Patrick Turns His Play in to Pay by Shani Muhammad and Patrick Muhammad

Here’s a book that inspires the entrepreneur in your kids.

Patrick loves fishing holes and his grandmother’s lemon meringue pie. When his fishing line snaps and he finds himself short on funds, he remembers his grandmother told him that just because he enjoys doing something doesn’t mean he can’t get paid for it too. This sets Patrick on a journey to turn his play into pay.

Patrick Turns His Play in to Pay by Shani Muhammad and Patrick Muhammad is a fun story that will encourage young people to turn their passion into something that can support them later on. It’s a great idea, so don’t be surprised if you see a few more lemonade stands out there this spring. I’m glad the authors are turning this into a series, because there is so much involved in this topic that this short story can only touch the surface of it.

Proving that creating a rhyming story is a neat concept but not always easy to put into practice, the rhymes kind of took over this story and became a distraction. The character of Patrick is fun enough with out them, so I hope that style is abandoned in future books.

Absolutely loved the artwork by Natalie Jurosky. It’s colorful, engaging, and expressive. Would love to see more from her.

Patrick Turns His Play in to Pay will inspire your children to think of the future and all it can be.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: 5 Star Representatives (October 23, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1622096444
ISBN-13: 978-1622096442

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

 

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Interview with Jill Bowers, Author of the Immortal Writers Series

Jill Bowers is a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. She’s the author of the popular Immortal Writers series, which is a five book young adult fantasy series. You can learn more about Jill’s books at her author website, immortalauthor.com.

Jill is a lover of all things literature and music. She is one of two composers-in-residence for the Westminster Handbell Choirs in Logan, Utah, and plays many instruments. She’s an alum of Salt Lake Comic Con, Fyrecon, and MisCon. She has a beloved long-haired dachshund who enjoys walks and snacks, much like Jill herself.

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

Hi! I’m glad to be here. My name’s Jill, and I’m a young adult fantasy author. I love Netflix, Comic Con, music, and books. I’m an avid reader and I love to spend my time cuddled up with my dog in my TARDIS quilt reading.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I’ve always had the writing bug. I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I knew how to put my letters into words and sentences.

Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?

For one thing, I enjoy reading young adult books, so it’s natural for me to be writing them. Mostly, though, young adults have to face a lot of problems in life, and I want to help them. I include real-life issues in all of my books, because I think literature and art are both great ways to encourage people to hold on.

What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?

I love the fast pace of a YA book. I enjoy connecting with young adults; I often go to schools to teach classes and do assemblies, and I absolutely love it. My greatest challenge with writing for young adults is knowing what slang to use. I grew up in the “tubular” days, and people don’t say that now.

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

Immortal Writers is about an author whose words and stories become so powerful that she gains immortality and her characters come to life. She has to learn to use magic and slay dragons in time to save the world from the villain she created.

The entire series (book 2, Immortal Creators, comes out in fall 2018) follows authors who are in similar situations. If you like reading, you’ll love this series because you get to see your favorite authors (like Shakespeare, Tolkien, Poe, Hughes, Hemingway, Austen, and many more) as characters interacting throughout the series. If you’re not familiar with these authors, it’s a great way to be introduced to them.

What inspired you to write it?

One day I was really angry because I thought my life was so dull. I wanted magic to be real. I wanted to slay dragons and fight monsters and be a hero. But then I started thinking about what the consequences would be if all of my favorite stories came to life; it would be chaotic. The rest of the series grew from there.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

You can purchase a copy at Barnes & Noble and from Amazon.

What is up next for you?

First and foremost, I’m finishing the Immortal Writers series. Next, I have a middle grade fantasy that I’m wrapping up about a gnome and a magic garden, and then another series of young adult books, this time in high fantasy.

Do you have anything else to add?

Happy reading!

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

You Know What? By Carol Gordon Ekster

You Know What? by Carol Gordon Ekster is a delightful bedtime story that will be treasured by kids and moms alike.

Oliver knows it’s bedtime, but he’s had a busy day and wants to tell mommy all about it.

This is not the first book by Ekster that I’ve read, and I doubt it will be my last. As a former elementary school teacher, she is in tune with what resonates with young people. Oliver continues to toss out the same question to his mommy as he gets ready for bedtime. His tired, yet patient, mommy keeps on listening and encouraging him along the way. It’s a very sweet concept. I also truly enjoyed the artwork of Nynke Mare Talsma. Vibrant blues, greens, yellows, and reds catch your eye as you move page by page through this charming story. I hope we will see more collaborations between these two talented people.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Lexile Measure: 340
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Clavis (September 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605372781
ISBN-13: 978-1605372785

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.

This Book is Full of Monsters by Guido van Genechten

This Book is Full of Monsters is a silly and adorable story written and illustrated by Guido van Genechten.

Young readers are warned from the beginning and given a list of things they need if they dare to open the front cover of this book that is filled with small, stinky, loud, gross, sleepy and sometimes scary monsters. This book is a fun interactive experience that kids will enjoy. They might even be in for a surprise or two. With van Genechten’s superb artwork and such a zany story, youngsters will be going back to this one time and again.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Clavis; Pop edition (August 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605373605
ISBN-13: 978-1605373607

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.

Too Big by Judy Dearborn Nill

You’ll find the topics of bullying, peer pressure, friendship and learning to accept who you are wrapped up in a fabulously engaging story with Too Big by Judy Dearborn Nill.

Shelby Bradshaw considers skipping the fifth grade and going right to middle school. Academically that won’t be a problem, but it’s really to escape all the teasing she has endured since her growth spurt. She’ll miss being with her best friend Zoe, but maybe it will all be worth it.

Though there are many teaching points and topics for discussion, the young reader will also discover a great plot and interesting characters. They might know a Shelby or a Zoe or a Marissa or a Deke or a Kenny. They might have experienced some of what these characters have. Misunderstandings happen. People aren’t always who you think they are. Sometimes actions have bad consequences. Maybe a good idea ends up not being so good later.

Too Big tackles real issues that kids are dealing with and handles them without trivializing them or the real feelings young people must cope with. Too Big is an awesome book. I’m so glad the author asked me to review it. I’ll be looking for more of her work in the future.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 6
Paperback
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing; Large type / large print edition edition (October 22, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616338075
ISBN-13: 978-1616338077

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

The Runaway Dandelion by Jill Regensburg

This is an adorable and educational story about one dandelion’s flight to a new home and the happy family she finds.

In The Runaway Dandelion, a beautiful meadow is bulldozed to make room for new construction. Harsh chemicals are brought in to kill all the dandelions in the new lawn, but one little dandelion survives. When her petals turn to white fluff she drifts a long way until she settles in a perfect new home and watches the daily life of the people who live there.

I must applaud the author’s desire to bring such an important message to young people. Her passion is evident on each page. As sustainable lifestyles become more prevalent, books such as these will encourage children from an early age. The one challenge I have with the story line is that the dandelion appears to see every inch of the family’s farm from where she is planted in the ground and seems to know the kids aren’t watching TV because they are so busy working on the farm. It’s a little niggle, but it was there for me.

The artwork by Leticia Plate is lovely. The colors and style are perfect for this story. The book has important terms appearing in green instead of in black, which are listed in a glossary at the end along with definitions. There is also a list of resources and useful links in the final pages. The Runaway Dandelion will open up the minds of young people and get them asking questions.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: EarthWardProject; 1st edition (May 12, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0998459607
ISBN-13: 978-0998459608

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

New Release: Beulah Land by Nancy Stewart

Seventeen-year-old Vi Sinclair’s roots run deep in the Missouri Ozarks, where, in some areas, it can still be plenty dangerous to be a girl who likes girls. Her greatest wish is to become a veterinarian like her boss, Claire Campbell. Fitting in at school wouldn’t be so bad, either. Only one obstacle stands in the way: She may not live long enough to see her wishes fulfilled.

With help from her only friend, Junior, Vi unravels a mystery that puts her in conflict with a vicious tormentor, a dog fight syndicate, and her own mother. Vi’s experience galvanizes her strength and veracity as she overcomes the paradox of mountain life, in which, even today, customs and mores seem timeless, and where a person can wake up dead simply because of being who she is.

EXCERPT:

The Blaylock Clinic’s parking lot’s empty as Mama’s church on a campground revival night. Looks like I beat everyone this morning. May as well hunker down in the truck till somebody with a key gets here. I fiddle with the truck key, and rummage through my briefcase, and worry about the pup for about twenty minutes until Nedda arrives.
“Hey, Nedda. I give her a sheepish smile. “Couldn’t wait.”
“Well, nobody’d blame you for that. I’ll open up, and you go have a look-see.”
My morning coffee lurches in my stomach. “Thanks.”
Quiet and warm, the Trauma Room has a seriousness about it. My sneakers sound like combat boots treading across the tile floor to the puppy’s cage. Still as death itself, she has an IV attached to her leg, and tubes are connected everywhere, same as yesterday. Trying to stay calm like a good vet, I wonder if a heart kicking out of your chest, and legs that may not hold you up, count as calm.
I turn on a low light over her crate. “Hi, baby. Let’s find out what’s going on.” I can’t see her breathing. I take the stethoscope from around my neck, but my hands are shaking so hard I’m scared I might drop it. When I listen, my heart crashes to the floor. No heartbeat. I reach under her blanket. Nothing. She’s still warm, but… listen again. The stethoscope’s slippery from sweat. I wipe it on my lab coat and put it to my ear. Wait. Something. A faint murmur. Again. A heartbeat. Slight, but there. “Stay with me, girl. You can do it, just like I did. We both have Doc to mend us.”
I jump at a soft sound behind me. “Doc. I didn’t know you were here.”
“You were so efficient, I didn’t want to disturb the… medical practice I saw happening.”
“Thanks, Doc. I… I thought she was gone, even listening through the scope. But now when I stroke her head, she tries to open an eye.”
“This puppy knows you saved her, Vi. I’m absolutely sure of it. She has a long way to go, but since she held her own last night, that’s a milestone. And how are you doing this morning?”
“Great. Wonderful. May be the best day of my life. All thanks to you.”
“Vi—”
“I know she may not make it. But if she doesn’t, at least she had a chance. You gave her that.”

Praise for Beulah Land

Nancy Stewart has produced a tough, courageous novel that belongs on the shelf next to young-adult survival stories like Hatchet and Bridge to Terabithia. Violette’s determination to see justice done drives her to the brink of destruction or danger. However, Stewart keeps her risks and the day-to-day struggle of being queer and out as a young person grounded in reality. Beulah Land is an accurate portrayal of what it’s like to grow up in a place where your very existence is challenged, as well as a reminder that the willingness to push on wins the day, every time.

Beulah Land is a much needed story of queer resistance and courage in the face of bigotry and intolerance.

Reviewed by Claire Foster
Foreword Reviews, November/December 2017

Pre-order the print version from the publisher at https://store.interludepress.com/collections/beulah-land-by-nancy-stewart/products/beulah-land-print-edition

A professor of education specializing in Children’s and Young Adult Literature, Nancy Stewart is also the award-winning author of several bestselling books for young readers. The original manuscript for Beulah Land received the 2015 State of Florida Rising Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives with her husband and an adopted Bichon/Shih Tzu pup, Louie, in Tampa, Florida.

Website:  http://www.nancystewartbooks.com

Blog:       http://www.nancystewartbooks.blogspot.com

Twitter:    https://twitter.com/stewartnancy

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nancy.rosenthalstewart

Member:   http://www.scbwi.org