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Glass Fusing at the ACE Family MakerspACE

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It’s fun learning new things. Sometimes I forget just HOW much fun it can be! My school, ACE Academy, has a wonderful Makerspace, and I had the opportunity to experience a beginner glass fusing class there a few weeks ago. Kristine Shafer, from Helios Fused Glass Studio , came to share her expertise and teach us how to use our new glass kiln.   I’m a quick study, but it was still amazing how many details I absorbed while digging into this new experience! Kristine said that she normally does a beginner class over a few weeks, so I got a real crash course to just get the overall experience. Right from the start, it was clear I would need a beginner’s mindset. It’s easy to forget how much specialized vocabulary there is in any field when you’ve been in the same one (education for me) for almost thirty years. I learned the names for new tools, the names for different levels of fusing of glass, and even the acronym for the measure of how quickly glass types expand ( COE: coefficient of exp

Homebound by John David Anderson Blog Tour

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 Once again, I am over the moon to be able to participate in a blog tour for the latest John David Anderson book. This one is the second book in a science fiction duology. Science Fiction is one of my absolute favorite genres, and I am so excited to see another amazing addition to middle grade sci-fi hit the shelves. Yes, those are Star Wars mini posters, a Yoda comic,  and a book about Sally Ride behind me. Here is the publisher's summary: Leo Fender is no stranger to catastrophe, whether it’s the intergalactic war that took his mother’s life or the ongoing fight for his own. He’s seen his planet plundered, his ship attacked, his father kidnapped, and his brother go missing—and found himself stranded on a ship with a bunch of mercenary space pirates. Still, nothing could have prepared him for the moment he and the crew tried to save his father—and discovered a dark plot that could destroy hundreds of worlds in the blink of an eye. Now, Leo is adrift. His father has sent him on a m

Drifters by Kevin Emerson Blog Tour

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  Happy Friday the 13th! Yes, I did pick today for my blog tour post. While Drifters isn't horror, it's got enough creepy mojo to make this the perfect day for my post.  I am so excited to highlight Drifters by Kevin Emerson on my blog today! I'm in education, and it's the very end of my school year... so I ended up having to be more "short and sweet" than I would like. But rest assured that I DOVE into this novel with gusto - no drifting for me. More below. About the Book (from the publisher) From the acclaimed author of the Chronicle of the Dark Star comes a riveting mystery, perfect for fans of Stranger Things, about a girl who sets out to find her missing best friend—and discovers her small town is hiding a dark, centuries-old secret. Jovie is adrift. She’d been feeling alone ever since her best friend, Micah, left her behind for a new group of friends—but when Micah went missing last fall, Jovie felt truly lost. Now, months later, the search parties have

Just Harriet by Elana K Arnold -- Blog Tour

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I'm so excited to be part of the blog tour for Just Harriet - by Elana K. Arnold! ABOUT THE BOOK (From the publisher) From the award-winning author of A Boy Called Bat comes a new young middle grade series in the tradition of Ramona and Clementine, starring an unforgettable girl named Harriet. There are a few things you should know about Harriet Wermer: She just finished third grade. She has a perfect cat named Matzo Ball. She doesn’t always tell the truth. She is very happy to be spending summer vacation away from home and her mom and dad and all the wonderful things she had been planning all year. Okay, maybe that last one isn’t entirely the truth. Of course, there’s nothing Harriet doesn’t like about Marble Island, the small island off the coast of California where her Nanu runs a cozy little bed and breakfast. And nobody doesn’t love Moneypenny, Nanu’s old basset hound. But Harriet doesn’t like the fact that Dad made this decision without even asking her. When Harriet arrives

Riley's Ghost by John David Anderson - BLOG TOUR

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I'm not afraid of ghosts.... I don't believe in ghosts... I'm not afraid of ghosts... Okay, I'm lying ... a little. I don't believe in ghosts, but the IDEA of ghosts always freaks me right out. I'm a fully grown adult, and I'll admit I couldn't read this book right before bed. In spite of a hearty case of pandemic foggy brain, I had trouble putting this book down (as long as I didn't try to read it in the dark). I'm so excited to share this newest book by John David Anderson with you! Here's a little blurb about the book itself, and then we'll dive into some of my thoughts. ABOUT THE BOOK (from the publisher) From the author of Posted comes a ghost story pulled from the darkest shadows of middle school—and a tale of one girl’s attempt to survive them. Riley Flynn is alone. It feels like she’s been on her own since sixth grade, when her best friend, Emily, ditched her for the cool girls. Girls who don’t like Riley. Girls who, on this parti

The Troubled Girls Of Dragomir Academy BLOG TOUR

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  Welcome to the Melange - and my stop on the blog tour to celebrate Anne Ursu's latest amazing novel.  When I was offered the chance to read a digital advanced copy of The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy, I jumped on it. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has struggled to focus on books during the pandemic, right?  Diving into this novel swept me away. I was captivated by the world building and the characters, so I am thrilled to join the blog tour to help promote this powerful story. I also purchased my own physical copy of the book to share with the students in my school.  About the Book (from the Publisher): If no one notices Marya Lupu, it’s likely because of her brother, Luka. And that’s because of what everyone knows: Luka is destined to become a sorcerer. The Lupus might be from a small village far from the capital city, but that doesn’t matter. Every young boy born in Illyria may possess the rare ability to wield magic, to protect the country from the terrifying

Stowaway by John David Anderson Blog Tour

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Science fiction is a powerful genre. It allows our minds to travel into the unknown - exploring the things we think or believe may one day be possible through science. While we are there, we can contemplate philosophical and moral issues from our own day, but from the safety of a future "what if" scenario. Back in my very early blogging days (2012 seems like a lifetime ago, right?), I posted about the power of "what if" and science fiction . There are not nearly as many science fiction books published for middle grade readers as there should be! I've loved every book I've read by John David Anderson, so when I heard that he was putting out the first book in a science fiction duology for middle grade readers, I jumped at the chance to read an ARC and share my thoughts about the book.  Here is the publisher's summary: About the Book: The beloved author of Posted and Ms. Bixby's Last Day returns with the first book in a coming-of-age sci-fi duology abou