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Review! Gabby Duran & The Unsittables by Elise Allen & Daryle Conners

18 May
First – some undone business. My initial winner of the Isle of the Lost Prize Pack (kindly provided by Disney Publishing) never contacted me with her email address. I have randomly chosen another. Congratulations Kate Dillon – WINNER & middle school librarian!!! :) I will be contacting you to get the address you want  your prize sent to.
Prizing and samples provided by Disney Publishing.

Prizing and samples provided by Disney Publishing.

NOW ONTO TODAY’S REVIEW!

gabbyGabby Duran & The Unsittables

By Elise Allen & Daryle Conners

208 pages – ages 8+

Published by Disney Hyperion on May 12, 2015

Synopsis- Gabby Duran is a world famous babysitter. She has clients all over the world. But when Gabby gets approached by “Edwina” from the The Association Linking Intergalatics and Earthlings (A.L.I.E.N.) with a special offer, Gabby is reluctant to agree, even with the wages offered. She has other clients! Then Gabby realizes that, with this job, she will have clients that are out of this world! She learns that aliens live on Earth alongside humans. They do a great job of blending in, but they need a babysitter who can be trusted. Babysitting aliens may be more than Gabby bargained for.

What I Thought- This was a great story about how you should go all in for what you like to do, and do it well. Gabby sacrificed her own free-time (and sometimes her safety) for other people. Gabby really is a role model. She’s clever, fun, and plays an instrument in school band.  The plot is exciting and full of twists and turns. I like the character of Lee, Gabby’s best friend. She’s an eccentric, smart, geeky inventor. The authors really capture the sense of realism, even in the midst of aliens. Their writing style kept me reading and offered a fresh twist on a babysitting story. Boys and girls will like this one. The  book was funny, action-packed, and altogether a great read.

I give this 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Andy Smithson: Resurrection of the Phoenix’s Grace by L.R.W. Lee

13 May

rlleeResurrection of the Phoenix’s Grace
Andy Smithson Series Book 4
By L.R.W. Lee
208 pages- ages 9+
Published by CreateSpace on April 24, 2015

Synopsis- Andy Smithson is back in an all new adventure! When the strange vulture men, henchmen/birds/things of King Abaddon, (sworn enemy of Andy, King Hercalon V, and all of the land of Oomaldee), start appearing in Earth, they appear to be searching for Andy! They even invade his house! Andy suddenly appears in Oomaldee (the teleportation always happens at bad times) and finds his friends. He gets the next clue to find the cure to the curse of Oomaldee. It then involves into a full-scale adventure against Abaddon while trying to save the legendary Phoenix!

What I Thought- I really enjoyed this book. It had everything I loved in the other books in the Andy Smithson series, plus more! Mrs. Lee writes a thrilling action-adventure story that keeps you on the edge of your bean bag chair (a very hard thing to do – you always sink into a bean bag chair…). I will admit, I stayed up a little too late finishing this book – it was that good! Mrs. Lee has a talent for writing fantasy for middle graders. She develops a world and characters that are exciting and adventurous but keeps it age-appropriate for her audience. The story flows well and has enough action to keep the reader wanting to read more. I really like how there are some new characters introduced in this book, and some old ones reunited. It made a great read.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Review! The Last Dragon Charmer: Villain Keeper by Laurie McKay

7 May

Hello blogoshpere! How are you tonight?

I just got back from karate. I am really excited because I am going to be testing for my junior black belt next Saturday. That will make two black belts in two different martial arts for me! WOO!

But enough about me – I am here to announce a winner! A winner of what you ask?

THE WINNER OF ROBIN NEWMAN’S FABULOUS CHILDREN”S BOOK – THE CASE OF THE MISSING CARROT CAKE (see my review HERE)!

carrotcake

And the winner is —–

Nancy Viau!

Congratulations Ms. Viau! I will be emailing you to get the address you’d like your book sent to. :o)

Now on to today’s review!

villain

Villain Keeper

By Laurie McKay

Series: Last Musketeer
352 pages – ages 8+

Published by HarperCollins on February 3, 2015

Synopsis- Caden was a son of King Axel, King of the Razzon Winterlands. He was the youngest sibling, and felt like he had to prove himself. And he planned to do it on his Quest Day to slay a dragon. Suddenly, the king, Caden’s father, wakes him up in the middle of the night saying it is Caden’s time for his quest. Where is the ceremony? Where are the people? Caden quickly runs off into the night. And then, a flash of light, and… Where is he? And why is Brynne, the young sorceress whom hates Caden, there with him? Why is there no magic? And why are there no dragons in this land of Carolina of the North (AKA North Carolina)? This is all too strange!

What I thought- This was a cool book. There is a unique mixture of medieval characters, magical objects, and a modern-day setting. The characters are well-thought out and realistic. They make you feel like you are there with them as they traverse throughout North Carolina. Ms. McKay has a great writing style. It engages you and draws you into the story. I would like to read more of Ms. McKay’s writing. The humor in the book kept me laughing throughout it, as Caden tried to adjust to living in our modern-day dimension. The mystery of the teachers at the school really added a great touch to the overall story. It is a solid start to this new series.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms.fivebooks

Review! The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel by Melissa de la Cruz

4 May

The Disney Channel is set to show an interesting original movie this summer, Descendants. The movie follows the offspring of some of the most popular (and sometimes most wicked) Disney characters of all time. What does that have to do with books and reading? I just got done reading a fabulous prequel to the Descendants movie that Disney Publishing will release on May 5th. The book is called THE ISLE OF THE LOST.

islelostIsle of the Lost

By Melissa De La Cruz

320 pages – ages 9+

Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 5, 2015

Synopsis- Publisher’s description of the book – “Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon to the Isle of the Lost–a dark and dreary place protected by a force field that makes it impossible for them to leave. Stripped of their magical powers, the villains now live in total isolation, forgotten by the world.

