Posted in Book Review


Cover via NetGalley


by Jonathan Auxier
This book is about a girl named Nan Sparrow who is a chimney climber and the best on her team but while climbing a shool flue she gets stuck and a boy on her team named Roger who hates her sets the chimney on fire purposely instead of doing it in one of the safer ways. Instead of burning to death she wakes up in the attic where her char which was something her former sweep had left after he had disappeared is alive with eyes and  a mouth. She decides to name him charlie. Then they move into the abandoned house of 100 chimneys. Nan teaches Charlie to read and spell with the help of Toby Squall as hiding from Nan’s master in which Nan hates to the core. During Charlies process of learning he uses ash and soot to make himself a golem.

I like this book because the main character is a strong female. The story is also fast paced and the characters are very cool and they do some cool things.

I recommend this book to kids who like the series Peter Nimble. I really liked that series.

I give this book 15 strong character stars.

Note: I was given access to an advance copy of this book via NetGalley.

Posted in Book Review

Oh Valentine, we’ve lost our minds

By Dan Gutman

Pictures by Jim Paillot

This book is about a school called Ele Menteray and how having an exchange student from France on Valentine’s Day works out. His name is Pierre but the kids call him Pee Air and by kids I mean everyone. He says he has a special Valentine who is the know it all Andrea but he is saying that they are his special Valentine to all the other girls.

I like this book because it is the most hilarious book in history.

Recommend this book to kids who need to laugh A LOT.

I give this book 15 laugh stars😄

Posted in Book Review

Maximillian Villainous

By Margaret Chou Greanias

Illustrated by Lesley Breen Withrow

This book is about a monster who needs to do something bad because he is from s family of villains but he only wants to be nice so he thinks up a plan:

Step 1. Get all the bunnies too help.

Step 2. Give the bunnies to a lot of people.

Step 3. Steal hearts with bunnies.

I like this book because instead of being mean he did something nice.

I recommend this book to kids who are like to do stuff in their own way.

I give this book 15 kindness stars 💪🏻💪🏼💪🏽💪🏾💪🏿✨🌟⭐️🌟✨💪🏿💪🏾💪🏽💪🏼💪🏻

Posted in Meet the authors

David DeMeo


· Author website/social media:
instagram: @white_umbrella_dept
twitter: @popabyss
· Tell me a little about yourself:

I grew up in Midland Park, New Jersey where I spent a lot of my time writing stories and poetry into composition notebooks. I loved creating my own worlds and wacky characters and all I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a writer.
1. When you were my age (9), did you like to read?

I loved reading! Other than drawing and writing it was my favorite thing to do.
2. What was your favorite story?

I read a lot of Greek Mythology when I was a kid. My favorite collection was D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths. My favorite story was of the hero Perseus, especially the part where he fights the Gorgon, Medusa.
3. How do you get your ideas?

They usually come from my everyday life or experiences. Sometimes I’ll see a picture that will give me an idea. Sometimes I’ll overhear someone say something that will inspire me. You never really know when inspiration will strike, you just have to be opened to it.
4. Your book (The Cardboard Kingdom) was done with multiple authors. Was that easy or hard?

It was surprisingly easy and truly a pleasure. Everyone in our group is very sweet and respectful. It was so much fun writing this book with them.
5. What author do you really like right now?

My favorite author has been Neil Gaiman for some time. I fell in love with his graphic novel series, the Sandman, when I was younger. I’ve read almost all of his books. I think my favorite one is “the Ocean at the End of the Lane”. It was magical, like all of his stories.
6. Do you have any new or lesser known authors you would suggest?

I don’t know if he’s necessarily lesser known, but I’ve always been a fan of Piers Anthony’s work. His books are very clever and funny!
7. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?

Keep writing and save everything you write! I still have ideas I wrote down when I was your age. You should never throw an idea away; you might need it someday.

8. As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that?

In addition to hearing from them, I’ve met some of them in person because I’ve been doing events with my local library here in Caldwell, NJ. My favorite part is hearing how happy our book has made people. Writing stories people enjoy is really everything I’ve ever wanted

9. If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be?

That’s a tough one! There are so many stories I’d love to visit. I think I would probably portal into the Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland. I always loved those books growing up.

Posted in Book Review

Self Help Bunny

By Mike Laughead

This book is about how to calm your stress. It talks about different types of stress and ways to get them out. It talks about how not dealing with stress can make you react weird.

I liked that this book explained stress in an easy to understand way. The illustrations make it less scary. It would be good for a kid 9 and older.

I like that it mentions therapy in a positive way. I see a therapist to help me with my emotions. I totally get what this book is talking about because emotions can be overwhelming! Therapy is good.

I think this would be a good book to have around a school for a kid to flip through when they need to calm down.

Posted in Book Review

Just Breathe

By Mallika Chopra

Illustrated Brenna Vaughan

One note this is an ARC from the publisher with incomplete art. That does impact my view because I can’t fully review the book. The art looks to be a big part of the book.

This is a book for kids on how to meditate and calm yourself. It is broken into focus areas like calm, create and focus. So if a kid needs to learn a new skill they can easily find the section. If I needed to focus on yogi in theory I would turn to page 36-44.

I like this book because it helps you learn how to be calmer.

I recommend this book to kids who are hyper a lot.

I give this 10 yoga Stars 🧘‍♀️🧘‍♂️🧘‍♂️

Posted in Meet the authors

Katie Schenkel

My name is Katie Schenkel. I am @JustPlainTweets on Twitter, and the official CK account is @thecardboardk on IG and Twitter.

Tell me a little about you:

– When you were my age (9), did you like to read?

I loved to read when I was your age! My parents would bring me to the public library constantly during the summer. Their programs were so much fun and I liked discovering my next favorite story among the bookshelves.

The Scholastic Book Fairs at school were another highlight for me. I very carefully combed through the fair to find the exact books I wanted. It was the best. And I was a frequent visitor to my school’s library throughout the school year.

– What was your favorite author or book?

I loved a lot of different books growing up, but around your age I was a big fan of The Babysitter’s Club. My mom gave me a subscription to the BSC reading club, which meant I got the series mailed right to my front door, one book at a time. During the 90s, kids getting books mailed to them was a lot less common than it is now. That made each Babysitters Club book that much more special to me.

Another favorite book around that time was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. Her heroine Meg meant a lot to me and would eventually become one of my inspirations for Sophie in The Cardboard Kingdom.

– how do you get your story ideas?

My story ideas come from a lot of different places! For The Cardboard Kingdom, Chad had the basic idea of a neighborhood of creative kids, and that sparked my idea for Sophie’s Big Banshee. And sometimes it’s as simple as, “Oh, I wish there was a comic I could read about a girl visiting different planets and falling in love with an alien” and then remembering that I can make that book myself! And now the alien love story idea is my upcoming comic 100 Light Years of Solitude.

– is it hard to write a book?

It can be really hard to write anything, whether it’s a full book or a short story or an article! The hardest part for me is taking that original nugget of a story idea and building out from it. That’s when it’s easy to doubt your idea and want to give up. It’s important for writers to remember that their first draft isn’t going to be perfect, it just has to be finished. Once you have the draft, you can edit the heck out of it until it’s where you want it to be.

– what authors do you like right now? Any lesser known ones you can recommend?

When you and I met at A2CAF in Ann Arbor, I got to buy quite a few new comics. Lucy Bellwood’s book 100 Demon Dialogues is very cute and teaches readers to be kinder to themselves. I also met a young Ann Arbor comic creator named Bruno Hohn and got to read his minicomic The Adventures of Spenser the Ghost & Larry the Muffin. I was very impressed by how darkly funny and sharp the dialogue was. He’s got some real talent and I look forward to seeing his work in the future.

– what is the best part of being an author?

The best part of being an author is when your story is out in the world. For one, because it always feels better once the work is done. But also, that’s when you get to see its impact on readers! There’s nothing better than seeing how a story you made has touched someone’s heart.

– What do you use to complete your writing?

When I am ready to write my scripts, I use this Microsoft Word comic script template: The template sets up the formatting for me, and it’s easy for my artist, editor, and letterer to read.

When I’m brainstorming story ideas, I’ve been using the website It makes writing into a game, so the more I type, the more rewards I get in the game. It encourages me to keep writing without worrying about it being perfect during the brainstorming process.

– any advice for a kid who wants to be an author?

This is advice I often need to remember myself: read lots of different kinds of books. Besides sparking your imagination and learning more about the world, you can learn so much about the craft of writing by jumping into a wide variety of writing. So, read sci-fi comics! Read biographies! Read science books! Read YA novels! Read webcomics! Be as well-read as you can, even if you don’t plan to write that style of book yourself.

– If you could portal into any of your works, which would you portal into?

Oh man, The Cardboard Kingdom would be a very fun place to experience. But I would want to be a kid myself so I could join in on the fun.