Dad of Divas' Reviews: July 2018

Monday, July 9, 2018

Book Review - Space Number Crunch

Space Number Crunch: The Figures, Facts, and Out of This World Stats You Need to Know



About the Book


This book about space gives kids all the facts, figures, and amazing information they want to know.

It's bursting with colorful infographics, high-impact artwork, and includes:
  • Space Record Breakers: random record setters such as the Sputnik orbit, Halley's Comet, and space tourist Dennis Tito
  • Astronauts: first spaceman and woman, most time spent in space, the first moon landing, astronaut records in space, and more
  • Galaxies: information that ranges from the oldest galaxies (13 billion years old) to the sheer number of galaxies in the universe (at least 100 million)
  • Telescopes: the first, the biggest, the most expensive, and the most powerful
  • Space Technology: robots, rovers, satellites, probes, and special space tech
  • Sun: fascinating facts about its size, temperature, and power
  • Number Crunch quiz, and so much more

Each piece of data is based around a number, creating an entire book of easy-to-understand information that will delight even the most reluctant readers. The comprehensive coverage includes key space facts, from the International Space Station to the planets, animals in space, the weird and wonderful, and beyond.



My Take on the Book
This was a fascinating book for anyone interested in our galaxy, space exploration, our planets or other such things. Each page is filled with fun facts about all aspects of outer space. Some of the facts are humorous, but more will just open your eyes to the differences between our planets and what it really means to be a citizen beyond our mere planet. The book educates and entertains and by the end you have learned so much, or at least I know I did!

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Saturday, July 7, 2018

Book Review - Incredibles 2: A Real Stretch: An Elastigirl Prequel Story

Incredibles 2: A Real Stretch: An Elastigirl Prequel Story



About the Book
Set before the events of The Incredibles, this original prequel story is focused on Elastigirl's crime-stopping adventures during the golden age of Supers.



My Take on the Book
This was an fun read and a different look at Elastigirl and the other characters that you somewhat know from the movies. The book also gives you a glimpse into other Supers that you never met from the movies as well. The book also allows you to go through the day-to-day life of Elastigirl as well as some of the other characters too. You get to see Elastigirl and her adventures and also see how she works with other Supers.

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Monday, July 2, 2018

Book Review - Vicious





About the Book


Victor and Eli started out as college roommates―brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.



Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find―aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge―but who will be left alive at the end?


In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn't automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.





My Take on the Book
This is a book that is definitely a bit dark, but even though this is the case you will find that it is a page turner from page one. The characters are real and ones that you will be drawn to in many ways. The book is a tale of people who are opposites of each other in many ways. While they are opposites they are drawn together in many ways, but they fight against each other as well. You encounter jealously between these two characters and more. The book is fast paced and exciting but also full of deceit, revenge and even redemption, making this a book you will not want to miss!

After reading this I am excited for book two, Vengeful, which is coming out on September 26!

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Book Review - Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 1: The Night of the Nasty Nostril Nuggets

Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 1: The Night of the Nasty Nostril Nuggets




About the Book
George and Harold are up to their old tricks again, and when their latest prank makes a direct hit on school brainiac Melvin Sneedly, he decides to get even! But in the blink of an eye -- and the sneeze of a nose -- Melvin goes from snooty to snotty, and the Bionic Booger Boy is born! Can Captain Underpants clean up this catastrophe, or will the mucous monster make a mess of things?


My Take on the Book
This was such a fun book. My daughter loves Captain Underpants and when we received this she jumped right in and wanted to read it straight through. She did just that. She loved the characters as well as the story itself. The book had great illustrations as usual and as you might expect the book also was filled with great humor throughout the entire book. You get some new Villains in this book that you will love to hate and while some of the humor is juvenile, people of all ages will snicker, chortle and laugh out loud throughout the entire book. So strap on your boots to go on another fun adventure with George, Harold, Captain Underpants and others in this great new book!


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Book Review - Incredibles 2 Read-Along Storybook and CD





About the Book
Relive the action of Incredibles 2 with our best-selling Read-Along Storybook and CD, featuring narration, character voices and sound effects from the hit film!


My Take on the Book
This is a great recap of the new Incredibles movie. The CD narration was great and having the character voices to go along with the book was an added bonus. The story itself (if you are listening along) will take about 20 minutes but it is worth the time and younger readers will love to read/listen to this for themselves to relive the action and the fun!

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Book Review - Sarai in the Spotlight

Sarai in the Spotlight



About the Book

When Sarai's best friend suddenly moves away, Sarai has to navigate school -- and the unfriendly girls in the cafeteria -- all by herself. Then, new girl Christina moves to town and the teacher volunteers Sarai to show her around. But Sarai thinks Christina is not at all like her--she never wants to play at recess, she's always got her head in a notebook and she's so shy! But when Christina writes Sarai a spoken-word poem for her to recite at the class talent show, Sarai learns that sometimes winning teams are made from unlikely pairs!

Inspired by the life of viral video sensation and social activist Sarai Gonzalez with the help of award-winning children's book author Monica Brown.



My Take on the Book
Sarai is back and this time she makes a new friend when her best friend moves away. This book explores what you have to do to deal with hard situations and how you can gain new friends when you lose a friend as well. The new girl that Sarai meets is different from her in many ways, but they comes to find that difference is not a bad thing and that in the end it may be the differences that keep you together for years to come. This was a great book that intertwines powerful messages of friendship and more. This is a great book for the Sarai series of books!


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Book Review - Sarai and the Meaning of Awesome

Sarai and the Meaning of Awesome



About the Book
Sarai Gonzalez is AWESOME.

Fourth grader Sarai Gonzalez can do anything. She can bake, dance, and run her own cupcake business. But when Sarai's grandparents are forced to move, even Sarai's not sure what to do. So she hatches a super-awesome plan with her younger sisters and cousin to buy back the house. But houses are more expensive than she ever thought, her sisters won't listen, and she's running out of time. Will Sarai find a way to save the day?



My Take on the Book
Sarai was a very cool character who can do a bit of everything. Sarai and her sisters and cousin really have to work together to to try and but a house for their grandparents. The book works you through the learning that happens as they have to try and raise enough money and you are kept in suspense on whether Sarai and others have raised enough or whether some other type of situation can be found to keep the grandparents close by. The book brings up concepts of teamwork, perseverance, friendship and more and it was a very fun read!

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Book Review - The Alien Next Door 3: Alien Scout

The Alien Next Door 3: Alien Scout



About the Book
In the third book of the Alien Next Door series, Harris knows Zeke is an alien, and they go away for a weekend trip as Beaver Scouts. Will Harris be able to help Zeke keep his secret when another scout starts suspecting something?

Zeke has revealed to Harris that he's an alien and Harris is thrilled to have an alien best friend! This weekend, Harris has a Beaver Scout outing in the wilderness, so he invites Zeke to join in on the fun. Zeke doesn't quite understand all the activities, like sleeping outside and telling ghost stories, and he is a little careless with using his powers, which leads one scout to become a little suspicious. Will Harris be able to help Zeke hide his identity from everyone?



My Take on the Book
This is a great book in the Alien Next Door series. Now that Harris knows that Zeke is an Alien, their friendship becomes stronger. Harris asks Zeke to go to camp with him and you can just guess that an alien probably do not know what camping is, so this leads to some very funny parts with Zeke not knowing what camp is all about. On the way to camp the bus's tire pops and the kids have to wait. Zeke saves the day though and they are able to make it to camp without too much waiting. Harris has to cover for Zeke while at camp, especially when Zeke uses his powers a bit too much. This was a great added book to the overall series. We are looking forward to the next book in the series and encourage you to catch up and read the first three before the next one comes out!

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Book Review - The Alien Next Door 2: Aliens for Dinner?!

The Alien Next Door 2: Aliens for Dinner?!



About the Book

In the second book of the Alien Next Door series, Harris and Roxy go over to Zeke's house and meet his strange family. Will Harris be able to prove to Roxy that Zeke and his family are aliens?

Harris has his suspicions that the new kid at school, Zeke, is an alien, but he hasn't been able to prove it to his best friend, Roxy. When they're both invited over to Zeke's house, Harris thinks this is the perfect opportunity for him to research Zeke's alien family and show Roxy that they're all from another planet. But Roxy is perfectly fine playing with all of Zeke's alien technology which she just thinks is "hi-tech," and as a thank you, Harris's parents invite Zeke's parents over for dinner.

At dinner, no one but Harris seems to notice all the strange things Zeke's family is doing-like making food levitate to their mouths. However, Zeke realizes that Harris is the only one noticing these things and decides to use this opportunity to have a little more fun at dinner. . . .




My Take on the Book
Another great book in the series. This book brings back the characters that you met in book one. We loved seeing how Harris is thinking about Zeke and believes that he is an alien. At dinner, Harris confronts Zeke about being an alien and his parents did not like this as Zeke was not supposed to let anyone know this. Later in the book, Harris got grounded because of what he said to Zeke, and Zeke does have a heart-to-heart with Harris about what happened. This book really leaves you on the edge of your seat as you are waiting to get to see what happens next after Zeke talks to Harris. This is a great book that all upper elementary kids will love!


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Book Review - The Alien Next Door 1: The New Kid

The Alien Next Door 1: The New Kid




About the Book
In the first book of the Alien Next Door series, an alien boy named Zeke tries to fit in and adjust to life on Earth, while a classmate, Harris, suspects that Zeke might not be quite what he claims to be. Zeke the alien is on his way to his first day of school, feeling down because he has to start over again on a new planet, as his scientist parents constantly move to wherever their research takes them. When he gets to school, no one seems to notice anything strange or different about him except Harris, a kid obsessed with science fiction and aliens. Harris sees Zeke doing extraordinary things but can't convince anyone, least of all his best friend, Roxy, that Zeke might be an alien. Roxy just thinks Harris is jealous that she's becoming friends with Zeke. But when Roxy invites Zeke over to Harris's house, will Harris find a way to prove that he's right?



My Take on the Book
This was a pretty fast read that was fun to read. The book had a lot of funny sections that let you see the main characters in strange situations. The illustrations were great and added a lot to the book overall. This was a great book that my daughter and I read together and we found that there were many times where we laughed together and by the end we were excited about reading the next book!


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Book Review - Heartwood Hotel, Book 4 Home Again

Heartwood Hotel, Book 4 Home Again




About the Book
It's summer at the Heartwood Hotel, and everyone is in a flurry getting ready for Ms. Prickles's wedding to Mr. Quillson! Meanwhile, a new mouse guest named Strawberry comes to stay. She's sweet and soft-spoken like Mona, and gifted in the kitchen just as Mona's mother was-could Strawberry be a long-lost relative?

But when lightning strikes part of Fernwood Forest and starts a fire, all thoughts go to the guests and staff hurrying to leave to make sure their homes and families are safe. Mona works to protect the Heartwood from harm, but as the fire rages on, it's becoming dangerous to stay. Can Mona and her friends save their home before it's too late?

In the final installment of the Heartwood Hotel series, Mona faces her greatest challenge yet, and she might discover just what family truly means.



My Take on the Book
Another great book in the Heartwood Hotel series. This book continues the series and allows you to meet back up with some favorite characters and also allows you to see how the friends deal with stress and strife when it comes to the Heartwood. The book is fast paced and definitely keeps you reading from beginning to end. We loved being able to read this together and continue our love of the Heartwood characters themselves. If you have never read any of the Heartwood books in the past now is a great time to start!


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Book Review - Best Friends in the Universe

Best Friends in the Universe



About the Book
Louie and Hector are the best friends in the universe. Get ready to laugh out loud as the two boys fall in and out and eventually back into their best friendship ever through a series of funny secrets that neither one was supposed to reveal. Each episode is told in a journal format in four parts: "Best Friends in the Universe," "Best Friends in the Universe Forever and Ever," "Worst Friends in the Universe," and finally "Worst Secret Keepers in the Universe But Still Best Friends Forever and Ever."

And Louie and Hector's comical dialogue will have kids howling!

Louie: "I'm going to make up an ugly dance move called the Horrible Hector."
Hector: "I'm going to invent a disgusting, rotten drink called the Icky Louie."
Both: "That's it! This book is canceled." 

But just like most friendships, Hector and Louie find a way to stay best friends forever -- but maybe not the most trusted secret keepers!



My Take on the Book
This is a very cute story about friendship. You get to experience the friendship of these two best friends in so many ways and the illustrations help you in experiencing this as well. While there is some strife in the relationship the book does a great job talking about working through challenges with friends. We loved reading this short book together as a family and it encouraged us to talk more about friendship with our kids after reading it as well.

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Book Review - Stu Truly

Stu Truly



About the Book

Stu Truly is the coming-of-age story of 12-year-old Stu as he struggles to navigate the murky waters of adolescence when he finds himself living a lie-that seems to be growing beyond his control-to impress the new girl in school.

When Stuart Cornelius Truly first sets eyes on the new girl, Becca, he staples his finger to his seventh-grade history assignment. The second time he sees her, he coughs up a bite of her lunch-a vegetarian roasted pepper sandwich-all over her sweater, and promptly lies, claiming that he, too, is a vegetarian. Their third encounter goes more smoothly, but Stu's lie turns out to be harder to keep than he expected, especially since his family owns a butcher shop.

In this hilarious, heartwarming, contemporary middle grade novel, Stu suddenly begins to realize the opposite sex exists (and isn't so bad, after all!). Can Stu learn to successfully navigate old friends, new crushes, and horror-filled school dances, or will his lie, intended to impress his crush, actually cause his world to fall apart?



My Take on the Book
This is such a fun book. My daughter is about the same age as the main character and as she read this I found her laughing. When I asked her about it, she let me know that she could relate to the characters in the book. This book really shows how things change as you get older and how you have to get comfortable with this change. The book has some very funny parts and captures well the awkwardness of the age and allows you to see the journey of self discovery that Stu is on. The book is a ton of fun and even as an adult I can say that it was a fun read too!


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Book Review - Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel

Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel



About the Book
Hocus Pocus is beloved by Halloween enthusiasts all over the world. Diving once more into the world of witches, this electrifying two-part young adult novel, released on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1993 film, marks a new era of Hocus Pocus. Fans will be spellbound by a fresh retelling of the original film, followed by the all-new sequel that continues the story with the next generation of Salem teens.

Shortly after moving from California to Salem, Massachusetts, Max Dennison finds himself in hot water when he accidentally releases a coven of witches, the Sanderson sisters, from the afterlife. Max, his sister, and his new friends (human and otherwise) must find a way to stop the witches from carrying out their evil plan and remaining on earth to torment Salem for all eternity.

Twenty-five years later, Max and Allison's seventeen-year-old daughter, Poppy, finds herself face-to-face with the Sanderson sisters in all their sinister glory. When Halloween celebrations don't quite go as planned, it's a race against time as Poppy and her friends fight to save her family and all of Salem from the witches' latest vile scheme.



My Take on the Book
We loved the movie Hocus Pocus when it came out many years ago and always wondered if there would be a sequel and now we have that in a form of a new book.  This was a fun book that really brought forth the Sanderson Sisters again in all of their glory. The book itself also brought out some additional new characters that we loved. I say we because my daughter and I read this together, and for us it was a ton of fun to read as a father and daughter team. There is rich imagery, great characters and a plot that keeps you reading from beginning to end. If you loved the movie, you will love this book!


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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Book Review - The Flourishing of Floralie Laurel

The Flourishing of Floralie Laurel



About the Book
This middle grade, magical realism debut about a young girl who sets out to discover the truth behind her mother's disappearance is The Secret Garden meets the Book Scavenger series!

Floralie Laurel, freshly expelled from Mrs. Coffrey's School for Young Girls, works as a flower seller in an English village with her guardian brother, Tom, miles and miles away from their real home in France. Tom and Floralie are drowning in debt, but fortunately, Grandmama arrives to save them. Unfortunately, Grandmama's idea of "saving" means sending Floralie to the Adelaide Laurel Orphanage for Unfortunate Children and shaping her into a proper lady-i.e., ridding her of imagination, daydreams, paintings, and poetry.

Before Grandmama can take her away, Floralie discovers a hidden box of dried flowers and a letter from her mother, who had mysteriously disappeared years ago. The letter promises that the flowers will lead Floralie to Mama if Floralie decodes them with a floriography-a dictionary of flower meanings-written by Claude Monet's gardener.

Accompanied by an orphan boy who speaks only on paper, a blind librarian, and a thieving dormouse, Floralie sets off for Monet's house in France to find Mama. But Mama's fate may not be quite as Floralie expected, and the gardener may be hiding secrets deeper than Monet's water lily ponds....


My Take on the Book
This was a beautiful story that allows you to see not only the importance of connecting with others. This is a message that flows through the entire story. As you read this you really get drawn into the story itself. The author does a great job at creating a vivid picture of a magical world. The book is full of very colorful language that captures your imagination. The book also has amazing characters that are so full of life.Get ready to start learning a new language as you learn a language of flowers as told through the pages of this book.


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