Blog Tour: War Girls

War GirlsGenre: Fantasy

Shelf Location: Young Adult

Rating: ★★★★

Release Date : October 15, 2019

This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Penguin Young Readers partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is an advanced reader copy.  #partner #penguinrandomhouse #penguinteen 


Tochi Onyebuchi is a writer based in Connecticut. He holds a BA from Yale, an MFA in screenwriting from Tisch, and a JD from Columbia Law School. Tochi is the author of Beasts Made of Night and Crown of Thunder.


Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther-inspired Nigeria.

The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky.

In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life.

Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together.

And they’re willing to fight an entire war to get there.

Acclaimed author, Tochi Onyebuchi, has written an immersive, action-packed, deeply personal novel perfect for fans of Nnedi Okorafor, Marie Lu, and Paolo Bacigalupi.


This book is great for those interested in a post apocalyptic world set in Nigeria. The author does an amazing job telling this story. You can tell he spent time working to develop his characters and the emotions between them. I loved the aspect of having two female leads as the main characters in this novel and the bond the two sisters shared. It is as if you feel their emotion seeping through the pages as you read it. The moment the two sisters were torn apart from each other after a raid of their camp truly showcased the impact the Nigerian Civil War had on the two. The beginning starts off a bit slow but it picks up toward the center with action, turmoil, and battle. The storyline continues to develop and has a little bit of a lull towards the end. Overall, it is still an enjoyable read. The author spends time creating the image of a post apocalyptic technology based world filled with humans with electronic limbs and a devastated climate.

If you’re interested in a fantasy novel based on the same concepts of Black Panther, then this is your next read. See below for purchasing links and don’t forget to share your thoughts online.




Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at


Blog Tour: Christmas in Winter Valley

Ransom Canyon, #8 
Jodi Thomas
Genre: Contemporary / Western / Holiday Romance
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Number of Pages: 288 pages

Scroll down for the giveaway!


Ransom Canyon welcomes you back for a Christmas that has everything you’re looking for: romance, family, and a whole lot of Texas.

Cooper Holloway would take nature over people any day—especially visiting relatives. That’s why he’s headed for a rustic cabin in remote Winter Valley, where he’ll care for a herd of wild mustangs. But Cooper’s plans are quickly thwarted by the arrival of two unexpected guests: one, a stranger in desperate need of his help, and the other, a very attractive young veterinarian.

Elliott is busy trying to keep Maverick Ranch running smoothly with Cooper gone, which is no easy task with family visiting. And when a long-lost love suddenly reappears in his life, Elliott knows he’ll have more than just books to balance this season.

With a big, chaotic family Christmas around the corner and love blooming in surprising ways, the Holloway men will have to make big choices about the future—just in time for the holidays.


“This book has everything you would want. Laughter, drama. And tears both happy and sad. I highly recommend this book.” — Patty Champion (5 Stars, Goodreads Review)

” I could not put this book down once I started it and longed for more once I was done.” Melanie (5 Stars, Goodreads Review)

“I got lost in the world that she [Jodi Thomas] has created and enjoyed seeing her characters with their overlapping and interconnected stories find a happiness that none of them expected to ever find.” — B. (5 Stars, Goodreads Review)


Rating :★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in those are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

It’s never too early to indulge in a romantic holiday read. As we near this upcoming holiday I recommend you check out his novel. This novel follows the lives of four different relationships each at different stages.

Cooper, one of the main characters is looking for a moment of isolation as he leaves his farm to head to a cabin for reflection. Cooper has no idea that no only will he not spend his time alone at the cabin but he will encounter a few unexpected guests.

Elliot is left to handle all the business of his family ranch as Cooper decides to take a break from the Family Farm. Elliot must not only continue to manage the finances of the ranch, deal with the family visiting the farm. But also face someone from his past. Some wounds heal over time and some don’t. Can Elliot handle everything that gets’s thrown his way or will he have to deal with more than he handles?

The author provides an additional romantic encounter that you will have you saying “aww” out loud.

The author does an amazing building of realistic relationships and the development of the characters. Once you start this book, you won’t want to put it down. Although this is only the first book I have read by this author, I am excited to read more from her. The author has a writing style that captivates the reader. She provides a realistic approach to the telling of a romance novel by using descriptive vocabulary to engage the reader. From the moment you pick up this book, you feel a connection with the Holloway family and their ranch. Since this story involves the telling of multiple relationships the author tackles the challenge of creating something that flows well with multiple plots. It can be a bit confusing keeping up with the multiple character stories, each different from the next but if you enjoy a bit of a challenge then you will love this just as much as I did.

If you haven’t read this book yet, I would recommend you pick this one up. This standalone book in her Ransom Canyon series will have you wanting to pick up a copy of her other books. I would highly recommend this book for those interested in contemporary Texas-sized romance novel that leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling at the end.

1012 LORILEI NQ 2, 2 of 2 Christmas in Winter Valley

With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels and countless short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.
In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.
Thomas was honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas and served sixteen years as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.
When not working on a novel, or inspiring students to pursue writing careers, Thomas enjoys traveling with her family, renovating an historic home, and “checking up” on two grown sons and four grandchildren.

 ║ Website ║ Facebook ║ Twitter  
║ Instagram ║  Amazon  BookBub 
║ Pinterest  ║ Goodreads 

October 3-13, 2019

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Happy National Roald Dahl Day!

img_3688Genre: Fantasy

Shelf Location: Children, Juvenile

Rating: ★★★★★

This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Penguin Young Readers partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in those are finalized copies sent to me in collaboration with Ronald Dahl Day. #partner #penguinkids #roalddahlday


Roald Dahl was a spy, ace fighter-pilot, chocolate historian, and medical inventor. He was also the author of Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryMatildaThe BFG, and many more brilliant stories. He remains the World’s No.1 storyteller.



The BFGA beautiful, collectible hardcover edition of The BFG from the World’s No. 1 Storyteller!

The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants–rather than the BFG–she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

 The main character, Sophie, found a place where she can help. She’s surprised when she sees the giant and realizes he won’t eat her. She must work together with the BFG, the gentle beast, to put an end to the other giants. They must work together to try to make the world a safer place. This book is written in a way that captivates the reader and truly engages them throughout the entire novel.

Purchase a copy of this book here!


The Witches

The WitchesA beautiful, collectible hardcover edition of The Witches from the World’s No. 1 Storyteller!

This is not a fairy tale. This is a story about real witches. Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There’s nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma’s stories–but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!

Purchase a copy of this book here!


Matilda: Be Outrageous

Matilda Be OutrageousAm I a phenomenon? It is quite possible that you are.

Reimagine Dahl’s beloved classic in this gorgeous, hand-lettered gift book perfect for Matilda fans of all ages! Featuring the best and brightest lines from Roald Dahl’s magical story, this book displays the iconic quotes in whimsical and artful calligraphy, while reminding readers to be, first and foremost, outrageous!

Highly illustrated, with quotes, lines, and passages from one of Roald Dahl’s most beloved books, this gift book presents a whole lot of big ideas from one precocious little girl. Each spread features the most memorable lines from Matilda, rendering them in gorgeous and whimsical calligraphy — making this a must-have for any Dahl collection!

This book is filled with empowering phrases that highlight important words of encouragement for young girls. It is written in a way that is easily understandable for the youth. I highly recommend this for young girls as a gift.

Purchase a copy of this book here!

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at


BLOG TOUR: The Bird Boys by Lisa Sandlin

A Delpha Wade and
Tom Phelan Mystery

  Genre: Gentle Noir / Mystery / Women Sleuths
Date of Publication: August 20, 2019
Number of Pages: 306
Scroll down for giveaway!
The new novel from award-winning author Lisa Sandlin catches up with the almost-murdered secretary Delpha Wade (The Do-Right, 2015, set in 1973) as she’s released from a hospital in order to be tucked into the back seat of a police cruiser. Her boss, P. I. Tom Phelan, sets out to spring her. He needs her back in his investigation business, where he’ll soon be chasing a skulking grand larcenist and plotting how to keep a ganjapreneur out of the grabby hands of a brand new agency, the D.E.A. Delpha digs through old records and knocks on strange doors to unravel the dangerous case of two brothers with beaucoup aliases—verifying that sometimes truth is not true, but murder is always murder.
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“What makes this crime novel soar is the humanity and humility of its main characters. It is by turns exciting, tender, suspenseful, observant, and gently funny. Readers will eagerly await the next installment.” 
Booklist, Starred Review
“Sandlin’s sequel soars on the wings of its spot-on evocation of a time and place and its utterly compelling central characters… A first-rate series crying for word-of-mouth support.”
Kirkus, Starred Review
“Proving that anything old can be new in the right, talented hands, Sandlin has crafted an outstanding series that readers will want to follow and savor.”
Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle
“I confess that as a Beaumonster who remembers that city in the early seventies, the book has a special appeal; Sandlin gets so many details just right. But you don’t have to have lived there to be captivated by The Bird Boys. Its characters, wit, exquisite prose, and sense of redemption are so richly crafted that they’ll stick to most anyone like, well, a shirt to your skin on an August afternoon in Beaumont.”




