Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Surviving Jamestown The Adventures of Young Sam Collier by Gail Langer Karwoski with Illustrations by Paul Casale

Age 8-12
Hardcover: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-239-2
About the book:  A stirring story of survival set against the backdrop of the founding of the first permanent English settlement in the New World.

In 1606, King James I granted a charter to a group of London businessmen known as the Virginia Company to establish an English settlement in North America. In 1607, 104 men set sail aboard three tiny ships on a voyage to a new land. What they found became the first permanent English settlement in the New World—Jamestown.

Among the brave adventurers who made the journey was a young boy named Samuel Collier, the page of famed Captain John Smith. Samuel accompanied Smith on the legendary journey to meet the Algonquin leader Powhatan. Disease, famine, and continuing attacks by neighboring Algonquin Indians took a tremendous toll on the settlers. Samuel was one of the few to survive the harsh realities of the New World during the first few years of Jamestown.

Based on author Gail Karwoski's careful research of the era, this fictional account portrays the struggles and successes of our country's earliest settlers, as seen through the life of a young man. Young readers will enjoy following this story of courage and survival while learning about this important period in the history of the United States.

Review: This is an excellent informative book which I have read to my class several years to prepare them for our field trip to historic Jamestown Settlement.

The adventure begins on board the Susan Constance while docked on the Thames River.  She is one of three ships setting sail for the New World in the year 1606.  Sam Collier is a twelve year old boy ready for an adventure.  He is leaving his native England to be the page for John Smith, one of the original settlers of Jamestown, Virginia.

Sam faces incredible hardships during the voyage and first several years of the settlement.  The reader is given significant insight into the conflicts and difficulties which plagued this first permanent settlement.

This book, an engaging adventure book which will appeal to upper elementary and middle school students, is well written and engaging while teaching history.  After reading this book students will have a better understanding of the historic Jamestown time period and the bigger struggles which were a major part of the early colony.

The illustrations by Paul Casale are a pleasing addition to the story and enhance its value to younger readers. (rev. A.Freeman, Grade 6 teacher)

DISCLOSURE: Peachtree Publishers provided a complimentary review copy to facilitate our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Waiting for Morning" (The Brides of Last Chance Ranch) by Margaret Brownley

ISBN:  9781595549709
Review: The book Waiting for Morning in The Brides of Last Chance Ranch series by Margaret Brownley will keep your interest from beginning to end.  This book is set in the late 1800’s out west when employment for a woman is hard to come by.

The main character, Molly Hatfield, has dedicated her life to caring for her wheelchair-bound teenaged brother Denny.  So when Molly learns that a wealthy rancher in Arizona is looking for an heiress, she put her whole heart into this opportunity.  This way she has the chance to provide a real home for her brother. While trying to gain permanent employment, Molly meets the town’s charming, unmarried doctor.  Molly decides to avoid her feeling for Caleb since she would jeopardize her new job and her brother’s future well-being.

Falling in love with Caleb would threaten everything she’s worked for.  Could this be the very reason God brought her to Arizona?

This book was very well written and would be a fund read for high school girls.  One of the main problems within the western town is an alcohol problem among the townsmen.  I don’t feel the books makes a big enough stand against drinking to get drunk and even the preacher character drowns his sorrows in alcohol on one occasion.  Parents should be cautioned on this particular aspect of the book. (rev. M.Hicks)

About the author:  Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this, except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."

It turns out God was and Margaret did. She now has more than 20 novels to her credit. In addition, she's written many Christian articles and a non-fiction book. Still, it took a lot of prodding from God before Margaret tried her hand at writing inspirational fiction which led to her Rocky Creek series. "I love writing about characters at different stages of faith," she says of the new direction her writing career has taken, "and I'm here to stay."

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary review copy was provided by BookSneeze on behalf of the publisher, Thomas Nelson, and the author, Margaret Brownley, to facilitate our honest review.

Friday, January 25, 2013

"The Little Sparrows" by Al & Joanna Lacy

About the book:  Kearney, Cheyenne, Rawlins. Reno, Sacramento, San Francisco. At each train station, a few lucky orphans from the crowded streets of New York City receive the fulfillment of their dreams: a home and family. This "orphan train" is the vision of Charles Loring Brace, founder of the Children's Aid Society, who cannot bear to see innocent children abandoned in the overpopulated cities of the mid-nineteenth-century. Yet it is not just the orphans whose lives need mending — follow the train along and watch God's hand restore love and laughter to the right family at the right time!

Review:  People who write reviews for books have opinions either strong or negative.  The Little Sparrows written by Al and Joanna Lacy is a very entertaining book.  The genre is Historical Fiction, and I find this type of genre very interesting.  Placing historical facts in the realm of fictional characters is an interesting way to portray history.

Al and Joanna Lacy have written other works about the Trail of Tears and the Texas War of Independence.  Those works were very interesting with the fictional characters intertwined with historical facts.  This particular novel represents the orphan trains also interweave a little known aspect of history. 

There were many different reasons and situations that children were placed onto the orphan train seeking new homes and lives. One particularly interesting part tells about siblings whose parents supposedly perished in a shipwreck, and the subsequent search for these siblings when they returned to full health. 

Throughout this story the authors have woven Christian faiths and beliefs.  We learn that the gentleman who originally created the orphan train was himself a Christian.  Trust in God plays a major part throughout the book.  The message of salvation is repeatedly preached.

Having read other novels by Al and Joanna Lacy, I was slightly disappointed with how predictable several story lines were.  Yet, although some of the suspense level was diminished, the amazing historical facts about the orphan trains were enough to keep me turning the pages. (rev. D.Bodley)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of The Little Sparrows was provided by WaterBrook Multnomah to facilitate our honest review without any obligation for a favorable report.  Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

"Abel's Fields" by AFFIRM Films/Provident Films (Video review)

Review:  This is the story of high school senior Seth McArdle (Samuel Davis) who is left without parents (his mother died of illness and his father has abandoned the family), and the pressures and responsibilities of caring for his two younger twin sisters, trying to finish high school while holding down three jobs, and all the while dealing with constant bullying from members of the football team and a football coach who is not much better. 

Seth begins to drown in despair when he is challenged by Abel (Kevin Sorbo)  to rethink the direction he is heading.  Abel has taken on the responsibility of football groundskeeper, and Seth has been assigned to work with him as punishment for fighting, better described as defending himself. Abel seems to be the one person who is able to help Seth reassess his life before making a tragic choice and redirect him toward "the light."

If I were using the 5 star rating system, I would give this film 2 stars.  The acting is in general mediocre, the story line is difficult to follow, and I would have a hard time recommending it for family viewing simply because of a secondary character who is suggestive in dress and actions. 

In addition, when Seth is seeking faith, the viewer is left wondering where truth faith is found. I felt the film was "left wanting."  (rev. J. La Tour)

For More about Abel's Field:

About Abel's Field
Left motherless by tragedy and abandoned by his father, high school senior Seth McArdle (Samuel Davis) faces enormous pressure as he strives to support his little sisters. At school, he endures the daily bullying of the football team. But fighting back only finds him singled out for punishment and assigned to an after-school work detail under the supervision of the reserved groundskeeper, Abel (SOUL SURFER’S Kevin Sorbo). Much to his surprise, Seth discovers that Abel may be the only one who truly understands his struggles. As dark times lure Seth toward desperate measures, the reluctant Abel may be the one person who can point him back toward the light.
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Abel's Field was provided by Fly By Promotions on behalf of the producers for our honest review without obligation for a positive review.

"Bible Stories that end with a hug!" by Stephen Elkins & Illustrated by Simon Taylor-Kielty

ISBN: 978-1-4143-7543-4
Review:  Bible Stories that end with a Hug! by Stephen Elkins and illustrated by Simon Taylor-Kielty is a wonderful Bible story collection for children.  Each story is centered on a set of Bible verses. The verse is explained in the story and a set of questions follow to ensure understanding of the story.  At the end of every story is a hug time. 

The author encourages you to read this with your child and hug them at the end of every story. This is a wonderful opportunity to read and explain the Bible, apply it to everyday life, and to share a special time with your child.   

As you continue through the book your child will begin to anticipate the hug at the end of the story.  The stories are well written and beautifully illustrated.  The book is very easy for children to understand.   

The K5 class enjoyed reading through this book.  They especially loved the hug section. (rev.  C. Ingram)

About the author:  Stephen Elkins is a Grammy Award–nominated record producer and a multimillion-selling children's author and songwriter. He is owner and founder of Wonder Workshop, a multifaceted Christian media company specializing in the creation of juvenile books, audio products, and DVDs.

A complimentary copy was provided by Tyndale Blog Network on behalf of the publisher and author for the purpose of an honest review. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"About Hummingbirds: A Guide for Children" by Cathryn Sill, Illustrated by John Sill

Review:  “About Hummingbirds” by Cathryn Sill and Illustrated by John Sill is a wonderfully bright collection of hummingbird pictures that capture the beauty and uniqueness of this very small creature.  The author presents clear factual details in an interesting manner.  The illustrations are true to life with excellent shadowing that makes you feel like you are right outside watching these sweet birds.   

This is an excellent read aloud to small children as well as an excellent source for factual information for older children in need of report information.  The back of the book contains added pages chocked full of added details for older children in need of information.  This is a fabulous and versatile book for any collection. (rev. C. Delorge)

We have a collection of the Cathryn and John Sill "About" books in the Alamance Christian School library.  We appreciate, too, the dedication in the front of the book which reads, ""For the One who created hummingbirds." --Genesis 1:20

About the author: Cathryn Sill, a graduate of Western Carolina University, was an elementary school teacher for thirty years. She lives in North Carolina.
About the illustrator: John Sill holds a BS in wildlife biology from North Carolina State University. Combining his knowledge of wildlife and artistic skill, John has achieved an impressive reputation as a wildlife artist and received several awards. He lives in North Carolina.
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Peachtree Publishers on behalf of the author for the purpose of our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those the reviewer. There was no obligation for a positive review. 

“Farm Boy” by Michael Morpurgo the sequel to “War Horse”

Review:  “Farm Boy” by Michael Morpurgo the sequel to “War Horse” is a heartwarming story about the relationship between a young boy and his grandfather.  This delightful book recaptures the time when history was passed down through the stories retold by our grandparents.  The relationship between the young boy and his grandfather is precious and encouraging.   

The author weaves the tale in storytelling fashion that makes this book a quick and enjoyable read.   There is drama and suspense as well as heartfelt love between the boy and his grandfather as well as the grandfather and his horse.  

I would encourage any young boy to pick it up and read it.   I enjoyed the whimsical feel of days gone by and the historical perspective of life in the past. (rev. C. Delorge)

An engaging early chapter book/reader for the elementary student that is replete with lots of soft illustrations by Michael Foreman done in black and white pen and ink.

Author bio: Michael Morpurgo is the author of many books for children, five of which have been made into films. He also writes his own screenplays and libretti for opera. Born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in 1943, he was evacuated to Cumberland during the last years of the war, then returned to London, moving later to Essex. After a brief and unsuccessful spell in the army, he took up teaching and started to write. He left teaching after ten years in order to set up 'Farms for City Children' with his wife. They have three farms in Devon, Wales and Gloucestershire, open to inner city school children who come to stay and work with the animals. In 1999 this work was publicly recognised when he and his wife were awarded an MBE for services to youth. He is also a father and grandfather, so children have always played a large part in his life. Every year he and his family spend time in the Scilly Isles, the setting for three of his books.

Illustrator bio:  Michael has worked on magazines, book jackets, animated films, TV adverts, and even for the police, sketching criminals described by witnesses. As well as illustrating many of his own books, Michael has illustrated over a hundred books for authors such as Shakespeare, J. M. Barrie, the Brothers Grimm, Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde. Michael has travelled widely - to Africa, Japan, the Arctic Circle, China and Malaysia, the Himalayas, Siberia and New Zealand - to research his books. "I do a lot of research when I'm travelling - I find it thrilling to discover the particular 'art' of different landscapes and work them into a book.

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Scholastic Press on behalf of the author for the purpose of our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those the reviewer. There was no obligation for a positive review.

"ROCKET MAN-The Mercury Adventure of John Glenn" by Ruth Ashby

Hardcover: $12.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-323-8
Rocket Man is an excellent book because it is informative, keeps the readers attention, and shows the persistence of a true hero.  The author, Ruth Ashby has drawn from a notable circle of information including Glenn’s own memoir. Also, throughout the book, there is an inside look at the tension of waiting to be the space program’s first man in orbit. 

Finally, there is an overarching theme of persistence in the way Glenn handles the difficult situations, problems, and setbacks that come his way.  Ashby’s book is well-written and entertaining as well as informative. (rev. A.Freeman)

About the book: A first-rate biography and true adventure story for young readers about one of modern America's greatest heroes and his contributions to our nation's fledgling space program.

On February 20, 1962, as millions of Americans waited anxiously, astronaut John Glenn blasted off in his rocket ship, Friendship 7, and became the first American to orbit the Earth. Although the risks of such a mission were well known, neither they—nor Glenn—knew the peril he was about to encounter.
John Glenn was one of the Mercury 7 astronauts, the early pioneers of manned space flight portrayed in the film The Right Stuff. His historic flight followed years of intensive physical training—and a devotion to the pursuit of a career in the exciting but risk-filled world of aviation.

Ruth Ashby's dramatic story of John Glenn's near-disastrous mission in Friendship 7 also takes young readers through his small-town Ohio boyhood, his extraordinary experiences as a fighter pilot in two wars, and his life as an astronaut in the prestigious and dangerous Mercury 7 program. The book concludes with Glenn's successful career as a U.S. senator and his triumphant return to space in 1998 at the age of 77.

Throughout, Ashby demonstrates how Glenn's love of flying and his steadfast commitment to both his family and the realization of his full potential was the foundation of all the great things he accomplished in his life.

About author & illustrator: 
Ruth Ashby is the award-winning author of dozens of nonfiction and fiction books for juvenile readers. She lives in New York.

Robert Hunt received a BA from the University of California and an MA from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. His work has appeared on the covers of books by many leading authors and has received numerous awards, including ten gold medals from the San Francisco Society of Illustrators. He lives in California.
DISCLOSURE:  A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Peachtree Publishers on behalf of the author for the purpose of our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those the reviewer. There was no obligation for a positive review.  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Les Misérables" – Audio Drama Victor Hugo’s Masterpiece - a production of Focus on the Family

ISBN:  978-1-58997-394-7
$14.97 - 3 CDs in case
This retelling of Victor Hugo’s classic, Les Miserables, is a must hear CD series!

This beautiful story follows the main character Jean Valjean and his life’s journey of injustice, forgiveness, compassion, and love. This listener was captivated with the beauty of the story and found myself transported in time to the period surrounding the French Revolt, and the life circumstances surrounding Hugo’s character, Jean Valjean. 

The production is of the highest quality and rivals any medium in the telling of this story. I give my highest recommendation for the hearing of this beautiful classic produced by Focus on the Family. (rev. J. La Tour)

About  the audio recording: The story that has thrilled millions comes to life in a brand new way in Focus on the Family Radio Theatre's Les Miserables. This audio drama beautifully portrays the redeeming power of forgiveness through the story of Jean Valjean, an embittered convict whose life is changed by a single act of kindness. Recorded in London with some of England's finest actors, it will mesmerize adults and families alike.

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Focus on the Family's Radio Theatre audio recording of  "Les Misérables" was provided in order that we might provide an honest review. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer and there was no obligation to render a positive review.

Friday, January 11, 2013

"Tabby McTat, The Musical Cat" by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Tabby McTat, The Musical Cat Already the title suggests what even toddlers love - rhyming books! The purr-fect story of Tabby McTat is told in rhythm and rhyme with colorfully illustrated pages. The setting is a large city, large enough to have "buskers" on several corners. A "busker" is a musician who plays for donations. This is best explained before the story is read, especially to small children. The author, Julia Donaldson, was a busker herself traveling around Europe with her husband. The illustrator, Axel Scheffler. is known worldwide; and after reading this book to several groups of children from age four to eight, I know why. The expressions on the people and cats are simple, but strong, leaving no doubt of the emotions felt. The only caution is that every child wants to see every wonderful picture!   But back to the story line.... 
Tabby McTat spent his days singing with his owner, Fred, accompanied by Fred's guitar. One morning, McTat took a stroll, stopping to admire a beautiful black cat, gorgeously groomed, and ready for a chat. Meanwhile, Fred was robbed of his donations and injured in the chase that ensued! He ended up in a hospital faraway from their familiar street corner. When McTat returned, Fred was nowhere to be found! Tabby remained on the streets until, by good fortune, he again encountered the black cat, Sock. She insisted that her people, Prunella and Pat, would gladly find room for a fine tabby cat! 

Tabby fits right in to the household, but still returns often to the street corner to search for his old friend, Fred. Meanwhile, life goes on, kittens are born at Prunell and Pat's and all given away except one with a VERY LOUD VOICE! 

When Fred, the busker, returns to the street he sings a sad song yearning for his old friend, Tabby McTat, who shows up one day. Now Tabby has to choose between his life of ease, with his wife and son and Fred who dearly loves him. The solution? You must read it to find out! (But it is one that leaves everyone happy, of course!) (rev. by Carly Karns, Elementary Music Teacher)

About the Authors or Illustrators
Julia Donaldson   is the bestselling author of The Fish Who Cried Wolf, The Room on the Broom, the Gruffalo, and more.
Axel Scheffler   has illustrated award-winning books include Room on the Broom, The Snail and the Whale, and The Gruffalo. His illustrations have been published in more than thirty countries.

DISCLOSURE:  A complimentary copy of Tabby McTat, The Musical Cat was provided by Scholastic Press for the purpose of our rendering an honest review without obligation for positive remarks. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

"Captain No Beard" by Carole Roman

There is just something about a tale of pirates that intrigues children and excites them to the adventure.  They love pirate-speak such as “Shiver me timbers,” “Aye Captain….a big blow,” “Aye, me hearties.”

In Captain No Beard young readers encounter purpose and a lesson in how hard work and perseverance or determination can help them.

Captain No Beard is a hearty “lad” capable of being a captain though he finds that it is definitely hard work.  Valuable lessons in hard work, friendship, and determination are taught via this colorful story.

Colorfully illustrated, this “imaginary tale of a pirate’s life” will surely capture the interest of the young child and young reader just as surely as though they had been captured by Captain No Beard, the pirate. (rev. VHG)

Author Carole Roman “charms with an imaginative, whimsical picture book that will entertain even the oldest pirates."  "Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012"

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Captain No Beard was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest review.

"Falling to Pieces" & "Material Witness" by Vannetta Chapman

About "Falling to Pieces":  In this first book of a three-book series, author Vannetta Chapman brings a fresh twist to the popular Amish fiction genre. She blends the familiar components consumers love in Amish books—faith, community, simplicity, family—with an innovative who-done-it plot that keeps readers guessing right up to the last stitch in the quilt.
When two women—one Amish, one English—each with different motives, join forces to organize a successful on-line quilt auction, neither expects nor wants a friendship. As different as night and day, Deborah and Callie are uneasy partners who simply want to make the best of a temporary situation. But a murder, a surprising prime suspect, a stubborn detective, and the town's reaction throw the two women together, and they form an unlikely alliance to solve a mystery and catch a killer.

About "A Perfect Square":  There’s more to the quaint northern Indiana town of Shipshewana than handcrafted quilts, Amish-made furniture, immaculate farms and close-knit families. When a dead girl is found floating in a local pond, murder is also afoot. And Reuben, brother of Deborah’s best friend’s fiancé, is in jail as the suspect! Reuben refuses to divulge any information, even to clear himself of a crime Deborah is certain he didn’t commit. So, with her English friend, Callie—fellow sleuth and owner of Daisy’s Quilt Shop—Deborah sets out to uncover the truth. But the mystery deepens when an elderly man seeks Callie’s help in finding his long-lost daughter, missing since the days of the 1965 Palm Sunday Tornadoes. An old man who has lost his past. A young man who may lose his future. Once again Deborah and Callie find themselves trying to piece together a crazy quilt of lives and events—one that can bring unexpected touches of God’s grace and resolve the tragedy that has shaken this quiet Amish community.

Review: “Falling to Pieces” and “A Perfect Square” are part of a 3 book series set in Amish country.  This series mixes mystery, friendship and the customs of the Amish for a fun “who-done-it” it twist.  Follow Deborah and Callie, two unlikely friends, on their amateur sleuthing adventures.  While you look for clues you may learn a little about quilts, the Amish and small town life.  A good read for a leisurely afternoon. (rev. M.Free)

Author bio:   Vannetta Chapman has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. She published a novel with Abingdon Press called A Simple Amish Christmas in October of 2010. Her first Quilt Shop Murder Mystery, Falling to Pieces (Zondervan), released in September 2011. Falling to Pieces is the first book in Vannetta's Amish mystery three-book series. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.
DISCLOSURE: These books were a donation and the review is a complimentary option we are exercising.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Echoes of Titanic" by Mindy Starns Clark & John Campbell Clark

Great Book!  Found myself wanting to read “just one more chapter”.  The story of Kelsey Tate, her great grandmother Adele, and the tragic sinking of the Titanic was most enjoyable.  I also enjoyed the reconciliation within the story of  Kelsy and Cole, but more importantly, Kelsey’s reconciliation with God and her understanding that her life was nothing without God.   

