Tag Archives: 5 Stars

Wayside School is Falling Down by Louis Sachar

The second book is the Wayside School series, Wayside School Is Falling Down is full of puns, wit, and just plain silly fun. My boys and I laughed a lot as we read it. I highly recommend it to kids of all ages. It makes an excellent family read aloud.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 29
Pages Read in 2020: 6856
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Filed under Children, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

A Modern Family by Helga Flatland

A Modern Family is an incredibly well-written book. Even though the characters were all neurotic and Liv was downright unlikable, I found myself caring about them and wanting to pick up my Kindle to read whenever I could to find out what happened to them. The translator did an amazing job. The English flows very well (not the case with some other translated books I’ve read). The end was a bit shocking and left me both wanting more and slightly depressed that it was over. I think that indicates it’s a good book. I recommend it to adults who like literary fiction, particularly those interested in reading books that have been translated and are set in countries other than the US (this one was originally written in Norwegian and is set in Norway).

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 27
Pages Read in 2020: 6453
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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

I read Sideways Stories from Wayside School to my 11- and 13-year-old sons and all three of us found it absolutely hysterical. My boys told other people some of the stories (each chapter is a little story) and couldn’t stop laughing as they did. Some of the stories are downright bizarre, but all of them are quite funny and clever. I highly recommend this book to anyone with a sense of humor. It makes a very excellent family read-aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 26
Pages Read in 2020: 6177
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Filed under Children, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

Second Chances by Valerie Tripp

Second Chances is the second American Girl book about Josefina. This one covers several months following the first book. The end is predictable, but exactly how you want it be. American Girl books are historical fiction for kids done right. I highly recommend this book to tweens. It makes a great family readaloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 25
Pages Read in 2020: 6014
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Filed under Children, Historical Fiction, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Vine Review

Raven Huntress by Andrea Pearson and Nolan James

The fourth book in the Midnight Chronicles series, Raven Huntress picks up where Twilight Rogue left off. So much happens in this book! There’s a fun section for readers of the Kilenya and Mosaic Chronicles with some old friends from some of those books. There’s some great verbal sparring between Coolidge and Abel. There’s some amusing bits scattered throughout giving some much needed lightness to an otherwise rather heavy book. And, of course, there’s more of Abel’s story and his thoughts and feelings. It’s very well-written. I honestly could barely put it down (I was not very happy when I absolutely had to put my kids to bed with only 3% of the story left!). I very highly recommend Raven Huntress to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy (most definitely read the first three books in this series first… reading the author’s other series is not necessary, but will certainly add to the enjoyment of this one).

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 24
Pages Read in 2020: 5895
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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Asked by the Author, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: I Like the Series

The Miracle and Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets by Sarah Miller

It was quite a miracle that five little girls born all at once in 1934 survived. The tragedy came when the country of Canada took custody of the girls, separated them from their family, and exhibited them like a sideshow. The Miracle & Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets is a very well-written overview of their lives using primary sources. It attempts to give both sides of the story, but is mostly sympathetic to the quintuplets themselves. It reads fast with lots of short chapters. I found it quite fascinating. I recommend it to anyone curious about the Dionne quintuplets’ lives.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 22
Pages Read in 2020: 5579
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Filed under Biography, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: Vine Review

Sunlight and Shadows by Valerie Tripp

Josefina, the American Girl of 1824, is coming to terms with the loss of her mother and the addition of her aunt to her life. She lives in New Mexico (part of Mexico) and is learning to run a household. The story is very sweet and surprisingly not nearly as depressing as some of the other American Girl historical books. As with all American Girl books I’ve read to my boys, it’s historical fiction for kids done right. I highly recommend it, especially as a family read aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 21
Pages Read in 2020: 5272
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Filed under Children, Historical Fiction, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

Only Dead on the Inside by James Breakwell

If you want to make sure your children survive the zombie apocalypse, this book is for you. If you want to laugh out loud at the absurdity of a “parenting” book, this book is also for you. James Breakwell’s humor makes for a wonderfully hilarious escape of a read. The cartoons sprinkled throughout sometimes have something to do with the topic and the charts are just fabulous. I highly recommend this to anyone (especially parents) who just want to laugh.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 19
Pages Read in 2020: 4759
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Filed under Humor, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Death is in the Details by Heather Sunseri

Death is in the Details is an amazing start to a new series. Less than halfway through the book I had figured out who the culprit of the first fire was. It was super obvious. And so I knew that person couldn’t be the one responsible for all of them because I’ve read other books by Heather Sunseri and she’s never that obvious. I actually gasped when it became clear who the serial killer and arsonist was. They hadn’t been on my radar at all. That was super well done. The end was quite a jolt as well so now I can’t wait to read the second book! I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys thrillers.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 18
Pages Read in 2020: 4559
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Filed under Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Thriller

The Big Break by Megan McDonald

An expanded version of the original first Julie book, The Big Break is all about the 1974 American Girl doll. The story is well-written and has lots of little callouts to the time period. The last couple pages give non-fiction information about life as Julie would’ve experienced it and explains why certain things were included (like Julie struggling with her parents’ divorce and working to get on the boy’s basketball team at school). I recommend this book to kids who enjoy American Girl books. It makes an excellent family read-aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 17
Pages Read in 2020: 4372
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Filed under Children, Historical Fiction, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Vine Review