Thursday, February 4, 2016

#Review: Lalechka by Amira Keidar #Holocaust

This is the real story of one Jewish family confronted by the terror of Nazi rule. The book follows Lalechka, the little girl born into the chaos of war and holocaust and forced to struggle with the reversals of fortune that led her each time into foreign and terrifying regions. But, beyond that, it is the story of the true friendship of three girls in early 20th Century Poland, a friendship that won’t cower before government dictates. An astonishing manifestation of loyalty and courage.
This is Amira Keidar’s first novel, based on the journal written by the young mother during the annihilation of the ghetto, as well as on interviews with key figures in the story, rare documents and authentic letters.
My review:
I was absolutely floored by this book. I have read several books about the Holocaust and the atrocities that occurred in those years. This one though was like none other I had read. It was told in first person and each chapter featured a different person. It centered around a young girl who was born in the worst circumstances imaginable. It was a story of unconditional love but more so, absolute friendship.

As I read the gamut of emotions swelled over me in an unusual fashion. I shed a tear, I was angry, I was disgusted, I was relieved. I hurt for this child who had gone through so much, had lost so much,just to stay alive. The people who loved her did what they could, even from the beginning when her Mother had to let go. She was loved.

Is this just another Holocaust story from the historical times? No, this is a true story, a story that had to be told. This is a story that has to be heard like the stories of other survivors. It needs to be told again, and again, so that what happened to this child and her family and the many other families NEVER happens again!

Side note: This book goes from before she was born up through present day. You find out what happens to her near the end and you get to see photos too. Hint, the cover photo is her, read this book to find out who the other person is.

Disclosure: I received a Kindle copy of this book in exchange for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

#Review: Crazy Horse's Vision by Joseph Bruchac/Illustrated by S.D. Nelson #ReadYourWorld #MCCBD

Crazy Horse is among the best known Native American heroes. Yet many people do not know his boyhood name was Curly, inspired by his curly hair.
Curly was a leader even as a young boy, taming wild horses and hunting powerful buffalo. But all his bravery could not prepare him for the trouble he and the other Lakota Indians would face with the white settlers. Wanting to help his people after a fierce battle that mortally wounded Chief Conquering Bear, Curly defied traditional custom and risked his own life by running away, up to the hills, to seek a vision.
Renowned Abenaki author Joseph Bruchac tells a gripping and compelling story of how the dedicated young boy, Curly, grows into the brave warrior Crazy Horse.

My review:
As with many other people I have heard or at least known about the legend of Crazy Horse and his fierce battles. I especially have know about the Battle of Little Big Horn with Custer's defeat. 

What I did not know was Crazy Horse had another name given to him as a child or the fact his adult name was actually after his father, Tashunka Witco. "Crazy Horse" is the English translation of his name and most well know. The origins of names always fascinate me.

I was impressed to find out the many things about Crazy Horse that lead him to the person he is known as today. I will not reveal all but one most impressive was that he was actually a very gentle man among his people. That is a truly different picture of the man, isn't it?

The book was fantastic in itself but the added illustrations are top notch. The pictures, according to the illustrator, whom writes in the back of the book, were all done with acrylics on wood. He did them in the traditional style of ledger books from the Lakota people using the same colors the nation would use. To me, that adds to the authenticity of the book.

This book is without a doubt a 5 star book for me. The book also won the Parent's Choice Gold Award and should be on all children's books shelves.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. 
**This book review is part of Multicutural Children's Book Day. For more information about the day and its sponsors see below.**

Where to find the author:

Activities to go along with this book:
1. Have children research the meaning of their name and Lakota alphabet symbols. Taking colored pencil and lined paper, have the individual child draw symbols that they think represent their name. Find More HERE and HERE

2. Talk about visions. What does it mean? Have children write a dream that they have had and illustrate it.

3. Talk about how Crazy Horse was very brave. Ask children how they think they are brave. Find out about others who might be brave. 

4. Have children research about the Lakota Nation. What does their name mean? Have them tell another person about them. If possible, visit a Pow Wow and seek out the Lakota people. Listen to their stories.


Monday, January 25, 2016

#Review: Fraud, Fraudsters, and Scams: What to Watch for on Instagram by Ian Leaf #IanLeaf

With the world around us changing at a seemingly breakneck pace and technological advancements radically altering the manner in which we communicate and do business with each other, far too many people are falling prey to fraudsters who understand all too well how to take advantage of our rapidly changing world. Ian Leaf’s newest work focuses on addressing this important issue by demonstrating how people can utilize new and innovative social media platforms like Instagram without placing themselves at risk of being scammed in some unforeseen way. 

My review:
When I first got this book, I was intrigued by the title. I have been using Instagram awhile and was curious as to how you could get scammed in Instagram. Was this really possible?

As it turns out, I feel like the title of this book was fraudulent. This is not to say that Mr. Leaf meant it to be that way but I do think it is misleading. The fact is, this book is about setting up Instagram for business so that the businesses do not mislead the consumer. In essence, it is a how to book.

I read the book but really felt this was not for me. I am pretty knowledgeable of how Instagram works, what hashtags are, and how to use other social media along with Instagram. Truth is, I would probably be asking for my money back right now if I had bought this book but alas, I didn't.

So, the question remains, is it a good book? Well, yes if you are starting out a business and want to do things right or have no knowledge of Instagram or other social media, then this one is for you. Or in my mind, at least a good start.

It is also good that this book is short by a mere 47 pages. If it had been longer, it would not be a perfect door stop. In truth, I think the author could have even made it shorter but maybe he couldn't to call it a book.

In spite of it all, I still see this as an ok book for the beginner company who wants to utilize Instagram, therefore, I give it 3 stars.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book for my open and honest opinion. I will be given a small compensation for my time which has no bearing on my review. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may not reflect yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Hello! Welcome to the January 2016  Kid Lit Blog Hop. This exciting, now monthly hop,  is where we develop an engaged group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!

Simply make a post and add it to the linky. (Please make sure to add your direct post only) If you are an author, feel free just to link to your blog.
Once you are done, then hop around to visit others. Please follow the co-host and visit at least the two people above your link. Please leave a comment when you do visit, we all like those.
Also, it would be appreciated if you grab the Kid Lit Blog Hop Badge and display it on your blog and/or your post.

NOTE: This month is the annual Multicultural Children's Book Day which takes place on January 27th. Please stop by and see the reviews and projects from bloggers all over the world. Want to know more? Go HERE!

***I am glad to have you all here. I am very excited to be a part of the Multicultural Children's Book Day once again. This is a great effort and one that needs to continually be highlighted. All children need to see themselves in books and all children need to see books that are not like them too.

I also want to mention that on Jan. 22, it is National Reading Day. Children and adults alike gather together to read. How will you take part? Let me know in a comment. Post a photo to me of you reading together on  my Facebook.

I will be around to see you soon. ~Naila Moon**

Our next hop will be February 17,2016. The hostess will be around to see you. Happy Hopping!

Reading Authors, Hostess

Julie Grasso, Author

Cheryl Carpinello, Author


Pragmatic Mom

The Logonauts

A Book Long Enough

Hits and Misses

Monday, January 18, 2016

#WintersRespite ...and Go!

Here I am again at the beginning of an annual read-a-thon, "Winter's Respite." It is a week long read-a-thon to read novels or novellas, although, children's books are okay too as long as a novel is read.
I am not sure at this very moment what I will read because I just moved and well, my books are in between places.

So, this is my beginning post and hope everyone has a good time reading a good book. I know I will.
Hmm...maybe I should check out the library tomorrow!

Naila Moon

Friday, January 15, 2016

Review: Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth #Multicultural


Three strangers, hungry and tired, pass through a war-torn village. Embittered and suspicious from the war, the people hide their food and close their windows tight. That is, until the clever strangers suggest making a soup from stones. Intrigued by the idea, everyone brings what they have until-- together, they have made a feast fit for a king!

My review:
This is a tale I have read and heard in other forms. This story is all about learning to take care of others and being happy in what you have and can give. I have used a similar story in classroom setting with each child bringing their own thing to make classroom stone soup.

As unlikely as it would seem, I liked this different twist with the people being monks that frighten the villagers. It is the bravery of a young child that teaches the rest of the village along with the monks how to work together. Does this not make sense as so often that is exactly what children will do.

I enjoyed the somewhat muted colors and the Asian flair that was brought to the book. The expressions on the villagers faces were priceless to me. The huge over-the-top pot that the stone soup was made in was humorous.

Overall, a great book that should be read in all classrooms and maybe read to adults who could take a few notes from the tale.

5 stars.

Disclosure: I purchased this book for my own collections. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon
Where to find the author:

Review: Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo's Saturn Surprise by Dr. Oneeka Williams/ Illustrated by Valerie Bouthyette

The rings of Saturn go round and round, Disappeared one day and could not be found. To put them back, just take a chance, And join me in the Saturn Dance! Meet Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo- 9-year-old girl Super Surgeon on the Go. Born with supernatural powers from electrical energy, she jets around the Universe fixing problems with her gifted hands. Dr. Dee Dees, and cousin Lukass, visit to the Island of Positivity Planetarium is interrupted when Gordon the Gullible Globe sounds the alarm that Saturns rings have disappeared. Dr. Dee Dee is skeptical but mobilizes her team of assistants and instruments for a mission to Saturn. Oh boy! Is she SURPRISED when she arrives at Saturn!

My review:
Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo is not your normal everyday action hero. She is young girl who lives with her mom and dad but just happens to also be a surgeon who goes and fixes planetary problems. In this case, Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo has to fix Saturn and its rings.

When she arrives, the rings are all out of whack and complaining about Saturn. They decide that they want to have their own space and moons. What is Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo to do? Well, fix it, that's what!

With the help of her medical bag friends, a grumpy Koala Bear named Kyle, and her cousin,
she manages to save the day and Saturn appreciates his rings so much better.

I loved that real up-to-date scientific evidence and terms was introduced into this book which included satellites and the moon names. Science is made fun with this book!
This book is targeted for 6-12 year olds and is aligned with Common Core for the sciences in schools. Some words are a bit difficult to pronounce and read but the author does provides a glossary reference in the back as well as words for learning. In addition, the author has added discovery questions and a math challenging page. This would be perfect for homeschoolers too.

Among the  author's goal by writing this book series was to introduce young girls in particular to the sciences and to give strong, positive role model for girls of all colors. She accomplished this quite well with sporadic bit of scientific information throughout the book. With the two books I read before, I was not sure that children could tell between fact and fiction. This time, I think the author addressed that issue quite well.

Well done and 5 stars from me.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

 Where to find the author: