My Latest UBFP Newspaper Article : An Interview With Author Glen Dick

16 Nov

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 November issue! The online version was published. To see the online version of the newspaper, click HERE (It’s on page 16).

Local Father Writes a Children’s Book About Daddy and Daughter Adventures!

Glen Dick father living in Chalfont, PA never lets the fact he is in a wheelchair stop him from going on grand adventures with his daughter Elaina. He recently wrote a compelling story about how he and Elaina incorporates his wheelchair in the games they play. In fact, the wheelchair becomes a necessary part of the games.

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The picture book Mr. Dick wrote is called “We Can Go Anywhere: My Adventures on Daddy’s Wheelchair” was published this past August by  Black Rose Writing Publishers. It is a heartwarming story that shows how the family not only sees past his disability, but also embraces it as part of life. The book’s illustrations by Linda McManus are surreal, which is perfect for a story where imagination is the focus. The story is a retelling of the author’s experiences with his daughter, and all of the things they do together.

I was lucky enough to get an interview with Mr. Dick about why he decided to write this book.

Erik: Can you tell us about what your life was like after your spinal injury, and how it changed when Elaina came into your life?

Glen: After my spinal cord injury in 1995 there were many transitions that I went through. The first was returning home and getting comfortable in my new skin within my old surroundings.  Emotionally I had to let go of my old self, hold on to what I had left to offer and concentrate on even on the most minute positive aspects of my life. What got me through was the unconditional love and attention I got from my nieces and nephews who were all very small children at the time. They did not see my limitations and made me realize I still had a lot to offer. I had to adapt to my new limitations and find ways to get back to a sense of normalcy in my life. I returned to work as a landscape architect within the year and also learned to drive a specially equipped van.  After some time doing what I used to, I found that my life had taken on new meaning and I wanted to find a way to spend my time doing something more meaningful or giving back.  After volunteering at an elementary school I was offered a full-time position as a teaching assistant. I loved working with children since I had none of my own at the time. It wasn’t until 2005 that I got married and my life began to change for the better once again with the hopes of having a child of my own. When Elaina was born four years later I felt I have truly found my purpose. I had always loved encouraging and teaching children and being a child at heart I love spending time with them. Watching Elaina look past my limitations and incorporate them into her life made me forget about my disability and only focus on what we could do together.

Erik: What amazes you the most about the imagination and curiosity of your daughter?

Glen: I think what amazed me most about Elaina was her ability and willingness to incorporate my limitations into her play through her imagination my chair was not something that held us back it was something that added an element to her play. We would make up games that incorporated the chair.

Erik: When did you get the idea to write a book about the adventures that you and Elaina have?

Glen: I got the idea for the Book after realizing the uniqueness of our relationship and how much we could accomplish together as a team. From the time of her birth she all ready had more function in her hands than I and so with me as the brain and her as the hands the two of us became a team. Whether we were playing together or doing a task if we used our imagination there wasn’t much we could not do together.

Erik: Did you write the book more for your family or are you hoping to reach other people who may be in similar situations?

Glen: I wrote the book purely as a keepsake for Elaina. After a rough copy was printed friends and family encouraged me to put it out there believing it had value to help others in my situation. The thought about being able to encourage others with limitations or even just open up a conversation amongst children and their parents motivated me to seek publication.

Erik: What is your favorite thing to do with Elaina?

Glen: My favorite thing to do with Elaina is go for long rides with her on my lap we’ve been doing it since she was a baby and I had to strap her into a carrier on my chest.  Now she is at the age where she gets to drive the chair and she loves doing that. I dread the day that she outgrows my lap. I guess I’ll just have to put on the side car at that point.

To learn more about the book, visit BlackRoseWriting.com

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

Review! The Best Man by Richard Peck

15 Nov

bestmanThe Best Man

By Richard Peck

240 pages – ages 9+

Published by Dial Books on September 20, 2016

Synopsis from Publisher- “Archer Magill has spent a lively five years of grade school with one eye out in search of grown-up role models. Three of the best are his grandpa, the great architect; his dad, the great vintage car customizer,; and his uncle Paul, who is just plain great. These are the three he wants to be. Along the way he finds a fourth—Mr. McLeod, a teacher. In fact, the first male teacher in the history of the school.
But now here comes middle school and puberty. Change. Archer wonders how much change has to happen before his voice does. He doesn’t see too far ahead, so every day or so a startling revelation breaks over him. Then a really big one when he’s the best man at the wedding of two of his role models. But that gets ahead of the story.”

