Category Archives: BEA

Morning Meanderings…. Adriana Trigiani… To Know Her Is To Love Her


It is a beautiful day here in Minnesota…  maybe not as sunshiny warm as I would like… but the sun is out and it will be good weather for gardening this after noon and mowing the lawn while listening to audio ( )

When in New York earlier this month, I was hoping I would get a chance to see Adriana Trigiani.  Adriana is tied in to my whole BEA experience from the first time I attended in 2010.  That first year, I won a contest Adriana had held and was one of 6 Bloggers who were picked up at the Javitz Center in a limo and taken to Alice’s Teacup for an amazing lunch and one on one time with Adriana.  She was so personable and sweet and I felt like I was in book lovers heaven!

In 2011, a group of us met up with her again and went on a walking tour of Greenwich Village and where her characters frequent.  In 2013, she had us over to her home for brunch.  BRUNCH!  AT HER HOME.  Yeah, I just said that.

In 2015, when my life fell apart and I did not attend the Book Expo, Adrianna personally called me.  That meant so much to me I can not even put it into words.  In 2016, we were in Chicago for the Expo and she was not there.

Some Authors are like Super Heroes…

So this year, I really wanted to say hi to her and I stood outside her long line for book signing just so I could wave at her.  I sent a message up the line that I was there and just for her to look up so I could smile and wave (I am from Central Minnesota this is what we do)…  I waited for over an hour and finally my message was delivered and she looked up and called me over…

*Gulp*

Security helped me get through the rope barrier and I passed in front of the line of those still waiting to have their book signed.  A little embarrassed, and sure an Adriana fan who had been waiting in line was going to knock me to the ground and beat the stuffing out of me… surprising they let me pass and were nice about it..book people are the best!

Once up front she hugged me and I had my picture taken with her, despite my polite refusal to have a book signed that I had not been in line for, she signed one for me anyway.  We talked for like 30 seconds and I thanked  her for the phone call and I was on my way.

Yeah.

So without further ado… Kiss Carlos.

It’s 1949, and South Philadelphia bursts with opportunity during the postwar boom. The Palazzini Cab Company & Western Union Telegraph Office, owned and operated by Dominic Palazzini and his three sons, is flourishing: Business is good, and they’re surrounded by sympathetic wives and daughters-in-law, with grandchildren on the way. But a decades-long feud that split Dominic and his brother, Mike, and their once-close families sets the stage for a rematch.

Amidst the hoopla, the arrival of an urgent telegram from Italy upends the life of Nicky Castone (Dominic and his wife’s orphaned nephew), who lives and works with his uncle Dom and his family. Nicky decides, at 30, that he wants more – more than just a job driving car number four and more than his longtime fiancée, Peachy DePino, a bookkeeper, can offer. When he admits to his fiancée that he’s been secretly moonlighting at the local Shakespeare theater company, Nicky finds himself drawn to the stage, its colorful players, and the determined Calla Borelli, who inherited the enterprise from her father, Nicky must choose between the conventional life his family expects of him and charting a new course and risking losing everything he cherishes.

 

So now you know the why this book came home with me from the expo… and you know why I have every book that Adriana has ever written in my own library.  Kiss Carlos was released this week on June 20th.  It you have not experienced Adriana, then I am telling you that you are in for a treat…  she write amazing characters and amazing stories.  Don’t miss out.

 

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Morning Meanderings…. MUCH Bookness Today #BEA3


Happy Monday.  Well… Monday anyway… yeah.

I feel quite like I am hitting the ground running today – full steam ahead in to a Bookish Adventure…  (picture the rabbit from Alice In Wonderland here…).

This morning I finished up an article on the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library for a new magazine.  The after a quick work out, I hurried back home to prep this post and then get ready for our Author Event at the library at noon today.  We have Author Lorna Landvik today and I am soooooooo excited to see her.  She is our consistent MC for Wine and Words and has a new book out,  Once In A Blue Moon, the follow-up to Patty Jane’s House Of Curl.

THEN….

Once the Author event is over we switch out the room to set up the Children’s Book Sale that starts at  3 pm today….  all kids books 25 cents each.  This is our 3rd year with the children’s book sale and so much fun to put books in young readers hands.

BUT WAIT….
There’s MORE!

I then switch gears to head over to Prairie Bay to set up for our Books Burgers and Brews event for June that starts at 6 pm tonight.  We are discussing the book Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher which I hope will be a good discussion.  I have been promoting on line and will be talking about at the Author event today as well to hopefully promote good attendance.

So basically… I need a dress and running shoes today.

Check.  ;P

And now, for my Book Expo promo of the day….

I recently read a book by B A Paris, Behind Closed Doors (review up tomorrow).  I enjoyed the book… so when I saw that the author had another book coming out in July, I had to grab this one at the Book Expo.

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods. It was on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, and a woman was sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm, and she probably would have been hurt herself if she’d stopped. Not only that, her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing. Where she left the car; if she took her pills; even the alarm code.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

And the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

 

 

Come on… how do you pass that up?

Have a good day all… I have to put those tennis shoes on and get running.

Morning Meanderings… Scraping in with Author Lisa Jewell #bookexpo2

Saturday!!!! My favorite day of the week!  I usually get to connect with friends…  and try to take this day as something at least partially for me…   a little reading or sitting in the sun…  and I try to avoid any work projects if possible.

In a little bit here I am going to go to town to get a spreadsheet for the books coming out (yes I am trying to be organized!!!)  as well as go try on a potential dress for next months annual Queen event.

Today I want to talk about another book that made its way home with me from the expo…

Hello to I Found You by Lisa Jewell.

In the windswept British seaside town of Ridinghouse Bay, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on a beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside.

Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, newlywed Lily Monrose grows anxious when her husband fails to return home from work one night. Soon, she receives even worse news: according to the police, the man she married never even existed.

Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty Ross are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. The annual trip to Ridinghouse Bay is uneventful, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just because he’s a protective older brother.

Who is the man on the beach? Where is Lily’s missing husband? And what ever happened to the man who made such a lasting and disturbing impression on Gray?

 

OOH right?  I love a good mystery and Lisa Jewell’s books never disappoint.  I am looking forward to spending some time in this one.


Happy Saturday!  I hope you are listening to or reading something really really good!

Morning Meanderings… Did You Know Author Jane Green ROCKS? #Bookexpo1

Good happy Minnesota morning.  It is a gorgeous morning here and my COFFEE CUP quite literally runneth over…  good friends, good home,  good family, good commitments.  You get the point.  😉

I was thinking about the book Expo today… after all I have this juicy pile of books that I cant wait to dig into and thought I would start telling you about each one and why it came home with me.

Jane Green has a new book out called The Sunshine Sisters.  LOVE LOVE LOVE the title….

Ronni Sunshine left London for Hollywood to become a beautiful, charismatic star of the silver screen. But at home, she was a narcissistic, disinterested mother who alienated her three daughters.

As soon as possible, tomboy Nell fled her mother’s overbearing presence to work on a farm and find her own way in the world as a single mother. The target of her mother’s criticism, Meredith never felt good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. Her life took her to London—and into the arms of a man whom she may not even love. And Lizzy, the youngest, more like Ronni than any of them, seemed to have it easy, using her drive and ambition to build a culinary career to rival her mother’s fame, while her marriage crumbled around her.

But now the Sunshine sisters are together again, called home by Ronni, who has learned that she has a serious disease and needs her daughters to fulfill her final wishes. And though Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy have never been close, their mother’s illness draws them together to confront the old jealousies and secret fears that have threatened to tear these sisters apart. As they face the loss of their mother, they will discover if blood might be thicker than water after all…

Sound summery good?

I think so too.

So how did this jewel or a gorgeous book come home with me from New York?  Well that is a GREAT story.

I absolutely love author meet ups.  I love to spend time one on one with authors in smaller more personal groups.  When the invite came by email to have a lunch with the author at a small park in New York while I was at the Expo the answer of course was yes.  YES.

The day of the luncheon the weather was absolutely beautiful.  My consistent and awesome Book Expo room-mate and partner in all things BEA Candace (Beth Fish Reads) and I made our way from the Javitz Center the short walk to the park.  Jane Green could not have been more personable and AWESOME.  She welcomed each of us with a beautiful sack lunch and then personally signed a book for each of us.  She then had a great photo op with props (I LOVE props!!!) which was a lot of fun.


We sat down to an amazing lunch.  I had the chicken salad which was in a canning jar with apples, grapes, chicken, lettuce and a little dressing… shake it up and grab a fork… wow.   The potato chips were organic rosemary and the dessert was made my Jane herself, with the recipe included in the bag.



Of course meet ups are made even more fun when you run in to fellow Bloggers who you chat with on-line….   Stacy (The Novel Life) and Deb(Reader’s Buzz)  joined us and that was the icing on the Jane Green Luncheon cake… errr… salad..dressing on the salad I mean…  😉


This was one of my favorite things at the Expo…. sitting in the sun, enjoying a great lunch with friends.  Can’t wait to dig into Jane’s book!

Morning Meanderings… The Books Of The Expo Have Arrived

Good morning.  Or afternoon.  Or evening.  Depending on where you are in the world and when you actually read this.  🙂

Whirlwind weeks and the best of intentions did not mix when I hoped to write more this past week while I was at Camp Benedict.  So here I am now, home from camp, pretty (almost) caught up on laundry, and house stuff and sleep.

When I pulled into the driveway Friday afternoon I smiled when my eyes fell upon the three boxes sitting by my front step.  Book Expo findings!!!  I hauled them in the house and put them on the couch in the front room where they stayed until yesterday morning when I finally felt I had enough energy to dig into them….


That is the complete haul besides some cool book bags (another post perhaps…) and other swag.


There they are.  *sigh*  Beautiful books.  I will be talking about these books throughout the summer.  Stay tuned to hear more about them and why they were the among the chosen ones to come into my home.

It looks to be a rainy day here in Central Minnesota…  as much as I was looking forward to working in the garden today this may instead be a curl up and read day….  those days are now few and far between and book club is this coming Tuesday so maybe… not a bad idea.

Happy Sunday all 🙂

The Book Expo…. Yes I Went. And I Survived To Tell You About It.

 

Greetings fellow book lovers.  I just returned yesterday late afternoon from the Book Expo in New York.  My 6th time attending….  and I feel….
Inspired.
Rejuvenated.
Goal Oriented. 
And just as in love with books, audio, publishers, authors, narrators, bloggers as I have always been.   

The heart wants…. what the heart wants….

I am certain I will be chatting about Books, The Expo, The meet Ups etc…for days here.

So…

I flew into New York on Wednesday… my flight was amazing.  I met a lady on the plane that was nervous to fly (her 2nd time)…. so I was talking her through it by distracting her with details of the Book Expo which she had never heard of.  She was going to New York to visit her son and go to a baby shower.  She was very interested in the books, a reader herself, and we quite literally talked about our kids, life, books writing, seriously…. we talked the entire three-hour plane ride.  The plane was half empty and I had a middle seat but I had no desire to move.  We laughed and we both cried… I can’t make this stuff up. The plane landed, we exchanged info so we could be in contact and hugged good-bye.

Yeah.

Then…. fast forward to the hotel and my amazing roommates Candace, Beth Fish Reads and Kim, Sophisticated Dorkiness.  Book Expo staples.  Hanging with those two for a few days is a great way to spend time in New York.  We were missing our partner in “all things Expo” Florinda The 3 R’s Blog who had escaped to Italy.  Sigh.  We can’t fault her for that.  😉


Yeah… these two 🙂

The Expo is also exciting, stimulates all the book senses…. the visual covers, the smells of books, and food (yeah I was usually hungry..), to touch that coveted read after you waited in a long line, to hear the excited chatter of the attendees as well as tune into the voice of an author you know….   Bliss really.

I have more to come.  Just wanted to touch base today and start a conversation….

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Welcome to the Audie Awards…. Your Ticket Awaits You At The Door

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Hello everyone and welcome to the Audie Awards post.  I so hope I did not keep you waiting to long but what is an event like this if you do not have to wait for it to happen.  Creates buzz I think 😉

Last Wednesday May 11th, I was lucky enough to be the plus one to the Audie Awards in Chicago at the Planetarium.  I was the guest of our very own Candace, Beth Fish Reads, who won the Audio Book Blogger Of The Year.  WOOT!!!!  *Oops that wasn’t very lady like…. I mean *polite clap muffled by silk gloves to my elbow*

All kidding aside, this was quite an honor.  This is a $700 ticketed invite only event and we were there!  So let’s go in shall we?

 

We arrived at 5:30 pm per instructions for Candace to have a chance to go over what she would be saying when she gave out the awards.  I was an observer at this point but it was pretty cool to watch. Everyone was incredibly nice.  I even had a chance to go and look at the cool Audie Awards that would be handed out to the winners when the event began.  I looked.  I did not touch.  I wanted to touch.

And then, before we knew it, we were being ushered upstairs to the reception area.

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The signature drink offered at the door was ummm….. I don’t know.  It was good, kind of a grapefruit flavor to it but not bitter.

Candace and I mingled with the Narrators and some of the big name narrating names.  It was really amazing and I think we were both a little shell shocked as waiters and waitresses encouraged us to take the delicious little appetizers that I soooo wish I had taken pictures of (but did not want to look too fan girlish 😉 ).

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Can’t you just hear the mingling?  It was the sound of many narrators at once. 🙂

Then the big moment came and we were all sent back downstairs for the main event.

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Paula Poundstone was the emcee and I have to say she was hilarious.  I do not belly laugh often, but this woman had me laughing until I cried.  Better yet, you do not even have to take my word for it, the whole thing is available on You Tube! (See Below)

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One of the hilarious moments in the award ceremony was when Paula asked that the screen be backed up so she could get a closer look at one of the audio book covers.  Her question?  “Why do we not judge the covers?”  There is a pretty funny give and take on this one with the narrator who was in the audience.

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Candace did a wonderful job of giving out the awards in four different categories.  I was the careful photographer behind the scenes trying to capture the moment.

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It was a wonderful event and it went by so fast.  It was amazing to be one of the first to know what audio books won the award for best of the year.  I loved watching the audio books show up on the screen and then hearing which one won.  Many I have read… there are many more that were added to my “must listen” list.

 

When it was over Candace let me take one of the audio award envelopes that announced the winners.  TOTALLY EXCITED!!!!!!  This was pretty awesome…. and I picked…

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After the awards we were back up stairs *should have worn a Fitbit* and into the hall again for dessert and champagne.  We had a wonderful time being able to talk with many of the narrators, and still looking at one another saying, “Yeah… that just happened.”

Thanks Candace for letting me be your plus one.  What an AMAZING experience!

 

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Note that the show does not start for the first 30 minutes so forward this baby and get ready to laugh and see our very own Candace of Beth Fish Reads give away a few awards!

Morning Meanderings…. Another Day – Another Book…. (and a little story about the beer)

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Another beautiful day here in Minnesota.  Ahhhhhh COFFEE CUP and I are enjoying the deck this morning.

I left you all in limbo yesterday when I asked you to get dressed up so we could discuss the Audie Awards and then I never wrote that post.  I hope I didn’t leave you all dresses up and nowhere to go for the last 20 hours.  That’s awkward.

As I am off to visit my Aunt the reader this morning the book I want to chat about today is one that has become an author my Aunt really enjoys thanks to the diet of books I have been feeding her over the past year.  When I seen this one at the expo, I knew I had to grab it – it is an author I really enjoy too.

elin hilderbrand, book journey, here's to us, the rumor, BEA

Oh yes.  Elin Hilderbrand.  If you enjoy great summer reading set around Nantucket and friendships – DO NOT miss this author.  I absolutely adore her writing and and can not wait to dig into this one.  I have enjoyed her books for years and highly recommend them.  The RumorWinter Street The Matchmaker.  The IslandThe Castaways.

Laurel Thorpe, Belinda Rowe, and Scarlett Oliver have two things in common.  They all deeply love a man named Deacon who they all have all been married to at one time…and they all have a passionate dislike of one another.

OOH – let me just chime in here and say is that not enough right there to make you want to read this book?

All three women are remarkable, spirited women and they could not be more different.  Laurel is Deacon’s High School sweetheart.  She is beautiful and a social worker.  Belinda is a high maintenance diva, and Scarlett is a sexy Southern bell surviving on her looks and her families money.

When tragedy hits, the women are forced to come together to deal with the aftermath.  The women try to do what is asked of them – but all have an unbreakable bond to a man…. and a lot of secret to hide.

 

OOH right?  And here is a cool thing about Elin Hilderbrand.  Every year she has a book signing at the Book Expo.  And every year that signing has included Corona Beer.  Admittedly, I love that.  It is unique.  Often you receive great swag with the books – book bags, candy, book marks, digital downloads, totes, recipes, tattoos…  there is something that says “Summer in Nantucket” when you think Corona.

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So this year, I asked the publisher about this tradition of Corona.  She said that it was something they thought of doing at Elin’s first BEA  signing because it was different and fun.  People sign a book in the late afternoon of the Expo, and they get a beer.  Definitely a cool idea and after walking the Expo for 7+hours…. yeah.

Today I am taking this book while I go visit my Aunt.  I am going to propose to her that we each read it and discuss it.  Then I will post about it.  I am sooo excited about this and I think she will be too.

And when I return…. we are going to the Audie Awards so make sure you are ready for that post – it’s going to be awesome.  Really.  Get ready.  I will post it today.  I will. 🙂

Late Meanderings… Lets Talk About That Bench

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Whoa… wait… what?

I lost the morning.  I had every intention of putting up an earlier post and then life just gets in the way.

I had a meeting at the library this morning and I parked where I usually do near the benches. THE BENCHES.  I was there yesterday as well and spent a little time at the bench and took a couple of pictures.

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You may notice a little something on the bench in the right hand corner…

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This little rock has the word ‘TRUST” written on it.  I have no idea where it came from, but I LOVE it.  Thank you to whoever for putting such a powerful message out there.  I have no idea what it means to the giver, but I imagine knowing my son there is a ton of meaning behind it.

So today, as I walk into the library a group of teens are approaching the benches (there are three benches) and the four of them choose to sit on Justin’s bench and the tears start to flow.  I can imagine that he would love this.  I also noticed the rock was still there which also warmed my heart through the tears.

When I left the library, a different person, a lone girl was sitting on the bench and again … oh my heart.

I did not get to visit the bench today due to the activity around it.  I did not want to approach and let anyone know my personal connection to that particular bench.  That’s awkward and unfair to those using the bench… although I secretly hoped that perhaps at least one of them knew Justin, or his story and were spending a little time with him –

just like the trust rock.

 

I am behind on the BEA posts, I had another post planned for yesterday but it did not happen.  Hopefully today will be the day I invite you to the Audie Awards.  Put on something nice 😉

 

3BEA Book NOTE! 

Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson

Setting:  Revolutionary War, Valley Forge

Compact Synopsis:  The conclusion to the trilogy that started with Chains and continued with Forge. Isabel and Curzon are now reported as runaways.  They are determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth who is enslaved in a Southern state and danger of being captured is all around.

The Draw:  Hello! Have you ever read Laurie Halse Anderson?  If not, you are truly missing out.  SPEAK was the first book I read by her (a banned book) and I was hooked.  Known for writing about hard issues, this book excites me!  And the cover?  WOW.  That caught my eye even before I seen who wrote the book.

 

Morning Meanderings…. BEA…. Those First Few Hours

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Good morning all. Started out to be a beautiful sunny day and then went to overcast and a bit chilly – I guess a good day to be at the library working on projects that the Friends are involved in.  Got to get in that weekly library dose!  😉

Continuing from where I left off yesterday, last Wednesday was the first official day of the Book Expo in Chicago.  It was a bit different from in past years as the expo floor did not open until 1:00 pm.  That left us with a lot of time to check things out.  Candace (Beth Fish Reads) and I had breakfast and met with Jill (Rhapsody in Books).  Always awesome to see her!   Then I headed to registration to pick up my badge:

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OOOOH!  AHHHHH!  This is always a highlight as I collect these badges and have every year of the Expo that I attended as well as other book panels and bookish events I have been a part of.  Yes…. I know… I am letting my dorkiness show.

As the time drew near to the expo opener (lol…. had to say that)…. we all gathered in the hall.  I had a chance to see Jennifer from Jenn’s Bookshelves as we waited.  LOVE seeing the regular BEA group!  It was also interesting to watching the diehards scramble for a foothold in the entrance area while those of us who have “been there- done that” waited out of the crazy zone.

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Even better…. there was another entrance apparently unspotted by this group that had no surge of people at all.  When the time came… we just walked in.  No limbs were harmed in the opening of the expo 🙂

I tend to mostly walk the floor alone.  I had no method to my madness.  Some people come with carefully laid out plans of whom to see and when and that has always been more than I usually do.  I like to walk the floor hitting the big name publishing areas first as they tend to have pretty amazing book drops for you to choose from and then I trickle my way through the expo watching for titles that catch my eye and publishing houses I need to connect or reconnect with.

By 4 pm, Candace and I met up to head back to our room with our treasures for the day and to get ready for the Audie Awards.   The Expo was open until 5:30 but we were done and I was happy to get out of the hustle of people and books for a while…. besides…. I did just fine with my book haul:

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So that was the Expo day 1.  Later today we will move on to the amazing Audie Awards that Candace and I were lucky enough to attend that evening.

 

BEA BOOK NOTE!

jennifer weinner, littlest bigfoot, bookjourney

The Littlest Bigfoot by jennifer weiner…

Setting: a boarding school

Compact Synopsis:  Twelve year old Alice Mayfield goes through life mostly unnoticed by her family and with no friends.  When she one day rescues Milly Maximus from drowning, Alice feels she has found the friend she always wanted.

One thing though…

Milly is a Bigfoot, part of a group of Bigfoots that live in the woods and fear people (“No-Furs”).  It is up to Alice to find a way to keep her new friend safe and keep her secrets.  It is also a time for both Alice and Milly to put faith in one another… faith they need to pull form deep inside.

The Draw:  Jennifer Weiner is an author I have enjoyed in the past with books such as Certain Girls, Good In Bed, The Next Best Thing, Best Friends Forever, and Fly Away Home (just to name a few that I have read.  So yes, to me…. author name recognition as well as this sounds like a pretty cute Middle Grade read!

 

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years

  • Grade Level: 3 – 7

  • Series: The Littlest Bigfoot (Book 1)

  • Hardcover: 304 pages

  • Publisher: Aladdin (September 13, 2016)