December 30, 2016

Audio Review: Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

Title: Bad Girls Don't Die
Author: Kate Alender
Narrator: Johanna Parker

When Alexis's little sister Kasey becomes obsessed with an antique doll, Alexis thinks she is just being her usual weird self. Things get weirder, though, when their house starts changing. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner blasts cold air.
Kasey is changing, too. Her blue eyes go green, she starts using old-fashioned language, and she forgets chunks of time. Most disturbing of all is the dangerous new chip on Kasey's shoulder. The formerly gentle child is gone, and the new Kasey is angry. 
Alexis is the only one who can stop her sister - but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?

To the point review: 
Creepy and fun and enjoyed it.  

Let me explain:
I love creepy books.  I've said that many many times when reviewing book.  This is one that I've seen for awhile.  Many of my students read it and loved it! They kept telling me I needed to read it.  I'm glad I finally listened and did.  In terms of the creep factor it was good.  Not the scariest thing I've ever read, but it did have the wanting to yell out "don't go in there" feel.  A feel times my heart raced because I wanted Alexis to stop and get out!

The story also had some nice twists and turns that I didn't see coming.  A few things I thought I had figured out I didn't, so that was nice.  It kept me guessing which is always good.  

I liked Alexis a lot.  She was strong and determined.  I like that she was trying to put things together and figure out what to do.  I do wish she would've accepted help more, but I get why she didn't.  If I was in Kasey's place I would hope Alexis was on my side! 

Thoughts on the audio book: The narrator did a nice job.  I struggle with female narrators sometimes because I've found they have a tendency to sound whiny and that bothers me.  This narrator didn't have that.  She kept the story moving and definitely added to the creepiness.  

Best for:  People who like to be kept on suspense. 
Best for ages: Around 12 and up.  I had many middle school students who read it.  
Best stick-with-you image: There was a scene where Kasey just kind appears behind Alexis and that was super creepy! 

December 27, 2016

Audio Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Narrators: Debra Wiseman , Joel Johnstone

You can't stop the future. You can't rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret. . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen doesn't want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her.

Then Hannah's voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes-- and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death.

All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his small town. . .

. . .and what he discovers changes his life forever.

To the point review:
Read this book to remind yourself that everyone is going through something and a small gesture can change that.  

Let me explain:
I know that this book has been around for a long while, but I'm only just getting to it now.  I really wish I had read it sooner! It was very good.  Serious - but very good.  When I first started listening to it I thought - "This should be a book all high schoolers need to read."  I still feel that way although I understand it's not a book for everyone.  I just thought it should be something every kid should read because it helps you see that you do not know what is going on with someone and that what you say can have a larger impact (both for the good and bad) than you ever thought.  Hannah was struggling so much.  At first I was was kinda frustrated and just wanted her to be stronger, but as the story went on I understood more and more the place she was in.  It was heartbreaking to know that nothing was going to save her in the end.  

The character of Clay was very real.  I think we could all relate to him - anger at Hannah, anger at himself, sadness, frustration with everyone around him that was involved, unbearable grief that he hadn't done more knowing that he did was he did with what he knew at the time.  My heart hurt for him.   

Thoughts on the audio book:  I think I'm glad I experienced this book this way because the voices of Clay and Hannah were done by different people.  Since Clay was listening to the voice of Hannah it brought her and the story more alive and stronger I think.  

Best for:  People who can handle a very serious and difficult topic
Best for ages:  14+
Best stick-with-you image: Clay at the end of the book walking down the hall

December 11, 2016

I'm Done With Classes!!!

Hello from the other side! The other side of 2 years of classes to become a school media specialists! I'm done! I'm done! I'm done!  
I can't believe that I won't be in any more classes!!! 
Now I do still have to do my practicum, but much of it will come directly from my current job as a media specialist. There will stuff I'll need to track, but NO HOMEWORK! NO WEEKLY CLASS! 
I'm so very very excited.  

It also means I'll have way more time for reading and blogging again.  I've missed it so much!

