Barbara’s Book Reviews

Hi, and thanks for dropping by A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ. This website features books that are different from the normal read in that the main character(s) is UNIQUE, ETHNIC, or has a SPECIAL NEED.

The Blogs are posted into three different categories for your convenience:

FIRST TIME  READERS for Infants to Eight,
MIDDLE GRADE READERS for Nine to Thirteen.
YOUNG ADULT for Fourteen to Nineteen

However, please feel free to choose any category you like. Below is a preview of the books I have featured so far. Also, Please subscribe to our newsletter if you would like updates of new books featured on this site:


Bedtime for Buzzy – A young boy is playing with his toys and doesn’t want to go to bed at bedtime. One by one his toys come to life in his imagination and convince him that going to sleep is the best way to continue his adventures. For More Details Click Here


Dear Sun, Dear Moon – What do love letters between the sun and moon sound like? Dear Sun, Dear Moon expresses the beauty of the sun and the moon in nature through expressive letters describing the wonder all around us all.  The sun and moon share what they love most about each other in this endearing book that encourages children to enjoy the beauty of nature that is often overlooked. As the sun and moon share what they love most about each other, they find a way to blend their beauty through the magic of an eclipse. For More Details Click Here

Little Karl is a curious child, always wanting to know everything about the world around him. As he walks through the city with his mother, he asks question after question about what he thinks is wrong with the world and offers his own solutions to make sure everyone has shelter, food, education, work, and comfort. For More Details Click Here

Luke the horse who wanted to be a Unicorn – Luke was a strong, stately, well-built horse who lived in a town with other horses. He enjoyed spending time with his horse-friends in the stable and with the little girls of the community. But there was one thing about Luke that made him feel ashamed and insecure among his friends. His body was covered in dark brown spots from top to toe. Luke figured that there was only one way through which he would feel more accepted among his friends – he had to look like a unicorn, beautifully white and magically majestic. For More Details Click Here


How Montezuma Got His Revenge – Montezuma’s revenge is more than just a legend; it’s legendary for its stinky curse. Centuries after King Montezuma was defeated by Hernán Cortés and his Spanish army, a strange illness befalls legions of people arriving to his land. But this illness isn’t anything ordinary. It leaves a putrid smell in the air and gassy people racing for  el baño . It is a battle – a battle your butt won’t win!  For More Details Click Here


Even Mummy Cries is a gentle book which explores issues surrounding mental health and wellbeing. It is reassuring in nature, explaining to children that they are not to blame for any sadness experienced by their parents. In addition, it encourages parents to openly express their sadness with their kids without feeling guilt or shame. For More Details Click Here


Let’s Go Buggees – We are so happy to have you with us on this marvelous adventure to explore the world.
Together we will go places, see new faces, learn a lot, and have tons of fun.
Hidden in our books are secret links. Find them, and with one click you will be up high, looking out at new horizons. For More Details Click Here


A Children’s Guide to Rabbits provides information about pet rabbits which is understandable for children, and in a way they can easily follow. The book gives them, a step-by-step guide on how to look after rabbits in their own backyards, from shelter to food to playtime, and everything in between. Later in the book readers are taken on an adventure with Radar and Jupiter. Where they will discover they are smart, adorable and full of fun! For More Details Click Here


Loretta’s Pet Caterpillar – Loretta finds a caterpillar egg on a milkweed plant. She breaks off the leaf and brings it home. Mom won’t let Loretta keep it in the house, so she tapes the leaf back on the plant, and watches over the egg. It hatches. It eats the leaf, and more leaves. As the caterpillar grows and molts, Loretta shoos away a bird that wants to eat it. For More Details Click Here



Wonderworld: The Musical is a Tim Burton style fairytale about Max, a lonely and confused boy who struggles with distinguishing reality from fiction. An outcast, he is picked on in school and his only solace is found in his art (his “Wonderworld”). At his lowest moments, his creations come to life to sing to him. Can his art save him?

For More Details Click Here


In the Land Without Color – Lost in a strange land where everything is gray, Alvin must find the true color thieves to save the princesses and restore the color to the kingdom.

For More Details Click Here



In the Land of Broken Time: The Incredible Journey – This book is about the adventures of the boy named Christopher, the girl named Sophia and golden retriever Duke. By chance they find themselves in a balloon, that took them into a fairyland, where mysterious events happen.  For More Details Click Here



Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel – With a wink and a nod to such movie greats as Thelma & Louise and The Breakfast Club, Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel is about six eighteen-year-old friends in 1996 who seek immediate revenge after one of them is brutally attacked.

For More Details Click Here


Jay-Jay: The Supersonic Bus – Jay-Jay the bus was rescued from the scrap yard where he was sadly gathering dust and cobwebs. He is taken to an airport where he is magically transformed into a ‘Playbus’ full of toys, games and adventure.

For More Details Click Here



Intrinsic Encounters – It’s midsummer. David Elbert’s final semester at the university comes to an end. For this fresh Engineer, the daunting task of saving a company from imminent disaster soon pales in comparison to the multimillion-dollar stash of drugs and money found in a luxurious property he comes to own. His nerves start to singe. Criminals come out of the wood work. Escalation is imminent. When police and drug enforcement agents pop onto the scene, all hell quickly breaks loose. At this point, pure survival instinct takes over.

For More Details Click Here


Maria’s Beads – Verónica pushes through the other seventh grade kids in our breezeway, speaking over the noise, “María! What’s wrong with Hannah?”  What does she want? Like she suddenly cares about Hannah, cares that the nurse sent her home, cares that her eyes were glassy, her face swollen and her whole body sagging. I begged Hannah to stay home, but she wouldn’t listen.

