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York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby

by Julie

Posted on December 9, 2017 12:39:29 AM UTC
Middle Grades, Review, Young Adult


It may be that we were never destined to be a match, "York: The Shadow Cipher", first book in a trilogy by Laura Ruby. I am quite a bit older the kind of reader you were looking for, but I assure you, I am quite young at heart...

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Wonder Movie

by Darin

Posted on November 28, 2017 2:34:01 AM UTC
Children, Middle Grades, Misc


With a solid 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a solid 3/4 from Roger Ebert, Wonder the movie seems to be a very good adapation of R.J. Palacio's novel. Before heading out to see the new Wonder movie, check out our classic review.

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A Reading Experience: Alternative Book-ish Gifts for the Holidays

by Julie

Posted on November 28, 2017 1:36:52 AM UTC
Advanced Elementary, Children, Middle Grades, Misc, Picture Books, Post, Young Adult


This weekend, I've been making my holiday gift list and checking it twice, and while I kind of feel like I should just be able to buy “books” for everyone and be done with it (isn’t that what they expect anyway?), it’s not that easy. In a perfect world, I would carefully hand-select two or three tomes that were entertaining, new-to-them, thought-provoking, deep discussion-starting, playful, irresistible, highly relatable, incredibly written, masterfully illustrated, and so on and so forth. Alas, just getting past the “new-to-them” part is, in real life, no easy task. I am pretty good at doing it for the adults in my life, but for the kids in my extended family, I have come up with another plan.

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Just Add Pumpkin Spice... Great Fall and Halloween Books to Read and Share

by Julie

Posted on October 18, 2017 11:34:53 PM UTC
Advanced Elementary, Children, Middle Grades, Misc, Picture Books, Young Adult


In the midst of all the chaos that seems to be churning constantly around us (and for some, it has hit right at the center of home), the upcoming Halloween holiday is still showing up at the very same time this year. For me, it kicks off the whole fall/winter holiday season, and I give myself an extra little treat by packing all my favorite seasonal books with the décor: when we are done with the decorating, we mix up a little hot chocolate and amp up the vibe with some cuddly story time.

There are so many great fall and Halloween books for kids and families. Here are a few of my favorites.

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The Secret School by Avi

by Julie

Posted on October 17, 2017 12:52:55 AM UTC
One School One Book, Children, Advanced Elementary


Dear Ida Bidson, at the tender age of 14, has her heart set on becoming a teacher, and no one is going to get in her way – especially not the local school board, who has decided to close their little country school early for the year when the teacher is called to another state for a family emergency. So Ida and her schoolmates decide to continue to hold class, climbing through windows to open the locked building each day. Ida tells her parents honestly what they are doing and why, but when they raise (valid!) concerns, Ida firmly stands her ground. And wins. Every time.

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A Shadow Bright and Burning By Jessica Cluess

by Pumpkin

Posted on October 5, 2017 10:24:47 PM UTC
Pumpkin's Page, Review, Young Adult, Middle Grades


This is one of my favorite books I have ever read. I was looking for a quick read in the library that would only take me a few days. Only this book was more than quick. I finished this book in less than a day. It excited me from the beginning of the book and right to the end. On the afternoon I finished, I set a reminder on my phone telling me when it’s sequel to came out. I think a lot of people would enjoy this book. The book is about a girl named Henrietta Howel who discovers she has uncontrollable power to ignite herself on fire. A sorcerer called Agrippa comes to investigate fires that seem to be started by a young girl (Henrietta works at a boarding school), looking for the sorcerers chosen one who is prophesized to be a female sorcerer ( there hasn’t been one for hundreds of years ) and to be their savior from the Ancients.

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Ruby the Foster Dog by Jimmy Wayne

by Julie

Posted on October 3, 2017 2:06:53 AM UTC
Advanced Elementary, Children, Review


I rarely write negative book reviews, and it is particularly difficult to write a bad review for an ARC (or Advance Review Copy) that was so graciously extended to me by the author and/or publisher. However, I think feedback is always important, and potential readers should have information from a variety of viewpoints.

Jimmy Wayne, author of “Ruby the Foster Dog”, has a good heart and an interesting story to tell. A former foster child, he is also a country music artist, and has written (or co-written) two other books. In an effort to raise awareness about the struggles faced by kids who age-out of the foster care system, he embarked on a walk halfway across America in 2010. “Ruby” is his semi-autobiographical account of this event, written specifically for children.

The illustrations in the galley copy that I received were detailed and beautiful, full of action and emotion. With a few more pictures, you might not even need the words to tell the story (and in this case, it would be an improvement).

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Greetings from Witness Protection! by Jake Burt

by Julie

Posted on September 30, 2017 2:10:59 AM UTC
Advanced Elementary, Middle Grades, Review


Is there a real Witness Protection Program in the U.S.? Is it successful? What kind of witnesses do they protect? It seems a little far fetched to me, but still fascinating, so I was intrigued when I first read the teaser for Jake Burt’s upcoming release, “Greetings From Witness Protection!”

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Freaky Fast Frankie Joe by Lutricia Clifton

by Julie

Posted on September 13, 2017 11:24:50 PM UTC
Advanced Elementary, Golden Sower Award, Review, Middle Grades


Stories about kids who have lives much different from what I (and my kids) are accustomed to are difficult for me to enjoy. Of course, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be written and read – in fact they give folks like myself a new perspective, and offer hope, reassurance and recognition to others. Still, this is why I like to read with my kids, or at least some of the same books that they do: it gives us a chance to have meaningful discussions about what is important to us, as individuals, as parents, as families. I originally posted this review in February of 2014 on Goodreads.com…

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Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors

by Julie

Posted on September 13, 2017 11:01:31 PM UTC
Advanced Elementary, Golden Sower Award, Middle Grades, Review


I don't know about you, but when someone says "smells like dog" to me, I think YUCK! (And I have two dogs, whose smell ranges from traditional doggie odor to a Frito-like scent to an aroma close to dead fish. None of them are very pleasant.)...

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OperationRead Mission

Our mission is to offer tools for finding and selecting books... particularly for emergent through young adult readers, and to encourage reading in general. From original content & reviews to sharing valuable outside resources, we will serve as a launching point to improve the experience of reading overall.