“Our Friendship Matters” by Kimberly B. Jones YA Pre-Order Book Blitz & Giveaway

 

Young Adult

Date Published: October 5, 2020

Publisher: Rhetoric Askew Publishing, LLC


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Leah and Sasha are 17-year-old friends who had been close to one another since elementary school, but as the summer approaches they find their friendship tested in ways they never anticipated.

Following graduation, Sasha’s privileged life and perception of the world around her is suddenly altered when an old childhood friend persuades her to join in a campaign against an injustice after his best friend is killed by a cop.

But joining the protest has unforeseen consequences for Sasha, distancing her from Leah, who becomes jealous of Sasha’s new friends and finds herself on the opposing side, protesting alongside her group of new white friends.

As the tension mounts between the two bitterly opposed factions, a tragedy strikes and threatens to make Sasha and Leah enemies. Can they find a way to resolve their differences, putting them to the side and learn to accept each other’s viewpoints? Or is their long friendship finished for good?          

 



 Excerpt


“We ordered four large pizzas,” said Melissa.

“Seriously, pizza?  No salad? I have to watch my amazing figure.”

 I glimpsed out the window, people were still protesting. I had imagined that it would have all been over by now. There was Ricardo and some school friends marching in the streets holding signs.

“Chloe stay inside. I’ll be right back.”

“Where are you going?” asked Leah.

 “I saw my neighbor, Ricardo. I just want to go talk to him.”

 I must talk to him.

“Why?” Leah sighed.

“Because the guy killed by the police was his best friend.”

“There you go with that again.” Leah rolled her eyes. Alright, hurry and I will sit with Chloe until you get back.”

“Thanks, just make sure Chloe gets some pizza and save me a slice.”

I walked into the crowd, bumping into people, and apologizing. I started yelling for Ricardo. I found him but he was fading in the crowd. I focused my eyes on Ricardo’s red shirt and continued through the crowd like I was in a football game running between players holding the ball.

There was a soft tap on my shoulder, it was Ricardo. His eyes were red from screaming and chanting on the street while holding a sign. Protesting seemed like his career.

“What are you doing out here?”

“We won our volleyball championship game, so we went to the Fountain, but I wanted to tell you I am sorry for what happened to your friend.”

At first, I didn’t grasp that it happened to a boy at his school and a close friend of his, but now my heart desired to show sympathy.

“Yeah, he was my best friend, and we were on the basketball team together.”

“So, how did it happen?”

“They mistook him for a guy that robbed a gas station and the bad thing about the situation is they caught the real robber later that night.” As Ricardo was explaining what happened, his eyes began to turn red. “This is too dangerous; you shouldn’t be out here.

I became interested in more of the story. Wondering exactly what happened to Mitchell and who would tell the story better than his best friend. So, I built up enough guts to ask him how he died?

“The police shot him by mistake, and nothing happened to the cop that shot him; that’s why I’m out here fighting for justice.”

My heart fell below my stomach after listening to Ricardo alarm me of Mitchell’s death. I never met the boy, but I mourned for him like he was my friend too. That could’ve been anybody. It could’ve been Leo or Ricardo. Hell, I could’ve been me.

“I’m sorry for your friend because I saw your post last night, and I wanted to check on you.”

I must help in any way that I could but what could I do? What if something happens to me? I mean the police were deep in downtown St. Louis, on every corner. What if they shoot me by mistake for helping the protesters?

As I turned to walk back to the ice cream parlor, Ricardo grabbed me by the arm.

“We have meetings in my basement every Saturday if you ever want to come to one.”

“I’ll think about it.”

Interesting, but I had too much to do with getting ready for prom and graduation. He kind of convinced me to go though. My skin started to crawl as my mind imagined such a tragedy happening at Chester Academy. We don’t have those problems, so we don’t worry about them. The kids at Chester should join in with the kids at their school to help protest. It would show them that other schools care.  Although, it might not be a good idea because the kids at Chester are too rich and snobby to understand.

Leah was sitting with her arms folded, face wrinkled, and cheeks blushing red.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” I asked.

I know I’ve left her too long with Chloe, so I gave her a sorry smirk, pushing my lips out for her to forgive me.

