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ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: Wednesday Wilson Fixes All Your Problems by Bree Galbraith, Illustrated by Morgan Goble

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Thank you Kids Can Press and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Wednesday Wilson Fixes All Your Problems releases June 7, 2022.

"Wednesday Wilson Fixes All Your Problems" by Bree Galbraith, Illustrated by Morgan Goble (cover)
Image via NetGalley

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: In this second title in the early chapter book series about everyone’s favorite young entrepreneur, Wednesday Wilson is only trying to help her brother when her latest business idea strikes! Sometimes the best business ideas pop up when you least expect them. Or that’s what happens to Wednesday Wilson, anyway, the morning her brother, Mister, locks himself in the bathroom because he’s nervous about a school presentation. When classmate Emmet convinces Mister that a worry stone will calm his nerves, Wednesday offers Mister her marble — with the promise that a Worry Marble will fix all his problems! But then Wednesday starts thinking about just how many things kids get nervous about. And, hmm, she does happen to have a whole collection of marbles. Has Wednesday just hit entrepreneurial gold?

This is the second title in the early chapter book series by Bree Galbraith that follows the ever-evolving, but always entertaining, antics of girl entrepreneur Wednesday Wilson. The highly engaging series encourages ingenuity, creative thinking and resourcefulness. It’s also loads of fun! Wednesday’s enthusiasm and energy and her one-of-a-kind take on the world will delight and inspire. Short chapters enhanced by Morgan Goble’s illustrations along with lists and clever business-themed definitions help bridge the gap for emerging readers. Wednesday has two moms, one is Black and one white, and the story features an expanding diverse cast of BIPOC and disabled characters. It also contains character education lessons on initiative and perseverance.

 

REVIEW: Another delightful business adventure with Wednesday Wilson, future entrepreneur!

Wednesday Wilson usually has a lot of big business ideas to try. But lately she’s been in a funk. As she tries to help her little brother, Mister, overcome his nerves about giving a presentation in front of the whole school, Wednesday is suddenly struck with a new business idea: the Worry Marble, guaranteed to fix all your problems..or get Wednesday into trouble once again.

I love Wednesday’s perseverance to see an idea through. She’s earnest, organized, and very persuasive. She has a vibrant personality that draws others in.

Kids can learn important skills from these books, such as basic business terminology, problem-solving, creativity, and teamwork. I like how Wednesday, her friends, and brother work together to make a genuine product that will help others.

The illustrations are expressive and bring the story to life in all the best ways. The cast of characters is wonderfully diverse. And I like how the story talks about and celebrates different types of families.

I hope there will be more books forthcoming because this is a really enjoyable series. I love that it’s equal parts entertaining and educational with great lessons to learn. Wednesday Wilson is such a fun character with a lot to offer the world.


More by Bree Galbraith

Wednesday Wilson Gets Down to Business (#1)


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
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Bookish Memes Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday – February 23, 2022

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where you spotlight a highly anticipated book.


Another Wednesday, another day I’m waiting with barely contained excitement for awesome books to be released. This Wednesday, I’m spotlighting Positively Introverted : Finding Your Way in a World Full of People by Maureen Marzi Wilson.

I’ve loved every single book of Wilson’s that I’ve read. Nonfiction usually isn’t my jam, but it helps that her books are humorous nonfiction graphic novels. Each of her books has reflected some part of the introvert in me in all the best ways. So I obviously had to make a post about this upcoming title.

Positively Introverted releases April 5, 2022.

"Positively Introverted" by Maureen Marzi Wilson (cover)
Image via Goodreads

ABOUT: Discover how introverts can succeed in a world designed for extroverts with this advice-driven collection of words and illustrations.

Self-proclaimed introvert and creator of Introvert Doodles, Marzi Wilson, knows introverts are still a thriving community. Now she’s back sharing her introvert expertise with a brand-new advice-driven collection of words and illustrations, offering insight on how introverts can succeed in life, focusing on relationships, mental health, career success, and more!


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
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About Manga Book Reviews

Book Review: Welcome to the Ballroom by Tomo Takeuchi (vol. 1)

25 Days of Book Reviews logo.

DAY 12

Cover for Welcome to the Ballroom volume 1.
Image via Goodreads

Genre: Sports Manga, Graphic Novel
Series: Welcome to the Ballroom vol. 1
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐1/2
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: THE BALLROOM BECKONS Feckless high school student Tatara Fujita wants to be good at something – anything. Unfortunately, he’s about as average as a slouchy teen can be. The local bullies know this, and make it a habit to hit him up for cash, but all that changes when the debonair Kaname Sengoku sends them packing. Sengoku’s not the neighborhood watch, though. He’s a professional ballroom dancer. And once Tatara Fujita gets pulled into the world of the ballroom, his life will nevver be the same.

 

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A good story with a likable cast of quirky characters. I think many people can relate to the main character, Tatara Fujita, in some way. He’s just your average high school student who is unfortunately being bullied at school. Tatara feels adrift with a purpose or something to be good at that would make him special.

But in volume 1, you see him start to come alive, slowly finding himself and a passion to his surprise through ballroom dance. The dancing shown looks really great on the page. There’s life/expression in each dancer’s eyes, body language, and athleticism. I have seen the anime for this story and I think I like it better. But this is still a solid start and the story does get more interesting as it progresses. I really like where this volume ended because it gets you excited with anticipation for the next volume.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Introvert Doodles: An Illustrated Collection of Life’s Awkward Moments by Maureen Marzi Wilson

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DAY 8

Cover of Introvert Doodles by Maureen Marzi Wilson
Image via Goodreads

Genre: Nonfiction, Graphic Novel
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Whoever said there’s strength in numbers lied. Meet Marzi. She’s an introvert who often finds herself in awkward situations. Marzi used to feel strange about her introverted tendencies. Not anymore! Now she knows that there are tons of introverts out there just like her–introverts who enjoy peace and quiet, need time alone to recharge their battery, and who prefer staying in with their pet and a good book to awkward social interactions. Just like Marzi, these introverts can often be found in libraries, at home watching Netflix, brainstorming excuses to miss your next party, or doodling cute cartoons. Being an introvert in an extrovert world isn’t always easy, but it certainly is an adventure. In Introvert Doodles, follow Marzi through all of her most uncomfortable, charming, honest, and hilarious moments that everyone–introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between–can relate to.

 

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Introvert Doodles was like looking in a mirror. I felt a deep connection with Marzi as she illustrates in honest and humorous details the trials and tribulations introverts experience, how we think, feel and behave, the meaning of the awkward things we tend to say, but as all the wonderful beautiful things that make up introverts.

“Introverts want you to know…I am more than ‘quiet.’ I am intensely focused and wildly creative. I’m PASSIONATE about my work and/or hobbies.”

It’s not often I read a book I relate to so considerably or see myself so clearly. Readers won’t relate to everything in this book nor is this the 100% truth about all introverts since this is one person’s experiences. But as Marzi points out, no matter if you’re an “introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between,” you may find some part of the story that resonates with you. This is what I love most about this book.

I adore and appreciate Introvert Doodle and would recommend it to others if you like graphic novels, candid, funny moments, and learning about personality types.


Maureen Marzi Wilson

The Little Book of Big Feelings

Kind of Coping: An Illustrated Look at Life with Anxiety

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Sunny Makes A Splash by Jennifer Holm & Matthew Holm

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DAY 6

Cover of Sunny Makes A Splash by Jennifer Holm & Matthew Holm.
Image via Goodreads

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Series: Sunny #4
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: The latest in the New York Times bestselling Sunny series brings Sunny into a sink-or-swim summer, where she needs to float her first job and dive into her first maybe-flirtation.

It’s summer, and Sunny is BORED. Most of her friends are out of town. Her mom wants her to baby-sit way more than Sunny wants to baby-sit. There’s nothing good on TV.

The only place that’s cool (in a not-boring sense) and cool (in a not-hot sense) is the community pool. Sunny loves going there . . . and loves it even more when she’s offered a job at the snack shack. Soon she’s flinging fries and serving soft ice-cream like a pro . . . with the assistance of the very sweet boy who works with her.

Sunny’s mom isn’t sure Sunny should be quite so independent. But Sunny is definitely sure: Life is best when it’s free swim.

 

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School is out and Sunny is ready for an epic summer with her friends. Unfortunately, they’re busy or away on vacation, so she’s stuck bored at home babysitting her little brother. Just when Sunny’s summer plans seem lost, she gets her a job helping at the snack bar of a swim club her classmate Tony’s dad owns.

Sunny is growing up so fast! Having her first ever job, starting to really notice romantic relationships around her, and becoming more independent? Sunny has quite the summer ahead of her!

The story takes place in the 70s and I loved all the 70s references. Though the text is minimal, the story is elevated by the fantastic, expressive illustrations. I liked the amicable relationships she forms with Tony and her co-workers. I liked the ending and what it may have implied for future books that I hope there will be more of.

Sunny grew so much in one summer as she took on more responsibilities. Before I knew it, the story was over and far too soon because I was really enjoying it. This was an endearing story I couldn’t put down and read in one sitting.


More by Jennifer Holm & Matthew Holm

Sunny
Sunny Side Up (#1)
Swing It, Sunny (#2)
Sunny Rolls the Dice (#3)

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Ossan Idol! by Mochiko Mochida (Volume 1)

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Image via Goodreads

Genre: Manga, Idol, Graphic Novel
Series: Ossan Idol!
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Miroku Osaki is 36 years old, unemployed, and unhappy. Having been bullied in his childhood and even into his adult life, he became a shut-in after being unfairly laid off. For a long time, the only thing that brought him joy was online gaming. Then, he tried the popular idol game called “Let’s Try Dancing!” It was addicting… and transformative! Inspired by the game, Miroku decides to turn his life around. He begins singing karaoke and going to the gym, where he meets Yoichi, the director of an entertainment company who encourages Miroku to pursue his dreams.

Miroku only wanted to be good at the game he loves, but when he accidentally uploads a clip of himself singing and dancing, it goes viral! Can he really become an idol, even at his age? Suddenly, it doesn’t seem so impossible!

 

My Review: Ossan Idol! is the first idol manga I’ve read but I’ve seen and adored my fair share of idol animes. I quite enjoyed this volume.

Miroku is so kind and gentle and innocent! He is a ray of sunshine in this story and I love how inadvertently infectious his personality is. He is definitely the center of the group that forms.

I like the friendship that forms between Miroku and Yoichi as Yoichi helps Miroku turn his life around. Yoichi sees Miroku for the great guy he is, recognizes his worth, and doesn’t judge him for his appearance.

This is shaping up to be a delightful and funny story. I’m looking forward to the next volume. It’ll be interesting to see what Miroku, Yoichi, and Shiju  do next towards their goal of becoming idols.

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ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: Oddball by Sarah Andersen

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Thank you to Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Oddball is set to be released November 30, 2021.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Graphic Novel, Humor
Series: Sarah’s Scribbles #4
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: The fourth book in the enormously popular graphic novel series, the latest collection of Sarah’s Scribbles comics explores the evils of procrastination, the trials of the creative process, the cuteness of kittens, and the beauty of not caring about your appearance as much as you did when you were younger. When it comes to humorous illustrations of the awkwardness and hilarity of millennial life, Sarah’s Scribbles is without peer.

 

My Review: This was another fun and relatable graphic novel by Sara Andersen. As always, the illustrations were creative, expressive, and delightful in Andersen’s signature art style. Oddball is full of many brief relatable moments to enjoy and think further on. I do wish those had been longer or that there was something to bridge each mini story so that it didn’t feel random at times. My favorite comics were all the ones that involved cats. Oddball was a good read that I read quickly in one sitting.


More by Sarah Andersen

Sarah’s Scribbles
Adulthood Is A Myth (#1)
Big Mushy Happy Lump (#2)
Herding Cats (#3)

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About Manga

Manga I Want to Start Collecting

What’s something you like to collect (bookish or non-bookish)?

Collecting manga is extremely satisfying. When you look at all of the volumes on shelves, it’s row after row of perfectly symmetrical books.

Beside the visual satisfaction there’s the wonderful stories themselves, amazing artwork, complex plots, and endearing characters. Many of these series have an anime adaptations. Most of the manga I have read I’d already seen the anime.

Currently, I own 85 volumes across 11 different series in various stages of completion and soon to be published.

I’ve been lucky enough that the library I go to has a really good manga section, so I’ve been able to save a lot of money. Manga is affordable since they come in paperback or ebooks. So I usually buy in bulk mostly because they’re easy to read through very quickly. But between getting these volumes and also having a ton of other books I want to get, collecting (and reading) manga can be slow going. Patience is truly a virtue.

Image via Goodreads

At the moment, there are a few series I want to start collecting. I mentioned in my last  book haul, I finally started collecting the phenomenal Haikyu!! by Haruichi Furudate. I’m caught up on the anime, so I can take my time with collecting this particular series.

Haikyu!! Vol. 1 Synopsis: Shoyo Hinata is out to prove that in volleyball you don’t need to be tall to fly!

Ever since he saw the legendary player known as “the Little Giant” compete at the national volleyball finals, Shoyo Hinata has been aiming to be the best volleyball player ever! Who says you need to be tall to play volleyball when you can jump higher than anyone else?

After losing his first and last volleyball match against Tobio Kageyama, “the King of the Court,” Shoyo Hinata swears to become his rival after graduating middle school. But what happens when the guy he wants to defeat ends up being his teammate?! (review)

The next series I want to continue collecting is Spy x Family by Tatsuya Endo: funny, action-packed, and all the feels. I’m not sure what’s going on but I think the volumes 1-5 are currently out of print or sold out. I couldn’t find any information to verify that except dates on Barnes & Noble that might indicate when they’ll be back in print. Again, just a guess, can’t confirm. You can still get e-copies, but I prefer reading manga (graphic novels in general) in print because it’s easy to read the small font. So right now it’s a waiting game for more Spy x Family shenanigans.

Spy x Family Vol. 1 Synopsis: Not one to depend on others, Twilight has his work cut out for him procuring both a wife and a child for his mission to infiltrate an elite private school. What he doesn’t know is that the wife he’s chosen is an assassin and the child he’s adopted is a telepath! (review)

Image via Goodreads

Another series I want to collect is Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun by Izumi Tsubaki, a hilarious high school rom-com I adore. Besides a hilarious unrequited love story you meet other equally charming characters. This series never fails to make me laugh and smile.

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kin Vol. 1 Synopsis: The boy of her dreams…is a girl’s manga artist?!To the eyes of high school student Chiyo Sakura, classmate Umetarou Nozaki–brawny of build and brusque of tongue–is a dreamboat! When Chiyo finally works up the courage to tell Nozaki how she feels about him, she knows rejection is on the table…but getting recruited as a manga-ka’s assistant?! Never in a million years! But for someone who makes a living drawing sweet girly romances, Nozaki-kun is a little slow on the uptake when it comes to matters of the heart in reality. And so Chiyo’s daily life of manga making and heartache begins!

Haikyu!!, Spy x Family, and Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun are at the top of my list of manga I want to start collecting. Maybe 2021 will be my head start to all this.

Do you read manga or watch anime? If so, what are some of your favorites?

*some images via my IG @thebookshelfcorner*


As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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Bookish Memes Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday – August 4, 2021

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where you spotlight a highly anticipated book.


Happy Wednesday, Bookworms!

I need more Narwhal and Jelly in my life! I can’t wait to be reunited with them in Narwhal’s School of Awesome by Ben Clanton.

Look how awesome the cover is for book 6! This is definitely my favorite of the series. As always, the premise is super cute and I’m eager to read what awesome knowledge Narwhal has to share with the world. He is such an adorable character and incredibly sweet. Jelly is very pragmatic and a good friend, and I love him to bits. I’m sure they both will make great teachers!

Narwhal’s School of Awesome is set to be published September 7, 2021.

Image via Goodreads

ABOUT: Narwhal and Jelly become the coolest teachers in the world wide waters in the hilarious sixth book of this blockbuster graphic novel series!

Dive into four new stories about Narwhal and Jelly becoming substitute teachers! The two best friends come across an enthusiastic school of fish one morning. Unfortunately, Mr. Blowfish, their teacher, has come down with a cold, and class will have to be cancelled . . . until Professor Knowell (Narwhal) and Super Teacher (Jelly) volunteer to help out! The first subject is Wafflematics, in which Narwhal and Jelly calculate the number of waffles needed to feed the class. That’s what we’re chalking about! Next up is a super-fun science scavenger hunt, followed by a game of Tag! You’re Awesome! at recess. Narwhal’s teaching methods may be unconventional, but with Jelly’s help, the two teach (and learn) with their trademark positivity and humor. Before they know it, the day is over . . . but what grade will Narwhal receive from Jelly?


As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Truly Tyler by Terri Libenson

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Series: Emmie & Friends #5
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Cliques. Crushes. Comics. Middle school.

Ever since Tyler started getting into art and hanging out with Emmie, his friends and teammates have been giving him a hard time. He wonders why can’t he nerd out on drawing and play ball?

Emmie is psyched that she gets to work on a comics project with her crush, Tyler. But she gets the feeling that his friends don’t think she’s cool enough. Maybe it’s time for a total reinvention. . . .

 

My Review: Truly Tyler was everything I hoped it would be. One of my most anticipated 2021 releases, I was very excited to read this next installment in the Emmie & Friends series. Tyler’s book was an absolute joy to read!

Truly Tyler continues the storylines from book 1, Invisible Emmie, and the new social dynamics Emmie and Tyler now find themselves in. Tyler is torn between his two passions, art and basketball. Meanwhile, the teasing both he and Emmie have been getting causes Emmie to not feel popular/cool enough and way out of Tyler’s league. The two then struggle with working together on their comic book project as well as the straining relationships with their friend groups.

This story was really absorbing. It’s way longer than all the other books but Libenson makes every page count with her engaging art style. She always creates a fun atmosphere to enjoy her stories within. The straightforward plot is woven together with timeless, relatable themes that throw you back to those awkward middle school days. Wanting to be yourself but at the same time fit in and be liked.

Tyler is a great main character. I liked learning about him as more than Emmie’s secret crush. I connected with Tyler feeling divided over having multiple interests and feeling pressed to decide on one thing to define who you are. Although Emmie is still that same insecure, awkward turtle from book 1, she grows even more so in this book. I liked how she comes into her own as a much stronger version of herself.

Truly Tyler was another excellent addition to the Emmie & Friends series. It was honest, delightful, and very entertaining. Libenson is a talented storyteller and illustrated. I hope there will be more books in the future!


More by Terri Libenson

Emmie & Friends
Invisible Emmie (#1)
Positively Izzy (#2)
Just Jaime (#3)
Becoming Brianna (#4)