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The Oldest Bird in the World Hatches a New Chick: How Old is She?

On the tiny Midway Atoll, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there lives the oldest bird, that is the oldest wild nesting bird. Wisdom, a Laysan albatross, and her mate, Akeakamai, nest close to the old Navy bunkhouses. Seabirds, they fly over the north Pacific for half the year before returning to Midway in December to nest.

Book cover of Wisdom, the Midway Albatross, the oldest bird | Surviving plastic pollution and other disasters for over 65 years. | Mims House
Starred Review in Publisher’s Weekly. Click to learn more.
I’ve been following Wisdom’s story since the 2011 Japanese tsunami. I wrote about her amazing survival story then. Her story is intriguing because she was banded by ornithologist Chandler Robbins in 1956, which means we can document that she is over 67 years old. Because she’s so old, I keep thinking that this is her last year to hatch a chick. One of these days, she just won’t come back in December. I anxiously await word that she’s back–somehow, she survived another year.

Scientists think that albatrosses will often take a sabbatical year, a year when they won’t come back and nest. But she’s been laying eggs continuously since 2003. Even if she didn’t show up in December, I’d think she’s just taking a vacation and hope that she’d be back the next year. Instead, she’s steady as clockwork. Appears in December to nest and lay an egg. Hatches that chick in February.

Well, two years ago, the chick didn’t hatch. For whatever reason, the egg just didn’t mature. It’s a common thing among the albatrosses. And last year’s chick hatched on February 4 with no problems.

Still, it’s exciting! On February 6th, 2018, Wisdom hatched a new chick. No one knows how many babies she’s had, but scientists estimate 30-35.

Read more about her story in this February 2018 news article.

The Oldest Bird and Her Family 2017

This video shows the 2017 chick. I haven’t seen any photos of the 2018 chick yet. (Let me know if you see one!)

If you can’t see this video, click here.

See teacher materials including student-made videos, coloring pages, and a vivid verbs worksheet.

Urban Cougars

Are there urban cougars?

This week in the news, police in Aberdeenshire, Scotland were called to a farm because a tiger was sitting in a man’s barn! The police took this very seriously. They sent out several units, while others called local wildlife preserves to find out if an animal was missing.
Fake Stuffed Tiger Scares Farmer and Police: A Story of Urban Cougars | MimsHouse.com

Halfway across the globe in Banff, Canada, a cougar was seen strolling across downtown.
Immediately, officers went searching while an alert went out to residents to remove any outside food that might attract the wild animal. Officers quickly caught sight of the cougar darting between cars and followed its footprints. Eventually, the cougar returned to the wildlife corridor.
Cougar strolling through downtown Banff, Canada: A Story of Urban Cougars | MimsHouse.com

Wildlife Corridors

These aren’t surprising incidents. When I researched Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma, I discovered that the reclusive puma or cougar often lives in urban areas. Because they are nocturnal, they can often avoid being seen unless they attack and eat pets, chickens, and so on.

The Brazilian scientists, Márcia Rodrigues, Ph.D. and Sergio Ferreira, have worked hard to establish a wildlife corridor for the pumas there. A wildlife corridor is protected route for wildlife to travel between suitable habitat areas. It’s necessary because animals need to be able to find others of their kind to mate, because many animals travel as they hunt, and because of seasonal changes in food and shelter.

The Scottish police had to take the call about a wild animal in a barn seriously because it could easily happen. The Banff officials had to track the puma across downtown Banff to make sure it returned to the protected areas.

Because habitat is shrinking, humans must find ways to accommodate wildlife in our urban areas. Wildlife corridors are one important tool in living happily with wild pumas or cougars.

READ MORE ABOUT WILDLIFE CORRIDORS

Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma | MimsHouse.com


Yodeling? What's the weirdest book request you've had from a kid? | MimsHouse.com

A Children’s Book about Yodeling? Weird Requests from Kids

My grandson is seven years old. When we take short trips to the lake, about 1 1/2 hours away, we often listen to music. But there’s a big discussion about music styles. Daddy likes country. My Darling Husband (DH) has an eclectic taste, though, so we often pull up Pandora or Spotify and try something different.

We have sung along with the three tenors as they sing opera.
We’ve listened to popular Broadway songs. DH was singing “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you,” a memorable line from a song in The KING AND I musical.

By far, though, the most popular genre for the grandkids is cowboy music. Especially yodeling. They LOVE to listen to yodeling like this video. Isn’t this kid amazing?


If you can’t see this video, click here to view it on YouTube.

So, my grandson got in trouble at school this week.
He made poor choices.
He yodeled in class!

His overall behavior, though, was nicely balanced by two positive points for going to the library. That’s my boy!

Of course, my thoughts immediately went to books. Is there a good story that has yodeling as a key part of it?
Not that I know of.

I wish there was one, though. Would you buy a book about yodeling for your school?

What’s the weirdest (or most wonderful) request you’ve had for a picture book topic? Who asked for it? Did you eventually find something interesting for that patron?
Yodeling? What's the weirdest book request you've had from a kid? | MimsHouse.com

My Dirty Dog: My Informative Essay | Releases on February 11

My Dirty Dog: My Informative Essay book cover. Girl holding her dog.

Are your students struggling to write informative essays? The Common Core requires informative essays starting in first grade with a how-to essay. After that informative essays (or expository essays) are required writing every year.

Author Darcy Pattison draws on her many years of professional writing and experience teaching professional development classes in The Read and Write series of books to help students write better.

Informative Essay Printables – Simple & Fun to Teach

In Book 4, Darcy turns her attention to informative writing. Students will be entranced by the ongoing story of cousins Dennis and Mellie as they interact with their pet dogs and their family. This time, it’s Grandma’s birthday and the family goes to the K-9 Karnival. While there, the cousins learn about their dog breeds and give their dirty dogs a bath. Later, at home, Mellie write a how-to essay about dog baths while Dennis write an informative essay about groups of dog breeds. These mentor texts are perfect for the elementary class who is learning to write informative essays, how to essays, or expository essays.

To make it even easier for teachers, we offer free printables. They makes the books into a complete lesson plan! Fill out the form below to receive the printables. The book is available now for PREORDER on many platforms. By next week, it should be available everywhere.


The Read and Write Series : Essay Writing Made Simple for Elementary Classrooms. Book covers for I Want a Dog, I Want a Cat, My Crazy Dog, and My Dirty Dog

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE READ AND WRITE SERIES

Hurrah for Essays! All writing lessons should be this much fun.
“. . .fill(s) a niche for teachers. . .” – School Library Journal 5/1/15
” “. . .breezy and engaging introduction to genre writing.”
” “The model essay can be used across multiple genres (informational and narrative nonfiction in addition to opinion).”
” “. . .useful for teachers showing early elementary students the relevancy, power, and importance of effective writing.”
Booklist 6/17/15

Read Along Picture Books: Triangle Media and Overdrive

We are excited to be teaming up with Triangle Media to create read-along versions of selected picture books. These ebooks are ePub3 standards, for which Overdrive has recently added the capability.

The books are the regular ebooks, but they are enhanced by added audio that is synced to the text. When a word is read, the word is highlighted. The technology to create this type of ebook has been around a while, but not all ebook readers were capable of correctly rendering the ebook. Until now. Overdrive now makes this available across its network. The enhanced ebooks are on sale at a 25% discount till January 31.

Read the Samples Read Along Picture Books – 25% Discount Ends on January 31

The enhanced ebooks are currently available from Overdrive who has provided samples.
Please click on the book cover below to read the sample:

11 Ways to Ruin a Photograph | MimsHouse.com Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma | MimsHouse.com
This is my favorite. If you try only one, try this one!
Burn: Michael Faraday's Candle | MimsHouse.com
Rowdy: The Pirate Who Could Not Sleep | Mims House Wisdom, the Midway Albatross | MimsHouse.com

We are very excited that ePub3 has finally come to Overdrive because it’s a great way for kids to read picture books. After you read a sample, let us know what you think!


2018 Catalog: Picture Books & Novels

We are pleased to offer you the 2018 Mims House catalog.

Download the 2018 Mims House Catalog

Featured are the new titles for this year, in order of release.

Spring 2018 Titles

Click the book covers for more information.

February – My Dirty Dog: My Informative Essay, Book 4, The Read and Write Series

March – Clang! Ernst Chladni’s Sound Experiments

Coming March, 2018. The Father of Acoustics – sound experiments.

April – Road Whiz

Middle Grade Sports Novel

Fall 2018 Titles – Read the catalog for more information.

August – Wonky

An unlikely tale of friendship.

September – Rosie the Ribeter: The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

Download the 2018 Mims House Catalog


Essay Books Delayed by Twins

Let us back up a couple years. In November 2014, we released two essay books: I Want a Dog: My Opinion Essay and I Want a Cat: My Opinion Essay. By May, 2015, we added My Crazy Dog: My Narrative Essay.

We fully intended to follow that with an informative or expository essay book within six months or so.

Enter the twins. The illustrator, Ewa O’Neill was pregnant with twin boys. As you might imagine, her life became extremely busy, so we waited. She kindly gave us permission to find a different illustrator for the book. But we felt strongly that a series needed a cohesive group of illustrations. We waited.

But this year, with the boys almost three years old and her family living in a new area, she returned to the series and delivered art.

We are thrilled that the art is just as fabulous as the first books, and thrilled to be able to complete this series of language arts picture books, The Read and Write series. These are some of our most popular books.

Because we want these books used in classrooms to help teach writing, we make available a full set of printables. We’ve just updated them with printables for My Dirty Dog. It’s a free download when you sign up for our newsletter.

The Read and Write Series - Mims House

Shh! Spring Book Covers – 2018

Shh! Don’t tell anyone!
Here are the covers of our Spring 2018 books!
More information to come!

My Dirty Dog: Book 4, The Read and Write series, by Darcy Pattison | MimsHouse.com
Coming February 2018. The 4th book about writing essays with kids. Illustrations by Ewa O’Neill.


Coming March, 2018. The Father of Acoustics – sound experiments. Illustrations by Peter Willis.



Road Whiz by Darcy Pattison | MimsHouse.com
Coming April, 2018. Middle grade sports fiction.


Please write in the comments! Which book(s) are you most excited about seeing in print?

Junior Library Guild Selection – Fake News

Junior Library Guild selection - The Nantucket Sea Monster | MimsHouse.com We are thrilled that THE NANTUCKET SEA MONSTER: A Fake News Story is a December selection for the Junior Library Guild.


In August, 1937 newspapers across the nation reported that a sea monster had been sighted off Nantucket Island. It was actually a balloon for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and the whole thing was a publicity stunt. Amazingly, the newspapermen knew it was fake, and yet went along with it.
The Nantucket Sea Monster: A Fake News Story | MimsHouse.com

To celebrate the December JLG release, Darcy Pattison has been interviewed on a couple blogs.

  • The Children’s Book Council asked Darcy to write about 3 questions she wished people would ask her. Did you know that there’s an “Easter egg” hidden in the story?
  • Picture Book Builders blog features authors talking about how they write picture books. Darcy talks about the importance of patience and waiting until the right moment for a story.
  • For more, this article has links to copies of the historical newspaper archives and digital photos of the event.
  • Listen to an audio sample here.

Trilogy Complete! The Blue Planets World series

We are thrilled that Pilgrims, Book 3 of The Blue Planets World series is now available on all platforms!

Complete Trilogy: YA Sci-Fi

The Blue Planets World series is now complete. The first trilogy in the world begins when Jake, a half-human and half-alien teen, comes to Earth to live with his paternal grandparents on Bainbridge Island.

THE BLUE PLANETS WORLD SERIES

Earth finally receives a message from space:
“You only live on land. Allow us to live in the seas.”

Rison will implode soon. They desperately need a new blue planet, a water planet. But Earth is crowded. Will humans be able to open their hearts to an alien race?

SLEEPERS, Book 1

Sleepers, Book 1, The Blue Planets World seriesA rogue militia. A diabolical sabotage. Is an alien teen is the only hope for either blue planet?

A test-tube baby, fifteen-year-old Jake Rose is half human and half alien; he has both lungs and gills. He’s been raised on the “other blue planet,” Rison. However, in a horrifying science-gone-wrong scenario, Rison will soon implode. He evacuates to Earth to live with his human father’s parents on Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound. His mother, Dayexi Quad-de is Rison’s ambassador to Earth. She’s tasked with finding Risonians a new home on Earth in a peaceful manner.

Jake accidentally discovers that Earth’s elite ELLIS forces are trying to sabotage Mt. Rainier by starting an eruption so that they can blame it on the Risonian aliens. Working to thwart them, Jake suddenly realizes his mother—the ambassador—is missing.

Sleepers is the first novel in the action-packed science fiction The Blue Planets World series. This classic teen novel of finding your place in society combines with thrilling science fiction that delivers a punch. If you like the intrigue and excitement of Ender’s Game or I Am Number Four, you’ll love Darcy Pattison’s science fiction series of survival among the galaxies.

See the series page at Amazon.

SIRENS, Book 2

Sirens, Book 2, The Blue Planets World seriesSirens is the continuing story of Jake Rose, a teenager who is half-alien and half-human. When aliens beg for refuge on Earth, they ask only for a home in the seas. But what if Earth’s oceans aren’t empty? The undersea civilization of the Phoke, the mermen and mermaids, comes out of hiding to take a place at the negotiation table. They’ve been infected by a Risonian water-borne illness and demand a medical mission to Rison to find a cure. Jake is devastated when he learns that his girlfriend, Em, is a Phoke, and she’s infected. When a rogue General orders his troops to attack the Phoke, the stage is set for an epic underwater struggle. If you like stories of the fantastic blended with scientific possibility, you’ll be fascinated with the underwater culture. Come cheer for Jake as he searches the cold North Sea for Em.

PILGRIMS, Book 3

Pilgrims, Book 3, The Blue Planets World SeriesPilgrims is the thrilling conclusion of an epic science fiction trilogy that pits Risonians and Earthlings against inevitable implosion of a planet. A small team from Earth travels to Rison to find the cure for a water-borne disease that threatens the Phoke, the mermen and mermaids of Earth. In a rush against time, they must deal with the politics of desperate men and the tricks of a dying planet. Jake battles with his mixed heritage as he pushes for the team to find the cure for the disease. Em’s life is in the balance, and he won’t stop until he’s got what the doctor needs. Will they find the cure and escape in time?

ENVOYS, Prequel

Envoy, Prequel, The Blue Planets World seriesEnvoys, Prequel is the short story of the first contact with the Risonians on their Cadee Moon Base. The ambitious naval officer Blake Rose joins the team as the comparative biology specialist. He’s the first to shake hands with a Risonian, Dayexi Quad-de, who immediately captures his heart. Still, he has a job to do: protect Earth from aliens.
Interested in the origin of the Blue Planets World series? This is the short story for you.
In fact, we’d love to give it to you free. See the sign up below!

Last Chance: Halloween Novel Turns to Pumpkin at Midnight

Have you waited and waited and now it’s almost too late?

The Girl, the Gypsy, and the Gargoyle | MimsHouse.com


This deliciously creepy Halloween Novel is on sale for only $0.99. The ebook price goes back to $4.99 tomorrow. Buy before midnight.

More about The Girl, the Gypsy and the Gargyole: Creepy Novel for Middle Grade

  • This story is an audiobook narrated by Paula Bodin. Listen to a sample.
  • Read a sample chapter.
  • Read an outtake. This is a prologue that didn’t make it into the book but explains the backstory of the Gargoyle Man.

Only $0.99 for October – On All Platforms

DIGITAL
KINDLE

iBOOK

Kobo ePUB
BEST DEAL On Amazon, buy the print book and get the ebook for only $0.99
PRINT
HARDCOVER

PAPERBACK
AUDIO
AUDIOBOOK

AUDIOBOOK
PURCHASE ORDERS
All formats are also available on Mackin, Follett, Permabound, Overdrive, and Ingram.

The Arecibo Message: Inspiration for Science Fiction

by Darcy Pattison
Why science is so important to science fiction?

Let’s look at the Arecibo Message. In 1974, the Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, sent a message into space looking for extra-terrestrial intelligence.

A great deal of thought went into the message, and included input from Carl Sagan, Dr. Frank Drake (the Drake equation) and other prominent scientists.

This is the message with color added to highlight its separate parts. The actual binary transmission carried no color information.

Quoting from Wikipedia:
The message consists of seven parts that encode the following (from the top down):

  • The numbers one (1) to ten (10) (white)
  • The atomic numbers of the elements hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus, which make up deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) (purple)
  • The formulas for the sugars and bases in the nucleotides of DNA (green)
  • The number of nucleotides in DNA, and a graphic of the double helix structure of DNA (white & blue)
  • A graphic figure of a human, the dimension (physical height) of an average man, and the human population of Earth (red, blue/white, & white respectively)
  • A graphic of the Solar System indicating which of the planets the message is coming from (yellow)
  • A graphic of the Arecibo radio telescope and the dimension (the physical diameter) of the transmitting antenna dish (purple, white, & blue)

Science + What If = Science Fiction

When I write science fiction stories, I can’t write in a vacuum. I need facts to extrapolate from or to build on. I read about the Arecibo message, especially that the scientists didn’t expect an answer for 50,000 years because it was aimed at the distant globular star cluster M13, and that’s the time needed for a round trip with current technology.

But what if. . .

That’s where things get interesting to me. I build on facts, but take it to a new and imagined place.

What if. . .there was another civilization who was also sending out their version of the Arecibo Message. Their technology is faster than ours and meets our message much, much earlier than expected. Let’s say, just 25 years after launching the Arecibo, we heard from another intelligent species. OK, but why are they out there looking for something?

Unlike Earth, they are faced with the destruction of their planet and are looking for a suitable place to live. (Well, then, you have to go and read all about the Kepler space ship’s search for Earth-like planets!) Speculation leads to more science! Which leads to more what ifs! The rich, fascinating interaction of scientific fact and speculation leads to fascinating milieus, or worlds for a story to inhabit.

Throw in Characters

Within the world created, it soon becomes clear that certain types of problems are inherent. That’s when I start to add characters who must face those problems and find ways to defeat the problems and/or live with them.

Does that mean that the characters are slighted in science fiction? I don’t think so. Often, there’s the same interaction with scientific fact: psychology studies feed into the fiction. Characters act and react according to current thinking about human behavior. Sorta. Of course, there’s always the what if and the imagination that adds twists and quirks.

When I write science fiction, the science blends with the fiction seamlessly to create a powerful story.

Take the premise of The Blue Planets World series. What if a planet experiments with ways of controlling volcanoes, only to discover that they’ve ruined the planetary core and it will implode soon. They’d destoryed their own planet through arrogance.

That means they need a new world. Which means that when they find Earth, they want to come here as refugees.
Finally, I had the premise for “The Blue Planets World series.”

The Series is Complete

Pilgrims, Book 3, The Blue Planets World series launches on November 1. Preorder now! With this publication, the entire trilogy is now available as ebook, paperback, and hardcover.

The Blue Planet Series by Darcy Pattison | MimsHouse.com
Book 3 publishes on November 1. The complete trilogy will be available then in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats.



Jake Rose joins the courageous crew of the Eagle 10 as they streak across the galaxy to Rison, the other blue planet. Their goal is to find the umjaadi starfish, the host of an organism that is deadly to the Phoke, the water people of Earth. The mission is foolhardy because Rison will soon implode—the catastrophe is mere days away—from a science-gone-wrong scenario. Forced to enter the Risonian society at its darkest hour, the team struggles against local politics and race against time to find the starfish.

Utz Seehafer, the son and heir-apparent, of the southern Bo-See coalition is assigned to help the Earthlings’ search. He battles his own demons of a lost brother, a grieving father, and the urgency of escaping a dying planet. Will he be able to save his beloved Derry, and their pet project, the great white shark named Godzilla?

Pilgrims is the exciting conclusion of an epic science fiction trilogy that pits Risonians and Earthlings against inevitable implosion of a planet. In a rush against time, they must deal with the politics of desperate men and the tricks of a dying planet. Will they find the cure and escape in time?

And to think it started with a simple binary code in 1974 that was broadcast into space in hopes of finding extra-terrestrial life!

Order Now from Amazon Kindle or Kobo

Order Hardcover from Educational Distributors

PURCHASE ORDERS
PAPERBACK-coming

HARDCOVER – Coming on Nov. 1
DIGITAL
KINDLE

iBOOK – coming

Kobo
All formats also available on Follett, Mackin, Permabound and Ingram.


Teen Read Week: Unleash Your Story

Welcome to Teen Read Week! October 18-24, 2017 is designated as the week to encourage teen readers to discover new books.

Unleash Your Story

Here’s the official information:

Teen Read Week™ is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). It began in 1998 and is held annually in October the same week as Columbus Day. Its purpose is to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users.

The 2017 event will be held Oct. 8 – 14th, featuring the theme ‘Unleash Your Story.” Library staff, afterschool providers, and educators are encouraged to leverage this theme to encourage teens to tell their own stories as well as find stories, biographies, autobiographies, folktales, and more in their local library. Join the conversation on Twitter with #TRW17.

Read an Unfamiliar Genre

Here at Mims House, we especially wanted to encourage teen readers to Unleash Your Story by reading in unfamiliar genres. Studies show that some time around middle school, readers settle into a genre that they will favor for most of their lives. It may be historical fiction, nonfiction science, reading the local newspaper, puzzling out mysteries, or reading fantasy and science fiction. Once the genre preference develops, it’s clear that people stick with that genre.

Teens still have a change thought to find new stories by sampling other genres. We encourage you to help students find new favorites in other genres. For example, if you have a mystery reader, here are lists of books that add mystery to another genre. (As always, monitor the list for appropriateness for your students!)

Science Fiction Series

Another way to encourage students to read other genres is to hook them on a series. Many trilogies or longer series have strong hook stories that grab a reader and compel them to read through the whole series.

Our new science fiction trilogy, THE BLUE PLANETS WORLD series, hooks the reader with an action-packed, exciting story of a teen who must save not one, but two worlds.

The Blue Planet Series by Darcy Pattison | MimsHouse.com


To read more on the series, start here. Or, to get started on the series, we offer the short story prequel free to subscribers:

Get Your FREE Short Story

Envoys cover

ENVOYS - Prequel

The Blue Planets Series

Earth finally hears from space:

"You only live on land.

Allow us to live in the seas."

WHERE SHOULD WE SEND YOUR FREE COPY?

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What do you do for Teen Read Week to encourage students to read more?

Happy (Creepy) Friday, the 13th!

Why is Friday, the 13th so creepy? And why do kids LOVE creepy so much?

I think it’s partly tied to the reasons we read anything. We read to experience the world from someone else’s perspective. That other point-of-view may be someone helpless in the face of unspeakable dangers and evils. But here’s the thing: within the pages of a book, we’re safe.

Yes, great writing can evoke great emotions. Yes, kids weep when Charlotte dies in Charlotte’s Web. But it wasn’t a real person who died, so it’s a safe emotion. Yes, kids tremble when Gollum slinks across the pages of The Hobbit. But it’s a safe tremor of fear.

So, we offer today a story that’s has a touch of creepiness. Still, somehow, it manages to pull off not one, but two miracles.

The Girl, the Gypsy, and the Gargoyle
Only $0.99 for the month of October

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”
—Michelangelo

But what if an unscrupulous sculptor could trap someone inside a block of stone, just so he could carve them? Can miracles come from tragedy? Threatened with the loss of the only home she’s known, Laurel listens to a proposal from Master Gimpel, a deformed stone carver. He intrigues Laurel and Jassy, her gypsy friend, when he offers a path to untold riches. Master Gimpel explains that his Troll’s Eye, a red jewel, is a doorway into the stone world where a treasure cave awaits. From the moment Laurel looks through the Troll’s Eye, she and her gypsy companion enter a dangerous race for their lives.

This is a rich, surprising and sometimes disturbing tale of gargoyles and those who carve the creatures from solid stone. There’s plenty of darkness in this cautionary tale that nevertheless pulls off not one, but two miracles—and in a surprising twist, brings Laurel home to stay.

Follow Laurel’s harrowing journey toward miracles.

Read a Preview from OVERDRIVE

If you enjoy this preview, ask your library to order the book from Overdrive.


AudioBook Sample

Listen to narrator Paula Bodin’s lovely voice.


DIGITAL
KINDLE

iBOOK

Kobo ePUB
BEST DEAL On Amazon, buy the print book and get the ebook for only $0.99
PRINT
HARDCOVER

PAPERBACK
AUDIO
AUDIOBOOK

AUDIOBOOK
PURCHASE ORDERS
All formats are also available on Mackin, Follett, Permabound, Overdrive, and Ingram.

Happy (Creepy!) Friday, the 13th!

Why is Friday, the 13th so creepy? And why do kids LOVE creepy so much?

I think it’s partly tied to the reasons we read anything. We read to experience the world from someone else’s perspective. That other point-of-view may be someone helpless in the face of unspeakable dangers and evils. But here’s the thing: within the pages of a book, we’re safe.

Yes, great writing can evoke great emotions. Yes, kids weep when Charlotte dies in Charlotte’s Web. But it wasn’t a real person who died, so it’s a safe emotion. Yes, kids tremble when Gollum slinks across the pages of The Hobbit. But it’s a safe tremor of fear.

So, we offer today a story that’s has a touch of creepiness. Still, somehow, it manages to pull off not one, but two miracles.

The Girl, the Gypsy, and the Gargoyle
Only $0.99 for the month of October

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”
—Michelangelo

But what if an unscrupulous sculptor could trap someone inside a block of stone, just so he could carve them? Can miracles come from tragedy? Threatened with the loss of the only home she’s known, Laurel listens to a proposal from Master Gimpel, a deformed stone carver. He intrigues Laurel and Jassy, her gypsy friend, when he offers a path to untold riches. Master Gimpel explains that his Troll’s Eye, a red jewel, is a doorway into the stone world where a treasure cave awaits. From the moment Laurel looks through the Troll’s Eye, she and her gypsy companion enter a dangerous race for their lives.

This is a rich, surprising and sometimes disturbing tale of gargoyles and those who carve the creatures from solid stone. There’s plenty of darkness in this cautionary tale that nevertheless pulls off not one, but two miracles—and in a surprising twist, brings Laurel home to stay.

Follow Laurel’s harrowing journey toward miracles.

Read a Preview from OVERDRIVE

If you enjoy this preview, ask your library to order the book from Overdrive.


AudioBook Sample

Listen to narrator Paula Bodin’s lovely voice.


DIGITAL
KINDLE

iBOOK

Kobo ePUB
BEST DEAL On Amazon, buy the print book and get the ebook for only $0.99
PRINT
HARDCOVER

PAPERBACK
AUDIO
AUDIOBOOK

AUDIOBOOK
PURCHASE ORDERS
All formats are also available on Mackin, Follett, Permabound, Overdrive, and Ingram.

Halloween Novel: The Girl, the Gypsy, and the Gargoyle

Only $0.99 for the month of October.

Does Halloween week put you in the mood for dark and creepy stories?
Personally, I don’t like horror stories and find few appropriate for kids. But sometimes a story pulls me in with its dark and disturbing plot. For just those moments when you want to something deliciously creepy, we suggest The Girl, the Gypsy and the Gargoyle.

Halloween Novel - spooky middle grade fun. | by Darcy Pattison

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” —Michelangelo

But what if an unscrupulous sculptor could trap someone inside a block of stone, just so he could carve them? And can miracles come from tragedy? Threatened with the loss of the only home she’s known, Laurel listens to a proposal from Master Gimpel, a deformed stone carver. He intrigues Laurel and Jassy, her gypsy friend, when he offers a path to untold riches. Master Gimpel explains that his Troll’s Eye, a red jewel, is a doorway into the stone world where a treasure cave awaits. From the moment Laurel looks through the Troll’s Eye, she and her gypsy companion enter a dangerous race for their lives.

This is a rich, surprising and sometimes disturbing tale of gargoyles and those who carve the creatures from solid stone. There’s plenty of darkness in this cautionary tale that nevertheless pulls off not one, but two miracles—and in a surprising twist, brings Laurel home to stay.

More about The Girl, the Gypsy and the Gargyole: Creepy Novel for Middle Grade

  • This story is an audiobook narrated by Paula Bodin. Listen to a sample.
  • Read a sample chapter.
  • Read an outtake. This is a prologue that didn’t make it into the book but explains the backstory of the Gargoyle Man.

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Preorder: Blue Planets World Series

He’s an alien. She’s not quite human. Can they survive an epic battle under the sea? Book 2, THE BLUE PLANETS WORLD series. | MimsHouse.com
Book 2, available TOMORROW!

This is the last day to preorder SIRENS, Book 2 of The Blue Planets World series.


ORDER TODAY and you’ll receive the book tomorrow morning, October 1, 2017.

THE BLUE PLANETS WORLD SERIES

Earth finally receives a message from space:
“You only live on land. Allow us to live in the seas.”

Rison will implode soon. They desperately need a new blue planet, a water planet. But Earth is crowded. Will humans be able to open their hearts to an alien race?

SIRENS, Book 2

He’s an alien.
She’s not quite human.

Can they survive an epic battle under the sea?

Jake Rose’s girlfriend, Em Tullis, has mysteriously disappeared, leaving only a one-word clue: “Phoke.”

His search takes him around the world to fabled Aberforth Hills in the North Sea, home of earth’s native aquatic people, the Mer—who are now known as Phoke. They’ve remained hidden for centuries, only emerging now in a desperate search for a cure to a Rionian water-borne illness.

The intergalactic negotiations have just become impossibly complicated. Rison needs a refuge for thousands of their people before their planet implodes in a science-gone-wrong scenario. Originally, they asked Earth, “You only live on land. Allow us to live in the seas.”

But Earth’s seas aren’t empty!
With the Phoke at the negotiation table, Rison’s hope look bleak. Even worse, when Jake finds Em, she’s infected with a Risonian water-borne organism that threatens her life.

For fans of Ender’s Game or I Am Number Four comes a new character-driven science fiction series, The Blue Planet’s World series. Sirens, the second novel, follows Jake and Em as they fight for survival of their species, both in space and under the sea.
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Preorder Book 3: Pilgrims. Available November 1, 2017

Pilgrims, Book 3, The Blue Planets World series | MimsHouse.com

THE BLUE PLANETS WORLD SERIES

Earth finally receives a message from space:
“You only live on land. Allow us to live in the seas.”


Rison will soon implode. They desperately need a new blue planet, a water planet. But Earth is crowded. Will humans be able to open their hearts to an alien race?

Jake Rose joins the courageous crew of the Eagle 10 as they streak across the galaxy to Rison, the other blue planet. Their goal is to find the umjaadi starfish, the host of an organism that is deadly to the Phoke, the water people of Earth. The mission is foolhardy because Rison will soon implode—the catastrophe is mere days away—from a science-gone-wrong scenario. Forced to enter the Risonian society at its darkest hour, the team struggles against local politics and race against time to find the starfish.

Utz Seehafer, the son and heir-apparent, of the southern Bo-See coalition is assigned to help the Earthlings’ search. He battles his own demons of a lost brother, a grieving father, and the urgency of escaping a dying planet. Will he be able to save his beloved Derry, and their pet project, the great white shark named Godzilla?

Pilgrims is the exciting conclusion of an epic science fiction trilogy that pits Risonians and Earthlings against inevitable implosion of a planet. In a rush against time, they must deal with the politics of desperate men and the tricks of a dying planet. Will they find the cure and escape in time?

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The Blue Planet Series by Darcy Pattison | MimsHouse.com

Read Book 1: Sleepers

Did you by chance miss Book 1 of the Blue Planets World series? Read more about it here.


Read the Prequel: ENVOYS

Interested in the origin of the Blue Planets World series? This is the short story for you. And it’s a free gift!


A lonely doctor. A desperate alien race. Which blue planet will survive? Learn more about THE BLUE PLANETS WORLD series here. | MimsHouse.com
READ THE PREQUEL NOW! Click on the book cover to claim your free ebook.

Books in the Home: The Most Important Indicator of Education Success

What an amazing sight!


Darcy Pattison recently did a school visit where 200 students purchased a book!
For some kids, it was a significant day because they had few books at home.
This one thing, buying a book of his/her own, was a BIG thing.

Owning a book!

What an amazing thing for a young reader, right?
Emotionally, we love it when we see kids hugging a book because it’s theirs.
But is there any educational value in owning books?

In a 20-year study of 27 countries, researchers at the University of Nevada said the most important predictor of education achievement comes down to one thing: owning books.

Are there books in the home?

This one factor—books in the home—was more important than the literacy level of the parents.
That’s from a 20 year study over 27 countries!

Mariah Evans, University of Nevada, Reno associate professor of sociology and resource economics, said that as few as 20 books in a home made a significant impact, and the more books the stronger the effect. If you increase the number of books to 500 – Wow! – the effect is huge! In the United States, that one thing can increase a child’s education level by 2.4 years.

2x as important as Father’s education level

Books in the home was twice as important as a father’s education level. Even an illiterate father can help a child by providing books in the home.

How to get books into a student’s home?

Since books in the home is such an important goal, how can we do that?

Well, you already do it in many ways: book fairs, book clubs, library check-out and more.

Mims House makes it easy, too. We offer volume discounts on any of our books for quantities as low as 10 books or as high as a couple thousand. We make the price simple enough that you can put a book in the hands of every student.

Wisdom, the Midway Albatross | MimsHouse.comThe story of the oldest known wild bird in the world—Wisdom, the Midway Albatross—would make a great book for the popular ONE BOOK type program, which asks everyone in the school to read the same book. She’s over 65 years old and on February 4, 2017, she hatched a new chick! The story details how she survived the Japanese tsunami.


Or, if you need an early chapter book, consider the hilarious Kell, the Alien.

Publisher’s Weekly says: “Amusing. . . engaging, accessible story.”
“VERDICT: This fun chapter book series is out of this world.” 2/1/15 SLJ review:



For the middle school crowd, enthusiasm is growing for The Blue Planets World series, beginning with Sleepers.
The Blue Planet Series by Darcy Pattison | MimsHouse.com


Download Our Catalog

For a full range of possibilities, download our catalog.
Then, send our school liaison person, Sue Foster a note with information on your project/program and we’ll help you find the right book. Yes, we can work with purchase orders. We also have teacher resources for many books.

More information: See the Center for the Book (from the Library of Congress) for resources on encouraging book and reading promotions.

Light in the Dark YA StoryBundle

Guest post by Allyson Longueira, curator of The LIGHT IN THE DARK YA Storybundle.

I love young adult fiction. And I’m not the only far-from-young adult who does. So, when I had the opportunity to curate another StoryBundle, I knew YA was the way to go.

Welcome to the Light in the Dark YA StoryBundle.

Each book in this bundle sparks a light in the dark. Sometimes, that light comes from within. Sometimes, the characters must fight back the darkness to find it. And their stories demonstrate the incredible diversity of young adult fiction, from lighthearted and inspirational to dark and gritty.

These eleven fantastically versatile authors provided thirteen books that offer magic, triumph, humor, daring, hardship, and resilience. Sometimes, all in one.

Join in the adventure as Buffalo Jimmy and his friends seek revenge and fight for survival in Dean Wesley Smith’s Headed West; Galen and his clan sacrifice everything to find a future and hope for their families in Darcy Pattison’s Vagabonds; the Prentiss twins discover more than they bargained for in Deb Logan’s Thunderbird; and Turtle and Agata delve into a dangerous mystery in John Biggs’ Mytro.

Experience youthful defiance with “Rabbit” Labelle as he deals with racism in David H. Hendrickson’s Offside and Elinor Pembroke as she chooses an unorthodox path in Melissa McShane’s Burning Bright. Go back to high school with Tiffany VanDerHoven as she comes to terms with her newfound mortality in Kristine Grayson’s Tiffany Tumbles, and Gabby DeCorte as she plays the LifeGame in Thomas K. Carpenter’s Gamers Trilogy.

And journey along with diverse tales of magic, adventure, dragons and more in Jody Lynn Nye’s Daring, Anthea Sharp’s Tales of Feyland and Faerie, and Fiction River: Sparks, edited by Rebecca Moesta.

The books in the Light in the Dark YA StoryBundle feature bestselling authors along with newer names you’ll be glad you tried. As always at StoryBundle, you name your own price—whatever you feel the books are worth, and a portion of the proceeds goes to charity—in this case, SMART (Start Making a Reader Today). And if you pay at least $15, you’ll get all thirteen books!
The Light in the Dark YA Bundle runs for three weeks only. So, reconnect with your youth and enjoy everything that young adult fiction has to offer. – Allyson Longueira

What is a Storybundle?

A StoryBundle is a group or bundle of books that are offered together to give you a look around at a genre. The YA genre is so multifaceted and almost any type of story is represented in this bundle. It’s a place to stretch your reading muscles and find a new familiar. We hope you’ll love every book, but we also know that most people will be super-excited by a couple special books, special for them in unfathomable ways. Isn’t that the fun of reading? Trying new stories, new authors, new genres? Storybundle make it dead-simple.

The initial titles in the The Light in the Dark YA Bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

  • Sparks by Fiction River
  • Burning Bright by Melissa McShane
  • Mytro by John Biggs
  • Thunderbird by Deb Logan
  • Offside by David H. Hendrickson

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you get all five of the regular titles, plus six more!

  • Tiffany Tumbles by Kristine Grayson
  • Headed West – The Life and Times of Buffalo Jimmy by Dean Wesley Smith
  • The Gamers Trilogy – Complete Box Set by Thomas K. Carpenter
  • Daring by Jody Lynn Nye
  • Vagabonds by Darcy Pattison
  • Tales of Feyland & Faerie by Anthea Sharp

The Light and Dark YA Storybundle | MimsHouse.com
The Light and Dark YA Storybundle includes 11 fantasy titles. #eBookLove CLLICK the image for more information.


This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com/ya. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!

The Gift of Stories

It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

  • Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
  • Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
  • Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
  • Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to SMART!
  • Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you’ll get the bonus books!

StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com.

Read an eBook Day – Check it Out

Tomorrow, September 18, is National Read an eBook Day.

Are you an ebook fan? Some people love to read ebooks when they travel. Others love ebooks because you can increase or decrease the font size to your needs. I know some people who bounce from paper to ebooks with ease. And of course, many people are loyal to print books. I understand all those attitudes! Which probably makes me one of the bouncers.

National Read an eBook Day asks you to try an ebook because. . .

. . . it’s a celebration of modern storytelling.

Does it cost to join in? No.
Your local library likely has ebooks for checkout. This is a great day to look at your library’s website to figure out how to check out an ebook. What system do they use, what info do you need, what ebook readers do they recommend, and so on.

Request from Your Local Library

Most of Mims House books are available on Overdrive. Here are a selection of our books linked to the Overdrive site. From there, you can see if the book is available in your local library. If it isn’t, please request it! Most libraries listen to their patrons and will buy books you ask for.

Read an eBook Day with Sleepers by Darcy Pattison | MimsHouse.com
SLEEPERS on an ereader. If your library doesn’t have it, please request that they buy it!



Read an eBook Day with Longing for Normal
Can Eliot save his family with a simple bread recipe? Longing for Normal is “a rare book” says Booklist.

Read an eBook Day with Wisdom, the Midway Albatross by Darcy Pattison | MimsHouse.com
The story of the oldest bird in the world and how she survived the Japanese Tsunami.
Read an eBook Day with I Want a Dog: My Opinion Essay by Darcy Pattison | MimsHouse.com
Book 1 of The Read and Write Series. All writing lessons should be this much fun!

Take an ebook for a whirl! Of course, we offer ebooks for sale here on the Mims House website in both ePub and Kindle versions. But it you want a no-cost experience, check out your local library.

See other Mims House books available from Overdrive (request them from your library!)

Now Available: The Nantucket Sea Monster

Dateline: August 7, 1937

Headline: A SEA MONSTER: Bill Manville Says He Saw One Off Nantucket. Insists He Was Not Dreaming. Hopes It Appears Again To Verify His Story.

Thus begins the fascinating story that dominate the news on the uncommonly warm August 1937. The newspaper article started an incredible story that spread from “Cape Cod to California.”

Fake News

Of course, it was fake news. And the newspapermen knew it. They just didn’t think that there was any harm in it because 1) no one was hurt, and 2) no one tried to make money from the event.

Are those the criteria that we’d use to determine if a fake news event was right or wrong? Imagine if we used those criteria today. . .

About the Sea Monster

Reports of the time were scary. Here are some historical photos of the event.

Sea monster footprints on Nantucket Island | MimsHouse.com
Measuring the sea monster footprints on the beach. The photos were sent to scientists in Boston who confirmed that they were made by unknown creatures.



This shows the sea monster in the water. | MimsHouse.com
This shows the sea monster in the water. | MimsHouse.com

Fake Sea-Monster

Of course, the sea monster wasn’t real. Then what’s in this picture? No more hints! No more guessing!
The book is finally available today so you can read it for yourself.
It’s been a long summer waiting for the book to come out. Well, it’s finally here. Order your copy now.

Order Paperback, Hardcover, or eBooks from your Favorite Online Bookstore

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All formats also available on Follett, Mackin, Permabound and Ingram.


PreOrder: Sirens, Book 2 of The Blue Planets Series

He’s an alien. She’s not quite human. Can they survive an epic battle under the sea? Book 2, THE BLUE PLANETS WORLD series. | MimsHouse.com
Book 2, available Fall 2017.
Slated for an October 1, release, SIRENS is now available as a preorder.

This is Book 2 of The Blue Planets Series.

In Book 1, Jake Rose and his mother, Dayexi Quad-de, the Risonian ambassador, face overwhelming odds. Their planet, Rison, will implode soon. Their scientists were foolish and accidentally upset the balance of their planetary core. The end result will be utter destruction of Rison. The Risonians have searched the galaxy for blue planets, those with water that would sustain life. And in all the vast Milky Way galaxy, only Earth is a suitable place. Too bad it’s already inhabited.

In Sleepers, we follow Jake as he moves to Earth. He’s a test-tube baby, created by his physician father, Blake Rose, from Risonian and human DNA. He goes to Bainbridge Island to live with his human grandparents. While there, he discovers a plot to sabotage Mt. Rainier and make it erupt, while blaming the Risonians.

Jake also meets Emmeline Tullis, his siren, the girl who calls to his soul. Book 2 takes up Em’s story as she delves into her family’s story. All Em knows is that she’s adopted.

Then, Em disappears. One day, she was sick and in the hospital. The next day, she’s gone and so are her entire family.

All Jake has is a single card with the words, “Help! Phoke!”

This begins Jake’s desperate search for Em, and his mother’s search for a treaty to allow Rison to evacuate to Earth. The search takes them around the world to the North Sea where mysteries and mythology combine into reality.

We can’t tell you a lot here, because we don’t want spoilers! But rest assured that this story delivers on the promise of Book 1. Excitement, underwater battles, intergalactic struggles, and love–this book has it all.

  • Sleepers, Book 1 asks: Can Earth open its heart to allow refugees to live in our oceans? Can we share our planet?
  • Sirens, Book 2 asks: What if Earth’s oceans are already inhabited. Can those inhabitants share their oceans?
  • Pilgrims, Book 3 asks: What happens when your world implodes? Will you have a safe refuge in the midst of destruction?

PreOrder Book 2, Sirens

He’s an alien. She’s not quite human. Can they survive an epic battle under the sea? Book 2, THE BLUE PLANETS WORLD series. | MimsHouse.com
Book 2, available October 1. Preorder now.


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Book 3, Pilgrims will be available on November 1. Preorders will be available soon.

A deadly microbe. A race against time. Who will survive? Book 3, THE BLUE PLANETS WORLD series. | MimsHouse.com
Book 3, available November 1. Click on the cover to read the prequel, ENVOYS, now.
In this final exciting science fiction story, Jake and a small team of Earthlings must travel to the doomed planet of Rison. There, they hope to find a cure for a water-borne illness that is infecting the Phoke on Earth. Unless they find the cure, Jake’s girlfriend Em may die. In a desperate race against time, the team must find the cure and get back off the planet. Will Rison implode before they can escape?


Read the Prequel, Envoys

If you haven’t read the prequel, you can download a free copy of this story story now.

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Envoys cover

ENVOYS - Prequel

The Blue Planets Series

Earth finally hears from space:

"You only live on land.

Allow us to live in the seas."

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Of Parades and Horses: Writing about Poop for Kids

Book 2: Kell and the Horse Apple Parade | MimsHouse.comWhen I was working on Book 2 of The Aliens, Inc. series, I had to research horse poop.

OK. Don’t stop reading because this isn’t just about potty humor. But it partly is, because Everyone Poops. And because, kids love this stuff. And because you can’t make up stuff like this. And because you’re going to want to know about horse diapers. Maybe.

When Horses Parade

A hundred years ago, before the motor car became king, horses were the most efficient form of transportation. They pulled carriages around town, to and from stores and back and forth from work. And everywhere they went, street sweepers followed.

Cities of that time were equipped to deal with the problem of horse poop. But today, the problem mainly arises when there’s a parade. Book 1, Kell, the Alien established the idea that the lovable aliens from the planet Bix would plan and execute events to make a living. They created the Aliens, Inc.

Next question: what’s the next event?

I didn’t want to do a straight birthday party next, because I wanted to leave room for more options. So, I started to research parades. Which led me to horses, which led me to dirty streets. But back to parades for a moment. The word “parade” comes from Old French and means “to stop.” A parade is a time when people stop and pay attention to something for a time. I paid attention to the dirty streets. When you read this with kids, ask them to think about cities from 100 years ago, and how they might have dealt with the problem of dirty streets from all the horses.

Rose Parade clean-up

Got a parade? Then you’ve got clean-up problems. Here’s a photo of the horse-poop clean up crew after the Rose Parade.

Besides a broom and dustpan, though, there’s actually a more clever idea for dealing with horse poop during a parade. Diapers for horses.
Well, not exactly, a diaper. They call it a Bun Bag. It catches horse apples in action.

Kell and the Horse Apple Parade, Book 2, The Aliens, Inc. series | MimsHouse.com


This shows a bun bag in action on a horse. And the next photo is a diagram explaining how it works.
Kell and the Horse Apple Parade, Book 2, The Aliens, Inc. Series | MimsHouse.com


Now that we have that cleaned up. . .

A Horse Parade in the Alien’s Inc story

When I write, especially if it’s fiction for kids, I do a lot of research. When you find such fascinating info as horse apples and horse diapers, you have to use it in a story! In this science fiction story for kids, I incorporated the information on dealing with horses in a parade in unique ways. Instead of burying the topic, I used it to create humor in the story. The potty humor isn’t big; it just combines with the rules, regulations, and bureaucracy of a small town government. Unless the parade committee can guarantee that they’ll leave clean streets, they can’t get the permits needed.

Series

Aliens Inc. Series | MimsHouse.com
Click to see the series on Amazon.

Book 2, Kell and the Horse Apple Parade has been a great addition to this series because it gives some variety to the type of events. The other books all feature a special birthday party, such as giants or detectives.

The takeaway? When you BUY Kell and the Horse Apple Parade, plan to spend time talking with kids about keeping historical cities clean!