Friday, August 7, 2020

Ick! and Nerp! Two gross, great books

 Today I've got to tell you about two gross, great books.


I first got to know Melissa Stewart's name in 2013, when I was reading massive amounts of juvenile non-fiction for the Cybils book award. (It didn't hurt that we have almost the same name. We're not related, that I know of!) She is a superstar of non-fiction for kids. I went over to her website to see how many books she's written . . . and I still don't have an answer for you because they're divided into categories and subcategories and it was too many to count!

Anyway, when I saw that top-notch author Melissa Stewart had paired with the top-notch photography and design people at National Geographic Kids, I was very interested. I requested a review copy of Ick! and I don't regret it. 

When the book arrived, my kids pored over it, and read out loads of disgusting facts for each other and me. "Mom, did you know about dung beetles?!" It was a big hit with my three oldest kids ages 12, 9, and 7. This isn't the sort of book that you have to read back to front. Each page focuses on one disgusting thing about an animal, and has a few sections on it: the main text, some stats, a couple of cool facts, and an "extra ick." The book is divided into three sections, one each for the gross things animals eat, their gross dwellings, and the gross ways they scare off predators.

Benjamin (12) knew right off the bat that the horned lizard would be in the book, and he was excited to find that page, then find equally icky facts about other animals. 

Of one of the pages Jubilee (7) said, "That's Ick. That's literally the title. Ick." 

Of the whole book Levi (9) said, "I like it. And it's disgusting." This is Levi's face, as Benjamin reads him an icky fact.

As for me, I like it, too. I learned many cool facts and already knew about dung beetles. I didn't get grossed out until I read about the tongue-eating louse. But I'll not spoil you on that one. 

Thumbs up for this one! There's a lot to learn from it, it's well written and designed, and has some truly horrifying and amazing photos. 

Nerp! by Sarah Lynne Reul

As far as disgusting goes, Nerp! is on the cute side of gross. It's a story of a little monster who doesn't want to eat any of the delicious foods his parents serve him. And his monster pet isn't interested in his own food. If you've ever had a toddler and a pet at the same time, this book is gonna speak right to your reality. 

The text is written in nonsense words: "Nerp!" is what our little monster says instead of "Nope!" And the nonsense titles of all the gourmet dishes that are served to him are sometimes disgusting and sometimes delightful. My kids had no trouble following the nonsense, and they had a great time talking about which dishes they would actually want to try. The book does have a little bit of an ick factor. For Jubilee, contemplating the book's ending gave her a tummy ache! It just gave the rest of us the giggles.

I absolutely adore the illustrations of this book. The emotions on every monster's face in each page are just spot on. I think the style might be considered collage? Sarah Lynne Reul built a miniature set and photographed it, then drew the characters and foods on top. The effect of the art is somewhere between real and make-believe, and the story is somewhere between "ick" and "aww."  

Recommended! I requested a review copy of this one because I loved Sarah Lynne Reul's The Breaking News which I bought at KidLitCon. Now I've got more to love. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Surprise! The New Top-Selling Book of Everead!

I've been blogging about books here on Everead since July 2008. I just love to talk about books, and when I found out I could get a little bit of credit for recommending them to people, I became an Amazon Affiliate. 

In 2014 I wrote a post recommending some books for a friend's 13 year old son, and that post really took off. I mean, I think that at least for a while there it would come up on the first page of results if you searched google for "books for a 13 year old boy." Apparently the favorite book from that list was Wildfire Run by Dee Garretson, because that was the top-selling book of Everead for over 4 years. (See my posts about it here.) 

But recently I took a look at the reports on my Amazon Affiliate account, and folks! We have a New Bestseller! 

Drumroll please...

by Leslie Connor!

I couldn't be more pleased to have another excuse to talk about Crunch. I first read it in 2010 and there are at least 6 posts that mention it here on Everead now. I met Leslie Connor at an SCBWI meeting, and heard her speak at KidLitCon. It's a pleasure to make you aware (or more aware) of this fine book of hers.

Like Wildfire Run, Crunch is a hidden gem of a book. Not many people know about it, but it is absolutely worth reading. I'd particularly recommend it for fans of The Penderwicks books.

The premise of the book is that the Mariss family has 5 kids, and they run a bike shop. 14-year-old Dewey is our main protagonist. His dad is a truck driver, so his parents take a short drive together. All of a sudden . . . the gasoline crunch of the 1970's hits. The Mariss parents are stuck away from home longer than expected. Dewey and the rest of the kids aren't just locking the doors, watching TV and waiting for them to get home, though. They've got to keep the bike shop running and because gas in short supply, the shop is doing big business. Then, things start to go missing.  

Crunch is a middle-grade realistic fiction novel, great for ages 8+, and it would be a fantastic book to read aloud. It is a standalone book, not part of a series. It won top honors from Cybils judges.

As I said in my original review, I felt this book was completely real. So authentic, and uplifting. It gives the reader a lot to think about. I don't often re-read books, but I have read Crunch at least twice. I haven't read Crunch in years, but one quote from it has stuck with me all this time. In fact, I said it to my husband in the kitchen the other day. It's an aphorism that Mr. Meriss shares with Dewey: "An ounce of maintenance is worth a pound of repairs."

I'm also a fan of Leslie Connor's book Waiting for Normal. The "strawberry shaped objects" of that book have stayed with me. Connor has been hitting it out of the park for a long time, and I really need to catch up on her recent releases! She's won numerous awards for The Truth According to Mason Buttle and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T Cook. Those two books go together, I hear. A Home for Goddesses and Dogs came out in early 2020.   

Benjamin (age 12) has read Crunch multiple times, and says "It's really good." He's hoping I'll read it aloud to the family in honor of it's new status. I'm on board! I think Jubilee would love it, since she really loves biking. She asked 

Well, discovering that Crunch is the new top seller of Everead was perfectly timed, for me. See, I hope to get a bike for my birthday this year. 🚲 And since about March of this year, I think we've all been thinking a little bit more about what happens when supply chains hit snags. 

Haven't heard enough yet? Take a look at some of the five star reviews on Amazon. 😉

Monday, June 29, 2020

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

Hello! Thought I'd pop in here and share my thoughts about my most recent read: A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell.

My mom came to visit me, to help with our recent move, and on her way over she bought this book in the airport. She read it while she was here and kept telling us how Virginia Hall's life was SO compelling. When she was packing her bags I asked her to leave the book behind, so that I could read it. And because she cares more about my feelings than about the refund she would get if she returned it, she left it behind. Yay for moms!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Books We've Bought During the Covid-19 Pandemic

This extra time at home, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has NOT meant extra reading time for me. How about you? I've been pedaling the bicycle of life like a novice in her sister-in-law's spin class on Thanksgiving weekend.

Not only have we been adjusting to distance learning (which for my 3 school aged kids has meant 5 days a week of logging on to school-provided laptops, and for my husband and myself it has meant transitioning to teaching via video online), but also we have moved! And moving house is no joke.

Amidst it all, we've managed to do a little reading, and because libraries were closed, we bought a few books. The ones we bought from Books-A-Million came far faster than the ones we bought on Amazon. That's probably because I have a BAM membership and we don't have Amazon Prime, and because Amazon has prioritized essential items. Anyway, here's the rundown.

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.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...