A Review of The Laptev Virus by Christy Esmahan

Cover and Synopsis o The Laptev Virus

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Book Review: Chewy Noh and the March of Death by Tim Learn

What’s it about?

Chewy Noh should be happy. He has a best friend like no other and by using his secret abilities, has found a way to connect Korea and America forever to keep him.

Unfortunately, none of this matters after Death’s messenger comes to tell him that he has one week left to live!

Knowing his death is coming soon, Chewy scrambles to figure out a way to avoid it, but every direction he turns seems to lead him further and further away from his goal—a dead body, a missing person, and at the heart of it, the secret that started that it all.

In the end, if Chewy doesn’t learn how to change, Death might just come out on top.

Chewy Noh and the March of Death

My Review of Chewy Noh and the March of Death

I wish I could say I really enjoyed Chewy Noh and the March of Death – or even that I liked it just as much as I liked the first Chewy book I read. Mostly this is because the author of Chewy Noh seems to be a good person, and I’d love to be able to gush about his work. However, I can’t. Chewy Noh and the March of Death just didn’t do it for me. 3CthulhuCoinwRating

Part of this is because I don’t like to read about child death. Even when I know its going to be fixed, and even though its not described in detail. So to have death casually bandied about as though it meant absolutely nothing truly bothered me. Also, though,  it comes down to an ignorance of culture. This was a problem that I had when reading Chewy Noh and the Phantasm of Winter, but it seemed to be worse in this book. Chewy is written in a way that assumes the reader knows enough about Korean culture that they’ll have no problem following what is going on, and that’s simply not true. (At least it wasn’t for me.)

Tim Learn did do a good job, as usual, of writing in an engaging way. There were few spelling or punctuation mistakes. Chewy, Clint, and Su Bin are all written very accurately for their age group. Again, Learn makes no attempt to whitewash Chewy and Su or to give kids mindless drivel. Instead he again writes a good mystery that has you wondering how things are going to turn out. When things ended, the door was definitely left open for a another book. I can’t truthfully say that I’m interested in reading the 4th Chewy Noh book, but I don’t regret reading the ones that I have.

Overall, for middle-grade boys, this is probably a delightful read, but I just can’t muster up any enthusiasm for it.

Title: Chewy Noh and the March of Death | Series: Chewy Noh #3 |  Author: Tim Learn (site) | Publisher: CreateSpace | Publication Date: 2016-1-29 | Pages: 311 | ASIN: B01AB6D306 | Genre(s): Childrens & Mystery |Language: English | Triggers: Death | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Date Read: 2016-3-5 | Source: Received a copy free from the author in exchange for an honest

Short Story Review: Floor Four by A. Lopez Jr.

What’s it about?


A serial killer died in a local town hospital. It’s said that his ghost haunted the fourth floor, where he died. Years later, an old man – who had made it his duty to face down the ghost every anniversary – dies horribly. Only one kid saw it happen. Now the ghost might well be after him.Floor Four


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Book Review: Sky High by Helge Mahrt

Book Cover and Synopsis for Sky High by Helge Mahrt

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A Review of Dr. Oz of Z-Industries by Jay Wilson

                                                                                      What’s it about?

Book cover for Dr. Oz of Z-IndustriesLyman B. Frank leaves band practice one dark and stormy night. On his way home, a truck runs a red light and smashes into his car. After the horrific accident, Lyman wakes up in a strange, dead world full of terrifying creatures the locals call Somnies.

As he searches for answers, he learns of a man named Dr. Oz that might be able to help him return home. So, he sets out to find him. Along the way, he gains some companions who also seek help from Dr. Oz.

Together, they make their way to Z-Industries, but with malevolent creatures consumed by a hunger for flesh hot on the trail, can they make it to Dr. Oz before it’s too late?

                                              -Goodreads Synopsis

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Kids’ Corner: Miss L Reviews “Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble!” by Patricia Hubbell

What’s it about?

Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble is a basic introduction to the types of trucks kids might see on the road. It was in the 6-8 age category in Amazon, but is suited more for much younger child.  Bright colors and easy rhyming words make it a fun read.

Book Cover for Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble! by Patricia Hubbell

Our Review of Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble

Miss L says:

What I liked about it was the pictures.  They were pretty.  I liked the rhyming . This was a great book. I would recommend this book to other kids. I would rate it 5 stars.

Adult Review:

This book was under the “6-8” age range in Amazon, and I don’t understand why. It was a fun, quick read that flowed off the tongue with its easy rhymes, but it was definitely not one that I would have voluntarily picked out with Miss L. Much, much too young for her. This would be a book better suited for 3-5 year olds (and even then 5 would be pushing it.) I would give it a 3 out of 5 for the intended age range.

