Oona and the Shark by Kelly DiPucchio

Oona and the Shark by Kelly DiPucchio
Oona #2
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Oona loves to share her inventions with her friends. They’re big and bold and LOUD—just like her! But there’s one underwater creature who doesn’t seem to enjoy Oona’s company, or her creations.

Stanley the shark! He doesn’t care for her squeaky unicorn. And he’s far too busy for the Sea Horse Carousel. And oh GOODNESS! Oona’s latest hopping, chopping, and popping inventions just make him angry.

Oona may not know what Stanley likes, but she does know what he doesn’t. And maybe that’s a good place to start. Because mermaids never stop trying…not when there’s a friend out there to make.

There’s no such thing as having too many friends.

As I mentioned in my review of Oona, the first tale in this series that happens to share the same name with the protagonist, she was such a persistent and likeable girl. Oona made me smile every time I turned the page and saw what she’d decided to do next. She was the sort of character who could accomplish just about anything she set her mind to do!

I did find myself wishing that someone had reminded Oona to respect other people’s body language and boundaries. She ignored several clear examples of things someone will do and say when they’re uninterested but don’t feel comfortable clearly saying no to an offer. While there were reasons other than an overall disinterest in Oona’s friendship for this behavior in the shark’s case, I think it’s also important for kids and sweet little mermaids to learn how to gracefully accept when someone doesn’t want to play with them. I am saying this as someone who loved the storyline in general and would happily read it to the little ones in my life after explaining to them that it’s just as important to respect people’s boundaries as it is to find common interests with a potential new friend.

With that being said, the author did a wonderful job of showing how neurodivergence affects friendships. Shark’s precise diagnosis was never shared, so this could apply to all sorts of children. What mattered was that he was a little different from the other inhabitants of the ocean and that Oona needed to try something new in order to reach him. It was beautiful to see how much effort she put into understanding him and trying to find something they could enjoy doing together.

This is the second story in a series that does not have to be read in order. Definitely do check out Oona’s first adventure if you like it, though!

Oona and the Shark was a heartwarming summer read.

Oona by Kelly DiPucchio

Oona by Kelly DiPucchio
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Oona and her best friend Otto love to search for treasure…and often find trouble instead.

Messy trouble.

Tricky trouble.

Even shark-related trouble.

That’s never stopped them before, though!

After all, no proper treasure hunt is without some adventure. But when the grandest treasure yet is stuck in a deep, dark rift, Oona’s not sure if she can dive right in. What might be waiting for her in those unknown waters?

Who wouldn’t want to explore the secret corners of the ocean?

Oona was a brave and persistent little mermaid. I loved the fact that she was so determined to complete her collection, if only for now, and to gather up everything she thought a mermaid needed to be happy. She knew exactly what she wanted out of life even if she wasn’t always sure how to get it. That made her the sort of character I like to get to know better.

I would have liked to see more attention paid to developing the plot. For example, it was never clear to me why Oona wanted to collect so much treasure or what she planned to do with it if she found it. When the storyline did move forward, I was also confused by how slowly certain details were released and why they were sometimes interrupted by other information that seemed unrelated to her quest. Was that supposed to be a hint about how differently mermaids think when compared to land dwellers, or was I misinterpreting it? These were only two of the questions I had about this world that were never answered. I wish they had been because what the narrator did share was fascinating.

Some of the best scenes were the ones that showed what happened after Oona had already tried a few times to reach her goals without success. Failure can be hard for adults to accept, and it’s even harder for little ones who don’t have as much experience with disappointment and frustration yet. The messages this picture book sent about how to cope with those feelings and what to do if one feels like they’ll never reach their goals was perfectly phrased.

Oona made me smile.

Unchosen by Katharyn Blair

Unchosen by Katharyn Blair
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult (14 – 18 y.o.)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

For Charlotte Holloway, the world ended twice.

The first was when her childhood crush, Dean, fell in love—with her older sister.

The second was when the Crimson, a curse spread through eye contact, turned the majority of humanity into flesh-eating monsters.

Neither end of the world changed Charlotte. She’s still in the shadows of her siblings. Her popular older sister, Harlow, now commands forces of survivors. And her talented younger sister, Vanessa, is the Chosen One—who, legend has it, can end the curse.

When their settlement is raided by those seeking the Chosen One, Charlotte makes a reckless decision to save Vanessa: she takes her place as prisoner.

Kamagra http://respitecaresa.org/get-involved/i-want-to-help/ cheapest sildenafil uk help such man saving their marital life by continuing their love-life. Headache is due to the opening of the arteries in the male reproductive system to http://respitecaresa.org/staff/mica-headshot-2/ discount cialis relax and widen, allowing more blood to flow into it. You can exercise through walking for at least 30 viagra tadalafil minutes every morning must work for you. Sexual activity overnight levitra plays an important role to bring the confidence of men back by improving the stamina and enhancing the sex drive that are needed during sexual intercourse. The word spreads across the seven seas—the Chosen One has been found.

But when Dean’s life is threatened and a resistance looms on the horizon, the lie keeping Charlotte alive begins to unravel. She’ll have to break free, forge new bonds, and choose her own destiny if she has any hope of saving her sisters, her love, and maybe even the world.

Because sometimes the end is just a new beginning.

How many times can the world end before it ends for good? Every time Charlotte Holloway thinks that she’s seen the worst, something worse happens. Now, she’s looking at the choice between saving her sisters and saving herself. Trouble is, none of them might make it through this alive.

Charlotte is a hot mess when all of this starts. She’s in love with her older sister’s boyfriend for starters. In addition, she feels like she’s forever in the shadow of her older sister, Harlow, a talented musician before the Crimson, and now a leader you don’t want to mess with. She also feels overshadowed by her younger sister, Vanessa, an adept gymnast and the Chosen One. As a middle child myself, I could fully relate to Char’s feelings regarding her sisters. Knowing what it’s like to be in her shoes (sort of), I was even happier as I watched her come into herself and fully grasp the person she was meant to be.

Harlow has a tendency as the older sister to be both overbearing and overprotective of her sisters. While this might be normal and natural, she kneecaps Char a bit with her rules and expectations. I think Char wouldn’t have taken so many risks if Harlow had given her more level footing to work from in the beginning. Vanessa isn’t given a whole lot of page time, which is a shame. She doesn’t get a chance to really develop as a character until near the end of the book.

The pirates were some of my favorite characters. Seth, of course, is the handsome, alpha captain, without many of the alpha hangups. Rielle, Lucia, and Thomas are his crew, each of which has their own endearing personalities. Rielle is sweet and funny and takes no time to warm up to you. Lucia is a bit gruffer, but you soon learn she’s a softie when she wants to be. Thomas was there to keep Rielle and Lucia from going off the rails, I think.

Probably the most interesting thing about this novel was the Crimson. It’s a deadly curse of sorts that’s spread via eye contact and, once you’ve caught it, you deteriorate into what’s basically a zombie. I thought that having it spread this way was a different sort of angle on the usual super flu or something similar. I also really adored the pirate angle. You have runners kidnapping those who haven’t been exposed and selling them off, and then the ones working against the runners to save their cargo. It made for some exciting reading.

Unchosen is a different sort of adventure story. One where the not-chosen takes on the role of the chosen in an attempt to save the true Chosen One. A true story of love, family, and determination against the odds.

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary, YA
Length: Full Length (448 pages)
Age recommendation: 16+
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.

When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.

As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?

This book is told in the voice of teenager Claudia Coleman. The book does contain non-descriptive physical and emotional abuse of children that may not be suitable for young readers. Indication of abuse is given but details are not disclosed.

I loved Claudia and her complexity. I loved her dedication to Monday. Monday was her only friend, her other half, the one who gave her confidence and the one that kept her secret. Now suddenly alone, at first I thought Claudia was seeking Monday for her own selfish reason…to keep her secret from becoming apparent to all that she know but as I grew to know Claudia I came to see her love and commitment to her best friend Monday Charles.
There are some of the problems can be treated with some drugs, you can consult your doctor, who can prescribe appropriate medication. online viagra prescriptions Another of the foods highest in antioxidants is to choose the colorful fruits and vegetables for extra benefits. cheap sildenafil tablets By that very same token, you’ll also move a lot of quickly through ideas that you understand easily, and don’t need review on. viagra in usa Ask about the medication- If the problem of not achieving or sustaining 100mg viagra effects erections firm enough for pleasurable intercourse activity.
I admit the layout was almost too confusing for me to follow. Chapters were labeled Before and After, and also Before Before and 2 Years Before Before so I was often confused about what time period I was reading. Even after completing the book I was still a little confused on the time line of things that happened. I hope that I received the full effect and understanding as the author intended. This non-chronological order did take away some of the enjoyment of reading such a wonderfully touching story.

It took too long to build the story. Yes I enjoyed the author’s writing and the difficult plot that she spelled out so gracefully but I think the story could have been condensed and several parts could have been left out and the book would have still been detailed enough.

This is a beautiful vision of friendship and family. Can someone truly be forgotten? Can the love of someone cause our faculties to shut down in order to protect us from something so horrific and painful? Claudia’s dedication to Monday is beyond admirable and showcases their amazing bond and the tremendous amount of love in their relationship. But to a point the love is also scary. So scary that Claudia’s love for her canceled out her from having other friends. Claudia isolated herself in this bubble with Monday and now we see how when that bubble burst the magnitude of the breakdown of Claudia’s world.

This book is so deep and thought provoking giving light to a cause that is such a melancholy sadness to young lives. Young lives that should have an unmeasurable amount of hope for their future.

This book did serve as a good book club conversation topic. We were all in agreement that the author’s writing style is very enjoyable and that Claudia is a well developed character whose story captured all of our hearts.

We also agreed that this is a story that needs to be read. The author’s boldness to take a underlying social issue of missing children touched our hearts and also gave us a point of view that isn’t often heard about when such issues are made known through the media. We got to see the point of view of those who are impacted by such an unsettling truth. The children who are abused have friends, they have teachers and school officials who care but are restricted on the actions that they can take. Sadly as with the case of Claudia, her voice went unheard to several but she did not give up and she did not betray her bond with Monday. Claudia felt guilty for living, for carrying on her life without Monday. We also got to read about Monday’s siblings and how their fear translated into silence. The voice that was missing was the abuser and how she came about to be so cruel and heartless to not only her own children but their father. This story also touched on the heartbreak of not being able to conceive but then there are women who are blessed to have offspring but they are the creator of physical and emotional pain for those that they birth.

This is a dark story with no happy ending. A story of those who live and their efforts to try to rebuild from the destruction that was so plainly hidden in sight. Even though confusing to me at times, the flashbacks in the story did help establish the relationships. The flashbacks plotted out early on in the story helped fill in the events at the ending. The author did a wonderful job with the plotting to pull off such a complex move.

This is a highly recommend to those who are age appropriate for such subject matter.