Archive | Other Stuff Related to Books and Reading RSS feed for this section

Where has Erik Been?

24 Jul

Dear readers,

You may have noticed I’ve been a bit absent from the blogosphere (or maybe you haven’t in which case I need to do a better job 😉 ), I felt I need to explain what’s been going on.

I was on vacation at the beginning of July and upon getting back and then catching up with my work, our family suffered a very tragic accident. My aunt and three of her daughters were on a cross-country road trip from Pennsylvania to California. An adventure of a life time.

Beth, Lizzy, Savanna and Sequoia in California.

Sadly, in California, they had a terrible accident. The driver of their SUV fell asleep. The car ran down an embankment, hit a pole and overturned. My aunt and one of my cousins did not make it.

My cousin Savanna and Aunt Beth

My other two cousins were seriously injured. My uncle and his eldest daughter flew out to California to be with the girls.

Uncle Aleko, Lizzy, Sequoia and Cousin Tessa at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Eureka CA

After some negotiating, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia sent 2 ambulance jets out to California to bring the girls back. They did this free of charge through Wings of Grace.  Our family is eternally grateful to them.

The girls are back on the East Coast now and can be with our family. We finally got to go visit with them yesterday. The girls (Lizzy, 14 and Sequoia, 17) are incredible strong. I could believe they can manage a smile after what they’ve been through. Their bodies are broken, but are in superior medical care at CHOP. Their spirits remain unbroken even in the face of the loss of their mother and sister. 

 

Lizzy has Urinary Retention, a
Pelvic Fracture,
Pelvic Hematoma,
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage,
Compression Fracture,
Pulmonary Contusion,
Right Foot Fracture

Sequoia has a Pelvic Fracture, Lumbar Spine Fracture, Pneumothorax, Right Cervical Spine Fracture, Bilateral Pulmonary Contusion, Closed Right Tarsal, Navicular Fracture, Internal Carotid Artery Dissection, Elbow Fracture, C6 Nerve Root Injury

Our entire family is in mourning but staying strong for Lizzy and Sequoia.

I am sorry for bringing all of this sad news on a Monday. I just wanted to let everyone know what was going on so you don’t think I gave up on my blog. I just haven’t had my heart into it – or even opening emails. After seeing the girls yesterday, I feel a new sense of strength and resolve.

If you would like to help, please send positive thoughts and prayers for the girls (they feel it!) and/or my cousin, Monique has set up a Go Fund Me account to help with the girl’s medical needs – click HERE to go to it

They have additional surgeries to go through and a long recovery period – and that’s just the physical part.

My blog will return to its normal schedule and I will be working at catching up. Thank you all for taking the time to read my posts! I appreciate all of you!

WOO! I’m giving away a #CaptainUnderpants prize pack thanks to @Scholastic!

30 May

Captain Underpants – (the name elicits giggles – doesn’t it?) is the very first series I read when I was a kid. I begged my mom to pick them up for me when I saw the first three books in the series at a yard sale – The Adventures of Captain Underpants – Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets – Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds) – Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants. Although Mom kind of looked at me a little funny with the Professor Poopypants one, she knows fine literature and got it for me anyway.  I read and re-read these books until they literally fell apart.  I then sought out new additions to the series and loved every one of them. I still am a strong advocate for Captain Underpants. It is a great series to get kids to start reading independently. It is a fun series that will engage all kinds of readers.

I was THRILLED to see that DreamWorks is making a Captain Underpants movie!!! The movie hits theaters on June 2nd. It is my hope that kids will see the movie and want to start reading about Captain Underpants other adventures! To celebrate this Earth shattering event, Scholastic sent me new Captain Underpants books, AND is offering a prize pack for one of you!

One randomly picked commenter from this post will receive:

The Adventures of Captain Underpants (Book 1, now in full color!)

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Official Handbook

Captain Underpants: Wacky Word Wedgies and Flushable Fill-Ins

That’s right – just comment below to be entered to win! Winner will be selected randomly and announced one week from today.

One of the giveaways is the original Captain Underpants book (with some additional content) but in full color!

The illustrations are the same but the color really makes them come alive!

The other two books are complimentary to the movie. These books feature the CGI images of Captain Underpants, Harold and George.

 

I know you all are saying”ERIK, WE NEED TO KNOW MORE!”

So check this out – Visit PilkeyPower.Scholastic.com

Follow Scholastic on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Check out the movie’s trailer!

Little Fun Club – Monthly Book Club for Kids

3 May

Little Fun Club blog tour. A subscription box for children's books. Great for kids ages 0-12.I would have LOVED to have this book club earlier! This is a cool idea where your child(ren) get a reading packed adventure every month!

First – a little bit about Little Fun Club!

Little Fun Club is a subscription box for children’s books. It’s ideal for kids ages 0-12. When you sign up, your child will receive a box containing three adventurous books every month. The books are tailored to your child’s age, so you can rest assured they will always have quality, age-appropriate reading material. Each book is hand selected for your child, and no two boxes are the same.

How it Works:

  1. Join Little Fun Club and let them know your child’s age so the box can be customized for them. You can include up to three kids per box and they’ll customize it accordingly.
  2. Get three adventurous books every month for as little as $25/month.
  3. Grow with Little Fun Club. As your child gets older, the books change accordingly — so you’ll always receive age-appropriate books for your kids.

Other Features:

  1. You can add a note to your child’s account with reading preferences so the box can be tailored to their interests.
  2. Shipping is FREE on all boxes.
  3. Little Fun Club selects books based on merit. Books go through a rigorous selection process and are read and reviewed by the Little Fun Club team before being considered.
  4. If you receive a book that you already own, just let Little Fun Club know about it. They’ll replace the book in the next box! You don’t have to return anything.
  5. You can cancel or put your subscription hold at any time.
  6. A Little Fun Club subscription makes a wonderful gift for birthdays, holidays, or just because.

The final product is a box filled with education, fun, and opportunities for positive child development. They make sure each box is just right before it is sent out.

What I thought: It is no secret I geek out over books. When the box arrived at my house I have to say I was a bit excited to open it and see what literary wonders were went to me.

I ripped open the box to find a brown paper package tied up with string – one of my favorite things! (heh heh heh 🙂 )

Speaking as a kid, it is always fun to get things in the mail. In the world of email and Skype – I still like to find something for me in the mailbox. This was fun.

I was excited to see what selection of books that were sent.

I was delighted to see two Newbery Honor books and a classic!

All the books were hard cover and in very good condition – there were a couple of bumps on the edges, but that is a little detail that kids won’t mind. I LOVE the Robinson Crusoe book – beautiful binding – beautiful illustrations – unabridged (good for my age)!

If you added up the price of these books it would have come to $58.97. With the club price you would have paid $29.00 (for one month) with free shipping.

I looked around the Little Fun Club website and saw that you can choose to send two or three books in the package. You are asked your child’s age and gender and are able to send a note with the package.

I was very impressed with the quality and selection of the books that were sent to me!

 

On to some more information and a giveaway!

Prices:

1 month – $29/month = $29 total

3 months – $27/month = $81 total

6 months – $25/month = $150 total

You can see what types of books Little Fun Club offers by visiting their website.

$50 Cash Giveaway | batchofbooks.com

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive $50 in PayPal cash

Open to US and Canada

Ends May 12, 2017

Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Entrants must be 18 or older or have their parent/guardian enter for them. The winner will be chosen randomly. Winner must respond to my email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. No purchase necessary to enter. This contest is void where prohibited by law.

Find the Rafflecopter HERE!

Blog Tour Schedule

April 17 – The Mommy Island

April 18 – Writing My Own Fairy Tale

April 19 – The Kids Did It

April 20 – Feed Your Fiction Addiction

April 21 – Book Review Mama

April 24 – Homebound but Hopeful

April 25 – Looking Glass Review

April 26 – Kristi’s Book Nook

April 27 – Natasha Reads Books

April 28 – Create With Joy

May 1 – That’s What She Read

May 2 – Tee and Penguin

May 3 – Bookworm for Kids, This Kid Reviews Books

May 5 – Word Spelunking

May 8 – Babies to Bookworms

May 9 – The Tangled Yarn

May 10 – Geo Librarian

May 11 – Savings in Seconds

May 12 – Kid Lit Reviews

Blog Tour! Posted by John David Anderson

30 Apr

I have ANOTHER great book to tell you about today!

From John David Anderson, author of the acclaimed Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, comes a humorous, poignant, and original contemporary story about bullying, broken friendships, and the failures of communication between kids. In middle school, words aren’t just words. They can be weapons. They can be gifts. The right words can win you friends or make you enemies. They can come back to haunt you. Sometimes they can change things forever.

Posted
By John David Anderson
384 pages – ages 9+
Will Be Published by Walden Pond Press May 2, 2017 (Tuesday!)

Synopsis From Publisher- When cell phones are banned at Branton Middle School, Frost and his friends Deedee, Wolf, and Bench come up with a new way to communicate: leaving sticky notes for each other all around the school. It catches on, and soon all the kids in school are leaving notes—though for every kind and friendly one, there is a cutting and cruel one as well.
In the middle of this, a new girl named Rose arrives at school and sits at Frost’s lunch table. Rose is not like anyone else at Branton Middle School, and it’s clear that the close circle of friends Frost has made for himself won’t easily hold another. As the sticky-note war escalates, and the pressure to choose sides mounts, Frost soon realizes that after this year, nothing will ever be the same.

What I Thought- John David Anderson really knows how to hook your attention. He also knows how to capture the facets of teenagers in middle school and spin them into wonderful characters. The plot makes for a compelling story. The book is full of realistic bits and pieces of life that is so true you don’t even stop to think about it – it flows so easily. Anderson has a way of writing backstory in a reasonable and comprehensive way. The characters are so realistic, and I could relate to several of them. It was neat seeing how the presence of another person can alter the unspoken “system” of a group of people. Anderson is a master at making things believable, and I enjoy reading his work. It was a pleasant surprise to see that he is equally able to write realistic fiction as well as superhero and fantasy books. I cannot wait to see what else Anderson comes up with!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

CRITICAL PRAISE
“Written with understated humor and fine-tuned perception, Frost’s first-person narrative offers a riveting story as well as an uncomfortably realistic picture of middle school social dynamics.” — Booklist (starred review)
“Anderson dives into the world of middle school with a clear sense of how it works and what it needs. Kids, and the rest of the world, need more books like this one.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Anderson captures the tumultuous joys and pains of middle school with honesty, creating characters with whom readers will find common ground and insight. Words have lingering and persistent power, Anderson makes clear, but so does standing up for others and making one’s voice heard.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Acute observations about social media and school life and a smart, engaging narrator make this a journey well worth taking. Readers might even want some Post-it notes to mark the good parts.” — The Horn Book

 

WHO IS THIS JOHN DAVID ANDERSON?!?!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John David Anderson is the author of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, Sidekicked, Minion, and The Dungeoneers. A dedicated root beer connoisseur and chocolate fiend, he lives with his wife, two kids, and perpetually whiny cat in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can visit him online at www.johndavidanderson.org

Check out the other dates on this tour!

April 17 Librarian’s Quest
Walden Media Tumblr
April 18 Nerdy Book Club
April 19 For Those About to Mock
April 20 Teach Mentor Texts
April 21 Unleashing Readers
April 22 Next Best Book
April 23 Bluestocking Thinking
April 24 Litcoach Lou
Book Monsters
April 25 Kirsti Call
April 26 Educate-Empower-Inspire-Teach
April 27 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
Ms Yingling Reads
April 28 Maria’s Melange
Novel Novice
April 29 The Hiding Spot
April 30 This Kid Reviews Books

Creative Kid Thursday – Review & Giveaway! – Vampirina at the Beach #VampirinaBallerina

13 Apr

Today is Creative Kid Thursday!

I have a packed full of wonderful post today!

First the Creative Kid of today is my sister Josie! Josie is a guest reviewer for a book she is head-over-heels in love with. After her review – stay tuned for a GREAT giveaway where you can win an AWESOME prize pack!

Thank you to Disney-Hyperion for sending the copy and providing the prize pack!

Vampirina At The Beach (Vampirina Ballerina Series)
Written by Ann Marie Pace
Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Release: April 4th, 2017, by Disney-Hyperion
Recommended for ages 2-6

Synopsis from the Publisher-When the summer moon is full, a beach trip is an epic way to spend the night. 

With her signature poise, Vampirina and her clan gear up for a festive time at the beach. Keeping her ballet lessons in mind, Vampirina demi-pliés on a surfboard, leaps for a volleyball, and finishes each competition with style, even if she doesn’t always come out on top.”

What Josie Thought: I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! Vampirina is a very cool girl. I didn’t know about this series until I read this one and I asked my parents to get me the others. I like how Vampirina is a ballet dancer but not a “girly girl.” I like how she puts dancing into the volleyball game! It’s cool that if you were just reading the words you would think it was a “normal” beach story until you see all the characters are monsters. 😉 Almost all of them – there is one “normal” family, but they turn out to be  werewolves – that had me surprised. The pictures in the book are amazing!

There are a lot of things going on in them. I think Vampirina is cute. I am excited that Vampirina is going to be a show on Disney Junior now! Plus – because Erik won’t let me enter the giveaway, I am going to go get my own Vampirina doll. :p

I want to give this book ten bookworms but Erik only has his thing going to five so I give it five out of five!

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!

A week from today Josie will put all commentor’s names in a hat an pick one out at random to win ——

.

One winner receives:

  • Vampirina Ballerina
  • Vampirina Ballerina Hosts a Sleepover
  • Vampirina at the Beach
  • plus a branded beach ball and tumbler!

 Open to US addresses only.

Prizing and samples provided by Disney-Hyperion.

Visit the Official Site

Follow Disney-Hyperion on Twitter and Instagram

Hashtag #VampirinaBallerina

About the Author

Anne Marie Pace (www.annemariepace.com) is the author of Vampirina Ballerina and Vampirina Hosts a Sleepover, and has had stories, poems, and articles for kids published in such magazines as Highlights for Children, My Friend, Wee Ones, and On the Line. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with her husband and four teenagers.

Blog Tour! Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren with Interview and GIVEAWAY!!!

11 Apr

Prisoner of Ice and Snow
By Ruth Lauren
288 pages – ages 9+
Published by on April 4, 2017

Synopsis from Publisher-She’ll do anything to break her sister out of prison–even get arrested on purpose.

When thirteen-year-old Valor is sent to jail, she couldn’t be happier. Demidova’s prison for criminal children is exactly where she wants to be. Valor’s twin sister, Sasha, is serving a life sentence for stealing from the royal family, and Valor is going to help her escape . . . from the inside.

Never mind that no one has escaped the prison in centuries. Valor has a master plan and resources most people could only dream about. But she didn’t count on having to outsmart both the guards and her fellow prisoners. If Valor’s plan is to succeed, she’ll need to make some unlikely allies. And if the plan fails, she and Sasha could end up with fates worse than prison.”

What I Thought- This is probably one of the best debuts I’ve read in a while! The world is beautifully crafted, and there is a fascinating culture created. I am a fan of how the country appears as a nod to ancient Russian culture, and how the characters adapt to that. Which is another thing I loved – the characters are clever and they can think their way out of a problem. The ever present love for Sasha keeping Valor going is a nice touch as well – you would think it’d get annoying sometimes, but it never does. Lauren knows how to spin words in a way that keeps you on the edge of your seat – I read this entire book in one day. It’s not often that a debut author can do that. I cannot wait to see more books from Lauren!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Now for an exclusive interview with author Ruth Lauren!

1. Congratulations on your debut novel! I really enjoyed the action in it! How long have you been writing? Is this your first book ever written?

Thank you so much! I’m thrilled you enjoyed it. I’ve been writing for just about seven years now. PRISONER OF ICE AND SNOW wasn’t the first book I’ve ever written, or even the second, or third. But it was my first fantasy book and the first with action/adventure in it. I had more fun and did less worrying (and actually less planning) than I’d done before.

2. How did you get the unique plan to have the main character be very talented, but who wants to go to a prison no one has escaped from?

I was actually watching the TV show Prison Break (which starts with a man robbing a bank in order to get arrested) with my son and I wondered what that sort of story would be like if it was about two young sisters instead. The Russia inspired fantasy land part of the idea came soon after as I thought about where I could place the sisters to make their escape even more challenging.

3. As I was reading the book, I kept thinking of Russian traditions and aspects – or at least that is the imagery that popped into my head – even though I know the world you created is not that. I am wondering if you did any research for the fabulous world building you did in this book?  If you did,  how did you decide to differentiate between fact-based and artistic liberty when creating your setting: place, culture, etc.?

There is definitely a Russian feel to the book, although I did take a huge amount of artistic liberty. I never intended any of the aspects to be fact-based, but I did look at maps as inspiration for the made up place names I used. I also used mainly Russian names for characters—although I took liberties with changing their use of patronymics to matronymics (surnames based on the character’s mother’s name) to match with the matriarchal world where power is handed down from mother to daughter.

I imagined a very cold and unforgiving climate and terrain for the setting and when I looked at images on Pinterest, a lot of Russian landscape came up. I make boards for every idea that I have and I find it really helps me to visualize the world and individual scenes if can link them to a picture. For this book, I wanted a very cold, snowy, frozen world where the elements themselves could cause problems for the characters and bleed through into every part of the planning Valor has to do to try to break her sister out of prison.

4. One of the things I liked was that there is no magic prevalent in the story. I often think magic is an easy fall-back for authors when they get stuck. Instead you create quick thinking and daring characters that move the plot along. Did you enjoy the challenge of creating a world where magic is not a deus ex machina?

I enjoyed writing this book and figuring out a fast moving plot immensely, but I actually think including magic might have made it more difficult to write rather than easier. I find the idea of inventing a magic system that makes sense quite daunting!

5. Your heroine, Valor, is a wonderful character that I think both boys and girls will relate to.  How did you come up with Valor? Is she based on anyone?

Thank you! And I do hope so.

Valor was the first character I really thought about within the story, with her apprenticeship to her huntswoman mother as the reason she’s so adept with her bow and with so many other physical challenges. Her character built from her skills and her interest in being outdoors, reacting quickly to situations and therefore maybe not always thinking first—especially when it comes to saying the right thing. She’s fiercely loyal and determined but that sometimes prevents her from understanding other people’s points of view when she’s launching headlong into action. She’s not really based on anyone, but there are aspects of me in her (not the brave parts) and aspects of me in Sasha too.

6. Was there something I should have asked you but didn’t?

I don’t think so. But I would like to say thank you very much for having me!

7. Is there anything in the works you would like to tell the readers about?

I’m excited to say that there is! There’ll be a sequel to PRISONER OF ICE AND SNOW. It’s called SEEKER OF THE CROWN, coming from Bloomsbury in April 2018. No spoilers, but I can’t wait to go back to Demidova with Valor and Sasha for more adventures. I’m also currently outlining a middle grade sci-fi standalone set on another planet, which I hope you’ll get to read one day.

You can have a chance at winning a copy of this book!

Just click HERE for the Rafflecopter. (Only open to US/CAN addresses)

Only available for four more days!!

The Worst Book I’ve Ever Read

1 Apr

Dear  reader – you’ve come to know that I like to talk about books I really enjoy. In fact, if I don’t like a book, I privately tell the author that it wasn’t for me and give him/her my review but don’t publish it. I want my blog to be about celebrating really awesome books to read.

There now has come a time when I have read a book so awful that I feel that I need to warn others not to buy it.

So why didn’t I like this book?

First off there is NO plot. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. From the title I thought it was going to be a story about being lost in the wilderness – kind of a My Side of the Mountain book, but as I started reading I was totally confused.

On the first page we meet the main character – Ariens, he’s a lumberjack. The reader is told he is dangerous and could potentially cause death. So now I am figuring it’s not a My Side of the Mountain book but more of a Goosebumps eerie – creepy tale.

Well as I read on, I learn practically nothing new about Ariens other than he needs to be stabilized -okay I get it, he’s a crazy dangerous lumberjack. Through the rest of the story, he really doesn’t do ANYTHING. I don’t even think he ever leaves his garage.

I suppose it should get points for being multilingual; it comes in French and Spanish.

I seriously had to choke down the rest of the book.

So as a service to you, kind reader; I warn you:

DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK!

APRIL FOOLS!

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Image result for april fools

Why I’ve Been a Bit MIA

23 Mar

HEEEEEELLLLLLOOOOOOO Blogosphere!

Gee, I’ve missed you.

You may have noticed I’ve been a bit absent for a little bit (or maybe not 😉 ).

BUT I AM BACK NOW – WOO!!

“So why were you gone Erik?”  you ask. Well, maybe you didn’t, but I am going to tell you anyway.

I was not around here because I was super busy with our High School’s  production of The Wizard of Oz!

Music and reading are two of my passions in life and I was fortunate enough to land a role in our musical production.

I was……

 

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

You can’t see me here I’m still behind my big Oz head – isn’t it awesome?

Of course I also got to be Professor Marvel. My mom made the sign on my Marvel cart.

 

So this production was kind of huge for our little school. My high school is small, we don’t have a lot of money and we struggle to make productions like this.

Thankfully we have awesome parents, teachers and community members that all pitch in. This year we really out-did ourselves.

The sets were spectacular!

 

Here you can see me when Dorothy looks “at the man behind the curtain.” 🙂

Of course all the cast members were awesome. We have some very talented singers at my school (thankfully I had no singing parts to subject the audience to).

We had a huge cast. We even had a bunch of grade-schoolers to play the Munchkins.

 

 

One of the things we were able to do is to actually lift me up in the balloon at the end to the play.  I went up like 20 feet – up to where you couldn’t see the balloon’s basket any more. It was both awesome and terrifying at the same time.

Our Wicked Witch was stupendous! She event shot flames out of her broom (learned a little about stage pyrotechnics!).

 

 

 

All of our shows were well-attended but on Sunday (typically our “slow” day), we sold out! I think word got around how good the show was. It is the first time in over 10 years one of our shows sold out. We actually had to turn away about 100 people. It was a real boost for our drama club.

 

If you get a chance to support  an arts program at your local schools, please do. It means a lot to us and we appreciate it. School budgets cut the arts and the teachers struggle to keep giving us these opportunities.

And with that, I take a bow and say I will resume my regular book blog! 😉

Blog Tour! Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring by Enigma Alberti #Spyonhistory

10 Feb

mary-bowser-blog-tour-banner

Welcome to my stop on the #Spyonhistory Blog Tour! I hope you enjoy my post – I really enjoyed this book!!

9780761187394Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring
Written by Enigma Alberti
Illustrated by Tony Cliff
96 pages – ages 9+
Published by Workman Publishing Company on December 13, 2016

Synopsis from the Publisher- Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring introduces an exciting interactive series for middle grade readers—Spy on History, where the reader gets to experience history in a whole new way.

Meet Mary Bowser, an African American spy who was able to infiltrate the Confederate leadership at the highest level. Enigma Alberti dramatizes Mary Bowser’s suspenseful story—how she pretended to be illiterate, how she masterfully evaded detection, how she used her photographic memory to “copy” critical documents.

Using spycraft materials included in a sealed envelope inside the book, a canny reader will be able to discover and unravel clues embedded in the text and illustrations, and solve the book’s ultimate mystery: Where did Mary hide her secret diary?

What I Thought- This was a really cool book! It tells the story of Mary Bowser, an amazingly brave and super cunning lady who deserves to have her story told. The book is an excellent choice to highlight during Black History month here in the USA. The book has cool black-and-white (with red accents!) illustrations spread throughout it.

marybower1

I also really like how the words sometimes jump around the page. There is a folder in the front containing a shift cipher, a red plastic screen, a page from a book, and a piece of paper with holes cut into it – all supplied to help the reader solve the mystery. That’s just plain awesome! I really like how you have to find the clues in the text and illustrations. The story itself is wonderfully satisfying, and I really enjoyed learning about the history behind Ms. Bowser. It is really interesting to hear about the Civil War from the Confederate side (even if it was to help the Union) – it gives you another perspective. Enigma Alberti refers to the pen name of a group of authors who are writing this series. They promise to tell the stories of even more spies from history. I can’t wait for the rest of the books in the series to come out!

marybower

 

Want to learn more?

Author: Enigma Alberti is the nom de plume of a secret cadre of authors who are each writing a book in the Spy on History series.

Illustrator: Tony Cliff is the author and artist behind the New York Times bestselling Delilah Dirk graphic novel series. Find more on Tony at www.tonycliff.com and @TangoCharlie on Twitter.

Schedule:
Wednesday, February 1: Middle Grade Mafia
Thursday, February 2: YAYOMG
Friday, February 3: Mundie Kids
Monday, February 6: Miss Print
Tuesday, February 7: Recreational Scholar
Wednesday, February 8: The Roarbots
Thursday, February 9: Randomly Reading
Friday, February 10: A History of Books & This Kid Reviews Books
Monday, February 13: Teen Library Toolbox
Tuesday, February 14: Ex Libris Kate
Wednesday, February 15: Geo Librarian
Thursday, February 16: Kidliterati
Friday, February 17: Kristi’s Book Nook

Book Available at:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
IndieBound
Workman

Social Media:
Twitter – @workmanpub
Facebook – @workmanpublishing
Instagram – @workmanpub
Pinterest – @workmanpub
Tumblr – @workmanpublishing

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017! The Trail of the Dead by Joseph Bruchac #ReadYourWorld

27 Jan

I am super happy to be part of the Multicultural Children’s Book Day Celebration! Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

2017-poster-final

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa,Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsors include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Maria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson,  Hena Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’Malley, Stacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg RansomSandra RichardsElsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Here are some resources you can use to help celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i

trailTrail of the Dead
Joseph Bruchac
400 pages – ages 13+
Published by Tu Books on October 1, 2015

Synopsis from Publisher- In the sequel to the award-winning Killer of Enemies, Apache teen Lozen and her family are looking for a place of refuge from the despotic Ones who once held them captive and forced Lozen to hunt genetically engineered monsters. Lozen and her allies travel in search of a valley where she and her family once found refuge. But life is never easy in this post-apocalyptic world. When they finally reach the valley, they discover an unpleasant surprise awaiting them and a merciless hunter following close behind. Hally, their enigmatic Bigfoot friend, points them to another destination a possible refuge. But can Lozen trust Hally? Relying on her wits and the growing powers that warn her when enemies are near, Lozen fights internal sickness to lead her band of refugees to freedom and safety. Alongside family, new friends, and Hussein, the handsome young man whose life she saved, Lozen forges a path through a barren land where new recombinant monsters lurk and the secrets of this new world will reveal themselves to her . . . whether she wants them to or not.”

I want to thank Lee & Low Books for supplying this book for me to read and review!

What I Thought- This was a really interesting story, taking place in a post-apocalyptic world set in the far future. It is the second book of a trilogy with the first being Killer of Enemies. You do not have to read the first book to be caught up to speed for the second. In Trail of the Dead, I like that it shows that the lines between man and myth are being blurred, after man’s fall from technology. Honestly, that aspect of the plot reminds me of Terry Brooks’ excellent “The Sword of Shannara” series, where man had a great war using their technology, thousands of years pass, and the world has evolved and mostly forgotten the past and been reunited with magic. But this series is wonderfully different – the series takes place right after that horrible ending of life as we knew it. It was interesting seeing how it warns against certain things nowadays. One thing I found interesting was that the overlord-type people from before the book had started putting technology into themselves, rather than risk creating computers that might decide to kill all of humankind. Really neat points. The story itself is rather good, with a slow start, but with the plot picking up remarkably fast. There are characters you root for, characters you sympathize with, and characters you absolutely despise – all necessary for keeping the reader riveted. The book’s multicultural aspect is a subtle part in the story at first and develops with the story. It includes references to several cultures (one of the characters is hinted at as being Muslim, for example, although Lozen is not quite sure because religion was banned years before her birth). Lozen and her family are predominately of Chiricahua descent (a Native American people) among others, and the book reflects that, showing tastes of their customs/culture and legends (of course, because religion was banned, it is slightly fragmented, but it is still very neat), and the book even uses a few words, easy to understand in the context of the story. There was some mild language used and complexity to the plot, so I recommend the book to a 13+ audience. I didn’t care for the formatting in the first chapter with regards to the thought dialogue. In Chapter One, punctuation/formatting isn’t used to show Lozen thinking to herself, although this does change to standard formatting as the book goes on. It was okay, but personally I think it makes reading a bit clumsy. I think that Bruchac has done a good job of explaining book one while not slowing the story down (you get a bigger picture as the book unfolds). The book is well-written, and a good action story that also brings in a mix of cultures. I would definitely recommend this book.

I found a nice website with legends of Native Americans, some of them from the Chiricahua tribe, like the one that Lozen is from. You can see them at Manataka.org HERE.

To join the MCBD link up, go HERE!

%d bloggers like this: