Standalone Sunday (7/23/17): By Your Side by Kasie West

Standalone Sunday is a fun feature created by Megan at Bookslayerreads where each Sunday you feature a standalone book (not part of a series) that you loved or would recommend. There’s so much focus on books that are part of a series… she thought it’d be nice to focus on some standalone novels, too!

Feel free to join in on this weekly feature by creating your own Standalone Sunday post! And be sure to check out Megan’s very creative blog and leave a link in her Standalone Sunday comments section so she can add your blog to the list.

My Standalone Pick this week is: By Your Side by Kasie West. I have read three books by Kasie West and I enjoyed them. They aren't too heavy and I need something light, yet endearing.


BLURB: In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

ADD TO GOODREADS

Phoebe Sounds It Out by Julie Zwillich

Source: Netgalley

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Phoebe Sounds It Out by Julie Zwillich
Release Date: April 15, 2017
Format: e-ARC Pages: 32
Published By: Owlkids Books
Purchase Links: Amazon US Barnes & Noble

Meet Phoebe. Unfortunately, her name doesn’t look quite like it sounds. At school, her classmates practice writing their names, but Phoebe struggles. Her teacher tells her to “just sound it out.” Phoebe doubts herself and procrastinates before resolving to try. Readers are privy to her funny, endearing interior monologue and little-kid rationale as she writes the result: FEEBY.

Told in a relatable, introspective voice, this school story conveys the feelings and worries of a 5-year-old and supports learning about sounds and letters. Readers will see from Phoebe’s fellow kindergartners’ attempts that everyone makes mistakes, and that we can take pride in effort and not just perfection.

LEVELING
Grade Range: Pre-K–2
Fountas & Pinnell: J
Reading Recovery: 17
Lexile: AD 590L

COMMON CORE
RL.1.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9
L.1.1,1b,1e,1f,2,2a,2b,2d,2e,4
L.1.4b,4c,5,5a,5b,5c,5d,6
RF.1.1,2,2a,2b,2c,2d,3,3a,3e,4
SL.1.1,1b,1c,2,3,4,5,6
W.1.3,5,6,8

My 7 year old son read this book to my 5 year old son. They had a different reaction to this book than I did. My youngest was tickled most about Phoebe’s boots. He enjoyed the book and he said that Phoebe sounding out her name reminding him of the Gingerbread man because he thought the first letter should have been “J”.
My big boy thought the book ended too fast. He wanted to know how the teacher helped Phoebe with understand about spelling her name. He also had more comments about the boots and Phoebe’s phonetic issues.

My overall impression was this book that it seemed a tad disjointed. It started off about boots, but then turned into kindergarten kids spelling their names. I actually didn’t think much about the boots. It was actually a distraction. I also didn’t understand the introduction of the second teacher Ms. April who enjoyed music. It didn’t fit. It didn’t seem to flow what I felt was the main theme of the book, which I loved. It was a joy following the steps Phoebe took as she worked to write her name. I would have liked the author to concentrate on the name, and how certain words have a phonetic sound different from the actual spelling. The boots thing could have been a separate story. My kids found that aspect entertaining.

My rating for this book would have been a 3-star, but my kids thought it was a 4-star book. Thus, I will settle in the middle. My youngest did ask me to read it again tomorrow, but he wants to wear his boots when I read it.
So clearly, my son related to Phoebe’s footwear.

*Special Thanks to Owlkids Books via Netgalley for the e-arc given in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars

Ezi