Tag Archives: children’s book reviews

Children’s Picture Book Review: I am a Rockstar


RockstarBookCoverFor day three of my read-aloud collection recommendations for 2018, I present to you a unique take on a new type of pictures book. I am a Rockstar by Amy Hackler Thibeault is a unique positive affirmation picture book. Each set of pages deals with different issues in building self-image. This makes the book a unique read for bedtime and discussion time with parents, or can be used as a great start for the day.

Each set of pages has questions to think about and affirmations to confirm different issues children might struggle with in their self-confidence. From subjects such as setting goals, getting excited to learn new things, following the rules, taking care of your health to honoring those that support you, this is a well organized book to cover many topics children need to consider and learn while growing up.

I found that this would be a great read-aloud for especially the beginning of the year, to help bolster and bring a class together. Each set of pages had questions to be asked and discussed followed by positive affirmations that can be said individually or as a class. It can also be used mid-year to help reaffirm some of these skills that a class might still struggle with.

As a read-aloud at home, it would be great to start the day using the discussion questions and affirmations. It will also be a great way to create discussions at home.

I am a Rockstar is a great book to help get kids out of bed in the morning and excited about their day. I highly recommend it as a read-aloud for any classroom or home.

I am a Rockstar is available at: Barnes and Noble.com and Amazon.com. 



Children’s Picture Book Review: The Birthday Party


Looking for a unique birthday present for your special someone? The Birthday Party by Ronald and Juanita Destra is a cute picture book with a fun birthday surprise.


The Birthday Party by Ronald and Juanita Destra is available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.

The Birthday Party is a book that wraps itself around the theme to never give up on your friends and family. That no matter what, even when it seems like there is no hope, they will come through for you in the end. The plot builds suspense to draw you through the story, making even the reader wonder what is going to happen by the end. You feel the heart ache of Johnny not having anyone acknowledge his birthday. It just makes the ending so much sweeter. The illustrations are also very charming, and the diverse characters make this a great read-aloud for any classroom.

I would recommend this picture book for parents and teachers looking for a book that teaches lessons of perseverance and the love of family and friends.

***The Birthday Party is available at Barnes and Nobles.com and Amazon.com.


Back to School Blog Tour 2017 Starts Today!


2017B2SchoolBannerWelcome to the 5th Annual Back to School Blog Tour! This week, Indie Children’s Authors will be featured. Each day, there will be an author interview with a book review on a participating blog. Click to the link to read the book review. Plus, there is a giveaway of a $25 Amazon Gift Card going on all week. Just pass the word around in tweets, comment about the blog tour or join mailing lists to enter. Giveaway goes until Saturday, Sept. 16.

Link here for $25 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own class library or books for Back to School!


Schedule for the Week:

  1. Monday Sept. 11: Schedule and Giveaway link posted
  2. Tuesday Sept. 12: Featured Author Becca Price
  3. Wednesday Sept. 13: Featured Author Teddy O’Malley
  4. Thursday Sept. 14: Featured Author: Tiffany Turner
  5. Friday Sept. 15: Blog Tour Recap: Last day to sign up for Giveaway

For those lost today, this blog tour is dedicated to all week! Always remember, never forget!

I’d also like to acknowledge on today, Patriot’s Day, those that were lost in the attacks on 9/11. I was teaching that day, and saw the attacks on the second tower as I was getting ready to go to work. Many kids went to school that day, and some did not. Those that went, I had to help them deal with the emotional fall out of the attack, and continued to do that in the days to come.

That Friday, our school  had a moment of silence with the Nation, in which impromptu, many teacher’s grabbed the flags in their classrooms and the whole school stood in the assembly area, each student in a class holding the American Flag for their classroom. The flag became a symbol of hope, strength, and pride for our country. I understand the meaning of it and for those that had fought for it in the past.

So, on this day of remembrance, I share with you one of the memories of that day. I was proud to go to work that day and teach the children, now adults, of our great country. The children I taught that day were 10, and are now 27. So, for their children and the future children of the US, I dedicate this blog tour to educating the future. It’s going to make our country strong and keep us united through everything.

I hope you join me again tomorrow for our first featured author, Becca Price. Until then, remember those that were lost on 9/11.

-Tiffany Turner





A Gift of Old School Adventure


The Treasure of Devil’s Hole by Jody M. Mabry

What do caves, boys on adventure, and gold all have in common? They are combined into a wildly good historical adventure that is hard to put down. The Treasure at Devil’s Hole by Jody M. Mabry is a combination of a Hardy Boy’s adventure and home cooked apple pie. It’s an old school recipe for some good reading. I ate it right up.

A young boy growing up in 1945 goes on an adventure looking for treasure with his two younger brothers. There is a legend told about bandits that hid their treasure in the nearby cavern of Devil’s Hole. One afternoon, they all decide to find out if it’s true. They get more than they bargain for. A mysterious old man tries to nab them as they escape the dangers of the cave.

Bug, also known as Francis, is convinced it must be there. But having been whooped and grounded for trying to find the treasure in the first place, he must find an excuse to outwit his mother to lead another trip down into the cave. With his best friend Billy, Bug runs into more of a mystery than planned. Trapped into a conflict with the local bully, Bug must solve the riddle of the treasure as well as save the local miner that faces the ultimate punishment.

This is a great mystery adventure to get lost in for the coming Holiday break. It’s got a fast pace, keeping you gripped in the story. I couldn’t put it down. It takes place in a small town in Possum Flats, Arkansas. Mabry sprinkles real stories from his grandmother raising her rowdy boys with a mix of traditional mystery storytelling. He was inspired by stories of the “Old Dutchman Mine” as a kid, and uses the classic lost treasure plot with a lot of fun, new twists. There is a nice set up for a sequel in the ending. I am hoping for Bugs to have further adventures with his brothers. Hopefully, Mr. Mabry’s grandmother told enough tales to fill more books. I’m looking forward to them.

***** 5 Stars
The Treasure of Devil’s Hole is available in paperback and ebook at Amazon.com and Barnes and Nobles.com. Plus, it is also available as an ebook at Ibooks.com, the Apple Store, and Lulu.com.

Not a Vampire, Not a Superhero, But A Kid That Saves the Day


Chaderick Not a Vampire. Not a Zombie. Not a Superhero written by Lauren DW Luchsinger Fox

Chaderick is a typical nerdy kid. He reminds me of Encyclopedia Brown, if he lived in a town of superheroes. Chaderick, which doesn’t prefer Chad, is a not so average kid with not typical neighbors. He stands out since he’s one of the few people that isn’t a superhero, vampire, or zombie. Really, what could be left? The biggest lesson of all to learn, that being yourself can save the day.

Chaderick Not a Vampire. Not a Zombie. Not a Superhero. is by Lauren DW Luchsinger Fox. The book focuses on the problem of what to do when you don’t fit in. With his sidekick Hollanda, or Hole, Chaderick searches for the solutions to different mysteries in the town of Hero Town. Why did someone tie up the cafe owners and steal the mustard? Why was there a mysterious fire? Could there be evil afoot with a town full of superheroes? But of course, Chaderick isn’t the only one on the case. Pyroman, Super Dan, and if the local police are out to catch the culprits. But Chaderick wants to prove that you don’t have to be a superhero to save the day.

This is a great book for kids to build self-esteem and have trouble reading. The language is simple and direct for a middle reader. Chaderick is a misfit in a hero filled world. He’s very endearing to anyone that has felt like they don’t stand out in a crowd. The interplay between his friend Hole is masterful. It’s a sidekick relationship you can buy into. Plus, the plot leads to an ending that is satisfying, but with a fun twist. I only had trouble with Chaderick getting tricked into a box trap by the villain. I thought he’d been established as being smarter than falling for it.

Overall, Chaderick Not a Vampire. Not a Zombie. Not a Superhero. is a great read for those wanting a book of misfits in a world full of superheroes. Parents will love the direct humor that will help a lower reader. With lots of free summer time, this would be a great book to entertain during any family vacation.

**** Four Star Rating
Available at Barnes and Nobles and Amazon.com.

What Happens When A Villain Turns Good


Featured Indie Book and Author

Welcome! I am featuring an Indie Author that writes amazing Middle Grade/YA fiction. Author Laura Lond has written a book series with a balance of humor and a twist to the normal hero. Her protagonist is a villian.

I’ve reviewed her first book, My Sparkling Adventure, and have recently reviewed her second book, My Royal Pain Quest. Your blog tour begins with the book review of My Royal Pain Quest. Follow the links below to enjoy an interview with Laura Lond from last summer. Plus, the review for her first book is also linked. I hope you enjoy this fabulous Indie writer.

Characters usually have the problem of not drifting to the dark side. In the second book of the Lakeland Knight series, My Royal Pain Quest by Laura Lond, Lord Arkus has the opposite problem. He’s already a villian, and keeps drifting towards the light, goodness, and all those pesky hero traits. He’s tried his hardest not to be good. But after he is stuck with a sparkling, an inherently good creature, his deviant path of badness keeps leading him to be a hero.

My Royal Pain Quest by Laura Lond

In the first book, My Sparkling Misfortune. Jarvis, the now incognito sparkling, infleunces Arkus with goodly ways. At the end, his sword is used in evil misdeeds, and he is put into a coma state as punishment. The second book opens with Lord Arkus guarding his friend Jarvi, and trying to figure out how to restore him to normal. It’s a very big step to becoming a hero, a very unvillain-like thing to do.

The book takes you on a quest of hero feats, all to help restore Jarvi to normal. Along the way, Lord Arkus picks up a sidekick, a highway woman named Cassandra, that only helps for the right price. Lord Arkus treads down the path to heroism and becomes less of a villain as he completes each task.

The hero elements are there, like having mermen allies after Lord Arkus inadvertently saves a mermaid. He has to work with a previous enemy, Prince Kellemar, as a quest. And lastly, helps with a new group of critters to find a lost boy. The hodgepodge of completing them lends to the humor. Hero acts keep piling on Lord Arkus, and the inner rebellion against being a hero starts to wain.

Cassandra, the highway woman, is an fantastic character. She’s a woman that can kick serious butt with a sword. Prince Kellemar, from the previous book, plays a part in the quests, going through a transformation of his own. All the twists in opposites does keep the plot interesting.

I enjoyed the way the book continued the villain struggle for Arkus. It’s a unique twist in character inner struggles. However, there is a sense of seriousness that seems to lose the humor from the previous book. It does fall in line with the plot of trying to save the sparkling. I also thought the ending was a bit too fairy tale like. It lent to some humor, but I think there could have been more to Cassandra and Lord Arkus building their relationship.

In the end, the plot and characters are so strong, they pull you through the book. My Royal Pain Quest works as a sequel, and I am definitely ready for book 3. This can be a great start to your child’s summer reading list, or for any adult that enjoys a fun read.

***** Five Star Rating
My Royal Pain Quest is available at Amazon.com, Smashwords.com, and Barnes and Noble.

*Link to a Review of the first book, My Sparkling Misfortune.

*Link to an interview with author, Laura Lond.
To continue with your INDIEpendence Day Blog tour event, link back to the Indibles Writers Blog.

Kids With Super Powers Rule


Priscilla the Great by Sybil Nelson

What if you’re 12 years old with Super Powers? Which super power would you have? Pricilla Sumner doesn’t have a choice. She discovers the hard way that fire can shoot from her fingers. And the fun continues from there.

Priscilla the Great by Sybil Nelson is a book that combines a comic book heroine with a Spy Kids plot. Priscilla likes to hang out with her best friend, Tai, and talk about boys. But when she discovers a secret so intense it can fry her friends, literally, that’s when things get interesting.

Unlike some comic books, it seems more realistic. Ok, really. There’s a nice emotional connection that comes from the first person narrative of Priscilla. You feel you have the super powers with her. Suddenly, fire shooting from your fingers is a problem along with a possible first kiss with a boy.

Priscilla and her mother don’t get along well. Her mother is so busy with work, she seems to hardly know Priscilla exists. But as her powers grow, she realizes her mother is the key.

Noting clues, such as her father upset she appears on a local TV show and her mother gone for long periods of time, Priscilla starts to put together a bigger picture. Everything is revealed when she finds herself in mega trouble. And it will take trusting her mother, figuring how to use her powers, and relying on herself to save her family.

Though I’m not a big super hero fan, I enjoyed the realistic, narrative writing style. I started to get sucked in relating to the fact most teens try to wish they were something else. Along with the combination of teen and super hero problems, Nelson combines an adventurous plot.

Though I might have chosen different super powers, I found relating to Priscilla easy and fun. There are some older teen issues. Priscilla and her mother have a simliar talk about boys that most preteens should have. If you have a child that hasn’t had Family Life ed in school, you might want to look through to see if you want them to wait until they are a bit older. In the end, I was won over by the witty and super Priscilla. This an enjoyable first book to a super series.

Rated 4 Stars ****
Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.

*Read the interview with Sybil Nelson.