What Book Made You Fall in Love with Reading?

Goodreads posed the question:

What book made you fall in love with reading?

For me it was was in different stages. 
    In elementary it was Amelia Bedelia. >Visit Here<
    In middle school it was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. It was the first time I realized that movies changed endings. I was both proud and devastated.  >Visit Here<
    #thestrugglewasreal in junior high. Sports were introduced and I figured out I could run {like Forest}.
    In high school it was the short story Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin. It is still one of my all time favorite short stories. >Read Here<
    In college I only read what I had too. Those were very dark times... 
Listopia on GoodReads has a great list of
The Must-Have Series for Children Ages 6 to 12.

I polled all the little middle-grade readers running through my house this summer and these are the top 5 they recommend. Check out Listopia's list >HERE< for a huge variety of middle-grade series. The list is for the must-have series in a library that children ages 6 - 12 can read for themselves.
  1. Diary of a Whimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  2. Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
  3. Jason Strange books
  4. I Survived by Lauren Tarshis
  5. Warriors by Erin Hunter

Book Review: Penguin Problems by Jory John

Have you ever considered running away to Antarctica? Of course you have! Because it’s a land free of worries and responsibilities! All of your problems will surely be blown away by the icy winds of that lawless paradise! . . . Won’t they?

Think again, my friend. This penguin has come to tell you that his life down there is no more a picnic than yours is here. For starters, it is FREEZING. Also, penguins have a ton of natural predators. Plus, can you imagine trying to find your mom in a big ol’ crowd of identical penguins? No, thank you.

Yes, it seems there is no escaping the drudgery of your daily grind, whatever it might be. Or perhaps we’ve just learned that grumps are everywhere. . . .

Release Date: September 2016
Age Group: Children
Source: Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat

"Everybody's got problems, good luck with yours." 
Bernie Packard 
This is a common quote that is repeated in our small town. It just cracks me up every time I hear it because it always reminds me of all the Negative Nancy's I meet. You know the person that always has to bring up the negative side of ANY situation. Every family has one. Currently in our house, it is #Hurricane, our middle child. 

He is our Penguin.

I sat both my boys down to read #penguinproblems to them and use my best disgruntled voice possible, I was really determined to get the point of this book across. My 5 year old ate it up and made little comments about how unhappy the Penguin was while #Hurricane laid there silent, on his face. #palmtoface

Midway through he turned over and hid his grin after I said we were reading a book about him. I told him we were changing his nickname to penguin, he frowned but kept listening.

After the book was over our conversation went like this:

Me: So, what was up with that Penguin? Did he learn anything?

5 year old: yea, I think.

Hurricane: He learned to be grateful for the things he has.
*Me thinking "Ah, so he did get the plot"

Me: So what are you grateful for?

5 year old: Hockey, yea hockey is on ice. I loooove it so much. 
*He has never seen a hockey puck in his life.

Me: okay, cool. Hurricane what about you?

Hurricane: Nothing. 

Me: What?! Nothing? Really?

Hurricane: Nope, nothing.

Me: Huh.

Hurricane: Fine, I am grateful for our house and all the other stuff I'm supposed to say. I learned to not argue and be happy mom, I just didn't want to say it right now.

Me: *internally screams and shoots daggers toward child. That's nice.

Penguin Problems is a great children's book for teaching young readers to see the good in their life instead of all the negative, because lets face it, life is SO unfair when you are 8 or younger. The text has the droll yet funny personality of a complainer with illustrations to match.  It is really easy to manipulate for reading aloud and just the right length to keep small children's attention.

I highly recommend this book for elementary teachers. There are so many areas that this book could cover: feelings, being different but yet the same, manners, animals in the arctic, predators, even technology. There is a hashtag that is attached to this book: #penguinproblems. It would be really fun to create an activity off of that, I mean I know I would eat it up but I'm odd. Any avenue to introduce technology to kids is a win in my book. #punintended

This is also a great book to gift. I will be purchasing several copies of this book when the holiday season hits! 

A special thank you to Random House for sending me this advanced reader wrapped in the cutest book bag ever! We have been sporting it to the library for the summer reading program. I have convinced my kids that when they walk in with the bag, people probably whisper how jealous they are of our penguin. Then I tell them, remember, everybody's got problems... but a sweet book bag isn't one of ours!

The Dino Files: A Mysterious Egg (#1) by Stacy McAnulty

Summary: Frank’s grandma is a famous paleontologist (that’s a dinosaur scientist). But she’s also an adult who makes up rules. Rules like: no digging for dinosaur bones when you have a sunburn. That means Frank is stuck playing inside with his annoying cousin, Samantha. But then Grandma finds a fossil of an egg! And when Frank and Sam sneak into the dino lab late at night, they find something even more amazing. . . .

The hilarious Dino Files chapter book series follows a nine-year-old dinosaur expert, his paleontologist grandparents, a cat named Saurus, and fossils that might not be so extinct!

Release Date: January 2016
Age Group: Middle Grade
Source: Publisher
Reviewed By: Macy Kate

1. Who are the main characters? Did you have a favorite and why?
The main characters are Frank, Sam, Peanut and Saurus. My favorite character was Saurus because he was lazy and fat and looked cuddly. I love cuddly! 

2. What is the story setting?
The story is set at a dinosaur dig site, a museum and also at Aaron's barn. 

3. What was one main event?
One main event was when peanut went missing! I was so sad and scared that he had been kidnapped (no spoilers though).

4. What didn't you like?
I enjoyed every bit of this book! Really.

5. Was the book easy to follow (understand)?
The book was very, very easy to follow.

6.  What is your overall opinion of the series? Will you continue?
This series is awesome and I really want read the next book, Too Big to Hide.

Note from Nat:
Overall, this is a great middle grade series for: 
  • Hesitant readers. The writing style is really easy to follow and comprehend.
  • Both girls & boys.
  • Animal lovers.
  • Future scientists.
  • Little sleuth's.
This is a series that is fresh and just beginning to roll out and will give young readers something to look forward too and begin to develop those feelings of anticipation (and sometimes distress :). It is best to start them young and really develop these intense book habits-- really it's good for our society.

 image source: goodreads.com

2016 Summer Book to Movie Adaptations

Summer is here and the heat is on here in Texas. Usually by 10am we have hit at least 84 degrees. My favorite retreat is the theater because when I step outside at noon I have flashes of the Wicked Witch screaming "I'm Melting, I'm Melting!" And then it leads me to thoughts of wanting to watch Wicked... the heat really affects my thought process. 

Here are my top 5 anticipated book to movie adaptations this summer. 

Me Before You: Now Playing
Just bring tissues and chocolate.

Pete's Dragon: August 12th.
Not an adaptation but it is just pure nostalgia for me. My kids are not as nearly excited as I am because they haven't seen the original Disney film. #Iwillrectifythewrong

The Legend of Tarzan: July 1st
Tarzan is one of those characters that has been adapted in some form for the last 100 years. My grandma talks about the first Tarzan film and I loved the Disney cartoon.  He is just so barbaric!

BFG: July 1st
Who in there right mind isn't freaking excited about BFG!? Anything Rohald Dahl inspired has my attention. Middle grade readers should be really interested in this adaptation (and all mom's who have read all the Dahl books > #thisgirlrighthere <).

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: September 30th
Shout out to my hair lady woman goddess stylist Morgan! She has been talking this series up for the last year. Naturally, I should have read these already but what can I say, I'm a rebel. This series is next up! It has such a weird vibe to it, I can hardly wait!

Bookmark Round-Up

Summer is here and I plan to read it away! Who doesn't like a good bookmark? Here is my round-up of fun bookmark ideas. Some ideas are as simple as just printing and others require a little Youtube tutorial. 







If you have fun summer activities or traditions that are book inspired, please SHARE! 

#soratherrread #summerreading #readersgonnaread