December Book Love and a Giveaway

If you’ve read Book Scavenger, it probably comes as no surprise that I love all things books (especially children’s books!) In an effort to support independent booksellers, spread some book love, and have some fun, I’ve decided to do a giveaway for my newsletter subscribers. Every newsletter will feature a different independent bookstore and a few book recommendations. There will be a simple challenge to complete, and everyone who participates is entered to win the book of their choice. I’ll order the book from the featured bookstore and have it shipped direct to you. (At this time, only United States addresses will be eligible to win as shipping costs are currently too high outside the US. I’m sorry!)

This month I’m spotlighting Second Star to the Right in Denver, Colorado. This is a wonderful, wonderful children’s bookstore. Check them out if you’re in the Denver area. I subscribe to their newsletter and love hearing their book recommendations and keeping track of their upcoming Storytime events and author visits. (All virtual right now, so you can attend no matter where you live!) In fact, they are hosting a murder mystery party with Fleur Bradley, author of Midnight at the Barclay Hotel, on  December 31!

Here are the books I’m recommending this month (click on the titles to purchase the books and support Second Star to the Right).


The Old Truck written and illustrated by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey When is an old truck something more? On a small, bustling farm, a resilient and steadfast pickup works tirelessly alongside the family that lives there, and becomes a part of the dreams and ambitions of the family’s young daughter. I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved books with a farm setting, and something about the nostalgic look of this art and the simple and spare story hits all the right notes for me.

Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy by Tara Dairman and illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan Extreme weather affects two children’s lives in very different ways and shows how the power of nature can bring us together. A beautiful, beautiful book.

The Fort by Laura Perdew and illustrated by Adelina Lirius A fort in the woods is imagined to be a castle by one child and a pirate ship by another. But when they meet up, uh-oh! It’s a battle of their imaginations. I love this one, and the book jacket is one of the coolest I’ve seen!

Hugsby written and illustrated by Dow Phumiruk The most adorable pet monster shows what everyone needs: hugs! Such a sweet book.


Twins by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright A new graphic novel series about twin sisters and best friends, but their friendship gets challenged as some things change when they start sixth grade.

Every Missing Piece by Melanie Conklin This book is described as “for fans of Rebecca Stead and Erin Entrada Kelly,” two of my favorites. Yes, please!

The Amelia Six by Kristin L. Gray A whodunit mystery that incorporates history and is compared to books by Gennifer Choldenko, E.L. Konigsburg, and Ellen Raskin. This sounds right up my alley!

Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat by Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth My son and I have read this whole series and can’t wait for the sixth book. Very funny, but may prompt your kitten to act like an evil alien warlord cat.

Happy reading!

Updated December 28, 2020: The winners of my December newsletter giveaway have been notified. If you didn’t win a book this time, keep an eye out for the next newsletter and giveaway! You can subscribe to my author newsletter, by entering your email address on the bottom of this website or the Book Scavenger website. (You only need to sign up once–it’s the same newsletter.)



Author Fan Face-Off: Book Scavenger!

How well would you do competing against an author in a trivia contest about their own book? You can find out by watching the Author Fan Face-Off web series game show, hosted by author Steve Sheinkin and school librarian Stacey Rattner! Check out Episode #25, which features me as the guest author, challenged by Jonathan, a Book Scavenger fan and very worthy opponent.

September Book Love and Giveaway

In an effort to support independent booksellers and spread some book love, I’ve decided to do a fun giveaway for my newsletter subscribers. Every newsletter will feature a different independent bookstore and a few books I think Book Scavenger readers might enjoy. There will be a simple challenge to complete (the challenge for September is making up a caption for a funny photo of one of my cats), and everyone who participates is entered to win a book of their choice from my selection. I’ll order the book for the winner from the featured bookstore and have it shipped direct to you. (At this time, only United States addresses will be eligible to win as shipping costs are currently too high outside the US. I’m sorry!)

This month, the bookstore I’m spotlighting is Book People in Austin, TX. Book People is an amazing multistoried store, the kind of space I could easily spend hours browsing. I was lucky enough to visit Book People twice on my book tours. (That’s me in the photo below–they had those cutouts for an event for The Legend of Rock, Paper, and Scissors by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Adam Rex, a book that my son and I love reading aloud, so I had to take a picture for him.)

Here are the books I’m recommending this month (click on the titles to learn more about them or purchase through Book People):

A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat. I was blown away by this book! My favorite read of the year. Just read it. It’s amazing.

Keep it Together, Keiko Carter! by Debbi Michiko Florence. This one is next up on my To Read pile and I can’t wait! Three friends are starting 7th grade with big goals for themselves, but some drama comes into play and soon Keiko’s best friends aren’t talking and she’s caught in the middle.

The Vanderbeekers: Lost and Found by Karina Yan Glaser. The fourth Vanderbeekers is here!! I love this family and their many pets and reading about their adventures living in Harlem.

The Artifact Hunters by Janet Fox. This one is great for readers who like their stories a little scary. It’s suspenseful and beautifully blends fantasy into a realistic World War II setting. This is also a follow-up to the novel Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle, but I don’t feel like you need to read the books in order. (But definitely read Charmed Children, too, if you like spooky stories. It’s goooood.)

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone.  If you like the way my Book Scavenger series incorporates historical nuggets into an adventurous story, then I’d definitely check this one out. Funny moments, fast-paced–a great read.

Midnight at the Barclay Hotel by Fleur Bradley. A very fun, well-paced mystery that reminded me a lot of my favorite board game Clue! Loved it.

Sound like fun? I hope so! If you are not already a newsletter subscriber, you can sign up here and look for my next newsletter to arrive in October.

Of course you don’t have to enter the giveaway or subscribe to my newsletter, but I do hope you’ll check out these wonderful books by borrowing them from your library or purchasing them from Book People or anywhere books are sold.



A Library Sleepover

Last week I had the pleasure of virtually meeting these three fifth-grade readers who earned the reward of having a sleepover in their school library, organized by their teacher librarian. And this was no simple sleepover either–there was a nighttime scavenger hunt to find books, they solved puzzles with a Breakout EDU box, ate tacos . . . this would have been a dream-come-true for me when I was in the fifth grade. It was a lot of fun to get to talk with them in a video call. How lucky is this school to have a teacher librarian like Ms. Boerman who creates reading experiences like this for her students? SO lucky!!


finding one of the hidden books


Holding the books they found. I think this photo would be a cool cover for a book in itself!

Book Club Fun

Check out this video made by members of a book club that’s currently reading Book Scavenger! They hid books in their community and around their school and explain how to play the game. Great job, Book Scavengers!