#Bookexcursion, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/26/18

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Etta, Bella, and I are excited to share our reads for another edition of It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  #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:

Every Shiny Thing by Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison

Every Shiny Thing is a uniquely structured novel told in alternating points of view.  Told in prose, Lauren comes from an affluent family and is struggling with her parents’ decision to send her brother to her residential school for autistic teens.  Told in verse, Sierra is the foster child of Lauren’s neighbors as well as her new classmate.  In the novel, Lauren embarks on a project to help autistic children from less affluent families and enlists Sierra to help her. While well intentioned, Lauren becomes consumed with raising money at any cost which begins to negatively affect her friendship with Sierra.  Sierra is also fighting her own battle of always taking care of everyone but herself.  I absolutely adored this beautifully written novel on so many levels.  To read my full review, click here.

Special thanks to Laurie Morrison for sending an advance reading copy of Every Shiny Thing to our #bookexcursion group.  It will be published soon in April 2018.

Big Foot Little Foot by Ellen Potter Illustrated by Felicita Sala

Hugo is a young Sasquatch who yearns for adventure in the Big Wide World but exploring beyond the North Woods is off limits.  Why?  Because the most important Sasquatch rule is never be seen by a human. During a class lesson on Hide and Go Sneak, Hugo accidentally laughs at the sight of a real human while observing a boy (whose name is Boone) blowing a dandelion.  Sent home with a note from his furious teacher and punished by his parents, Hugo makes his own wish for adventure by sending his toy boat down a stream in his room.  Hugo is amazed when his boat comes back with a plastic toy human from Boone. Perhaps this is the start of not only an adventure but also a new friendship!

Like Ellen Potter’s Piper Green and the Fairy Tree series, Big Foot, Little Foot is sure to be a hit with transitional readers and their teachers.  Young readers will easily relate to Hugo and his curiosity.  Hugo and Boone also teach an important lesson about making assumptions before getting to know someone.   The ending definitely leaves readers wanting more adventures with Hugo and Boone.

Special thanks to Ellen Potter for sending an advance reading copy to our #bookexcursion group.  Look for Big Foot Little Foot’s release soon in April 2018.

Maggie & Abby’s Neverending Pillow Fort by Will Taylor

Missing her best friend Abby who has been away at Camp Cantaloupe for six weeks,  Maggie builds a pillow fort in her living room.  When Abby returns, Maggie is excited to spend time with Abby, but her best friend seems different. Wanting to expand their circle, Abby is eager to start their own summer camp and invite more kids to join in their games.

After Maggie builds a cabin-fort in her own house, the girls are shocked to discover that their forts are not only mysteriously linked to one another but also to other pillow forts around the world.  But these links are not available unless Maggie and Abby perform a good deed and become full members of NAFAFA (The North American Founding and Allied Fort Alliance).  Gaining entry to this exclusive club is further complicated because of a power struggle among the NAFAFA council members as well as Maggie’s and Abby’s differing opinions on how to gain entry into the organization.

A blend of fantasy, mystery, and realistic fiction, Maggie & Abby’s Neverending Pillow Fort will appeal to a wide variety of readers.  Reading about the history and inner workings of NAFAFA made me wonder and laugh out loud.  Maggie and Abby’s changing friendship tugged at my heart strings.  The novel ends on a cliffhanger so I am so excited that Book 2 is already in the works!

Special thanks to Will Taylor for sending an advance reading copy to our #bookexcursion group.  Get ready because Maggie & Abby’s Neverending Pillow Fort will be published shortly in April 2018.

Building Books by Megan Wagner Lloyd Illustrated by Brianne Farley

Katie loved building with blocks, and her brother Owen loved reading books. The siblings fought about which is better-building or reading.  The school librarian intervenes by giving Katie a stack of books to read while Owen receives a stack of books to shelve. Not interested in reading, Katie decides to build a castle with the books stumbling upon a book about castle engineering.  Not interested in shelving, Owen begins balancing books on top of each other.  It does not take long for the siblings to respect each other’s interests and collaborate to create something together. Librarians must be pretty smart!

Wagner Lloyd has written a beautiful story that reminds us all to be open to expanding our comfort zones.  Farley’s illustrations warmly depict both Katie’s and Owen’s enthusiasm for their favorite hobbies and slowly transition to show how the siblings change their minds and appreciate each other’s interests.
Special thanks to Megan Wagner Lloyd for sending a F & G copy to our #bookexcursion group.  Building Books will be published in October 2018.

Etta’s and Bella’s Dog Read of the Week:

George the Hero Hound by Jeffrey Ebbeler

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

George was a good old hound dog.  He willingly helped Farmer Fritz with chores around the farm in exchange for an afternoon nap.  But then Farmer Fritz decides to move to the beach leaving the farm and George behind.  Not long after, the Gladstone family buys the farm.  Having moved from the city to the country, George quickly realizes that his new family needs a heap of help from fixing tractors to herding cows.  When daughter Olive goes missing, George saves the day and shows he is truly a hero hound.

George the Hero Hound is such a delightful and entertaining picture book.  I love how devoted George is to helping his new family adjust to farm life.  Author/illustrator Ebbeler’s drawings of George truly capture his personality.  And pay close attention to the illustrations especially all the cows’ antics!

Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books!  Have a great week! Happy Reading!

happiness-is-a-warm-puppy-and-a-good-book

#Bookexcursion, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/19/18

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Etta, Bella, and I are excited to share our reads for another edition of It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  #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:

Jasmine Toguchi: Drummer Girl by Debbi Michiko Florence   Illustrated by Elizabeth Vukovic

In the third book in the series, Jasmine is excited about the school talent show.  While she has many talents such as climbing trees, pounding mochi, and making collages, Jasmine needs to quickly find a talent she can showcase on stage.  When her mother asks Jasmine why she likes these things, she responds that they make her feel free, strong, and happy.  Her mom then shares her love of playing the taiko.  With the help of one of her mom’s college friends, Kat, Jasmine learns how to play the traditional Japanese drum.

Jasmine is worried about her performance especially because new student Maggie Milsap keeps trying to turn the talent show into a competition.  With the support of her older sister, Jasmine soon learns that practice, not natural talent, is what makes one perform well.  And of course, Kat teaches her the best lesson of all-it’s not about being perfect, it’s about having fun!

I just love Jasmine and have recommended this series to countless students this year.  I greatly appreciate how Debbie Michiko Florence has created a character that can be both a mirror and window to young readers.  Readers can identify with Jasmine’s spunk and insecurities while also learn about Japanese traditions.  Special thanks to Debbi Michiko Florence for sending Drummer Girl on an ARC tour with our #bookexcursion group.  Pre-order now like me so you will receive your copy promptly on April 3, 2018.  And if you love Jasmine as much as I do, pre-order the fourth book, Flamingo Girl, too!

 

Poe Won’t Go by Kelly DiPucchio  Illustrated by Zachariah OHora

Mysteriously, a frowning elephant named Poe shuts down the town of Prickly Valley sitting in the only road in town. Despite all the townspeople’s extraordinary efforts, Poe just won’t go.  Not tolerating a parked pachyderm in Prickly Valley, the mayor is determined to solve the problem of Poe.  But alas, not even a person dressed as a peanut on roller skates worked.  A thoughtful young girl named Marigold finally asked the mayor, “Has anyone asked Poe why he won’t go?”   As soon as Marigold approaches Poe, his frown turned into a smile and she begins to uncover why Poe has not moved and how to help him.

I love Kelly DiPucchio’s picture books because they not only entertain but also teach readers important messages.  Poe Won’t Go teaches readers that sometimes asking the right questions, listening, and observing is the best way to solve a problem.   Zachariah OHora’s gorgeous acrylic and pencil illustrations never disappoint.   I am always amazed at the amount of details that he can draw in a spread without overwhelming the reader.

Special thanks to Kelly DiPucchio for sending a F & G of Poe Won’t Go to our #bookexcursion group.  Pre-order now, for it will be released in October 2018.

 

Dude Word by Aaron Reynolds  Art by Dan Santat

Cowabunga! Two dudes (a platypus and a beaver) are totally stoked to surf but another not so righteous dude (a shark!) is getting in their way. Bummer! Can they find a way to all get along?

What is so rad about this picture book is Reynolds pretty much only uses one word, “Dude”, repeatedly in different contexts to tell the story, and Santat’s awesome illustrations support the meaning.  The use of punctuation also makes the story an epic read aloud!

Special thanks to Macmillan Kids for sending an advance reader’s copy of Dude to our #bookexcursion group.  Look for its tubular release soon in April 2018.

 

Bella’s and Etta’s Dog Read of the Week:

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

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Don’t Call Me Choochie Pooh by Sean Taylor  Illustrated by Kate Hindley

I love reading books from the dog’s point of view!  A little dog is fed up with the silly way his owner treats him.  He does not appreciate heart-shaped mini puppy treats, being carried in a handbag and most especially, the name Choochie Pooh!  At the dog park, feeling like a Mini-Puppy-Treat-eating-Choochie-Pooh in a handbag, he is jealous of all the other dogs who have ordinary names like Bandit, Rusty, and Chief .  When Chief invites him to play, he is surprised and has a fabulous time doing normal dog things like running around and getting muddy.  When it is time to leave, his owner get again embarrasses him by uttering his disgustingly sweet name.  Choochie Pooh soon realizes that like him, his new canine friends have similar woes.

Reading this adorable picture book makes me wonder about all the pet names I have for both Etta and Bella.  Based on their tail wagging and howling, I think they realize that it is worth the love and of course treats!

Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books!  Have a great week! Happy Reading!

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#Bookexcursion, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/12/18

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Etta, Bella, and I are excited to share our reads for another edition of It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  #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:

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The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

When Lucy was eight years old, she was struck by lightning while holding on to a metal fence.  As a result, she has acquired savant syndrome; Lucy can not only tackle any mathematical problem but she can also see math in colors and remembers every set of numbers she hears or sees.  It is no surprise that Pi is favorite number (and she can recite it to the 314th decimal place).

Having this rare condition is not without its drawbacks.  Lucy has obsessive compulsive tendencies, no offline friends, and hasn’t left the apartment she shared with her Nana for 32 days.  While Lucy wants to begin college, Nana proposes an alternate plan.  Go to middle school for at least 1 year. Make 1 friend. Join 1 activity. Read 1 book that is not math related.  Nana wins.

