Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Reading for Research Month 2019 is Here! #ReFoReMo

Reading for Research Month is here! March Madness of the Picture Book World, here we come!

This is my 4th or 5th year participating in ReFoReMo. Happy 5 years to #ReFoReMo! Focused blog posts guide researchers (us) to read picture books that illustrate the information found in blog posts. I look forward to this month as an opportunity to read lots of picture books and study their techniques, formats, and picture book elements. If you love picture books, this month of reading is for you.

Is it a coincidence that Reading for Research Month occurs the same month as Read Aloud Day on March 2? I think not (or maybe so, but it is a cool coincidence.)

Read, friends. Read.

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Book stacks from previous ReFoReMo! Be prepared for the time AND space commitment! LOL

Great things happen during ReFoReMo:

– picture books are read, studied, dissected

– blog posts are shared by professionals in the kidlit field

– the kidlit community gives support to one another

– interaction between fellow writers, authors, bloggers, and kidlit enthusiasts is invigorating and addicting

– learning about picture books, in oh so many ways, grows in direct correlation to the amount of time spent reading and studying PB texts

– libraries are flooded with requests for picture books (which, as we all know, trickles back to authors – yay!)

– so much fun to be had!

REGISTRATION opens today! Visit ReFoReMo to register.

And start requesting those books! Find the book list here.

I’ve printed the book list and registered for ReFoReMo. Who’s with me?

 

 

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Love, Z: Picture Book & KID KANDY

Love, Z by [Sima, Jessie]

Love, Z

Written & Illustrated by Jessie Sima

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018

 

Love, Z is a great example of a robot tale about the meaning of love. I grabbed Love, Z from a library display and checked it out. Simplicity, good story, nice interactions, clean and beautiful illustrations, and great examples of love help Z (and young readers) understand love. I fell in love with the adventures of Love, Z.

Love, Z is the perfect book to springboard conversations about love and how it looks to different people, even robots.

Blurb from Amazon:

When a small robot named Z discovers a message in a bottle signed “Love, Beatrice,” they decide to find out what “love” means. Unable to get an answer from the other robots, they leave to embark on an adventure that will lead them to Beatrice—and back home again, where love was hiding all along.

KID KANDY

Build a Love Robot

Materials: construction paper, scissors, glue sticks, markers

1. Cut shapes from construction paper-hearts, circles, rectangles, triangles.

2. Arrange shapes on a table until you find the perfect design for a love robot. Use glue stick to glue edges together. Don’t forget to add arms, legs, and faces (eyes, nose, mouth, ears).

3. Use a marker to add details to your robot. Give him or her a name! As you create, think about what love means to you. Tell your mom or dad your thoughts and let them tell you what they think about love.

4. Find a nice spot to hang your robot where you can see him or her. May I see? Ask for help and take a picture and add it to the comments. We’d love to meet your new friend.

Love, A

 

 


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2019 Word of the Year: Treasure

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Do you have a word of the year? This year my word is treasure. Last year my word was roots and I had an inspirational image art project I worked on throughout the year to remind me of my word.

I don’t yet have an art project in process for treasure, but the image is forming in my mind. I’m letting it percolate on the back burner. You know what happens when things perk on the back burner? If it’s my dad’s coffee pot, the old-fashioned type with grounds, metal basket, and metal coffee-greasy shellac, then perking will brew strong, formidable, grow-the-hair-on-your-chest type of coffee.

That’s what I’m going for. Treasure that grows strong, formidable, and grows the hair on my chest, in the courage and confidence sort of way. Letting my word simmer will add notes of depth, fragrance, insights, and spicy overtones. As I taste my word, treasure, I hope I will also grow deeper, gain insights, become more fragrant, and enjoy spice in my life.

A spicy life! Let’s do it!

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8, NKJV)

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” (2 Corinthians 2:14, NKJV)

Taste and see, smell and know.

I began a Blessings and Thankfulness journal on January 1. Nothing fancy, just a cheap composition notebook and pens. As I focus on my treasure, I want to remember the blessings and reasons for thankfulness which are all around me. You know how easy it is to complain and mope. Ugh. I’m so tired of that. But still, I sink into that attitude. I hope by considering and jotting down both blessings and thanks, I can avoid the pity party.

A quick list of some of my treasures:

Jesus-God-Holy Spirit-faith-hope-love-Kevin-RV-home-shelter-food-Taylor-Jamie-Donavyn-Autumn-Chelsie-Hayden-Khloe-Gage-Monet-coffee-church-family-friends-you-readers-nature-snow-books-gardens-beauty-Bog boots-words-Bible-chocolate-art-music-travel-camera-rubber stamping-crafts-journals-writing-bees-flowers-hiking

Can you list 5 treasures in your life?

Read more about my Word of the Year here.

What is your word of the year?


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Polysyndeton: A Literary Device I Use (and didn’t know it)

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I love writing and reading and sipping coffee and nibbling dark chocolate.

Did you see the polysyndeton technique I just used?

Notice the ands, instead of commas. Using extended conjunctions in a sentence is  polysyndeton. As soon as I read this post. I recognized this literary technique as one I love to employ. Much to the dismay of some of my former critique partners.

I love the way polysyndeton slows the reader down, creates excitement, enhances vocabulary, adds focus, and increases emotions in the text I’m writing. (No polysyndeton in this sentence.)

It’s fun to play with a technique with a fancy name! I’m not even sure how to correctly pronounce polysyndeton, but I can put it to good use.

Read the full article by Daily Writing Tips here.

How about you? Do you use the polysyndeton technique? Is there a favorite literary technique you love?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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Picture Books of the Moment: Gage & Autumn Picks

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Meet Gage (3 going on 4) and Autumn (2 going on 16). Gigi is also featured above, all 3 of them enjoying a Babybel cheese break.

Preschoolers have discerning tastes and interests. I’d like to add that both of these magnificent grands are eloquent, opinionated, book afficionados. Here are their current favorite picture books. And why I think each has preschool staying power.

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“Again!”

This remark nearly guarantees a great picture book. They should call it the AGAIN Award. SPOILER ALERT: Both grands love Peter and his adventures in the snow, though Gage is convinced the snowball did not melt, but is in fact, tucked beneath Peter’s chin as he sleeps. Don’t believe me? Look at that page. The background white section looks exactly like a snowball. They both love the snow adventures.

Why I think this book deserves the AGAIN Award:

Simplicity of text, universal preschool and young reader experiences, nature focus, playfulness of a child’s day in the snow

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Froggy and his silly antics keep Gage and Autumn glued to the story. They love me to read this to them as they eat lunch. They love jumping to the conclusion before I even get there. The laughing portions of the book have great child appeal.

Why I think this book deserves the AGAIN Award:

Humor, age-appropriate excitement and desire to enjoy life, Froggy’s disregard for reality (hibernate in winter), repetitive language

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Of all the books we read, this one surprises me. Not that it’s a bad book, but, you know, she dies at the end. Despite that, Gage LOVES this book. He knows the ending and he loves how the old lady gets larger and larger. I always use a sing-song voice when I read it, so music complements the retelling. Who knew?

Why I think this book deserves the AGAIN Award:

Illustrations, musical options, repetitive, cumulative, silly, full of exaggeration, contains extra details that can be shared as readers mature

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This book was a hit the very first time I read it, with both Gage and Autumn. They love memorizing the story and retelling it themselves. I did hear that older brother, Donavyn, was purposely saying the wrong thing as she was reading to herself. This made her very angry! (This might have happened with the next book instead…). Preschoolers love reading about the caterpillar.

Why I think this book deserves the AGAIN Award:

Nature aspects of change, life cycle, eating, growing, overeating; days of the week; interesting pages and features like holes and different-sized pages; simple text and easy to recall story; classic picture book tale

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This was one of the first books I dug out to share with Gage and Autumn. They loved it and immediately memorized the pattern of text and wanted to read it alone. This book is easy to figure out by simply turning the pages. The bright colorful illustrations help readers retell and enjoy the story.

Why I think this book deserves the AGAIN Award:

Predictable, patterned, colorful illustrations, teaches colors, simple text, imaginative (blue horse?!), fun to read, readers enjoy being in control and being the ‘teacher’ as they read

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Anything with a flap is award-winning for preschoolers. This simple book has repetitive text and involves visual and textual clues to use to guess the answer. Fill-in-the-blank reading is lots of fun and both Gage and Autumn love shouting the answers. Animals, flaps, mystery! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taped this book back together.

Why I think this book deserves the AGAIN Award:

Lift the flaps, simplicity, animal connections, emotions, cause and effect, thinking skills to figure out which pet is best

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Three words: Hug, Bobo, Mommy. Who says you can’t tell a story with only 3 words? Everybody knows about hugs and mommy’s. Gage and Autumn love this book because of the mommy factor. Mommy’s are important and it would be horrible if she went missing. All the animals work together to help Bobo. So many good things in three words and great illustrations.