For More Details Click Here


Oki and Harlo – Oki, a little orphaned goat meets Harlo, a shooting star, who falls to earth and ends up in the field where Oki is asleep. They become instant best friends and together they go on a quest to find Oki’s momma.

For More Details Click Here

Summary: A plucky girl encounters an enormous tree, discovers it includes all fruits, and decides, much to the chagrin of its current animal and insect inhabitants (no epiphytes, sorry!), to climb to the top to retrieve a prized tropical fruit, the mangosteen. On the way she makes a mess, though, and well to continue would be to spoil the reader’s adventure.

For More Details Click Here

The Adventures of HyperKid v BullBorg is about a fourth grader named Morgan Wallace who is hyperactive and sometimes has difficulty focusing on the tasks of everyday life. He is self-conscious about being different, but he soon finds out what it is like to really be different after the rays of a meteor transform him into a cyborg with super powers. After the family doctor is unable to transform him back into a regular nine year old, Morgan convinces his parents to let him keep his powers to help people as the super hero “HyperKid”.

For More Details Click Here


peter-lisa-cover-photoA children’s book about two different mental illnesses, depression and mania, Peter and Lisa makes it easier for children to understand these mental conditions. It is a story about two people affected with such illness and how they got better and recovered through the proper medication and necessary support by family and friends. Charles and Linda Baron Katz’s Peter and Lisa: A Mental Illness Children’s Story manifests the true essence of love and support to aid us overcome every storm that may pass.  For More Details Click Here

cover-imageScared of the Dark is a rhyming picture book for children.

Shadows dance on your wall
Curtains flap in the breeze
Floorboards squeak in the hall
The wind whips through the trees

For More Details Click Here

study-book-9Do you wish you could get better grades? Do you struggle with certain subjects and believe that maybe you’re not cut out for them? Do you want to spend less time studying and still get good grades?  Anyone Can Get An A+: How to Beat Procrastination, Reduce Stress and Improve Your Grades is a conversational, down-to-earth guide for high school and college students on how to maximize their learning and get the grades they want. For more details click here


Yetunde: An Ode to My Mother is a heartwarming story about the power of a mother’s love; truly an ode to women and mothers all over the world. It is a captivating and emotional story that talks about love and loss!

Follow Yetunde as she narrates her mother’s ode to her grandmother. For more details click here

monkfish-maggieMonkfish Maggie and the Bungalow Stairs is an illustrated adventure story for all ages. CatchphraseDan collaborated with the tremendous Norwegian painter Berg Norcross for this story, who has packed the book full to the brim with over 50 illustrations, and they look fancier than a chicken in a raincoat. An honest review will help to spread the word about the book, and get more people reading instead of shoplifting tubs of delicious strawberry ice-cream! For more details click here

vacancy-pcitureVacancy is a short-story for adults. This is the first time I will be featuring a story for adults on this website. Since it has profanity in it, I recommend this for 15 plus.

From the moment Holly steps in front of the mirror to check her

disguise, you’re hooked. The way she gets herself into the vacant room bodes on espionage. But when she looks under the bed…

Vacancy is full of nail biting suspense and cunning action. And, that twist in the middle– brilliant. The most UNIQUE, thing about Vacancy is that crazy, no unexpected, no wicked. Yeah that’s the word wicked switch that comes when she meets up with Stan, giving you that, “Ewww! I didn’t see that comin!” moment. The other unique thing about Vacancy is that you can read it in its entirety here

dashs-busy-dayDASH’S BUSY DAY   Learn basic direction concepts and counting as Dash the dragonfly flies left, then right, and all around the pond seeing several other pond inhabitants along the way. Simple, brightly colored, engaging character checking out the environment in which it lives, counting as it goes.  For More Details Click Here

half-book-front-pageTHE STRUGGLE: Mom and the Summertime Blues

5-4-3-2-1 Ringgggggggg

The school bell rings and school’s out. It’s time for summer! You rush out into the hall, say goodbye to your friends and run to the school bus. You just can’t wait for summer to begin. But for these four girls, it’s the complete opposite…

Meet four sisters: Diamond, Sheila, Crystal, and Felicity. For More Details Click Here

maxhambyonyxeyescoverMAX HAMBY AND THE ONYX EYES BOOK 3 This is the third book in the children’s fantasy series featuring Max Hamby. The battle at Dunmere is over, the first two stones have been found, and Milo is safe. But, Milo’s mom and grandma are now trapped with Max’s parents in the Shadowlands. They will fade away and cease to exist unless the other stones can be found. Max, along with friends and family, prepare to journey to find the next stone, but his plans are thwarted. In a bold move, Isolde sends the Trith to Merrihaven with a message and two strange children are chased from the Downs by an enormous ogre. Birdie and Basil Salisbury have awakened from a two-hundred-year sleep with a dark secret. One is good and the other is evil. Both are set to become pawns to gain the stones. It is up to Max to find out who Birdie and Basil are and what they want. For More Details Click Here

nn_wars_coverTHE NEVERNIGHT WARS BOOK ONE: TOBY’S GIFT  The weirdest, most horrible week in Toby Stevens’ life starts when he hears a voice no one else can hear. The voice tells him that he has been Chosen to fight in a thousand-year-long war. It says that he’ll be given a Gift, a superpower to help him save the world. Terrified, Toby tries to ignore the voice, to pretend that everything is normal. But his friends keep catching him talking to himself. And the voice keeps saying stranger and stranger things. It tells him that he has to go to the middle of the Nevernight Forest, the giant woods that surround Toby’s town. In the Nevernight, the voice almost screams, all of your questions will be answered. For More Details Click Here