How a Historical Hero Can Inspire Young Readers by Fiona Ingram, Author of The Search for the Stone of Excalibur

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Continuing the adventure that began in Egypt a few months prior in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail of the second Stone of Power, one of seven ancient stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archaeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur. However, their long-standing enemy, Dr. Khalid, is following them as they travel to Scotland to investigate an old castle. Little do they know there is another deadly force, the Eaters of Poison, who have their own mission to complete. Time is running out as the confluence of the planets draws closer. Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive? And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them?

Join Justin and Adam as they search not only for the second Stone of Power, but also for the Scroll of the Ancients, a mysterious document that holds important clues to the Seven Stones of Power. As their adventure unfolds, they learn many things and face dangers that make even their perils in Egypt look tame. And how annoying for them that their tag-along companion, Kim, seems to have such good ideas when they are stumped. Book extras include some historical background on King Arthur, the Dark Ages, warfare and weaponry during Arthur’s time, and details on Excalibur. A fascinating peek into the life and times of the real King Arthur, perfect for young time travelers and budding archaeologists.

For More Information

  • The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
  • Find out the latest on the book at Facebook.

Guest post: 

How a Historical Hero Can Inspire Young Readers by Fiona Ingram

I’ve always been fascinated with the figure of King Arthur, so much so that when the idea popped into my head to use Excalibur, and thus King Arthur, in Book 2: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, I couldn’t have been more pleased. Before I began my serious research, I had always thought of King Arthur as a kind of hazy figure who was mostly legend. To my surprise, I found enough information to pinpoint Arthur as a historical figure, a Dark Ages king, a Briton who lived and fought around AD 500. Arthur’s biggest achievement in history was turning the tide of the Anglo-Saxon advance at the Battle of Badon in AD 516, keeping Britain safe for the next fifty years. Starting around AD 700, references to Arthur and his brave exploits on the battlefield began to emerge and have continued to the present day.

Even in his own time, Arthur’s name became synonymous with heroic deeds, bravery, and victory on the field of battle. The half-mythical, half-historic nature of the original Arthurian legends developed with the retelling of the tales. With Arthur’s name becoming increasingly more mythologised, it was perhaps inevitable that with the advent of the first ‘fiction’ writing (around the twelfth century) that Arthur would appear in an even more heroic light than before. Following Arthur’s death at the Battle of Camlann (AD 535), his fame spread all over Europe. The Arthurian stories journeyed with merchants and other travelers from country to country, from city to city, from monastery to monastery, and from one royal court to another. The idea of chivalry emerged. This new code emphasized that one should live and conduct oneself with honor, courtesy, and bravery.

Why, centuries later, is the figure of Arthur still so important? Arthur is important to us because he appears as the ideal of kingship during both peace and war. He stands for all that is true and good in a leader. He became a conquering hero, a champion of peace and justice, a king of kings. This is the kind of hero that will appeal to young readers, and perhaps inspire them to emulate King Arthur, to be someone who ‘does the right thing,’ and stands head and shoulders above the rest just because he knows what makes a hero. Being a hero can encompass many things; it’s about standing up for what you believe in; defending someone who is weaker or who may be being bullied at school; making sure you treat people and animals with respect, love, compassion, and that you show the qualities of a young knight of the Round Table. A young reader can easily become a hero to his family, friends, and community by following the ideals that make a good, caring and responsible person.FionaIngram-794310

Fiona Ingram was born and educated in South Africa, and has worked as a full-time journalist and editor. Her interest in ancient history, mystery, and legends, and her enjoyment of travel has resulted in the multi award winning The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, the first in her exciting children’s adventure series—Chronicles of the Stone. Fiona has just published the second book entitled The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, a treat for young King Arthur fans. She is busy with Book 3 entitled The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.

For More Information

Read my review of The Search for the Stone of Excalibur here.

Read my review of the first book in the series, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab here.

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Guest Book Review: Rosabelle by Linda Harrington

rosabelle

Print Length: 208 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
ASIN: B00M1TIJKG
Genre: Juvenile Fiction, animal stories

Rating: 4 stars
Rosabelle by Linda Harrington is a delightful children’s book set in rural New Zealand, in the 1970s. The main focus of the story falls upon 11-year-old Jane Williams, and their father’s racehorse, the titular Rosabelle. When Jane’s father has a suspicious accident at the racing stables, he is unable to work for a good while; this wreaks havoc upon the family’s finances, as well as family relationships since Jim Williams is a proud man, not used to accepting help from people. Rosabelle is the family’s last hope because she is such a good racer. However, finances are so tight that Jim even considers selling Rosabelle to his so-called friend and associate, Don O’Leary. But things are going wrong all round with various farmers’ sheep being stolen from farms. When Jane overhears O’Leary making sinister remarks about her father and Rosabelle, she is on the alert to his motives. Sadly, no one believes her until disaster strikes again and more sheep go missing. With the help of her friend Marta, and with information helpfully supplied by her teacher, Mr. Dunkerton, and with surprising assistance from Rosabelle herself, Jane sets out to expose Don O’Leary and get back those sheep. But it’s not going to be as easy as she thought!

