Saturday, October 20, 2018

Picture Book Review: Frankie Finds the Blues


When Frankie's grandmother invites him to a concert - a blues concert. He's not sure he's going to like the blues. But he does and it inspires him to play his guitar and learn.

A fun book about learning about music, the history of blues and hip hop, how everyone has a story, not judging people based on their appearance. It's a great book for elementary school readers.

* book sent for review

Friday, October 19, 2018

Review: Front Desk

Mia's parents work really hard, but they can't even seem to get ahead. Mia tries to help out as best she can, but after she gets fired from waitressing, her parents are at a loss. Then they hear about an opening in a motel. The could manage the hotel and live rent free. It seems too good to be true. 

And it is.

The owner of the hotel isn't nice. He goes back on his word. Mia watches the front desk while her parents spend their time cleaning the rooms. 

Mia hopes for a better life - one that doesn't rely on terrible bosses. One that allows her family to buy items that most kids have. She's struggling to fit in at school, but the weekly renters at the hotel adore her. 

Can she help her parents create a better life for their family?

My Thoughts: I loved this book - it tugged at my heartstrings. Mia and her family moved from China for a better life, but life isn't always better in America - or easy. She deals with racism, poverty, bullies, and a belief that she won't be able to make something of herself. She wants the American dream - for herself and her parents. I love how her parents helped those less fortunate - even when they didn't have much themselves. I love how Mia grew a relationship with the weekly renters. I love how she had ideas on how to make the hotel better. I loved her friendship with her new best friend. A wonderful book to share with readers to talk about injustices, equality, and living the American Dream. 

Cover Thoughts: Perfect
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A must have book for both school and public libraries.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Review: The Forest Queen

Sylvie doesn't believe her brother has what it takes to be a leader. She doesn't agree with most of his decisions. But as a lady, she can't change things but maybe she doesn't have to be a part of it.

Upset about everything, her friend offers her a way out. They could go live in the woods off the land. Sylvie isn't sure, but when they come across a girl in trouble, they act. Knowing she can't go back, Sylvie and Bird escape to the forest with Little Jane.

Together, the three of them form a pack. But surviving is harder than they think. They need supplies. They need help. And Sylvie knows just where to go - if only her brother doesn't find out.
My Thoughts: I loved the idea of Robin Hood being a Lady. I wish this book had been a little bit longer - a little bit more flushed out. But otherwise, it was great. I've always been a fan of the Robin Hood story. I liked matching up the characters from this story to the legend. I liked Sylvie coming into her own and learning about survival. I liked Little Jane - her news wasn't a surprise to me, but I liked the way she handled it. She was strong. I loved the strong women in this story. I loved how they fought for their freedom, for their happiness, and for a better life. Even if that made them outlaws. This book would make a great conversation starter about women in history, class distinction, and historical events.

Cover Thoughts: Great
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Recommended for both school and public libraries

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Picture Book Review: Corduroy Takes a Bow


Corduroy and Lisa got to the theater. Corduroy gets lost and ends up backstage, on stage, and taking a bow.

Corduroy was one of my favorite books as a child. I still have my teddy bear that resembles him. He wears overalls too. This new book by actress turned author Viola Davis gave me all the feels. I felt nostalgic for the first book. It made me so happy to read this one. I loved seeing the moments behind the stage and behind the scenes of the production. Of course, this one had a happy ending as the bear's reunited with Lisa.

Library Recommendation: A great picture book for the collection

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Havens to Visit

This week's topic is bookstores and libraries you'd like to visit. I'm quite lucky as I've been to lots of different libraries. I make it a point to stop by (if possible) when I'm on vacation. 

Ripped Bodice
Poisoned Pen
Books of Wonder

Library of Congress
Chicago's U Media Center (Awesome teen center)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (Awesome teen center)
Bodleian Library (Oxford)

Fictional Bookstore:
Flourish and Blotts Bookseller
The Shop Around the Corner

Library No Longer Around:
Library of Alexandria 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Romance Review: No Earls Allowed

No Earls Allowed (The Survivors, #2)

* Book 2 in the Survivor series *
Major Neil Wraxell isn't thrilled to receive his father's summons. Usually that means a job  that he's not going to like. He's not wrong. His father requires him to look after Lady Juliana - the daughter of a friend. \

Lady Juliana would rather spend her days with orphans than with society. When her father requires it, she attends society events, but otherwise she spends her time with the children. They need attention as everything's falling apart.

When the Major arrives, it's a battle of wills. Neither of them is willing to back down. As long as Lady Juliana stays, the Major stays. Luckily the boys have taken to him and he's taken to giving them a schedule. The longer he stays, the more Lady Juliana realizes that the boys could use a good male role model. Could he be persuaded to stay?
My Thoughts: I really liked this story - for so many reasons. Firstly I loved Lady Juliana and how she cared for the boys. I loved the boys in the orphanage. They were charming, funny, and sweet. Of course they were also a handful. I loved their interactions with the Major and how they took to him. I found it interested that the Major was a virgin - that was unexpected. I loved the banter between Lady Juliana and the Major. I can't wait to read the next book in this series.

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: I recommend this series for your public library romance section.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Faerie Houses

Last weekend,we hit up the Florence Griswold Museum where we viewed some faeries houses. All the faeries appeared to be on vacation, but their houses were super cute. Here is just a sampling of them.


A is for...

The thinker

Close up - they had a personal library here

Farmer's Market


The creatively blew me away. I wanted to try my hand at making once.
Maybe that would be a good library program...