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1. ALA 2015: event recap + giveaway!

I’m back from the American Library Conference in San Francisco! Well, I’ve been back for almost a week, but was so wiped out (and still nursing minor injuries), so this post is just now going live. But here I am with tidbits and goodies to share. Fair warning that I was bad at taking photos this year, but it was for good reason–I was having such a good time that I often forgot! Last year’s trip was great, but ALA 2015 surpassed my expectations, in ways I didn’t even imagine. Stick around, since we’re also giving away TWO prizes–a box of 10 coveted ARCS to a U.S. reader, and an awesome tote “Reading is my Everything, Everthing” bag filled with swag to an international reader. The Authors There were so many great authors at ALA this year, and I trotted around like an obedient pony trying to find them all.... Read more »

The post ALA 2015: event recap + giveaway! appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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2. Weekend Links: Celebrating Our Wonderful Earth with Booklists (and a Giveaway!)

Welcome to Weekend Links! This is my chance to share the best-of-the-best thanks to my online travels of the course of the week. This week has been filled with wonderful booklists and activities surrounding loving and celebrating our Earth and all that inhabit it. Here are some of my top picks this week.

weekend links

This week we’ve been celebrating the planet we live on, Earth. Earlier this week I created a very Love the Earth  booklist which honors amazing people preserving and restoring areas on our planet as well as others reusing items to accomplish great feats. The great thing about this list is that I am giving it away!

Love the Earth booklist

Enter to win the Giveaway HERE and don’t delay! It ends July 13th

Seems to me it’s SharK Week on Animal Planet so I though this booklist from Brain Power Boy was very fitting :)

shark booklist

Sharks!  They can be so fascinating and just a bit scary as well. We found some great non-fiction shark books for your boys.

{just for fun}

sharkweek

Mia at PragmaticMom had a wonderful book review of a book that lets young readers readers explore the ocean floor. Explore Ocean Forests with Non Fiction eBook

Explore the Ocean Floor

Since we are looking way down low into the ocean floor, let’s look way up high at the sky. Here’s a great past JIAB post that will help get your family interested in stargazing! Stargazing & Astronomy Booklist for the whole family.

stargazing booklist

I loved encouraging kids and families to GET OUTSIDE! That’s why I adore this Backpack Nature Books and FieldGuides Booklist from KCEdventures! “Outdoor guides for kids to take on their next hike — what a fun way to encourage reading this summer!”

field guides for kids

Speaking of “getting outside”…did you know that my book A Year in the Secret Garden is filled with all sorts of outdoors activities inspired by the classic children’s book The Secret Garden?

SecretGardenCoverLeft-e1407422792456

Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. AND, it’s on sale for a limited time! Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” More details HERE! http://amzn.to/1DTVnuX

The post Weekend Links: Celebrating Our Wonderful Earth with Booklists (and a Giveaway!) appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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3. A Love the Earth Booklist: Preserve,Restore, Reuse {Giveaway}

Welcome to the next installment of my Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series! This is my way of inspiring parents who are looking for creative ways to keep their kids reading this summer. All of our protagonists are girls or women and most of our showcased authors are women as well. I will be offering up a combination of themed weeks, great novels, booklist giveaways, and blog post recaps so be sure and stop by to discover more wonderful ways have A Book-jumper Summer while Exploring Our World and Beyond!

Bookjumper Summer Reading

This week we’ve been celebrating the planet we live on, Earth. On Earth Day I created a very fun booklist which honors amazing people preserving and restoring areas on our planet as well as others reusing items to accomplish great feats.

earth day book list

Every library should have these inspiring stories from Wangari Mathai who planted an entire forest saving her country, to William Kamkwamba who created a windmill to end a drought in his town, to Isatou Ceesay who started with just one plastic bag. On this list you’ll also find entertaining chapter books with a environmentalist theme to them as well. Each person can contribute something.

One of the more amazing things about this booklist is that we’re giving it away. Have a look below and get inspired.

A Love the Earth Booklist

Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees by Franck Prevot, Illustrated by Aurelia Fronty

earth day booklist

Wangari Maathai received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her efforts to lead women in a nonviolent struggle to bring peace and democracy to Africa through its reforestation. Her organization planted over thirty million trees in thirty years. This beautiful picture book tells the story of an amazing woman and an inspiring idea.
A book for young readers. It involves new kids, bullies, alligators, eco-warriors, pancakes, and pint-sized owls. A hilarious Floridian adventure!

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia

One plastic bag

Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag became two. Then ten. Then a hundred.

The bags accumulated in ugly heaps alongside roads. Water pooled in them, bringing mosquitoes and disease. Some bags were burned, leaving behind a terrible smell. Some were buried, but they strangled gardens. They killed livestock that tried to eat them. Something had to change.

Isatou Ceesay was that change. She found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. This inspirational true story shows how one person’s actions really can make a difference in our world.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

Boy who harnessed the wind

When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba’s tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season’s crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family’s life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land.

Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy’s brilliant idea can light up the world. Complete with photographs, illustrations, and an epilogue that will bring readers up to date on William’s story, this is the perfect edition to read and share with the whole family.

SeedFolks by Paul Fleishman

earth day booklist

A vacant lot looks like no place for a garden. Until one day, a young girl clears a small space and digs into the hard-packed soil to plant her precious bean seeds. Suddenly, the soil holds promise.

Heroes of the Environment by Harriet Rohmer

This inspiring book presents the true stories of 12 people from across North America who have done great things for the environment. Heroes include a teenage girl who figured out how to remove an industrial pollutant from the Ohio River, a Mexican superstar wrestler who works to protect turtles and whales, and a teenage boy from Rhode Island who helped his community and his state develop effective e-waste recycling programs. Plenty of photographs and illustrations bring each compelling story vividly to life.

earth day booklist

John Muir: My Life with Nature by Joseph Comell

earth day booklist

Written mostly in the words of Muir, it brims with his spirit and adventures. The text was selected and retold by naturalist Joseph Cornell, author of Sharing Nature with Children, who is well known for his inspiring nature games. The result is a book with an aliveness, a presence of goodness, adventure, enthusiasm, and sensitive love of each animal and plant that will give young adults an experience of a true champion of nature. It is a book that expands your sense of hope, adventure, and awareness. Adults will be just as fond of this book as young readers. Cornell includes numerous explore more activities that help the reader to understand and appreciate the many wonderful qualities of Muir.

Wild Wings by Gill Lewis

Earth day booklist

This “vividly imagined and well-written novel” (Booklist, starred review) tells a gripping story about a boy from Scotland and a girl from West Africa who join together to save a migrating Osprey—and end up saving each other.

When Callum spots crazy Iona McNair on his family’s sprawling property, she’s catching a fish with her bare hands. She won’t share the fish, but does share something else: a secret. She’s discovered a rare endangered bird, an Osprey, and it’s clear to both her and Callum that if anyone finds out about the bird, it, and its species, is likely doomed. Poachers, egg thieves, and wild weather are just some of the threats, so Iona and Callum vow to keep track of the bird and check her migratory progress using the code a preservationist tagged on her ankle, no matter what.
But when one of them can no longer keep the promise, it’s up to the other to do it for them both. No matter what. Set against the dramatic landscapes of Scotland and West Africa, this is a story of unlikely friendships, the wonders of the wild—and the everyday leaps of faith that set our souls to flight.

Earth Booklist Giveaway

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

ONE winner will receive one copy of each of the books above. Giveaway begins July 1,2015

  • Prizing & samples  courtesy of Authors of the above books
  • Giveaway open to US addresses only
  • ONE lucky winner will win one copy of each of the above books.
  • Residents of USA only please.
  • Must be 18 years or older to enter
  • One entry per household.
  • Staff and family members of Audrey Press are not eligible.
  • Grand Prize winner has 48 hours to claim prize
  • Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on July 13th, 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post A Love the Earth Booklist: Preserve,Restore, Reuse {Giveaway} appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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4. THE UNLIKELY ADVENTURES OF MABEL JONES by Will Mabbitt - Guest post and giveaway!





The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt (hardcover, Penguin Random House, June 2015, for ages 8 to 12)

Source: hardcover from Penguin Random House

Synopsis (from the publisher)Have you ever picked your nose? Have you ever picked your nose and EATEN IT? Have you ever picked your nose, eaten it, and, by doing so, opened a portal to a world run by PIRATES?

Mabel Jones has.

Kidnapped, Mabel is forced to serve aboard The Feroshus Maggot with the strangest crew you’ll ever meet. And the captain—an odious wolf named Idryss Ebenezer Split—won’t let her go until she helps the pirates uncover the treasure they seek. 

Mabel’s voyage takes her across the Greasy Pole of Certain Death, into the belly of a whale, and underground to a decrepit crypt. And she does it all…in pajamas!




Why I recommend it: I didn't expect to like this book. It really didn't seem like my cup of tea. Then I started reading. And before I knew it, I was giggling, then snorting, then laughing out loud. A rip-roaring, snarky adventure with a lovable cast of characters. I was most impressed by Will Mabbitt's imagination. And I adore the drawings by Ross Collins. This will appeal to kids who like quirky books and lots of adventure and laughs.


Bonus: Visit the website (http://mabeljonesbooks.com) for a terrific trailer, the cast of characters, and some super-fun activities. Seriously, allow some time to explore. You can even learn how to make invisible ink! 




#MabelJones


And now, for a special treat, Will very kindly wrote an exclusive guest post about his writing process and where he gets his ideas.

Will Mabbitt from the website


Take it away, Will:

I have my best ideas when I am daydreaming. This is usually when I am supposed to be doing something else. This habit really annoys people I am with because it involves me not listening to a word they are saying. My wife will ask something like “Did you hang the clothes up to dry?” and I will reply “How long would it take for a human to be digested by a whale?”

When I get an idea it gets stored somewhere in my head. Then I usually forget it. Sometimes though, the idea will pop out a bit later and I will start writing it down properly. I begin by finding somewhere to write. The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones was written entirely on my daily train ride to and from London Bridge station. Now I mainly write in cafes. I’m writing this in a cafe as we speak. I’ve been here for hours but I’ve only bought one coffee. If the barista gets annoyed I will grudgingly buy the cheapest slice of cake that is available.

Sometimes I know that the words I write will never be used - maybe even this sentence right now will get deleted. If you are reading this then I guess it has made the grade. Sometimes I delete a whole days work. This makes me sad but I know that I need to do this to get to the days where I actually like what I write. 

After the first draft is done I wait for as long as I can manage then print it out and read it to myself. There are usually loads of mistakes. I don’t worry about mistakes when I am writing the first draft. I just want to get to the end. Then before I show it to anyone I start to edit it. I love this part as every single thing I do makes the story better. If there’s enough time I’ll also show it to my older brother. He writes snarky remarks about punctuation and grammar in the margin. He is annoyingly helpful like that. Sometimes I’ll show it to my writing group. They are a lovely bunch who are great at spotting things that maybe I am too close to see.

In the old days that would be the end of the process. The story would get saved on my computer and never read again. Something different happened with The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones. Someone at my writing group showed the first three chapters to an agent. The agent liked it and showed it to a publisher. The publisher liked it and then it became a book.

Now when I’ve finished something I always show it to my agent to check that it doesn’t have anything in it that will enrage my publisher. After all the swearing and violence has been taken out I send it on to my editor. Then I wait. The waiting is terrible. I haven’t been a professional writer very long and I am afraid they won’t like what I have written. Sometimes I think maybe they have got me confused for a different Will Mabbitt and commissioned the wrong book. Sometimes I imagine them all in a meeting laughing at how awful it is. Last time I was waiting for a manuscript back, my wife told me she dreamt I had received an email from my editor which just read: NOT FUNNY. 

Comments like that don’t really help. 

Luckily my editors are really nice and after a brief period of huffing, puffing, and moodily glaring out to sea I usually agree with their points - most of which are fairly minor. Then I change it for the last time. Then it’s done.

I love writing. I think I am very lucky to be able to do it everyday.


Thank you so much, Will! You are lucky to do what you love.  


Now for the giveaway:  One lucky reader will win a hardcover copy of The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones. To enter, you must be a follower of this blog and you must comment on this post. International entries welcome. If you spread the word via Twitter or Facebook (or other social media) please let me know and I'll give you extra chances for each mention. This giveaway ends at 10:00 pm EDT on Saturday July 11 and I'll announce the winner on Monday July 13, 2015. 


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5. Guest Post by Maria Gianferrari, Author of Penny & Jelly The School Show

To follow on from my review of Penny & Jelly: The School Show last Friday, I am very happy to have the author, Maria Gianferrari on the blog today to share about the inspiration for her debut picture book and offer … Continue reading

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6. The Reading Strategies Book + Giveaway

A little peek inside the final chapter of THE READING STRATEGIES BOOK and a giveaway!

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7. Bartography Express for June 2015, featuring Jacqueline Kelly’s The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate

This month, one subscriber to my Bartography Express newsletter will win a copy of The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate (Henry Holt and Co.) by Jacqueline Kelly.

If you’re not already receiving Bartography Express, click the image below for a look. If you like what you see, click “Join” in the bottom right corner, and you’ll be in the running for the giveaway at the end of this week.

20150622 Bartography Express

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8. Emmy & Oliver: guest post + HarperCollins giveaway

We’re very lucky this year, my friends, because it’s the year of the cute contemporary novel. That’s a weird thing to say about a book in which a boy was kidnapped by his father as a child, I know–and it’s true that there are serious moments in it, as well as important friendships and family relationships explored. But it’s also a sweet, funny book about a friendship between two kids that might have a chance at something more. Emmy & Oliver is the perfect book to read this summer when you’re at the beach, which is great since author Robin Benway is with us today to tell us what she’s going to be up to during her break! As a fellow LA resident, I can vouch for her list being a stellar representation of why it’s so great to live here. It even includes one of my all-time favorite southern... Read more »

The post Emmy & Oliver: guest post + HarperCollins giveaway appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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9. Weekend Links: The Importance of Reading Aloud & The Last Day on the Giveaways!

Welcome to Weekend Links!

I don’t know about you but summer is has been crazy-busy so far! We have mountains of books to read, travel plans galore and I am enjoying yet another batch of baby fox kits who have taken up residence at my house. As always I am determined to provide booklists, activities and giveaways to keep the whole family pulling books from shelves and stories from pages during the lazy, hazy days of summer.

Speaking of giveaways, did you know I have TWO wonderful ones that will be ending TODAY??!! (6/21)

One is a Linda Sue Park Booklist Giveaway. Linda Sue Park has written many children’s books, many of which one lucky reader will win! You can view the booklist and giveaway HERE.

Linda Sue Park book giveaway

The second giveaway is my Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series Secret Garden Booklist giveaway. More chances to win great books! Read the booklist and view the giveaway HERE.

The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series

I have another awesome giveaway running right now that will end June 27th. Again, this booklist and giveaway is based on yet another amazing female children’s literature author. Pam Muñoz Ryan is the author of more that thirty books for young readers, including four beloved novels, Riding Freedom, Esperanza Rising, Becoming Naomi León, and Paint the Wind, which collectively have garnered, among countless accolades, the Pura Belpré Medal, the Jane Addams Award, and the Schneider Family Award. She lives in Southern California with her family. You can visit her at www.PamMunozRyan.com.

ONE winner will receive a copy of  each of these Pam Munoz Ryan books: Esperanza Rising, Echo, Riding Freedom, Becoming Naomi Leon. The Dreamer and Paint the Wind. Giveaway begins Wednesday June 17th and ends June 27th, 2015. You can enter the giveaway HERE.

pam munoz ryan collage

All three are great opportunities to get some wonderful books into the hands of your young readers.

Reading at any age is soooo important. I recently found some great articles that reinforce this fact so I will post them here for you to read and enjoy:

Why Keep Reading Aloud in the 5th Grade? Monique at Living Life and Learning offers up a great perspective.
Reading Aloud

@NerdyBookClub Parenting, Bonding, and Reading Aloud by Jenny Houlroyd

@NerdyBookClub Reading Aloud by Debbie Shoulders

TOP TEN Read-Aloud Books for Students with Special Needs by Aimee Owens

Slow Reading Family Style by…ME!

reading aloud

Read Aloud to Ignite a World of Possibility at Huffington Post

huff

Do you read aloud in your family? Which books are the best for reading aloud?

Looking for more ways to not only get your youngsters reading, but get them OUTSIDE as well? Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. AND, it’s on sale for a limited time! Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” More details HERE! http://amzn.to/1DTVnuX

A Year in the Secret Garden

The post Weekend Links: The Importance of Reading Aloud & The Last Day on the Giveaways! appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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10. National Geographic for Kids Almanac 2016 – Book Review and Giveaway

Title: National Geographic Kids ALMANAC 2015 Published by: National Geographic Themes/Topics: Science, nature, gales, culture, history, going green, geography Suitable for ages: 8-13 Paperback, 352 pages, nonfiction, Three Snippets: Page 112 has a monthly sky calendar saying what is happening in the skies … Continue reading

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11. To Celebrate My Good News, I'm Giving Away Free Critiques!

I just won a scholarship to the Craft and Business of Writing Children's Picture Books class through the Children's Book Academy. I've been happy dancing since I heard the great news! The class is taught by Random House editor Kelly Delaney and Mira Reisberg, and includes 25+ guest experts, worksheets and templates, and critiquing webinars. Plus, there will be Golden Ticket opportunities to submit directly to an agent or editor and bypass the slush pile or closed house submission policy. I can't wait to start this class at the end of the month!

I shared my news on Facebook and loved celebrating with everyone—then realized that it would be great to keep the celebration going by paying my good luck forward and helping someone else. I’m so grateful for this opportunity, and decided to give away a free picture book critique (or up to 5 pages of an MG or YA). When I asked Mira, she loved the idea, and then generously offered to give away a picture book critique. So click on the Rafflecopter widget below and enter for your chance to win a critique with Mira or me.

If you attend Mira’s free webinar on Friday night, June 19, at 8:30 pm EST, you’ll have the chance to win a picture book critique with Random House editor Kelly Delaney. I’m definitely going to be there. It’s called: Finding Your Writer's Voice, Finding Your Characters' Voices. It’ll help you learn what a writer’s voice is and how to develop yours and see how characters' voices are a part of your writer's voice. Plus, you’ll have the chance to connect with a Random House editor who is actively looking to acquire great picture books.

This scholarship came at the perfect time for me. I'm usually a very prolific writer (I actually wrote the first draft of one of my novels in 11 days during NaNoWriMo and wrote the first draft of nine picture books during the seven days of NaPiBoWriWee one year)...but because of health issues with my daughters, I haven't been as productive as usual. I also tend to give my novels more attention and my picture books have been begging me to do something like this for a while. I've had some interest in my picture books, but something always seems to hold them back from getting that magical yes. I'm hopeful that this awesome interactive online class will help me make my picture books sparkle enough to dazzle editors, agents, and future readers.

I've seen so many raves about this class. Some online friends have said that it's 'life-changing, the equivalent of 20 conferences, and better than complete MFA programs'. Thank you so much for giving me a scholarship, Mira! I don't often talk about my disability, but I've had about 70% hearing loss in both ears since I was 35 and have had to wear hearing aids since then. I'd love the chance to make all of my picture books shine, and would especially love to get my PB, Sound Detective, published one day. I’ll never forget what it felt like to realize how bad my hearing had gotten, and that I’d have to wear hearing aids for the rest of my life. I was horrified at first, but quickly changed my mind when I realized all the amazing sounds I had been missing, and how much easier it is to interact with people with my hearing aids in. I was surprised to see that there aren’t many books for children that have a character with hearing loss, and I’d love to use my experience to help children going through something similar—and also help raise more awareness in others.

Good luck to everyone entering for a free critique! I’ll announce the winners on Friday. LiveJournal often doesn't show the Rafflecopter widget, so if you don't see it below, click here to enter! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget about the #PBPitch Twitter party on Wednesday, June 24th. It’s a great opportunity to pitch your completed and polished picture books online to agents and editors. Definitely check out their website—in addition to info about the fun pitch contest, they have a list of 100+ agents who rep picture books!

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12. The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series: Esperanza Rising Book Review & Activity

Welcome to our third week of our Bookjumper Summer Reading Series! This is my way of inspiring parents who are looking for creative ways to keep their kids reading this summer!

The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series

Our summer reading program will be a combination of some really neat things. All of our protagonists are girls or women and most of our showcased authors are women as well. I will be offering up a combination of themed weeks, great novels, booklist giveaways, and blog post recaps so be sure and stop by to discover more wonderful ways have A Book-jumper Summer while Exploring Our World and Beyond!

This week I want to focus on the wonderful works of one of our favorite authors, Pam Munoz Ryan.

Pam Munoz Ryan

When my intern Hannah and I were planning what books we’d jump into this summer, her eyes popped open and shouts of glee were heard after I asked, “What about Esperanza Rising?” According to Hannah it is one of her all time favorite books which she goes to again and again. I think we can say that Esperanza Rising is a close and dear friend to Hannah.

So thanks to that confession, Esperanza Rising made our summer reading list and our lovely Hannah Rials is sharing her views on one of her favorite reads……oh and by the way, mine too!

Esperanza Rising

From Hannah……

Esperanza Ortega lives a live of privilege in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Her father owns El Rancho de las Rosas where he grows rows of roses and grapes. Esperanza is treated like a princess, with beautiful gifts, loving parents, loyal servants, and wonderful friends.

When bandits kill her father, her mother and her lives are uprooted. Her evil uncles wish to take over the ranch and her eldest uncle to marry her mother, Esperanza, Ramona, and their loyal servants are forced to flee Mexico, leaving an ill Abuelita to heal with her sisters at the convent. With all their papers in order, they sneak out of Aguascalientes by cover of darkness to travel into the United States for work.

Here, Esperanza discovers the hardships of life, responsibility, and so many other experiences that her life of privilege had shielded her from.

She, along with 5 other people, live in a two room cabin with no warm water in California. They work unreasonable hours, but they must work, or there will be no food on the table. Being only thirteen, Esperance lucks out of having real work, instead being charged with watching the babies and sweeping. That is, until her mother falls ill with Valley Fever.

Five months, Esperanza prays for her mother as she heals in the hospital. In less than a year, Esperanza has lost her father, had to leave her abuelita, watched her mother grow weaker, and begin to work with the rest of the women. To her, hope does not exist. Will the valleys, as abuelita says, ever turn into mountain tops?

Esperanza Rising has a special place in my heart. As a child, I read this book several times, and at the time, I was not sure why I was so connected to this novel, with a lifestyle that I could not relate to. It doesn’t matter that I cannot empathize with the situation because I love these characters. Esperanza is  alive—her temper, her kindness, her selfishness, her newly learned wisdom. All the characters are so alive, that I believe they are real. And that is what makes this story so amazing. Ms. Ryan based this story off of the life of her grandmother. To her, these are real people, and because of this truth of them, this idol to hold them up to, they are made all the more real for us. I love this book, because I am an only child, because I love my mother and my grandmother who smells like peppermint.
Ms. Ryan also offers interesting insight into the Mexican Repatriation in her Author’s note. This is one note that you don’t want to ignore.

Something To Do Book-Inspired Activities:
Rosehip Tea recipe (like Hortensia makes). Rose hips produce a mild, tangy, fruity tea. Use them solo or combined with a hint of fresh spearmint or peppermint leaves. Chilled and sweetened with stevia, the tea is a vitamin-rich, sugar-free alternative to fruit juices or Kool-Aid that is appealing to kids and adults alike. Grab the full process HERE.

Rose Hip Tea

Crochet a Shawl (like Abuelita). Hopeful Honey has great tips on Crochet for Beginners.
Crochet for Beginners

Yarn Dolls (for all of Isabel’s friends). Yarns are fun and easy to make (great project for kids!) Get the full tutorial at Little House Living.

yarn dolls

What book-inspired fun will you do today

**Don’t Forget!!!! We have TWO wonderful book giveaways going on and ending SOON. Enter my giveaways here and here.…but don’t delay!

winner.png

**some of these links are affiliate links

Looking for better guide for successful homeschooling? The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook is a simple step-by-step guide to creating and understanding a Waldorf inspired homeschool plan. Within the pages of this comprehensive homeschooling guide, parents will find information, lesson plans, curriculum, helpful hints, behind the scenes reasons why, rhythm, rituals, helping you fit homeschooling into your life. Discover how to educate your children in a nurturing and creative environment.

The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook

Grab your copy HERE: The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook: The Simple Step-by-Step guide to creating a Waldorf-inspired homeschool. http://amzn.to/1OhTfoT

The post The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series: Esperanza Rising Book Review & Activity appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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13. The Book Jumper Summer Reading Series- Linda Sue Park Booklist Giveaway

Welcome to the second week of Book Jumper Summer Reading Series! This is my way of inspiring parents who are looking for creative ways to keep their kids reading this summer!

The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series

Our summer reading program will be a combination of some really neat things. All of our protagonists are girls or women and most of our showcased authors are women as well. I will be offering up a combination of themed weeks, great novels, booklist giveaways, and blog post recaps so be sure and stop by to discover more wonderful ways have A Bookjumper Summer while Exploring Our World and Beyond!

This week I want to focus on the wonderful works of author Linda Sue Park.

A Long Walk to Water

A Long Walk to Water

The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

A Single Shard

A Single Shard

In this Newbery Medal-winning book set in 12th century Korea, Tree-ear, a 13-year-old orphan, lives under a bridge in Ch’ulp’o, a potters’ village famed for delicate celadon ware. He has become fascinated with the potter’s craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes Tree-ear on as his helper, Tree-ear is elated — until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min’s irascible temper, and his own ignorance. But Tree-ear is determined to prove himself — even if it means taking a long, solitary journey on foot to present Min’s work in the hope of a royal commission . . . even if it means arriving at the royal court with nothing to show but a single celadon shard.

When My Name Was Keoko

Linda Sue park

Sun-hee and her older brother, Tae-yul, live in Korea with their parents. Because Korea is under Japanese occupation, the children study Japanese and speak it at school. Their own language, their flag, the folktales Uncle tells them—even their names—are all part of the Korean culture that is now forbidden. When World War II comes to Korea, Sun-hee is surprised that the Japanese expect their Korean subjects to fight on their side. But the greatest shock of all comes when Tae-yul enlists in the Japanese army in an attempt to protect Uncle, who is suspected of aiding the Korean resistance. Sun-hee stays behind, entrusted with the life-and-death secrets of a family at war.

The Kite Fighters

Linda Sue park

In a riveting narrative set in fifteenth-century Korea, two brothers discover a shared passion for kites. Kee-sup can craft a kite unequaled in strength and beauty, but his younger brother, Young-sup, can fly a kite as if he controlled the wind itself. Their combined skills attract the notice of Korea’s young king, who chooses Young-sup to fly the royal kite in the New Year kite-flying competition–an honor that is also an awesome responsibility. Although tradition decrees, and the boys’ father insists, that the older brother represent the family, both brothers know that this time the family’s honor is best left in Young-sup’s hands. This touching and suspenseful story, filled with the authentic detail and flavor of traditional Korean kite fighting, brings a remarkable setting vividly to life. AUTHOR’S NOTE.

Project Mulberry

Project Mulberry

Julia Song and her friend Patrick want to team up to win a blue ribbon at the state fair, but they can’t agree on the perfect project. Then Julia’s mother suggests they raise silkworms as she did years ago in Korea. The optimistic twosome quickly realizes that raising silkworms is a lot tougher than they thought. And Julia never suspected that she’d be discussing the fate of her and Patrick’s project with Ms. Park, the author of this book!

**some of these links are affiliate links

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Linda Sue Park

ONE winner will receive a copy of A Long Walk To Water, A Single Shard, The Kite Fighters, Project Mulberry and When My Name Keoko.  Giveaway begins June 10th, 2015

  • Prizing & samples  courtesy of Audrey Press
  • Giveaway open to US addresses only
  • ONE lucky winner will win one copy of each of the above books.
  • Residents of USA only please.
  • Must be 18 years or older to enter
  • One entry per household.
  • Staff and family members of Audrey Press are not eligible.
  • Grand Prize winner has 48 hours to claim prize
  • Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on June 21st, 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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14. The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series and a Secret Garden Booklist Giveaway

Welcome back!

The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series

As part of our Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series and Secret Garden week here at Jump into a Book we are giving away a Frances Hodgson Burnett Book Collection. The author of the Secret Garden penned over 40 books and we’re giving away some of her 4 most known and well loved classics plus a copy of our own A Year in the Secret Garden. It holds 12 months of wonderful activities, recipes,crafts, games,character and historical background information.

A Secret Garden Booklist Giveaway

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

A beautiful and timeless story about friendship, secrets, and the power of the human spirit, The Secret Garden tells the story of orphaned Mary Lennox, who is sent to live in her uncle’s house on the Yorkshire moors. With the tragic death of her uncle’s wife ten years earlier the house is an unhappy one. Miserable and lonely, Mary starts to explore the house’s gardens and soon discovers a key to the secret garden her uncle had sealed off. There she discovers a secret so important, so enchanting, that it will change her life forever.

A Little Princess

A Little princess

Alone in a new country, wealthy Sara Crewe tries to settle in and make friends at boarding school. But when she learns that she’ll never see her beloved father gain, her life is turned upside down. Transformed from princess to pauper, she must swap dancing lessons and luxury for hard work and a room in the attic. Will she find that kindness and generosity are all the riches she truly needs?

A little background information from Frances Hodgson Burnett herself:

THE WHOLE OF THE STORY

I do not know whether  people realize how much more than is ever written there really is in a story—how many parts of it are never told—how much more really happened than there is in the book one holds in one’s hand and pours over.

Stories are something like letters. When a letter is written, how often one remembers things omitted and says, “Ah, why did I not tell them that?” In writing a book one relates all that one remembers at the time, and if one told all that really happened perhaps the book would never end. Between the lines of every story there is another story, and that is one that is never heard and can only be guessed at by the people who are good at guessing. The person who writes the story may never know all of it, but sometimes he does and wishes he had the chance to begin again.

When I wrote the story of “Sara Crewe” I guessed that a great deal more had happened at Miss Minchin’s than I had time to find out just then. I knew, of course, that there must have been chapters full of things going on all the time; and when I began to make a play out of the book and called it “A Little Princess,” I discovered three acts full of things. What interested me most was that I found that there had been girls at the school whose names I had not even known before. There was a little girl whose name was Lottie, who was an amusing little person; there was a hungry scullery-maid who was Sara’s adoring friend; Ermengarde was much more entertaining than she had seemed at first; things happened in the garret which had never been hinted at in the book; and a certain gentleman whose name was Melchisedec was an intimate friend of Sara’s who should never have been left out of the story if he had only walked into it in time. He and Becky and Lottie lived at Miss Minchin’s, and I cannot understand why they did not mention themselves to me at first. They were as real as Sara, and it was careless of them not to come out of the story shadowland and say, “Here I am—tell about me.” But they did not—which was their fault and not mine. People who live in the story one is writing ought to come forward at the beginning and tap the writing person on the shoulder and say, “Hallo, what about me?” If they don’t, no one can be blamed but themselves and their slouching, idle ways.

After the play of “A Little Princess” was produced in New York, and so many children went to see it and liked Becky and Lottie and Melchisedec, my publishers asked[vii] me if I could not write Sara’s story over again and put into it all the things and people who had been left out before, and so I have done it; and when I began I found there were actually pages and pages of things which had happened that had never been put even into the play, so in this new “Little Princess” I have put all I have been able to discover.

Little Lord Fauntleroy

Little Lord falterroy

“But only be good, dear, only be brave, only be kind and true always, and then you will never hurt any one, so long as you live, and you may help many, and the big world may be better because my little child was born. And that is best of all, Ceddie, — it is better than everything else, that the world should be a little better because a man has lived — even ever so little better, dearest.”


Frances Hodgson Burnett’s conviction that love conquers all is memorably embodied in this classic rags-to-riches tale of an American boy who is transported from the mean streets of nineteenth-century New York to the splendor of his titled grandfather’s English manor; A Year in the Secret Garden

A Year in the Secret Garden

A year in the Secret Garden

Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters have co-created A Year in the Secret Garden to introduce the beloved children’s classic, The Secret Garden to a new generation of families.

SG-promo-36-37-900x600_c

This guide uses over two hundred full color illustrations and photos to bring the magical story to life, with fascinating historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts, designed to enchant readers of all ages. Each month your family will unlock the mysteries of a Secret Garden character, as well as have fun together creating the original crafts and activities based on the book.

Giveaway! One Lucky Winner will win ALL FOUR BOOKS!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

ONE winner will receive a copy of each of the fours books.  Giveaway begins June 5th, 2015 and end June 21st.

  • Prizing & samples  courtesy of Authors of the above books
  • Giveaway open to US addresses only
  • ONE lucky winner will win one copy of each of the above books (A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, Little Lord Falteroy and A Year in the Secret Garden).
  • Residents of USA only please.
  • Must be 18 years or older to enter
  • One entry per household.
  • Staff and family members of Audrey Press are not eligible.
  • Grand Prize winner has 48 hours to claim prize
  • Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on June 22nd

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can’t wait? Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together.  Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!”

A Year in The Secret Garden

 

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15. BEA 2015: Event Recap + Giveaway

  Kim: Well folks, another year, another BEA. Layla: Says Kim! Another year, and BABY’S FIRST BEA. (That’s me. And it was my first BEA.) Kim:I was so overwhelmed by my first BEA I can’t even believe I signed up for another!  Layla, you were such a pro babby BEA-er. *sniff* So proud! By the way, did you know that it is actual magic when co-bloggers meet irl for the first time? You can actually wish upon a star from the magic of co-bloggers meeting. Or maybe that’s just us. Layla: Oh, I second this. My heart grew three sizes that day.     Some of the highlights from our trip: On the floor at BEA     Layla: I can show you the world … replete with shining, shimmering, and splendid ARCs. A herd of bloggers amassed for the drop of Disney’s A Whole New World, a retelling of Aladdin in an... Read more »

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16. Letter from Cassie Beasley and a Giveaway of CIRCUS MIRANDUS


Today's the day! The official release day for CIRCUS MIRANDUS by Cassie Beasley. So many wonderful blogs are participating in the Blogger Blitz; thank you for stopping by mine.

Thanks so much to Word Spelunking for organizing this event. Cassie herself has sent along a very special letter (below) sharing her feelings about seeing her book published and all of the amazing support she has received so far.

More details about the book are below, as well as a Rafflecopter giveaway for a bunch of swag items, courtesy of Penguin Young Readers. Enter for a chance to win at the bottom of this post.

About CIRCUS MIRANDUS:
Author: Cassie Beasley
Publisher: Dial
Release Date: June 2nd 2015

Micah Tuttle believes in magic, even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve. Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real—and the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather. The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn't want to keep his promise. And now it's up to Micah to get the miracle he came for. Readers will fall in love with CIRCUS MIRANDUS, which celebrates the power of seeing magic in the world.

About Cassie Beasley:
CASSIE BEASLEY is from rural Georgia, where, when she's not writing, she helps out on the family pecan farm. She earned her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. CIRCUS MIRANDUS is her first novel.

Find Cassie on Twitter: https://twitter.com/beasleywrites
Cassie's website: http://cassiebeasley.com/



Here's that special letter from Cassie herself:


Dear Readers,

Ages ago I hung a poster in my room with the words “The Circus Opens Summer 2015” in bold letters across the top. At the time, it seemed that Summer 2015 would never come. Now, miraculously, June 2 is here, and Circus Mirandus is springing up in bookshops all over the country.

In the story, those called to Circus Mirandus feel a change in the wind. They hear music on the air, pipes and drums leading them toward magic and hope and heart’s desires. Eventually they find themselves before the gates, standing, as I am now, on the threshold of somewhere both wonderful and unknowable.

As people read the pages into which I’ve poured so much time and self, I wonder what they’ll think of the world I’ve created. I wonder if they will love it as much as I do. It’s an exciting moment, stepping through these gates into a place I’ve imagined but never seen.

Thank you so much for making this journey with me. Thank you for supporting the book. Thank you, most of all, for believing.

Cassie Beasley




#1 on the Summer Kids’ Indie Next List!

Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Indie Booksellers

“Every now and again a book comes along that completely captures my heart and imaginationCircus Mirandus is one of those books.”    
                                             Laura Donohoe, Malaprops (Asheville, NC)

“This book is chock full of magic and love. Great storytelling, delightful characters—and that cover!”                                    Francine Lucidon, The Voracious Reader (Larchmont, NY)  



“On one level, the book is a fantastical circus romp… On another, it's both serious and thick with longing… A delicious confection and much more: it shows that the human heart is delicate, that it matters, and that it must be handled with care.”                              —Kirkus Reviews, starred review



Now here's what you've been waiting for: the giveaway!


Giveaway information:
There will be 5 winners, and the Giveaway will run from June 2nduntil June 16th. Winners will receive:
  • Signed hardcover of CIRCUS MIRANDUS
  • Audio sampler
  • Animal crackers
  • Bookmarks (pack of 10)
  • Poster




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17. Poison is Not Polite: exclusive cover reveal + giveaway

Girls solving mysteries is one of my very favorite things! It was great fun for us to host the cover reveal for Robin Stevens’ Murder is Bad Manners last year, so we’re delighted to be hosting her again, this time with the North American cover for the second book in the Wells & Wong series. Daisy and Hazel find themselves in more puzzling predicaments, with the central mystery taking place at a grand old English manor…that just so happens to be Daisy’s home. Poison is Not Polite won’t be released here until next April 2016, but we have your exclusive first look right here and now–along with the opportunity to win one of the very first ARCs hot off the presses. Without further ado–here is the fantastic cover!! It’s wonderful how the designer has changed the color scheme, but you can immediately tell that it’s part of the same series.... Read more »

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18. Giveaway: Kissing In America by Margo Rabb

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Enter to win Kissing in America by Margo Rabb (HarperCollins, 2015). Author sponsored. U.S. only. From the promotional copy:

In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that's still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who understands Eva's grief.

Unfortunately, after Eva falls head over heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the West Coast to see Will again.

As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.

In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr calls "gorgeous, funny, and joyous," readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all its forms. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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19. Middle School Princess Blog Tour PLUS Giveaway




Inspired by Meg Cabot's newest book, From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess, Mac Kids asked bloggers what they would do if they woke up and discovered they were a princess or prince.

If I woke up and discovered I was a princess, I would be both nervous and excited. I would immediately want to check out my new royal castle's library (because a castle has to have a library!) and I hope that it would look just like Belle's castle, because isn't that what every bookish princess wants? 

I would also use my new princess powers for good and bring books and libraries to kids all over my kingdom. I would make sure my kingdom had libraries with great teen and children's librarians. I would even build a library just for kids and teens and staff it with the best librarians possible (all my friends of course who are the most amazing librarians ever!) And then one of my first acts as princess would be to bring a litfest to my kingdom bringing in authors and illustrators from all over the world. If I could, I would also use my powers to fund libraries outside of my kingdom and bring books to children everywhere I went. 

Aside from all the bookish things I would do, I would make sure that Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan got to own a sports team, since that's his dream. If I get my dream library and get to bring books to everyone I meet, then Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan should get something too, right? 

What would you do if you woke up and discovered you were a princess? That's what happens to Olivia in Meg Cabot's new book, From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess. Want to win a copy of the book? Leave a comment below!

Contest thanks to Macmillan Kids Books
Contest ends May 26
One entry per person please
Ages 13+
US Address only please

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20. Anna Banks Interview-Joyride Blog Tour PLUS Giveaway


Please welcome Anna Banks to GreenBeanTeenQueen as part of her tour for her new book Joyride!

About The Book: (from goodreads:) A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.

-Your Syrena Legacy series features mermaids and Joyride is contemporary. Why did you make the switch? Was one genre easier or more difficult to write?

I didn’t intentionally make the switch to contemporary. I’m not familiar with how you should even write contemporary, because I hadn’t read too many before this. But it’s Carly who compelled me to write it. She has a story to tell even if it’s not fantasy, and I can’t ignore the her strong voice. Fantasy is much easier for me to write. I get to create a world in fantasy, where in contemporary, the world has already been created. You’d think that would be easier but it’s not. Sticking within the boundaries of this world and still telling an interesting story is hard writing. A lot of fantasies have high concept plots, it’s expected, and contemporaries tend to focus on character. In JOYRIDE, I tried to write a balance between plot and character. I hope you enjoy it. J


-What's the best prank you ever pulled?

I’ve pulled a lot of pranks in my time but here’s the most recent. I was selling one of my Coach purses on craigslist and agreed to meet a lady in a parking lot so she could buy it. We had texted and confirmed our appointment. When she got there, she told me I didn’t have any business selling a Coach purse for that much money and that I should just give it to her. Ummmm, no. She pretty much pitched a fit for like fifteen minutes that I wouldn’t give her my purse. So after our confrontation, I downloaded a picture of a black cat, made lost posters for it with the lady’s number on it and put a $500 reward on it. Every available street light in town got a poster. I’m pretty sure she’s going to have to switch her number.

-If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be?

Warren from the Shatter Me series. Obviously, the guy is hot. But I’d want to pick apart his brain, and unfortunately he and I are amused by much of the same things. I think we’d get kicked out of the restaurant and that’s when our real dinner would begin.


-What books are on your nightstand right now?

I’m at RT, so I’ve got some steamy romance novels on my hotel night stand—and don’t think I’m not reading them all, either!

Want to win a copy? Leave a comment below!
Contest thanks to Macmillan Books!

-One entry per person
-Contest ends May 28
-Ages 13+
-US/Canada Address Only Please

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21. FLAVIA!!! and Giveaway deadline







Tomorrow is the last day for the Fog Diver giveaway.  Comment here or on the original post and your name goes in the Oracular Yogurt Cup from which a winner will emerge.   It's a fun Sci-Fi novel for middle grades with a steampunk edge.  I will announce the winner here by noon Eastern time tomorrow and it's up to you to email me at bookkm@gmail.com with your snail mail address.

And what have I been doing this past week?  Visiting with relatives and reading the latest adventures of pre-teen sleuth and chemist, Flavia De Luce.  When last seen, Flavia found out that she was to be sent off to boarding school in Toronto, CA of all places - far, far from the field of the ancestral De Luce home in merry old England.  Since then, she has starred in a short story - The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse - in which Flavia is called to the local boarding school to figure out what happened to the teacher found dead in a dorm bathtub and plated with copper.  

After that, she is banished to Toronto.  The very first night there, she is assaulted by a classmate and a dessicated corpse rolls out of the dorm room chimney. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust is Flavia's most recent foray into detection.  Far from home, dealing with unfamiliar routines and unwritten rules, given contradictory directions at every turn, it is no wonder that Flavia is often close to tears.  WHAT!!!!???  Not redoubtable Flavia De Luce!  Scourge of older sisters!  Dissembler extraordinaire!  Yes, Flavia ends up sobbing in this novel and, personally, I would have been wailing before the 3rd page, if I was she.  (If there are tears can hormones be far behind?  Perish the thought!)


Luckily, for readers everywhere, I am NOT Flavia.  Flavia fans may have trouble following this book because no one is entirely trustworthy at Buncombe Academy - especially the staff.  There is a lot of cloak and dagger-y spyish stuff.  Flavia gets a little bit closer to what her mother might have been involved in before her disappearance and death.  Don't expect anything but hints and rumors though. 

The mystery at Buncombe involves disappearing students, suspicious Board members, a chemistry teacher suspected of murdering her husband - with poison to Flavia's delight.  That Academy is a hot mess, all the way around. 

The ending made me happy and that is all I will say here. 

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22. Daughter of Deep Silence: downloadable quotes + giveaway

Today, we’re kicking off the official blog tour for Carrie Ryan’s new book The Daughter of Deep Silence! I enjoyed the author’s zombie series The Forest of Hands and Teeth, so I was glad to see her returning to YA after launching her middle grade series. We have downloadable quotes from the book (just link back to us, please!), a giveaway, and a mini review to share with you today. This is the story of girl who lost everything she had–her family, her love, and her very identity. Frances is a survivor of a devastating attack on a ship at sea in which her best friend and family were killed. When she’s finally rescued, she discovers that the only two other survivors of the attack are her boyfriend Grey and his father, Senator Wells. But to her horror, they claim that the ship capsized because of a rogue wave–a mere... Read more »

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23. Author Guest Post: Julie Mata-Kate Walden Directs Blog Tour PLUS Giveaway

Please welcome author Julie Mata to GreenBeanTeenQueen! Her second book in  the Kate Walden Directs series is Bride of Slug Man, is out this month! 

About the Book: (from Goodreads) After her huge success with her first feature-length movie, seventh-grader Kate Walden is eager to start on her next film, a sci-fi romance called Bride of Slug Man. When a new kid comes to town from New York City, Kate thinks she might have a new found film buddy-someone to share her interest with. And it doesn't hurt that he's pretty cute. But it turns out that Tristan is making his own movie, and now the classmates Kate thought were eager to join her cast and crew are divided.

With rumors spreading in school and between sets, Kate finds herself juggling more than just call times and rewrites. And judging from the whispers Kate hears about Tristan Kingsley,she suspects that he isn't interested in having a fellow film-buff friend; he just wants to prove himself as the best filmmaker in school by winning the Big Picture Film Festival. Kate vows to enter too, and tries to focus on just making the best movie she can.

But between the cut throat popularity contest, a bully situation that goes from bad to worse, and several on-set mishaps, Kate is going to need all the movie magic she can get to make sure Bride of Slug Man hits the big screen.


Plucky…not Perfect

by Julie Mata




Can I admit to a tiny pet peeve? It’s certain “mean girl” and “mean boy” characters in children’s books. You know the ones—everything they do and say is mean and their nasty behavior is usually aimed at the main character. They appear to have no role other than to cause problems for the MC. In contrast, the MC is the sympathetic “good kid” who sometimes suffers from terrible flaws like being toogenerous or too concerned about their friends and family.

Here’s my peeve—I raised two girls, hung out with a lot of middle school-age kids, and none of them fit either of the “good kid/bad kid” descriptions. I saw nice kids who had bad days and said mean things, even to their friends. I also saw kids who—yes—were more troubled, who had issues, but were still capable of kindness, humor and friendship.

In other words, they were real kids. When I sat down to write about Kate Walden, I wanted her to be a strong, likeable, funny character, but I also wanted her to be real. In Kate Walden Directs: Bride of Slug Man, Kate has already finished one movie to great acclaim. All the kids at school want to be in her next project. Suddenly, a cute new boy shows up who also likes to make movies, and they become rivals. Kate struggles with spiteful feelings. She makes bad assumptions and nurses a grudge.  Really, couldn’t that be any of us on a bad day? Luckily, Kate learns from her mistakes, which is what I think parents should hope for—not that our children will be perfect “good kids,” because that’s a huge expectation to put on anyone, but that they will learn from their stumbles and grow emotionally as they grow physically.

Let’s face it—middle school years can be tough. Innocent childhood is receding and adulthood looms on the far horizon like a scary gray fog. Like a lot of kids at that age, Kate worries about her social standing and what other kids think of her, but she’s also a plucky girl who’s not afraid to pursue a big dream. Hopefully, middle grade readers can relate to her character and maybe even see some of themselves in her humorous antics and social misfires.





About Julie: Julie Mata grew up outside Chicago and currently lives in Wisconsin, where she owns a video production business with her husband.. She loves movies and once wrote and directed her own short film. She also loves traveling, gardening, and reading a really good book. Her first book was Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens. For more information, including a downloadable curriculum guide and a filmmaking tip of the month, visit her website: juliemata.com.
Twitter: @juliehmata



Follow along on the Bride of Slug Man blog tour!

Monday, May 18
GreenBeanTeenQueen
Wed. May 20
Once Upon a Story
Thurs, May 21
Read Now, Sleep Later
Fri, May 22
Curling Up with a Good Book
Tues, May 27
The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
Wed, May 28
BookHounds YA
Thurs, May 29
The Brain Lair
Fri, May 30
Kid Lit Frenzy

Want to win a copies of the Kate Walden Directs books? Fill out the form below to enter!
-Contest thanks to Big Honcho Media and Disney-Hyperion Books
-One entry per person
-US Address only please
-Ages 13+
-Contest ends May 28

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0 Comments on Author Guest Post: Julie Mata-Kate Walden Directs Blog Tour PLUS Giveaway as of 1/1/1900
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24. Giveaway: The Neptune Challenge by Polly Holyoke

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Enter to win a signed copy of The Neptune Challenge by Polly Holyoke (Hyperion, 2015) along with a glass dolphin pendant and earrings. From the promotional copy:

Genetically engineered to survive in the ocean, Nere and her friends are recovering from their long, treacherous journey to refuge and settling in at Safety Harbor. 

Despite its name, plenty of dangers still lurk just outside the colony's boundaries.

When two among them are kidnapped, the remaining Neptune kids and their loyal dolphins must set out on a mission even more perilous than their first: infiltrate the kidnapper's fortress to save their friends and steal away a vital scientific secret that may save the world and its oceans.

Fighting terrifying mutated creatures and teens, will the Neptune kids find a way to save their friends, themselves, and their underwater world? The stakes couldn't be higher in this thrilling sequel to the award-winning The Neptune Project.

Author sponsored. Eligibility: North America.

A 2014 Texas Library Association Bluebonnet Author Polly Holyoke


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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25. Guest Post & Giveaway: Sarah Frances Hardy on Writing a Companion Picture Book

By Sarah Frances Hardy
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations


My third picture book Dress Me! (Sky Pony, 2015) is a companion book to last year’s release Paint Me! (Sky Pony, 2014).



When I was thinking about what my next submission to Sky Pony would be, I sifted through my pile of finished, sort-of finished, and not-at-all finished manuscripts.

I had a longer manuscript for a dress up book that was giving me trouble, but I liked the concept of a girl trying on different outfits and personalities, so I talked through it with my agent.

She suggested that I keep the “me!” theme going and write a companion book to Paint Me! using some of the elements from my longer (and quite honestly, not working) dress up book.

Brilliant!

But it was tricky to do ...

My first attempts too closely mirrored Paint Me!. The rhythm and structures of the stories were almost identical, and my main character, although different looking, struck many of the same poses as my main character in Dress Me!. The two stories were just too much alike. I had to figure out how to echo my original story while making a fresh and new narrative.

And that was the biggest challenge ... making it the same but somehow different! It wasn’t enough to give the main character different words and a different color hair. She had to be a unique person with her own problems and interests.

And the ultimate conflict of the story had to be completely different, but structurally it I wanted it to happen at a similar place in both narratives.

In Paint Me!, a little girl begins the day painting a portrait of her dog and gets a little out of hand. As she skips through the book trying different colors, she calls out the name of each color ... “Yellow me! Red me! ... etc.” The conflict happens when the main character spills paint everywhere and falls down in a giant messy pile yelling “Mom--meeee!”.


As easy as it would have been to have my main character in my companion book fall down in a pile of clothes and yell “Mom-meee!”, I couldn’t do that. It would’ve been lazy and unimaginative--pretty much the exact same book done over again. And who wants to read that?

So ... in Dress Me! my main character tries on lots of different outfits, careers, and (yes) a mustache ...


before trying out the ultimate Diva garb complete with a pink boa and tiara.


“So NOT me!” she yells. The structure and language of both books are the same, but the conflict and character tell a different story.

Different ... but the same.

Plus, I managed to get in a bit of a feminist message, making my book a little different from most of the stereotypical “girl” dress up books out there. My main character in Dress Me! explores who she can be instead of how pretty she can be.

Cynsational Giveaway

Enter to win a signed copy of Dress Me! by Sarah Frances Hardy (Sky Pony, 2015). Author sponsored. Eligibility: U.S.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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