Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lucky Strike by Bobbie Pyron Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (February 24, 2015) ISBN: 978-0545592178 Category: Children's Fiction, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Magic, Friendship, Bullies Tour Date: April 1-May29, 2015 Available in: Print & ebook, 272 Pages By the award winning author of 'The Dogs of Winter', Bobbie Pyron. A rich, southern voice tells the unforgettable story of two vulnerable outsiders, the lightning strike that turns their world upside down and the true meaning of lucky. Nate Harlow has never had a lucky day in his life. He's never won a prize, he's never been picked first, he's never even won a coin toss. His best friend, Genesis Beam (aka Gen), believes in science and logic, and she doesn't think for one second that there's such a thing as luck, good or bad. But only an extremely unlucky person could be struck by lightning on his birthday... and that person is Nate Harlow. By some miracle, though, Nate survives, and the strike seems to have changed his luck. Suddenly, Nate's grandpa is the busiest fisherman in their small, beachside town. And Nate finds himself the center of attention, the most popular kid at school, the one who hits a game-winning home run! This lucky streak can't last forever, though, and as a hurricane draws close to the shores of Paradise Beach, Nate and Gen may need more than just good luck to save their friendship and their town: They need a miracle.

Praise for Lucky Strike by Bobbie Pyron:

"This well-told story of growth, friendship, and small-town life hits all the right notes. The quirkiness of the characters and the town never goes too far, and there is an overall cozy feeling to the book. Genesis’s dad is the preacher at The Church of the One True Redeemer and Everlasting Light, but she is a scientist through and through, which adds complexity to the text, including musings on destiny, fate, probability, and weather. Fans of Susan Patron’s Higher Power of Lucky (S. & S., 2006), Sheila Turnage’s Three Times Lucky (Dial, 2012), and Ingrid Law’s Savvy (2008; both, Dial) will find something new for their to-read shelves."- School Library Journal starred review "Even lightly sketched characters leap off the pages, adding rich depth to an already satisfying tale. In the slightly fantastical Gulf Coast world that Bobbie Pyron (The Dogs of Winter, 2012) has imagined, people can change in unexpected ways. With just a spark of magic, bullies can become true friends, those without humor can learn to giggle, and perennial victims can emerge victorious. Amusing, endearing and sometimes even electrifying."- Kirkus starred review "Bobbie Pyron offers a gentler take on survival and friendship than in her gritty novel The Dogs of Winter. A dramatic and sweetly poignant story, enlivened by a dash of magical realism."- Publisher Weekly

Praise for The Dogs of Winter:

Junior Library Guild Selection Kirkus Best Books of the Year! Packs plenty of punch.” The New York Times "This story is amazing. I read it in one sitting, I couldn't put it down. The writing is captivating and the story is heartbreaking. The characters are wonderful, both the good and the bad. The writing is descriptive and filled with emotion. An absolute MUST read."-Bev Sharp, The Wormhole "An amazing story that was emotional and realistic? The book is written in first person, and I think this is a perfect story for young adults and older adults alike. The tenacity of the dogs and the boy will enthrall you. There were no boring portions of the story, and I believe that the author captured the emotions of the characters perfectly. I look forward to reading more by this author in the future."-Ruth A. Hill, My Devotional Thoughts " I loved this book. I loved the writing. I loved the characters. The book is adventurous, engaging, happy, sad, and an overall emotional roller coaster all rolled into one."-BookAngel, As I Turn the Pages "Bobbie Pyron has a gift for creating characters that live in my heart. She did it with A Dog's Way Homeand she's done it with this one, The Dogs of Winter. I wanted to dive into the story, take Mishka in my arms and just love him. Bobbie Pyron has created an emotionally powerful story about survival, love, and healing. This is not a story I will ever forget. It is a truly thought-provoking and unforgettable read."-Heidi, GEO Librarian

About Bobbie Pyron:

Bobbie Pyron Outside

Bobbie Pyron was born in Hollywood, Florida and spent her growing up years up in the panhandle, swimming in the Gulf of Mexico and dreaming of being a mermaid. She has degrees in Psychology and Anthropology, and a Masters degree in Library Science, and has worked as a librarian for over twenty-five years. Her first book, a novel for teens titled The Ring (WestSide Books), was published in October of 2009. Her second book, A Dog’s Way Home (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books), was published to starred reviews in March of 2011. The Dog Writers Association of America recently awarded Bobbie the Maxwell Medal of Excellence and the Merial Human-Animal Bond Award. It was also named a Banks Street Best Books of the Year. Bobbie Pyron's book, The Dogs of Winter (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic), came out October of 2012. The Dogs of Winter is a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Kirkus Best 100 Children’s Books of the Year. Bobbie lives in Park City, Utah with her husband, two dogs, and two cats. Bobbie Pyron's Website. Twitter: https://twitter.com/BobbiePyron Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bobbie.pyron?fref=ts

Buy 'Lucky Strike':

Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository Indie Bound

Follow the Tour:

