Posts from the ‘mystery’ Category

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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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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#EggandCheese

EGG AND CHEESE

The Cat Detectives in Russia: The Case of the Missing Faberge Egg

Written and illustrated by R.F. Kristi

My first time reading a book in this series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Inca is a Siberian Russian Cat who runs a detective agency consisting of fellow felines, dogs and a hamster. They trek the globe to solve mysteries.

This one begins when Inca’s mom goes abroad promoting her cheese business. Inca and her crew travel to her native land, Russia. Laid out in a diary format, the readers travel abroad and learn a bit of history while becoming embroiled in solving the mystery of a valuable Faberge egg stolen from the museum.

The characters are well developed and engaging personifications of the animals. There are a few illustrations to assist younger readers. I would recommend the book as a chapter reader for elementary and middle-grade students. Readers who enjoy detective stories, animal characters, and travel will particularly enjoy the read.

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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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#HAPPY THANKSGIVING

A KEY QUESTION

Relay

Written and Illustrated by Roy Lieberman

The author has written and illustrated a charming picture book that will have primary grade children laughing and wondering about dad’s missing keys.

When their father asks if Ben and Russ have seen his keys, they appear to be familiar with dad’s problem of misplacing things. But Russ asks as if he knows exactly what happened. He spins a yarn about a blimp and airplane landing at the house. A cadre of tiny machines and little people have conspired to hide the keys.

Charming illustrations and simple text explain just how these clever creatures carry out their plot. Russ keeps his brother and dad going until he delivers the punch line to reveal the location of the missing keys.

Highly recommended as a read-aloud or beginning reader.

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#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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HUNTER OR HUNTED?

Etty Steele: Vampire Hunter

Written by Grayson Grave

Etty lives in the town of Brightwater, a seaside town that is rumored to be inhabited by witches. Etty lives with her human father and her mother who is a vampire hunter. Every day Etty must endure training sessions in a secret room that is hidden away in the basement of her house. Etty has one friend, a classmate named April Showers. They have not spent much time together lately as Etty has spent the summer at a vampire hunting training camp.

When Etty and April return to school in September, things become awkward. A new boy named Vladimir Dox has all the markings of a vampire, dark glasses, red lips, pale skin, and strange behavior. April befriends Vladimir; Etty is skeptical. Then two people are murdered, and April reveals her grandmother has given her a ring for protection. Etty discovers that April comes from a family of witches who don’t want vampire hunters interfering with their work.

When a schoolmate and Etty’s mom disappear, April and Etty decide to take Vladimir with them to investigate. What will happen to this strange alliance? Is Etty’s mom in danger? Will they solve the murder mystery and discover who is the vampire lurking around the town? What will happen to the friendship between April and Etty?

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#WitchesProtectionProgram Blog Tour and #Giveaway

Presented by Michael Okon and the Children’s Book Review

ABOUT THE BOOK
Witches Protection Program

Written by Michael Okon

Publisher’s Synopsis: Wes Rockville, a disgraced law-enforcement agent, gets one last chance to prove himself and save his career when he’s reassigned to a 232-year-old secret government organization.

The Witches Protection Program.

His first assignment: uncover a billion-dollar cosmetics company’s diabolical plan to use witchcraft for global domination, while protecting its heiress Morgan Pendragon from her aunt’s evil deeds. Reluctantly paired with veteran witch protector, Alastair Verne, Wes must learn to believe in witches…and believe in himself.

Filled with adventure and suspense, Michael Okon creates a rousing, tongue-in-cheek alternate reality where witches cast spells and wreak havoc in modern-day New York City.

Ages 18+ | Publisher: WordFire Press | June 3, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1614759942PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon

Barnes and Noble

TOUR SCHEDULE

July 8, 2019The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.comBook Review
July 9, 2019A Dream Within A Dreamhttp://adreamwithindream.blogspot.comBook Review
July 10, 2019LitPick Book Reviewshttp://www.litpick.comInterview
July 11, 2019Satisfaction for Insatiable Readershttp://insatiablereaders.blogspot.comBook Review
July 12, 2019Word Spelunkinghttp://wordspelunking.blogspot.comInterview
July 23, 2019The Fairview Reviewhttps://fveslibrary.blogspot.comBook review
July 24, 2019Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttp://bamauthor.meBook Review
July 25, 2019Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Momhttp://wannabesuperheromom.blogspot.comBook Review
July 26, 2019Glass of Wine, Glass of Milkhttps://glassofwineglassofmilk.blogspot.com/Book Review
July 30, 2019Biteshttp://www.litbites.comGuest Post
July 31, 2019icefairy’s Treasure Chesthttp://icefairystreasurechest.blogspot.comBook Review
August 1, 2019Life with 4 Crazy Girlshttp://www.4crazygirls.comGuest Post

MY REVIEW

GOOD WITCH, BAD WITCH

Witches Protection Program

Written by Michael Okon

Wes Rockville is berated by his father, Harris, who is the head of an elite detective division. Wes and his team have just lost a prisoner and Harris is furious about his son’s failure. Wes receives a new assignment, which is to be his last chance. He is disappointed but not surprised. After all, Wes is constantly compared to his successful siblings.

Wes takes the subway to the Dumbo neighborhood in Brooklyn, where he will enter a world he could never imagine. He walks into a room full of high-tech equipment and is shown a film about witches. Wes discovers that twenty-first-century witches are real and that he has been assigned to the Witches Protection Program. He enters a fast-moving world of good witches, Davinas, and bad witches, Willas.

Wes will experience an adventure he could never conceive of. The plot involves an international conspiracy, a bit of romance, steampunk and a crime novel rolled into one. Characters are fanciful but believable and compelling. Readers are gripped as the story evolves with many twists and turns along the way. Recommended for young adult and adult readers who enjoy crime novels, fantasy, adventure, science fiction and romance.

OFFICIAL LINKS
FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/iammichaelokon

TWITTER: http://twitter.com/IAmMichaelOkon

INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/iammichaelokon

SNAPCHAT: http://snapchat.com/add/iammichaelokon

MICHAELOKON.COM: http://michaelokon.com/

GIVEAWAY

Enter For A Chance To Win An Autographed Copy Of Witches Protection Program And A $100 Amazon Gift Card!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A copy of Witches Protection Program autographed by Michael Okon
  • A $100 Amazon gift card

Three (3) winners receive:

  • A copy of Witches Protection Program autographed by Michael Okon

Giveaway begins July 8, 2019, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends August 8, 2019, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Open to legal residents of Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are eighteen years of age or older in their state or territory of residence at the time of entry. Void where prohibited by law. Michael Okon is responsible for prize fulfillment.

A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE INCIDENTS

The Frights of Fiji: (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions Series Book 1

Written by Sunayna Prasad

This is the first in a series of fantasy adventures for middle-grade readers. Alyssa is the twelve-year-old protagonist who lost her parents in an accident five years prior. Although her parents had named her Uncle Alex as her guardian, she is now living with her Uncle Bruce and his daughter, Hailey.

Bruce is a stern taskmaster; Alyssa lives a life of unending rules and drudgery. When magic becomes a part of her life, along with some strange-looking wizards and creatures, she believes there is the hope of escape from her plight. But then she learns that an evil wizard intends to capture her and remove Bruce from the picture.

Alyssa has been whisked away to Fiji where her situation goes from bad to worse. She is enslaved with several other children and forced to do the evil wizard’s bidding. Will Alyssa find a way to escape back to the United States and find refuge with her godfather?

There are many fantastical characters and a series of rather far-fetched incidents. Even though this book is a magical fantasy, some of the plot connections don’t come off as genuine.

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CASE SOLVED?

The MEAN GIRL Who NEVER SPEAKS: (The Maya Dove Case Files Book 1)

Written by Zuni Blue

Maya Dove is a six-year-old detective who has already established her reputation at school. One of Maya’s classmates asks her to determine if a new girl at school, Libby Smith is mean or nice. Instead of chapters, the book is presented as a day of the week chronicle as Maya attempts to solve the case. Readers are brought through the day’s happenings in the classroom. Maya gathers her clues, but when Friday arrives she reveals her opinions in a classroom speech.

I am not sure whether Maya really solves the case. She does not state whether Libby is mean or nice but presents her solution in a way that introduces an important social issue. Certainly, Maya’s opinions are quite sophisticated for a six-year-old.

This book is targeted for 5 to 11-year-old readers. The text and vocabulary are an easy read until readers come to the end and Maya’s conclusion. I am not sure whether younger readers will understand the concept of social anxiety. That part of the book is most appropriate for readers ages nine and older. Younger readers will probably need adult help in understanding this concept. I was left with the feeling that the book ended a bit abruptly and the characters might have been fleshed out with more detail.

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