New Books from April 2017

Every month I share a post about all the new books that came my way during the past month. You can be sure to see these posts at the beginning of every month.

I read four books in April including two memoirs and two fiction novels. I also read twelve children’s fiction books. I survived Prom and am now trying to wrap up all the loose ends and get everything in order for the next group to take over. Subbing is getting busy now again for the end of the year as I’m filling in for a teacher on maternity leave. I also took two trips in the last two weeks so that has made things a little hectic at home. Track season is coming to a close and we are hoping to make a trip to State this year in the 3200m. Keep your fingers crossed for us.  I’m currently reading one fiction that just came out and loving and two non-fictions that I have been reading for a few months. I just read a chapter or two at a time and then may not get back to them for awhile. To always see what I am currently reading, check out my Goodreads sidebar to the right.

Currently Reading: THE GARDEN OF SMALL BEGINNINGS
Still Reading: BREAD AND WINE, WHERE ARE THEY BURIED

Last week I celebrated Children’s Book Week by featuring a book every day. To see all of them, click HERE. If you are looking for awesome children’s book, I feature them on the blog every Friday as part of Booking Mama’s Kid Konnection Saturday morning link up. 

If you would like to purchase any of the books below, clicking the photo of the book will take you directly to Amazon. If you choose to purchase the book I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting me.

GRIEF COTTAGE
A Novel
By: Gail Godwin
Published: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Format: Paperback

I don’t remember how this book came my way, but it certainly has me intrigued. I think I’ll have to be in the right mood to read it though as it sounds a bit sad and haunting.

After his mother’s death, eleven-year-old Marcus is sent to live on a small South Carolina island with his great aunt, a reclusive painter with a haunted past. Aunt Charlotte, otherwise a woman of few words, points out a ruined cottage, telling Marcus she had visited it regularly after she’d moved there thirty years ago because it matched the ruin of her own life. Eventually, she was inspired to take up painting so she could capture its utter desolation.

The islanders call it -Grief Cottage, – because a boy and his parents disappeared from it during a hurricane fifty years before. Their bodies were never found and the cottage has stood empty ever since. During his lonely hours, while Aunt Charlotte is in her studio painting and keeping her demons at bay, Marcus visits the cottage daily, building up his courage by coming ever closer, even after the ghost of the boy who died seems to reveal himself. Full of curiosity and open to the unfamiliar and uncanny given the recent upending of his life, he courts the ghost boy, never certain whether the ghost is friendly or follows some sinister agenda.

Grief Cottage is the best sort of ghost story, but it is far more than that–an investigation of grief, remorse, and the memories that haunt us. The power and beauty of this artful novel wash over the reader like the waves on a South Carolina beach. 

ONE GOOD THING ABOUT AMERICA
By: Ruth Freeman
Published: March 21, 2017
Publisher: Holiday House
Format: Paperback

I’ve been anxious for this middle-grade novel to arrive. I think it is very timely and one I will enjoy.

It’s hard to start at a new school . . . especially if you’re in a new country. Back home, Anais was the best English student in her class. Here in Crazy America, she feels like she doesn’t know English at all. Nothing makes sense (chicken FINGERS?), and the kids at school have some very strange ideas about Africa. Anais misses her family–Papa and grandmother Oma and big brother Olivier–because here in Crazy America there’s only little Jean-Claude and Mama. So she writes letters to Oma–lots of them. She tells her she misses her and hopes the war is over soon. She tells her about Halloween, snow, mac ‘n’ cheese dinners and princess sleepovers. She tells her about the weird things Crazy Americans do, and how she just might be turning into a Crazy American herself.

THE SUNSHINE SISTERS
By: Jane Green
Published: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Berkley
Format: eBook

I previously read and reviewed Jane Green’s book FALLING and enjoyed it. I also read her cookbook GOOD TASTE. This sounds like a perfect summer drama to read on the porch!

Ronni Sunshine left London for Hollywood to become a beautiful, charismatic star of the silver screen. But at home, she was a narcissistic, disinterested mother who alienated her three daughters. 

As soon as possible, tomboy Nell fled her mother’s overbearing presence to work on a farm and find her own way in the world as a single mother. The target of her mother’s criticism, Meredith never felt good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. Her life took her to London and into the arms of a man whom she may not even love. And Lizzy, the youngest, more like Ronni than any of them, seemed to have it easy, using her drive and ambition to build a culinary career to rival her mother’s fame, while her marriage crumbled around her. 

But now the Sunshine Girls are together again, called home by Ronni, who has learned that she has a serious disease and needs her daughters to fulfill her final wishes. And though Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy are all going through crises of their own, their mother’s illness draws them together to confront old jealousies and secret fears and they discover that blood might be thicker than water after all.

I WILL ALWAYS WRITE BACK
By: Martin Ganda and Caitlin Alifrenka
Published: April 14, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: eBook

I have already read and reviewed this one HERE. I loved it and think it should be required reading for all middle-schoolers.

It started as an assignment. Everyone in Caitlin’s class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place. All the other kids picked countries like France or Germany, but when Caitlin saw Zimbabwe written on the board, it sounded like the most exotic place she had ever heard of–so she chose it.
Martin was lucky to even receive a pen pal letter. There were only ten letters and forty kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one.

That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives.

In this compelling dual memoir, Caitlin and Martin recount how they became best friends –and better people–through letters. Their story will inspire readers to look beyond their own lives and wonder about the world at large and their place in it. 

A MOTHER’S RECKONING
Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy
By: Sue Klebold
Published: February 15, 2016
Publisher: Crown
Format: eBook

I checked this out from our library. I can’t stress enough how important this book is. I read this as the 18th anniversary of the event was happening. It was incredibly humbling, convicting, and eye-opening. If you are a parent of a teen or work in a school system, it is a must-read. Review to come.

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.

For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?
These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts.

YOUNG AND HUNGRY
Your Complete Guide to a Delicious Life
By: Gabi Moskowitz and Diana Snyder
Published: April 11, 2017
Publisher: Freeform
Format: Paperback

This book would make an awesome gift for a high school or college graduate. It’s super fun and targeted towards single gals just starting out. Recipes look simple and easy and are realistic for a young woman to make. I can’t wait to check out the recipes in here.

Gabi is a food blogger and cookbook author and was the inspiration for the Freeform hit comedy. Diana is a writer for the show. Young & Hungry: Your Complete Guide to a Delicious Life features recipes along with advice about dating, friendships, entertaining, and health. This book is a girls’ guide to being young, single, short on cash, and passionate about food. 

CAT TALES
True Stories of Kindness and Companionship with Kitties
By: Aline Alexander Newman
Published: April 11, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books
Format: Hardcover

We love our cat, Stormy, and she looks like the cat on this cover. I love animal stories and this one has plenty along with facts and information about cats. I’m sure our daughter will love this one too.

We, humans, love our cats and these surprising true stories will prove our cats love us back! This collection of tales of playfulness, friendship, heroism, and inspiration is sure to touch the soul, tickle the funny bone, and inspire animal lovers everywhere to be the best kitty caretakers and companions they can be. There’s Bambi, whose owners taught her to respond to commands in American Sign Language; Millie, who loves exploring the outdoors and goes rock climbing with her owner; Leo, a rescued lion who changed the life of one South African family forever, and more.

125 PET RESCUES
From Pound to Palace: Homeless Pets Made Happy
By: National Geographic Kids
Published: April 25, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books
Format: Paperback

I couldn’t resist this one either. I’m amazed at my friends who rescue dogs and take them into their homes until they can be delivered to a forever, loving home. The dog on the cover is so adorable.

This is a collection of hilarious and heartwarming stories of dogs, cats, and all types of pets given a second chance, and the human animal lovers who rescued them. 

From the dog who saved her owner from a fire to the cat that plays the piano, to the cow that thinks it’s a dog, discover incredible stories of animals in need who went on to become beloved pets. 


These uplifting tales are paired with amazing photos and loads of animal facts. Kids learn all about how to be kind to our animals friends and the importance of being a responsible pet owner. There’s tons of furry, fluffy, feathery fun on every page, including tips on how to help save animals in need! 

100 THINGS TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP
By: Lisa M. Gerry
Published: March 14, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books
Format: Paperback

What an awesome little book. No job is left out in this information-packed book! From cranberry farmer, party planner, and orchestra musician there is something for every child to aspire to be!

Who says adults can’t have fun? This book explores 100 of the coolest, wackiest, and most amazing jobs and careers out there, from astronaut to zookeeper, ice cream taster to game maker. 
Jam-packed with inspiration, hands-on projects, advice from National Geographic explorers, interviews with experts, weird-but-true facts, and more, this new book in the popular -100 Things- series is a great way to get kids thinking creatively about career paths and excited about their futures!

ULTIMATE EXPLORER GUIDE
Explore, Discover, and Create Your Own Adventures with Real National Geographic Explorers as Your Guides
By: Nancy Honovich
Published: March 14, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books
Format: Paperback

Such a great book full of information about exploring our world. There are also science experiments included.


National Geographic has inspired generations of explorers. Now it’s your turn! Learn what it takes to be a real-life explorer in this fun and action-packed guide to discovering the world around us. Unearth ancient mummies and lost treasures, encounter wild animals and learn how to protect their habitats, and shoot for the stars with the latest technologies in space travel. Amazing stories, fantastic photos, and hands-on-activities inspire curious kids to start discovering on land, air, and sea. Profiles feature National Geographic explorers of all kinds: paleontologists, biologists, photographers, artists, writers, activists, conservationists, and more. Kids are inspired to follow their passions into careers and introduced to the first steps to take to achieve their dream. 

YOU CAN BE A PALEONTOLOGIST
Discovering Dinosaurs with Dr. Scott
By; Scott D. Sampson, Ph.D.
Published: April 4, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books
Format: Hardcover

Ever wondered how to find a dinosaur? Paleontologist Dr. Scott Sampson, the host of Dinosaur Train on PBS Kids, tells kids how! How do paleontologists find dinosaur bones? How do they know what dinosaurs ate or looked like? And what is paleontology, anyway? Dr. Scott tackles all these questions and more while inspiring kids to go out and make the next big dino discovery!

THE BACK TO FRONT WORLD OF AZZIE ARTBUCKLE
By: Beth Montgomery
Published: January 30, 2017
Publisher: Your Stories Matter
Format: Paperback

Such a great idea for a book.

This book has been written from the point of view of a child who feels misunderstood. She finds it very difficult to read, which makes school life a struggle. She feels stupid, even though she is clever and creative. She gets told off for messing around when the truth is she can’t do what is asked of her because she has a specific learning difficulty.

This illustrated book helps parents, teachers, and other adults who support children, have a non-threatening discussion about dyslexia with children of primary school age. Children find it easier to relate to, and discuss, the character in the story rather than have all the attention focused on them.

Using the book as a catalyst for discussion, adults can use the illustrated story at home or in school with children who have dyslexia or exhibit dyslexic tendencies. Teachers can use the book to help classmates better understand their peers who may struggle reading. Similarly, parents can use the book to help children better understand family members.

This book was written and illustrated by someone who has traits of dyslexia and dyspraxia and is based on her own life. She wanted to do something to help children who, years later, are still facing the same lack of understanding in school.

I’m linking up with THE DELIBERATE READER for her monthly feature NEW ON THE STACK. To see other bloggers new books from April, click HERE.

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