PARTLY CLOUDY

Family, friendship, and a California wildfire combine to make a heartwarming and discussion inducing tale.

Lightning couldn’t strike twice, could it? After a terrible year, Madalyn needs clear skies desperately. Moving in with her great-uncle, Papa Lobo, and switching to a new school is just the first step.

It’s not all rainbows and sunshine, though. Madalyn discovers she’s the only Black girl in her class, and while most of her classmates are friendly, assumptions lead to some serious storms.

Papa Lobo’s long-running feud with neighbor Mrs. Baylor brings wild weather of its own, and Madalyn wonders just how far things will go. But when fire threatens the community, Madalyn discovers that truly being neighborly means more than just staying on your side of the street— it means weathering tough conversations—and finding that together a family can pull through anything.

Award-winning author Tanita S. Davis shows us that life isn’t always clear, and that partly cloudy days still contain a bit of blue worth celebrating.

There are no chapter numbers. Instead, each chapter title is a weather event. You’ll find ones like THE BAROMETER PLUNGES and HERE COMES THE SUN. It’s unique way to foretell the emotions that lie ahead.

The third person narration stays close to Madalyn as she confronts a new school and missing her parents. She’s having to live with her Great Uncle Lobo which is a real change for her. He’s a gruff but sincere “old man” with a lot of superb advice about dealing with those you don’t like. There are many other relatable characters like Jean, a neighbor boy who helps out, and Natalie, a classmate whose choices lead to difficulties for having Madalyn as a friend.

With so many wildfires raging this summer, it was nice to see it covered in a middle grade book as many kids across the western part of our nation have been effected by the smoky skies and out of control fires. The racism story line is also handled well.

PARTLY CLOUDY is a timely and honest story with a lot of appeal.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tanita S. Davis is an asocial hermit who feels really weird talking about herself in the third person, and honestly would rather be somewhere reading a book, but oh, well.

Most bios are like a really intense game of two truths and a lie, so Tanita invites you to consider which is which: Tanita holds a Master of Fine Arts from Mills College. She fed her love for traveling when she moved to Glasgow, Scotland, in 2007. She now lives in Northern Arizona in a yurt, and makes cheese.

Tanita serves on the board of The Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards, better known as The Cybils. Her short fiction can be found in Hunger Mountain and Cicada magazines.

Her occasional truths, frequent lies, and very random observations can be found on twitter @tanita_s_davis

*This bio is perpetually under construction.*

(For more about Tania and her books be sure to visit http://www.tanitasdavis.com/ )

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Blogging about middle grade books or authors next week? Join the celebration.

All you have to do is blog about a middle grade book on a Monday (contests, author interviews, or anything middle grade related also count). Email me the title of the book or feature and a link to your blog at gpcolo[at]gmail[dot]com
Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and please don’t forget to say what book or author you’re featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.
Thanks for spreading the middle grade love and for being a part of this awesome tradition begun by Shannon Messenger and carried on here at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE! (CLICK HERE FOR PAST MMGM POSTS)
*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.
Posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF AFRICAN ANIMALS Blog Tour

Welcome to the Ultimate Book of African Animals Blog Tour!

Looking to get away? Spend the week on a virtual safari with Emmy Award-Winning Filmmakers Beverly and Dereck Joubert as your guides! Featuring exclusive excerpts from their latest title, Ultimate Book of African Animals (National Geographic Kids Books, ages 8-12), Beverly and Dereck share their intimate stories of life on safari and provide a unique, behind-the-lens perspective on their passion and mission — to save the wild places of Africa and protect the creatures that depend on them.

Snaky Encounters

Click to enlarge

And now, for your moment of “AHHH!?!!”…..

Credit: Beverly Joubert

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Amazon | Bookshop.org | Goodreads

Ready for an adventure of a lifetime? With National Geographic photographer-filmmaker duo Beverly and Dereck Joubert as their guides, readers are transported to the plains of the Serengeti, the sands of the Sahara and the shaded nooks of the rainforest. Dereck and Beverly are eight-time Emmy award-winning filmmakers, National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence and wildlife conservationists who have been filming, researching and exploring Africa for over 35 years.  By sharing their stories of life on safari and Beverly’s jaw-dropping photography, this dynamic duo gives the reader unique, behind-the-lens access to Africa’s wildlife, how they live, play and hunt and how they have adapted to their wild, one-of-a-kind environments.  A big, beautiful guide to animals that roar, race and “totally rule,” this gift-worthy book is overflowing with facts, stats and photos of animals of all behaviors, shapes and sizes — including the tiny bombardier beetle, the sneaky desert viper, mischievous monkeys, elusive Ethiopian wolves, as well as fan favorites like lions, elephants, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, hippos, gorillas, rhinos, and so many more. 

Follow the Jouberts: Website | National Geographic | Beverly’s Instagram | Dereck’s Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

About the Authors: Dereck and Beverly Joubert are globally recognized, award-winning filmmakers, conservationists, and National Geographic explorers-in-residence based in Botswana. Their mission for more than 35 years has been the conservation of key wildlife species, with a focus on large predators.  The Jouberts have published 12 books, produced 36 films for National Geographic, and written half a dozen scientific papers as well as many articles for National Geographic magazine. Beverly is also an acclaimed photographer for National Geographic.  Their efforts have one aim: to save the wild places of Africa and to protect the creatures that depend on them.

GIVEAWAY

  • One winner will receive a hardcover of The Ultimate Book of African Animals
  • US/Canada Only
  • Follow the rest of the tour for more chances to win
  • Ends 9/26 at 11:59pm ET

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule:

September 13thMom Read It

September 14thYA Books Central

September 15thAlways in the Middle

September 16thChristy’s Cozy Corners

September 17thImagination Soup

Posted in Giveaways, Middle Grade News, New Release | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

MMGM for September 13, 2021

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 Click on a lightning bolt for some electrifying Middle Grade reviews and features.

boltAt ALWAYS in the MIDDLE I’m reviewing THE MIDNIGHT BRIGADE by Adam Borba.

boltNatalie Aguirre at Literary Rambles is interviewing debut author Alda Dobbs with a GIVEAWAY of her MG historical fiction Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna.

boltJune McCrary Jacobs at Reading, Writing & Stitch-metic has a National Geographic book, Quilt of States:  Piecing Together America in honor of National Sewing Month.

boltCOMPLETELY FULL BOOKSHELF  is back with a review of Mulan: Before the Sword by Grace Lin.

boltPatricia Tilton at Children’s Books Heal reviews the MG fantasy, MG fantasy, The Thief of Worlds by Bruce Coville.

boltMark Baker at Carstairs Considers enters the MMGM list with Spy School at Sea by Stuart Gibbs.

boltMaria Antonia at OF BOOKS, PHOTOGRAPHY, AND TEA gives us a few thoughts on Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

boltRosi Hollinbeck features a review of Egg Marks the Spot by Amy Timberlake. Rosi also shares three helpful links for her writing friends.

boltKaren Yingling at Ms. Yingling Reads always has a great MMGM review. Check it out along with her other reviews last week including Saturday’s  feature: Yusuf Azeem is Not a Hero.

 THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!
If you would like to join in the MMGM fun and get your own spot in the parade, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count–but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you’re featuring and a link to your blog at gpcolo (at) gmail (dot) com
(Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and please don’t forget to say what book you’re featuring)
You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.
Thanks for spreading the middle grade love and for being a part of this awesome tradition begun by Shannon Messenger and carried on here at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE! (CLICK HERE FOR PAST MMGM POSTS)
*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.
Posted in MMGM Links | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

THE MIDNIGHT BRIGADE

Pittsburgh is the city of bridges and young Carl likes to count the ones he can see from his bedroom window—33 to be exact. His family has generations of bridge builders but now his father only repairs them. Lately that has been way too many.

Mom and Dad argue a lot and Carl can never speak up and be honest how he feels, especially about his father’s new failing food truck business. His silence extends to talking with a possible friend. But now Carl believes there are monsters on the loose in Pittsburgh and they’re possibly destroying bridges.

