Tuesday, November 30, 2021

What's Coming in December?

It's Advent and, soon, Christmas! I've got my baking well underway and am enjoying all of the holiday cheer...probably more than I should be. My celebrations start right at Thanksgiving weekend and stay in full swing until well after New Year Day. Of course, that means tons of lovely reads, too. Some are holiday geared, while others make great stocking-stuffers. Plus, I have quite a few nonfiction reads hitting this month. 

Let's take a peek and see a tiny bit of the surprises this month has in store!


Doesn't this mouse look holiday-ish sweet? He just happens to be one of Santa's helpers at the North Pole and is in for some Christmas adventure. I'm really looking forward to swinging into the season with him. Let's deck those halls on the 3rd!

Picture Book


I was thrilled to get my hands on this book! It's a tips and tricks to everything behind the scenes with Dude Perfect. Packed full of photos and things to do and try, this one promises to get readers moving and discovering and even shove in tons of excitement and physical fun. Let's do this one on the 7th!

Middle Grade Nonfiction


Another new series takes off with this book. It centers around death, love and the borders in the realms beyond. Oh, and wraiths, which want to feed on the heroine's soul. It has hit the highly-anticipated list. I'm going to take a look at this one on the 9th.

Young Adult Fantasy


What kid doesn't love to color? I'm going to be exploring coloring books, which are also packed with information, from a very prolific, coloring book creator. Yep, this author has produced...oh, my...tons of books. And I'm betting these will make great, last-minute stocking stuffers. Find out with me on the 13th!

Coloring Books


Who is Dasher? This holiday book investigates that question and introduces the tale of a young reindeer, who was once part of a traveling circus. I'm looking forward to a tale to snuggle up with while sipping hot chocolate on the 14th!

Picture Book


This is the follow-up devotional to the best-sellers, Indescribable and How Great Is Our God. It packs 100 devotions surrounding God and science, and should presented tons of illustrations, information, and be, of course, inspiring. Let's find out if it does all of this on the 18th.

Middle Grade Religious


Now, I'm not sure this one is really a YA read, although it is listed as such on several sites. But it's definitely a clean read, and the surmise is so cute that even if it doesn't fit into the advertised YA category, I'm going to shove it into a Mommy and Daddy's Day Post. Be Christmassy with me on the 20th!

Young Adult Contemporary


Almost every book on Bookworm for Kids is a new or upcoming release. This book is an exception. It came out in 2015 but caught my attention with the good reviews and super cute description. Santa's brother is determined to start his own fairy tale and the Council of Fairies let's him start up his own business. Giggle with me on the 23rd!

Young Adult Fantasy


This is book 4 in a series (which I haven't read, yet)...and btw, starts with an ancient Christmas ornament...and rotates around time travel, adventure, an ancient warrior, and the possible erasing of the human race. It involves twin sisters and threats galore. I'm taking the ride on the 27th and hope you'll join me.

Middle Grade Science Fiction


Words can get such a bad reputation with kids, but vocabulary isn't nearly as boring as some of them think. This book is a type of dictionary-thesaurus, which supposedly takes words to the next level and proves how silly, interesting and exciting they can be. Find out if it's true with me on the 30th!

Middle Grade Non-Fiction

Usually, I end off my list with a 'Joker Read', but not this month. December also means the end of the year, which.... (and I love this part)....means I take a peek at all of the books I reviewed during 2021. I'll offer some statistics, kidlit thoughts, and announce my favorite reads of the year (ones presented here on Bookworm for Kids).

So, get ready for my end of the year celebration on December 31st!

Monday, November 29, 2021

Review: Night Night, Angel by Amy Parker

 Today's review is a perfect...


Or even better as a gift during the upcoming days before Christmas. I find the animals on the cover so cute, and the image of the sleeping very calming. After all, this is a nighttime read. Add the extra bonus that it's for Christmas, and well, that makes it perfect for a review before the holidays.

A Sleepy Christmas Celebration
by Amy Parker
Illustrated by Virginia Allyn
Thomas Nelson
Board Book / Holidays
20 pages
ages 2 to 5

'Tis the season for joy! Celebrate the family fun and season's blessings of Christmas with a young arctic fox as your family remembers that Jesus is the best gift of all. Amy Parker's delightful rhymes and Virginia Allyn's sweet illustrations make Night Night, Angel the perfect read-aloud for toddlers and preschoolers enjoying the Christmas season.

Little fox loves all the excitement that Christmas brings to the forest: making creative presents, placing the star on the tree, and making sure she is spotlight-ready for the big Christmas play. But soon she realizes that the perfect gift has already been given through the baby who arrived on the first Christmas night!

As the fourth seasonal title in the hugely successful Night Night bedtime storybook brand, this Christmas board book gives families a fun way to say goodnight during the Advent season
celebrates the special moments of family holiday activities gently reminds children that Baby Jesus is the reason for the season The Christmas theme and sparkling cover make Night Night, Angel perfect for an Advent gift, stocking stuffer, or Christmas morning surprise from parents, grandparents, Sunday school teachers, and friends. Your little angel will be ready to snuggle in for the night as together you celebrate the many blessings of Christmas!



 Sleepy time dreams will radiate with the calm and joy of Christmas with this super sweet, bedtime read for the days before the holidays.

This is a board book made for young hands. The cover and pages will take a little abuse and can be wiped from lighter marks and smudges...as most board books are. Each two-page spread holds a four-line rhyme and ends with a 'Night Night'. This keeps a lovely familiarity and repetition, which young listeners can recognize, speak along with the reader, or even let it lull them into sleep. The text is simple enough for the younger ones to follow, and the situations are ones many younger listeners can identify with and recognize.

The illustrations are bright and, yet, hold a pastel atmosphere to gently lure into dreamy thoughts. The animals are friendly and joyful as they go about various, holiday activities such as baking cookies or sitting around a cozy fire and listening to tales. Friendship, being together, and enjoying moments are themes which radiate off of every page, making it a wholesome read from beginning to end. 

This is a religious book, which does even include a scene where the animals reenact the manger scene (as young listeners might see themselves at a local church before Christmas day). The last pages ease to a happy and satisfied end and a good night. It's gentle, holds hope and joy, and brings across the warming atmosphere very well.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Review: Countdown to Christmas! by Charles M. Schulz

Yesterday, we picked out our Christmas tree, making today the perfect time to start the holiday fun. I got my hands on a lovely read...yep, this one made me smile. Since Advent's Calendars are a standard tradition in our household, this one slid right in.

So, Peanut fans get ready because this one is perfect for you! 

With a Story a Day
by Charles M. Schulz
Illustrated by Robert Pope
Simon Spotlight
Children's Holiday Fiction
63 pages
ages 6 to 8 (and up, too)

Get into the Christmas spirit with the Peanuts gang in this joyful collection of twenty-five stories—one for every day of December from the first through the twenty-fifth—with original illustrations and foil on the cover!

This collection of Peanuts stories celebrates everything wonderful about the Christmas season—writing Christmas cards, shopping for presents, going to holiday parties, going sledding, drinking hot cocoa, and baking cookies for Santa! There’s a story for each day of the month to make the wait go faster!

© 2021 Peanuts Worldwide LLC



The preparation for Christmas with all of it's wish lists, cards, tree shopping, present wishing and nervous expectations make this into an adorable read...but Peanuts is in a class all of its own.

This is a collection of 25 stories, each derived from the beloved Peanuts tales that many of us know and love. The stories have been realigned to fit a short reading for each day. The scenes will awake memories for those, who are already Peanut fans, and give new readers a glance at all those things which made the characters, who they are. This is not done in comic form, but rather, short story tales with a large illustration or two to set the scene.

The stories are written for lower middle graders or those chapter book readers, who have a good handle on their words. But this also works ( and in my opinion, is better) as a read-aloud. The tales are  snippets from the larger comic plots, but they are changed just enough to make them fit a short story form. There are other alterations and twists, and a few end with a slightly incomplete atmosphere. Still, all of the wonder which makes Lucy, Charlie, Snoopy nd the other characters, who they are, shines through. 

