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National Geographic Kids’ Ultimate Food Atlas Blog Tour and Giveaway

Welcome to the Ultimate Food Atlas Blog Tour!

This week, join us for a fantastic food journey around the globe as we celebrate the release of the Ultimate Food Atlas (National Geographic Kids Books, ages 8-12).  Five blogs across the web are featuring posts from the book as we “travel” from continent to continent to discover a rich diversity of foods and food celebrations from many different countries. Ready for a captivating around-the-world culinary adventure? Read on!

EUROPE – FANTASTIC FOODS OF MANY FLAVORS

From freezing Iceland in the North Atlantic Ocean to sunny Greece in the Mediterranean Sea, from the low plains of the Netherlands to the mighty Alps and Caucasus peaks, Europe spans a variety of climates—and cuisines. About 40 percent of Europe’s land is covered with farmland and pastures. A lot of food in Europe also comes from the surrounding seas. Traditional diets in different countries are as varied as the landscapes, depending on locally available ingredients and the influences of other cultures – conquerors or colonies – throughout history.

EUROPE’S “APPETIZING” ATTRACTIONS

CHOCOLATE FACTORY Visit Cadbury World in Birmingham, England, to learn about the history of chocolate and how it’s made, taste samples, and even try to make your own chocolate. A factory here inspired British author Roald Dahl to write the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

PICK UP TOMATOES Tomatoes need warm sunshine, but some smart folks in Sweden figured out how to raise them in far northern Europe. More than 80 varieties of tasty tomatoes grow in Vikentomater’s greenhouses, and you can visit and buy fresh-picked tomatoes there. They plant seeds in December and harvest from March through November.

LEAULT WORKING SHEEPDOGS For centuries, shepherds have relied on sheepdogs to help guard and herd their flocks. The folks on Leault Farm in Kincraig, in the Scottish Highlands, offer demonstrations of how their dogs respond to signals and control the sheep, which are kept for their meat and milk. Visitors can take a turn at shearing sheep.

SNAIL FARMS Farmers in France breed snails and raise them for escargot, a French specialty usually cooked with garlic butter and wine. There’s a snail farm in Maniquerville, Normandy, where visitors can peek in at the miniature livestock and learn about the snail’s life cycle

CHEESE MUSEUM At the Amsterdam Cheese Museum, discover the history of cheese and how it is made. You can dress up as a traditional Dutch cheese farmer, and taste cheeses including Gouda, one of the country’s most famous varieties.

DEHESAS AND PIGS You might recognize Spain’s dehesas from the children’s book The Story of Ferdinand. Dehesas are ecosystems of oak forests and grasses, where Iberian pigs—the source of Spain’s ibérico ham— and fighting bulls are raised. Ibérico ham has a distinct flavor related to the pigs’ diet of acorns.

TRADITIONAL FARMS Romania’s Piatra Craiului National Park preserves not only wildlife, but also small traditional farms along the steep hillsides. You might spot sheep grazing in orchards, farmers driving horse-drawn carts, or families selling local farm foods.

DID YOU KNOW?

The original veggie burger—made with oats, soy, wheat gluten, and sesame—was invented in the United Kingdom in the 1970s and was first sold commercially in 1982.


Ultimate Food Atlas

Buy | Add on Goodreads

Exploring the world has never been more yummy and fun! Discover how unique foods are grown, eaten, and celebrated by people all over the planet, get recipes for delicious dishes, and so much more!

Pull up a chair and dig into this bold and vibrant world atlas full of fun food facts, fascinating information about crops and farming, easy-to-read maps, recipes, and games from around the world. On the menu: vegetables, grains, meats, dairy products, and foods harvested from the water. Highlights include appetizing attractions, cool places to eat, and food festivals, and sustainable eating is promoted throughout. It’s a treat for kids who are interested in food and a valuable reference about geography, agriculture, and culture across the continents. Absolutely stuffed with mouthwatering tidbits for every reader! Kids are sure to come back to the table hungry for more!