Everyone left. She had to stay behind to babysit Chloe, while I chatted with Ricardo.

“What took you so long?”

“I wanted to ask Ricardo more questions about Mitchell, who went to school with them.”

“You shouldn’t be talking to him about that stuff or even be around him. You know how jealous Leo is.”

“I was just curious, and we were childhood friends. Leo has nothing to be jealous of and I won’t let him come between us because there’s nothing going on.”

Leah shoved the pizza in my chest and stormed out the door. Every time I brought up Ricardo, Leah’s face cheeks would flush and her lips would clench. So, why would Leo care if he’s not here? One thing is for sure, I’ve been Leah’s friend for so long that I know she can twist a story. So, I was making it a priority to rush home to call Leo.

When we got home, I ran upstairs to call Leo.

“I’m glad to hear your voice. I laid on my stomach in the bed with my feet in the air and crossed my legs.

 

About the Author

Kimberley B. Jones is a professional early childhood educator. She was born in the small town of Saint George, South Carolina, on September 12, 1982. She graduated from Woodland High School in 2000, Benedict College in 2004 with B.S., Child & Family Development, and Ashford University in 2013 with a Masters in Early Childhood Education.

After receiving her education and being a military spouse, she held several jobs as a preschool teacher and a preschool director, but she wanted to use her education by writing children’s books. She wrote her first book in college for a children’s literature course. She has since self-published several books that can be found on Amazon.

 Currently, she is branching off into writing fiction YA, NA, and A novels on issues in society. She loves writing and would change it for nothing in this world. She is now representing Rhetoric Askew, a great publishing company. Kimberley is the author of “Our Friendship Matters,” soon to be released October 5, 2020 and so much more coming soon.

 

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RABT Book Tours & PR

Mrs. P., Your Hair’s On Fire! Blitz


Middle-Grade Book
Published Date: August 3, 2020
Publisher: INtense Publications LLC


Jang consistently bullies his eighth grade science teacher, Mrs. P with mean and annoying pranks; but some of his classmates have had enough. They give Jang a dose of his own medicine with a prank of their own.  Unexpectedly, Jang becomes a hero after he saves Mrs. P’s life, extinguishing a fire in her hair from a chemistry experiment gone wrong. While recovering from her accident, Mrs. P experiences a stroke of good fortune in her life because of an ancient Korean traditional belief that says a person will have good luck if he or she dreams or sees someone with their hair on fire.



About the Author

Ever since his mother signed him up for piano lessons at age five, Thornton Cline has been writing non-stop. With over 1,000 published songs, 150 recorded songs, 32 traditionally published adult, children’s and YA books published, Thornton Cline has been nominated multiple times for Grammy and Dove Awards. In 2017, Cline won a first-place Maxy Literary Award for “Best Children’s Young Adult Book”. Thornton Cline’s books have appeared at the top of the Amazon bestselling charts. Cline has been honored with “Songwriter of the Year” twice-in-a row and has received a platinum award for certified sales of over one million units in Europe.

Cline continues to mentor, speak, teach, and inspire aspiring authors and songwriters around the world. He resides in Hendersonville, Tennessee with his wife, Audrey and their cat, Kiki.. You can follow all the latest updates on his books and songs at his website, ThorntonCline.com; Thornton Douglas Cline on Facebook, @ClineThornton on Twitter, and @ThorntonCline on Instragram. Mrs P: Your Hair’s On Fire is Thornton Cline’s debut book with INtense Publishing.

Contact Links

BookBub: Thornton Cline



Purchase Links 





RABT Book Tours & PR

Resource Review: Moon Rush: The New Space Race by Leonard David

Do you have a student interested in space exploration? Moon Rush: The New Space Race by Leonard David talks about the technology and science that will drive exploring the moon. This book is great for learning about the history of moon exploration and myths about the moon to plans for the future. It’s definitely for high school level and above, although a precocious middle-schooler would probably enjoy reading this one. I’ve shared tidbits from it with my younger students, but it will be shelved with my 10th grade science curriculum.

About Moon Rush

• Hardcover: 224 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic (May 7, 2019)

Veteran space journalist digs into the science and technology–past, present, and future–central to our explorations of Earth’s only satellite, the space destination most hotly pursued today.

In these rich pages, veteran science journalist Leonard David explores the moon in all its facets, from ancient myth to future “Moon Village” plans. Illustrating his text with maps, graphics, and photographs, David offers inside information about how the United States, allies and competitors, as well as key private corporations like Moon Express and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, plan to reach, inhabit, and even harvest the moon in the decades to come.

Spurred on by the Google Lunar XPRIZE–$20 million for the first to get to the moon and send images home–the 21st-century space race back to the moon has become more urgent, and more timely, than ever. Accounts of these new strategies are set against past efforts, including stories never before told about the Apollo missions and Cold War plans for military surveillance and missile launches from the moon. Timely and fascinating, this book sheds new light on our constant lunar companion, offering reasons to gaze up and see it in a different way than ever before.

Social Media

Please use the hashtag #moonrush and tag @tlcbooktours.

Purchase Links

National Geographic | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Resource Review: Backyard Guide to the Night Sky

I love astronomy, and Miss 5 is a budding astronomer herself. While my lesson plans have us doing astronomy in 2nd, 6th, and 10th grades in a more methodical way, it’s nice to have resources to answer questions & provide information to her now. So, when I was asked if I’d like to review National Geographic’s Backyard Guide to the Night Sky, I jumped at the chance.

Like other National Geographic publications, like National Geographic’s Space Atlas, this guide is beautifully illustrated. It’s a nice size to throw in a purse or bag for taking to your local observatory or up into the treehouse. Learn about the different planets, stars, and space features. Perhaps the biggest use of this book for now will be the constellations guide, particularly as we move into warmer weather and spend more time outside. This book makes an outstanding addition to any homeschooler’s library of reference materials. There’s even a section on stargazing with your children.

About Backyard Guide to the Night Sky

• Paperback: 288 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic; 2 edition (March 19, 2019)

Explore the star-studded cosmos with this fully updated, user-friendly skywatcher’s guide, filled with charts, graphics, photographs, and expert tips for viewing — and understanding — the wonders of space.

Stargazing’s too much fun to leave to astronomers. In these inviting pages, “Night Sky Guy” Andrew Fazekas takes an expert but easygoing approach that will delight would-be astronomers of all levels. Essential information, organized logically, brings the solar system, stars, and planets to life in your own backyard. Start with the easiest constellations and then “star-hop” across the night sky to find others nearby. Learn about the dark side of the moon, how to pick Mars out of a planetary lineup, and which kinds of stars twinkle in your favorite constellations. Hands-on tips and techniques for observing with the naked eye, binoculars, or a telescope help make the most out of sightings and astronomical phenomena such as eclipses and meteor showers. Photographs and graphics present key facts in an easy-to-understand format, explaining heavenly phenomena such as black holes, solar flares, and supernovas. Revised to make skywatching even easier for the whole family, this indispensable guide shines light on the night sky–truly one of the greatest shows on Earth!

Social Media

Please use the hashtag #backyardguidetothenightsky and tag @tlcbooktours.

Purchase Links

National Geographic | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Review: How to Know the Birds by Ted Floyd

We have a pesky cardinal that likes to say “hello” twice a day by attacking our windows. Every day I think, “I really should put some stickers on these windows,” and every day I forget about that thought. Mr. 3 likes to sit and watch said cardinal, and he’s filled with lots of questions about birds. In fact, everywhere we go, my budding ornithologist spots birds and asks about them. So when I was asked if I’d like to review How to Know the Birds by Ted Floyd, I said “yes” with him in mind.

While this book isn’t an identification guide (see this other post for a North American Birds identification guide), it is a good resource for families incorporating nature studies into their homeschooling routines to have on hand. How to Know the Birds will help you to delve deeper into the intricacies of birds and birdwatching and answer a lot of the questions kids come up with when observing birds. For example, the chapter using cardinals as a primary example is titled, “Sex and Gender,” and uses the male cardinal’s bright red color to discuss sexual dimorphism – where the male and female of a species appear different and then cautions against assuming that it’s always the male in a bird species that exhibits the more fanciful markings.

About How to Know the Birds

• Hardcover: 304 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic (March 12, 2019)

Become a better birder with brief portraits of 200 top North American birds. This friendly, relatable book is a celebration of the art, science, and delights of bird-watching.

How to Know the Birds introduces a new, holistic approach to bird-watching, by noting how behaviors, settings, and seasonal cycles connect with shape, song, color, gender, age distinctions, and other features traditionally used to identify species. With short essays on 200 observable species, expert author Ted Floyd guides us through a year of becoming a better birder, each species representing another useful lesson: from explaining scientific nomenclature to noting how plumage changes with age, from chronicling migration patterns to noting hatchling habits. Dozens of endearing pencil sketches accompany Floyd’s charming prose, making this book a unique blend of narrative and field guide. A pleasure for birders of all ages, this witty book promises solid lessons for the beginner and smiles of recognition for the seasoned nature lover.

Social Media

Please use the hashtag #howtoknowthebirds and tag @tlcbooktours.

Purchase Links

National Geographic | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Resource Review: The Splendor of Birds

I have a confession: I don’t like birds. I mean, I think they’re absolutely beautiful creatures, but for some reason, they terrify me. That said, every one of my kids has been fascinated with birds – and with good reason. They fly, they’re beautiful, and they’re covered in feathers. National Geographic’s The Splendor of Birds is the first of two resources on learning about birds that I had the opportunity to review  (the second resource will be reviewed later this week).

This volume goes through the history of art and photographs depicting birds in National Geographic. This is a visually stunning volume. In addition to the imagery in the book, there are excerpts from National Geographic covering birds. My kids enjoyed looking through the book and seeing the vast variety of birds that there are in the world. This is a great volume ot have in your homeschool library for artistic reference (for kids wanting to draw birds), biology reference, and just for kids who are curious about birds to look through.

About The Splendor of Birds

• Hardcover: 512 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic (October 23, 2018)

An elegant collection of the best artwork and photography from the National Geographic archives depicting the magnificence of birds.

Bird, nature, and art lovers alike will treasure this sumptuous visual celebration of the colors, forms, and behaviors of the winged wonders who share our world as they have been explored, displayed, and revealed throughout the years by National Geographic. The book moves chronologically so readers witness the tremendous growth in our knowledge of birds over the last 130 years, as well as the new frontiers in technology and observation–from luminous vintage paintings and classic black and white photographs to state-of-the art high-speed and telephoto camera shots that reveal moments rarely seen and sights invisible to the human eye. The wide diversity of pictures captures beloved songbirds outside the kitchen window, theatrical courtship dance of birds of paradise, tender moments inside a tern’s nest, or the vivid flash of a hummingbird’s flight. Readers will delight in seeing iconic species from around the world through the eyes of acclaimed National Geographic wildlife photographers such as Chris Johns, Frans Lanting, Joel Sartore, and Tim Laman and reading excerpted passages from Arthur A. Allen, Roger Tory Peterson, Douglas Chadwick, Jane Goodall, and other great explorers. Exquisitely produced and expertly curated, this visual treasury displays as never before the irresistible beauty, grace, and intelligence of our feathered friends.

Purchase Links

National Geographic | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Resource Review: National Geographic’s Space Atlas

My kids love space and all things planets and astronauts. I suspect a lot of kids feel the same (I know I did as a kid). When I was offered the opportunity to review National Geographic’s Space Atlas, I was thrilled to do so. This volume is nothing less than stellar. The illustrations are vivid and informative. Who knew there was so much of the surface of Mercury mapped? As I flipped through it with my nearly-three year old looking over my shoulder, I appreciated how the book provides a nice visual aid in teaching about our solar system on a very basic level, but then it also provides a nice reference resource for middle schoolers and high school students.

In addition to mapping out the universe, National Geographic’s Space Atlas also has information about the history of astronomy, the origins of the universe (The Big Bang), and the history of space travel. It makes for an outstanding reference resource for all homeschooling families.

About Space Atlas

• Hardcover: 352 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic; 2 edition (October 23, 2018)

Space Atlas combines updated maps, lavish photographs, and elegant illustrations to chart the solar system, the universe, and beyond. For space enthusiasts, science lovers, and star gazers, here is the newly revised edition of National Geographic’s enduring guide to space, with a new introduction by American hero Buzz Aldrin.

