Someone Will Soon Be SHIPSHAPE. Who is it?

Earlier this month I featured the book SHIPSHAPE by author E.E.Dowd. I am pleased to announce one lucky winner of the giveaway for a copy of the book:

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The winner is:

NANCY…no last name. But, I will email you and let you know you won! Congratulations Nancy, and thanks to all who entered the giveaway. You are really going to enjoy this book!

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1, 2, 3, 5, 8…It’s Fibonacci Day! Here are Some Books to Help Celebrate.

Have you heard of the Fibonacci Sequence? It’s a number sequence that is based on adding the number that appears before it to get the next number in the sequence. 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21…You probably already knew that. Did you know that there are  numerous examples of this sequence in nature? Today is Fibonacci Day and here are some kid-friendly books that honor the boy who discovered this sequence: Leonardo Fibonacci

BLOCKHEAD by Joseph D’Agnese

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As a young boy in medieval Italy, Leonardo Fibonacci thought about numbers day and night. He was such a daydreamer that people called him a blockhead.

When Leonardo grew up and traveled the world, he was inspired by the numbers used in different countries. Then he realized that many things in nature, from the number of petals on a flower to the spiral of a nautilus shell, seem to follow a certain pattern. 

The boy who was once teased for being a blockhead had discovered what came to be known as the Fibonacci Sequence!
Blockhead is a 2011 Bank Street College — Best Children’s Book of the Year.

Blockhead has been translated into Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Catalan.  

 WILD FIBONACCI: Nature’s Secret Code Revealed: by Joy N Hulme illustrated by Carol Schwartz

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1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34. . Look carefully. Do you see the pattern? Each number above is the sum of the two numbers before it. Though most of us are unfamiliar with it, this numerical series, called the Fibonacci sequence, is part of a code that can be found everywhere in nature. Count the petals on a flower or the peas in a peapod. The numbers are all part of the Fibonacci sequence.

In Wild Fibonacci, readers will discover this mysterious code in a special shape called an equiangular spiral. Why so special? It mysteriously appears in the natural world: a sundial shell curves to fit the spiral. So does a parrot’s beak. . . a hawk’s talon. . . a ram’s horn. . . even our own human teeth! Joy Hulme provides a clear and accessible introduction to the Fibonacci sequence and its presence in the animal world.

GROWING PATTERNS  by Sarah C Campbell (Author) Richard P Campbell (photographer)

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An ALSC Notable Children’s Book

A wonderful introduction to one of the most beautiful connections between mathematics and the natural world–the Fibonacci sequence–through a series of stunning nature photographs.

Discover the biggest mathematical mystery in nature—Fibonacci numbers! Named after a famous mathematician, the number pattern is simple and starts with: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13. Each number in the sequence comes from adding the two numbers before it. What’s the mystery? The pattern crops up in the most unexpected places. You’ll find it in the disk of a sunflower, the skin of a pineapple, and the spiral of a nautilus shell.

This book brings math alive, celebrates science, and will inspire kids to see nature through new eyes.

You and your kids can also celebrate the day by sorting coins, buttons, cheerios, macaroni, or other small objects into piles using the sequence. How far can you go?

ALONE by Megan E. Freeman: A Book Review

Do you like solitude? Being alone? The kind of alone where even if you scream, no one else will answer. What would you do if you were the only person in your part of the world? All you have for company is an old dog and the natural world. A world that can be friendly and welcoming one minute, and a scary disaster the next.

ALONE by Megan E. Freeman asks these questions and more. It is an edge-of-your-seat adventure bound to have kids wondering how they’d fare if suddenly found alone. Here’s the blurb for this engaging middle grade book.

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Perfect for fans of Hatchet and the I Survived series, this harrowing middle grade debut novel-in-verse from a Pushcart Prize–nominated poet tells the story of a young girl who wakes up one day to find herself utterly alone in her small Colorado town.

When twelve-year-old Maddie hatches a scheme for a secret sleepover with her two best friends, she ends up waking up to a nightmare. She’s alone—left behind in a town that has been mysteriously evacuated and abandoned.

With no one to rely on, no power, and no working phone lines or internet access, Maddie slowly learns to survive on her own. Her only companions are a Rottweiler named George and all the books she can read. After a rough start, Maddie learns to trust her own ingenuity and invents clever ways to survive in a place that has been deserted and forgotten.

As months pass, she escapes natural disasters, looters, and wild animals. But Maddie’s most formidable enemy is the crushing loneliness she faces every day. Can Maddie’s stubborn will to survive carry her through the most frightening experience of her life?

 Here’s my review: 

A scary, but thought-provoking middle grade novel in verse about what it means to be alone. Relying on oneself not only for basic survival with food, water, and shelter. But also being alone with your own thoughts, feelings, voice. How do you keep hope alive? How do you find inner strength and resolve? How do you keep on going? This book is guaranteed to encourage these soul-searching questions as Maddie – the twelve-year-old left behind when a town is completely evacuated – comes to terms with all that being alone means. A fast-paced, page-turner that will have readers contemplating what they might do under the same circumstances. Highly recommended.

 

Book Giveaway: WHOSE TRACKS IN THE SNOW? by Alexandra Milton

Such a beautiful book…I had to share!

Writing and Illustrating

Alexandra Milton has written and illustrated a new picture book, WHOSE TRACKS IN THE SNOW? and published by Boxer Books and coming out on November 22nd. They have agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US and UK.

Just leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Let me know other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Alexandra.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. If you want to make…

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Need Good Books For Holiday Gifts? Check Out The KidLit Authors’ Club.

The authors of KidLit Authors’ Club have a variety of books for kids of all ages. Picture books, middle grade, YA, non-fiction and more. Check out the titles and award-winning authors. Give the gift of reading to a child and create a life-long learner.

https://kidlitauthorsclub.com/?fbclid=IwAR2kQFUqDuawWZwfPy-cDHLzcITD46QjVocYQOh2wHHnHMhvYIOclw6N8vg

Are You SHIPSHAPE? An Interview with Author E.E. Dowd + A Give-away.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a new author during an online event called DrawOff hosted by Legit KidLit. We authors shared our books and had some fun drawing from some prompts and sharing the results. Erin Dowd shared her debut novel SHIPSHAPE. I was intrigued by the premise, so I read the book. wrote my review,  and asked Erin a few questions.

My review:

A kid-friendly tale of robots taking over the school to the detriment of creativity, diversity, and anything other than testing. Perhaps a cautionary tale of what can happen when we are too focused on running schools as if they were businesses and ignoring the unique talents and expertise individual teachers bring to their classrooms. Kids will love the “tech-centered” plot of robots taking over and the kid-friendly steps three friends take toward solving the crisis. A quick read with some great themes for class discussions. Sure to be a classroom favorite.

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What inspired the story SHIPSHAPE? Where did you get your idea?

I’m not really sure where I got the idea for Shipshape exactly. I wrote the first draft during NaNoWriMo years ago after I left teaching. I had gone through a rough time, so I think writing the book was my way of getting through. I took a lot of my experiences both positive and negative from when I was a teacher and poured them into the book. As for the rest of it, well, I love mysteries, solving puzzles, and putting clues together.

What was the writing process like? Did you have to do any research on the topic of robotics?

The writing process was very very long for this book. As I mentioned, I wrote the first draft as part of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I was able to write 50,000 words in one month, so I had the first draft. It had a very long way to go. For the next few years, I would work on the novel a little bit at a time. As I was doing that, my life changed. I started working with technology companies, so I learned a lot about coding and AI (Artificial Intelligence). But I also had to research to make sure I knew what technology was available and try to push it a little further.

When I started writing, the things I thought could never happen in schools like cameras all over, actually started to happen. I had to adjust some things as time went on and add more complex technology. The tracking bracelets were a later edition because I read an article about a study that was being done with something similar. Then fitbits and apple watches became popular. I figured it wouldn’t be long before students had them in school too. Eventually, the pandemic hit, and I decided it was time to finally finish writing and get it out into the world. It had been eight years of writing and revising when I found a publisher.

The book changed a lot during that time. Characters had different names, there were a lot of extra scenes that got cut eventually. But I’m glad it took the time that it did. It followed me through my life and a little bit of each part of me is in the pages of Shipshape.

What message do you want readers to take away from this story?

I wrote this book for two audiences: kids and adults, so what I want them to take away is different. For the adults I want them to realize that everything is not what it may seem in school. What you see on the news, what you hear from your kids, and what is actually happening (good and bad) are going to be different. I want adults to read this and think about the ethics of technology, what teachers are expected to do, and how they can get involved in productive ways. The adults in the book, except for Ms. B. are intentionally disconnected. They think they are doing what is right or what will have the best result, but they never bother to find out how it’s impacting the kids. I think this happens often in life.

For my younger readers, I wanted a story they could both relate to and get lost in. I want kids to feel that they can make a difference in their schools and communities no matter how difficult it may seem. When you see something wrong, do something about it. Everyone can be a change-maker.

Please share anything else you’d like us to know about SHIPSHAPE.

While Ben is seemingly the main character, Ellie is really the star. Ben changes and grows throughout the story, but Ellie is the anchor. She knows who she is and what she’s about. No one can tell her what girls “should do.” She knows about technology far above what a fifth grader should know, and she’s proud of it. Ellie often has to wait for her friends to catch up, but she is kind and supportive even in difficult situations. Ellie is a complex character, and I hope readers take the time to notice her more than just being Ben’s friend because she is really the core of the story.

I also added what the tech world would call Easter eggs into the book. These are little surprises that aren’t directly explained. In video games, they might be a secret level or hidden prize. In Shipshape, they are subtle, but if you find them, they give you more information about a character or the plot. I included some Easter eggs throughout the book. One of those ways is through names. I won’t give any more information about that. You’ll just have to read to see if you can find them.

I’m going to have to go back and look for those Easter Eggs! What are you working on now? Any other books in the works?

I have started a few different projects recently. I’m most excited to dive into a new middle grade story for NaNoWriMo this year. Since I live in Costa Rica part of the year, I’m going to see what sort of mysteries unfold around me while I’m here. I have a few ideas, but I’ll have to see where they take me.

Erin has agreed to give away a signed copy of her book to one reader randomly chosen from those who leave a comment (US only please.)

thumbnail Erin Dowd
E. Dowd is an educator, consultant, and the author of her debut middle grade novel, SHIPSHAPE. She believes that wonder and creativity are the foundations of making positive change in the world and that everyone can be a change-maker. When she’s not writing, she can be found exploring the world with her partner Tim or snuggling with her cranky cat Pita in New Hampshire.

Contact info:

email: connect@eedowd.com

twitter: @eedowd27

instagram: @eedowd

website: www.eedowd.com

Book Giveaway: STORY QUILTS: Appalachian Women Speak by Shannon Hitchcock

Writing and Illustrating

Shannon Hitchcock has a picture book, STORY QUILTS: Appalachian Women Speak, illustrated by Sophie Page and published by Reycraft. Shannon has agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.

Just leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Let me know other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Shannon and Sophie.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. If you want to make sure you don’t miss seeing that you…

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Annette Whipple Presents: MEOW: THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS: A review

Non-fiction author ANNETTE WHIPPLE has a new book in her Truth About Series.

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MEOW: THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS (Reycraft Publishing) is a wonderful introduction to the mysterious world of cats. Whipple excels at bringing the lives of popular animals to life for young readers in such books as WOOF: THE TRUTH ABOUT DOGS, SCURRY: THE TRUTH ABOUT SPIDERS, and several others. This book follows the same format with fun facts about our favorite pet felines.

Even for a life-long cat lover like me, I learned a few new things such as:

  • Baby kittens don’t breathe until their mother licks them.
  • A cat’s tail and ears let you know how a cat is feeling.
  • Grapes and garlic make cats sick.
  • Cat’s can purr or roar, but not do both.

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This book will be a welcome addition to the classroom and for any cat lover’s collection. Just in time for the holidays. Another fantastic volume to the TRUTH ABOUT Series.

Order MEOW! and/or ask your local library to carry it. Many local bookstores and libraries only need the title/author. Some libraries request the info below.

o   Title: Meow! The Truth About Cats

o   Author: Annette Whipple

o   Publisher: Reycraft Books

o   ISBN:  978-1478879572

o   Publication Date: November 1, 2022

·       Consider adding MEOW! to your Amazon wish list (even if you don’t plan to buy the book…it somehow still helps the book be seen).

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Visit @AnnetteWhipple on Twitter

@AnnetteWhippleBooks on Facebook and Instagram

Meow! The Truth About Cats (Reycraft Books, 2022)
Ribbit! The Truth About Frogs (Reycraft Books, 2022)
Scurry! The Truth About Spiders (Reycraft Books, 2021)
Woof! The Truth About Dogs (Reycraft Books, 2021)
Whooo Knew? The Truth About Owls (Reycraft Books, 2020)
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide (Chicago Review Press, 2020)
The Story of the Wright Brothers (Rockridge Press, 2020)

ODDER by Katherine Applegate: Book Review

Katherine Applegate has an affinity with nature’s creatures. She seems to possess an uncanny ability to inhabit the soul of an animal, so we feel what the creature feels. It’s no wonder her books THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN (gorilla), THE ONE AND ONLY BOB (dog), CRENSHAW (imaginary cat), and her Animorphs books are so popular. They teach us empathy, compassion, loyalty, friendship. And maybe, a bit of what it’s like to BE that animal.

ODDER, her latest middle grade novel in verse is a heartfelt and magical journey in the life of an otter who lives off the coast of the Monteray Bay Aquarium. Like Ivan, ODDER’s story is inspired by the otter program at the aquarium. A program that teaches baby otters how to be otters so that when they are released into the ocean, they will succeed and thrive.

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ODDER  – the female otter in the story- is a bit different from the rest of her kind. She is more adventurous, takes more chances. She is fearless. When she swims away from the kelp cover of the coastline, and into the bay, she comes face to face with a great white shark. From that moment on, her life takes an unexpected turn. Everything ODDER believes about herself is turned upside down. She then comes face to face with humans. Humans her mother warned her not to trust. Humans who save her life. Change her life.

Readers will feel an instant connection to ODDER and the changes taking place in her world. They will cheer for otters, for the dedication, love, and care provided by the aquarists at the Aquarium, who work tirelessly to give otters the best chance they can have to live and swim free in the waters off the California coast.

You can check out the program and see a live cam of the otters at: https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams/sea-otter-cam

ODDER is destined to became a classic. Thanks you Katherine Applegate, for bringing ODDER into the world.