The story unfolds slowly, and this enables young readers to really get to know Jane, her family and her friends, and also to learn about Rosabelle. The pace of living several decades ago was very different as well, and the author has a delightful way of describing rural life, as well as deftly inserting interesting snippets of historical information to place readers in the ’70s context. Readers also learn more about Jane’s family history (which has an interesting outcome), and might be keen to dig into their own family backgrounds as a result. There is enough horse detail to satisfy equine fans, without overpowering readers not as familiar with saddle soap and stables! I enjoyed this book very much; the author painted the entire story with loving strokes, imbuing it with a whimsical charm that seeps right through each page, making the ambiance, the era, the characters and their lives come to life. I especially enjoyed Jane’s Scottish teacher, the eccentric Mr. Dunkerton, and his bagpipes. The author includes a front map and a back glossary of unfamiliar words and terms which young readers will also enjoy, enabling them to place the location of the story and to understand the colloquial words and terms. This book will appeal to young readers and those who enjoy family oriented stories.

 

Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.

The Search for the Stone of Excalibur by Fiona Ingram

excalibur front cover final2-2

Hold onto your hats. The long-awaited sequel to The Secret Of The Sacred Scarab has arrived!

Following their Egyptian adventure, Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail for the second Stone of Power. It seems the stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archaeologists believe belonged to King Arthur.

The boys journey to Scotland to search for the Scroll of the Ancients, a mysterious document that holds important clues to the Seven Stones of Power. Aunt Isabel has sent her house guest, Kim, to tag along with them. Tensions rise, but the boys can’t worry about Kim’s interference. Their enemy, Dr. Khalid, has followed them to Scotland. And little do they know, the deadly Eaters of Poison are on a mission of their own that will place all of them in danger.

Fascinating, exotic, and packed with adventure, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur by Fiona Ingram is even better than the first book in The Chronicles of the Stone Series. New characters join familiar faces to create another exciting and fantastic journey. Ingram has the ability to draw her readers in quickly and fully. This book–just like the first one–is impossible to put down. Adam and Justin experience some growing pains in this novel; and it certainly doesn’t help that everything unfolds in front of Kim, who they barely know. Ingram’s skillful creation of unique characters mixed with an engaging plot wrapped around a beloved legend, truly makes this a book that tweens and teens shouldn’t miss.

Highly recommended!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 378 pages
Publisher: Biblio Publishing (October 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1622492188
ISBN-13: 978-1622492183

Fiona Ingram was born and educated in South Africa, and has worked as a full-time journalist and editor. Her interest in ancient history, mystery, and FionaIngram-794310legends, and her enjoyment of travel resulted in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, the first in her exciting children’s adventure series—The Chronicles of the Stone. This was inspired by a family trip the author took with her mom and two young nephews aged ten and twelve at the time. The book began as a short story for her nephews and grew from there. The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is a treat for young King Arthur fans. Fiona is busy with Book 3 entitled The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper, set in Mexico.

While writing The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, Fiona fostered (and later adopted) a young African child from a disadvantaged background. Her daughter became the inspiration for the little heroine, Kim, in The Search for the Stone of Excalibur. Interestingly, the fictional character’s background and social problems are reflected in the book as Kim learns to deal with life. Fiona’s experiences in teaching her daughter to read and to enjoy books also inspired many of her articles on child literacy and getting kids to love reading.

Author Site: http://www.FionaIngram.com

Blog: http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/FionaRobyn

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/fiona.robyn.ingram

Amazon Purchase Page: http://www.amazon.com/Search-Stone-Excalibur-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00O97QG94/

 

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.

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Guest Book Review: The Vanishing Frogs of Cascade Creek by Emma J. Homes

frogsPublisher: Spark Street Communications Pty Ltd (June 25, 2014)
Print Length: 44 pages
Genre: Juvenile Fiction, wildlife, environment
Age Level: 8-11
Five stars

Something is killing the waterfall frogs of Cascade Creek. Ten-year-old Ruthie, along with her mum and dad (Tom and Kate who are wildlife scientists), and Ruthie’s younger siblings, Liam and Bella, as well as their pet wombat, Womble, are headed off to the rainforests of Northern Queensland in their big green bus to investigate. The family has just spent 6 months helping to catch and tag shy rock wallabies. Cascade Creek promises a brand new adventure. Sadly, when they get there, the frogs have all but disappeared. Luckily the kids manage to find a frog (whom they call Wanda) but Wanda looks very sick. When they find a few tadpoles, the same situation prevails: the tadpoles are thin,  not plump and healthy as they should be. They get Wanda and the tadpoles back to the Wildlife Research Station so Kate can take a better look. Wanda seems to have some kind of skin condition. Is this killing the frogs of Cascade Creek and how can it be cured? Luckily, naughty Womble’s playful antics offer a surprising possible answer!

What a life Ruthie and her family enjoy, spending time away from the city and experiencing the wonders of nature. The kids do their lessons via school of the air and spend their days travelling with their parents around the beautiful Australian countryside. They learn about plants, animals, insects and a variety of indigenous creatures. They also learn about caring for the environment and the animals, and how important it is to preserve even the smallest of creatures, such as a little frog, because each creature has its part to play in the ecosystem. Author Emma Homes has a lovely way of inserting information about various animals, their habitats, food, and threats to their existence into the text. Ruthie is a wonderful role model for young readers and she is both compassionate and mature in her outlook. Hopefully this fascinating series will inspire young readers to look up more information about the animals that Ruthie and her family encounter. A delightful read that I highly recommend to all.

Purchase here.

 

Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.

Holiday Adventure Books Blast

This Book Blast is brought to you courtesy of Adventure Quest Books. Answer the hero’s call to adventure and enjoy more tales, legends and myths from the ancient and medieval worlds for MG and YA readers.

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About the Books

The Search for the Stone of Excalibur by Fiona Ingram

The Search for the Stone of Excalibur - coverTitle: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur (The Chronicles of the Stone, Book 2) | Author: Fiona Ingram | Publication Date: October 6, 2014 | Publisher: The Educational Publisher / Biblio Publishing | Pages: 399 | Recommended Ages: 10+

Summary: Continuing the adventure that began in Egypt a few months prior in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail of the second Stone of Power, one of seven ancient stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archaeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur. However, their long-standing enemy, Dr. Khalid, is following them as they travel to Scotland to investigate an old castle. Little do they know there is another deadly force, the Eaters of Poison, who have their own mission to complete. Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive? And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them? And how annoying for them that their tag-along companion, Kim, seems to have such good ideas when they are stumped.

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Max’s Arabian Adventure by Wendy Leighton-Porter

Max's Arabian Adventure by Wendy Leighton-PorterTitle: Max’s Arabian Adventure | Author: Wendy Leighton-Porter | Publication Date: July 16, 2014 | Publisher: Mauve Square Publishing | Pages: 82 | Recommended Ages: 7+

Summary: In this spin-off adventure from the Shadows From The Past series, Max the talking Tonkinese cat goes on a solo mission without his usual time-travelling companions. Snatched from the house where he lives with eleven-year-old twins Joe and Jemima Lancelot, Max is dragged back into the past by an evil magician who has lined him up to perform a special task. Torn away from all he holds dear, the despondent cat fears he may never be able to return to the present and his beloved owner, Jemima. What will become of him? Will he make it back or will he be condemned to remain forever in a distant time and place, far from home?

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Sons of the Sphinx by Cheryl Carpinello

Sons of the Sphinx by Cheryl CarpinelloTitle: Sons of the Sphinx | Author: Cheryl Carpinello | Publication Date: October 10, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 182 | Recommended Ages: 10+

Summary: Armed with what she considers her grandmother’s curse, 15-year-old Rosa agrees to help the ghost of King Tut find his lost queen Hesena. Though Hesena’s ba inhabits part of Rosa, finding the whole spirit of Hesena so that she and Tut can be together for the first time in over 3300 years proves to be a harder task than Rosa first thinks. Thrust back into Ancient Egypt with Tut, Rosa discovers that finding Hesena is not all she must do. She must keep out of the reach of the living Horemheb—who crosses mortal boundaries using Seth’s evil magic—if she is to stay alive to make it back home.

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About the Authors

Fiona Ingram

Fiona Ingram, Author

I love ancient history, mystery, legends, and travel. Join my young heroes Justin and Adam in an exciting quest as they search for the Seven Stones of Power. Each book is a new adventure, so be part of it!

Website: http://www.fionaingram.com

 

 

Wendy Leighton-Porter

Wendy Leighton-PorterI spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies, but now write books for children instead of teaching them. I take young readers on a magical mystery tour through the past and hope that my love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them.

Website: www.wendy-leighton-porter.com

 

Cheryl Carpinello

Cheryl Carpinello AuthorI’m a retired high school English teacher. My hope is to reach reluctant readers with my Arthurian Tales and soon a series of stories from ancient lands and legends that will take readers on adventurous quests throughout history.

Website: http://www.beyondtodayeducator.com

 

 

* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 100 gift card

Prize: One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card or $100 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Contest closes: December 9, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Fiona Ingram, Cheryl Carpinello, and Wendy Leighton-Porter and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
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Guest Book Review: Saving Wombats by Emma Homes

wombatsPrint Length: 53 pages
Publisher: Spark Street Communications Pty Ltd (June 25, 2014)
ASIN: B00LB8ZDG6
Age Level: 8 – 11 | Grade Level: 3 – 6
Juvenile Fiction/Wildlife

Five Stars

Ruthie, dad Tom and mum Kate, along with Ruthie’s younger siblings, Liam and Bel, and their pet wombat Womble are en route to her cousins’ farm to spend a lovely holiday in the countryside. Up ahead they see a sad sight: a wombat has been run over by a speeding truck. Ruthie’s parents stop to check the animal and discover it has a tiny baby in its pouch. The baby is still alive. Luckily, the Jirringbah Wildlife Shelter is on the same route and soon they get the baby, called a pinky, to Jo Matthews who shows the kids how to take care of the pinky. While they are there, the kids learn a lot about Australia’s wildlife and some of the skin diseases that can affect these animals; one is a horrible disease called mange! Ruthie doesn’t want to admit that soon Womble will be old enough to be released into the wild – imagine if he gets a nasty, itchy skin condition from the mange. Once they get to their cousins, the kids find out more about wombats and mange because there is a wombat on the farm that looks as if it has a bad case of mange. Medication can cure the condition, but it’s catching the animal and applying the medication regularly that’s the problem. Wombats are also pretty quick when it comes to getting away! With the help of some wildlife experts and her Uncle Dave, they devise a clever way of getting the medication onto the skin of the elusive wombat. Will the medicine cure this sick wombat? Will Ruthie be able to release Womble back into the wild?

Saving Wombats by Emma Homes is the second book in Ruthie’s Wildlife series. Ruthie is a great role model for kids since she is a Zoo Youth Ambassador. With wild animal habitats declining worldwide because of human encroachment, it’s important for today’s kids to learn about animals, and to care for them and respect their rights. This is a charming tale that will appeal to its target audience. Author Emma Homes turns Ruthie’s family trip into quite an adventure – wombats may look cute and cuddly, but don’t get on the wrong side of them or try to invade their burrows! There is a wonderful warm atmosphere between the characters of Ruthie’s family and the people they meet. Ruthie and her siblings are real and believable and any parent would be proud of them. In this simple tale an amazing adventure unfolds, with the kids committed to helping animals. The author cleverly feeds necessary information into the story so that by the end of the book young readers will have learned an amazing number of facts about wombats. I really loved reading this!

Purchase here!

 

Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.

Guest Book Review: Little Bird Lost by Steve and Kate Larkinson

bird

Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1492762822
ISBN-13: 978-1492762829
Age group: 3-5

Five stars

Little Bird Lost by Steve and Kate Larkinson is the story of four little birds (baby swallows), discovered by Steve in the eaves of a bakery in south-west France. One of the little birds seems to have disappeared. Is he safe? Has he fallen out the nest? Can he be rescued? Do his parents know where he is? This delightful story in photographs (by Steve) and rhyming couplets (by Kate) will absolutely enchant readers aged 3-5, but actually, adults will also just love this little tale from the world of nature. What I especially enjoyed about this book is the beautiful photographs. I love children’s illustrations but the unique angle of actual images really struck me. Not only are they absolutely first-class and clear, but it is the perfect way to teach young readers about the real world of birds. Children are generally interested in animals and wildlife, and parents and relatives could use this delightful book as a springboard to other books involving wildlife. This is a great book for bedtime reading, and I would also encourage children’s libraries to include a copy. Children will enjoy the images as well as the captivating story. What a lovely start to getting your child interested in reading! As an added bonus, there is a charming little cartoon book video on YouTube to really round off an enchanting reading experience.

 

Purchase at http://www.amazon.com/Little-Bird-Lost-Steve-Larkinson/dp/1492762822

Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.