The authors have woven a wonderful story of modern day mystery and rich history of the Titanic.  I highly recommend “Echoes of Titanic.” (rev. P.Howard)

Mindy Starns Clark is the author of many books, which include the popular Smart Chick Mysteries, Whispers of the Bayou, Shadows of Lancaster County, and Under the Cajun Moon. In addition, Mindy’s plays and musicals have been featured in schools and churches across the United States.

John Campbell Clark

John Campbell Clark is an attorney and CPA who works in the Christian nonprofit field. Married to Mindy Starns Clark, he has served as her brainstorming partner, research facilitator, and first reader for many years. A lifelong Titanic buff, he is pleased to be coauthoring with her now. John and Mindy live with their two daughters near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

DISCLOSURE: A donated copy was provided the school and reviewed herewith with no obligation to author or publisher for a review.

Monday, January 7, 2013

"The Girl in the Glass" by Susan Meissner

Renaissance is a word with hope infused in every letter.

Since she was a child, Meg has dreamed of taking a promised trip to Florence, Italy, and being able to finally step into the place captured in a picture at her grandmother’s house. But after her grandmother passes away and it falls to her less-than-reliable father to take her instead, Meg’s long-anticipated travel plans seem permanently on hold.

When her dad finally tells Meg to book the trip, she prays that the experience will heal the fissures left on her life by her parents’ divorce. But when Meg arrives in Florence, her father is nowhere to be found, leaving aspiring memoir-writer Sophia Borelli to introduce Meg to the rich beauty of the ancient city. Sofia claims to be one of the last surviving members of the Medici family and that a long-ago Medici princess, Nora Orsini, communicates with her from within the great masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance.

When Sophia, Meg, and Nora’s stories intersect, their lives will be indelibly changed as they each answer the question: What if renaissance isn’t just a word? What if that’s what happens when you dare to believe that what is isn’t what has to be?

My thoughts:  A good book.  Very descriptive in “painting pictures” of Florence and the many wonderful works of art that have come from this area of our world.  I enjoyed the story line and how sometimes we have to just be brave and step out on our own – follow our dreams.   

Jumping between times in history was hard to follow at times, but in the end it came together.  I enjoyed the characters of Meg, Sophia & Nora and how their lives entwined. (rev. P.Howard)

DISCLOSURE:  A complimentary review copy was provided by Blogging for Books on behalf of the publisher, WalterBrook Press and the author to facilitate our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

"Night Buddies – Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine" by Sands Hetherington

Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare by Sands Hetherington
A very interesting book.  I like the concept of the book – a story of nighttime buddies and what adventures you can have when you “don’t want to go to sleep at night.”  It is a very imaginative book – a young boy named John, a red crocodile, and a gang of iguanas.  The way the book is written is interesting in that the author has created a dialect/language for the characters in the book and this can be difficult at times to follow.  I don’t believe 2nd or 3rd graders could easily read this book.  It would probably be better suited for older elementary ages.  In addition, “Iguana Gang” uses language that I believe is not appropriate for younger grades.  In the book, they do quite a bit of name calling, which as a parent, I did not enjoy.  I would encourage any parent possibly interested in getting this book for their children to be sure and first read it themselves. (rev. PH)

ISBN: 978-0-9847417-2-4
Publication: February 1, 2013
Night Buddies – Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine by Sands Hetherington
The second book in the “Night Buddies” series does have a “ton of mischief” going on.  I really appreciated the author’s inclusion at the front of the book the note from Crosley explaining why the characters “talk” the way they do and that the words in the book are misspelled on purpose and that children shouldn’t “spell it that way at school or use it on a spellin’ test!.”  I also thought the list of “uncommon words” was very helpful as you read through the book.

The imagination of the book is great and can encourage children in their writing to be as creative as possible.  There are not limits to creativity.  Once again, however, I believe this book is more appropriate for older elementary aged children.  I encourage parents to read this book before they give it to their children and then also consider reading it along with their children so that they can discuss it.  It can open the door for great conversations on how we should and should not talk.(rev. PH)
Two of our staff members began reading and didn't desire to complete the books or either finished the book. Both had basically unfavorable impressions and opinions of the books. 

DISCLOSURE: We were given the opportunity to participate in the virtual blog tour for the second book in the Night Buddies series through the author's publicist on behalf of author Sands Hetherington and the Publisher, Dune Buggy Press. There was no required expectation for a favorable review.  All opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer. Visit Night Buddies on Facebook.