Nickel Bay Nick by Dean Pitchford #TBT

Wow! We are already halfway through the nomination period for this year’s Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards. Have you nominated any books yet? All month long, our Throwback Thursday review will feature a Cybils-nominated book. We’re not going too far back for this review so that we can represent lots of different Cybils categories. So this week we have last year’s finalist (and ultimate winner in the Middle Grade Fiction category: Nickel Bay Nick by Dean Pitchford. If you’ve read this title – or any book by Dean Pitchford – be sure to include a link to your review! Nickel Bay Nick by Dean Pitchford G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2013 Merry Christmas. Not hardly. Sam Brattle (11) doesn’t have much to … Read more

Character Counts! A Writer’s Perspective by Fiona Ingram

Several years ago, (then) debut South African author Fiona Ingram asked us to read her new book: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab. It was the first book in a middle grade adventure series that is part India Jones, part Spy Kids. Earlier this year, Fiona published the second title, The Search for the Sword of Excalibur. Over the years we’ve kept in touch. In talking about an author’s journey, we had a wonderful conversation about how authors build their characters. We also talked about “author character” – the impact a reviewer’s comments can have on how a writer approaches his/her work. I found Fiona’s experiences and perspective not just interesting, but valuable. I invited her to build on the concepts of … Read more

a Pirate #TBT Review – Alex and the Ironic Gentleman

Ahoy matey! It’s Thursday already, and this week we’ve pulled one of our favorite girl power – actually girl pirate! – stories from the review archive. Do you have a favorite Adrienne Kress book? Add your link to our weekly MEME so that more readers can find it. Alex and the Ironic Gentleman by Adrienne Kress Weinstein Books, 2007 Alexandra Morningside never liked the Wigpowder-Steele Academy … until sixth grade, that is. When Alex learns that Mr. Underwood, her teacher, is a descendant of the Infamous Wigpowder, founder and pirate, she volunteers to help him claim his inheritance. Not as easy as it sounds, especially when Mr. Underwood is kidnapped! And so her journey toward finding (and becoming) a pirate … Read more