Posts from the ‘coming of age’ Category

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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#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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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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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.

AN EGYPTIAN ENIGMA

Mystery of the Egyptian Mummy: (Kid Zet Detective Book 4)

Written by Scott Peters

My first time reading a book in this series. Zet is a twelve-year-old boy living in the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes. He and his sister, Kat, run a pottery stall in the market to support their family. One night a mummy, guarded by a jackal, arrives at their home. Terrified, the siblings return to the market the next day to find that the whole town believes them to be cursed. Their business collapses. That makes them determined to solve the mystery.

What they discover is a much larger plot that will endanger the royal family and all of Egypt. As they artfully unravel clues to solve the mystery, readers learn a lot of information about ancient Egyptian history and culture.

Peters creates interesting characters and an engaging plot to keep middle-grade readers engrossed throughout the read. Educational and entertaining.

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#HOW TO FOSTER LEADERSHIP SKILLS IN CHILDREN – #2 – SET AN EXAMPLE

Parents and teachers want children to be independent thinkers. They encourage children to develop their own opinions and have the courage to stand up for them. Whether you are working with children who are yours or you’re a caretaker for someone else’s children, learning how to lead them effectively is important. You may want to lead your kids to practice a healthy lifestyle, develop better communication skills, or something else. In any case, good leadership is a way to reach your goals with the children in your care.

How do you become a good leader for kids? It can be hard to know if you’re not used to it, or if you didn’t have strong leaders when you were a child. Here are some tips.

Set an Example

You’ve probably heard “lead by example,” but that means more than just doing something and hoping your kids will notice and imitate your behavior. It also means being purposeful in setting an example, and you’ll need to stop practicing certain behaviors and pay attention to what you say.

For instance, if you want your children to be patient with others – an important leadership attribute – then take care that you’re patient with them. If you want your children to be able to make decisions like a leader, then make sure you’re not making all of their decisions for them. Don’t be a helicopter parent. Permit your children to make mistakes and learn from them. To lead by example, you need to think about more than just living out healthy, positive lifestyle choices (although that’s important, too). It’s also important to set an example of how to treat others.

Include Them

Whether you are a teacher or a parent, including the children in your care is important to instill leadership. How do you include them? First, let them help. In the classroom, this might be a simple task like collecting papers and passing out papers. Students might be allowed to write an assignment on the board for the teacher. At home, let your children be a part of your daily routines, helping you wash the car and clean the house. After all, these are life skills, and those are the building blocks for good leadership.

Delegate

Good leaders know how to delegate responsibilities and tasks. In your home or classroom, give kids many different responsibilities. You can set things up so that the children in your care have a job to complete, and they have to delegate tasks to others to finish it. A different approach could be to simply explain the task, and give a job to each child to get it done. They will see the value of delegating. Perhaps, you might may explain that many jobs cannot be completed by one person without help from others. Each child participating will still have the satisfaction of helping to get something done.

Allow Them to Help Others

Wherever you can, let your kids help each other without being bossy or bullying. In fact, being bossy is not a good leadership skill. This is important to emphasize when you are working with children in different age groups. Teach them how to help others in an appropriate way, and then set up a scenario where that help can happen. When older siblings learn how to mentor rather than supervise a younger sibling, they learn how to transfer this skill from the family to the outside world. This method works in the classroom or at home with friends and/or siblings.

To Sum Up

Children are like sponges. They soak up what they see and hear in the world around them. Adults are their first role models. Parents, teachers, and caretakers set the example for the youth who will become tomorrow’s future. We will reap what we sow.

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#ANewWayofLife

Magic: The Molly Marsh Book Series: Book 1

Written by V. K. May

I would describe this book as a short story that could easily be developed into a full-length novel.

Molly Marsh is a curious ten-year-old whose parents are off on a scientific expedition to New Guinea. Her trepidation begins with a bumpy plane ride. Molly is enchanted when a beautiful blue butterfly alights on her.
When the family arrives at their new home, Molly meets Yosia, who will be working for them in their new jungle home. She is intrigued by him. At first his strange habits scare her. Then she learns about his magical talents.

These two characters are interesting and could be developed in a fuller narrative. I consider the adventure book a short, chapter book. It is well-written with challenging vocabulary that is most appropriate for nine to twelve-year-old readers.

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WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT

Kid Legends (True Tales of Childhood from the Books Kid Artists, Kid Athletes, Kid Presidents, and Kid Authors

Written by David Stabler

Illustrated by Doogie Horner

This book will inspire children to address their fears and reaffirm their aspirations. It is divided into three parts. The first part explores difficulties overcome by J.K. Rowling, Peyton Manning, and Charles Schultz before they became successful. The second part discusses the struggles of Pablo Picasso, Muhammed Ali, and Ulysses Grant during childhood and how they overcame their handicaps to achieve fame. Part Three examines the role that family life played in the early lives of Jeff Kinney, John F. Kennedy, and Gabby Douglas. Before closing, the author and illustrator reveal facts about themselves

The illustrations are rich in detail and humorous. They are fun to look at and read. This book is perfect for middle-grade readers who are dealing with the same type of issues, bullying, family and peer relationships, and self-esteem. The book also provides an opportunity for jump-starting group discussions.

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