New Books

This is my monthly roundup of books that came my way in the last month. I also share updates with you on other things in my and my family’s lives.

October is here and I started the month on a vacation for my 50th birthday. It was everything I hoped it would be. I have a huge stack of books to share with you this month. This is a great time to start making your Christmas list. Books make great gifts for any age!

Family and Life Update

Marching Band season has begun. It’s crazy to imagine next fall without marching band as we have been part of the program for 9 years!

This year’s theme is American Dream. It’s different having one of our kids in the pit and not marching with a drum, but we know she is loving being part of the pit family. They are such an integral part of the show!

Photo by Zach Lefebure Photography

Our nephew is a talented photographer and took Reagan’s senior pictures. Her sessions are complete and I love them all. Especially this one, taken in our favorite bookstore, Next Page Books.

As I mentioned, I just returned from an amazing trip where I woke up watching the sunrise over the ocean every morning. The trip was to celebrate my 50th and it was everything I had hoped it would be. I hope to share more in a future blog post!

Now on to the books! 

In September I read 9 books! That seems crazy to me because again, it was a full month with busy weekdays and weekends. Four of the books were for review which was a good feeling because I’ve gotten a bit behind on books for review. Three of the books were on audio including the much-buzzed book, CARRIE SOTO IS BACK, which I loved!

If anything, I hope this shows that you can always make time for reading, no matter how busy you think you are. I hope you find something that interests you in the books I’m sharing below. This month is heavy on children’s books and lots of adult fiction books that I received as gifts or purchased on my own.

I also read 9 children’s books last month and shared about them HERE. If you missed my Summer-Read-to-Learn series full of fun and exciting children’s books to keep kids interested in reading and learning, check it out HERE. Stayed tuned this November in which I will share lots of children’s books for Children’s Book Week and Nonfiction November.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram, HERE to see snippets of what I’m reading or what’s going on in my daily life.

If you have missed any of my recent book reviews, you can see all of them by clicking, HERE.  Or you can stay up to date with my monthly Quick Lit Roundup.

If you choose to make a purchase through any of the links I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.

Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction


By: Damon Galgut

Published: April 6, 2021

Publisher: Europa Editions


Format: Paperback

This is my Literati Book Club choice for October. Find out more about the Literati Subscription Box, HERE.

There is nothing unusual or remarkable about the Swart family, oh no, they resemble the family from the next farm and the one beyond that, just an ordinary bunch of white South Africans, and if you don’t believe it then listen to us speak …
The many voices of The Promise tell a story in four snapshots, each one centered on a family funeral, each one happening in a different decade. In the background, a different president is in power, and a different spirit hangs over the country, while in the foreground the family fights over what they call their farm, on a worthless piece of land outside Pretoria.

Over large jumps in time, people get older, faces and laws and lives all change, while a brother and sister circle around a promise made long ago, and never kept …


Beartown #3

By: Fredrik Bachman

Published: September 27, 2022

Publisher: Atria Books


Format: Hardcover

I pre-ordered this one and when it arrived in my mailbox, I was shocked at how big it is. At nearly 700 pages, it is a whopper. But, I can’t wait to dive back into the hockey community I fell in love with.

Two years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there’s something about this place that prevents it. The residents continue to grapple with life’s big questions: What is a family? What is a community? And what, if anything, are we willing to sacrifice in order to protect them?

As the locals of Beartown struggle to overcome the past, great change is on the horizon. Someone is coming home after a long time away. Someone will be laid to rest. Someone will fall in love, someone will try to fix their marriage, and someone will do anything to save their children. Someone will submit to hate, someone will fight, and someone will grab a gun and walk towards the ice rink.

So what are the residents of Beartown willing to sacrifice for their home?



By: Adele Myers

Published: March 1, 2022

Publisher: William Morrow

Historical Fiction

Format: Hardcover

This is our book club choice for October. The cover is so striking and I can’t wait to read it.

Maddie Sykes is a burgeoning seamstress who’s just arrived in Bright Leaf, North Carolina—the tobacco capital of the South—where her aunt has a thriving sewing business. After years of war rations and shortages, Bright Leaf is a prosperous wonderland in full technicolor bloom, and Maddie is dazzled by the bustle of the crisply uniformed female factory workers, the palatial homes, and, most of all, her aunt’s glossiest clientele: the wives of the powerful tobacco executives.

When a series of unexpected events thrusts Maddie into the role of lead dressmaker for the town’s most influential women, she scrambles to produce their ornate gowns for the biggest party of the season. But she soon learns that Bright Leaf isn’t quite the carefree paradise that it seems: A trail of misfortune follows many of the women, including substantial health problems. Although Maddie is quick to believe that this is a coincidence, she inadvertently uncovers evidence that suggests otherwise.

