The Very Best Teacher!
By Ye Shil Kim
Illustrated by Miku Moriuchi
June 30, 2015
Ten little mice search for the perfect gift to give their teacher!
Tomorrow is Ms. Tulip’s birthday and a celebration is in order! But how will her ten students decide on the right present? Luckily ten minds are better than one when choosing the ideal gift for the very best teacher.
About the Author:
Ye Shil Kim is the author of numerous picture books in Korea. She works as an illustrator agent for EenArt in Korea.
About the Illustrator:
MIKU MORIUCHI graduated with a BA in illustration from the Norwich School of Art and Design, and an MA in illustration from Brighton University. She has illustrated 21 picture books, and lives in London.
Off to School!
Created by the Sesame Workshop
July 7, 2015
Tomorrow is a very exciting day–it’s Elmo’s first day of school! And Elmo needs your help to get ready. Let’s go off to school!
Smart Start Series
By: Ellen Honeck, Ph.D, Nancy B. Hertzog, Ph.D, and Barbara Dullagan, M.Ed.
August 1, 2015
The Smart Start series fosters engaging conversations for parents and their children through the use of interactive questioning. Images in these books convey children in realistic and familiar stages of play, and each image’s corresponding questions prompt children to think at critical, creative, and mathematical levels about their everyday surroundings and activities. The open-ended questions stimulate curiousity and invigorate conversations between parents and children. The books in this series highligh the vast world of a child’s imagination and encourage children to think deeply about the objects and situatious they’re faced with every day.
Around My House!
The first book in the Smart Start series for pre-readers fosters engaging conversations for parents and children through the use of interactive questioning. Images in this book convey realistic and familiar settings around the house: in the kitchen, the playroom, the bedroom, the garage, and more.
The second book in the Smart Start series. Images in this book convey children in stages of play, and each image’s corresponding questions prompt children to think at critical, creative, and mathmatical levels about their everyday surrounding and activities.
Let’s Go to the Market!
The third book in the Smart Start series. Images in this book convey chidren and parents in a familiar shared experience: going to and exploring the market.
About the Authors:
Ellen Honeck, Ph.D., is Dean of Gifted and Talented Academy for Laurel Springs School
Nancy B. Hertzog, Ph.D, is a professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington and the director of the Halbert and Nancy Robinson Center for Young Scholars. She is the author of two books, Ready for Preschool, andEarly Childhood Gifted Education.
Barbara Dullaghan, M.Ed., is currently Elementary Gifted and Talented Coordinator for Bloomington Public Schools in Minnesota.
RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY LINK for
Back-to-School Prize Pack including all the books featured
(Runs July 26-August 28th):
Everyone deserves happiness. Is Robin the exception?
A cross-country move to a new state offers Robin Westmore the chance to get away from the relentless bullies and reinvent himself. But on the first day at his new high school Robin finds himself in front of Zane, the school’s star pitcher and chief tormentor, at the exact wrong moment and right back into the role of victim. Hopeless, he wishes for it all to stop.
When Desiree, the new leader of the genies, grants Robin’s wish he’s sure things are finally going his way. But problems in the magical realm have made Desiree equally hopeless and too distracted to give Robin the attention he needs.
As Desiree hides from her responsibilities, Robin disappears into the video game he’s created. There he finds excitement, adventure, and control. When the game presents him with a real escape from his tortured life, will he take it?
“You stayed up late again?” she asked as she took a box of tea from the back of the cabinet.
“Lots of homework,” I said. She knew I spent my summer developing the game. She didn’t know I spent at least two hours a night, after homework, still working on it.
She never protested when I said the dark circles under my eyes were studying related. Usually that was the case. Sometimes, though, Zane’s harassment got really intense and the circles came from lack of sleep due to nightmares.
There were days when he would stop in the middle of whatever he’d been doing and charge at me from across the lunchroom to slam into me or sneeze on my lunch. Once he even stood in front of me flapping his arms and making birdcalls. In the middle of the lunchroom. Why didn’t someone record that and put it up on the web? He looked ridiculous. Didn’t anyone else see that?
“Are you feeling all right?” Mom put the back of her hand to my forehead and I resisted the urge to swat it away. It was a caring touch. One of the few signs lately that someone gave a damn about me.
If I told her what was happening, would she do something? Maybe I could do online schooling. She knew I was a self-motivator and that she never had to check to see if I’d done my homework. Grades were everything to me. I’d never had less than a 3.8 GPA. The only reason it fell below a 4.0 was because of gym class. I could barely lift my backpack let alone do a pull-up. Maybe online school was the answer to my problems.
Her phone rang just as I was about to ask.
“Hello… Oh, I’m so sorry.” She glanced at the clock on the microwave. “I was thinking there was a one hour time difference. Five months and I’m still adjusting to being in the Mountain Time Zone. Let me get to my office and I’ll call you right back.”
She was already heading out of the kitchen when I said, “Bye.”
“Oh, sweetie.” She came back and kissed my forehead. “If you’re not feeling well you can stay home. Or call if you need to come home early. I’ll give permission for you to leave.”
She knew I got motion sick on the bus. If I said I was nauseous, would she still make me ride the bus or would she take twenty minutes off of work to come and get me?
I toasted a piece of cinnamon-raisin bread and spread on a thick layer of butter. Then I tugged on my coat and headed out the door. With every step I thought of how Zane would be waiting for me and that single bite of toast turned into a little rock in my stomach. I paused at the garbage can next to the garage and lifted the lid to toss in the barely-eaten piece when someone came around the corner, making me jump.
“Are you Robin?” A girl with long dark hair that looked kind of like dreadlocks but kind of not stood at the corner of my garage. “Wait. You’re not throwing that out are you? That’s so wasteful. There are hungry people who would gladly eat that.”
I looked from her to the toast and then shoved it in my mouth. I couldn’t handle a lecture right then.
“Who are you?” I asked through the mouthful of bread-covered raisins.
She made a disgusted face. “Manners. Heard of them?”
I chewed, swallowed, and brushed the crumbs off my hand. “Sorry. Yes, I’m Robin. Who are you?”
She smiled then. She had a great smile, one that made her eyes crinkle at the corners. “I’m Dara.”
“Nice to meet you. Can I help you with something?”
“I don’t know. Possibly.” Dara put her hand to her mouth and tapped a navy blue-painted fingernail against her blindly-white teeth, like she was contemplating the question. “Teasing. Nothing you can do for me, thanks, but I can sure help you.”
I shook my head. “You’ve got the wrong person. I don’t need help.” At least none that she could give. I doubted she could take on Zane.
“You’re Robin Westmore.”
She knew my name. Whatever that meant.
“You just moved here from Wisconsin.”
“Five months ago. So not just but yes, I’m from Wisconsin.”
“You’re being bullied by some kid named Zane and you want it to stop.”
I stood there, next to my garbage can, wondering who this girl was and what she was up to. It was common knowledge that I was Zane’s favorite target. Of course I wanted his harassment to stop, anyone would, but what could she possibly do about it?
“Look, I don’t know who you are but if Zane sent you—”
“Zane didn’t send me.” She paused, just for a beat. “I guess you could say the universe did.”
I didn’t need this. I had enough drama in my life. I didn’t need this chick adding crazy to it as well. Marijuana was legal in Colorado. Maybe she’d been dining on pot gummies or something. The universe sent her. Yeah, right.
“I’ve got to get going,” I said. “I’m going to miss my bus.”
“Don’t worry about that,” Dara said. “I can take care of that.”
I started walking. I had to go six blocks in about two minutes. If I wasn’t there I’d have to either wait for the next bus, which wouldn’t be for half an hour, or beg my mom for a ride during which I’d have to listen to her chew me out about responsibility.
Dara followed, her arms wrapped tightly together. She wasn’t wearing a jacket.
“Let me try again,” she said. “This is my first time and I’m not sure how to do this.”
What was she saying? “Are you a prostitute?”
“What? God.” She made a face. “No, I’m not a prostitute. What kind of hooker comes up to someone by their garage first thing in the morning?”
“I wouldn’t know. I’m not privy to the methods of the, uh, working class.”
She said nothing for half a block and then started laughing. Probably at the thought of me soliciting a hooker.
“Let me try this again.” She cleared her throat and squared her shoulders. “Yesterday afternoon around three-forty-five you made a wish.”
“I did what?” Oh yeah, the dandelion. “Do you live next door or something? How could you know that?”
“I told you, the universe sent me. Your wish has been granted.”
Shawn McGuire is the author of young adult novels that blend contemporary settings and issues with a touch of fantasy and magic. She started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that’s episode IV) as a kid. She couldn’t wait for the next movie to come out so wrote her own episodes. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost, but her desire to write is as strong now as it was then.
Her books deal with harder topics (death of a sibling, divorce, dating violence, bullying, and teen suicide) because she believes it is important to talk about these things. Those kinds of topics can be hard to handle and a bit overwhelming, so she infuses a bit of humor in her work as well because she also believes that a sense of humor can help you get through just about anything.
Shawn lives in Colorado with her family where she spends her time reading, cooking and baking, practicing yoga and meditation, and hiking and camping in the spectacular Rocky Mountains.
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Dragonfriend (Dragonfriend #1) by Marc Secchia
Release Date: 04/11/15
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.
Dragonfriend is a stand-alone YA fantasy novel which is set in the same world as the bestselling dragon adventure series Shapeshifter Dragons and Shapeshifter Dragon Legends. It can be read in any order alongside Aranya, Shadow Dragon and The Pygmy Dragon.
When he woke, a volcanic twilight enflamed his world in auburn and gold hues. Flicker began to stretch before stopping with a grimace. Unholy monkey droppings, what a bad idea. He eased his wings. No more flying for him, not for several days, he suspected.
Oh … the creature lay right next to him, face-up to the blushing skies, breathing shallowly. It had a green cloth covering on its body, and a large patch of crimson stained its stomach area. Was that its blood? He flinched. Grotesque! Not even a hint of gold, unlike the blood of Dragons.
Wake up, weird creature, he chirped.
It did not move.
Flicker stretched out a paw curiously, hesitated, and then pricked its limb with his talon. How daring was he? The creature’s skin was so supple, it yielded immediately to his touch. More red welled up. He winced. What was the matter with its hide? It didn’t have hide? Now, what word had the scrolls used? Skin, yes. He rolled the unfamiliar word across his forked tongue. They had skin, not Dragon hide, a covering so smooth and colourless it reminded him of a newborn, blind rodent. His stomach-fires soughed uneasily. Its limbs were long but supported no wing struts or elastic membranes. How could it have hoped to fly?
Instinctively, his tongue flicked out to taste the creature’s blood, finding it rich and metallic, full of enigmatic undertones. Without warning, a vision struck him. A big creature beat this smaller one with a flat piece of metal. They exchanged meaningless sounds. The little one attacked, but it was not as powerful a beast as the one with the fungal growth on its face. The big one stuck a shard of metal into this one’s stomach.
Flicker’s throat swelled. Murder? A fight to the death?
Was this creature a female of their kind, rather than a handsome male like him?
By the fires of the Ancient Dragons, she had to be the ugliest female of a species he had ever encountered! Flicker shifted closer to examine her face, fascinated and repelled in equal measure. When she sighed and shifted, he shrank back, all three hearts tripping along, but then she made a purring sound like a sleeping dragonet. Well! What a foolish idea, sleeping outdoors at night. Perhaps she was as stupid as she was ugly? Just look at her flat, squashed muzzle, and her tiny nose. How could she scent food with that thing? Strange blades of grass sprouted from her head, grass as pale and golden as the wisps that grew lower down the cliffs, near the caldera, bleached by the heat and gases. Her paws had talons, but they were weak and clearly impractical for rending her prey.
The dragonet cocked his head to one side, his eyes roiling with Dragon fire. Well, you’re not dead, he said, speaking Dragonish telepathically. Say, ‘thank you for rescuing me, Flicker.’
He tried speaking aloud. I do declare, you’re the bravest, most beautiful dragonet in this entire Island-Cluster, Flicker. I am eternally in your debt.
Drool slipped from the corner of her mouth; saliva laced with more of her freakish blood.
- A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, and a $15 Amazon gift card.
Giveaway is International.