The Book is OUT!!!

I’m getting emails and tweets from all the folks who contributed to the Kickstarter saying that they’re receiving their copies in the mail today. Thanks again to everyone who helped make the campaign a smashing success!

Now, as they post photos of their new acquisitions, their friends are asking, “How can I get one?” There are oh, so many ways!

  1. If you live in the Boston area, you can walk into Pandemonium Books and Games in Cambridge and pick one up.
  2. If you live anywhere else, you can go to your local independent bookstore. As long as they use Ingram, you can order a copy from them. Even chains like Barnes and Noble can do this.
  3. You can order directly from Dreaming Robot Press.
  4. You can always order from

Wherever you buy the book, please share your experience by posting a review on!

Thanks, everyone!


Buy A Witch’s Kitchen eBook for ONLY 99 Cents!!!!

Sorry to interrupt my Harry Potter posts. Book launch week has arrived and is mostly eating all my time. To celebrate, Dreaming Robot Press has made the eBook of A Witch’s Kitchen available a few days early on, and they’ve set the price to a mind-boggling 99 cents! But this price won’t last. On September 25th, the official launch date, the price will go up, so grab it while you can! All we ask is that, once you’ve read it, you take a moment to leave a review on Amazon. Thanks!

Beyond Hogwarts: Part 2 – Young Readers 8-11

In my last post, I recommended books for beginning readers who are Harry Potter fans. But what about kids who are well past early readers and ready for chapter books? Glad you asked. For slightly older readers, say 8-11, there’s a wonderful selection of middle grades books that will appeal to more experienced readers who aren’t quite ready to tackle the Potter books just yet.

The Warriors, Seekers, and Survivors series by Erin Hunter. Actually, Erin Hunter is a pseudonym for a team of writers including Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, Gillian Philip, Inbali Iserles, Tui T. Sutherland, and editor Victoria Holmes. These books were incredibly popular among second grade boys and girls alike, largely because the characters are all animals. The Warriors series focuses exclusively on feral cats and their societal structure and struggles to survive in nature. My daughters and their friends spent endless hours with their friends playing Warriors in the backyard. So these are both a good reading choice and a good way to get your young reader some exercise!

Speaking of Tui T. Sutherland, her Wings of Fire series has been very popular with my nine-year-old. In this series, all the characters are young dragons growing up in a war-torn society and finding their particular strengths. I love the format: each book is told from the point of view of a different dragon, so that we see dragon society and culture from different perspectives, as well as each dragon’s individual challenges and growth. One dragon is shy, another fierce, another contemplative. All are in some way misunderstood and strive to achieve respect while also working to improve their world. Strong themes of loyalty and friendship will make this familiar territory for young Potterheads.

I recommend anything by Shannon Hale, including her bestselling Princess Academy series and her Ever After High tie-in novels, which are surprisingly sophisticated and challenging. Too girly? Try her crazy steampunk fairytale Calamity Jack series.

For more intense adventure in small bite-size pieces, try Holly Black’s Spiderwick Chronicles. Brilliantly illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi (more on him in a later post), each of the five books is a short foray into the realm of Faerie, with themes of trust, loyalty, and family throughout.

For some classic choices, consider L. Frank Baum’s nigh-endless Oz series, Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain, and C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia.

Next post: Books for the advanced reader who’s stuck at Book Four.

Beyond Hogwarts: Part 1 – for beginning readers

I recently found myself having yet another conversation with parents about what their children can read beyond Harry Potter. I get asked this question or variants of it All. The. Time. There are several ways to answer this, depending on what your specific problem is. I’m going to address those problems over several blog posts, so stay tuned. For today, I’m looking at the very youngest Potter fans.

My child loves the Harry Potter movies but is too young to be reading the books. Are there books for her age range with similar appeal?

I’m going to assume that you’re looking for books that your child can read herself, not books that you read to her or read together. The following are early readers and chapter books my daughters loved when they were about 6-8 years old.

The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne was designed with early readers in mind. The protagonists, Jack and Annie, travel around the world and throughout history from a magic tree house they find in the woods near their home. The books are well researched, and Osborne often provides non-fiction companion books, such as the much-read Titanic guide my elder daughter loved. also provides additional materials and activities for that REALLY curious kid in your life.

The Unicorn School series by Linda Chapman was my younger daughter’s favorite chapter book series when she was six. Focusing on social development and growth, the series provides engaging characters and promotes problem-solving skills.

The Rainbow Fairies series by Daisy Meadows was another favorite. The simple, formulaic plots made the stories easy and quick to read, which is good because there are DOZENS of them! My younger daughter would devour them like popcorn.

The Moomintroll series by Tove Jansson is one of my own favorites from childhood. Originally written in Finnish, the series is populated entirely by fantastic characters you won’t find in American literature: trolls, hemulins, snuffkins, snarks, and a wide variety of woodland creatures. The cozy Moomin family provides a safe, nurturing home base from which Moomintroll and his friends can go off on rollicking adventures.

Though these may be more challenging and require parental assistance, ANYTHING by Roald Dahl, but for young readers, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach are good choices.

Have further suggestions? Please share them in the comments!