Archives for August 2016

August 30, 2016

Wish by Barbara O’Connor Tour| Book Review + Giveaway


Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is until she meets 
Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | iBooks


unnamed1]Barbara O’Connor’s awards include the Parents Choice Gold and Silver Award, American Library Association Notable Books, IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, School Library Journal Best Books, and Kirkus Best Books. Her books have been nominated for children’s choice awards in 38 states and voted as a state favorite by children in South Carolina, Indiana, Kansas, and South Dakota.

Barbara was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. She draws on her Southern roots to write award-winning books for children in grades 3 to 6.

She currently lives in Asheville, NC. Her latest book is Wish, a middle grade novel published by FSG.

LINKS: Website

The Review

Wish by Barbara O’Conner is the story of Charlemagne Charlie and her story is one that will definitely find a place in my future classroom library. When I started this review I was thinking about doing it the ol’ fashion way and just write paragraphs on why I liked it and why I didn’t but when I came to think of the reasons why I didn’t like it I couldn’t think of any! While MG is not my “typical” fun reading age range, I have decided that as a teacher and future school librarian that I need to expand my horizon and read more books that I could recommend to more than high school aged children.  So, instead of the regular review I am going to give you three reasons why you should read Wish and/or pass it along to someone close to you that would love this book as much as I did.


  1. The characters: I’m not going to lie, I completely connected to Charlie right off the bat. Coming from a broken home, Charlie is upset and unable to fully verbalize what is making her upset. So, like most children they have to learn things the hard way. I think that not only Charlie’s character but that of her friend Howard will be a delight for all students!


  1. Dogs: Hey, I’m normally a cat person but I absolutely loved Wishbone. This story and especially Wishbone gave me such found memories of another series that I absolutely loved growing up called Shiloh by . I’m not saying that they are alike but even as a cat person I couldn’t help but love the relationship that grew between these two! Ah, made my heart melt (and don’t tell my husband but maybe get a dog too!)


  1. The message: Finally, I want to talk about the message that this book is trying to tell. Now, I’m not going to say that I know exactly what message that is for 100% sure, but I know what it says to me. It says that despite the way your life begins, you can always find a home, some where you belong. Stories like this make my heart melt!


I recommend Wish for any teacher to add to their collection of stories to not only have their students read independently but for you to read TO them. I know, I know, but I know for a fact that even older kids love to be read to and this book is just the book to do it! It is a heart melting tale of one spunky girl and her wish to have somewhere to call home.



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August 25, 2016

The Book that Should have Never Been| Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review

Harry_Potter_and_the_Cursed_Child_Special_Rehearsal_Edition_Book_CoverHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
Published by
Arthur A. Levine Books on July 31st 2016
Pages: 328

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.


Upon closing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child I had so many mixed emotions. I knew going in that it was going to a play but still felt somehow…disappointed. I don’t know what I was expecting, maybe I had my hopes up too much, but I felt disappointed that this was not a book. I know, I know, get over it isn’t going to happen. But I can’t help after reading it that this book was a money grab. Bare with me as I try and explain this the best that my mind can form it. Maybe I should do a list.  Two points, but they’re doozies

  • This story NEEDED more, more, and more: Honestly, I know that it’s a play but I feel that the story of Harry Potter was NEVER meant to be a play. I give it props for trying but come on? Could you imagine Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as a play? No. If I couldn’t imagine the SMALLEST book in the series as a play this would remain the same for the other books as well. Why? There is just TOO much story, too many characters, and eventually too much sentiment attached to this story to do such a thing. You can’t spend 10,000 pages coming up with this story and end it by a 300 page play. It’s not cool. There is SO much potential that if flushed out would have been such a good read. But the translation did not work very well from theater to book.
  • W-T-F Happened to these Characters: The second thing that I am having a problem grasping are the characters. I have one main gripe with all of the characters in this book (besides one and I’ll get to that again). But my main gripe with the characters of this story is how flat they are. I’m not talking marginally flat but I’m talking flat as pancakes. Now, this might be because it’s a PLAY and not written to be a book but if this is the case WHY make it a book? Money grab. If you wanted the world to be able to see this story as it was intended it should be offered not as a book but AS A PLAY. There was already the fact that all of the information about the past 19 years was crammed into x however production, but to cram it into a 300 or so page book? Nah. The only character I liked in this book was Scorpius, Draco Malfoy’s son. Why did I like him? He was the character that everyone growing up with Harry Potter WISHED Draco would have become plain and simple. He’s everyone’s love for Draco. I get it, I loved Draco. But this is just the reality. There was too much time skipping to REALLY get to know his characters like we did his father or Harry, Ron, Hermione, or even Neville for Christ stake. Neville is one of my favorite characters in the story because we get to SEE him evolve. We get to see him go from this sniveling coward beaten down by life to succeed at something most people would have thought he  would fail at. Think about it. Would Neville’s successes at the end of Harry Potter if his bumbling scenes washed over because there wasn’t enough time to get to his scenes and the ones with Harry and his friends? Nope. This goes along with the character dislike up there but characters that were JUST as vital didn’t even show up in the play? Not cool


So these are my main gripes about this book. All in all, it was OKAY. But I am afraid to recommend it for any hard core Harry Potter fans purely for the fact that unfortunately, it does NOT and should not have been made into a book. It does not feel complete to me and I just am left with an empty feeling of there should have been MORE. I get that the characters have aged but I want to SEE it, feel it, not just read about it. Again these are my own opinions. Please don’t shoot me.



August 2, 2016

I Would Give My Eye For These Books (That would make reading difficult)

Top Ten Tuesdays1

You know, as odd is it to say this is one of the hardest topics that I have had to think about during Top Ten Tuesday. Why? When considering the sheer amount of books out there and which ones I would pick it is a daunting task. How do I choose behind all of the interesting and lovely books. Sadly my list is going to disappoint you because it’s only going to include seven books.

So here is my pitiful excuse of a list…..




That’s right, I would want all seven Harry Potter books in the Juniper Ravenclaw edition. With a price tag of almost 300 dollars can you blame me for wanting someone else to heft the bill for this? But look at the jackets! Now I will go and drool. There are many other books that I wish but I feel that these are the ultimate of ultimate if I had a gift card I would want to get these books.


Thanks for stopping by! What do you think of my choice? What would yours be?