Friday, February 23, 2024

Picture Book Review: Do You Know Them


While this book shares an important piece of Black history, it's important to acknowledge these stories year round and not just in February. 

Lottie lost track of her family. They had been sold before the end of the war. Now she's desperate to find them. She works all the odd jobs she can to save money for an advertisement in the newspaper. She's hoping that someone will know where they are.

This is a heartbreaking story with lovely illustrations, but it's so powerful and important to read. Lottie is an inspiration in a dark time. She's determined and she gives others hope. There's nothing more powerful that hope. This is an important book to share with readers. 

* This book was sent for review

This is a must have picture book for your library's collection.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Review: Muffin But the Truth


* Book 16 in the Bakeshop Mystery series * 
Juliet and her team are catering a company retreat. Even before they arrives, Jules wishes she hadn't taken the job. They're looking for glamorous camping food. When the executive arrives, she's not pleased. But the menu is set and there's not much that can be done to change it. 

The first dinner at Torte is tense; the executive has made it very clear that this trip isn't a retreat but a working weekend. Tensions run high among the co-workers. Jules is not looking forward to the rest of the weekend.

Things get worse as the weekend continues. Accidents happen, but the first night seems to work. But the next morning, Jules discovers a body in the river. At first glance, it looks like the executive, but it is not her. Could it be a case of mistaken identity? 
My Thoughts: I really love this series - for the characters, the baked good, and the mystery. I had this one all wrong - I like how mysteries still surprise me. I liked how the setting was set in town, but also not.  The people at the company were all terrible, which made for an entertaining read. And this cozy sets everything up for the next book in the series. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A must have series for your public library.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Picture Book Wednesday: Black Experience

Again, these books are great for Black History Month and also all year round. 

One family work together to serve the last stand at the farmer's market. All the other stands have closed. But one day, Papa is too tired to make it. The first week, the boy makes a mess of things. But the second week, he starts to problem solve. The community comes together to support the stand and the family.

This is a sweet story about community, farms, and trying to make it. The author's note is touching and eye opening. 

A grandmother and her granddaughter share love that shines bright and that love crosses the universe. 

I love how the pair go through seasons together. While this book doesn't have many words, it pacts a powerful punch in terms of the message. Family love is always there and strong. The illustrations in this book are gorgeous.  

*This book was sent for review 

After work, Roy DeCarava would travel the streets of Harlem looking for beauty. When he would it, he would snap a picture. 

There is a great message here about beauty catching someone's eye, the truth catching someone's eye and a moment captured forever. Roy DeCarava captured these moments and became a famous photographer with photos from everyday life. This book inspires me both to look at the world a little differently and also to research his photographs. 

Couple walking, Park Avenue, 1960 (Credit: Estate of Roy DeCarava. Courtesy David Zwirner)

I Can Read Book:

Parker is having a hard day, which comes with BIG feelings. She needs some time to herself to calm her feelings. 

I love how Parker and her mom come up with ideas to make her feel better. There's an end note that talks about feelings and how to help yourself clam down.

**This book was sent for review 

After a trip to a museum where they talk about Martin Luther King Jr., the class talks about their big deals. 

This is an inspiring read. The kids had lovely dreams; we need to find a way to make those dreams come true

*** This book was sent for review 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Superpower

 This week's topic is bookish superpowers. That's an easy one!

Really for me, it just goes down to One 

Time enough to read all the books I want to read:

Monday, February 19, 2024

Blog Tour: The Liars Society


I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE LIAR'S SOCIETY by Alyson Gerber Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About The Book:
Author: Alyson Gerber
Pub. Date: February 6, 2024
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 304
Find it: Goodreads

 The Inheritance Games and One of Us is Lying for middle grade -- beloved author Alyson Gerber's new series is an unforgettable mystery featuring a secret society, a mysterious island, and dangerous family secrets.

Weatherby is a fish out of water. When she lands a scholarship to the prestigious Boston School, she’s excited to be in the same world as her dad, whom she’s never met, and make real friends. But Weatherby has a secret she’ll risk everything to protect, one that could destroy her new life.

Every member of Jack’s wealthy and privileged family has made their mark at the Boston School. Everyone, that is, except for Jack, who is entirely mediocre. He’s desperate to prove his worth to his influential father. But Jack has a secret of his own . . . one with the power to ruin everything.

When the money for their school trip to a private island―exclusive to Boston students―is stolen, Jack and Weatherby are invited to play a high-stakes game and solve the mystery of the missing money. If they win, they’ll be selected to join the oldest, most powerful secret society in the world―and they’ll be Boston royalty forever. If they lose . . . well, they better not lose.

Beloved author Alyson Gerber crafts an unforgettable mystery that asks―are some secrets and lies impossible to overcome?

My Thoughts: This is the start of a new series and I really enjoyed it. I loved watching Weatherby adjust to a new school and new friends. I enjoyed her banter with Jack - especially as it grew to friendship. I loved the sailing moments. I enjoyed watching the family secrets unfold. I'm so looking forward to the next book in the series! 


About Alyson Gerber:

Alyson Gerber is the author of The Liars Society series and the critically acclaimed novels FocusedBraced, and Taking Up Space. A former marketing director, Alyson earned her MFA in creative writing at the New School. She grew up in New England and now lives in New York City with her family. Follow her @AlysonGerber and at

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Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a finished copy of THE LIAR'S SOCIETY, US Only.
Ends March 7th, midnight EST

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Picture Book Review: Black Biographies


Just a few books perfect for Black History Month:

Obviously, these books are perfect all year round. I love reading picture books biographies because I was not familiar with many of these important figures. 

Ernie could speak through his art, but he football gave him a career. He kept sketching, even though his coach wasn't a fan. He became an official artist for the AFL. 

I love that he did both - playing football and creating art. 

Zelda Jackson was an artist who wrote and drew for the Pittsburgh Courier. She created comic strips that pushed boundaries. She used her pen to make statements.

I love how she made her statements in the press. She pushed back on racism and shares hope. 

A biography of the great poet Langston Hughes. I enjoyed learning more about him. My favorite of his poems is Mother to Son. I read that in middle school and it's stayed with me. 

Eunice Johnson grew up with style. She used that love of style to create her own fashion. She and her husband created a magazine - including EBONY. There Eunice used her love of fashion to create fashion spreads and fashion shows. The money raised helped Black organizations and raise awareness. An amazing look at this magnificent woman. 

Toni Morrison listened, learned the stories, and then shared them. I love that she had a library job but got lost in the words of the book and had to get a different job. She wrote her history and the history of her people. She shared her stories. 

Mae Reeves designed and created clothes for her dolls. She traveled North where she learned how to make hats. Black ladies wore hats as a chance to be seen. Mae created those hats; first in another shop and then in her own shop. She had loyal followers who traveled with her when she moved shops. Famous ladies: Marian Anderson, Ella Fitzgerald, and Lena Horn all wore her hats. She helped Black organizations and the neighborhoods dream for better places.