Thursday, October 19, 2017

THE SILVER MASK (Magisterium Series Book #4) By Holly Black & Cassandra Clare #TheSilverMask #MagisteriumSeries


By: Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
Published by: Scholastic 
Released on: October 10th, 2017
Series: Magisterium Series #4
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository 
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets
Source: purchased book
Reviewed by: Emm

Callum Hunt's life has fallen apart.

His friend is gone. The spy has escaped. His secret is out.
He is facing an existence behind bars, banished from the rest of the magical community for what he is - for what he might become.

But a shocking revelation has promised freedom - at a cost. Will he stay strong, and faithful to his friends and teachers? Or take the risk, and destroy everything he's ever loved?

This fourth year at the Magisterium will be unlike anything else that has gone before . . . 

It goes without saying that we here at Mundie Kids have been huge fans of Cassandra Clare and Holly Black from TMI and Spiderwick days. Those who follow Cassie and Holly will know they are good friends so when we heard they were writing a book series together we knew it would be a match made in heaven. And what a wonderful Middle Grade book series Magisterium is! The series follows Callum Hunt as he enters the Magisterium, a school for Mages, the magic wielding people of the world. Over the past 3 books we have gotten to know Callum and his friends Aaron and Tamara. We have gotten to know the Magical world they live in and how one of the most evil Mage in history is closely tied to Callum.

Book 4 The Silver Mask starts off about 6 months after the end of the last book. With Callum in the magical jail for his involvement at the end of book 3 (no spoilers I promise) he is having a hard time coming to terms with what has happened and how the magical world has blamed him.  I really love Callum and how he is portrayed in these books. A typical young teenage boy with all the insecurities and uncertainties of life. He doesn’t think very highly of himself but as the book progresses we see him really coming into his own, not relying on others and now making decisions for himself. The burdens placed on him and how he is given roles he really didn’t ask for or likes having, do test his resolve.  I do love how Callum is portrayed and how he has grown through this series but in particular The Silver Mask. I think it teaches it’s reader that in times when you don’t know who to trust, make sure you love and trust yourself first.

In The Silver Mask there is a lot of discussion about our soul and how your soul effects you in the Mage world. How a soul can be taken away piece by piece to save another person or someone can take a part of your soul as well. I really enjoyed this part of the story and how it tests the characters, Callum in particular.  This is an interesting spin on the whole good and evil plot we see in many books. I love how it makes the characters and the reader really think about what is worth the sacrifice to save the ones you love.

In spite of it being a Middle Grade book it is an extremely smart and clever story that people of all ages (including this 41yr old Mom) will enjoy.

We Love Instagram Book Features + Check Us Out on IG!


I love talking about books, as much as I love featuring them on social media. Did you know Mundie Kids also has an Instagram account? There you'll also find a variety of book features, that aren't always featured here on the blog. Each of the pictures shared in this post are all from our MKs Instagram account. 


In some cases, you'll see books linked back to reviews here on the blog, and other times, like today, you'll see a picture of a variety of books (picked above) we highly recommend picking up this Fall. I'm working on making the time to write reviews for these books still. They're perfect reads for Halloween. 


  
Be sure to follow us on Instragam! If you're on there too, please let us know. We'd love to check out your account too.


Don't miss out! If you're ever interested in the monthly OwlCrateJr book box subscription, I've been sharing our pictures for that as well, but only on Instagram. This month's box arrived yesterday, so I've not yet shared all it's contents. We don't want to spoil anyone yet. I'll be sharing pictures of our unboxing next week. My daughter LOVES these boxes.

*All images are property of Mundie Kids and may not be used without permission.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

THE ROAD HOME by Katie Cotton / Book Review #TheRoadHome


By: Katie Cotton
Illustrated by: Sarah Jacoby
Published by: Abrams
Released on: March 7, 2017 
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: AbramsAmazon | B&N 
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets 
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Fierce and tender, this beautifully illustrated picture book depicts the journeys of woodland animals as they seek the safety of home in a wild, unpredictable world. Birds risk the elements to fly south for the winter. Rabbits flee wolves to find warm, safe havens in the burrows. Wolves race the threat of hunger before seeking their dens. All are parents teaching their young the ways of survival in a dangerous world. In the end, each pair of animals finds the comfort of home in each other, reinforcing the depth of the bond between parent and child. With soft and stunning art, this book is a giftable meditation on the fierce beauty of life and the love we find as we seek the way home.

A lyerical story that magically captures the changes in nature's seasons, and the journeys animals take to get prepare for those changes. Whether soaring over valleys, running through snow covered mountains, nestling down in a field of flowers, or hiding in the woods, this story takes readers of a journey through nature, and it's changing seasons with a beautiful message about finding home.

The warm earth tone color scheme, and vivid illustrations, are a perfect match for the story's heartfelt story about the journey home. With a constant reminder that, "This road is hard, this road is long, but we not alone. For you are here, and I'm with you, and so this road is home." The message about love, and seeking the way home, is one younger readers will understand and older readers will treasure it's deeper meaning. This is a book we really enjoyed and one we definitely recommend picking up. It's a perfect read for this fall, and all year long. 

Take a Look Inside:





We really enjoyed these illustrations. They really add a lot to the overall feel to the story. 

GOODBYE SUMMER, HELLO AUTUMN by Kenard Pak / Book Review #GoodbyeSummerHelloAutumn


Written & Illustrated by: Kenard Pak
Published by: Henry Holt
Released on: August 16th, 2016
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: The Publisher | Amazon | B&N 
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4.5 Owlets - We Really Enjoyed It
Source: purchased book 

As trees sway in the cool breeze, blue jays head south, and leaves change their colors, everyone knows autumn is on its way! 
Join a young girl as she takes a walk through forest and town, greeting all the signs of the coming season. In a series of conversations with every flower and creature and gust of wind, she says good-bye to summer and welcomes autumn.

I absolutely love the changing seasons from summer into fall. GOODBYE SUMMER, HELLO AUTUMN captures some of the things I love about the changing of the seasons, perfectly. Both in story telling, and vivid fall colored illustrations, Pak helps readers understand the changing of the warm summer days, into the chilly shorter fall days. 

Joining the young girl on her walk from her house, through the woods and country, and into her small town, and back again, readers see how nature prepares itself for the change from summer to autumn. As the girl welcomes the changes, she's greeted by nature, who tells her of each change. From the fox getting ready to hibernate, to the last of the summer flowers, to the chilly wind, everything has a purpose. 

With bright colorful changes on the trees, flowers and leaves, to the animals and bugs making preparations for cooler weather, readers see how everything gets ready for fall. This is a delightful story with charming illustrations. I love the diverse characters featured in this book, and all the details featured in each of the pages of this book. This book is perfect for curling up with on a cooler fall day.

Check out a few of the images from the book (image source, the author)




Monday, October 16, 2017

BLACK MOON RISING (The Library Series: #2) By D.J. MacHale / Blog Tour: Book Review #BlackMoonRising


By: D.J. MacHale
Published by: Random House
Released on: October 3, 2017
Series: The Library Series #2
Ages: 8 & up
Purchase from: The PublisherAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4.5 Owlets
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

The next fast-paced, thrilling adventure from bestselling author D. J. MacHale! Check out a book and fall under its spell . . . literally.
 
Marcus is an agent of the Library—a place filled with tales that don’t have an ending. Mysteries that won’t be solved until Marcus and his friends Theo and Lu step in to finish them. Before it’s too late.
 
Because mysterious accidents are disturbing a middle school in Massachusetts. Windows shatter for no reason. Bleachers collapse at a pep rally. Most of the students think they’re just having a string of bad luck, but Marcus suspects something a lot more dangerous. Something like witchcraft. When the black moon rises, this story must come to an end . . . one way or another.
A fun, thrilling, action packed adventure. Marcus, Theo and Lu are back! This time there's another story that needs to be finished, or else something worse than what happened in book 1, will be unleashed. 

Black Moon Rising thrusts middle grader readers right back into the heart of a thrilling, awesome storyline. Told from multiple points of views, including that of the story itself (my favorite), this book is full of humor, wit, charm, magic, danger, and of course friendship. Wait, did I mention there are witches, wolves and ravens too? This book was such a great read, we couldn't put it down! 

Marcus, Theo and Lu are what friendship in middle grade books is all about. Just like the first book, this fabulous trio of friends makes you wish you had your own group of awesome, diverse friends, who make fighting frightening things seem fun. These three have a solid friendship, and I absolutely love watching them work together to solve the mystery, and foil the evil plan. Being an agent of the Library is no easy thing for Marcus. It's a complicated job to give a book an ending that needs it, in order to stop horrible things from happening. His friends play a huge role in helping him out. 

