New from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Here are a few new books from Macmillan Children’s that caught my eye:


Howard Carter was obsessed with mummies. He met his first when he was a boy in England and lived near a mansion filled with Egyptian artifacts. Howard dreamed of discovering a mummy himself–especially a royal mummy in its tomb, complete with all its treasures. When he was seventeen, he took a job with the Egypt Exploration Fund and was sent to Egypt to learn about archaeology and excavation sites. And his mummy hunt was on! Howard discovered many amazing artifacts, but he searched for years before coming upon the most famous mummy of all, King Tut.


A timely, poignant tale of family, sacrifice and the friendship between a young Syrian refugee and an American boy living in Brussels.

Fourteen-year-old Ahmed is stuck in a city that wants nothing to do with him. Newly arrived in Brussels, Belgium, Ahmed fled a life of uncertainty and suffering in Syria, only to lose his father on the perilous journey to the shores of Europe. Now Ahmed’s struggling to get by on his own, but with no one left to trust and nowhere to go, he’s starting to lose hope.

Then he meets Max, a thirteen-year-old American boy. Lonely and homesick, Max is being bothered by a bully at school, he doesn’t speak a word of French, and just can’t seem to do anything right. But with one startling discovery, Max and Ahmed’s lives collide, banding the boys together to help Ahmed survive.

As their friendship grows, Ahmed and Max defy the odds, learning from each other what it means to be brave, and how hope can change your destiny.

Set against the backdrop of the Syrian refugee crisis, award-winning author Katherine Marsh delivers a gripping, heartwarming story of resilience, friendship and everyday heroes.

Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules for life and mine got lost.

Grace has Asperger’s and her own way of looking at the world. She’s got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that’s pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn’t make much sense to her any more.

Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it’s up to Grace to fix it on her own.

Visit Macmillan Children’s at:

HOT in the 4RV Bookstore

Yvonne’s story follows a path from personal devastation to personal triumph through God’s call to mission and serving others through ministry. Her fears, disappointments, and heartaches are all detailed in this adventure about how God’s calling beckons her to continue on her mission no matter what troubles arise. Ultimately, God shows her how to turn her mountains into molehills.

  • Hardcover: 156 pages
  • Publisher: 4RV Biblical Based
  • (August 10, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940310687
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940310688

In 1871, Jonathan Calhoun lives an unfulfilled life working for his father’s magazine company in New York City and attending pretentious social events with his fiancée . Longing for one thrilling adventure in his life before he settles down, he jumps at the job opportunity at the Cripple Creek Cattle Ranch in Armadillo Flats, Texas. He soon realizes this venture might be more than he expected as he changes from an “Easterner” into a real cowboy.

Will he survive the challenges of the change?

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: 4RV Publishing – Fiction
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-940310-61-9
  • Dimensions: 5 X 8

Merry Tilda discovers a small evergreen growing by her house. As years pass, the tree become larger and more important to her, her family, and her neighbors. She, with the help of grandchildfen and their friends, decorates the tree each winter with goodies for the birds and animals. The tree becomes a winter fairy tale.

  • Age Range: 2 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: 4RV Children’s Corner (June 29, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940310636
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940310-62-6

Spearfinger, a witch, terrorizes the Cherokees of the Smokey Mountains. No one can stop her. A little boy named Chucha battles her. Can he discover her secrets? Can he put an end to her rampages?

Cherokee/English Bilingual Edition.

  • Age Range: 3 – 7 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
  • Paperback: 60 pages
  • Publisher: 4RV Children’s Corner (June 13, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940310563
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940310565

For these and more books from 4RV Publishing, please visit

Guest Blogger: Maria Andreu, Author of The Secret Side of Empty


COMING NEXT SPRING… The Secret Side of Empty

**Read about the book and scroll below for details on how to enter to WIN a $250 Amazon gift card just by liking the author’s Facebook page!**

You’ve heard the news stories. Now hear the real story.

M.T. is starting her senior year with a lot going for her. She gets great grades, has a best friend she met in kindergarten and a boyfriend who is sweet and into her. But life – at least as she knows it – is about to end.

M.T. is what the news calls “illegal” – she came to the U.S. with her parents as a baby and never got the right papers that allowed her to stay. She lives in fear of her family getting deported, in even more fear that she’ll have to go to the home country she doesn’t even remember, of people finding out her ugly secret and of the increasingly volatile situation at home. When senior year is over, the protected world she’s found in her small parochial school will disappear. Without a social security number, she won’t be able to go to college, get a job or, maybe worst of all, get a driver’s license.

But she’ll worry about all that later. First, she’s got a senior year to take on.

The Inspiration Behind The Secret Side of Empty by Maria Andreu

The Secret Side of Empty, in bookstores Spring, 2014, is the story of a high school senior, M.T., who is hiding a big secret: she’s “illegal.” Her parents brought her over as a baby and overstayed their visas. She’s American in every way except one: on paper. No one knows, not even her best friend Chelsea and her sweet boyfriend, Nate. With senior year coming to a close, she has to figure out how she’ll build a life with no social security number, no college, no driver’s license and no way to get a real job. But first she’s got to make it through senior year.

The inspiration for this story came from my own experience. I, too, came over to the U.S. as a baby and was undocumented as a teenager. Being a teen is hard enough, but when you mix in the fear of getting deported from the only country you’ve ever called home due to a decision you had no hand in making, it’s really stressful and it makes you wonder why you don’t belong when everyone else does.

Looking back now, I realize I was almost magically lucky. When I was 18 there was an amnesty and I was able to become a citizen. Suddenly, everything I thought was hopelessly out of reach – a college degree, a house, trips abroad, a job – became possible. My first reaction was to put it all behind and forget it. I look just like everybody else, so I figured I’d just pretend I was.

I tried to forget my experiences for 20 years. It wasn’t until after 9/11, when the rhetoric about immigrants got so ugly, that I began to feel that it was irresponsible not to share my story. The news was filled with all kinds of negative news about immigrants, trying to play on people’s fears. I realized that I could help shed light on the human side of the experience, and that’s what I set out to do in The Secret Side of Empty.

First and foremost I set out to write a book people would want to read. It’s not a political book at all. M.T. doesn’t care about the issue and isn’t up on the news about it. She just wants her life to work out, she wants to stop being so afraid that her boyfriend is going to dump her, and she tries to cope with the fact that the people around her have so much more than she has but don’t appreciate it. She wants to figure out what to wear to the dance, what to write in her latest English paper. That’s it. But of course she’s caught up in these forces that are so much bigger than she is.

Writing this book was tremendously therapeutic. For the longest time, my own background as an undocumented immigrant was my deepest, ugliest secret. Revealing it while talking about the book opened me up to a lot of compassion and warmth from people. And, most of all, it helped me understand that the truth has a great healing power.

I would love for you to take this book-publishing journey with me, from cover reveal, to first galleys, to an inside peek of what it’s like to do a book signing (There will lots of fun giveaways along the way). When I was growing up poor and undocumented, I never believed I could make this dream come true. But here it is! Like my Facebook page for news on the book and also to enter to win a $250 gift card.

Maria Andreu is an author and immigration rights activist. She lives in beautiful Bergen County, New Jersey with her two wonderful middle schoolers. At the age of 12, she wrote in her diary, “Most of all, I want to be a writer.” Growing up undocumented and poor, she never imagined that dream might come true one day. Her work has been published in Newsweek, The Washington Post and The Star Ledger and her first novel, The Secret Side of Empty, will be published by Running Press in Spring, 2014.

A Note from the Author, Maria Andreu:

The fulfillment of great dreams feels best when shared, which is why I’m inviting people to Like my Facebook page and come along with me on the fabulous and improbable journey of publishing my first novel.  As my thanks, when you like the page by July 31st, you’ll be able to enter to win a fan-only sweeps for a $250 Amazon gift card!

Be the first to get updates on the cover, new tour stops, and fan-only content (plus enter a sweeps for a $250 Amazon gift card) by liking the author’s Facebook page here:

The book is already getting industry buzz and news coverage, so Like the FB page to get updates on that as well.

Manuel’s Murals by Jeaninne Escallier Kato

Nine-year-old Manuel loves to paint murals like his hero, the legendary 20th century Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera. When his family faces troubles, Manuel journeys to Mexico City, where he finds a greater understanding of his culture.

Manuel’s Murals is a touching, beautifully illustrated story about family and culture. It teaches young children to appreciate where they come from on the way to where they are going. Manuel is a young boy whose love for painting also comes with its share of troubles. To help his family, he decides to journey by himself to Mexico City where he discovers a rich culture that he longs to capture with his paintbrush. This is a book of discovering the everyday heroes around you.

The artwork provided by Rachel Smith is stunning. Her vibrant use of color makes this story come alive. I hope Kato and Smith collaborate again soon.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Paperback:32 pages
  • Publisher:3L Publishing; 1st edition (January 30, 2012)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:0615575439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615575438
  • SRP: $14.95


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


My Copán Adventure by Eugene Ruble

 Explore the ancient world of the ruins of Copán with twelve-year-old James and his father, Professor Questor, in My Copán Adventure written and illustrated by Eugene Ruble.

James is excited when his father tells him he will be his assistant on the next expedition Professor Questor makes. They will be traveling to the ancient Mayán city of Copán to try and determine what happened to its people. While there, they study temples and hieroglyphics. They talk about stelaes and pyramids. James takes photos and draws sketches so they can take their information back home and interpret the data.

 My Copán Adventure is a beautifully illustrated book that introduces young readers to the lives of the first people to arrive in the Copán valley about 2300 years ago. Readers follow James and his father on their journey through the ruins, with Professor Questor sharing his wealth of knowledge about the Mayáns and their ancient civilization and answering James’s questions along the way.

The Lil Diva (10) just finished studying this ancient civilization in school, so she truly enjoyed reading the book with me. My Copán Adventure could be used to supplement school learning or in a homeschooling program. It offers a fun and interesting way to learn more about the Mayáns and their culture. What I found most interesting is the author’s note, which makes mention of some of the hypotheses scientists have formed about the fall of the Copán dynasty. One of the ideas is that the destruction of their forests by overbuilding and depleting their natural resources had an impact on their survival. This helps young readers to make the connection between ancient times and their modern world.

This is definitely a book I’m glad to have as part of my daughters’ library.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Paperback:20 pages
  • Publisher:Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc (December 31, 2011)
  • ISBN-10:1616331984
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616331986
  • SRP:  $9.95

I received a PDF version of this book directly from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. Guardian Angel Publishing also released my first book and Eugene Ruble illustrated it. I received no monetary compensation for providing this review.