Posts from the ‘middle grades’ Category

#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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GETTING TO KNOW YOU

Familiar Shadows: A tale from The Federal Witch Series

Written by Taki Drake and T S Paul

This is the first book in an interesting series featuring magic, fantasy, and witches. The narrator is a Russian blue cat named Dascha. At the outset, Dascha has just had an argument with the members of her clowder. She comes from a long line of magical cats, but Dascha just wants to live a normal life. As she walks away, she is swept up by an eagle. Her vision is blurred, her hip is pierced, and she senses imminent death.

Suddenly another larger steppe eagle comes along and snatches Dascha away from her captor. When Dascha awakens, she finds herself in the company of the eagle named Glenfry and his familiar, a witch named Henley. These two live apart from a small village, which they try to protect. Dascha learns to love and revere her protectors, who will entice her to embrace her magical lineage. There will be an adventure, danger, and magic along the perilous journey.

This book of fewer than one hundred pages contains interesting characters and plotlines. I would recommend it for readers ages eight and older.

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ARA ROCKETS TO SUCCESS

Ara the Star Engineer

Written by Komal Singh

Illustrated by Ipek Konak

I loved this picture book which featured a determined young girl named Ara. She is aptly named for a constellation that contains seven stars. Ara is obsessed with big numbers. She introduces her readers to a number with 100 zeros, a googol. Together with her computer robot, DeeDee, Ara sets out to find out how many stars exist. They visit Innovation Plex, where Ara seeks experts to help her in her quest.

She meets Kripa, a problem solver, in the Data Center who tells her to have courage. Big Problems are solved with a plan. Next, she greets Parisa in the Ideas Lab, who creates the algorithms that permit computers to solve big problems. The next stop is the Coding Center where Diane writes code that allows the algorithm to communicate with the computer. When Ara and Dee put the plan into action, they come up with an error. So Ara visits Maria, the Troubleshooter, who installs more computing power with a new processor and memory chip. At last, they achieve success. Ara learns that collaboration and teamwork solve problems.

At the end of the book, readers find a journal record of the steps Ara followed as well as an introduction to some superheroes in computer science. There is also a glossary of technical terms from the story. The author targets this book for ages five through seven, though I would highly recommend it for older boys and girls as well. The design of the book features many bright colors and multicultural female role models. They certainly draw the eye inward but may be a bit too much stimulation for the younger reader. Hope to see many more books in this series.

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#MEETTHEAUTHOR

I have begun a new feature on my blog. Rather than simply reading and reviewing family-friendly books for my audience, I will be taking a peek behind the scenes at the writer. After all, we all want to know the mysterious person behind the curtain. So without delay, let me introduce you to the talented Ben Jackson.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ben Jackson was born in Tasmania, Australia and is a successful indie author that has been writing for over four years. Ben is married to Sam Lawrence, and together they specialize in self-publishing children’s books. They have been married for several years and have traveled together between Australia and Canada. Ben is also a freelance writer that specializes in writing website content for businesses and a wide variety of different articles.

They have published a series of children’s books called My Little Fart, as well as If I Was A Caterpillar and several other non-fiction books. Ben has numerous books in progress.

Hockey Wars 3 – The Tournament Is Finally Here!

Welcome to the third book in the Hockey Wars Series!

In Hockey Wars 1, we met the boys and girls from the Dakota Lightning and Hurricanes. Old rivalries were settled, and an uneasy friendship was reignited as Cameron and Lillie reignited their childhood friendship. Oh, and there was an epic pond skating game to settle who was better, boys or girls!

Hockey Wars 2 – The New Girl turned both teams’ upside down! No one loves change, but when new girl Mia inadvertently drives a wedge between Cameron and Millie, it throws both teams into chaos. Will new girl Mia be able to settle into the new team and find her groove on the arena ice, or will it be a complete disaster?

Both teams are on the road in Hockey Wars 3 as they head off to the first tournament of the season! Hockey Wars 3 sees the Lightning and Hurricanes hit the buses and head off to the hotel for a long weekend packed full of hockey and drama. When a strange boy starts showing some interest in Millie, will Cameron be able to reel in his protective nature and focus on the game, or will they head home without the tournament trophy?

Hockey Wars Series Purchase Links

Hockey Wars 1 Available now on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited

Hockey Wars 2 Available now on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited

Hockey Wars 3 Coming soon! Available for Preorder on Amazon now!

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BEN AND HIS WORK:

Ben and Sam Authors Instagram

Ben and Sam Authors Facebook

Ben and Sam Authors Goodreads

Ben and Sam Authors Twitter

Ben and Sam Authors Amazon Central

Ben and Sam Author Book Bub

WHAT TO DO?

Hermione Granger’s Unofficial Life Lessons and Words of Wisdom: What would Hermione (from the Harry Potter series) Say?

Written by Euphemia Pinkerton Noble

This is an interesting read for fans of the Harry Potter series of all ages. The author presents questions written in a journal format. Noble chooses situations that pop up in our everyday lives and then poses the question of how Hermione would answer.

Hermione Granger is the smartest witch at Hogwarts. She is a hard worker, who places a high value on loyalty, friendship and love. Hermione often chooses the more difficult path because she knows it is the right, if not easy, thing to do. At first, the boys ignore or resist her, but eventually come to know she is the one who holds things together.

Noble urges her readers to first read through the book quickly and make a few notes about the questions they find most relevant to themselves. I particularly enjoyed the section on facing challenges and chasing dreams in which so many middle-grade and teen readers will find much to think about. The last section on believing in yourself probably sums up Hermione’s philosophy on life best.

This book could become an asset for preteens and teens who are struggling to develop their own views. Parents, grandparents, and teachers might find this book a good way to open family discussions.

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#MEETTHEAUTHOR

I have begun a new feature on my blog. Rather than simply reading and reviewing family-friendly books for my audience, I will be taking a peek behind the scenes at the writer. After all, we all want to know the mysterious person behind the curtain. So without delay, let me introduce you to the talented Becky Benishek.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Becky Benishek  has a B.A. degree in English and loves to create stories that  help children believe in themselves and also develop compassion and empathy for others. This goes for adults, too! She also writes adult science fiction and fantasy stories. In her day job, she manages online communities that help people connect to people and resources they need. Becky is married with guinea pigs.

About the book:

The Squeezor is Coming!

**BRONZE MEDAL WINNER: Children’s Books – Social Issues, in the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest**
**Five Star Readers’ Favorite**

The Squeezor is a monster who just wants to give hugs: Great, big, wrap-his-arms-around-you-twice, squeezy hugs. The trouble is, he looks so scary, even other monsters run away!

This makes the Squeezor very sad. He can’t help how he looks. How can he get everyone to look past his appearance and be his friend?

Then he gets an idea: What if it’s not about what he wants, but about what the other monsters might need? Join the Squeezor in Ghastly Gigapolis as he changes first impressions for the better–his own included.

The Squeezor is Coming! is illustrated by Matt Fiss and is available on Amazon and through MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing. It is also available in dyslexic font.

Review:
“Far too many kids feel as unlovable as the Squeezor, and this story is for them. Benishek’s droll and humorous story will please everyone in the room and maybe especially those adults who are still kids at heart. Matt Fiss’s brilliantly grotesque illustrations make this book one to linger over and read again and again and again. Literally. It’s that good.” –Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BECKY AND HER WORK VISIT:

Website: https://beckybenishek.com
Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/beckybenishekMacLaren-Cochrane Publishing (children’s books): https://mcp-store.com/becky-benishek
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beckybenishekauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beckybenishek/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/beckybenishek
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLN82aT3Az157cKCNUvRs9qdWfD83Q4OFj
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16364162.Becky_Benishek
Black Hare Press (science fiction & fantasy): https://www.blackharepress.com/becky-benishek/

A SPLIT DECISION

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

Written by Katrina-Jane Bart

Illustrated by Allison Warry

I gave this book the title, A Split Decision because I am of two minds about the book. The book is wonderful for children who are receptive to communicating with the spirit world like the author who is a clairvoyant. The little girl sees her deceased grandmother at the foot of her bed when she goes to bed at night. Her grandmother tells her not to be afraid and that she is there to help. Grandma tells her that seeing her is a special gift.

For children who are receptive to the idea of a spirit world, this is an excellent approach to the subject. The illustrations are drawn as if the little girl were drawing the story from her point of view. On the other hand, some children will find the concept of deceased relatives appearing to them frightening and threatening.

I would give this book five stars for parents and teachers who would use it appropriately with children who are receptive toward the idea of communicating with the spirit world. Those who do not read the book’s summary or reviews may be in for a surprise when they read it to a child. I would recommend it to be used with children ages seven and older.

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