Tag Archives: Middle Grade

If Landry can do it, maybe I can too

best friends forever coverIn Best Friends Forever, Landry’s about to enter into grade 9. She’s an aspiring model, has a few good friends, and a boy is interested in her. So why is life so tough? No matter what she may have going for her, Landry must deal with the same petty jealousy, new school anxiety, and boy problems any other teenage girl faces. It’s not until she is reinstated as a contestant in the modeling competition that she meets someone, an older contestant, that helps her put her life into perspective. Will Landry reunite with her estranged friends? Will she ever work it out with Vladi, her on-again-off-again “boyfriend”? How will she fare in the competition?

I read a lot of YA fiction, most of it rife with abuses I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies. It was refreshing to read a novel dealing with the trials and tribulations of an ordinary, everyday teen. Rather than grapple with questions of life or death, the author, Krysten Lindsay Hager, hands the grappling over to the reader. Landry has everything going for her and she is still dealing with the same trivial issues blown to mammoth proportions. If Landry is experiencing the same thing as the reader and still manages to come out on top, maybe the reader can, too.

Best Friends Forever is a charming peek into the life of a normal teen. Rather than depict an ordinary teen in extraordinary circumstances so she can emerge extraordinary in the end, Hager’s book shows an ordinary teen in ordinary circumstances who emerges extraordinary, nevertheless. Though Landry possesses beauty, emerging fame, and popularity—all the makings of a “mean girl”—she faces every challenge she meets with aplomb, never giving up on wanting to do what’s right for everyone around her.

Landry is the perfect protagonist around which to base a series. I wish Hager all the best with this series, and hope to check in with Landry later on, to see how she fares in high school.

Mamabear gives this book:

Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Landry in Like (Landry’s True Colors Series: Book 3)

LandryinLike453X680Series Info: The Landry’s True Colors Series is a clean reads young adult humor series about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, crushes, and self-image.

Genre: contemporary clean teen fiction

Landry in Like (Landry’s True Colors Series: Book 3) by Krysten Lindsay Hager

About the Book:

Things seem to be going well in Landry Albright’s world—she’s getting invited to be on local talk shows to talk about her modeling career, her best friends have her back, and her boyfriend Vladi has becoming someone she can truly count on…and then everything changes. Suddenly it seems like most of the girls in school are into hanging out at a new teen dance club, while Landry just wants to spend her weekends playing video games and baking cupcakes at sleepovers. Then, Yasmin McCarty, the most popular girl in school, starts to come between Landry’s friendship with Ashanti. Things take a turn when Yasmin tells Vladi that Landry is interested in another boy. Can Landry get her relationships with Ashanti and Vladi back or will she be left out and left behind?

Watch the book trailer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CsGREKFQco&feature=youtu.be

By Landry in Like by Krysten Lindsay Hager on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Nook UK, Kobo, and Itunes/Ibooks.


About the Author:

Author pic (2)Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series and the new ​Star Series. Krysten writes about  friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image in True Colors, Best Friends…Forever? And Landry in Like, as well as in, Next Door to a Star (Star Series). Her sequel to Next Door to a Star will be out March 22 2016.

Krysten is a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes YA, MG, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in southwestern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Find out more about Krysten Lindsay Hager at

| Website | Instagram | Amazon | Pinterest | Facebook |Twitter | Goodreads |

Author talk show interview |

Excerpt from Landry in Like by Kristen Lindsay Hager:

I wanted to call my friends and tell them about being on the talk show, but Mom said we had to be at the TV station super early — even before school started. She said I could text them, but I had to turn off my phone and go to bed.

“I’m waking you up at four a.m.,” she said. “You have to be there at five-thirty.”

“Can I just call Peyton and Ashanti? Please?”

“Fine, but you have five minutes and then that phone is mine and you’re in bed.”

I dialed Peyton, but her mom said she was in the shower. I told her mom about the show tomorrow and said my mom wouldn’t let me stay up any later to call Peyton back.

“How exciting! I will make sure Peyton knows, and I will be watching you tomorrow. Good luck, honey,” Mrs. Urich said.

I called Ashanti next and told her.

“Get out. Get. Out. No way. This is so exciting!”

“I’m so nervous. My stomach is already doing cartwheels. I can’t do one, but my stomach can. Seems unfair. What if I throw up before I go on? I did that right before I went on at the statewide Ingénue modeling competition in Detroit, and my mom had to give me a cough drop to cover up the smell.”

“I’m sure you’ll be fine, but… just in case, take a cough drop with you,” Ashanti said. “Good luck. You’ll be great and I’ll go set the DVR now.”

I hung up and sent a text to Vladi, India, Devon, Thalia, Tori, and Ericka, so no one would be mad and feel left out. Then I shut off my phone. Mom poked her head in the door to make sure I was in bed.

“Night, hon. Try to get some rest,” she said.

Easier said than done. I stared at my ceiling while thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong tomorrow. Seeing as the show was on in the morning, I never got to watch it, so I had no idea what the set was like — did it have super high chairs and I’d struggle to get into them? And what if it had those higher stools that were kind of tippy and my rear overshot the seat and I fell off? Or what if the prep questions got lost and the interviewer asked me random things like my feelings on nuclear war or asked me about some foreign political leader who I had never heard of before, and I appeared stupid? Why did I say I’d do this? I tried to get comfortable and it felt like I had just dozed off when I felt my mom shaking my shoulder.

“Rise and shine, TV star,” she said.

true colors book 1What people are saying about True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book One):

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”



Fast-paced and Entertaining

andrea and the 5-day challengeWhen Andrea promises to complete a 5-day bible study and journal, she isn’t sure if she will be successful or how it will affect her life. But as the week wears on, she faces a number of seemingly insurmountable challenges, most of them concerning school and her crush on new guy Luke Ryan, not to mention Luke’s crush on her. Then there’s the piano recital and the potential to be scouted for Julliard. To make matters worse, mean girl Stephanie is also interested in Luke. Will Andrea survive the week, let alone see her 5-day challenge through to the end?

Cindy K. Green’s Andrea and the 5-Day Challenge is a quick and entertaining read, one which I finished over the course of 4 days. The story is fast-paced and the characters are believable. Poor Andrea is stuck feeling like such a hopeless failure as she tries to please everyone around her: her parents, whose only dream is to see her be a successful pianist, her friends who want her to let loose and have fun with Luke, she neglects to please herself. Rather than embrace a chaste relationship with Luke, she spurns him several times, but by the end of her 5-day challenge, she learns how to communicate and negotiate and that, if she’s simply honest with the people in her life, there is a way to make everyone, including herself, happy.

Though I’ll admit I was a bit wary of the religious aspect of this text, Green manages to work in the importance of prayer and God in one’s life without hitting the reader over the head with it. The Bible passages are short and relevant to what’s happening in Andrea’s life. In addition, Andrea uses the passages she chooses on each day of the challenge to find solace in her life and to become a better person, which is kind of cool. Young girls will be able to identify with Andrea’s search for her identity, her soul, and for a way to have it all.

Mamabear gives this book:


Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Never Look at Your Pets the Same Way Again

KT CS cover 2014Tawny can’t resist a dare. So when her best friend, Jenny, dares her to eat a piece of her dog’s kibble, Tawny has no choice but to follow through. That’s how Tawny finds out she’s a Doolittle, one of only a few talented people who can hear their pets’ thoughts after eating their food. And you’ll never believe what the pets are thinking. From her insecure cat who feigns indifference but really craves her attention, to her Great Dane, Dinky, whose only dream is to be a lap dog, life becomes anything but ordinary for Tawny. And that’s only the start. Rather than write it off as a one-time occurrence when the spell wears off, Tawny chooses to eat another piece of kibble.

Kibble Talk by Cynthia Port is the first in a series of adventures Tawny and Jenny have with their pets. Though I’ve learned from the movies that talking pets are most likely cliche if the viewer is over the age of five, Port’s book is anything but. I laughed out loud in places as Tawny tries to make Dinky’s lap-dog dream come true. Tawny is a resourceful young girl who thinks off the cuff and pulls through to meet the animals’ requests, no matter how difficult.

Meant for a middle-grade audience, Kibble Talk is a fast and entertaining read. I managed to read it in two sittings in a single day, about four hours in total. I was hooked from the first pages, and didn’t want to put it down; couldn’t put it down. Kids will love this book. Adults will enjoy reading it aloud to their kids. I guarantee that after you finish it, you’ll never look at your pets the same way again.

Mamabear gives this book


Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Turning Tables, Fish-Out-Of-Water Style

girl-of-the-bookIn Princila Murrell’s Girl of the Book, Courtney’s life is uprooted when she moves from Johannesburg to Saudi Arabia with her family. In school, Courtney is the outsider because she is not Muslim, something which the other girls refuse to let her forget. Thank goodness she has  Lana as a friend. Life takes a turn for the worse when gossip about Courtney and her only male friend, Nizar, spreads, threatening to separate her from Lana, her only female friend.

I teach at a school that is largely Muslim. Every day I see young girls, some of whom are not much older than Courtney, juggle the culture of their family home with the culture of the microcosm of the school and within the macrocosm of the country. It’s not unusual to see grade nines arrive with their hijabs tightly wrapped in August only to have them slowly unwind through the semesters until they hang loosely around their necks by the end of the semester. Joining boys and girls in the same group for cooperative activities can sometimes prove problematic as well, due to strict rules for the mingling of the sexes (or rather, the lack thereof). Girl of the Book offers a similar story but from a different perspective. Rather than show a Muslim girl adjusting to the seemingly loose social values of North American society, Murrell depicts a European girl adjusting to the rather strict-by-comparison values of the Muslim world with a narrative that is at once, compassionate, inclusive, and compelling.

Courtney’s is a fish out of water story, and she doesn’t always understand the world into which she so desperately strives to fit. To her (and Murrell’s) credit, Courtney’s journey is told with respect, both for herself and for the people around her, making Girl of the Book a must read for today’s middle-grade and young adult crowd.

Mamabear gives this book:


Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

“Only A Kiss” is sweet and slow-buring

only a kiss coverLove takes time. That’s the message behind Ines Bautista Yao’s sweet and slow-burning love story, Only A Kiss.

In Only A Kiss, nine year old Katie crushes on best friend Chris’s older brother Ethan. Katie takes Chris as her “plus one” to her older cousin’s wedding and demands he kisses her. Though Katie thinks it romantic to duplicate her cousins’ first marital kiss, Chris is terrified, complying only because he’s too scared to tell Katie “no”. It is this totally unassuming kiss that foreshadows the totally expected, yet wholly satisfying end to the story.

Bautista Yao emerges at the end of Only A Kiss as an expert storyteller. Her prose is simple and grammatically correct (worth noting, especially for an indie author). Told from the alternating viewpoint of Katie and Chris, she paints both characters as believable and sympathetic, building pathos from the first page of the book when she sets Katie up as a hopeless romantic, destined to suffer through her unrequited relationship with the Disney-prince-worthy Ethan. And while serial dater Chris sometimes gets the short stick in the way Katie and the others paint him, he emerges as quite sympathetic in his own right, a testament to Bautista Yao’s talent.

Though Only A Kiss could better be described as a series of linked short stories following the main characters over a span of sixteen years, you won’t be disappointed if you read it. Whether you’re a pre-teen, teen, or adult, there’s a message everyone can take away from Only A Kiss – if it’s meant to be, it will happen. Love–true love that lasts–takes time.

Mamabear gives this book:


Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Using Video Media for Book Promotions

Today’s Indie Lights Book Parade guest post is by Cynthia CL Enuton, author of The Fur Angel Series.

Here are the books in The Fur Angel Series:

enuton book 1Angel in a Fur Coat (first book in the series) begins in a faraway place where angels are trading their wings and halos for fur coats to be born on earth as dogs. First, they must learn what it means to be a dog, so they go to school. They learn about dog breeds and various dog jobs, and after graduation they get their fur coat and are born to find the person they were made for.



enuton book 2Now, as Fur Angels on earth, Legend of the Pink Toe explores the wonderful world of dogs through the eyes of one special little angel who bears the mark of a legend…a pink little toe.





enuton book 3The legend is unleashed in Wayward Angels when fifteen-year-old Rebecca is pulled into the fantastical world of Fur Angels by her roommate, eleven-year-old Tanisha, who believes in fairytales and Angel in a Fur Coat is her favorite book. Life isn’t easy for the students of Tikkun Olam, a facility for troubled kids also known as the crazy kids. But with the help of therapy, friendship, and a little therapy dog, Peanut, maybe a fairytale ending isn’t all that impossible.


enuton book 4Dolittleology dives deeper into the phenomena of human and animal communications.  When fourteen-year-old Billy Cohen claims to talk with his Pug named Stimpy, he is admitted to the Tikkun Olam Institute. Once a psychiatric treatment facility for kids, but things aren’t what they appear to be. Billy discovers secrets hidden inside its walls and within the subconscious of his mind.



Using Video Media for Book Promotions

One of the ways I use to help promote my books are book trailers. I guess the idea is similar to a movie trailer—a short clip of what the story is about.

I’m not too sure how many readers or sales my book trailers have generated but the more that’s out there with your book cover on it and links of where to buy, the better…and they were fun to create.

One of the sites I’ve played around with is Animoto. It is a slideshow site with a lot of options for creativity. There used to be a free version and a paid version. I’m not sure if they’ve changed things around since the last time I used it but it’s worth checking out. Here is a link to the video I made for my picture book using Animoto:


I then stumbled upon a program called Crazy Talk. Since my books, Fur Angel Series, are filled with talking dog characters, I fell in love with this program. It’s a little pricy, and takes some time to learn how to use, but I had to have it. I’ve made several talking dog videos since purchasing the program. Here is a link to a video I made for book one of the Fur Angel Series.


As I became more comfortable and knowledgeable of how the program worked, I decided to turn my entire picture book, Li Li The True Story of a Goober, into a talking animation. I use this video during my school presentations of my books. The kids and teachers love it.

Here is a link to the video book: Li Li


I now make videos for others on a site called Fiverr. The site can be very resourceful for a variety of things. Their motto is what can you buy or sell for just $5.00.

Some of the items are kind of silly but you can do searches on things like book covers, illustrations, book promotions, etc. Each item (fiverr calls them gigs) begins at the base price of $5.00 and can increase in price for additional add-on services.

Here is one of my video book promotion gigs that I offer on fiverr:


Here’s where you can learn more about Cynthia and her work:

| Fur Angel Series Website | Gooberella Website | Fur Angels Facebook |

| Gooberella Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Amazon Author Page |

enuton photo

Cynthia L. Enuton grew up in Maryland and received a BA degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland (UMBC). She worked at a State facility for severe emotionally challenged adolescents for over 13 years. Cynthia currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida, as a children/YA author and travels with one of her Fur Angels, Augie Dog, to book signings of the Fur Angel Series.

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“Girl of the Book” by Princila Murrell – Author Interview

Please join Britbear’s Book Reviews in welcoming author Princila Murrell, author of Girl of the Book in today’s author spotlight.


In Girl of the Book, Twelve year old Courtney Parker is devastated to have to leave her friends and South Africa behind when her father accepts a lucrative contract and the family relocate to Saudi Arabia.

Jeddah feels like a different planet to Johannesburg. In spite of her initial reluctance to venture out of the comfort and security of their new home, she quickly forms friendships with Nizar Bukhari and Lana Alahmadi. However, not everyone is happy with the situation.

Courtney must learn to adapt to an alien, seemingly unforgiving culture and stand up to the bullies that are making her school life hell.

Nizar and Lana must both try to overcome their family prejudices in order for their friendship with Courtney to survive. Will they succeed? Will they be able to set aside their differences? Can they bridge the cultural divide?

“Girl of the Book” is a compelling, contemporary story that will get older children thinking. More than that, it is a story of friendship and forgiveness that will tug at your heart.

Princila, is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?


The main message that I want older kids to grasp is that we shouldn’t judge people because of their cultural or religious beliefs. I think it is fun to make friends with people of different backgrounds and learn about their culture and/or beliefs. Besides, we are all humans and empathic by nature. We can learn how to accept those who are different from us or who do not share our beliefs and still live peacefully with each other.

That’s great advice. How did you become involved with the subject or theme of Girl of the Book?

As someone who has faced, and is still facing, several prejudices in Saudi Arabia, I couldn’t help writing a story about racial and religious discrimination. Although we, expatriates, usually avoid talking openly about the forms of discrimination that we experience, these issues exist and persist. Unfortunately, our kids are exposed to such issues and risk growing up with the belief that it is OK to not love your neighbour because of racial, cultural, or religious differences.

Writing about your own experiences must be difficult. What was the hardest thing about writing Girl of the Book?

The hardest thing about writing Girl of the Book was to write from the point of view of children with different cultural/religious beliefs. Besides, Muslim-Christian relationships have always been a difficult subject to discuss, and I tried to maintain a certain balance in the book without being preachy or condescending towards any religion.

What are some of the references that you used while researching and writing Girl of the Book?

I do not remember specifically reading any books to write Girl of the Book. I did, however, get a lot of help by speaking with several young Saudis to understand how they perceived their non-Muslim peers and how their families would react if their befriended a non-Muslim. My knowledge of certain teachings of Islam and the local language also helped.

When writing, what’s more important to you, characters or plot, and why?

I think character and plot are equally important because they are closely related to each other. A well written story should have well developed characters and a good plot to capture the reader’s interest.

Speaking of readers, what authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?

I like to read Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary, and Jeff Kinney. I’m not sure if any of these authors’ books had a strong influence on my writing. However, while I was rewriting Girl of the Book, I had hard time writing about the other protagonists’ feelings from the main character’s point of view. I struggled with this for close to one month until I read Wonder by RJ Palacio and said to myself, “Gee! Why hadn’t I thought that I could write this story from multiple points of view?” I thought it was very risky because as an aspiring writer, it would be challenging to tell Courtney’s story from multiple points of view.

You’ve kind of already alluded to this, but what other books are similar to your own?  What makes them alike?

I have searched for other middle grade novels set in Saudi Arabia, and until now, I haven’t found anything similar to mine. I can’t, however, say that I have performed an extensive search. Maybe there are books out there that are similar to mine, but I just haven’t come across them yet.

Because there isn’t a lot out there on the topic, what is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject and/or genre, that isn’t so?

I guess the main misconception that people have about books that discuss Muslim-Christian relationships is that the author will preach about a particular religion and/or try to convert his/her readers by demonising followers of the other religion.

For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?

Those who are interested in exploring the subject of my book don’t need to look far. They should look around and ask themselves the following questions: Who is my neighbour? Are they people of a different race? Are they people with a different cultural or religious background? Do I think they are any different from me because they do not share my beliefs or have a different skin colour?

What a great message to impart to the next generation!

What can we expect from you next? What project(s) are you working on at the present?

I’m currently working on the sequel to Girl of the Book and a dystopian novel.

Thank you, Princila, for participating in this interview.

Here’s how you can find out more about Princila and her work:

| Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Smashwords |  Wattpad |

Twitter PicPrincila Murrell lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with her husband and two kids. Besides being a nerdy dreamer, doodler, busy mum, and housewife, she is also an avid netizen and reader of children’s books. She loves to cook, shop and, most of all, play with her kids.

Girl of the Book (released on December 1, 2014) is Princila’s debut novel.

Buy Girl of the Book on Amazon.

Cover Reveal – “The Jewel of Peru” by Sharon Skretting

The Jewel of Peru

About the Book

Title: The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru | Author: Sharon Skretting | Publication Date: September 20, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 317 | Recommended Ages: 8+

Summary: The Jewel of Peru is a magical adventure through time, taking young Captain Christopher and his loyal crew of orphaned stowaways on a perilous quest in search of Christopher’s missing parents.

After his father’s ship is found abandoned at sea, Christopher makes an unexpected discovery on board—The Ultimate Treasure Chest! Inside is a message that beckons him to set sail after the treasure and his parents. When a savage pirate and a corrupt businessman join forces to steal the treasure for themselves, the gang gets caught up in pirate chases, time travel, and an underground network of spies. Will Christopher find the Jewel and his parents, or will all be lost for ever?

* You can purchase an e-copy of “The Jewel of Peru” for only 99 cents from Amazon for the duration of the blast, so grab your copy now! *

Amazon | Teachers Pay Teachers | Goodreads

The Buzz

“Jewel of Peru took me on an adventure from page one. Sharon Skretting has captured Peru and deftly woven elements of the culture and geography into a fast-paced treasure hunt. It was well written, entertaining and introduced me to new ideas. I loved making little discoveries along the way about the people and places. I found some of the features of Peru so interesting, I looked them up the Internet and was delighted to find things just as she described. Fact and fantasy blend seamlessly in this delightful tale.” ~ Sara Marschand, Quiethouse Copy Editing

“Engaging and meaningful, the author does an excellent job crafting this story. I don’t usually read middle school novels but made an exception for this one and will be passing it on to all the children in my life.” ~ 5 Star Review, Love Reading, Amazon

“The Jewel of Peru is a wonderful piece of educational fiction that blends fact and fantasy to create a literary journey that is both informative and exciting for young readers… It’s every bit as much of a page turner as it is a learning experience…” ~ 5 Star Review, Kelley, Amazon

“Sharon Skretting has captured Peru and deftly woven elements of the culture and geography into a fast-paced treasure hunt. It was well written, entertaining and introduced me to new ideas… Fact and fantasy blend seamlessly in this delightful tale.” ~ 5 Star Review, Sara M., Amazon

About the Author: Sharon Skretting

Sharon SkrettingSharon Skretting is the author of The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru, and the founder of Quest Teaching. She has been teaching elementary school for twenty years and lives with her husband and a cat, named Scat! Now that her three children have grown, she is spreading her wings into the realm of professional writing. Being able to use her love of writing to excite her students about learning is a dream come true for Sharon. Her goal is to write fast paced, excellent literature —filled with interesting characters, intrigue, danger and intricate plots—that will hook readers aged nine to ninety nine and make them want to read more!

* Teacher support materials to go along with the novel can be purchased at Teachers Pay Teachers *

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* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

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Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: December 25, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Sharon Skretting and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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You Don’t Have to be Fearless to be Brave

fearless-joe-dearborneIn Fearless Joe Dearborne by Lisa Whitney Mitchell, Joe finds it hard to live his life without risking it. He thinks nothing of running into a burning house to save a puppy, or entering a dark cave to rescue his friend’s dad’s autographed baseball. All of that changes when he gets it into his head to pick up a poisonous snake and gets bit. He survives, but something’s changed; Joe is no longer fearless.  When Joe’s dad goes out of town and he must stay with his aunt’s housekeeper’s cousin, Mrs. Chill, Joe is afraid to stand up to her. Will Joe ever find his fearlessness? Is there a difference between being brave and being fearless? Joe spends the remainder of the novel in search of these very answers.

I liked Fearless Joe Dearborne. It was a quick and easy read, suitable for middle-grade readers. The characters were quirky and interesting–especially Mrs. Chill and Joe’s Aunt P,–and the situations were humourous, which kept me interested. Though Joe is no longer fearless in his mind, he still gets himself into situations where the reader wonders if this is where he regains his fearless status, something we are kept guessing until the end: what will happen that will help Joe to regain his fearless mojo, which is enough suspense to keep the reader reading.

Though it’s been a while since I’ve read a middle-grade novel (not since my own high-school age children were middle-grade), I think they would have enjoyed Fearless Joe’s adventure. pre-teens are sure to get the message within–that you don’t have to be fearless to be brave.

Mama Bear give this book



Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.