The Unforgettable Logan Foster by Shawn Peters

 




Packed with superheroes, supervillains, and epic showdowns between good and evil, The Unforgettable Logan Foster from debut author Shawn Peter shows that sometimes being a hero is just about being yourself.

 

Logan Foster has pretty much given up on the idea of ever being adopted. It could have something to with his awkward manner, his photographic memory, or his affection for reciting curious facts, but whatever the cause, Logan and his “PP’s” (prospective parents) have never clicked. 

 

Then everything changes when Gil and Margie arrive. Although they aren’t exactly perfect themselves—Gil has the punniest sense of humor and Margie’s cooking would have anyone running for the hills—they genuinely seem to care.

 

But it doesn’t take Logan long to notice some very odd things about them. They are out at all hours, they never seem to eat, and there’s a part of the house that is protected by some pretty elaborate security.

 

No matter what Logan could have imagined, nothing prepared him for the truth: His PP’s are actually superheroes, and they’re being hunted down by dastardly forces. Logan’s found himself caught in the middle in a massive battle and the very fate of the world may hang in the balance. Will Logan be able to find a way to save the day and his new family?




Shawn Peters has spent more than two decades writing professionally for television and advertising. Married and a father of two kids, Shawn is by his own description a suburban-dad trope-fest. He enjoys coaching his kid’s teams, playing old-dude softball, and comparing IPAs with other dads. In his spare time, Shawn makes ultra-nerdy Dungeons and Dragons puns on Twitter under the handle @DnDadJokes. 














Riley's Ghost - John David Anderson book blog tour

 


OUT NOW! 

ABOUT THE BOOK


 

From the author of Posted comes a ghost story pulled from the darkest shadows of middle school—and a tale of one girl’s attempt to survive them.

Riley Flynn is alone.

It feels like she’s been on her own since sixth grade, when her best friend, Emily, ditched her for the cool girls. Girls who don’t like Riley. Girls who, on this particular day, decide to lock her in the science closet after hours, after everyone else has gone home.

When Riley is finally able to escape, however, she finds that her horror story is only just beginning. All the school doors are locked, the windows won’t budge, the phones are dead, and the lights aren’t working. Through halls lit only by the narrow beam of her flashlight, Riley roams the building, seeking a way out, an answer, an explanation. And as she does, she starts to suspect she isn’t alone after all.

While she’s always liked a good scary story, Riley knows there is no such thing as ghosts. But what else could explain the things happening in the school, the haunting force that seems to lurk in every shadow, around every corner? As she tries to find answers, she starts reliving moments that brought her to this night.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



John David Anderson is the author of many highly acclaimed books for kids, including the New York Times Notable Book Ms. Bixby’s Last DayPostedGrantedOne Last Shot, and Stowaway. A dedicated root beer connoisseur and chocolate fiend, he lives with his wonderful wife, two frawesome kids, and clumsy cat, Smudge, in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can visit him online at www.johndavidanderson.org.

 

Tour Stops

 

January 10 Nerdy Book Club @Nerdy Book Club

January 12 A Nerdy Bibliophile in Wanderlust @bethshaum

January 13 Teachers Who Read @teachers_read

January 14 A Library Mama @alibrarymama

January 15 Maria's Mélange @selkeslair

January 18 Lit Coach Lou @litcoachlou



As I walk around the halls of our middle school on a daily basis I hear the whispers and see the emotions across faces - emotions filled with fear, anger, sadness. The stillness in looking for someone they might know or could feel elated to see, but a lot of time there's a loneliness to the hallways. Students who don't feel like they belong, or who are forcing themselves to belong - not always making the wisest decisions on who they spend their time with. 

I dug into Riley's Ghost without realizing how obvious the connection to real life middle school truly was. Fear. It lives within the students on a day in and day out basis, and Riley's Ghost is a story that every single kid I teach could relate to. 