About the Authors

Nancy Castaldo has written award-winning books about our planet for over 20 years from New York’s Hudson Valley. Her love of reading and writing outdoors began in her childhood, when she wasn’t searching for frogs, turtles, and salamanders, and climbing trees. Her curiosity led her to study science. As an environmental educator, Nancy combined all of those interests. She still enjoys spending her time exploring in the wild as she did while researching over two dozen books and many articles. Nancy writes to inform, inspire, and empower her readers about the world around them. Visit her online at nancycastaldo.com.

Christy Milhaly’s book Diet for a Changing Climate: Food for Thought (co-written with Sue Heavenrich) explores this issue and offers pointers on preparing environmentally friendly―and tasty―meals using invasive plants,animals and insects.  She has published other nonfiction books on topics including nature, history, politics, and crafts. Milhaly earned degrees from Dartmouth College and the University of California, Berkeley. Visit her online at christymihaly.com,


GIVEAWAY

Ultimate Food Atlas

  • One (1) winner will receive a hardcover of Ultimate Food Atlas
  • US/Can only
  • Ends 7/17 at 11:59pm ET
  • Enter via the Rafflecopter below
  • Visit the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


Blog Tour Schedule:

July 4th From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors
July 5th YA Books Central
July 6th Pragmatic Mom
July 7th Mrs. Book Dragon
July 8th Randomly Reading

New Releases: July 2022

Whether you’re inside, cooling off on the couch, or in your backyard, basking in the sun, July is a great month for losing yourself in a book. And the good news is that there are plenty of new books to choose from. Take a look at some upcoming middle-grade releases. There’s something for everyone in this sampling of fantasy, contemporary, graphic, and verse novels, along with some nonfiction and a mouth-watering cookbook. Mouse over the titles of your favorites for purchasing information.

 

Blood Brothers by Rob Sanders

Calvin Johnston’s secret is out. He and his brothers are tainted. Untouchable. And the bad blood flowing through their veins is threatening to kill them. So are some of their neighbors in Ashland, the “Friendliest Little Town” in Florida.

The Johnston brothers are kicked out of everything―school, baseball, scouts, even church. Ashland’s anger has erupted into a fireball of hate.

The only silver lining is that Calvin’s best friend Izzy lives 65 miles away at the beach, and has no idea about his secret. But news has a way of spreading. Calvin and his brothers are in the fight of their lives. As a matter of fact, they’re fighting for life itself.

 

 

Flipping Forward and Twisting Backward by Alma Fullerton

Claire is by far the best gymnast on her team, and she’s well on her way to qualifying for the state championships. The gym is where Claire shines. But at school, she’s known as a troublemaker. She seems to spend more time in the office than in class–which is fine with her since it enables her to hide the fact that she can’t read. She has never been able to make sense of the wobbling jumble of letters on a page. No one except her BFF knows.

But when a sympathetic principal wonders if Claire is acting out because she’s dyslexic, her mother balks. She’s afraid Claire will be labeled “stupid” and refuses testing. Claire has always assumed she’s dumb; she never imagined her reading problem could have a solution. Is she strong enough to take on both her reading challenges and her mother’s denial? Is it worth jeopardizing her spot in qualifiers? Told in clear and poignant verse and featuring black and white illustrations, Claire’s struggle with something that seems to come easily to everyone else will resonate with readers and have them cheering her on.

 

Be Real, Macy Weaver by Lakita Wilson

Eleven-year-old Macy Weaver knows relationships are complicated. Fresh off her latest friendship breakup, she’s spent most of her summer break on her own. So when Macy’s mother decides to go back to college three states away, Macy jumps on the chance to move–anything for a fresh start.But Macy’s new home isn’t exactly what she expected. Her mother’s never around and her dad’s always working. Lonelier than ever, Macy sets her sights on finding a new best friend. When she meets Brynn, who’s smart and kind and already seems to have her whole life figured out–down to her future as a high fashion model–Macy knows she’s it. The only problem is that Brynn already has a BFF and, as everyone knows, you can only have one.

Resorting to old habits, Macy turns one small lie into a whole new life–full of fantastic fashion and haute couture–but it isn’t long before everything really falls apart. Ultimately, Macy must determine how to make things right and be true to herself–rather than chasing after the person she thinks she’s supposed to be.

