Tag: 5 stars

Blog Blitz: Jay-Jay The Supersonic Bus

Today I am part of the Blog Blitz for Sue Wickstead’s children’s picture book Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus! I am sharing my 5 star review. For those of you in the UK there is also a giveaway going on!

Book Description:

Jay-Jay the bus is rescued from the dirty scrap yard, where he was sadly gathering dust and cobwebs. Feeling nervous yet excited, he is taken to an airport where he is magically transformed into a ‘Playbus’ full of toys, games and adventure.

A fictional tale based on a real-life bus ‘Supersonic’, which flew in the imaginations of the many young children who visited it.

Author: Sue Wickstead
Published: October 10, 2014
41 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: April 19, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus is a colorful children’s picture book that is surprisingly based on fact.  Jay-Jay is JJK261 and he has been forgotten in the scrap yard until one day some kids briefly play on him. Later on, he gets new lease on life as someone buys ALL of him and not just pieces of him!  His future is much brighter now!

This is a short feel good children’s book that informs you of the ‘real’ JJK261 and his adventures.  The story flows well and and has colorful pictures that enhance the story.  It is not long and I can see small children enjoying this book and will be ready for more of Jay-Jay and his many adventures.  This is a great beginning to Wickstead’s Jay-Jay books.

On a personal note: My grandmother was a bus driver and the part of the book with the kids playing on Jay-Jay brought back fond memories of my sister and myself playing on her school bus and even riding on the bus as my grandma picked up kids for school.  Thanks for bringing up those memories Sue!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
WH Smiths
Book Depository
Barnes and Noble

**For those of you in the UK: Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus will be 99p until 22nd April**

**Special Blitz Offer**

A free 3D bus which can be claimed via web site ‘Enquiry button using ref code JJay at www.suewickstead.co.uk

Additional bus models and books also offered as a promotion on request.

About the Author:

I am a teacher and an author and have currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.

For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association, which led me to write a photographic history book about it.

I soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. I decided to write a fictional tale about the bus, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name.

‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original bus and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continued.

This story has now been followed by five more picture books.

I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share the story. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.

The story has been read in many schools in the south-East of England, where I teach as a cover teacher, it is always well received and certainly different.

Contact Sue:
Twitter @JayJayBus


**UK Only Giveaway**

Win Jay-Jay and the Island Adventure

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

Author: Mindy McGinnis
Published: March 12, 2019
432 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

When a car crash sidelines Mickey just before softball season, she has to find a way to hold on to her spot as the catcher for a team expected to make a historic tournament run. Behind the plate is the only place she’s ever felt comfortable, and the painkillers she’s been prescribed can help her get there.

The pills do more than take away pain; they make her feel good.

With a new circle of friends—fellow injured athletes, others with just time to kill—Mickey finds peaceful acceptance, and people with whom words come easily, even if it is just the pills loosening her tongue.

But as the pressure to be Mickey Catalan heightens, her need increases, and it becomes less about pain and more about want, something that could send her spiraling out of control.

Kim’s Review:

Whoa. Mindy McGinnis does it yet again! No one captures inner darkness like Mindy. And did she do it in Heroine. I can’t say I like it better than This Darkness Mine, but this one is definitely the most realistic of all her books. Now y’all know that I’m very tough on characters, especially the teens. I expected to go after Mickey. I am an incredibly addictive person and let’s be honest, narcotics are amazing. I absolutely love opiates. The morphine I got after my appendectomy made me fly 5 feet off my bed and I enjoyed every second. I got this huge bottle of oxycodone to take home with me. I barely made a dent in the bottle and it now sits in our medicine cabinet, still full. The only time I’m allowed to take a pill is when I have to have my mouth numbed at the dentist’s office. About a year ago, I had a root canal and I was numbed up big time, so I took one pill. The thought entered my mind that once Ivan went to work, I could totally take another pill, even though the numb had worn off. I wasn’t even scared by that thought. When Ivan went to work, I didn’t take another pill.

Ever since then, I have been heavily critical of addicts. I’m not talking about people who get hooked on their legal prescriptions that their doctor went crazy with. I mean the addicts who get the illegal stuff. Mickey is that kind of addict, so I was all set. Gonna be tough on her, gonna criticize, gonna shake my head. I didn’t do all that to the degree that I was expecting. Of course I shook my head, cuz this girl decided to risk her future, her life, her everything to chase the dragon. Teens are stupid, we already knew that. But McGinnis broke down the process so well, that I felt far more sympathy than I did judgement. I did judge her parents though. Who the hell leaves prescription drugs on their kid’s nightstand???? Unsupervised??? In this day and age?????? Morons.

But I really did like this book. A lot. I absolutely recommend this book to older teens. McGinnis gives a true to life look at addiction and the drugs themselves. She didn’t shy away from talking about how great the drugs feel. She also didn’t shy away from the overall effects and the consequences. Obviously, I wouldn’t give this book to younger kids. But the older teens could definitely benefit from it. An excellent book; high five, Mindy McGinnis!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK



Educated by Tara Westover

Author: Tara Westover
Published: February 20, 2018

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 8-14, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes and the will to change it.

Jessica’s Review:

This is a brave memoir written by Tara Westover. Brave as in everything she went through and she candidly shares it  all with us. Yes, some of it feels far-fetched, but she overcame all the odds and became successful.

I find it personally hard to imagine that there are still people living like this in today’s time.  It’s difficult to comprehend that there are people who don’t know about the Holocaust and 9/11, events that changed our whole world. Instead of learning about these tragic events, they are preparing for the end of the world. These are people who have also never been in a hospital or in school.

This is a book that will leave you numb once you have finished it, and you cannot help but think about everything Westover overcame. There are some situations you may find humorous as she experiences the “culture shock” of being in college. Though these people may have grown up in the same religion as her, she is considered the extremist and very out of place. 

Tara, thank you for sharing your story with all of your readers.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK