First Chapter Review: A Nick of Time (The Adventures of Rupert Starbright) by Mike DiCerto

I received a digital copy of this middle grade fantasy novel from the author through Pump Up Your Book.

BLURB: It’s New Year’s Eve in Graysland, but when the final second fails to come Rupert Starbright finds his entire town frozen in time. Rupert and his school crush Rainn Evertree must travel to the Land of Annum to retrieve the stolen second from the nasty and evil Epoch. They will explore a wild, imaginative, and musical world where all the characters of the Zodiac join Rainn in helping Rupert in his most colorful and challenging adventure yet!

COVER: I love the cover art for this novel. It is so fun and colorful. I totally understand what genre I am reading by just looking at it, which always makes me happy because I want the cover to match the genre.

FIRST CHAPTER: Rupert is with his family and the entire town as they wait for the giant metal bellberry leaf to drop. Then everything stopped.

KEEP READING: I am definitely intrigued by this imaginative first chapter. From the very beginning, DiCerto constructs his characters’ world. Now, this is the fourth book in the series, so readers of previous novels will be familiar with Graysland, but for a first time reader, he used descriptions to paint a nice picture.

My only niggle is that I had no idea what the main character looked like or what he was. For all the descriptions, there was none of Rupert. Even though Rupert spoke of what Rainn looked like, I could only assume she was human, which doesn’t match the cover. This didn’t take much away from everything wonderful about the story, and I would definitely continue reading thanks to that neat cliffhanger ending to chapter 1, but I kept waiting to see if I would learn who or what Rupert is.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Zumaya Thresholds (August 16, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 306 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1612710999
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1612710990

Purchase your copy from Amazon!

This First Chapter Review contains my honest opinions, which I was not compensated for in any way.

Visit the author’s website at www.ruperstarbright.com or connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

Ivy & Bean Coming to NETFLIX on Sept 2

Remember the Ivy & Beans books by Annie Barrows that my daughter loved when she was younger? We stopped reading at Book 6, but there are 12 books in the series right now. And in other exciting news, Ivy & Bean are coming to NETFLIX.

The films star Jane Lynch, Nia Vardalos, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Keslee Blalock and Madison Skye Validum as the beloved duo Ivy and Bean. Here’s the trailer:

I’m pretty excited. I might just have to watch.

A Whale of a Tale by Bill Kirk

A Whale of a Tale by Bill Kirk is an exciting rhyming sea tale of a young boy whose love of the sea and its animals leads to a life-saving mission that changes his life forever.

Will yearns to be a sea captain despite his mother’s misgivings. His brave father was lost in a gale, and she wishes to protect her only child from the same fate. But the sea calls to him, and at the age of twelve, Will signs on as a cabin boy. Little does he know that one act of kindness years ago will help him save the crew of two whaling ships when the sea rages into a frightening gale.

A twelve-chapter story told fully in rhyme, this touching adventure will capture young hearts. Following through on his goal to challenge the imagination of readers by exploring everyday life, A Whale of a Tale tells the story of a boy whose random act of kindness changed his life and the lives of his fellow crewmembers.

This amazing story is accompanied with black and white illustrations from award-winning artist KC Snider. Snider’s artwork has appeared in more than 70 books for children. She remains a favorite of mine.

Kirk provides a prologue and an epilogue built upon the history of whaling in the United States. He asks young readers to imagine what it might have been like to grow up in a whaling port. A glossary of terms is also provided.

This touching adventure is available in digital and print formats from your favorite online retailer. Grab a copy today!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bill Kirk Writes Worldwide (November 30, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1951545230
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1951545239

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

First Chapter Review: The Backyard Secrets of Danny Wexler by Karen Pokras

This First Chapter Review is from a book the author’s publisher sent me back when it first came out in 2021. I am a little late in getting to it. 🙂

BLURB: Eleven-year-old Danny Wexler, the only Jewish boy in his blue-collar town during the late 1970s, is obsessed with the Bermuda Triangle. When a local child goes missing, Danny’s convinced it’s connected to an old Bermuda Triangle theory involving UFOs. With his two best friends and their Spacetron telescope, Danny heads to his backyard to investigate. But hunting for extraterrestrials is complicated, and it doesn’t help that his friend Nicholas’s mom doesn’t want her son hanging out with a Jewish boy. Equipped with his super-secret spy notebook, Danny sets out to fight both the aliens and the growing anti-Semitism in the town, in hopes of mending his divided community.

COVER: What a fun cover. Perfect for the genre. Love the vibrant font colors.

FIRST CHAPTER: Danny’s story starts with him contemplating how true is Alice’s declaration that his piano teacher is a spider. His older sister insists it is and Danny likes to investigate things.

KEEP READING: Definitely! I requested this book because it was set during my childhood. I also like mysteries and have read books by the author before, so I knew I wanted to read it. The interaction between Danny and Alice is funny. Danny’s rambling thoughts about his piano teacher being a spider, how he wound up taking piano lessons in the first place, and his family’s relationship–or lack their of–with their faith makes for an engaging read that I want to dive into. I hope to finish this while on vacation, but I can tell you that I have scheduled a lot into my vacation already. Fingers crossed.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kar-Ben Publishing ® (November 1, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 248 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1728412951
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728412955
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 8 – 13 years
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 3 – 7

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

New Middle Grade Fiction: Children of the Fox by Kevin Sands

Ocean’s Eleven meets The False Prince in this thrilling heist story for young readers, in which five kids with unusual talents are brought together to commit an impossible crime. Failure is unacceptable … but success could be deadly.

From the bestselling author of the Blackthorn Key series, this magic-infused fantasy brings together a ragtag group of kids to pull off a crime so difficult, countless adults have already tried and failed. Lured by the promise of more money than they’ve ever dreamed of, five young criminals are hired to steal a heavily guarded treasure from the most powerful sorcerer in the city. There’s Callan the con artist, Meriel the expert at acrobatics (and knives!), Gareth the researcher, Lachlan who can obtain anything, and Foxtail, whose mysterious eyeless mask doesn’t hinder her ability to climb walls like a spider. Though their shadowy backgrounds mean that they’ve never trusted anyone but themselves, the five must learn to rely on each other in order to get the job done.

But as Callan has been warned most of his life, it’s best to stay away from magic. It can turn on you at any moment, and make you think you’re the one running the con game, when in reality you’re the one being fooled. Faced with these unsurmountable odds, can the friends pull off this legendary heist, or has their luck finally run out?

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Viking Books for Young Readers (October 5, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593327519
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593327517
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 8 – 12 years
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 3 – 7

Purchase from:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books A Million

Indiebound