I have decided to not pursue switching over to a new blog.  I tried, but I feel so much of  "ME" in this blog that I just couldn't do it.  That does mean that I'll be reviewing all types and levels of books.  And guess what - I think that's ok! 
If you like YA, you'll find that here.  
If you like MG - here too.  
Picture book?  I'll share them!  
It's my love of books and reading that brought me here, and that includes all types of books! 

Reviews coming up soon:
Audio books of (I've been listening to a ton): 
13 Reasons Why
Dead Girls Don't Die
Perry's Killer Playlist

Picture Books:
Wolfie the Bunny
Night Animals
Ada Twist Scientist


Thanks for still following.  
And if you want more check me out on Instagram.  Many times I'll throw book sharing up there because it's quick and easy!  You can find me as jilltheowl.

November 23, 2016

Audio Review: A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano

 Title: A Curious Tale of the In-Between
Author: Lauren DeStefano

Pram Bellamy is special--she can talk to ghosts. She doesn't have oo many friends amongst the living, but that's all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.

Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram's power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.

So at first I wasn't so sure about this book.  It starts out with a pretty graphic image of a dead body.  I thought wow where can this go from here?!  In the end tho, I did like it.  It was a little different at parts, but at its heart it was about Pram just wanting to know where she belongs and who loves her.  About Pram - I loved her, I really did.  She was sweet and strong and kind and determined.  I liked that I knew she was a character that would never intentional hurt someone.  I was able to trust her and cheer for her. And there were so many times she needed cheering! At some points I didn't know if things would work out!  But the way the story ended was great.  

And can I tell you that I loved Felix.  He was sweet and so kind.  I cheered for him too!

Lastly Pram's gift was very well done.  I liked that it wasn't over-played too much.  Yes it played a huge role in the story, but it wasn't a scary thing.  It wasn't creepy.  It was more factual.  It was a gift and accepted and moved on - well at least by Pram.  The aunts had different thoughts about it, but that was understandable.  

About the audio:  Liked it.  The narrator was good.  Sometimes I struggle with narrators for middle grade books, but this one was good! 

Final thought:  Enjoyed it after the shocking beginning.
Best stick-with-you image:  Beyond the first one?  Clarence and the box.  
Best for:  Middle school students

November 14, 2016

Audio Book Review: Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Title:  Furthermore
Author: Tahereh Mafi

There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.

But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. It will take all of Alice's wits (and every limb she's got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.

This book was adorable and sweet and odd and fun and thought provoking.  Yes it was all that! I adored Alice - ok I admit there was a point where I was getting annoyed by her because she just wouldn't listen BUT they she turned a corner, and I loved the girl she became.  From the start I did feel for her.  Here she is - a girl with no color in a world that values color to the point of seeing it as currency.  She felt so different from anyone around her, and her one champion, her father, is gone.  I wanted to hug her.  As story progresses she goes from knowing herself, to doubting herself to being able to accept who she is and the gifts she has been given.  Wonderful transformation.

I also loved the world of Furthermore. As the story went along I was amazed over and over by Mafi's ability to create such a world! It helped that she described it such reach and unique language that it was almost painted before you.  Completely wonderful.  But I also liked that you never knew what to trust in the brilliant world of Furthermore.  It added this edge to the setting that also kept me, and Alice, on my toes.

My one small issue was the ending.  It ended kinda fast!  I guess I wanted just a bit more.  Not a huge deal but something to note.  

Audio Book Thoughts:  LOVED the narrator!  He did such a wonderful job.  His narration truly brought the world and Alice's story together.

A few weeks back I had the chance to meet Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs.  I was super excited to hear she is going to write a companion novel to Furthermore! I cannot wait for it to come out!

In short:  Check it out. I hope you'll enjoy the world and Alice as much as I did.  
Best for: Kids who like books with magical worlds and a bit of topsy-turvy-ness.
Best stick-with-you image:  The paper fox and Alice's new dress. 

November 8, 2016

Review: Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy by Doug Savage

Title: Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy
Author: Doug Savage
Geared Towards: 4th grade and up

The forest is full of danger . . .  but help is here. Meet Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy, improbable pals who use their powers—laser vision and an unrelenting sense of optimism—to fight the forces of evil. Join the dynamic duo as they battle aliens, a mutant fish-bear, a cyborg porcupine, and a mechanical squirrel, learning along the way that looking on the bright side might be just as powerful as shooting a laser. 

Graphic novels are HUGE at my media center.  We cannot keep them on the shelf.  So when I was offered this book for review I wanted to check it out.  I do think it's one that kids will enjoy.  I mean really what kid wouldn't like a story with a moose that can shoot lasers out of his eyes?! But what is fun about it is that he isn't the best aim and some funny things happen because of it.  What I found interesting about this book is that it's several shorter stories in one book.  That is not something I've seen before in a graphic novel.  I think kids would like that as well because some need shorter pieces and like to read a story beginning to end in one setting.  

Media Thoughts:  Yes I'd put this in the media center.  One thing to note is that even though it looks like it could be for younger kids I think it's more for like 3rd and up.  

Like graphic novels

November 2, 2016

Impyrium Blog Tour +GIVEAWAY X2!

Welcome to Day #8 of the Impyrium Blog Tour!
To celebrate the release of Imyprium by Henry H. Neff (10/4/16), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Henry and 10 chances to win a SIGNED copy of Impyrium, as well as a Grand Prize Giveaway!

Lyrical Beauty:  Lingua Mystica and IMPYRIUM Magic by Henry H. Neff

A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast called “Imaginary Worlds” which tackles fun questions and themes related to fantasy and science fiction. The topic of the day was magic, and the host interviewed Kingkiller Chronicles author, Patrick Rothfuss, who discussed how various authors approach magic. His take was that magic tends to fall in one of two camps: poetry or science. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings would be an example of poetry, where Gandfalf and others work magic by virtue of some power within their being, or associated with their role or rank. At the other end of the spectrum might be Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series where magic is derived from specific metals and scientific processes. It was an interesting discussion and got me thinking about my own system and the way magic works within IMPYRIUM. My conclusion? I’m a scientific poet. Or a poetic scientist. Take your pick. I do like to have some rules to the magic in IMPYRIUM, a sense of how things work so that readers can grasp what is being achieved, the degree of difficulty, and ranks among practitioners. I think that’s helpful. But I never want to have so many rules that magic is simply another science, no different from chemistry or geology. 

To me, magic must always have an element of mystery and wonder, a glimpse of some hidden aspect of the world or even Creation itself. Rothfuss thought it was silly that magic would have some darker side or inherent cost—after all, chemistry doesn’t. I would disagree for the simple reason that magic isn’t chemistry—it is, almost by definition, not something that can be defined and contained by scientific laws. In IMPYRIUM, magic is tied to one’s soul, and the way in which it’s used can change, disrupt, or even destroy one’s essence. I never want the magic in my stories to be pure science for the same reason that many Star Wars fans were upset when the Force was boiled down to “midi-chlorian count” in later films. The Force—this energy field that surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together—can be counted and quantified? No, thank you. I always want some mystery in my magic, some element of the sacred and even profane. Imagination will always be more powerful than algorithms. In IMPYRIUM, mystics and sorcerers represent both ends of the spectrum. 

Mystics comprise the vast majority of magical humans in Impyrium. They are scholarly, almost scientific practitioners that spend their time trying to learn, master, and add to the mountain of magical knowledge—established spells and alchemical formulae—that exists. Much of their research is spent trying to dissect magic, to find the ideal combination of ingredients, words, and context to maximize an enchantment’s power. In IMPYRIUM, much of this power stems from the concept of truenames, which have a long and celebrated history in mythology, folklore, and fantasy. The basic idea is that everything—every person, creature, even river or tree—has a truename, a sacred word tied to its creation and place in this world. To use a being’s truename is to potentially wield great power over them, or summon them to you. A classic example of this is Rumpelstiltskin, or the superstition of not saying the names of evil things for fear that you will call them. 

