Top Books Worth Reading

News About Independent Top Authors on Amazon Kindle

Top Books Worth Reading - News About Independent Top Authors on Amazon Kindle

The Monsterjunkies: An American Family Odyssey

This beautiful graphic novel is the adaptation of the original novel “The Monsterjunkies”, written by YA authors Erik Daniel Shein and Theresa A. Gates. The adaptation was made by Jay Fotos Studios, and the result is absolutely amazing. Recently, “The Monsterjunkies: An American Family Odyssey” has received a Readers’ Favorite award in the gold category, and has been positively reviewed by Kirkus Reviews.

The Monsterjunkies are a family of cryptozoologists. They live in an impressive mansion in Foggy Point, Maine, which they use as a sanctuary for rare and endangered species. The two Monsterjunkie children, Crow and Indigo, go to school in town but find it very difficult to fit in. All the other teenagers think they are freaks and treat them very badly. While Indigo has a way of making herself liked by the others, Crow often feels alone and unwanted. He prefers to lock himself in his room, where he works on his monster figures, or spend time with the creatures around the mansion, who are his friends.

Eventually, Crow and Indigo manage to make some friends, but just as they think their lives are getting better, the lead bully in their school, Ruth, decides to torment them. If Ruth’s favorite activity is to upset Crow and Indigo, Ruth’s father favorite hobby is to ruin their parents, Talon and Pandora Monsterjunkie. The man is rich and powerful enough to run the Monsterjunkies out of town. What will the family do? Will they give up, or choose to stand up for themselves? They don’t even want to think about what would happen to the kind monsters around their mansion if Ruth and his father succeed.

“The Monsterjunkies: An American Family Odyssey” is a brilliant graphic novel that manages to send some very important messages: bullying is wrong, and when it happens teenagers have to find the power to stand up for themselves. Being different is not bad and shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of. Yes, it is very important to all of us to feel that we fit in society and that we are accepted, but that doesn’t mean we have to change everything about ourselves to achieve that.

This adaptation by Jay Fotos Studios is faithful to the original story, and the art is absolutely beautiful. The characters are well-drawn, and the colors are used in such a way to make the mysterious monsters stand out and jump from the panels. Even though it is a story with and about teenagers, “The Monsterjunkies” will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

You can find it here.

Today’s Featured Most Extraordinary Librarian

Antonio La Cava is a retired schoolteacher from Ferrandina, Italy. After 42 years of teaching he asked himself what more he could do spread the love of reading among children.

In 2003 he bought a used Ape motorbike and heavily modified it to house 700 books.

Ever since he travels the Italian countryside, bringing books to villages in the region of Basilicata. The sound of an organ is announcing Il Bibliomotocarro’s arrival.

La Cava’s mission is to spread the love of reading, because:

A disinterest in reading often starts in schools where the technique is taught, but it’s not being accompanied by love. Reading should be a pleasure, not a duty.

⇢ Credits and more info / via Inhabitat

Antonio also enjoys supporting Indie Authors .

Browse through today’s recommended reading picks:


A Bestseller from an Award-Winning Author

After eleven years of marriage, Maya falls madly in love with a mysterious man. Through alleys fragrant with the pungent smell of fried rice, amid child beggars and vendors of psychedelic fabrics, she makes surprising discoveries about the stranger, and about herself. How far will she be willing to go?



Adventure, danger, and timeless love–Gallagher’s Pride is the first in a series about a frontier family’s legacy, healing old wounds, and fighting for the land they love. Brenna Cameron travels from Scotland after losing someone she loves in search of family she didn’t know existed. Alone now in the world, Brenna makes an arduous journey, following the trail of discovery to Briarwood, Montana. Here she meets Ethan Gallagher, and the rest of the Gallagher clan. Only with their help is she able to discover lost family, heal old wounds and embark on a treacherous confrontation with a man who destroyed her family. She was a on a quest of discovery. He was on a quest for revenge. Together they would discover a second chance.



Young readers will:

1. Learn facts about animals and how they drink
2. Be curious and ask questions
3. Enjoy great and colorful images
4. Enjoy a book about animals


This is a sweet children’s book written primarily for children ages four to eight years old. Targeting beginner readers, the book contains simple text and colorful illustrations.


Tune in next week to see the luxury liner that converted into one of the most extraordinary libraries in the world.




Giveaway – Win Signed Paperback Copies of Fun and Educational Children’s Books

Young readers who love bedtime stories now have the chance to win signed paperback copies of two adorable books filled with incredible adventures and brightly colored illustrations. Maria Schell Burden is offering 3 signed copies of her rhyming animal bedtime story “All Quiet on Nassau Lake”, and 2 signed copies of “The Extraordinary Life of Chowder the Field Mouse”. And all you have to do is leave a comment on the Top Books Worth Reading Facebook page, under the post about the giveaway, until April 30, 2015.

“All Quiet on Nassau Lake” was especially written for children who don’t like going to bed after a long day of having fun and playing games. It is a soothing bedtime story that invites them to say “goodnight” to all the baby animals that live around Nassau Lake. Baby otters, bunnies, frogs, squirrels, ducks, and many more animals go to sleep when night comes, thus encouraging little children to do the same. With this lovely book, Maria Schell Burden proves that she’s not only an amazing storyteller, but also a talented painter. Her hand-painted watercolor illustrations will remind parents and grandparents of their own bedtime stories written by classic authors such as Beatrix Potter and Robert McCloskey.

“All Quiet on Nassau Lake” can be found on Amazon.

“The Extraordinary Life of Chowder the Field Mouse” tells the story of an orphaned baby mouse whose home is destroyed. He is lucky enough to be saved and adopted by a loving human family, and he also makes a great friend who becomes like a brother to him: Copper, the family’s big dog. Children will love Chowder’s story even more when they will find out that it is based on a true story. Both Chowder and Copper are real, and they are, indeed, best friends. Katelin Cole’s precious illustrations bring them to life and help readers follow their funny adventures.

“The Extraordinary Life of Chowder the Field Mouse” can be found on Amazon.

Don’t forget that you can win signed paperback copies of these lovely books by leaving a comment on the Top Books Worth Reading Facebook page.

“The Adventures of Joey Who Would Not Sleep” by Denise McCabe

The best bedtime stories are the ones that help children relax, and give them wonderful dreams. “The Adventures of Joey Who Would Not Sleep” is certainly one of them, especially since it was written for children who don’t like sleeping in their own room. The author, Denise McCabe, is the mother of two small children, and she knows exactly what kind of problems parents usually encounter. She has decided to help them solve these problems with the help of bedtime stories. Joey’s adventures in dreamland will not only help children understand why they should get used to sleeping alone, but they will also teach them about friendship, family, and why it is important to follow some rules.

Joey is a young boy who always wants his mother to stay with him until he falls asleep. The problem is that once his mother lies down on the floor to keep him company, Joey starts talking about everything he did that day, and he can go on like this until morning. So, his mother finds a solution: she gives Joey a magic dust that takes him to Alphabet Island, where a band of pirates are trying to find a lost treasure. Joey must help them find the missing letters of the alphabet in order to reach the treasure, but while he’s on this exciting adventure, he realizes how difficult it is to be around people who never sleep. This is a great lesson for him, and Joey will never keep his mother awake again.

Paula Curran’s beautiful illustrations will draw the children’s attention and make them curious about the story. “The Adventures of Joey Who Would Not Sleep” is perfect for the age level 2-6, and the little ones will want their parents to read it to them every night. They will easily relate to Joey, and they will immediately fall in love with Captain Awake Head and Captain Asleep Head, two of the main characters. Then, there’s their adorable parrot that talks all the time, eventually making Joey so tired that the only thing he wants is to sleep.

“The Adventures of Joey Who Would Not Sleep” has amazing reviews on Amazon. Here is what one customer said: “I was pleasantly surprised with this book. The idea of the book is a very original one, and told in a very clear and well-thought-out way. The illustrations do a good job of supporting and enhancing the story. It really is an easy book for parents to read and for children to enjoy and understand.”

Find “The Adventures of Joey Who Would Not Sleep” on Amazon.

“All Quiet on Nassau Lake: A Rhyming Animal Bedtime Story” by Maria Schell Burden

“The moon’s on the rise over Nassau Lake
And the animal parents know…
Their babies need rest, but they will protest
So they murmur soft and low…”

This is how Maria Schell Burden’s adorable children’s book begins. What follows is a lovely story of how all the baby animals around Nassau Lake go to sleep after a long day of fun and games. “All Quiet on Nassau Lake” is the perfect bedtime read for children who are full of energy and don’t want to go to sleep when it’s time. Saying “goodnight” to their favorite characters will surely help, and parents will also enjoy the beautiful, soothing rhymes and the hand-painted watercolor illustrations. If children will love the story and the pictures, parents will love the book because it will remind them of those they had when they were little.

“All Quiet on Nassau Lake” is a new classic, written and illustrated in the unique tradition of Beatrix Potter and Robert McCloskey. Maria Schell Burden is a very talented painter, and her baby animals are absolutely adorable. Children will say “goodnight” to the baby otters, then to the little turtles, ducks, squirrels, frogs, bunnies, little swallows, and finally, to the little child who falls asleep in his cozy bed.

The book is perfect for ages 0-5. It will make children sleepy in a matter of minutes, but it will also teach them about the various animals that live around a lake. The illustrations are amazingly accurate, so the little ones will learn exactly how the animals they read about look like. They will later be able to recognize them on TV or in real life, if they have the chance. So, “All Quiet on Nassau Lake” is not only an enjoyable, soothing bedtime story, but also a great tool to teach children about a great number of animals.

Find it on Amazon.

“The Extraordinary Life of Chowder the Field Mouse” by Maria Schell Burden

Family is the most important thing in the world, and Chowder, the little field mouse, knows this better than anyone. He lost his real family when his home in the garden was accidently destroyed. However, he was lucky enough to be saved by a loving human family, who brought him into their own home and raised him. This is how Chowder also got a brother – Copper, the dog. Now, he is happy, grateful to be part of a wonderful family, and ready to explore the world.

“The Extraordinary Life of Chowder the Field Mouse” by author Maria Schell Burden is an adorable book for children of ages 3-5. It tells the story of a little orphaned creature who gets a second chance at love and happiness. While the text is fun and easy to read, the illustrations drawn by Katelin Cole are brightly colored and engaging. They render the story very well, and the younger readers will spend hours looking at them. The book is perfect as a bedtime read, and it offers parents a great opportunity to spend quality time with their children, read the story and look at the pictures together, then discuss about the lessons they have learned from the story.

Chowder and Copper are two fun characters kids will love from page one. They go on exciting adventures together, and they discover the world and learn about the most important things in life: family, friendship, and trust. The way they interact teaches children they have to love and appreciate their brothers and sisters if they have them, because not everyone is lucky enough to have a sibling. They should always share, offer them the best things they have, support them and, most importantly, be there when they need them. This is exactly how the relationship between Chowder and Copper works, and it is perfect.

“The Extraordinary Life of Chowder the Field Mouse” was actually inspired from real life. As strange as it may sound, both Chowder and Copper are real. The author wrote this story after her own grown son told her he had saved a baby mouse and took him home. Now, the real Chowder has his own exercise ball and even goes on vacations with his new family. When he wants to wake up Copper, he bumps into him, and when his mother and father call him, Chowder actually runs to them. Children will adore the story of the little field mouse, and they may want a pet of their own if they don’t already have one.

“The Extraordinary Life of Chowder the Field Mouse” can be found on Amazon.

“Who Are the Fear Fighters?!: Say Goodnight to Fear” by Bradford W. Scripps

Children’s books are important not only because they teach young readers to love literature, but also because they educate them and help them understand the world and how it works. This is exactly what author Bradford W. Scripps has managed to do through his book: address an important issue which children face every day, and teach them how to manage it. “Who Are the Fear Fighters?!: Say Goodnight to Fear” is a captivating, clever book that tackles the problem of childhood fears and encourages the little ones to discuss about them. Only by admitting to being afraid of something can someone take control of the situation, and this rule applies here as well.

Devin is a little boy who is afraid of two things: the dark, and wild animals. Instead of facing his fears, he chooses to ignore or hide them when he can. However, when they take him by surprise, he is unable to control them. Things get very complicated when he goes on a class field trip to the zoo, and his classmates see that he is very afraid of the animals. Some of the kids start bullying him, and after the incident, Devin gets dared to go back to the zoo at night to prove that he is not scared. Accepting the challenge is the worst choice he could have made. At least, that’s what Devin thinks. He asks his best friend, Aiden, to come with him, and this is how their extraordinary adventures begin.

Devin and Aiden end up making new friends and learning a lot about wild animals. Their experiences at the zoo, in the middle of the night, are heart-pumping and adrenaline-surging. The best thing is that they learn how to take control of their fears, eventually ending up enjoying their little adventure. Now, no one will dare bully Devin again, or tell him he is a coward. His life is changed forever, and the lessons he learns at the zoo will help him in the future, when he will need to apply them in other difficult situations.

Bradford W. Scripps has managed to write a lovely book that will immediately draw the readers’ attention. The brightly colored illustrations help render the story well, and the children will love to follow them as they read the text. Parents and grandparents will want to get this book for their little ones, as it will offer them the perfect opportunity to discuss with them about their fears, find out what they are, and build a strategy to fight them together.

“Who Are the Fear Fighters?!: Say Goodnight to Fear” can be found on Amazon.

Suzanne Wind’s Book Project, “The SMART Playbook”, Celebrates Its 1 Year Anniversary

Exactly one year ago, author Suzanne Wind published “The SMART Playbook: Game-Changing Life Skills for a Modern World”, an activity book that has helped hundreds of parents teach their children social skills and appropriate manners which are of extreme importance to their development and their future. Currently, this amazing project has been recognized with ten awards, among which must be mentioned The Mom’s Choice® Gold Award, Creative Child Magazine 2014 Book of the Year, and the Mr. Dad Seal of Approval. “The SMART Playbook” is an absolute “must-have” for parents, grandparents, or teachers who work with children ages 6-12.

The main goal of Suzanne Wind’s activity book is to provide parents and educators with everything they need to teach children good manners and social skills that would later bring them success, popularity, friends, and personal achievements. The author decided to write it after she spent several years searching for games, activities, and methods that would help her offer her three children a better education. She realized that today it is more difficult to educate children than in the past. It’s not only the fact that parents are usually too busy working to provide for the family, but also that children tend to be distracted by other things. Video games, the Internet, e-mails, mobile phones – all these determine the little ones to spend a lot of time trapped in a virtual world in which there is no way they can interact properly and form face-to-face social skills. The problem is that they will need these skills later, when they will have to apply for a job and make a good impression on an interview.

“The SMART Playbook” is structured in a very clever way. Parents take the role of coaches, and children become the players. The first part of the book contains the rules of the game, while the second one provides over 100 games and challenges to choose from. The best part is that some of these activities do not require the presence of an adult. Children can use the book together and learn new skills as a team. Suzanne Wind has made sure that the games allow them to discover many things by themselves. In fact, this is a very effective way of learning: the moment the child has a revelation while doing an activity is the moment when he/she gains confidence. Moreover, they will never forget something if they feel they contributed with their own creativity and involvement.

The author has chosen to address 5 SMART topics. These were especially designed to ensure the children’s success in life:

Social Basic Skills – The Principles of modern manners
Mealtime Manners – A guide to mealtime manners
Art of Conversation – Eloquent face-to-face conversational skills
Restaurant behavior – The finer points of restaurant conduct
Technology talk – Internet safety and responsible usage

It’s no wonder that “The SMART Playbook” is still a bestseller after 1 year from its release. It is a life-changing book that can help parents prepare their children for the real world, where success can only be achieved if one has great social skills and impeccable manners.

The book is available for purchase on the official website.

Storybook Illustrated (SI) Guides to Various Diseases by MD/PhD Brian Wu

A good children’s book will not only entertain children, but will also teach them important things that would later help them in life. Author Brian Wu took this to the next level and created a series of books that are meant to educate both children and parents on some serious health problems. There are children who suffer from diseases that make them feel different from their friends and classmates, and it is very important for them to understand their condition and learn how to take good care of themselves. Brian Wu started from a brilliant premise: “Knowledge is power, and kids with health conditions deserve to be empowered.” He has already written four books that deal with asthma, type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and influenza.

The SI Guides have compelling covers and are filled with beautiful, brightly colored illustrations that will immediately draw children’s attention. Once they open a book, they will discover much more than a fun story: they will read about the disease the book deals with, then they will meet a character they can easily relate to. It is important for children who suffer from a certain health condition to read about characters that are in the same situation as they are, as they will understand that they’re not alone and that there are ways they can actively fight their disease.

All SI Guides respect the same structure, which means that they are divided into three sections. The first section is dedicated to adults and it contains information about the symptoms of the condition covered, preventing care, and treatment tips. Sometimes parents are not aware of the fact that their children might be suffering from something serious, so this first section will prepare them by providing them with basic knowledge. The second section contains the story itself, which is meant for children. At first, the character doesn’t know that he/she is sick. Once they find out, the next step is to learn about their disease and how to take care of themselves so that they would lead a normal life. In the third section the author offers a list of helpful online sources where parents and children can find more information about the condition.

The first SI Guide is about asthma – “The Day Jake Lost His Breath”. Jake is a little boy who loves playing outside. He is very active, so when he finds out that he is suffering from asthma, he is very sad because he thinks his disease would stop him from enjoying the games with his friends. Little by little, Jake learns more about his condition and how to control it so that he would lead a regular life. This amazing book is all about staying strong and being responsible. Children who understand that they must take care of their own health make things much easier for their parents, who don’t have to worry all the time. The book is also available in Spanish – “El Día Que Jake Perdió Su Aliento”.

“Estelle’s Winning Spirit” is the second SI Guide, and it is about a little girl who finds out that she is suffering from type 1 diabetes. This is a very serious health condition that can change a person’s life forever, so it’s only natural for Estelle to be afraid. However, she learns what diabetes is, and then she accepts the fact that she needs treatment to control the disease. Estelle is a winner, and this teaches children suffering from type 1 diabetes that they can win the fight against their disease as well.

“Joe vs. the CE-Monster” is an amazing book that teaches children about celiac disease in a very creative way. Joe discovers that his stomach problems are actually caused by celiac disease. What’s the worst thing is that now he isn’t allowed to enjoy foods that he likes. He must avoid everything that contains flour made from wheat, barley, and oats, which means that he can no longer eat macaroni or his favorite chocolate cookies. Thus, in his rich imagination, celiac disease becomes a monster he must battle each day. He imagines that in his stomach there is a village that he must protect from the CE-Monster, which he pronounces “sea-monster”. The book focuses on Joe’s struggle and how gluten-free products help him go back to his normal life.

The fourth book in the series is “The Zoo Flu Frenzy”, and it is a guide to influenza. Parents may think that it’s not that difficult to treat their children when they get the flu, and this is why the first part of the book is very important. Then, the story focuses on David and Paul, who are best friends. When one of them gets the flu, the other one must be explained why they need to stay away from each other. Influenza is a very contagious disease, and it is crucial for children to understand that. When one of their friends is sick, they must know that they can’t play with him or her until they get better, otherwise they would get the flu as well.

What Brian Wu does is to explain these medical conditions in such a way that children would understand them. At the end of each book there is also a glossary that parents can use to explain their kids some terms that are a bit more difficult. The SI Guides are all about teaching children how to deal with the diseases they are suffering from in a fun way, and showing them that they can overcome anything and enjoy life just like any other child who doesn’t have a care in the world.

Read more about the SI Guides on the official website. You can find out more about the author and his projects on the author’s website.

“Sanctuary” (“The Monsterjunkies, An American Family Odyssey”, Book 2) by Erik Daniel Shein and Theresa A. Gates

The second book in “The Monsterjunkies” series continues the adventures of the most interesting and intriguing American family. Those who have read the first book will absolutely love the second one, and those who haven’t should immediately fix that by getting it as soon as possible. A year after what happened in the first book, the Monsterjunkie family has opened the gates of their mysterious mansion to a few people they trust. However, this doesn’t mean that life has become easier and less stressful for their children, Crow and Indigo. They are still bullied at school for the simple fact that they are different, and sometimes the situation becomes unbearable.

“Sanctuary” is a middle grade-young adult novel that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. However, the whole series is highly recommended to teens, as it tackles a very important topic: bullying. The authors managed to portray today’s society in a realistic way, showing how bullying in school can have permanent effects on young people who are just discovering themselves and trying to express their own personality through the way they dress, talk, or behave. The two children in this series are constantly picked on because of their name, Monsterjunkie, and because they choose to wear gothic clothes and do things differently. In “Sanctuary”, readers will see that Cromwell, the teenage son of the Monsterjunkies, will have to go through a lot simply because his schoolmates never try to understand him or accept him the way he is.

No one wants the Monsterjunkies in Foggy Point, Maine. It’s not only because they live in a macabre mansion or because they are passionate about exotic wildlife, but also because other people want the real estate their mansion sits on. The whole family has to stay strong and united because this is the only way they can keep what is theirs. Meanwhile, Crow is going through a very difficult period. He is constantly bullied by Ruth Grimes, and he is not sure how he should defend himself. It seems that his retaliation from months ago did nothing to make things better, and Crow cannot find an appropriate solution. Moreover, he has to deal with the fact that his sister is leaving and his father expects him to carry on the family’s legacy in cryptozoology. It is simply too much for a teenager to handle.

Just like the first novel in the series, “Sanctuary” will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The characters are likeable and interesting, and the situations they have to face are very realistic and believable. Teenage readers will gain a new perspective on bullying and why it happens, and this can help them handle such situations better.

“Sanctuary” can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.