Books, Family, Memes, Reviews

Magic Monday – The Magic of the Written Word

The magic of words is something that never fails to cast its spell – on me, on my kids, on just about anybody – be it a poem, a short story, a news article, or an epic novel. I celebrate and cherish the written word every day. Here are short reviews of a few of the books I have read recently from my NetGalley and Edelweiss review queues – today being Monday, these are mainly children’s books.

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17 Women Who Shook the World – by Preethi Burkholder – This was a book I read and hoped to review in March. The women included in the book are all worthy of notice. The book is a little drab to read and I wonder if the writing could have been a little livelier. Since this book was included in the children’s non-fiction section in NetGalley, I expected it to speak to children more but am not sure if my kids will be able to enjoy reading this book though I was. However, the facts included were great, I loved the quotes sprinkled throughout the book, and I loved that the women included spanned time and place.
Rating: C
Reading Level: 13 years and above
The Big Book of Things to Make –  by James Mitchem
$16.99 US; Hardback;
Juvenile Nonfiction / Crafts & Hobbies
This book has good ideas. Some of them, I really loved – like making a secret compartment in a book and a board game all you, while others I did not love too much, especially ones involving messes, and a few others did not interest me too much.  But I am sure that kids will love the messy ones, like making your own goo!
The book has step by step instructions with photos/diagrams to show you how to proceed with the ‘thing to make’ well at the same time being easy to follow for kids. Some of the projects require assistance from adults and they mention that in the project page.
Overall, a fun book to have to while away rainy days and some summer days when you have nothing planned (the messy ones are not for rainy indoor days!) and for getting the kids and yourselves away from gadgets!
Rating: B (I would have loved it if there a few more things to make included in this book).
Reading Level: Ages 7 to 12, Grades 2 to 7 
Reread Level: 3.5/5
Andy Griffiths (Author), Terry Denton (Illustrator)
I love treehouses and always wanted one of my own – I still do as an adult and a 13-storey treehouse is definitely stuff of dreams. This one is whacky, fun, and right out of the fantasies of every little boy. My ten-year-old  devoured this book and now has his own plans for a ‘multi-storied’ treehouse.  Every storey contains stories of their own. While I found some parts a little silly and thought some not too age-appropriate, I do know that kids will enjoy the book and enjoy reading it. The equally whacky illustrations make this book a fun and easy read. A rollicking fun read by Andy and Terry sure to be enjoyed by all who love treehouses, and marshmallow shooting machines, and lemonade fountains, and more!
Rating: B+
Reading Level: Ages 8 and up
Reread Level: 4/5
Gone Fishing -A novel
Tamera Will Wissinger
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
My second novel in verse and a delight to tackle.. not that it means it is a hard read, just wanted to use a fishing term to describe what a great catch this book is! The characters are delightful and little Lucy is my favorite. The poems, rhymes, verse used in this book are many and varied and each one charms you in its own special way.
The author lets you know what style of verse each poem is written in and the end of the book includes brief descriptions of all the various styles used in the poem so young readers can attempt to write their own.
Rating: A
Reading Level: 6 and up
Reread Level: 5/5
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Larry Phifer
Storytime Works
Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Members’ Titles
This book tugged at my heartstrings – this one…touched my whole world. The story is so sweet, so poignant and can be told to just about anyone who has lost a friend, who has moved to a new place, whose friend has moved elsewhere – a story of hope, of new beginnings, of silver linings in clouds, or in this case, of shining, shimmering, glittering balloons. The words flow and tumble into the next set seamlessly to inspire the poet in you and me while the illustrations are bright and with the right touch of whimsy while at the same being a work of art to inspire the artist in every kid.
My 7-year old loved this book on first read and we have read it many times over already since.
Rating: A
Reading Level: All
Reread Level: 5/5

Disclaimer:Thank you to NetGalley for sending me a digital review copy of the books above (except ‘The Big Book of Things to Make’). I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal opinions formed when I read the book.

Disclaimer:Thank you to Edelweiss for sending me a digital review copy of the book – ‘The Big Book of Things to Make’ – above. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal opinions formed when I read the book.

For my Monday kid’s books reviews, the books reviewed here today goes towards the weekly meme at Jen and Kellee’s – What are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA

For What are you reading? @ Book Journey

Completed reading:

Many books since the last time I updated here – too many to list – but here are a few anyways – most are digital ARCs from NetGalley or Edelweiss
All the books reviewed here today
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau – a wonderful read – Hunger Games fans will devour this like I did – review coming Wednesday
Cookbooks – Chloe’s Vegan Chocolate Classics and Chloe’s Quick and Easy Party Favors
Following romances – some among the many I read –  which I will review here
One More Kiss by Mary Blayney,

Checkmate, My Lord by Tracey Devyln 
The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh by Stephanie Laurens
Children’s Books
Isabella: Star of the Story
In Lucia’s Neighborhood
Willow Finds a Way

Currently reading:

The Wig in the Window  by Kristen Kittscher  (advance copy from the publishers)
And reading many more as always
Next on my list to read:

The Show must go on by Kate Klise (arc)
‘Til the Streetlights Came On: Lessons Learned from Neighborhood Games by Daniel J. Porter (arc)
and a few more…

For Musing Mondays at Should Be Reading, I picked the following question from the choices offered:
Describe one of your reading habits.
I think I have described a couple of them in earlier Musing Monday posts already. So today, I have a different take on this musing. At a recent get-together with old friends, with whom I have normally discussed work and family and life in general more than I discussed books, I discovered to my joy that books are a common love. But, uh-uh, audio books was where I, at this time at least, did not agree with them. I have to yet get hooked on audio books – my friend asked me if I was read to a lot as a kid – I had to say ‘no’ to that. She mentioned that could be one of the reasons I am unable to enjoy them. This does not mean I had no one to tell me stories – my grandparents were excellent story tellers – my maternal grandmom – who I am blessed to be able to still talk to – was a literal fountain of stories – books that she would read and then tell us the story in her own words and stories she had heard as a kid – all made our world magical under starry nights. Well, I went off on a tangent here..or rather many tangents.. 
But, audio books – not yet for me..
What about you? Are audio books something you enjoy?
Also peeking in over at Monday Mingle over at Tough Cookie Mommy – This is a place for networking:) So please link up and follow other blogs on this blog hop/linky on Google Friend Connect, Facebook, or Twitter.


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