Monday, June 26, 2017

#MMBBR #Review #TheBookOfSummer by @MGableWriter @SheReadsBookCLB @StMartinsPress @SheReads

She Reads



I am part of the amazing SheReads Blog Network!  Which means that I am fortunate enough to partner with some of the most savvy, talented, and intelligent book bloggers in the business.  Every month we wonderful women read our selections and review them on our personal sites.  We are kind and witty and love books more than air.  We would love for you to visit each of us online and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  You don’t want to miss all the book goodness we have to offer! 

MY SUMMER BOOK PICK:


The ocean, the wild roses on the dunes and the stunning Cliff House, perched atop a bluff in Sconset, Nantucket. Inside the faded pages of the Cliff House guest book live the spellbinding stories of its female inhabitants: from Ruby, a bright-eyed newlywed on the eve of World War II to her granddaughter Bess, who returns to the beautiful summer estate.
For the first time in four years, physician Bess Codman visits the compound her great-grandparents built almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Bess must now put aside her complicated memories in order to pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave. It’s not just memories of her family home Bess must face though, but also an old love that might hold new possibilities. 

In the midst of packing Bess rediscovers the forgotten family guest book. Bess’s grandmother and primary keeper of the book, Ruby, always said Cliff House was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother’s words in ways she never imagined.

MY REVIEW:  This book is a great read to escape into this summer.  I read this while on an extended vacation to the ocean and it was perfect.  I loved being brought between the past and present.  It was a great way to flesh out the characters and build depth of story, as this story is one with multi-layers.  This is one of those books that is perfect for escaping into during the summer months.  You will be left feeling satisfied upon completion of the book because of the humor, great characters, beautiful setting and a story that was beautifully woven together and included a few plot twists too.   A great summer read!!!  


THE BOOK OF SUMMER by Michelle Gable

From the New York Times Bestselling Author of A Paris Apartment
The ocean, the wild roses on the dunes and the stunning Cliff House, perched atop a bluff in Sconset, Nantucket. Inside the faded pages of the Cliff House guest book live the spellbinding stories of its female inhabitants: from Ruby, a bright-eyed newlywed on the eve of World War II to her granddaughter Bess, who returns to the beautiful summer estate.
For the first time in four years, physician Bess Codman visits the compound her great-grandparents built almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Bess must now put aside her complicated memories in order to pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave. It’s not just memories of her family home Bess must face though, but also an old love that might hold new possibilities.
In the midst of packing Bess rediscovers the forgotten family guest book. Bess’s grandmother and primary keeper of the book, Ruby, always said Cliff House was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother’s words in ways she never imagined.
_______________________________________________________________BEFORE WE WERE YOURS by Lisa Wingate
Two families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, for readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale.
Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge–until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents–but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.
Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancĂ©, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.
Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals–in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country–Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.
**Read an excerpt of BEFORE WE WERE YOURS here.
_______________________________________________________________

THE ALMOST SISTERS by Joshilyn Jackson

With empathy, grace, humor, and piercing insight, the author of gods in Alabama pens a powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South that confronts the truth about privilege, family, and the distinctions between perception and reality—the stories we tell ourselves about our origins and who we really are.
Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs’ weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman.
It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She’s having a baby boy—an unexpected but not unhappy development in the thirty-eight year-old’s life. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel’s marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she’s been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood.
Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother’s affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she’s pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she’s got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie’s been hiding. Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family’s freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

#MMBBR #Review #EveryLastLie @MaryKubica #SRC2017 via @BookSparks @iBooks

It’s summer and that can only mean one thing – the Summer Reading Challenge is here!  And this year’s challenge is SO BIG we can’t even spill all the details at once. You’ll have to read and follow along with us all summer to learn all the secrets.



June Books:


ABOUT THE BOOK:  New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL Mary Kubica is back with another exhilarating thriller as a widow's pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche. 
Clara Solberg's world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon. 
Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick's death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit. 
Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara's investigation and Nick's last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.


I love Kubica.  She writes books that cut to the quick and leave your emotions in frazzles.  Kubica has again left me breathless.  In her newest book, grief is at the forefront and everything that follows is the fallout of the grief.  After her husband's death Clara starts having more questions than answers regarding the accident that ending his life, but spared her daughter's life.  Every time I thought I had it figured out or every time Kubica uncovered a bombshell the story twisted another way.  I loved that the story moved back and forth between before and after.  I loved that I was given breadcrumbs on both ends of the story.  This is another HUGE hit from one of my ALL TIME favorite authors.  A must read book for summer.  


Mary KubicaABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Mary Kubica is the New York Times bestselling author of four novels, including THE GOOD GIRL. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children.

Visit Mary at http://www.marykubica.com/











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Saturday, June 24, 2017

#MMBBR #Review #PopUpBlogTour #ArboriaPark by @KateBegins2Rock @BookSparks

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Stacy Halloran has lived most of her life in 1950s-era housing development Arboria Park. But her beloved neighborhood may not survive much longer. 
Despite her parents' entreaties to "stay in the yard where it's safe," the Park is where young Stacy roams in quest of "real life." Through her wanderings, she learns about the area's agricultural history; meets people from backgrounds different than her own; watches her siblings develop interracial and same-sex relationships; helps launch the local punk-rock scene; and finally, settles as a wife and mother. As the neighborhood declines (along with her relationship with her mother), Stacy considers moving on to rescue herself and her daughter. But then a massive highway project threatens the ever-resilient Park--and it's Stacy's task to rally family, friends, and neighbors to save it.


#ArboriaPark is quite a fabulous #read --- 

#FirstLine - The moment I learned about the power of place and the world beyond home, I was crouching on the cement curb in front of our house on Arbor Circle. 

REVIEW: This book is about what it means to be part of a community. Whether good or bad you play a part in the bigger picture, as do your neighbors, because that is what community is. It is this mix of people within the community that makes it feel like home. A home worth fighting for. With heart and clever characters Wall takes you into the 50's where you will feel part of the era, as well as part of Stacy's family and the community in which she lives. There is something for everyone in this book. It will make you long for days past and cherish every moment moving forward. This was a strong debut from a very promising new writer. 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Kate Tyler Wall is managing editor of an American history journal in Philadelphia. She grew up in a 1950s-era housing development in Dover, Delaware, which inspired lifelong interests in music, history, exploring, and the power of place. She studied political science, journalism, and American history at the University of Delaware. She now lives in another 1950s tract house in Newark, Delaware with “suburban ecologist” husband Roland Wall and beagle-basset buddy Pilot. At age fifty she started writing fiction and roaming the East Coast, becoming a "famed punk rock attendee" (Punknews, 2014).


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#MMBBR #Review #TheBeachInn by @JoanneDeMaio


From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Breeze comes a novel as sweet as the salt air by the sea.

It was going to be exquisite: a rambling, shingled New England cottage converted into a grand beach inn. Nestled among hydrangeas and swaying dune grasses, this seaside haven would welcome guests on the Connecticut shore. Except the little beach town of Stony Point is no longer feeling like a haven to its residents. Residents, including a brooding Jason Barlow, the esteemed architect in charge of the inn's renovation--until a stubborn, grief-induced For Sale sign puts an end to that.

But with a little help from the beach friends, anything is possible. In an effort to save the inn and convince its cherished owner to stay, the friends band together to stage an inn-tervention, shaking up their own lives in the process.

A new season of love, adventure, and heart-healing awaits in the quaint seaside village of Stony Point. So pull up a sand chair and book your stay for a page-turning getaway in The Beach Inn.




DeMaio is brilliant.  Her books are heartwarming and dreamy...between the setting and the characters it is incredibly easy to get lost in her books.  In DeMaio's newest book, The Beach Inn, you are once again thrust into the lives of characters that you can relate to, into a setting you want to escape to and into a story that is hard to put down.  DeMaio has a way to capture the human heart with its struggles and triumphs and everything in between.  She knows about the human condition and writes in a way that makes the readers feel what the characters feel, to get frustrated with them (and at them at times) and cheer for them along the way.  This is another great read by a very given voice in stroytelling.  A great summer read and one that is perfect for book clubs.      


Joanne DeMaioJOANNE DEMAIO is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love and choices, while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut and is currently at work on her next book. Her latest summer novels are BEACH BLUES, BEACH BREEZE, and THE BEACH INN.

To learn more, visit Joannedemaio.com. She also enjoys hearing from readers at Facebook.com/JoanneDeMaioAuthor.










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#MMBBR #Review #SkyRaiderAcademy ~ Book One: Initiation by #KirstinPulioff


Tommy feels lost after his father’s death. To make matters worse, his mom moves him to a new town where he doesn't have any friends, and he quickly becomes a punching bag for the school bully. He can’t win. So, when a mysterious visitor approaches him with the promise of adventure, Tommy jumps at the opportunity. Whisked away to a school in the sky where magic rules and storms are forged by an elite group of Sky Raiders, Tommy learns that the world’s problems are much larger than his own. When the weather spirals out of control and a rogue Raider’s diabolical plans surface, Tommy must decide how much he is willing to risk to save the world.



My boys and I LOVED this book.  We did it as a read aloud and it was so much fun!  Both the kids and I were both engaged, which say a lot!  There was death in story, wonderful characters and adventure galore.  I cannot wait to see where this series goes, neither can my boys.  If you want as great story to read with your kids this summer I highly recommend this.  You can do it as a read aloud or as a family book club.  It would be a great way to keep the kids reading over the summer!


Kirstin PulioffKirstin Pulioff dreams big, wishes on stars, searches for rainbows, finds treasure in everyday blessings, and lives life to its fullest... Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in the foothills of Colorado. When she’s not writing an adventure, she’s busy living one

She loves to hear from fans. Please connect with her on her website: www.kirstinpulioff.com

Facebook:  KirstinPulioffAuthor
Amazon: Author & Book Page
Goodreads: Kirstin Pulioff











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#MMBBR #Highlight #AtticusFray and the Prophecy of Lynx Karpovic by #RobertBridge


ABOUT THE BOOK: If you liked Harry Potter then you'll love: Atticus Fray. Atticus didn't know he descended from a secret sect of knights; and he certainly didn't know he was cursed to die in his 18th year. Atticus must discover the truth behind his parents' lies and journey to the fantasy land of Katara, to begin his training. A teenage boy's adventure begins.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Robert Bridge was born on the Isle of Wight in the UK (yes he only has one head). He was forced to move to Australia at the age of two. He spent thirty four years in the sunshine, enjoying the weather, sandy beaches, BBQ's and the relaxing Australian lifestyle. Then in 2004 Robert met a previously unknown godmother who invited him back to the UK. Robert traded the warmth of the southern hemisphere, and became one of probably only five Australian's to do so, he moved back to the UK. Robert has been writing stories since he could hold a pen. The backstory and planning of Atticus Fray took over a year to complete. This is his first novel and he will continue Atticus's journey with five more in the series. He has ideas for four more books and will address these when Atticus has completed his quest.


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Friday, June 23, 2017

#MMBBR #Review Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing by @jenniferweiner ‏@AtriaBooks @simonschuster ‏


"Generous and entertaining." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay * Nominated for “Best Memoir & Autobiography” by Goodreads Choice Awards 2016 * Named a “Best Book of the Year” by New York Post

"You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want to read it again." —TheSkimm

“I'm mad Jennifer's Weiner's first book of essays is as wonderful as her fiction. You will love this book and wish she was your friend." —Mindy Kaling, author of Why Not Me?

"Fiercely funny, powerfully smart, and remarkably brave." —Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

Jennifer Weiner is many things: a bestselling author, a Twitter phenomenon, and an “unlikely feminist enforcer” (The New Yorker). She’s also a mom, a daughter, and a sister, a clumsy yogini, and a reality-TV devotee. In this “unflinching look at her own experiences” (Entertainment Weekly), Jennifer fashions tales of modern-day womanhood as uproariously funny and moving as the best of Nora Ephron and Tina Fey.

No subject is off-limits in these intimate and honest essays: sex, weight, envy, money, her mother’s coming out of the closet, her estranged father’s death. From lonely adolescence to hearing her six-year-old daughter say the F word—fat—for the first time, Jen dives into the heart of female experience, with the wit and candor that have endeared her to readers all over the world.


I am a HUGE fan of Jennifer Weiner.  Her book GOOD IN BED was the one book that turned me into a reader.  That is something I have always wanted to thank her personally for.  What a gift she has given me.  In Hungry Heart, I was once again transfixed.  I escaped into the book and enjoyed every minute of it.  It was very hard to put down.  Her stories were honest, funny and fiercely brave.  I laughed, was moved to tears and was in awe of Weiner's ability to write in a way that was so easy to relate to.  She, again, has paved the way for woman!!!  Her grace and ability to touch the soul of her readers is what makes her so likeable.  I am such a huge fan and I HIGHLY recommend this book and ALL of her others as well!!!  

Jennifer WeinerJennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of fourteen books, including Good in Bed, The Littlest Bigfoot, and her memoir Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com








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Thursday, June 22, 2017

#MMBBR #Review 50 Wacky Inventions Throughout History by #JoeRhatigan #WackySeries #WalterFosterJr


Have you ever heard of a bike TV? Or a bird diaper? 50 Wacky Inventions Throughout History describes 50 inventions that seem too crazy to be true--but are! Whether useful, entertaining, or just plain silly, these mind-boggling inventions and gadgets from yesterday, today, and tomorrow will surprise and delight fun-fact lovers of all ages.



50 Wacky Inventions is a fun book that shows you just how creative and wacky the human brain can be.  This book has inventions like the chicken sunglasses, levitating bed, and a driving alarm.  It is one of those book that makes you want to get up and go start inventing.  I highly recommend this book to inspiring inventors and those that love history.  It really is wacky and fun and they really do seem too crazy to be real.


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#MMBBR #Review #NotebookDoodles Coloring & Activity Book #SuperCute #HennaStyle by @jessvolinski @Doriginals



Discover 30 notebook doodle henna designs to color with watercolors, colored pencils, markers, crayons, or gel pens.










Welcome to a happy and colorful world of notebook doodles! Inside this book you'll find 32 super cute Notebook Doodle animal designs that are just waiting to be filled with color. More than 20 fun color palettes are included to help get you started on your coloring adventure. Not only is coloring fun and relaxing, it's also a creative opportunity to be yourself by expressing how you feel through color. Whatever art materials you love to use watercolors, colored pencils, markers, crayons, gel pens they will look stunning on this high-quality, extra-thick paper. Each page is perforated, so when you re done, it can easily be removed to hang up or give as a gift. Because the best part of creativity is sharing it!






SERIES REVIEW:  These coloring books are FANTASTIC.  I love that the pictures have lots of shapes and design to them.  They are fun and whimsical.  I adore coloring pages with quotes because then I can use the pictures as thank you cards and for other occasions that would constitute a greeting card.  I feel that this is such a more personal way to let people know that you are thinking of them.  In addition to the practical purposes of the finished product, the actual process of coloring it both relaxing and therapeutic.  I make sure to set aside 20 minutes nearly weekly for coloring and I feel so much better when I get my time in.  I think there is something very wonderful that happens when you color and I found that is it one of my favorite things to do.  If you love coloring these books are for you!  



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#MMBBR #Review The Ultimate Guide to Raising Teens and Tweens by @douglasmhaddad #RowmanLittlefieldPublishers


Are you concerned or frustrated with the choices your child makes when it comes to their peer groups, study habits, and use of social media?

Do you feel your child is pushing you away and your connection is weakening?

Are you unsure of the next steps you should take to help your child succeed?

A whole new set of parenting concerns arise during tween and teenhood that can be overwhelming for any parent. The Ultimate Guide to Raising Teens and Tweens offers a step-by-step plan for raising your adolescent through this tumultuous time. Douglas Haddad provides specific, proven tools for you to help your child become a problem solver and grow to be smart, successful, and self-disciplined.

In The Ultimate Guide to Raising Teens and Tweens, you will:

  • Discover the secrets of effective communication with your child
  • Learn the techniques to stop behavior problems right in their tracks when they happen
  • Know the strategies to best motivate your child and unlock their potential
  • Find out how to set appropriate limits and hold your child accountable for their actions
  • Understand today’s “child-limiting challenges” and the solutions for handling them with your child

Every parent wants the best for their child, and these years can be fraught with challenges: bullying, violence, gambling, sex, smoking, alcohol, substance use, eating disorders, depression, suicide, unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity, etc. Making sense of these challenges, this book offers exercises for incorporating the ten child unlimited tools into your parenting style and anecdotes to illustrate strategies and techniques. Supported by current research, the tools found in these pages will serve as a guide for any family with tweens or teens.



Douglas HaddadDouglas Haddad is an award-winning middle school teacher, best-selling author, and parenting and education expert. He is the author of THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO RAISING TEENS AND TWEENS: STRATEGIES FOR UNLOCKING YOUR CHILD'S FULL POTENTIAL. Haddad has been awarded the 2016-2017 “Teacher of the Year” in his Connecticut school district and is serving as a Teacher-Ambassador in Public Education in the State of Connecticut. He has taught over 2,000 students in his 17 years as an educator, working with children from all different backgrounds and abilities and has helped them transition from being kids into young adults. 

Douglas is a regular guest expert on television, blogger, contributing writer, and has been featured in many national print and online outlets. He has worked as a coach, mentor, personal trainer, nutrition counselor, and tai chi ch'uan and reiki master. He is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Performance Enhancement Specialist for elite athletes. 


I don't have teens yet, 3 years away, but I know that time is coming.  It is never to early to preemptively plan for the future.  I was on a week and a half vacation and spent a lot of time driving across county, so I had lots of time to dive into this book.  It was one of those books that was perfect for taht, as I could pick it up and read a bit here and a bit there.  

There is so much to love about this book:
  • The way it was laid out makes it easy to reference what you want to know/learn or access what you need to read about based on life circumstances.
  • Personal stories that make the content easy to relate to.
  • Allows parent and child to find effective ways to talk/relate to each other.
  • Cover lots of important topics like: sex, violence, smoking, alcohol/drug use (just to nane a few).
  • It is strength based.
  • Easy technique that can be practically applied to real life.
  • Calls for accountability for behaviors. 
  • Researched and thorough content.
  • Too many other reasons to list.
This book is a great guide to helping both parent and child navigate through the preteen and teen years.  Kids may not come with an owners manual, but we can find way to figure out easier and more effective ways to parent.  



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#Review #Almanac2018 @NGKidsBooks #NationalGeographicAlmanacs


Kids can have fun keeping up with our quickly changing world with the New York Times best-selling Almanac, packed with incredible photos, tons of fun facts, crafts, activities, and fascinating features about animals, science, nature, technology, and more. New features include three chapters on engineering and technology, space and Earth, and life sciences; a guide to New Orleans, just in time for its 300th birthday; an updated Fun and Games chapter filled with all-new games, jokes, and comics; all new weird-but-true facts, crafts, and activities; 18 Facts for 2018 feature in every chapter; updated reference material, and much more.



This book is quite speculator! Within this amazing book there are 500 photos of some of the coolest things to grab our attention for 2018.  In addition to all the fabulous photos, there are facts and tidbits galore.  While you peruse the book you can look through the chapters and read things that interest you the most.  The chapters are: Your World 2018, Awesome Exploration, Amazing Animals, Going Green, Engineering and Technology, Wonders of Nature, Fun and Games, Space and Earth, Culture Connection, Life Sciene, History Happens and Geography Rocks. When this book arrived my son was instantly reading it bouncing from topic to topic...all I heard was "Did you know that...." followed by some amazing factoids and "Wow, look at this..." followed by me looking at some crazy cool things. These are the type of books that capture the attention of young readers because they have amazing vibrant photos with fun facts, game, puzzles and digital extras. I love that I can trust that my child will be learning interesting and important facts and that their attention will be captured over the summer with this book. Every time you open it up you read you learn something new. This will be a staple read for my boys over the summer! 


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