HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Shelf Life: Never Turn the Page Too Soon
Author: Leslie R. Henderson
Publisher: Independently published, 2019
Website(s): https://www.leslierhenderson.com/ (author)
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 8-12
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Henderson, Leslie R. Shelf Life: Never Turn the Page Too Soon (Published in 2019 by Leslie R. Henderson). Little Book, a children’s picture book, is abandoned on the donation cart at Mrs. Cash’s Books’ll Thrill Ya bookstore by his author Paige Turner at the close of business one day. Thrust into a strange new world where the characters within the books come to life each night, and danger lurks in every aisle with such folks as twin pranksters Cletus and Clyde, Count Boris von Bookulah, mobsters Booksey Malone and Mickey Black Eyes, and Ranger Johnny Depth with his elite Space Arrangers, Little Book finds himself without a shelf space to call his own. All he wants is to become a best seller, but he is accused of being an infiltrator. So what happens to Little Book? Does he fall in with the criminal element? Will he be fed to the “Lyons” (an industrial-sized paper shredder) and shredded into a pile of confetti?
Never Turn the Page Too Soon illustrates the old saying about not judging a book by its cover. There are a few common euphemisms (like “heck”), but nothing actually objectionable. In addition to entertaining, it conveys the message that being different is a challenge, but if we believe in ourselves, others will see our confidence, and we’ll eventually shine in their eyes. Not only is the book for those who are younger (kids and teenagers), but also a lot of adults can identify with the main character, as many older people have had experiences that parallel his. As another reviewer has noted, this well-written story that most everyone can relate to is for all those who were told that who they are is not good enough, for those who tried to fit in but couldn’t, and for those who were made to believe that they didn’t look the part. It is the first novel of a trilogy. Book II is entitled Journey to the Kingdom of No Return.