends around her, who are only too pleased to free her and themselves from the protection of the Cathedral. Now Alina must figure out how to find the final amplifier that will allow her to complete the set and access her full power. But the Darkling is still hunting her, and he will not stop until she is under his control.
Review: Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz
Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz, illustrated by Dan Santat This companion to The Three Ninja Pigs mixes ninja training, wolves and girls in red capes into one great homage to the traditional tale. Wolf can’t catch any animals to eat. They all defeat him with their ninja skills, so he decides to get training himself. After practicing for hours, he heads into the woods where he sees Riding Hood carrying a treat to her grandmother. He suggests that Riding Hood pick some flowers for her grandmother, and dashes off to the grandmother’s house himself. She isn’t home, so he puts on her clothes. After Riding Hood slowly realizes that this is not her grandmother in a wonderful mix of traditional and martial arts storytelling, it is revealed that Riding Hood has also had ninja training. But when the two are evenly matched, it will take one butt-kicking grandmother to save the day.
Review: The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye
The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye Aref’s family is moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan from where he has always lived in Muscat, Oman. After his father heads off ahead of Aref and his mother, the two of them head home to finish packing and for his mother to finish working. But Aref does not want to leave Oman, leave his bedroom to his cousins who will be living there while they are gone for several years, leave his pet cat behind. But particularly, he does not want to leave his grandfather. Aref pretends to pack, but finds himself playing instead, riding his bike, ignoring the packing entirely. His mother gets frustrated and asks Siddi, his grandfather, for a hand. So the Aref and Siddi head out on a series of adventures that let them spend time together, but also let Aref say goodbye to his beloved Oman and be open enough to greet the future in Michigan.
Review: The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
Released August 26, 2014.
Eleven-year-old Ellie loves doing puzzles, because the pieces fit together so neatly. She doesn’t like change at all, like the way that her best friend Brianna never talks with her anymore. She lives with her mother in a tiny house with the garage filled with costumes from her job directing high school theater. Her mother…
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Review: I’m My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein
I’m My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein This dog takes care of himself. He tells himself to roll over, he throws a stick for himself and then goes to get it, he scratches his own itches. Except for the one in the middle of his back, he can’t quite reach it. So when a human follows him home and knows right where to scratch, the dog adopts him. He teaches the human how to hold a leash, how to play the stick game, and how to follow commands. Yes, he has to clean up after the human, but in the end the two of them become the best of friends.
Review: The Fire Wish by Amber Lough
The Fire Wish by Amber Lough The war between the jinnis and the humans has been going on for years. Najwa is a young jinni who is being specially trained in covert operations and visiting the human world. Zayele is a human, selected to marry a prince whom she’s never met. When the two of them meet, Zayele makes a wish on Najwa and switches their places. Now Zayele is the jinni, living among other jinnis in the crystal caves under the earth and Najwa is the human, heading for marriage to a prince. The two must keep themselves secret, both knowing that they will be killed by the people around them if they are discovered. But war and love make everything more complicated and the two discover secrets about themselves and their worlds that will change everything.
Cybils Call for Judges
Another year of the Cybils is upon us! Time to start going through your lists of favorites for the year and coming up with awesome nominations for the best books. But before the nominations open, there is…
Review: You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang
You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang, illustrated by Christopher Weyant An orange bear declares to a smaller blue bear that the shorter one is “small.” The little one says that that is not true, rather the orange bear is “big.” The orange bear shows that he has other big creatures just like him and just his size, but so does the blue bear. The two groups start to argue and fight about whether they are big or small. Then another creature arrives and another one yet that help put size into perspective for everyone. …