Lisa Sandlin is the author of The Do-Right, winner of the Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America and the Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers. Her new mystery thriller The Bird Boys is set in 1973 in the same town she was born, Beaumont, Texas. Her previous books are The Famous Thing About Death and Message to the Nurse of Dreams, Cinco Puntos Press; In the River Province, SMU Press; and You Who Make the Sky Bend, Pinyon Publishing.



THREE WINNERS: Choice of eBook or Print Copies of THE BIRD BOYS
August 20-30, 2019
(International – eBooks only)

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BLOG TOUR: My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi

CoverGenre: Science Fiction/ Realistic Fiction

Shelf Location: Middle Grade

Rating: ★★★★★

This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Penguin Young Readers partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is an uncorrected copy from the publisher, some quotes may have been changed prior to publishing.

Book Synopsis 

In the summer of 1984, 12-year-old Ebony-Grace Norfleet makes the trip from Huntsville, Alabama, to Harlem, where she’ll spend a few weeks with her father while her mother deals with some trouble that’s arisen for Ebony-Grace’s beloved grandfather, Jeremiah. Jeremiah Norfleet is a bit of a celebrity in Huntsville, where he was one of the first black engineers to integrate NASA two decades earlier. And ever since his granddaughter came to live with him when she was little, he’s nurtured her love of all things outer space and science fiction–especially Star Wars and Star Trek, both of which she’s watched dozens of time on Grandaddady’s Betamax machine. So even as Ebony-Grace struggled to make friends among her peers, she could always rely on her grandfather and the imaginary worlds they created together. In Harlem, however, she faces a whole new challenge. Harlem in 1984 is an exciting and terrifying place for a sheltered girl from Hunstville, and her first instinct is to retreat into her imagination. But soon 126th Street begins to reveal that it has more in common with her beloved sci-fi adventures than she ever thought possible, and by summer’s end, Ebony-Grace discovers that gritty and graffitied Harlem has a place for a girl whose eyes are always on the stars.


“Harlem Shuffle” by The Rolling Stone

“Welcome to New York” – Taylor Swift

“Hello Brooklyn”- Beastly Shuffle

“My Girl”- The Temptations

“Eye of the Tiger”- Survivor

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” – Cyndi Lauper

“Another One Bites the Dust”- Queen

“Never Gonna Give You Up”- Rick Astley

“Parents Just Don’t Understand “- Will Smith

Final Thoughts

Ebony is an imaginative twelve-year-old girl who is spending the summer away from her Grandfather. Her Grandfather is described as a person who started Ebony’s love for using imaginative space tales to handle situations she’s facing. Her Grandfather Jeremiah Norfleet is a famous African American who integrated NASA. Ebony must learn to adjust to the new culture associated with living in Harlem with her Father for the summer. Ebony’s imaginative personality has her friends in the area describing her as weird and quiet. Her once best friend, Bianca, is now a foreigner to her as they continue to argue over differences during her trip. Ebony’s fascination with space, her Grandfather, and Star Trek leave her labeled as an outcast. Will she learn to try to fit in for the summer, or will she continue to struggle with adjusting to the area? Will she break out of her shy shell for a bit to let someone other than her family?

This book is written in a way that combines the imaginative tales between a granddaughter and Grandfather. It showcases the special bond between the two. Jeremiah Norfleet facilitates an environment filled with an imagination that stays with Ebony even through her travels to New York City. I love the comic strips inserted into the novel. The images provide a visual view of the descriptive text. Ebony reminded me of myself when I was younger, but of course, growing up in the 90s was different than growing up in the 80s. However, I was raised by my grandmother, who was born in the 40s, which allowed for exposure to 80s culture. It is a challenge for someone to fit into an area where they feel they don’t belong regardless if members of their race live in that area. The more you read the novel, the more you understand the symbolism behind the title. I assume the ice cream sandwich is black on the outside but white on the inside. That is a standard description of the black community associated with someone who is deemed as being caucasian on the inside but looks black. The term is dubbed to anyone who doesn’t fit in, speak the same lingo, or like the same the music. I love that the author incorporates the challenges faced by African Americans in Harlem during that period and how she develops Julius, Ebony’s Father.

