Posts tagged ‘moving’

THE CRABTREE MONSTERS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY #thecrabtreemonsters

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Susan R. Stoltz

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Crabtree Monsters

Written by Chris Wieland

Ages 10+ | 384 Pages

Publisher: The Smart Aleck Press | ISBN-13: 9798985701302

Publisher’s Synopsis: Moving from Los Angeles to tiny Crabtree, Michigan, is the last thing thirteen-year-old Kat Dylan wants to do. Crabtree’s seen better days and isn’t what you call welcoming. Worse, the move means living with her gruff Grandpa Nick, the town’s police chief, and having to look after her little brother, Alec.

And that’s before Kat and Alec find themselves in the middle of a bank holdup by the Monster Gang—four robbers in monster masks. Before the heist is over, the kids lose their cash and Alec comes within a hair of losing his life. When it is all over, Grandpa Nick goes to jail, accused of being one of the robbers himself.

Suddenly, this boring little town isn’t so boring anymore. Kat’s determined to find out who the men are behind the masks, and she’s going to need help. But exposing the robbers could have big consequences. The deeper Kat goes, the more she learns life is about making choices, including some that are a matter of life and death.

PURCHASE LINK

https://amzn.to/3xhsEUn

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-crabtree-monsters-chris-wieland/1141380453

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chris Wieland is an award-winning writer and filmmaker. He is also the father of two fierce children, including a tough, smart tween who helped him find the voice of his protagonist, Kat Dylan. He lives in Southern California with his family.

For more information, visit https://www.thesmartaleckpress.com/.

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MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK

A MOVING EXPERIENCE

The Crabtree Monsters

Written by Chris Wieland

Thirteen-year-old Kat and her ten-year-old brother, Alec have much to worry about. Their parents are divorced. Mom has been deployed to Afghanistan and they are moving from their father’s apartment in Los Angeles to a rural town in Michigan to live with their grandfather for nine months. They are distraught.

Kat is a wonderful character. She is bright, stubborn, determined and so relatable to the middle-grade audience. The book is full of coming-of-age issues, sibling rivalry, difficult family relationships, adjusting to a new school with new friends, and the problems of moving to a completely different neighborhood. To add to the appeal, their father and grandfather are both lawmen. Kat and her brother have inherited their penchant for solving mysteries.

Not long after the move, the siblings learn of the Monster Gang and become embroiled with the crimes plaguing their new home. That sets the stage for a fast-moving detective mystery that Kat and Alec decide to solve.

I love the humor, appealing characters, and plot of this novel. The middle-grade readers will not want to put it down.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a signed copy of The Crabtree Monsters and a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

A signed copy of The Crabtree Monsters and a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card.

Four (4) winners receive:

A signed copy of The Crabtree Monsters.

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

https://gleam.io/Zj4L7/the-crabtree-monsters-book-giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

Tuesday, June 14, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Wednesday, June 15, 2022Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersAn article by Chris Wieland
Thursday, June 16, 2022The Fairview ReviewA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Friday, June 17, 2022The Momma SpotA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Monday, June 20, 2022Because I Said SoA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Tuesday, June 21, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewA Growing Readers Podcast interview with Chris Wieland
Wednesday, June 22, 2022icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Thursday, June 23, 2022Lisa’s ReadingA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Friday, June 24, 2022J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Monday, June 27, 2022Tales of a Wanna-Be Superhero MomA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Tuesday, June 28, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewAn Instagram Video Review
Wednesday, June 29, 2022Barbara Ann MojicaA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Thursday, June 30, 2022Shooting Stars MagAn interview with Chris Wieland
Friday, July 1, 2022Writer with WanderlustA book review of The Crabtree Monsters

SURVIVING SIXTH GRADE

The New Kid: Surviving Middle School Is Tough

Written by Maureen Straka

Alex is dismayed that his best friend, Luke, is moving. The summer becomes a boring nightmare. When Alex wakes up late for the first day of school, he is certain it is an evil omen.

This book contains well-defined characters that will appeal to the middle-grade reader. So many familiar struggles. There are bullying, school and family relationship struggles, trust, and acceptance issues.

This book is a quick read, under one hundred pages, and a good choice for reluctant readers. I would recommend it for the eight through twelve age group.

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TAKE A DEEP BREATH

I Feel Anxious: Children’s Book About Overcoming Anxiety For Kids 4-8.

Written by Aleks Harrison

Illustrated by Ferlina Gunawan

Max is a little boy who feels overwhelmed and anxious. He is moving with his parents to a new town two states away. As he rides in the moving truck, worries crowd his mind. What will his new school be like? Will the new children like him? Who will be his teacher?

Max’s parents encourage him to draw and write about his feelings. That makes him feel better. Perhaps, things won’t be so bad.

Through beautiful illustrations and expressive language, Max calms his fears and reaches out to children who may find themselves in similar situations. Recommended for preschoolers and primary grade children.

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FEELING LEFT OUT

INSPIRE KINDNESS: A Rhyming Read Aloud Book for Kids About Empathy and Kindness

Written and Illustrated by Lily Lopez

Lily feels out of place on her first day at a new school. She doesn’t look like the other students and they seem to ignore her in class, at lunch, and in the playground.

When one girl approaches her to welcome her, Lily is overwhelmed by one simple act of kindness. The author includes 24 tips a young child can use to express kindness and a kindness calendar that can be used as a reminder to express kindness to others.

This is a short multicultural picture book for primary grade readers. Lovely illustrations with short rhymes.

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AN ACTIVE IMAGINATION

Ronan’s Dinosaur

Written by Nadishka Aloysius

Illustrated by Manoshi de Silva

This chapter book features a five-year-old boy named Ronan who is suddenly moved to join his parents at his Grandmother’s rural home in Sri Lanka. Ronan and his parents lived in the urban area of Colombo.

Ronan is an anxious, lonely boy who does not like change. His parents have moved in temporarily to help his ailing grandmother. Ronan’s parents are kind and caring parents who do their best to assuage his fears. One day while playing in the garden, Ronan finds a lizard named Scoot. Scoot can talk. He explains to Ronan that she is a dinosaur. Ronan is skeptical, but he learns to enjoy exploring with her and making friends with Tryx, her dinosaur friend who lives in the trees.

When Ronan’s parents hear him talking aloud, they think he is talking to himself and become concerned. So, they take him to visit a neighbor next door who has a dog named Spike. Ronan is afraid of the dog, until Scoot talks to the animal. Again, Ronan learns he has nothing to fear.

Ronan’s grandmother has a setback and must visit the hospital. There he confides in his grandmother and reveals his secret. She remembers her own youth spent with Scoot. The time has come to sell the house and move to a nursing home. Ronan is devastated. Will Ronan ever see Scoot again?

This is a wonderful book to share with children who like to be alone or who experience anxieties. It gently explains that change is not necessarily bad and that we grow from personal experiences both real and imaginary. Targeted for children ages seven and older. I would especially recommend it for ages nine through twelve as a portion of the vocabulary is challenging.

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A FRESH START

Dexter’s New Home: A Children’s Picture Story for 3-7 year olds about Moving

Written by D L Madson

Illustrated by Rajiv Kumar

Dexter is dismayed to find that hedgehogs have moved into his home, and they won’t allow him to come back inside. Dexter searches the forest for a new home. The next day, Dexter finds a cute house with a fence around it and decides to buy it. The rabbit still feels sad and lonely until the squirrels tell another rabbit named Ben that someone new has moved into the neighborhood. Ben welcomes Dexter with flowers and invites Ben to visit him for dinner. Meanwhile Ben had convinced his friends, James and Molly to bring gifts to share with Dexter. Dexter learns how his new neighbors share many of his interests and he is now happy and secure in his new home.

This book teaches children about having empathy and that something that might seem scary like moving may turn out to be a good thing. The illustrations are lovely and appropriate for the target audience.

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MOVING RIGHT ALONG….

Miss Perfect and Tiny Tail

Written by Rachel Schlessinger

Illustrated by Sigalet Carmely

 

This book is a fairly well-written chapter book that features a ten-year-old named Lily who faces numerous challenges one summer. Lily is the middle child. Her older sister, Miss Perfect, and a younger sister, Tiny Tail are both dearly loved and constant annoyances. A large part of the book focuses on sibling and peer relationships as well as Lily’s conflicts with her mother.

Lily’s mother informs the three sisters that they will be moving from their small village to the big city because their father has found work there. This is the second conflict that Lily, as well as her sisters, must face and resolve. Lily has developed a crush on Tommy. At first, he seems to ignore and make fun of her.

