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Jet Lee Dragon Warrior by Pamela K. Witte

16 Apr

jetleeJet Lee Dragon Warrior By Pamela K. Witte Illustrated by Laurie Tisdale 130 pages – ages 8+ Published by Pam Witte on January 17, 2015       Synopsis-jetLeeDragonWarrior What I Thought- This is a fun book! It is based on some ninja/samurai concepts, but set in New York City. I didn’t expect almost everyone that Jet knew to be a Dragon Warrior. That was cool. Jet is a clumsy, small, and weak tween who you can’t help but like and root for. Everyone loves to see an underdog win, right? The story is fast paced and flows well. Ms. Witte is a gifted story teller. At 130 pages it is a quick read, but the story feels complete. There are some neat manga-like illustrations through-out the book. I like how Jet, as a character, messes up simple things (like (not) catching an important vial), building up the fact that he’s clumsy – I like a hero who is more realistic. Ms. Witte has written a great book and is another example of a self-published book done right! I give “Jet Lee Dragon Warrior” 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Creative Kid Thursday! Matt Nadel – Author, Baseball Historian, Blogger

9 Apr

Have I got a Creative Kid for you! Matt Nadel is a 16-year-old baseball historian who has written his own book about baseball!

 

Meet Matt!

 

matt_nadel

Matt Nadel, age 16, is MLB.com’s youngest baseball history Pro Blogger. He was appointed a Pro Blogger in 2012 by MLB’s official historian, John Thorn. Matt blogs mainly about baseball history and his favorite era is the 40s and 50s.  His favorite team today is the Yankees.  Matt started blogging about baseball history back in April 2012, because he was finding that many of his friends knew very little about it, and he thought that a blog would be a fun way to teach kids and even some adults about it. He knows a lot about baseball history including every World Series winner (going back to 1903) by heart.

Matt’s has written almost 350 posts, in addition to a book, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers: An Introduction To Baseball History. He has appeared in TV and in many newspapers. He hopes to one day be a baseball historian, journalist and broadcaster.

Matt has agreed to an interview with me about him, his book, and baseball. Enjoy!

Erik: There is a TON of baseball information you put forward in this book. As a book reviewer I am impressed at how clearly and well-presented it all is. Do you keep all this stuff in your head or do you have to reference your own book in remembering some of these stats?

Matt: I do know a lot of what’s in my book, but I do reference it from time to time if I’m not too sure about a specific moment, player, or team.

Erik: Makes sense – the book is a great reference! What do you feel your biggest accomplishment is – outside and unrelated to baseball?

Matt: My biggest accomplishment outside of baseball is assisting at the special needs karate class at the karate studio I used to go to for lessons, Hwang Martial Arts in Springfield, New Jersey. It really warms my heart to see those kids punch a bag or do a form. It’s really inspirational. 

Erik: That is rewarding! I help teach a younger kids class at my Dojo too. I enjoy it very much. It is awesome that you are donating your profits from the book to The Jackie Robinson Foundation, the ALS Association, the National Baseball Hall of Fame Foundation, and the Turn 2 Foundation. What was your motivation for writing the book?

Matt: I had been doing the blog for about a year when the idea for the book came to me. Basically, I wanted to put every single thing that is important to baseball’s history into one little children’s book. I wanted the book to teach kids about baseball history and I think it accomplishes this. 

Erik: It is a great book for kids to learn about and appreciate the great players in baseball history. I am a Philly guy and the Phillies are my hometown team.  In my opinion, there is nothing better than to go to an afternoon game. I’ve found that when I can’t physically be at the ballpark, I prefer to listen to the game over the internet/radio rather than watch on TV. Maybe it’s because of the announcers (Scott Franzke, Larry Anderson and Jim Jackson) and how they describe the action. Who do you think are some the best play-by-play broadcasters?

Matt: Right now in the MLB, Eric Nadel (no relation) for the Rangers and Greg Brown for the Pirates are probably at the top of my list. Of course, I have to include the legends, like Vin Scully, Bob Uecker, Mel Allen, Ernie Harwell, Red Barber, and Harry Caray.

Erik: Lets not forget Harry Kalas. ;) Do you play organized baseball?

Matt: I play for my school’s varsity team, the Golda Och Academy Roadrunners. Last year, I was placed in the outfield due to injuries, so I’ll probably be in the outfield again this year. 

Erik: I am a baseball fan and I learned a lot from your book. The text is written very well and even someone who is only a casual fan will appreciate the history in it. Name the most surprising thing you learned from doing the research for your book.

Matt: Some of the stuff on extra innings jumped out at me, like the minor league game that featured future Hall of Famers Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken Jr., but probably the most surprising thing a learned was the backstories of all the greats and how they progressed through their careers. Pure statistics don’t tell the whole story. It doesn’t talk about the lives of the legends before they entered the game and to me, that stuff is so intriguing.

Erik: Thanks for taking time to answer my questions Matt!

 

Now I’d like to tell you a bit about Matt’s book.

aaronAmazing Aaron to Zero Zippers

By Matt Nadel

112 pages – ages 10+

Published by Summer Game Books on March 23, 2015

Goodreads Summary

Matt Nadel is a 15-year-old baseball historian whose blog and media appearances are fast-propelling him to national prominence. Matt has written a thorough and accessible book on the biggest stars, greatest games, and most amazing feats in baseball history. Richly illustrated, the text includes bios of Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, and many others; descriptions of classic ballparks like Fenway and Wrigley and great franchises like Brooklyn and the Yankees; a section on the Negro Leagues and other professional leagues; and the expert lowdown on stolen bases, perfect games, triple crowns, and even the baseball uniforms!
Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers is the go-to resource for anyone looking to learn everything important about the history of America’s greatest game, and learn it in a fast, fun way. Filled with incredible, classic photos from the official Baseball Hall of Fame Archives, it is a primer for baseball beginners, a resource for developing fans, and a treat for long-time devotees who will love having so much essential baseball knowledge in one convenient place.

What I thought – This was a well-written resource for anyone interested in baseball or history in general. It is organized and flows well which is  quite a feat considering the amount of information packed into the book. The text is easy to follow and is referenced well. The reader can tell there was a lot of careful research done for the book. I liked how Matt not only included baseball stats but also glimpses into the lives and personalities of the players. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone will be writing a book about Matt in a few years! 

Five out of five bookworms! fivebooks

Want to learn more?

Check out Matt’s book on Summer Game Books website – click HERE.

Follow Matt –

Baseball with Matt – Blog

Twitter- @BaseballwMatt

Review! The Zodiac Legacy: The Convergence by Stan Lee and Stuart Moore

7 Apr

zodiacThe Zodiac Legacy: The Convergence (Book 1)
Written by Stan Lee and Stuart Moore
Illustrated by Andie Tong
480 pages – ages 8+
Published by Disney Press on January 27, 2015

Synopsis- Steven Lee had no idea what he was getting into when he stumbled upon a huge underground warehouse-thingy where some strange ceremony is taking place. He somehow gets involved in a hidden battle to stop a power-hungry man who is now one of the most powerful men on Earth. The powers of the Zodiac animals were released into the world to find their “perfect host”, and the Tiger has settled in Steven’s body. Several of the receivers of the power are agents of the evil man – a man who holds the most powerful power – the Dragon. Steven needs to think fast, harness his new powers and stop the madman’s plot.

zodiac2

What I Thought- HOLY GUACAMOLE! This was a great book! I am a HUGE fan of Stan Lee so I was all over this book when it came out. I am happy to say, this book did not disappoint! Mr. Lee and Mr. Moore have crafted a riveting story packed with comic book action, fighting, mystery and super powers.  There is just the right amount of realism in the book to keep the reader thinking this really could be happening. Mr. Tong’s red, black, and white illustrations pop-up throughout the book. They look cool, and get the story into your head more. They give the story even more depth. The characters are well-developed, and were fun to read about and get to know. There are three planned books in the series. The ending of this book is quite a cliff hanger, but there is enough wrapped up in the story that the reader is not disappointed.  A lot of kids and adults will read this just because Stan Lee wrote a middle grade book. For a kid-comic book fan like me, it was just what I would have wanted.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

WANT TO KNOW MORE?!?

You can read about the creators of the series HERE.

Check out the website HERE.

Disney has a teacher’s guide to go with the book. Click HERE to get it.

April 2015 UBFP Column – AND GIVEAWAY!!!

2 Apr

I write for the UBFP Newspaper!

I wanted to share the article I wrote for the Upper Bucks Free Press (the newspaper I write for) for the April 2015 issue! The street and online version were just published. To see the online version of the newspaper, click HERE (see page 8 ) or you can read the whole story – plus some extra things I’ve thrown in – below! :D

I hope you like the article!

Meet Bucks County Author Donna Galanti

By Erik Weibel

Author Donna Galanti was raised in England but she now finds her home in Bucks County! She has just written an exciting, middle grade action-adventure story called “Joshua and The Lightning Road”. The book will be released on May 15th of this year. The story follows twelve year-old Joshua’s quest into another word to find his friend that had been kidnapped by a mystical being during a lightning storm. Joshua realizes that all the crazy stories his grandpa told him about lightning storms are terrifyingly real and he soon finds himself up against terrible creatures determined to stop him.

DGalanti_JATLR_eCover_900x1350 (1)

I was fortunate to read an advanced copy of this book and Ms. Galanti has graciously agreed to answer a few of my questions!

Erik: Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Ms. Galanti! The first line on your book is awesome: “I never knew lightning could zap you without burning you to a crisp.” I love it when a book hooks you from the beginning. How important to you was this first line?

Ms. Galanti: I’m so glad I hooked you! For me, the first line or paragraph in a book must grab me in order to keep reading. I often buy the book based on that emotional connection from the first page and hope the author follows through on their promise (and hope I can too!).

Erik: Having read the whole book, I can say that yes, you did! When I was reading the story I was wondering if you were afraid of lightning storms when you were younger or maybe a huge mythology fan, or both?

Ms. Galanti: I always loved summer lightning storms as a kid and would sleep on the screened-in porch to watch the big show. On the other hand, my dad has been struck by lightning three times on the golf course (and lived to tell the tales)! I’ve always loved the stories of the Greek Olympians. They are big and scary and full of power – and that drives my imagination.

Erik: Hit three times by lightning? I think I’d give up golf! Scents and smells play a big part in your descriptions, more than I usually find in stories. I think it made your settings even more realistic. When you say “He smelled like a wet dog that had been swimming in sour milk,” I know exactly how revolting that is! Did you use scents on purpose, or is that typical of your writing style?

Ms. Galanti: Smells can hold powerful memory triggers. I wanted readers to see Joshua’s world as he experiences it. When you first smell a new scent, you link it to a person or event. Like the scent of fresh cut grass can remind you of a summer day, even if it’s the end of autumn. And when you happen upon that smell again, the link is there, ready to pop that memory open.

Erik: That is a very interesting point! Your story has just the right amount of scariness and tension for an MG book. Did you intend to write this an MG book and have to keep that in mind as you were writing?

Ms. Galanti: Thank you! This book was always intended for middle grade readers. My son (the perfect audience for this book) helped me with plot issues along the way, and that was super fun! As far as scariness and tension, I love it when an author takes my beloved characters to the edge of no return and gives me that spine-tingling rush of “oh, nooo!” This is what I aim for in my own stories.

Erik: You sure do a good job of it! Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to tell us about?
Ms. Galanti: Joshua and the Arrow Realm, book 2 releases December, 2015. In the book Joshua is called to free his friend, who’s been enslaved as a power pawn in a queen’s quest to rule all. But when Joshua becomes bait in her hunting game, loses his powerful lightning orb, and his friends turn on him, he wonders if he can survive on wits and instincts alone and not only save his friend—but himself.

I’m plotting out book 3, Joshua and the Fire Realm, right now! It’s more adventure set in a volcanic landscape, filled with lots of friendships, battles, and bad guys.

Erik: I am looking forward to the rest of this series!

For more information on Donna Galanti, please visit her website at DonnaGalanti.com

For more on books and reading, visit my blog, ThisKidReviewsBooks.com

NOW FOR SOME BONUS MATERIAL!!!

About Ms. Galanti:

Galanti, Donna 2 small (1)Donna Galanti attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship. She’s lived in other exotic locations, including Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse, and dreams of returning one day to a castle. Donna is the author of the Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Book 1, May 2015, Month9Books) and blogs at Project Mayhem. Visit her at www.donnagalanti.com or on Amazon.

Praise for Joshua and The Lightning Road:
“Vividly imagined characters in a gripping action fantasy that never lets you go until the very last page.” ~Jenny Nimmo, New York Times bestselling author of the Charlie Bone series

Website: http://www.donnagalanti.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DonnaGalanti

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DonnaGalantiAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20983429-joshua-and-the-lightning-road

 WAIT!!! THERE’S MORE!!!!

Ms. Galanti has provided the chance for one lucky commenter to win a galley print copy of “Joshua and the Lightning Road”! (US only please)

The winner will be announced in one week’s time, on Thursday, April 9th, 2015. The winner will be randomly chosen from all entries.

And, in case if you don’t happen to win, you can pre-order the book!

Here are links to go pre-order your copy now!!!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Iu6ETw

Barnes & Noble : http://bit.ly/1DBVtc9

WAIT THERE’S EVEN MORE!!!

Here’s my review!

DGalanti_JATLR_eCover_900x1350 (1)Joshua and the Lightning Road

By Donna Galanti

Series: Lightning Road
278 pages – ages 9+
Will Be Published by Month9Books, LLC on May 19, 2015 – you can PRE-ORDER NOW!

Summary (from GoodReads) – “Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.

Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.
To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.
In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life. ”

What I thought – The descriptions in this book were so vivid I could feel, smell and envision the setting. The characters were solid. Joshua was totally believable. He had all the right characteristics of a great main character – brave, smart and kind, but he also acted like the kid he is. The world Ms. Galanti created can be totally frightening at times, but it is done in a way that is kid-friendly. I personally found the whole idea of a “child collector” terrifying, but also intriguing. Ms. Galanti’s writing style pulls the reader along, answering questions about the story but then revealing new questions. It really keeps you reading. The story has a lot of action but also a great plot line that strings everything together. The ending is satisfying but leaves the reader wanting to get into the next book in the series.

Five out of five bookworms! fivebooks

Bunnies and Spring and Superheros OH MY!

1 Apr

With Spring and Easter right around the corner, I have a line up of books that should be on your TBR list!

bunniesBunnies!!!
By Kevan Atteberry
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 27 2015

Synopsis- Declan the monster was taking a hike through the woods, being polite by saying hello to everything he meets. And then, he sees… BUNNIES!!! Like any self-respecting monster, he gets a… tad excited. Just a tad. But you know what? Those bunnies run away! Poor Declan. He just wants to be with the BUNNIES!!!

What I Thought- Well, in my book, any book (hee hee) with 3 exclamation points in the title and a group of multi-coloured bunnies and a cute, fluffy monster on the cover is already a winner! Mr. Atteberry has written a great picture book. I saw that Mr. Atteberry has illustrated many picture books but this is his first author/illustrated book. There are cute illustrations, and a fun storyline. The text is very sparse and the story is told mostly through the illustrations. I kept thinking of Declan as a over-sized toddler running after the bunnies. I really enjoyed this story. I have one last thought on this book – BUNNIES!!!

upinthegardenUp in the Garden and Down in the Dirt
by Kate Messner
Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
52 pages – ages 5+
Published by Chronicle Books on March 3, 2015

Synopsis- A little girl and her nana start/continue a garden, and the book chronicles how they farm and tend to the garden, while animals and bugs do what they naturally do.

What I Thought- This is a really sweet book that explains how nature helps make a garden, with teamwork. You work above ground, they can work below ground. The illustrations are eye-pleasing, and creative. They whimsically show everything happening in the garden. The story line shows bonding between the girl and her nana, and tells you a little about how bugs and animals help a garden (even skunks help!). I really like this picture book!

findingspringFinding Spring
By Carin Berger
40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Greenwillow Books on January 27, 2015

Synopsis- Maurice is a bear cub, who is excited to experience his first spring! Sadly, he has to take a [long] nap. But, Maurice is so excited, he can’t wait! So, when his mother goes to sleep, Maurice slips out of the cave, and searches for spring! And, then, when a white flake of spring appears, Maurice is over-joyed. He ends up bringing a huge ball of the white flakes home in his scarf, to show his mother. He takes his nap first, though.

What I Thought- Well, with the fact that it is April and that we just got 4 more inches of snow, I want to find spring too! This book is cute. Maurice is impatient, so he sneaks out and discovers “Spring”. What kid wouldn’t do that? His personality really shines through, and I like his scarf ;) . The story is cute but what really grabs you is the illustrations. They are just cool. They are all collages. The random lines of letters are a nice touch too.

bunniesbunniesAll Hallows Eve: Bunnies! Bunnies! Bunnies!
By David Eveleigh
ebook 5300 words – ages 9+
Published by Smashwords on April 3, 2015

Synopsis- All Hallows Eve is back in an all-new adventure! It’s Easter-time, and Eve is helping at an Easter egg hunt for orphans. Then some greasers (you know, from the 1950’s? After all, Eve lives around then!) wearing bunny-ears and toting pistols come and try to rob the orphanage. Eve goes to stop them (they’re ruining the orphans’ Easter!), and suddenly finds herself as a bunny – and powerless! What can she do?

What I Thought- I am a huge fan of Eve and her adventures. The Eve novela books are written in comic style, but are a written story with some illustrations.  Eve’s adventures are clean reads for kids and they always have a great message with out being “preachy.”Mr. Eveleigh has written a great 13th book in this series. His comic images are peppered throughout the book, and add some humor to the story. The book itself combines humor and mystery into a great story – add some Eve superhero powers and you get a book any kids will like! I like how Mr. Eveleigh keeps you on the edge of your seat at all times. I can’t wait for book #14!

I hope you find these great books! :D They all get 5 out of 5 bookworms from me! fivebooks

Review! The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru by Sharon Skretting

30 Mar

jewelperuThe Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru

By Sharon Skretting

316 pages – ages 8+

Published by Sharon Skretting on September 20, 2014

Synopsis- From the Publisher: “After his father’s ship is found abandoned at sea, Christopher makes and unexpected discovery on board—The Ultimate Treasure  Chest!  Inside is a message that beckons him to set sail after the treasure and his parents. When a savage pirate and a corrupt businessman join forces to steal the treasure for themselves, the gang gets caught up in pirate chases, time travel, and an underground network of spies. Will Christopher find the Jewel and his parents or will all be lost forever?

What I Thought- This was a fun time-travel book.  I specially liked that the characters were not from modern times but from the 18th century and they travel forward to our time. The characters are kid sailors and they transport to modern day Peru.  Ms. Skretting has written an authentic sounding 1700’s story, and then she put them in a modern-day situation, and it was just as believable. The characters are well-developed and you feel a connection to them. Christopher is a great kid and an enjoyable MC. The story is solid, but the story does not keep the same exciting pace  after the first couple challenges the characters face.  Still, the story is good and a great choice for kids. The book had educational parts. You learn about the environment and Peru throughout the story, as the characters are challenged to learn about them to get to the next stage.

I give “The Jewel of Peru” four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

Review! The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein

24 Mar

Before I get to my review, I get to announce that Mr. Laj won the James Patterson Prize Pack o’ Books I am giving away on my blog!!! CONGRATULATIONS! I will be emailing you to see where you’d like the books sent.

prizepack

So the FABULOUS James Patterson series- I Funny, Treasure Hunters and House of Robots have a SUPER FANTABULOUS co-author CHRIS GRABENSTEIN! Felicia and I just interviewed Mr. Grabentein on the Write Chat – Click HERE to see the vlog! AND Mr. Grabenstein just happens to be the author of the book I am reviewing today! (I feel like I am playing the Kevin Bacon game) .

Now today is not only the day I review Chris Grabenstein’s new book, it is the day it is released! HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!!! WOO! Mr. Lemoncello’s Library fans will NOT be disappointed in Chris Grabenstein’s latest fantastic story!

drlibThe Island of Dr. Libris

By Chris Grabenstein

256 pages – ages 9+

Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on March 24, 2015

Synopsis- Billy Gillfoyle’s parents may be getting separated. This may explain why his mom is spending the summer at a rented lake house owned by one of her colleagues, Dr. Xiang Libris, and Billy is to spend the summer with her while she works on a very important paper for work. The house is on the shore of a lake overlooking an island in the middle of the lake – Dr. Libris’ Island. Dr. Libris owns it all. The lake house has no TV or video game system, and shortly after coming, Billy accidentally breaks his iPhone (and simultaneously made a friend and some enemies). Desperate for entertainment, Billy decides to turn to the library room, which has a bookcase full of amazing books, with one drawback – the bookcase is locked. After an intensive search, Billy finds the key, and when he opens the books and reads them, he seems to hear the swords clashing, the voices yelling, the feet trampling. And it all seems to come from Dr. Libris’ island in the middle of the lake…

What I Thought- This was an amazing book. It really creates a world one would love to join. Characters coming to life by reading – in my mind, that is PARADISE! The story is cool and very suspenseful. I like how everything ties together in the end. Mr. Grabenstein has written a fun action-adventure book that, I bet, almost every reader will hope were true! Billy still likes his parents and believes that they will stay together. Billy, thinks they have the perfect marriage and they seem like a nice family. His mom is more serious, but still fun, in a way, while his dad is more laid back and thrill-seeking. It was good that his parents didn’t hate each other, and that they seemed to have a nice relationship with each other. All that added to the depth of the story. I REALLY loved this book! The characters in the book feel so realistic that you believe that this could happen. It was cool that Dr. Libris himself was kind of a background character in the story – kind of remaining mysterious.

I give “The Island of Dr. Libris” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

WANT TO LEARN MORE?!? You can read sample chapters and get an educator’s guide to go with the book at Chris Grabentein’s website – CLICK HERE!

Review! Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist By Jacqueline Houtman, Walter Naegle, and Michael G. Long

22 Mar

 

Babayardyard Rustin: The Invisible Activist

By Jacqueline Houtman, Walter Naegle, and Michael G. Long

166 pages – ages 10+
Published by QuakerPress of FGC on November 13, 2014

Summary – (from GoodReads) “We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers” -Bayard Rustin Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist is a new biography for ages 10 and up. . . To many, the civil rights movement brings to mind protests, marches, boycotts, and freedom rides. They often think of people like Martin Luther King, Jr. or Rosa Parks. They seldom think of Bayard Rustin. Raised by his Quaker grandmother to believe in the value of every human being, Bayard made trouble wherever he saw injustice. As a teenager, he was arrested for sitting in the whites only section of a theater. More arrests followed, for protesting against segregation, discrimination, and war. His belief in nonviolent action as a means for social change gave him a guiding vision for the civil rights movement, which he used to mentor the young Martin Luther King, Jr. When A. Philip Randolph needed the best organizer on the planet, he turned to Bayard Rustin to bring 250,000 people to the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Illustrated with over sixty photos, this book is the product of a unique collaboration between three authors: Bayard’s partner of ten years, a professor of religious studies, and a children’s book author. Though he is largely ignored in history books, Bayard’s ideas and actions will inspire today’s young (and not-so-young) readers to be angelic troublemakers.

What I Thought – There is obviously a great need for this book because Bayard Rustin is a name I have never heard. I’ve studied the Civil Rights movement in school and it is sad I have never heard of Mr. Rustin. I was interested that Mr. Rustin grew up as a Quaker (his grandmother was a Quaker and she raised him). He grew up near where I used to live. His upbringing gave Mr. Rustin a desire to bring change through peaceful means or passive resistance. I also found it very interesting that Mr. Rustin was himself discriminated against by some of the very people he was trying to help during the Civil Rights movement, because of him being gay. The book is not just a good resource on Mr. Rustin, but also a good resource for information on the Civil Rights movement, segregation and pacifism. There is a ton of references in the back for further reading or to see where the information in the book comes from. There are little fact boxes spread through the book that gives details on some of the subjects touched upon in the book. Photographs of historical and events in Mr. Rustin’s life are sprinkled in the book. They add a level of interest to the story. The one issue I had with the book is that it reads more like a text book than a book kids will pick up to read. Having said that, I think the book would be an excellent resource for teachers when they are covering the Civil Rights movement in their class.

Four out of five book worms for Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist. fourbooks

Review! Banneker Bones and the Giant Robot Bees by Robert Kent

18 Mar

WATCH OUT – A NINJA HAS INVADED MY BLOG!!!

Middle Grade NinjaOh **PHEW** it’s Robert Kent! The MIDDLE GRADE NINJA! Not one of those Ra’s al Ghul going-to-get-rid-of-Batman kind of ninjas.

Mr. Kent runs a blog called –

robotbeesBanneker Bones and the Giant Robot Bees

by Robert Kent

Illustrated by Adam Smith

Series The And Then Story

354 pages – ages 8+
Published by CreateSpace on September 18, 2014

Summary (from GoodReads) – “Fifth grader Ellicott Skullworth has always felt out of place at public school and now he’s tested into the Archimedes Program at Latimer University. While in Latimer City, he’ll be living with his world famous and insane(ly) brilliant cousin, Banneker Bones, the eleven-year-old inventor of robots. The only problem: Banneker doesn’t want to share his room. And he’s got an army of robots to make Ellicott miserable until he goes home.

When the boys are ambushed by robot bees as big as cars, Ellicott’s only friend is carried off and held for ransom. To rescue him, Ellicott has no choice but to partner with his maniacal cousin. Ellicott doesn’t know what’s worse: facing a hive of giant robot bees or spending more time with Banneker Bones.

BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES features original illustrations by Adam Smith. It’s a humorous, science fiction adventure for readers of all ages written in the spirit of a comic book.

What I Thought – This is a really cool book. Mr. Kent has written a unique story where the government’s fear is that robots will be taking over everyone’s jobs. And Banneker’s family are the ones making the robots. I like the fact that Banneker Bones isn’t the main character, and that he’s a jerk. It provided a lot of humor in the story. Ellicott is a great kid that you really feel for. It’s not his fault that his cousin wrongly hates him – like I said Banneker is a jerk!  The robots described in the book are really amazing. They are state-of-the-art technology, and the world still hates them! There is a ton of character development in the book. Reggie and Ellicott (sort of) bond, while Banneker just gets grumpier, but in a way you kind of like him. The black and white illustrations really do the story justice (there are a few scattered throughout the book). They picture the characters and setting just like what is described in the book, giving the story another dimension. The story is at a great reading level for MG readers. This new s is a really fun book to read!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

WAIT! HERE’S SOME AWESOME NEWS!

Click HERE to get a free Kindle copy of BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES ! This great story is FREE today and tomorrow! Hurry on over!

Want to know more? Click on over to MIDDLE GRADE NINJA (click HERE) and read excerpts from Mr. Kent’s books. You can also read more about Mr. Kent and his writings.

Review! The Three Thorns by Michael Gibney

14 Mar

 

Before I get to today’s review, I get to announce that Anne S. won the signed copy of Chris Rylander’s newest book – COUNTDOWN ZERO!!! YAAAAAY! :) Click HERE to read my review of this great read! Thank you to all who entered. I will be emailing the winner to get the address you’d like your book sent to!

Countdown Zero

Now on to today’s review!

 

 

3thornsThe Three Thorns

by Michael Gibney

Series: The Brotherhood and the Shield

300 pages – ages 9+

Published by Tantrum Books on February 24, 2015

Synopsis- From GoodReads: “Three brothers born to a powerful fallen king were abandoned at birth and cast out as orphans. By order of the false king, three of the most lethal assassins have been sent to kill the children before they come of age and plot to avenge their father’s throne. No one knows where the children are, and the children have no knowledge of one another. But that all changes when Benjamin, Tommy, and Sebastian join together to face adversity, an unspeakable evil, and the temptations of magical powers. This is the first installment of an exciting children’s fantasy series about the power of family.

What I Thought- Wow – what a great opening book for a new series. This was a fun book that really keeps you reading. There is plenty of action to keep the reader interested and a great plot and terrific writing to get you into the story. Tommy, Benjamin, and Sebastian are great characters that you really cheer on. The setting of the “new world” (the magical world they get taken to right after they meet each other) is fantastically described and makes you wish that you were there! Mr. Gibney’s writing is solid – he gives you enough background to have you understand the characters and plot without dragging the story down with too many details.  I like how everything falls into place as the story goes on. The characters make you smile and feel that the Brotherhood is in good hands. The writing and dialogue is realistic. Mr. Gibney is a great author who I can’t wait to read more from.

The website for the new series – The Brotherhood and the Shield – is worth checking out. There is information about the first book and the series. You can also hear actor Chris R Wright read excerpts from book 1. Click HERE to go to the site.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

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