Klutzy Kantor by J. Aday Kennedy

Klutzy Kantor is a magical and fun story your little ones will enjoy.

Kantor Pegasus is tired of being such a klutz. When he discovers the leprechaun Cobbledom McSweeney will grant a wish to the winner in a battle of wits, Kantor decides he just has to do it. With the help of his friends, Kantor trains to beat the lucky leprechaun who has won 321 battles. With a bit of faith in himself, Kantor just might do it.

This is a charming story of friendship and determination. J. Aday Kennedy draws readers in with characters they’ll love and understand, and they’ll be rooting for Kantor all the way.

Artist Jack Foster provided the illustrations for Klutzy Kantor. I can honestly say I have never seen a book he’s worked on that I didn’t love. The bright colors, the big round eyes, and the expressions he manages to capture on his characters’ faces, make me enjoy the book even more.

I’m sure your children will be delighted by this one. I know I’m eagerly awaiting Kennedy’s next book!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10: 1616330511
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330514
  • SRP:  $10.95

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    The Space Between Trees by Katie Williams

    This is the story that Evie can’t bear to speak a word of. Actually, this story was supposed to be about her. How she had no friends; hadn’t made one in years. A story about her crush on college dropout Jonah Luks and how she stretches the truth to her classmates about their relationship.

    That’s not the story you’re going to find in these pages, however; because when Evie’s childhood friend is found murdered in the woods, a little white lie at the victim’s funeral changes Evie’s life forever. She is suddenly cast into an odd friendship with the dead girl’s father and best friend that soon leads to  Evie’s involvement in tracking down a murderer.

    I’m not sure how to get started on my review of The Space Between Trees by Katie Williams because I can’t decide exactly how I feel about it. It’s a well-written piece that keeps you turning the pages, but it is disturbing in spades.

    Evie is a loner who has a crush on an older boy. She dawdles during her paper route just to get a chance to talk with Jonah Luks, who has dropped out of college and works cleaning up dead animals from the woods for Jefferson Wildlife Control. When Jonah discovers the body of Elizabeth (known to everyone as Zabet) in the woods, her relationship with Jonah becomes even stranger.

    While attending Zabet’s funeral, she stumbles upon the dead girl’s father and pretends she was best friends with her. Suddenly the girl’s father is inviting Evie over for supper to learn more about his daughter and her friends. Problem is, Hadley, Zabet’s real best friend isn’t too thrilled about it. Evie is pulled into a toxic friendship with Hadley, which leads to Hadley deciding the police are inept and the two girls need to investigate Zabet’s murder and figure out who killed her.

    In some ways, The Space Between Trees reminds me of Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James. The latter is a psychological thriller that also involves a toxic friendship. The difference, though, is that James’ book is geared toward adults. The content was perhaps even more disturbing, but I found that to be a page-turner as well. I’m not certain this type of book is the best choice for the YA market.

    The Space Between Trees is not really a murder mystery, in my mind, because the friendship between Hadley and Evie begins to develop prior to Hadley’s decision that they need to track down Zabet’s murderer. While some of the girls’ actions are driven by uncovering what happened to Zabet, primarily their developing friendship is what propels the story forward. Figuring out who murdered Zabet is just one aspect of that friendship. Besides, the identity of the killer really isn’t all that important to the storyline.

    What Katie Williams did very well in this novel is create main characters who weren’t the most popular in school or the most beautiful girls to bring this story to life. In addition, though Hadley is not a very likeable character most of the time, the way in which Williams develops her storyline, the details she provides to the reader about Hadley’s life, as seen through Evie’s eyes, make her a sympathetic character versus one you could possibly despise.

    I don’t believe this is a book that will relate to everyone, but it  does a good job of showing how one’s actions can impact people outside of themselves. It’s filled with teenage angst, which will be popular with certain markets. I tend to think of this book as Dawson’s Creek meets Silence of the Lambs.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Chronicle Books
  • ISBN-10: 0811871754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811871754
  • SRP:  $17.99

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    The Royal Feast by Davy Liu

    Davy Liu and Kendu Films are back with another installment of the Invisible Tails series, this time featuring an animal’s perspective of Daniel. The Royal Feast shares the story of Belt, a lion cub who lost his parents. The porcupine family adopted him, but the bullies who tease him about the loss of his parents don’t make it easy on him.

    Soon Belt is captured and taken from the prairie he has called home. He is saved from the fire by a two-feeter with a golden mane and wakes up to find himself at the royal feast. King Nebu takes Belt into the stone palace and guides him in growing up, while Belt shares stories of the prairie. King Nebu’s son, Zuma, becomes jealous of their close relationship and takes over the kingdom.

    It will take a dream, a reunion with Belt’s porcupine brother, and the return of the one with the golden mane to bring peace and unity back to the kingdom.

    The Royal Feast is a beautiful new addition to Liu’s Invisible Tails line.  Anyone familiar with the story of Daniel will recognize the parallells, but even those too young to know or those who have not read the Book of Daniel, will appreciate the simple values taught behind the deep imagination of Belt’s story.

    Having worked for Disney Feature Animation, for George Lucas at Industrial Light, and Magic for Warner Bros., Liu continues to create beautiful, stunning artwork to share the story in a visual way. The glossy pages long for fingers to touch them. Young readers will be awestruck by the elegant, detailed illustrations. The raised lettering and picture of the lion on the front, draw the eye of readers everywhere, as does the unique size of all the books in this series.

    I highly recommend this long-anticipated new release in the Invisible Tails series. The Royal Feast by Davy Liu would be perfect for every Christian home and would make a wonderful addition to the Sunday school classroom.

    Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Kendu Films
  • ISBN-10: 0982505043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982505045
  • SRP:  $19.95

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    From the Family Bookshelf


    Yes, I’ve been a very bad blogger. Actually, I’ve been blogging, just not here. 🙂 With the release of Little Shepherd at the end of August, I’ve been slammed with book promotion. I started a new blog dedicated solely to my book, which you can find here. I’m also in the midst of planning my two-and-a-half month virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book. The tour starts on October 4th and runs through December 17th. There will be great giveaways during the tour, so make sure you check in with my Little Shepherd blog to find out all the details.

    It’s been about a month since I posted a From the Family Bookshelf column. I’ve done a lot of reading in that time, Dad not so much. The Lil Diva and the Lil Princess are now back in school, so their reading has picked up some. Let’s talk about some of these books.

    I know you will probably find this hard to believe, but Dad is still reading Vince Flynn’s The Third Option. The poor guy gets home from work and he’s lucky if he gets a page or two in before nodding off each night. My father-in-law just received a bag full of books by one of the hubby’s favorite authors. I wonder when he’ll have time to read those.

    The Lil Diva, despite kicking and screaming, now has to read 30 minutes a day in class and 20 minutes each night. Every night she has to write out her reflections from this 20 minutes of reading and turn it in. It has been a battle. Right now she’s readingHarry the Homeless Puppy by Holly Webb. She loves Webb’s books, so she reads them more than once.

    I bought the Lil Princess a copy of Purple Princess Wins the Prize by Alyssa Crowne at the book fair a few weeks ago. She’s already plowing through that. She reads a little each night, though often I find her reading to herself after school.

    As for me, the mom of this bunch, I finished Renters Win, Home Owners Lose by Tom Graneau and then moved on to complete:

    A Friend in the Storm by Cheryl Ricker (Christian nonfiction/devotional)

    Firebrand by P.K. Eden (fantasy)

    A Woman’s Walk in Grace by Catherine Martin (Christian Living)

    The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller (biography)

    Reviews for all the books mentioned above appear at The Book Connection.

    I also reviewed A Wish and A Prayer by Beth Bence Reinke, If Babies Went to School by Barbara Lock, The Golden Pathway by Donna McDine, The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale by Sneed Collard III, and The Bedtime of the Sky and Other Sleepy-Bye Stories  by Carolyn Wolfe here.

    I finished Grounds for Murder by John Russo, a cozy mystery released by Canadian e-Publisher, MuseItUp Publishing. I’ll be posting my review of that one soon. I’m currently reading the YA novel,  The Space Between Trees, by Katie Williams.

    That’s it for this issue of From the Family Bookshelf. I hope you’ll check back again soon for more news of great books.

    The Bedtime of the Sky and Other Sleepy-Bye Stories by Carolyn Wolfe


    Come along on a magical ride into sleepy time with The Bedtime of the Sky and Other Sleepy-Bye Stories by Carolyn Wolfe.

    From  a doll to a dragon, from a mom designing the universe to a baby in the sink, this collection of bedtime stories are filled with imagination and magical images kids will enjoy. The lyrical prose flows along and its melodies will soothe your child right into sleepy time.

    This is the author’s fifth book, but the only one by Wolfe I have read. I’ll certainly be on the lookout for more from this talented author and lover of furry friends. The illustrations provided by Leslie Mathis are adorable; the perfect complement to Wolfe’s prose.

    I hope everyone who picks up a copy of this book reads the Author’s Note, which reminds little ones to, “Wish Big, Dream Deep!”

    A delightful addition to your child’s home library, The Bedtime of the Sky and Other Sleepy-Bye Stories by Carolyn Wolfe will be a popular read in homes everywhere!

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Avid Readers Publishing Group (June 10, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 1935105574
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935105572
  • SRP:  $11.25

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    The Golden Pathway by Donna McDine

     The Golden Pathway by Donna McDine is the touching story of one boy who is willing to take great risks to help someone in need.

    Every night David listens to his pa mete out his punishments on the slaves working their farm. He smells the alcohol on his breath. He watches as Ma is never treated with respect. He never expects his pa to be nice to him.

    One night after Pa whips their teenage slave, Jenkins, David sneaks out of the house and promises to help him escape to a better life.

    The Underground Railroad, also considered the “golden path to freedom”, helped numerous slaves escape the hardships foisted upon them by their owners. In this inspiring story, McDine has brought this portion of history to life for readers ages 9 to 12. The Golden Pathway shows how just one person who cares can make a difference in this world. It is a moving story that will educate readers and encourage them to be a person who makes a difference.

    I’ve been a fan of K.C. Snider’s artwork for some time, but she has truly outdone herself with The Golden Pathway. From the cover art to the interior illustrations, each brings David’s and Jenkins’ story to life in a visual way. From the tears running down David’s cheeks to a bent over Jenkins who has just endured another beating, and from chore time to a trip into town, Snider has captured every emotion, every tiny detail, right there on the page.

    The Golden Pathway nearly moved me to tears. As someone who has spent a great deal of time studying this period of American history, I’m certain this book has the ability to make a great impression on its readers. I highly recommend it. I hope it finds its way into schools and homes everywhere, as this is a message, you won’t want your kids to miss.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10: 1616330880
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330880
  • SRP:  $9.95 (paperback),  $15.95 (Hardcover), electronic formats available

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    If Babies went to School by Barbara Lock

     Have you ever wondered what would happen if babies went to school? Children’s author, Barbara Lock, helps encourage critical thinking and inductive reasoning in this adorable and delightful new book titled, If Babies went to School.

    Brian and Amanda try to figure out what it would be like if their baby brother, Luke, went to school. What would he and the other babies do at school? How would they get there? Could they share? What kind of games would they play?

    As they talk about what the babies would and wouldn’t do, they discover what it would be like if babies went to school, and many ways in which they could help.

    This is a great book. It’s funny, it gets kids thinking, and the illustrations are adorable, and many times, hilarious. Lock did a superb job of putting together a story that will educate and entertain. I certainly found myself laughing more than once while reading it. A spelling list of words from the book is including on the last page.

    Geared toward readers ages 4 to 8, If Babies went to School, is a book your young reader will pick up often.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: AuthorHouse
  • ISBN-10: 1452059403
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452059402
  • SRP:  $16.99

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