Instead of heaven or hell, what if fate had something else in store for you? What if you didn’t die? Not permanently anyway. And you find yourself brought back to life by some creep who calls himself Leviticus St. John and he says he’s a warlock. Is this just a dream gone bad? Or is it really happening? At first, you’re not sure. St. John says you should look at it as a gift, a second chance. You might agree if you remembered something about your past life, but it’s all gone. You can’t even remember your name. Fortunately, missing a few memories doesn’t mean you’re suddenly stupid. You know that some “gifts” come with a catch. And this one is no exception. You learn that the group behind your resurrection, the Presidium, has a little job they want you to do for them. If you refuse, you’re dead again. Some choice. But while you’re twiddling your thumbs, waiting to hear more details, you learn about some missing street kids that no one seems interested in finding, so you decide to take matters into your own hands. It’s not like you have anything better to do. And after all, even a once dead teenager needs a reason to live.
The Last Eagle, A novel of World War II
Hitler’s invasion of Poland is going off without a hitch. Except for one problem. The Polish submarine, Eagle, has managed to escape into the Baltic. Hitler wants the submarine captured and the crew dead. They have another goal in mind–rendezvous with the British Fleet and continue the battle. For Eagle the war is just beginning. Inspired by the true story of the submarine, “Orzel.”
Life hasn’t been easy for Jace Adams, a mixed-race teen whose mom moves them so often from one place to another that sometimes he’s been in four schools in a single year. To cope with all that instability, Jace has vowed to never let himself get attached to anyone or anything—other than his beloved cello. But when his mom takes them to Seattle, where they’re living with tough, sassy Aunt Bernice, Jace wonders if this time things might really change. Because money is tight, Jace plays his cello on the street in downtown Seattle to earn extra cash, and one evening while he’s serenading, someone throws a folded $100 bill with a business card attached into Jace’s open cello case. That card changes everything; it’s from a famous cello instructor who offers to take him on as a student, giving Jace a shot at winning a large cash prize. Will he make the grade?
The summer of 1970 starts off badly for 13-year-old Maya. Her mother has sent her to Seattle to stay with the grandmother she’s never met; her father is reported MIA in the jungles of Vietnam; and angry Maya’s determined to get back home, even if it means running away. But slowly Maya begins to adjust, first befriending an autistic boy-and piano prodigy—living next door, and getting her grandmother to adopt a cat they name Harry S. Truman. When Maya finds a trombone in the attic, she’s mesmerized. She learns to play as her grandmother gradually unravels details of her past: Maya’s grandfather was a famous jazz trombone player who died in a car crash, and her grandmother was once a top jazz singer—who now only sings in church. After saving an elderly man from a riot, Maya adjusts to the prospect of life without her father, helps to mend her mom’s relationship with her grandmother, and takes the first steps to becoming an accomplished musician.
Set in Chapel Hill, NC, in 1903, this fictionalized story introduces readers to folk-musician Elizabeth Cotten. Young Elizabeth’s love of music is so strong that she teaches herself to play her older brother Louis’s guitar–left-handed and upside down. When he leaves home for a better life in the north, she works hard to earn enough money to buy her own guitar. At age 11, she writes her first song, “Freight Train,” inspired by Louis’s departure on train Number 9. An epilogue provides factual information about Cotten. The composition and design of this appealing picture book lure readers into finding out about this inspiring young African American. The descriptive language allows youngsters to visualize the scenes: for example, a passing train makes “a sudden rush of wind and sound, like a brass band gone wild.” The soft, realistic watercolors complement the story, portraying the peace and joy the girl experiences when performing her music and the sadness she feels when her brother leaves. An appealing and satisfying book.–Margaret R. Tassia, Millersville University, PA Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Oops, Tubby the Forgotten Tugboat, Melba’s Slide Trombone, Captain Lewis’s Dog, Dognapped, Stinky Dog, Henri the Clown, The Boy Who Hated Flowers and more. . .
About Oops — Olympia Octavia Penelope Smith hates her name. Of course, changing it to something else is out of the question, but no one said anything about nicknames. So one morning, Olivia sets out to find a nickname. What she ends up with and who provides it is the most surprising thing of all.
You can find Oops and my other free and inexpensive estories for kids at Smashwords.com.