AN EXTRA PINCH

The Witch’s Cat and the Cooking Catastrophie

Written by Kirstie Watson

Illustrated by Magdalena Sawko

A witch’s cat decides to cook his witch lunch, but things don’t go as he planned. When the orange cat comes across what he thinks is a cookbook, he gets to work on his surprise treat.

Unfortunately, the cat decides to add a few extras. When the witch sits down to her lunch, she receives an unexpected surprise. The cat tries to undo his mistake and only succeeds in making the situation worse.

There are lots of laughs and surprises for elementary school readers in this richly illustrated and fun picture book. A perfect read-aloud for Halloween or any time of the year.

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CLEVER AND CREATIVE

Spectacular Stories for Creative Kids

Written by Jesse Sullivan

The author has a way with words. Sullivan has succeeded in telling 100 stories about history, science, art, and culture and with wit and charm. Young readers will be intrigued by topics like ghosts, curses, snakes, space, and vampires. Each story reveals an adventure and interesting facts. Black and white illustrations accompany many of the chapters. Young readers unwittingly learn a lot while they are laughing and having a great time reading.

This is a book they will want to share with friends and family. Targeting the middle-grade audience ages nine through fourteen, but any age reader will enjoy and appreciate these gems.

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MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

The Flip: A Haunting on Long Island

Written by Michael Phillip Cash

A fast read with interesting characters and a nice blend of genres. Brad and his wife Julie are house flippers. Julie would love to earn enough money to quit her day job to join her husband, who is a full-time contractor.

What could go wrong when they purchase an old Victorian house named Bedlam in Cold Spring? Plenty. Turns out the original owners, Gerald and Tessa decide to put their ghostly talents to the test by torturing the new owners.

Why were Gerald and Tessa killed? Readers learn about the history and the mystery of the abandoned property as they follow the clues and become absorbed in the lives of its inhabitants, past and present.

Highly recommend this entertaining read for young adult and adult audiences.

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PUZZLES AND HISTORY

The Secret of the Snallygaster: Washington, DC., USA (Cities of Adventure)

Written by Rishi Piparaiya

This book is part of a series. In this adventure, the author presents a travel guide to Washington D.C, while presenting a family mystery for the protagonists to solve.

Tara is an insatiable reader, while her younger brother is more interested in sports. They are on a family trip to the US capitol, when they uncover a family mystery. As they wind themselves through the historical monuments and museums of the city, they follow the clues to solve the mystery contained in the yellow envelope they find in Arlington Cemetery.

Readers learn about the museums of the Smithsonian, the National Zoo, the White House and the National Mall as they follow clues. There are a lot of bonus features like a short American history summary, a description of American versus British English, interesting facts about the US, and some of its famous people.

The book is perfect for middle-grade readers who shy away from nonfiction. It is an easy read with short chapters for reluctant readers. Recommended to teachers and parents looking for a good children’s travel guide or American history introduction.

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OUT OF PLACE

Maximus the Platypus Finds His Family

Written by Andi Cann

Illustrated by Eduardo Paj

This is a charming, cute, picture book about a platypus who gets washed down the river while sleeping. Maximus frantically searches for his family. Along the way, Maximus meets a beaver, an otter, and a duck. They all have some similarities to Maximus, but none are an exact match.

Maximus has always been big for his age. Will he ever be able to fit in? Does he get home to his family?

The soft and colorful illustrations are appealing to young readers. Slightly older children in the five to eight year old age range will find the book a delightful read aloud.

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Rough Around the Edges

Fatechanger: Penny Lost

Written by L. M. Poplin

Penn is a fourteen-year old girl who knows her way around the streets of Boston. Clever and curious, she attends one of Boston’s finest public schools and loves the library. On the other hand, Penn has learned to be tough, she was born with a heart defect, and her father left suddenly when she was seven.

One day, Penn is off exploring the city when she meets an old woman who gives her a penny to make a wish on. When she gets into trouble for stealing and uses it, she is transported back to 1915.

Penn’s whole world is turned upside down. She is now an orphan who struggles to survive. Penn worries how she will survive without her medication and if she can get back home. Penn gets mixed up with thieves and gangs. She masquerades as a boy. All she really wants is to fit in and find a true friend.

Will her secret be discovered? Can she find a way back to the twenty-first century?

The author paints colorful characters that succeed in involving the reader emotionally. There are lots of twists and turns to keep readers actively engaged. Recommended for teens and adults.

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What’s Old is New Again…

Annual Toy Drive: The Underground Toy Society

Written and illustrated by Jessica D. Adams

This book is a delightful new version of The Underground Toy Society. This society is a group of toys that are no longer being used by their former owners. Together they work as one to find new homes to love them.

Children will love these adorable toys that act like human characters. When the toys find their way to a toy store, they are excited to find a donation box for Christmas toys. Their hopes are dashed when they discover the toys must be new.

I love the section that describes how these toys make themselves new again. Will these toys find a way into the hearts of new children owners?

Adorable illustrations and characters will make this book a new holiday favorite. Recommended for a Christmas story or any time of the year.

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Book reviews, teaching videos, parent tips, and much more.

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#GRETAGRACE -VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Emerald Lake Books

ABOUT THE BOOK

Greta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem

Written by Joanna Quinn

Ages 9+ | 190 Pages

Publisher: Emerald Lake Books | ISBN-13: 9781945847448

Publisher’s Synopsis: What’s worse than being invisible? Being noticed by the school bully.

Greta Grace likes her life. She isn’t the most popular girl in school-some days she even feels invisible-but she gets good grades and stays out of trouble.

She has a best friend in Samantha and a grandmotherly neighbor who is never too busy for a chat. Her mom can be a bit overprotective, but Greta Grace doesn’t blame her. Being a single parent probably isn’t the easiest job in the world.

When her longtime crush finally starts noticing her, Greta Grace thinks her life might even be perfect.

But when a merciless bully takes aim at Greta Grace, her carefree existence suddenly ends.

Who ever knew that school could be so hard?

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3A14a0j

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9781945847448

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joanna O’Reilly Quinn can usually be found learning something new to teach teens. As a former middle school teacher, founder of Super Empowered One, and life coach, it is no surprise that her middle-grade fiction book, Greta Grace, weaves some teachable moments into her character’s very relatable experiences. Think, middle school… Ahhh!Through her company, Super Empowered One, Joanna teaches kids how to access their confidence, happiness and power, so they can live their best life. Joanna loves writing, the ocean, a good run, and living in Fairfield, Connecticut, with her husband and two kids. Visit her at superempoweredone.com to learn more about her coaching services and Greta Grace.

If you’re interested in having Joanna conduct a program for your group or come speak to your students, you can contact her at emeraldlakebooks.com/quinn and superempoweredone.com/.

MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK:

GROWING PAINS

Greta Grace

Written by Joanna Quinn

Greta Grace is a middle-school student who considers her everyday life an ordinary one. She is an excellent student who tries to stay under the radar. Greta is the daughter of a loving, single mom. She has a special relationship with Mrs. McGee, an elderly next-door neighbor. Her best friend is Samantha; she has a crush on Charlie, who doesn’t seem to notice her.

Greta’s world is turned upside down when Mrs. McGee becomes ill, Casey decides to bully her, and Samantha becomes distant. The only bright spot occurs when Charlie strikes up a relationship with her. But emotions and peer relationships are constantly shifting.  Will Greta Grace learn how to handle her feelings and cope with the bullying?

Quinn does an excellent job of creating empathetic, believable characters for her middle-grade readers. I found the discussion question guide particularly useful. Parents, teachers, and guidance counselors will welcome the guide as an excellent way to discuss sensitive issues with middle-grade students.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Greta Grace, along with a 1-hr coaching session for a parent on how to raise a super-empowered teen.

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

A copy of Greta Grace

A 1-hr parenting coaching session with Joanna Quinn

Four (4) winners receive:

A copy of Greta Grace

The giveaway begins September 20, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 20, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Click on the link below to enter the giveaway:

https://gleam.io/4Pvl7/greta-grace-giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, September 20, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Tuesday, September 21, 2021Over Coffee ConversationAn interview withJoanna Quinn
Wednesday, September 22, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Thursday, September 23, 2021A Dream Within a DreamA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Friday, September 24, 2021The Momma SpotA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Sunday, September 26, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Monday, September 27, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Tuesday, September 28, 2021icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Wednesday, September 29, 2021Book Bug CAA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Thursday, September 30, 2021Rajiv’s ReviewsA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Monday, October 4, 2021Lisa’s ReadingA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Tuesday, October 5, 2021Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Wednesday, October 6, 2021Periodical GazetteAn interview and book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Thursday, October 7, 2021Glass of Wine, Glass of MilkAn interview and book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem

On the Sunny Side of the Street

Hope

Written and Illustrated by Kealy Connor Lonning

The author is an educator and parent of six. She shares the hopes that most parents have for their children. Courage, resilience, empathy, and kindness are a few of these. The short rhymes are easy for young children to remember. Illustrations are multicultural and include references to the author’s own family as revealed in the fun facts at the end of the story. Adults and children will enjoy learning about the symbolism of nature and the themes included in this book.

A delightful read-aloud or bedtime story for elementary age readers.

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HIDE AND SEEK

Where’s My Joey?: A Heartwarming Bedtime Story For Children of All Ages

Written by Wendy Monica

Illustrated by Roxana Antochi

This tale tells the story of a mama kangaroo who is in search of her child at dinnertime. She introduces the readers to different native Australian animals like the kookaburra and the quokka.

The soft, gentle colors of the illustrations portray the mood of the plot perfectly. There is a surprise ending that will leave readers smiling.

I enjoyed the map of Australia and the bonus maze that will continue to engage the young reader. Recommended especially for readers in the five to eight age range.

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