Posts tagged ‘Halloween’

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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FEAR NOT

Scaredy Bat and the Frozen Vampires: An Illustrated Mystery Chapter Book for Kids 8-12 (Scaredy Bat: A Vampire Detective Series 1)
Written by Marina J. Bowman
Illustrated by Yevheniia Lisavoya

Ellie is a twelve-year-old vampire who loves to solve mysteries. The fact that she is afraid of almost everything fails to deter her. Ellie fears loud noises, spiders, and clowns, among many other things. One thing she does have is a large network of friends who come to her aid. When Ellie attends a vampire wedding, everyone freezes solid. How can she overcome her fears and solve the mystery before it is too late?

The author includes bonuses for budding detective readers. She offers a quiz to test if the reader qualifies to be a detective. Readers receive a guide to analyzing suspects and recording evidence.

Lisavoya draws excellent black and white illustrations to sustain interest levels. The book is not too lengthy, which encourages reluctant readers.
One caveat, I read the Kindle version which contains formatting errors. I would rate the book three stars in the Kindle version, but five stars in the paperback edition.

Recommended for middle-grade readers in the print version.

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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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HANDY FOR HALLOWEEN

23 HALLOWEEN CRAFTS for KIDS: Halloween Costume Ideas and Spooky Décor

Compiled by Prime Publishing Décor

 

This book is an interesting read that can be shared by the whole family. Halloween costumes have become ridiculously expensive. There are some good ideas here for easy to make costumes from materials found around the house. Skeletons, monsters, knights, fairies, and superheroes are featured. Directions are included for luminaries, wreaths, pinecone owls and spooky spider webs. Monster snot is a meringue dessert that is sure to please.
Younger children can help with the simpler crafts and older children can get involved with paper mache, cutting and gluing materials. What a fun way for a family to share a chilly, Fall weekend afternoon or evening!
Recommended for siblings and families to share or a classroom project.

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SCAREDY CAT

A VERY SCARY PUMPKIN

Written by Jeff Minich

Illustrated by Renee Garcia

Book Three in the Nuggies series featuring Chomper and Coco, who are dog and cat friends. Moving day is here, but when the family arrives at their new home, it turns out to be an old, scary hours that is haunted by a pumpkin. The pumpkin does not want the new owners, so she tries mightily to scare them all away. She even locks daddy out of the house, while she imprisons Coco and Chomper.

One night Chomper and Coco discover the true identity of the ghost and realize she is not scary, but really very lonely. How will the three resolve their issues? Will the family be able to settle peacefully in their new home?

This picture book is well laid out and attractively illustrated. I would caution reading it as a bedtime story for children who have nightmares, but it makes a good Halloween read aloud or book for classroom discussion. Especially recommended for children in the three to six age bracket.

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HALLOWEEN HAUNTINGS

halloweenmysticalpeterpicHalloween: Mystical Peter: (Peter, A Darkened Fairy tale)

Written by William O’Brien

The author has written many tales based on the character of Peter. In this book O’Brien has focused on Halloween with its spells, witches, goblins, vampires, zombies and the like. He has provided the reader with a series of dark poems that evoke images of the best and worst Halloween has to offer. O’Brien employs his creative talents with a skill in using descriptive language including rhyme, alliteration, and onomatopoeia to evoke fear and dread in the souls of readers. At the end of the book, O’Brien adds a prose story about Charlie Featherwick. He lives in a strange town called Temptus Vale whose inhabitants include a witch named Mrs. Cruelmonger. When a group of children play a prank on her on Halloween night, the stage is set for an adventure that none of them will ever forget.

This collection is a perfect choice for a Halloween party read. Imagery is clear, crisp and really frightening. Fair warning for children who are easily spooked. Targeted for readers who are eight to eighteen, but not for the fainthearted.

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HALLOWEEN HAUNTINGS

Halloween: Mystical Peter: (Peter, A Darkened Fairy tale)

Written by William O’Brien
halloweenmysticalpeterpic

The author has written many tales based on the character of Peter. In this book O’Brien has focused on Halloween with its spells, witches, goblins, vampires, zombies and the like. He has provided the reader with a series of dark poems that evoke images of the best and worst Halloween has to offer. O’Brien employs his creative talents with a skill in using descriptive language including rhyme, alliteration, and onomatopoeia to evoke fear and dread in the souls of readers. At the end of the book, O’Brien adds a prose story about Charlie Featherwick who lives in a strange town called Temptus Vale whose inhabitants include a witch named Mrs. Cruelmonger. When a group of children play a prank on her on Halloween night, the stage is set for an adventure that none of them will ever forget.

This collection is a perfect choice for a Halloween party read. Imagery is clear, crisp and really frightening. Fair warning for children who are easily spooked. Targeted for readers who are eight to eighteen, but for the fainthearted it is more suited for teens and young adult audiences.

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THE SECRET DOOR

The Witch With The Glitch: A Fairy Tale And Adventure (A Lost Book Adventure)

Written by Adam Maxwell

Cover by Dale Maloney

witchglitchpic

Charming adventure of Nina and her two friends Ivy and Oswald who frequently meet in her Aunt and Uncle’s bookshop. Doesn’t sound like the place for a real adventure? Well, it turns out there is a hidden room in the bookshop, and once Nina places the key in the lock the children are on their way to a journey into the unknown. This time the children find themselves in the parlor of a gingerbread house. To their chagrin the three friends find themselves transformed into a vampire, ghost, and a werewolf!

They will meet a witch who has a problem using and controlling her powers, a village of strange little people, two kidnapped children, and a magical cat named Izzy. The three friends will have to learn to control their new identities and transform themselves. If they are unable to find Izzy before midnight, Belinda the witch will be unable to undo their spells, and they will be trapped forever. Will they be able find their way back to the bookstore and their families?

The author combines fairy tales, adventure, paranormal and lots of humor to keep the plot interesting. Characters are well-developed and the dialogue crisp and clever. This book is perfect for readers in grades three to six. Chapters are short and vocabulary provides enough challenge while not being overwhelming for the early reader. A few illustrations would have enhanced the book’s appeal. This could be a fun story to share with a family or class around Halloween.

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ROSCO to the RESCUE

Rosco the Rascal Visits the Pumpkin Patch

Written by Shana Gorian

Illustrated by Ros Webb

Rosco,pic

James and Mandy McKendrick live on a farm. They look forward to their annual adventure in late September to the pumpkin patch where they will walk the corn maze, go for a hayride, visit the petting zoo, ride a pony, and of course, find the perfect pumpkin. This year they are bringing their German shepherd pup named Rosco Their mischievous pup promptly finds himself in trouble by stealing another family’s pumpkin. In quick sequence Rosco  gets into more mischief by opening the door and releasing baby sheep. He finds trouble on the hayride, but manages to redeem himself as a hero when James and Mandy get lost in the corn maze. Dad has a reputation to maintain; will he manage to find the children and still have the time to find the perfect pumpkin to carve? After all, every year James has managed to carve the best jack-o-lantern in the neighborhood. When all is said and done, the McKendrick family have an exciting day at the pumpkin patch, while learning valuable lessons in the process.

This chapter book is targeted for children in the six to eight age range. Illustrations add charm to the story, but they are quite small in the kindle version The tale could be broken up into a classroom read aloud or independent reader for second or third graders. Nice change of pace from the more common Halloween spooky story for kids.

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BAREFOOT AND BEAUTIFUL

The Girl With No Shoes

Written by B.J. Rand

girlwithnoshoes,pic

Charming and delightful book, the first in a series of books based on the character Arielle, written for children ages nine through twelve. This is a longer length chapter book based on Arielle and her two pets, Britches, the dog, and Nosy, the black cat. Arielle and her pets love to take walks in the hollow. Britches and Nosy are unusual in the fact that they both communicate in English with their mistress.

One day the three friends come upon a little girl sitting by a tree crying and barefoot. Upon hearing a loud man’s voice, she runs away. Arielle and her pets are mystified and worried for the stranger’s safety. They want to meet her again and agree to find a pair of shoes for her to wear. In the meantime, Nosy finds a pair of ballet slippers that fell out of a box near a neighbor’s house. They bring the shoes to the hollow, but cannot find the girl. Eventually one day the shoes disappear, and after repeated trips to the hollow, the girl appears and tells them her name, Francesca. She thanks them and promises to dance for them one day.

On Halloween night a stranger comes to the door and beckons them. Nosy lives up to her reputation and decides to investigate by following her home. That initiates a trail to another mystery that the three friends will have to solve. Will they ever learn the true identity of Francesca and why she has chosen Arielle and her pet family? No spoilers here, but children will learn it is better to give unselfishly and always be true to your own passion in life.

While it may seem difficult for tweens to accept this story line, it works seamlessly. You want to believe in all the characters and empathize with them. The vocabulary of the text is challenging enough but not overwhelming for the average reader. I had to finish reading it one sitting. Can’t wait to see the rest of the series.

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