Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Merry Solstice!


tis the season to:
drink hot cocoa
make snow angels
cut out paper snowflakes
watch stars
make popcorn
read books

See you Next Year!

Friday, December 17, 2021

Fergus and Zeke and the 100th Day of School

Fergus and Zeke and the 100th Day of School 
by Kate Messner; illus. by Heather Ross 
56 pages; ages 5-8
Candlewick, 2021

If you have not read any Fergus and Zeke books, then go get a couple. They are fun, fun, fun! This is the newest in the series, book #4 and it deals with math. In particular, the number 100.

For students in elementary school, 100 is a benchmark: the number of days you have been in school. Celebrated with snacks and parades and the creation of collections of 100 things. Zeke and Fergus, the class mice, want to participate in the excitement. Maybe they could run 100 miles on the mousewheel in the cage. It only takes a few minutes to figure that 100 miles is Too Long. 

Maybe they should take a nap. It doesn't take any time at all to figure out that 100 seconds is Too Short. Maybe they could collect something... but 100 rocks are Too Heavy. And sometimes they begin counting or collecting only to discover that a box labeled "100" doesn't have 100 things in it! What's a mouse to do? You'll have to read the book to find out!

Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other  bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy provided by the publishers.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Unputdownable! Sharon Cameron's BLUEBIRD


‎Scholastic Press, 2021
In the normal course of events, I request books to review. And so I was surprised to get a package from Scholastic. Had I asked for a book and forgotten about it? Nope. Inside was a young adult novel that I never would have looked at, much less cracked the covers of, had it not ended up in my mailbox. By mistake? By fate? Who knows. 

Good thing it did, though, because I love a good story. Especially when it is grounded in fact and history. And doubly especially when it is written so well I just have to read another dozen (or 50) pages - even if it is one in the morning! 

The opening chapter introduces Eva, standing on the deck of a ship and gazing at the sea before her and the city approaching. It’s August 1946 and she has left behind a world of burning rubble. She gathers her suitcase and that of Brigit, who does not speak. She gathers their papers, and checks to make sure her secret documents are safely hidden. Then, together they follow their guide down the gangplank and into immigration.

America is bright, and friendly – and Eva and Brigit are here ostensibly to begin a new life. Eva has come for justice. She has come to search for a Nazi physician responsible for conducting horrific medical experiments on prisoners in concentration camps. She has come to uncover secrets, with hope of bringing this person to justice before the US government recruits him for their own dark programs. She has come to dig for the truth about Project Bluebird.

Eva has also come to protect Brigit, and help her recover from the horrible suffering at the hands of soldiers. Chapters alternate between 1946 America and war-torn Germany. We see flashes of Eva’s childhood as a schoolgirl under the Nazi regime. Living in Germany, Eva knew no hardship (her household included servants). But as she begins uncovering clues, dark memories begin to surface and Eva wonders about her place in her family. And now she is being followed by mysterious men.

Eva eventually finds a job and covers the hospital expenses so that Brigit can get treatment. As Brigit regains her memories, we learn how the two girls are connected – and we see how their experiences translate into different views of the world they now find themselves in.

What I like about this book: Sharon Cameron paints a detailed picture of an American city post-war. Her characters are so three-dimensional they could walk out of the book and carry on a conversation with you. But what I really like is the backmatter. Sharon adds a dozen pages of well-researched material that provides historical context and perspective for her story and the era. It should come as no surprise that Germany was not the only one conducting research on human subjects during the war.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Off on Another Explorer Academy Adventure!


Explorer Academy: The Dragon's Blood (Book 6) 
by Trudi Trueit 
216 pages; ages 8-12
‎National Geographic Children’s Books, 2021

Cruz joins his best friends in another race-around-the-globe adventure in search of the next clue to his mom’s secret formula. This time we begin our adventures in a steamy rainforest in Borneo. Cruz Coronado and his friends are gathering information as part of a Bioblitz. They’re taking photos of animal and plant life they find, seeking the rarely seen. They find an orchid mantis that perfectly mimics the flower it’s named for, and pitcher plants that digest leaves instead of insects. 
Di Pavel Kirillov/Wikimedia commons

After they’ve had an opportunity to sharpen their observation skills, the students are sent into the Tasmanian wilderness on their real mission: searching for an animal thought to be extinct for the past hundred years. They deploy cool technology, such as the SHOT Bots (Soft Heliomorphic Observational Traveling Robots). The robots are designed to resemble stinging nettles so that the local wildlife won’t nibble on them.

