Don’t Check Out This Book – Book Review

By: Kate Klise
Illustrated By: M. Sarah Klise
Published On: March 10, 2020

To say the town of Appleton, Illinois is a bit unique would be an understatement. It’s not because their elementary school has no librarian, although that is a bit different. Instead, it’s that their school has no books. They used to have books, but they were all thrown out due to mold. Now, the “When All Else Fails Grant” has given them the money to hire a new librarian and luckily for them she brings her own books. However, she puts a green dot on some of the books, which causes quite a stir in the town.

Like the town of Appleton, Don’t Check Out This Book is also unique. Told in the form of memos, texts, emails, local newspaper articles, and letters we read the story of the new world Ms. Danjerous, the librarian, brings to the town contrasted against the old-fashioned ideas of the School Board President – Ivana Beprawpa. The story is also full of fun word-plays, such as the character’s names, which correlates to who they are in the story. One example, Cy Durr, is the owner of the apple orchard.

Young readers will probably be very intrigued by the format and layout of the story. I know I would have at that age. Overall, the story a very quick read and I suspect young readers will really feel a sense of accomplishment as they read through each email and letter quickly. The green dot book collection was also an interesting idea – books that are too scary or weird that kids can read without having to check it out of the library.

Thanks to Algonquin Young Readers for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.

Description:

From the creators of the award-winning Three-Ring Rascals and 43 Old Cemetery Road series!

Is the sweet town of Appleton ripe for scandal?

Consider the facts:

  • Appleton Elementary School has a new librarian named Rita B. Danjerous. (Say it fast.)
  • Principal Noah Memree barely remembers hiring her.
  • Ten-year-old Reid Durr is staying up way too late reading a book from Ms. Danjerous’s controversial “green dot” collection.
  • The new school board president has mandated a student dress code that includes white gloves and bow ties available only at her shop.

Sound strange? Fret not. Appleton’s fifth-grade sleuths are following the money, embracing the punny, and determined to the get to the funniest, most rotten core of their town’s juiciest scandal. Don’t miss this seedy saga!

The Secret of the White Stone Gate – Book Review

Black Hollow Lane #2
By: Julia Nobel
Published on: March 3, 2020

In The Secret of White Stone Gate, loyalties and friendships are tested as the Order of the Black Hollow Lane blackmail, threaten, and do whatever else they can think up with the goal of convincing Emmy to give them what they want – her father.

Continue reading “The Secret of the White Stone Gate – Book Review”

Lizard’s Tale – Book Review

By: Weng Wai Chan
Published on: July 2, 2019

Set in pre-war Singapore during the British colonization, Weng Wai Chan takes us to a time period where everyone is starting to feel the stress over the possibility of war with Japan and their potential invasion. Lizard’s Tale is primarily about a Japanese Navy code book the British are trying to get hold of and that the Japanese are trying to get back.

At the beginning of the story we find that Lizard (his initials are LZD) has been hired to steal a teak box from the general manager of the New British East India Company. He had been warned that this box is dangerous and could get his boss and him killed, which soon after comes true when the person who hired him is murdered before Lizard can deliver the box. Soon after Lizard finds himself in the world of spies and rescue attempts as Lizard tries to figure out what to do with this box.

Continue reading “Lizard’s Tale – Book Review”

Ghost and Bone – Book Review

By: Andrew Prentice
Published on: August 13, 2019

I am such a sucker for interesting and eye-catching covers. If you’ve ever seen the movie Darby O’Gill and the Little People with Sean Connery and Janet Munro there’s a scene where Darby almost gets taken away by Death in a very creepy carriage. That is exactly what this cover reminds me of – that creepy Death carriage.

Continue reading “Ghost and Bone – Book Review”

The Lifters – Audio Book Review

By Dave Eggers
Published on: April 30, 2018

The cover is mostly what drew me to this book. It wasn’t the colors or the layout, but instead it was what was within the picture. If you look carefully you’ll see tunnels seemingly going everywhere with weird things holding them up. (Like… is that a grandfather clock? And a hockey stick?)

Continue reading “The Lifters – Audio Book Review”

Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets – Blog Tour

Botanic Hill Detectives Mystery Book 1 by Sherrill Joseph
Published on: January 10, 2020

A story where the kids get to be the investigators and have formed: The Botanic Hill Detective Agency. In this new series four best friends love solving mysteries together and learn a little about Egyptian history and reptiles.

Continue reading “Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets – Blog Tour”

Britfield & the Lost Crown – Book Review

Britfield Series Book 1 by C. R. Stewart
Published on: August 1, 2019

If there wasn’t already a well-known book and movie by the title of The Great Escape, I would say that this book should be renamed to it because this whole book is one exciting escape after escape.

The Weatherly Orphanage isn’t known by its occupants for being a warm and cozy place to live. Instead, it is a place where the kids get little food and clothing and are forced to work long hours at a nearby factory. It’s also known for doling out harsh punishments for small infractions. When an unexpectedly harsh punishment puts Tom’s best friend Sarah into solitary confinement for a month, Tom knows it is time to leave. Their friends at the orphanage form an elaborate scheme to break them both out, starting an escape adventure that spans across England. If escaping wasn’t enough, the Grievouses hire legendary Detective Gowerstone, who is known for finding missing children and orphans.

Continue reading “Britfield & the Lost Crown – Book Review”