Thursday, April 27, 2017

0 Sponsored: Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag Guest Post and Giveaway

Written by Carole P. Roman

Illustrated by Mateya Arkova

Publisher’s Synopsis: From award-winning author Carole P. Roman comes a new chapter book featuring Susannah Logan, a young student having a very bad day. It all begins with homework trouble and an invitation to a sleepover that she doesn’t want to go to. Would you want to go to a sleepover in a creepy house? Rather than dealing with her problems, Susannah stuffs them into her backpack. But how much can a backpack take? Will she be able to confront her worries before the backpack bursts? Or will she just continue to hide them away? Join Susannah and her friends in this story sure to charm busy young readers everywhere.

Ages 7-10 | Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform | April 3, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1543034615

Available Here:


Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of the Captain No Beard series. Both Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life and Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis have received the Kirkus Star of Exceptional Merit. The first book in the series was named to Kirkus Reviews Best 2012. Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis has been named to Kirkus Reviews Best of 2015. Each book in the series has won numerous awards including the NABE Pinnacle Award, IAN Award, Moonbeam Award 2014, National Indie Excellence Award Finalist, Shelf Media Outstanding Series Award, ForeWord Review Five Star and Finalist in the Book of the Year, and Reader’s Views Children’s Book of the Year 2013. Roman is also the author of the award-winning non-fiction culture series, If You Were Me and Lived in… that explores customs and cultures around the world. She has co-authored a self help book, Navigating Indieworld: A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing. She lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children and grandchildren.


Topic: Since I work with middle school students I'm also curious about authors at that age and if anything from then influenced the book. Really anything along those lines.

Middle school was called Junior High when I went to PS 231 in Springfield Gardens. It was a brand new school, filled with a wide variety of children from several neighborhoods. We were all in an experimental program where they moved sixth grade into Junior High, and ninth grade into high school.
I attended a very old and comforting elementary school where I felt cosseted and protected. There must have been learning disorders; I realize that now, as I see my grandchildren struggle with things that were problematic for me. Back then, you were admonished for not paying attention, rather than given special tools to help with the subjects that didn’t make sense.

I was a hard worker and made it into three SP classes. These were the elite classes for students that excelled. By the first report card, I was failing at everything, and felt lonely and in way over my head. Tutors were brought in and I struggled with so many subjects like math and science. What made sense when one teacher taught the subject, was confusing and hard to understand when another teacher did the lesson.
To say I didn’t enjoy middle school would be an understatement. We were in what I thought was an adult-like facility, yet I felt it was too rigid. We touched on subjects, but for me, the lessons lacked depth.

I wanted to know more about the topics that interested me. I longed to read books that made me feel things, see other points of view or take me to other worlds. I couldn't wait to get out. Being in junior high or middle school was like being trapped in a holding pattern. I was stuck on a runway and couldn’t wait to move on.

When I graduated in the eighth grade, the day I entered Springfield Gardens High School, I could swear I heard angels singing. I loved high school. I never missed a day and graduated with honors. I enjoyed every class. I loved the way the teachers would allow us to go off on a tangent, exploring things that ignited our interest.
Imagine my chagrin when my first job ended up being a substitute in Plainview Middle School.

I started subbing when I was 20 years old and just out of college. When I used to say I taught that age group, it was usually followed by groans. Elementary kids were considered cute and usually manageable. High school had students that were self-directed, working on a course to either finish or move on to college. Middle school brought back those sour memories of not being old enough to do much, but feeling too old to partake in the things that busied the younger kids. As a teacher, I was warned that it was a dangerous time, raging hormones made the children unpredictable and sometimes hard to work with.

I began my job dreading the age group, worrying that my own memories would influence the way I taught. It ended up being one of the best experiences of my life.
Teaching middle school is where I learned that I was a storyteller. I was called in daily, and like Mary Poppins I had a suitcase filled with fascinating articles, controversial subjects, things that made fractious and bored students sit up and engage with me.

I learned what could quiet thirty-one adolescents in a heartbeat. Make them think about things they never considered before. I could walk into a room filled with chaos and a minute later smile at those bright faces grinning back at me. No matter what the subject I was given, I made them connect to it. I made it relevant to their life. I have used that as a template for all of my books. If you don’t relate to something, it will mean nothing.

I never spoke down to them. I think that’s what irritated me most when I was young. I remembered that I disliked being made to feel insignificant, as though my opinion or thoughts didn’t matter. I’m proud to say I was the most requested sub in the district and I loved my job.

When I write, I remember those students. I recall how they were happy to see me and welcomed me into their lives. I am grateful they gave me the opportunity to learn as much about myself, as I hope I opened their minds to new possibilities.

Enter to win an autographed copy of Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag, by award-winning author Carole P. Roman; plus a “Cool Bananas” tumbler and “Havana” lunch cooler tote to stuff into your own backpack.
One (1) grand prize winner receives:
  • A copy of Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag, autographed by Carole P. Roman
  • A SunnyLife Havana Lunch Cooler Tote
  • A SunnyLife Cool Bananas Tumbler
Four (4) winners receive:
  • A copy of Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag, autographed by Carole P. Roman
Age Range: 7-10
Giveaway begins April 25, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends May 25, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Giveaway open to US and Canadian addresses only.

Prizes and samples provided by Carole P. Roman and The Children’s Book Review.

*Per FTC guidelines, I have a  partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Carole P. Roman. This is a sponsored post*

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

0 The Explorers, Absolutely Fabulous, and Free Audio Books: Last Week In Review (45)

Welcome to Last Week In Review. I'm a little late with my post this week, but it couldn't be helped. Once again, last week, life kept me from finishing any of the books I'm currently reading. I did make some progress, though. Here are the books I'm currently reading in case you missed it.

And I added:

"This is one of those stories that start with a pig in a teeny hat. It’s not the one you’re thinking about. (This story is way better than that one.)"

What I Watched

I continued to watching iZombie, Agents of Shield,  and Call the Midwife. We had severe weather in our area on Saturday and we lost power for close to seven hours. So, I missed Doctor Who and Class. I'll have to catch up on those later. And I watched a movie that I've been dying to see since I heard the news it was being made: Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. I'm a huge fan of the television series. It's silly and the movie was right on par with it. To be honest, I'd probably watch Absolutely Fabulous: The Geriatric Years if they made it.

I've had the windows open and have been enjoying the weather. We've planted some flowers outside too. These roses seemed to have bloomed overnight.

I've received some books over the past few weeks and I been neglectful of posting about them. 

Rosemary's Baby is celebrating its 50th anniversary. And The Address is the new novel by Fiona Davis, who wrote The Dollhouse last year. I can't wait to read it! 

I received some middle-grade books as well. 

One last thing of note: 
Sync starts back this week. It's a cool program and it's totally free. If you like audiobooks or you know someone that does, please tell them about it. The audiobooks are only available to download for a week. After that, you'll have to purchase them. Check out the website for additional information:

Have a great week! 

Friday, April 21, 2017

0 Audio Book Review: Northanger Abbey

Title: Northanger Abbey
Author: Jane Austen
Narrator: Alison Larkin
Publisher: British Classic Audio
Published: 2/22/17
MP3: 9 hours and 23 minutes


Award-winning narrator and internationally acclaimed writer/comedienne, Alison Larkin brings her signature wit to this hugely entertaining audio production of Jane Austen's first novel, Northanger Abbey, followed by The History of England, a short, delightfully satirical piece that Austen wrote when she was just 15 years old.

In Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland, a clergyman's daughter, longs for the kind of romantic adventures she has read about in her favorite Gothic novels. After spending a season mingling with fashionable high society in Bath, she is invited to stay at Northanger Abbey where nothing is what it seems.

In The History of England, the teenage Jane Austen pokes fun at the historians of the day who pretended to be objective when they clearly were not, and wrote about the kings and queens of England with less respect (and more wit) than a British newspaper.

My Thoughts

I've read and re-read Northanger Abbey many times. Revisiting old books is like revisiting old friends. So I was delighted to receive this audiobook to revisit this Gothic classic once again. And experience it for the first time on audio. There are many things that I really appreciate about this book. I love how Catherine's imagination runs away with her and the consequences it yields. It's a cautionary tale to say the least. Austen's nod to Gothic romance is brilliant.

Alison Larkin has narrated a long list of audio books, yet the Northanger Abbey audiobook was my first experience with this narrator. Larkin's voice was made for this audiobook. She embodied the characters' personalities effortlessly. I definitely recommend Larkin as a narrator.

