Monday, 1 September 2014

Back to School with "Diary of a Real Payne - Oh Baby"

So it's nose back to the grindstone today - where did the summer go...? I planned a great bucket list - revise my Welsh course so that I'm on top of it for September, sort out the spare room (the only room left to do, and frankly, it makes me scream every time I open the door...), exercise every day, work on some new resources for my store, and of course get my planning done for the new term. What did I achieve? Well, I actually did a lot of exercise, which I will miss when school starts back. Apart from that, a big fat nothing!
 
Today I am faced with a huge problem. You see, I really don't like my job any more. Teaching is definitely my thing - it's a privilege to spend a whole year getting to know the kids, understanding how they tick and using all my skills to get the best out of them, offer challenge and move them on. "So what's the problem?" I hear you ask. Well, simply that I'm not doing that right now. I'm about to enter my 3rd year in my current role: I work for the Education Authority and travel around all of the primary schools in the County Borough teaching our EAL (ESL) children how to read, write and speak English to a level where they can access the curriculum at the same level as their peers. It's hard but rewarding work, and I love seeing the children make progress. But I don't have a base, I have no roots, I don't get to know the kids as well as I would if I were in my own class. I have no prospect of career progression - there is nowhere to go from here. In addition I have been landed with extra responsibilities ( writing and delivering the CPD programme for all teachers and support staff in schools throughout the County Borough) that I didn't ask for and go way beyond the expectations of a teacher.
 
"So, get another job" you say...? well, yes, I am trying. However, as I am on the top of the main payscale I have become too expensive - why take an experienced teacher when schools can have a newly qualified, easily moulded teacher at a third of the price... Yes, they have to start somewhere, but it seems that experience counts for nothing these days. It really is a case of being consigned to the scrap heap at the age of 48!
 
So it is with some dread that I'll get through today. I read all those wonderful blog posts out there with photos of shiny, colourful classrooms waiting for kids to arrive, news of "Meet the Teacher" and orientation evenings, plans, lessons, schemes of work.... It's fantastic. But I know it's unlikely to happen for me.
 
To cheer myself up, I'm taking part in a Book Blast for a hilarious book that your 8-12 year olds will be sure to love. This is the third and final book in the middle grade series "The Diary of a Real Payne" by Annie Tipton, "Oh Baby!"  Do make sure you check it out if you can (the links to purchase are below) - it's a great little read that will have your kids (and you!) in stitches.
  
Diary of a Real Payne Oh Baby by Annie Tipton
 
Title: Oh Baby! (Diary of a Real Payne, Book 3)
Author: Annie Tipton
Publication Date: September 1, 2014
Publisher: Barbour Books
Pages: 195
Recommended Ages: 8 to 12
Summary: In this final fabulous release in the Diary of a Real Payne series you’ll find yourself ROTFL with EJ’s hilarious adventures with a new little Payne. The Payne family has just adopted a roly-poly package of pudge with bright eyes and a sparkling smile. In true sisterly fashion, EJ can’t wait to teach baby Faith how to be amazing at everything (just like her big sis!). But when EJ learns that she’s losing her role as flower girl to the adorable newcomer in an upcoming wedding, it’s almost more than she can handle. In classic EJ form, she dreams up even more fantastic adventures for herself—promising colossal fun as you become part of her daydreams in Oh Baby!  

Purchase

Amazon | CBD | The Book Depository | Barbour Books | Barnes & Noble

 
You can purchase the first two books in the series through Amazon by clicking the book covers below.
 
Diary of a Real Payne Book 1 True Story by Annie TiptonChurch Camp Chaos Diary of a Real Payne by Annie Tipton                  

What People Are Saying About Books 1 & 2

Book 1: "I am 7 years old, and I loved this book because of EJ's imagination and how it focused on the real meaning of Christmas. The book made me laugh, and I especially liked the part when EJ used the shopping cart to pretend to be a race car driver. She thought her mom's scarf was a yellow flag, and she stopped just before she crashed into the display of glue bottles. I liked EJ's character, and I read the book in about 5 days. When we had "Dress Like Your Favourite Book Character Day" at school, I dressed up like EJ Payne. I can't wait for the second book in this series!" ~ Emily E., Amazon
 