In this guided tour of our planetary neighborhood, the Milky Way and other galaxies, and beyond, detailed maps and fascinating imagery from recent space missions partner with clear, authoritative scientific information. Starting with the sun and moving outward into space, acclaimed science writer and physicist James Trefil illuminates each planet, the most important moons, significant asteroids, and other objects in our solar system. Looking beyond, he explains what we know about the Milky Way and other galaxies–and how we know it, with clear explanations of the basics of astrophysics, including dark matter and gravitational waves. For this new edition, and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his moonwalk, astronaut and American hero Buzz Aldrin offers a new special section on Earth’s moon and its essential role in space exploration past and future.

Purchase Links

National Geographic | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Resource Review: Visual Atlas of the World

Every household should have an up-to-date-atlas, especially if that household is a homeschooling household. Recently, I received National Geographic’s Visual Atlas of the World to review on this blog. The book is rather large (as an atlas should be) and it comes with a slip box to help keep it looking nice. In addition to containing many maps, the atlas has sections on how to use an atlas and geographical features.

The illustrations and photographs are gorgeous, of course, one expects nothing less when it comes to National Geographic. What really impressed me, however, is that the educational value of this volume goes much deeper than just looking to see where things are. My preschooler poured over the pages while I was flipping through, pointing at different landmarks and asking what they were. It’s going to be an invaluable resource, both as we learn geography and as we learn about history and current events through the years.

About Visual Atlas of the World

• Hardcover: 416 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic; 2 edition (September 19, 2017)

Uniting National Geographic’s incomparable photography with state-of-the-art cartographic technology, this is the most compelling, authoritative, and up-to-the-moment visual atlas on the market.

Reimagined and completely updated for the first time since 2008, National Geographic’s visual atlas of the world will delight and inspire. From spectacular space imagery to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this stunning book showcases the diverse natural and cultural treasures of the world in glorious color. Featuring more than 200 fascinating maps, more than 350 new photos, and state-of-the-art cartography and satellite imagery, this is a must-have reference for families, travelers, students, librarians, and scholars. Each page was created in collaboration with the world’s premier scientists, geographers, and cartographers and is populated with the most up-to-date information available, making this book the most beautiful and authoritative visual atlas available today.

 

Purchase Links

National Geographic | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Review: My Big Tree by Maria Ashworth

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Should you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of that purchase at no additional cost to you. 

Recently, I received a copy of  My Big Tree by Maria Ashworth to post an unpaid review on this blog. This book is a fun counting story featuring various animals who can be found in a tree. In addition to providing children with a charming story of a bluebird in a tree, the story allows preschoolers the opportunity to practice counting with 1-to-1 correspondence. The picture book also has an authors note that describes some of the characteristics of the animals depicted.

Illustrations

The illustrations in this picture book are simple, but that’s not a bad thing. My four-year-old enjoyed the images as well as the story. I think it’s an important thing for using the book as a preschool math enrichment resource that the animals are all uniform. This makes it easier for children to make the 1-to-1 connections necessary for developing number sense. The illustrations are also colorful, with each of the animal species having its own vivid color distinct from the others.

Enrichment ideas

In addition to asking the child to count along while you read the book, here are some fun ideas to stretch the book into learning and play:

  • Collect some animal figures such as these by Safari, Ltd. and identify a squirrel, bear, owl, bat, mouse, opossum, frog, snake, bee and bird. My local zoo gift shop has a bin where you can select your animals to fill a Toob for a discounted price. Have your child match up the animal figure to the animal in the book.
  • Ask your child to count how many animals all together are on each page. Once you have the two black bears join the blue bird, you could phrase it like this: “There was one bird in the tree, now there are two bears in the tree also. How many animals all together are in the tree?”
  • See if your child can recall the different animal sounds from the animals who join in the tree. Play “who said it?” Make a noise and see if your child can remember who made the noise – or try the reverse – name an animal and ask if your child remembers what sound that animal makes.

What activities would you come up with to have your children do alongside reading this book?