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

Non Fiction Review: Extreme Ocean

Extreme Ocean by Sylvia A Earle
Extreme Ocean: Amazing Animals, High-Tech Gear, Record-Breaking Depths, and More
by Sylvia A Earle,  Glen Phelan 

5 out of 5 stars


With stunning photographs, this book chronicles the ocean explorations of the author, a marine biologist. Along with personal stories and anecdotes, this book includes the facts and science about everything in the ocean from currents to sharks.

The first section explores waves, tsunamis, and currents, ice shelves, and answers why the ocean is blue and why it contains salt water.

The second chapter focuses on the fish and animals that live in the ocean. There are articles and facts about seals, whales, and other mammals, as well as fish and creatures that live in the deepest parts of the ocean. The photographs of these fish are absolutely gorgeous, showcasing their bright colors and delicate fins. There are also facts about sea plants like kelp forests, and a whole page about coral reefs. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Turn It Up!

Turn It Up! by National Geographic Kids
Turn It Up!: A Pitch-Perfect History of Music That Rocked the World
by National Geographic Kids

5 out of 5 stars

This book gives an overview of the history of music and how music developed over time to include different styles. With paintings and photographs showcased in a colorful design, this book is sure to capture the attention of anyone interested in music!

I really love how the information is organized in easy-to-read text boxes. Each chapter focuses on one era of music history, covering Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist, Modern, and Post-Modern music.

This book has biographies and songs of music styles like Jazz, Pop, Big Band, Blues, Rock, Reggae, Heavy Metal, and a dozen more, featuring music stars, composers, singers, musicians, conductors, and influencers who created the music we know today. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman by Barbara Kramer
Harriet Tubman
by Barbara Kramer

5 out of 5 stars


Harriet Tubman was born as a slave and escaped to freedom. She worked tirelessly to free other slaves and even served as a spy during the American Civil War. She is best known for her work as a “conductor,” guiding slaves to freedom through the “Underground Railroad,” a series of safe houses called “stations” that allowed slaves to travel undetected to the Northern United States and Canada.

I loved the simple writing style, easy for a beginner to understand. There are fact boxes in the corners that explain the meanings of words, and give direct quotes from Tubman. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: Susan B. Anthony

National Geographic Readers by Kitson Jazynka
National Geographic Readers: Susan B. Anthony
by Kitson Jazynka

5 out of 5 stars

Susan B. Anthony worked tirelessly to secure votes and liberty for women in the United States. This book gives an overview of her life and her work, with explanations about petitions, laws, newspaper articles, and how these things influenced Anthony’s work. There is also interesting information about clothing styles, employment, habits, and how people lived in at the turn of the century.

I loved the simple writing style, easy for a beginner to understand. There are sections for an adult to read aloud, and then a smaller section with easier words and larger font for the child to read. It’s a great way to teach a child new words, and get them involved in reading together!

The colorful design and old-timey photos captured my attention. There are also activities and questions that get the reader engaged and make them think carefully about the ideas in the book. I appreciated how thoughtful the questions are and how much goes into the design! Continue reading

Book Review: Zeus the Mighty

Zeus the Mighty by Crispin Boyer
Zeus the Mighty: The Quest for the Golden Fleas
by Crispin Boyer

4 out of 5 stars

Zeus is a hamster who rules the kingdom of the pet store along with the other Olympian gods, Athena the cat, Demeter the cricket, Ares the dog, and Poseidon the puffer fish. These animals have mystic powers and find artifacts that help them in their adventures. When Poseidon questions Zeus’ ability to rule, Zeus goes on a quest to find the Golden Fleas (Fleece) to prove that he is worthy to be king of the gods.

I loved this funny book! The animals all have vivid personalities, and I loved their hilarious dialogue. It’s so clever how Greek mythology is woven into the pet store setting. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: The Big Book of Bling

The Big Book of Bling by Rose M Davidson
The Big Book of Bling: Ritzy Rocks, Extravagant Animals, Sparkling Science, and More!
by Rose M Davidson

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This book gives amazing information and wacky facts about bling of all kinds, from gorgeous gems to flashy fish to colorful festivals around the world.
Not just about the diamonds and gold, this book talks about animals that use dazzling colors to attract a mate or fend off predators, the most expensive luxury items of the ancient and modern worlds, and the most extravagant palaces and mansions around the world.

There are caves that sparkle in the darkness with luminescence, showy waterfalls, armor from the middle ages, twinkling stars, stunning ice formations and glaciers, the most expensive cars, and the most iconic movie props of all time. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: Nerd A-Z

Nerd A to Z by Tamara J. Resler
Nerd A to Z: Your Reference to Literally Figuratively Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know
by Tamara J. Resler, National Geographic Society (Contributor)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


If you are interested in being that person who knows the facts, has the smarts, and can problem-solve with the experts, then this book is for you. Full of information about science, arts, culture, geography, history, and technology, this book is the perfect encyclopedia of knowledge for the coolest people on earth- nerds!

At the very beginning of the book there is a flow chart quiz, “What Kind of Nerd Are You?”, so you can discover if you’re a scientist, a culture connoisseur, a tech expert, a genius at geography, or a designer. Once you’ve found out your special interest, you can take another flow chart quiz to find your niche within that subject. No matter if your interests are sports, music, art, science, virtual reality tech, cartography, zoology, genetics, or botany, there is a cool quiz to take and a whole book full of cool information on that subject! Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: Brain Candy

Brain Candy by Julie Beer
Brain Candy: 500 Sweet Facts to Satisfy Your Curiosity
by Julie Beer,  Chelsea Lin

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


“Have you ever wondered which is hotter: the surface of the sun or the core of the Earth?” This book is packed with crazy facts and wild information to satisfy even the most curious minds! There are factoids about history, science, animals, writing, music, outer space, food, sports, and of course the weird human body.

I love how colorful this book is! Each page is full of vibrant photos and bright text boxes with nuggets of wacky information.

I only wish that each fact had more data explaining about the information. For instance, “A five-story inflated yellow duck travels to city harbors around the world.” Why is there a huge rubber duck that travels around? Who owns it? What is its purpose? haha! I need more info! I guess I’ll have to google it. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Book Review: Don’t Read This Book Before Dinner

Don't Read This Book Before Dinner by Anna Claybourne
Don’t Read This Book Before Dinner: Revoltingly True Tales of Foul Food, Icky Animals, Horrible History, and More (Don’t Read This Book)
by Anna Claybourne, National Geographic Society (Contributor)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Have you ever wondered how much mucus your sinuses make every day? Or what types of insects various cultures around the world consider to be delicious cuisine? Or how much pee rodents are leaving in the walls of your house? Wonder no more, because this book covers a multitude of disgusting and disturbing facts about the gross things of the world.

With sections about rats, toads, plants, insects, germs, food, mold, skunks, mummies, and dozens more, this book will definitely gross you out! Heed the warnings, and do NOT read it before eating! Continue reading