Book Review: Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

Apr 13

13588082Beautiful story with gorgeous artwork by E.B. Lewis. Winner of a Correta Scott King Honor award. Jacqueline wove a story around a new girl, Maya, who arrived at school with clothes from last season. But the story isn’t about Maya, it’s about how Chloe and several other classmates treat her. One day Maya is gone and the teacher has a lesson on each kindness we do.  She gives a simple demonstration with a pebble tossed in water, and the ripples it causes.  The ripples are each kindness expanding out.  One little pebble, one kindness, has an effect far beyond it’s original point.   This causes Chloe to second guess her actions toward Maya. She wants Maya to come back so she can start over, share some kindness. Buy Maya doesn’t return, and Chloe doesn’t get a second chance.

Although this is touted as an anti-bullying book. I will say it’s more about being kind to those around you. There is no way to tell what that person is going through. Just because someone doesn’t wear new clothes, and perhaps doesn’t have money for lunch -doesn’t mean they don’t deserve kindness. Once the opportunity has come and gone, you may not get a second chance. It’s a gentle and subtle reminder.

 

 

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Quote of the Week: The Underneath by Kathi Appelt

Mar 29

I’m in the middle of this wonderful book, “The Underneath” by Kathi Appelt. Needed to share a quote…stay tuned for a review of this award winning middle grade book.

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“Purring is not so different from praying. To a tree, a cat’s purr is one of the purest of all prayers, for in it lies a whole mixture of gratitude and longing, the twin ingredients of every prayer.”

Kathi Appelt, The Underneath

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Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop

Mar 17

Thanks for visiting…today is your lucky day.  As part of the I Am A Reader Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop, I’m hosting a giveaway for two children’s e-books.  The books are part of the MeeGenius collection and are beautifully illustrated with full narration.  The narration can be turned off so your young reader can read to themselves or you can read to them.

The two books are:

 

Martha Miller

 

 

Jerry_COVER-225x300

 

Enter to win:

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’re selected through the Rafflecopter giveaway, you will be contacted via e-mail.  And the books will be automatically sent to your MeeGenius account.  No worries, the account is free and you can browse through their library of books at no charge too.  Click here to learn more about MeeGenius. Visit the rest of the blogs who are participating for more great giveaways.    

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Book Review: Spy Club by Stuart Gibbs

Mar 12


Spy Camp
by Stuart Gibbs
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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Enjoyed from start to finish. Perfect middle grader book for a boy, girl and any reluctant reader. I hadn’t read the first book “Spy School”, but it wasn’t necessary to read in order to follow the goings on at Spy Camp.

Our main spy, Ben Ripley, seems to be in over his head when he receives a mysterious note “encouraging” him to join SPYDER – the dark side. The spy tale quickly unfolds and Ben, along with the reader, is not sure who to trust. Ben, must stay safe and not be captured by SPYDER. But all is not what we think. Lots of spy intrigue with missiles, secret spy bases, school buses getting blown up, a Civil War reenactment and so much more.   Even though spies and saving the world from evil are tough topics, Stuart manages to use lots of humor and a little teen angst to keep his story moving forward.

Now I must go read book one, “Spy School”.

View all my reviews

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Book Blast: Princess Madeline Trilogy by Kirstin Pulioff

Mar 06

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be hosting a Book Blast showing off the new covers of the “Princess Madeline Trilogy”by Kirstin Pulioff.

Princess Madeline Trilogy
The Princess Madeline Trilogy

About the Books

The Escape of Princess Madeline by Kirstin PulioffTitle: The Escape of Princess Madeline (Princess Madeline Trilogy, Book #1) * Author: Kirstin Pulioff * Publication Date: November 4, 2012 * Publisher: Caliburn Books * Number of pages: 138 * Recommended age: 10+
Summary: Madeline, princess of Soron, awakens on her sixteenth birthday to find that her father has already made preparations for her betrothal. When she disappears unexpectedly, her suitors and knight champion rush to the rescue. But all is not as it seems, and the errant princess’s flight has put the kingdom at stake…

Can Madeline find freedom or does it come with too high a price?

Follow Princess Madeline in this adventure full of twists and turns as she tries to find her freedom and answers to her questions about life and love.

Amazon

 

The Battle for Princess Madeline by Kirstin PulioffTitle: The Battle for Princess Madeline (Princess Madeline Trilogy, Book #2) Author: Kirstin Pulioff Publication Date: May 21, 2013 Publisher: Caliburn Books Number of pages: 159 Recommended age: 10+

Summary: Princess Madeline rejected Prince Paulsen’s advances, but he’s not about to take it lying down. In the middle of Soron’s festival preparations, when his obsession jeopardizes the kingdom, mysterious figures from the kingdom’s past arrive. Can Madeline risk accepting their help or will their information about a family secret be too much for her to handle?

Can Madeline trust anyone or will saving the kingdom come down to her own bravery?

Amazon

 

The Dragon and Princess Madeline Title: The Dragon and Princess Madeline (Princess Madeline Trilogy, Book #3) Author: Kirstin Pulioff   Publication Date: November 26, 2013 Publisher: Caliburn Books Number of pages: 135 Recommended       age: 10+

Summary: Princess Madeline is ready to celebrate. With the foundation of her future in place, it seems nothing can hurt her. Then the return of a mysterious green dragon threatens her kingdom and king. Will this challenge prove to be too much for Princess Madeline and Prince Braden or will they find the answers they seek hidden in cryptic messages from the past?

Can Madeline save her kingdom from the dragon or is the real danger something else?

Amazon

 The Buzz

Book 1: “Well-written, fast-paced, and entirely appropriate for its target audience (middle grade fantasy), this short but succinct novel (novella? It was maybe a little between a novella and a novel) tells a delightful tale of a naive princess who learns the real meaning of freedom. Kirsten gives her characters a sufficient amount of depth to make them genuinely likeable, and she leaves room for much, much more to come.” ~ 5 Star Review, Ally, Amazon

Book 1: “An inspiring thought provoking, and wonderfully written fairy tale by an author who transports us to a time in our imagination where everything is magical and possibilities are real.” ~ 5 Star Review, kathyls, Amazon

Book 2: “Fairy tales are filled with knights and princesses and castles and a special magical feel that takes the reader far, far, away into another world, another place, another time. The Battle for Princess Madeline fits the bill to a tee! Author Kirstin Pulioff has created a special feel to the tale of Princess Madeline with her own special talent for using words to paint pictures in our minds.” ~ 5 Star Review, Dii, Amazon

Book 2: “The story is well developed and easy to follow. The vivid scenes will transport young readers into the magical world of fairy tales with thrilling characters that have come to life. Another splendid read for young readers! I can hardly wait for a new book, Princess Madeline and the Dragon. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Mrs. D., Amazon

Book 3: “The story is engaging on many levels, as is Pulioff’s writing, but on this occasion I was mostly drawn into the action and the mystery as how to prevent the worst from happening. This is great entertainment and should do well across a wider age range.” ~ 5 Star Review,ChristophFischerBooks, Amazon

Book 3: “Kirstin Pulioff has saved the best for last. ‘Princess Madeline and the Dragon’ is the final instalment in the ‘Princess Madeline Trilogy’. I thought the first two books were finely wrought stories, but this novel surpasses its predecessors. Prophesies, family tragedies, magic and – of course – dragons, combine to produce a tale that is an instant classic. Written with a great deal of charm, ‘Princess Madeline and the Dragon’ will not disappoint Ms Pulioff’s young fans. I look forward to seeing where next her imagination will take this natural storyteller. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Diogenes, Amazon

 

About the Author: Kirstin Pulioff

Kirstin Pulioff

Kirstin Pulioff

Kirstin Pulioff is a storyteller at heart. Born and raised in Southern California, she moved to the Pacific Northwest to follow her dreams and graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Forest Management. Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in the foothills of Colorado. When she’s not writing an adventure, she’s busy living one.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

 

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: April 4, 11:59 pm, 2015

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Kirstin Pulioff and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Book Tour and Author Interview: Things Are Not What They Seem

Mar 04

Things Are Not What They Seem - Blog Tour Button

 About the Book

Title: Things Are Not What They Seem | Authors: Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks | Publication Date: April 9, 2014 | Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing | Pages: 268 | Recommended Ages: 10+

Summary: What would you do if you were sitting on a park bench, minding your own business, and one of those annoying pigeons suddenly started to talk to you? And what if the pigeon didn’t just talk to you – in a meticulous British accent, no less – but pleaded with you to help untangle a piece of string that had accidentally attached his leg to a wrought iron fence surrounding the playground? And what if, while you are still convinced that this is all a big nasty trick, a hawk swoops down out of the sky and starts cursing at you, also in the King’s English, for getting in his way when he wanted to execute the pigeon?

That is the quandary in which Jennifer (almost 13 years old and probably a bit too smart for her own good) finds herself one sweltering July morning while babysitting her 11-year-old (very precocious) brother James and his mopey, allergy-prone friend Sleepy. She soon learns that the bird is actually a man named Arthur Whitehair, a 19th-century Englishman who had been turned into an eternally-lived pigeon by misreading an ancient spell that was supposed to give him eternal life as a human. Likewise, an unscrupulous colleague of his, named Malman, had been turned into a hawk by Whitehair’s blunder. After years of searching, Whitehair claims (half-truthfully) that Malman has found him hiding in Central Park and is now out for revenge. On top of all this strange business, Jennifer has recently begun having weird dreams in which a crazy-looking man with curly red hair speaks cryptic phrases in Latin. Are they random phrases, or messages? And why would some sketchy guy be sending her messages in her dreams?

Amazon * MuseItUp Young * Goodreads

 The Buzz

“I LOVED “Things Are Not What They Seem”!! It is funny, exciting, and touching, and very fun to read. The characters are relatable and interesting, so I really cared about all of their adventures while I was reading. “~ 5 Stars, Hermione, Amazon

The story line is original and makes for an incredibly fun read. This is a book which is VERY hard to put down, all of their adventures will definitely have you on the edge of your seats and you read from page to page. All of the characters in this book (both large and small) are well developed and their personalities definitely come off the page.~ 5 Stars, Alex, Goodreads

“The characters are well-developed and fun. The story moves along at a brisk pace. Lessons on love, friendship, kindness, and finding your inner strength shine through. And the humor is plentiful! Great for tween readers, as well as a quick, fun read for adults. ” ~ 5 Stars, HFBrainerd, Amazon

“Things Are Not What They Seem is a well written story and a joy to read. I was hooked from the start.” ~ 5 Stars, Granny’s Hill, Amazon

“What a sweet, interesting, and overall wonderful book! I love the interesting, multi-layered, realistic characters, the numerous, unexpected but extremely interesting plot twists, and the use of Latin phrases to enhance the magic. I love the simple, yet powerful message that was woven throughout- that things are not what they seem- even in the rough, harsh world of New York City. That message strongly resonates for kids, teenagers, adults, and anyone in between. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who reads this review!! ” ~ 5 Stars, Pat D., Amazon

Question and Answers with the Authors by Mother Daughter Book Reviews:

Since Ken and Anne are co-authors of Things Are Not What They Seem, they have asked for permission to answer individually.  Here goes:

About The Book

1: As succinctly as possible, tell us why someone should read your book.

Ken: Because otherwise we’ll burn your house down and make you cry!

Anne:  I think that may be the wrong approach.

Ken: It works for the Mafia.

Anne:  Let’s tell them about the great characters they are going to meet—the surprising things that the reader will learn about the characters and that the characters will learn about each other and about themselves and about friendship and love and loyalty.

Ken: They may still cry.  I cry when I read about Mr. Bags.

Anne:  I’m going to try not to cry at the next question.

2: What is YOUR favorite part of the book?

Ken: Can I do this one?  My favorite part is when Whitehair leads the other pigeons on a bombing mission and—

Anne.  Wait! First you have to tell them that Whitehair is actually a man who was turned into a pigeon 160 years ago when he recited a magic spell incorrectly.

Ken: I like that part too.  But I really like when they dive-bomb those nasty bullies and —

Anne:  Couldn’t we talk about something that is a little less infantile than pigeons doing their business on a few bullies?

Ken:  We could.  But it wouldn’t be my favorite part.

Anne:  (Sighing).

3: What is the main message you want to convey to your readers in your books?

Ken: Pigeons are God’s creatures too.  Feed them once in a while!

Anne: That would be Whitehair’s message, Ken.  He’s the one who’s always hungry.  The message we are trying to convey is about friendship and love and the effects of those uplifting emotions on the lives of the characters.

Ken:  But people should still feed the pigeons, right.  One of them might be Whitehair.

Anne:  Right…  I think I’ll handle the next question.

4: Can we expect more books from you in the future?

Anne:  (Looks at Ken and makes a face).  Sure….I guess …

Ken:    Are you kidding.  We have one in our brains right now and it’s kind of annoying because this plot involves an actual battle with cannon and muskets and so the scenes are very loud inside my head—  Ouch!  Why did you kick me?

Anne:  We are indeed working on a sequel involving Jenny and James, Sleepy and Katylyn, and of course, Whitehair the person turned into a pigeon.  They will be traveling back to the Revolutionary War, trying not to do something that will change the course of history in unforeseen ways.

Ken:  That’s very deep, Anne.  Wow.  Change the course of history….

Anne:  Your turn, Ken.

About Being an Author:

5: What has been the best compliment you received as an author?

 Ken:  Easy peasy.  My fourth grade teacher said, “Really, Ken you actually wrote a book?”

Anne:  Ken, I don’t think that was meant as a compliment.

Ken:    From her it was a compliment.

Anne:  What about when people say that our characters seem like real people, or that they cried or laughed when certain things happened, or that they are looking forward to reading the sequel, or that the book stayed with them well after they were done reading.

Ken:  I’ve got to remember all that stuff when I see my fourth grade teacher again.

 6: How do you react to a bad review?

 Ken:    Another easy one.  When we get a bad review, we look up the person on the internet and burn their house down.

 Anne:  We do not!  Why are you saying these things.

Ken:   (Whispering) Just in case.  You never know who might be reading this.

Anne:  But that is not what we do.  We are upset, of course, because it is as bad as someone criticizing our children.  However, in the end we say, “It doesn’t matter.”

Ken:    We do?

Anne:  Yes, because if the reviewer is right and our book really is bad, then we deserve the negative comments and, anyway, we’ll be getting a lot more bad reviews.  But, if the book is good, one bad review won’t make a difference.  You see, in the end it doesn’t matter.

Ken:    You are so wise, Anne.  Were you this wise when I married you?

Anne:  Apparently not.

7: What is the best advice you received as an author?

Ken: This is another one that I’ll ace.  Again, it was my fourth grade teacher.  She said, “What in the world makes you think you can write a book?”  And then she started laughing.

Anne: How was that good advice?

Ken:    Because, just to prove her wrong, I sat down with my wonderful wife and wrote a book.  And then we wrote another one and another and…. How many have we written now?

Anne:  A lot , Ken.  And that is a very sweet thing for you to say.  But don’t you think the best advice was not to give up?  To keep working?  To rewrite and rewrite again until you can read it aloud and feel as though someone else wrote it?

Ken:    True.  But it is a little creepy when the book is so polished that it seems someone else wrote it.  I mean, what if someone else really did write it?

Anne:  (Sighing again). Are there many more questions?.

8: What advice would you give someone aspiring to write a children’s book?

Ken:    Don’t do it!

Anne:  Why would you say that?

Ken:    (Whispering again) Because there’s enough competition already.

Anne:  But do you want to deprive anyone of the pleasure of writing a book for children.  Do you remember how much fun it was when our own daughter read the chapters as we were writing them.

Ken:    It was the best, Anne.

Anne:  So I think we should tell people to find a child of the appropriate age and write it for that person as if he or she is listening.

Ken:    And if they walk away in the middle, give it up!

Anne:  No!  Keep writing and rewriting until you get it right!

Ken:    You give the best advice, Anne.  Will you marry me?

Anne:  We are married, Ken.

Ken:    I know.  But if we get divorced, will you marry me?

Anne:  That really doesn’t make sense.

Ken:    It sounded kind of romantic in my head.  But, you know, with all that musket and cannon fire, it’s hard to always tell.

Anne:  Say goodbye to the listeners. Ken

Ken: Goodbye listeners, and don’t forget to pay the fire insurance.

Anne:  Ken!

Ken:    Only kidding.

 

About the Authors: Anne Rothman-Hicks & Kenneth Hicks

Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth HicksWhen Anne Rothman was a student at Bryn Mawr College and Kenneth Hicks was a student at Haverford College, they began writing together in an independent-study course with one of Ken’s professors. A brief interlude ensued while Anne wrote wonderful poetry and Ken wrote a book about hitchhiking (The Complete Hitchhiker Tobey Publishing, Dell Distribution), but they soon got back together as writers when Ken was in law school at Columbia University and Anne was paying the rent by working in publishing. They have continued to write together for about forty years and in that time have published four adult novels, eleven non-fiction books for children, two fiction books for middle readers, and two photography books. They also produced three children whom they love even more than writing.

Their most recent middle reader book is Things Are Not What they Seem, published by the MuseItYoung division of MuseItUp Publishing, and available in all formats. Their three latest adult novels are Kate and the Kid, a mainstream novel, Mind me, Milady, a mystery thriller, and Praise Her, Praise Diana, a thriller.

Between projects, they started a web site www.randh71productions.com. In case you were wondering about the address, “R” is for Rothman, “H” is for Hicks, and “71” is the year of their marriage. No secret codes or numerology anywhere.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

“Things Are Not What They Seem” Blog Tour Schedule (2015)

February 20

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Review)

Rockin’ Book Reviews (Excerpt)

February 21

2ReadBook (Review)

February 22

Deliciously Savvy (Review)

Adventures of a Military Family of 8 (Review)

February 23

Sher A Hart (Review)

Contest Patti (Excerpt)

February 24

Kay LaLone I Love Books (Review)

Heart of a Philanthropist (Excerpt)

February 25

BeachBoundBooks (Review)

My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews (Review)

February 26

Sally Writes (Review)

Icefairy’s Treasure Chest (Review)

February 27

The Book Lovers’ Lounge (Review)

The Library of the Seen (Review)

February 28

Eloquent Articulation (Review)

Sunshine, Bubbles and Books (Guest Post)

March 1

Sweet Little Pretties (Review)

Stitch Says (Review)

March 2

Debra Shiveley Welch Love and Writing (Review & Author Interview)

March 3

Bookworm for Kids (Review)

For the Love of Reading (Review)

March 4

Cat’s Kid Lit Book Reviews (Review)

March 5

WhenIGrowUpIWannaWriteAKidsBook (Guest Post)

 

* Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift CardPrize: One winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card or $50 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Contest closes: March 19, 11:59 pm, 2015

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Quote of the Week: Romona The Pest

Mar 02

“She was not a slowpoke grownup. She was a girl who could not wait. Life was so interesting she had to find out what happened next.” Beverly Cleary, Ramona the Pest

Ramona

 

 

One of my favorite series as a child.   Since I was a girl with ADD and Dyslexia I could relate to the pesty Ramona.  She didn’t mean to be a pest…it’s just what happened.

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