Ms. Mulligan and the Enchanted Ice Cream Review & Giveaway

I’m thrilled to present my first guest review on the blog.  When presented with the opportunity to review this middle grade novel, my first thought went to my daughter, a 9-year-old fourth grader. She loves to read (almost as much as me) and this book sounded right up her alley.  She’s constantly asking to join a book club or start one, so I knew a book review would be a great place to start.

By Madeleine:

This book is about 11-year-old Tabby Easterland who wakes up on her 12th birthday and discovers she turned into a 25-year-old, Ms. Mulligan!  This book genre is magical realism.

My favorite character in this book is Mrs. Bumble who somehow knows about what is happening to Tabby.  Tabby also has two best friends, Kat and Dolly.  Also in the story, Tabby, aka Ms. Mulligan, turns into an English teacher.

I think you would like this book if you like magical books and books with a lot of situations going on at once.

I also like that if magic like that existed, the author made it sound realistic.

Before I end this review, I would also like to say that in this book there are 41 chapters which sounds long but actually each chapter is only a couple pages.  The book can read quick.

Our thanks to the author for the review copy.  Be sure to follow the tour for more reviews and chances to win!

About the author: Tiffany Elaine grew up writing stories for her friends to read chapter-by-chapter instead of doing homework. She brought her love of words to a career in business and entertainment writing, but fiction remains her first love. Tiffany lives in North Carolina with her family. Ms. Mulligan and the Enchanted Ice Cream is her first novel. She’s currently working on the next novel in the series, Ms. Mulligan and the Council of Butterflies. Learn more at

Thanks to TLC Blog Tours, we have one copy to give away to a lucky reader.  U.S. and Canada only, please.  Enter on the Rafflecopter.
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Release Day for SUMMERLOST by Ally Condie

Dear Readers,

I think most of us have had our hearts broken. Sometimes we can see it coming, and sometimes it comes down with the unexpected force of a sudden gale of wind or a rising of waters that we thought were still and safe. Loss is universal to human experience, but the way we each feel and recover is one of the most personal things we do.

In Summerlost, Cedar is dealing with the loss of her father and younger brother. And my intent was to show how hard their deaths are for her. But this is also a book about the healing power of friendship. Most of us have been broken-hearted; I hope that most of us have also discovered the miracle of friendships that were just what we needed. Cedar and Leo’s friendship is based on someone I met when I was twelve. Like Leo, my friend was fun and liked to enlist me in crazy adventures (although we never gave a secret guided tour of our town the way they do in Summerlost). And, like Leo, he thought I was wonderful and of worth at a time when I needed it most.

SUMMERLOST is my attempt to pay tribute both to the pain we feel and the friendships that save us. Thank you so much for supporting this book, and for your willingness to give Cedar’s story a try. I hope it makes you think of a wonderful friend of your own, whether that is someone you met in the pages of a favorite book or outside, in the world where it is often hard and beautiful to live.

Best wishes and happy reading always,
Ally Condie



A Spring 2016 Kids’ Indie Next List Top 10 Pick!

Named one of Publishers Weekly’s Most Anticipated Children’s and YA Books of Spring 2016

● “Condie (Matched) strikes a deep emotional chord with this coming-of-age story.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

● “Multiple, seemingly random details, including a family of turkey vultures that now roost outside Cedar’s window, an absurd soap opera narrative of a woman buried alive, and Leo’s quest for a trip with his father, coalesce into metaphors that help Cedar make sense of her grief and the life she now has to look forward to. Thoughtful, poetic chapter endings guide readers new to psychological depth toward meaningful connections between plot events and thematic reflections.” – BCCB

“A moving tale of friendship and loss. I loved these characters—I wish we could have been friends when I was a kid.” –Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fablehaven and Five Kingdoms series

“Ally Condie’s first middle grade book might also be my favorite out of ALL her books to date. Summerlost is a story packed with nostalgia, heart, and gorgeous prose.” – The Novel Novice

“A nuanced portrait of grief deeply grounded in the middle-school mind-set.” – Booklist

“Honest, lovely, and sad.” – Kirkus Reviews

“A sweet, heartfelt story.” – School Library Journal

“Achingly good.” – Summer Laurie, Books Inc


Read an excerpt and BUY your copy from any of these retailers:

Penguin Random House
Barnes & Noble


Enter to win a copy!
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Thanks to Word Spelunking and Penguin Kids for sponsoring this release day blitz!

Best Read-Aloud Picture Books

I think I’m still a kid at heart.  There is some magical quality to picture books that entertains me along with my kids.  Oftentimes I’m presented with the opportunity to read aloud to my children’s classes.  If that’s the case for you, here’s a great list of picture books sure to be a hit.  These are also perfect for bedtime reads or anytime you’re looking for a smile or laugh.


The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak: After reading this to my daughter’s kindergarten class, I was begged for an encore and her teacher told me she’s never had her class laugh so hard.  If you haven’t discovered this laugh-out-loud read yet, you are missing out.  It’s so clever having the reader say nonsense phrases which kids find hilarious.


Press Here by Herve Tullet: Even better for a younger crowd, this allows a group of children to each take a turn pressing on the page to see what magic they can create with their fingers.  Imagine something interactive without electronics and you have this book.  For those looking to take it a step further, they even have a coordinating board game.


Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds: Imagine a child’s version of a psychological thriller and you have this picture book, complete with a twist.  The pictures were worthy enough to be nominated for a Caldecott Medal but the story is the ultimate surprise.  We are big fans.

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The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt: I’m not sure if we like the original or its sequel more.  These creative books had me laughing and my kids mesmerized.  I sure hope there will be another in this series, written by a box of crayons to their user, Duncan, complete with grievances and complaints.  You’ll completely change how you look at crayons.


Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker: If you ever hear the words “I’m bored,” try reading this story of a boring family.  I can guarantee their boredom is nothing like the kids in this book have to deal with.  Adults also will get a kick out of the dull situations Pennypacker presents.

These are our favorites.  I’d love to hear yours!  And please let me know your thoughts if you get a chance to read these.