Tag Archives: 5 Stars

Julie Takes a Stand by Megan McDonald

Julie Takes a Stand is the second book about Julie, the American Girl from 1974. Julie participates in the wagon train east to commemorate the bicentennial and then runs for study body president for her elementary school. My sons, especially my 11-year-old, loved the book. American Girl really is historical fiction done right. It tells the story on a kid’s level, but still is as accurate as possible. The last few pages are historical background showing where they got the ideas for what happens to Julie in the book. Julie Takes a Stand makes an excellent family read-aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 124
Pages Read in 2019: 31,734
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Filed under Children, Historical Fiction, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Vine Review

Twinkle, Twinkle by LRW Lee

Twinkle, Twinkle, the fourth and final Sand Maiden book, wraps up the storylines quite nicely. Most of the chapters are told from Ali’s point of view, though some chapters scattered throughout are told from other characters’ points of view for things that Ali is not present for but are important for the reader to know. The writing is excellent, often using clever imagery. The character development is quite realistic. The theme of abuse, recovery from being abused and the cycle of abuse, is addressed very well and very sensitively. I highly recommend this book and the whole series!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 123
Pages Read in 2019: 31,613
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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Asked by the Author, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: I Like the Series

Evening Storm by Andrea Pearson

Evening Storm, the second book in the Midnight Chronicles series, picks up right where the first book left off. It parallels things that happened in the second Koven Chronicles book (The Black Masquerade), but from Abel’s point of view this time. It’s very interesting getting to see where Abel was all those times he disappeared and what his emotions were doing when he was basically acting like a jerk to Lizzie. The story really sucks you in and is very well written. I highly recommend it to people who like urban fantasy and especially people who have read the Koven Chronicles (though you don’t have to have read them first – but if you have it will make Abel’s story even better).

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 122
Pages Read in 2019: 31,284
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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Asked by the Author, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: I Like the Series

Melody: Never Stop Singing by Denise Lewis Patrick

Melody: Never Stop Singing is the second American Girl book about Melody, an African American girl from 1964. Melody is just turning 10 and learning about some of the more serious concerns in the world. Things addressed include JFK’s assassination, Civil Rights, racism, and difficulties in the inner city black community. Everything is told on a level tweens can understand. My 11-year-old son especially liked it. It makes a great family read-aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 121
Pages Read in 2019: 31,106
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Filed under Children, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Vine Review

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The author of The Color Purple is a genius at writing in dialect. There is a very obvious difference between the main character’s writing and the letters from her sister, who is described as more intelligent and better educated. The story is told completely through letters, some written by the sister to the main character and the majority written by the main character basically as diary entries. There are no quotation marks, but it works for this book due to the way it is written. Conversations are clear even with the lack of quotation marks. Sometimes the story is tough, but reflects the life of poor blacks in the early 1900s. I can see why it won the Pulitzer Prize.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 120
Pages Read in 2019: 30,979
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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Kaya: Smoke on the Wind by Janet Shaw

Kaya, a Native girl in 1764, experiences the death of a loved one and coming to terms with her own failings. American Girl books are everything right about historical fiction for kids. They tell the story in a way that gives the history as well as keeping it interesting for children. Kaya: Smoke on the Wind is no exception. I highly recommend this book to kids (boys and girls) of all ages. It makes a great read aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 117
Pages Read in 2019: 30,047
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Filed under Children, Historical Fiction, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Vine Review

Hula for the Home Front by Kirby Larson

The second book in the American Girl Nanea series, Hula for the Home Front sees Hawaii continuing to deal with the aftermath of Pearl Harbor through the win at Midway. The story addresses many very serious topics like worrying about an older brother enlisting in the military, all written in a way kids can understand. The last few pages give the history of what was happening during the time period of the book and a little more information about things mentioned in the book like Dogs for Defense. I highly recommend this book to kids who enjoy historical fiction. It makes a great family read aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 115
Pages Read in 2019: 29,710
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Middle Grades, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys