MMGM & giveaway-UNDER THE EGG by Laura M. Fitzgerald



First up:

WINNER OF CHASING THE MILKY WAY by Erin Moulton is….Greg Partridge!

During Middle Grade March I read UNDER THE EGG by Laura M. Fitzgerald. Even as I prepare this post it is a book I want to read it again. It is, in many ways, a survival story, the kind of survival story I loved reading as a child and into my teens. It is also full of mystery and history and new friendships. A great choice for the eclectic young read in your life…and you!

Naturally I am all about sharing the love via giveaway. First, though, more about the book.

undertheeggWhen Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing alcohol on her late grandfather’s painting, she discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance masterpiece underneath. That’s great news for Theo, who’s struggling to hang onto her family’s two-hundred-year-old townhouse and support her unstable mother on her grandfather’s legacy of $463. There’s just one problem: Theo’s grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the painting may be stolen.

With the help of some unusual new friends, Theo’s search for answers takes her all around Manhattan, and introduces her to a side of the city—and her grandfather—that she never knew. To solve the mystery, she’ll have to abandon her hard-won self-reliance and build a community, one serendipitous friendship at a time.

Enter the giveaway just by commenting! Draw next Monday. And speaking of draws, just walking the grand-daughter to school then back to do the draw for last week. Ta fro now and enjoy all your other MMGM reading links from Shannon Messenger.

Ninja Librarians Recon Team Week 4-What is your choice of animal to take on an adventure?

NinjaLibBlogBadge-216x334This weeks question is what animal would you take with you on an adventure?

I would take two. My dogs. Kanga the Little who would bark warnings as required and Buddah the Big who, with one bark, could scare away anyone with no good plans up their sleeves. As an aside….Buddah would have to bring one of his stuffies. He loves his stuffies! Chews on them. Kanga likes stuffies, too. She barks at them.

April 14 is just about here and there is now a site for the book! Until next week all.



MMGM with CHASING THE MILKY WAY by Erin E. Moulton w/giveaway

Erin E. Moulton joined me for Middle Grade March and one of the things that I didn’t ask her was what did she hope those reading CHASING THE MILKY WAY would take away from it. She is here today to answer that very question. First, a little bit about the book from Goodreads:

18371361In a book that pairs science with mental illness, and heart with adventure, Erin E. Moulton delivers a moving story about family, friendship and the lengths we go for the people we love.

Lucy Peevy has a dream–to get out of the trailer park she lives in and become a famous scientist. And she’s already figured out how to do that: Build a robot that will win a cash prize at the BotBlock competition and save it for college. But when you’ve got a mama who doesn’t always take her meds, it’s not easy to achieve those goals. Especially when Lucy’s mama takes her, her baby sister Izzy, and their neighbor Cam away in her convertible, bound for parts unknown. But Lucy, Izzy and Cam are good at sticking together, and even better at solving problems. But not all problems have the best solutions, and Lucy and Izzy must face the one thing they’re scared of even more than Mama’s moods: living without her at all.

And now…take it away Erin!

What I Hope Readers Can Learn From CHASING THE MILKY WAY

A lot goes on in CHASING THE MILKY WAY. One element of the book centers around Lucy and Mama’s relationship as Mama struggles with a mixed diagnosis of Bipolar/Schizo-Affective disorder. I am not sure I can accomplish what I set out to accomplish, but at least in a small way, I would love if my book was used as a jumping off point to discuss mental illness, how it is depicted in our stories and our media, and what it means in reality. One of the things I ruminate on is perception vs. reality.  And in the case of mental illness there seems to be a large divide. Mental Illness is an extremely broad term and it is used thus in our media and stories regularly in conjunction with violence. Alternatively, we rarely give room in our our media and other outlets for non-vioent mental illness stories. When this happens, it creates a stigma. Stigma means a stain or discredit of a group of people. When people are stigmatized they are marginalized, ostracized. They have a smaller if nonexistant voice in our cultural stories. I find this to be a major problem when, in fact, 1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime. If you were afflicted by a mental illness such as depression, bipolar, schizophrenia etc, would you want to talk about it given its regular connection to violence? We all experience symptoms of mental illness, and yet we shy away from speaking of it. I hope that if we make more stories surrounding mental illness, perhaps people will share their own stories more confidently. Perhaps we can peel away Perception and come face to face with People. Perhaps we can see others, not as labels, but as individuals.  Perhaps narrative can help build accurate perceptions (reading and writing are empathetic endeavors, afterall), and if perceptions change, more people will discuss, less people will be stigmatized, more people might seek treatment and have the chance to reclaim their lives.

Like I said. It’s just a small story, but maybe it is a starting point for discussion. I also hope that the resources in the back of the book are useful(they are not in the ARC, but will be in the hardcover).  And once the book is out we will have a teacher’s guide to help classroom discussions of the novel.


Not just a small story, Erin. An important one and I have met and have worked with many a child who has a parent who suffers from mental illness. I’ve also experience what it is like to be booktalking a book on a serious issue and have a child come up who really wants it because they have been through what the MC has been through, or has a friend who has. Those are darn powerful moments.

4890834Erin E. Moulton graduated with an MFA in Writing for Children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of Flutter: The Story of Four Sisters and One Incredible Journey(Philomel/Penguin 2011), and Tracing Stars(Philomel/Penguin 2012). Erin is co-founder of the Kinship Writers Association. She lives in Southern New Hampshire with her husband and puppies where she writes, reads, drinks tea and dreams. You can visit her online at or on Facebook as Erin E. Moulton (Author), or connect on twitter @erinemoulton (from Goodreads)


I still have giveaway fever from Middle Grade March. I love, love being able to share the books I have read and loved and consider myself blessed to be able to do giveaways. SO–leave a comment and next Monday I will do a draw for a pre-order of CHASING THE MILKY WAY (tbr this June). (BTW–draw will be done in B.C. where I will soon be holding my new grandson!!!) Enjoy the week all and do head back to Shannon Messenger’s for more MMGM love!


Ninja Librarians Recon-Week # 3-10 scenes or places you’d love to experience?

The countdown continues for:


This week we are naming 10 scenes from a book you’d want to experience (with which book) and or list some exotic vacations. I have a combo thing going on

  1. Scene:Harry’s first train trip to Hogworts, meeting Ron and Hermione
  2. Vacation: Hogwarts-sleepover!
  3. Vacation:The library in Lirael by Garth Nix
  4. Vacation:Narnia
  5. Vacation: Camelot
  6. Vacation:The Treehouse from Magic Treehouse series
  7. Vacation: Museum of Modern Art with Claudia and Jamie from  From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
  8. Scene: The dog party on the top of the tree in Go Dog Go!
  9. Vacation: Bag End (if Bilbo will have me)-The Hobbit
  10. Vacation: Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Facotry-Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

That is it from me. What about you? Have a place or scene or two you would love to be a part of or visit?

MMGM and Saying Goodbye to MiddleGrade March

Well, we are coming to a close over on Middle Grade March and man oh man I had a blast. It was great being able to do it with someone, that someone being Akoss.  And I loved being able to talk with and get to know some of the authors who make my job such a joy. I get to read their books and then talk about them to kids. There is nothing quite like putting books into young readers hands.

And I have read and fallen in love with a number of books that I bought whilst hanging out on twitter, reading reviews etc….including AVA & PIP by Carol Weston. My gosh, Ava is a wonderful kid character who I think kids will relate to. She is trying to find her place in a family she feels invisible in because all attention, especially her mothers, seems to be reserved for her older sister, Pip.  It is one I highly recommend you check out and read. If you write middle grade you will be amazed how the author weaves her story and relates all aspects of her story back to Ava and her journey. Really well done.

From Goodreads:

17845805Outgoing Ava loves her older sister, Pip, but can’t understand why Pip is so reserved and never seems to make friends with others. When Ava uses her writing talents to help her sister overcome her shyness, both girls learn the impact their words and stories can have on the world around them.

Author Website (I will be reading more of her work that is for sure)


AND…I am happy to say there is going to be a Middle Grade May!

I did one last year and was thinking about doing it again this year but was not sure if I would have the time needed…so was happy, happy to that The Book Cellar is planning one.

Hope you can join her and hope you head over to Middle Grade March, lots still happening over the next two days.

Ninja Librarian Recon: What would you take out of a book if you could? #BeANinja

ninjaThis is week two of the THE NINJA LIBRARIANS: THE ACCIDENTAL KEYHAND blog tour, Team Ninja!  Our assignment is:

Name 10 items that you would take from a book if you could (and the book you took them from!)  And let us know what you’d do with those items!



Here are mine.

  1. Invisibility Cloak from Harry Potter-hide those who are in need of hiding
  2. Ability to fly from The Boy Who Could Fly-Fly people away from danger on the spur of the moment
  3. Pandora’s Book from The Book of Secrets-I would chat with various famous people from history-get tips on how to improve the current state of the world.
  4. Raspberry Cordial from Anne of Greene Gables-calm nerves after a busy day of Ninja Librarian-ing
  5. Apple Pie from The 14 Fibs of Gregory K-eat it, actually I would take the whole restaurant from the book, feed everyone
  6. Treehouse/shelter from My Side of the Mountain-use as getaway for those in need, could also fly them there (see # 1)
  7. Mary Poppins Bag-could fit some serious getaway materials in there, including everything needed for mountain treehouse (see #6)
  8. The “e” from Anne of Green Gable’s name so I can add it to my middle name. You see, my middle name is Ann. Yes. Ann with no E!
  9. Sherlock Holme’s pipe and violin-get in the zone so I could solve mysteries.
  10. The Car from Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang-use when I get tired from flying!

What about all of you? What would you take from a book if you could?

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday-The Shadow Throne and Book of Secrets

17667561Greetings all. It’s been a busy (and fun!) week over on Middle Grade March.Feel quite blessed to have gotten to know the authors who have joined us over there. There is still many a giveaway over there and time to enter! Just check out the sidebar. The latest giveaway is for the third book in one of my all time favourite series to recommend, The Ascendence Trilogy.  Love the richness of the world, the plot…the characters. Now, when I tell kids about it I can hand over all three books! Gotta love it.


Not only that, I had the pleasure of being interviewed on Smack Dab in the Middle . She let me share my passion for my library and the job I do!

Speaking of Middle Grade March, next Saturday I have an interview with Erin Fry, who wrote Losing It, one of my favourite reads from last year. I am currently reading her latest, Secrets of the Book. My gosh, what a fun read. Wanted to jump into the book my ownself and join the adventure. Here’s a little bit more about that from Goodreads:

18308645 (1)Sixth grader Spencer Lemon has a degenerative eye disease—and he’s rapidly losing his eyesight. So he has no idea why he was chosen to guard Pandora’s Book. When Ed, the old guy at the nursing home, hands over the book, he doesn’t get a chance to explain any of the rules to Spencer. Spencer only knows that the book contains famous dead people—people who can be brought back to life. Spencer and his autistic best friend, Gregor, soon figure out how to get people out of the book, but not how to get them back in. Then Ed disappears, and a strange man shows up on Spencer’s doorstep—and he seems to know a lot about Spencer and about Pandora’s Book. Is he one of the bad guys? Or is here to help Spencer unravel the secrets of the book? But there are others interested in Pandora’s Book, others who might use its powers to take over the world. And it’s up to Spencer, along with Gregor and Ed’s mysterious (and cute) granddaughter Mel, to protect the book—and save the world.

That is it from me. Tomorrow I will be back with some more NINJA LIBRARIANS shenanigans! Happy MMGM and don’t forget to head back to Shannon Messenger’s for more links!

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with some Ninja Librarian action

MMGM2Greetings fellow Marvelous Middle Grade Monday  posters!

This April Author Jen Swann Downey’s book,  THE NINJA LIBRARIANS, is being released from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. You can out more about Jen on her website and blog.

Jen Swann Downey2

Jen Swann Downey

As for her book, it is my pleasure to announce that I am part of The Ninja Librarian Recon Team. This is particularly fun for me because I am already a fan of the book and yes…I want to add ninja to my list of skills. When I got the invite to join you can bet I was all over it!


Check out this cover:


This booktrailer:

And as if that is not enough we are sharing the first chapter of The Ninja Librarians: Accidental Keyhand.

I can tell you now that I love this opening (well, the whole book that I was fortunate enough to read via NetGalley).  Fun stuff. Here it is for your reading pleasure. Click on the link below and happy reading!



Back next week more and eventually some prizes that are all NINJA LIBRARIAN related.


Now, if you are looking for something to buy or borrow from the library I can highly recommend you read J. Duddy Gill’s book THE SECRET OF FERRELL SAVAGE. Read and loved it a couple of weeks ago.

It is quirky, unique and one I am looking forward to sharing with young readers. And as a writer of middle grade, I really admire how this book was crafted.

For more about the book, an interview with the author and her agent, Wendy Schmalz, AND…

…a chance to win a copy you can head over to MIDDLE GRADE MARCHmiddlegrademarchbutton

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with some Marvelous Middle Grade March

Hi everyone! This month I will hanging out at Middle Grade March for a month long celebration of middle grade books, interviews and giveaways. Hope you can make your way over there. Today we have Holly Schindler on the blog and she’s offered a copy of THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY to giveaway! Loved that book, oh yes I did. The characters shone, the setting was perfect and the plot and wonderings it gave me had me turning the pages. My heart belongs to Auggie. What. a. kid!

Looking forward to hanging out at Shannon Messenger’s (our MMGM Mom!) throughout the day so I can see what you all are recommending.