Monday, January 7, 2013

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: 33 Minutes ... Until Morgan Sturtz Kicks My Butt, by Todd Hasak-Lowy--and a giveaway!!!

Keeping with my promise of trying to get a *little* more on track with my blogging, I ACTUALLY HAVE AN  MMGM!!!!  It's for a book I've been so excited about that it was seriously the FIRST thing I read as soon as I found a second to actually read.

But before I get to the gushing, I did want to give one quick reminder that TOMORROW I  WILL BE REVEALING THE COVER FOR KEEPER #2!!! Also the title. And the blurb on the back to give you a few clues as to what it's about. So make sure you stop by--it is an AMAZING cover. Somehow even better than the first!!!!

And, that's enough shameless Shannon self promotion. Now back to spreading the love for 33 MINUTES... UNTIL MORGAN STURTZ KICKS MY BUTT, by Todd Hasak-Lowy.

Here's how the publisher describes it:

Sam Lewis is going to get his butt kicked in exactly 33 minutes. He knows this because yesterday his former best friend Morgan Sturtz told him, to his face and with three witnesses nearby, “I am totally going to kick your butt tomorrow at recess.”

All that’s standing between Sam and this unfortunate butt-kicking is the last few minutes of social studies, and his lunch period. But how did Sam and Morgan end up here? How did this happen just a few months after TAMADE (The Absolutely Most Amazing Day Ever) when they became the greatest Alien Wars video game team in the history of great Alien Wars teams? Was it when new kid Chris showed up and suddenly Morgan kept having other plans on the weekend? Or when Morgan joined the football team while Sam became a star Mathlete?

And when it really comes down to it, will Morgan actually go through with it?

Told with equal parts laugh-out-loud humor and achingly real emotional truth, 33 minutes shows how the best of friendships can change forever

Sounds amazing, right? I promise--it is!

If I'm being honest, this isn't *usually* the type of book I love. I'm much more of a fantasy than a contemp kind of girl--not that I don't enjoy a good contemp. They're just not usually the books I'm counting down the days for. But I was SO excited to read this one. Not sure if it was the 33-minute countdown format (which is awesome, btw) or the theme of friendships falling apart, but this one went straight to the top of my TBR pile (and... then sat there for 4 months while I battled through launch and deadlines. *sigh*)

There are many things I loved about this book--from the super-fast pace to the awesome illustrations to the parts that made me laugh out loud. But I think my favorite part was one of the main reasons I wanted to read it in the first place: the theme of friendships changing/crumbling. 

For me, that's what middle school was all about. I lost my best friend in 6th grade, and I still remember how confusing it was to be so frustrated and hurt, and yet not ready to give up the friend either. 33 MINUTES captures all those feelings SO PERFECTLY.  I wish it had existed when I was a kid, it would've helped so much. 

And I loved that the author didn't have it be completely one sided (i.e. IT IS ALL THE OTHER KID'S FAULT). Sam makes mistakes too. And some of it isn't even a "mistake" for either of the boys. It's just growing up and growing apart. So real and true to how it really is.

Other strong points: it's a FAST read. I read it all in one sitting. The pace and illustrations also make it a great pick for boy or reluctant readers. And the humor is so well done. Definitely one of those books I can see kids and adults loving. I know I did. Which is why I'm also giving a copy away!

If you would like to enter, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm pacific time on Saturday, January 12th. I'll draw one random winner and post their names on Sunday, January 13th. International entries welcome!

For more awesome middle grade recommendations, check out these other MMGMs floating around the blogosphere.*
- Barbara Watson is championing THE THIRTEENTH SIGN--with an ARC GIVEAWAY. Click HERE to enter.  
- Myrna foster is swept up in GOBLIN SECRETS. Click HERE to see why.  
- Deb Marshall has her Cybill's reading round-up #1. Click HERE for all the fun book features.  
- Temre Beltz is in love with THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN. Click HERE for her review.  
- Faith Hough is gushing about TWELVE KINDS OF ICE. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Flash, the Feline Extraordinaire, (and Professional Mews to Cindy Strandvold) interviews the chickens from KATERINA'S WISH. Click HERE to see what that's all about. 
- Brennan and Meyrick Murphy are spotlighting THE SECRET OF THE FORTUNE WOOKIE. Click HERE to see what these two middle grade readers thought of it.  
- Andrea Mack is caught up in A TINFOIL SKY. Click HERE for her review.  
- Susan Olson is struck by 13 HANGMEN. Click HERE for to see why. 
- Rosi Hollinbeck is sweet on THE CANDY SMASH--and she's got a GIVEAWAY! Click HERE for all the fun! 
- Dorine White is interviewing author Erik Olsen. Click HERE to read more.  
- Jennifer Rumberger is showcasing NAVIGATING EARLY. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Danika Dinsmore is ALSO gushing about THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN. Click HERE to see why.  
- Charlotte Taylor is cheering for THE LOST HEIR. Click HERE for her thoughts. 
- Laurisa White Reyes is interviewing author S.A.M. Posey--with a giveaway. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.   
- Michelle Isenhoff is always part of the MMGM fun. Click HERE to see what she's talking about today.  
 - Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.    
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome!    
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week!
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time! 

If you would like 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--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so I see it)

NOTE: I used to not have a cut-off time for adding links to the post, but with how insane my schedule is right now, if you don't email me by Sunday evening (usually around 11pm PST is when I put the links together) I can't guarantee I'll have a chance to add you. BUT, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you!

*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen posts ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me ahead of time


  1. I have Paulsen's Road Trip posted today( , and have my 33 Minutes all read and reviewed for next week's MMGM! Great minds think alike!

  2. I'm not much of a contemporary reader either, but this sounds great. I'm going to let someone else win because my TBR list is pretty high.

  3. YAY! Can't wait to see your latest cover!!!

    I'm loving the brightness of the book you've highlighted today. Totally catches my eye.

  4. Sounds great--thanks for the recommendation!
    I'm looking forward to tomorrow!

  5. Sounds like a great book and one I would want to read. Sounds like it has a lot of unique things going for it, which is what the public and the publisher wants. thanks for the review!

  6. I am kind of beyond psyched for the Keeper 2 cover/title reveal!!!!!! And 33 minutes... sounds awesome! I love contemps (and fantasy)!

  7. Sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read and thanks for highlighting Middle Grade! Daniel Kenney

  8. I just can't wait for Keeper 2 reveal. And I'm going to have to add 33 minutes to my TBR pile, because it isn't long enough already. ;)

  9. Hi, Shannon, I came to you via Rosi Hollinbeck's blog and am following you now. I write middle grade fiction and this looks like a wonderful site for keeping up with what's out there.

  10. This one sounds great! I spent a lot of time with my nose in a book, avoiding friend drama, in middle school. That time period seems to be harder on friendships than any other. Thanks for the recommendation!

    I'm so excited to see your newest cover! :o)

  11. I'm a big contemporary reader and this one sounds fantastic! Thanks for recommending it, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's over reveal :)

  12. This sounds like something my students and I would like! thanks for the tip :)

  13. Welcome back! Thanks for the giveaway - I have several young middle grade readers in mind for this one!

  14. I'm with you, it's not something I would normally pick up, but your review entices me to do so. It's amazing how tenuous friendships are at that age and how your best friend can become your mortal enemy in less than a day. It happened to me as well.

  15. I'd love to read it and so would my kids.

  16. This sound like a fantastic book for my middle schoolers!!!

  17. yeap, sure..i want to have the chance to read this book :D

  18. Thanks for the linkage and....totally reading this book! Thanks for sharing it. Fingers crossed for THE WIN, lol!

  19. Oooh. I think my daughter will love this one! And me too, but shhhh. ;) It sounds awesome - thanks for sharing!

  20. This is indeed a common occurrence. I remember it happening to me too. I'd love to share this book with my students.


  21. Yesss. I very much want a copy of this one, Shannon. <3 Thank you so much for the chance :) It sounds amazing!
    Love, Carina

  22. Hi Shannon, 33 Minutes sounds hilarious, I'd love to win a copy. Thanks for hosting the giveaway, Happy 2013!!

  23. Oooooh. This one sounds great. Thanks for the review and for running the giveaway.

  24. Looks interesting! I am going through middle school and I can kind of relate to what's going on with him. Friends make you the happiest, but when they turn on you, it cuts you deeper than almost everything and anything else.

  25. Sounds like a lovely book packed with emotions.
    Thanks for the chance at winning a copy.


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. Any arguing or intense debate--on any subject will be removed. Let's keep this a safe, fun space.