Thursday, October 29, 2020

Pine Island Home

 



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a print copy of the book *US only* to a randomly drawn winner via the Rafflecopter at the end of the post. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Four sisters search for true family in this story of resilience by a Newbery Honor author.

When the McCready sisters' parents are washed away in a tsunami, their Great Aunt Martha volunteers to have them live with her on her farm in British Columbia. But while they are traveling there, Martha dies unexpectedly, forcing Fiona, the eldest, to come up with a scheme to keep social services from separating the girls - a scheme that will only work if no one knows they are living on their own.

Fiona approaches their grouchy and indifferent neighbor Al and asks if he will pretend to be their live-in legal guardian should papers need to be signed or if anyone comes snooping around. He reluctantly agrees, under the condition that they bring him dinner every night.

As weeks pass, Fiona takes on more and more adult responsibilities, while each of the younger girls finds their own special role in their atypical family - But even if things seem to be falling into place, Fiona is sure it's only a matter of time before they are caught.

Written in Polly Horvath's inimitable style, gentle humor and tough obstacles are woven throughout this story about the bonds of sisterhood and what makes a family.

Read an Excerpt:

THE McCready sisters, Fiona, fourteen, Marlin, twelve, Natasha, ten, and Charlie, eight, were raised in a missionary family. They had been happily and safely moving from pillar to post all over the world when their parents, taking their first vacation ever, having come into a small sum of money from an aging uncle who “felt it strongly” that they had never had a honeymoon, invited them to Thailand, where he ran a small hotel. The three of them and the hotel were swept away in a tsunami. The four girls were, at the time, living in Borneo, in a small cottage far back in the jungle without benefit of internet or phone service, being seen after by a visiting church volunteer who couldn’t continue to take care of them as she had other plans. So the church had a Mrs. Weatherspoon from Australia come to stay with them until someone in their family could step forward. That took a year.

Mrs. Weatherspoon sent out appeals to all the relatives she and the girls could find except for a great- aunt, Martha McCready, who lived off the coast of British Columbia. The girls’ mother, when opening Martha’s annual Christmas card, called her “that peculiar woman hiding in the woods.” Mrs. Weatherspoon said they would save her as a last resort. But surely someone more suitable would respond first. There were aunts and uncles in Tampa, Florida; Lansing, Michigan; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Kingsport, Tennessee. That was the lot. It took a while for the responses to Mrs. Weatherspoon’s appeal to trickle in. The mail pickup and delivery in the jungle was unreliable and slow. After receiving the appeal, the relatives then had to think about it. These were their sister’s or brother’s children, it was true. But there were four of them. Fitting four children into an already- established household was no small matter. Some of them wrote to ask Mrs. Weatherspoon to write them if no one else had come forward. When Mrs. Weatherspoon did, they had to think about it all over again. This took time. And none of them had met the McCready children. Mr. and Mrs. McCready had become estranged from their brothers and sisters many years before when they had made what the siblings considered a “very weird choice,” joining a church that none of them had heard of and of which, for some reason never explained to the girls, they all disapproved.

About the Author:
Polly Horvath has written many books for children including Everything on a Waffle, a Newbery Honor Book; The Canning Season, a National Book Award winner; and The Trolls, a National Book Award finalist. She lives in British Columbia with her family. Visit her at www.PollyHorvath.com.

Website: http://www.PollyHorvath.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Polly-Horvath/e/B001IU4S6S/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Buy Links:

Publisher: https://holidayhouse.com/book/pine-island-home/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Pine-Island-Home-Polly-Horvath-ebook/dp/B082S1VSJZ/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pine-island-home-polly-horvath/1135275323

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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Merlin and Raj and the Drones of Sleepy Hollow

 



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. D.G. Priya will award a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter. Please click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Mom's Choice Gold Award Winner
"...the more conceptual discussion of algorithms is well done, and the story is satisfying and emotionally resonant." -- Kirkus Reviews

My name is Merlin Raj and I live in Sleepy Hollow. Legend has it that a Headless Horseman haunts the town. Usually, I only have to worry about helping my boy, Matthew, to walk at school. But during the spookiest time of year, we’ll tackle the scariest creature of all—big brother.

Boo!

Will learning conditional logic save this family’s Halloween from certain doom?

Appealing to readers of all ages, Merlin Raj and the Drones of Sleepy Hollow is an ILLUSTRATED chapter-book. From artists to astronauts, the jobs of the future will deal with computers. But do kids want to read a coding book? Not as much as dog stories.

With a Computer Science degree and a passion for preparing kids for the future, author D. G. Priya blends technology with animal stories to stimulate a desire to read.Each book in the series introduces a new programming skill. If you or your child like delightful dog tales that explores universally positive themes, including empathy, kindness, dedication, and the importance of being true to one's self, then you'll love D. G. Priya's tail-wagging adventure.

My Review...

This is the second Merlin Raj series book I’ve read. It’s Book 3 of the Merlin Raj series. I’m so jealous they didn’t have cute dogs and a “regular” family to teach us math. The whole series accomplishes some type of math. Does the content sound daunting?  It sure isn’t. It’s all written into an everyday story about kids, kids and Halloween, siblings fighting like kids do, a kid with a disability, well as you can see, I feel like it has everything.

It’s fun to read. It covers real life, no fantasy here. And it teaches. This one teaches logic to be specific. But it also teaches caring, adapting, adjusting.

Wow. Who would ever think a book written with a POV from a dog could hold so much. Cannot think of another word to say except what I said about Book 2. Write more books D. G. Priya. We owe you a lot for teaching today’s young kids.

The Unholy

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Paul DeBlassie III will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

 Click on "read more" to sign up for the Giveaway.  


Winner of the International Book Award and Pinnacle Book Award for Visionary Fiction!

The Unholy is a dramatic story of Claire Sanchez, a young medicine woman, intent on discovering the closely-guarded secrets of her past. Forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop, William Anarch, she confronts the dark side of religion and the horror of one man's will to power.


My review...

Very well-written. The flow of the reading is good. That being said I thought it was painstakingly thorough. Not wordy but very detailed. 

The supernatural is not something I am fond of being such a black and white thinker, but it seems as if DeBlassie has made this all fit together. It seemed to work well as a thriller. Throughout the whole book I felt as if there was an underlying message in this fictional work. Maybe that was the idea.