Blog Tour: Flower Moon by Gina Linko

Welcome to my stop along the Flower Moon by Gina Linko blog tour! I am so excited to share this fun middle grade novel that has something for everyone. Before we get to my review, let’s take a look at what the book is all about.

32050239Title: Flower Moon
Author: Gina Linko
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads): Tempest and Tally Jo Trimble are mirror twins—so alike they were almost born the same person—and they’ve been inseparable since birth. But it’s the summer they turn thirteen, and it seems like everyone can tell something is changing between them.

Pa Charlie, whose traveling carnival is the best part of every summer, is watching them closer than ever. Digger, who sneaks poor kids onto the carnival rides for free and smiles faster than anyone, seems to be fixing for a fight. Even Mama is acting different, refusing to travel with the carnival this year even though her own twin, who she hasn’t seen since childhood, will be there.

And Tally and Tempest are the most different of all. There’s a strangeness between them, a thickness to the air, an unseen push and pull, and it’s getting stronger. It starts as a feeling, but soon it’s sputtering and sparking, hurling them backwards, threatening to explode.

When Tally learns that she and Tempest may not be the first twins in their family to be separated by whatever this force is, she realizes she’ll have to find a way to stop it—or she might lose not only her sister, but everyone she loves.

Goodreads | Amazon

Flower Moon is one of those books that once you start reading, it is hard to set down. Fans of magical realism will really enjoy this story that combines elements of magic and coming of age. The carnival setting gives the narrative a perfect backdrop, and the science that is used to describe the strangeness happening between the sisters is one that contains wonderful jumping off points for the classroom.

Gina Linko has created a classic bildungsroman in Flower Moon. The story is told from the perspective of Tally Jo who is struggling with not only trying to discover what this strange force is that is physically keeping her apart from her twin, but also figuring out who she is and where she is headed in life. Tally Jo is the perfect main character, as she is head strong, determined, and not afraid to take chances.

If there is one theme that draws me into a book right away, it is the carnival theme. There is something so mysterious and alluring about the carnival life. What kid hasn’t dreamed of a summer filled with rides, treats, and never-ending excitement? This setting adds a touch of intrigue to the already magical story and lures the reader right in.

There are quite a few teachable moments included in the book that make it perfect for classroom connections. The use of magnets and the wonderful descriptions that are given as to how they work provide fantastic ways to integrate this book into a science lesson. Also, the Flower Moon is something that I had not heard of before, and I found this was a very informative and interesting aspect to the book.

Flower Moon is a magical realism novel that is sure to be enjoyed by fans of the genre. It contains a beautiful coming of age story that has a perfect setting and many educational elements. I look forward to seeing the Flower Moon this year now that I have learned all about it!

684067Gina Linko likes to write books for kids and young people, because, in her opinion, they are the absolute best kinds of people.  Gina has two fluffy, fat cats, one of which is an evil genius.  She also has three kids, none of which are fluffy or evil geniuses, although they are quite interesting in their own human-like ways.  Gina lives in a suburb outside Chicago, where she works as a textbook editor and spends her free time reading and then reading some more.  She likes to stay up super late at night. She doesn’t like alarm clocks.  She really likes Hershey nuggets, playing euchre, and watching the Cubbies.

Her children like to call her Lil Gina, even though she’s six-feet tall.

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Book to Movie Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio


Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations. 


Author: R.J. Palacio
Publisher: Knopf
Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, Izabela Vidovic, Julia Roberts
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Screenplay: Stephen Chbosky, Steve Conrad, Jack Thorne

Summary (From Goodreads): I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

Goodreads | Amazon

I haven’t read many middle grade novels in quite a while, and I have to admit that this is the first one that brought big tears to my eyes. Wonder is a one-of-a-kind book that deals with bullying in a way that is honest, raw, and eye-opening. The writing is crisp and witty, and the multiple perspectives really help to give the reader a deep understanding of all the sides to the story. Amazingly, the film is just as wonderful, and although it is a condensed version of the original, it maintains the original themes that Palacio has inspired her readers with.

Wonder has been one of those books that has been sitting on my TBR forever, and when the movie details were announced, I knew that the time had come to finally crack it open. For years I have heard nothing but praise for the messages and themes included in the novel, and I am pleased to say that the accolades given to this middle grade novel are well-deserved. It really is a book that can be enjoyed by everyone. The different points of view add to this effect, as there are so many generations of characters in this book. Auggie is such a fantastically developed character, and his perseverance in spite of all the adversity he faces is admirable. It is hard not to fall in love with him and his hilarious outlook on life.

Fans of the novel will most likely be very pleased that the story is very closely mirrored in the movie version. Albeit there are certain things that have been altered and twisted a little to bring it to the screen, but it in no way changes the outcome of the narrative. Jacob Tremblay is a perfect Auggie, and it is impressive how he seems to be able to really get into the role of such a multi-layered character.

Is the book better than the movie? Of course! However, if you are a fan of the book, you will not be disappointed. This is one story not to be missed whether you read it or see it.

Audiobook to Movie Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness


Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations. 

Authors: Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd (conception)
Narrator: Jason Isaacs
Publisher: Candlewick on Brilliance Audio
Cast: Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson
Director: J.A. Bayona
Screenplay: Patrick Ness

tumblr_ojdbsiuBq81unamvwo2_400Summary (From Goodreads): An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting– he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd– whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself– Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

A heart-wrenching and moving audiobook and film, A Monster Calls is a unique story that digs deep into the themes of death and the grieving process. The movie is perfectly cast and is only slightly different from the original story, making it one of the best book to movie adaptations that I have seen in a while.

This story is such an amazing work and it is impressive to think that the idea was conceived by one author and then written by another. The book is a combination of realistic fiction and fantasy, in that the main character Conor’s daily life is explored alongside the fantasy world of the Monster. The narrator, Jason Isaacs, performs all of the characters and really makes the Monster come to life. There are 3 stories that the Monster shares with Conor and it is through the Monster that Conor is able to begin understanding himself and his own truth.

It is always a relief when the screenplay for a book to movie adaptation is written by the author of the book. Somehow, there is less variation of the original story and the ideas conveyed in the book remain the same. This is definitely the case for the film version of A Monster Calls. There are some minor differences and the addition of art as a theme in the film, which actually adds to the impact it has on the audience. There are some big names in this film, such as Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson, who are are definitely brilliant in their roles and will draw people to see this film. Lewis MacDougall, who plays Conor, is flawless and especially wonderful to watch.

A Monster Calls is just as enjoyable on the screen as it is to listen to as an audiobook. While reading the book beforehand is not necessary, I do recommend reading or listening to this beautiful story. The movie is one that anyone will enjoy and learn from and it was well worth the long wait for its release.

Audiobook to Movie Review: The BFG by Roald Dahl



Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations. 

I received advanced screening passes from Walt Disney Studios Canada to view this film.

27876704Author: Roald Dahl
Narrator: David Williams
Publisher: Listening Library
Cast: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Rebecca Hall
Director: Stephen Spielberg
Screenplay: Melissa Mathison

Summary (from Goodreads): Captured by a giant!

The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants—rather than the BFG—she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

If you have ever read a book written by Roald Dahl, you will know exactly what I mean when I say that this story is classic Dahl. There is a fantastical world that the reader can get lost in, wonderful and vividly described characters and humorous word play. In the audio version narrated by David Williams, we are given a voice to these relatable characters that makes the listener feel like part of the story. The film adaptation of this book has some fun aspects and maintains the theme of friendship from the original story, however, it falls short of Dahl’s original work and just doesn’t seem to measure up.

I have always enjoyed Roald Dahl’s novels and they bring back so many amazing childhood memories of my first reading experiences. Listening to David Williams bring the BFG, Sophie, and the Queen to life is an incredible adventure that makes this story that much more colourful.  His vocal characterizations are prefect and they way he pronounces the plethora of made-up words in this book are so amusing. The special effects in the background also add another layer to the listening experience that will help the listener to envision the happenings in the book with greater intensity. While I can see that there may be some terrifying moments for children in this book, somehow the humour and the fact that the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is so lovable, give the listener a sense of security.

When I found out yet another book by Roald Dahl was being translated to the screen, I was very excited. There have been some wonderful films created in the past based on his works. Unfortunately, this adaptation is not as thrilling or amusing as I had hoped for. The storyline is somewhat the same, but the wonderful details are not depicted nearly as wonderfully as the book and the ending is altered. There is also some bathroom humour that might appeal to some, but I found it distasteful and certainly not the exact feel that Dahl was after. Mind you, there were some touching moments in the movie, but they just don’t compare to the original book.

So, is this a movie that you want to rush out to the theatre to see? In my humble opinion, no. While this is a film that is highly anticipated and has definitely been hyped up and advertised to great extent, it is not one that I feel deserves your hard earned money. I do think that most fans of the book will want to see it and should see it to compare the story to the film. However, waiting to see it on DVD would be an option that I suggest. This is a book that you should definitely not judge by its movie.


Audiobook to Movie Review: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry



Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations. 


157993Author: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Narrator: Humphrey Bower
Publisher: Bolinda Publishing
Cast: Jeff Bridges, James Franco, Marion Cotillard
Director: Mark Osborne
Screenplay: Irean Brignull and Robert Persichetti Jr.

Summary (from Goodreads): Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.

Goodreads | Book Depository

The Little Prince is one childhood book that everyone should revisit. The touching tale of the innocence of childhood, friendship and loss is presented in a way that children can relate to, but there is so much that can be taken and learned as adults from this beautifully written story. While the movie is extremely touching and well done, there are some differences that might surprise fans of the book. Nonetheless, this film really does explore the themes and messages that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry intended in this wonderful film.

The audiobook edition of The Little Prince is a well narrated story and really captures the attention of the listener. Although one must research the drawings that are included in the print edition to fully understand the context of the story, the audio version is one not to be missed. In a mere two hours, you can listen to the entire book and be mesmerized by the main characters, the aviator and the Little Prince. The listener can really get a feel for the emotions and the bonds that form between the various characters in the book through Humphrey Bower’s gorgeous voice and impressive ability to make his audience feel empathy and understanding of the message in the book.

When watching the film, one is transported back to the Little Prince’s original story in a whole new way. The drawings and quite a bit of the text are included in the movie. However, there is a very interesting presentation of the story that viewers will experience through the eyes of a new female character. While at first I was a little disappointed, I quickly came to love this new version of the story. Without spoiling the plot, there is so much more that movie-goers will experience in this film and it absolutely will have you reaching for a big box of tissues.

So, although there are differences between the book and the movie, I absolutely believe that this film will delight everyone. There really is something for everyone in this movie and I highly recommend it. Also, as it is a quick read, I think a visit with the story before seeing the film is helpful, as some parts are not fully described. This book should not be judged by its movie, but the movie is one that is not to be missed!