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In the new picture book If You Were a Dog by Jamie A. Swenson, young children are asked to imagine how they might act if they were animals instead of little kids. As kids are usually among the most imaginative people I’ve ever encountered, I am a big fan of this unique format for a story book. I’m even more impressed with the fabulously fun and rich language that make up the descriptions of the animals, and those paired with Chris Raschka’s vibrant illustrations make for an engaging reading experience.

Please see my complete review over on 5 Minutes for Mom, where you can enter to win a copy of the book for a child in your life!


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A Hundred Pieces of Me {Review and #Giveaway}

This is my first novel by Lucy Dillon, but in browsing her titles I see that she writes stories about heartbreak and loss and redemption, that seem to feature warm-blooded canines as well. Sounds like a pretty good formula to me! Those were the themes which drew me to A Hundred Pieces of Me. Gina Bellamy’s marriage is over in a flash. Instead of planning the next trip they’ll take or the next adventure they’ll have, she’s moved out of her house into a spare white apartment. She sees it as a chance to start over, to reevaluate each of her things. As the boxes from her old life literally fill her flat, she decides to work through them methodically, getting rid of things that
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House of Wonder #giveaway

When we were little and I needed Warren, I would rub my earlobe. And perhaps it was the alchemy of childhood, a magic that happened because I believed it could, but I swear it worked. He always came. Jenna Parsons returns to her childhood home just in time, as things seem to be crumbling around her shopaholic and former beauty queen mother and her twin brother Warren, the kid in school that everyone thought was weird. Then Warren is accused of the burglaries in the neighborhood and Jenna falls for a high school classmate, and her previously easy existence is suddenly a lot more complicated. Read my full review of House of Wonder at 5 Minutes for Mom, where you can also enter to win
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To See the Moon Again {Review and #Giveaway}

This was my first time to read a Jamie Langston Turner novel, but it certainly won’t be my last! I was pulled into this long novel from the very start by the strong college town setting, multi-faceted characters, and beautiful writing. Julia Rich is at an interesting stage in her life. Her husband died suddenly last year, which has caused her to reflect on their marriage. Why didn’t she ever give herself fully to him? I actually wish that there had been more details about her husband, but sometimes we don’t have epiphanies about all the issues in our past that can be wrapped up in 400 pages, so I’m fine with a little mystery. The second big change in Julia’s life is that she’s
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Early Decision {Book Review and #Giveaway}

Having a daughter who is a junior year in college has made this college thing totally real for me. Lacy Crawford’s novel looks at the lives of privileged teens seeking to get into the best schools. There’s a fair dose of “poor little rich kid,” but as a parent, I also heeded the cautionary tale of taking hold of my daughter’s dreams instead of letting her pursue her own. Read my full review of Early Decision at 5 Minutes for Mom where you can also enter to win a giveaway.
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My Mother’s Secret: a Novel Based on a True Holocaust Story {with #Giveaway}

The reality of having to hide Jews to spare them from being victims of the Holocaust is a tragic one, but one with which every young teen is familiar due to the legacy of Anne Frank’s diary. My Mother’s Secret: A Novel Based on a True Holocaust Story is set in Poland. Helena begins the account by sharing her own story. Of course her mother Franciszka figures into it. As Helena grows her mother’s positive influence on her is evident. The story is then taken up by Bronek, a Jew who escapes the walled-off ghetto, then Mikolaj, a young Jewish boy whose father is a doctor, and then Vilheim, a German soldier, and finally wrapped up again by Helena. The different perspectives read like short
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