Welcome to the circulating blog tour and giveaway for The Searchers series of middle grade historical fiction by Bertha Schwartz, hosted by JustRead tours!
Captain LaPlank: The Perfect Pirate
Published September 12th 2018 by CreateSpace
This was a cute story about a Pirate who is a perfectionist. He can not put up with any mistakes and ends up with a major problem due to this flaw in his personality. A great message not only for those listening to the story, but the adult who is reading it.
Captain LaPlank is a wonderfully written rhyming story with a great cadence and flow. My grandchildren enjoyed hearing this story and when we were finished, cries of “Again, again” reang out. The illustrations were great. They were large, vibrant and humourous. I would try to turn the page and have to go back as they wanted to look longer. It might have been a bit longer than other children’s books, but my grandchildren did not seem to mind. They did not get the message as they are only 2 and 5, but with older children, they will understand it better. The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, ideas and opinions stated are my own.
I actually requested this book back in August when I read a review on Perfectly Tolerable. Check out Brittany’s blog if you are not familiar with it.
Published August 28th 2018 by Lion Forge
SHEETS is a sad, but powerful middle grades graphic novel about loss, perseverance, forgiveness and unlikely friendships.
Marjorie, a thirteen year old girl, who feels invisible to the world. When her mother died, her father shut himself down emotionally. Marjorie is not running the family laundry and taking care of her little brother. She loves books and the piano. She is awkward and has not friends. A tough life trying to get through middle school. Throw in a ruthless business man harassing her, and I do not understand how she makes it through the day. And then there is Wendell. He is the ghost of a little boy, who has the habit of exaggerating. He is a cute little ghost who wears a sheet. When Wendell gets kicked out of his house and needs a place to stay, he ends up in the human world, living in the laundry. There are all kinds of problems with this, but when push comes to shove, Wendell and Marjorie team up to save the laundry.
This book is a graphic novel that deals with some deep issues: death of family and friends and the depression of the child forced into taking care of her family, as well as the bullying. Having said that, it is also about second chances and finding friends in the most unlikely places. The illustrations are wonderful. They are colourful, yet muted in pastel shades that add to the despair that Marjorie is feeling. The faces show so much expression, it is easy to see how the characters are feeling. This is a clever story that I believe middle school students would enjoy and perhaps some may identify with these outcast characters. With Halloween around the corner, this is a different type of ghost story. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
My final read for this week is Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.
Over the years, I have read many of Lois Lowry’s books, I do not know how I missed this one. This is a poignant tale of Annemarie Johansen and her family living in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1943. Annemarie’s best friend is Ellen Rosen, a young Jewish Girl. When the nazis finally decide to relocate the Jewish people, a high-ranking German official tells the Danish government. The rabbi at the synogogue the Rosens attend warns them. The rest of the story details the secrecy and the plans the resistance has to smuggle the Jewish people out of Denmark, across the sea to safety in Sweden.
This is a story of bravery, love, sacrifice and success. The story is told in simple language for children. It is not gruesome or descriptive of the horrors that occurred, but it is easy to see the burdens and fear the Danish people lived with. This book is a Newberry Award winner and it is easy to see why. This is not a long book, but it is an important story. Once again, I have learned something about the people who survived WWII that I was not aware of before.
Make sure you read the afterword as it informs the reader of the true facts, what part of the story is fiction and some background to the author’s research and motivation to write this book.
Expected publication: September 25th 2018 by Tundra Books
This is the first book in an early reader series about Anne of Green Gables. This short chapter book covers the first chapter of the novel. I wish this series had been around when I tried to read Anne to my young daughter. It is very true to the original story. The illustrations are wonderful and appear vintage so as not to take away from the time of the story. They do a wonderful job of depicting the storyline. This would make a beautiful story for a parent and child to read together while introducing them to the world of Anne with an “e”. Even with this shorter version, the personalities of Anne, Marilla and Matthew shine through. This is a great book to introduce young children to a classic piece of literature. The publisher, Penguin Random House Canada – Tundra Books, provided me with a copy of this book to read. The opinions stated are my own.
Expected publication: September 25th 2018 by Tundra Books
Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout
I absolutely loved this book. It is a perfect bedtime story featuring that beloved red-head, Anne Shirley. Anne tells Marilla that she can not go to sleep until she says goodnight to all the things she loves. As she says goodnight, she gives a peak into the stories that many have read and loved over the years. She includes: Matthew and Marilla her new family members, Diana her best friend, Miss Stacy her teacher, Gilbert the boy who gives her grief at school, and the area she lives in. The text is beautiful and poetic.
This charming book is a perfect introduction to Canadian author L.M. Montgomery’s famous series. The illustrations are beautiful and rich and draw you into the story. They are vintage type illustration that I have come to expect from illustrator Geneviève Godbout. This is an amazing bedtime story that I will read to my granddaughter over and over. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book to read.
Expected publication: September 4th 2018 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
I really enjoy this series of children’s books. The stories take place in a wild west setting, but with dinosaurs. Who wouldn’t enjoy that. This is the 5th book in the series.
Trihorn Settlement is having a fair when the pterodactyls attack. When they fly off with Josh’s hero, Terrodactyl Bill (T-Bill) he and his friends set off to save him. Can they make it up the mountain? Will T-Bill be okay? Will they get attacked again? Read to find the answers to these questions and more.
This is a great book for anyone who loves dinosaurs. It is an early chapter book that late primary, early junior students would be able to read with help or independently. The illustrations are wonderful and add to the story. A great addition to school, classroom and family libraries. Definitely a winner with dinosaur lovers. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
My Review: The Astro the Alien series is a Beginning to Read Book published by Norwood Press. I like this series as it is simple to read and filled with a lot of activities and suggestions at the end to help children develop both reading recognition skills and comprehension skills. In this book Astro and his friends Ben and Eva fly to the dessert in Astro’s space pod. They bring their camping gear and spend a night. They get to see animals in the day and those that come out at night. They also talk about climate and how it effects the dessert and animals. The illustrations were well done. They are bright, colourful and large so you can see the animals clearly. A good book for a family library and primary classroom. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.