Secret Trust by McCaid Paul

IMG_0649Genre: Middle Grade Thriller/Mystery
Pages: Print 342
Release Date: October 29, 2018
Author: McCaid Paul 
Rating: ★★★★.5


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from the author 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 a finished print copy.


Goodreads Synopsis

Five months have passed since Mick lived within the deep woods of Summersville, where a monster controlled his every move. Now, with his only chance at a fresh start, Mick hopes to begin a new life free from his painful past.
Until a secret reveals itself, one that spans for generations. When someone from his past returns, Mick must confront hidden truths, all the while risking everything for those he loves.

BILLIE is still dealing with the aftermath of being kidnapped, and having her best friend taken away. Ever since the incident in Richard Welch’s home, her dad has been her only consolation.
When Billie makes a discovery that ties back to her mother, all she once knew is thrown into question. Could Billie’s discovery hold the answer to why her mother disappeared all those years ago?
With both mysteries weighing upon them, Mick and Billie try to uncover the truth. For everything they thought they knew was a lie.


Final Thoughts

This middle-grade fiction novel written by a youth author continues the story of Mick and Billie. The town of Summerville is hiding many secrets, but the ones that the town seem to forget are the ones that are buried deep into the town’s history. This book starts off with a continuation of the current whereabouts of Mick and Billie. It recaps the events from the first novel in the series as Mick continues to have flashbacks. Mick tries to adjust to his new life after learning his previous life was a lie. He remembers the only father and mother he ever knew. Mick knows his father isn’t his birth father, and he knows the truth about his parents, but he has no idea that things are going to get more complicated. McCaid Paul takes you on a journey in this who-done-it thriller as we try to uncover more secrets. Now that the secret about his family is out, Mick continues to search for more answers as he discovers who he is and what happened to his family. However, while Mick figures out his family life, Billie still has no clue what happened to her mother. She wants to be a supportive friend to Mick but still harbors the doubt that her mother just disappeared. Will Mick and Billie finally find peace and uncover the truth? Or will Mick get kidnapped again for his snooping? In a town as small as Summerville everyone is watching you and nothing is ever really a secret.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and loved the suspense. This book is perfect for any middle schooler who is interested in a continuation of the first book and interested in thrillers. Everyone is connected somehow, and each supporting character is developed uniquely. The author did a great job of letting you think one character was involved when it was another. I was utterly surprised by the ending. If you’re interested in a well-written thriller novel, be sure to check this one out. If you haven’t read the first book, it’s okay you can still read this one.

Thanks to the author for the free review copy! I can’t wait for the next installment in this series.

To purchase your copy of this novel on Amazon, click this link https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Trust-Summersville-McCaid-Paul/


Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.

 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

F1CD5E32-44DE-4C87-B093-B425EDDDDAA6Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Pages: Print 552
Release Date: March 14, 2006
Author: Markus Zusak
Rating: ★★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a copy I purchased on my own.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the publisher or author. 

 

 


Goodreads Synopsis

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.


Final Thoughts

This young adult fiction novel told from the perspective of death is both humorous and heartbreaking. Death, portrayed as a man, become fascinated by Liesel Meminger and during a routine soul recovery. Who is the soul he is coming to retrieve, her brother’s? Liesel is on her way to new her foster family with her brother and mother. Hitler has taken over Germany, and her mother is ill and unable to care for her children. The two are going to a foster family in Molching, Germany. Liesel notices her brother take his last breath on the train with their mother to their new home. At that moment, they must get off the train in the next town and bury her brother then continue their journey to Molching. Liesel stares as they bury her brother with only the gravediggers near and her mother. Then on their way from the gravesite Liesel notices a book in the snow, “The Gravediggers Handbook,” she takes the book as a souvenir from the day’s events.

“The Gravediggers Handbook” leads her to learn to read, sparks her love for books, and her receiving the name “The Book Thief” by Death. After her brother’s funeral, she continues the journey to her new home with her foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann. She will learn to love and trust her foster parents. Her first few months in her new home are challenging, and it gets worse when she starts at her new school and realizes she is behind the other students. She must learn to read and write to move up to her right grade. Liesel will make friends with the kids in her neighborhood, help her mother with the laundry business, learn to read with her foster father and learn to survive. Her love for reading and writing not only saves her life but benefits the lives of those around her. As Liesel learns to adjust to her new home the war around her continues to wage, and the poor small town of Molching must learn to survive as rations diminish. To make matters more complicated, Hans has agreed to be a haven for a Jewish male. The family keeps a huge secret as they sacrifice their lives for a friend. Will this poor small town and the occupants of Himmel street survive to see the end of the war? Or will everyone die trying to survive?

I tried to limit my summary but I loved this book, and it’s hard to hit every point. I adored this book and the writing style. I liked the fact that the narrator took breaks in the story to tell a bit more about himself and his journey to Liesel. This book touched my heart as it was filled with a variety of emotions. The connection that Liesel grew between Hans and Rosa Hubermann was described in great detail to paint a picture. Markus Zusak words painted a picture of emotional relationships, turmoil, loss, and family. I could tell that he meticulously developed each main character and the supporting characters as their stories started to intertwine. Each character had their own back story with was tied well into the story of Liesel. This book is one of my favorites by far. If you enjoy reading historical fiction and is a fan of “All the Light We Cannot See” then you will enjoy this novel. The Book Thief takes you on a journey through love, loss, immense tragedy, and redemption. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book immediately.

To purchase your copy of this novel you can visit this link to view purchasing links https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19063.The_Book_Thief 


Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.

New Kid by Jerry Craft

EC12B5E7-A94D-4039-A663-0251EF0BFD80Genre: Middle Grade Graphic Novel
Pages: Print 256
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Author: Jerry Craft
Rating: ★★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a copy I checked out from my local library.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the publisher or author. 


Goodreads Synopsis

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.

As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself.


Final Thoughts

This graphic novel told from the perspective of a fair-skinned black kid sent to a prestigious private school in another town.  Jordan Banks has had a good life living in his community, but he must learn to adapt to his new school. All he wants to do is draw and attend an art school instead of his new private school. As Jordan tries to adjust to his new school, he learns that there are only a few kids who look like him. He spends his time dodging racist remarks from teachers and fellow students. He also must learn not to assume everyone that attends his new school is the same. As he struggles to adjust to his new school, he also struggles to balance his new friends with his friends from his neighborhood. Can he speak out against those who treat him like a poor black kid or will he continue to struggle as the new kid? It’s tough being the new kid but even tougher being the new black kid in a school of few.

Overall, I adored this graphic novel. The illustrations were amazing, and the message was clear. This graphic novel aims to shed light on the adversities of black kids as minorities. It also discusses the challenges of fair-skinned black kids, as they are continuously asked: “what are you.” Jordan Banks is portrayed as a young black kid just trying to blend in at his new school and succeed. During his time he notices racist remarks from his homeroom teacher as she continues to call him the name of another black student that attends the school. You see black male teacher face racism as well. We also see Jordan develop as a friend and learn to balance his private school friends with his friends from his neighborhood. He also must learn to balance his friends of different races. This graphic novel provides tremendous insight into some of the challenges faced by minorities. I had someone I work with reading this book, and she said, “I had no idea that Oreo was a term that people ever use.” At that moment I realized that Jerry Craft did a phenomenal job by educating various readers from different backgrounds.

I would recommend this book to everyone of all races. I think it is essential to have people of all ages to read this book to understand a piece of black culture. I think it is important to showcase that not all black people are poor. Also that it is unfair to assume that all black people are the same.


To purchase your copy of this novel at https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-06-269119-4 


Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.

