Strong Like Water by Laila Tarraf

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Book cover "Strong Like Water" with cover image of water rippling
Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book is all memoir, self-help, and inspiration. I loved that while it discusses ways to be stronger in a business setting, this story really prepares you to be successful in life.

Tarraf takes the reader on her emotional journey of heartbreak and growth. I was saddened reading about Laila’s childhood where her parents’ fighting turned physical, creating a poor home environment for her. After she started her own family, she endured a devastating loss of her husband as well as both of her parents. Her story talks about her therapy and finding a way through her grief. The things that she learns, she speaks to us about applying in our daily lives, both personally and professionally.

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LET’S TALK! A story of Autism and Friendship by Lisa Jacovsky

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Harper, a seven-year-old little girl that is typically developing, meets a new friend one day at the pool that is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. They both love to swim at the pool and want to play together however, Emma has little communication skills. Emma can make sounds and not words and flaps her hands when she is excited. When Harper realizes she cannot communicate with her new friend she becomes determined to find a way to. She begins to learn about Autism Spectrum Disorder and the different ways that Emma can communicate. Once she does the two become inseparable. Harper introduces Emma to all her friends and teaches them how to communicate with Emma. Harper and Emma become the center of their circle of friends and have more many more adventures together.

Just the Facts:

LET’S TALK! A story of Autism and Friendship by Lisa Jacovsky
Genre: Childrens
Page Count: 32 pages
Publisher: Lisa Jacovsky
Pub Date: July 2020

Where to Find This Book:

Amazon ~ BAM ~ B&N ~ IndieBoundGoodreads

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I had the chance to interview Lisa Jacovsky! Check out our conversation!

What advice would you like to give to a kid or an adult who wants to begin his career in your field?

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Zippy’s Special Gift by Therese Van Ryne

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book was absolutely adorable! I really loved the focus on accepting what makes you special and seeing what is special about others! Children will enjoy the fun way this message is told through Zippy and his animal friends!

Zippy is a zebra that doesn’t like her stripes! As we journey with her through the book though, we learn that her stripes make her special, and that we each have something that makes us special too. This was a book that both of my kids were really interested in. They enjoyed learning about what made each of Zippy’s friends unique!

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The Path to Sunshine Cove by RaeAnne Thayne

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a beautiful story with a setting that I thoroughly enjoyed! Oh my, I want to visit Sunshine Cove now! The ocean views, and the people that live there sound amazing! This is book 2 in the series “Cape Sanctuary”, but if you haven’t read book one, do not worry! I think you’ll be completely fine, this can be read as a stand-alone.

The characters are wonderful and easy to connect with. They feel so real, they could be your actual friends. Jess and Rachel are sisters separated from each other in their teenage years. Sunshine Cove provides an opportunity for the two of them to reconnect, and it’s an absolutely lovely story!

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War at the Ice Cream Store by Cheryl DaVeiga and Dave Gibson

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Wow, this was an absolutely wonderful book! I think I enjoyed reading it just as much as my kids, and it is definitely one that we can read over and over and continue to enjoy! We are big fans of ice cream in this house, and the wonderfully fun character names had us laughing!

Not only was this book full of fun that had us giggling and soaking in the cute images, it also had a great message that every child should read. There is a bullying storyline that really shows children the hurtful nature of it. I really liked how the other ice cream friends/flavors come to the rescue and stand up for Mustachio Pistachio when King Bully Vanilli targets him!

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When the Sun Met the Moon by Simran Mohinani

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Book Genre "Learning" with "Learn" spelled in blocks

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Do you think the Sun could get lonely up there in the big sky all by itself? This story is the tale of just that! After getting tired of being alone in the sky day after day, the Sun sets out on an adventure to find the perfect match…the Moon!

I thought this was a really cute children’s story of a light-hearted search for love in the great big atmosphere. It was a well-written and had my kids completely engaged. I loved how the Sun was getting “burnt out” and needed the support of another to help out. A very cute and fun read overall!

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Tastes Like Murder: A Fiona Quinn Mystery by C.S. McDonald

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Book cover with wine bottle and glass dresses as bride and groom
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Tastes Like Murder was such a great cozy mystery! This is the fourth book in the series, but I really think it can be read as a stand-alone, so if this is the book you want to use to jump into the series, go for it!

I really enjoyed the murder mystery in this one. The setting for this one is at wedding-type venues and events. I really liked the extra twists that brought to the story! I thought it was really interesting, and the surprises along the way that kept me listening at every possible moment!

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It Happened in Tuscany by Gail Mencini

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a story of friendship, hardship, family, and love. I was surprised by the deep emotions this book drew out of me! It was a lovely journey.

We follow Will and his neighbor, Sophie, as they travel to Italy. Their friendship seems impossible, but grows into a bond that is absolutely lovely. I love what an absolute grump Will is. His attitude creates the best payoff for the reader as Sophie works to thaw him and their friendship forms.

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Marvellous Macey, The Delightful Days by Caitlin Bangsund

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Marvellous Macey is certain quite the fabulous little lady! She is filled with joy and happiness, and just looking at her smile makes you smile!

I liked how the story lets the reader know that Macey has challenges in her everyday life. There are things that are hard for her to do, but she doesn’t let those keep her down. She has so many talents and special qualities that she excels at, and she takes full advantage of those!

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Back to the Burgh and Beyond by C.S. McDonald

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Rating: 3 out of 5.

Back to the Burgh and Beyond is a fun cozy mystery with a time travel element. The play on the Back to the Future title was a great way to title this story! I thought this was a good clean story that readers of all ages can enjoy.

Alexa Owl is the new owner of The Owl’s Nest Couturier Shoppe. She gain not only a new business, but also a resident angel with the ability to time travel! Bobby was a detective in life, but in death he’s trying to gain his Guardian Angel Squad wings. He needs to solve a murder in 4 days, and enlists Alexa’s help to do it.

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Shoe Wars by Liz Pichon

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

This story is full of fun, laughs, dogs, and an evil shoe villain…what more could a middle-grade reader ask for?

Told through a narrator that grabs your interest right from the start, this is a book that is hard to put down. It’s light-hearted, but still managed to hit on topics of importance. I really enjoyed that this is a chapter book, but had create illustrations throughout the pages to help support the story.

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Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

As a child, I had allergies to every kind of animal, so my heart went out to Maggie in this book! It’s hard to be a kid and not be able to get a pet when you want one so bad!

I really enjoyed that this story hits on multiple situations that young readers deal with in every day life. There is friendship and fights, new siblings, and of course, our pet drama and allergies. In graphic novel format, this story flew by! This was a well-written, wonderful book, and readers will really connect with Maggie and her story!

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