When the Butterflies Came by Kimberley Griffiths Little

From the author of Circle of Secrets comes a moving, magical adventure filled with family, faith, loss and love.

Tara Doucet’s life is a sham. She lives in one of the most prestigious homes along the bayou of Louisiana, but her father left them, her mother hides in the south wing of the house crippled by melancholy, she has nothing in common with her older sister Riley, and her beloved Grammy Claire has just passed away.

Then the butterflies come and begin to follow Tara around. A strange butler appears at their door to take them back to Grammy Claire’s house on the island of Chuuk, and she finds a stack of keys and detailed letters from her grandmother with a mystery to solve. As she learns more about her grandmother’s life, she knows the truth will change her life forever.

Circle of Secrets is one of my favorite books. When I learned Little had a new book coming out in 2013, I asked her for a copy. She graciously sent it my way, and then my life got crazy. Determined to catch up on overdue reviews this year, I brought When the Butterflies Came with me on vacation. Now, I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner.

What a fabulous book! Filled with mystery and magic, and set against the beauty of the bayou and an isolated island filled with secrets, Little has created an engaging adventure-filled story. Tara is the perfect protagonist–one readers will sympathize with and cheer for from the very beginning. Her troubled life unfolds as she discovers more and more about the grandmother she thought she knew. As she gets closer and closer to discovering Grammy Claire’s secrets, the danger increases until she’s not certain who is friend or foe. The ending will both thrill and shock. With When the Butterflies Came, Little solidifies her place in children’s literature. Her masterful storytelling will draw you right in and hold you tight until the last page is turned.

Highly recommended!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: Scholastic (2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0545541506
ISBN-13: 978-0545541503

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.

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Books You Miss

I was checking out the Barnes and Noble website and saw that books in the Fancy Nancy series by Jane O’Connor are on sale. Gosh, I hadn’t thought about Fancy Nancy in years. That brought my mind back to those days of sitting in the Lil’ Diva’s or Lil’ Princess’ bedrooms at night and reading before bedtime. There were so many books we read, I could never name them all. Here are a few that stick out in my mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I still remember the last book we read together…

 

 

We bought Scarlet, but somewhere in the middle of it the girls decided they were too old to read with mommy. 😦

What are some books you remember reading to your kids? Do you miss them? I’m hoping one day there will be grandkids who want to read with their yiayia.

New Arrival: The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr

 

Grisha is a dragon in a world that’s forgotten how to see him. Maggie is a unusual child who thinks she’s perfectly ordinary. They’re an unlikely duo—but magic, like friendship, is funny. Sometimes it chooses those who might not look so likely. And magic has chosen Grisha and Maggie to solve the darkest mystery in Vienna. Decades ago, when World War II broke out, someone decided that there were too many dragons for all of them to be free. As they investigate, Grisha and Maggie ask the question everyone’s forgotten: Where have the missing dragons gone? And is there a way to save them? At once richly magical and tragically historical, The Language of Spells is a novel full of adventure about remembering old stories, forging new ones, and the transformative power of friendship.

Age Range: 8 – 11 years
Grade Level: 5 – 9
Lexile Measure: 900 (What’s this?)
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (June 26, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1452159580
ISBN-13: 978-1452159584

Purchase here!

Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine

If you’re looking for a great book to teach you about writing, pick up a copy of Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly by Gail Carson Levine.

Best known for Ella Enchanted, Levine shares her wealth of experience with young writers. With helpful advice on beginnings and endings, writing dialogue, shaping characters, when to show and when to tell, how to come up with ideas and more this will become an often referred to resource. The chapters are short enough to be digested in one sitting and followed up with a writing exercise to illustrate the point. Even as a seasoned writer I found these exercises worthwhile. If you have an interest in writing, Writing Magic should be on your “TBR” list.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 8 and up
Grade Level: 3 – 6
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reissue edition (December 23, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006236717X
ISBN-13: 978-0062367174

 

I borrowed this book from our local library. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman

 

With the real-kid humor that has earned Dan Gutman millions of fans around the world, and featuring weird-but-true American tourist destinations, The Genius Files is a one-of-a-kind mix of geography and fun.

As Coke and Pepsi dodge nefarious villains from the Pez museum in California all the way to the Infinity Room in Wisconsin, black-and-white photographs and maps put young readers right into the action.

File Size: 2732 KB
Print Length: 309 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (January 25, 2011)
Publication Date: January 25, 2011
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Language: English
ASIN: B004HD62O4

 

Order here!

Too Big by Judy Dearborn Nill

You’ll find the topics of bullying, peer pressure, friendship and learning to accept who you are wrapped up in a fabulously engaging story with Too Big by Judy Dearborn Nill.

Shelby Bradshaw considers skipping the fifth grade and going right to middle school. Academically that won’t be a problem, but it’s really to escape all the teasing she has endured since her growth spurt. She’ll miss being with her best friend Zoe, but maybe it will all be worth it.

Though there are many teaching points and topics for discussion, the young reader will also discover a great plot and interesting characters. They might know a Shelby or a Zoe or a Marissa or a Deke or a Kenny. They might have experienced some of what these characters have. Misunderstandings happen. People aren’t always who you think they are. Sometimes actions have bad consequences. Maybe a good idea ends up not being so good later.

Too Big tackles real issues that kids are dealing with and handles them without trivializing them or the real feelings young people must cope with. Too Big is an awesome book. I’m so glad the author asked me to review it. I’ll be looking for more of her work in the future.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 6
Paperback
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing; Large type / large print edition edition (October 22, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616338075
ISBN-13: 978-1616338077

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.

Deck the Halls, We’re Off the Walls by Dan Gutman

With more than 10 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!

A.J. and the gang from My Weird School star in this series of after-school, holiday-themed chapter books featuring brand-new hilarious stories and thirty-two pages of games, puzzles, and more.

It’s Christmas, and you know what that means! Santa Claus is coming to town! Or at least to the local mall. But what happens when kid rapper Cray-Z gives a Christmas concert at the same mall and all his fans go bananas? One thing’s for sure—if A.J. and his friends from Ella Mentry School want to save the day, they will need a Christmas miracle.

Bestselling author Dan Gutman brings his wacky, kid-friendly sense of humor to this all-new series of holiday adventures. With My Weird School trivia and Christmas-themed facts and puzzles, this is one weird Christmas special you don’t want to miss!

ISBN: 9780062206848
ISBN 10: 0062206842
Imprint: HarperCollins
On Sale: 09/24/2013
Pages: 144
List Price: 1.99 USD
Ages: 6 to 10

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