Lumberjackula Book Review


Mat Heagerty author

Ams Owen illustrator

In this fantasy world, Jack is the son of a Lumberjack mom and a Vampire dad. Both parents would like him to go to their alma-maters. But Jack is not comfortable with either. After finding a dance school, Jack discovers that what he really wants is to dance. But Jack is afraid to upset his family. What will he do?

This book presents a dilemma that many young people may find themselves facing. Some kids will be able to identify with Jack. There are morals and learning opportunities here.

The art by Owen is cute and should appeal to kids.

You will be able to find this in the Library’s collection.

Tom Taylor

William’s review
Lumber Jackula was funny and cool. I loved it when he hypnotized the headmaster. I learned about lumberjack school and was proud of Jack when he found what he liked to do. I want to know what happens next, I would love to read Lumber Jackula 2.

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Dear Sweet Pea Review

Dear Sweet Pea

Dear Sweat Pea by Julie Murphy

Dear Sweet Pea is a delightful middle-grade novel written by Julie Murphy (of Dumplin’ fame). The book is about a girl named Sweet Pea (her real name is Patricia, but everyone calls her Sweet Pea) who is in the final weeks of seventh grade. She lives in the small town of Valentine, Texas. She’s an only child, but she has a cat named Cheese. Her parents recently divorced, but they want it to be a smooth transition so her dad moves two houses down to a similar house. Sweet Pea’s neighbor in between her two homes is Miss Flora Mae who is Valentine’s resident advice columnist for their local paper. Sweet Pea’s current best friend is named Oscar and they love watching America’s Most Haunted and having sleepovers every Friday night. Sweet Pea used to be best friends with her classmate, Kiera, but ever since fourth grade when Kiera found new popular friends they drifted apart.

In the novel, Sweet Pea is given a secret task by Miss Flora Mae to watch her plants and mail her the letters she receives for the advice column. Sweet Pea may sneak a peek at a few and attempt to write her own advice. Will Kiera and Sweet Pea reignite their friendship? Will her parents’ divorce ever get easier to deal with? Dive right in to find out.

I recommend this book for ages 8 and up. There are so many great themes throughout the story- acceptance, dealing with divorce, and surviving middle school. This is an incredibly relatable, touching, and funny story of a girl trying to find her place in this world. You are in for a real treat!

By Cathy Liebenau

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Book Review: Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods


Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods by Tania del Rio, Illustrations by Will Staehle

What begins as a “Sleeping Beauty” tale transforms into an enchanting fantasy. Warren the 13th is not your average twelve-year-old; he is a caring, responsible, and honest orphan. As the naive groundskeeper, bellhop, and manager of the family hotel, he guides the staff as they tend the guests in his cruising hotel, “where every stay is a go!” Indeed, these traveling hotel guests encounter fanciful settings ranging from the Malwoods captivating forest to raging rivers.

Slippery Sid operates a Sundry Shoppe with magical potions, special oils, notions, and assorted products. This old-fashioned haberdashery is complete as a men’s outfitters and tailor; the shopkeeper also serves as a dentist. Read how the elusive Sid becomes Warren’s imposter and calls himself Warrin.

Ordinary animals with magnificent alterations mesmerize readers in grades four through ten. Those who appreciate Tim Burton’s artistic interpretations and stories will enjoy this book. More than a comic book, the literary elements engage the reader with alliteration, simile, metaphor, and onomatopoeia with clever-sounding words and expressions. The descriptive scenes of formidable quicksand, sticky sap, venomous snakes, and supernatural forests leave the reader bewildered and astonished. Stylish fonts and imaginative shading enhance unique drawings.

Learn how Warren faces the obstacles Warrin creates. After continued failed attempts to repair the hotel and redirect the course, can Warren transform the walking hotel into a cruise ship and save the guests and employees? Will Mr. Friggs’ experiences in reading and tutoring aid the passengers? Will the evil tattooed witches plague the course? Will Petula, the perfumier in training, portend the future? Will Warren’s fondness for and knowledge of Jacques Rustybooks piratology properly guide him?

Although the sinister characters in this fable may startle a young reader, the persistence of Warren provide hope that good will prevail over evil. The book is dark without causing nightmares and comical without being preposterous. Read Warren the 13th, solve the riddles, and appreciate the decorative, gothic illustrations. The book is a sequel; nonetheless, books in this series do not need to be read chronologically.

Also check out the first book in the series: Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye.

Guest review by Carmaine Ternes: Kansas Librarian, Researcher, Writer, and Presenter

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Magan’s Children’s Book Reviews

Magan’s August Children’s Book Reviews

The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau

                Nothing exciting ever happens in the Hill of Dust, a small village in Mexico set in the 1950s. Eleven-year-old Teo has lost his sister and his mother is almost gone. One day, a group of gypsies arrive, bringing an extraordinary girl named Esma, who calls herself the Queen of Lighting. Esma’s grandmother, the Mistress of Destiny, tells them that they are to become lifelong friends. Teo and Esma work together to overcome the impossible and fulfill their fortune of becoming friends for life. The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau is a vibrant story that ignores racial backgrounds and encourages young readers to realize that nothing is impossible. This audiobook would be suitable for young middle-level readers.

Usagi Yojimbo: The Ronin by Stan Sakai

                The Civil War has barely ended and the Shogun has gotten a hold on power in 17th century Japan. There is one master less samurai named Miyamoto Usagi, a.k.a. Usagi Yojimbo who wanders the land. Usagi Yojimbo: The Ronin by cartoonist Stan Sakai is the first book in a series of graphic novels of a samurai’s many adventures during a time of political uneasiness.

I Went Walking by Sue Williams and Julie Vivas

                A young boy begins an exciting adventure, and discovers many different colorful animals. By the end, he finds he has a parade of animals trailing behind him! I Went Walking by Sue Williams is a charming poem for toddlers that teaches colors, animals, and simple vocabulary. The story also includes lovely watercolor pictures by Julie Vivas.

The Truth and Myths about Sea Monsters by L.A. Peacock

                Did you know that some prehistoric whales looked like crocodiles? And the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest ocean! These are some truths about sea monsters, and you’ll also discover some myths about sea monsters such as giant squids attacking submarines in the nonfiction book The Truth and Myths About Sea Monsters by L.A. Peacock.

Check them out!

  • The Lightning Queen

    By Laura Resau

    I Went Walking

    By Sue Williams and Julie Vivas

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