If you’re interested in reading a novel that highlights uniqueness, imagination, and focuses on an African American/Black family during the 80s in Harlem, then this is your book. I recommend this for all upper elementary and middle-grade youth.

Author Bio

bi Zoboi is the author of two novels for young adults, including Pride and American Street, a finalist for the National Book AwardShe holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely !

You pre-order  copies of this book from Penguin Random House

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at


This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews


Genre: Adventure Fiction/ Graphic Novel

Shelf Location: Juvenile/ Middle Grade

Rating: ★★★★★

I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.


Final Thoughts

This charming graphic novel told from the perspective of a group of young boys who make a pact never to look back regardless of how tough the road ahead gets. It’s the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, where the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. [taken from synopsis] This is the first year that Ben and his friends decide to follow the lanterns down the river to see where they end up. No one has ever completed this task. The group of boys make a pact with two rules: no one turns for home, and no one looks back. Ben and his friends start the journey but slowly they turn back one by one leaving been with Nathaniel. Nathaniel tries so hard to fit in with Ben and his friends, but he falls short. However, he doesn’t let that ruin his childlike personality, and he doesn’t let it stop him from trying to be friends with Ben. In the end, Nathaniel is all Ben has as they follow the lanterns to the end. These two will encounter their greatest adventure, build friendships with unexacting creatures, and find out how brave they are. Will they find out where the lanterns end or will they get lost trying?

I gave this graphic novel five stars, mostly due to the character development, the adventure, the realism, and the plot. The illustrations allow the reader to feel transported into the world of the story. The story flows wonderfully, and there is a hint of turmoil as the two main characters face an impasse. In this story, Ben developed as a reluctant character, and Nathaniel is the fearless character. The different character personalities allow for a humorous adventure as the two learn to break out of their shells. If you’re looking for a graphic novel filled with adventure, new friendships, and humor, then this is your book. I saw this book in a comic book store and felt like I had to read it. The story is appropriate for upper elementary to middle school.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely

You can purchase copies of this book from: Amazon  | MacMillan | IndieBound 

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at

Sheets by Brenna Thummler



Genre: Paranormal/ Fantasy Graphic Novel

Shelf Location: Middle Grade

Rating: ★★★★

I purchased a copy of this book from my local comic book store. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.


Final Thoughts

This graphic novel told from the perspective of the main character, Marjorie, a young girl who is carrying the weight on her shoulders. Marjorie is running her family business while her father still grieves for the loss of his wife. Marjorie continues to try to navigate the woes of a small business, school, her younger brother, and her father. Simultaneously, a ghost named Wendell is trying to navigate his life as a ghost. Wendell’s life unexpectantly collides with Marjorie’s as he stumbles into the land of the living. In particular, he stumbles into Glatt’s Laundry and creates chaos when trying to do the right thing. Marjorie is trying to keep her family’s laundry business afloat as a real estate mogul, Mr. Saubertuck, tries to sabotage her business. When she thinks things can’t get any worse, she meets Wendell, a ghost, who’s making her life more challenging than it needs to be. As the two try to navigate their current predicaments, they must both work together to save the Glatt’s Laundry and get Wendell home. Will Wendell ever truly come to terms with the way he died? Will Marjorie let her mother’s death hold her back? Marjorie and Wendell must both face their pasts before they can truly move forward. Will the two work together to deal with their pasts, or will they let it consume them?

This graphic novel is easy to read and age-appropriate. I would recommend this graphic novel to students in upper elementary and middle grades. The author does a great job highlighting the challenges of overcoming a loss from different perspectives. The book showcases how adults and children deal with grief differently. It also showcases the challenges of overcoming your fears that have derived from a loss. The younger audiences may enjoy the character, Wendell, as he takes a lighter approach to deal with his loss. I mostly give this book four stars because I felt the story was a bit lackluster and could have been developed more to highlight more characteristics associated with grief. The author had a great opportunity to tell this story in a way that is both relatable and imaginative but I felt it fell a little short. Overall, this book was both heartbreaking and humorous.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely

You can purchase copies of this book from: Amazon | IndieBound

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at

Summer Reading Challenge Recap 2019


The Summer Reading Challenge, “A Universe of Stories,”  has come to an end. The programs I coordinated were geared toward grades 6th-8th. This was my first summer in my current position and at my current library. I was able to interact with middle schoolers and have provided a recap below.

Henna Program

Local Paid Performer who will show the youth how to create henna designs and each child will go home with their own cone of henna.

Final Thoughts:  This program went well the participants were able to take home a cone of henna to practice their designs at home. The performer was able do a small design on each participants hand.

Galaxy Solar Lights

Youth will be able to create a solar powered light jar by using a mason jar and yard lights. Each youth participant will take home a light jar and an additional galaxy sensory jar. I found information on how to do this online and adapted to my library.

Final Thoughts:  I wrote a full blog post that discussed everything I did for this program.  The participants enjoyed this program and were able to successfully complete the task. This program was easy to create and wasn’t costly.

Life Size Retro Gaming-

We will be doing life size pac-man. I am using painters tape on the floor, ping pong balls will be the points, and each child will wear the responding colors. This program was super cheap to come up with and complete.

Final Thoughts: It took about an hour to set up the pac-man on the floor of the meeting room. The participants enjoyed the game. I set up a table with crafts and additional board games.

A Magic Workshop

Local Paid Performer will show the youth how to do simple magic card trips. Each child will leave with a deck of card and new tricks to use on others.

Final Thoughts:  The performer brought decks of cards and a book of magic card tricks. Each participant took home a deck of cards and a book with magic tricks. The performer taught the participants three tricks during the hour performance. The performer went through the history of each trick.

Science Explosion

Local Paid Performer will do slime and explosion demonstrations for the middle schoolers.

Final Thoughts:  This performer went over pulleys and polymers with the participants. This was my highest attendance program with a total number of thirty attendees. The participants enjoyed the enthusiasm of the performer.

DIY Projector Box

Youth will create their own projector box to use at home. The program description asks the youth to come to the program with a smart phone to practice.

Final Thoughts:  I collected shoe boxes from the staff members two months prior to the program. I then purchased magnifying glass from party city to use in the projector box. I went over the instructions with the participants then let them create the box with the 5 easy steps.

Monster Movie and Slime Activity

The plan is to have them watch a alien movie and make slime to take home. This is the final program for the summer!

Final Thoughts:  The movie was only thirty minutes so I waited until fifteen minutes after the program start time to begin the movie. The participants also were able to make slime using glue, shaving cream, contact solution and baking soda.

Comment below your ideas or any feedback about this list. You can use the “Contact Me” link at the top of the page to reach me or you can email me at Thanks for joining me on this adventure!

Galaxy Solar Lights Program

The theme this summer at the library is A Universe of Stories. This a recap post from the program I did on June 13th. Here is a break down of the program including items used:

Program Description:

Join us with this out of this world mason jar activity. Create a solar powdered galaxy themed mason jar light that glows in the dark. Each participant will go home with one solar powered jar and a glow in the dark galaxy jar.

Plan/ Prep Time:

It took about an hour total to set up for the program and that was with the help of another staff member. We had to set up enough tables and chairs for 20 tweens.

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Total Number of Staff Used:  2 library staff members including myself and 2 volunteers

Length of Program: 1 hour and 15 minutes. This program can be done in an hour but keep in mind we did two activities in one hour.

How it worked: 

I started the program with the Galaxy Jar that was made using water, water color paint, and cotton balls. I explained to the participants that it was important for them to pay attention. I only placed the materials needed for the first activity on the table so that way they would not get the items confused. (Plus I did not want to have 8 glass mason jars on each table.)

Here are the steps for the Galaxy Jar:

  1. Remove the lid from the mason jar
  2. Fill the mason jar 1/3 of the way with water
  3. Add a large squeeze of paint or about ten-fifteen drops of paint into the jar
    1. I recommend them using colors like pink, red, purple, blue, and green together
    2. Colors like orange, yellow, and green don’t look well together in the jar.
  4. Put the lid back on the jar and shake
  5. Once the paint has mixed, open the jar and add glitter if desired
  6. Stretch out the cotton balls and add them to the water and paint mixture until the cotton balls have fully soaked up the water. We are going to repeat steps 1-3 until the jar is full and we don’t want the paint to mix.

IMG_2659 IMG_2655

  1. Repeat steps 1-6 two more times until you are done. Filling the jar another 3rd of the way with water and adding paint.

I had them clean up the table and put the first jar aside. The first activity took about 35 minutes to complete and clean up. Then it took ten minutes to pass out the supplies for the solar light jar. Here are the steps and the supplies used for the Solar Powered Light Jar:


  • 12 oz Mason Jars
  • Solar yard lights, just the light part
  • Mounting Tape
  • Cork-board cut into 6.5 in long strips
  • Mod Podge
  • Fine Glitter
  • Glow in the Dark Paint


  1. Grab the solar light but do not remove the orange tab that activates the light
  2. Grab the two strips of mounting tape and wrap one strip around the solar light
  3. Then place the second strip on top of the first one and wrap it around the light
  4. Then wrap the cork-board strip around the mounting tape. It should stick.
  5. Remove the center piece from the jar lid, leaving only the part that screws onto the jar. Insert the solar light into the center. There is enough padding where the light should fit into the center without problems.
  6. Now decorate the jar and you’re done.

IMG_2645 IMG_2641YCb%0TAORreq44b2hqyXRg

Items Used and Cost:

Item Cost QTY Total Vendor
Foam Mounting Tape 5.29 4 21.16 Office Depot
Mod Podge 11.97 1 11.97 Wal-Mart
Jelly Jars Mason Jars 12oz 10.72 2 21.44 Wal-Mart
Canning Jars 12oz 8.78 1 8.78 Wal-Mart
Solar Outdoor Lights 12ct 9.67 2 19.34 Wal-Mart
Glitter 0.38oz- 12ct 6.97 2 13.94 Wal-Mart
Folkart Glow in the Dark Green 8oz Paint 5.44 2 10.88 Wal-Mart

You can just buy four 12ct packs of the 12 oz mason jars but my library had a few on hand so I chose to not buy as many. We also used water color paint and cotton balls for the second activity.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the program was a success and I had about 18 kids show up with a max capacity of 20. The tweens paid attention to the directions and were able to take home two items. I would definitely do this program again in the future but I would try to set up for the program at least two hours before hand and try to have the supplies a little more organized.

Comment below your ideas or any feedback about this list. You can use the “Contact Me” link at the top of the page to reach me or you can email me at Thanks for joining me on this adventure!



Suee and the Shadow by Ginger Ly

AF7DF41A-0E42-48CD-910F-3525D62A0D5FGenre: Paranormal/ Fantasy Graphic Novel

Shelf Location: Middle Grade/ Juvenile Fiction

Rating: ★★★★

I checked out a copy of this book from my local library. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.


Final Thoughts

The graphic novel starts from the narrator perspective, then transitions to the viewpoint of Suee, the main character. Suee is a mature twelve-year-old girl who was transferred to Outskirts Elementary after her father’s job transfer. She is a very individualistic girl who prefers to be a loner at her new school until she passes by a room and hears a voice. Suee tells herself that she doesn’t need friends, then a voice from the school’s exhibit room says that it will be her friend. Suee follows the voice into the room then wakes up sometime later in the nurse’s office with no memory of how she got there. And to make matters worse, her shadow appears to be alive.

Everything was fine until she went into the exhibit room, and her shadow came alive. Now everyone in her school is starting to look like a zombie and are being called Zeroes. The strangest thing is that the students called Zeros are missing their shadows. Suee must work together with another student to figure out what is happening to their classmates shadow and what her shadow is hiding.

This graphic novel is easy to read and age appropriate. I would recommend this graphic novel to students in upper elementary school or advanced readers. This book was a fast read, and the younger audiences would much enjoy the sarcasm the main character eludes and the hint of a mystery. The characters were developed in a way to provide a little bit of a backstory of each, but the story could have been developed a bit more to offer a bit more details. I do commend the author for the history provided at the beginning, the backstory of the main character, and the cliff hanger at the end. I felt the plot could have been developed more to provide a little more character development and a chance for the main character to make more friends. However, I hope that this was only the first book and that there would be more in the series.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! 

You can purchase copies of this book from: Amazon | Barnes and Noble |Abrams Books

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