Posts from the ‘coming of age’ Category

#MIGHTIERTHANTHESWORDBOOKS GIVEAWAY AND BOOK REVIEWS

Awareness tour in partnership with The Children’s Book Review, Drew Callander, and Alana Harrison

GIVEAWAY

Click on the link below to enter

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282196/

Enter for a chance to win a Mightier Than the Sword prize pack!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

Three (3) winners receive:

Five (5) winners receive:

The giveaway begins November 16, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends December 16, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Alana Harrison and Drew Callander have spent their lives telling stories and cracking jokes. Alana graduated from The College of William and Mary with a degree in Comedic Writing and Performance. Drew graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Fiction Writing. Together they have created cartoons and short films with Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien, John Oliver, and Kristen Schaal. Their work as writers and improv comedians has aired on Sirius XM Radio, NBC, and Comedy Central. Mightier Than the Sword is their first book series. They live with their two kids and one exquisitely talented cat (none of whom help with the dishes).

ABOUT THE IllUSTRATOR

Ryan Andrews lives in the Japanese countryside, with his wife, two kids, and their dog, Lucky. A friendly Kodama or two have been known to take up residence in the giant acorn tree that shades the house. Ryan often works at his drawing desk in the early-morning hours, to the sound of rummaging wild boar and badgers, who come from the surrounding forest seeking out shiitake mushrooms and fallen chestnuts.

OFFICIAL LINKS

https://www.mightierthantheswordbooks.com.

In my blog post on November 18, 2020, I reviewed Mightier Than The Sword Book 1

Today, I am reviewing Book 2, Mightier Than The Sword: The Edge of the Word

In this exciting sequel to Book One of the middle-grade chapter series, once again the reader is a superhero who holds the fate of the fictional land of Astorya in your hands.

At the end of the first book in the series, you rescued Prince S from the evil Queen Rulette and wrote your way out of trouble time and time again. Now you are determined to protect your fictional friends by hiding the Original Story that created the kingdom. You volunteer to accompany Prince S on his journey to the evil dark side where all sorts of villains await.

The reader will need to assist and hold on to these precious memories. Together with the Prince, you will encounter gargoyles, monsters, deadly ooze, an Ice Dragon, wrestlers, and fiery lava. The sights and sounds that assault you threaten your resolve. It will be difficult to prevent surrendering to your darker side.

Can you succeed in your mission? What may you lose in the process? Readers will sharpen writing skills by participating and creating the story, learn lots of new vocabulary, develop puzzle skills, and learn a bit of French. Buckle your seatbelt and get ready for the journey of your life.

TOUR SCHEDULE

November 16The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Book List
November 17Lisa’s Readinghttps://lisasreading.comBook Review: Book One
November 18Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttps://bamauthor.meBook Review: Book One
November 19Fairview Elementary School (Library)https://fveslibrary.blogspot.com/Book Review: One and Two
November 20Satisfaction for Insatiable Readershttps://insatiablereaders.blogspot.comBook Review: One and Two
November 23Some the Wiserhttps://somethewiser.comBook List
November 24ShootingStarsMaghttps://shootingstarsmag.net/Book List
November 25icefairy’s Treasure Chesthttp://icefairystreasurechest.blogspot.com/Book Review: One and Two
November 26THANKSGIVING
November 27Word Spelunkinghttp://wordspelunking.blogspot.com/Book Review: One and Two
November 30Glass of Wine, Glass of Milkhttp://glassofwineglassofmilk.blogspot.com/Book Review: Book One
December 1Glass of Wine, Glass of Milkhttp://glassofwineglassofmilk.blogspot.com/Book Review: Book Two
December 2Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttps://bamauthor.meBook Review: Book Two
December 3Jrsbookreviewshttps://jrsbookreviews.wordpress.com/Book Review: Book One
December 4Library Lady’s Kid Lithttps://janemouttet.wordpress.com/Book Review: One and Two
December 7Some the Wiserhttps://somethewiser.comBook Review: Book Two
December 8Jrsbookreviewshttps://jrsbookreviews.wordpress.com/Book Review: Book Two
December 9ShootingStarsMaghttps://shootingstarsmag.net/Book Review: Book Two
December 10Lisa’s Readinghttps://lisasreading.comBook Review: Book Two
December 11Life Is What It’s Calledlifeiswhatitscalled.blogspot.comBook Review: One and Two
December 14The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Book Review: Book Two

THE GENUINE ARTICLE

Just Between Sam and Me

Written by Cat Michaels and Rosie Russell

This middle-grade novel presents the triumphs and tribulations of Olivia Martin, a student beginning sixth grade in rural Spring Hope. She lives on a farm with her parents and older brother, Link. They all work hard to make ends meet.

