Sunday, June 16, 2019

Two Little Golfers Being Positive Awareness Tour 2019 | Hosted by The Children's Book Review


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Jenn Holt's Two Little Golfers Being Positive and one dozen pink golf balls and pink tees!

One (1) winner receives:
  • An autographed copy of Two  Little Golfers Being Positive
  • A set of one dozen pink golf balls and pink tees
Two (2) winners will receive:
  • An autographed copy of Two  Little Golfers Being Positive
Giveaway begins June 10, 2019, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends July 10, 2019, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Giveaway open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 17 and older.
Jenn Holt is responsible for prize fulfillment.


Written by Jenn Holt
Illustrated by Harry Aveira
Publisher’s Synopsis: Coach Jenn takes Alice and Izzy on the golf course to show them the value of positive self talk,  a positive attitude, and to never give up, no matter how hard it gets. The story is told with some cute illustrations, and is great for all sports kids.
Ages 0-7 | Publisher: Outskirts Press | October 29, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1977201263
Many youngsters want to try new activities, but all too often become discouraged when they make mistakes. Jenn Holt has written a book about two young friends who go out to enjoy a round of golf, but with two very different attitudes. Izzy takes everything in stride, laughing at her mistakes and certain that her next shot will be better. But Alice becomes downcast whenever a shot goes astray and has to be reminded by Coach Jenn to keep a positive outlook and enjoy the game rather than giving up. Readers will see that maintaining optimism has an impact on the enjoyment of activities and personal performance.


The Children's Book Review
Tour Kick-Off & Giveaway
June 10
Word Spelunking
Book Review
June 11
Barbara Ann Mojica's Blog
Book Review
June 12
Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom
Book Review
June 13
A Dream Within A Dream
Book Review
June 14
The Fairview Review
Book Review
June 17
Confessions of a Book Addict
Book Giveaway
June 18
icefairy's Treasure Chest
Book Review
June 19
Book Review
June 20
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Book Review
July 5



The Fairview Review is participating in the blog tour in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Jenn Holt. If you post on social media about the blog tour, please use #TwoLittleGolfersBeingPositive.

Spring Reading 2019 The Warehouse

The Warehouse: A Novel by [Hart, Rob]

The setting of The Warehouse reminds me of the setup for indentured workers in Ready, Player One. (In the book, not the movie.) Parzival's description of the locator anklet and the monitoring camera attached to each worker's ear falls into the spooky techno-surveillance that we were warned of in 1984. The workers at the Cloud facility in this novel are also monitored, although with smart watches that track their job performance, health, location, everything. Which makes it really hard for corporate spies to sneak in and complete a mission, but not impossible.

The book toggles back and forth between Gibson, the owner and founder of Cloud, who is blogging as he makes a final tour of facilities around the country before he hands over the reins to his successor; Paxton, whose small business was driven into bankruptcy by Cloud and now has to go to work for his rival; and Zinnia, who has ulterior motives for getting a job inside the MotherCloud facility. Readers hear Gibson's view of how his policies and innovations have "saved" America; Paxton's view as a security guard working in the facility and dealing with drug dealers, suicides, and his own feelings about Cloud's destruction of his own business; and then Zinnia's view as a worker on the floor of the shipping hub and her interactions with other workers and management.

Needless to say, there is much more going on that what corporate headquarters and all their PSAs are willing to share with the public. And just when you think you have it all figured out, there is a twist (of course), that makes it even more convoluted. When you reach the end you will be questioning how close to reality and the present day that some of these scenarios really are. (That doesn't make you paranoid.)

For fans of dystopian fiction, near-future cautionary tales, and espionage thrillers.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Spring Reading 2019 The Book Charmer (Dove Pond, #1)

Sarah Dove lives in the small town of Dove Pond, just like her family has for generations. And like many of those other women in her ancestry, Sarah has a gift, a special power. In Sarah's case the power is the ability to hear books speak to her and tell her who needs to read them. Once she becomes the town librarian, that ability really comes in handy. Just imagine - you're emptying the book return bin and the books are telling you which patron you need to give them to next. Talk about readers' advisory services!

Sarah may have met an immovable object when it comes to the newest resident in Dove Pond. Grace Wheeler moves to the quiet town in an effort to help her adoptive mother and her newly orphaned niece. Mama G grew up in Dove Pond and Grace hopes the move will help them all heal in various ways, but she does not have time for the odd librarian who seems to have conversations with stacks of books, or the motorcycle-riding neighbor next door with his long hair and gruff manner. Can the charms of the books, the neighbors, and the town itself work their magic on Grace and her family?

