Posts from the ‘fiction’ Category

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

Blank Space: A story about reading for 7-10 year old reluctant readers

Written and Illustrated by Beth Bacon

What a refreshing way to address the feelings of reluctant readers! For children with reading disabilities this book demonstrates the empathy their teachers and fellow students should display.

The protagonist is a student who has been asked to write in a journal about his favorite part of a book. All the other students have their notebooks filled with words and ideas. This student has a journal with blank pages because his favorite part of a book is the blank space. Why? He uses the spaces to imagine, design, and recreate the meaning of the words in his mind. When he gets a chance to explain this to the class, they finally realize the import of his message.

The concrete poetry and unique design of the pages within this book are a visual treat. Its message is one that needs to be heard. While very young students may not fully comprehend the message, I feel this book is an effective tool for middle-grade students, teachers, and parents of reluctant readers.

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#GREYSTONESECRETS

In Partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Harper Collins Publishers

ABOUT THE BOOK

Greystone Secrets 3: The Messengers

Written by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Ages 8-12 | 416 Pages

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books | ISBN-13 : 978-0062838438

Publisher’s Synopsis: As book three of the Greystone Secrets series opens, the Greystone kids have their mother back from the evil alternate world, and so does their friend Natalie. But no one believes the danger is past.

Then mysterious coins begin falling from unexpected places. They are inscribed with codes that look just like what the Greystones’ father was working on before he died. And with the right touch, those symbols transform into words: PLEASE LISTEN. And FIND US, SEE US, HELP US. . . .

The coins are messengers, telling the Greystones and their allies that their friends in the alternate world are under attack—and that the cruel, mind-controlling forces are now invading the better world, too.

After another spinning, sliding journey across worlds, the Greystone kids must solve mysteries that have haunted them since the beginning: what happened when the Gustanos were kidnapped, what created the alternate world, and how a group of mismatched kids can triumph once and for all against an evil force that seems to have total control.

PURCHASE LINKS

https://amzn.to/2PrjXmV

https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9780062838438

OFFICIAL LINKS

www.haddixbooks.com

@theshelfstuff

@haddixbooks

About the Author

Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm in Ohio. As a kid, she knew two girls who had the exact same first, middle, and last names and shared the same birthday—only one year apart—and she always thought that was bizarre.

As an adult, Haddix worked as a newspaper reporter and copy editor in Indiana before her first book, Running Out of Time, was published. She has since written more than forty books for kids and teens, including the Greystone Secrets series, the Shadow Children series, the Missing series, the Children of Exile series, and lots of stand-alones. Haddix and her husband, Doug, now live in Columbus, Ohio, where they raised their two kids. You can learn more about her at www.haddixbooks.com.

MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK

DOUBLE TROUBLE

This book is the conclusion of the Greystone Secrets series. While reading the first two books in the series is not necessary, I would recommend readers do so in to get the full impact of the author’s message.

Book Three begins with the return of the Greystone kids’ mother from an alternate evil universe in which their father has been killed. They all remain in danger. The leaders from that evil world are tying to kill them. Then strange coins start falling from everywhere. These coins are inscribed with messages like please listen and find us. They are messages from the alternate world pleading for help from their evil attackers. The Greystone kids, Chess, Finn, and Emma, partner with their doubles, the Gustano children to slide between the two worlds in a frantic effort to save both worlds and them.

Readers will be intrigued by the notion of mismatched doubles who do not match each other physically but share other familiar traits. They need to overcome their fears and weaknesses, combine their strengths, and use their smarts to defeat the overwhelming forces of evil.

This is a fast-moving adventure that will keep the reader from putting the book down. The characters are believable and richly drawn. Young readers can easily identify with their struggles and empathize with their successes and failures.

Highly recommended for ages eight through eighty-eight.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a set of the Greystone Secrets series, including Greystone Secrets 3: The Messengers.

