Posted in Book Review

Shouting at the rain

By Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Book Source: bought by parents

Book Status: available

I wasn’t sure about this book at first but my grandmother thought it sounded like something I should read. She is not usually wrong so I did. Here are my five reasons why kids should read it.

1. The girl is dealing with real social issues, like a friend dumping you for the mean girl.

2. She is dealing with living without her parents and is raised by her grandmother. More kids are being raised by their grandparents and it isn’t the same as your parent.

3. It was very fun to read and we’ll written for middle graders.

4. Not everything is wrapped up in a pretty bow at the end just like life.

5. These quotes on the back are perfect lessons for middle graders

Posted in Book Review

Girls with Guts

By Debbie Gonzales

Illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon

Book Source: bought at book event

Book Status: Available

I liked doing my review of Nikki Tesla as a list. I am going to try doing my reviews as at least the 5 reasons why kids might like the book. This should also keep me from revealing too many spoilers!

Today’s book was suggested to me in a recent author interview. When I looked it up, I found the author was having an event that weekend near me. Road trip!

Five reasons why kids will like Girls with Guts

1. It shows girls doing athletics when men said they couldn’t

2. It is all about real women and girls so you could go read more about a specific person.

3. If you had to find an interesting woman to write about for school, this would be a good source for unique subjects

4. If you read like I do, you might see connections from these real world events to stories we have read. Like I think if Althea Gibson has never won her match, I don’t think Parker Inheritance would have happened.

5. Even boys will be interested in the sports accomplishments of these women

This is an upper grade picture book so not really for littles. You could read them a chapter at a time.

Posted in Book Review

Elements of Genius: Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray

By Jess Keating

Book Source: ARC provided by Scholastics for review

Book Status: Available July 9, 2019

Hello everybody! It was exciting to get this ARC before my long weekend even if I had forgotten I had requested. End of the school year brain. This book is amazing. I didn’t put it down. I literally stayed up all night reading ! (Mom was out of town and my dad didn’t notice)

I am not going to tell you what the book is about because you can find that out online. I want to share why kids will like this book.

1. The character mix – their names Are based on real geniuses and important science people like Grace O’Malley or Albert Einstein. The kids are super smart in areas similar to that of their name twin’s area.

2. There is a ferret who likes French fries with gravy and could be an evil villain in training. Or it could be clumsy

3. There really are no grownups. The kids are in charge and solve international mysteries and can get whatever they want.

4. They go to school and there are only 7 of them

5. Science and math are woven through out the book. It is shared in a way that is interesting and not scary. Even super hard math seems fascinating and something I might want to learn more on. Like the Fibonacci Sequence

6. The book deals with social issues which is something kids really really have a problem with. (An awful lot of the books I am reading right now are about social issues of middle grades. So does that mean even the grownups had the same problems at this age and no one has figured out how to stop middle graders from being mean?)

7. This is only book one and I am not happy about waiting for book 2. I hate when books end in a cliffhanger and the next book isn’t available for a long time

So if you teach the middle grades, have a middle grader, like spy adventures, like math and science, you might want to pre-order this.

Jess Keating – you are amazing! I hope to see you at NerdCampMi

Posted in Book Review

Llama destroys the world

By Jonathan Stutzman

Illustrated by Heather Fox

Book Source: bought by my parents

Book Status: available

This book is about how Llama destroys the world. So on Monday Llama finds not one, not two, not three,….. not three thousand, not ninety million, but 1 billion pieces of cake ( maybe I miscounted) but still, it’s a lot of cake!! He eats so much that on the day of dancing, his pants rip, and the riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip of his pants opens a black hole. Llama doesn’t even say oh no! Then the hole of blackness swallows earth and Llama proclaims ” Dat.” Then every thing comes out just fine. ( Yes it’s all fine at the end. ) Then Llama finds pie not one, not two, not three,…. not three thousand, not ninety million, but one billion pieces of pie. What will we do now…….

This is the most perfect book for cause and effect because he eats too much cake ( cause ) and his pants rip ( effect ). I also recommend this to school and classroom libraries.

Posted in Book Review

Big Cat

By Emma Lazell

Book Source: provided in exchange for a review

Book Status: Available July 30, 2019 in US

Dad likes to tell us the story about my grandmother letting an opossum in the house when he was younger. She thought it was their cat. So when I was offered the chance to review a book about a grandmother mistaking a tiger for her cat, I had to say yes!

This book is about a grandma who mistakes a tiger for a cat. They try to return it to their neighbors but it doesn’t belong to any of them. Then some —– SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!! Grandmother’s new cat is a really a lost tiger! Oops 😬

I recommend this to anyone who needs a laugh!

Oh and my grandmother never got to have a tea party with her opossum

Posted in Meet the authors

Carrie Pearson

Author website/social media:

New Instagram author account:
Instagram personal account:

Carrie at a recent book signing






And school visit

1.     When you were my age (10), did you like to read?

I LOVED to read at your age, and still do. When I was ten, I spent as much time reading as I possibly could. I read on my living room couch, at the table during meals (when my mom allowed it), up in a maple tree in the front yard, soaking in the tub, and in bed before lights out. Don’t tell my mom, but I also read after lights out. 

2.     What is a book that made an impact on you?

If I have to select one, it would be Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry, original cover by Wesley Dennis shown here. My heart raced when the Spanish ship carrying beautiful horses is caught in a terrible storm and the horses have to swim for their lives. My heart dropped when Misty and her mother were sold to a different owner than Maureen and Paul. And my heart soared when Misty and the Beebe children built a trusting relationship. This book completely captured me and influenced the name I chose for my first horse which was Daughter of the Wind. Very dramatic, right? J


3.     Is it hard to come up with book ideas? You write both fiction and non-fiction – is that hard? 

I usually don’t have trouble with ideas. My family and friends often hear me say, “Hey, what if there was a book about X?” and we debate that idea. The hard part is finding the right way to tell the story that chooses me. I want all my books – fiction and nonfiction – to be memorable and leave a lasting impact on readers. That goal makes me work hard to tell a story in a way that grabs readers, changes them somehow, and makes them want to share the book with others. 


4.     What author or book have you read recently that impacted you?
A brand new book called GIRLS WITH GUTS! THE ROAD TO BREAKING BARRIERS AND BASHING RECORDS by DebbieGonzalez rocked my world. This nonfiction picture book introduces brave women throughout history who were instrumental in changing the world of athletics for women and girls. It’s compelling reading, the art is fun, and I learned a lot about the challenges women who came before me faced when all they wanted to do is play sports! Crazy. 









5.    Is there a new or lesser known author you think kids should be aware of? 

Lindsey McDivitt is an author and editor whose latest book is a picture book biography called NATURE’S FRIEND: THE GWEN FROSTIC STORY. I know children will like Lindsey’s writing because it conjures images in our heads. For example, here is the opening line of NATURE’S FRIEND: “Gwen followed her brothers and sisters everywhere, like a small fawn follows its herd.” I’m particularly drawn to this biography of nature artist Gwen Frostic because like Gwen, I feel the natural world is so important and we should respect and care for it. I’ve recently been honored with the Michigan Reading Association’s Gwen Frostic Award which brings me great joy. But back to Lindsey! I hope you’ll check out her new book and here is her website to learn more:


6.     What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?

Read, write, explore, and repeat. It’s really that simple. Read things you know you’ll like. Read things you don’t think you’ll like. Write easy things. Write harder things. Explore places you love. Explore places you think you won’t love. Do these things over and over. Keep trying and reaching and sharing what you learn and write with others. If you do these things, you’ll realize you are an author already. 


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

Because my readers are younger, I mostly hear from them during my school visits or after the visit when they send thank you notes. I love hearing what they learned from my talks and my books. I love knowing that their world has shifted a bit with new information. And I love just hearing their perspectives. One of my favorites is this one from a very young student. J Spoiler alert: the answer is yes. 








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

WOW. This is a HARD question! Any story told well makes me want to enter that world. But, okay, today I’ll portal from my home in upper Michigan into the world of my most recent nonfiction picture book, STRETCH TO THE SUN: FROM A TINY SPROUT TO THE TALLEST TREE ON EARTH. The ecosystem in Redwood National Park in northern California, where my main character lives, is so special. It’s cool, and quiet, and yet completely full of life. It smells green and piney. The coast redwoods found there are astoundingly tall and so grand, they are hard to comprehend. Here is a picture of me taken on my research trip for the book. This isn’t a particularly big tree by coast redwood standards but it had a river of water running from the top to the bottom of the tree which I’d never seen before. 

And another from that trip showing how small a car looks compared to some coast redwoods. Did I mention they are big trees? 
Posted in Illustrators, Meet the authors

Joey Weiser

1. When you were my age, did you like to read? I’ve always loved comics and comic strips. When I was your age I liked to read fantasy and sci-fi novels, especially if they had humor in them, but around that time I was also discovering superhero comics like X-Men.

2. What is a book that impacted you? Jeff Smith’s Bone had a huge impact. Like I said, I liked reading superhero comics and following their adventures, but the kinds of comics that I drew as a kid always looked more like the comic strips I enjoyed, like Calvin & Hobbes or Bloom County. Bone showed me that I could blend the two styles of comics together into one thing, and from then on that’s exactly what I wanted to create.
3.  Is it hard to come up with book ideas? It can be hard to come up with ideas. The good thing about making graphic novels is that it takes so long that you have time to let ideas come to you for what you want to work on next! Ideas can come from all sorts of different places, for instance thinking about your life, or reflecting on the books and movies you like, or just letting your imagination wander.
4. What author or illustrator have you read lately that impacted you? Lately I’ve been very interested in the work of Shigeru Mizuki, like his awesome Kitaro series. Kitaro’s fun but spooky mood was a big influence on Ghost Hog.
5. Is there a newer or less known author/illustrator that people should know about? Mathew New has just announced that his mini-comic series Billy Johnson And His Duck Are Explorers has been planned for publication as a graphic novel in 2020! Those comics are so fun, I highly recommend checking them out!
6. What advice do you have for kids who want to be an author/illustrator? Write and draw as much as you can! Think about why you like the things you like and try to use some of those same qualities in your work. But if you write and draw as much as you can, every day if possible, you almost can’t help but get better!
7. As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about it?I hear from readers a little bit. It’s always very encouraging to know that people are reading my work, because that’s why I create it! I really see my comics being read as the final step in the process. That’s why conventions and school / library visits are nice. I get a chance to see my readers and hear about what they think of my work.
8. If you could portal into any book, which would it be? There are some really cool islands in Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece. I’d love to visit the island made of candy, or the floating island in the sky… except they are always way more dangerous than you’d want in those stories!! I’d want to visit a peaceful version, I guess.
9. Why do you think graphic readers are important for children? Comics are great because they have a hand-made quality that shows that not only can you read the kinds of books you want, you can also create them yourself! This isn’t like a movie that takes dozens or hundreds of people to make. All you need is a some drawing materials and you can tell the story in your head.