Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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The Countdown Conspiracy by Katie Slivensky ~ Chapter Book Review

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The Countdown Conspiracy

Written by Katie Slivensky

(Harper, 2017)

 

Six kids. One Mission to Mars. All systems go.

So says the front cover of The Countdown Conspiracy. All systems go, but smoothly?

The Countdown Conspiracy is the story of six kids from around the world chosen to train for the first mission to Mars. Miranda Regent was stoked to be one of the selected few. Until she began receiving threatening messages. At the training base, Miranda worked with the other international ambassadors to learn necessary information and skills. Suddenly, Miranda finds herself the target of an attack on the training base, an attack that put everyone’s lives in danger.

I loved reading The Countdown Conspiracy! It is the perfect combination of adventure, mystery, tension, and relationships. Each chapter had me hooked and I consumed this chapter book in a very short time. When it ended, I was ready for the next installment.

Katie Slivensky did a great job in writing this book. Middle graders will enjoy the clean, exciting details and intrigue woven through the relationships and outer space adventures. The Countdown Conspiracy is a wonderful debut chapter book! Two thumbs up.

I won an ARC copy of The Countdown Conspiracy from Katie and Natalie (Literary Rambles). Thank you, Katie and Natalie! Great reading!

 

P.S. The Seismic Seven by Katie Slivensky is coming in June!

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Tara Luebbe Books & a Cookie Recipe!

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I just read this blog post over at Vivian Kirkfield’s place. Click here.

Tara’s post is on April 7 (I’m a bit behind in my emails and blogs due to spring break). I loved reading about her writing story and new books. I may have slightly drooled a bit when reading her no-bake cookie recipe. I think we will be trying that soon!

Thanks to Vivian and Tara! Congratulations!

via TARA LUEBBE: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Giveaway


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Refugees, Our Part

By Angie Quantrell

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Refugees.

I realize this is a hot, politically heavy topic. But I want to skip the controversy and go straight to a response.

Humans. Babies, toddlers, children, teens, adults. Moms, dads, children, grandpas, grammas, aunts, uncles, friends. In other words, people.

An article I wrote about making space for relationships (with refugees and other community members) is in the March issue of Missions Mosaic. You can also read the article online here.

(Search for the article title, “Make It Personal: Build Relationships with Refugees.”)

I’ve been researching the refugee crisis for various writing contracts. And while I am in no way an expert, even I can see that refugees need our help. We can’t all travel to refugee camps and help on site. But we can keep our eyes open and alert to seeing refugees (internationals) in our communities.

What to do then? Gently, kindly extend a hand of friendship. No bulls in a China shop approach. But with a humble heart, coming from a sincere desire to help – reach out. Offer assistance. Open the door. Smile. Let your children play together. Help at the grocery store or post office. Take time to explain something confusing. At the least, make eye contact and say hello. Every little effort is worth the awkwardness and uncertainty we might experience. Think of it as making new friends. There. That helps, doesn’t it?

We can do it. I can do it. Join me?

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STORYSTORM 2018 Final Day: Doreen Cronin Makes Embarrassing Mistakes (and you can, too!)

Oh, I’ve had my share of embarrassing mistakes. Now if I only had the courage to remember them and transform them into stories…

Thanks, Doreen and Tara!

via STORYSTORM 2018 Final Day: Doreen Cronin Makes Embarrassing Mistakes (and you can, too!)


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Storystorm 2018 DAY 29: JANE YOLEN CULTIVATES THE WILD IDEA

Collecting those ideas is just like gathering eggs. You have to watch where you’re walking, keep your eyes peeled, and collect those golden orbs of inspiration and place them in a sturdy basket to incubate for hatching up a great story.

Thanks, Jane and Tara!

via STORYSTORM 2018 Day 29: Jane Yolen Cultivates the Wild Idea


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STORYSTORM 2018 Day 27: Josh Nash is Always on the Clock

Ideas wait for no clock. It’s now or never, baby! Write down those great ideas, whenever they appear!

Thanks, Josh and Tara!

via STORYSTORM 2018 Day 27: Josh Nash is Always on the Clock


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STORYSTORM 2018 Day 26: Jeanette Bradley Invites You to Tea

I’d love to come home and find ideas on my deck, just waiting for me. But usually all I find are dead mouse parts and fluffs of bird feathers (no bird attached).

Thanks, Jeanette and Tara!

via STORYSTORM 2018 Day 26: Jeanette Bradley Invites You to Tea


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STORYSTORM 2018 Day 25: Vivian Kirkfield Kicks Back and Kicks Butt

This post is full of wonderful tips for staying the course in writing picture books for kids. AND Vivian shares suggestions on where to collect new ideas for future projects!

Thanks, Vivian and Tara!

via STORYSTORM 2018 Day 25: Vivian Kirkfield Kicks Back and Kicks Butt