Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Super Book for Super Heroes: Review and Giveaway

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

What "child" hasn't dreamed of having super powers and saving the world? The Super Book For Super Heroes allows children of all ages to create the own super hero universe by providing endless hours of creative activities aimed at drawing the ultimate super hero and villain with gadgets a plenty. 

Readers can create a Secret Code Wheel and learn to send secret messages on their way to becoming an expert on all super powers. Just the right combination to create their own super hero and giving that hero just what he needs to save the world.

My child's creation
 With easy to follow instructions, the reader can create super heroes in all shapes and sizes. It would be wise to watch out for the villains as they are out in force as well. The best super heroes are nothing without a nasty villain to conquer. What type of villain will you create? One that can be easily conquered or one who nearly destroys the world before your super hero uses every last drop of energy and power to eke out victory? Only time and your imagination will tell.

It doesn't take a child good at art to enjoy the Super Book for Superheroes. Ready to assemble masks and an array of super hero stickers give a jump start to those who might feel timid about drawing. Step by step illustrations slowly build confidence in their own creative endeavors. A great activity book to pull a child away from the T.V. and video games. Just be sure to keep the refrigerator clear and have plenty of magnets handy for all of the cool displays that will appear proudly on its doors.
Rating: Recommended ****

Publishing Details:

Laurence King Publishing Ltd. (Oct. 2013)
Pages 128
ISBN:  9781780673059

This book can be purchased from the following retailers:

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Giveaway Details:
One of my lucky readers will win a copy of The Super Book for Super Heroes by Jason Ford. Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them.Contest ends 12/9/2013 at 11:59 EST.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

The Other Side of Free by Krista Russell (Book Review & Giveaway)

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

When his Aunt Winnie sends 13-year-old, Jem, away from Charles Town into care of former slave named Phaedra, Jem struggles with resentment and anger.  Though lucky to escape his cruel master, Phaedra's demands make Jem feel like he has never found freedom. Instead of doing what he wants, Jem spends his time running errands for Phaedra at Fort Mose, a fort in Florida occupied by runaway slaves who have pledged their allegiance to the Spanish against the British in exchange for freedom.

Jem really wants to join the militia, but Phaedra insists he is too young. Instead, he runs errands for her and explores the forest where he finds a baby owlet he calls Omen. His adventures in the forest also lead him to the discovery of a slave rebellion. The English blame the Spanish for the uprising and declare war. Jem must overcome a series of missteps to help the people at Fort Mose, or face certain death.

After living in harsh slave conditions,  Jem's resentment toward Phaedra seems out of place. However, solid writing in handling a mature subject matter easily outweigh any character flaws. Though the younger middle grade reader may find The Other Side of Free challenging, the older reader may find the little known events in 1700's slave history fascinating. A solid piece of historical fiction by author Krista Russell.

Rating: Recommended ****
Publishing Information:
Peachtree Publishers (Oct. 2013)
ISBN:  978-1-56145-710-6
Ages: 10-14

This book can be purchased from the following retailers:

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GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them. Contest ends 12/04/2013 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Prize fulfillment is by the publisher. Blog owner is not responsible for prize fulfillment
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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: Darling, Mercy Dog of World War I by Alison Hart

Review book received at no charge by publisher

Darling likes her comfortable home in England as a much loved family pet. When the British military drafts her into the war, Darling devises a sneaky plan to run away to return the children she loves. That is until she saves a wounded soldier and discovers her calling as a mercy dog.

Upon completion of her military training, Darling saves the lives of countless soldiers and witnesses the horrors of war. She must learn to dodge bullets, dig in the trenches to find the wounded, and hardest of all, ignore the dead.

The descriptions of battle introduce the young reader to the tragedies of war without being too gory. The focus on the narrative from a dog's point of view further the real point of courage and bravery as well as love and devotion. Anyone who has ever had a loyal dog as a best friend will have no trouble connecting to Darling and admiring her acts of heroism. A quick afterward on the history of dogs in World War I help the young reader further appreciate the loyalty of man's best friend.

Rating: Recommended ****

Publishing Information:

Peachtree Publishers (Oct. 2013)
ISBN: 978-1-56145-705-2
Ages: 7-10

This book can be purchase from the following retailers:

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Giveaway Details:

Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them. Contest ends 11/30/2013 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Prize fulfillment is by 
the publisher. Blog owner is not responsible for prize fulfillment. 

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Book Giveaway: City of Demons by Kevin Harkness

Announcing the City of Demons by Kevin Harkness book giveaway.

About the book from the book cover.

Demons are invading the Midlands for the first time in centuries.

The farmers have no defences against the murderous creatures. Swords in the hands of ordinary soliders have no effect against demons, for the ability to resist a demon's power - a projection of paralyzing fear - cannot be taught.

Garet's life is forever changed the night his midlands family is attacked. Demonstrating a rare talent for resisting demon fear, Garet is taken to the city of Shirath to become a Demonbane: one who can withstand the demons' psychic assault, trained in combat, and learned in demon lore.

But the ancient city isn't a safe haven, it's a death trap. While opposing political forces vie for the throne, a new demon terrorizes the citizens. To save Shirath, Garet must find friends and allies quickly, because the biggest threat to the city isn't the demons, but the people living within the city's walls.

Giveaway Details:

Winner will receive a copy of City of Demons by Kevin Harkness. Please use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them. Contest ends 11/22/2013 at 11:59 EST.

**No compensation was received for this post either monetary or in free product. Contest fulfillment by publisher, not blog owner.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Guest Post By Diane Christiansen

I am pleased to introduce my readers to author Diane Christiansen for a special guest post.

Guest Post 
     by Diane Christiansen

I was never a good reader.  Growing up with dyslexia made reading close to impossible.  I still marvel that I made it through the school system and into college without ever opening up a book.  I discovered later, that I am an auditory leaner, like many dyslexics.  With age, I discovered books for the first time.  Charlotte Bronte, Thomas Harding, anything from the period was good. Actually reading for the pure joy if the story made me want to write.
            When my son, Jackie, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder I found a mission.  Along with dyslexia, ASD and ADHD became a part of me and I wanted to share it.  The characters that I write about are kids that I know, kids with real issues that can make stand apart from typical kids. The real story is not that they have these differences, but how they celebrate their strengths, it’s a lesson for all of us.  I want the reader to get a glimpse into ASD and ADHD but also find the characters relatable. After all, Jackie may miss social cues and have terrible sensory issues, but deep down he’s just a kid.
            Writing is something that seems to come naturally to me.  The process is all consuming.  When I’m writing a new story, I can live in it.  My mind is always exploring it, even when I’m not sitting in front of my computer.  I can usually crank out a rough draft in six months and then the editing comes.  That’s tedious work, especially for someone who can easily mix up sight words. Then there’s character development and checks for drag within chapters.  I have two editors of my own and then one through the publisher.   My first novel was complete for two years when it was taken by a smaller publishing house.  The submission process is brutal and time consuming.  The writing is the fun stuff, it’s all the work after that’s tough.
            I think the key to being a successful writer is to write about what you know and when you’re done with one manuscript, write something else.  I write because I have to and I have a million ideas in my head jockeying for the next project. Write for the love of it and you’re a winner.

Diane Mayer Christiansen graduated with a biology degree despite her struggles with dyslexia. She worked at both the University of Chicago and Northwestern University doing genetic research. Christiansen is now a published author writing young adult fantasy and middle school chapter books.  Her characters are based around children with special needs such as dyslexia and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She speaks to parents and teachers about learning to celebrate those things that make our children different and her journey with her son and his ASD.

For more information please visit
SNUB CLUB: Elementary fiction chapter book. Two boys with ASD use their super hero abilities to solve the mystery of the disappearing donuts.

                                                               Available on Amazon;

Friday, November 1, 2013

Book Review: Starbounders by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson

Review copy received at no charge

Zachary Night comes from a family of fighters sworn to protect the universe from the forces of evil. When Zachary finishes eighth grade, he moves on to the top secret training center, Indigo 8, where he will gain the expertise to become a future Starbounder. While in training, he meets an alien named Ryric and a gutsy girl, Kaylee.

Just when Zachary masters the basics of training, the mission goes awry and he and his friends are lost in space. Not only must they face alien outlaws, but they must survive being stranded on a distant planet as well. Will Zachary thwart the destruction of Indigo 8 and get back in time to save the planet earth?

Starbounders will appeal to the young reader who loves Star Wars and Star Trek. However, the action doesn't appear until well into the book. It will take a patient reader to wade through space before it starts. Though the characters are likable enough, the absence of a strong "voice" made it hard to completely connect. Nevertheless, die hard Sci-fi fans should have no trouble navigating through the pages.

Rating: Good to Recommended ***1/2

Publishing Information:

Publisher: Harper Collins (June 2013)
Pages: 320
ISBN-13: 978-0062120229
Ages: 8-13, grade 3-7

This book can be purchased at the following retailers:

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**FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy at no charge from the publisher to facilitate my review. As always, I am free to give an unbiased review based upon my experiences.