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Magic and Mayhem

BeachBoundbooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the middle grade fantasy, Initiation: Sky Raiders Academy Book One by Kirstin Pulioff from April 3 – April 24, 2016. 2017-03-16


About the Book

FullSizeRender (14) Title: Initiation: Sky Raiders Book One | Author: Kirstin Pulioff | Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Number of Pages: 150 | Publication Date: March 27, 2017

Summary: Tommy feels lost after his father’s death. To make matters worse, his mom moves him to a new town where he doesn’t have any friends, and he quickly becomes a punching bag for the school bully. He can’t win. So, when a mysterious visitor approaches him with the promise of adventure, Tommy jumps at the opportunity. Whisked away to a school in the sky where magic rules and storms are forged by an elite group of Sky Raiders, Tommy learns that the world’s problems are much larger than his own. When the weather spirals out of control and a rogue Raider’s diabolical plans surface, Tommy must decide how much he is willing to risk to save the world.

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About the Author

author photo Kirstin Pulioff dreams big, wishes on stars, searches for rainbows, finds treasure in everyday blessings, and lives life to its fullest… Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in the foothills of Colorado. When she’s not writing an adventure, she’s busy living one.
She loves to hear from fans.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card or $50 PayPal cash prize (winner’s choice) Giveaway ends: April 24, 11:59 pm, 2017 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 the author, Kirstin Pulioff and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.

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AND NOW FOR MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK

Initiation: Sky Academy Book 1

Written by Kirstin Pulioff

First book in a new fantasy middle grade series. Tommy has recently undergone a double trauma, the death of his father and a move from California back to his mother’s home town in Colorado. As he faces the first day of school as a shy fifth grader in the middle of the school year, he begins by falling as he steps out of his Uncle’s truck. Of course Devan, the school bully, would witness this event and taunt him for the remainder of the school year.

One night a surprise visitor appears in Tommy’s bedroom. Mr. Bellarmie gifts him with a hologram ankle bracelet that transports Tommy to Sky Academy. Tommy is surprised to learn that his father was an honored member of this elite group, but he is astonished to learn that the invention of his father got him killed. At the Academy, Tommy meets fellow newcomers Rachel and Will, who will become his best friends. Every night the members of this elite weather group come together to learn about how to control weather catastrophes down on the earth. Tommy is thrilled to be involved nightly until the increasing number of weather disruptions on earth make it too dangerous for the students; Mr. Bellarmie temporarily shuts the school down. Tommy’s world comes crashing down on him once more.

Tommy’ s frustration and disappointment escalates until he discovers his father’s holographic bracelet in his mother’s jewelry box. Then Tommy is successful in traveling back to the Sky Academy. He is able to call back his friends to enlist their help to end the weather mishaps and unravel the mystery of how his father died and who is manipulating the weather mayhem. Will, Rachel and Tommy go on a wild adventure invoking all sorts of magic, lightning bolts, green slime, poison gas, and gargoyles to name a few. Will Sky Academy be able to survive and restore weather on earth to normal? Who killed Tommy’s father? Can Tommy succeed in preventing Devan from bullying him?

Middle grade students who like fantasy, adventure, mystery and magic will enjoy this first book in a new series. Well suited to the issues facing this age bracket, the book will inform, entertain and inspire the reader. Can’t wait to see what adventures emerge in Book 2.

Unwrap a Yummy Adventure!

Life in the Gumball Machine

Written by Maureen Bartone

An interesting chapter book targeted for readers in the seven to eleven year age range. On her tenth birthday, Daisy goes for a bike ride with her two best fourth grade friends, Patrick and Michael. Daisy is often considered a tomboy, but one thing her two friends have never persuaded her to do is to play football. When the three friends pause to investigate an old shed, they discover an abandoned gumball machine. Daisy decides that she must have one so she deposits a coin. Soon the machine rumbles and sucks all three of them inside. Little do they realize the adventure awaiting them inside.

Bartone uses lots of human and kid-friendly dialogue to describe how the three humans shrink and meet the gumball people and their exciting world. Our three human friends will discover that outside appearance matters little, the real person is wrapped inside. Daisy will experience that football game and face her hidden fears. Lessons learned include how we behave and what we do are a lot more important than how we look.

