Showing posts from February, 2014

Wild & Wonderful Wednesday: Anna was Here by Jane Kurtz

ANNA WAS HERE by Jane Kurtz Greenwillow Books, 2013 ISBN: 978-0-06-056493-3 Middle Grade Contemporary Grades 3-6 Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Ten-year-old Anna Nickel is moving from Colorado to Kansas, and she is not happy about leaving her friends behind! This is a moving, often humorous coming-of-age story about family, faith, God's love, and the meaning of home, perfect for fans of Katherine Paterson and The Penderwicks.

Ten-year-old Anna Nickel's worst nightmare has come true. Her father has decided to move the family back to Oakwood, Kansas—where he grew up—in order to become the minister of the church there. New friends, new school, a new community, and a family of strangers await, and what's even worse, it's all smack-dab in the middle of Tornado Alley. Anna has always prided herself on being prepared (she keeps a notebook on how to cope with disasters, from hurricanes to shark bites), but she'll be tested in O…

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Porcelain Keys by Sarah Beard

PORCELAIN KEYS Sarah Beard Young Adult Contemporary Romance Pages: 352 Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc. (February 11, 2014) ISBN-10: 1462113966 ISBN-13: 978-1462113965 Source: eARC provided by author/purchased copy (it was that good!)

Aria's life is full of secrets--secrets about her mother's death, her father's cruelty, and her dream to go to Juilliard. When Aria meets Thomas, he draws out her secrets, captures her heart, and gives her the courage to defy her father. But when tragedy strikes and Thomas disappears, Aria is left alone to transform her broken heart's melody into something beautiful. Porcelain Keys is a captivating love story that will resonate long after the last page is turned.


"Emotionally rich, elegant description, beloved characters--Sarah Beard delivers a fresh, new novel that will go on my list of classics."
--Stephanie Fowers, author of With a Kiss.

"Aria is a heroine worth rooting for, and the plot is an emotional melody t…

MIDDLE GRADE BOOK REVIEW and AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Chasing the Milky Way by Erin E. Moulton

CHASING THE MILKY WAY by Erin E. Moulton Philomel, 2014 ISBN: 978-0-399-16449-1 Middle Grade Contemporary Grades 4-8 Source: Publisher for review

In a book that pairs science with mental illness, and heart with adventure, Erin E. Moulton delivers a moving story about family, friendship and the lengths we go for the people we love.

Lucy Peevy has a dream--to get out of the trailer park she lives in and become a famous scientist. And she's already figured out how to do that: Build a robot that will win a cash prize at the BotBlock competition and save it for college. But when you've got a mama who doesn't always take her meds, it's not easy to achieve those goals. Especially when Lucy's mama takes her, her baby sister Izzy, and their neighbor Cam away in her convertible, bound for parts unknown. But Lucy, Izzy and Cam are good at sticking together, and even better at solving problems. But not all problems have the best solutions, and Lucy and Izzy must face t…

SYDNEY TAYLOR AWARD BLOG TOUR: The Longest Night by Laurel Snyder

Thanks for joining me today as I welcome Laurel Snyder to my blog for an interview. Laurel recently won a Sydney Taylor Gold Medal for her book, THE LONGEST NIGHT: A Passover Story.

The Sydney Taylor Award is defined as follows by the Association of Jewish Libraries:
The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. Presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries since 1968, the award encourages the publication and widespread use of quality Judaic literature. Gold medals are presented in three categories:Younger Readers, Older Readers, and Teen Readers. Honor Books are awarded silver medals, and Notable Books are named in each category.
A Passover Story by Laurel Snyder,  2013 ISBN: 9780375869426 Picture Book

Here's a picture book for all Jewish families to read while celebrating Passover. Unlike other Passover picture books that focus on the contemporary ce…

BLOG TOUR: A is for Abinadi: An alphabet of Scripture Heroes by Heidi Poelman

A IS FOR ABINADI: An Alphabet of Scripture Heroes by Heidi Poelman, illustrated by Jason Pruett CFI, 2013 ISBN: 978-1-4621-1369-9 LDS Picture Book Source: Publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

A is for apple but also for Abinadi! Teach your children about some of the greatest heroes in the scriptures with this beautifully illustrated alphabet book. They will love searching for items that represent each letter while they get to know heroes like Captain Moroni and Esther. Along with learning their ABCs, your children will learn to recognize and love these great Book of Mormon and Bible examples.
Heidi Poelman has always loved learning about inspiring people.  In A is for Abinadi, she found a way to write about many of her favorites.  Heidi received her degrees in communication from Brigham Young University (BA) and Wake Forest University (MA). She lives in Utah with her husband and three children.
Jason Pruett has alwa…

BLOG TOUR: The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler

THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY by Holly Schindler Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014 ISBN: 978-0-8037-3725-9 Middle Grade Contemporary Grades 3-6 Source: Publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” meets Because of Winn Dixie in this inspiring story of hope.

Auggie Jones lives with her grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town. So when her wealthy classmate’s father starts the House Beautification Committee, it’s homes like Auggie’s that are deemed “in violation.” But Auggie is determined to prove that there’s more to her—and to her house—than meets the eye.

What starts out as a home renovation project quickly becomes much more as Auggie and her grandpa discover a talent they never knew they had—and redefine a whole town’s perception of beauty, one recycled sculpture at a time.

Holly Schindler’s feel-good story about the power one voice can have will inspire readers to speak from their hearts.


If yo…

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple by Lars Guignard

About the BookTitle: Zoe & Zak and theTiger Temple (Zoe & Zak Series, Book #3) Author: Lars Guignard Publisher: Fantastic Press Publication Date: January 1, 2014 Number of Pages: 267 Recommended Age: 8+ Summary Last semester, Zoe and Zak returned the first lost Noble Truth to its rightful home. Now, Zoe and Zak are back in India for their second semester at Moonstock Himalayan Academy. School kicks off with the Activity Week Challenge in the tiny mountain kingdom of Bhutan where the students must deliver medical supplies. Things, however, take a turn for the worse, when Zak becomes deathly ill after an encounter with a strange floating bubble. On returning to Moonstock, Zoe and Zak discover that a creature has come through the lava hole far below their dormitory. When Zoe and Zak follow the creature, they soon discover what they must do. They have been tasked with finding the second lost Noble Truth -- the Tiger Eye of Justice. Finding the Tiger Eye sounds like an impossible miss…

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

A SNICKER OF MAGIC by Natalie Lloyd Scholastic Press, 2014 Middle Grade Fantasy Grades 3-6 Source: publisher through NetGalley All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Introducing an extraordinary new voice---a magical debut that will make your skin tingle, your eyes glisten . . .and your heart sing.

Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.

But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck's about to change. A "word collector," Felicity sees words everywhere---shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog's floppy ears---but Midnight Gulch is the first place she's ever seen the word "home." And then there's Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who sh…

BLOG TOUR: Bad Dad by Derek Munson

BAD DAD by Derek Munson Cannonball Books, 2013 ISBN: 978-0-9898-4883-1 Picture Book Grades PreK-3 Source: Author for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Depicting a positive, engaged relationship between two kids and their fun-loving dad, this endearing story shows how Dad always seems to be in trouble. The library books are overdue, the kids are late for school, and the last cookie is missing from the cookie jar. Dad is always in the middle of it all, but is he really that bad? He also helps with homework, tells lots of jokes, and banishes Brussels sprouts from the house forever. Kids and their dads alike will both love how the things that make Dad bad are suddenly revealed to show that Dad is actually pretty cool.


Derek Munson works as a writer, speaker, and all-around daydreamer. His current hobbies include playing with his kids, avoiding his household responsibilities, and crashing on his mountain bike. He lives in Bellingham, Washington with hi…

BLOG TOUR: Ava & Pip by Carol Weston

AVA AND PIP by Carol Weston Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2014 ISBN: 9781402288708 Middle Grade Contemporary Grades 3-6 Source: Publisher through NetGalley All opinions expressed are solely my own.

An endearing tween story about friendship, family, identity, and inspiration

Outgoing Ava loves her older sister, Pip, but can't understand why Pip is so reserved and never seems to make friends with others. When Ava uses her writing talents to help her sister overcome her shyness, both girls learn the impact their words and stories can have on the world around them.

Carol's new novel for kids is AVA AND PIP (Jabberwocky, Mar 14). She's been "Dear Carol" at Girls' Life for 20 years. Her first book, GIRLTALK (HarperCollins) was translated into 12 languages. A Phi Beta Kappa Yale grad with an M.A. from Middlebury, Carol has been a guest on Today and The View and at scores of schools. The author of The Diary of Melanie Martin series (Knopf), her fan …