Archive for the ‘Children’s (ARC)’ Category

5 stars



by D. Maria Trimble542298_399037073521655_1928686311_n

Published November 25th 2012 by D. Maria Trimble




When our young warrior, Amáne, with her dragon, Eshshah, embark on their quest to procure a dragon egg from Castle Teravinea, they discover the unimaginable cruelty of the tyrant who rules the kingdom … Only Amáne and Eshshah can put the true heir of Teravinea on the throne. Her mother’s final words, that she follow her heart, echo in Amáne’s thoughts. Convinced it is a path she cannot follow, she must neglect her happiness. Her duty to the throne comes first — even if it means sacrificing her friendship with Prince Ansel. The dragon and rider pair bravely face the dangerous mission that looms ahead.




As you know, if you have been reading my reviews, I LOVED the first book in this series and I was curious how things would develop for the various characters in the second book. I was hoping to see some character development and maybe even learn a bit more about some of the characters’ pasts, and the second installment, Amáne of Teravinea- The Prophecy, did not disappoint. I was so enthralled with this book that I literally could not put it down, or fall asleep for that matter. I stayed up until I had finished the entire book. It is not often that a book is so good that I stay up all night and read it.

There was a lot of action, adventure, and danger as Amáne goes on another quest, this time to try to acquire one of the dragon eggs that have been held hostage by King Galtero. The remaining Dragon Riders, who have been in hiding, need an egg so that they can try to figure out why there has not been another Dragon Rider chosen, even though the Hatching Ceremony had been held every year. While in the castle Amáne receives help from an unexpected source, one she had never expected to meet, especially in those circumstances and learns more about her linking mark with the black dragon. This is a fast paced book. If you read it too fast, there will definitely be parts that you miss.

In Amáne of Teravinea- The Prophecy, we also see more character development and a lot more romance. A good portion of this book is devoted to the growing romance between Amáne and Ansel but there is also another budding romance that develops in this book between two unlikely characters, you will just have to read the book to find out who this new couple is. With every book, I fall more in love with Ansel, he really seems like a great guy and by the end of the book Amáne and Ansel have even more in common than you or they would ever have imagined.

In the second installment of this series, Amáne is still a very strong and independent female, a great role model for young girls. She is smart and strong, even when she is thinking about Ansel or with Ansel, which is not something you often see in a female lead, often they act all stupid around a guy, but not Amáne, she keeps it together.

I am eagerly awaiting the third book in this series; I can’t wait to see how everything develops.

I recommend this book to anyone from grade 6 on up though adult. It is clean and wholesome, but has enough adventure, fighting, and romance to keep the reader interested.

I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.


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homeless5 stars



by Sarah Lean
Published September 4th 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books (first published April 26th 2012)




When Cally Fisher says she sees her dead mother, no one believes her. The only other living soul who sees Cally’s mom is a mysterious wolfhound who always seems to be there when her mom appears. And when Cally stops talking–what’s the point if no one is listening?–how will she convince anyone that her mom is still with them or persuade her dad that the huge silver-gray dog is their last link with her?

“A Dog Called Homeless” is the gentle and touching story of how one girl’s friendship with a homeless dog can mend a family’s heart.




I was very surprised by this book, I started it then stopped and come back to it for another try after finishing another book I had on my list, and I am very glad I gave it another shot. This story started out really slow in the beginning but picked up the pace a couple chapters in and ended up being a really great book.

A Dog Called homeless was very sad but also very happy at the same time. It is a great book for lower grades, maybe 3rd through 5th or 6th, depending on the reading level of the child. It deals with tough issues such as the death of a parent, moving from your home, a parent not being able to afford things for you, how to befriend someone with a major disability, friends who are mean to you, the list could go on.

I liked how Cally saw her mom, it helped her to deal with the loss and also helped lead her to a very happy ending. In the big scheme of things, the fact that Cally saw her mom is not all that important, it is not a supernatural book in any way, it is more like Cally’s mom knew that Cally needed her for a bit longer and was watching over her.

Cally grew up quite a lot in this book and she also helped to keep her family together after the death of her mom. She helped to teach her own father that he needed to focus a bit more on the kids and find a way to deal with the tragic loss of his wife in a way that did not isolate him from his children, who needed him so much during this time period.

I was disappointed in most of the counselors and teachers in the school, they never said anything to the girls that were harassing Cally, they actually blamed her for causing problems and punished her for things these mean girls did. Most of the adults didn’t seem to grasp the concept that Cally was hurting inside and didn’t seem to care that she had recently lost her mother and that life as she knew it was falling apart. There were some good adults in the story though, so not all was lost.

There is so much else that happens in this story, but I don’t want to give any more away in this review. I do highly recommend this book to everyone. It is a nice quick read for adults, but more importantly it is a super great read for lower grade kids. I would recommend that every library- public, school, and classroom, have a copy available.

I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.

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by D. María Trimble

Published May 23rd 2012 by D. Maria Trimble




When a hero emerges in the Kingdom of Teravinea, he often rises from the ranks of the dragon riders. In the past, only one female has fit the profile. Until now … Fifteen-year-old Amáne finds herself witness to the hatching of a dragon egg. The painful linking rite creates a bond between the two that cannot be broken. She and her dragon, Eshshah, become the only dragon and rider in a kingdom that once abounded with the beautiful creatures and their riders. Amáne and Eshshah are thrown into a conflict that they do not yet understand. One thing is for certain — the fate of the kingdom rests upon their shoulders…




I don’t normally read books in the fantasy realm, but when Ms. Trimble asked me to read and review her book, I read the synopsis and thought it sounded pretty interesting.  I have only read one other dragon rider book and that was many years ago, so reading Amáne of Teravinea was fresh and very interesting for me.  The story flowed nicely and the plot was well developed.  There were plot twists that I didn’t see coming, danger around every corner, strong and fierce characters, and a bit of romance mixed in; the perfect combination of action, adventure, and boy meets girl.

I rarely read a story where all the characters, at least the good guys, are likeable, but I felt a connection to all the main characters in this book.  The characters had depth, and as the story progressed and we learned more about them, the main characters became more developed.  I really enjoyed the character and plot twists and I can’t wait to learn more as this series develops.

Amáne is a wonderful character.  She is a great example/role model for girls.  She is strong, independent, fierce, powerful, intelligent, and wholesome.  She is not weak in any way, well, except for a bit when it comes to Ansel.  Amáne shows maturity beyond her years most of the time, though she does still have some growing up to do as she learns the intricacies of being a dragon rider.  Amáne has to deal with a lot in a very short time, the death of her mother, her painful bonding with Eshshah, moving away from her home to live with the Healer, friends turning out to be quite different from what she had always believed, secret missions, and her feelings for Ansel; and in my opinion, she does a superb job facing all these new challenges head on, though not always in the manner that her mentor would approve of.  I look forward to seeing Amáne grow up and develop as her story progresses.

Ansel is a very likable character, after you get to know him.  At first he is spoiled and condescending, though you get to see more of his true colors as he befriends Amáne.  We don’t know much about his background, but I am hoping to learn more about what makes him tick as the story progresses.  Will he make a good king?  Only time will tell.

The Healer is also one of the main characters in this book.  She is there for Amáne when her mother passes and has always been a friend to the family, but she holds a great secret, one that may rock the very foundation of her relationship with Amáne.

I highly recommend Amáne of Teravinea to anyone from middle school on through adult.  It is clean, no swearing, wholesome, no sex or almost sex scenes, has two strong, independent female characters, some cute guys, a bit of romance, and a ton of action.  This is a perfect book for teachers to recommend to their students, especially if they are fans of book series such as The Kane Chronicles.  Every middle school library should have a copy, or two, and every English teacher should have a copy on their reading shelf.

Amáne of Teravinea is a page turner.  Once you start, you won’t want to stop reading until you reach the final page, and then you will be counting the days until book two comes out, just as I am.

PS- The cover of this book is amazing- especially if you buy the paper copy.  There are also great maps in this book to help the reader get a feel for the lay of the land.

I received this book as an ARC.  I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.

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by Jerel Law

Published April 3rd 2012 by Thomas Nelson Publishers




Seventh-grader Jonah Stone discovers that he is one-quarter angel–his mother is the daughter of a human and a fallen angel–and after she is kidnapped, Jonah and his sister, Eliza, must try to rescue her, with the help of prayers and a guardian angel.




This is one of the most well written Christian Fiction books for kids that I have read yet. It uses the Bible as a tool to help the main characters to save their mother, who is a Nephilim, or the offspring of a fallen angel and a human.

This story has angels, and it keeps the proper hierarchy/ dogma, guardian angels are different than warrior angels, who are different from Archangels for example. It has actual quotes from the Bible that become literally true when the kids pray to God, who they call Elohim (the Hebrew word for God), for help along the way for example, they are granted the use of the shield of faith, it’s strength is based on their faith in God.

This book is fast paced and has a ton of action. This book demonstrated several important themes, such as team work, faith in God, that size/age doesn’t matter, even the small/weak can be strong, with the help of the Lord, and that even someone born from sin, can choose to follow God, among others.

This book would be enjoyed by both girls and boys. The two main characters are siblings and both are strong, faithful kids, who make great role models for young Christians. They have their doubts, but in the end have faith in God, who helps them. There is no sex or any romance or love at all, except the love between family, and towards God.

I recommend this book for kids of any age, depending on their reading level, probably somewhere around 5th grade, but adults will like this book as well for its powerful message.

I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist parents and clergy in recommending appropriate books for kids to read.

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by Bridget Heos, Stephane Jorisch (Illustrator)

 Published January 1st 2012 by Millbrook Press


Congratulations, crocodilian parents-to-be! You have little ones on the way. They’re called hatchlings. Read this book to find out where to lay your eggs, how you’ll know when the babies are ready to hatch, and what you and your babies will do all day long. Whether you’re an alligator, caiman, crocodile, or even a funny-looking gharial, you’ll find answers to all your parenting questions here. But there’s one condition: don’t eat the book!


I really enjoyed this book.  It is one of the cutest educational books for kids I have yet to read.  It has great pictures and is filled with tons of interesting facts about the Crocodilian family, especially pertaining to having babies and raising them.

There is a lot of potential for this book to be a teaching tool in a lower school classroom.  It is entertaining, while at the same time being factual.  Come on, every kids learns about alligators and the like at some time in school, this would be a great resource to have in your room.  There is a glossary and a section for additional resources, including a webpage that is connected with this book.

This is not a super quick read, since it is not a lighthearted, fanciful story, so just be aware of that.  It is not super long, but there is quite a bit of reading on each page.  Lower school students would also like this book as a beginning reader type book.  There are enough words that are longer, harder words that it could work and it is educational, which is a bonus.

There are also full page pictures that follow along with each question in the book since this is written in more of a question and answer type format, not so much story telling.  As an adult there are tons of questions that you can ask your kids to prompt them to identify things in the pictures that mirror what they are reading about.

I would highly recommend this book for kids age 3 to maybe 6 or 7, but there is enough information is this book that even adults will learn something new from it.  You could easily read this to younger children, but they may not get as much out of it, and my get bored quick, since it is a bit longer.

I would definitely buy this book for a friend of relative having a baby, I guess I need to create a loom knit alligator to go along with it!

I received this book as an ARC.  I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.

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by Hy Conrad

Expected publication: April 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks


A series of 115 short essays written by eleven courageous canines who are willing to tell the truth about dogs every last dirty, hairy, bit of it: why they always dash to a rug when they have to throw up, why they eat furniture when endless chew toys are nearby, and why they’re always absolutely starving. Peppered with lively, clever stories and visually appealing photographs, Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know is a must-have for any dog lover. It’s a verbal and visual delight that is laugh-out-loud funny.

“If everyone owned a dog, we would have world peace. If everyone reads this book, they will go and get a dog and we will have taken a big step in the right direction. So this book can save the world.” Terrence McNally, playwright


Since I received this as an ARC, it was not the complete book, so I can’t really give a full review since I only got to read the first 25 pages, or the first 7 stories that will be in the complete version of this book that people who purchase it will get.  The book is written from the point of view of the dogs, which makes it all the more funny.  You get a rather comical look at what might go on in their brains.

