Category Archives: Monthly Author Feature

Picture Book Review: Elijah and the Key of Knowledge & Elijah and the City in Danger

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Elijah and the Key of Knowledge starts this fresh take on exploring reading skills.

I had the pleasure of reading Elijah and The Key of Knowledge for this June’s featured children’s book to get your summer reading started. The author, Zachariah Rippee, does a masterful job of pulling readers into the idea that reading gives you knowledge. In fact, the whole Elijah series is full of themes to get kids reading.

The series begins with the picture book, Elijah and The Key of Knowledge. This book starts out with Elijah as an adventurer like in the Indiana Jones movies. He takes his animal friends, ie Calvin and Hobbes, on an adventure with many obstacles blocking the way. He has to enlist the help of his friends to best the things thrown into his path. It all ends when he finally discovers the secret to the key of knowledge. You guessed it, reading.

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Elijah and the City in Danger is the second in the Elijah series.

The second book in the series I liked better than the first. It has Elijah now using his imagination to become a superhero in Elijah and The City in Danger. In this picture book, Elijah is now a masked hero charged with the safety of THE CITY. He must fight giant dinosaurs, robots and aliens to keep the City safe all while using his imagination, the biggest super power of all.

I really enjoyed the spontaneous joy in these two picture books. Mr. Rippee presents a fun, playful world in which a child uses his reading powers to create big adventures and be the star of his own imagination. The series would make a great read-aloud for teachers wanting to emphasis reading skills, and parents wanting to motivate their little ones to read. The Elijah series would be a great way to start off your summer reading as well.

Elijah and the Key of Knowledge is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Elijah and the City in Danger is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

-Tiffany Turner

Head writer and editor of the Indie Children’s Authors Connection

*Tiffany Turner is the head writer and editor for the Indie Children’s Authors Connection and author of her own middle grade children’s fantasy adventure series, the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. She has taught elementary students the love of reading and writing for 18 years, and currently has moved to writing full time. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and cat. The cat, of course, is the center of attention.

 

 

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Update: The Lost Secret of Time is Coming!

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Tiffany Turner in the hospital ICU Dec. 2014

Tiffany Turner in the hospital ICU Dec. 2014

Greetings Crystal Keeper Fans! I’ve been rejuvenating my efforts to get back into the swing of writing. As always, life has thrown some curves at me. And they were some pretty big curves. There were a lot of changes in education, namely the Common Core, that has made it difficult for me to keep up with all my writing and still give all my efforts in teaching. Transitions are really hard in education, and this has been the worst and most difficult that I’ve seen in my career.

Then, I got blindsided by illness in December 2014. I got pneumonia and ended up in the hospital. While there, I went into Code Blue and cardiac arrest. Basically, I almost died, and the doctors were trying everything to help me pull through. I also had the complication of septic shock and the discovery of a heart blood clot. So, it was discovered that I have cardiomyopathy, a heart failure condition where my heart isn’t pumping enough blood to the rest of my body.

My monitors in the hospital.

My monitors in the hospital.

This has made it difficult for me to do much else but get better. I’ve been on medical leave from teaching, and I’m taking a year of absence to get my health back. The bonus of all the health issues is that as I start to feel better, I can start writing again.

So, over the next year, I’ll be working on The LOST SECRET OF TIME and finishing the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. I’ve always intended on doing so. But sometimes life just throws you a curve ball, and you have to adapt, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and keep going.

Resting in my hospital bed Dec. 2014.

Resting in my hospital bed Dec. 2014.

All the encouragement is always helpful and appreciated. I’ve got a start on THE LOST SECRET OF TIME, and signed up for Camp NANO in April to make progress on the book. Things are underway, and I’ll be sure to give you updates as I move through the process. As for now, I’ll be continuing with featuring more Indie Authors once a month, and will try to get back into doing Indie writing posts to help out other authors.

So, hug your parents, kids, and pets. Positive thoughts can do so much. You just never know what path will lay before you. And with writing, everyone is on a different writing journey. I’m glad to be sharing mine with you.

Take care!-Tiffany Turner (Mrs. Turner)

Author Spotlight Book Review: E.S. Pete Sixth Grade Sense

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E.S. Pete is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

E.S. Pete is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

This month’s author spotlight review is on E.S. Pete Sixth Grade Sense by Arnold Rudnick. I always like a good story with a psychic twist. Pete, like other boys, wants to be normal. But has a strange twist to life; he can read minds. Most of us would love to have this super power. For Pete, sometimes it’s a curse. Like being able to read the mind of a teacher that is going to rob the school and no one believes him. Sometimes he wishes he couldn’t do what he could. Factor in his crush on his friend Casey, and you got a recipe for a mystery adventure.

This middle grade novel is a cross between Encyclopedia Brown and the Mentalist, except with a school boy crush in the middle. Unlike Encyclopedia, Pete has fallen for his sidekick or at least she becomes his sidekick in the first of what proves to be an interesting series. From trying to save the day to going on a field trip as bait for the robbery, Pete is the unsung hero. He has to believe that he is right even with the ability to read people’s minds. He still has doubts on whether he should use the information or not. It often gets him in trouble.

I liked this twist of fate. What would happen if you could read minds? Rudnick digs deep into this dilemma giving Pete that morality of good vs. evil that is often missing from today’s literature for children. With the basics of a good ole’ fashion mystery, ESPete: Sixth Grade Sense will charm any child reader into believing that reading minds isn’t easy, and having super powers means you have to still be like everyone else. I think they’ll relate to Pete on an everyday level and enjoy the idea that reading minds wouldn’t be easy. I recommend for children that enjoy a good mystery series that might enjoy fantasy or paranormal twists.

Rating: Four Stars  ****

ISBN: 0981587909

Publisher: Paraphrase, LLC

****Available on: Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

FB Fan Page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/ES-Pete-Sixth-Grade-Sense/239256356097969

ARNOLD RUDNICK has written for many television shows, including THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR, STAR TREK: VOYAGER and THE NEW ADDAMS FAMILY.

Author Website: http://espete.com

Follow on

Twitter: arnoldrudnick

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/arnold.rudnick

May Author Spotlight: Arnold Rudnick

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WOI Banner for Arnold Rudnick April 2015 webI’d like to introduce you to a new feature here on the Indie Children’s Connection. Each month, I’ll be featuring a new Indie Children’s Author with links to their books and a spotlight, book review, and author interview or giveaway.

We’re starting off May with a feature on Arnold Rudnick. He writes several different types of books including middle grade novels and picture books. His books have a new twist on different genres. He fills his books with realistic characters that are easy to relate to. Often, they have some unique obstacle they have to face.

Little Green coverArnold Rudnick has a gift for creating fascinating stories to challenge children toward self-improvement and self esteem. In LITTLE GREEN he introduces a little green frog (beautifully realized by illustrator Marcelo Goreman) who has big dreams to be special.

ISBN: 0981587976

Publisher Paraphrase, LLC

​E.S. Pete: Sixth Grade Sense is about the perils of a paranormal preteen.

Pete knew there would be a lot more homework in Sixth Grade, but he didn’t plan on the reading list including the minds of his teachers and classmates. Knowing what they think can be helpful sometimes, but it also gets complicated — ESPecially when Pete thinks the substitute teacher is planning a big robbery.espetecvr

ISBN: 0981587909

Publisher: Paraphrase, LLC

 ARNOLD RUDNICK has written for many television shows, including THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR, STAR TREK: VOYAGER and THE NEW ADDAMS FAMILY.

Author Website: http://isntitpossible.com and http://espete.com

Follow on

Twitter @isntitpossible or arnoldrudnick

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/arnold.rudnick

FB Fan Pages:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Little-Green/367225250007330

http://www.facebook.com/pages/ES-Pete-Sixth-Grade-Sense/239256356097969

World of Ink Virtual Tour http://www.worldofinknetwork.com/arnold-rudnick-april-15.html

***Stay tuned this week for Author Interview and Book Review of E.S. Pete: Sixth Grade Sense.