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Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Way To Bea Blog Tour (review & giveaway)

Author: Kat Yeh
Pub. Date: September 19, 2017
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 352
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

With a charming voice, winning characters, and a perfectly-woven plot, Kat Yeh delivers a powerful story of friendship and finding a path towards embracing yourself.

Everything in Bea's world has changed. She's starting seventh grade newly friendless and facing big changes at home, where she is about to go from only child to big sister. Feeling alone and adrift, and like her words don't deserve to be seen, Bea takes solace in writing haiku in invisible ink and hiding them in a secret spot.

But then something incredible happens--someone writes back. And Bea begins to connect with new friends, including a classmate obsessed with a nearby labyrinth and determined to get inside. As she decides where her next path will lead, she just might discover that her words--and herself--have found a new way to belong.
Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads

Twelve year old Bea Lee and her BFF had big plans for seventh grade, but now Bea’s friends are ignoring her, Bea’s super busy artist mother and graphic novelist father are focused on the arrival of Bea’s little sister, and Bea feels utterly lost and invisible. She takes comfort in the poems she feels in her heart and writes in invisible ink, then hides in a special place...and one day someone writes back! Who is the mystery writer and friend? Could it be Bea’s former BFF, one of the interesting boys Bea meets working on the school newspaper, or someone else? Navigating seventh grade turns out to be as complex as the world of labyrinths Bea finds herself immersed in...and just maybe along the way, Bea simply finds herself.

Kat Yeh’s The Way To Bea is a heartfelt delight! With an absolute pitch-perfect voice, endearing characters, and beautiful depth, The Way To Bea will sweetly and smartly charm middle-grade (and grown-up) readers.

Kat Yeh perfectly captures that angsty, confusing, often heartbreaking, and too big, too muchness time in adolescence (the middle-school years), and does so with clever humor, profound honesty, soul-deep heart, and fantastic poetry. I think every reader, but especially middle-grade readers, will be able to relate to Bea’s story in some way and, more importantly, will find meaning in her journey. Young readers will appreciate Bea’s genuine and authentic POV and voice, and the way Yeh doesn’t underestimate her readers’ ability to ponder life’s big questions and process even bigger emotions.  

The Way To Bea is bursting with a rainbow of wonderfully engaging characters! From Bea to her parents, peers, and teachers, there is such an awesome array of eclectic, quirky, thoughtful, funny, unique characters for readers to love and relate to. With Bea’s new labyrinth obsessed friend, Will, Kat Yeh carefully and deftly gives a voice to young readers on the Autism spectrum, as Will has Asperger Syndrome (this is never stated in the book, but alluded to). And I must mention the character of Briggs, the editor in chief of the middle-school newspaper, because the boy charmed me completely! I’d love to see a 17/18 year old Briggs in a young adult novel someday because that boy is gonna grow up to be a sweetly swoon-worthy fella. (One of my favorite Briggs lines is halfway down on page 338!).

I just loved everything about this book: it’s captivating storytelling, irresistible voice, wonderful characters, and moving and profound message. The Way To Bea is a thoughtful and timely middle-grade novel that has that magical, marvelous ability to leave readers feeling like they just met a new friend!

5/5 Cupcakes

Kat grew up reading, doodling, and scribbling in Westtown. She worked for many years in advertising and sports marketing, while writing children’s books in the wee hours of the night. She currently lives on Long Island where she can see water every day and explore all the bay and harbor beaches with her family.

3 winners will receive a finished copy of
(US Only. this is a tour wide giveaway)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
9/18/2017- Jennifer Mary G.Interview
9/19/2017- YAYOMG!Review
9/20/2017- BookHounds YAGuest Post
9/21/2017- Word SpelunkingReview
9/22/2017- Little Red Reads- Interview

Week Two:
9/25/2017- Mrs. Knott's Book NookReview
9/26/2017- YA Book MadnessReview
9/27/2017- La La the LibraryReview
9/28/2017- The Autumn BookshelfInterview
9/29/2017- Cindy's Love of BooksReview

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Picture Book Round-Up

I have some fantastic new and upcoming picture books to share today! Little A (my four year old niece) and I both enjoyed each of these charming and wonderfully illustrated books...

Cookiesaurus Rex
By Amy Fellner Dominy & Nate Evans
Illustrated by A.G. Ford
September 26, 2017
As soon as Cookiesaurus Rex comes out of the oven, he declares that he is King of All Cookies. He should be frosted before all of the standard-shaped cookies, in a nice bright green. But the other cookies are getting sprinkles, or shiny stars, or even gumdrops . . . WAIT ONE STINKIN' STOMPIN' MINUTE! Cookiesaurus wants a do-over. Problem is, he might not end up with the kind of "do" he wants. Readers will love the funny back-and-forth between this cheeky cookie and the hand that frosts him. See who gets his licks in at the end!

Bruce’s Big Move
(Bruce #3)
By Ryan T. Higgins
September 26, 2017
After the events of Hotel Bruce, the curmudgeonly bear shares his home with not only his four geese, but three rowdy mice besides! Fed up with their shenanigans, Bruce sets off to find a rodent-free household. But as usual, nothing goes quite according to plan. . .

Twinderella: A Fractured Fairytale
By Corey Rosen Schwartz
Illustrated by Deborah Marcero
Setember 5, 2017
G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFRY
Have you heard the story of Cinderella? Well, you don't know the half of it.

Cinderella had a twin sister, Tinderella. They each did half the housework, half the mending, and half the mean step-sister tending. But when they meet only one prince, what will they do?

Ruby Rose, Big Bravos
By Rob Sanders
Illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
August 29, 2017
Harper Collins
Ruby Rose has a fantastic idea—a dance recital! But when Ruby Rose untangles her tights, fits her costume, creates the tickets, and makes her way onto the stage, it turns out the audience is caught in the rain! Oh no! Will Ruby Rose let a little thunder and lightning ruin her performance? With some swirling and twirling (and her best friend, Bearishnikov), Ruby Rose finds a way o star in the best recital ever!

Go Go Gorillas ( a romping bedtime tale)
By Patrick Wensink
Illustrated by Nate Wragg
August 22, 2017
Harper Collins
Ever wonder who the life of the safari is? It's go-go-gorillas!

All safari guide Jungle Jed wants is for the gorillas to go to sleep, but after they brush their teeth and comb their fur, it's an all-out jungle boogie, complete with baby gorilla doing the robot.

Brought to life with colorful and dynamic illustrations by Nate Wragg and bouncy text by Patrick Wensink, Go Go Gorillas is the perfect read-aloud. Fans of Giraffes Can’t Dance will giggle along at the silly antics of these not-so-sleepy gorillas in this lively, rhyming bedtime tale.

Through Your Eyes: My Child’s Gift To Me
By Ainsley Earhardt
Illustrated by Ji-Hyuk Kim
November 7, 2017
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Take Heart, My Child and popular FOX news anchor Ainsley Earhardt comes a sweet new book that celebrates everyday wonders and miracles.

Ainsley Earhardt reflects on her experiences as a mother and viewing wonders of the world through a child’s eyes in this stunning follow up to Take Heart, My Child. So often as we race through life, we need the wisdom and perspective of a child to remind us what is important and what should be celebrated and remembered: the everyday joys and miracles and simple pleasures of life. Our children teach us and awaken our own inner child.

*I received copies of the titles above for review and feature purposes.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Interview & Giveaway: Laurel Gale, author of the middle-grade Monster, Human, Other

I'm so excited to have author Laurel Gale here today, chatting about her new middle-grade, Monster, Human, Other...

Monster, Human, Other
By Laurel Gale
September 19, 2017
Crown BFYR
Wren is human. Isaac is not. Having switched places at birth, they now live with each other’s families. Growing up among a different species is difficult—for Isaac, who has to keep many secrets, and for Wren, who is teased for her lousy human senses. They’re told it’s necessary, though. The exchange is the first step in an ambassador program meant to ensure peace.

But not everyone wants peace. There are creatures that live deep underground, coming up to the surface to feed. For them, war means food. They have a plan to stir up trouble, and so far, it’s working. In the end, it’s up to Wren and Isaac to prevent a war and to save both their kinds. 

Q1. What three words best describe your new novel, MONSTER, HUMAN, OTHER?

Unusual fantasy adventure.

Q2. Grab a copy of MONSTER, HUMAN, OTHER and answer the following:
Favorite chapter?21

Favorite page? 210

Favorite setting? The burrow

Flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser:
The thing had left, but it would return. Its entrance had been blocked, but it could find another.

Q3. What inspired MONSTER, HUMAN, OTHER? How did the story come to be?

I was thinking about living in different cultures, and how that can be both interesting and challenging. But I gravitate toward fantasy, so as I developed this idea, it became different species, not just cultures, and I added other frightening creatures and a looming war.

Q4. Can you tell us a bit about your characters Isaac and Wren? What makes them special and what do you love about them?

Isaac is a clepsit—a humanoid creature with a tail and other characteristics that humans don’t have—living in human society. Only a few humans know of the clepsits, so he has to keep his identity a secret. Because his appearance changes drastically every spring and fall, he also has to move twice a year. Many people in his situation would just give up and resign themselves to being lonely, but he keeps going out there and making new friends, even though he knows he’s going to have to leave them soon.

Wren is a human growing up in clepsit society. All the clepsits know about her, and they tend to have very strong opinions of humans. Many see humans as weak and destructive, and she’s determined to prove she’s not.

Q5. What do you hope young readers learn or walk away with after reading MONSTER, HUMAN, OTHER?

Well, most of all, I want young readers to think it’s an exciting tale. But I hope they also pick up on the idea that it’s not good to rush to judgements about other groups. Any group has both bad and good individuals, and even the ones that seem bad might have reasons for their actions. Few individuals are truly evil. Most just want to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Q6. If you could be ANY monster/mythical creature or being, what would you be and why?

At first, I thought about saying I’d want to be a mermaid, but then I remembered that the ocean kind of terrifies me. Live next to sharks and giant squid? No thanks.

Then I decided to make a list of criteria. I’d like to be something intelligent and possibly humanoid. (Hybrids are fine.) Magical powers would be great. The ability to fly would be a bonus.

Next, I started listing mythical creatures. I consulted some resources to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything.

Finally, I compared the two lists and decided I’d be happiest as a fairy.

Q7. Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at juggling ferrets. Okay, I don’t actually juggle them, but when they’re trying to find trouble (something they’re awesome at), and I’m trying to keep them away from trouble, it can feel like it.

I’m really embarrassed to admit I’m afraid of moths. Actually, this is nothing to be embarrassed of. Moths are horrible and everyone should fear them.

The last great book I read was The Wild Robot. I just finished this and found it charming.

Q8. If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by MONSTER, HUMAN, OTHER, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?

It’s lemon and blueberry with poppy seeds. It needs to have three distinct elements, and I like the poppy seeds for the voracans. Let’s call it the trifecta.

Laurel Gale lives with her husband and their own tiny monsters—also known as ferrets—in Vancouver, Washington. She is also the author of Dead Boy, which Reading Rainbow called "a magical and mythical story of loneliness, courage, friendship, and living life to the fullest—even when you aren't technically 'alive.'" You can find her at or on Twitter as @laurel_gale.

Win a signed, hardcover copy of 
Monster, Human, Other!
Laurel has generously offered one signed copy for one winner.
-US/CAN only
-ends 9/25/17
-the winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, stolen prizes in the mail

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