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Friday, March 29, 2019

The 7th Annual March MG Madness Ends


Sadly, the 7th Annual March MG Madness has come to a close


But what an extraordinary month of middle-grade literature it has been! I want to send a very special very big THANK YOU to each author, publisher, publicist, and manager that participated this year. None of this would have been possible without y'all!! And to the awesome readers who stopped by each day and left such nice comments: thank you thank you thank you. 

If you've missed any posts/giveaways this month please click HERE to check out the master list. All the giveaways will be closing soon and winners will hear from me by email some time in the next week or so.

Until next year's event, keep reading, sharing, and celebrating the awesomeness that is middle-grade literature!!!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

7th MMGM: Super Sons-The Polarshield Project by Ridley Pearson (review)


Welcome to Day 21 of the 7th Annual March MG Madness! Click here to see the full schedule and links to other days.


Super Sons: The Polarshield Project 
By Ridley Pearson 
Illustrated by Ile Gonzalez 
April 2, 2019 
DC Zoom 

The polar ice caps have nearly melted away, causing devastation to coastal cities. Erratic, deadly weather forces everyone inland, tearing families apart. Earth is facing its greatest crisis--and Superman and Batman are nowhere to be found. 

Jon Kent and Damian "Ian" Wayne are opposite in every way except one--they are the sons of the World's Greatest Heroes! To uncover a global conspiracy, this unlikely dynamic duo will need to learn to trust each other and work together to save the Earth. But who is the mysterious Candace, and what secrets does she hold that could be the key to everything? 

From New York Times best-selling author Ridley Pearson (Kingdom Keepers) and artist Ile Gonzalez comes the first book in an epic new series that follows the Super Sons of Superman and Batman as they struggle to find their place in a rapidly changing world! 



Melting ice caps and extreme climate change have sent the world into turmoil. Cities have been destroyed, families have been separated, and chaos has ensued...where are Batman and Superman to save the day? In their absence, the superheroes’ sons, Jon Kent and Ian Wayne, with the help from mysterious Candace and school friend Tilly, step in to keep their city and families safe. 

Ridley Pearson’s Super Sons: The Polarshield Project is an exciting debut in what is sure to be a middle-grade comic series hit! Fast-paced, action-packed, and with cool gadgets, sharp humor, and characters worth rooting for, this new series hits all the right graphic novel notes. Pearson infuses his new series with classic Batman/Superman elements, but has mostly crafted a thrilling new world for young readers to explore. Age appropriate thrills, chills, action, character development, and plot twists will keep readers eagerly turning pages. And Gonzalez’s cinematic, engaging illustrations captivatingly bring the story to life. 

Super Sons: The Polarshield Project is perfect for DC fans of all ages and young readers just discovering the world of graphic novels. 


Ridley Pearson is the author of more than twenty novels, including the New York Times bestseller KILLER WEEKEND; the Lou Boldt crime series; and many books for young readers, including the award-winning children's novels PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS, PETER AND THE SHADOW THIEVES, and PETER AND THE SECRET OF RUNDOON, which he cowrote with Dave Barry. Pearson lives with his wife and two daughters, dividing their time between Missouri and Idaho.   Also writes Chris Klick mysteries as Wendell McCall. 

Edgar-nominee, Ridley Pearson is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of (more than 50) award-winning suspense and young adult adventure novels. His novels have been published in two-dozen languages and have been adapted for network television and the Broadway stage. Ridley’s crime novels have earned a reputation for writing fiction that “grips the imagination.” 
Ridley’s middle-grade-reader series include, The Kingdom Keepers, Steel Trapp and Lock & Key. The Peter and the Starcatchers series,co-written with Pulitzer Prize winner (and bandmate), Dave Barry, (adapted to the stage by Rick Elice) was awarded 5 Tony Awards. 
Ridley’s research has spanned the globe and has included, a prison for the criminally insane in the U.K., exploring the engine room of a cruise liner, and multiple after-hour tours of Walt Disney World and Disneyland. 

Currently, Ridley is writing a new series—The Kingdom Kids—for Disney Books and a trilogy of graphic novels—The Super Sons—for DC Entertainment. 
Ridley plays bass guitar in an all-author rock band comprised of other bestselling writers (Dave Barry, Amy Tan, Mitch Album, Scott Turow, Greg Iles, and occasionally, Stephen King). <em>The Rockbottom Remainders</em>, has raised over 2.5 million dollars for various non-profits. He lives–and writes–in the Northern Rockies along with his wife, Marcelle. 


Ile Gonzalez illustrated her first comic strip while in kindergarten, and grew up to study fashion design in college. Deciding that graphic storytelling was her first true love, she refocused her creative effort and landed her first paid work at the digital storytelling company Madefire, working exclusively for them to co-create their popular middle-grade series The Heroes Club. Super Sons is her first graphic novel, and her first project for DC. 










Wednesday, March 27, 2019

7th MMGM: The Super Life Of Ben Braver Series by Marcus Emerson (interview)


Welcome to Day 20 of the 7th Annual March MG Madness! Click here to see the full schedule and links to other days.


The Super Life of Ben Braver 
By Marcus Emerson 
March 6, 2018 
Roaring Book Press 

Ben Braver is an ordinary kid. All he wants to do is finish his summer watching awesome TV shows and eating his favorite candy. But when some kid screams for help, Ben, like his favorite comic book heroes, tries to save the day. Let's just say it ends badly. But it does lead him to a secret school where kids with super abilities learn to control their powers. Ben's never had any powers—and never thought he could be special. So when he's offered a spot at the school, Ben realizes this is his chance to become the superhero he's always dreamed of. Packed with black-and-white art and comic strips throughout. 

Ben Braver and the Incredible Exploding Kid 
(Ben Braver #2) 
By Marcus Emerson 
March 5, 2019 
Roaring Book Press 

The Super Life of Ben Braver: The Incredible Exploding Kid is jam-packed with art and comic strips. It's another wacky adventure from Marcus Emerson, the author behind the hit Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja series! 

“A crazy fun ride—action packed and loaded with laughs!” —Max Brallier, The Last Kids on Earth 

Even though Ben Braver saved Kepler Academy from total destruction last year, he knows he still doesn't fit in at his secret middle school for kids with special abilities. Ben's been hiding his lack of super skills, but it's getting harder as his classmates' powers are getting stronger. 

Will Ben be able to power up before his enemies at school take him down? And will he risk everything to become the ultimate superhero? 




Q1. What three words best describe your book Ben Braver and the Incredible Exploding Kid? 

IncredibleExploding. And Kid. No, I’m kidding. I’d say SecretsLiesand Battles. 

Q2.  Grab a copy of Ben Braver and the Incredible Exploding Kid and answer the following 
Favorite chapter? Chapter 51, because it’s the climax. It’s where everything finally comes crashing down. 

Favorite page? 181 & 182. It’s a double page spread of an epic superpower battle between 20 students a bunch of chickens. 

Favorite setting? Ben often has a heart to heart with a statue in front of the school. The statue is a boy named Brock who turned himself to stone several years ago. These are my favorite scenes to write because it’s always Ben at his most vulnerable. It’s when we (and he) learn the most about him. 

Flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser: 
Ben discovers that the world ended, and that Elvis Presley was responsible for it. 

Q3. What inspired the Ben Braver series? How did the story come to be? 

I’ve always been a fan of superhero comics ever since I discovered them in 6th grade. I’ve doodled and designed superheroes my entire life, and the X-men is one of my all-time favorite comics. I wanted to write a superhero story like the X-men, but I wanted to start from scratch, using my own characters so I could really dig into the characters. I wanted to make a superhero team that’s made up of best friends, and the dynamics of what that would look like, especially when one of those members is ordinary. 

Q4. Tell us a bit about your character Ben. What makes him special? What do you love about him? 

Ben is a totally regular kid who stumbled into a school full of kids with powers. He’s a total fish out of water and he feels it every second of every day, and even though he often feels defeated, he keeps pushing forward. It’s his unrelenting determination that has him working harder than ANY student at the school. He’s hungry. He WANTS to succeed. And failure can’t stop him. Even at his lowest point, he still stands back up just because he can. 

Q5. What do you love about writing and reading middle-grade lit? 

I’m still a kid at heart so writing for this age group comes naturally for me. And that age is such an interesting time in life because those kids are old enough to learn some serious life lessons that’ll resonate with them for the rest of their lives, but they’re also still young enough to be silly and carefree. It’s a mix of both worlds – serious and silly. 

Q6. What is your all-time favorite middle-grade book? 

I’d have to say any of the Goosebumps because they’re the books that made me first realize I loved reading. STAY OUT OF THE BASEMENT is the first book I couldn’t put down. I was hooked. I read it from start to finish in one day. 

Q7. Fill in the blanks: 
I’m really awesome at wasting time. 

I’m really embarrassed to admit that I waste A LOT of time. 

The last great book I read was Time Management: How to Stop Wasting Time. 

Q8. If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Ben Braver and the Incredible Exploding Kid what would it look and taste like? What would you call it? 

It would be a chocolate cupcake filled with a chocolate pudding center. On top would be a full sized peanut butter cup. On top of that would be a dollop of creamy peanut butter. On top of that would tiny, chopped up pieces of another peanut butter cup. It’ll also come with a tiny peanut butter cup as an appetizer. I would call it The Atomic Peanut Butter Cup Belly Buster, or, APBCBB for short. 



Marcus Emerson is the author of several highly imaginative children's books including the popular Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja series and the Secret Agent 6th Grader series. His goal is to create children's books that are engaging, funny, and inspirational for kids of all ages - even the adults who secretly never grew up. He is a 35-year-old comic book reader, video game player, and toy collector.