‘The Summer Country’ by Lauren Willig is an ambitious tale of prejudice and plantations in Barbados during Victorian times

"The Summer Country" by Lauren Willig refers to the island of Barbados, where it is summer all year long. The story is about three women, and from the beginning it alternates between 1812 and 1854. The story begins in 1854, when Emily Dawson and her cousin Adam travel to Barbados for different reasons. Adam is … Continue reading ‘The Summer Country’ by Lauren Willig is an ambitious tale of prejudice and plantations in Barbados during Victorian times

Four picture books (2 fiction and 2 nonfiction) about animals and compassion — should not be missed

Summer is a wonderful time to spend outdoors with children, showing them the beauty of nature and the beauty of the animals in nature. It's a wonderful time to play with dogs and visit forest preserves. At night, reading books about nature and about animals is an excellent way to drive home lessons about respecting … Continue reading Four picture books (2 fiction and 2 nonfiction) about animals and compassion — should not be missed

‘Mrs. Everything’ by Jennifer Weiner is a fascinating study of sisters

"Mrs. Everything" might be Jennifer Weiner's most ambitious novel yet. She takes readers into the lives of two sisters, Jo and Bethie, who grow up during the 50s. Readers watch Jo and Bethie as the Kaufman family buys their first house in a suburb of Detroit. Readers with at least one sister will nod as … Continue reading ‘Mrs. Everything’ by Jennifer Weiner is a fascinating study of sisters

‘Wherever She Goes’ by Kelley Armstrong is a quick-paced thriller

"Wherever She Goes" by Kelley Armstrong begins slowly with a main character who doubts her actions and her decisions so much that we wonder if she is completely rational. One day, Aubrey Finch thinks she sees a child being kidnapped in a park, but when she reports what she saw to the police, they don't … Continue reading ‘Wherever She Goes’ by Kelley Armstrong is a quick-paced thriller

‘The Friends We Keep’ by Jane Green is about friendship and second chances

With "The Friends We Keep," author Jane Green goes back to her British roots and sets this novel in the countryside of England. The story begins at West Country University where three freshman from very different places become fast friends. Two, Topher and Evvie, are from the US. Maggie is very British. But once they … Continue reading ‘The Friends We Keep’ by Jane Green is about friendship and second chances

‘When We Were Lost’ by Kevin Wignall is a wonderfully suspenseful survival novel

"When We Were Lost" by Kevin Wignall is a superb young adult novel about a group of teenagers in a plane crash on their way to Costa Rica. They wake up as their plane begins shaking, and while the front half of the plane breaks off and crashes down a mountain, the back half of … Continue reading ‘When We Were Lost’ by Kevin Wignall is a wonderfully suspenseful survival novel

Summer Reading Choices that will get your Middle Grade Readers hooked on books

Summer days are for enjoying the outdoors, swimming, walking, playing sports. But long summer nights are made for reading, and it's the perfect time to get kids hooked on good books. Here are some wonderful choices for kids with a variety of interests. Historical Fiction Historical fiction is a middle grade staple. A new release, … Continue reading Summer Reading Choices that will get your Middle Grade Readers hooked on books

‘The Yankee Widow’ by Linda Lael Miller is a fabulous historical fiction novel filled with ordinary people who do extraordinary things

"The Yankee Widow" by Linda Lael Miller takes place during the Civil War and takes readers right through the Battle of Gettysburg in all its horror and death. Caroline Hammond, the main character, becomes a widow at the start of the story when her husband, young Jacob, dies after becoming grievously injured at the Battle … Continue reading ‘The Yankee Widow’ by Linda Lael Miller is a fabulous historical fiction novel filled with ordinary people who do extraordinary things

‘Our Symphony with Animals: On health, empathy and our shared destinies’ by Aysha Akhtar is filled with science and affirmations about the importance of animals in our lives

First posted in Bookreporter.com. "Our Symphony with Animals: On health, empathy, and our shared destinies" by Aysha Akhtar, M.D., is a memoir, an informational text, and a paean to the joys of sharing our lives with animals. Akhtar shares that she was abused as a child. She writes about her childhood dog, Sylvester, whom she … Continue reading ‘Our Symphony with Animals: On health, empathy and our shared destinies’ by Aysha Akhtar is filled with science and affirmations about the importance of animals in our lives

‘Mr. Lemoncello’s All-Star Breakout Game’ by Chris Grabenstein is another wacky, wild contest filled with unpredictable action

"Mr. Lemoncello's All-Star Breakout Game" by Chris Grabenstein is the newest entry into the series that kids love to read. Kyle Keeley, the main character, is up against his arch enemy, Charles Chiltington, whose motto is: Chiltingtons never lose. Yet until this book, Charles has lost at all of Lemoncello's games. When this new "All-Star … Continue reading ‘Mr. Lemoncello’s All-Star Breakout Game’ by Chris Grabenstein is another wacky, wild contest filled with unpredictable action

‘Welcome to Wonderland: Beach Battle Blowout’ by Chris Grabenstein is much beloved in this student review

“Welcome to Wonderland:  Beach Battle Blowout," by Chris Grabenstein, will excite readers from the first page to the last. This funny and action-packed book is sure to make people laugh and gasp in suspense at the same time. Adding on to the series, New York Times bestselling author of “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library” spins … Continue reading ‘Welcome to Wonderland: Beach Battle Blowout’ by Chris Grabenstein is much beloved in this student review