• five-great-teen-reads-according-to-miss-frog

Five Best Books for Teen Readers Miss Frog Recommends

This post was written by our teen writer, Miss Frog. If you scroll down after reading her book reviews, you will find links to more of her posts. She is a vegetarian, hedgehog owning, artist, reader, writer, and believer in the power of crystals.


The Bitterwine Oath

by Hannah West

The Bitterwine Oath was an astonishing read. There is changing plot and emotions, changing feelings, and a happy ending, this book has it all. You can read this book and not get bored, the one thing I will note though is that it is very hard to get into, it doesn’t get to the point fast enough for me personally to be into it. If you have plenty of time on your hands though this should be a good read. If you like witchcraft and and thrillers, this book is for you. It puts witchcraft in a bad light but then the perspective changes. I highly recommend reading The Bitterwine Oath as a longer read if you are between the ages 12-20, I recommend this age range because it has all teenage characters, so it might be hard to relate to the almost all teenage characters otherwise, if that make sense. This link will take you to the Goodreads page with dozens of reviews.

Carolyn’s notes: I also read this book. It is clear and understandable. In my opinion, the book is just too long. But it does seem to be an exciting teen read for the right age group interested in independent characters after a long beginning.


Pride and Premeditation

by Tirzah Price

Pride and Premeditation is a re-do of Pride and Prejudice, I had an amazing time reading it 100% recommend. This book is old fashioned and has great visual imagery. It defeats the standard that women can’t do crime solving while also being somewhat romantic. This book was sold as a somewhat-romantic novel, which it turned out not to be, it was one kiss at the last page, so if romance is what you are looking for I wouldn’t get this book; on the other hand, there is a huge plot twist and curious sisters, so it still is very entertaining, and kind of mysterious. This books about a 16 year old who has a father with a law firm, she wants to work for it but they won’t let her because of her gender, once she solves the case however, they let her work there. Overall this book was a very fun read with a huge plot twist and interesting characters, I think this book could be read by people 12 and above! See more on Goodreads. 


Fear Street: The Beginning

by R.L. Stine

I loved every second of reading this book! This book had such good visual imagery and has very short reads considering it is a series of 4 tiny books. The good part of having it be a mix of 4 stories is that it is all the same kids, or the same high school at least, you get to know the characters very well by the end. This book was definitely a thriller, every last story, every chapter left you at a cliff hanger which just made you even more interested, this book gets a 5 stars from me. My one problem with this book however is that I found myself often reading the bottom of the page first at the end of a chapter simply to see what happens because you know something is going to. I recommend this to people ages 10-16. There is more information on Goodreads.


A Silent Night: A Christmas Suspense Story

by R.L. Stine

This book was an intoxicating read, it had cliffhangers at the end of every chapter, so you get very wrapped up in it pretty quickly. A silent night is a quick read, around 200 pages or so. If you like scary books and certain holidays, this book is for you as it is based around Christmas time! I recommend this book for people 10-15, a very fun read if you are short on time. Find more on Goodreads.


Wilder Girls

by  Rory Power

This book was okay, it was very hard to get into but once your into it, it is amazing! Wilder Girls is a sad book about an epidemic at a school named Raxter, it is a disease called the Tox, it causes a bunch of ailments to the girls of the school and can make you turn grey! It has great description of everything so this is a very easy book to envision. I liked this read, it was fun, it was kind of sad in a way because of the deaths from the Tox but overall has a baseline of strong connections with others. I recommend this book for people 12-17. More information about this title is available on Goodreads.

Carolyn’s Notes: I also read this book. The Tox is terrible but limited to an island with the Raxter school and not much else. Friendships are very important to the protagonists. I say  it is “worse than the curse” as the Tox seems to be based on female hormones. There are only two kisses in the book for parents who may be wondering.

blog posts-by-Miss-Frog

Introducing Miss Frog, artist and author

Miss Frog is a vegetarian, artist, reader, writer, and believer in the power of crystals.


Miss Frog colored the Elmer the Elephant PDF on her iPad as an example. She used the PDF and she filled in the spaces with a variety of colors and textures. She has many talents and is an artist.


The Story of Ferdinand (1936) by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson is about a pacifist bull. He prefers to smell flowers. Miss Frog helped Miss Owl enjoy this book.

Why Ms Frog is a Vegetarian

Hi! Ms Frog here, and I’m here to tell you why I chose to be vegetarian! First off I really care for animals truly, I think they are beautiful creatures and deserve to be treated as such. (Warning! This is all my opinion and if you chose to eat meat I don’t disagree at all!, that is your belief.)


