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FastFlight 540: Stuart Bump

Fast Flight 540: Stuart Bump (Book 2) by M. M. Mesldorf is an exhilarating fantasy book that continues the story in book 1. Filled with surprising twists and turns, this lively fantasy story is sure to satiate any young reader’s appetite for adventure. Mesldorf’s writing style is simple but keeps the reader engaged throughout. The illustrations that accompany the story inspire the imagination and invite curiosity into the characters’ lives. The story begins with a brief overview of past happenings. I found the prologue to be a great refresher of book 1 and it helped to connect the events of past and present conditions. This will also help any readers who didn’t read book 1 first.

Stuart’s character tries to find a way to stand out from everyone when in reality he is a curious child who seems misunderstood by the people around him. As the story progressed I started to understand Stuart’s character better and he grew on me. The mother, Anslie, is an enchanting character and I enjoyed reading about her as well. In all, readers will find each character unique and intriguing in their own way.

The story seemed episodic, with chapters that connect the events and actions that take place. This fun adventurous tale is perfect for young readers as it is filled with action, fun mischief, and tricks that will keep you hooked until the very end. The story takes place in two fascinating worlds, the world of dreams and reality. I felt that the book had a slow start but the ending of the book made up for it all. The build-up, when connected, created a beautiful climax in the story.

FastFlight 540 (Book 2) takes readers on a spirited adventure that will make them fall in love with the characters all over again. I recommend this book to young readers and teen readers as they will surely enjoy the inherent adventure and wild turn of events faced by the characters in the story.

Pages: 337 | ASIN: B0BQ9JB4NC

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Jessica is a normal teenage girl on a normal Saturday when her mom gets the news: she got a new job offer and Jess is moving to New York. The good news? They’re finally getting away from her abusive father. The bad news? Jessica, her mother, and her two younger siblings, are uprooting their lives and moving across the country. Come Monday, Jess gets to start a new school for performing arts. Her passion for music and acting throw her into the spotlight, much to the dismay of the school’s queen bee, Macy. Macy seems to have a grip on everyone’s life and connections to all the big producers. Will Jess be able to stand against Macy and her plans to destroy Jess? Or will Jess be another one of Macy’s many victims?

I felt that Saturday was an enjoyable young adult novel overall. The title of the book is not explained until the very end of the book, which leaves readers wondering throughout the book. And in those last few pages it was made out to be a theme.

I think this would be a great book for middle-grade readers or young teens who are struggling with fitting in at school or facing bullies. This is stirring melodrama that follows an interesting character through hurdles I think that many readers will be able to relate to.

I would recommend Saturday to young readers looking for a book that is easy to read but still carries an important message. The themes of bullying and conflict resolution make this a perfect book for that age-group. It portrays ways to stand up for yourself without becoming a bully. It discusses conflict resolution without condoning abuse or putting the abuser down. It portrays the difficulty of learning right from wrong in a manner that would be beneficial for any teen. I appreciate Cindy DeFuria for finding that balance in her story and I respect the message that she is sending through this poignant contemporary fiction book.

Pages: 188 | ASIN: B0BL5FH1VC

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The Freedom To Follow Your Dreams

Adrienne La Faye Author Interview

DREAM JUMPERS the INHERITANCE follows siblings who are ushered into the hidden world of the Dream Jumpers. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

Nine years ago, I dreamt, unparallel to any dream state I remember to date. The vision was clear I had to write a book. The idea, I believe, came from God because I wasn’t thinking about writing a book. More likely, I only would want to illustrate a book, not write it. Two weeks later, I had written fifty-two thousand words. Later, I realized it was more of an outline than a book.

Your characters are interesting and well-developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I knew who and what I wanted to be at age five. However, my gender, and race, were societally marginalized, which held me back. For many years I fought for the courage to be who I am today. The longer I live, I see a better world if the youth strives to find their true young selves to succeed. No worries, that will include older folks too. My literary focus is to persuade ALL to find their life’s purpose. I developed each character reasonably quickly because I knew and recognized each personality’s voice. I had conversations with them at some point in my life and knew their backstories. Eventually, I embarked on an unlimited research trek to learn how to write, and the learning curve was very high. I persevered.

What were the themes vital for you to explore in this book?

The various themes were presented so teens who read the book might be inspired to find their particular purpose. The book’s message is to encourage children to follow their dreams. Once they graduate, dedicating their youth and begin to understand their journey to fulfilled lives. The freedom to follow your dreams is imperative to build a flourishing world. The dual-gender twin theme was a perfect way to get girls and boys to understand their gender importance. The Academy was vital to socialize and teaching the children how to accept their inheritance. They will learn how to help others and themselves. I included fun and humor throughout the book to lighten some heavy themes.

What is the next book you are working on, and when will it be available?

I’m working on the sequel to DJTI. I have many stories to tell and characters to introduce to my people. I’m not sure how many books will be in this series; I know I have more to write, and neither am I sure when it will be finished.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Twelve-year-old African American twins, MALIA, and MICAH, OLIVER, aren’t what you would call the top dogs of the middle school social food chain. With her brute strength and no-can-do attitude, Malia has the likes of Serena Williams on her radar, and nothing will stop her from athletic greatness. Well, except for one thing: her clumsy twin, Micah.

Rieden Reece and the Broken Moon – Book Trailer

Everyone keeps secrets. And all kids keep secrets from their parents. But what if your secret were so big, so terrible, and so impossible, no one would believe you anyway?

Rieden Reece hides such a secret.

To an outside observer, Ri may seem somewhat average. A troubled kid from a broken home coping with his personal pile of problems. A snarky thirteen-year-old can only deal with so much.

The night the moon cracks changes him forever.

When the moon breaks, it starts a chain of events leading him on the greatest adventure of his life. By his side, a shadowy figure from another universe whom Ri calls the Shadow Man. Together they must fight the evil powers beyond Ri’s understanding. It forces him to muster up the strength, bravery, and grit he never knew he had.

And the countdown until complete collapse continues…

Will Ri be able to stitch the moon back together before his universe completely unravels? And can he reverse what is happening to his helpless mom…

The Love And Support Between Siblings

Ana Cortes Author Interview

Marco, Pablo, & Olivia Volume One follows the Costa sibling’s as they work together to help Marco complete tryouts and make it onto the team. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

When brainstorming the idea for Marco, Pablo, & Olivia, I took a lot of inspiration from my trips to Ecuador as a kid. Before we went into lockdown from COVID-19, I used to fly to Ecuador every other year to visit my grandparents and relatives from my dad’s side of the family. I once went to secondary school as a foreign exchange student for a month. Everything in Ecuador is different than what I grew up with in America, but I was fascinated by Ecuador’s beautiful culture. Being there made me realize, “how come no one has made a movie or written a book about Ecuador? There’s so much about Ecuador that’s worth sharing!” That’s when I knew I wanted to write a middle-grade graphic novel series set in Ecuador. Representation matters!

I enjoyed the vibrant art in this book. What was the art illustration process like in bringing this story to life?

After I finished writing the script in 2019, the first thing that came to mind was drawing the illustrations on my computer. I didn’t want to make the comic book using the traditional method of drawing and ink on physical paper. I wanted to make my comic pages on my Huion tablet because it would save me a lot of paper and art supplies, and I always loved digital art. I drew the rough sketches on the tablet, inked the pages, and hired a freelance artist to handle the coloring process. It was challenging to direct a person because I had never hired someone, and I was trying to figure out how I wanted the coloring to look. Plus, I was only 20 years old at that time. Despite the challenging process, I learned that making a comic book requires hard work, effort, and good teamwork. All the diligence was worth bringing my book to life!

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book series?

When writing the script for the first book, I didn’t think much about the story’s theme. I had so much fun writing it; I didn’t think about what was missing from my book. Once I learned about writing a theme from a creative writing course, I knew I had to think about the message for Futbol Tryouts, even if it’s only 41 pages long. I reread the script and couldn’t figure out the theme, so I gave the script to my dad and aunt for feedback. My aunt explained that the book already had a clear theme about perseverance and that I was overthinking it. Since Fútbol tryouts was the first book, I knew I had to write about universal themes in each book, but I also wanted the central theme for the entire series, which was the love and support between siblings.

What can readers expect in volume two of your children’s book series?

In Fútbol Tryouts, the readers learn that the Costa siblings moved to Guayaquil from Loja. The readers get to see the Costa’s new life on the coast, but they haven’t seen their previous life in the mountains of Ecuador. The next book for Marco, Pablo, & Olivia will feature the Costa siblings again, but the readers will look into their past life in Loja. It will also feature a new character, and I hope she will warm the reader’s hearts.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Meet the Costa kids…Marco, Pablo, and Olivia are two brothers and a sister who came from the mountains of Ecuador. The three kids grew up in a farmhouse with their parents and very little means. After their dad got a high-paying job, Marco, Pablo, Olivia, and their parents move into the coast for a fresh start.
The Costa sibling’s lives turn into a wild ride when they make new friends, set off on adventures, celebrate traditions, deal with rivals, embark on journeys, and experience things they never thought they could have experienced before.

Marco, Pablo, & Olivia is a crafted book filled with nine stand-alone mini-stories that features the beautiful culture of Ecuador, morality, and magic!

Story One
The Costas: Marco, Pablo, Olivia, and their parents move into their new house in Guayaquil, Ecuador. As the three siblings explore their new neighborhood, Marco discovers there is a tryout for a soccer team. Marco is eager to try out, and Pablo and Olivia are there to cheer for him. But Marco will have to face a prejudiced teenager named, Víctor, who is also trying out for the team.

If The Goonies Were Time Travelers

Adam Crozier Author Interview

Escaping the Future follows a group of friends on an adventure that leads to a time machine in a wrecked spaceship that sends them to the future. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I grew up on stories like The Goonies and Back to the Future. When I was thinking about ideas to pursue in my own writing, it wasn’t a big leap for me to ask myself, “What if the Goonies were time travelers?” Instead of hunting for a treasure, they could be searching through time for a way home. Instead of the Goonies, the friends from the story were loosely based on the friends from my own childhood. I imagined how my friends would have reacted if they were thrown into the future, and the shenanigans that would result from our choices in trying to get home.

Your characters were interesting and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I wanted to portray characters with the challenges that everyone feels as they are growing up. Whether struggling to make their own voice heard like Sophia, not living up to expectations of others or yourself like Tate, not fitting in like Zoe, or just how to gain the confidence you need to succeed like Nic. Everyone deals with these challenges in some degree at some point in their lives, and how they overcome these challenges is the heart of the person they become.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I wanted the reader to understand the idea of seeing things from others perspectives as well as your own, whether it is from strangers or someone as close as your family.  While Nic has to move away, he doesn’t see things from his parent’s point of view. Despite his disagreements with his family, he has to learn to not take for granted the time he has with them. We never know what changes might come in the future, family drama, moving away, or even your own alien situation. Understanding others point of view can help you work together and live in the moment.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am working on a middle grade story where the main character will travel from Earth into another world filled with magic. It is a fairytale about exploration and discovering your own true potential. I don’t have a working date for its release yet.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

The seconds are ticking away. If he can’t turn back the clock, the human race is doomed.

Nic Walker is devastated. Forced to leave behind his best friends because his parents are moving, the bright twelve-year-old is determined that they all have one final adventure. So when they come across a time machine in a wrecked spaceship, a trip to the future seems like the perfect plan… until they discover they can’t get back.

Alarmed to learn they can only move forward, Nic finds them all trapped centuries ahead in a world of jetpacks and flying cars. And with each failed attempt to locate a wormhole and return them to when they belong, the twenty-first-century tween hurtles towards a war that will end humanity.

