Best. Night. Ever.

Remember how much fun it was back in school playing the game where each person came up with a sentence of a story? This is SO much better—like a really amazing version of that story!

Best Night Ever

Seven authors came together to write this book, which tells the story of one night from seven points of view. It is the night of the middle school dance and the students of Lynnfield Middle School know it is going to be the most unforgettable night of their lives. But, like most of our experiences in middle school, it turns out far different than they had planned.

Carmen is the lead singer of the hit middle school band Heart Grenade. She was ready to become a star singing at the dance, but her parents are making her go to her cousin’s wedding instead. Life is so unfair!

Taking Carmen’s place at the front of Heart Grenade is Genevieve. She loves to sing and has a fabulous voice, but she only likes to sing in the background. She has stage fright.

The drummer of Heart Grenade, and Carmen’s best friend, is Tess. Not only does she have the performance to think about, but she has a big date too!

Ellie can’t believe she’s going to the dance with the cutest guy in school. Kevin asked her to be his date, and she knows this is going to be the most romantic night she’s ever had.

Ashlyn is stuck babysitting instead of going to the dance, just so her almost-step-sister, Ellie, can go. Well, there is that whole grounded thing too . . .  But it’s just not fair that she has to miss showing off her awesomeness to the rest of the seventh grade.

When Ryan signed up to be part of the dance committee, he was hoping it would help move his friendship with Mariah to the next level. Will it work?

And Jade is at the dance just to get revenge.

All of these lives weave together seamlessly—even though they are not just seven different points of view, but written by seven different authors! The kids sound believably seventh grade, and range from the hopeless-romantic bookworm to the angry and sarcastic popular kid. The book is told in the first person (changing character point of view with each chapter), and there are frequent text messages and emojis throughout the book.

I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review, and I am so glad! I loved this book. It took me right back to my middle school dances, although I have to say we had a lot less drama at mine! I never thought about it when I was at one of those dances, but I was with a room full of people having similar, yet different, experiences—just like the seven main characters in this book.

Perhaps reading this will make it easier for middle school kids going through their own drama (at dances, or elsewhere) to realize that others are scared/excited/nervous/upset/etc. too. Or maybe they’ll just enjoy a really good book!

Best. Night. Ever. was written by Rachele Alpine, Ronni Arno, Alison Cherry, Stephanie Faris, Jen Malone, Gail Nall, and Dee Romito. A reading guide for Best. Night. Ever. is on Ms. Alpine’s, Ms. Faris’s, and Ms. Romito’s websites.

Ms. Alpine writes both middle grade and young adult novels, including Operation Pucker Up and You Throw Like a Girl. She is online at www.rachelealpine.com.

Ms. Arno’s middle grade novels include Ruby Reinvented and Molly in the Middle. She is online at www.ronniarno.com.

Ms. Cherry writes books for middle grade and young adult readers, including Willows vs. Wolverines and The Classy Crooks Club. She is online at www.alisoncherrybooks.com.

Ms. Faris writes the Piper Morgan chapter book series and middle grade novels, including 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. She is online at www.stephaniefaris.com.

Ms. Malone writes both middle grade and young adult novels. She is the co-author of the You’re Invited series, as well as novels including The Sleepover and The Art of the Swap. She is online at www.jenmalonewrites.com.

Ms. Nall writes the You’re Invited series with Ms. Malone. She is the author of middle grade and young adult novels, including Out of Tune and Breaking the Ice. She is online at www.gailnall.com.

Ms. Romito is the author of middle grade novels The BFF Bucket List and No Place Like Home. She is online at www.DeeRomito.com.

Have you read any great books lately?

Shelter

Stories about animals are a wonderful way to teach or remind children how they should treat others. My own kids’ teachers have often encouraged parents to make up and use such stories (in oral storytelling format) to help modify behaviors or work through problems. Shelter by Céline Claire is an excellent example of this teaching tool.ShelterShelter is the English translation of the French book L’abri, released last year. It teaches kindness and caring toward others—even strangers—who are in need.

This is the tale of five families of forest animals who wake one morning to learn that a storm is coming. They prepare by gathering wood and stockpiling food.

Soon, everyone is safely tucked away in their homes—except two strange bears who emerge from the fog as the wind howls.

The bears ask the different animal families for help, but are turned away at one door after another. My little one’s reaction to the way the bears were being treated was all I needed to see to know that the moral of this story was hitting home for her.

The story is very concise—just a few lines on each page—and all of the words are well within a young reader or listener’s understanding.

Qin Leng’s illustrations are beautiful. She alternates between full-page spreads to the strategic use of white space on the page to separate between the different animal homes. Ms. Leng’s choice of colors in her watercolor paintings is perfect for the story Ms. Claire is telling.

In one full-page spread, Ms. Leng expertly and effectively depicts the bears outside in the gloomy storm, knocking on an animal family’s door. The animal family is inside, refusing entry and lying to the bears. The impact on my little one was immediate—she could see the deceit, she knew the animals should be treating the bears with kindness instead of turning them away, and she spoke out for the bears.

Ms. Claire is the author of a number of children’s books, but I think Shelter is the only one that has been published in English as well as the original French. Ms. Claire’s website is http://celine.notrecabane.fr/ (but you’ll need to read French!). Follow Ms. Leng on Instagram to see some recent illustrations: https://www.instagram.com/qinillustrations/

Shelter will be released on October 3, 2017. I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review. My daughter and I are grateful to Ms. Claire, Ms. Leng, and Kids Can Press for the opportunity to read Shelter.

Have you read any great books lately?

Unicorn Princesses: Sunbeam’s Shine

If you’re writing a chapter book for girls, you really can’t go wrong adding in a unicorn or two. There’s just something magical about unicorns.Unicorn PrincessesEmily Bliss’s new chapter book series, Unicorn Princesses, captures that magic for young readers to enjoy. The Unicorn Princesses series tells of the Rainbow Realm, which is ruled by seven unicorns. They need help from a human girl who believes in unicorns.

Book 1, Sunbeam’s Shine, opens with a wizard-lizard casting spells—poorly. With a slip of the tongue, he causes a jewel that hangs around the neck of one of the Unicorn Princesses (Sunbeam) to disappear. That jewel is the source of Sunbeam’s magic, and now she can’t make the sun rise over the Rainbow Realm. Only a human girl who believes in unicorns can reverse the spell.

Sunbeam travels to the human world and finds Cressida Jenkins, who can only be described as obsessed with unicorns. She agrees to travel to the Rainbow Realm to help find Sunbeam’s jewel and return Sunbeam’s magic to her.

This book was a lot of fun to read. My little one did not want to put it down, and we read it any time we had a spare minute until Sunbeam’s jewel was found. The unicorns and magic were both definite selling points, but the pacing and action were also perfect for my little chapter book reader.

My only warning with this book is that when Sunbeam finds Cressida, they have a long discussion about needing a human girl “who believes in unicorns” and how hard it was to find one. Cressida mentions that her mother keeps telling her that unicorns are imaginary, but that she believes anyway. If you are not ready to plant that seed of doubt about the existence of unicorns, magic, and other whimsical matters in your little one’s mind, you may want to wait a bit on this one.

According to Ms. Bliss’s page at Bloomsbury Publishing, there are already six books planned for the Unicorn Princesses series. The first two were released earlier this month, two more will be released in December, and then another two in April 2018. I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review. We’ll be on the lookout for the next ones!

Have you read any great books lately?

From Ant to Eagle

By the end of the first chapter of From Ant to Eagle, eleven-year-old Calvin Sinclair has confessed to killing his younger brother. And with that—just a dozen or so sentences into the book—author Alex Lyttle had my undivided attention.

From Ant to Eagle

From Ant to Eagle is the story of Calvin and his six-year-old brother Sammy. Calvin loves his brother, but he also loves picking on him and manipulating him, and he occasionally excludes or neglects him.

Like many sibling interactions, Sammy adores his big brother. And Calvin takes advantage of Sammy’s hero-worship. Calvin has created a Level System to make Sammy do nearly anything he can think of—like try to eliminate a wasp’s nest with a can of WD40. When Sammy completes a “mission” with bravery and courage, Calvin awards him a Level. Sammy began at Ant, and is eager to reach the highest Level: Eagle.

Two years ago, Calvin’s family moved to Huxbury, a small town in Southern Ontario. They live in the country, surrounded by fields, trees, and, far in the distance, Lake Huron. There is nothing to do, and no one around to play with except Sammy.

Then, the summer Calvin is eleven and Sammy is six, a new family moves nearby. They have a daughter Calvin’s age named Aleta. Calvin is instantly smitten, and reaches out to become Aleta’s friend. As he gets closer to Aleta, he spends less and less time with Sammy. What happens during that summer changes everyone’s lives forever.

I can’t praise From Ant to Eagle enough. This book was absolutely phenomenal. The interactions between Calvin and Sammy were all-too realistic (and may have hit me a little too hard, since my kids are about the same age as these brothers). This book grabbed hold of my emotions and twisted me into an emotional wreck as I watched the brothers’ relationship change, Calvin’s friendship with Aleta grow, and, of course, the aforementioned killing of Sammy. (It’s always hard to explain tears over a book in public!)

Author Alex Lyttle is a pediatrician living in Calgary, Alberta. He has a website serving his “duo-life” at www.alexlyttle.com. Listen to him “ramble” on his blog, learn a little about him (he credits R.L. Stine and the Goosebumps books for teaching him to read!), and maybe even check out his guidance as a pediatric allergist.

I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review. I am so grateful for the opportunity—this is one of those books that stays with you, that makes you thankful for your own family, and gives you a little perspective into the challenges some families face.

Have you read any great books lately?

Enshrine

Enshrine blog tour banner

It’s time to move to a time when life was simpler. When people traveled on horseback and celebrated the survival of winter with festivals full of music and dancing. A time of arranged marriages and strict class structures.

This is the world where we meet Sage Wolfe, in the village of Community in the empire of Rosementh. Sage would have been very happy in her simple life in Community, but during the Spring Equinox festival, the feared tyrant-king, Dayton, rides into town.

Dayton maintains control over his people by looting, terrorizing, and destroying villages, and slaughtering his own subjects. His reputation is well-known throughout Rosementh, and the Elders of Community quickly give Dayton everything he demands—including Sage.

Here is the publisher’s description of the plot of Enshrine:

When Sage Wolfe is accidentally mistaken for a peace offering, her world turns upside down. Dayton, the young, handsome, and insane King of Rosementh whisks her away to his castle to be his bride with the promise that he can give her the world and anything she desires. These offers become tainted as Dayton’s true colors show themselves; he is cruel and violent and Sage vows to run away or die trying.

Just when Sage thinks she is hitting rock bottom, a hooded stranger named Jonathan Kreider comes to the castle. He doesn’t say much but his actions speak for themselves. Not only can he wield a sword or shoot an arrow better than most of Dayton’s men, but he always seems to be a step behind Sage, and though it should terrify her, for the first time Sage finds herself filling with hope.

Sage is faced with a choice. Should she run away from the wicked king who took her away from her family? Or should she stay to learn more about the man who lurks in the shadows, the man that makes her heart race and almost makes suffering Dayton’s wrath worthwhile? Sage is about to discover that nothing is as it seems and everyone has secrets; Dayton, the man that calls himself Jonathan Kreider, and even herself.

The love triangle storyline always brings tension and drama to a novel. Throw in an evil king who does not hesitate to kill people—even when he has no reason to believe they betrayed him—and the excitement mounts! Jonathan Kreider is a kind but mysterious stranger, who leaves Sage—and the reader—wanting to know all of his secrets.

Enshrine book cover

Intrigued yet? You can pick up a copy of Enshrine on Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.

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Author Kay Bennson is from Northwestern Connecticut where she lives with her husband. She doesn’t remember a time where she wasn’t writing stories (in fact, some of her best ideas were forged in high school classes and at part time jobs). When she isn’t writing, she is a competitive Irish Dancer. Enshrine is her first novel.

There are many ways to find Ms. Bennson online: check out her website; find her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter; or look her up on Goodreads.

Ms. Bennson has another book in the works already, so I think we’ll see much more from this impressive author!

Have you read any great books lately?

Eclipse Day!

It’s a big day in Nashville – many folks are traveling here to watch the full solar eclipse! In honor of this incredible event, I thought I’d share some books about eclipses (the descriptions below are the publishers’ statements found on Amazon.com or the publishers’ websites):

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THE BIG ECLIPSE by acclaimed children’s illustrator and author, Nancy Coffelt, captures the sense of wonder and excitement of a total solar eclipse through its cast of animal characters as they follow the path of the 2017 eclipse across America. Readers of The Big Eclipse will learn all about eclipses – how and why they happen, strange eclipse effects, eclipse myths and even what hippos do when day turns to night!

The book tells why it’s important to protect your eyes when viewing the sun, especially during an eclipse – and how to safely watch the upcoming eclipse. Each book includes instructions on making a simple solar projector and comes with a safe solar eclipse viewer.

Penny Parakeet

Join Penny as she travels to St. Joseph, Missouri to witness the total eclipse of the sun with her new friends Aunt Mellie B and Sarah the parakeet from the French Riviera.

top ten

Excitement is building for the Great American Eclipse on August 21, 2017. This book for kids ages 9-12 answers their questions about eclipses. Included are not only how solar and lunar eclipses happen and how to safely view a solar eclipse, but also 
• How often do eclipses happen? 
• What happens to animals during a solar eclipse? 
• Do other planets have eclipses? 
• What does a lunar eclipse look like from the moon? 
Top Ten Facts About Eclipses answers these questions and more. Young astronomers reading this book will know facts about eclipses and what to expect when viewing the Great American Eclipse.

what happens

Everybody gets thrilled when hearing about an eclipse happening. It gets broadcasted in the news and people actually look up at the sky, waiting. But for children to better appreciate what an eclipse is, proper introduction needs to be in place first. The purpose of this book is to give your child the introduction that he/she can understand.

Eddie

Follow along with Eddie, a budding young scientist, as he navigates the 2017 Great American Solar Eclipse. Eddie uses his curiosity and imagination to become an “expert” in eclipses so that he can thoroughly take in this spectacular scientific event. His energy and enthusiasm for all things science help him to engage with his family and friends while experiencing this great science adventure. The book details solar eclipse facts and encourages safety for children while observing the solar eclipse.

Cowee Sam

Cowee Sam returns as the Great Pyrenees guardian dog of Cowee Mountain Valley Farm. Meet some of the other working dogs in the neighborhood and join Farmer Joe and his family as they get ready to host their own solar eclipse party. Learn about some of the science behind this exciting event. Mark your calendar for August 21, 2017, 2:36 PM Franklin, North Carolina, is in the path of totality!

Sun dark

Get ready for the Great American Eclipse of 2017 with this charming and straight-forward story about how eclipses of the Sun and Moon occur. Includes activities using ordinary items to make models, and explores common questions. 

This illustrated book is a fun way to get young astronomers ready for August 2017, when millions of North Americans will have the rare chance to witness a solar eclipse. The book tells how two curious children and their grandparents re-create eclipses in their living room using a lamp, a tennis ball, two Hula Hoops, and Ping-Pong balls. Later, in the backyard and around the house, the family explores safe ways to view a solar eclipse and ponders phenomena from sunspots to phases of the Moon. Written by the authors of NSTA’s award-winning book Solar Science, When the Sun Goes Dark gives children and adults hands-on techniques for learning the science behind eclipses of the Sun and Moon.

where did the sun go

WHY IS THERE NIGHT DURING THE DAY?

For thousands of years, our ancestors created myths and legends to explain the puzzle of solar eclipses. The poems in this book bring the ancient beliefs of many different cultures to life. Designed for children, parents, and educators, this delightful book includes a puppet show script, with instructions for easy to create puppets, stage directions and other helpful hints for creating a fabulously fun show, while answering the question, “Where Did the Sun Go?”

Guatemalan

When a solar eclipse frightens an entire village, a young Guatemalan girl named Maria searches for answers. The ensuing story goes great lengths in teaching children about bravery and the importance of nature. Join Maria as she races across the landscape of her mountain community and faces her fears head-on. This Tz’utujil Mayan folktale, suitable for children, originates from the lakeside village of San Juan la Laguna, Guatemala.

sun went out

The Day the Sun Went Out is a beautifully illustrated children’s science storybook. The story begins with Alexander and his parents hiking in the mountains one Saturday morning. After awhile on the hike they notice an unusual occurrence in the daylight. The day grows dark and Alexander begins to wonder why. Learn about important astronomers like Johannes Kepler, and hot facts of solar and planetary motion alongside Alexander, his mom and his cousin Max. Join them as they explore the sun and the Kepler Mission. Challenge your youngsters to wonder with Alexander as his questions how life on Earth is in a careful balance with our sun. Ponder how our lives are woven into the enormous cosmos in which we all live. See what Alexander discovers about the natural world around himself. At the same time make your own discoveries about how you feel about the sun’s importance in the meaning of life.

HAPPY ECLIPSE DAY READING!

Have you read any great books lately?

The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball

It’s sometimes too easy to forget that the way we live (whether in Canada, the United States, or China) is not the only way. The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball explores just how jarring moving halfway around the world can be—particularly for children.BaseballThe Forbidden Temptation of Baseball follows two brothers, Woo Ka-Leong and Elder Brother Woo Ka-Sun, as they move from their village in Southern China to Suffield, Connecticut in 1875. They are part of a group of 120 boys that the Imperial Government of China is sending to the United States as part of the Chinese Educational Mission. Their task is to learn English, complete college degrees, and return home to help transform China to a strong, modern country.

The boys participating in the Chinese Educational Mission are sent to the United States with almost a year of training in the English language (enough to be polite), descriptions of American culture, and many admonitions: do not act “too American,” do not join a church (although they must attend with their host families), do not cut the long braid that all Chinese men and boys wear as a symbol of loyalty to the emperor, and avoid the American frivolity called “baseball.”

Ka-Leong and Ka-Sun are placed with the Swann family: Reverend Swann, his wife, and their two daughters, Julia and Charlotte. The Swanns immediately begin calling the boys Leon and Carson, deciding their Chinese names are simply too difficult to pronounce. A day later, Carson, who is the more serious and studious of the two brothers, is dismayed to learn that their teacher will be a woman.

This is just the beginning of the clash of the two cultures. As the boys’ time in America continues, they are teased by children and adults for their braids and their clothing. They struggle to learn the English language and to continue their own Chinese studies after their lessons. They are stunned by aspects of American culture that they were unprepared for, in particular, the role and treatment of women.

Author Dori Jones Yang has done a fantastic job identifying many ways in which the cultures of 1870s China and 1870s America differed. But even more impressive is her interpretation of how the Chinese boys might have responded to these disparities. Although Leon and Carson are brothers and come from the same home and upbringing, their reactions to life in America, and their willingness to adapt to this new life, are dissimilar.

I was enamored with this tale of two brothers and could not put it down. Ms. Yang’s exploration of the relationship between Leon and Carson was brilliant. I loved the use of baseball to symbolize one brother’s attraction to American culture, while he pulled away from both his brother and the life in which he was raised.

The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball is based on the true story of the Chinese Educational Mission, in which the emperor of China sent 120 boys ages eleven through sixteen to study in America. They stayed with host families in Connecticut and western Massachusetts. You’ll have to read the book to learn whether the Mission was successful!

