Book Review: Maya and the Rising Dark

I received this e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Twelve-year-old Maya lives on the South Side of Chicago with her mom and frequently traveling dad. She has two best friends – Frankie who is super smart and Eli who is totally into the paranormal. Maya starts seeing strange things happening around her and somehow her dad is connected to it. Frankie and Maya sneak out one night and are attacked by werehyenas! The trio learn that they are godlings, descended from orishas, gods from African mythology. Shortly after this discovery, Maya’s orisha father is taken by the Lord of Shadows while trying to repair the veil that separates their worlds. Maya and her friends take it upon themselves to rescue her father from the Dark against the wishes of their elders.

I am a big fan of mythology and I love how there are new middle grade stories coming out with mythologies that aren’t familiar. This is a fast-paced action fantasy that pulls you in from the start. Being that there’s a #1 after the title, more Maya stories will be forthcoming. I will be looking forward to them! I would recommend this title for grades 3 and up.

#MayaAndTheRisingDark #NetGalley

This title will be available September 22, 2020.


Book Review: The Elephant’s Girl

I received this e-ARC from NetGalley and Random House in exchange for an honest review.

Seven years ago, an EF5 tornado struck the town of Lexington, Nebraska. After the storm had passed, a 5-year-old girl was found with Nyah the elephant at the Lexington Zoo with no memory of who she is – doesn’t even know her own name. She is taken in and raised by the zoo’s train engineer, Roger, and given the name Lexington, after the town and zoo. Lex is now 12, homeschooled because of merciless teasing at elementary school, and is finally allowed to help in the elephant enclosure with her best friend and son of the chief zookeeper, Fisher. Lex make a mental connection with Nyah, the elephant who saved her. Nyah sends her vivid images that leads Lex to find a “misplaced spirit” who may have the answer to who Lex really is.

What a wonderful combination of realism and mysticism! The facts about elephants are real, based on author Celesta Rimington’s experiences. I was totally engrossed in the story and loved the ending! Fans of Kate DiCamillo and Sharon Creech will definitely enjoy this book. I whole-heartedly recommend this title for readers in grades 3 and up.

#TheElephantsGirl #NetGalley

This title will be available May 19, 2020.


Book Review: Rebel in the Library of Ever

I received this e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Lenora is back and things are changing in the Library of Ever and not for good. Librarians are being fired or reassigned (or possibly eaten), books are being removed, and there is a new director who has no interest in reading or knowledge. The dark forces are everywhere and Lenora must find a way to stop them. She has a traveling companion this time around – the director’s daughter, “Lucy.” (Not her real name but Lenora refuses to call the “Princess”) Lucy is frightened at first of all the Library has to offer but she soon relaxes and enjoys the adventure. Along the wat, we meet new characters, learn the largest number, and see what can happen when the quest for knowledge is thwarted.

This was a great follow up to The Library of Ever. Lenora is more experienced and is now teaching Lucy (a young apprentice?) the ways of the Library. It is more fast-paced than the original and can be read without reading the first. Of course, I would recommend reading book 1 first but readers wouldn’t be totally lost if they didn’t. Definitely recommended for readers in grades 3 and up.

#RebelInTheLibraryOfEver #NetGalley

This book will be available April 28, 2020.