Genre: Middle Grade

IB Tour: Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday

Posted September 25, 2016 by Emily in Blog Tour, Review / 0 Comments

IB Tour: Roald Dahl’s 100th BirthdayDanny The Champion Of The World by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake
Published by Penguin Books on August 16. 2007
Genres: Middle Grade, humor
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
Source: Free for Review
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four-half-stars

Danny has a life any boy would love—his home is a gypsy caravan, he's the youngest master car mechanic around, and his best friend is his dad, who never runs out of wonderful stories to tell. But one night Danny discovers a shocking secret that his father has kept hidden for years. Soon Danny finds himself the mastermind behind the most incredible plot ever attempted against nasty Victor Hazell, a wealthy landowner with a bad attitude. Can they pull it off? If so, Danny will truly be the champion of the world

Many times, revisiting childhood loves can be disappointing. You build up a memory in your mind so much that when you actually experience it again, the memory of the experience is better than whatever the experience was. This book has been a treasured memory forever. I had a slight concern that reading this again as an adult would make me sad. I love Roald Dahl and I want to celebrate him but I didn’t want to sour another piece of my childhood.

Reading the book again made me remember how much I loved the story. Danny’s relationship with his father reminds me of my own dad, who always had time for me. Danny thinks his dad is the best dad in the world, but I knew in my heard that mine actually was. In the book, Danny and his father make a kite and there are rough directions included. After reading this book I was inspired to make my own kite as a child. I really wanted to make a fire balloon (instructions also included), but my parents weren’t all that wild about the idea.

Luckily, this Roald Dahl book held up well! Reading Danny The Champion of the World as an adult was a completely different experience. It was still the same book that I remembered but it also wasn’t. When I was a child, I never thought about the legalities of poaching or pondered the moral ramifications of Danny’s father’s nightly activities. I just knew that Mr. Hazell was a jerk and he deserved to be punished. Things were black and white when I younger.

If adulthood is identifying with King Triton instead of Ariel, I’m definitely there. However, there are some fringe benefits. If you need me, I’ll be making a fire balloon.

About the Author

roald-photo-official-photo-jpegRoald Dahl (1916–1990) was one of the world’s most imaginative, successful and beloved storytellers. He was born in Wales of Norwegian parents and spent much of his childhood in England. After establishing himself as a writer for adults with short story collections such as Kiss Kiss and Tales of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living with his family in both the U.S. and in England. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl’s first children’s story, The Gremlins, was a story about little creatures that were responsible for the various mechanical failures on airplanes. The Gremlins came to the attention of both First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who loved to read the story to her grandchildren, and Walt Disney, with whom Roald Dahl had discussions about the production of a movie.

Roald Dahl was inspired by American culture and by many of the most quintessential American landmarks to write some of his most memorable passages, such as the thrilling final scenes in James and the Giant Peach – when the peach lands on the Empire State Building! Upon the publication of James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl began work on the story that would later be published as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and today, Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, have sold more than 200 million copies.

Roald Dahl also enjoyed great success for the screenplays he wrote for both the James Bond film You Only Live Twice in 1967 and for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, released one year later, which went on to become a beloved family film.  Roald Dahl’s popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.

Two charities have been founded in Roald Dahl’s memory: the first charity, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, created in 1991, focuses on making life better for seriously ill children through the funding of specialist nurses, innovative medical training, hospitals, and individual families across the UK.

The second charity, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre – a unique cultural, literary and education hub – opened in June 2005 in Great Missenden where Roald Dahl lived and wrote many of his best-loved works. 10% of income from Roald Dahl books and adaptations are donated to the two Roald Dahl charities.

On September 13, 2006, the first national Roald Dahl Day was celebrated, on what would have been the author’s 90th birthday. The event proved such a success that RoaldDahl Day is now marked annually all over the world. September 13, 2016 is Roald Dahl 100, marking 100 years since the birth of the world’s number one storyteller. There will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100 throughout 2016, delivering a year packed with gloriumptious treats and surprises for everyone.

Giveaway:

1 winner can pick 5 books from the Roald Dahl collection! US Only.

Tour Schedule

   Fiction Fare: Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes
Nicole’s Novel Reads: The Missing Golden Ticket and Other Splendiferous Secrets
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile: Skin and Other Stories
Intellectual Recreation: Love From Boy
KellyVision: More About Boy 
One Night Book Stand: Revolting Rhymes 
The Quiet Concert: The Minpins 
Reads All the Books: Dirty Beasts 
Here’s to Happy Endings: The Enormous Crocodile 
He Said Books or Me: D is for Dahl 
Dizneeee’s World of Books: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More
The Innocent Smiley: The Vicar of Nibbleswick 
PaperTrailYa: Esio Trot 
Emily Reads Everything: Danny, The Champion of the World 
Writing My Own Fairy Tale: George’s Marvelous Medicine 
Rebelle Reads: Fantastic Mr. Fox 
Quest Reviews: Going Solo 
Mundie Kids: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 
Stuck In Books: Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator 
No BS Book Reviews: Matilda 
Novelgossip: The Twits 
Forever Bookish: Boy: Tales of Childhood 
Miranda’s Book Blog: The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me 
I Turn the Pages: The BFG 
The Irish Banana Review: The Witches 
Actin’ Up with Books: The Magic Finger 
Swoony Boys Podcast: James and the Giant Peach 

four-half-stars

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Awesome Indies: Mermaids Vs. Unicorns by Scott King

Posted December 4, 2015 by Emily in Awesome Indie / 0 Comments

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For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page

Awesome Indies: Mermaids Vs. Unicorns by Scott KingMermaids Vs. Unicorns by Scott King
Series: Zimmah Chronicles #2
Published by Createspace on September 13, 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Middle Grade
Pages: 174
Buy on Amazon

The chaotic magic of hundreds of djinn are destroying San Francisco. Dinosaurs. Butterfly volcanos. Buildings made of Jello– If someone can wish it, it’s happening. Unable to access his own powers, Zimmah, must rely on Karim and Whitney’s help.
Standing in their way is Alkema, ZimmahÂ’s murderous father, an almost omnipotent djinn who enjoys watching the suffering of others. If not stopped he will not only destroy the city, but plunge the entire world into total madness.
This fantasy adventure is the third in a middle grade trilogy focusing on djinn, genies and world warping magic!

Scott is a friend who bridges the board game/book gap. He plays board games. He takes excellent board game photos for companies and sells a calendar every year. He also is a talented writer of quite a few books in a variety of genres. When I first asked if I could interview him about his latest middle grade title, this is what he sent me.

Pizza.
The first time I saw the music video for “Take on Me” played on MTV.
I always wondered who would win a fight between Conan OÂ’brien and Stephen Colbert.
I got stitches growing up because once at a beach house I was jumping between two twin beds singing “No More Monkeys Jumping On The Bed” and I fell and cracked my head open.
The only rule I have is butt in chair. But coffee helps.
If I have to wear a tie itÂ’s a christmas tie, even if its in the summer.
I absolutely hate cooking even though IÂ’m good at it. As a kid my family had a restaurant and when I got in trouble my punishment was to go downstairs and work the lunch line.
Gilmore Girls.
I donÂ’t think vampires are real but youÂ’ll never convince me that unicorns arenÂ’t.
I use a notebook.

Then he actually answered my questions 🙂

 Tell us about yourself?

I have an MFA in Film & Electronic Media and was a college professor, but we moved to Texas to follow Lisa’s (my wife) career. Since her job requires her to move every two years or so I decided to put teaching on the back burner and focus more on writing. So now I’m an indie author and board game photographer. About half my time is spent writing and publishing books and the other half is spent shooting product photography for board game publishers. I also do an annual calendar of board game photos which has become popular.

What were you like in school?

I hated the school part of high school. Classes always bored me and I have a strong memory so thanks to regurgitation I could ace tests and exams without trying. Same thing with college and grad school. Gen Ed classes were so boring and I didn’t start to enjoy the learning process until I got to take writing, photography, video editing, and more production or creative oriented classes. Once that happened I had a new appreciation for academia and decided one of the things I would like to do is be a college professor to offer the same type of positive influence those few special professors did for me. My love for teaching is why I started branching into non-fiction books in the first place.

What books are you currently reading?

I read a lot of middle grade, YA, & teen fantasy books and then dabble into a bit of thrillers or whatever the new hot book is because I like to be aware of those kinds of things. Right now IÂ’m making my way through the “Wings of Fire” series. IÂ’m currently on book four and I’m really enjoying the writing. The prose flows nice, itÂ’s age appropriate for the target audience and its just fun. IÂ’m also re-reading all of the Fables graphic novels. IÂ’m up to book 13 of 22. The comic series recently came to an end and before I read the final issues I wanted to re-experience the whole thing. Its definitely one of the best contemporary comic books around and IÂ’m a bit sad that itÂ’s ending.

Do you have any pets?

We have four pets, two dogs and two cats.
Edit – She was my cat before I met Lisa (my wife). She is also the boss in the house. The dogs recognize her as the alpha and whenever anyone is misbehaving she lays the smack down. For example if IÂ’m playing with the dogs and Edit thinks IÂ’m being too rough or mean she will bite me in the butt. Not hard, but to hard enough get my attention and worn me that IÂ’m being bad.
Winchell – Winchell was LisaÂ’s dog. She raised him in college and he was trained to be a seeing eye dog. HeÂ’s a pure black lab and huge. Because he was so tall they werenÂ’t able to fit him with a blind person and retired him after a year. At that point, The Seeing Eye asked Lisa if she wanted him back and she said “Heck yeah!” HeÂ’s basically a big softy and will do anything for food, though he is partial to sweet potato biscuits and bread. If you read my book “Cupcakes vs. Brownies” then know that Lion is based on Winchell.
Page – Lisa and I got Page together. SheÂ’s a lab/Rhodesian ridgeback mix. SheÂ’s very protective. Earlier this month, LisaÂ’s family came to visit and amongst them was LisaÂ’s thirteen month old niece, Sophia. The whole time they were here, Page followed Sophia around the house and would make sure she was safe and ok. Anytime Sophia fell, or cried, or wined, Page would come and get one of us to check on her.
Story – Story was a stray cat that Lisa and Page found in a tree during the middle of a rain storm. She was only five or six months old when we found her so she quickly adapted to being a part of our pack. She is kind of the goofball in the house. SheÂ’s not athletic or very smart. She regularly gets caught between the blinds or gets her claws stuck in her own tail. That being said sheÂ’s a very happy cat who loves everyone. SheÂ’ll spend hours sitting on your lap purring.
Pets

Do you have a set writing schedule that you adhere to? / Tell us how you write

Lisa is a chemical engineer and her schedule is usually 6:30am-8pm-ish. My rule is that when she isn’t home I’m working. Being more of a morning person I prefer to write in the mornings so when she leaves for work, I head to the local coffee shop, Brew-n-Bake. Brew-n-Bake is awesome. I’ve written five or six books there and it has such a warm vibe. Plus in the morning it’s a hot place for people to stop on the way to work, which leaves room for some social interaction and people watching. Generally I get a bottomless cup of coffee and I write till around 11ish. I then head home, make lunch, walk the puppies, and spend the afternoon working on the publishing side of things or on board game photography.
Coffee Shop

Tell us about your book.

“Mermaids vs. Unicorns” is the second book in the Zimmah Chronicles, a middle grade fantasy series focusing on djinn, genies, and world warping magic. After the events of the first book, Zimmah the djinn comes across Whitney, a devilish girl who uses his own powers against him. A wish then goes wrong and the characters are whisked away to The Otherworld, a magical land where mermaids and unicorns are at war.

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?

Here is the teaser trailer I made for “Cupcakes vs. Brownies” Book 1 in the Zimmah Chronicles 
The ebook for “Cupcakes vs. Brownies” is now permafree so you can pick it up at Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, or wherever for no cost.

Is any part of Mermaids vs. Unicorns based on someone you know or events in your own life?

My father was sick growing up. From the time I was 14 till 27 we were constantly in and out of emergency rooms and ICU’s. So I know what it’s like having a chronically sick and eventually terminally sick parent. Whitney, the new protagonist in “Mermaids vs. Unicorns” is dealing with a lot of the stuff that I had to deal with, though she handles it much better than I did.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Because I work from home, most of my free time is dedicated to working, which is fine because I do love writing and photography. Though one of the things I started for fun a year ago is podcast called “The Creators Cast.” The episodes last about twenty to thirty minutes and on the show I talk to other creators about the stuff they make. It’s really cool for me because I get to talk to other writers, board game designers, comic book artists, voice actors, app developers and such about their creation process. Plus now that it’s becoming more established I get to talk to people I’ve always looked up to like Kazu Kibuishi who did Copper, The Flight Anthologies and now the Amulet series.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Headshot2014small-1024x653The best place to follow me is on twitter. I’m @ScottKing and I’m very active there. I also have a blog on my website (www.ScottKing.info) where I post board game photos, food photos, travel photos, and general news about my books.

Website: www.ScottKing.info
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kingscottking
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScottKing
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/ScottKing/e/B002BMAE9C
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6862101.Scott_King

Mermaids vs. Unicorns Links:

Check out his newest book Genies Vs. Djinn below!

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