Back to School Books for Kids

Brain Games: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42183016-brain-games
Beginner’s World Atlas: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42924686-national-geographic-kids-beginner-s-world-atlas-4th-edition
Student World Atlas: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42924683-national-geographic-student-world-atlas-5th-edition Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: Brain Games

Brain Games by Stephanie Warren Drimmer
Brain Games: Mighty Book of Mind Benders
by Stephanie Warren Drimmer,  Gareth Moore

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Warning: This book will melt your brain!

With puzzles, codes, optical illusions, and games, each chapter focuses on one aspect of how our brains process information, including spatial awareness, how our hearing affects our visual perception, and how our memory works (or doesn’t work).

I especially liked the chapter on Words and Language, which explores how our brains process language and reading. There are tons of word games with anagrams, alphabet codes, palindromes, crossword puzzles, and word search games.

Each chapter starts with an explanation of how the brain functions in particular areas, how the brain is mapped, and what scientists and physicians are discovering about the power of the mind. Then challenges and puzzles are introduced to show how your brain is fooling you, or how your brain is stronger and smarter than you realize. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Book Review: Beginner’s World Atlas

National Geographic Kids Beginner's World Atlas, 4th Edition by National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Kids Beginner’s World Atlas, 4th Edition
by National Geographic Kids

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This beginner’s atlas is perfect for young readers with a curiosity about the world! It starts with how maps show different countries and landscapes, and how to read a map using the key, the compass, and the distance scale that shows miles and kilometers. Full of colorful illustrations and photos, this atlas grabs the reader’s attention and brings the wonders of different nations to every page.

I like how the book is divided up by continent. It makes it easy to find what you are looking for, and to see how countries that border each other have a lot in common. It has maps that compare the landscapes, climates, plants and animals that are indigenous to the region, as well as the major cities, languages, and culture of each nation. Continue reading

Book Review: Awesome Achievers in Technology

Awesome Achievers in Technology by Alan Katz
3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


The dad jokes are strong. The puns are cringe-worthy. The history is real.

Do you remember who invented the Sierra video game, King’s Quest, or who dreamed up Space Invaders and Pong? Do you know who pioneered devices like the microwave, windshield wipers, TV remotes, and the first cell phone? Wonder no more, because it’s all in this book!

Featuring 12 incredible inventors, engineers, chemists, and pioneers who made their dreams a reality in technology, this book gives short bios of the inventors, along with a comedic poem or song written by the author in their honor, and sometimes a small comic sketch or personal anecdote.

This book is FULL of “Dad jokes”. There are idiotic puns and wisecracks on every page that made me roll my eyes. Not exactly captivating entertainment, but I think this book would appeal to children with a silly sense of humor.
I enjoyed the actual information about these incredible men and women, and their fascinating inventions and accomplishments that influence our daily lives.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

Non-Fiction Review: Awesome Achievers in Science

Awesome Achievers in Science by Alan Katz
Awesome Achievers in Science: Super and Strange Facts about 12 Almost Famous History Makers 
by Alan Katz 

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Do you remember who invented the Post It note? Or the Polaroid camera? You may know the name of the Heimlich maneuver, but do you know anything about Dr. Heimlich himself, who invented the famous move?

This book features twelve scientists, chemists, doctors, engineers, and astronauts whose inventions or actions are well-known, but the people themselves are less than famous. Including the inventions of Velcro, Teflon, Kevlar, the Polaroid camera, bionic limbs, laser eye surgery for cataracts, and the CPR method, this book gives short bios of the almost-famous inventors, along with a comedic poem or song written by the author in their honor, and sometimes a small comic sketch or personal anecdote.

This book is FULL of “Dad jokes”. There are cringey puns and wisecracks on every page that will make anyone remember their own dad and his terrible jokes. The humor might appeal to a 7-year-old boy, but I spent most of the book rolling my eyes at the ridiculous one-liners. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: 1,000 Facts About Ancient Egypt

1,000 Facts about Ancient Egypt by Nancy Honovich
1,000 Facts about Ancient Egypt 
by Nancy Honovich

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Everything you ever wanted to know about Ancient Egypt is in this book! There are facts, figures, and wild details about mummies, pyramids, the sphinx, the pharaohs, and the everyday lives of regular Egyptians.

I loved how the information is presented in small sections that would keep a child’s attention, and make it easy to read. Each two-page spread focuses on a category of Egyptian life: inventions, government, religion and temples, women rulers, games and art, food and trade, royal life, beauty and fashion, weapons and soldiers, the Nile river, and of course mummies and pyramids, along with a dozen other fascinating subjects. Continue reading

Book Review: Forgotten Beasts

Forgotten Beasts by Matt Sewell
Forgotten Beasts 
by Matt Sewell

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This beautifully illustrated book teaches about extinct animals from the ancient past. There are no monstrous lizards or dinosaurs in this book. This is all about other types of mammals, birds, and sea creatures who once roamed the earth. Some are familiar to us, like the woolly mammoth and the sabre-toothed tiger, but most are impressively rare and wild-looking.

The illustrations are soft and colorful, with a gentle and silky style. But I wish there were more detail in the illustrations, and I wish that there were more drawings of each animal. It would have been interesting to compare the bone structure of fossils to the artist’s rendition of fur, feathers, and scales. It is very beautiful, but I was hoping for more detail.

As always with these sort of scientific books, I’m put off by the assumption of theories and dates that have not been proven. The author writes about millions of years, as though those dates were established scientific fact. The theory of evolution is also discussed as though it were fact and not theory. It makes me lose confidence in the veracity of the writing when ideas that are not proven are written about as if they were true.
Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: 20 Recipes Kids Should Know

20 Recipes Kids Should Know by Esme Washburn
20 Recipes Kids Should Know 
by Esme WashburnCalista Washburn (Photographs)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This colorful book of recipes for children has clear instructions for simple food made from scratch. Each recipe includes a little blurb from the authors about why they love the food and how their parents or grandparents taught them to cook.

The photographs are beautiful, with bright colors and mouth-watering food on every page.
Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln by Mark Shulman
Abraham Lincoln: Defender of the Union! 
by Mark Shulman ,Tom Martin (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This graphic novel tells the history of Abraham Lincoln, from his childhood to his death, how he became president, his tragic family grief, and how he guided the American nation through the Civil War, and was ultimately assassinated.

I loved this overview of Lincoln’s life! The cartoony artwork is colorful and bright, with lots of funny details in the background that bring the story to life.

I think the writers did a wonderful job of condensing such a rich life story into so few pages, but still highlighting the most important and memorable aspects of Lincoln’s presidency and personal life. There were many details that I found interesting and engaging, as well as some cute jokes and anecdotes that were entertaining to read. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton by Mark Shulman
Alexander Hamilton: The Fighting Founding Father! (Show Me History!) 
by Mark Shulman ,Kelly Tindall (Illustrator)John Roshell (Illustrator)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This graphic novel follows an overview of Hamilton’s life, his service in the Revolutionary War, and his involvement in constructing the financial laws of the new American government.

It’s difficult to squeeze an entire life into 96 pages, and I thought the balance of story-telling could have been better. Interesting parts of Hamilton’s military career were skimmed over, and a lot more time was dedicated to his political battles to establish a federal government with a national currency, etc… I thought the book would have been more engaging if they had spent slightly less time on the politics, since it doesn’t have as much action.

The art style is cartoony and bright, with a lot of funny details in the background. The art is unpolished, and I think it could have been a little more refined. But still, it’s cute, and the panels have lots of energy. Continue reading