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1. MMGM Links (9/19/16)

Battling a bit of a cold--while on deadline and recovering from a busy weekend of events--so... here's hoping these are right. This week's MMGM links:

- Bookish Ambition has chills for GHOSTS. Click HERE to see what they thought. 
- The B.O.B. is raving about THE EVER NEVER HANDBOOK. Click HERE to see why. 
- Melissa Roske is interviewing author Alexandra Ott. Click HERE to learn about his upcoming middle grade release.   
- Suzanne Warr is spotlighting BJORN'S GIFT. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Justin Talks Books is talking about THE ODDESY. Click HERE to read his review!
- Got My Book is highlighting SANDRY'S BOOK. Click HERE to see why. 
- Patricia Tilton at Children's Books Heal is championing THE SEVENTH WISH. Click HERE to read her review.
- Completely Full Bookshelf is also spreading some love for GHOSTS. Click HERE for their take. 
- Michael Gettel-Gilmartin is singing praises for CLOUD AND WALLFISH. Click HERE to see what he thought.
- Jenni Enzor is cheering for AUDACITY JONES TO THE RESCUE. Click HERE to see why. 
- Greg Pattridge is spreading some love for THE NOCTURNALS: THE OMINOUS EYE. Click HERE to read his review.
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--THE THING ABOUT LEFTOVERS. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Jess at the Reading Nook is featuring TWO NAOMIS. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Tara Creel is wishing everyone would read WISHING DAY. Click HERE to read her feature.   
- Kim Aippersbach is giving a shoutout to THE BOY AT THE END OF THE WORLD. Click HERE to read why.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time.  
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week  
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site. 

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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2. Cover Love #1


 Sometimes I see a cover I love so much I just want to share it.  I want to shove it in front of other people's faces and say, "LOOK!"  So, that's what this new feature is about.  Last week I was doing some book shopping and looking through spring catalogs.  I came across a book that sounds good, but when I saw the cover I knew it was a book I want to read, to hold in my hands, to display at my house!  Just look at it!

And it sounds so good, here's the synopsis:

Sophie Seacove has been abandoned by her parents and sent to work as a servant at a dilapidated house surrounded by sea monsters. (Sophie always suspected her parents hated her.) It’s dangerous work, made worse by the untrustworthy residents of the house: There’s Scree, the creaky caretaker who knows more than he lets on. The Battleship, a widow haunted by her own poor choices. And the Battleship’s twin sons, gleeful sadists who will do anything to be rid of Sophie. When the Battleship’s nephew, Cartwright, offers Sophie an irresistible deal—find the mysterious Monster Box, and he’ll get her off the island—Sophie agrees, opening up a years-old mystery and setting off a deadly chain of events. But everyone is lying to her. The twins are trying to kill her, or at least make her sit through their horrible performance of Hamlet. And Sophie needs to use her brains, her brawn, and her unbreakable nature if she’s going to make it off this wretched island alive.
I just can't wait to see this cover in person. What do you think?

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3. Added to the List #26


Fall publishing season is gearing up and I have been getting some great middle grade reads in the mail.  One of my favorite things about getting books from publishers is that I get to see some books showcased that I hadn't heard of yet.  I have added all of these to my fall order for my library!
This past week I got:

The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner.  As you recall I have been Obsessing Over this book and was SO excited when it came in the mail.  It also came with a darling stuff bigfoot.  As soon as I finish the two books I am currently reading I will be starting this one.  Can't wait!!

The Girl Who Rode the Wind by Stacy Gregg was one that I had put on my library order for the fall.  Nine years into being a librarian and I am still amazed at how many girls love horse books.  I am going to pass this along to one of my 8th grade girls and have her read it.  She was just complaining about not having anything good to read!

Duels & Deception by Cindy Antesy looks like an awesome period read.  I think I will save this one for this winter!

The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz looks DARLING!  This one is going to be a fun read and I bet I will have a few readers at my school who will really enjoy it.

Jubilee by Patricia Reilly Giff was one that was not on my radar.  Not sure how I missed it, but am really glad it came in the mail.   It sounds so sweet and heartbreaking.  It looks like it will be a quick, but emotional read.  

Moo by Sharon Creech is going to be another popular one in my library.  She is such a strong writer and I have so many kids that read her whole collection here.  She's always popular! 

I also got an amazing pack of YA books from Simon & Schuster that I will highlight later in the week.  What have you added to your TBR lately?


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4. MMGM Links (9/12/16)

One quick reminder before I get to the MMGM links: in case you missed it on my Instagram (or don't have an instagram account) I've already revealed two of the new KEEPER character portraits--with six more to go. You can see them HERE if you haven't already.

Okay, on to the links:

- Bookish Ambition is joining the MMGM fun with a feature on DEALING WITH DRAGONS. Click HERE to welcome them to the group! 
- Cindy Reads A Lot has lots to say about SO HARD TO SAY. Click HERE to read her review. 
- Melissa Roske is interviewing author Jonathan Rosen. Click HERE to learn about his upcoming middle grade release.   
- Michael Gettel-Gilmartin is giving high marks to 100 PERCENT. Click HERE to see what he thought.  
- Justin Talks Books is giving a shout out to THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE. Click HERE to read his review!
- Got My Book is raving about INTO THE LAND OF UNICORNS. Click HERE to see why. 
- Patricia Tilton at Children's Books Heal is singing praises for BE LIKE A BIRD. Click HERE to read her review.
- Completely Full Bookshelf recommends THE BEST WORST THING. Click HERE to see why. 
- Sue Kooky is spreading some love for ...*blush*... EVER BLAZE (awww, THANK YOU!) Click HERE to see what she thought.
- Jenni Enzor is solving THE POTATO CHIP PUZZLE and PUZZLER'S MANSION. Click HERE to see why. 
- Greg Pattridge is spreading some love for SOAR. Click HERE to read his review.
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--DINOSAUR DICTIONARY FOR KIDS. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Mark Baker is solving THE PET SHOW MYSTERY (Trixie Belden #37). Click HERE to see what he thought.  
- Susan Uhlig is feeling lucky for JUST MY LUCK. Click HERE to read her feature.  
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site. 
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time.  
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week 


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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5. Friday Feature: Tangled Lines


Today I'm happy to share a Leap Books, Seek title I had the pleasure of editing. Take a look at Tangled Lines by Bonnie Doerr.



A string of islands, a knot of criminals, and two teens to untie it. 

High school changes everything for Kenzie Ryan and Angelo Sanchez—especially their relationship. After spending all summer cracking crimes against endangered wildlife in Big Pine Key, Florida, now they barely see each other. Angelo hangs out with a Porsche-driving quarterback and a stunning local “Conch princess” and Kenzie struggles with being a newbie among the Key West cliques. 

But high school drama gets overshadowed when horrific numbers of pelicans are found tortured near the islands where they live. Kenzie begs Angelo to help stop the slaughter, but he refuses until a stunning family secret is revealed. 

When a Sanchez Fish House employee falls under suspicion, the list of suspects explodes, and the discovery of illegal activity exposes Angelo and Kenzie to the same deadly risk faced by the pelicans they are trying to save... 

Bonnie J. Doerr, nature lover and gardener, grew up in western Maryland. Since leaving home, she has lived in eight of the United States. Degrees in reading education, combined with a brief post as a science teacher, led her to write ecological adventure/mysteries. Years of teaching and living in the Florida Keys provided irresistible material. Her books celebrate caring, involved, "green" teens who take action with attitude and a touch of romance. Her work has been honored by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) with a grant for its use in environmental education and has been included in Milkweed Editions literary field guides. She now lives in a log cabin in North Carolina. Island Sting, was released in January 2010 by Leap Books,LLC and was EPIC's 2011 eBook Award winner for outstanding children's book. Stakeout, second in her ecological adventure/mystery series, was a 2011 summer release and one of six finalists for the 2012 YA Green Earth award. Tangled Lines, third in the series, was released August of 2016.

Website: http://www.bonniedoerrbooks.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorbonniejdoerr

*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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6.








Alcatraz Series by Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/Adventure
Release Date: 9/6/2016
To Purchase
Add to Goodreads

About the Book: (from publisher) The Dark Talent is the fifth action-packed fantasy adventure in the Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series for young readers by the #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson. This never-before-published, fast-paced, and funny novel is now available in a deluxe hardcover edition, illustrated by Hayley Lazo.

Alcatraz Smedry has successfully defeated the army of Evil Librarians and saved the kingdom
of Mokia. Too bad he managed to break the Smedry Talents in the process. Even
worse, his father is trying to enact a scheme that could ruin the world, and
his friend, Bastille, is in a coma. To revive her, Alcatraz must infiltrate the
Highbrary—known as The Library of Congress to Hushlanders—the seat of Evil
Librarian power. Without his Talent to draw upon, can Alcatraz figure out a way
to save Bastille and defeat the Evil Librarians once and for all?

“Like Lemony Snicket and superhero comics rolled into one.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review


GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I am so, so, very excited about this book release everyone! About nine years ago, not long after I first started working in the library, I came across a new book called Alcatraz Vs the Evil Librarians. I was looking for books for tween readers, especially books to suggest after Harry Potter, and this one just sounded so fun-a boy who has a talent of breaking things, a grandfather who shows up late to everything, and librarians who  have an evil plot to take over the world? I couldn't resist. 

I read the first Alcatraz book and I loved it. In fact, you can read my original review of Alcatraz Vs the Evil Librarians I posted not long after I started this blog! Since then, this series has been one of my go-to suggestions for tween and adult readers looking for a great series. I suggest it when they're looking for humor, fantasy, or just a good book. It's especially great as a family read aloud-there's something for everyone and I can really pull in adult readers with the fact that many are familiar with Brandon Sanderson's adult fantasy titles.

My patrons and I have been anxiously awaiting the release of the fifth book in the series-book one starts with an epic opening preview that we haven't gotten to see yet. I am so glad Tor Books was able to release all five of the Alcatraz series in beautiful new hardcover editions that are illustrated. I can't keep these books on my library shelf and I love having these new editions to hand to patrons. 

If you haven't discovered the Alcatraz Smedry series, you must do so! I know you won't be disappointed.  Of course, I can't tell them if I'm really an evil librarian or not, but if I was, I wouldn't be telling you to read this ridiculous fiction (or would I?)







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7. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi


Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi 
Release Date: 8/30/2016 
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure

About the Book: Alice was born in the magical world of Ferenwood but doesn't have any magic herself. In a land where color is magic, Alice is the lightest of all and doesn't fit in. The only person who ever made her feel special was Father-but he disappeared three years ago leaving Alice with her uncaring Mother and her three brothers. When Oliver Newbanks, an old nemesis, tells Alice that he needs help completing his task (the magical undertaking all children of Ferenwood must complete) and that he knows where Father is and can bring him home, Alice is faced with a tough choice. Oliver's magic lies in deciet and Alice is never sure if she can trust him but she wants Father home more than anything. The journey will be dangerous and take her into the odd land of Futhermore where nothing is as it seems and time must not be wasted. In a world filled with strange creatures and rules. Alice must find herself and her magic to bring Father home. 


GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: There's been a trend lately in middle grade fantasy with more books appearing for this age group that are quirky, magical, Alice in Wonderland-types. Futhermore firmly fits into that category. With a magical land that never quite makes sense, things are measured in time, twisting rules that you, numerous villages with various quirks and citizens who want to eat up visitors for their magic, Furthermore is quite a twisty read. 

Alice's story is a fine one for readers who enjoy this type of twisting and somewhat confusing and creative fantasy. But I can also see more sophisticated readers getting frustrated as well. The author can easily get characters out of various escapades by adding some new revelation. There are multiple asides from the author/narrator as well, but these don't always work and instead some of the humor that is supposed to be there falls a bit flat. The narrator interjections are inconsistent. It also takes a long time for more explanations of the world building, but once you get there I thought it was well done if a bit convenient at times. 

Alice's story takes awhile to get going and once we get to her adventures in Furthermore, the story is fun and there are lots of unique adventures that Alice and Oliver have. But I was very let down by the ending which felt too quickly wrapped up. It felt like we went through a lot of meandering and adventure only to have it solved in an instant. It was as though someone said "hey, this book is getting too long-wrap it up now and stop writing!" It felt too abrupt and too clean an ending and answer for such an epic adventure. After multiple chapters and pages of a journey, everything was wrapped up in about twenty pages, so I was left with little closure and this was a bit of a let down. 

I do think Futhermore would be a good choice for readers who enjoy Wonderland-esque tales and I think some readers will very much get into Alice's adventures and the wondrous world of Furthermore. It's an engaging enough read and I think young readers will enjoy it and I think it may have some limited reader appeal-at least from my experience with the fantasy readers at my library. I just wish there had been some tighter writing and more depth to the novel. I had higher hopes for this one and while I enjoyed it,  I can't say it will be memorable for long after I read it but I had fun while reading.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from purchased ebook from personal library

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8. MMGM Links (9/5/16)

So wow. It's September. And you know what that means.

I'm going to start panicking about how many deadlines and things I'm falling behind on!

Wait--no. I mean...okay, that probably will happen. But I was referring to something you'll enjoy a whole lot more!

Now that we've reached the "less than two months until LODESTAR" time period (AHHH!), we're officially in the FUN THINGS ARE HAPPENING zone. I know you're waiting for the pre-order giveaway and my list of tour dates--I probably won't have those until October. But starting tomorrow I'll be sharing fun things on my social media. This month I'll be revealing eight new, full color character portraits (one every Tue, and one every Fri) so if you're not following me on Instagram or Twitter, you might wanna get on that! (I'm @SW_Messenger on both) And in October I'll have LODESTAR teasers. Rumor has it the first chapter will also be posted somewhere online at some point.

SO. Basically, GET READY FOR ALL THE AWESOMENESS.

And in the meantime, here are the MMGM links!

- Justin Talks Books has two features for you this--both in vlog form. Click HERE for all the fun!
- Got My Book is raving about NURK. Click HERE to see why. 
- Patricia Tilton at Children's Books Heal is spotlighting TOWERS FALLING. Click HERE to read her review.
- Completely Full Bookshelf is cheering for THE UNDERDOGS. Click HERE to see what they thought. 
- Sue Kooky is spreading some love for THE TIARA ON THE TERRACE. Click HERE to find her feature.
- The B.O.B. has chills for FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER. Click HERE to see why. 
- Greg Pattridge is celebrating ELEVEN AND HOLDING. Click HERE to read his review.
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--CHASING SECRETS. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Carl at Boys Rule Boys Read is highlighting THE BOYS IN THE BOAT. Click HERE to see what he thought.  
- Tara Creel is finding SOME KIND OF HAPPINESS. Click HERE to read her feature.  
- Suzanne Warr is gushing about THE RED PYRAMID. Click HERE to see why. 
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week 
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site. 
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time. 


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

0 Comments on MMGM Links (9/5/16) as of 9/5/2016 6:36:00 AM
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9. Friday Feature: Piper Morgan (And Some Great Advice By Stephanie Faris)




When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.

In Piper Morgan Joins the Circus, Piper learns her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus. She can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!



In Piper Morgan in Charge, Piper’s mom takes a job in the local elementary school principal’s office. Piper is excited for a new school and new friends—and is thrilled when she is made an “office helper.” But there is one girl who seems determined to prove she is a better helper—and she just so happens to be the principal’s daughter. Can Piper figure out how to handle being the new girl in town once more?


Stephanie Faris is here to talk to you all about a topic that I think is brilliant and extremely helpful for all writers. So sit back and enjoy!

Why Reading Outside Your Genre Can Make Your Writing Stronger
by Stephanie Faris
I love my blog friends. Among us there are those who write children’s, middle-grade, YA, paranormal, adventure, horror, and romance, just to name a few genres. That means when I read my friends’ books, I often get to take a break from girly children’s fiction and read a wide variety of other things.
When I was younger, I thought that would hurt me but I’ve come to realize it only helps. Fiction, at its very foundation, is made up of similar elements. The conflict in a mystery novel may be different from what you’d find in a fantasy novel, but there are similar emotions, challenges, and resolutions. By reading these other books, you learn more about what you want to write.
What do I mean by this? Let’s take Kelly’s Into the Fire as an example. Her main character, Cara, is on the verge of transforming into a Phoenix. Knowing the end of her time as herself is near, she feels conflicted about the feelings she’s developing for the new guy in town.
I’ve never written a book with a character who is on the verge of becoming a Phoenix. I have, however, written romances where a couple is kept apart through extenuating circumstances. In the type of fiction I write, though, that conflict would likely be in the form of protecting a career or not wanting to hurt a loved one.
Even in the tween books I write, romance is a no-no. However, many of the conflicts I read about in romance novels can translate to the trauma friendships suffer in sixth and seventh grade. The girls in my characters may have crushes, even though they never develop into a real romance. Conflict can exist there, as well.
Reading anything can also help improve your own prose. I love Harlan Coben’s mysteries and even though they’re completely different from the books I write, he makes me want to be a better writer. He has a way of phrasing things that is just so beautiful that you can’t help but want to push yourself to be that good. And that, in my opinion, is what becoming a better writer is all about.

Because Stephanie is so awesome, she is hosting a giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card and autographed copies of her books. Enter here:



Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 


*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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10. Thursday Review: THE CURIOUS WORLD OF CALPURNIA TATE by Jacqueline Kelly

I really like the cutout-look images on the cover, with the hidden animals...Synopsis: We don't necessarily review a ton of realistic MG fiction here (not as much Wonderland in the real world, I suppose) but it doesn't mean we aren't reading or... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on Thursday Review: THE CURIOUS WORLD OF CALPURNIA TATE by Jacqueline Kelly as of 9/1/2016 9:06:00 PM
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11. Introducing Author Ayla Hashway

I couldn't be happier to post today. My daughter, Ayla, received her paperback proof of her first book, The Secret Sister, yesterday and it's gorgeous! I'm so proud of all the hard work she put into this book. She spent her summer writing and reading as much as she could, and she really learned a lot—including how to overcome writer's block.

Together, we decided that she's going to keep her amateur status and make the ebook free. Print copies will be made for family and friends, but she won't make any money from them. This experience is about learning to write well, sharing her love of stories, and being proud of the accomplishment of writing a book. And that's a HUGE accomplishment. Did I mention she's only nine?


And yes, she's my new favorite author.

So without further ado, check out the gorgeous cover of The Secret Sister!


And here are some pictures of the paperback.




The ebook is already up on Smashwords and ready for download. And once again, it's FREE, so grab your copy here.

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12. MMGM Links (8/29/16)

Here are this week's MMGM links!

- Jess at the Reading Nook is cheering for THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH AND THE ZOMBIE PARADE. Click HERE for her review. 
- Heidi Grange is feeling warm and fuzzy for FUZZY. Click HERE to see why. 
- Sally's Bookshelf is feeling lucky for LITTLE CAT'S LUCK. Click HERE to read her review.
- Mark Baker is spreading some love for HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD. Click HERE to see what he thought. 
- Dorine White has a cover reveal for THE SAPPHIRE BLADE. Click HERE to check it out.
- The B.O.B. is caught up with THE OUTSIDERS. Click HERE to see why. 
- Greg Pattridge is celebrating MS. BIXBY'S LAST DAY. Click HERE to read his review.
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--IDA B. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Jenni Enzor is spreading some sunshine for RAINY. Click HERE to see why.  
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week 
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site. 
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time. 


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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13. MMGM Links (8/22/16)

Gah--how is August almost over???? The universe really needs a pause button!

We're getting seriously close to the release of LODESTAR, so I will soon have lots of fun things to share in the weeks ahead. Keep an eye out for them (and if you're not following me on social media--especially instagram--you might wanna)

In the meantime, here are your  MMGM links!

- Got my Book is raving about THE POE ESTATE. Click HERE for their review. 
- Melissa Roske is interviewing author Sally J. Pia. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Completely Full Bookshelf is spotlighting RUBY GOLDBERG'S BRIGHT IDEA. Click HERE to see why.
- Mark Baker is whispering about LEGACY OF SECRETS. Click HERE to see what he thought. 
- Dorine White is cheering for HUNDRED PERCENT. Click HERE for her feature. 
- Tara Creel is sharing some Bucket List books for kids. Click HERE to see what they are. 
- Natalie Aguirre has a guest post from author C. Lee Mckenzie, along with a GIVEAWAY of SIGN OF THE GREEN DRAGON. Click HERE for all the fun.
- The B.O.B. is championing VARIANT. Click HERE to see why. 
- Greg Pattridge is celebrating his 3rd MMGM anniversary with a GIVEAWAY. Click HERE for details.
- Rosi Hollinbeck has another special guest post this week from the #MGGETSREAL authors, along with a five-book GIVEAWAY. Click HERE to learn more.
- Justin Talks Books is highlighting DR. CRITCHLORE'S SCHOOL FOR MINIONS. Click HERE to find his feature. 
- Jenni Enzor is seeing great things for THE MAGIC MIRROR. Click HERE to see why. 
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time. 
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week 
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site 
If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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14. Blog Tour: My Thoughts: The Secret Sea by Barry Lyga


4 yummy frosted maple cookies.

Cover Love:
I really like this cover, I think it would make kids want to pick up this book.

Why I Wanted to Read this:
I really like a good alternate universe book and the synopsis of this one seemed right up my alley.  Here it is from GoodReads:

Twelve-year-old Zak Killian is hearing a voice. Could it be a guardian angel? A ghost? No, that's crazy. But sometimes the voice is so real. . . . It warns him of danger.

One day Zak is standing on the subway platform when the tunnel starts to fill with water. He sees it before anyone else. The voice warns him to run. His friends Moira and Khalid believe this is more than a premonition, and soon all three find themselves in an alternate universe that is both familiar and seriously strange. As Zak unravels the mystery behind the voice, he faces decisions that may mean the end of their world at home--if they can even get home!

My Thoughts:
Overall this was a great read.  There were a few things in the beginning that made it a little hard fro me to get into but once I was over that hump, the book flew.

One of the things that bothered me a ton were Zak's parents.  They were so frustrating.  They were convinced that Zak was doing "bad" things so rather than talk with him, they ground him.  Then they get him a psychiatrist, but are more into blaming each other for his behavior than really getting him help. It was very hard to get over this because every scene with them made me want to throw the book!

After a pretty slow start a little twist happens that caught my interest.  Once that came about, I was much more into the book.  Once they got to the alternate universe, I was very into the book.  The author set up a great world with the alternate universe.  There are a lot of similarities between our world and the one that Zak and his friends get to, but enough differences that cause them to be very lost and confused.  The rules of the new world and society are very different than ours and they don't have a lot of time to learn them.  The author did a great job of conveying their confusion and fear.  This new universe is very technologically advanced to us and open to a lot of new ideas, but they are also very backwards in some issues.  I was glad that Khalid was able to find an ally once they got to the alternative universe and thankfully it was one willing to believe and help out.  Giving them a guide was very important.

From the start of their time in the alternate universe I felt something was off in the story Zak was being told.  I'm not sure if this was because I'm an adult and I consume a lot of content, so I'm pretty quick to develop theories, or if it was easy to deduce.  I would like to chat with someone from the target audience after they read it to see if they jumped to the same conclusion that I did.

There is a lot of action and I guess what I would call "speculative science" in the alternate universe.  None of it was over my head and the story moved along very quickly.

To Sum Up:  I think this is going to be a big hit with middle school readers.  I will be buying a copy for my library and book talking it this fall.  I already have my first reader for this story picked out and I know he will love it.

Macmillan is giving away a finished copy of The Secret Sea to one of my readers.  US only, winner will be announced on August 29.  Loading... Read the rest of this post

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15. Friday Feature: Sign of the Green Dragon




Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. A buried treasure.

After six months in a new school, Sam's finally fitting in. He's the one kid with enough talent to hit the winning home run and bring the baseball trophy back to Haggarty Elementary. But Sam's guardian is shipping him off to boarding school before that can happen.

When teammates, Joey and Roger, hear his bad news, they plot to hide him until the big game. Their secret cave is a perfect place until an earthquake shatters a wall and reveals a wooden chest with a red-eyed dragon carved into its top. Inside, a bony hand clutches a map with a note, promising treasure.

With Joey and Roger, Sam sets off to track down the clues and hopefully discover treasure.

Just as some puzzle pieces start to make sense, the boys become lost in a labyrinth of underground tunnels, trapped by dangerous thieves and sealed inside an airless tomb. 

Sign of the Green Dragon gets a high five for fantasy, fun and some fearsome adventure. If you like intrepid would-be knights on impossible and dangerous quests, you'll love this story. As one reader says, this book, "has more twists than a dragon's tail."

Buy now to jump into the adventure.

Grab it on Amazon.

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication. Her greatest passion is writing for young readers. Sign of the Green Dragon is her third Middle Grade novel. Alligators Overhead and the sequel, The Great Time Lock Disaster were her first two. She has traditionally published four young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative and Sudden Secrets.


*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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16. MMGM Links (8/15/16)

Still need to hit my word count for the night (and no, I can't tell you what I'm working on. Hopefully soon!) so I'll keep this short and just say: here are the MMGM links!

- Melissa Roske joins the MMGM fun with her "Ask the Author" feature, this week with Kristi Wientge. Click HERE to welcome her to the group. 
- Michael Gettel-Gilmartin is cheering for JOSHUA AND THE ARROW REALM. Click HERE to read his review.
- Completely Full Bookshelf is gushing about EVA AND PIP. Click HERE to see why.
- Mark Baker has had his heart stolen by STORY THIEVES: THE STOLEN CHAPTERS. Click HERE to see what he thought. 
- Dorine White is feeling haunted by THE MINISTRY OF GHOSTS. Click HERE for her feature. 
- Tara Creel is seeing stars for THE LITTLE PRINCE. Click HERE to see why she loves this classic. 
- Sue Kooky is championing HARRY POTTER. Click HERE to read her review.  
- The B.O.B. is seeing stars for SUPERNOVA. Click HERE to check it out.
- Greg Pattridge has is raving about DR. FELL AND THE PLAYGROUND OF DOOM. Click HERE to see what he thought. 
- Rosi Hollinbeck has a special guest post this week, on middle grade books that address hard topics. Click HERE to learn more.
- Justin Talks Books is highlighting CHARLIE JOE JACKSON'S GUIDE TO NOT READING. Click HERE to find his feature.   
- Jess at the Reading Nook is feeling FRAZZLED: EVERYDAY DISASTERS AND IMPENDING DOOM. Click HERE to see her review.   
- Jenni Enzor is seeing stars for THE STARS OF SUMMER. Click HERE to see why.
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time. 
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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17. MMGM Links (8/8/16)

Gah, crazy weekend thanks to some last minute LODESTAR deadlines--but I'm happy to say the book is officially DONE (well, on my end at least. My publisher is still fine tuning the formatting and whatnot, and then it's off to the printers to be turned into real books by 11/1/16)

Also, if you're in the OC of SoCal, I have an event tomorrow (8/9/16) at 7pm at Once Upon A Storybook in Tustin. Details are on my events page.

And now, on to the MMGM links!

- Completely Full Bookshelf joins the MMGM Fun with a feature on WHEN YOU REACH ME. Click HERE to welcome them to the group! 
- Mark Baker wants everyone to RACE FOR THE PARK STREET TREASURE. Click HERE to see why. 
- Eli at Tweens Read Too is back with an interview with Brooks Benjamin. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Tara Creel is gushing about THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON. Click HERE to see why. 
- Sue Kooky is sees no reason to worry about PUDDLE'S WONDROUS WORRY DOLLS. Click HERE to read her review.  
- The B.O.B. is spreading some love for THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT. Click HERE to check it out.
- Greg Pattridge has is raving about DR. FELL AND THE PLAYGROUND OF DOOM. Click HERE to see what he thought. 
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing THE GIRL IN THE WELL IS ME. Click HERE to see why.
- Justin Talks Books is highlighting BOOK SCAVENGER. Click HERE to find his feature.   
- Jess at the Reading Nook is wondering at ZOE IN WONDERLAND. Click HERE to see her review.   
- Literary Hoots is talking about HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD. Click HERE to see what she thought.   
- Jenni Enzor has chills for BRIAN'S WINTER. Click HERE to see why. 
- Cindy Reads A Lot is singing praises for THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY. Click HERE to find her feature.   
- Faith Hough is interviewing Jessica Lawson, with a GIVEAWAY of WAITING FOR AUGUSTA. Click HERE for all the fun.  
- Natalie Aguirre is interviewing Bridget Hodder, with a GIVEAWAY of THE RAT PRINCE. Click HERE for details.
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time. 
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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18. Obsessing Over #6: Furthermore



I have been seeing this pop up on blogs and twitter and it has peaked my interest.  First off, this is a dynamic cover.  Second, it sounds like such a fun play on words type of book.  I think this is going to be an awesome read and I can't wait to get a copy for myself and for my library!

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19. Book Review: Black Lightning by K.S. Jones…

I absolutely love Arizona! I’ve been lucky enough to visit twice (Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale areas), and would love to go back and see the Grand Canyon, since I never got a chance to go there. K.S. Jones paints a vibrant and beautiful picture with her words, that allows me to feel my skin sizzle under the Arizona heat, and make my mouth water for buttery cornbread. So what’s my take on a story set in a place that can conjure up Geronimo’s ghost and make you sweat with every page you turn? This is what I posted on Amazon and Goodreads…



Lightning does indeed strike twice with this 5 Star Winner!

K.S. Jones combines a mixture of Apache folklore, natural phenomenon, and science fiction in a dessert setting to create her middle grade sci-fy adventure about 10 year-old Samuel Baker and his incredible journey into another dimension. Fast-paced from beginning to end, Jones weaves a fantastic and emotional tale wrought with love, death, magic, and hope.

Jones’s imaginative story is a must for any bookshelf (or ereader), and though geared for tween boys, there’s plenty of action to get the girls cheering for Samuel and his friend Isabelle to get them back home to the families they love. High fives for K.S. Jones and her electrifying tale!

Tagline and Blurb:

Life moves on — no matter what...

Following his father’s puzzling disappearance and his mother’s death, ten-year-old Samuel Baker goes through the motions of living in a world turned upside down. He wears an Apache talisman, a long ago gift from his father, in hopes its promise of strength and guidance is true. But what he truly wants is the power to bring his parents back. 

Heartless Aunt Janis is elated at the prospect of becoming Samuel’s legal guardian. She is sure an orphan boy will elicit such an outpouring of public sympathy that her husband will win his Senate bid by a landslide. But when Grandpa Tate arrives, things don’t go as expected, especially when black lightning strikes!

Read an Excerpt:

Samuel stood beside his mother’s rain-speckled casket. He had cried his tears dry, so there was no point in trying to find more.

“Chin up, young man,” Aunt Janis said as her fingers nudged Samuel’s jaw upward. “Death is just part of life, and our photographer needs a good picture of you for the newspapers.”

A camera flashed, leaving Samuel’s red and swollen eyes burning as if stung by the sun instead of grief.

So many important days had come and gone without his father, but surely he would come home today, wouldn’t he? Samuel closed his eyes. He pretended his father was beside him holding his hand. They had a right to hold hands, he told himself. Not because he was ten, but because it was his mother’s funeral. Two years had passed since his father left, never to be seen again. Vanished, was the word his mother had used. Into thin air, she’d said.

“Take that silly thing off.” Aunt Janis flicked Samuel’s wood and bead necklace.

“No,” he said and shook his head. “My dad gave it to me.” It was a pinewood tile, the size of a domino shaved nickel-thin, which hung from a leather cord around his neck. Burned onto the front side of the wood was a lightning bolt. Its flipside bore the blackened imprint of a tribal dancer. It had a turquoise nugget and a shiny black hematite bead strung together on each side. His father had given the talisman to him with a promise: It will guide you and give you strength when you need it most.

Today, dressed in a black suit and starchy white shirt, Samuel wore it in hopes the promise was true.

As mourners gathered, Samuel’s friend Brian came to stand beside him. “Hey,” he said.

“Hey,” Samuel answered without taking his eyes off the casket.

“Is that the necklace your dad gave you? You don’t usually wear it.” Brian’s wire-rimmed glasses slid down his straight arrow nose. He pushed them back up the bridge with one finger until they encircled his eyes again. “Can I see it? I promise I’ll give it right back.”

“It’s not a necklace.” Samuel pulled the leather cord off over his head, mussing his overgrown blond hair. “It’s a talisman.” He handed it to Brian. “My dad said it would help me, but it hasn’t done anything yet. I think it was just one of his stories. It’s probably just an old piece of scrap wood with a couple rocks tied to it.”

Brian shrugged after examining the piece then he handed it back to Samuel. “I think it’s cool. You should keep wearing it anyway.”

Nodding, Samuel hung the talisman around his neck again, but this time he dropped it down beneath his shirt where it was no longer visible. It felt warm against his skin.

“Has anybody told you where you’re going to live now?” Brian asked.

“Probably with Aunt Janis and Uncle Jack.”

Brian frowned. He kicked the tip of his shoe into the muddy soil. “They live so far away. Why can’t you just stay here and live with Mrs. Abel? She doesn’t have any kids.”

Mrs. Abel was their fourth grade teacher. She had plainly stated to all who would listen that her job was to teach the proper use of the English language to children who behaved properly. A babysitter, she had said, she was not. Today, she stood in the rain with the other mourners, eyeing the ground where the hem of her long, gray dress lay caked in mud. Tufts of brown hair jutted out from under her pink plaid scarf. Even though she stood a few feet from him, she had not spoken to Samuel since his mother’s death. Few people had. Everyone had words for Aunt Janis and they talked to Uncle Jack, but no one but Brian and a few classmates had spoken to him. Maybe talking to an orphan was harder than talking to a normal kid.

Purchase Links:

Mirror World Publishing

Amazon 

Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author:

Karen (K.S.) Jones grew up in California, but now lives in the beautiful Texas Hill Country northwest of San Antonio with her husband, Richard, and their dogs Jack Black, Libby Loo, and Red Bleu. Black Lightning is her first middle-grade novel. She credits her love of fantasy to the early influences of authors J.R.R. Tolkien, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells. Her award-winning first novel, Shadow of the Hawk, a Young Adult Historical, released in 2015.

Connect with K.S. Jones:



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20. MMGM Links (7/18/16)

Here's this week's MMGM links!

- Tara Creel joins the MMGM fun with a feature on PAX. Click HERE to welcome her to the group. 
- Books 4 Learning wants everyone to SMILE. Click HERE to see why.
- Justin at Justin Talks Books is cracking THE STRANGE CASE OF ORIGAMI YODA. Click HERE to read what he thought 
- The B.O.B. is highlighting BETTY CORNELL'S TEEN-AGE POPULARITY GUIDE. Click HERE to check it out.
- Michelle Mason is wishing for THE SEVENTH WISH. Click HERE to find her review. 
- Susan Uhlig has a double feature this week. To see her review of COUNTING THYME, go HERE. And to see her review of THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY, click HERE 
- Greg Pattridge is solving THE DRAKE EQUATION. Click HERE to see what he thought. 
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--COUNTING BY 7s. Click HERE for details.  
- Michael Gettel-Gilmartin has chills for THE PECULIAR HAUNTING OF THELMA BEE . Click HERE to see why.   
- Jess at the Reading Nook has a Q&A with CC Payne. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week. 
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time.

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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21. AUTHOR INTERVIEW! Sarah Beth Durst on THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM

A little while ago I had the privilege of reading Sarah Beth Durst's latest fantasy novel for middle grade readers, The Girl Who Could Not Dream--the tale of a girl whose parents distill, bottle, and sell dreams out of a secret room in their... Read the rest of this post

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22. Turning Pages Reads: CLOSE TO FAMOUS, by JOAN BAUER

Welcome to another session of Turning Pages!When we talk about comfort reads, we have to mention the works of Joan Bauer. A little offbeat, a little unique, her books are always engaging and wise. Though quite a few are written for teens, many... Read the rest of this post

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23. Weekend Reading #11

I will admit that a couple of things have really slowed down my reading this summer.  
First of all, Stranger Things on Netflix completely captivated me.  I binged on that really hard this week.
Secondly, I am playing Pokemon Go.  I adore this game, but my very favorite thing is that my son will ask me to drive him and his friends around to play.  When your 18 year old, about to go to college son wants you to go out and play a game with him, you go out and play that game!

Anyway, I am going to focus on some reading this weekend.  These are the two books I am currently reading.  I am participating in a blog tour for The Secret Sea in August.  I like the alternate reality aspect of this book.  I also received The Gallery in the mail and this cover is so gorgeous I bumped it to the top of my TBR.  I love the feel of this book in my hands.
(I am also going to Star Trek this weekend, can't wait!!)
What are you reading this weekend?

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24.

Just got back from San Diego Comic Con (so much fun--but SO EXHAUSTING)--and there are quite a few links this week--so here's hoping I get these right.

Here are the MMGM links!

- The Runaway Librarian joins the MMGM fun with a feature on four of her favorite new reads. Click HERE to welcome her to the group. 
- Books 4 Learning is spreading some love for PERCY JACKSON'S GREEK GODS. Click HERE to see why. 
- Sue Kooky is spotlighting THE IT GIRL. Click HERE to read her review.  
- Susan Olson is gushing about ONCE WAS TIME. Click HERE to find her feature.
- Justin at Justin Talks Books is highlighting JUST MY LUCK. Click HERE to read what he thought 
- The B.O.B. is interviewing author Christopher Healey. Click HERE to check it out.
- Michelle Mason is wishing for THE SEVENTH WISH. Click HERE to find her review. 
- Susan Uhlig has a double feature this week. To see her review of COUNTING THYME, go HERE. And to see her review of THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY, click HERE 
- Greg Pattridge has a double feature with THE DRAGONFLY EFFECT and SLACKER. Click HERE to see what he thought. 
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--AIM. Click HERE for details.  
- Michael Gettel-Gilmartin is revealing the cover of A CRACK IN THE SEA . Click HERE to check it out.   
- Jess at the Reading Nook has a Q&A with author Kit Grindstaff. Click HERE for all the fun.   
- Carl at Boys Rule! Boys Read! has a special guest feature from one of his awesome readers. Click HERE to see what they thought of THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY. 
- Jenni Enzor is sweet on SWEET HOME ALASKA. Click HERE to see why. 
- Got My Book is throwing down THE COPPER GAUNTLET. Click HERE to read their feature. 
- Michelle Mason is covering RUBY REINVENTED. Click HERE to see what she thought.
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week. 
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time.
If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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25. MMGM Links (8/1/16)

Okay, first, HOW IS IT AUGUST??? Seriously, can someone please slow down time???

Ahem.

We are now officially three months away from the release of LODESTAR, I guess that means I need to start organizing all the awesome release-time things (keep an eye out for them in the months ahead)

In the meantime, here are the MMGM links!

- Eli at Tweens Read Too joins the MMGM fun with an interview with Jennifer A. Nielsen. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Tara Creel is cheering for THE DISTANCE TO HOME. Click HERE to see why. 
- Sue Kooky is spotlighting EDNA IN THE DESERT. Click HERE to read her review.  
- The B.O.B. is caught up in A MAD, WICKED FOLLY. Click HERE to check it out.
- Greg Pattridge has is raving about THE SEVENTH WISH. Click HERE to see what he thought. 
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--MAYDAY. Click HERE for details.  
- Literary Hoots has chills for DR. FELL AND THE PLAYGROUND OF DOOM. Click HERE to see their feature.   
- Jess at the Reading Nook is also reviewing DR. FELL AND THE PLAYGROUND OF DOOM. Click HERE to see her take.   
- Dorine White is cheering for EVERYTHING SPORTS. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Susan Olson is featuring RACE TO THE SOUTH POLE (Ranger in Time #4). Click HERE to find her feature.
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week. 
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time.
If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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