Mr. Tall and Other Stories

Mr. Tall by Tony Earley
The stories in this collection all take place in the same geographical area, each one giving us a brief look at some of the people who lived there during different periods of time. The stories, often told with great insight, wonderful characters, and witty humor, are such fun to read. Each one is more delightful than the one before.

My favorite, by far, is the final tale, a continuing story of Jack, THE Jack, of Jack and the Beanstalk. This story is so funny, and so well constructed. I laughed out loud more than once. The entire book was great fun to read and a welcome change to the type of books I usually read. If you like stories that tickle the funny bone, are witty and well-crafted, then this one is for you.


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Five Great Reads for Middle Grade Readers

These are the best of the middle-grade books I’ve read/reviewed in the past year or so.
I’ve added a note on some of the topics that are covered in the stories, because some may a bit difficult for a sensitive child to read due to the subject matter.

• Print Length: 338 pages
• Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385386079
• Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (September 9, 2014)
• Sold by: Random House LLC
• Language: English
• ASIN: B00J1IQV64
Find out more about this title/author here:
From the Book Jacket
“Home is a cozy nest on Cape Cod for eleven-year-old Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein; her older sister, Rachel; her psychiatrist father; and her dancer mother. But when Chirp’s mom develops symptoms of a serious disease, the family struggles with tragic changes.
Chirp gets comfort from watching her beloved wild birds. She also finds a true friend in Joey, the mysterious boy who lives across the road. Together they create their own private world and come up with the perfect plan: Escape. Adventure. Discovery.”
This is a beautifully moving story of a young girl growing up on Cape Cod in the 70s. Naomi “Chirp”, loves wandering among nature in the woods and marshes near her home, bird watching and daydreaming. Her biggest problems are avoiding the troublesome boys across the street and trying to get along with her older sister. Then disaster strikes when her mom becomes ill. Chirp’s world is upended as she and her sister try to keep their lives running smoothly, with her father gone most of the time, either working or with their mom at the hospital. This wonderful story is about the bonds we share with our loved ones, and what happens when those bonds are tested. The relationships between Chirp and Joey, and between Chirp and her sister, are very special. This story touches deeply and will not soon be forgotten

Due to subject matter, recommended for more mature readers. (topics include illness/death of loved one/family dynamics/depression/abuse/friendship)

• Print Length: 250 pages
• Publisher: ChiTeen (May 27, 2014)
• Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
• Language: English
For more info on this title and the authors:

Paul Tremblay at Website:
Facebook Twitter: @paulGtremblay GoodReads

Stephen Graham Jones at Website: Demon Theory (Official Website)
“This is the story of a girl who sees a boy float away one fine day. This is the story of the girl who reaches up for that boy with her hand and with her heart. This is the story of a girl who takes on the army to save a town, who goes toe-to-toe with a mad scientist, who has to fight a plague to save her family. This is the story of a girl who would give anything to get to babysit her baby brother one more time. If she could just find him.
It’s all up in the air for now, though, and falling fast. . . .
Fun, breathlessly exciting, and full of heart, Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly is an unforgettable ride.” – from the ChiTeen website.
This is a wonderful (light)sci-fi adventure story. Very likeable characters and edge-of-your-seat adventure. May be for more mature readers as there is some swearing and a kidnapping that takes place – it ends well, though. (Topics include family relationships/friendship/differences/kidnapping/sacrificing for others/love)


• Print Length: 210 pages
• Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0375870644
• Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (August 26, 2014)
• Sold by: Random House LLC
• Language: English
“Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer.
Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?

Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this pimply boy really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?

With a lighthearted touch and plenty of humor, Jennifer Holm celebrates the wonder of science and explores fascinating questions about life and death, family and friendship, immortality . . . and possibility.” – from the publisher’s web-site.

This is a funny, touching story that both boys and girls will like. I love the characters and the awkward role reversal they find themselves in. There is plenty of adventure as well. I particularly like the fact that it encourages a young girl’s interest in science. (Topics include family dynamics/friendship/science/sacrificing for others).
• Paperback: 166 pages
• Publisher: Robertson Publishing (April 21, 2011)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1611700256
• ISBN-13: 978-1611700251
Find out more about this title/author on the website:
From the author’s wesite: “Thirteen-year-old Sidney Jacobsen thought that when she flew to a Pacific island to live with her family for a year, she would be spending her time solving one of the greatest mysteries of all time—who built the ancient, enormous stone city of Nan Madol. Giants? Godlike creatures from another planet? After a dangerous trek through the jungle with her brother and an island boy, an amazing find provides a clue.”
This is a gripping adventure story that will captivate readers. There is also some great historical and cultural detail. (Topics include: family/travel/light romance/cultural differences/history)

#5 .
• Paperback: 174 pages
• Publisher: Modern Digital Publishing (December 12, 2013)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 0989668347
• ISBN-13: 978-0989668347
For more info on this title/author:

From the author’s website “ “Colin McCool and the Vampire Dwarf”: Book 1 in the Colin McCool Children’s Fantasy Book Series
Never, Ever Make Fun of a Vampire Dwarf…
Colin and Jesse discovered they’ve been under the spell of an evil vampire dwarf – and they’re not alone. Now, they’ve been recruited by a leprechaun who loves IKEA and a centuries-old wizard (who may or may not think he’s Gandalf) to break the evil vampire dwarf’s curse and save the town…”

This is a fast-paced, exciting story for middle-graders. A wonderful adventure story that includes little bits of Irish folklore, and many fascinating creatures. (Topics include: family/friendship/differences/folklore)

I hope if any of you know some middle grade readers, that you will recommend these wonderful books to them. Or, read them yourselves. I truly enjoyed each one of them and would definitely read more books by these authors.

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Award Winning Novel

This is a great story. It won two awards in the 2014 Global ebook awards – the silver for New Adult Fiction and the gold for Popular Literature Fiction. Read my review and buy it on Amazon at

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In Search of Staszewski


In Search of Staszewski

Kenneth Fedzin
3.99 (GBP)


This is a fascinating look in to the struggles and suffering that took place in Poland before, during, and after WWII. It begins with the author’s desire to find out more of his family’s history following the death of his father. He begins his search by visiting family members in Poland, where he gradually uncovers a brutal history of invasion (by both Germany and Russia), imprisonment, starvation, torture, and, for many, death. It becomes clear why his father was so reluctant to talk about his early life.

Along the way, the author discovers family members he didn’t even know he had, and he make some wonderful new friends. Though this book is non-fiction, it reads like fiction. It is written in such a compelling way, it draws you in to this family’s life and struggles. I enjoyed following Mr. Fedzin on his journeys in to the past.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book is that he gets in to a lot of the historical details of the war itself – military strategies, government manipulations, etc. I much prefer to read the personal stories of any war, rather than strategic details. For a war/history buff, though, there is much information that would be of interest.

All in all, it is a powerfully moving story about the plight of Poland at the hands of the Germans and Russians, and a wonderful history of one family’s struggle to survive and overcome adversity. Well done!

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Came across these two today.

Balance (The Divine, Book One)

My name is Landon Hamilton. Once upon a time I was a twenty-three year old security guard, trying to regain my life after spending a year in prison for stealing people’s credit card numbers.   No …

See Book On Amazon

Dying for Rome: Lucretia’s Tale (Short Tales of Ancient Rome Book 1)

Dying for Rome: Lucretia’s Tale retells the historic story of the tragic girl whose death inspired the men of Rome to rise up against a tyrant king and establish the Roman Republic. Was she a victim o …

See Book On Amazon


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I’m not much of a mystery fan, but I do enjoy stories that involve artists, musicians, and writers. so this one sounds pretty interesting to me. It appears to have mixed reviews. I’ve decided I’d like to give it a try. The Kindle version is on sale now for just .99 at Amazon.
Dead Wood (A John Rockne Mystery)

$2.99 LIMITED TIME SALE : $0.99

A mystery book by Dani Amore

In the exclusive enclave of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, a woman who builds custom guitars is murdered. A disgraced ex-cop turned private investigator is hired by the dead woman’s father and immediately becomes the target of a violent ex-convict. An enigmatic music star performs damage control on her links to the dead woman. And a professional killer who idolizes Keith Richards is brought into town by a mysterious employer.

Dead Wood is what great mysteries are all about: love, hate, faith and vengeance, all wrapped up in an explosive story that simply refuses to let up.

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Freebie for the day

I haven’t read this one yet, but it sounds like a good one.  It has 137  five star reviews, and the Kindle version is free right now at

Wings of Glass

$13.99 LIMITED TIME SALE : $0.00

A spiritual fiction book by Gina Holmes

On the cusp of adulthood, eighteen-year-old Penny Carson is swept off her feet by a handsome farmhand with a confident swagger. Though Trent Taylor seems like Prince Charming and offers an escape from her one-stop-sign town, Penny’s happily-ever-after lasts no longer than their breakneck courtship. Before the ink even dries on their marriage certificate, he hits her for the first time. It isn’t the last, yet the bruises that can’t be seen are the most painful of all.

When Trent is injured in a welding accident and his paycheck stops, he has no choice but to finally allow Penny to take a job cleaning houses. Here she meets two women from very different worlds who will teach her to live and laugh again, and lend her their backbones just long enough for her to find her own.

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Yes, I’ve already changed things around a bit.  I like this format much better; so much easier to work with.  Well I am off to do some reading.  I currently have approx. 50 books waiting to be read/reviewed.  I have a lot of catching up to do.  You’ll see them posted here soon.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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Another Freebie

Just because it’s Friday, and I’m in a good mood, here is another free Kindle book for all you Jane Austen fans.



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