Maddie wants to report what she knows, but in a town where everyone depends on Big Tobacco to survive, she doesn’t know who she can trust—and fears that exposing the truth may destroy the lives of the proud, strong women with whom she has forged strong bonds.

Shedding light on the hidden history of women’s activism during the post-war period, at its heart, The Tobacco Wives is a deeply human, emotionally satisfying, and dramatic novel about the power of female connection and the importance of seeking truth.


By: Louise Erdrich

Published: November 9, 2021

Publisher: Harper


Format: Paperback (now available Septebmer 6, 2022)

This was a purchase after our daughter’s senior photo session at the bookstore. It’s been on my to-read list for awhile.

A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store’s most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls’ Day, but she simply won’t leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading with murderous attention, must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.

The Sentence begins on All Souls’ Day 2019 and ends on All Souls’ Day 2020. Its mystery and proliferating ghost stories during this one year propel a narrative as rich, emotional, and profound as anything Louise Erdrich has written.


By: Willa Cather

Published: 1913

Historical Fiction

This was a find at Half Price Books for $3.50! It’s been on my to-read list and I’m thrilled to own such a nice copy.

O Pioneers! (1913) was Willa Cather’s first great novel, and to many it remains her unchallenged masterpiece. No other work of fiction so faithfully conveys both the sharp physical realities and the mythic sweep of the transformation of the American frontier—and the transformation of the people who settled it. Cather’s heroine is Alexandra Bergson, who arrives on the wind-blasted prairie of Hanover, Nebraska, as a girl and grows up to make it a prosperous farm. But this archetypal success story is darkened by loss, and Alexandra’s devotion to the land may come at the cost of love itself.

At once a sophisticated pastoral and a prototype for later feminist novels, O Pioneers! is a work in which triumph is inextricably enmeshed with tragedy, a story of people who do not claim a land so much as they submit to it and, in the process, become greater than they were.


By: Shaunna J. Edwards and Alyson Richman

Published: August 30, 2022

Publisher: Graydon House

Historical Fiction

Format: Paperback

This was a gift from my best friend, Tammy for my birthday. She knows exactly the kind of books I love. I really loved Richman’s story in the GRAND CENTRAL short story collection.

1863: In a small Creole cottage in New Orleans, an ingenious young Black woman named Stella embroiders intricate maps on repurposed cloth to help enslaved men flee and join the Union Army. Bound to a man who would kill her if he knew of her clandestine activities, Stella has to hide not only her efforts but her love for William, a Black soldier and a brilliant musician.

Meanwhile, in New York City, a Jewish woman stitches a quilt for her husband, who is stationed in Louisiana with the Union Army. Between abolitionist meetings, Lily rolls bandages and crafts quilts with her sewing circle for other soldiers, too, hoping for their safe return home. But when months go by without word from her husband, Lily resolves to make the perilous journey South to search for him.

As these two women risk everything for love and freedom during the brutal Civil War, their paths converge in New Orleans, where an unexpected encounter leads them to discover that even the most delicate threads have the capacity to save us. Loosely inspired by the authors’ family histories, this stunning novel will stay with readers for a long time.


By: Colleen Oakley

Published: March 28, 2023

Publisher: Berkley


Format: eBook through Netgalley

I don’t know this author, but the premise and a rave review from author, Jodi Picoult sold me.

Twenty-one-year-old Tanner Quimby needs a place to live. Preferably one where she can continue sitting around in sweatpants and playing video games nineteen hours a day. Since she has no credit or money to speak of, her options are limited, so when an opportunity to work as a live-in caregiver for an elderly woman falls into her lap, she takes it.

One slip on the rug. That’s all it took for Louise Wilt’s daughter to demand that Louise have a full-time nanny living with her. Never mind that she can still walk fine, finish her daily crossword puzzle, and pour the two fingers of vodka she drinks every afternoon. Bottom line — Louise wants a caretaker even less than Tanner wants to be one.

The two start off their living arrangement happily ignoring each other until Tanner starts to notice things—weird things. Like, why does Louise keep her garden shed locked up tighter than a prison? And why is the local news fixated on the suspect of one of the biggest jewelry heists in American history who looks eerily like Louise? And why does Louise suddenly appear in her room, with a packed bag at 1 a.m. insisting that they leave town immediately?

Thus begins the story of a not-to-be-underestimated elderly woman and an aimless young woman who—if they can outrun the mistakes of their past—might just have the greatest adventure of their lives.


Christie Bookshop Mysteries #1

By: Ann Claire

Published: November 1, 2022

Publisher: Bantam


Format: eBook through Netgalley

A murder in a bookshop? This sounded too fun to miss out on!

When a mysterious bookshop visitor dies under murderous circumstances, the Christie sisters and their cat Agatha call on all they’ve learned about solving mysteries from their favorite novelist in this new series debut.

Ellie Christie is thrilled to begin a new chapter. She’s recently returned to her tiny Colorado hometown to run her family’s historic bookshop with her elder sister, Meg, and their friendly bookshop cat, Agatha. Perched in a Swiss-style hamlet accessible by ski gondola and a twisty mountain road, the Book Chalet is a famed bibliophile destination known for its maze of shelves and relaxing reading lounge with cozy fireside seats and panoramic views. At least, until trouble blows in with a wintery whiteout. A man is found dead on the gondola, and a rockslide throws the town into lockdown—no one in, no one out.

He was a mysterious stranger who visited the bookshop. At the time, his only blunders were disrupting a book club and leaving behind a first-edition Agatha Christie novel, written under a pseudonym. However, once revealed, the man’s identity shocks the town. Many residents knew of him. Quite a few had reason to want him dead. Others hide secrets. The police gather suspects, but when they narrow in on the sisters’ close friends, the Christies have to act.

Although the only Agatha in their family tree is their cat, Ellie and Meg know a lot about mysteries, and they’re not about to let the situation snowball out of control. The Christie sisters must summon their inner Miss Marples and trek through a blizzard of clues before the killer turns the page to their final chapter.


By: V.S. Alexander

Published: January 30, 2018

Publisher: Kensington

Historical Fiction

Format: eBook purchase

I had some Kindle credits to use up. Did you know you can delay shipping with Amazon prime and then often get credits digital credits toward books, music, or movies? This story of the women who tasted Hitler’s food to be sure it wasn’t poisoned has been on my list since I first heard about it.

In early 1943, Magda Ritter’s parents send her to relatives in Bavaria, hoping to keep her safe from the Allied bombs strafing Berlin. Young German women are expected to do their duty–working for the Reich or marrying to produce strong, healthy children. After an interview with the civil service, Magda is assigned to the Berghof, Hitler’s mountain retreat. Only after weeks of training does she learn her assignment: she will be one of several young women tasting the Fuhrer’s food, offering herself in sacrifice to keep him from being poisoned.

Perched high in the Bavarian Alps, the Berghof seems worlds away from the realities of battle. Though terrified at first, Magda gradually becomes used to her dangerous occupation–though she knows better than to voice her misgivings about the war. But her love for a conspirator within the SS, and her growing awareness of the Reich’s atrocities, draw Magda into a plot that will test her wits and loyalty in a quest for safety, freedom, and ultimately, vengeance.


A Chef’s Hunger for More

By: Fatima Ali, Tarajia Morrell

Published: October 11, 2022

Publisher: Ballantine Books


Format: eBook through Netgalley

A famous chef details her final year of life after being diagnosed with bone cancer. With assistance from her mom and collaborator, we can read the life of an amazing chef whose life was cut much too short.

Fatima Ali won the hearts of viewers as the Fan Favorite of Bravo’s Top Chef in season fifteen. Twenty-nine years old, she was a dynamic, boundary-breaking chef and a bright new voice for change in the food world. After the taping wrapped and before the show aired, Fati was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. Not one to ever slow down or admit defeat, the star chef vowed to spend her final year traveling the world, eating delicious food, and making memories with her loved ones. But when her condition abruptly worsened, her plans were sidelined. She pivoted, determined to make her final days count as she worked to tell the story of a brown girl chef who set out to make a name for herself, her food, and her culture.

Including writing from Fatima during her last months and contributions by her mother, Farezeh, and her collaborator, Tarajia Morrell, this deftly woven account is an inspiring ode to the food, family, and countries Fatima loved so much. Alternating between past and present, readers are transported back to Pakistan and the childhoods of both Fatima and Farezeh, each deeply affected by cultural barriers that shaped the course of their lives. From the rustic stalls of the outdoor markets of Karachi to the kitchen and dining room of Meadowood, the acclaimed three-star Michelin restaurant where she apprenticed, Fati reflects on her life and her identity as a chef, a daughter, and a queer woman butting up against traditional views.

This triumphant memoir is at once an exploration of the sense of wonder that made Fatima so special, and a shining testament to the resilience of the human spirit. At its core, it is a story about what it means to truly live, a profound and exquisite portrait of savoring every moment.


Love, Loss, and Finding the Path Home

by: Jason Fisher

Published: February 14, 2022

Publisher: Warren Publishing


Format: eBook purchase

A young father now must raise he daughter without his wife and soulmate of just five years. Their daughter has a rare disability and must learn how to manage their lives without his wife. I found out about this book from a close friend who knew the author growing up as he is from the area I live in. I used Kindle credits to purchase it.

