Sunday, June 13, 2021

Review: I Am Different by Crystel Patterson


Inspired to be...
by Crytsel Patterson
Illustrated by Briana Young
Picture Book 
36 pages
ages 8 to 12

Ekon, Nia, and Malachi are constantly reminded of their differences. Some people tease them, but their family and friends compliment their qualities that make them different. With the mixed reactions they receive, they each wonder who they should believe and come to an empowering resolution.



                                        * empowering message of self-worth
                                        * adds questions to aid in discussions
                                        * definitions/explanations for certain terms


This is a book which empowers young readers to love themselves for who they are and not always listen to those who might tease them for things, which are different such as race, hair styles and such.

From the title and cover, it's clear what message this book holds at its core—empowerment to like ones self. While this is not a rare message in the kidlit sphere, I did appreciate how the author not only illustrates various daily situations, which readers can identify with, but also offers questions to each one, which act as prompts to open up to further discussion. This makes it an ideal read for group situations and for those who are already addressing the topic in a broader realm.

The book is written in rhyme and flows well. It presents three different kids as they face ridicule and teasing, but these then find support with their family and friends, who embrace them with love and warmth. It's wholesome and offers a very positive atmosphere. I, personally, would have liked to have seen a bit more diversity on this end (there are more kids with other aspects besides just these three which face the same problem) but this is just me, and this book does fulfill its purpose well and bring across the message clearly. I also found the glossary at the end a nice touch as it explains/defines various terminology used. But then, this isn't a difficult read and very age appropriate as it is.
This is a well done read, which does offer a very positive atmosphere to a sometimes tough situation. Readers will have no trouble understanding it and will be lead to broadening their own thoughts as well.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Review: Odd Sports R Amazing! by Markus Baker and Adam Galvin

I loved non-fiction books as a kid, especially those which fell a little bit out of the box. Today's review is exactly that type of book. I found the cover already interesting and was excited to dive into this one. It's not for the youngest readers but works well for the middle grade audience...or those who are simply fun fact fans.

Ready for a visit to odd things around the world? 

by Markus Baker and Adam Galvin
R and Q
Middle Grade Non-Fiction
22 pages
ages 8 to 12

Odd Sports R Amazing! shares how some of the most unusual activities ever.

We couldn't fit every amazing odd sport into this little book and neither do we believe that our list can please everybody. So let us know what you think should or shouldn't be on the Odd Sports R Amazing! list by visiting

Check out all the R Amazing! books, posters and merchandise at

AMAZON   /   EDOKIA    /   R AND Q


Bright photos accompany the weirdest types of sports across the planet to educate, entertain, and simply have some fun.

Starting with an interesting quote, this book introduce, explains and gives the background to several odd types of sports from different places around the world. Each sport's title is given and then followed with one page of information—what it is, how it originated, and other fun facts surrounding it. On the page across from this information is an entertaining, full-colored illustration. There is also a QRcode for every sport, where the reader can go to learn more. Each description is followed by a quote either from the sport's organization or someone important from the sport. If this isn't enough, every now and then, a fun fact sport is quickly dropped in along with another, inspiring quote. 

The text is easy to understand and fun to read. Middle graders will especially fit well with this one and are sure to find some amazing things, they never dreamed would ever be considered a sport. I definitely learned quite a bit and found it enjoyable to see what odd sport would come next. Readers might even be inspired to try a few themselves.

This is one of those fun, non-fiction books which packs facts and humor close together. It's a fun way to learn new things and a few are sure to stay with the reader for many years to come.

And here he is...

In 2015, having sold everything I owned, the car, the house and all my belongings. I decided to quit my job and travel the world.

With a degree in visual communication and having designed for the film industry and then a tech startup, I was ready to design and create for a different reason. As I circumnavigated the globe I wanted to design for myself with no consideration of clients, money or conformity. The plan was to develop ideas that sparked my creativity and made my heart sing.

So, this is what I did. I travelled through Russia, Mongolia, China, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, The Philippines, Canada, India, UAE, USA, Israel, Palestine and Jordan.

The creative outcomes of these experiences, which include staying in a Buddhist temple and with a Taoist master in the hills of South Korea were the books that you see on R&Q. 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Review: Star Beasts by Stephanie Young

I have one last review to wrap up our science fiction binge. This one is not an indie read but rather a graphic novel from a growing press.  I loved the mix of animals, humor, and fast-paced adventure, and imagine that more than one or two young readers might enjoy this one too.

Ready for one last spin through the stars before calling it a day?

by Stephanie Young
Oni Press
Children's Graphic Novel / 
Science Fiction
208 pages
ages 7 to 10

AUGUST 17th!!!

A cosmic mix of laughs, loyalty, and adventure, Star Beasts is ideal for fans of ZootopiaMouse Guard, and Tiny Titans

Wanna know the real reason Pluto isn’t a planet anymore?

Bandit is a pup on Earth who leaves his family to join the secret order of the Star Beasts – cosmic creatures sworn to protect Earth and spread goodness throughout the universe. Only thing is, he's having trouble fitting in. But when powerful relics are suddenly stolen, the Star Beasts must band together to find the deadly galactic fossils before Pluto’s evil emperor, Khaos Krill – he wants to build the Novataur, an ancient monster that could wipe out all of Earth’s species!

Captain Bandit leads the crew on a kick-asteroid space race to collect all the relics. Flashtista, the warrior turtle, Clio, the goldfish historian, Karma, the healing tiger, Pep, the techie iguana, and the rest of Star Beasts risk their lives to learn that true family is never really lost and that protecting love is the greatest duty of all.

GOODREADS   /    AMAZON    /   B&N


Animal lovers who love tons of action, a little bit of corny humor, and zapping between planets to save the world are going to adore this one.

Captain Bandit was a normal dog with a wonderful owner, but he's so much more than a good pal. He's a fresh captain with the Star Beasts, a group of highly selected animals, whose job it is to keep the world safe from alien issues. As a new captain, though, he's more than nervous to take on his first mission, especially when it lands him in an attack by the Crocs. No one can believe the true allies would suddenly attack like that, but then, no one ever dreamed they'd join the Krill of Pluto. Their mission is to destroy humanity, and while Captain Bandit isn't sure he should be a captain at all, he has no choice but to save the planet or lose everything he loves.

This is such a fun mix of animals and space adventure. The first pages touch the heart with a true blue dog, who has to sadly leave his owner for a space mission. It's hard not to want to hug Captain Bandit and wish him well. His ship's crew is just as fun—a broad variety of animals with tons of personality and quirks. Tension flies between them right along with humor, guaranteeing more than a giggle or two.

Then, there's the action. So much action. This might be a read for more beginner readers (ages 6 to 10) but that doesn't mean it slows down. The text is simple to read with some higher-terms and ideas thrown in to teach the reader, too. The plot, while holding high stakes and edge-of-the-seats moments, still remains right in tune with the age level. The Krill are dangerous and evil, and they are a force not to be ignored, but Captain Bandit's crew is a group with their own capabilities...even if it takes them a bit of back and forth to get that far. Add dinosaur bones, lasers, sloths, dazzle matter, stinky lemurs, and...well, it's not a boring mix.

I enjoyed this one and had no trouble reading it in one sitting, and loving each and every single animal along the way.

Review: Moon-Force 1 by Janelle M. Adams

Today, I have a couple indie science fiction reads on the review list. The second is a slightly more difficult chapter book, which is especially great for ages 7 to 9, and would work very well as a nightly read-aloud. It travels more in a fairy tale type of direction, while having evil queens, princesses and planets.

Let's take a peek! 

by Janelle M. Adams
Children's Science Fiction
77 pages
ages 6 to 10

How can Mesa defeat Mirwilla and save her planet when she doesn't even remember that she is a princess?
Mesa White is a teenage girl who lives a normal life with her mom and dad, Mr. & Mrs. White. At least that's what she thought. When she meets a boy named Ethan, he takes Mesa to a magical land beyond the clouds! He claims she is the princess of a planet named Satellite! It was up to her to defeat someone named Mirwilla who took over her home planet Satellite, turned Ace against Satellite, and exploded Lightis!
Will she trust Ethan? Will she find her powers that Ethan claims will save her planet? And if she does, what are her powers? It's all up to her to find answers about her past, save her friends and family, and find the true magic inside her before it's too late!



Adventure and science fiction meld into a fun tale about a princess, who needs discover her true self to save those she loves.

This book would make a lovely, nightly read-aloud. The first chapter sets the stage and background, reading much like a fairy tale. Then, in the second chapter, the characters gain personality and the true adventure begins. 

Imagination runs high as this one travels between far-away worlds, princesses, and evil queens. Mesa is a sweet girl with a big heart, who has many friends and family. She's easy to connect to and fun to root for, right along with Ethan. I suggest this one as a read-aloud because it's the type of read to let dreams and imagination take flight, which will especially come to life when hearing it told by a loved one. 

Those readers, who are sure of their words but not ready for longer tales, will find the short chapters and quick pace as well as the short length ideal. The vocabulary is at their level, yet still introduces a few tougher words every now and then. It's an easy read with tons of adventure and will have princess and planet friends curious what might happen next.

Review: Harvest Season by Christopher Bodmann

Happy Friday! Today on Bookworm for Kids, I'm going to have a bit of an Indie science fiction day. I have a pair of exciting reads, which go to space and beyond...both in intriguing ways. The first one is aimed for slightly older readers and is one of those books, which doesn't twist quite in the usual, expected way.

So, let's blast off and see where today takes us! 

by Christopher Bodmann
Upper Middle Grade/ YA Science Fiction
201 pages
ages 10 to 16

Marigold Miller was a remarkably smart girl growing up in poverty. All she wanted was to make a difference in the world. With her older sister dead from coronavirus, her father suffering from a traumatic brain injury, and her mother abandoning the family, Marigold had her hands full, and she believed her station in life was set at the bottom. But when she finds her sister in an abandoned factory - still the same age as when she died - Marigold is launched into an adventure beyond her wildest imagination. She discovers the truth about life in the galaxy and realizes she is the only hope to save humanity from an alien civilization bent on taking over planet Earth. Along the way, Marigold learns about herself, why her gifts are important, and why everyone deserves at least a chance to prove their own worth.



Heart and sincerity meet nanobots and aliens in a read, which leaves deep thoughts about humanity, life and the universe.

Marigold has a tough life since her mother left them and her older sister died of an illness, which has her father mentally off-balance. Struggling to keep life going while attending school, her main concern is just to keep her father alive and them fed. When something crashes into an abandoned warehouse nearby, she discovers something which appears to be her sister. Although it's impossible that this girl is truly her sister, Marigold decides to help her. But as two strange men start to chase them, and the girl fights to regain her memory, Marigold slowly discovers that she's landed in something larger than she could have ever dreamed...and that the existence of humanity is at stake.

While this one is sold for upper middle graders, I'd recommend it to the older end and head right into the young adult audience. This is a book, which dives into action with high-stakes, but also one which heads in a deeper direction with the intention of leaving more than a little food for thought. Marigold is definitely a character root for, and the author gives her tons of depth, not only in the first chapters. The chapters flip-flop between the real-time adventure of Marigold trying to help 'her sister' escape the aliens hunting her and Marigold's past life, showing the moments which meant the most to her. It makes for a deep and yet action-packed read.

This is one of those wonderful science fiction reads, which twists and turns and leaves off in a very unexpected way. The questions of humanity's worth in the universe as well as the importance of family and love come to play. While reading this, I wondered why the author was constantly flipping between the main plot of the chase and Marigold's past, since the more and more the book went on, this constant use of flashbacks seemed increasingly detached. But the ending does round everything off masterfully well. It's just the reader has to wait for the connection, and this is something I'm not sure middle graders will have the patience for. Young adults will love it, though.