Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Salon: Stink and the Shark Sleepover, and Ice Dogs

Welcome to the first Sunday Salon of April. I hope the weather is
treating you well and acting more like spring than the icy fingers of winter.

For today’s Sunday Salon I’m talking about books for the youth. Since I don’t have children, I’ve never been one to check out children’s books – until the last few years. I have several young cousins who enjoy reading and I want to encourage that so I now look at children’s books.

What I’ve found has surprised me. I made the mistake of thinking children’s books could only appeal to a child. Boy, was I wrong. I’ve discovered that the children’s books are both interesting and entertaining for adults too. While some are geared to youngsters in their use of language, they still tell wonderful stories adults can enjoy.

One of the books I want to share today is geared toward youngsters in the third and fourth grade level, and the other is geared toward fourth grade and up. I must say, I learned a great deal from both books and would highly recommend them.

Now, refill your coffee cup, sit back and relax. It’s time to talk BOOKS!!!

Stink coverSpending a night at an aquarium leads to an exciting adventure of fun, knowledge, and scary moments in the latest installment in the Stink Books.

Narrator Barbara Rosenblat does a great job of bringing this children’s tale to life. Her mannerisms and cadence captures the energy of this rowdy group of youngsters, along with the calm adults on hand.

Stink Moody’s family won tickets to a sleepover at the local aquarium. Mom, Dad, Stink and sister Judy are joined by Stink’s friends, Sophie and Webster, for the overnight exploit.

At the aquarium the youngsters explore a number of exhibits as they participate in a scavenger hunt. Afterwards, the group hears the tale of the Bloody Mary Vampire Squid around an artificial campfire. Later the kids do a little exploring on their own coming face to face with Bloody Mary.

This is a delightful tale that explores not only the fun aspects of friends ‘camping out’ together, but learning about the exhibits at the aquarium. There is some playful interaction between the youngsters, along with a bit of sibling teasing.

Author Megan McDonald does a wonderful job detailing the various exhibits in such a way youngsters will learn right along with Stink. She combines facts with the characters’ antics for a smooth flowing story that is loaded with knowledge and laughter.

STINK AND THE SHARK SLEEPOVER is geared toward third and fourth graders, but can be enjoyed by youngsters of all ages as well as adults. Interesting facts about the aquarium life are woven throughout the story making it easy for youngsters to learn as they have fun.

Stink and the Shark Sleepover by Megan McDonald, Stink Book #9, Performed by Barbara Rosenblat, Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, @2014, ISBN: 978-1480583610, Unabridged, 2 Discs, Listening Time: 1 Hour and 40 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

ICE DOGS by Terry Lynn Johnson

Ice Dogs coverBe sure to have a nice warm throw handy when you read author Terry Lynn Johnson’s ICE DOGS no matter the season.

The author’s vivid descriptions of the Alaskan countryside will send chills down your spine with the authentic details. Johnson brings the snowy landscape to life as she takes readers on an incredible journey of survival with 14-year-old Victoria Secord, an Alaskan dogsled racers. 

Johnson paints a breathtaking setting for her young adult adventure. Her eye for details and her extensive knowledge of mushers will have you experiencing the challenges Victoria faces. Johnson’s easy flowing story pulls you in and makes you feel a part of the drama.

Victoria follows in her late father’s footsteps, continuing to compete in dogsled races. On a routine outing to visit a neighboring musher, Victoria encounters Chris, a city boy who has been injured in a snowmobile wreck. Chris says he lives nearby so Victoria decides to take him home on her dog sled.

A short time later the pair become lost in the forest after Chris directs Victoria down an unfamiliar path only to discover he doesn’t remember his way home. When a blizzard strikes it’s up to Victoria to use all of the survival skills her father taught her to keep herself, her dogs and Chris alive and find their way home.

Johnson combines her knowledge of dog sledding with a touching story to keep readers quickly turning the pages to find out what happens next. The story flows at a steady pace and is filled with suspense. Johnson does an excellent job showing the deep and meaningful bond between a musher and their magnificent dogs.

The characters are realistic and well-developed. While geared for readers in grades four and up, ICE DOGS is an enthralling read for all ages. This awe-inspiring story will capture your heart. It’s a must read for dog lovers and non-dog lovers alike.

Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson, HMH Books for Young Readers, @2014, ISBN: 978-0547899268, Hardcover, 288 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Thanks so much for stopping by today to spend some time at Thoughts in Progress. I hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday and find time to enjoy a bit of reading. Do you shy away from books just because they’re labeled for young adults or younger? Don’t you just love the covers of both of these books? 


  1. Mason - I always have so much respect for anyone who can write books that draw young people into reading. And they can really be excellent too - certainly not for young readers only. Thanks for the reminder of that.

  2. We've always have good childrens books, but I think there is more out there now and in a wider variety of genres too.

  3. When I was in college, I took a Children's Literature course that introduced me to the delights of Caldecott and Newbery award winning books. I then had much to draw from when my children came along. I still smile when I think of some of them....the ones you featured today look delightful. Thanks for sharing.

    And thanks for the congrats and for visiting my blog. Enjoy your week!

  4. I would read Ice Dogs myself!

  5. I always read the kid books before I give them as gifts. YA too. I must still be a kid at heart.

  6. as you know I loved ICE DOGS. Read it in one day! And the cover is top notch on the level of world's biggest bestsellers!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.