Posts from the ‘coming of age’ Category

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.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my book reviews, videos, teaching resources, and book series. Check them out at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

#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

PIECES OF OURSELVES #fragments

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Big Ideas Press

ABOUT THE BOOK

Fragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection

Written by Maura Pierlot

Ages 12+ | 126 Pages

Publisher: Big Ideas Press | ISBN-13: 978-0645099805

I feel like I’m a piece, a fragment that’s missing all the good bits, but I don’t know where to find the rest … the parts I need to work properly. I bet they wouldn’t fit anyway. (Lexy, age 17)

Publisher’s Synopsis: Eight young people navigating high school and beyond, each struggling to hold on – to family, to friends, to a piece of themselves. Perhaps you know them. The bubbly girl who keeps telling you she’s okay. The high achiever who’s suddenly so intense. The young teen obsessed with social media. The boy challenged by communication. Every single day they, and others, are working hard to keep it together. So hard, they don’t see their friends are struggling, too. Through eight imagined stories, Fragments moves from a place of disconnection to connectedness.

The action of Fragments takes place in the minds and hearts of an ordinary group of young people. Their stories encompass anxiety, depression, neurodivergence, gender dysphoria, social media, bullying, family dysfunction, cross-cultural diversity, and more, culminating in a sense of hope. Although set in Australia, their stories could take place anywhere.

From the Playwright: Rarely presenting as neat packages, mental health issues often involve feelings and behaviors with jagged edges and blurred origins. Fragments embodies the theme that stress at home, at school, and in life is challenging young people beyond their usual coping abilities, leaving them disenfranchised and vulnerable. So much of adolescent life is spent looking inwards that it’s perhaps not surprising that mental health issues are often internalized. I wrote Fragments to start a conversation. It’s only when we speak openly about mental health issues – without fear or judgment – that we can chip away at the stigma that prevents many people from seeking help. It is my hope that the work will find its way into schools in Australia and overseas. The publication includes a comprehensive Study Guide, detailing activities and curriculum links for English, Drama/Arts, Health & PE, Civics, and more.

A powerful and timely mental health resource for young people and their families. Essential reading for high school.

PURCHASE LINKS

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

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9780645099805

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Fragments-Maura-Pierlot/9780645099805

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maura Pierlot is an award-winning author and playwright who hails from New York but has called Canberra, Australia home since the early 1990s. Her writing delves into complex issues including memory, identity, self, and, more recently, mental health. Following its sellout 2019 season in Canberra, Maura’s debut professional theatre production, Fragments is being adapted for the digital space, supported by artsACT. The work is published online by Australian Plays Transforms and in print by Big Ideas Press.

Maura is a past winner of the SOLO Monologue Competition, Hothouse Theatre for her play, Tapping Out. Her plays have been performed in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, and Hollywood. A former medical news reporter and editor of Australian Medicine, Maura also writes for children and young adults. In 2017 she was named winner of the CBCA Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program, and recipient of the Charlotte Waring Barton Award, for her young adult manuscript, Freefalling (now True North). Maura’s debut picture book, The Trouble in Tune Town won the 2018 ACT Writing and Publishing Award (Children’s category) along with international accolades.

Maura’s poetry, short stories, microfiction, and essays appear in various literary journals and anthologies. Maura has a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate, each in philosophy, specializing in ethics. When she’s not busy writing, Maura visits schools and libraries as a guest reader and speaker, serves as a Role Model for Books in Homes, and contributes reviews for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s online magazine, Reading Time.

For further information on Maura and her work, Fragments please visit: https: //maurapierlot.com and https: //fragmentstheplay.com.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Fragments and a $50 Amazon gift card!

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

https://gleam.io/bJGIX/fragments-giveaway

A copy of Fragments

A $50 Amazon gift card

Four (4) winners receive:

A copy of Fragments

The giveaway begins September 6, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 6, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

MY REVIEW OF FRAGMENTS:

FRAGMENTS: Journeys from Isolation to Connection

Written by Maura Pierlot

Fragments is a series of monologues that lend a voice to issues of mental health faced by teens all over the world today. In these monologues, readers follow the struggles of eight teens who seek hope as they fight mental health challenges. Each fight to maintain their connections to family, friends, and the community in which they live. The monologues are representative of the issues faced by youth and adults in the challenging times of which we live.

The actors represent young people around the world struggling with emotional, social, physical, and mental issues during their teenage years. As they reveal themselves, readers at once laugh, cry, feel their pain, and empathize with one or more of the issues described. The actors may appear to be disconnected, but in truth, they are seeking the possibility of connecting with one another.

The study guide included delineates themes, the background of characters, summaries of each monologue, and curriculum guide. While the monologues are matched to the Australian curriculum for high school studies, it can readily be adapted to standards used around the world.

Pierlot’s play provided her audience an opportunity to witness the problems and challenges facing youth today. Now readers of Fragments are given the opportunity to read and ponder the insights of these teens into the causes of mental issues and the realities they present for those who are suffering. Highly recommended read and discussion opportunity for teens and adults.

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, September 6, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewTour Kick-OffFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Tuesday, September 7, 2021Over Coffee ConversationA guest article fromMaura Pierlot
Wednesday, September 8, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Thursday, September 9, 2021Tales of a Wanna-Be SuperHero MomA book giveaway ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Friday, September 10, 2021A Dream Within a DreamA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Monday, September 13, 2021icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Tuesday, September 14, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Wednesday, September 15, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Thursday, September 16, 2021Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Friday, September 17, 2021The Momma SpotA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Saturday, September 18, 2021The Momma SpotAn interview withMaura Pierlot

DANCING THE NIGHT AWAY

JULIA JONES – My Worst Day Ever! – Book 1: Diary Book for Girls aged 9 – 12 (Julia Jones’ Diary)

Written by Katrina Kahler

Julia and Millie are best friends in seventh grade. Their very cool teacher, Mrs. Sheldon, is supervising the school musical. Millie and Julia have landed lead roles and Julia’s dancing experience gives her a prominent role in the choreography.

Enter Sara, a brand new classmate. While pretending to be friendly to everyone, including Julia, she is soon bullying her way into control. Whether it’s wearing the best clothes, buying the most expensive gifts, or flirting with Blake, Julia’s secret crush, Sara appears determined to show Julia in a bad light. Things go from bad to worse as a series of “coincidences” lead up to embarrassment and failure for Julia.

This book contains little more than 100 pages and moves quickly. It will appeal to reluctant readers and middle-school students as well as early teens. It’s the first book of the series and ends in a cliff-hanger.

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Check out a zillion learning opportunities for the whole family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

A nice way to learn about African history

Njinga of Ndongo

Written by Ekiuwe Aire

Illustrated by Natalia Popova

This beautifully written picture book is a wonderful addition to the library of late elementary and middle-school students. It relates the story of an African princess who became queen of two African kingdoms of the 1600s.

Njinga survived a difficult birth. After her father breathed life into her, he realized she was a survivor. Despite the jealousy of her older brother, Njinga succeeded in school and observed carefully. When her brother became king, she had to flee, but she returned when the country needed her.

This story is told simply yet eloquently. The illustrations are exquisite. There are beautiful maps, a timeline and historical facts that provide a plethora of information on African and Portuguese history.

I highly recommend the book to parents, teachers and librarians as a valuable reference book on medieval African history. It also provides a strong role model for young women who seek to be the future leaders of tomorrow.

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Check out learning opportunities for the whole family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

Means to an end…

New Worlds: The Secret World of Curly Jones #1

Written by Louise Guy

Curly Jones is eleven years old. He is bullied by his fifth-grade classmates and a mean teacher. Nothing seems to be going right until he meets a new neighbor, Belle. He is happy to learn she will be in his class.

Belle introduces him to a secret world. She shows him a magic tree house that transports her to a fantasy world. Curly cannot believe that Belle accepts him as her best friend. Together, they enter a secret world with magical creatures and fascinating adventures.

Curly discovers that Belle has magical powers, but that is just the beginning. After a few trips through the tree house portal, Curtly discovers a long-lost heritage that affords him the power to change his life and that of others.

This is the beginning of an adventure/fantasy series that will appeal to the eight to twelve year old reader. The book is an easy read with short chapters that are perfect for reluctant readers.

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Check out resources for your whole family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.COM

Three kids in trouble…

Thomas Templeton and the Whispers of Branson Manor

Written by Emily A. Stewart

Illustrated by Chad Stewart

Sarah, Thomas, and Evie are three orphans who have been taken in by their Aunt Gertrude. Gertrude never wanted them in her life.

When the siblings overhear that she is planning to get rid of Sarah and Thomas but keep Evie around to do her bidding, they decide to run away. How will they survive with limited resources and no one to watch out for them?

The resilient trio go on an adventure, adopt a lost pup, and meet a bunch of friendly and unfriendly characters. As Gertrude attempts to get them back for punishment, the three children find themselves in the house where their parents died. Strange things befall them. They learn about witches and curses. Will they escape their aunt and find a way to stay together? Is the house cursed? What happened to their parents?

Interesting characters, a nice blend of humor, mystery, with just enough scariness, combine to make this a middle-grade page turner.

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A SUMMERTIME ADVENTURE

The Universes Inside the Lighthouse: (Balky Point Adventure #1)

Written by Pam Stucky

A good choice for middle-grade and young adult readers looking for a summertime read. A vacation trip to an island turns into the adventure of a lifetime for teenage twins, Charlie, and Emma.

They cannot resist investigating the haunted lighthouse. Soon they get a lot more than they anticipated. This adventure combines real science, science fiction, magic, time-travel, and fantasy with two interesting characters.

Charlie and Emma become the detectives who discover multiple universes, two-dimensional characters, and a society that chooses to isolate its members. The twins are surprised to find alter egos and must figure out how to cope with them and find a way out of the void.

The dialogue is fun and the plot fast-moving. This is the first book in the series.

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Please check out my learning opportunities for the whole family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

WINDING THROUGH TIME

Ruin Hunters and the Dead Man’s Myth: A series of epic adventures throughout ancient sites across the globe!

