Tag Archives: Kids

Books I’ve Recently Read and Enjoyed!

As I said last month, I don’t often blog about what I’ve read, mostly because Goodreads has my list if anyone is interested. But, I realize some of my blog readers may not be part of Goodreads. I will try to do this more often. So, here are a few books I’ve read recently and enjoyed.

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Frostblood by Elly Blake. Okay, so I actually listened to the audio book. But boy was I sucked into the world of Ruby hiding her fire gift in the cruel world of the frost king. And of course, like all creatures who try to hide things, they get found out. But when frostbloods rescue her from the frost king’s prison, she must learn to trust them and help save them from the evil king. Oh, and she just might fall in love with her enemy. What a fantastically imagined world! I enjoyed it so much, I had to listen to the sequel immediately afterwards:

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Fireblood by Elly Blake. For those who might’ve skimmed the previous paragraph, this is the sequel to Frostblood. Again, Ruby’s world lured me in as she left her frost king–her love–to learn about her homeland of fire, a world she never knew growing up. In this book, her powers grow stronger and she risks never seeing her beloved frost king again. Oooh, this story was just as good as the first. How many times can you say that about sequels? My only complaint is that I have to wait until June 5, 2018 for the third book in this saga. Waaaaaa!

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The Monster at the end of this Book by Jon Stone. Yeah, I read to my grandson people! Find a youngster and read this Sesame Street book. My grandson laughed and asked me to read again and again and again. Of course, when Grover says not to turn the page so the reader will never get to the end of the book because he’s afraid of seeing the monster at the end, I kept asking my grandson, “What do you think? Should we turn the page?” And of course, after some giggles, he’d say yes. What fun we had!

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber. Entertainment weekly described this as The Hunger Games meets The Night Circus. Needless to say, I HAD to read it! The blurb says it best as Scarlett becomes “enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic” as she searches to find her sister before Tella disappears forever. Loved it and can’t wait for the sequel!

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Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast by Josh Funk. (No, not the Josh Funk I went to school with. LoL) This was a wonderful rhyming book that reminded me of some of the Dr. Seuss books I’ve read. My grandson loved the rhythm and seeing the illustrations of some of his favorite foods animated. Grab a kid and get to reading!

And there you have a quick view into what I’ve read lately. Let me know if you have any recommendations! Have a fantastic day.

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.


MasterClass With Author Judy Bloom

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Judy Bloom will be teaching a Master Class in early 2018. While the dates don’t appear to be set, you can pre-enroll for only $90. The award winning author broke the rules. Her refreshingly honest children’s books were banned by hundreds of libraries—and loved by generations of readers, who bought 85 million copies of classics like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Superfudge.

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Learn with one of the best with 24 lessons on writing vivid characters and realistic dialogue. There will be a workbook along with the videos, and Judy will critique select members of the class. Have fun and learn lots!
P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/Fiction


2018 Laura Crawford Memorial Mentorship


The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators will open for applications to the Laura Crawford Memorial Mentorship. The mentorship was established in memory of picture book author Laura Crawford.

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This year’s mentor will be author Julia Durango, who will help with one picture book manuscript for a six month period.

Julia Durango

In order to apply, you must be a SCBWI member with an application dated between December 1-7, 2017. Applicants must never have had a picture book traditionally published. For complete details, go here.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA Fiction.


Pockets Fiction Contest Closing

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This contest is open to stories for children of 750-1000 words. The winner is to receive $500 and publication in Pockets Magazine.  Entries must be postmarked no later than August 15, 2017.

Please indicate FICTION CONTEST on both the outside envelope and the cover sheet.

• There is no set theme and no entry fee.
• Stories should be 750–1,000 words. (Stories shorter than 750 words or longer than 1,000 words will be disqualified.)
• Stories must be previously unpublished.
• Please include an accurate word count on your cover sheet.
• Multiple submissions are permitted, but please submit only your best work.
• Past winners are ineligible.
• The winner will be announced November 1 at
• Award: $500 and publication in the magazine.
• Entries with an SASE will be returned.
• If you have questions, please email us at pockets@upperroom.org.


Lynn W. Gilliam, Editor
P. O. Box 340004
Nashville, TN 37203-0004

They request to please NOT send submissions via FAX or e-mail. As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.


Jelly Bean Summer by Joyce Magnin Pre-order & Review

Jelly Bean Summer

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Release Date: May 2, 2017

Oh man, Jelly Bean Summer by Joyce Magnin took me back to my youth of wanting to escape unpleasant realities and to feel a sense of doing something worthwhile. And like Joyce Anne, I spent many nights staring at the starry sky. Heck, I still do! And even though the story takes place during the time of the Vietnam War, kids today can still relate to soldiers, some family or friends, going MIA because of our current international wars.

Now let me tell you, this isn’t a war story. Oh no, it’s about making unlikely friendships and getting past mutual sorrows. But most importantly, it’s about finding a purpose and to know you made a difference in someone’s life. This book made me laugh. Oh, and this book made me cry. But never did I stop cheering for Joyce Anne to continue with her funny flying saucer mission. Yep, I said flying saucer. Truly, I dare you to pick up Jelly Bean Summer to find out what I mean!


Jelly Bean Summer (Back)

Joyce is desperate to get out of the room she shares with her older sister. All she wants is some peace and quiet, not the kind of quiet that fills the space left by her missing brother. It’s the kind where you can breath deep and see the stars.

So she moves to the roof. Up there it’s nothing but blue sky. Blue sky and…another roof dweller? Joyce soon discovers she’s not the only one who’s been driven to rooftop living. With the help of a pair of binoculars, a sketch pad, and a pen, Joyce makes an unexpected friend and sets in motion a summer she’ll never forget.

Amazon|BN|Kobo|Google Play|Goodreads|Sourcebooks Jabberwocky|Target|BAM!


Joyce Magnin

Joyce Magnin is the author of the popular and quirky Bright’s Pond novels. She is a frequent conference speaker and writing instructor. When she’s not writing or reading Joyce enjoys baseball, needle arts, video games and cream soda but not elevators—especially glass ones. She listens to many kinds of music, shamelessly confesses to enjoying American Idol, has never eaten a scallop or sky dived. Joyce has three children, Rebekah, Emily and Adam and three grandsons, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren and one son-in-law, Joshua. Joyce lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania with her son, Adam and their crazy cat, Mango, where she cares for an eighty-year-old onion plant.


Picture Book Party To Get An Agent

PB_Party_for_contestHoly-moly! It’s another picture book contest. Things are looking up for the PB writers and illustrators, indeed. On March 26, 2017 Michelle Hauck and Sharon Chriscoe will  co-host a Picture Book Party. Submission will open at noon EST and will close when 250 entrants have been received. You need to have a completed and polished PB manuscript and illustrations are encouraged to be submitted (if you’re an illustrator). The agent round will be between April 5-7, 2017. Be sure to checkout the complete guidelines on the website. You can also follow helpful hints for all writers on the twitter hashtag #PBParty.

As always, good luck.

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.