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?

 

Britfield & the Lost Crown by C.R. Stewart

In Britfield & the Lost Crown, C.R. Stewart invites readers into a fantastic adventure of a daring escape that winds up uncovering secrets no one could imagine.

Having spent most of his life locked behind the cruel walls of Weatherly Orphanage, Tom is excited to learn his parents may be alive. Armed with only one clue, Tom plans a daring escape with his friend Sarah that will put them in more danger than they could ever have anticipated. They travel from town to town in search of answers with many people hot on their trail determined to make sure Tom never learns the truth.

Wow! What a great way to start a series. With the help of his friends, Tom and Sarah wind up on a journey where they don’t know who is friend or foe while on the run from a multitude of people. Stewart is wise to create sympathetic characters from the start. With a well-rounded cast of good guys and bad guys, this phenomenal adventure engages the reader from beginning to end.

While the editor in me would like to see less passive voice, it didn’t detract much from the story. I’m also not a personal fan of third person omniscient point of view, but that didn’t slow down my desire to keep turning the pages.

With a great ending that will lead nicely into the next book in the series, I am eager to see what is coming next!

 

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 6
Lexile Measure: 700 (What’s this?)
Series: Britfield (Book 1)
Paperback: 402 pages
Publisher: Devonfield Publishing LLC (August 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1732961212
ISBN-13: 978-1732961210

ORDER INFO:

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2FBPPgj

Google Play/Books https://bit.ly/2uu2D63

Apple Books App https://apple.co/2tM7ZJL

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

 

Josie by Susan Lowe and Diane Iverson

An incredible based on real life story of faith and survival is what you’ll find in Josie by Susan Lowe and Diane Iverson.

Everyone breathes a sigh of relief once Hitler is defeated. But, for young Josie Trollmann and her older brother, Andreas, the horrors are just beginning. When the communist leader of Yugoslavia attempts to wipe out the ethnic Germans, four-year-old Josie and twelve-year-old Andreas are separated from their family and sent to a concentration camp. Then Josie finds herself at the death camp, Rudolfsnad. Scared and alone, she must keep praying for her survival and to be reunited with her family again.

Wow! Every once in a while a story touches your heart and you know you won’t soon forget it. Josie is that story. This amazing little girl endures so much on her journey. To think of a four-year-old girl being ripped away from her parents and grandparents and then finding herself alone in a death camp, it makes my eyes well up. Each time you think things will be okay, that safety and security Josie grasps for only moments is ripped away from her. Yet, she prays and prays and focuses on her survival and her desire to see her family again. Through mistreatment and undernourishment and illness, Josie prays for God to get home safely.

This inspiring story is written by Josie’s daughter and niece. What a touching tribute to a person I am so glad I got a chance to meet through the pages of this story. The Epilogue provides additional information about Josie and her family, which draws the reader even closer to them.

 

Josie by Susan Lowe and Diane Iverson is a must read for history lovers and those who enjoy incredible stories of faith and courage.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

File Size: 1260 KB
Print Length: 137 pages
Publisher: Susan Lowe; 1 edition (December 20, 2015)
Publication Date: December 20, 2015
Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B019MEN4SE

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

Coming Soon: Catherine’s War by Julia Billet

 

“A shining story of a young girl who struggles to come of age and find her place in a world fraught with danger.” —Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Newbery Honor-winning author of Hitler Youth

* Winner of the Youth Prize at the Angoulême International Comics Festival (voted by readers) * Winner of the Artémisia Prize for Historical Fiction * Winner of the Andersen Premio Prize *

A magnificent narrative inspired by a true survival story that asks universal questions about a young girl’s coming of age story, her identity, her passions, and her first loves.

At the Sèvres Children’s Home outside Paris, Rachel Cohen has discovered her passion—photography. Although she hasn’t heard from her parents in months, she loves the people at her school, adores capturing what she sees in pictures, and tries not to worry too much about Hitler’s war. But as France buckles under the Nazi regime, danger closes in, and Rachel must change her name and go into hiding.

As Catherine Colin, Rachel Cohen is faced with leaving the Sèvres Home—and the friends she made there—behind. But with her beautiful camera, Catherine possesses an object with the power to remember. For the rest of the war, Catherine bears witness to her own journey, and to the countless heroes whose courage and generosity saved the lives of many, including her own.

Based on the author’s mother’s own experiences as a hidden child in France during World War II, Catherine’s War is one of the most accessible historical graphic novels featuring a powerful girl since Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi—perfect for fans of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, Anne Frank, or Helen Keller.

Includes a map and photographs of the real Catherine and her wartime experiences, as well as an interview with author Julia Billet.

“Many of the settings are beautifully detailed, and the characters undeniably expressive. Catherine’s ability to find beauty in the world makes for a forward-looking read.” Booklist *(starred review)*

“This story will make readers want to join the Resistance. Characters are drawn so vividly that, long afterward, readers will remember their names.” —Kirkus

An Indie Next List Pick!

*A Junior Library Guild selection*

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: HarperAlley (January 21, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062915606
ISBN-13: 978-0062915603

Order from:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Books-A-Million

Indiebound

I Can Make this Promise by Christine Day

 

All her life, Edie has known that her mom was adopted by a white couple. So, no matter how curious she might be about her Native American heritage, Edie is sure her family doesn’t have any answers.

Until the day when she and her friends discover a box hidden in the attic—a box full of letters signed “Love, Edith,” and photos of a woman who looks just like her.

Suddenly, Edie has a flurry of new questions about this woman who shares her name. Could she belong to the Native family that Edie never knew about? But if her mom and dad have kept this secret from her all her life, how can she trust them to tell her the truth now?

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Heartdrum (October 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062871994
ISBN-13: 978-0062871992

Purchase here!

It Rained Warm Bread by Gloria Moskowitz-Sweet

Moishe was thirteen when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 and he was sent to Auschwitz. His home was ravaged, his family torn apart by illness and abduction. Years of brutality drew on as Moishe moved from one labor camp to the next. Finally, towards the end of the war and at the peak of Moishe’s deepest despair, a simple act of kindness by a group of courageous Czech women redeemed his faith that goodness could survive the trials of war: That was the day it rained warm bread.

Age Range: 9 – 13 years
Grade Level: 4 – 8
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (August 13, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250165725
ISBN-13: 978-1250165725

Purchase here!

God Squad Mission Him-Possible II, the Giant Slayers by Darlene Laney

The God Squad tackles a new mission in God Squad Mission Him-Possible II, the Giant Slayers

Angel takes the lead on this mission of helping a fellow student coping with being bullied by her former best friend. When Taylor ends up in the hospital after a suspicious accident, Angel fears she is not up to the task. Her fears and odd dreams of battling giants leave her wondering if she’s not cut out for the God Squad, but a mysterious encounter might get the mission back on track and help wipe out bullying at Carver Preparatory.

One of the most challenging issues facing today’s schools is bullying. In the sequel to The God Squad: Mission Him-Possible, The Distorted Mirror, author Darlene Laney tackles bullying head on. Using the armor of God, Angel and the other members of the God Squad find a way to help Taylor make changes in her own life and in the lives of the other students. The side story of how what happened in Angel’s past impacts her ability to help Taylor adds even more conflict. At the end, each member of the God Squad is featured sharing what piece of God’s armor she uses and how. Finally, Angel has a few words of advice for the readers about bullying.

I enjoyed this book from cover to cover. A story of friendship, facing your fears, and empowerment, young people will find much to draw their interest. Sure hope there is another God Squad story in the works.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

File Size: 2411 KB
Print Length: 123 pages
Publisher: Halo Publishing International (January 28, 2019)
Publication Date: January 28, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07N7QBTXN

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.