Written by Rob Beare

Protagonist River Ruins is a junior archaeologist embarking with his family on the greatest adventure of his twelve years. In this first adventure book of a new series, River and his family will sail their way through the Caribbean. Here they will find themselves with codes that need to be solved, fortresses that need to be conquered, and pirates who will fight them each step of the way.

The Ruin Hunter Family are in search of a statue, The Glowing Idol of the ancient Mixtec people. They will engage in a fierce battle with the Helions, who are just as determined to fight to the death for the idol statue and secure it for themselves.

The series promises to be a hit with middle-grade adventure and history lovers, especially boys who love Indiana Jones’ tales. Maps and illustrations enhance the read for reluctant readers. Recommended for readers ages nine through thirteen.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

Check out learning opportunities for your whole family on http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

#sixthousanddoughnuts


In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Thomas Tosi

ABOUT THE BOOK

Six Thousand Doughnuts

Written by Thomas Tosi

Illustrated by Meaghan Tosi

Ages 8-12 | 284 Pages

Publisher: Dooney Press | ISBN-13 : 978-1954782013

Publisher’s Synopsis: Why would anyone need six thousand doughnuts?

Big family…little house… Fifth-grader Abe Mitchell is fed up with sharing. All he wants is something to call his own. And he just might get it when he finds a loophole in the fine print of a doughnut shop coupon. Abe thinks it entitles him to a fresh-baked mountain of crullers, dunkers, and chocolate-frosteds. But cashing in means war with Marlene Paczki, the daughter of the doughnut shop owner and Abe’s new crush.

PURCHASE LINKS

https://amzn.to/3fdV47n

https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9781954782013

MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

Six Thousand Doughnuts

Written by Thomas Tosi

Illustrated by Meghan Tosi

Abe Mitchell is tired of sharing. He lives in an attic space with his two older twin brothers. His sisters must also share. When his cousin Celia temporarily moves it, he is unhappy to learn that he and his brothers will now be sharing the attic with his sisters as well!

One day Abe is sharing a doughnut with his two sisters when he notices a coupon on his father’s coffee cup. He has won a free doughnut, one that he will not have to share. Abe’s dad refuses to return to the shop, so he decides to return another day.

Now Abe is a clever fifth grader. He notices the fine print that says prize may be exchanged for 1/20 of a cent. Abe quickly calculates that would be the equivalent of six thousand doughnuts. When Abe returns to the store to collect his prize, the owner demurs informing Abe that is just legal jargon. To make matters worse, Marlene Paczki, the owner’s daughter starts a food fight that nearly destroys the shop. Add to that, the fact that Abe develops a crush on Marlene, his problems continue to mount.

Read the rest of this hilarious, coming of age middle-grade novel to find out what happens to Abe, his family, and the doughnut shop. The black and white illustrations enhance this fun read and make it a perfect choice for a reluctant reader.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Thomas Tosi is a writer/filmmaker who, together with his wife, Heidi, has produced an award-winning children’s website, educational multimedia games, and dramatic films which have aired on national television, PBS affiliate stations, and screened in numerous film festivals. He was born and raised in New Hampshire, where he and Heidi still reside. He takes pride in the fact that they now live in a solar-powered home where they grow and can organic vegetables.

For more information visit thomastosi.com.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Meaghan Tosi, after being born on April Fools’ Day in New Hampshire, has collected a BFA from Laguna College of Art and Design. She illustrated this book and the graphic novel Squashed alongside author Thomas Tosi. She has also self-published DWEEDY: The Imagined Adventures of My Deceased Cat. She now lives in Portland, Oregon, for the art, coffee shops, vegan food, and the constantly lingering smell of rain.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a hardcover Six Thousand Doughnuts prize pack!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A hardcover copy of Six Thousand Doughnuts, autographed by Thomas Tosi
  • A high-quality ceramic Six Thousand Doughnuts diner mug featuring the Sweetly Crisp doughnuts logo.

Three (3) grand winners receive:

  • A hardcover copy of Six Thousand Doughnuts, autographed by Thomas Tosi

The giveaway begins May 19, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends June 19, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282229/?

TOUR SCHEDULE

Wednesday, May 19, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewA book review ofSix Thousand Doughnuts
Thursday, May 20, 2021Lisa’s ReadingA book review ofSix Thousand Doughnuts
Friday, May 21, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledA book review ofSix Thousand Doughnuts
Monday, May 24, 2021Shooting Stars MagA book review ofSix Thousand Doughnuts
Tuesday, May 25, 2021Crafty Moms ShareA book review ofSix Thousand Doughnuts
Wednesday, May 26, 2021icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofSix Thousand Doughnuts
Friday, May 28, 2021Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review ofSix Thousand Doughnuts
Monday, May 31, 2021A Dream Within A DreamA book review ofSix Thousand Doughnuts
Tuesday, June 1, 2021Lille Punkin’A book review ofSix Thousand Doughnuts
Wednesday, June 2, 2021J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review ofSix Thousand Doughnuts
Thursday, June 3, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofSix Thousand Doughnuts
Friday, June 4, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book review ofSix Thousand Doughnuts
Monday, June 6, 2021Glass of Wine, Glass of MilkA book review ofSix Thousand Doughnuts
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