THE RENAISSANCE GIVEAWAY

renaissancebooks.jpgEuropean history comes alive with this new four book set from Nomad Press. Learn all about the Thinkers, Inventors, Artists, and Explorers from the 14th to 17th century. These would be great for a school or for those home schoolers studying this time period.

Get started by entering a GIVEAWAY of all four books courtesy of Nomad Press! To enter either make a comment below or if you’d prefer to stay incognito, email your name to (gpcolo at gmaildotcom). I’ll keep the entries open through December 7th.  You can enter once for yourself and once for your favorite school.

The Renaissance series is absolutely fantastic. Each paperback volume has five chapters focusing on a different woman or man leading the way in their specialty. Click on an image below to take a look inside and get access to free teacher resources.

REN-Thinkers_COVER                                 REN-Inventors_COVER

REN-Explorers_COVER                                  REN-Artists_COVER

GOOD LUCK IN THE DRAWING!

#######################

Coming up this Monday is another edition of…

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book 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 Giveaways, non fiction | Tagged | 9 Comments

MIDDLE GRADE in the NEWS 11/29/18

Here are a few news and special feature articles I’ve enjoyed recently:INTHE NEWS

  1. I haven’t started my holiday shopping yet so this list of BOOKS FOR EVERY YOUNGSTER ON YOUR GIFT LIST was a big help.

  2. Here is an enlightening and informative interview with author Darby Karchut. She’s committed to giving Dad’s a better voice in MG books.
  3. Last but not least are four recent sequels sure to keep youngsters reading.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back Friday with a four book giveaway.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

MMGM for 11/26/18

                     

IMPORTANT DECEMBER MMGM UPDATE: MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY will be here on December 3, 10, and 17. Since the final two Mondays of December fall on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, MMGM will take a break. On December 24th I’ll have a holiday wish with links to all the bloggers who have participated in MMGM this past year. On December 31st, I’ll reveal my picks for MG’s best in 2018 with a big GIVEAWAY!

MMGM will return to its regular schedule on January 7, 2019 and my second year of hosting. As for today, enjoy a great set of links…

It’s NATIONAL CAKE DAY! Have a slice while you read all these great features and reviews. Here at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE I have a review of ANOTHER D for DEEDEE by Bibi Belford. Click the cake to read all the details and then check out all the other cakes for more reviews and features.
Susan Uhlig recommends the National Book Finalist The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle.
June McCrary Jacobs at Reading, Writing, & Stitch-Metic has the final selection in her November theme of World War I & II books with a review of Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen?
Suzanne Warr at Tales from the Raven spotlights Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale.
Patricia Tilton at Children’s Books Heal reviews a hilarious new chapter book series, Prince Not-So Charming: Once Upon a Prank (Book 1) and Her Royal  Slyness (Book 2) by Roy L. Hinuss.
Beth Mitchell at Imaginary Friends has a review of Escape from Aleppo by N.H. Senzaiat.
Rosi Hollinbeck has a review of FINDING LANGSTONE by Lesa Cline-Ransome. Don’t miss her links for writers as they’re always helpful.
Dorine White at The Write Path has a review of Dragonwatch #2- Wrath of the Dragon King by Brandon Mull.
Karen Yingling at Ms. Yingling Reads always has an informative MMGM post. Be sure to check out today’s feature and all of her other reviews the past week.
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 Middle Grade Book Reviews, MMGM Links | Tagged , | 2 Comments

ANOTHER D FOR DEEDEE

DeeDee is a fourth grader with a growing list of problems. The family trailer burned to 9781510724068.jpgthe ground and now they’re living in a crowded apartment. Her father disappeared at Thanksgiving. She fears he’s returned to Mexico and will never see him again. There’s also a different school to contend with and a new diagnosis of diabetes. An older brother and sister add to her woes.

The story is narrated by DeeDee. She and her classmates act a few years older than the fourth graders I’ve known. At first, DeeDee is not the most likeable character. She’s highly critical of others and has taken to stealing petty items whenever the opportunity allows. But you grow to love her.

The choices she makes will hit home to many kids going through similar physical and friend challenges. It’s a perfect book that shows diversity in a variety of ways. Much of what DeeDee learns comes through her observations and relationships, especially with a possible new friend, River. He has his own set of challenges but handles them in a much different way.

I’m crossing out the D and giving DeeDee an A!

PUBLICATION DATE: 2018   PAGE COUNT: 290

THE OFFICIAL PLOT (From Sky Pony Press)

DeeDee’s life is full of D’s. Missing her dad, who’s disappeared. Distracted by her sister’s quinceañera and her brother dropping out of high school. Disappointing her family by struggling in her new school. Being diagnosed with diabetes. So many D’s she worries she’ll never fit in, and worse, never find the best friend she’s always wanted.
Then she meets River, her new neighbor with cochlear implants and finds they have the same interests. Art. Dance. Skateboarding. And they both miss their dads. But while DeeDee struggles to adjust to her new circumstances and life with diabetes, River embraces life, even his differences. River offers to help search for DeeDee’s dad and coach her in skateboarding and the two become friends. River even encourages her to participate in her school’s Spring Fling talent show.
Then River transfers to DeeDee’s new school. Instead of sticking up for him and risking being made fun of, DeeDee makes mistake after mistake until she’s forced to decide: keep the best friend she’s always wanted by standing up to her classmates, or stay silent and lose River forever? Before DeeDee can be a good friend she must learn to love differences—not just River’s but also her own.

FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT:

ANOTHER D FOR DEEDEE

  1. You’ll understand the challenges a person with diabetes faces thanks to DeeDee’s spot on portrayal of what she goes through.
  2. River is like a cool summer breeze and his character added depth to the story. He could be the poster child for friendship.
  3. The audience for the topics in this book extend all the way up to adults. Everyone learns something about themselves or others by reading this story.
  4. Each chapter title begins with D IS FOR… Words like Dare, Denial, and Detective hint at the scenes forthcoming. It’s a great way to frame each chapter.
  5. The mark of a good story is finding a bit of sadness in your heart when it ends. I wanted to follow DeeDee’s story further.

FAVORITE LINES 

I will not let my distinctions make me feel weak or afraid. I will not let others force me to be someone I’m not. I will accept myself. I’m doing the best I can.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (From Bibi’s author website):

Bibi Belford is the author middle grade fiction, including ‘Canned and Crushed’ and Belford_0124R.jpeg‘Crossing the Line’. She graduated with a BA in English from Westmont College and completed her master’s in bilingual literacy at Northern Illinois University. She’s been a classroom teacher, reading teacher, and literacy coach in East Aurora, Illinois’s elementary schools, and a volunteer for Chicago public schools.

Belford lives in Chicago, Illinois and enjoys books, beaches, gardening, and spending time with her grandkids.

********************************************************************

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Make a comment if you have time. I enjoy reading all of them. Click on the comments link below.

Also… a heads-up for this coming Friday. I’ll have a giveaway of Nomad’s Press impressive four book Renaissance collection. Perfect for ages 10 and up, the series would be a  super addition to a child or teacher’s library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

DOG SCIENCE UNLEASHED

Dog Science.jpgThis dog loving new title from National Geographic Kids was not one I could review alone. Fortunately, I had my canine companion, Tatum, nearby to give me a hand. She was more interested in sniffing the pages than reading, but I persevered. Tatum’s comprehension is a bit slow at times, but finally declared she was ready to try out the 22 activities.

IMG_2240 DOG SCIENCE UNLEASHED uses a panel of fifteen different young dog owners who demonstrate the steps to complete each activity with their own dogs. The preparation and descriptions of the task are clear and concise. The four chapters are filled with the reasoning behind dog behaviors and how they interact with the world. Here’s a little of what to expect:

CHAPTER 1 SNIFFING OUT SENSES—How do dogs smell, feel, look, taste, and hear the world around them? We especially enjoyed the experiment on how dogs see color and finding Tatum’s favorite smell (A tie between mint mouthwash and Teriyaki sauce).

CHAPTER 2 FIT SCIENCE—The Science Behind Your Healthy Hound— Dogs are made to move, and there are many similarities and differences with their owners. Not only with the way they walk but in how they breathe. I discovered my pup has an unusual walk known as pacing.

CHAPTER 3 CLEVER CANINES—Inside the Minds of Dogs—Just what is your dog thinking when they look at you with those inquiring eyes? Find out how fast your dog learns and whether they are left or right pawed. Also discover whether your dog sees themselves in the mirror. Great stuff!

CHAPTER 4  PAMPERED POOCHES—Using Science to Care for your Canine— Keep your dog’s skin and hair healthy with a variety of activities. Did you know dogs have unique nose prints?

At the end of each colorful chapter is an In The Lab feature where you learn about doggy MRI’s, dog’s donating blood, their pee attraction. and the way scientists are studying to help dogs to stop itching.

Fun, informative, and a book no dog lover should be without! My canine reviewer seems to agree, exhausted after our morning together interacting with DOG SCIENCE UNLEASHED.

IMG_2248

dog-bone-green-thdog-bone-green-thdog-bone-green-thdog-bone-green-thdog-bone-green-thdog-bone-green-th

Coming up next week is another MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY.
If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, 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.
Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome tradition begun by Shannon Messenger and for spreading the middle grade love!
*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, non fiction | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

MMGM for 11/19/18

           

Here at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE, I have a review of LuLu The Broadway Mouse. Click the turkey for the full story and do the same for each of the other sites below. I’m thankful to have you all here!
Michelle Mason at Musings of a Young Adult Writer has FLASHBACK by Shannon Messenger—actually a review dictated by her 10-year-old!
Joanne Fritz at MY BRAIN ON BOOKS is featuring THE BOOK OF BOY by Catherine Gilbert Murdock.
June McCrary Jacobs at ‘Reading, Writing, & Stitch-Metic’ continues her theme  of WW I & II books with Winnie’s Great War:  A Novel Based on the True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear.
Dorine White at The Write Path features Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows.
Andrea Mack at That’s Another Story reviews the very entertaining Greetings from Witness Protection by Jake Burt.
Patricia Tilton at Children’s Books Heal is reviewing Lord of the Mountain by Ronald Kidd, which is set at the beginning of country music in the late 1920s.
Beth Mitchell at Imaginary Friends has a review of Stanley Will Probably Be Fine by Sally J. Pla.
Rosi Hollinbeck has a review of The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair by Amy Makechne. A great title and so is the cover. Be sure to also click on her links for writers as they’re always helpful.
Elizabeth Van Tassel at Thorn & Vine has a review of Shannon Messenger’s recent visit on her FLASHBACK book blog tour.
Karen Yingling at Ms. Yingling Reads always has an informative MMGM post. Be sure to check out today’s feature and all of her other reviews the past week.
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 Middle Grade Book Reviews, MMGM Links | Tagged , | 1 Comment

LULU THE BROADWAY MOUSE

When I saw my first musical on Broadway, the raw talent on stage won me over. I’ve returned several times and have become a big local thLULU.jpgeater goer. This new book by Broadway veteran Jenna Gavigan lets readers take a peek at what goes on backstage through the eyes of a mouse.

Yes, LuLu is a talking mouse who lives in the famed Shubert Theater with her parents and annoying brothers. The only people who communicate with the family of rodents are theater people. They all know LuLu has a dream to somehow have her own debut on the Broadway stage despite the fact it’s quite impossible.

Unless readers already have a passion for theater or been in the audience for a few musicals, this is going to be a hard sell. With a much too clogged up beginning (be prepared of 30+ page chapter three) and  numerous references to names and plays, I’m afraid very few ten year olds will connect.

But the story begins to take flight about a third of the way when Jayne arrives, an understudy for a young girl part. LuLu befriends her and together they try and deal with Amanda, a diva in training. Will Jayne ever get a chance to take the stage or will she be like the last understudy who spent most of her time backstage?

It turns into a sweet story and one with many eye opening reveals to life behind the curtain. Save this one for yourself then wait to pass it along to a child after they have attended their first professional musical. The ending will make you smile.

PUBLICATION DATE: October 9, 2018   PAGE COUNT: 288

THE OFFICIAL STORY BLURB (From AMAZON)  Lulu is a little girl with a very big dream: she wants to be on Broadway. She wants it more than anything in the world. As it happens, she lives in Broadway’s Shubert Theatre; so achieving her dream shouldn’t be too tricky, right? Wrong. Because the thing about Lulu? She’s a little girl mouse.

When a human girl named Jayne joins the cast of the show at the Shubert as an understudy, Lulu becomes Jayne’s guide through the world of her theatre and its wonderfully kooky cast and crew. Together, Jayne and Lulu learn that sometimes dreams turn out differently than we imagined; sometimes they come with terms and conditions (aka the company mean girl, Amanda). But sometimes, just when we’ve given up all hope, bigger and better dreams than we’d ever thought could come true, do.

FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT:

LULU THE BROADWAY MOUSE by Jenna Gavigan

  1. Whenever I see performers take their final bow hand-in-hand, they always look like one big happy family. This story confirms my observation. Actresses and actors in a Broadway musical along with the staff that supports them truly are family.
  2. The depiction of theater life from Lulu’s perspective will have you saying more than once, “I didn’t know that!”
  3. Lulu follows up  in the back of the book with  her recommendations for a visit to New York. Better than most travel books I’ve read.
  4. Follow your dream and it might just come true.
  5. There are many life lessons planted between the overture and final bow. Perfect  for middle grade kids with an eye on the preforming arts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jenna Gavigan, a fourth generation New Yorker, grew up dreaming of Broadway. At age sixteen she made her Broadway debut in Gypsy, opposite Bernadette Peters. Since then she’s appeared in a half-dozen films, on more than a dozen television shows, and on east and west coast stages, most recently Off-Broadway in the world premiere of Straight. Jenna graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Creative Writing, where she focused on fiction, television, and screenwriting. She lives in a teeny tiny Manhattan apartment with her husband, Kevin. This is her first novel.

*******************************************************************

I was given a copy of the book for my honest review.

Make a comment if you have time. I enjoy reading all of them. Click on the comments link below.

Posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews, New Release | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments