Book Review: Beth & Lucy by Katherine Shade

Sixteen-year-old Beth Meyer has three guilty pleasures: nineties sitcoms, crosswords, and—most embarrassing of all—the Lucy Hutchinson book series. They’re silly novels about Lucy’s adventures at a secret school for magic, but they help Beth imagine an exciting life from a safe distance.

That is, until the day Lucy shows up at Beth’s door.

Lucy claims that Beth’s older brother Tim is going to be murdered. She says she wants to help Beth prevent his death. Which should be doable, seeing as she’s a wizard.

Beth is sure all those Netflix binge-sessions have finally gone to her head. She locks the door on Lucy and pretends the whole bizarre visit never happened. Then Lucy starts popping up everywhere—waiting for Beth in the school parking lot. Levitating Beth’s cup at Starbucks.

Beth is terrified of putting herself in danger for the troubled brother she knows doesn’t want her help. But when Tim starts behaving strangely, Beth realizes Lucy might just be right. And if she wants to keep Tim alive, she’ll have to work with Lucy to solve a murder that hasn’t happened yet. 

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The author’s idea for Beth & Lucy intrigued me. Beth leads a “normal” boring life until Lucy shows up. It’s difficult for Beth to believe, but Lucy is the main character in Beth’s favorite book series…and vice versa! Lucy is there to save Beth’s brother Tim and maybe Beth.

Beth doesn’t have any friends that she spends time with outside of school, and it’s easy to see why. She prefers to be alone, but she also speaks her mind whether she should or not. Lucy is from a secret magical island, she dresses in bright mismatched colors, and is there only because she wants to help.

Beth and Lucy aren’t nice to each other most of the time. They’re both rude, but Lucy seems to just respond to Beth’s hatefulness. Once in a great while, they’re nice to each other, but it’s hard to see how they can consider each other friends, except for what they’ve gone through together.

I liked the way that the book was narrated. Beth often speaks directly to the reader. For example, at the end of Chapter 3: “But just for a few minutes, let me be. Here, alone, in this car. Let me slip away from the page for just a few lines.”

The ending had quite a twist that was totally unexpected. It didn’t seem to fit with the light-hearted fantasy up until that point. If it had been a darker fantasy, it would have been great!

About the Author

Katherine Shade lives in Southern California. When she’s not engaged in imaginary conversations with fictional characters or reading nineteenth-century literature, you can find her wandering the world, playing piano, or baking cookies.

Website: Katherine Shade

Book Review: Sol Invictus by Ben Gartner

Siblings John and Sarah barely made it home last time, but in their next time traveling adventure the challenge really heats up. Surrounded by clashing cultures on the ancient Roman frontier, they must fulfill their quest to unite the emperor with his enemy, an Alemanni barbarian, or risk being stuck in time forever.

An action-packed fantasy full of sword fights, chariot chases, fearsome wild animals, and high mountain survival. For graduates of the Magic Tree House looking for a thrilling middle grade page-turner, read Sol Invictus, book two of The Eye of Ra series!

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

John and Sarah recently moved to Maryland, and they’re handling it okay. Sarah seems a lot moodier though, and she doesn’t want to spend much time with the family. It sounds like typical growing pains at first, but is there more to it?

When their parents decide to take John and Sarah to a museum, they end up in the ancient Roman frontier! This time, it is no accident. The gods are sending them on a mission, but they don’t want to time travel again. When they get there, they try using the Eye of Ra to return, but it doesn’t work! They decide that they probably have to complete the mission, but that seems impossible. They’re smart but I couldn’t see how they could complete this mission to get home.

John and Sarah make several friends while they’re in the ancient Roman frontier. I was hoping for more action in this second book, and I got it! I’m impressed with how the author incorporated a lot of history in Sol Invictus without it feeling like a history lesson. It didn’t slow down the story at all.

Sarah is having more and more trouble figuring out how to deal with the conflicting emotions she’s feeling and tends to walk off to be alone, forgetting how dangerous that could be. She made me so nervous running off like that! I enjoyed watching them grow throughout the book.

Sol Invictus is full of adventure that middle grade readers (and adults) will enjoy. It contains a lot of action and is a page turner. This time that John and Sarah are in is more dangerous than where they were in ancient Egypt, and they have to be on guard at all times. I’m looking forward to reading more books in The Eye of Ra series.

About the Author

Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of The Eye of Ra adventure series for middle graders (ages 8-12). His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.

Email: ben@bengartner.com

Website: https://bengartner.com

Book Review: The Eye of Ra by Ben Gartner

Exploring a mysterious cave in the mountains behind their house, John and his sister Sarah are shocked to discover they’ve time traveled to ancient Egypt!

Now they must work together to find a way back home from an ancient civilization of golden desert sand and a towering new pyramid, without parents to save them. The adventures abound—cobras, scorpions, a tomb robber, and more! The two kids have to trust each other, make friends who can help, and survive the challenges thrown at them . . . or be stuck in ancient Egypt forever.

For readers graduating from the Magic Treehouse series and ready for intense action, dive into this middle grade novel rich with meticulous historical detail.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

John and Sarah live in Colorado and are moving to Maryland soon, and of course, they’re not happy about it. When on a hike with their parents, they find a cave and magically end up in ancient Egypt. Although they want to go right back home, it’s not possible. They’re going to have to stay in this time and place until they can figure out how to get home.

Luckily, they meet a boy whose family takes them in. During the weeks that John and Sarah are in ancient Egypt, they (and the reader) learn a lot about it. I found the information interesting, but there may be a little too much detail for middle grade readers.

Sarah has a bit of an attitude which I thought was funny because that’s typical for her age. John not only learns a lot about ancient Egypt, but he now knows the he will be okay when they move. If he can make friends in another time, surely making friends in Maryland will be a piece of cake!

The Eye of Ra is an adventure that middle grade readers will enjoy. It doesn’t have as much action as I thought it would, but it gets pretty intense near the end of the book. I’m looking forward to reading Sol Invictus, the next book in the series.

About the Author

Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of The Eye of Ra adventure series for middle graders (ages 8-12). His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.

Email: ben@bengartner.com

Website: https://bengartner.com

Book Review & Giveaway: It’s Me by Jeff Kubiak

Book Title:  It’s Me by Jeff Kubiak
Category:  Middle-Grade Non-Fiction (Ages 8-12),  57 pages
Genre:  Children’s/Middle Grade, Non-fiction, own voices
Publisher:  EduMatch Publishing
Release date:   November 14, 2020
Content Rating:  PG. Although the book reads like a graphic novel, it does contain topics dealing with racism and other social issues.


Book Description:

It’s Me is dedicated to every person who has ever felt less about who they are or want to be because of someone else’s opinion, feelings, or prejudice. Let’s ditch the prejudiced labeling, and embrace our Human Race for the diversity, inclusivity, equity, and individuality we all deserve.


Buy the Book
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Bookshop

add to Goodreads

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

It’s Me is an amazing book that teaches children that we are all individuals and that it’s okay to be different. Whether it’s a medical condition such as ADHD or autism, having a different skin color, speaking a different language, or anything else that makes someone “different,” that’s okay. We’re all people with feelings, and we all want to be accepted and loved.

Each person in the book has two pages. The first page has a picture with their name and what makes them different. The second page has text about what makes them different and what they want:

I definitely recommend It’s Me. Accepting people for who they are with all of their differences is important and something that our culture is finally (slowly) recognizing. For those who, like me, think they’re alone in their uniqueness, this book is wonderful confirmation for them that they’re not alone!