Olivia’s best friends are a classmate named Isabelle, her cat, Sam, and her Palomino pony, Star. Olivia is saving up to buy a halter for Star because she hopes to enter him in The Spring Daze Festival next May. She will need to work hard to earn the money. Her plan is to create and sell beaded bracelets.

When Candace moves from New York City to Spring Hope, Olivia’s world is turned upside down. Candace is mean, bullying, and a gossip who tries to thwart Olivia at every turn. Olivia confides her problems to Sam by writing them down in her journal. Isabella proves to be a compassionate and wise friend who steadfastly stands behind her.

A series of unexpected events lead to successes and failures for Olivia, as well as the other characters in this touching tale. There are twists and turns that keep the plot interesting. Readers will empathize with Olivia’s trials and admire her tenacity and strength. The characters are so believable and relatable. The story brought me along a roller coaster of emotions. At times, I laughed, at other points in the story, I wanted to cry.

I applaud the authors for creating a deeply engaging plot and characters that will surely resonate with middle-grade readers. Highly recommended!

I received an advanced review copy of this book and voluntarily chose to read and review it with my honest opinions for no compensation.

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Check out all my learning resources at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

SHORT AND SWEET

The Mystery of Santa Claus

Written by Paul Moxham

Will is spending the Christmas holidays in Scotland at his grandparents house. His three best friends, Joe, Amy, and Sarah have joined him.

The foursome venture out to check out the scene of a recent accident in which a tree fell on a vehicle narrowly missing killing the driver. They are distracted when their dog follows another dog. Of course, they need to investigate the urgency. When they come upon a man dressed as Santa Claus in the snow, the mystery deepens. It’s Christmas Eve and the snow is falling. How will the children be able to rescue the injured driver and solve the mystery?

This thirty page short story is a page turned. Although it is written for middle-grade audiences, I could not put the book down. American readers should note that this book is written in British English, but it is an easy read.

I highly recommend adding it to your holiday reading list.

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SWEET DUET

Squirrel And The Yellow Balalaika

Written by Ira Alice

Illustrated by Elena Teplova

Chanterelle is a squirrel who lives in the park. She possesses an unusual passion for music. Chanterelle longs to hear musicians play each summer.

One day she hears music in the distance. Chanterelle is hesitant to leave her surroundings, but the sweet sounds lure her on. A raven gives her some advice. He encourages her not to be afraid. Chanterelle timidly ventures forth into the city.

Chanterelle meets Nina and her handicapped father. Nina plays a balalaika, the source of that sweet sound. But Chanterelle will also encounter bandits, bullies, and other dangers. Will she succeed in returning to the forest?
Can this plucky squirrel achieve her musical dreams?

I consider this book a beginning chapter or middle-grade tale that inspires young readers to stand up for their rights, maintain their dreams, and oppose bullies. Recommended for readers ages seven through twelve.

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Check out my website http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com to see all my learning resources.

WHO AM I?

MONSTER PROBLEMS:VAMPIRE MISFIRE

Written by R.L. Ullman

This book is part of a series that features eleven illustrated character profiles. In this volume, Bram Abrams a twelve-year-old foster child is the protagonist. He has bounced around in foster care since his parents were allegedly killed in a house fire.

Bram has a penchant for getting into trouble. He stays up all night and eats only red food. What Bram does not realize is that he is the world’s last living vampire. After escaping a pack of werewolves, Bram is recruited into a clandestine school for monster kids. His enemies are determined to enlist him in their nefarious causes. Will Bram succeed in outwitting them?

The characters in this series are funny, smart, and outrageous. Just the ticket to attract middle-grade readers seeking a fast-moving sci-fi adventure. Bram learns to face adversity and find the inner strength to solve his problems. Recommended for any age reader, but especially for ages nine through twelve.

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Check out all my learning opportunities at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

#BethatSpark Blog Awareness Tour and #Giveaway

This tour is hosted by the Children’s Book Review and sponsored by Zuroam Media.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Little Spark

Written by Chris Parsons

Illustrated by Mike Motz

Publisher’s Synopsis: When the survival of their hometown is threatened, two unlikely comrades join forces on a quest to defeat a dangerous enemy and bring back the only one who can save them all.

Beyond the frozen mountains there lies an oasis from the frigid cold and the howling winds. A place the animals call Lake Zuron. What a wonderful place, happy creatures of all kinds, living in harmony and warmth thanks to their very own fire-breathing dragon named Daniel.

But one day everything changed when the unthinkable happened. The Dragon fire goes out and immediately the air begins to chill. Things were not looking good but just when all hope was lost, an unlikely hero steps up. Join Spark the mouse on an adventure of a lifetime as he and his friends do their part to save their town from an icy demise.

With the magical power of Daniel, the Dragon there could be hope. But first, they must face and defeat a dangerous enemy, the vile beasts who own these mountains where nobody passes through.

Along this journey maybe you will discover that it’s that little Spark in each of us that really matters, and that a little Spark could save them from the coming cold. The story reminds us that we all need something in life every day to ignite our passion and spirit – to help the world be a “warmer” place and to look for ways to “Be That Spark.”

Ages 7+ | Publisher: Zuroam Media | October 1, 2020 | ISBN-13: 978-1735145501

About the Author

Chris Parsons grew up in the small fishing village of Flatrock, Newfoundland where he was surrounded by storytellers. When he became a father, he began creating his own children’s stories, and soon he was sharing them with a wider audience.

Over time, his audience grew up, but he continued to create his stories and colorful characters mostly for his own enjoyment. One day he had a flash of inspiration about a little mouse named Spark and began to create the world of A Little Spark.

Today, Chris lives in Dallas. He has left the high-tech world of innovation and business development behind and is focused on his real passion – to create new meaningful experiences for children centered around powerful and engaging stories like ” A little Spark.”

Together with his wife, Kathleen, daughter, Maggie, and son, Kealan, they share a love for all God’s creatures.

bethatspark.com | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

About the Illustrator

Mike Motz is a children’s book illustrator and publishing professional based out of Toronto, Canada. Motz has helped writers around the world fulfill their dreams of publishing their works. To date, Motz has been responsible for the creation of the artwork for over 300 self-published children’s books.

About the Narrator

Brandon McInnis is a voice actor and singer known primarily for his work on animation and video games. He voices Sir Nighteye in My Hero Academia, Ganos in Dragon Ball Super, Finral Roulacase in Black Clover, Asagiri Gen in Dr. Stone, Yuna D. Kaito in Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, Frodo Baggins in Lord of the Rings Online, Patrick Phelps in Black Butler, Sonosuke Izayoi in Danganronpa 3, Erlang Shen in SMITE, and many more.

With a deep love for music production and originally trained as an opera singer, Brandon also produces music for release on YouTube and Spotify. He can be followed on Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram: @BranMci.

About the Music Producer

Bruce Faulconer is a musician, composer, and record producer based in Dallas, Texas. He is the owner and founder of Faulconer Productions Music, and CakeMix Recording Studio. Faulconer writes music for orchestra, various instrumental and choral groups, along with the music for feature films, and TV series, including the anime Dragon Ball Z. He recently completed twelve songs for A Little Spark, included in a new audiobook, an interactive children’s book, and an animated feature film in development. He resides in Dallas with his wife Lisa and is the father of two sons.

My Review of A LITTLE SPARK

SMALL BUT MIGHTY

A Little Spark

Written by Chris Parsons

Illustrated by Mike Motz

This interactive book is a valuable resource for young children’s minds on so many levels. It is innovative, inspiring, and entertaining.

The target audience range is a wide one. This book contains rich illustrations that could place it in the picture book category. But with a length of more than one hundred fifty pages, it also might be considered a chapter book or a middle-grade reader. What it delivers is a range of fascinating animal characters which are personified with a range of human emotions and aspirations. There are fire-breathing dragons, bears, mice, weasels, goats, cats, and raccoons. They live in Lake Zuron, an oasis on the edge of a frozen world. Their world survives only because of the warmth provided by Daniel, a fire-breathing dragon. Lake Zuron is not an ideal society. The “Supervisors” contain the stronger animals, a ruling class. Far below them, “The Streeters,” perform all the work.

One day, Daniel loses his ability to produce fire. Lake Zuron faces extinction. But Sparky, a tiny mouse, finds within himself the courage to make the perilous journey over the frozen wasteland of their enemies, the Scabes, to follow a rumor that another land survives on the other side of the mountain. He and Veen venture to the other side. Will they discover salvation or face extinction?

Young readers learn many lessons from the colorful cast of characters as the adventure unfolds. Hope, courage, friendship, equality, fairness, and responsibility are exemplified in the faces and actions of the characters, both large and small. But Parsons provides much more than an excellent book. Embedded within its pages are a collection of twelve songs, private video messages from the characters, the ability to take a photo with your favorite character, or an opportunity for readers to share their personal opinions on the interactive lesson pages at the end of the book.

I highly recommend this unique educational resource for readers age eight through eighty-eight.

PURCHASE LINK

Before October 1st, pre-order your copy, email the team at Zuroam Media, and they’ll give you the audiobook free so you can enjoy it while you wait for the book to arrive. You can find all the email address and links to your favorite bookstore here: https://bethatspark.com/shop/.

Click the link below to enter the GIVEAWAY

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282179/

Enter for a chance to win the A Little Spark prize pack.

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A hardcover copy of A Little Spark, autographed by author Chris Parsons.
  • A downloadable audiobook of A Little Spark.
  • A Little Spark USB drive with the A Little Spark music album.
  • One set of Apple AirPods Pro for listening to the outstanding audiobook and music!

Two (2) winners receive:

  • A hardcover copy of A Little Spark, autographed by author Chris Parsons.
  • A downloadable audiobook of A Little Spark.

Giveaway begins August 24, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends September 24, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

TOUR SCHEDULE

August 24The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Book Review
August 25JrsbookreviewsHttp://www.jrsbookreviews.wordpress.comBook Review
August 26Over Coffee Conversationshttps://gmarciano.blogspot.comGiveaway
August 27Heart to Hearthttp://tynea-lewis.com/Giveaway
August 28The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Interview
August 30Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttps://bamauthor.meBook Review
August 31Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Momhttp://wannabesuperheromom.blogspot.com/Book Review
September 1A Dream Within A Dreamhttp://adreamwithindream.blogspot.comBook Review
September 3Satisfaction for Insatiable Readershttp://insatiablereaders.blogspot.comGuest Post
September 8Fairview Elementary School (Library)https://fveslibrary.blogspot.com/Book Review
September 9icefairy’s Treasure Chesthttp://icefairystreasurechest.blogspot.com/Book Review
September 15Library Lady’s Kid Lithttps://janemouttet.wordpress.com/Intervie

CARIBBEAN CAPER

The Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle

Written by Paul Moxley

Amy, Sarah, and Joe, along with their friend Joe are with their guide Uti. Because their parents suddenly had to cancel, Uti is taking them to Oxley, a remote island on the outskirts of the Bermuda Triangle to see the exotic native animals.

Shortly, after their arrival, a sudden storm sweeps them out to sea before Uti can return to the wheelhouse. Alone and scared, the children are terrified when a ship crashes right into them. To their dismay, Captain Red, a pirate, is in command. Will the children survive the storm and escape from the pirates?

That is just the beginning of their adventures. A white gorilla, slithering reptiles, scary Natives, Will’s disappearance, aircraft, tunnels, and vampire bats are among the things the intrepid children will need to face.

The characters are nicely developed, the settings intriguing, and the action is nonstop, providing the perfect backdrop for a middle-grade or young adult thriller adventure.

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Visit all my learning opportunities at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

A DIFFICULT JOURNEY

Sagas of Anya

Written by Kirsten Mbawa

Anya is only thirteen. She lives in Cardiff, and her life has been difficult. Tad, her alcoholic father, has spiraled into alcoholism and depression. Unable to support himself and his daughter, he secures a position as a scullery maid in London for her.

Anya’s adventure begins with a train ride on a contraption she has never laid eyes on. When she disembarks at Paddington Station, the sights and smells of Victorian England surround her. She has no idea of what to expect. When she meets her boss, Mrs. Axton, her fears escalate.

But as Anya settles into a life of drudgery, more trouble looms before her. Anya has secured a few friendships, but she has also made many enemies. The novel traces her struggle to clear her name. This young Victorian girl is determined to obtain a measure of happiness and find a family to accept and love her.

The book is a fast-moving historical fiction adventure that is perfect for middle-grade readers.

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Check out my resources for children, teachers, and parents on http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

How to Raise Children to Be Good Leaders – #4 in Leadership Skills Series

So you have tried to create a home environment conducive to instilling leadership skills for all your children, whether they be preschoolers or teens. It’s been said that leadership starts at home and directly linked to early training. Experts disagree about how much leadership is inborn and how much is learned. I believe that it’s a combination of learning plus a child’s innate abilities.

If you’d like to do what you can to raise your children to be good leaders, here are some tips that may help.

Teach Them to Think

Some argue that the school system, whether it be public or private, teaches kids what to think rather than how to think. Common core curriculum has placed uniform requirements and testing standards on schools across the United States. There are likely exceptions to this – special schools and special teachers – but it’s entirely possible that your kids are not being taught how to think. So whether you homeschool or enroll your children in a traditional school setting, you might try some of these exercises to encourage independent thinking.

  • Give them an age-appropriate reading task that expresses a particular point of view. An opinion piece in the newspaper is a good place to start. Ask what your child thinks about it, and have him or her write an age-appropriate response. Do the same thing with an article that expresses a contrary or different opinion.
  • Encourage them to read about topics and books that covers a range of opinions and views.
  • Ask them if they agree or disagree, and why.
  • Any time your child reads something, ask him (or her) what he thinks about it. Find out what information he drew from the reading rather than finding out if he picked up what she was “supposed to” from the reading. Let them know it’s okay to disagree with parents and teachers. Encourage them to discuss the reasons behind their disagreement.

Leaders tend to be independent thinkers, so these exercises may go a long way toward teaching your child to be a good leader.

Teach Organization

This may be something of a challenge for parents who aren’t that organized themselves! On the other hand, for those parents who are very organized, you might find that you tend to organize everything for your kids without teaching them to do it themselves. Parents need to discover a comfortable balance between the two.

Give them a calendar and show them how to keep track of their own activities. Chore lists are an excellent way to help them organize their time. Age-appropriate chores and activities, written down or drawn on a calendar, can help kids “see” their time and how they are using it, even if they are too young to tell time yet.

Ask for Arguments

Huh! Are you joking with me? Ask your kids to talk back to you?

The art of arguing respectfully is an important leadership quality. We’re not talking about angry arguments. Think in terms of negotiation and persuasion. Ask your child to tell you why he (she) wants a certain thing, or why he should be permitted to attend an event or participate in an activity. This helps your children learn how to analyze his thoughts and present reasons that produce an argument to justify why he should achieve this goal.

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#How to Foster Leadership Skills in Children – #3 Focus on Teens

How to Lead Teens

Leading teens is different than leading children and older adults. Your role is to guide them into maturity and teach them how to manage adult responsibilities. Teens can handle more responsibilities and understand what’s expected.

But many older adults are intimidated to lead teens since they have a reputation for being rebellious. What if they won’t listen? What if they ignore your advice and “walk all over you”?

Here are some tips that may help you to lead teens.

The Right Attitude

It’s important to respect a teen’s place in the leadership process. (This is important with all ages, but teens are more aware of their own independence.) Remember that you can’t be a leader without followers! The teens have to be there for the leadership to happen.

Respect

Respecting those you lead is important. Teens probably won’t respond well to just being given orders. One way you can show your respect to the youths under your care is to listen to them. Really hear them, and respond respectfully to what they say. This proves your respect for them, In addition, it also sets a respectful tone in your group. When you do this, you’re leading by example.

Insist on Respectful Behavior

Because you’re modeling it, this shouldn’t be difficult to enforce. Ask that your teens treat each other with respect, and you can set yourself up as an example.

Be “Real”

Teens have a nose for sniffing out when something or someone is faking it. The teens in your charge don’t really expect perfection. They would prefer to interact with someone whose flaws they can identify with than someone distant and unfamiliar. Make sure to guard against hypocrisy. It’s fine to be genuine and share that you used to be a smoker or drinker while telling your teens not to smoke or drink, but if you are still smoking, your words will ring hollow and fake.

The Importance of a Good Relationship

Leading teens means assuming the role of a mentor and adviser. Mentoring means setting up an environment where learning takes place. Always set aside a time for teaching and answering questions. To form an effective leadership relationship with teens, it’s critical to know when to step back and let the teen try on his or her own and when to step in. If you develop a good relationship with your teens, then you will likely know them well enough to have figured out when to get involved and when to back off.

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