What I Thought- This was an interesting and very complex story. It is interesting that the subject of gay marriage is seen from a more innocent view-type, instead of jaded – one way or the other. It is complex because it really isn’t a story about gay marriage, it is a coming of age story of a boy trying to define himself  – as all kids do as they hit puberty. It is a story about family relationships, bullies at school and dealing with siblings. I liked it that the marriage wasn’t used as a tool but rather shown as a part of life. It is a reflection of the world we live in.  There were a ton of supporting characters, all which brought an interesting angle to the story. Although there was a lot going on (in terms of characters), the story was easy to follow, as if the reader is just another character in the story.  The one thing I didn’t like really, though was just the obliviousness of Archer – that just seemed a tad unrealistic for a fifth grader. This isn’t the action/adventure story that usually has me turning pages at a furious pace. It is a heartwarming look into a family that connects the reader with the characters and one that you can get lost in.

I give this book five out of five bookworms.fivebooks

Review and Interview! Skyborn by Lou Anders

14 Nov

slybornSkyborn
Series: Thrones & Bones #3 (#1, #2)
Written by Lou Anders
384 pages – ages 9+
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers on September 6, 2016

Synopsis from Publisher- “The chase continues for the legendary Horns of Osius. Thianna and Karn’s quest to retrieve the horns from those who wish to abuse their power takes them to Thica, an ancient land where two tyrant queens reign supreme and where years earlier Thianna’s mother was labeled a traitor. Soon the two heroes are caught up in an epic battle for control of the kingdom, one that puts their very lives at stake. The only way to overthrow the queens is to beat them at their own game. But with an entire empire against them, how can Karn and Thianna hope to compete—or better yet, survive?”

What I Thought- This was a thrilling conclusion to the Thrones & Bones series, leaving things off in a way where the imagination wonders what happens next, but also gives a satisfying resolution to the story-line. Mr. Anders has a way of writing the story that keeps you reading. The characters are engaging, and the readers really root for them as they go through their struggles. The readers will also like that they can see Thianna and Carn growing up and learning from their past experiences. The setting is perfect, and draws the imagination into the story. It is a cool blend of mythology from different cultures, particularly Greek/Roman and Scandinavian. I really enjoyed reading this book, and think it has the same great feel as the other two books. I cannot wait for another book by Mr. Anders!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Here is my interview with author Lou Anders:

bloglogoWhile reading the books, the reader can pick up on the Norse culture and mythos, and the island-continent of Thica also has similarities to Greek and Roman mythos. Why did you think to include this “clash of culture” in your books?

slybornOne of my big pet peeves is when fantasy countries and lands appear to exist in isolation to themselves. In the real world, no country develops without the influence of its neighbors and even cultures that are actually very far away. I started out with the Norse-inspired people of my land of Norrøngard, but the more I researched the actual Scandinavian peoples and particularly the Vikings, the more I learned of their influence on so much of European history. They traveled all over Europe and beyond, raiding and trading with lots of different countries. There is even strong evidence that the Vikings visited North America and met (and fought) Inuits and Native American peoples. When I wrote the books, I was very careful to make sure the story always had hints of a larger world. Not only is Thianna’s mother from another country, but so is the dwarf Gindri, and there are mentions of other lands and their influence on the people of Norrøngard. In fact, as you read along you learn that even Orm himself is actually an immigrant to Norrøngard! The wyverns are European monsters that have somehow made their way to the Greece-inspired land of Thica (much to their disappointment). And Karn’s sword Whitestorm is actually an artifact of the long vanished Gordion empire. It was forged a thousand miles from his home, and although it’s not mentioned in the book, I know that the sword was actually very important to the adventures of a young queen of the neighboring country of Araland hundreds of years before Frostborn takes place! (Maybe I’ll get to tell her story one day.) So in order to make my fantasy world “real” it had to mirror the back-and-forth exchange that cultures and countries in our own world experience.

bloglogoYour books are able to immerse the readers in a sense of adventure, while they learn about the importance of key practices, such as strategy and trust, through the characters. Did you plan an overall message in your books or does that develop as you create the story and characters?

slybornI believe that theme is something that grows out of the interaction of your characters. All stories start with characters, and no matter how important a book’s message, it’s the characters that make people care. So Frostborn was born very much out of who Karn and Thianna were as people, their strengths and their faults, and how they would bounce off of each other when they met. That being said, there are some themes, or perhaps “concerns” is a better word, that I very much wanted to address. I grew up reading a lot of fantasy fiction, the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, Fritz Leiber, Robert E. Howard, and Michael Moorcock in particular. I love (LOVE!) those stories. But they are sort of lacking when it comes to strong female characters. I wanted to write a story that encapsulated all of the excitement and “sense of wonder” of the fantasy books I grew up with, but which was more reflective of today’s world and had something for everyone, not just one half of everyone! Also, my own children are biracial, and I wanted to write a character for them, someone who was struggling with being a “child of two worlds.” And I had a lot I wanted to explore about friendship and family. There’s another theme, which I don’t want to admit to but only hint at, that runs through all three books. If you are curious about what that is, I’ll just say to look at the villains in the books, both the people and the monsters. Who do you think the worst villains are?

bloglogo The Thrones & Bones series has awesome main characters – Karn and Thianna – but your stories also have fearsome monsters and tough enemies. Do you spend as much time developing your “bad guys” as you do your MCs?

slybornOh yes. No “bad guy” is a bad guy in their own mind. I think a really good story has another story in it, one in which the “bad guy” is actually the star. Sydia is fiercely loyal to her country and is fighting to save her way of life. Tanthal is the product of a city that has taught him since the day he was born that embracing his own power at the cost of others is the best thing for his people overall. Helltoppr was out to become king of Norrøngard when he was alive, and if he had succeeded, he would have been no different than hundreds of other kings of that land, a lot of whom came to power through violence. And Sirena has a real (legitimate?) complaint with the way Thianna has messed up her life. And even Ori, who is pretty self-centered and nasty, is actually a lot of fun to hang out with. At the start of Frostborn, Karn likes his uncle a lot and, I would go so far as to say, Ori likes Karn too. They play games together and they share a sense of humor. And they probably have more in common than Karn has with his own father (or thinks he has). It’s just an unfortunate accident of birth that Ori’s nephew is in the way of his ambition… Sad, but what can you do?

bloglogo I am a fan of your Thrones & Bones series and as much as I liked how Skyborn finished off the trilogy, I didn’t want it to end. Is it hard for you to walk away from your characters?

slybornYes. But there was also a real feeling that they had grown and come into their own and found their place in the world across their adventures, and so they were “okay without me,” if that makes sense. Karn and Thianna are at peace with themselves by the end of the Thrones & Bones series. They’re also quite powerful as individuals (and the more powerful characters are, the harder they are to write. It’s called “the Superman problem”). As I was writing Skyborn, part of me was sad because I was saying goodbye, but another part of me started itching for new characters, people who hadn’t yet found their place in the world or come to grips with who they were or figured out their talents. So I was sort of letting go and getting ready to move on. I will say though that I have a very clear idea of where Karn and Thianna’s life goes from here and their adventures are not over by any means, so it’s possible you’ll see more stories about them in the future. And as for Desstra, although she has grown too, she’s still a little lost and sad and still isn’t sure where she fits in, and that means her story isn’t finished.

bloglogo I am sad to say Skyborn marks the end of the Throne & Bones series! Do you have anything you are working on that you would like to share with us?

slybornYes I do! I recently delivered The Dragon Squire to my wonderful editor, Phoebe Yeh. It’s currently scheduled to come out Summer 2018, and it’s the story of a young squire named Tuggle who works for a knight who is supposed to fight a dragon named Brinstax. But Tuggle tries to hedge his bets with a witch’s potion and the result is that he and Brinstax accidentally switch bodies! It’s a lot of fun and maybe a little bit lighter and sillier than the Thrones & Bones series. I wrote it to be something that new readers could jump in on without having to know anything about the world of Thrones & Bones, but I did hide easter eggs for T&B fans in the book. Meanwhile, I’m working on something else now, a young adult novel featuring an older version of one of the characters in Thrones & Bones having a solo adventure. I won’t say which one but maybe you can guess!

WHO IS THIS LOU ANDERS?!?

louanders

Lou Anders drew on his adventures traveling to Greece in his twenties to write Skyborn, combining these experiences with his love of pulp adventure fiction and games (both tabletop and role playing). However, he has yet to ride a hippalektryon. Anders hopes that his third book in the Thrones and Bones series will continue to appeal to boy and girl readers equally. Anders is the recipient of a Hugo Award for editing and a Chesley Award for art direction, and was named a Thurber House Writer-in-Residence. He has published over 500 articles and stories on science fiction and fantasy television and literature. A prolific speaker, Anders regularly attends writing conventions around the country. He and his family reside in Birmingham, Alabama. You can visit Anders online at louanders.com, on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr, and on Twitter at @Louanders.

Links:

Website: http://www.louanders.com

Twitter:@LouAnders

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

Tumblr: http://louanders.tumblr.com

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/louhanders/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/thrones_and_bones

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/61741.Lou_Anders

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Woodpecker Wants a Waffle by Steve Breen

13 Nov

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a fun story about perserverance.

I know – I know it’s Sunday – I am so behind! Hopefully with the election being over I will have less reporting to do and can spend more time blogging!

woodpeckerWoodpecker Wants a Waffle
By Steve Breen
32 pages – ages 5+
Published by HarperCollins on June 14, 2016

Theme/Topic- Perseverance/Never giving up/Problem solving

Genre-  Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “One morning, Benny awoke to the best tummy-rumbling smell.”

Synopsis from Publisher: “One day Benny the woodpecker awakens to the best tummy-rumbling smell ever and discovers it’s something called waffles. He must taste them!

He pecks on the door of the waffle house, but he gets the boot.

He tries to sneak in, but he gets swept away.

Each time Benny tries, he just can’t seem to get to those delicious waffles. The other forest animals laugh at him: “Woodpeckers don’t eat waffles!” they say. But Benny has a brilliant plan. . . .”

What I Thought- This is a book that is a great example of one that teaches you a lesson without you realizing it. Benny the woodpecker never gives up! I like that the books shows and doesn’t say that. It shows him working around a problem. It also has a message that teachers/parents can expand on about how that just because someone says something hasn’t been done doesn’t mean it can’t be done. There is a lot of silly humor mixed in too. On a side note, Mr. Breen’s writing style has a way of writing words that roll of the tongue, making for marvelous read-alouds. His illustrations remind me a bit of a comic or cartoon, and kids will love flipping through the pages looking at it all!

woodpecker2

Activities and Resources- There is a great way to teach perseverance to kids at Meaningfulmama.com HERE!

Scholastic.com has a neat resource for teachers to learn how to help children learn problem-solving skills HERE!

There is a good article on developing critical thinking at Brighthorizons.com HERE!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Review and Cooking! Vegetarian Sushi Secrets by Marisa Baggett

7 Nov

sushiVegetarian Sushi Secrets: 101 Healthy and Delicious Recipes

Recipes by Marisa Baggett

128 pages – ages 12+

Published by Tuttle Publishing on October 11, 2016

Synopsis- Have you ever wanted to make your own sushi? Did you not know where to start? Marisa Baggett has written a vegetarian sushi cookbook for people who want to make and eat their own sushi and don’t want to eat the meat. In a previous book, she did cover normal sushi, but now she is telling how to make vegetarian and vegan friendly meals. She includes cooking the sushi rice, and how to roll and cut the sushi.

What I Thought- This is a very easy to understand cookbook. There are clear pictures that help you visualize the instructions. The instructions are simply stated and cover everything. I put the age group as 12+ just because of use of sharp objects, boiling water, etc., on the assumption of “without parent supervision”. If a parent is helping cook, the age group would be a bit lower, depending on how comfortable the parent is with that. We decided to make a thick sushi-style sushi, through lack of common ingredients on our part. I think it turned out rather well – here’s what we did!

First, we had to boil/cook the sushi rice – which is different from “normal” white rice; it has more starch to stick together.

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Then, we had to prepare the rice dressing for the rice and then let it cool. You put on rice dressing to get a sushi taste.

Then I got my bamboo rolling mat out, and placed the nori (seaweed) down so it was placed vertically.

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Following the simple directions, I laid rice on the nori, and then placed thinly sliced carrots, cucumber, and avocado, along with butternut squash “spaghetti” horizontally along the bottom edge of the nori/rice.

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Then, you slice it.

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We also made tempura from a recipe in the book!

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We took leftover vegetables from the sushi, and put in some onions and broccoli. The directions were easy and the tempura came out great!

In fact everything came out great!

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Altogether, this is a really nice cookbook!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

My Latest Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Article – The World is Watching: the US Election

4 Nov

KidsPressLogo

Check out my latest Scholastic News Kids Press Corps article over at the Kids Press Corps Notebook blog!

