Next Up For Review

Next Up For Review
The Center Cannot Hold, Elyn Saks

Monday, May 2, 2011

Time Out

Today is a joyous occasion. The United States has slain the dragon that destroyed our land and people nearly a decade ago. As a woman with a husband & son that are currently serving in the US Navy I need to say two things:

I am so proud. Thank you my boys (and all the boys & girls) that give of themselves so we can be free.

Time to celebrate.(I can think of no better way than a book review and a big announcement, can you?)

1. How do you treat the flag? I have an interesting book from author, Stacy Juba
Since this story deals with the very delicate topic of proper etiquette of flag handling, I thought today would be a good day to post this unannounced review.

My blog is misbehaving, so I apologize for not being able to move the cover to the left which is my aesthetic choice. I'm spontaneously reviewing The Flag Keeper for two reasons: 

The first is the obvious joy over snagging one of the world's most horrific terrorists. The second is I enjoyed this book. Having a military family most likely jades me a please keep that in mind. Here is the Smashwords synopsis:

Elizabeth may be a little bear, but she treats the American flag with big respect. After Dad leaves for a trip, Elizabeth pledges to raise the flag all by herself and create her own Independence Day. This illustrated picture book teaches children about U.S. flag etiquette through a fiction story, flag facts, activity idea, and discussion questions. 

My take:

Cover: No grade.
What???? Hear me out on this. I read this book on my Kindle. Lets just say that I now have found a flaw in my beloved device...children's books. Created with full color illustrations, children's books are difficult to enjoy on a black and white screen. If I'd read it on a color nook, or an iPad, or had a hard copy of the story, there would be a grade, believe me. I just think it would be very unfair to grade something that relies so heavily on the readers ability to *see* it.

Story: Solid B
The story is a little dry, but it is supposed to be used as an instructional How to when teaching young kids about the American flag. That's a tough topic to make interesting to a six year old. I think Ms. Juba did a nice job creating something that will hold the audience's interest and at the same time provide an education. 

Overall Grade: B
If you are part of a military family, the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Indian Princesses, or any other group that works with children on an educational level, this book provides a valuable lesson in an easy to teach format. This is my first experience with a book that tackles a patriotic issue for young'uns. I'm glad to see a writer take it head on.
The book can be yours from Smashwords for a mere $0.99. just make sure you view it from a color device!

2. Finally, a giveaway! Runs from today until June 24th

A big thanks to all the wonderful people out there that took the time to find and follow my rambling blog. I hit my first meager goal of fifty followers, so as promised, I will now host a giveaway.
Hmmm, what shall I part with?
How about a love story straight from the grassy knolls and thatched roofs of Scotland? It's a love story too. And, as an added bonus, I will be interviewing the author this coming Sunday.

The book is: A Scottish Ferry Tale, by Nancy Volkers (print edition)

Here is the blurb:
Once upon a time, a young woman had her heart broken. She was cynical enough to close the door on love, but idealistic enough not to lock it. Instead, she escaped to an island off Scotland's west coast, where she met someone who might change her life, if she would only allow it. Does she? And who is this life-changing person, anyway? Are there any dragons? Fairy godmothers? Chocolate cake? And is there a happily ever after? this a *kissing* book?!

Sounds good right? I'm also throwing in a mystery book of my choosing! The Rules are as follows:
1.follow my blog
2. Go to my website: and click on the FB 'Like' button
3. Go to my other website: and click on the FB 'like' button
4. Leave me a note in the comments section of this post
The winner will be chosen at random and notified via email to make arrangements for shipping. It is open to US residents only (I'm a writer. I can't afford overseas shipping, sorry)
Not too bad, eh? 
Better get clicking!



  1. Thanks so much for the review, Elsie! I agree, digital picture books are best enjoyed on color readers. There is also a full-color paperback version if anyone is looking for a print book for kids on this subject. Nice post! I was very surprised to hear the news reports last night.

  2. Yes! Print in hand...definitely a great way to go.

  3. I found you because of Ellen Harger, who was recently picked to have some of her fiction posted on your site - I am hoping to submit a piece/two myself now that I know about it... :) I liked you on both FBs - I show up there as Jill (for Jill Elizabeth) - and am now following you on Networked Blogs & Google Friend too. Great site and congrats on 50 followers - I'm hoping to get there myself soon!!

  4. Hi there. I found you on Network Your Blog and have enjoyed visiting your pages. I am now following you on facebook and through GFC as countrysunset40. I am also on Networked blogs. Congratulations on reaching your 50 followers. I am One day hopefully.

    Have a wonderful day!! Oh yeah, please enter me in your wonderful giveaway.
    You can contact me at:
    countrysunset40 (at) aol dot com

  5. I always watch for flag rules broken around the fourth of July. Amazing what people do that shouldn't be done! I'll have to take a look at that book! If I win, I'll save you the shipping and meet you for lunch!!!

  6. Hi - I'm here from Dedicated Book Reviewers on Book Blogs, and I'm so glad I found you! I come from a Navy family myself, and was active duty for six and half years, with father, brothers and husband sailors, too. So I was so delighted to see the photo. I would live to win the book, as Scotland is one of our favorite places. Come visit my little blog if you get a chance at and thanks for the giveaway!!