Tag Archives: blog tour

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 and GIVEAWAY! Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite by Stacy McAnulty

13 Feb

mcanulty-mrfuzzbusterknowshesthefavorite-21153-cv-ftMr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite
Written by Stacy McAnulty
Illustrated by Edward Hemingway
40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Two Lions on February 7, 2017

Synopsis from the Publisher- Mr. Fuzzbuster knew he was Lily’s favorite. They did everything together. Naps. Story time. Walks. And more naps. But now four more animals lived in the house.…
To prove he’s still Lily’s favorite, Mr. Fuzzbuster will have to ask her, but will her answer surprise him? This funny, heartwarming story is for every child who has ever wondered if there’s a favorite in the house.

What I Thought- This is a really cute story. It is a nice way of handling the “who’s the favorite” questions that may arise with kids. The book is sweet, with fun illustrations that remind me a bit of cartoons on TV – a sure fit for any kid! Here’s an example:

fuzz

© 2017 by Edward Hemingway

The writing style is well-suited for the age group, with a few harder words that encourage learning. There is a funny “twist” to the end that kids will laugh at.  Some pages only have one word and the illustrations carry on the story well. The book is well-paced for reading-aloud. McAnulty text paired with Hemingway’s illustrations makes this story of “sibling” rivalry come alive. After reading this, you’ll see why Mr. Fuzzbuster is a new favorite story character!

 

WHO IS THIS STACY MCANULTY???

stacy_mcanulty_01

STACY MCANULTY is certain she’s her mom’s favorite. Her younger brother disagrees. She’s the author of Beautiful, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff; Excellent Ed, illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach; and 101 Reasons Why I’m Not Taking a Bath, illustrated by Joy Ang. Originally from upstate New York, she now lives in Kernersville, North Carolina, with her three children, two dogs, and one husband. She doesn’t have a favorite. You can find her online at www.stacymcanulty.com.

NOT TO MENTION EDWARD HEMINGWAY????

edward-hemingway-photo

EDWARD HEMINGWAY is certain he’s Stacy McAnulty’s favorite illustrator, although the illustrators of Stacy’s other books may disagree. Edward himself is the author and illustrator of the children’s books Bump in the Night, Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship, Bad Apple’s Perfect Day, and Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus. Originally from Bozeman, Montana, he now lives in Brooklyn where he teaches creative writing at the master’s level at SVA in Manhattan. If he has any favorite students, he’ll never tell. Learn more about him online at www.edwardhemingway.com.

Giveaway!

Two Lions is kindly offering a copy of “Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite” to one lucky winner (U.S. address only please)! Leave a comment to enter! Winner will be randomly picked and announced on 2/20/2017!

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

Blog Tour! Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper by “Gusto” Dave Jackson & Janet “The Kid” Fogg

23 Jan

misfortune-annie-and-the-locomotive-reaper-1mf-annie-hi-resMisfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper
Co-Written by “Gusto” Dave Jackson & Janet “The Kid” Fogg
154 Pages – ages 8+
Published by FA LLC on October 22, 2016

Synopsis from Publisher- “Annabelle Fortune, the fastest gunslinger in the wild west, inadvertently stops a stranger from attacking a train — and he wears a suit that enables him to fly! — the government believes she’s the only one to have witnessed the Locomotive Reaper and survived to tell the tale.

Promising to find out what he can about her missing father, the Director of the Secret Service persuades Annie to swear in. Too soon, her detested nickname re-stakes its claim.

Partnered with Beau Slokam, whose penchant for gambling leads them straight to the Doom Gang, Misfortune Annie guides the smooth-talking Southerner in a chase through the Rockies, with her Cheyenne friend, Wontoa, rounding out their unlikely trio.

When Annie again meets the Locomotive Reaper, his gadgetry proves far more advanced — and deadly — than even top scientists could have imagined.”

What I Thought- This was a nice story that added a slight steampunk view on the Wild West, with a man who has a suit that lets him fly, and Annie slinging guns and lassoing hooligans. It works in a good way The setting is well-described and makes it feel true. The details in the story makes the entire setting picture come into focus. The characters are well fleshed out, and realistic. The dialogue is spot on for the time period (just about 15 years after the American Civil War), and makes you feel like you are actually there with Annie. The book has a lot of action and kids will like reading about Annie beating up bad guys and going on adventures. It’s a nice story, and I would like to read the second book.

…………………….

Q&A with Janet Fogg & Dave Jackson, Courtesy of the Publisher

Your protagonist was inspired by spitfire Annie Oakley, but what’s the full story behind your exciting middle grade adventure Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper?

Dave: To properly tell Misfortune Annie’s origin, we must first go back to the spark from a great machine. I make no bones about my awe of George Lucas and the Indiana Jones series. It’s widely known by most Lucas fans that the rugged archaeologist first showed up in spirit in old matinee serials until George tweaked him a little for a new generation of movie lovers. Indy’s trusty whip came from Zorro cliffhangers. So, hoping to scare up just anything that could give Indy a run for his money, I poked around in the same cinema of yesteryear and dug the cowboy genre. Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger, Gene Autry—they were huge! So like Indy, my new star had to have a catchy name and signature duds. He was going to have a 10-gallon hat and Levi jacket.
I never got to name him though because fate threw in a wildcard that made me so grateful and stoked, I could never go back to the dude. On Christmas vacation one year, nearly sleeping behind the wheel through flat old Kansas, I passed a sign that boasted, “Annie Oakley Museum.” Jolted awake, I had my new hero. It would be a young lady known by a slick nickname.
Janet: We were chatting about his concept for Annie and what he wanted to accomplish with the book/series, and asked if I’d join him on that journey. Annie appealed to me for many reasons. First, because she was a young cowgirl struggling to excel in the man’s world of the wild, Wild West. I really liked that. Second, because I thought we could weave subtle “lessons- learned” into the books, so that young readers, especially teen girls, would have a role model with strength, courage, determination, and strong morals.

What made you decide to co-write as a team on this series – and how is it collaborating on a book?

Dave: We didn’t collaborate. Like spoiled rich kids we fought, I tell ya. Nah, actually, the writer’s journey is very lonely and I highly recommend brewing with another author, especially someone as tenacious, gracious, and creative as Janet.
Janet: Or as funny, talented, and kind as Dave. (Can you say mutual admiration society? It’s been a blast!)

Can you tell us more about the “Fun Facts” readers will find at the very back of the book?

Janet: We decided to incorporate some historic facts in each book, and the “Fun Facts” helps define certain facts versus fiction. One example is the waist overalls made by Levi Strauss that Annie wears. These were the original blue jeans, and in our Fun Facts a reader will learn that when they were first created by German-born businessman Levi Strauss and Latvian-born tailor Jacob Davis, blue jeans were actually called “waist overalls.” The duo received a patent for them on May 20, 1873, with a product that had one back pocket, a watch pocket, a cinch, and brace buttons. When a young reader reads this Fun Fact, we hope it inspires them to pause and consider the origins of other everyday items. Perhaps there are many young inventors out there, in need of inspiration and a nudge!

What is your favorite part of being an author / or the process of writing?

Dave: Hands down, it’s when I daydream of people reading our stories. After which, my imagination blossoms more to fans tossing me the keys to their Ferrari—and not to park it for them—then they offer to buy me and Janet fried chicken dinners.
Janet: What Dave said. Plus, bending my imagination 90 degrees to somewhere. Inspiring a reader. Preserving history.

What does a typical work day of writing look like for you?

Dave: There is no typical. My days are maxed with tutoring my son in algebra, playing music gigs, performing stand up, an auditing occupation, planning a convention, exercise, my lovely girlfriend, and having a good time. I truly write due to my love for it because there’s no time otherwise. Because of odd predicaments, I’ve borrowed other folks’ computers and even typewriters to get something on the page. I’ve scrawled on napkins.
Janet: I’ve never been a good sleeper, so I sneak out of bed when the Great Horned Owls are still conversing. First, I check email. (Who doesn’t?) While I used to work on manuscript drafts during those wee hours, now I work on my 359th FG posts or answer questions about the Fighter Group. After breakfast I write new words. Then I’ll edit (I can edit all day, but my brain begins to protest after writing three or four or pages of new words). That’s another reason I love collaborating on stories!

Have you ever had a mentor, or someone who sparked your passion for writing?

Dave: Yoda, but Janet wound up being better.
Janet: After I stop blushing, I’m going to work on growing long pointy ears. Really though – reading, reading and more reading.

Annie is such a trailblazer and great role model for young readers. What do you hope fans of the book will take away from the story?

Janet: That girls rock!
Dave: Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper is the really good book you’ve been looking for. Also – I do want everyone to know that I learned to crack a whip just because of the Indiana Jones movies (which influenced Misfortune Annie’s creation).

What do you feel makes your book unique from other middle grade fiction out there?

Dave: The characters are peculiar, funny, and cool.
Janet: Especially Annie.
Dave: Yes, you won’t be able to wait for Book Two.

Ah! So speaking of book two, what’s next for Misfortune Annie?

Throughout the series, we will see more problems that Annie doesn’t get credit for because she’s a girl in a ‘tough guy’ world.

A long cast of colorful crooks (think James Bond’s bullies) is waiting to take on the fastest draw in the west. Book Two leads Annie to New Orleans and face-to-face with a wicked Voodoo priest. In another episode, the Dragon Warrior shall render her six shooters useless. A sinister magician will perform the ultimate trick on her and the Secret Service. Beware pirates! Look out for creatures in the woods, Annie! Not to mention cameos by historical figures like Wyatt Earp, Baby Doe Tabor, and Teddy Roosevelt—perfect walk-ons to spark curiosity about US History.

…………………….

Janet Fogg

Janet Fogg’s focus on writing began when she was CFO and Managing Principal of OZ Architecture, one of Colorado’s largest architectural firms. Fifteen writing awards later, she resigned from the firm to follow the yellow brick road. Ten months after that, she signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for her historical romance Soliloquy a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit winner.

With husband Richard, Janet co-wrote Fogg in the Cockpit (Casemate), one of five books nominated in 2012 by the Air Force Historical Foundation for best World War II book reviewed in Air Power History.

Keeping her historical knowledge sharp, Janet manages the 359th Fighter Group’s Facebook page, sharing WWII stories and photos about the Fighter Group. She is also a proud member and 2015/16 Vice President of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She previously served as Published Author Liaison in 2010.

gusto-and-the-kid

The authors sure know how to Kid around with Gusto!

Dave Jackson

Not your typical author, Dave Jackson started writing in his constant pursuit to become a renaissance man, but later fell in love with the art form. He performs stand-up and skits regularly, as Comedy remains one of his many passions and he writes and performs skits, as well as stand-up. Also a songwriter and guitarist, Dave has composed over 300 musical titles.

A country boy, Dave was raised in Oklahoma and taught 6th grade English for two years. He enjoys sharing the tale about when he climbed high into a towering black jack tree and grabbed a dead branch. Snap! He hurtled toward his death, but he held tight to the branch and it slowed his fall, saving his life.

In 2013, Dave enjoyed the release of Tattoo Rampage by Curiosity Quills Press. The novel follows Evangelina Marquez-James, a strong female heroine, who gets her first tattoo as a symbol of courage to carry on after her police officer husband dies in the line of duty.

Author Links below:

AAARROOO!!! Its the The Full Moon of the Were-Hyena Blog Tour and Giveaway!

18 Aug

Full Moon of the Were-Hyena banner
Welcome! Today, I am taking a part in the blog tour for Bruce Hale’s “Curse of the Were Hyena!”

TCURSE OF THE WERE-HYENA hi reshe Curse of the Were-Hyena

Written by Bruce Hale

224 pages – ages 8+

Published by Disney-Hperion on July 5, 2016

Synopsis from Publisher- “Two likable fourth graders–Carlos and Benny–are a little freaked out since their favorite teacher, Mr. Chu, has started acting strangely, like sniffing people’s homework, laughing hysterically, and chasing chickens. When they decide to find out what’s happening to him, they get caught up in some moonlight madness. And that’s just the beginning . . . .”

 

When I got the information for the blog tour, I was asked if I wanted anything”special” from Mr. Hale. Well, I couldn’t resist asking for his best photo of himself as a were-hyena and a description of his night as a were-hyena. Thinking Mr. Hale would politely pass on my request, I was surprised to  get this back –

BruceHale_werewolfSnapshot-1 (2)

Who knew? Bruce Hale was a were-wolf in his earlier days! The picture was accompanied with a great story about his night as a were-hyena wolf.

Born to howl

By Bruce Hale

   I’ve always had a thing for werewolves. Maybe it’s innate in me. Or maybe it dates back to when, at nine years old, my buddies and I were watching The Wolf-man on TV, and my dad burst into the room wearing monster hands and my mom’s fur hat, howling away.

You don’t forget something like that.

Whatever the cause, this werewolf love has led me to watch lots of spooky movies and to write monster stories like my newest, THE CURSE OF THE WERE-HYENA. And once, it led me to get wolfy myself.

Back when I was living in Hawaii, a friend passed me a free ticket to the Honolulu Theatre for Youth’s costume ball fundraiser. As this was right before Halloween, my favorite time of year, I immediately agreed to go.

For days, I agonized over a costume. A professional children’s theater could generate some pretty cool outfits for the other attendees. What could I wear to keep up with them?

And then it hit me. Time to go full wolf-man.

With the help of a friend, I rounded up some fake hair and spirit gum, and shredded some old clothes. I put on some spooky makeup, and she painstakingly applied the hair to my clean-shaven face.

It looked great. With a wild howl, I hopped onto a borrowed motorbike and set out for the party. It wasn’t a long ride through that October night, but it was a memorable one.

I got so many double-takes from other drivers that I couldn’t help cracking up. What, they’d never seen a werewolf biker before?

Soon I reached the party, which was held in an old-timey mansion that could’ve doubled as a haunted house. I didn’t know anybody, which normally would’ve been a cause of concern.

But not this time.

I played the werewolf role to the hilt—howling, dancing like a wild man, and savaging the trays of appetizers. I even tried to sniff the people I met, not all of whom cared for this.

In short, I had a terrific time.

Other partiers tried to guess who I was under all that makeup and hair, but since they’d never met me before, all their guesses were wrong. I preserved my werewolf identity, never revealing my real name.

And when at last I mounted my motorbike and rode off under a gibbous moon, I rode with a smile. Many sons don’t want to end up just like their fathers, but when you’ve got a dad who’s a wolf-man, it’s just too much fun to resist.

 

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!!

The Full Moon of the Were-Hyena Howling Good Giveaway!

Ten winners will receive a copy of Bruce Hale’s The Curse of the Were-Hyena. Four Grand Prize winners will receive The Curse of the Were-Hyena plus an advance reading copy of the second book in the series, Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies! And as a bonus, Grand Prize winners will also get a signed photo of Bruce Hale disguised as a were-wolf! Click here to enter.
Photo Credit Jose Carpizo

Photo Credit Jose Carpizo

Author Bio: Edgar-nominated author Bruce Hale is passionate about inspiring reluctant readers to read. He has written or illustrated more than 35 seriously funny books for children, including the popular School for S.P.I.E.S. and Chet Gecko Mysteries series; as well as picture books such as Clark the Shark, Snoring Beauty, and Big Bad Baby. An actor and a Fulbright Scholar in Storytelling, Bruce is in demand as a speaker, having presented at conferences, universities, and schools around the world. Bruce’s book The Malted Falcon was an Edgar Award Finalist and Murder, My Tweet won the Little D Award for Humor Writing. He lives in Santa Barbara, California with his wife and dog.

Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook!
BUT WAIT! EVEN MORE!
What is a post about a book without me telling you what I thought about it?CURSE OF THE WERE-HYENA hi res

What I Thought- I really am not into monster stories but I really liked Hale’s writing in his School for S.P.I.E.S. series and figured I’d give it a try. I am happy I did. Although the story is about a fictional monster, Hale made his characters realistic. The characters in the book are fourth-graders and the dialogue is spot on. The illustrations throughout the book are a good addition and are great for the story’s intended audience. While I do not normally read monster books, this one is less on the horror, and has a decent amount of humor tossed in it. It is good for kids who want a scary story that isn’t too scary. There are still stakes (as in plot stakes, not vampire stakes), but the book is completely appropriate for an 8-year-old+ audience.  This is a great start to a new series!

Visit Mr. Hale’s website to get the discussion guide and activities!

Blog Tour! Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson

8 Jun
160331_blogtour_bixby[1]
bixbyMs. Bixby’s Last Day
By John David Anderson
320 pages – ages 8+
Will be Published by Walden Pond Press on June 21, 2016
Synopsis from Publisher- “John David Anderson, author of Sidekicked and The Dungeoneers, returns with a funny, heartwarming, and heartbreaking contemporary story about three boys, one teacher, and a day none of them will ever forget.
Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you’ll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She’s the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don’t even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one of a kind.
Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won’t be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan—more of a quest, really—to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves. Through the three very different stories they tell, we begin to understand what Ms. Bixby means to each of them—and what the three of them mean to each other.”
What I Thought- This was an interesting take for a new genre from Mr. Anderson – he normally writes in a fantasy/superhero genre, not a realistic fiction. AND… this book was pretty darn good. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, I agreed to read it because I liked Mr. Anderson’s other books. I am glad I did so. Mr. Anderson gets into the minds of the three main characters, and he makes them extremely life-like, so much that you believe that they could exist. They act like normal elementary school boys, and that made the book so much more enjoyable. The story is actually quite sad and reserved, but it also has a way of making you feel good about yourself at the same time. Mr. Anderson has written a marvelous foray into realistic fiction, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.
I give this five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

 WHO IS THIS JOHN DAVID ANDERSON???

John David AndersonAuthor Bio:
John David Anderson is the author of many books for young readers, including Sidekicked (See my review HERE) and The Dungeoneers (See my review HERE). 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 http://www.johndavidanderson.org.

Links:

http://www.johndavidanderson.org/

https://twitter.com/anderson_author

https://www.facebook.com/JohnDavidAndersonAuthor/

There is an excerpt that you can read from the novel HERE.

You can also see a video featuring the book HERE.

MS. BIXBY’S LAST DAY BLOG TOUR LIST
6/2/2016 Nerdy Book Club
6/3/2016 Next Best Book
6/6/2016 Walden Media Tumblr
6/7/2016 Teach Mentor Texts
6/8/2016 This Kid Reviews Books
6/9/2016 Read, Write, Reflect
6/10/2016 Flashlight Reader
6/13/2016 Julie Falatko
6/14/2016 A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
6/15/2016 About to Mock
6/16/2016 Kid Lit Frenzy
6/16/2016 The Hiding Spot
6/17/2016 Unleashing Readers
6/20/2016 Ms. Yingling Reads
Novel Novice
6/21/2016 Maria’s Melange
Novel Novice
All the Wonders
6/22/2016 Lit Coach Lou
Novel Novice
6/23/2016 Novel Novice
6/24/2016 Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Novel Novice
6/27/2016 Librarian’s Quest
6/28/2016 Educate.Empower.Inspire…Teach
6/29/2016 Bluestocking Thinking
6/30/2016 Mindjacked
7/1/2016 All the Wonders

 

Review and Blog Tour! The Screaming Statue by Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester

18 Apr

Hi guys! I’m participating in a blog tour today, and I have some fun things for you all to read after my review (wait- does that mean my review isn’t fun to read?? 😉 )!

First, though, visit the previous tour stop HERE and tomorrow’s poster HERE!

screaming_statueThe Screaming Statue
Series: The Curiosity House #2 (#1)
Written by Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester
Illustrated by Benjamin Lacombe
368 pages – ages 9+
Published by HarperCollins on May 3, 2016

Synopsis from Publisher-Four orphans with extraordinary abilities and questionable pasts—Pippa, Sam, Thomas, and Max—are happy to be out of harm’s way now that the notorious villain Nicholas Rattigan is halfway across the country in Chicago. But unfortunately their home, Dumfreys’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders, is in danger of closing its doors forever. 

But their troubles only get worse. The four friends are shocked when their beloved friend, famous sculptor Siegfried Eckleberger, is murdered. As they investigate, they find clues that his death may be tied to the murder of a rich and powerful New York heiress, as well as to their own pasts.

In this second book in the exceptional Curiosity House series by bestselling author Lauren Oliver and shadowy recluse H. C. Chester, the four extraordinary children must avenge their friend’s death, try to save their home, and unravel the secrets of their past . . . before their past unravels them.

What I Thought- First, I want to say that these books are on the darker side of things. There is murder/death/etc. discussed freely throughout the book, and the characters are usually in dismal situations. It’s a unique perspective for a murder “mystery”, as most of the characters seem sort of used to sudden death, and just take it as a part of life.  Add in the fact that the world sees them as freaks, and you can see why everyone seems grumpy. Having said that, the authors have skillfully crafted a quirky, enjoyable story. The characters are unique, well-developed and, despite most being “oddities”, are rather realistic and believable. I really liked the feel of the world that was created, I imagine it about early 1900’s (I couldn’t tell you when exactly, though – and I like that!). This writing duo writes with an edgy, sarcastic type of humor that skates the line between funny and dark.  I can’t wait for book 3!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

WAIT!!!

There’s more!

I have an interview with the authors! AND ONE OF THE CHARACTERS!

First, the authors!

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The authors; Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester

1. How did you get the idea for this series?
HC Chester: The idea actually originated with Ms. Oliver, who had come upon some rare postcards from Dumfrey’s Dime Museum in Paris, France, and tracked them down to my archives.  I merely provided her with my extensive, not to say encyclopedic knowledge, of all things related to the subject.
2. Which of your characters would you most like to sit down at a diner to chat with?
Lauren Oliver: Sam, because I could show him pictures of all my pets and he wouldn’t get bored! 
HC Chester: I fear that I do not enjoy sitting down to dinner and chatting with anybody. I much prefer the company of my faithful canine, Trudy, who makes few conversational demands upon me during our nightly dinners together.
3.  Do you have any new books coming out that you would like to tell us about?
Lauren Oliver: Yes! REPLICA, the story of two girls connected by fate and science, is my new Young Adult book coming out in October. I’m very proud of it, and so anxious to have everyone read it! Replica is a science fiction “flip book” that contains two stories in one. So you can read Gemma’s story, flip the book over, and then read Lyra’s story. You also have the option of alternating between the two! It’s kind of like, two books in one, and it has the most amazing cover!
HC Chester: Yes, I am very excited about my forthcoming tome, A COLLECTOR’S GUIDE TO ANCIENT BABYLONIAN BELT BUCKLES, which I believe will prove to be the definitive work on the subject.
4. If you had a talent, what would it be? 
Lauren Oliver: I would love the ability to be in two places at once. That way I could always be doing something fun. 
HC Chester: Do you mean besides the many talents I already possess?  Let me think: I suppose X-ray vision would be useful in helping me retrieve the prehistoric mastodon bone that Trudy pilfered from my collection last week and buried somewhere in our back yard.

CH_Illustrations_PippaNow for the character interview with Pippa!

1. What’s it like living in Curiosity House?
Well, I don’t exactly have much to compare it to, do I? It’s all right except for all the NOISE. Sometimes, I can hardly hear myself think–much less hear other people’s thoughts! And I wish Max would change her socks more often.
2. When did you find out you could read pockets?

Oh, well, I could always read pockets, I suppose. To me it was just like looking at someone’s face, and noticing a quirk of the eyebrows or a mole growing on a cheek or something. It’s only when I’m nervous that I can’t do it.

3. How do you plan to “move up” to reading minds? Would people’s bad grammar scare you too much to ever try it?
Psychic impressions are more of a visual language than a lettered one, so I don’t think grammar will be an issue. It’s more like…dreaming, actually. I get flashes of things, sounds and images and impressions. 
4. What do you think about Max?
She’s filthy, disgusting, rude, smelly, and has terrible table manners. But she’s all right. I mean, she’s one of us.
5. What have I got in my pocket?
I can’t see into your pocket from here, just your browser history. You’ve been procrastinating!

Thank you Pippa…I think. Your honest opinion is always…appreciated. And thank you Ms. Oliver for writing this book, and stopping by. You, too, Mr. Chester – I guess. Well, good luck with your up-and-coming book, anyway. I’m sure those Ancient Babylonian Belt Buckle collectors will enjoy it.

Anyway, please check out the Curiosity House website! Enjoy the rest of the tour! 

April 14th
Kid Lit Reviews
Max, The Knife Thrower
Max is a world-class knife thrower and never fails to leave the museum without a set of blades in her pockets. She once shaved off a man’s mustache from a distance of seventy-five yards (at his request; she was paid a nickel for it.)
April 15th
Read Now, Sleep Later
Smalls, The Giant
Nearly 8 feet tall, Smalls has a near-constant bump on his head from grazing the ceiling. An aspiring poet, Smalls has published several of his own original works (including “Ode to a Toaster” and “The Elegy of an Unknown Dust Bunny”) in a literary magazine he publishes and circulates himself.
April 18th
This Kid Reviews Books
Pippa, The Mentalist
Pippa is the museum’s Mentalist. Her greatest desire is to be able to read minds, though so far she has only been able to read the contents of other people’s pockets. She enjoys reading quietly, proper grammar, and tea with lemon.
April 19th
Kidliterati
Howie The Owl Boy
With his brighter-than-the-sun smile, perfect hair, and enormous eyelashes, Howie looks more like a model than a freak…until he swivels his head around 180 degrees to check his back for Kick Me signs
April 20th
Literary Rambles
Thomas, Rubber Band Boy
Thomas is known alternatively as “The Rubber Band Boy” and “Human Putty.” Able to twist, bend, and contort himself into various positions, he is also known for his great love of puzzles, word games, and riddles.
April 21st
Middle Grade Ninja
The Alligator Boy
Now seventy-four (or perhaps seventy-five, or even seventy-six, or possibly eighty) The Alligator Boy has been performing on the circuit since he was actually a boy. Bad-tempered and plagued with bad dandruff, The Alligator Boy spends most of his time railing about the way things used to be.
April 22nd
Mundie Kids
TBD
April 25th
Always in the Middle
Sam, Strongboy
Sam is billed as the Strongest Boy in the Country although it is doubtful that there are boys stronger than him anywhere in the world. He once lifted a car–one-handed–to save a dog trapped beneath it, and in fact he loves animals and is desperate for a pet (preferably a dog, cat, or rabbit, but he would even be happy with a turtle).
April 26th
Middle Grade Mafia
Betty, The Bearded Lady
Aside from combing and plaiting her luxuriant beard, Betty’s hobbies include singing, sewing, and listening to the radio. Extremely popular and widely admired, she is constantly turning down requests for small cuttings of beard hair that her many suitors can keep as souvenirs.
April 27th
Literary Hoots
Danny, The Dwarf

Technically, Danny is slightly too tall to be considered a dwarf, but never tell him so unless you’d like an undersized fist poked in your eye. Originally from Ireland, Danny is very musical and plays the flute, violin, and bagpipe beautifully.

 
April 28th
Unleashing Readers
Phoebe, The Fat Lady
Weighing in at half a ton, Phoebe is tremendously proud of her size and keeps up a rigorous diet regimen that includes toast soaked in bacon fat and whole sticks of butter. The scariest day of her life was when she discovered, that due to the flu, she had lost ten pounds.
April 29th
Me, Myshelf, and I
The Great Goldini
The Great Goldini is the museum’s resident magician, although he often disappears the coins he is supposed to be producing or pulls, instead of a rabbit, a half-eaten ham sandwich from his hat. He enjoys Broadway musicals and dreams of opening a turtle sanctuary.
May 2nd
The Reading Nook Reviews
Chubby
A neighborhood fixture, Chubby has been, by turns, a newspaper boy, a shoe shine, a pickpocket, and even a bookie. His real name is Leonard, but don’t let him catch you using it.

Blog Tour Review! Sir Princess Petra’s Mission by Diane Mae Robinson

21 Mar

Hi everybody! Today, I am participating in the Sir Princess Petra’s Mission Blog Tour, hosted by Kid-Lit Reviews!

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For the complete tour list, visit the author’s site HERE! Now onto my review!

Sir Princess Petra’s Mission
Series: The Pen Pieyu Adventures #3 (See my reviews of  #1 and #2)
By Diane Mae Robinson
106 pages – ages 7+
Published by Tate Publishing on January 12, 2016

Synopsis- Our favorite female knight, Sir Princess Petra is back on another mission! Her father, King Longstride, is determined to make Petra fail at a mission so she will not be a Princess Knight anymore, and just a Princess. This time, Petra has only two days to venture into the unexplored land of the of the Boogy Gobees, and capture the first car-panther she finds. If she does not find one in two days’ time, her knighthood will be relinquished!

What I Thought- I really enjoy this series! Ms. Robinson recaps the previous two books with a small chapter to sum up each book. Petra is a great main character who children can learn positive traits from – her parents the King and Queen want her to be a girly princess, but she wants to be a knight. In fact, through hard work and determination, she became a knight in Book 1. Yet her parent’s won’t except her for who she is, and Petra keeps persevering to be the best knight that she can be. Petra is also kind and willing to talk through problems. Ms. Robinson has black and white pictures put around the book, and they add a good amount to the book. I like the silliness of the world that Pen Pieyu resides in. This is a really nice book. It is a short story, good for reading on a rainy day. It’s a perfect balance of adventure and great message. Boys and girls will both love the book.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Top Secret Files: The Cold War by Stephanie Bearce AND A GIVEAWAY!

17 Aug

Be sure to read to the bottom of this post for the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a copy of this book!

coldwarTop Secret Files: The Cold War

Written by Stephanie Bearce

128 pages – ages 8+

Published by Prufrock Press on August 1, 2015

 Summary- From the Publisher: “Take a look if you dare, but be careful! Some secrets are meant to stay hidden…

Poison dart umbrellas and cyanide guns were all a part of the arsenal of tools used by spies of the Soviet KGB, American CIA, and the British MI6, but you won’t learn that in your history books! Learn true stories of the Cold War and how spies used listening devices planted in live cats and wristwatch cameras. Discover how East Germans tried to ride zip lines to freedom, while the Cambridge Four infiltrated Britain and master spy catchers like Charles Elwell were celebrated. Then make your own secret codes and practice sending shoe messages. It’s all part of the true stories from Top Secret Files: Cold War.

What I Thought- I love history. I love spies. This book has both. I often am hesitant to review books on subjects I am very fond of because, I find myself being very picky on how things are presented. I was very happy with this book because I learned from it, I think it is written well for the audience it is for (8+) and I think it is very well presented. Ms. Bearce also includes activities related to the book that would be a great resource for teachers. She also includes some really cool facts about what was going on during the cold war. I was fascinated to learn that the really cool, stereotypical spy gear actually existed (well, at least some of them). That was a real eye-opener. There is really cool true stories about some of the real spies. I like how Ms. Bearce doesn’t really bias herself on which side she portraits and offers a fair assessment of both sides. This is an interesting, introduction to the history of the cold war and will lead kids to looking further into the topics covered. Ms. Bearce I think kids in the fourth grade and up would like it, but the book is suited for younger advanced readers too.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Top 3 Cold War Secrets

1)     The Big Dog Escape– Would you believe that one secret agent made his escape disguised as a dog? During the 1970’s, the CIA disguised one of their agents as a St. Bernard to get him out of Europe. The operative wore a fake dog suit and was concealed in a dog kennel. Nobody was suspicious when the dog was taken to the vet for a check-up, and the operative made his escape.

2)     Flying Saucers- In 1956, the U.S. Air Force experimented with building its own flying saucer. The plans called for a disc shaped flying machine that would reach altitudes of 100,000 feet and fly at Mach 4. The machine they built didn’t work quite as well as they hoped. It wobbled uncontrollably if it went higher than 3 feet of the ground and its top speed was 35mph. The project was scrapped.

3)     Moon Bomb– Scientists came up with some wild ideas during the Cold War, but one of the craziest was to bomb the moon. Some U.S. scientists thought that if they exploded an atomic bomb on the moon, then it would scare the Soviet Union. Other scientists argued that a mistake could seriously hurt the earth and ruin the surface of the moon. The plan was scrapped and no bombs were sent to the moon.

About the Author: Stephanie Bearce is a writer, teacher, and history detective. She loves tracking down spies and uncovering secret missions from the comfort of her library in St. Charles, MO. When she isn’t writing or teaching, Stephanie loves to travel the world and go on adventures with her husband, Darrell.

 Website: http://www.stephaniebearce.com/about.html

Buy the Book!:

Amazon- http://ow.ly/PpgP4

Barnes & Noble- http://ow.ly/PphXb

Books A Million- http://ow.ly/Ppiet

!ndigo-  http://ow.ly/Ppina

Indiebound- http://ow.ly/PpixJ

Also Available in this series:

Top Secret Files: American Revolution

Top Secret Files: The Civil War

Top Secret Files: World War I

Top Secret Files: World War II

Top Secret Files: Pirates & Buried Treasure

Enter to win a copy of this book!:
Click HERE

Choose Your Own Path: Quest for the Dragon’s Treasure by Gerry Gaston

9 Sep

Before I get to today’s review, I wanted to tell you to please check out the first stop on my book’s blog tour. Today I am over at Michelle Isenhoff’s blog – click HERE to go THERE! Mrs. Isenhoff was a big help to me when I wrote the book. She helped me with grammar and how to write conversations well. She is a great mentor to me and I am happy that she is reviewing my book! 😀

Tomorrow, be sure to visit Kid Lit Reviews for the next tour stop.

To see the other dates and blog tour stops, please click on the banner below – HEY but don’t leave until you read today’s review! 😉

T&P1BLOGTOURBANNER

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Choose Your Own Path: Quest for the Dragon’s Treasure

Author: Gerry Gaston

Illustrated by Laura Livi

Format: Children’s Picture Book

66 pages – ages 4-8 yrs

HERE YE, HERE YE! The king’s royal crown has been stolen by a terrible red dragon! Many have tried to get it back, but no one has succeeded! Calling all brave knights! You must choose your own path. Will it be the right one?

I have to admit I think the choose your own path type of story like this works better as an ebook than a paper book. Because it is an ebook the whole interactive part works a lot better (and I can’t flip back through the pages and kind of cheat to see where I am going 😉 ). I love the choose your own adventure idea for books. It makes me feel like I am the character in the story. I like the fantasy element in the book – dragons and stolen treasure. It is a good theme for kids. The creatures in the book are cool. The illustrations are great. They fill the page and have plenty to look at. Have a look –

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The “choose your own”  part of the book was easy to use. You could easily go back if you wanted to turn around. It worked really well.

Five out of five bookworms for this adventure! fivebooks

This is the second Choose your own Path book I reviewed by Gerry Gaston. See the first HERE!

The book is  available as an ebook on Amazon. Click HERE to go THERE.

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