Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Dark Eagles

The Dark Eagles is an action adventure series that has become very popular with boys ages 10-14 and in particular to those who don't necessarily love to read.  So far there are two primary books in this series.

First Flight (Book 1) - Kief loves exploring the rugged mountains on his horse, Natch, with his best friend Tarc. But when he receives a mysterious map on his birthday, left behind for him by his dead grandfather, Kief is thrown into an adventure beyond even his imagination. Leaving home to pursue his childhood dream of attending the merchant academy on the coast, extraordinary events unfold propelling Kief, along with his friends and his map, toward the same perilous destiny.

Wells in Desolation (Book 2) - With his faithful friends and mystical stone, Kief sets out on his greatest adventure yet to seek passage across the dangerous seas in search of the dreaded Wells in Desolation. But there is more to fear than enemy soldiers and the pillaging rogues of the sea as others seek the power of the stone. Kief encounters new friends that help him along his journey and reveal secrets about his past and destiny. But a shocking truth threatens to doom the fate of The Dark Eagles.

These very cool books are by David Smith.  David says he set off to write an epic adventure of a boy and his horse and created a story of freedom, adventure, love, courage and sacrifice. 

To learn more about this epic adventure and David Smith, click here.

Friday, September 18, 2015

150th Anniversary at Andersonville National Historic Site

September 2015 marks the conclusion of the 150th anniversary at Andersonville National Historic Site. The entire month of September is dedicated to highlighting the history of the infamous Civil War prison, the plight of all prisoners of war, the end of the Civil War, and what happened after the surrender at Appomattox. There are many questions we hope to explore this month. How does a soldier go from war to peace? How does a prisoner go from captivity to freedom? How does a nation reunite after such immense division?

This month holds a great deal of meaning not only in Civil War history, but for all American Prisoners of War. The third Friday in September is officially National POW/MIA Recognition Day. With that in mind, Andersonville National Historic Site is hosting a three-day special event weekend. This weekend will mix Civil War history, POW veterans groups, active duty military, and civilians to explore the stories of survival and sacrifice by United States service members during the Civil War and today.

WHY 13,000?

During the fourteen months of operation, just over 12,900 United States soldiers perished due to the diseases, hunger and wounds that they received on the battlefield and while in prison at Andersonville. Over that time, their bodies were placed in long trenches for burial. Those trenches are the foundation of Andersonville National Cemetery. The national cemetery holds not only the remains of those original prisoners of war, but also Union soldiers killed across Georgia in those final years of war. The number 13,000 acknowledges that greater whole. Today, the national cemetery has over 20,000 interments.

Click here to learn more about Brothers of War and Andersonville.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What Your Kids (and You) Should Read This Summer, by Your Favorite Authors

Hello Everyone,

I hope that your summer is off to a great start.  I was interviewed by ParentMap in Seattle and want to share the article with you titled,  What Your Kids (and You) Should Read This Summer, by Your Favorite Authors.  Click here for the list.  15 Puget Sound literary luminaries developed a great summer book list.

Have a safe summer,


Sunday, April 26, 2015

High Wind to Idaho

High Wind to Idaho is a middle-grade historical airship adventure set during the America's first UFO scare of 1896, and foretells the later Japanese balloon bombs of W.W.II. Yoshi, a young Japanese boy steals a ride on a secret balloon and ends up in the USA, as the nation worries about reported Martian landings and mysterious airship sightings.

He lands on an Idaho farm where another boy, Billy, and his mother, hide Yoshi from a zealous
sheriff and vengeful neighbors. Yoshi must get back to Japan before the secret of this new balloon gets out and his uncle's reputation is destroyed. Yoshi and Billy learn to adapt to each others culture as Yoshi is driven to return and apologize to his uncle, or face the humiliation of betraying his ancient samurai family honor.

They hatch a plan to hoodwink the sheriff and leave town on a rail journey that exposes Yoshi to oriental hate and bigotry as Billy helps protect him. Once in San Francisco they are accosted by a Japanese Army Officer bent on returning Yoshi to Japan and chased by a female Pinkerton detective determined to capture Yoshi and hand him over to the new US Army Intelligence Service.
The novel was inspired by the Great Texas Airship Mystery of 1897 that occurred in nearby Aurora, Texas.

This cool adventure story is by Rod Barclay.  Rod is a retired Engineer and Industrial Designer who has studied aeronautical design and balloon developments of the 19th Century. To learn more about Rod and his books, click here.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bandits Peak

I'm thrilled that one of my favorite authors, Chris Eboch has recently released a  new suspense novel.  Bandits Peak will definitely appeal to boys who like stories set in the wilderness.  It reminds me a lot of Hatchet.  Chris does a nice job of putting the main character, Jesse in a position where he has to make tough choices.  After discovering dried blood on a rock, Jesse meets strangers hiding in the mountains, he gets drawn into their mystery, and a fast-paced adventure story unfolds.

This unique plot will most certainly appeal to reluctant readers.  What I like most about the book is its length.   It's long enough to hold your attention, but not at all intimidating.  I call these kind of books, Skateboard Books.  These kind of books are great confidence builders. 

To learn more about Chris' books click here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Brookings Report

A recent Brookings Report has concluded that trying to get boys to enjoy reading doesn't improve reading scores.  Boys Read doesn't have a large scale scientific study to refute this report.  However, we have consistent, common sense anecdotal evidence from across the country from many caretakers and educators that demonstrate that if boys are served up enough interesting choices, they do learn to love reading.  Here's a quote we received via email just this week from a mom and Literacy Specialist: "I love your website. My 11 year old is a great reader, but hates to read because he never can find a good book.  Your recommendations have helped him get back into reading again."

Boys Read consistently receives best-practice quotes like the one above.  Our conclusion of the Brookings Report is best summarized as:  "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

To read the report, click here.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Surviving Bear Island

After a sea kayaking trip with his father takes a dangerous turn, Tom Parker is stranded on the remote, outer coast of unpopulated Bear Island in the waters of Prince William Sound, Alaska with only a survival kit in his pocket. Desperate to find his father, Tom doesn’t know how long he can survive and must put his survival skills to the test as he fights to reach safety.

This cool adventure story is by Paul Creci.  Paul's been living in Alaska for 25 years, and has seen bears fishing for salmon, a pair of bald eagles building a nest, polar bears gnawing on a whale carcass, 10,000 walrus hauled out together on the Bering Sea coast, and120,000 caribou gathered on the Arctic Coastal Plain. And when he’s not teaching school or exploring the Alaskan wilderness, Paul Greci is thinking up ways to keep hungry moose out of his garden. Surviving Bear Island is Paul's debut novel.

Click here to learn more about Paul and be sure to see his cool pictures of Alaska's amazing wilderness.  What a life!  We look forward to reading more of his adventure stories.