MrsK's K-8 Books Worth Reading

my best-reads-for-k-8 shelf:
MrsK Books's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (best-reads-for-k-8 shelf)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Samantha Sanderson at the Movies

         Samantha Sanderson At the Movies            
ISBN: 9780310742456
Book Look Synopsis:
The first book in an exciting new series about a girl with dreams to become an investigative journalist, each book promises to touch on a crime straight from the headlines, while also tackling tough issues faced by middle-schoolers everywhere.

A new addition to the Faithgirlz! trusted brand of books introduces readers to Sam Sanderson, an independent, resourceful, tech-savvy cheerleader and aspiring journalist, and Sam's best friend Makayla. They're ordinary 7th graders who enjoy shopping, texting, and going to the mall-along with sniffing out the next big mysteries to report in the school paper.

In this first book of the series, Sam gets the lead on a developing and controversial story when an explosive device is discovered in a local movie theater-controversial because this movie theater has recently come under attack by a renowned, outspoken atheist, for allowing a local church to show Christian movies at the theater. Sam's family has always been strong in their walk with the Lord, and Sam knows what she believes, but for the first time her faith is really put to the test, especially when she compromises her ethics as a journalist when she reports on the case her father is overseeing for the police.

MrsK's Review:
"There was just something right about popcorn so covered in butter that you had to lick your fingers."
Perfect "hook" for me.  What is going to a movie without the comforting joy of a tub of buttered popcorn?  If you attend church and/or youth groups, it is not a new concept for theater's to close for a special viewing of a faith-based movie.  What was surprising was the fact that "others" would be so opposed to the idea that there would be a possibility of violence.  Unfortunately, this is a reality for our teens, as well as the reality for Sam's night out before school begins.

Sam is a "scoop" artist.  With a father as an investigative detective and the added opportunity for Sam to be the lead "reporter" for the school's blog... well you know that Sam will get herself in and out of some "murderous" situations.  Many of which is putting pressure on her father and unnerving some students who would like to see her blog "crash and burn."  Sam knows that this blog could get her into the running for being the editor next year, so she convinces her father to let her blog the facts.  The challenge for Sam will be stating the truth and not prejudging what she perceives as the truth.

As Sam uncovers the truth, she is faced with an inner truth:
 "...that the fear of the Lord that's talked about in Scripture is a reverent fear and awe, not a scared-of-the-boogeyman type of fear."
"Reporter's shouldn't editorialize or sensationalize... just report the facts."  Can Sam report just the facts and leave out the investigative truths that are coming together like pieces in a puzzle?  As a field reporter, her mother warns her to be very careful "...Even most journalists don't truly have a grasp on freedom of speech."

Sam's reporting steps on toes, creates many headaches for the school's principal, causes her father to make some decisions that he doesn't want to make... and in the end, helps Sam to weigh "how" to report without hurting those she is talking about.

This storyline is quite the surprise.  I was thrilled with the delivery of the plot.  The characters are dedicated Christians who are finding their path while attending middle school (definitely a hard enough walk in and of its own). This is such a refreshing read, it can be so difficult to find literature that will satisfy the quest for middle school readers.  So many of today's options are not books which resonate with Christian teens.  This is a book that will provide a bridge for many of our students.

Picture Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage—two aspects Robin weaves into each of her books.

Enjoyable reading for everyone... Will be adding to our Library shelves!
I review for BookLook Bloggers
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. 
I was not required to write a positive review. 
The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> :
 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Swan Point by Sherryl Woods

ISBN: 9780778316428
"The friends are the only things I've brought with me through the years that really matter," she says. "I could probably live without one more chintz teacup, another tin-litho sandpail or another snowglobe, but I need those friends."

Publisher's Synopsis:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods draws readers back into the world of strong friendships and heartfelt emotions in Serenity, South Carolina.

Determined to build a new life for her family after her divorce, Adelia Hernandez has bought a home in the historic Swan Point neighborhood of Serenity. Promoted to manager of Main Street's most fashionable boutique, she feels revitalized and ready for a fresh start as a single mom. But barely into this new independent phase, she crosses paths with the sexiest man to hit Serenity in years.

Gabe Franklin, back in town to make amends for past mistakes, has no intention of settling down, but Adelia's proving irresistible. Cheered on by their friends, "the Sweet Magnolias," Gabe is bringing long-absent passion and laughter into Adelia's life. To his surprise—and hers—sometimes a rolling stone is just what it takes to build the rock-solid foundation of a family.

"Woods' readers will eagerly anticipate her trademark small-town setting, loyal friendships, and honorable mentors as they meet new characters and reconnect with familiar ones in this heartwarming tale." —Booklist on Home in Carolina

MrsK's Review:
I was first introduced to Sherryl Woods' talent as a romance author when I opened the covers of Angel MineAll of these years later, I depend on her characters to provide me with great entertainment, especially if I'm beginning my summer break.  Of course Christmas break has very tempting and satisfying titles as well.

The Sweet Magnolias are exceptionally fun women.  They gather together for support, laughter, problem solving, sharing strength, and comfort.  Once they make a stand... well everyone takes a step back and watches their plans blossom.

As a mother, you probably know or know of someone who has been in a relationship/marriage that is not only abusive, degrading, and oppressive... but is pushing the wife beyond the healthy limits of acceptable treatment.  It is so difficult to fight off such controlling behaviors from a spouse.  You must have the support of everyone in order to make the choice to leave and begin again.  When we meet Adelia, she has just finalized her divorce.  She is moving into her new home and into her new season of life.  Her focus is on helping her children make this life changing adjustment.  Living in the small town of Serenity, comes with perks (friends, a quaint clothing store, a yummy bakery, and those you have grown up with), there are also the draw-backs (an ex-husband and his new girlfriend, ex-marriage friendships, non-supportive family, and judgements).

On the day that Adelia pops into the bakery, a stranger catches her eye.  Gabe is back in town.  He grew up in Serenity.  He made some wrong decisions, once upon a time.  Now he has returned to rectify what has bothered him all of these years.  The connection is a few much-needed upgrades at Adelia's new home.  What becomes renovated... is a friendship and love that is built upon mutual respect and true desire in placing each other first.

With characters that are witty, settings which are crafted with Sherryl's trademark of serenity, these two lives begin...  This is a perfect read for any summer day or as a traveling companion.

Enjoyable read
"I received this ebook for free from Net Galley for this review."

 Harlequin Books

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Spoken For
Good Reads Synopsis:
Say Yes to the Love Story of Your Life A great romance was set in motion before you were born. A relentless Lover is pursuing you, and He has made His intentions clear. He wants you to be His forever. How will you respond to the One who longs for you to be His with your whole heart?
In Spoken For, Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke speak to your heart about what it means for you to belong to Christ, who you are because of His love, and how that affects the way you live. Drawing on biblical promises and their personal experiences,   these two friends share what it’s like to live out God’s unfolding love story.
You are not up for grabs. You are spoken for.

MrsK's Review:
I was so thrilled when I saw a book by Robin ready to be reviewed, I knew that every book of Robin's that I open will be calming, inspiring, comfortable and so well written that I will be swept into the story that she weaves.  I first met Robin right after Christy Miller was published, I was able to meet up with her every year during our Author book sales in October.  I watched as her characters (Christy Miller and Sierra Jensen grew up and met those Sister Chicks as a preview copy).  Her books were featured in my classrooms and now in our school library.  It's always been a delight to meet another reader of Robin's, there is an instant smile that shines from their eyes... a bond that says we are instant friends... an acknowledging smile that confirms we are traveling on the same faith pathway... a connection that we have been touched by the talents, gifts, and wisdom of a woman after God's own heart. 

So I was ready to start my summer vacation with anticipation of enjoying moments with an author that is a special friend.  Little did I know the power of her touch until I opened the cover of Spoken For.  This is not a quick read.  This is a beautiful journey.  A journey within your self, a journey with friends, and a journey with our Creator.  Pondering the nuggets of wisdom can not do justice for the renewal and confirming nature of this book.  Robin's voice encourages and supports His love for you.  Alyssa's bright and crisp enthusiasm is contagious.  Spiritual joy bubbles forth through out your days as you journey through acceptance, healing, and a blessed assurance that is shared directly from His love.  

With personal witness connections, scripture passages, questions to contemplate... every chapter is a fresh beginning.  If you have read the Bible you will find a depth to passages you already know.  If you have not begun your scripture journey, this will be a beautiful introduction to a personal quest that will last you a life time.  Either way, take this journey with Robin, Alyssa, and all of us who are realizing the depth of being Spoken For.

Thank you ladies for including me in your journey's with His word, I will always be along this path with you....

About Robin Jones Gunn
Robin’s first grade teacher wrote on her report card, “Robin keeps the entire class entertained at rug time with her stories.”

Even with such an early affirmation, Robin didn’t think much about becoming a writer during high school or college. She was more intrigued by the idea of traveling to foreign lands and telling people about God’s love.

But Robin’s husband also noticed her gift for storytelling and urged her to attend a writers’ conference. That first conference, in 1979, opened the door for publication of devotions, articles, interviews and 14 children’s books.

When her two children were young, Robin would rise at 3 a.m. and brew a pot of tea. Then she would go to work, creating stories for teens that later became the Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen, and College Years books.

Amazing read
Added to my shelf
"I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review." 
 WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Robin Jones Gunn

Robin Jones Gunn
Robin Jones Gunn, best-selling author of the much-loved Christy Miller Series and co-author of Praying for Your Future Husband, has had more than 4.5 million copies of her books sold worldwide. Her frequent speaking engagements have taken her around the globe. Robin and her husband live in Hawaii and have a grown son and daughter.
- See more at:

Robin Jones Gunn

Robin Jones Gunn
Robin Jones Gunn, best-selling author of the much-loved Christy Miller Series and co-author of Praying for Your Future Husband, has had more than 4.5 million copies of her books sold worldwide. Her frequent speaking engagements have taken her around the globe. Robin and her husband live in Hawaii and have a grown son and daughter.
- See more at:

Friday, June 13, 2014

28 Tricks for a Fearless Grade 6

ISBN: 9781459406193
Net Galley Synopsis:
Dave Davidson's heart is in the right place. He believes it's his mission to cure his friends of their fears. But his solutions are hare-brained at best and often come with unintended and hilarious consequences. Afraid of dancing at the school dance? Dave's got ways to fix that: sprain an ankle, eat expired food to get sick, or even get yourself suspended for a few days. Have a public speaking phobia? Dave can fix that for you too: get laryngitis, forge a note from a therapist, or get your friends to hold up cue cards. This hilarious new novel will appeal to reluctant tween readers, especially boys.

MrsK's Review:
Are you ready for some fun... this book will not disappoint you!  Right from the beginning, you will delight in Dave.  His many ways to overcome fears is the topic of everyone's conversations.  Not only does Dave have an odd punk-rocking teacher (Mr. Papadakis), he is just handed a flyer about the back-to-school dance.  Now, I don't know about you, but school dances can be a bit intimidating and for Dave and Eric it becomes a fear that begins rolling out of control. First Dave decides to practice a few dance moves with his dog, Maisy.... "She flattened her ears and tucked her tail, deeply embarrassed to be dancing with a human. She jumped away at the first loud drum roll."  Next up is to practice with his friends. He tries to help Eric but "...It's painful to watch!"  So Eric must find a way to conquer his fear of dancing that won't involve a long healing process.  When all else fails, the guys decide to learn a few steps as a group effort.  How the dance goes will be for you to discover.

For Andrew's fear of public speaking (without throwing up) is not only genius... it's hysterical.  I can't even give details with out fits of hilarity bursting forth.  Seriously, as an educator... this would be one of those life-long memories that you share over and over.  Let's just say that with the visual, with the intensity of the moment, and the innocent desire to help a friend... everyone in the classroom is treated to the best speech presentation about our digestion system.

Next up is Vanessa's fear of dogs.  I get this one.  If you have ever had a doberman licking your neck, well let me say it was not on the top of my list as the best moment of my life.  Dave decides there must be certain stages for this fear to be faced and forced away.  It doesn't look good when he helps Vanessa to the final stage, his wonderful dog Maisy gets the fear "screamed" out of her and Vanessa has decided to walk away with her fear.  That is until Dave discovers the truth about Robbie's dog.

Finally, Dave is ready to help Claire's fear of the future.  This is such a well organized, soundly developed, and completely entertaining (did I forget to tell you that Dave and his friends have a band...) closure to this book.

This book is a perfect read-aloud for any 3rd-5th classroom.  Every Librarian must share these hysterical moments of inquiry and cause/effect.  If you are reading this by yourself, beware you will be laughing out loud and trying to share with anyone you can!

Amazing read 
Added to our GMT Library shelves  
cath winter 2011 I grew up in Kingston, Ontario, the youngest of five children. I studied political science at Queen's University and environmental studies at York University before moving to the Ottawa area to work in the conservation movement.
I wrote short stories in my student days and published about a dozen in small literary journals. I didn't write much fiction for several years, while working full-time and starting a family. Eventually, I quit office life to raise children and write freelance - both of which I still do. I sometimes miss my old work and feel like I should be doing more with my life. Sigh.
I wrote my first story for children in 2003, and I am now starting to get the hang of it. My first book, Walking Backward, was published with Orca in 2009. I've since published several books and won several book awards. I write for all ages.
I live in Aylmer (Gatineau), Quebec with my husband and two sons and too many pets. We live in a little house with a big yard full of rodents, rabbits, and the occasional fox and falcon. It is inspiring.
"I received this ebook for free from Net Galley for this review."
 Lorimer Childrens & Teens

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Disney Fairies #15: The Secret of the Wings

DISNEY FAIRIES #15: "The Secret of the Wings"
ISBN: 978-1-59707-729-3 
Papercutz Synopsis:
In Pixie Hollow, all the seasons flourish side by side, and past the Summer Meadow, just beyond the Autumn Wood lies an icy land of secrets! When Tinker Bell ventures into the Winter Woods, she discovers Periwinkle, her long-lost sister, but the happy reunion is short-lived when a mysterious freezing storm suddenly threatens the Pixie Dust Tree. Tink and her sister must find a way to work together and restore balance to the seasons if they hope to save Pixie Hollow.

MrsK's Review:
"Oh, my! This is beautiful," Lena exclaimed with such joy.  You just can't imagine the thrill in your heart when a grandchild has such awe about a book.  Tink was a friend of mine when I was so very young and continues to be a friend three generations later.  Miss Lena knows Tink, she has seen all of the Disney movies beyond numerous times.  And yet, at the moment I clicked this graphic novel, her eyes were wide and she could not wait to read those character bubbles.  As I began reading, her young whispering chimed in.  This wasn't a Granny storytime adventure, oh no, this was a Lena and Tink reading moment.  With joy, I scrolled and Lena read.

Moving beyond the joy of sharing a GN with my grandchild, I pondered what was the attraction to a GN that created such a "new" experience in spite of all the prior experiences.  When Lena began scrolling on her own, I ventured into Lena's experience.  You know this story, you've seen the movie so many times... what makes this so exciting?  "It's just so beautiful... so real..,"  When I asked if she missed any of the parts of the movie that weren't in the GN, she fiercely flashed me a look and said, "This couldn't be any better, the movie is wonderful, this is amazing!"

So Tink's GN is a winner.  Presenting the joy of discovery, beautiful art work, Tink's amazing personality.... and yes, what a reader loves the most.... a journey not to be forgotten but experienced again and again.  The only way to make this better is to give the graphic in book format to be cherished anywhere, at any moment.
Enjoyable reading for everyone, a must own for your shelves!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Last Wild by Piers Torday

The Last Wild
ISBN: 9780670015542 
eBook review
Goodreads Synopsis:
In a world where animals no longer exist, twelve-year-old Kester Jaynes sometimes feels like he hardly exists either. Locked away in a home for troubled children, he's told there's something wrong with him. So when he meets a flock of talking pigeons and a bossy cockroach, Kester thinks he's finally gone crazy. But the animals have something to say. And they need him. The pigeons fly Kester to a wild place where the last creatures in the land have survived. A wise stag needs Kester's help, and together they must embark on a great journey, joined along the way by an overenthusiastic wolf cub, a military-trained cockroach, a mouse with a ritual for everything, and a stubborn girl named Polly. The animals saved Kester Jaynes. But can Kester save the animals?

MrsK's Review:
As I was browsing what to read next, I came upon a review that said this book was a must read for any students in grades 4-8.  As a Librarian, I am always on the prowl for books that will inspire my students to discover new adventures.  The cover did not appear to be engaging me, and yet, I considered that the plot might be worth my investigation.  Even though I am learning to engage with an eBook, I knew that there was a character awaiting my discovery.

"My story begins with me sitting on a bed, looking out the window.  I know that doesn't sound like much.  But let me tell you where the bed is..."  A great hook, right!  The world has been changed and Kester has been put into Spectrum Hall Academy for Challenging Children.  At this point in his life, Kester knows, "...what the words mean. I know how to write them. I just can't say them. Not since Mum died."  You will discover why Kester was taken from his home in the middle of the night.  You will learn that being secluded in a lock-up and given only a horrifying "formula" for food causes Kester to make friends with cockroach, moths, pigeons and finally the Stag (my favorite character by the way, although I have a fondness for the wolf pup too).

So life is miserable for Kester, probably like you could imagine.  Yet, Kester's story leads you on a journey where the "forks" along the way leads back to his home.  The journey is not an easy one.  To begin with, no one argues with Facto the maker of the "formula" and the school that Kester is locked in.  One day the animals began to die, then the bees, fish, and birds.  Facto decided that all the crops needed to be destroyed and people began dying.  The disease became known as the "Red Eye," since by the time your eyes turned red you were a goner.  That's why Kester, "...became a genuine freak, mute, with only varmints for friends."

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to think-talk to animals?  Kester discovers this ability just about the time that a rescue has been issued to help save the animals.  The twist is that humans aren't the ones that realize Kester's worth.  Well maybe one girl knows that there is hope in Kester and his father.

Every turn of the page leads you into danger, into a gathering of animals who will protect Kester along his journey home.  You know sometimes friends are only in our lives just long enough to take our journey past a challenge... these characters will plant the seeds of hope.  Each one is uniquely gifted for Kester's journey.  Be prepared to feel this journey!  It is one to read, to ponder, to share.

Enjoy this amazing story, it won't be the last of the wild or honor,
(Gr. 4-8)

Piers Torday was born in Northumberland, which is possibly the one part of England where more animals live than people. After working as a producer and writer in theatre, live comedy and TV, he now lives in London – where there are more animals that you might think. The Last Wild is followed by the sequel (and concluding volume) The Dark Wild. You can find out more about Piers and follow his blog at
Enjoyable reading for everyone... Will be adding to our Library shelves!
"I received this ebook for free from Net Galley for this review."