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Apr 2 Spotlight & Giveaway Rockin' Book Reviews Apr 7 Interview & Giveaway Hott Books Apr 8 Review Always Reiding Apr 9 Review & Excerpt Geo Librarian Apr 10 Review Curling Up With A Good Book Apr, 13 Interview & Excerpt fuonlyknew Apr 14 Review & Giveaway Once Upon A Story Apr 15 Review & Excerpt Beneath the Jacket Reviews Apr 16 Indie Review Behind the Scenes Apr 17 Live I 6 pm cst Cassandra M's Place Apr 20 Review & Giveaway The Crypto-Caper Review Apr 21 Review In Bed With Books Apr 22 Review,Interview & Excerpt Allison's Book Bag April 24 Review & Interview Mary's Cup of Tea Apr 27 Review & Giveaway Deal Sharing Aunt Apr 28 Review, Excerpt & Giveaway Bound for Escape Apr 30 Review What U Talking Bout Willis? May 1 Review Lisa's Writopia May 4 Review Books, Books, and More Books May 5 Review & Excerpt Beth's Book-Nook Blog May 8 Review Sweet Southern Home May 11 Review One Frugal Girl May 15 Review  

Grandpa swung his truck into the Goofy Golf parking lot. Heat waves shimmered above the asphalt. Grandpa mopped his brow with a red bandana.
“Whoowee, it’s a scorcher already,” he said. “Good thing we got that cooler full of ice and drinks.” Nate wriggled out of the passenger door and squinted towards the giant green dinosaur poised and ready to eat any golfer who dared venture too close. Smoke puffed from the top of the lopsided volcano, and an alligator’s mouth creaked open and snapped closed.
 “Here’s your golfing money,” Grandpa said. “The cooler will be on the front seat. I’ll be across the street at June’s. Y’all come on over when you’re done and I’ll treat us all to cheeseburgers and ice cream.”
Even Gen brightened at this announcement. June’s Back Porch had the best cheeseburgers in all of Paradise Beach and probably all of Seminole County too.
Nate and Gen lined up behind the other kids to get their clubs, scorecards, wooden pencils, and colored golf balls.
Ricky Sands, the most popular boy in 5th grade, pointed at Nate and laughed. “Look who’s here with his girlfriend. It’s Shorty MacFarty. No use giving him a scorecard: he’s a loser.” The two girls on either side of Ricky giggled.
            Nate looked down at the hole in his red high tops, and hunched his shoulders up around his ears.
Gen stuck out her chin and glared at Ricky. “I’m not his girlfriend,” she said. “and Nathaniel has just as good of odds as anybody of winning.”
Ricky shook his head. “Figures the preacher’s weirdo daughter would stick up for a loser.”
Nate cut a sideways look at Gen and smiled. “Weirdos and losers stick together,” he said under his breath.
“Through thick and through thin, amen,” she said, finishing their official motto.
 “What color golf ball?” the man in the golf shack asked when Nate and Gen stepped up to the window.
“Do you have green?” Gen asked.
Nate groaned.
The man sighed. The long ash slumped on the end of his cigarette and fell to the desk. “You know we don’t have green,” he said. “I told you that last time. Red, yellow, black, and blue. That’s what we got, that’s what we’ve always had.”
“I’ll take red,” Nate said.
Gen pulled at the masking tape holding her glasses together. “I don’t like red.”
“Then take yellow,” he said, trying mightily to be patient.
 “It’s a disturbing kind of yellow,” she said.
He took a deep breath and counted to ten. “Then take black, Gen.”
“Come on,” someone called from the line forming behind them. “Get moving!”
 “Gen, please,” he pleaded. Why, oh why, couldn’t she just this once act like a normal person?
Gen grabbed the black golf ball and stomped over to the first hole.
“The first hole’s the easiest,” Nate said as he placed his ball on the moth-eaten green felt fairway. He knocked his ball down the runway, up the ramp, over the moat filled with slimy green water, down the other ramp, and into the wide-open jaws of a grinning gator. The ball dropped into the hole with a satisfying clunk.
“Yes!” He pumped his golf club up and down. “Looks like my luck has changed!” Nate held up his hand for a high five. Genesis Beam did not do high fives.
“Hmph.” Gen scowled as she eyed the ramp and the moat. “No such thing as luck being all one way or the other.” She swung her club. Her ball fell into the slimy, stinking water.
“That’s unlucky,” he said. “Now you’ve got to rescue your ball.”
She refused. “No doubt that water is infested with malaria germs.”
With a sigh, Nate fished her ball out of the moat. He caught up with her at the volcano, waiting behind Ricky.
Ricky Sands eyed the scubbly slope of the volcano leading to the crusty mouth of a cave. He winked at the gaggle of girls. He puffed out his skinny chest and whacked the ball. It climbed confidently up the slope and into the cave where it dropped into the cup.
“Yes!” Ricky crowed. “A hole in one!” Flames shot from the hole at the top of the volcano.
Ricky stepped aside for Nate. “Now watch the loser at work.” The girls giggled.

Nate felt his ears turn red. He hit the ball into the one and only miniature tree on the volcano’s flank. The ball richocheted off the tree and fell into the hole at the top of the volcano. The volcano coughed and belched smoke.

My Review:
This was a fast and fun read. Even though it is meant for young readers I enjoyed it. I was glad that the author mentioned bullies and how they could be transformed. I also really liked that Nate made a birthday wish, like I do every birthday. I could definitely relate to Nate because it seems that I always have bad luck! Every once in a while though, lightning does strike. It was how Nate dealt with it that was really entertaining to read. I am giving this book a 4/5. I was given a copy to review, however all opinions are my own.

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  1. Thanks for taking part in the tour. I'm glad you enjoyed 'Lucky Strike'.