MADreads

A review of I Am (Not) Scared by Anna Kang

Anna Kang's fuzzy purple and brown creatures from You Are (Not) Small and That's (Not) Mine ​are back in this silly and delightful picture book about facing your fears. There are a lot of things to be scared of out there: tubs of hairy spiders, pits of lava, or (eeek!) snakes! But not a roller coaster! Roller coasters are fun! Uh oh, until there is a snake riding on the coaster with you... However, our two brave friends still hop on the coaster for a hilariously illustrated adventure. I love ...read more

Reviewed by Rebecca on
November 21, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh is a hit or miss author for me. I always admire her writing, but she doesn't always grab me emotionally. Her newest is definitely a hit. A lovely, warm story that strikes all the right notes. Alexander Westcott is the new Earl of Riverdale, a title he never expected to inherit (for more about that read the first two books in this Westcott series). Alex is responsible and honorable and he's faced with a massive challenge. Though he inherited an estate with the title, he didn ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
November 15, 2017 | 0 comments
Wisconsin Book Festival Event Though the big weekend of Wisconsin Book Festival events is past, the Book Fest goes on year round. Next up is a visit from the incredible Alexander McCall Smith. He's here to talk about the latest in the Precious Ramotswe series, The House of Unexpected Sisters: Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are approached by their part-time colleague, Mr. Polopetsi, with a troubling story: a woman, accused of being rude to a valued customer, has been wrongly dismissed from her job at an office ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
November 13, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Listen Slowly by Thanhha Lai

Listen Slowly by Thanhha Lai, audio edition Harper Collins Audio, 2015 read by Lulu Lam Mai, or Mia as she’s known to her friends, is a decided California Beach Girl.  She’s not really into learning about her family’s Viet Namese heritage.  Accompanying her father and grandmother to Viet Nam is not her idea of a fun summer vacation.  However, Om (Grandmother) must know what became of her husband in the last days of the Viet Nam War.  Mai’s father, a doctor, performs ...read more

Reviewed by Ruth on
November 10, 2017 | 0 comments
Book cover
A review of Sweet Revenge by Andrea Penrose

Lady Arianna Hadley has led a colorful, and hard, life because of the choices her father made. After his murder Arianna takes on a disguise and the role of French chef in an aristocratic household, both so that she can support herself and to investigate. Her specialty is making incredible creations from the newest food fad in Regency England, chocolate. Her precarious existence is threatened when the Prince Regent takes ill after consuming one of her desserts. Allesandro De Quincy, the Earl of ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
November 9, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of A Good Country by Laleh Khadivi

Written by Iranian-American author and filmmaker Laleh Khadivi, A Good Country is an unnerving, yet somehow beautiful, slow burn of a novel. Khadivi’s prose has a loose and languid long-windedness -- where description and dialog bleed together -- that mimics with stunning naturalism the druggy bleariness of its main character’s day-to-day existence. Its plot is scary stuff. Not only does our main character, a sensitive SoCal teen named Rez, the son of Iranian immigrants, eventually ...read more

Reviewed by Tyler on
November 7, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home by Nicole J. Georges

Nicole Georges had a messed up childhood with a mom who didn’t parent very well and a drunk step-dad who was cruel to her gerbil. Nicole loved animals and had a whole menagerie, but like her mom, she didn’t give her charges what they needed most, and they suffered. As a teenager she adopted Beija, a sharpei/corgi mix, to give to her boyfriend in an attempt to heal his unhappy past. Unsurprisingly his parents didn’t go along with the plan. So Nicole was stuck with  Beija, who was prickly, ...read more

Reviewed by Amy - Monroe Street on
November 2, 2017 | 0 comments
The Finalists The National Book Award was established in 1950. It is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. Every year, the Foundation selects a total of twenty Judges, including five in each of the four Award categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. First there is a long list, then a finalist list, and then the winners for each category are ...read more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
November 1, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers Who Inspired Chicago by Douglas Perry

I'd seen the movie Chicago - which is about the fictional Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly who get away with murder - and had been aware that it was based on real goings-on in 1920's Chicago. But I didn't realize how closely the story tied to actual events and that the original play (which would later become the musical) was written by a female reporter who wrote about the real murders for the Chicago ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
October 30, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Volcanoes by Maria Gill

Let’s face it; some kids prefer to read non-fiction.  These are the kids who are fascinated with almanacs and world records books.  If you’ve got one of these kids in your house, check out the new DK findout! non-fiction series for kids.  Aimed at ages eight to twelve, the series titles cover high-interest topics and each installment includes quizzes, photographs, illustrations, and sidebars with expanded explanations, fast facts and interviews with experts.  Each title is ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
October 27, 2017 | 0 comments