The Magic Misfits: The Second Story by Neil Patrick Harris

37912471Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Pages: Print 336
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Author: Neil Patrick Harris
Rating: ★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was an ARC copy received from a Library conference attended in April 2018. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the publisher or author. 


Goodreads Synopsis

Growing up in an orphanage, Leila was bullied for being different. But she turned her hardship into skill by becoming an escape artist—a valuable trait when belonging to a group of magical best friends. When a famous psychic comes to town, however, Leila and her pals won’t be able to escape the big mystery heading their way. Whether chasing mad monkeys or banishing ghosts from haunted hotels, these six friends will do their best to keep Mineral Wells safe—but can they still protect themselves in the process?

Join the Magic Misfits as they discover adventure, friendship, and more than a few hidden secrets in this delightful new series. Whether you’re a new fan of stage magic or a longtime expert at illusion, Magic Misfits is sure to delight even more than sawing your assistant in half!


Final Thoughts

This book is geared toward early middle elementary and up. The plot of the story can be a bit mature for younger ages as it dives into a more advanced family drama. The story begins with Leila, sharing her back story, how she developed her love for escaping, and how she meets Mr. Vernon. The story then continues from her perspective as the Magic Misfits work together to uncover secrets tied to a new face in town. A famous psychic returns to town after years away and Leila is the only one that trusts her. The other misfits aim to keep a close eye on the psychic. They misfits team up to investigate an abandoned wing at the hotel the other Mr. Vernon works at. While doing so, they find out more about the psychic and her connection to the town and Mr. Vernon. Can these band of misfits figure out if an old enemy has returned? Can they trust the new the psychic?

Overall this book was great! This book focuses on family dynamics, foster homes, adoption, and friendships. Leila faces a challenge of figuring out who she is and who her birth parents are. She must learn to accept her past once she uncovers the truth. This story has a hint of LGBTQIA, as Leila’s adoptive parents are both males. There is also a bit of family drama that involves the psychic.  This book does a great job of teaching the value of friendship and magic tricks. Neil Patrick Harris fills this book with magic tricks and instructions.

I would recommend this book to any fans of the first novel. I don’t want to compare the two, but I preferred the first novel. That is mostly due to the newness of the characters. I would assume each installment in this series will high a different character, hopefully circling back to Carter. I want to know more about his dad, more information about his involvement in magic. This book focused more on Leila and her story. I am hearing talk of there being more of these to come.


To purchase your copy of this novel at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078W5PMV1/ref=series_rw_dp_sw 


Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.

Black Enough Edited by Ibi Zoboi

IMG_0341Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction- Short Stories Collection
Pages: Print 416
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Edited by: Ibi Zoboi
Rating: ★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a printed copy that I purchased from Brazos Bookstore in Houston. I also listened to an eAudiobook using Scribd.  This review does not reflect the views of the publisher, bookstore, or app. 


Harper Collins Synopsis

Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and featuring some of the most acclaimed bestselling Black authors writing for teens today—Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America.

Black is…sisters navigating their relationship at summer camp in Portland, Oregon, as written by Renée Watson.

Black is…three friends walking back from the community pool talking about nothing and everything, in a story by Jason Reynolds.

Black is…Nic Stone’s high-class beauty dating a boy her momma would never approve of.

Black is…two girls kissing in Justina Ireland’s story set in Maryland.

Black is urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—because there are countless ways to be Black enough.


Final Thoughts

I initially decided to pick up this book after seeing a copy of it displayed on social media. I did my research on the author and the intended goal of the book. According to the School Library Journal, this book is geared for grades 9 and up. I thought this would give me more insight into what it is like to be black in America from a variety of perspectives of POC authors. I am a black female who grew up along the poverty line in a low-income city. Colorism is predominant in the black community based on skin tone, and I am considered fair skin compared to my family. I was interested to read this anthology of stories and found a few that reminded me of my teenage self.  There were a few that just did not work for me but served its’ purpose of relating to the target audience. The stories that did not work for me felt rushed without a clear objective.

This book contains short stories written by famous POC authors, and it does its’ job of shedding some light on the challenges faced by black teens in America. It showcases the challenges put on teens by their parents to succeed, the difficulties of fitting in, the problems of essentially being black enough, and the family dynamics. I faced some of these similar challenges as a teen, and this book is much needed. It provides stories that are relatable to black and African American teens. It also provides insight on the amount of diversity in the black community and the different upbringings. Each author provided insight on a variety of topics such as LGBTQIA, racial divide, educated black young men and women, grief, family, relationships, and friendship. This book provides an intriguing approach to breaking apart the stigmas that I was taught as a child and made me feel a bit empowered after reading it. I have not read a lot of books written by POC authors, but it inspired me to read more.

Below I provided a list of my top 5 selections from this book that you must read. Here are the ones I enjoyed:

Warning: Color May Fade by  Leah Henderson– It shows that black Americans in a different perspective and showcases the power of expression through art. It also showcases the challenges of the pressure of parents and finding who you are.

The Trouble with Drowning by Dhonielle Clayton – It showcases the challenges of dealing with loss and moving forward. A compelling short story about how one family overcomes a huge loss and how one sister comes to terms with it.

The (R)evolution of Nigeria Jones by Ibi Zoboi- The daughter of a man who is starting a black movement faces the challenge of realizing that she doesn’t hate white people like her father and his followers. She wants to fit in and find her path while coming to terms with who she is. This particular short story ended on an embraceful note.

Wild Horses, Wild Hearts by Jaye Coles–  This is an LGBTQUIA story about two young males, one white and one black, living on two different farms. Their families despise each other, and both are feeling pressure from their parents. The good things are that they have each other.

Oreo by Brandy Colbert- A black family moves away from their hometown and are invited back for a birthday celebration for their grandmother. Tensions are high due to Joni’s families wealth and place of residence. Joni just wants to be accepted by her family and not be ridiculed for her choice of schooling or upbringing. This is a great short story to share insight on the challenges of colorism and judgment in black families.

I highly recommend you picking up this book and giving it to a black, African American, or diverse teen. It is intended for grades 9 and up but can be given to middle schoolers. You should definitely add this one to your list of must-have reads!


To purchase your copy of this novel, visit the website at http://ibizoboi.net for access to purchasing links


Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.

Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story by Debbie Tung

X3XQ87PqTEGbmfu3Hx+DIAGenre: Graphic Novel (Autobiographical Memoir)
Pages: Print 177
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Author: Debbie Tung
Rating: ★★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a printed copy that I checked out from my library.  This review does not reflect the views of the author, publisher, or library I checked it out from. 


Goodreads Synopsis 

Sweet, funny, and quietly poignant, Debbie Tung’s comics reveal the ups and downs of coming of age as an introvert.

This illustrated gift book of short comics illuminates author Debbie Tung’s experience as an introvert in an extrovert’s world. Presented in a loose narrative style that can be read front to back or dipped into at one’s leisure, the book spans three years of Debbie’s life, from the end of college to the present day. In these early years of adulthood, Debbie slowly but finally discovers there is a name for her lifelong need to be alone: she’s an introvert.

The first half of the book traces Debbie’s final year in college: socializing with peers, dating, falling in love (with an extrovert!), moving in, getting married, meeting new people, and simply trying to fit in. The second half looks at her life after graduation: finding a job, learning to live with her new husband, trying to understand social obligations when it comes to the in-laws, and navigating office life. Ultimately, Quiet Girl sends a positive, pro-introvert message: our heroine learns to embrace her introversion and finds ways to thrive in the world while fulfilling her need for quiet


Final Thoughts 

I stumbled up this book while browsing through my social media feed. However, this wasn’t the first time I viewed comics by this author before. I noticed these comics in a few articles I read in the past year but did not know there was a book.

