Amazon Affiliate

I was talking to a blog user recently who wasn’t aware of the Amazon Affiliate program I participate in, so I thought I’d post a reminder for others who enjoy this blog.

At the bottom of each of my reviews I post a link: “If you’d like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.”  If you click on that and buy the book–or anything else on Amazon–I get a (very small) percentage of that sale.

This blog is a labor of love, and I would never try to make money from it any other way.  You’ll never see ads here.  But I do spend many hours working on it, so it’s nice to get that little kickback from Amazon if you’re going there anyway.  Seems like it’s a win-win.  Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about this.

Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue by Paula Harrison, illustrated by Jenny Løvlie

Published by Greenwillow Books

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Summary:  Kitty’s mom is a superhero, and Kitty knows she has special powers.  She doesn’t feel ready to go out at night the way her mother does, though.  But when a cat named Figaro comes to her bedroom window one night and tells her he needs help, she decides to be brave and go exploring with him.  First she rescues a cat from a tree. But the real issue is a loud wailing coming from a clock tower. They discover a kitten stuck at the top. Kitty has to figure out a way to climb up before the clock strikes midnight and scares the kitten into falling.  Assisted by her three cat helpers, she makes a successful rescue. The next morning, the cats all gather around Kitty and her family, ready to go off on another adventure.

Pros:  An exciting early chapter book adventure with cute black and orange illustrations, sure to be popular with Princess In Black and Owl Diary fans.

Cons:  It’s a sweet story, but lacks the slight edge that makes the Princess In Black books so much fun.

If you would like to buy this on Amazon, click here.

I’m Trying to Love Math by Bethany Barton

Published by Viking Books for Children

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Summary:  When an unnamed narrator declares their dislike of math, a purple three-eyed alien tries to show how interesting and useful it is.  “I know I’m not alone here. 4 in 10 Americans hate math,” claims the narrator. Alien: “Did you just use math to explain how much you don’t like it?”  It then goes on to show how math is used for things the narrator finds enjoyable, like baking cookies or making music. Math is a universal language and gives us a set of rules for measuring, traveling, and using money.  When the kid realizes they already love math, the alien’s job is done, and he returns home…to Planet Homework. 40 pages; grades 1-3

Pros:  A fun way to introduce the different ways math is used in everyday life.  It could serve as a springboard to get kids thinking about other areas where they use math.

Cons:  Those who truly struggle with math are not likely to be convinced by the arguments put forth here.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

 

Sweeping Up the Heart by Kevin Henkes

Published by Greenwillow Books

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Summary:  Amelia isn’t expecting much from her spring vacation week–as usual, her distant father is working, and her pleas to go to Florida have fallen on deaf ears.  She decides to hang out at the clay studio the first day, where her passion for sculpture helps her forget about her troubles. When she gets there, she meets Casey, the owner’s nephew, who is spending the vacation with his aunt while his parents try to salvage their marriage.  Casey and Amelia start hanging out at the coffee shop, making up stories about the people they see through the window. When a woman resembling Amelia appears, Casey plants the idea that she might be Amelia’s long-dead mother. The vacation week turns out to be different–and better–than Amelia expected as she enjoys her new friendship, embraces her art, and meets a woman who will change her future.  192 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  This spare, beautifully-written story will resonate with many tweens, as Casey and Amelia deal with familiar issues around families and friendship.  A possible Newbery contender.

Cons:  I find this kind of book–where most of the action is internal–difficult to book talk, yet I know many kids in my school would enjoy it.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

Recipe for Disaster (Didi Dodo Future Spy, book 1) by Tom Angleberger, illustrated by Jared Chapman

Published by Harry N. Abrams

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Summary:  Cookie baker Koko Dodo (a character from Angleberger’s Inspector Flytrap series) has been robbed! His Super Secret Fudge Sauce has been stolen just hours before the big cookie contest that he always wins.  Enter Didi Dodo, a high-energy dodo on roller skates who calls herself a future spy.  She’s sure she can solve the case, and whisks Koko off on a whirlwind adventure, trying one scheme after another to track down the culprit, and leaving a path of destruction as they go.  The robber is tracked down, the cookies are baked, and Koko gets another trophy.  On the last page, Didi whips out a card reading “Dodo and Dodo, Future Spies,” ensuring at least one more book, which is scheduled for release in September. 112 pages; grades 1-4.

Pros:  Kids will love the manic humor and energy of this new series by the much-loved Tom Angleberger.

Cons:  I liked the illustrations, but why didn’t Tom’s wife Cece Bell do them like she did for Inspector Flytrap?  Maybe she’s working on a sequel to El Deafo…we can hope.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

A Piglet Named Mercy by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

Published by Candlewick

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Summary:  Mercy Watson gets a backstory, as readers discover how she came to live with Mr. and Mrs. Watson when she was just a piglet.  Turns out she fell off a truck that was rumbling down Deckawoo Drive, landing not far from the Watsons’ house. It was love at first sight when the Watsons found her on their front porch.  Of course, Eugenia Lincoln gets in her two cents’ worth, while her younger sister Baby brings the piglet a bottle of milk. Mercy downs the bottle, but her fondness for buttered toast soon emerges, earning her the title of “porcine wonder” from Mr. Watson.  The last page shows Mercy in her high chair at the Watsons’ kitchen table, with everyone well on their way to happily-ever-after. 32 pages; ages 3-7.

Pros:  Mercy Watson readers will enjoy learning Mercy’s early story, while their younger siblings will get to meet all the characters that they’ll see again in the chapter books.

Cons:  I wish Kate DiCamillo would write more of the Mercy Watson early chapter books.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

 

Right As Rain by Lindsey Stoddard

Published by HarperCollins

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Summary:  Rain and her parents have just moved from Vermont to New York City, partly because of her mother’s new job and partly to escape the memories of her older brother’s death almost a year before.  Rain has heard that three out of four couples divorce following the death of a child, and it seems like her parents may be on their way to becoming part of this statistic. She escapes from her difficult home life through running.  Her middle school track team gives her some new friends, as does Ms. Dacie’s house, a place where kids drop in after school to bake cookies and get help with their homework. As the story unfolds, readers get glimpses of the night Guthrie died and Rain’s role in helping him sneak out that night.  She learns to express her feelings through poetry, and a poetry slam in her English class allows her to open up to her new friends about what is going on with her. Rain and her parents survive the one-year anniversary of Guthrie’s death, and, although there are still plenty of uncertainties in her life, she knows she has a team of people supporting her as she moves forward.  304 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  Lindsey Stoddard’s second novel is every bit as moving as last year’s Just Like Jackie, and Rain is another strong character who has to learn that she can’t always go it alone.  Keep the Kleenexes close at hand when you get to the poetry slam chapter.

Cons:  I think reading this right after finishing Eventown was too much; I had to force myself to keep going through the first several chapters as the family is dealing with their grief over Guthrie’s death.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.