Middle Grade Giveaway!

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Shake your maracas, wave your feather boas and stomp out the rhythm of your excitement because today I have a giveaway for you all!

One lucky winner will be able to select one of the four middle grade/early reader books below for their prize – all you have to do to enter is comment on this post and tell me which book you would like to win!

This giveaway is open internationally and will run from the moment this post goes live (NOW!) until midnight on March 16th, 2017 (Brisbane time).  The winning comment will be chosen by random number generator and the winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.  We won’t be responsible for prizes lost or damaged in transit.

Now check out the books that you can choose from!

 

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The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis & Freya Hartas.  Published by Bloomsbury Australia, March 2017.  RRP: $14.99

*We received this giveaway copy of The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart from Bloomsbury Australia!*

From Goodreads:

Aventurine is the fiercest, bravest dragon there is. And she’s ready to prove it to her family by leaving the safety of their mountain cave and capturing the most dangerous prey of all: a human. But when the human she finds tricks her into drinking enchanted hot chocolate, Aventurine is transformed into a puny human girl with tiny blunt teeth, no fire, and not one single claw.

But she’s still the fiercest creature in the mountains — and now she’s found her true passion: chocolate! All she has to do is get herself an apprenticeship (whatever that is) in a chocolate house (which sounds delicious), and she’ll be conquering new territory in no time…won’t she?

henry-hoobler

The Grand Genius Summer of Henry Hoobler by Lisa Shanahan.  Published by Allen & Unwin, 25th January 2017.  RRP: $14.99

*We received this giveaway copy of The Grand Genius Summer of Henry Hoobler from Allen & Unwin*

From Goodreads:

It struck Henry that perhaps he was waiting for the exact right moment to be daring and brave. The exact right moment where he felt no worry at all, not one tiny flicker. But what if that moment never came?

Henry Hoobler is a reluctant adventurer worried about his summer holiday: camping at the beach, bugs, spiders, snakes, stingers, blue ringed octopi and sharks. Worst of all, his family and friends are pushing him to ride his new silver bike without training wheels. But when Henry meets Cassie, he discovers that courage is there to be found when you have a friend who is straight up and true.

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Marge and the Pirate Baby by Isla Fisher.  Published by Allen & Unwin, 25th January 2017.  RRP: $14.99

*We received this giveaway copy of Marge and the Pirate Baby from Allen & Unwin*

From Goodreads:

The second fun family story in the MARGE series by actor & comedian Isla Fisher, illustrated with wit and warmth by Eglantine Ceulemans.

Marge is back and exploring the neighbourhood with the kids! With some help from Jemima and Jake, can she stay in charge and keep ‘pirate’ baby Zara under control? And can the children make sure Marge behaves at Uncle Desmond and Annie’s wedding?

henrietta-and-the-perfect-night

Henrietta and the Perfect Night by Martine Murray.  Published by Allen & Unwin, 22nd February 2017.  RRP: $16.99

*We received this giveaway copy of Henrietta and the Perfect Night from Allen & Unwin*

From Allen & Unwin:

Henrietta, the great go-getter, is going to be a big sister, but she’ll have to wait half way to Christmas before the baby is ready. Five charming and quirky stories from the author of the CBCA shotlisted book Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars.

Hello everybody, it’s me. Henrietta the Great Go-Getter, and I’m having a big think. Right now I’m thinking I’d like a baby sister, so I can dress her up in different sorts of hats. But Mum says we’ll have to wait and see. I’m terrible at waiting.

Meanwhile, I’m an explorer of life, and that includes trees, bugs, animals and all mysteries. I’m going to school for the very first time, which means I might have to go as a spy so that I can have a secret peep inside…

When Henrietta sees Olive Higgie crying in the classroom, she goes on a rescue mission and finds that you only need one friend in a room full of strangers to feel perfectly happy.

Henrietta’s stories are full of funny thoughts and discoveries, and maybe the best are the ones that take a long time to come.

So take your pick!  Tell me in a comment below which book you would like to win to be entered into the giveaway.

Until next time,

Bruce

 

 

 

A Week of Double-Dip Reviews…starting with Middle Grade Fiction (and a Giveaway)!

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imageWell I hope you haven’t been filling up on lots of nutritional reading recently, because the shelf denizens and I have a whole WEEK’S worth of Double-Dip reviews to satiate your cravings.  Today we will be looking at two new release, middle grade, illustrated chapter books (and will have a giveaway to boot!), then on Friday we’ll move on to some delightfully subversive picture books, followed by short story collections on Monday, and rounding out the smorgasbord with adult fantasy fiction this time next week.

Excited? Hungry for good reading experiences? Then let’s get to it!

(You’re wondering about the giveaway, aren’t you?  Just read on and it will all become clear!)

First up we have Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania Del Rio and Will Staehle, which we received from the publisher via Netgalley.  Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Meet Warren the 13th, a cursed 12-year-old Victorian bellhop who’s terribly unlucky . . . yet perpetually optimistic, hard-working, and curious. Orphan Warren’s pride and joy is his family’s hotel, but he’s been miserable ever since his evil Aunt Anaconda took over the management. Anaconda believes a mysterious treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye is hidden somewhere on the grounds, and she’ll do anything to find it. If Warren wants to preserve his family’s legacy, he’ll need to find the treasure first—if the hotel’s many strange and wacky guests don’t beat him to it! This middle-grade adventure features gorgeous two-color illustrations on every page and a lavish two-column Victorian design that will pull young readers into a spooky and delightful mystery.

Dip into it for…

warren…an unexpectedly charming main character, a hotel full of adventure and some serious double-crossing.  The book is also illustrated which adds atmosphere to the kookiness of Warren’s hotel.  This is a book for the sleuths and problem-solvers, who will delight in uncovering Warren’s family secrets along with the protagonists and peeling back the layers of a very mysterious quest.  Those who resonate with a downtrodden main character will alternately shake fists at the machinations and rejoice at the foiling of nasty Aunt Anaconda, who is hiding more than just a severe dislike for Warren.  My favourite character was Sketchy – I won’t spoil it for you, but Sketchy is a character that you would certainly not expect to find in the basement of a reputable establishment.

Don’t dip if…

…you’re after a straightforward mystery.  This book is replete with twists, turns, characters hiding their true colours and a plethora of family secrets that will keep the reader guessing throughout.

Overall Dip Factor

Warren the 13th proves the idea that you don’t have to be pretty to be a hero.  While the concept of the story is one we’ve seen many times before, the execution is original and kids who enjoy quirky characters and unexpected plot twists will want to jump in right alongside Warren as he hunts down the All-Seeing Eye – whatever it happens to be.

Now onto a new release AUSSIE early chapter book, Bella and the Wandering House by Meg McKinlay, a copy of which was kindly provided to us by Fremantle Press.  The self-same copy will be available for you to WIN, provided you keep reading to find out how to enter the giveaway.  Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Bella is very surprised one morning to discover her house has moved in the night – not a lot, just a little. Her parents are too busy to notice, but even they can’t pretend it’s not happening when they wake up to find their house on the banks of a lake. Night after night the house moves and the family wakes to a new location. Unless Bella can solve the mystery, who knows where they’ll end up?

Dip into it for…bella and the wandering house

…a charming and memorable little tale that holds at its heart themes of grief, loss and the bonds between generations.  Unmentioned in the blurb, strangely, is the relationship between Bella and her grandfather, which features largely throughout the whole story and ultimately feeds into the satisfying resolution of the wandering house problem.  McKinlay has a delightful way with words and I couldn’t help but giggle at the description of the house’s long, skinny legs – helped along by the gangly, awkward image in one of the illustrations.  For some reason, I expected a walking house to have either a stout pair of clomping feet or chicken legs, but I enjoyed the choice of lower limb here.  I also loved how determined Bella’s parents were to get to work every day, despite where the house ended up – surely most true-blue Aussies would take a wandering house as an excuse to bludge off work, but not these two!

Don’t dip if…

…you’re after an action-packed adventure story or something to do with magic and mystery.  This is a gentle story, simply told and while the house’s movements are quite amusing, it is also obvious that there is an underlying restlessness driving the plot that is reflected in the worries of the characters.

Overall Dip Factor

Bella and the Wandering House is a heartwarming story that is more complex than it appears.  While young readers will enjoy the fun of having a walking house, adult readers will appreciate the subtle themes about the importance of choice when recovering from difficult circumstances.  Reminiscent of the work of that other Aussie kidlit genius, Glenda Millard, and the mix of adventure and focus on relationships found in Eva Ibbotson’s books, Bella and the Wandering House would make a great pre-bedtime serial read for grown-ups and their mini-fleshlings, or a quick, satisfying read for independent readers who like contemporary stories with a twist of magical realism.  It would also be the perfect stocking stuffer for adult readers dreaming of a seachange!

Giveaway Time!

One of you lucky readers will receive my copy of Bella and the Wandering House – thanks to Fremantle Press for providing the copy!  The giveaway is open internationally and will be open from the moment this post goes live (NOW!) until midnight on Friday the 4th of December, 2015 (Brisbane time!).

To enter, simply comment on this post and answer this question: “What important thing of yours has gone wandering at an inopportune moment?”

One winner from the applicable comments will be chosen by a random number generator, and will have 48 hours to respond to a congratulatory email before a new winner is selected.

Good luck!

I hope this bite-sized snack of middle grade fiction has whet your appetite for more Double-Dip reviews! Stay tuned for double the literary goodness this week.

Until next time,

Bruce