HFVBook Blast for WAR AND ME by M. A. Wood

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Hello, Readers!

Today I’m blasting it up for the YA  historical fiction novel WAR AND ME by M.A. Wood. I haven’t read it yet but it is definitely on my TBR list!

Here’s what HFVBT has to say:

War and Me by M.A. Wood

Publication Date: September 26, 2013
eBook; 200 Pages
ASIN: B00FGJLG08

Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fiction/Romance

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Flying model airplanes isn’t cool, not for fifteen-year-old girls in the 1940’s. No one understands Julianna’s love of flying model airplanes but her dad. When he leaves to fly bomber planes in Europe forcing Julianna to deal with her mother’s growing depression alone, she feels abandoned until she meets Ben, the new boy in town. But when he signs up for the war, too, she has to consider whether letting her first love drift away would be far easier than waiting for the next casualties.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

About the Author

03_M.A. Wood

Marcy Blesy is the author of several middle grade, young adult, and new adult novels and short stories. Her picture book, Am I Like My Daddy?, helps children who experienced the loss of a parent when they were much younger. She has also been published in two Chicken Soup for the Soul books as well as various newspapers and magazines. By day she runs an elementary school library and enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys.

Marcy is a believer in love and enjoys nothing more than making her readers feel a book more than simply reading it. She likes to connect with her readers via twitter (@marcyblesy), email (mablesy(at)yahoo.com), or her blog(www.marcyblesy.com).

Book Blast Schedule

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Monday, February 15
A Chick Who Reads
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 16
A Holland Reads
CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, February 17
Beth’s Book Nook Blog
The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, February 18
A Book Geek
What Is That Book About

Friday, February 19
So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, February 22
#redhead.with.book
Queen of All She Reads

Tuesday, February 23
Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, February 24
The Reading Queen

Thursday, February 25
Boom Baby Reviews

Friday, February 26
Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne

But wait == there’s more!

You can win a $10 Amazon gift card through a giveaway (and maybe even use it to get the book!). Here is the information:

Giveaway

To win a $10 Amazon Gift Card please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

 

Giveaway Direct Link: https://gleam.io/ng84w/war-and-me

YA Review: DREAM THINGS TRUE by Marie Marquardt

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I first heard about DREAM THINGS TRUE at BEA last spring. It was listed as one of the best upcoming YA books. I was able to get it through Net Galley and recently read it.

Here’s the description from Net Galley:

Evan and Alma have spent fifteen years living in the same town, connected in a dozen different ways but also living worlds apart — until the day he jumps into her dad’s truck and slams on the brakes.
The nephew of a senator, Evan seems to have it all – except a functional family. Alma has lived in Georgia since she was two, surrounded by a large (sometimes smothering) Mexican family. They both want out of this town. His one-way ticket is soccer; hers is academic success.

When they fall in love, they fall hard, trying to ignore their differences. Then Immigration and Customs Enforcement begins raids in their town, and Alma knows that she needs to share her secret. But how will she tell her country-club boyfriend that she and almost everyone she’s close to are undocumented immigrants?

What follows is a beautiful, nuanced exploration of the complications of immigration, young love, defying one’s family, and facing a tangled bureaucracy that threatens to completely upend two young lives. This page-turning debut asks tough questions, reminding us that love is more powerful than fear.

***************

So – I have to say I just loved this book. Even though it takes place in Georgia, I could relate to the story, having grown up in California. This novel does a great job sensitively portraying the challenges of undocumented immigrants, especially those who have spent the majority of their lives here in the US and have been positive contributors to their community. Alma and Evan’s story will draw teens in, and I appreciated that the ending was not a “quick fix”.

DREAM THINGS TRUE published in September, and is available at an indie near you (or at your library!).

 

Kids’ and YA Quick Review: COUNTING BY 7’s by Holly Sloan

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I absolutely loved this middle to older grade novel about 12-year-old Willow Chance and the challenges she faced when her parents unexpectedly die in a car accident.  Willow already has her challenges with being a genius and a social misfit. This story was so beautiful and well-written that I fell in love with Willow right away. I actually read this through in two sittings (400 pages) as it moved so quickly.