Miss Frog knows about crystals and has written a post for people who might want to learn more. She discusses several crystals. Some crystals are for beginners. Very interesting stress relief!


Elmer’s Christmas by David McKee is a sweet story in the Elmer elephant book series. While the adults work on festive preparations, Elmer takes the young ones up the mountain. Seeing their first snow, they have a fun time. They find a tree they can “easily return.” Good idea! In this story, the baby elephants want to give people gifts, too, not just receive presents. And Elmer, a star among the elephants, helps the young ones meet Papa Red. Miss Frog is a star who helps Miss Owl read and create art.


Why Ms. Frog adopted a pet hedgehog!

  • Kingdom-of-Back-by-Marie-Lu-Book-Review-by-iReid

Kingdom of Back Book Review by I. Reid


Dear Reader,

We have all heard fairy tales, popularized by Disney about princesses and animal sidekicks. Then there are faery tales which are often much darker, more akin to the fairy tales told by the Brothers Grimm.

Faery tales tend to fall into one of two camps. There is the benevolent and better than humans in every way camp led by JRR Tolkien. The other camp is the beautiful but malevolent and best to be avoided camp. This camp is led by folk tales of Europe. It can be seen in tales like that of the Erlkoenig (the Elf King). I will not say which one this concerns, as I do not want to spoil the surprise for you, dear Reader.

Best-selling author Marie Lu has brought faery tales, historical fiction, coming of age, and the journey of finding your truest self into a single tale, The Kingdom of Back. The Kingdom of Back is set in Europe in the tumultuous decades before the American and French Revolutions. The story is told through the viewpoint of Maria Anna Mozart, the elder sister of better-known Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which is intriguing in itself.

While the tale is rooted in reality, as the Mozart children did invent the Kingdom of Back, there are historical inaccuracies in the tale. I realize this is historical fiction so it’s permissible; you the Reader should just not think this accurately describes events and their order.

What is glossed over although briefly hinted at in the story is the radical change creeping through Europe at the time. It was during this period of empire building and the Enlightenment that the groundwork for the later cataclysms of the World Wars were laid. People were no longer content to be treated longer like chattel by aristocracy. This was an unsettling time for Europe as the old societal structure began to change. In the American colonies, discontent was fomenting, casting long shadows of the American Revolution and French Revolution to come.

My other main criticism is the lack of detail. Maria Anna Mozart’s voice comes through clearly enough, as does a description of the Kingdom of Back, but the rest of the story focuses more on actions and less on descriptions. To be fair to author Marie Lu, this is a criticism I level at most modern authors. Nowadays we get excruciating detail or too little.

The criticisms however did not detract from the story. Overall it was a charming and enjoyable read, and I hope that you too find it to be so. The story is not too long but not a novella either. My particular favorite of the story were the antics of Wolfgang Amadeus. Wolfgang Amadeus was mischievous as an adult; his misadventures as a child are amusing.

But your sympathies are meant to lie mainly with Maria Anna, or as she was known as a child, Nannerl. Nannerl is given a fairly modern inner voice, which may or may not be accurate. Nannerl’s inner voice is strong giving us insight into her hopes, dreams, and how she viewed the world. Most of all, what it might be like to be the sibling of one such as Wolfgang Amadeus, one so incandescent all else is washed out by their light.

Until next time, dear Reader.

Sincerely yours,

I. Reid

I. Reid

See more posts by I. Reid guest-posts-by-I-Reid


Little Art City on the Prairie: Impressions of Faulkton South Dakota

Written by I. Reid, Gary L. Wilhelm, and Carolyn Wilhelm, Cover Illustrator Pieter Els

The beauty of the prairie and the loveliness of the area inspired the main author, I. Reid. Faulkton is an example of a city that refused to simply exist (and perhaps become obsolete) and turned to its arts council for ideas.

A Mom: What is an Adoptive Mom? By I. Reid

A Mom: What is an Adoptive Mother? Children’s Book

What is a mother? A mother is the same whether children are adopted or biological. In this story, the child has been adopted. It is written from the viewpoint of the child to help explain mother is the same in any family. Mom helps check under the bed for monsters, reads books, and watches movies with the girl. She does the same things every mother does. Visually, the images show a white mother and an Asian daughter. The main author, I-Reid, has previously written blog posts for this blog, and now she has written her first children’s picture book.


Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu Book Review by I. Reid


See my book review of Bunnicula at this link. There is a free instant PDF download educational printable at the link as well.


Chinese Zodiac Free Printable Activities and information written by I. Reid


Here is a link to my informational post for parents to help them understand the ratings for Japanese Manga books.


Read about American farm horses and enjoy 3 freebies at that post, as well.


My own review of A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park is towards the end of this post with a free literature unit supplement for teachers.


I have traveled extensively, and have written a post with 8 top travel tips for you to consider.


After my trip to Shanghai, I contributed to this presentation freebie as well.


Experiments are fun, and this post tells about both the dancing dime as well as the dry ice experiments I described.


I added information to the shells Montessori post at this link.


I added information to the shells Montessori post at this link.

Kingdom of Back book review by I-Reid

Critique of Two Books About the Champawat Tiger: Man-Eaters of Kumaon and No Beast So Fierce by I-Reid


A Wrinkle in Time Movie Review by I. Reid


Happy Lunar New Year and Spring Festival 2022 informational blog post by I. Reid


Blog posts by I. Reid include book reviews, science, history, and travel.


  • Clare-O-Beara-author-interview-Dublin-Ireland-and-IT-support-webmaster-Allen-Tennent

Clare O’Beara Author Interview in Dublin, Ireland

Clare O’Beara is a prolific, award-winning author who also happens to be a tree surgeon, national Irish show jumping champion, book reviewer for Fresh Fiction, previous MENSA leader and volunteer, and advocate for gifted education, among other talents and abilities. Her fourteen books are in several genres, including science fiction, mystery, romance, and young adult (YA). She contributed to two anthologies, including Dreamless Roads. She won first place for Arkady Renko, a 2014 short story contest judged by Martin Cruz Smith and Sponsored by Simon & Schuster.

Clare-O-Beara-author-interview-Dublin-Ireland-and-IT-support-webmaster-Allen-TennentI happened upon the author’s books, beginning with one in her science fiction set of four books in a series. Hooked, I had to stop everything and read them all. I later found the rest of her books. I liked the Dining Out Around the Solar System series as much as the Wool series by Hugh Howey, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books by Steig Larsson. All of these series were stop everything, drop, and read as we say in elementary school (DEAR) for silent reading time in class. I was so happy to find another such series. I’m now working my way through the murder mystery series, although I probably should have checked to notice the order of the books first. If she is the author, I click buy.

Most of the books by Clare O’Beara are autobiographical fiction to some degree as she writes what she knows: car engines, tree health, cats, detectives (I am assuming), MENSA, gifted education, and even climate change. I like learning facts when I read, and multi-genre fiction/nonfiction appeals to me. I finish her books “smarter” about a few topics.

As we were in Dublin recently, I met with Clare and her husband, Allen Tennent. When I asked how long she had been writing, she said she had been writing forever. She said she realized self-publishing worked well when she saw an increasing amount of such books on Fresh Fiction (based in Texas). She uploaded the first five books to Amazon all at once in 2014. To me, that was quite an excellent start to have that many books. She bought ten ISBNs immediately and used seven in the first year. With her own YouTube channel, she shares book trailers and other information in videos she creates.

Allen is her IT person. He designs the covers, creates the website, prints the publicity materials, and is the to-go person for technical support. This helps Clare focus on her writing and book reviews.

Molly-Malone-statue-Dublin-IrelandWe saw the statue of Molly Malone that appears on the cover of Murder at the Irish Mensa and snapped this photo. I didn’t even realize there was such a statue until I saw it on the book’s cover before our trip. It was more interesting having just finished reading Murder at the Dublin Mensa as we landed there.

O’Beara is a lifelong learner. She has multiple interests and is a multimedia journalism student. She has learned WordPress, how to make videos on her YouTube channel, how to self-publish, how to prepare her marketing materials, how to enter and win writing awards, take care of cats, organize MENSA events, and be an active tree surgeon. (She informed me a tree surgeon in America would be called an arborist.) Such a person is mindful to me of the multi-potentiality of gifted education students. A real-life example of a person with multiple potentials!

She makes her own video book trailers, such as this one for Dining Out Around the Solar System. Take two minutes to watch the video and see why the book is so interesting. Although science fiction books are set in the future, the problems of society are mirrored in the future lives of people. Racism, college grads with huge debts and low-paying jobs, struggles of young people as they climb the work ladder, oppressive corporations, the competitive work environment, and climate change are all threads woven through this series. O’Beara said she is happy if people read them as allegory or narrative fiction. Reading happens in the reader’s mind, not only from the text. I previously reviewed these books on The New Book Review site.

Dining Out Around the Solar System (Book 1)

Dining Out with the Gas Giants (Book 2)

Dining Out with the Gas Giants (Book 3)

Dining Out on Planet Mercury (Book 4)

Murder at Irish Mensa coverI also have reviewed other books by O’Beara on Amazon, such as this one for Murder at the Dublin Mensa.

Being interested in climate change, she recommends the movie Mimicking Africa for those interested in sustainable animal agriculture. She spoke fondly of the Fota Wildlife Sanctuary in Ireland, where some of the giraffes and zebras spend half the year there and then rotate with places in the zoo. Those animals do not have to live in a zoo all year. Fota is known as a successful cheetah breeding center. She mentioned a book, Mules, as being highly informative.

I was lucky to catch her when her schedule allowed as she has just helped as the official film recorder for the Science Fiction World Con (notice her t-shirt) and was their Hugo Awards problem-solver. She is back in journalism school soon, and the tree season is still busy. Whew! It was wonderful to meet her in person.

Thank you for reading, Carolyn

Clare O’Beara Author Interview in Dublin, Ireland

Clare O’Beara Author Interview

Clare O’Beara is a prolific, award-winning author who also happens to be a tree surgeon, national showjumping champion, book reviewer for Fresh Fiction, previous MENSA leader and volunteer, and advocate for gifted education among other talents and abilities.

Rodeo Finn blog post and free student book companion

Rodeo Finn by Clare O’Beara Free Student Work Pages

Rodeo Finn by Clare O’Beara is a multi-genre novel for teens and young adults. Realistic equine fiction with nonfiction information regarding Ireland’s and Arizona’s farming, ranching, and equestrian competitions form the story. The free book companion PDF for the book.

Show Jumping Team novel by Clare O'Beara review and student book companion freebie

Show Jumping Team by O’Beara Book Companion Free

Show Jumping Team was written by a National Show Jumping Champion of Ireland, Clare O’Beara. The book is multi-genre as it is realistic fiction with nonfiction information about horses and horse shows. Free teaching supplement at this link.

A Pony for Quarantine by O’Beara for Read Around the World

A Pony for Quarantine by O’Beara

A Pony for Quarantine by Clare O’Beara is so much more than a “horse” book as by way of the pony theme it shares many life lessons for teens. A free teaching supplement is at this link.

A Dog for Lockdown Book Teaching Supplement Free

A Dog for Lockdown by O’Beara

Second in the lockdown series by Clare O’Beara, A Dog For Lockdown is a story about a thirteen-year-old boy who lives with his mother. The free teaching supplement is at this link.


Dining Out Around the Solar System by Clare O’Beara (Book 1 of 4)

In a future where giant corporations run countries, all British Space Mines has to fear are journalists and hackers.
Donal and Myron are their worst nightmare. See Wise Owl Factory’s review on The New Book Review.

Dining Out With The Ice Giants (Dining Out Around The Solar System Book 2)

Dining Out With The Ice Giants (Dining Out Around The Solar System Book 2) Clare O’Beara

Two journalists in an alternate future London meet the people from the outer planets – during one of the worst winters for cold and flooding that London has suffered. From political misdeeds to mushroom picking in a disused Tube station, Donal and Myron uncover all sorts of activities… and dangers. See what Wise Owl Factory’s thinks about this book on The New Book Review.


Dining Out With The Gas Giants (Dining Out Around The Solar System Book 3) by Clare O’Beara

Donal and Myron are journalists who’ll go anywhere for a story. This summer, as tempers flare and riots are sparked in London’s heat, they get a lead they can’t resist. Not all the off-world immigrants are friendly. See Wise Owl Factory’s review on The New Book Review.


Dining Out on Planet Mercury by Clare O’Beara

When a girl from Mercury is suspected of murder, the police need Irish journalist and hacker Donal as interpreter.
Off-world workers are being exploited in more ways than one. See Wise Owl Factory’s review on The New Book Review.


A Pony for Quarantine by Clare O’Beara

Quarantine! Moya, age 13, is sent home from school. She isn’t sure what is happening. Her parents and brother are home, too.  She can hear neighbors cleaning to be prepared in the event they will be sick. Her own parents leave to shop for food, and although they might not get everything they want, will be able to get food. The store is only allowing 100 people inside at a time.


Go to Top