‘Serafina and the Twisted Staff’ Review and Giveaway

*I received these books and promotional materials free of charge,  for review purposes on this blog. No other monetary compensation has been received or implied for this post.  All views are 100% my own.*Serafina and the Twisted Staff book review and GIVEAWAY for pre-tween girls @DisneyHyperion @BeattyAuthor #Serafina #win #giveaway #ad #kidlit #tweens #booksforgirls A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with a couple of friends online begging for recommendations for books for pre-tween girls.  You heard me.  Girls who are NOT yet tweens, but still love to read.  Because I’ve got one.  Just to brag on my kid for a minute, but Jayna could read fluently when she was 3, reading chapter books by 4, and Nancy Drew by 5.  Before you start judging me, NO, I don’t think Nancy Drew is really appropriate for five-year olds…too many kidnappings, possible ghosts, and lost clocks.  You know, the stuff five-year-old nightmares are made of.  She started out reading Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, which is geared for younger elementary kids, and then she “graduated” to the classics without me realizing it, after stumbling upon my childhood stash while “cleaning.”

Needless to say, she breezed through the rest of the ND series, Magic Treehouses, A to Z Mysteries, Little House on the Prairie, Wizard of Oz, Alice and Wonderland, and any other chapter books she could get her paws on.  I was running out of “appropriate” books for her very quickly.  Even the Christian chapter book section at the library was no good, as most of the books on her reading level {middle school} dealt with coming-of age/puberty stories about girls.  First of all, I’m not quite ready for her to learn about some of that stuff {especially if she isn’t hearing it from me!}, and I just don’t feel like she needs to read about middle school/high school girl problems.  Plus, she is really into the thriller/mystery set.

Anyway, one of my friends online suggested Serafina and the Black Cloak.  It got rave reviews online, and the only issues that people had was the possible intensity level for the lower age range that it’s recommended for {8-12 years old}.  So, we decided to give it a try.  But, because I’m the resourceful blogger I am, I reached out to their Public Relations staff, and not only did they send me that book, but they also sent me an advance copy of the sequel, Serafina and the Twisted Staff, not to mention posters, bookmarks, tattoos, notebooks, pens, and pins.  Jayna opened the package and immediately gathered up everything and retreated to the little library we’ve created under the fort in our playroom.Serafina and the Twisted Staff book review for pre-tween girls @DisneyHyperion @BeattyAuthor #Serafina #win #giveaway #ad #kidlit #tweens #booksforgirls Two days later, she emerged.  Just kidding, but really.  It took her a whopping two days to read both books, and she had her nose in them every second she could, adequately ignoring everything else that was going on around her.

So I thought I’d let Jayna give you her thoughts on the books.  Can’t get a more honest review than from a 7 year old, right?

Serafina and the Black Cloak AND Serafina and the Twisted Staff
{Disney Hyperion}
Author: Robert Beatty
Ages: 8-12 yrs

A review in her own words, by Jayna {age 7}

What are the books about?
 Serafina and her Pa live in the basement of The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC in the 1800’s.  He is the maintenance man, and she is the Chief Rat Catcher.   In the first book {Seraphina and the Black Cloak}, Serafina becomes friends with Braeden, the Vanderbilt’s nephew, when they discover a strange man in a black cloak….and notice rich children from the estate disappearing.  In the second book {Serafina and the Twisted Staff}, Serafina and Braeden team up again when they realize that the animals on the Biltmore property are being controlled by someone, and attacking people.

What did you find interesting about the books? I had never heard of a catamount before, and the idea of Serafina being part cougar was really cool.  I also liked reading about the different rooms in the Biltmore house.  Someday I want my mom to take me there so I can see some of the secret entries and fancy rooms that were in the stories.

What were some of the scariest parts of the books?  In Serafina and the Black Cloak, the man in the black cloak…he was the villian… covered the children with his cape and they disappeared.  When I was reading that part, I was in bed and I had to take a little break and hide under my covers for a minute.  I wasn’t too scared, it just creeped me out.  But then I kept reading because I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next.  I knew it would have a happy ending.

In Serafina and the Twisted Staff, I was a little scared during the part where they found all the animals in the graveyard, but I kept reading.

What did you think of Serafina’s character?  I think she was really brave to fight the bad guys and protect other kids that she didn’t even know.  She has a little bit of a temper, and gets into fights easily though…she needs to work on that.  But I guess it’s good that she stands up for herself.

Would you recommend these books to other kids your age?  Sure!  Even boys would like them because they have some fighting and magic in it.  They might be too scary for kids under um, 6, though.  But if they can handle Nancy Drew books, they probably would love Seraphina.  It’s like, the same level of mystery as Nancy Drew, but a little more intense since there is magic and some fighting.  And the whole book’s setting is creepy….Nancy Drew just has  little scary parts here and there.

Did you enjoy reading these books? Oh yeah!  They were awesome!  I read them so fast because they were so good.  I’ll probably read them a million times.  Or maybe a thousand.  Or maybe I’ll let Caroline borrow them, because she likes mysteries too.  I can’t wait until the next one comes out….maybe they’ll make a movie of them!!

Serafina and the Twisted Staff book review for pre-tween girls @DisneyHyperion @BeattyAuthor #Serafina #win #giveaway #ad #kidlit #tweens #booksforgirls

So there you have it.

The Serafina books were a hit with the kid.  After reading them, Jayna and her friend Caroline {who hadn’t even read them yet} acted out the stories while playing.  I don’t even have time to read my email, let alone an entire book, but I did glance through the ending of the Twisted Staff, and I was completely hooked.  I ended up reading the last five or six chapters with zero awareness to what was going on around me.  And I did catch this quote toward the end of the book, which just confirms my feeling that Serafina might be a good role model after all…

“She remembered being so frustrated by her limitations, by what she could and couldn’t do at that particular point in her life.  She realized now that her life wasn’t just about who she was, but about who she would become.”

And now for the good part.  THE GIVEAWAY!

Ends on Friday!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mark your calendars for a Serafina event near you…including meeting the author at Y’all Fest in Charleston on November 12!

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 *Palmettos and Pigtails is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

As always, all opinions in the post are 100% my own.*

Sunday Scripture: A Mama’s Prayer

Dear Lord,

Please keep your arms around my children as they settle into their school routine.  Help them to hear your voice in everything that they do.  Remind them to be kind, helpful, and respectful to all.  Encourage them to be good role models, and to rise above peer pressure and temptation.  Sunday Scripture: A Mama's Prayer #faith #children #backtoschool #SundayScriptureReassure them when they make mistakes, and whisper reminders to me to be forgiving as well.  Thank you for your unconditional love!

In Your Holy Name, Amen.

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{Sunday Scripture image found on Along For the Ride}

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