Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Interview with Galia Oz, author of Dog Trouble

by Galia Oz
Crown Books for Young Readers
144 pages
Middle Grade Contemporary
Ages 8-12

Readers who have graduated from Junie B. Jones and Ivy & Bean will fall head over heels for feisty Julie and her troublesome new dog.
Julie has only had her dog for two weeks, but she is already causing all sorts of problems. For starters, she is missing! Julie suspects the school bully Danny must be behind it. But it will take some detective work, the help of Julie’s friends, and maybe even her munchkin twin brothers to bring her new pet home.

Wonderfully sassy and endlessly entertaining, the escapades of Julie and her dog are just beginning!

Julie’s adventures have sold across the globe and been translated into five languages. Popular filmmaker and children’s author Galia Oz effortlessly captures the love of a girl and her dog.

"A funny exploration of schoolyard controversy and resolution.” –Kirkus Reviews 

"Will resonate with readers and have them waiting for more installments.” –Booklist  


Amazon | Barnes & Noble


My puppy, Shakshuka, disappeared. It happened when my dad was away on a business trip and my mom was in one of her worst moods ever because Max and Monty had both just had their vaccinations and they both had reactions and they didn’t sleep all night. Max and Monty—­I called them the Munchkins for short—­ were babies and twins and also my brothers, and every­ one knew that if there were two babies in the house, no one was going to pay any attention to a dog, even if she was only a baby herself.
At night, I lay awake in bed and I was cold, and I remembered that once on TV I saw pictures of a hun-gry dog that was really skinny whose family went on
a vacation and left him tied to a tree. And they said that the SPCA couldn’t take care of all the dogs that were abandoned by their families. And I thought about Shakshuka, who was gone and might be tied to a tree at that very minute, hungry and missing me.
The next morning in class, Brody told me there was no way that Shakshuka had been stolen. “No way, ­Julie!” he said. “Why would anyone bother? You could get five dogs like her, with spots and stripes, for less than ten dollars.” Or maybe he said you could get ten dogs like her for less than five dollars. Brody said things like that sometimes, but most of the time he was okay. When Max and Monty were born, he said that was it, no one at home would ever pay attention to me again, and when I cut my hair short, he said it was ugly.
I turned my back on Brody and pretended to listen to Adam. He sat at the desk next to mine and spent his whole life telling these crazy stories.
Adam said, “My father won f‑f-­fifty thousand, do you get it? In the lottery. He’s g‑going to buy me an i‑P‑P . . .” People didn’t always listen to Adam because he stuttered, and they didn’t always have the patience to
wait until he got the word out. This time Brody tried to help him finish his sentence.
“An iPod?”
“N‑not an i‑P-­Pod, you idiot. An i‑P-­Pad.”
Brody called Adam “Ad-­d-­d-­dam” because of his stutter, and because he liked to be annoying. But he was still my friend, and that was just how it was, and anyway, there were lots of kids worse than he was.
I cried about Shakshuka during morning recess and Danny laughed at me because that was Danny, that was just the way he was, and Duke also laughed, obvi-ously, because Duke was Danny’s number two. But at the time I didn’t know that they had anything to do with Shakshuka’s disappearance and kept telling my-self that maybe they were just being mean, as usual.
That Danny, everyone­ was afraid of him. And they’d have been nuts not to be. It was bad enough that he was the kind of kid who would smear your seat with glue and laugh at you when you sat down; that he and his friends would come up and offer you what looked like the tastiest muffin you’d ever seen, and when you opened your mouth to take a bite you discovered it was really a sponge. But none of that was important. The problem was, he remembered everything­ that anyone had ever done to him, and he made sure to get back at them. The day before Shakshuka disappeared, Mrs.
Brown asked us what a potter did, and Danny jumped up and said that a potter was a person who put plants in pots, but Mrs. Brown said that was not what a potter did. And then I raised my hand and said that a potter was a person who worked with clay and made pottery.
Danny, who sat right behind me, leaned forward and smacked my head, and I said, “Ow.” It wasn’t too bad, but the teacher saw him and she wrote a note he had to take home to his parents. That shouldn’t have been so bad either, but later, when school got out, he grabbed me in the yard and kicked me in the leg. I went flying and crashed into the seesaw, where I banged my other leg as well.
Danny said, “If you hadn’t said ‘Ow’ before in class, the teacher wouldn’t have given me a note. Now because of you I’m suspended. That was my third note.”
