Camp Grandma – Book Review

I am so excited to share my first Pop Up Review for Book Sparks! I was selected to read Camp Grandma and am so glad I had the opportunity to read this book.

Marianne Waggoner Day was a stay at home Mom, turned Business Woman, then got promoted to Grandma. Once she retired and started spending with her grandchildren, she realized that her business knowledge could be beneficial to their time together.

From this realization, Camp Grandma was born! In her book, Marianne takes you through various activities she has done with her grandkids that have given them some really wonderful skills to help lead them into a stronger future.

Her book has given me some wonderful ideas for activities to try with my oldest daughter this summer. I look forward to implementing some skill building projects into our schedule and watching her growth.

If you are a parent, grandparent, or child care provider, I highly recommend giving this book a read. It will inspire you to choose some different activities to try with the children in your lives. It is so important to give them a variety tools for their future, I know I love watching my children learn and grow.

This book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

Happy Reading!

My Top Ten Books

I find it funny that I have had such a love of reading for the last few years, and it is just clicking in my brain that I should blog about it. Hey, I am a mom of two, my brain is a bit overworked these days. I am so excited to share with you ten of my most favorite books. These are in no particular order, and it doesn’t mean that I haven’t loved other book I have a read recently. There are also no spoilers, so please feel free to read on!

These are simply the books that I feel like have stuck with me, and that I find myself thinking of from time to time. These are the stories that I believe shape our lives, change the way we think, and build a home within our hearts.

I hope that you find some great reading suggestions here, and if you have read any of these, pop into the comments and let me know what you thought of them. I would love to hear what your favorite books are as well!


Harry Potter – J.K Rowling

If you know me, you know I have a strong love for Harry Potter. These books are amazing and hold some of the best life lessons. Within these books we find friendship, love of family, and acceptance of others. J.K. Rowling created such a beautiful world that anyone can escape into when we need break from reality.

If you haven’t yet given this series a try, please do yourself a favor and jump on in!


A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman

I picked this book up after the movie adaptation was nominated for an Oscar in the Foreign Language Film Category at the 2017 Academy Awards. This book will leave you crying, only to turn the page and have you bursting out with laughter again.

It implores to take a look at the various relationships we have in our lives and reminds us that we may not always know what is going on when we all go home.

The film is also available on Amazon Prime and is a really great watch if you are looking for something to do this weekend!


My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry – Fredrik Backman

This is beautiful story about the love between a Grandparent and Grandchild, and the incredibly special bond they share. I greatly enjoyed the adventure the little girl goes on in this book and the wonderful net of characters Backman weaves together.

The story through out the book brings to life the fact that simply because life has been very hard to many, that doesn’t mean they are not worthy of friendship and acceptance. Just be sure you have tissues handy when you read this novel, you’ll need them.


All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

Fans of Historical Fiction and WWII novels will not be able to put this book down. It is one of the best books I have had the joy of reading. This novel is told from two characters on opposing sides of the war.

The tale is both sweet and intense at times. I didn’t want to put it down, and got through it in a matter of two-three days. The history shared I found really intriguing and enjoyed the various things I learned about the Resistance during WWII.

This is one of the books that stays with you long after you have ready it.


Sweetgirl – Travis Mulhauser

Are you tired of me talking about this book yet? I sure hope not because I am not going to stop! Taking place is the frozen landscape of the Upper Midwest, this novel is the journey of 16 year old Percy, and her struggle to get a baby to safety,.

This book is very well written, and left me on the edge of my seat waiting to read what would happen next. There are some great twists and turns in this book and I have found myself recommending it over and over again.

So consider this your recommendation, read this book!


Wild – Cheryl Strayed

Besides the fact that a lot of this book takes place in Oregon (my home state) this memoir is an incredible tale about Cheryl’s life and finding herself. I believe we have all had moments in our own lives where we feel we aren’t sure where we are going and need to figure out who we are. In Wild she shares of her experience in hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the people she meets, and the dangers she encounters.

If you are in a period of your life when you are feeling unsure about what step to take next, give this book a try; I hope it helps you to find your own path.


Life of Pi – Yann Martel

I wish I had all of the words to share how much I love this book. It is an incredible story and will change you in ways you don’t realize. This is a novel about survival in the harshest of circumstances, and the will to live through it all.

When you are at a time in your life when you just need to feel something, this is the book read. This is also one of the movie adaptations that I have seen that sticks incredibly close to the book, I was very impressed with it.


The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein

Alright dog lovers, this one is for you. This novel is written entirely from the point of view from the dog, and it is an amazing story. It give us a glimpse into how dogs think, and how much they truly love us.

This book will make you angry at some points, and you will just want to will the dog to be able to speak. It is very well written and shares an amazing story, I hope you give it a chance some day and enjoy it as well.


Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson

Yes this is a book for middle schoolers, and I think a lot of adults should read it. This is the story of a young boy and the unlikely friendship with the new girl at school. It deals with family, imagination, and what childhood should be about.

It is a quick read, but very good and really makes you think about how you were in your younger years, as well as how you are with your own children.


The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I read this book in one night, and oh my goodness, I am so glad I did. This is a book that I think adults should read as well. After seeing little things online about The Little Prince, I ended up finding this copy at a used book store and thought my daughter would enjoy it. Well, when she said she didn’t quite understand it, I decided to read it, and could completely understand why. She simply is not old enough yet. I told her when she was older, I was going to have her read it again.

This book helps us to remember the enlightenment we had a children, and give us a view of various people we meet through our journey on earth. If you are heading into an profession that will give you the opportunity to be in a leadership situation, this is a great book to read!

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise – Book Review


Happy Friday, and welcome to my first book review! I have no idea what has taken me so long to actually do a post on books, because I love reading! This review will contain NO spoilers for this Dan Gemeinhart book, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise.

My oldest daughter, Riley, and I came across this book in our local Barnes and Noble shortly after it was released this year; it actually caught my eye first because the cover is adorable. (I know, “Don’t judge a book but it’s cover”, but let’s be honest, we all do it.) I read the synopsis, which you can read here on Dan’s website, and thought it sounded like a really interesting novel. Riley was looking at it when a Bookseller approached us and raved about it! She and I discussed the book a bit and she let me know that there was a few spots of light language, which, as a parent, I appreciated hearing. We decided to purchase it, with the understanding that I was going to read it first to be sure it was appropriate for my daughter. I am SO glad we got this book, it did not disappoint, and I think I finished it in maybe two days. I really mean it when I say, I did not want to put it down.

The book is told from the point of view of a 12 year old girl, Coyote Sunrise. She and her dad, Rodeo, live on the road, in an old school bus they renovated to make a “home” after her mom and sisters pass away in an accident. They haven’t been home to Washington, in five years. Coyote hears from her Grandma that they are going to tear down the old park in her neighborhood, and she crafts a plan to get her Dad to drive them all they way back home. While trying to see her plan through, the duo come into some amazing adventures, find some wonderful characters, and learn a lot about each other.

Dan’s creative writing and imagination left me doubled over in laughter, and full of appreciation for the kindness the characters showed to each other. He paints a wonderful picture for the mind as you travel chapter through chapter, wondering what is going to happen next. This novel is full of morals, positive interactions, and thought provoking moments. If you’re looking to be uplifted by a book, this is it.

There was a few spots of light language through the book, but it is not excessively used; the words were: Damn, Hell, and Pissed. Since reading it, I have found myself recommending this book to other adults, and feel like it is a great read for parents. I felt like this book taught me that it was okay to be a kid at times; to remember that I was young once. It also left me craving for an adventure!

I definitely feel like this book is appropriate for 9 year olds and up. My daughter has read the first three Harry Potter books, so I am comfortable with her reading a book that has a little light language in it. (Obviously we have talks about those words and she understands that they are not ones we use.) If you have a kiddo with an adventurous spirit, they will love this book.

If you are a parent, PLEASE read this book! Remember that we need to do what we can to support our kids, and that they have things in life that we may not understand, but are highly important to them.

Please let me know if you read this book, and what you thought of it. I’d love to hear from you!