#MGTakesOnThursday / Curse of the School Rabbit

curse-school-rabbitBook: The Curse of the School Rabbit (2019)
Author: Judith Kerr
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Lower MG, Contemporary

Rating: 4 stars

This book in three words…

Humour, Pets, Family

Favourite Sentence from Page 11…

Then Dad said, “He won’t like me being taller than him,” and Uncle Mike said, “Well, most people are taller than Gordon Strong, but it might be a good idea for you crouch down a bit, so that it won’t be so noticeable.”

My thoughts on this book…

This lower middle-grade book revolves around a classroom pet (a rabbit in this case) who comes to stay at the home of Tommy and his sister Angie. Actually, the rabbit comes from Angie’s classroom; Tommy can’t stand the rabbit. But guess who has to take care of the rabbit? If you guessed Tommy, you are absolutely correct!

The rabbit causes all sorts of headaches. And not just for Tommy. Tommy’s dad and uncle are trying to get the famous actor, Gordon Strong, to hire Tommy’s dad for his next movie. But the rabbit does help matters. Tommy’s pretty sure that rabbit carries a curse!

The only odd thing about this book is that there are no chapters. I really think it could have benefitted from chapter divisions. There are lots of pictures, though. And lots of run-on sentences! But those sentences fit in very nicely with Tommy’s first-person narration.

Overall, it was a delightful book.

This post is part of a challenge to celebrate middle-grade books. For more information, go to: https://bookcraic.blog/2020/07/23/mg-takes-on-thursday-8/

How to take part…

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence.
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.


#MGTakesOnThursday / Bat and the Waiting Game

bat-waiting-gameBook: Bat and the Waiting Game (2018)
Author: Elana K. Arnold
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Genre: Lower MG, Contemporary

Rating: 4 stars

This book in three words…

Siblings, Autism, Skunks

Favourite Sentence* from Page 11…

“I don’t talk about the audition nearly as much as you talk about Thor,” Janie said.

“How much can anyone say about an audition?” Bat said.

“How much can anyone say about a skunk?” Janie said.

(*Or Favourite Sentences?)

My thoughts on this book…

This is a lower middle-grade book about a boy who copes with autism. And he has a baby skunk that helps him out. What’s not to love about a baby skunk?! (Hmmm? I wonder.)

This is a nice quick read. It gives a nice glimpse into the mind of a child who has to deal with the sensory issues of autism. And he has a lot of little annoyances to navigate, especially when his big sister gets a part in the school play.

Apparently, this is a sequel to another book that I didn’t read. But, I didn’t find that to be a problem. Very cute story.

Did I mention the skunk?

This post is part of a challenge to celebrate middle-grade books. For more information, go to: https://bookcraic.blog/2020/07/09/mg-takes-on-thursday-6/

How to take part…

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence.
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.

#MGTakesOnThursday / Bad Girls

bad-girlsBook: Bad Girls (1996)
Author: Cynthia Voigt
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: MG, Contemporary

Rating: 5 stars

This book in three words…

School, Friendship, Secrets

Favourite Sentence from Page 11…

“[Mikey] gave Margalo another look at her smile. See if Margalo scared off easy.”

(Yes, technically, I chose another two sentences, but the second one is a fragment and really belongs in the first sentence! I love how these girls are trying so hard to be “bad girls”.)

My thoughts on this book…

Mikey and Margalo… Are they friends yet?

I think one of my favourite threads in this story has to do with the teacher. She and Mikey go head to head over her (Mikey’s) name. Mrs. Chemsky will NOT use a nickname, but Mikey hates that her real name is Michelle. Of course, this whole name thing becomes very important later on.

And the whole “bad girl” thing? The girls aren’t necessarily bad in the true sense of the word. They see inconsistencies in the others around them. Like Rhonda. I think another favourite part has to do with the annoying Louis Caselli and how he gets kicked out the class, only for the girls to launch into a get-Louis-back campaign.

In many ways, this is not your typical middle-grade novel. It’s not light and fluffy. That’s not Voigt’s style of writing.

This post is part of a challenge to celebrate middle-grade books. For more information, go to: https://bookcraic.blog/2020/05/14/mgtakesonthursday-5/

How to take part…

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence.
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.

#MGTakesOnThursday / Breaking Stalin’s Nose

breaking stalins noseBook: Breaking Stalin’s Nose (2011)
Author: Eugene Yelchin
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: MG, Historical Fiction

Rating: 5 stars

This book in three words…

Family, Brainwashing, Truth

Favourite Sentence from Page 11…

“Everyone in the kitchen stops talking when my dad comes in. They look like they are afraid, but I know they are just respectful.”

(Yes, technically, I chose two sentences, but I felt that you needed both to get the gist of the situation. Also, please note that Sasha’s dad is one of the secret police. So, yes, the people in the kitchen are terrified of him!)

My thoughts on this book…

I absolutely LOVE this book! The setting is the Soviet Union in the 1930s, and I find a lot of people don’t really know much about this time period in history. In my case, I grew up with these stories about the Soviet Union since my grandmother lived there. She lived through Stalin’s man-made famine in 1932-33 (the Holodomor, if you’re interested in knowing more.) It’s so important that we understand the ways a society can go wrong… that communism and socialism are not the answer.

In the story, young Sasha believes all the lies that have been handed to him in school and by his own dad. He can hardly wait to become a young pioneer to help bring in the great utopian future! So, when his dad is arrested, he thinks it’s all a mistake. Comrade Stalin will be able to set things right! Little by little, Sasha begins to see that things are not quite the way he’s been told. And yes, Stalin’s nose plays a very important part…

Very powerful book. It won a Newbery Honor in 2012.

This post is part of a challenge to celebrate middle-grade books. For more information, go to: https://bookcraic.blog/2020/04/30/mgtakesonthursday-3/

How to take part…

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence.
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.


Liebster Award

What is the Liebster Award?

Picture113It’s an award that exists only on the internet. It’s given to bloggers by other bloggers. (Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.) A blogger nominates you, introducing you to the world and then you, in turn, nominate other new bloggers so that the blogging community expands.

I was nominated back in December by Mel at Decor Craft Design. Now I get to answer Mel’s questions for me.

What would you be like or do if…

  1. You are a superhero? I’d be Wonder Woman! I even have the glasses. 🙂 And I know how to twirl. (I’ve been practicing since I was 3 or 4.)
  2. You are a dog? I would live a carefree life. I’d chase cats off the property and dance like Snoopy.
  3. You can fly? Hmm. I guess I’d save a lot of money, that’s for sure! I go visiting places. (I wonder if I can take friends with me?)
  4. You are a celebrity? I’d probably be one of those recluses. I like my privacy too much to enjoy celebrity.
  5. You are an alien? I’d probably be trying to fit in so that people wouldn’t think I was an alien. But I’m sure I’d be curious and want to know more about these earthlings and their strange customs.
  6. You can travel time? I’d definitely go back and experience some of my favourite time periods in history. I’d go back and see a Shakespearean play. I’d attend Queen Victoria’s coronation. I’d go play with Laura and Mary on the banks of Plum Creek. Oh, there is so much I’d want to do!

Technically, I think I’m supposed to nominate other people at this time. However, the last time I did a tag, pretty much nobody answered my questions. So, I don’t really want to pressure anybody.

All my followers, I do think you have some great blogs out there! Keep it up 🙂 And if you want to answer my questions, feel free to do so. Consider yourself tagged!

My Questions

    1. What is your idea of the perfect Sunday afternoon?
    2. Would you rather have your favourite character in a book killed off… or have to live in the same house with your bookish archenemy for a year?
    3. You are set to go on a quest with the main characters of the book you are currently reading (or have just finished). Who are they?
    4. Do you prefer Twitter or Instagram? Why?
    5. Would you rather write a famous poem or a best-selling novel?
    6. If you could attend any bookish event, what would it be? (Think: a fictional event that happens in a book.)


Book Tag / I Spy Book Challenge

Thank you to Tale of a Bookworm for tagging me in the I Spy Book Challenge.

The Rules:

Find a book that contains (either on the cover or in the title) an example for each category. You must have a separate book for all 20, get as creative as you want and do it within five minutes!

The books I chose are from books I’ve already read. While I like some of these titles better than others, I would recommend them all! (Note: And I’m pretty sure I took more than five minutes. 😉 )

Food || Transportation || Weapon || Animal

Number || Something You Read || Body of Water || Product of Fire

Royalty || Architecture || Clothing Item || Family Member

Time of Day || Music || Paranormal Being || Occupation

Season || Color || Celestial Body || Something That Grows

Who Do I Tag?

I’m note tagging anybody specifically. But if you want to do this tag, please do! And let me know your results 🙂 

Tag / Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you Suziey Bravo @ Of All the Books in All the Libraries for the nomination of the Sunshine Blogger Award. This award is given to bloggers by other bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring. It’s always nice to know that people enjoy what you write on your blog. I certainly enjoy reading Suziey’s posts. Be sure to check them out!


  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and ask them 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your post/or on your blog

Suziey’s Questions For Me:

1. Would you rather travel back in time and alter history or go to the future and find out how and when you die?
I guess I’d choose to travel back in time. But I don’t know if I’d try to alter history. I’m of the opinion that altering history might just bring about worse events. (I think I’ve seen too many movies!) But I’d like to go back in time and visit some of my favourite time periods. Regency or Victorian England would be my first stop.