Our school had this system that every time a kid hit another kid, he got a note he had to take home to his parents, and if it happened three times his par-ents had to come to school and the kid got sent home. My mother said it was mainly a punishment for the parents, who had to miss a day of work and come to school.
I could have told on him for kicking me in the yard as well. My bag flew off my shoulder and landed right
in the middle of a puddle, and Mom was really angry at me when I got home because we had to take out all the books and leave them out to dry and we had to wash the bag. I really could have told on him, but there wouldn’t have been any point. It would just have meant another note for him, another kick for me.
Thanks but no thanks.
In the evening, when the Munchkins went to sleep, Mom took one look at me and burst out laughing and said she wished that you could buy a doll that looked just like me, with scratches on her right knee, black dirt under her fingernails, and a mosquito bite on her cheek.
“It’s not a bite, it’s a bruise,” I told her. “And any-way, who would buy a doll like that?”
“I would,” said Mom. “But what happened to you? Take a look at your legs—­how on earth . . .”
“Ow! Don’t touch.”
“You look as if you were in a fight with a tiger.” That was so close to the truth that I blurted out the whole story about what happened with Danny. And I was really sorry I did that because that was the reason Shakshuka disappeared. Mom spoke to Mrs. Brown and she must have told her I was black-­and-­blue after Danny pushed me because the next day at school Mrs. Brown took me aside and told me that I had to let her know whenever something like that happened because otherwise Danny would just keep on hitting me, and other kids too, and we had to put a stop to it. Mrs. Brown meant well, but I knew that when it came to Danny, I was on my own.
Later, at the end of the day, Danny caught me again, this time when I was right by the gate. Maybe someone saw me talking to the teacher and told him. Suddenly I was lying on the ground with my face in the dirt. I must have shouted because Danny told me to keep quiet.
Then he said, “Tell me what you told Mrs. Brown!” “Let me get up!” I yelled.
“First tell me what you told her.”
“Let me get up!” My neck was all twisted, but somehow I managed to turn to the side and I saw two first graders walking out of the building toward the gate.
Danny must have seen them too because he let me go, and when I stood up he looked at me and started
laughing, probably because of the dirt on my face, and I decided I’d had enough of this jerk. I saw red, no matter where I looked I saw red, and without think-ing about what grown-­ups always taught us—­that we shouldn’t hit back because whoever hit back would be punished just like the one who started it—­I threw a plant at him.
At the entrance to our school there was this huge plant. The nature teacher once told us that it grew so big because it always got water from this pipe that dripped down into it, and also because it was in a pro-tected corner.
It was a shame about the plant, it really was. And it didn’t even hit him. It crashed to the ground halfway between us. Then Mrs. Brown came. And without even thinking I told her that Danny knocked me down and then threw the plant at me.
“But it didn’t hit me,” I said, and I looked Danny straight in the eye to see what he’d say.
Danny said I was a liar, but Mrs. Brown took one look at my dirty clothes and she believed me. And be-cause of me he got into serious trouble. They didn’t only make his parents come to school and suspend him for a day—­after the incident with the plant they also told him he’d have to start seeing this really horrible counselor every Wednesday. The kids who knew him said his office stunk of cigarettes and he was a real bore.
That was why Danny found a way to get back at me. He said, “Just you wait.” That was exactly what he said: “Just you wait.” And I did wait because I knew him. But Shakshuka didn’t wait and she couldn’t have known how to wait for what ended up happening to her.


Welcome to Bookworm for Kids, Galia! What an interesting background you have.  

Did studying film and television help strengthen your writing skills?

Of course, studying film was a huge advantage, but it was the practical work – directing four documentary films for television – that was truly significant. As a documentary director, I had to become a storyteller; Every decision, even such as where to place the camera, can significantly affect the plot. The editing process is a good lesson for every writer: It taught me how dramatic the connection between opposite elements can be, and how to cut at the right moment, and especially the power of minimalism.

Dog Trouble has quite an interesting background as well. It’s an award winning series that was published in France, Spain and Brazil and ended up in the U.S. by Crown Books (Random House). Was that a shock that one of the major U.S. publishers accepted your book and what do you believe they saw in your book that made them want it?

Random House's choice to publish the Dog Trouble series was a great honor for me, and I am grateful to my editor Phoebe Yeh for trusting in a writer that no one has ever heard of in the States. I can only hope that she found in the book the same qualities critiques on the other side of the globe did: joy of life, honesty, and the sense that the text speaks directly to the child's soul and not over his head. And humor, of course! How amazing it is that humor is not always lost in translation.

Your series is based around dogs. Do you have any?

Of course, I have a 17-year-old dog who now has trouble getting up the stairs, and everyone in the house is crazy about him. My kids who are now in their early twenties come to visit and still cuddle him. He was always there for them, in their childhood. What a privilege it is for a child to grow up in a house with a dog. A dog is a teacher of love and empathy. I also have a cat. But cats teach you other things about life…

Which book in the series do you consider the best?

The fifth and final book in the series, The Great Lemon Robbery is in my opinion the best, and is also closest to my heart in terms of the themes it deals with. But it has yet to be published in the States.

Will there be more in the series in the future?

The Dog Trouble story of a group of children and a dog told from the perspective of Julie, its central character, has come to an end. But a few months ago, a new book of mine was published in Israel. It tells the story of Mikey, a child growing up in a less than desirable home situation who tries to save himself through friendship with a girl from a very different background. He isn’t much of a talker and has behavioral problems, and she, on the other hand, is eloquent and reads books, and on the surface they share little in common. By the way, in this book dogs are also given a place of honor.

And here she is. . .

Galia Oz was born in Kibbutz Hulda, Israel, in 1964. She studied film and Television in Tel Aviv University 1984-87.

Her award winning series of 5 books titled DOG TROUBLE was published in France, Spain and Brazil – and recently in the US by CROWN BOOKS Random House. The series is a steady seller in Israel for over 10 years (selling over 150,000 copies). 

Oz has directed several documentaries, all screened in international film festivals, and in Israeli leading television channels.

Over the years, Galia Oz has been meeting thousands of readers in Israeli elementary schools, and taught creative writing and classic children's literature to kids in public libraries.

Galia Oz is married and has two kids, a dog and a cat, and they all live in Ramat Hasharon, just outside Tel-Aviv.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mom and Dad's Day with a Review: Esteemed Vampire Cat by Tyrolin Puxty

Today, it's Mom and Dad's day here on Bookworm for Kids, which means that I've pulled out a book, which is not really intended for the younger readers, but for the parents instead. Yep, even parents need their reads. This one, however, is appropriate for the YA audience. (there are some bloody-ish scenes but portrayed in a light way and definitely nothing more than many YA books hold).

Colt Harper, Book One
by Tyrolin Puxty
Curiosity Quills Press
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
170 pages

Colt Harper hates it when you pat a cat the wrong way, or when you upload their faux pas to YouTube. In fact, he'll probably kill you for it. 

As a self-proclaimed master vampire cat, Colt never imagined he'd be sent to community service at a revolting community theater. And for what? Killing humans who don't buy the expensive brand of cat food? Talk about unfair. 

Still, working with a nervous werewolf and a monster addicted to tickling wasn't on his to-do list.

What's worse, is he's falling for a human. Sure, she has green eyes. Sure, she fosters stray cats. But she's still a disgusting human. 

So why is he risking his own life to save her from the chasers?


Over the top characters, a ridiculous plot and, at the center of it all, an arrogant cat with tons of wit and brains—a fantastically, hilarious read!

Colt Harper is one of a kind, mostly because his kind is nearly extinct. As the last surviving vampire cat, it's Colt's inborn duty to kill all humans which have ever offended, hurt or hated a cat. Unfortunately, killing humans is no longer allowed—a habit Colt really can't break—placing him in community service. Again. That this community service turns out to involve a whole lot more, and he's soon running to save his and his new found friends' (in the broadest sense of the term) lives.

Tyrolin Puxty has a treasure chest of an imagination and lets it flow freely. The characters are all gems, each harboring very distinct attitudes and quirks, and each as funny as can be. Colt Harper is as complex as a ancient cat should be, and doesn't even understand himself at times. But he's clever, he's witty, and he manages to force himself to handle anything thrown his way—even disgusting humans. His attempt to maintain a high level of esteem always runs up against road blocks, and it's a sheer delight to watch out he manages to slink his way around through them and even come out on top. Usually.

The monsters go past the well-versed range and hit upon less known ones, which kill people through tickling or force them into nightmare states. There's even the chance that a monster be turned into a pair of red running legs—something to be avoided at all costs. It's not a calm tale, but bloody and filled with death. There's action, skin-of-the-teeth escapes and exciting fight scenes. Don't forget the mystery and plenty of very unexpected twists and turns, and it all gets thrown together with a huge amount of spicy wit and fun. In other words, it's not the usual paranormal read and takes serious with an edge of quirky oddness. And that's exactly what makes it such an amazing read.

Summed up, this is for all those paranormal (especially vampire cat) fans who are ready to plunge into something completely different and new.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Review: Goodnight, Little Bot by Karen Kaufman Orloff

By Karen Kaufman Orloff
Illustrated by Kim Smith
Sterling Children's Books
Picture Book 
ages 4 and up
32 pages

“Little Bot, it’s time for bed. Let’s get ready, sleepyhead.” 

A sweet goodnight story with a unique hero.
Even little robots need their rest—and their parents tuck them in just like human mommies and daddies do. It doesn’t matter if young bots slip on their pjs over power packs and enjoy batteries for their pre-sleep snack; just like children, they love bedtime stories, hugs, a cuddly toy, and lullabies. This charming picture book is perfect for winding kids (and robots) down for the night.


A sweet story, which leads not-quite-so-ready-for-bed kids and similar young robots to sleep.

Little Bot doesn't want to hear anything about going to bed. He's not ready, but Mom insists. After completing the regular evening rituals, he's finally tucked away under the covers and might finally drift off to sleep.

This is a book to help all those kids, who may not be ready for bedtime, to ease their way to that bed. Little Bot is a cute, little robot, yet very similar to little kids his age. He loves TV and games, and isn't excited about stopping the day to head to something as boring as bed. His mother guides him through a pretty normal evening routine: bath, snack, short read, etc. Of course, as a robot, things are a little different, and that's what brings on the fun. Young readers, especially robot fans, will love pretending that they too are robots getting ready for bed. The only thing needs to be mentioned here is the battery snack—something parents might want to explain before kids try to imitate that one on their own.

The illustrations are bright and oh-so roboty! Little Robot's energy shines from every page. The illustrations are simple yet hold just the right details to draw readers in and give them a chance to spot a few wonders on their own. The circuitry-star constellations on the book ends add an extra treat.

While the book starts out with fun and energy, calmness and warmth take over by the end to draw young readers to sleep. Little robot fans are sure to enjoy this one and probably want to brush their own circuits for a few nights too before heading off into dreamland.

And here they are. . .

The author. . .

Karen Kaufman Orloff is the author of several books for children, including the bestselling I Wanna series, illustrated by David Catrow (Putnam). For Sterling, she has written Talk, Oscar, Please!, illustrated by Tim Bowers; If Mom Had Three Arms, illustrated by Pete Whitehead; and Miles of Smiles, illustrated by Luciano Lozano. She has another book scheduled for Sterling's Spring 2018 list: Some Days. Karen lives in Dutchess County, NY and is available for interview. Visit her at

The Illustrator. . .

Kim Smith has illustrated several books for children including Sterling's Hey, Coach!; Over the River & Through the Wood; and The Twelve Days of Christmas in Canada. Kim lives in Canada and is available for interview. Visit her at

Monsters Among Us by Amanda Strong


The stunning conclusion of the MONSTERS AMONG US Series by Amanda Strong is now available in paperback! Order your copy today and find out for yourself why readers are calling this series: "Awesome and Exhilarating!"


What if the fate of the world lies with the monster – not the hero?

The world is shifting, and Sammy has complete control. But as hidden truths surface, she starts to doubt everyone who is close to her. The Ancients and Kory have been harboring dark secrets, and it could mean war between the Dragon Fae and the Irukas. With the Defenders as her devoted soldiers, Sam must make some difficult decisions. Should she save the world… or save herself?
Blake won't give up on Sam. He knows he can't trust Tonbo anymore, or the web of lies he's been thrown into. If he hopes to save Sam, he must find the real reason Kory created the bug army. Turns out there could be something far worse than bloodthirsty bugs buriedon the islands, and Blake will have to fight his own inner demons if he wants to save those he loves―including Sam.
In a world filled with mistrust and lies, Blake and Sam must unearth the truth and face their own fears and weaknesses. If they don't, their lives―and the fate of all humanity―will hang in the balance.

And here she is. . .

Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia, and now New Mexico home. She has loved to spin tales since childhood. It was not uncommon to find her hiding in some random corner, scribbling away in her spiral-bound notebook, with her bright pink glasses. You could say some things have not changed. Amanda signed with Clean Teen Publishing in the fall of 2013. She is the author of two paranormal, YA series: The Watchers of Men and Monsters Among Us. The first novel in The Watchers of Men series, The Awakener, debuted in October of 2013. It has been an Amazon number one best seller in three Young Adult categories. Book two, The Holy and The Fallen, released May 12th of 2015. She is currently working on book three, The Watcher’s Mark, releasing spring of 2016. Hidden Monster released November 4th of 2014, and it finished as a Finalist in the 2014 USA Best Book Award: Young Adult Category. It is book one of a brand-new young adult, sci-fi thriller series called Monsters Among Us. When Amanda isn't writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions, you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream.

See more at:

Friday, October 13, 2017

Happy Book Birthday, The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr with Giveaway

The Cutting Room Floor 

by Dawn Klehr
October 13th 2017!
YA Mystery, Thriller

Behind-the-scenes secrets could turn deadly for Desmond and Riley
Life in the Heights has never been easy for seventeen-year-old Riley Frost, but when she’s publicly dumped and outed at the same time, she becomes an immediate social outcast at her high school. So Riley swears off romance and throws herself into solving the shocking murder of her favorite teacher, Ms. Dunn.
Riley turns to her best friend, budding filmmaker Desmond Brandt, for help. What she doesn’t know is that Dez has been secretly directing her life, blackmailing her friends, and hoping his manipulations will make her love him. When his schemes go too far, Dez’s web of lies threatens to destroy both of their lives.

And here she is. . . 
Dawn Klehr is the author of the young adult thrillers: The Cutting Room Floor and If You Wrong Us.
She began her career in TV news and though she’s been on both sides of the camera, she prefers to lurk behind the lens. Mostly, she loves to get lost in stories –in film, the theater, or on the page – and is a sucker for both the sinister and the sappy. She’s currently channeling her dark side as she works on her next book.
Dawn lives in the Twin Cities with her funny husband, adorable son, and naughty dog. 


Sneak Peek: Dragonfriend by Marc Secchia with Giveaway

Dragonfriend Series Book 1
by Marc Secchia
YA Epic Fantasy

Gold Award winner - 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards

Stabbed. Burned by a dragon. Abandoned for the windrocs to pick over. The traitor Ra’aba tried to silence Hualiama forever. But he reckoned without the strength of a dragonet’s paw, and the courage of a girl who refused to die.

Only an extraordinary friendship will save Hualiama’s beloved kingdom of Fra’anior and restore the King to the Onyx Throne. Flicker, the valiant dragonet. Hualiama, a foundling, adopted into the royal family. The power of a friendship which paid the ultimate price.

This is the tale of Hualiama Dragonfriend, and a love which became legend.

Series Note
Dragonfriend is a YA fantasy novel set in the same world of the bestselling dragon adventure series Shapeshifter Dragons and Shapeshifter Dragon Legends. It can be read in any order alongside AranyaShadow Dragon and The Pygmy Dragon. Awesome dragons, epic stories and deep dragon lore abound in this unique series set in a world of volcanic islands above the clouds.


When the Orange Dragon fixed his burning eye upon her, however, the Human girl realised her mistake. This was no friendly visitor. A scar twisted the left side of his muzzle into a permanent half-sneer. The power of the Dragon’s sallow gaze reminded her of none other than Ra’aba, the way his brow-ridge drew down and his lip peeled open, revealing a jaw stuffed with gleaming fangs, any one of which could have skewered Lia and served her up as a kebab without a second thought.
Did recognition writhe in her belly? Was this the spirit of Ra’aba, reincarnated in Dragon form?
“Ah, so the dragonets spoke truly,” rumbled the Dragon, swinging his muzzle toward her, flame licking around his huge, flaring nostrils. His voice was as dry as air simmering over the caldera, crackling with fires as though he concealed a bonfire in his throat. “Here’s how it works, Princess. Run. Scream, if you’d like. I’ll give you a count of three.”
Hualiama made a wordless squeak of dread.
“Run.” The Dragon made a shooing motion with his forepaw. “Go on. It’s more amusing for me.”
Terror exploded from her belly in slow motion, burning the pathways of her body. The sense of his evil was so palpable, she knew the Dragon saw her as nothing more than a loathsome insect to be crushed beneath his heel. It was possible to die from fright. She was the prey. The Orange Dragon was the predator, and nothing in the Island-World could protect her from such a creature. Doom stalked her upon wings the colour of molten lava.
She jerked back.
“Two …”
Hualiama’s feet seemed possessed of wings of their own. She had never fled so fast, but the monster out there provided more than enough motivation. An agile left-right dance-step took her into their chamber. She sprinted flat out. Air hissed past her ears. The Orange Dragon’s monstrous challenge, the full-throated roar of an adult male on the hunt, shook the cavern.

The Orange Dragon pounced, his paws crashing down near the cave entrance, the shock conducted through sand and rock to her fleeing feet. The air sucked away from her lungs; Lia heard a rising thunder of fire, a crackling and sizzling sound as a wave of heat rolled over her back, as superheated as any volcanic eruption. Fire-reflections dazzled from the crystals embedded in the cavern walls. Lia dived headlong into the cool pool. The world flared orange. Rolling over underwater, she gazed up through the ripples at a torrent of Dragon fire, roiling and billowing above the pool with fatal brilliance, as though she stared into the heart of the twin suns

Marc is a South African-born dragon masquerading as an author, who loves writing about dragons and Africa, preferably both at the same time. He's the author of 23 fantasy books in 3 languages (2 more languages coming this year - watch this space!), including 8 rip-roaring dragon fantasy bestsellers. Dragonfriend won a Gold Award for Fantasy in the 2016 IPPY Book Awards. 

When he's not writing about Africa or dragons Marc can be found travelling to remote locations. He thinks there's nothing better than standing on a mountaintop wondering what lies over the next horizon.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Review: The Boy Who Painted The World by Melody J. Bremen

by Melody J. Bremen
Middle Grade Fiction
254 pages

Indigo is a boy with a dream. He spends his mornings in a refrigerator box, his afternoons shoveling snow, and his nights in the basement of a homeless shelter. But during every free moment, he draws and dreams of becoming a famous artist. His best friend Jade looks after him, but she is arrested for shoplifting and he’s left all alone. With his box of pencils under his arm, he sets out on a quest to search for Jade and discovers a whole new world… full of the art he loves.
His journey brings him friendship, family, and the courage to hold onto his dreams.


This is one of those stories which touches the heart, tears at it, makes it warm and leaves with a sense of dreams and inspiration.

Indigo's mother left him standing on a street when he was five. Luckily, he met a girl named Jade, who took him in and taught him love. But when she's caught by police for stealing, Indigo's left to tackle the world alone. Armed with colored pencils, whatever paper he can find on the streets and a dream he refuses to let go of, he discovers the world in all of it's harshness and warmth.

The opening pages already demand a wave of sympathy as Indigo, a unsuspecting boy, is left standing on a street, told by his mother to wait until she returns. Which she doesn't. Indigo has it rough. Every day is a battle for food and shelter, but he doesn't ever let this get him down. He accepts it as a simple fact of life and keeps his eyes focused on one thing—his art. His desire to earn his food through whatever work he can find, his ability to never grow bitter and his undying spirit make him a true hero any reader will want to embrace and never let go of.

The author does an amazing job of describing Indigo's world and all of it's hardships. It pulls at the heart-strings, but at the same time, never bogs down completely. The situation is understandable, when seen from Indigo's stand-point, and there exceptional role models appear at various times through-out the story. There's harshness and hope. At the same time, it's told in a very believable way. Not only is Indigo's world realistic, but Indigo himself is a child, speaks like a child, and dreams like a child. There are moments of humor lightly sprinkled in and a sense of pureness which can only be seen through a child's eyes. Young readers will easily connect to Indigo, feel for him, understand him and enjoy following him. And, at the end, they'll be left with something to think about.

Summed up, this is one of the best middle grade stories I've read this year, and I can only hope that many young readers get a chance to meet Indigo and experience his journey.

And here she is. . .

Melody J. Bremen writes books for middle grade and young adult readers. She lives on a distant planet where all they do is write and read books. (Sometimes they eat jelly beans.) She has a faithful computer named Oswald.

You can find her. . .

Goodreads profile