Posted in Meet the authors

Jake Burt

Author website/social media: WWW.JBurtBooks.Com  TWITTER: @jburtbooks

 

1.     When you were my age (9), did you like to read?
 
Absolutely. My favorite genres were (and still are) fantasy and science fiction. I clearly remember raiding my dad’s bookshelves, grabbing stuff that I probably shouldn’t have been reading at my age. Of course, I loved kids’ books, too – some of my favorite authors were E.B. White, Roald Dahl, and Rose Estes.
 

2.     What is a book that made an impact on you?

 

The book that had the greatest impact on me was The Hobbit, by Tolkien. But the one I want to give a shout-out to here is The Lottery Rose, by Irene Hunt. It’s the first book I ever read that made me cry. Up until that point, I didn’t realize that a story could have such a profound effect on my emotions. 

 

3.     Is it hard to come up with book ideas? Like how did you think to mix foster kid with Witness Protection?

 

I find generating ideas to be both easy and fun…the trick is finding one that will actually make a good book. That’s harder, since I don’t really know if an idea is novel-worthy until I try to plot it out. That’s quite a bit harder, and it takes lots of work. However, nothing beats the feeling of finishing an outline and realizing you’ve got a potential story on your hands (except maybe the feeling of publishing one!)

 

4.     What author or book have read recently that impacted you?

 

I recently read Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s The Book of Boy, and I loved it. Both my undergraduate and graduate degrees are in medieval European history, so to read a book centered in that time period – and a fantasy novel rooted in relic culture, no less! – was great fun. It was also a reminder of the myriad ways we can access history to tell compelling stories.

 

5.     Is there a new or lesser known author you think kids should be aware of? 

 

When I was a kid, I was a huge fan of choose-your-own-adventure novels. They’ve started making a bit of a comeback, so I think I’d let kids know about a guy whose books I absolutely devoured when I was a kid. His name’s Joe Dever, and he wrote a massive CYOA adventure series – one in which the choices you made in the first book could impact the narrative in the fifteenth book. I still own all my old copies, and was pleased to discover that his work is available online for free, too (check out www.projectaon.org).

 

6.     What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?

 

Find an audience for your stuff, and share it frequently. Get good at seeking critique and accepting feedback. The quicker you learn to look at your writing as a living thing, always evolving and improving, the easier it will be for you to embrace the revision process. That’s vital, because it’s in revision that the real work (and a lot of the real joy) of our profession lies. 

 

7.     As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that?

 

I do hear from readers, and I absolutely adore it. My favorite thing about responses from fans is their questions; I love giving them the inside scoop on tidbits that might not have made it into the novels. It lets me revisit the stories in a fun way, and they sometimes even inspire me to think about a character, plot thread, or setting in a new light. 

 

8.     If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be?

 

I think anyone who says anything other than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is either lying or hasn’t thought carefully enough about the question.

Posted in Book Review

How to give your cat a bath in five easy steps

By Nicola Winstanley and John Martz

Book Source: Borrowed from Library

Book Status: available

This is a super fun book I just had to share!

This book is about how to give your cat a bath. It tells you in five easy steps, obviously, oh, what’s that? Ten or something? Wow, that cat must be fast, and he is! And in the end, the settle on——–SPOILER ALERT 🚨 SPOILER ALERT 🚨!!!!!!

This would be really fun to read with a class! It would also be cool to read alone.

Posted in Book Review

The Incredible Exploding Kid

By Marcus Emerson

Book Source: provided for review

Book Status: available

This book is about a boy named Ben Braver who attends a school for kids with super powers. Well, I’m not sure super is the right word, more like okaay. But he doesn’t have any powers, which makes life even harder, along with an incident the Vic is not short for Victor, but Victoria, and Vic is not happy about that, oh and Vic is friends with the bully. The problem is well, they have power battles, a group has now formed called the BraverRavers, and it’s really too many to count.

I recommend this book to kids who need a laugh and if you want a good book for bedtime chapters cause it will make you want to never stop.

Posted in Book Review

Yours Sincerely, Giraffe

By Megumi Iwasa

Illustrated by Jim Takabatake

Book Source: Borrowed from library

Book Status: Available

Honestly Mom borrowed this for me because of the penguin on the front. I am glad she did. It was a fun read about a giraffe who sends a letter on the Pelican Express to the other end of the horizon. A penguin receives it and they become pen pals.  The book is their letters.  They do eventually meet. The giraffe even tries to dress like a penguin but um, yea that didn’t work.

I liked that there was a penguin. It was interesting that a penguin and a giraffe spoke the same language.  It was a fast read and a good way to make my day better.

I recommend this book for class libraries. It would be neat if the class did penpals with another class from a different country or state.  I also recommend this to people who like giraffes and penguins.

Posted in Book Review

Fashion Rebels

By Carlyn Cerniglia Beccia

Book Source: Borrowed from library

Book Status: available

While posting about my book block, I was at the library and looked over and there was this book. It is awesome and not something I would have borrowed.  I am happy I did. The first fashion rebel mentioned was Cleopatra! The book also talks about Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn and Josephine Baker and many more. It shares about their lives and what made them a fashion rebel.

This was a fun way to learn about important women and also learn about fashion at the same time. I have heard Mom mention a little black dress and one section is all about the LBD.  I learned about fashion has changed over the years and how it can influence history.

I recommend this book to people interested in fashion, women who changed the world or just a change in book scenery.

Posted in Book Review

The Frizz

By Jasmine Fogwell

Illustrations by Amy Martin

Book Source: e-copy Provided by author for review

Book Status: Available

This is the story of a girl with crazy knotted hair. Some days it is a lion mane and some days a tornado. I don’t have hair liked that but I do know people who do.  They usually keep it in nice braided hairstyles. (I wish my hair stayed in braids)  It is a good story on the work it takes to care for the hair.

I recommend this book to people and kids with crazy hair. It is a fun story to help with hair brushing!

Posted in Book Review

Greetings from Witness Protection

By Jake Burt

Book Source: owned

Book Status: Available

I posted about having a book wall, and SnazzyReads’ mom told me about this book. She was totally right! It’s sooo cool!

This book is about a girl who is in foster care. Her name is Nicki Demere. One day she is taken to the transition room where US Marshals are sitting. They ask many questions, but Nicki,  who is a great pickpocket gets answers her own way, pickpocketing! When they tell her she is going to be in the WITSEC program, (witness protection) she is shocked. The family is in witness protection because the mom is a lawyer who went against her family, professional criminals……… The Cercatores!!!  The mom is also, like, Nicki’s identical twin. ( nope not family!!) They  are part of a family of criminals but they are not criminals. The son is not happy about getting a sister.  He blames Nicki that all of their problems are because of her. She has to pick a new name before training and she picks Charlotte.  And from there on is a crazy and fantastic adventure about finding your place in your family.

I am shutting up now because I would spoiler alert the whole thing.  It was that good. So good, I am not happy there is no sequel planned. There needs to be. 

This book is interesting to learn about foster care. I didn’t know much about foster care before it. It sounds like a bummer for kids. I don’t know if they really put foster kids in witness protection families but it is an interesting idea.

I recommend this book to fourth, fifth and sixth grade readers who want a fun adventure.