quotes Elisquared likes


"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green

9.26.2022

BLOG TOUR - GHOSTCLOUD BY MICHAEL MANN - MIDDLE GRADE FICTION [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY]

I am very excited to be a part of the blog tour from Rockstar Book Tours for this middle grade debut, Ghostcloud by Michael Mann.  Check out the excerpt below, and don't forget to enter the giveaway! 


Book Information


Title: Ghostcloud
Authors(s): Michael Mann
Publication Date: September 27,
 2022
Edition: Paperback, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook; 320 pgs
Publisher: Peachtree
SourceRockstar Book Tours
PurchaseAmazon - Kindle - Audible - B&N - iBooks - BAM! - Kobo - 
TBD Bookshop.org
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.  My thoughts and opinions are my own.  Please note the purchase links above are affiliate links.

Tour Schedule

Week One
9/19/2022 - Eye-Rolling Demigod's Book Blog - Review/IG Post
9/19/2022 - laura's bookish corner - Review/IG Post
9/20/2022 - Nerdophiles - Review
9/20/2022 - Beers Books Boos - Review/IG Post
9/21/2022 - More Books Please blog - Review/IG Post
9/21/2022 - @jael_and_jenessa_reads - Review/IG Post
9/22/2022 - Two Points of Interest - Review 
9/22/2022 - Lisa-Queen of Random - Excerpt/IG Post
9/23/2022 - @ablueboxfullofbooks - IG Review
9/23/2022 - onemused - IG Spotlight

Week Two
9/26/2022 - Eli to the nth - Review/IG Post
9/26/2022 - GryffindorBookishNerd - IG Review
9/27/2022 - The Momma Spot - Review/IG Post
9/27/2022 - YA Books Central - Excerpt
9/28/2022 - PopTheButterfly Reads - Review/IG Post
9/28/2022 - @jacleomik33 - IG Review
9/29/2022 - The Bookwyrm's Den - Review 
9/29/2022 - Laurenreads._ - IG Review
9/30/2022 - Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers - Review/IG Post
9/30/2022 - One More Exclamation  - Review/IG Post


The Summary

A riveting, magical escapade about finding friendship and the courage to set yourself free against all odds.

Kidnapped and forced to shovel coal underground, in a half-bombed power station, 12-year-old Luke Smith-Sharma keeps his head down and hopes he can earn his freedom from the evil Tabitha Margate. Then one day he discovers he can see things that others can’t. Ghostly things. A ghostly girl named Alma, who can bend the shape of clouds to her will and rides them through the night sky. With Alma’s help, Luke discovers his own innate powers and uncovers the terrible truth of why Tabatha is kidnapping children and forcing them to shovel coal. Desperate to escape, Luke teams up with Alma, his best friend Ravi, and new girl Jess. Can Luke and his friends get away before they each become victims to a cruel and sinister scheme?
 
Debut author Michael Mann delivers a wildly imaginative middle grade fantasy set in a smoke-stained world that’s sure to entertain readers who are eager for an adventure with paranormal superpowers.

Excerpt

Ghostcloud
By Michael Mann

Excerpt for Rockstar Book Tours


PREFACE

This book is set in London, but not as we know it. It is a London where Big Ben beeps and Battersea Power Station belches out smoke; where bustling river markets float on the rising water and kidnapping is rife; where the Channel Tunnel lies closed, ever since the old war ended. 

And far below, hidden underground, children are shoveling . . . 

CHAPTER 1
Coal Dust

Shovel down. Scoop up. Lift. Pass forward. 

Luke Smith-Sharma lived beneath Battersea Power Station. It was a gloomy place with towering chimneys and blackened bricks. A treacly darkness oozed from its walls, and at night the corridors were stalked by shadows. 

“Come on, speed up!” hissed Ravi, from behind. “You’re spilling the coal.” 

“Sorry, I was thinking.”

“Well, don’t. Less sleuthing, more shoveling, mate.”

Luke was a shoveler for the station’s first chimney. He kept the fuel coming in the great furnace room, feeding the fires till they glowed white-hot. Lines of children, one hundred kids long, snaked across the hall to the hungry flames, each passing coal dust to the child in front. Hidden from the millions of people above, they powered all of London: from Big Ben’s beep to the robot-horse carriages, from Buckingham Palace to London Zoo. 

“You know, I miss homework. And detention. And Brussels sprouts.” 