Lucy accomplishes her first goal quickly.  On her first bus ride to school, she becomes friends with socially conscious Windy.  But adjusting to middle school is still tough especially because of Lucy’s constant need to sanitize, her repetitive sitting behavior, and her desire to keep her giftedness hidden from her peers including Windy.   A group service project with Windy and budding photographer Levi gives Lucy the opportunity to use her math genius for a good cause-helping dogs gets adopted at a local shelter.  At the shelter, Lucy meets Cutie Pi, a chihuahua with a lightning bolt spot on its back and is determined to find him a home.  Being a dog mom, seeing Lucy’s affection for Pi was heartwarming.

Lucy soon learns that all things are not easy to calculate.   As a reader, I calculate one important lesson. If you have a couple of friends who accept you for who you are, you are pretty lucky.   Special thanks to Allison Stout, a fellow #bookexcursion member for sharing an ARC of The Miscalculations of Lighting Girl that she received at NCTE.  Look for its release in May 2018.

Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin

Baby Monkey is on the case helping clients locate lost jewels, missing pizza, and a stolen spaceship.  Putting on his pants.  Well, that is another story.

At 187 pages, Baby Monkey, Private Eye looks and even feels like a full length chapter book.  Once opened, readers will find a whole new format- a combination of  chapter book, picture book, beginning reader, and graphic novel.   Written in large font, Serlin’s text is sparse and repeats in the first few chapters which builds young readers’ confidence and provides schema for the last two chapters.  Caldecott medalist Selznick’s pencil illustrations are chocked full of details. In each chapter, the illustrations subtly provides clues of Baby Monkey’s next case.

As a reading specialist, I love Baby Monkey, Private Eye!  I can recommend it to primary grade students who yearn to read a chapter book.  The novel is also perfect for my intermediate students who are still developing readers.  Hope there will be more cases for Baby Monkey to solve!  It released in February 2018.

I’m Sad by Michael Ian Black  Illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

In the sequel to I’m Bored, a flamingo announces to a little girl and a potato that he is sad.  His friends affirm that feeling sad is natural. Everyone, even potatoes, feel sad sometimes (giggle, giggle). The little girl and potato console Flamingo by sharing things that cheer them up like ice cream, hockey, and dirt (giggle, giggle, again).   While Flamingo is still sad, he learns that his friends still like him no matter what!

I’m Sad teaches children that friends can’t always fix your problems but their loyalty can be the best support. Black beautifully conveys the book’s message with few words and Ohi’s bold and colorful illustrations perfectly match the text. Despite its title,  it would be hard to remain sad while reading. With its sense of humor, the potato will keep readers laughing from beginning to end!  Black and Ohi’s collaboration in bringing a potato to life was the highlight for me!  I can’t wait to share this read aloud for #classroombookaday!

Special thanks to Debbie Ridpath Ohi for sending an ARC of I’m Sad to our #bookexcursion group.  Look for its release in June 2018.

The Gorilla Picked Me by Michele McAvoy  Illustrated by Valentina Carboni

Olive considers herself plain and ordinary always blending in rather than standing out. Olive wishes just once that she would get picked out from a crowd.  When Olive was eight, her wish finally comes true.  Attending a dance with her father as her date, he steps away briefly telling Olive he’ll be back in a jiffy.  In his absence, a gorilla tooting a kazoo appears. He chooses Olive to be his dancing partner making her the center of attention.  Right after the gorilla leaves, her father returns and she shares her exciting news.  On the last page, as they walk home, a kazoo can be seen in her father’s back pocket.

Michele McAvoy wrote a sweet story about the love between a little girl and her father.  Illustrator Valentina Carboni’s adorable illustrations tenderly show their mutual affection for each other and how this one small act of kindness can have positive effects.

Special thanks to Michele McAvoy for sending Beagles and Books an e-copy of The Gorilla Picked Me. It published in February 2018.

Featured Dog Selection of the Week

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

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My Old Pal, Oscar by Amy Hest Illustrated by Amy Bates

Regardless your age, it’s hard to say goodbye to a pet.  Amy Hest tenderly shares a story that celebrates the bond between a boy and his beloved dog while capturing how your heart still has room to love another pet.  Amy Bates’ warm and peaceful watercolor and pencil illustrations complement the story perfectly.

When a little boy meets a stray puppy on the beach, he is not interested in becoming friends.   The boy is still mourning the loss of his old pal, Oscar.  “My only and only dog,” the boy says. The persistent puppy continues to follow the boy on his walk.  During their walk, the boy recounts why Oscar was so special to him.  As a thunderstorm approaches, the boy sees the puppy’s trepidation. Carrying the puppy home, it is clear that the little boy is beginning to warm to the idea of having a new pal in his life.

Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books!  Have a great week! Happy Reading!

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#Bookexcursion, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/5/18

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Etta, Bella, and I are excited to share our reads for another edition of It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  #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:

24 Hours in Nowhere by Dusti Bowling

Thirteen year old Gus lives in Nowhere, Arizona, the least livable town in the United States.  No one has it easy in Nowhere including Gus,  Living with his grandma, money is tight and because of his small size, Gus is frequently bullied by Bo Taylor.  Obsessed with words, Gus feels his only hope out of Nowhere is a high score on the SAT.

At the start of the novel, Gus is indebted to Rossi Scott who saves him from Bo’s torment in exchange for her treasured dirt bike.  Feeling responsible, Gus agrees to enter Dead Frenchman’s Mine in search for gold to buy the bike back.  While Gus first embarks on his journey alone,  he is soon joined by Matthew, one of Bo’s sidekicks, an old friend, Jessie and Rossi herself.

In Dead Frenchman’s Mine, the reader discovers that Gus is not only searching for gold, but also for himself.  During their journey, Rossi challenges Gus to think about his identity.  Is he going to let his past define who he is or will he take charge and be defined by what he does in life?  Like Aven in Bowling’s debut novel Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, Rossi is an exceptional role model for kids. She does not dwell on the past and realizes that she alone has the power to save herself.  She also recognizes strength in others like Gus which is a remarkable trait for a young person.   24 Hours in Nowhere is a book that could be a mirror, window or door for readers of all ages.  Gus, Rossi, Jessie, and Matthew’s experiences gave me such perspective about how life can be for some of my students, which will make me a better teacher and individual.

Special thanks to Dusti Bowling for sending an ARC of 24 Hours in Nowhere to my #bookexcursion group. It will be released in September 2018.

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Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime by Cate Berry Illustrated by Charles Santoso

On the very first page, pajama clad Penguin announces “This is not a bedtime book” with night cap wearing Tiny Shrimp chiming in saying “We don’t do bedtime!”  The adorable characters make it clear that there is no room for typical bedtime rituals such as toothbrushing or counting sheep.  On the contrary, readers will be enticed to stay wide awake with fireworks, vine swinging, hot air balloon rides, songs, jokes and even the rare appearance of a Uni-Hippo! Clearly, storytelling is tiring work!

Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime is a hilarious and highly entertaining picture book from debut author Cate Berry. Not only did I pre-order this book immediately, I now have the perfect recommendation for a bedtime read aloud (sorry Penguin and Tiny Shrimp!) that parents will take great pleasure in reading again and again to their children.  Santoso’s pictures adorably depict Penguin and Tiny Shrimp’s insistence and excitement in staying awake yet by the end of the book, his illustrations subtly and sweetly transition to show their fading energy.  Even the background color of the pages becomes gray to signify the change.  Like Penguin and Tiny Shrimp, Bella is tuckered too!

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A very special thanks to Cate Berry for sending an ARC of Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime to our #bookexcursion group.  Can’t wait for its release May 2018.

When Your…Series by Susanna Leonard Hill Illustrated by Daniel Wiseman

What do you do when your elephant has the sniffles, your llama needs a haircut and your lion need a bath? Check out Susanna Leonard Hill’s When Your..series!  For full review, click here.

 

Featured Dog Selection of the Week

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

Shark Dog! by Ged Adamson

A young girl joins her famous explorer dad on one of his trips.  Sailing home, she hears a noise and then something slobbery wakes her up from her sleep. It’s a shark.  No. It’s a dog. No. It’s Shark Dog! With her father’s permission, the girl takes Shark Dog home. He is quite an unusual pet stalking a cat like a shark and fetching slippers like a dog when underwater.  On a trip to Shark Dog’s favorite place, the beach, he spys what he thinks is another shark dog but it is just a beach toy.  This makes Shark Dog very sad.

Thinking he is homesick, the girl and her dad decide to take Shark Dog back to his home where he is greeted enthusiastically by his fellow shark dogs.   Will this make Shark Dog happy?  Read this heartwarming story about to find out!  Shark Dog is adorably drawn with both dog and shark like features. Young readers will be captivated by the colorful and detailed illustrations.  I especially loved the spread when the characters are traveling on plane to Shark Dog Island.

Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books!  Have a great week! Happy Reading!

happiness-is-a-warm-puppy-and-a-good-book

#Bookexcursion, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/19/18

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Etta, Bella, and I are excited to share our reads for another edition of It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  #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:

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Takedown by Laura Shovan

Told in alternating points of view, Takedown is the story of six grade wrestlers, Mikayla and Lev.  In Mikayla’s family, wresting is their thing.  At the start of the novel, Mikayla (known as Mickey on the mat) is ready to move up from a rec league and follow in her brothers’ footsteps by joining the Eagles travel team.  The Eagles coach Dr. Spence though is not willing to accept girl wrestlers.  As a result, Mikayla makes the bold decision to join the Gladiators, the Eagles rival team.  Lev also comes from an athletic family and has been a member of the Gladiators for a few years.  So when Coach Billy pairs him with Mickey for training, Lev is at first reluctant about having a girl partner.  Slowly, Lev warms up to the idea and realizes that Mickey understands better than anyone what it means to work hard and push yourself.

Sports have never been my thing but I devoured Takedown.  Laura Shovan wrote a engaging and captivating story that will appeal to all readers.  I absolutely loved the format of the novel hearing from both Mikayla’s and Lev’s perspective, which revealed their determination, competitiveness, and insecurities.  A very special thanks to Laura Shovan for sending Takedown to our #bookexcursion group. For my full review, click here.

