“I Miss School” is written by a child, for a child. In this heartwarming and honest story, kids will understand that their feelings about the pandemic are normal and it is perfectly acceptable to feel a range of emotions related to not going to in-person school. The book instills hope for kids that brighter days are ahead.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
I Miss School will strike a chord with young readers/listeners because many children have spent this year attending class from their kitchen tables.
I Miss School touched my heart because these thoughts belong to a real-life six-year-old—a child who also happens to be the author. As a parent of a tween daughter, I know the lack of interaction has negatively affected my child. Like Ryan, she misses her teachers, eating lunch with her friends, and every fun activity they did at school.
This pandemic has been brutal on all of us, but especially young children.
For so long, children could not hang out due to the fear of catching covid-19. Facetime and Zoom calls are nice, but most kids crave in-person interactions.
I encourage all parents/caregivers of young children to sit down and read I Miss School with your little ones. Maybe they’ll share with feelings with you if they haven’t already.
As I am writing this review, covid vaccines are not readily available for Ryan’s age group, but I hope it will be soon. I hate to see any child sad— real or in character form. As for the characters, the illustrations were beautifully drawn. I couldn’t locate the illustrator’s name, but whoever you are, I commend you on your artistic ability.
Nice job, Ryan Reaves! You, my dear, are a superstar!
Heart Rating System: 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) Score: ❤❤❤❤❤
Six-year-old Ryan Reaves began writing her debut story “I Miss School” at five years old after yearning to return to her brick-and-mortar school during the covid 19 pandemic. She wanted to write the book for other kids, so they knew they weren’t alone in their thoughts and feelings and that we are all in this together.
Ethan Scott thinks he is having a normal Monday evening, waiting for his grandfather, Pops, to return. Pops had left on a mysterious errand the day before, and warned Ethan that if his return is delayed, then Ethan will be in danger. Suddenly, Ethan hears creaking on the footsteps and barricades himself in his room That’s the last thing he remembers as THE ACCIDENTAL WORLD by K. A. Griffin begins before Ethan finds himself transported to a new world that was like nothing he had ever seen.
NHHMM is a futuristic town, blighted by air pollution that is so strong everyone wears masks in order to breathe. Everything is alien to Scott: his surroundings, the buggies that people travel in, his classmates, and the headmistress who seems to know him, but who he has never seen before in his life. But there is one thing that is familiar to Scott, and that is the popular game, Conquest, that he used to play with his grandfather. Scott excels at Conquest, beating all of his classmates. He is chosen to play in the tournament that is attended by many in the town, including the Chancellor. But he soon learns his Pop has been captured and jailed by the Chancellor. Pop is part of an underground resistance that holds the secrets to a powerful technology that the corrupt Chancellor wants to obtain. Nobody is who they appear to be, and Ethan learns the truth about his parents and Pop’s true identity. The tournament is Ethan’s chance to save Pop’s life and those in the resistance who are trying to free him. Pop’s and Ethan’s fate hangs in the balance. What becomes of Pop and the resistance fighters? Will Ethan disappear forever if he wins the tournament, a fate that has befallen previous winners? Readers will have to wait until the publication of Book 2 in this riveting trilogy to find out what Ethan’s destiny is in the accidental world he has traveled to, and that pits good against evil is a world not too dissimilar from our own.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
First, I must state that The Accidental World’s cover was sublime! It captured Ethan and his precarious predicament perfectly! Eugene Ivanov, the cover artist, created a beautiful work of art.
As for Ethan, he’s on quite the adventure. Thrust into another time and place, with only a handful of clues to guide his way, Ethan’s flourished when most time travelers would’ve struggled. His quick thinking and bright, inquisitive mind have been his saving grace. Well, that and he had people watching his back for their reasons.
As a fan of games, I loved how detailed K.A. Griffin was in the gaming scenes. When the competitors gathered to play Conquest, I felt I had a spot at their table and played alongside them. Truth, I haven’t played this particular board game yet, but it sounds fascinating. Maybe, I’ll need to purchase it for family game night.
As a whole, The Accidental World was a riveting read. K.A. Griffin kept me on my toes on who was a true ally and who faking a friendship/kindness with Ethan for their own agenda. And, I could practically see Ethan’s mouth drop open when he got a history lesson about Pops and the other main characters.
After Ethan absorbed the surprise revelations, the pace of the story increased exponentially. Operation Pops was in full force, and the scenes were action-packed!!!
For those who love techy gadgets, you’re going to love all the futuristic inventions. Pops’s cane was wicked cool too.
This story would be perfect for in-class group reading, homeschooling parents, or for private use.
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Bio: A graduate of Baylor University with a degree in Business Administration, Keith spent his first career managing businesses and distressed corporations. His second career began at Amazon, where he started at the bottom, ensuring we all get the packages we need. He now manages 100 Amazon associates, and every day he still keeps an eye out for the latest novels coming through the building.
At eighteen, he wrote his first short story. It was a murder mystery only thirteen pages long. On Christmas morning, before anyone had the first cup of coffee, his family noticed that the presents under the tree were gone, and in their place were three manila envelopes. Merry Christmas! You must solve the mystery to find the gifts! It was this short story that led to a lifelong love of writing.
Keith currently lives in Texas with his wife, a dog who thinks she is a princess, a horse who knows she is a princess, and a rescue cat who is little more than a source of allergies. There is talk of chickens in his future, but every time he starts to build the coop, a critical tool goes missing. He always blames the cat.
Do you snack while writing? Favorite snack?Noooo. It makes my keyboard all kinds of sticky.
Where do you write? Anytime or anywhere. I just can’t watch movies or television when I’m writing. I’m not that good at multi-tasking.
Do you write every day? If I don’t write something every day, I get grumpy. Cute animals don’t want to be around me. My wife doesn’t want to be around me. I need to be moving a story forward every day.
What is you writing schedule?I normally try to write a chapter a day. That’s about 4,000 words for me. The most I’ve ever written was 11,000 words. My body ached for a week.
Is there a specific ritualistic thing you do during your writing time?I listen to music. Whatever evokes the mood that I need. I usually put a song on repeat and I may listen to that one song for hours at a time.
In today’s tech savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper?No. I’ve used an old school typewriter with carbon, but I type everything on my Mac. My handwriting is so bad I would never be able to decipher why I wrote if I used paper and pen.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?Probably 1988. I would love to have been in Berlin when the wall fell.
Favorite travel spot? Wengen, Switzerland. You have to take a train up small town and when you get off of the train the Alps are right there so close you feel as if you could reach out and touch them.
Favorite dessert?Anything with chocolate. However, adding coconut or nuts to a chocolate dessert should be considered a criminal act.
If you were stuck on a deserted island, which 3 books would you want with you?How to Survive on a Deserted Island, 101 Ways to Prepare Coconuts, and Moleskin notebook to write my next novel.
Emma Lovett leaves her philandering husband and crosses the country to begin her teaching career at a high school in Pinewood, Colorado.There, she meets Leslie Parker, a fellow teacher given to quoting Shakespeare to fit all situations, and the two become fast friends.
Arriving at work early one morning, Emma discovers the body of the school custodian, a man who reminds her of her late father. When the police struggle to find the killer, the ladies decide to help solve the murder. Their efforts lead them to a myriad of suspects: the schizophrenic librarian, the crude football coach, the mysterious social studies teacher, and even Emma’s new love interest.
As Emma Lovett discovers the perils of teaching high school, she and Leslie learn more than they ever wanted to know about the reasons people kill.
You shall not know by what strange accident I chanced on this letter.
—The Merchant of Venice V.I.278–9
Prologue Wednesday, August 26
Please, please write me back. Oh, I’m so worried these letters aren’t finding their way to you. Our love deserves a chance to flourish. I know you think so too. You might want to give me one of your favorite quotes: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” but you don’t really feel that way. I don’t believe we’re over, not yet.
Never forget how much I love you—let the colors remind you. Your Airborne Raquel Welch is thinking of you.
Melvin McManus ran his fingers over the letter again. The paper was worn until almost transparent, and the care with which he folded it and inserted it back into its envelope made it seem as though he held a priceless jewel. He picked up his silver flask and stared at it. His left hand started to raise the flask to his lips, but then he flung it against the wall of the narrow room. He stood.
Melvin closed the small hidden doorway and routed the pipe maze to get to the basement. He stumbled through the basement door and lurched up the stairs, his bulky form weaving as if he weren’t sure of finding the next step. Covering his mouth to muffle a hacking cough, Melvin stopped and listened. He really shouldn’t be there after midnight—his shift only went from three to ten. But sometimes the work took much longer than that, because he hoped the care he took with the building might help the students stop taking this important time in their lives for granted. Many of them did take it for granted, though, and might end up like Melvin, navigating the world without any education or any real options. Those students didn’t make any kind of connection between now and later.
He opened the door at the top of the stairs and continued through the gymnasium and into the hallway. The brown tile on the commons floor gleamed, and he thought of Adam and when he’d found the poor kid splayed out on the now-shiny floor. Melvin had been thrown out into the world so young, he’d never had to deal with schoolyard bullies as Adam had. Poor kid. Melvin ran a hand through his sparse gray hair, pondering.
As Melvin paced through the commons, steadying himself briefly against some lockers and again on a wall painted with a fierce-looking blue cat, he stopped to look at the sign above the main office: “Wildcats: Producing Proud and Productive Future Citizens.” He’d seen that sign many times, but tonight, it made him long to become, finally, the future citizen he wished to be. He didn’t know how much longer he could stand the waiting, even with his helpful hideout in the basement. He knew he was close, though—close to achieving his goal. Edward had said as much last week, and the closer Melvin got, the less he drank and the better he felt. He allowed the moment of anticipation to swell, forgot about the Wildcats sign, and almost ran back to the basement for the letters.
He sighed, an explosive whoosh that flattened his belly and whispered his nose hairs. Almost there, almost there. He looked at his hands, dirty and greasy from work but still strong. He thought of those hands in his younger years, how she’d kissed each of his fingertips as if they were precious. He remembered what those hands had felt like when they held her, and the dirt fell away like magic.
A muffled thump startled him out of his reverie. Crap. Melvin knew he was a little tipsy, not done with his work, and in the wrong part of the building to boot. He walked nonchalantly in the other direction, but he heard the thump again, followed by a tinkling noise like breaking glass. Damn. Maybe he should look. It could be a cat or other animal, and he’d hate to trap one in the school for the whole night.
He peeked through the windows of the main office and looked at the front desk, where the computer monitor flashed and he saw someone sitting. Melvin checked his watch: half past midnight. Oh, he hoped it wasn’t who he thought, but he had to check. After unlocking the doors, he curved around the front counter to approach the left desk and stiffened when he saw who it was.
“Oh, I can see you didn’t listen!” he exclaimed. “We have to make this stop. That’s it; I don’t care what happens. I’m gonna…”
Melvin heard a whoosh followed by a crack, and he felt his body fall as it slammed hard onto the shiny brown tiles.
Kelley Bowles Gusich writes young adult novels under the pen name Kelley Kay Bowles and cozy mysteries under Kelley Kaye. Her debut novel, cozy mystery Death by Diploma, was released by Red Adept Publishing on February 2016, and is first in her Chalkboard Outlines® series. Book 2, Poison by Punctuation, was released April 2018 and is available now.
Kelley’s new young adult novel, Down in the Belly of the Whale, was released May 5th, 2018 and is now available. Look for it in Kindle, paper, hardcover, and audio book–with Kelley, the author, as narrator! (She used to teach drama and direct plays. She’s a ham.)
Kelley taught high school English and drama for twenty years in Colorado and California, but a 1994 diagnosis of multiple sclerosis has (circuitously and finally) brought her to the life of writer and mother, both occupations she adores and dreamed about way back when she was making up stories revolving around her Barbie and Ken dolls.
Kelley has two wonderful and funny sons and an amazing husband who cooks for her. She lives in Southern California.
You can learn more about Kelley and contact her through her website and blog at www.kelleykaybowles.com. She wants to hear from you, so don’t be shy about emailing her at kelkay1202(at)yahoo.com, and follow her on social media @KelKay1202. #HarpersPower
Kelley remains ever grateful to her readers for sharing their reviews, comments, and insights!