Children’s Review: Army Brats by Daphne Benedis-Grab

Army Brats

Army Brats by Daphne Benedis-Grab

Scholastic Press- March 28, 2017

Purpose: Requested for review

Source: Publisher

I was given a copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.

5 stars

This is the story of three siblings as they adjust to living on an army post for the very first time. The Baileys are moving from Pennsylvania to Fort Patrick because their mom, a military intelligence officer has accepted a teaching position.  All three kids are excited about this move, and even about starting a new school. They will finally be around people who understand military life. But not everything turns out the way that they thought that it would.  Charlotte makes friends with a new girl, who happens to be very popular. But she soon discovers that popularity does not mean being nice. Tom, though he tries very hard not to, becomes the target of the base bully. Though Rosie is content with just her family and dog, Cupcake, she learns that it’s not so bad having a friend.

This is the third book by this author, and I must admit she has become a favorite. Not just for me, but for read a-louds with my son.   She has a way of talking about very big (and sometimes complicated) topics and breaking them down to kid-size portion. And she does this without dumbing down anything. This is a rather short book, so I don’t want to go into details that will give anything away. But I will do my best. I do recommend this, especially for kids who are struggling with finding their place in the world, who are starting middle school and who may have trouble making friends.

Because of Tom’s interactions with the base bully, he begins to question himself.  But as the siblings take on the challenge of the secret mission, he learns that there are worse things than someone teasing you – accepting the harmful words/taunts as truth. He gains a deeper and truer understanding of what it means to be brave, and not in the way that he thought he would.  Charlotte has made friends with the school’s very own mean girls. She goes along with them even when her brother becomes the target of their meanness. Rosie is a spitfire of a character and is very comfortable being herself, even if it leaves her without any friends. But she slowly learns what it takes to be a good friend.

This was a very fun story, one that I will reread to my son as he grows. It deals with real issues and considers the individuality of the characters. How they respond to their situations is unique to their personalities.  The solutions presented in the book, are realistic and highly recommended. There isn’t a false promise of a happily ever after at the end, and all problems are not solved with a nice little bow. All issues are resolved, and after the characters learn more about themselves, the only reassurance that they have at the end is that whatever comes their way, even the teasing and bullying, dealing with gossip and mean girls and all of the other things that come with the journey of middle school, they will be able to handle it.

If you have not had the opportunity to read any of Daphne Bendis-Grab’s work, I highly recommend it. I also recommend sharing it and passing it around to all the young readers in your life. That’s what I’m going to do.

Always Shine!


Friday Reads 2/17

I didn’t do a Friday’s reads post last week because my reading went off the tracks. I picked up a couple of books but then she’d them . This week has been better.


Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

This is a review book that I received from Revell Reads. I am about half way into it so I plan on finishing it by tomorrow. The Fu review will be posted on Monday.


Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

I plan to catch up on this series this weekend. This is the last published book, it info believe that there is another one due out sometime this year.

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

This is a book I’ve had for  a while. I am reading through my bookshelves and deciding whether or not I want to keep or regime certain books. Though this is a year long project, I want to spend more time on then I have been.

Army Brats by Daphne Benedis-Grab

I, and my son, have enjoyed the last couple of books by this author. So when I heard she had a new box coming, I contacted her publicist to request and ARC. I am really looking forward to reading this. The full review will be posted on February 27th.

So what are you reading?

Always Shine!

So Far Saturday….Jan 14

I wanted to do my monthly wrap-ups differently. I debated on doing a weekly recap at the time that I do my Friday Reads, but I didn’t really want to make that post any longer than it had to be. So I am going to try doing it this way, maybe every other Saturday check in to let you all know what I’ve read so far. Let me know what you think or if you have a better suggestion. And then at the end of the month, I will do a monthly overview of everything that I read.

Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar, #1)

Arrows of the Queen (The Heralds of Valdemar #1) by Mercedes Lackey 

Purpose: 100 Best Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy challenge

5 Stars 

Review will be posted on blog.

From Dead to Worse (Sookie Stackhouse, #8)

From Dead to Worse (Sookie Stackhouse # 8) by Charlaine Harris 

Purpose: Complete a series

4 Stars

This is the 8th book in the series, so there’s not a whole lot that I can say without spoiling things. I will be doing a full series review, when I am finished. I did enjoy this installment, but I wasn’t too sure about it in the beginning. Once the action started, I did become even more invested in the story. A lot of things happen in this story, this was full of major transitions. Sookie seems to be emotionally invested in every single person that she meets and gets to know, and that is tiring. I was emotionally wore out before I even finished the book.  The discovery at the end!

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer 

Purpose: K& S’s Bookclub

2 Stars 

That was the dumbest ending I’ve ever read! I wanted to like this book, but I didn’t. The big secret that wasn’t revealed until the ending? I figured it out within the first quarter of the book. It took 214 pages for the story to get sort of interesting . It took about 350 pages for me to become invested in the characters, and by then I really didn’t care. It simply took too long, especially when the book is 387 pages!

Clementine for Christmas

Clementine for Christmas by Daphne Benedis=Grab

Purpose: Read to Peanut, Seasonal. #offmybookshelf

This was a Christmas book that I read with my son. We enjoyed, it was a cute Christmas-y story. I read The Angel Tree last year and loved it, so I think  Daphne Benedis-Grab will be a holiday tradition for us.


Home by Ginny L. Yttrup 

Purpose: PW Review

Horizon (Horizon, #1)

Horizon (Horizon #1) by Scott Westerfeld 

Purpose: Review thanks to Edelweiss and Scholastic

3.75 stars 

Full review will be posted on blog.

Well, these are all of the books that I’ve read so far this month. What are you reading?

Always Shine!