Can Nic overcome aliens and bring everyone home?

Escaping the Future is a thrilling middle-grade time travel adventure. If you like puzzling mysteries, strong friendships, and eye-popping science fiction settings, then you’ll love Adam Crozier’s captivating quest.

The Ballpark Buster

The Ballpark Buster by Don Shearer tells the story of an average kid, Buster, who lives an ordinary life like everyone else, with just one difference: he’s well over six feet in height by the time he’s twelve years old. Buster strives to have a normal life, hanging out with friends, going to school, helping his parents at home, and playing sports, despite this unusual medical condition that rapidly speeds up his growth rate. Instead of focusing on the challenges of his record-breaking height, Buster Logan uses it to his advantage to become an athlete. He quickly learns how his size can work for him, not against his pursuits, transforming his life from ordinary to an extraordinary nationwide sports hero.

This fascinating story is set in the 1940’s, imbuing this sports fiction story a unique historical fiction feel. The story explores the golden era of major league baseball, a simpler life, and the nostalgia of this decade. Shearer writes a rousing story which feels like a classic with a clear and lighthearted tone throughout, making this an easy read. It’s a fun book for children and young adults. It conveys the importance of living your life to its fullest potential and using any attribute you have, including an unusual height, to your advantage.

Shearer adds creative and unique characteristics into a tale that could otherwise be considered ordinary. It’s a fantastic story for baseball fans as there are pictures of ballparks included, and the descriptions give the reader a decent visual of the author’s love of the game. It’s an inspirational and feel-good story that makes a great light read. I recommend The Ballpark Buster for its creativity and simple but profound writing that makes a fun story for all ages.

Pages: 287 | ASIN: B0B7QP7V9X

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Helping A Young Ghost

Author Interview
Jan Burns Author Interview

Ghost Boy follows a group of friends who set out to help a ghost in need and solve a curious mystery while facing a dangerous threat. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

When I was young I loved to read middle-grade mysteries that included adventures. I particularly liked the ones where the kids thought it out and talked to people who gave them helpful information. This enabled them eventually to solve the mystery, mostly without any adult help. These books had a few scary moments, but there was also kid fun to balance things out.

I like history a lot and wanted to include a look at the town’s past mining industry. This helped me to tie some elements of the story together.

Finally, to add another layer to the book, I thought kids might like to read a ghost story. That’s why I included this in the story. I tried to imagine how kids would react to helping a young ghost find peace.

The characters in your story are intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I worked on this book over about six years. I’d written eight nonfiction children’s books and hundreds of articles and stories, but this was my first fiction book. My characters changed a lot over that time. At first the dialogue I wrote for them didn’t sound realistic. So, I had my characters write journal entries about themselves and the mystery. I found this to be very helpful.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

When I was researching the historic element of the book I read a lot about the pioneers of this area. They had to be resilient. I tried to show this in the book’s characters. They encountered problems and sometimes made mistakes, but they didn’t give up.

I think this idea of not giving up is an important concept for kids today. Most kids encounter problems of various sorts in their lives. The important thing is for them to not give up on their dreams.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

From the start I wanted there to be three Ghost Boy books. The main characters would stay the same and the books would all feature adventure as well as a mystery.

I’m about halfway through the second Ghost Boy book. In The Secret of Cougar Pass the kids explore a cave that they later learn is said to be cursed. But they want to go back to help a young ghost connect with his long-dead parents.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

What will Tyler Scott do after he finds a boy’s skull and the boy’s ghost asks him for help?

After Tyler Scott finds the skull, he’s shocked when the ghost asks him to help find his dad, who has probably been dead for years. He and his friends Addy and David Jacobson set out on the seemingly impossible quest. They have to work hard to solve the mystery before whoever is watching them does more than just threaten.

In Ghost Boy, by Jan Burns, we see these children setting out on a seemingly impossible quest to help a young ghost. Will their friendship hold up after things become dangerous?
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