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
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.


Coming in November!: Cici’s Journal by Joris Chamblain & Aurelie Neyret

Cici dreams of being a novelist. Her favorite subject: people, especially adults. She’s been watching them and taking notes. Everybody has one special secret, Cici figures, and if you want to write about people, you need to understand what’s hiding inside them. But now she’s discovered something truly strange: an old man who disappears into the forest every Sunday with huge pots of paint in all sorts of colors. What is he up to? Why does he look so sad when he comes back?

In a graphic novel interwoven with journal notes, scrapbook pieces, and doodles, Cici assembles clues about the odd and wonderful people she’s uncovered, even as she struggles to understand the mundane: her family and friends.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: First Second (November 7, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162672248X
ISBN-13: 978-1626722484


Purchase here

New Release: Thornhill by Pam Smy

Parallel plotlines, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.

Mary is an orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children at the very moment that it’s closing down for good. But when a bully goes too far, Mary’s revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.

Years later, Ella moves to a new town where she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute. Determined to befriend the mysterious, evasive girl she sees there, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s history and uncover its secrets.

Ella’s story is told through striking, bold art; Mary’s is told through diary entries. Each informs the other until the two eventually intersect to reveal the truth behind Thornhill’s shadowy past, once and for all. Strikingly told and masterfully illustrated, Pam Smy bends genres and expectations alike.

Age Range: 10 – 14 years
Grade Level: 5 – 9
Hardcover: 544 pages
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (August 29, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162672654X
ISBN-13: 978-1626726543
Purchase here

Pam Smy studied illustration at Cambridge School of Art, part of Anglia Ruskin University, where she now lectures part-time. Pam has illustrated books by Conan Doyle, Julia Donaldson, and Linda Newbury, as well as Bob Cattell’s Butter-Finger series for Frances Lincoln. She lives in Cambridge.


Shoes for Anthony by Emma Kennedy

Set in a small Welsh coal-mining town during World War II, this moving and unforgettable novel is by turns touching and hilarious.

This 1944 World War Two drama tells the story of Anthony, a boy living in a deprived Welsh village, anticipating the arrival of American troops. Suddenly, a German plane crashes into the village mountain. A Polish prisoner-of-war survives and is brought into the community where he builds a close relationship with Anthony. Later, the villagers discover one of the Germans on the plane has survived and is still on the mountain.

Joyous, thrilling, and nostalgic, Emma Kennedy’s Shoes For Anthony will have you wiping your eyes one moment and beaming from ear-to-ear the next. This is a small gem of a novel that reviewers (and readers) will cherish.

Purchase at:

EMMA KENNEDY is the author of nine books, including bestsellers The Tent, the Bucket and Me and I Left My Tent in San Francisco. She is also an actress and has appeared in many award winning comedies, including Goodness Gracious Me, People Like Us, and Miranda. She is the Fun editor at Tatler, won “Celebrity Masterchef” in 2012, and is a Guinness World Record holder.

Connect with Emma online at


New from Guardian Angel Publishing


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.


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.


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.!


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.


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.



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..


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?


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!


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.


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?


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.


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


The Misadventures of Max Crumbly 1: Locker Hero by Rachel Renée Russell


A brand-new series from #1 New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries author Rachel Renée Russell! Introducing Max Crumbly!

Max Crumbly is about to face the scariest place he’s ever been: South Ridge Middle School.

There’s a lot that’s great about his new school, but there’s also one big problem—Doug, the school bully whose hobby is stuffing Max in his locker.

If only Max could be like the hero in his favorite comics. Unfortunately, Max’s uncanny, almost superhuman ability to smell pizza from a block away won’t exactly save any lives or foil bad guys.

But that doesn’t mean Max won’t do his best to be the hero his school needs!

Age Range: 9 – 13 years
Grade Level: 4 – 8
Lexile Measure: 750 (What’s this?)
Series: The Misadventures of Max Crumbly (Book 1)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Aladdin (June 7, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1481460013
ISBN-13: 978-1481460019

Purchase here!


E-Book Sale at Chronicle Books



Check out the e-books on sale through August 31 at Chronicle Books!

book 1

With enough lunch for three, Mr. Magee and his dog Dee head out to the sea. But what begins as a fun day in the sun turns a bit bumpy when one playful whale decides to say hello. Soon the crew that once was floating finds themselves flying! How will they get down? Who will come to their rescue? And when will they ever get to eat lunch? Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee is a great read-aloud, sure to provide fits of giggles. Plus, this version includes audio and a read-along setting.

book 2
Join one of the youngest crews ever to sail around the world in this fourth installment of the Worst-Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure Novel series! Faced with fearsome dangers and difficult decisions, your choices will determine your fate on the deadly seas. Will you survive tropical storms, high winds, navigation crises, and sharks? Or will you be forced to return home early? Only the reader can decide how to survive. There are 24 endings to this adventure, but just ONE will lead to the ultimate success! With eye-catching comic book style illustrations and real-life facts about survival on the high seas, young readers can choose how to survive and jump to the next section in this interactive ebook.


book 3Seventeen-year-old Elena is vanishing. Every day means renewed determination, so every day means fewer calories. This is the story of a girl whose armor against anxiety becomes artillery against herself as she battles on both sides of a lose-lose war in a struggle with anorexia. Told entirely from Elena’s perspective over a five-year period and cowritten with her mother, award-winning author Clare B. Dunkle, Elena’s memoir is a fascinating and intimate look at a deadly disease, and a must read for anyone who knows someone suffering from an eating disorder.


For these and more e-books on sale visit