Bella & Harry Series ( Book review )

 

We were in a super rush to head out the door for the library again today and just last minute, I remembered to get a picture of these guys. So not the best picture, but hey.. you do what you gotta do 😉 !!

The Bella and Harry series was a lucky grab a few weeks ago and we were pretty excited that our small library actually had quite a few from this series. This was our second grab already and we enjoyed each one of these.

They are clearly  for the younger audience ( 5 and up ) but if your child loves travel stories I think just about every age would still enjoy these. I know my almost 10 year old had fun reading these with her little sister. They both just love these little Chihuahuas !  We have studied many countries through homeschooling in many great details and I love adding little fun stories in between just to recall some of the basic facts, these were perfect for that !

The little puppies travel along with their family to all kinds of amazing places in the world and get to have little adventures. Each page is beautifully illustrated and very colorful. The story is brought to life in fun ways with little dialogues between the puppies as they travel through each city and full of great educational information.

They would be a wonderful addition to anyone’s library, educational, inspirational and just a whole lot of fun !!

 

Check out some of the other books from the series, maybe Bella and Harry have already visited the city you have on your next travel plan !!




Upcoming release OXFORD Roald Dahl Dictionary

With the upcoming new movie release of the BFG Roald Dahl’s books are everywhere again. Oh how I love it. I love that these classic books are coming back out of the corners, getting new beautiful, updated covers and kids are getting excited about reading them. My little 6 year old has discovered more and more of his books in the last few weeks. She has read



and

Well, she still needs to read the BFG. Since it is part of the MBTP curriculum in 8-10 we went back and forth deciding if to read it now or later with the studies, but we figured it is more important to just read it before the actually sees the movie. And there is no way I would make her wait that long to see the movie ! We are beyond excited to go see it in the theaters, I think it will be one of our highlights for the summer !!

With the girls upcoming birthdays in summer I have been on the hunt for fun things already. Yesterday I came across a fun new upcoming release !!

Oh how fun will this be !?! Roald Dahl really has an amazing talent with words,so often i hear the girls just laugh out loud and giggle over his fun stories and the amazing word plays he has created. When you read his books, you really step into a whole new world. You feel the characters and get to know them. Each of his books has won a special place in our hearts ! I know this little dictionary will be so much fun to use and bring back many of the crazy words Roald Dahl uses in his books :))

Review

“It’s hard to find the right word to express our levels of excitement around the ‘Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary.’ Squacking? Jumpsquiffling? Gigantuous? Roald Dahl’s inventive, playful use of language is such a key element of his writing, whether he was using existing words in his own mischievous way or inventing extra-usual new ones. It is wonderful to have this dictionary compiled with such expertise, passion and wit by Dr. Susan Rennie and the team at OUP. There could be no more fitting way to pay tribute to Roald Dahl in the year of celebrations for his centenary. Best of all, as a fully-functioning dictionary for readers and writers aged eight and above, I hope it serves as a swashboggling source of inspiration for a whole new generation of storytellers.”
— Luke Kelly, Managing Director of the Roald Dahl LIterary Estate and Roald Dahl’s grandson

About the Author

Susan Rennie, Quentin Blake, Roald Dahl

Susan Rennie has worked on many dictionaries for both children and adults, including the Oxford Primary Dictionary, Oxford Primary Thesaurus, the Oxford English Thesaurus for Schools and the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. She also writes books in Scots for children, and has translated the first Scots edition of Tintin. Susan is currently a Lecturer in English Language at the University of Glasgow where she teaches lexicography and the history of Scots and English.

*FeatureFriday*Olga da polga * Usborne Books & More *

I have been with Usborne Books & More a few months now and still am discovering beautiful new titles so often. Today I want to introduce Olga da Polga to you !