But the creature they are searching for is so rare that the students wonder if they will ever see it. The book raises good questions, such as how do we protect species with small wild populations? It also highlights the importance of preserving biodiversity.

Of course, as the expedition unfolds, Cruz is drawn into searching for the missing pieces of his mother’s code. Clues point to the Terra Cotta army, an army of clay soldiers that were buried more than 2,000 years ago where the ancient capital of Xianyang once stood. Could the missing puzzle piece be there? 

Meanwhile, it becomes clear that someone in the Academy is a spy. But who? and what does it have to do with emo-glasses and weaponized goo? 

Like the other books in the series, the back matter explains the truth behind the fiction. You’ll meet an ocean explorer, an explorer who uses camera traps to document wildlife in a rainforest, and more who are involved in preserving the diversity of plant and animal life on our planet. 

You can check out reviews of previous books in the series here, here, here, and here . Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other  bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Home Alone.....


Henry at Home 
by Megan Maynor; illus. by Alea Marley 
40 pages; ages 4-7
Clarion Books, 2021

theme: family, growing up, school

As long as there had been Henry and Liza, they were together.
Liza and Henry.
Henry and Liza.

They shared friends, adventures, and the marvelous Twisty Tree. But one day, Liza got a backpack and new pencils and fresh crayons and her very own pair of scissors. She was getting ready to go to school – and Henry was NOT happy about that! Because, up to this point, they had Done Everything Together. When the bus roars away, Henry roars, too!

What I like about this book: I like the close relationship between Henry and his sister. I like how Megan shows his jealousy that Liza gets to go to school, but he has to stay home. But what I really like is how Henry discovers that he can do his favorite things on his own. And when Liza returns from school, he has something special he can share with her.

Beyond the Books:

How do you feel when an older sister, brother, cousin, friend, gets to start a new adventure and you’re left behind? Draw a picture or tell a story about how you feel. Do you roar? Stomp your feet? Hang out on the swings at a park and create new ways of swinging?

If you go to school, what are your favorite school supplies? Do any of them have a smell that you associate with going to school? I confess, I love the smell of new crayons!

Think of something you can do with a younger or older sibling that you only see after school. Maybe it’s a favorite game. In our house it was listening to an audio book and coloring.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Journalists defend Free Speech


Fearless: The Story of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Defender of Free Speech 
written & illus. by Gattaldo 
32 pages; ages 7-9
‎Candlewick, 2021

theme: courage, biography, free speech,

In a house by the sea, on the island of Malta, lived a little girl named Daphne, together with her mom, dad, and three sisters.

Daphne loved stories ~ especially the story of her great-great-great-great-grandfather who fought against Napoleon. She loved reading books, and carried one with her wherever she went.

“And she loved the freedom of asking questions and then making up her own mind,” writes Gattaldo who, not only wrote this book, but also happened to be one of Daphne’s close friends. Daphne protested injustice and wrote for a newspaper. She was an investigative reporter, uncovering human rights abuses and other wrongdoings. 

What I like about this book: It’s about a courageous woman who tries to reveal truth about those in power. It’s about fighting for justice using a pen instead of a sword. And there is back matter! That's where we learn more about her life, and how those in power worked to silence her.

Beyond the Books:

Write a news story. What’s happening in your town or neighborhood that you think people should know about? Find out the facts and write them up in a newsy story to share with your friends. See if your friends want to help write a neighborhood newsy-letter.

Students, from 6th grade to 12th, are writing and publishing the local newspaper in Pelham, New York. They started doing this when the local paper went out of business. You can see what they write about here.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.

Friday, November 12, 2021

A Tale of Two Audreys


Audrey L and Audrey W: Best Friends-ish
by Carter Higgins; illus. by Jennifer K. Mann 
184 pages; ages 6-9
Chronicle Books, 2021

It’s always fun to dive into the first book in a new chapter book series. And after hearing about Audrey L. and Audrey W, I could not wait! 

It’s the beginning of the school year, and Audrey is super-duper-duper sure that second grade will be twice as fun as first. Plus they get to put on a play – with costumes and everything! But second grade isn’t turning out to be so great after all. Sure, there are all kinds of new things to learn and do, but the teacher stuck Mimi’s artwork at the top of the filing cabinet, and Audrey’s is stuck somewhere in the middle. And Diego, who was Audrey’s first friend in first grade won’t even tell her any jokes.

And to top it off, Audrey isn’t even the only Audrey in class. There’s a new Audrey, so now Audrey has to go by Audrey L. and the new girl by Audrey W.

Maybe, though… just maybe they could become best friends?

What I like about this book: I love that Audrey W.’s reputation precedes her: she’s eaten crickets! And I like how Audrey L. tries to welcome the new Audrey, and befriend her … and make friendship mistakes. Fortunately, second grade friendship mistakes can sometimes be put to rights – if one makes the effort. I also like how Ms. Fincastle refers to her students as her “little chickens” and I love her list of classroom jobs: plant waterer, recycling boss, welcome ambassador, and my fave, paper passer-outer. 

Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other  bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy provided by the publisher.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Need Mittens? Get a Sheep!


If You Want to Knit Some Mittens 
by Laura Purdie Salas; illus. by Angela Matteson 
32 pages; ages 4-8
Boyds Mills Press, 2021

theme: friendship, patience, humor

1. Get a sheep. Seriously.

According to Laura Purdie Salas, there are eighteen steps to knitting mittens. The first one is obvious: get a sheep. Once you get that sheep, you’ve got to feed her, and keep her warm and dry. And then you’ve got to give her a buzz cut, wash the wool …. So Many Things To Do until you can finally knit your mittens. And throughout it all there is this sheep – who sometimes helps – and maybe your dad, who also might help, and quite possibly some chickens.

What I love about this book: I love tongue-in-cheek guide books, especially when they provide real instructions while the illustrations show what is “really going on”. In this book, the instructions for how to get from sheep-to-knitting needles are on point … and, except for the sheep (and the actual knitting) I have done them all. Wash wool. Dry it. Card it. Dye it. 

These things take time. Especially when you decide, at the last minute, that you want to dye your wool the color of sunshine and the Natural Dye Book says you need marigolds and you haven’t planted any marigolds – yet. So… there is a lot of waiting that also goes into making mittens. But all that waiting is worth it because that’s how you discover the meaning of true friendship.

Beyond the Books:

Finger knit a flower. You don’t need knitting needles to learn some knitting basics. All you need is some pretty yarn, this tutorial, and some patience. If you get addicted to finger knitting, find a hoop and weave a coaster (embroidery hoop), or a rug (hula-hoop).

Try making natural dye using beets. You can use juice from cooked beets to paint your own gift wrap, or use beet tops to stamp designs on a napkin, or use beets and other things (onion skins, rose hips and berries outside) to do bundle-dying.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Need Something Fixed?

The Girl Who Could Fix Anything: Beatrice Shilling, World War II Engineer 
by Mara Rockliff; illus. by Daniel Duncan 
48 pages; ages 5-9
Candlewick, 2021  

theme: Engineering, women in science, biography 

Beatrice Shilling wasn’t quite like other children. She preferred tools to sweets.

Because tools can take things apart. They can put things together. They can fix things that are broken.

Beatrice wanted to be an engineer, and was fortunate to meet a mentor who encouraged her to study at the university. Where she wasn’t quite like the other students. And when she graduated, there weren’t any jobs for women engineers. But finally, one company gave her a chance. Which was a good thing, because she figured out how to solve a serious problem with fighter planes.

