Ballet Orphans by Terez Mertes Rose

Welcome to the blog tour for Ballet Orphans hosted by Rockstar Book Tours!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Did you know I used to dance? I was in ballet, tap, lyrical, jazz, and clogging, which is a story for another day. Reading this book was like a walk down memory lane, and I loved it! Ballet Orphans is the prequel to the Ballet Theatre Chronicles. If you haven’t read the others, I think this is a great place to start the series without feeling like you have missed anything.

This story focuses on April, a soloist at the New York American Ballet Theatre. After some tragic events in her life, she takes the offer to start dancing with the West Coast Ballet Theatre. I loved that this story had the main character moving from one coast to the other. There was a wonderful feeling of a restart with April moving so far away and taking a chance to dance with a new company.

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Escaping Eleven by Jerri Chisholm

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book was amazing! It kept me glued to the pages. The storyline was interesting, and I loved the characters!

This is a dystopian YA novel set generations after the earth has become too hot for humans to live on the surface. The wealthy leaders of Earth built enormous bunkers under the ground and brought laborers with them so that there would be people to run the underground cities and do all the work. Eve lives in Compound Eleven. She’s a lowly 2nd-floor inhabitant, however, it’s better than the 1st floor. Living on the 5th floor are the elite and the privileged. As she looks for a way to escape the compound, she accidentally befriends a 5th-floor boy. She finds that maybe not everyone on the 5th floor is bad…or are they?

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The Adventures of Chips & Salsa by Cynthia Petillo

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a great book for kids to learn a variety of lessons!
✔️ Friendship
✔️ Making new friends
✔️ Being in a new place
✔️ Bullying
✔️ Doing the right thing

Salsa is new to the neighborhood and meets Chips. They spend time playing in the dog park near their homes. They come across dogs that can be new friends, and other dogs that are not so nice. One day Salsa comes across a dog in trouble, but it’s one that was not nice in the past. What does Salso do?

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The Butterfly Tree by Kelly Harrison Spining

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What a lovely story! This is very reminiscent of The Giving Tree, but what I loved about this story is that there is a give and take by both characters in the story. It’s a beautiful, heartwarming story that I highly recommend!

There are three trees. One a beautiful apple tree, one a strong grand oak, and one, a dilapidated scrawny tree. When a butterfly visits the apple tree asking for a place to rest, the snobby apple tree sends the butterfly away. It doesn’t want the butterfly damaging the apples that bring people to the tree. The butterfly stops at the oak next, but it too sends the butterfly away. When the butterfly comes close to the third tree, it invites the butterfly to stop and rest. The two become friends and the butterfly stays with the tree for a while. One morning the tree wakes to find the butterfly gone. He is sad and alone once again, until he feels the soft landing of one, then two, then hundreds of butterflies on his branches. His friend has invited other butterflies to come and rest with the nice, friendly tree.

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Cluck and Fluffy by Ceasar Castro

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I love when children’s books address real-life situations that kids have to deal with. I think that it is so important to address these issues and provide the opportunity to learn and be better!

Cluck and Fluffy are an unlikely pair in this farm-yard story. Cluck is a new rabbit that has been placed in the chicken coop for a short time. The chickens are mean and shun him, making him feel like an outcast. When one chicken finally decides to befriend Cluck, they show that being mean and hurtful is not the right way to act.

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Cow Boy Is Not a Cowboy by Gregory Barrington

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Friendship can come from the most unexpected places. Any children’s book that helps kids be accepting of others is a five-star in my mind!

Goat Girl lives on a boring, mundane farm where everything is extremely ordinary. Goat Girl is NOT ordinary. She likes adventure and trying new things. When she runs into Merle, she thinks he’s a cowboy because he’s a COW and a BOY. Merle, however, does not want to be called a cowboy. Goat Girl refuses to give up on pulling Merle out of his shell, and the two of them become quite the adorable pair.

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Elephant Ears by Fanya Randall

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bullying is such a sad, real thing for children. This book tackles this mean, hurtful thing with a wonderful story that helps children understand what bullying is, and what they should do when it happens.

Max is so excited to start school, but when a bully starts calling him “elephant ears”, he doesn’t know what to do. His friends don’t know what to do either, and Max feels very alone. When one friend stands up to the bully, it helps Max stand up to him too.

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Lucky’s Adventure in the Great Outdoors by Elizabeth Macy

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Lucky’s Adventure in the Great Outdoors was such a cute children’s book! Lucky Charm is a friendly puppy with a wonderful family that is heading to the great outdoors for a camping trip! Lucky and Hershey (the kitty) head out from the campsite and come across two woodland creatures. They ask to play, and the Moose and fox are rude, saying NO! We don’t like city animals. Moments later the animals hear a bird in trouble. They work together to save the bird and become friends. The group continues to travel through the woods, having fun, and picking up new friends along the way!

This book is perfect for children. The animals make it fun for the kids to enjoy the introduction of each new character. Who will they meet next? My kids couldn’t wait to find out! The variety of animals made every new friend an exciting event!

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The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The Jane Austen Society is filled with conversations about Austen’s work and characters. It was an absolute delight to read about people that loved her books and enjoyed discussing them.

My Synopsis:

It’s just at the end of World War II in England. We are introduced individually to a group of people that have one thing in common, a love for Jane Austen.
🙋‍♂️ A village worker who is lonely and living with his mother.
🙋‍♂️ A widowed doctor trying to find happiness without his wife.
🙋‍♂️ A lawyer for the Austen estate.
🙋‍♂️ An auction house employee.
🙋 A pregnant war-widow.
🙋 An American movie star in the twilight of her career.
🙋 A young housekeeper with a brilliant mind.
🙋 The Heir Apparent to a Jane Austen residence

That is quite the eclectic group of people! They each for relationships with one another through completely different avenues as the book progresses. This group takes one little idea and collaborates to build it into a functioning society when it looks like one of the Austen estates could change ownership.

How I Felt:

I think that I may have made my synopsis sound a bit like a game of Clue and that is not what this book is at all…so mystery readers…sorry. The Jane Austen Society is a beautiful story of building unlikely friendships, personal growth and overcoming loss and disappointment. Each character has their own troubles that they struggle with throughout the story, and the friendships they form help them to become the person they want to be.

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Going Through the Change by Samantha Bryant

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Going Through the Change had these great character changes that I was so interested in! I loved reading about the new struggles that each character went through with the introduction of a superhero skill for each person.

How I Felt:

The writing was well-done. The story had a nice flow and was easy to dive into. It was pretty fast-paced and really never slowed down. I liked the way each chapter focused on a different character. It gave different me different angles of the story and the opportunity to view a scene from a different perspective.

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Dog Town by Debbie L Richardson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The world that Debbie L Richardson built for Dog Town was adorable! I loved the separation of the big dogs and the little dogs into two different parts of town: Big Rover and Little Rover. There are dog laws that must be followed and rules that, while not laws, are obeyed just the same. It was easy to drop right into this world and enjoy the story.

How I Felt:

The characters are so easy to love. Harry, a Little Rover resident, is the main character and is a good boy who follows Dog Law…well mostly. He loves running and enters the little dog races all the time. When he wins, he secretly leads a group of dogs into Big Rover, which is against Dog Law. So, maybe, there’s one or two laws he likes to break 😃 Harry’s group of friends, Junior and Fleabag are great sidekicks for him, each offering a different personality that makes them an adorable trio.

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Wobbly Willie Bakes a Cake by Richard Quisenberry – Kids Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Wobbly Willie Bakes a Cake shows children how important friends are. I loved that Willie wanted to make his friend’s birthday so special. It created a nice story for a child.

How I Felt:

The main character, Willie, has such a big heart. I like how he can be a role model for a child. He is caring, kind, and determined. When he realizes he can’t do something all by himself, he isn’t afraid to ask for help. I think children will connect with him and enjoy his personality.

The diversity throughout the other characters is wonderful to see in a children’s book. I find this happening more and more with new releases of children’s books, and I love that kids are finally getting a real view of what their social circles, and families, look like in books.

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