Mundie Moms

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Clatter of Jars by Lisa Graff / Celebrating Lisa Graff / Giveaway

Summer vacation is in full swing, and that means there's plenty of time for summer reading! If you're a fan of Middle Grade reading, it wouldn't be summer without adding a book or two, or more of Lisa Graff's to your summer reading list. 

Today on Mundie Kids, we team up with Penguin to celebrate author Lisa Graff. Lisa's middle grade books have been a huge hit with young readers. Through out the summer I'll be featuring each of her books over on Mundie Kids. 

Today I'm thrilled to feature her newest release, A CLATTER OF JARS. Perfect for fans of Matilda, this is a fantastic story! Released on May 24th by Philomel, and perfect for ages 8-12, this book is one that features summer cap, a lake full of magic, and a few secrets.  Though it's a sequel to A Tangle of Knots, this is a book I read as a stand alone, and really enjoyed it.  


Published by: Philomel
Released on: May 24th, 2016
Series: A Tangle of Knots
Purchase fromAmazon | B&N | IndieBound
Add it to Goodreads 

For magically Talented kids, the place to be is Camp Atropos, where they can sing songs by the campfire, practice for the Talent show, and take some nice long dips in the lake. But what the kids don't know is that they've been gathered for a reason—one that the camp's director wants to keep hidden at all costs. 

Meanwhile, a Talent jar that has been dropped to the bottom of the lake has sprung a leak, and strange things have begun to happen. Dozens of seemingly empty jars have been washing up on the shoreline, Talents have been swapped, and memories have been ripped from one camper's head and placed into another—and no one knows why. A return to the world of A TANGLE OF KNOTS, this camp for Talented kids might just be a recipe for disaster!

Head over to Mundie Kids to enter to win a Lisa Graff prize pack, HERE

FIRESTORM by Katie Robison / Blog Tour: Guest Post / Giveaway #FirestormTour2016

Hello and welcome to today's FIRESTORM BLOG TOUR stop! I'm so thrilled to have author Katie Robison on the blog today. Today's stop features a guest post from Katie, talking about the inspiration behind her newest release, as well as a giveaway! First, here's a little bit about her book, Firestorm. 


By: Katie Robison
Published by: Quil Books Inc
Released on: June 7th, 2016
Purchase it from: Amazon
Add it to: Goodreads

"Why did I possibly think I could do anything to end this war? I was a fool, and now I have one week to get the twins out of here, or I may never see them again." 

The seven tribal nations are at war, and as a taporo, Kit can finally do something to save her people. But Kit can’t shake the feeling she’s playing a game she doesn’t understand and if she agrees to fight, she’ll lose the ones she loves the most. 

Firestorm is the highly anticipated conclusion to the The Windstorm Series, a fast-paced fantasy trilogy that critics are calling a “thrilling head-rush of an adventure” (Kirkus Reviews).


Way back in 2010, I was actively brainstorming ideas for a YA fantasy trilogy. I knew I wanted it to be set in our world but with a unique paranormal element; I just wasn’t sure what. At the time, I was reading a book of Maori myths, and in that particular collection, there were two legends that stood out to me: (1) the Maori creation story, which features Tawhirimatea, the god of winds and storms, and (2) a story about the patupaiarehe, the fair-skinned fairy folk who try to steal away Maori women. In this second story, after the patupaiarehe is defeated, he disappears into the night, and the story concludes with this poem:

Behold, a cold south wind blows across the land
as the stranger leaves
never to return to that valley.
And from far away
a thin, plaintive wail rides the wind
to places high and low
as a lone patupaiarehe fades away,
becoming lighter than cobwebs,
disappearing into thin air.

