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1. MMGM Links (12/15/14)

Here's this week's MMGM links!

- Jess at the Reading Nook has an early review for ALL THE ANSWERS. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
 - Annie McMahon is caught up in SKYLAR ROBBINS: THE MYSTERY OF SHADOW HILLS. Click HERE to see why.
- The Paige Turner is cheering for THE TWO PRINCESSES OF BAMARRE. Click HERE to welcome them to the group!
- Jenni Enzor has two features--MASTERPIECE and THE FAMILY UNDER THE BRIDGE. Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Greg Partridge is on the edge of his seat for ADVENTURE ON NEMESIS MOUNTAIN. Click HERE to read his review. 
- The Bookworm blog is celebrating 11 BIRTHDAYS.  Click HERE to see what they thought.
- Suzanne Warr is gushing about BREADCRUMBS. Click HERE to read her feature.    
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--a copy of GRACEFULLY GRAYSON. Click HERE for details. 
- Rcubed is rooting for KNIGHTLEY AND SON. Click HERE to see why. 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time! 
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.    
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.  
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week. 
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 



If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (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) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

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. Kate the Great: Review Haiku

A little trite, but
SO true to the modern
fifth-grade experience.

Kate the Great, Except When She's Not by Suzy Becker. Crown, 2014, 272 pages.

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3. MMGM Links (12/8/14)

Still in the deadline cave (*waves from among the empty Pepsi bottles*) But I did put together the MMGM links again--and please bear with any mistakes.

Oh also, I'm giving away six signed-and-doodled-on EVERBLAZEs. Go HERE if you want to see how you enter.

Okay, onto the links!

- The Paige Turner joins the MMGM fun with a feature on THE SECRET WAR. Click HERE to welcome them to the group!
- Jenni Enzor is counting on THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH. Click HERE to see why. 
- Greg Partridge is caught up in THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE BEAGLE. Click HERE to read his review. 
- Sheri Larsen is gushing about THE LUMPY DUCKLING. Click HERE to see why.  
- Annie McMahon is whispering about the HOUSE OF SECRETS. Click HERE to see her review. 
- The Bookworm blog is sweet on THE CANDYMAKERS.  Click HERE to see what they thought.
- Suzanne Warr is feeling dreamy about THE DREAM KEEPER. Click HERE to read her feature.    
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--a copy of A PLAGUE OF UNICORNS, plus she has an interview with the author. Click HERE for details. 
- Rcubed is really digging HERE LIES THE LIBRARIAN. Click HERE to see why. 
 - Sue Heaven is featuring SWEATY SUITS OF ARMOR: COULD YOU SURVIVE BEING A KNIGHT, along with an interview with the author. Click HERE for all the fun.
- Dorine White is feeling the heat of FYRE. Click HERE to read what she thought.
- Kim Aippersbach is spotlighting WHALES ON STILTS. Click HERE to see her review.
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time! 
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.    
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.  
- 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 (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) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

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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4. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place: Review Haiku

Way more fun than a
Victorian setting has
any right to be.

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry. Roaring Brook, 2014, 351 pages.

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5. MMGM Links (12/1/14)

I have officially locked myself in the deadline cave (no escape until I finish KEE4ER!) But I did put together the MMGM links--and bear with my deadline brain if there are sometimes mistakes.

But first, two quick reminders:

- Today is the LAST day to take advantage of my Black Swagday Giveaway, a special giveaway I do each year to make giving signed copies of my books that much more special. The details for how to take advantage of the offer can be found HERE.

- I do have one final giveaway coming up this week--a different kind of giveaway than the recent swag giveaways. There will only be a handful of winners, but the prizes are AWESOME. Check back later this week for all the fun.

Okay, onto the links!

- Andrea Mack has spotted THE SECRET AGENDA. Click HERE to read her feature. 
- The Bookworm blog is feeling the rush of ZIP. Click HERE to see what they thought.
- Suzanne Warr is spotlighting FIRST LIGHT. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--a copy of GHOSTLY EVIDENCE: EXPLORING THE PARANORMAL. Click HERE for details. 
- Michael Gettel-Gilmarten is cheering for THE GREAT GREENE HEIST. Click HERE to see why
- The BoB is soaring with MOCKINGJAY. Click HERE to read their feature.   
- Dorine White is sharing an excerpt of her new release, THE AWAKENING. Click HERE to read. 
- Gina Carey is sweet on THE TRUTH ABOUT TWINKIE PIE. Click HERE to see what she thought.
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time! 
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.    
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.  
- 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 (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) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

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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6. The Long Haul: Review Haiku

The Parent-reader
in me didn't find this
as funny as the Kid.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney. Amulet, 2014, 224 pages.

0 Comments on The Long Haul: Review Haiku as of 12/1/2014 8:03:00 AM
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7. Hitler in Paris: How a Photograph Shocked a World at War by Don Nardo

Even before he seized power and became the chancellor of Germany in 1933, Hitler had done two things that most people seeking political office rarely did at that time - first was that he used a private plane with his own pilot to campaign quickly all over Germany.  The plane was so much faster than a train or car, and much less tiring.  The second thing he did was to have a personal photographer to record his every move.  That photographer was Heinrich Hoffmann.

You probably know, if only from reading The Extra by Kathryn Lasky, that Leni Riefenstahl made several propaganda films, but her most famous film of all was Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens) documenting the 1934 Nuremberg Rally and showcasing Hitler.  She was a talented and innovative filmmaker, and a good friend of Hitler's (despite later denials of not knowing anything about was was happening in Nazi Germany and the occupied countries), but for still photography, it was Heinrich Hoffmann that Hitler wanted.

Hoffman was a very talented photographer, who loved to take pictures of people in moments when their guard was down, and recording their spontaneous actions/reactions.  But he was also gifted at the posed photograph and the iconic June 1940 photograph he took of Hitler standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, flanked on one side by Albert Speer and on the other by Arno Breker, is the one that Don Nardo has chosen to focus on in his book Hitler in Paris.  It is this photograph that best represents Hitler's dominance in Europe.  Standing at the Eiffel Tower, in a now defeated France, and with conquered countries to the North, South and East of France, Hitler's sights are now to the West and Britain.  One can only imagine how people must have felt when they saw this photo.  But what brought Hitler and Hoffmann to this point?

Nardo gives the reader a parallel history of each man early life - both middle class, but with very different family circumstances.  Events in Hitler's early life, a cruel father with whom he often fought, held feed his anger and hate at those more fortunate, and was later spurred on and fueled by Germany's defeat in World War I, for which he desperately wanted to seek revenge.

Hoffmann, by contrast, was taken under his father's wing and taught the art of photography.  Nardo describes Hoffmann as a very likable man, who claimed (like Riefenstahl) that he was not political, his relationship with Hitler was strictly personal and he had no knowledge of what was happening around him.  Eva Braun worked in his photography studio and it was Hoffmann who introduced her to Hitler (you may recall that from reading Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman).

Taken on the same trip to Paris by
Hoffmann
This is a short, 64 page book that is filled with information and photographs, all taken by Hoffmann.
 Nardo has done a pretty good job at presenting these two men with objectivity and allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions about them and the circumstances depicted in the book.

Nardo also used lots of primary and secondary sources to write Hitler in Paris, giving the book a real sense of time an place, as well bringing these two controversial figures to life.  Additionally, he has included a useful timeline, a glossary, a list of additional resources, source notes and a selected bibliography.  There are also copious photographs of Hoffmann's, which are all now in the public domain.

Hitler in Paris: How a Photograph Shocked a Word at War will probably have great appeal to history buffs interested in the 20th century, WWII, and/or Nazi Germany.  But it will also appeal to serious serious budding photographers and even to those who are more experienced as a study in how one emblematic photograph can convey so much.

This book is recommended for readers age 9+
This book was purchased for my personal library


0 Comments on Hitler in Paris: How a Photograph Shocked a World at War by Don Nardo as of 11/29/2014 11:42:00 AM
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8. Classic MG Readalong: Farmer Boy

Hello, friends! Welcome to this month’s classics readalong discussion, where we’ll be gleefully chatting about Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. For those new to the series, this is a standalone historical fiction novel based on true people and events, written by the author about her husband’s boyhood on his family’s farm in the late 1800s. A reminder: You have ONE MONTH left to finish your classics readalong challenge for this year! Have you read and reviewed 8 books yet? Are you going to be able to? A little more on that below, plus info on the December/January books. We have so much pie to eat talk about, though, that we should just get started on our discussion! Wendy: I wanted to do this one for our readalong because it’s a nice standalone–plus it’s my favorite of the series! (Followed by The Long Winter, but for very different reasons–this one’s... Read more »

The post Classic MG Readalong: Farmer Boy appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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9. MMGM Links (11/24/30)

Finally done with my fall travel (if I didn't come to your area--sorry! Here's hoping for next year! Or you could always talk to your teacher/librarian about setting up a Skype chat). And I will pretty much be eating breathing and sleeping deadlines for the next few weeks, so life shows no sign of calming. But I promise I will do my best to keep up with the MMGM links--and bear with my exhausted brain if there are sometimes mistakes.

Also, make sure you check back on Wednesday, for another awesome giveaway I have planned. But before that--the links!

- Michelle Mason has a middle grade round-up, including EVERBLAZE (eep! thank you!), BALANCE KEEPERS: THE FIRES OF CALDERON, and THE MAP TO EVERYWHERE. Click HERE for all the fun.
- The Bookworm blog is gushing about PRINCESS ACADEMY. Click HERE to see what they thought.
- Suzanne Warr has an interview with Steve Stewart, creator of GEN ONE: CHILDREN OF MARS. Click HERE for all the fun. 
Susan Olson is highlighting TIME HUNTERS: EGYPTIAN CURSE. Click HERE to see why she what she loves about it.
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--a copy of POISONED APPLES: POEMS FOR YOU, MY PRETTY. Click HERE for details. 
- Greg Pattridge is betting on THE ROOKIE BOOKIE. Click HERE to read his review.  
- The BoB is raving about THE 13TH REALITY. Click HERE to read their feature.   
- Sally's Bookshelf is spreading some love for FRANK EINSTEIN AND THE ANTIMATTER MOTOR. Click HERE to see why 
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time! 
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.    
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.  
- 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 (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) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

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 (11/24/30) as of 11/24/2014 6:44:00 AM
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10. The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza: Review Haiku

I wish I could have
any faith that Joey will
be okay. RAAAAGE. Sigh.

The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos. FSG, 2014, 176 pages.

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11. The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

This novel opens on October 27, 1942.  Helmuth Hübener, 17, has been imprisoned on death row in Plotzensee Prison, Berlin, charged with high treason against the Third Reich.  He had hoped the court would show lenicency because of his age, but that hope was now gone.  Sentenced to death, Helmuth recalls, in a series of flashbacks, the events in his life that led him to this day.

As a young child living in Hamburg, Helmuth hears his grandparents talk about their dislike of the Nazis and their leader, Adolf Hitler and Opa's predictions that Hitler wants war.  But Helmuth likes playing with his toy soldiers and thinks maybe he will be a soldier when he is old enough to fight.

But when Hitler seizes power in 1933, Helmuth sees everything around him change.  Teachers and schoolmates show their support for the new chancellor and begin harassing the Jewish students, Germans are told to boycott Jewish stores, enforced by SS and SA destroying their businesses.  Un-German books and movies are forbidden, and Helmuth is afraid that means Karl May's beloved stories about America's wild west, until his brother Gerhard tells him they are Hitler's favorites, too.

In 1935, Helmuth's mother begins seeing a Nazi named Hugo Hübener.  Hugo changes everything in their home and after the two marry, moves the family away from Opa and Oma.

In 1938, at age 12, Helmuth begins a new school, where he is immediately labelled a troublemaker by his teacher, a Nazi.  He is punished by having to write an essay with the title "Adolf Hitler: Savior of the Fatherland."  Helmuth knows he must bite the bullet and write the essay his teacher expects and in the end, even his teacher has to admit that he is a talented writer.  Helmuth is also required to join the Jungvolk, the younger version of the Hitler Youth.

When his older brother Gerhard is inducted into the army in 1939, he is sent to Paris for training.  Once the war begins, Helmuth suspects that the Reich's radio is not giving the German people the truth about what is going on.  When Gerhard returns from France, he bring a new forbidden short wave radio back with him., but hides it and tells Helmuth to leave it alone.  At first, Helmuth resists the temptation to listen to it, but after a while he can't resist any longer and each night, sets up the radio to hear the BBC broadcasts done in German.  And just as he suspected, the German people are indeed being lied to about German successes in the war.

Helmuth, who is a devout Mormon and who practices his faith throughout, convinces his two best friends from church, Rudi Wobbe and Karl-Heinz Schnibbe, to help him create leaflets transcribing the BBC broadcasts to be distributed all over Hamburg.

Helmuth, Rudi and Karl are turned into the Gestapo by a supposed friend, put on trial and sentenced. Helmuth is the only one sentenced to death for high treason.  He had promised Rudi and Karl he would  take full responsibility, so they were only sentenced to imprisonment for a few years (which were shortened more when Germany lost the war).

It is through the flashbacks, that Bartoletti skillfully shows us Helmuth's development from a child who enthusiastically  supports the Nazis to an adolescent who critically questions what he sees going on around him to a courageous young man willing to risk death in order to tell people the truth about Hitler and the Nazis.  It makes for a very powerful story.

The Boy Who Dared is historical fiction based on a true story and is one of the reasons why Helmuth's story is so compelling.  I think that it is important for today's readers to understand that not everyone in Germany supported Hitler and his politics, but so many chose to remain silence about their feelings, like Helmuth's mother who told him that silence is how people get on sometimes. (pg 95)  In fact, we never really know how Helmuth's mother really feels.  She married a Nazi, but her family was basically against Hitler.

At the back of the novel, there are photographs of Helmuth, his friends and family, as well as an extensive, not to be skipped over Author's Note explaining how Bartoletti researched the novel and the people she interviewed.

Helmuth was the youngest resister of the Third Reich to be executed.  His story really makes you stop
Helmuth, age 16
and think about whether or not you might have had the kind of courage of your convictions that Helmuth had.  Did his actions impact anyone who knew him or read the leaflets he wrote?  Except for his stepfather, Hugo, who did become a changed man after Helmuth's execution,we will never know, but hopefully Helmuth's story will inspire others to find courage within themselves to speak out against injustice and lies regardless.

If you are moved by The Boy Who Dared, and would like to know more about what life was like for young people like Helmeth during the Third Reich, then be sure to look at Susan Campbell Bartoletti's excellent nonfiction book Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow. 

Scholastic offers an extensive lesson plan/discussion guide for readers of The Boy Who Dared which you can find HERE 

This book is recommended for readers age 9+
This book was purchased for my personal library

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12. TURNING PAGES: EUPHEMIA FAN: SPY GIRL by Cassandra Neyenesch

I received this book courtesy of Full Fathom Five Digital and while normally I prefer digital books which have paper counterparts, I made an exception this time, for Reasons. FFF Digital is an imprint of Full Fathom Five, the content creation... Read the rest of this post

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13. The Port Chicago 50: Review Haiku

A infuriating story,
masterfully told.
Justice not served.

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin. Roaring Brook, 2014, 208 pages.

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14. Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood: Review Haiku

For Armistice Day,
a look at a truly pointless,
horrible war.

Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood: A World War I Tale (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales) by Nathan Hale. Abrams, 2014, 128 pages.

0 Comments on Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood: Review Haiku as of 11/11/2014 7:01:00 AM
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15. MMGM Links (11/10/14)

In the middle of the EVERBLAZE tour (if you're in Houston, come see me tonight at Blue Willow Bookshop at 5:00pm! And if you're in Dallas or Phoenix area, check my EVENTS PAGE for where to catch me) so my brain is a bit jet-lagged and loopy.

But here's the MMGM links--sorry if there's mistakes (and please don't email me with corrections, I won't be able to fix them)

- The Bookworm blog is back with a feature on um...EVERBLAZE (wow, already??? FAST reader!) Click HERE to see what they think.  
- R-Cubed is ALSO featuring EVERBLAZE--and she has a GIVEAWAY (thank you so much--and seriously, how do you guys read so quick!!!) Click HERE for details. 
- Suzanne Warr is spotlighting two of the WARRIORS manga. Click HERE to see why. 
- The Reading Nook is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--FACES OF THE DEAD. Click HERE for details. 
- Andrea Mack has chills for ICE DOGS. Click HERE to see why. 
- Mark Baker is rooting for NICK AND TESLA'S SUPER-CYBORG GADGET GLOVE. Click HERE to see what he thought.  
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--AT YOUR SERVICE. Click HERE for details. 
- Dorine White is letting her10-year-old gush about THE LONG HAUL. Click HERE for his feature.
- Greg Pattridge is cooked for POACHED. Click HERE to read his review.  
- Sue Heavenrich is focused on THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING. Click HERE to see why 
- Katie Fitzgerald is cheering for MADMAN OF PINEY WOODS. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- FT Bradley is caught up in TIME SQUARE: THE SHIFT. Click HERE to see her feature.  
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time! 
- Jennifer Rumberger always has an awesome MMGM feature on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.  
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week. 
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.   
- 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 (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) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

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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16. Monday Mishmash: 11/10/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:

1. The Attic of Sand and Secrets by Medeia Sharif  I'm reading this right now!
THE ATTIC OF SAND AND SECRETS 
by Medeia Sharif

Vendor links will be updated on Medeia’s site.

Middle Grade Historical and Fantasy, Featherweight Press, November 2014

Lily, a learning disabled girl, attempts to unravel the mystery of her abducted mother using supernatural clues from an ancient stranger, even when it means posing a danger to herself.

Learning-disabled Lily desires to prove herself, although her mind freezes when presented with big problems - such as her mother's abduction. With a French father and Egyptian mother, Lily worries that her mother hid her ethnicity from her French in-laws. However, there's something deeper going on. Lily finds a way into an attic that's normally locked and encounters a mysterious, moonlit Egyptian night world. There she finds Khadijah, an ancient stranger who guides her to finding clues about her mother's whereabouts. Lily becomes a sleuth in both the real world and magical desert, endangering herself as she gets closer to the kidnapper.

Find Medeia – Multi-published YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2. Revisions  This week I'm revising one of my manuscripts I put aside for a while. It's always fun to go back and read a first draft I've stepped away from.

3. Some Fine Day by Kat Ross  Kat Ross has a new release and a giveaway for you.
What if everything you've been taught is a lie?

Sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist knows that when the world flooded and civilization retreated deep underground, there was no one left on the surface.

She knows that the only species to thrive there is the toads, a primate/amphibian hybrid with a serious mean streak.

Most of all, she knows there's no place where you can hide from the hypercanes, continent-sized storms that have raged for decades.

Turns out Jansin was wrong. On all counts…


Enter here to win a Kindle Paperwhite pre-loaded with Some Fine Day, plus other awesome YA audiobook giveaways!

4.  Reading/Reviewing  I'm reading a bunch of books that I need to review. It's nice to have to find time to read. Usually reading gets pushed aside for other things, but when I promise to review, I can't do that. ;)

5. Promo  My crazy month of events every week (some weeks more than one event) is over, but I do still have a signing set up for this month and two school visits coming up. This week I'll be trying to book another signing for the holidays.

That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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17. Half a World Away: Review Haiku

I wanted to love this,
but last-minute twist felt
unsupported, weak.

Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata. Atheneum, 2014, 240 pages.

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18. Comics Squad: Recess: Review Haiku

All my (and my kids')
favorites in one handy volume?
Yes please. More please.

Comics Squad: Recess! edited by Jennifer L. Holm et al. Random House, 2014, 144 pages.

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19. Curse of the Granville Fortune Release Day Scavenger Hunt!


Let the hunt begin!

Curse of the Granville Fortune officially releases into the world today! This middle grade fantasy adventure involves a race to a treasure, so there's a scavenger hunt to celebrate.

But first, check out the cover and blurb:



Find the fortune, break the curse!

The hunt is on for an ancient treasure tied to nine-year-old J.B.'s family history. He's been having visions that make him sweaty, lightheaded, and certain he’s turning into some kind of freak—or worse, going insane. But things are worse than he imagined. The visions stem from a family curse. An ancient ancestor was accused of stealing the massive Granville fortune, and now J.B.’s entire family will suffer.

To break the curse, J.B. must find and return the Granville’s stolen property. But he's not the only one searching for the treasure. As he sets out on his journey through a dark and foreboding forest, he'll battle his worst fears and fight terrifying creatures along the way. And when he meets two others who share the missing pieces of his visions and suffer from the same curse, the three soon realize they need to work together to break the curse before it's too late.

Order it on Amazon or B&N.

Now for the scavenger hunt. Below is a list of bloggers helping out with the hunt. Visit each of their pages and collect a letter that is "hidden" in their post in either a different color or a larger font size. See what I did there? Hmm, is that the first letter clue? ;) If you go through the list in order, the word will spell itself out for you. If you don't go in order, you'll have to unscramble the word. Either way is fine and totally up to you. Then enter the word on the rafflecopter form for bonus entries. You don't have to find the word to enter the giveaway, but the word will earn you the most entries.

What's up for grabs?

SWAG from ALL of my books!

Yes, that's right. There's a drawstring bag, coins, buttons, a mood ring, a heart bracelet, a flame pendant, trading cards, a key, and bookmarks! All this loot could be yours!

Here are the stops for the scavenger hunt (in order):

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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20. Review: Gracefully Grayson

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky. Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group. 2014. Reviewed from ARC.

The Plot: Grayson Sender is twelve years old.

Grayson is lonely, even surrounded by classmates, even at home, living with cousins, an aunt and uncle.

Grayson is lonely in part because of Grayson's parents death years ago, leading to Grayson being the odd child out at home.

Grayson is lonely because Grayson cannot connect with others because Grayson is hiding the most important part of who Grayson is.

In Gracefully Grayson, Grayson gradually gains trust and friends until Grayson can reveal the truth: that Grayson is a girl inside. Grayson is a transgender girl.

The Good: I'll be honest Grayson broke my heart, because of how lonely she is. Of how unable to connect with those around her.

At school, Grayson tries out for the play and takes her first step towards her true self by asking to play the part of a girl. One of the happy-tear moments I had was -- spoilers -- when the cast welcomed Grayson, became her friend, treated her like they'd treat anyone else.

Then there were the sad-tears of those who bullied Grayson, and of Grayson's aunt who believes that Grayson is in part causing the problems by not continuing to hide her truth.

And I cried at all the things Grayson did, in hiding. Doodling pictures of girls, but doing it in such a way that people wouldn't know. "If you draw a a triangle with a circle resting on the top point, nobody will be able to tell that it's a girl in a dress. To add hair, draw kind of a semicircle on top. If you do this, you'll be safe, because it looks like you're just doodling shapes."

Loving glitter pens and being prepared with lies to explain why she has the purple and pink ones.

Wearing a sweatband to pretend it's a hairband.

Pretending basketball pants and a t-shirt are somehow a gown, with the wide pants a full skirt.

And how important it is to Grayson, to anyone, to have their own truth by the truth others see. That it's harmful, the years and the lies of pretending to be something other than who she is.

At the end of Gracefully Grayson, someone tells Grayson that "I know it may feel like there are people who are against you, but I want you to remember that most people in the world are good. Look for the people who extend a hand to you. And when they do take it." This, in a nutshell, sums up the book. There are people against Grayson, for various reasons. But there are just as many good people in Grayson's world.

And the question left to the reader is this: is the reader one of the good ones? Does the reader extend a hand to those around them?

I'm making this one of my Favorite Books of 2014, because it is such a beautiful book and Grayson is such an endearing twelve year old.

Links: author interview at Diversity in YA; Bookfabulous Review; Robert Bittner Review at Gay YA;



Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

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21. MMGM Links (10/27/14)

Well, we are now 8 days from the release of EVERBLAZE (7 days from the launch party!!)

THIS IS NOT A DRILL, PEOPLE! 

:)

I've compiled all the recent updates into one handy post you can find HERE. And thank you all for bearing with me--and sharing my excitement--during these crazy days!


Okay, onto the MMGM links:

- Jess at the Reading Nook is gushing about THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH--with a giveaway! Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Reader Noir has chills for NIGHTMARES. Click HERE to see their review.  
- Mark Baker has a double feature this week. Click HERE to see what he thought of THE MYSTERY OF THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN. And click HERE to see his review of THE MYSTERY OF THE GHOSTLY GALLEON.  
- Katie Fitzgerald is cheering for RAIN REIGN. Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Suzanne Warr is haunted by THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND. Click HERE to see why. 
- Susan Olson has found magic in ABRACADABRA, TUT. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--a hardcover copy of COURAGE FOR BEGINNERS. Click HERE for details. 
- Sue Heavenrich is rooting for FLEABRAIN LOVES FRANNY, along with an author interview. Click HERE for all the fun.
- Amara Jabber thinks everyone must BEWARE OF THE HAUNTED TOILET. Click HERE to see why. 
- Dorine White has a very special tribute to the students at Marysville Pilchuck high school, where her daughter actually attends. Not middle grade related, per se, but definitely worth a read. Click HERE for more.
- Greg Pattridge is digging WRITTEN IN STONE. Click HERE to read his review.  
- Jenny Enzor is featuring THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM--1963. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time! 
- Jennifer Rumberger always has an awesome MMGM feature on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.  
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week. 
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.   
- 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 (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) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

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 (10/27/14) as of 10/27/2014 8:37:00 AM
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22. Always Abigail: Review Haiku

Classic middle-grade
about mean girls, nice girls, and
doing the right thing.

Always Abigail by Nancy J. Cavanaugh. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2014, 320 pages.

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23. Middle Grade Contemporary - Star of the Team by Beverly Stowe McClure

I first met Beverly when I embarked on my writing career in 2007 and we have remained connected ever since. Not only do I enjoy Beverly's style of storytelling I have enjoyed and continue enjoy our personal connection. It is my hope some day to meet in person. For now I will have to rely on cyberspace and email exchanges to stay connected. 

Congratulations Beverly on your latest MG novel! Without further ado, I'm proud to share the book and bio information for Star of the Team and Beverly Stowe….

Applause, applause…



STAR OF THE TEAM
MG contemporary

Blurb:

A girl.
A dream.
An accident.
A dream shattered.

Eleven-year-old Kate Taylor dreams of being the star of her basketball team, Angels. When Kate’s tooth is knocked out at one of the games and her mother, who is also her coach, says she can’t play until the tooth the dentist replants heals, Kate’s dreams are in jeopardy. Add Emily, the new girl at school who claims she’s the best, and Kate faces a challenge to prove that she is the star.

Will Kate succeed? Or will Emily ruin Kate’s plans?

Links:

Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/18r6ox4

Bev’s Bio:

Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly in front of her computer, writing the stories little voices whisper in her ear. When she’s not writing, she takes long walks and snaps pictures of clouds, wild flowers, birds and deer. To some of her friends, she is affectionately known as the “Bug Lady” because she rescues butterflies, moths, walking sticks, and praying mantis from her cats.

For twenty-two years Beverly taught children in grades two through five how to read and write. They taught her patience. Now, she teaches a women’s Sunday school class at her church. To relax she plays the piano. Her cats don’t appreciate good music and run and hide when she tickles the ivories.

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE <![endif]-->

Bev, it's a pleasure hosting you today! Doing the Snoopy dance in celebrating your latest accomplishment!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author


Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with
A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Farvorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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24. Classic MG Discussion: Animorphs

Hello, friends! This glorious day is finally upon us. Today is the day The Midnight Garden discusses Animorphs! We hope you were able to join us in reading Books 1-3. It’s such a lovely sci-fi series full of action, aliens, a diverse truly bad ass cast of kid characters, and spades emotional depth. All three of us ended up loving them; we hope you did as well! Let’s dive in! General Thoughts Layla: This was delightful and I wish I’d been reading these alongside Goosebumps when I was a baby! There’s so much reading I missed out on! On the bright side, I’m sure my loss was the family dog’s gain; she probably wouldn’t have appreciated my attempts to acquire her DNA. Wendy: I never read these either, but man oh man, would I have been all over them as a kid. As I was reading book one, I realized... Read more »

The post Classic MG Discussion: Animorphs appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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25. MMGM Links (11/3/14)

AHHHHHHHH, EVERBLAZE'S LAUNCH WEEK IS FINALLY HERE!!!

I kinda can't believe it.

So if you're in SoCal, I hope you'll join us tonight for the Launch Party. Here's all the details, in case you missed it:



And TOMORROW is when EVERBLAZE officially releases. That's also when I leave for the 10-Day tour--it you're in Colorado, Utah, Texas, or Arizona, see my EVENTS PAGE for where to catch me. So please bear with me during the next couple of weeks, launch time is both exciting and SUPER DUPER hectic.

I will still do my best to keep up with MMGM, though. And here are this week's links:

- The Bookworm blog joins the MMGM fun with a feature on THE BLOOD OF OLYMPUS. Click HERE for their spoiler-free review. 
- The B.O.B. is spinning a tale about A WHOLE NOTHER STORY. Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Suzanne Warr is dishing about BONE. Click HERE to see why. 
- Susan Olson is reveling for REVEALED. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--THE PAPER COWBOY. Click HERE for details. 
- Dorine White is seeing through the EYES OF THE ENEMY, plus a spotlight on book 2. Click HERE for both features.
- Greg Pattridge is rooting for URBAN OUTLAWS. Click HERE to read his review.  
- Lucy at Booksylvania is spreading the word about ODETTE'S SECRETS. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Katie Fitzgerald is cheering for a PACK OF DORKS. 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 part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time! 
- Jennifer Rumberger always has an awesome MMGM feature on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.  
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week. 
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring 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 (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) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

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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