Ghost for Rent by Penny Lockwood

Start your Halloween reading early with a copy of Ghost for Rent by Penny Lockwood.

Eleven-year-old Wendy Wiles is distraught when she discovers her parents are separating and that she, her  older brother, Mike and their Mom are moving out of the city and to a rundown house in the country.  Wendy is not a country girl and she’s not happy.  Then mysterious things start happening.  Ghostly things. 

When Wendy’s new friend, Jennifer tells her that some people believe the house the family is living in is haunted, Wendy with Jennifer’s and Mike’s help decides to do some ghost hunting so they can learn what really happened at Lockland Road farm.

A mysterious and engaging story evolves within the pages of Ghost for Rent.  The heroine, Wendy is taken away from all she cares about and with her parents’ separation and possible divorce, Wendy’s fairly certain nothing will ever be the same again.  The typical sibling rivalry is witnessed between Mike and Wendy, and she can’t understand why he’s not more upset about their move.  Mom’s certain there is a logical explanation for all that is happening in their house because there is no such thing as ghosts.  It’s nice to see both Mike and Wendy make a new best friend fairly soon after moving to the old farm, and Jennifer proves very helpful when it comes time to figure out exactly what is going on since she’s lived in town a while.

Not an overly complex story, but one that draws the reader in and keeps her turning the pages to see if she can figure out what happened in Wendy’s house before Wendy, Jennifer and Mike do.  I honestly didn’t expect it all to play out the way it did, which is one of the reasons I love mysteries–it’s so much fun seeing if you pick up on the right clues.

Ghost for Rent is a quick read, and perfect for the middle grade market.  I would love to see Wendy, Jennifer, Mike and maybe Jennifer’s brother, Peter team up and solve more mysteries in their little town.

Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Published by: Hard Shell Word Factory(i)
  • eBook ISBN: 9781102233701
  • Filesize: 128.70 KB
  • SRP:  $4.50
  • Also available from Hard Shell Word Factory as a trade paperback.


    Photo-Poetry Contest at Chatel Village

    A Talent for QuietTo celebrate the release of A Talent for Quiet, Chatel Village is hosting a Photo-Poetry contest for kids. The rules are simple, send in a photo and a poem to go along with it. Photos can be of any subject and poems can be any length. Send a flower photo with a 3 line Haiku or an action photo with an epic poem. Your choice.

    The winning entry will receive a digital photo frame, courtesy of Dan’s Camera City, as well as a 3-book prize pack from Kim Chatel. Two honorable mentions will also receive the book prize packs. The first 96 photos/poems will be published in a ebook and available as a free download from Guardian Angel Publishing. Contest runs from September 1st 2009 to January 31st 2010.

    Please help spread the word among the kids you know. Full contest guidelines are available at Chatel Village –

    Land of the Left Sock by B.P. James

    Land of the Left SockFollow Dezerea and Dezmund Doo as they tumble into their clothes hamper and end up in the Land of the Left Sock, where all those socks who are done living with their toes go to play. 

    Started as a poem when the author was in his teens, Land of the Left Sock has been turned into a rhyming fantasy adventure story for young readers.  Following siblings Dezerea and Dezmund Doo, readers journey through the Land of the Left Sock and meet Mother Dove, the wise old Owl, some marching socks and an elephant named Ollie who helps the siblings return home. 

    The illustrations provided by Dale James are absolutely gorgeous and sometimes comical.  This book overflows with creativity and imagination, all while teaching children about friendship, caring and courage. 

    Recommended for children ages 4 thru 8, Land of the Left Sock is a book that every young reader will enjoy.

    Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: CreateSpace
  • ISBN-10: 1448612004
  • ISBN-13: 978-1448612000
  • SRP:  $10.95
  • Moonbeam Dreams by Gina Browning

    moonbeam DreamsBe swept away into a magical, lyrical fantasy land where all your dreams can come true in Moonbeam Dreams by Gina Browning.

    In this rhyming book, children are invited to explore the land of Beddie-Byes, which is filled with all sorts of strange creatures like skating newts, pink and green dragons in wagons, a hairy bear balancing a chair, and a child with wild green hair.

    The last page of Moonbeam Dreams encourages readers to keep dreaming and aiming high; a message good for kids of all ages.

    There’s so much to love and enjoy about this book.  From its unique characters to its lyrical prose and the stunning illustrations, Moonbeam Dreams will captivate young readers and keep them turning the pages, which they will do often, because they will want to read this book time and again.

    While I didn’t care for the cover art as much as I did the inside illustrations, the vibrant colors are attractive and will entice readers to pick up the book and flip through the pages; and once they do that, they’ll be hooked.