The summer setting provides the backdrop for these three challenges. As time advances, each member of the family must face the issues revealed in the first person narrative told by Lily. Many middle-grade readers will see themselves mirrored in the characters and their conflicts. Because this book consists of short chapters consisting of less than seventy pages, reluctant readers will not be deterred. A few illustrations enhance its appeal. Recommended for middle-grade readers, teachers and parents who wish to explore the challenges faced by the middle child, parent and sibling relationships, and families who are planning a move.

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A THANKLESS THANKSGIVING

A Pardon for Tommy

Written by Patricia Nmukoso Enyi

Chelsea is a college freshman who wakes to recurring nightmares. When she was twelve, Chelsea lost her home during Hurricane Katrina. She and her father were swept away by the flood waters. Chelsea has not been able to bring herself to return to New Orleans

Chelsea retells her experience. She survives the flood with the turkey her father captured for Thanksgiving Dinner in her backpack. Enyi traces Chelsea’s harrowing experiences while awaiting rescue and the reunion with her mother and brother at the Houston Astrodome. The family struggles to maintain hope that Chelsea’s dad, Max, will be found alive.

The scene shifts to adjustment to a new life in Houston at their grandmother’s home. Several subplots are included. There are New Orleans’ bullies who have also moved to the new school. Rex, their mother’s twin brother, is unwelcome at their new house. Chelsea has become attached to “Tommy,” her pet turkey. She cannot accept killing Tommy and celebrating Thanksgiving without their father. Will the family find out whether Max is alive or dead? How will the children adjust in their new home? Does “Tommy” become Thanksgiving Dinner?

The characters in the story experience typical coming of age experiences, compounded by the tragedy of this natural disaster, their father’s disappearance, a forced move, and the family’s dysfunction. This book could benefit from some editing. Transitions are not always clear, and the subplots are not fully developed. On the other hand, the author does a good job of painting the pain and trauma of the disaster. Readers need to suspend belief at times; a turkey surviving so many mishaps is a bit far fetched. On the other hand, the story is a powerful one for middle-grade and young adult audiences.

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ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE

Being the New Girl in School

Written by Kathleen Voclain

This book is a wonderful resource for any young lady who, for any reason, is facing a move to a new school. No matter what age, she faces worries about how she will fit into the school’s culture, will she be liked, who will be her friend, and the feeling of loss in leaving old relationships behind. The author explains the importance of developing a positive self-image and strong social skills. In the first chapter, readers are encouraged to build confidence by preparing ahead of time. Students should explore the new school’s mission statement and handbook, study the curriculum and practice portraying positive body image. They can get a good head start by making a good impression on teachers. Suggestions include sitting near the front, volunteering to answer questions and offering help and compliments. Newcomers need to observe students and how they interact with each other before deciding on new friends. By dressing neatly, smiling, and introducing oneself with confidence, new students encourage positive outcomes. Those students who are naturally shy or independent should take their time to find a few friends who have interests similar to their own. Finally, when things do go wrong, the new student must remain positive and proud, appreciate and respect the differences of other peers. Above all, never give in to the temptation to compare the new school to your old one or slack off on your studies. Accentuate the positive and use the opportunity to develop your personality and grow from new experiences.

The book could be used as advice for children or adults who are entering any new stage of life. It is an easy read filled with good reminders to promote courage in facing new situations and learning opportunities. Recommended for ages eight and older.

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OUTSMARTED AND OUTFOXED

My Fox Ate My Homework

Written by David Blaze

Jonah (Joe) Johnson is an eleven- year- old whose life has just been turned upside down. His mother lost her job in Orlando so they have moved to his deceased grandmother’s old house in rural Alabama. On the first day in school, Joe is confronted by a bully who demands that Joe write his homework assignment.

Things go from bad to worse when the tax collector appears and informs them that the property taxes are overdue and the county would be foreclosing. Now they will need to move into his Uncle Mike’s house. When Joe goes outside he discovers a fox in the hen house, not any old fox but a talking fox! Joe and Fox become fast friends, but not before Fox causes all sorts of mayhem as Joe desperately tries to think of ways to help his mother, face the bully and maintain his friend relationship with Fox.

This fantasy tale is written well with lots of authentic dialogue and humor. Middle- grade students will find lots to love. There are cute cartoon- like drawings of the characters interspersed with the text. Blaze touches on issues important to students in this age group. The tale is an easy read that is under one hundred pages which makes it appealing to reluctant readers. Highly recommended for eight to twelve- year- olds, and adults who are willing to listen to a talking fox.

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