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A paperback copy of Greystone Secrets 1: The Strangers
  • A paperback copy of Greystone Secrets 2: The Deceivers
  • A hardcover copy of Greystone Secrets 3: The Messengers

The giveaway begins April 6, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT, and ends April 22, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Click on the link below to enter the giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282213/

TOUR SCHEDULE

Tuesday, April 6, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewA book review ofGreystone Secrets 3: The Messengers
Wednesday, April 7, 2021Lisa’s ReadingAn interview withMargaret Peterson Haddix
Thursday, April 8, 2021Over Coffee ConversationsBeyond the Book Activity ForGreystone Secrets 3: The Messengers
Friday, April 9, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledAn interview withMargaret Peterson Haddix
Sunday, April 11, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofGreystone Secrets 3: The Messengers
Monday, April 12, 2021ShootingStarsMagAn interview withMargaret Peterson Haddix
Tuesday, April 13, 2021Library Lady’s Kid LitA book review ofGreystone Secrets 3: The Messengers
Wednesday, April 14, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book review ofGreystone Secrets 3: The Messengers
Thursday, April 15, 2021Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book giveaway ofGreystone Secrets 3: The Messengers
Friday, April 16, 2021J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review ofGreystone Secrets 3: The Messengers
Monday, April 19, 2021Glass of Wine, Glass of MilkA book review ofGreystone Secrets 3: The Messengers
Tuesday, April 20, 2021icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofGreystone Secrets 3: The Messengers
Wednesday, April 21, 2021Tales of a Wanna-Be SuperHero MomBeyond the Book Activity ForGreystone Secrets 3: The Messengers

#IAMTHE SHARK – SHARK BONANZA #GIVEAWAY

IN PARNERSHIP WITH THE CHILDREN’S BOOK REVIEW

I AM THE SHARK

Written by Joan Holub

Illustrated by Laurie Keller

OFFICIAL LINKS

For more information, visit joanholub.com.

ABOUT THE BOOK

I Am the Shark

Written by Joan Holub

Illustrated by Laurie Keller

Ages 4-8 | 48 Pages

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

ISBN-13: 978-0525645283

Publisher’s Synopsis: Hi! I am Great White Shark, and if you get this book, you’ll read all about ME–the greatest shark in the sea!

Not so fast! Greenland Shark here, and as the oldest shark in this book, that makes me the greatest.

Did someone say fast? I’m Mako Shark, and I’m the fastest shark in this book! Eat my bubbles!

Wow, I’m Hammerhead Shark. You don’t need my special eyes to see that there are lots of great sharks in this book. Sink your teeth into it now!

New York Times bestselling author Joan Holub makes a splash with bestselling illustrator Laurie Keller to deliver an entertaining undersea story that encourages self-acceptance and self-esteem, and is filled with humor and the greatest shark facts in the ocean!

PURCHASE LINKS

https://amzn.to/3tPqDtW

https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9780525645283

MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK

The Great White Shark introduces himself as the greatest shark in this book. Not so fast, he has some serious competition. In this superbly illustrated picture book, readers learn about which sharks claim to be the biggest, smallest, oldest, fastest, sneakiest, smartest, and brightest shark of all. Does it really matter? Like all the sharks, each of us is unique and has some special quality to offer the world.

Holub has packed an amazing amount of information about sharks and their world in this forty-eight-page picture book. The layout features gorgeous, vibrant illustrations with easy-to-read text. In addition, there are detailed diagrams and charts that will provide a plethora of knowledge about the shark world. There is also a list of resources for older readers to continue their research about sharks.

I highly recommend this book for shark lovers of all ages from age four to ninety-four.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win an I Am the Shark prize pack!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A hardcover copy of I Am the Shark, autographed by Joan Holub
  • A child-size shark print art/cooking apron
  • A $50 Target gift card

Two (2) winners receive:

  • A hardcover copy of I AM THE SHARK, autographed by Joan Holub

The giveaway begins March 26, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends April 26, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282212/

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, March 29, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewA book review ofI Am the Shark
Tuesday, March 30, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledAn interview withJoan Holub
Wednesday, March 31, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book review ofI Am the Shark
Thursday, April 1, 2021J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review ofI Am the Shark
Friday, April 2, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewAn interview withJoan Holub
Monday, April 5, 2021Glass of Wine, Glass of MilkA book review ofI Am the Shark
Tuesday, April 6, 2021icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofI Am the Shark
Wednesday, April 7, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofI Am the Shark
Thursday, April 8, 2021Library Lady’s Kid LitA book review ofI Am the Shark
Friday, April 9, 2021Heart to HeartAn interview withJoan Holub
Monday, April 12, 2021Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review ofI Am the Shark
Tuesday, April 13, 2021A Dream Within a DreamA book review ofI Am the Shark
Wednesday, April 14, 2021Comfy Chair BooksA book review ofI Am the Shark

#Mesopo Blog Tour and #Giveaway

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CHILDREN’S BOOK REVIEW AND EVA DIETRICH

ABOUT THE BOOK

Mesopo

Written by Eva Dietrich

Illustrated by Ingrid Kallick

Ages 9+ | 338 pages

Publisher: Independently published | ISBN-13: 978-1731518217

Publisher’s Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Ankido is on a quest to save his missing father through the magical realm of Mesopo.

Mesopo is the land where all fantasy originates, a land whose words and language are in peril. Can Ankido save his father and restore all these words in time?

It was a red velvet box, the size of a school book. Ankido lifted the lid, revealing an old-fashioned quill made out of a reed. It smelled remote and otherworldly. Ancient. And for a reason he couldn’t explain, everything felt all right for a moment.

He thought he caught a sound flowing out of the quill, a word maybe. He wasn’t sure and he shook his head. This was ridiculous. No, he surely must have been mistaken. But there! There was the sound again. This time Ankido was sure of it.

“Mesopo” … whispered in a way that slipped around the room like the warm breeze of the desert.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3rCz7Ts

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9781733367103

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eva Dietrich is the author of The Great Rainbow Hug (Le gros câlin arc-en-ciel, from Samir Editeur, 2011), recognized by La Revue Des Livres Pour Enfants in 2011 as their annual selection. Eva holds Masters’ Degrees in Children’s Literature from the University of Surrey, London, and Creative Writing from the Metropolitan University of Manchester, UK, and is the founder and director of Aladdin Books. She is equal parts Spanish and German, and currently resides in Madrid with her three kids, three dogs, two cats, three rabbits, and lots of hens.

For more information, visit https://www.aladdin-books.com/

MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK

WORDS ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN SWORDS

Ankido Gulzar is a twelve-year-old boy of British-Iraqi descent. He loves to write so much that his grandmother, Habubti, calls him Word Boy.

One day his grandmother comes to report that Ankido’s father, an archaeologist who has been working in Iraq, is missing. She is going there to search for him. Before she leaves, Habubti, entrusts him with the book she has been working on. She warns him to guard it carefully and never let it get into the hands of his Aunt Geraldine. Habubti also gives him a velvet box with a quill pen that he can use to get in touch with her.

Ankido is left in the care of Geraldine and her husband. They treat him poorly, but Ankido loves his two female cousins dearly. When Geraldine demands Ankido give up his grandmother’s book, Ankido throws it into the fire. His aunt plots to place Ankido in a boarding school but before he arrives there, Ankido finds himself in a magical place called Mesopo.

Mesopo is a gateway to ancient Nineveh. It is a land of words. But these words are in danger of disappearing. Why is Ankido the only one who can save this civilization? What role does his aunt and grandmother play? What can his beloved cousins do to save him?

Dragons, demons, myths, and magic are woven into the plot. Middle-grade readers are treated to well-defined, strong characters who must use their strengths and conquer their weaknesses. A few fantastic illustrations assist the reader to visualize this magical land and its alluring inhabitants. Our words are powerful, and they must be protected.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Mesopo and a feather dip quill pen writing set!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A paperback copy of Mesopo
  • A digital copy of Mesopo
  • A Feather Dip Quill Pen Writing Ink Set

Two (2) winners receive:

  • A choice of:
    • A paperback copy of Mesopo
    • A digital copy of Mesopo

The giveaway begins April 1, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends April 30, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Click on the link below to enter

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282216/

TOUR SCHEDULE

Thursday, April 1, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewA book review ofMesopo
Friday, April 2, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book review ofMesopo
Saturday, April 3, 2021Library Lady’s Kid LitA book review ofMesopo
Sunday, April 4, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofMesopo
Tuesday, April 6, 2021Lisa’s ReadingA book review ofMesopo
Wednesday, April 7, 2021A Dream Within a DreamA book review ofMesopo
Thursday, April 8, 2021Crafty Moms ShareA book review ofMesopo
Monday, April 12, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledA book review ofMesopo
Tuesday, April 13, 2021icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofMesopo
Thursday, April 15, 2021Book Bug CAA book review ofMesopo
Monday, April 19, 2021J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review ofMesopo
Tuesday, April 20, 2021Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersAn interview withEva Dietrich
Friday, April 26, 2021Tales of a Wanna-Be SuperHero MomA book review ofMesopo

FOWLED AGAIN

The Easter Rooster

Written by Daniel Williamson

Illustrated by Kleverton Monteiro

This rhyming picture book written in British English laments the fate of a rooster who cannot protect the chickens’ eggs on Easter. The rooster vows that this year will be different. He tries his best but falls asleep while counting sheep.

Undeterred, the rooster traces the path of the bunny thief and attempts to retrieve the eggs. Will he succeed in returning them to the farm? Will the children waiting for their Easter eggs be disappointed?

Read this picture book to find out. Recommended for preschool and primary grade readers.

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SOMEDAY…

A Farm Called Someday: A Novel of 1950s Montana

Written by Penelope Merrell

This middle-grade novel provides a fascinating glimpse into one family’s growth and evolution. The narrator is one of four sisters who describes her coming of age within a family that matures along with her.

Valene loves to write. The reader is treated to her reminiscences through her journal. It describes the struggles of a family who are fiercely devoted to each other yet defined by distinct differences. Valene loves horses and dreams of owning one Her family needs to make many sacrifices before they can buy their own farm. The word someday always seems far off. That is why Valene thinks it is the perfect name for their farm.

Readers learn what life is like growing up on a farm. How does one feed and care for animals, and live without conveniences like central heat and running water? Merrell’s drawings help readers visualize what a 50s washing machine and iron look like. She describes the stringing of lines for telephones, and the Sears Wish Book Catalog.

Many of the trials and tribulations of growing up have not changed. Teasing, bullying, and jockeying for power among siblings are still present. Merrell brings her characters to life. Today’s youth learn a lot about the past and how to appreciate modern conveniences, while getting a good flavor of living on a 1950s Montana farm.

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SIMPLY PUT…

Little Bluebird: A Hero in Me and You

Written by Erin Murphy

Illustrated by Mykyta Harretts

Edited by Nadara Merrill

A very short book for preschoolers. This picture book teaches we may look different on the outside, but our uniqueness is also our strength. Cute illustrations that are multicultural and include disabilities.

Recommended for toddlers and preschoolers.

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POIGNANT AND POWERFUL

The Boy Who Painted the World: A Middle Grade Novel

Written by Melody J. Bremen

While the subtitle of this book indicates a middle grade novel, this book can be enjoyed by adults as well. It tells the story of Indigo, a ten-year-old boy who is abandoned by his mother. He finds a friend with Jade, an older teen, who tries to take care of him until fate intervenes. They are separated and Indigo is forced to fend for himself. Indigo has a passion for painting. It fuels his desire to survive. He is resilient and resourceful. While Indigo is wary of trusting others, he gradually learns to reach out and experience a connection to others.

Bremen does a marvelous job of painting her characters and developing them for her readers. Each page reveals a different layer. This book is addictive, once opened the reader will have difficulty putting it aside. Readers cannot wait to discover what will happen to Indigo and his newly found friends and enemies.

This is a powerful story about resilience, homelessness, and adoption. These issues are addressed within a moving novel that encourages deep thought and discussion. Highly recommended for readers aged ten and older.

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FEELING LEFT OUT

INSPIRE KINDNESS: A Rhyming Read Aloud Book for Kids About Empathy and Kindness

Written and Illustrated by Lily Lopez

Lily feels out of place on her first day at a new school. She doesn’t look like the other students and they seem to ignore her in class, at lunch, and in the playground.

When one girl approaches her to welcome her, Lily is overwhelmed by one simple act of kindness. The author includes 24 tips a young child can use to express kindness and a kindness calendar that can be used as a reminder to express kindness to others.

This is a short multicultural picture book for primary grade readers. Lovely illustrations with short rhymes.

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EYES WIDE OPEN

Right Before Sleep (Milo and Cat)

Written and illustrated by Miro Tartan

Milo is trying to get to sleep. His pet cat snuggles with him. Putting their heads together, the two friends are determined to find a way to fall asleep. After trying some common tried and true remedies like counting sheep, drinking warm milk, and putting on warm socks, they decide to play music and then make the bed comfortable. Still, they are unsuccessful so the friends try to combine them together. Will they ever find a way to close those eyes?

This is a cute, rhyming picture book for toddlers and preschoolers who find it difficult to wind down at the end of the day. Remarkably, the solution is quite simple.

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