Book Review: Welcome Home, Caroline Kline by Courtney Preiss

Welcome Home, Caroline Kline by Courtney Preiss opens with Caroline Kline couch surfing in New York City due to her no longer having a job and her fiance breaking up with her. The cherry on top is when Caroline finds out her father is not doing well and has to go home to New Jersey to help out. She finds one thing she didn't expect . . . true love. I received an Advanced Readers Copy of Welcome Home, Caroline Kline from NetGalley for free in exchange for my honest review.  The synopsis of this book was intriguing, and I absolutely love baseball, so I couldn't wait to dig in to this story. Unfortunately, the story started off a bit slow and continued to be slow at points throughout the book. The slowness of the plot made it difficult to stay interested in the characters and their fate.  At one point, I didn't really care if I finished the story or not. With that being said, I'm glad I stuck with the book because the last 15% of Welcome Home, Caroline Kline started to

Book Review: Leeva at Last by Sara Pennypacker, Illustrated by Matthew Cordell

Book Review Leeva at Last by Sara Pennypacker, Illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Leeva at Last written by Sara Pennypacker and illustrated by Matthew Cordell is a children's fiction book that was published on March 7, 2023 by HarperCollins Children's Books.  This story about a girl named Leeva Spayce Thornblossom who is the daughter of the mayor and the town treasurer.  Her parents are obsessed with fame and fortune and have little to do with Leeva.  With the help of the town librarian, Leeva goes on a quest to find out what people are for.

Thank you to NetGalley, HarperCollins Children's Books, and Balzer + Bray for the Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of Leeva at Last.  I was delighted to be approved to receive this book in exchange for my honest review.

This middle grade book was an interesting read, and I wasn't really sure how I felt about it at first.  It seems like it has similar situations to the book Matilda by Roald Dahl . . . I haven't read Matilda or seen the movie, so I am basing this on the synopsis and movie trailers I've seen.  Leeva at Last is a hindrance to her parents and is basically their servant, doesn't attend school, and isn't allowed to leave the yard with the exception of retrieving the newspaper.  Knowing that this book focuses on child neglect from a child's perspective and makes it seem okay, I think it's a book that parents should read as well so they can discuss this very serious topic with their kid.  Other topics in this children's novel include obsessive compulsive disorder and stage fright.

With that being said, I do like the fact that Leeva ends up choosing her family and figuring out that what her biological parents are doing is not okay.  Additionally, she helps her friends conquer their obstacles despite her abhorrent upbringing, which is a great lesson for kids . . . you can overcome your circumstances.

All in all, Leeva at Last written by Sara Pennypacker and illustrated by Matthew Cordell was an intriguing read with many life lessons.  Four out of five stars.

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