Blogging at the 4RV Blog

This month, I began contributing to the 4RV Publishing blog. The 4RV Reading, Writing & Art News is geared toward writers and artists. It has a lot of helpful hints I’ve used over the years. I’ll be blogging every second and fourth Wednesday.

On May 9, my article “Understanding How Book Reviews Make You A Better Writer” appeared. You can find it here. Today’s article includes tips to balance writing time and marketing time. You can find it here.

If there are topics you would like to see me address in my bi-monthly posts, please feel free to share them in the comments.

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New Arrival: The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr

 

Grisha is a dragon in a world that’s forgotten how to see him. Maggie is a unusual child who thinks she’s perfectly ordinary. They’re an unlikely duo—but magic, like friendship, is funny. Sometimes it chooses those who might not look so likely. And magic has chosen Grisha and Maggie to solve the darkest mystery in Vienna. Decades ago, when World War II broke out, someone decided that there were too many dragons for all of them to be free. As they investigate, Grisha and Maggie ask the question everyone’s forgotten: Where have the missing dragons gone? And is there a way to save them? At once richly magical and tragically historical, The Language of Spells is a novel full of adventure about remembering old stories, forging new ones, and the transformative power of friendship.

Age Range: 8 – 11 years
Grade Level: 5 – 9
Lexile Measure: 900 (What’s this?)
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (June 26, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1452159580
ISBN-13: 978-1452159584

Purchase here!

Midnight Teacher by Janet Halfmann

Midnight Teacher by Janet Halfmann is the story of one woman’s courageous journey to improve the lives of others through literacy.

Born into slavery, Lilly Ann Granderson was sold to a slave owner in Kentucky after the death of her mother. The master’s children would often play school and gave Lilly an old speller and taught her to read. She began sharing this gift of reading with others on the plantation. Once the owner died, she was sold to a cotton plantation in Mississippi, where it was illegal for slaves to learn to read. Undeterred, she restarted her school, teaching late at night to avoid being caught. The school grew. When patrollers discovered the slave school Lilly faced a hard punishment, but the authorities eventually ruled there was no law against a slave teaching other slaves.

What I admire about Halfmann’s biographies is that she highlights people who have made a difference in this world long past the pivotal times in which they lived. Granderson’s story displays her tremendous strength and determination to offer a gift that others took for granted because it was never a right denied to them. She knew the risks and faced them without fear of the consequences because she believed education was the path to freedom for her people. Between Halfmann’s moving text and London Ladd’s stunning artwork, the reader is immediately drawn into Granderson’s story.

A perfect book for any school or personal library, Midnight Teacher could inspire many school projects and empower young people to action for the causes for which they are passionate.

Highly recommended!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Grades 1-6
Reading Level Grades 3-6
Lexile Measure: 950 (What’s this?)
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books; Illustrated edition (February 13, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620141639
ISBN-13: 978-1620141632

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Review Blurbs from the Amos Faces His Bully VBT

 

So excited to share some of the many great things bloggers said about my latest book, Amos Faces His Bully. 

 

I recommend AMOS FACES HIS BULLY for young readers to show that they do not have to tolerate being bullied. It would make a great addition to school libraries, public libraries, and of course your own library. – The Story of a Writer

Amos Faces His Bully was a cute kids book that I would personally recommend for any child…I hope the author decides to write more books like this one as it was really a great read for a young child! – Sefina Hawke’s Books

I personally found this book to be perfect for young school age children because it gives them an idea of how to deal with bullies and it uses a bible story to do so. I loved the way that the words teach children to put their faith in God. Overall, this a must read book for any young children! – Books for Books

I highly recommend this book for all the children in your life. I love the lesson behind the story and truly enjoyed the story and the illustrations. – Reviews by Crystal

I would recommend this book to parents to read with their children if they feel that they may have an issue with bullying because it may help to solve the problem by giving them the confidence to stand up for themselves. – The Next Best Thing to Mummy

I have read many of Cheryl’s books through the years and she has always been right on point. We need more Christian books like this for young children to have in their hands. – The Blended Blog

While teaching about standing up to bullies, the book also opens the door for reading and talking about scripture — a win-win for parents! – By the Book

This is a great children’s story that encourages children to stand up to bullies but, more importantly, it teaches to put their faith in God by using a story from the Bible. – Bound 4 Escape

What a wonderful read! Lessons mixed right with the bible…Just an all around wonderful book! Star rating beyond a five! – Stormy nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

I really enjoyed this poignant story of handling a very real problem for children using a classic Biblical tale, which creates a fantastic way in which to reinforce or introduce scripture to younger audiences. – That’s What She’s Reading

I thought this book was a very well thought out story for youngsters. I think it would help the bully as well as the bullied. – A Room without Books is Empty

 

About the Book: 

Title: AMOS FACES HIS BULLY
Author: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 20
Genre: Christian children’s picture book 

BOOK BLURB:

Amos is targeted by the town bully because he is so small. When word reaches Amos of his friend David’s battle with Goliath, he thinks back to what David told him about putting his faith in God’s protection. Perhaps the same God can help Amos face his bully too.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Guardian Angel | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |Indiebound.org

 

Rosie and Friends: One-of-A Kindness by Helen Hipp

Rosie and Friends: One-of-A Kindness by Helen Hipp is a sweet and encouraging story about friendship and kindness.