Book 1: "My 9-year-old foster daughter loved the book! She related well to EJ and her spunky personality and humorous outlook on life and what it hands you. Great lessons for her to learn, as well as entertaining. She read it in a matter of days and even chose reading it over playing Nintendo, which is a huge endorsement! I also enjoyed it and found it a fun and comforting read for this 40-something adult. Great job. We're really looking forward to Book 2 of EJ's adventures at camp! Thanks, Annie!" ~ Lfierbaugh, Amazon
 
Book 2: "Church Camp Chaos is a delightfully funny look into the highly imaginative workings of a tween girl, EJ Payne. The book cleverly uses a combination of diary entries, narration, and hilarious passages peeking into EJ's daydreams. The story is originally clever and, at times, very poignant. I thoroughly enjoyed this fantastic book and I highly recommend this series to young girls in particular between the ages of 8 and 12 who also love Clementine, Judy Moody, and Ramona Quimby." ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
 
Book 2: "Curly, my 8-year-old bookworm, loved this book. The day it arrived in the mail I let her look through it. By that evening she brought the book to me to thank me and tell me she was finished. She read the entire book in one day and I don't think she ever put it down! She enjoyed EJ's adventures and the fun times she had at church camp. She told me the book was "funny." I appreciated the way the book treated family relationships and showed a loving family who works together and endures different situations together. EJ and her brother don't always get along but their parents encourage them to be kind and EJ grows to appreciate her brother and even his slightly obnoxious attempts at humour. I enjoyed the life lessons that EJ learned about trust, faith, and friendship and am glad that I can find books for my daughter to read that are humorous and fun while still promoting good values." ~ 5 Star Review, Lextin Academy, Amazon
 

About the Author

Annie Tipton Author

Award-winning author Annie Tipton made up her first story at the ripe old age of two when she asked her mom to write it down for her. (Hey, she was just two—she didn’t know how to make letters yet!) Since then she has read and written many words as a student, newspaper reporter, author, and editor. A native of Wooster, Ohio, Tipton received a bachelor’s degree in Communications at Milligan College in Northeast Tennessee. She currently resides in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

Facebook Fan Page | Goodreads

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card
Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize (winner's choice) Contest Ends: September 30, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Barbour Books and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee@MotherDaughterBookReviews.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Friday, 22 August 2014

"Karmack" - Anti-bullying with Style, and $30 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway

Bullying is an emotive issue that is difficult to tackle with children. This fun, mischievous book is the perfect springboard to introduce the topic with children from age 7 upwards. It shows in a fun, non-preachy way, that our actions have consequences that we are responsible for. A great classroom read-aloud.

 

Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. It's open to everyone, and you'll have a chance to win an Amazon giftcard.
 
Karmack by J.C. Whyte
Title: Karmack 
Publication Date: June 6, 2013 
Publisher: Muse it Up Publishing 
Pages: 140 
Recommended Age: 7+
Summary: A strange little creature enters the lives of three tough guys at Higgins Elementary. And from that point on, pranks come back like boomerangs, smacking the bullies right in their fifth grade butts! Sully, the leader of the gang, is the only one who can see this creature, which he names Karmack. Sully learns that the creature’s job is to balance all the bad pranks the bullies have pulled over the years. Karmack warns that if this fails, “dreadful, awful doom” awaits them all. Sully soon realizes that he must save not only himself but his friends, who have no idea why they keep getting boomeranged by Karmack!

"Karmack" won First Place in the 2014 Purple Dragonfly Writing contest, a national contest for children's book authors, in the category of chapter books (e-Books).

Purple Dragonfly Book Awards - logo

Purchase the Book

Amazon (US) * Amazon (UK) * Muse It Up Publishing

Barnes and Noble * Omnilit * Bookstrand

 

What People Are Saying

"Karmack is a well-written, middle grade book tackling the difficult topic of bullying from the perspective of the bully. The character development is absolutely brilliant as the reader witnesses the transformation of Sully from an aggressive, angry bully to a positive role model and respected leader among his peers. While the concept of karma is not for everyone, I found myself agreeing with the main message of how our actions have consequences, intended or otherwise. I would recommend this book to middle grade classrooms as a great book to generate discussion around bullying." ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
 
"A wonderful story about growing up and treating others with respect, Karmack is well paced, funny, and manages to teach important lessons without coming off preachy." ~ Jess W., Amazon
 
"A fun read with important lessons for us all about Karma, and why bullies have more to balance than most people. Great for ages 9 up, child centred, non-preachy, action packed, great classroom read aloud." ~ Carolyn W., Amazon
 
"What an AMAZINGLY FUN story! EVERYONE needs to read it! Full of FUN, FANTASY, and FANTASTIC REVENGE on a bully! Fun for ALL ages!" ~ Shauna W., Amazon
 
"Karmack is a captivating pre-teen fantasy and author J.C. Whyte has created a strong cast of characters that are well developed and quite likable. As the story progresses, the suspense builds to a delightful outcome that is sure to keep readers anticipating Whyte's next round of literary treasures. We look forward to seeing more from this author." ~ Literary Classics Book Review, Amazon
 

About The Author: J.C. Whyte

J.C. White Author of Karmack

When J.C. Whyte was eleven, her 6th grade teacher gave a class assignment to write a poem about a sport. Realizing her classmates would probably choose popular American sports like baseball or football, J.C. decided to write about something different: golf. And to her complete surprise, the teacher found it comical; she was thereby encouraged to keep writing. Then over summer break, students were told to choose 26 books from a reading list and write a book report on each. J.C. was horrified! She wanted to enjoy her summer, not spend it reading! You see, J.C. was a very slow reader and didn’t much enjoy the experience. Plus, kids back then didn’t have all the fun books to choose from today. But that same teacher who had assigned the sports poem told J.C.’s mother she could write 26 stories instead of reading them. That was absolute genius! Although she didn’t actually write 26 stories (perhaps six?), J.C. submitted one which made her teacher laugh out loud in class. And she got an “A” on her summer reading assignment. J.C. has never forgotten that wise teacher who let her play to her strengths. So from the age of eleven, J.C. knew she wanted to be a writer. Yet by the time she reached college, she understood that writing stories seldom paid the bills. So she got her degrees in Journalism and Communications Management. Then for many years she channeled her creative energies in the field of Public Relations. Marriage, kids, and several more degrees and occupations later (including stints as a travel agent and paralegal), J.C. entered law school – mostly for the challenge of writing creative arguments for the court. But while in law school, she became a columnist for the student newsletter, writing humorous pieces on the strange and quirky life of a law student. She was absolutely thrilled when one of these articles was chosen for publication in The National Jurist, a magazine distributed to law students throughout the US. But after graduating and passing the Bar, J.C. realized within a few years that creative writing was still what made her heart sing. So now, as a grandma, she’s returned to writing. And with publication of her middle grade novel Karmack, she’s come full circle, back to where her writing journey began.

Website | Goodreads

 

* Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize
Contest ends: September 18, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. One winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, J.C. Whyte and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee@MotherDaughterBookReviews.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Thursday, 21 August 2014

"Finding Fuzzy - a You Decide Tale of a Lost Friend", Free Short Story Offer and $30 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway

It's often hard to find good new books that are suitable and engaging for your kids. I have had so much fun over the summer, working with Mother Daughter Book Reviews to bring you lots of great new books that you can share with your children and give you opportunities to enter fantastic giveaways too.

Today's review is a delightfully illustrated book that your kids can really get involved with by deciding the ending! The book is designed to get kids thinking about decisions and consequences, by using critical thinking skills and working through dilemmas. Gorgeously illustrated with watery colours that evoke long days at the beach, the book is an easy reader for children starting out, or as a relaxing, gentle bedtime read. Lovely!
 
The author, Cat Michaels, is giving away a free short story for adults, Driving Down to Dillon: A Very-Short Story of Love and New Beginnings. So you won't miss out on any of the fun either! Scroll down for more details on how to claim your copy.
 
And don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a $30 Amazon giftcard (or equivalent). Don't fret if you're not based in the US - everyone can join in the fun wherever you are in the world.
 
Finding Fuzzy by Cat Michaels  
Title: Finding Fuzzy: A "You-Decide Tale" of a Lost Friend (Sweet T Tales)
Author: Cat Michaels
Illustrator: Irene A. Jahns
Publication Date: March 26, 2014
Publisher: 2101 Ink
Pages: 44
Recommended Ages: 5 to 10
Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
Summary: Illustrated chapter book for early readers (Gr. K-3) Blue sky ... Warm sea ... Sugar-sand beach ... The perfect family vacation on the Carolina coast ... Except the trip takes a nosedive when Jenna loses Fuzzy, her plush blue rabbit pal. Jenna learns to carry on without him. But when she stumbles across a secret, she faces the toughest decision of her young life. And YOU, the reader, will help her make that choice and come up with the ending of this You-Decide tale. Don't worry. Cat shows you how in her book and on her website. So, slip on your flip-flops and join Jenna at the shore. It's time to decide YOUR ending for Finding Fuzzy. Caution: Irene A. Jahn's ocean-themed watercolors have been known to cause beach fever.

"Finding Fuzzy" placed second in the Purple Dragonfly Writing contest, a national contest for children's book authors, in the category of chapter books.

Purple Dragonfly Award - Second Place - Finding Fuzzy  

Book Preview


 

Purchase

Amazon

 

What People Are Saying

"Finding Fuzzy is an early chapter book featuring the opportunity for children to create their own ending to a sweet, summertime story. The main character, Jenna, has a decision to make when she discovers that her beloved stuffed bunny she had lost is now being used to protect a litter of kittens. After weighing out all of the possible outcomes, it is up to the reader to decide what happens next in the story. I thought this was a unique concept that will interest children, especially ones who are interested in writing their own stories (like my daughter!). I recommend this book to parents, homeschoolers, and teachers with children between the ages of 5 and 10." ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
 
"The story is sweet, and suitable for all children. The book is set up to get kids to think and discuss what they would do in a certain situation--in this case, giving up a precious friend (the stuffed bunny.) I could see using this in either a classroom setting or as a bedtime story. The watercolor illustrations really capture a beachy mood and create a great visual for kids as well.. " ~ 5 Star Review, Nikki B., Goodreads
 
"Cat Michaels has put young readers in a position to solve the dilemma. Readers must brainstorm and utilize their critical thinking skills to write the ending to Jenna's story. This quick to read chapter book has small colorful illustrations that help readers imagine the beach. Readers will also find that the author has created a world where they use all five senses. The back of the book has tips for parents and teachers to help their readers.. " ~ 5 Star Review, Kristi B., Goodreads
 
"This is a book with a difference. The space where the ending should be is blank, leaving readers with the opportunity to take a far more pro-active role in the unfolding of the story. It's time to get creative. It's time to give the story your own ending! There's room for a picture as well, so the budding author can test out their illustration skills too!" ~ 5 Star Review, Peachy Emma, Amazon
 
"The genius here is that Cat has picked the perfect storyline to make your would be writers put themselves into Jenna’s shoes and truly understand how she feels.It’s the stuffed animal, every child has one and every child is very attached to it. This is a great book for it's educational value as far as letting the kids use their imagination to come up with their own conclusion. ----5 stars for this one!" ~ Bookroom Reviews, Amazon
 

About the Author: Cat Michaels

Cat Michaels Author
 
CAT MICHAELS started writing stories in fourth grade and hasn’t stopped since. After earning an M.S. degree in special education from the University of Kansas, she spent two decades helping students from kindergarten to college reach their potential. She also managed communication and resource development programs for an international high-tech company that included writing press releases and articles for trade journals. After recession and downsizings, she returned to her education roots, serving at a community college as a writing coach and learning specialist for students with Asperger’s syndrome and learning disabilities. Cat spins tales of everyday life, with a twist of magic or twinge of mystery, that open young minds to new ways of thinking and looking at the world. Illustrations by watercolor artist Irene A. Jahns help bring that world to life. Cat and her family live in North Carolina where she designs playful gardens, dabbles in all things digital, and writes.

* Download free pdf of chapter 1 and You-Decide pages by visiting http://www.catmichaelswriter.com/finding-fuzzy-a-you-decide-tale-of-a-lost-friend.html *

Website | Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+

 

FREE Short Story Offer

Subscribe by email to Cat's Connections to receive updates, special offers, and to be among the first to hear about new releases by Cat Michaels. PLUS, when you sign up, you will receive a short story penned just for adults, Driving Down to Dillon: A Very-Short Story of Love and New Beginnings by Cat Michaels. Click on the cover below to subscribe to Cat's Connections.

PLUS... email subscribers to Cat's Connections will also receive 5 extra in the giveaway below.

Driving to Dillon by Cat Michaels  

* Giveaway *

Amazon gift card - 30
Prize: One winner will receive a $30 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize
Contest ends: September 19, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. One winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Cat Michaels and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee@MotherDaughterBookReviews.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


MDBR Book Promotion Services

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Back to School Boost Sale and the Latest Jack Templar Novel

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Sos-supply
 
Today's the day! It's the Back to School Boost Sale at TPT! Everything - yes everything - in my store is discounted at 20%. And if you use the code BOOST at checkout, you'll bag an additional discount, making a total of 28%.

All of my newest Common Core "I Can" Statements and Checklists bundles - usually selling at $10 each - are now available for just $8. When combined with the additional discount at checkout, this works out at around $7.84. That's amazing! They're available for all four strands (language, reading, writing and speaking and listening) for Grades 1-5, and language, reading and writing for Kindergarten.

Grade 5Grade 3

Grade 2Kindergarten



Why not take the opportunity to stock up for Christmas now? Take a look at these tasty morsels...

Father Christmas goes on Vacation -  and character exploration ($4 before additional discount)
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Writing-and-Character-ExplorationFather-Christmas-Goes-on-Holiday-Activity-Pack-478179

The Polar Express - activities to accompany the book and film ($4 before additional discount)
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Polar-Express-Activities-to-Accompany-the-Book-and-Film-442553

Jesus' Christmas Party - nativity play with a difference ($4 before additional discount)
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Jesus-Christmas-Party-a-Nativity-Play-with-a-difference-423644

Jesus' Christmas Party - activities to accompany the book and the play ($4 before additional discount)
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Jesus-Christmas-Party-Full-Unit-of-Activities-for-Christmas-430957


Now to my book review.

I am pleased to be joining in with a Book Review Blitz for “The Templar Chronicles” middle grade/young adult book series by Jeff Gunhus.  I’ve had the pleasure of reading and reviewing each of the three books.  They are FANTASTIC!

 
"Yeah, you read it right. I’m a monster hunter. Back before I actually became one, I would have thought that sounded totally awesome. And don’t get me wrong, in a lot of ways it is. But most of the time, I’m either running for my life or hiding in the shadows, praying the monster chasing me doesn’t pick up my scent. And I’m almost always scared to death. In a few pages, I think you’ll see why.
 
But there are a few things I need to warn you about before I tell you my story.
 
First, this isn’t a cartoon. These are bloodthirsty creatures who will stop at nothing to kill. They are scary. Very scary. Second, the only way to stop them is to kill them first...and that gets gross and messy. Third, this is all real.
 
You think I’m kidding, don’t you? I can almost see you smirking as you read this. But this isn’t a joke."
 
We all know how difficult it can be to engage reluctant readers, especially boys. If you're anything like me, you spend hours and hours scouring book shops, libraries and any other nook or cranny for the golden nugget that will appeal to these children. So imagine how thrilled I was to find the Jack Templar Chronicles.
 
This series of books charts the adventures of Jack, who discovers on his fourteenth birthday that he is a monster hunter with very strange powers. The books are thrilling and keep the reader captivated from cover to cover. Full of energy and adventure, the plots are well-written and the characters believable.
 
The books were well written and fun to read, with more than a dash of humour. I challenge any young person not to get dragged into the world of Jack Templar and love it!
 
All three Jack Templar books that I reviewed are available on Amazon.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Book Review Blitz - Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor

I am delighted to bring you news of a fabulous book in the Frankie Dupont series by Julie Ann Grasso.


My Review

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a frank and honest review.

I am always on the look-out for new books to use with my class, so I was excited to be able to review this one. I read the book in one sitting.

Frankie is a detective in training. He is called to a case at Enderby Manor, a large hotel close to his home, where his cousin Kat has mysteriously disappeared. Enderby Manor isn't all it seems, and Frankie has to delve deep into the evidence, assume nothing and read between the lines if his he to find Kat. Time is running out - will Frankie succeed...?

A fantastic book for boys and girls of 7-11, and sure to engage the most reluctant readers.
 
You can get a copy of Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor from Amazon by clicking below.
 
http://www.amazon.com/Frankie-Dupont-Mystery-Enderby-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00LPPEA0A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408444490&sr=8-1&keywords=frankie+dupont+and+the+mystery+of+enderby+manor

I Love Amazon

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