Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

LEMONS by Melissa Savage

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If you read me, you know I love my kid lit, and this book was a great addition to that popular genre. Here’s the overview:

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Fun to read with a story that is both humorous yet touching, LEMONS is one I will be recommending at my school!
Thank you for my review copy!
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Armstrong and Charlie by Steven B. Frank

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I loved this thoughtful kids’ book about two boys in 6th grade and their friendship. Sensitively covering issues of race, grief, class, and peer relationships, this little book has a lot of punch packed between its pages. Highly recommended for middle grades – I’d love to use it with my own students next year!

Thank you for my e-copy which  I got through Net Galley.

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Teen Reading: GOLDFISH by Nat Luurtsema

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I have come across the perfect summer read for the middle schooler in your life (high schooler, too)!

I started GOLDFISH two days ago, not knowing what to expect.The description on Net Galley was fun but a tad vague:

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For the Kids – THE KINGDOM OF OCEANA by Mitchell Charles

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My friends at Book Publicity Services recently sent me a galley of THE KINGDOM OF OCEANA, a story of two brothers, taking place in what is present-day Hawaii (you know I love Hawaii!).

Here’s the info from them:

The Kingdom of Oceana is the first book in a new Young Adult fantasy adventure series by Mitchell Charles. It was published in November 2015.

The story takes place five centuries ago, on the island now called Hawaii, where there was a kingdom filled with adventure, beauty, and magic.  When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise.

As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt–just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? Two brothers, but only one can rule.

“While the book is fiction, it is heavily influenced by the rich and beautiful Hawaiian myths, legends, locales, and culture.  Many locations in the story are inspired by real places in Hawaii,” says Mitchell.

The Kingdom of Oceana takes readers on a fun and exciting adventure, with big wave surfing, fire walking, and shark taming, while also being educational and bringing to light many environmental and social issues, like ocean conservation.

The Kingdom of Oceana is currently available for sale on Amazon in kindle and paperback. The audiobook will be released in April 2016.

Praise

“This book is a real page-turner, full of action and adventure, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I hope that there will be more books like this from Mitchell Charles in the future.” – 5 Stars, Readers’ Favorite

“This is a rollicking good read — a fascinating journey into a mythological world filled with legendary characters and magnificent twists and turns.” – 5 Stars, Amazon

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I had fun with this book. It had interesting elements of Hawaiian culture and beliefs, with fantasy thrown in (shape shifting and telepathy, for instance). But at its root, it’s a story about two brothers and their sibling rivalry. I thought it’d be a great classroom book, especially if you were doing a unit on Hawaii and Hawaiian history. Many Hawaiian words are used and a glossary is provided. On my kindle, I could just click and get the meaning of them, too.

Looks like a sequel is in the works!

Thank you for my review copy!

About the Author

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Mitchell Charles’ love of the ocean and its miraculous creatures began at the age of 12 when his father taught him to SCUBA dive. From his first adventure 50 feet (15 meters) beneath the Caribbean Sea he was hooked.  He has been involved in the Oceanic Society, America’s first non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, established in 1969.

Mitchell’s inspiration for The Kingdom of Oceana was born of exploring the spectacular coastline, lush valleys, and vibrant coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands. On these excursions, he imagined what Hawaii was like hundreds of years ago. Before Captain Cook arrived from England. Before the golf courses and hotels. Before the ukulele and the Mai Tai became icons of Hawaiian culture. He dreamed of a time when the islands were an undiscovered magical paradise.

These days, Mitchell divides his time between Southern California and Hawaii. He has two teenage children and a dog named Magic.

Mitchell is currently working on the second book in the Kingdom of Oceana series, The Legend of the Nine Sacred Pearls. For more information, visit http://kingdomofoceana.com/

 

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Spotlight on the SPIRIT WARRIORS Series by D.E.L. Connor

I’m blasting it up today for the YA series: SPIRIT WARRIORS!

My daughter is a big fan of these books — teens join with their spirit animals to do good in the world.

Here’s the info – look for it at a bookstore/online/library near you!

Spirit Warriors Series #3: The Burning

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About the Book

“Do you want to spend your life like Golden Flower pining away for the love you lost? Can you imagine how hard it is to be left behind when everything you loved has left?”

In the third book of D.E.L. Connor’s magical coming of age Spirit Warriors series, Emmeline and her friends find themselves still reeling from the loss and pain caused by the evil spirit, machayiwiw- but the danger is far from over. As Emme, Charlie, Bets, Ollie, Jack and their beloved Spirit Animals prepare for the final battle against the machayiwiw, Emme struggles with a battle within her own heart. She longs for the beauty and softness she feels around Charlie, but she can’t deny the burning passion that consumes her with Jack. Will she finally let Charlie go and give her heart to Jack?
Enthralling and passionate, Spirit Warriors brings the vibrant American West to life once again and whispers its ancient secrets of love and friendship.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1O4jREK

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/22FRwyi

Apple: http://apple.co/1OthM8R

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1Tyey4b

Book Links

Other books in this series include:

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Spirit Warriors Book #1: The Concealing

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1mYCHq4

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1YZ7sqJ

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1YZ7Fue

Spirit Warriors Book #2: The Scarring

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Amazon: http://amzn.to/22FUumB

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1mYDbfT

Apple: http://apple.co/1MOs91C

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1PG7seA

The Spirit Warriors Series is also available internationally.

Please contact us directly if you do not see it on your preferred book purchase website!

About the Author

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Della Connor (D.E.L. Connor) was born in South Dakota and raised in Southeastern Montana where she acquired a keen appreciation for Western and Native American culture. She moved to Texas as a young adult and acquired her honorary Texan status. She became a registered nurse, a nurse practitioner and eventually earned her PhD in nursing. She still works as a nurse educator and as a nurse practitioner. Her nights and weekends, however, are filled with her stories and books. Her first book, “Spirit Warriors:The Concealing,” was published by Booktrope Publishing in November of 2014. The second book in the series “Spirit Warriors: The Scarring” published on July 21, 2014 and “Spirit Warriors: The Burning” rolled out on September 21, 2015. The Spirit Warriors series will consist of five books and a prequel.

The Spirit Warriors story evolved from a short story she wrote for a college English class in the early 1990’s. The professor read it, loved it and asked her to stay after class and discuss it. During this discussion, he told her that a “dark” story like hers, which was written for older children, would be unmarketable and unsaleable. The story kept floating around in her mind. Finally, J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyers and others stepped forward with amazing “dark” stories to create a new genre called Young Adult. The time was finally right for her book. She wrote book 1 in two weeks. It took another year and a half and about a 150 queries all with a “not interested” for her to find a publisher. She found Booktrope and as they say, it’s all history.

Contact Information

Website: http://dellaconnor.com

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

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/D.E.L.-Connor/e/B00HVRGF4A

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7460124h

Twitter: https://twitter.com/del_connor

Instagram: https://instagram.com/delconnor/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/delconnorspirit/

Email: delconnorspiritwarriors@gmail.com

Publishing/Marketing Contact

Lauren Jones
Book Marketing Manager
Booktrope Publishing
lauren.jones@booktrope.com

About Booktrope

Booktrope is a new type of publishing company, founded in 2011 in Seattle, WA. Committed to the creation of quality books and to our unique marketing methods, we’re pioneering a book development process called team publishing. Learn more at www.booktrope.com.

 

 

 

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HFVBook Blast for WAR AND ME by M. A. Wood

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Hello, Readers!

Today I’m blasting it up for the YA  historical fiction novel WAR AND ME by M.A. Wood. I haven’t read it yet but it is definitely on my TBR list!

Here’s what HFVBT has to say:

War and Me by M.A. Wood

Publication Date: September 26, 2013
eBook; 200 Pages
ASIN: B00FGJLG08

Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fiction/Romance

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Flying model airplanes isn’t cool, not for fifteen-year-old girls in the 1940’s. No one understands Julianna’s love of flying model airplanes but her dad. When he leaves to fly bomber planes in Europe forcing Julianna to deal with her mother’s growing depression alone, she feels abandoned until she meets Ben, the new boy in town. But when he signs up for the war, too, she has to consider whether letting her first love drift away would be far easier than waiting for the next casualties.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

About the Author

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Marcy Blesy is the author of several middle grade, young adult, and new adult novels and short stories. Her picture book, Am I Like My Daddy?, helps children who experienced the loss of a parent when they were much younger. She has also been published in two Chicken Soup for the Soul books as well as various newspapers and magazines. By day she runs an elementary school library and enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys.

Marcy is a believer in love and enjoys nothing more than making her readers feel a book more than simply reading it. She likes to connect with her readers via twitter (@marcyblesy), email (mablesy(at)yahoo.com), or her blog(www.marcyblesy.com).

Book Blast Schedule

02_War and Me

Monday, February 15
A Chick Who Reads
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 16
A Holland Reads
CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, February 17
Beth’s Book Nook Blog
The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, February 18
A Book Geek
What Is That Book About

Friday, February 19
So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, February 22
#redhead.with.book
Queen of All She Reads

Tuesday, February 23
Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, February 24
The Reading Queen

Thursday, February 25
Boom Baby Reviews

Friday, February 26
Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne

But wait == there’s more!

You can win a $10 Amazon gift card through a giveaway (and maybe even use it to get the book!). Here is the information:

Giveaway

To win a $10 Amazon Gift Card please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

 

Giveaway Direct Link: https://gleam.io/ng84w/war-and-me

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YA Review: DREAM THINGS TRUE by Marie Marquardt

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I first heard about DREAM THINGS TRUE at BEA last spring. It was listed as one of the best upcoming YA books. I was able to get it through Net Galley and recently read it.

Here’s the description from Net Galley:

Evan and Alma have spent fifteen years living in the same town, connected in a dozen different ways but also living worlds apart — until the day he jumps into her dad’s truck and slams on the brakes.
The nephew of a senator, Evan seems to have it all – except a functional family. Alma has lived in Georgia since she was two, surrounded by a large (sometimes smothering) Mexican family. They both want out of this town. His one-way ticket is soccer; hers is academic success.

When they fall in love, they fall hard, trying to ignore their differences. Then Immigration and Customs Enforcement begins raids in their town, and Alma knows that she needs to share her secret. But how will she tell her country-club boyfriend that she and almost everyone she’s close to are undocumented immigrants?

What follows is a beautiful, nuanced exploration of the complications of immigration, young love, defying one’s family, and facing a tangled bureaucracy that threatens to completely upend two young lives. This page-turning debut asks tough questions, reminding us that love is more powerful than fear.

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So – I have to say I just loved this book. Even though it takes place in Georgia, I could relate to the story, having grown up in California. This novel does a great job sensitively portraying the challenges of undocumented immigrants, especially those who have spent the majority of their lives here in the US and have been positive contributors to their community. Alma and Evan’s story will draw teens in, and I appreciated that the ending was not a “quick fix”.

DREAM THINGS TRUE published in September, and is available at an indie near you (or at your library!).

 

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Kids’ and YA Quick Review: COUNTING BY 7’s by Holly Sloan

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I absolutely loved this middle to older grade novel about 12-year-old Willow Chance and the challenges she faced when her parents unexpectedly die in a car accident.  Willow already has her challenges with being a genius and a social misfit. This story was so beautiful and well-written that I fell in love with Willow right away. I actually read this through in two sittings (400 pages) as it moved so quickly.

Here’s what Booklist has to say about it:

*Starred Review* In a voice that is frank, charming, and delightfully odd, Willow Chance narrates the strange and heartbreaking circumstances that lead her to find an offbeat, patchwork quilt of a family. As an adopted, self-identified “person of color,” precocious genius Willow unabashedly knows that she is different, but her parents love and support her idiosyncrasies, such as wearing her gardening outfit to school, her preoccupation with disease, her anthropological curiosity about her peers, and her obsession with the number seven. That self-assuredness shines through Willow’s narrative and becomes crucial to her survival after the unexpected death of her parents, which makes Willow a prime candidate for life in a group home—an environment that could be disastrous for an unusual child like her. Luckily, she finds new friends who are compelled to protect her: Mai and her family, who live in the garage behind the nail salon they own, and Willow’s slouch of a guidance counselor, Dell. Sloan (I’ll Be There, 2011) has masterfully created a graceful, meaningful tale featuring a cast of charming, well-rounded characters who learn sweet—but never cloying—lessons about resourcefulness, community, and true resilience in the face of loss.

Grades 7-10. –Sarah Hunter —

Me again —

That blurb is an excellent take on this book which I will be recommending to my sixth grader (and her English teacher!).

You can see this book on Amazon where I am an Associate: (I got mine at the school library!)
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Kids’ Review: GEORGE by Alex Gino

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Can we talk about this book?

When I was at BEA this spring, I received a copy of GEORGE by Alex Gino. Actually, the young man from Scholastic who was presenting the book to us gave an emotional appeal for people to read it and love it and support them as they felt the story would come under controversy.

GEORGE is about a 4th grade named George who, while a boy on the outside, is a girl on the inside. George wants to be Charlotte in the class’ upcoming production of Charlotte’s Web, but only girls can audition. George hides the fact that internally she is female, especially from her family, but ends up telling her best friend.

This is a very touching and sensitive story about a child struggling with their gender identification. I absolutely loved George. I felt the story was written from the heart and sensitively portrayed a young person in the midst of establishing their identity.

My challenge with GEORGE was when I think about what age to recommend it for. It is written for middle grades (3-6) but I’m not sure that age could appreciate and understand it (reading it on their own) unless it is something in their own experience. It’s more of a middle school read in my opinion. That said, I have several adults that I will recommend it to.

I’m sure some will take issue with this story. I’m sure some won’t like it. But I think it’s a lovely and sensitive portrayal that deserves to be read and shared.

See GEORGE on Amazon where I am an Associate:

George

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YA Review: Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

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I first heard about this novel while I was at BEA this past spring. It sounded intriguing, but, due to schedules and long lines, I didn’t get a chance to meet Ms. Weingarten or get a copy, so I purchased one for my kindle when it released in July.

SUICIDE NOTES FROM BEAUTIFUL GIRLS is one of those haunting, compelling reads that picks you up and then drops you, leaving you panting and somewhat bewildered. I LOVED this type of book when I was a teen (actually I still love it!).

June and Delia used to be the very best of friends, from the time they were in grade school until recently in high school, when they’ve grown apart. Then it is announced that Delia has died — apparently from suicide, killing herself by burning to death in her father’s shed. June is troubled by this. She doesn’t believe that Delia did this, and she’s haunted by the fact that Delia had reached out to her shortly before her death, but June had ignored her, choosing to be with her boyfriend instead.

What did happen to Delia? Who is involved? And why does it seem like a lot of people know much more than they are telling? June is determined to find out.

I have to admit — when I picked up this book and began to read it, I didn’t stop for a break until I was halfway through. It pulled me in and I just couldn’t stop reading. This was also the type of story that stays with you long after the last page.

Due to language and sexual content, I’d say it’s for older YA readers.

See it on Amazon where I am an Associate:

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls

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