Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: January 16
Tiara Saurus Rex: Brianna Caplan Sayres & Mike Boldt

New KidLitFaves series: Recent Children's and YA Books that my Friends Love!

KidLitFavesLogoResizeI'm kicking off a new series here at Jen Robinson's Book Page. People come here (I hope) in the expectation that I will help them in their quest to grow bookworms. And one of the ways that I can help parents, teachers, and librarians in this quest is by pointing out great new children's and young adult titles.

There are only so many titles that I can review myself, however (particularly without burnout). But every day I see reviews on my friends' blogs. So I've decided to try to keep an eye out for those reviews, by people I trust, in which it is clear that the reviewer really likes the book.

I'm going to start sharing links to those reviews on Twitter (with hashtag #KidLitFaves, first used by Australia mom @SquiggleMum) and Facebook, and rounding them up here. Hopefully over time this will become a useful resource. I welcome your feedback! 

Picture Books:

Here is Mary Kinser's conclusion on Imani's Moon at Sprout's Bookshelf (a book that I also reviewed):

"Don't miss Imani's Moon, a great addition to collections for its focus on bravery, honoring oneself and never giving up. Let the magic sweep you up, as it does Imani, to touch the moon. Imani's Moon by JaNay Brown-Wood, published by Mackinac Island Press."

At Waking Brain Cells, reviewer Tasha Saecker calls A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall an "exceptional picture book". She concludes:

"A joy to read and share, this book has all the delight of a great dessert but is also packed full of historical information and detail.  Appropriate for ages 6-9."

The Picture Book Review calls Thank You, Octopus, by Darren Farrell "Crazy Good!". This in-depth review includes several sample illustrations from the book (provided to The Picture Book Review with permission of the author), so you really should click through to see. There are also links to professional reviews of the book. The reviewer concludes:

"t’s really wonderful!  It’s a joy and I am sure you’ll love it!"

Early Readers/Early Chapter Books:

At A Year of Reading, Franki Sibberson discusses Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny by John Himmelman. She says:

"I get so happy when I find new early chapter books that are perfect for our transitional readers... It's a great book for first graders who are strong readers and need something they can relate too. It is also great for 3rd graders who will catch some of the subtle humor."

Middle Grade:

Over in Australia, the @BookChook, Susan Stephenson, raves about Legends of Zita the Spacegirl + Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke. She says:

"I recommend that librarians looking for graphic novels suitable for primary schoolshould snap this series up. It’s perfectly pitched at the primary level, is light-hearted and action-packed."

Reviewer Ms. Yingling Reads quite likes A Plague of Bogles (sequel to How to Catch a Bogle) by Catherine Jinks. She says:

"This was delightful, mainly because all of the characters were so plucky and undeterred... Like Jonathan Stroud's Lockhart and Co., this series is an action packed sojourn in a rather seedy, but somehow still delightful London."

Young Adult:

At The Book Zone (a blog focusing on "boy-friendly" books), Darren Hartwell recommends Big Game by Dan Smith. Published by Chicken House in the UK, this book is available in the US in audio and digital formats. The Book Zone says:

"Big Game could be added to the dictionary as the definition of 'edge of your seat thriller'. The short chapters and fast-paced and relentless action make it one of those books that is incredibly difficult to put down"

At Bookshelves of Doom, Leila Roy shares her thoughts on re-reading Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak. She says:

"I love that, despite all the pain, it is also, at moments, an incredibly funny book. And I love that it's funny without minimizing Melinda's pain, without being disrespectful to her or to it or to any other survivor ... So. If it's been a while, I suggest that you revisit. There's a reason it's become a modern classic."

Closing Thoughts:

Long ago, I did a series on my blog called Reviews that Made Me Want the Book. That series was similar to this, in that I would link to other people's reviews. However, back then I was focused on reviews of books that met with my own particular taste. Here, I'm focusing more on the other reviewers' tastes - on the books that other bloggers seemed to particularly like. I think that this focus will be more useful to readers, and help me to be able to recommend books that don't fall into my personal areas of reading. I do hope that if you find these blurbs useful, you'll click through and discover the blogs that they come from. 

Two other notes about these review excerpts:

  1. If I have quoted from one of your reviews, and you prefer that I not do so in the future, just let me know. No worries.
  2. The book covers that I have included beside each blurb include my personal Amazon affiliate ID. This is mainly done as a convenience to readers who might wish to purchase these titles, and so that I can show the book covers without copyright issues. If you don't want your reviews to be included in future because of this, just let me know. I am not looking to get rich off of other people's work - merely trying to help get more books into more readers' hands. 

Please let me know what you think of this new feature!

© 2015 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).