What I like about this book: I am always looking for books about women in STEM fields – and engineering is one of those fields where women are underrepresented. I also love reading stories about strong girls who solve problems. Plus, there is back matter: more juicy details about Beatrice’s life. And – the end pages are wonderful ~ diagrams of engine parts and bolts and other fun things.

Beyond the Books:

Make a tool kit. An unused tackle box or lunch box work well. Here are the basics you’ll need: safety goggles, a variety of screwdriver sizes in both flat and Phillip’s head, a hammer, needle nose pliers, wire cutters, tweezers, and a crescent wrench. Also a plastic tray for collecting screws and washers while working on a project – we use take-out containers.

Take apart some things that no one is using. Some fun things to take apart are old computer keyboards, old computer mouse, broken electronic toys, toaster, radio, VHS or DVD player, old printer. Make sure you remove batteries and snip off the cord before unscrewing the first screw. For safety reasons, don’t take apart anything with glass, sharp edges, or tubes that can break.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.

Friday, October 22, 2021

It was a dark and zombie night...

Return of ZomBert (The Zombert Chronicles) 
by Kara LaReau; illustrated by Ryan Andrews 
160 pages; ages 8-12
‎ Candlewick, 2021

This is the perfect time of year to settle in for a Halloween read. The wind is blowing through the trees, and limbs are squeaking and scratching against the house. Something, somewhere is moaning, and … what’s that tap-tap-tapping noise at the window? Pull up the quilt, grab your mug of cocoa, and lean in for the continuing tale of … ZomBert.

In a certain corporate headquarters on the edge of town, all was quiet. 

Plans are being hatched. Evil plans. Plans to kidnap a certain cat who, though once stray and straggly, now spends his days dozing in Mellie’s room. Now Mellie has to earn money to pay back her parents for vet care and the cat’s other adoption-related expenses. But Mellie is reluctant to take on yard work for Mrs. Witt, known to some as “the Candy Witch”.

Turns out Mrs. Witt has lots of old science stuff from back when she and her husband owned a confectionary shop, back before YummCo bought the company and changed the recipes. Now, YummCo is so large they influence the town – and their newest event is a harvest festival with a pet contest and parade. 

Then people start acting weird – they can’t seem to get enough of YummCo foods, and they act like … zombies?  Mellie and her friends – and ZomBert the cat – are determined to uncover the mystery. Things don’t go as planned, people end up in the wrong place, and cats go missing.

It's a fun story to read. But like YummCo products, this book seems a bit light on the nutrition and destined to get you hooked so you’ll read the next book. Plus this reader wants to know: why didn't Millie follow the clue?

Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other  bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy provided by the publisher.

Friday, October 15, 2021

What's Buried in Your Backyard?

The Deepest Dig 
by Mark David Smith; illus by Lily Snowden-Fine 
32 pages; ages 3-7
Owlkids, 2021 

theme: mammoth, bones, STEAM

Caden found something in the backyard.

It was as long as a fence post. It was as hard as a stone. It pushed up through the soil like a root. But it wasn’t a stone or a root or even a fence post. It was definitely a treasure, said his neighbor, Martha. But no one else believes Caden about his treasure. If it was a treasure, we could go traveling, says mom. If it was a prehistoric animal, I’ll eat my hat, says Caden’s science teacher. But Caden, with Martha’s help – and her truck and winch – pull up the bone. Then more. And soon an entire skeleton which Caden tries to assemble in increasingly funny ways.

What I like about this book: It’s a fun take on finding bones in your backyard. And I love the nonchalance of Caden’s parents. I like that Martha has the truck and encourages Caden to dig deeper. And I really like that the story is based on a real event: a farmer in Michigan discovered mammoth bones in his soybean field. What I would have liked even better was if there had been back matter. 

Beyond the Books:

Find out more about the discovery of mammoth bones in the farmer’s field. Here’s an article from the Detroit News. What other articles can you find about people discovering mammoth – or even dinosaur – bones in their backyards?

What does a mammoth site look like when scientists are digging? Check out this video of University of Michigan paleontologists.

