Hockey Agony by Donna M. McDine


Hockey Agony by Donna M. McDine displays the importance of honesty and integrity.

In this sports-themed chapter book for tweens, Larry is disappointed that his recent injury has sidelined him from the big game. His coach asking him to be time keeper alongside a member of the opposing team is little consolation. When one of his teammates asks him to cheat, Larry needs to decide if honesty can beat out his bad attitude and habit of bending the rules.

As someone who writes message-driven fiction, I always enjoy a book where a reader has a take away they can ponder long after they finish. Such is the case with Hockey Agony. McDine created a character whose bad attitude and habit of bending the rules finally puts him at odds with doing the right thing. Peer pressure is huge at this age, so the author taps into that dilemma and helps tweens realize honesty and integrity are essential to making us successful in life.

Julie Hammond provided the artwork for Hockey Agony. She has a perfect style to complement this story. I also enjoyed the many background details that I felt relayed the message of the story in a subtle way.

While this award-winning book is sure to be popular with hockey players everywhere, Larry’s story is a great read for any tween looking for a bit of excitement and characters they can easily relate to.

Highly recommended!

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Paperback: 20 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; large type edition edition (March 15, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161633360X
ISBN-13: 978-1616333607

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


Powder Monkey by Donna M. McDine


Powder Monkey by Donna M. McDine is a heartrending, powerful story of survival and perseverance.

Tommy is taken by the press gang and forced into servitude for the Royal Navy. It is a tough life for a farm boy, but he learns to survive by being willing to do the jobs many of the other boys do not like to do.

This is a book for middle grade readers that shares a part of British history that is about as attractive as the years the United States was divided by slavery. It’s not a light story for youngsters to enjoy. Instead, it’s a story to teach children about the difficulties in our past and what they can learn from them.

Tommy’s story is brought to life by McDine’s captivating story and the stunning illustrations of K.C. Snider–one of my favorite artists. The emotions Snider captures in this book are so realistic you can’t help but be touched by them; especially the two at the end of the book. This author and artist should collaborate often.

Powder Monkey would make a great addition to any school or home library.

Rating: :) :) :) :)

Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; large type edition edition (May 20, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616333855
ISBN-13: 978-1616333850

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

New from Guardian Angel Publishing

baked potatoe

Elliott was abandoned at the hospital in Tanzania, Africa weighing only 1.65 lbs. His first four months were spent in a hospital bed because he was so tiny. Elliot was Neema’s Baked Potato Boy in this true story. He has thrived at Neema House Orphanage and has now been adopted by a great Tanzanian family.


Bolt, a passenger train, increases his speed between Boston, MA and Washington DC so his favorite passenger Daniel can have more time to spend with his Meemaw on the weekends. The railway superintendent notices Bolt’s speed and efficiency and renames his line the Amtrak Acela. Bolt reaches speeds of 140 mph.

Samuel is a brave little firefighter. His special angel will carry him to Heaven very soon. His sister Gracie finds it hard to say goodbye. Mama teaches Gracie to fill her memory with special moments of Samuel. On windy days, she can hear him whisper to her when she listens with her heart.

To view these and other new releases, please visit

Green Gooey Goop by Anna C. Morrison

Green Gooey Goop 2

Eating healthy just got a lot funnier with Green Gooey Goop by Anna C. Morrison.

In this rhyming story, a girl is served a different kind of meal by her mother who is sharing with her the importance of eating all those green fruits and vegetables. This green gooey goop is whirled up and served in a huge cup with hilarious results.

What a blast this book is. Morrison definitely knows what will relate well to children. I am pretty sure those healthy smoothies look like “green gooey goop” to most youngsters. With her zany creativity, the author is able to highlight all those healthy foods, while acknowledging how kids could feel when presented with such a concoction.

The artwork of Alexander Morris is perfect for Green Gooey Goop. The wavy lines, the wide-eyed expressive faces, and his vibrant mix of colors is the perfect complement to Morrison’s entertaining story.

Kids will eat this one up!

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Paperback: 16 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; large type edition edition (October 15, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616335432
ISBN-13: 978-1616335434

Anna C. Morrison is an author of children’s books, including Silly Moments and Green Gooey Goop, with many more to follow. She is also an adjunct professor for multiple colleges and universities, both face-to-face and online. While she instructs various levels of English composition, she also teaches classes on literature, film, feature writing, and technical writing, among others. In addition, she has worked with Adapt Courseware as a writing consultant on three video course projects, including college skills and composition. Anna received her MFA in Writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky, and her BA in English, Creative Writing, from California State University, San Bernardino. Anna is an active member of SCBWI and is available for book signings. She lives in Southern California with her family and pets.

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


Green Gooey Goop banner


Olive and the Great Flood by Connie Arnold

Olive and the Great Flood Olive and the Great Flood by Connie Arnold is a sweet story of how Olive the dove helped Noah and his passengers while they awaited the end of the flood.

This rhyming story shares the Biblical account of Noah’s Ark from the perspective of the tiny dove sent out after the rain had stopped to check for dry land. She helps calm everyone’s fears with her gentle coos and peaceful songs until the day when it is safe for all the passengers to disembark. What a charming and unique way to share a beloved Bible story.

Part of Guardian Angel Publishing’s Wings of Faith line, the beautiful illustrations are provided by artist Kathleen Bullock. She manages to capture meaningful expressions not only on Moses, but also the animals’ faces. I will be on the lookout for more of her work.

A perfect way to remind children of God’s promise, Olive and the Great Flood will show children how God can use even a tiny dove to reveal His greatness.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Paperback: 20 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; large type edition edition (January 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616335920
ISBN-13: 978-1616335922

Purchase at:

Guardian Angel Publishing


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

A Rainbow of Birds by Janet Halfmann


Papa Cardinal tells his chicks a story of how birds gave the world the rainbow in a story that has been passed down through generations.

A Rainbow of Birds by Janet Halfmann is a vibrant story of color that celebrates the tradition of storytelling. In this imaginative idea that capitalizes on legends and the ancient art of storytelling, children find a fanciful and fun story of how birds came together–sometimes after a squabble–to create the world’s first rainbow. In her trademark habit of educating and entertaining, Halfmann has included fun facts about rainbows, the magic of leprechauns, and rainbow activities and crafts.

Artist Jack Foster has truly outdone himself with the vibrant and occasionally zany characters depicted in this story. I always enjoy Foster’s work, but this book is so stunning it warrants special mention. Coupled with Halfmann’s delightful text, I could imagine and almost hear the story taking place through my office window.

Nature lovers, lovers of legends, and those who enjoy books where storytelling plays a role will want to snatch this one up right away.

Highly recommended!

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)


Paperback: 20 pagesrainbow inside
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; large type edition edition (February 15, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616334622
ISBN-13: 978-1616334628


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

A Sandy Grave by Donna M. McDine (Giveaway)

A Sandy Grave cover

Leah is eager to catch up with her friends Nicole and Hayley at the beach this summer. When a dead whale washes up on shore and some mysterious men start hanging around, the girls aren’t quite sure how they can help.

Award-winning children’s author Donna McDine tackles the issue of poaching in this entertaining tween chapter book. A Sandy Grave finds a group of friends meeting up at the beach for the summer. But their fun is interrupted by a dead whale washing up on shore and some mysterious men hanging around. The girls then learn about the illegal practice of poaching and Leah is concerned those men hanging around the beach are up to no good. There must be something the girls can do to help out.

A book like this empowers children to make a difference while educating them about their world in a fun way. The delightful illustrations by Julie Hammond are the perfect complement to McDine’s story. This is a quick read that will leave a lasting impression.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)





Title: A Sandy Grave
Author: Donna M. McDine
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 24
Language: English
Genre: Tween chapterbook
Format: Paperback, hardcover & eBook


Donna McDine is an award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions, Donna McDine HeadshotLiterary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book Fiction, and Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books ~ The Golden Pathway.

Her stories, articles, and book reviews have been published in over 100 print and online publications. Her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Donna’s 2013 releases of Powder Monkey and Hockey Agony and the 2014 release of A Sandy Grave will be joined by an additional book to be published by Guardian Angel Publishing, Dee and Deb, Off They Go. She writes, moms and is a personal assistant from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, Children’s Literature Network, and Family Reading Partnership. 

Visit Donna online at or her blog at

Donna McDine is giving you a chance to win a $50 Barnes and Noble Gift Card.

Terms & Conditions

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $50 Barnes and Noble Gift Card
  • This giveaway begins March 3 and ends on April 25, 2014.
  • Winner will be contacted via email.

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Monday, March 3


Book trailer reveal at If Books Could Talk

Tuesday, March 4


Interview at As the Pages Turn


Wednesday, March 5


Guest post at My Sister Is My Best Friend


Friday, March 7


Book review at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection


Monday, March 10


Guest post at Literarily Speaking


Tuesday, March 11


Book featured at The Writer’s Life


Wednesday, March 12


Interview at Rebecca’s Writing Services


Thursday, March 13

Book review at Rebecca’s Writing Services

Book review at Farm and Fru Fru


Monday, March 17

Book feature and giveaway at My Sister Is My Best Friend


Wednesday, March 19


Interview at Straight from the Author’s Mouth

Friday, March 21


First chapter reveal at Read My First Chapter


Monday, March 24


Book feature at Between the Covers


Tuesday, March 25


Book feature and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily


Wednesday, March 26


Interview at Nancy Stewart’s Books

Guest post at Mayra’s Secret Bookcase


Thursday, March 27


Book review at My Devotional Thoughts

Friday, March 28


Interview and giveaway at PUYB Virtual Book Club


Tuesday, April 1

Guest post at Strands of Thought

Wednesday, April 2

Guest post at Lori’s Reading Corner

Thursday, April 3

Character interview at Beyond the Books

Book trailer reveal at A Leisure Moment

Friday, April 4

Book review at A Leisure Moment

Monday, April 7

Book review at Blooming with Books

Tuesday, April 8

Interview at Blooming with Books

Wednesday, April 9

Book feature at 4 the Love of Books

Thursday, April 10

Guest post at The Story Behind the Book

Friday, April 11

Book review at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Monday, April 14

Book trailer reveal at 4 the Love of Books

Wednesday, April 16

Book feature and giveaway at Blooming with Books

Thursday, April 17

Book review at Mary’s Cup of Tea

Friday, April 18

Book review at By the Book

Monday, April 21

Book feature at Plug Your Book!

Wednesday, April 23

Book review at 4 the Love of Books

Book review at Mymcbooks’s Blog

Thursday, April 24

Book review at WV Stitcher

Friday, April 25

Book tour highlights at The Book Rack

I received a free digital version of this book. The author paid me to promote this book through a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book. That fee did not include a review. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

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