Book Review & Giveaway: Mia and the Hummingbird by Nancy Carlisle

Book Title:  MIA AND THE HUMMINGBIRD by Nancy Carlisle
Category:  Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7),  34 pages
Genre:  Juvenile fiction/social themes or animals/birds
Publisher:  Sage Green Press
Release date:   March, 2021
Content Rating:  G. There is nothing that even comes close to PG.

Book Description:

Mia and the Hummingbird is the story of a young girl who immigrates to a new country and learns to accept a new life. She sees the hummingbird building her nest for her babies and thinks that she and the bird are similar as they learn to adapt to their new homes. Mia and the Hummingbird includes information about environmental and social reasons for immigration, the struggle to adapt to a new home and information about hummingbirds. Included is a glossary about these issues, a bibliography, and references.

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Mia and the Hummingbird starts with Mia being displaced by a hurricane and moving to the US. At the same time, a hummingbird is making her nest, but a storm breaks the branch holding the nest and the hummingbird has to start over. One day, Mia finds the nest and shares it with her new friend.

While Mia and the hummingbird have their separate trials, they both persevere which is a good lesson to learn. Along with the main story, there are separate bits of information, some about hummingbirds and some with vocabulary. For example, hummingbirds can fly up to 30mph! I knew their wings flap at a high speed but I didn’t know it was 50-200 times per second!

Resilience is one of the vocabulary words, which both Mia and the hummingbird have. Can you imagine not only moving to a new country but having to learn a new language as well? Resilient is a great word to describe Mia.

This is one of those books that has a good story and nice illustrations that will teach children several lessons as they enjoy reading it.

About the Author

Nancy Carlisle is an author, illustrator and retired architect and manager. She writes hopeful books for kids that interweave facts and fiction about the environment and global responsibility.

During her 38 year career, as an architect and researcher, her focus was on the environment. She led work nationally and internationally on sustainable and energy efficient buildings and communities and won awards for collaboratively designing award-winning sustainable buildings, a laboratory campus, and as part of a team to develop a program to improve the energy efficiency of laboratories in the U.S.

connect with the author: website


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une 14 – Reading is My Passion – book review / guest post
June 14 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / author interview / giveaway
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Book Review & Giveaway: Jesusita by Ronald L. Ruiz


Book Description 

Jesusita is the story of immigrants—legal and illegal—trying to survive in California in the years after World War II. Jesusita, alone and impoverished, struggles to keep her four young children together. Though she finds support from Padre Montes at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church, her faith won’t solve her problems, especially those with her daughter, Paulina. Far from home, Filipino laborers are denied by law any contact with white women. Angie, the young daughter of an illiterate and unmarried mother, knows only one way to make money. And Felix, abandoned by his mother and separated from his only brother, is placed in a foster home on an isolated ranch. The interrelated lives of these people provide a complex, sometimes violent, and often tragic image of American poverty within the nation’s postwar boom.

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My Review

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

Jesusita is a Mexican immigrant whose husband died and left her with four children, no money, no job, and no home. She does all she can to provide them with food and shelter but she has a dark side. No matter what happens, she believes it is not her fault. This novel is heart rending. At the beginning, I felt so sorry for Jesusita but, as it progressed, it was difficult to relate to her because she is obviously mentally ill.

All of the characters are well developed and Ronald L. Ruiz does a good job of describing their lives in the harsh conditions for immigrants post World War II. I’d like to think things are better now, but I really don’t know. I would hope that someone like Jesusita would be able to get help nowadays. But Angie, who ended up being a prostitute, would probably end up in a similar situation today. 

This is definitely a book I would recommend. Because of the abuse and some of the story lines I wouldn’t recommend it for younger readers. 



Praise for the work of Ronald L. Ruiz:

“The sparse, simple prose lets the story tell itself… The supporting characters are briefly but fully drawn… Few readers will be able to forget the chilling experiences of a forlorn hero who’s destined to take his place next to Bigger Thomas (of Richard Wright’s Native Son) in the honor roll of seminal characters in American literature.”

–Publishers Weekly (featured review) on Happy Birthday Jesús


Author’s Bio

Ronald L. RuizAfter reading Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment at the age of 17, I knew I wanted to be a writer. But I knew nothing about the craft. My first novel, Happy Birthday Jesús, was published 36 years later. Surprisingly, it received good reviews

For many years, I was a criminal defense attorney and at the end of my career a prosecutor, but I always managed to find time to write. What I saw and experienced during those years often serves as a basis for my writing. For me, learning how to write has been a long, continuous and, at times, torturous process.

Now retired, I try to write every day and I feel fortunate that I have found something in writing that sustains me. I’m glad I persevered during all those years of rejection. More than anything, writing about what I see and experience in life has given me a sense of worth.


Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Facebook


Win 1 of 10 of any of the author’s signed books (choose from his 5 titles)

1 $30 Amazon gift card (international)

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