top of page

Search Results

982 items found for ""

Blog Posts (175)

  • Book Review: Darkening of Dragons by S.A. Patrick

    Title: A Darkening of Dragons Author: S.A. Patrick Get the Audiobook here! Get your physical copy here! Spec Spot What's it about? Pipers and rats and dracogriffs, oh my! When Patch is found stumbling out of the woods into a small village, he's more then happy to help them with their rat problem, but things don't go as planned. In fact, they go so wrong that he ends up arrested and thrown into the dungeons for the rest of his life. And then there's an attack on the very castle this piper turned prisoner is being held captive and he finds himself on the run with his new friend Wren, who just happens to be a human girl turned rat (thanks to magic) to face the world and make new friends, starting with a dracogriff with a heart of gold. The three unlikely friends set out on a mission to keep keep 13 year old Patch alive and hidden, Wren into her true form and Barver the dracogriff to fulfil his mother's dying wish. It's a long journey that will threaten their lives, test their strengths, challenge their new friendships and change their lives forever. Favorites: Favorite Characters: Barver (who I thought for his first chapters was Braver) for sure! First of all, he's a dracogriff, a cross between a dragon and griffin. That's pretty awesome! But he's a gigantic teddy bear with a heart of goal, loyal as can be and funny but he's not afraid to get vicious when he needs to. He's so sweet! He's the character that makes me laugh the most, easily. I also liked Alia a lot. She's powerful, strong and there's just something about her that makes her my second favorite easily. Least Favorite Characters: Underath wins this title. He's pompous, sexist, arrogant and I just don't see much positive in his personality at all. Though we don't see him very often in the story thus far, he's still managed to become my least favorite character. Favorite Part: Barver's first attempt to start a fire. Not only did it make me laugh a little, but it was the moment I knew that I was going to love Barver and that it was going to take a lot, and I mean A LOT to change that. It was the moment I knew he would be my favorite character. Least Favorite Part: I think the part where Patch was in prison. I know it was important and I respect that, but it felt slow and just really dark. Plus there were some things that bothered me in that setter like dead prisoners not found and unsanitary conditions. Other Thoughts: First of all, for a book titled, "A Darkening of Dragons", there aren't a lot of dragons in the story. At first I was kind of disappointed when I realized they pretty much have one part, though important, and, other then Barver there's not many other dragons we see but, in the end, I didn't really care. The was engaging and fun. The characters were all imperfect but loveable (well the primary characters at least) and you can't help but to root for them even when you're mad at them or suspect them of not being who you think they are. I was, however, surprised by the amount of death in this book. Granted it's not particularly gruesome but it is there for sure, in many situations from our three heroes causing, finding it and stories of others, including children dying naturally and otherwise. I do think that it raises the stakes in the book and it does add some excitement to it so I'm not mad about it, just surprised. My biggest complaint is that no one told me that I'd want to go right into the second book in the trilogy as soon as I finished the first one (which I quickly declared to my husband that I need to obtain the second book right away). So let this be my warning to you, that you'll want to have the second book of the Songs of Magic series, A Vanishing of Griffins on hand when you finish A Darkening of Dragons. Ratings: I give this book a 6 out of 10 pipes But that's just my thoughts. What did you think? Who was your favorite character? Did you love the book? Let us know in the comments.

  • Book Review: The Way I Feel by Janan Cain

    Title: The Way I Feel Author: Janan Cain Illustrator: Janan Cain Get your physical copy here! Spec Spot What's It about? Understanding feelings is hard! The Way I feel focuses on identifying those feelings and how to recognize them through colorful images and lyrical words that illustrate feelings, actions and expressions in a fun way. Other thoughts: I don't know about you, but my kids struggle with understanding their own emotions. It's an on going struggle. I feel like there are a lot of books that help kids understand one aspect of emptions, often times facial expressions but one of the things that stood out to me about this book was how two pages are dedicated to each emotion with colors that help to portray the emotions as well as images and words. The other thing that really made me appreciate the book is that they don't just talk about happy, sad and mad, though those could be considered the core emotions. This book explores other emotions that are just as important and very common but sometimes forgotten like silly, shy, bored and disappointed and even jealous. I know that my six year old feels most of the emotions in the book each day and, while she's getting much better being able to express them appropriately and identify them in herself and others, they aren't alway easy. this book opens up the conversation and gives us an open door to talk about how some of these emotions, such as disappointed is different then sad or mad even though they can be very similar and sometimes they can happen at the same time. I truly believe that it is easier to help our children through emotions or to know how to proceed when we know what they are feeling. It gives us a direction. But it's even more important that they can identify their emotions and start learning the skills needed to cope with them young. As we all know, it's a long journey that is constantly a part of our lives. This book offered us a fun way to explore those emotions together in a safe environment. Ratings: I give this book a 6 out of 10 emotions But that's just what I thought. What did you think about The Way I Feel? Did you love it? Did you think it was the same as the other emotions books? Let us know in the comments.

  • Book Review: Kid Confident #3 Stress in Middle School

    Title: Kid Confident #3 How to Handle Stress for the Middle School Success Author: Silvi Guerra, PsyD Illustrator: DeAndra Hodge Get your physical copy here! Spec Spot What's It about? Stress and anxiety are very real aspects of our lives, and the lives of our kids. Unfortunately, there is no guidebook to get us through it all...until now. Well, kind of. Kid Confident #3 How to Handle Stress for Middle School Success focuses on helping middle schools identify, understand and cope with stress of school and life in general through the format of a video game. Each chapter focuses one set of skills, recognizing the signs, symptoms and feelings that come with that particular struggle before offering case studies of sorts (about a paragraph long) used to practice the skills and test understanding. Then they discuss ways to handle said challenge, sometimes with visuals and other resources to check out if desired before reviewing the content of the chapter and leveling up. Other thoughts: I was drawn to this book as a woman who has been in therapy on and off since high school who has struggled with anxiety, depression and undiagnosed (until recently) ADHD and mother of three of which one or more struggles with their own anxiety, depression, autism, ADHD, eczema in about three different combinations of one or more of these struggles. Needless to say, in my house we are always working at filling our tool boxes with as many tools to help us through the day effectively. So, obviously I knew I had to check this out as soon as I hear it existed. Once I got my hands on this book and had a chance to flip through it, I was so excited about the format of the book. I thought that the idea of presenting it like a video game with levels instead of chapters, level ups at the end of each level, quests instead of tasks or "homework" to