The graphic novel starts with Debbie in college during her last years trying to navigate life as an introvert and figure out how to become an adult. She struggles to grasp the concept of social gatherings and dating. In true introvert style, she prefers to spend her time at home alone reading or in a quiet space. The author provides humorous illustrations to describe the everyday challenges of introverts. Debbie struggles with meeting new people, understanding specific social cues, and interacting with people. Social interactions, to her, cause a physical and emotional strain causing her to have to recharge after an event. We watch Debbie navigate through dating, finding a potential suitor, and interacting with others. She even faces the dreaded post-graduate life where you have to find a job and be an “adult.” In the end, she figures out who she is and learns that she is okay. That there is nothing wrong with her. She decides to do her research, read a few books to understand her personality, and truly embraces who she is. She can finally understand why she is the way she is and fully accepts that it’s okay not to be “normal.”

This graphic takes a humorous approach to describe the challenges of being an introvert. Debbie Tung illustrates a time when she attends a social gathering and the aftermath of her needing to recharge after interacting with so many people. She will typically spend a day doing nothing and just enjoying the lack of social interaction to prepare for her next gathering. Introverts may appear to be happy at events, but you will notice when they become distant and wander into a corner. I try to stay away from large gatherings because I have two versions of myself: one that gets nervous and talks way too much, the other that sulks and hides in the corner limiting social interaction. I usually go home and prefer to hibernate for 8 hours to prepare. I hate talking on the phone for more than 30 minutes after a day of work because I’ve been talking to people all day and wanted a break. If you are an introvert, then I highly recommend you picking up this graphic novel. You will soon see your everyday interactions come to life on a page.


To purchase your copy of this book, visit the website at http://wheresmybubble.tumblr.com/books for access to purchasing links


Comment below your introvert stories and how you handle it! 

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

24233708Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Science Fiction
Pages: Print 352
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Author: Hank Green 
Rating: ★★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a printed copy that I purchased from Amazon. I also listened to an eAudiobook checked out from my local library using Libby by Overdrive. This review is no way tied to the library or the publisher. 


Goodreads Synopsis 

The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship–like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor–April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world–everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires–and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.


Favorite Quotes

“Basically, do your best to mock and deride their connection to and appreciation of you because, deep down, you dislike yourself enough that you cannot imagine anyone worthwhile actually wanting to be with you. I mean, if they like you, there must be something wrong with them, right?”

“Just because you can’t imagine something doesn’t mean you can’t do it.”


Final Thoughts

Let me start by saying that I loved all the books written by his brother John Green and only bought this book based on the assumption that he would be different. I usually don’t read a lot of science fiction books, but this one shook me to the core.

However, the book did start a bit slow and boring for me. It wasn’t until I started listening to the audiobook that it became interesting. There are so many complicated twists and turns in throughout the story, that there were points where I had to rewind and listen to a section again. The more I dived into the book, the more entertaining it became, and the more I started enjoying it. I liked the discussion of how people of today rely heavily on social media platforms to get news. The book is written as if the main character, April May, is telling her story from her perspective. April May tells her story to the reader by explaining every interaction between her and the Carl’s, every decision she made and even a bit of commentary of her choices, and a lot of self-reflection. It was a unique way to get into the mind of the main character and honestly watch her develop and understand her actions. April May is established as a sarcastic, self-obsessed, afraid, optimistic individual who later lets her selfishness consume her and the people around her. After her first encounter with Carl, she becomes the center of attention globally and her life changes dramatically. She now gets the attention she has always wanted, but in the wake of her being pushed into the media, she must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice for Carl. Throughout the remainder of the story, April May builds new friendships, new relationships, and a who community of enemies that could have an ulterior motive for her life. She also works hard to understand the purpose of the Carls, whether or not they are harmful, and whether or not she is special.

Hank Green did a phenomenal job with the writing of this book and the development of each character. The main character is developed as a strong female lead who has some serious identity issues but is seen as normal. The supporting characters each have their storylines developed around the main character without discrediting their worth in the plot. I enjoyed the humor, the relation to society today, and the discussion of the influence of social media. If you haven’t picked up this book, I highly recommend it.


To purchase your copy of this novel, visit the website at https://hankgreen.com for access to purchasing links


Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

img_0353Genre: Young Adult Autobiographical Graphic Novel
Pages: Print 320
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Author: Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Rating: ★★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a printed copy borrowed from a library I work at. This review is no way tied to the library or the publisher. 


Goodreads Synopsis 

Hey, Kiddo is the graphic memoir of author-illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Raised by his colorful grandparents, who adopted him because his mother was an incarcerated heroin addict, Krosoczka didn’t know his father’s name until he saw his birth certificate when registering for a school ski trip. Hey, Kiddo traces Krosoczka’s search for his father, his difficult interactions with his mother, his day-to-day life with his grandparents, and his path to becoming an artist. Click here for this synopsis on Goodreads.


Favorite Quotes

“Stories keep memories alive and people real to us.”


Final Thoughts

I heard about this book while watching a booktuber discuss books that you must read. I also heard about this book on Instagram and felt like I had to pick it up. I was a bit nervous to actually read this graphic novel memoir after reading the description. I haven’t read many books that discuss the challenges faced by children who have parents who are drug addicts. I personally picked up this book because I felt it was important to see how someone else dealt with an issue I dealt with my entire life.

Jarrett Krosoczka uses humor, emotions, and graphics to describe his childhood in this gut-wrenching graphic novel memoir. The author used his love for art as a medium of escape from the harshness of his reality. He discusses the real challenges faced by someone with a parent that is faced with a debilitating addition. In the face of the biggest challenge of his life, Jarrett has an amazing support system to fall back on. In this novel you watch him grow up, be a normal young man, and face the ghosts from his past in order to truly move forward in his life. I cried while reading about his relationship with his mom and the wonderful companionship he received from his grandfather. The pure innocence of a child is displayed exceptionally in this graphic novel through Jarrett’s hope of his mom overcoming her addiction.  It is hard to rate someones personal story which is why I gave it five stars. It takes a lot of courage to tell the entire world your story and the things you overcame as a child. This graphic novel memoir aims to shed light on the what it is like to live with two absent parents. Jarrett overcame a lot as a child to become what he wanted today and I definitely think that would not be possible without his grandparents. Out of the entire graphic novel, I enjoyed the acknowledgements at the end. I enjoyed reading about his life after he graduated high school, learning about what happened to his grandparents, learning about his parental relationships and how they developed and reading his appreciation of his family. I recommend this book to any guardian or parent who has a child that has a parent with an addiction.


How this story relates to me

This graphic novel touches on some of the challenges of having a parent that is an addict but not all. All situations are unique.  My dad was a drug addict and later died from the effects in 2007. I watched my dad live a life that we all knew would lead to his death. As a child , you hope that your parents will overcome their addiction, you hope they will choose you over an addiction, and you hope for normalcy. However, that isn’t the case in most situations. I had to face my own demons and overcome my own nightmares in order for me to move forward. It is okay to hope for your parents to get better but at the end of the day their choices are their choices alone. I had to understand that addiction is like a disease and my dad could not and was not ready to receive the right treatment. I completely understand as an adult that I did all that I could as a child and his addiction had nothing to do with me. If it weren’t for my maternal grandmother, I would not be here today. The past events shape who you are today but they do not define you. I definitely think I used books as a way to escape the harshness of the reality I lived in and that’s okay.


To purchase your copy of this novel, visit the Scholastic website at https://www.scholastic.com/kids/book/hey-kiddo-by-jarrett-j-krosoczka/ for access to purchasing links


Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

img_0317Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pages: Print 544
Digital: eAdudiobook 16 hrs 02mins
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Author: Anthony Doerr
Rating: ★★★★.5


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I borrowed a copy of this book from a library in Sugarland, TX. The copy used for this review was a printed copy for the first half and the second half was an audiobook from Scribd. This review is no way tied to the library or the publisher. 