“Focus, Luke.” Ravi wiped his glasses. “They say she’s visiting today. She’s giving amber tickets to the hardest shovelers . . .”

“. . . and it’s our only way home. I know. I know.”

Luke tightened his grip on the rust-iron shovel. He ignored the chafe of his sackcloth collar and the tickle of sweat on his neck and brow. He had to keep shoveling. Nobody ever stopped shoveling. Not unless they wanted to be fuel themselves. 

Iron scraped carbon. Lungs panted hot air. Dancing flames hissed and crackled. These were the sounds of the furnace room. The same sounds he’d heard for over two years. But each week, on Sunday, he heard a different set of sounds. And you had to be ready. 

A door creaked. A deliberate creak he knew well. It was followed by a hush that rolled up the line, silencing guards and children alike, then the echo of heels on a hot stone floor. 

“Don’t look back,” Ravi said. “Keep your eyes on the shovel!” Shovel down. Scoop up. Lift. Pass forward.

Black nails tapped on a black clipboard. A black lab coat swished over black leather boots. A black heart beat closer each second. 

Shovel down. Scoop up. Lift. Pass forward. 

Excerpt from Ghostcloud / Text copyright © 2022 by Michael Mann. Reproduced by permission from Peachtree Publishing Company Inc. All rights reserved.


About the Author


About Michael Mann:
Michael’s first writing success was for a poem about potatoes - in a competition run by a Yorkshire school catering company. As a ‘reward’, he had to shake hands with a giant potato mascot in front of his entire school. It would be many years before he dared write again.

These days, Michael is a teacher by day, dad by night, and mostly writes when he should be sleeping. He owes the idea for his middle grade novel, Ghostcloud, to his coal-mining grandad and a lifelong love of cloudspotting. He’s half-Indian and passionate about diversity in children’s literature, and loves books that keeps kids turning the page.

He has a first-class degree in anthropology, lives in East London with his (very patient) partner and their (less patient) toddler, and can be found playing board games when he’s not busy losing his wallet. Michael was an Undiscovered Voices 2020 finalist, and his debut middle grade novel Ghostcloud will publish with Hachette in October 2021.



Giveaway
1 winner will receive a finished copy of GHOSTCLOUD, US Only.

CLICK THE GRAPHIC




9.19.2022

BLOG TOUR - GHOSTER HEIGHTS BY COREY LANDSELL, KELLY MELLINGS, & LISA LAROSE - MIDDLE GRADE GRAPHIC NOVEL [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY]


I am very excited to be a part of the blog tour from Rockstar Book Tours for this middle grade graphic novel, Ghoster Heights by Corey Landsell, Kelly Mellings, & Lisa Larose.  Check out my review below, and don't forget to enter the giveaway! 


Book Information


Title: Ghoster Heights
Authors(s)/Illustrator(s): Corey Landsell, Kelly Mellings, & Lisa Larose
Publication Date: September 27,
 2022
Edition: Paperback, eBook; 208pgs
Publisher: Wonderbound
SourceRockstar Book Tours
PurchaseAmazon - Kindle - B&N - iBooks - BAM! - Kobo - 
TBD Bookshop.org
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.  My thoughts and opinions are my own.  Please note the purchase links above are affiliate links.

Tour Schedule

Week One
9/12/2022 - Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers - Review/IG Post
9/13/2022 - hauntedbybooks - Review/IG Post
9/14/2022 - hodophile_z - IG Review
9/15/2022 - Jazzy Book Reviews - Guest Post/IG Post
9/16/2022 - Two Chicks on Books - Guest Post
9/17/2022 - @jaimerockstarbooktours - IG Spotlight

Week Two
9/18/2022 - YA Books Central - Guest Post
9/19/2022 - Eli to the nth - Review/IG Post
9/20/2022 - @allyluvsbooksalatte - IG Spotlight
9/21/2022 - One More Exclamation - Review/IG Post
9/22/2022 - A Dream Within A Dream - Guest Post
9/23/2022 - BookHounds YA - Guest Post/IG Post
9/24/2022 - RiverMose-Reads - Guest Post

Week Three
9/25/2022 - The Real World According to Sam - Review/IG Post
9/26/2022 - Nerdophiles - Review 
9/27/2022 - Novel Novice - IG Spotlight
9/28/2022 - @jacleomik33 - IG Review
9/29/2022 - The Bookwyrm's Den - Review 
9/30/2022 - Two Points of Interest - Review
10/1/2022 - A Blue Box Full of Books - IG Review

Week Four
10/2/2022 - @enjoyingbooksagain - IG Review
10/3/2022 - @thebookishfoxwitch - IG Review
10/4/2022 - The Momma Spot - Review/IG Post
10/5/2022 - booksaremagictoo - Review/IG Post
10/6/2022 - GryffindorBookishNerd - Review/IG Post
10/7/2022 - Mom with a Reading Problem - Review/IG Post


The Summary

WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBOOHOOD!

Eight-year-old Ona has lost just about everything: her home, her possessions, her mother, and almost her life. When she and her father move into her Baba’s apartment complex after these traumatic events, they had hoped for a clean start. But a mysterious specter follows her, and Ona befriends the ghost she discovers haunting the boiler room. When her new friendship starts allowing her to see other ghosts—the ghosts who haunt the other residents of her building—she decides to use her ability to help her new neighbors face their troubles and free themselves from their specters. In doing so, however, Ona must eventually come face to face with a much darker foe—her own trauma and grief. The earnestness of Judy Bloom meets the raw emotion of I Kill Giants in this beautifully hopeful story of childhood tragedy.

An original graphic novel for middle grade readers about grief, loss, and the ghosts that haunt us all.

For fans of Sheets by Brenna Thummler, Small Spaces by Katherine Arden, and Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier.

My Review

Ghoster Heights by Corey Landsell, Kelly Mellings, and Lisa Larose was an adorable kick-off to my Fall reads!  Bold, graphic art with a spooky, but heartfelt, story makes this graphic novel a fun read for younger kids, and the young-at-heart!

Eight year old Ona and her dad have to move in with her grandmother due to a tragic event.  Uprooting her entire life, Ona is not having the best time.  She is also targeted right away by the apartment complex's bully, which makes her transition even harder.  But one day, when she is trying to capture one of her grandmother's wandering cats, Ona discovers a ghost--a friendly ghost.  Haunty, as the specter is dubbed, leads Ona to discover her own strength and find a place for herself in her new home.

The concept of this book is great.  How Ona is able to help her neighbors via Haunty was really original.  I loved the sense of family that was created within the apartment complex, and that Ona got to see people have layers and explanations behind their actions/attitudes.  The lessons taught are important for kids to learn, and I think the vehicle of ghosts and graphic novel works well to convey that.

I wouldn't consider this book middle grade, but upper elementary level. While the topics that are being dealt with are serious, they are explored at the surface level from the understanding of an eight year old, albeit one who has experienced tragedy already.  The plot is not quite clear in a few places.  That may have been purposeful for the mystery aspect of the book, but I found it distracting, and it would pull me out of reading as I had back track what happened.  Also, this is probably dating myself, but I didn't know Tamagotchis were a thing again (Ona has a digital pet, which looked very similar to old school Tamagotchis).  So that made my eyebrow go up, as it was unexpected for the assumed time period.

However, the book was entertaining, and the art was adorable.  I felt it was eye-catching, and fit the tone of the book.  Bright colors gives it youth, and a light-hearted tone to sometimes difficult situations.  Ghoster Heights was a quick read, and one I think developing readers will gravitate.  Pick up a copy to start off your Fall reading list!


Final Rating


Excerpt

About the Creators


About Corey Landsell:
Corey Lansdell is a multiple award-winning illustrator and animator. He is a skilled communicator, expert storyteller and passionate collaborator. Corey heads up a SCBWI illustrators group in Edmonton, Alberta.




About Kelly Mellings:
Kelly Mellings is an award-winning art director, illustrator, and designer. His work has
appeared in comic books, TV commercials, magazines, apps, museum exhibits, and video
games. He is the co-writer of Ghoster Heights and illustrator of the Canadian best-selling
graphic novel, The Outside Circle. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta.



About Lisa Larose:
Lisa LaRose is a pop surrealist painter, illustrator, and comics artist in Vancouver, Canada. She is best known for her paintings: Bizarre and Colourful artworks. She creates lively and exciting colour palettes and is always making something a little weird. Lisa loves middle-grade fiction (books, comics, cartoons, you name it) and so she also moonlights as a middle-grade comics artist.



Giveaway
2 winners will receive a finished copy of GHOSTER HEIGHTS, US Only.

CLICK THE GRAPHIC


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