Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Turtle in Paradise

Turtle in Paradise 
Author: Jennifer L. Holm
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Reviewer: Denise Z.
Cover image for Turtle in paradise

Summary: 1935 in Key West FL, Turtle has to move from New Jersey to Key West to be with her mother’s sister that she’s never met. Boy cousins, family secrets. Filled with adventure. Turtle is smart and spunky. Depression Era historical fiction, treasure map.
Review: Turtle in Paradise is a historical fiction novel that takes place in 1935 during the Depression Era. Eleven-year-old Turtle has to leave her mom in New Jersey and go to Key West, Florida to live with her aunt so her mom can work as a housekeeper for a woman who doesn’t like kids. Turtle is a bright and witty girl who knows how to get her way and her aunt and her cousins realize her spunk immediately when she surprises them at their doorstep. While living with them, she discovers family secrets and the differences between where she lived with her mom and where she is living now. The story really unfolds when Turtle discovers a treasure map.

Turtle is a very likeable character from the very beginning of the novel. Her bluntness and intelligence adds honesty and heart to Jennifer Holm’s story. Without the main character’s personality, there could have been no adventure in the novel and my interest would have deterred.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Yoko's Paper Cranes

Yoko's Paper Cranes
Author: Rosemary Wells
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Reviewer: Aleece

Summary: When Yoko was very small, she and her Grandmother, Obaasan, fed the cranes in the pond at the end of the garden. When Yoko moves to California, she remembers her Grandmother and Grandfather in Japan. Every week letters go back and forth. She thinks of their garden and their cranes. And when Grandmother's birthday comes, Yoko sends the most wonderful gift of all. Rosemary Wells celebrates the love between grandchildren and gradparents in this sequel to best-selling Yoko.

Review: A short story about moving away from family and still keeping in contact.  This was a brief look at some Japanese terms as well as beautiful origami.  A great book for learning about other cultures.

I Don't Draw, I Color!

I Don't Draw, I Color!
Author: Adam Lehrhaupt
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Reviewer: Juan

Summary: A young boy is saddened by the fact that his drawings might not be precise as everyone else’s but comes to the realization that art has multiple forms of expression. Through the use of color, the boy discovers that he can express himself entirely with just a brush stroke or a colorful scribble. Overall, the book teaches a young reader the freedom and endless possibilities that art can bring.

Review: This book is a great way to teach children freedom of expression. The author uses an artistic style to demonstrate the use of colors to convey certain emotions. In the end, the young boy uses a myriad of tones and textures to paint a self-portrait and display the complexity of a child’s sentiment.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Freedom in Congo Square

Freedom in Congo Square
Author: Carole Boston Weatherford and R. Gregory Christie
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Reviewer: Juan


Summary: Taking place during the era of slavery in America, this story follows a group of slaves in New Orleans, Louisiana. A Poetic style is used to describe the day to day chores that was forced upon these individuals. Each day they counted down waiting until Sunday where they gathered at Congo Square. There they are free to forget about their life in chains and rejoice, sing, dance, and play music.

Review: This book is a great way to teach children a bit of American history. The author uses a poetic style to narrate the life of slaves on a plantation. More importantly it demonstrates the capacity for individuals to find hope and happiness even in the most darkest and difficult moments in a person’s life.

Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs
Author: Nadine Brun-Cosme
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Reviewer: Gloria

Summary: The book was about a little girl whose dad goes to work in an old truck that doesn’t quite work well. So the little girl is worried about how her dad will make it back home. Her dad does not want to worry her so he tells her various ways of how he will get home.

Review: I really enjoyed reading this book, the story had repetition which is good for kids. The book also was told in a very creative way. And what I liked about the book the most was how the readers had to use their imagination. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls
Author: Lynn Weingarten
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Reviewer: Emily


Summary: They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather's shed, but June does not believe it was suicide because she and Delia used to be closer than anything. But one night a year ago, everything changed when they and June's boyfriend, Ryan, let their good time get out of hand, and now, a year later, June owes it to Delia to know if her best friend committed suicide or was murdered.

Review: If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be “predictable.” Not bad, just not shocking. There was only one “twist” that I did not predict, but for me, that did not make up for all of the ones that I could see coming from a mile away. The funny thing is that I did really like the characters of the story and wanted to spend more time with them; it was like hanging out with friends that you really like with nothing to do. This is a great book for just passing time, not one to pick up if you’re looking for something new or thought-provoking.