Sunday, March 13, 2016

Ray's Reviews: Peninsulam Publishing Books by Michigan Writers

        In the world of small press publishing, it can be tough to make your own
niche. Green Lake author Russell Slater is trying to be successful with
Peninsulam Publishing, uniquely devoted to books by Michigan authors that
are set in Michigan.
        Here’s a quick look at four recent books, with a wide variety of subjects.
        “Traveling Circus” by author/illustrator Ingar Rudholm is a well-designed
166-page $14.95 trade paperback that’s aimed at young adults, although
it’s also likely to appeal to older readers.
        The entertaining tale opens in Whitehall, introducing Flynn Parkes, a shy
14-year-old who’s being bullied in school. Trying to escape parental
problems, Flynn breaks away and rides his bike to an unusual traveling
        He’s kidnapped by the circus’ shifty ringmaster, who has devious plans.
There are many intriguing characters, including a wise fortuneteller, a
pair of strange clowns, a muscular strong man and a beautiful mermaid.
        Flynn becomes a human cannonball, is almost eaten by lions and nearly
drowns – he’s desperately trying to escape. All the action takes place in
just a few days; this is an unusual coming-of-age story with unexpected
        This fast-paced memorable tale deals with decision-making, confidence and
belief in oneself – with a touch of magic thrown in for good measure.
        “Return to Strange Home” by Pater Wilmerink ($6.95) is a 60-page military
science fiction novella set in 2065, ten years after a madman released a
cloud of deadly bioagents that decimated Western Michigan.
        Space-traveling Captain Paul Wells returns to the planet and his home in
the quarantined area on the shores of Lake Michigan, only to find that
something alien has taken over his house.
        Strange entities abound; he faces tough challenges as he struggles for
survival in a changed world.
        “I’m a Michigander” by Slater ($12.99) features colorful illustrations by
Jordan Richardson. It’s aimed at younger readers, showcasing a big-eyed
young boy who promotes various aspects of the state, using rhymed
        “Eddy Elk and Mandy Moose” by Slater, illustrated by Laura Gordon,
($6.99) is also designed for younger readers. It explores insights
offered the two large animals about the state's natural wonders, after
they’ve stepped out of the Michigan State Flag.
        These two books are great fun, ideal for local libraries or families with
small kids.

More information can be found on their website:

        Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious book Shop, has reviewed crime
novels and Michigan books regularly since 1987.

Find these books and other great titles
at the Curious Book Shop, an independent 
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.

Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan

This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on  March 13, 2016.

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