FANTASTIC BOOKS & WHERE TO FIND THEM!

Emmie Enchanted featured FROM THE GRAVE on her book review blog this week.

I am pleased to share the link to this well-read nine-year-old reviewer’s look at Book 1 of MONSTER OR DIE. It was thrilling to see that Emmie was swept up into the monsters’ world and greatly enjoyed her time there. In fact, she’s informed me that she is busy reading Book 2, INTO THE SHADOWLANDS, right now!

These are the type of reviews I truly love–from my target audience. It pleases me beyond words to know that my story has entertained this reader and encouraged her to want more with the second book.

Miss Enchanted has a wide range of books reviewed on her site, Fantastic Books & Where to Find Them. I am thrilled to see my book on the same page as such greats like Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. I hope you’ll check them out and show these and other book recommendations found on the site to middle grade readers you know. A good review from a student reviewer means so much more to a young reader since it comes from one of their own.

Here’s what Emmie had to say about FROM THE GRAVE:

https://www.fantasticbooksandwheretofindthem.org/blog/2018/5/7/from-the-grave

Reading & WRITING

Emmie has also written a book of her own–THE MAGIC MYSTERY! This also thrills me. I love sharing writing tips with students–getting them excited not only about reading but about writing their own stories. For it is in sharing our words, our thoughts, and our ideas that we draw closer to each other. Reading and writing are the keys to success on so many levels.

Summer is almost ready to start. Check out Emmie’s list for some great books for your summer reading!

 

 

Ready for Summer Reading?

THE FRAME-UP

by Wendy McLeod MacKnight

I just finished an Advanced Reader Copy of this amazing middle grade story by one of my Sweet 16 writer pals. I suggest you add it to your Summer Reading List. It’s great fun!

Below is my review.

THE FRAME-UP is a truly clever story, woven with art, magic and issues from contemporary life. The setting itself is a bit magical, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery with its wide array of paintings—including a portrait of Mona Dunn, a thirteen-year-old from the early twentieth century. When twelve-year-old Sargent Singer arrives for a summer visit with his estranged father, he soon discovers the magic within the museum’s artwork and befriends Mona who has a life within the frame. As Sargent and Mona build their friendship, so too does Sargent learn to reach out to new contemporary friends he meets through the summer art program. He and his father make some progress toward repairing their rocky relationship but face complications when events put them at odds. Things also take a turn for the worse for Sargent and Mona when evil plans threaten to upend their friendship along with the museum’s artworks. The author has filled this story with great imagining, skillful plotting, and endearing characters. The mystery will keep readers turning the pages, and the ending will leave them feeling more than satisfied. Highly recommended for middle grade readers who love mystery, magic, and an artfully grand read! [Release date: June 5, 2018]

My Monsters Continue to Travel the Globe

February and March have continued to be busy months for me with my Microsoft Educator Community Skype Classroom visits—over 75,000 virtual miles total now. Whew! Yesterday I traveled from north Texas to New Jersey and all the way down under to Australia! G’day, mates!

 

In the past two months, I’ve also squeezed in a couple of in-person school visits in St. Louis at Lone Dell Elementary and Bayless Elementary, meeting hundreds of eager 4th and 5th graders.

 

What I enjoy so much with school visits—whether in-person or via Skype—is sharing my love of words with the students. Seeing them become excited about reading and writing is the best! Today, out of the blue, I received a note from Mark Nechanicky, 4th grade teacher in Albert Lea, MN, expressing appreciation for my January Skype visit with his class.

Thanks again for the Skype. We purchased and received books from you. Our media specialist told me that they are checked out all the time. Thought you should know the students really like the books.

This totally made my day! As a former school librarian, I know how awesome it is to have students lining up for a good read. And it’s totally amazing when that read is one I’ve written!

Chandra Hale, school librarian from Celina, TX, where I visited 5th graders yesterday, said: I’m trying to get a copy of each of your monster books for our library… Several students are already asking about checking them out:) And 4th grade teacher, Maria Krudzlo from Marlton, NJ, had this to say after my recent Skype visit with her class: They learned a lot. Thanks again! I ordered your books and the kids are arguing over who gets them first.

Again, that’s so super cool!


My books FROM THE GRAVE and INTO THE SHADOWLANDS are published by Jolly Fish Press/North Star Editions. This is a small indie press, so it is much tougher for my books to be noticed by schools and libraries and middle grade readers. But I’ve found through my visits that WHEN my books and students connect it is a winning combination. I hope you’ll pass the word on about my monsters through social media with an Amazon or Goodreads review or a Tweet.

The REAL critics (the student readers) from all of these states so far: Missouri, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Connecticut, New York, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Washington, New Jersey, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa—as well as Puerto Rico, Canada, Wales, and Australia—give a big “Scary on!” for my stories.

I hope you’ll have the opportunity to share my monsters with the special students in your life!

Skype Visits Reap Writing Rewards!

January Journeys

It’s been a busy start to the New Year for me–juggling time zones and virtual jet lag. I’ve been connecting with students across the U. S. and even as far away as Canada and Wales. Next month I’ll be off to many more national locations–even to the territory of Puerto Rico.

Students and teachers have been eager to discover tips on bringing sensory details into their writing. I like to encourage the students to use “juicy words.” Specific nouns, power-packed verbs, and creative adjectives are all helpful in making a story come to life.

I take the students through the five senses, exploring words that amp up a story and take it to the next level. I use a variety of props to aid them in selecting sensory words to fit the scene. I even “put them in a scene” to find the right words to entice their readers to read more.

Most of all I encourage the students to reach for their reading and writing goals. I stress how important words are for all of us. Words can be powerful when used for good, for change, for sharing ideas and knowledge. Words can unite and enlighten!

And I love sharing some of “my words,” a brief slice from one of my books: FROM THE GRAVE or INTO THE SHADOWLANDS. The monsters seem to have a way of connecting with kids and helping them connect to reading and writing.

Here are tweets from two of the teachers about my visit to their school in Minnesota:

If you are interested in inviting me to visit your class, check out the Microsoft Educator Community or contact me directly here.

And check out these Thank You’s from students in Iowa who shared in sensory word fun!

 

 

Happy Holidays!

The Monsters Have Been on the Move

Frank, Malcolm and all the crew have continued to entertain classrooms. This week I shared the mayhem with 5th graders at Marian Middle School in St. Louis. The students had a fun time brainstorming sensory words and discussing story: beginning, middle, and end. It was wonderful to return to this awesome school, “educating girls for life!”

Looking Ahead

I will be taking part in the World Read Aloud Day (February 1, 2018) free Skype visits to classrooms. I’m already signing up schools. If you’d like to have me “come visit” your students, please contact me here on my website or visit Kate Messner’s blog for a list of other authors as well.

 

February will also find me at the Write to Learn Conference (February 15-17) in Osage Beach, MO, for K-12 Language Arts teachers. Reading and writing are fundamental skills for student success. I take great pleasure in doing whatever I can to help kids love literature–whether it’s through the stories I write for them or the author visits I do to share my joy in language.

 

For Now

Happy Holidays!

Now is the time to grab a monster gift for someone special. Books always make the best gifts! You can save 20% right now on FROM THE GRAVE and INTO THE SHADOWLANDS.

North Star Editions    promo code: social

If you’d like a signed bookplate for your Monster or Die book, please contact me and I’ll mail you one!

I hope you all have a wonderful season shared with family & friends–and maybe a few monsters too!

What’s Happening With the Monsters???

More School Visits & NCTE

This week I visited Holy Infant School in Ballwin, Mo and shared writing tips with the 5th & 6th grade students. They enjoyed listening to a clip of INTO THE SHADOWLANDS as well, and they asked insightful questions about writing. Scary on!

Next I’m on the National Council of Teachers of English Conference at St. Louis where I’ll be enjoying hanging out with awesome teachers and authors. Plus, I’m teaming up with fellow authors, Vicki Erwin, Stephanie Bearce, and Jeanie Ransom for a presentation encouraging teachers to write as well!

N.07 – The Write Life: Authors Empowering Teachers to Find and Share Their Authentic Voice with Students Come join us if you can! My books will be available there at the Left Bank Books booth. Check it out!

Happy Halloween and Here’s What I’ve Been Up To

Spook-Tacular!

Halloween is finally here and the monsters have free reign tonight.

Mayhem when appropriate–to the max!

If you need some spooky jokes, check here for 100 Frighteningly Fun Jokes perfect for Halloween.

School Visits

As you can see I’ve been busy bringing my monsters out to the world. School visits and bookstores. Always so fun to meet my readers–and put on my Books-A-Mania shoes!

And even a spooky party–and a skeleton dog! Now it’s Trick-or-Treat Time! Have fun!!

Happy Book Birthday–INTO THE SHADOWLANDS!!!

Monster or Die!–Book 2

It’s here!

Come celebrate with me at The Novel Neighbor in St. Louis on October 14 from 4-6pm.

Or a week later, October 21, at Main Street Books in St. Charles from 2-4pm.

School Library Journal

There is something for everyone: suspense, adventure, a blossoming romance, and some truly corny humor from a two-headed gargoyle.

 

Patrick SamphireEmperor of Mars

Charming, scary, and imaginative. Perfect for the little ghoul in your life.

 

Wendy MacKnight, It’s a Mystery Pig-Face

A wonderful sequel! I am Team Frank all the way, and there were so many twists and turns in this plot that it would strike fear into the heart of any self-respectful monster! Kids will devour this! Scary on!

 

Cynthia Surrisi  Vampires on the Run

There has never been a finer collection of monsters, ghouls, and other assorted creatures of creepiness in one volume. And never have they struggled against type with such pathos to do what they believe is the right thing in the face of condemnation. Hurrah!

 

Caroline Larsen, editor JFP

This is a lovely sequel to FROM THE GRAVE and is part of a great middle grade series about “monstering,” inclusivity, fitting in, friendship, loyalty, and fighting for what you believe in. I was surprised by how touched I was by Malcolm’s transformation in this story. Read the first book, FROM THE GRAVE, this summer just in time for INTO THE SHADOWLANDS to come out at Halloween!

 

Last day to win a signed copy of both

INTO THE SHADOWLANDS

and

FROM THE GRAVE

Goodreads Giveaway 

 

The MONSTERS Are ONE Day Away!!!

I really can’t believe it.

The monsters have certainly snuck up on me–or as they like to say, “Time waits for no monster!

Tomorrow, October 10, is THE day!!!

Into the Shadowlands

BOOK BIRTHDAY!!!

Monster mayhem will be unleashed on the world for a second time. It will be time for more Bunion Baloney and Crud Crumb Pie. Time for more bad jokes from Stan and Dan. Time for more Fiendful Fiends Academy drama. Time again to hang out with old friends like Frank & Oliver and to meet new Uggarland characters as well.

Don’t wait!

Come and “See what can’t be seen. Then nothing can stay hidden.”

Don’t be too afraid.

Face the unknown without fear. Fake it when necessary.”

Finally, always remember:

Don’t complain. No one likes a whiny monster!

B&N

Nook

Indie

Amazon

Kindle

BAM

JOLLY FISH PRESS

Tomorrow is also the LAST day for the GOODREADS Giveaway. Win a signed copy of both FROM THE GRAVE and INTO THE SHADOWLANDS!!! Don’t delay–enter today!

For every monster knows: “A victim in the claw is worth two in the bush!

SCARY ON!!!

Monster Countdown at FIVE Days!!!

Wow! I can’t believe it’s only FIVE more days until INTO THE SHADOWLANDS launches! I hope you’ve pre-ordered your copy. If not, I’ll include some links below. Plus, there are also GIVEAWAYS happening now that you should check out.

Goodreads

Ebook

Here are links to purchase your own copy:

B&N:

Nook:

Indie:

Amazon:

Kindle:

BAM:

Jolly Fish Press/North Star Editions: