Thursday, February 14, 2019

Just Read by Lori Degman

Title: Just Read
Author: Lori Degman
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books
Publication date: March 5, 2019
Pages: 32
Source/format: ARC // The Horn Book

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Synopsis (from
“A chipper, colorful celebration of the limitless possibilities for what, where, and when one can read.” —Publishers Weekly
These kids all love to read—alone or together, on a bus or in a parade. And every time they open a book, they open up a whole new world, too!

Learning to read is a big accomplishment, and this exuberant picture book celebrates reading in its many forms. In lively rhyme, it follows a diverse group of word-loving children who grab the opportunity to read wherever and whenever they can. They read while waiting and while sliding or swinging; they read music and in Braille and the signs on the road. And, sometimes, they even read together, in a special fort they’ve built. The colorful, fanciful art and rollicking text will get every child more excited about reading!  

M Y  T H O U G H T S

Just Read is a picture book with vivid watercolor-like illustrations. Victoria Tentler-Krylov’s bold and stunning illustrations draw the eyes of the reader to the pages. The simple rhyming lines are easy to read and to understand. It flows so well! Lori Degman encourages children to read. They can read on their own or read with someone by their side. They can read with many characters such as a pirate, penguin or bear. They explore new and different places. Children can read anywhere and at any time whether it is on the grass outside on a nice day or on a train during a rain storm.

Just Read doesn’t set limitations to reading; reading is accessible for all types of people. The picture book tells a story of how everyone can read no matter who they are. There is something for everyone. This celebration of reading is important at this age. Just Read encourages children that there is no right or wrong way to read.

Just Read is a book for everyone and celebrates diversity. The illustrations depict people of various race, ethnicities and abilities in various weather and climates. Degman describes how a person can read. They can read traditionally through words on a page or on a sign. Some people can read by touch via braille. People can even read through listening and they can read through signing. I love how the book ends with a little free library image that says "take a book, leave a book!"

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Couples In Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and the meme moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. This week's Top Ten Tuesday asks bloggers to list their top ten favorite couple in books. The following couples are in no particular order. All synopsis information was taken from Goodreads. As an FYI, I only support only one love triangles and it is depicted in the choices I chose below.

1. Cath and Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

2. Penny and Sam from Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

3. Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell from the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco

4. Lara Jean and John Ambrose McClaren (aka JAM) from P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

5. Lei and Wren from Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

6. Tessa Gray and Jem Carstairs from The Infernal Devices series

7. Tessa Gray and Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices series

8. Paige Hancock and Max Watson from The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

9. Lainey and Carter from The Sententia series by Cara Bertrand

10. Sydney Sage and Adrian Ivashkov from The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead

What are some of your favorite OTPs? Do we share any of the same book couples?

Friday, February 1, 2019

The Golden Tower by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Title: The Golden Tower
Author: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: September 11, 2018
Pages: 256
Source/format: Hardcover // Library

Rating: ☆☆☆

Synopsis (from 

The final, thrilling installment in this extraordinary series from bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.

A generation ago, powerful mage Constantine Madden came close to achieving what no magician had ever achieved: the ability to bring back the dead. He didn't succeed . . . but he did find a way to keep himself alive, inside a young child named Callum Hunt.

Facing up to what he is, Callum has battled chaos and evil across four years of magical training at the Magisterium, eventually defeating the armies of chaos in an epic battle.

It came at a cost.

Now, triumphant and heartbroken, Callum Hunt has just about had enough, and is ready to complete his training. But the evil Callum faced has not given up just yet...

M Y  T H O U G H T S

"We must learn from this lesson that we cannot allow fear to rule us...When fear rules us, we forget who we truly are. We forget the good we are capable of."

The Golden Tower is the fifth installment in the Magisterium and it's the last book in the series. Although the romance of the novel is untimely and it feels out of place, the character development from The Iron Trial to The Golden Tower grew for some characters while stayed the same for others. The pacing of the book was good at the beginning to the middle of the novel but it sped up too quickly from the middle to the end. It felt too rushed. The Golden Tower is a short book to begin with and I felt like the pace was too fast in terms of when Call and his friends were hunting down the four Devoured of Air, Earth, Fire and Water in order to displace the Devoured of Chaos.

The novel depicts some language and actions that are not up to par with what a teenager says or does. Call is about 16 right now and Alex is a little bit older. However, Alex acts much younger demanding things like a child would. He throws temper tantrums. Aaron is definitely the most mature with well thought out ideas. He thinks before he acts and speaks. Tamara will seek out resources if she doesn't know about something. Call relies on his friends in order to make decisions. Jasper grows the most out of all the students. He used to be cruel and bullied Call and his friends at the start of the Magisterium journey. As each year passes, he learns to accept Call and his friends to the point where he is part of their friendship circle. Readers find out what happened to his father which could have added to why he behaved in the past as he did.

Alastair's decision at the end of the book is a surprise but it shows what a parent does for their child in order to save their life no matter what the consequence. It shows that Alastair truly loves Call. Because of spoilers, I won't name who the true enemy is but the enemy could have been a very complex character and the enemy is actually very simple and not very interesting. I was hoping for more character development for the enemy or at least find out more about their backstory.

The Golden Tower sums up the Magisterium series fairly quickly. For those who love fantasy middle grade novels involving boarding schools and magic, this series is one to pick up for a quick read.