Posts from the ‘young adult’ Category

DOGS HAVE FEELINGS TOO…

Lucky’s Adventures in Winter Wonderland (Lucky’s Adventures)

Written by Elizabeth Macey

Illustrated by Jenn Kocsmiersky

Lucky Charms is an adopted rescue dog who happily lives with her human family and a cat named Hershey Kisses. She is excited to wake up to a snowstorm. Lucky promptly goes out to play with her neighborhood dog friends. They go ice-skating and skiing. The day ends with barbecuing hot dogs. That night Lucky reflects on how fortunate she is to have such a comfortable life with a loving family and so many dog friends. She figures out a way to help less fortunate dogs and rallies her neighborhood dog friends to assist her.

Children will love seeing these dogs take on human characteristics and do the activities they love participating in themselves. The illustrations consist mostly of two-page spreads featuring many vivid drawings of adorable dog breeds. Macey includes a list of suggestions for her readers to get involved in animal rescue. I would recommend this picture book especially for elementary school readers, but it has appeal for a reader of any age.

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WHO’S WHO

Brian: The Helmsworth Project: Book Two

Written by Madison Key

I did not read the first book in this science fiction, coming of age series, but I caught on after the first few pages. Sixteen-year-old Brian has managed to escape after his parents are killed and his home blown up. Brian’s sisters Claire and Jenna are under the protection of the FBI, as were his parents. He is being held off the coast of Mexico. It appears that his captors know of his psionic and pyrokinesis powers. While being held, Brian keeps in mental touch with his sister. But he is having difficulty figuring out who is the real enemy and being forced into submission to do their bidding.

Will Brian be able to untangle the web of deceit in time to get back to his sisters and safety? This book of fewer than fifty pages moves along quickly. Middle-grade, young adult and adult science fiction, and genetic engineering fans who enjoy a light, fast-moving read will probably like this series.

ACHIEVING SUCCESS AS AN #AUTHOR

10 Step Plan to Promote Your Book Online: Online Book Marketing on Any Budget

Written by Scott Hughes

Before I begin this review, readers should be aware that the author is the webmaster for Online Book Club, and he does promote and encourage readers to utilize his business. That certainly does not mean that the book is a shameless promotion of his business. The advice he gives is sound and helpful for the self-published authors. I have used the strategies he presents and can verify they do work. The amount of time to achieve success largely depends on your budget and how much work you are willing to put into writing and marketing.

Steps 1 and 2 are the most difficult. Writers need to produce a really good product to compete in today’s market and they must take the time to proofread, correct typos, spelling and content many, many times. Only after then, can the writer send the book out for professional editing.

The rest of the steps involve becoming involved with all platforms on social media, blogging, reading other authors in your genre, interviewing, starting and participating in book clubs. All these things take time to create and build. Writers need to reach out and develop a network of trusted colleagues and friends. I agree with Hughes that twitter is very effective, and that Facebook has steadily become less reliable for marketing. Of course, the value of social media is largely determined by other factors such as personality and genre.

To sum up, the author has presented a concise program of steps to guide a writer through the competitive world of self-publishing if the reader commits the time, dedication and resources to his project.

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STEPPING OUT OF THE RUT

THE POWER OF CREATIVITY: Book 1

Written by BRYAN COLLINS

This is a self-help book that focuses on enabling readers to face the fears that prevent them from pursuing their creativity and achieving a self-fulfilling career. The author takes a realistic approach. He realizes that life goals need balance. One needs to support himself and make a living. While does not necessarily mean being trapped in a profession or job that does not bring a measure of happiness and self-fulfillment.

The book opens on the author’s thirtieth birthday when he realizes he is trapped in a career that he hates. He realizes that he must force himself to move forward. He cites artists like Salvatore Dali and Paul McCartney as examples of artists who were able to support themselves with a day job while they gradually disciplined themselves to achieve a successful artistic career.

He urges his readers to begin by searching for their true passion in life. Next, remove the distractions that eat up wasted time you could spend pursuing them. Then use your job as a safety net and pursue that passion in the remaining time available. Push past your fears and practice the craft

you want to develop each day.

At the end of the book, Collins provides a list of links that offer tools that might accelerate reader success. I enjoyed the author’s positive philosophy and would recommend this book to those who feel stuck in a rut. There is nothing new in the book, just a straightforward common-sense approach. Recommended for young adult and adult readers.

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Mind over Matter

Hello Brain: A Book about Talking to Your Brain

Written by Clarissa Johnson

This book discusses mindfulness for children. It contains six stories about students in a classroom who experience different troubling situations. It begins with Sam, who is terribly shy and afraid to talk with anyone at school. Eve is frustrated because she views herself not smart enough to learn. Jane talks too much in class and can’t concentrate. Nick is grumpy, unhappy and cannot focus. Kate excels in school and sports, but cannot see the worth of other students. Will is a shy boy, who is often the victim of others who take advantage of him with unkind words and acts. In each situation, one of the other students approaches the child with a problem and reminds him that he can talk to his brain and take control of the situation to remedy the problem.

This book can be used by parents or teachers to guide discussions with individual children or a classroom group. It could be an effective resource for elementary and middle school students who are struggling with individual emotions and peer relationships. It is particularly recommended for students in the six to twelve age range.

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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

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