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When I learnt the other day that ” Olga da Polga ” was another title  written by the one and only Michael Bond ( CREATOR OF PADDINGTON BEAR ) I just knew it had to be in our collection. We love Paddington bear, especially after our visit to London two years ago ❤  I had missed out an a great special ( it was actual in the customer special a few weeks ago, so pay attention to those) but I was putting in an order  anyways so this one was the one I picked with it. At $17.99 it seemed like an average price for a good picture book.Sometimes I feel picture books are so much more expensive than the little chapter books, but really we get so much more than just a story with these !  I had no idea that this was actually all of OLGA DA POLGA’s stories and over 170 pages long and consists of 13 chapters, which really makes this a great deal ! The illustrations are totally adorable and the moment I opened the book and saw Olga’s cute, big eyes I knew this would be our new favorite book soon !

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Olga would be a perfect read a loud for about 6 yeas and up but younger ones that can pay attention to a well rounded story I am sure would already love it as well. On every other page there are big, beautiful illustrations sometimes even over two pages that makes this super cute story come alive even more !

 

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Olga da Polga is actually a Kane Miller book and I have come to learn just how special so many of their beautiful picture books really are. The book itself is also very sturdy and large (which make the illustrations even more beautiful , especially over two pages) and the hardcover binding promises for a very long lifetime. And the wonderful thing with all of Usborne Books & More’s books, if anything should ever happen to your lovely book (toddlers, cats, dogs or guinea pigs) then you can take advantage of the 1/2 Price Lifetime replacement policy.

We have not read the whole book yet, but I know this one will be a new favorite soon that  we will read over and over again ❤

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If you would like to follow me more on my Usborne Books & More journey, please consider following here ! I have lots of fun ideas for giveaways and more so don’t miss out !

 

Also here is today’s special ! These specials are company wide but change every few days. I often forget to check them and some days you can really catch some amazing deals, so these will be part of *feature fridays* as well to showcase every so often 😉 Click here to see today’s specials !!

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{Usborne Books & More} Intro 2

My first 12 weeks with Usborne have just flown by. I have learnt so much in those 30 days and my love for books has grown and our inventory has grown immensely as well . My kids are beyond excited to finally have such a great supply of books again. After our move it has been such a change, and I so thankful what this company has offered us. I thrilled about the possibilities to work with our community, charities and kids in general.. things I have always been wanting to do and now I can do them, the way I want. The library is being difficult about volunteering ( because I would like to bring my kids/ homeschooling you know etc. )  and they can’t allow it. Which I find incredibly silly, since my kids would read anyways. But I understand policies are policies.

I am sharing lots of fun news and updates about the books on a special facebook fanpage, so make sure you check in here once in a while. Every Friday I will *feature* a special book or book series there and hopefully in the feature do giveaways and special deals and tons of other stuff ! I have so many fun ideas ! It’s an exciting time and I am thankful that it keeps my mind busy and away from our renovations a little 🙂

Have you heard of Usborne Books & More ? – I am still “shocked ” to meet so many here and there, that have never heard of us, but also even more thrilled when I can tell them all the wonderful and exciting things about the books. It’s like a whole new (book)world. lol.  In the last 30 days I have come across so many wonderful books in our inventory that I didn’t even realize where part of our inventory . With Kane Miller being part of Usborne Books, the inventory is seriously huge ( nearly 2.000 titles) !!

I will do my best to also feature many books on here as well and I would love, love, love to know which one of you is an ” Usborne Newbie” or an ” Usborne Old-Timer” 🙂 ! Or if you are curious about a book, maybe I could feature it next Friday ?? TELL ME BELOW !!

I will be back on Friday with some fun Usborne book features ! So stay tuned and don’t forget to stop by  Julia’s Book Corner !!

Here is a picture of the box I received when I first signed up with Usborne Books & More. It was a great value and we love every and each book ! If you want to learn more about becoming a consultant ( we could be team mates !!! ) or just want to check out the amazing inventory follow me this way please 🙂

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I wonder.. ( book review )

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I am trying to get out of our morning slump and it has been so hard with the renovations going on and summer slowly knocking on the door. I did not want to spend all summer on renovations on our house and I really did not want to spend our real first summer in Oregon catching up on school stuff. We are not really, really behind ( but my A- personality type, list keeper and goal setter in me, tells me I am / we are).We finished all math curriculum way early even..but… I am good at creating stress for myself. You know –

Anyways. We hit the library at least once a week and bring home tons of books. The girls spend tons of time reading and I almost feel left out. I don’t make as much time as I should to still read with them, the 20 minutes here and there or bed time reading goes over in a blurr and I long for the couch …  So I want to give our morning reading baskets a new chance.

I think I will dedicate another whole post to morning baskets because it is such a beautiful routine to work into your homeschool.

The first book we actually picked from our basket this morning was ” I wonder” and it was so incredibly special and beautiful that I literally wanted to post about it right away ! I clearly have been out of the loop, since this book has been out for several years..

When I saw it at the library I figured it was special and it would be a great fit for my ever asking children. One fact of motherhood and especially of homeschooling that dazzles me continuously  are the questions they ask and the things their little minds truly wonder about….  ” Why do are there stars in the sky ? Why do we have to eat ? What was the first flower ? Why is there gravity ? Where , how , what and when… ?!” I have learnt to appreciate all these questions though ❤

This book, with all it’s beautiful pictures is a great conversation started and a beautiful way to put their minds at ease. While I encourage my children to start finding answers on their own, do their own research through books and the internet, I still want them to know that sometimes, just sometimes, it is okay to not  know know the answer to EVERYTHING… that some things on earth are still, even today, are still a mystery…. I want them to know that even scientists still do not have the answers to many questions about our world, planet and so on ! It’s good to be curious, to explore and also just be amazed and believe !

The book clearly hits more of  secular believes, it mentions science and a few short explanations but it does not talk about religion or God, so if you are looking for religious aspects to be explained this is probably not a good fit.

While the book is targeted towards 1 year olds and up, I think it’s a lovely story for older ones as well. When we get older these questions come up a lot more, and the mind wonders … i know ate age 6 the questions really started coming. While the book does not give exact information on how to answer the questions, its lovely to explore together, and also dream a little.. and just live life sometimes without knowing ” everything”.

I am not sure if a 1 year old would even understand the story line of this book. While I think it’s a beautiful story to share with any child,  if I would could select the age range of my readers I would select Kindergarten age probably 🙂

Albert’s Almost Amazing Adventure

Albert is back from vacation and meets all his friends at the playground, of course they all want to know about his adventures but keep interrupting him over and over again. In the end he doesn’t even get to tell them what his awesome adventure really, really was 🙂

It’s a very funny, imaginative story with beautiful drawings. The author made the right choice when he switched from the black and white drawings to the beautifully illustrated, lively images in color. It explains the story so well and lets little ones follow even easier . The story does have some silly images and mentions zombies and monsters, but really just in a funny way. Both my girls ( 6,9) loved it and thought it was hilarious, especially the zombie cats !! A fun and silly, original picture book !! Check it our here !!

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Editorial Reviews ( from amazon)
Review
The contrast between when Albert is telling his story and when his friends are making guesses as to his amazing adventures is illustrated in pictures that shift between black and white and wonderful colors. It is a clever device to help your students determine what is real and what is fantasy. –Brian Smith, Scholastic Blog for Teachers
About the Author
Marty Kelley currently works as a writer and illustrator, but in the past, he s worked many jobs baker, animator, and balloon delivery guy are just a few titles he s held. The former second grade teacher has published many children s books, including Fall Is Not Easy, The Rules, and Summer Stinks. Even though the lingering aroma of Sloppy Joes and tater tots will forever haunts his dreams, he still visits 60 to 70 schools each year to talk about writing and art with students and teachers. He likes to show students how he creates his books, and sometimes he even uses these unsuspecting kids as a focus group for his unfinished works. He’s a member of the New Hampshire State Council for the Arts and a frequent presenter with The Children’s Literacy Foundation. His favorite authors are Chris Moore, Chuck Palahniuk, and David Sedaris. And he doesn t watch any TV. Really.

Greetings from somewhere – Book review

The kiddos have been reading a lot again lately. For the first time, in a long time, we are even keeping a reading log and they both have filled their pages continuously.

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One serious that we picked without knowing what we were really getting into, was ” Greetings from somewhere”. 

I love stumbling on great books, especially series, that I had no idea even existed.

Who would have thought that this family is actually a homeschool family ? The parents in the book are travel journalists, a photographer and a writer and they have taken the kids out of school to travel around the world.  My girls were so thrilled, since books about homeschooled children are still in the minority. Several of these books fitted perfectly in some of the studies we did with Moving beyond the page as well. They visit places in  Africa, travel to VeniceParis and the Coral Reefs in Australia and many more.

Both my 9 and 6 year old enjoyed these. They were a quick read of about 100-115 pages. There are some bigger pictures on some of the pages as well though and they are written in an easy to read style. Perfect for kids that just started reading on their own, beginner readers, or older kids that still enjoy this style and just want to have fun reading.

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In all the books, the kids travel to a different city and explore it together with their parents. In each one they encounter a mystery and have to find a way to solve it. Again, both my girls love a little mystery while learning about different cultures, history, and geography !

Our library had several in stock, but I think I will try to add these to our personal library as well 🙂

 

The Cay and Living Seas 9-11 MBTP

These two units (9-11) have been challenging and fun at the same time ( mainly challegning for me because of all the extra time with experiments rofl ). Since I had read a few reviews about the Cay ahead of time, I had decided  to read the novel before my daughter would start it. I had never read it before until now, but thought this story was really great and I’m excited to read it together and share it now with my daughter. I think even though it qualifies as a classic already, it is a book that even in today’s time  would be so valuable to read.

Here is a great little slideshow with some great general info about the book and story line

The story takes place during the beginning of World War II. This lesson only gives a brief introduction into world war II since it will be covered in great detail in level 10-11. There will be a few activities about this and we struggled finding some good material to get a brief introduction, and I wished MBTP would have added a short book to this Unit. Even though my daughter is somewhat familiar with the outlines of the war, a nice overview would have been made things a little easier. This is a subject that has such depth it is hard to just google something without spending days reading. Of course there is always idea share and many of our awesome ” Movingbeyondthepage groups” where many moms have some great links ready to send to you.

For example, this one . ( if it is stuck on the whole playlist, skip ahead to #15 thats about WWII)

Exploring Curacao and the carribean islands was a much more pleasant subject. This was incredible fun, we visited many websites and also got help from our friends ” Travelkids” as they visited the island. I swear they have been to some of the coolest places.

We also enjoyed studying the island art.

http://www.bernardhoyes.com/

 

In Lesson 2 we explored Curacao even deeper and I found a great website to learn more about import- export, detailed about Curacao ( and many other countries).

http://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/cuw/

More pins related to 9-11 here https://www.pinterest.com/bookwormfamily/moving-beyond-the-page-9-11/

In the literature unit you will work and review some grammar, subject/ verb agreements, comma usage, prepositions and learn to work with different transitions for sentences. I’m glad these came up in this unit, since we have been struggling a little with some of these (transitions for sentence beginning especially).  I always like the mix MBTP offers, a little Grammar here, some science there, it never feels so overwhelming or boring.

We also spent a lot of time studying sharks ! And coral reefs… We still have a great list of movies to watch that are currently on Amazon Prime !

 

The book provided through MBTP about coral reefs is also a pretty good pick and gives a deep understanding about the ocean world. She had no trouble explaining me everything afterwards, lol.

We finished today with a super fun experiment from the Ocean’s life Science book ( which I have just seen has been replaced to a different one recently 😦 . I hope the experiment is in there as well, it was so simple and worked so well !!

( the experiment is #18 on the playlist , sorry sometimes the links give me trouble and it just adds the whole playlist 😉 )

 

 

Here are a few more examples from this Unit. Please don’t mind the few spelling mistakes on her paper 😉 We try not to nitpick around her too much 😉

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Hope you enjoyed out glimpse into the Cay and ocean life 🙂

 

 

” Im a homeschooler” . Books that let your kid be proud about homeschooling.

Finding books for our kids, where kids are portrayed as homeschoolers, are still hard to find. But the good news is, they are becoming more. Slowly but surely more authors are picking it up, or homeschool moms themselves pick up the writing tools and create these books themselves. Especially for the younger kids more and more books are present that show another option than traditional schooling. I think it is wonderful and exciting to be able to show them the different option and it is so important to be able to show them, ” Look, this is okay ! There are others that live this way !

After all many of us get nearly “brainwashed” at a very young age. Maybe brainwashed seems like a harsh word for some of you, but let’s think about it.  Kids are being told about school at an incredibly early age, and it’s still being pushed upon us earlier and earlier. First it was only Kindergarten, now it’s ” timmy goes to Pre-K” and so on. That kids just stay at home before the age of 5 is becoming rarer and books need to show other options !

If you look at my girls ages, 6 and 9, most say they have probably outgrown the picture books age. But I don’t care. We still check out picture books from the library like crazy. And we still often buy must haves. Some of these are on my list of must haves…

Here is a list of all the new, recent books I have found :

Ippie’s a barefooted, band-aid covered, free-spirited eight-year old. She’s a lot like all the other kids in her neighborhood, except for one thing…Ippie doesn’t go to school. She has no teacher and follows no curriculum. So just what is Ippie doing all day? And how can she possibly be learning? Come spend some time with Ippie and find out. Written by former educator and current unschooling mom of four Nicole Olson, this ground-breaking story gives us a sneak peek into the world of unschooling through a child’s eyes.

‘Twas the first day of homeschool,” begins the poetic tale of a young child’s return to schooling. The story weaves through the exciting first day as the family enjoys a special time of learning, helping, and sharing together – interrupted only by a mischievous visit from Homeschool Elf who hides the children’s school supplies and sends them on a hunt to find the missing books, pencils, and more! In addition to the story text, younger children will enjoy trying to find the hidden Homeschool Elf peeking out from the book illustrations while older children are encouraged to interact with the story by answering questions related to the text and their own homeschool experiences. For those eager to begin their own Homeschool Elf tradition – a pattern of Homeschool Elf has been included at the back of the book. We recommend copying the pattern and cutting it out so if something happens to Homeschool Elf during the year, you will always have a pattern to replace him.

When a young kangaroo asks a lot of questions, her parents know it’s time to homeschool. The little ‘roo thinks there’s too much to learn, but her doubt turns into delight when she uses her driveway for a blackboard and learns she “Kandoo” all things through Christ who gives her strength.

I Am Learning All the Time is the story about 5 1/2 year-old Hugh as he begins the discovery process of what it means to not go to school. He reflects on life at home and life of his neighborhood friends, who go to school.

A fun, compelling story narrated by Hugh about his life at home. Full of bright, eye-catching illustrations with realistic (and realistically messy) scenes from family life. Your children will love and identify with the characters in this book.

Whether your child is homeschooled, unschooled or schooled, the positive approach brings understanding and similarities into focus, creating confidence in your children no matter what your family s educational choice is.

This story helps to uncover the unknowns of homeschool life. It is great book to share with your child if their friend or neighbor decides to homeschool. Your child s worries will melt away as they begin to understand what homeschooling is and that they can still be friends with their homeschooled friends.

You can feel confident about the positive nature put into the creation of this book in every way!

Drawing from his own childhood experiences, Jonathan Bean takes the autobiographically inspired family he introduced in Building Our House through the special rhythms and routines of a homeschooling day. For young Jonathan and his sisters, Mom is the teacher and a whole lot more, and Dad is the best substitute any kid could want. From math, science, and field trips to recess, show-and-tell, and art, a school day with this intrepid, inventive family will seem both completely familiar and totally unique. Includes a selection of family snapshots and a note from the author

And here are a few books for older Kids

Nellie appears to be a normal nine year old girl. But Nellie is not normal. Nellie is an amazingly gifted scientist who lives in a family of amazingly gifted scientists. One day, her brother, Niles, who is eleven, teases her (as all respectable big brothers do). This time, however, Niles goes too far when he tells Nellie that girls are silly and no woman has ever changed the world. This sets off a spark of an idea in Nellie’s most amazing mind and sends her down the path to create a time machine and meet wonderful women who made a mark on the world. First stop, Amelia Earhart! With a few bumps along the way and a government agency out to steal her technology, Nellie and Niles are in for an incredible adventure!

With her first step off the airplane and into the sunny tropics, ten-year-old Jess McConnell begins an adventure. She and her parents are spending five months at an archeological dig of ancient Maya ruins in the Central American country of Belize. It’s Jess’s first time out of the United States. It’s her first time being home-schooled. And it’s her first trip without her older brother and sister to keep her company. Yet Jess is excited to explore a new place on her own. She’s ready for adventure and anxious to discover just who she is. When Jess meets a new friend and is invited on an eco-adventure, she makes some real discoveries-about the wonders and the dangers of the Belizean jungle, about the people who have lived there since long ago, and about herself. The “True Story” section at the back of the book focuses on a girl from Florida who spends every summer in Belize with her archeologist parents.

Announcing Book #1 in the first series about a homeschooling family. The Wrights travel the USA in an RV. Each month brings them to a new state with a new educational theme to explore and play with. They prove that learning can happen all the time, anywhere, and that being with family is fun! Meet Aidan, age 7: Boisterous and joking all the time, this sporty boy knows how to have fun! Meet Nadia, age 11: Curious and fiery, this intellectual girl can always find out answers to even the most difficult questions. Meet their parents: Harrison, a writer and linguist expert, and Stephanie, a telecommuting computer expert; ready to adventure with their children. Meet Prince Pumpkin III, turtle extraordinaire: This 50 year old little guy is holding on tight, as the family RV and a mysterious device take him on an adventure no turtle has ever gone on before. Explore an Arizona desert cave with the Wrights as they begin their trip. What will Aidan and Nadia discover? This series is Wright on Time.

Magical stories for your “tween”

Lately my 9 year old has been loving all kinds of magic books. Ever since Harry Potter came into her life she has been hooked. I can’t forget to mention Narnia here too of course, such an amazing series all on it’s own. But those are some of the big book series, the ones many people know by now. If you have a little book worm like mine at home you might be looking for more. Luckily there are so many other great stories out there.

Here are some of our latest favorites !!

Just recently Amazon prime added a wonderful, new show to their streaming and we have absolutely fallen in love with it.

When Kelly and her two best friends stumble upon a mysterious cookbook, they discover the book’s recipes are far from ordinary-they’re magical. Attempting to use the recipes to release Kelly’s grandmother from a powerful curse, they uncover more clues surrounding Grandma’s mystery and learn each recipe comes with a hefty price. Bigger secrets are about to be unearthed when you Just Add Magic!

It tells a wonderful story of the friendship of three girls that are on the journey to solve the mystery of a magical cookbook and help Kelly’s grandmother that seems to be cursed by a magical spell.

As it is incredibly hard to find inspirational TV shows for older girls these days, especially non cartoon and non Disney , this is a wonderful refreshing show. As we watched the first few episodes I knew this show was a winner and our whole family has been glued to them ever since. We have almost watched all of them and hope they will add a second season very soon !

If you can’t wait for season 2, the book might give you more hints on the evolving story.

 

The Bliss Trilogy

Rosemary Bliss’s family has a secret. It’s the Bliss Cookery Booke—an ancient, leather-bound volume of enchanted recipes like Singing Gingersnaps.

Rose and her siblings are supposed to keep the Cookery Booke locked away while their parents are out of town, but then a mysterious stranger shows up. “Aunt” Lily rides a motorcycle and also whips up exotic (but delicious) dishes for dinner. Soon boring, non-magical recipes feel like life before Aunt Lily—a lot less fun.

So Rose and her siblings experiment with just a couple of recipes from the forbidden Cookery Booke. A few Love Muffins and Cookies of Truth couldn’t cause too much trouble . . . could they?

Kathryn Littlewood’s culinary caper blends rich emotional flavor with truly enchanting wit, yielding one heaping portion of hilarious family adventure.

Harry Potter ( picture book edition ) 

I don’t think I need to add the story line here 😉 Harry Potter is simply a must read in your lifetime. If you love magic or not. The new picture book addition is simply a dream come true !!

Half Magic by Edward Eager

It all begins with a strange coin on a sun-warmed sidewalk.
Jane finds the coin, and becasue she and her sblings are having the worst, most dreadfully boring summer ever, she idly wishes something exciting would happen.
And something does: Her wish is granted.
Or not quite. Only half of her wish comes true.
It turns out the coin grants wishes—but only by half, so that you must wish for twice as much as you want.
Wishing for two times some things is a cinch, but other doubled wishes only cause twice as much trouble. What is half of twice a talking cat? Or to be half-again twice not-here? And how do you double your most heartfelt wish, the one you care about so much it has to be perfect?

The Miri and Molly Series

Miri is the non-twin child in a family with two sets of them–older brothers and younger sisters. The family has just moved to an old farmhouse in a new town, where the only good thing seems to be Miri’s ten-sided attic bedroom. But when Miri gets sent to her room after accidentally bashing her big brother on the head with a shovel, she finds herself in the same room . . . only not quite.

Without meaning to, she has found a way to travel back in time to 1935 where she discovers Molly, a girl her own age very much in need of a loving family. A highly satisfying classic-in-the-making full of spine-tingling moments, this is a delightful time-travel novel for the whole family.

The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders

Lily and Oz Spoffard have just inherited a magical house with a mysterious boarded-up chocolate shop on the ground floor. The twins’ great-great-uncles were famous chocolatiers, and their chocolate was ANYTHING but ordinary. In fact, it had magical properties.

Now an evil gang is after the secret recipe, and it’s up to Lily and Oz to stop them. The fate of their family, and the world, depends on it.

Bella Donna by Ruth Symes

Ever since she was a baby, Bella Donna has suspected she has magical powers, and she wants nothing more than to be a witch. Bella lives in an orphanage, waiting for her “Forever Family,” until one day she meets Lilith Sorciere and agrees to move in with Lilith and her niece Verity. Bella tries keeping her witchy tendencies a secret from her new foster family, and she stays on her best behavior—but when she comes home early one day from school, she stumbles upon something very surprising! Could Coven Road really be a road for witches?

This first installment of the sweet, spooky Bella Donna series will captivate young magic-loving readers. Bella Donna: Coven Road is an engaging and entertaining read with a subtle message to be yourself. Marion Lindsay’s adorably simple spot illustrations bring even more magic to author Ruth Symes’s delightful tale. Fall in love with Bella Donna and her road to witchdom! And be prepared for her next big adventure!

A snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd


Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.

But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck’s about to change. A “word collector,” Felicity sees words everywhere—shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog’s floppy ears—but Midnight Gulch is the first place she’s ever seen the word “home.” And then there’s Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity’s never seen before, words that make Felicity’s heart beat a little faster.

Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she’ll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that’s been cast over the town . . . and her mother’s broken heart.