TRAPPED IN ICE by Canadian Author Eric Walters – A 5 Star YA Historical Fiction Thriller based on a true story. A MUST READ.

Title: TRAPPED IN ICE

Author: ERIC WALTERS 

Genre: FICTION, HISTORICAL FICTION, YOUNG ADULT FICTION, MIDDLE-GRADE FICTION, CANADIAN FICTION

Length: 225 PAGES

Publisher: PUFFIN CANADA – A DIVISION OF PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE 

Release Date: 1997

ISBN: 978-1-77049-994-2 (Softcover)

Price: $12.99 CDN ($8.91 on the Chapters.ca website)   

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I sometimes wonder why we don’t learn more Canadian history in high school. I am 100% sure that if TRAPPED IN ICE was read in history class, not one student would complain of boredom.

ERIC WALTERS has taken the tale of the 1913 Canadian Arctic Expedition and fictionalized it into a tale that everyone should read.

It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of historical fiction or not, this book will draw you in and you will find it nearly impossible to put down.

Thirteen year old Helen lost her father and her home all within the span of a single year. Her mother accepted a job as a seamstress on the Canadian Arctic Expedition and arranged for Helen and her younger brother to join the expedition as well.

Up until this trip, Helen has only ever experienced adventure through the many books she has read. What should have been a moderately scary trip becomes a nightmare when the ocean unexpectedly freezes over early. This catches everyone on board The Karluk by surprise, even the experienced and tough Captain Robert Bartlett. The ship becomes locked in the ice with no chance of a thaw for many months.

Actual photo of the Karluk stuck in the ice in 1913

In fact, it is likely that the ship will sink before the ice thaws enough for it to be released. What follows is a true tale of the ship’s Captain, crew and passengers and their terrifying trek across the ice flow to try to reach land.

Photo of Captain Robert Bartlett at home in Newfoundland before leaving for the 1913 Canadian Arctic Expedition

Readers will find themselves drawn into this harrowing tale of how Helen and the others push themselves beyond human endurance based solely on their will to survive.

This book is not very long, it consists of only 225 pages and readers will become so swept up in the story that they will want to read it in a single day.

I love the fact that author Eric Walters has chosen to bring to light a part of Canadian history that is largely unknown and I hope that he continues to write more books like this one.


I rate TRAPPED IN ICE as 5 out of 5 Stars and I highly recommend this book to all readers aged ten and older. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

To learn more about The 1913 Canadian Arctic Expedition and it’s true story click here

TRAPPED IN ICE won the 1999 Silver Birch Award. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

It all began in 1993 when Eric was teaching a Grade 5 class.  His students were reluctant readers and writers and Eric began to write to encourage them to become more involved in literature.  His first novel, Stand Your Ground, was created for this class.  It is set in the school where Eric was teaching, Vista Heights Public School, and some of the features of the community of Streetsville and many of the names of his students were incorporated into the story.

  

Since his first novel Eric has exploded on the children’s and young adult scene.  Over the following years he has published over 94 more novels and picture books with more than ten scheduled for the coming years.

These novels have been enthusiastically received by children and young adults and critically acclaimed by teachers, reviewers and parents.  Eric’s novels have won more than 100 awards including eleven separate children’s choice awards. 

He is the only three time winner of both the Ontario Library Association Silver Birch and Red Maple Awards – in which over 250,000 students participate and vote the winner.  In November 2013 he received the prestigious Children’s Africana Book Award – Best Book for young children – for his book The Matatu.  This American award was presented to Eric in a ceremony at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

 https://youtu.be/yheY6Lut3iU   

Eric’s novels are now available in places as far award as New Zealand, Australia, India and Nepal and have been translated into more than a dozen languages including French, German, Japanese, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese.

Eric has presented to more than 1,500,000 students across North America and internationally in Japan and Germany.  His presentations blend drama, storytelling, audience participation and interaction.  He presents to students from K – Grade 12 as well as adult groups and keynote speeches.

 June 2013 Eric became ‘Dr. Walters’ when he was granted the honorary degree of Literarum Doctorem by Wilfred Laurier University.  He gave the address to graduating  B.Ed., B.A. students in the spring convocation.

Eric, along with his wife Anita, and Ruth and Henry Kyatha, are the co-founders of The Creation of Hope which provides for over 400 orphans and disadvantaged children throughout the Mbooni District of Kenya.

100% of money donated by schools goes directly to serve and through the website these schools are shown – school by school, dollar by dollar, item by item – how their donations are spent.

Eric is the father of three (Christina – born 1985, Nicholas – born 1988, and Julia – born 1992) and he and his wife live in Mississauga with their two dogs – Lola and Winnie the Poodle.  In his free time (what little of it he has) he walks, hikes, and plans his next adventure.  He spends time every summer in Kenya at his orphanage.

To learn more about Eric and his phenomenal books visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE    

GOODREADS    

TWITTER          

CHAPTERS / INDIGO BOOKS    

EMAIL: ericwaltersauthor@gmail.com   

 

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GREAT by Glen Gretzky & Lauri Holmes Lives Up To It’s Title!!!

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Title: GREAT

Author: GLEN GRETZKY and LAURI HOLOMIS

Illustrator: KEVIN SYLVESTER

Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION, SPORTS, INSPIRATIONAL, AGES 4-8

Length: 32 pages

Publisher: PUFFIN – An Imprint of PENGUIN CANADA BOOKS INC.

ISBN (Print Book) 978-0-670-06990-3

ISBN (EBook) 978-0-14-319494-1

Price: $16.99 HARDCOVER

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 13, 2016

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The second I set eyes on this book, I knew that I had to have it. Being both Canadian and the mother of two boys means that hockey is in my blood. Plus, no self-respecting Canadian parent would pass up the opportunity to purchase a children’s book that is not only about hockey, but also conveys a very important lesson for both kids and their parents.

Come on! The Foreward is written by “The Great One” himself – Wayne Gretzky. In it he states: “I am very proud of this book and the message it gives to kids. Our Foundation’s Mission Statement is about helping to equip kids for life and that begins at home. Let’s ensure our kids have the encouragement, love and support they need to grow up to be strong and confidant adults. Every child should know that they’re Great.”

What an awesome message! And, it is a message that I agree with 100%.

Most fans of Wayne Gretzky are aware that his father – Walter Gretzky dedicated himself to making his son into both the hockey player and the man that he grew up to be. GREAT is inspired by Walter Gretzky.

In the story a boy named Taylor is excited to have made the hockey team of his dreams. He is going to be playing with Wayne – a kid who everyone is already calling “The Great One”.

The coach is Walter (Wally) Gretzky. Taylor is so nervous to be on such a great team that he doesn’t play very well.

Taylor wants to be the star of the game and when he hogs the puck rather than passing, his team loses. He tells Coach Wally that he knows the loss was his fault and that he thinks he should quit.

Coach Wally’s response is the perfect one. He is the kind of coach that every child deserves to have and Taylor ends up learning lessons not just about hockey, but also about life.

The illustrations in this book are PERFECT. The cartoon showing Taylor leaving for an early morning practice while his bleary-eyed Mom looks on reminded me so much of my own time as a Hockey Mom. Another illustration showing Taylor shooting pucks at a battered garage door made me laugh out loud in remembrance. Throughout the entire book are illustrations that any hockey parent and their child will love. I rate the illustrations as 5 out of 5 stars.

In fact, I enjoyed GREAT so much that I rate the entire book as 5 out of 5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This book is set to be released on September 13, 2016 – just in time for hockey season. It would also make a great Christmas gift for any hockey fan (regardless of their age.)

* I received a free copy of this book from the Publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

GLEN GRETZKY:

GLEN GRETZKY is the Executive Director of the Wayne Gretzky Foundation, which raises money to help children and families across Canada and the United States. Glen is also the Brand Manager for Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery and continues to be involved in community events and fundraising. He lives in Brantford, Ontario

LAURI HOLOMIS:

LAURI HOLOMIS has worked with the Gretzky Family and the Wayne Gretzky Foundation for many years. She continues to work in the sports world and is passionate about teaching kids confidence. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband, Ryan, and son, Wyatt. The author lives in Toronto, Ontario.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:

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KEVIN SYLVESTER  is an illustrator, writer and broadcaster based in Toronto. His series, The Neil Flambe capers, is now out and loads of fun (according to him).

Neil Flambe and the Marco Polo Murders won the 2011 Silver Birch award for Fiction. Neil Flambe and the Aztec Abduction was runner-up in 2012. Neil Flambe and the Crusader’s Curse is up for the 2013 Silver Birch. Kevin’s picture book Splinters was nominated for the 2012 Blue Spruce! Cathy Rondina’s and I won the Silver Birch for Non-Fiction in 2012 for Don’t Touch that Toad. My book Gold Medal for Weird won the 2009 Silver Birch for Non-Fiction.

Kevin has also been a broadcaster with CBC Radio in Canada for years and years (although he is originally from Western New York). Kevin is willing to have people contact him with any questions or comments. His email address is:  atsylvesterartwork@gmail.com.

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Photos and illustrations were all obtained through Kevin Sylvester’s website.

LEAVING LUCY PEAR by Anna Solomon – UPCOMING NEW RELEASE Historical Fiction earns 5 Stars

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Title: LEAVING LUCY PEAR

Author: ANNA SOLOMON

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction

Length: 315 PAGES

Publisher: VIKING

ISBN: 978-1-594-63265-5

Price: $26.00 ($35.00 CAN)

Release Date: JULY 26, 2016

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

* I received a free copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.

NEW RELEASE

It’s 1917 and a young and unmarried Beatrice Haven has snuck out of the house with a bundle in her arms.

Within that bundle lies her squirming infant daughter. The daughter she was supposed to give up on the very day of her birth. The secretly beloved daughter that she cannot allow to be raised by the awful woman who runs the Jewish orphanage.

Instead, Beatrice has a plan.  It is risky and bold, but Beatrice (whom everyone calls ‘Bea’) wants her child to have a chance at happiness. So, she lays her baby girl under a pear tree and waits.

Her plan works. The baby is claimed by another woman and Bea is free to continue on her life’s path without the stigma and encumbrance of a child born out of wedlock. 

Ten years later a series of coincidences end with Bea reuniting with Emma Murphy, the Irish Catholic woman who took in her abandoned daughter all those years ago.

The characters in LEAVING LUCY PEAR are so vividly described that the reader could easily believe that she was watching a movie rather than reading a book.

Bea’s daughter’s name is Lucy. Lucy is quite the character. She’s headstrong, she contains a vast intellect that is well above that if her peers. And Lucy has plans of her own.

Taking place in the town of Cape Ann, Massachusetts in the early 1920s, readers are in for a treat. Author Anna Solomon has obviously vigorously researched the time period as well as the location’s geography. I am not a historian by any means, but the story and its setting seemed authentic and entirely plausible to me.

Readers are in for a fictional historic tale that will make them laugh, make them cry and in fact, at times, will have readers experiencing every emotion in between. LEAVING LUCY PEAR will stay with readers long after the book has been shelved. I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

 

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“He had told her she could leave, her last night, to make it easier for her. He had never regretted that. Yet he missed her. He doubted he would live long enough to stop missing her.”

“…even after all these years, he cannot tell if she is actually unstable, or just very sad.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Photo: © Beowulf Sheehan

ANNA SOLOMON is the author of “The Little Bride” and a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in many publications including “The New York Times Magazine,” “One Story,” “Ploughs hares,” “Slate,” and MORE.

She previously worked as a journalist for National Public Radio. She was born and raised in Gloucester, Massachusetts and now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two children.

5 Stars for HOCKEY MOMS by Julie Bertuzzi- BOOK REVIEW

  

Title: HOCKEY MOMS: Realities from the Rink

Author: Julie Bertuzzi

Illustrated By: Anthony Jenkins 

Genre: Humor, Sports, Parenting

Length: 123 pages

ISBN: 978-0-7710-1350-8

Price: $19.95 Can/ $15.95 US

Release Date: October 6, 2015

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

As a Hockey Mom myself, it was very easy to relate to the subject matter of this book. 

It is obvious that despite the fact that author, Julie Bertuzzi is married to NHL player Todd Bertuzzi she is not just a stuck-up rich girl. No one who wasn’t a Hockey Mom herself would be able to describe so succinctly the various types of Hockey Moms that exist. 

The book is illustrated by Anthony Jenkins who has perfectly captured the style and idiosyncrasies of the different types of Hockey Moms. His illustrations make this book complete. 

I laughed out loud a couple times while reading this book and even snorted a few times. I have met every single one of these “Hockey Moms” in the years that I have attended my son’s games. 

Every hockey family needs to buy this book! I wonder, which type of Hockey Mom are you?

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐

See an interview with Julie Bertuzzi talking about her book online at 

http://globalnews.ca/video/2275874/hail-to-the-hockey-moms-julie-bertuzzi-on-rink-side-parenting 

Buy online at Chapters at

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/hockey-moms-realities-from-the/9780771013508-item.html?ikwid=Hockey+moms&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

 

Photo Credit: The Vancouver Sun


JULIE BERTUZZI is guilty of being numerous types of Hockey Moms. She is the wife of former NHL player Todd Bertuzzi and mother of two hockey players; her daughter, Jaden, a beautiful, burly right winger, and her son, Tag, a mini version of his father, with his mother’s stellar looks. 

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:  

 

Photo Credit: The Globe and Mail

 

Anthony Mars Jenkins was born and raised in Toronto and spent his early career delivering The Globe and Mail. A graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo, he joined The Globe in 1974 after a summer at the Toronto Star.

He’s worked at The Globe as an editorial cartoonist, illustrator, caricaturist and sometime writer ever since, when not taking leaves of absence to travel on every continent but Antarctica – 78 countries to date.

He is married to an amazing woman, have two grown daughters and live in the beautiful countryside of Mono, Ontario.

Visit his website at http://www.jenkinsdraws.com 





5 Stars for THE BLOODFORGED by Erin Lindsey – BOOK REVIEW

 

 Title: THE BLOODFORGED 

Series: Book Two of The BLOODBOUND Series 

Author: Erin Lindsey

Type of Book: Autographed Paperback

Length: 350 pages

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: September 29, 2015 

Publisher: Ace Books – Penguin Group 

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

~ I received a free autographed paperback copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program.

THE BLOODFORGED picks up a few months after “The BLOODBOUND” ends. Alix is now married to Prince Liam and is still King Erik’s bodyguard as well as the Captain of his guard. 

The war rages on and King Erik knows that he must find a way to bring the nation’s allies into the war. If he fails to do so, his Kingdom will fall. 

To that end, Erik and Alix set out to the city of Ost in the Kingdom of Harram while Liam is sent to the seaside capital of the kingdom of Onnan. 

This book follows the journeys and arrival of both diplomatic parties and their return to Arden. 

Though this is the second book in the series, I actually liked it even more than the first book. That is telling since I rated the first book as 5 out of 5 stars already. So, the question is: how do I rate this book higher since 5 stars is the most that can be given? I guess, technically I cannot give it a higher rating, but if it were possible, this book would rate 6 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Why such a high rating? Well, that is simple. I LITERALLY COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN. I kept saying to myself: “Ok, I’ll go to bed after this chapter” then that wouldn’t happen, so next it was “Just one more scene; I just need to see how this section plays out” but there just never seemed to be a good place to stop. The action scenes had me holding my breath and the descriptions of Liam’s attempts to manoeuvre the complicated political situation were unerringly believable. 

If Erin Lindsey ever gets elected to a political seat she could easily become President. She has a devious mind that would be well suited to the snake-pit that is the world of politics. Yet she also has a keen sense of honour & duty, so perhaps she really isn’t suited to that world. 

Her knowledge of military tactics (at least the sword and archery type of warfare) is excellent and she has created exceptional scenes that I would love to see come to life as a television series. HBO would be the perfect fit for the BLOODBOUND series. 

The only thing I am unhappy about is the fact the third book in the series will not be released until October 2016. However, I will be keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for an even earlier release date.

If you want to read a series that will draw you in, with characters that are so realistic that you will form detailed pictures of them in your mind, and a story that will not only keep you on the edge of your seat, but that you will not want to put down, then you need to read BLOODBOUND & BLOODFORGED. 

This is an absolute MUST READ for all lovers of Fantasy Fiction.

I rate THE BLOODFORGED as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐ 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

  
Erin Lindsey is on a quest to write the perfect summer vacation novel, with just the right blend of action, heartbreak, and triumph. The Bloodbound series is her first effort. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and a pair of half-domesticated cats.She also writes fantasy mysteries as E.L. Tettensor 

Find out more at http://erin-lindsey.com 

Represented by Joshua Bilmes of JABberwocky Literary Agency, Inc. 49 W. 45th St., #12th Floor | New York, NY 10036-4603

Visit Erin Lindsey’s author page on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Erin-Lindsey