Be Light Like a Bird – REVIEW

Be Light Like a Bird by Monika Schröder is a stand-alone novel meant for the middle grades and it’s pretty darn awesome!

Book Cover: Be Light Like a Bird by Monika Schröder - Dark blue background with lighter blue trees and red birds on it

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Brief Synopsis

After the death of her father, twelve-year-old Wren finds her life thrown into upheaval. And when her mother decides to pack up the car and forces Wren to leave the only home she’s ever known, the family grows even more fractured. As she and her mother struggle to build a new life, Wren must confront issues with the environment, peer pressure, bullying, and most of all, the difficulty of forgiving those who don’t deserve it. A quirky, emotional middle grade novel set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Be Light Like a Bird features well-drawn, unconventional characters and explores what it means to be a family and the secrets and lies that can tear one apart.

Review

What a wonderful book about dealing with loss, grief, and anger! I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Wren, her mother, Theo, and the rest of our cast of characters are well-rounded, complex characters who are believable and just jump off the page with their realism. Wren’s mother is running from her grief and anger and of course, Wren’s just along for the ride because she doesn’t have a choice, but she really does well with all the change considering that she’s grieving too.

Eventually, after a few stops along the way, they land in Pyramid, Michigan, a small town in the upper peninsula near the end of I-75. Wren decides she likes it there and wants to stay. She makes a new friend in Theo and together they fight against the draining of a wetland by a local landfill.

The whole time, there’s still a rift between Wren and her mother which is only increased by some terrible news her mother has to tell her about her father. Can they ever mend the rift between them?

I’m not going to provide the answer to that or to whether or not Wren and Theo win their fight against the landfill. You’ll just have to read this absolutely marvelous book to find out! I highly recommend this book. Even if you’re an adult, I believe you’ll enjoy it as well!

** Special thanks to the author, Monika Schröder for providing me with a copy of the wonderful book. I was not compensated for this review All opinions and conclusions expressed in this review are my own. **

Stay tuned for an interview with the author, Monika Schröder, coming later today (March 14)!!

A Tale of Two Mommies – REVIEW

4.5 out of 5 stars

A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager (author) & Mike Blanc (illustrator) is a charming book about a young boy talking with another boy and girl about his two mommies, Mommy and Momma.

A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager (author) and Mike Blanc (illustrator) book cover - beach background with two white women from the waist down in shorts and sandals. A young black boy is holding one hand of each and swinging legs

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Brief Synopsis

A Tale of Two Mommies is a beach conversation among three children. One boy asks another boy about having two mommies. A young girl listening in asks some questions too.
True to a child’s curiosity, practical questions follow. “Which mom is there when you want to go fishing? / Which mom helps out when Kitty goes missing?” To which he answers: “Mommy helps when I want to go fishing. / Both Mommies help when Kitty goes missing.”

Review

I enjoyed this book, but I didn’t give it five stars because I felt that it began and ended really abruptly. Perhaps that’s how the author intended it to be, but it felt awkward to me. Outside of that, I really enjoyed this book.

The illustrations are brightly colored, engaging, and delightful. There is a diversity in the characters. The two mothers appear to be caucasian, as is the little girl the young boy is talking to. The protagonist of the story is a little black boy and the other little boy is Asian. I appreciate that the author/illustrator took the time to make the characters diverse.

I also loved how the questions were very much kid-oriented. They’re great questions and answers as far as which Mom helps the child with various things.

I would definitely recommend this book as a good LGBTQ resource!

** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. **

Sea floor with kelp growing and fish swimming, including 3 clown fish, 2 seahorses, 2 angelfish and 1 trout

© Irene’s Graphics

Wish – Review

5 out of 5 stars

Wish is a stand-alone children’s novel by Barbara O’Connor. It’s meant for the Middle Grades (4th-6th) and is wonderful, poignant, and is just all-around delightful.

Wish by Barbara O'Connor, Author of How to Steal a Dog - tagline: With a little luck you can get what you wish for. - Sunset background, young girl with long brown hair and short-sleeved green shirt kneeling in the grass with a beagle dog - fireflies flying in the background

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Brief Synopsis

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.

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The Doorway and the Deep – Review

4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Doorway and the Deep is the second installment in The Water and the Wild series by K.E. Ormsbee. It’s a fantastic sequel to The Water and the Wild and even ends on a cliff-hanger to leave you wanting for more! I really enjoyed it!

The Doorway and the Deep by K.E. Ormsbee cover - young girl with long blond hair in a sailboat. Her hair is blown back from the wind.

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Brief Synopsis

Lottie and Eliot are back in Limn with their friends. They plan to head home to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with Eliot’s father, but events happen and circumstances change. War is coming to Limn and this turn of events send Lottie and her friends north in search of answers, both about things that are happening in the land and about Lottie’s parents. However, peril is never far behind them and may even be dealt by ones they trust!

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The Water and the Wild – Review

3.5 out 5 stars

The Water and the Wild by K.E. Ormsbee is the first book in “The Water and the Wild” series. It’s a delightful beginning to the series.

The Water and the Wild by K.E. Ormsbee book cover - Medium to large tree with large opening in trunk filled with bright light. Young girl with long blond hair and a periwinkle coat is standing poised to step into the opening.

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Brief Synopsis

A green apple tree grows in the heart of Thirsby Square, and tangled up in its magical roots is the story of Lottie Fiske. For as long as Lottie can remember, the only people who seem to care about her are her best friend, Eliot, and the mysterious letter writer who sends her birthday gifts. But now strange things are happening on the island Lottie calls home, and Eliot’s getting sicker, with a disease the doctors have given up trying to cure. Lottie is helpless, useless, powerless—until a door opens in the apple tree. Follow Lottie down through the roots to another world in pursuit of the impossible: a cure for the incurable, a use for the useless, and protection against the pain of loss.

Review

The beginning of this book was awesome. I loved hearing about Lottie and Eliot’s background and friendship. I loved hearing about the man who wrote Lottie letters/sent her gifts each year on her birthday. It was exciting, bright, and fun!

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Favorite Book Quotes

Before I get started with my favorite quotes, I want to point out that today is the release day for the paperback (mass market) version of Ripped From the Pages!! I’ve linked to my previous review of the book. Get out and purchase it and love it!

Back to today’s program at hand…

Do you ever come across quotes in books that you love so much that you have to write them down or save them somehow? I often do. Sometimes, if it’s a library book and I really need to get it back because of other holds, I’ll even snap a picture of the page/quote with the camera on my phone.

Here are some of my favorites (not in any particular order) and why they struck a chord in me:

“She looked at him gravely. ‘You cannot call back the river that has already flowed past you, Ruith. All you can do is be grateful for where you are in it.'” – Lynn Kurland, Spellweaver
This quote really stuck with me because it helps me remember that what’s done is done. There’s nothing I can do to change the past, but rather I can work through those memories and start each day fresh.

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer’s always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” – Nora Roberts, Tears of the Moon
This quote has helped me to remember to have the courage to stand up and go for what I want. When you have general anxiety all the time, which I do, it’s easy just to stay with the status quo because change really makes your anxiety kick in. But, if I never try to attain something, I never will. It’s certainly not easy and it takes me longer to do sometimes, but eventually I get it and step out of the box.

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
This has somewhat become a mantra of mine and a reminder that we’re all a part of this human race and should treat each other with kindness and respect, no matter what our station or what we perceive their station in life to be.

“I’d spent my entire life overdosing on uncut escapism, willingly allowing fantasy to become my reality.” – Ernest Cline, Armada
This one struck a chord in me because for a long, long time I let myself do the same. The character in this book did it with video games, I did it with books. And sometimes when life isn’t going well, I still have a tendency to do this.

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. Remember that.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone
This quote goes right along with the one above it. When I do get that tendency to dwell in the fantasy world of my favorite books, I try to remember this quote and get myself back on track. There’s nothing wrong with reading and escaping the world, as long as you’re not basically living in that fictional world.

“It’s here, inside me, and it’ll bite off pieces when it can. But I can take it because you’re there. Because you know how it feels. You’re the only one who really knows. And because you love me enough to feel it. When you look at me, and I see that, I can take anything.” – J.D. Robb, Reunion In Death
This quote strikes a chord in me because while I don’t have a significant other, I have a best friend who does this for me. It never fails to take my breath away to read this quote and know that I have someone like that in my corner. We all need someone like this to help us battle our demons.

Those are some of my favorite quotes from books I’ve read throughout the years. What are some of your favorites?

Not a Stick

5 out of 5 stars.

Not A Stick by Antoinette Portis is a wonderful book about imaginative play. It stars a little piglet and his stick. Each scene starts with someone telling the piglet to “be careful” or “watch what you’re doing” with the stick. The piglet then replies that it’s “not a stick”, it’s a sword or conductor’s baton or a fishing pole, etc.

It’s a great book to remind us how a child’s imagination works and how they can take something as ordinary as a stick from the ground and spend hours turning it into other things in their minds.

For me, this book also brought back a lot of wonderful memories. My brother had such a stick (and still has it in his “childhood memories” box). On any given day it was a sword, a conductor’s baton, a horse, a gun/bazooka (if we were playing G.I. Joe), a fishing pole, or anything else his imagination could come up with. Reading this book brought memories of all those fun times flooding back.

I highly recommend this book! If you enjoy this one, be sure to check out the other book by this author with a similar theme – Not a Box.