Category Archives: Childrens

>ALERT: Special Contest for The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making" by Catherynne M. Valente


Available now from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group is Catherynne M. Valente’s first novel for young readers, ‘The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making‘.

To celebrate the release of ‘The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making‘, we are offering a new book trailer for your viewing pleasure as well as the opportunity to win a copy of the book!

*Giveaway guidelines. This giveaway is open to US/ Canada readers only and will end July 27th. To enter you must follow Paperback Dolls and leave a comment in this post with a contact email. Winner will be chosen via and contacted by the email address left in the comments.

More about ‘The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making’ :

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own MakingTwelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn?t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.
With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.

Macmillan page for the book & author:

Author’s website & blog:


>Review: This Place Has No Atmosphere by Paula Danziger


This Place Has No AtmosphereIt’s 2057 and people live in malls, and the school is fueled by garbage . . . some things haven’t changed.
Aurora, fifteen, has the perfect life–and Matthew has asked her of Homecoming.
Then her parents decide to become settlers in a colony on the moon. Aurora cannot imagine living in a place with no atmosphere. There are only 750 people on the moon. What if none of them is a boy her age?

Moving is never easy, but it can turn out to be better than you expect. For Aurora, moving to the moon ends up being out of this world.

The year is 1986. I had recently moved (AGAIN) to a different state and was about to start school mid semester. I was the new kid once more. It seemed like just as soon as I would start to fit in my family moved. I am sure many adults can relate to the feeling of being up-rooted and moved as a child, but at the time you swear you are the only person who has ever felt that way.

So…I read…a lot. At first it was to pass the time on long cross country car trips following a moving van (remember this is back in the days before TV’s in cars, ipods, cell phones…) But, as I grew older the books and stories I would read would have more purpose than just killing time. Sometimes the books actually changed my perspective on things by telling me a story in which I could so deeply relate. It wasn’t a person in my face telling me that “this too shall pass”. No, it was a story that I could understand and it showed me that things can get better if you change the way you confront them. I know they seem so similar, but it’s a very different thing to show and not tell.

This brings me to the late Paula Danziger’s 1986 release of THIS PLACE HAS NO ATMOSPHERE. I picked up the book because I thought the premise of living under a dome on the moon really cool. And it was…totally, but it was so much more.

Danziger wrote a quirky Science Fiction spoof that is at times funny and sad but if anything it is a wonderful coming of age story. The characters are all very realistic in their actions and the emotions conveyed. Readers get to see a teen, who by nature is feels like the center of the universe, discover that she is a part of that universe. Aurora deals with depression and normal teenage angst, but in the midst of it all she grows closer to her parents and realizes all that she can be and contribute to the world whilst finding her true identity.

And, lets face it . . . finding ones identity is a timeless lesson that continues to be something kids, teens and adults have issues with.

I loved this book. I am so happy to see that it is still in print…with a far less cheesy 1980’s cover. 😉

What were some of your favorite books as a Young Adult/ tween?

Learn All About Paula Danziger 
Book Depository currently has this book on sale.
Barnes & Noble also has the book available on their website.

>Passport: China – Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat by Amy Tan


Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat“Before you go out into the world,” Ming Miao told her five kittens, “you must know the true story of your ancestors….”
And so begins the story of Sagwa of China, a mischievous, pearl white kitten. Sagwa lived in the House of the Foolish Magistrate, a greedy man who made up rules that helped only himself. One day, Sagwa fell into an inkwell and accidentally changed one of the Foolish Magistrate’s rules. Little did Sagwa know she would alter the fate — and the appearance — of Chinese cats forever!

This is an absolutely beautifully written story that educates children (and any who read the book) on why Siamese cats are really Chinese cats, and why their faces, ears, paws, and tails turn darker as they grow up.

Sagwa, is a “pearl white kitten,” that lived with her parents in the House of the Foolish Magistrate. Sagwa’s parents were forced by the Magistrate to write his strict, selfish rules by dipping their tails in ink. One day, Sagwa accidentally falls into an inkpot and then walks over one of the Magistrate’s Scroll of Rules that proclaims that all singing must be banned. Her paw marks that stain the scroll, change the meaning of the rule so that it now reads, “People must sing.”

Once the villagers hear the new rule, they sing in praise of the Foolish Magistrate, which warms his heart and causes him to take back all the old strict rules. The Magistrate celebrates what Sagwa has done by opening his house to all stray cats in the kingdom. He declares that the cats shall eat as much catfish as they wish and that from this day forth, “all Chinese cats shall have dark faces, ears, paws, and tails–in honor of the greatest of felines, Sagwa of China.”

Sagwa - Sagwa's Storybook WorldAmy Tan is the author of The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life, and two children’s books, The Moon Lady and this wonderful tale of  Sagwa, which has now been adapted as a PBS production. Tan was also a co-producer and co-screenwriter of the film version of The Joy Luck Club (which remains one of my favorite movies), and her essays and stories that have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Her work has been translated into thirty-five languages. She lives with her husband in San Francisco and New York.

Tan, who collaborated with Schields on her first children’s book in 1992, tells this charming tale perfectly, in language that is both simple and elegant. And Schields’s artwork complements the text wonderfully with its traditional Chinese border decorations and colorful, well-drawn characters.

>Tween Review: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan


The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost HeroAfter saving Olympus from the evil Titan lord, Kronos, Percy and friends have rebuilt their beloved Camp Half-Blood, where the next generation of demigods must now prepare for a chilling prophecy of their own:
Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,

And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Now, in a brand-new series from blockbuster best-selling author Rick Riordan, fans return to the world of Camp Half-Blood. Here, a new group of heroes will inherit a quest. But to survive the journey, they’ll need the help of some familiar demigods.

Fans of Riordan’s “Percy Jackson series” will not be disappointed in this new adventure featuring some old friends and introducing some new ones too!

The ancient prophecy mentioned in the last Percy book is beginning to occur. Three of the seven demi-gods mentioned in the prophecy take refuge at Camp Half Blood. Jason, Piper and Leo are the main characters in this new story and are each unique and wonderful. I was a bit scared at first that this new book would fall into the category of “recycled plots and characters” but with Rick Riordan writing, I needn’t have worried.

The author drew me into the book with the allure of visiting old friends from the Percy series, but hooked me with the new characters and adventure. The story alternates between the three new character’s points of view and they each have an original voice. Especially Leo…he was probably my favorite. His character had a great sense of humor and was the most fun for me to read.

Needless to say, I am hooked on the new series as much as Riordan’s other works. I will look forward to the next installments in The Heroes of Olympus series as well as his Chronicles of Kane series about Egyptian mythology. Just goes to show what a terrific writer Rick Riordan is…I enjoy everything he writes!

Peace & Love~

This book was purchased by Desi but you can get a copy of your own below:)

>Tween Review: Case Closed? Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science


Case Closed?: Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern ScienceEgypt’s first female pharaoh disappears around 1457 BCE — was she murdered? Find out how DNA closes the case. The ancient Arabian Peninsula city of Ubar vanishes, seemingly without trace. This new illustrated book explores these mysteries in a fun format for children. Find out how old maps and modern space shuttles help solve the mystery. Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition to find the Northwest Passage is never heard from again. Find out how spectroscopy points to some probable explanations. Case Closed? examines these and six other mysteries from ancient and modern times. Accompanied by photos, maps, diagrams and illustrations, this book reveals how modern science sheds new light on people, vessels and entire civilizations throughout history that simply vanished. In some cases, the mystery has been solved. In other cases, readers can examine the latest evidence and decide for themselves.

This was such a great book!

Okay, so I kinda thought that I was too “mature” for a children’s picture book, but this was a real treat. I’m a sucker for mysteries, especially C.S.I type of unsolved mysteries, and this book is not a fluffy children’s book that skims the facts to make things easier for kids to understand. No-siree, this book speaks straight to kids as if they are equals…well almost.;)

The illustrations are awesome and are combined with a few real photographs from each case. I think the pictures are what really make it more appealing to younger kids because the text is very matter-of-fact.

This is a perfect book for any kids, or teachers, even, that want good books that describe real mysteries and how science has shed light on things to help solve them. I loved it, my little brother loved it, and my mom and dad loved it! Lots of love for this book!:)

Visit the author at her website or here
This book was given to PBD for review by the author.

>Tween reviews: Great middle grade books to inspire the Holiday spirit!

>Hi everyone. Last weekend I got swept away by the holiday spirit. Maybe it was the smells from thanksgiving cooking, or the fact that we had a fire going in the living room…whatever it was, I wanted to curl up on the couch and read. And read I did. But, I was feeling so full of holiday cheer that I wanted to read to my little brother and have a memorable moment so, I pulled out a Christmas book that I read a few years ago and began to read it my brother.

