Friday, December 29, 2017

Best of 2017!!!

It's wrap-up time! If I counted right. . .and I'm pretty sure I did. . .there were over 220 books reviewed here on Bookworm for Kids during 2017. And what a row of diverse and fantastic reads they were! Trying to chose only five for each age group was hard. Extremely hard.

To make things simple, I'm going to scream out my favorite five for each of the three age group categories — Picture Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult. Click on the pictures to head back to the original posts and reviews.

And. . .

Here. . .

We. . .


Picture books came in oogles and gobs this year.

This pink and not-so-frilly book was so sweet! It hit my favorite list right away.
ages 4 and up
For all Not-so-Princessy Princesses.

Dragons are always a winner in this house, and this one. . .along with the baking knight. . .were declared instantly to one of the best reads this year by my kids.

ages 4 and up

Not only knight and dragon friends will like this one.

I received quite a few Christmas reads, but this was my favorite. It has just the right amount of calm fantasy and magic to draw in and leave the reader dreaming for days.

ages 3 and up

There are a couple windows and peek-a-boo holes to add to the fun.

Stories are great, but non-fiction has always been a huge runner with my kids. They can never soak up enough fun information, and this book has mountains of it. Not only are the animals fun to gaze at, every page holds peek-a-boo holes and places to find surprises. Plus, there are all sorts of tidbits, which will even surprise adults.

ages 7 and up

My daughter would be very disappointed if I didn't include this one in my list. It has a very simple concept but the execution is excellent. Definitely a smile bringer.

ages 3 and up

Of course, there are tons more which I can only recommend. You can find all of them here.


I've always had a huge soft-spot for middle grade reads. Possibly because these were the books which inspired me the most and drew me into the world of literature when I was a kid. The best ones, although written for ages 8 to 12, will even leave adults thinking.

This is a quirky concept with a fantastic play-out. My son devoured this story in one day—although it pushes 300 pages!

ages 9 and up

This one definitely hits the top of my list for 2017. Maddie's story is touching, heart-breaking and humorous all at the same time. It's hard not to love her and cheer for her the whole way through. The fact that it's based on a true story only makes it that much more wonderful to read.

I loved entering Pablo and Birdy's island life and all the adventure it holds. An exciting read with wit, mystery and a tad bit of magic. It's simply a great read.

This one is for all Harry Potter and magical adventure fans. There's mystery, there's intrigue and there's a boy, who has to somehow make everything right. It's well written, fast paced and carries an original, rich world.

Magic and mystery also play a major role in this tale, but with a more traditional feel. The stakes are high, the group of friends remind of the kids next door, and the tale is packed full of lovely imagination. It promises to be an amazing series.
I especially had a hard time picking my favorite middle grade tales out of the bunch. Go here to see some more awesome reads.

Young Adult

Books for this age group (12 to 18 years) come out in the tens of thousands each year. I wish I could have read more, but, alas, time is not endless. Still, here are my shout-outs from the ones reviewed on this blog.

I fell in love with the cover and, after the first pages, with the characters and world. This happens to take place during one of my favorite times in history—not exactly a often visited period in YA literature—and adds a good dose of magic to the mix. Loved it.

History got me here again. This time, without a dash of fantasy. These characters are grounded in the exciting prohibition world, where everything glistens—even the guns. I'd already read the three novellas leading to this first novel in the series and have loved the Canary Club from the very beginning.
Science Fiction has to be in the mix. This was probably the first genre I fell in love with as a kid. This one is packed with action and leaves tons of food for thought—as a good sci-fi should.

Fantasy is key in this book, where a rich world unfolds. This one holds magic, gods, kingdoms, demons and everything else a fantasy friend's heart could desire. The heroine packs a punch and promises to bring more in the future.

I loved this book. Absolutely. Completely. Loved it. Science fiction hits full-blown tension as teens fight to gain the main prize—one that holds more and more mysteries as the story unfolds. This book never leaves a second of boredom, grinds the characters into the reader's heart and promises tons of surprises and intrigue to come. 
Of course, there are more to discover, and those can be found here.


Otherwise known as 'honorable mentions'. Here is a list of books, which were simply fun to read. I enjoyed every page, every character and just found them easy, entertaining and refreshing. They don't all slide into a certain genre box and tend to explore slightly new directions. Which I love.

Gamers meet fantasy literature in this book. It was original and reminds of those wonderful battles, quests and learning to survive in a gaming world.

Beautiful and dark, yet with a pinch of fairy tale. I have always been a Phantom of the Opera fan, and this one carries that exact atmosphere with even a little more darkness in store. The plot follows more of a Swan Lake retelling, but only like a light dusting. A few pages in, and my reader's heart was captured in this tale.

Growing up is over-rated, and this Peter Pan retelling was exactly what the child in me needed to swoop into imagination's flight. The mixture of the 'real' world with Neverland is simply a treat and an exciting adventure.
Be still, my geek-heart! This is a picture book. There are peep-holes, gorgeous illustrations, and only few pages. But the information in this is a treasure chest! It's like walking through a museum and gazing at the oddest, historical gems. Different? Yes. But oh-so interesting!

Quirky describes this science fiction adventure. In many ways, it reminds of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. . .and this may be exactly why I keep thinking back to Holly long after I've laid the book down. There's childish goofiness, amazing fantasy and twists and turns which could only happen in the oddest corners of the universe. 

And that's my list!

At least, for 2017.
Hope you had an exciting year on the literature end, and if not, there's still a couple of days to dive into several awesome reads.

I'm excited about 2018, but then, I already have peeked at the pile of books building up on my desk. 
So many amazing books.
So many worlds waiting to be explored.
And I can't wait to share them with you.

Have a Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Review: Slumber by J.L. Weil

Beauty Never Dies Chronicles, Book One
by J.L. Weil
Dark Magick Publishing
YA Science Fiction
305 pages

There is no such thing as happily ever after. 

Everything Charlotte Winston thought she knew has been thrown out the window. From the moment she opens her eyes, the world she remembered ceases to exist, and in its place is a post-apocalyptic realm filled with unimaginable dangers. And one very smoking hot guy who has an uncanny ability to make her blood sing, then boil in a blink of an eye. 

Dash Darhk is everything her parents would hate. He’s six feet and two inches of dark temptation and a killer smile, that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in his wake. But her parents are nowhere to be found. Charlotte is alone in this new world. Destroyed by a toxic mist, the land isn’t the only thing altered, but the inhabitants as well. 

As Charlotte begins the hunt for her family, gifts she’s never fathom awake inside her. And with the gifts come problems. Enormous ones. Charlotte is running out of options and places to hide. If she can’t figure out who to trust—and fast—she will lose more than her heart. 

Fans of Hunger Games, The 100, and Divergent will fall in love with Slumber.

Featured in OK Magazine


This is a lovely mix of a Sleeping Beauty and a harsh, dystopian world, where beauty hides the deadliest threats.

Charlotte wakes to find herself in an entirely new world, and her memory of her life before she was placed in the long-term sleep is patchy at best. But when she awakes, she finds herself staring into the eyes of a man her mind can only categorize as a prince. At first, that is. As he yanks her to her feet and drags her along as they run for their lives, it quickly becomes clear that he is as deadly force to be reckoned with. Luckily, he does appear to have some form of a soul. Considering he is the only thing between her and mountains of danger surrounding them, she prays that glimpse of goodness in him is not just her imagination.

Although this is a bit of a twist on Sleeping Beauty, it is really just a bit. The tale quickly morphs into a dystopian adventure with all of the action, danger and tension that this genre should hold. The world is beautiful but fierce, and it's hard to determine who to trust and who not. Add the powerful, evil corporation and the addition of twisted DNA and the new super powers it brings, and this is a jump into excitement pure. There's always something going on, always an unexpected threat around the corner and tons of mysteries begging to be solved.

The world is tangible, alluring and a joy to dive into. The lush plant life with all of its diversity and deadliness excites imagination's heart. Charlotte is thrust into this world, coming from a upper-class family where she spent time cheerleading and at the mall before. She's got that spoiled snippiness, but more too, which helps her to evolve into a character to cheer for. The biggest fault with her character is her instant and constant obsession with the hero. Although the romance is extremely well balanced—tons of push and pull, and never clear cut—her own thoughts hang on the 'hot' guy all of the time. It grows tiresome and ridiculous, especially considering she was up against a very threatening, unknown life and environment. But outside of this, the characters are well done and a joy to follow as they struggle for survival.

There are tons of layers, many which remain unexplored, and I assume will be answered in the rest of the series. The twists and turns are unexpected and add all sorts of possible paths for the future of the series. Even along the character lines, there are several sub-characters touched upon—never very deep—but just enough to draw in and increase the desire to learn more.

Summed up, this is the exciting beginning to a sure-to-be interesting series packed full of action, adventure, romance, imagination and tons of science fiction elements. In other words, despite some problems, it's a treat to read.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Review: Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

The Nyxia Triad, Book One
 by Scott Reintgen
Crown Books for Young Readers
YA Science Fiction
384 pages
 ages 10 and up

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.


Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.


With a nod towards Ender's Game, this tale rockets into high-level adrenaline scenes with characters, who hit home and refuse to leave even after the last page.

Emmett is a teen from rough circumstances in Detroit, and he has no idea what he's about to get himself into. But then, the other recruits for a space voyage to a planet named Eden aren't any wise than him. The promise of money—lots of it—is all that counts for these kids, who want nothing more than to save themselves and their families. Soon, Emmett discovers that the money is well-earned as he enters a year long competition—the same time it takes for the space ship to travel to the planet—in which the 'best' of them are chosen to continue with the mission. This competition is much worse than it sounds. . .but then, the corporation seems to be keeping all sorts of secrets. Deadly ones.

This is a thrilling book from start to finish. Emmett's introduced with all the normality of an average teen, but one who is accustom to struggling for every step in life. He wants nothing more than to find a way to bring his family out of their dire, financial state, and it's this selfless attitude along with his desire to fight, which make him so easy to cheer for. But he isn't alone. The characters are set against each other, each battling to their limits to reach their goals. Still, the author manages to find a heartening balance between heartless competition and friendship, which make this an inspiring read. The relationships and situations create food for thought, and make every character stand as their own pillar in the plot.

Tension and high-stakes greet from every chapter. It's not a light book but holds moments of aggression and violence. Still, there's enough moments of sacrifice, compassion and loyalty to balance out the more raw moments. It's the type of read which holds edge-of-the-seat tension, unexpected twists, hidden layers of intrigue and tons of hope as well.

This is a read science fiction and fantasy friends are sure to devour.

I received a complimentary copy through Blogging for Books.

And here he is. . .

Scott Reintgen is the author of the Nyxia Triad series. His former career as a teacher of English and creative writing in diverse urban communities in North Carolina taught him the difficult lesson that inspiration isn’t equally accessible to everyone. So he set out to write a novel for the front-row sleepers and back-row dreamers in his classes. He hopes that his former students see themselves, vibrant and on the page, in characters like Emmett. You can follow him on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter at @Scott_Thought.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Review: God Bless My Family by Hannah C. Hall, Illustrated by Steve Whitlow

by Hannah C. Hall
Illustrated by Steve Whitlow
Thomas Nelson
Board Book
ages 2 and up
20 pages

Family time makes each day more fun!

These furry families are enjoying each moment together. Whether splashing in puddles with cousins after a rainy day, going on a walk with Grandma, or having a fun summer picnic, everyone has a special place in the family!


Through cute puppies and dogs, this board book brings the warmth and security that only families can offer to life.

This is a sturdy book, perfect for small fingers and a little wear-and-tear. Especially dog fans will love flipping through the pages. Each spread not only presents a new type of dog, but shows the puppies frolicking and simply having fun. These puppies are surrounded by warmth, security and everything they need to simply enjoy life, thanks to the family surrounding them. This family, however, doesn't only consist of father, mother and siblings, but reaches into aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and so on.

The illustrations are bright, carefree and invite to flipping through over and over again. Each one is sure to put a smile on little readers' faces. The text is simple and concise, keeping to the theme of families and how wonderful it is to have one. A stumble did come on one rhyme—either a sudden and only attempt at a more colloquial speech pattern or a grammar error—which bothered, but the rest of the text sits firm. The four lined rhymes are full of life and easy to read aloud.

Summed up, it's a sweet board book young listeners and especially those dog fans are sure to enjoy.

I received a complimentary copy from Booklook Bloggers.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Review: Prom, Magic and Other Man-Made Disasters by Rena Rocford

The Settfyrian Chronicles, Book One
by Rena Rocford
Curiosity Quills
YA Fantasy

Before Tessa can confess her feelings to her long-time crush, he beats her to the punch and confesses his love—for her best friend, Maria. Missing the crush of her dreams and her stag wingman for prom, Tessa’s on the prowl to make it a night to remember, and for more than the humiliation. Determined to not be the only dateless girl at the prom in Small Town USA, she asks the new guy. He has all the qualifications of a fun date: polite, mysterious―pulse―but the way Sean talks about magic like it’s real could ruin the illusion. But desperate times call for desperate dates.

To make matters awkward, Maria insists on double-dating for the pre-prom dinner. When a wizard shows up and kidnaps Maria, things go from jealous to deadly before the cummerbunds hit the floor. He’s mistaken Tessa’s friend for a powerful mage whose blood could help him conquer his world, but he’s got the wrong girl. Using the wrong blood wouldn’t make Maria any less dead, and Tessa has no plans to let some whack-job villain from another dimension murder her best friend. Working with Sean, she tracks the wizard to his home, a land filled with strange creatures, stranger customs, and a five-hundred year grudge match between three nations ready to explode into all out war.

Tessa’s starting to think she has a chance against the wizard so long as she has Sean by her side, but his kind words and sweet smile aren’t what they seem. He’s the wizard’s son.


Teenage drama mixes with adventurous magic, sending this story into a whole new twist in the world of fairy tales, dragons and maybe getting that date for prom.

When Tessa's high school crush breaks her heart by shoving a note in her hand and asking her to give it to her best friend, so he can ask her to prom, she's sure life has turned into a disaster, but she has no clue how bad things are going to get. Not when the new boy in town takes an interest in her. Not only is the guy the son of a powerful wizard, but his father has put his sights on Tessa and plans to kill her for a power she didn't know she possessed.

Tessa is a senior, the third in a group of three girls and not exactly the most popular of her friends. Her dreams are similar to many girls of her age, making her easy to relate to. She can hold her own if forced to, but rather gives her all to support her friends. It's this mixture of spunk yet heart which makes her fun to cheer for the whole way through.

While starting out with a normal, high school scene, this tale quickly plunges into imagination pure. The first chapters fall along the dating high school drama line with the addition of Sean, who comes across awkward at best. His character was hard to get a handle on most of the book, which becomes more understandable as the plot unfolds, but still, left for an odd relationship even through the end. But then, this story embraces odd and quirky with a magical flare, creating an intriguing world which is easy to get lost in and feeds the desire to see where all of it will go next.

This fast-paced plunges into a strange balance between high school romance, magical fantasy and fairy tale re-tellings with addictive fun. And it grows stronger the more the story progresses, despite some stumbles early on. Not all questions are answered and not all aspects are clearly explained, but it is only the first in a series. and I'm looking forward to see where it goes next. 

And here she is. . .

Like most mad scientists, Rena Rocford’s early works were largely met with scorn and mockery, but she bidded her time. After all, what did her fellow kindergarteners know about literature? From that day forward, Rena kept her writing on the mythical back burner as she pursued more logical goals. Today, crayons. Tomorrow, the world. She moved on to essays and egg drops, followed by experiments in shady laboratories. She tried her hand at everything, learning from anyone who would teach her. She even moonlighted as a horseback riding instructor.
Admittedly, living as a muggle brought Rena some levels of success such as completing her master’s degree, but always the stories returned, calling her to the keyboard in the dark of night. Now, having built armies from words, Rena has set her sights on world domination, one book at a time.
From her secret base in the wine country, Rena has enlisted the help of her cats, her loyal dogs, and her family―who can be relied upon to hide the launch codes at a moment’s notice. You can find Rena at her blog, follow her on Twitter, or find her on Facebook.
You can stalk her at. . .
witter: @renathewriter

Happy Book Birthday, Dainty Damsels Holiday Coloring Book by J.N. Sheats with Giveaway!

Dainty Damsels: Holiday Coloring Book
by J.N. Sheats
 Holiday Coloring Book
Illustrator: J.N. Sheats

Hosted by Lady Amber's PR
The Holidays are a stressful time, so take a break! Sit down with a fresh cup of coffee and spend some time bringing life to these 20 custom holiday inspired illustrations by J.N. Sheats. Introducing the first in the Dainty Damsels coloring book series. An adult coloring book made for stressful relief and fun times. Don't wait, show off your mad coloring skills!

A creative mind trapped in a world of reality Jackie Sheats expresses herself in anyway that she can. From illustrating and writing to dancing like a mental patient while preparing dinner. Living in Maryland with her logic driven husband, their six cats, the dog, and a tank full of fish, Jackie spends her free time avoiding housework. A movie junkie, video game addict, and rocker chick for life, she lives under the idea that "if you don't know how to do something, go learn it!"

Author Links: Website:
Buy Links: Amazon:

Friday, December 22, 2017

Cover Reveal: First Life by Rose Garcia with Giveaway

by Rose Garcia
YA Sci-Fi/Paranormal

Coming. . .
February 21st, 2018!!!

Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

Dominique has survived the final attempt on her life only to discover that someone connected to her future will suffer her same fate. Determined to spare this innocent loved one from being hunted for lifetimes, Dominique and her remaining allies travel to first life with a mission to alter destiny. When Dominique and her companions arrive in the past, they are confronted with a reality they didn’t expect, and are shocked by a turn of events that threaten to change everything they know.
A prequel that starts where Final Death leaves off, First Life delivers heart-stopping action and gut-wrenching emotional turmoil. Be sure to read Final Life, Final Stand, and Final Death before delving into the unpredictable world of First Life.

Rose Garcia is a lawyer turned writer who’s always been fascinated by science fiction and fantasy. From a very young age, she often had her nose buried in books about other-worlds, fantastical creatures, and life and death situations. More recently she’s been intrigued by a blend of science fiction and reality, and the idea that some supernatural events are, indeed, very real. Fueled by her imagination, she created The Final Life Series—a Young Adult science fiction/fantasy series about people who have the ability to control the energy in and around them. Rose is known for bringing richly diverse characters to life as she draws from her own cultural experiences. Rose lives in Houston, Texas with her awesome husband and two amazing kids.
You can visit Rose at

Author Links: Facebook Author Page:
Author Amazon Page:

Buy Links for Final Life Series:
Final Life:
Final Stand:
Final Death:
Pre-Order Link: Amazon: