Posts tagged ‘coming of age’

SLAVE OR FREE

Vengeance of a Slave

Written by V.M. Sang

Adelbehrd and his family live in the Roman provinces. Their simple life is suddenly turned upside down when Roman soldiers come to exact revenge for a rebellion in which they played no part.

They randomly choose men to be examples. Adelbehrd’s father is crucified. He and his sister are singled out to be sold as slaves because of their blond hair. Torn from their grieving mother, the two terrified children are carted off to a far-off villa to be enslaved.

For many years, their monotonous life continues. One day, Adelbehrd discovers that his sister is about to be sold. A friend tells him about a group of Britons who rescue slaves. Adelbehrd is determined to protect his sister and hatches a plan to escape. Will they be successful, or will they suffer the dire consequences?

The book appears to be well researched. The plot moves along and keeps the reader’s interest. I would recommend it to those who enjoy history and intriguing characters.

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CARIBBEAN CAPER

The Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle

Written by Paul Moxley

Amy, Sarah, and Joe, along with their friend Joe are with their guide Uti. Because their parents suddenly had to cancel, Uti is taking them to Oxley, a remote island on the outskirts of the Bermuda Triangle to see the exotic native animals.

Shortly, after their arrival, a sudden storm sweeps them out to sea before Uti can return to the wheelhouse. Alone and scared, the children are terrified when a ship crashes right into them. To their dismay, Captain Red, a pirate, is in command. Will the children survive the storm and escape from the pirates?

That is just the beginning of their adventures. A white gorilla, slithering reptiles, scary Natives, Will’s disappearance, aircraft, tunnels, and vampire bats are among the things the intrepid children will need to face.

The characters are nicely developed, the settings intriguing, and the action is nonstop, providing the perfect backdrop for a middle-grade or young adult thriller adventure.

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MISHAPS AND MAYHEM

Down with the Dance (Middle School Mayhem)

Written by C.T. Walsh

This book is the first in a new series. The story opens on the first day of middle school for Ben. He is smart and clever but haunted by his older brother, Derek. Derek is just eleven months older. Unlike Ben, he is athletic and popular.

Middle-school readers will delight in the colorful characters like Mr. Buthaire, the principal students love to outsmart. Ben desperately wants to take Sophie to the Halloween Dance but there is a plot to derail it and destroy Ben’s plan. The book contains lots of humor, sibling and peer rivalry, and smart kids determined to outsmart the adults in their lives.

This book is a good choice for readers in grades four through six, though reluctant readers and many young adults will also find it an interesting read.

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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.

ART COMES ALIVE!

Daniel the Draw-er

Written by S.J. Henderson

One day, Daniel breaks his pencil while drawing and goes searching for a replacement. He finds a pencil stump in the attic. When he begins drawing, Daniel is astounded when the cat he draws comes to life. Daniel continues to draw objects like a pizza robot and aliens from the planet, Beezo. His artwork awakens. Daniel tells Annie about his treasure. She is angry that he won’t share it with her.

Now Annie ignores Daniel. He is sad and frustrated. Daniel confides in his mother. She gives him some good advice. One day bullies torment Annie on the school playground. How will Daniel react? Will Annie ever forgive Daniel?

This is a fun middle-grade read. It has lots of humor combined with fantasy. Daniel and Annie face common preteen problems like sibling and peer rivalry.  It also discusses how to handle bullying. Recommended especially for boys and girls ages eight through twelve.

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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

TOO GOOD TO LOSE

Lola’s Fuzzy Snuggly Blanket

Written by S.D. Dillard

Many children like Lola have a warm, fuzzy blanket that they see as a comforting friend. Lola has grown beyond the toddler and preschool years, but she continues to take her blanket everywhere she goes. One day her father asks her to leave the blanket at home when they are going out to a restaurant.

When the family return home, Lola’s blanket cannot be found. Lola is extremely upset. The next day, while cleaning, Lola’s mom finds the blanket. Lola goes back to sleeping with her blanket.

I can sympathize with Lola. One of my children was very attached to her blanket. While the premise of the story is a good one, it seems strange that Lola would be comfortable bringing her blanket to school. I think it would have been better for Lola’s dad to discuss the situation rather than tell her to leave the blanket home and then hide it. Parents and teachers might want to use this book to discuss the subject of separation anxiety, particularly with preschool and kindergarten children.

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FROM CALMNESS TO CHAOS

War on a Sunday Morning (Home-Front Heroes)

Written by Teresa R. Funke

I really enjoyed this narrative told from the point of view of a thirteen-year-old girl whose life changed forever on the morning of the Pearl Harbor attack. Rose is part of a military family recently transferred to Oahu from San Diego, California. She is missing her friends and still adjusting to life in Hawaii. Her father is assigned to the USS Oklahoma. Rose has an older brother, Lee, who constantly harasses her. She is spending the morning sketching the boats in the harbor. After a morning spent with her new neighbor, Leinana, a meeting up with a Japanese classmate, and an evening of music competitions, the stillness of the following Sunday morning, is broken by an aerial attack.

Suddenly, life on the island is shattered. Rose, her family, and neighbors are placed in terror mode. Families wait to hear about their loved ones, the Japanese are rounded up. No one knows whom to trust and communication lines are broken. The author does a wonderful job of portraying the fear, uncertainty, and human suffering, as well as developing the humanity of the individuals that are affected by the tragedy.

I would certainly recommend the book to young adult and adult audiences. The author targets the book for audiences age nine and older. This book would be an excellent choice for homeschooling parents or teachers of World War II history.

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TIME TRAVEL ON THE THAMES

The Hexed Child (Bertram Bile Time AdventureTravel Series, Book 3

Written by Sarah Weldon

This is not my first time reading a book from the series. I did not find that a real advantage, though fans of time travel adventures might prefer beginning with Book 1. Bertram Bile and his friend, Molly are sitting in Miss Petrenko’s geography class. She is reputed to be the worst geography teacher in the world. Molly develops a plan giving them an excuse to escape class. She is eager to visit Bertram’s aunt, who just happens to be a witch. They hide in the bathroom and put on their gold-colored goggles, their key to arriving at the witch’s old ash tree home.

The witch gives each child a magic cloak. They amble through the woods and discover a child who is crying. The kind-hearted witch promises to help the mother, who has never been able to quiet the child. The storyline is a mixture of fantasy and reality. Weldon explores themes important to her middle school audience and gently guides them by discussing solutions.

The author bases her series on her experiences swimming the rivers of London. She is an environmentalist and STEM teacher, donating a part of her book sales to these interests. Recommended for readers third grade and older. A perfect chapter book for the middle-grade student audience.

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OUT OF THIS WORLD

Alien Kid

Written by Kristen Otte

 

Charlie Baker is the new sixth grader in Silver Lake Middle School. Middle school is a difficult period in any child’s life, but for Charlie, things are especially tough. Charlie and his family tell everyone that they have just moved to upstate New York from Cleveland, but they are aliens from Jupiter’s moon, Europa. A revolution led to a militaristic faction gaining control. Charlie’s family had to flee in order to survive. The family struggles to blend in on Earth, but their ability to read minds is both a blessing and a curse.

Charlie is bullied by Caden and Jordan. He falls in love with a fellow student named Maya, to whom he reveals his secret. But Maya wants Charlie to use his gift to help others. Charlie is having enough problems trying to understand the culture and the language. He says things like “hot spaghetti” and “oh pug” leaving his fellow sixth-graders mystified. The book focuses on middle-grade issues like bullying, peer-school relationships, and first love. This tale will appeal to students struggling to fit into a new school or neighborhood. The characters are believable and realistic.

Recommended especially for readers in fourth through seventh grades, but the story is well-written and appealing for any age.

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