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The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas

Told in the second person, The Care and Feeding of a Black Hole is a conversation that eleven year old Stella has with her father who recently passed away.   The story begins with Stella being rebuffed at the NASA gates.  She wished to meet with astronomer Carl Sagan and deliver a precious recording for the Voyager’s Golden Record.  On her way home, Stella is followed by a black hole that she names Larry and decides to keep as a pet.

Stella quickly learns that a black hole can come in handy by getting rid of tangible items she dislikes such as Aunt Celeste’s itchy sweaters, brussels sprouts, and her younger brother Cosmos’ Fuzzle record.  Eager to get rid of memories of her dad which make Stella sad, she collects items such as her father’s old red hat, her bug collection, and even the recording of her dad’s laugh.  Stella places them all in a box and feeds them to Larry. To her surprise, her actions have serious consequences.  Her mom stops calling her by her nickname Bug and her father’s red hat no longer appears in a framed photo.

When her new dog (The Dog with No Name) disappears into Larry, Stella ventures into the black hole to rescue the dog, her brother (who inadvertently gets swallowed by Larry) and most importantly herself.  Through her journey, Stella learns how to face her grief and finds a way to move forward realizing that her father will always be with her.

Michelle Cuevas’ brilliant writing had me both laughing and crying.  I listened to the audio version narrated by Laura Ortiz on my way to and from work but I found myself rereading the actual novel which included amusing black and white illustrations.  I was glad to have experienced both mediums for it made my reading experience even richer.

Geraldine by Elizabeth Lilly

Being the new kid at school isn’t easy but for Geraldine it is even harder.  Why?  Geraldine is the only giraffe in a school full of human children.  She misses blending in with all the other giraffes in Giraffe City.  One day when Geraldine goes to her lunch hiding spot, she meets a girl named Cassie who feels like an outsider too. Together Geraldine and Cassie learn that they are not defined by being a giraffe or liking math and wearing glasses. Their friendship gives Geraldine the confidence to introduce herself and Cassie to other classmates.

Written and illustrated by debut author Elizabeth Lilly, Geraldine is a tender story that can teach students about the power of having that one friend who like you for just being you.  Special thanks to Macmillan Kids for providing our #bookexcursion group with an ARC.  Look for its release in June 2018.

Featured Dog Selection of the Week

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

A Book for Benny by Judith Koppens Illustrated by Marja Meijer

Sam is enjoying reading on a rainy day but her dog Benny thinks differently.  “Reading is fun!” she tells Benny.  When Benny walks away, Sam realizes that perhaps it is her book, not reading, that Benny dislikes.  So off to the library Sam and Benny go to pick out a book just for Benny.

Entering the library, Sam is quickly told that dogs are not allowed inside.  As Benny waits outside, Sam shows him books about knights and the circus.  Ben’s actions clearly show his distaste in Sam’s choices.  Digging deep in a book bin, Sam finally thinks she’s found the perfect book.  Sam wags his tail, barks, and licks the window in agreement.

A Book for Benny is a great read aloud to teach students the power of choice and interest when reading.  As a reading specialist, I not only get excited when students love a book, but also when they are honest and tell me that a book doesn’t appeal to them.  Finding the right book at the right time is so important!

Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books!  Have a great week! Happy Reading!

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#Bookexcursion, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/12/18

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Etta, Bella, and I are excited to share our reads for another edition of It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  #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:

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The Battle of Junk Mountain by Lauren Abbey Greenberg

Shayne lives in Maryland and always spends summers on Thomas Cove with her grandmother Bea and her best friend Poppy.  Nostalgic for summers past, this vacation is different.  Poppy’s free time is limited because she has to work at her father’s grocery store. Bea is not ready to let go of her treasured collectibles as Shayne is organizing  and pricing them for sale at a flea market. Then to her surprise, Shayne develops an unlikely friendship with Civil War obsessed Linc, the grandson of Bea’s neighbor Cranky.

The Battle of Junk Mountain is a definitely a page turner. Lauren tackles not only familiar topics like changing and new friendships but also the serious topic of hoarding.  Although she can tackle new situations like banding lobster claws and driving a boat, it is evident that Shayne like Bea is holding on to the past and apprehensive about change.  Growing up and letting go is hard, but Shayne learns that change can actually surprise you in a good way.

A sincere thank you to fellow Marylander Lauren Abbey Greenberg for sharing an ARC of The Battle of Junk Mountain with my #bookexcursion group.  Look for its release in April 2018.  To read my full review, click here.

Beep and Bob: Too Much Space by Jonathan Roth

Bob attends Astro Elementary, a school near Saturn where only the bravest and smartest students get admitted.  Bob never intended to go to school in space but his plan of failing the admissions test backfired.  Who knew that choosing C for every answer would result in the only perfect score? Each chapter is Bob’s space blog entry or SPLOG with his alien sidekick Beep drawing the illustrations.  In Bob’s first SPLOG,  he explains how he met Beep, a little lost alien who thinks Bob is his new mother.

Bob’s adventures include getting his tongue stuck to ice on Pluto and accidentally having alien brain freeze sprayed in his eyes, which alters Bob’s personality.  His new-found confidence and knowledge propels Professor Zoome to take the class on a trip to a super massive black hole.  Will Bob and his classmates survive this dangerous class trip?

Like Lauren Abbey Greenberg, author/illustrator Jonathan Roth hails from my home state of Maryland.  Beep and Bob is a humorous and “sporky” transitional chapter book series that I look forward to sharing with students.  I was excited to discover that Too Much Space is the first book in the series.

Thank you to fellow #bookexcursion member Allison Stout for sharing her ARC from NCTE.  Beep and Bob: Too Much Space along with Book 2 Party Crashers publishes in March 2018.

Featured Dog Selection of the Week

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

Tiny and the Big Dig by Sherri Duskey Rinker Illustrated by Matt Myers

Tiny smells a bone. A BIG bone. So he starts digging. When a larger dog, a cat, and a bird discount his ability,  Tiny maintains his confidence that he is strong enough to bring that bone home. Tiny isn’t the only one who is optimistic, for his young owner also believes in him.

Written in rhyme, Tiny and the Big Dig is a story that celebrates strength and determination.  This quote sums its theme completely.

Matt Myers’ bold illustrations capture Tiny’s sheer willpower in obtaining his goal-a BIG, BIG bone. Tiny and the Big Dig will be a great addition for #classroombookaday.

Thank you so much for visiting Beagles and Books!  Have a great week!  Happy Reading!

#Bookexcursion, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/5/18

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Etta, Bella, and I are eager to share our latest reads for It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #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:

The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras

Wee lass Drest and her family are attacked by knights from Faintree Castle.  Drest desperately wants to join her father, Mad Wolf of the North and her five brothers in this battle, but Mad Wolf orders her to hide. She witnesses her family bound, captured, and sailing away from her.  Her only hope of finding her family is a young knight named Emerick who Drest witnessed being attacked by one of his own men.  She strikes a deal with Emerick to take him to Faintree Castle and in return, he will release one of her brothers, although Drest plans to rescue her entire family.

Throughout their journey, Drest hears tales of her family’s brutality from Emerick, which she does not believe to be true.  In addition, a bandit by the name of Jupp shares his own story of her father’s cruelty.  Drest begins to realizes that words are strong weapons because not only is she beginning to doubt her family but also she is struggling to figure out her own identity. Can a warrior be brave and kind?

The Mad Wolf’s Daughter is an adventure that has action and heart.  With each chapter, Diane Magras kept me on the edge both excited and afraid to read on.  I absolutely love Drest who learns that you can’t always control our own legend, and sometimes words not swords can save lives.

A very special thanks to Diane Magras for providing our #bookexcursion group with an ARC of The Mad Wolf’s Daughter.  Pre-order NOW so you have it in your hands on March 6, 2018.

Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen

Abby Hunter is a student at Smith School for Children.  But it turns out that the boarding school is not what it appears to be.  The school is actually a cover for an elite spy ring named the Center.  And Abby’s mother, Jennifer, is the Center’s most talented agent.  At first, Abby cannot believe her mother hid her occupation from her, but as Abby looks back on her childhood, she begins to connect the dots.

For the past decade, Jennifer has been chasing the Ghost, a threatening criminal.  Mrs. Smith informs Abby that her mother is missing; therefore, they need Abby’s help in finding her.  During Spy Training 101, Abby does find a friend in Toby, a fellow student who is a whiz with technology.  His iPhone apps are amazing! But frenemy Veronica is less than enthused with teaching Abby.  After a failed attempt to locate her mom, Abby decides to take matters in her own hands and show everyone that she is indeed her mother’s daughter.

Beth McMullan’s new series is definitely one I will recommend to students.  In fact, after reading the synopsis, I have a student waiting for me to bring this book to school tomorrow. Taking place in present day, young readers will be able to relate to the characters even though the setting and plot is far different from their own lives.  Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls published in July 2017 but readers only have to wait until July 2018 for the second installment-Power Play. Can’t wait to read and share on Beagles and Books!

Featured Dog Selection of the Week

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

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The Pillow Keeps Moving by Laura Gehl Illustrated by Christopher Weyant

A dog and cat are shivering outside of a pillow store.  While the cat stands guard, the dog enters the pillow store, curls up in the warmth, and is bought by a man.  When the man complains that his “pillow” is broken, the salesman asks him a series of questions which are all answered in the affirmative.  The story continues with the dog posing as a footstool and coat.  Finally, the man who lives alone realizes that the dog has other talents, as all dogs do!

Told with relatively few words, The Pillow Keeps Moving is a story that begs to be read again and again.  Readers must pay close attention to the illustrations because they are crucial to the plot.

The Pillow Keeps Moving was released in January 2018.  I can’t wait to read it as a pick for #classroombookaday with students.

Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books.  Have a great week!  Happy Reading!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/29/18

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Etta, Bella, and I are eager to share our latest reads for It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #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:

11:11 Wish by Kim Tomsic

Megan is going through a lot of adjustments.  Her mom recently passed away and her family has moved from Colorado to Arizona.  Moving means leaving her best friend Hannah and starting over at a new middle school.

On her very first day, Megan gets zapped, which is a ritual for new students.  She must do a dare by the end of the day.  Her assignment-do something exciting by 3 p.m.  If that isn’t enough on her plate,  Megan becomes stuck in the middle of the battle for Spirit Week Captain between fellow seventh graders, Rhena and Ally.  Megan’s luck changes when in her history class, she sees a cat clock identical to one her grandmother had in her kitchen.  She recalls a rhyme that her grandmother said “Pop. Click. Seconds tick. Wish at eleven-eleven, and watch it stick.”  It can’t hurt to wish for something exciting like snow, right?  After her wish does comes true, Megan slowly realizes that this newly acquired magical power comes with some adverse consequences.

11:11 Wish is an enchanting story not only trying to fit in but also finding yourself. Readers will be sympathetic of  Megan’s dilemma.  She wants to have a fresh start at her new school and becomes caught up in Rhena and Ally’s rivalry as soon as she arrives.  As the drama unfolds at school, Megan needs to decide whether she wants to keep using magic to get friends or show her true self.

Special thanks to Kim Tomsic for providing our #bookexcursion group with an ARC of 11:11 Wish.  Look for its release soon on February 13, 2018.

Walter & Dragon: 100 Friends by Ariel Bernstein

Warren and his family are moving, which means he will need to make new friends.  But unlike his twin sister, Ellie, making friends does not come easy to Warren.  Besides, Warren already has a best friend, Dragon.  To everyone else, Dragon may be a stuffed animal, but to Warren, Dragon is real and he is the only one who sees Dragon in that way.

Making friends is a challenge, but losing a contest to Ellie is worse; therefore, Warren declares that he will make 100 new friends.   Accepting Dragon’s advice that friends like compliments, Warren attempts to make friends in school.  Warren’s compliments though are not always taken well. By the end of the first day of school, Warren hasn’t made any new friends, and Dragon goes missing!  Can Warren find his one and only friend? Will Warren ever make a real friend?

Warren & Dragon is a fun new transitional chapter book series that is sure to be a hit with young readers.  Author Ariel Bernstein has created a relatable character in Warren, for he encounters typical kid problems such as sibling rivalry and making friends. Warren’s relationship with Dragon show his imagination, for what child hasn’t pretended his/her favorite animal was alive?

Special thanks to author Ariel Bernstein for providing our #bookexcursion group with an ARC of Walter & Dragon: 100 Friends.  Look for its release along with Book 2 Warren & Dragon: Weekends with Chewy in August 2018.

The Boo-Boos That Changed the World: A True Story About An Accidental Invention (Really!) by Barry Wittenstein Illustrated by Chris Hsu

Did you ever wonder how Band-Aids were invented?  If so, you are in luck.  Author Barry Wittenstein humorously tells the story of Earle Dickson and how Band-Aids came to be.

It seems Earle’s wife, Josephine was accident prone especially in the kitchen. When preparing meals, it was common for Josephine to cut or burn herself. To make matters worst, bandaging herself with bulky towels caused her to injure herself even more.  Earle took pity on his young wife fearing her cuts would become infected.  Fortunately, for Josephine, Earle was not only the son of a doctor but also worked for a hospital supply company.  Ever hear of Johnson & Johnson?

After some thoughtful pondering, Earle designed the first “band aid” which consisted of adhesive tape, sterile gauze, and crinoline.  Josephine’s boo boos were now covered, and they lives happily ever after, right?  But..wait!  Earle realized that Josephine was not the only person who could benefit from his invention. He shared his bandage with his boss, James Johnson, who agreed to produce and sell them as Band-Aids.

To the readers’ surprise, Band-Aids were not an overnight success.  It was not until they were mass produced by a machine and given away to the Boy Scouts and the army during World War II that Band-Aids became a hit not just in the United States but all over the world!

Told in a playful narrative, Wittenstein’s account of Earle’s invention is highly engaging and entertaining.  In my district, our third graders just finished a unit, Inventions and Innovations so I cannot wait to share this book with students.  In the author’s note, Wittenstein admits he invented Earle and Josephine’s dialogue and shares additional information about Earle.  Chris Hsu’s illustrations transport the reader back to that time period and make the story come alive.  Also included at the end of the book is a timeline, a list of other medical inventions from the 1920s and 1930s, and websites for further research.  The next time I use a Band-Aid, I will think fondly of Earle and thank him for his ingenuity.

Special thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for providing our #bookexcursion group with a copy of The Boo Boos That Changed the World.  Look for its release soon in February 2018.

Love, Mama by Jeanette Bradley

Kipling’s mama is off on a trip and he misses her.  Although he tries to soothe himself with replacements such as Pillow Mama and Picture Mama, they do not comfort him. When the doorbell rings, Kipling discovers a sad, soggy box outside his home.  It’s from Mama! Contained in the package was a paper heart with a special message from Mama who reminds Kipling how immense she loves him.  Kipling returns the favor by creating and mailing his own box which professes his mutual love for her.  To Kipling’s surprise, Mama returns home with his care package in hand!

Love, Mama is a heartwarming story that affirms love when distance separates us from family.  Jeanette Bradley’s illustrations are adorable and tenderly show Kipling’s longing for his mother, his happiness when he receives his Mama’s special delivery, and his excitement when she returns home.  In fact, reading Love, Mama takes me back to a time when receiving a card or a package in the mail from a loved one was the best present ever.