It's a fun read to get ready for the holidays and will make more than just Peanut fans smile.

Sneak Peek: Terra Nova by M.T.G. with Giveaway!


Terra Nova
Terra Nova, #1
Publication date: July 28th 2020
YA Fantasy, Paranormal


Evangeline is living the life of a normal teenager—going to school and hanging out with friends—until mysterious, severe symptoms begin appearing. After passing out in the middle of a party, life as she knows it spirals beyond her grasp. She is then diagnosed with a rare, genetic blood disorder that causes her body’s white blood cells to kill the red ones. In the delirium of her deteriorating health, a door to a parallel world opens before her; however, once she steps through it, the portal closes, and she is unable to return to Earth.

The place Evangeline now finds herself in is called Terra Nova, a world wherein vampires rule supreme, with no traces of humanity left to speak of. Curious but afraid, she quickly learns that Terra Nova is not the shadow-side of Earth, but rather the tragic result of government experimentation. In order to survive, she must keep her mind open and accept the changes her body is undergoing; soon enough, those who she initially thinks are murderers become her trainers, whose help she must enlist if she ever hopes to return home—and soon enough, a romantic bond begins to bloom.

Meanwhile, Evangeline’s brother and friends back on Earth try to figure out what happened to her, and how the government is involved, and how to bring her home. Unbeknownst to any of them is the mysterious outcast Bambi, whose secrecy disguises her power in making a devastating choice: save one world at the risk of destroying the other.

Goodreads / Amazon


A horrible sound was ringing in Evangeline’s ears. She opened her eyes to find Eros standing above her, dangling a large bell.

“Stop! Oh my God. You can just tell me to go to my room. I must’ve passed out. I’m sorry. I’ll go sleep in my room. I’m going. I’m going.”

“You can go and get dressed and ready in your own room,” Eros said with a sardonic smile.

“What?” Evangeline asked, bleary-eyed.

“It is the middle of the night, again. We have all had our meal. Yours is waiting for you in the kitchen. Hurry up. The citizens are beginning to think we ate you.”

Evangeline sat up and looked at him, “I slept all day? Are you serious?”

“Do I jest much?”

She looked around his bed and then up at him, “I’m…sorry. You had to sleep on the chair.”

“No. I slept on my bed,” Eros said evenly.

“Oh,” Evangeline’s eyes went slightly wider and she immediately regretted letting him see her confusion. Eros narrowed his eyes and ran his tongue across his teeth, looking at her.

“Do you think I seduced you while you were sleeping?” he said, his lips curling down, “I believe Josepina explained the likelihood of that. I rested on the other side of the bed, wench. On top of the covers. We rarely feel cold, except for in extreme temperatures. The covers are for…nostalgia, I suppose. If you choose to hibernate on my bed do not expect me to sit on the chair all night.”

“You could have just woken me up, you know,” Evangeline said, standing up to go.

“I considered it. However, you had already slobbered on my book and the option of ringing a large bell in your face this evening appealed to me.”

Evangeline gave him a dirty look, which had the effect of bringing a wide smile to his face. She was about to leave the room without a word when a thought came to her head and squinting her eyes at him she began to laugh, “Sorry, I was just imagining you seducing someone.”

Eros’ smile began to lower into a confused frown and she burst out laughing harder, “It’s just that, well, how did you do it before? I mean, seduce someone? I can’t imagine you being charming for the life of me.”

Author Bio:

MTG has worked in numerous positions, mainly in managerial and executive roles. Terra Nova, her first publication, is Book 1 of a series. The series’ concept emerged when she, like the protagonist, was diagnosed with the blood disorder paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), and her then-boyfriend (now husband) joked she was becoming a vampire. She currently works and resides in Canada.

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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Review: Avalina Jones and the Eye of the Storm by Lori Adams

We're diving into the world of pirates and open seas....and magic! Today's review spins the myth of Davy Jones into a magical and very adventurous tale for high-sea lovers with a brave and risk-friendly heroine. It's the first in a new series and sets sails on November 29th (so, just a couple more days to wait). 

