American Royals 2: Majesty– In many ways, this was a perfect book two. I hope that this is just the middle of a trilogy, as there were a few story lines that were left unresolved by the end. I loved the first book and re-read the entire book before I went straight into this E-ARC (thank you, Net Galley, and Random House Books). In the first book, the plot was very Gossip Girls -ish with the different romances being key to the story. In this book, Bee is the Queen of America, and we see her mature into the job. I feel like this story is incredibly timely as it addresses Racism, the Press in this country, and women’s leadership roles. If you were all about the romance- don’t worry, it’s still ongoing, and all of the couples do some growing up before the end.
The history geek in me adored this alternate timeline of America. In this book, we find out even more about how it all came about, and I found it particularly funny that the characters looked down on the European Royal Families and their issues.
The Beautiful Snow: The Ingalls Family, the Railroads, and the Hard Winter of 1880-81- If you read The Long Winter as a kid you are probably remembering it like I was. Clearly, the whole town of De Smet was starving. But, was it that way? Or did Laura and Rose Wilder take some poetic license? This nonfiction book read a bit like a textbook, meaning dry. But, I did want to know the facts and it is free on Kindle Unlimited so I gave it a read. It was worth my time.
Race Through the Skies: The Week the World Learned to Fly- This middle grade (grades 4-6) nonfiction look into the week in Rheims, France when the world learned to fly! This would be a great addition to any history reading covering the year 1909.
Guardians of Liberty: Freedom of the Press and the Nature of News – This book comes at the perfect time for our family as we begin a year of American history study- but also to kids everywhere who may be wondering what rights are provided for in the US Constitution. I’d use this in middle grades up through 9th grade without reservation. There are timelines and current images, all of which add to the narrative style of the writing. Five Stars.
A Wolf For A Spell: Rarely do I read a book for Middle Grade and think immediately about gifting it to everyone I know. The Russian folktale pulls the reader through a high staked multiple viewpoint adventure through the woods. Kids who haven’t read any of the Baba Yaga myths are in for a treat. The animal POV reminded me of a bit of Pax by Sara Pennypacker if that book had magic. In this book, You get three rotating points of view, a girl, a wolf, and a witch. All of them have significant problems that they need to solve, and the background of the Russian forest is just ideal when they join together. The magical forest and the quirky witches home keep the scariness to a minimum, all the while building up to a satisfying conclusion. It is on my holiday shortlist as a perfect gift book this year. This is a pre-order. Release date December 1, 2020
Raybearer– The world-building in this young adult fantasy novel is just intense and all-encompassing that I genuinely felt like I could see it in my mind’s eye. Tarisai is the only daughter of someone called The Lady. Her sole purpose is to obey her. This is a fast read, and the whole time I was flipping pages, I wondered what would happen next. It’s one of those books where you want to know how it all wraps up without it actually being over.
If you are missing a magical universe, this may be your new favorite series. I’m suffering from a bit of a book hangover. The writing is just excellent, and the world is so vast. Don’t even get me started on the back story. *chef’s kiss*
This is one you won’t want to miss. I read this as an ARC, and my only small complaint is that there was no map to help me decipher the geography of this vast world.