Sunday, June 12, 2011

Local author's series aimed at young readers

It’s tough to keep secrets, particularly if you’re a kid.

Onondaga author Kristina Garcia captures some of these challenges in a series of four colorful new paperback books recently published at $6.99 each by s 2 Moon Press.

These are the first entries of her “Country Secret’s Series” aimed at beginning readers in grades 1-3. Garcia, a member of Lansing’s Skaaldic Society Writers Group, is currently working on installment number 14.

Each chapter book focuses on a child who has unusual experiences while visiting the home of their grandparents in the country.

“Gracie’s Day with Daisy” offers insights into the life of 8 year old Gracie, whose parents won’t allow her to have a dog. The family makes a trip to the grandparents’ house, who have taken in a stray dog. Gracie names the Basset Hound “Dottie”, but real surprises take place when the dog escapes under a fence.

Reluctant reader Vicky is the star of “Vicky Reads With Izzy”. She returns with her parents to Dad’s boyhood home. In the basement of the house, Vicky makes an unusual discovery that is likely to change her life forever.

“Jimmy Swims With the Fishes” showcases young Jimmy, an adept swimmer, who goes on an intriguing adventure in a nearby pond. Although adults may have unexpected anticipations because of the captivating title, they are likely to enjoy the underwater antics.

“Kyle Plays With the Crickets” introduces a young boy who likes skateboarding; his mother wants him to practice playing his violin. Kyle takes part in an amazing concert that he’ll never forget - and secrets most grown-ups wouldn’t believe.

Garcia handles unusual situations and magical twists deftly, without long-winded descriptions that a child wouldn’t care about anyway.

Her carefully crafted chapter books are designed to fascinate young readers, making the world of reading more attractive while giving them an often-needed sense of accomplishment.

These chapter books are ideal for libraries or home-schoolers; they offer entertaining escapism and don’t have to be read in any particular order.

The author, who lives out in the country with her husband Jim and two dogs, is in the final stages of editing her first full length novel for children, “Clear Glass Optical.”

Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, has reviewed books regularly since 1987. This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on June 12, 2011.

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