Review by P.J. LaRue: I would classify New Yesterdays
by Jim Wright
as a YA alternate history time travel adventure. That's a lot, but it fits. The main character, Jim,
finds a time travel portal while exploring a creepy abandoned house. He’s transported from the 1960’s to the 1800’s. As he talks with the indigenous Indians, the portal closes and Jim is trapped. Jim makes friends with Dustu, an Indian boy his age. When they aren’t handling chores they explore the lands. Jim finds a few landmarks that are familiar, but nearly everything is
As their friendship grows, Jim grows troubled knowing that the Indians will be
forced from their lands in a few short years. He struggles with his fear for his
new friends and the implications of warning the Indians and how that will change history. Will he even exist if he tells the Indians of white man’s
I loved New Yesterdays! It is fun for boys and girls that love time travel and
history. Pick up a copy; you’ll be glad you did.
Acknowledgement of our PC era - If one were to really time travel, the Native
Americans were called "Indians" at that time. I used "Indians" in my review to
imitate the author's use, and the language of the era.
Review by P. J. Switch!
by Karen Prince
is an African safariadventure story that you simply have to read!
Ethan and his cousin, Joe, embark on an African safari with Jimoh, their fifteen year old guide. At the same time, a witch named Gogo Maya summons her powers to switch places with another object or person. She switches with Joe.
When Ethan performs CPR on Gogo Maya her powers are transferred to him. These powers include being able to converse with her significant other, who happens to be a leopard named Salih. The sly leopard leads Ethan on the hunt for Joe. Meanwhile, Joe is fighting for his freedom throughout the story. He is captured and tortured by a hyena girl and later forced into slavery by the Almohad. A cast including humans, witches, impish creatures called Tokoloshe, magical crocodiles and shape shifting hyenas, just to name a few keep the reader guessing what mishap will happen next during the hunt for
Kids that love to read will truly enjoy this book, whether they are boys or girls.
And the scrapes that Ethan and Joe encounter will help even reluctant readers to get into the story. This is a fun read for adults, as well.
Review by P. J. LaRue: Mrs. D's guest review
of The Escape of Princess Madeline
by Kirstin Pulioff
made me want to read it and its newly released sequel, The Battle for Princess Madeline
. So when vacation time came, I charged my Kindle and loaded it with books on my to be read list. After settling in for the 6 hour flight and I passed the time reading these wonderful fairytales.
Princess Madeline owned Daniel’s heart from the day he was knighted when she whispered “My Knight,” in his ear. He earned her heart when he tracked her down and found her after she ran away from home. He didn’t give up, although others said she’d died. As their marriage approached, the idyllic days were interrupted by Prince Paulsen’s challenge for her hand.
Prince Paulsen surrounded the castle with his men and hired henchmen. Then he demanded a fight to death with Daniel, with Princess Madeline being the prize. With her fate hanging in the balance, Princess Madeline is frustrated because no one will listen to her thoughts regarding the battle strategy. So she takes matters into her own hands, enlists assistance from her best friend, Sophia, and visiting wizards. Princess Madeline’s plan could cause her to get kidnapped again, when she puts herself in danger’s way to save her beloved Kingdom of Soron and her true love, Knight Daniel.
Once again, Ms. Pulioff creates a fun fairy tale. It may be about a princess and her knight, but it includes battles, dragons and wizards. I’d recommend this book for both boys and girls.
Mrs. D's review of The Escape of Princess Madeline
convinced PJ to buy the book. Look for PJ's review of its sequel, The Battle for Princess Madeline
, coming soon.
An exciting, intriguing, and thought-provoking modern fairy tale, which magically transports readers into the fascinating world of a determined young princess who takes her destiny into her own hands.
The Escape of Princess Madeline, written by Kirstin Stein Pulioff
, is a beautiful little whimsical story about a young girl who rebels against her father's wishes and refuses to marry the man of his choice. This story reflects a fascinating era of old-time rulers, when a young woman had no voice or choice and must obey her parents.
Like any sixteen-year-old girl, Princess Madeline had her own dreams, desires, and views on life. Throughout the story, the author portrays her magical world with real promise. Since her childhood, Madeline had always craved new adventures and had never looked for support or protection from anyone.
Surprisingly, in this vibrant story, Princess Madeline appears as a very contemporary character, reminding us of how a runaway girl would act today. Freethinking, strong, and courageous, she tries to change her fate. When Princess Madeline sees the opportunity, she escapes her father’s castle and
finds herself in a strange place.
Outside the castle, she faces a dangerous world, but does not get discouraged or lose hope. Surrounded by dangerous people in the forest, she bravely deals with her troubles and rethinks her relationship with her father. Self-confident, resilient, and fast-thinking, she quickly learns how to take care of herself.
Feeling lonely and facing dangerous situations, she has doubts about the choices she has made. Freedom
came with a price—she lost the family she loves. When she returns home, her father, the heartbroken King Theodore, comes to the realization that he must reconsider his decisions and let his strong-willed daughter make her own decisions and take control of her life.
Searching for her place in life, purpose, and true love, Madeline discovers herself, true love, and the value of family. The author wisely underlines the issue of runaway children, and invites us to look closely at broken relationships with our children.
Vivid feelings, defining our own values, having a sense of self-worth, uncovering the true meaning of family and love, forgiveness and self-discovery are great reminders to all of us. This is a wonderful teaching story, which wisely connects a reader to the present day.
Diane Major's Guest Review of Little Miss History Travels to Mount Rushmore:
"What a delightful book. The illustrations are great and children will love them. It is 'History' who tells the story and discusses 150 years of American History. This particular book is about Mount Rushmore and Chief Crazy Horse. It raises questions about who that geographical area belongs too and whether everyone should celebrate that piece of history together. If you want to know a bit about Mount Rushmore, or are travelling to America it is a great one for the children. Loved it!"
Guest Reviewer, Diane Major
, has published six books, with I Am Nine
being her best selling book to date.
Review by Christin Berger: What a wonderful story! In Come Back Dear Sun
, the sun seems to have disappeared and Kaylee notices before anyone else. She convinces her friends to help her try to find out what happened to the sun and convince it to come back. This story covers a topic that is near and dear to my heart as a parent and a writer, outside play. I don't believe that TV, computers, and games don't have their place, they do. Unfortunately, they can also take over our lives. This story, with its beautiful illustrations, helps kids to see that it is important to play outside and appreciate the sun.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a fun story that speaks to these issues!