Mal learns from her mother, Maleficent, that the key to true darkness, the Dragon’s Eye, is located inside her scepter in the forbidden fortress on the far side of the island. The eye is cursed, and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She’ll just need a little help from her “friends.” In their quest for the Dragon’s Eye, these four kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain’t so bad.

What I Thought- The book is written by best-selling author Melissa de la Cruz (Blue Bloods series). I found Ms. de la Cruz’s writing style engaging. The plot line is funny, mysterious, and captivating! The characters’ personalities are spot-on. They have just enough of their Disney qualities to make them believable, but de la Cruz also mixes in some wackiness and surprises. The Disney character’s offspring are cool, younger, versions of their parents, but also have unique attributes. I like how the book describes how much the villains have changed over the years now that their magic has gone. The book has the right mixture of adventure, action, and a touch of evil to really keep it interesting. The story is perfect for middle grade, young adults, or any Disney fan. Both content, reading level and subject matter is appropriate for all ages. As I read the book, I found myself thinking – wishing, there would be more in the series, but alas, the next version of this story will be a movie. Can a movie live up to the wonderful story set up by de la Cruz in this book? With Disney’s touch of magic, I am hopeful it will.

I’d give this book 6 out of 5 bookworms – but my scale only goes to five!fivebooks

You can read an excerpt from the book at movies.disney.com/descendants/the-isle-of-the-lost

Visit Melissa de la Cruz’s website melissa-delacruz.com

Check out the Descendants website at movies.disney.com/descendants

STAY TUNED- TOMORROW I AM GOING TO OFFER A ISLE OF THE LOST PRIZE PACK!!!

Check out the trailer!

Review! 7 Wonders: The Curse of the King by Peter Lerangis

29 Apr

sevenfour7 Wonders: The Curse of the King

by Peter Lerangis

Series: Seven Wonders (Book 4)
Hardcover: 320 pages – ages 8+
Published by HarperCollins on March 3, 2015

Synopsis- Jack McKinley was an ordinary kid. Emphasis on was. Not long ago, it was revealed to him that he has a special gene that gives people “superpowers” based on their natural attributes. Now he and some other kids his age with the gene are supposed to save the world, by traveling throughout the planet going to the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, of which only one is still standing. They need to complete their mission before a major world-catastrophe happens. And why is Marco, one of their old friends, on the bad guys’ side?

What I Thought- This is the next book in a great series. Mr. Lerangis quickly brings readers up to speed, and then he dives right into the story. The characters are well-thought out. Jack is a great kid who is being hunted by evil monks. And, unlike his friends, he doesn’t really have any “superpowers,” which makes it all the more challenging. He and his two friends need to collect 7 magical orbs for two reasons: One, to save their own lives (they have a genetic mutation that gives them superpowers, but makes them have an early death), and two, to save the world. I like the suspense of their lives being at stake. I love how Mr. Lerangis pulls in history to the story and wraps an awesome adventure around it! Mr. Lerangis perfectly mixes humor, terror, action, and tragedy in this book. I am a fan of this series, and I can’t wait for the next book!

I give this 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison

21 Apr

groundedGrounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel
By Megan Morrison
384 pages (hardcover) – ages 9+
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on April 28, 2015

Synopsis- Rapunzel lived in a tower, and she had everything she wanted. Witch gave it to her. Witch loved her. And Rapunzel was happy. That is, until a boy climbs her tower and claims that they’ve met. Even weirder, they met… Yesterday. But how is that possible? Rapunzel would have remembered. So, Rapunzel decides he’s lying. Yet somehow, he has her handkerchief. Could what he say be… true? Then, he steals a rose and runs off. What choice does Rapunzel have? She follows him. And thus begins the adventure of a lifetime.

What I Thought- This was a great book. I like how it explains that Rapunzel has no hard feelings towards the Witch – after all, Witch did raise her. I often thought that about the Rapunzel story – she sees the Witch as her mom but then again she’s been her prisoner – very weird situation… I digress. Ms. Morrison has written a wonderful book about so much more than the Rapunzel story. The story is full of adventure, and a slightly wacky world. The story is filled with humor, the right amount of tension and a plot line that keeps the reader interested. I found it funny how all of the countries were named, based on colors – nice detail. Rapunzel is a great character, kind of single-minded and gullible, but that is explainable (she was raised in a tower afterall). The book plays on questions that the original Rapunzel fairytale created like “Why would Rapunzel want to be kidnapped from her home?” or “Why was Rapunzel’s father so idiotic to trade his only daughter for a piece of food?”. Things like that. :) The book very funny, and will have you rolling on the floor! Based on this book, I’d be happy to read more from Ms. Morrison.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

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

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