RSS

Review: Hook’s Revenge

Hook’s Revenge
by Heidi Schulz

hooksrevenge

Our latest Family Book Club at work was Hook’s Revenge by Heidi Schulz. Kids and their parents read the same book and we spend an hour talking about it. Once a season, we try and invite an author to join us. I don’t know if it’s more of a thrill for the other book clubbers or for me! We were lucky enough to have Heidi Schulz drive up to participate! She even brought a pirate chest full of chocolate gold coins!

I’m so happy when I end up liking a book that I originally had no intention of reading when it was first released. Now, I have something to recommend to readers who are in search of fun adventure story with a plucky female protagonist!

Jocelyn Hook is the daughter of the famous and infamous Captain Hook. She’s been tasked to avenge his death from Neverland’s ferocious crocodile. But with a motley crew of pirates, hungry cannibals, haughty mermaids, and a bothersome boy who never grew up, it might be even harder than she already thought it would be!

The unknown narrator is a hoot. I love the fresh take of a familiar fairy tale and I can’t wait for the next book in the series! The Pirate Code comes out September 15th.

hs

It’s so fascinating to hear the stories behind author’s books, particularly, at least, for me, how names were chosen.

Heidi gave great advice to aspiring writers: read more, write more, and trust your gut.

She read an excerpt from the sequel and shared some of unfinished illustrations from John Hendrix.

She also shared a couple personal incidents involving giraffes. Coincidentally, she has a picture book coming out soon enough- Giraffes Ruin Everything! I can’t wait for that, as well!

 

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday #64

nfpb2015

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-PoohWinnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories are a couple of my favorites. It was absolutely wonderful to read the true story behind the stories- and it’s as charming as one could imagine it would be. Author’s notes includes more information about the soldier, the bear, and the author. Plus there are some pictures on the endpapers.

View all my reviews

The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial MarriageThe Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’d been wanting to read this picture book for awhile since it’s been getting lots of positive reviews. It didn’t disappoint. It was almost unbelievable to read the extents of what people had to overcome- and also that discrimination of this sort is still happening now. An eye opener and a hopeful book that love will win over hate and fear.

View all my reviews

 

What Are You Reading? (139) #IMWAYR – March 22, 2015

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

lgbtbd
I’m having an LGBT Book Drive to benefit Basic Rights Oregon. Being LGBT can be isolating. Whenever we see ourselves in others, even in the pages of a book, there’s hope that we aren’t alone.

This week, I posted:

-Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday- Read my review for:

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

-Celebrate This Week- This week, I’m celebrating getting to away for awhile.

-National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature: Part 3: Walter Dean Myers- Read my review for:

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman, Illustrated by Laura Cornell

Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman, Illustrated by Laura Cornell


[***] This is the updated edition of the book which comes out March 24th. I’m hoping to do a future post about this book once I read the original edition.

How Do Dinosaurs Stay Safe? by Jane Yolen, Illustrated by Mark Teague

How Do Dinosaurs Stay Safe? by Jane Yolen, Illustrated by Mark Teague


[**] A new addition to the bestselling series.


[***] A fun concept book series in board book format includes tactile elements. I love the bold designs.

Prickly Jenny by Sibylle Delacroix

Prickly Jenny by Sibylle Delacroix


[***] A cute picture book for kids (& adults) feeling out of sorts.

LOOK! by Édouard Manceau

LOOK! by Édouard Manceau


[***] Fans of Press Here! will be delighted by this new interactive book which invites readers to take a better look at the world around them.

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson, Illustrated by Sydney Smith

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson, Illustrated by Sydney Smith


[***] Gorgeous illustrations make up this wordless picture book that goes to show how little things and little people can make the world a beautiful and more colorful world.

Spots in a Box by Helen Ward

Spots in a Box by Helen Ward


[***] A guinea fowl sends for spots to fit in and gets all kinds of spots except the right ones! Except, sometimes, the wrong ones are right in this playful story about conformity.

Wolf Who Ate the Sky by Mary Daniel Hobson and Anna Isabel Rauh, Illustrated by Charles Hobson

Wolf Who Ate the Sky by Mary Daniel Hobson and Anna Isabel Rauh, Illustrated by Charles Hobson


[***] A ravenous wolf eats the sky and it’s up to a boy and the animals he meets along the way to get it back where it belongs. This folk tale has been part of the Rauh’s family for generations. This version is from nine-year-old Anna! I love the mixed media illustrations.

Wild About Shapes by Jeremie Fischer

Wild About Shapes by Jeremie Fischer


[***] Readers will marvel at this visual stunner of a book! What looks like random blots of colors reveal animals once the printed acetate page overlaps with it.

You Can Do It, Bert! by Ole Konnecke

You Can Do It, Bert! by Ole Konnecke


[***] A young bird is getting ready to fly. Or is he? Readers will cheer him on and will be delighted by what he does end up doing! I love Ole Konnecke’s distinct style.

Good Luck Bear by Greg E. Foley

Good Luck Bear by Greg E. Foley


[**] What the story lacks, the adorable illustrations make up for it!

Sarah, Plain and Tall (Sarah, Plain and Tall, #1)Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a beautiful quiet story and quite suspenseful in its own way. The characters weren’t that fleshed out but were still very memorable for their emotional journeys. I am intrigued enough to read the other books in the series and maybe even watch the films.

View all my reviews

RooftoppersRooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘Books crowbar the world open for you.’

In this magical tale, a girl with hair “the color of lightning” is raised by an eccentric but kind man. When the Welfare Agency decides that he is not suited to be raising a girl, off they flee to Paris in search of her mother. There they find a new world populated by Rooftoppers, homeless kids who live on roofs. It’s a thrilling chase full of beautiful characters and language that plays like music. I felt the book ended too soon!

View all my reviews

Rating Scale
*= It was OK
**= Liked it
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

I’m hoping to finish Hook’s Revenge by Heidi Schulz before Wednesday’s Family Book Club. And, I need to find another audio book to start listening to.

Have a great reading week!

 

National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature: Part 3

”The National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature raises national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education and the development and betterment of the lives of young people.”
-from the website

National_Ambassador_for_Young_People's_Literature_-_logo

I didn’t know there was even this position until a year or so ago. I think it’s great. I wanted to know more about the authors selected as Ambassadors and their respective platforms so I created a Reading Challenge to read at least one of their books.

I’ve talked about Jon Scieszka and Kate DiCamillo before. This time, it’s Walter Dean Myers turn! I think it was during his term that I first realized there was such a thing as a Nation Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His platform was “Reading is not optional.” I didn’t know he was so prolific, having written over 100 books in his life. And it was a shame I hadn’t read anything until now. I’m glad his legacy lives on.

MonsterMonster by Walter Dean Myers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow! What a thought provoking piece of work! Sixteen-year-old Steve is on trial in a murder case which, if convicted, could get him a lifetime in jail. He recounts the court case as a screenplay (complete with stage directions) as he plays it as a film on his mind. He interspersed it with diary entries that gives readers more insight to his character. High tension. Even after the verdict is announced, one can’t think some more about the rightness or wrongness of it.

View all my reviews

 

Celebrate This Week- March 20, 2015

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating two things.

The first celebration is that I’m in Seattle for a little get-away. I am treating it as a self-imposed writer’s retreat of sorts and, hopefully, I will have some good news to share on that front.

The second celebration is that I’m so overwhelmed with gratitude every time someone has donated to my LGBT Book Drive. It has become this year’s Commitment to Literacy. I am so lucky and appreciative that most everyone I know seem to value the powerful and positive impacts of books.

My Audio/Video Pick of the Week is from the TV show “Glee.” It’s probably their most iconic song, a cover of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” The show was great the first half of their first season. Despite the decline in quality over the years, it’s brought much awareness to the importance of arts education in the schools.

What are you celebrating this week?

 

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday #63

nfpb2015

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for DesegregationSeparate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This picture book looks into a not-as-well-known (compared to Brown vs. Board of Education) court case of desegregation in California involving Mexican Americans. It’s fascinating that it wasn’t really that long ago that this was an issue- and sadly still is in many ways. I’m on the fence whether I like the illustrations. The collage technique used here is quite unique.

View all my reviews
[We Need Diverse Books]

 

What Are You Reading? (138) #IMWAYR – March 15, 2015

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

lgbtbd
I’m having an LGBT Book Drive to benefit Basic Rights Oregon. Being LGBT can be isolating. Whenever we see ourselves in others, even in the pages of a book, there’s hope that we aren’t alone.

This week, I posted:

-New Releases- Read my reviews for:

-Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday- Read my reviews for:

-Celebrate This Week- This week, I’m celebrating books’ ability to connect people.

Bad HousesBad Houses by Carla Speed McNeil
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was recommended by a youth librarian because we were talking about other librarians who had published books. This young adult graphic novels has two teens meeting during an estate sale. Living in a small town, they end up discovering secrets about certain residents and themselves.

View all my reviews

Roller GirlRoller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Roller Girl is perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile and Cece Bell’s El Deafo. It’s an honest coming-of-age story that depicts the grayness of certain situations and the unavoidable imperfections of people.

My only complaint was Astrid’s nickname even if it was intended to be mean. But Astrid as a name does pay off in the end.

View all my reviews

The StormThe Storm by Cynthia Rylant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An absolutely endearing and charming story of a makeshift family. Pandora the cat, the lonely lighthouse keeper, and Seabold the dog, a solitary sailor, find themselves thrown together. After another storm rages towards them, their lives are changed once again by a surprise out at sea. I love recommending this to our customers!

View all my reviews

must-read-2015-logo

Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie

Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie


[***] [Agatha Christie Reading Challenge] [Off the Shelf Reading Challenge]

Rating Scale
*= It was OK
**= Liked it
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

I’m listening to Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell and hoping to finish reading Monster by Walter Dean Myers.
Have a great reading week!

 
 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 389 other followers