Bethany's Readers' Advisory

The place to go for readers' advisory on books for children, teens, and adults

Almost Super by Marion Jensen April 22, 2014

Filed under: ages 9-12,humor — Bethany @ 8:15 pm
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Almost SuperIt’s a leap year, February 29 to be exact. Rafter and Benny Bailey are gathered with their family in the living room. On this day on a leap year, at 4:23 pm, every member of the Bailey family over the age of 12  gets his or her super power. Rafter is hoping for super strength like his grandpa. Benny wants super speed. When the moment finally arrives, they both get their powers. The problem? Their powers are really, really lame. Benny can pop his innie belly button into an outie. Rafter can light a match on any polyester surface. How are they going to help the family fight the villainous Johnson family with powers like that?

This book was super cute and funny. The descriptions of the super powers, the battles of good versus evil, and the humor make it a good recommendation for boys (and girls) in upper elementary or middle school. The underlying themes of friendship and the vulnerability kids feel at that age make it a book adults will like for kids.

5 out of 5 stars


Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich May 6, 2012

Filed under: adult mystery,humor,mystery — Bethany @ 6:20 pm
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Vinnie Plum, owner of the bail bonds office where Stephanie works, is in trouble.  He gambled and scammed the wrong guy and now mobster Bobby Sunflower is mad.  When Vinnie disappears, Stephanie, Lula, and Connie realize that they rely on him for a job.  No matter how many dumb mistakes he made, they need him back.  Armed with an Uzi, stink bombs, and a wild plan, the women of the bail bonds office are to the rescue.  Of course, things never go exactly to plan…

Another entertaining chapter of the Stephanie Plum saga complete with fried chicken, doughnuts, and explosions.  This one wasn’t quite as good as previous books in the series, but it made me laugh out loud and was a light read during my lunch breaks.

4 out of 5 stars


Oh, Daddy! by Bob Shea March 5, 2012

A young hippo has to show his dad how to do everything, including how to get dressed, how to get in the car, and how to give big hugs.

This one was very popular in Toddler Time.  I used it for the theme Getting Dressed, but it would work for a number of other themes as well.  I liked how it showed the little hippo doing things by himself.  The illustrations were wonderful.



Bossypants by Tina Fey January 25, 2012

Tina Fey started her life in show business at Summer Showtime, an acting camp that did double-duty as a refuge for gay teens.  With a short, less-than-glamorous stint at the front desk of the YMCA, she went on to do an improv show in Chicago.  After a nerve-wracking interview with Lorne Michaels, she became a writer for Saturday Night Live and later created her own comedy show, 30 Rock.  Sprinkled throughout the book are stories of her childhood, memories of her near-death experience on her honeymoon, tips for a successful fashion shoot, opinions of Photoshop, tales of motherhood, and her true feelings about Sarah Palin.

This book was hilarious yet poignant and had a nice balance of truth and sarcastic asides.  I really enjoyed it and found myself laughing out loud more than once.  I would definitely recommend this to any adult, especially those who have seen her on TV.  Her voice really shines throughout the book.


It Sucked and Then I Cried by Heather B. Armstrong November 13, 2011

It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita is the story of Heather Armstrong’s brave journey into childbearing.  Armstrong called her father after her first date with Jon and told him this was the man she was going to marry.  A few years later, they decided to have a baby.  This meant sacrifice- she had to give up things she really liked- beer, caffeine… and antidepressants.  After 9 long months of pregnancy (which are described in great deal), baby Leta is born.  What follows is Armstrong’s immense love for her child and a bout with postpartum depression so intense she checks herself into a mental hospital.  This is a hilarious and touching story of what it’s really like to have a baby and the changes it makes to your life.

As soon I finished this book, I went to my parents’ house, handed this book to my mom, and said, “Read this and tell me if it’s true.  If so, I’m never having kids.”  The book both made me laugh and terrified me to the core.  It’s not for the easily offended, but if you do like it, Heather Armstrong has a blog with more observations on day-to-day life at


I Love You, Miss Huddleston by Philip Gulley

Filed under: adult biography,humor — Bethany @ 11:38 pm
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I Love You, Miss Huddleston and Other Inappropriate Longings of My Indiana Childhood takes us back to the childhood of Philip Gulley.  He grew up inDanville,Indiana in the 1970’s, the fourth of five children.  His father was a “bug spray salesman” and his mother watched out for the kids, warning them from such dangers as riding their bikes down Main Street and carnival rides.  He grew up Catholic; his feeling in the church was “a cluelessness tinged with a vague fear” and did odd jobs for the Quaker widow next door.  He recalls going trick-or-treating with the goal of hitting every house in town, a long distance bike ride with his friends involving little food and lots of blood, and a big crush on his sixth grade teacher.

This book had me laughing out loud at the antics of boys growing up in theMidwestand the hilarious observations of daily life.


Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Filed under: drama,humor — Bethany @ 11:35 pm
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Contestants from all 50 states board a plane for the Miss Teen Dream competition.  On the way to the island destination, the plane crashes, leaving only a fraction of the contestants alive.  Now the girls must survive alone on a deserted desert island.  Or are they alone?

What started as a humorous, witty commentary on the roles of advertising and consumerism in the lives of Americans today, slowly degraded into a silly, tiresome attempt at female empowerment.  I was really disappointed in the last third of the book.  It seemed too forced and I almost didn’t finish.


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