Why I think this book deserves the AGAIN Award:

The mommy factor, hugs, friends, helping, simple text, universal needs and desires, family, being lost and getting found

Introducing the AGAIN Award. You heard it here first, friends.

Let’s find other books that deserve the AGAIN Award. For in those beloved books, we will find the joy of reading and the shared experiences of lap time.

 

 

 

 


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Storystorm Winner!

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I’m a Storystorm winner!

Storystorm is a month-long brainstorming project for writers of picture books organized and hosted by Tara Lazar. Mark your calendars for January 2020 when Storystorm will blast off the new year with daily posts, ideas, tips, and interactions with other writers. It’s that good.

Everyone who participates in Storystorm is a winner. I have a full notebook of ideas from this past month of Storystorm and previous years of Storystorm. I just began my second notebook. Those notebooks are gold mines for writers of picture books. Really!

I can’t tell you my ideas. They are SECRET. For now. Let me tell you there are some real gems lining those pages.

Whoop!

What do you do to brainstorm?

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Today is Multicultural Children’s Book Day! Book Review: Just Like You by Keosha Sath #ReadYourWorld

Today is a special day! Help me celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day by reading about a fun new book! I was gifted this book by @MascotBooks so I could participate in MCBD2019! Thank you, @MascotBooks and @KeoshaSath.

I’m pleased to introduce you to Just Like You, Keosha Sath, and Mascot Books!

Just Like You

Written by Keosha Sath

Illustrated by Yasushi Matsuoka

Published by Mascot Books (2018)

Ages: 5-6 years old

Themes: Self-confidence, Imagination, Equality, Career

Synopsis: From Amazon:

In this book, a small child is inquisitively asking her mother questions about life. The book begins with the mother and daughter in the car on the way to school. They then visit different job occupations throughout the day. The mom is so busy thinking about giving the best answers, that she forgets the most important job is being a mom.

The importance of this book is to show all little girls that they can work in male dominated jobs. The book also plants the seed to strive to be the person in charge. This book encourages more girls to think about obtaining science, technology, engineering, and mathematics jobs, as there is a shortage of women in these fields.

Why I love this book:

I love the opening pages when the little girl asks, “Mommy, why do I have to go to school today?” and the mother answers, “So that you can be whatever you want to be when you grow up.”

What a perfect statement and preface for giving permission to dream big and grow up to be whatever you want! I want all little girls (and all children) to have the self-confidence and permission to pursue any career that interests them, regardless of who is traditionally found working in specific occupations.

I love the bold, colorful, beautiful illustrations that accompany the story. Just Like You is told through conversation only. Mommy and the little girl have different colors of print to distinguish who is speaking. This style of writing keeps the story moving and captivating. During the conversation, a variety of careers and multicultural characters illustrate the story. I love the beautiful family featured on the pages of Just Like You. Young readers will enjoy the suggestions and open discussion of career options found in Just Like You.

Connect with Keosha Sath:

Instagram: Keosha Sath

Facebook: Keosha Sath

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Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Medallion Level Sponsors

Honorary: Children’s Book Council, The Junior Library Guild, TheConsciousKid.org.

Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

GOLD: Bharat Babies, Candlewick Press, Chickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcito, KidLitTVLerner Publishing Group, Plum Street Press,

SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Carole P. Roman, Author Charlotte Riggle, Huda Essa, The Pack-n-Go Girls,

BRONZE: Charlesbridge Publishing, Judy Dodge Cummings, Author Gwen Jackson, Kitaab World, Language Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ Languages, Lee & Low Books, Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, Redfin, Author Gayle H. Swift,  T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s Daughter, TimTimTom Books, Lin Thomas, Sleeping Bear Press/Dow Phumiruk, Vivian Kirkfield,

 

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie Flett, Mehrdokht Amini,

Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Lori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC

 

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it,  Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup, Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground

And guess what? They are having a super Twitter party with visiting authors answering questions and LOTS of prizes!

twitter party announcement

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual @McChildsBookDay Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party. GO HERE for more details.

We will be giving away Book Bundles every 5 minutes!

Twitter Party Details:

When: Friday, January 25th

Time: 9 pm to 10 pm EST

Where: On Twitter! Follow McChildsBookDay to participate

Hashtag: #ReadYourWorld

Sponsored By: Make A Way Media

And wait…that’s not all! There are free resources available for teachers and parents!

FREE RESOURCES From MCBD

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

 


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Coming Friday: Multicultural Children’s Book Day #ReadYourWorld

This Friday!!! Drop by and read my review of Just Like You by Keosha Sath.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board!

*View our 2019 Medallion Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-
*View our 2019 MCBD Author Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-2eN

Medallion Level Sponsors

Honorary: Children’s Book CouncilThe Junior Library GuildTheConsciousKid.org.

Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

GOLD: Bharat BabiesCandlewick PressChickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcitoKidLitTV,  Lerner Publishing GroupPlum Street Press,

SILVER: Capstone PublishingCarole P. RomanAuthor Charlotte RiggleHuda EssaThe Pack-n-Go Girls,

BRONZE: Charlesbridge PublishingJudy Dodge CummingsAuthor Gwen JacksonKitaab WorldLanguage Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ LanguagesLee & Low BooksMiranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, RedfinAuthor Gayle H. Swift,  T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s DaughterTimTimTom BooksLin ThomasSleeping Bear Press/Dow PhumirukVivian Kirkfield,

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie FlettMehrdokht Amini,

Author Janet BallettaAuthor Kathleen BurkinshawAuthor Josh FunkChitra SoundarOne Globe Kids – Friendship StoriesSociosights Press and Almost a MinyanKaren LeggettAuthor Eugenia ChuCultureGroove BooksPhelicia Lang and Me On The PageL.L. WaltersAuthor Sarah StevensonAuthor Kimberly Gordon BiddleHayley BarrettSonia PanigrahAuthor Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing DreidelsAuthor Susan BernardoMilind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu KidTara WilliamsVeronica AppletonAuthor Crystal BoweDr. Claudia MayAuthor/Illustrator Aram KimAuthor Sandra L. RichardsErin DealeyAuthor Sanya Whittaker GraggAuthor Elsa TakaokaEvelyn Sanchez-ToledoAnita BadhwarAuthor Sylvia LiuFeyi Fay AdventuresAuthor Ann MorrisAuthor Jacqueline JulesCeCe & Roxy BooksSandra Neil Wallace and Rich WallaceLEUYEN PHAMPadma VenkatramanPatricia Newman and Lightswitch LearningShoumi SenValerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci SorellShereen RahmingBlythe StanfelChristina MatulaJulie RubiniPaula ChaseErin TwamleyAfsaneh MoradianLori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls RevolutionSoulful SydneyQueen Girls Publications, LLC

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty ArabAgatha Rodi BooksAll Done MonkeyBarefoot MommyBiracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms ShareColours of UsDiscovering the World Through My Son’s EyesDescendant of Poseidon ReadsEducators Spin on it Growing Book by BookHere Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin LeeJump Into a BookImagination Soup,Jenny Ward’s ClassKid World CitizenKristi’s Book NookThe LogonautsMama SmilesMiss Panda ChineseMulticultural Kid BlogsRaising Race Conscious ChildrenShoumi SenSpanish Playground

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual @McChildsBookDay Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party ( a prize every 5 minutes!). GO HERE for more details.

FREE RESOURCES From MCBD

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.


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Book Report: The Disasters by M. K. England

The Disasters

The Disasters

By M. K. England

Harper Teen, 2018

 

I won a copy of an ARC of The Disasters by M. K. England through Literary Rambles, an ‘everything literature’ blog by Natalie Aguirre. SPOILER ALERT

Blurb From Goodreads:

Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours.

But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.

On the run and framed for atrocities they didn’t commit, Nax and his fellow failures execute a dangerous heist to spread the truth about what happened at the Academy.

They may not be “Academy material,” and they may not get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.

Book Report

I truly enjoyed reading The Disasters. Nax is a mix of Captain Kirk and Han Solo-rebellious, risk-taking, and flying by the seat of his pants. Oh, and don’t forget skilled and able to creatively solve problems. The rest of the cast was just as interesting and unique. These failures who were kicked out of Ellis Station Academy formed a team capable of trying to figure out what to do to help, well, the Universe.

What I loved: I enjoyed the characters and the setting of post now. I found it intriguing that once humans left the area, they were unable to ever visit Earth again. I loved the mystery and thrill of bad things happening, evil plans, and plot twists. The living in outer space setting was fun and I might have learned a few new things.

I found the writing to be smooth, engaging, and page-turning. I think I finished the book over 2-3 evenings. Just couldn’t put it down.

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Thanks to M. K. England, Literary Rambles, and Natalie Aguirre. Great read!

You can read the interview over at Literary Rambles here.