Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Space Between Lost and Found by Sandy Stark-McGinnis

The Space Between Lost and Found by Sandy Stark-McGinnis. Thanks to @kidlitexchange and Bloomsbury Publishing for sharing this powerful book, which publishes April 28, 2020.

Cassie’s life has changed a lot lately, as she adapts tomorrow her mom’s early onset Alzheimer’s. Cassie has to watch her mom often, but even when the caregiver is around, Cassie feels too sad and distracted to do the things she used to, like make art or be a good friend.

When Cassie realizes how much her mom is really slipping away from her, she’s determined to give her mother one last epic memory. But Cassie knows she can’t do it alone, so she has to try and reach out to her former BFF, and bridge the gap that has developed while Cassie has been preoccupied with her changing family.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Everything Awesome About Dinosaurs by Mike Lowery

Thanks to @kidlitexchange and @scholasticinc for sharing Everything Awesome About Dinosaurs by @mikelowerystudio.

My kid loves dinosaurs, and of course I encourage all types of reading, but some of the dinosaur books he brings home from school are a little bland, or too dense for his age. He wants something fun to read, but full of facts - and that can be a tough order for a 5yo! I was relieved to see this book because I knew it would have the information my son wants, and I personally love Lowery’s drawing style and humor - win-win!

Since my son is young, we look at the pictures and read the large, handwritten facts together. Sometimes I’ll read the smaller typewritten facts aloud, but sometimes he’s ready to move on and soak up more information on the next page. I love that, because as he gets older, he’ll be able to keep coming back to this book and learn new things!

As a parent reading it aloud, I especially appreciate the pronunciation key for all of these dinosaurs and other creatures! I definitely stumble over dinosaur names if left to my own devices, so it’s nice to have right under the pictures in this book. I also love Lowery’s trademark humor and random jokes, which help make this book amazing for all ages!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The Year We Fell From Space by Amy Sarig King

Liberty’s whole life changes when her parents announce they’re getting a divorce. Liberty turns to the stars for guidance, like she always has, but she’s not able to map out new constellations like she used to. She reads these constellations like a horoscope, so she’s lost without them. Her connection with the stars feels severed, which is how she feels about her dad, who moved out and hasn’t called or visited in months. But still, Liberty asks the skies for answers, and when they reply by sending a meteorite, she’s determined to crack the universe’s code.

This book deftly handles changing family dynamics, friendships, bullying, and depression in a way that reads like fiction but feels like therapy.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The Disaster Days by Rebecca Behrens

Hannah is babysitting for the second time in her life. She's taken a safety course for babysitters with her friend, and she'll just be at her neighbor's house, but after forgetting her inhaler one too many times, Hannah's mom isn't sure Hannah's responsible enough to be in charge of other kids. Hannah is determined to prove her mother wrong, and is doing a good job until an earthquake shakes the Seattle area and Hannah and the kids are stranded in a damaged house with limited supplies without knowing when someone can come to help.

This book was billed as a cross between Hatchet (which I did not like at all) and The Baby-Sitters Club (which I loved and still love to this day!), so I knew I had to give it a try. I'm so glad I did! This book was fantastic - so realistic, eye-opening, and suspenseful. Though I'm biased because I'm not a Hatchet fan because it seemed too unbelievable, I would diplomatically more compare this book to the Life as We Knew It series by Susan Beth Pfeffer, which also deals with a natural disaster and coping with the aftermath in a realistic way. I had to keep myself from skipping forward to see how many days Hannah and the kids were stranded because the suspense was almost too much to bear!

I finished this book before bed one night, and storms raged all night - which I found peaceful. Little did I know, storms in my city meant a deadly tornado in Nashville, just a few hours to my east. This book plus that tornado made me realize how important it is to be prepared for anything - something Behrens helpfully addresses at the end of this book.