Friday, January 31, 2020

Winter Reading 2020 Star Pig


Vess is on her way to Space Camp, but unlike the movie of that name, the accident to the shuttle Vess is traveling on leaves her as the only survivor. Her life is saved by a tardigrade, a creature normally microscopic in size on Earth, but gigantic in the case of this space-faring individual. In the manner of the living spaceship in Binti, the self-named space pig rescues Vess and keeps her alive - since tardigrades can survive in space. But their troubles are only beginning. Vess and the Earth artifacts are  valuable to galactic fans of human culture, while Star Pig is even more valuable for its species longevity and other biological secrets. Can the two of them survive those who are as acquisitive as The Collector from Marvel comics?

With plenty of pop culture references - everything from the Sarlacc of Star Wars to Keanu Reeves - and some wonderful scenes of a geeky teen messing about with alien technology, this is a fun and entertaining read for those who enjoy sci-fi stories. Once they reach the end readers will be eagerly looking for the next installment. "Tubular Tardigrade Facts" are included in the back of the book. Recommended for YA readers, title will be released on March 10.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Winter Reading Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence

With a fantasy element of Super Evil Nemesis and his minions, particularly Mr. Opposition (Mr. O for short), this book tells the story of Marie Curie's life. The colorful illustrations support the story line of a young superhero as she develops her skills, in spite of obstacles in life, by using the power of persistence. Facing down challenges such as restrictions on education for women or the cost of university life in Paris, Marie overcomes each difficulty and forges ahead. Mr. O and Nemesis are cartoon monsters who do their best to block Marie's progress in pursuing her dreams and adding to human knowledge. The fictional opponents personify actual hardships and make the story more approachable for young readers. Back matter includes a glossary of terms that explains concepts such as the Nobel Prize and radiography, a timeline of important events in Curie's life, and a brief review of the impact her discoveries made.

Recommended for middle grade readers who enjoy biographies, graphic novel illustration style, and scientific breakthroughs. I read an e-book provided by the publisher for review purposes. The title will be published on April 7.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Winter Reading Highlights Puzzle Readers

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Level 1:
Nick and Nack enjoy working together. Nick is a boy who knows how to build and Nack is a robot who enjoys finding things. Their projects often use found or recycled objects. For instance, after eating a box of ice pops, they use the sticks to make a birdhouse. They also clean up the yard and use sticks blown down by the wind to create a kite.

Combining a leveled reader with hidden picture puzzles, this series makes reading the story into a game. Kids will have fun searching for things like paintbrushes or bows hidden somewhere in the illustrations. Directions for a craft activity are included in the back and the last page shows the hidden location of each item.

Level 2:
Friends Kit and Kaboodle seem to be opposites. Kit is much larger, a girl, and a cat. Kaboodle is smaller, a boy, and a mouse. When they travel, Kit packs lightly while Kaboodle takes along an astonishing amount of belongings.  But they manage to have a wonderful time together. Kit and Kaboodle Go Camping follows them as they hike, make s'mores, and do some stargazing. Kit and Kaboodle Take the Train has the duo traveling to Sillyville and entertaining themselves along the way.

Combining a leveled reader with hidden picture puzzles, this series makes reading the story into a game. Kids will have fun searching for things like a sleeping bag, bandana, or chocolate bar disguised somewhere in the illustrations. A final checklist of hidden objects also serves as a picture dictionary and the last page shows the hidden location of each item.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Winter Reading 2020 When Kittens Go Viral

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Most people have seen funny animal videos, and we all assume that the humans are catching their pets unaware. But what if communication were actually possible and the videos were the result of planning and cooperation between species? Darcy Pattison has conjured up a world where cats and humans can talk (thanks to a device similar to the dog collars in the movie "Up"). Now cats and their kittens can audition for parts in commercials and public service announcements, earning paychecks and being housed in apartments provided by the video cat companies in Kittywood. Angel and her siblings are determined to make it big in the videos so that they can win cash prizes and pay for their father's return flight home from France, but they have plenty of competition. And they must find their strength - are they comedic, charming, athletic, fashionable? The daily routine of the kittens is very similar to child actors - rehearsals, training, filming, costume fittings, etc.

This story of kitten video stars will be perfect for all those middle grade readers who enjoy animal stories with anthropomorphic characters.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Winter Reading 2020 Accidental Activist: Justice for the Groveland Four

Accidental Activist: Justice for the Groveland Four by [Venkataraman, Josh, Venkataraman, Barbara]

Many of us learn about cases of injustice - a newspaper or magazine article, a news story on the TV or radio, or perhaps even a full-length book account. But how many of us actually get involved? Josh did. After reading about the Groveland Four in a college class, he actually began a campaign to have the accused men exonerated. His account of the process and the people he met along the way is an intriguing read. The details of his time with family members of the men, the many methods they used to spread the word of their efforts and garner support, and the reluctance by the governor's office to clear the men are all covered. The story will make you want to cheer for Josh and those willing to stick up for victims of injustice, and also want to give stubborn politicians a piece of your mind. The details of the original arrest will have you actually grinding your teeth in frustration and anger.

Those who become drawn in to the history of the Groveland Four may also want to read the book that originally inspired Josh, Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King. Mr. King was one of those who supported Josh in his quest for justice. If you would like to start the new year by finding inspiration in good deeds brought to fruition, then start with Accidental Activist.

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

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The Moon Show Giveaway Tour

Enter for a chance to win Carmen Gloria’s The Moon Show!
One (1) grand prize winner receives:
  • A hardcover copy of The Moon Show
  • A Great Exploration 3-D Solar System set. Includes over 200 glow-in-the-dark planets and stars to hang from your ceiling
Two (2) winners receive:
  • A paperback copy of The Moon Show
Giveaway begins January 8, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends February 8, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are eighteen years of age or older in their state or territory of residence at the time of entry. Void where prohibited by law.
Carmen Gloria  is responsible for prize fulfillment.


Written and Illustrated by Carmen Gloria
Publisher’s Synopsis: This is the very first children’s book that teaches kids about the moons to other planets in our solar system! Take a tour of our solar system with The Moon and meet his other moon friends on THE MOON SHOW. It also includes fun and positive messages for kids! Did you know that there are many other moons in our solar system besides our Moon? Perfect book for budding astronomy and space lovers! The first book in this Kid Astronomy series, Thank You Mercury!, is in the Best New Space Books 2019 list by Books Authority!
Ages 4+ | Uncommon Grammar | November 26, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1950767076


Carmen Gloria was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, now a veteran, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government and International Politics from George Mason University. She was born in The Bronx, New York and moved to Puerto Rico at the age of ten. She is a member of SCBWI and is a writer, artist, award-winning actress, (experimental) short film writer/director, and even co-wrote two songs in the Billboard Dance and UK Pop charts (Emergency & Overload, as Carmen Perez). After moving to Norway in 2017, she decided to focus on creating art and writing/illustrating children’s books. She started with the Kid Astronomy Series, inspired by her love of space, and her mission to motivate kids to learn and empower them. The first book “Thank You, Mercury” made the Best New Space Books 2019 list by Book Authority.



The Children's Book Review 8
A Dream Within A Dreamhttp://adreamwithindream.blogspot.comJanuary 8
Word Spelunking 8
Younger Family Funhttps://youngerfamilyfun.comJanuary 8
Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom 8
Fairview Elementary School (Library) 8
Over Coffee Conversationshttps://www.gmarciano.blogspot.comJanuary 9
Rosco's Reading Roomauthorshanagorian.comJanuary 13
icefairy's Treasure Chest 14
Barbara Ann Mojica's Bloghttps://bamauthor.meJanuary 15
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readershttp://insatiablereaders.blogspot.comJanuary 16
The Fairview Review is participating in this blog tour in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Carmen Gloria.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Winter Reading 2020 Near Prospect Park: A Mary Handley Mystery

Once again Mary Handley is back on the job. She never actually left,  just scaled back her investigations due to motherhood and caring for an infant. Her mother remains as caustic and annoying as ever, constantly pushing and dictating and getting on everyone's nerves. Her brother Sean is still on the police force and has recently become serious about a young woman, finally recovering enough from the grief of his murdered fiancee to move one with life. And Mary is trying to balance the confidentiality of her career with the closeness and trust needed for a healthy marriage.

As in all the mysteries featuring Mary, prominent historical figures and events play a role in the story as well as establishing the setting. Stanford White, Nikola Tesla, and W.S. Gilbert (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame) are just a few of the notables that turn up along the way. But there are themes that resonate with today's headlines as well.. #MeToo finds a place in the predicament of a young girl hired to jump out of a pie at a party for wealthy men, only to be assaulted and then dismissed afterward. The situation of wealthy and powerful men having carte blanche to take advantage of the poor and marginalized and the apathy of officials unwilling to take the part of their victim has not really changed over time.

Mary's feelings of determination, resolve to find the answers, and her ability to push on despite personal loss and the forces working against her are always admirable. Readers who have followed the series will be glad to see her again and cheer for her investigation to bring everyone the justice they deserve.

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