MacHale knows how to engage his readers. His writing is fun, engaging, and down right entertaining.  Though it's part of The Library series, this book can definitely be read on it's own. I recommend picking up the first book so that some things mentioned that previously happened, make a little bit more sense.

Perfect to read around Halloween (and off course through out the entire year), this story has a wicked twist, and plenty of fun that will keep readers hooked till the very end! D.J. MacHale's The Library series makes reading fun! I only wish I had, had this book when I was younger. 

ABOUT THE FIRST BOOK IN THE SERIES



By: D.J. MacHale
Published by: Random House
Released on: September 6, 2016
SeriesThe Library Series #1
Ages: 8 & up
Purchase fromThe Publisher
Add it to Goodreads

Enter the Library, where no one knows how the stories end . . . and finding out will be terrifying.

There’s a place beyond this world, beyond the land of the living, where ghosts go to write their unfinished stories—stories that ended too soon. It’s a place for unexplained phenomena: mysteries that have never been solved, spirits that have never been laid to rest. And there’s only one way in or out.


It’s called the Library, and you can get there with a special key. But beware! Don’t start a story you can’t finish. Because in thislibrary, the stories you can’t finish just might finish you.

Marcus O’Mara is a 13 year old guy at a crossroads. He constantly finds himself in trouble at school, with his friends, and with his adoptive parents. Marcus doesn’t believe things can get any worse for him…until they get worse.

Much worse.

He begins seeing strange and impossible visions; gets thrown into paranormal danger and is haunted by a mysterious ghost with a singular goal: to give him a key.

It’s a key that opens the door to a mysterious library. When that door opens, the incredible adventure for Marcus and his friends begins as they learn the truth about Marcus’ past and uncover the strange world of unfinished stories that are found on the shelves of the Library.


NIGHT SHIFT by Debi Gliori / Book Review #NightShift



Written & Illustrated by: Debi Gliori
Published by: Razorbill
To Be Released on: September 5th, 2017
Ages: 6 & up
Purchase from: PenguinAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Source: e-arc from publisher in exchange for my honest review 

From beloved author and illustrator Debi Gliori (No Matter What) comes Night Shift, a groundbreaking lushly illustrated picture book based on Gliori's own personal history with depression.

Fighting dragons is one way of fighting depression. This book is another. 


Through stunning black and white illustration and deceptively simple text, author and illustrator Debi Gliori provides a fascinating and absorbing portrait of depression and hope in Night Shift, a moving picture book about a young girl haunted by dragons. The young girl battles the dragons using 'night skills': skills that give her both the ability to survive inside her own darkness and the knowledge that nothing--not even long, dark nights filled with monsters--will last forever. 


Drawn from Gliori's own experiences and struggles with depression, the book concludes with a moving author's note explaining how depression has affected her and how she continues to cope. Gliori hopes that by sharing her own experience she can help others who suffer from depression, and to find that subtle shift that will show the way out. 


A brave and powerful book, give Night Shift to dragon fighters young and old, and any reader who needs to know they're not alone.


A powerful picture book that not only gives a face to a silent killer that far too many of us deal with, both young and old, this book is also one of hope. Debi Gliori gives a face to something that sometimes kids and even adults, don't understand they're battling, and why they're feeling a certain way. This book is a brave reminder that they're not alone, and that they can conquer their 'dragon', depression and anxiety.  

With striking illustrations, and few words, Gliori's book is a powerful in it's message. She boldly illustrates the nameless feelings that plague so many kids and adults. I for one, absolutely loved the way this book was written and illustrated. I hope that this book will aid readers in helping them understand what depression and anxiety is, and that they aren't alone in their battles. My hope is that in picking this book up, it will help someone voice the unspoken feelings they have had kept locked up, feeling alone in their own battles, not able to voice what they've been feeling inside. 


I highly recommend this book for anyone who may be struggling to put a face and name to what they're feeling, but don't know how to. 


PRAISE FOR THE BOOK

“It is healing to know the words—or have images—to describe hazy but crushing feelings. The words and images can also help others empathize. Whether we need understanding, or to understand, Debi Gliori has given us all a powerful, and beautiful, gift with Night Shift.”
—Jay Asher, author of Thirteen Reasons Why and Piper, his first graphic novel, which he coauthored
"With exquisite brevity, Debi Gliori articulates the struggle of living with depression, in stunning black and white illustrations, punctuated by a single burst of the dragon of depression's fire. The spread where 'something shifted' and the depression lifts, is moving beyond words."  
—Cressida Cowell, author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series

ABOUT THE AUTHOR / ILLUSTRATOR

Debi Gliori lives in Scotland. Debi is well known for both her picture books and her novels for children and has been shortlisted for all the major prizes, including the Kate Greenaway Award (twice) and the Scottish Arts Council Award. Debi was the Shetland Islands' first Children's Writer-in-Residence. She has written and illustrated No Matter What, The Trouble With Dragons, Stormy Weather, The Scariest Thing of All, What's the Time, Mr Wolf?, Dragon Loves Penguin and, most recently, Alfie in the Bath and Alfie in the Garden as well as the popular Pure Dead fiction series for older readers.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How to Catch a Monster by Adam Wallace & Andy Elkerton / Blog Tour: Book Spotlight & Giveaway #HowToCatchAMonster


Hello and welcome to today's HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER spotlight tour. I'm thrilled to team up with the publisher, Sourcebook Jabberwocky to feature Adam Wallace & Andy Elkerton's newest release. This book is perfect for Halloween! This fun book is the perfect 'how to' when it comes to finding your bravery in catching a monster. Whether you have a monster lurking in your closet or under your bed, this story will help you catch him. Find out more about the book below, and don't forget to enter to win your own copy at the end of this post. 

ABOUT THE BOOK

By: Adam Wallace 
Illustrated by: Andy Elkerton
Published by: Sourcebook Jabberwocky
Published on: September 5, 2017
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository 
Add it to Goodreads 

There's a monster in my closet, with claws, and teeth, and hair,  and tonight, I'm going to scare him! He lives just right through there...

Get ready to laugh as a young ninja heads into the closet to meet the monster that’s been so scary night after night! But what if things aren’t what they seem and our monster isn’t scary at all? What if our ninja hero is about to make a friend of strangest sort?

SNEAK PEAK INSIDE THE BOOK



CHECK IT OUT! 

Check out the fun Story Time Activity Kit Sourcebooks has to go along with the book. Just click the highlighted link to download your activity packet.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR

Adam Wallace is a children’s writer and cartoonist living in Australia. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling How to Catch series and Only You Can Save Christmas. Andy Elkerton is a children’s book illustrator based in the United Kingdom.

ENTER TO WIN

Monday, October 9, 2017

LAST KIDS ON EARTH AND THE NIGHTMARE KING By Max Brallier / Blog Tour: Author Interview & SIGNED Book Giveaway! #TheLastKidsOnEarth


Welcome to the next stop in THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH and the NIGHTMARE KING blog tour, hosted by Penguin Random House. I'm thrilled to share my interview with Max Brallier, as well as spotlight a series that kids absolutely love. This is such a great series for reluctant readers, as well as avid readers alike. 

Today I'm spotlighting the newest release in the series, which is also the the third book. Here's more about the book. Don't forget to find out more about the rest of the series below, after you read my interview with Max. Don't forget to ENTER TO WIN a SIGNED copy of the book. First, about the book:

ABOUT THE BOOK



By: Max Brallier
Illustrated by: Douglas Holgate
Published by: Penguin Kids
Released on: September 26th, 2017
Series: Last Kids on Earth #3
Ages: 8-12
Purchase from: Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Life after the zombie apocalypse is pretty good for 13-year-old Jack Sullivan: he lives in a mind-clobberingly cool tree fort with his best friends, speeds through town playing Real-Life Mario Kart, has a crew of monster buddies, battles zombies on the regular, and generally treats life like it’s a videogame! 
 
But then Jack’s friends make a startling discovery: they may not be the last kids on earth, after all. This is great news for everyone… except Jack. Once they’ve found other humans, his friends won’t stick around for long! Jack’s only hope for keeping things the way they are is to prove that everything here is perfect, life is crazy fun, and nothing else could be any better. 
 
One problem: it’s hard convincing his friends that everything is great when they’re being hunted by a monstrous Nightmare King and an ancient evil who won’t rest until Earth has been devoured. Crud! Maybe life after the monster apocalypse is more complicated than Jack thought.....

AUTHOR INTERVIEW 



Recently, I had the chance to sit down and interview Nate about his newest release and his series.

