Books Children

True Colors by Krysten Lyndsay Hager



True Colors by Krysten Lindsay Hager

A little competition can really bring out people’s true colors


Being a young teen isn’t easy. It’s hard to know who your friends are and who is trustworthy.   While my middle school days are long over, my pumpkin’s days of middle school happened fairly recently.  I remember the arguments, the lip gloss, the boys, trips to the mall, and the general confusion of trying to figure out your place in society. Our main character, Landry, has similar issues. On top of all of the hassles of being in middle school, she’s beginning a modeling career!

Landry Albright just wants to be one of the interesting girls at school who always have exciting things going on in their lives. She wants to stand out, but also wants to fit in, so she gives in when her two best friends, Ericka and Tori, push her into trying out for a teen reality show modeling competition with them. Landry goes in nervous, but impresses the judges enough to make it to the next round. However, Ericka and Tori get cut and basically “unfriend” her on Monday at school. Landry tries to make new friends, but gets caught up between wanting to be herself and conforming to who her new friends want her to be. Along the way she learns that modeling is nowhere as glamorous as it seems, how to deal with frenemies, a new crush, and that true friends see you for who you really are and like you because of it.


Life’s not too difficult  for Landry, but most of the problems she encounters are of her own doing. All you need is one good friend, right?

Want more? Here’s an excerpt from the book:

The competition was for girls between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, but it felt like Ericka, Tori, and I were the youngest ones there. I only saw a couple of girls from school, and the lineup looked more like something you’d see on a music video set. All the girls were gorgeous, and they had these curvy womanly bodies. I looked like a skinny little kid next to them. The first girl walked out, and I heard the judges say she “owned the runway,” and, “walked like a gazelle.” I was starting to feel ill. I wasn’t sure which way it was going to come, but I knew I had to find a bathroom — fast. I started to get out of line when Ericka grabbed my wrist.

“It’s almost time,” she said. A tiny bit of spit flew out of her mouth and hit my cheek.

I wasn’t sure why she was so intent on me going through with it, but she had a death grip on my arm, so I didn’t have much of a choice. Her number was called and she walked out to the stage. One of the other girls said she walked like a kid with sand bucket stilts on her feet, but she came back with a smirk on her face like she knew she’d get chosen.

“They said they had never seen such long legs,” she said.

Tori was next.

“She walks like a gorilla at feeding time,” said the girl behind me. I went next, and I tried to focus on not tripping over my feet. My mom’s pumps had a rubber sole on the bottom, which probably wasn’t the brightest idea seeing as my shoes were making squeaking noises as I walked. I was so nervous I couldn’t stop smiling as I walked. I looked like the plastic clown who blows up balloons with its mouth at the Pizza Palace. When I got to the end of the runway, I tried to cross my feet to turn like the other girls had, but I over rotated and ended up doing a full spin which made my kilt fan out and gave the mall walkers a view of my blue underpants. I tried to act like it was intentional and did an extra turn. One of the judges put her hand up to stop me, and I held my breath as she started to speak.

I had a plaid kilt when I was a teen. Oh the good old days! Thanks for a fun read Krysten!

About the Author: Krysten Lindsay Hager is an author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and also writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. TRUE COLORS is her bestselling debut novel from Astraea Press. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing. She received her master’s in American Culture from the University of Michigan-Flint.







Book Trailer:


Amazon author profile:

Children Young Adult

It’s Time to Think about Summer Reading: Plan Now, Read Later

It’s difficult to believe, but summer reading time is just around the corner! Before you know it, the kiddos will be out of school and bored out of their brains, or trying to plug into their Xboxes (or whatever is au courant) 24/7.  You know about summer slide and you don’t want that to happen right? The answer to that is to keep them reading!

To be sure, many schools require kids to read during the summer. Some schools post required reading lists and some don’t. If there’s required reading list, then like it or not, that’s what you hafta read, kids, sorry.  I feel your pain, though, cuz when I was a kid I had read Beowulf. In Old English. So, yah. Animal Farm doesn’t seem that bad, now, does it?

Regardless of your summer reading situation, I have a solution.  I will be

\compiling my first ever No Summer Slide Reading List.


I’ll suggest lists of books for kids of all ages: preschool, middle grade (tweens), and teens. These are books that I think will make for GREAT Summer reads. So, Plan Now, Read Later!

If you’\re an author or a publisher and you’d like to get your title on my No Summer Slide Reading List, send me an email at [email protected]

If you’re a reader, stay tuned to see what great lists I come up with!\\\\

Blogging from A to Z Challenge Books

O is for Odd #AtoZ Challenge



Welcome to O, which is for Odd. Have you ever felt odd? Yeah me too.  Here’s a book for you.



When the new kid joins his class, Woodrow agrees with his schoolmates–Toulouse is really weird. He’s short – kindergarten short – dresses in a suit like a grandpa, has huge eyes, and barely says a word. But Woodrow isn’t exactly Mr. Popularity. The frequent target of the class bully himself, he figures that maybe all Toulouse needs is a chance.

And when the two are put together in gym to play volleyball, they make quite the team. Toulouse can serve, set, and spike like a pro. He really knows how to fly around the court. But when the attention and teasing switch back to Woodrow, he learns that the new kid is great at something else: being a friend.

D’awwww doesn’t that sound cute? Who doesn’t love the name Toulouse?

So I’ll admit that finding a title with the letter O was tough.  Got one for me?


Blogging from A to Z Challenge Books Children

K is for Pizza – #AtoZ Challenge




That’s right friends, K is for Pizza!



Killer Pizza?? Think Ghostbusters with pizza!

Toby McGill dreams of becoming a world-famous chef, but up until now, his only experience has been watching the Food Network. When Toby lands a summer job at Killer Pizza, where pies like The Monstrosity andThe Frankensausage are on the menu, things seem perfect. His coworkers, Annabel and Strobe, are cool, and Toby loves being part of a team. But none of them are prepared for what’s really going on at Killer Pizza: It’s a front for a monster-hunting organization!

Learning to cook pizzas is one thing, but killing hideously terrifying monsters? That’s a whole other story. Still, if Toby quits Killer Pizza, will monsters take over his town?

Fun, right?

and then for the sporty types,



The Kicks is written by Olympic Gold medalist Alex Morgan! She teaches  self confidence and determination in practically the only sporty series written for girls. Bonus? Girls of color on the cover; SCORE!!

So, what K books have you read?




Blogging from A to Z Challenge Books

I Heart Band #AtoZ Challenge



Hey there all you alphabet lovers! Today is dedicated to the letter I. The book I’d like to share with you is I <3 Band. That sideways stuff is supposed to be a heart, y’all! Anyway, there is a series for all of us former and forever band geeks!



FINALLY a series for us! Here’s what the series is about:

Holly Mead’s first day of seventh grade isn’t going as planned. Her brother ruins her carefully chosen outfit, she’s almost late, and her new band director has some surprisingly strict rules. Worst of all, it seems like her best friend, Julia, has replaced her with Natasha, the pretty, smart, new French horn player! Holly is determined to get first chair, but Natasha is turning out to be some pretty stiff competition—and not just in band. Band might be a competition, but friendship isn’t—and Holly needs to figure it out before she loses Julia for good.

Sounds just like middle school, doesn’t it?  So, if you have a little bandie at home, get this series for them, surely there is something they can relate to!

I bet you’re wondering if I’m going to share a pic of me as a former band geek, aren’t you?


I’m not.

Just kidding.

Here I am

Pam Band Geek

circa 1980 something. After a parade.  Can you tell I’m saying “Hurry up and take the picture already!”?

Confession time: where you a bandie? What did you play?

Blogging from A to Z Challenge Books

#AtoZ Challenge Letter C




Hi and welcome. Here’s to letter C!

Two fun titles today:














If you’ve not heard of Cupcake Diaries it’s prolly because you don’t have a tween girl at home. The series combines my two loves; books and cupcakes.  Middle school isn’t easy and fitting in is so hard, right? These enterprising young ladies find a way to accommodate both through a Cupcake Club! I love it!



The Creature from The Seventh Grade by Bob Balaban is our next pick.  I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Balaban at a party once. He’s a famous actor as well, so I played it real cool with him when we met.  (NOT). let me see if I can drum up a pic.

I found it!

Bob Balaban BEA










Yes, that’s really me! All brace face. Diggin it?

Here’s a blurb about the book:

If popularity were a score between one and ten, Charlie Drinkwater would be a zero. He’s nerdy and unathletic, and to top it all off, he’s suddenly morphed into a giant mutant sea creature sometime between first-period science class and third-period English.

Now Charlie’s two best friends are treating him like a science project, there’s a petition to get him kicked out of school, the cool kids are recruiting him for their clique, and for some reason his parents are acting like everything is perfectly normal. What’s a slimy, scaly, seventh-grade creature to do?

I know, right? I’m so GLAD I don’t hafta do middle school all over again. Once was enough.  Sometimes I felt like a slimy sea creature.

Who’s ready for the letter D??

Come back tomorrow, yo.

Adult Fiction Reviews Young Adult

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, Towne Book Center & Cafe Book Club pick

At the Towne Book Center and Cafe, June is a busy month for us. Most importantly, it’s the month that the book club celebrates its anniversary with a party. As book club facilitator, it was my pleasure to plan the party. Even more fun than planning the party, was listening to the discussion of The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. Not everyone agrees on the likability of the book, but we all agree that that’s part of what makes book club so much fun!

Here’s my take on the book.

I even suggested it to Pumpkin!  Thanks to my partner in crime at the bookstore, Jen, for suggesting this title!

I give The Age of Miracles 3 paws.

Books Challenges Children

Ghost Buddy by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver [email protected]@y

Yes, you read that right, Henry “The Fonz” Winkler is the author of a book!  You may not know this, but Henry Winkler is very active in children’s programming and has written many, many books for kids. I was a Fonz fan and as you know, LOVE children’s books.

Keep reading for a special surprise!

You cannot imagine my joy when I was approached to read Winkler’s and Oliver’s latest endeavor, a series entitled: Ghost Buddy.  Here’s what they’re saying.

We are excited to celebrate Scholastic’s release of Ghost Buddy #2: Mind If I Read Your Mind? by New York Times-bestselling authors Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver. Ghost Buddy #2 is the follow-up book to the very successful 1st in the series, Ghost Buddy: Zero to Hero.  Comical characters and hilarious plots will delight your kids and bring a fun reading experience to the long days of summer.  It’s the perfect title for a family book club get-together!

I can’t agree more. The story, for middle grades, is about Billy Broccoli, a middle schooler who has trouble fitting in.  We’re introduced to Billy and his ghost buddy, Hoove in book one, Ghost Buddy: Zero to Hero. It’s a story everyone can relate to.  What I love MOST about the series is that there is a great ethnic blend of children: one in a wheelchair, an Indian (South Asian) child, one of Hispanic heritage, etc.  AND these kids do not act like stereotypical ethnic groups!! High five for Winkler and Oliver for getting it RIGHT!

Everyone can identify with a kid who doesn’t fit in but desperately wants to.  Billy and Hoove have an adventure and they each learn a thing or two along the way about themselves and friendship. This series is great for teachers.  Scholastic, who thinks of everything, even has a teachers guide.

Intrigued?  Wanna get your hands on the first book in the series Ghost Buddy: Zero to Hero? I’m giving away a copy!  Leave a comment below and I’ll choose a winner. Contest ends September 20th at Midnight EST.  SUPER EASY GIVEAWAY, right?

How cute is that book cover?  You’re gonna love it as much as I did.  I give the book four paws for ethnic diversity and teaching a lesson without being pedantic.