My TBR Pile

 

Two cousins embark on an exciting mystery to solve the riddle of their grandfather’s will. The boys from diverse backgrounds must work together to overcome natural and cultural obstacles. Can they save the ranch in time?

History, like magic, has a habit of repeating itself

It’s been six months since thirteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy left magic behind for good. Or so she thought…

Then the enchanted objects that protected her disappear. Now a skeleton named Errol has cursed her with magical powers that keep getting her in trouble. Suddenly strange things are happening with disastrous effects, and if Alyssa can’t remove the magic, she will lose everything she holds dear.

In order to get rid of her unwanted wizardry, Alyssa will have to boost her bravery and confidence and determine who Errol really is. But every time Alyssa uses an enchantment, Errol is one step closer to getting his flesh back and becoming alive, and he will do anything to achieve his goals…even if it means destroying Alyssa’s happiness.

Originally published in 2016 as “Wizardry Goes Wild” and “The Unruly Curse” in 2019, “A Curse of Mayhem” is book two in the exciting and suspenseful “Magical Missions” series.

 

This exciting entry in Lee & Low’s “Story of” line of chapter-book biographies introduces readers to Robert Smalls, an enslaved steamboat wheelman who commandeered a Confederate boat during the Civil War and escaped with his family, crew, and their families to freedom.

Growing up enslaved in South Carolina, Robert Smalls always dreamed of the moment freedom would be within his grasp. Now that moment was here.

Robert stood proudly at the Planter’s wheel. Only seven miles of water lay between the ship and the chance of freedom in Union territory. With precision and amazing courage, he navigated past the Confederate forts in the harbor and steered the ship toward the safety of the Union fleet. Just one miscalculation would be deadly, but for Robert, his family, and his crewmates, the risk was worth taking.

The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls is the compelling account of the daring escape of Robert Smalls, an enslaved steamboat wheelman who became one of the Civil War’s greatest heroes. His steadfast courage in the face of adversity is an inspiring model for all who attempt to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges.

This Chapter Book edition includes black-and-white illustrations as well as sidebars on related subjects, a timeline, a glossary, and recommended reading.

What is in your TBR pile right now?

 

Midnight Teacher by Janet Halfmann

Midnight Teacher by Janet Halfmann is the story of one woman’s courageous journey to improve the lives of others through literacy.

Born into slavery, Lilly Ann Granderson was sold to a slave owner in Kentucky after the death of her mother. The master’s children would often play school and gave Lilly an old speller and taught her to read. She began sharing this gift of reading with others on the plantation. Once the owner died, she was sold to a cotton plantation in Mississippi, where it was illegal for slaves to learn to read. Undeterred, she restarted her school, teaching late at night to avoid being caught. The school grew. When patrollers discovered the slave school Lilly faced a hard punishment, but the authorities eventually ruled there was no law against a slave teaching other slaves.

What I admire about Halfmann’s biographies is that she highlights people who have made a difference in this world long past the pivotal times in which they lived. Granderson’s story displays her tremendous strength and determination to offer a gift that others took for granted because it was never a right denied to them. She knew the risks and faced them without fear of the consequences because she believed education was the path to freedom for her people. Between Halfmann’s moving text and London Ladd’s stunning artwork, the reader is immediately drawn into Granderson’s story.

A perfect book for any school or personal library, Midnight Teacher could inspire many school projects and empower young people to action for the causes for which they are passionate.

Highly recommended!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Grades 1-6
Reading Level Grades 3-6
Lexile Measure: 950 (What’s this?)
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books; Illustrated edition (February 13, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620141639
ISBN-13: 978-1620141632

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Coming in February: Midnight Teacher by Janet Halfmann

Halfmann tells the powerful story of Lily Ann Granderson, an enslaved woman who “believed the path to freedom was through education.” Ladd’s rich, naturalistic acrylic-and-pencil images depict Granderson’s upbringing in Kentucky, where she learned to read and write in secret, then shared her knowledge with other children. As an enslaved adult in Mississippi, Granderson risked punishment by holding night classes in an empty cabin: “Landowners feared that if the enslaved could read, they would discover that some northerners wanted slavery abolished.” After the school is discovered, Granderson is shocked to learn that she won’t be punished (Halfmann speculates about why she might have escaped punishment in an afterword) and reopens her school, teaching as a free woman for many more years. The painful but uplifting narrative may spark readers’ curiosity about other enslaved individuals whose stories have not yet been told.

Age Range: 7 – 11 years
Grade Level: 3 – 4
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books; Illustrated edition (February 6, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620141639
ISBN-13: 978-1620141632

Pre-order from Amazon or other online retailers.

New from Guardian Angel Publishing

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In 1940 World War II was apparent, so Ed Trettin enlisted in the United States Coast Guard, serving on the cutter the USS Ingham. He would travel over 700,000 miles on that most decorated vessel in the Coast Guard fleet. Little did he know that by following orders “seek and destroy” all subs who would be following the convoys and to “search and rescue” survivors would lead him decades later to one man he had pulled from the icy Atlantic. After all he had rescued many, many men from sunken ships during the war.

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Chickolet Pigolet’s family wins the Crumbles Cookie jingle contest and an all exclusive trip to Hollywood, California. Everyone wants to be a star in Hollywood whether it’s appearing on a popular game show, writing the next screen play hit, or trying on the foot prints at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Chickolet Pigolet dreams of becoming the next afternoon matinEe idol, but learns sometimes being a good friend can make you more than just a Hollywood star.

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Crow the rooster is an eyewitness the night Peter denied Jesus, but no one has ever heard his account of the story until now. When Crow and his barnyard buddies travel to Jesus’ tomb and discover Jesus has risen from the dead, “Halle Doodle Do Yas” fill the air. Crow finally has something to crow about.!

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Shelby Bradshaw seizes an opportunity to skip fifth grade for all the wrong reasons. She expects to escape the teasing she suffered all last year for being the biggest girl in her class. But her problems follow her, growing even more difficult when she tries to act older than she is.

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Coby Ryan Harris is Officially Fat! is an inspiring novel about a smart and funny seventh-grade boy who overcomes the challenges of childhood obesity, bullying, girls, and divorce. Teen-friendly recipes are included along with healthy tips and a discussion with a licensed psychologist.

 

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Children on the farm have the experience of a lifetime when they rescue a tiny hungry kitten and discover how cats behave. The children learn about farm life, being responsible, reacting to a need, and the joy of having a pet..

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Ten-year-old Macy is waiting for her grandparents to arrive on Thanksgiving. When the front door swings open, Grandma and Grandpa are covered with hugs and kisses. Crash! Everyone rushes in to find the dog gnawing a meaty turkey leg. Can Macy’s quick thinking save dinner?

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Squirrel Superhighway features a dog on a self-discovery mission who is surrounded by many graceful squirrels. This is a vocabulary booster in a series of feel-good stories for children of all ages and those who read with and to them. The story includes squirrels, more squirrels, even more squirrels, and a dog who wants to be a squirrel!

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How did we ever learn to speak English with so many exceptions to the rules? Once, Twice, Thrice is a loving and humorous look at a father trying to explain plurals to his child. Names of groups of animals to learn about, too.

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Three unlikely young friends in ancient Judea – Louis the sheep, Joshua the ferret and Mahmoud the bull – embark on a life-changing adventure to Bethlehem. Can they make it in time to deliver their unique gifts to the newborn King, or will Herod’s evil wolf stop them and alter history forever?

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Phillip, our little honey guide, is the story of a real baby who was abandoned in Arusha, Tanzania and rescued by Neema House. The baby, Phillip, was named for Phillip Wood who was the only American on Malaysian flight 370 that went down in the Indian Ocean on March 23, 2014. Phillip’s story is a happy honey guide bird, leading a honey badger to a honey tree and loses his way home.

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Scott’s friends say there is no Santa Claus. When he wants to know if Santa is real, Mom invites him into the circle of those who keep the dream alive. Will Scott decide to be a Dream Keeper?

For these and more books from Guardian Angel Publishing, visit http://guardianangelpublishing.com.

Asia: Its People and History by Bonnie Rose Hudson

asiaFilled with stories, activities, and tons of information, Asia: Its People and History by Bonnie Rose Hudson is a wonderful resource for Christian parents seeking to introduce their children to the people of Asia and the wealth of history about the area.

With her desire to bring history to life, Hudson has created a phenomenal, engaging, and informative resource designed for children ages 8 to 12. The curriculum is divided into sixteen weeks that can be stretched or compressed to best fit your schedule. Each section contains a story, discussion questions, and activities to make learning come alive. Links to downloadable information make it easy to find what you’re looking for more of. After the Answer Key, you’ll find a list of resources that includes suggested reading, in addition to a special free offer from the author. I plan to share my copy with a homeschooling mom I know.

This curriculum will inspire children to learn more. Highly recommended.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Print length: 95 pages
Publisher: Bonnie Rose Hudson
Language: English
ISBN: 9781496041258

You can purchase a paperback or digital copy of this book from the author’s website at http://writebonnierose.com/products/ or the Kindle version at Amazon.

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.