Which character do you relate to the most, or would your former child self be friends with? Who was the most fun to write?

Jack. He's very much how I imagine who I'd be like as a hero. He's so easy to write. I imagine what I'd say when he's in certain situations, and that's what he says. Writing Jack and this series comes natural for me, because I thing of what I loved in 5th grade, and write that in. I do have to do research on some of the latest trends. 

Quinn, Jack's best friend, is also another of my favorite things to write. I love their banter. I think of the things my best friend and I would say, and change it up a bit to fit for Jack and Quinn, and write it.

Writing, I write 100% what I want to read, and would have wanted to read as a kid. It makes it fun.

What came first, a character, a scene, or saying or the world building?

The treehouse, which is in a scene from the first book. I had a tree house as a kid, and I envisioned what it would be like to be a kid, a hero, on the porch of your tree house as the end of the world happens around you. You'd get to do what you want as the world ends, but what would you do? 

Let's talk about your covers and illustrations. Kids love your covers and the illustrations. Do you have much of a say when it comes to your illustrations and covers? 

I really lucked out with Doug (Douglas Holgate). He just gets it. In the beginning, Doug and I would talk about how I visualized the characters, the monsters, etc. I would describe what the monsters and characters look like and then Doug would then lay it all and he would just draw it. Doug makes the illustrations look so much cooler than I imagine them. I don't have to say much anymore. 

Cover wise, no, I don't have say. I'm really lucky to have the great team I have. Doug has ideas, and we talk about it, and he'll create it. When he's done, he'll pass it to me to see it. It always looks great. I'm lucky to have Doug, because he takes what I've envisioned and makes it so much cooler. I'm lucky that I don't have to worry. 

What's next after book three?

There will be fourth book, and I have more books coming out after that. I have a vision on how I want the series to end. I'd like to keep doing individual adventures with the characters. 

What kind of writing advice would you give to young aspiring writers, or what's something you wish you could go back and tell your former beginning writer self?

I'd tell myself to keep a journal. It's fun to see the what I did as a kid, but journals are also a great place to get ideas from. I'd also say read more. 

To young writers, write. Read. Keep a journal. Ideas come from writing, and reading. You'll get great ideas looking back on the things your write down now. 

What sort of writing environment do you need to work in?

In order for me to write, I need to be in a public space, like a coffee shop. I can't work at home or in silence. I need back ground noise. I also listen to movie scores and sound tracks. They help set the mood for scenes I'm writing.

Thank you to Max and Penguin Kids for the interview! It was great to meet Max. One of the things I found interesting in the course of our interview, what Max said he like to write this series to pace of watching a movie. He's a big movie buff and reader. We might have talked about a few 80's classics. 

If you haven't already check out The Last Kids On Earth series, do. This is a series that the kids at one of my local elementary schools I work at, love. Congratulations to Max, his book also made the Texas Blue Bonnet List! 

ABOUT THE SERIES



By: Max Brallier
Illustrated by: Douglas Holgate
Published by: Penguin Kids
Released on: September 13th, 2015
Series: Last Kids on Earth #1
Ages: 8-12
Purchase from: Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Jack is your average, everyday nerdy 13-year-old kid living in his treehouse alone amid a monster-apocalypse.  He's used to being alone because before the world ended, he was an orphan in foster care with 1 friend.

But soon Jack assembles what's left of their town-- Quint, Jack's 1 and only friend from before the monsters, Dirk, the middle school bully, and June, Jack's crush.  Together they (okay, mostly Quint) build post-apocalyptic gadgets, weapons, rides, and majorly upgrade Jack's treehouse.  They also go to battle with Blarg-- a monster that won't leave Jack and his friends alone.

This intro book was fabulous.  It hooked me and my son right from the start.  Jack's voice is relatable-- he's not afraid to make fun of himself, and you can't help but love the fact that he gets to be a kick-ass action hero in the apocalypse, where in the real world all he got to be was an awkward, unwanted 13-year-old.

The drawings in this book are awesome.  They're a mix of action shots, extensions of the conversations, and labelled maps and structures.


ABOUT BOOK 2 - The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade

By: Max Brallier
Illustrated by: Douglas Holgate
Published by: Penguin Kids
Released on: September 6th, 2016
Series: Last Kids on Earth #2
Ages: 8-12
Purchase from: Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Jack and his friends are back, and they find out that not all the monsters are bad.  They meet a group of friendly monsters, currently residing in Joe's Pizza, who want to join forces in fighting an ancient evil.

When the kids realize that the zombies disappearing is actually a bad thing-- and that a door to the bad dimension is about to be opened, they have to use all their training to defeat a new kind of evil.

I thought this book was a fun adventure.  Where the first book was an intro to getting to know the characters, this book was getting to know the world they're living in now.  Each kid has a set of skills that they use to support each other.  They've basically become a family.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Max Brallier (www.maxbrallier.com) is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books and games, including the first two books in The Last Kids on Earth series. He is the creator and writer of Galactic Hot Dogs, an ongoing middle-grade web serial and book series with Aladdin. He writes for licensed properties including Adventure TimeRegular Show, and Uncle Grandpa. Under the pen name Jack Chabert, he is the creator and author of the Eerie Elementary series for Scholastic Books. In the olden days, he worked in the marketing department at St. Martin's Press. Max lives in New York City with his wife. 

ENTER TO WIN!

I've got one signed book to giveaway to one lucky reader! This giveaway is for a signed copy of The Last Kids on Earth and the Nightmare King. To enter, please fill out the form below. Thank you to Penguin Kids for providing the book and to Max for signing it. *Open internationally. 



FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week One:
October 3 – Teachers Who Read – Teacher Review
October 4 – The Play Connection: Kids Creative Chaos – Review
October 5 – Pink Polka Dot Books – Full series Review
October 6 – Mundie Moms Book Reviews – Author Interview & Review

Week Two:
October 23 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Review
October 24 – Artsy Momma– Featured Review in Book List
October 25 – Teachers Who Read – Students Review
October 26 – Gravity Bread – Review

Friday, October 6, 2017

HERO DOG! (Hilde Cracks the Case #1) By Hilde Lysiak & Matthew Lysiak / Giveaway #HeroDog


Happy Friday! We're so thrilled to team up with Scholastic to celebrate the newest book in their Branches series, HERO DOG! by Hilde & Matthew Lysiak. HERO DOG! is the first in the Hilde Cracks the Case Series. Today, 1 lucky reader will win a copy of this book. Before you enter to win, you can learn more about this new release, as well as the Branches series, below. 


ABOUT THE BOOK

ByHilde Lysiak, with Matthew Lysiak
Illustrated by: Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
Published by: Scholastic Branches
Released onSeptember 12, 2017
SeriesHilde Cracks the Case #1
Ages6-8
Purchase from: Scholastic | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

There's been a break-in on Orange Street! Cupcakes have been stolen, and
soon a pie goes missing, too. Hilde and her sister/photographer, Izzy, must
interview witnesses and follow the clues. Can Hilde crack the case in time
to post her news story online?

ABOUT THE SERIES

"Hilde Cracks the Case" Series

Real-life super-sleuth and media sensation Hilde Lysiak's reporting skills
are put to the test in this fun early chapter book mystery series! Ten-year
old crime reporter Hilde Lysiak is starring in her very own early chapter
book series - inspired by news stories Hilde wrote in real life! Joanne
Lew-Vriethoff's personality-filled illustrations appear on every page,
bringing Hilde's adventures to life for young readers!

ABOUT SCHOLASTIC BRANCHES

Scholastic's early chapter book line Branches is aimed at newly independent
readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots,
and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence
and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

LEARN MORE

Visit the Official Site, here.
Follow Scholastic on Twitter and Instagram
Like Scholastic on Facebook

ENTER TO WIN!

Thank you to Scholastic, one (1) winner will receive a copy of Hero Dog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 5, 2017

THE ADVENTURER'S GUILD by Zack Loran Clark & Nick Eliopulos / Blog Tour: Author Guest Post & Giveaway #TheAdventurersGuild


Welcome to the next stop in THE ADVENTURERS GUILD, blog tour. I'm so thrilled to have authors Zach Clark and Nick Eliopulos stop by the blog today to share a guest about their new release (which was released on Tuesday). Before I share it, be sure to find out more about the book below and don't forget to get enter to win the giveaway at the bottom of this post. 

ABOUT THE BOOK


By: Zack Loran Clark & Nick Eliopulos
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Released onOctober 3, 2017
Ages: 8 & up
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N |  iBooks | TBD
Add it to Goodreads

Few ever asked to join the Adventurers Guild . . . Their members often died young.