If you really want to see an author make marvelous use of truenames, have a look at Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea series. No one does magic quite as beautifully as she does. And beauty brings us to IMPYRIUM’s sorcerers. They are the poetic savants of the magical world, artistic geniuses whose intuition and instincts are so inspired they can often bypass the tedium of rote spellwork and simply improvise to greater effect. There’s a wonderful scene in the film Amadeus when the older composer Salieri, outraged at having been upstaged by the young pup Mozart, comes across the young man’s latest work. The music is simply beautiful—divine—and Salieri is looking at the original sheets. There are no changes, no scratchwork or second guessing. The music simply sprang from Mozart’s head like Athena did from Zeus’s. Salieri understood that he was in the presence of true genius and that he could never compete with such a prodigy, much less fathom how such a mind worked. Poor, frustrated Salieri was a mystic, and a good one. But Mozart was a sorcerer. I like having that dichotomy in IMPYRIUM. When Hazel Faeregine explains magic to commoner Hob, he can grasp the rules of mystics—the combinations of words, gestures, and components performed by someone possessing the inherent spark (i.e., magic) to catalyze the desired reaction. But when Hazel moves beyond these scientific descriptions and hints at grander designs, the veiled Olympian heights that only sorcerers can glimpse, Hob is understandably lost. His mortal mind can’t comprehend what exists at such a level. And neither can we. And that’s just the way I like it. Want to learn more about magic in Impyrium? Click here and dive into a tale where Old Magic meets new dangers.

Stop by Mundie Kids tomorrow for day #9 of the tour!
Blog Tour Schedule:
October 24thCrossroad Reviews
October 25th — Book Swoon
October 26thLife Naturally
October 27thThe Fandom
October 28thGeoLibrarian
October 31st WordSpelunking
November 1stBookhounds
November 2nd The OWL
November 3rdMundie Kids
November 4thRavenous Reader
Follow Henry: Website | Twitter | Facebook

In the first book of Henry H. Neff’s new high-stakes middle grade fantasy series, two unlikely allies confront a conspiracy that will shake the world of Impyrium to its core. For over three thousand years, the Faeregine dynasty has ruled Impyrium. But the family’s magic has been fading, and with it their power over the empire. Whether it’s treachery from a rival house, the demon Lirlanders, or rebel forces, many believe the Faeregines are ripe to fall. Hazel, the youngest member of the royal family, is happy to leave ruling to her sisters so that she can study her magic. But the empress has other plans for her granddaughter, dark and dangerous plans to exploit Hazel’s talents and rekindle the Faeregine mystique. Hob, a commoner from the remote provinces, has been sent to the city to serve the Faeregines—and to spy on them. One wants to protect the dynasty. The other wants to destroy it. But when Hazel and Hob form an improbable friendship, their bond may save the realm as they know it…or end it for good.

About the Author: Henry H. Neff grew up outside Chicago before going off to Cornell University, Impyrium is his second series. The first, The Tapestry, is a five-volume epic that follows the life and adventures of Max McDaniels. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and two sons. You can also find him at where he majored in history. Before becoming a writer, he was a management consultant and also taught history at a San Francisco high school.


  • One (1) winner will receive an Impyrium Prize Pack featuring a collector's box packed with a signed copy of Impyrium, bookmark, poster, Hob temporary tattoo, and a signed sketch by Henry H. Neff (not pictured: bookmark, tattoo, and sketch)
  • Enter via the rafflecopter below
  • US Only
  • Ends 11/6 at midnight ET
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I also have up for grabs a SIGNED copy of the book! 

Must be a US or Canada Resident
Must be at least 13

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October 31, 2016

Review: Fright-lopedia by Julie Winterbottom +GIVEAWAY

Title: Frightlopedia: An Encyclopedia of Everything Scary, Creepy, and Spine-Chilling, From Arachnids to Zombies
Author: Julie Winterbottom
Illustrator: Stefano Tambellini

Here’s the book for kids who love scary stuff, whether it’s telling ghost stories around a campfire, discovering the origins of various vampires, monsters, and witches, or reading creepy tales under the covers with a flashlight.

Combining fact, fiction, and hands-on activities, Frightlopedia is an illustrated A-Z collection of some of the world’s most frightening places, scariest stories, and gruesomest creatures, both real and imagined.

Discover Borneo’s Gomantong Cave, where literally millions of bats, cockroaches, spiders, and rats coexist—in pitch darkness. Learn about mythical creatures like the Mongolian Death Worm—and scarily real ones like killer bees, which were accidentally created by scientists in the 1950s. Visit New Orleans’s Beauregard-Keyes house, where Civil War soldiers are said to still clash in the front hall. Plus ghost stories from around the world, a cross-cultural study of vampires, and how to transform into a zombie with makeup. Each entry includes a “Fright Meter” measurement from 1 to 3, because while being scared is fun, everyone has their limit.

I'm a huge fan of scary things.  I love scary books and movies! So when I received this book in the mail for review I was really excited about it.  I did wonder how it would be for kids though.  First what did I think of it - I loved it!  The book takes you through the alphabet of creepy, scary, odd things.  I was impressed they actually had something for each letter!  My favorites were the Manchineel tree (I'm staying clear of that one!) and Island of the Dolls (also staying clear of!).  The letter G was great too looking at different ghosts.  And of course I liked Z with zombies.  I found the pieces informative and well written.  They gave details without pushing the gore or scare.  What was really cool was that each topic has a Fright Meter telling you how scary this topic might be.  I thought this would be great for kids reading the book.  Now about kids reading it - many of the topics are ones you'd see in other books - spiders, bats, rats - those types of things, so I don't think those would be an issue.  Some of the ghost stories might be hard for kids who scare easily, so I would caution them.

Over all - I enjoyed it! 

I have a copy of Fright-lopedia to giveaway!

You must have US address.
You must be at least 13.

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October 30, 2016

Book Blast: Curse of the Boggin by D.J. MacHale +Giveaway

I'm very excited to be part of the book blast for Curse of the Boggin: The Library Book 1 by D. J. MacHale!

First of all - his books are fantastic.  So many kids I know love his books.  
Second: Um - The LIBRARY.  Hello how perfect is that?

About the Book

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.


D.J. MacHale is a writer, director, executive producer and creator of several popular television series and movies. As an author, his ten-volume book series: Pendragon: Journal of an Adventure Through Time and Space became a New York Times #1 bestseller.

He was raised in Greenwich, CT where he had several jobs including collecting eggs at a poultry farm; engraving trophies and washing dishes in a steakhouse…in between playing football and running track. D.J. graduated from New York University where he received a BFA in film production.

His film-making career began in New York where he worked as a freelance writer/director making corporate videos and television commercials.

D.J. broke into the entertainment business by writing several ABC Afterschool Specials. As co-creator of the popular Nickelodeon series: Are You Afraid of the Dark?, he produced all 91 episodes. D.J. also wrote and directed the movie Tower of Terror for ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney. The Showtime series Chris Cross was co-created, written and produced by D.J. It received the CableAce award for Best Youth Series.

D.J. created and produced the Discovery Kids/NBC television series Flight 29 Down. He wrote every episode and directed several. His work on Flight 29 Down earned him the Writers Guild of America award for Outstanding Children’s Script and a Directors Guild of America award nomination.

Other notable television writing credits include the ABC Afterschool Special titled Seasonal Differences; the pilot for the long-running PBS/CBS series Ghostwriter; and the HBO series Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective for which he received a CableAce nomination for writing.

In print, D.J. also authored the supernatural Morpheus Road trilogy; a whimsical picture book The Monster Princess; and The SYLO Chronicles, a thrilling sci-fi trilogy. He also wrote Voyagers: Project Alpha, the first of a six book science fiction adventure.

D.J.’s newest book series is The Library, a spooky middle-grade anthology about a mysterious library filled with unfinished supernatural tales, and the daring young people who must complete them.

D.J. lives in Southern California with his wife Evangeline and daughter Keaton. They are avid backpackers, scuba divers and skiers. Rounding out the household is a spoiled golden retriever named Casey and an equally spoiled tuxedo cat named Jinx.

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
Winner will receive a Copy of The Library Book 1: Curse of the Boggin + Signed Bookmark by D.J. MacHale
1 Winner will receive a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card.

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October 10, 2016

Two Giveaways!

I've got two giveaways going happening on my new blog right now.  

Check them out! 

You'll need to scroll down to find the one for The Tweets.