When Hornsby loses his horn in a fight, he is no longer accepted by his herd. Struggling with a sense of belonging, he wanders off and winds up finding some new friends that teach him a valuable lesson.

Between the cute story and the delightful illustrations, there’s a lot to like about Rosie and Friends: One-of-A Kindness. It has a terrific message and even includes some discussion questions and an activity at the end. Kids will love this one and parents can use this as a way to discuss friendship, kindness and belonging with their young ones. The colorful illustrations by Taryn Cozzy will keep readers turning the pages. Definitely a fun read.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 6

Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: A Different Kind of Safari, LLC (November 13, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0989013456
ISBN-13: 978-0989013451

I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way. 

 

Interview with Cheryl C. Malandrinos, Author of Amos Faces His Bully

Thought I would have a little fun interviewing myself today. It’s not often I have a chance to do that. Probably better off that way. People will think I am crazy. 🙂

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, A Christmas Kindness, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and the recently released, Amos Faces His Bully. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married. Visit Cheryl online at http://ccmalandrinos.com/ and her children’s book blog at https://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com/

 

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | BLOG

 

 

Thank you for joining us today, Cheryl. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

I’m a wife and mother of three: two teenage girls and a son who is married. In addition to being a published children’s author I am a licensed REALTOR® in Massachusetts, a blogger and a book reviewer. I tend to be a glutton for punishment, so I overcommit myself on a regular basis. At least I’m never bored.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I’ve been writing since I was teenager, but it wasn’t until I became a stay-at-home mom that I began making writing a career choice.

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

The children’s market chose me. I was trying to finish a Christian fiction story for adults one year for NaNoWriMo. It simply wouldn’t come together and, when I shared the story idea with my pastor, he asked if it was a children’s book. That made me rethink what I was doing and I began writing it as a children’s picture book. That was my first book. I’ve published three other books since then.

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

A good story is required for any market. You just have to be careful not to talk down to your readers and to make sure the young people in your stories sound and act their age, not yours. 

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

It’s fun to interact with young people at author events. They seem so excited about your ideas.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

Amos Faces His Bully is about a boy in Bethlehem who is bullied because he’s small. When he hears about his friend David’s battle with Goliath, he wonders if the same God who helped David face his bully can help him.

What inspired you to write it?

I was bullied as a kid and one of my daughters has been bullied. I wanted her to realize God is there to help her deal with any challenges that come her way. Putting your faith in God can give you tremendous peace.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

Amos Faces His Bully is available at:

Guardian Angel | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |Indiebound.org

What is up next for you?

I polished up a cute and funny picture book idea that I want to pitch to agents and I’m over halfway done with a middle grade historical that is long overdue to be finished.

Do you have anything else to add?

I hope you’ll let me know if you have enjoyed one of my stories.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Cheryl. We wish you much success.

 

The ABCs of Living Green by Theresa A. McKeown

The ABCs of Living Green by Theresa A. McKeown is a book whose mission is to empower young people to care for our planet. It is the final book in the author’s The ABC’s of Everything series. Like How to Eat Your ABCs–which we reviewed here–this is an ABC book told in rhyme. From “awaken” to “zen” and everything in between, readers will enjoy turning the pages of this beautifully illustrated book.

I have to applaud the author’s dedication and desire to reach children with important concepts as early as possible. In this particular case it’s to get young people to realize how vital caring for the planet and each other is. This is a book I could see being displayed on a coffee table because the artwork is lovely. This would also allow for regular discussions on the ABCs on this topic.

One thing that distracted from the book for me is how prevalent the author’s presence is throughout it. From the very opening the author is talking about her mission to educate all and to share the things she has to say (Awaken). The author wants to convey the meaning of living green (Green) . The author deplores when people consume beyond their needs (Quality).  Children want to learn for themselves. They want to come to their own conclusions. By nature, their immature brains are self-absorbed. So how is a child going to be invested in this mission if she can’t see it as her own?  McKeown easily makes her point in several other areas where the author’s presence is totally invisible. It is in those moments she’s chatting with her readers, not speaking at them.

The ABCs of Living Green is a good addition to the series. Just like The ABCs of Being Me and How to Eat Your ABCs, there is tremendous value in taking time to read this final installment. Lyrical prose combined with stunning artwork are a win-win.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Publisher: The ABCs of Everything, LLC (2018)
ISBN-10: 0692939652
ISBN-13: 978-0692939659

I received a copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.