Daisy is looking forward to her birthday party that afternoon, but things are looking grim that the three friends will free themselves from the gumball world and return to their normal size. The only way to escape is for another person to come along and discover that abandoned candy machine. That does not appear to be a likely possibility. Will the three friends keep their cool and figure out a way to return home? What will happen to their newly found gumball friends? How will Patrick, Michael and Daisy’s lives be changed forever?

The plot of this middle-grade chapter book is simple and the text straightforward with enough excitement, surprises and humor to keep the reader entertained and the advice from becoming preachy. A surprise near the end sets the scene for a new adventure. Recommended for children in grades two through six.

Texting and Driving: A Not So Magical Mix

Texting and Driving: A Not So Magical Mix

One Creepy Street: Annica’s Broom

Written by Lee Jordan

Interesting book that focuses on the topic of texting and driving, so important in the modern age of cell phones. Annica is a witch who is about to come of age. At age thirteen all witches are given their broomstick, the human equivalent to a teenager getting a driver’s license. Today’s parents worry not only about their children paying attention to driving skills, but keeping their hands off that cell phone to answer a call or text while driving.
On Annica’s first flight, she is tempted and decides to text just one word. Sure enough, she crashes down on Creepy Street where she promptly meets some frightful creatures like a one- eyed policeman, spiders and trolls. Finally a recalcitrant elf tossed out by Santa makes the decision that he might want to help her. Will Annica be rescued and find her way home? What will happen to her if she does succeed?

This book has fun illustrations and plenty of humor, which will make its message palatable to pre teens and teens. The book is targeted for readers age six and older, but is most appropriate for readers age nine and older. The text needs editing in some spots, but that will probably not detract from its appeal to young readers. Recommended to parents and teachers who want to impart a serious message without being didactic.

Barbara Ann Mojica, Author
P.O. Box 112
Craryville, NY 12521-0112
www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

Inspiration for Left Handers

The Race: an inspiring story for Left-Handers

Written by Janet Hurst-Nicholson

Illustrated by Vanessa Burger

Vicky hates sitting next to Graham in school. He is always bumping into her. Vicky is left-handed and finds it difficult to accomplish simple tasks that seem to come easy for everybody else. She is a klutz in sports and never seems to excel. To make matters worse, everyone seems to make fun of her. Vicky is looking forward to her grandmother’s upcoming visit. She has been busy trying to finish a needlepoint cover as a gift, but even that seems to be coming out wrong. Vicky wants to prove to her grandmother that she is successful, so she and her friend Vicky practice nonstop to win the egg balancing race. Her grandmother will be watching; they are determined to win. An unexpected turn of events leads to a new race being added at the last minute. Will Vicky get a chance to prove to herself and others being left-handed actually be an advantage?

I loved this chapter book. Perhaps being married to a left-hander and having a left-handed son has made be acutely aware of some of the everyday problems left-handed people face. This book presents the problems and enables all of us right-handers to understand how difficult it can be for someone who is a “lefty” to function in a world of right-handed preferences. The world is finally becoming more attuned to the need for left handed tools and devices. Recommend this book highly for teachers, parents and children as a read aloud or a book for families to discuss and share.

 

 

Barbara Ann Mojica, Author
www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

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Developing Strong Character

The Adventures of Geraldine Woolkins

Written by Karin Kaufman

A delightful chapter book consisting of ten stories that revolve around a fearless family of mice facing the dangers and challenges of winter. Geraldine is the protagonist who was born in April, but now in October is facing the end of the gathering season. She and her brother Nigel have much to learn and experience. Readers are introduced to their friends in the forest, Penelope, the sparrow and Cheddar, a white rabbit. The children love to hear their father Nigel read to them stories from the Book of Tales. These adventures teach them about common sense, trust, gratitude, empathy and sharing. As October wanes, the family and friends celebrate Thanksgiving and the joys of Christmas. On the other hand, the children’s curiosity put them in danger of being eaten by wolves and ravens, swept down the river on a log and being destroyed by a forest fire. Charlotte is a sensitive and inquisitive mouse who desires to read, write and explore the world around her. She and her brother share sibling rivalry, but at the same time deeply love and care for one another. Their parents teach them to have faith that Very, Very Big Hands will be there to guide and protect them.

This chapter book is geared toward readers in grades three to six. Some younger children may enjoy individual stories as a read aloud. There are no illustrations; a few simple drawings would add appeal to younger children. I would thoroughly recommend the book as a gentle, sweet read for children who love animals. The many lessons learned and bravery in facing adversity allow for lots of discussion on the topics of developing strong character and interpersonal skills.

Ancient Greece and the Olympians

The Rise of the Olympians Book One

Written by Belle Ward

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First book in a middle grade short story series. Lilah is about to celebrate her thirteenth birthday. Her father surprises her with her favorite breakfast of pancakes and bacon. As she departs for school with her older brother, Jay, Lilah looks forward to her first class in which she is studying about Ancient Greece. Mr. Fisher is discussing the Olympians. For some reason, Lilah can’t stop thinking about the lesson.

When Lilah gets home she is surprised by the gift of an angel-winged necklace from her dad. But when she prepares for bed, strange things begin to happen. The necklace heats up, her rainbow colored extensions suddenly become attached to her head, and she experiences a strange dream. The next day, Lilah is invited to join a special dream club. She is astonished to learn that the other members are Apollo and Hades. They think she is the goddess who will help them find the Father of the Monsters. A sudden crash, and all must run for their lives…..Will Lilah cast her fate with these strangers? Will she wake up from this nightmare?

This short story is a good length for reluctant readers. The characters are believable and interesting enough. What some readers may not like is that the tale ends in a cliffhanger. Readers will be left disappointed unless they immediately get a hold of Book Two.

Barbara Ann Mojica

LittleMissHistory.com

America’s Star Spangled Story

America’s Star Spangled Story Celebrating 200 Hundred Years of the National Anthem

Written by Jane Hampton Cook

starspangledbanner

An interesting book that uses each line of The Star Spangled Banner to trace the history of the events of the War of 1812 when the British attempted to control Washington, DC, the key players in the events, background events, and photos from the past and present. The author narrates the history of the battle for control of Fort McHenry relating to the lines of the song as it was penned in the midst of the battle. Occasionally the author dips back in time to muse about the thoughts of the Pilgrims as they landed on the shores of America, and the Patriots as they fought for freedom from Great Britain during the American Revolution. They believed that The War of 1812 and the destruction of the Capitol by the British added insult to injury.

Readers are encouraged to think about the images that each line of this now famous song evoke in their minds and hearts. Perhaps few Americans are aware that the song did not gain widespread notoriety until the end of the nineteenth century and was not made the official national anthem until the administration of Herbert Hoover.

Anyone with an interest in American history and this beautiful song will find the short book entertaining and informative. Appropriate for readers age ten and older.

Barbara Ann Mojica

LittleMissHistory.com

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A Drawing Book For Kids: You Can Draw Military Aircraft

A Drawing Book for Kids: You Can Draw Military Aircraft

Written and illustrated by Mike Artell

militaryplanespic

I was provided a copy of this book and voluntarily decided to give my honest, unbiased review.

Artell has written and illustrated more than 35 books for children and adults. This book is much more than an I Can Draw book. It does include step by step instructions for drawing helicopters, prop planes and jets, which are easy to follow and simple enough for the targeted audience of seven to twelve year old plane enthusiasts.

For me even more important is the explanation of letter codes that the military use to describe the function of each machine. For example, A indicates attack fighter and M signifies that the aircraft has multiple functions. Each aircraft is preceded by an actual photograph along with statistics about size, speed, altitude and function. These are followed by several pages of step by step easy to follow drawing instructions. Perhaps the best feature is the QR code available as an app for each plane. Readers can use it to access videos of actual flight and tons of additional information on each of the fifteen selections. At the end of the book, the author supplies an extensive bibliography which the military aircraft aficionado may access for detailed information.

I learned a lot about military aircraft from this easy read. Even though my artistic ability is generally limited to stick figures, this guide is so easy that I am tempted to make a serious try to draw them. Recommended for ages seven and older.

Barbara Ann Mojica,

LittleMissHistory.com