Posted in Book Review

My bicycle life

A month ago, my parents took me to a velodrome race, and I loooooved it!! My dad took to Class 101, and I started training to race at competition level! My first race was about a week ago, and I’m racing tonight and tomorrow evening! I have my own jersey too!!! I. Am. So. Exciteeeeeeeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love to race because it’s really fun to go reeeeeaaaaaaaaalllllllllyyyyyyyyy fast, and I can’t wait until I finally get to finish the 10 mile test! It’s scary when I have to dropwall, which is dropping from the wall at the top to start a race! I am not usually in the mood for staying close together because I either go so fast I’m overlapping tires, which you are not allowed to do in races, or even in training, pretty much. Or, I’m too slow and the other racers don’t even stay on my tail, and they go around me. And now it’s time for school!!!! Math! Yay.

Posted in Book Review

A Wish in the Dark

By Christina Soontornvat

Book Source: review copy provided as part of book publicity

Book Status: available March 24, 2020

A Wish in the Dark is set in a fantasy world but it seems a lot like ours. I was lucky enough to get the publicity booklet which explained some of names and places. Plus I sent Christina a question or two.

1. This is supposedly a middle grade retelling of Les Miserables. I am not sure because I haven’t read it but that is what Christina says.

2. There are two boys growing up in prison because of what their mothers did. Their mothers have died but they still have to stay until they are 13. This is a story of being punished for someone else’s action. Plus the women had done minor crimes to survive and where given long sentances.

3. There is a Governor who controls the city through the rules and the lights. This creates a world of the haves and the have nots. It is nearly impossible for the have nots to have a better life.

4. One boy escapes the prison and lives with monks for years. He returns to city and becomes part of movement for change.

5. There is girl who is a “have” but never feels good enough. In reality her parents have a secret about her that they are protecting.

6. I think this book pairs well with Padma Venkatramen A BRIDGE HOME. Both books are about living in a society of haves and have nots that were created by people. The people who create the system are afraid and use that fear to withhold things for control.

7. This is a book about resource sharing too. The Governor makes resources hard to access but one of the boys figures out how to make orbs (aka lights) more accessible.

8. I asked my mom to read this after I finished so I could discuss. I think this would be a good class or family read. There is so many discussions you can have.

I always feel special when I receive a book as part of the publicity campaign, especially for authors with a following. I will be passing this book on to another kid reviewer and buying a copy of to giveaway in a spring book giveaway.

Posted in Book Review

Friend or Fiction

By Abby Cooper

Book Source: gifted by author

Book Status: available

1. This book is about a girl, and all her friends move away, so she writes stories. The stories are about a girl named Zoe.

2. A boy brings Zoe to life, and Zoe does litterally everything Jade, ( the girl ) writes about her doing!

3. Jade’s dad has Liver Cancer.

4. Jade tries to control Zoe’s life, and Zoe isn’t up to it. She does things Jade writes, but not exactly how Jade’s writes them.

5. It’s a book about friendship, and how you can’t control your friends!

Posted in Book Review

A Galaxy of Sea Stars

By Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo

Book Source: ARC provided by author to read and review

Book Status: Available February 4, 2020

Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. After I reviewed RUBY IN THE SKY and interviewed her, she sent a thank you that included a copy of her upcoming book. Every other kid gets excited about Raina T., And Dave P., but I’m AAALWAYS excited about this kind of books!              Ok now………….

On with the review!!

1. It’s about friendship problems. ( I mean trios never work out, do they?) The problem is friendships evolve even you don’t want them to change. You can fight it but it only makes things worse.

2. It is about being a new kid and being very different from your new surroundings.

3. It is about parents dealing with really hard things and not being fully honest with the kid. Parents aren’t perfect and sometimes they think they are protecting the kid but they aren’t.

4. It is about facing your fears and doing something that terrifies you. I experience that with track cycling. Riding the track is terrifying but I love it. I still have to push myself through and just do it.

5. All together it tells a story middle graders can relate to. It covers bullying, friendship, families, new kids, changes, middle grade and so much more.

Overall I really liked this book. Ok I loved it but that isn’t why you should read it. I hope you read it because the topics it covers interest you. But first you have to preorder it and wait….

Posted in Book Review

Girl under a red moon

By Da Chen

Book Source: provided for review

Book Status: available

Well, this book needs to be read with a class. I’m warning you. It’s gruesome at the end. It’s also good and cool in the middle.

1. It’s told by the little brother instead of the main character.

2. I think is an autobiography, cause the little brother’s name is the same as the author. Update it is listed as autobiographical.

3. It’s real thing that could happen.

4. It’s how friendships can be ripped apart by a truth and a lie.

5. It’s a really cool book, but I’d rate it PG 13 if I had too. So take heed if my warning, cause you neeeeeeeeed an adult to explain the stuff.

Posted in Book Review

Surprising Stories behind everyday stuff

Book Source: provided for review by Media Masters Publicity

Book Status: Available

1. It’s reeeeeaaaaaaaaalllllllllyyyyyyyyy fun and silly.

2. It’s nonfiction.

3. The story’s are weird like how the….. Oh let’s say….. How people give baby names.

4.Trust me, it’s hi-la-ri-os.

5. This book is just sooo great.

6. It is also very interesting to find out the story behind stuff we use and do everyday.

Posted in Meet the authors

Jennifer Swanson

Twitter and Instagram — @JenSwanBooks


When you were my age (10), did you like to read? I loved to read mysteries. I read every single Nancy Drew book that was written at that time, and also the Hardy Boys and Trixie Belden series. I also gobbled up nonfiction books like crazy. I was very interested in learning about the world around me.

What is a book that made an impact on you? This is a tough one. There are so many. I have to say the one book that really showed me that I could tackle tougher physics and engineering topics for kids is a book called A Black Hole is NOT a Hole by Carolyn DeCristofano. It’s so well-written and deals with the very complex topic of black holes in an interesting and easy to read manner.

Is it hard to come up with book ideas? You write about real things so where do your ideas come from? (Lil Bro – why write about car safety for kids? I like it but most kids are not interested.) I am a very curious person. I started a science club in my garage when I was 7 years old. I wanted to learn more about how things worked in our world. My intense curiosity has followed me my whole life. I come up with ideas, just by wondering… “how does that work?”

As for why I wrote about cars, I actually do believe that kids are interested in cars. I remember playing with Hot Wheels with my brothers as a kid and then watching my own kids do it. This book was inspired by my interest in the self-driving car. I would really like to drive one some day, but most of all, I think it is amazing how much techonolgy and engineering must come together to get this to work. Wow!

In researching your books, what is coolest thing you have done or encountered? I am very lucky in that I get to cool places and meet amazing people in my research. I have been to NASA, Brookhaven Laboratory — where they have a small particle collider, the Field Museum in Chicago, and most recently to CERN the home of the large hadron collider in Geneva, Switzerland. That was the coolest thing I have done, so far.

Is there a new or lesser known author you think kids should be aware of?
There are alot of great authors out there. If you like science and technology, I encourage them to go into the library and spend some time in that section. Find books that are engaging and exciting. There are tons of them there! If you want to find some great books about STEM, I encourage you to check out a blog that I run: STEM Tuesday. It is split up into different topics so you can search it. There are even some fun activities to do on your own or with your class, too.

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? Read a lot of books. And also try to keep a journal. I did that as a child. I wrote down my thoughts and ideas. It’s fun to look back on that now. Just have fun with writing.

As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that?I do hear from my readers and that is one of my favorite parts about being an author. I get pictures and letters from them. A lot of the time they tell me about their favorite part of the book. They ask me questions and sometimes tell me how they were inspired and now want to become a scientist or engineer. That is awesome!

If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be? Harry Potter without a doubt. I mean who wouldn’t want to live in that creative, exciting world with magic?

Book trailer: