Danny and the DreamWeaver by Mark Poe

imageTitle: Danny and the DreamWeaver
Author: Mark Poe (Rich DiSilvio)
Publication Date: July 15, 2016
Genre(s): Middle grade fiction/science-fiction
Length: 91 pages

Description (from Goodreads):

Danny is a grumpy video-game junky. He daydreams in school and has a long-standing rivalry with his neighbor.

Yet Danny soon finds himself ensnared in a bizarre dream. Controlling his dream is Nostrildamus, an odd-looking creature with a huge nose and no eyes, yet can oddly see into the future.

Taken on a time-traveling hunt to solve an art-related mystery, Danny meets strange looking artists, like Hippopotamus Bosch and Michelanjello, while Nostrildamus tries to impart subtle pearls of wisdom.

Yet, what does it all mean? And what effect, if any, will all this have on Danny?

Find out in “Danny and the DreamWeaver,” an imaginative adventure of criminal intrigue, time travel, and art history, infused into a bizarre dream that will have you scratching your head and smiling, until the end!

My review:

If I had to sum up this book in one word, it’d be HILARIOUS! I had SO much fun reading this!!!

From the very first page of Danny and the DreamWeaver, I was smiling and laughing. It’s filled with a lot of sass and humor but is actually educational at the same time.

The characters featured are so fun to read about and I was actually a little upset to see them go at the end. My favorite was a scene between Nostrildamus and a cardinal at the Vatican that had me laughing so hard I had to stop reading for a bit and come back to the book when I could pick it back up without busting out laughing again.

Even though the beginning pulled me in, it also had some faults… Danny rushes home to play games on his XBox 360 and PlayStation that I think are only available on the XBox One and PS 4 consoles. That probably only threw me off because I’m a bit of a video game junky, so I notice that kinda thing. Others probably wouldn’t.

My other issue is a pet peeve of mine in many, many stories… a character described himself for absolutely no reason! Again, this might not bother anyone else but it’s a pet peeve of mine. In this instance, Nostrildamus describes his appearance to Danny while Danny is standing right in front of him.

I think middle-grade students will enjoy this book and get a kick out of the puns. I also really liked the short bios at the end of all the famous characters.

I received a free review copy of this book from the author. This in no way influenced my review.

What do you think? Have a suggestion for my next read? Leave me a comment below!

Are you planning on purchasing Danny and the DreamWeaver? Please consider supporting this blog by using one of the below affiliate links. When you purchase using the affiliate links used on this page, I may receive a small portion of the sale, however, no additional cost is incurred by you.

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WWW Wednesday – December 5, 2018

img_1384-0Happy Wednesday!!! 🎉 It’s time once again for WWW Wednesday ! WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

Don’t know what WWW Wendesday is or how to participate??? All you need to do is answer the following three questions and link back to Taking on a World of Words, or you can put your answers in the comments on her blog! (You can also leave your link in my comments to be sure I don’t miss your post!)

The three WWW questions are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to purchase a product, I may receive a small percentage of the sale, however, no additional cost will be incurred by you.

Here’s what I’m currently reading:

 

Both The Sound of Holding Your Breath and Formula are books I expected to have read and shared on here already, but with everything going on in our house, I chose to hold off on them. Finally got to start both of them though, so YAY!!!!

I’ve been reading When Jesus Answers: Returning to the Healing Mercies of God’s Presence with my husband. It’s not like any other book I’ve ever read and so far, we’re both loving it!

I recently finished:

I’ve been wanting to read the Stalking Jack the Ripper series for a while now, but I picked up the first one from the library before we left for the cabin. I had read mixed reviews, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it was SO GOOD!!!

I also wasn’t sure what to expect from American Pop. From the description, I pretty much knew I was either going to love or hate it. Thankfully, I enjoyed the dysfunctional Forster family story.

 

What I’ll be reading next:

 

What’s your WWW? Any thoughts on the books above?  Leave a comment or send me a message through the Contact Me page.

Want to support my laziness??? Feel free to leave a link to your own WWW Wednesday post in case I miss it over on Taking on a World of Words. (The link list is long over there guys, and I’ve got a lot of books to read…)

The Books That Got Me Through 2018

We’re coming up on the end of 2018 and I’ve been thinking a lot about all that’s happened this year…

My oldest daughter graduated from high school in May and went away to university in August.

My youngest daughter moved in with her father in August.

My husband and I had our first foster placement come into our home on December 1, 2017, and we said goodbye to them almost a year later, in November 2018. So I went from daily caring for 5 children in our home to 0, in what felt like overnight.

Throughout the year, my blood pressure continued to do what it does… go crazy high for no reason and make my husband (and sometimes the doctors) start preparing for my inevitable stroke.

And during all that, I thought the stress occurring both inside and outside our home was causing physical symptoms (my right arm would get weak, I couldn’t turn my head, a lot of pain). Last week, I found out that it’s not some sort of weird stress thing, it’s arthritis along with protrusions hitting my spinal nerves and cord. (We’ve already got a ton of medical bills so this was disturbing on multiple levels).

Basically, 2018 has been a crazy heavy year.

Friends, family and acquaintances are always asking how my husband and I are holding up. And while I really don’t mind them asking how we’re doing, my mom actually shared this with me on Facebook today, which I found hilarious…

Capture

I’m actually not sure which is funnier though… the above FB post, or what happened the day the foster kids left…

I have red, puffy eyes and am wiping my nose (so it’s obvious I’ve been crying), when my husband asks “Are you okay?”

I looked at him like he had 4 heads. “Did you just ask me that?”

“Uh, yeah. Are you okay?”

To which I responded with something like “No, I’m not okay. I’m not going to be okay for a really long time and if you ask me if I’m okay again, you’re not going to be okay either.”

Now, any normal man with self-preservation skills would have seen the “You can’t win here, walk away or I’m gonna murder kill you” look in my eyes and given up. But not my husband. He’s a fixer. After 6 years together, he still hasn’t figured out that there are some things that can’t be fixed and he has to just let me be upset for a while… so he says… “Yeah, I know, but I can I get you anything?”

giphy

A lot of violent responses went through my head at that moment… Thankfully, I went with the only one that wouldn’t require bail money.

“A box of wine.”

“I was gonna go to the store anyway. I’ll get you a bottle while I’m out.”

“No, a box. I’ve decided to give alcoholism a try and it’s going to require an entire box of wine to get a good start at it.”

Something you should know at this point… I’m not really a drinker and haven’t been since I was in my 20’s. The box of wine comment has been a joke between my husband and I for years now. I never actually want a box of wine, nor could I drink a box of wine on my own, but ya’ll…

He got me a BOX of wine to drink with dinner that evening!!

Anyway…

While I didn’t turn to a box of wine, I did turn to the one thing I’ve always counted on to deal with the real world – the fictional world!

So here are the books I read in 2018 that helped me escape, laugh, cry, and deal with all the feelings of this past year:

(You can click the titles of books I’ve reviewed to read my complete thoughts)
  1. The Bible.
    Yeah, I know, some of you just rolled your eyes and others are scrolling on down to the next book on the list, but it’s true. I’ve poured over more scripture in the last year than I have during any other year of my life, and it’s definitely been the most beneficial book to help me get through the year. It’s easy to blame God and get angry when we hurt, but I learned a lot about suffering, love, acceptance, and how to grieve without falling down my normal rabbit hole of despair. I also did a lot of reading plans through the YouVersion bible app, which was great. I recommend checking them out!
  2. Beneath the Same Heaven37795839-_sy180_You would think that as emotionally wrecked as this book left me I’d be upset that I chose 2018 to read it in, but no… I’m saying the opposite. Sometimes, escaping into a familiar world filled with pain, heartache, confusion, etc. of other people is just what the doctor ordered when you’re going through all that in your own life. Beneath the Same Heaven is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I wish everyone would read it!
  3. Auschwitz Lullaby 36576005
    This book was also incredibly emotional and had me crying so hard my husband tried to take it away from me! Seriously, I was an emotional mess the entire time I was reading it!
  4. Edge of the Known Bus Line
    Okay, you definitely have to have a certain kind of twisted humor to enjoy a book like this… Cannibalism, murder, cults – what’s not to find humorous, right?? Yeah, I probably laughed a little too much during this one, but it was needed. It’s a short and disturbing read that had me looking at the bus with fresh, slightly fearful eyes!
  5. the_irrationalist_coverThe Irrationalist.
    Just when you thought I only listed depressing, emotional, dark on this list, I give you… The Irrationalist! It’s comical in both it’s dry and not-so-dry humor. The main character, Adrien Baillet bumbles his way through much of the investigation into the murder of René Descartes and his suspects pretty much do the investigating for him. He learns a lot though and comes out a different person at the end, but it had me laughing through the whole book. (Plus, it taught me the word defenestrate… which I threaten to do all the time now!)
  6. Mammoth
    Another lighter, happier book got me through 2018 was Mammoth. It’s a young adult book about a girl with dreams of becoming a paleontologist who’s hero turns out to be someone completely different from who she thought he was. It’s a super fun read!

So those are the books that helped me get through some tough times in 2018. What was 2018 like for you? Do you have a “go-to” book (or 10) for when you’re having a hard time? Let me know in the comments section below!

The Seeker’s Stone (DNA in the Deep #1) by Kelly S. Epperson

42203484Title:  The Seeker’s Stone
Author: Kelly S. Epperson
Publication Date: October 2018
Genre(s): Science Fiction Chapter book for kids 7-13
Length: 66 pages

Description:

Staring down the ladder into the rock’s dark interior, Emily and John wonder what they’re getting themselves into…

An hour ago, Emily and her brother John found themselves stuck with summer science camp instead of summer fun. Now, they’ve discovered the mysterious Seeker’s Stone, an intelligent ship that calls herself Catie.

When Catie transports them to the world of cells and DNA, they plunge into more adventure than any of them bargained for. Menacing enzymes, ferocious viruses, and monstrous predators lurk among the wonders of DNA, cells, and life beneath the waves. Can three friends find the strength, wits, courage, and teamwork to survive and escape the monsters of the deep, or will they become another link in the food chain?

My review:

The Seeker’s Stone is a humorous book that is both fun to read and educational. It begins with two siblings, Emily and John, basically begging their dad not to make them go to science camp. But their dad had won Emily and John’s spots at the camp through a contest and he insists they will have a great time. (Not to give away the ending, but something I found really funny was that by the end they’re calling home basically begging to be allowed to stay!)

Shortly after Emily and John’s father drives away from the camp, Emily and John (mostly John) make a wonderful discovery – The Seeker’s Stone!

My kids loved The Magic Tree House series and also The Magic Schoolbus television show. The Seeker’s Stone is very similar to those, so pretty much if you like that type of entertainment, you’re more than likely going to enjoy this book. There’s a lot of learning that could happen through this series, but it’s not presented in a “teachy” way, which I liked. Overall, the book has a really upbeat, funny, and even sarcastic vibe to it.

There’s a twist at the end of the book that actually shocked me a bit, which was good, but the ending seemed a little far-fetched and sort of Disney cartoonish to me… Then again, it’s a kids’ book so that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that reading it as an adult, it took me out of the story.

So my overall impression of The Seeker’s Stone is that it’s definitely worth picking up for fans of The Magic Tree House series.

My rating:  4.0/5.0

I received a free review copy of this book from the author. This in no way influenced my review.

What do you think? Have a suggestion for my next read? Leave me a comment below!

Are you planning on purchasing The Seeker’s Stone (#1 DNA in the Deep)? Please consider supporting this blog by using one of the below affiliate links. When you purchase using the affiliate links used on this page, I may receive a small portion of the sale, however, no additional cost is incurred by you.

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Rosemary in Bloom by Khristy Reibel – BOOK REVIEW

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I normally don’t pick books this way, but I chose Rosemary in Bloom by Khristy Reibel specifically because it didn’t sound like something I’d normally read.

Title: Rosemary in Bloom
Author: Khristy Reibel
Publication Date & Publisher: August 10, 2018, Open Books
Genre(s): Historical Fiction
Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to purchase a product, I may receive a small percentage of the sale, however, no additional cost will be incurred by you.

Description (from Goodreads):

What if war separated you from your true love? What if you married the wrong man? What if the power of love brought you together again?

When Rosemary meets Albert it is instant chemistry. But it is also the summer of 1942, and scores of young men—Albert included—feel compelled to enlist to fight the war against Hitler. Albert wants to marry Rosemary before he leaves for Europe, but she just can’t commit. Like so many young women of her time, Rosemary finds herself left behind to work and worry, desperate for love but frightened of abandonment.

Three years later, and with Albert’s fate still unknown, Rosemary meets Harry, a charming and handsome man. Rosemary feels guilty for spending so much time with Harry, but she has all but lost faith that Albert will make it safely back home, especially when she receives news of her brother’s serious combat injury. Should she wait for Albert, or settle for second best?

Inspired by a true story, Rosemary in Bloom explores faith, forgiveness, enduring love against all odds, and the difficult decisions that strong, smart women on the home front had to make during World War II.

My review:

I’m not sure exactly what I expected from Rosemary in Bloom, but it was definitely better than I anticipated!

The story follows two young people, Rosemary and Albert, during World War II. Rosemary is 16 at the beginning of the story. She’s quit school to help provide for her family after her father has left for TB treatment and her sister has moved back in with her mom with her two kids during her divorce. Albert works with Rosemary at the glass factory in their town and the two meet during a war bond drive at a local dance hall.

Rosemary wants nothing more than to be in love and to be a normal girl, but the war makes that impossible. She has to work and ration the things she loves (like butter and nylons) and she’s scared to care for any of the young men her town because they all end up leaving for the war. When her brother joins the military and is so eager to go fight, she’s devastated.

I absolutely fell in love with Rosemary and Albert! They were so cute together!!! When Albert joined the military and left Rosemary, it broke my heart right along with her. But Rosemary made me angry too! I understood her heartache and worry, but it upset me how easily she let Harry sway her when he came around.

Before leaving, Albert had asked Rosemary to marry him and even though she didn’t give him a real answer, they both seemed to be believe that she would wait for him. And honestly, Harry didn’t strike me as the kind of guy you give up a man like Albert for!!

Harry isn’t serious about anything, and I get how during that time an attitude like that could be intoxicating for her. Still, Albert was clearly the better choice!!!

Then again…… Albert didn’t exactly do himself any favors either. He doesn’t write to Rosemary and she’s led to believe that he died. By the time she finds out the truth, Harry’s got his claws in her. The question is, will it all work out right in the end?

I think part of the reason I loved this story so much was because it reminds me of my grandmother’s own love story. She was reunited with her true love late in life and they spent many years together before he died. I couldn’t help but root for the same for Rosemary and Albert all through the entire book!

This was a wonderful love story that had me in both happy and sad tears.

What do you think? Have a suggestion for my next read? Leave me a comment below!

Are you planning on purchasing Rosemary in Bloom? Please consider supporting this blog by using one of these affiliate links:

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