Monday, February 27, 2023

Not-So-Common Cent$ Blog Tour + Giveaway



 Welcome to the Not-So-Common Cent$ Blog Tour & Giveaway! 

To celebrate the release of Not-So-Common Cents by Sarah Wassner Flynn, featuring a special forward by financial educator Alvin Hall, blogs across the web are hosting exclusive excerpts from this ultimate book of all things money, as well as 5 chances to win a copy!


A note from internationally renowned financial educator, television and radio broadcaster and bestselling author, Alvin Hall


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               A rare 1969 penny sold for $24,000

·         The first coins were bronze, not gold or silver

·         The British pound is the oldest continually used currency in the world

·         There are eight features on the U.S. dollar that represent the original 13 colonies

·         There are 54 different countries in Africa – and 15 of them use the same                      currency

·         The largest denomination ever is a 100,000 peso note issued in the Philippines


These are all fun facts about money. But learning about money can be practical, too. Money fascinates almost everyone and in many different ways. As we grow up, that fascination usually changes from accumulating fun facts to accumulating actual money. This shift generally occurs when we start earning money—usually as an allowance or from doing chores. Understandably, our first desire is to spend: We want to use the money we’ve accumulated to get something we want badly—anything from a trendy item of clothing or the newest computer game. How satisfying is that!


As we develop, we begin to see and feel that money is also associated with other desires and ambitions as well as a sense of well-being in life. Budgeting, saving, and then investing become priorities.


Here’s the first secret I will share with you: You don’t have to understand everything about money at one time. You can learn whatever money-related topic or strategy that is important in your life when you need to or when you are curious about it. Like putting money in a savings account, this knowledge is cumulative, making you smarter at each stage. 


Here’s the second secret: The more comfortable you are with money and the more you understand that your self-control is part of bringing out the magic in money, you will be able to do good things for yourself and others with the knowledge you continually accumulate. 

 Not-So-Common Cent$, is an entertaining, practical place to acquire important information that will help you make your money work smarter for you during each phase of your life. You can do it!


Alvin Hall

Author of the award-winning children’s book Show Me the Money


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Buy | Buy on | Add to GoodReads


Cha-ching! Learn everything adults wish they knew about money when they were kids―and more―including how to make it, save it, and multiply it!

While money certainly isn’t everything, one fact is true: No matter where you live in the world, money is a basic necessity. From the clothes on your back to the food on your plate, chances are, money is somehow involved in almost all of your day-to-day activities.

In this book you’ll discover exactly what money is, along with:

·How society went from bartering to using bucks
· Basics of saving (including some brilliant hacks), investing, and interest
· What “credit” really means
· Inventive ways to get your ideas flowing and money growing
· What the stock market is, and how money moves around the world today
· Ins and outs of cryptocurrency and other “new” money
· The importance of giving back―one of the best things a fiscally responsible global citizen can do
· Why being smart with money = a big step toward independence

So jump in, and find out the mind-blowing secrets and stats about money!

About the Author


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Website | Instagram


SARAH WASSNER FLYNN is a longtime writer for National Geographic Kids. She loves writing, running, and triathlons. When she's not writing about races, she's usually training or competing in one. She also writes nonfiction books and articles for kids and teens, like National Geographic Kids National Park Guide U.S.A.This Book Stinks!Weird But True Know-It-All Greek Mythology, and Girls' Life Guide to Being the Most Amazing You.

About the Foreword Writer


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Website | Facebook | Twitter


ALVIN HALL is an internationally recognized, award-winning financial educator, author, and television and radio host. He’s the author of the best-selling financial advice books You and Your MoneyYour Money or Your LifeWhat Not to SpendGetting Started in Mutual Funds, and his 2008 children’s book Show Me the Money. In 2006, he was awarded the Wincott Award for business journalism for his 2006 documentary Jay-Z: From Brooklyn to the Boardroom about the life of rapper Jay-Z. In addition, he was the longtime host of the award-winning BBC radio finance program Your Money or Your Life.



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·         One (1) winner will receive a copy of Not-So-Common Cents

·         US/Can only

·         Ends 3/11 at 11:59 pm ET

·         Enter via the Rafflecopter below

·         Visit the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule:

February 27th — Log Cabin Library

February 28th  — Eye-Rolling Demigod’s Book Blog

March 1st  Crafty Moms Share

March 2nd   - Geo Librarian

March 3rd   — Chat With Vera


Wednesday, February 22, 2023

The Girl from Earth's End by Tara Dairman

The Girl from Earth's End by Tara Dairman
  Candlewick Press
Format: Paperback ARC 
Number of pages:  384
Publishing:  March 14th, 2023
Source: ARC book tour

Opening Lines: "The Orange Boat doesn't carry oranges anymore." 

Tara Dairman wrote one of my favorite book series, All Four Stars.  It was about Gladys Gatsby, a girl who had a passion for gourmet cooking and a dream to be a food critic.  It's a wonderful book.  So needless to say, I was very excited to learn about Tara's ARC book tour and happy to have an opportunity to read an early copy of her latest book, The Girl from Earth's End.

Henna was delivered to Earth's End twelve years ago on the Orange Boat, ever since she's been living there with her two loving papas, Niall and Joaquim.  Their home is on the site of a former monastery with a lighthouse tower nearby.  Papa Niall happily paints and meditates, while Joaquim and Henna work around the island, fishing and preparing meals.  Henna has even cultivated a beautiful herb garden and is happiest among her beloved plants and trees, until Papa Niall begins to grow seriously ill.   Concerned for his health, Henna enters a horticultural competition, and even lands herself a scholarship to the prestigious St. Basil's Conservatory, a boarding school that is rumored to house seeds of every plant ever grown.  When Henna learns of a legendary, long-extinct plant with miraculous healing powers, she knows that she must leave the solitude of her island and venture to St. Basil's in order to save her beloved Papa Niall.  However, upon her arrival to her new school, Henna is disappointed to learn that she won't have free reign to explore the school, instead she and her new friend P are to be companions to Lora Windover, so instead of receiving their horticultural education, the Headmistress informs them that they will be assisting Lora with her wheelchair and basically carrying out what ever menial task she has in mind for them.  However, Lora has plans of her own, she is tired of having servants who do everything for her and instead, wants to be left alone.  Free to explore the school, Henna and P begin their quest to track down the infamous Nightwalker seeds that can save her papa's life.        

Tara writes these beautiful stories with children who have great passions, Gladys loved her gourmet cooking and Henna has a knack for cultivating her plants.  With all the lovely details about the spices and dishes Gladys was making and the way that she describes Henna repotting a plant and washing the soil off the roots of a tree, her stories inspire me to want to bake a Creme Brule or grow an herb garden of my own.  And oh, how I loved Henna's two papas.  Joaquim kind of reminds me of Grandfather from the book Heidi by Johanna Spyri.  Like Grandfather, Joaquim and Niall weren't ever expecting to have a child come into their lives but they all learn to adapt to the new situation and form a very tight bond.  Like Heidi, Henna soon moves away from the comfort of her quiet life of her family and is at a school taking care of a Lora.  Lora however is nothing like Clara, she is by no means frail, and I just love how she doesn't want people to do things for her, instead she wants to live her life to the fullest and do things for herself.      I also really liked P aka Pierett do Mar, a nonbinary character who uses they as their pronoun, they were certainly full of life, adventurous and brought a lot of humor to the story.  The friendship that developed between all three of these characters was truly a joy to read about.  Overall, this was a beautiful setting, and lovely characters.   I also really enjoyed the authors note at the back of the book, learning about the inspiration for the story, both the geographical and historical components that went into the book.  Despite Nightwalker not being a real plant, it was interesting to learn about other plants with similar qualities.  So, both an entertaining and informative read.  Give this to a budding gardener and fans of Tara Dairman's other books, it's a gem of a book and one not to be missed. 

 **A huge thank you to Tara Dairman for including me in the ARC tour and happy reading to the person I'm sending this off to next.**

Monday, February 20, 2023

Its MMGM with a review of Big Nate: Nailed It! by Lincoln Peirce

Big Nate: Nailed it! by Lincoln Peirce
  Andrews McMeel Publishing
Format:  E-ARC
Number of pages:  176
Publishing:  February 28th, 2023
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review.   

The Big Nate series debuted in 1991 and has spun off into Graphic Novels, Comics and currently they've been adapted into an animated series showing on Paramount+ and Nickelodeon.   Peirce's latest book, Big Nate: Nailed It! is the twenty-eighth book in the series.

I think the Big Nate series is the kind of story that will appeal to middle grade readers, and especially to fans of Peirce's other books.  It's packed with humor and the school setting lends itself to the problems that Nate tends to find himself in.  There are short story arcs of Nate playing mud football, lounging on the couch with a friend, and longer ones where Nate is in search of a good luck charm and landing himself in detention.  The full color artwork and little black and white illustrations that Nate draws follow Peirce's original style.   I even like the speech bubbles, they're fun and silly.  There's a little sly adult humor thrown in (the Erotic book comment, and the not being able to have grandchildren joke) but nothing too over the top.  So, this will be a perfect fit for a reluctant reader looking for something humorous to read.  Something in the vein of The Terrible Two series by Mac Barnett.  

  **A huge thank you to Andrews McMeel Publishing for the E-ARC in exchange for an honest review. ** 

I hope you'll check all the other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.   

Monday, February 13, 2023

It's MMGM with a review of Etta Invincible by Reese Eschmann

Etta Invincible by Reese Eschmann illustrations by Gretel Lusky
Format:  Hardcover
Number of pages:  368
Published:  July 12th, 2022
Source: Giveaway sponsored by Natalie Aguirre from Literary Rambles and Book via Book Depository  

Opening Lines: "Mom sits beside me on our front steps, her shoulder rubbing against mine, a swirl of steam from her coffee rising to meet the storm brewing overhead."  

12-year-old Etta Johnson lives in Chicago with her parents.  For the past several months, Etta has been experiencing Quiet Days, where everything is muffled and difficult to understand and Loud Days where she hears everything just fine.  When her allergies flare up, she even experiences headaches and dizziness.  Ever since she found out about the "Big Maybe," she's had to make some lifestyle changes including cutting salty foods out of her diet and learning how to use a speech to text app on her phone, as well as learning sign language with her parents.  Most days, Etta can be found working on her secret comic book project about Invincible Girl, a superhero who battles the evil Petra Fide.  

Lately, however Etta and her family have been sopped with a severe storm that has blown over their town, and it seems to be affecting everyone's mood.  The purple clouds hovering over the city have caused Etta to be stuck on her story and even her mom has been having difficulty with her artwork.  The only bright side is when a boy, Eleazer appears at her bus stop trying to smuggle his dog aboard the bus.  He even introduces her to Louisa, whose named after the famous author.  Just as the two are starting to get to know one another, Louisa suddenly disappears after she makes a dash for the nearby train station and gets trapped on one of the trains leaving the station.  Soon Etta and Eleazer are teaming up to rescue Louisa by boarding the magical train and as their adventure ensues, they find that each car leading to the engine room holds one challenge more difficult than the next.  Can they make their way through the train cars to the engine room and the Conductor in time to rescue Louisa?

Etta Invincible has an interesting premise involving a magical train ride to rescue a dog, while also ultimately confronting one's fears.  I quite enjoyed the graphic novel style illustrations by Gretel Lusky that opened and ended the story and would've loved even more throughout the book.  They were so well done.  Etta has Ménière’s disease, a disorder that affects her inner ear which can lead to fluctuating hearing ability, dizziness, headaches and ringing of the ears.  I personally would have liked a little more clarity about her diagnosis at the beginning of the story, some more specific details other than referring to it as the "Big Maybe," however it also seems reasonable that Etta might make up her own term to help her understand her quiet and loud days.  Etta is an endearing character, her use of a speech to text app throughout the story spoke to my speech pathology heart.  I thought it realistically portrayed the difficulties she would experience in communicating given her fluctuating hearing abilities.    I also really enjoyed the magical train.  It felt like a mix of The Polar Express and The Phantom Tollbooth, but a little more ominous.  I enjoyed the way in which each car they went through felt very unique and how it presented a riddle, puzzle, or challenges for them to decipher in order to get a clue to find the next train car door.  And let me tell you these train cars weren't easy.  I'm still squeamish about the gummi worms.   I also really liked Mariana and Akio, the two fellow travelers Etta and Eleazer met along the way, they have their own specific reasons for getting on the train and a whole set of new problems that they bring, but who also prove to be valuable in helping with some of the more challenging obstacles.   Overall, the messaging of the story is well done.  It highlights the importance of learning to except yourself and overcoming your fears via having hope.  Having hope in a brighter future and having courage to tackle the fear that is holding you back from that brighter future. 

 **A huge thank you to Natalie Aguirre from Literary Rambles for a copy of the book for my review.**

I hope you'll check all the other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.   

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Cover Reveal for THE SHAPE OF TIME by Ryan Calejo

Today Ryan Calejo's and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for THE SHAPE OF TIME, his new Middle Grade Adventure Fantasy which releases September 12, 2023! Check out the awesome cover and enter the giveaway!


On to the reveal! 

About The Book:

Author: Ryan Calejo
Pub. Date: September 12, 2023
Publisher: Amulet Books
Formats:  Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 304

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Abrams 

Thirteen-year-old Antares De La Vega is a natural born adventurer. He dreams of journeying across burning deserts, trekking through wild and uncharted jungles, sailing the furthest reaches of the seas—and yet, he’s never even stepped foot outside of South Florida . . . But that all changes when strange creatures come leaping out of lightning bolts to kidnap him. Locked away in a secret prison in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle, Antares meets 13-year-old Magdavellía, a mysterious and iron-willed girl who opens his eyes to a shocking truth: that this world is a far different place than he’s been led to believe. He learns of the existence of The Flat Earth Society, an ancient secret order, whose main function is to keep the world beyond the great Ice Wall a mystery—a land known as Rymworld. But Rymworld is in trouble. Led by a nameless evil, a sinister group of mystics seek to seize control over its only truly resource: time itself.

Antares and Magdavellía must set out beyond the edges of any map to discover the undiscoverable: a lost and forgotten island where there is rumored to exist a legendary artifact: a mythical compass that just might hold the key to foiling the mystics’ plans. Following a series of intricately concealed clues left behind by Magdavellía’s parents (clues Antares seems to be the key to unlocking), they must wield both geometry and alchemy, outsmart molemen and mermaids, and outrun fiendish outer space aliens––all while attempting to solve a riddle as old and mystifying as the sun.


About Ryan Calejo:

Ryan Calejo is an award-winning author born and raised in sunny south Florida. His critically acclaimed Charlie Hernández series has been featured in half a dozen state reading lists and has earned starred reviews from Booklist and Kirkus, was a Texas Bluebonnet Master List Selection, and won an International Latino Book Award, a Sunshine State Young Readers Award, and a Florida Book Award (Gold Medal). He lives in Miami.


Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon GC courtesy of Rockstar Book Tours, International.

Ends February 14th, midnight EST.

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