This is a book perfect for readers who enjoy stories revolving around relationships and small town settings, but also for those who already know the power of the right book at the right time and want to see that power in action (in the hands of the book charmer). Recommended for fans of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend or The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Spring Reading 2019 I Really Love You

This book series from Tatsuya Miyanishi, features a fearsome dinosaur in each book that learns to love through unexpected events. The latest book stars a Tyrannosaurus who mistakenly trusts a Tapejara and winds up starving and nearly frozen in the far north. Three small Homalocephales find him and bring him food. Even though it is his instinct to eat the smaller creatures, the T-Rex befriends them instead. Although they speak different languages, they come to understand one another and he even saves them from a hungry Albertosaurus. 

These stories are great for reading aloud with very young children, but also good for early elementary ages. Those who are reading on their own will enjoy the struggles that the T-rex and his small friends have in trying to communicate. If they look closely, they will see that the Homalocephales actually speak backwards! "KO UOY ERA?" one of them asks their new friend as he reels from hunger.  

Children who love dinosaurs may enjoy the stories for the characters alone, but adults will be glad to see the life lessons that are gently conveyed in each of the books in this series. Even for young readers who are not dino fans, the illustrations are colorful, and the sound effects are fun - boom, chomp, clap! Highly recommended for all ages.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Spring Reading 2019 Serafina and the Seven Stars

Once again Robert Beatty has our favorite heroine in the thick of the action. This time her best friend and ally, Braeden, has been sent off to school. As she tries to adjust to life at Biltmore without him, Serafina senses danger. Is it real, is she suffering from PTSD (possible, considering all she has been through in previous books), or does home just not feel the same without Braeden? We will all have to wait for a few more weeks to find out.

This series is so enjoyable for so many reasons. Serafina is vulnerable and yet incredibly strong and resilient. She is also fiercely loyal and has a belief in right and wrong that serves her friends well. The setting is beautiful with the stately Biltmore mansion, the mountains, and the natural beauty of the area. But the distance from more populated areas also makes the inhabitants easier to prey on by evil that depends on secrecy and concealment.

Readers may have started off as middle grade students, following Serafina as she matures and comes into her power, and grown into young adults along with her. There is a reason that crowds fill the bookstores where the author makes appearances to celebrate the release of each book - it is a well-earned fan base. Don't be surprised if there is a bit of a scrum at the bookshelf on July 9th.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Spring Reading 2019 Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus and Momentous Events in the life of a Cactus

        Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by [Bowling, Dusti]         

Insignificant Events:
Aven Green was born without arms, although she enjoys making up stories about losing them to alligators or other equally terrifying accidents. Her parents have encouraged her to be independent all her life and she has done well in school and on the soccer team with her friends. But now her parents have decided to take over the management of a rundown theme park called Stagecoach Pass. Suddenly, Aven has to leave the classmates that have known her since kindergarten and move to Arizona. There are so many adjustments to make with the new home, new climate, and then there is the awful fate of being the new kid at school - the new kid without arms. So...yeah.

Thankfully Aven has her awesome parents, a couple of the adults who work at the park, and she slowly begins to make friends at school. Her friends also have issues they are dealing with like weight and Tourette's. Together they support each other, argue with each other, and generally act like 13-year-olds. While Aven is figuring out how she fits into life around Stagecoach Pass, she is also trying to uncover a mystery at the park. Who was Aven Cavanaugh and why does the man at the ice cream shop keep confusing the two Avens?

I enjoyed this book for many reasons. Aven really does have awesome parents who are determined that she will "grow up to be a totally self-sufficient, problem-solving expert." She accepts other people for who they are and expects the same in return. The title refers to a saguaro cactus that grows near the park. When she learns it is almost 200 years old, Aven decides that with all it has seen in that time, what happens in her life must seem pretty insignificant. Imagine having a cactus help you put your life into perspective!

I had heard about the book, but didn't read it until a supervisor from our district office gave me a copy. Then I saw an ARC of the sequel at ALA Midwinter and picked up a copy. After I read it, I returned the favor and sent it to him.  :-)

Momentous Events:
In this sequel, Aven faces the scary prospect of starting high school without her best friend Connor, although she will still have their friend Zion there to share their freshman year. Even a new friend she met through soccer is going to a different school this year. But despite being targeted for bullying by a complete jerk, Aven and Zion manage to be themselves. Along the way they both get a crush on someone (not each other), attend a school dance, and face other milestones of teenage life.

This book does a good job of showing how being bullied can suck all the joy and energy out of your life. Aven ponders how she is dealing with the situation and decides, "High school was stealing everything away from me - my courage, my confidence, and my determination." Of course it isn't high school that is doing those things, but the bullying. She lets it undermine her happiness until the bully turns on a friend, and then she becomes her usual problem-solving self. (Can't tell you how that works out, it would spoil the ending.)

You need to read these books. And read them in order - this is not a series that order doesn't matter. Highly recommended for middle grade readers who enjoy stories of friendship and facing the hurdles life puts in your way. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Spring Reading 2019 The Wayfinder


For readers interested in fantasy stories set in worlds with plenty of challenges, the Heartland Tales are a good choice. In The Wayfinder, a young man with the skill of finding locations and guiding others to them suffers a tragic loss that shakes his confidence. But when a plague comes to his town along with word that it is spreading throughout the Heartland, Winchal must leave the safety of his home and travel down into the Rift to find a cure. The only person known to have survived such a trip is his mother, although he has always thought that was a legend. Together with a Tazi, a special gazehound that communicate with him, Win takes on the quest - hoping to find a cure for the plague and perhaps a remedy for his own pain.

The setting has a variety of locations that offer different challenges. The characters are a mix of ages, genders, and dispositions. There is contrast between the townsfolk and the people that Win encounters in the Rift. The abilities of the wayfinders, the gazehound, and the hunters and beasts they come across all take the story out of the everyday. Besides the quest, this is also a coming of age story. Winchal is on the verge of moving from apprentice to full member of his trade, he is also moving from the care of his parents to being independent, and learning to accept his great loss in and move on with his life.

Recommended for YA readers who enjoy fantasy adventure. The Wayfinder was  first published in 2000 and is being reissued on June 11, 2019. A brand-new companion book, The Falconer, will follow on July 9. 

I read a copy provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Spring Reading 2019 Cece Loves Science and Adventure

K-Gr 3—Readers see Cece's scientific bent on the opening spread where she wears a lab coat and safety goggles, but they also learn that she enjoys earning Adventure Girl pins. Her attempts to earn previous pins offer humorous moments, such as when "the dance lesson totally tripped her up" or the sewing challenge "had her in stitches." A troop outing gives Cece and her friends a chance to earn their camping pins as the girls head out to the park with their leader and mascot (Cece's mom and her dog Einstein). When a sudden storm causes some difficulties, the girls use teamwork to salvage their camping trip. The story shows how STEM skills mesh together in a problem situation with each discipline playing an integral part of the solution. Warm illustrations show the adventurers creating a map to their campsite, taking a selfie, and other memorable moments. The array of adept female characters are sure to become reader favorites, as will Einstein. Back matter includes a list of "Cece's Science Facts," which explain some of the terms and concepts like time stamp and GPS. VERDICT A wonderful book for fans of Ada Twist; it is also perfect for a STEM read-aloud.

(My review was first published in School Library Journal, June 2019, p.62.)

Spring Reading 2019 From an Idea to Google

Gr 5–7—Beginning with the background of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, this slim volume covers the development of Google from its first inspiration to its current status. Throughout the book, there are illustrations, definitions of key terms, fun facts, and quotes from Page and Brin. Along with detailing the basic mechanics of a Google search, there are explanations of the company's mission, their celebration of failures, and their effort "to be the third half of your brain." Back matter includes a time line, examples of real questions asked during Google job interviews, extensive source notes, and a bibliography. It is hard to imagine the world without the convenience of Google, but it took even more imagination to create Google in the first place. The author does a thorough job of presenting the personalities of Page and Brin, as well as the evolution of their creation. VERDICT Highly recommended for readers with an interest in technology, programming, and successful entrepreneurs.

(My review was first published on June 1,  2019 in School Library Journal.)

Spring Reading 2019 Martin & Anne: The Kindred Spirits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Anne Frank

Gr 3–7
-Churnin has reached into the past and pulled out amazing connections between two of the most celebrated figures of the twentieth century. Even though they were on separate continents, the author shows how their experiences paralleled each other in many ways. Born the same year and treated as inferior due to their race, both Martin and Anne dreamed of a world where equality and justice prevailed. By using key events from their lives to show the forces arrayed against them, the author makes the resilience and positive outlook of both figures even more evident. Illustrator Nayberg's paintings capture details such as the "Whites Only!" signs seen during the Civil Rights Movement in the Jim Crow South and the light coming through the attic window of Anne's hiding place. The final scene shows Martin and Anne looking up to the sky with these words reinforcing their legacies: "Love is stronger than hate. Kindness can heal the world." By showing the adversity in Martin's and Anne's lives and ending with their lasting message, the creators have made a book perfect for middle grade readers and for classrooms studying discrimination and injustice. VERDICT Highly recommended for middle grade readers and units on World War II, civil rights, and social justice.

(My review of this book was first published in April 2019 by School Library Journal.)

Spring Reading 2019 One Iguana, Two Iguanas

Gr 3–7—Collard relies on his trademark style in this latest title that demonstrates how a species evolves in response to its environment. The author compares two types of lizards found on the Galápagos Islands: one that dives underwater to eat ocean algae and another that eats prickly pears. Using the latest scientific theories to explain how a lizard ancestor could have reached the islands, Collard deftly examines why the two iguana species are so different in size, coloration, and other traits despite their common heritage. Detailed photographs illustrate the differences between the species and show other flora and fauna of the archipelago. Helpful sidebars discuss topics such as the use of DNA in dating the divergence of species, the giant tortoises of the Galápagos, and Charles Darwin's famous exploration of the area. Back matter includes suggested titles for further reading on evolution, Darwin, and the Galápagos. VERDICT A comprehensible explanation of evolution and adaptation, perfect for elementary and middle school collections.

(My review of this book was first published in February 2019 by School Library Journal.)

Unclaimed Prizes from Past Giveaways

I have three books from past giveaways for which I never received a mailing address for the winners, so I was unable to send them the books. Here's one last attempt to ship these titles to where they belong:

Dawne Reed - won an ARC of The Slowest Book Ever by April Pulley Sayre

Amanda Vasquez - won an ARC of Deadly Flowers by Sarah L. Thomson

Karen Paterson - won a hardback copy of Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop by Alice Faye Duncan

If I don't hear from you in the next week or so, then I will find them other homes. Thanks!!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Spring Reading 2019 If I Were a Park Ranger


Okay, so they had me at Catherine Stier. I love her book, If I Ran for President (among others), and the fact that this latest title was about national parks and monuments was a bonus. Within the pages she covers many of the duties and some of the various locations that a ranger might be assigned to. Whether it is Mammoth Cave or Canaveral National Seashore, rangers in each location wear a uniform and have important duties like protecting the land and animals or helping to conduct research. Major figures in the history of the National Park Service are introduced with a portrait gallery layout and brief descriptions of their roles. The types of skills and academic fields important to prepare for a career in the park service are also covered.

Corrigan's illustrations show many of the locations and daily activities. The rangers are a diverse group and so are the tourists and other characters pictured. The final illustration of the group of rangers looking at Mount Rushmore is a strong image for readers to take away as their last impression. Helpful captions name each location making it easier for readers to identify them. A helpful author's note in the back offers more details about STEM and art in the parks and what it takes to become a ranger.

Perfect for families and classes preparing for a visit to a national park, monument, or historic site - or for classes doing a unit on careers or national parks. I won a copy of the book in a giveaway.

Spring Reading 2019 I'm the Big One Now!


Marilyn Singer (author of Mirror, Mirror and Follow, Follow), has written a collection of poems all about the moments that signal a child is becoming a big kid. Attempting to ride a bicycle actually makes three appearances, as the narrator wobbles around the schoolyard, wishes to be as good on a bike as an older brother, and finally conquers the 2-wheeler. A few poems are written for two voices; one compares learning to snap and learning to whistle, while the other shows the jitters before a ballet or piano recital. Birthday parties, a first visit to the ocean, and bee stings are also described. 

"How Delicious!" reflects back on "when I bit covers and licked pages," as small children often do explore books with their mouths when they first encounter them. And the book wraps up with a very important milestone, the arrival of a baby brother. As Singer writes, "I'm young. But I'm the older. Wow. I'm the big one now." Christy's digital illustrations show diverse children and families in a variety of settings from the kitchen to the ballpark and are a perfect complement to the text.

A good read for kiddos reaching some of the milestones mentioned in the poems, especially for one expecting a new baby in the family. I read a copy provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Spring Reading 2019 Bedtime for Beasties


Ever have a bad experience and then realize you are in a dream, a nightmare? Our narrator and her friend Ben are in a colorful jungle when they notice eyes staring at them. They are "terrified, horrified, petrified, stunned." As they try to run away from the creatures they realize they are in a bad dream and decide to take control of the action. Dreams are great because we can fly, change size, and use abilities we don't have in real life. Using a little dream crafting, the narrator turns the nightmare into an enjoyable romp.

The digital illustrations show monsters of all colors and shapes. Watching them transform into the stars of a dream movie (complete with costumes, makeup, and wigs), will have young readers laughing at their antics. The story reinforces the idea that in a dream, the dreamer is in charge - or can take charge once they realize they are dreaming.

A fun story about the power of imagination, as well as a good book to read with kiddos who are anxious about going to sleep for fear of bad dreams. The way the narrator takes charge reminds me of Max in Where the Wild Things Are. I read a copy provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Spring Reading 2019 Popcorn Country: The Story of America's Favorite Snack


This nonfiction volume tells all the details of how and where popcorn is cultivated. Crisp, clear photos reveal the orderly rows of the corn fields, as well as closeups of fluffy popped kernels. Readers will learn about the varieties of corn grown in the U.S., see a processing facility where the corn is conditioned and tested or pop-ability, and even the huge container ships that carry it to places worldwide. The text is easy to read and uses comparisons to make it easier to visualize amounts such as cornstalks "that stretch so tall that they could tickle the chin of a young giraffe."

Back matter includes a history of popcorn, as well as a source list of books and websites for further information. A perfect companion to Tomie dePaola's The Popcorn Book, or as a read-aloud to go along with a class treat of freshly popped corn. The large format of the photos and the limited amount of text on each spread makes it accessible and will not intimidate reluctant readers. Besides, who can resist popcorn?

I read a copy provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Spring Reading 2019 What If...? Then We...


My parents often said that they regretted when I learned the word why, because I was always asking questions and then questioning the answers I received. That's a fairly common phase that kids go through. But these two polar bears explore all sorts of possibilities using the phrases, "What if? and "Then we."It is a wonderful book to use for introducing creative thinking and looking at alternatives. Whether it is what they might do if all the crayons in the world melted, or what would happen if something really scary occurred, there is always an answer or solution. But the best is saved for last. "What if we wanted to imagine a thousand more possibilities? Then we would!"

Combining the talents of Dotlich (The Knowing Book), and Koehler (Puppy, Puppy, Puppy), this picture book is an affirmation of friendship and creativity, as well as an exploration of what happens when we open ourselves up to the power of "what if?" This would make an excellent mentor text for classrooms who want to create a class book, or perhaps even to look a bit at some unlikely cause and effect situations. (I certainly hope all the crayons never melt.)

I read a copy provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Spring Reading 2019 You Nest Here with Me


This charming board book combines the talents of two kid lit greats - Jane Yolen and Melissa Sweet. I could stop right there and many people who recognize those names would pick up a copy of the book the next time they were near a bookstore. But let me go into a little more detail.

Rhyming text shares a mother's reassuring bedtime mantra that her child will nest with her until she is "big as big can be." Various types of birds and their nesting habits are described, and shown in Sweet's wonderful illustrations. Whether they are pigeons on a ledge, grackles in a fir tree, or coots in cattail reeds, their surroundings are shown along with details of the nest and even glimpses of other wildlife in the area.

I imagine this will be purchased and given to young parents at many baby showers, as well as being presented to families of bird watchers who have youngsters or young grandchildren. But even those who are not ornithologists (amateur or professional), will appreciate the rhythm and repeated reassurance of home and security in the nest.

Highly recommended for anyone who has very young readers of their own, or works with children in the board book age group. It belongs on the shelf next to The Runaway Bunny or Goodnight, Moon. I read a copy provided by the publisher for review purposes.

See the great activity developed by the Tennessee Library for Accessible Books and Media using this title: (Thank you to Julie Dahlhouser for sharing the link with me.)

Spring Reading 2019 Extraordinary Birds


What makes a home? How do we know when we have found our place in the world? December is sure that she will grow wings and fly to her destined place, or at least that is what she tried to believe. One of the few things she has to remember her mother by is a book about birds, which she has committed to memory. With her determination to develop wings and fly away, December has alienated every foster family she has been placed with by jumping from trees, spouting bird facts nonstop, and trying to adjust her diet to seeds and other bird-approved foods.

When she is placed with Eleanor, it seems like an obvious match. Eleanor works at a wildlife center and helps to rehabilitate injured birds. Doesn't December fit into that category? But despite their common interest, theirs is not an easy relationship. December is not quick to trust Eleanor or the students at her new school, even though one of them also reaches out to her. Can a girl who is always poised to fly away finally come to roost?

This story reminds me of The Great Gilly Hopkins in the portrayal of children who are determined to control their destinies without any help from the adults who want to assist them. Extraordinary Birds also touches on bullying, friendship, and family.

Highly recommended for middle grade readers who enjoy character driven stories. Just be prepared and have a few tissues on hand. And if you know any readers of that age that love birds - they will be sure to appreciate December's vast knowledge of avian facts.

I read a review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley.