The Adventures of Mackenzie and Cristen
Book One, Second Edition
Genre: Middle Grade / Contemporary Fiction
Date of Publication: June 12, 2016
# of pages: 70
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It's the beginning of summer and Uncle Mike and Aunt Melanie invite Mackenzie for an extended summer vacation in their hometown of Houston, Texas. On the first day, Mackenzie finds her cousins, Cristen and Chloe, helping their parents prepare a special meal. Come and learn about the holiday and celebration of Juneteenth with this first book in The Adventures of Mackenzie and Cristen, a cultural journey of joy, family, and fun!
Summer Vacation is the first installment in The Adventures of Mackenzie and Cristen, a five part journey of family love and fun. Each adventure finds the cousins learning history, exploring cultural themes and traditions, and discovering the joy in the world around them.
PRAISE FOR SUMMER VACATION:
“I read Summer Vacation by Belinda Everette. I thought it was educational regarding the true history of Juneteenth and portrayed realistic events in the lives of the characters. I did pass it on to one of my daughters with a special interest in children’s books. This seems to be a good moment for this kind of story, with increased interest in African-American history with readers of all ages.”
-- Ronne Hartfield, Co-Chair, Harvard University Arts Education Council, Executive Director, Art Institute of Chicago, Author
“Summer Vacation is very good. This book is entertaining and informative. The author has given us a unique way of presenting history to our children. This book should be published in Spanish and other languages to share this history with other cultures.”
-- Irma P. Hall, Academy Award nominated American Actress, Poet, Author, Language Educator (ret), Dallas Public School System, 30 years.
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HALL WAYS REVIEW: Summer Vacation is a quick, easy to read story that teaches a huge lesson in a compact package. Readers will enjoy being placed right in the middle of this loving family where the history lessons are taught in a fun but sneaky way -- perfect for young readers who may be reluctant to read books where *gasp* they may have to learn something.
The primary lesson in reading Summer Vacation is about the history and reason behind the Juneteenth holiday and celebration. Author Belinda Everette uses the family-in-the-kitchen setting for a natural dialogue to occur to explain Juneteenth.
Everette includes an ethnically diverse cast of characters, which allows for multiple perspectives and misconceptions about Juneteenth to come into play. A short study guide at the end of the book helps direct readers to focus on specific aspects, such as when "Mackenzie. . . couldn't understand why Texas history was not taught in Texas schools." (I hear ya, MacKenzie.)
Though the version I reviewed was still undergoing the revision process, I expect the final version of the second edition release to be clean. Everette's depiction of the sharing of stories between family and friends is familiar, comfortable, and completely believable. This book would be well-placed in elementary classrooms and libraries to get kids familiar with the significance of Juneteenth. It is likely to encourage conversation about where our country has been, where it is, and in what direction it needs to go in the future. Recommended for readers ages 10-12.
Like most people, when life throws lemons, you make lemonade and that was certainly the case for Belinda Everette, the author of The Adventures of Mackenzie and Cristen book series. After twenty-six years as a Senior Vice-President for several Fortune 500 financial institutions, life circumstances required a change. Belinda put down her briefcase, enrolled in Rice University's creative writing program, and began to pursue her lifelong dream of writing.
When not writing, Belinda supports several of her favorite charities which focus on providing housing and improving living conditions for those in need, including Houston's Star of Hope, Covenant House, and Houston Achievement Place.
"Family is my greatest joy," Belinda adds "nothing is better than a houseful of family and friends with lots of children running around, enjoying a delicious meal and good Christian fellowship." Cooking, entertaining, and music along with daughter Ashley, son-in-law Ron, and grandchildren, Mackenzie and Evan, keep life full and happy. Belinda and her constant companion, a four-year old Shih Tzu, reside in suburban Houston, Texas.
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
1 Grand Prize Winner wins:
Signed Copies of Summer Vacation and It's Just A Song, plus a tote bag
2 Other Winners each win:
Signed Copies of Summer Vacation plus mouse pads
July 20 - July 29, 2016
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Check out the other great blogs on the tour!
Check out the other great blogs on the tour!
7/20 Hall Ways Blog – Review
7/21 Country Girl Bookaholic – Excerpt #1
7/22 Reading By Moonlight – Author Interview #1
7/23 Margie's Must Reads – Review
7/24 StoreyBook Reviews – Guest Post
7/25 The Crazy Booksellers – Excerpt #2
7/26 Missus Gonzo – Review
7/27 Byers Editing Reviews & Blog – Author Interview #2
7/28 The Librarian Talks – Promo
7/29 My Book Fix Blog – Review
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