Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Feature: My Favorite Three Books from Sky Pony Press in 2017

Here are my favorite three books of the year so far from Sky Pony Press! Check out http://skyponypress.com/newreleases for all of Sky Pony Press new releases!



For as long as she can remember, Laney’s been having “future flashes”—visions of the future that she sees when she makes physical contact with another person. Left on a doorstep as a baby, Laney’s past has always been cloudy to her, despite the clarity with which she can see the future. Her caretaker, Walt, claims to be her father, but Laney has a nagging suspicion that he isn’t quite telling her the entire truth. And when a new kid, Lyle, moves to her small town, Laney is dreading meeting him—she almost always gets a future flash when first meeting someone new and they aren’t always good. Unfortunately, her meeting with Lyle isn’t just bad; it’s painful. Engulfed in flames, Lyle’s future flash is the worst Laney’s ever experienced. But what does it mean? Is there anything Laney can do to change the future? And will she be able to save Lyle not only from a firey death but also from the merciless class bully without becoming a victim of his antics herself?

In this thrilling and imaginative middle grade novel from author Kita Helmetag Murdock, follow Laney as she works against the clock to understand her past and prevent the disaster looming in the future. Aimed at readers ages 8 to 12, the book encompasses important themes such as identity, bullying, friendship, family relationship, and more. Kids will identify with Laney, who is a bit of an outsider but also has a good moral compass, and will love her supernatural abilities. Parents, teachers, and librarians will see the value in the themes discussed and in the positive outcome of the book with a very hopeful tone.

About the author
Kita Helmetag Murdock is the author of Francie’s Fortune and Cecily Cicada. She has an English degree from Boston College and a Master of Arts in Teaching from American University. She lives with her husband and three daughters.
 



This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget. 

Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can't she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below—dead?

As Maggie's memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?

McBride delivers a novel of secrets that packs an emotional punch, perfect for fans of Sara Zarr and Gayle Forman.

About the author 
Kristina McBride is a former English teacher and yearbook advisor. She dreamed of being a published author since she lived across the street from a library as a kid. She is also the author of The Tension of Opposites and A Million Times Goodnight, and lives with her husband and two young children in in Centerville, Ohio.


It’s July 1940 on the south coast of England. A plane crash-lands in the marsh, and sixteen-year-old Peggy finds its broken pilot—a young Polish airman named Henryk. Afraid and unwilling to return to the fight, Henryk needs a place to hide, and Peggy helps him find his way to a remote, abandoned church.

Meanwhile, Peggy’s eleven-year-old brother Ernest is doing his best to try to understand the war happening around him. He’s reading all the pamphlets—he knows all the rules, he knows exactly what to do in every situation. He’s prepared, but not for Peggy’s hidden pilot. 

Told in alternating points of view, this is a beautifully written story about growing up in wartime and finding the difference between following the rules and following your heart.

About the author 
Lydia Syson is the author of A World Between Us and Liberty’s Fire. She is a fifth-generation North Londoner who started her career as a BBC World Service radio producer. A frequent contributor to The History Girls blog, she is also a member of the Scattered Author’s Society, the Society of Authors, the Historical Writers Association, and Children’s Writers and Illustrators in South London. She lives in London, England, with her partner and four children.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Review: Serafina and the Splintered Heart by Robert Beatty


Release Date: July 4, 2017
Publisher & ARC: Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 978-1484775042
Ages8+


The storms are coming....Something has happened to Serafina. She has awoken into a darkness she does not understand, scarred from a terrible battle, only to find that life at Biltmore Estate has changed in unimaginable ways. Old friends do unthinkable things and enemies seem all around. 
A mysterious threat moves towards Biltmore, a force without a name, bringing with it violent storms and flooding that stands to uproot everything in its path. Serafina must uncover the truth about what has happened to her and find a way to harness her strange new powers before it's too late. 
With only days to achieve the impossible, Serafina fights to reclaim herself as the Guardian of Biltmore, friend of Braeden, daughter of her Pa, and heroine of the Blue Ridge Mountains and all the folk and creatures that call it home. 
In the epic third installment of Robert Beatty's #1 bestselling series, Serafina takes her rightful place among literary champions as she battles fiercely to defend all she loves and become everything that she is meant to be.





Review

I have been eagerly awaiting the highly anticipated third book in Robert Beatty's hit Serafina series, and today is the day! [HIT THE JUMP FOR MORE]

Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: Be the One: Six True Stories of Teens Overcoming Hardship with Hope


Be the One by Byron Pitts

Release Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster


Emmy Award–winning ABC News chief national correspondent and Nightline coanchor, Byron Pitts shares the heartbreaking and inspiring stories of six young people who overcame impossible circumstances with extraordinary perseverance.

Abuse.
Bullying.
War.
Drug Addiction.
Mental Illness.
Violence.

None of these should be realities for anyone, much less a young person. But for some it is the only reality they have ever known. In these dark circumstances, six teens needed someone to “be the one” for them—the hero to help them back into the light. For Tania, Mason, Pappy, Michaela, Ryan, and Tyton, that hero was themselves. Through stirring interviews and his award-winning storytelling, Byron Pitts brings the struggles and triumphs of these everyday heroes to teens just like them, encouraging all of us to be the source of inspiration in our own lives and to appreciate the lives of others around us.
Hit the jump for more!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Best From the First Half of 2017: Delivery by Aaron Meshon


Delivery by Aaron Meshon


Release Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster



A grandmother goes to great lengths to send her grandson a care package in this heartwarming and playful picture book. 

By truck… 
by train… 
by boat… 
by rocket… 
love can travel any road, ride any track, cross any ocean, and soar through any sky. 

Award-winning author-illustrator Aaron Meshon’s tender, whimsical, and almost wordless story celebrates love that knows no bounds.
Hit the jump for more!

The Best From the First Half of 2017: Pen Pals by Alexandra Pichard


Pen Pals by Alexandra Pichard


Release Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster



An octopus and an ant are paired up to write letters for a school project in this charming picture book in the tradition of Dear Mr. Blueberry

For an entire school year, Oscar the ant and Bill the octopus send letters to each other as part of a school project. 

Oscar loves table tennis, and Bill loves modelling clay. 

Oscar does judo, while Bill has a garden. 

Despite their differences, the two new friends find shared interests…all leading up to one final surprise!
Hit the jump for more!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: The Go-Between by Veronica Chambers

The Go-Between by Veronica Chambers


Release Date: May 9, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte


This hilarious, honest, and realistic coming-of-age novel set in mega wealthy Mexico City as well as Hollywood, skewers perceived racial stereotypes as well as highlights how the immigrant experience unites those who share the American dream. Through her Afro-Latina heritage, Veronica Chambers brings her own experiences, in fictional form, to these issues while dealing with them in an authentic voice.
  
With humor and humanity, Veronica Chambers offers a universally appealing coming-of-age novel that poses complex questions of identity and assimilation every immigrant must wrestle with: Who were we back there? Who are we here? Who does everyone think we are here? And how do we meld all those selves together into a new life?
Hit the jump for more!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Blog Tour (Spotlight): MISSING by Kelly Armstrong

Crown • Hardcover • April 18, 2017 • ISBN: 0399550321

The only thing Winter Crane likes about Reeve's End is that soon she'll leave it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There's nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They're better off taking a chance elsewhere.

What Winter will miss is the woods. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found Lennon left for dead, bleeding in a tree.

But now Lennon is gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left at all? What if they're all missing?


Click here to see the first eight chapters!


About the Author


Kelley Armstrong is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Darkest Powers (The Summoning, The Awakening, and The Reckoning), Darkness Rising (The Gathering, The Calling, andThe Rising) and Age of Legends (Sea of Shadows, Empire of Night, and Forest of Ruin) trilogies for teens, and most recently the YA thriller The Masked Truth. Kelley lives in southwestern Ontario with her family. You can visit her online at kelleyarmstrong.com.