Happy Book Birthday: SPIRITS AMONG US – Plus Giveaway

Most of the books I post about are picture books – and occasionally middle grade…but once in a while, a dear friend like Sherry Howard launches a YA and, when that happens, I just have to SING!


Here’s a little snippet from Amazon to give you an idea of what the book is about:

Scooter has been wheelchair bound ever since the accident that took her mother’s life. Carrying on her mother’s ghost hunting work, Scooter and her best friend Harlan create a YouTube show called Spirits Among Us. Wanting to get a message from her mother before she passes over, Scooter buys a special ghost-hunting camera and places it in her family’s cemetery. But, when a string of robberies frighten the locals, will the camera capture more than a ghost?

The first chapter captured my attention…and I just wanted to keep on reading. And we definitely need more books that feature differently abled kids as the main character,

You can find out more about Sherry and her wonderful books here: https://sherryhowardwritesforkids.com/

I’m offering a copy of SPIRITS AMONG US as a giveaway – just leave a comment below and share on social media if you can.

And remember, our favorite authors and illustrators depend on us. Please buy their books, review their books, tell friends about their books, and ask your local library to purchase copies of their books.

Don’t miss our double-header weekend here at Picture Books Help Kids Soar – tomorrow we unveil another new picture book by the fabulous Barry Wittenstein, OSCAR’S AMERICAN DREAM and on Will Write for Cookies, we’ll be welcoming author Rajani LaRocca and illustrator Archana Sreenivasan for an exciting Q&A.

Happy Book Birthday: SADIE’S SHABBAT STORIES Plus Giveaway

Gather ’round dear friends! It’s time to welcome another beautiful book baby into the world!


What a joyful book! Just look at the cover! A celebration of life and family. Usually, for Book Birthdays, I write a short synopsis – but I have something even better today – the beautiful note author Melissa Stoller wrote to me when we were planning this post. It is so touching and so on point to what this book is all about, I wanted to share it.

Thank you dear Vivian – I couldn’t imagine a more wonderful person to celebrate the book birthday of SADIE’S SHABBAT STORIES (illustrated by Lisa Goldberg, Clear Fork Publishing)! I hope that your readers will identify with Sadie, who loves listening to her Nana’s tales of their ancestors and their Shabbat ritual heirlooms. Sadie hopes that one day, she will find her unique voice and tell her own special stories, just like Nana. Lisa Goldberg’s stunning Chagall-like illustrations added incredible beauty to the book, and we were blessed with Mira Reisberg’s excellent art direction and editing.

This picture book is the book of my heart. It combines true stories told by my father and my husband’s grandfather, and it was also inspired by my Nana’s love of storytelling. Underneath it all is my belief that we are all storytellers – and as a mother of daughters, I especially want to lift up the stories of young girls and women.

Thank you for featuring SADIE’S SHABBAT STORIES – I hope that this book, which celebrates family connections and the power of storytelling, will resonate with everyone who loves listening to stories and who has their own tales to tell.

In these challenging times, kids need books that lift them up and encourage them – that’s one of the things I love about SADIE’S SHABBAT STORIES.

Kirkus just gave it an awesome review – here’s just a snippet of that:

“A well-considered, tender tale about sharing history and holidays via the oral tradition.”

And guess what? The fabulous Melissa Stoller is offering a giveaway – and the winner has a choice of either a copy of this wonderful book OR a picture book manuscript critique. That’s so awesome – if the winner is a writer, they might choose the critique. If the winner is a parent or teacher, they might choose the book. Something for everyone!

And on her website, you’ll find a CURRICULUM GUIDE and a link to download lovely coloring pages and also an adorable book trailer:



Melissa Stoller is the author of the chapter book series, The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection: Return to Coney Island, and the picture books, Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush and Ready, Set, GOrilla!, and Sadie’s Shabbat Stories (Clear Fork Publishing). In other chapters of her life, Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal research and writing instructor, and early childhood educator. Additionally, she is a volunteer with SCBWI Metro New York, a blogger and course assistant for the Children’s Book Academy, a founding member of The Book Meshuggenahs group, and a member of the Jewish Book Council’s Literary Society. Melissa lives in New York City, where she is a board member at Temple Shaaray Tefila, and enjoys museums, theatre, and researching ancestry.





AND TO GET YOUR OWN COPY OF THE BOOK IN CASE YOU DON’T WIN THE GIVEAWAY or even if you do because then you can give one away as a gift: