Sunday, August 2, 2015

Batty About Shadowshaper Part One - by Daniel Older



If you missed it - we started by chatting about the cover of the book last week!

First Half discussion (pages 1-140)
Check out the other half of the discussion at The Brain Lair

Visit our Facebook page, comment here, or tweet us (@thebrainlair or @mariaselke with #BattyAboutBooks and/or #Shadowshaper) to join in the discussion!

I love the fact that we chose a book that is being praised for how it represents elements of American life that are so different from my own life story. Since we often talk about the need for diverse books to provide us both windows and mirrors, I’m going to frame at least some of my thoughts around those two ideas.

** For those reading my blog who aren’t familiar with this framework**  Many think of diversity in literature giving us a window into lives that are different from our own (helping build connections, empathy, and understanding) and mirrors into aspects of our own lives that help us see value in who we are.

I grew up in an overwhelmingly white suburb just a short drive outside of Philadelphia. I attended a religious private school that was also mostly white and entirely Protestant. If you look at those two elements, there is much in Shadowshaper so far that is one huge window for me.
I grew up “in the projects” in the  predominantly black south side of Chicago. I went to a public school that has since been taken over by the government. The housing project, run by the Chicago Housing Authority, does not exist anymore. In this way, Shadowshaper is a window for me too. The ease that Sierra walks alone around her area, did not exist.

** City life. I never had to worry about my family being in trouble with the cops. I never had to stress about safety. I do love how none of these things are made into a big “deal” in the story so far - they just are part of her understood environment.
Yeah, I do have brothers who were in and out of jail. Safety was job 1. You never went anywhere alone. You didn’t stay out late - unless you were prepared. I would have loved to go to a teen club. We really didn’t have places to go that may have kept some people out of trouble.

** Extended family living in close proximity - I love seeing how Sierra and her family get along. Having her godfather and aunt and family friends be so close is refreshing, too.

** Cultural heritage. Again - watching Sierra in her home and family group just feels natural. I feel like it’s MY job to figure out anything I don’t know. Did I have to look up a few words (like guayabera)? Yep. That is my job as the reader, though, not the author’s (or narrator’s) job to assume that my reality is “normal”. Believe me; I’m still in the early stages of learning this! Check out this video from the author on “Why we don’t italicize Spanish”

I loved seeing the words in Spanish. Used my Google Translator app many times. I liked that I could hold it over the words and get an idea of what was being said. I’m so happy that he kept it that way because I’m sure that is more natural. This is a real window. Love it!

** Discomfort with her appearance. Below I talk about how I DO identify with some of her appearance concerns (since I know almost all teen girls go through this stage), but some of her discomfort gave me a quick glimpse into a life that is nothing like my own. Sierra reminisces about chatting with a boy online and describing herself as “the color of coffee with not enough milk”. She stops and can’t even believe she said that about herself…. “not enough”.
I’ve been working to educate myself and LISTEN to people as they tell me what things bother them …. to listen to what they see as microaggressions… and to remember that we are all a product of our racist and sexist cultures. I catch myself making sexist remarks, even though I consider myself a feminist. This little section of her life stood out to me a glimpse into how we absorb the toxic attitudes of our world and reminds me that we all have to stay vigilant.
This would be a mirror for me. Even now, I lament about my hair, sometimes wishing it was straighter. Or that I could invest in one foundation instead of always mixing and having to find places that sell more than one darker shade.. Back when I wore pantyhose it always irked me that nude meant off-pink while coffee was meant for my bare skin. Even now, we have to go to a different part of town to get some hair products. I order most of them. Target has gained fame because it has one narrow section, about 2 ft wide and 4 ft tall, with “ethnic hair” products.

In spite of being in an environment is drastically different from my childhood home (her city) and in a cultural milieu quite different from my own (Latina), and her incredible artistic talent (I can’t even draw a stick figure); Sierra feels so familiar to me.

She’s fighting to feel comfortable in her own skin. She’s struggling with the balance between dressing to look nice for others and finding her own style. She’s listening to the advice of others (letting her friend braid her hair for her date) but she’s also really longing to just love herself the way she is.

She’s not boy crazy. Sierra wants to be her own person, and she’s not sure that any of the guys she knows really fit into that equation. I love and identify with her attitude from my own teen years.
I know so many teens will be able to see themselves here! I hope this book finds many readers!