I appreciated the complete honesty throughout this story that Anderson has written - he has such a way of connecting with middle school readers. I know the flashbacks may be harder for a younger group to follow along with, which could. make this for a good read aloud/discussion, but when it comes to 5th and up - I highly recommend. 

There's a little bit of Riley in all of us, and I think sometimes facing those fears, the things you don't believe in until they're in your face, help us grow in ways we never thought possible. 










How to Catch...series

 

We love the How to Catch series! This books are the perfect winter gift! There's even a board book for your youngest readers. 

After my three kids spent three hours designing and building an elaborate elf trap, it dawned on me that this was a perfection series to use in collaboration with our STEAM teacher. I'm excited to see what lessons we create together! 


How to Catch a Snowman by Adam Wallace

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling How to Catch series comes a new winter adventure!

Our heroes’ entry for the snowman contest has magically come to life--and ran away! Can YOU help catch it? Get ready for snow much fun as you travel through a winter wonderland with running, skating, and bouncing through trap after trap to catch the snowman and claim the winning prize. Will the snowman teach our heroes a lesson they’ll never forget? Who snows!

I don’t thumpity-thump or give warm hugs--that’s for my snowman friends to do.
Clever kids will try to trap me, but who will catch me...YOU?


How to Catch an Elf by Adam Wallace

“With delightful rhymes, How to Catch an Elf slots itself into place along such classics as ‘The Night Before Christmas.’”—Foreword Reviews

It’s Christmas Eve and an elf is on the loose… in YOUR house! Do you have what it takes to catch him? Follow along in this fun holiday story as a mischievous elf causes chaos Christmas Eve! Filled with zany traps, vibrant illustrations, STEAM concepts, and even Santa Claus himself, this Christmas picture book for kids is guaranteed to become a new holiday tradition!

The perfect elf book for kids, funny stocking stuffer or Christmas gift for ages 4-10, this festive read aloud is loved by children, parents, and educators alike.

Some kids have tried to catch him, but Santa’s fast, you see!
So they’ve set their eyes on a smaller prize, and now they’re after me!

 

How to Catch a Yeti by Adam Wallace

When our brilliant Catch Club Kids hear about the legendary Yeti, they head to the mountains to catch a glimpse and prove it really exists! Full of hilarious high jinks, bright illustrations, and clever STEM traps, this funny picture book for kids is a fun-filled ride you won’t want to miss! Will our Catch Club Kids prove the Yeti exists, or will he remain a mystery to the world?

We’ve all heard unexplained tales of the Yeti, Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and more... do YOU have what it takes to catch one? Find out in this action-packed story for children, the perfect read aloud all winter, as a Christmas gift for kids, for classroom activities, and beyond! This fun-filled winter book is a perfect stocking stuffer, white elephant gift for kids, or Christmas gift for ages 4-10!

Legend has it there lives a beast we really want to meet.
He’s extra huge with snow-white fur and giant, fuzzy feet!

I know the Yeti does exist, and I can prove it too!
And with my friends, we’ll find him fast before the day is through!

 

My First How to Catch Santa Claus by Adam Wallace

Experience the magic of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling How to Catch Brand for a younger audience in this sweet Christmas board book for kids!

It’s Christmas Eve, one of the most magical nights of the year, and one child has a wish: to catch Santa as he delivers gifts so he can hug him tight! Brimming with sweet rhymes and adorable art, this new holiday story will delight readers as they follow the child and his cat and puppy friends in building playful lures and simple traps for the winter legend himself!

Filled with sweets, presents, toys, and lots of Christmas spirit, this holiday treat makes a perfect addition to any Christmas stocking stuffer, gift book for babies and toddlers, or a festive and heartwarming holiday read aloud for ages 0-3!

It’s Christmas Eve and it’s my one and only night

To catch Santa in my house and hug him really tight.




Special thanks to Sourcebooks!

Lilliam Rivera's WE LIGHT UP THE SKY - New YA Release

*AffLink Click above to purchase! 

Lilliam is a true genre bender and SF nerd – and while she’ll always call the Bronx her first home, we’re excited to help launch her first book set in her adopted home of Los Angeles, as well as her first sci-fi novel: an alien invasion set from the point of view of three Latinx teens. You can read more of Lilliam’s thoughts behind WE LIGHT UP THE SKY in her first look cover reveal with EW, where she describes the book’s genesis:

 

“This book actually came to be because one day I stepped outside my home to see this launch, I think it was for Space X, where some sort of rocket was going to fly around L.A. like two or three years ago. Elon Musk was out there doing something. I was trying to figure out the best place to view it from when I saw these young kids who told me I had just missed it but they'd captured it on their phones. Their excitement showing me their photos really captivated me. It led me to wonder what it would be like for these young kids to really experience an alien invasion.”




Should you save a world that doesn't want to save you?
Award-winning author Lilliam Rivera explores the haunting story of an alien invasion from the perspective of three Latinx teens.

Pedro, Luna, and Rafa may attend Fairfax High School together in Los Angeles, but they run in separate spheres. Pedro is often told that he's “too much” and seeks refuge from his home life in a local drag bar. Luna is pretending to go along with the popular crowd but is still grieving the unexpected passing of her beloved cousin Tasha. Then there's Rafa, the quiet new kid who is hiding the fact that his family is homeless.

But Pedro, Luna, and Rafa find themselves thrown together when an extraterrestrial visitor lands in their city and takes the form of Luna's cousin Tasha. As the Visitor causes destruction wherever it goes, the three teens struggle to survive and warn others of what's coming--because this Visitor is only the first of many. But who is their true enemy--this alien, or their fellow humans?

Pura Belpré Honor-winning author Lilliam Rivera examines the days before a War of the Worlds-inspired alien invasion in this captivating and chilling new novel.















Enchanted Misadventures with Great-Aunt Poppy - Review

 

Spooky recommendation for this 2021 year! 


*AffLink support when purchased!

A typical December for the Alexanders consists of gingerbread baking, movies, and looking at Christmas lights, but after their parents are called in to work, Ava, Nolan, and Charlotte are sent to stay with their most feared relative for a week-Great-Aunt Poppy. Have mom and dad gone mad?    
                                                                                                                                               
Of course, the children are terrified. Who wouldn't be? No one believes them when they say that Poppy-or Groppy as they call her-is a witch. If the haunted house isn't bad enough, there are thousands of crazy cats, chaotic and deadly spells, and even worse-frightening howls from the woods that grow louder and closer every second. Something deadly lurks outside. Staying alive while living with Groppy for an entire week is-well-impossible!                                                         
In order to survive the holiday, it will take all the bravery and wit the kids can muster. But who knows? Things aren't always what they seem! The best holiday surprise this Christmas might be hiding in the most unlikely place imagined!

Spooky is the genre of the year I feel like and sometimes kids think they're ready for scary, spooky, suspense;  but in reality they don't want it that scary - this is the BEST recommendation for those kiddos! This was the right amount of spooky-esque and so well written that kids are going to buy in big time. Ava, Nolan, and Charlotte are just like all kids their age. They're about to go stay with a great-aunt they hardly know and not looking forward to this moment whatsoever. Everything their "Groppy" tells them not to do... they do. Ending and resulting in amazing adventures along the way. Of course with disagreements and disobedience comes getting into a little bit of trouble, but throughout all of that they learn how to be together, work together, and use teamwork. 

Magic
Mayhem
Mystical Creatures
The magical creation that is perfect for the holiday season, but slightly eerie.. only in a slightly way. 

These are a few of my favorite reviews I read on Goodreads! 




Profile Image for Laurie Evans.

Wouldn’t you just love to spend Christmas in a haunted house with a real witch? Well, the Alexander children are about to do just that! Ava is the oldest of the three siblings and is the only one who has ever met Great-Aunt Poppy. After meeting her she nicknamed her Great-Aunt Groppy because she dressed and looked like a Groppy. Nolan and Charlotte, Ava’s younger siblings, thought that Ava was just exaggerating… that is until they actually met her themselves. (Insert creepy music here)!

Would you stay with a witch for a week?
Great-Aunt “Groppy” sure dressed the part of a witch with her all black clothes, purple and green striped socks, and big moles on her face that you could see for miles. And her house? Oh yeah, it fit the part to with spider webs in every crook and cranny, paint peeling, and shutters hanging on by just a nail. And did I mention the cats? Black cats with yellow beady eyes? It seemed like there were hundreds and hundreds of them. Not to mention the owls on the wallpaper that seemed to watch you wherever you went. And the blood-curdling howls that came from the woods that surrounded the house. Oh my!!
Forget a week! Would you stay even one night???
The Alexander children didn’t have a choice. Their parents were both doctors and the week before Christmas was horrible at the hospital with all kinds of sickness. The Alexander children would have to spend Christmas in a haunted house with a witch and hundreds of black cats. Could things get even worse? Oh yes, especially when Groppy tells them “Don’t go up the stairs!” Wait, what?
Insert here the magic, mayhem, and monsters part!
When Nolen wakes up on the first night to find a cat at his window, he doesn’t think anything about it, that is until he lets it in and he starts talking to him. Meet Merlin, the talking black cat! He very quickly lets Nolan know about a magic room that has a cauldron full of a wishing spell and he can get whatever food he wishes for (Nolan is a very picky eater and couldn’t eat what Groppy served for dinner). Nolan slides the doorknob on the red door from the left to the right and… voilà, the most perfect grilled cheese sandwich Nolan had ever seen.

Who wouldn’t want a magic spell to wish for anything you want?
The Alexander children find out very quickly that it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. If you do not word your wishes in just the right way, bad things can happen… and boy do some bad things happen! What do you think is going to happen when Great-Aunt Groppy find out about what they have done? And what about the werewolf that is roaming through the woods at night? Did I forget to mention that? Well, if you want to know what happens you are just going to have to check it out for yourself! Don’t miss this one!!

Want to know why I love this book so much?

This book just blew my mind with how amazing it is!! It starts right off the bat full of suspense when the kids first pull in in Great-Aunt Groppy’s driveway and it doesn’t let up until the very end! Throw in some humor from Nolan ("Just bury me outside by the shed and on my tombstone write the words: Here lies our favorite child. We should have fed him pizza and let him stay at home.") and some sassiness from Merlin (“Well, there is no need to get snippy,” the cat hissed back. “You only asked if I had a name. You didn’t ask what it was.”) and you’ve got yourself a fantastic book!!

This book has just the right amount of scariness and suspense to keep any reader reading way past their bedtime! I loved every minute of it and it only keeps getting better the more you read. I could not put it down! As a matter of fact, when I finished I sent a message to Hallie and told her that I had to have a book two of the Alexander kids and Great-Aunt Groppy (and she assured me there would be one - yay!!) I will be ordering several of these for my library because once I book talk this one, they will fly off the shelves!!
This book just blew my mind with how amazing it is!! It starts right off the bat full of suspense when the kids first pull in in Great-Aunt Groppy’s driveway and it doesn’t let up until the very end! Throw in some humor from Nolan ("Just bury me outside by the shed and on my tombstone write the words: Here lies our favorite child. We should have fed him pizza and let him stay at home.") and some sassiness from Merlin (“Well, there is no need to get snippy,” the cat hissed back. “You only asked if I had a name. You didn’t ask what it was.”) and you’ve got yourself a fantastic book!!

This book has just the right amount of scariness and suspense to keep any reader reading way past their bedtime! I loved every minute of it and it only keeps getting better the more you read. I could not put it down! As a matter of fact, when I finished I sent a message to Hallie and told her that I had to have a book two of the Alexander kids and Great-Aunt Groppy (and she assured me there would be one - yay!!) I will be ordering several of these for my library because once I book talk this one, they will fly off the shelves!!







September + October MUST have library additions!

 Reading Round-Up! 

Must have books for your middle grade classroom! 


Partly Cloudy by Tanita S. Davis 
On sale 9/7/21, Katherine Tegen Books 
Ages: 8-12 MG



Review: Partly Cloudy by Tanita S. Davis gives keen insight into the many microaggressions white people enact against Black people without a thought on their impact. Because of a terrible sixth grade year at school, and a few changes in the family situation, Madalyn begins to live with her great uncle Papa Lobo during the week. She attends a new school becoming the only Black student in her grade. While she makes new friends, one begins to say and do things that make Madalyn uncomfortable and Madalyn must decide how to have the uncomfortable conversation about race.

Teaching Points: Finding your voice, changing friendship, relatable fears and insecurities for middle grade kids, courage, discussing middle school struggles 

 

Looking for a Jumbie by Tracey Baptiste 

Illustrator: Amber Ren

On sale 9/21/21, Balzer + Bray

Ages: 4-8 PICTURE




Review: The best introduction to Jumbies (Caribbean mythical creatures) and all of the mystery they hold. All about believing in the unknown and not being afraid to push forward to find what you are looking for. Plus, the illustrations are gorgeous! 

Teaching Points: Courage, Caribbean folklore, spooky 

 

Major Makes History: From the Shelter to the White House by Jill Twiss (author of A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo)

Illustrator: Maribel Lechuga

On sale 9/28/21, Harper Collins

Ages: 4-8 PICTURE




Review: A feel good story from Major's perspective about how he was saved, but also how he saved President Biden.  

Teaching Points: Dogs POV, adopting animals, background info on Presidents and adopting dogs 

 

A Hundred Thousand Welcomes by Mary Lee Donovan

Illustrator: Lian Cho 

On sale 10/12/21, Greenwillow Books

Ages: 4-8 PICTURE




Review:  I love a story that shares insight into how other parts of the world live - in A Hundred Thousand Welcomes we are being welcomed from all over with compassion - and students need to see that. 

Teaching Points: Family, friendship, empathy, and welcoming others! 

 

THE MERMAID QUEEN book 4 in the Witches of Orkney middle grade fantasy series by Alane Adams

On Sale 10/12/21, SparkPress

Ages: 8-12 MG




Review:  Living in a household where my husband holds his standards high when it comes to Norse Mythology - I found him more engaged in discussions with this story as I discussed appearances of Thor, Odin, and Loki in this 4th installment to the Witches or Orkney. For students who are heavily influenced by historical events and fantasy based storytelling - this series is right up their alley! 

Teaching Points: Loyalty, commitment, girl power, very fantasy based, a part of a series. 


 

Keeping It Real by Paula Chase 

On sale 10/19/21, Greenwillow Books

Ages: 8-12 MG





Review: Mari and her best friend Justice are both go-getters who come from different sides of the tracks. Mari's family owns a business, Flexx Unlimited, which leaves Mari set for life; whereas, with Justice the only way he's going to make it out after they graduate is through scholarships and opportunities. Which when one arises at Flexx, an internship, Mari finds herself wanting to be doing something as well this summer since all of her friends seem to be working. Mari finds a way to get into her parents business to help out, but they are insistent she WORK - it won't be fun or all sunshine and rainbows just because of who she is. The other interns aren't thrilled with the work they've been given at first, but as time goes on some start to open up to the ideas of what they are doing. The only problem is, one girl, Kara, does not have a soft spot for Mari at all - then a big family secret drops that might change Mari's whole life trajectory.. or does it?


Teaching Points: Friendship, family, honesty, growing up - challenges/pains, very engaging for middle grade students