September 23, 2016

Book Birthday Celebration: Wishapick by M. M. Allen +GIVEAWAY

Today I'm excited to share a wonderful sounding book and a chance to win some great prizes! I teamed up with The Children’s Book Review to celebrate the book birthday of:

Wishapick:Tickety Boo and the Black Trunkby M. M. Allen


Highly praised classic fairy tale, Wishapick Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk, a children’s book for all ages, written by acclaimed author MM Allen; and a CD of Wishapick Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk soundtrack composed by the talented Deborah Wynne.

Darkness-utter blackness. Was this why his mother had refused to let Jack unlock his father’s old trunk? It had been two years since his dad had died, and all Jack could think about was examining whatever treasures were stored inside the beloved trunk. But when he finally lifted the lid, he didn’t just fall in –he fell through it into a pit of rattlesnakes. Trying to recall his mother’s stories about the Breathe of All Good Things –anything to help him out of his dangerous predicament-Jack wished he had paid attention rather than mock the tales as childish myths… and that he’d waited to enter the trunk with his sister, Lilly. They could have at least faced this together. Jack quickly learns two things; the villagers in Wishapick think Jack is the only one who can bring light back to Wishapick –and accomplishing this feat is the only way he can return home.

Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk is available on Amazon (


About M. M. Allen

M. M. Allen, author of the acclaimed children’s picture book Let’s Play Ball, is the mother of two adult children and aunt to twenty-three nieces and nephews, including ten great-nieces and great-nephews. MM is a former teacher and university lecturer. She has also worked extensively in marketing and communications with varied businesses and non-profits. MM lives in a picturesque northern California town where she enjoys writing, tending to her rose garden, and caring for her West Highland terrier, Pip.

About Deborah Wynne

Composer and lyricist Deborah Wynne created a companion CD of songs to accompany Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk. Wynne’s primary talents lie in choral singing, stage musicals, and composing. Her musical projects include the 2013 album Strands of Gold and 2007 musical Moment of Truth. She is an active singer and composer in Santa Barbara, California, where she lives with her husband and their two shelties, Sparkle and Gracie.

Learn More About Wishapick 

Wishpick Soundtrack: Be sure to check out the companion music CD, Wishapick, for purchase or download from

Book Club Questions: Get to the heart of Wishapick by downloading this set of book club questions: Wishapick by M. M. Allen: Book Club Questions


One (1) Winner Receives The Grand Prize:
  • An autographed copy of Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk
  • A CD of the Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk soundtrack
  • A Fitbit Alta
Four (4) Winners Receive:
  • An autographed copy of Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk
  • A CD of the Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk soundtrack

Giveaway begins September 23, 2016, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends October 23, 2016, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Giveaway open to US and Canadian addresses only.
Prizes and samples provided by M.M. Allen and Deborah Wynne

To enter go to my new blog: Finding Magic!

For this post and giveaway I worked with: The Children’s Book Review, M.M. Allen, and Deborah Wynne

September 15, 2016

Blog Tour: The Story Book Knight by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty +GIVEAWAY

Title: The Storybook Knight
Authors: Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty
Gear towards: Pre-K to 1st Grade
Copy Obtained: Publisher in exchange for honest review

Even dragons can’t resist a good story…

Even though Leo would rather sit at home and read, his parents send him out into the world in the hopes that Leo will become a famous knight. But when Leo comes up against the land’s most fearsome beasts, he soon discovers that scary monsters enjoy a good book as much as anyone…

What a super cute book! Little Leo is sent out to fight a dragon but it's really not his thing! He much more enjoys reading a good book (a knight after my own heart).  As we goes along he encounters different beasts and ends up battling them all with the power of stories! I love that it shows him staying true to who he is and showing how that can be wonderful! And I love that his family sees it too in the end! A great little message for kids to hear. 

Media Thoughts:  For sure I would add! Plus I'm planning on reading it to my 2nd graders to talk about finding a book that fits you.  And - there is a website where kids can pledge to be kind and caring (see below!).  I can see a ton to do with this book!

Like to read
Feel like they don't belong
Like stories with knights

Author Links:

Thomas Docherty:
Twitter: @TDIllustration
Helen Docherty:
Twitter: @docherty_helen

Educator Resources

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Finding Magic