On Christmas Eve (Apple Signature Edition)

Eight-year-old Tess is convinced this is the year she will finally meet Santa and experience the “Christmas magic.” She also wishes with all her heart that her best friend’s ill father will recover. Tess’s faith in the season results in a Christmas Eve so wondrous, so sparkling, readers won’t be able to help but feel transformed. Like trimming the tree and “It’s a Wonderful Life”; baking cookies and “White Christmas”; ON CHRISTMAS EVE is sure to bring new holiday magic to readers’ lives.

On Christmas Eve is magical. I forgot how much I liked this book. It is full of all the things that pull at the heart strings and make you want to say “I Believe”. Like the movie Miracle on 34th St, this story inspires people to be filled with the spirit of giving unselfishly. We had so much fun reading this on Friday that Saturday afternoon my little brother popped pop corn and brought me another book to read.

A First Christmas; Friends and Festivity: Book Two of the Everlasting and Fantastical Adventures of Elannah and SamBeyond the half-sleep lies a land of dreams where anything can happen….

Join Elannah and Sam as they drift off happily into the fantastical world of their dreams where they visit Rodger the Badger and the Bridge Troll for some festive fun…or so they think…until ….

“Well” Rodger said, “The Twelve Toed Ugly Troll never did celebrate Christmas”

“Never celebrated Christmas!?” Sam exclaimed incredulously, a look of such bewilderment on his face. All thoughts of missing presents were forgotten. “That’s not possible! What about his friends and family?”

“The Bridge Troll never knew his parents and, until the night of the fireworks, he has never had anyone to call a friend”

“This is not good.” Elannah stated thoughtfully. She mused for a second and then announced, “Let’s throw him a Christmas party, not just any Christmas party, but rather the best party there has ever been. We will make up for all the missing Christmases in this one night!”

From a harmless snowball fight to a terrifying tumble down the side of a mountain, a trek through the Mines of Abundance and the Magical Night Flower Garden. Will these traveling companions manage to gather the perfect ingredients to amaze and astound the Twelve Toed Ugly Troll!?

A First Christmas; Friends and Festivity: (Book Two of the Everlasting and Fantastical Adventures of Elannah and Sam) is a new book in the middle grade series by Sean Noonan. Unlike “On Christmas Eve”, I had not previously read this book, so it was a new adventure for me as well as my brother. This story is similar to The Magic Tree House books and just like I enjoyed those stories, I had fun reading this one too. This is definitely a series type of book with fun characters and it also has cute little drawings by the authors children (the inspiration for Ellanah & Sam). When we finished this story my little brother was inspired to write his own Christmas book with pictures.
We had such a great time and are looking forward to doing it again this weekend. Don’t you just love how books can bring people together? Even kids that usually bicker like me and my brother were overcome with the desire to come together because of these books. I guess books just have that power…like music…it can change your mood and outlook on things. Even if it’s just for an afternoon or two.;)

~Happy Holidays

Learn more about Sean Noonan’s Everlasting and Fantastical Adventure series HERE
Learn more about Ann M/ Martin HERE

A First Christmas was provided to PBD by the author

>Interveiw with author David H. Burton + mini book feature!


David H. Burton was born in Windsor, Ontario to parents that instilled in him the love of the written word at a very young age. Throughout his childhood, David read relentlessly, often into the wee hours of the morning.

Fantasy and Science Fiction novels have always been David’s greatest vice and he has indulged in the likes of Terry Brooks, Robert Jordan, Margaret Weis, Mark Anthony, J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, Robert J. Sawyer, Isaac Asimov, Melanie Rawn, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Sarah Prineas, and J.K. Rowling.

David graduated from the University of Toronto with a major in Biology and a minor in Classical Civilization. He also dabbled in Computer Science, to which he owes his current occupation in the Telecommunications world at one of the large banks in Canada.

When David isn’t writing he enjoys spending time with his partner and three boys: hiking, swimming, kayaking, biking, and reading. David has a great fondness for Portuguese cuisine, good wine, and all things left of centre. David’s newest release Scourge, is the first in his Grim Doyle Adventure’s and is a middle grade Steampunk fantasy.

PBD- How did you get started writing professionally?

DHB- Good question. I’ve been writing off-and-on since I was a kid, but not really focusing on any particular goal. It became more of a therapeutic thing in my high school and university years – something that helped me cope with being gay and in the closet. I’ve always been a big reader, so I suppose it was inevitable that the writing and reading sides of me would marry up at some point. That finally seemed to happen about seven years ago when I had one of those ‘Aha!’ moments with another book I read that I just couldn’t stand. I figured if that author could do it, there was nothing stopping me from trying.

PBD- Are you a plotter, pantser, or combination?

DHB- Combination. I have an overall plan for the book or series, after that it’s by the seat of my pants. It works well for me and I meet all kinds of interesting characters that weren’t necessarily part of the original plan. Sometimes it alters the overall story arc, but not significantly. I have to say, the pantser part of me has a lot of fun!

PBD- Who is your favorite character or type of character to write?

DHB- I don’t necessarily have a favorite, but I do love flawed and quirky characters. They’re a lot of fun to write about.

PBD- Who influenced or encouraged you the most?

DHB- With respect to my children’s writing, it’s my kids. My partner and I adopted three boys almost three years ago. They’re brothers and were at risk of separation. At the time, they were 6,7, and 9 years old. I had written an earlier version of Scourge from a female perspective. After adopting the boys, and seeing how few boy books were out there, I decided to rework the story. I’ve been able to draw a lot from my experience as a parent and seeing the world through my children’s eyes. They’ve been a HUGE influence.

PBD- Who was your favorite teacher and what subject did they teach?

DHB- I had a homeroom teacher in Grade 8 that I adored – Mrs. Godfrey. She taught a lot of subjects and I had nothing but encouragement and respect from her. Best teacher ever!

PBD- What interrupts or interferes with your writing the most?

DHB- LOL! Life.
With three boys (as I’m sure any parent will say) there’s so much going on that it’s really challenging to find the time to sit down and write. What I usually need is a couple of uninterrupted hours in order to be able to really get into it. Twenty minutes here, thirty minutes there – those are only good for editing, not being creative. But I’m willing to let writing take the back burner when it needs to. I have a whole lifetime to do it. 🙂

PBD- If you weren’t a writer, what type of work would you do?

DHB- I currently have a full-time job. I work in Telecommunications (computer networking) for one of the big banks in Canada. I LOVE MY JOB! I get to play with all kinds of technology and I work for a great company that treats me well. So I guess if I wasn’t a writer, I would do exactly what I do now. 🙂

PBD- What’s the biggest drawback to writing?

DBH- Hmm. That’s a tough one. I can’t think of anything when it comes to writing itself, but around marketing a book, there’s lots there. I’m an indie author – that means I don’t have a large publisher behind me. So writing, editing, cover design, marketing, typesetting, etc is all done by me. It’s a lot of work, but the hardest part is the marketing. Getting the word out there when you’re on your own is quite challenging. All I can say is thank goodness for book bloggers!!

PBD- What’s the best thing about writing?

DHB- I really enjoy being creative. Immersing myself in the story and having the chance to just let the words flow can be truly amazing. I also love editing – for some writers that may be a chore, but I get a thrill out of it.

PBD- If you decided to write in a genre you had never tried before, what genre would it be?

DHB- Oh, boy. Well, I’ve written children’s fantasy and adult dark fantasy/horror. I’ve been throwing around some ideas for a standalone novel that’s paranormal women’s fiction – so I suppose that would be it.

PBD- Thank you so much for answering our questions! We look forward to future works from you!

DHB- Thanks so much for interviewing me! I really enjoyed this!!

*Everyone be sure to check out David’s books for both children and adults! Getting someone an e-reader for the holidays? These would make a great addition to any library!
Scourge (A Grim Doyle Adventure)Two dads, five siblings, and goggles! Grim Doyle has always known his life was not exactly “normal”, and things get even more curious when he discovers a set of stones that sweep him and his family to the fantasy, steampunk world of Verne – a place they had escaped from years ago. Now that they’ve returned, Grim and his siblings hide from the evil Lord Victor and his minions. And while learning about Jinns, Mystics, and the power of absinth they try to discover who is trying to kill them with the deadly Scourge.

This is a very fun and exciting book. Scourge is full of interesting characters and dynamic world building. A great middle-grade book, Scourge also features a different family unit. Grim Doyle has two fathers and though that is not the main theme of the adventure, I found it refreshing to see an author write of a loving non-traditional family that bands together to try to survive the deadly world they have been thrust back into.

Another Burton book that I will be beginning soon is The Second Coming. Though definitely not for middle-grade, the premise sounds exciting and I can’t wait to sit down and read it…

The Second Coming

Five hundred years have passed since the Earth shifted on its axis – a catastrophic event that wiped out civilization and released the powers of the dead back to Earth. With technology long abandoned, a dark age has shrouded our world once more. Travel to a future of blood sacrifice, demons, witchcraft, and an immoral God that has returned to reclaim his former dominion.

*Learn more about David on his BLOG and be sure to follow him on Twiiter