Thursday, August 31, 2023

Middle Grade Review: The Night Ride


Above all, Sonnia loves horses. She's saving up her money to buy a horse, but she doesn't have a tenth of what she would need. When she learns that Ricochet will be moved to the royal stables to help train a racing horse, she's devastated.

Luckily, she knows a stable hand at the track. Sonnia finds a job. She loves working with horses.  After her chores are done, she can ride. It's not long before she learns of a night race.  

It's dangerous for the horses and dangerous for the riders if anyone found out. At first, she wants nothing to do with the race. But soon she begins to realize that the race is the only way to make real money. She needs to help out her family and it wouldn't hurt to finally have enough money for a horse of her own.
My Thoughts: If you're a fan of horses, this is the book for you. Lots of horse moments between caring for the horses and riding the horses. Sonnia has family struggles between wanting to be good to her family and wanting to forge her own path for the future. It's not easy growing up without money and opportunities. Danger and excitement come from the night rides. Sonnia knows they aren't right, and she struggles with her conscience over riding. She also struggles with fitting in, although she does make some nice friends. Although the ruthlessness of people and their greed surprise her. The ending was great. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Highly recommended for your school and public library collection.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Picture Book Wednesday: School Books (3)


A few more school picture books:

Dad jokes for the win! My favorite of course are the library/bookish ones.

A sweet story about a shy rabbit and his first day of preschool.

This is a charming story about a little bunny who becomes brave with notes from his mother. He has a lot of fun and meets some new friends.

Kate is late for school! Is it because she stops to say hello to everyone? Or could it be something else?

A fun look at the morning routine, a lovely community, and the bond between parent and child. 

MJ is ready for kindergarten. When her mom gifts her a tiara, she explains how to be a queen. MJ spends the whole day performing her duties.

Adorable. I love the moments between the mother and MJ. MJ lives up to the tiara. I love how there are easter eggs of the author's previous books in this story. 

Your octopus is invited to school, but they aren't that interested in going.

This is a funny book that will have readers pouring over the illustrations.

If you've always wanted to be a rock star, this is the book for you. 

The illustrations are great - bright and colorful. This book is a lot of fun! 

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Covers

 This week's topic is book covers featuring water. I'm pulling upcoming books from my TBR list. 

Any of these on your list too? Or have you read any?

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Board Books: Transportation

Showcasing a stack of new transportation books from the library:

All about boats and bedtime. The ending is sweet.

A great book about firetrucks and firefighters.

A sweet bedtime book about the tractor and the farm.

A fun pirate story with friends on the boat for the day

All the movements of the getting to the subway, riding the subway, and heading home. A great book to make interactive for storytime. 

For anyone who loves construction vehicles! This board book has so much vocabulary and details. Readers will love all the facts and the labeled vehicles.

Lots of silly animals on different modes of transportation. Kids will get a kick out of this one! Love the brightly colored illustrations. 

These slides ask and answer questions about things that go. A lot of fun to be had here.

Perfect for hockey fans! These flaps connect with the machine itself and there's a puppy to find on every page. 

A very sweet bedtime story with different construction vehicles. This book has lovely soft illustrations and some touch and feel parts.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Movie Review: Haunted Mansion

Last weekend, we saw The Haunted Mansion

And it was Really Good!

What I liked:
* The humor
* It was scary - but there were some moments that made me jump
* The cast
* The relationships that developed between the cast
* The Mansion was neat - and I liked the special effects
* The Seance 
* The House Tour featuring Winona Ryder
* The Easter Eggs from the Disney Ride 

Friday, August 25, 2023

Review: Rebel Undercover


* Book 3 in the Forgotten Five series * 
The rebel supers are beginning to understand just exactly what they are up against when one of their own goes undercover in the President's house. It's not looking good and they're beginning to lose heart.

They aren't prepared for a fight this big. Doubts creep in. Tensions run high. And people are beginning to wonder who to trust...
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this third installment of the series. Lots of action, danger, and plot twists and turns here. Lots of moments of doubt. Lots of secrets. And a very surprising ending. I can't wait to see what happens next. 

Cover Thoughts: Perfect
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A must have middle grade series for your school and public library. 

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Review: Firefly Summer


For the longest time, it's just been Ryanna and her Dad. Then a new stepmother entered the picture. Now, her grandparents wrote a letter asking her to visit for the summer. She isn't sure about it. Apparently they had a big fight with her dad when her mom died and they haven't talked since.

Ryanna decides to visit the camp. She's stunned to learn that she has cousins, aunts, and uncles too. At first she feels like an outsider. They aren't any rules. There's very little structure. Ryanna is a bit overwhelmed by it all.

But before long, she's learning about her mother, playing with her cousins, and having the time of her life. She soon learns that a property dispute makes this the last summer at the camp. Ryanna can't believe it; she'll do everything in her power to save the camp.
My Thoughts: I really loved this book. It was sweet, charming, and full of life. I loved watching Ryanna struggle to find her place in the camp. The camp was an amazing place and it sounds like such a great summer. I loved the bit about fireflies. I loved learning about her mother. I loved how both Ryanna and her mother liked mystery novels. I loved the treasure hunt. I loved how Ryanna's name came to be. I loved the cousins playing together and making up games. Trying to save the camp was funny - the things they came up with. I love how it all ended and I'm really hoping to a sequel. 

Cover Thoughts: Adorable
Source: ARC sent for review
Library Recommendation: Highly recommended for your school and public library collections.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Picture Book Wednesday: School Books (2)


More school picture books:

Lupe wants nothing more than to be a famous rock star - so much so that she has trouble following the rules. She marches to her own beat, but she does make friends, and she does listen to them.

Lupe is awesome! I love her determination and her confidence. I love the ending of this one! 

Lupe has trouble reading - but thanks to her musical skills, she's able to figure out a code that works for her.

Bullies, friendship, and a patient teacher make this book one to share. And obviously I love how this one shares the importance of reading. 

Ms. Perry welcomes everyone in the class. She wants to create a KIND classroom. Together, she has the class come up with rules.

It's a sweet story about kindness, friendship, and helping others. It's a little long for a read-aloud. But I do love the author's note about kindness and how to help people. The Kindness Pledge is included. 

Kitten is excited about going to school for the first time. 

I love how everyone is involved and sweet to each other. The ending is great!

School supplies parents share their love with their kids. 

Not exactly a going to school book, but the school supplies are adorable. The sweetness and the puns are fantastic. The illustrations are fun and the colors are bright. I loved it - this is a cute one to share.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Boarding Schools

 This week's topic is a freebie. Since we're heading into back-to-school season, I'm sharing a few teen boarding school favorites!

What's your favorite boarding school book?

Monday, August 21, 2023

Review: The Showdown


* Book 2 in the Saddlehill Academy series * 

Abby's still having a hard time. She learns the identity of the person harassing her. But it doesn't help anything as the person knows her biggest secret - the one secret she doesn't want getting out. Abby hasn't even told her two best friends the secret.

On top of everything, horse shows are starting back up and Abby needs to be a team player. It's hard to be supportive when you don't trust your team. As Abby attempts to bottle everything up, everything explodes. Her friendships, her future, and everything she's worked for is now in jeopardy. 
My Thoughts: I couldn't put this book down; I loved it. I loved the drama, the friendships, the family issues, and of course all the horse moments. I love the Harvest Dance. I loved Abby's interactions with Mila. They were cute and funny. I did feel a little bad for Emery and I hope that relationship can heal. I can't wait to read what happens next....

Cover Thoughts: Adorable and right out of the book
Source: Book sent for review
Library Recommendations: Highly recommended for your school and public library collections.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Board Books: Outdoor Books


* These books are perfect for next year's summer reading theme: Adventure Begins at Your Library

I love these slide and seek books - there are ocean animals to find, slides to move, brightly colored illustrations, and one fish exploring the ocean. 

S'mores and declarations of love - this is one sweet book!

Similar to Goodnight Moon, this book shares goodnights with the outdoor world and the family camping out.


A look at all the things in the forest/garden with a ending of goodnight. The illustrations are lovely and there are lots of things to talk about in these books. 

A great introduction to bird - featuring amazing photographs and lots of fun facts.