Review: Ollie Oxley and the Ghost: The Search for Lost Gold

ollie oxleyTwelve-year-old Ollie Oxley is moving-again. His mom is starting another new job, this time at the Bingham Theater in Granite City, California. Moving all the time means Ollie has struggled in the making friends department, but he quickly connects with a boy named Teddy. To Ollie’s surprise, though, his first friend in town is a little more . . . unique than those he’s made in the past. Teddy is a ghost.

Befriending someone who lived during the famous California Gold Rush sure does make things interesting for Ollie. But when the school bully, Aubrey, targets Ollie and it looks like the Bingham Theater might close, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Can Teddy and Ollie work together to take down Aubrey, save his mom’s job, and solve a mystery years in the making?


My Review:

I loved this book. For one thing, I could relate to how Ollie must feel about moving. Ollie’s unhappiness is straining his family relationships. Quickly upon moving, Ollie has a run in with the class bully, and a friendly boy name Teddy.

When Ollie’s mom’s new job is threatened with closing, Teddy tells Ollie about his father’s hidden gold. The trouble is, Teddy doesn’t remember where his house is, nor his last name. So Ollie and Teddy go on a hunt for the golden treasure, and end up repairing another treasure–Ollie’s family.

This is a must read book. It’s middle grade, but I do feel that it’s a good book about family.  If you like heartwarming tales of adventure and family, this is for you. All the pieces fit together nicely.

This book releases June 18, 2019.

I received an ARC from the publisher.

Review: Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

 

My name is Flint, but everyone in middle school calls me Squint because I’m losing my vision. I used to play football, but not anymore. I haven t had a friend in a long time. Thankfully, real friends can see the real you, even when you can’t clearly see.

Flint loves to draw. In fact, he’s furiously trying to finish his comic book so he can be the youngest winner of the Find a Comic Star contest. He s also rushing to finish because he has keratoconus an eye disease that could eventually make him blind.

McKell is the new girl at school and immediately hangs with the popular kids. Except McKell’s not a fan of the way her friends treat this boy named Squint. He seems nice and really talented. He draws awesome pictures of superheroes. McKell wants to get to know him, but is it worth the risk? What if her friends catch her hanging with the kid who squints all the time?

McKell has a hidden talent of her own but doesn’t share it for fear of being judged. Her terminally ill brother, Danny, challenges McKell to share her love of poetry and songwriting. Flint seems like someone she could trust. Someone who would never laugh at her. Someone who is as good and brave as the superhero in Flint’s comic book named Squint.

Squint is the inspiring story of two new friends dealing with their own challenges, who learn to trust each other, believe in themselves, and begin to truly see what matters most.

 


My Review:

What can I say with out giving things away? This is a heart warming story about a 13 year old boy with a serious vision problem. He loses more than football when his vision changes, and it’s a classmate named McKell and her brother Danny that help him see, really see, the world around him. This is a story that will have you smiling, crying, and laughing.

I received an ARC from the publisher and voluntarily leave this review.

Book Review: Wizard for Hire

 

What if there was a wizard in your hometown who offered his services to anyone in need? What if you were scared because your scientist parents had been kidnapped and you couldn’t tell the police?

What if you stumbled across a classified ad in your local newspaper that read, “Wizard for Hire. Call 555-SPEL”? Would you call?

Fourteen-year-old Ozzy is desperate to find his parents, but he’s not so sure about the ad….He’s read about wizards in books like Harry Potter, but they couldn’t actually exist in the world today, could they?

Enter Labryinth, aka “Rin,” who dresses the part. Sort of. His bathrobe and high-top tennis shoes seem unorthodox. At least Rin acts like a wizard, but Ozzy has his doubts. Do real wizards write notes on their shoes and eat breakfast for every meal? Most of all, Ozzy just wants to know if Rin can cast any magic spells.

With the help of a robotic-talking raven invented by Ozzy’s father, a kind and curious girl at school who decides to help Ozzy, and, of course, a self-proclaimed wizard who may or may not have a magical wand, Ozzy begins an unforgettable quest that will lead him closer to the answers he seeks about his missing parents.


My Review:

5 Stars

I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this book.  As a reader, Middle Grade novels are interesting. Sometimes they are bland and boring, and other times you stumble on a fun  book. This is one of the fun ones.

All the characters fit into place, which is something I liked.  My favorite character was Clark, the robotic raven. He’s awesome. He has some of the best lines, is fluent in two languages (English and Chirp), and has a fondness for metal. His quest for romance, and his flare for taking care of problems are some of the comedic moments in the story.

I received an ARC  from Shadow Mountain. (Thank you!)

#wizardforhire #Netgalley

 

 

Mustaches for Maddie

Mustaches for MaddieMustaches for Maddie by Chad Morris

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You will need a box of tissues for this book.

This is an inspiring story.  Based on a true experience about a real little girl named Maddie, who not only overcame a brain tumor, but touched the lives around her.  (You can still see evidence on twitter is you search the hashtag #mustachesformaddie.)

Maddie is an imaginative girl, and I kept thinking of the Bridge to Terabithia as I read. Much of the narrative is Maddie’s imagination, and as she interacts with classmates, you see not only her changing but the kids around her.

I also liked the undercurrent of praying and having faith.

Thank you Shadow Mountain for the ARC copy.