Ballet Orphans by Terez Mertes Rose

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.

Continue reading “Ballet Orphans by Terez Mertes Rose”

Oliver the Ornament by Todd M. Zimmermann

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This version of the Oliver the Ornament came in a wonderful gift box with a special Oliver ornament! It was such an exciting surprise, and the kids were so excited to open the gift box and see the ornament and book!

This was a lovely story about the origin of ornaments as well as one family’s journey from the beginning of their family formation. I especially loved the story’s focus on the value of older things and that something isn’t worthless because it’s not new. Having the ornament hang on our tree is a great reminder to our children of the message in this story!

Continue reading “Oliver the Ornament by Todd M. Zimmermann”

Dream It & Do It: 100 Possibilities, Stories and Real-Life Role Models by Holly A. Sharp

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There are so many things that we can be when we grow up. I think it is wonderful to provide a book that explores so many options available for children to think about and be inspired by!

Dream It & Do It: 100 Possibilities, Stories and Real-Life Role Models is a children’s book that provides information on different people and careers that can be inspirational for young readers. The stories are broken up into segments making it easy to jump around in the book and pick something a child wants to read about, or start from the front and work your way through.

Continue reading “Dream It & Do It: 100 Possibilities, Stories and Real-Life Role Models by Holly A. Sharp”

Who Are Our Heroes? by Eliana Melmed

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was the perfect book for my kids, and I believe, for so many other children right now! This story absolutely speaks to the pandemic we are currently living in, and it helps to celebrate everyone for doing their part during this situation.

Who Are Our Heroes? is a story featuring a variety of people and thanking them for their heroic efforts. Doctors, nurses, store employees, maintenance workers, teachers, and YOU, the one who stays home to keep people safe.

Continue reading “Who Are Our Heroes? by Eliana Melmed”

The Alphabet’s Alphabet by Chris Harris

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What an absolutely imaginative story for kids! This book not only helps children learn letters, but it gives them a chance to use their imagination as they see letters in a different way! I loved this book!

The book starts in a classroom for letters. The teacher wants to let the letters know that even though they look different, they really are all connected. We go through the alphabet from A to Z, and the story shows us how an A is really an H that is slouching or an F is an E on a ski. Each letter’s link to another letter is extremely imaginative!

Continue reading “The Alphabet’s Alphabet by Chris Harris”

All Eyes on Her by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Rating: 4 out of 5.

All Eyes on Her is a young adult thriller that puts the reader in an investigative position, which I thought was fun and original! We start the story with Tabby telling us why she’s not guilty of killing her boyfriend, Mark. It then moves to other character’s perspectives of what they knew about the situation. I liked reading each character’s version of events. It gave me the opportunity to see the situation from so many different points of view.

The story is told through the multiple perspectives, but also provides chat messages, sections of diary entries, as well as newspaper articles. It really played up the social thriller genre with these entries and it was so easy to get into!

Continue reading “All Eyes on Her by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn”

How to Live on the Edge by Sarah Lynn Scheerger

Rating: 4 out of 5.

How to Live on the Edge by Sarah Lynn Scheerger is such an emotional rollercoaster so buckle in before you start this one! It was a beautifully written book with such an emotional draw! 

Cayenne and Saffron lost their mother to breast cancer when they were young, leaving them to live with Aunt Tee. They know that the women in their family don’t live past 40. The BRCA gene mutation that runs in their DNA won’t let them. Cayenne spends her time flirting, very dangerously, with death. She stands in front of oncoming trains, jumping out of the way at the last second, and so many other perilous activities. When she is given video messages her mother made for her before her death, she finds that she doesn’t want them, but continues to be drawn to them.

Continue reading “How to Live on the Edge by Sarah Lynn Scheerger”

Quintessence by Jess Redman

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

This book was stunning. Absolutely, wonderfully fabulous! I love that Jess Redman has brought such a real, relatable character to our children’s fictional world. Alma, our main character is experiencing panic attacks and anxiety, and I thought that Redman did an excellent job at bringing this very real situation to life through her words.

How I Felt:

Alma is a 12-year-old girl that any middle-age child can relate to. She’s just been uprooted from the home she loves to a new, unfamiliar town with her family. This new place is not her home, and she doesn’t know what to do. She begins to have panic attacks and anxiety due to the stress of the move, and her family isn’t sure what to do. Alma ends up in the Astronomy club with some new friends and soon discovers they are a bit more than just a club.

Continue reading “Quintessence by Jess Redman”

ABCs and 123s for Boys by Tom McLaughlin

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The illustrations in this book were so bright and colorful! It’s a stunning collection of images that will keep children engaged through each page! My daughter and son were both delighted to call out the letters and numbers as we moved through the book!

How I Felt:

ABCs and 123s for Boys is a collection of lovely illustrations that correlate to a letter or number. My kids really enjoyed the scenes for each one. The names for the animals are all boy names, but that should not be a reason to restrict this to one gender. I would really like to stress that this book is completely perfect for boys and girls, so don’t be deterred by the title.

Continue reading “ABCs and 123s for Boys by Tom McLaughlin”

This is my America by Kim Johnson

Welcome to the blot tour for This is my America hosted by Rockstar Book Tours!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

This. Book. UGH! It was amazing, and I loved every word, every page.

How I Felt:

This story truly impacted me. I stopped and started the reading of this to consider the words on the page. While this was a fictional story, it rings true over and over again. Tracy’s comments on the racial divides in our society were spot-on and continued to make me think. Her investigation into what really happened the night her brother was accused of murder gave so many opportunities to show readers some of the horrible injustices that are a part of America today.

The plot features a young girl, Tracy, who is trying to get her father’s death sentence overturned before it is too late. She relentlessly writes letters to Innocence X, an organization that assists people in their legal needs, but she has yet to hear back from them. Just as she is beginning to give up on them, her brother is accused of murder, and Tracy is reliving a nightmare for the second time.

Continue reading “This is my America by Kim Johnson”

Britfield and The Lost Crown by C.R. Stewart

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I loved the absolute excitement that surrounded this story! It was filled with escapes that had me on the edge of my seat!

How I Felt:

Britfield and The Lost Crown starts the reader at The Weatherly Orphanage, a place that no child wants to be. It’s exactly what you expect a horrible orphanage to be, filled with lots of hate and too little food. Tom’s friend Sarah gets put into solitary confinement, and it’s the last straw for him. It’s time to go. They have an epic escape that is aided by the many other kids at the orphanage, but a detective is hired to chase after the two of them.

The plot for the story involves a secret that Tom discovered about his family, so along with the high-action escapes, the story has a bit of a mystery aspect as well! While it’s definitely filled with action and adventure, it doesn’t feel repetitive, each scenario is different, creating those surprise moments we all love from a story.

Continue reading “Britfield and The Lost Crown by C.R. Stewart”

Nocturne by Cheryl Mahoney

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I love a retelling! I especially like one that comes from a story I love so much. I’ve seen Phantom of the Opera on multiple occasions, I’ve read the book multiple times, and now…my first retelling! Nocturne was a wonderful retelling that really pulled me into the story.

How I Felt:

Nocturne tells the Phantom of the Opera tale, but from the perspective of Meg Giry, a dancer and friend of Christine Daaé. I really enjoyed that this new character was added to the story. I liked her perspective and her investigative mind.

The story’s beginning had me completely pulled in. I love it when a book grabs you from the start, and this one did! Meg is lost in the depths of the Opera trying to get to dance class. I loved the way the author made me feel Meg’s emotions through this. I felt her fear and concern over being late to class, and then of being lost. Cheryl Mahoney’s writing grabbed me emotionally again and again throughout the story. She has a great way of making the reader feel what is happening!

Continue reading “Nocturne by Cheryl Mahoney”