2. Think of your favorite word. Recommend a book whose title corresponds with a letter in your favorite word. 
This was a hard one. I finally came up with the word “Ellicott”. I like how this word rolls off the tongue. [Edit: I just realized that I did a book for every letter. I don’t think I was supposed to do that. Anyway, I’ve decided to leave it. Consider the other books to be bonus recommendations!]

E – Ella Enchanted // by Gail Carson Levine

L – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe // by C.S. Lewis

L – Little Women // by Louisa May Alcott

I – Iggie’s House // by Judy Blume

C – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory // by Roald Dahl

O – On the Banks of Plum Creek // by Laura Ingalls Wilder

T – The Time Garden // by Edward Eager

T – Tuck Everlasting // by Natalie Babbitt

3. Who would win in an arm wrestling game, you or your best friend?
Hmmm… We’d probably start the arm wrestling match, then say, “Let’s have tea instead.” And we’d have tea. It’s a tie! Yay!

4. When was the last time you binge watched a show and what was it?
Lucy Worsley’s history presentations. From Jane Austen to the Russian Czars to the history of the British fascination with all things Murder. (Thank-you to one of my RL best friends for recommending Lucy!)

5. What place would you never ever want to visit?
Anyplace that has poisonous snakes, spiders, or other such creatures that live in the wild.

6. Have you met any celebrities before, and if so, who?
I haven’t really met any big celebrities. But I did once see Princess Diana. She was visiting Niagara Falls with her sons and they went on the Maid of the Mist (the boat that takes tourists to the falls). My friends and I stood at the top watching the boat. Of course, we couldn’t actually see them, but we waited patiently. Finally, the van carrying the royals drove up the hill and by the viewing platform where we were standing. My one friend screamed (she was the true royal fan among us). I had my little trusty camera (110 film!) and snapped a photo. Of course, I had to wait about a week to see if the photo turned out. It did! (I wish I could show it here, but unfortunately it’s not in my current location.) That’s my celebrity story. I saw Princess Diana for 2 seconds… through a viewfinder of a camera.

7.  Do you hear yanny or laurel? (Click here, listen to the audio recording, and then come back and write your answer)
I heard Laurel. Not sure what that means, though.

8. Is there anything you miss about your childhood?
I think I miss the carefree days. The days when I could spend hours reading and playing. (Although, my current life isn’t all that bad.)

9. What is your favorite music genre?
Probably classical music. But I also like musical theatre music. (Although I don’t really like Hamilton... Too hip-hoppy for me!)

10. What would be the title of your autobiography?
Here’s a Good Book… Then I’d spend the book trying to convince people to read good books. (I’m not sure what kind of autobiography THAT would be.)

11. What is the first/oldest memory you remember?
I have a memory from when I was probably three years old. There was a house my grandmother and I visited (some friends of hers). They had a “playhouse” under the stairs. I was in heaven! I have never been back to this house, but to this day I remember the joy I had playing there.

My Nominees:

Elza Kinde // Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf // Purely Olivia // MoMo @ Remnants of Wit // Rosi Hollinbeck // Norrie @ Reading Under the Blanket // Crimsonprose // Dani @ Perspective of a Writer // You!

*Note: Don’t feel obligated to do this tag if you don’t have the time or have done this one already. 

My Questions For You:

1. What book did you read over and over when you were a child? What did you like about it?

2. Have you ever written fanmail to an author (or other famous person)? Who? Did you  get a response?

3. You are driving across country with three fictional characters. Who’s driving? Who’s navigating? Who’s there just for the fun of it? Who’s always asking to stop to go to the bathroom? (Remember, you’re in the car, too!)

4. You’re a famous photographer and you have been commissioned to take a portrait of your favourite author. Who is it and why did you choose this author? (In this scenario, time does not matter. So, feel free to choose an author who is either dead or alive.)

5. Would you rather… your favourite author read their next book to you; OR dedicate it to you, where your name will forever be immortalized?

6. You’ve just been kidnapped by a notorious gang of (you guessed it) kidnappers! The members of the SWAT team sent in to rescue you are characters from the last book you read. Who is coming? (And is this a good thing?)

7. What is your favourite quote?

8. You walk into a room. There are three people in the room. Each person is a fictional character that you absolutely cannot stand. Who are these three characters?

9. What was your dream job as a kid? Is it anything like what you do now?

10. You are going to be exiled on a desert island for three months. What are three books you would take with you? (No need to worry about escaping/survival guides. This is a luxurious desert island. There’s just no internet or other such distractions.)

11. Who gave you your love of reading?

Tag! You’re it.


Tag / This or That?

I don’t often do tags, but I thought this one sounded like fun. And I was nominated by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer. Thanks, Dani! This is for you!

The Rules

  • Mention the creator: Anita from Discovering Your Happiness, of the This or That Tag as a way to get to know bloggers’ preferences.
  • Thank and link back to the person who nominated you so they can read your answers.
  • Answer the Questions.
  • Nominate 10+ bloggers.

This or That // My Answers

Dog or Cat?
Um… Probably neither. Our family was more a bird family. I like dogs, but I wouldn’t want to walk a dog everyday. And cats… hmm, I’m not really a cat person.

Netflix or YouTube?
Youtube. I’m frugal (Read: cheap?). I don’t like the idea of paying for Netflix.

Phone Call or Text?
Phone call.

Toast or Eggs?
Is this an either/or? I usually have toast for breakfast. And when I eat eggs, I need toast. So, I guess that answers the questions. Toast, all the way!

Cardio or Weights?

Facebook or Twitter?

Ice Cream Cone or Snow Cone?
Ice Cream Cone.

Mobile Games or Console Games?
**Rolls eyes** (I haven’t played a computer game since the 1980s.)

While walking: Music or Podcasts?
Neither. I talk to myself instead. I think through writing ideas mostly.

Although I do like to listen to music while I’m working. Usually while I’m in Photoshop. I find music inspiring! And I also like to listen to podcasts. Again, while I’m working.

iOS or Android?
Can you believe it? I do NOT own a smart phone!

Cake or Pie?
Pie. (Unless it’s pumpkin pie. If it’s pumpkin pie, then I’ll have the cake, please!)

Swimming or Sunbathing?
I’m not crazy about either.

Big Party or Small Gathering?
Small Gathering!

New Clothes or New Phone?
I’d rather have a new piece of photography equipment instead.

Rich Friend or Loyal Friend?
Loyal Friend. Definitely.

Football or Basketball?
Figure Skating?

Nice Car or Nice Home Interior?
Nice Camera.

What’s worse: Laundry or Dishes?
Dishes. Especially pots and pans.

Jogging or Hiking?
Hiking. (So, I can take my camera.)

Bath or Shower?
Shower. I don’t understand why grown-ups like baths. I understand why kids like baths, ’cause you can actually float in the bathtub. So, unless it’s a hot tub, I don’t care for baths.

Sneakers or Sandals?

Glasses or Contacts?
Glasses. I’m scared of contacts.

Hamburger or Taco?

Couch or Recliner?

Online Shopping or Shopping in a Store?

Receive: Email or Letter?

Passenger or Driver?
Passenger. I’d rather daydream. I rather somebody else pay attention to the road. (But I am glad I know how to drive.)

Tablet or Computer?

Most important in a partner: Intelligent or Funny?
The problem with this question is that I want both. I wouldn’t want somebody to be intelligent but have no sense of humour. And if somebody was funny without being intelligent? That person is probably NOT for me.

Car or Truck?

Blue or Red?

Money or Free Time?
Free Time.

Amusement Park or Day at the Beach?
How about going to the Theatre.

At a movie: Candy or Popcorn?
Neither. Too expensive. (I’m cheap, remember?)

Pen or Pencil?
Pen. (Except when I’m lining a script. Then pencil.)

Toilet paper: Over or Under?

Cups in the cupboard: Right Side Up or Up Side Down?
Up side down.

Pancake or Waffle?

Coke or Pepsi?
I used to like Coke better. But I don’t drink either anymore.

Coffee Cup or Thermos?
I prefer a Ceramic Mug, if that’s what you’re asking.

Blinds or Curtain?

Train or Plane?

Phone or Tablet?
Neither. I’d rather have a Laptop.

Iced Coffee or Hot Coffee?
I don’t drink coffee.

Meat or Vegetables?
I don’t eat a lot meat, but I do like meat. I also like vegetables.

International Vacation or a New TV?
International Vacation. Think of all the photos…

Save or Spend?
I love to Save!

Honesty or Other’s Feelings?
Other’s Feelings.

Coffee or Tea?

TV or Book?

Movie at Home or Movie at the Theater?
Probably, Movie at Home.

Ocean or Mountains?

Horror Movie or Comedy Movie?
Comedy. I don’t do Horror.

City or Countryside?
It depends.

Winter or Summer?

Mac or PC?

Console Gaming or PC Gaming?
Haven’t I answered this question already?!

Soup or Sandwich?
Soup in winter. Sandwich in summer.

Card Game or Board Game?
Board Game.

Camping or Binge Watching Shows at Home?
I guess I’ll pick the Binge Watching Shows at Home. I’m a home body.

Working Alone or Working in a Team?
Working Alone.

Dine In or Delivery?
Dine In.

Sweater or Hoodie?

Motorcycle or Bicycle?
Bicycle. Motorcycles scare me.

Book or eBook?

When sleeping: Fan or No Fan?
Usually… No Fan.

TV Shows or Movies?

Wow! That was A LOT of questions…

As for Nominations… I nominate YOU… if you want to do this. And if you do, please link back to me so I can read your answers. 🙂