Consumed by heartache following his wife’s unexpected death after just five years of marriage, Jason Fisher navigates a tumultuous journey as he adapts to a world he never imagined facing. He must now learn to balance the loss of his soulmate with his new life as a young, single, widowed father of a daughter with a rare disability. Jason’s trauma causes setbacks and he experiences moments of painful loneliness while raising a nonverbal child. Fisher perseveres through years of grieving and ultimately discovers that the path home lies in embracing the moment, listening to his heart, and living out his true passions, including an improbable run for the United States Senate in one of modern history’s most watched races. To Where You Are is a moving memoir by debut author Jason Fisher, who details his story of discovering unconditional love, dealing with grief and trauma following unforeseen tragedies, and forging a new path forward.


Funny, Strange, and Inspiring Dispatches from the Stacks

By: William Ottens

Published: September 15, 2020

Publisher: Skyhorse


This was also from my friend, Tammy. I love librarian tales of crazy patron requests. I worked as a librarian for just a few months at our local library while we were in the midst of hiring a new director and I volunteer occasionally when our librarian takes a vacation. I’ve had some doozies and can’t wait to read this one.

Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly of librarian William Ottens’s experience working behind service desks and in the stacks of public libraries, most recently at the Lawrence Public Library in Kansas. In Librarian Tales, published in cooperation with the American Library Association, readers will learn about strange things librarians have found in book drops, weird and obscure reference questions, the stress of tax season, phrases your local librarians never want to hear, stories unique to children’s librarians, and more.

Ottens uncovers common pet peeves among his colleagues, addresses misguided assumptions and stereotypes, and shares several hilarious stories along the way. This book is must reading for any librarian, or anyone who loves books and libraries, though non-library folks will also laugh and cry (from laughing) while reading this lighthearted analysis of your local community pillar, the library.


177 of the Best Recipes in the World

By: Brian Baumgartner

Published: September 13, 2022

Publisher: Fox Chapel Publishing


I purchased this for our son for Christmas. He is a fan of The Office and chili so I thought he would love this. I heard about it from a fellow Iowa blogger, Ally, since she has a recipe in the cookbook.

No one takes chili more seriously than Brian Baumgartner, aka Kevin Malone from The Office!

Brian Baumgartner’s first cookbook is about his all-time favorite food both on- and off-screen — chili.

With an introduction by Brian with a behind-the-scenes look at the infamous chili scene that made him a chilli icon, the book shows his devoted passion for this classic comfort food and its rich history. Brian Baumgartner’s character Kevin Malone became a household name in the Emmy-winning TV series, The Office. In real life, Brian is a true chili master and aficionado who is just as serious as his fictional counterpart about making the most perfect pot of chili!

Brian’s first-ever cookbook is all about his favourite food both on-screen and off, and he has scoured the United States and beyond to find the best, most savoury recipes! Featuring 177 chili recipes hand-picked by Brian Baumgartner and stamped with his “seriously good” approval rating, the Seriously Good Chili Cookbook contains new and inventive ways to spice up chili for all occasions, all year long!

Written in the humorous and friendly tone Brian Baumgartner is known and loved for, this is not your average cookbook! Included is a presentation from Brian about how an infamous 60-second scene from the show transformed him into a chili icon, his passion for chili, and a fascinating account of the history of his all-time favorite comfort food. Each section showcases specific styles of chili — from Texas chili and Cincinnati chili to turkey chili, chili verde, vegetarian, and other regional and international variations.

You’ll also find tons of fun chili facts throughout! Including Brian’s very own Savoury and Seriously Good chili recipe that he has perfected over years of trial and error, along with step-by-step video instruction with a QR code, and much more, the Seriously Good Chili Cookbook is the world’s biggest and greatest collection of chili recipes.


The Answers to Your Deepest Longings

By: Lysa Terkeurst

Published: February 15, 2022

Publisher: HarperChristian


I’m always looking for new Bible studies and I love Terkeurst’s writing. I’ll either start this one in January or save it for my Lenten study next Spring.

Take a journey through the storyline of the Bible in 40 days so you can see major themes, how they are all connected and what that means for us as we read the Bible today.
Discover the eight major things humanity longs for and how Jesus fulfills all of them for us.
Stop the endless cycle of seeking and searching for satisfaction and find the answers to your deepest longings. 

Children’s Fiction and Non-Fiction


A Supersoft Cloth Book for Baby

By: Lucie Brunelliére

Published: October 4, 2022

Publisher: Twirl


Format: Cloth Baby Book

A great gift idea for new babies on your list.

Cuddle up with a sweet and plushy fox friend! This super-soft, durable cloth book is the perfect bedtime and naptime companion for babies and little ones. The gentle, reassuring story offers baby and caregivers the chance to bond in a warm and loving way.


By: Kirsten Pendreigh

Illustrated by: Carmen Mok

Published: August 30, 2022

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

As a plant lover who talks to her plants, I can’t wait to share this one!

Luna longs for a pet but the apartment building where she and her family live has a very strict NO PETS! policy. Not even goldfish are allowed. While her friends try to help with alternate pet suggestions, none interest Luna. Almost ready to give up, Luna spies in the trash something small, something green, something someone has discarded–a wilted plant. Perfect! Luna names her new pet Stephanie, confident she can nurse the plant back to health. When others question Stephanie’s suitability as a pet, Luna’s devotion is unwavering. She knows Stephanie is perfect just as she is. But will Luna’s love and care be enough to bring Stephanie to full health? And what are those strange bumps growing on her? Brought to life with warm, expressive artwork, this charming story of one young girl’s belief, determination, and out-of-the-box thinking is perfect for anyone who has ever wished for a pet, only to be told no. Back matter includes tips on how to grow your own “Stephanie.”


By: Shawna J. C. Tenney

Published: August 26, 2022

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

A definitely fun read-aloud.

Jack longs to be a pirate. He loves everything about the job, from the peacefulness of the ocean to the opportunity to make new friends to the excitement of exotic travel. Jack also loves to dance, from the graceful glide of the glissade to the energetic leap of the grand j?t? to the controlled kick of the grand battement. In fact, Jack often dances as he does his pirate apprentice chores. Unfortunately, Captain Squinty Eye’s number one pirate-ship rule is PIRATES DON’T DANCE. Dancing is too silly and not fitting for a rough, tough pirate. What will it take for Jack to convince Captain Squinty Eye that dancing is not a bad thing, and may even help Jack be a better pirate? Or will Jack and his dreams get tossed overboard? An empowering and relatable story about staying true to yourself and following your dreams. Back matter includes explanations of dance movements, as well as definitions of pirate speak.


By: Susan Fletcher

Illustrated by: Rebecca Green

Published: September 27, 2022

Publisher: Anne Schwartz Books


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

A bit of a fairy-tale type of story of a polar bear saved by a king.

Long ago, when kings and queens ruled much of the world, the king of Norway gave the king of England a bear.

Imagine a polar bear at ease in her natural arctic world, her only home–until trappers capture her and take her to the king of England.

Imagine a polar bear in her lonely new world, stuck in a cage. This small, enclosed space is her only home–until King Henry III decrees that she be brought to the Thames River every day to swim and fish.

Imagine now this same polar bear dipping a curious paw in the river water, then leaping in with a joyful splash. And it is here, in this unfamiliar, faraway land, in one small way, that she finds home once again.


By: Adam Rex

Illustrated by: Laura Park

Published: October 25, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This is hilarious!

The Magic School Bus: Inside the Human Body meets Hamilton in this hilarious picture book about the most basic process of the human body: digesting food!
Candy’s made it. She’s finally here: the human body! This intrepid sweet treat meets each of the human body’s organs as she approaches her “big break”: being successfully digested! Here is the scientific process of digestion as you’ve never seen it before—told through a musical, with Candy in the role of the small-town kid who wants to make it big, the baby carrots as the Greek chorus narrating all the action, and cameos from every body part that plays an important role in transforming food from ingredients to nutrition.


By: Sherri Duskey Rinker

Illustrated by: AG Ford

Published: November 15, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

Every child I have given this Construction Site book series to has loved them. I have a couple of farm boys on my Christmas list who will love this new addition to the series.

There’s work to do! No time to waste! All year the farm’s a busy place!
Six hardworking trucks—with help from brand-new farm vehicles—have work to do in each of the seasons: planting in spring, building a barn in the summer, harvesting in fall, and finally tucking the animals in for a cozy winter. Construction enthusiasts will love this look at a farm through the year, and all the rough, tough work there is to do!


It’s Not a Fairy Tale Book 4

By: Josh Funk

Illustrated by: Edwardian Taylor

Published: November 1, 2022

Publisher: Two Lions


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This is the fourth in the series which includes IT’S NOT HANSEL AND GRETEL which I shared in 2019. The others in the series include IT’S NOT JACK AND THE BEANSTALK and IT’S NOT LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.

Meet the three (ahem—four!) little pigs as they convince the narrator to tell a slightly different version of their fairy tale:

First there’s Alan, the one pig in the bunch who is actually a builder. He’s got a BIG problem with building a home out of flimsy straw. Next there’s Alfred, who wants to be an actor and wouldn’t dream of getting his hands dirty. Then we have Alvin, whose dream is to be . . . a pumpkin. Last but not least is Alison, the fourth pig who is ready to bring some flair to this story, if only she can get the narrator to agree to a few changes. . . . And what about that wolf?


By: Kristin Wauson

Published: August 15, 2022

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

A great story of what really makes a house a home!

Mr. Thatcher has been working to build the perfect house. And working. And working . . . and so, quite by accident, the house grows and grows in size. But it never seems quite like home. When a crowd of characters from his storybook neighborhood show up looking for a place to stay, Mr. Thatcher cries “It’s not perfect yet! You don’t want to stay here!” But soon he finds that what makes a house a perfect home has nothing to do with the craftsmanship and everything to do with the friends and family inside it.


By: Trinka Hakes Noble

Illustrated by: Renée Andriani

Published: September 13, 2022

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

A great story of a teacher’s love for her students.

Miss Mary is beloved by her students. She makes learning enjoyable and easy, and her brightly colored knitwear brings a smile to everyone’s face. Walking to school on the last day before the Christmas break, Miss Mary envisions all the fun students will have at recess. They’ll make snow angels, build snowmen, and play other winter games. But recess isn’t fun. No one wants to play. The snow is cold and the children don’t have any mittens. Not to worry, thinks Miss Mary. She will knit mittens for her students as a Christmas surprise. But the store has run out of yarn, with no more deliveries before Christmas. Oh dear, where can Miss Mary find the yarn to knit mittens for her students? The clock is ticking on this holiday surprise. Brought to life in charming colorful artwork, this uplifting and gratifying story of generosity and love reminds readers of all ages that the best gifts come straight from the heart.


By: Karen Konnerth

Illustrated by: Emily Neilson

Published: August 26, 2022

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

A fun winter read-aloud!

On a cold winter’s night under a starry sky, a dozen snowmen swoop down into a woodland glen. With a swing and a glide, they waltz in pairs, moving gracefully along a frozen river to a one?two?three tempo. Wearing top hats and colorful mittens, the snowmen bump, spin, and laugh as they make their way to dance on a frozen pond in a clearing. But wait, who is tramping down the hill and into the very same space? A dozen penguins, with their gleaming eyes and red bowties, march into the clearing, interrupting the dance. It’s a collision on ice. What a disaster! How can both groups share the same space? What will it take to sort out this kerfuffle to the satisfaction of both parties? Told in lyrical text with contrasting rhythms, this fun read-aloud offers a subtle lesson in cooperation for readers of all ages. Back matter includes song and sheet music, as well as a finger dance activity.


Celebrations from Around the World

By: Hannah Barnaby

Illustrated by: João Fazenda

Published: October 3, 2022

Publisher: Phaidon Press


Format: Boardbook

A displayable book that opens into a Christmas tree while also sharing various Christmas traditions from around the world.

A pine tree’s Christmas wish comes true when a parade of children visit to decorate its branches with unique festive ornaments from around the world – from German nutcrackers to Mexican piñatas, Chinese apples to Ukrainian spiderwebs.

Young readers are invited to experience new and old Christmas traditions through rhyming verse and lush illustrations. Secondary text offers informative context and insight as to how the holiday is celebrated in different cultures around the world.


Book 2

By: Carter Higgins

Illustrated by: Jennifer K. Mann

Published: October 11, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover Middle-Grade Chapter Book

I have Book 1 in the series and thought I had already reviewed it, but found I hadn’t. I’ll be sharing about both of these book soon. I have shared other books for younger readers by Higgins, HERE.

There’s a lot going on in Room 19.
A sleepover? A talent show? And worst of all, new table groups?!

Audrey L and Audrey W were destined to be friends. They both love purple, they have the same stationery, and they have the same name—so of course! But this month, all of Audrey L’s joy at finding her first best friend feels a little wobbly. When Room 19 switches seating order, she and Audrey W are separated by a whole classroom—and from where Audrey L’s sitting, it looks like Audrey W is having a grand old time with . . . Bettina! Now Bettina’s coming with Audrey W to the treehouse. Bettina’s joining the Audreys’ Talent Show act. Gosh, what ISN’T Bettina involved in these days? Can Audrey L welcome change into her newfound classroom calm? Or is this the beginning of the end?


The Joey Moss Story

By: Lorna Schultz Nicholson

Illustrated by: Alice Carter

Published: August 15, 2022

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

What an inspiring story!

Joey Moss first became known to many Canadians because of his work with the NHL Edmonton Oilers hockey team. Joey loved connecting with people. Whether he was singing “Oh Canada” on a jumbotron screen at a hockey game, welcoming a new friend with a playful wrestling match, or dancing on a runway for a charity fashion show, Joey loved making people feel good. But his impact and influence started long before he joined the Oilers. Joey was born with Down syndrome at a time when many children like him were institutionalized. Instead, Joey lived at home, surrounded by his supportive family who was determined that he should receive the same opportunities as others. From this loving environment grew a caring, energetic man who went on to show the world that people like him could do many things and contribute greatly to society. The inspiring true story of Joey Moss, a champion for all to have an opportunity to live a full, purposeful life, comes alive in this heartwarming picture book for young readers.


The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head

By: Jeanne Walker Harvey

Illustrated by: Diana Toledano

Published: Septemer 20, 2022

Publisher: Beach Lane Books


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I love that kids can learn about famous people in a shorter and approachable biography. Diana Toledano was also the illustrator of this POLLY DIAMOND book.

Discover the true story of how a shy miner’s daughter became one of the most legendary costume designers in Hollywood in this inspiring nonfiction picture book biography.

As a child in the small mining town of Searchlight, Nevada, Edith Head had few friends and spent most of her time dressing up her toys and pets and even wild animals using fabric scraps. She always knew she wanted to move somewhere full of people and excitement. She set her sights on Hollywood and talked her way into a job sketching costumes for a movie studio.

Did she know how to draw or sew costumes? No. But that didn’t stop her!

Edith taught herself and tirelessly worked her way up until she was dressing some of the biggest stars of the day, from Audrey Hepburn to Grace Kelly to Ginger Rogers. She became the first woman to head a major Hollywood movie studio costume department and went on to win eight Academy Awards for best costume design—and she defined the style of an era.


20+ Mind-Twisting Mysteries

By: Ana Gallo

Illustrated by: Victor Escandell

Published: October 25, 2022

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Format: Hardcover

Check these other books by Ana Gallo including another SLEUTH & SOLVE book.

Put your mind to the test to solve twenty fun science-themed mysteries in Sleuth & Solve: Science!

How does a wildlife photographer know that an elephant stampede is coming?
How does a baker always know which egg is raw?
Why does a feather fall as fast as a hammer during a gravity experiment?

Welcome to the world of Sleuth & Solve: Science, where clues are hiding in every detail and unexpected twists put your wits to the test. These mind-bending mysteries require science, technology, engineering, and math concepts to solve. Plus, each case includes a scientific explanation and ideas for experiments to enhance readers’ STEM knowledge. Play solo or with friends, collecting points for cracking each compelling case to reveal whose scientific sleuthing skills reign supreme!

ENGAGING MYSTERIES WITH A SCIENCE TWIST: From Encyclopedia Brown to Sherlock Holmes to CLUE, mysteries transfix, engage, and entertain. Following the previous three books in the Sleuth & Solve series, this latest age-appropriate, smart, science-themed take on mysteries for kids will become a family favorite.

AN ENGAGING GAME IN A BOOK: Readers get points for solving each mystery correctly, encouraging teamwork and interactivity. Perfect for family fun!

A FUN SPIN ON SCIENCE: Calling all STEM fans! Each puzzle must be solved using a scientific principle, and those principles are explained at the back of the book. Bonus material encourages readers to perform hands-on activities, ask and answer questions like a scientist, and more!


Published: September 6, 2022

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


Format: Hardcover

A jam-packed book of all kinds of great animal facts.

Did you know that a grizzly bear’s bite is strong enough to crush a bowling ball? Or that a breed of dog yodels instead of barking? How about that wombat poop is cube-shaped?

Bursting with fascinating, fun-tastic facts, this treasure trove of all things animals leaves no habitat unexplored or unusual animal ability unmentioned! Ever wonder how smart a chicken is? Why a tiny island is home to thousands of venomous snakes? What sound a rhino makes when it’s happy? Find these answers and 4,997 more in this captivating and colorful collection!


Fun Facts, Awesome Info, Cool Games, Silly Jokes, and More!

By: Julie Beer and Stephanie Warren Drimmer

Published: August 2, 2022

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


Format: Paperback

Stephanie Warren Drimmer and Julie Beer know how to make reading and learning fun!

Blast off with the perfect combination of facts, stories, photos, and fun all about what lies beyond Earth’s atmosphere—SPACE!

This book has everything to captivate space enthusiasts: Tons of fun facts, exciting games, hands-on activities, hilarious space jokes, stories from experts, and tidbits about the latest info on black holes, the International Space Station, and what life on Mars could look like.


Published: September 20, 2022

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


Format: Hardcover

A must for dinosaur fans!

Dig into the amazing world of dinosaurs! This one-of-a-kind atlas from National Geographic is packed with eye-popping illustrations, incredible fossil finds, and fascinating maps custom made for kids by the world leaders in mapmaking and exploration.

More than 250 million years ago, our planet looked and felt a lot different from how it does now. The seven separate continents we have today hadn’t yet taken shape. Instead, there was only one “supercontinent” called Pangaea. This was the beginning of the time of the dinosaurs.

Journey from the Triassic to the Jurassic to the Cretaceous to find out how Earth slowly shifted over time, and how the variety of dinosaurs ruling the planet changed too. Discover how some of these creatures took to the land and others to water or air, and what their habitats were like. Explore how these prehistoric lands correspond to current locations, and hear from paleontologists about the groundbreaking discoveries they are making in these fossil-rich places today.

Experience the Mesozoic world of the dinosaurs as never before. This is one atlas to sink your teeth into!


An Animal Guessing Game

By: Gabrielle Balkan

Illustrated by: Sam Brewster

Published: September 21, 2022

Publisher: Phaidon Press


Format: Interactive Boardbook

I previous shared WHOSE BONES? by Balkan and Brewster.

Set up as a guessing game with visual and narrative clues, Who’s That Dinosaur? invites readers to examine seven skeletons and guess to whom they belong. The answer is provided in a vibrant, foldout reveal, accompanied by an explanation as to why each dinosaur’s body was so special.

It’s a humorous, informative introduction to fossils and dinosaur anatomy, where, in a surprise twist, young children learn how birds are modern-day dinosaurs. A fun and informative introduction to the ever-popular topic of dinosaurs.


By: Carrie Hasler

Illustrated by: Christina Wald

Published: October 11, 2022

Publisher: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Press


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I’m excited to share these two books from the San Diego Zoo. This one is a fiction story with learning opportunities as well.

Rising through the lush canopy of trees, the Treehouse Inn is a place where rainforest animals of the Amazon seek shelter and take it easy. Its very fine innkeeper, Santiago the sloth, always takes good care of each of his guests. From howler monkeys to butterfly chrysalises, Santiago seems to find the perfect spot for every animal among the branches and leaves. He fluffs their pillows at night, has teatime in the afternoon, and reads bedtime stories. But, with so many trees in the rainforest being cut down, more and more animals seek shelter at the Treehouse Inn. Santiago soon finds his inn is overcrowded, and all the animals begin to squabble. Can he find room for everyone? Or will he have to turn guests away?


The True Story of a Spunky Baby Tapir

By: Georgeanne Irvine

Published: October 11, 2022

Publisher: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Press


Format: Hardcover Picture Book

A fun behind-the-scenes of zoo workers coming together to raise a tapir.

When Don the tapir was born at the San Diego Zoo, the wildlife care team was ecstatic. He was the first endangered Baird’s tapir born at the Zoo in more than 30 years. But Don’s mother wouldn’t care for her newborn calf. So wildlife care specialists stepped in to ensure the survival of this precious baby tapir.

Don was bottle-fed and cared for around the clock. When he was old enough, caregivers taught him how to swim, a skill that he would have learned from his mother. Don loved splashing in the water as well as getting rubdowns and back scratches. Soon, his team of human friends grew to love Don and his spunky attitude.

When it was time for Don to meet the other animals that shared his home, though, some of them weren’t very friendly: they spit on him, made loud noises, and kicked at him. He just made new friends, including his best buddy, a capybara named Bristle.

This is the true story of Don the spunky tapir, who not only survived a rocky beginning to life but also learned to thrive. Don showed that with a confident, spirited attitude, anything is possible, including bringing hope to the future of endangered Baird’s tapirs.


Exploring Earth’s Biodiversity

By: Isabel Thomas

Illustrated by : Sara Gillingham

Published: October 5, 2022

Publisher: Phaidon Press


Format: Hardcover

A really fascinating collection of all the living organisms and how we are all connected.

This artful and accessible guide to Earth’s Tree of Life – the reference tool used by scientists to organize the incredible variety of living things on our planet – helps young readers understand how every living creature, from the tiniest germ to the biggest blue whale, is part of one big family tree.

Stunning layouts feature fascinating facts and stories behind some of the most extraordinary species on Earth, from familiar plants and animals to newly discovered microorganisms and viruses. With a comprehensive introduction, conclusion, and glossary, this is the perfect introduction to the 2 million+ life forms on our planet.


The Bluma and Felix Goldberg Story

By: Frank W. Baker with Tim E Ogline, Esther Goldberg Greenberg, Karl Goldberg, and Henry Goldberg

Published: September 1, 2022

Publisher: Imagine and Wonder


Format: Paperback Graphic Novel

Using a graphic novel format, this important piece of history can reach kids who would maybe be less likely to read about history in a traditional format.

During Adolf Hitler’s rule over Nazi Germany there were over 40,000 concentration, labor and death camps built with the intent of erasing an entire population of Jews, Romani and ‘other examples of impure races’. Bluma Tishgarten and Felix Goldberg were both young Polish Jews caught up in the Holocaust; Adolf Hitler’s rise to power; the rise of anti-semitism and more. But yet they survived. Not only did Nazi Germany exterminate over 6 million Jews, they slaughtered anyone else who did not fit the ideal Aryan profile: Gypsies, Disabled, and slavic peoples (especially Poles and Russans. Other groups included in this final solution were communist, socialists, homosexuals,and Jehovah’s witnesses. Bluma and Felix’s miraculous story of survival, combined with the rise of nationalism and fascism, leading to the extermination of millions of human beings is also a cautionary tale-a dangerous history that, if we do not heed the warning signs, could very well be repeated.

Which one (or two or three) of these books will you be adding to your list?

To see all the posts featuring new books on my shelves, click HERE.

So many books, so little time!

Posted in

Leave a Comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.