This first story was my favorite; it reminded me of my dog, Tux, 100%.  It has to do with dogs who want what we call in our house the “double feed.”  Our dog is such a mooch and it just made me LOL, it was so funny, I got my husband’s attention and read it aloud to him.  He was LOL too.

I also liked the second story about a dog that pee’s in the herb garden.  It made me think, well I better be sure to wash all green things super well before I eat them!

I wasn’t much connected with the other stories, but I am sure there is something in this book for everyone.  I will probably buy the actual book when it comes out because the little bit I read was so funny that I want to read more.  I hope there is a story about a dog who takes forever to go to the bathroom.  I want to know what is going on in my dogs head when he gets in the position like 8 times before he actually goes.

This book, at least what I read, is appropriate for people of all ages.  The pages are very colorful and it has tons of pictures to make you connect with the character telling the story.  The stories are short and would make a good bedtime story book, or if you are one of those people who put books in the bathroom, it would be great in there too.

I thoroughly enjoyed what I read of this book and am eagerly awaiting its release so that I can get the full version!

I received this book as an ARC.  I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.

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by Rebecca Barnhouse

Expected publication: March 27th 2012 by Random House Children’s Books


This is historical fantasy at its best. Sixteen-year-old Hild has always been a favorite of her uncle, king of the Shylfings. So when she protects her cousin the crown prince from a murderous traitor, she expects the king to be grateful. Instead, she is unjustly accused of treachery herself.

As punishment, her uncle sends Hild far away to the heir of the enemy king, Beowulf, to try to weave peace between the two kingdoms. She must leave her home and everyone she loves. On the long and perilous journey, Hild soon discovers that fatigue and rough terrain are the least of her worries. Something is following her and her small band of guards—some kind of foul creature that tales say lurks in the fens. Will Hild have to face the monster? Or does it offer her the perfect chance to escape the destiny she never chose?

Rebecca Barnhouse’s companion to The Coming of the Dragon is sure to appeal to younger fans of Tamora Pierce, Esther Friesner, and Shannon Hale


I was a bit apprehensive when I first started reading this book because it started out very quickly and I was hoping that the book wasn’t a sequel to another book that I had not read (which I found out later it is).  Peaceweaver is just fine as a standalone novel, but it was so good, I just bought Coming of the Dragon, which is Rune’s story, to read later.

In case you didn’t know what a Peaceweaver is, it the term for a girl of noble birth who is given to the king of an enemy kingdom to be his queen, as part of a peace deal.  It is her job to try to weave peace between the two formerly warring kingdoms.

Hild is the sister-daughter of the King, but when she saves the heir to the throne, by killing a visiting ambassador, the bard in the king’s court convinces the king that she is evil, and possessed by an evil spirit.  This is not true, their goddess, Freyja, was actually working through her, giving her premonitions, so she could save the heir, her cousin.  She is what her people call Far-minded, meaning she is a seer.  Because of this gift, she is feared by many of the guards, even the guard she had hoped to marry.  The king, also fearing her, on the advice of his bard, quarantines her in her home, essentially making her a prisoner, until the king and his bard come up with a plan that will change Hild’s and everyone around else around hers life forever, being sent into exile as a Peaceweaver.

Hild and her guards, who are escorting her to the kingdom of Geat, have many adventures before finally meeting the famed Beowulf, who is to be her husband.

Hild shows strength, intelligence, respect, courage, honor, and sadness throughout her journey.  She is a great role model for girls.  She is neither weak, nor dumb.  She shows kindness to those around her, even when they are not showing her kindness in return.  I would highly recommend this book for students 5th grade- adult, depending on reading level.  There is no sex, or even the alluding to sex.  There is no swearing.  There is violence, since this is an adventure novel, but it is nothing gory or inappropriate.

Teachers and parents should feel comfortable with recommending this book for their children to read.  It would probably appeal more to girls, since this book covers Hild’s story, but there is enough action that boys may enjoy it too.  I can’t wait for the next in what I hope is a series.

I received this book as an ARC, but I do not get paid to review books.  I review books so that parents and teachers will have a better understanding of what their kids are reading.

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