Children’s Book Review: Little Bigfoot, Big City

photo by @ElizabethLaban

Little Bigfoot, Big City by Jennifer Weiner, is a middle-grade tale that blends fantasy with everyday life, exploring the themes of friendship and feelings of belonging. Its quirky characters, mystery and drama will keep readers engaged. The sequel to The Littlest Bigfoot, it can also be read as a stand alone novel.

The story’s two protagonists, twelve-year old Alice Mayfair and her Bigfoot best friend, Millie Maximus, are both on a mission. But while Alice’s mission is to undercover the secret of her past and live in the woods amongst the Bigfoots, Millie’s mission is to prepare for a future in New York city as a singer onstage. Their friendship is tested when Millie befriends popular Jessica Jarvis, who helps Millie enter a singing contest – and Alice befriends Jeremy Bigelow, who helps Alice uncover what may be the real truth of her not-so-human history. But readers will find that this story takes some unexpected paths, leading both Alice and Millie to make some new discoveries. Their discoveries show them that while they are individuals with different dreams, they are also friends who are alike in many ways.

Readers who enjoyed the first book in the series, Littlest Bigfoot, will no doubt want to continue on this journey with Alice & Millie in Little Bigfoot, Big City. The ups & downs that the girls go through are relatable and will strike a chord with many young readers. The question of our humanity as well as our selves – who we are and what we dream of doing – is one that will resonate with many as well.

At its heart, this book is about looking past our differences in order to understand and live in the world together, and that is a message that I think should earn this book a place on many middle-school library shelves. The addition of the well-known historical mystery of Bigfoots and a secret (and possibly sinister?) government organization into the plot gives the book a unique flavor that will intrigue many students as well. A middle-grade novel that is poignant, fresh, and mysterious – Little Bigfoot, Big City is a book to share with the tweens in your life.

*Note* I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review from @KidlitExchange.

Review Link:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2165157677

Stacie Eirich is a writer as well as an avid reader & book reviewer. She holds a Masters Degree in English Studies from Illinois State University. She has published four books of poetry and a children’s novel: Tiger Kingdom & The Book of Destiny. She lives north of New Orleans, and is currently writing her second children’s novel.

Stacie’s Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Stacie-Eirich/e/B01D1QV79W/

https://www.facebook.com/writerstacieeirich

https://www.instagram.com/stacieeirich

https://www.soundcloud.com/stacie-eirich

YA Book Review: The Forgotten Sister

The Forgotten Sister, by Dalila Caryn, a YA fantasy, is a fairy tale retelling with strong characters and a story that will immerse readers from start to finish. A retelling of the classic tale Sleeping Beauty; in this version she is Roisin, the younger half-sister of Rowan. Cursed by her grandmother, the Fairy Queen, princess Roisin is sent away from the palace to live with her fairy Aunts in a hidden, magical wood. Though she is only a child herself, Rowan vows to become a knight and protect Roisin, pledging her love, loyalty, and even a gift of eternal life (given from her own half-fairy blood) to her.

The bulk of this story focuses on not Roisin, who grows in beauty and grace but remains hidden – but on Rowan and her life as she endures years of separation from her sister at the castle. The kingdom awaits Roisin’s 16th birthday and her return. But they and the kingdoms around them are plagued by the dark magic of Sorcha, the Fairy Queen – and Rowan believes the only way to stop Sorcha is to fight her herself. But her training with the Knights of the Rose doesn’t stop her nightly dreams that it is she – not Sorcha – that will be the one to bring death upon her sister.

As the day of her sister’s return draws nearer, Rowan knows she must make decisions that will help not only her sister but also her kingdom (as its future Queen) and others. She befriends a prince of a distant kingdom, Gavin, through letters, and their correspondence quickly becomes one of the strongest friendships of the novel. Undoubtedly the most poignant relationship in the novel is between Rowan and Roisin; the love they feel as sisters when they are young, and the friendship they feel each year when they meet secretly in the Fairy Circle is beautifully written. But it is the intriguing connection between Rowan and her Fairy Queen grandmother Sorcha that is the greatest mystery and powerful undercurrent of the novel. Readers will be drawn to Rowan as a strong female heroine and her fierce love and loyalty for her family and friends.

The Forgotten Sister may be a fairy tale retelling, but it is also a rich fantasy with unique plot twists that allow it to stand on its own. The Sleeping Beauty has been my favorite fairy tale since I was a child, and as such I have been hesitant to read retellings of it. But this tale did not disappoint me, instead captured and held me from the moment I began reading. Caryn has crafted a beautiful coming-of-age fantasy that will reach into the hearts of many young readers, reminding them of the strength of knowing one’s self and the powerful, healing magic love can bring.

*I received a copy from @KidlitExchange in exchange for an honest review.

Review Links:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2147153557

https://www.amazon.com/review/R1THQGOLFDIH7B/

#partner @kidlitexchange πŸ’œπŸ“šπŸŒΉπŸ—‘πŸƒπŸ·My current read pairs wonderfully with a glass of Cabernet! Thanks to #kidlitexchange & author Dalila Caryn for The Forgotten Sister! A fairytale retelling, I’m already halfway through and it’s the perfect pick for me. Review coming soon! πŸ“šπŸŒΉπŸ—‘ Update: Here’s part of my 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟review! Go to this Goodreads link for the full text: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2147153557 πŸ“šπŸŒΉπŸ—‘ The Forgotten Sister, a YA fantasy, is a fairy tale retelling with strong characters and a story that will immerse readers from start to finish. A retelling of the classic tale Sleeping Beauty; in this version she is Roisin, the younger half-sister of Rowan. Cursed by her grandmother, the Fairy Queen, princess Roisin is sent away from the palace to live with her fairy Aunts in a hidden, magical wood. Though she is only a child herself, Rowan vows to become a knight and protect Roisin, pledging her love, loyalty, and even a gift of eternal life (given from her own half-fairy blood) to her. The bulk of this story focuses on not Roisin, who grows in beauty and grace but remains hidden – but on Rowan and her life as she endures years of separation from her sister at the castle. The kingdom awaits Roisin's 16th birthday and her return. But they and the kingdoms around them are plagued by the dark magic of Sorcha, the Fairy Queen – and Rowan believes the only way to stop Sorcha is to fight her herself. But her training with the Knights of the Rose doesn't stop her nightly dreams that it is she – not Sorcha – that will be the one to bring death upon her sister. #bookmail #bookreview #yafantasybooks #fairytaleretelling #amreading #readingandwine #fridayfeeling #happyweekend #theforgottensister #kidlitexchange #kidlit #lovetoread #tigerkingdom

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Stacie Eirich is a writer as well as an avid reader & book reviewer. She holds a Masters Degree in English Studies from Illinois State University. She has published four books of poetry and a children’s novel: Tiger Kingdom & The Book of Destiny. She lives north of New Orleans, and is currently writing her second children’s novel.

Stacie’s Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Stacie-Eirich/e/B01D1QV79W/

https://www.facebook.com/writerstacieeirich

https://www.instagram.com/stacieeirich

https://www.soundcloud.com/stacie-eirich