Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (February 24, 2015) ISBN: 978-0545592178 Category: Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Magic, Friendship, Bullies Tour Date: April 1-May29, 2015 Available in: Print & ebook, 272 Pages By the award winning author of ‘The Dogs of Winter’, Bobbie Pyron. A rich, southern voice tells the unforgettable story of two vulnerable outsiders, the lightning strike that turns their world upside down and the true meaning of lucky. Nate Harlow has never had a lucky day in his life. He’s never won a prize, he’s never been picked first, he’s never even won a coin toss. His best friend, Genesis Beam (aka Gen), believes in science and logic, and she doesn’t think for one second that there’s such a thing as luck, good or bad. But only an extremely unlucky person could be struck by lightning on his birthday… and that person is Nate Harlow. By some miracle, though, Nate survives, and the strike seems to have changed his luck. Suddenly, Nate’s grandpa is the busiest fisherman in their small, beachside town. And Nate finds himself the center of attention, the most popular kid at school, the one who hits a game-winning home run! This lucky streak can’t last forever, though, and as a hurricane draws close to the shores of Paradise Beach, Nate and Gen may need more than just good luck to save their friendship and their town: They need a miracle.
Praise for Lucky Strike by Bobbie Pyron:
“This well-told story of growth, friendship, and small-town life hits all the right notes. The quirkiness of the characters and the town never goes too far, and there is an overall cozy feeling to the book. Genesis’s dad is the preacher at The Church of the One True Redeemer and Everlasting Light, but she is a scientist through and through, which adds complexity to the text, including musings on destiny, fate, probability, and weather. Fans of Susan Patron’s Higher Power of Lucky (S. & S., 2006), Sheila Turnage’s Three Times Lucky (Dial, 2012), and Ingrid Law’s Savvy (2008; both, Dial) will find something new for their to-read shelves.”- School Library Journal starred review “Even lightly sketched characters leap off the pages, adding rich depth to an already satisfying tale. In the slightly fantastical Gulf Coast world that Bobbie Pyron (The Dogs of Winter, 2012) has imagined, people can change in unexpected ways. With just a spark of magic, bullies can become true friends, those without humor can learn to giggle, and perennial victims can emerge victorious. Amusing, endearing and sometimes even electrifying.”- Kirkus starred review “Bobbie Pyron offers a gentler take on survival and friendship than in her gritty novel The Dogs of Winter. A dramatic and sweetly poignant story, enlivened by a dash of magical realism.”- Publisher Weekly
Praise for The Dogs of Winter:
Junior Library Guild Selection Kirkus Best Books of the Year! “Packs plenty of punch.” The New York Times “This story is amazing. I read it in one sitting, I couldn’t put it down. The writing is captivating and the story is heartbreaking. The characters are wonderful, both the good and the bad. The writing is descriptive and filled with emotion. An absolute MUST read.”-Bev Sharp, The Wormhole “An amazing story that was emotional and realistic? The book is written in first person, and I think this is a perfect story for young adults and older adults alike. The tenacity of the dogs and the boy will enthrall you. There were no boring portions of the story, and I believe that the author captured the emotions of the characters perfectly. I look forward to reading more by this author in the future.”-Ruth A. Hill, My Devotional Thoughts ” I loved this book. I loved the writing. I loved the characters. The book is adventurous, engaging, happy, sad, and an overall emotional roller coaster all rolled into one.”-BookAngel, As I Turn the Pages “Bobbie Pyron has a gift for creating characters that live in my heart. She did it with A Dog’s Way Homeand she’s done it with this one, The Dogs of Winter. I wanted to dive into the story, take Mishka in my arms and just love him. Bobbie Pyron has created an emotionally powerful story about survival, love, and healing. This is not a story I will ever forget. It is a truly thought-provoking and unforgettable read.”-Heidi, GEO Librarian
Bobbie Pyron was born in Hollywood, Florida and spent her growing up years up in the panhandle, swimming in the Gulf of Mexico and dreaming of being a mermaid. She has degrees in Psychology and Anthropology, and a Masters degree in Library Science, and has worked as a librarian for over twenty-five years. Her first book, a novel for teens titled The Ring (WestSide Books), was published in October of 2009. Her second book, A Dog’s Way Home (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books), was published to starred reviews in March of 2011. The Dog Writers Association of America recently awarded Bobbie the Maxwell Medal of Excellence and the Merial Human-Animal Bond Award. It was also named a Banks Street Best Books of the Year. Bobbie Pyron’s book, The Dogs of Winter (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic), came out October of 2012. The Dogs of Winter is a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Kirkus Best 100 Children’s Books of the Year. Bobbie lives in Park City, Utah with her husband, two dogs, and two cats. Bobbie Pyron’s Website. Twitter: https://twitter.com/BobbiePyronFacebook: http://www.facebook.com/bobbie.pyron?fref=ts
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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Apr 2 Spotlight & Giveaway Rockin’ Book Reviews Apr 7 Interview & Giveaway Hott Books Apr 8 Review Always Reiding Apr 9 Review & Excerpt Geo Librarian Apr 10 Review Curling Up With A Good Book Apr, 13 Interview & Excerpt fuonlyknew Apr 14 Review & Giveaway Once Upon A Story Apr 15 Review & Excerpt Beneath the Jacket Reviews Apr 16 Indie Review Behind the Scenes Apr 17 Live I 6 pm cst Cassandra M’s Place Apr 20 Review & Giveaway The Crypto-Caper Review Apr 21 Review In Bed With Books Apr 22 Review,Interview & Excerpt Allison’s Book Bag May 24 Review & Interview Mary’s Cup of Tea Apr 27 Review Deal Sharing Aunt Apr 28 Review, Excerpt & Giveaway Bound for Escape Apr 30 Review What U Talking Bout Willis? May 1 Review Lisa’s Writopia May 4 Review Books, Books, and More Books May 5 Review & Excerpt Beth’s Book-Nook Blog May 8 Review Sweet Southern Home May 11 Review One Frugal Girl May 15 Review Follow the Tour:
I love great recommendations and, sometimes, when I am recommended a book I get an advanced copy and I get to participate in a book tour—I LOVE blog tours, because it allows me to get introduced to some great new (to me) blogs. Today, we’re touring Bobby Pyron’s novel Lucky Strike.
Nate Harlow has had a pretty unlucky like, but all that changes on April 11th, the day of his 11th birthday. He is finally able to blow out all the candles from his cake. Nate is convinced the unlucky streak that has plagued him all of his life is finally over…until he gets struck by lightning at the mechanical dinosaur at goofy golf. It’s a miracle he survives, and it isn’t until much later that he realizes exactly how lucky he is.
From that moment, Nate’s luck begins to change (for his Grandfather, as well) for the better. And his best friend, Genesis (Gen, for short) is along for the ride. While Nate believes the strike gave him the good luck, Gen cites the statistical probability. But, is it more than that? Does Nate’s experience of being lifted up just after the strike, hold any water?
Bobby Pyron writes a fun, youth-oriented novel about beliefs and one young man’s journey towarding figuring out his place in this world.
Nate is a great character, so authentic and easily an ‘everyboy’ (with a strong helping of underdog). Most people can identify with this character, especially those at the ‘tween’ stage of life. He photographs single shoes and his parents died in an accident when he was four. As a result, he has lived with his Grandfather ever since. While the two have been close, neither are prepared for the tough decisions Nate will have to make, thanks to his newfound celebrity…especially when it comes to friends.
I sympathized with Gen. I was a bit of an oddball during this time of my life and I was struck by her strength—her commitment to being true to herself and working to save the turtles who nest at the local beach. She is heartbroken in Lucky Strike but she keeps going and stays true to herself.
This was a great read—perfect for the young reader in your life, or the older reader in search of a meaningful book, Check out the excerpt below—and pick up the book from your favorite retailer today!
Nate left the oyster shell path and cut through the piney woods until he hit the red clay road leading to The Church of the One True Redeemer and Everlasting Light. The double doors of the white wooden church stood open, the voices of children tumbling out. He took the steps up to the church doorway two at a time.
“Nate!” Two identical little girls in identical sundresses squealed at the exact same time. They raced each other down the long aisle from the pulpit to the front doors. They flung themselves on him, their scrawny black arms plucking at his hair and squeezing his neck. “Happy birthday, Nate!”
