Posted in Nana's Nook

Nana’s Nook – Review – Part 1 – The Left Behinds: Abe Lincoln and the Selfie that Saved the Union by David Potter

Nana's Nook

I used to review children’s books when Kaden was younger and now Remi and Natalie are getting to that fun age where they love to read with me. Kaden is into chapter books and learning new words everyday. So I have decided to say “yes” when a children’s book crosses my path that I think they would enjoy.

abe lincoln
The Left Behinds: Abe Lincoln and the Selfie that Saved the Union
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Series: The Left Behinds
2nd in Series
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers (January 12, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0385390606

Percy Jackson fans and readers who have outgrown the Magic Tree House series will embrace this humorous time-travel adventure to Abe Lincoln’s White House and the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

Mel, Bev, and Brandon—the Left Behinds—are at it again. When the iTime app on their phones sends them to Washington, D.C., in 1863, they find themselves smack dab in the middle of the Civil War. They sit in on a séance with First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and are shown every inch of the White House by Tad, the youngest Lincoln. When they drop in on the president himself, Abe Lincoln, he is preoccupied with the fateful battle at Gettysburg, which is just under way.

The kids receive their marching orders—they must somehow travel to Gettysburg from D.C., make sure what’s supposed to happen does happen, save the Union, and be home in time for dinner.

No biggie. After all, it’s only the entire future of the country at stake.

This sequel to The iPhone That Saved George Washington includes an author’s note and information on Civil War reenactments and living history sites around the nation.

Nana’s Thoughts

This is a chapter book I started reading with my oldest grandson. I had committed to feature this book today for the publisher, so what we have is a review in progress.

We have finished Part 1, Welcome to Washington City, so far. I really wish we would have read the first book, The iPhone That Saved George Washington, before we started this one because I would have liked a little more knowledge on this iTime app. An eight year old can ask so many questions and I hate saying “I don’t know, let’s keep reading and maybe we’ll find out”.  I guess I am like Professor Moncrieff in that way, I just hope I don’t frown as much. But I am getting ahead of myself.

This series/book features Mel, Bev, and Brandon. They attend the Fredericksville School and didn’t go home for the holidays. They meet Professor Moncrieff in the basement of Taylor’s General Store where he tells them about the iTime app and tells them they need to go back in time and “change things”. Somehow they are also to able to stay in touch with their teacher, Mr. Hart, by text messages. Even my grandson didn’t buy this. His mother’s cell phone drops calls when they go to his other grandparents house in the country. He just looked at me and said “No Way!” But I did the “let’s keep reading” thing. The kids are nervous about going back in time “again”. (“We really need that book Nana”) But the kids are off in a blink of an eye headed back to 1863 where they abruptly meet The First Lady, Mrs. Lincoln, and the adventure begins where.

Part 1 takes us through Chapter 10, Part 2, White House Guests and Ghosts, has ghosts in the title so my grandson is looking forward to that.

This is a great way to teach history. It is relate-able to kids and much interesting than any textbook I ever read. The age level, 8-12, seems right. The kids in the story are 12. My grandson is 8 and he needed help understanding a few words but so did Mel, Bev, and Brandon, so there are explanations right in the story. I did have to explain some things and as I said answer some questions. That is why this is an excellent learning tool.

We are just getting to know Brandon, Mel and Bev, and I am sure we are at a disadvantage not having read the first book, but these are kids kind of thrown together by circumstance, they are not “friends, exactly”.  The story has them working together and relying on each other and it is handled realistically for kids this age. Another good lesson.

Like I said this is a review in progress so I will update as we continue, but right now we give this book between 3 and 4 stars. I am close to 4 and my grandson is the 3. He wants to see what happens with the ghosts.


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about David Potter and his books on his webpage here.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Spotlight/Giveaway – Empty Nest by Marty Wingate

EMPTY NEST large banner 640

Empty Nest
by Marty Wingate

EMPTY NEST is riveting! So much so, I recommend setting aside a block of time to read it start to finish–you won’t want to stop before the end.
~Mallory Heart Reviews

The pace is quick, the characters are well-developed, and the plot has many twists and turns.
~Christa Reads and Writes

What a great read from a great author.
~Bab’s Book Bistro

Thinking about the Brit-coms I adore, this kind of reminds me of “To the Manor Born” (with Penelope Keith). I could totally see the “Birds of a Feather Mysteries” becoming a mini-series on the BBC.
~Back Porchervations

If you like cozy mysteries in small English towns, you can’t go wrong with either of Marty Wingate’s series.
~Reading Reality

It ‘s a well-written and engaging story with many twists and surprises. I also loved the setting, a picturesque town in the UK.

I love how the author is able to transport readers into the life on a British estate, and to be able to experience the British countryside through her words.
~Book Babble

empty nestEmpty Nest:
A Birds of a Feather Mystery

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Alibi (December 1, 2015)
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Sold by: Random House LLC
Language: English


If you love Laura Childs, Ellery Adams, or Jenn McKinlay, don’t miss Marty Wingate’s charming Birds of a Feather series! In Empty Nest, Julia Lanchester’s life is interrupted by a murder most foul—and a killer who’s watching her like a hawk.

Manager of a tourist center in a quaint British village, Julia Lanchester finds herself with more ideas than time. Her boss is the Earl Fotheringill himself, but apart from him, she doesn’t mix well with the aristocracy. Unfortunately, toxic mold forces her from her cottage and into one of the earl’s countless spare rooms at the Hall. She tries to get a handle on her overload of work, while she finds herself arguing with dinner guests, chaffing at the sudden interest the earl’s son has in running the estate, and missing her new beau, Michael Sedgwick.

Her life goes from bad to sinister when Julia discovers poisoned sparrowhawks on the expansive estate grounds. And soon after, she finds one of the Hall’s visitors murdered—felled by the same poison. While simultaneously both spooked and angry, she still can’t keep herself from snooping, and dragging Michael along into her investigation. But will she find the culprit before her own wings are clipped?


About the Author

Marty Wingate is the author of two previous Potting Shed mysteries, The Garden Plot and The Red Book of Primrose House. Her new Birds of a Feather Mystery series debuted with The Rhyme of the Magpie. Wingate is a regular contributor to Country Gardens and other magazines. She also leads gardening tours throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and North America. More Potting Shed and Birds of a Feather mysteries are planned.

Author Links

Purchase Links

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Tour Participants

November 24- Mallory Heart Reviews – Review
November 24- Frankie Bow – Guest Post
November 25 – Babs Book Bistro – Review
November 26 – U. S. Thanksgiving
November 27 – A Year of Jubilee Reviews – Review
November 27 – Christa Reads and Writes– Review
November 28 – Community Bookstop – Interview
November 29 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight
November 29 – Mythical Books – Guest Post
November 30 – Back Porchervations – Review
December 1 – Reading Reality – Review
December 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – Guest Post
December 3 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
December 4 – Book Babble – Review
December 5 – Teatime and Book – Spotlight
December 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
December 7 – THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK – Spotlight
December 7 – Escape with Dollycas Into A Good Book – Spotlight
December 8 – deal sharing aunt – Spotlight

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Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Giveaways

6th Annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!

2014 spooktacular

6th Annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

October 15th to 31st

This is a huge hop!
Click here for the full list and start hopping!


I think I have a little something for everyone this year! 

Spooktacular Escape #1

Murder, She Wrote: the Ghost and Mrs. Fletcher
ghost and mrs. fletcher
Series: Murder She Wrote (Book 44)
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: NAL (October 6, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0451477361

In the USA Today bestselling Murder, She Wrote series—make room for Jessica Fletcher as she cleans house to catch a killer who hasn’t got a ghost of a chance.

Jessica’s friend, Eve Simpson is the town’s premier real estate agent and has recently taken on the task of selling one of Cabot Cove’s oldest properties—the Spencer Percy House, built in 1805 by a sea captain for his young wife. Its current occupant, Cliff Cooper, a crusty former carpenter, is convinced he’s about to die and wants the house sold so he can give the proceeds to his grandson, who spent much of his youth there.

But Eve’s got quite a challenge on her hands. Not only is the building in deplorable physical condition, it is also rumored to be haunted.

When Cliff’s deadly premonition becomes a reality, Dr. Seth Hazlitt is not so sure the man died of natural causes. As Jessica tries to get to the bottom of Cliff Cooper’s death, a medium hired by Eve attempts to rid the house of the alleged apparition. But if Jessica isn’t careful, she may be the one who joins the ranks of the dearly departed.


Spooktacular Escape #2silver eve

Silver Eve (Guardians of Tarnec)
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Series: Guardians of Tarnec
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (September 22, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0449817520

This spellbinding fantasy, perfect for fans of Shannon Hale, Juliet Marillier, and Kristin Cashore, continues the beautifully written series begun with Lark Rising.
The Healer Evie saves two herbs for herself—yew, a quick and painful poison, and heliotrope, for the deep, deep sleep that never ends.

After the death of her beloved, seventeen-year-old Evie Carew wants nothing more than to lose herself forever in the wilds of Rood Marsh. But when the old seer Harker tells her she’s meant for a greater task, Evie’s curiosity keeps her going. What is this shell that Harker insists she must find? And why can’t she stop thinking about the handsome Rider Laurent, the young man who saved her on the worst day of her life?

Soon Evie discovers that she is the Guardian of Death, the second of four Guardians who must awaken to their powers to recover four stolen amulets. Together, the amulets—Life, Death, Dark, and Light—keep the world in balance. To take back the shell that is Death’s amulet, Evie has to learn to challenge her Healer instincts and understand that love never dies.

Spooktacular Escape #3i am china

I Am China
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Anchor (August 4, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0804170475

An NPR Best Book of the Year

London translator Iona Kirkpatrick is at work on a new project: a collection of letters and diaries by a Chinese punk guitarist named Kublai Jian. As she translates the handwritten pages, a story of romance and revolution emerges between Jian, who believes there is no art without political commitment, and Mu, a poet whom he loves as fiercely as his ideals.
Iona cannot know that Jian has come to Britain seeking political asylum and is mere miles away in Dover, awaiting news of his fate. Mu is in Beijing, writing letters to London, feverishly trying to track Jian down. As Iona charts the course of their twenty-year relationship from its beginnings at Beijing University to Jian’s defiant march in the Jasmine Revolution, her empty life takes on an urgent purpose: to bring Jian and Mu together again before it’s too late.


You can enter to win 1 or 2 or all 3 books!


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Just For Fun Challenge Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – My Just For Fun September Read

just for fun 2014
This is a challenge to help us get some of those books on out To-Be Read stacks read without the pressure of a review (unless we want to) or meeting any other challenge. These books are read totally Just For Fun. I have given just a brief review because I read the book JUST FOR FUN!!

This month’s Just For Fun read has been on my To-Be-Read shelf for over 2 years. My daughter kept asking “Why haven’t you read that book yet?” almost every time she visited. Now with the movie coming out and the 3 of us wanting to go I knew I had to read this book now. No more excuses.

gone girlGone Girl
Crown (June 5, 2012)
Published by Random House
Hardcover: 432 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0307588364
Paperback: 432 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0307588371
E-Book File Size: 1810 KB


On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?    As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I know I am probably one of the last people to read this book so I will give you just a brief review. I also don’t want to give anything away for those that haven’t read it or plan on just seeing the movie that comes out October 3.

This is  a really dark and twisted story.  I was fully engaged from the start and Part 2 was a huge surprise but I was totally disappointed by the ending but my daughter loved it so I guess it is open to debate. Maybe my age has something to do with it. This was one really screwed up marriage.

With all my reservations and conflicted feelings aside Gillian Flynn is an excellent storyteller. I was feeling a myriad of emotions while reading the story and it kept drawing me in. Then I wanted to throw the book at the end but I checked out a few reviews and talked to others and I am not alone.  In fact there are almost 23,000 reviews on Amazon for Gone Girl ranging from 1 to 5 stars. A book like this is perfect for a Book Club because as soon as you finish it you want to talk about it. I imagine there have been some awesome discussions since this book came out in 2012. I believe a good book invokes conversation and this one sure meets that criteria.

just you and a friend

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in E-Book Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2014 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review – The City by Dean Koontz with A Very Special Giveaway!

the city
The City: A Novel
Publisher by Bantam Books(July 1, 2014)
A Random House Publishing Group
Hardcover: 416 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345545930
E-Book File Size: 1852 KB


The city changed my life and showed me that the world is deeply mysterious. I need to tell you about her and some terrible things and wonderful things and amazing things that happened . . . and how I am still haunted by them. Including one night when I died and woke and lived again.
Here is the riveting, soul-stirring story of Jonah Kirk, son of an exceptional singer, grandson of a formidable “piano man,” a musical prodigy beginning to explore his own gifts when he crosses a group of extremely dangerous people, with shattering consequences. Set in a more innocent time not so long ago, The City encompasses a lifetime but unfolds over three extraordinary, heart-racing years of tribulation and triumph, in which Jonah first grasps the electrifying power of music and art, of enduring friendship, of everyday heroes.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I haven’t read a Dean Koontz novel since I have started blogging and this was a great one for my venture back into his unique way of storytelling. Sometimes his stories have just scared me to death but this one drew me in with its almost fantasy feel.

Jonah Ellington Basie Hines Eldridge Wilson Hampton Armstrong Kirk takes us back in time and gives us an “oral history” of his life. And what a life it was. The key character to the whole story is “the city” and that doesn’t mean what you think but there will be no spoilers here.  Jonah’s story is very complex and includes some characters them seem very ordinary at the beginning but become extraordinary in the end. I was shocked that the adult Jonah and I have something in common. This story then evoked some totally new emotions.

Let’s face it Koontz is a master storyteller. He creates plots that so intricate and multifaceted that grip the reader so tightly while examining hard issues. His characters come to life right off the page and his descriptive talents bring the time and place alive as well. There is so much going on in this story readers need to slow down and savor the words. There are several elements interwoven with the main theme that all add up to make this an outstanding story.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Dean Koontz and his books visit his webpage here.
There is also a Reading Group Guide for The City.

Now For The Giveaway!!
One lucky reader will win signed copies of The City for their ENTIRE book club (maximum 20 copies), and Dean will give the winning book club a Facebook shout out to his 1.4 million Facebook fans!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Just For Fun Challenge Reviews 2014

My March Just For Fun Book – The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

just for fun 2014This is a challenge to help us get some of those books on out To-Be Read stacks read without the pressure of a review (unless we want to) or meeting any other challenge. These books are read totally Just For Fun.

THE HEISTThe Heist: A Novel
(Fox and O’Hare)

First in Series
Bantam Books (JUNE 18, 2013)
Published By Random House
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345543042
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345543059
E-Book File Size: 1893 KB


From Janet Evanovich, #1 bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum novels, and Lee Goldberg, bestselling author and television writer for Monk, comes the first adventure in an electrifying new series featuring an FBI agent who always gets her man, and a fearless con artist who lives for the chase.
Nicolas Fox is an international con man, famous for running elaborate scams on very rich and powerful people. He knows that the FBI has been hot on his trail for years—particularly FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare. But just when it seems that Fox has been captured for good, he pulls off his greatest con of all: He convinces the FBI to offer him a job, working side by side with O’Hare.

Their first assignment takes them to the side streets of Berlin, the California desert, and remote Indonesian islands as they team up to catch Derek Griffin, a corrupt investment banker charged with stealing millions from his clients. Finding Griffin on his private island is going to test O’Hare’s patience and Fox’s skill. High-speed chases, pirates, and Toblerone bars are all in a day’s work . . . if O’Hare and Fox don’t kill each other first.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
As a Janet Evanovich fan I knew I would like this story.

While the authors stretch reality with a female who is a former Navy SEAL, this character was quite interesting but she is no Stephanie Plum. Kate O’Hare is a great protagonist and a woman on a mission and then that mission suddenly gets turned upside down. Likewise Nicolas Fox is an awesome con man but he is no Ranger, but he is a thorn in Kate side, that does make her heart rate increase.

Putting aside Evanovich’s Plum Series and letting this series stand on its own is hard but readers have to do that. This story does have some humor but it is more complex and plotted out just a bit differently which is what I believe Goldberg brings to the story. Together they bring us a story that is entertaining.

It was an amazing fast read. There were a few tense moments of suspense but this is a very light mystery. A fun beach read or a fun break if you read a lot of thriller books.

I have the second book, The Chase, waiting on my kindle and I plan to read it soon. For me the jury is  still out on this series.

still at the beach but not as tranquil3 STARFISH

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in Reviews 2013

Review: Leading Man by Benjamin Svetkey

leasding man
Leading Man (Vintage Contemporaries Original)
Vintage Books (September 3, 2013)
A Division of Random House, Inc.
Contempoary Fiction
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0307949615
E-Book File Size: 1196 KB



Life is sweet.

Max is living the dream. His high school sweetheart Samantha is an aspiring actress. He is working for a prestigious national magazine. They are living together in an apartment in the West Village.

Then Samantha is swept off her feet by another actor, Johnny Mars, who Max idolizes himself. His Jack Montana movies are some of Max’s favorites.

Max spends years trying to win Samantha back only she doesn’t know it. He is working in the glamorous world Samantha left him for interviewing A List actors trying to make himself so important she’ll leave Johnny and come back to him. Will it work?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is a true coming of age story, but I really had a hard time with the fact that a seemingly very intelligent man just couldn’t get on with his life when his high school girlfriend moved on with hers. I know first loves always hold a place in our heart but this was just a little hard for me to swallow.

It is well written in that much of the back story was very interesting. The jetting around the world to movie sets and interviewing the actors, but the main character Max was lost to me in this story. I pitied him, I was not rooting for him. The cover say this story was funny and they may have been a couple of moments of humor I wouldn’t call it funny.

I like a main character that even when the chips are down you see them rally. Life is not all rainbows and happy endings but it is what you make of it and frankly Max did have a fabulous job and couldn’t have evolved and grew but he just fell flat on these pages. The book gets better near the end and there is a twist the changed my feelings about Max just a tad but not enough to give this book more than 3 stars.

still at the beach but not as tranquil


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Just For Fun Challenge Reviews 2013

Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich – My June Just For Fun Book!

smokin 17Smokin’ Seventeen (Stephanie Plum Novels)
17th in Series
Bantam Books (June 21, 2011)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345527684
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345527707
E-Book File Size: 1401 KB




Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and no one knows this better than New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum.

Vinnie is just trying to rebuild his bail bonds office but that is not happening easily. When the backhoe shows up to prepare the sight they find much more than they bargained for.  Not just one dead body but two and there could be more.

Stephanie just wants to pick up her FTA’s and collect her pay but she can’t help but do a little investigating. She needs to do something to get her mind off the curse Morelli’s grandmother put on her and her family has decided she really needs to settle down so they are throwing yet another man at her.

When she finds out the dead bodies have been left to scare her, she realizes the killer may be after her next.

With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Sunday afternoon I was in the mood to read something fun. It didn’t take me long to pick up this book. You just can’t go wrong with a Stephanie Plum novel. They are quick reads and like always this one had me laughing out loud.

Let’s see besides the dead bodies, you have a man that always seems to answer his door stark naked who found out how quickly Lula can blow if you call her “fat”. Then you have another man who has failed to appear who thinks he is a vampire and will only come out at night. Another man who has no money so he leaves his “dancing bear” with Vinnie as collateral. Oh my this batch of bailed out individuals were something else.

Of course you have the regular cast of characters, “hunkalicious” Ranger, “McDreamy” Morelli, bodacious Lula, and Crazy Grandma Mazur all keep Stephanie’s life in utter chaos.

As any series that goes on this long things can get a little stale sometimes but it was the perfect pick me up for me. Just what I needed.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*This book was from my personal collection.

just for fun 2013

Posted in Reviews 2013

A Change of Pace

I received books outside of my usual genre, probably sent to me by mistake, but I slipped them into my reading schedule last Sunday.

These book are for children 9 and up so I guess you could say I qualify 🙂

crushCrush: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Love
3rd in Series
Random House Children’s Books (May 8, 2012)
Kids 9 and up
Paperback: 144 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0385742313
E-Book File Size: 1831 KB

Readers met the comical Kevin in Liar, Liar and Flat Broke. Kevin gets serious about Tina Zabinski, the Most Beautiful Girl in the World. Finally, finally, he’s worked up his courage—he’s going to ask her out. Or will his trademark scheming get in his way?

Random House Children’s Books
Wendy Lamb Books (May 14, 2013)
4th in Series
Age 9 and up
Hardcover: 144 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0385742283
File Size: 1192 KB

Kevin Spencer, the hero of Liar, Liar, Flat Broke, and Crush, has a knack for tackling big ideas and goofing up, so what’s next? Politics, of course! He’s running for office, and his campaign is truly unique.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I really enjoyed both of these books, but like Crush the best. Kevin is finally ready to have a girlfriend. We spend a week with this 14 year old as he researches “romance”. He plans a romantic dinner for his parents so he can observe how they act “on a date”. He tags along with a friend and his girlfriend on a “homework date”. He sets up a party for his brother and his hockey team and invites a bunch of girls who are on the figure skating team. He even asks  his sister for advice. None of these things go smoothly or helps him understand girls any better but it was a very enjoyable read and full of plenty of humor.

In Vote, Kevin decides to run for Student Body President. The campaign runs for week and is full of problems.  I did have an issue with this book. While Kevin seems to be a very mature 14 year old, behavior of his parents this week was really unacceptable. His parents committed to watch a neighbor’s 4 year old while his parents were out of town for a few days. Kevin does babysit for this child often but for him to wake up one morning to get ready for school and find a note from his parents that they had “emergencies” and couldn’t watch Markie that day was awful. Kevin was having a huge week at school that was important to him and his parents leave him responsible for Markie. What are his choices? Take him to school or stay home from school. I must say Kevin was very clever in the way he took Markie to school and did his best to stay out of trouble.  While it may make great fiction for kids this mom found it upsetting.

I give Crush: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Love


I give Vote

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author
GARY PAULSEN is the distinguished author of many critically acclaimed books for young people. His most recent books are Crush; Flat Broke; Liar, Liar; Paintings from the Cave; Lawn Boy Returns; Woods Runner; Masters of Disaster; Notes from the Dog; Mudshark; Lawn Boy; Molly McGinty Has a Really Good Day; The Time Hackers; and The Amazing Life of Birds (The Twenty-Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech).

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”