Tag: Reading is Fun

Gold Rush Girl | Book Review

“Newbery Medalist Avi brings us mud-caked, tent-filled San Francisco in 1848 with a willful heroine who goes on an unintended – and perilous – adventure to save her brother.”


Victoria Blaisdell longs for independence and adventure, and she yearns to accompany her father as he sails west in search of real gold! But it is 1848, and Tory isn’t even allowed to go to school, much less travel all the way from Rhode Island to California. Determined to take control of her own destiny, she stows away on the ship. Though San Francisco is frenzied and full of wild and dangerous men, Tory finds freedom and friendship there. Until one day, when Father is in the gold fields, her younger brother, Jacob, is kidnapped. And so Tory is spurred on a treacherous search for him in Rotten Row, a part of San Francisco Bay crowded with hundreds of abandoned ships.


Gold Rush Girl is set during the Gold Rush of 1894 and is filled with adventure to draw a reader in. What captivated me as a reader was the strong female main character, Victoria (Tory). She embraces the unknown and refuses to be underestimated – love that! Tory also portrays great qualities such as being a good friend and being empathetic toward others. Furthermore, she becomes aware of her own shortcomings. Not in a way that belittles her strong character, but rather provides a depth look to who she is. You can’t help but respect it as you see her grow.

It is an interesting era to write about as the author combined real history facts into a functional story which made this book an interesting read. Make sure to read the Autor’s note in the back as there are some really cool facts he shares.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Gold Rush Girl 4 stars out of 5! Adventure awaits for readers between 10 to 14 years of age and an empowering story too.

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

About the Author

Avi is one of the most celebrated authors writing for children today, having received two Boston Globe – Horn Book Awards, a Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, a Christopher Award, a Newbery Medal, and two Newbery Honors. He is the author of more than eighty books, including The Button War, What Do Fish Have to Do with Anything? And Other Stories, and The Most Important Thing: Stories About Sons, Fathers and Grandfatherd. Avi lives in Colorado.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.


Brunhilda’s Backwards Day

My daughter, Nikki and I were very excited when we got a new book to add to our story time line up called, Brunhilda’s Backwards Day. This book is written and illustrated by Shawna J. C. Tenney.


Brunhilda’s Backwards Day is an adorable children’s book that takes us into Brunhilda’s world which is full of witch trouble. Each morning she wakes up on the wrong side of the bed (yes she purposely does this, after all she is a witch), puts on her ugliest dress, eats spider mush for breakfast, and brushes her teeth with candy. She then looks in the mirror and happily observes, “You are utterly repulsive!” As soon as she leaves the house, she begins her trouble making ways and starts casting spells of chaos.

Then one night, Brunhilda’s cat decides to make trouble instead. The next morning Brunhilda finds herself having a backwards kind of day. It starts with waking up on the right side of the bed, having only a fluffy pink ball gown to wear, oatmeal for breakfast and toothpaste to brush her teeth instead of candy. On top of it all, her spells had the opposite effect and good was happening instead of bad. But with the good spells that she was doing she realized the reward of other people’s happiness was making her feel great. Brunhilda changed her ways for the better but of course she decided to still be her but a good her (minus the pink fluffy ball gown and I don’t blame her for that!).

Nikki and I give this book five witch cackles out of five. The story flows really well and it is an easy read. The illustrations articulate the story beautifully with the colourful pictures and characters. I honestly can’t get over how stunning the illustrations are!

The message that we got from this story is that being kind and nice to people makes you feel better than being mean. This is a great message for children to learn as it shows the effect of playing tricks can have on people and how being nice is the best way to be. This book beautifully portrays this empowering message clearly and it is done in the most artistic way for all to enjoy. It is better to be a nice person than a bully, that’s for sure!

We just adored this book and we think you will too! It is a great book for children ages 3 to 6 but I think even at 10 they would enjoy it too.

Looking forward to any upcoming books from Shawna J. C. Tenney. You can follow her on social media to keep up-to-date on what she has going on (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest).

To purchase this lovely book visit, https://www.amazon.com/Brunhildas-Backwards-Day-Shawna-Tenney/dp/163450691X.

Until next time…..Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga