Alone Out Here by Riley Redgate

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Alone Out Here

Author:  Riley Redgate

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5

Diversity: Gay side character

Recommended For…: young adult readers, sci-fi, apocolypse

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Age Relevance: 14+ (religion, death, violence, gore, grief)

Explanation of Above: Religion is mentioned sporadically throughout the book. There is death, violence, and gore mentioned in the book and it talks about the apocalypse. There is also some grief in the book as well.

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 400

Synopsis: What do you stand for, when you’re one of the last left standing?

The year is 2072. Soon a volcanic eruption will trigger catastrophic devastation, and the only way out is up.

While the world’s leaders, scientists, and engineers oversee the frantic production of a space fleet meant to save humankind, their children are brought in for a weekend of touring the Lazarus, a high-tech prototype spaceship. But when the apocalypse arrives months ahead of schedule, First Daughter Leigh Chen and a handful of teens from the tour are the only ones to escape the planet.

This is the new world: a starship loaded with a catalog of human artifacts, a frozen menagerie of animal DNA, and fifty-three terrified survivors. From the panic arises a coalition of leaders, spearheaded by the pilot’s enigmatic daughter, Eli, who takes the wheel in their hunt for a habitable planet. But as isolation presses in, their uneasy peace begins to fracture. The struggle for control will mean the difference between survival and oblivion, and Leigh must decide whether to stand on the side of the mission or of her own humanity.

With aching poignancy and tense, heart-in-your-mouth action, this enthralling saga will stay with readers long after the final page.

Review: For the most part I thought the book was ok. It was an interesting set-during-the-apocolypse book and the book was also a good story with a Lord of the Flies aspect. The book had great character development and world building.

However, I had a lot of issues with the book. I thought the book had a horribly confusing beginning and it didn’t immediately grab me. While most of the confusion was cleared up later in the book, it was still overwhelming for me in the beginning. The book had a lot going on as well that wasn’t well explained.

Verdict: It was ok, just not for me.

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the ALONE OUT HERE by Riley Redgate Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: ALONE OUT HERE

Author: Riley Redgate

Pub. Date: April 5, 2022

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 400

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, Audible, B&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

What do you stand for, when you’re one of the last left standing?

The year is 2072. Soon a volcanic eruption will trigger catastrophic devastation, and the only way out is up.

While the world’s leaders, scientists, and engineers oversee the frantic production of a space fleet meant to save humankind, their children are brought in for a weekend of touring the Lazarus, a high-tech prototype spaceship. But when the apocalypse arrives months ahead of schedule, First Daughter Leigh Chen and a handful of teens from the tour are the only ones to escape the planet.

This is the new world: a starship loaded with a catalog of human artifacts, a frozen menagerie of animal DNA, and fifty-three terrified survivors. From the panic arises a coalition of leaders, spearheaded by the pilot’s enigmatic daughter, Eli, who takes the wheel in their hunt for a habitable planet. But as isolation presses in, their uneasy peace begins to fracture. The struggle for control will mean the difference between survival and oblivion, and Leigh must decide whether to stand on the side of the mission or of her own humanity.

With aching poignancy and tense, heart-in-your-mouth action, this enthralling saga will stay with readers long after the final page.

Reviews:

“Redgate explores what makes us human and what makes us teens with excruciating precision, revealing the best―and worst―of both. A fast-paced, beautifully put together story of a girl getting it done.”―E. K. Johnston, New York Times #1 best-selling author of Star Wars: Ahsoka

“With its diverse cast of characters and near-future plot line, this book would make a good addition to collections with established audiences for science fiction stories and titles featuring strong examples of female empowerment.”―School Library Connection

“An enthralling adventure that’s at once intimate and cinematic, with heart-pounding twists and vividly drawn characters. Redgate’s gorgeous prose poses fascinating questions about the future.”―Romina Russell, author of the New York Times best-selling Zodiac series

“Stunning, visceral, and utterly gripping, Alone Out Here is a vivid look at human determination when forced to survive the impossible. Leigh Chen is a leader unlike any other as she navigates dwindling resources, betrayal, and the ultimate question of what it means to be human.”―C.B. Lee, author of the Sidekick Squad series

“Utterly absorbing, and packed with heart, action, and questions that lingered long past the final page. I read it in a single day.”―Amie Kaufman, author of the Aurora Cycle and the Elementals trilogy 

 

INSERT YOUR POST OR REVIEW HERE!

 

About Riley Redgate:

Riley Redgate majored in Economics at Kenyon College and is now based in Chicago, where she was an apprentice with the Onion. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Seven Ways We Lie; Noteworthy, a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book and NYPL Best Book; and Final Draft, a Bank Street Book of the Year.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 





Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of ALONE OUT HERE, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

4/1/2022

YABooksCentral

Excerpt

4/2/2022

The Reading Devil

Excerpt/IG Post

Week Two:

4/3/2022

Kait Plus Books

Excerpt/IG Post

4/4/2022

Rajiv’s Reviews

Review/IG Post

4/5/2022

boozybook blog

Review/IG Post

4/6/2022

@theheavycrownreads

Review

4/7/2022

Lifestyle of Me

Review

4/8/2022

onemoreexclamation

Review/IG Post

4/9/2022

A Court of Coffee and Books

Review/IG Post

Week Three:

4/10/2022

The book review crew

Review/IG Post

4/11/2022

Celia’s Reads

Review/IG Post

4/12/2022

Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews

Review

4/13/2022

Book-Keeping

Review/IG Post

4/14/2022

Emmiepooh2

Review

4/15/2022

Excuse Me, I’m Reading

Review

4/16/2022

laura’s bookish corner

Review/IG Post

Week Four:

4/17/2022

TakeALookAtMyBookshelf

Review

4/18/2022

A Backwards Story

Review/IG Post

4/19/2022

@the.page.sage

TikTok Review/IG Post

4/20/2022

100 Pages A Day

Review

4/21/2022

@coffeesipsandreads

Review/IG Post

4/22/2022

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Review/IG Post

4/23/2022

Two Points of Interest

Review

Week Five:

4/24/2022

@jypsylynn

Review

4/25/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

4/26/2022

@thebookishfoxwitch

Review/IG Post

4/27/2022

onemused

Review

4/28/2022

Do You Dog-ear?

Review

4/29/2022

Momfluenster

Review

4/30/2022

popthebutterfly

Review/IG Post/TikTok Post


Mapmakers and the Lost Magic by Cameron Chittock

Disclaimer: I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Mapmakers and the Lost Magic

Author: Cameron Chittock, Amanda Castillo (Illustrator)

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For…: middle grade readers, graphic novel, fantasy, environmentalism

Publication Date: April 26, 2022

Genre: MG Graphic Novel Fantasy

Age Relevance: 9+ (totalitarian government, environmentalism, parental death, grief, hurt animal)

Explanation of Above: The book features an army that has taken over a town and is inflicting a totalitarian ran government on the native people. There is environmentalism shown and explained, as well as humans place in the ecosystem. There are mentions of parental death and grief, and there is are animals (a crane and some worms) hurt in the book.

Publisher: Random House Graphic

Pages: 256

Synopsis: For centuries, the Mapmakers kept peace in the Valley, but they’ve long since disappeared. Now the Night Coats hold power with an iron grip–there are only rules, punishments, and consequences. Until one night, on the run from the Night Coats (again), after breaking another rule (again), Alidade stumbles upon a secret door leading to a magical hideaway that belongs to the Mapmakers. There, she finds a map of her home and accidentally brings to life Blue, a magical creature called a memri who is meant to protect the Valley. Blue needs Alidade’s help to find the Mapmakers and save the Valley from the Night Coats!

But the Mapmakers are long gone.

Alidade has a choice: leave the Valley like she’s always wanted…or become a Mapmaker and save the only home she’s ever known.

This is the first book in a thrilling series of adventures where Alidade discovers the world around her as she goes on a fantastical journey.

Review: The book is a new favorite of mine! I loved the story and how environmentalism was tied into the story, as well as how simple it was explained so children reading the book could understand it. The book also went into oppressive government control and how that can impact native inhabitants of an area. The book has amazing character development and the world building was amazing. The illustrations were well done and I loved it so much. I am hoping for a sequel so I can help save more Memris!

The only issue I had with the book is that I thought some of the scenes were a bit quicker paced than others, but I think this would be perfect for a younger middle grade reader, especially one that is interested in the environment or natural science.

Verdict: I absolutely loved this book! Highly recommend!

Book Info:

Mapmakers and the Lost Magic by Cameron Chittock and Amanda Castillo

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Graphic Novel

Publishing Date: April 26, 2022

Synopsis:

A young girl finds herself faced with an impossible choice–run away from her beloved valley, or unleash a hidden magic and become a Mapmaker to save her home from its new overlords.

For centuries, the Mapmakers kept peace in the Valley, but they’ve long since disappeared. Now the Night Coats hold power with an iron grip–there are only rules, punishments, and consequences. Until one night, on the run from the Night Coats (again), after breaking another rule (again), Alidade stumbles upon a secret door leading to a magical hideaway that belongs to the Mapmakers. There, she finds a map of her home and accidentally brings to life Blue, a magical creature called a memri who is meant to protect the Valley. Blue needs Alidade’s help to find the Mapmakers and save the Valley from the Night Coats!

But the Mapmakers are long gone.

Alidade has a choice: leave the Valley like she’s always wanted…or become a Mapmaker and save the only home she’s ever known.

This is the first book in a thrilling series of adventures where Alidade discovers the world around her as she goes on a fantastical journey.

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58678502-mapmakers-and-the-lost-magic

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0593172868/ref=x_gr_w_bb_sin?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_sin_ca-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mapmakers-and-the-lost-magic-cameron-chittock/1139909642?ean=9780593172865

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Mapmakers-Lost-Magic-Cameron-Chittock/9780593172865?ref=grid-view&qid=1645552108185&sr=1-1

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/mapmakers-and-the-lost-magic/9780593172865-item.html?ikwid=mapmakers+and+the+lost+magic&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0#algoliaQueryId=3f9083050685b9bfcc4761107007b745 IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780593172865

Amanda Castillois a comic artist, illustrator, and storyteller, born and raised in the Bay Area in California. Having grown up inspired by piles of manga, games about friendship and adventure, and the endless wonders of the California outdoors, Amanda went on to study illustration to hone a skill set to tell warm and heartfelt stories that could be enjoyed and remembered by someone like you! After getting into the comics world through working with Youth in Decline, Amanda has since contributed to publishers such as BOOM! Studios, Lion Forge, and now Random House Graphic. In addition to making comics, Amanda has shown work in galleries domestically and helped judge annual comics awards. When not making comics, Amanda enjoys spending time with friends and loved ones, making warm and hearty meals, learning to tend to plants, and taking in the lovely moments the world has to offer. Mapmakers and the Lost Magic is their debut graphic novel. 

Amanda’s Author Links:

Website: https://www.amanda-castillo.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mandallin

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mandallin/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19121587.Amanda_Castillo Store: https://mandallin.storenvy.com/

About the Author:

Cameron Chittock is a writer from northeast Ohio. He grew up surrounded by siblings, wildlife, and comics of all kinds. Cameron’s writing is possible thanks to patient teachers, encouraging friends, and a supportive family. His favorite stories are those of heroes and friendship. Cameron previously edited comics, including titles such as Mech Cadet Yu, the Eisner Award–nominated graphic novel New World, and Jim Henson’s The Power of the Dark Crystal. He now lives in New England and works in education. When he’s not writing, he enjoys coaching basketball, reading giant fantasy books, and sitting by the pond with his family. Mapmakers and the Lost Magic is his debut graphic novel. 

Cameron’s Author Links:

Website: https://www.cameronwtchittock.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cameronchittock Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19618373.Cameron_Chittock

Tour Schedule:

Books I Love Giving Babies

Hi bookies! My favorite thing as an auntie figure in a few children’s lives is to give books! Recently I had an opportunity to buy some books for a pregnant friend and I want to show off what I consider to be staples for baby-toddler books:

Antiracist Baby introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism. Providing the language necessary to begin critical conversations at the earliest age, Antiracist Baby is the perfect gift for readers of all ages dedicated to forming a just society.

A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers’. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother’s, and her little sister’s. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.

Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self love and empowerment.

This is a gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another—from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.

This is the perfect gift for mothers and daughters, baby showers, and graduation.

We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.

Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When mommy does Zuri’s hair, she feels like a superhero. But when mommy is away, it’s up to daddy to step in! And even though daddy has a lot to learn, he LOVES his Zuri. And he’ll do anything to make her—and her hair—happy.

Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair—and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.

Water is the first medicine.
It affects and connects us all . . .

When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth
And poison her people’s water, one young water protector
Takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.

Fry bread is food.
It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate.

Fry bread is time.
It brings families together for meals and new memories.

Fry bread is nation.
It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond.

Fry bread is us.
It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.

Like many young girls, Eva longs to dance. But unlike many would-be dancers, Eva has cerebral palsy. She doesn’t know what dance looks like for someone who uses a wheelchair.

Then Eva learns of a place that has created a class for dancers of all abilities. Her first movements in the studio are tentative, but with the encouragement of her instructor and fellow students, Eva becomes more confident. Eva knows she’s found a place where she belongs. At last her dream of dancing has come true.

Historically poets have been on the forefront of social movements. Woke is a collection of poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, tackling topics from discrimination to empathy, and acceptance to speaking out.

With Theodore Taylor’s bright, emotional art, and writing from Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood, kids will be inspired to create their own art and poems to express how they see justice and injustice.

With a foreword by best-selling author Jason Reynolds.

By exploring the causes of our tears, Fran Pintadera’s thoughtful, poetic picture book story defends the right to cry and reinforces crying’s importance as a way to release our pain, to calm us and to help us grow. Ana Sender’s artwork uses color and symbolic images along with facial expressions and body language to beautifully capture the mood and emotion being described on each spread.

Our friend Earth does so many wonderful things! She tends to animals large and small. She pours down summer rain and autumn leaves. She sprinkles whisper-white snow and protects the tiny seeds waiting for spring.

Readers of all ages will pore over the pages of this spectacular book. Its enticing die-cut pages encourage exploration as its poetic text celebrates everything Earth does for us, all the while reminding us to be a good friend in return.

• Interactive format and kid-friendly art will engage both toddlers and young readers.
• A celebration of the natural world and rallying cry for positive action for Planet Earth
• Great opportunities to share life science concepts and amazing facts about the environment with children

This beautiful and innovative ode to our natural world will appeal to readers of Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet EarthThe Poet’s Dog, and Thank You, Earth.

• Read aloud books for kids ages 3-5
• Earth books for kids
• Climate change books for kids

On a rainy day when the house smells like cinnamon and Papa and Luca are still asleep, when the clouds are wearing shadows and the wind paints the window with beads of water, I want to be everywhere Mama is.

Author Maurice Sendak offers a tale of suspense, action, and fun, with this story about a young boy named Max who wears a wolf suit to bed. Max has been naughty and is sent to bed without any dinner. The real adventure begins with the forest growing and creatures appearing as wild and free. Being wild with the wild things can be tiring, as Max discovers on his adventure. As things begin to happen in his room, creatures appear that are a cross between scary and funny. Winner of the Caldecott Medal and listed in the ‘Best Illustrated Children’s Books” for many years, this is a winner worth a look. Illustrations that will grab your eye and a written tale that will draw you and your children back again and again are what this story has to offer. Adventure, artwork, and fun are all wrapped up in one small package here.

Bedtime stories are a favorite among children and parents alike, and this is one of the most beloved bedtime stories of all time. Written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd, saying goodnight has never been more fun than with this tale of comfort, loving goodnights, and a room full of entertaining objects to say ‘goodnight’ to. Written in rhyming verse that makes it easy for even the youngest children to memorize, they will soon be able to ‘read’ it along with you. This is one story that will soon become a family favorite. Parents and children have been sharing this story for more than fifty years, and it has become one of the best loved picture books of all time. “Goodnight” time has never been more quiet and loving than when you share this timeless tale of saying “goodnight” with your children and grandchildren.