With  the American Presidential election just around the corner, spoke with people outside the US to see how they  are feeling about the election in America this year.

A big thank you to Catherine Johnson CatherineMJohnson.com, D. Tulloch, from ThePatientDreamer.com, and Dr. Myra Garces-Bacsal, from GatheringBooks.org for giving me their perspectives on the election.

Click HERE to read the whole article!

My Latest Scholastic Kids Press Corps Video Interview

2 Nov

KidsPressLogoSo what have you been up to?

You don’t say…

Me?

Oh well you know,

this and that.

Got an A on a science test,

 

AND I GOT TO INTERVIEW THE NEW LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS, DR. CARLA HAYDEN!!!

hayden1

For a book-nerd like me this was my “holy grail” of interviews. Dr. Hayden in an amazing person and I have been trying to get an interview since she was nominated by President Obama way back in March. Well I finally got one and I am still fanboy-ing over it.🙂

You can check out the video interview at the Scholastic Kids Press Corps blog by clicking HERE.

 

Review! Hotel Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins ** Checking in to #HotelBruce!

2 Nov

hotelbruceHotel Bruce

By Ryan T. Higgins

48 pages – ages 5+

Published by Disney-Hyperion on October 18, 2016

Synopsis from Publisher- When Bruce gets home from a southern migration trip with his goslings, he is tired. He is grumpy. And he is definitely not in the mood to share his home with the trio of mice who have turned his den into a hotel.

There’s a possum pillow fight wreaking havoc in one room, a fox luring guests into a stew in the kitchen, and a snuggly crew of critters hogging the bed. Bruce growls and grumbles and tries to throw them all out, but the entrepreneurial mice just can’t take a hint. Bruce is in a little over his head, especially once the goslings join the staff. Will this grumpy bear ever get his quiet, peaceful den back to himself?

What I Thought- Imagine my excitement to see another book about my favorite grump of a bear – BRUCE! This was a sweet sequel to Mother Bruce (see my review HERE).  Higgins’ illustrations have the richness and detail that I loved in the first book. Bruce is a favorite of mine. I love how Higgins draws him with his big uni-brow  that can relate so much emotion. Plus, there is a lot of humor hidden in the illustrations. Kids will love reading all of the things the animals say, and picking up on all of the little details. Higgins’ writing style is funny, and warm.  It makes it so that the book is a perfect read-aloud. Although this story doesn’t create quite the same feelings as MOTHER BRUCE,  HOTEL BRUCE was definitely a great story by itself. The plot is goofy and of course Bruce’s kind heart conquers all in the end. I can’t wait to see what Higgins comes up with next!

fivebooks

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Now I shall go check in to HOTEL BRUCE!

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Review Round-up and WINNER of the Lockwood and Co Giveaway!

1 Nov

Today’s post is about a trio of fun books that really caught my eye!

BUT FIRST I have a winner to announce!

prize

The winner of the complete Lockwood and Co series plus the pumpkin carving set (Thank you Disney Hyperion for the awesome prize!) is

Ken W Christensen!

Congratulations Mr. Christensen!I will be contacting you for your mailing address.

 

Up first –

notpictureThis is Not a Picture Book!

By Sergio Ruzzier

40 pages – ages 2+
Published by Chronicle Books on May 3, 2016

Summary from publisher: In this quirky yet sweet picture book about the joy and power of reading, Duck learns that even books without pictures can be fun. While he and his friend Bug may struggle at first to decipher their book, they stick with it, and before long they discover that not only can they read it, but it deserves a place on the shelf with all their favorite picture books. Author-artist Sergio Ruzzier has created a fanciful tribute to books of all kinds. It includes both words AND pictures.

Why I like it: The illustrations are a feast for the eyes! At first duck is upset that the book he found has no pictures- only plain old words.

notbook2Once he starts reading the book the illustrations reflect how his world comes alive.

notbook3This is EXACTLY what happens when I read!😀

The story shows kids just how cool reading a book can be. The text is simple so early readers can read it to themselves. I think it would make a great bedtime story too. I really love everything about this book!

Next up –

papillonPapillon, Book 1: The Very Fluffy Kitty

By A.N. Kang

40 pages – ages 2+
Published by: Disney-Hyperion on September 6, 2016

Summary from publisher: Papillon is a very fluffy kitty. So fluffy that he’s lighter than air! His owner tries to weigh him down, but Papillon just wants to fly.

One particularly sunny day, he floats right out the window! Exploring the wide world is exhilarating, but it’s also a little scary. Will his new friend, a bird, be able to help him find his way home?

Whimsical art and airy text come together seamlessly in this delightful debut by A. N. Kang.

Why I like it: Who wouldn’t love a book about a big fluffy kitty who is lighter than air? Seriously, what a unique story concept. Papillon is SO fluffy he just floats. His owner Miss Tilly has to come up with a solution so her kitty doesn’t float away. She tries to weigh him down but the only thing that works is having Papillon wear costumes.

Which, of course as Papillon is a cat, he is not thrilled about.

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So Papillon decides to go without the costumes and Papillon floats out the window and is soon lost. Kang’s illustrations are a perfect compliment to her story.

And for my final review!

burpornotTo Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space.

By Dr. Dave Williams and Loredana Cunti

Illustrated by Theo Krynauw

56 pages – ages 7+
Published by Annick Press; Reprint edition October 11, 2016

Summary from publisher: Of all the questions astronauts are asked by kids, the most frequent one is “How do you go to the toilet in space?”
This book not only answers that question, but many others about the effect of zero gravity on the human body:
How do you brush your hair in space? What happens when you sweat? What does food taste like? The best thing is that the answers are provided by Dr. Dave Williams, a NASA astronaut who speaks from first-hand experience. Written for kids ages 7 to 10, this book uses age-appropriate language to explain the different phenomena that astronauts encounter during a mission. The bright, colorful pages, short blocks of text accompanied by photos and humorous illustrations make this a very attractive choice for young readers. The opening message from Dr. Dave empowers kids to follow his example by believing in themselves and following their dreams.

Why I like it: So these are questions, I really was curious about. How do you go to the bathroom in space? What about brushing your teeth, taking a shower or sleeping in space? This book is packed full of illustrations and real photographs showing how these things are done. The text is laid out nice with to the point textboxes. The formatting of the book is nice and will appeal to reluctant readers. Written by an expert (Williams) that knows about living in space, the book gives you a real understanding of the day-to-day challenges of being in space. A very fun and informative read!

Review! The Wishing World by Todd Fahnestock – Blog Tour!

31 Oct

wishingThe Wishing World

By Todd Fahnestock

224 pages – ages 9+

Published by Starscape on October 25, 2016

Synopsis- Lorelei believed in monsters. After all, a monster is what stole her mother, father, and her brother. Yet no one believes her. But when she summons a griffon into her bedroom, she learns that there is an entire world existing within all children’s imaginations. And that in that world she belongs to a select group of people that can create things with their minds. And the monster that took her parents is the most powerful of those people. Sounds like a fun adventure, right?

What I Thought- This was an imaginative book. Quite literally. The characters could create things from their imaginations. Which is awesome. This is definitely a book that you wish you could take place in. The Wishing World within the book is amazing. The characters are ones you can sympathize with, especially Lorelei. Honestly, the book started off kind of dark, but nothing too bad, just plopping you into the action  – a nice hook for the reader. The one thing I had was that the beginning seemed a little bit rushed for my taste (maybe because of the all the action), with a nefarious character suddenly introduced – but the pace is spot on for a middle grade audience. Bonus points for a cool cover too, and small illustrations at the start of each chapter. Mr. Fahnestock’s writing style is exciting, and keeps you reading.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Want to learn more?

Visit Todd Fahnestock on Facebook, or Twitter

BOOK SUMMARY FROM THE PUBLISHER

The Wishing World

****

In the Wishing World, dreams are real. You can transform into your own hero, find wild and whimsical friends, and wield power as great as your imagination. But Lorelei doesn’t know about any of that. All she knows is that a monster took her family.

It happened during a camping trip one year ago. Hiding inside the tent, she saw shadows, tentacles and a strange creature. By the time she got up the courage to crawl outside, the monster–and Lorelei’s mom, dad, and brother–were gone.

Lorelei is determined to find her family. When she accidentally breaks into the Wishing World, she discovers a way. It’s a land more wonderful than she could have imagined, a land of talking griffons, water princesses, and cities made of sand, where Lorelei is a Doolivanti–a wish-maker–who can write her dreams into existence.

There’s only one problem: the monster is a Doolivanti, too. What he wishes also comes true, and he’s determined to shove Lorelei out, keep her family, and make the whole Wishing World his. To save them, Lorelei must find the courage to face him, or her next wish may be her last.

 

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