Double or Nothing with the Two and Only Kelly Twins

Double or Nothing: The Two and Only Kelly Twins Book 2. Chapter book for growing readers. Ages 6-9.

Double or Nothing with the Two and Only Kelly Twins by Johanna Hurwitz, illustrated by Tuesday Mourning

Age Range: 6 – 9 years | Grade Level: 1 – 4 | Hardcover: 80 pages | Publisher: Candlewick (April 25, 2017)


About the Book

What’s the same about identical twins — and what’s different? Sleepovers, poetry projects, and new haircuts are in play as seven-year-old Arlene and Ilene start coming into their own.

Arlene and Ilene love so many things about being identical twins. They like sharing a room, sharing friends, and wearing matching outfits. But they’re in different classes at school, and one twin has a scar that the other one doesn’t. One morning, their friends Monty and Joey point out a new difference that takes the sisters by surprise and gets them thinking: if they are identical twins, why are there differences between them at all? Their tongues must be the same, so why do they like different kinds of ice cream? Why does Arlene wear pink nail polish while Ilene thinks it’s silly? Why is Ilene sleeping soundly when Arlene is awake, wondering how she can be sure that she is Arlene, not Ilene? Revisit the funny, lovable characters from The Two and Only Kelly Twins and take a peek at the wonders — and puzzles — of being an identical twin.


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The Kids’ Thoughts on Double or Nothing

Miss A (6-year-old):

I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! It was a surprise for the twins that they didn’t sleep in the same house. They did different things.

I thought the sleepover was crazy because the four girls weren’t all in the same house. Two were in one house and the others were in the other house.

The part where they got head lice was funny. I think they had a fun time when they went to school and their teacher talked about head lice to the class. I think they liked their new pixie hair cuts A LOT. I think they looked good in the pixie hair cuts.

I thought if they had lice then maybe the rest of the students in the class would get the head lice too. And they did. Even the teacher got head lice.


Miss K (8-year-old):

So, they wanted to have a sleepover. The Best girls came over. They said that Ilene should go over to the Best house and Arlene should stay at her house. But the Kelly twins thought they were all going to stay in their house, so there was a lot of confusion. Finally, they decided that Ilene should go to the Best house and Arlene should stay home with one of the Best sisters.

I thought it was kind of crazy because I had head lice once too. I did not like head lice. Yuck. Bugs on your head.

I think their haircuts probably looked good. I think it was good that they cut their hair so they could find the lice easier. If I got lice again I would probably want to cut my hair too.

I liked the book. I hope there is a third Kelly Twins book because I want to read it. I hope that the twins actually do their idea to be different from each other.


Verdict: A cute chapter book with age-appropriate vocabulary for kids ages 6-9. Perfect for kids that are ready to move up from easy readers.

Content: clean

Source: We received a copy of this book from Blue Slip Media.



Read the Whole Series!

The Two and Only Kelly Twins by Johanna Hurwitz, illustrated by Tuesday Mourning. Chapter book for growing readers ages 6-9. Double or Nothing: The Two and Only Kelly Twins Book 2. Chapter book for growing readers. Ages 6-9.

The Two and Only Kelly Twins

Double or Nothing with the Two and Only Kelly Twins

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“Without a word, he walked over and pulled her into his arms. The silent acceptance broke her. Collapsing against him, she let the tears fall.” – Lindsey Summers, Textrovert (ARC)

Textrovert by Lindsey Summers. YA contemporary romance about a girl accidentally swapping phones with a boy.

Textrovert by Lindsey Summers

Age range: 12-18 | Hardcover: 300 pages | Publisher: Kids Can Press (May 2, 2017)


About Textrovert

It’s bad enough when high-school senior Keeley grabs the wrong phone while leaving her small town’s end-of-summer fair. It’s even worse when she discovers that the phone she now has belongs to the obnoxious, self-centered Talon and that he s just left for football camp … with her phone. Reluctantly, the two agree to forward messages for a week. And as Keeley gets to know Talon, she starts to like him. Keeley learns there s more to Talon than the egocentric jock most people see. There s more to Keeley, too. Texting Talon, she can step out of the shadow of her popular twin brother. Texting Talon, she can be the person she s always wanted to be.

Sparks fly when the two finally meet to exchange their phones. But while Keeley has been playing a part online, Talon has been keeping a secret. He has a different connection to Keeley one that has nothing to do with phones, and one that will make their new relationship all but impossible. Knowing what she now knows, can Keeley trust him? And can love in the present erase mistakes of the past?

Lindsey Summers’s page-turning romance is funny, surprising and full of heart. With its device-centered story, snappy dialogue, looping subplots and depiction of first love, this title offers something for every reader.


Find the Book

Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository


My Thoughts on Textrovert

I’ve had really good luck finding cute YA novels lately. This is one of those sweet books where you know a happy ending is practically guaranteed.

Honestly, this book was a delight to read.

I’ve read so many depressing books recently and this was the pick-me-up I was looking for. There need to be more happy books like this.

Textrovert is about a girl named Keeley accidentally swapping cell phones with a boy named Talon, who takes her phone to football camp. They get to know each other through texting and a few phone calls and then meet up later to return their phones to each other.

The cute, romantic premise worked well for this story. Neither character is perfect and their flaws made the story believable. They face some honesty and trust issues with each other and have to overcome several bumps on the road to their relationship.

I really liked Textrovert. It’s a quick, sweet story that you can easily read in one or two sittings. I would definitely recommend it if you like contemporary young adult romance novels.

Source: I received an ARC from the publisher.

Content: Innuendo, a few mild curse words, mentions of teen drinking, and some clean kissing scenes (boy/girl).


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What’s in the Box? Little Fun Club Month 2

This post is sponsored by Little Fun Club.

Little Fun Club children's book subscription box service.

I am absolutely in LOVE with Little Fun Club. You might be thinking that I have to say that because this is a sponsored post, but the truth is, I adore this service. I LOVE THEM!!! 💓

This is our second month receiving a Little Fun Club book box in the mail, and I think we were even more excited this time around than the first. The difference is that this time we knew what to expect: awesomeness! 🙌

Little Fun Club children's book subscription service. Get three adventurous books a month for $25/month.


ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

Little Fun Club is a book subscription service for children’s books. They cater to kids ages 0-12, so depending on your child’s age, you can get anything from board books to middle-grade novels.

Reasons Why I Love Little Fun Club So Much:

  • They hand-select every book that goes into your box, so it’s customized for your child’s age and reading preferences.
  • The books are brand new. 🌟
  • The books are regular edition books, not book club edition (this is a big deal to me).
  • I LOVE their selections. They put every book through a rigorous selection process before adding it to their warehouse, so you know each book comes highly recommended. Find out about their selections here.
  • You can add your child’s reading preferences to better customize your box.
  • Your subscription grows with your child. (No updating profiles or switching accounts!)
  • They’ll replace a book if you already have it. They’ll send you a replacement with your next box. You don’t have to return anything.

After spending some more time with this company and talking with the people behind it, I’ve learned that they genuinely care about their customers. They want you to be happy and they’ll work hard to keep you that way. A lot of thought goes into each box!

Little Fun Club also has great customer service. They’ve responded promptly to all my inquiries through an easy-peasy chat box right on their website.


Get Good Books for Your Kids with Little Fun Club Subscription Boxes. Get three adventurous books every month.

What’s in the Box?

I’m really happy with the books we received this month. My kids loved reading them and I’m glad to have these wonderful new books in our collection.


Milk and Cookies by Frank Asch. I got this board book with my Little Fun Club subscription. Milk and Cookies by Frank Asch

I recognized Baby Bear from some of Frank Asch’s other books, like Happy Birthday, Moon and Popcorn, but I’d never read Milk and Cookies before.

Milk and Cookies possesses the same comforting, warm feel to it that the other Baby Bear books have. Baby Bear and his parents are staying at his grandparent’s house. That night, Baby Bear thinks he sees a dragon in the basement and has a bad dream about it.

My two-year-old loves board books and this is a lovely addition to her bedtime book stack. It’s a good book to read right after a bath and just before getting tucked into bed. Plus, I really liked that it was from an author I’m familiar with and already love.


George Shrinks by William Joyce. We got this book from our Little Fun Club subscription. We love William Joyce!George Shrinks by William Joyce

Last month, we got Ollie’s Odyssey, which is a middle-grade novel by the same author. George Shrinks is a picture book, and at first, my seven-year-old was a little disappointed when she saw it. She was hoping for a chapter book.

However, William Joyce does not write disappointing books. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite authors for children. If you’ve never read one of his books, I would highly encourage you to do so.

We read the book. It’s hilarious. It’s a similar idea to the Honey I Shrunk the Kids movie and it had my kids laughing out loud as George completed his “to-do” list while being super tiny. In spite of my daughter’s initial misgivings, she ended up loving it. This is a wonderful addition to our bookshelf and something that my toddler will also enjoy as she gets a bit older.


Toys Come Home by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinksy. We got this chapter book with our Little Fun Club subscription.Toys Come Home by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

After reading Ollie’s Odyssey last month, Miss K (my nine-year-old) was pretty stoked about getting another toy adventure. Toys Come Home is a collection of linked stories that reveal the history behind each of the toys and how they came to live with their Little Girl.

This is a short book and Miss K devoured it in just a couple of sittings. She said it was a fun book and she liked the stories in it. There was only one spot that was kind of scary, but even then, it wasn’t very scary.

I’ve never read the companion books, Toys Go Out and Toy Dance Party, but my daughter enjoyed this one enough that she wants to read those, too. Along with the slightly larger text size, it has several illustrations peppered throughout the story, which is always a welcome bonus in middle-grade novels!



Get 20% Off Your First Box!

Use code 02RF17 at checkout on


Lastly, but certainly not leastly, I have a $50 cash giveaway happening on behalf of Little Fun Club right now. Visit this post to enter! 💰💰

Giveaway! Win Stick Cat and Olga (Middle Grade Novels)

Looking for some super fun and hilarious books for your middle-grade reader? You’re in luck! Harper Collins Children’s Publishing is offering a hardcover copy of Stick Cat and Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere to one of my blog readers! A big, happy thank you goes out to them for sending review copies to me and providing the giveaway!

Keep reading for more info about the books and to enter the giveaway!

*Just FYI, this blog post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of my links and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Giveaway of Stick Cat and Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere. Win both of these laugh-out-loud funny middle grade books. Perfect for reluctant readers ages 8-12.

Both of these books are in the same vein as Diary of a Wimpy Kid. They’re diary-style books with laugh-out-loud jokes and heavy with illustrations. They’re perfect for kids in the 8-12 age range who love animals, art, and humor. Both books were created with the reluctant reader in mind. They’re great for kids that might be struggling to find a book they enjoy.


About Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere by Elise Gravel

Olga and the Smelly Thing From Nowhere by Elise Gravel. A diary style novel with lots of illustrations for reluctant readers ages 8-12.After hearing a strange noise coming from her garbage can, Olga follows a trail of rainbow colored poop and discovers an animal unlike any she’s ever seen before. She names him Meh and sets out to learn what type of animal he might be and how to take care of such an exotic creature.

This book has a little bit of text and a LOT of illustrations. It’s perfect for my seven-year-old who has had a difficult time learning to love reading. She liked all the pictures and the funny adventure Olga goes on with her new pet. The book relies heavily on the artwork to tell some of the story. The vocabulary isn’t too difficult, so it’s perfect for advanced younger readers or older kids looking for something easy and silly to read.

I love seeing so many books like this on the market. So many kids in this age group aren’t interested books and this is a great way to get them reading.


Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository


Note from the publisher: Perfect for fans of Dear Dumb Diary and My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish, and
great preparation for El Deafo, Roller Girl, and Smile.


Learn How to Draw Animals with Elise Gravel!



About Stick Cat: A Tale of Two Kitties by Tom Watson

Stick Cat: A Tale of Two Kitties by Tom Watson. A diary style novel with lots of illustrations for reluctant readers ages 8-12.Stick Cat is a new series written by the same author that created Stick Dog. It’s a diary-style book with lots of illustrations scattered throughout. Written in a casual, conversational tone that kids love, this is a book that will tickle your kid’s funny bone. Kids that enjoyed Stick Dog will enjoy this book. It has similar silly adventures and sketchy illustrations.

Stick Cat lives in a high-rise apartment building where he and his next-door neighbor spend their days together when their human roommates go off to work. They take naps, listen to music, and hunt treasures — until they realize that Mr. Music from the building across the alley is in trouble and needs their help.

The vocabulary in this book is simpler than many other middle-grade novels. It’s another good book for advanced younger readers or older kids that need something less challenging. It’s a good segue from early chapter books into longer books. If your child is having a difficult time learning to love reading, give this book a try!

Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository


Learn How to Draw Stick Cat from Tom Watson!


Giveaway Time!


1 winner will receive:

  • Hardcover copies of Stick Cat and Olga
  • Art prints from each book’s creators.

Open to US addresses only

Ends May 10, 2017

Prize provided by HarperCollins

Use the Rafflectoper to enter. Entrants must be 18 or older or have their parent/guardian enter for them. The winner will be chosen randomly. Winner must respond to my email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. No purchase necessary to enter. I am not responsible for lost or undelivered prizes. This contest is void where prohibited by law.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Life After by Katie Ganshert (Review)

Life After by Katie Ganshert. A novel about a young woman overcoming the terror of a train bombing. A beautiful story of finding love, hope, and redemption.This post contains affiliate links.

Life After by Katie Ganshert

Age range: adult (OK for teens) | Paperback: 352 pages | Publisher: WaterBrook (April 18, 2017)


About the Book

It could have been me.

Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city’s transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost.

A year later, Autumn Manning can’t remember the day of the bombing and she is tormented by grief—by guilt. Twelve months of the question constantly echoing. Why? Why? Why? Searching for answers, she haunts the lives of the victims, unable to rest.

Paul Elliott lost his wife in the train bombing and wants to let the dead rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to cause more pain for his loved ones. He wants normalcy for his twelve-year-old daughter and young son, to see them move beyond the heartbreak. But when the Elliotts and Autumn are unexpectedly forced together, he fears she’ll bring more wreckage in her wake.

In Life After, Katie Ganshert’s most complex and unforgettable novel yet, the stirring prose and authentic characters pose questions of truth, goodness, and ultimate purpose in this emotionally resonant tale.


Find the Book

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My Thoughts on Life After

One thing’s for sure, Katie Ganshert doesn’t write fluffy books. She fills her stories full of complex situations and fills her characters full of complex emotions. She has a knack for taking broken characters and putting them through a series of events that makes them grow and change into different people. Better people.

Autumn is a woman drowning in nothing. The only survivor of a train bombing incident, she is consumed by guilt, grief, and obsession over the twenty two other victims who lost their lives. She quit her job, broke up with her fiancé, and spends her days and nights haunting the dead — until the daughter of one of the victims shows up on her doorstep, forcing herself and her family into Autumn’s life. The girl’s father, Paul, is just as broken and conflicted as Autumn.

If you’re hoping for a steamy romance, you’d better read something else. Life After isn’t so much a romance novel as it is the emotional journey of Autumn, Paul, and Paul’s children toward healing, acceptance, and overcoming guilt. It’s about repentance, change, and finding God’s plan in the craziness we call life.

If you like stories of personal change and conquering your demons, you’ll love this book.

Content: Clean, but there are references to an affair.

Source: I received a copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program.



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