    I hope to see more from Gina Browning soon!

    Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Eloquent Books
  • ISBN-10: 1606930486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606930489
  • SRP:  $16.50

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    The Undercover Kids’ Holland Adventure – The Trunk in the Attic

    For a fun, time traveling adventure, readers ages 8 – 12 should check out The Undercover Kids’ Holland Adventure – The Trunk in the Attic.

    Katie and Jake are spending summer vacation with Aunt Jean on the farm. She has many portraits of their relatives hanging on the wall, and she says that Katie and Jake carry the wanderlust gene that Great-Grandpa Henry had.

    With the help of their dog, Cooper, Katie and Jake find a manhole cover with a handle in the yard and pull it up to find Dirk from Holland climbing out. Their conversation and a mysterious noise leads Katie and Jake to investigate Aunt Jean’s attic, where they find a talking trunk, some mysterious items and two purple bracelets that allow them to become Undercover Kids like Dirk.

    Katie, Jake and Cooper travel through the tunnel where they first saw Dirk and end up in Holland where they learn more about the Dutch. Cooper disappears and Katie, Jake and Dirk must find him before their time runs out and Katie and Jake are forced to return home without him.

    I see a lot of potential in this new series. It’s an excellent way for young readers to learn about the world around them while Katie and Jake meet people and perform good deeds along the way. The one thing I found confusing is that the book starts in present tense, then changes to past tense and occasionally switches through the story. This interupted the flow of the prose at times.

    While Katie and Jake learn a great deal about Holland and the Dutch culture once they travel through the tunnel, the middle is a bit lacking in conflict until Cooper disappears and the kids must race against time to to find him. If Cooper’s disappearance had happened earlier in the story and the bad guy didn’t give up so easily, the conflict would have carried the story and made it seem less like a history and geography lesson hidden in a book.

    The illustrations by Karen Donnelly were superb and added the perfect visual touch to engage the reader.

    Overall I enjoyed the first book in this series, as will many young readers, especially adventure lovers. Readers will also have the opportunity to influence the direction of the series by mailing their own stories of 500 words or fewer featuring Katie, Jake and Cooper for a chance to win prizes. This contest is open to all children between the ages of 8 and 12. You can find out more at The Undercover Kids’ website.

    Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: The Exciting Read Publishing Group
  • ISBN-10: 1935373005
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935373001
  • SRP:  $16.95
  • The Sum of Our Parts: No Bones About It… by Bill Kirk

    This rhyming book to help children learn more about their bones takes the dull art of learning and turns it into fun.  No Bones About It… is just one in a series of The Sum of Our Parts books by Bill Kirk.

    Listing bones from bottom to top and learning their names and what they do becomes easier with Kirk’s witty rhymes; and when put together with the superb illustrations by Eugene Ruble, you’ve got a real winner.

    Each page includes factoids about bones:  the long and the short ones, the flat and the irregular ones.  Kids learn which bone is the longest and which is the shortest.  How many bones are in each hand?  Your son or daughter will be able to tell you after reading No Bones About It…  There’s also a neat mystery bones quiz that asks readers to identify the pictures of bones found on each page of the book. 

    Learning just doesn’t get any more fun than this!

    Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc 
    • ISBN-10: 1935137778
    • ISBN-13: 978-1935137771
    • SRP:  $10.95

    Jamie's Dream by Susan Berger and Christopher Corbin

    Jamies DreamJamie had a wonderful dream, and now he wants to buy it for his mom.  But his mom, the crossing guard and Jamie’s teacher aren’t sure you can buy a dream.  Since Jamie is having a great day, though, he isn’t easily detered.  When he meets up with Chester the Unicorn, they go on an adventure in search of his dream and something wonderful happens.

    What a charming and imaginative story!  Susan’s son Christopher helped her write Jamie’s Dream when he was only nine years old.  Now an actor who likes to write comedy, you catch a glimpse into the inspiration and creativity flowing through Chris with Jaime’s Dream.  

    The real world may be limiting, but as the reader soon discovers, the world of imagination knows no bounds.  Your young reader will be totally captivated by Jamie’s journey to where he uncovers Dreams R Us, and an old man with a long silver beard helps Jamie find his dream.

    The illustrations by Kim Sponaugle are beautiful and warm.  This is the first time I’ve seen her work, and I’ll definitely be looking for more of it.

    Susan and Chris make a great writing team.  I hope to see more from them in the future.


    Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10: 1933090804
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933090801
  • SRP:  $10.95