Special thanks to author Jeanette Bradley for providing our #bookexcursion group with a copy of Love, MamaLove, Mama recently published in January 2018.

Featured Dog Selection of the Week

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

Back to Forth and Upside Down by Claire Alexander

It’s Principal Slippers’ birthday! Young pup Stan and his class are making him birthday cards.  Stan loves to draw but his teacher Miss Catnip reminds the class that cards include writing too. Uh oh!  As Stan begins to copy Happy Birthday from the board, he notices his letters are back to front and upside down.  Frustrated Stan is even more discouraged when all his other classmates seems to be writing with ease.

At recess, depressed Stan honestly confides to his classmate Jack that he can’t write.  Jack is supportive and tells Stan to ask Miss Catnip for help reminding him we all have to ask for help sometimes. The story ends with Stan bravely asking for help and realizing he is not the only student who struggles with writing letters.

Working with kindergarten and first grade students, I love the message of this book.  All students learn at a different pace so Back to Front and Upside Down reinforces that practice is the best way to improve a skill and it’s ok to ask for help.   Author illustrator Clare Alexander’s soft and cute drawings of the animal students will appeal to young readers.  I especially love the illustrations of Stan’s tongue out while writing, This behavior is quite common when I observe young students putting forth their best effort.

Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books.  Have a great week!  Happy Reading!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/22/18

Etta, Bella, and I are eager to share our latest reads for It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #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.img_2105

Our Reads This Week:

R is for Rebel  by J. Anderson Coats

Three generations before Malley was born, the country of Milea was conquered by the New Wealds. After her parents were imprisoned for being resisters to the new government, Malley was sent to a national school. The school’s mission is to reform Malley and other young girls to be loyal Wealdan subjects and train them for domestic service.  From the very first chapter, it is very clear that Malley is her parents’ daughter and is not willing to be reeducated.  She wants to do something song worthy, like her Milean ancestors. At first, she thinks she is alone in her fight, but as the story unfolds, Malley notices that other girls quietly subscribe to the same beliefs as her.  She soon realizes that resistance is all around her in many different forms.

R is for Rebel is a novel that left me thinking and questioning.  As Malley stated,  “It’s one thing to lose something; another thing to entirely give it up.”  When I first began reading, I wasn’t quite sure if R is for Rebel was a historical fiction or a fantasy.  In the end, it doesn’t matter because like other dystopian novels, Malley’s story teaches us an important lesson-to always personally fight for what you most value.

Special thanks to J. Anderson Coats for providing our #bookexcursion group with an ARC of R is for Rebel.  Look for its release in February 2018.

Isadora Moon Goes to Schoolby Harriet Muncaster

Isadora is special because she is half fairy and half vampire.  The time has come for her to attend school, but does Isadora belong in fairy school or vampire school?  In this first book of the series, Isadora amusingly discovers whether she is more fairy, more vampire or perhaps, she is something all her own. After all, different can beautiful too!

Young readers at my school will definitely sink their fangs into this transitional chapter book series.  Harriet Muncaster’s illustrations are gorgeous using only black and pink colors.  Students will be able to relate to Isadora who is learning about her own identify and how she fits in.

Currently, there are four published books in the U.S..  The fifth book, Isadora Moon Goes to the Ballet will be released on January 23, 2018.  Special thanks to fellow #bookexcursion member Amber Webb for introducing me to the Isadora Moon series.

The Bat Can Bat by Gene Barretta

Homonyms, homophones, and homographs?  No wonder children get confused!

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Permission to post visual granted from Kearson’s Classroom Blog.

Gene Barretta to the rescue! Author of picture books such as Dear Deerand Zoola Palooza is back with The Bat Can Bat, a fun and engaging picture book that teach homonyms, words that have different meanings but sound and are spelled the same.

Set at an athletic event, The Bat Can Bat features 2 homonyms on each page spread.  Readers can use context as well as the illustrations to identify the different meanings of each homonym.   The illustrations are especially important because they provide a visual to support students in understanding each word’s multiple meanings.  Last year, my school had a school-wide focus on teaching multiple meaning words. The Bat Can Bat would have been a great resource for teachers.  Makes me want to revive our initiative!

Special thanks to fellow #bookexcursion member Allison Stout for getting an ARC of The Bat Can Bat from Macmillian Children’s Publishing at the 2017 NCTE convention.

Featured Dog Selection of the Week

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

Frankie by Mary Sullivan

The story begins with Francine affectionately called Frankie leaving the shelter.  As soon as Frankie enters her foster home, she takes in her new surroundings especially things like a ball, bone, toys and a bed.  Frankie quickly realizes all these things belong to Nico, the family dog, and Nico is not willing to share.  Will Frankie get her own toys or will Nico learn to share?

Frankie is a story with few words but a lot of heart.  The adorable illustrations visually tell the story and capture both Frankie and Nico’s emotions. Frankie hits close to home because the story was inspired by author/illustrator Mary Sullivan’s real foster puppy Frankie and a portion of the book’s proceeds are being donated to the shelter Austin Pets Alive.  Shelter pups are dear to my heart because both Etta and Bella are rescues. Luckily, from the first day we brought Bella home, Etta has been very willing to share and still does.

Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books.  Have a great week! Happy Reading!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

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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!