Monday, October 27, 2014

2014 Christmas Give-Away - Andie Under Pressure or How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots!

As I've mentioned a time or two . . . or three or more . . . as a child, I always received books for Christmas and my birthday. As a mom, I carried on this tradition and always gave my children a book or two on their birthdays and for Christmas. So, now as a grandma, one thing my grandsons can count on receiving on their birthdays and for Christmas are books!

So, when I was sent two chapter books from Zonderkidz I was very happy to see the titles . . . Andi Under Pressure and How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots! Happy because I have already read and reviewed the previous books in both series - and loved them! Also happy because I knew they would make wonderful additions to my 2014 Christmas Give-Aways!

Andi Under Pressure
Author - Amanda Flower
How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots
Authors - Howard Boward & Ron Bates
Publisher - Zonderkidz
Ages - 8-12

Favorite Features -
  • Great stories children will enjoy with characters and solid messages grandparents/and parents will appreciate.
  • Excellent storylines - will capture the attention of children and keep them reading to find out what happens next!
  • As mentioned, solid messages about getting along and making wise choices.
Zonderkidz has this to say about Andi Under Pressure, "Twelve-year-old Andora ‘Andi’ Boggs and her new best friend Colin Carter couldn’t be more excited to attend the prestigious science camp at the local university in Killdeer, Ohio. Unfortunately, Discovery Camp’s curriculum appears to include much more than just chemistry and biology. From day one, the university is plagued by a series of pranks—missing markers, loose crickets, and stolen scales. Campus security blames the mysterious janitor Polk, but even though Andi agrees he’s acting suspicious, she can’t believe the gentle old man would do anything illegal. Then one prank goes too far and their chemistry professor is injured by an explosion in the lab, upping the stakes of the investigation. Andi and Colin must unravel the secrets behind the chemistry department and Polk’s dark past before danger closes the camp for good."

I found Andi Under Pressure to be a series I would have enjoyed as a young reader. It is a fun, modern, "Nancy Drew-type story/character", but updated for children today. I think young girls will identify with Andi and the struggles and challenges she faces with going to middle school and will enjoy the mystery and how she solves it. I like how the story encourages young girls to investigate and excel in science and the other characters and setting are all believable. I'm also very happy to see how solid messages are woven into the mystery/story - in this case to not judge others on their looks, be kind to others and making wise choices. The Andi Boggs Novels I've read thus far are excellent; I hope to see more in this series!

Zonderkidz had this to say about How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots, "Sometimes, being smart just isn’t enough. It’s been a rough semester for Howard Boward, science genius. Not only is he having to dodge winter’s most feared weapon (snowballs), his close friend, Winnie McKinney, is barely speaking to him. If that weren’t enough, he’s the favorite target of some bullies who seem determined to make life at Dolley Madison Middle School as miserable as possible. But then Howard learns about an upcoming robot-building contest—finally a chance to show off his science skills and beat archrival Gerald “G-Force” Forster! Unfortunately, the only way to win is by using his secret “monster goo,” a formula which has terrifying side effects. Can Howard resist the temptation? Or will he unleash a robot rampage which could destroy the town—and ruin the school dance?"

Likewise, I found How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots to be great fun and a book which will keep the attention of young boys! Since I have three young grandsons, who all appear to be on the smart side of things (I do not say this just because I am their grandma, but I do say it because I am their grandma!), a book about a boy who is smart and who struggles to find a way to "fit in" and get along with others is one I especially want my grandsons to read. In this story, Howard is "branded" a "geek" at school . . . which makes him the target for bullies. Howard has to make a choice - get back, or show grace. In the end he says, "All of a sudden, I was glad we didn't go with my original plan: turning the robots into an incredible, bully-seeking attack squad. I've got to admit, it was tempting - the idea of using our brains against their muscles. What stopped me whas something Mr. Z had said - Believer Achievers try to treat others the way they want to be treated. So, as much as I wanted to treat the Snowblinders to some good, old-fashioned robot revenge, the real question was what I would want for myself - war or a snow cone?" I'm happy this story shows Howard making a wise choice - and doing so in a way children will be able to understand, believe and identify with! I want my grandsons to grow up knowing how to, "treat others the way they want to be treated." Books like this, will help them learn to do so! Once again, the Howard Boward Novels I've read thus far are excellent; I definitely hope to see many more in the series!

I'm very happy to say, not only did Zonderkidz send these books in exchange for me writing my own opinions about them (I believe you can not go wrong with either series!), they are also making another available for me to give away (USA only)! If you are over the age of 18 and would like to be in the drawing which will be on November 27, 2014, please comment below to let me know which of the two books you would choose if you are the winner!

In addition, you will receive additional entries if you have followed on Google+, Google Friend Connect, followed by liking on facebook with the tab at this link (not just liking the post) and/or have followed grandma's cookie jar by email. For each of these which you have done you will receive one entry. In addition, if you "share" this post, you'll receive an additional entry (please let me know if you share). This will help me be able to draw names from among people who would like to win Andi Under Pressure or How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots and it gives you several ways to enter the give-away!


  1. I would choose How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots...I think my middle school grandson would like it. I follow on Facebook and email.

  2. It is a very fun book! I think my Josiah will enjoy it, too!

  3. How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots.