Maddy McGuire CEO: Bring Back the Bees by Emma Bland Smith/A Review

Maddy McGuire, CEO: Bring Back the Bees
Author: Emma Bland Smith
Length: 112 pages
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Publisher: Calico/Magic Wagon
Release Date: August 1, 2018

As part of a summer assignment, I began reading children’s books to remotely distribute to families in my school district. Being a lover of books, I found this to be an ideal opportunity to expose myself to more children’s fiction, and share my thoughts on them!

Maddy McGuire is a young girl who has natural business skills. While visiting a museum with her family, Maddy becomes aware of the decline in bee colonies. Right away, Maddy and her friends take on the task in bringing a bee hive to her school. During their journey, Maddy discovers that fostering a neighborhood bee colony takes a lot of footwork. Through some tricky situations and teamwork, Maddy learns that bringing an huge idea into fruition requires a community effort!

Bring Back the Bees has diverse representation. Maddy’s close friend Amina is from Syria, and the book provides a brief back story from a previous installment about Maddy’s efforts in making Amina’s family welcome in the neighborhood. Although the story is fiction, it provides some factual information in becoming a young entrepreneur to benefit your community.

This book is definitely beneficial for grade school children who are interested in learning about helping community members through teamwork. It’s great reading material for educators to offer students!

**This book is part of a series, but you don’t need to read them back to back to learn about Maddy and her friends!**

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Synopsis

On a trip to the science museum, Maddy learns that bees are fast becoming endangered. As someone with a strong concern for the environment (and a keen love of honey!), she wants to bring a hive to her school. Unfortunately, the beekeeper at the community garden is struggling with her business. Maddy comes up with her sweetest plan yet: a honey-focused booth at the farmers market. The profits will save the beekeeper’s business and the beekeeper will give Maddy’s school its own hive. Maddy’s learned a lot about business, but things get sticky when she translates her skills to the conservation world. Aligned to Common Core standards and correlated to state standards.

Do you enjoy reading Children’s stories? Feel free to share!

Connect With Me:

Sunday Sentence: April 12

I’m participating in David Abrams’s ‘Sunday Sentence‘ project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, ‘out of context and without commentary’.

‘Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.’

Source: The Way It Is, by William Stafford

Connect with me:

‘The A.I. Who Loved Me’ by Alyssa Cole/A Review

The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole
Format: Audiobook
Publisher: Audible Audio
Genre: Romance/Science Fiction
Length: 5 hours and 18 minutes
Release Date: December 3, 2019

Synopsis:
Trinity Jordan leads a quiet, normal life: working from home for the Hive, a multifunctional government research center, and recovering from the incident that sent her into a tailspin. But the life she’s trying to rebuild is plagued by mishaps when Li Wei, her neighbor’s super sexy and super strange nephew, moves in and turns things upside down. Li Wei’s behavior is downright odd—and the attraction building between them is even more so. When an emergency pulls his aunt away from the apartment complex, Trinity decides to keep an eye on him…and slowly discovers that nothing is what it seems.

For one thing, Li Wei isn’t just the hot guy next door—he’s the hot A.I. next door. In fact, he’s so advanced that he blurs the line between man and machine. It’s up to Trinity to help him achieve his objective of learning to be human, but danger is mounting as they figure out whether he’s capable of the most illogical human behavior of all…falling in love.

My Thoughts:
I’ve been turning to audiobooks quite often this year! They’re super helpful in the evening when I’m too exhausted to read a book, yet still want to enjoy a good story! The A.I. Who Loved Me was one of these books that kept me interested, especially when I wanted to have something entertaining to listen to before bed!

The A.I. Who Loved Me follows Trinity as she’s making every attempt to recover from her injuries, while tending to her neighbor’s nephew who has an interesting back story himself! The chemistry between Trinity and Li Wei was pretty vibrant, as Trinity’s fight to control her risings feelings paired with Li Wei’s struggle to understand human nature kept me interested! I also loved the diverse cast of characters in the story. Being someone with a Hispanic background, I love reading books with characters having different ethnic backgrounds!

This story was also heavy on the romance, and while Romance books are usually not my ‘go-to’ genre, I loved listening to the relationship evolve into an exciting love story. And the romantic buildup kept me listening!

The story is set in a futuristic timeline, where A.I. (artificial intelligence) is a part of everyone’s work, home, and social existence. Artificial intelligence as a mode for therapy and friendship is pretty common in this world, and both Trinity and Li Wei discover many details about their healing journeys through this system.

I recommend The A.I. Who Loved Me for those who enjoy ‘hate-to-love’ romance stories. If you love a quick, romantic audiobook with diverse characters, you will love this story!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

December 2019 Book Haul

I’m finally posting my Book Haul from December! It’s only 10 days into January, so it’s not that late, right? 😉

Here are the books I picked up last month:

Acquired from NetGalley

Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith

Complimentary copy from Revell Reads

Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason

Library Reads:

Digital copy acquired through Libby

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
by David Grann

Borrowed from local library

Kneaded to Death by Winnie Archer

A Witch Before Dying by Heather Blake

The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts

The Night Circus by Eric Morgenstern

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

These are all the books I picked up in December! What were some of the stories you received?

December Wrap Up

Last month I read five books:

YA Fantasy: 2

Crier’s War by Nina Varela. I received a complememtary copy from Wunderkind PR. I really enjoyed this ‘enemies-to-lovers’ tale between a human and an automae! (5 Stars)

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi. This story ended on such a cliffhanger! I loved the social dynamic between all of the characters as they try to move on from a traumatic event. Thank you NetGalley for the complimemtary copy! (5 Stars)

Contemporary: 3

The Moments Between by Natalie Banks. This was such a wonderful tale about a young housewife racing against the clock to save her husband. There are a lot of family dynamic situations laid out as well! (5 Stars)

There There by Tommy Orange. This was such amazing writing that handled a group of Native Americans under various dilemmas attending the Oakland Powwow. Tommy Orange captures the raw emotion of each character as they fight to be heard. (5 Stars)

Christmas By Accident by Camron Wright. This was another ‘enemies to lovers’ Christmas story, with a surprising twist that I enjoyed! (4 Stars)

My Disappointing Reads of 2019

These are the books I read during 2019, but wasn’t too crazy about. They are as follows:

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Out of all the books in the Grisha trilogy, this is the book that I liked the least. It consisted of lots of talking about Alina gathering the Second Army, but very little action!

Minion by L.A. Banks
This book is the first in the Vampire Huntress series. While I was so excited in reading about a powerful female huntress, it follows the prescribed ‘setting up the plotline for the rest of the series’ layout that many First Books in a series contain.

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
This story carries lots of nostalgia for those loving the Scooby Gang, but I personally couldn’t get myself to enjoy it. I think it was the blending of humor and horror elements throughout the story that was difficult for me to love.

Kingdom Soul (Book 2) by Brittni Chenelle
I read Book 1 of the Kingdom Cold series, and it was quite entertaining. However, Book 2 left me wanting a little more than characters figuring out their feelings for one another. I’m hopeful that Book 3 will provide that!

Those were my disappointing reads! I’ll share my anticipated releases in my next post.

Blogmas Day 21: Festive Holiday Drinks

As this is the time of year for holiday parties, many people take part in merriment and drinking! As long as it’s done responsibly, everyone can have an enjoyable time during the holiday season! Here are a few (adult) drinks preferred in holiday gatherings:

Coquito: This special drink is popular with many Hispanic gatherings over the holidays! Made with coconut milk, condensed milk, and rum, this drink is very flavorful with a kick! Last year, I wrote a Blogmas post all about Coquito, which you can read here!

Downeast Winter Blend: Andy and I had this drink while attending a birthday gathering last weekend. It’s a cider with over 6% alcohol, and it’s sooo delicious!

Gingerbread Mule: A spinoff of the popular Moscow Mule, this drink blended with vodka and gingerbread syrup & spice will liven up any holiday gathering! A recipe for the Gingerbread Mule can be found at Sugar and Charm!

These are just a few drinks that can be enjoyed during the holiday season! Just a reminder: these drinks are alcoholic, so they’re not suitable for kids! And always drink responsibly!

My Mother, Always a Guardian Angel

This post is a Six Word Saturday contribution. Please check out Debbie’s source post here.

Today Andy and I are visiting my mom’s resting place in Clifton. Tomorrow would have been Mom’s 67th birthday. Since tomorrow’s weather calls for a messy, wintry mix, the hour commute to Clifton would be unsafe to travel.

My mother is never too far from my thoughts. This year marked some significant life events, and I wish she was physically by my side to celebrate with me. I take some comfort in knowing that my mom is always present in my life. However, the silence left by her absence feels too much.

As Andy and I visit Mom today, I’m going to remember her calm nature during our phone conversations and visits. I’m going to keep in mind how much Mom always wished for the best in my life. She is always my guiding light.

Note: Feature Image taken by Cherryville Photography

Time With Family Is So Valuable

This post is a Six Word Saturday contribution. Please check out Debbie’s source post here.

Thanksgiving is coming around the corner! My husband and I spend Thanksgiving with both families. During the day we spend time with Andy’s family, and the evening is spent with my loved ones. Since my grandfather is enduring some health difficulties, I’m very grateful when we get to celebrate another holiday together. I’m very excited that next weekend I’ll be seeing my grandparents and 5 year old niece. She’s quite an energetic child! While family gatherings are filled with tensions and stresses, I’m still looking forward to catching up with relatives. I haven’t been to Paterson in a month!

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

Sunday Sentence: November 10

I’m participating in David Abrams’s ‘Sunday Sentence‘ project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, ‘out of context and without commentary’.

‘Everyone on earth, they’d tell us, was carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserves some tolerance’.

Source: ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama