• Cover image of My Life in the Fish Tank
    book review,  Books

    My Life In The Fish Tank by Barbara Dee

    The more books I read by Barbara Dee, the more of a treasure I think she is. She tackles difficult social topics in a way that is engaging and relatable! I am excited to share My Life In The Fish Tank, her wonderful new book. Read on to see why I love this story. I received an advanced copy of the book from the publisher via Media Masters Publicity; all opinions are my own. This post contains some affiliate links that may earn me a commission if you purchase through them. The Book My Thoughts The more I read of Barbara Dee’s Middle Grade books, the bigger fan I become…

  • book review,  Books

    Books to Help Understand Anti-Racism and Race

    Wanting to be a better white ally means learning about systemic racism. To do that, we need to dig a little deeper into U.S. history, because we’re simply not taught it fully in school, at least in a way that we understand the nuances and all that shaped how we ended up where we all are today. As the fantastic graphic above by illustrator Jane Mount shows, there is no shortage of books that talk about race and racism. Non-fiction offers a direct (and often blunt) path to understanding. Fiction provides an excellent means to see and feel things from a different perspective. Putting both together marries the factual aspects…

  • Benefits of Being an Octopus
    book review,  Books

    MG Book Review: The Benefits of Being an Octopus

    My brain is usually a bit of a hot mess. I have texts I thought I sent, things I put in a safe place only to promptly forget where I stashed it – and apparently, books I reviewed everywhere (Goodreads, Amazon, NetGalley) EXCEPT for my blog. The Benefits of Being an Octopus was one such book, discovered missing last night when I needed it. I really loved this one – it had great themes and approached tough topics. A digital advanced reader copy of this book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher a while ago. This book contains affiliate links, and if you click on one I…

  • Maybe He Just Likes You
    book review,  Books

    Must-Read MG Book: Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee

    My daughter came home from school one day, slamming her backpack on the kitchen table in frustration. “They go ON AND ON about bullying at school, but they never tell people how to deal with it. They need to move past the “don’t bully” crap, because kids do it anyway, and teach us how to deal with it. And THEN they need to start talking about how to deal with sexual harassment, too.” Just what you want to hear on a sunny Thursday afternoon. So it was serendipitous that earlier in the day, an email landed in my inbox with a request for me to review Maybe He Just Likes…

  • snow day
    book review,  Books

    Stuck Inside? 5 Great Middle Grade Snow Day Reads

    The Polar Vortex is back, the weather is keeping everyone inside, and it’s possible you are being subjected to another day of “Mom/Dad, I’m bored!” The weekend ahead looms, cold and dreary for much of the US. If this sounds familiar, I have just the thing to keep your kiddos occupied – check out my list (Part 1) of some entertaining middle grade books – perfect for a snow day. (This roundup of some of my favorite books from 2018 contains affiliate links.) These books all share a general theme of overcoming obstacles of one sort or another. A few of them are laugh out loud funny while tackling topics…