December 21, 2014

Surprise Word And Fireworks Showing Shock And Celebration

May I have a drum roll, please?

colonial drummer--revolutionary war reenactment

How about a trumpet fanfare?

Medieval Trumpet Circle

What is going on, you ask?

We’re celebrating a very special occasion in our part of the bookreaderwriterblogiverse today — Erik, the wonderful Kid Who Reviews Books is about to have a birthday and Susanna Leonard Hill and I could not let that go by without an appropriately huge and noisy celebration. (Cue the huge happy noises…) We decided to have the party at my place because, well, she is always having fun stuff over at Blueberry Hill, and I wanted a turn. πŸ˜‰

We want to point out, it’s not just ANY birthday, either. On his birthday, Erik will be THIRTEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Count those exclamation marks, if you so desire.) Woohooooo! We have a teenager in our midst!

Age in figures in a party moodOf course, a birthday requires CAKE and CANDLES and STREAMERS (admittedly, these streamers are a little close to the candle flames for my absolute comfort, but… … …)

vector row of birthday candles on cake and streamers

Why, yes, there are THIRTEEN candles. (I didn’t even ask for help with the math! I counted them all by myself.) And while we’re counting things, I’d like to point out that it is totally appropriate to have a colonial drummer perform the drumroll — there were, after all, THIRTEEN original colonies. πŸ˜‰ But before you chastise me for the wrong number of herald trumpets, the group includes the traditional “one to grow on.” (Ha! Thought you could catch me out, didn’t you?)

A birthday also generally includes presents, and we have not forgotten that part of the tradition.

Stack of colorful books tied up with red ribbon

Why yes, all those presents are books. Is there any other kind of present to give The Kid Who Reviews Books?

Erik, since you are now a teen (or just about) you will be venturing into the world of YA reading before long. We want to celebrate your coming of book age by giving you some book recommendations. We hope you will enjoy these books as much as we have. (Party revelers, you may leave your book recommendations for Erik in the comments along with your birthday wishes.)

With perfect timing, the wonderful Penny Parker Klostermann shared this video from Bloomsbury Publishing on Facebook yesterday. Do take the time to watch it!!! Give the gift of a book! (That’s what we’re doing here all day!)

My book recommendation gift to you, Erik, is the wonderful Blue Wolf by Catherine Creedon. Click the link for a summary. Although the review I’ve linked to says ages 8 to 12, I think it’s more appropriate for someone a little older. Someone, in fact, who is just turning thirteen! (Don’t worry, revelers, you don’t need to leave links. Title and author is fine.)

Erik, I hope this is the beginning of a splendifabulous year for you. Happy THIRTEEN!!!

Multicolored Letters And Fireworks For Celebrating A Happy Birthday

~~ Remember that everyone who comments on a post on By Word of Beth in December is entered into the giveaway for a copy of Julie Andrews’ Treasury for All Seasons (or an alternate book if you already own that one). ~~

60 People reacted on this

  1. Many happy returns Erik! We love watching you grow into such a fine young man and watching your literary tastes develop and grow into something splendiferous! I recommend The Hobbit! You know I love classical. And I don’t know whether you have read this book yet or not, but I can’t think of a better written fantasy, and the best thing about The Hobbit is that it is the prequel to The lord Of The Rings, which you might get lost in, never to return until perhaps, you have read to the very end!

    Lots of love to you Erik and to Josie and your wonderful mum and dad! Have a great day and a great Christmas!

    1. Thank you Dr. Clune! I really appreciate it! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings was an awesome series! A bit confusing at times, but still great!

  2. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIK” I heard there was a party going down over here so popped on to wish you all the best for another great year.
    I see I have been beaten to the Hobbit series, so my recommendation is the moving story of The Book Thief, written by Australian, Markus Zuzak. The movie was on here recently, see trailer… . If you haven’t read it I suggest putting it on your “to read” list.
    Also down here we always “take a plate” when we go to someone’s house (meaning, take some food on a plate) So I have brought you something delicious I think you will like, and easy to make. Add heaps of chocolate if you wish and coat in chocolate sauce… Enjoy and have a great Christmas with your Mum, Dad and little Josie!

    1. Thank you very much Ms. Tulloch! I’ve been waiting to read The Book Thief! I’ve heard lots about it! πŸ˜€
      I like the idea of “Take A Plate” – YUM! πŸ˜‰

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIK!!!! Woo-hoo! 13!
    In honor of your birthday, I have written a poem. Are you ready?
    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Chocolate is awesome
    And so are you!
    (I know. I may have missed my calling. It’s entirely possible I was born to be a poet :))
    So, oh, gosh! Hard to choose just one book present for you, but here is my gift choice (okay, choices):
    Here There Be Dragons by James A. Owens ( Fabulous book that my son loved at your age with a GREAT ending!
    Sea Of Trolls by Nancy Farmer ( Such a fun read that my kids all loved!
    Happy Birthday to you! Hope you have a wonderful day with your family that includes lots of presents and birthday cake, and that the year ahead is the best one yet!

  4. Well Happy 13th Birthday Mr. Teenager! This is a most exciting day indeed. I recommend The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Igguldon and his brother. I haven’t read it myself but there are over 1000 5 star reviews! And my dad reads that author all the time and my dad is awesome πŸ˜‰ I also want to recommend Susanna’s husband’s book How to Stick a Dart in your Head, it’s hilarious! If you read that one last you’ll be about the right age to read it. Have a wonderful birthday and Christmas, Erik!

    1. Thanks Ms. Johnson! Mr. Hill’s memoir book was great! πŸ˜€ I have read little bits and pieces of The Dangerous Pocket Book for Boys (or something like that). It seemed good. πŸ™‚

  5. Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday dear Erik, Happy Birthday to You!
    There…now that I’ve provided some musical entertainment…to go along with Beth’s drum roll, I guess it’s time to provide my birthday book recommendation. You may have read one or more of the books in this series, and perhaps it’s a bit ‘old-fashioned’, but I think you will love it…and, even though it says ages 8-12, I can pick up a copy of Walter Farley’s THE BLACK STALLION and enjoy reading it today…and I am WAY MORE than 13. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    Have you read any of the books in this series? There are a ton of them and each one tells the story of working hard towards a goal. And if you love horses, this series is a must.
    Hope your day is filled with amazing birthday surprises!
    Happy Holidays to you and your family…see you in the New Year!

  6. Happy Birthday Erik! I hope you have a wonderful day and a great year ahead.
    Hmm. I’m still partial to an older book with a fantasy element The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley (I was thinking it was a Middle Grade, but noted here ( there is an award for Young Adults. It shows my age (1982), but I loved it so much as a teen I found it again as an adult.
    Cheers for another year of reading, reviewing, and having a great time!

  7. A very Happy 13th Birthday to you, Erik. That’s quite a milestone! If you haven’t read it already, I would recommend “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. And then watch the movie afterwards, and compare the two. It’s a book/movie that really makes you think. Enjoy your day!!

  8. Happy 13th birthday to you, Erik! πŸ™‚ I don’t know if you’re like my older son but he doesn’t like most YA books. He much preferred MG and adult nonfiction or classic SFF like Tolkien and Asimov. πŸ™‚

    My recommendation is more of an MG but it is one of the best books I read this year. It is “Doll Bones” by Holly Black.

    Another interesting book I mostly liked was “Counting By 7s” by Holly Sloan. It has multiple POVs from a 12 year old to teen to adult.

    Hope you’ll like one or both of those!

  9. Singing loud and proud, Erik: Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Erik! Happy Birthday to you! Any many more….. I hope you have a birthday filled with adventure! Thanks for all you have done this year to contribute to our KidLit community! Your contributions at Carrie On… Together were amazing. πŸ™‚ My book recommendation is not YA but has themes of growing up into that turning point age running throughout. BETTER NATE THAN EVER by Tim Federle is one that I just read and really liked. Of course, I am a theater buff and really related to Nate’s interests and pursuits. I hope you’ll give it a chance! I know you love fantasy, but I think this one is worth a read, too. πŸ™‚ Happy happy birthday, buddy!

  10. It’s Erik’s thirteenth birthday! Wow! The Kid isn’t just a kid anymore, he’s a teen, which is another word for shapeshifter in my book (borrowed from JK Rowling – he, he!). Changes so subtle, they can be very difficult for adults and small children to detect – so use your powers wisely, Erik! I’m delighted to add a book recommendation to the growing list of great choices here and wish to thank our dear friend Beth for inviting us all to this surprise party! I am not a big fiction novel reader so I had to do research, and thanks to the great reading staff at my local indie bookstore, I am excited to have found one I truly hope you’ll enjoy: Jackaby, by William Ritter (more here: Have a marvelous day and a wonder-filled year!

  11. Happy, happy birthday young man! I am so glad that Beth and Susanna thought of this amazing way of sharing. What a fun idea! Before I give you my recommendation, I’m gonna do my traditional birthday rap. I do it for all of the young’ns in my family on their birthday. It isn’t mine. The rap belongs to a local DJ here in Atlanta. But here it goes:

    Today is a special day.
    It is a day, that everything will go your way
    Today is the day that you were borrrrrn
    It’s your birthday, HEY, you got it going ornnnnnn (with a NY accent, please)
    It’s your birthday. It’s your birthday. It’s your birthday. It’s your birthdayyyyy, Yeah!

    Hey, are you laughing at my rapping skills young’n? Well, I have no rhythm, which has been a constant source of family slight. Hahahaha. Anyhoo, here are my birthday recs for one of my favorite kidlit peoople: Dear America: I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly by Joyce Hansen and Out of The Dust Bowl by Karen Hesse I hope you like them.

    1. *snicker* Well, I can easily say that it’s better than my Dad’s singing. I don’t know if that’s reassuring at all though. πŸ˜‰
      Thanks for the book recommendation! πŸ˜€

  12. Two days before Christmas is a bad time of year to be having a birthday but I hope you have a Happy , Happy, Day!

    For the book I would pick for you is Wonder if you haven’t already read it. It is about an eleven year old soon to be twelve who’s face is deformed as he starts middle school. I Just loved it and hope you do too. Here is what amazon said about it.

    4.8 out of 5 stars
    5 star:
    4 star:
    3 star:
    2 star:
    1 star:

    See all 5,799 reviews
    This book is a touching, touching story, and I have fallen in love with Auggie… what an amazing character. ”
    Miss E | 1,701 reviewers made a similar statement
    Wonder is a beautifully touching story that reminds us all the importance of being kind to everyone and embracing those with differences around us . ”
    Mary D. | 1,193 reviewers made a similar statement
    It was a beautiful story that is well written. ”
    MMarr | 377 reviewers made a similar statement

  13. HAPPY 13, ERIK. I suggest Jack Gantos for your big birthday… his Norvelt series Dead End in Norvelt and the second From Norvelt to Nowhere. They are funny, action- packed and there’s a bit of history thrown in.

  14. ERIK!!! Happy, Happy Birthday! It has been such a joy getting to know you these past four years! The first gift I would like to give you is a FREE Shel SILVERstein level membership in 12 x 12 for 2015. I can’t imagine our community without you. When the time comes to register, just send me a quick reminder and we’ll get you all set up.

    As for books, I would recommend The Night Gardener, by Jonathan Auxier. The main characters are younger, but it is a great ghost story. If you haven’t read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, I would call that a must-read at your age. Also anything by Jerry Spinelli.

    Have a Happy, Happy Birthday, and I look forward to exchanging many more book suggestions in 2015! — Julie Hedlund

  15. Hi, Erik!
    Happy Birthday to you! And not just ANY birthday! 13! Yippee! Whoopee! Yeehaw! I hope it’s a great day!

    My recommendation is one I’m really wanting to read because I’ve read another of this author’s books and loved it. The recommendation: Stealing Air by Trent Reedy.

    I’ve read Words in the Dust and it was awesome, but I think you might enjoy this one more. Trent Reedy is a very talented writer! And he has a connection to Katherine Paterson, the author of Bridge to Terabithia. I think you’d enjoy reading about their connection. Here is that link.

    Have a happy 13th!

  16. WOOHOOOOOOOOO!! 13!!! YEAH MAN!!!! DOES THAT MEAN YOU GET THIRTEEN DONUTS?? Hehehehe. Happy birthday Wednesday!!! Merry Christmas Thursday! YEAH! So you know I had to recommend books with donuts in them. First is a picture book. BUT YOU MUST read it. You may have already. The Donut Chef. Now on to older books. One of my faves, Switch! The Lost Kingdoms of Karibu (Lost Kingdoms of Karibu #1) and also Secrets of the Realm.
    Have a donut. You’re THE best pal a writer can have!!

    1. Thank you for everything, Ms. Campbell! You are the best friend a pal of a writer can have! πŸ™‚ For every donut I deserve, you deserve 3. πŸ™‚ In math, that would be written as:
      1 (me) : 3 (you) or
      3d (for d = Erik’s Donuts)
      Sorry. I had to make something educational out of it. It makes up for all of the donuts you have to eat now. πŸ˜‰
      That book sounds cool! πŸ˜€

  17. Erik, this is your big celebration! Such a wonderful coming of age for you — 13 years old! I still remember the young Erik I met who proudly indicated that he was 9 3/4 yrs. You have grown into such a remarkable teen. I can’t wait to see you at age 18.

