Friday, October 17, 2014

Book Giveaway and Blog Tour: Code Busters Club

 I have 4 FREE books for one lucky winner! Simply post a comment to the blog and please be sure to include first name, city, state, and email. The winner will be chosen randomly by Randomizer. Deadline for posts is October 21 at noon MST. Please check your email on that date. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to my email. The books will ship from New York courtesy of Egmont. Good luck and start posting! Pamela
 
The Code Busters Club – giveaway is Books #1-3 in paperback and Book #4 in hardcover (4 books to one person)
The Code Busters Club series by Penny Warner
Ages 8-12
 
“[A] fun series sure to appeal to graduates of Encyclopedia Brown and Ivy & Bean.”—Shelf Awareness
“This intriguing tale has vivid characters and such a tantalizing cliffhanger that readers won't be able to resist cracking the next Code Busters.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
The Code Busters Club, Case #1: The Secret of the Skeleton Key
978-1-60684-390-1
Trade Paperback
2011 Agatha Award Nominee
 
The Code Busters Club, Case #2: The Haunted Lighthouse
978-1-60684-455-7
Trade Paperback
Winner of the 2012 Agatha Award
 
The Code Busters Club, Case #3: The Mystery of the Pirate's Treasure
978-1-60684-517-2
Trade Paperback
2014 Agatha Award Nominee
2014 Anthony Award Nominee
 
The Code Busters Club, Case #4: The Mummy's Curse
978-1-60684-459-5
On Sale: 10/14/2014
Hardcover

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

YA Book Giveaway and Blog Tour: Tabula Rasa

I have five copies of Tabula Rasa up for grabs. For your chance to win, simply post a comment to the blog. Include first name, city, state and email contact. Deadline for comments is at noon MST on September 24. Winners are chosen randomly by Randomizer and will be notified on September 24 by 2:00 p.m. MST. Please check your email on that date. Winners have 24 hours to respond to my email. Books will ship from New York.

visit the next blog on the tour A Bookish Escape
 
"This is a snap-the-whip story, dark and fast. The sparks of humor in the voice won me over. Bottom line: I think the cocktail of suspense and believable smart-assery adds up to an addictive dose of reader appeal."—Blythe Woolston, author of the William C. Morris Award winner The Freak Observer
 
"A very entertaining game for thriller fans . . . . Both Sarah and Pierce are layered and appealing characters who don’t get too caught up in their own drama—the mayhem around them is excitement enough."—Publishers Weekly
 
 
 Publication of Tabula Rasa (September 23, 2014)
 
 
 
About Tabula Rasa
 
The Bourne Identity meets Divergent in this action-packed debut thriller with a Katniss-esque heroine fighting to regain her memories and stay alive, set against a dystopian hospital background.
 
Sarah starts a crazy battle for her life within the walls of her hospital-turned-prison when a procedure to eliminate her memory goes awry and she starts to remember snatches of her past. Was she an urban terrorist or vigilante? Has the procedure been her salvation or her destruction?
 
The answers lie trapped within her mind. To access them, she'll need the help of the teen computer hacker who's trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, and a pill that's blocked by an army of mercenary soldiers poised to eliminate her for good. If only she knew why . . .
 
 
 
 
 
 
About Kristen Lippert-Martin
 
Kristen Lippert-Martin has an MFA from Columbia University. She's worked at Time, the world-renowned Brookings Institution, and even had a stint as a stand-up comic before turning to writing full-time. She was awarded the SCBWI's Work-in-Progress grant in 2010. She can be found online at http://kristenlippertmartin.com/.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Crime Pick: The Body in the Woods

The Body in the Woods
(A Point Last Seen Mystery)
by April Henry
Henry Holt
2014
272 pages
ISBN: 9780805098525

An unlikely trio of teens band together as a team after a horrifying encounter in the woods. Alexis, Nick and Ruby are part of a teen Search and Rescue Team who help Portland police search and locate missing people. Their first call is to find a missing autistic man. While searching the forest, Alexis happens upon a grisly discovery--a body in the woods. Ruby and Nick call for help. The crime scene is disturbed when a footprint is accidentally ruined by a medic.

Ruby goes into full crime scene detective mode--this girl is a walking encyclopedia of CSI and forensics television trivia. She notices the smallest details no one else does and carefully explains  them to the other kids and the reader. She realizes that this isn't the first body in the woods--there was another murder of a woman earlier in the year. Ruby takes her suspicions to the police--who shoot down her theory.

Ruby convinces Alexis and Nick that there is a serial killer on the loose in Portland.  As the kids close in on his trail, the killer speeds up his spree. Not only are the kids on a path to destruction, each must deal with his/her  own demons. Alexis deals with her mother's bi-polar personality, Ruby sneaks around to avoid her parents' ultimatum and Nick deals with his feelings of inferiority and missing his dead father.

When the police won't listen, the kids turn to each other and their detective skills. Ruby has an inquiring mind and loves solving a puzzle. The trio realizes that although they are very different, they each contribute to the team and their friendship grows.

This is a quick read and should draw in reluctant readers.

Recommended grade 7-up. Mature subject matter. Serial killer. No profanity.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the arc from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)










Monday, September 8, 2014

YA Blog Tour and Book Giveaway: Of Monsters and Madness

Of Monsters and Madness
by Jessica Verday
Egmont
2014
281 pages
ISBN: 9781606844632
(page count from publisher's webpage)

I have FIVE free copies of Of Monsters and Madness up for grabs! For your chance to win, simply post a comment tot he blog and be sure and include your first name, city, state and email. Winners are chosen randomly by Randomizer. Deadline for posts is September 15 at noon MST. Winners will be notified by 2:00 p.m. MST on that date. Please check your email. Winners have 24 hours to respond to my email. Books will ship from New York. Good luck and start posting! See the guest blog post and my review below.


Available September 9, 2014

What others are saying (from the publisher):



“Verday offers a haunting portrait of a lonely, intelligent girl, while serving up gore and abundant references to classic Gothic horror stories. A monstrous mashup . . . inventive and engaging.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Verday’s novel . . . hooks readers into the mysterious and gothic atmosphere of Annabel’s Philadelphia. The plot is thrilling . . . . Annabel is a strong character.”—School Library Journal
“The result is thoroughly dark and ominous, with a secret romance adding delicious tension.”—Booklist
“Lots of good characters and an in-depth plot will keep readers engaged. Pairing classic literature and modern paranormal fiction is very appealing.”—VOYA
I have FIVE free copies of Of Monsters and Madness up for grabs! For your chance to win, simply post a comment to the blog. Please include your first name, city, state and email. Deadline for posts is September 18 at noon MST. Winners are chosen randomly by Randomizer. Winners will be notified on September 18, so please check your email. Winners have 24 hours to respond to my email. Books will ship from New York.
Good luck and start posting! Pamela

Guest Post: Jessica Verday

Finding Your Place - OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS
 
When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to go to Thailand. But it wasn’t meant to be, and I found out at the last minute that instead, I was going to London. (Which was completely amazing in its own right.) But ever since then, I’ve had a fascination with Thailand and everything I missed. From the achingly gorgeous scenery, to the friendliness of the people, to the vibrant culture. So when I realized that I was going to need a place for Annabel to have called home before she moves to Philadelphia, Thailand was my first pick.  And to be historically accurate, I went with what Thailand would have been called in 1826 -- Siam.
 
In Siam, Annabel lived with her mother who was a doctor’s assistant, and she grew up with a love of medicine. Siam was home and the people there were her family and Annabel was happy. But when her mother becomes ill and eventually dies, Annabel is summoned from Siam to go live with the father she’s never met in Philadelphia. Leaving everything and everyone she’s ever known behind.
 
With Philadelphia and Siam on opposite sides of the globe, I had to make sure my readers felt every mile between them. Annabel’s new home is nothing like her old one. It’s cold and dark and miserable. Once comfortable in trousers and a shirt while helping her mother care for her patients, Annabel must now learn what it’s like to suddenly be squeezed into corsets and dresses and taught the socially acceptable behaviors of a young lady.
 
The most frustrating part of these rules is that Annabel is expected to give up her dreams of becoming a surgeon. Annabel struggles with finding her place in this new world and learning to live with a future that has such limitations. But one of the reasons why I love to write all of my leading ladies as strong, independent young women is that they will always find a way to claim their power and fight for their dreams.
 
And above all else, Annabel is most definitely a fighter. (post from the author)

My Review:

Madness most magnificent! Jessica Verday takes a vulnerable innocent and ships her halfway around the world from her home in exotic Siam to the bustling city of Philadelphia--a place she's never been.  Annabel is surrounded by a family she has never known, a creepy house that is ghostly and Gothic, a strange, demented father, his tall, dark and handsome assistant, and a string of grisly murders gripping the city in terror.

Annabel's maid Maddy is her first friend and confidant. Strange goings-on in the middle of the night cause fright, and Annabel is concerned with her father's weird behavior and strange appearance. The cooks warn Annabel to stay away from her father's lab, but Annabel is curious and suspicious. Annabel has no fear of the dark; she continually seeks out danger in the dark of night. Armed with only a candle and her own strong resolve, she wanders the expanse of the mansion searching for answers.

The mysterious murders continue and this has everyone in Philadelphia on edge. Annabel and Allan share a few fleeting moments, and she realizes that she is deeply, hopelessly in love. The house continues to hide its secrets, until one fatal night when Annabel sees too much.  Discovering her father's secret will change everything. Or will it?

Of Monsters and Madness is The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde meets Frankenstein meets Gothic horror meets The Island of Dr. Moreau meets Edgar Allan Poe. Verday seamlessly blends the old with the new and teens will love it! Verday assures readers that there will be a sequel. She writes, "Don't worry! I won't leave you hanging."

Highly, highly recommended for any fan of Poe's works and for those who love a Gothic tale. I truly enjoyed this mash-up, and so will you. Great fun!

Grades 7 and up. Some steamy kisses, some gore. No profanity.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

Visit the next stop on the blog tour here


Author's Bio:
Jessica Verday is the New York Times best-selling author of The Hollow trilogy. She wrote the first draft of The Hollow by hand, using thirteen spiral-bound notebooks and fifteen black pens. The first draft of The Haunted took fifteen spiral-bound notebooks and twenty black pens. The Hidden took too many notebooks and too many pens to count. She lives in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, with her husband.  You can visit her online at www.jessicaverday.com.
 
                                                               Jessica Verday





Thursday, September 4, 2014

High School Pick: Grasshopper Jungle

Grasshopper Jungle
by Andrew Smith
Dutton
2014
388 pages
ISBN: 9780525426035

Irreverent, irrepressible, irrational, and irresistible, Grasshopper Jungle breaks the mold for YA fiction. There are no shiny, pretty  vampires or hot werewolves; the protagonist is not a smoldering hunk. The love interest is not a hot, lean, long-legged vixen. The setting is not Gothic--nor exciting, nor metropolitan, nor the least bit "cool." Ealing, Iowa, is probably the most un-cool place on the planet, or so thinks our protagonist Austin Szerba. Austin tells the history of the world according to Austin, and the reader has to trust him because he's the only historian left to tell the tale.

Austin and best friend Robby spend their days chain smoking cigarettes, talking about the town's few people, wasting time before college, and skating (skateboarding). When they go up against a gang of bullies, Robby and Austin lose their boards and have to venture up to the roof to retrieve their shoes. This sets in motion the beginning of the end. Up on the roof, the boys notice a trapdoor  into the store below, and being curious-- and teenagers--they decide it would be okay to go inside the store after hours just to "look around."  Austin had always wanted to see what was in the boss's office anyway. The boys get an eyeful of that strange and weird office of doom. From a two headed baby to a jar of human hands, Austin's boss Johnny McKeon collects bizarre stuff. The boys look around but leave everything intact. If only every burglar left those jars intact, the plague that takes over would never have been set free.

Soon the town of Ealing faces an invasion of giant man-eating grasshoppers and no one is safe. Austin, Robby and Shann go underground...literally...to stay alive.  The trio uncovers the secret of Ealing and its early sci-fi experiments gone wrong. This coming of age story is truly like no other!

Friends Robby and Austin are lovable and laugh out loud funny. When visiting Shann's house, the boys question whether the house has a demonic presence or just smells like people died inside. Robby says, "You should get that kind of air freshener ##@* that you plug into outlets so it masks the scent of death and decay with springtime potpourri."

Smith delivered with Winger, and he continues to capture boyish bad behavior and humorous sarcasm. Austin is a true mess--overflowing with teen angst and ironic wit--he is a character you are not likely to forget...EVER! Andrew Smith may have just written this generation's answer to The Catcher in the Rye, and Austin Szerba will go down in literary circles as the new Holden Caulfield.

The book design is nothing short of genius. The bright neon green cover with even brighter yellow page edges set this book off on any shelf.

Highly, highly recommended grade 9-up. Overflowing with profanity and witty charm, this book is a real hoot! Sexual references and innuendo, mature situations, the end of the world and doom!

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Family Pick: My Bibi Always Remembers

My Bibi always Remembers
by Toni Buzzeo
Illustrations by Mike Wohnoutka
Disney Publishing Worldwide
2014
32 pages
ISBN: 9781423183853

Available September 2, 2014

My Bibi Always Remembers is a heartfelt homage to grandparents everywhere. Author Toni Buzzeo weaves a magical tale of an elephant family and their close relationships with one another. Captivating illustrations by Mike Wohnoutka capture not only the magnificence and majesty of the elephants but the nuances of playfulness, joy, love and belonging.

Tembo is the youngest in a family of elephants. Bibi is her grandmother and leader of her  family--in an elephant family, the oldest female is entrusted with keeping them all safe and remembering where to find food and water. Tembo is playful and forgetful, losing her way as she gets sidetracked by the sights. Each time she falls behind, Auntie or Bibi finds her. Bibi leads the family to the water where they drink and rest.

Tembo's expressions and childlike wonder for the world are palpable in each spread. Her sense of whimsy, joy, and fun are infectious and will captivate young readers and parents (and grandparents).
Repetitive phrasing calls for reading aloud and story times.

My Bibi Always Remembers would be a lovely gift for a new grandparent or grandbaby. Grandparents Day is celebrated September 7 this year, so get your copy when the book goes on sale September 2, 2014.

Highly, highly recommended for young readers and parents and grandparents everywhere.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the F & G from the author. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)






Tuesday, August 26, 2014

High School: Afterworlds

Afterworlds
by Scott Westerfeld
Simon Pulse
2014
608 pages
ISBN: 9781481422345

Dizzying, defiant, deviant, and direct, Afterworlds is a mash up of what every YA editor craves. It appears Westerfeld decided to hit every note that makes YA exciting: throw in paranormal romance, maybe a hot guy who just happens to be dead, make the protagonist an underrepresented ethnicity, make it a coming of age story, add helicopter parents who give in easily (yeah, right!), big city, bright lights and the siren's call of New York, the brisk publishing industry with its own sub-culture and jargon, a love interest--oh, but make it a lesbian relationship, add a few minor friends and write two stories in one and call it a bestseller. Sit back and collect the reviews and the revenues.

I was drawn to the possibility of the this novel. Much of it is good, if not great. The opening scene focuses on Lizzie (who is the protagonist of Darcy's soon to be published YA novel). The reader sees a terrorist attack at an airport where Lizzie is somehow transported to another plane (haha, pun not intended) where she meets hot death god Yamaraj. Maybe it's just me, but really, a hot death god? And Lizzie is not one bit squeamish?

Darcy's story is that of a recent high school grad who is lucky enough to have written a YA novel in thirty short days and sold it immediately to a publishing house in New York. She refuses to go to college, telling her traditional parents that she will be living in New York, thank you very much, and will be working on her rewrites while she waits on the actual publication date of her much anticipated novel. Darcy meets fellow deb writers at a cocktail party and becomes fast friends with one. Darcy is naïve and sheltered; she has never been in love or in a relationship, yet her parents agree to allow their young, naïve daughter to live alone in the  largest city in the nation? Without security and no doorman? In an apartment of her own choosing? (Westerfeld himself has no children).

I am a fan of Westerfeld's writing; so much so, that I gave Afterworlds the benefit of the doubt. I was excited to read Afterworlds; it is different from anything I've read. However, it seems at times the author is either pandering to the publishing industry or sniggering at the book buying masses. Judge for yourself. I have a feeling this is one book that will be buzzed about. Several times, I thought, "Genius!" and just as many times I thought, "Failure...."

Suitable for high school grade 9-up. Mature situations.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)


Friday, August 22, 2014

YA Book Giveaway: Contaminated

Get your hands on a new copy of Em Garner's newest title and score a copy of the first book! Win Contaminate 2: Mercy Mode and a copy of Contaminated. Simply post a comment to the blog. Please include your first name, city, state and email contact. Deadline for posts is August 27 at noon MST. Please check your email on that date. The winner will be chosen randomly by Randomizer. The winner will be notified via email and has 24 hours to respond to claim her/his prize. Good luck and start posting!



Contaminated 2: Mercy Mode
By Em Garner
Ages 12+
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
“Volume 2 of this smart series builds momentum and suspense, raises stakes and expands narrative scope—in short, plan on a marathon, up-all-night read.”—Kirkus Reviews
A gripping survival story, the second in a series by a best-selling author, of a strong girl rebuilding her life in a post-apocalyptic society where a contaminated drink makes victims act like zombies; just right for fans of James Dashner, Carrie Ryan, and The Walking Dead.
Seventeen-year-old Velvet, her little sister, Opal, their mom, who is recovering from the Contamination, and Velvet's sweet boyfriend, Dillon, are attempting to build a new life amid the rationing and regulations of the post-outbreak nation. But the outbreak isn't over: more people turning into “Connies,” more madness erupting, more killings occurring. And what they are being told is not the truth; the truth is far darker and more threatening.

Reviews of Contaminated
“Suspenseful...this dystopia speaks to a wide range of readers, including reluctant ones.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This has plenty of suspense--it's not a book to read at bedtime.”—Booklist

“Velvet may have a softer name than her literary predecessors Katniss, Cassie, and Kaelyn, but like them she has been forced to take on adult-sized responsibilities within her repressive society.... the plot moves quickly...more of a relation-based book than many other teen dystopian novels.”—The Horn Book

Monday, August 18, 2014

YA Book Giveaway: The Green Teen Cookbook

 
 
Calling all foodies!
 
I have ONE free copy  of The Green Teen Cookbook up for grabs! For your chance to win, post a comment to the blog and please include your first name, city, state and email contact (sorry USA addresses only). Deadline for all posts is Friday, August 22. The winner is chosen randomly by Randomizer and will be notified by email on August 14. Please check your email on that date. Winner has 24 hours to respond. The book will ship from New York. Good luck and start posting!

Join the blog tour here


Kirkus Reviews:

"This by-teens, for-teens cookbook focuses on specific ways teens can live a healthy, environmentally conscious life without sacrificing the food they love. . . Cleanly laid out with photos of the teen contributors and the dishes themselves, this introduction to green eating is informative without being preachy."  - Kirkus Reviews
From the publisher:

BOOK DESCRIPTION The Green Teen Cookbook
The Kitchen can be one of the trickiest places for young adults to navigate—add trying to be healthy, eco-minded, and budget-conscious, and things get even more complicated! Now there is The Green Teen Cookbook (Zest Books; ISBN 978-1-936976-58-4; $14.99 PB) to help guide teens through the mysteries of the kitchen and create some amazing meals. With inspiring tips on how to cut through the chaos of going green as well as master over 70 recipes, including a seasonal key that ensures optimal freshness (and a minimal carbon footprint), any teen can become a green culinary expert and learn how to: shop on a budget; get the most out of your pantry; cook more consciously; eat healthier, and more! Featuring full color photos throughout, The Green Teen Cookbook is an all-in-one guide for eating green and eating well—by teens and for teens! 

This book is for people who enjoy cooking great, seasonal food for themselves as well as for other people—on a budget. It’s a guide for customizing recipes for each season, and for learning how to appreciate the different foods available each month. And readers looking to educate themselves on the food industry will enjoy the essays about globalization, vegetarianism, imports/exports, farming in the US and abroad, and much more.

 
The Green Teen Cookbook: Recipes for All Seasons - Written by Teens, for Teens edited by Laurane Marchive and Pam McElroy
Published by Zest Books and distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN-13: 978-1-936976-58-4; July 29, 2014; $14.99 PB, 144 pages; Ages 12+



Friday, August 15, 2014

Horror Pick: Of Monsters and Madness



Of Monsters and Madness
 by Jessica Verday
Egmont
2014
276 pages
ISBN: 9781606844632

Available September 9,  2014

What others are saying:

"Verday offers a haunting portrait of a lonely, intelligent girl, while serving up gore and abundant references to classic Gothic horror stories. A monstrous mashup . . . inventive and engaging."—Kirkus Reviews
"Verday’s novel is a quick read that hooks readers into the mysterious and gothic atmosphere of Annabel’s Philadelphia. The plot is thrilling . . . . Annabel is a strong character."—School Library Journal
"The result is thoroughly dark and ominous, with a secret romance adding delicious tension."—Booklist
"Lots of good characters and an in-depth plot will keep readers engaged. Pairing classic literature and modern paranormal fiction is very appealing. This novel will provide cross-over appeal to both older teens and adults."—VOYA

My Review:

Madness most magnificent! Jessica Verday takes a vulnerable innocent young lady  and ships her halfway around the world from her home in exotic Siam to the bustling city of Philadelphia--a place she's never been.  Annabel is surrounded by a family she has never known, a creepy house that is both ghostly and Gothic, a strange, demented father, a tall, dark and handsome lab assistant whose cousin is a cad and a thug, and a string of grisly murders that grips the city in terror.

Annabel's maid Maddy is her first friend and confidant. Strange goings-on in the middle of the night cause fright, and Annabel is concerned with her father's weird behavior and strange appearance. The cooks warn Annabel to stay away from her father's lab, but Annabel is curious and suspicious. Annabel has no fear of the dark; she continually seeks out danger in the dark of night. Armed with only a candle and her own strong resolve, she wanders the expanse of the mansion searching for answers.

The mysterious murders continue and this has everyone in Philadelphia on edge. Annabel and Allan share a few fleeting moments, and she realizes that she is deeply, hopelessly in love. The house continues to hide its secrets, until one fatal night when Annabel sees too much.  Discovering her father's secret will change everything. Or will it?

Of Monsters and Madness is The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde meets Frankenstein meets Gothic horror meets The Island of Dr. Moreau meets Edgar Allan Poe. Verday seamlessly blends the old with the new and teens will love it! Verday assures readers that there will be a sequel. She writes, "Don't worry! I won't leave you hanging."

Highly, highly recommended for any fan of Poe's works and for those who love a Gothic tale. I truly enjoyed this mash-up, and so will you. Great fun!

Grades 7 and up. Some steamy kisses, some gore. No profanity.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)







Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Book Release: My Year of Epic Rock

My Year of Epic Rock
by Andrea Pyros
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
2014

Available September 2, 2014

visit the author's website

Kirkus reviews

Guest Post: Author Andrea Pyros

Andrea Pyros, author, My Year of Epic Rock 
August 12, 2014
For Books by Pamela Thompson 

Food Allergies & Feeling Left Out 

I started working on My Year of Epic Rock, which features a main character with food allergies, right after I discovered my then one-year-old daughter had multiple allergies, including to eggs, dairy and nuts. Since she was still so young, I knew I’d be able to protect her by cooking for her, carefully reading labels and bringing her own safe foods if we were out and about, but what would happen when she got older and saw all her classmates eating birthday treats or talking about how some awesome pizza parlor that she couldn’t visit, or she had to decide whether or not to eat a snack offered to her by a teacher or friend? 

What was middle school was like for kids with food allergies, I wondered. Studies show that about a third of schoolchildren with allergies are bullied because of their dietary restrictions, which is pretty awful. Being different during those years isn’t easy. You get picked on for being tall or short, the new kid, the best student or the worst. For kids with food allergies, they stand out because of what they can’t eat, and even though food allergies are increasingly common in people under 18, it can still be a lonely and isolating condition. 

The thing about not fitting in, though, is that after the initial “ouch” of it, it can be really freeing. You live through having someone tease you, or not want to hang out with you anymore, and you realize you can survive and move on and make new friends and discover cool stuff about yourself. That’s what I was hoping to explore in My Year of Epic Rock. Not that food allergies suck (even though they do!), but how once you get over your desire to fit in, you might find a way to an even better place, even if you can’t eat a PB&J sandwich. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Picture Perfect Pick: Goatilocks and the Three Bears

Goatilocks and the Three Bears
by  Erica S. Perl
Illustrated by Arthur Howard
Beach Lane Books
2014
40 pages
ISBN: 9781442401686

What happens when a hungry kid (goat) yes, pun intended, lives near a family of three bears? Of course the young kid, Goatilocks is curious...curious enough to sneak around the bears' abode and test their soup (porridge), their furniture, and yes! even their beds! What makes this story even funnier is that Goatilocks sees the bears' sadness, and she feels bad. She wants to make it up to her neighbors, so she gives them a beautiful gift.

This funny take on the story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" is bound to bring smiles all around. Goatilocks has some appetite and kids (haha, yes, you know it!) will giggle when Goatilocks burps.
The bears show no ill will and are all smiles when Goatilocks shares a feast with them at the end.

Colorful, zany illustrations throughout capture the whimsy of the story and Goatilocks's personality. This is a cute book to share with young readers and pair with other retellings of classic stories.

Recommended ages 4-8.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive compensation for this review.


This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)






Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Spooksville PIck: The Howling Ghost (book 2)

The popular "Spooksville" television show  can currently be seen on the Hub Network which received the Parents' Choice Approved Seal. Young readers will be thrilled to read Christopher Pike's books in the new packaging. First released in 1995, The Howling Ghost will appeal to another generation of thrill seekers, ghost hunters and fans of things that go bump in the night.

Here is the earlier cover:



Here is the new cover from Aladdin:


The Howling Ghost
(Spooksville, book 2)
by Christopher Pike
Aladdin
2014
128 pages
ISBN: 9781481410533


Middle grade readers are in for a real treat when they discover Christopher Pike and his Spooksville series. The Howling Ghost is a quick read and a book I would recommend in a second for any reluctant reader. The cover art is nothing short of spectacular! A ghostly, scary hand reaches out of the stormy sky beside a lighthouse where the waves are threatening a small boy who stands periously close to danger. His sister seems to attempt to get his attention from her vantage point on the rocks. This cover will have this book jumping into shopping carts and baskets for good reason! 


Newcomers to Spooksville, Cindy and Neil are out near the old lighthouse. Neil begs to go near the water and Cindy relents. She climbs to a rock to get a better look of the shore and water. Suddenly, a giant ghostly hand descends from the sky, the water begins churning like a tidal wave and then there's that unearthly noise. Neil is grabbed up and taken to???Cindy doesn't know. One minute Neil is right there, the next he has vanished into thin air. Town police rule it a drowning, but Cindy knows the truth.   No one will believe her.  That is until Sally, Adam and Watch come to the rescue of the new damsel in distress. 

Sally believes everything that is weird can and does happen in Spooksville. She can't explain why things happen, they just do. Sally tells Cindy not to worry--the kids will find Neil and figure out what is really going on. A trip to the haunted lighthouse turns into a harrowing adventure and escaping the ghost's wrath becomes the most important part of their mystery. The kids decide they need to know who the ghost is to figure out what the ghost wants with Neil.

Any fan of the t.v. show will tell you it's all about the chemistry of the characters. It is the same for this book. Sally is no-nonesense, fearless, faithful and snarkily funny. She will have you grinning with her quick barb; Watch and Adam are seemingly clueless but loveable nonetheless. 

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)