Posts from the ‘Short Stories’ Category

A REAL PAGE TURNER

THE CAVES OF SAN PIETRO

WRITTEN BY SUSAN GAYLE

An enjoyable historical fiction read based on real characters. A well-researched tale that follows several families during World War II and the Spanish flu pandemic.

The characters are believable and well-developed. Readers are drawn into the tragedies, the struggles, and at times, a bit of humor despite the awful circumstances. Each of the separate stories hits the mark and makes a deep impression on the reader.

If you enjoy historical fiction, adventure, and in-depth characters, you will like this tale.

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CLEVER AND CREATIVE

Spectacular Stories for Creative Kids

Written by Jesse Sullivan

The author has a way with words. Sullivan has succeeded in telling 100 stories about history, science, art, and culture and with wit and charm. Young readers will be intrigued by topics like ghosts, curses, snakes, space, and vampires. Each story reveals an adventure and interesting facts. Black and white illustrations accompany many of the chapters. Young readers unwittingly learn a lot while they are laughing and having a great time reading.

This is a book they will want to share with friends and family. Targeting the middle-grade audience ages nine through fourteen, but any age reader will enjoy and appreciate these gems.

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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

#ReadYourWorld

MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!

FOUNDER’S CIRCLE: Mia Wenjen (Prgamaticmom) and Valarie Budayr’s (Audreypress.com)

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Bronze Sponsors: Agatha Rodi and AMELIE is IMPRESSED!Barnes Brothers BooksCreate and Educate Solutions, LLCDreambuilt BooksDyesha and Triesha McCants/McCants SquaredRedfin Real EstateSnowflake StoriesStar Bright BooksTimTimTom Bilingual Personalized BooksAuthor Vivian KirkfieldWisdom Tales PressMy Well Read Child

MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Poster Artist: Nat Iwata

Authors: Author Afsaneh MoradianAuthor Alva Sachs & Three Wishes Publishing CompanyAuthor Angeliki Stamatopoulou-PedersenAuthor Anna OlswangerAuthor Casey Bell Author Claudine NordenAuthor Debbie DadeyAuthor Diana Huang & Intrepids,  Author Eugenia Chu & Brandon goes to BeijingGreen Kids Club,  Author Gwen JacksonAuthor Janet Balletta, Author Josh FunkAuthor Julia InserroKarter Johnson & Popcorn and BooksAuthor Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry BlossomAuthor Keila DawsonMaya/Neel Adventures with Culture GrooveAuthor Mia WenjenMichael GenhartNancy Tupper LingAuthor Natalie MurrayNatalie McDonald-PerkinsAuthor Natasha YimAuthor Phe Lang and Me On The Page Publishing, Sandra Elaine ScottAuthor Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler DiariesSISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. NorrgardSusan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher,  Tales of the Five Enchanted MermaidsAuthor Theresa MackiewiczTonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book SeriesAuthor Toshia StelivanValerie Williams-Sanchez & The Cocoa Kids Collection Books©Author Vanessa Womack, MBAAuthor Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series

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MCBD 2021 Twitter Party Questions and PRIZES!

Join us on Friday, Jan 29, 2021, at 9 pm EST for the 8th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party! REGISTER HERE.

This hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.

*** US and Global participants welcome. **

The Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party 2021 will be giving away a 5-8 diverse book bundle every five minutes!

We also have some bonus prizes and prizes specifically for our non-USA participants. Scroll down to see all of the amazing book bundles and prizes.

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

This year, our 1/29/21 Party will occur at 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET  and we promise it will be INSANELY fun and fast-paced! Be sure and follow Multicultural Children’s Book Day on Twitter so you can join the party. Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians.

GO HERE to view the 2021 MCBD TWITTER PARTY Questions!

GO HERE to view the 2021 MCBD TWITTER PARTY Prizes!

Not sure how to participate in a Twitter Party? Check out this great article from MCBD’s Project Manager HERE.

Follow MCBD on Twitter to join the party!

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents

Homeschool Diverse Kidlit Booklist & Activity Kit

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Gallery of Our Free Posters

FREE Diversity Book for Classrooms Program

I am proud to be a participating author reviewer for the eighth year since the inauguration of Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

Here is my review for MCBD 2021:

FINDING HER WAY

Farah Rocks: New Beginnings

Written by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Illustrated by Ruaida Mannaa

This is the second book in the Farah Rocks series. Farah’s last name roughly translates to rocks in English and that is why she refers to herself as Farah Rocks. For those who are unfamiliar with this middle-grade book series, Farah is a gifted student from an Orthodox Christian Arab family. This year she is scheduled to begin attending a middle school called Magnet Academy. While she is apprehensive, her best friend, Allie has also been selected.

Right before school opens, a tragedy occurs. A fire destroys most of their home. When Farah discovers it might have been her fault, she keeps silent. Like a “rock in her stomach,” her feelings of guilt and remorse never leave her. Will she be able to come to terms with her guilt and stop lying to her parents?

