Month: August 2020

My debut novel coming in 2021

I am excited to announce that my debut middle grade novel, Lost Between Worlds, will be published by Talegari Tales (@talegari.tales). Thanks to Manasa Gururaj, the founder of Talegari Tales for this opportunity. Early this month, I sent out the manuscript to the publisher and I am waiting for the comments. The book will be released in 2021. For my book, I met an incredible illustrator, Abhilasha Khatri, @abhilashakhatri0603, who drew the illustrations for the book. The illustrations in the book are great and I hope to share a few in a couple of posts. Last but not the least, I want to thank my family for their support. My parents, Dr. Shivarani and Dr. Sukumar for their encouragement to pursue writing provided I have a professional career. I also want to thank my mom, Shivarani (@rani_shiv) and husband Pradeep (@goudapradeep) for reviewing this book multiple times and providing critical feedback. I also want to thank my family and friends reviewers, especially my youngest and eldest nieces, Shreshta and Niyati. The other reviewers are my …

A Pinch of Magic

Happy Book Publication Month to A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison. Three Widdershins sisters live in a dreary place called Crowstone under the care of their grandmother. The middle sister wants to escape Crowstone and see the outside world. She secretly plans an outing with her younger sister. Her grandmother appears out of nowhere, takes them home and reveals a family secret. The Widdershins are cursed to remain in Crowstone forever. Nine women from Winddershins family met their death when they crossed the border. Their grandmother also gives them three magical items passed down from one generation of Widdershins women to the next. The magical items are a traveling bag that can take you anywhere, the Russian dolls that can make a person vanish and a mirror which can show anyone in the world. The middle sister is determined to break the curse. With the help of her other sisters she embarks on a dangerous journey which involves helping a criminal escape from the Crowstone jail. Will the sister be able to break the …

Dalya and the Magic Ink Bottle

Happy Book Publication Month to Dalya and the Magic Ink Bottle by J.M.Evenson (@jmevenson) Dalya is a 12-year old girl. Her father takes her to Istanbul for Summer vacation to visit her great aunt. The Aunt’s house looks like a house from the horror movies, in ruin and almost falling apart. Dalya has her suspicions regarding the house but her father brushes them away. While Dalya waits to spend her time with her busy father she comes across a magical cat. Dalya’s Aunt herself is full of secrets and tells Dalya that she has to set things right. The cat leads Dalya to a magic ink bottle and Dalya makes a wish to go home, Cleveland. Dalya transforms to a cat. As a cat, Dalya is on a quest to find the owner of ink bottle so that he can change her back to human. Dalya makes new friends along the journey who help her with her mission. I loved that the setting of the book was in Instanbul and Dalya’s family are Muslims. I …

May saves the Day

Happy Book Publication Month to May saves the Day, written by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Serena Lombardo. May is the founder of Wordsaver Inc. Her phone doesn’t stop ringing. May uses the power of words to turn harmful situations into harmless situations. When she receives a call that bees are attacking a group of children. She inserts ‘T’ into bees so it becomes beets and all children have a beet, except Stu. Stu is in a wheel chair and he asks to be May’s sidekick. Initially May does not agree but later accepts his help when she faces tricky situations. This picturebook is great for increasing children’s interest in words and to teach them how words take on a completely new meaning by insertion and deletion of a few letters. I loved the wordplay of May and Stu. This can also be an activity book where kids can brainstorm how to change a dangerous word into a non-threatening one and compare with what May did. I also like that this book teaches about entrepreneurship …

Quintessence

Happy Book Publication Year to Quintessence by Jess Redman (@jess__red) Alma’s family moves to Four Points and Alma has trouble acclimating to the new middleschool and making friends. There is a mysterious shop in the city and the owner gives Alma a quintescope. When Alma looks through the quintescope that night, she sees a star falling and a starling, a glowing girl in need of help. Alma wants to help the starling but she escapes and hides in the woods. Alma joins astronomy club and meets Shirin, Hugo and Dustin. Alma and her friends are Elementals and they each have to gather an element of nature to send the starling back to her home. I loved the diverse nature of Alma’s friends. Alma is shy, Shirin is outgoing and loud, Hugo is a geek and Dustin is a bully. I liked the concepts of quintessence, the light inside us, and the importance of elements of nature. The author also touches upon mental health issues. This book is a great read for geeky middle schoolers interested …

Summer Feet

Happy Book Publication Month to Summer Feet written by Sheree Fitch and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher. Today’s the day we kick off shoes hide away socks Today’s the day Our summer feet shout LET US OUT. The main characters in this book are the feet of the children. In Summer, the feet come out of the shoes and socks and explore nature in their bare-naked form. The bare-naked feet walk over hard rocks, tumble down hills, climb trees, play hide-and-seek and many other activities. Summer Feet is a perfect picture book to read with children this Summer. It also provides for activities to do in Summer. Hurry up and grab this book because Autumn is coming and the feet have to be imprisoned in boots and socks soon. Thank you to @netgalley and @nimbuspub for the ARC.

Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day! Today is the 74th Independence Day of India. On Independence Day, there is flag hoisting in schools and all government establishments. As a kid, I used to go to school and be involved in some marching or drill activity. Patriotic speeches were given by students and teachers. After that we were given some sweets and dispersed for the day. After coming home, I used to watch the Independence Day celebrations broadcasted from Red Fort where the Prime Minister addressed the nation and there was a parade after the speech. All the States in the country had a float and I used to wait for the float of my State, Andhra Pradesh (Telangana now). This year the Independence Day celebrations will be different due to Covid-19, with social distancing norms in place. India has a roadmap ready for the production and distribution of three Covid-19 vaccines that are at various stages of testing. The mantra of India is Atma-nirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) and ‘vocal for local.’ Wishing a bright, self-reliant, healthy and prosperous …

The Tears of Monterini

Happy Publication Month to The Tears of Monterini by Amanda Weinberg (@amandaweinbergauthor). The Tears of Monterini is a historical women’s fiction set in the fictional town of Monterini, Italy. The novel is set in in time period of 1921-1946, when Mussolini rose and fell from power in Italy. The novel is about two families of different faiths, a Jew and a Catholic, but with friendship lasting for six generations. Yacobo is Jewish and has a book store and Angelo is a contadino, who is a winemaker. Yacobo’s daughter, Bella falls in love with Angelo’s son, Rico. Their love is forbidden in the eyes of the society and due to condemnation of Jews, as Hilter rose to power. The peaceful town of Monterini is torn apart, as the villagers decide what to do with the Jews in the village. No Jew was safe in that tumultuous time and the small town of Monterini was not an exception. I loved the descriptions about the town of Monterini and the various residents of the town. The reader follows …

Kiki Mcadoo and the graveyard ballerinas

Happy publication month to Kiki Mcadoo and the Graveyard Ballerinas by Colette Sewall. Kiki and her sister, Alison are ballerinas in training. They go to Mount Faylinn, a ballet school in Summer. Mount Faylinn is surrounded by a magical forest, a lake and a forbidden forest beyond the lake. Kiki meets Oliver at the school who introduces her to fairies of the forest and also takes her to darker parts of the forest. While Kiki struggles to perfect her ballet poses, she faces a new problem. Her sister is at the right age to be influenced by the darker forces of the forest. Will Kiki be able to save her sister? I loved the mystery surrounding the non-human characters in the book. This book also highlights the love between sisters and the sacrifices they make for one another. The unique plot of this book, which involved ballet, fairies, ghosts and alchemy made it difficult to put it down. A great read that will keep you at the edge of your seat. Thank you to @netgalley …

Different Like Me

Happy publication month to Different like me written by Xochitl Dixon (@xochitl.e.dixon) and illustrated by Bonnie Lui (@superbonart). We are all unique in our differences. We are dark and fair and all colors in between. We follow different religions of faith and speak different languages. We belong to different countries. Some speak with their hands, see with sticks and can move only in a wheelchair. Despite our differences we share the same feelings of hope, despair and yearn to be cared and loved by others. In this book, a group of diverse children are walking with a balloon to a surprise destination. As they make their journey, they make new friends and explore the differences, similarities and learn how to overcome a hurdle together. This picturebook touches on the most important concept that even though children look different but we are all human and have to look after one another. I loved the colorful illustrations and the fish balloon is a ‘cool’ character with interesting emotions. Thanks to @netgalley and @ourdailybread for the ARC.