What better combination story for children than one that weaves a delightful tale with a lesson? Teaching the days of the week and counting, Eric Carle’s imaginative illustrations and dramatic storytelling in this book unfold the life of a caterpillar from the moment it is in an egg to the transformation it makes into a beautiful butterfly. With such wonderful text, magnificent illustrations, and attention grabbing detail, it’s no wonder that this story has won numerous awards and has been recognized in many countries as being among the best in children’s literature. Everyone loves a great children’s picture book, but this one goes to the top of the list when looking at the most loved by children and adults alike. Warmth, a winning storyline, and lessons that can be shared and observed in nature itself will bring you and your child together as you share this amazing story. Reading together is something to cherish especially when it happens to be with a story that you will keep in your hearts and one of the top 100 children’s books of all-time.

A classic story full of sentiment and humor, this is one that you will want to share over and over again. Whether you are a mom or a dad, this story of a mother and her son will strike a chord with you, and you may find yourself saying to your own children, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” In this story, a mother sings those words to her own son each night even after he’s an adult. In the end, when roles switch, it’s the son declaring his love to his mother, and then to his own baby girl. An endearing story that touches the heart each time it’s read, this is one tale that will remain at the top of the list for a long time to come. Sharing it with your children or even with a parent will be something special that you will treasure forever. Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw bring home the sentiment that the love between a parent and child really is endless.

An alphabet story that is amusing and funny with a twist that is sure to bring laughs, this is one little story that you will never tire of reading with your little ones. As each little letter (lower case) invites another to the top of the coconut tree, and each next letter follows along, the tree ends up getting heavier and heavier, and finally results in the tree being bent. That is, until all the letters are shaken off as the tree snaps back to standing tall, and they are tossed in a heap underneath. Charming and delightful, this is one tale to share time and time again.

This classic tale of one of the most traditionally beloved toys every child has, a teddy bear, is heartwarming. Corduroy is a little bear who wears green overalls. As he sits and waits for someone to buy him off the store shelf, there is also a little girl who is searching for a special toy to be more than just an ordinary toy; she wants a toy that will also be her friend. When you read the story of Corduroy and his new owner, not only will you be sharing a touching story with your children, but you will also be taken back to yesterday, simpler times, and loving a toy of your own.

Janell Cannon tells the story of a little fruit bat named Stellaluna. This little one gets separated from her mother and is found and taken care of by a mama bird. The mama bird insists that Stellaluna do everything the way ordinary birds do, which is totally different than the way bats do things. When Stellaluna can finally fly, and actually ends up finding her mother, she is told that what she feels is the right way to do things are her natural instincts, and that she should follow them. She is very relieved to be able to do all the things bats naturally do once again. Sharing this story will teach you and your children about how bats look, live, and are different from birds.

A story with a moral to learn is something to treasure, and this is one such story. These educational stories are very easy to add to the best children’s books of all-time. The rainbow fish happens to be the most beautiful fish in the ocean, and he knows it. His beauty has gone to his head and has even made him become proud and rude to his friends. When his friends all abandon him, he knows that there is something wrong, but can’t imagine what it is. He finds the wise old octopus and asks for some advice. The octopus tells him to share some of his beauty with others, and to begin looking at the beauty that comes from the inside as being what really makes someone beautiful. Though it is shiny and colorful, this is one story that offers more than outer beauty.

This story has become a favorite, as have all the Madeline tales, among little girls everywhere. The story happens in Paris where there is a school that the girls go to. “Twelve little girls all in line, and the littlest one is Madeline.” This heartwarming tale is full of adventure and humor. Madeline has a bad stomachache and must go to the hospital to have her appendix removed. A Caldecott Medal winner, this is one story that little people everywhere will want to read again and again. Fun to read aloud with the rhythm and rhyme making it flow off the tongue, this is one you will find yourself wanting to share over and over again.

On a dreary, stuck-inside kind of day, a brother and sister heed their grandmother’s advice: “Use those beautiful and brilliant minds of yours. Lift your arms, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and believe in a thing. Somebody somewhere at some point was just as bored you are now.” And before they know it, their imaginations lift them up and out of their boredom. Then, on a day full of quarrels, it’s time for a trip outside their minds again, and they are able to leave their anger behind. This precious skill, their grandmother tells them, harkens back to the days long before they were born, when their ancestors showed the world the strength and resilience of their beautiful and brilliant minds. Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael Lopez’s dazzling art celebrate the extraordinary ability to lift ourselves up and imagine a better world.

Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17 for speaking out against injustice even when it was terrifying to do so. She was an ordinary Muslim girl who wanted to attend school, and she refused to stop protesting for her rights even after being attacked by a powerful group in Pakistan who wanted women to remain in the shadows. She continues to fight for women’s rights and free education for children all over the world.

This friendly, fun biography series inspired the PBS Kids TV show Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum. One great role model at a time, these books encourage kids to dream big. Included in each book are:

   • A timeline of key events in the hero’s history
   • Photos that bring the story more fully to life
   • Comic-book-style illustrations that are irresistibly adorable
   • Childhood moments that influenced the hero
   • Facts that make great conversation-starters
   • A character trait that made the person heroic and that readers can aspire to 
You’ll want to collect each book in this dynamic, informative series!

Award-winning author of Ghana Must Go, Taiye Selasi, reimagines the story of Anansi, the much-loved trickster, for a new generation. Kweku has grown up hearing stories about the mischievous spider Anansi. He is given the nickname Anansi by his father because of his similarly cheeky ways. On a holiday to visit his beloved Grandma in Ghana, Anansi the spider and Anansi the boy meet, and discover a magical pot that can be filled with whatever they want. Anansi fills it again and again with his favorite red-red stew, and eats so much that he feels sick. Will he learn to share this wonderful gift? 
 
This charming retelling of a West African story teaches readers about the dangers of greed, and the importance of being kind. Tinuke Fagborun’s colorful illustrations bring the magic and wonder of the tale to life. When you’ve finished sharing the story, you can also find out more about the origins of Anansi folktales. This is a beautiful storybook that little ones will treasure forever.

From Grammy-winning pop star Ciara and Super Bowl champion quarterback Russell Wilson comes a picture book to inspire young readers to see the value in themselves, be brave, and go after their biggest dreams!

I Wish I Had A Wookie by Ian Doescher

Disclaimer: I received this finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: I Wish I Had A Wookie

Author: Ian Doescher

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Many different people of color characters shown throughout the book

Recommended For…: children, picture book, poetry, Star Wars

Publication Date: September 28, 2021

Genre: Children’s Picture Book Poetry

Age Relevance: 0+ (poems and picture book)

Explanation of Above: It’s a poetry picture book about Star Wars!

Publisher: Quirk Books

Pages: 128

Synopsis: In “My Pet AT-AT,” a ten-year-old dreams of playing hide and seek and fetch with an AT-AT. In “Dad’s Luke Skywalker Figurine,” a child opens their dad’s untouched action figure but, instead of getting into trouble, helps their dad re-discover his own sense of play. In “T-16 Dreams,” a little girl imagines herself flying through the galaxy, the Empire hot on her trail, to help with her real-world fear of flying.

Set in the hearts and minds of young children who love Star Wars, and filled with the characters you know and love, I Wish I Had a Wookiee is the perfect gift for the young Star Wars fan–and the young at heart.

Review: I absolutely loved this book so much! It was a fun Star Wars themed read and so inclusive as well! The book had so many fun poems about the Force and the characters we see throughout the series (not just the movies, but more as well) and if you’re a geeky family then this would be a fun addition to your bedtime routine reads!

Verdict: Highly recommend!

The GayBCs by M.L. Webb

Disclaimer: I received this finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The GayBCs

Author: M.L. Webb

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: LGBT characters

Recommended For…: picture book, children’s, ABCs, LGBT

Publication Date: October 8, 2019

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Age Relevance: 0+

Explanation of Above: It’s a picture book!

Publisher: Quirk Books

Pages: 32

Synopsis: Now in board book format, a joyful alphabet book of LGBTQ+ vocabulary for kids of all ages!

A playdate extravaganza transforms into a joyful celebration of friendship, love, and identity as four young friends sashay out of all the closets, dress up in a wardrobe fit for kings and queens, and discover the wonders of their imagination. In The GayBCs, M. L. Webb’s playful illustrations and lively poems delight in the beauty of embracing one’s truest self—from A is for Aro and Ace to F is for Family to T is for Trans.

The GayBCs is a heartwarming and accessible gift to show kids and adults alike that every person is worthy of being celebrated. A bonus glossary offers opportunities for further discussion of complete terms, communities, and inclusive identities.

Review: I love this book so much! It’s so adorable and I love all the inspirational messages behind the book. It does a great job to go through the ABCs and showcase some LGBT orientations and important messages as well, like family and mountains.

Verdict: Highly recommend for young children.

Turning by Joy L. Smith

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Turning

Author: Joy L. Smith

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Paraplegic Black Depressed MC, TBI character, Hispanic character, OCD character

Recommended For…: young adult readers, contemporary, realistic fiction, paraplegic MC

Publication Date: March 1, 2022

Genre: YA Contemporary

Age Relevance: 16+ (language, internalized abelism, abelism, alcoholism, abortion, blackmail, domestic violence, depression, sexual content, sexual coercion, forced pregnancy, underage alcohol consumption, gore, homophobia, drugs, racism, grief, and violence)

Explanation of Above: This book talks about the MC’s change in her life after a traumatic incident leaves her paralyzed from the waist down (L1-L3 spinal cord injury) and how she reacts to it. There is a lot of discussion around abelism and internalized abelism surrounding that, as well as grieving of what she has lost due to that injury. There is a bit of cursing in the book and mentions of alcoholism in an adult character and underage alcohol consumption. There are mentions of an abortion throughout the book and how a character deals with it. There are mentions of blackmail, flashback scenes of domestic violence, gore involving blood, and violence involving punching and kicking that is shown in one scene. Depression is shown throughout the book. There are flashback scenes involving slight sexual content in the book, and mentions of sexual coercion and attempted forced pregnancy. There are a couple of insults that are homophobic thrown towards two characters. There are very small mentions of drugs in the book and racism is also slightly present as well.

Publisher: Denene Millner Books/Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages: 352

Synopsis: Genie used to fouetté across the stage. Now the only thing she’s turning are the wheels to her wheelchair. Genie was the star pupil at her exclusive New York dance school, with a bright future and endless possibilities before her. Now that the future she’s spent years building toward has been snatched away, she can’t stand to be reminded of it—even if it means isolating herself from her best friends and her mother. The only wish this Genie has is to be left alone.

But then she meets Kyle, who also has a “used to be.” Kyle used to tumble and flip on a gymnastics mat, but a traumatic brain injury has sent him to the same physical therapist that Genie sees. With Kyle’s support, along with her best friend’s insistence that Genie’s time at the barre isn’t over yet, Genie starts to see a new path—one where she doesn’t have to be alone and she finally has the strength to heal from the past.

But healing also means confronting. Confronting the booze her mother, a recovering alcoholic, has been hiding under the kitchen sink; the ex-boyfriend who was there the night of the fall and won’t leave her alone; and Genie’s biggest, most terrifying secret: the fact that the accident may not have been so accidental after all.

Review: For the most part I really liked this book. The book is very raw and deals with an onslaught of different emotions in the wake of an accident that leaves our MC paralyzed. She was once a ballerina, but is now facing a world where she can’t dance anymore. I thought while the book had internalized abelism that the author was able to navigate the issue well and explore the MC coming to terms with her new life. I also enjoyed how the author was able to show the dysfunctional relationship and bit of generational trauma in the MC. The character development was well done and the world building was great. Definitely one book you need to grab tissues before reading.

The only issue I had with the book is that I felt like it needed a happier ending and that I’m a bit sad that some things felt unfinished, but such is life. I also felt that there was very little positive influence in Genie’s life. Every parent was shitty. The ex was shitty. The friends were… meh. I was like “damn can this girl get a break?!”

Verdict: It’s super well done!

Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the ARU SHAH AND THE NECTAR OF IMMORTALITY by Roshani Chokshi Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About the Book:

Title: ARU SHAH AND THE NECTAR OF IMMORTALITY (A Pandava Novel Book 5)

Author: Roshani Chokshi

Pub. Date: April 6, 2021

Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 400

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindleAudibleB&NiBooksKoboTBDBookshop.org

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents the breathtaking conclusion to Roshani Chokshi’s New York Times best-selling Pandava quintet. Will the Sleeper gain immortality or be stopped once and for all?


*”A deeply satisfying conclusion to a superb, groundbreaking series.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The Pandavas only have until the next full moon to stop the Sleeper from gaining access to the nectar of immortality, which will grant him infinite power. But how can Aru, Mini, and Brynne hope to defeat him without their celestial weapons? The Sleeper and his army are already plundering the labyrinth, and the sisters can’t even enter. Their quest to get in will have them calling on old friends, meeting new allies, and facing fearsome trials, like…performing in a rock concert? When the moment of confrontation finally arrives, it’s up to Aru to decide who deserves immortality, the devas or the asuras. The most unexpected answer will come from a most unexpected place.

More surprises and delights, gods and demons, and laughs and tears await in this immensely satisfying conclusion to the wild ride that began with the lighting of a lamp.



Collect the whole series:

 

INSERT YOUR POST OR REVIEW HERE!

 

About Roshani:

Roshani Chokshi (www.roshanichokshi.com) is the author of the instant New York Times best-selling books in the Pandava series, Aru Shah and the End of Time, and its sequel, Aru Shah and the Song of Death. She also wrote the New York Times best-selling YA books The Star-Touched Queen and The Gilded Wolves. She studied fairy tales in college, and she has a pet luck dragon that looks suspiciously like a Great Pyrenees dog. The Pandava novels were inspired by the stories her grandmother told her as well as Roshani’s all-consuming love for Sailor Moon. She lives in the south and says “y’all,” but she doesn’t really have a Southern accent. Her Twitter handle is @roshani_chokshi.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of ARU SHAH AND THE NECTAR OF IMMORTALITY, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

4/1/2022

Kait Plus Books

Excerpt/IG Post

4/2/2022

BookHounds YA

Excerpt

Week Two:

4/3/2022

YABooksCentral

Excerpt

4/4/2022

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt

4/5/2022

Rajiv’s Reviews

Review/IG Post

4/6/2022

For the Love of KidLit

Excerpt

4/7/2022

Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Review/IG Post

4/8/2022

Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt

4/9/2022

@jaimerockstarbooktours

IG Post

Week Three:

4/10/2022

Lifestyle of Me

Review

4/11/2022

Lady Hawkeye

Excerpt/IG Post

4/12/2022

@meetcuteromancebooks

IG Spotlight

4/13/2022

Nerdophiles

Review

4/14/2022

Little Red Reads

Review

4/15/2022

More Books Please blog

Review/IG Post

4/16/2022

Two Points of Interest

Review

Week Four:

4/17/2022

Log Cabin Library

Review

4/18/2022

Eye-Rolling Demigod’s Book Blog

Review/IG Post

4/19/2022

A Backwards Story

Review/IG Post

4/20/2022

emmreadsbooks

Review

4/21/2022

@thebookishfoxwitch

Review/IG Post

4/22/2022

@drewsim12

Review

4/23/2022

onemused

IG Spotlight

Week Five:

4/24/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

4/25/2022

wiltedpages

Review/IG Post

4/26/2022

popthebutterfly

Review/IG Post/TikTok Post

4/27/2022

laura’s bookish corner

Review/IG Post

4/28/2022

Emmiepooh2

Review

4/29/2022

Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Review

4/30/2022

Book Briefs

Review/IG Post


Shinji Takahashi and the Mark of the Coatl by Julie Kagawa

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Shinji Takahashi and the Mark of the Coatl

Author: Julie Kagawa

Book Series: Society of Explorers and Adventurers Book 1

Rating: 4/5

Diversity: Wheelchair user side character, Japanese American MC

Recommended For…: middle grade readers, fantasy, mythology

Publication Date: April 26, 2022

Genre: MG Fantasy

Age Relevance: 9+ (parental death, grief, violence, kidnapping)

Explanation of Above: There is some mention throughout the book about the main characters’ parent’s deaths. There is some grief mentioned in the book and there are a few scenes with light violence. There is also a kidnapping in the book.

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 320

Synopsis: Shinji Takahashi and the Mark of the Coatl is the first book in a globe-trotting adventure that combines high-tech wizardry, old-world legends and a little bit of magic.

Shinji Takahashi is just an ordinary kid. An ordinary homeschooled smart-alecky orphan kid being raised by his aunt Yui. But when a magical guardian decides to use him as a conduit to awaken its power, Shinji’s life takes a turn for the extraordinary. Captured by the menacing Hightower Corporation, which is bent on using the guardian’s magic for its own nefarious purposes, Shinji must team up with a brilliant young tech whiz named Lucy and her robot mouse, Tinker, to escape the Corporation’s evil clutches.

Together Shinji and Lucy turn to the venerable Society of Explorers and Adventurers and its ragtag cast of spelunkers, hackers, mapmakers, pilots, and mythology experts (among other things) to return the guardian to its rightful home and release Shinji from its magic—which seems to be draining his life force. Time is ticking, the Hightower Corporation is hot on their tail, and success or failure might depend on one small thing—Shinji finally coming around to the belief that he is anything but ordinary.

Review: For the most part I thought the book was well written. It was a fun read and I loved every moment of it. The story was expansive and I loved that it was Aztec inspired mythology and that the main message of the book is righting the wrongs of the past. I thought the book was well developed story wise and the book did well pacing wise.

However, I do think that the books needed a little bit more character development and world building. I also wish that the book had fully fleshed out a lot of the ideas that it had in it.

Verdict: It was good! Great for kids!

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the SHINJI TAKAHASHI AND THE MARK OF THE COATL by Julie Kagawa Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: SHINJI TAKAHASHI AND THE MARK OF THE COATL (Society of Explorers and Adventurers #1)

Author: Julie Kagawa

Pub. Date: April 5, 2022

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 320

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, Audible, B&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

Shinji Takahashi and the Mark of the Coatl is the first book in a globe-trotting adventure that combines high-tech wizardry, old-world legends and a little bit of magic.

Shinji Takahashi is just an ordinary kid. An ordinary homeschooled smart-alecky orphan kid being raised by his aunt Yui. But when a magical guardian decides to use him as a conduit to awaken its power, Shinji’s life takes a turn for the extraordinary. Captured by the menacing Hightower Corporation, which is bent on using the guardian’s magic for its own nefarious purposes, Shinji must team up with a brilliant young tech whiz named Lucy and her robot mouse, Tinker, to escape the Corporation’s evil clutches.

Together Shinji and Lucy turn to the venerable Society of Explorers and Adventurers and its ragtag cast of spelunkers, hackers, mapmakers, pilots, and mythology experts (among other things) to return the guardian to its rightful home and release Shinji from its magic—which seems to be draining his life force. Time is ticking, the Hightower Corporation is hot on their tail, and success or failure might depend on one small thing—Shinji finally coming around to the belief that he is anything but ordinary.

Based on the Society of Explorers and Adventurers lore that exist across the Walt Disney Parks, Shinji Takahashi and the Mark of the Coatl is the first book in an all-new action-adventure series that brings S.E.A. into the twenty-first century through a blend of science and magic, and a focus on two young characters on an epic journey through time and place.

 

INSERT YOUR POST OR REVIEW HERE!

 

About Julie Kagawa:

Julie Kagawa is the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey, Blood of Eden, Talonand Shadow of the Fox series. She was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time. Julie now lives in North Carolina with her husband, two obnoxious cats, and a pair of Australian Shepherds that have more Instagram followers than she does. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter @JKagawa or check out her website at juliekagawa.com.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of SHINJI TAKAHASHI AND THE MARK OF THE COATL, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

4/1/2022

BookHounds YA

Excerpt

4/2/2022

YABooksCentral

Excerpt

Week Two:

4/3/2022

Excuse Me, I’m Reading

Review

4/4/2022

Kait Plus Books

Excerpt/IG Post

4/5/2022

wiltedpages

Review/IG Post

4/6/2022

Rajiv’s Reviews

Review/IG Post

4/7/2022

Log Cabin Library

Review

4/8/2022

Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Review/IG Post

4/9/2022

fictionologyst

Review/IG Post

Week Three:

4/10/2022

Eye-Rolling Demigod’s Book Blog

Review/IG Post

4/11/2022

Quill Tree Fox

Review/IG Post

4/12/2022

Lifestyle of Me

Review

4/13/2022

emmreadsbooks

Review

4/14/2022

A Court of Coffee and Books

Review/IG Post

4/15/2022

Two Points of Interest

Review

4/16/2022

The Bookwyrm’s Den

Review

Week Four:

4/17/2022

Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Review

4/18/2022

More Books Please blog

Review/IG Post

4/19/2022

Do You Dog-ear?

Review

4/20/2022

Little Red Reads

Review

4/21/2022

Emmiepooh2

Review

4/22/2022

Bookwyrming Thoughts

Review

4/23/2022

laura’s bookish corner

Review/IG Post

Week Five:

4/24/2022

onemused

IG Spotlight

4/25/2022

popthebutterfly

Review/IG Post/TikTok Post

4/26/2022

Book Briefs

Review/IG Post

4/27/2022

@thebookishfoxwitch

Review/IG Post

4/28/2022

@drewsim12

Review

4/29/2022

A Backwards Story

Review/IG Post

4/30/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post


Jordie and Joey Fell From The Sky by Judi Lauren

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Jordie and Joey Fell from the Sky

Author: Judi Lauren

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3.5/5

Diversity: Twins in Foster Care, Gay character

Recommended For…: middle grade readers, contemporary, aliens

Publication Date: April 19, 2022

Genre: MG Contemporary

Age Relevance: 11+ (bullying, child abuse, child neglect, violence, homophobia, animal abuse, PTSD, running away)

Explanation of Above: There is some bullying mentioned in the book, as well as one scene where a fight is shown between two characters. There is some slight mention of homophobia in the book and mentions of animal abuse (nothing shown for the animal abuse). PTSD is shown in the book in regards to remembering a past traumatic event and child abuse and neglect are shown and mentioned in the book. Most of the story revolves around the twins and a friend running away from home and it shows the consequence of that.

Publisher: Jolly Fish Press

Pages: 230

Synopsis: Twin brothers Jordie and Joey have never met their parents. Maybe it’s because they aren’t from this planet?

When another kid at school tried to force Jordie to show him the “crop circles” on his back that prove he’s an alien, it was Joey who took the kid to the ground. And when the twins got kicked out of their foster home because Joey kissed the other boy who lived there, it was Jordie who told him everything would be okay. And as long as Jordie and Joey are together, it will be. But when the principal calls their current foster mother about a fight at school, the boys know she’ll be done with them. And, from spying in their file, they also know they’re going to be separated.

Determined to face the world side by side rather than without one another, Jordie and Joey set off to find their birth parents. From Arizona to Roswell to Area 51 in the Nevada desert, the twins begin a search for where they truly belong. But Jordie’s about to discover that family isn’t always about the ones who bring you into the world, but the ones who help you survive it.

Review: For the most part I liked this book. The book is about our MC who believes his real family are aliens and that him and his twin brother were dropped off on Earth before they were taken hostage by the government. The MC is determined to find his family and, after an incident at school, the twins and a friend run away from home to find the twins’ family. I really liked the story overall and I felt like it would be relatable to kids who are in a similar situation as the twins. The book shows a lot of darkness in that situation, but has a hopeful message by the end. The character development is good and the world building is fair. I also want to commend the book for having resources in the back of it for people, especially children, to contact if they are in similar situations as the twins find themselves in.

However, I felt that the book lacked in some areas. I felt like the book was too fast paced for the story and there were some stuff that wasn’t explained well in my opinion. I also felt like the author didn’t know how to end the book and it went on for a bit longer than it should have maybe? It was weird and the book maybe needs another round of revision to perfect it.

Verdict: It was good!

Book Info:

Jordie and Joey Fell From the Sky by Judi Lauren

Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary

Publishing Date: April 19, 2022

Synopsis:

Twin brothers Jordie and Joey have never met their parents. Maybe it’s because they aren’t from this planet?

When another kid at school tried to force Jordie to show him the “crop circles” on his back that prove he’s an alien, it was Joey who took the kid to the ground. And when the twins got kicked out of their foster home because Joey kissed the other boy who lived there, it was Jordie who told him everything would be okay. And as long as Jordie and Joey are together, it will be. But when the principal calls their current foster mother about a fight at school, the boys know she’ll be done with them. And, from spying in their file, they also know they’re going to be separated.

Determined to face the world side by side rather than without one another, Jordie and Joey set off to find their birth parents. From Arizona to Roswell to Area 51 in the Nevada desert, the twins begin a search for where they truly belong. But Jordie’s about to discover that family isn’t always about the ones who bring you into the world, but the ones who help you survive it.

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59040556-jordie-and-joey-fell-from-the-sky

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jordie-Joey-Fell-Judi-Lauren/dp/1631635816/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=9781631635816&linkCode=qs&qid=1642716170&s=books&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jordie-and-joey-fell-from-the-sky-judi-lauren/1140064581?ean=9781631635816

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Jordie-and-Joey-Fell-from-the-Sky-Judi-Lauren/9781631635816

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781631635816

About the Author:

Judi Lauren was born in the Midwest and misses those winters. She now resides in an area where the bugs are way too large. She has an unnatural obsession with Chicago, Dean Winchester, and Friends (the TV show.)

Judi is represented by Heather Cashman of Storm Literary Agency, where she writes books for kids and teens about family, friendship, and surviving impossible things.

In her spare time, she also works as an editor at Radish Fiction. You can connect with her on Instagram @judilauren.

Author Links:

Website: https://judilauren.com/

Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/judi__lauren

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/judilauren/?hl=en

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21824664.Judi_Lauren

Tour Schedule:

The Starless Crown by James Rollins

Disclaimer: I received this e-audiobook arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Starless Crown

Author: James Rollins

Book Series: Moon Fall Book 1

Rating: 2/5

Recommended For…: can’t recommend, DNF

Publication Date: January 4, 2022

Genre: Dystopian

Age Relevance: can’t recommend, DNF

Publisher: Tor Books

Pages: 560

Synopsis: A gifted student foretells an apocalypse. Her reward is a sentence of death.

Fleeing into the unknown she is drawn into a team of outcasts:

A broken soldier, who once again takes up the weapons he’s forbidden to wield and carves a trail back home.

A drunken prince, who steps out from his beloved brother’s shadow and claims a purpose of his own.

An imprisoned thief, who escapes the crushing dark and discovers a gleaming artifact – one that will ignite a power struggle across the globe.

On the run, hunted by enemies old and new, they must learn to trust each other in order to survive in a world evolved in strange, beautiful, and deadly ways, and uncover ancient secrets that hold the key to their salvation.

But with each passing moment, doom draws closer.

WHO WILL CLAIM THE STARLESS CROWN?

Review: I had to DNF this read at 20%. The book wasn’t grabbing my attention and it had a lot of things that started to kind of trigger me. The book had a ton of exposition, but the plot didn’t feel like it was going anywhere. And while I do like the characters overall, nothing is just making me want to read this one.

Verdict: It’s not for me, but maybe for you!