OperationRead read better

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Title: A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire, Book One)
Author: Jessica Cluess
ISBN: 9780553535938
Publish Date: 2017-09-05

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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Title: Ruby the Foster Dog
Author: Jimmy Wayne
ISBN: 9781424554089
Publish Date: 2017-11

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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Title: Greetings from Witness Protection!
Author: Jake Burt
ISBN: 9781250107114
Publish Date: 2017-10-03

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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Title: Freaky Fast Frankie Joe
Author: Lutricia Clifton
ISBN: 9780823423675
Publish Date: 2012

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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Title: Smells Like Dog
Author: Suzanne Selfors
ISBN: 9780316043984
Publish Date: 2010-05-01

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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Title: The Candymakers
Author: Wendy Mass
ISBN: 9780316264990
Publish Date: 2015-05-12

The Candymakers by Wendy Mass

by Julie

Posted on September 13, 2017 10:46:36 PM UTC
Advanced Elementary, Golden Sower Award, Middle Grades, Review


Book length is often a deciding factor when choosing (or recommending) books for kids. Depending on the reader, a very long book can seem either intimidating or exhilarating. Even kiddos who typically love very long books might search out shorter stories, depending on their mood, whether it is for an upcoming school assignment, the genre or topic, what their best friend said yesterday, moon spots, or solar flares. (The last two might be a little obscure, but you know what I mean.) When this very “long” book came up on our list to read, I was concerned that my 9 year old daughter would be overwhelmed...

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Title: The Unwanteds
Author: Lisa McMann
ISBN: 9781442407688
Publish Date: 2011-08-30

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

by Julie

Posted on September 13, 2017 10:23:07 PM UTC
Advanced Elementary, Golden Sower Award, Middle Grades, Review


Another book on the Golden Sower nominee list for middle grades, I was wary about this one. I do judge a book by its cover -- sorry -- and this one said "science-fiction fantasy", of which I am not a fan. My daughter started reading it on her own at first, but she missed reading to me and wanted to share the plot so badly. Fortunately, McMann does a pretty good job of making this genre palatable for even the wariest reader.

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Title: Pie
Author: Sarah Weeks
ISBN: 9780545270113
Publish Date: 2011

Pie by Sarah Weeks

by Julie

Posted on September 10, 2017 6:19:33 PM UTC
Advanced Elementary, Golden Sower Award, Middle Grades


I am not a traditional pie lover, but years ago my mom started making these frozen chocolate pies that became a family favorite and is often requested in lieu of birthday cakes to this day. Fortunately, the book “Pie” only requires an interest in fun mysteries. A quick read at just 183 pages, “Pie” is a good choice for readers in upper elementary grades. This is the review I posted on Goodreads in 2013.

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Title: The Toothpaste Millionaire
Author: Jean Merrill
ISBN: 9780618759255
Publish Date: 2006

The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill

by Julie

Posted on September 10, 2017 1:06:35 AM UTC
One School One Book, Review


I read The Toothpaste Millionaire, by Jean Merrill, as a kid, and remember enjoying it thoroughly! I ordered a copy earlier this summer and re-read it, hoping to find the same magic I felt reading it for the first time. Originally published in 1972, the story is told by Kate MacKinstrey, a 12-year old sixth grader who begins the book as the new kid in town. She doesn’t have an easy time making new friends, even though she knows “that if you want to make friends, you have to be friendly. And I tried.”

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Title: Wild Life
Author: Cynthia DeFelice
ISBN: 9781466801110
Publish Date: 2011-05-10

Wild Life by Cynthia DeFelice

by Julie

Posted on August 30, 2017 3:48:17 PM UTC
Review, Advanced Elementary, Golden Sower Award, Middle Grades


Sometimes, I almost have to write two reviews when reading books intended for a younger audience. As an adult, I don't appreciate ridiculous jokes and bizarre plots in the same way kids do -- and that's okay! Still, the fact that a book is geared for children is not a free pass for poor or sloppy writing. Wild Life was the third book Pumpkin and I read from the 2014 Golden Sower Chapter Book nominees, and this is the review I wrote in December of 2013.

Ugh. You might wonder why I gave it three stars and an "ugh", so here is the reason: it is a book intended for middle grade readers, and the things that bugged me will probably not even register with them...

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