About the Author

Jeff loves children’s literature , “One Drop of Kindness” is Jeff’s first published children’s book. It’s Me reads like a fun graphic novel, but it is entirely non fiction. Every character in the book is a real student, or educator. It is so important for us to give access, equity, inclusion, and compassion to all those we meet. “Seeing” each other and embracing our differences are jewels to life! Jeff taught for ten years as an elementary school teacher in grades 4, 5, and 6 and has seven years of administrative experience. He’s always looked at education from a different lens: from someone who hated and struggled with school. Jeff vows to always do his best to help increase opportunities for all students to feel heard, noticed, celebrated, challenged and safe. Jeff works hard to push back against the old model of “Industrialized Education” and fight compliance. There is not a day that goes by that he is not looking ahead to improve teacher pedagogy, student engagement and digital access for all. Being a former world class swimmer and coach and looks at education from perspectives that others don’t. Jeff knows what it takes to fail, struggle, win and go through the daily challenges that we all face. Jeff is based in California and can be found at jeffkubiak.com, Twitter at @jeffreykubiak and https://jeffkubiak.blogspot.com/.

connect with author:  website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads

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Jan 25 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
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Feb 12 – KC Beanie Boos Collection – book review

Book Review & Giveaway: Dear Brave Friend by Leigh Ann Gerk

Book Title:  Dear Brave Friend by Leigh Ann Gerk
Category:  Middle-Grade Non-Fiction (8 to 12) ,  49 pages
Genre: Self-Help
Publisher:  Golden Harvest Publishers
Release date:   August 2019
Content Rating:  This non-fiction, self-help book is rated G. Appropriate for all audiences

This gentle and heartwarming story captures the love between a boy and his dog, and the sadness that follows after his cherished dog passes away. Written in the form of a letter from the dog to the boy, the letter shares relatable, real life examples of how the boy (and therefore anybody who has lost a dear pet) may be feeling and suggestions on what he can do to help himself get through this most difficult time. The letter also touches on simple acts of kindness that can follow the reader throughout his or her lifetime. The message in this story is applicable to young and old, girl or boy, and to any family pet that has stolen your heart. Story starters, drawing pages, and a place to add pictures of your own beloved pet are also included in the back of the book.


Buy the Book:
Amazon.com

Add to Goodreads

My Review

Dear Brave Friend is written for middle grade readers to help them deal with the loss of a pet. It shares all of the stages of grief and explains that these feelings are okay. It’s beautifully illustrated and is a great book for anyone of any age who is dealing with losing their pet.

At the end of the book are pages to draw pictures, prompts for writing to your pet, and places to put pictures of your pet with an area to explain the picture. These encourage the reader to deal with their grief by writing about their pet. The book also encourages talking to someone about their feelings.

I definitely recommend Dear Brave Friend for anyone who is grieving the loss of a beloved pet.

About the Author

Leigh Ann Gerk MA, LPC has been in the counseling field for over eleven years. She is certified in Pet Loss & Grief Companioning and the founder and owner of Mourning to Light Pet Loss providing individual and family counseling for anyone grieving the loss of a pet. She currently offers 3 free pet loss support groups in Northern Colorado and is excited to branch out and offer more. Having grown up on a farm, Leigh Ann’s childhood playmates included baby calves, horses, bunnies, dogs, and 32 cats that set up house in a boxcar that also served as her playhouse. This upbringing introduced her, at a very young age, to the human-animal bond and instilled in her a deep understanding of, and love for, this extraordinary relationship. Leigh Ann and her husband, Andy, live in Loveland, Colorado, and are the proud parents of identical twin daughters, Heather and Heidi. Their family is made complete by their first grandchild and their cherished therapy dog, Gracie. Visit Leigh Ann online at MourningToLightPetLoss.com.

connect with the author:  website  ~  facebook  ~  goodreads

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Jan 18 – Nighttime Reading Center – book review / giveaway
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Feb 1 –Books, Tea, Healthy Me – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 1 – Welcome To MLM Opinion’s Reviews  – book review
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Feb 5 – The Pen and Muse Book Reviews  – book review / giveaway
Feb 5 – Because I said so and other adventures in Parenting – book review / giveaway

Book Review: The Secret of Misty Mountain by L. Michelle Bowen

The Secret of Misty Mountain
By L. Michelle Bowen
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

About the Book

When is it right to tell a secret?

