Posts from the ‘coming of age’ Category

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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AT DEATH’S DOOR

Witch Hearts the Discovery of Magic and Power

Angharad Thompson Rees

This is the first book in a fantasy series for young adults. Triplets Morganne Amara, and Fae despair because their mother appears to be nearing death. They live in a secluded cottage at the edge of Mystic Wood.

Desperate to find a cure for their mother’s mysterious illness, the sisters venture into the woods in search of a cure. Little do they realize their problems are just beginning. Something or someone appears to be following them.

Once captured, the girls are deemed to be witches. How will they be able to save their mother? Will they succeed in escaping or are they doomed to the pyre?

I was impressed with the writing. The author succeeds in creating the mood and getting the atmosphere right. For a book that is fewer than one hundred pages, the characters are remarkably well-developed. This is a clean read and would be appropriate for advanced middle-grade readers as well as teens and adults.

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MISHAPS AND MAYHEM

Down with the Dance (Middle School Mayhem)

Written by C.T. Walsh

This book is the first in a new series. The story opens on the first day of middle school for Ben. He is smart and clever but haunted by his older brother, Derek. Derek is just eleven months older. Unlike Ben, he is athletic and popular.

Middle-school readers will delight in the colorful characters like Mr. Buthaire, the principal students love to outsmart. Ben desperately wants to take Sophie to the Halloween Dance but there is a plot to derail it and destroy Ben’s plan. The book contains lots of humor, sibling and peer rivalry, and smart kids determined to outsmart the adults in their lives.

This book is a good choice for readers in grades four through six, though reluctant readers and many young adults will also find it an interesting read.

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MISSING PARENTS AND PORTALS

Sen, Sanja and the Cube of Runes

Written by Borut Lesjak

This is book one of a middle-grade detective fantasy series. Sanja is awakened by a thunderstorm. Her older brother seems unconcerned. Shortly after the two siblings discover their parents are missing under mysterious circumstances. To make matters worse, Social Services wants to place them in foster care.

These intrepid siblings find a mysterious cube in the attic. They vow to employ their detective skills to solve the mystery and outrun Social Services. Sen and Senja employ magic and wizardly to navigate through time dimensions and mysterious portals encountering many interesting characters along the way. Will they solve the mystery of the cube, find their parents, and stay together?

The plot moves quickly and sustains interest. Lots of fun for readers ages eight through twelve.

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A PASSIONATE RESPONSE

Finding Freckles, Diary of My Best Friend, Horsing Around

Written by Molly Lawson

This middle-grade chapter book is narrated by Emma Williams, an eleven-year-old girl living in a rural South African village. The impetus for the diary is a writing assignment from Emma’s English teacher.

Emma writes honestly and openly. She reveals her hopes, fears, and dreams. Her fervent desire is to own a horse and become an expert jumper. Unfortunately, her single mom cannot afford to buy her a horse. Luckily, Emma’s best friend, Christine, lives on a neighboring farm. Christine is a good rider and that allows Emma to be around horses.

Emma’s story pulls the reader in because she is relatable to her readers. The characters are believable and appealing to a middle-grade audience. Not only do readers learn about horses, but they also pick up knowledge of geography and South African culture. This is book 1 of a series that promises to be the first of an interesting series. Will Emma achieve her dreams?

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GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF THINGS

Onward: The Search for the Dragon Gem: An InQuestigation

Written by Steve Behling

The book is based on the Disney movie. It is primarily a middle-grade read for fans of fantasy, magic, dragons, and coming-of-age novels.

Sadalia is a sophomore at Mushroomton High, Her passion is journalism. She constantly searches for that big story. When a red mist appears around the school one evening, her dream comes true. The high school is taken over by a dragon. The adventure of a lifetime begins.

Will things ever get back to normal? What part have her two schoolmates, Ian and Barley have in the mystery? Can Sadalia get her big scoop? Fans of the movie will want to check out the book. Recommended for grades three through seven.

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FOREVER FRIENDS

The Sunny Adventure: a story about true friendship (Animal World Alice Ira Book 1)

Written by Alice Ira

Illustrated by Elena Teplova

Translated by Nina Kutia

This book is a tender tale about a little fox named Redkin and her first hunting quest. Redkin is rather lazy. She reacts with shock where her mother tells her to go out and find her own food. A bit reluctantly, Redkin sets off on her quest. She looks up at the Sun and decides that it looks like a delicious pancake. She decides to bring it home to her mother.

Redkin meets a frog named Loudcroak along her route. They decide to become partners. Redkin remains fearful but Loudcroak provides the courage and inspiration to continue their search. Other animals offer advice, but the sun continues to elude them.

How will Redkin handle her defeat? What does the fox learn about friendship, compassion, and bravery?

This book is targeted for ages six through twelve. While the length of the book is appropriate for a beginning chapter book, some of the vocabulary is a bit advanced for the lower end of this audience. I would recommend the book particularly for reluctant readers; the illustrations are beautiful and suited to the mood of the tale. Recommended especially for readers ages eight through twelve.

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SECRET SANTA

Sophie Washington: Secret Santa

Written and Illustrated by Tonya Duncan Ellis

This Christmas themed story adds a nice touch to the Sophie Washington series of books. These chapter books are geared to middle-grade readers. The black and white line drawings enhance the tale and provide added incentives for beginning readers.

Sophie is now a sixth-grader at Xavier Academy. Her younger brother, Cole, is sometimes a thorn in her side, but she loves him dearly. Sophie steps in to protect him from a new neighbor who is bullying Cole. The main part of the plot involves a series of Christmas gifts that mysteriously appear on Sophie’s doorstep. The signature says from your Secret Santa. Sophie is puzzled. She and her girlfriends try to figure out the mystery. Then she learns that another boy in school is also receiving gifts. Sophie’s grandmother helps them to solve the mystery when a clue emerges. The giver is certainly not anyone they might have suspected.

This book is a beautiful story portraying the true Christmas spirit. Lots of wholesome family values, like supportive family relationships, bullying, and preteen angst are addressed. I highly recommend the book to lift holiday spirits. If you enjoy it, check out the entire Sophie Washington book series.

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WHO’S WHO

Brian: The Helmsworth Project: Book Two

Written by Madison Key

I did not read the first book in this science fiction, coming of age series, but I caught on after the first few pages. Sixteen-year-old Brian has managed to escape after his parents are killed and his home blown up. Brian’s sisters Claire and Jenna are under the protection of the FBI, as were his parents. He is being held off the coast of Mexico. It appears that his captors know of his psionic and pyrokinesis powers. While being held, Brian keeps in mental touch with his sister. But he is having difficulty figuring out who is the real enemy and being forced into submission to do their bidding.

Will Brian be able to untangle the web of deceit in time to get back to his sisters and safety? This book of fewer than fifty pages moves along quickly. Middle-grade, young adult and adult science fiction, and genetic engineering fans who enjoy a light, fast-moving read will probably like this series.

#mattmonroebooks #Giveaway #bookreview

Edward Torba’s Matt Monroe and the Haunted House blog tour!

Sponsored by The Children’s Book Review and New Shelves Books

GIVEAWAY
Enter For A Chance To Win A Matt Monroe Series Gift Basket!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A copy of Matt Monroe and the Secret Society of Odontology (Book 1)
  • An advanced reader copy of Matt Monroe and the Haunted House (Book 2)
  • Dental supplies!

Two (2) winners receive:

  • A copy of Matt Monroe and the Haunted House (Book 2)

Two (2) winners receive:

  • A digital copy of Matt Monroe and the Haunted House (Book 2)
    • This digital prize is open to worldwide entrants

Giveaway begins October 1, 2019, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 31, 2019, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

New Shelves Books is responsible for prize fulfillment.

https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/weblog/2019/10/matt-monroe-and-the-haunted-house-by-edward-torba-awareness-tour.html

ABOUT THE BOOK
Matt Monroe and the Haunted House

Written by Edward Torba

Publisher’s Synopsis: A haunted mansion. A community at risk. A group of teens with mysterious abilities. Strange sightings at the Payne mansion and baffling incidents in the countryside place the community of Kingston on edge. Did opening the portal to Paragon draw evil entities to Kingston? In facing this new threat, Matt Monroe soon realizes he is not the only one who has secret talents. Many of his companions have hidden abilities that are exposed as Matt and his friends confront a terrifying, ethereal foe.

Ages 9-12 | Publisher: All Points Press, LLC | October 15, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-0985082765

PURCHASE LINK
Amazon

OFFICIAL LINKS
https://edwardtorba.com

My Review

Matt Monroe and The Haunted House

Written by Edward Torba

This book is the second in the middle-grade adventure series featuring the Monroe boys and their select group of friends known as The Brotherhood. Matt and his older brother, Josh, live in the town of Kingston located in rural Pennsylvania. In Book One of the series, the boys discover wooden tablets and a mysterious ring in the attic of the family home. Together with their five friends who all have special talents, they move through a portal to a magical dimension, Paragon. Here they battle the evil one, Damien. During the battle, Josh is wounded by a dragon and still suffers from the injury.

Book Two opens with Matt discovering two children, Annabelle and Nathaniel, dressed in early twentieth century clothing, who a hiding from their evil stepfather. Matt has been experiencing strange dreams and is determined to save these children. At school, there are some curious new additions to the faculty. As the story evolves, new friends are introduced, each of which possesses a strange power. Rico Steele, the school bully, plagues and conspires against Matt and the Brotherhood. The parents of the children also have connections to Paragon.

The story contains magic, tarot readings, fantasy, and time travel as well as the usual conflicts of peer and student relationships. When Halloween arrives, they must all meet at the Payne house once again to confront the evil forces of Paragon. Will the Monroe family and their friends be able to overcome them?

There are many different story elements in this adventure that will appeal to a wide variety of preteen and teen readers. Many twists and turns keep the plot exciting and keep the reader in suspense. For me, the only con was it took a while to get up to speed on the characters because I did not read Book One.

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