Tag Archives: darlene foster

Review! Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind by Darlene Foster

5 Dec

Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind
Series: Amanda Travels #6 (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5)
By Darlene Foster
128 pages – ages 9+
Published by Central Avenue Publishing on October 1, 2017

Synopsis from Publisher- “Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit an ancient and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past. Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps the Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda’s travels.”

What I Thought- This was a neat book in the Amanda Travels series. Foster has written a great book that combines mystery, thriller, and travel book into a package perfect for her target audience. She writes in a way that incorporates strong emotions, but still is appropriate for younger readers. One thing I thought was cool was how Leah, Amanda’s friend in England, was not brought into the book (a rather realistic outlook – as even best friends don’t always have adventures together), and a new character, Cleo, is introduced. The story was very well-done, and I enjoyed reading it. I do wish that Foster would have addressed the ghosts at the end of the story more thoroughly. It seems that they are kind of pushed to the side as another plot is brought to a satisfying finish. What I particularly love about this book as with all of the Amanda books, is that you feel like you are on a travel adventure with Amanda and her friends. The reader learns a lot about the place Amanda visits each and every time. I enjoyed this book, and I look forward to more of Amanda’s travels!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Looking for a great holiday gift? If you have a a child who loves a great adventure with characters they can connect with, I highly recommend the Amanda series. Amanda is a bit of Nancy Drew, Laura Croft and Carmen San Diego all rolled into one!

Review! Amanda on the Danube by Darlene Foster

13 Dec

danubeAmanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music
By Darlene Foster 
128 pages – ages 9+
Published by Central Avenue Publishing on October 1, 2016

Synopsis- Amanda Ross is back on another trip, and this time, she and her friend Leah and their families are going on a river cruise up the Danube River in Germany! All was going well, until Amanda agrees to hold onto a violin for a small boy living on the streets. That’s when it becomes apparent that someone else wants the violin too. But who? And why? Amanda and Leah are back on the case!

What I Thought- I really like this series. Ms. Foster has a neat way of writing that involves the adventure and intrigue of a mystery, but while also including information about real-life places. The book follows Amanda, Leah, and their families as they travel on the Danube River in Germany, and we learn things as they learn them. There is a neat mystery/thriller type plot, and even though I could guess what was going to come for some of the plot twists, it was still a good story that kids will like. This book is a shining example of great, well-written, age-appropriate middle-grade books! Ms. Foster has something great going on with this series, and I cannot wait to read the next book and see where Amanda goes next!


I give this book five out of five bookworms!

If you are looking for a great holiday gift for a middle-grade reader who likes learning about different parts of the world while getting a good mystery, I recommend the Amanda series! There are five books in all. I really like how they take place all over the world.




Review! Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone by Darlene Foster

13 Nov

perf5.0625x7.8125.inddAmanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone

By Darlene Foster

156 pages – ages 8+
Published by Central Avenue Publishing on July 11, 2014

Amanda is back in an all-new adventure, but this time, it’s on her turf! Leah (Amanda’s friend) has come all the way from England to visit Amanda in her province of Alberta, Canada. Everything goes well, until a rodeo clown drops a strange stone. Amanda picks it up, and tries to return it to the clown, but she was too late – he was gone. The stone was round and had a marking on it. Suddenly, people seem to be wanting the stone urgently, although their purposes may be unclear – and maybe even dangerous!

This is a marvelous book, one that made me feel like I was there with Amanda and Leah. Ms. Foster really has a way of taking you through the landmarks of Alberta. I found it funny that Alberta has both the World’s Biggest Dinosaur, and the World’s Largest Tipi – Alberta must be a big province! 😉 Amanda is a great middle-grade character. She is a friendly person, and a wonderful role model. Leah is a pretty cool Brit. 😉 The plot is fun and engaging as are all of the Amanda books. I love how Ms. Foster puts the reader right in the action and kids get to learn about the exciting places Amanda goes. The action and mystery in the book makes it a fun read for kids!

I give “The Writing on the Stone” five out of five bookworms! fivebooks

Want to learn more? Visit Darlene Foster’s website by clicking HERE!


Amanda in England: The Missing Novel by Darlene Foster

18 Mar

amandainenglandAmanda in England: The Missing Novel

by Darlene Foster

118 pages – ages 8+

Published by Central Avenue Publishing on August 6, 2012

Amanda is going on another adventure! This time she is visiting her friend Leah in England. Amanda is having a great time seeing all there is to see in London! While Amanda was visiting a castle in England, she notices a boy running away with a book under his arm. Amanda learns that the book is a rare novel that was stolen! Amanda is determined to find the book, find out why it was stolen and return it. With the help of Leah and a new friend Rylee, Amanda goes off on another adventure around the great country of England.

I am a fan of the Amanda series (see my reviews of Amanda in Spain HERE and Amanda in Arabia HERE) and I think this book was another great adventure! The action in the book is great. Ms. Foster writes very exciting books that are good for all ages to read. I really liked learning about London from this book. I think that’s what I like the most about the Amanda series, you learn about the location the book takes place in. The Amanda character is a great heroine and I think boys as well as girls will really like her. Amanda is a modern girl who a lot of kids can relate to. I can’t wait to read the next adventure Amanda goes on!


Five out of five bookworms for Amanda in England! fivebooks

Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting – by Darlene Foster

29 Jun

Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting

by Darlene Foster

104 pages – ages 8+

Published by ireadiwrite Publishing on May 4, 2011

Amanda is on another adventure (see my review of “Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask” HERE)! This time Amanda is in Spain with her friend, Leah and Leah’s family. In the beginning of the story they are all visiting a museum. Amanda sees a painting of a girl and she thinks the girl looks so very real. Later, Amanda actually sees the girl from the painting! Everywhere Amanda goes she sees the girl and Amanda realizes that she needs help. Amanda and Leah now get involved in a big rescue mission to help save the girl and her little pony from a mean horse dealer.

I really liked the first Amanda book –  “Amanda in Arabia”, and this book was just as awesome! The plot is very good and Amanda is a character everyone will like. I like how I learned a lot about Spain in this book because of the places Amanda goes and the people she meets. I hope I get to go to Spain someday! The cover is pretty cool too. I like the photos.The story is a great adventure and I think boys and girls would like it. I think this is a great book and a clean read except for a couple “OMG’s”s in it. I recommend this book to kids 8+

I give “Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting” five out of five book worms!

Check out the trailer (I love the music)!

For more information about the Amanda series and Ms. Foster’s other books, please visit Ms. Foster’s website HERE and her blog HERE.

Get ready for Amanda’s NEXT adventure when she goes to England! Ms. Foster just blogged about sending “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel” to her publisher and hopefully it will be published this August!

Quote of the – Week Maya Angelou

19 Feb

This week’s quote was sent to me by children’s book author Darlene Foster.  Ms. Foster has written the “Amanda in…” series. You can see my review of  the action-packed and exciting “Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask” HERE. Today’s quote is from Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou is an American poet and speaker. I think it’s cool that she has also been on Sesame Street!!!

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”

~ Maya Angelou


If you have a great quote about books or reading for my quote of the week please email it to me at Erik@thiskidreviewsbooks.com !

To learn more about Ms. Foster and her books, please visit her website HERE and/or her blog HERE.

Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask by Darlene Foster

4 Feb

Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask

By Darlene Foster

114 pages – ages 8+

Publisher: ireadiwrite Publishing (April 13, 2010)

On Amanda’s birthday as she blew out the candles on her cake she wished for an adventure…little did she know that she’d be visiting Arabia. The next week she got a plane ticket from her Aunt and Uncle to go and visit them in the United Arab Emirates. Amanda visits a souvenir shop and the shop keeper sells her a perfume flask that he says used to belong to a princess named “Shamza”. Amanda promises to take good care of the perfume flask. What Amanda didn’t know is that the perfume flask will lead Amanda on a great adventure when she meets Shamza and finds out she is in trouble!  Amanda helps Shazma by returning Shamza’s trusty camel Ali Baba while trying not to let anyone find out about it!

I really enjoyed the story because it has tons of excitement and adventure in it! I liked… wait for it… Ali Baba. Yes, Ali Baba. Who wouldn’t like a really smart camel? Ms. Foster really described the United Arab Emirates really well! I actually want to learn more about Arabia because of her descriptions I’d recommend “Amanda in Arabia” to kids 8+ and early advanced readers. It was a quick read for me but the story was good and I felt like the whole adventure was complete.

“Amanda in Arabia” earns a spot on my to be read again shelf and I give it four out of five book worms!

“Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting” was also just published in May of 2011 and Ms. Foster says that she is working on a third book where Amanda goes to England!

For more information about the Amanda series and Ms. Foster’s other books, please visit Ms. Foster’s website HERE and her blog HERE.

Check out the book trailer for Amanda in Arabia -The Perfume Flask!

%d bloggers like this: