Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day = Review Time!

Yeah!!! A somewhat unexpected snow day today and that means I've had time to complete some reviews from the continually growing stack on the bedroom floor! Quite the mish-mash for this posting, for children and adults!

Goldish, Meish.
Bearport Publishing: New York, NY.

Ages: 6-12
Genre: Non-Fiction, Bugs
Guided Reading Level: N/A


Who ever heard of bug pizza? Or wasp crackers? Better yet, grasshopper tacos! Boys are sure to find it "awesome," girls will likely provide you with a chorus of "ewwws" or "ughs" in this story! This non-fictional text provides readers with ways in which bugs are indeed extreme cuisine for people around the world. Not only will the information be interesting to children (even if they do seem grossed out by it), but a lesson in culture is also provided, as a map of the world is given to show students exactly where these places are where people eat bugs!

Goldish, Meish.
Michael Phelps: Anything is Possible!
Bearport Publishing: New York, NY.

Ages: 7-12
Genre: Non-Fiction, Athletes
Guided Reading Level: N/A


Did you know that Michael Phelps nearly died of a serious blood infection at age 2? That he was found to have ADHD? Or that he had to use a kickboard to practice swimming after an accident he suffered in 2007?

Readers will learn all about this and more after reading this informational text. Also provided in the book is a timeline of events in Phelps' life. This would be a good book for children who have to write a report on an athlete or someone famous.

Low, William.
Machines Go To Work.
Anticipated May 2009.
Henry Holt and Company: New York, NY.

Ages: 3-6
Genre: Non-Fiction
Guided Reading Level: N/A


Young children who are enthralled with machines will love this book! The pictures tell a story in itself but the text that follows is simple yet interesting and will definitely capture their attention. The book is a great informational read as well due to the onomotopeia that is found throughout and the use of machines in simple ways that children understand. The back of the book provides readers with realistic pictures of all the machines mentioned thoughout and are described at length.

Whiffen, Leeann.
A Child's Journey Out of Autism: One Family's Story of Living in Hope and Finding a Cure.
Anticipated March 2009.

Leeann Whiffen was three years younger than me (23) when her son Clay was born. In the time span of one year, her life was turned virtually upside-down as Clay is diagnosed with a form of Autism. I was very touched by the emotions and openness shared in Leeann's telling of her family's story. This book tells the story as her family makes sacrifices to do everything in their power to provide Clay with the medical attention he needs in order to be drawn back out of the shell .

The determination that Leeann and her husband Sean put forth throughout this trying time is well documented and will be an inspiration for any parents, grandparents, caregivers and teachers who have an autistic child in their care. This story is not only inspiring for those who are caring for an autistic child but it would also be inspiring for anyone who has a loved one struggling with an illness of any sort by providing hope through means of determination.

Hannah, Kristin.
Firefly Lane.
St. Martin's Press: New York, NY.

This is only the second book I've read by Kristin Hannah, the first being Magic Hour. Both have given me reason to believe that she definitely belongs on my list of favorite authors. I had a hard time starting out with this book, but by around the fifth chapter, I was hooked. The story follows Tully Hart and Kate Mularky. Personally, I related most to Kate - she just reminded me of myself. I had a group of best friends until I reached junior high. Then everything changed and I felt like I didn't belong anywhere... just as Kate does - until she meets Tully. And that changed everything and provides Kate with a friendship that lasts over 30 years, all of which are recounted in this story. While the ending had me in tears, there is NOTHING that I would change about this. It is perhaps one of the most moving, touching books I have ever read!

Snelling, Lauraine.
Saturday Morning
Waterbrook Press.

Four women leading completely different lifestyles meet under the oddest of circumstances but form an instantaneous bond that will last a lifetime. Hope runs a battered women's shelter. Andy leads an almost double life, running her lavender business from a new home in California. Julia is in California searching for her missing granddaughter (whom is said to have been staying at the battered women's shelter). Clarice winds up in California in hopes of meeting up with her husband who sent her packing to visit a sister while he moved them across the country from Florida (that's all a hoax as he's taken off with her life's possessions). Together they form a bond that remains unbroken and in doing so they all help each other through the hardest and most trying moments in their lives. This was a wonderful story and gave me hope as I sometimes feel overwhelmed by my life... It reinforced a notion that is always sitting in the back of mind but sometimes needs refreshing - while I may face some challenges and feel down about the way that things are going for me, there are always other people that are far less fortunate than myself.

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to


style='clear: both;' BookChook said...

Wow, Katie, I can't keep up with your energy! So many great reviews here. I definitely want to look out for the Bugalicious book!