Category:

All the latest reviews from the official YABC Team.

Kid Review: Narwhal: The Arctic Unicorn By Justin Anderson

December 5th, 2022 by

 

About This Book:

 

Discover the majestic unicorn of the sea with this suspenseful narrative from a BBC filmmaker and gorgeous art from an award-winning illustrator.

 

With a crack and a creak, the frozen sea begins to melt—the ice splits apart and a new pathway forms.

As winter comes to an end, a pod of narwhals begins a treacherous journey north. Along the way, they must find fish to eat, avoid a hungry polar bear, and navigate the maze of sea ice. Will their sensitive long spiral tusks and clicking calls be enough to keep them safe and help them find their way to their summer resting grounds? Join zoologist Justin Anderson and artist Jo Weaver as they reveal the mysteries of these amazing toothed whales and their Arctic home. Small text offers narwhal facts throughout, and young explorers can read more on the future of this fascinating creature in the back matter.

 

*Review Contributed By Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

 

educational book about narwhals

 

NARWHAL: THE ARCTIC UNICORN is a story about the Narwhal journey north, primarily following an older Narwhal and his pod. The book explains what they are doing along the way as well as the dangers and predators they must face. Additional text on each spread gives more factual details about narwhals in the situations shown.

What I loved: This is an informative story about narwhals and their journey. The text is long enough to tell the story but also includes smaller text to give additional details and context (such as explaining what makes up a narwhal pod) on each page spread. The narwhals and other animals are drawn with great detail. The backmatter includes more information to start children on the path to learning even more about these arctic unicorns.

What left me wanting more: The story does not quite pull the reader in the way that fictionalized accounts might typically. While it talks a bit about the old narwhal, it does not give them a name or add any emotions to the story, in the documentary style, which will work better for some readers rather than others. The images use muted colors as well that will work better for older readers. The focus does remain on the dangers, with polar bears and killer whales shown as predators (though not actively eating), which may be tough for sensitive readers. However, these are accurate per nature and give the whole picture of why this can be a dangerous journey.

Final verdict: NARWHAL: THE ARCTIC UNICORN is an educational picture book that will work well for elementary school aged readers who enjoy learning about animals.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book Here*

Middle-Grade Review: Calix and the Fire Demon by Ron Walters

December 5th, 2022 by

 

About This Book:

 

If there’s one thing 12-year-old Calix O’Shaughnessy is good at, it’s bad luck. 

Divorced parents? Check. Eyebrows singed off after an unfortunate grilling incident? Check. Accidentally releasing an ancient Irish fire demon from the statue where it was imprisoned by St. Patrick 1,500 years ago? Check and check. 

Now the demon’s on the loose, tearing through Savannah, GA, and it’s up to Calix to take it down whether he wants to or not. Because it turns out, not only are fairies, monsters, and demigods real, but Calix is one of the heirs of St. Patrick, tasked with ridding the world of supernatural threats. 

Left with no other choice, Calix, his cousin, and his best friend follow a series of cryptic clues around Savannah in order to retrieve the pieces of an ancient Irish weapon known as the Demon’s Bane, the only thing capable of defeating the demon. If they fail, the creature will raise an army of malevolent spirits and bathe the world in unholy fire. 

All of a sudden, regular old bad luck doesn’t seem so bad after all.

*Review Contributed By Mark Buxton, Staff Reviewer*

 

Celtic Monsters on the Loose

 

What worked:
The author eases readers into the conflict by sharing strange clues that something strange is happening. Calix’s dad is obsessed with searching for fairies, his dad forbids his sister from speaking to Calix, and a mysterious statue is raised from deep waters. Calix notices some eerie occurrences, such as actually finding the end of a rainbow, but he’s reluctant to accept his dad might be on to something. The story is set in Savannah, Georgia, where there’s apparently a large concentration of people with Irish heritage, and St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching. Savannah isn’t a typical setting for a story but it’s long history, steamy climate, and ghostly reputation are ideal for this book.
The book has many of the familiar qualities found in other successful middle-grade novels. There’s the return of a powerful demon named Caorthannach seeking revenge as she amasses an army of minions. Calix is a “normal” boy who discovers the strange birthmark on his arm identifies him as an heir of St. Patrick, the man who previously imprisoned the demon. Calix’s best friend is a mortal named Nate who adds levity to the plot. Calix’s cousin Saoirse has been training as a warrior for years so she is the expert fighter all heroic trios need. The three friends are tasked with finding three hidden fragments of Demon’s Bane to add to Calix’s staff that will enable them to stop the demon. However, Caorthannach wants the same pieces to reach her full strength and potential.
Calix and friends must follow cryptic riddles to locate pieces of the Demon’s Bane and this quest becomes the focus of the plot. The clues instruct them to find a place where unconscious men traveled to lands unknown, traverse wormy oaks, and they will finally need to travel with Death. Questionable deals are struck at each stop and uncomfortable, frightening decisions must be made. The trio will give valuable parts of themselves to ancient creatures and the Devil makes an appearance to add a twist. Everyone knows it’s never a good idea to make a deal with the Devil.
What didn’t work as well:
The familiar formula of middle-grade hero novels makes this plot easy to follow but it also makes it less innovative. Readers know what to expect even though the Celtic characters are different. However, the story successfully comes together in an entertaining and exciting adventure.
The Final Verdict:
The author creates another fun adventure starring an unsuspecting middle-grade hero and friends. The Irish focus is uncommon in these types of books, but the overall book is very entertaining and leads into a sequel. I recommend you give this fun book a shot.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book Here*

Featured Review: A Wilderness of Stars (Shea Ernshaw)

December 5th, 2022 by

 

About This Book:

In this magical romance from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Long Live the Pumpkin Queen, an illness cursing the land forces a teen girl astronomer to venture across the wilderness in search of the stars’ message that will, hopefully, save them all.
When all is lost, look to the stars.

Vega has lived in the valley her whole life—forbidden by her mother to leave the safety of its borders because of the unknown threats waiting for her in the wilds beyond. But when Vega sees an omen in the sky—one she cannot ignore—she is forced to leave the protective boundaries of the valley. Yet the outside world is much more terrifying than Vega could have ever imagined. People are gravely sick—they lose their eyesight and their hearing, just before they lose their lives.

But Vega has a secret: she is the Last Astronomer—a title carried from generation to generation—and she is the only one who understands the knowledge of the stars. Knowledge that could hold the key to a cure. So when locals spot the tattoo on Vega’s neck in the shape of a constellation—the mark of an astronomer—chaos erupts. Fearing for her life, Vega is rescued by a girl named Cricket who leads her to Noah, a boy marked by his own mysterious tattoos.

On the run from the men hunting her, Vega sets out across the plains with Cricket and Noah, in search of a fabled cure kept secret by the astronomers. But as the line between friends and protectors begins to blur, Vega must decide whether to safeguard the sacred knowledge of the astronomers…or if she will risk everything to try to save them all.

 

*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

A WILDERNESS OF STARS is a thrilling YA sci-fi/dystopian. Vega has been raised as the Last Astronomer with a destiny passed down from generation to generation. After her mother’s death, Vega leaves the Valley where she has spent her life and ventures into the dangerous world to find the Architect. However, she must find this person with the knowledge that others in the world would harm her for looking.

The world is plagued by consumption that is killing everyone slowly. The area where Vega ventures into is controlled by a gang that prophesies about the end of the world and destroys anyone who stands in the way of what they want. Before too long, Vega finds Noah, who carries his own secrets and may be the person who can change her commitment to destiny.

What I loved: The big twist at the end of the book was phenomenal. While there is much heartbreak along the way, the book ends with a note of hope that turns it into something more powerful and emotional than originally expected. While the majority of the book seemed to be dystopian, it takes on some sci-fi elements that I found particularly intriguing.

There are themes around loyalty, destiny, family/found family, survival, grief, and the power of stories. These were thought-provoking throughout. Vega’s whole life has centered around a particular destiny of being the Last Astronomer, and she knows that she must fulfill the role she has been raised to fill. However, the ways that she must navigate this world are more complex than she anticipated, and Vega will need to rely on strangers that she knows she shouldn’t trust in order to accomplish her destiny.

Vega is a really compelling character. She’s an intriguing mix of naïve and knowledgeable. Her world has revolved around the stars and understanding the universe, but her life has been sheltered. She is trying to understand people while also finding someone elusive. She is clever and learns quickly from the world around her, with a shrewdness you might not expect for someone who was raised in a sheltered environment. Her journey is difficult but also becomes filled with love and hope.

What left me wanting more: The book feels rather slow at the beginning and requires some suspension of belief, particularly with the way some reveals happen so suddenly. When the reader begins to get a grasp on the world and landscapes, it suddenly shifts from under them.

Final verdict: A WILDERNESS OF STARS is an enchanting and compelling YA dystopian/sci-fi with unexpected twists. Recommend for fans of books with adventure/quests and a touch of romance.

 

 

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

Featured Review: The Liar’s Crown (Abigail Owen)

December 3rd, 2022 by

 

About This Book:

Some shadows protect you…others will kill you in this dazzling new fantasy series from award-winning author Abigail Owen.
Everything about my life is a lie. As a hidden twin princess, born second, I have only one purpose―to sacrifice my life for my sister if death comes for her. I’ve been living under the guise of a poor, obscure girl of no standing, slipping into the palace and into the role of the true princess when danger is present.

Now the queen is dead and the ageless King Eidolon has sent my sister a gift―an eerily familiar gift―and a proposal to wed. I don’t trust him, so I do what I was born to do and secretly take her place on the eve of the coronation. Which is why, when a figure made of shadow kidnaps the new queen, he gets me by mistake.

As I try to escape, all the lies start to unravel. And not just my lies. The Shadowraith who took me has secrets of his own. He struggles to contain the shadows he wields―other faces, identities that threaten my very life.

Winter is at the walls. Darkness is looming. And the only way to save my sister and our dominion is to kill Eidolon…and the Shadowraith who has stolen my heart.

 

 

*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

THE LIAR’S CROWN is an engrossing YA fantasy adventure. Meren is a twin and a princess, but no one knows she exists. As the second born twin in Aryd, she has been hidden from birth and used as a double for her sister Tabra who will take the throne one day. What Meren dreams about more than anything is having her own life – but this will never be her lot in life.

When her grandmother dies unexpectedly, Tabra is set to rise as queen, and Meren must travel to act as her double in key events. The queens of Aryd have long been under threat from the seemingly immortal king of a neighboring realm, Eidolon, who captures and kills them. However, with the hidden twin policy, what this means is that there is still a twin to rule, hopefully the first born. When she stands in for her around the coronation, she is kidnapped – exactly what her job is meant to be.

As her kidnapper takes her away from Aryd, Meren begins to learn more about Eidolon and the state of the world, as well as about herself and her own desires and dreams.

What I loved: This was an enthralling read. Beginning with the world, it was lush, new, and really intriguing. The kingdoms are each facing their own environmental problems, of which Meren is just beginning to learn. They each have their own flair as well that makes them intriguing to see and learn about, with some really fascinating animal appearances. The mythology is presented a bit and based on goddesses with different affinities for each realm, and I am really excited to learn more about this in future books. On top of the physical world, certain people also have magical abilities that are considered related to elements (Hylorae) or souls (Enfernae) with limitations that differ from person to person and passed down through families. Meren is a Hylorae with ability over sand and glass, an ability that she also must keep hidden.

Although she is kidnapped, Meren keeps her wits about her and as she begins to learn more about her captor, the Shadowraith, her compassion turns to understanding. The romance that builds was really compelling, between two individuals who feel the weight of the world but do not have the freedom they desire. Their journey is not an easy one, and they each have obstacles to overcome in order to embrace their potential, and while they make good strides towards this and each other, the sequel will likely continue to show this growth and relationship journey.

Meren is a compelling character who has always been told that her life has one purpose, and not one that she can value. Her arc was recognizing herself and beginning to think of what she wants outside of this dangerous destiny. It is one that will continue in future books, as this programming is hard to erase. Reven was also really compelling – dark, brooding, and holding the weight of the world on his shoulders. He was complex and endeared to the reader as to Meren. Tabra was another really intriguing character, and I would have loved to get to know her better – hopefully she will have a bigger role in the future. She is the princess but even her twin does not think she is well-suited for the task. She is compassionate and kind to a fault – something that does get her into trouble. Other secondary characters were also really intriguing, and I am curious to see where they will go and learn more about them in future books.

Themes of the story around destiny, family, honesty, nature/nurture, environmental change, and politics made this a compelling read. While some major plotlines were wrapped up in this book, it does have a bit of a cliffhanger that makes waiting for the sequel really difficult!

Final verdict: THE LIAR’S CROWN is an enthralling and imaginative YA fantasy adventure that will leave the reader eagerly awaiting the sequel. Highly recommend for fans of THESE HOLLOW VOWS, THE CERULEAN, and EVER THE HUNTED.

 

 

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

Kid Review: Christmas Street by Jonathan Emmett

December 3rd, 2022 by

 

About This Book:

 

This spectacular lift-the-flap Christmas alphabet story is a book, a fold-out play-scene, and a beautiful festive frieze to decorate your room—the perfect Christmas gift!

 

Everyone is busy on Christmas Street! Who is baking gingerbread? Who is wrapping presents? And who’s that coming down the chimney? Find out in this follow-up to Alphabet Street. And after you read the rhyming story, lift the flaps to learn the letters of the alphabet and seasonal words. Then flip the book and have fun with the giant snowy concertina play-scene on the reverse! With two large, sturdy flaps on every spread;bright, cheerful artwork from Ingela P. Arrhenius, illustrator of the best-selling series of lift-the-felt-flap board books and the Peekaboo board book series; and a clever rhyming text from Jonathan Emmett, this is a charming Christmas alphabet book that little ones will return to again and again.

 

*Review Contributed By Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

 

clever and lovely holiday alphabet board book

 

CHRISTMAS STREET is a delightful board book with lift-the-flaps. Each page spread features four flaps, one for each letter with a holiday-related definition. Together, they form a rhyme that carries throughout the book. Notably, the book also pulls out into a little village that can stand on its own, with a full image on the backside as well.

What I loved: The illustrations are absolutely lovely with plenty of animals and holiday-related scenes. The use of flaps is quite clever throughout, giving peeks inside these festive buildings. The artwork also lends itself to becoming a toy with the town and buildings pulling out to stand as a long street. The use of colors is just lovely and perfectly on theme throughout.

The text is also really clever, walking through the alphabet in a way that feels true to the non-religious holiday spirit while also rhyming. The text rolls off the tongue and appears on the back of each of the flaps while children can explore the image revealed. This will work well for toddlers and preschoolers.

What left me wanting more: As a small thing, some of the choices are a little awkward, but these are the typical challenges with alphabet books. X is for X-mas, which is a tough and little misleading one, and Z is for Zzz, which does work for the end of the book. The flaps are also a bit thin, so rougher children will definitely tear some of these off. As the text is written on the back of the flaps, you could lose part of the story in the process.

Final verdict: CHRISTMAS STREET is a lovely and charming board book with a clever design that works as a book and a toy to celebrate the holiday and the alphabet.

 

*Find More Info & Buy This Book Here*

Middle-Grade Review: Sandor Katz and the Tiny Wild (Food Heroes) by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

December 3rd, 2022 by

 

About This Book:

 

Sandor Katz’s love of fermented food started with kosher dill pickles he ate as a New York City kid. As an adult, he left the busy city and moved to a queer community in the mountains of Tennessee. There, his friends grew their own food, cooked and ate together, and sometimes danced in drag when the work was done. One day, the cabbages were all, ALL ready to be harvested. What to do? Sandor tried to make sauerkraut. Delicious! He kept experimenting, finding old recipes, combining old ideas to make something new. Then, he shared what he learned in bestselling books, in classes, and with a growing group of friends around the world.

Written by award-winning authors Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee, Sandor Katz and the Tiny Wild folds timely themes of ecology, community-building, and resilience into a lively biography that closes with a hands-on recipe: just chop, salt, pack, and wait for tiny, wild, invisible microbes to turn raw ingredients into zingy, zangy foods that we love. Sandor believes that making fermented foods connects all, ALL of us on planet Earth—people, plants, and The Tiny Wild. Won’t you join Sandor’s crew and share your own dash of dazzle with the world?

*Review Contributed By Karen Yingling, Staff Reviewer*

 

Science in a Pickle

 

Pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi– all of these foods have a connection! Sandor Katz was enthralled with these taste of these fermented food from different cultures, and has made a career studying the microbes that lead to this fermentation. Moving from New York, where he was raised, to rural Tennessee, he set up a school for studying the process that creates these foods.
Good Points

The illustrations in the book have the same exuberant and funky style exhibited by Katz’ approach to studying, and have a lot of fun elements. There are page borders of different types of cabbages, decorative text with phrases like kraut-chi-licious, and multicolored dots that represent the microbes involved in the fermentation process.

There are a number of interesting food books for young readers, like Stanley’s Alice Katz Cooks Up a Food Revolution and The Sweetest Scoop: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Revolution
by Lisa Robinson, and Sandor Katz and the Tiny Wild will appeal not only to readers who want information about food, but to teachers and parents who want to take a deeper look into the science of what we eat.

The book ends with a recipe for kraut-chi, a note from Katz, and notes from the author and illustrator, who add a lot more information about Katz’s work. There is also a bibliography that includes Katz’s books and further resources.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book Here*

Kid Review: Merry Little Christmas: A Finger Wiggle Book By Sally Symes

December 2nd, 2022 by

 

About This Book:

 

Bring merry holiday characters to life with an interactive board book perfect for the littlest stockings.

 

Poke your fingers through the holes of this brightly colored book to make wiggly legs for eight holiday-themed characters. The snowman has very cold feet, the teddy bear wears green and red, the little man’s made of gingerbread . . . and even the jingly elf and the jolly old fellow himself can be set in motion with help from a reader and baby as they share a love of books together. Merry little Christmas!

 

*Review Contributed By Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

 

cute, interactive board book

 

MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS is a cute, interactive board book with a Christmas theme. The book features a Christmas-related character on each page with holes for fingers to go through and be the legs. It includes reindeer, Santa, a tree topper, elf, and more. The text includes a brief sentence about what it is along with a sound related word for auditory fun.

What I loved: This is a really simple and interactive book. The finger element definitely makes the story with something children can explore on their own and with caregivers. The text is really simple, which will work best for older infants and young toddlers, with a sentence describing what it is as well as a sound-related phrase such as “ting-a-ling” and “flip-flap-flip” for some auditory fun. Children will giggle as they wiggle fingers through the book. The illustrations are cute, brightly colored, and with simple backgrounds that works well for the intended age group.

Final verdict: MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS is a fun, interactive board book that will charm the youngest readers around Christmas.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book Here*

Middle-Grade Review: Embassy of the Dead- Destiny Calling By Will Mabbitt

December 2nd, 2022 by

 

About This Book:

 

Jake Green and his friends have managed to save the world from the followers of Fenris twice now, which should be more than enough. But Jake, Cora, and Sab are suddenly given a new, secret mission. It seems one last would-be traitor is still hidden in the world of the Embassy, and it’s up to Jake and his friends to take care of him—permanently. All the signs point to Jake being the Chosen One for this dangerous task, especially since he’s armed with the ancient, Eternal Void–summoning tooth he found on his last trip to the Afterworld. But the more time the three friends spend on their dubious quest, the more Jake wonders if he’s better off making his own destiny. The latest adventure in this fast and funny series delivers plenty of chills, twists, and heart.

 

*Review Contributed By Mark Buxton, Staff Reviewer*

 

Choosing your own destiny

 

What worked:
Jake is the main character and he’s assisted by a ghost named Cora. Jake’s an Undoer and is tasked with helping the deceased move on to the Afterworld. Cora adds a bit of humor to the story as she attaches nicknames to Jake and his friend Sab along with an air of superiority. She thinks Jake can’t function without her around although she doesn’t have a physical presence among the living. Sab has only recently started seeing ghosts but his ability seems to be getting stronger. The Embassy of the Dead is finally taking notice of him which I assume means he’ll have an expanded role in the future.
The author creates tension in several ways to keep readers engaged. Jake and Sab are summoned to the Embassy of the Dead but they need to leave their bodies to get there. They each carry a ticket that counts down the time they have left before their bodies will die leaving them stranded in the Underworld forever. Their empty, immobile bodies are left in Jake’s kitchen where his mother might freak out if she discovers them. Also, demons and spirits have existed together in the Underworld for years but hostility against demons is growing. Jake’s concerns grow when he’s declared the Chosen One and tasked with killing the last follower of Fenris. Suspicions should be peaked since main characters rarely commit premeditated murder.
There’s more going on behind the events presented but readers will need to figure out what. As mentioned, having a main character go on a mission to murder someone is a stark contrast to Jake’s personality and defies the rules of middle-grade literature. The opening scene describes two sisters, one a ghost and one a human, sneaking into Jake’s house with the intent to kill him. At that point in the book, readers can only wonder why they want him dead. Jake first encounters his target and future victim when he arrives at the Embassy of the Dead. He can’t understand why he’s supposed to kill a boy who seems adored by everyone there. Nevertheless, the weapon Jake carries compels him to complete his mission.
What didn’t work as well:
I feel like it will be a big advantage to read the preceding books first, which I have not done. Jake and his friends live with the Embassy of the Dead culture and expectations and that can’t be fully grasped by reading this book alone. As I’ve said in the past, my concerns can easily be resolved by starting with the first book, surprisingly called Embassy of the Dead.
The Final Verdict:
The author blends interesting characters and a mysterious plot to create an entertaining story. It’s probably best to read the previous books but this one can still be enjoyed by itself. I recommend you give it a shot.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book Here*

Featured Review: The Q (Amy Tintera)

December 2nd, 2022 by

 

About This Book:

In this action-packed adventure from a New York Times bestselling author, two teenagers from opposite worlds must fight their way through a vast walled quarantine zone in a dystopian America toward their only chance for survival.
Seventeen-year-old Maisie Rojas has spent her entire life in the Q—a post-pandemic quarantine zone that was once Austin, Texas. Born and raised behind the high security walls that sealed their fate, she’s now a trusted lieutenant for one of the territory’s controlling families.

Lennon Pierce, the charismatic son of a US presidential candidate, has just been kidnapped by his father’s enemies and dropped out of a plane into the Q with nothing but a parachute strapped to his back. Lennon is given a temporary antidote to the disease and crucial intel for his father, but Maisie must get him out of the zone within forty-eight hours–or he will be permanently infected and forced to remain.

With unrest brewing both inside and outside the Q, reaching the exit is a daunting and dangerous task. But if Maisie and Lennon fail, it could mean disaster for the entire quarantine zone and its inhabitants—and could cost Lennon his life.

Strap in for breakneck action and compelling characters in this timely, nonstop thriller.

 

 

*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

THE Q is a highly engaging YA dystopian/sci-fi. In this world, a new deadly virus arose, beginning in Austin, Texas. To contain it, they placed everyone who had the virus in the city and eventually walled it off. This trapped not only people who had been infected but also those who were too poor to leave. The virus continued to mutate and reinfect the people who lived within, and before long, there was no plan for allowing those people out of the quarantine zone or The Q. It has now been about 20 years.

Maisie was born inside The Q, one of the first generation. She lives in the South, controlled by Dr. Lopez (and formerly her father), while the North is controlled by the Spencers. They are engaged in a perpetual turf war with a bit of peace constructed by mutual fear. Lennon, the son of a presidential candidate, is kidnapped and airdropped into The Q, landing in the Neutral Zone. Lopez detects it and sends Maisie to get him before unsavory characters can, and he gives her an injection to give him, which should provide him with about 4 days of immunity from the virus.

Lennon wants out and back to his old life. The things he has heard about The Q are rather frightening, and he knows that public opinion is turning on even allowing it to continue to exist. The CDC gives him 3 days to get to the north gate and allow him to exit, assuming he has not been infected. However, with conflicts escalating inside The Q and a long path to get there, his safety seems anything but assured.

What I loved: This was such an entertaining and engaging read. While it certainly has parallels to viruses now, this presents a speculative scenario taken to extremes. There were some thought-provoking themes around politics, public opinion, morality, conflict/war, gender inequality, medical care, and poverty that really made this quite an intriguing story. The broader context of The Q and the people who have lived inside it were really provocative and ask some interesting questions about how medical care and societal engagement are impacted by wealth and public perception.

The book is told from the perspectives of Maisie and Lennon, and this balance really propelled the story. While there is a small amount of romance between them, they were each compelling characters individually. Maisie loves her friends, who have become her family, and she fiercely believes in doing what is right, even if that means she has to punch some people. Lennon has not always been the perfect son to his political parents, but he is finding his own purpose as he learns more about The Q and its residents. He also has his own moral code, which he is figuring out as he navigates this dangerous landscape with Maisie.

Other secondary characters were really intriguing as well, particularly Val, Queso, and Hadley, who each have survived their own way. The new generation of The Q is beginning to see their own desires and drive for changes they want – it could irrevocably change the future of what The Q is and how they all relate to each other (if they can move past their parents’ choices).

The plot was fast, and this is definitely an action-packed read with quite the adventure in their three-day travel from the South to the North. It was really hard to put down with so many twists and turns along the way. I am definitely interested to see what will happen next, and I definitely hope this will get a sequel. While major plotlines are wrapped up, there are definitely some threads I would be interested to follow in the future.

Final verdict: A thrilling and action-packed YA dystopian/sci-fi, THE Q takes the reader on a speculative ride with compelling characters and thought-provoking themes. Highly recommend checking this one out!

 

 

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

Kid Review: I Love You More than Christmas By Ellie Hattie

December 1st, 2022 by

 

About This Book:

 

Now available in a board book, this festive celebration of friends, family, and love at Christmas from best-selling illustrator Tim Warnes is perfect for sharing with a little one.

 

Little Bear, Mommy Bear, and Daddy Bear all LOVE Christmas! There are presents to wrap, treats to bake, and decorations to hang on the Christmas tree. But is there something that they love even more? The popular picture book story from the illustrator of the best-selling board book I Love You to the Moon and Back is now available in board book for the youngest readers and is perfect for sharing with a child at Christmas.

With a “To” and “From” dedication page for gift-giving.

 

*Review Contributed By Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

 

lovely board book about Christmas and love

 

I LOVE YOU MORE THAN CHRISTMAS is a sweet story about all the joy of the holiday and importance of time with family. Little Bear is so excited for Christmas and all the fun things it brings. As the bears celebrate the holiday, Little Bear appreciates all the fantastic parts, but their favorite part of the holiday is family and the love that they share.

What I loved: This is such a lovely, non-religious book celebrating Christmas and all the love of family. The book brings up all the fun parts of the holiday, such as decorating the tree, caroling, cards, and more but keeps bringing it back to the most important part, which is family and the love shared between them. The text is really lovely and flows smoothly throughout, featuring a charming main character of Little Bear and their parents. The board book format will make this work well for young toddlers and preschoolers with a gifting feature of a to/from page at the front.

The illustrations are really soft and lovely throughout, capturing all the joy and love of the bears. There are many details to explore on each page that will keep children entertained as they listen to the story. While the text is a bit lengthy for a board book, it works well in the context of this lovely story, and repetitive sections are great for young readers. The font used manages to stay readable throughout the book.

Final verdict: A beautiful holiday board book, I LOVE YOU MORE THAN CHRISTMAS is a charming, non-religious read that is sure to delight young readers.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book Here*

You are here: Kid Review: I Love You More than Christmas By Ellie Hattie