Here’s what Booklist has to say about it:

*Starred Review* In a voice that is frank, charming, and delightfully odd, Willow Chance narrates the strange and heartbreaking circumstances that lead her to find an offbeat, patchwork quilt of a family. As an adopted, self-identified “person of color,” precocious genius Willow unabashedly knows that she is different, but her parents love and support her idiosyncrasies, such as wearing her gardening outfit to school, her preoccupation with disease, her anthropological curiosity about her peers, and her obsession with the number seven. That self-assuredness shines through Willow’s narrative and becomes crucial to her survival after the unexpected death of her parents, which makes Willow a prime candidate for life in a group home—an environment that could be disastrous for an unusual child like her. Luckily, she finds new friends who are compelled to protect her: Mai and her family, who live in the garage behind the nail salon they own, and Willow’s slouch of a guidance counselor, Dell. Sloan (I’ll Be There, 2011) has masterfully created a graceful, meaningful tale featuring a cast of charming, well-rounded characters who learn sweet—but never cloying—lessons about resourcefulness, community, and true resilience in the face of loss.

Grades 7-10. –Sarah Hunter —

Me again —

That blurb is an excellent take on this book which I will be recommending to my sixth grader (and her English teacher!).

Kids’ Review: GEORGE by Alex Gino

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Can we talk about this book?

When I was at BEA this spring, I received a copy of GEORGE by Alex Gino. Actually, the young man from Scholastic who was presenting the book to us gave an emotional appeal for people to read it and love it and support them as they felt the story would come under controversy.

GEORGE is about a 4th grade named George who, while a boy on the outside, is a girl on the inside. George wants to be Charlotte in the class’ upcoming production of Charlotte’s Web, but only girls can audition. George hides the fact that internally she is female, especially from her family, but ends up telling her best friend.

This is a very touching and sensitive story about a child struggling with their gender identification. I absolutely loved George. I felt the story was written from the heart and sensitively portrayed a young person in the midst of establishing their identity.

My challenge with GEORGE was when I think about what age to recommend it for. It is written for middle grades (3-6) but I’m not sure that age could appreciate and understand it (reading it on their own) unless it is something in their own experience. It’s more of a middle school read in my opinion. That said, I have several adults that I will recommend it to.

I’m sure some will take issue with this story. I’m sure some won’t like it. But I think it’s a lovely and sensitive portrayal that deserves to be read and shared.

YA Review: Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

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I first heard about this novel while I was at BEA this past spring. It sounded intriguing, but, due to schedules and long lines, I didn’t get a chance to meet Ms. Weingarten or get a copy, so I purchased one for my kindle when it released in July.

SUICIDE NOTES FROM BEAUTIFUL GIRLS is one of those haunting, compelling reads that picks you up and then drops you, leaving you panting and somewhat bewildered. I LOVED this type of book when I was a teen (actually I still love it!).

June and Delia used to be the very best of friends, from the time they were in grade school until recently in high school, when they’ve grown apart. Then it is announced that Delia has died — apparently from suicide, killing herself by burning to death in her father’s shed. June is troubled by this. She doesn’t believe that Delia did this, and she’s haunted by the fact that Delia had reached out to her shortly before her death, but June had ignored her, choosing to be with her boyfriend instead.

What did happen to Delia? Who is involved? And why does it seem like a lot of people know much more than they are telling? June is determined to find out.

I have to admit — when I picked up this book and began to read it, I didn’t stop for a break until I was halfway through. It pulled me in and I just couldn’t stop reading. This was also the type of story that stays with you long after the last page.

Due to language and sexual content, I’d say it’s for older YA readers.

One more from BEA – Young Adult Buzz Titles

I almost forgot! Along with the Middle Grade Buzz session, there is a Young Adult Buzz session at BEA. I did not attend this year as I was in line to meet Alice Hoffman (yeah!!). However, the program has the list of titles/authors.

According to the industry, these are the ones to watch for in YA this fall:

Dream Things True: A Novel by Marie Marquardt (9/1 release)

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Synopsis from Amazon:

Evan and Alma have spent fifteen years living in the same town, connected in a dozen different ways but also living worlds apart — until the day he jumps into her dad’s truck and slams on the brakes.
The nephew of a senator, Evan seems to have it all – except a functional family. Alma has lived in Georgia since she was two, surrounded by a large (sometimes smothering) Mexican family. They both want out of this town. His one-way ticket is soccer; hers is academic success.

When they fall in love, they fall hard, trying to ignore their differences. Then Immigration and Customs Enforcement begins raids in their town, and Alma knows that she needs to share her secret. But how will she tell her country-club boyfriend that she and almost everyone she’s close to are undocumented immigrants?

What follows is a beautiful, nuanced exploration of the complications of immigration, young love, defying one’s family, and facing a tangled bureaucracy that threatens to completely upend two young lives. This page-turning debut asks tough questions, reminding us that love is more powerful than fear.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (9/1 release)

downloadEVERYTHING

Synopsis from Amazon:

This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski (9/22 release)

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Synopsis from Amazon:

A story where edge-of-your-seat horror meets post-apocalyptic thriller, perfect for fans of Lois Lowry and The Mazerunner

On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours—it comes every twenty-eight years. Now the sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long.

Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night.

Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their anxious parents ready the house for departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged. Tables must be set. The rituals are puzzling—bizarre, even—but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way.

Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing—the twins’ friend Line. Marin and  Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling. Their island is changing.

And it may already be too late.

The Life and Death of Zebulon Finch by Daniel Kraus (10/27 release)

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Synopsis from Amazon:

A murdered teen is resurrected to walk the earth for centuries in this sweeping historical epic in the spirit of The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, from the author of Rotters and Scowler.

Twenty minutes after his murder on the shores of Lake Michigan in 1896, seventeen-year-old Zebulon Finch awakens, resurrected to suffer an eternity upon the planet. But of all people…why him?

Is it because he was a violent Chicago gangster and this is his chance at redemption?

Is it because he is a modern-day Job whose suffering is beyond human comprehension?

Over the next century—or two—he will try to find out. With a sly aristocratic voice and a healthy appetite for women and anarchy, Zebulon Finch spins a tale of his travels across a young America, watching the country grow and mature, knowing that his mind and body will never do the same.

Yes, he is witty. He is also vain. Absolutely brilliant, too. And he is always entertaining. But have no doubt—Zebulon Finch has a heart as vulnerable as anyone’s. Too bad he doesn’t learn to use it till after it has stopped beating…

This Raging Light by Estelle Laure (releasing 12/22)

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Synopsis from Amazon:

Can the best thing happen at the worst time?

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

HFV Book Tour of RISKING EXPOSURE by Jeanne Moran

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I’m happy today to be part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour for Jeanne Moran’s YA novel: RISKING EXPOSURE.

In this story, teenager Sophie lives in Munich, Germany during the late 1930’s. She is a talented photographer and an active member of the Hitler Youth. Sophie has some qualms of conscience about the Reich’s activities, especially when her Jewish friend is suddenly no longer in touch with her. Then Sophie suffers the devastating effects of polio. She spends months recuperating in a hospital with other patients. She is stunned to learn that they are seen as useless burdens on society. When she is asked to use her photography skills to highlight the work of the Hitler Youth activities, she has to decide whether she will work along with them, or risk everything to show the truth.

This was a quick and engaging read. The story is less than 200 pages and would be a good choice for reluctant readers in the classroom. While I did not like the lack of closure at the end, I see that there will be a sequel coming which I’m sure will answer some of the “but what happens??” questions. One of the most interesting things in this book, to me, was the perspective of a German youth during the first part of WWII. It is rare that I read from the German perspective and it’s good to get a glimpse of what life was like for the regular people of that time.

Here’s what HFVBTours has to say:

Publication Date: September 2013
CreateSpace
Formats: eBook, Paperback
186 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Young Adult

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Munich, 1938, Nazi Germany. War is on the horizon. A timid Hitler Youth member contracts polio. Photographs she takes of fellow polio patients are turned into propaganda, mocking people with disabilities. She is now an outsider, a target of Nazi scorn and possible persecution. Her only weapon is her camera.

This well-researched historical fiction novel unveils a seldom-seen side of the Nazi agenda. A sequel is in the works.

Praise for Risking Exposure

“…an engaging, well written, thought provoking book. It reminds us of the responsibility we have to one another.”

“The story is true to history and would be ideal for a classroom studying this time period.”

“…you find yourself think thinking of the young character, Sophie, long after the last page.”

“… lets us see a world in which we know what happened, but Sophie does not yet. Our knowledge makes us want to read to the very last word–and wish the story would continue.”

“This book felt like I was reading a biography, the characters and story were all very real. Risking Exposure was certainly geared towards young adults, but this story captivated me from the beginning til the end – so it most certainly can hold the attention of an adult audience.”

“Ms. Moran is opening the door to this thought: if more (maybe only a handful more) people stood up and did small things too, could some of the awful suffering of this era been averted or lessened? And more poignantly, how about today? The book ratifies the importance of small actions done with love, bravery, and purpose.”

“Sophie is still on my mind days after finishing this book.”

”…the book was a beautiful collection of thoughts, historically accurate bits of data, and a easy read in terms of the flowing writing style, but deals with a lot of heavy topics in a censored way. This is definitely a great book to study, for school students, as it’s written in a simplistic yet effective writing style, and provides a brilliant coming-of-age story for all types of audiences.”

“There is so much to talk about in Sophie’s story – – what we accept as normal, what society thinks of its less able-bodied citizens, whether one person can really make a difference… we read it for our own book club discussion next month — and we’re all well past our teen-age years, so that shows the power of this small gem.”

Buy the Book

Amazon (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
iTunes
IndieBound
Kobo
Smashwords

About the Author

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Jeanne Moran reads and writes stories in which unlikely heroes make a difference in their corner of the world. In her everyday life, she strives to be one of them.

For more information visit Jeanne Moran’s website.  You can also find her on Facebook,Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Risking Exposure Blog Tour Schedule – Follow the Tour!

Monday, May 4
Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Spotlight & Excerpt at Shelf Full of Books

Tuesday, May 5
Spotlight at Cheryl’s Book Nook

Wednesday, May 6
Review at Mel’s Shelves
Spotlight & Excerpt at Historical Fiction Connection

Thursday, May 7
Spotlight at Broken Teepee

Friday, May 8
Review at Book Babe

Monday, May 11
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, May 12
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Wednesday, May 13
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, May 14
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Friday, May 15
Review at Genre Queen

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Virtual Author Book Tour for LUCKY STRIKE by Bobbie Pyron

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I’m happy today to be part of the blog tour for Bobbie Pyron’s middle grade read: LUCKY STRIKE.

In this enjoyable novel, Nate Harlow turns 11 on April 11. He has always had the worst luck, and he’s never been popular, so he makes a wish that his luck will change. For the first time, he blows out all the candles on his cake. And then things get a little crazy. Nate is struck by lightning and when he recovers he finds he has the power to make anything he touches “lucky”. But how much is real luck, and how much is just believing in yourself? And will Nate’s new-found popularity cause him to forget his true friends?

I really enjoyed this book and will be giving it to my ten-year old son to read. Nate is a likable and realistic character, and the characters of his small Florida town are fairly unforgettable. My favorite was his best friend Gen (Genesis — daughter of the pastor), who is as brilliant as she is unpopular and misunderstood.

Great messages in this story, and yet fun to read and well-paced. I’d recommend it for summer reading!

Thank you for having me be part of the blog tour and for my copy of the book!

You, too, can follow the tour, read other reviews and excerpts, and even win a copy!

Follow the Tour:

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Apr 2  Spotlight & Giveaway

Rockin’ Book Reviews Apr 7 Interview & Giveaway

Hott Books Apr 8 Review

Always Reiding Apr 9 Review & Excerpt

Geo Librarian Apr 10 Review

Curling Up With A Good Book Apr, 13 Interview & Excerpt

fuonlyknew Apr 14 Review & Giveaway

Once Upon A Story Apr 15 Review & Excerpt

Beneath the Jacket Reviews Apr 16

Indie Review Behind the Scenes Apr 17 Live I 6 pm cst

Cassandra M’s Place Apr 20 Review & Giveaway

The Crypto-Caper Review Apr 21 Review

In Bed With Books Apr 22 Review,Interview & Excerpt

Allison’s Book Bag May 24 Review & Interview

Mary’s Cup of Tea Apr 27 Review

Deal Sharing Aunt Apr 28 Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Bound for Escape Apr 30 Review

What U Talking Bout Willis? May 1 Review

Lisa’s Writopia May 4 Review

Books, Books, and More Books May 5 Review & Excerpt

Beth’s Book-Nook Blog May 8 Review

Sweet Southern Home May 11 Review

One Frugal Girl May 15 Review

You can find out more about author Bobbie Pyron on her website:

Bobbie Pyron Outside

http://www.bobbiepyron.com/

LUCKY STRIKE front cover