He spots a flyer about a mysterious monster-seeking group known as The Midnight Brigade. Turns out it’s the principal’s son and a girl named Bee whose mother is a well known restaurant critic. Carl is the first to sneak out and find something incredible under a nearby bridge and soon his two ‘sort of’ friends join him searching for answers.

The third person narrations zips along staying with Carl most of the time. The economic struggles of his family are portrayed in honest fashion. Having a city like Pittsburgh be the setting was enjoyable whether you have visited or not. With doses of humor, it’s a unique story about three regular kids who hope to save the city. They all change in a positive way and it was nice to see Carl finally find his voice.

An easy read sure to please many new readers and a few of us old ones, too.

BOOK BIRTHDAY: Sept. 7, 2021 PAGE COUNT: 240

FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT: THE MIDNIGHT BRIGADE by Adam Borba

  1. The character under the bridge is named Frank and he provides quite a few memorable and amusing scenes with Carl and the Midnight Brigade.
  2. Very unpredictable—my favorite kind of plot.
  3. The relationship between Carl and Bee was a big plus. Realistic middle grade thoughts about what should or shouldn’t have been said that eventually lead to understanding.
  4. Black and white drawings are interspersed throughout and help enhance the emotions of the text.
  5. Made me want to visit Pittsburgh (beyond just connecting at the airport). In the mean time I’ll certainly remember Frank when I venture under one of our local bridges.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ADAM BORBA lives in California with his family. When he’s not writing, he helps develop and produce movies for Walt Disney Studios. The Midnight Brigade is his first novel.

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I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. Comments are always welcome below. Be sure to visit the other MMGM posts.

Posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

AFTERMATH

Grief, Death, and Loss are themes often covered or at least touched upon in MG books. Whether it be losing a relative or a pet, there are many stories that might help kids cope through a loss. One of my favorite lists is 55 Best Middle Grade Books about Death and Grief on the READING MIDDLE GRADE blog.

But none of those handle this sensitive topic like the plot of AFTERMATH.

Here’s what to expect:

Twelve-year-old Lucy (pictured on the cover) has moved to a new town with her parents after younger brother, Theo, died of heart complications. They don’t talk about Theo and have never recovered from the shock of losing him.

The move takes them to a small Virginia town where four years prior a shooter killed 32 and wounded 24 innocent lives at an elementary school. Lucy enrolls in seventh grade where everyone is still reeling from the horrific event. It seems each one has a story of a relative or friend now gone forever. Lucy doesn’t share anything about her more recent loss. The effects of PTSD are everywhere she turns.

If that weren’t enough to pour on the sadness, Lucy’s family moved into a home where Lucy discovers her bedroom’s past occupant was killed in the shooting. The next shock comes when the only friend she has at her new school is the shooter’s sister.

I’m sure your head is spinning by now. Mine too. I was at a nearby school back in 1999 when the Columbine massacre unfolded. For the first time I heard “Lock the doors and shelter in place,” as everyone waited for more information. It was a difficult, scary wait. It’s been 20 years but the event will never be forgotten by those in that community.

AfterMath is more than coping with tragedy. It’s also about healing, understanding, and a teacher who truly makes a difference. It would be a helpful beginning for those in need of answers.

The title alone has two meanings. One of course is the aftermath of how to cope with the shooting or the loss of a loved one. But it also hints at Lucy’s love of math and how it can’t explain what has happened to this town and her family. She must find other ways to figure this out.

Fortunately there is her Math teacher who starts a mime club where she and several other kids silently act out scenes they choose. Mr. Jackson is kind and mentors Lucy to grow as a person, giving her confidence to face classmates and her parents. It’s a lovely transition.

Those you love are linked forever in your heart, and yes, counseling is of utmost importance. A tough read but one that provides a heartfelt new beginning.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily Barth Isler is a writer, journalist, and natural beauty editor. AFTERMATH is her first novel. She has a B.A. in Film Studies from Wesleyan University and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
A former child actress, Isler performed all over the world in theatre, film, and TV. Emily spent many years in New York writing for episodic television with Emmy-award-winning PhoebeTV. In addition to her book, Emily writes about eco-friendly beauty products and skincare and has written sitcoms, parenting columns, and personal essays.
As a third-generation writer, Emily’s grandfather, Alan Barth, was an editorial writer for the Washington Post for over thirty years and was a well-known advocate for gun control and common-sense gun laws. Although she never met her late grandfather, Emily believes that she was writing AFTERMATH with him in mind all along.

Website: https://emilybarthisler.com   Instagram & Twitter: @emilybarthisler 

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I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Comments are welcome below>

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Blogging about middle grade books or authors next week? Join the celebration.

All you have to do is blog about a middle grade book on a Monday (contests, author interviews, or anything middle grade related also count). Email me the title of the book or feature and a link to your blog at gpcolo[at]gmail[dot]com
Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and please don’t forget to say what book or author you’re featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.
Thanks for spreading the middle grade love and for being a part of this awesome tradition begun by Shannon Messenger and carried on here at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE! (CLICK HERE FOR PAST MMGM POSTS)
*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.
Posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

THE HIDEAWAY– Book Blitz and Giveaway

The Hideaway combines gripping text and stunning illustration to tell the story of Billy McKenna, a boy who runs away from a difficult situation at home and takes refuge in an overgrown graveyard to deal with his mixed-up emotions. There, Billy meets an elderly man who tends the graves in preparation for All Souls’ Eve, and ultimately witnesses the magical events that come to pass on that spooky night.

Interwoven in Billy’s supernatural story is the all-too-realistic tale of his mother’s situation at home and the police search for Billy. With themes of family and childhood, separation and reunion, domestic violence and doing the right thing, this is an important and beautiful book for middle graders through adults.

Billy’s story is illustrated throughout with tonal and textured black and white drawings, until the event on All Souls’ Eve, when the text gives way to a series of double page images of the supernatural happening.

Pam Smy studied Illustration at Cambridge School of Art, where she now lectures part-time. Pam has illustrated books by Conan Doyle, Julia Donaldson, and Kathy Henderson, among others. Her first novel, Thornhill, was a critical and commercial success, shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the UKLA Book Awards, the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2018, and winning the 2018 British Book Design & Production Award for Graphic Novels. She lives in Cambridge, UK.

GIVEAWAY

5 winners will receive a hardcover of The Hideaway 
US/UK
Giveaway ends 9/19 at 11:59pm ET

Enter via this Rafflecopter link

Links: 
https://www.pamsmy.com/
https://www.instagram.com/pamsmyillustrator/
https://www.amazon.com/Hideaway-Pam-Smy
https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Hideaway-Pam-Smy/9781843654797

“Atmospherically heartfelt and cathartic.” –Kirkus

Posted in Giveaways | Tagged , | 1 Comment

MMGM for September 6, 2021

              Free-labor-day-clip-art-images-for-all-your-projects

 Click on each flag to open up some great Middle Grade reviews and features.

Free-labor-day-clipart-to-use-at-parties-on-websites-blogs-or-at-2At ALWAYS in the MIDDLE I’m reviewing ONCE UPON A CAMEL by Kathi Appelt.

Free-labor-day-clipart-to-use-at-parties-on-websites-blogs-or-at-2Maria Antonia at OF BOOKS, PHOTOGRAPHY, AND TEA reviews AMBASSADOR OF NOWHERE TEXAS by Kimberly Willis Holt.

Free-labor-day-clipart-to-use-at-parties-on-websites-blogs-or-at-2Alex Baugh at Randomly Reading has another oldie but goodie with Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolf.

Free-labor-day-clipart-to-use-at-parties-on-websites-blogs-or-at-2Patricia Tilton at Children’s Books Heal reviews Orangutan Hats and Other Tools Animals Use by Richard Haynes.

Free-labor-day-clipart-to-use-at-parties-on-websites-blogs-or-at-2Rosi Hollinbeck features a review of HOMER ON THE CASE by Henry Cole. Rosi also shares three helpful links for her writing friends.

Free-labor-day-clipart-to-use-at-parties-on-websites-blogs-or-at-2Karen Yingling at Ms. Yingling Reads fills her blog with great reviews all week and today for MMGM she features:

 THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!
If you would like to join in the MMGM fun and get your own spot in the parade, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count–but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you’re featuring and a link to your blog at gpcolo (at) gmail (dot) com
(Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and please don’t forget to say what book you’re featuring)
You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.
Thanks for spreading the middle grade love and for being a part of this awesome tradition begun by Shannon Messenger and carried on here at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE! (CLICK HERE FOR PAST MMGM POSTS)
*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.
Posted in MMGM Links | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

ONCE UPON A CAMEL

Talking animal books are a beloved source of reading enjoyment for teens and preteens. ONCE UPON A CAMEL is one of those books but with a uniqueness that will attract many more readers.

First off are the characters. You won’t find the usual dog or cat but a wise old camel named Zada and two baby kestrels.

The story is set in the wide expanses of 1910 Texas. Zada enriches and entertains the kestrels with stories from her full life. Reconnecting them with their parents though is the main goal. The plot is based on a history many will find new to them as it did for me. Here’s the publisher background:

Zada is a camel with a treasure trove of stories to tell. She’s won camel races for the royal Pasha of Smyrna, crossed treacherous oceans to new land, led army missions with her best camel friend by her side, and outsmarted a far too pompous mountain lion.

But those stories were from before. Now, Zada wanders the desert as the last camel in Texas. But she’s not alone. Two tiny kestrel chicks are nestled in the fluff of fur between her ears—kee-killy-keeing for their missing parents—and a dust storm the size of a mountain is taking Zada on one more grand adventure. And it could lead to this achy old camel’s most brilliant story yet.

The kestrels are a noisy twosome often quarreling and full of questions about their parents. The stories Zada tells fascinates and refocuses them to a time in the past. Both important when you have two baby birds nesting on your head. The stories recount life in the 1800’s and her path to America. It was not a lonely one as she had a beloved camel friend, Asiye, always by her side.

The Texas desert is vividly presented with dust, wind, and the refreshing waters from the Rio Grande River. You’ll feel like you are along for the ride. 70 mostly short chapters and wonderful grayscale drawings add to the appeal of ONCE UPON A CAMEL.

BOOK BIRTHDAY: September 7, 2021 PAGE COUNT: 336

FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT:

  1. What a great read aloud this will be both at home before bedtime or the few minutes at the end or beginning of a class.
  2. Camels were a great solution to the transportation problems in the West during the time during and after the Civil War. I learned much about how they were used and cared for through each story.
  3. The importance of storytelling has never been stronger. It weaves it’s magic spell over all who will listen.
  4. You always know where you are in the tale as each chapter is labeled with a year, whether it be 1910 or one from the 1800’s. Very helpful.
  5. A tender, loving tribute to these beautiful creatures. The equally beautiful ending brings the storytelling to a satisfying end.

The author takes advantage of the perfect seat to read this book… (The camel’s name is Richard and the photo was taken at Texas Camel Corps. Photo credit: Doug Baum)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kathi Appelt is the author of the Newbery Honoree, National Book Award Finalist, and bestselling The Underneath as well as the National Book Award Finalist for The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp. Some of her award-winning books include Maybe a Fox (with Alison McGhee), Keeper, and Max Attacks to name just a few. She lives in College Station, Texas. To learn more, visit her website at kathiappelt.com.

Find Kathi Appelt on Facebook and Pinterest!

I also did a interview with Kathi back in 2018 which included many of her thoughts on writing for kids.

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I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. Comments are welcome below! Be sure to visit all the other MMGM bloggers.

Posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

SOCCER TROPHY MYSTERY + Book Blast w/GIVEAWAY

Fred Bowen is back with the newest addition to the popular middle grade Fred Bowen Sports Story Series. SOCCER TROPHY MYSTERY comes in at 25th in the series. He’s covered football, basketball, baseball, and now four titles in the soccer realm.

This newest will appeal to kids who would rather be playing sports than reading about them. It’s short length (144 pages) and appealing text layout will convince even the most reluctant reader to give this a go. There’s plenty of on the field action but the missing trophy mystery is the main focus.

Thirteen-year-old twins Aiden and Ava and their good friend Daniel, all avid soccer players, have just learned their county league soccer trophy mysteriously disappeared forty years ago from the town library. It was never recovered. So between games and practices for the town’s soccer championships, the three friends try to solve the case. But will these amateur detectives be able to unravel the mystery and find someone who had both motive and opportunity to commit the crime? And will their teams make it all the way to the championships?

The change to a mystery format works well for young readers, especially those who have never picked up a middle grade book. SOCCER TROPHY MYSTERY also looks at girls in sports and the inequities when compared to boys in past sport’s history. The characters work well together to eventually solve the mystery and it caught me by surprise as to the guilty party.

A bonus in the final pages is a look at “The Real Story” about the disappearance of the original World Cup trophy that was never recovered. If soccer isn’t your sport then choose another Fred Bowen book and dive right in as each title stands alone.

Congratulations on 25 years of Fred Bowen Sports Story Series. That alone is trophy worthy. Keep reading to find out how to enter the 3-book Giveaway.

Buy: https://peachtree-online.com/portfolio-items/soccer-trophy-mystery/

Excerpt: https://peachtree-online.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/SoccerTrophyMysteryExcerpt.pdf

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

FRED BOWEN is the author of Peachtree’s popular Fred Bowen Sports Story Series for middle grade readers. A lifelong sports fanatic, he has coached youth league baseball, basketball, and soccer. His kids’ sports column “The Score” appears each week in the KidsPost section of the Washington Post. Bowen lives in Maryland. Visit his website at www.fredbowen.com.

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This new book is a part of the GIVEAWAY along with these two past titles:

Hardcourt Comeback (2010)

Part of Fred Bowen Sports Story Series

by Fred Bowen

Calling all basketball fans! Return to the court in this action-packed Sports Story Series book from Washington Post KidsPost columnist and author Fred Bowen – perfect for fans of Mike Lupica and Tim Green.

“Reads like a successful drive to the hoop—quick, purposeful, and effective.” ―Booklist

Brett Carter, the Wildcats’ star forward, is a hotshot on his basketball team—or at least he was. After missing an easy layup shot at the buzzer in one of the most important games of the season, he feels like a total loser. And things only get worse from there…

At his best friend’s birthday party at a rock-climbing center, Brett freezes on the wall. Then he blows an easy question in the American history bee at school. And when he gets back on the court, he can’t get rid of this terrible pounding in his chest. Brett is losing his confidence fast. With the championship game is coming up, can he overcome his fears and play like a “winner” again?

In the afterword, author Fred Bowen shares real stories of well-known players and their hard-fought comebacks.

Buy: https://peachtree-online.com/portfolio-items/hardcourt-comeback/

Excerpt: https://peachtree-online.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/HardcourtComebackexcerpt.pdf

Discussion Guide: https://peachtree-online.com/pdfs/DiscussionGuides/HardcourtComebackDG.pdf

The Golden Glove (2009)

Part of Fred Bowen Sports Story Series

by Fred Bowen

Ready to hit the baseball diamond? Check out this action-packed Sports Story Series book from Washington Post KidsPost columnist and author Fred Bowen – perfect for fans of Mike Lupica and Tim Green.

Jamie’s lucky glove is the most precious thing in the world to him. He’s spent all winter oiling it while readying his skills for the upcoming season. But what happens when he loses the glove?

After an unsuccessful search and a disappointing first game, Jamie realizes he’s lost much more than his glove. He’s lost confidence. So when he seeks help from the owner of a local sporting goods shop—a former minor league player—the old-timer shares the history of baseball gloves along with a few fielding tips to help improve Jamie’s game. But will it be enough to rebuild his confidence and replace the “luck” his beloved glove gave him?

Author Fred Bowen engages baseball lovers in this relatable story of self-doubt, luck, and facing your fears. In the afterword, readers can learn more about the history of baseball gloves.

Buy: https://peachtree-online.com/portfolio-items/the-golden-glove/

Excerpt: https://peachtree-online.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/GoldenGloveexcerpt.pdf

Discussion Guide: https://peachtree-online.com/pdfs/DiscussionGuides/GoldenGloveDG.pdf

REVIEWS

“The books in the Fred Bowen Sports Story series are fast-paced, and at just over 100 pages, they’re perfect for reluctant readers…. Young readers will devour these stories, along with their painless lessons, and still have time to join their friends for games.”

School Library Journal

Hardcourt Comeback: “This entry in the Fred Bowen Sports Story series is flush with life lessons about perseverance, dedication, and picking oneself up after a hard knock, not to mention loads of on-court action. It reads like a successful drive to the hoop—quick, purposeful, and effective.”

Booklist

“Fred Bowen never disappoints. His many action-packed novels speak to the hearts and minds of young sports lovers, and he demonstrates know-how and grace in writing about baseball, basketball, soccer and football.”

Washington Parent Magazine

GIVEAWAY

  • 5 winners will receive a 3-book set from the Fred Bowen Sports Story SeriesSoccer Trophy Mystery, Hardcourt Comeback, and The Golden Glove.
  • US/CA/PR
  • Giveaway ends 9/19 at 11:59pm ET

Enter here where you will be taken to the RAFFLECOPTER entry form.

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Blogging about middle grade books or authors next week? Join the celebration.

All you have to do is blog about a middle grade book on a Monday (contests, author interviews, or anything middle grade related also count). Email me the title of the book or feature and a link to your blog at gpcolo[at]gmail[dot]com
Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and please don’t forget to say what book or author you’re featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.
Thanks for spreading the middle grade love and for being a part of this awesome tradition begun by Shannon Messenger and carried on here at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE! (CLICK HERE FOR PAST MMGM POSTS)
*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.


Posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

MMGM for August 30, 2021

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 Click on each “READ” to open up some great Middle Grade reviews and features.

clipart15031At ALWAYS in the MIDDLE I’m reviewing LINKED by Gordon Korman, the third in my series of MG book reviews with boy protagonists.

clipart15031June McCrary Jacobs at Reading, Writing & Stitch-metic has a Retro Feature on her paperback copy of ‘Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins’ first published January 1, 1964.

clipart15031Kim Aippersbach is featuring a review of Sayantana DasGupta’s The Serpent’s Secret.

clipart15031Patricia Tilton at Children’s Books Heal reviews the MG fantasy, The World Between Blinks by Amie Kaufman and Ryan Graudin. A fun end-of-the-summer read.

clipart15031Maria Antonia at OF BOOKS, PHOTOGRAPHY, AND TEA gives us insights to WAR AND MILLIE McGONIGLE by Karen Cushman.

clipart15031Welcome Back to Susan Olson at Times Travel Times Two. She has a review of JUKEBOX, by NIDHI CHANANI.

clipart15031Rosi Hollinbeck features a review of THE BEST WORST SUMMER by Elizabeth Eulberg. Rosi also shares three helpful links for her writing friends.

clipart15031Karen Yingling at Ms. Yingling Reads fills her blog with great reviews all week and today for MMGM she features: HISTORY IS DELICIOUS and ONE KID’S TRASH.

 THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!
If you would like to join in the MMGM fun and get your own spot in the parade, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count–but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you’re featuring and a link to your blog at gpcolo (at) gmail (dot) com
(Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and please don’t forget to say what book you’re featuring)
You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.
Thanks for spreading the middle grade love and for being a part of this awesome tradition begun by Shannon Messenger and carried on here at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE! (CLICK HERE FOR PAST MMGM POSTS)
*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.
Posted in MMGM Links | Tagged , , | 2 Comments