(From Myths and Legends of Aotearoa by Annie Rae Te Ake Ake)

These two stories sparked my interest in myths about the wind and gave me an idea for my fantasy element. I knew I wanted this paranormal aspect to have a strong cultural context, and I also wanted to preserve that sense of mythology and mystery evoked by the stories I mentioned above. As a result, I looked at numerous Native myths about the wind, which I used to develop my characters’ history, religion, and society. Their world, which exists within ours, is divided into tribes, and for their names and particular customs, I looked to myths that were indigenous to whatever region that tribe occupied. For example, Downburst, the first book in the series, takes place in Canada, so I read lots of Native American, First Nations, and Inuit stories and named the upper North American tribe the Yakone, which means “Red Aurora” in Inuit. (The New Zealand tribe is named the Rangi, which means “sky” or “weather” in Maori.*)

Centering my series on the wind also prompted me to learn more about meteorology so that I could describe my characters’ engagement with it in a way that would make sense. This ultimately inspired me to name each title in the series after a type of windstorm and to begin each section with a thematically relevant note about that storm’s development.** In my books, I try to combine these elements—science and myth—so that the world I’ve created seems both plausible and culturally rich.

Firestorm, which is the last title in the trilogy, has a more global reach than the first two books; consequently, it reflects a wider range of mythological influences, especially stories that unite fire and wind. For example, here’s an excerpt from the epigraph to Part One:

The Vila are female warriors in Slavic mythology who control the wind and create powerful storms with their songs. When they do battle, the earth shakes.
But if a Vila’s skin is touched by fire, she will die.
In Firestorm, we get to meet some new tribes, including the Biegga, who reside in Eastern Europe and Russia. This epigraph sets the stage both for my protagonist’s encounter with the Biegga and for one of the central conflicts in the story, which revolves around fire. (Fire has a been an important symbol throughout the trilogy—my protagonist, Kit, is pyrophobic because of a traumatic event in her childhood—and in this book Kit has to confront her fear in a very personal way.)

I’m really happy with the way Firestorm brings together the stories and themes that first inspired me and have been developing throughout the series, coming full circle to that “thin, plaintive wail rid[ing] the wind / to places high and low,” and I hope you will be too! Thanks for reading!

*Characters named Rangi also appear in the two legends I mention above.

**My book titles are Downburst, Coiled Snake (which is the translation for cyclone), and Firestorm. I also have a chapter-length prequel, available for free through my website, titled “Arcus,” which is a type of shelf cloud that forms at the beginning of a thunderstorm.


Katie Robison has a Ph.D. in medieval literature from the University of Minnesota and is a registered member of the Ngai Tahu Maori tribe in New Zealand. She currently lives on a lake outside Salt Lake City with her husband, daughter, and Siberian Husky. Learn more at


Thank you to Katie Robison, I've got an awesome prize pack to giveaway! 1 winner will receive everything picture above! This includes:
  • Signed copies of the trilogy
  • a compass necklace
  • bookmark 
  • journal
This giveaway is open to readers in the US and Canada. To enter to win, please fill out this form below:

* International readers, please check out Katie's international giveaway hereKatie is giving 10 ebooks of her book (open internationally). Please note that all copies of Firestorm that are being giveaway are ARCs and some minor details and typos have been changed/corrected for the final version. 


May 30            ~Memorial Day~
May 31             It’s a Bookish Thing 13: Review and Giveaway
June 1              Girl Who Reads: Review and Giveaway
June 2              Nerdi Girl Books: Giveaway
June 3              Bookhounds YA: Q&A and Giveaway

June 6              It Starts at Midnight: Top Ten Magical Experiences and Giveaway
June 7              Once Upon a Twilight: Giveaway
June 8              Such Stuff Books: Interview and Giveaway
June 9              Read Sleep Fangirl: Giveaway
June 10            Ana Loves: Guest Post and Giveaway

June 13            Mundie Moms: Guest Post and Giveaway
June 14            Bookworm Everlasting: Review
June 15            Crime of Rhyme: Review and Giveaway
June 16            Princessica of Books: Guest Post and Giveaway
June 17            Lloyd Reads: Firestorm Aesthetics and Giveaway