So, we decided to split the difference on our rating, and give it  4 Cool-thulhus.

4 Star Review of Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble

Click here to find Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble! now on Amazon.com

Title: Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble | Author: Patricia Hubbell | Publisher: Two Lions (Amazon imprint) | Pub. Date: 2003-3-1 | Pages: 32 | ISBN13: 9780761451242 | Genre: Children’s | Language: English | Triggers: None | Age Range Appropriate: 3-5 | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Date Read: 2016-1-3 | Source: Kindle Unlimited


Book & Materials Review: Tanner Wants to be COOL! by Barbara Gilmour

What’s it about?

These materials all work together to emphasize the value of good behavior, breaking the cycle of bullying, by attempting to guide children down a path to being better behaved in the pursuit of a redefined ‘coolness’.

The specific synopsis for the main piece of material I was sent (Tanner Wants to be COOL!) is: “Bullying can happen when kids think that being mean, rude, and disrespectful behavior is cool. Many kids even think that bullying is cool. We can help kids learn the social skills tools needed to reject bullying by teaching them that kind, caring, and respectful behavior is cool, and that bullying is the ultimate in uncool. Through this fun picture book series, your children, grandchildren, or students can learn that “Kind is Cool,” and “Cool is Kind.” With fun, educational songs for children included, they are engaged as they follow Tanner as he learns that, “The KIND kid is the COOL kid, not the bully.”


What did I think of it?

Obviously, the aim is admirable. You Can Be a Cool Kind Kid seeks to break the cycle of bullying by teaching kids a new definition for cool. If the kids are young enough (and this series is definitely aimed at young readers, this will be theoretically be the definition that they associate with the word “cool”.

Tanner Wants to be COOL! is the first in the series of 5 books. It has vibrant colors, and simple wording. Everything is kept very basic, easy for even beginning readers to understand. Its set along the format of “What is cool?” “This is cool!” “This not cool!”, etc.  The book also gives you a code to download  two accompanying songs, by Steve Megaw, from  the Cool Kind Kid website. The songs are about what you’d expect for that age range. An upbeat tempo, simple lyrics, etc.

The packet I received also included a bookmark as well as a booklet with bullying prevention tips. The bookmark has a poem about Raising a “Cool Kind Kid” and reinforcing the concepts behind the materials.  The Bullying Prevention Tips booklet was very well done. The left page was always for kids to read, and the right was for parents/educators. It emphasizes the importance of teaching children certain behaviors as well as giving tips on how to do so.

Overall, though I can’t speak for the effectiveness, I can see what Barbara Gilmour, et al, are trying to do with  these materials and given the age range that they’re aiming at, I think they’re doing a good job.


Click here to visit the Cool Kind Kid website, where you can download various materials, find out more about preventing bullying, and get tips on working with your child to make them into a Cool Kind Kid.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of these materials free from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Book Review: Timbi’s Dream by Max Nowaz

What’s it about?

Timbi’s Dream is an adventure in rhyme. It stirs the imagination in young minds and makes it leap into a different plane as one follows Timbi’s adventures in a sequence of dreams, brought on by the effect of a strange jar of ointment his grandmother had left behind, on her last visit.

-From Goodreads Synopsis

Timbi's Dream

What did I think of it?

The idea with which the book was written was lovely, but unfortunately Timbi’s Dream is just not very well-written or illustrated. It is supposed to be rhyming, and while that is technically true, most of the time it doesn’t flow very naturally. That’s the first problem. The second is that the use of punctuation is very inconsistent, especially with quotation marks. Also, there seems to be an error in the first page of the story itself.

“My ears, are feeling very, very hot” – Timbi’s Dream, Max Nowaz

The illustrations, while I like the colors used, are vaguely creepy and unsettling and generally just add to the unpolished air the book has. It is not a book that I enjoyed reading, nor could it keep my child’s attention.

I think with some refinement Timbi’s Dream could be a cute little kid’s book, but it needs some serious work to get it to that point.


Click here to find Timbi’s Dream now on Amazon.com

Title: Timbi’s Dream | Author: Max Nowaz | Publisher: Matador | Pub. Date: 2016-1-26 | Pages: 38 | ISBN13: 9781785895289 | Genre: Children’s Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 2 out of 5 | Date Read: 2016-2-1 | Source: Received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Review of The Cicada Prophecy by J.R. McLeay

Book Cover and Synopsis for The Cicada Prophecy by J.R. McLeay

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Book Review: Taking the Reins by Matthew Harrop


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