Category Archives: Child/YA Fiction

Meet The #Author: Jonathan Rex, #Kituwa Writer & Historian

“Jonathan Rex is a Kituwa author, storyteller, historian, philosopher, and educator. Born and raised on U.S. military bases in California and the Philippines he is he author of Blood in the Water and creator of the Uku Books series for children. All of his books are free in digital form as dowloads to anybody who wishes to read them. Bound copies will be sold and signed only at events in person to those who wish to purchase a hard copy directly from him. All original material is copyrighted and any unauthorized printing, distribution or sale of them is strictly prohibited.”

Please visit his website with any questions, comments or queries about his work, and follow him on Twitter. Additionally, Mr. Rex will appear in the upcoming documentary, “Forget Winnetou: Going Beyond Native Stereotypes in Germany”, a film directed by Red Haircrow, making the connections between stereotyping and continuing racism and colonialism.




Currently available free as .pdf e-books, please follow the link:

Blood In the Water description:

“The world has heard the story of how the United States began. Colonists, rebelling against King George III, rallied together to overthrow the oppressive British monarchy and establish a democratic society through which all people could own their own land, pursue a life of economic independence and enjoy the freedom of their different religions. The American utopia was the greatest story ever sold and encouraged men and women from all over the world to cross the oceans that separated them from the New World. Unfortunately that story was a lie and little more than a marketing scheme for land companies and bankers who were working together to establish an empire of their own.

Within the Declaration of Independence there is a sentence that has gone largely undiscussed in which the founders accused King George III of unleashing upon the inhabitants of “their frontiers” monsters whom they referred to as “merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare was an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.” Who they were referring to specifically has never been addressed . . . until now.

In 1775, just before the Americans declared their independence from Great Britain, a man named Tsiyu Gansini (Dragging Canoe) declared war on the Virginians who were attempting to illegally purchase Kentucky for the Transylvania Land Company at the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals. Defecting from the Cherokee he relocated to the Chattanooga region, rallied thousands of warriors to him from over fourteen different Indian nations, and began diplomatically organizing a Pan-Indian Kingdom with all of the leading war chiefs east of the Mississippi at the time. Handing the United States its most humiliating defeat ever in 1791 he successfully established his union and then disappeared from recorded history as all of his head warriors went on to become dominant figures among their various tribes. This is his story, the first book of a new genre called Nawodi Literature.”



Ama’Matiya synopsis


“Learn how Tawodigeya became Ama’matiya when you and your children travel with her as she journeys to the city of Palinki to meet King Pacal. Dissatisfied with the monotony of her life in the mountains of Tanasi and encouraged by a traveling Uku she sets out on a journey to ancient Mexico to discover the meaning of life.”

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Filed under Child/YA Fiction, Fiction, History, Non-Fiction

Seeking Reviews/Review Copies for “Dear Frank: Babe Ruth, The Red Sox, and the Great War” by W. Nikola-Lisa

This is an announcement posting only: Please contact the author only through the links below.

W. Nikola-Lisa is pleased to announce his new book, Dear Frank: Babe Ruth, The Red Sox, and the Great War.  Set in 1918, Dear Frank offers the reader a glimpse of life in the Boston area during the waning days of World War I.

Babe Ruth, the Red Sox, and the Great War is a piece of historical fiction for the middle grade reader. The story follows a series of letters written by one brother to another during the latter part of 1918. It’s the last year of World War I and the Boston Red Sox, with Babe Ruth on the mound, are going to the World Series. Andrew, at home in the Boston area, writes to his older brother, Frank, a soldier on Europe’s western front, to catch him up on all the news.

  • Title: Dear Frank: Babe Ruth, The Red Sox, and the Great War
  • Author:  W. Nikola-Lisa
  • Publisher: Gyroscope Books
  • ISBN: 978-1468115215
  • Pages: 100
  • Published: February 2012

About The Author:

W. Nikola-Lisa’s interest in writing books for young readers began as an elementary school teacher. He is the author of numerous books, including the award-winning Bein’ With You This Way (Lee & Low), Shake Dem Halloween Bones (Houghton Mifflin) and the How We Are Smart (Lee & Low), recipient of the prestigious Christopher Award. As an accomplished storyteller and musician, Mr. Nikola-Lisa enjoys sharing his writing experiences with elementary and middle school students nationwide.

For more information, review copies, or interviews please contact:

W. Nikola-Lisa

Dear Frank is available for purchase online through the author’s website, from the publisher,, and other online retailers.  Bookstores should contact Ingram for wholesale orders.

Other books by W. Nikola-Lisa from Gyroscope Books:

  • Dragonfly: A Childhood Memoir
  • ISBN: 978-1450595605
  • Published: June 2010
  • Pages: 74

Dragonfly is the author’s childhood memories growing up in Texas in the early 1960s.  It was not a particularly positive time in his life, but it was one that left a deep impression on him.  As such, Dragonfly is not a book for young readers as its content, although not explicitly graphic, is provocative. The author would recommend it for the middle grade reader and up.

  • Hey, Aren’t You the Janitor?: And Other Tales from the Life of a Children’s Book Author
  • ISBN: 978-1453667392
  • Published: January 2011
  • Pages: 52

W. Nikola-Lisa chronicles his life on the road as a children’s book author. Although the stories in this collection reveal a wide variety of characters and settings, the central core revolves around the weird and wacky: a kiss on the hand from a first grader, a brief run-in with Benny the Bull, a case–or two–of mistaken identity. It’s the curtain pulled back on a highly esteemed and delightful profession. Readers young and old will enjoy the stories in this collection.

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New Release: Percevale-I. The Ghosts of Time by Anne de Gandt- Currently Free!

Another intriguing tale by French author Anne de Gandt, whom I was privileged to interview, and whose other works V.I.T.R.I.O.L and Decades I’ve previously reviewed here on Flying With Red Haircrow.

Now, her work The Ghosts of Time is free at Smashwords for a limited time. Translated from French to English, the description for this short work of literary fiction written for older children or young adults can also be enjoyable to discerning adults.

Description: “Kings, Queens and Witches in sleeping castles can be full of surprises! An old name, some mysterious dreams… The heroine, helped by her friends Roiteleau & Croquignol, tries to find a hidden piece of her past. But sometimes the borderline between dream and reality is thin ….”

Take the opportunity to discover of an author you may not have read or even heard of, but who creates stories full of rich imagery made even more vivid by the exotic European flair and use of English in ways that continue to surprise and delight.

  • Published: June 10, 2012
  • Words: 13595 (approximate)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9781476017853

About the Author:

Writer-photographer, Anne de Gandt creates worlds which mingle past and present, dream and reality. She invites you to journey across time, space, memory, identity and hope.

Écrivain-photographe, Anne de Gandt crée des univers où se mêlent passé et présent, rêve et réalité. Son travail est une invitation aux voyages, à travers le temps, l’espace, la mémoire, l’identité et l’espoir.

Anne’s website:

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Filed under Child/YA Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Writers and Writing

Toonopolis (Toonopolis Files, Book 1) by Jeremy Rodden

Review: For adults like myself, who loved cartoons, manga and anime as a child, and continue to enjoy the variety of incarnations and genres, both animated and in print, Toonopolis was a fun concept I definitely didn’t find myself too old to enjoy even though it is primarily slated for young adults. One of the first things I liked about it, though comical in nature with plenty of action and quips, it was still well-written, focusing on understandable sentence and paragraph structure, and descriptions easily visualized.

The narrative voice felt natural to the ages of the characters without trying too hard to make you believe it. I’ve felt some young adult literature writers were too heavily age focused. Whatever the genre or age of the intended readers, good writing is good writing, and I believe can appeal to all. A particular thing, however, is some types of comedy or jokes don’t translate to all cultures, so some of the situations and dialogue I realized was intended to be funny weren’t so for me, but that’s just a difference of language and society. Toonopolis was a very appealing and creative effort, and the author has much skill and obvious ability to share in further books.

Description: Toonopolis is a cartoon city that is home to the thoughts and ideas of all sentient beings in the universe. As the center of the Tooniverse, it acts as an other-worldly rest stop for these creations.