    I hope you have many celebrations this week. It is your day to outshine the candles on your cake! As for a great YA read suggestion: “Copper Sun” by Sharon M. Draper. We share a love of historical fiction and this is book won the Coretta Scott King Award. Here is the book on Sharon’s website along with her own comments about her fabulous novel:

    Happy 13th Birthday!
    Mrs. Tilton

  18. Happy Birthday, Erik!!! I hope your birthday is fabulous and fun. πŸ™‚ A couple of authors you might check out: Jill Williamson. She has a number of books, but By Darkness Hid is the first book in her Blood of Kings series. Another author is Donita K. Paul. She also has a number of books, but her most recent series is the Realm Walkers series. The first book is called One Realm Beyond. Both are fantasy. Enjoy!

  19. I hope I am not too late for this party but I am coming from far away n Spain. Happy Birthday Erik! You will now be a superteenager. My book recommendation is Flying With A Broken Wing by Laura Best I think you will like this book that takes place in eastern Canada after WW II. The main character has so much going against her but believes in dreams coming true. Mrs Best is a great storyteller. Hope you enjoy your special day!

    1. The book sounds marvelous. πŸ˜€ Thanks for recommending it!
      You aren’t late, Ms. Foster – actually, you’re early! My birthday’s today (Wednesday)! πŸ˜‰

  20. Happy Birthday, Erik! 13 is a great age and well, you’re already an awesome kid so adding “teen” to the scene is cool.

    I would recommend Graeme Ing’s Ocean of Dust. It’s a wonderful fantasy with a fantastic original “ocean” I found very enjoyable.

    Also, I think you’ve read Susan Kaye Quinn’s MG story so I’d have to recommend her YA sci-fi thriller Mindjack trilogy. It’s another original twist on the familiar and filled with adventure.

  21. Happy Birthday, Erik! Congratulations on being a teen! Sorry, I don’t read YA, and so I can’t give you YA titles, but I’ll continue following your blog and learning along with you!

  22. Happy 13th birthday, Erik. What to recommend for boy who is very quickly becoming a man?
    “Deathwatch” by Robb White
    And I know you don’t really like horror, but these were some of my fave YA books when I was your age.
    “Cycle of the Werewolf” by Stephen King
    “Friday the 13th: Mother’s Day”, “Friday the 13th: Jason’s Curse”, “Friday the 13th: The Carnival” and “Friday the 13th: Road Trip” all by Eric Morse. Those are super hard to find now, but Mr Morse (real name William Pattison) did a great YA take on the “Friday the 13th” franchise.
    Happy Birthday and Happy Holidays.

  23. Erik, congratulations to you on this, the 13th anniversary of your birth! May your day be filled with wonder and love and every good thing. It looks as though your year will be filled with reading!

    I mostly read MG, but some of what I’ve read in the last year could interest you, if you haven’t already read them all. Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus is a good read, as is Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff. I love most of her work. If you haven’t read Ice Whale, by Jean Craighead George, I highly recommend it. This one was finished and published after her death and is quite an interesting tale. My final recommendation for now is Shooting the Moon, by Francis O’Roarke Dowell. These books, for the most part, deal with more adult issues, so I thought you might be interested. Happy Reading! And, once again, a Very Happy Birthday to you!

    1. Thanks Ms. Dinsmore! I think I read Heart of a Samurai, but I’m not 100% sure (it was a bit ago – is that the one about the Japanese fishing crew that get shipwrecked and rescued by Americans (which they were afraid of)?). If that’s the one, then that was good. πŸ˜‰
      I will check out the others. They sound interesting!

  24. Happy Birthday, Erik. You’re a tough one to shop for! You have already read The Rithmatist, and both School for Good and Evil books, so I had to dig a little deeper to find you something. How about Cinder by Marissa Meyer? It’s the first book of the Lunar Chronicles series, and a clever SF twist on Cinderella. I see you have read some Star Wars books, so you might like Destiny’s Blood by Marie Bilodeau. Don’t let the cover fool you, this is planet hopping space opera with lots of action. Full disclosure: I have met Marie, and she is one of my tweeps.

    I don’t care what you call your website, as long as you keep doing it! I hope to see more reviews of books for readers in the twelve and up range.

  25. You probably have read them all already but my Tween-soon-to-be-Teen PickyKidPix who is in 7th grade recommends The Giver series to you! She loves this series so much and she’s very picky about her books. She was horrified that the movie does not follow the book!

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