Thursday, October 9, 2014

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Top-Secret Diary of Celie Valentine: Friendship Over

Julie Sternberg is the author of the best-selling Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie and its sequels, Like Bug Juice on a Burger and Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake. Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie is a Gryphon Award winner and a Texas Bluebonnet Award finalist; Like Bug Juice on a Burger is a Gryphon Honor Book, a Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards Nominee, and an Illinois Monarch Award Finalist. Formerly a public interest lawyer, Julie is a graduate of the New School's MFA program in Creative Writing, with a concentration in writing for children. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. For more information about her life and work and to download free activity materials based on her books, visit her website: I'm super excited to be part of the blog tour for The Top-Secret Diary of Celie Valentine!

Check out the other stops on Julie’s blog tour!

Mon, Sept 29
Mother Daughter 
Book Club
Tues, Sept 30
5 Minutes for Mom
Wed, Oct 1
Thurs, Oct 2
KidLit Frenzy
Fri, Oct 3
The Hiding Spot
Sat, Oct 4
Booking Mama
Mon, Oct 6
Ms. Yingling Reads
Tues, Oct 7
Wed, Oct 8
Great Kid Books
Thurs, Oct 9
Teach Mentor Texts
Fri, Oct 10
Unleashing Readers
Sat, Oct 11
Bermuda Onion

Title: The Top-Secret Diary of Celie Valentine: Friendship Over 
Author: Julie Sternberg  
Illustrator: Johanna Wright 
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press 
Publication Date: October 1st, 2014
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Chapter Book 
GoodReads Summary: Ten-year-old Celie has quite a few things on her mind -- fights with her sister Jo, secrets at school, an increasingly forgetful grandmother, and worst of all, a best friend who won't speak to her. How can a girl who hates change survive, when everything in her life is changing? By writing, of course! Celie's often comical and always heartfelt diary entries include notes, e-mails, homework assignments, and pages from her top-secret spy notebook. 
What I Think: I've enjoyed all the Eleanor books from Julie Sternberg but I'm definitely excited about The Top-Secret Diary of Celie Valentine. This book is written like a diary with Celie's thoughts and drawings mixed in with notes and letters she tapes into her journal. I really enjoyed Celie as a character and think that readers will relate to her. It seems like Julie did a great job of bringing her to life. There are a few times when Celie writes about some random thoughts and this really helps to see more of who she is (I pulled my favorite random thought for the Snatch of Text below!) One of my favorite parts was when they talked about Cousin Carla. I think Celie and her sister's reactions to Cousin Carla and other situations in the book are very true to upper elementary aged students.
     I love the attention on family and friendship in this book. These are definitely topics that are relevant and very real to students. Just like in the Eleanor books, Julie is able to help readers what it might feel like to be the main character and to navigate family and friend relationships. Siblings and best friends are great but there are always those times when either we hurt or are hurt by siblings and best friends. This book focuses on how to overcome and work through those times.  
Read Together: Grades 2 - 5
Read Alone: Grade 3 - 6 
Read With: Eleanor series by Julie Sternberg, Where I Live by Eileen Spinelli, The Naked Mole-Rat Letters by Mary Amato, Chloe, Instead by Micah Player, When Life Gives You OJ by Erica S. Perl, Marty McGuire (series) by Kate Messner  
Snatch of Text: 
"I feel sorry for raw chicken. It's so germy and funny-looking, and nobody gets close to it. Unless they're about to stick it in a very hot oven." (p. 22) 
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you were in an argument with a friend or family member. How did you handle the situation? How did you feel during the argument and/or afterwards?
Topics Covered: Family, Siblings, Friendship, Forgiveness, Relationships, Trust, Loyalty
I *heart* It:
*Thanks to Boyds Mills Press and Blue Slip Media for 
a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review 
and the opportunity to offer the giveaway below!*

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