Saturday, October 6, 2018

Perilous Journey Q&A with Christopher Healy -- Bonus Post!





I'm so excited to share a Q&A with Christopher Healy! I loved this book so much that I just got three copies so I can use it with a small group. I plan to pull in nonfiction about women in science as we read the story. You can see some of my suggestions, along with a description of the book, at my previous post....



Questions and Answers....

1) Which inventors or ground-breaking scientists inspired you the most? Was there any fun information you learned while researching for your book that you'd like to share with my blog readers?

Honestly, I find the women in the book most inspirational. Take Margaret Knight, for instance. She had over 80 US patents. The woman must have been inventing nonstop! And all different kinds of creations too—from lid-removing pliers to combustion engines. All of which is even more impressive when you consider all the obstacles that were facing her as a woman in the 1880s. She almost didn’t get credit for her most famous invention—the flat-bottomed paper bag, which we still use today—because a man stole her designs and tried to patent them for himself. Thankfully, Knight fought him for rights to the invention and won.

Hmm, that’s not exactly a fun fact, though. Okay, here’s a fun one: In Thomas Edison’s laboratory, he kept jars of stuff that made it sound like he was mixing magic potions. He had cocoons, deer horns, tortoise shells, various kinds of hooves, and hair of humans, horses, hogs, cows, rabbits, goats, minx, camels, and more. That’s fun, right? Or maybe just weird.



2) Do you have any pressing problems you think we need an invention to help us solve? What ideas would you have to solve them?

Backpacks are a problem! They’re so heavy. They make our backs hurt. So how about a backpack with built in massager to relieve the pain the backpack itself is causing? I’d buy that!



3) I love the humor in your books.... so can you give us the real scoop.... how do you nail the funny lines? Do they come as you write or do you need a bunch of revisions to really refine them?

Believe it or not, I think that the faster I write, the funnier the stuff I come up with. Other people may beg to differ, depending on their sense of humor, but I find that the lines that make me laugh the most (and yes, I do laugh—audibly— while writing), tend to come when I’m in a real groove, fingers pounding rapidly at the keyboard, and the words are flowing freely without a lot of thought. The majority of what I write when I write fast like that will probably end up needing to be revised—but the laugh lines will shine. The really good jokes don’t tend to materialize for me when I’m sitting silently, working my brain hard to come up with exactly the right words. That’s when the good plot twists come.



4) Can you give us a glimpse into your writing process? My students love to hear about how authors work!

I tend to write in layers. I start with a very basic outline—just bullet points, not even full sentences. I might outline a single chapter this way or an entire novel. Then I go back and add some connective tissue so that those basic points I want to hit have some way of fitting together. Then I go back another time and add in some necessary details, maybe a few key bits of dialogue. It’s still pretty sketchy at this point, but it’s a decent quick synopsis of what I want to happen. Then I go back to the beginning again and do all dialogue, almost like I’m writing a script (that’s usually the fast writing when the funny comes). Then I layer that dialogue into my sketchy plot, and fix everything into full sentences with functioning grammar and good stuff like that. Then I go back again and add even more details. Then I add another layer. And another. This continues until I have a finished piece of writing worthy of being read by another human being.


-- I love audiobooks. Reading with my ears makes all my drives more entertaining. Check out a clip from the audiobook here! Audiobook Clip




Christopher Healy is the author of The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, as well as its two sequels, The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle and The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw. Before becoming a writer, he worked as an actor, an ad copywriter, a toy store display designer, a fact-checker, a dishwasher, a journalist, a costume shop clothing stitcher, a children’s entertainment reviewer, and a haunted house zombie. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and a dog named Duncan. You can visit him online at www.christopherhealy.com

Friday, September 28, 2018

A PERILOUS JOURNEY OF DANGER & MAYHEM - nonfiction connections and educator guide sneak peek




A PERILOUS JOURNEY OF DANGER & MAYHEM
BOOK 1: ‘A DASTARDLY PLOT’
By Christopher Healy

Publication Date September 25 2018
ISBN: 978-06-234197
It is 1883—the Age of Invention! A time when great men like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Nicola Tesla, and George Eastman work to turn the country into a mechanical-electrical-industrial marvel: a land of limitless opportunity. And it all happens at the world famous Inventors Guild headquarters in New York City—a place where a great idea, a lot of hard work, and a little bit of luck can find you rubbing elbows with these gods of industry who will usher humanity into the bright promise of the future.