Gemini is a teenage human boy who is thrust into Toonopolis through his father’s scientific research program. He loses part of himself in the process and immediately begins a quest to regain his lost memories with the help of his Tooniverse guide named Jimbob the Talking Eggplant.

After an altercation with a mysterious Shadowy Figure, Gemini’s mission is changed, and he begins a new quest to defeat Shadowy Figure and protect Toonopolis from his nefarious destruction. Along the way, he meets new friends, discovers just how diverse and strange Toonopolis is, and learns lessons about compassion, forgiveness, redemption, and being true to oneself.

Published May 30th 2011 by Portmanteau Press LLC
ISBN: 0983425396
ISBN13: 9780983425397
Source: Author

Author Bio:

I spent the first ten years of my professional life in retail sales, working my way up to store management positions in two different Fortune 500 retailers. Along the way, I managed to earn a BA in Religion and English Writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA and an MA in Secondary Education from Holy Family University, also in Philadelphia.

After completing my Masters, I began teaching high school English. When my second son was born in May, 2010, however, my wife and I decided that it would be more prudent for me to be a stay-at-home dad, taking care of the new baby along with my first son, who was born in June, 2005. I have since had the challenge and pleasure of being a homemaker.

It was at this time that I finally grasped the stories that had been in my head since I was a teenager and wrangled them to paper. Toonopolis began as a silly interactive fiction game played with some real life and virtual friends. The game only lasted a few years but the world I had created and my characters never escaped my thoughts.

As a writer, I consider C.S. Lewis and Lewis Carroll as my strongest influences. They were able to create magical worlds that readers of all ages enjoy, which is exactly what I want to achieve with Toonopolis. It is a lofty goal, indeed, but the only goals that will invariably be unachievable are the ones that are not set.

Welcome to my world. I hope you have as much fun as I do.

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Tower of Parlen Min by Matt Xell

Review: “Tower of Parlen Min” was full of potential, but sentence and paragraph structure were problematic for me. There is so much information and descriptions presented, I felt major streamlining of the characters, plot and ideas, or possible rearrangement would have made for easier understanding and reading. The main character Ves Asirin just didn’t engage my interest enough for me to want to really know who he was so I could empathize with him and root him on in his endeavors. We are given some of his backstory, but it’s not enough to justify or explain his response to some of the other characters, which over time made it hard for me to like him.

Tons of terrific and creative ideas were included, a very ambitious aim, yet especially since it looks to be a series, a cameo of some of them might have been included in this volume, then expanded upon in subsequent books. The author’s enthusiasm is unfailing however, as well as their eagerness to do their very best writing in the fantasy realm. I believe that will improve, and one of the best ways to do so is by reading good fantasy epics by authors having proved their characterization and plotting skills. As a plus addition, I thought the cover art was quite outstanding, and it immediately drew the eye and approval of my fourteen year old son.


Description: Ves Asirin wins a trip to the Tower of Parlen Min. There, with 19 other children, he competes in the Sword Challenge; a series of puzzles and tasks, for $12 million. As fantastic and glorious as the tower seems to be, Ves finds that it keeps a dark and secret history that he has been connected to for over 150 years, a secret that will define his destiny … if he can escape ‘The shadow’.

Published: July 23, 2010 by Matt Xell

ISBN: 001109608X (ISBN13: 2940011096082)
Source: Author
Genre: Youth adult, fantasy

The Tower of Parlen Min Virtual Book Tour 4450718 date: July 24, 2011 12:00AM
location: , Zambia
Description: This summer,I, Matt Xell, and the XLA invite you all to the 1st anniversary celebration of the The Narrow Escapes of Ves Asirin and the first installment in the series, Tower of Parlen Min with a massive Virtual Book Tour.

From the 24th of July to the 31st of October, follow the links provided on the Tower of Parlen Min Facebook page to:

+ Read the reviews of Tower of Parlen Min
+ Read the interviews and guestposts of Matt Xell
+ Watch the chapter commentaries
+ Take part in the live chat Q&A


Filed under Child/YA Fiction, Fantasy, Reviews