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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Exciting New Installment in The Dragonwatch Series!

Alysa here, and I've got a special guest review for you today. My sixth-grade son Benjamin and his best friend Zaya have both read and reviewed the latest Brandon Mull book. Enjoy!


Dragonwatch: Master of the Phantom Isle—Book 3 in Brandon Mull's Dragonwatch series.

This thrilling sequel to Dragonwatch: Wrath of the Dragon King, is packed with action. Seth is desperate to figure out where he fits in in the magical world. Kendra is equally desperate to find her brother, Seth. Kendra's quest to find Seth brings her to a fallen dragon sanctuary. Can Kendra find her brother? Can she and her allies win the perilous war with the dragons? Can Seth resist the darkness that surrounds him? Find out in Dragonwatch: Master of the Phantom Isle.

Zaya: I was excited to read Master of the Phantom Isle. because the book before is a real cliffhanger. I actually think it’s probably one of the best cliffhangers because it really involves the main characters and its resolution could completely affect the plot line. I had to find out what would happen! It was fun to read and It really pulled me in.

Benjamin: Yep! Ditto.

Zaya: When I only had 20 pages left, my older brother stole it from me at school and I was devastated. And super mad. I yelled at him.

Monday, December 2, 2019

The 2019 Holiday Recommendations Post [Post is Closed!]

I have already started making some recommendations over on Facebook (see my post here), but I'd like to make sure you get the chance for a personalized recommendation right here on Everead.

Comment if you want a book recommendation! (person's age, a little info about the person.) 




This post will be updated all during the holiday season. Past years: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018.

For a boyfriend Who liked Red Rising and Ender's Game and is reading Stephen Covey and Rough Stone Rolling.

Fire of the Covenant, a stand alone hsitorical fiction about the Willie Martin Handcart Company, and Skyward, a clean, fast paced sci fi set in space. 

For a 6 year old girl into dinosaurs, space, bugs and a lot of other things: 

Friday, October 18, 2019

9 Scary Books I Survived Reading (And Actually Recommend)!


I'm not really into scary books. I don't watch scary movies.

I was terrified and haunted by a Goosebumps book I read in my childhood, so I steer clear of those, but I can recommend these scary books.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Both Disgusting and Delicious: Compare 2 Yummy Board Books

Sam is officially two years old! I don't know if I can believe it. In some ways the time seems longer and in others I feel like he was just born yesterday. Our whole family loves this kiddo with all our hearts and he loves us back.


Our local library is running the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program. Is yours? When I attempted the program with Jubilee a few years back, I got discouraged and off-track. I would fill up a reading log for her, but not have the next one ready to go. I learned from that experience (growth mindset!) and decided to try the program again with Sam. I asked the librarians to give me multiple reading logs at a time, so that I could tape them all to my walls (next to the bookshelf) and just keep the log running, even when we had to peel one down to return it to the library (and it ended up lingering in my bag for a while before it got turned into a prize.)

Well, Sam loves to read and not only did he read 1000 books before kindergarten; he read 1000 books before age 2. I read a lot with my kids but I didn't know we were that good!

In celebration of Sam's second birthday, and his increasing discernment between edible and non-edible objects, here is a comparison of two board books on the subject. Spoiler: We love them both!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Flutter and Hum - highly recommended!


Jubilee: Did we read the last one?
Mom: Yes, the fish was the last one.
Jubilee: Darn! I wanted there to be more! I wanted there to be a hundred million poems!



Well that's a pretty strong recommendation coming from a 6-year-old!

Friday, September 6, 2019

You Should Definitely Read This Book: Mindset by Carol Dweck

I have just finished reading Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck.

I loved it.




I confess, I only read this book because it was picked for our book club. I had heard about how good the book was -- I even posted Lindsay Call's review of it four years ago, (see here, and see how I said that I wanted to read it to help me work more effectively with Levi! Ha!) but I didn't pick it up until now.

I guess because the concept of growth mindset took off like wildfire, and because I felt I agreed with it and did a pretty good job of living it, I didn't need to spend a lot of time reading a book about it. In fact, I was afraid this book would be a bit of a slog.

It was awesome.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

KidLitCon by the Books!

Well, I'm back from KidLitCon 2019! This year the conference was held in Providence, Rhode Island. This was my third KidLitCon, because I attended in NYC in 2012 and in Baltimore in 2015. See my previous posts about KidLitCon here.

New books I bought at KidLitCon
The Breaking News by Sarah Lynne Reul - My new favorite picture book.
Jasmine Toguchi, Flamingo Keeper by Debbie Michiko Florence, illustrated by Elizabet Vuković - I helped select Jasmine Toguchi, Drummer Girl as the Cybils winner this year in Early Chapter books, so I'm excited to read another book in the series.
The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson - recently read and was very impressed by The Parker Inheritance, so I thought I'd pick up another one by Varian Johnson.
The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare (#6) by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham - Y'all know I love the Princess in Black. Aaaand my husband is a scientist. So.


Free Books I got at KidLitCon
Where the Heart Is by Jo Knowles (advance readers copy)
Ballpark Mysteries #15 The Baltimore Bandit by David A Kelly - a gift from the author! How kind. He spoke on two panels that I enjoyed.
Apocalypse Taco by Nathan Hale (advance readers copy)

Books I want to read now that I've been to KidLitCon
see above! Also...
All Rise for the Honorable Perry T Cook by Leslie Connor
The Truth According to Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor
Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
BunnyBear by Andrea J. Loney - I started reading this picture book at the booksellers table, but someone distracted me and now I really want to finish!
Me Myself and Him by Chris Tebbets - It was fun to hear about his work with James Patterson on the Middle School series.
We Are Grateful by Traci Sorrell
The Infamous Ratsos series by Kara LaReau
Science Comics: The Brain by Tori Woollcott and Alex Graudins
Following Grandfather by Rosemary Wells - I adore Rosemary Wells and apparently she asked Christopher Denise to illustrate this one on her behalf, since it was too close to her.
Grounghug Day by Anne Marie Pace and Christopher Denise
Firefly Hollow by Alison McGhee and Christopher Denise
Also there was a book about emanata mentioned, but I can't find it anywhere... Emanata are the bits that come off of characters heads in comics.
Bruce Block apparently writes great books about filmmaking which one should read if they plan to make graphic novels.

Books I gave away at KidLitCon
Apocalypse Taco by Nathan Hale -- I brought the advance readers copy I got home on Friday night and read it, then passsed it along for someone else to read when I arrived on Saturday. Loved it! Much apocalypse! Many taco! Look forward to seeing it in it's final form, since the arc was uncolored and the final will be two-toned. It's a horror story and I imagine it will be a big hit with fans of his Hazardous Tales books.

The Book of Mormon -- Eight Copies, wow! I brought many copies to KidLitCon Baltimore, but only one was taken from the table. This time all 8 of the copies I brought walked away. I wonder how many people would've taken one if I had brought more.

Books LeUyen Pham loved, as a child new to the USA.
Amelia Bedelia ("Finally someone worse at English than me!" and "So helpful for learning idioms")
The Witch of Blackbird Pond (In 4th grade, her teacher gave it to her with the words, "you are a tropical flower among daisies and roses.")

Other highlights

Seeing sketches for PiB #7 and Best Friends:

Bethany and I drove back and forth to the conference because it was held at Hotel Providence, just about an hour from where we live. I wanted to be certain to be on time for the very first talk on the program -- a keynote speech by LeUyen Pham. Well, sick kids prevented me from leaving as early as I had hoped to, and we arrived right at 9:00 and quickly ducked into the dining room for breakfast. I had planned to inhale my scone and carry my juice with me, so that I could be on time for the keynote, but who should appear right behind me at the breakfast buffet? Uyen Pham! Tada! I said, "If you're here, I know I'm not late!"

Bethany and I sat down with Uyen and ate our pastries. I introduced Uyen to Bethany and reminded Uyen that we had met before, in Decatur, GA (see my post about that, here) and reminisced that she had showed me the Princess in Black book before the first one had come out. "Wow, I can't remember my life before the Princess in Black!" Uyen said, and then, "Well, I'll have to show you the sketches for book 7!" I couldn't turn that down, and made sure to follow through with her when she had a moment the next day. She also showed some slides of artwork she has done for Best Friends, the sequel to Real Friends, in her presentation on Saturday. I sat by her while she was signing and took photos of her with attendees on Friday evening. What a pleasure! Uyen is so gracious and spunky! When she popped across the hotel lobby to hug me goodbye at the end of the conference, I felt like I had made a friend. 


Meeting online friends:

Speaking of friends, it was such a pleasure to meet some friends that I had only known online to this point. I got to meet several fellow Cybils panelists, including Mel Schuit, Ben Hutchinson and Heidi Feidler. And I loved reconnecting with friends I had met at previous KidLitCon conferences! Ten fabulous pictures are on my instagram. There are always a few that I accidentally miss taking pictures with. That's life, I guess! And don't let me forget to mention meeting so many amazing authors and illustrators. I feel like KidLitCon this year had a higher percentage of authors attending this year than any other year I have attended.

How about you? Been anywhere lately? Got any books on your radar?
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