If We Were Giants by Dave Matthews and Clete Barrett Smith – A Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The weaving of so many wonderful topics to discuss with a child made this book an utter delight! There are so many strong messages about our world, our resources, and our actions. I cannot wait for my son to read it so we can discuss it together!

Continue reading “If We Were Giants by Dave Matthews and Clete Barrett Smith – A Book Review”

Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron – A Middle Grade Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I loved Maya so much! She is a caring, wonderful main character. Her special abilities make for a fun story and excellent character self-exploration.

Continue reading “Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron – A Middle Grade Review”

The Cracking of Monday Egg by B.T. Higgins – A Middle-Grade Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I loved that this was a story within a story, an allegory. I loved the references to things like the “second making.” It’s a book that you can read on the surface and enjoy, but you can also dig deeper into the words and get a more profound meaning.

How I Felt:

The Cracking of Monday Egg is such a deep story when you really start thinking about it. I feel that, while this was targeted for young children, it’s perfect for a young adult to adult reader. The story could definitely be read aloud to a child and a wonderful discussion could happen afterwards, however, older students are going to continue to think about the story and process all the heavier stuff.

The main story focuses on Monday’s awakening and life. We see him making friends and becoming interested in girls. The main idea though, is focused around his knowledge and understanding of “The Maker”. I was impressed with the writing of this story and the ability of the writer to create these ideas that were symbolic for something else. I think that each reader will get their own individual experience and take-away from reading this book because of the way it was written.

To Read or Not To Read:

I highly recommend this book for people that are interested in a more spiritual twist on a story. This will be most enjoyed by someone with a higher power background, I don’t know that you need to be Christian necessarily to enjoy it.

This can absolutely be enjoyed by children with an assist from an adult.

Where to Find This Book:

The Cracking of Monday Egg by B.T. Higgins is available at these sites.

Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Goodreads

The Maker created Monday Egg for a very important reason. Monday just doesn’t understand it yet. Being an egg with arms and legs has its advantages. Monday can run like the wind and climb trees easily, but he is an egg. What happens when he cracks?

The Cracking of Monday Egg by B.T. Higgins is the story of a cranky crow, a sick little girl, a kind squirrel and Monday’s struggle to deal with his own crackability.

Just the Facts:

  • The Cracking of Monday Egg by B.T. Higgins
  • Series: Egg World Allegory, Book 1
  • Genre: Middle-Grade / Christian
  • Page Count: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Emerald House Group, Incorporated
  • Pub Date: October 31, 2019

I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

All Amazon links are affiliate links.

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Fairy Unicorn Wishes by Sophie Kinsella

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Fairy Unicorn Wishes was filled with wonderful adventures that my daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed. Ella is an adorable child that my daughter connected with and her mom is silly and fun and made the entire story excellent.

How I Felt:

I have long been a fan of Sophie Kinsella’s books. I find her writing to be fun and witty and have enjoyed every book she has written. I love that she now has a book series that is great to read to my children. I was so happy to see that Fairy Unicorn Wishes still held the charm that I love to find in Sophie’s books.

The Characters were excellent. Ella is sweet and silly and her mom is constantly getting into these magical problems that are so fun to read about.

The Writing is easy for a young reader. The chapters are broken up well, and the illustrations go perfectly with the book. The story is filled with fun adventures and problems to solve. The fantasy story-line of a fairy mom makes this a great book for young readers that love a fairy tale.

Overall, this was a fun book filled with great characters, wonderful writing, and an super fun story.

To Read or Not To Read:

Fairy Unicorn Wishes is a great read-along with a kindergarten to middle-elementary school child. For young readers that can read on their own, this book is broken into nice smaller chapters making this a great book for them.

Where To Find This Book:
Goodreads | Kindle | Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
Book Depository

Fairies, unicorns and magical wishes combine in this third book of the Fairy Mom and Me series from New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella!

Ella’s one wish is to become a fairy like her mom. She dreams of the day she will have her sparkly crown and Computwand. Ella even imagines what her first spell would be: a glittery unicorn of her very own.

But Ella knows that spells are often harder than they look, even with the special fairy apps available…and being a fairy in waiting is not all rainbows and butterflies.

Will Ella learn more magic to help her become a fairy someday? Or will she learn she doesn’t need to be a fairy yet for all her wishes to come true?

  • Fairy Unicorn Wishes by Sophie Kinsella
  • Series: Fairy Mom and Me, Book 3
  • Illustrator: Marta Kiss
  • Page Count: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
  • Pub Date: January 28, 2020

Sophie Kinsella has sold over 40 million copies of her books in more than 60 countries, and she has been translated into over 40 languages.

Sophie’s latest novel, Surprise Me, presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies, comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that hidden layers in a close relationship are often yet to be discovered.

Sophie Kinsella first hit the UK bestseller lists in September 2000 with her first novel in the Shopaholic series – The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (also published as Confessions of a Shopaholic). The book’s heroine, Becky Bloomwood – a fun and feisty financial journalist who loves shopping but is hopeless with money – captured the hearts of readers worldwide.

Becky has since featured in seven further bestselling books, Shopaholic Abroad (also published as Shopaholic Takes Manhattan), Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Shopaholic & Sister, Shopaholic & Baby, Mini Shopaholic, Shopaholic to the Stars and Shopaholic to the Rescue. Becky Bloomwood came to the big screen in 2009 with the hit Disney movie Confessions of a Shopaholic, starring Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy.

Sophie has also written seven standalone novels which have all been bestsellers in the UK, USA and other countries around the world: Can You Keep A Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, Wedding Night, and My Not So Perfect Life, which was a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist for Best Fiction in 2017.

In 2014 she published a Young Adult novel Finding Audrey about a teenage girl with social anxiety and her madcap family, and in January 2018, Sophie published her first illustrated book for young readers about the charming adventures of a mother-daughter fairy duo, Mummy Fairy and Me (also published as Fairy Mom and Me).

Sophie wrote her first novel under her real name, Madeleine Wickham, at the tender age of 24, whilst she was working as a financial journalist. The Tennis Party was immediately hailed as a success by critics and the public alike and became a top ten bestseller. She went on to publish six more novels as Madeleine Wickham: A Desirable Residence, Swimming Pool Sunday, The Gatecrasher, The Wedding Girl, Cocktails for Three and Sleeping Arrangements.

Sophie was born in London. She studied music at New College, Oxford, but after a year switched to Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She now lives in London, UK, with her husband and family.

I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

Smailholm by C.L. Williams – Excerpt

Shh! Can you keep a secret?

In wild medieval Britain thirteen-year-old Wynn Hoppringle has a big secret of the smallest kind. She has discovered a miniature village hidden close to her family home of Smailholm Tower. When tales of merciless border raiders reach the small folk, they realize they are in danger and must seek a cure to their strange predicament. Can Wynn help her tiny friends or will the scheming King quog have other ideas? Heroes it seems come in all sizes.

Where To Find This Book:

Smailholm by C.L. Williams publishes on January 28, 2020. It is available for pre-order until then.

Goodreads | Amazon | Kindle | Audible

  • Smailholm by C.L. Williams
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Audience: Middle-Grade to Young Adult
  • Publisher:
  • Pub Date: January 28th 2020


“You see for many years a secret has been kept beneath my family home—Smailholm Tower, the wild brambles hiding a big secret of the smallest kind. It is a secret which only I seem to have discovered—that of the miniature folk of Smailholm. They say they were once the same size as I, but they were shrunk by some other-worldly curse.”

“So tiny she is, I could pick her up in the palm of my hand, put her in my pocket and you wouldn’t think she was there at all.

She has no wings to make her fly; nor ears that point to a peak. She is neither a fairy nor a spritely elf, as the old folk tales might say. Simply a jolly woman singing a jolly song. In fact, if my size didn’t dwarf her tiny frame you wouldn’t realise she was any different at all.”

“Smailholm folk, I have come here this eve to tell you of surprising news,’ he says. ‘As many of you know I spend most of my time outside the brambled protection of Smailholm. In the forests of Ettrick and beyond—’

“Aye, we know all about that! You’re never bloomin’ ’ere,’ a voice shouts from the back of the crowd. Some of the villagers stifle a snigger.”

“As I peer through the arrow slit, I see her balance a moment in the air; her wings buffeted by the gusts. Then she lifts her great wings upon the wind’s force and tilts her head slightly, sweeping down upon her prey.

Oh, sweet Aquila.”

“What stares back makes me gasp. Not of shock, nor even fear, but in awe. For the beauty of it is spellbinding—I do not look upon the face of any normal living creature. In fact, it appears to have no face at all. Instead, what looks back at me is a limitless blanket of black, punctuated only with the light of the moon and stars. A reflection of the night’s sky in all its peace.”


Claire Williams lives in Cheshire with her husband and children Ava and Henry.

She probably needs to consider Botox in the near future.

She is proud to be called a ‘Clayhead’ – a person born in the Potteries (Stoke on Trent) and will always turn over a china cup to see where it is made.

She is a tech geek and fantasy fan and will often be found snuggled in front of the TV watching a sci-fi or fantasy movie.

All Amazon links are affiliate links.

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Midnight on Strange Street by K.E. Ormsbee – A Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The friendships in this book were wonderful and made me really connect to the characters. I loved that it had 4 main characters and their point of view was shown throughout the book. Their friendship was heartwarming and made Midnight on Strange Street so wonderful.

How I Felt:

Although this book is targeted towards middle-grade readers, it’s a really fun read for an adult that loves sci-fi as well!

The Writing: Written from the POV of four main characters, I was concerned that this would become confusing and difficult to follow, but it didn’t! The writing was done so well and made the story flow seamlessly.

The Characters: The four main characters were so wonderful. They had complexity and depth making them relatable and enjoyable. I loved that they each had a special power related to their glowboards. This was a special twist that was fun to learn about.

The Plot: Avery, Dani, Lola, and Bastian are all glowboarders in their small Texas town. Glowboarding is a new style of skateboarding where the boards are powered by this mysterious substance, Glow. While the book is really focused on the glowboarding events, there is a bigger, global war, that is brewing. I believe that there could be a book 2 where this would be expanded on, but we will see!

Overall, this was a fun story with a great science-fiction aspect for middle-grade readers. At 400 pages, it’s an investment for a young child to read, however, I flew through the pages and found that the size of the book, was not a deterrent and didn’t feel like 400 pages.

To Read or Not To Read:

This is a good book for young readers that enjoy reading chapter books. If you enjoy getting to know characters and books about friendship and a sporting event, Midnight on Strange Street is perfect.

Where To Find This Book:

Midnight on Strange Street by K.E. Ormsbee is available at these sites.
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ibooks | The Book Depository

AVERY MILLER is looking for a fresh start, away from all the bomb sirens and talk of war in Los Angeles. She expects to find a haven in Callaway, Texas, where the cool new substance “glow” was first discovered. What she doesn’t count on is making friends with glowboard skaters Dani, Bastian, and Lola, aka the Sardines. . . .

DANI HIRSCH, captain of the Sardines, knows for a fact they’re the best glowboarding team in Texas—if only they could prove it. Nothing will distract Dani from leading the team to victory at this summer’s big race. Not even food explosions in the school cafeteria, or a mysterious midnight message, or secretive government workers in Callaway. . . .

BASTIAN GIL is sick of the bullies who tease him for being a Sardine, for being different. Sure, he and his twin sister, Lola, can share thoughts. That’s just twin telepathy, though—nothing too weird, right? But when Bastian finds he can do even stranger things, he starts to wonder if maybe he really is different from the other kids at school. . . .

LOLA GIL wants life to go back to normal, to a time before big glowboard races and government investigations. But the more the Sardines discover about themselves—like how they can share thoughts and move objects with their minds—the more Lola begins to fear there was never anything normal about her. . . .

When the Sardines receive an ominous, otherworldly message, they must decide if they’ll use their newfound powers to stop an impending disaster—one that could have more to do with the war, their bullies, and glowboarding than they can possibly imagine.

  • Midnight on Strange Street by K.E. Ormsbee
  • Genre: Children’s / Mystery / Sci-Fi
  • Page Count: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Pub Date: January 21, 2020

K.E. Ormsbee writes books, cooks food, & records podcasts in Austin, TX. She is the author of the WATER AND THE WILD fantasy trilogy (Chronicle Books and Gumption Press), folk mystery THE HOUSE IN POPLAR WOOD (Chronicle Books), and the upcoming sci-fi adventure MIDNIGHT ON STRANGE STREET (Disney-Hyperion, January 2020).

She also writes Young Adult novels as Kathryn Ormsbee: LUCKY FEW, TASH HEARTS TOLSTOY, and THE GREAT UNKNOWABLE END (Simon & Schuster).

K.E. Ormsbee likes clothes from the 60s, music from the 70s, and movies from the 80s. She is from the 90s. You can visit her online at keormsbee.com or follow her on Twitter & Instagram @kathsby.

I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

Real Pigeons Fight Crime by Andrew McDonald – Middle Grade Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The illustrations in this book were AWESOME! They were fun and quirky, and really made me just want to look at each one!

How I Felt:

Real Pigeons Fight Crime was just a ton of fun to read! I read this book and also had my 8 year old son read it. We both agreed it was a 5 star read! The pages fairly illustration-heavy making this a great book for a young reader just starting chapter books, but it’s also great for a higher level reader as well!

Continue reading “Real Pigeons Fight Crime by Andrew McDonald – Middle Grade Book Review”

Mighty Coconuts by Deepa Remesh and Anjana Prabhu-Paseband

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Mighty Coconuts is a book about conserving energy and the environment and is targeted at middle-grade readers. I love the message this book is giving to young readers and the future of our world. The way the book is written, gives a lot of information about these topics, but it is done with these missions and time travel. It made it fun to read.

How I Felt:

I was so intrigued by the ideas in this book! There is new, plant technology and it is truly amazing. The thought that went into these fun devices was very detailed. The book even included drawings of these so that we could envision them. There are apps for the kids to use, there’s time travel, and a shrinking device. It all makes for a perfect book for young readers today.

The missions that the children are sent on are really cute, and a bit interactive for the reader sometimes. These were fun for me, and would be enjoyed by a child reading as well.

There are links at the end of the chapters and I appreciated the extra information given through these! I think I would have preferred that the information be collected at the end of the book so that it was easier to reference later, but I loved having a guide for more information.

To Read or Not To Read:

This is a chapter book with short, easy to read chapters. I think this is good for a 3rd grade and up reader.

Where to Find This Book:


Mia and Nik are approached by Miss Tree to go on a mission to save Earth’s plants. They accept this challenge and become members of the Plant Savers Club. They are given all the new gadgets and technology that they will need for their mission including a Seed Pod, Seed Watch, apps, and a Seedcopter.

Will Mia and Nik be able to time travel to 1990 and 1890 and complete their missions to save the plants?

  • Mighty Coconuts by Deepa Remesh and Anjana Prabhu-Paseband
  • Book 1 in Miss Tree Tales Series
  • Page Count: 112 pages
  • Publication Date: November 30, 2016
  • Style: Chapter book with images

I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

The Monster Hypothesis by Romily Bernard

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved: The main character Kick is EVERYTHING! She is adorable and funny and full of energy and smarts! I loved her adventure and was so glad she was written the way she was. She is the perfect example of being who you really are.

How I Felt: The Monster Hypothesis has such a fun story that had me so interested in the story. The main character, Kick is into science and I really loved how that was woven into the story. We always need more science in our children’s lives and this book makes science so fun!

To Read or Not To Read: This book is perfect for middle graders that enjoy a little bit of spooky and mystery! My third grader can’t wait to start this one!

Where To Find This Book:

Amazon Amazon Kindle Goodreads

Kick is starting a new school in a new town while she temporarily moves in with her grandmother, a fake psychic. After a trio of mean girls set their targets on her, she tells everyone that she is a psychic like her grandmother.

With her newly exposed (and fake) abilities, people turn to her to help with the town’s curse. Every 100 years, the town’s children will turn into monsters. Believing this curse to be fake, she tries to figure out this mystery. The clues, though, begin to make it look like this curse might actually be real. Using her science knowledge and her friend’s help, she creates theories and tests them to figure out this curse.

The Monster Hypothesis by Romily Bernard
Audience: Children’s Middle Grade
Page Count: 304 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pub. Date: December 10, 2019

Romily Bernard graduated from Georgia State University with a literature degree. Since then, she’s worked as a riding instructor, cell-phone salesperson, personal assistant, horse groomer and exercise rider, accounting assistant, and, during a very dark time, customer service representative. . . . She’s also, of course, now a YA novelist.

So don’t let anyone tell you a BA degree will keep you unemployed.

Romily currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and Find Me is her debut novel. It placed first in the 2011 YA Unpublished Maggie Awards (given by Georgia Romance Writers) and won the Golden Heart Award for YA Romance from the Romance Writers of America in 2012.

I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

Charlie Hernández and the Castle of Bones by Ryan Calejo

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Can I just start by saying I have some very serious Cover Love for this series!! I love the way the above and below ground are reflected. I feel like it just gives you such a feel for what this book is going to be!

The fantasy world that Ryan Calejo build for Charlie Hernandez had me completely submersed in every little detail. The location of the story was really fun, as it has a fun southern feel along with the fantasy.

How I Felt:

This was a book that I could not put down. My son also read it, as it is targeted for middle grade and he LOVED it! The way the story takes Charlie from one clue to another, really gave the book that page-turning feel. I got a little more information, but not ENOUGH to satisfy and I just had to know more.

I did feel that the book could have been edited down just a bit. It is 608 pages and for a middle-grade reader, that’s a LOT of book. There were some very descriptive sections that could have been reduced to make this book a bit shorter. Overall though, this was a solid read!

To Read or Not To Read:

This is the second book in the Charlie Hernandez series. While, I think The Castle of Bones could be a stand-alone, I believe that you would find it a much more enjoyable read if you read the first book in the series first. (Charlie Hernandez and The League of Shadows).

This book is targeted towards middle-grade readers, 4th grade +. This could also fit into a Young Adult reading category for lovers of books like the Lightening Thief.

Where To Find This Book:

Goodreads * Amazon * Kindle * Audible * B&N * iBooks * Kobo * TBD

Inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America, this bold sequel to Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows, which Booklist called “a perfect pick for kids who love Rick Riordan” in a starred review, follows Charlie as he continues on his quest to embrace his morphling identity.

Charlie Hernandez still likes to think of himself as a normal kid. But what’s normal about being a demon-slaying preteen with an encyclopedic knowledge of Hispanic and Latino mythology who can partially manifest nearly any animal trait found in nature? Well, not much. But, Charlie believes he can get used to this new “normal,” because being able to sprout wings or morph fins is pretty cool.

But there is a downside: it means having to constantly watch his back for La Mano Peluda’s sinister schemes. And when the leader of La Liga, the Witch Queen Jo herself, is suddenly kidnapped, Charlie’s sure they’re at it again.

Determined to save the queen and keep La Liga’s alliances intact, Charlie and his good friend Violet Rey embark on a perilous journey to track down her captors. As Charlie and Violet are drawn deeper into a world of monstruos and magia they are soon left with more questions than answers—like, why do they keep hearing rumors of dead men walking, and why is Charlie suddenly having visions of an ancient evil: a necromancer priest who’s been dead for more than five centuries?

Charlie’s abuela once told him that when dead men walk, the living run in fear. And Charlie’s about to learn the truth of that—the hard way.

Just the Details:

Book: Charlie Hernandez and the Castle of Bones by Ryan Calejo
Series: Charlie Hernández, Book 2
Page Count: 608 pages
Published Date: November 12, 2019
Publisher: Aladdin

Interested in Book 1? Charlie Hernandez and The League of Shadows

Charlie Hernandez and The League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo
Page Count: 330
Publishing Date: October 23, 2018
Publisher: Aladdin

The Lightning Thief meets the Story Thieves series in this middle grade fantasy inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America.

Charlie Hernández has always been proud of his Latin American heritage. He loves the culture, the art, and especially the myths. Thanks to his abuela’s stories, Charlie possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and ghouls who have spent the last five hundred years haunting the imaginations of children all across the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Central and South America. And even though his grandmother sometimes hinted that the tales might be more than mere myth, Charlie’s always been a pragmatist. Even barely out of diapers, he knew the stories were just make-believe—nothing more than intricately woven fables meant to keep little kids from misbehaving.

But when Charlie begins to experience freaky bodily manifestations—ones all too similar to those described by his grandma in his favorite legend—he is suddenly swept up in a world where the mythical beings he’s spent his entire life hearing about seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Hispanic folklore and into his life. And even stranger, they seem to know more about him than he knows about himself.

Soon, Charlie finds himself in the middle of an ancient battle between La Liga, a secret society of legendary mythological beings sworn to protect the Land of the Living, and La Mano Negra (a.k.a. the Black Hand), a cabal of evil spirits determined to rule mankind. With only the help of his lifelong crush, Violet Rey, and his grandmother’s stories to guide him, Charlie must navigate a world where monsters and brujas rule and things he couldn’t possibly imagine go bump in the night. That is, if he has any hope of discovering what’s happening to him and saving his missing parents (oh, and maybe even the world).

No pressure, muchacho.

Where To Find This Book:

Goodreads * Amazon * Kindle * Audible * B&N * iBooks * Kobo * TBD

Ryan Calejo was born and raised in south Florida. He graduated from the University of Miami with a BA. He’s been invited to join both the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Golden Key International Honour Society. He teaches swimming to elementary school students, chess to middle school students, and writing to high school students.

Having been born into a family of immigrants and growing up in the so-called “Capital of Latin America,” Ryan knows the importance of diversity in our communities and is passionate about writing books that children of all ethnicities can relate to. His first novel was Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows.

Simon & Schuster Webpage | Twitter | Goodreads


I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

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SHINE! by J.J. Grabenstein and Chris Grabenstein

The Word On The Street:

“Inspirational, commonsensical, and a whole lot of fun.” –James Patterson

Everyone deserves to shine in this sparkling new book from the New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library , Chris Grabenstein, and coauthor J.J. Grabenstein–just right for fans of Word of Mouse and The Fourteenth Goldfish.

“Who do you want to be?” asks Mr. Van Deusen. “And not when you grow up. Right here, right now.”

Shine! by J.J. Grabenstein & Chris Grabenstein

Publishing Date: November 5, 2019

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Page Count: 210

What’s This Book About Anyway?

Shine on! might be the catchphrase of twelve-year-old Piper’s hero–astronaut, astronomer, and television host Nellie Dumont Frisse–but Piper knows the truth: some people are born to shine, and she’s just not one of them. That fact has never been clearer than now, since her dad’s new job has landed them both at Chumley Prep, a posh private school where everyone seems to be the best at something and where Piper definitely doesn’t fit in.

Bursting with humor, heart, science, possibilities, and big questions, Shine! is a story about finding your place in the universe–a story about figuring out who you are and who you want to be.

Where To Buy:

Amazon Goodreads Kindle Audible Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo


An Excerpt From The Book:

Co-author J.J. Grabenstein reads the first chapter of SHINE! Check it out here!

About the Authors:

J.J. Grabenstein is the co-author, with her husband, ChrisGrabenstein, of SHINE! This is her first novel as a co-authorbut she has been the “first editor” on everything her husband hasever written, including the award-winning/bestselling ESCAPE FROMMR.LEMONCELLO’S LIBRARY series and more than fifty other works.

J.J. and Chris live in New York City with their cat Phoebe Squeak.

Chris Grabenstein is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO’S LIBRARY, MR. LEMONCELLO’S LIBRARY OLYMPICS, THE ISLAND OF DR. LIBRIS, WELCOME TO WONDERLAND: HOME SWEET MOTEL and many other books, as well as the coauthor of numerous fun and funny page-turners with James Patterson, including I FUNNY, HOUSE OF ROBOTS, TREASURE HUNTERS, and JACKY HA-HA. Chris lives in New York City with his wife, J.J., two cats, and a dog named Fred. You can visit Chris at ChrisGrabenstein.com.

Website | Follow JJ on Goodreads

Follow Chris! Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Everything Is Always Gonna Be Alright, Durban Frankenshooze by Jamie McHone

Rating: 3 out of 5.

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: The illustrations in this book were great. They really pulled you into each page, wanting to take a look at each detail.

How I Felt: This book is targeted at 5-6 year olds, however, I do not think that the age range is accurate. Each page is filled with text taking so much time to read that my 6 year old lost interest. The writing introduces a lot of new vocabulary, but the text is overly fluffy, adding too many words. This just added to the overwhelming test on each page. The story was cute, but I cannot rate this book higher, as I cannot see a young child being able to get through this story. Overall, this book just missed the mark for me and my 6 year old.

To Read or Not To Read: If you have a middle-elementary reader they might enjoy this story, but I would not suggest this for a 5-6 year old.

What’s This Book About Anyway?

Durban Frankenschooze is a bird with huge feet and he cannot fly. He is different from the rest of his family, as he is the only bird that can’t fly. He is tired of being different and sets out on a journey. Along the way, he makes friends with Maudry and Wainwright. Together they discover the importance of friendship and being yourself.

Where To Find This Book:



Mascot Books


I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

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