Anything But Ordinary Addie

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Anything But Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff and Iacopo Bruno
Grades: 2-4
Rating: ♦♦♦♦
We enjoyed this interesting story of Addie, a woman who defied gender stereotypes and became a world famous magician. The illustrations are stunning.

We received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

The Kid from Diamond Street

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The Kid From Diamond Street: The Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith Houghton by Audrey Vernick and Steven Salerno
Grades: 2-4
Rating: ♦♦♦♦

We really enjoyed this book about a strong-willed and talented kid who not only got to play in a professional women’s team but also traveled to Japan to play in games throughout the country. We had some great conversations about gender roles throughout history and cultural differences between the US and Japan.
We received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Wolf Hollow

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Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Grades: 5+
Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦
One of the best books I have read in quite some time, Wolf Hollow is a beautifully written and gripping story set in the shadow of WWII. When a bully moves to town events are set in motion that put Annabelle’s loyalty and sense of what is right to the test. Reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird, this suspenseful tale is a must read.

The Enemy Above

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The Enemy Above by Michael P. Spradlin
Grades: 5-7
Rating: ♦♦♦♦
Quite a few excellent middle-grade books have been written about WWII recently and this one did not disappoint. When Anton’s family is forced to flee their Ukrainian hometown, they hide in a network of underground caves. The fast-paced story unfolds through the narration of Anton and the German officer determined to make the country Judenfrei.
We received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

No, No, Gnome!

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No, No, Gnome! by Ashlyn Anstee
Grades: PreK-2
Rating: ♦♦♦♦
Gnome can’t contain his enthusiasm which gets him into some tricky situations. His big heart helps him make it up to his friends in the end. We really enjoyed this funny and endearing tale.
We received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

A Big Surprise for Little Card

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A Big Surprise for Little Card by Charise Mericle Harper and Anna Raff
Grades: PreK-2
Rating: ♦♦♦♦
We loved this delightful little book full of twists, turns, and an adorable little card who doesn’t let disappointments get him down.
We received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Our Favorites for Map Lovers

Our boys are obsessed with maps. Every night during story time, they find some reason to consult their globe, wall-decal maps, or one of their many atlases. They love to track down where authors and illustrators live, find countries or cities referenced in whatever we read, and remind us of all of the trips they have planned. Here are some of our favorite resources.
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Wall Pops makes this dry-erase world map. They also have U.S. and Canadian versions. They really brightened up the boys’ room and since we hung them at their eye level, the maps are consulted constantly.

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GeoPuzzles are a hit with our puzzle and geography loving kids. These are some of the few geography puzzles I have seen where the pieces are shaped like countries/states/provinces.

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The 50 States is our favorite U.S. atlas. It contains tons of information, contemporary references, and fun facts (who knew there was a sculpture of a spoon with a cherry on it in Minneapolis, MN?)

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Our favorite world atlas has beautiful illustrations and is full of interesting information and details. Candlewick recently released a Maps Poster Book which we wrote about here.

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I’m shocked this interactive globe didn’t get better reviews on Amazon. We’ve had ours for two years and it is still going strong despite almost daily use. It provides information about continents, countries, capitals, currency, and fun facts. It also has engaging  games that our boys love.

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Dance! Dance! Underpants!

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Ballet Cat: Dance! Dance! Underpants! by Bob Shea
Grades: PreK-2
Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦
Bob Shea has outdone himself with this second installment to the Ballet Cat series. The humor is layered and appeals to kids and adults alike. We loved Butter Bear and her stalling tactics. Be on the lookout for a cameo appearance from Sparkles the pony from Ballet Cat and the Totally Secret Secret!
We received a review copy of this book from the publisher.