Cover Reveal for Joshua and the Lightening Road + Giveaway!

M9B-Friday-Reveal

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Joshua and the Lightning Road by Donna Galanti

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Joshua and The Lightning Road

Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.

Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.

To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.

In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.

add to goodreads

Title: Joshua and the Lightning Road
Publication date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Tantrum Books/Month9Books
Author: Donna Galanti

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

Donna Galanti

Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is the author of books 1 and 2 in the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts. For more information on Donna and A Human Element, please visit: http://www.ElementTrilogy.com AND http://www.donnagalanti.com

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

(Winners will receive their book on release day)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Button

Anni Moon & The Elemental Artifact: An Elemental Fantasy Adventure

*  I received a free ebook copy of Anni Moon & The Elemental Artifact in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

About Anni Moon & The Elemental Artifact

Anni doesn’t know about Elementals, Funk, Zephyrs, excited talking Bat-Rat creatures, and, least of all, Dragons. All that changes when her best friend, Lexi, is kidnapped and forces beyond Anni’s control trap her on a hidden, floating island in the Elemental world.
In a race against time, Anni sets out to save her friend. Along the way she finds allies among the Elementals, but she is also presented with a choice, one that might help save Lexi. If Anni agrees to an ancient, open-ended contract, will her sacrifice cost her more than she’s bargained for? Or will it land her in the middle of an age-old war between the humans, the Elementals, and the dreaded Fectus?

My Review

This is a great start to a new children’s book series!  I think this is best suited for 3rd and 4th graders, and I think it will appeal to girls especially, given that the main characters are two young ladies.

The book centers around Anni and Lexi, who live at Waterstone Academy, which seems like a normal school.  But then things start to go wrong, and the current headmistress of the school disappears, and the story really kicks into high gear.  The plot moves along well (the book is quite lengthy) and I think it will definitely hold your children’s interest.

If your girls are interested in Harry Potter, they will probably like this book.  There is also no profanity or inappropriateness; I have no issue passing this one on to my third grader, and I’m sure she’s going to love it!

 

 

Tombquest Book of the Dead Unlocks Ancient Egypt in a new Scholastic Series! {Book Review}

* I received a free copy of Tombquest Book of the Dead from Scholastic in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Logo

 Fans of The 39 Clues, the Infinity Ring series, and the Spirit Animals series, heads up!  Scholastic (one of my favorite and the world’s largest publishers of children’s books is at it again in a brand new series that is going to have young readers hopping in 2015.  I was super excited to get to read the first book in the new Tombquest series, called Book of the Dead, which you will find on bookshelves in just THREE days (January 27, 2015).  But just to get you even more excited, check out the book trailer…Pretty awesome, huh!

 

About Tombquest Book of the Dead

Alex Sennefer’s mom uses the Lost Spells of the Egyptian Book of the Dead to crack open a door to the afterlife and pull her son back from the brink of death. But when she uses the spells, five evil ancients–the Death Walkers–are also brought back to life. Mummies are awakening. New York is overrun with scorpions. And worst of all for Alex, his mom and the Lost Spells have both disappeared. He and his best friend, Ren, will do anything to find his mom and save the world!

My Review

I loved this book as an adult, and I have no doubt that my two girls (both fans of 39 clues) will be huge fans, even though my older daughter is 13!  When I was recently in New York, I took selfies in the Egyptian area of the Met, where a good portion of Book of the Dead takes place, and sent them to her…the replies were unkind (as unkind goes for 13 year olds).  I pretty much know that after reading this book, I’m going to have to make a trek in from Western NY to take the girls to the Met.  This is the kind of book that sparks kids imaginations, and can get them interested in some serious history – which as a mom and former teacher, I love.

Attention – skip to the next section if you want to miss a few little spoilers (don’t worry I won’t give it all away!)

I think the book is correctly aged at 3rd-6th grade, but I think older students (and adults!) will enjoy as a quick read.  I love how Alex begins the book suffering from an illness…I think children who are chronically ill would see Alex as a hero!  He is “cured” by his (single) mother’s use of the scrolls, but I’m interested to see how this plays out in further books.  Ren also isn’t the “perfect” character – she speaks of working extra hard at school, and having a hard-working dad who spoke only Spanish at home growing up, but put himself through engineering school.  I love to see this type of diversity in main characters, and I hope this continues as characters get added to the books.

In terms of plot line and character development, I think Book of the Dead deserves five stars.   There is a build up at the beginning of the book, but it doesn’t drag and once the action gets started, it goes full-speed towards a harrowing conclusion.  There is definitely a “hook” at the end, but Michael Northrup did a masterful job of creating an ending that is both satisfying, but leaves you wanting more.  It is a first class start to what I’m sure is going to be another hit series!

The Tombquest Game

As you saw in the book trailer, there is an accompanying game that kids can play online that goes along with the book series.  I didn’t play too, long, but setting up an account was really easy and fairly kid friendly…here I am…

tombkeeper

You pretty much get to customize everything about your avatar, which I know my girls are going to LOVE (don’t even ASK how many Miis they have created…it’s pretty disturbing).  The game is easy to navigate and you basically move from tomb to tomb, collecting treasure, attacking enemies (mummies) and raiding other players’ tombs!  It’s like you are a little Indiana Jones/Lora Croft…definitely no archaeology here, but fun nevertheless. Here I am about to collect my first treasure, woohoo!!

Capture

The game is going to be a huge hit with kids, and I think it will keep kids engaged in the series as they wait for the next book to come out (shhhh, don’t tell them it’s all about encouraging reading!).  Speaking of which….


Tombquest Teacher Resources

One of the great things about Scholastic is that they do such an amazing job supporting teachers (and homeschooling parents)!  And their roll out of the new Tombquest series is no exception.  You don’t have to go hunting for Tombquest Book of the Dead teaching activities or make up your own – Scholastic has a lot of great resources already prepared for you that are aligned and meet the Common Core State Standards for Grades 3-6!

Using Book of the Dead as a book club book?  Check out the Tombquest Book of the Dead Discussion Guide.  How about some awesome Tombquest videos featuring the awesome author, Michael Northrup doling out facts on Ancient Egypt?  Or how about some fun Book of the Dead activity sheets (great for morning work!)?  The best part is that all of these resources are completely FREE – just check out Scholastic’s webpage for teachers using Tombquest in the classroom!

Buy Tombquest

You won’t be able to find it until January 27, 2015, but you can preorder now on Scholastic.com or Amazon.

How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots {Book Review}

* Disclaimer: I received How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots from BookLook Bloggers for this review. All opinions are my own.

_225_350_Book.1358.cover

About the Book

How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots by Ron Bates is a great book for middle school students.  It follows the story of Howard Boward, who is a bona fide science genius.  The victim of bullies, Howard often has a rough time of it, but Howard is super excited when he hears about an upcoming robot-building contest.  He decides to use a secret weapon:  a secret goo that makes his cardboard robot move.  Unfortunately, the secret good backfires and the robot turns into a replicating, evil monster, and it’s up to Howard to save the day.

My Review

This is a fun little book that I think is best suited for middle-aged boys – my daughter is in middle school and wasn’t super interested but I think this would definitely appeal to boys the same age.  It is a Christian novel, but the religion aspect isn’t overdone and doesn’t take away from the story at all.  A big part of the book that I liked is the interaction and dealing with bullies, which is obviously a huge hot topic.

Howard isn’t necessarily nice at the beginning of the book, but he does learn the value of helping others, hard work, and not getting even with bullies towards the middle/to the end of the book.  So I think there are definitely some good messages coming from this book if readers stick with it.  It is very appropriate and I would not hesitate to give it to any middle schooler!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I Love You Too by Ziggy Marley {Book Review}

* I received a complementary ebook of I Love You Too, by Ziggy Marley, from the publisher Akashic Books,  in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Synopsis from the Publisher

A beautifully illustrated, multicultural children’s picture book based on one of Ziggy Marley’s most beloved songs, “I Love You Too.” The book explores a child’s relationship with parents, nature, and the unstoppable force of love. This is Ziggy’s first book, though his foray into children’s music is extensive and very well known. He is the singer of “Believe in Yourself,” the popular theme song of the hit TV show Arthur.

About this book, Ziggy says, “One day I was in my kitchen making breakfast with my then three-year-old daughter Judah. She looked at me and said, ‘I love you.’ I spontaneously replied to her, ‘I love you too.’ From that came the song and now the book based on the lyrics. I hope you share and enjoy this with your loved ones as I have with mine.”

Review

I (no pun intended) LOVED this book, even independent of the incomparable Ziggy Marley’s music.  First of all, the illustrations are simply stunning.  Here are a few examples:

 

Love You Too

 

I love the bright, vivid colors and textures to the illustrations…

Love You Too

But even more than the gorgeous illustrations is the wonderful message that this book conveys – that families and friends will always love each other.  My favorite part of I Love You Too explores the idea that “No matter how things change, this one thing will remain…”.  It features illustrations of an older mom with a grown up daughter and her child.  Although this is obviously a book that is designed for younger children, but I think this is still a book, and a message, that would impress upon my older children.  I will definitely be picking up a hard cover copy for each of them as gifts!  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to pass on the “I Love  You Too” message!

 

Buy

Buy I Love You Too on Amazon for $12.93 in Hardcover

Buy I Love You Too on Kindle

 

 

Funky Yellow Bus {Children’s Book Review}

Thank you to the author for providing a review copy of Funky Yellow Bus!

Funky Yellow Bus

    Do you have a preschooler who is starting Kindergarten in the fall?  Or a youngster that has nervous first moments in new and strange situations?  If so, I recently had the opportunity to review a great new children’s book to help them through those moments.  Funky Yellow Bus, written by Robin B. Rosenberg and illustrated with some really funky, awesome art by Bernie Freytag, is a great way to start introducing the school bus for new Kindergartners.

Funky Yellow Bus

 

The book starts with a quote from my FAVORITE Bob Marley song – “Don’t worry ’bout a thing, ’cause every little thing gonna be alright”.  I still sing this song to myself when things get stressful at work and my girls love it too.The Funky Yellow Bus tells the story of Brookie Cookie, the main character, who is a little bit nervous about riding the big yellow bus to Kindergarten. She makes it through the first day, and the second day, she sits with a friend she knew from nursery school, even though she is still nervous about that Funky Yellow Bus.  She gets even MORE nervous when she and her friend are approached by a “big kid”.  But in the end, it turns out that he is a friend too, and the bus rocks all the way to school!

This would be a great book for ages 4-6 or any child who struggles with new situations.  This should definitely be on your “must buy” list for your new Kindergarten student.  I love the rhyming action which will give it a lot of appeal for your youngster.   The art is also very colorful and engaging, and there is a song that you can sing with your preschooler as well at the end.  This book will be a definite hit with your new student!

Buy

Buy Funky Yellow Bus on Amazon

Connect

Funky Yellow Bus Online

Funky Yellow Bus on Facebook

Hugo the Happy Starfish: The Secret To Happiness {Book Review}

happy-hugo-logo

Character education is so important – both at home and in the classroom. As much as I want my daughters to be happy, smart, and successful, I want them also to be excellent citizens. I work with them on being grateful, while trying to balance out my desire to give them the world and make them happy. As a teacher, one of the ways that I helped my students grow, both academically and personally, was through sharing great literature.  Hugo the Happy Starfish books are a great way to teach some pretty great lessons to your children!

This entire character education book series aims to teach children to share and become happy, productive members of their community with a sense of social responsibility.  I had the opportunity to review  Hugo the Happy Starfish:  The Secret To Happiness.   This is an award winning childrens book, and was a finalist in the  CHILDREN’S MIND/ BODY/ SPIRIT category of The USA “Best Books 2012” Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.

IMG_3726
Hugo is (obviously) a starfish, and one day, he is bored (a VERY common occurrence among the young people in my house).  Finding his life dull, he sets out to find something that makes him happy.  With the help of his sting ray mentor, he tries many different things.  He finds several things (like treasure) that make him feel happy at first, but finds that they only make him feel better for a little while.  Eventually, he discovers that by helping others, he can be a truly happy starfish.
We loved this book!  It was the perfect choice for a bedtime story for my six year old.  She loved Hugo the Happy Starfish, and the bright and engaging colors and pictures!
Hugo the Happy Starfish

 

If you are looking for a great character education book series, I highly recommend you check out Hugo the Happy Starfish!

 Buy

Buy Hugo the Happy Starfish for your Amazon Kindle for only $5.99!

Buy Hugo the Happy Starfish on Amazon

Connect

Hugo the Happy Starfish Online

Hugo the Happy Starfish on Facebook

 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.