What the Smart, Cool Preteens are Reading

I’m not sure how it happened, but I’m the mom of a preteen.  My little cherub has become a vibrant, extremely verbal, smart young lady.  The little person that once fit in the crook of my arm is well on her way to makeup, driving and high school. Sigh…Of course, I take credit for all of her best characteristics, but my husband will concede that she inherited her love of reading from me as she digests books as fast as I ever did.  Since I just attended Book Expo, I was able to score some great reads you and your little pretty page turner should know about.  All the smart, cool girls will be reading them.

Cici Reno  #MiddleSchoolMatchmaker

CiCi Reno review by Pretty Page Turner

Buy it Now

I actually had the opportunity to meet the author Kristina Springer at Book Expo.  I was excited for Paris to read this reinterpretation of the classic Cyrano de Bergerac and it doesn’t fail to please one bit.  I love when a great author can riff from a classic skillfully and with humor: I consider it journalistic jazz. Cici is the go-to girl, as she is extremely enlightened due to her regular yoga meditation schedule.  Instead of standing behind bushes, she is shielded by technology as she texts her socially awkward friend the right words to ‘say’ to her crush.  Of course, the plan unravels as Cici must come from behind the bushes to confront her real feelings as she becomes interested in her friends’ crush. Watching her attempt to meditate her way into a solution to this potential social bomb is so much fun.


Stef Soto, Taco Queen

Stef Soto Taco Queen review by Pretty Page Turner

Preorder for January 3, 2017

It seems to be a natural phase in development that parents, once the absolute best become the absolute worst in their kid’s minds.  I’ve tried to lower my cringe factor with a wardrobe of what I call “scuttles”-cute little dresses I wear when dropping off the kids so I can be “the cute Mom” instead of “that Mom”.  But, despite my best efforts, I have been shirked publicly, although thankfully, not for my appearance. Picking up Justin from school, I went in for a kiss, and he jumped back 3 feet.  Behind him all the boys were glaring. When did kisses become banned, I wondered?   Our heroine Stef is no different as she wishes her father had a regular job instead of running the family food truck, imbuing the air with the smell of jalapeno and cooking oil.  She used to think it was so cool to be picked up from school in the truck, now she wants to be picked up in anything else, or allowed to walk alone.  Stef, like all 13 year olds, doesn’t appreciate those things that make her unique.  From her thick and full (ie. Frizzy and wild) hair to the diligent efforts of her hard-working and enterprising parents, her perspective is slightly askew. When new regulations threaten their way of life, Stef becomes the unlikely voice defending that jalapeno smelling-truck, serving as the preserver of her family and even motivating her parents to keep the vision alive.  First time novelist Jennifer Torres does a wonderful job mixing the first-generation experience with universal growing pains, showing that kids are kids, no matter our cultural differences.


Hundred Percent

Hundred Percent book review Pretty Page Turner

Preorder for August 2, 2016

I was invited to an afterparty by Source Books during Book Expo.  It was an amazing mixer, with a great mix of book industry specialists.  I fell into conversation with a lovely bookseller from Copperfield’s Books in California.  As we talked and the subject of kids came up, she mentioned her daughter was a children’s book author. As any mother would, she strongly encouraged that my daughter would love her book.  She sold it to me as what it’s like to be 12 years old. We mothers tend toward hyperbole about our children’s talents, but of this, Ms. Young’s mother was spot on.  Her daughter’s book is a honest, funny and touching representation of the pre-teen mind with all of it’s random sporadic drama.  I’ve always posited the difference between my two children seemed extremely gender specific.  Justin’s sentences end with periods-he’s extremely definitive and declarative whereas Paris’ sentences end with exclamation points. Everything is sooo this and sooo that! Moms of preteen girls will feel me and Karen Romano Young obviously gets it.  Drama and exaggeration run amuck as anything seems like absolutely everything as Christine tries to honestly navigate that awkward time sandwiched between little girl and young lady.

You Got This! Unleash Your Awesomeness, Find Your Path and Change Your World

You Got This Maya S Penn book review Pretty Page Turner

Buy it Now!

Every parent thinks their child is a genius.  The key is how to harness and guide that genius.  True story of my child’s genius tendencies: every year the school hosts a garage sale.  The students bring items to sell and it’s a great way to clean out their always overflowing toy chests.  Last year my husband sent a text  “You won’t believe this”.  Our daughter went from table to table, purchasing items from her classmates with the measly $5 I sent her with. (This was my effort to prevent her from returning with more stuff, as I assumed $5 wouldn’t buy much).  She then took the items she purchased and resold them for a higher price, bringing back a net profit of $40. I obviously have an entrepreneur on my hands.  Now is definitely the right time to introduce her to Maya S. Penn and her book “You Got This”.  Maya is  #kindabigdeal, starting her business at the age of 8. Featured in major magazines, she is a philanthropist, animator, illustrator and the list goes on.  She is the youngest female to give multiple TED Talks, which of course went viral.  She’s an amazing young lady and her book is a great youth-centric guide to idea creation, development and self-discovery. She shares her journey as a kidpreneur and all the awkward and awesome experiences along the way. I particularly love that she asserts boredom is a great motivator and as every parent trying to fight the onslaught of constant stimulation, that alone, is worth the price of the book.  I’m excited to see how this book inspires my little business woman and how she decides to unleash her awesomeness.

Library of Luminaries

Library of Luminaries book review Pretty Page Turner

PreOrder for August 16, 2016


I saw this set of books at the Chronicles Book booth at Book Expo and I think it’s an amazing addition to Paris’ bookshelves.  It also has the most ingenious title. This collection of illustrated biographies  feature important female women in history.  The subjects include designer Coco Chanel, artist Frida Kahlo, writers Jane Austen and Virginia Woolfe.  The books are delightful and a wonderful way to introduce children (particularly young women) to the groundbreaking history makers we still reference today.  Jane Austen and Virginia Woolfe are available now, Chanel and Kahlo are due for publication August 16.  I can only hope there are many more to come.