I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

Dori Jones Yang is the author of a number of books, from non-fiction to YA novels to children’s readers. Her website is www.booksbydori.com.

Have you read any great books lately?

Heartwood Hotel: A True Home

A hotel is often said to be a “home away from home.” This is how the animals of Fernwood Forest see Heartwood Hotel. In A True Home, Kallie George brings this adorable new chapter book series to life and introduces us to Mona the mouse.Heartwood HotelFlooding drives Mona the mouse out of her newest home. With her suitcase in hand, she heads out into the storm. Fate sweeps her to the door of the Heartwood Hotel.

Mona discovers a ballroom full of animals—rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, hedgehogs, birds, a lizard, and even a badger. They are dressed up, dancing, eating, and laughing. These are the guests (and some staff) of the Heartwood Hotel. A bird band is providing entertainment, and there is a table stacked with food.

Gilles the front-desk lizard intercepts Mona and regretfully informs her that the hotel is fully booked due to the Acorn Festival. But Mr. Heartwood, the owner, takes pity on Mona. He offers her a temporary position for the night as a maid and a place to sleep in the staff quarters.

The next day, Mr. Heartwood offers to extend Mona’s single-night job through the fall festivals. Mona is grateful for the hospitality and pledges to “give her all” to the hotel.

Although Mona works hard, she can’t win the friendship of the other maid, Tilly the squirrel. Mona also attracts trouble over and over again—with skunk guests, with Tilly, and even when a bug tries to stay at the hotel!

Mona is sure to become a much-beloved character in many young readers’ homes. Her hard work on behalf of the hotel, her penchant for mishap when she is trying to help others, and her creative solutions to problems will make her a favorite among little ones. Those young readers will be spellbound by Mona’s tale, as they worry with her about where she will go after the fall festival season is over.

Kallie George is the author of a number of children’s books, including both picture books and chapter books. Her picture books include The Melancholic Mermaid and Duck, Duck, Dinosaur. In addition to the Heartwood Hotel chapter book series, Ms. George is the author of The Magical Animal Adoption Agency series. Her website is www.kalliegeorge.com.

Heartwood Hotel also has its own website, where you can check on the availability of rooms, apply for a job, learn more about the rooms and staff of the Heartwood Hotel, and take quizzes. The Magical Animal Adoption Agency’s website tells about animals available for adoption, assists people in making adoptions, provides “tips and alerts” and “pet care” information (“Owning a unicorn is a big—and wonderful!—responsibility…”), and offers a downloadable “Magical Egg Handbook.” Lots of fun!

I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review and am looking forward to the next books in this series! Book 2, The Greatest Gift, was released July 11, 2017, and Book 3, Better Together, is planned for February 6, 2018.

Have you read any great books lately?

Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief & GIVEAWAY!

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Most teenagers wish their lives were more exciting, more thrilling, anything but dull and normal. Then, there’s Maribel.

Maribel is a “Teenage Jewel Thief.” We meet her scaling the wall of a museum in the middle of a heist. The job is interrupted by the arrival of goons sent by Petrov Rosinsky, the leader of a crime syndicate. Petrov killed Mari’s father nine years ago, and he seems determined to wipe out the rest of the family.

Mari and her mother flee to New York, where they attempt to live a “regular life.” Mari begins high school as just a typical teenage girl—a life she has been pining for as she moonlighted as a professional thief.

On her first day of school, Mari meets Will Campbell. She instantly falls for his good looks and charm, but tries to distance herself from him in case Petrov finds her.

When Mari starts seeing suspicious people that appear to be following her, she becomes convinced that Petrov has found her. Is her imagination threatening to destroy her new love and regular life, or has her past caught up with her again?

Mari frequently takes a break from the high school drama to write in her diary. We learn about her fears for herself and her mother, her growing attraction toward Will, and her attempts to fit in at school.

The action in Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief is addicting—by the end of Chapter 1, I couldn’t put the book down. Mari battles typical teenage problems and doubts, while also struggling with her fears from her past. Mari is charming and vulnerable, and I was cheering for her throughout the book as she looked for to ways fit in and make friends.

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The publisher of Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief has provided this synopsis:

Most sixteen-year-olds shouldn’t know where museums keep their rarest jewels (the basement) and they really shouldn’t know that vans make the worst getaway cars. But for Marisol Flores, a life of jewel thievery is a birthright handed down from generation to generation, even if she didn’t ask for it. So when a rival thief targets Mari and her mother, Mari’s more than happy to flee to the anonymity of bustling New York City.

Blending in is a dream come true for Mari, but keeping her former thieving ways a secret gets way more complicated when handsome Will Campbell sets his sights on her. She can’t help but like his terrible puns and charming grin…but when her past catches up with her, it’s not only her life—and her anonymity—that’s at stake.

Will could be the next target.

This is a great book to pick up if you want a fun, exciting, compelling read, with a little love thrown in. You can find Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief at Amazon.com and other book retailers. Click here to enter a GIVEAWAY for a $20 Amazon gift card.

About the Author:

Rosie Somers is a beach-going book addict who’s been crafting stories since before she learned her ABCs. When she’s not busy trying to bring the characters in her head to life on paper, she can be found volunteering with local animal rescues, crocheting funky hats for her friends, or eating herself into the poorhouse at Chipotle. Her fondest dream is to one day own a goat.

You can follow Ms. Somers on her blog (rosiesomers.blogspot.com), on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ProsyRosie/) or on Twitter (@prosyrosie).

DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!!!

Have you read any great books lately?

Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver

There comes a time when a child no longer believes that his parent knows everything. The child may even be embarrassed by how his parent behaves in public. Enter Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver. He finds ways to help children change their parents’ unattractive behavior.

Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver by Lorri Horn is an entertaining read for middle grade kids. It tells of young entrepreneur Dewey Fairchild and his ingenious profession.Dewey Fairchild.jpgDewey got the idea for his business when his friend Seraphina shared a problem she had with her mom. Nine-and-a-half-year-old Seraphina’s mother was being overprotective: holding her hand to cross the street, walking her into school, and protecting her from using butter knives. She even cut Seraphina’s meat for her at dinner!

Dewey spent time observing Seraphina and her mother. He then came up with a plan to change Seraphina’s mom’s behavior. It worked so well that word spread that Dewey was a “parent problem solver.” Soon, every kid needed his help.

One year later, Dewey’s business is so busy that he has an office (in his attic), an assistant (his old babysitter), and letterhead stationery. Kids who want to request his services crawl through the air ducts and fly down a slide into the attic, munching on homemade cookies that have been strategically placed in the air vent entrance.

Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver follows Dewey as he tackles his cases. He searches for solutions to the parent-created problems of kids in his town, including, with the help of three good friends—Seraphina, Colin, and assistant Clara—a problem that is close to home. When he overhears his parents talking about moving the family to Alaska, he decides something has to be done. Surely Dewey Fairchild, PPS, can solve this parent-problem!

Readers will laugh out loud at Dewey’s investigative strategies, at the various problems he faces (including a public nose-picking dad!), and the solutions he dreams up! Parents: watch your behavior around your kids once they’ve read this one, or you might find yourself crying on YouTube!

Lorri Horn thought she wanted to study vervet monkeys and become a famous biological anthropologist. But she says: “it turns out you have to rough it and camp to do that kind of job and Lorri’s more of a pillow-top mattress and no bug-repellant kind of gal.” Plus, the monkeys never showed up for story time. So she became a teacher instead! You can read more about her on Dewey Fairchild’s website: www.deweyfairchild.com. This is Ms. Horn’s first middle grade fiction book.

Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver goes on sale next week. I highly recommend picking up a copy for your middle grade readers! I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review. We can’t wait for the next book of Dewey Fairchild’s cases!

Have you read any great books lately?