In one of the last cities standing after the world fell to monsters, best friends Zed Kagari and Brock Dunderfel have high hopes for the future. Zed desperately wishes to join the ranks of the Mages Guild, where his status as Freestone's only half elf might finally be an asset. Brock, the roguishly charming son of merchants, is confident he'll be welcomed into the ranks of the Merchants Guild.

But just as it seems the boys' dreams have come true, their lives take a startling turn . . . and they find themselves members of the perilous Adventurers Guild.

Led by the fearsome Alabasel Frond, the guild acts as the last line of defense against the Dangers-hungry, unnatural beasts from otherworldly planes. And when the boys uncover a conspiracy that threatens all of Freestone, Zed, Brock, and their new allies-including Liza, a fierce noble, and Jett, a brave dwarf-must prove their worth once and for all.

This start of a thrilling new series by talented duo Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos is sure to be a hit with readers who like their fantasies clever and action-packed, with a dash of snark.


AUTHOR GUEST POST

FOCUSING ON THE GUILD (this is slightly long, but SO GOOD!)

“Adventurers die,” the woman said without preamble, then allowed a silence to settle for several long, uncomfortable seconds. Brock’s throat was dry, and he fought to keep his face impassive as her eyes swept across them. “They die horrible and useless deaths,” she continued at last. “Let the fair folk of Freestone call us whatever they like. ‘Adventurers,’ if it eases their conscience. But make no mistake: You are soldiers. Do you know the difference?”
Her eyes again swept over the group. Brock was unsure whether she expected an answer or merely paused for effect, but Liza spoke up: “Discipline,” she said.
The muscles of Alabasel’s scarred face tightened in a sour smile. “Discipline, yes. You will know a chain of command. You will follow orders at all times, in all things. But the key difference is this: Soldiers die, too. But they die with purpose. Their deaths mean something.”
“So much to look forward to.” Brock said it without really intending to, but he wasn’t sorry. He didn’t much care for the woman’s scare tactics.
And he wasn’t planning on being here long enough to get himself killed, meaningfully or not.
Alabasel regarded him coldly, and he felt the look mirrored in Liza’s sideways glance, but the other guild members gave no indication they were even paying attention, instead murmuring to one another or else looking on indifferently from their benches. All except for one girl, standing by the hearth, who wrung her hands as she watched them. She didn’t look much older than the apprentices, and she wore a silver charm around her neck—a crescent moon. Brock marked her immediately as the young wizard who had been drafted the previous year.
“Tell me, Apprentice Dunderfel,” Frond said, bringing Brock’s attention back to her steely eyes. “What does this guild’s sigil represent?”
Brock wasn’t entirely sure what to make of the question. “A sea of stars?”
“But why? What do the stars stand for?”
Brock had never really thought of it, but the longer he groped for an answer, the longer Frond would fix him with her uncanny stare. “Us?” he suggested. “The bright new recruits lighting the way to glory.”
A bearded man at the table chuckled into his small beer.
“A pretty sentiment,” Frond said, and she pulled several objects from her belt—flat, metallic circles with protruding blades. Throwing stars. “And like most pretty things, false.” She turned on her heel, tore a starred banner from the wall, and draped it across the table, knocking over a pewter stein without a care. The mutterings inside the hall came to an abrupt stop.
“Freestone,” she said, and she stabbed one of her throwing stars into one star of the flag, pinning it to the table. “Llethanyl,” she said, and stabbed a second star in the same manner. “Dragnacht. Vloegstan. Everglen.” She stabbed the three remaining stars. “Points of light in the darkness.” She looked back up at them. “So far as we know, that’s all that’s left. Every other city, town, or cottage—every other person—fallen to Dangers. Swallowed whole.”
Zed’s sweaty hand slipped from Brock’s grip.
“We keep it from getting worse,” Frond added. “Glory be damned.” And she walked away.


ABOUT THE AUTHORS
ZACK LORAN CLARK and NICK ELIOPULOS grew up in Florida and now live in New York. Best friends, they get together to play Dungeons & Dragons every week. Zack fervently hopes that magic is real; Nick desperately hopes that monsters are not. The Adventurers Guild is their first novel.

3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE ADVENTURER’S GUILD, US Only.

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FOLLOW THE TOUR
Check out the next stop on the tour, tomorrow on Book Briefs.

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~