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Supernatural Hero by Eran Gadot

23 Apr

supernaturalSupernatural Hero
by Eran Gadot
158 pages – ages 9+
Published by CreateSpace on November 28, 2013

 

Summary- Andy is the class nerd. He is picked on and bullied and almost no one will talk to him,(other than to ridicule him). He has only on friend, Tom. Tom is a genius and a fellow nerd. Andy is in love with the prettiest girl in the sixth grade (Zoe), but she will never notice him. Andy keeps his feelings bottled up inside. He is very angry. He wants to talk to his parents, but is afraid to do it. The only person Andy can really open up to is his Grandfather. He can tell his Grandpa anything, but Grandpa has cancer and is going to die. Andy is even more alone. Grandpa tells Andy he is ready to die, that it is his time. He also tells Andy that he will never leave him until he gets Zoe to be his girlfriend. Grandpa is true to his word, even in death. Andy realizes he can still see Grandpa even though he is a ghost. But it’s not just Grandpa, Andy can see all kinds of ghosts walking the Earth! Soon Andy realizes that Zoe is in horrible trouble . He enlists the help of Tom and together they set off to save the day.

What I thought- At first I really didn’t like Andy’s character. He was creepy and it sounded like he wanted to hurt people. I really couldn’t relate to him – at first. As I read further, I could understand why Andy was feeling the way he was. He was completely tortured at school and he had no one to talk to. I found myself turning from not liking Andy to rooting for him. Andy just wanted to be himself and have people accept him. The whole part of the plot where Andy develops a super power – to see ghosts – is a cool twist to the plot. Mr. Gadot’s writing style, how the book is narrated, reminded me of Neil Gaiman’s. I like that the story deals with some very tough subjects, (bullying, death of a loved one), but Andy handles them very well and he is a very believable character. The other characters in the book are good, even the minor ones. I like how Andy’s character develops in the story. The trouble that Andy finds Zoe in was an unexpected but very cool twist in the story (not telling you what it is ;) ). I found myself enjoying this story very much.

Five out of five bookworms. fivebooks

Like the Supernatural Hero’s Facebook page HERE.

Codename Zero: The Code Name Conspiracy by Chris Rylander

22 Apr

HAPPY EARTHDAY! :D

codenamezeroCodename Zero: The Codename Conspiracy
by Chris Rylander
368 pages – ages 9+
Published by Walden Pond Press on February 4, 2014

Everything was going as planned for Carson Fender. The goats were distracting everyone at school. Now, he and his friends, could glue down everything in the school’s classrooms (and the principal’s office). This practical joke would be his finest!

Suddenly, he found himself being handed a box by a guy in a black suit and dark sunglasses. The guy told him not to open the box and deliver it to Mr. Jensen. The problem is, Carson opened it and now it will self-destruct in 48 hours unless he finds the correct Mr. Jensen (there are two in school). Carson soon realizes that his boring home town is home to a secret government agency and he’s the newest recruit.

I found this book not to be the typical spy story (which I thought it was going to be at first)- Carson has to help a kid in a witness protection program “fit in” so he wouldn’t be noticed. I liked that this story had a different plot idea. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story. It was funny, exciting and fast-paced. Carson was a great main character. I loved his personality. The book had a great ending -almost too good. I would love to read another book about Carson (I don’t think this is a series). I would have liked to know more about the kid in the witness protection program, but it wasn’t necessary for the story to be complete. I haven’t read Mr. Rylander’s Fourth Stall series. After reading this, I am going to pick those up. He writes a great book!

I give “Codename Zero” 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Mr. Rylander and his other books, please visit his website by clicking HERE.

Blog Tour! Odin’s Promise by Sandy Brehl

21 Apr
odinsOdin’s Promise
by Sandy Brehl
238 pages – ages 9+
Published by Crispin Books (imprint of Cricket Hollow) on April 20, 2014
Publisher’s description -
“Odin’s Promise is a historical novel for middle-grade readers, a story of the first year of German occupation of Norway as seen through the eyes of a young girl. Eleven-year-old Mari grew up tucked safely under the wings of her parents, grandma, and her older siblings.  When Hitler’s troops invaded Norway in Spring 1940, she is forced to grow beyond her “little girl” nickname and comfortable patterns to deal with harsh new realities. At her side for support and protection is Odin, her faithful elkhound. After she witnesses a troubling event on the mountainside, truths are revealed: the involvement of her family and friends in the resistance; the value of humor in surviving hard times; the hidden radio in her grandma’s cottage.”
What I Thought -
I loved this story! I first read about the German occupation of Norway and the Norwegian resistance in Steve Sheinkin’s BOMB and I thought the subject was interesting. I like World War II history and that time period in general, so this book was something I really wanted to read. While reading this book, I learned even more about the Norwegian resistance and the culture/history of Norway. Ms. Brehl wrote a believable, exciting story with characters you care for. I like that she wrote a sub-plot into the story to show that sometimes even the “enemy” is thrown into situations they can’t help being in or maybe don’t want to be in. Mari is a great main character. The reader can really understand how she feels throughout the story. Ms. Brehl includes a bibliography and glossary in the back section of the book , which is very helpful. I enjoyed the descriptions of the Norwegian setting. I could picture the small streets and hillsides in my mind. It is a good contrast when Ms. Brehl describes the beautiful scenery and the harsh reality of the German occupation. I liked learning about the rationing during this time and how the citizens bartered with and helped one and other. I completely enjoyed this book!
Five out of five bookworms for Odin’s Promise! fivebooks
Get the book on  Amazon HERE
Get the book at Barnes and Noble HERE

 

About the author – Sandy Brehl

 

Sandy Brehl is a retired educator and active member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). She enjoys gardening when she’s not reading and writing. She lives in the Milwaukee area and hopes you’ll visit her website (www.SandyBrehl.com) to learn more about ODIN’S PROMISE and follow her blog. She also posts reviews and commentary about picture books at  http://UnpackingPictureBookPower.blogpot.com

Follow her on Twitter @SandyBrehl and @PBWorkshop.

Follow her on Facebook HERE
Blog tour Dates!

 

April 21 –      Erik at http://thiskidreviewsbooks.com

April 24-        Guest post/Rochelle Melander ‘s http://www.writenowcoach.com

April 28         Suzanne Warr interview at http://suzannewarr.com/

April 29         Alex Bough at http://thechildrenswar.blogspot.com

April 30         Margo Tanenbaum at www.fourthmusketeer.blogspot.com

May 1-          Heidi Grange at      http://geolibrarian.blogspot.com

 

Poetry Picks For April – National Poetry Month!

16 Apr

April is National Poetry Month and I have great choices for kids!

depotPoem Depot: Aisles of Smiles
Written and illustrated by  Douglas Florian
160 pages – ages 9+
Published by Dial on February 20, 2014

Summary – Taken from the back of the book

Load up on laughs in this one-stop poetry shop!

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Th s po m is mis ing le ters.
It’s mis ing q ite a f w.
Wh re did th y go
I do n t kno.
I do n t kno.
Do y u?

 What I thought – I love poetry books like this one. Short funny poems that make you smile. I think books like Poem Depot are a great way to get kids to read and think about poetry. The poems are short, fun to read and they all have nice black and white illustrations to go with them. Topics of the poem is anything and everything – from Spacemen to Mermaids – Broccoli to Cereal and beyond! Fans of Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein (like me) will love this book. I like how there is an index to the poems in the back and also an index of first lines – very nice touch.

To learn more about Mr. Florian, please visit his website by clicking HERE.

Five out of five bookworms for Poem Depot! fivebooks

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Now some sophisticated poetry.  Nothing says poetry to a kid like me more than farts…

judd-goobey-artsy-fartsy
Judd Goobey: Less Artsy More Fartsy
By M. Tompson Lane
Illustrated by Paige Lane
78 pages – ages 9+
Published by eBookPartnership.com on October 18, 2013

Summary – Taken from the Amazon description -

Many poetry books promise cutesy, eloquent wit and charm. This is not one of those books. This is Judd Goobey.

Packed with thirty disgustingly hilarious poems and deftly uproarious illustrations, Judd Goobey: Less Artsy More Fartsy explores the rich and universal culture of childhood in its purest and funniest form.

What I thought – BWAHAHAHAHA!!! :D

First I love how the book is divided into “Gross, Grosser and Grossest” sections. The poems are just that! If you have a kids who loves booger and fart jokes – get them into poetry with this book. The book is written and illustrated by a father and daughter team. The illustrations go along with the poems very well (many make the poems even more gross). There is nothing offensive or any bad language in any of the poems – they’re just gross. Okay a few of the poems really grossed me out – but that’s what it’s supposed to do. :)

Please visit the book’s official website by clicking HERE.

Four out of five bookworms for Judd Goobey! fourbooks

Creative Kid Thursday! Guest Book Review by Rena Marthaler!

10 Apr

houseofhad

Welcome to Creative Kid Thursday where I like to feature the awesome things kids are doing and also host guest kid book reviewers. Today Rena Marthaler is going to review —

 

The House of Hades
By Rick Riordan
608 pages – ages 10+
Published by Disney-Hyperion on October 8, 2013

Reviewed by 4th grader Rena Marthaler, author of the adventure novel “Magic The Crest” (click HERE to go to Rena’s blog).

The first sentence is my favorite: “During the third attack, Hazel almost ate a boulder.”

This book is perfect for people who like Greek gods and goddesses, sword fighting, giants, titans, and more monsters. It is the fourth book in the series “Heroes of Olympus.” (I recommend reading the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series and other three Heroes of Olympus first.) This book is really good.

In the book, Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, Jason Grace, Piper McLean, Leo Valdez, Frank Zhang and Hazel Levesque go on a quest following the Prophecy of Seven in a heavily armed warship called the Argo II.

But only five of of the seven are on the ship. In the earlier book, Percy and Annabeth fall into a very dangerous place called Tartarus, and the only way to get out is to through the “Doors of Death.”

Piper, Jason, Leo, Frank, Hazel, and their rescued friend Nico Di Angelo go through many adventures to reach the Doors of Death and rescue their friends.

Meanwhile, Percy and Annabeth struggle through Tartarus, half dead, to reach the same destination.

Stay tuned for the fifth book in the Heroes of Olympus series, “Blood of Olympus,” coming out in Fall, 2014. I assure you it will be awesome!

 

Be sure to check back because I will be interviewing Rena about her book “Magic The Crest” on April 24th!

Remember on Tuesday, the Writing Process Blog Tour and I tagged Rena? Well, Rena has already responded! Click HERE to go THERE!

Faery Swap by Susan Kaye Quinn

9 Apr

faery-swapFaery Swap
by Susan Kaye Quinn
280 pages – ages 8+
Published by CreateSpace on December 16, 2013

Finn didn’t know what had happened. All he knew was that there was a strange kid in front of his sister’s school and the kid wanted Finn to hand him a coin that was laying on the road. Finn picked it up and gave it to him. The next thing Finn knew, his aman (his soul) was sent to a timeless world and the strange kid (a faery named Zaneyr)took over his body, impersonating him. Finn, with help from the faery Liranna, plans to get back to Earth. But all is not as it seems…

Well, if it takes a rocket scientist to write a good book, Dr. Quinn fits the bill. ;) Dr. Quinn has a PhD in Engineering and she combined Faeries, adventure, math and science into a fabulous story. Hmm I wonder if she can help me design Tomato and Pea’s rocket ship they need to get back to planet Oarg in my next book… – but that’s not the point! This is a great book! I really like Finn. He’s a good boy, practically being a parent to his younger sister, because after their mom died, their dad became reclusive. Zaneyr is actually pretty cool. You can understand why he does what he does. I really like the ending of the book – it was well done, and no questions are left with answers floating around. The story is well done and encourages math – this book is a winner in my book blog!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Dr. Quinn also has a ton of parent and teacher resources on her website. Teachers can even get free ebook copies or discounted paperbacks. On the official website, you’ll find:

a “9-minute Virtual Author Visit video called “Warrior Faeries and Math Magick” as well as a Teacher’s Guide for Faery Swap. [Dr. Quinn's] hope is that it will help teachers bring the story into the classroom and use it to show students the power of math and equations (in the story and in real life). You can find the video and the teacher’s guide, as well as a card-based Knowledge Seekers game designed for the classroom at [the official website].” CLICK HERE to go THERE!!!

Check out the book’s trailer!

Project X-Calibur by Greg Pace

2 Apr

Two things before I get to my review today.

First – today is Autism Awareness Day! I’ve turned my blog blue to bring awareness to Autism and ask that you talk to kids you know about it and help them understand it! Click on the picture below to find out how to help!

autismSecond – Felicia (A.K.A. Neighbor Girl of Stanley and Katrina fame) and I will be interviewing Rick Riordan live tomorrow (April 3rd) at 330 EDT on Huffpost Live’s “Tell Me Why” segment. The Tell Me Why program has kids asking professionals in different fields about their passions. Our passion is reading and writing. I am very excited and honored to be chosen to be on the segment (and, to tell the truth, super nervous). You can click on the graphic to go to the event and you may or may not see me there depending on if I pass-out due to nervousness or not. ;) KIDS – ask your parents first before clicking over to the Huffpost Live site!

HuffPostLiveSqueeCollage

Graphic courtesy of Cool Mom

NOW ON TO TODAY’S REVIEW!!!!

 

caliburProject X-Calibur

by Greg Pace

256 pages – ages 9+
Published by Putnam Juvenile on October 31, 2013

Synopsis - It took some convincing to get Ben Stone to believe that this odd little kid in front of him was Merlin, THE  Merlin. It turns out that the 1000-year-old wizard really was in the form of an 8-year-old boy. If that’s not weird enough, Merlin tells Ben that aliens are about to attack and conquer Earth, and that Merlin is here to recruit Ben to be part of the super secret group – The Round Table Reboot. Merlin needs Ben to fly X-Calibur (X-Calibur being a high-tech space ship not the sword, but the sword DOES exist) to fight off the aliens. X-Calibur runs best in the hands of kids. Merlin and Percival Pellinore (who is immortal because he drank from the Holy Grail back in King Arthur’s day) are forming a new group of knights (who happen to be kids) to face an even bigger danger!

What I thought - Think of King Arthur meets Science Fiction and ends up in your back yard. WOW. I am a fan of the King Arthur legends and I thought this modern story idea was cool. I get nervous when people rewrite stories I love, but Mr. Pace put an awesome slant on this story! I love how there is no magic in the book – it’s all done with electronics and technology. Ben is a great main character. He’s a typical kid who has a kind of rough life so you end up rooting for him and liking him. The other kid characters that get recruited are also enjoyable to read about. They all have very different personalities. Mr. Pace writes incredible action scenes that kept me turning the pages. I’d love to see another book in this series.

Five out of five bookworms for Project X-Calibur. fivebooks

Almost Super by Marion Jensen

26 Mar

I’m feeling a little purple today!

I’ve turned my blog purple too. Why? Today it epilepsy awareness day!

elilepsyPurple Day was founded by 8-year-old Cassidy Megan (she’s now 15). Epilepsy is a serious disease that affects about 50 millions people. Please show your support and help make people more aware of this disease. Please visit purpleday.org or the Purple Day  Facebook page HERE. Follow Purple Day on Twitter @PurpleDay

Now on to my review!

almostsuperAlmost Super

by Marion Jensen

256 pages – ages 8+

Published by HarperCollins on January 21, 2014

Every February 29th, members of the Bailey family (if you are legally part of the family (adopted, marriage, etc.), it counts too!) 12-years-old and older go through an amazing transformation. This year, at exactly 4:23PM (as always) on February 29th 13-year-old Rafter Bailey and his little brother, 12-year-old Benny Bailey will get their SUPER POWERS! You see the Baileys are a family of superheros. Rafter and Benny are excited to see what super powers they get. Will they fly like their dad? Be super-strong like grandpa? Have fire powers?!? When the time finally comes they receive AWESOME super powers! Well… not awesome… more like… umm, well, the powers are lame and pretty much useless.  Rafter can light matches on polyester and Benny can turn his innie belly button to an outie. How are Rafter and Benny supposed to help their family save the world from the evil family of supervillains,  the Johnsons, with these pathetic powers?!? When things look the worst, the boys find an unlikely ally and realize that together they really are heroes.

Books like this make me think I should change my rating system from number of bookworms to rating it as the number of times I get in trouble for reading the book when I’m supposed to be doing something else. I got yelled at, well, at least 6 times because I couldn’t put this book down. :) I actually ended up hiding under the covers in my bed (when I was supposed to be asleep) using my alarm clock for light (my parents confiscated all my flashlights a while ago because of me reading way past my bedtime) to finish reading the book. It was that awesome.

Mr. Jensen has written a fun superhero story that has a different twist. The book is packed with lots of humor and written in a style that all ages can enjoy, especially fans of comics and superheroes. It is a great choice for young advanced readers who are looking for something more than a chapter book. Rafter is a great guy. You really understand how he feels. He’s surrounded by totally super family – his great-aunt (whose power is way less than it was when she was younger) has a stronger power than he does! Benny is a character you just hope succeeds. He’s the really nice guy and he keeps trying and trying. I ended up cheering for Benny. :) The story also has a good message – Don’t draw conclusions based on rumors/gossip or what other people are telling you. People aren’t always what other people tell you they are. I really hope there is a book two, even though the story ended well. But, it’s sort of a cliff-hanger. Sort of.

 

Five out of five bookworms for this most certainly super book! fivebooks

Grimmtastic Girls by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams! Plus a giveaway!

25 Mar

About the Books: The Grimmtastic Girls

I know, I know, you’re saying “Erik, this is a series for girls. Isn’t it?” Well I am here to admit, I love Ms. Holub’s and Ms. William’s Series The “Goddess Girls” and when I saw the chance to get to review their newest series “The Grimmtastic Girls” I jumped at it. Plus,  I think a lot of boys enjoy reading “girly” books and I say there’s nothing wrong with that! HUZZAH!

Here’s what I thought of the first two books in this new series:

These are a great series, and I love the concept of fractured fairy tales in an early MG book. ;) I love that the teachers come from many fairy-tales – Mrs. Jabberwocky, Mr. Hump-Dumpty, etc. Kids will love to recognize the names and fairy tales they come from. I like that Mother Goose is the librarian at Grimm Academy. :) Ms. Holub and Ms. William’s have a playful writing style that is fun to read. Grimm Academy is a very cool place that I think a lot of kids will love to read about. The books are a quick read for me but very enjoyable. These books (much like the Goddess Girls series) are great for young advanced readers and MG kids looking for a fun story.

Keep reading on for your chance to win a $50.00 Amazon gift certificate!

Book #1

Title: Grimmtastic Girls #1: Cinderella Stays Late | Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams | Publication Date: March 25, 2014 | Publisher: Scholastic Inc. | Pages: 192 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12

Grimmtastic Girls: Cinderella Stays LateSummary: The authors of the hit Goddess Girls series put a fun and girly twist on another super-popular theme: fairy tales!

Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia…

A Grimmtastic girl named Cinderella is starting her first week at Grimm Academy on the wrong foot. Cinda’s totally evil step-sisters are out to make her life miserable. The Steps tease Cinda, give her terrible advice about life at the academy, and even make her look bad in front of her new friends, Red, Snow, and Rapunzel! But when Cinda overhears the Steps plotting a villainous deed that could ruin Prince Awesome’s ball, Cinda, her new friends, and a pair of magical glass slippers have to stop them–before the last stroke of midnight!
AmazonGoodreads

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Book #2

Title: Grimmtastic Girls #2: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost | Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams | Publication Date: March 25, 2014 | Publisher: Scholastic Inc. | Pages: 192 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12

Red Riding Hood Gets LostSummary: Red Riding Hood might have a terrible sense of direction, but her grimmtastic friends are always there to help!

Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia…

Red Riding Hood is thrilled to try out for the school play. Acting is her dream, and she’s great at it–too bad she has stage fright! After a grimmiserable audition, Red decides to focus on helping her friends Cinda, Snow, and Rapunzel save Grimm Academy from the E.V.I.L. Society. But when Red gets lost in Neverwood forest and runs into Wolfgang, who might be part of E.V.I.L., she needs her magic basket and a grimmazingly dramatic performance to figure out what’s going on!
AmazonGoodreads

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About the Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

Joan Holub

Joan Holub has authored and/or illustrated more than 130 children’s books, including Little Red Writing (illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet) and Zero the Hero. She lives in NC and is online at www.joanholub.com

Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

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Suzanne Williams

Suzanne Williams is the author of nearly 50 books for children, including the award-winning picture book Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg). She lives near Seattle, WA and is online at www.suzanne-williams.com

Author Blog | Goodreads

Co-authors Joan and Suzanne have written the Goddess Girls, Heroes in Training, and Grimmtastic Girls series. Though they live in different states and hardly ever get to see each other, they spend lots of time together in Grimmlandia.

Facebook (Grimmtastic Girls) | Facebook (Goddess Girls Books)

Online Author Visits

WOO HOO! A $50 Book Blast Giveaway!

Amazon $50 Gift Card

Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: April 23, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter by clicking on the Rafflecopter link below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the authors, Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Click ME -Win $50!

 

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Hank of Twin Rivers: Journey of Change M. C. Arvanitis

24 Mar

hankHank of Twin Rivers Book 1: Journey of Change

By M. C. Arvanitis

214 pages – ages 8+

Published by Agate Beach Press on July 15, 2013

Hank Heaton lives in Buck Creek, Iowa in the 1860s. Sadly, his mother and sister died of cholera and Hank  was left with a limp after suffering from the disease. Soon after his mom’s funeral, Pa decides that it’s best for them to head out West. Hank, Pa and Uncle Mac (his mom’s brother) pack up and head to Nebraska in hopes of starting a new life. The trail they follow is full of dangers, like floods, claim jumpers, and rattle snakes. The Oregon Trail is harsh but Hank manages to meet some good friends along he way to his new home.

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I also think it’s one of the hardest to write because you have to make the setting, plot and characters accurate and believable and be entertaining all at the same time. Ms. Arvanitis does this very  well. I was drawn into the story right away. Hank is a very believable character, especially for the time period in the story. Hank’s dad is very strict but that is balanced with Hank’s jolly Uncle Mac. I really got a good picture of what the Pioneers dealt with on their journey.  My only problem with the story is that it ends rather abruptly. I would have liked a bit more, but there is a second book in the works. The adventure and story in the book is enough to keep a kid entertained while learning about the Oregon Trail and life of a Pioneer. This book definitely earns a spot on my book shelf.

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms.fourbooks

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