Friday, July 31, 2015

Jars of Hope by Jennifer Roy, Meg Owenson

Jars of Hope by Jennifer Roy
This is a beautifully illustrated story for children aged 9 and older about Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker, and others, who saved the lives of 2500 Jewish children because it was the right thing to do. Irena risked her own life and suffered in prison but survived and was able to reunite some of the children she saved with their families. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

The Legend Of The Northern Lights And The Mystery Stone - Live The Legend Series by Dakota Waters

The Legend Of The Northern Lights And The Mystery Stone - Liv... by Dakota Waters
This book has cute illustrations to accompany the legend of the northern lights and the stone called labrdorite. There are also some facts and questions included at the end of this children's book. I received this book free to review from Netgalley. I think it is cute and is the first children's book I have seen on this topic.

When the Worst Happens: Extraordinary Stories of Survival by Tanya Lloyd Kyi ( Author), David Parkins (Illustrations)

When the Worst Happens by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
This is an interesting illustrated book of survival stories for children telling stories of how people survived tragic situations including scientific explanations of why they survived and what people can do to help survive in such situations. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I think some kids will find it very fascinating!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Dr. Andrew Weil

8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Andrew Weil
I like the information, but I do not like the formatting of this book. The book goes week by week of the 8 week plan and each week has projects to do like stop using electric blankets or go to a sauna, dietary advice like eat broccoli or soy products, a list of supplements to take, exercise suggestions, mental/spiritual suggestions, commentary, recipes and a healing story. I would have found it easier to navigate if there was a separate list of the supplements and if the recipes were all in one place together as well. I have not been doing this for 8 weeks, but am incorporating some of his helpful suggestions into my life and I hope they will have a positive benefit.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson
Wonderful, lovely fantasy for kids! Piper is a machinist, collecting debris from the meteors in a scrap town and repairing them. When her friend goes out in a storm and she goes out to rescue him, she finds more than she bargained for - a girl named Anna. A man who Anna fears is chasing her so Piper helps her to escape and together they have quite an adventure! I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Smart and Spineless: Exploring Invertebrate Intelligence

Smart and Spineless by Ann Downer
Did you know that octopuses will play with legos and jumping spiders are capable of planning things? In this fascinating book, there are interesting facts about spineless, yet intelligent creatures such as worms, jumping spiders, octopuses, mantis shrimps and box jellyfish. There are lovely photos, drawings and charts, and a simple explanation of biological classification. From honeybees to wasps, argentine ants, and slime mold, we find out how they think and learn and what we have learned from these spineless and brainless creatures. The book is great for students in grades 4 to 8, but even adults may find the information in this book quite interesting and fun to read. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Worms by Bernard Friot, Aurélie Guillerey

Worms by Bernard Friot
In this cutely illustrated silly story, a young boy puts worms in everyone's salads at his father's fancy dinner party. I received this book free to review from Netgalley. I think kids will think it is funny.

The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy

The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
Mildred Hubble is in trouble from the start at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. She can't fly well and messes up her spells. However, she finds that she can be useful and the other students and teachers come to appreciate her too. This is a fun story for early readers and I think they will enjoy it. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Food Babe Way: Break Free from the Hidden Toxins in Your Food and Lose Weight, Look Years Younger, and Get Healthy in Just 21 Days! by Vani Hari

The Food Babe Way by Vani Hari
I like the Food Babe. I really do, but her "way" is not my way entirely. She gives healthy advice and has some good recipes. I did try her 21 days - my description of that is on my blog

Siren's Fury (Storm Siren, #2) by Mary Weber

Siren's Fury by Mary   Weber
I did not like this book as much as I liked the first one. I wanted to because I really liked the first book, but this one was darker than the first one, had no romance and more politics. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The New Health Rules: Simple Changes to Achieve Whole-Body Wellneby Frank Lipman, Danielle Claro ss

The New Health Rules by Frank Lipman
I am still reading this. It is one of my favorite health books that I have read lately. Short, simple, profound. Ok, maybe not profound, but the authors would probably like to think it is. If you want long, detailed explanations, read other books. I have read plenty. This book is just a nice reminder of things you may already know and some you may not be aware of to help you to be healthier. It has lovely photos and sound advice and I really like it!

The Backyard Homestead Guide to Kitchen Skills: Country Know-How and Time-Tested Wisdom for Preparing Fresh, Delicious Homegrown Food for Your Table by Andrea Chesman

The Backyard Homestead Guide to Kitchen Skills by Andrea Chesman
Quite comprehensive and informative, this book has a great deal of information about most things to do with having a homestead kitchen. From how to set up your homestead kitchen to harvesting, handling, preserving and storing produce, to the various cuts of meat and how to handle, store and preserve meats and eggs, this book contains a cornucopia of advice. There are lots of recipes as well as helpful hints and illustrations. I think that readers will find this book quite helpful! I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Loula and Mister the Monster by Anne Villeneuve

Loula and Mister the Monster by Anne Villeneuve
This is a cute and silly story about a girl, Loula, trying to train her dog, Mister, because she is afraid that her mother may want to get rid of him. Mister wants to be good, but things have a way of going a bit wonky when he is around. The illustrations are as funny and cute as the story is. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Lost in Translation : An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders

Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders
Fun, fascinating and informative, this collection of interesting words and their meanings is illustrated with cute drawings. I think I would like to go on a vacilando sometime soon. From struisvolgelpoliteik to tiam, the words in this book and their definitions and illustrations are fun to read and learn about. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

This Book Will Make You Sleep by Jessamy Hibberd, Jo Usmar

This Book Will Make You Sleep by Jessamy Hibberd
While this book won't "make" you sleep - unless you are reading it and fall asleep while reading it because you think it is boring or you are one of those people who falls asleep while reading, it can help people who are suffering from insomnia to change their habits and solve some of their sleep problems. Some of it's suggestions include not reading in bed - oops - I read that part while I was in bed, having a bath, aromatherapy, imagery training and other relaxation techniques, altering your diet and keeping a sleep diary. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Firefight (Reckoners, #2) by Brandon Sanderson

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
Ok, I totally loved this book! The only problem is that now I have to wait for the next book to come out. David is such a fun hero with his unassuming geeky nature and his mixed metaphors that never really work. He has gone with the Reckoners to Babilar where the Epic running the city, has lured them for what David is sure is a nefarious reason. The Reckoners want to get rid of Megan, who is Firefight, but David believes that she is not evil and he wants to save her. In fact, he now wants to save the Epics from themselves. Can he save both Megan and Babilar? Can he figure out what makes the Epics tick and save them from the evil nature of Epicness? Action, adventure,and more abound in ths fantastic second book of the series!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bug in a Vacuum by Melanie Watt

Bug in a Vacuum by Mélanie Watt
This is totally my favorite children's picture book that I have read all year! And I have read a lot of them. On a scale of one to five, I give it a ten! There are so many reasons that I love this book. First, the illustrations are absolutely fabulous! They are vintage looking and simple yet have a lot of fun details to find. Next, the story is funny and poignant and also teaches children the five stages of grief. A fly who is sucked into a vacuum along with a dog toy, goes through the five stages of grief - denial, bargaining, anger, despair and acceptance. The dog, whose toy has been sucked in to the vacuum, silently but expressively also goes through the same stages. In the end, the dog finds a new friend, the dog's toy becomes part of a bird's nest and the fly goes to the light and finds himself in a better place. I shared this book with my sixteen year old son and he liked it too and said the illustrations are great and he thought it was funny. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and my library has ordered it. It is so totally fantastic! I highly recommend this book!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Finn Finnegan (The Adventures of Finn MacCullen #1) by Darby Karchut

Finn Finnegan by Darby Karchut
This is a fun fantasy/adventure story for middle grade kids. Thirteen year old Finn is a Tuatha De Danaan whose parents died fighting the Amandan- their enemies who look like goblins and can be turned to dust with bronze knives, but will regenerate and can only be killed by a legendary sword. Finn has gone to stay with Gideon as part of his apprenticeship to learn how to be a proper knight. They fight off the bad guys and Gideon makes friends with some neighboring all human kids (Finn's mom was half human). There is lots of action and adventure and I think middle grade kids will enjoy this book. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Hidden Like Anne Frank: 14 True Stories of Survival by Marcel Prins, Peter Henk Steenhuis

Hidden Like Anne Frank by Marcel Prins
This book is a fabulous resource for students who are studying the holocaust. It has stories of 15 different Jewish people who were children in the Netherlands during WWII and who were hidden from the Nazis so that they would not be killed. The book has photographs and maps and the accompanying website has stories told by the people from the book. This is the website . I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Golden Sword (The Camelot Inheritance #1) by Rosie Morgan

The Golden Sword by Rosie Morgan

This is a fun YA mystery/fantasy for middle school kids. An Arthurian spin-off, young Arthur and his friends begin experiencing strange things, from the creepy crow man, to being protected by hundreds of cats. Mystery, fantasy, adventure, angels, magic and many of the characters from the tales of King Arthur populate this gripping tale. This is the first book in a series and I think that middle grade kids will enjoy it. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Incredible! Plant Veg, Grow a Revolution by Pam Warhurst, Joanna Dobson

Incredible! Plant Veg, Grow a Revolution by Pam Warhurst
I love the idea of planting edibles everywhere possible in public and allowing the public to share in the caring for and harvesting of the various foods. I wish that I lived somewhere with the rainfall to sustain something like that. Reading this book made me feel rather jealous of those living in Great Britain where it rains a lot. The book explains how the concept of planting edibles publically began and worked in a town called Todmorden and explains how other people can also become part of the Incredible Edible revolution and start your own group in your own town. I think it could be fun to try to have an HOA do something like that and I have heard of a few communities that do that and it seems nice. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Altered by A.D. Croucher

Altered (Altered Sequence, #1)
This is a good book! It is the typical YA where evil mad scientist adults experiment on teens and accidentally give them superpowers. Reese is one of those teens. Ever since the procedure that saved his life, he can read people's minds and is incredibly smart. When he helps a friend steal a car that has a dead body in it, and the doctor's office makes a good alibi, he winds up back in the doctor's care and finds out that what was done to him is actually quite sinister. There are some plot twists and paranormal abilities and teen girls involved as well. This book was a fun read and I look forward to reading the next one. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The China Study Cookbook: Over 120 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes by LeAnne Campbell, T. Colin Campbell

The China Study Cookbook by LeAnne Campbell
I have lowered my rating from 4 stars to 3 after having tried more of these recipes. The recipes are plant-based and include little or no added fat and salt and minimal amounts of added sugars. I think one problem is the no added fats. Many foods are much better with added fats. I also do not like the replacement foods and fake foods that are suggested. Because the China Study Diet recommends no dairy, they recommend non-dairy milks - and if you purchase commercially made ones, almost all of them have carrageenan, in them which is inflammatory and carcinogenic. Plus, most of them, with the exception of soy milk, which is controversial due to the hormonal effect, come in large containers and the recipes call for small amounts and then the rest of it goes bad because it is gross tasting and no one in my house will drink it as a drink. We have tried soy milks, almond milks, rice milks, hemp milk and coconut milks. I do like canned coconut milk in some recipes, but if it does not use the whole can then I have leftover coconut milk that often goes bad if I can't figure out what to do with the rest of it. Many of the recipes call for sucanant, which is raw sugar, to replace refined sugar. I don't know if it is any healthier, but it does not taste the same and we don't like it. Other recipes call for agave, which some studies now say is not healthier than sugar. I prefer to use honey and maple syrup as sugar replacements when I can or else just use sugar.
So, I do think that these recipes can be good for some people - especially those who currently follow the SAD diet and are unhealthy, but I am not thrilled with some of the ingredients in them.

Serafina and The Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert  Beatty
This is a creepy-in-a-fun-way supernatural thriller for middle-grade kids! In this pleasantly unique story, 12 year old Serafina, who secretly lives in the basement of the recently built Biltmore estate with her father and has hidden from everyone all her life, decides to come out of hiding when she sees something horrible and inexplicable happen to a young girl in the basement. Serafina has always known she was different from everyone else, although she has never known why or what her differences mean, yet she is willing to risk being seen in order to stop the mysterious man in the black cloak from taking more and more children. The book is creepy and has unexpected plot twists, as well as friendship and a little romance. Serafina makes an unlikely, but very brave hero and the book is a fabulous read. I am sure that kids and adults will enjoy this book. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What the World Eats by Faith D'Aluisio, Peter Menzel

What the World Eats by Faith D'Aluisio
What a lovely and fascinating book! I had seen posters of the photos from the book of each family with their week's worth of food in Social Studies classrooms, so when I saw the book, I wanted to read it. The book has photos of families from 21 different countries along with a week's worth of food that their family eats and statistics including the cost of the food and facts about each country. There are additional facts and photos and graphs of things like annual meat consumption and obesity rates. The book is really quite interesting and well done.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Disease-Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well by David L. Katz

Disease-Proof by David L. Katz
Not a lot of new information in this book and not really "remarkable", but it does contain some sound advice. The author of this book helped to come up with the NuVal food nutrition value rating system that is used in some grocery stores and is partially listed in the back of the book. The book has a nice chart of Ten Rules of External Discipline for Healthy Living which I like. There are a few recipes that do not impress me, and it explains what some of the claims on food labels mean - like, "All Natural" does not mean anything - it is just put on the label to make the food sound healthy. I personally think if a food product has to label itself as "natural" or "healthy", it probably is not. So, basically, eat healthy and exercise.
More about this book in my other blog -

The Diabetes Solution: How to Control Type 2 Diabetes and Reverse Prediabetes Using Simple Diet and Lifestyle Changes--with 100 recipes by Jorge E. Rodriguez

The Diabetes Solution by Jorge E. Rodriguez
The first part of this book explains what diabetes is, how it works, what causes it and what it does to you. It also explains what prediabetes is and how to manage it and possibly reverse it through medications, supplements, diet, exercise and getting enough sleep. The second part of the book is about how to manage your diabetes. This book has a “budget” value assigned to foods in the form of points – sort of like weight watchers points and the points correlate to the nutrients and amounts of foods that you should eat. They allow 42 to 50 points a day and you must eat a certain amount of points from some categories and not eat too many from most of the categories. Leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables are unlimited and you should eat 5 or more servings per day. Some foods are taboo – including processed meats, refined carbohydrates, fried foods, processed foods, trans fats, sugar-sweetened beverages and all artificial and alternative sweeteners. That includes the 4 drops of vanilla stevia that I put in my half cup of coffee each morning. Not sure if I am going to drop that though. It has a recipe section, and while I totally love cookbooks and recipes, I don't really like these recipes and I don't plan to make any of them. I think they are just not the kinds of foods that I like. Someone else may like them though.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee
I think this is a lovely fantasy story for children. Ophelia is 11 years old and she does not believe in magic, only science. Her mother, however, who passed away 9 months ago, very much did believe in magic and fantasy. When Ophelia and her father and sister go to a museum so that her father can set up a sword display, Ophelia wanders off and finds a room within which there is a boy. He tells her stories about how he has not aged in over 300 years and asks her to find his sword and the Other One who will use the sword to defeat the Snow Queen and save the world. I love Ophelia because she is not overly brave. She is normal. She cries and falls down and often feels defeated, but she keeps going, encouraged by the voice of her mother. The story is just lovely. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
I read this book because it won the Lone Star award. It is a fantasy/adventure novel about a boy who is looking for adventure and his own story and finds it aboard The Boundless, a 5 mile long train on it's first dangerous journey. There are many legends woven into the story - sasquatch, some hag woman, and a circus man named Dorian, whose story you may recognize. I personally did not find the story interesting enough to keep my attention and I started skimming through it after I reached halfway. I think that kids may enjoy it though.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Being Visual: Raising a Generation of Innovative Thinkers by Bette Fetter

Being Visual by Bette Fetter
This author breaks people down into two learning styles - left brain thinking, known as auditory-sequential thinking and right brain thinking known as visual-spatial. The author feels that in general, schools teach to the left-brain with lessons given auditorially and sequentially. She feels that teaching art and teaching more visually can help visual learners in many ways.
She advocates use of graphic organizers - which many schools are using a lot now and I, not being a visual learner, despise. I do think that art education is important and that we should teach in ways that will reach children with all sorts of learning styles. The author created a program called the Young Rembrandts art program and she tells about her program in the book. I received this book free to reveiw from Netgalley.

Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3) by Rachel Hawkins

Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
So this is the third and possibly last book about 15 year old Sophie although there is at least one book that is a spin off from the series. I am a bit disappointed in the direction the author took this. It started out fun and Harry Potterish with a girl main character in a school that is sort of a reform school for paranormal teens. There was fun and friendship and humor and a bit of romance in the first book. The second book brought in a love triangle - I so dislike those - so unoriginal and overdone. This third book brings in another plot twist - not only is Sophie's dad a demon, but now we find out that her mother comes from a family that is not exactly the normal human family. We learn who the evil ones are who are raising demons and trying to take over - something - and only Sophie can stop them. Together with her friends, she goes to hell and back in order to do so. There is more action, romance, plot twists and magic but there I just was not thrilled with some of the elements in this last book. To me, it lost some of the fun and lightheartedness that the first book began with.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2) by Rachel Hawkins

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
Ok, so, Sophie goes off to stay with her dad and the Council and learns more about her demon powers and luckily, her best friend, Jenna gets to go with. Yay. Sophie finds out that she is engaged to Cal - done without her knowledge and they are in England - where Archer is. A love triangle is brought in - ugh - making this book more Twilight than Harry Potter especially since most of this book does not take place at the school. There are more demons and backstabbing and magic and ghosts and plot twists and it ends in a huge cliffhanger.

Ghost Hand (The PSS Chronicles, #1) by Ripley Patton

Ghost Hand by Ripley Patton
In this YA paranormal romance, 17 year old Olivia has a PSS hand or ghost hand. The day that Marcus, a hot new guy, shows up in her class, Olivia's hand does something bizarre and he is able to help her with it. Next thing you know, there is a group of people out to get her because they are after people with PSS and Marcus is trying to help her and some other teens - all boys - stay out of the grips of the evil organization. There is action, romance, and teen angst in this first book in the series. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster by Scott Wilbanks

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Great Molasses Flood: Boston, 1919 by Deborah Kops

The Great Molasses Flood by Deborah KopsThis book tells about a part of history that I was not aware of. In 1919, due to faulty engineering, a huge tank of molasses in Boston burst flooding the area and killing 21 people. The story is illustrated with photographs from the event and explains the history surrounding it. Due to the impending prohibition, and the fact that the molasses was intended for making rum, lots of molasses had been recently delivered thus filling the tank to capacity when it then burst. Stories of several of the people who were there are told as well as the political situation and the trial proceedings. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Setting Limits with your Strong-Willed Teen: Eliminating Conflict by Establishing Clear, Firm, and Respectful Boundaries by Robert J. MacKenzie

Setting Limits with your Strong-Willed Teen by Robert J MacKenzie
This is one of those books that gives lots of examples of people in situations and what they did and how they reacted. I don't really like slogging through all of the situations to get to the advice, but if you like that sort of thing, you will enjoy this book. The advice given is reasonable and I think it should help parents and educators of teens to set limits in respectful ways. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You're Taking, The Sleep You're Missing, The Sex You're Not Having, and What's Really Making You Crazy by Julie Holland

Moody Bitches by Julie Holland
This is a fabulous book! I have read some of this same advice before - she quotes Michael Pollen and a plethora of others and the book has extensive footnotes as well as a glossary and an appendix about certain drugs, but a lot of it is new to me and is incredibly helpful. This book explains how and why hormones affect us the way they do. From PMS to pregnancy, to nursing to menopause, she explains the roles that hormones play in our lives and how they make us feel and act. She advocates a healthy diet of mostly in season produce, exercise, spending time outside in nature, and getting enough sleep. She addresses mental as well as physical health and recommends holistic, natural ways of self care above drugs. I have learned a lot from this book and I think that others will too. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sonya's Chickens by Phoebe Wahl

Sonya's Chickens by Phoebe Wahl
I love the beautiful illustrations in this book! We follow Sonya as she raises three chickens at her house with her family. We see how she feeds and cares for the chickens. One night, there is a ruckus in the chicken house and one of her chickens is gone. Sonya's father explains to her that probably a hungry fox took her chicken to feed it's hungry family. They repair the coop and life goes on. The story is sweet although young children may be disturbed by the fact that one chicken was stolen by a fox. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Feel The Wind by Rhea Dufresne, Guillaume Perreault, Julie Beck (Translator)

The illustrations are colorful and cute in this simple rhyming book about the wind.  The wind is personified as clouds and is depicted doing things like making turbines and kites spin.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

The Night Children by Sarah Tsiang, Delphine Bodet

The Night Children by Sarah Tsiang
This book is beautifully written and has lovely illustrations. It is a rather creepy, scary story and I think it is best for older elementary school children and is not suited to preschoolers and younger children. The night children only come out at night and they romp and play and create mischief through the city at night. I love the imagery - here is one example - "It is the night children who climb the roof, quiet as mice, and steal slices of the moon." I think that older children will love this book - the illustrations remind me a little bit of "Where the Wild Things Are". It would be a fun Halloween story to read. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

I'm New Here by Anne Sibley O'Brien

I'm New Here by Anne Sibley O'Brien
This is a lovely picture book featuring children from different countries sharing how difficult it is at first to go to a new school when they move to America and how nice it is to learn the language and make friends. I think this book is great for preschool and elementary school age children. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it!

The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi
When Kikko's father forgets the pie he was taking to Grandma's when he went to clear the snow from her walk, Kikko decides to take the pie to him. As she follows his footsteps through the snowy woods, she sees her father enter a strange house she had never seen before. But, it was not her father she had followed - it was a bear. The animals invited her to their tea party. Lovely illustrations in this cute and fun story. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Good and Cheap: Eat Well On $4/Day by Leanne Brown

Good and Cheap by Leanne Brown
I really like this cookbook! The photos are bright and simple and lovely and appetizing. There is a lot of helpful information and the book is well organized. The recipes are really good and so yummy that you would not think they were low cost recipes! I was pleasantly surprised by the variety and deliciousness of the recipes. I made the corn soup and it was fabulous! There are several fantastic potato recipes - the potato salad and roasted potatoes with chilis included. I like the popcorn ideas and the hot dog ideas and really - it all is great!

M is for Autism by The Students of Limpsfield Grange School, Vicky Martin

This is a fiction story about a 13 year old girl with autism.  The  book was written by an author in collaboration with a group of autistic girls who go to a school for girls with autism.  The girls did all the artwork.  Most of the story is told from the point of view of the girl, who has nicknamed herself "M", but parts are also told from her mother's point of view.  M explains how difficult it is to be in crowds and loud situations and how confusing it can be and how she really wants to be normal, but her anxiety makes it hard to cope.  I think that children, parents and teachers will all benefit from reading this book.  It does a great job of explaining how girls with autism feel.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lunch Walks Among Us (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist, #1) by Jim Benton

Lunch Walks Among Us by Jim Benton
This is a cute, silly, early chapter book about Franny, who is a mad scientist. She does not really know how to fit in with the other kids. The girls like pink frilly things and nice dolls, not dolls that chomp heads or ooze stuff. The boys like bats made of wood to hit balls with, not bats that are black and fly in the air. Franny's teacher tells her to think of making friends as a science experiment and she changes herself so that she is just like the other kids. She makes friends, but is not being herself. Eventually, when their teacher is attacked by a Giant Monstrous Fiend, Franny has to go back to being her old self in order to save the day. After that though, will her friends still like her? The story is fun to read and I am sure kids will enjoy it.

The Brainy Bunch: The Harding Family's Method to College Ready by Age Twelve by Kip Harding, Mona Lisa Harding

The Brainy Bunch by Kip Harding
I think that Christian homeschoolers will enjoy this book. This family has homeschooled their ten children with the goal of finishing high school by age 12 and they have succeeded at that and their children have entered college at young ages and done fabulous in their educational careers. There are contributions from the children as well as the adults in this book. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

This Is What You Just Put in Your Mouth?: From Eggnog to Beef Jerky, the Surprising Secrets of What's Inside Everyday Products by Patrick Di Justo

This Is What You Just Put in Your Mouth? by Patrick Di Justo
This is a rather humorous look at the appalling chemicals contained in many processed foods. For instance, in Hostess Lemon Fruit Pie, there is "Calcium Sulfate - Plaster of Paris. Used for millennia to congeal soy milk into tofu, this gunk has hundereds of applications - many a school science project (like a baking soda and vinegar volcano) was modeled in plaster of Paris." Each chapter is about one specific food like substance and includes a breakdown of the chemicals and a backstory telling some of the author's thoughts. It is a lighthearted look at the sad state of the US "food" supply.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe by Dan Poblocki

The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe by Dan Poblocki
If you enjoy creepy, scary stories, then you will enjoy this book. When Gabe and his family move in with his grandmother after a fire destroyed their home, he is befriended by a neighbor boy named Seth. Seth plays a fantasy game with Gabe about an evil Hunter who lives in the woods between their homes. Other kids think that Seth is odd but Gabe feels sorry for Seth, because Seth's brother, David, disappeared the year before. When strange things begin happening, the other kids blame Seth, but eventually, Gabe discovers that the culprit is more sinister than that.