Ghost Girl by Ally Malinenko - Review and Interview


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Perfect for fans of Small Spaces and Nightbooks, Ally Malinenko’s debut is an empowering and triumphant ghost story——with spooky twists sure to give readers a few good goosebumps!

Zee Puckett loves ghost stories. She just never expected to be living one.

It all starts with a dark and stormy night. When the skies clear, everything is different. People are missing. There’s a creepy new principal who seems to know everyone’s darkest dreams. And Zee is seeing frightening things: large, scary dogs that talk and maybe even . . . a ghost.

When she tells her classmates, only her best friend Elijah believes her. Worse, mean girl Nellie gives Zee a cruel nickname: Ghost Girl.

But whatever the storm washed up isn’t going away. Everyone’s most selfish wishes start coming true in creepy ways.

To fight for what’s right, Zee will have to embrace what makes her different and what makes her Ghost Girl. And all three of them—Zee, Elijah, and Nellie—will have to work together if they want to give their ghost story a happy ending.

The perfect book to order for your spooky season roundup coming up!!! All the middle grade students wanting scary but not murder mystery - this is THE BOOK!

  •   "A girl who delights in the macabre harnesses her inherited supernatural ability. The creepy supernatural current continues throughout, intermingled with very real forays into bullying (Zee won’t stand for it or for the notion that good girls need to act nice), body positivity, socio-economic status and social hierarchy, and mental health. . . Warning: this just might spurn frenzied requests for Frankenstein." –– Kirkus Reviews 

  • ·         This is a chilling story that will ­delight upper elementary readers who enjoy truly creepy books.” –– Julie Overpeck, School Library Journal 

  • ·         “My absolute favorite part of this book (besides the library-love, which I am always here for) was that CONSENT is the secret weapon. (I don't think that's spoilery because I'm keeping it out of context for this review.) I was cheering as I read and think it's such a great message to make consent so powerful. Love, love, love.” –– Candice, Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars 


INTRODUCING! Read to Lead - Literacy BLITZ!



Read to Lead is: 

    A FREE game-based literacy program to help boost student engagement and achievement. 

    Choose from a library of online learning games, lessons, and projects that support CASEL’s Social-Emotional Framework and align to College and Career Readiness standards. Bonus: Use filters to find learning games for your students based on the skills they need to develop the most!" (See screenshots below! Just an intro to the skills offered!)

    Allow students to build literacy and social-emotional competencies within the context of an immersive “day at work” so students can connect the dots between school and their future.

    Invite students to take on the role as the “boss” in a virtual workplace scenario and watch student agency and confidence soar. Build friendly competition with the national leaderboard that counts every word read in classrooms around the country!

Games for grade 5-9! 

Here’s how you can get started engaging your students and be up and running in less than 5 minutes.

  Create your free Read to Lead account!

 Choose which Blitz you’ll do first (Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary Development, or Social Emotional Learning.)

 Start assigning the learning games to your students! (Hint, they are all linked in your bundle for easy access!)

How can I fit this in?: 

Several ways to utilize Read to Lead include (aside from the above listed): 

  • Warm up
  • Exit ticket
  • Themed day
  • Tutoring
  • Extra practice
  • Early finisher
  • Assessment prep 

Head to my Instagram page: @cassie.m.thomas to see Read to Lead in action all this week! 
Sign up for your FREE account TODAY! 


It All Comes Back To You - YA Review


About the Book: Kiran’s older sister is in love with Deen’s older brother. That would be complicated enough, but Kiran and Deen once had their own little love story—at least until Deen ghosted Kiran with no explanation. Now these two are forced back together to help plan their older siblings’ nuptials—if they don’t strangle each other first. Pride and Prejudice meets When Dimple Met Rishi in this enemies-to-lovers rom-com about first love, second chances, Muslim culture, loss and grief, and of course, gaming. Amazon | Goodreads | Bookshop


  • “Replete with desi and Muslim cultural references, this romantic drama offers an emotionally wrought story of owning one’s self and one’s past.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
  • Let me just start off by saying this has the "hate each other irl, but unbeknownst to them they're actually bffs online" trope. Which is really just the superior trope let's be honest.Sami on Goodreads, 5 stars
  • “Farah Naz Rishi’s depiction of two second-generation desi young adults is probably the most accurate I’ve ever seen from a YA author. The dialogue, lingo, mannerisms between Kiran, Deen, and their respective friends were so accurate, it hurt.…Farah Naz Rishi knocked it out of the park. bookwormbullet on Goodreads, 5 stars
  • Content warnings: References to death of a parent, references to drug use, emotional abuse, anxiety, guilt.

Since I was a teen I have been a sucker for the reuniting exes - the what could have been, becomes. So much that my husband and I were together and then we split up, only to get back together (and married a few years later!).. This was such a feel good, fun, and easy to read YA contemporary following two exes - Deen and Kiran. After losing her mother, Kiran's life goal was then to ensure her, her father, and her sister were kept together. As she learns her sister, Amira, suddenly announces that she is seeing someone and might move cross-country with him after getting married, Kiran makes it her life goal to stop the wedding from happening. On the flip side, Deen is so happy his brother has found someone that brings him so much happiness that he is willing to do whatever it takes to keep the wedding afloat. 

Because of this, they become very much involved with each other but not always in a positive light. As the story goes on, we learn so much about their involvement previously. The story ends in a great light and nothing felt forced or rushed. 

I highly recommend for any YA classroom, all the contemporary lovers. 

Click the image below to purchase: 



The Wolf's Curse - Review and Interview!

 The Wolf's Curse - Review and Interview! 


Twelve-year-old Gauge's life has been cursed since the day he witnessed an invisible Great White Wolf steal his grandpap√°'s soul, preventing it from reaching the Sea-in-the-Sky and sailing into eternity. When the superstitious residents of Bouge-by-the-Sea accuse the boy of crying wolf, he joins forces with another orphan to prove his innocence. They navigate their shared grief in a journey that ultimately reveals life-changing truths about the wolf--and death. Narrated in a voice reminiscent of The Book Thief, this fast-paced adventure is perfect for fans of fantasy such as The Girl Who Drank the Moon and A Wish in the Dark.

The Wolf's Curse is an absolutely beautiful story full of metaphorical context that will rope you in and pull you under. A story about grief, but also about family, true friendship, loss, and hope. The Wolf was full of wisdom, humor, and compassion to a point where I was so amazed with Jessica's way of thinking turned to writing a beautiful story.