Farah is a strong female character who is not afraid of trying new things, like setting up a creative writing club, even though the school is strongly math and science based. She is tender and loving toward her younger brother, Samir, who is speech impaired. The author deftly describes Arab culture and includes a glossary to explain Arabic vocabulary as well as some advanced English concepts.

Readers receive a bonus. The author shares seven writing prompts that will nurture the talents of budding poets, writers, and journalists. There are a few nicely done black and white illustrations. Length of the book is less than one hundred and fifty pages making it a good choice for reluctant readers as well. I would highly recommend this multicultural book to be used as a read aloud and discussion text about cultural diversity.

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Check out my learning resources for the entire family at https://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

LIFE LESSONS

Her Name Was Flower

Written by Imani Cortez

Illustrated by Alexandra Ignateva

This book is a series of short stories to encourage empathy and acceptance of differences among members of the human race. The protagonist is named Flower. She is the daughter of the Sun and Moon.

Flower struggles to find her identity. She has trouble and sometimes disrespects her parents who try to teach her. When Flower becomes a bit older, she goes off to search why others do not accept her. Along her journey, Flower discovers that the most beautiful part of our Earth is the ability to respect and accept our uniqueness.

The illustrations in this book are beautiful. Cortes’ sends her readers many worthwhile lessons. However, young children may be confused and need guidance as to how to interpret them.

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SHORT AND SWEET

The Mystery of Santa Claus

Written by Paul Moxham

Will is spending the Christmas holidays in Scotland at his grandparents house. His three best friends, Joe, Amy, and Sarah have joined him.

The foursome venture out to check out the scene of a recent accident in which a tree fell on a vehicle narrowly missing killing the driver. They are distracted when their dog follows another dog. Of course, they need to investigate the urgency. When they come upon a man dressed as Santa Claus in the snow, the mystery deepens. It’s Christmas Eve and the snow is falling. How will the children be able to rescue the injured driver and solve the mystery?

This thirty page short story is a page turned. Although it is written for middle-grade audiences, I could not put the book down. American readers should note that this book is written in British English, but it is an easy read.

I highly recommend adding it to your holiday reading list.

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HALLOWEEN POTPOURRI

Trick or Treat Free For All: A Halloween Kids Book

Written by: Marina J. Bowman, J.K. Campbell, Richard Clark, Eli Cranor, Connor Grayson, Deb Logan, Scott Peters, D.M. Potter, and M.K. Radican

Here is a book that will please beginning and middle-grade readers. There are ten different stories. Each is written by a well-known children’s author.

These stories have different themes that correspond with the genre and characters familiar to each of the authors. Detective story fans, magic fans, folktale fans, and mystery fans will find a story to love. Reluctant readers will be enticed by the shorter length and off-beat characters.

Teachers might read one of these each day or the collection might be read aloud at a Halloween party. Anthologies are not common for young readers, but I think it is a good way to introduce readers to a wide variety of different genres and book series.

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#ANewWayofLife

Magic: The Molly Marsh Book Series: Book 1

Written by V. K. May

I would describe this book as a short story that could easily be developed into a full-length novel.

Molly Marsh is a curious ten-year-old whose parents are off on a scientific expedition to New Guinea. Her trepidation begins with a bumpy plane ride. Molly is enchanted when a beautiful blue butterfly alights on her.
When the family arrives at their new home, Molly meets Yosia, who will be working for them in their new jungle home. She is intrigued by him. At first his strange habits scare her. Then she learns about his magical talents.

These two characters are interesting and could be developed in a fuller narrative. I consider the adventure book a short, chapter book. It is well-written with challenging vocabulary that is most appropriate for nine to twelve-year-old readers.

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#What’s Old is New

As You Wish: After Dinner Conversation Short Story Series

Written by Tyler W. Kurt

This book is a charming, coffee table book that can be used to spark conversations with family or friends. An elderly woman dressed in retro fifties clothing discovers an old trunk in the attic. The stuffed animals that are trapped inside have been there since their former owner abandoned them. They are torn, soiled, and tattered. The old woman has the ability to communicate with the stuffed animals. She offers to repair them and make them new once more. Then one of them announces he doesn’t want to change the way he looks or feels.

At the end of this short story, there is a set of discussion questions for readers with open minds and open hearts. I would recommend the book for all ages.

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WHAT’S OLD IS NEW…

As You Wish

Written by Tyler W. Kurt

This book is a charming, coffee table book that can be used to spark conversations with family or friends. An elderly woman dressed in retro fifties clothing discovers an old trunk in the attic. The stuffed animals that are trapped inside have been there since their former owner abandoned them. They are torn, soiled, and tattered. The old woman can communicate with the stuffed animals. She offers to repair them and make them new once more. Then one of them announces he doesn’t want to change the way he looks or feels.

At the end of this short story, there is a set of discussion questions for readers with open minds and open hearts. I would recommend the book for all ages.

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