Welcome to Dog Beach

Welcome to Dog BeachWelcome to Dog Beach
by Lisa Greenwald
Grades 4 & up

Remy loves spending each summer on Sea Gate island, with the customs and traditions she can count on. But this year is different. Both her beloved grandmother and her dog have died. Her two best friends on the islands are changing, and everything is different. While initially fighting the changes, her summer is off to an awful start. Gradually she begins to find ways to make it better for herself, embracing both new friends and old. A sweet story about the inevitable changes that come with growing up. Recommended for grades 4 and up.

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Seeds of American Trilogy

Chains (Seeds of America, #1)Chains
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Grades 6 & up

Isabel and her little sister Ruth were promised their freedom when Miss Mary died. Her nephew who comes to settle her affairs has other ideas, however, and sells the sisters to the Locktons, a Loyalist family in New York. It is the start of the American Revolution and Isabel is torn between fighting for freedom for the country and freedom for her family. While she would like to help the revolutionaries, it is clear that their motto of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” does not apply to slaves such as herself. Mr. Lockton is high up in the Loyalist government, offering her many opportunities to spy. Mrs. Lockton is a cruel and vicious mistress, making Isabel’s life much harder than she ever expected it to be. Caught between rebels and loyalists, between slavery and freedom, Isabel makes one hard choice after another in a desperate attempt to save her sister. This important novel provides a unique look at slavery during the American Revolution, giving voice to people silent for too long. Highly recommended for grades 6 & up.

Forge (Seeds of America, #2)Forge
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Grades 5 & up

This second book in the Seeds of America series picks up right where Chains left off, but switches to Curzon’s point of view. He and Isabel have gone separate ways, but it is clear that he has fallen in love with her. When he saves a young soldier’s life, he winds up enlisting in the Continental Army for the second time. Curzon and his unit spend a horrible winter at Valley Forge, fighting against enemies within and without, as well as the lack of food, clothing, and shelter, not to mention the bitter cold. This well-researched and historically accurate look at the lives of African Americans during the Revolutionary War is not only an important one to read, but an exciting adventure as well. Anderson brings the history to life, as well as the hypocrisy of slavery during a fight for freedom to light. Highly recommended for grades 5 & up.

Ashes (Seeds of America, #3)Ashes
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Grades 6 & up

This final book in the Seeds of America trilogy is the best one yet. We rejoin Isabel and Curzon months after the end of Forge and return to Isabel’s point of view. They have been traveling south, trying to find Isabel’s sister Ruth. When they do find it her, it is not the reunion that Isabel had hoped for. Instead Ruth refuses to even acknowledge her. With the help of the elderly couple who have been taking care of her, Ruth and her friend Aberdeen head north with Isabel and Curzon. Their journey is fraught with peril and they are not out of danger as they join up with the troops gathering for the pivotal Battle of Yorktown. This trilogy takes a hard look at the hypocrisy of the new American government, fighting for freedom yet denying it to the African-Americans in their midst. It is an important piece of American history that should be mandatory reading. Highly recommended for grades 6 & up.

eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss

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The Walk On

The Walk On (The Triple Threat, #1)The Walk On
by John Feinstein
Grades 5 & up

Alex Myers knows that he has a good arm and is a strong quarterback. Even as a Freshman he hopes to win a spot on the Varsity football team. What he doesn’t know though, being brand new to town, is that the head coach’s son is the starting quarterback. Coach Gordon runs his football team like the Marines and expects unwavering loyalty from all of the players. When the school newspaper starts to question the coach’s decision to play Matt and not Alex, things take a turn for the worse. A must read for all fans of high school football. Recommended for grades 5 & up.

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Mother-Daughter Book Camp

Mother-Daughter Book Camp (The Mother-Daughter Book Club, #7)Mother-Daughter Book Camp
by Heather Vogel Frederick
Grades 6 & up

I was so sad thinking that I had read the final Mother-Daughter Book Club book, so it was an absolute joy to spend a summer with the five friends again. It is their last summer before college, and all five are counselors at an all girls camp just outside Pumpkin Falls, NH. (Yes, the town in Absolutely Truly.) They are in charge of the youngest campers and we see all of the skills that they have learned over the years in their book club come into play. A great final send-off as they girls get ready to move on with their lives. A must-read for fans of the series, grades 6 and up.

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The Vault of Dreamers

The Vault of Dreamers (The Vault of Dreamers, #1)The Vault of Dreamers
by Caragh M. O’Brien
Grades 6 & up

Rosie is a student at the Forge School, which is both a school for a variety of different creative arts as well as a 12-hour-a-day reality show. The other 12 hours of the day, the students are in a drug-induced sleep, which is supposed to be good for their creativity and development. Except that when Rosie skips her pill, she finds that things at night are not what they are supposed to be. She stumbles upon the possibility that some kind of medical experiments are happening to the students while they are asleep. But how can she investigate when there are always cameras on her? And how can she go back to sleep, knowing what might be happening? Readers will be drawn in to Rosie’s world, as she tries to discover the truth. Recommended for grades 6 and up.

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The Rookie Bookies

The Rookie BookieThe Rookie Bookie
by L. Jon Wertheim
Grades 4 & up

Mitch Sloan’s family has just moved from California to Indiana, giving him a chance to start over at a new middle school. Things seem to be starting off well, as he and his new friend Jamie come up with the idea of creating a football betting pool. No matter which team wins, they always make money. Mitch is fascinated by the idea of making money, and this book contains some cleverly woven in concepts about buying, selling, and saving. A fun story for football lovers, grades 4-7.

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Blog Tour: The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser

Book Jumper Header

The Book JumperThe Book Jumper
by Mechthild Gläser
Grades 7 & up

I am super excited to be joining in this fun blog tour for The Book Jumper. Because really, who wouldn’t want the ability to jump into their favorite books and spend time with the characters outside the story line? 

Amy is having a hard time in school and her mother just had a rough break up when they suddenly leave Germany to return to her mother’s childhood home on a small island in Scotland. Amy knew nothing about her extended family. She learns that she and one other family on the island are “book jumpers,” and are tasked with preserving the world of stories. Their families are dying out and when a rash of thefts start plaguing the book world, it is up to Amy, Will , and Betsy to solve the mystery and preserve literature for the ages. The world of stories depends on them.

Book Jumpers is an exciting adventure in its own right, but the level of fun is increased by the visits to a variety of classic literature. Amy starts off in The Jungle Book and by using the magic of the Margin is able to visit a variety of other stories as well. Of all the books she visited, the one I would most like to visit is The Little Prince. That book holds a special place in my heart and it would be incredible to visit the different worlds and see the Prince’s beloved rose. 

There are some remarkable similarities to Story Thieves by James Riley, though Book Jumpers is aimed at an older audience. Fans of Story Thieves will want to read this one as well!

ARC provided by publisher

Be sure to check out The Book Jumper and visit the other blogs on the tour!

Book Jumper Blog Tour Schedule

Take Me Away To A Great Read – January 3rd
Mundie Moms – January 4th
Yapha Mason – January 5th (you are here!)
Reading Nook Reviews – January 6th
Mary Had A Little Book Blog – January 7th
Stories & Sweeties – January 8th
Quite the Novel Idea – January 9th

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The Perfect Place

The Perfect PlaceThe Perfect Place
by Teresa E. Harris
Grades 4 & up

Treasure’s father has never been satisfied staying in one place for very long. Her mother calls him a “rolling stone,” but up until this point he has always brought his family along. This time though, he left without them, with no forwarding address. When Treasure’s mother goes in search of him, She drops Treasure and her younger sister Tiffany at their Great-Aunt Grace’s house in the small town of Black Lake, Virginia. Treasure hates everything about being there, and her Great Aunt’s rough personality doesn’t help any. Little by little they come to understand each other. A family story about acceptance of each other, even when personalities clash. Recommended for grades 4 & up.

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The Inventor’s Secret Trilogy

The Inventor's Secret (The Inventor's Secret #1)The Inventor’s Secret
by Andrea Cremer
Grades 7 & up

In this alternate reality, steam punk novel, the United States lost the Revolutionary War. What has happened instead is the Great Britain has taken control, enslaving the rebels for generations to come. Charlotte and her brother Ashley have grown up in hiding in the Catacombs, waiting for the day that they can join their parents and continue the Rebellion. All of that changes though, when Charlotte brings home a strange boy she finds being chased through the forest. Grave remembers nothing of his life before Charlotte found him, other than the grave danger he was in. But it is when Jack brings the secret weapon back to the Catacombs that things change even more quickly than Charlotte could imagine. This is the first book in a new series. For steampunk fans in grades 7 and up.

The Conjurer's Riddle (The Inventor's Secret #2)The Conjurer’s Riddle
by Andrea Cremer
Grades 5 & up

Fantastic sequel to The Inventor’s Secret. Must read that first. Recommended for grades 5 & up.

The Turncoat's Gambit (The Inventor's Secret #3)The Turncoat’s Gambit
by Andrea Cremer
Grades 6 & up

Fantastic finale to the Inventor’s Secret trilogy! Revisionist history meets steampunk where the Americans lost the Revolutionary War. Highly recommended, but you must read the series in order. Grades 6 & up.

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by Kwame Alexander
Grades 4 & up

Eighth grader Nick Hall lives and breathes soccer. Unfortunately his father feels the same way about words and even wrote his own dictionary, which he is forcing Nick to read. When Nick’s mother takes a job out of state, the rest of Nick’s world starts to fall apart as well — at home, at school, even on the soccer field. As Nick struggles to keep his head above water, he finds help in unexpected places. Told in a variety of poetry styles, Kwame Alexander’s glorious wordsmithing draws the reader right to the heart of Nick’s story. This book will leave you with a list of words to sneak into conversations as well as more books you need to read. Highly recommended to grades 4 & up.

ARC provided by publisher

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