Goodreads Synopsis

Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.


Favorite Quotes

‘Don’t you want to live before you die?”


Final Thoughts

This book was actually recommended to me by my coworker and I adored it. I have a degree in History and I am trying to read more historical fiction. I cried, yelled at the pages, and held my breath while reading this novel. It took me over two weeks to finish because I had to keep putting it down to breath.

The book starts off near Paris with Marie-Laure in the Museum of Natural History listening to a guide explain the history of a prized jewel that is kept in the museum. The guide in the novel explains the myths surrounding the jewel and why it is kept in a special lock box in the museum. Afterwards we learn more about Marie-Laure and her fathers relationship by getting a glimpse of their everyday life and how they handle her condition. Then the author transitions to telling the story of Werner and his relationship with his family. The author develops a multi-level back story for each character sharing little details of their parents and siblings. I personally would have liked more depth in the back story of the main characters but I am confident that would have added more to the page count. The story then follows both characters through the war and details how each handles the various events. In the beginning of the book I wondered why the author would have two very unique main characters and the importance of the two. Later I realized that each character provided different perspectives of the war. The story continued on to be filled with sadness, grief, , love, happiness, family, and friendship. The  last five chapters were the hardest and happiest chapters for me. This was mostly due to the revisiting of family members of each character and the development of the supporting characters. Also, the ending shares a glimpse of the main characters and their families in the future. The author writes about how the family members of these characters were affected by the war, where they are now, and how they are dealing with the aftermath mentally and physically. The author did a fantastic job with the character development, the realism, and the overall plot of this book. I personally like a bit more violence since this is a book that focuses on World War II but I cam understand the point of this novel was to tell it from the perspective of the youth.

This book definitely takes you on an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish. I recommend this to anyone interested in historical fiction. I would also recommend the audiobook, the narrator is amazing. If you’re interested in reading a Young Adult Historical Fiction then I would recommend the Alex & Eliza series by Melissa De La Cruz. It’s a fictional tale of the life of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler. It is laced with humor throughout the entire novel. You can find my review of the Alex & Eliza story here.

To purchase your copy of this novel, visit Anthony Doerr’s website at http://anthonydoerr.com/books/ for access to purchasing links. 



Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.

2019 Goals and Most Anticipated Reads

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This is Ms. Pickles my cat

Hi Readers,

First, I would like to say thank you to everyone whole follows my blog. I am working on being more consistent with my posts and sharing more of what books I recommend. I also want to do a monthly wrap up.

My reading goal this year is 75 books. I plan on reading a mix of books from all genre’s. I am also limiting myself to purchasing 5 books this year. I just purchased my first of the new year today.

2019 Most Anticipated Releases

  1. Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson
  2. Again but Better by Christine Riccio
  3. All for One by Melissa De La Cruz

2019 TBR List

  1. Paperweight by Meg Haston
  2. Hey Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka 
  3. Librarian of Aushwitz
  4. Blend by Sharon Draper
  5. Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
  6. Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish
  7. Hilda and the Hidden People
  8. My Sister the Serial Killer
  9. Children of the Whales
  10. The Magic Misfits Book 2
  11. Sadie by Courtney Summers
  12. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sara J Maas
  13. The Giver Lois Lowry
  14. Black Enough edited by Ibi Zoboi
  15. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
  16. The Mermaids Voice Returns in this one by Amanda Lovelace
  17. The Book Thief

 


UPDATES

February- I have read two of the books on my TBR and both reviews are posted on my blog. Once I have finished the book. I will update this page monthly. Please be sure to see my thoughts on the books I have read so far.

 

Please comment any book recommendations below!! Thanks for following!