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Take One (Above the Line Series #1) 
Publisher's Description:
Could they change the world before the world changes them? Filmmakers Chase Ryan and Keith Ellison left the mission field of Indonesia for the mission field of Hollywood with a dream bigger than both of them. Now they have done the impossible: raised enough money to produce a feature film with a message that could change the world. But as Chase and Keith begin shooting, their well-laid plans begin to unravel. With millions of dollars on the line, they make a desperate attempt to keep the film from falling apart even as a temperamental actress, a botched production schedule, and their own insecurities leave little room for the creative and spiritual passion that once motivated them. Was God really behind this movie after all? A chance meeting and friendship with John Baxter could bring the encouragement they need to stay on mission and produce a movie that will actually change people s lives. In the midst of the questions and the cameras, is it possible to keep things above the line and make a movie unlike anything done before or is the risk too great for everyone?"

MrsK's Review:
With summer around the corner, this read was perfect.  Karen's stories are always comfortable, endearing, and welcoming.  I wasn't sure I was going to like the story line.  The making of movies can be fun and entertaining, but I wasn't sure if I wanted a lot of behind the scenes drama as a story.  She proved her gift as a story teller, weaving with perfection the plot, characters, challenges, and faith-filled problem solving perspectives.

Chase and Keith have returned from a mission field in Indonesia.  They have decided to answer the call of filming a movie that would change lives.  Not only does their faith get tested with all of the onslaughts of attacks (everything that can cause a movie to shut down), but within the movie making process the characters are facing decisions that could just change their pathway and threaten their goals.

It was refreshing to read a story that could give you moments to ponder what choice you might have made.  It was great to celebrate the moments in which many would stand in faith for those in need of wisdom, guidance, and/or healing.  It was a blessing to share in the determination to deny temptation and seek a higher ground with peace, courage, and boldness.

It was a surprise to discover just how quickly these characters found a place into my heart.  Given there this is a series, I know which titles I will grab when it's a cool morning or a hot evening.... add the Above the Line titles to your summer reading.... you will be welcoming the comfort of these literary friends.

Enjoy, MrsK

Amazing read
Added to my shelf

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Puppy Powers#1: A Wishbone Come True

Puppy Powers #1: A Wishbone Come True
 ISBN: 9780545617598
Kindle ebook
Lexi Torres has to face the cold, hard truth-her parents are never going to relent on the NO DOGS ALLOWED rule.

Or are they? When a mysterious pet store comes to town, Lexi suddenly has reason to hope. There's something special about the animals at Power's Pets. . . something downright magical!

Getting a Kindle book to review is still a bit new for me.  This fun story had me hooked as soon as Lexi showed up to the toy store and witnessed the cat turning on the light and the dog taking down the "For Rent" sign.  Lexi's unbelief about the Toy, Toy, Toy store leaving town was an emotional literary connection.  I know the sadness when a favorite and safe spot is no longer a place to find adventures.  And yet, Lexi was not prepared for the adventures that were waiting for her within this new pet store.

With an invitation to come and meet the pets, Lexi is surprised by the cute little puppy named Luna.  Mr. Power is positive that Luna is the dog for Lexi.  Lexi is sure, yet her parents just wouldn't allow her to have another dog.  As Luna does her delightful trick, her parents agree that it is time for her to get another dog.  What could have happened that changed their minds?

Once home, Lexi discovers that Luna's trick creates sparkles to whirl around those who are watching.  Why do so many decide to tell the truth to her once those sparkles appear?  Why does Mr. Power only take in animals that need a certain family?  Could Luna help her make peace with her best friend before he moves?  Can she really help Mr. Power after school?

If you have a special pet, this is a great new series.  The storyline will hook you into returning the Power's Pet Store again and again.  It is a great chapter book for independent readers whom are just beginning choosing their book adventures (Gr 1-2).

Enjoy meeting Lexi, Luna, and Mr. Power,
Enjoyable reading for everyone... Will be adding to our Library shelves!

"I received this ebook for free from Net Galley for this review."
Scholastic Paperbacks

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Kat McGee Saves America

ISBN: 9781497492073
Net Galley Description: 
The Fourth of July. Parades, fireworks, apple pie--and an amazing history of American freedom and revolution. Kat McGee doesn't know what she'd do without her favorite summery celebration of all things patriotic... but if she doesn't travel back in time to work her holiday-saving magic, she's going to find out--and fast. It's 1776. Thomas Jefferson has been kidnapped. The Declaration of Independence is gone. And the country's brilliant past rests on a young woman from the future, aided only by (the Statue of) Liberty, a young John Quincy Adams, and a whole lot of summer holiday spirit.
MrsK's Review:
While browsing for my next reviewing journey, I was immediately attracted to the bold "American" colors and the delightful illustration of Kat McGee.  What a cutie, I wonder who is this delightful character?  Why have I not heard of her before?  Whether its a title or the book's cover... if it calls to you, you have to follow by opening its cover. Once opened, the next greeting I received was the title "Summer Bummer."  How could this sweet little charmer have a bummed summer.  As an educator, I am always right on the tales of our students.

As our students are rolling out of the parking lot, I too am filled with joy at the prospects for an amazing adventure. Kat's summer offered, "Aqua Thrillway, Flag Day in June, three weeks at Camp, family vacations...even all the way to Seattle to see Gram!  She also loved lazy days spent reading by Lake Micmac....most of all, Kat loved the 4th of July."  Until Kat was 5 minutes late for the POFF's student ambassador meeting.
Prior to those fatal 5 minutes, Kat was sure she would be voted in, which of course meant that she would be allowed to " the floats, help order the fireworks and decide on the parade lineup..."  After all, the one teacher on the committee was Miss Libby.  Hadn't Miss Libby been the one teacher who helped turn her social studies grades around when she encouraged Kat, "I promise, one day it will CLICK!"  Miss Libby claims, "...history is so exciting that if Kat learned the dates and events that changed America, Kat would feel as if she was magically traveling back to that time."
With that backdrop, Kat arrives home with such despair that those 5 minutes cost her all of her hopes and dreams for the 4th of July.  And yet, Gram was there!  During dinner, Gram asked, "...what do you think of when you think of the 4th of July?"  "...who was the father of the Declaration of Independence?"  Once Gram realizes that they are missing its full meaning, Gram decides that a road trip was needed.  A museum trip? 

Kat couldn't imagined that things could get any worse. As they entered the museum, Gram informed Kat that she trusted her to help when needed.  She gave Kat a sparkling ticket and reminded her, "...magic is not on demand.  It's thoughtfully crafted for a necessary reason, a willing giver, and a deserving recipient."  Just then a commotion begins and Kat discovers a door with a sparkling, star-shaped doorknob.  Looking closer Kat realizes "...that there is a slit in the center that looked like a ticket slot."  Suddenly Kat is yanked off the ground and finds herself looking into deep hazel eyes of a lady who is green and stating, "Kat! Finally! What took you so long? I was beginning to think Gram had forgotten about us..."  Bewildered, Kat begins her journey in Libertyland and helping to locate Mr. Jefferson and the most important document of time, the Declaration of Independence. How will Kat comprehend a living museum, time travel back to 1776, and righting the injustice of forgetting what the 4th July truly means for all?  Will the chalkboard of change allow her access to 1776?  Join Kat as she meets a young John Q Adams.  Time travel will require new clothing, and Mrs. Ross is the best seamstress for the job.  If you are looking for a quick ride to save the Constitution, who else but Paul Revere would you trust.  

Don't wait, take this adventure before the 4th passes you by,
Kristin Riddick doesn't look good in hats, but she seems to wear a lot of them. Her voice has been heard on shows such as One Tree Hill, The OC, Everybody Hates Chris, and Chuck, and on-camera she recently played opposite Megan Mullally on Fox's Breaking In. She's written a screenplay, a pilot, a middle-grade book, and a lot of memorable thank you notes... so she's told. She teaches Pilates and spinning to stay sane, may have a super power or two, and takes a lot of chances riding her bike all over Los Angeles because she gets road rage when driving. A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, Kristin graduated from The University of Virginia and currently divides her time between LA and Austin with her multi-talented producer husband David Kirkwood

Enjoyable reading for everyone... Will be adding to our Library shelves!

"I received this ebook for free from Net Galley for this review."

Publicist: Saira Rao

MrsK's Reading Bio

Reading is important! No questions asked, not even a blink of the eye from any student I grew up with. On the first day of the First grade, we were given our first books. Day two we all read aloud, round robin of course. Day three we were place in our first basal, now known as a lit circle group. Books were so important, publishers designed new curriculum so that every student was reading by the end of the first week. These early readers had images that looked like what we could see in the classroom, beyond the classroom, even on the big screen. Reading is important, throughout history every generation has believed that “Reading” opens up the world for endless possibilities.

I adore the 1950’s Dick and Jane books. Actually, most reading specialists and experienced (45+) educators believe that every student learned to read with Dick and Jane. Since these books are being re-issued, I have heard many parents, grandparents, and students claim that Dick and Jane stories of repetition does teach students to read.

Early influences from my mother influenced my desire to read. I would watch her read and we would go on “secret” excursions to the library. The library became my playground. I owned every book I could carry home, of course they needed to be taken back to their home after visiting with me for a week or two. My first book that I could pull off of the library shelf and read was, Father Bear Comes Home. I only saw my dad on Sundays for a few hours. I would pull this beginning reader off of the library shelf every week. Every week I would try to read the first chapter. Every week I got further in the story. My mom would let me check it out, only if I could read it myself (She didn’t like the illustrations therefore she didn’t want to take time to read it to me). One day, I pulled the book from the shelf and when mom came to get me from the children’s corner, I realized that I had read the whole story. I ran to the check out desk and the Librarian KERCHUNKED the checkout card. My mother, brother and neighbors read. My teachers read. We all read aloud all day long in school. The Priest read aloud every day at mass, even in Latin. Everybody in the Doctor’s office read. People on the bus read. Dad’s waiting in their cars as the Mom’s and children grocery shopped, read. In fact, once you could read and write, Sunset Magazine considered you a reader and sent you mail every day.

Reading is important; I’ve spent my life reading. I’ve traveled around the world and into space through books. My favorite genre is whichever book I have open at the time. Children’s Literature is my passion. Book clubbing is one of the best past times, especially if food is involved. In fact my friends of old are in a book club and we are about to embark on a beach trip to “read” and discuss our newest selection.

My “home-run” book story has helped every student find his or her own “home-run” reads. Every year, I have shared my, Father Bear Comes Home, and every year my students have brought in their “home-run” books. That’s the “diving board” into our Lit. Studies.

In “Growing Up Digital,” Tapscott’s insights into the new generations enthusiasm for the Net reminded me of my generation’s enthusiasm for reading, movies, TV, parties and our driving permits. The Net-Generation, as Tapscott describes, “are learning, playing, communicating, working, creating communities, and enforcing a social transformation.”
N-Geners are interactive “techies” who are always looking for a way to “work it” verses the TV Generation of “Baby Boomers” who started out looking for “how it works.” Reading development is tougher today, society moves too fast to invest their “non-working” free time into a book or even “home work.” Since I stepped into my own classroom, I have seen students being told to read, being forced to read, and threatened into reading. Homework is not any longer the vehicle for students to gain their future lifestyles or careers with. Yet, the Internet does create an enthusiasm for learning. Since I have been enrolled in these courses, I have used the computers in every subject. My students are using the newest technology in the classroom because I am giving them investigative sites to use as they learn from each other and books. I agree with Tapscott, in order to bridge the gap with this up and coming generation we must “live and learn with them.”

FTC Required Disclaimer: I receive these books from the publishers. I did not receive monetary compensation for these reviews. These reviews have been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at


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