I also love that included with Northanger Abbey is The History of England. It was written by Austen when she was fifteen. Though she was young, her writing style, humor, and voice comes through clearly. Overall, it was a pleasure listening to this audiobook.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

0 Review: Around the World in 80 Tales

Published: August 16, 2016
Genre: Memoir
Source: Author


80 Stories, 25 Countries, 5 Continents, One Heck of a Ride! 

Come with me on a journey of captivating true travel stories from around the world. This fascinating kaleidoscope of people, places, history, food and culture will inspire, amuse and even amaze. Experience the challenges, rewards and fun of budget travel without leaving home!

My Thoughts

Around the World in 80 Tales by Dave Tomlinson is a short story collection about his travels across the world. Traveling on a budget, Tomlinson encounters some interesting situations and not at all glamorous. But through it all you can tell that he really enjoys his travels. It's interesting to see the world through his eyes. And after you finish reading it, you might find yourself coming down with a case of wanderlust.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

0 Fill your bookshelves with these fantastic SUMMER READS from HarperCollins Children’s Books!


Sit back and relax with these fun CONTEMPORARY teen reads!

9780062348708 – $17.99 – Ages 14 and Up – On Sale 4/11/2017
Jane Austen’s EMMA meets David Levithan in this funny, authentic novel about love, relationships, and identity, from Morris Award-winning author of SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA.

RAMONA BLUE by Julie Murphy
9780062418357 – $17.99 – Ages 13 and Up – On Sale 5/9/2017Julie Murphy, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of DUMPLIN'—now available in paperback—brings us another fearless heroine in this evocative novel about family, friendship, and the fluidity of love.

ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS by Francesca Zappia
9780062290137 – $17.99 – Ages 14 and Up – On Sale 5/30/2017
Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the secret creator of the most popular web comic ever, but her hidden identity is threatened when a new boy at school makes her want to build a life offline. Fangirl meets Nimona in this novel about art, fandom, and finding the strength to be yourself.

LIBERTY by Andrea Portes9780062421999 – $17.99 – Ages 13 and Up – On Sale 6/6/2017Andrea Portes is back with the story of Paige Nolan, a disillusioned teen girl recruited by the CIA. A spy novel, told in her signature snarky, voice-driven style.

9780062335777 – $17.99 – Ages 14 and Up – On Sale 4/4/2017
Raw and emotionally honest, Meg Haston’s second YA novel explores a star-crossed high school relationship, and the lead up and aftermath of the event that doomed the couple from the start.

LOOKING FOR GROUP by Rory Harrison
9780062453075 – $17.99 – Ages 13 and Up – On Sale 4/25/2017
A brave, timely YA about two misfit teens—one in remission from cancer, one in the throes of discovering her gender identity—who embark on a cross-country road trip.

If you’re looking to escape into another world, these fabulous FANTASY books are for you!

DIVIDING EDEN by Joelle Charbonneau

9780062453846 – $17.99 – Ages 13 and Up – On Sale 6/6/2017
Cain and Abel meets The Selection in a sweeping fantasy about two royal siblings forced to compete for the crown—from the bestselling author of The Testing.

OUR DARK DUET by Victoria Schwab9780062380883 – $17.99 – Ages 14 and Up – On Sale 6/13/2017An urban fantasy from the #1 New York Times bestselling Victoria Schwab. August Flynn and Kate Harker lead the battle between humans and monsters in the thrilling sequel to the THIS SAVAGE SONG, now available in paperback!

SPINDLE FIRE by Lexa Hillyer
9780062440877 – $17.99 – Ages 13 and Up – On Sale 4/11/2017
ALICE IN WONDERLAND meets SLEEPING BEAUTY in this fresh and fantastical adventure unlike any re-telling you’ve read before from Lexa Hillyer, author of PROOF OF FOREVER, writing in a completely new genre. This dark tale is the first in a YA fantasy duology.

For more summer reads, check out—
·         THE SECRET HISTORY OF US by Jessi Kirby (On Sale 8/1/2017)
·         WHO’S THAT GIRL by Blair Thornburgh (On Sale 7/11/2017)
·         THE SCATTERING by Kimberly McCreight (On Sale 5/2/2017)

Also, some of our favorites are NOW IN PAPERBACK for $9.99!
·         DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy (9780062327192)
·         THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR by Katharine McGee (9780062418609)
·         THIS SAVAGE SONG by Victoria Schwab (9780062380869)


For a little ACTION & ADVENTURE, check out…

9780062306937 – $17.99 – Ages 8 to 12 – On Sale 5/16/2017From acclaimed, award-winning author Laura Ruby comes the first book in an epic alternate-history series about three kids who try to solve the greatest mystery of the modern world: a puzzle and treasure hunt laid into the very streets and buildings of New York City.

9780062074669 – $16.99 – Ages 8 to 12 – On Sale 5/2/2017
In this new fantasy novel set in the world of THE TWO PRINCESSES OF BAMARRE, a warrior girl learns that she is not who she thinks she is, and must raise a rebellion on behalf of her people.

KEEPER OF MYTHS by Jasmine Richards
9780062010117 – $16.99 – Ages 8 to 12 – On Sale 6/13/2017In the sequel to SECRETS OF VALHALLA, Buzz and Mary embark on another mythical adventure to save the world when they learn there are more gods than they realized.

GUYS READ: HEROES & VILLAINS edited by Jon Scieszka
9780062385611 – $16.99 – Ages 8 to 12 – On Sale 4/4/2017Guys Read, the hottest anthology series for tweens, continues with ten new tales--fiction, nonfiction, adventure, realism, comics, you name it--of great HEROES AND VILLAINS.

For some good CONTEMPORARY fun, read…

9780062360212 – $16.99 – Ages 8 to 12 – On Sale 5/2/2017In this funny, bighearted contemporary middle grade friendship story, two mismatched cousins from estranged branches of a family spend an adventure-filled summer together in Florida, completing a list of “Good Ideas for Summertime” written by their eccentric late grandmother.

9780062318756 – $16.99 – Ages 8 to 12 – On Sale 6/13/2017The third and last book in the charming contemporary realistic tween series. Summer is upon the Silver sisters again, and Marigold, Zinnia, and Lily are heading to Pruet to join Aunt Sunny, their now-Uncle Tony, and their favorite locals to celebrate the town's 300th birthday!


9780062427601 – $16.99 – Ages 8 to 12 – On Sale 4/11/2017A brave and heartwarming middle grade novel about a girl who tries to bring her fractured family back together again by working her way through her mother’s old cookbook.

APARTMENT 1986 by Lisa Papademetriou
9780062371089 – $16.99 – Ages 8 to 12 – On Sale 4/11/2017A heartfelt, authentic middle grade novel about a girl hiding from her family's issues by discovering New York with a mysterious boy she meets at the Met.

For the perfect road trip, pick up…

9780062497932 – $4.99 – Ages 6 to 10 – On Sale 5/16/2017This travel-themed collection continues Rob Elliott’s #1 bestselling Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids series— featuring, for the first time ever, games and puzzles to keep the whole family busy for hours!


PETERRIFIC written and illustrated by Victoria Kann
9780062563569 – $17.99 – Ages 4 to 8 – On Sale 5/2/2017
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of PINKALICIOUS has created an all-new picture book star: Pinkalicious's brother Peter, whose adventures are sure to be Peterrific!

PETE THE CAT AND THE COOL CAT BOOGIE written and illustrated by James Dean
9780062404343 – $17.99 – Ages 4 to 8 – On Sale 5/9/2017
From New York Times bestselling author-illustrator team James and Kimberly Dean comes another groovy Pete the Cat adventure, sure to have readers dancing in their seats.

MORRIS MOLE written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
9780062411075 – $17.99 – Ages 4 to 8 – On Sale 5/2/2017
Morris Mole has always been a little bit different. When the moles are running low on food, it is up to clever Morris to save the day. With a little help from an unexpected friend and a lot of digging, Morris learns that even the smallest creatures can do big things.

ENZO AND THE FOURTH OF JULY RACES written by Garth Stein, illustrated by Victoria Kann
9780062380593 – $17.99 – Ages 4 to 8 – On Sale 5/2/2017
It's Fourth of July, and Enzo and his family are off to the races as Denny and Zoë compete on the racetrack, Denny in the season points championship and Zoë in the Kids' Kart Challenge, each wishing to take home the top prize.

SHARK DOG written and illustrated by Ged Adamson
9780062457134 – $17.99 – Ages 4 to 8 – On Sale 5/16/2017
From author-illustrator Ged Adamson comes the funny and sweet story of Shark Dog: half shark, half dog, and a one-of-a-kind pet.


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