Claudia Builds a Bridge for Bruno

Diana Duncan, illustrated by Gail Jacalan

Partridge, 32 pages, (paperback) $25.01, 9781543768329
(Reviewed: August, 2022)

Spotlighting a girl and her rescue dog, Claudia Builds a Bridge for Bruno touches on the impact of isolation as well as the time and attention it takes to earn trust from another.

In this rhyming picture book, we meet Claudia. After years of Claudia asking for a dog, her parents finally agree. Claudia chooses […]

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The Girl and the Bear

Bernadette I. Bernal

Newman Springs Publishing, 24 pages, (paperback) $13.95, 9781636921686
(Reviewed: August, 2022)

A girl and bear who were best friends as youngsters have an emotional reunion as adults in this gentle children’s picture book.

The story introduces a girl and bear cub (called “Girl” and “Bear”) who enjoy playing, telling stories, sitting in a big oak tree, and visiting the ocean. They promise to be best friends […]

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Baby Pictures: My Year on the Road with Baby Lester and the Buggybumpers

B. John Burns

B. John Burns, 372 pages, (hardcover) $37.85, 9781667841892
(Reviewed: August, 2022)

B. John Burns takes readers on a joyful nostalgia trip to 1976 with this account of his memorable year in a struggling Omaha, Nebraska-based band. This memoir conveys a transformational period in his young life, when gas was cheap and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours was in heavy rotation on the car’s AM radio.

Burns’s Top 40 […]

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Scaredy Bat and the Frozen Vampires: A Vampire Detective Story

Marina J. Bowman, illustrated by Yevheniia Lisovaya

Code Pineapple, 113 pages, (paperback) $12.99, 9781950341078
(Reviewed: August, 2022)

In the first illustrated chapter book in this early reader series, a tween vampire and three friends solve the mystery of who put a royal wedding party and their guests on ice.

Twelve-year-old Ellie Spark, christened by her sister “Scaredy Bat” for her fears of spiders, monsters, and more, is excited to be attending the […]

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Soulstealer: Book 2, Steven

Shane Boulware

THEORYbee, 290 pages, (paperback) $17.95, 9781734706352
(Reviewed: August, 2022)

In the second installment of the action-packed Soulstealer series, readers again rendezvous with the titular villain, a malevolent spirit who can possess the body of a human host and eat mortal souls. This time, readers find new characters, viewpoints and details on the foundational story.

The Soulstealer is such a threat that the Catholic Church […]

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Wanda’s Tower

Robert Beatty

AuthorHouse, 566 pages, (paperback) $28.99, 9781665529044
(Reviewed: August, 2022)

This fusion of erotic fiction and romance takes place largely in the early 1980s and chronicles the adventures of a traveling repair technician for a major telephone company whose life philosophy of sexual uninhibitedness and always seeking out the next horizon makes her a “female redneck Jack Kerouac.”

When Wanda was 16 years old and […]

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Mystery Boy

Lester Murray

iUniverse, 148 pages, (paperback) $13.99, 9781663211750
(Reviewed: August, 2022)

Lester Murray’s Mystery Boy begins with an intriguing scene: A police officer finishing his rounds discovers a naked young boy shivering under a heap of old newspapers in an empty house.

The boy, about 11 or 12 years old, can’t speak. He’s brought to a foster mom, who calls him Mikey. He’s then taken in […]

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Countdown To Greatness: Greatness Lives Within You Find It Ignite It

Michael Griffin

Bennett Media and Marketing, 62 pages, (paperback) $5.99, 9781957114101
(Reviewed: August, 2022)

Michael Carter Griffin caters to readers with short attention spans in this brief, motivational, self-help guide to living with purpose and achieving greatness.

As someone who suffers from “Short Attention Span (SAS),” Griffin set out to create a unique book suitable and enjoyable for SAS readers. Here, Griffin utilizes large fonts, diagrams, and visuals, along […]

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Branding Democrats: A Top-to-Bottom Reimagining of Campaign Strategies

Ken Weber and Daryl Weber

RealClearPublishing, 200 pages, (hardcover) $24.95, 9781637554715
(Reviewed: August, 2022)

Democrats won the White House and a Congressional majority in 2020 by a thin margin. President Biden’s approval ratings remain low, and political prognosticators question the party’s chances in the 2022 mid-term elections. Why the gloom when Democrats are the majority party?

The reason for their woes, claim this father/son team, is poor branding. They […]

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This Dark Star: Thomas Digges, the Scientific Revolution, and the Infinite Universe

Charles L. Ladner

Xlibris, 204 pages, (paperback) $17.99, 9781669826484
(Reviewed: August, 2022)

With this short but illuminating biographical study, Charles L. Ladner argues convincingly for a lesser-known early scientist’s place among the Scientific Revolution’s leading lights.

Ladner acknowledges that his subject, Elizabethan astronomer and mathematician Thomas Digges, isn’t exactly a household name. Nonetheless, Digges could boast of an impressive list of accomplishments. As Copernicus’s first English translator, […]

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