New Interactive Mystery: Case Closed – Mystery in the Mansion by Lauren Magaziner

Choose-your-own-adventure and puzzle-packed mystery collide in the first book in Lauren Magaziner’s new hilarious and high-stakes middle grade series in which the reader must help Carlos and his friends put together the clues to save his mom’s detective agency.

In this wildly entertaining and interactive adventure, YOU pick which suspects to interview, which questions to ask, and which clues to follow. You pick the path—you crack the case!

Carlos Serrano has never solved a mystery in his life. But when Carlos’s mom gets sick with a nasty flu on the morning of an investigation that could save her failing detective agency, Carlos takes on the case.

With the help of his best friend, Eliza, and her wild little brother, Frank, Carlos must uncover a mystery involving an eccentric local millionaire, anonymous death threats, and a buried treasure. But with tricky riddles, cagey suspects, hidden secrets, and dozens of impossible choices, they need your help!

Can you help Carlos and his friends find the culprit and save Las Pistas Detective Agency? Or will it be case closed?

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Series: Case Closed (Book 1)
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (August 14, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006267627X
ISBN-13: 978-0062676276

Purchase from:

HC.com
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Advertisements

When the Butterflies Came by Kimberley Griffiths Little

From the author of Circle of Secrets comes a moving, magical adventure filled with family, faith, loss and love.

Tara Doucet’s life is a sham. She lives in one of the most prestigious homes along the bayou of Louisiana, but her father left them, her mother hides in the south wing of the house crippled by melancholy, she has nothing in common with her older sister Riley, and her beloved Grammy Claire has just passed away.

Then the butterflies come and begin to follow Tara around. A strange butler appears at their door to take them back to Grammy Claire’s house on the island of Chuuk, and she finds a stack of keys and detailed letters from her grandmother with a mystery to solve. As she learns more about her grandmother’s life, she knows the truth will change her life forever.

Circle of Secrets is one of my favorite books. When I learned Little had a new book coming out in 2013, I asked her for a copy. She graciously sent it my way, and then my life got crazy. Determined to catch up on overdue reviews this year, I brought When the Butterflies Came with me on vacation. Now, I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner.

What a fabulous book! Filled with mystery and magic, and set against the beauty of the bayou and an isolated island filled with secrets, Little has created an engaging adventure-filled story. Tara is the perfect protagonist–one readers will sympathize with and cheer for from the very beginning. Her troubled life unfolds as she discovers more and more about the grandmother she thought she knew. As she gets closer and closer to discovering Grammy Claire’s secrets, the danger increases until she’s not certain who is friend or foe. The ending will both thrill and shock. With When the Butterflies Came, Little solidifies her place in children’s literature. Her masterful storytelling will draw you right in and hold you tight until the last page is turned.

Highly recommended!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: Scholastic (2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0545541506
ISBN-13: 978-0545541503

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.

New Arrival: The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr

 

Grisha is a dragon in a world that’s forgotten how to see him. Maggie is a unusual child who thinks she’s perfectly ordinary. They’re an unlikely duo—but magic, like friendship, is funny. Sometimes it chooses those who might not look so likely. And magic has chosen Grisha and Maggie to solve the darkest mystery in Vienna. Decades ago, when World War II broke out, someone decided that there were too many dragons for all of them to be free. As they investigate, Grisha and Maggie ask the question everyone’s forgotten: Where have the missing dragons gone? And is there a way to save them? At once richly magical and tragically historical, The Language of Spells is a novel full of adventure about remembering old stories, forging new ones, and the transformative power of friendship.

Age Range: 8 – 11 years
Grade Level: 5 – 9
Lexile Measure: 900 (What’s this?)
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (June 26, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1452159580
ISBN-13: 978-1452159584

Purchase here!

New Release: Thornhill by Pam Smy

Parallel plotlines, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.

Mary is an orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children at the very moment that it’s closing down for good. But when a bully goes too far, Mary’s revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.

Years later, Ella moves to a new town where she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute. Determined to befriend the mysterious, evasive girl she sees there, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s history and uncover its secrets.

Ella’s story is told through striking, bold art; Mary’s is told through diary entries. Each informs the other until the two eventually intersect to reveal the truth behind Thornhill’s shadowy past, once and for all. Strikingly told and masterfully illustrated, Pam Smy bends genres and expectations alike.

Age Range: 10 – 14 years
Grade Level: 5 – 9
Hardcover: 544 pages
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (August 29, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162672654X
ISBN-13: 978-1626726543
Purchase here

Pam Smy studied illustration at Cambridge School of Art, part of Anglia Ruskin University, where she now lectures part-time. Pam has illustrated books by Conan Doyle, Julia Donaldson, and Linda Newbury, as well as Bob Cattell’s Butter-Finger series for Frances Lincoln. She lives in Cambridge.

Coming in October: Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford

Welcome back to the irresistible world of Greenglass House where thirteen-year-old Milo is, once again, spending the winter holidays stuck in a house full of strange guests who are not what they seem. There are fresh clues to uncover as friends old and new join in his search for a mysterious map and a famous smuggler’s lost haul.   This exciting sequel to a beloved book that was praised in a starred review as “an enchanting, empowering read” is sure to thrill both fans and newcomers. Like its predecessor, it’s a smart, suspenseful tale that offers ghosts, friendships, and a cast of unforgettable characters, all wrapped up in a cozy mystery.

Age Range: 10 – 12 years
Grade Level: 5 – 7
Lexile Measure: 800
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Clarion Books (October 3, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 054499146X
ISBN-13: 978-0544991460

Pre-order at Amazon!

First Chapter Review: Transgression by Jannette Fuller

1st Chapter Review TC&TBC

 

Transgression (Book One of Ambrosial Acres Series) is a YA/Mystery/Suspense on tour with Pump Up Your Book.

transgressionBlurb:  Agent Yagil faces the fight of his calling as a Guardian Angel. His newest assignment is going to take every bit of perseverance and patience he has.

Seventeen-year-old Amber Reynolds is looking for some freedom and independence from her rigid lifestyle. Going behind her parents’ back, she takes a part-time job at the renowned inn located within Ambrosial Acres.

As Agent Yagil watches over Amber, he discovers things are not what they seem. Despite its wondrous beauty, Ambrosial Acres hides a dark and supernatural secret.

Between Amber’s new coworker crushes, her menacing stalker, a mysterious online stranger, and the evil agents out to lead her down a path of self destruction, Agent Yagil struggles to keep her safe. To keep her from using her freewill that will bring harm to herself–and others.

Will Agent Yagil succeed?

Or will his shortcomings get in the way?

COVER: Not bad. A bit plain for a story that seems to be intense. I would have liked to see Ambrosial Acres in the background.

FIRST CHAPTER: Agent Yagil gets to meet his charge: Amber Reynolds. A rebellious teen, he is perplexed by some of her odd behaviors…well, odd to him anyway. Racing from church to school to Ambrosial Acres, Amber has a plan.

KEEP READING: Definitely. Fuller paints some great pictures that draw the reader in and the pace of her text is in line with the speedy Amber. She captures the heartbeat of teens in this first chapter and definitely creates a character others will relate to. I’m eager to see what happens next.

Series: Ambrosial Acres
Paperback: 186 pages
Publisher: Solstice Publishing (October 21, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1625264623
ISBN-13: 978-1625264626

Available in printed and digital formats.

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This first chapter review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

jannette-fuller

Jannette Fuller loves spending time with the Lord and her family. She’s a fangirl of everything lovely, and always tries to see the best in everyone, except for the villains in her YA series Ambrosial Acres.
 
When she’s not blogging or writing her latest article, she listens to sermons while sweating away unwanted calories, cleans the house until it sparkles, laughs at the silliest things, and enjoys the outdoors, especially her daily walks through the enchanted forest.

Of course there’s more to be said, but then her bio would end up being a memoir.

For More Information

transgression-banner

All Because of Chickens by G. L. Miller

chickens

 

Returning to the family homestead intensifies twelve-year-old Sammy’s longing for the family heritage—farming. But Dad’s ultimatum, “… no crops, no animals, no barn…” shows Dad wants nothing to do with farming, for himself or Sammy. Then why did Dad insist Sammy join a farming club?

Permission slips for Ag club summer projects are due. Sammy defends his project choice with, “Technically, Dad, chickens are birds not animals.” Miraculously, he wins Dad’s approval.

Sammy’s problems begin with the early arrival of his peeps and the loss of his best pals.   His ingenuity to care for his chicks, make a new friend, and design a compost bin win him a new name. His biggest challenge—can he butcher his roosters?

Summer’s many adventures include solving a mystery, fighting a hawk, and being disqualified at the County Fair.

At the end of the project, has he won…or lost…the thing he wanted most—Dad’s change of heart about farming?

Excerpt

During a lull in the suppertime conversation, Sammy found the courage to broach the subject. “Dad, Mr. Conklin said we had to bring our signed summer project paper to next week’s meeting.”

“And what have you chosen to do?” asked Dad, sipping his coffee.

“Raise chickens,” mumbled Sammy. Afraid of Dad’s reaction, he toyed with the last of the peas on his plate.

“What?” Dad almost sloshed his coffee as he set down the mug. “I thought you understood there would be no animals.”

“Yes,” Sammy admitted, “but I thought—”

Sammy saw Dad’s angry frown and tightly drawn lips. He decided to try a different approach. “Dad, I’m confused. You’re the one who wanted me to join the Ag club of CAYC, the County Agriculture Youth Club. You said you belonged as a boy. Surely you remembered there were summer projects?”

In silence Dad swallowed another sip of coffee. “I remembered,” he said. “But, I was hoping you would get interested in growing flowers for your mother or vegetables for the kitchen. Couldn’t you do that as your project?”

“Well, you said there would be no farming, either,” Sammy pointed out.

“What I meant by that was fields of plants, not just a few around the house or in a small garden.”

“In that case, yes, I probably could.” Then, with heroic effort he blurted, “But that really wouldn’t be any fun. All plants do is sit there. You have to water them and feed them and weed them. And they still…just sit there.”

“You have to feed and water chickens, too,” Mom gently reminded. “And clean their house and take care of them.”

“At least they move. And I could play with them. I know they’d be work, but I hope maybe some fun, too.”

“What made you decide on chickens?” she asked.

“Well,” said Sammy, “first I thought of a foal, but I knew Dad wouldn’t approve of that,” he added quickly, stealing a glance at his father. “Besides, we don’t have a barn or any place to put a young horse. True, during the summer he wouldn’t need much more than a lean-to. Still, I would hope to have him longer than just this summer…” Sammy’s voice trailed off.

“Then I considered a puppy.” How am I going to explain this to Mom? Sammy took a drink from his water glass and quickly got his thoughts together. “I would probably want to have him in the house, though. You know, to play with and sleep on my bed.   But dogs get fleas and shed their hair so I didn’t think you’d permit that.”

Mom’s smile confirmed his supposition. “So that’s when you thought of the chickens?” she asked.

Sammy nodded.

“But they’re still animals,” prodded Dad.

Turning his attention back to Dad, Sammy defended himself. “Not really, Dad. Technically, they’re birds.”

Sammy watched the astonishment in Dad’s face turn to amusement.

Technically, they are not birds, they are fowl,” Dad replied.

Embarrassment tightened Sammy’s jaw. “You’re laughing at me.”

Sammy felt Dad’s hand gently clasp his own, causing him to focus on what Dad was saying.

“Never, Sammy. I would never laugh at you. I love you. You are growing up and using words that surprise me.   I enjoy your ingenuity. I’m laughing in delight of you, but never at you.”

Sammy grinned and ducked his head.

Mom pushed back her chair and stood up. “Let me get dessert, and then you can tell us more about this project.”

“I’ll get my stuff.” Sammy ran to his room for his club materials and the form he and Gran had filled out earlier. He also swooped up his drawings and the copies of the Internet pages. Spreading everything out in front of his dad, he explained what Mr. Conklin was encouraging them to do.

“And Gran said I could use that old lumber behind her shed to make the house.   I mean, coop,” Sammy corrected himself.

“I thought I smelled my mother in this,” muttered Dad.

“Oh no, Dad,” Sammy hurried to set things straight. “I thought of all this myself. When I told her today, Gran asked me the same things you did. All she did was help me to look up some information on her computer and to fill in my form.”

Sammy looked through the papers he’d put on the table. Choosing two, he placed one before Dad.

“See, I’ve even drawn some plans for their coop,” Sammy said. Putting the second page on top, he explained, “And I have enough money in my bank to pay for the chicks, their equipment, and part of their food. I plan to sell their eggs to get more food money.”

Sammy watched Dad’s face for signs of approval. He didn’t realize he was holding his breath until Mom spoke.

“How many peeps are you thinking of getting?” she asked.

“Mr. Conklin said we can buy as few as twenty-four or twenty-five,” Sammy answered. “He’s bringing catalogs to the next meeting so we can see what breeds are available. But, I think I already know what kind I want.”

Sammy searched through his computer printouts. Pulling a couple of pictures from the stack, he handed one to Mom.

“Gran and I looked at different kinds on the computer,” he said. “These Golden Comets seemed to be the most interesting. You can see in the picture that the roosters are white and the hens are red.” Sammy chuckled, and then added, “With that sort of help, I won’t be asking a rooster why it isn’t laying an egg.”

“Good thinking,” agreed Dad. “A beginner needs all the help he can get.”

“That’s what Gran said,” admitted Sammy.

AVAILABLE AT:

MuseItUp Publishing ~Amazon ~ Barnes&Noble ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords ~ Apple iTunes~ Omnilit ~