Thursday, 22 April 2021

Oscar Nominated Best Acting Categories 2021 Reviews and Predicted Winners!


Review: Kid Innovators by Robin Stevenson

 Moving, funny, and totally true childhood biographies of Bill Gates, Madam C. J. Walker, Hedy Lamarr, Walt Disney, and 12 other international innovators. 

Throughout history people have experimented, invented, and created new ways of doing things. Kid Innovators tells the stories of a diverse group of brilliant thinkers in fields like technology, education, business, science, art, and entertainment, reminding us that every innovator started out as a kid. Florence Nightingale rescued baby mice. Alan Turing was a daydreamer with terrible handwriting. And Alvin Ailey felt like a failure at sports.

Featuring kid-friendly text and full-color illustrations, readers will learn about the young lives of people like Grace HopperSteve JobsReshma Saujani, Jacques Cousteau, the Wright BrothersWilliam KamkwambaElon MuskJonas Salk, and Maria Montessori.

Review: This book was just great. As a teacher I could definitely imagine having this in my classroom or using it as a jumping off point to talk about biography and autobiography or just discuss texts with a layout like this. I thought the language use was appropriate and the length of each section well edited. 

I also really love the fact that this book is written in four different sections dividing the innovators discussed into 'Tech Revolution'; 'Seas, Skies and Outer Space'; 'Cracking Codes And Saving Lives' and 'Trailblazers'. The sections made it easy to navigate for me as a reader and would be great for a younger reader looking for someone in particular they were interested in. I did not read this in a linear way and so I can attest to the ease of using these sections to navigate through the book. 

I think that this book did a good job of picking a diverse range of Innovators to mentions. I love that we have people who were trailblazers in many fields and people who kids would recognise and relate to as well as those who have flown somewhat under the radar. I have had previous experience of sharing a text with children that mentioned Jaques Cousteau that was incredible inaccessible and so to have him mentioned in this book along with pictures and heading alongside fun facts I really enjoyed. 

I do recommend this book and I would love to read more in this series!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Oscar Nominated Live Action, Documentary and Animated Shorts 2021 Reviews and Predicted Winners!


Guest Review: Cuthbert’s Way by LJ Ross


After the dramatic theft of a priceless artefact from Durham Cathedral, the rest of the world believes that DCI Ryan and his team were able to recover and return St. Cuthbert’s cross to its rightful home. But Ryan knows the cross he recovered was a fake―far from being over, their problems are only just beginning…

Just as Ryan and his team begin to unravel the truth behind the spate of mysterious thefts, something even more priceless is stolen―something that can never be replaced. 

As the nationwide manhunt continues without success, Ryan is thrust into despair―until he realises the answer lies not in modern policing but in an age-old secret known only to a chosen few. To recover what’s been lost, he must first crack ‘Cuthbert’s Code’, following the trail of a long-dead saint across the wild, unpredictable hills and valleys of the borderlands. 

Can Ryan find what he’s looking for, before it’s too late? 

He’s going to need a miracle…

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape. 

Review: This book is number 17 in the DCI Ryan Mysteries Series by LJ Ross. These stories are all set in north east England and follow the investigations of DCI Ryan and his team from Northumbria CID. All can be read as standalone stories, but there are frequent references to previous cases, usually well explained, as well as a host of recurring characters. I have been following this series from book 1, and was particularly looking forward to this book, since the last story (The Shrine) concluded with the suggestion of more to come.

This story follows on from The Shrine, in which the team had to trace an artefact stolen from Durham Cathedral, apparently during the confusion caused by an explosion. Not to give any spoilers, I will just say that in that case the team were not happy with the outcome of their investigations and the perpetrator was still a mystery. In the present book, investigations into the murder of a monk suggest that said perpetrator has appeared once more. This case, as before, has a connection with St Cuthbert, a medieval saint associated with Northumbria. When the murderer strikes far to close to home, Ryan finds himself delving into the history books to try to solve a riddle before it’s too late.

I have enjoyed this latest story in the DCI Ryan series. There was quite a complex mystery for the detective and his team to work out and the price of failure would have been too high for Ryan and his friends. Their investigations had them travelling the country in search of clues. I like that the author includes details of the family lives of Ryan and his team members in these stories; it makes them seem more realistic and human. I am looking forward to the next mystery in this series.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Oscar Nominated Animated Features 2021 Reviews and Predicted Winners


Top Ten Tuesday: Colourful Book Covers 20/4/21

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I love this topic because I love a colourful book cover. I am going to choose 10 but know that there are so many many more out there!

Monday, 19 April 2021

Review: Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

 Contrary to popular belief, best friends Kate and Anderson are not codependent. Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient. Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment. Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.

But when Kate and Andy's latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script. Matt is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.

Turns out, communal crushes aren't so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson's friendship.

Review: Oh this book was just wonderful to loos myself in. It's got the magical high school feeling mixed with theatre of Grease or High School musical but then has this wonderful cast of diverse characters in modern day friendships. 

Kate is such a mixed up individual. She is strong and confident on the outside but on the inside she is questioning it all and so when things she thinks she knows start to be questioned life is hard for her and I could just relate to that so hard. I loved he way she carried herself and some of her thoughts and feelings that we get let in on are just so true but sometimes just so funny too. BFF Andy makes a great side kick and I really love the way these two bounce off each other whilst still maintaining their own unique identity. You can see the perils of having a friendship as close as theirs and yet still it is lovely to see that they have each other and are there for each other. 

As already mentioned, their extended group fo friends is also wonderfully diverse and I loved the way they came in and out of each others lives in different classes and social gatherings, it felt very true to life and each of them brought something fun to the group. The theatre aspect of the book is also really fun. I was never into drama in school and so the fact that this is just so involved in the plot really did make it feel like I was watching a movie and really and truly made me want to watch Glee. 

I loved Becky's first novel because I loved feeling the romance and crush vibes just vibrating off the page and I totally got that with this novel too. Kate and Andy's feelings for a certain guy were just palpable and then some other unrequited romantic feelings (no spoilers here) were also just impossible to miss. I loved the characters, the setting and the musical nods in this and if you want to escape the real world for just a little longer I really recommend this book!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US