Ready for a peek?

by Lori Adams
Spyhop Publishing
Middle Grade Fantasy
360 pages
ages 9 to 14

NOVEMBER 29th!!!

When a young girl learns she is the Last Heir to the infamous pirate Davy Jones, she is whisked away to begin life aboard an enchanted schoolship for Pirate Heirs where danger and excitement awaits. 

Contemporary kids who happen to be Heirs of the most villainous and celebrated pirates in history. Superstitions, mysteries, curses, secrets, strange ocean creatures, undead pirates, and seafaring legends will thrill middle-grade readers in this rollicking, globe-trotting adventure. 

Avalina Jones, the Last Heir of the infamous pirate Davy Jones, has never heard of Sea Magic, flying dinghies, Pirate Heir schoolships, phantom islands, or creatures called Half Ones. And she has never understood her strange connection to water. When a beautiful woman arrives in a swirling waterspout, Avalina’s life explodes with more adventures than she can possibly imagine. She takes her rightful place aboard a giant Pirate Heir schoolship teeming with Heirs of the world’s most nefarious pirates.

Raised as a Landlubber, Avalina quickly realizes bizarre and danger are normal aboard Pirate Heir schoolships—food fights back, school supplies giggle or explode in your face. And not everyone can be trusted.

When Avalina is accused of a terrible crime, she must prove her innocence or risk being banished from the schoolship forever—and this in the middle of a crucial Treasure Hunt!

Avalina races to unlock secrets of the ship, and makes a dangerous discovery that threatens everyone aboard. With the help of her new friends Charlie, Pippa, and Bummy, Avalina draws closer to the truth, unaware that a deeper, darker fate awaits.

Worlds collide for middle-grade readers who will love the fast-paced thrills, colorful characters, secrets, legends, and the interplay of fantasy and reality in Avalina Jones and the Eye of the Storm. Author Lori Adams expertly delivers a story that is timeless, bringing together elements of sea lore, magic, and adventure. The first book in a seven-book series, Avalina Jones and the Eye of the Storm, is a romping tale for middle graders who are searching for the next enduring fantasy classic.



High seas and pirating adventure mixes with imagination and quirky magic to create a very rich world, and one with more than a little bit of fun.

Avalina Jones has spent most of her childhood at the orphanage, gazing across the Mississippi River. Not only does she feel as if it's calling to her, but strange things happen around her, which makes her positive she isn't like the other children. The headmistress doesn't seem surprised but refuses to explain exactly what's going on. When an odd woman comes to the building in a flying boat and kidnaps Avalina with the promise to take her where she truly belongs...and the woman knows her dead parents...the adventure begins. Avalina is a 1st year student on a famous, pirate ship school, might have a curse, and has more than a few enemies.

This is a fun adventure from beginning to end. It packs imagination upon imagination...and I do mean to the gills. Every page swims with magical hints, objects, characters, and quirkiness, creating a very rich fantasy world, where nothing seems to be impossible and surprises lurk past every gangway. The characters are just as rich and pop off the page. There's never a second for boredom and always something happening. So, get ready for fast-paced adventure because this book has that. Tons of it.

To say that this one reminds me of Harry Potter's Hogwarts is an understatement. There are many parallels in the world, although in this book, everything takes a very strong pirate twist. In that sense, I found it clever and loved getting lost in the fun. However, all the quirky details also became too much, at times, and ended up overwhelming a few of the scenes. Still, the richness is amazing and is sure to thrill younger readers.

Avalina Jones is a character to root for from beginning to end. She gets herself into sticky situations, is a bit head-strong, and yet, even held back and careful, at times. She fits her age group pretty well and definitely slides into a great character for a middle grade read. The tale is tense and also stays age appropriate. Fantasy and pirate fans are sure to enjoy this one.

Review: Imagine That by George Yuhasz

 Today's review dives into the world of imagination and lets dreams take flight. I, personally, found the star gazing aspect of this tale intriguing. I mean, if stars don't invite for dreaming, I'm not sure what would. So, I was ready to give this one a peek and see what it might hold.

The Magic of the Mysterious Lights
by George Yuhasz
Outskirts Press
32 pages
ages 4 to 8

On a night when the sky is full of stars, sometimes there appears light that cannot be explained, even by the smartest astronomers...

Evelyn is a little girl who lives with her parents and brother in a house with a big backyard. On nights when the sky is filled with brightly shining stars, she loves to go outside before bed to see the Milky

You can purchase it at    BOOKGOODIES


The magic of imagination takes a little girl's love for the stars into her backyard and beyond.

Evelyn enjoys gazing at the stars, but it seems she can see more lights than her other family members. When her curiosity leads her to her backyard and beyond, she discovers a lovely maiden...and so much more.

This is a lovely read-aloud, which entertains and opens up the doors to the wonder of imagination. The illustrations are bright and colorful, following the tale along as Evelyn discovers the wonder of her own fantasies. While they do add something to peer at and entertain, it's the text which carries this read.

The story is meant as a read-aloud. The text is on the heavier side and does include a few more difficult vocabulary words.  Those who are sure of their words can read this one on their own, too. The tale flows well enough and invites readers to embrace their own imagination and discover the wonders it brings.

It's a sweet read and also works as a bedtime tale spread over a night or two for those sleepier listeners.

And here he is...

George Yuhasz is a passionate advocate for the protection and preservation of our natural world. A proud father and grandfather, life long learner, and world traveler, he delights in sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for appreciating the joy and wonder of connecting with nature. A B.A. graduate of American University’s Schools of Government and International Service, he also holds a M.A. in psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. George is a former U.S. Government special agent, intelligence officer, and contractor, and has also worked in the private sector as an investigator and security consultant. A special joy in his life was coaching the Allegheny College cross country team for fourteen fall seasons. George lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina and is currently working on another children’s book and a suspense novel.

2019 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Awards
WINNER – Outstanding Children’s Fiction Illustrated Category
FINALIST – Juvenile Fiction Category

2019 Wishing Shelf Book Awards
WINNER/GOLD MEDALIST – Children’s Books Ages 6 – 9

2019 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards
HONORABLE MENTION – Children’s Picture Books Ages 6 and older

2020 Independent Press Book Awards
DISTINGUISHED FAVORITE – Children’s Inspirational Category

2020 Book Readers Appreciation Group (BRAG)

2021 Firebird Book Awards
WINNER – Juvenile Fiction Category
WINNER – Children’s Inspirational/Motivational Category

2021 Book Excellence Awards
FINALIST – Children’s Inspirational/Motivational Category

2021 Eric Hoffer Book Awards
FINALIST – Children’s Books Category

Media links:






Friday, November 26, 2021

Review: Colossus by Colin Hynson

Today's review hits a direction, which I don't see very often in the kidlit realm...and was thrilled to get my hands on. Engineering hits the spotlight to give young readers a glimpse at all sorts of possibilities. This book is for the middle grade audience and takes a look at all sorts of feats around the world. It's fully illustrated and well organized. 

Off we go! 

The World's Most Amazing Feats of Engineering
by Colin Hynson
Illustrated by Giulia Lombardo
Candlewick Press
Middle Grade Non-Fiction
80 pages
ages 8 to 12

Colossus explores some of the greatest feats of engineering in history, from ancient pyramids to enormous bridges to towering skyscrapers.

Have you ever wondered how it's possible for the tallest buildings in the world to stay standing through the most severe earthquakes? Or how a prehistoric civilization managed to build something as impressive as Stonehenge? Discover the engineering that has led to the most innovative buildings, bridges, and monuments on the planet, from towering skyscrapers to energy-creating dams to underground tunnels miles long. Learn how people have historically turned to engineering to build higher, farther, faster, and greener into the future.



With a wide view on everything from the ancient pyramids in Egypt to space stations, and from past to possible future, these pages bring the most amazing engineering accomplishments into focus.

With a clear and understandable Table of Contents, these pages open up to a wide variety of engineering feats. Many of these are ones reader's will recognize (or, at least, have heard of). Others will be new. Each one is briefly explained in its purpose (when known), it engineering uniqueness, and then, accompanied by various facts and interesting points. It's a book, which not only raises the respect and awareness of engineering, but also hits a bit upon history, cultures, and the needs of life, in general.

I was surprised at the wide span of engineering areas, which this book covers. While hitting well-known accomplishments such as the Eifel Tower and the Great Wall of China, it also hits upon others such as The Kelpies in Scotland and Nan Madol in Micronesia. Engineering objects in these pages include not only structures such as buildings, but reaches into canals, statues, space shuttles and more. Plus, it covers topics from history to future possibilities. 

The chapters are well laid and give a good overview. First, a general explanation is given before more specific examples are listed. Each of these receive a short description, which explain where they can be found, when they were created, their sizes, building duration, and any other interesting facts. Extra points are placed around the well-done illustrations, which point out more facts and interesting tidbits. Then, to add to the fun. a circle with a general fact about the theme is presented, too. While there could be more facts, these didn't overload the reader and still, leave a general handle on what's going on.

Engineering, history, and construction fans are going to find a wealth of information and variety in these pages. The information is presented in an age appropriate way, which doesn't talk down to the reader. While there are many facts, the writing style isn't dry but manages to remain a bit more relaxed. At the end, there is a glossary and index to round everything off and make this a great resource for general information. 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Bloodstone by M.J. Mallon


The Curse of Time, Book 1
by M. J. Mallon
YA Fantasy / Paranormal
234 pages

I didn’t think my life could get weirder, but I was wrong…

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who is imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house.

When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden path where she encounters Ryder: a charismatic, perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set and some crystal wizard stones, can Amelina discover the truth about her family?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal.

The 2nd book in the series, Golden Healer – The Curse of Time Book 2, is coming soon.

You can purchase a copy: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B097QZBKNY

And here she is...

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros!

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of writing began inspired by their vivid storytelling. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery, heart-warming smile to greet her.

MJ’s writing credits also include a multi-genre approach: paranormal, best-selling horror, supernatural short stories, flash fiction, and poetry.  he has worked with some amazing authors and bloggers compiling an anthology/compilation set during the early stages of COVID-19 entitled This Is Lockdown and later she wrote a spin off poetry collection, Lockdown Innit.

She’s been blogging for many moons at her blog home Kyrosmagica, (which means Crystal Magic,) where she celebrates the spiritual realm,her love of nature, crystals and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.

Corinth 2642 AD by Bindiya Schaefer with Giveaway!

Corinth 2642 AD tour banner

This is my post during the blog tour for Corinth 2642 AD by Bindiya Schaefer. In a future where ethnicity is individually unique, a young investigator is forced into a pureblood, cultish society when its young members start to go missing.

This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours and the tour runs from 22 November till 5 December. You can see the tour schedule here.

Corinth 2642 AD book cover

Corinth 2642 AD
by Bindiya Schaefer
YA Science Fiction
Release Date: 21 September, 2021



In the year 2642, no one person is ethnically like the other. Globalization, war, and other catalysts have given birth to a diverse and multi-ethnic new world.

Not everyone feels this new society is ideal, though. A select group of seven colonies—a pureblood, white supremacist cult complete with arranged marriages and heavily guarded borders—have only had one mission: protect the bloodline from contamination and produce the next generation of survivors. But some young people, destined for a life without choices, make a run for it, including Cara, the granddaughter of Julius Bull, the colonies' leader.

Desperate to keep her dissidence quiet for fear of potentially inciting a power struggle within the colonies, Bull brings in Jimmy Matoo—a Special Investigator from San Francisco whose brother was found dead near one of the colonies the same night Cara disappeared. For Matoo, the visit to Corinth, Oregon, is eye-opening. He has never seen a white person before and is shocked by their ideas of imperialism, racial purity, and the prospect of arranged marriages in the 27th century. His investigation reveals that dozens of young colony members have gone missing over the years, and some have been found dead on the outskirts of Corinth.

With the clock ticking, San Francisco’s Detective Matoo’s missing persons investigation soon becomes a fight for survival—turns out the residents don’t like a brown fellow in their midst. Can he find Cara, figure out what happened to his brother, and save the leader's family from the Cabal before it’s too late? Maybe. But first, he must find out who in the colony has the means and connections to smuggle the dissidents out without being detected because it could be the difference between life and death.

- Goodreads
- Bookbub
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- B&N

Bindiya Schaefer author picture
About the Author:
Bindiya is a former defense and aerospace journalist. Before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, she lived in Dubai, UAE, and Bangalore, India.

CORINTH 2642 AD is her debut novel. To find out more visit her website www.bindiyaschaefer.com or follow @authorbindiyaschaefer on Instagram.

Author links:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Instagram
- Goodreads
- Amazon


There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Corinth 2642 AD. Two winners each win a paperback copy of Corinth 2642 AD (US Only).

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Review: In a Pickle! adapted by Natalie Shaw

It's stocking-stuffer-idea time! In the next weeks, I'm going to have more than a few books, which work great as an extra, little gift from young readers out there. And today's is my first suggestion!

I have some little nieces and nephews, who love a certain show....shhh...it might be Donkey Hodie. Anyway, this book will put a smile on their faces. At least, I'm pretty sure it will. But even I'll have to wait until December 14th for a copy.


from Donkey Hodie
adapted by Natalie Shaw
Simon Spotlight
Board Book
24 pages
ages 2 to 5


Based on an episode of the hit preschool show from Fred Rogers Productions Donkey Hodie, this 8x8 storybook follows fun-loving Donkey Hodie as she tries to save her best friend’s toy!

When Panda and Donkey are playing with Panda’s favorite toys (pickle-shaped penguins!) and one accidentally gets stuck between two rocks, will they be able to rescue it?

© 2021 The Fred Rogers Company

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Little fans of Donkey Hodie are going to smile, when they get their hands on this one. It comes directly from one of the episodes, a silly one which puts a new twist on pickles and important rescues. For those who know the show well, there's also the words to the song, which can be sung along.

This book has a very directed audience group, and I truly believe that young fans will enjoy it. The tale is cute and allows the imagination to take flight as something as simple as pickles are fantasized into animals...and need rescuing. I doubt we'll ever see pickles the same again in our household. The text works as a read-aloud, since it takes someone sure of their words to read. And there is the written version of the song found in the show written on the bottom of several of the last pages. This works best for those who already know the song (as said, this is for fans and watchers).

The illustrations follow the show as well, making it highly recognizable for those listeners/readers. The benefit of this book form is that it shows viewers that books can be fun, while remaining in a stream they recognize right away. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Review: Sounds Like Love by Laura Ford

I'm getting in this month's Joker Read today thanks to another shift of the schedule. The blurb got me on this one, since it's not a romance but rather circles around a cat and a girl's relationship. Plus, the big, green eyes of the cat are hard to ignore. 

by Laura Ford
Friesen Press
Young Adult Contemporary
150 pages

Wendy is a bright spark who wants to find love and travel the world, but she questions how her dreams can become a reality as her world changes around her.

When Wendy arrives at her beloved grandmother’s house to collect a box of keepsakes, she picks up more than she bargained for - a green-eyed tabby cat with amazing qualities. This is just the start of a high-speed adventure, leading Wendy towards bright new horizons… if only she’ll give the cat a chance…



This is a read packed with warmth and emotion, which touches the heart and more.

Wendy's grandmother has passed away, and when she picks up the belongings, a cat sits inside one of the boxes. Wendy's parents are cat lovers, but they don't want a tabby ruining their breeding plans. Since the local shelter refuses to take it too, she finally gives in and adopts it. But there are more problems on Wendy's horizon as she discovers that she has a incurable condition. If she can learn to accept the can, it might be her first step to taking control of her life again.

This book is only 150 pages, but it packs a lot into it. Every page sits with emotion as Wendy deals with everything from the death of her beloved grandmother to a cat to her family to a health issue and more. It's a read which digs into emotions and makes it impossible not to care about Wendy's situation. She has to learn to look past her narrow view of things and expand into a whole new realm....which isn't easy.

Wendy comes across very naturally, and the cat is a perfect character to help find the balance. The themes are easy to identify and sympathize with. Never does this come across as preachy, but rather, lets the reader sink into each situation. 

Young adult readers, who love warm moments and life struggles, are going to enjoy this one quite a bit.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Review: Links to Liberty by Robert J. Skead

I always seem to have a shortage of historical fiction for middle graders. So, today's review is a book that already had me smiling before I opened to the first page. This is the third in a series surrounding the American Revolutionary War and follows the adventures of two teens as they do their best to fight for what they believe in and much more. 

So, it's time to step back in time! 

Defending the Great Chain of West Point
by Robert J Skead
Knox Press
Upper Middle Grade Historical Fiction
224 pages
ages 10 to 14

Teenage twin boys go on an adventure protecting the Great Chain at West Point, which turns into a rescue mission when one of them gets captured by the Redcoats!

The year: 1779
The war: the American Revolution
The secret weapon: twin boys and a Great Chain at West Point

In this third book in the American Revolutionary War Adventures series, John and Ambrose Clark are hot on the trail of the spy who gave away the secret of their father’s mission, which ultimately led to him being shot by Redcoats. But when there is an attack on America’s new strategic defense on the Hudson River—the Great Chain at West Point—the twins must protect it. They soon discover things aren’t always as they seem and their friends have deadly connections. Discover how the boys’ faith in Providence and each other help the cause for Liberty!



The dangers and tension of the American Revolutionary War hit with vivid reality, while weaving in secrets, adventure, and more than a few solid facts.

John and Ambrose Clark are given two possibilities of what to do next, but before they make their decision, a man is murdered in the room next to theirs. When they see the initials of the same gentleman, who killed their father, they immediately are on his trail. An enemy attack forces them to return to the battlefield in hopes of protecting the country, and they soon find that secrets run deeper than they first believed.

I did not read the first books in this series before tackling this one, and that was a mistake, since this tale starts where the last one ended. Despite the missing background information (which did leave me feeling a little at a loss...my fault, obviously), the author starts this book out full thrust forward into adventure. The twins immediately find themselves at a murder scene and discover a clue, which sends them on a chase after their father's murderer. And the action doesn't let up from there.

History comes to life in these pages as the twins face the real dangers of war, get to meet historic figures, experience the famous battles and attacks, and all of that with as much grit and reality as can be added for the age group. There is danger, there is violence, and life isn't easy for these two. And yet, they maintain enough brotherly banter and a very light dusting of fun to keep it age appropriate and interesting. The relationship between the two is inspiring as is their determination to do what is right and protect that which they believe in. 

The writing carries the fitting atmosphere for the time period. The vocabulary and style is appropriate for the upper end of the middle grade audience as well as YA readers (although the boys' personalities lean toward the younger end of that group). History fans will especially enjoy this read as the places, people, and events show that the author has done his research and more. This also makes it a great addition to classroom themes and homeschoolers. But as said, there is violence and such to fit the reality of the situation at that time.

I found this well done, enjoyed following the twins through their adventures, and even gained a deeper respect for this historical period and those who fought in it.

And here he is...

Robert Skead is the author of several popular books for children. For the American Revolutionary War Adventure series, Robert partnered with his father to develop the stories. The father-son writing team are members of Sons of the American Revolution. Their ancestor, Lamberton Clark, one of the main characters in the stories, fought in the Revolutionary War as a member of the Connecticut Militia and the Continental Army. The tales in the American Revolutionary War Adventures series were crafted to inspire readers to do great things, nurture patriotism, and celebrate the courage and creativity of colonial patriots and General George Washington.