Unless, of course, you’re a woman.

Molly Pepper, daughter of brilliant but unknown inventor Cassandra Pepper, lives with her mother in New York. By day, they make ends meet running a small pickle shop; but by night, they toil and dream of Cassandra shattering the glass ceiling of the Inventors Guild and taking her place among the most famous inventors in America. In an attempt to find a way to exhibit Cassandra’s work at the 1883 World’s Fair, they break into the Inventors Guild—and discover a mysterious and dastardly plot to destroy New York. The evidence points to the involvement of one of the world’s most famous inventors, and now it’s up to Molly, Cassandra, and a shop hand named Emmett Lee to uncover the truth—even if no one will ever know it was they who did it.

Christopher Healy, author of the acclaimed Hero’s Guide series, returns with the first book in a rip-roaring adventure about the inventors history remembers—and more than a few that it’s forgotten.


My Thoughts:
The missing contributions from women through the ages has been on my mind quite a lot over the past few years. I read Almost Astronauts by Tanya Lee Stone a few years ago and almost lost my mind. I was OBSESSED with the space program as a young girl in the 80s, and I had NEVER been told about the women who tried to join the space program in its earliest stages. Then Hidden Figures hit the big screen and I lost it again! Thankfully, it seems like we are entering an age of finally getting off our butts to acknowledge many of the women who have helped shape our world. I know my head will continue to explode as I learn about and share the lives of so many of these women with my students.

So this fictional tale of women inventors was right up my alley. It is filled with the kind of snarky humor I've come to love from Healy. My students and I adored that about his Hero's Guide series. The story is fun, adventurous, and clearly makes its point about how the competence of women has been ignored. Healy also manages to toss in a TON of references to real people and places from the time period. I think this will be a wonderful way to guide kids to some of that nonfiction! 

On that note, here is a photo of some of those books - these are the ones I was able to easily grab off of my classroom library shelf at work.



I also wanted to add a book about Nellie Bly. I was so excited to see her mentioned in A Dastardly Plot! I don't own a book about her - yet - but I tapped my favorite Lois Lane author (Gwenda Bond) to get a recommendation. She recommends this one if you want to learn more about Nellie. It is listed as being for middle grade readers, and I know I plan to snag a copy for myself!




There will also be an educator's guide to go along with Dastardly Plot. It is awaiting final approval to be uploaded to the Walden Pond site, but I got a sneak peek of it for this blog post. I'm sure you'd also love a glimpse, right?



There are discussion questions that range from exploration of character traits to relationships between the characters to helping students understand the history of women's struggles to gain equal status in America. I love how the questions include rich language from the text, and how many of them also include specific quotes to help students dig back into the story for evidence to help them in their discussion.

There are also extension activities, including this one that has a link to a video about the Brooklyn Bridge! 

Definitely check out the full educator guide once it goes live! 



Meet the author...

Christopher Healy is the author of The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, as well as its two sequels, The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle and The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw. Before becoming a writer, he worked as an actor, an ad copywriter, a toy store display designer, a fact-checker, a dishwasher, a journalist, a costume shop clothing stitcher, a children’s entertainment reviewer, and a haunted house zombie. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and a dog named Duncan. You can visit him online at www.christopherhealy.com

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Train To Impossible Places Blog Tour - Author Guest Post










The Train to Impossible Places: A Cursed Delivery
by  P.G. Bell (Goodreads Author)

(Book description from Goodreads)
A train that travels through impossible places. A boy trapped in a snow globe. And a girl who’s about to go on the adventure of a lifetime.

The Impossible Postal Express is no ordinary train. It’s a troll-operated delivery service that runs 

My book loving kitties loved this
special delivery!
everywhere from ocean-bottom shipwrecks, to Trollville, to space.

But when this impossible train comes roaring through Suzy’s living room, her world turns upside down. After sneaking on board, Suzy suddenly finds herself Deputy Post Master aboard the train, and faced with her first delivery―to the evil Lady Crepuscula.

Then, the package itself begs Suzy not to deliver him. A talking snow globe, Frederick has information Crepuscula could use to take over the entire Union of Impossible Places. But when protecting Frederick means putting her friends in danger, Suzy has to make a difficult choice―with the fate of the entire Union at stake.





Post by P.G. Bell


I noticed in Peter’s author bio that he mentioned he is a fan of Doctor Who. Since I also love the Doctor, I asked Peter to let us know how his fandoms inspire his writing.

The things I love probably influence me in more ways than I realise, but there are a few things I drew on very deliberately when writing The Train To Impossible Places. If I've done my job properly, there's a healthy dose of Terry Pratchett's Discworld in the trolls and their weird, half magical, half industrial city of Trollville. I also did my best to echo bits of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams in the book's general tone. And my favourite TV show, Doctor Who, gets a few passing references as well!


Visit the other stops on the tour…

Post Master (Conductor)
9/18
Guest Post
Engine Room
9/19
Guest Post
Mail Room
9/21
Q&A
Antique Goods Coach

9/24
Review
Caboose
9/27
Guest Post
I received an ARC of this book, but was under no obligation to post or review. I got no compensation for joining this blog tour. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Treasure of Mad Dog Magee Blog Tour -- with book and SKYPE giveaway!



Okay, friends.... this is such a good blog tour! Not because of anything I did, though. What I have for you is a SUPER fun Q&A with the author and an AMAZING giveaway. This giveaway includes FOUR signed copies of the book and a full class period SKYPE! I mean.... really... that's pretty cool!


Read this post, because this is one of the most fun sets of answers I've gotten from an author, and then be sure to go all the way down to the end to enter to win. (Prize provided by the publisher and the author.)



THE TREASURE OF MAD DOC MAGEE by Elinor Teele
Published by Walden Pond Press
ISBN: 978-0062345134
The small, run-down town of Eden is the only place Jenny Burns has ever called home. The roots of the trees are in her bones, the air of the mountains is in her breath, the lakes and rivers are in her blood. And that’s why, when her father loses his job and tells Jenny that they may have to move on from Eden, she knows she can’t let that happen.
The fever of New Zealand’s Central Otago gold rush still runs in the veins of Eden, and everyone knows the legend of Doc Magee: how he found the largest gold nugget anyone had ever seen and hid it somewhere in the hills before he disappeared. Jenny and her best friend, Pandora, know that if they can find the gold it’ll solve all their problems. But the way is fraught with mysteries, riddles and danger—and those are just the threats they know about. Before her quest is over, Jenny will have to face challenges from within as well as from without.



And now for a Q&A with Elinor Teele!

Did any particular childhood fascinations help spark ideas for the story?

I learned about the broad outlines of the Otago Gold Rush during high school summers in Arrowtown—our family often used to hike up Sawpit Gully and similar tracks in Central Otago. At the time, I was woefully unfit, so my experiences of the mountains were more in the line of Pandora than Jenny. I’d visited the Lakes District Museum and seen the abandoned mining works along the rivers. (And listened over & over to Banjo Paterson’s bush poetry on the car trip from Christchurch.)

After I learned how to get up a mountain, I gained a deeper appreciation for the landscape that Jenny adores. When I was writing my doctoral thesis and working remotely, I spent a fair amount of hours rambling in the area. I particularly love the Arrow in the autumn.

But the idea for the book didn’t come together until I was on a road trip with my brother to the West Coast (of New Zealand). It was raining—just for a change—so we decided to duck our heads into the Hokitika Museum. It had a great display on the Gold Rush, including vignettes of its one-of-a-kind characters.

I briefly thought about centering the book on the West Coast, and then I realized, duh, there’s a diverse & fascinating history on your parents’ doorstep.

Note: If anyone’s interested, there are some wonderful New Zealand novels (for adults) about the South Island during the Gold Rush years.


What bits of research for this story were the most interesting for you? Was there anything that was especially hard to find out? Were there any cool tidbits you loved but weren't able to fit into the story?

When I started, I knew next to nothing about the Chinese-Kiwi experience in the 19th century. I’m still learning, but at least I’ve had a glimpse! It was a real pleasure to correspond with Charlie Chin, who acted as a consultant. I particularly enjoyed digging (pardon the pun) into Kam’s experience with his garden—what kinds of herbs & medicinal remedies he might have used, his ideas of balance & healing, even how he would have ordered seeds in the 1870s.

Kam is particularly close to my heart. He’s the oldest in his family, and a teenager, so I reckoned he would be hitting the big questions of adulthood. When you’re born in one country and grow up in another, how do you decide between obedience & honor & tradition (the old world) and freedom & nature & imagination (the new world)? How can you reconcile your dreams of independence with a father who valued Confucian ethics? That’s why Kam is relatively serious and careful in his speech. Thanks to advice from Shenwei Chang, his brother became more of a cheeky Kiwi kid.

In a perfect world, I would have liked to explore the experiences of the adult women—I wasn’t able to dive into all the diaries and letters written in the time period. In my head, there’s a three-part mini-series set in the Rush years that provides the entire backstory for Mrs. Quinn and Gentle Annie. I also have some ideas for the love story between Jenny’s mother and father.


I love unique chapter headings/quotes. Can you talk to us about how you chose yours?

Every chapter begins with an illustration and a quote from Galen’s Anatomy—it’s a textbook that plays a key part in the girls’ treasure hunt. Kids might notice that Galen is wryly commenting on the content of each chapter, particularly when the girls start exploring the territory.

For example, Chapter 10 begins with an illustration of the heart and Galen’s quote: “Where is folly bred? In the heart or in the head?”.

• At this point, the girls think they have discovered where the nugget is hidden—in the bank, the geographic heart of Eden. But it turns out this may be a foolish thought.

• It’s an emotionally charged chapter—many folks are in love, remembering past loves, or pretending to be in love. Somebody may even be having a “heart attack.”

• The bank has two atria. It’s also guarded by a statue carrying a sword, a reference to the xiphoid, a sword-like structure at the center of the chest.

• The quote is a riff on The Merchant of Venice—another work about the dangers of money. Mr. Grimsby, who appears in this chapter, is a former Shakespearean actor.

There’s a humorous chapter for the humerus, a mud-soaked chapter for the intestinal tract, and a trek down the Longshank for chapters involving the leg. It all goes back to the picture of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian man in Magee’s office—the human body as a microcosm of the world.

I have some more clues on my website. My long-suffering editors had to work through an annotated draft where I noted all the Easter Eggs!


What would you pack as emergency or travel gear if you were going on a treasure hunt like Jenny?

First off, calories. Lots of them. Second off, an excellent pair of boots and two pairs of warm socks. Take care of your feet.

I’d also add a map, a collapsible shovel, wet weather gear, gloves, quick-drying layers, a Tilly hat, a wool hat, a sleeping bag, a water bottle, a pocketknife (shades of The Mechanical Mind of John Coggin), bandaids, sunblock, painkillers, tape for sprained ankles, a compass, a lighter & matches, a flashlight & batteries, water purification tablets, a toothbrush & toothpaste, deodorant, and soap.

If you’re Pandora, you’re going to insist on cheese and an emergency beacon. If you’re Jenny, you’re probably going to forget half of it.

Throw it all in a Macpac and you’ll be good to go.


And just for fun... there are many "what five things would you include to help others understand you" memes going around on Twitter. Here's my favorite: What five items would someone include in a salt circle to summon you?

Am I being summoned to heaven or to hell? (Sorry, the Shakespeare never ends…). I’d probably go with:

1. A fountain pen
2. Dark chocolate
3. Freesias
4. A vial of water from the North Atlantic
5. A scrap of a red velvet theatre curtain

About the Author
Elinor Teele is the author of The Mechanical Mind of John Coggin (Walden Pond Press, ISBN: 978-0062345103) as well as a playwright. She graduated with a PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2005. Elinor lives with her family in New England. You can visit her online at www.elinorteele.com.


Explore the world of Elinor Teele's stories, plays, and HarperCollins books for kids.



Notification -- I received a free copy of this book with no requirement to participate in this blog tour. I received no other compensation.


US/Canada only
.... YOU can win a Skype with the author and FOUR autographed copies of the book! She is willing to do up to a full class period (50 minutes) with your class, and she'd love to chat with you ahead of time to plan it so that it can be fun and interactive for your class. This is an INCREDIBLE offer! My students adore Skyping with authors and it's such a wonderful experience!

Elinor just wants you to know that she's in a play in mid-November, so she'll be extra busy around then. 

For a chance to win (I'll pick a random winner on 9/29), please comment on this blog with your thoughts about the book or a possible Skype for your class. You can win an extra chance by replying and retweeting this post on Twitter (I'm @mariaselke). I'll email you or contact you via Twitter by 9/30 to get your specific information for the publisher. You'll have 24 hours to reply to me with your information or I'll move on to the next winner.

Check out the Educator's Guide on Walden.com

Visit other stops on the Blog Tour September 10-21

Monday September 10 Novel Novice
Wednesday September 12 Book Monsters
Friday September 14 Walden Media Tumblr
Saturday September 15 Maria's Melange
Monday September 18 Writer's Rumpus
Thursday September 21 Bluestocking Thinking


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Must Read in 2018 Update

Well - I've had years where I hit way more of my reading goals...

When Carrie reminded me that it's time to post about our Must Read lists, it took me a while to remember where I even put my list! I had blogged them in past years, but I guess this year I only made a Goodreads shelf. Aaaaand I haven't updated with any other Must Read in 2018 blog posts this year....

The good news is I found my list. The other good news is I actually DID read some of the books. The best news is I now still have time to try to read a few more, right?

Books I haven't read yet. Sadly, I couldn't find many of them on Audible - which is one way I get in a lot of my reading. Mark of the Thief was available, so that will be my next listen.






































Shadow Scale is also available on Audible - but it's REALLY long. I still think I'll listen to that after Mark of the Thief.












I HAVE read Furyborn, and I loved it! Thankfully, this challenge had me look at my list again so I remembered to log having read it.





Books I have finished. 

AMAZING!! I mean, I love alternate history - and this one has ZOMBIES! Yeah.... read it.



An excellent anthology.




I listened to this one, and it was fabulous.






Another listen -- also amazing. Sad, and eye opening.



Sadly, this wasn't my favorite Meyer book (my favorites are still the Lunar Chronicles). Still, definitely a good story.



I absolutely loved this story. I love real world mixed with fairies, and this is a sweet and engaging story. I was even on the blog tour for this one!

http://www.mariaselke.com/2018/03/granted-by-john-david-anderson-blog-tour.html


Monday, March 19, 2018

Bat and the Waiting Game -- Blog Tour


I'm so happy to join the blog tour for the latest book about Bat by Elana K. Arnold. This one comes out at the end of March!



Bat and the Waiting Game by Elana K. Arnold
(Publishing March 27, 2018) ISBN: 978-0-06-244585-8
The second book in the irresistible and “quietly groundbreaking”* young middle grade series starring Bat, an unforgettable boy on the autism spectrum.

For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life is pretty great. He’s the caretaker of the best baby skunk in the world—even Janie, his older sister, is warming up to Thor. When Janie gets a part in the school play and can’t watch Bat after school, it means some pretty big changes. Someone else has to take care of the skunk kit in the afternoons. Janie is having sleepovers with her new friends. Bat just wants everything to go back to normal. He just has to make it to the night of Janie’s performance…

*Kirkus Reviews



My Thoughts:
I thought I loved the first book about Bat (and yes, I really did), but this one really made me smile. I loved how Bat was so understandable and relatable. He's impulsive and has trouble with his sister and with friendships - and his autism is just one piece of who he is. The people who share his world love him, but they don't handle him with kid gloves. Sometimes they make adaptations for him, and sometimes he has to learn to adapt for them. His family has typical problems getting along. I adore the fact that any child who reads about Bat will be able to relate to him. 

Bat's love for animals is essential. His difficulty dealing with change is just part of him. He makes good and bad choices, and they make his story one that made me laugh and smile as well as hurt for him at times. I love the fact that kids can get to know a kid with autism like Bat, and that the things that help him be more comfortable in his world are treated respectfully and as "no big deal". 

Who will like this book:
Teachers who want a great read-aloud for 2-4th graders.
Kids who love animals
Kids who don't always get along with their siblings
Kids and teachers who want to begin to understand people they may know who have autism. 


(I also joined the blog tour for the first book about Bat! Check it out for some fun veterinarian resources.)



Elana K. Arnold grew up in California, where she, like Bat, was lucky enough to have her own perfect pet — a gorgeous mare named Rainbow —and a family who let her read as many books as she wanted. She is the author of picture books, middle grade novels, and books for teens, including the National Book Award finalist title What Girls Are Made Of. Elana lives in Huntington Beach, California, with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. She calls the “Bat” series for Walden Pond Press “books of her heart.” You can find her online at www.elanakarnold.com.
Check out the educator's guide!  It includes resources about understanding autism, social and emotional learning, activities, and classroom read-aloud suggestions.


TOUR STOPS
3/12 For Those About to Mock, @abouttomock Sam Eddington
3/15 Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook @knott_michele Michele Knott
3/15 @iowaamber Amber Kuehler
3/16 The Hiding Spot @thehidingspot Sara Grochowski
3/18 Educate*Empower*Inspire…Teach @guerette79 Melissa Guerrette
3/19 Maria’s Melange @mariaselke Maria Selke
3/20 Nerdy Book Club post by Elana
3/20 Writers Rumpus @kirsticall Kirsti Call
3/22 Bluestocking Thinking @bluesockgirl Nicole Levesque
3/28 Unleashing Readers @unleashreaders Kellee Moye


Source of book -- I received an ARC from the publisher but my thoughts are my own.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Granted by John David Anderson - Blog Tour


It's time to welcome another wonderful book by John David Anderson into the world! Be sure to go all the way to the bottom of this post for a chance to win a signed copy for yourself.




Granted by John David Anderson 
(Published February 13, 2018) 
ISBN: 006264386X  and ISBN13: 9780062643865

Everyone who wishes upon a star, or a candle, or a penny thrown into a fountain knows that you’re not allowed to tell anyone what you’ve wished for. But even so, rest assured: There is someone out there who hears it.

Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets is no ordinary fairy – she is a Granter: one of the select few whose job it is to venture beyond the boundaries of the Haven and grant the wishes of unsuspecting humans every day. It’s the work of the Granters that generate the magic that allows the fairies to do what they do and to keep the Haven hidden and safe. But with worldwide magic levels at an all-time low, this is not as easy as it sounds. On a typical day, only a small fraction of the millions of potential wishes get granted. And even granting those promised few means navigating a human world fraught with danger.

Today, however, is anything but typical. Because today, Ophelia is going out on her first assignment. And she’s about to discover that getting what you truly want takes much more than a handful of fairy dust.


My Thoughts: 

First of all, let me say that I'm so thankful that being asked to join this blog tour made me bump Granted to the top of my TBR pile. I have loved all of Anderson's books, so I already had ordered a copy of the book and I was excited to see it arrive on its book birthday last month. This book was just what I needed.

The world: 
I love books about fairies. I've read a ton of versions of the world of the fey, and I always enjoy seeing how an author envisions their motivations, hidden world, and how they interact with humanity. The crisis of declining magic is often part of these tales, and Anderson did a great job giving us reasons for this decline as well as showing how the fairies are managing the changes.

I thought the idea of the guilds of fairies, with "granters" being held in high esteem, was so fun! I also loved seeing the fairies who scavenge in our world and the ones who try to deal with bringing scraps of our technology to the fairies. The memorial to the fairies lost while granting wishes (the Femoriae) was a perfect touch early in the story to help the readers understand the risks that Ophelia would be facing.

My mind kept trying to decide what my fairy name would be, based on the story's naming conventions. Fairies are given their middle name first -- based on the plant from which they were born. Then they get their last name, based on a character trait they had as infants. Their first name is random. So I'm going to imagine I get to keep my own first name (I mean, why not, right? My parents didn't pick it at random, but they could have!) I'm going to go with Maria Bleedingheart ..... I guess I should check with my Founders on the last name, right? I'll return later today with that bit.


The characters: 
Whoa baby... the characters were so much fun! Ophelia, of course, was a great leading lady. Her strengths and faults were both on full display to help her in her quest to grant her first wish. I loved her struggle between her rule following nature and her growing sense of the need to follow what her heart is telling her to do. Helping kids find and honor their own inner compass is so important!

The dog she met along the way, though, totally stole the show. When he arrived on the scene, I immediately started laughing. Sam's exuberance, loyalty, and the way he always "says" exactly what he's thinking were just perfect. He definitely gets many of my favorite lines in the story.








Overall: 
Granted is just what the fairies... err... doctor ordered. It's the perfect mix of adventure, humor, love, and light to give you and the readers in your life the little lift you need.

YOUR OWN SIGNED COPY!! (US/Canada only)
Just comment below for a chance to win. Please be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you to get your mailing address. The copy will come directly from the publisher, and I will only use your email address to get and share that information with the publisher.

I'll choose and email a winner on March 17th -- Good luck!


I've blogged about other books by John David Anderson too!

Sidekicked        Minion        Posted        Dungeoneers 



About John David Anderson:
John David Anderson is the author of Ms. Bixby's Last Day, Posted, Sidekicked, Minion, and The Dungeoneers. A dedicated root beer connoisseur and chocolate fiend, he lives with his wife, two kids, and perpetually whiny cat in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can visit him online at www.johndavidanderson.org.






Source: I purchased a copy of this book myself. 
 
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