It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/8/18


Etta, Bella, and I are back for our first It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? in 2018! #IMWAYR is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give it a #kidlit focus and encourage everyone who participates to visit at least 3 of the other #kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

Our Reads This Week:

Babysitting Nightmares: The Shadow Hand by Kat Shepherd

Like Rebecca Chin, I loved to babysit when I was her age.  I loved caring for kids, demonstrating my maturity and of course, making my own money.  But if a child’s locked window mysteriously opened and a layer of cold and slimy moss appeared on the windowsill, I highly doubt that I would have babysat for Kyle again, must less any other child.

In spite of these unexplained occurrences, a visibly shaken Rebecca keeps her cool and continues to babysit Kyle.  Kyle’s mother admits he has been acting a little off, but perhaps it is just teething.  When she puts Kyle to bed, she notices small handprints on the wall and even on the ceiling.  On another occasion, Kyle bites friend and fellow sitter Clio and nips Rebecca exposing two row of white, pointed teeth.  Something is definitely not right.

Babysitting Nightmares is described as Baby Sitter’s Club meets Goosebumps.  I agree that is a perfect description for The Shadow Hand, which I hope is the first book in the series.  Rebecca and her fellow sitters band together to discover what is happening to Kyle and risk their own lives to save him before it’s too late.  I cannot wait to share this series with students.  It’s fast paced and under 200 pages so kids will quickly devour this novel. While spooky at times, the story also has a great message-None can rule the heart that loves.

Special thanks to Kat Shepherd for sharing an ARC of Babysitting Nightmares with my #bookexcursion group.  It will be released in June 2018.

Arts and Thefts by Allison K. Hymas

Do not call Jeremy Wilderson a detective.  He is a retrieval specialist who helps his fellow middle school peers get back what is rightfully theirs.  When one of his best friends and talented artist Case is accused of stealing brushes and paints from another student, Jeremy is incensed.  Especially because the accusation is coming from his nemesis, Becca Mills, the town’s tiny yet terrifying private detective.

Becca believes that the brushes were intentionally stolen to sabotage artwork entered in the Scottsville Art Show,  the most important competition of the summer.  Becca’s hunch comes true, and Jeremy is worried about his best friend.  With Case’s painting in the show, Jeremy is determined to not only clear his best friend’s name but also protect Case’s art from being a target of the saboteur.  Even if it means having to team up for a second time with Becca. (Read Under Lock and Key to find out about their first alliance, which was kept secret from Jeremy’s friends Case and Hack.)  Reluctantly, Becca agrees, and the two covertly join forces to retrieve the stolen paint and brushes and capture the culprit.

I love a good mystery, and Arts and Thefts does not disappoint.  I applaud Jeremy for his loyalty to his dear friend Case, which drives him to join forces with Becca.  Jeremy and Becca’s banter was truly the highlight of the book because while they mostly disagree, they make an amazing team.  Makes me hopeful for another Jeremy-Becca alliance in perhaps Book 3?

Special thanks to Allison Hymas for sharing an ARC of Arts and Thefts with my #bookexcursion group.  Arts and Thefts will be released in February 2018.

Hawk Rising by Maria Gianferrari  Illustrated by Brian Floca

Hawk Rising is a narrative non-fiction picture book which tells the story of mother and daughter observing a father hawk hunting for prey for his family.

At the beginning, the mood is calm with both the family and the hawk waking up to begin their day.  Father Hawk perches at the top of a pole to survey the land for his family’s next meal.  The mother and daughter notice the hawk from their suburban backyard.

The mood quickly turns tense as Father Hawk swoops down to catch a chipmunk. To the hawk’s dismay, the rodent escapes running under a porch.  However, Father Hawk is not deterred and continues his search for food even as the sun is setting for the night.  The story has a thrilling ending with Father Hawk victorious in his quest to feed his brood.

I am a such fan of Maria Gianferari’s writing.  The text is true poetry, for she chooses her words carefully to dramatically describe the family’s actions and feelings as well as the hawk’s pursuit.  Coupling Maria Gianferrari’s words with Brian Floca’s illustrations, the story takes flight.  Floca’s illustration vividly convey not only Father Hawk’s determination, but also the young daughter’s apprehension of seeing the hawk succeed in his mission.

Special thanks to Maria Gianferrari for sharing an ARC of Hawk Rising with my #bookexcursion group.  It will be published in May 2018.

Our Featured Dog Selection of the Week:

Granted by John David Anderson

Wanting to spread the dog love, Beagles and Books has a new weekly feature by highlighting a literary selection with a canine main character.

Pretty much any book with a dog has my heart so Granted’s cover alone compelled me to read this novel. Being a fan of John David Anderson, I knew it would be a great story and boy, did he deliver.

Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets is a fairy, but not just any fairy.  She is a Granter, which gives her the opportunity to grant the wishes of humans.  Eager Ophelia is finally sent on her first assignment-to give a purple bike to a girl named Kasarah.   Her mission is pretty simple.  Travel to an Ohio mall. Retrieve Kasarah’s coin from a fountain.  Sprinkle a little fairy dust.  Say those four magic words. Your wish is granted.  Boom. Bam. Done.

But Ophelia encounters more obstacles than she anticipated, and her mission does not progress as planned.  Ophelia’s silver lining is befriending a nameless stray dog who comes to her aid when she is injured. She bestows him the name, Sam.  At first, Sam is her travel companion on her quest to grant Kasarah’s wish; but to Ophelia’s surprise, he becomes so much more-her friend.  I love Ophelia for her pluckiness and determination, but I cannot deny.  Sam got my heart.

Granted is a magical story about having faith, filling empty holes, and following your heart not the rules.  Ophelia and Sam also remind readers what is truly important-having a haven where people love you and care for you, no matter what.

Special thanks to fellow #bookexcursion member Lisa Maucione who received an ARC of Granted from Harper Collins at NCTE.  Granted will be published in February 2018.

Thanks for visiting Beagles and Books! Happy reading!

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