Not quite sold on….
The importance of the magic. I think the concept of shadowshaping is very intriguing and quite unlike anything I’ve read before. Since I have read a decent amount of books that include some (or a lot) of magic, I do appreciate unusual takes on magic systems. What I’m not really getting yet is why this particular magic is so vital to Sierra’s world. I’m hoping that the second half of the book helps me understand why this is so important.

These are a few of my favorite things…

The domino players.
This group of men makes me laugh, too. I love that they respect Sierra’s art and want to make her murals a part of their landscape. I love how they taunt and jab at each other.

The creepy  
As we see more and more of the shadowshaper magic, I’m enjoying the overall creepy level of the darker variety. Any power can be corrupted - and the combined shadows are so scary! “Another mouth appeared along the creature’s shoulder; this one blubbered and gnashed…” (page 103)

The dialogue.
Oh yeah… this is probably my FAVORITE part of the style of this story so far. It can be really hard to capture the cadence of language. I’ve found myself stopping and re-reading a section aloud so I can really hear the characters. It doesn’t feel forced - it just feels like I can hear them.

I’m glad we chopped this book into just two parts. I’m ready to dive back in and find out what happens!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Batty About Books reads Shadowshaper by Older Cover Appeal

It's been a while since Batty About Books hit the trail. Last year seemed so crazy - so hectic - that we really didn't get a chance to read anything together.

What would it take to get us moving? What kind of book would push us to get the band back together again? Well... take a LOOK at this one.

by Daniel José Older (Goodreads Author)
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 30th 2015 by Arthur A. Levine Books (first published January 1st 2015)
ISBN 0545591619 (ISBN13: 9780545591614)

(Join us on our blogs  (Kathy is at The Brain Lair) , on Facebook, or Tweet/IG with #BattyAboutBooks and/or #Shadowshaper. We'll post brief thoughts and quotes from the text during the week.)

I'll admit, I had heard about this book before seeing the cover. There were rumbles about this being an intriguing storyline. When I saw the cover, though, I was hooked.


+ The first thing that strikes me is the strength in that face. So often I feel like a young woman on a cover (be it a book or magazine) is posing to capture the gaze of the person observing. This lady isn't looking at me. She's looking at something beyond me... something I can't see. That's fascinating, isn't it?

- ? Of course, I then have to mention the fact that the lighting appears to have washed out her skin tone. Is her skin truly this pale, or does the artistic nature of the cover strive to make her appear lighter than she is? That could be a strike against the cover, once I read on and find a description of her appearance.

+ The colors are striking! The rainbow swirls that surround and accent her face add to the mystery about this character. It fits so well with the tag line that starts with art.

+ The tagline itself pulls me. I love how the "Paint a mural" part feels like such an odd pairing with the second and third lines: "Start a battle. Change the world." The odd juxtaposition of art and war immediately pulls at my curiosity.

+ I love the skyline shown at the bottom. We get a sense of the setting as well as the main character through that little detail. I like that they chose to make the silhouettes of the buildings in brown instead of black. It makes it a little less obvious and keeps the focus on the young woman's face and pose instead.

- I don't think the spine would attract my attention enough to get me to pull it off a shelf. Here's hoping it gets stored face out in book stores and libraries!

+ The color swirls continue the artistic look of the front. I also love that the blurbs are placed on a purple background. I'm curious about the red details toward the bottom. Are they hands? 

I know I am ready to dive into the book! We'd love to have you read along and chime in with your thoughts here, on our FB page, or even on Twitter/IG! (You can use #BattyAboutBooks and/or #Shadowshaper)

We will post our discussion on the first 140 pages (20 chapters) on Saturday, August 1st. We plan to finish the book the following week. It's relatively short, and we don't want to lose the flow, but you can read at your own pace.

We'll also post brief thoughts and/or quotes along the way. See you then!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Must Read in 2015 Second Quarter Update

Time for my quarterly "Must Read in 2015" update!

I put 39 books on my list for this year.

Full List for the Year
First Quarter Update  (Read 12 of the 39)

This quarter went fairly well, though I slowed down more than a little due to my current obsession with amigurumi.

Some AMAZING books on this list, my friends. 

Nonfiction - Adventures in Graphica was filled with fabulous information on teaching comprehension using graphic novels and comics.

Middle Grade - The Dungeoneers is amazing! Fun, fast paced, and adventurous.

Young Adult - Okay, so mostly I read YA for this challenge this past quarter. Glory O'Brien and Aristotle and Dante were the stand out titles. Afterworlds was a intriguing style - weaving the story of a person WRITING a novel in with the actual novel itself. The Body Electric was a fascinating science fiction tale. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Dungeoneers - Happy Book Birthday!

It's a glorious day for a party!

Well, actually, it's a bit yucky and muggy at my house this morning. Still, that makes it the PERFECT day to celebrate a book birthday. Bookstores are generally air conditioned, you know?

John David Anderson is the kind of author I love, my students love, and my sons love.

He writes about superheroes - Sidekicked.
He writes about villains (or are they?) - Minion.

His latest outing will appeal to the dungeon crawlers among us. Are your students are interested in tabletop or video games where you can "pick a class"? Do you sometimes hear them chatting about "whacking" things or "picking locks"? Harness that energy and hand them this book.

To celebrate this book birthday, I bring you this cute little Q&A that Anderson did for my fifth grade son. Check out his official Blog Tour stop at the Melange as well, if you are interested in hearing what rogues need and getting a little glimpse at the plot of this adventurous tale..

What was your favorite memory from early childhood?

One thing I remember is my mother taking me to the Target or Kmart on pay day--twice a month--to pick out a Star Wars figure. I would dream about it the night before, imagining the rows upon rows of notoriously inflexible guys, some with lightsabers literally implanted in their arms. Of course we could only afford to get one, a decision I agonized over, holding several in hand, debating the pros and cons of a Greedo versus a Lando, Hoth Han or Bespin. Of course all the ones I didn't get that day were stashed elsewhere in the store, hidden behind bars of soap or packages of underwear so other kids couldn't buy them--hoping to return in two weeks to find my buried stash. It never worked. Turns out people buy underwear and soap too.

How do you get ideas for books?

Ideas for books are everywhere. My mother's a good place to start. She's wonderfully kooky. And books. And movies. And childhood memories. And mythology. And something random you see on the Internet. Ideas are not the problem. The problem is execution--taking an idea and crafting it into a story, discovering the characters, encountering the themes, and--on a good day--maybe even coming up with a plot.

So, really, do you like chocolate? What's your favorite kind of chocolate?

Love it, in fact. I used to be a salty guy--potato chips were the initial cause of my love handles. But in the past decade I have developed an unfortunate sweet tooth. And unfortunately, the more expensive the chocolate, usually the better (personal recommendation: Trader's Joe's Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Caramels). Thankfully a Dove or some Peanut M&Ms can cure a craving pretty fast too.

Who is your favorite superhero?

I like superheroes who are flawed--I find the closer they get to general human depravity, the easier it is for me to relate to them. For that reason, I like The Tick best. Nigh invulnerable, yes. Super strong. Infallible sense of right and wrong. But also goofy. And clumsy. And a little daft sometimes. Like me.

How do you plan out your stories? Do you know what's going to happen before you write?

Actually, no. I'm kind of an organic writer--plant the seed and watch it grow. Writing for me is an act of everyday discovery, solving the mystery. It wouldn't be satisfying for me otherwise. I want to be surprised by my own characters. I want to put the pieces of the puzzle together in the moment and then step back and see what the picture looks like at the end (and then go back and completely rearrange the puzzle anyway). Plus I'm way too lazy to plan anything out and outlines scare me. Roman numerals? Seriously?

What kinds of games do you like?

I'm a bit of a board game aficionado. Our game closet has over a hundred games in it, but my personal favorites are Settlers of Catan, Carcasonne, and Dominion. I try to avoid games that rely too heavily on luck--I'm lucky enough to be able to do what I do for a living. I don't play many video games, though I do like to let my son cream me at Mario Kart from time to time. Stupid red turtle shells.

Thanks again for the fun answers, and best of luck as this latest title hits the shelves!

Author Info 
John David Anderson is the author of Sidekicked and Minion. A dedicated root beer connoisseur in his spare time, he lives with his wife, two kids, and perpetually whiny cat in Indianapolis. You can visit him online at

Links for John David Anderson: 
Links for Walden Pond Press:

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Vanishing Island Blog Tour - Join the Adventure!

Have you ever wanted to run away from it all? Do you long for more adventure in your life? Have you ever dreamed of hopping on board a ship that is seeking buried treasure? Well, maybe you've never wanted to eat hard tack or climb a mast in a storm.. but you can experience the thrill of life on the high seas by reading the first book in this new series! 

I adored Neversink, which came out in 2012, so I knew I wanted in on this new series by Wolverton. It did NOT disappoint. Action! Adventure! Gross vomiting scenes.... Okay, so that part made me feel more than a bit nauseated, but kids are going to eat it up. Yuck, poor choice of phrase there, right?

Classroom Ideas:
--Be sure to have lots of books of old maps on hand, or maybe some paper for kids to make their own. 
--Partner this with other titles
        - The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi (most editions have great information on ship terminology in the back)
        - The Glass Sentence by S. E. Grove has tons of fantasy maps. (this title is slightly harder than Vanishing Island) 
        - Tie into the gross factor with the "You Wouldn't Want to...." series. 

Hang out with us and get a little insight into his inspiration for the Vanishing Island.... 

The Vanishing Island ... the summary  

(Publishing September 1, 2015):

Does  the Vanishing Island really exist? And if so, what treasure—or terrible secret—was hidden by its disappearance?

It’s 1599, the Age of Discovery in Europe. But for Bren Owen, growing up in the small town of Map on the coast of Britannia has meant anything but adventure. Enticed by the tales sailors have brought through Map’s port, and inspired by the arcane maps his father creates as a cartographer for the cruel and charismatic map mogul named Rand McNally, Bren is convinced that fame and fortune await him elsewhere. That is, until his repeated attempts to run away land him a punishment worse than death—cleaning up the town vomitorium.

It is there that Bren meets a dying sailor, who gives him a strange gift that hides a hidden message. Cracking the code could lead Bren to a fabled lost treasure that could change his life forever, and that of his widowed father. But to get there he will have to tie his fate to a mysterious Dutch admiral obsessed with a Chinese legend about an island that long ago disappeared from any map.

Before long, Bren is in greater danger than he ever imagined, and will need the help of an unusual friend named Mouse to survive. Barry Wolverton’s thrilling adventure spans oceans and cultures, brings together the folklore of East and West, and proves that fortune is always a double-edged sword.

Vanishing Island...the inspiration

"The Master of Maps" - by Barry Wolverton

I remember being surprised the first time I learned that Rand McNally wasn’t a real person, and that the company synonymous with road atlases wasn’t descended from some ancient family of mapmakers. So I decided all of that should be true. No offense to William Rand, the American-born printer, and Andrew McNally, the Irish immigrant, who formed Rand, McNally & Co. in 1868 in Chicago.

In my alternate history, where Britannia in 1599 is an upstart kingdom in the shadow of the Netherlands and the Iberian Empire, Rand McNally is a media mogul in the first great Information Age. The printing press is relatively new in Europe, as is the ability to sail great distances and discover new worlds. Those with the most reliable maps of the most lucrative trade routes can make a fortune, and McNally has cornered the market.

I picture McNally as something of a cross between Al Swearengen of Deadwood and Rupert Murdoch, with some of the marketing shrewdness of Steve Jobs. Among his regular sources of revenue are so-called authentic treasure maps, backed by the legal authority of the queen, sort of like the way 19th-century American businessmen sold government-backed land claims to prospectors. All it took was one person finding one gold nugget to keep people buying claims. Meanwhile, the seller of claims was making money hand over fist off all the dreamers.

What’s all this got to do with Bren, the 12-year-old protagonist of The Vanishing Island? Well, McNally may be larger-than-life, arrogant, unscrupulous, and even cruel, but he does have an eye for talent. Bren’s father is one of his best draftsmen, and he’s seen enough of Bren to know that he, too, would be skilled at making the maps that make McNally wealthy. He also knows that Bren would rather explore the world than draw it, so when Bren blunders in his latest attempt to run away from Map, McNally seizes the opportunity. He uses his considerable influence to arrange a punishment almost worse than death, believing that after working in the Vomitorium, Bren will look more fondly on a career in mapmaking.

It just goes to show that even a ruthless media mogul can underestimate a headstrong 12-year-old.

SIMPLE ENTRY - win an ARC of this great new book! Fill in the google form below.

Author Info 
Barry Wolverton is the author of Neversink. He has more than fifteen years’ experience creating books, documentary television scripts, and website content for international networks and publishers, including National Geographic,, the Library of Congress, and the Discovery Networks. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee. You can visit him online at

Links for Barry Wolverton: 

Links for Walden Pond Press:

Blog Tour Schedule: 
6/15/2015 Blue Stocking Thinking        
6/16/2015 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
6/17/2015 Small Review                                      
6/18/2015 Maria's Melange               
6/19/2015 Unleashing Readers           
6/19/2015 The Hiding Spot                             ​ 
6/22/2015 This Kid Reviews Books     
6/23/2015 Mundie Kids                      
6/24/2015 Paige in Training               
6/25/2015 Novel Novice                    

** disclaimer ** I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.

Monday, June 15, 2015

It's Monday June 15

Welcome to my little corner of book heaven. Here's what I read the last two weeks. Don't forget to visit the lovely hosts of this meme - Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. There are links to a LOT of posts there!

Just a few titles from the last *coughs* way too long since I posted. Here are some of my favorite reads!

Excellent "starter" science fiction for middle grades. I found the idea of Gabby sitting for alien children quite appealing, and the situations will make kids laugh! (I won a copy of this book in a contest) 

  Listened to this one, as it was a free YA Sync book. I read this in high school (and college). What a different experience as an adult! I still adore this book, but I kept feeling like reaching through and shaking the main character. "Oh, you poor immature child". I am pretty sure I didn't have this reaction when I read it as a teen.

  Come back on the 18th for my stop on this blog tour! I really loved this action packed adventure (I received an ARC from the publisher) 
I also participated in this blog tour. I love this author's sense of humor. I can't wait to get this book into kids' hands in the fall (it releases June 23rd - and I got an ARC from the publisher.  
 I brought this ARC into my classroom and I had a line form. The cover appeal is super strong, especially for gamers. Only 4 kids got through the book before the year was up, but they all gave it 4+ stars. It's marked as young adult, but I found it fine for my strong upper elementary (5th) students. (I also got this ARC from the publisher) 


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Dungeoneers by John David Anderson - Tour and giveaway!

Welcome to the blog tour for John David Anderson's newest novel.... The Dungeoneers! I'm thrilled to share this title with the world; and I love the piece he wrote for my blog on "The Rogue Essentials" 

(Don't forget to get all the way to the end of the post and leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of the book. I'll choose one commenter at random on June 14th at the end of the blog tour.) 

I make no secret of my love for all things geeky. Fantasy, science fiction, superheroes.... you name it, and I am there. Anderson had the scifi supheroes covered in his last two books (Sidekicked and Minion - which I also loved). 

For this one, he tackles dungeon crawlers. I can't wait to share this title with my students. There's a character in it for everyone. Rogues and wizards. Warriors and druids. What class would you pick? 

Dungeoneers summary  (Publishing June 23, 2015):
The Dungeoneers is an action-packed, funny, and heartbreaking middle grade fantasy-adventure from the author of the acclaimed Sidekicked and Minion, John David Anderson.

The world is not a fair place, and Colm Candorly knows it. While his parents and eight sisters seem content living on a lowly cobbler's earnings, Colm can't help but feel that everyone has the right to a more comfortable life. It's just a question of how far you're willing to go to get it.

In an effort to help make ends meet, Colm uses his natural gift for pickpocketing to pilfer a pile of gold from the richer residents of town, but his actions place him at the mercy of a mysterious man named Finn Argos, a gilded-toothed, smooth-tongued rogue who gives Colm a choice: he can be punished for his thievery, or he can become a member of Thwodin's Legions, a guild of dungeoneers who take what they want and live as they will. Colm soon finds himself part of a family of warriors, mages, and hunters, learning to work together in a quest to survive and, perhaps, to find a bit of treasure along the way.

Now - let's get started. Do you dream of being a rogue? John David Anderson shares some essential information ....

The Rogue’s Essentials

So you’ve decided to become a rogue. We should probably say something to the effect of “nice knowing you” or “your funeral,” but in the interest of at least appearing cheery and optimistic, we’ve decided to try and prepare you for this occasionally lucrative but always life-threatening endeavor. 

With that in mind, we’ve listed here the five things you absolutely must have if you plan to start a career as a lock-picking, pick-pocketing, coin-pilfering, shadow-skulking, dungeon diver.

1. Lock picks

A set of lock picks is to a rogue what a horn is to a unicorn or the smell of rotten eggs is to a severe bout of flatulence. It defines him. It is essential to his very existence. And it usually fits nicely in a handbag or wide cloak pocket. Introductory lock pick sets come with a dozen standard picks and tension tools designed to jiggle your way into most common tumbler locks, but the seasoned professional will want a wider array of tools. We recommend Pilfer and Son’s Spelunker Professional’s Package, which also includes three extractors, one declutcher, an acid injector, a pair of titanium bolt cutters, tweezers, and a reusable toothpick. It also comes in an attractive, basilisk-skin case (available in sickly-poison green or crusty-dead-thing brown). Conversely, we’ve found that a hairpin can do wonders in a pinch.

2. Cloak

While a shirt of chainmail or a nice pair of grieves makes a practical addition to the rogue’s ensemble, a multi-pocketed cloak is an absolute must. The goal of any rogue is to leave a dungeon carrying more than he came in with, and that requires substantial on-the-body storage. Assassin brand’s Dagger line of cloaks provides comfort and stylishness in a multi-pocketed, secret-compartment design and comes with holsters for your throwing knives to boot. For those looking to fit in with the upper echelon of rogues, South Façade cloaks have become quite popular, though it’s hard to justify the vast difference in price. Basically you are paying for the label. 

3. A sharp thing

Again, opinions vary greatly on how a rogue should defend him or herself. Some advocate an almost exclusive use of poison. Others claim that the best offense is having someone or something bigger and stronger standing in between you and whomever you’ve offended (walls are best, followed by barbarians). Most rogues, however, will carry at least one item sharp enough to cut a wedge of cheese. 

Be it scimitar or sabre, dagger or falchion, butter knife or nail file—so long as it is pointy it will serve its purpose, which is primarily to distract the enemy long enough to find an escape route. The good news is that swords and daggers are easy to come by in the life of a dungeoneer—simply take one off of the dead body you just stepped over on your way down.

4. Reading material

Rogues continually dispute the relative merits of the many guides that claim to catalog their craft. Certainly The Rogue’s Encyclopedia by Darrius Snowthorn is the most exhaustive of the bunch, encompassing three illustrated volumes. But the more frugal minded treasure-snatcher will do just as well with Frodor’s Guide to General Skullduggery at nearly a third of the price. If you wish to avoid dungeons all together and simply take the assassin’s route to riches, Backstabbing for Dummies will tell you all you need to know (diagrams included).

5. Magic Dan’s Anti-magic Paste

Assuming you are venturing alone or that you are venturing with a mage who has been recently decapitated by one of those swinging-scythe traps (which you probably should have disarmed—just saying) and is therefore incapable of casting counter magic (not having a head severely dampens your magical proclivities), you will want to have a jar of Magic Dan’s on hand. Capable of eating away at enchantments on a variety of inanimate objects, the slightly minty, not altogether unpleasant-tasting concoction will prove especially handy when disenchanting those pesky magically-enhanced locks that would otherwise turn you to stone or make your eyeballs implode. After all, For magic locks, don’t trust any man, for locks, use Magic Dan.

And that should do it—or at least it’s enough to get you started. Of course there’s no substitute for having a good mentor to show you the ropes (and keep you from swinging from one). Finally, if you are still on the fence about whether a career in dungeoneering is right for you, you should consider reading 

Colm Candorly’s account of his early adventures in the business as catalogued by the bard, J.D. Anderson, available from fine bibliothecas kingdom-wide.

Author Info 
John David Anderson is the author of Sidekicked and Minion. A dedicated root beer connoisseur in his spare time, he lives with his wife, two kids, and perpetually whiny cat in Indianapolis. You can visit him online at

Links for John David Anderson: 
Links for Walden Pond Press:

Blog Tour Schedule: 
6/2/2015 Maria's Melange                                                                     
6/5/2015 Unleashing Readers                                                 
6/6/2015 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia                
6/7/2015 Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers          
6/8/2015 This Kid Reviews Books                                       
6/8/2015 Ms Yingling Reads                          ​           
6/9/2015 Read Now Sleep Later                     
6/10/2015 Charlotte's Library                                   
6/11/2015 Nerdy Book Club                              

6/12/2015 The Hiding Spot                                          

Leave a comment AND fill in the form below. 
-- must be at least 13 to enter
-- US and Canada residents only
-- book will be provided by the publisher. 
-- if you win, I will email you and get information to share with the publisher
-- email address collected will ONLY be used if you win, to get your information for the publisher. 

For commenting -- Let me know which piece of essential gear for rogues you think is most important, tell me which class of character YOU would want to be as a Dungeoneer, or share why you think kids will love this book. I'll choose one comment at random on June 14th. 

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