Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook By Shel Silverstein [Book Review]

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Book Review: Runny Babbit A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein | Children's books | Poetry | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I got the book at Barnes & Noble when I was a kid.

Summary:

Runny Babbit is Shel Silverstein’s hilarious and New York Times-bestselling book of spoonerisms—words or phrases with letters or syllables swapped: bunny rabbit becomes Runny Babbit.

Welcome to the world of Runny Babbit and his friends Toe Jurtle, Skertie Gunk, Rirty Dat, Dungry Hog, Snerry Jake, and many others who speak a topsy-turvy language all their own.

So if you say, “Let’s bead a rook
That’s billy as can se,”
You’re talkin’ Runny Babbit talk,
Just like mim and he.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

As usual, Silverstein’s cover doesn’t disappoint. It’s out of the ordinary yet simple.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

Shel Silverstein was one of my favorites back when I was a kid. I read and reviewed Where The Sidewalk Ends and Falling Up and, coincidentally, my mom found this one in the garage the day the second review went up. So I read this one as well.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

As usual, this book is filled with charming and silly poems. Shel Silverstein thinks outside the box when it comes to the imagination. It’s a quick read and the poems are great fun to read aloud with others.Overall | RachelPoli.com

It was fun to revisit this one. It’s a book I’ll keep in my library forever and will share with my nieces and nephews for sure.

Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Runny’s Nicpic

One day Runny Babbit
Met little Franny Fog.
He said, “Let’s have a nicpic
Down by the lollow hog.”
He brought some cutter bookies,
Some teanuts and some pea.
And what did Franny Fog bring?
Her whole fog framily.” -Shel Silverstein, Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Falling Up By Shel Silverstein [Book Review]

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Book Review: Falling Up by Shel Silverstein | Poetry | Reading | Childrens books | RachelPoli.com

I got the book at Barnes & Noble when I was a kid.

Summary:

Millie McDeevit screamed a scream
So loud it made her eyebrows steam.
She screamed so loud
Her jawbone broke,
Her tongue caught fire,
Her nostrils smoked…

Poor Screamin’ Millie is just one of the unforgettable characters in this wondrous new book of poems and drawings by the creator of Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. Here you will also meet Allison Beals and her twenty-five eels; Danny O’Dare, the dancin’ bear; the Human Balloon; and Headphone Harold.

So come, wander through the Nose Garden, ride the Little Hoarse, eat in the Strange Restaurant, and let the magic of Shel Silverstein open your eyes and tickle your mind.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover portrays the title well and matches the illustrations used inside the book to explain the poetry.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I was very much into Where The Sidewalk Ends when I was a kid, so I ended up getting this book as well.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

Shel Silverstein upholds his reputation of writing silly yet witty poetry for kids. Each poem has the same premise of using the imagination and also having a certain rhyme or rhythm to it yet the content of each poem is vastly different from the last. The lengths of the poems vary, but they’re all quick reads and this is a book to keep turning the pages.Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a great book to revisit from when I was a kid. My nephew is about 2.5 and I’d love to read this book with him sometime. This is a great one for kids.

Falling Up by Shel Silverstein gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you – just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.” -Shel Silverstein, Falling Up

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Where The Sidewalk Ends By Shel Silverstein [Book Review]

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Book Review: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein | Reading | Poetry | Children's books | RachelPoli.com

I got it when I was a kid from Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

Where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. There you’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I’ve always loved the book cover. It paints the title of the poetry collection so well. The drawing is simple and while it may seem bland to some, I find it to be perfect to go along with the illustrations inside the book.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I used to read Shel Silverstein a lot when I was a kid. I found this on my shelf and decided to read it again for old time’s sake.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a collection of poetry aimed toward kids. Some poems can be long, but most of them are pretty short being less than a page long. A lot of the poems have illustrations similar to the cover to accompany the poem which are all well done.

The poems are silly and completely unrealistic, but that’s what makes them great. They usually rhyme and you can’t help but read them with some sort of rhythm in your tone.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

It was great to revisit Shel Silverstein again. I haven’t read his poems in a long time and I forgot how great they were. This is a must read for kids who are looking for something quick and silly.

Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“If you’re a bird, be an early bird–
But if you’re a worm, sleep late.” -Shel Silverstein, Where The Sidewalk Ends

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Jozi Flash 2017 By South African Authors [Book Review – Blog Tour]

Jozi Flash 2017 Blog Tour | Flash Fiction | Anthology | Blogging | Books | RachelPoli.com

I’ve had the pleasure of hosting and participating in the Jozi Flash 2017 Blog Tour! This is a different review than most since it’s a flash fiction collection there’s no set plot or character cast.

Book Review: Jozi Flash 2017 by South African Authors | Flash Fiction | Anthology | Blog Tour | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

I received a free digital copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

It’s not quite the Gummi Bears, but it certainly bounces around a lot.

Jozi Flash 2017 combines the talents of ten brilliant authors with one gifted artist, to bring you a collection of 80 flash fiction stories across eight different genres.

From a children’s story about the folly of summoning dragons, to the horrors held in deliciously treacherous ice cream, the authors take you on journeys that weave fantasy and folklore together alongside practical detectives and everyday tragedy.

With stunning artwork prompts by Nico Venter, these South African authors have created an anthology that will leave you breathless.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I was immediately drawn in by the cover. The colors seem to shine right off the picture and I think they go well together. Plus, the idea of showing off the genres as “books” on a shelf is a nice touch.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I read the first Jozi Flash collection last year and was excited to hear they came out another one. I was eager to give it a read.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a flash fiction anthology so there’s no steady plot. Each author wrote a flash piece in each of the 8 genres presented in the book. Each genre had it’s own illustration and prompt that the authors needed to us for their story in that particular genre.

Each story is short and sweet (for the most part, depending on the genre). Even though each short shared the genre, prompt, and picture in common, each one was vastly different than the one before it. It was a great variety of quick reads.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was refreshing to read. It’s nice to bounce around the various genres. The book is about 160 pages long so it’s a great quick read – one you can pick up whenever you’re in the mood for a certain genre.

Jozi Flash 2017 by South African Authors gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“She pulled the trigger anyway. The click was as hollow as her hopes.” -Nthato Morakobi, Jozi Flash 2017

Download the book:

Chasing Dreams Publishing

About the Authors & Artist

Ten talented authors and one gifted artist joined forces to create an anthology of flash fiction stories that embody the multicultural melting pot that is South Africa.

For more info on the individual authors, take a look at their author pages here.

International Giveaway

Win free copies of eBooks by three Jozi Flash 2017 authors:

Beneath the Wax by Nthato Morakabi

1723: Constantine Bourgeois is a man of many secrets. Artisan by day, killer by night, he turns his victims into wax figures for his shop.

2045: Richard Baines works for the renowned Anthony Garfield Historical Museum. His mundane existence is a stark counterpoint to his fascination with serial killers and science fiction.

Constantine’s nightmares drive him to undertake a journey to uncover a long-forgotten secret. Richard’s research uncovers a company secret and the mystery of Madame Bourgeois.

Two men, two timelines, and truths that will only be revealed when they look Beneath the Wax

Dim Mirrors by Carin Marais

Dim Mirrors is a collection of 39 flash fiction stories that open windows into worlds of fantasy and nightmare. Interwoven with images from mythology and folklore are the themes of love, loss, and memory. The comical “Not According to Plan” leads to more serious and introspective works like “Blue Ribbons” and “The Destroyer of Worlds”, while mythology and folkloric elements come together in stories like “The Souls of Trees” and “Ariadne’s Freedom”. 

Sketches by Nicolette Stephens

Like art sketches, flash fiction stories are fleeting moments captured in a few hundred words.

In a world without men, the first boy child is welcomed as the saviour of his race; a cuckoo clock holds death and destruction in its beautifully carved figures; and a snowman holds a silent vigil of peace during war.

In this collection of 50 stories, illustrated with her artwork, the author delves into worlds of imagination and reality inspired by words and drawings.

Jozi Flash 2017 Blog Tour Giveaway | Ebooks | Reading | Book Review | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter Here.

Jozi Flash 2017 Blog Tour | Flash Fiction | Anthology | Reading | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Sigil By Aidan J. Reid [Book Review]

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Book Review: Sigil by Aidan J. Reid | Mystery | Suspense | Reading | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

I received a free digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

– EVERY VILLAGE HAS ITS SECRETS –

The sleepy Irish village of Ballygorm is shocked one bright summer morning by the tragic news that one of their own, a successful young builder and devoted family man has been found dead, hanging in an apparent suicide.

But Parish Priest, Father Tom Regan is sceptical. Inspired by his TV detective hero, Fr Regan uses his twin role as confessional confidante and the village’s religious figurehead to investigate the mysterious death and he suspects foul play.

Piecing the clues together, he finds that his outwardly pious and tight-knit community has been harbouring a murderer in a village where everyone is a suspect.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I do like the cover. I think the colors are pretty, despite the dark aura. It looks mysterious which is what this book is all about.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve read a few things from Aidan before and enjoy his books. Mystery is my favorite as well so I was eager to jump on this.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

I found the plot unique in the sense that a priest is solving the murder – well, he’s taken it upon himself to follow the clues while everyone else brushes the murder off as a suicide.

This was certainly an interesting way to do things, however it wasn’t as believable as I thought it would be. The victim was hung with his hands tied behind his back, which should have been a red flag to everyone in town. Still, it was interesting all the same to watch Father Regan piece it together.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed following Father Regan around though I didn’t feel as though I could get close to him or anyone else in the story. All the characters were well written and had unique personalities, which was great. Though the book is told in third person omniscient, which it’s my favorite POV to read. It was hard to guess what people were feeling when it was told to me through the narrative or Father Regan “assuming” how they felt.

With that said, the characters were good, but I was able to see right through them.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The book is well written. The POV is not a personal preference of mine so it was harder for me to read, but it was still done well. Some chapters were told seeing other characters – such as the culprits – which was interesting. One chapter in particular was strictly dialogue. It wasn’t long, but I enjoyed that bit.

The story was easy to follow along – for the most part. There are a lot of twists, but that’s a good thing and it was done well.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a good read. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was written in a different POV, though that’s just my personal preference. Definitely give this a read if it sounds enticing to you and if you enjoy a good murder mystery.

Sigil by Aidan J. Reid gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“He was used to people changing their behavior when he entered the room. They seemed to quickly become the best possible version of themselves.” -Aidan J. Reid, Sigil

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Be sure to check out other books I’ve read and reviewed by Aidan J. Reid such as his ROT series!

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Let’s Talk About Love By Claire Kann [Book Review]

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Book Review: Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann | Reading | Romance | Young adult | LGBT | RachelPoli.com

I bought the book from Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I have nothing bad to say about the cover. I love the diversity, the font and coloring of the title, and of course, the pun.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

My sister bought this book. She read it and enjoyed it so I thought I would give it a try.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Alice is trying to come to terms with her asexuality. Or, she’s come to terms with it, but she’s only told her two best friends. Meanwhile, she’s trying to juggle what she wants to do with her life as her parents hop down her throat about law school and she’s trying to deal with her two best friends getting married when she can barely figure out how to date another human.

I found this story to be super involved and interesting to read about. As someone who doesn’t know a lot about asexuality, this was educational and it was great to go through Alice’s ups and downs with her.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I cared a lot about Alice. I really felt for her throughout all her struggles in the book. Takumi was a fun character as well and, while he did annoy me here and there, he was a great addition to the cast.

Alice’s best friends, Feenie and Ryan, were cool in the beginning. While they’re a great little family, I quickly got annoyed at their “quarrel” that lasted the majority of the book. Alice’s family wasn’t much better either. I felt like the tension between her and her family could have been done without.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book was easy to read and follow along with the plot and sub-plots. Despite my complaints about a few of the characters, this was a quick read for me and it was hard to put down.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a really good book. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone as it’s something all of us should learn and know about.

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“You can’t let one or two bad experiences stop you from being happy.” – Claire Kann, Let’s Talk About Love

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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July 2018 Wrap Up

July 2018 Wrap Up | creative writing | blogging | reading | RachelPoli.com

Reading

Since it’s the summer I’ve been reviewing books twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays. As always, you can check out my Reading List to see which books I’ve read and reviewed this month. You can also check out my Goodreads to keep up with what I’m currently reading… if I remember to update it.

Writing

My writing projects have been steadily going this month. With the help of Camp NaNoWriMo I’ve gotten in plenty hours of editing.

I’ve edited George Florence & The Perfect Alibi which brought me back to square one for the novel. I have to do yet another rewrite. So we’ll see how that goes.

I’ve also been editing my project for Patreon. This is exclusive for my patrons for now. My patrons get exclusive looks into my process and sneak peeks of the project. When it’s out in the world, patrons will get special goodies as a thank you for their support. If you would like to support me and my writing and see what this project is all about early, please check out my Patreon here.

Blogging

My blog posts have kind of taken a back seat since I’ve been working on a lot of maintenance and admin stuff for the blog. However, since I was on vacation last week, I ended up getting a little ahead in my posts again in preparation for being away. So, I’m slowly catching up with that.

Overall

July was a crazy month. More so because of real life. It was overwhelming at times but I powered through. Now onto August!

Posts to Remember

1. July & August 2018 Writing Submissions
2. 5 Elements of a Scene
3. 8 Types of Scenes

How did July treat you? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Tails, You Lose (Witch City Mystery 2) By Carol J. Perry [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Tails You Lose (Witch City Mystery 2) by Carol J. Perry | Mystery | Paranormal Fantasy | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I received a free review paperback copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Her instincts may be killer–but can she catch one this wicked?

After losing her job as a TV psychic, Lee Barrett has decided to volunteer her talents as an instructor at the Tabitha Trumbull Academy of the Arts–known as “The Tabby”–in her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts. But when the school’s handyman turns up dead under seemingly inexplicable circumstances on Christmas night, Lee’s clairvoyant capabilities begin bubbling to the surface once again.

The Tabby is housed in the long-vacant Trumbull’s Department Store. As Lee and her intrepid students begin work on a documentary charting the store’s history, they unravel a century of family secrets, deathbed whispers–and a mysterious labyrinth of tunnels hidden right below the streets of Salem. Even the witches in town are spooked, and when Lee begins seeing visions in the large black patent leather pump in her classroom, she’s certain something evil is afoot. But ghosts in the store’s attic are the least of her worries with a killer on the loose…

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

Like the book before it, I enjoy the over. It shows off a lot of what the story entails and the woman on the front is pretty spooky, especially for a paranormal mystery.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed the first book and was eager to read the sequel.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Lee finds herself in wrapped up in another murder mystery as well as mysteries from the past. With the help of Pete, her detective boyfriend, her aunt, cat, and her students, they come together to unravel the secrets.

I found it interesting that Lee roped her students into the mystery – especially since some of them were questionable. It added a little more to the story since there were more characters to think about.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed revisiting the old characters as well as the new ones. The students acted exactly how students usually do. My only complaint was that Aunt Ibby and O’Ryan, the cat, didn’t seem to be in it as much as they were in the first book. O’Ryan had a big part at the end, but I missed them throughout.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book is easy to read and the mystery is fairly easy to follow along with. There’s some stuff that happened in the past that was brought up for the present, which, I’ll admit, confused me here or there, but it was overall easy to read and follow along.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed this sequel. It was an interesting tail (sorry, not sorry) and I loved being with the old characters again. I’m looking forward to reading book three.

Tails, You Lose (Witch City Mystery 2) by Carol J. Perry gets…
4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Be nice. I’ve heard that he’s pretty much responsible for getting our funding.” – Carol J. Perry, Tails, You Lose

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Halfway Normal By Barbara Dee [Book Review]

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Book Review: Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee | Middle Grade | Realistic Fiction | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I bought the book at Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

A cancer survivor must readjust to “normal” middle school life in this hopeful novel from the author of Star-Crossed and Truth or Dare.

Norah Levy has just completed two years of treatment for leukemia and is ready to go back to the “real world” of middle school. The hospital social worker warns her the transition back may be tricky, but Norah isn’t worried. Compared with battling cancer, how tricky can seventh grade be?

Very. Everyone is either treating Norah like she will break at any second, or acting weird about all the attention she’s getting. Her best friend, Harper, does her best to be there for Norah, but she doesn’t get it, really—and is hanging out with a new group of girls, leaving Norah feeling a little unsteady. Norah’s other good friend, Silas, is avoiding her. What’s that about, anyway?

When Norah is placed with the eighth graders for math and science she meets Griffin, a cute boy who encourages her love of drawing and Greek mythology. And Norah decides not to tell him her secret—that she was “that girl” who had cancer. But when something happens to make secret-keeping impossible, Norah must figure out a way to share her cancer story. But how do you explain something to others that you can’t explain to yourself? And then, once you find the words, how do you move forward with a whole new ‘normal’?

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed the book cover. It’s simple and even though it doesn’t seem like it at first glance, it shows a lot about the book and the main character.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

My sister found this book and bought it. I thought it sounded interesting so I decided to read it.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

To be honest, I forgot what exactly this book was about. I bought it awhile ago and didn’t read the summary again before diving in. Reading a book about a younger cancer survivor trying to fit in again and be “normal” is a great idea. Norah is in middle school as well, of all things, which makes life more difficult for her.

I believe this is fiction inspired from a few real life people, but the plot was mainstream, heartfelt, and an important message.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I liked all the characters in this book, even the “mean” ones because they were exactly like how some middle school kids act. I wasn’t sure about Norah, the protagonist, a first, but after realizing she was 11 I understood her more.

Griffin, a new friend of Norah’s, was awesome too. He had little parts but they were important and made a difference to the story and to Norah herself.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The story flowed well and went at a nice pace. It was easy to read and quick at 243 pages. Though, I’ll admit, I wouldn’t have minded reading more.

The author used italics a lot – for thoughts and emphasizing words – which is fine, but the characters emphasized words a lot. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

I really enjoyed this book and it touched my heart even if it is fiction. I think the author did a great job portraying the characters and their woes. I’m looking forward to reading more from her.

Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee gets…
5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“I couldn’t tell myself that only good things will be in my future, because how could you be sure of that, anyhow?” –Barbara Dee, Halfway Normal

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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The White Giraffe By Lauren St. John [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John | Middle Grade | Reading | Mystery | Fiction | RachelPoli.com

I bought it at Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

When Martine’s home in England burns down, killing her parents, she must go to South Africa to live on a wildlife game preserve, called Sawubona, with the grandmother she didn’t know she had. Almost as soon as she arrives, Martine hears stories about a white giraffe living in the preserve. But her grandmother and others working at Sawubona insist that the giraffe is just a myth. Martine is not so sure, until one stormy night when she looks out her window and locks eyes with Jemmy, a young silvery-white giraffe. Why is everyone keeping Jemmy’s existence a secret? Does it have anything to do with the rash of poaching going on at Sawubona? Martine needs all of the courage and smarts she has, not to mention a little African magic, to find out. First-time children’s author Lauren St. John brings us deep into the African world, where myths become reality and a young girl with a healing gift has the power to save her home and her one true friend.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I love the cover. There’s something mysterious about it and I think the white giraffe and the night blue background contrast nicely.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

Fun fact: my favorite animal is the giraffe. I’m pretty sure my mom bought this book for me a few years ago simply because it was about a giraffe. Of course, this is the first time I’m reading it now.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Martine’s life gets thrown upside down when both her parents die in a fire that started in their house. She even lost the house. At only 11-years-old, she’s shipped to go live with her grandmother in Africa. That’s where she learns a lot about her family, herself, and the legend of the White Giraffe.

This plot had a lot of potential but, in my opinion, it wasn’t executed well. A lot of things happen that’s not really explained. There was a lot of build up but when the White Giraffe was in trouble, it just didn’t seem as intense as I think it was meant to be.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I felt as though I couldn’t get close to any of the characters. Martine’s grandmother had an awfully fast change of heart, Martine sometimes acted her age and then other times acted as though she was a lot older. Until her age was mentioned almost halfway through the book, I had trouble pinning her age down.

I really enjoyed Tendai though. He worked with Gywn, Martine’s grandmother, and he was kind to Martine and helped her along the way. I felt as though I learned more from him than anyone else.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a middle-grade book so the writing is fairly simple and easy to read. Aside from Martine not really acting her age at times, this was well done.

However, my biggest problem was the description. Everything looks, feels, sounds, and smells “African.” I have no idea what that means and as someone who’s never been to Africa, I feel as though this was a missed learning opportunity for me – especially since the author states in her bio that she grew up there.

Other than that, the writing itself wasn’t bad. The pace was a bit too fast at times, but the plot was laid out and was there.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was just an okay read for me. There was a lot of potential and missed teaching moments culturally from the author, but it was still pretty well written and the idea of the plot was interesting. I don’t think I’ll be reading the rest of the series, though there may be some younger kids out there who would enjoy this.

The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“No, little one, animals might scratch you, or bite you, or even rip you apart in hunger or fear, but only a man can crush you inside, in your heart, for no reason other than the color of your skin.” –Lauren St. John, The White Giraffe

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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