Monday, September 12, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Half Upon a Time, by James Riley--and a Giveaway!

Okay, MMGM is back again--this week featuring a hilarious book I only recently discovered (and have NO idea how I missed it before!!!): HALF UPON A TIME, by James Riley.  


Here's the description of the book:

Jack lives in a fantasy world. Really. He’s the son of the infamous Jack who stole the magic beans from the giant, and he’s working hard to restore his family’s reputation. He finds the perfect opportunity when a “princess” lands in front of him, apparently from the land of Punk, as her Punk Princess sweatshirt implies.

May is from the regular world, and she’s really confused to suddenly find herself in the midst of the fairy tale characters she has read about.

But Jack and May have more in common than they realize—and together, they’ll embark on a hilarious and wild adventure in this accessible fantasy that pushes the bounds of reality.


So, it's a fairy tale re-imagining--and I love me a good fairy tale re-imagining. But that's just it--it has to be a GOOD fairy tale re-imagining. It has to add things to the characters/stories, and I want to love those additions so much that I almost don't want to reread the original anymore, because it won't be the same without them.

HALF UPON A TIME definitely does that. 

But I think the best thing about this book is the voice. It. is. hilarious. I mean, I knew it would be. I met James at SCBWI LA and, well, let's just say I learned not to take a sip of anything before he started to talk because I would end up snorting that beverage. His writing is just as funny. This is a book that WILL make you laugh out loud (if it doesn't--I almost worry there's something wrong with you). Kid, grown-up, big kid in a grown-up's body, or any combination there-of, you will not make it through this book without cracking up. 

Which is why I'm giving away a copy of the fancy new paperback version (which releases to the masses TOMORROW!!!) to one lucky winner. To enter, make sure you follow my blog and leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm PDT on Saturday, September 17th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, September 18th. International entries welcome.

And... go!

For more middle grade love, make sure you check out these other MMGMs floating around the blogosphere:

- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week!

- Barbara Watson is featuring JUNONIA. Click HERE to learn all about it. 


- Joanne Fritz is highlighting SECRETS AT SEA. Click HERE to see what she thought of it.

- Michael Gettel-Gilmartin is spotlighting BORN TOO SHORT. Click HERE to read his review.


- Deb Marshall is raving about WILDWOOD--with a GIVEAWAY! Click HERE for all the details.


- Karen Yingling has more awesome nonfiction recommendations for everyone. Click HERE to see what they are. 


- Pam Torres is showcasing THE INQUISITORS APPRENTICE. Click HERE to see why she loved it.


- Yay--Danika Dinsmore joins the MMGM fun with a feature on THE MAGICIAN'S ELEPHANT. To see what she thinks, click HERE.

And if you want to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog. It's easier if you email me before Monday, that way your link will be included in the post from the moment it goes live. But if you decide to spontaneously join the fun, I do update the post at several points throughout the Monday. Just email me a link and I'll add you when I do!

Happy Monday!

37 comments:

  1. Haha, this does sound hilarious! I'll ditto Matt. MG rocks!

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  2. Sounds like a fun book. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  3. This sounds like an amazing read! I love your Middle Grade Mondays!

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  4. sounds terrific! can't wait to read it. - gina

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  5. this sounds flipping adorable! Thanks for sharing Shannon!

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  6. This books sounds so cute, and I love the cover! My grade 4s would probably love this one =) Thanks for the giveaway!

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  7. This sounds like such a fun book! Thanks for featuring it!

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  8. I love books that make me laugh out loud. (And now I have this picture in my mind of you talking to James and snorting soda through your nose! Hee hee!)

    I'm amazed I've never heard of this before. I'd love to win a copy. Thanks for the opportunity.

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  9. Thanks for this giveaway :D I would love to win this book. <3 It sounds awesome :)
    Love, Carina ~ carina-olsen@hotmail.com

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  10. The kids in my school library would love this book.

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  11. So many good MG books, so little soda-snorting time!

    Thanks for this one, Shannon, and for introducing me to a new writer.

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  12. I'd love to read this with my kids, they would really enjoy it :) I love the cover! Thank you for the awesome giveaway!

    jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

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  13. I've missed this one too! I haven't seen it before, but I'll have to find it now. Great review, #1. :-)

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  14. Happy Monday back your way! And thanks for the heads up on this book. Missed it, too!

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  15. Love your MMGM! Always so many good books to read!

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  16. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

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  17. Another fun one for me and my daughter to share!

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  18. I love retellings! This sounds so clever.

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  19. Fairy tale re-tells are awesome - when done well (such as Anne Ursu's soon-to-be-released BREADCRUMBS). This sounds great, and thank you for the giveaway!

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  20. I love a good fairy tale re-imagining! This sounds like a very cute book. I've recently discovered some really fabulous MG reads, so I'm desperately trying to read more of them in my "spare" time! I would love to win a copy of this one. :-)

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  21. hi miss shannon! yippeee! another cool mg book! for sure i could like this one cause i love stuff that get me laughing. :)
    ...hugs from lenny

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  22. Hilarious fairy-tale retelling? I think yes. :) Putting this on my TBR list. :)

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  23. I love your mg recommendations. I almost always find something I want to share with my nephews. This one sounds like a blast.

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  24. Oh. My. Gosh! That cover is AWESOME! Who wouldn't want to read that book, just by looking at the cover?? I'm so wishing I had that book now, I so want to read it. This one is definitely going on my TBR book list. Fingers crossed that I'm lucky enough to win it, but if not, I'll definitely buy it.

    Thanks for sharing about this one, Shannon!

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  25. Yes, It definitely sounds fun and I'm all about fun. Count me in. , Clar.

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  26. Yay for MMGM! I look forward to these posts every week!

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  27. How have I missed this book? Sounds like a great read aloud...especially after a serious book. I love fairy tale retells and love when I can laugh out loud with my class. I must add this book to our library.

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  28. This looks like a great read. With a house full of kids it is great to see new titles.

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  29. Writing humor is so hard - what a gem to find one that rocks. I will look for it! Thanks.

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  30. I don't know how we missed this title either. Thanks.

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  31. It's hard to find a book that makes me laugh out loud, but I love fairy tale retellings! And if this is funny, all the better! Thanks for the giveaway. :]

    Gabi ~ teddycavygal at yahoo dot com

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  32. Ooh this sounds super cool. (...and another book goes on the mental must read list) :)

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Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Friendly debate is fine, but always be kind to each other). <3