Are mammoths ancient relatives of modern elephants? Here’s one article that compares the two. If you can, visit elephants at a zoo and make your own observations.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Charlie & Mouse with new adventures

Charlie & Mouse Lost and Found 
by Laurel Snyder; illus. by Emily Hughes
52 pages; ages 6-9
Chronicle Books, 2021

This is book 5 in this wonderful chapter book series. I’ve got to tell you, I love Charlie and Mouse. Even though they are brothers, they treat each other with tenderness – well, some of the time. In this book the four chapters may look like independent stories, but they are leashed together. There is a sweet story about a missing blanket (referred to as “he/him”) and Charlie and Mouse go on a blanket hunt. They go on errands with mom – which, if you remember your younger childhood, were Not Fun. I vaguely remember trips to the bank (there were deposit slips to write on!) and grocery stores…

… but Charlie and Mouse find a lost dog. Can we keep him? they ask. You think you know how that ends, but author Laurel Snyder turns it into a story of care. And then there is the dog that finds them. 

What I like about this book: Short, simple language, sweet. Some observations about the Charlie and Mouse series: each book has four chapters (or stories) and total word count for the books range from 950 – 1100 words. Not only are they great stories for newly independent readers, they are good mentor texts for writers interested in early chapter books.

You can find my reviews of earlier books here on the blog.
Charlie & Mouse Even Better (2019) is here 

Charlie & Mouse Outdoors (2020) is here.

Thanks for dropping by today. Review copy provided by the publisher.

Friday, October 1, 2021

A Boy, a fox, and a forest fire

The Fox and the Forest Fire 
by Danny Popovici 
44 pages; ages 5-8
Chronicle Books, 2021

theme: animals, forest fire

I wasn’t sure I’d like my new home.

When a boy moves from his home in the city to a new house in the woods, he wonders whether he will ever like it. It’s too quiet at night; too loud in the morning, and bugs fly into his mouth when he’s hiking with mom. But over time he discovers things that he does like, and makes friends with a fox. Then disaster strikes: a forest fire. The boy and his mom have to evacuate ~ but where do the animals go?

What I like about this book: What looks like a simple story has layers: a house, the woods, the trees and plants, the animals living in the woods. Everything is connected, even if you don’t see those connections. Given the fires this summer, this is a timely book. The author, at one time, was part of a forest firefighting crew, and he writes about that and the impacts of wildfires in the back matter.

Beyond the Books:

The western part of the US has seen lots of wildfires this summer. You can find out more about wildfires here.

If you were a forest animal, what would you be? Where would you hide – or go – during a wildfire? Here’s an article about animals and the fires in California this summer.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Blink and Block are Friends

Friendbots: Blink and Block Bug Each Other (I Can Read Comics)
by Vicky Fang 
32 pages; ages 4-8
HarperAlley, 2021

theme: friendship, STEAM, robots

Hey, Block. Let’s play!

Blink and Block are friends. They are robots. That makes them FriendBots! Blink is round, and silly, and playful. Block is square, and serious, and logical. They may not be a perfect fit, but … eventually they figure out how to solve problems together. In book one, they were looking for treasure, and ended up finding friendship. In this book, Block is busy working and Blink wants to play. If you've ever had a friend who pesters  and bugs you, then you will identify with these two friendbots.

What I like about this book: Comics! Who doesn’t love comics? There are three or four panels per 2-page spread. The drawings are uncomplicated and, combined with simple text presented in speech bubbles (aka: word balloons), guides the beginning reader through the story.

Front matter in this book shows how to read a comic, and defines the different kinds of word balloons: dialogue, thought, whisper, excited exclamation! Back matter is a single page, and in this book focuses on buttons. Why? Because Blink pushes Block’s buttons. But also because a button – at least on a robot – is a type of sensor, just like the power button on your tv remote.

This book is part of a series. In the first book, Blink and Block use a scanner to locate treasure. Scanners are sensors, too. They allow robots to see and understand the environment around them.

Blink and Block are so likeable that I just had to ask Vicky One Question.

Me: Can you talk about how you came to illustrate these comics yourself? Is drawing a part of your tech career? 

Vicky: My expertise is in interaction design, not visual design. So, I’m familiar with digital art tools, but I never used them professionally for art! At one time I thought I would illustrate my own stories. But when I saw the amazing art and the arduous editing process of the kidlit world, I focused on writing. 

And yet, I always drew sketches to help me write my stories. They were messy, and hidden in my sketchbooks for me to reference as I wrote. Eventually I started adding a little concept sketch when my manuscripts went out on submission. My intention was to set the tone for the editor, not to pitch myself as the illustrator. Over time, the sketches turned into full dummies, and my agent began submitting me as illustrator-optional on some of my projects.

Andrew Arnold, my eventual editor for FRIENDBOTS, saw potential in the dummy I had sent and worked with me to polish my style. When he made me an offer for text and illustrations, I was slightly terrified. But I took the leap and I’m so glad that I did. It was so much fun, I learned a ton, and I feel like illustration is properly a new tool in my arsenal.

I also have to thank my kid for making me practice. He constantly asked me to draw him pictures, mostly stormtroopers. And he was an unforgiving critic with high standards! So I got a lot of practice drawing and my skills improved.

Now, I’m working on a lot of new projects including a new chapter book and a non-fiction book. And guess what? I’m illustrating all of them.

Beyond the Books:

Look for sensors in and around your house. You probably don’t have a robot, but you may have a remote control with on and off buttons. Other sensors might include a camera, and microphones. I use the mic in my smart phone to pick up bird calls so the Merlin App can identify the bird. 

Draw or build (using recycled materials) a simple robot with at least one sensor. Write about what the sensor does for the robot. What sort of information does it collect? Or does it have another job?

Back in June, I chatted with Vicky about how she integrates technology, engineering, and coding in her kid’s stories. You can find that at the GROG blog. Check out this review of her Layla and the Bots series for middle graders.

Vicky is a member of #STEAMTeam2021. You can find out more about her at her website.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Sit. Stay. Read!

Secondhand Dogs 
by Carolyn Crimi 
256 pages; ages 8-12  
Balzer + Bray, 2021
By now you know I am a sucker for dog stories. And especially if they are about rescue dogs and the people who love them. And doubly especially if they are told from the dogs’ points of view.

Gus, Roo, Tank, and Moon Pie live with Miss Lottie and her cat, Ghost. Together with Quinn, the kid down the street who helps Miss Lottie, they make up a pack. At least that’s how Gus thinks of his adopted family. But when Miss Lottie brings a new member into the group, Gus – already insecure about being a “good enough” leader – is hard-pressed to keep his pack together.

Gus isn’t too sure about the new dog, Decker. The scent that wafts off him is “bright and cold, like the metal water bowl in Miss Lottie’s kitchen,” and he acts too … confident. But Miss Lottie falls in love with her new rescue, and soon Decker has moved into her room, onto her bed, and squeezed the other dogs out of her heart.

But when Decker convinces Moon Pie to take off on an impossible journey, Gus realizes he has to rally his pack and find the little dog they all love. After all, there are coyotes on the loose, and cars on the road.

Each chapter is told through a different point-of-view, with some providing insights into backstories and personal motives. Each in a unique voice. You can almost hear Moon Pie’s tail wagging as he tries to please Miss Lottie, Gus, Quinn, and bad-boy Decker. You can hear the nervousness in Roo’s hyperactive cadence, and Tank’s heft as he moves and settles and thinks over a response. Then there’s Ghost, the resident cat who rarely shows himself but when he does, it’s to deliver important information. And Quinn, who may or may not have been at fault when his own dog died, and finds acceptance in the pack at Miss Lottie’s house.

In this book you’ll find adventure. You’ll suffer through family/pack disputes and bullying. And at the end you will discover that there’s a “good boy” hidden inside everyone.

This is definitely a book you’ll want to Sit, Stay, and Read.

Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other  bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review ARC provided by the author.