Reviews written by Melissa A. Craven, Indie Manager

58 results - showing 1 - 15  
1 2 3 4  
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Kids Nonfiction
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
4.0
Learning Value 
 
4.0

A guide to twenty-three of the world’s most useful knots

This fun guidebook comes with everything you need to practice knot tying. The easy to follow illustrations will have young knot enthusiasts learning the difference between hitches, ties, wraps and knots in no time. Two short lengths of rope are included for practice, but parents should be at ease...

Kids Nonfiction
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0

Perfect for an afternoon of soap-making fun!

Of all the Klutz activity kits, of which there are many, this one is probably one of the more active—and loads more fun too. The kit includes everything you’ll need to create up to ten custom soaps, including packages and stickers so you can give your soaps as...

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
4.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0

The women who have shaped America

How does a First Lady train for a job that has no job description—or even a salary? A job that is often thankless, when the public expects a First Lady to be hostess, mother, wife, role model, style icon, a picture of perfection and poise with her arms around her...

Young Adult Nonfiction
Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   April 15, 2017
(Updated: April 15, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Ever wonder if you missed that thing everyone is talking about?

Best and Buzzworthy 2017 puts a year’s worth of pop culture into a colorful, well organized, and entertaining read. From the musician with the most MTV music video awards (Madonna) to the highest paid celebrity on television (Jim Parsons), the tallest tree house (and the tallest sandcastles) in the...

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
4.0
Learning Value 
 
4.0

“A book, too, can be a force”

Isaac The Alchemist is a very quiet book. Much like Isaac the boy. There is something powerful and inspiring about his determination to understand the physical world around him, even at a young age. Isaac was an introvert, happier to spend time with his books and experiments than doing just...

Young Adult Indie
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Plot/Story 
 
4.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
4.0

An exciting and promising series for mythology fans

The first of seven books in this paranormal romance series, Runes offers a unique look at the Norse pantheon in a contemporary urban fantasy setting. Runes will definitely appeal to fans of Twilight and The Mortal Instruments, but if you’re looking for an intense level of Norse mythology, Runes doesn’t...

Kids Fiction
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Quality Shakespeare for the kiddos

Admittedly, I was not a fan of Shakespeare when it was forced on me in high school. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to see the plays live that I fell in love with the master. Had I the opportunity to wet my feet with a book like Shakespeare...

Young Adult Fiction
Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   March 26, 2017
(Updated: March 26, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

A nostalgic setting, plus a little bit of horror and mystery makes FREEKS a win

The gorgeous cover pulled me in at a glance. The premise sold me on the story and the 80s setting made me a Hocking fan. There was a lot to love about Freeks and there were some misses as well. The 80s setting was extremely well done. Sometimes it’s easy...

Young Adult Nonfiction
Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   February 05, 2017
(Updated: February 06, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Newt is even more Fantastic than he was in the movie!

Full of insider information and behind the scenes details about the making of the movie, this beautiful book makes the perfect gift for fans of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. If you’re into movie props, this book is full of fun and interactive things to explore...

Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   February 05, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0

A lovely book with gorgeous illustrations

About Marine Mammals is a beautifully illustrated and educational book, perfect for school libraries. Or if you have a curious child who enjoys learning about the ocean, About Marine Mammals is a great learning experience you and your child can enjoy together. Each page is filled with colorful images and...

Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   February 05, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0

Inspirational reading to empower young girls

A wonderful gift for any child at any age. The Book of Heroines is full of tales of the heroines we know and the ones we’ve never even heard of. Political leaders, familiar faces from the sports arena, historical legends, women of the ancient world, peacemakers, and leaders in their...

Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   February 05, 2017
(Updated: February 05, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0

Inspirational reading for aspiring young heroes

A wonderful gift for any child at any age. The Book of Heroes is full of tales of the heroes we’ve all admired, plus the ones we’ve never even heard of. Political leaders, stars of the sports arena, historical legends, the great men of the ancient world, peacemakers, and leaders...

Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   February 05, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Young fans of Percy Jackson will love Argos

I have always been a fan of Greek Mythology, especially retellings like Argos. Telling the story of Odysseus through the eyes of his dog is such a brilliant way to introduce children to the stories and myths that have had such a profound impact on literature. Hardy manages...

Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   February 05, 2017
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Mixed emotions, but a recommended read for fans of the series

I have anxiously waited this book to come up in my TBR. Not because I am a fan of the series, but because I am a huge fan of high fantasy and this series is one I haven’t had the opportunity to read yet. However, before I committed to reviewing...

Young Adult Fiction
Melissa A. Craven, Indie ManagerMelissa A. Craven, Indie Manager   February 04, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Origin story to an epic series

Perfect for fantasy fans of all ages, Wings of Fire is a series adults can enjoy just as much as the young audience the story is intended for. The journey of Darkstalker, Clearsight and their friends is an epic coming of age tale wrought with danger and uncertainty. These young,...

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