Mockingbird in Mark Twain’s Hat by Kaia Alexander
Publisher: Waterside Press, Oct, 2020
Category: Children’s illustrated chapter book
Available in Print and ebook, 138 pages
Mockingbird in Mark Twain’s Hat, is an adventure story full of animals that talk. Wynne is a precocious mockingbird born in the rural south in the late 1800s. His whole family are singers, but at four days old, he wants to be a novelist just like his hero, Mark Twain.
When crows attack his nest, he’s swept away on an epic adventure along the Mississippi River. Wynne learns to read and write, makes new friends in surprising places, and is mentored by Mark Twain himself. Full of delightful quotes from Mark Twain, this novel for children ages 8-12 shines with important lessons of character, perseverance, love, and the importance of friendship.
Guest Review by Sal
‘Mockingbird in Mark Twain’s Hat’ by Kaia Alexander is an unexpected delight and an enjoyable read for all ages.
Beginning in the quiet, peaceful nest of a family of mockingbirds, the story centers around a little bird named Wynne. Wynne knows that he is supposed to want to grow up to do regular mockingbird things like soaring over the fields and singing songs, but what he actually wants is to become a writer.
Wynne’s hero is the famous southern writer Mark Twain, who is still alive in the novel, as it is set in 1898. As Wynne and his siblings slowly learn to fly, danger soon comes to the nest in the form of a gray cat who nearly kills Wynne. Thankfully, he is saved by a little girl, but the girl brings Wynne back to her home, far away from his family.
Trying to stay brave, Wynne imagines the wonderful story that he will write from his adventures, but he doesn’t realize just how extensive his adventure is going to be. The story takes Wynne along the Mississippi river, where he eventually gets to meet Mark Twain himself.
Told from the perspective of Wynne, this story is a beautifully told middle grade novel that will capture children’s imaginations and teach them a lot of interesting information along the way. There were things this book taught me about mockingbirds and Mark Twain that even I didn’t know, and it has such fun prose and quick chapters that it doesn’t feel dragged down by information.
I recommend this highly to anyone who has a young reader in their house, or any adults who enjoy a fun book. Alexander’s take on talking and thinking animals is cute and light-hearted, but reveals a stronger message as the novel goes on. Don’t let this one fly away!
This giveaway is for 1 print copy to 3 winners. It is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ends on July 1, 2021,midnight pacific time.
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Praise for Mockingbird in Mark Twain’s Hat
“We LOVE this book! As we finish each chapter, we can’t wait to find out what happens next! I am ordering another few copies as gifts for my daughter’s friends.”- Yaron, Amazon
“With ‘The Mockingbird in Mark Twain’s Hat’, Kaia Alexander is at the top of her formidable writing talents. She has mastered historical fiction, screenwriting and with this, a timeless children’s story. This is a delightful adventure featuring unforgettable animal characters that will become embedded in the heart of every reader. Whether you read this to a little one or gift it to a child to read, this is an ideal book that entertains and enthralls with every page while evoking a period and piece of literary history. I believe that Mark Twain himself would approve! Kaia not only brings her beloved animals to life, but she evokes the universal yearning to uniquely express oneself, like the protagonist of the story, Wynne. Above and beyond a simple children’s story, Kaia weaves in thematic layers that remind me of myth and legend. I guarantee that the characters and story will stick with you forever and inspire children to be themselves, challenge themselves, and learn to write! They may even become interested in Mr. Twain himself, just like Wynne. Or maybe, the kinds of songs that Wynne learns to sing, and that they can learn to sing their own.”-Stuart Volkow, Amazon
“Like all Kaia Alexander’s books, it’s a page turner and you can’t put it down! A delightful adventure with twists and surprises. Love the characters and the illustrations. This is a great gift book for children as well as adults and sure to become a classic! ”- S. Peck, Amazon