For our Week #3 Pop-Up Book Giveaway, and in honor of Childrens Book Week, we’re giving away a great selection of middle school books, thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing’s generosity. These are not YA novels but instead are intended for readers from grades three through eight who are ready to read a novel format but aren’t ready for the more mature themes found in YA novels. It’s a great way to transition your young readers into novels without exposing them to teen and young adult themes. If you know a young reader who fits this category, you’ll definitely want to enter our giveaway!
Book #1 is Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery in Mayan Mexico by Marcia Wells, an ex-middle school teacher. This is Book #2 in the Eddie Red series. Book #1, Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile was an Edgar Award nominee. Eddie has a photographic memory and is one hell of a great amateur detective. In this fast-paced mystery, Eddie Red and his best friend are relaxing in Mexico on vacation when Eddie’s father, an author, is falsely accused of stealing a priceless Mayan artifact. Friendship, ghosts, Montezuma’s Revenge, and battles with bad guys can’t stop Eddie from trying to prove his father’s innocence by finding the real crook.
“So now Jonah’s preparing a disguise for a secret mission, and yours truly is going undercover. I haven’t come up with a better plan, so I’m going with it.
I squint at the fake badge in my hand. On one side is a gold eagle with a CIA emblem, and on the other is a clear plastic sleeve with a photo ID Jonah found on the street last year. He was saving it for a special occasion.
‘Victor Muellenthorpe?’ I say, reading the name beneath the photo. According to the card, Victor is a thirty-three-year-old male with curly black hair and a mustache (of course) living in Brooklyn. He’s thin and has dark brown skin like me, but the similarities end there.
‘That’s you,’ Jonah responds in a chipper voice.
Do not panic, do not panic. There is no way we can pull this off. I wonder what the penalty is down here for impersonating an officer of the law. Serious jail time for sure. Do not panic.”
Book #2 is Genuine Sweet by Faith Harkey. This debut novel is a Southern tale about twelve-year-old Genuine Sweet. Genuine is a wish fetcher in Georgia who can grant anyone’s wishes except hers, which seems very unfair. You see, Genuine is her poor, hungry family’s last hope for surviving a very lean winter. If she makes a wish, she’ll be breaking the wish fetcher’s most important rule. If she doesn’t, will she and her family even survive? Will this small-town girl with big magic wish for a better life or can she find a way to build a better life without breaking the rules?
“Jura held up her hand. ‘Hang on! Real quick? Let’s say we did decide to end hunger. I could wish for it and you could fetch it, right? But given all the starlight infinities we’re slogging through, not to mention all the steps involved in getting people organized, plus the time to grow the food – ‘
I saw where she was headed. ‘It might take a hundred years to actually make anything happen.’
She nodded. ‘That’s what I’m thinking. I mean, even my mom had to wait several days for a job ad to appear in the Settee, right? If you want to make a difference – fast – we might need to find places where there’s already some anti-hunger infrastructure.’
‘Places where people are already trying to get everyone fed, but maybe they don’t have enough farming equipment or their government is making laws that get in the way, or something,’ she explained.
I flumped. ‘I wouldn’t even know how to begin to find folks like that.’
‘We don’t have to. They’re gonna find us!’ Jura rubbed her hands together. “Ooh, this’ll look sweet on my college application!’”
Book #3 is The Trap, a mysterious sci-fi tale by Steven Arntson. We’re in Farro, Iowa during the Summer of 1963, which might sound kind of boring but it’s not because something really weird is going on. The most notorious bully in middle school has completely disappeared, which you might think kids would be happy about, but…Henry Nilsson, his twin sister, and their two best friends have just found an odd book in the woods. It’s an instruction guide on “subtle” travel while you sleep, i.e., out of body experiences. It’s not long before they discover there’s more to traveling out-of-body than they’d expected, and it’s not all fun and games. There are dangers lurking for the inexperienced traveler, including that it’s a lot easier to leave your body than to get back into it. Uh oh.
“My brain was groggy. What was I supposed to do? After the numbers, I’d wake up and find myself stuck – my subtle form attached to my physical body like a lining zipped into a coat. Then it came to me. ‘Using your eyes, rock yourself…’
It made sense. I started rocking my eyeballs back and forth, looking left, then right, then left, then right. A momentum began to build. My whole self sloshed like water in a tub, left, right –
And I spilled out of myself. That’s the only way I can describe it. My line of sight peeled down the walls in one quick trip, and next thing I knew I was staring at the carpet. I was on the floor.
I stood, a little dizzy. I turned around and looked down at my bed.
There I was, sleeping in it.”
Book #4 is Willy Maykit in Space by Greg Trine, with illustrations by James Burks. Fourth grader Willie Maykit can’t wait for his school field trip to Planet Ed! The plan is that they’ll blast off and spend the afternoon on Planet Ed, learning all about outer space and still be home in time for dinner. How cool is that? There’s only one problem – somehow Willy misses the spaceship home and gets stranded there, all because he got curious and kinda wandered off on his own. Geez… Now Willy and fellow classmate Cindy have to find a way to outwit the big hungry monsters on the planet, with the assistance of an alien boy named Norp and an android who’s unusually fond of knock-knock jokes, until someone can come rescue them. Oh, and did I mention the seagull?
“The voice came again. ‘Willy, are you there?’
Willy kept his mouth shut. If it was an enormous creature, he’d have to swing pretty hard to bring it down. He crouched, tree branch cocked and ready.
And then –
The creature came crashing through the bushes into the clearing.
‘Cindy Das! What are you doing here?’ Willy was so shocked at seeing her that he forgot to say, ‘Mumble, mumble, mumble.’
Even Cindy noticed. ‘Wow, you can speak in full sentences.’
‘What are you doing here?’ Willy asked again.
‘I saw you weren’t on the ship, so I went looking for you.’ Her almost-smile appeared. ‘I slipped out the back door.’
‘Thanks, I guess,’ Willy spun around, gesturing to the emptiness of the clearing. ‘See anything missing?’
Cindy nodded. ‘I didn’t think they’d leave without us.’
Book #5 is The Loch Ness Punster: Book #7 of 43 Old Cemetery Road by Kate Klise, illustrated by M. Sarah Klise. All of the graphic books in the 43 Old Cemetery Road series are quite unique and completely fun. They’re tales told through a compilation of illustrations, letters, emails, and newspaper articles. At age twelve, Seymour Hope has inherited a castle in Loch Ness, Scotland from his great-uncle Ian, a famous psychiatrist. Even though it would be a great place to vacation, Seymour’s dad, Iggy, wants nothing to do with the castle because his uncle Ian was the world’s worst punster and, of course, Iggy was usually the victim of those pranks. That means Seymour and his mom head off to Scotland to claim his inheritance without Iggy, who stays home to sulk. Oh, and Seymour and his mom each are taking a secret along on their trip. Last but not least, Ian may be dead but his ghost still has a few tricks up his sleeve and Iggy staying away from Loch Ness may not keep Ian’s ghost from stopping by to visit him. Well, one thing’s for sure – it’s not going to be a boring summer. [Sorry, no quotes for this one since its style doesn’t lend itself to those.]
All of these are really delightful books that a middle grade child will have a great time reading, without you having to worry about them stumbling onto content too mature for them to grasp. And they’re so much fun that you can enjoy reading them along with your child or grandchild, niece or nephew. Now that’s what I call a win-win!
One lucky reader will win 1 finished hardcover copy of each of the following:
Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery in Mayan Mexico
Willy Maykit in Space
The Loch Ness Punster: 43 Old Cemetery Road, Book #7
1) The deadline for entries is Saturday night, 5/23/2015, at 11:59pm EDST. No entries after that date/time will be eligible.
2) This giveaway is open to entries with U.S. mailing addresses only because we do not ship books outside of the U.S.
3) You must be at least 13 years old to enter this giveaway.
4) You must use the Rafflecopter form.
5) If you do not provide a complete mailing address in the Rafflecopter form, your entry will not be eligible. We will use your mailing address to ship your book to you. Please allow 2-3 weeks for book delivery.
6) That’s it – it’s a super easy giveaway, so have fun and best of luck!
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