A book about prejudice for children ages 6-8. On the Playground by Roberts

On the Playground is a non-fiction title that introduces children to the ways in which prejudice can be hurtful and damaging.  In an afterword, the author states:  “When I was growing up, it was common to see other kids being bullied…Much to my shame, I remember doing nothing…I encourage all readers of this book to make better choices than I did.”  The author wrote this book to help children understand and do better.

This is an informational text.  It does not have a fictional story line. There are illustrations that are multi-cultural and multi-contextual.  There is a hybrid of what seems like a read aloud with other sections that are related and instructional.

To this reader, the book did not seem like one that a child would pick up and read but more one that would be part of a discussion in a school setting.  While I admired what the author hoped to, and does in many ways accomplish, I found the book to be a bit dry.  Using this book as a jumping off point for discussion makes sense to me.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this interesting read.

#OnThePlayground #NetGalley



E-book bargains-Mary Stewart

This Rough MagicNine Coaches WaitingMadam, Will You Talk?The Ivy TreeThunder on the RightThe Gabriel HoundsAirs Above the GroundJust last night I was thinking about how much I enjoyed Mary Stewart’s novels when I was younger.  Imagine my surprise when seven (!) of the novels came up as e-book bargains today.

I would describe the author’s books, which were originally published over fifty years ago, as romantic suspense at its best, with a literary flair.  The flair is seen in the quotes that head up each chapter.  Each novel is a standalone and each takes place in a location that you will enjoy visiting, for example, Provence or Corfu or Crete or the Pyrenees.

I am looking forward to re-reading some of these novels.  They seem like the perfect antidote as holiday stress comes into play…and by the way, the covers are so gorgeous!

A chapter book for young flower girls. Katie Woo

This is a chapter book for beginning readers. It tells the story of Katie who is asked to be a flower girl in her relative’s wedding. Katie’s friends offer her help and support as she gets ready…one even becomes a co-flower girl so that Katie won’t be too nervous. This is a simple book that may be of interest to children who want to know more about weddings. The illustrations are engaging and multi-cultural and they add to the appeal of the story.

#FlowerGirlKatie #NetGalley

For those who want to know this city better: No Access Washington DC by Kanter

This book offers a fascinating look at either places you may not have heard of or interesting aspects of places where you may have been.  A few examples…you may have been in Rock Creek Park but did you know that discarded stones from the Capitol building are there?  Have you heard of the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument or the home of Carter G Woodson that is located in the Shaw neighborhood?  For those who don’t know Dr. Woodson was “the man known as the father of African American History.”  Have you visited the home with a front yard filled with dinosaurs?  How about the President’s Suite at Regan Washington National Airport where Roosevelt held meetings?  There are many places listed, described and photographed in this book.  It is worth having for both first time and frequent visitors to DC, along with DC residents.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher.  I learned a lot.

#NoAccessWashingtonDc #NetGalley

E-book bargains-Sweet Little Lies and The Memoirs of Cleopatra

Sweet Little Lies: A NovelI have not as yet read this but it has gotten very good reviews as you can see below.  Kirkus comapres the author to two of my favorites, Steiner and French which has to be a good sign.

“[A] taut, psychologically twisted debut . . .  Readers will root for the spiky Kinsella, with her emphatic center, and hope to see more of her in future books.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Cat’s evolution from one-dimensional sad sack to complex, honest adult is both believable and welcome, putting her on par with Susie Steiner’s and Tana French’s female detectives. A truly satisfying—and gritty—mystery.”
(Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“Frear has fashioned a remarkably rich and sympathetic character in Cat, and her portrayal of dysfunctional families, especially their mix of world-weary dialogue interspersed with cutting comments, is cringingly realistic. . . . Impressive. . . will also work as a way of keeping Tana French fans happy while waiting for French’s next book.” (Booklist)

“An assured debut . . . All the characters–minor or lead, living or dead–are well crafted. Frear also makes an impression with her vivid dialogue and prose . . . It’s no secret that Lies is an engrossing read.”
(Shelf Awareness)

The Memoirs of Cleopatra: A NovelThis may be a good one for long winter nights as it is over 900 pages long.  I have not yet read it but am putting it on my TBR pile.

From Library Journal

Cleopatra has captivated generations, and this huge novel will ensure additional adulation. Beginning with a memory at age three of witnessing her mother’s death and ending with her own suicide, Cleopatra tells her story. Both the telling and the tale are exceptional. George (Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles, St. Martin’s, 1992) combines history and legend with her own imagination to produce a fascinating portrait. Strangely, some of the more implausible events, such as Cleopatra’s being hidden in a rug and taken to Caesar, are fact, not fiction. The graceful use of the language and the intense action make for compelling reading. Success is guaranteed: book club rights have been sold to the Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club, and miniseries rights have been sold to Hallmark Productions. For most libraries.?Dorothy S. Golden, Georgia Southern Univ., Statesboro
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

An e-book bargain; Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

I have not read this but purchased it immediately when I saw that it was an e-book bargain.  Becoming Mrs. Lewis has gotten excellent reviews.  The novel tells the story of C S Lewis and Joy Davidson.  I am excited to read it and hope that you will be too.

You can see some of the praise below.

becoming mrs lewis
‘Patti Callahan weaves a hypnotic historical fiction narrative of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis, or ‘Jack,’ as he’s known to his closest friends . . . Spanning more than a decade, this slow-burning love story will be especially satisfying to writers and C.S. Lewis fans, as there are many references to his literary canon and his famous stories of Narnia. Callahan’s prose is heartfelt and full of grace.’ (BookPage)

‘Callahan crafts a masterpiece that details the friendship and ultimate romance between the real Davidman and Lewis . . . Fans of Karen White and Mary Alice Monroe will enjoy this book. Callahan’s writing is riveting and her characters spring to life to create a magical and literary experience that won’t be soon forgotten.’ (Library Journal, STARRED review)

‘Readers familiar with the life and work of C.S. Lewis will relish learning about the woman who inspired some of his most famous books. Others will find the slow burn of the romance between the two mesmerizing. All fans of women’s fiction, particularly works with religious themes, will appreciate reading about this vibrant and intelligent woman.’ (Booklist)

A magazine for children’s reading-Story Monsters Ink

I was not aware of this publication until I saw it on NetGalley. It is definitely worth a look and I would read this magazine again in the future. This publication is about reading and children; the target audience is probably parents, school and public librarians and teachers. There was an interesting mix of articles including one about a teen in Florida who is legally blind, advocating for better services who has written a book and one by James Patterson about a new series featuring heroine, Max Einstein, a girl who will have adventures while making science interesting. There are also reviews, suggestions of books for holiday gifts and some articles on other media like TV, music and movies. A good publication if you are its target audience.
Thanks NetGalley and Story Monsters Ink.

#StoryMonstersInkNovember2018 #NetGalley

An e-book bargain-The Vanishing Point by McDermid

The Vanishing Point by [McDermid, Val]This is a standalone novel by a favorite author of mine.  Earlier this month, I posted on her latest Karen Pirie novel.  The Vanishing Poing is an earlier book.  It was a suspenseful, involving read and I highly recommend it!

From Goodreads:

Young Jimmy Higgins is snatched from an airport security checkpoint while his guardian watches helplessly from the glass inspection box. But this is no ordinary abduction, as Jimmy is no ordinary child. His mother was Scarlett, a reality TV star who, dying of cancer and alienated from her unreliable family, entrusted the boy to the person she believed best able to give him a happy, stable life: her ghost writer, Stephanie Harker. Assisting the FBI in their attempt to recover the missing boy, Stephanie reaches into the past to uncover the motive for the abduction. Has Jimmy been taken by his own relatives? Is Stephanie’s obsessive ex-lover trying to teach her a lesson? Has one of Scarlett’s stalkers come back to haunt them all?

A powerful, grippingly-plotted thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the end, The Vanishing Point showcases McDermid at the height of her talent.


A warm and witty comic strip-You Have Those Wild Eyes Again, Mooch by MacDonnell

You Have Those Wild Eyes Again, Mooch: A New MUTTS TreasuryIn my opinion, Mutts is one of the best comic strips around.  Mooch and Earl are animal friends who experience life with wonder, joy and sometimes bafflement.  They can bring a smile to even the grumpiest face.  This is the newest compilation and I highly recommend it.

Some examples…