When Anne, a young country girl who lives in the beautiful countryside of South Carolina meets Catherine, a pretty and wealthy new girl in town, they become unlikely friends. Everything seems perfect until Catherine confides in Anne a secret too big to keep. When schoolmates learn of her secret, it threatens to tear apart not only her friendship but Catherine’s family as well.

The Secret of Misty Mountain will resonate with anyone who has ever been sworn to secrecy too big for them to bear.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Secret of Misty Mountain is a tale about friendship and keeping secrets. Anne is a girl growing up in the south. During the summer before eighth grade, Anne meets Catherine, a new girl in town and they quickly become best friends.

Anne was brought up by her mother to not judge people by the color of their skin. She told her that you might as well judge people by the color of their eyes. What a sensible woman! So, when Anne meets Catherine’s widowed father, she also meets Virginia who is their black housekeeper. Anne can tell that Virginia is a great substitute for Catherine’s deceased mom, and she immediately considers Virginia a friend.

Then, when school starts, a big secret comes out, and it’s Anne’s fault! Has she just ruined her friendship and Catherine’s family at the same time? The way Anne’s father deals with the secret is perfect. Talk about excellent parenting!

This is a story of secrets too big to keep and the importance of friendship and trusting your friends. I definitely recommend The Secret of Misty Mountain for middle grade readers as well as older readers.

The only thing that I caution about is that the “n” word is used once. It’s used in the context that Catherine is afraid someone is going to call her a vicious name, but only because of the environment we live in right now, I’d be afraid to use it in any context.

Excerpt

“Anne, I need to tell you something. I haven’t told you this because I wasn’t sure how you’d react. The whole reason we moved out of Nashville was because people weren’t ready for what I’m about to tell you. It’s the reason we live in the middle of nowhere. And if you repeat this, I’ll surely die because people just aren’t ready. You hear me, I’ll surely die.”

I was nervous. I had no idea what Catherine was going to say, and I felt a bit sick. “Ok, Catherine. You can tell me. You can tell me anything. You can trust me.”

“Anne, Virginia is family. Actual family. She’s family because she’s…she’s my daddy’s wife.”

Silence. There was no sound to be heard. Absolute silence. I was numb from the top of my head to the soles of my dirty feet. I kept trying to think if I might have heard wrong. If maybe she meant something else. But there were no ways to twist the words. “Virginia is my daddy’s wife.” 

I can’t even imagine how long Catherine and I stared at each other. I kept thinking: Say something, Anne. But no words came.

“Well, are you going to say something?” Catherine asked.

And there it was. I had to say something now.

“Well, I’m not sure what to say. I’ve never known someone married to a colored person before. This is all new to me. You’ve got to give me a second here, Catherine,” I said. My head was spinning. I never really thought I’d have to think about this kind of thing.

About the Author

I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina but I was mostly raised in Greenville, South Carolina. I have a heart for the southeast and all of it’s southern charm. I love the accents, the attitudes and the atmosphere. I was raised between the Great Smoky Mountains and Atlantic Ocean. My childhood consisted of vacations to both. We would climb through the woods and wade the creeks of the mountains and then head to the beach to jump the waves and play at the arcades.

All my life I have been a story teller. Everything I said and did were presented in grandiose fashion and my children were sponges to that. I loved reading books to them (and their friends). I never passed up the opportunity to read to them or tell them about something unique that happened that day, but in story form. One night, while my children were visiting their grandparents for the weekend, I had a very funny dream about a girl who’s mama tricked her one morning to get her out of bed. When I woke up, my first thought was to tell the kids. But they were gone. The story was too funny not to tell them so I began writing it down so I wouldn’t forget.  As I was writing the cute scene, I began to envision the characters more vividly and enjoy their company. When my kids got home, I told them the story and when I finished, my middle child said, “What happened next, mama?” And that was the birth of my first book, The Secret on Top of Misty Mountain. I started pouring myself into knowing more about Anne and Charles and Catherine and falling in love with them and rooting for them throughout their journeys.

In my free time, I like to watch and sing to musicals, have coffee with my daughter, cook and read books. But my favorite thing to do with my free time is to be with my kids!

Links: 

Web: https://www.lmichellebowen.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MBowenAuthor/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MBowenAuthor

Book Review: The Gift of the Quoxxel by Richard Titus

What would you do if you were the monarch of a perfect,
tropical paradise without a care in the world? Well,
King Norr would like to leave, and the sooner, the better.

“Where else but Nibb?” his subjects would contend.
Venturing away from Nibb was heresy and could only
result in misfortune and “haddock.”

Oddly enough, a rash of “haddock” had recently befallen
the sleepy isle making it a veritable hotbed of curious
quandaries. For example —

Had Doctor Hinkus fallen prey to marauding drumbkins?

Whose prank had set the Palace afloat?

What’s a spudcake?

Do pirates bathe?

Did Uncle Fenwad roll into the bay?

Is snoring an art form?

Do Nibbian pigs have a future in aviation?

Were mollusks armed and dangerous?

It’s a “what-happens-next?” armchair adventure for
readers of all ages.

Captain Gadd may be Norr’s ticket off the island, but
it’s not going to be easy. The King isn’t entirely worried,
however. A lifetime of experience tells him most
challenges disappear by simply taking an additional nap.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this book, but what I got was a fantasy that is unique and funny with quirky characters. I read the first edition, which was difficult for me to follow at times because it seemed to go around in circles, but the author sent me the most recent edition, and he has outdone himself. He’s rewritten a lot of it and made it so much easier to read! I had already liked the dialogue, but now it’s even better. I think middle-grade readers especially would get a kick out of it because of the silliness.

My favorite character is Yill. He is quite sarcastic and very funny. The king comes in a close second because he’s very non-kingly and unintentionally funny. In fact, at one point, his wife wonders if she married him for love or for entertainment.

I enjoyed the made-up words (words from Nibb). Some are self-explanatory, such as bloffix, which is a meaningless exclamation. Then there are others that I had to look up in the glossary at the end. One of my favorites was gabthrax: “ailment whereby one talks oneself to death; occurring sometimes in toucans, and more often in politicians.”

The Gift of the Quoxxel is a fun and light-hearted read. I can absolutely recommend the second edition for all ages, but I think middle-grade readers will enjoy the humor the most.

About the Author

The Gift of the Quoxxel is Richard’s debut novel. His life experience includes visual arts, truck driving, camp counseling, verb conjugating, and mastery of an adequate meatloaf.

A Michigan native and parochial school survivor, Richard resides with wife Marina close to, but far enough from New York City. How they ended up there, he’s not really sure.

Website http://www.richard-titus.com
Twitter Quoxxel1

Book Review: The Haunted Stepsister by Medeia Sharif

Sixth grade isn’t easy for Jesenya Moradi, especially since her father’s recent remarriage and tension with her new stepsister, Kammy. After an incident at school that nearly destroyed Kammy’s life, Jess has been desperate to get on Kammy’s good side. But a fateful trip to an allegedly haunted bathroom changes both girls’ lives forever.

The rumors about the bathroom are true, and now Jess is convinced a demon’s possessing Kammy. Eerie things happen whenever she’s around – flying objects, flickering lights, not to mention the fact that something, or someone, is making people into its puppets.

Worse, the demon seems fixated on making Jess confess her part in ruining Kammy’s reputation. Sticking to her Muslim faith, Jess enlists the help of an imam to exorcise the demon from Kammy. But can they get rid of the demon before it destroys her new family? 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Jess and Kammy have been stepsisters for a short time, but they’ve known each other from school for quite a while. There are, of course, emotions that are important for the girls to deal with. That’s what this story is about in part. I think if the author had stuck with that, this could have been an excellent book.

There’s a paranormal side to the story involving a demon in a haunted bathroom possessing one of the stepsisters. That part of the book wasn’t believable and seemed poorly researched. Knowing middle grade readers, many of them would roll their eyes and go on to the next book.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure that the targeted audience would like The Haunted Stepsister, which is too bad because it does teach that lying hurts everyone, especially the liar.

About the Author

I was born in New York City and I presently call Miami my home. I received my master’s degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University. After becoming a voracious reader in high school and a relentless writer dabbling in many genres in college, I found my niche writing for young people. Today I’m a writer for all age levels published through various presses. In addition to being a writer, I’m a public school teacher. My memberships include Mensa and SCBWI.

Website http://www.medeiasharif.com
Twitter medeiasharif

Book Review: The Right Hand Rule by R.M. Clark

Amy, Amanda, Marshall, and Ziggy expect their middle school to be empty on Saturday morning so they can get ready for the regional science fair. They don’t expect a botched experiment to attract a horde of time-displaced ancient Mayans when their unusual science advisor, Frederick Froth, goes missing.

The four must use their unique science skills and work together as they grapple with a Mayan god, the Dark Rift, and the principles of science to rescue Mr. Froth.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Four of the school’s brightest students have been chosen to go to the regional science fair. When they arrive at the school on Saturday to work on their projects, Mr. Froth, the science teacher, is nowhere to be found. He has set up an experiment for them in which they will have to apply all of the skills that they learned from their projects to find him.

The experiment seems to be going well until it doesn’t. The students not only need to use their skills, but they need to learn to work together as a group. That’s not so easy when Amy is not as cooperative as they’d like.

The characters are likeable, even Amy eventually. Ziggy, Amanda, and Marshall work hard to figure out the clues left by Mr. Froth. When things go wrong, they have to depend on the scientific method they learned from Mr. Froth to get the desired conclusion.

Middle grade readers who are interested in science will particularly like The Right Hand Rule. There is scientific information included within the story, as well as information about the Mayans (Mr. Froth’s current interest). And it has an ending that is a surprise!

About the Author

R. M. Clark is a computer scientist for the Dept. of Navy by day and children’s book writer by night. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two sons. He is currently at work on his latest middle grade novel. Visit his author site: http://www.rmclarkauthor.com

Book Review: Fighters, Feared and Fallen by N. D. Richman

Title: Fighters, Feared and Fallen (Boulton Quest Series, Book 3)

Author: N. D. Richman

Publication Date: June 14, 2016

Pages: 210

Recommended Ages: 10+

Thomas is swept into Robert Cain’s web of terror
He’s forced to fight in a child army
Against the most evil of people
And learns the first casualty of war is the truth

“If you can’t trust yourself, Thomas, who can you trust?”

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Fighters, Feared and Fallen, book #3 in the Boulton Quest Series, is a middle grade and young adult book. I read the first 2 books, Brothers, Bullies, and Bad Guys and Sinners, Survivors and Saints quite a while ago, but I remember liking them so I was happy to read Fighters, Feared and Fallen.

Book #3 is mostly about Thomas being abducted along with thousands of other children and taken into the future. They’re taught to fight to save the world…but are they being told the truth? I wondered since they were not treated well if the leaders were being honest. Their excuse was that they needed to harden the kids to be good fighters…but is that true? Thomas definitely learns how to fight and fight well.

I was sad to see that there aren’t any more books in the series. I understand that the author reached his goal by encouraging his children and other youngsters to read, but there are questions that haven’t been answered!

About the Author

I started to write for my son, a reluctant reader. I set out to write a series of books that captivated from the first chapter and pushed the reader through with a solid plot, relentless action and adventure, and humour.

Comments received from parents and teachers indicate I’ve accomplished my goal. I’m very proud of the Boulton Quest Series. It has captivated the hearts of reluctant readers around the world, boys and girls alike, and is entertaining their brothers, sisters, parents, and grandparents.

Camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, and getting into trouble:  What a great way to grow up!  One of my favourite memories is sitting on the handlebars of my brother’s bike, my dog on my lap, as he careened down the steep mountain trails above our home in Kamloops, BC. My brother and I had caves, tree forts, frog filled ponds, and cactus patches to play in, and sling shots for protection. Somehow I survived my childhood and proudly moved on to fatherhood. My children, Christopher, Michael, Thomas, and Katherine, kindly donated their names, characters, and ideas to the Boulton Quest series of books.

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