He looped an arm around each shoulder and grinned. “Thank you Ruth, thank you Rebecca.” Nate may have been considered a bit on the puny side, but when he was with Ruth and Rebecca, he felt ten feet tall.
The girls grabbed his hands. “We’ve been waiting all the live-long day for you,” Ruth said, bouncing on her toes.
“We made you a card and mama made something special too,” Rebecca said.
The twins dragged him past the worn pews, behind the pulpit and up the steep side stairs to the living quarters of the Beam family. The smell of vanilla and chocolate filled the stairwell.
“Nate’s here, Mama,” Ruth announced. “Can we eat the cupcakes now?”
“Please?” asked Rebecca.
Mrs. Beam smiled. “Happy birthday, Nate.” Then she shot a look at the two six-year-old girls hopping foot to foot. “And no you may not have a cupcake now.” The twins brown eyes filled with sorrow.
“It’s Nate’s birthday,” Gen called from the couch. “He gets the first one.”
Ruth handed the boy a huge construction paper card decorated with hearts and kittens by the artistically inclined twin. “I drew you a masterpiece for your birthday, Nate! Do you like it?” Ruth twirled and spun out of the room before he could answer.
Rebecca tugged on his hand. “I wrote you a poem for your birthday,” she whispered shyly.
Nate opened the card and read:
Roses are red, the sky is blue.
We sure are lucky
To have a friend like you!
Nate grinned. “Thank you Rebecca. It’s the best poem anyone has ever wrote for me.”
“Written,” Gen corrected as she came into the kitchen. She handed a bag to Nate. “Happy birthday.”
Nate pulled from the bag a book titled Secrets of Florida’s Loggerhead Turtles. He grinned and ran his book over the cover. “This is great, Gen. We can study it together since the turtles will be coming soon.”
“I’ve already read it three times and have it pretty much memorized,” Gen said with a shrug. “But I’ll help you with it.”
Footsteps pounded up the stairwell. Two identical little boys, two years smaller than the twin girls, raced into the kitchen. Yes, Mrs. Beam had had two sets of twins twice in a row. Gen would tell you the odds of that happening were one in twelve.
“Is it cupcake time yet?” asked Joshua.
“Leviticus, Joshua,” Mrs. Beam said. “You wash those filthy little hands of yours before you think about eating anything.”
“Aw, Mama,” Leviticus groaned.
“You listen to your sweet Mama, son,” a voice as big as God’s said. The Reverend Beam filled the kitchen.
He laid his big hand on Nate’s shoulder. “Happy birthday, young man.”
Nate looked way, way up into the face of the Reverend Beam and smiled. “Thank you, sir.” Next to his grandpa and Genesis, Reverend Beam was pretty much his favorite person on earth.
“Haven’t seen you and your grandpa in church lately,” the Reverend Beam said as he always did.
“No sir,” he answered as always. “But grandpa says we’ll be coming soon as we can. The pompano are running now and grandpa’s always busy.” Which they both knew was wishful thinking.
Mrs. Beam placed a yellow candle in the exact middle of the biggest of the chocolate-frosted cupcakes. Carefully, she lit the candle. “Make a wish, Nate,” she said.
He stared at the candle.
“Wish for a unicorn!” Ruthie said
“Wish for a kitten,” Rebecca smiled.
“A robot!” Levi cried.
“A bicycle!” Joshua hollered.
“Hush now,” Mrs. Beam said. “It’s Nate’s wish.”
Gen rolled her eyes. She didn’t believe in birthday wishes, and Nate wasn’t too sure he did either. He’d just about given up wishing on stars and he’d never once found a four-leaf clover. There was the lucky rabbit’s foot, although Gen never failed to point out luck had not been on that rabbit’s side. He figured good luck had only visited him once in a blue moon. Still, he decided as he closed his eyes and took a deep breath, it couldn’t hurt, could it?
He closed his eyes and rubbed his thumb on the little foot. “Please, please let something lucky happen today.”
Everyone held their breath and watched wide-eyed as Nate unleashed a long, strong breath. Carried on that breath was the wish that 1) he’d have good luck just once in his life and 2) the knowledge that not only had his birthday wish never come true, but the candle’s flame had never gone out, no matter how hard he blew.
But this time, on Nate Harlow’s eleventh birthday on the eleventh of May, a waverly line of smoke replaced the dancing candle flame.