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mstamireads has written 384 posts for mstamireads

MR. NOGGINBODY GETS A HAMMER by David Shannon

Mr. Nogginbody snags his sock on the floor while sliding across it. Looking at the nail sticking up slightly from the floor, Mr. Nogginbody wonders How in the world do I fix this thing? At the Hardware Store he is told what he saw was a nail and that to fix it he needs a … Continue reading

YOU’RE A BAD MAN, MR. GUM by Andy Stanton

This book is awful.  It was 1/5 star read for me.  I gave it 1 star (instead of 0) because there are moments of potential within the story where I can see what it could have been. I’ve also classified You’re a Bad Man, Mr. Gum as “humor” because that is its purported intent. I was initially … Continue reading

PAY ATTENTION, CARTER JONES by Gary D. Schmidt

I was truly looking forward to reading Gary D Schmidt’s Pay Attention, Carter Jones and I did enjoy parts of it, but as a whole it was a disappointment for me. (Having loved The Wednesdays Wars and Okay For Now, maybe my expectations were too high?) Pay Attention, Carter Jones begins with a bang:  it’s Carter’s first day of … Continue reading

OTHER WORDS FOR HOME by Jasmine Warga

When we first meet 12-year-old Jude she is living in Syria with her parents and her older brother, Issa. Jude and her friend Fatima love to watch older American rom-com movies and act them out at home. Jude dreams of being a famous actress like Julia Roberts. As the unrest in Syria builds (mid-2010s), Issa … Continue reading

CAN I BE YOUR DOG? by Troy Cummings… 2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

I confess, I am a dog person all the way! I love stories about dogs and Can I Be Your Dog? is a sweet addition to my picture-books-with-dogs-as-featured-characters list. Arfy the dog wants to belong to someone.  He writes a letter to every house on Butternut Street with all kinds of reasons why he would be … Continue reading

WILD BIRD by Wendelin Van Draanen

I picked up Wild Bird because it is written by one of my favorite authors for middle grade readers–Wendelin Van Draanen. The Wild Bird of the title is 14-year-old Wren Clemmens. When we initially meet Wren she is stoned and being woken by professional Youth Transporters. We follow this chaotic, emotional scene as Wren is … Continue reading

WE DON’T EAT OUR CLASSMATES by Ryan T. Higgins…2020 MN Star of the North nominee

Penelope Rex (a young T-Rex) is starting school.  She is surprised to find her classmates are human children.  Unfortunately for her classmates, T-Rexes love the taste of children so Penelope is continuously eating her classmates.  In the true tradition of broad, cartoon-like humor the other students are unhappy–but otherwise unhurt–when Penelope spits them out, having … Continue reading

THE TRUE HISTORY OF LYNDIE B HAWKINS by Gail Shepherd

This one was a 4/5 star read for me. Lyndie is eleven years old in 1985, the daughter of a former war protester/activist and a Vietnam veteran. She is fascinated by (and quite knowledgeable about) American history–particularly the Civil War. She, her mother and father have just moved into her grandparents’ home. Lyndie doesn’t exactly … Continue reading

CRASH, SPLASH OR MOO by Bob Shea…2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

Starring:  Action Clam Also Starring: Cow Your Host: Mr. McMonkey Before I start this review I need to acknowledge that I love Bob Shea’s work.  I love his sense of humor–both in its cleverness and its broadness of scope. So I was prepared to love this book before I read it.  I was not disappointed.  … Continue reading

STRAW INTO GOLD FAIRY TALES RE-SPUN by Hilary McKay

I was excited to come across Straw Into Gold on the library shelves. I have loved fairytales since I was a little girl. By the time I was six years old I had read through the huge volume The Complete Fairytales of the Brothers Grimm multiple times.  I am thrilled to find clever new retellings of classic … Continue reading

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