5 Stars for Melanie Karsak’s Steampunk short story: CHASING CHRISTMAS PAST ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: CHASING CHRISTMAS PAST

Subtitle: An Airship Racing Chronicles Short Story

Author: MELANIE KARSAK

Genre: FICTION, SCI-FI, CHRISTMAS, STEAMPUNK

Length: 41 PAGES

Publisher: CLOCKPUNK PRESS

Type of Book: EBOOK

Received From: FREE FROM THE AUTHOR

Release Date: 2014

ASIN: B00RA6ZA1Q

Price: $1.02 on Amazon

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

MY REVIEW:

The main character is a young woman named Lily. She is the captain of the airship “Stargazer.” Lily has entered the Yuletide Airship Race ever since she was young, and last year she had almost won. This year – 1820 – Lily was determined to win.

Lily would never admit it to anyone, but she is lonely and Christmas being the next day amplified her loneliness.

Will Lily finally be able to beat out all the other airship captains? And what will she do about her loneliness?

Melanie Karsak’s world-building is superb. The Steampunk version of London where the story takes place is highlighted by vivid imagery.

What a gift! Melanie Karsak has the ability to describe a scene so well that you can visualize it easily in your mind. For example:

The rooftops were covered with a powdering of crystalline snow. The gaslamp light made everything sparkle. The waves on the Thames twinkled with golden light.”

I rate this short story as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I highly recommend this wonderful Steampunk Christmas tale.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of this story.

To sign up to Melanie Karsak’s Newsletter, click HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, and The Celtic Blood Series.

She is a steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne.

Melanie currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children.

She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

AMAZON

CHAPTERS / INDIGO BOOKS

PINTEREST

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

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ROSEMARKED by Bestselling Author LIVIA BLACKBURNE hits shelves in 2 days. This book is destined to become a Bestseller, so grab your copy right away. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  

Title: ROSEMARKED       

Author: LIVIA BLACKBURNE  

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, FANTASY, ROMANCE, MULTICULTURAL BOOKS, DIVERSE BOOKS 

AGES: 12-18  GRADES: 7-12

Length: 400 PAGES

Publisher: HYPERION 

Type of Book: EBOOK

Received From: NETGALLEY 

Release Date: NOVEMBER 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-8855-4 (HARDCOVER)

Price: $US $17.99 / CAN $18.99

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


DESCRIPTION

A healer who cannot be healed . . .

When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art-until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.

A soldier shattered by war . . .

Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule-even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.

Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.

This smart, sweeping fantasy with a political edge and a slow-burning romance will capture fans of The Lumatere Chronicles and An Ember in the Ashes. 


MY REVIEW:

This YA novel has everything a teen reader could want. Rosemarked is a mixture of dystopian fiction and fantasy fiction and it combines the two genres perfectly.

Author Livia Blackburne has done an astonishing wonderful job of world-building. She has created not just a single city and its surrounding geography, but an entire continent.

She has created distinct races, each with their own distinct culture, religions and in some cases, language.

The two main characters are Zivah and Dineas. They come from completely different backgrounds and their life philosophies could not be more different. Yet their lives are inextricably entwined whether they like it or not.

As often happens in reality, the more time Zivah and Dineas spend together, the more they realize that despite their outward appearances, they are not so different after all. This is a lesson that readers will hopefully take to heart, and transfer into their own lives; thus reducing racial discrimination in the real world.

I was particularly impressed with Zivah’s character. She is a strong young woman who knows what she wants and will let nothing or noone get in the way of achieving her goal. Even though she is tough and fierce, she is also a caring person who wants to alleviate the suffering of others, even when it puts herself at risk. She is a terrific role model for the teens who will be reading this book.

Those who enjoy books with lots of action, some intricate politics, and a dash of romance will love ROSEMARKED. It is for this reason that I am rating this Young Adult novel as 5 out of 5 Stars and I predict that ROSEMARKED will take ìts rightful place on Teen Bestseller lists shortly after its release on Tuesday, November 7th.

**Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.** 

Enter Livia Blackburne’s giveaway to win a signed copy and some swag by clicking HERE.     


ADD THIS BOOK TO GOODREADS:



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


New York Times bestselling author Livia Blackburne wrote her first novel while she was a PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she conducted research on the neuroscience of reading acquisition in children.  Upon graduation, she switched to writing full time, which also involves getting into people’s heads but without the help of a three tesla MRI scanner.  


To learn more about this author visit the following links
:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

GOODREADS 

TWITTER 

FACEBOOK 

INSTAGRAM 

WATTPAD 

AMAZON 
  


FROM LIVIA BLACKBURNE’S WEBSITE – NINE THINGS ABOUT HER…  

1. She writes fantasy. Most often YA fantasy, but sometimes she branches  out.

2. She was born in Taiwan, raised in Albuqurque, and spent her twenties in Boston, where she earned an A.B. in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard and PhD in cognitive neuroscience from MIT.

3. She started her debut novel Midnight Thief in high school, because writing a novel was the only way she could get out of the mandatory camping requirement.  She finished about 60 pages.  They were 60 awful, awful pages. She finished Midnight Thief 12 years later, because writing a novel was the only way she could keep her sanity while conducting  doctoral research.  This time, she got to 370 pages, and they were much less awful than the initial 60.

4. She writes a blog about psychology and neuroscience for writers.  You can check it out here

5. Like every good Asian kid, she played the piano as a child.  She doesn’t  do that as much anymore, but still loves to sing and dance.

6. She is horrible at any sport that involve fast moving projectiles, and  dislikes most sports that involve highly repetitive movements (running, swimming, biking, etc.).  This leaves basically dancing and martial arts.

7. When she wanted sweets as a child, her mother would give her one M&M.  She thought that was normal, and to this day, has a very low tolerance for sweets.  One bite of chocolate bar, half a scoop of ice cream is about all she can take.

8. If she had to choose one author with the biggest influence on her reading and writing development, it would be Tamora Pierce.

9. Some of her favorite books:  The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner, Plain Kate by Erin Bow, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.  

AUMA’S LONG RUN by Debut Author EUCABETH ODHIAMBO is a fascinating look at the African AIDS epidemic from the point of view of a pre-teen girl. 

Title: AUMA’S LONG RUN     

Author: EUCABETH ODHIAMBO 

Genre: FICTION, MIDDLE-GRADE FICTION

Length: 293 PAGES

Publisher: CAROLRHODA BOOKS – A DIVISION OF LERNER PUBLISHING GROUP      
Type of Book: HARDCOVER    

Received From: GOODREADS GIVEAWAY     

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-2784-4   

Price: $17.99 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS                          🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟    

DESCRIPTION:   

Auma loves to run. In her small Kenyan village, she’s a track star with big dreams. A track scholarship could allow her to attend high school and maybe even become a doctor. But a strange new sickness called AIDS is ravaging the village, and when her father becomes ill, Auma’s family needs her help at home.

Soon more people are getting sick—even dying—and no one knows why.

Now Auma faces a difficult choice. Should she stay to support her struggling family or leave to pursue her own future? Auma knows her family is depending on her, but leaving might be the only way to find the answers to questions about this new disease.  

 

MY REVIEW:

This novel is targeted at young adults and middle-grade readers, however it will also appeal to adults.

It is author Eucabeth Odhiambo’s debut novel and was released less than two months ago.

It tells the tale of 12 year old Auma who lives with her family in a small village in Kenya. It is set in the 1980s when AIDS was first rearing its ugly head in Africa and when very little information was known about the disease.

People are dying every week in Auma’s small village and noone really knows why. They nicknamed the disease “Slim,” probably because patients wasted away before they died.

People didn’t understand why only adults were dying. The young and the elderly seemed to be spared. However, the young were often left as orphans and had to struggle to earn enough money so they wouldn’t starve. Unfortunately, many of these “AIDS Orphans” did end up starving to death.

Auma wants to get educated. She wants to become a doctor But, to do that she must first attend high school. How can she attend school even if she does receive a scholarship when her family needs her to either marry or work to keep her siblings alive?

This tale is not the story of any specific individual or family. Instead, it is the story of what many in Kenya endured before proper information was learned about this heinous disease.

AUMA’S LONG RUN contains wonderfully evocative writing that brings the setting to life for readers. This is demonstrated even in the simplest of sentences, such as: “The rays of the setting sun felt like tongues of fire upon my back.”

The characters are heart-breakingly believable and it is impossible for readers not to feel empathy for Auma and her family. The fact that author Eucabeth Odhiambo grew up in Kenya explains why the setting feels so authentic.

Part of why I like this book so much is that the author does not shy away from the horror of the AIDS victims that Auma encounters. The author wrote this book with the education of readers in mind, and educate she does. Auma sees the lesions and sores appear on her mother’s skin and takes care of her as she wastes away.
This is important. Readers need to know that AIDS is a horrific disease. As Auma learns more about the disease ravaging her village, the reader also learns. Eucabeth Odhiambo has written a story that both entertains and educates her readers and for that, she should be applauded.

I highly recommend this book and rate it as 5 out of 5 Stars for Middle-grade readers. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

To hear the author read an excerpt from Auma’s Long Run click HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  

Eucabeth Odhiambo is a professor of teacher education at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.

As a classroom teacher she has taught all grades between kindergarten and middle school.

Eucabeth grew up in Kenya in the 80’s and 90’s and saw her friends and relatives directly impacted by the disease. “There were so many deaths,  [Eucabeth], like Auma, had many unanswered questions – partly because information simply wasn’t available, and partly because [her] society did not encourage open conversation about the disease.”

After moving to the United States in the early 2000s, Eucabeth obtained her doctoral degree and while studying AIDS education in Kenyan schools,      she returned to Kenya to interview both children and teachers. She spoke to many AIDS orphans and “…was amazed at how strong these children were. Of course they struggled under the weight of depression and desperation – not to mention threat of starvation – but life had to go on.”

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

GOODREADS    

FACEBOOK    

AMAZON     

CHAPTERS      

BARNES AND NOBLE    

 

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:  

Committed to Education Since 1959

Lerner Publishing Group is one of the nation’s largest independently owned children’s publishers with more than 5,000 books in print. For more than 50 years, they’ve created nonfiction and fiction books for pre-school to young adult readers and for libraries, classrooms, and homes across the country.

They bring together authors, illustrators, photographers, and educators to ensure that each book is age-appropriate and meets curriculum standards. Lerner books are thoroughly researched and exceptionally written with amazing illustrations and captivating photography that hold readers’ attention. And because each year brings a new class of students, we use our proprietary Muscle Bound®hardcover library binding so our books last a lifetime in the classroom and library. We guarantee it.

Learn more about this Publisher by clicking on the links below:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

TWITTER    

FACEBOOK       

INSTAGRAM   

F.O.L.D. BOOK BASH was terrific – Check out the amazing and diverse authors, poets and publishers I met on Saturday.



F.O.L.D. stands for FESTIVAL OF LITERARY DIVERSITY 

Today at City Hall in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, FOLD hosted the 2017 Book Bash. 

WHAT IS A FOLD BOOK BASH?

  • A one-day book market designed to give authors and book selling organizations a space to promote their books. 
  • A chance for the community to learn about books written by local authors
  • The ability for consumers to learn about and to purchase multicultural books that reflect the diversity of the city and  country in which they live
  • A chance to meet the authors of those books and to have them autographed 
  • As well as the chance to listen to authors read from, and talk about their books. 

    FOLD is the first and only literary festival in Canada to focus on diverse authors and stories.

    The first Festival of Literary Diversity was held in May 2016 and included more than 25 unique sessions held over three days with over thirty of Canada’s most exciting authors.

    Mark your calendars for May 3rd to May 5th, 2018 for the next Festival. There will be quite a few authors and publishers with many different sessions to choose from.

    CHECK IT OUT – YOU’LL BE GLAD YOU DID. 

    AUTHORS I MET ON SATURDAY  & SOME AMAZING BOOKS YOU NEED TO OWN


    #1. 

    JAEL RICHARDSON 


    Jael Richardson
     is one busy woman. Besides being the Founder and Creative Art Director of the Festival of Literary Diversity, she is also an author in her own right.

    Her book THE STONE THROWER: A DAUGHTER’S LESSON, A FATHER’S LIFE is a memoir based on her relationship with her father, CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey. The memoir received a CBC Bookie Award and earned Richardson an Acclaim Award and a My People Award as an Emerging Artist and was adapted into a children’s book in 2016. 

    To learn more about Jael, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

    GOODREADS          

    TWITTER    

    FACEBOOK          

    INSTAGRAM        

    CHAPTERS              

    This is me with Jael at the 2017 FOLD Book Bash

    #2. 

    DEJA BEALS has been writing poetry since the age of sixteen. She finds her inspiration for her poetry in family, friends and everyday experiences.  

    DĖJA BEALS has been writing poetry since the age of 16. You would never know that during those early writing days, her poetry was filled with incorrect grammar. Now, like Déja herself, her writing has matured and
     developed. Her work has blossomed to include a range of topics such as love, faith and everyday experiences.

    Déja finds her poetic inspiration in family, friends and her daily experiences.

    She is known for her silly moments, big laugh and even bigger heart. She has been said to have wisdom beyond her years and uncanny insight which adds depth to her writing. She is currently living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

    DÉJA’S OFFICIAL BLOG     

    GOODREADS      

    TWITTER     

    FACEBOOK     

    INSTAGRAM    


    AMAZON          

    DISCOVERING DIVERSITY PUBLISHING    

    3, 4 and 5.

    I met these three very gracious and amazing women at the FOLD Brampton Book Bash. 

    About the multitalented Catherine Graham – Not only has she written the fiction novel QUARRY but she is also only days away from the launch off her new poetry collection THE CELERY FOREST which is being published by Wolsak and Wynn

    Author and Poet – CATHERINE GRAHAM

    QUARRY is a fictional story set in Southern Ontario during the 1980s. Only child Caitlin Maharg lives with her parents beside a water-filled limestone quarry, but her idyllic upbringing collapses when she learns her mother is dying. After a series of family secrets emerge, Caitlin must confront the past and face her uncertain future. 

    THE CELERY FOREST      

    Like Wonderland or Oz, Neverland or Narnia, The Celery Forest is an extraordinary world filled with strange creatures and disorienting sights. But the doorway to the Celery Forest is not a rabbit hole or an old wardrobe. The doorway is an MRI. For poet and novelist Catherine Graham, this is the topsy-turvy world she found herself in after learning she had breast cancer.

         More than a survivor’s tale, these poems are a map through unknowable terrain, infused with awareness and forgetting, written by a poet with the visionary ability to distill our sense of wonder into something we can hold.
    TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CATHERINE GRAHAM, VISIT THE FOLLOWING LINKS: 

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

    GOODREADS 

    TWITTER   

    FACEBOOK    

    INSTAGRAM      

    AMAZON       


    CHAPTERS         

         
    #4.  

    Publisher & Author Alexander Leggett  

    CEO and Founder of Two Wolves Press, Alexandra Leggat is the author of the novel The Incomparables as well as several other published works. 

    Alexandra started Two Wolves  Press as a way to nurture talent without compromise  – to work closely with Two Wolves writers to follow and trust their intuition and publish “instinctual fiction”. 

    Two Wolves Press publishes Catherine Graham’s novel QUARRY and
    Aileen Santos’ SOMEONE LIKE YOU.

    To learn more about this Publisher and author, visit the following links:
     
    OFFICIAL WEBSITE   


    GOODREADS     

    TWITTER   

    FACEBOOK        

    INSTAGRAM      

    AMAZON     

    CHAPTERS       

    MORE INFO COMING IN MY NEXT BLOG POST. 


    Coming September 28th is the incredibly gorgeous photography book HUMAN TRIBE by Award Winner Alison Wright – 5 Stars are just not enough 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

    Title: HUMAN TRIBE 

    Author: ALISON WRIGHT   

    Genre: NON-FICTION, PHOTOGRAPHY, MULTICULTURAL BOOKS

    Length: 180 PAGES

    Size: 8 x 8 inches

    Publisher: SCHIFFER BOOKS    

    Received From: NETGALLEY    

    Release Date: SEPTEMBER 28, 2017

    ISBN: 978-0-7643-5396-3   

    Price: $29.99 USD / $45.00 CDN

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     


    DESCRIPTION
    :


    “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”

    Margaret Mead 

    According to author and photographer Alison Wright, “The emotive beauty and grace of the human face, in all its diversity, will never cease to inspire … This book is a celebration of the universal human spirit within us all.” 

    Containing photographs taken in many countries around the world, this book is a stunning work of art that is being published at the perfect time. 

    With political upheaval and divisiveness at an all-time high, the photographs in this book serve as a reminder that people are just that – people. We need to embrace the diversity that makes our world so amazing. 

    Alison Wright has taken these pictures over the span of many years and many countries. 

    Photographs of Monks in Cambodia, poor children in Nepal, elderly farmers in Cuba, geisha in Japan, Norwegian huntsmen, Burmese migrants in Thailand, Indigenous peoples in Alaska and many more people, from many more countries, all have one thing in common – their faces, and eyes may be different colors, but one thing is always the same; those faces, and especially their eyes showcase their humanity. 

    This gorgeous book will take pride of place on anyone’s coffee table and is guaranteed to get people talking. Any book that is able to remind us, at a glance, that regardless of race, we are really all the same.    

    It would also make an incredible birthday or Christmas gift. I rate this photography book as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 and I highly recommend buying at least one copy for yourself and a few extra copies as gifts. 

    ** Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. ** 



    ABOUT THE AUTHOR/PHOTOGRAPHER: 

    Photograph by Steve Bly

    Alison Wright, a New York-based documentary photographer, has spent a career capturing the universal human spirit through her photographs and writing. For many of her projects Alison travels to the remotest regions of the globe photographing endangered cultures and people while documenting issues concerning the human condition. 


    Clients & Representation

    Wright’s photography is represented byNational Geographic Creative and has been published in numerous magazines including National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Islands, Smithsonian Magazine, American Photo, Natural History, Time, Forbes, Oprah and The New York Times.


    Books

    Wright has photographed a number of books including “Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit”, “The Spirit of Tibet: Portrait of a Culture in Exile”, “The Dalai Lama: A Simple Monk”, “Faces of Hope: Children of a Changing World”, and National Geographic Traveler books on China, London and Great Britain.

    On January 2, 2000 Alison’s life was nearly cut short during a horrific bus accident on a remote jungle road in Laos. Wright’s memoir, “Learning to Breathe; One Woman’s Journey of Spirit and Survival”, chronicles this inspirational story of survival and years of rehabilitation, and her ongoing determination to recover and continue traveling the world as an intrepid photojournalist.

    To learn more about Alison Wright click on the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

    GOODREADS    

    TWITTER    

    FACEBOOK    

    INSTAGRAM        

    LINKEDIN     

    AMAZON     

    CHAPTERS     

    Mark Your 2018 Calendar for the release of FISH-BOY by Vanita Oelschlager – AN INUIT FOLK TALE Beautifully Illustrated 

    Title: FISH-BOY    
    Subtitle: AN INUIT FOLK TALE    

    Author: VANITA OELSCHLAGER

    Illustrator: MIKE BLANC 

    Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION, MULTICULTURAL BOOKS, INUIT STORIES

    Length: 25 PAGES     

    Publisher: VANITA BOOKS
    http://www.vanitabooks.com

    Type of Book: EBOOK

    Received From: NETGALLEY

    Release Date: MAY 1, 2018

    ISBN: 978-1-938164-20-0 (Hardcover)

    ISBN: 978-1- 938164-21-7 (Paperback)

    Price: (HARDCOVER) $15.95 USD

    Rating: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟
    DESCRIPTION:  

    The Arctic region of North America is a land of long days, icy cold, hardy people and peculiar creatures.  The Inuit people there have made traditional use of remarkable folk tales to find truth and explain the mysteries of an astonishing world.

    In Fish-Boy, An Inuit Folk Tale, Vanita Oelschlager retells a tale passed down by a wise old Inuit. 

    Fish-Boy is an origin story involving an odd young boy who has a big heart. On a journey with his new father, he must confront misfortune and the malice of cold hearted villagers.  But he has a way… and a lesson for all in the virtues of kindness and hospitality.

    MY REVIEW:   

    I have always been fascinated by folk-tales and those told by Aboriginal or Inuit storytellers are some of the very best.

     There were two main reasons that traditional Inuit stories were told. Firstly, stories were used to explain the world around them, and secondly, they were used to teach traditional values to the next generation.

    The cover of this book is so beautifully illustrated that I was immediately drawn to it. I believe that children will be drawn to it as well. In fact, the illustration of the boy with the puffin on his head brings to mind Disney illustrations. Mike Blanc is obviously a very talented individual.

    FISH-BOY is the story of “… why there are so many sea-parrots on the stony islands of the far North.” 

    It is the story of a lame Inuit fisherman who one day saw a fish that was unlike anything he had seen before. “It appeared] to have a head like a man and feet behind its tail.” To the fisherman’s surprise, the fish spoke to him saying, “Do not spear me. I am not a fish. I am Fish-Boy … I have no parents, and I am very lonely. I want you to be my father.”

    The fisherman was lame, but he had found a way to survive. He wasn’t sure what use an armless Fish-Boy would be, but out of kindness, he took him in and Fish-Boy became his son.

    This act of kindness changed both their lives for the better and the pair had amazing adventures.

    You will need to read this book to discover exactly what adventures they had, what trials and tribulations they faced and to discover how their story finally reveals the reason that there are so many sea-parrots on the stony islands today. I promise that this is a story worth reading.

    I love that this book not only tells the story of Fish-Boy, but also includes details of traditional Inuit life. Also included at the back of the book are definitions of some of the story’s less commonly known words.

    In addition to being a fantastic story, another wonderful thing about not only this book, but all books published by Vanita Books is that they donate ALL net profits to “charities where people help people help themselves.” Ten percent of the net profits for FISH-BOY will be donated to The Oak Clinic for Multiple Sclerosis, the other ninety percent will go to other charities. 

    I rate this book as 4.5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

    * Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC (Advance Review Copy) of this book.




    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


    VANITA OELSCHLAGER is a wife, mother, grandmother, philanthropist, former teacher, current caregiver, author and poet.

    She is a graduate of the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio, where she currently serves as Trustee. Vanita is also Writer in Residence for the Literacy Program at the University of Akron.

    She and her husband Jim received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in 2006. Vanita also won the Congressional Angels Adoption Award for the State of Ohio in 2007 and was named National Volunteer of the Year by the MS Society in 2008. 

     
    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

    GOODREADS     

    TWITTER        

    FACEBOOK               

    AMAZON               

    CHAPTERS        


    ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: 


    MIKE BLANC is an author and an award-winning illustrator of children’s literature.

    His artwork has illuminated countless publications for both corporate and public interests, worldwide. Mike contributes creative direction and illustration.

    He lives with his wife, Gail, in sunny Doylestown, Ohio. They enjoy their four children, and five grandchildren.

    To learn more about this amazing illustrator, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE       

    GOODREADS     

    TWITTER         

    LINKEDIN        

    AMAZON         

    CHAPTERS      

    COMPANY TOWN is one of Best DYSTOPIAN FICTION books published in the past few years. This is a MUST BUY. I give COMPANY TOWN 6 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

    1503645363780

     Title: COMPANY TOWN   

    Author: MADELINE ASHBY     

    Genre: SCIENCE FICTION, DYSTOPIAN FICTION, CANADIAN FICTION, SPECULATIVE FICTION

    Length: 285 PAGES      

    Publisher: TOR BOOKS  

    ISBN: 978-0-7653-9887-1 

    Price: $14.99 USD / $20.99 CDN

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

    CBC CANADA READS 2017      

    I purchased this book at Chapters from a display of books by Canadian authors. I was (and still am) thrilled to find a Canadian author writing Dystopian Science Fiction.

     I read A LOT of books and there are a ton of dystopian titles on the market. Some are just okay, most are pretty good and then there are the exceptional few that are so well written the author’s world comes to life and you never want the story to end. COMPANY TOWN is one such book.

    Not only is it easy to envision the setting – an entire city filled with people just trying to survive on what was once an oil rig and was never meant for long-term habitation, but MADELINE ASHBY has created an entirely new world history.

    In my opinion she is a literary genius. I realize that is a HUGE claim, but once you read COMPANY TOWN, I am fairly certain you will agree.

    I do not want to give away any parts of the plot or the setting, but I do want to get across to anyone reading this review that YOU NEED TO BUY THIS BOOK and YOU WILL BE HAPPY THAT YOU DID.

    With a carefully constructed plot, characters you can’t help but feel for, and incredible world-building, author Madeline Ashby has written a tale that is a warning to us all about caring for our environment and all those who live in it.

    The most terrifying aspect of COMPANY TOWN is that it might become  a reality if no changes are made to how we are all currently living. This book should be required reading for every man, woman and child (over the age of 16.) It is quite simply a MUST READ. I rate it as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 
    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    Photo Credit: Kayleigh McCollum Photography

    Madeline Ashby is a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She writes a column for the Ottawa Citizen. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and Jason Richman at UTA.       

    She has worked with Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, The Atlantic Council, the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her other essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity, Tor.com, MISC Magazine, FutureNow, and elsewhere.      

    To learn more about this amazing Canadian author, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

    GOODREADS  

    TWITTER       

    FACEBOOK   

    INSTAGRAM    

    LINKED IN       

    AMAZON.CA   

    AMAZON.COM      

    CHAPTERS      

    PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE     

    NEW RELEASE – “CROSSING THE LINE” by Bibi Belford is Historical Middle-grade Fiction at its finest. A 5 Star Read recommended for ages 10 to 110. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

    Title: CROSSING THE LINE

    Author: BIBI BELFORD    

    Genre: FICTION, MULTICULTURAL FICTION, MIDDLE-GRADE FICTION, DIVERSE BOOKS, HISTORICAL FICTION

    Length: 287 PAGES

    Publisher: SKY PONY PRESS – An Imprint of SKYHORSE PUBLISHING

    Type of Book: HARDCOVER

    Received From: PUBLISHER

    Release Date: AUGUST 22, 2017  

    ISBN: 978-1-5107-0800-6 

    Price:  $15.99 USD

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  


    DESCRIPTION:

    “I’m excited about my new historical fiction,CROSSING THE LINE, a middle grade novel to be published in 2017 by Sky Pony Press.

    It’s set in Bridgeport, Chicago in 1919, and told through the eyes of eleven-year-old Billy McDermott.

    Billy is pretty sure skin color doesn’t matter. Not when you and Foster, your fifth grade buddy and his brothers, Odelle and Emmett, are just horsing around, building a raft.

    But in the Red Summer of 1919, it does matter, and Billy’s misguided innocence causes Odelle’s murder, igniting Chicago’s bloodiest race riot.”

    Bibi Belford, Author of Crossing the Line, Canned and Crushed, and other middle grade fiction.


    MY REVIEW:


    CROSSING THE LINE
     is a brand new middle-grade fiction novel released August 22nd, 2017. The timing of this book’s release could not be better.

    With racial tensions currently  rising across the United States, it is time to remind adults that those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it. Even though this book is targeted at children between the ages of 10-14, it is written in such a way that adults will enjoy reading it as well.

    Set in the year 1919, this is a fictional story told around actual historic events. CROSSING THE LINE would be perfect for book reports and/or book clubs. I believe that after reading this book, children will be interested in digging deeper and learning more about their nation’s history. Even if that does not happen, readers will find themselves with a much better understanding of the role of race in American history. 

    I love the fact that author Bibi Belford chose 1919 as the time period for this book. The events in the book occur after the soldiers who survived have returned from World War One. In fact, the main character, Billy, is dealing with his father’s return from the war. Instead of returning as a celebrated, conquering hero, Billy’s Dad is confined to the Veterans Hospital with a severe case of Shell Shock. This leaves Billy as the “Man of the House” and leaves his mother struggling to provide her family with a roof over their heads and to put food on their table.

    To help reduce household expenses, Billy leaves the Catholic school he has always attended and in which he was just another Irish Catholic kid, like all the other students. There was zero diversity among the students and their families.

    Now attending Public School, Billy befriends a student in his class named Foster. Both boys love baseball and bond over that as well as the fact that both their fathers fought in the war.

    The author took this picture of CERMAK BRIDGE which is where one of the scenes in the book takes place.

    Foster is black and even though the two boys see nothing wrong with being friends, but when the city’s residents find out about it, a series of events take place that culminates in murder and citywide mayhem.

    five policemen and one soldier with a rifle standing on a street corner during a race riot in the Douglas community areaof Chicago, Illinois

    A white gang looking for Black victims

    An African American being stoned during the race riots

    With perfection in character building, and a plot that will have readers riveted, CROSSING THE LINE is a 5 Star Read. It will remind people of one of the darkest periods in Chicago’s history and remind us that small actions matter. The time to stand up against racism is now. We cannot allow history to repeat itself.

    I highly recommend this book and I would like to thank the Publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    Teacher-turned-Author  

    |  Literacy Advocate  |  

    Educational Consultant

     Gardening Enthusiast 

     |  Writer-Mentor  

    |  Admirer of Lighthouses

     | Kid’s-Fiction Writer

    Bibi Belford is the author of books for middle grade readers: CROSSING THE LINE, CANNED AND CRUSHED, THE GIFT, and ANOTHER D FOR DEEDEE (coming 2018). 

    She lives in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois with her husband. She enjoys books, gardening, beaches, and spending time with her grandchildren. 

    Belford also works as an educational consultant and volunteers in public schools. She is a member of CWA – Chicago Writers Association, SCBWI-Illinois, and has served as a panelist for author Success Stories at the UW-Madison Writers’ Institute.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links: 

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

    GOODREADS       

    TWITTER       

    FACEBOOK       

    INSTAGRAM          

    PINTEREST     

    AMAZON


    CHAPTERS


     

    ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: 

    Launched in fall 2011, Sky Pony Press is the children’s book imprint of Skyhorse Publishing. Following in the footsteps of our parent company, our goal is to provide books for readers with a wide variety of interests. Our continually growing list includes fiction, picture books, educational books, novelty books, and midgrade, and we even reissue some well-loved classics. Since we do not view our potential readers as generic age groups, but rather as individual children, each with specific talents and needs, we publish in a broad range of subject matter to celebrate their diverse interests.

    To learn more about Sky Pony Press click on the logo above, or click HERE.

    *** Thank you to the Publisher for providing me with a free copy of CROSSING THE LINE. 



    A DIFFERENT POND by Phi Bao is one of the most meaningful children’s books I have ever read. 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

    Title: A DIFFERENT POND     

    Author: BAO PHI  

    Illustrator: THI BUI     

    Genre: FICTION, CHILDREN’S FICTION, IMMIGRANT FICTION, MULTICULTURAL FICTION    

    Length: 32 PAGES

    Publisher: CAPSTONE   

    Type of Book: JACKETED PAPER-OVER-BOARD   

    Ages: 4 TO 8

    Received From: NETGALLEY     

    Release Date: AUGUST 2017 

    ISBN: 978-1-62370-803-0  

    Price: $15.95 U.S. / $19.95 CAN 

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟    

    FROM THE BACK COVER:

    An unforgettable story about a simple event – a long-ago fishing trip. A young boy wakes early, hours before his father’s long workday begins, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis.

    Unlike many anglers, the boy and his father fish for food, not recreation. A successful catch means a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, the boy’s father tells him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. On these early mornings, the young boy begins the hard work of self discovery. 

    MY REVIEW: 

    Not only is this book beautifully written and illustrated, but the story within will enchant children while simultaneously evoking a sense of nostalgia in the child’s parents.

    Despite the fact that the characters in this gorgeous children’s book are Vietnamese, every child will be able to relate to the main character’s delight in spending time with his father and in the disappointment when he is left behind while his parents go off to work. 

    Readers will notice that the father and son are fishing for food, rather than fishing for fun. When they have caught enough fish: 

    Dad smiles, his teeth broken and white in the dark, because we have a few fish and he knows we will eat tonight.” 

    This line is an opportunity for parents to talk to their children about the immigrant experience and through this discussion, they can help to foster equality and to help eliminate racism in our society. 

    Image obtained from http://weneeddiversebooks.org/


    It seems trite to say that “Children are our future,” but as cliché as it sounds, it is true.

    Books such as this one are important for many reasons. It is important for children of visible minorities to be able to find and read books that show people who look just like them, and that they can relate to. It is equally important that all children are exposed to multicultural books since we live in a multicultural society. 

    The illustrations in this book are a cross between a graphic novel and a typical children’s book. This unique illustrative style is the PERFECT accompaniment to the story.  

    I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 and suggest that all parents, teachers and librarians put this book on their “To Be Purchased list” or that they go ahead and pre-order a copy today. I predict this book will win many awards upon its release. 

    *I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    BAO PHI was born in Vietnam and raised in the Phillips neighborhood of South Minneapolis.

    He is an author, a poet, a community organizer, and a father.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

    GOODREADS      

    FACEBOOK        

    AMAZON    

    ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:  

    THI BUI was born in Vietnam and grew up in California and New York. Now all these places are a part of her.

    She draws, writes, and teaches. She recently completed her first graphic novel, THE BEST WE COULD DO (Abrams, 2017), which is about her mother and father.

    To learn more about this author/illustrator, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE    

    TUMBLR      

    GOODREADS     

    INSTAGRAM     

    TWITTER    

    THE NIB   

    GOOGLE BOOKS