“Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump” by Carole P. Roman


Carole P. Roman
Chelshire (2017)
ISBN 9781947188136
Reviewed by Paola Belloso (age 10) for Reader Views (02/18)

“Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump” by Carole P. Roman, is the second book of her new series. In it you will continue the wonderful adventures of a third grader who encounters serious situations that end up being funny.

Susannah gets invited to a sleepover at her best friend Lola’s house. Lola is super excited and has been planning all week the fun things they are going to do. But Susannah is terribly scared to go because she heard Lola’s brother Kai say that there are ghosts all around the house. It’s Friday morning and Susannah hasn’t told her mom about Lola’s sleepover. When Susannah’s mom finds out about it she is happy for her and starts packing her stuff even though Susannah doesn’t want to go. When she noticed Susannah wasn’t excited, her mom tries to talk to her and makes her feel better about it. Susannah left to school hoping for a better day and a good time at Lola’s house.

Join Susannah on her journey through her day as she notices that she isn’t the only one who feared something like Lola’s haunted house. How she had learned how Macy felt so much fear about a unicorn and a little boy at the store was scared of clowns. Even Ms. Horns was afraid of catching the flu.

The message from all that Susannah goes through, teaches that we all have fears and that we are not the only ones. That it is ok to feel scared, but we must learn how to confront it and not believe in all that we hear until we can figure things out ourselves. Fear will make us see things and stop us sometimes from doing and enjoying the fun things.  Susannah thought that Lola wasn’t afraid of anything and she realized that she also was scared of something. Discover what else could Susannah be scared of? Is it a bear? A lion? A tiger? Find out if she ends up going to the sleepover.

I really enjoyed this story. It has a bit mystery, suspense and love. How she is caring with her friend Macy and worried not to hurt Lola’s feeling about the sleepover. This is a great story for kids ages 6 and up.

A Note from Mom:

I enjoyed “Oh Susannah: Things that Go Bump” by Carole P. Roman. It is a story that I am sure many of us had been through once and have probably encountered with our kids. It’s a great book that will help them think about what each one fears and will try to overcome so they don’t miss the fun.

Posted in EARLY READER - AGES 6 TO 8, YOUNG READER - AGES 8 TO 12 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Liornabella” by A.E. Outerbridge


A.E. Outerbridge
Allison Elaine Outerbridge (2017)
ISBN 9781773701196
Reviewed by Megan Weiss – YA Reviewer for Reader Views (2/18)

”Liornabella,” Book 1 in The Viridian Chronicles by A.E. Outerbridge, follows Elle O’Sullivan, a 17-year-old who has been accepted to Liornabella’s prestigious university.  What Elle does not know is that she is about to become the central actor in a sinister plot that dates back two centuries.

“Liornabella” is like a cross between Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.  The region’s smartest and strongest have been brought to one school, where each year they compete against each other to see who is the best.  This story brings a breath of fresh air to vampire stories.  Instead of being all about falling in love with the tall, dark, and handsome bad boy vampire, this story is about uncovering how the vampires are linked to Liornabella’s most famous scandal: the disappearance of their princess some two hundred years earlier, and later, that of their king.  Could it be that the answers to both are now under the same roof?

This young adult fantasy novel is unique and brings together a cast of characters that you want to root for as readers.  While there are many strengths to the novel, some issues come in the way of dialogue that is a little too formal at times, and a pace that is just a little too fast.  There’s a lot happening in this book, and I believe that going deeper into character development and background context could really have brought this book up to the forefront of young adult literature.  Time moves extremely fast over the course of the book, and I think it would have been beneficial in this case to concede to writing a longer book with more pages, in order to get in all the twists and turns that were essential to weaving an unforgettable tale.  The building blocks are there and the execution of the plot is wonderfully done, but I think this story could have been cultivated even more.  Although, this is the first book in a series, which means that there is still ample time for bigger and better things to come.

In “Liornabella,” A.E. Outerbridge has certainly succeeded in bringing to the table an exciting new tale about a mysterious, faraway land with an even more mysterious background.  This is definitely an author to keep tabs on to see what more she brings to the table in the future.

Posted in TEEN/YOUNG ADULT - AGES 12 AND UP | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Harry the Scary Pumpkin” by Joe Spartz


Joe Spartz
Beaver’s Pond Press (2017)
ISBN 9781592988112
Reviewed by Russ Cramer (age 5) for Reader Views Kids (2/18)

“Harry the Scary Pumpkin” by Joe Spartz is about Harry, a little pumpkin, whose dream is to become a scary jack o’lantern. As Harry grew, he turned a wonderful shade of orange. The farmer’s truck then shows up and he gets picked and put out for sale, but no one picks him. This makes Harry sad. And then a pie factory truck shows up, but thankfully a little girl picks him and takes him home. She turns him into a scary pumpkin and then they go to school and he’s in a jack-o-lantern contest. And he wins!

This story was good. I liked that Harry wins the jack o’lantern contest because I also like to win things like Starbursts and money. I did not like that the teacher couldn’t make all the pumpkins win first place. I also did not like Tubby, because he was mean to Harry.

I loved the art because it was amazing and it was unique. I also liked Harry’s orange color because it was the best shade of color I’ve ever seen.

I recommend “Harry the Scary Pumpkin” by Joe Spartz to other kids because they will like the story and the art.

Parent’s Note

Russ enjoyed reading this book and seemed to relate to the pumpkin because there are times he doesn’t get picked, but really wants to be picked. He was glad Harry won because he also likes to win. The book is a very easy read, though there are multiple sentences on a page, so it might take a new reader a little while to get through it. It is an enjoyable, quick read for new readers.

Posted in EARLY READER - AGES 6 TO 8 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“One Halloween Night” by Ada Letelier


Ada Letelier
Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency, LLC (2017)
ISBN 9781681817323
Reviewed by Russ Cramer (age 5) for Reader Views Kids (02/18)

“One Halloween Night” by Ada Letelier was about a Jack-O-Lantern sitting on a window sill, eating an apple pie. Some trick-or-treaters walked passed him and saw an apple pie beside him. The kids get lots of candy. They also thought there was a haunted house, a skeleton band, and ghosts who came by them. Later, the Jack-O-Lantern eats the pie! The Jack-O-Lantern was smiling from ear to ear!

I really liked that the book had kids in spooky costumes because I like spooky things. I like spiders that crawl down from the ceiling and spook me out, too. I also liked the goblins, vampires, clowns, and ghosts. I also liked the name “One Halloween Night” because the way it was written was creepy (with the swirly “g”). I did not like the part where there were spiders crawling on the house, though I liked the treats.

I thought the artist had a lot of talent in coloring the pictures. I recommend “One Halloween Night” by Ada Letelier to other kids because I think they might like it.  It’s special to me and I would like to donate it to other kids to help them learn things about this book.

Parent’s Note

Russ really enjoyed this book. We’ve read it a few times before reviewing it and when we sat down to review it, I read it and then Russ read it to me as well (of his own free will!). He’s just learning to read, so it was a very cool experience to hear him read it out loud to me. The words are very easy for kids to read, though there are some words that are slightly more difficult (like “surprise”), but he just asked for help and he was fine. All in all, it’s a fun story for kids.

Posted in EARLY READER - AGES 6 TO 8, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Little Rosa” by Mr. E


Mr. E
Perky Penguin Press (2017)
ISBN 9780578180465
Reviewed by Willow Cramer (age 8) for Reader Views Kids (1/18)

“Little Rosa” by Mr. E is about how Little Rosa keeps getting on the bus and to her surprise, the bus is always full of animals! The animals keep making her sit in the back of the bus, but finally she stands up for herself against a group of lions, and takes a front seat. We then learn that one day she refused to give her seat up to a white man and became a leader of the Civil Rights Movement.

I liked that there was a lot of animals, a lot of different characters, and the cool manes on the zebras. I also liked that Little Rosa finally stood up for herself instead of letting others tell her what to do, like I did myself when I stood up to my friends who were being mean to me. They are now much nicer.

I loved the artwork! I don’t think I can ever draw that good, though, but I will try. I really liked the expressions. I made all the faces! I liked so much about the book that there weren’t many things I didn’t like.  In fact, I can’t think of anything I didn’t like.

I would definitely recommend this book because it’s about standing up for yourself. I hope other kids who have friend issues like me read this book and use it to help them.

Dad Comments

Willow seemed to really enjoy the lessons in “Little Rosa.” She has struggled with having to stand up for herself and though she had already learned to stand up for herself before reading this book, this book reminded her of her own struggle with her friends. She only had really good things to say about it.  I also liked the mix of fantasy and history and personified animals the author uses. I hope Mr. E writes other kids books sharing this kind of important history.

Posted in EARLY READER - AGES 6 TO 8 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Wild, Wild Voices” by Amy Lou Miller


Amy Lou Miller
Second Swan Press (2017)
ISBN 9780692836293
Reviewed by Willow Cramer (age 8) for Reader Views (2/18)

“Wild, Wild Voices” is a book of poems by Amy Lou Miller.  These poems talk about wild things like wild voices, wild rocks, wild caterpillars, wild butterflies, wild girls, and wild boys.  There was also a Kraken that ate a ship! There was also a Popsicle made out of things like geese and fruit and laughs and a spoon! It was so wild!

I liked this was a book of poems. I like poems as long as I don’t have to write them down. I like how fast the poems go when you read them and that they are very creative. I felt they were creative since they had a Kraken and a postcard from a rock (which was hilarious!). I can’t say enough how much I loved these poems!

Also, I want to give two thumbs up to the artwork.  I think the pictures are better than some of the best art I’ve ever seen! My favorite picture is the picture of the wild horses and how colorful they are. I can’t think of anything I don’t like about this book.

I think other kids would love this book because I do. I think they should read “Wild, Wild Voices” (the poem) first. It’s my favorite and I think they’ll love it!

Dad Comments

When I asked Willow whether she would recommend the book, she said she loved it, but she wouldn’t want to recommend it. I asked her why and I found out she didn’t want to give up her copy. Once she understood that her recommending the book would mean a kid getting another copy, she enthusiastically said “Yes” that other kids would love it.

Willow has nothing but good things to say about “Wild Wild Voices” by Amy Lou Miller. Over the past few weeks, we’ve read it a few times and she never wants me to stop (even when we had to). I think she’s going to keep reading this one even without me. Actually, she just told me, that no, she wants me to read it to her every day. We’ll see.

Posted in YOUNG READER - AGES 8 TO 12 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag” by Carole P. Roman


Carole P. Roman
CreateSpace (2017)
ISBN 9781543034615
Reviewed by Paola Belloso (age 10) for Reader Views (2/18)

“Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag” by Carole P. Roman, it’s a story of a blond, curly-haired, freckled third grader, who is having a bad day. One morning Susannah shuts off her clock and as usual, enjoys the view through her window; just before all the rushing begins. It’s not a good start to remember that she didn’t finish her homework, but maybe mom will have some time before we leave, and there we go.

Mom gives her the first call to hurry up and Susannah jumps up to get dressed, grabs her backpack and race down for breakfast. Second call, Susannah comes down and her mom is on the phone looking at the clock very often, fixing her lunch bag and placing in front of Susannah, a soggy bowl of oatmeal and banana. Her dad comes to the kitchen and gives mom things to do and he leaves also in a rush. Finally, when everybody is on their way to work and she is on the bus, she can breathe. Inside the bus she was handed a sleepover invitation that she was avoiding from her friend, and again she felt her stomach very tight and uncomfortable.

Meet Susannah and her very busy parents, along with her best friend Lola, Mrs. Horn and her red marker, her backpack and even a banana be part of the very bad day that Susannah had. Find out all that happened to her and if she went to the sleepover.

I really like this new series of ‘An Oh Susannah Story’ by Carole P. Roman. I love how she writes with every detail making you feel right in the story and I am sure many kids have felt the same way as Susannah did. Needing the attention and time from our parents, but sometimes it cannot be and we just have to wait. We must learn to share our worries and feelings with our parents and not hold on to them. Also, with your friends be honest with them and let them know how you feel about things that bother you. I am sure many young readers will enjoy reading Susannah stories and learning from the simple but sometimes very complicated things she goes through. I love how Susannah looks with her freckles and curly hair swinging by the stars.

A note from mom:

“Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag” is such a great story that describes a day like many of us have had at least once. It seems that nowadays everyone is in a hurry rushing to do so much and the hours of the day are never enough. Sometimes we forget how overwhelming it could be for our children. Excellent parental guide. Once again, a great story by Carole P. Roman that Paola and I enjoyed very much.

Posted in YOUNG READER - AGES 8 TO 12 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment