Jasper John Dooley: Star of the Week by Caroline Adderson

I first became acquainted with Jasper John Dooley when I read an ARC of his most recent adventure, Lost and Found. I’ll be posting my review of that book after it is released on September 1st. My girls and I enjoyed reading Jasper’s story so much that we looked for some more of his books for the library.

Jasper John Dooley: Star of the Week is a children’s book written by Caroline Adderson and illustrated by Ben Clanton. This is a chapter book, but the language is fairly simple- I’d place it at about a second grade reading level.

Jasper is a young boy who goes to elementary school. As the story begins, he is preparing for his role as Star of the Week in his classroom. He will get to present something for Show and Tell, and he will get to do a science experiment, and he will even get to bring in a special snack. Read more

Heart of Ice by Sibelle Stone

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I was not familiar with Sibelle Stone, but when I had the opportunity to read her novel Heart of Ice, I was intrigued by the premise and the combination of several genres. The story is set in 1910- in Iceland, which is rather unique. Lucinda Stafford is a young woman who is not ready to return to her home in New York. She applies for the position of governess. She has never worked as a governess before, but she had one growing up, and that’s pretty much the same thing, isn’t it? Read more

A Curse of Ash and Iron by Christine Norris

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I had not heard of A Curse of Ash and Iron before I received the opportunity to review it, but I was extremely intrigued by the premise. This is a young adult novel written by Christine Norris.

As the story begins, we are introduced to Ben and Ellie. Despite the fact that Ben was the son of the cook in a grand home that Ellie lived in, the two were best friends of children. They were separated rather abruptly when Ellie’s stepmother fired Ben’s mother seven years earlier, but a chance meeting brings them together again. Ellie tells Ben a wild story about being enchanted by her stepmother and forced to work as a servant in her own home. Ben is a young man enamored with science and technology, and he finds the idea of magical enchantments to be absurd, but he agrees to help his old friend. As they explore the nature of the enchantment, they learn that if the curse is not broken by midnight on New Year’s Eve, the effects will become permanent, and Ellie will be bound to her stepmother forever. Read more

Mildred’s Resistance by Katie Cross

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I read Miss Mabel’s School for Girls almost a month ago, and immediately fell in love with the world of The Network. Since then, I have gone on to read the second book in the series, Antebellum Awakening. I have also read The Isadora Interviews, a novella featuring school admission interviews from some of the secondary characters.

Mildred’s Resistance is the third book in the series, and it takes place before the events of MMSFG. Mildred serves as the High Priestess in the series; essentially, she serves as the head of the government. There are several allusions to an uprising in the past, during which Mildred seized power from a witch name Evelyn. Read more

Queen of Tomorrow by Sherry Ficklin

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I am not familiar with Sherry Ficklin’s other books, but I love young adult books and I love historical fiction, so I was excited about the opportunity to read Queen of Tomorrow.

Queen of Tomorrow is the second book in Ficklin’s Stolen Empires series. Catherine is a young girl married to the heir to the Russian throne. Court life is full of intrigue, and plots, and forbidden dalliances. Catherine knows that she needs to produce an heir in order to ensure the continuation of the dynasty, but her husband Peter is wholly unsuitable, thanks to his mercurial temperament. Read more

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I had started to hear wonderful things about Serafina and the Black Cloak, so I was very excited about the opportunity to read it. This middle grade novel was written by Robert Beatty.

Serafina lives in the basement of the Biltmore Estate with her father, who works as a mechanic. No one knows they live there, and no one knows that Serafina even exists. She is supposed to stay hidden, but she cannot resist sneaking around at night. Serafina takes pride in her “role” as chief rat catcher, but one night, she sees something utterly terrifying in the vast basement of the estate. She sees a man in a black cloak chase down a little girl, and make her disappear. Read more

Poppy’s Best Paper by Susan Eaddy

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but as soon as I saw Poppy’s Best Paper, I knew that my three girls would love it. This delightful picture book was written by Susan Eaddy and illustrated by Rosilande Bonnet.

Poppy is an enthusiastic little rabbit full of joie de vivre. Some might also call her “spirited”. Poppy wants to be a writer when she grows up, so when her class receives an assignment to write about what they want to be when they grow up, Poppy doesn’t spend a lot of time on her paper, but she is sure that she is going to be the one whose paper is read aloud by the teacher. When she isn’t picked, she huffs and doesn’t congratulate her best friend, whose paper was the one read aloud. When this scenario is repeated the next day, Poppy throws a tantrum and continues to misbehave at home. Can she pull herself and write the perfect paper? Read more

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed reading The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate a couple of years ago, so when I received an opportunity to read The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, I was very excited.

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate is a middle grade novel written by Jacqueline Kelly. The story begins in the spring of 1900, only a couple of months after the end of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. Callie is still determined to become a scientist, and she spends as much time as possible with her grandfather. When Callie is not working with her grandfather, she is playing with her younger brother Travis. Travis is gentler than the other boys, and cannot help put take pity on the foundling animals he finds. Callie knows that it cannot possibly be a good idea to bring home an armadillo or a baby raccoon, but she has trouble saying no to her kind brother. Travis is heartbroken when their attempts at domesticating the animals don’t work out, but Callie approaches things from a scientific perspective and tries to remain impartial. Read more

The Sheep Pig/Babe: The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith

My girls love listening to audiobooks in the car. I have a nice selection of children’s literature, thanks to some great Audible sales. After we listened to Pippi Longstocking, my girls chose The Sheep Pig, by Dick King-Smith. This book is also known as Babe: The Gallant Pig, and is the inspiration for Babe, the Academy Award nominated film.

The story begins when Farmer Hogget wins a piglet at a county fair. Mrs. Hogget is delighted, and thinks about the delicious ham they can eat at Christmas. In the barn, the despondent little pig cries because he is in an unfamiliar place, away from his family. Fly, the sheepdog, comforts him, and calls him Babe, after she learns that his mother called all of her piglets. When Fly’s puppies are sold, she grows closer to Babe, especially after she realizes the little pig has a natural capacity for learning. Babe wants nothing more than to learn to herd sheep. While Fly’s philosophy involves exerting dominance over the woolly beasts, Babe wonders if the sheep might do what he wants if he simply asks nicely. But what will the farmer do when he realizes that the pig might be the best sheepdog he ever had? Read more

Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger

I don’t remember whether I saw Crankee Doodle on Goodreads or on Amazon, but as soon as I saw it, I knew that my girls would love it. One of the songs that the Kindergarten children sing at the Memorial Day concert is Yankee Doodle, and it has been a favorite around the house before and after the concert.

Crankee Doodle is a picture book written by Tom Angleberger and illustrated by Cece Bell. The premise of the book is simple: a smiling pony wants to go to town, and a cranky man in colonial garb refuses to go. He complains about not wanting new things, and that the quality of the items in town is not the same. The pony wheedles and begs, but the man doesn’t listen. The pony makes sly allusions to a feather in a hat being “macaroni” (fancy), but this only makes the man even crankier. Can the pony convince his human friend that going to town is worthwhile? Read more