Non Fiction Review: Space Encyclopedia

Space Encyclopedia by David A. Aguilar

Space Encyclopedia: A Tour of Our Solar System and Beyond
by David A. Aguilar (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

This book puts the reader into an imaginary spaceship, the Stella Nova, complete with scientists and crew. We follow the ship’s log as we travel through the solar system and learn about each planet, asteroid, moon, and dwarf planet.

Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Nerdlet Animals

Nerdlet by T J Resler

Nerdlet: Animals
by T J Resler
5 out of 5 stars

Did you know that some frogs can grow hair? There is a lizard that can run on top of water, and moth that drinks the tears of other animals. The okapi look almost like zebras with the head of a giraffe on a short neck.

This is such an informative and interesting book! Every page is filled with amazing facts and information about each animal. There are also wild destinations around the world where you can see cool and weird animals on land and in the sea. I loved reading the short bios of famous and influential animal experts. Of course I had to take some of the quizzes to find out my animal personality and my animal super-hero name.

Continue reading

Book Review: The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre

The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine

The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre (The Two Princesses of Bamarre, #0.5)
by Gail Carson Levine (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

Perry is the adopted daughter of Lakti noble parents, but her real parents are Bamarre servants. Her true bloodline is kept a secret, because the Bamarre people are considered inferior and cowardly. The fairy Halina visits Perry and urges her to embrace her true heritage and free the Bamarre people from Lakti tyranny. With the help of a magic tablecloth, seven-league boots, and a perfect disguise, Perry plunges into espionage and rebellion. But can she ever escape her Lakti upbringing and be accepted by the Bamarre?

Continue reading

Book Review: Down the Rabbit Hole

Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams
Down the Rabbit Hole (Echo Falls, #1)
by Peter Abrahams

1 out of 5 stars


Ingrid solves a murder mystery while auditioning to be Alice in a theater play of “Alice in Wonderland”.

I did not enjoy this book. There is profanity, under-age drinking, under-age gun usage, and domestic violence. Ugh.

The writing style is full of fragments. I don’t mind a fragmented sentence every once in a while for emphasis or to draw the reader’s attention to something specific. Sometimes there is a pacing that needs a fragment or a run-on sentence to achieve a kind of pattern in the narrative, but this was just excessive. So many fragments that it got really tiresome.

Book Review: Larklight

Larklight by Philip Reeve
Larklight (Larklight, #1)
by Philip Reeve (Author), David Wyatt (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Arthur and his sister Myrtle live in a space home in an outer orbit of the Moon, and they find it very boring. Nothing ever happens in such a remote area of space, and they long to travel to Earth, or see the colonies on Mars, or visit the exciting moons of Jupiter. One day their home is visited by a mysterious stranger named Mr. Webster, and they are thrown into an adventure that takes them across the solar system with pirates, ancient civilizations, and alien spies.

I loved everything about this book! The plot, the characters, the hilarious writing, the world-building, the mystery, the adventure, and every single dramatic chapter all kept me reading for hours on end. This is one of those books where there isn’t a good place to stop reading. You just have to keep going through the next chapter and the next. Continue reading

Book Review: The Elephant

The Elephant by Peter Carnavas
The Elephant
by Peter Carnavas

5 out of 5 stars

Olive imagines her father’s sadness like a gray elephant that follows him around and weighs him down. She enlists the help of her best friend and her grandfather to figure out how to chase away the depressing elephant and cheer her father up.

I am so impressed with this thoughtful and sweet middle grade novel. The story is really emotional, and the writing gently leads us through the journey that Olive takes to reach out to her father. All the elements in the story dove-tail together so beautifully: a project that Olive is working on for school, an old broken bike, a colorful pigeon, a paper airplane that floats on the breeze, and a jacaranda tree in Olive’s backyard. Olive and her grandfather have a favorite song they love to sing together. Olive’s best friend, Arthur, reads a huge book all about elephants and shares it with Olive. There are a dozen little details like these that make this book truly special and meaningful. Continue reading

Book Review: The Star Dunes

The Star Dunes by Trudi Trueit
The Star Dunes (Explorer Academy #4)
by Trudi Trueit (Goodreads Author)

5 out of 5 stars


Cruz is in Africa searching for the missing clues his mother left behind for him to find after her death. The explorers help a family of mountain gorillas in Uganda, and then follow the clues to a desert region of Africa. The evil Nebula organization is breathing down their necks, and Cruz is devastated when one of his friends is targeted.

I loved this plot! There is plenty of action and suspense. I never knew what was going to happen next! I really loved that Lani is finally part of the team! She is such an interesting character.

The exotic locations are amazing, and I loved learning about different conservation efforts in Uganda and Namibia and all the national parks.

Continue reading

Book Review: Spark and the League of Ursus

Spark and the League of Ursus by Robert Repino
Spark and the League of Ursus
by Robert Repino

2 out of 5 stars


Spark is a teddy bear, sworn to protect her owner from the monsters that attack in the night. But when a truly powerful monster threatens the children of the house, it will take a special league of bears to fight off the monster.

This book was darker and scarier than I expected. The monster is really freaky, with scales, insect claws, pincers, horns, spider legs, and the head of a human. The monster wears a creepy medallion around its neck with a human head on it that comes to life. Even with all the gross descriptions of this monster, I can’t quite picture it in my head. It’s like half-human, half scorpion. Ugh. Continue reading