Dad of Divas' Reviews: August 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Book Review - Imposters

Imposters



About the Book
Frey and Rafi are inseparable . . . two edges of the same knife. But Frey's very existence is a secret.

Frey is Rafi’s twin sister—and her body double. Their powerful father has many enemies, and the world has grown dangerous as the old order falls apart. So while Rafi was raised to be the perfect daughter, Frey has been taught to kill. Her only purpose is to protect her sister, to sacrifice herself for Rafi if she must.

When her father sends Frey in Rafi’s place as collateral in a precarious deal, she becomes the perfect impostor—as poised and charming as her sister. But Col, the son of a rival leader, is getting close enough to spot the killer inside her. As the deal starts to crumble, Frey must decide if she can trust him with the truth . . . and if she can risk becoming her own person.

With Impostors, master storyteller Scott Westerfeld returns with a new series set in the world of his mega-bestselling Uglies—a world full of twist and turns, rebellion and intrigue, where any wrong step could be Frey’s last.



My Take on the Book
This was a great book that left you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. The way that these two sisters were raised was amazing. Twins, yet living and being raised in two different worlds. This book really puts Frey to the test and you have to read this to see whether she can maintain her cover or not, and if not, who she can trust to hold onto her secrets. This is a book that holds twists and turns, but also a strong story that will keep you coming back. The characters are also well defined and you come to care about them as you read about them which makes the book even stronger. This was a very enjoyable book that I did not want to put down!

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Book Review - Unbound

Unbound




About the Book
The day Grace is called from the slave cabins to work in the Big House, Mama makes her promise to keep her eyes down. Uncle Jim warns her to keep her thoughts tucked private in her mind or they could bring a whole lot of trouble and pain.

But the more Grace sees of the heartless Master and hateful Missus, the more a rightiness voice clamors in her head--asking how come white folks can own other people, sell them on the auction block, and separate families forever. When that voice escapes without warning, it sets off a terrible chain of events that prove Uncle Jim's words true. Suddenly, Grace and her family must flee deep into the woods, where they brave deadly animals, slave patrollers, and the uncertainty of ever finding freedom.

With candor and compassion, Ann E. Burg sheds light on a startling chapter of American history--the remarkable story of runaways who sought sanctuary in the Great Dismal Swamp--and creates a powerful testament to the right of every human to be free.



My Take on the Book
This was a powerful book with strong characters and an even stronger story line. The book brings in slavery and the treatment of people in those times and I know for my oldest daughter her eyes were opened to a world that she is lucky enough to not have had to live through. The book looks at runaway slaves and really sheds light on the plight and what people went through in this era. It is a very powerful book for teens and adults!

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Book Review - Monster Academy

Monster Academy



About the Book

Come along with Principal Frank N. Stein into a bright, energetic classroom where the class pet is a big purple boa constrictor, recess is in a swamp, and class bats help build a Creepy Castle in the Monster Maker's Lab. When Tornado Jo, a new student, roars into class, a storm is brewing. Who could ever guess that her new best friend will be a vampire, and she'll help him find his missing fang?

Award-winning writer Jane Yolen teams up with her daughter, Heidi, to present colorful monster children who have familiar human issues such as making friends and learning to help others. In a final twist, Tornado Jo -- the worst behaved student -- is revealed to be an out-of-control human, not a monster after all. Oh, no! Monsters are more afraid of humans than we are of them! Everybody runs!
Laugh-aloud humor is enhanced by John McKinley's highly imaginative illustrations loaded with fun and hidden jokes tucked into the art. An irresistible romp from start to finish!


My Take on the Book
This was a great book that brings in some very cool characters and a very unique classroom. Every monster is welcomed even ones that may be different than the other monsters in the classroom. This was a very fun book that all will love! The images were engaging and the plot was funny as well. My daughter loved this book and I can see every child finding this truly fun!


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Book Review - Brilliant Women: Incredible Sporting Champions

Brilliant Women: Incredible Sporting Champions



About the Book
Brilliant girls and boys everywhere will enjoy these stunningly illustrated, absorbing stories.

Each one introduces kids to women who have reached for the stars and stretched the boundaries of sports, competition, and culture, changing the world along the way. In fact, These women showed what it really means to "play like a girl." Includes Marie Marvingt, Cathy Freeman, Sarah Storey, Serena Williams, Kaori Icho, Tatyana McFadden, Katie Ledecky, and other female sports legends. Every story comes with an engaging activity that will nurture a child's own varied skills and inspire them to pursue a treasured goal or aspiration. It's exceptional reading for the next generation of go-getters, trailblazers, doers, and dreamers.


My Take on the Book
This was a great book that introduces readers to some amazing women who are and were remarkable and sportswomen. In each part of the book you learn about their lives and what they did to make the world know about themselves. The book is a quick read but it also is a book that will educate and entertain. The book has a short activity with each story that my daughter loved and I know that your kids will love them too! This is a book that will really open your eyes to some very amazing women that did some very amazing things.

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Book Review - Brilliant Women: Heroic Leaders and Activists

Brilliant Women: Heroic Leaders and Activists



About the Book

Brilliant girls and boys everywhere will enjoy these stunningly illustrated, absorbing stories.

Each one introduces kids to women who have reached for the stars and stretched the boundaries of society, politics, and culture, changing the world along the way. In fact, these women were the change they wanted to see in the world! Includes Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Tarana Burke, Wangari Maathai, Malala Yousafzai, Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, Eufrosina Cruz, and other groundbreakers. Every story comes with an engaging activity that will nurture a child's own varied skills and inspire them to pursue a treasured goal or aspiration. It's exceptional reading for the next generation of go-getters, trailblazers, doers, and dreamers.



My Take on the Book
This was a great book that introduces readers to some amazing women who are and were remarkable and heroic leaders. In each part of the book you learn about their lives and what they did to make the world a better place. The book is a quick read but it also is a book that will educate and entertain. This is a book that will really open your eyes to some very amazing women that did some very amazing things.

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Book Review - Brilliant Women: Amazing Artists and Designers

Brilliant Women: Amazing Artists and Designers



About the Book

Brilliant girls and boys everywhere will enjoy these stunningly illustrated, absorbing stories.

Each one introduces kids to women who have reached for the stars and stretched the boundaries of art, design, and culture, changing the world along the way. Meet incredible women who had a worldwide impact in the fields of arts and design. Includes Artemisia Gentileschi, Rosa Bonheur, Vivienne Westwood, Coco Chanel, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O'Keefe, Kara Walker, Zaha Hadid, and many more. Every story comes with an engaging activity that will nurture a child's own varied skills and inspire them to pursue a treasured goal or aspiration. It's exceptional reading for the next generation of go-getters, trailblazers, doers, and dreamers.



My Take on the Book
This was a great book that introduces readers to some amazing women who are and were remarkable artists. In each part of the book you learn about their lives, but there is also a fun activity that will engage and draw you further into the book too. The book is a quick read but it also is a book that will educate and entertain. This is a book that will really open your eyes to some very amazing women that did some very amazing things.

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Book Review - Hip & Hop in the House!

Hip & Hop in the House!



About the Book
HIP is a turtle who raps very slowly.
HOP is a bunny who raps superfast.
Together they are Hip & Hop, the coolest rap duo in Oldskool County.

This hilarious collection features two stories that remix the fable of the tortoise and the hare, combining comic book elements with short raps, traditional narration, and the coolest characters on the block.



My Take on the Book
This was a super cute book that brings together so many fun characters having their fun with rapping up a storm. This was a very cute book with two main stories that were fun to read. The characters made some very fun poetry and rap. In the end you have to read all the way through to see what happens!

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Book Review - The Legend of Me: An Epic Do-It-Yourself Autobiography

The Legend of Me: An Epic Do-It-Yourself Autobiography



About the Book
Cast yourself as a legend of epic proportions in your own autobiography—just follow the prompts and questions of The Legend of Me.

While your life story feels like a mythic saga for you, it can easily sound mundane to everyone else. Geek culture expert Alexis Lampley provides you with the prompts and questions you need to frame your everyday life as a valiant quest full of adventure, mystery, romance, and suspense. Big promotion? More like treasure won in glorious battle! Slovenly roommate? You mean a troll you were forced to trick and defeat.

Wrapped in stylized binding, this tome of your courage and brilliance is the perfect gift for your loved ones and children. Become the hero you know you can be!


My Take on the Book
My daughter loves to work through books like this that allow her to get to capture who she is and then look back on it later as she gets older. This was a great book that asked some very good questions. As you work through the questions my daughter said she felt like she was writing her own story and after looking through what she wrote I could tell that this is exactly what she was doing. The book walks you through everything that you need to write the story they want for themselves!

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DVD Review - National Parks Adventure

National Parks Adventure



About the DVD

The power of America's national parks is undeniable. Millions have packed up the family to hike through impossibly lush forests, to gaze upon towering cliffs and deep-plunging canyons, to witness the breathtaking arcs of natural history, and, most of all, to share moments of wonder amid the protected treasures of this land.

A MacGillivray Freeman film produced in association with Brand USA and narrated by Academy Award® winner* Robert Redford, National Parks Adventure is acclaimed filmmaker Greg MacGillivray's most visually ambitious giant-screen film to date — a film that offers not only a sweeping overview of the national parks' history, but is equal parts adrenaline-pumping odyssey and soulful reflection on what the wilderness means to us all.

*2002: Honorary Award; 1980: Best Director, Ordinary People

Includes 4K SDR And 4K HDR For The Full UHD Experience. Ultra HD TV With HDR Needed To Access 4K HDR.


My Take on the DVD
I had seen this in the theater and loved seeing it in IMAX. This DVD version loses some of the IMAX feel but you still get to experience the National Parks in a whole new way. The imagery within the parks were remarkable. I have visited some of these parks in the past but there were others that have been on my list. If you have or have not visited our National Parks in the past this movie will open a window into these wonderful locations!

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DVD Review - Gravity Falls: The Complete Series

Gravity Falls: The Complete Series



About the DVD
Welcome To Gravity Falls !

Twin brother and sister Dipper and Mabel Pines are sent to the small town of Gravity Falls, Oregon to spend their summer vacation with their great uncle ("Grunkle") Stan. Upon arrival, Grunkle Stan enlists the siblings' help in running The Mystery Shack, a self-owned tourist trap that overcharges unsuspecting customers. While Dipper has a hard time getting used to his new surroundings, Mabel's upbeat optimism comes in handy in her quest to find true love.

But there may be more to Gravity Falls than meets the eye as Dipper and Mabel encounter strange occurrences and weird creatures. When Dipper stumbles upon an elusive book, he discovers it is the answer to uncovering the town's mysterious happenings. Soon, Dipper and Mabel realize they must rely on each other to navigate this unfamiliar place. Meanwhile, Grunkle Stan guards a secret of his own — one that just might hold the key to unlocking the deeper mystery that is Gravity Falls.

Includes All 40 Episodes!


My Take on the DVD
This is an amazing set for anyone that is a Gravity Falls fan. This will give you the entire series so you can get a chance to see everything. My daughter and I had just started to watch this series before we got this and now we had the chance to see even more. This summer we had more time to binge watch this and I can tell you that the more we saw the more that we loved the characters and the plot of the entire series. 

The great thing about this set is that you get everything that you need to continue being a superfan of this funny, unique series that will keep you coming back for more.

Whether you are a fan already or not this series is so much fun and this set is definitely worth the cost as you get ALL 40 episodes of the series!


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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Book Post - Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary

Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary



About the Book
For the first time in paperback, this Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary takes readers aged 8+ on a phizz-whizzing, splendiferous, fantabulous journey deep into the language of Roald Dahl's bestselling children's stories. This is a dictionary which will develop language and literacy skills by igniting the creativity in all readers and writers everywhere. Lots of dictionaries tell you what an 'alligator' is, or how to spell 'balloon' but they won't explain the difference between a 'ringbeller' and a 'trogglehumper', or say why witches need 'gruntles' eggs' or suggest a word for the shape of a 'Knid'. This dictionary does all those things. All the words that Roald Dahl invented are here, like 'biffsquiggled' and 'whizzpopping' to remind you what means what, but that is not all. You'll also find out where words came from, rhyming words, synonyms and lots of alternative words for words that are overused. Oxford Children's Dictionaries are perfect for supporting literacy and learning and this is the world's first Roald Dahl Dictionary from the word experts at Oxford University Press.



My Take on the Book
As a Roald Dahl fan this book has so much fun wordplay and so many illustrations from Roald Dahlbooks. The book has words that you would typically see in Roald Dahl books that you have come to love as well words that are well known. However, even if you know the word, the definition includes a definition that you know but also has a quote from a Roald Dahl book that ties into the definition too. The book is such a unique book with so much inventive use of language. You and your family will love to read this together!


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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Book Review - Rock Art Critters: Paint the Perfect Pebble

Rock Art Critters: Paint the Perfect Pebble



About the Book


Here's another great guide to "rocking out" from the bestselling author of Rock Art!

Visual artist Denise Scicluna provides inspiration and advice for rock painting--a craft that's perfect for "kids" of all ages. Readers will discover:
  • Tips for finding and identifying rocks and preparing them for paint
  • Techniques for creating the perfect "rock" from polymer clay
  • A guide to gathering tools, from paint, pencils, and brushes to wood filler and varnish
  • Dozens of projects for bringing pebbles to life with personality and style

Projects include woodland creatures (foxes and squirrels), exotic animals (tigers and pandas), things with wings (birds, bees, butterflies), and other fun critters. With clear step-by-step instructions, lots of variations, and loads of inspiration, Rock Art Critters will soon have you on your way to creating your very own pebble pet coterie of cute critters just waiting to be brought to life with a little bit of paint and a whole lot of imagination. Get ready to rock on!
after you
My Take on the Book
My daughter loves art and this book is a great one that we have loved using over the last few weeks. We found rocks outside and we found that after finding them that the book had great ideas throughout for making some very fun rock art friends. The explanations were easy to follow and the results were fun to have around the home. My daughter even made some to give to others and everyone she gave them to were so impressed. This is a great book for all ages!

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Book Review - Tell Me: Science & Inventions!


Tell Me: Science & Inventions!



About the Book
This fun-filled Q&A book is packed with answers to questions that curious children want to know—and parents are only too happy to help them discover.

Curious children can learn about Inventions, the Earth, Space, and Everyday Phenomena. They'll find the answers to questions such as:
  • Why do people sweat?
  • What is the ancestor of the computer?
  • What is the oldest musical instrument?
  • How do thunderstorms form?
  • Why does our tummy grumble when we are hungry?
  • Why was the Rubik's Cube invented?
And many more

Includes lots of fascinating answers—and cool stickers too!

My Take on the Book
This is another Tell Me book that shared amazing information about science and inventions. On each page you learn something new and it is information that I know that my daughter and I did not completely know. The information here opens your mind to so many new areas so I know that in the end my daughter and I gained a new found appreciation for so many areas and I know that you will too!

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Book Review - Tell Me: Earth and Sky

Tell Me: Earth and Sky



About the Book
This fun-filled Q&A book is packed with answers to questions that curious children want to know—and parents are only too happy to help them discover.

This tabbed book contains more than 200 answers to questions on different topics, the Universe, Space, the Earth, Humans, Everyday Phenomena, and more—and the last tab includes fun stickers. A hidden spiral binding makes it easy to flip back and forth, while entertaining illustrations and activities make learning fun. Includes questions about the Universe, the Solar System, the Earth, and Humans. Intriguing questions include:
  • What is an exoplanet?
  • Who was Copernicus?
  • What is a light year?
  • How does a star shine?
  • What is the equator?
  • How do sailors make use of the stars?
And many more

Parents may find the answers as interesting as their kids do!



My Take on the Book
This was an amazing book that had a ton of facts included about the Earth and the sky. You learn so much on every page. The nice thing is that you not only learn about the Earth but about space and about other planets and so much more. My daughter and I learned so much by reading this book and you will too!

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Sunday, August 5, 2018

Book Review - A Long Line of Cakes

A Long Line of Cakes



About the Book
Emma Lane Cake has five brothers, four dogs, and a family that can't stay put. The Cake family travels from place to place, setting up bakeries in communities that need them. Then, just when Emma feels settled in with new friends . . . they move again.

Now the Cakes have come to Aurora County, and Emma has vowed that this time she is NOT going to get attached to ANYONE or ANYTHING. Why bother, if her father's only going to uproot her again?

But fate has different plans. And so does Ruby Lavender, who is going to show Emma Lane Cake a thing or two about making friendship last.



My Take on the Book
This was a fun story that was a quick read but definitely one that brought together a great batch of characters. We loved that the Cakes family are bakers and that they go around making the community better. This tied well into the book and also in how their kids connect with other kids. The book explores how this is not easy for them because they move as much as they do. The book has a number of eclectic characters that were fun to get to know. The constant moving makes Emma want to find a way that they can stay put and the book works to show you how she plans to do that. The book has some fun surprises that you will love to uncover. Overall, the book is a fun one that was fun to read with my kids!


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Book Review - Willa of the Wood

Willa of the Wood



About the Book
From #1 New York Times best-selling author Robert Beatty comes a thrilling new series set in the magical world of Serafina.

Move without a sound. Steal without a trace.

Willa, a young night-spirit of the Great Smoky Mountains, is her clan's best thief. She creeps into the homes of day-folk under cover of darkness and takes what they won't miss. It's dangerous work-the day-folk kill whatever they do not understand--but Willa will do anything to win the approval of the padaran, the charismatic leader of the Faeran people.

When Willa's curiosity leaves her hurt and stranded in the day world, she calls upon an ancient, unbreakable bond to escape. Only then does she discover the truth: not all day-folk are the same, and the foundations that have guarded the Faeran for eons are under attack.

As forces of unfathomable destruction encroach on her home, Willa must decide who she truly is. To save the day-folk family that has become her own--and lift the curse that has robbed her people of their truth--Willa will meet deadly force with trusted alliance, violence with shelter, and an ever-changing world with a steady heartbeat of courage.



My Take on the Book
This was a great book that brought forth a strong female character that my daughter loved reading about. The book moved quickly and engaged you from the beginning to the end of the book. My daughter actually did not want to put the book down. The book is one that we had to have my daughter take a break from or she would have just kept reading throughout the night. Even with this break she got done with the book in only a few days! My daughter said that she felt drawn into the book and into the world of the characters. This book really creates a story that is one that you can relate to and this was one of the main reasons my daughter gave as why she loved this book as much as she did!


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Book Review - Sanity & Tallulah

Sanity & Tallulah



About the Book
Sanity Jones and Tallulah Vega are best friends on Wilnick, the dilapidated space station they call home at the end of the galaxy. So naturally, when gifted scientist Sanity uses her lab skills and energy allowance to create a definitely-illegal-but-impossibly-cute three-headed kitten, she has to show Tallulah. But Princess, Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds is a bit of a handful, and it isn't long before the kitten escapes to wreak havoc on the space station. The girls will have to turn Wilnick upside down to find her, but not before causing the whole place to evacuate! Can they save their home before it's too late?

Readers will be over the moon for this rollicking space adventure by debut author Molly Brooks



My Take on the Book
My daughter loved this book. She loved the illustrations, and the three headed kitten. The book was a quick, engaging read that keeps you wondering what will come next with every page. As my daughter was reading this, she even had me read along with her and I could see why she loved it. The book was a lot of fun and the characters were ones that were so unique. The author did a great job of creating great character dynamics, humor and unique experiences. This is a book that my daughter and I really enjoyed and I know that you will love this too!

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