What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Comments

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Tag

In the past 30 days

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing Blog: Becky's Book Reviews, Most Recent at Top
Results 26 - 50 of 6,150
Visit This Blog | Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Blog Banner
Mainly reviews of children's and young adult literature. Primarily focuses on new literature, 2004-present, but may feature older titles if they are "favorites" of mine. Feel free to leave comments. I always enjoy reading what others have to say!
Statistics for Becky's Book Reviews

Number of Readers that added this blog to their MyJacketFlap: 63
26. Smart Fat

Smart Fat. Steven Masley and Jonny Bowden. 2016. HarperOne. 336 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Not too long ago, we were both advocating specific diets for weight loss and wellness.
We weren't just advocates of these plans--we built our professional lives around these two seemingly contradictory nutritional philosophies.


Premise/plot: "Eat more fat. Lose more weight. Get healthy now." Thus the front cover proclaims proudly. This diet book urges a 5-5-10 eating program. 5 Servings of smart fat, 5 Servings of clean (or at least lean) protein, and 10 servings of fiber per day. But it isn't just about what you put into your body, it's also about what you DON'T put into your body--and WHY. So I would say half of this focuses on WHY to change your eating in the first place, why you need to eat more smart fat and very little to no "dumb" fat, why the quality of your food matters--especially in protein, but also other food groups, why eating better will help your health overall. And the other half focuses on the WHAT: what you need to eat, what you don't need to eat, the right serving sizes or portions, etc. This one includes a 30 day meal plan with 50 recipes. This plan isn't just about eating right, however, it is also about living right: exercising, sleeping, finding healthy ways to unstress, etc.

My thoughts: I thought I had sworn off diet books--at least this year. But my Dad wanted me to read this one with him. And so I picked it up. If I were to decide to try this "smart fat" plan, it wouldn't be a drastic change for me. (I already am gluten-free. I already eat a LOT of vegetables and fruit. I already use coconut oil and olive oil. I already aim for a high fiber diet.) But it would be making a few small changes. I do feel better about this book than the other "eat fat" book I reviewed earlier in the year. That one I thought was after people's money and was out to make a LOT of it not just a little. This one I felt was different.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

3 Comments on Smart Fat, last added: 12/29/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
27. 2017 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge
Host: Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book (sign up)
Duration: January - December 2016
# of Books: 78 for three bowls of soup. I'd be content with 70 books. I don't know if I can find books for those tricksy letters in all three bowls of soup. But I've decided to not let that stop me from seeking out the other letters.

Picture Book Soup

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

Book Soup (Juvenile, MG, YA, Adult)

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

Christian Book Soup (Christian Fiction and Christian NONfiction)

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z


© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on 2017 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
28. Christmas Visitor

A Christmas Visitor. Anne Perry. 2004. 199 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: "There, Mr. Rathbone, sir, are yer right?" the old man asked solicitously.

Premise/plot: Henry Rathbone (Oliver's father) is visiting his goddaughter for the Christmas holidays. Her husband has literally just died. And Henry ends up being the one who meets each returning child (all adults) about the death. As the story gets told and retold, questions arise. Was Judah Dreghorn murdered? Who murdered him? Why? Can anyone prove it was murder and not an accident?

My thoughts: For such a short book, it was a surprisingly slow read. Its two hundred pages felt like four hundred. I think it would have been very helpful to break this one into chapters. The book is divided into "parts" and not chapters. One of the key reasons a book feels quick and enjoyable are short-to-medium length chapters. When you come to the end of the chapter, you flip the pages. And let's say the next chapter is four to ten pages in length, it's I HAVE TIME FOR ONE MORE CHAPTER. You can read just "one more chapter" for a good hundred pages or so. But when there are no natural stopping places for seventy-to-eighty pages, then you don't want to read it. You make excuses, I don't have the time now. Authors, pay attention, have chapters work to your benefit.

That being said, I adore the character Henry Rathbone. I got super-attached to him reading the William Monk series. And so I wanted to LOVE this one like crazy. I still think he's a good character. And the characters were more interesting than the ones in A Christmas Journey. There is no comparison between the books. This one is a lot better!!! But it just doesn't compare to her other novels.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Christmas Visitor as of 12/21/2016 11:12:00 AM
Add a Comment
29. Countdown to Christmas, day 21

So Kailana (The Written Word) and I are teaming up again...this time to celebrate CHRISTMAS. 25 days of answering questions! You are definitely welcome to join in on the fun!

Christmas Eve traditions...

Old Christmas Eve traditions
  • last minute shopping
  • eating out for lunch with family 
  • getting together with Mom's side of the family
  • drinking hot cocoa. Tip: never drink hot cocoa through a straw. (I'll never forget that Christmas Eve.)
  • last, last, last second wrapping
  • baking cookies 
  • listening to Charlie Brown Christmas (Vince Guaraldi Trio)
  • trying to find some place--any place--that is open for dinner
  • giving up and getting deli rotisserie chicken from Kroger
  • OR giving up and eating eggs and pancakes for dinner
  • watching Muppet Christmas Carol
  • READING 

New Christmas Eve traditions
  • last, last, last second wrapping
  • eating healthy at home all three meals
  • watching Muppet Christmas Carol
  • reading


© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 Comments on Countdown to Christmas, day 21, last added: 12/29/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
30. 2017 Reading Challenges: Blogger Shame

Blogger Shame Reading Challenge:
Host: Herding Cats and Burning Soup (sign up)
Dates: January - December 2017
Mid Year Check In: First week of June
Wrap Up Post: Last week of December
# of books: MY GOAL is 52 books
Actually, my goal is closer to 104 books. But. We'll see!

My goal is 52 books:

20 books from 2016
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
20 books from 2015
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20. 12 books from 2007-2014
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 Comments on 2017 Reading Challenges: Blogger Shame, last added: 12/29/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
31. Merry Christmas From Betsy

Merry Christmas From Betsy. Carolyn Haywood. 1970/89. 192 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: Thanksgiving was hardly over when Betsy and the rest of the children in the first grade began talking about Christmas.

Premise/plot: Merry Christmas From Betsy is a collection of the Christmas chapters from previous books in the Betsy series by Carolyn Haywood. The stories are sweet and charming and cute. The stories aren't all focused on Betsy either. Her younger sister, Star, who makes her arrival on Christmas Day as the "present that Betsy always wanted" is also a huge part of the book. Some stories focus on the anticipation of Christmas coming, others on Christmas Day itself. All are worth your time.

My thoughts: Really, really enjoyed this one! I haven't read all the Betsy books, but, the few I've read I've really enjoyed. I like spending time with Betsy, Star, their family, their friends.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 Comments on Merry Christmas From Betsy, last added: 12/29/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
32. Top Ten Tuesday: Dear Santa...

This week's Top Ten Tuesday subject from The Broke and the Bookish is Ten Books I'd like Santa to bring me.

  1. 31 Verses to Write On Your Heart by Liz Curtis Higgs
  2. The Ology: Ancient Truths, Ever New by Marty Machowski
  3. The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith by Champ Thornton
  4. Devoted to God: Blueprints for Sanctification by Sinclair B. Ferguson
  5. The Legacy of Luther by R.C. Sproul
  6. Evangelical White Lies by Mike Abendroth
  7. Saving the Bible from Ourselves: Learning to Read & Live the Bible Well by Glenn R. Paauw
  8. The Last Lion: Volume 1 by William Manchester
  9. The Last Lion: Volume 2 by William Manchester
  10. The Last Lion: Volume 3 by William Manchester and Paul Reid
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 Comments on Top Ten Tuesday: Dear Santa..., last added: 12/29/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
33. A Torch Against the Night

A Torch Against the Night. Sabaa Tahir. 2016. 452 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: How did they find us so fast?

Premise/plot: A Torch Against the Night is the sequel to An Ember in the Ashes. It continues the life-and-near-death adventures of Laia, Elias, Keenan, and Helene. This time instead of two narrators, there were three. Helene has been added as a narrator.

Don't pick this one up if you've not read the first book.

My thoughts: Personally, I found the first half sluggish. But. I found the second half, particularly the last 100 pages to be really, really GOOD and oh-so-compelling. I'm not sure why I found this to be an uneven book. I am very glad I stuck with it. I can definitely say it's worth reading, because once it becomes good, it's GOOD.

The characters I cared about most were Laia and Elias. Their chapters were the ones I really looked forward to. I got swept up into their stories, their lives. And all was well. The Helene chapters were necessary, I suppose, because they give readers information that they wouldn't otherwise have. (A behind-the-scenes look at the enemy's plans.) But Helene's chapters felt like a third wheel.

This one has a couple of twists that are good and solid, in my opinion.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on A Torch Against the Night as of 12/20/2016 11:04:00 AM
Add a Comment
34. Countdown to Christmas, day 20

So Kailana (The Written Word) and I are teaming up again...this time to celebrate CHRISTMAS. 25 days of answering questions! You are definitely welcome to join in on the fun!
 Did you ever try to sneak a peek at presents early? Are you a present shaker?!

I never snooped into where unwrapped presents might be. However, once it was wrapped...it was fair game. I am speaking, of course, of the past. You can tell a lot about what something is based on the shape and size. And the sound it makes--or does NOT make when you move it. A book, for example, you can always tell is a BOOK even if you don't know *which* book. I was an expert at spotting Barbie boxes. 

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 Comments on Countdown to Christmas, day 20, last added: 12/29/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
35. Board book: HAIR

Hair. Leslie Patricelli. 2017. Candlewick. 26 pages. [Source: Review copy; board book]

First sentence: I have a hair. I take care of my hair.

Premise/plot: If you're not familiar with Leslie Patricelli's board books--especially if you're a parent with littles--you need to be. The star of this one will be a familiar face to those who have loved--or LOVED, LOVED, LOVED her delightful series. In this one, the baby will be getting a hair cut. Literally one hair cut.

My thoughts: I adore Leslie Patricelli's books. I do. This BABY has long been beloved. So it is great fun for me to see the release of two new books this year. (The Other is Nighty-Night.)

Definitely recommended for families with toddlers.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Board book: HAIR as of 12/19/2016 12:20:00 PM
Add a Comment
36. An Ember in the Ashes

An Ember in the Ashes. Sabaa Tahir. 2015. 446 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: My big brother reaches home in the dark hours before dawn, when even ghosts take their rest.

Premise/plot: An Ember in the Ashes is a great YA fantasy novel with dashes of romance added into the mix. Anyone who enjoys suspense, action, and adventure should give this one a try.

Narration alternates between Laia, a Scholar slave, and Elias, a Mask. Elias hates being a soldier, or soldier in training. He does not want to use and abuse slaves. He doesn't like being ordered to kill, and he dreads the day he'll have to give orders to others to kill. But he lives in a cruel society where kindness, compassion, sincerity are signs of weakness. To 'be human,' to 'feel' is to put a target on yourself. If Elias doesn't keep his real thoughts and desires to himself, he might not survive. Laia is just as vulnerable as Elias in some ways. But even more so since she's a girl and from the Scholar tribe or faction. Most see her as dispensable property. She wants what Elias wants only double. He wants freedom; she wants freedom for herself and her brother who has been imprisoned. She'll risk her life for the smallest chance of saving his.

Those two aren't the only characters we come to know--to love, to like, to hate. Others include Helene, Marcus, Cain, Keenan, Cook, Izzy, Mazen, the Commandant, Spiro Teluman. Notably I think Keenan and Helene and Marcus are key characters in this one.

My thoughts: I loved rereading this compelling fantasy. Action abounds, yet the characterization is so good that I'm tempted to call this a character-driven book. Since I usually dislike dual narrators, it says something that I loved this one so much!


© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

3 Comments on An Ember in the Ashes, last added: 12/29/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
37. Countdown to Christmas, day 19

So Kailana (The Written Word) and I are teaming up again...this time to celebrate CHRISTMAS. 25 days of answering questions! You are definitely welcome to join in on the fun!
When do you wrap presents? As you buy them or the very last minute? Do you love or hate wrapping presents? 

We're terrible, terrible, terrible procrastinators at our house. Not just last-minute wrappers, but last-last-last second wrappers. As in lose-your-sanctification wrappers. As you might have guessed, no one at my house *likes* wrapping presents. The thinking being, well, if I don't do it now, maybe so-and-so will come and do it and I will get out of it. The problem? well, we are all thinking that.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 Comments on Countdown to Christmas, day 19, last added: 12/29/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
38. Letters From Father Christmas

Letters From Father Christmas. J.R.R. Tolkien. 1976/1999. 160 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Dear John, I heard you ask daddy what I was like and where I lived. I have drawn me and my house forr you. Take care of the picture. I am just off now for Oxford with my bundle of toys--some for you. Hope I shall arrive in time: the snow is very thick at the North Pole tonight. Your loving Father Christmas.

Premise/plot: The earliest letter from 'Father Christmas' to the Tolkien children is 1920. The latest letter is dated 1943 to his daughter, Priscilla. The letters speak of Father Christmas' affairs--his adventures and misadventures. Little details about the Tolkiens slip through, of course. He refers to their letters in which they mention pets and toys, etc. He speaks of Polar Bear, his greatest assistant. He speaks of red elves--some. But Father Christmas has a war to fight of his own--against the goblins! (Christmas is almost sabotaged several times!)

My thoughts: I like this one. It is an interesting collection shared with readers. Original letters and pictures (illustrations) are shared. But each letter is also typed up making it easier to read. (Father Christmas has very, very shaky writing. And Polar Bear, well, English is NOT his first or even second language. And he writes with such big paws.) His longest letter is from 1932, and this features, I believe, the first mention of the GOBLINS.

My Dearest Priscilla,
I am so glad you did not forget to write to me again this year. The number of children who keep up with me seems to be getting smaller: I expect it is because of this horrible war, and that when it is over things will improve again, and I shall be as busy as ever. But at present so terribly many people have lost their homes: or have left them; half the world seems in the wrong place. And even up here we have been having troubles. I don't mean only with my stores: of course they are getting low. They were already last year, and I have not been able to fill them up, so that I have now to send what I can instead of what is asked for. But worse than that has happened.
I expect you remember that some years ago we had trouble with the Goblins; and we thought we had settled it. Well, it broke out again this autumn, worse than it has been for centuries. We have had several battles, and for a while my house was besieged. In November it began to look likely that it would be captured and all my goods, and that Christmas Stockings would all remain all over the world. Would not that have been a calamity? It has not happened--and that is largely due to the efforts of Polar Bear-- (142, December 22, 1941)


© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

3 Comments on Letters From Father Christmas, last added: 12/29/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
39. The Christmas Eve Tree

The Christmas Eve Tree. Delia Huddy. Illustrated by Emily Sutton. 2016. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: A forest of Christmas trees stretching over the hills. That's where the story begins. There the little fir tree was planted, but planted carelessly, so that when the wind blew strong it fell sideways onto its neighbor and had no chance to grow.

Premise/plot: This is the story of a 'crooked' and 'unwanted' Christmas tree. He is wanted. He is even needed by a young boy, a homeless boy, who plants the tree in a cardboard box, and prepares another box to be his bed for the night. Soon the tree and the boy are bringing hope and joy to a lot of people as both remind people of what the season is all about.

My thoughts: I liked this one. I did. I do think it is probably for older children--as opposed to preschoolers. It is definitely on the text-heavy side. But. The story is lovely and hope-filled. This is exactly the kind of story that would be an animated short.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 8 out of 10
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on The Christmas Eve Tree as of 12/18/2016 8:26:00 AM
Add a Comment
40. Countdown to Christmas, day 17, 18

So Kailana (The Written Word) and I are teaming up again...this time to celebrate CHRISTMAS. 25 days of answering questions! You are definitely welcome to join in on the fun! I'm sharing the list now to give you time to prepare. It officially starts December 1.
Favorite Christmas books (top 3, 5, 10) 

Velveteen Rabbit
Best Christmas Pageant Ever
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Polar Express
Doomsday Book

Favorite Christmas scenes from books and/or movies...

There are some lovely Christmas scenes in the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary. (Ramona dressing up as a sheep in her pajamas.) There are some lovely scenes in the Little House books. (Too many to list, but most books have at least one winter if not two or three.) And especially the Anne books by L.M. Montgomery. Who could forget Matthew getting a dress with puffed sleeves for his Anne-girl?!

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 Comments on Countdown to Christmas, day 17, 18, last added: 12/29/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
41. 2017 Reading Challenges: Victorian

Victorian Reading Challenge
Host: Becky's Book Reviews
Duration: January - December 2017
Goal: Read a minimum of 4 Victorian books
Feel free to copy/paste this. You can replace the _ with an X or a ✔ (copy/paste it) when you finish reading a book. If you list the books you read, that may help other people decide what to read.

_ 1. A book under 200 pages
_ 2. A book over 400 pages
_ 3. A book that REALLY intimidates you
_ 4. A book you REALLY want to reread
_ 5. A new-to-you book by a FAVORITE author
_ 6. A book with illustrations
_ 7. A book that was originally published serially
_ 8. A book published between 1837-1849
_ 9. A book published between 1850-1860
_ 10. A book published between 1861-1870
_ 11. A book published between 1871-1880
_ 12. A book published between 1881-1890
_ 13. A book published between 1891-1901
_ 14. A book published between 1902-1999 with a Victorian setting
_ 15. A book published between 2000-2017 with a Victorian setting
_ 16. A book by Charles Dickens
_ 17. A book by Wilkie Collins
_ 18. A book by Anthony Trollope
_ 19. A book by Elizabeth Gaskell
_ 20. A book by George Eliot
_ 21. A book by a new-to-you male author
_ 22. A book by a new-to-you female author
_ 23. A book translated into English
_ 24. A fiction or nonfiction book about Queen Victoria
_ 25. A book that has been filmed as movie, miniseries, or television show
_ 26. A play OR a collection of short stories OR a collection of poems
_ 27. Biography, Autobiography, or NONFICTION book about the Victorian era
_ 28. Genre or Subgenre of your choice (mystery, suspense, romance, gothic, adventure, western, science fiction, fantasy)
_ 29. Book with a name as the title
_ 30. Book You've Started but Never Finished
_ 31. A Christian book fiction or nonfiction
_ 32. A children's book

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

5 Comments on 2017 Reading Challenges: Victorian, last added: 12/29/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
42. 2017 Reading Challenges: Share-a-Tea

Share-a-Tea
Host: Becky's Book Reviews (sign up)
dates: January - December 2017
# of books: aiming for 6

1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)
9)
10)

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on 2017 Reading Challenges: Share-a-Tea as of 12/17/2016 4:20:00 PM
Add a Comment
43. 2017 Reading Challenges: Picture Book Reading Challenge



Original artwork by Charles Haigh-Wood (1856-1927)
Host: Becky's Book Reviews (sign up)
Duration: January - December 2017
Goal: To have adults read more picture books. To celebrate the fact that picture books are for everyone! Families are, of course, welcome to join in!
# of books: minimum of 6

Feel free to copy/paste this. You can replace the _ with an X or a ✔ (copy/paste it) when you finish reading a book. If you list the books you read, that may help other people decide what to read.

_ 1. An alphabet book
_ 2. A counting book
_ 3. Concept book: shapes or numbers or opposites or colors
_ 4. a book set on a farm or in the country
_ 5. a book set in the city or in an urban area
_ 6. a book set at the beach, in the ocean, or by a lake
_ 7. a book with human characters
_ 8. a book with animal characters
_ 9. a bedtime book
_ 10. a rhyming book
_ 11. a book celebrating art
_ 12. a book celebrating dance
_ 13. a book celebrating music
_ 14. a book celebrating family (parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc.)
_ 15. a book about feelings, expressing feelings
_ 16. a book with a twist (unexpected) ending
_ 17. a book about pets (cats, dogs, fish)
_ 18. a book celebrating libraries or reading
_ 19. a book translated into English (originally published in another language/country)
_ 30. a book about trains or planes
_ 31. a book about cars or trucks
_ 32. a book about starting school
_ 33. a book about friendship (sharing, caring, forgiving)
_ 34. a book about being ME, about being unique, special, loved, etc.
_ 35. a fairy tale
_ 36. a twisted (adapted) fairy tale
_ 37. a book about a holiday
_ 38. a new-to-you author
_ 39. a new-to-you illustrator
_ 40. a book about new experiences (dentist, doctor, sleepovers, movies, playing sports, learning to swim, etc.)
_ 41. a series book
_ 42. a book celebrating food (cooking, eating, trying new foods, eating healthy)
_ 43. a book published before 1950
_ 44. a book published in the 1950s
_ 45. a book published in the 1960s
_ 46. a book published in the 1970s
_ 47. a book published in the 1980s
_ 48. a book published in the 1990s
_ 49. a book published in the 2000s
_ 50. a book published 2010-2016
_ 51. a book published in 2017
_ 52. a book by Dr. Seuss
_ 53. a book by Mo Willems
_ 54. a book by Jan Thomas
_ 55. a book by Eric Carle
_ 56. a book by Laura Numeroff
_ 57. a book by Patricia Polacco
_ 58. a book by Jon Klassen
_ 59. a book by Beatrix Potter
_ 60. a book by Kevin Henkes
_ 61. a book written or illustrated by LeUyen Pham
_ 62. a Caldecott winner
_ 63.  a Caldecott honor
_ 64. a picture book biography
_ 65. a nonfiction picture book
_ 66. a book from your childhood
_ 67. a book you discovered as an adult
_ 68. a book celebrating writing, being an author or illustrator
_ 69. a library book
_ 70. an audio book
_ 71.  a book about dinosaurs OR dragons
_ 72. nonfiction book about animals (or animal)
_ 73. a challenged book OR a controversial book
_ 74. a book that makes you laugh
_ 75. a book that makes you cry
_ 76. hate the text, love the art
_ 77. love the text, hate the art
_ 78. a book with a great cover
_ 79. a book with an ugly cover
_ 80. a book about toys
_ 81. a book about weather
_ 82. a picture book for older readers
_ 83. a book of jokes, riddles, tongue-twisters
_ 84. a book about seasons
_ 85. a song
_ 86. a poetry book
_ 87. a book by a celebrity
_ 88.  a book published in Australia
_ 89. a book published in the UK
_ 90. a book about science or math
_ 91. a book about history or historical event
_ 92. a book about sports
_ 93. a book about celebrating birthdays
_ 94. a book about a President or world leader
_ 95. a book about another country
_ 96. a book celebrating faith
_ 97. a pop-up book, or, a book with cut-outs or flaps or fold-outs
_ 98. a bilingual book
_ 99.  a television series that has been adapted to a book
_ 100. a book that has been adapted to a television series
_ 101. an adaptation of a myth or legend
 


© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on 2017 Reading Challenges: Picture Book Reading Challenge as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
44. Ghost

Ghost. Jason Reynolds. 2016. 192 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Check this out. This dude named Andrew Dahl holds the world record for blowing up the most balloons...with his nose.

Premise/plot: Castle Cranshaw (aka GHOST) narrates Jason Reynolds' Ghost. He's a seventh grader who 'accidentally' finds himself on one of the city's greatest track teams, the Defenders. One minute he's watching from the sidelines eating his sunflower seeds, and, the next he's out on the track trying to beat the newbie, Lu, in the 100 meter. At first, before the race, the coach is surprised and unhappy. After the race, the coach is eager to have him on the team. Very eager. Ghost's mom is skeptical about the whole sports team thing. But she reluctantly agrees on one condition: he has to stay out of trouble. (And he has to keep up with his school work.)

My thoughts: The book covers a short span of time--less than month--but from cover to cover it kept me engaged. So engaged that I was upset when it ended. Note I did not say HOW it ended, but that it ended at all. I had become attached to all the characters: Ghost, Lu, Patty, Sunny, and especially the COACH. (I did like his Mom well enough, it's just that she was working so hard and so long--working in the hospital cafeteria, taking nursing classes on the side--that we didn't get a lot of scenes with her. Another notable, for me, was Mr. Charles, the store owner who sheltered Ghost and his mom when they were running for their lives, the man who has remained a part of his life because he sells him sunflower seeds every single day after school.)

To sum it up: I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this one. Even though I don't really "like" sports books. I think those looking for character-driven novels can claim this one. Yet, at the same time, I think maybe just maybe those looking for action-driven novels can equally claim this one.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 Comments on Ghost, last added: 12/29/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
45. Countdown to Christmas, day 15, 16

So Kailana (The Written Word) and I are teaming up again...this time to celebrate CHRISTMAS. 25 days of answering questions! You are definitely welcome to join in on the fun!

Favorite Christmas songs or albums currently...  

Christmas with the Rat Pack
Christmas Michael Buble
Christmas with the Puppini Sisters
Christmas From the Realms of Glory

Favorite Christmas movies or specials currently...
 Not much has changed! My favorites are old favorites. Unless you count Iron Man 3?! I do like Shop Around the Corner which I discovered a few Christmases ago.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 Comments on Countdown to Christmas, day 15, 16, last added: 12/29/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
46. The Nutcracker (Golden Book)

The Nutcracker. Rita Balducci. Illustrated by Barbara Lanza. 1991. 24 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: Once there was a little girl named Clara whose family was having a wonderful party on Christmas Eve.

Premise/plot: Rita Balducci adapts the story of the Nutcracker for a Little Golden Book. The illustrations are by Barbara Lanza.

My thoughts: This one avoids being text heavy. The adaptation is just right. It isn't too simple. It isn't too complicated. There are enough illustrations to balance the text. And the pacing seems really well done perhaps because there are just a handful of sentences on each page. The illustrations really seem to sweep you away into a magical dreamland.

This is a great way to introduce younger children to the ballet, perhaps before they attend their first performance of it!

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 10 out of 10

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on The Nutcracker (Golden Book) as of 12/16/2016 12:12:00 PM
Add a Comment
47. Stowaway in a Sleigh

Stowaway in a Sleigh. C. Roger Mader. 2016. HMH. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: It was the darkest hour of night when Slipper heard strange footsteps in the house.

Premise/plot: Slipper the cat is curious about her new acquaintance, Mr. Furry Boots. She sneaks unnoticed into his bag. After some adventures at the North Pole--she loves Ms. Furry Boots too--she begins to long for home.

My thoughts: Oh, how I loved this one. LOVE. The text is simple and sweet. But it was the illustrations that left me smitten. Cat-lovers need this one. NEED. It is perfectly perfect.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 10 out of 10

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Stowaway in a Sleigh as of 12/17/2016 11:02:00 AM
Add a Comment
48. 2017 Reading Challenges: Charity Challenge


Charity Reading Challenge
Host: Becky's Book Reviews (sign up here)
Duration: January-December 2017
# of books: You decide

My charity is Habitat for Humanity

1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)
9)
10)




© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on 2017 Reading Challenges: Charity Challenge as of 12/17/2016 3:00:00 PM
Add a Comment
49. 2017 Reading Challenges: European

European Reading Challenge
Host: Rose City Reader (sign up) (reviews) (wrap-up)
dates: January 2017-January 2018
# of books: I'm aiming for 5+

 THE GIST: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour. (See note about the UK, below)

WHAT COUNTS AS "EUROPE"?: We stick with the same list of 50 sovereign states that fall (at least partially) within the geographic territory of the continent of Europe and/or enjoy membership in international European organizations such as the Council of Europe. This list includes the obvious (the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy), the really huge Russia, the tiny Vatican City, and the mixed bag of Baltic, Balkan, and former Soviet states.

THE LIST: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.

What I read:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)


© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on 2017 Reading Challenges: European as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
50. 2017 Reading Challenges: Old School Kidlit

Old School Kidlit Reading Challenge
Host: Read-at-Home Mom (sign up
Dates: January - December
# of books: for me, 12;

(Link-up posts will be published on the last weekday of the month. If you post about the challenge on Twitter or Instagram, use the hashtag #oldschoolkidlit2017. )
  • January: Award winners 
  • February: Books you loved in childhood 
  • March: Published prior to 1945 
  • April: Fantasy stories 
  • May: Animal stories 
  • June: Required reading (classics or other books typically assigned in school) 
  • July:  Family stories 
  • August: Nonfiction  
  • September: School stories 
  • October:  Mysteries 
  • November: Published in the year (or decade) of your birth 
  • December: Winter stories 
January:
February:
March:
April:
May:
June:
July:
August:
September:
October:
November:
December:

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on 2017 Reading Challenges: Old School Kidlit as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts