There are just some authors that can drop you into a historical timeline with such ease that you feel like you were born there. Kari Bovee is one of those authors. She has a gift for storytelling that leaves the reader always wanting more of her stories!
Bones of the Redeemed takes place in 1950’s New Mexico. Ruby Delgado, an archaeology grad student stumbles across a buried pile of bodies that clearly do not belong at the dig site. She knows something is not right, but as she digs deeper, it seems that what she uncovers is dangerous, and no one believes her. She might just be the only person willing to save the town, but can she stay safe while doing it?
So, I tend to pick books based off the title and the cover. Usually, that is enough for me to know I want to read the book, and I usually think I know what the book will be about. That’s not always the case though! How to Pack for the End of the World was one of those books that held surprises under the cover for me! It is not an apocalyptic story, but a mystery surrounding a group of friends at their school.
Amina has just started a new school due to her anxiety and consistent focus on dooms-day situations. She finds some like-minded friends, and they create a new group where they focus on survivalist techniques. They create increasingly intense and difficult challenges that the group needs to succeed in. Someone is attacking the group one by one on social media though, and the need to figure out who it is.
There is a note at the end of this book where the author talks about how as a child, there were not holiday stories that showed children of the same color as her. So as an adult, she wrote one. I cried reading this. What a beautiful offering to the children of our world!
In the Nick of Time is a Christmas story about a boy that doesn’t quite understand how good of a life he has. He’s not aware of the hardships some others in his school are living through. And then, Nick Saint accidentally gets mail for Saint Nick. This letter opens his eyes and his heart, taking him on a last minute rush to save Christmas for another student in his school.
This book was adorable. As someone who has worked in an office her entire adult life, I found the characters hilarious, and so like what you find in an office environment. The kids loved the animals and found the story to be a lot of fun!
This story is about an alligator that is starting his first day at the office and tries to take the advice of his co-workers on how to fit in. He finds that each co-worker’s advice is just not a good fit for him, and to truly find his rhythm at the office, he needs to just be himself.
I thought this was such a cute children’s book! The illustrations were bright and colorful, and the story was so much fun.
The Goose on the Roof is about a little girl with a problem to solve. The problem is the goose that won’t stop honking on her roof! She is offered help by quite a few friends such as a dog, a flea, and so many other things, but it’s not until her father steps in that she is able to truly fix the problem.
I loved this book. There are so many children dealing with things, and I think it is so important to help other children understand those diseases, situations, or other things. This story features a little girl’s story of alopecia universalis and how her family helped her feel comfortable by creating scarves out of her artwork.
I loved that this was about a real girl, Rosie. When I read a book with my children, we love to read the information at the end of the book that talks about the author and the inspiration from the story. This book is published by Mascot Books, and they are great at adding this type of information in their books!
What a timely story to be reading right now. While this is a work of fiction, the author has written this story based on her own experiences during her time teaching in a Louisiana school in 1969. I loved the different perspectives that this story provided, and I found myself deeply moved by the characters!
The story provides three alternative views, and I really liked reading each one. We have Colleen, a young white teacher who has a lot to learn about how the southern residents live. Then there is Frank, a black high school football player, and finally, Evelyn, a black teacher who has been around a while.
PINTO! is the only horse to complete a 1912 – 1915 horseback journey to visit all forty-eight state capitols with the “Overland Westerners”. This book takes that real-life event and tells it through the eyes of Pinto. I really enjoyed M.J. Evan’s choice to make the horse the narrator of this story. It did create a fictionalized feel to the story, however, it was obvious that she had worked hard to research and provide real information surrounding this historic event.
This book was filled with exciting battles and struggles! It was definitely my favorite in the series and an excellent end to the family’s story!
How I Felt:
Our main character Ella is turning 15! Her birthday celebration involves continuing the family’s journey to find a cure for Ella’s cancer. This family is so amazing. The lengths that they go to to save young Ella are so moving. This final book in the series really speaks to the choices we all have to make in life. Will we be compassionate or unloving? Will we choose to embrace or exclude? Ella and her entire family battle these questions as they navigate the final steps of their journey!
I read a lot of historical fiction, and a significant amount of those books revolves around WWII, so I’m always excited when I find a book that provides a new perspective on the war. The Takeaway Men was a beautiful, emotional journey into the lives of holocaust survivors as they immigrate to America. We experience their joys and sorrows as they try to navigate a new world, and it is a beautiful story.
How I Felt:
The Lubinski family has experienced so many horrors at the hands of the Nazis during World War II and has decided to make a fresh start in America. This new country is so different from anything they have experienced before. It is vast, loud, and new. While the twin girls begin to settle in quickly, Aron is plagued by his past. His Holocaust experiences are a secret from his girls, which creates a rift between the father and his daughters. When their Hebrew school covers the war and the treatment of Jewish people, the girls want to learn about their parents’ past.
I loved the amazing connection between Hunter and his horse. I felt deeply connected to their bond, and I think it’s something horse-lovers are going to absolutely love as well!
How I Felt:
In the Heart of a Mustang introduces us to a young boy, Hunter, who has just found out that everything he knew about his father was a lie. Instead of his father being a soldier who died for his country, he is a convicted felon. Hunter is devastated by the lies, and at the shattering of a figure he deeply respected and looked up to. Heading to the Promise Ranch to find peace, Hunter encounters a horse that can help him mend what has been so deeply broken.