 

Bright by Brigit Young

Marianne Blume knows she’s one of the stupid kids. After years of trying and trying and feeling like she’s always failing, she has mastered the art of turning off her brain whenever questions or lectures arise. She gets by in school on a combination of luck, deflection, and charisma–that is, until she lands in the classroom of Mr. Garcia.

To avoid flunking Mr. Garcia’s class, Marianne joins her school’s Quiz Quest team, hoping the move will ingratiate her to him, the team’s coach. Can Marianne learn to be smart if she puts her mind to it? And what does it really mean to be “bright,” anyway?

Bright is a readable and empowering story about bucking labels, overcoming preconceptions, and learning to find–and uphold–your own self-worth.

 

J.R. Silver Writes Her World by Melissa Dassori

What if you could write your dreams into reality with the stroke of a pen?

Sixth grade is off to a difficult start for Josephine Rose Silver. Her best friend, Violet, returns from camp with a new best friend; her parents refuse to grant her more independence; and her homeroom teacher, Ms. Kline, is full of secrets. When Ms. Kline unveils a collection of old Gothamite magazines and tells her students to build their writing skills by crafting short stories inspired by the iconic covers, J.R. discovers a peculiar power: The stories she writes come true. Soon J.R. is getting a cell phone, scoring game-winning goals, and triggering school cancellations. But it’s not long before she realizes that each new story creates as many conflicts as it does solutions. And when J.R. tries to write about her fallout with Violet, all of her problems converge.

With a pinch of magic, mystery, art history, and language arts woven into a journey of growth and self-confidence, this promising debut is a heartfelt and satisfying tribute to the power of words.

 

The Hike to Home by Jess Rinker

 

A Perfect Mistake by Melanie Conklin

Max wishes he could go back in time to before he was diagnosed with ADHD, before he grew to be the tallest kid in his class, and before he and his best friends went into the woods in the middle of the night. Max doesn’t remember what happened after he left his friends Will and Joey and the older kids who took them there. He’s not sure if he wants to remember. Knowing isn’t going to make Joey talk to him again, or bring Will out of his coma.

When the local authorities run out of leads, Max realizes that without his help, they may never know what really happened to Will. Charged by the idea that he may be the key to uncovering the truth, Max pairs up with classmate and aspiring journalist Sam to investigate what really happened that night. But not everyone in the community wants that night to be remembered.

 

Team Chu and the Battle of Blackwood Arena by Julie C. Dao

Clip and Sadie Chu couldn’t be more different. Popular, athletic Clip wants to become his school’s first seventh-grade soccer captain, while brainy star student Sadie is determined to prove that she can do anything her boastful brother can. They have just one thing in common: they love laser tag. Like, really love it.

When the Blackwood Gaming Arena comes to town, bringing virtual reality headsets and state-of-the-art courses, they couldn’t be more excited–or competitive. But then a mysterious figure appears and claims to be a part of the game, forcing the Chus and their friends to save themselves from a sinister force lurking inside the simulation. Together, they must fight their way through epic battlegrounds that will test their speed, skills, and smarts . . . but will Clip and Sadie learn that they’re far better off working together than competing for the ultimate victory?

The Language of Seabirds by Will Taylor

Jeremy is not excited about the prospect of spending the summer with his dad and his uncle in a seaside cabin in Oregon. It’s the first summer after his parents’ divorce, and he hasn’t exactly been seeking alone time with his dad.

He doesn’t have a choice, though, so he goes … and on his first day takes a walk on the beach and finds himself intrigued by a boy his age running by.

Eventually, he and Runner Boy (Evan) meet–and what starts out as friendship blooms into something neither boy is expecting … and also something both boys have been secretly hoping for.

 

 

 

Thirst by Varsha Bajaj

Minni lives in the poorest part of Mumbai, where access to water is limited to a few hours a day and the communal taps have long lines. Lately, though, even that access is threatened by severe water shortages and thieves who are stealing this precious commodity–an act that Minni accidentally witnesses one night.

Meanwhile, in the high-rise building where she just started to work, she discovers that water streams out of every faucet and there’s even a rooftop swimming pool. What Minni also discovers there is one of the water mafia bosses.

Now she must decide whether to expose him and risk her job and maybe her life. How did something as simple as access to water get so complicated?

 

 

 

Quilting a Legacy (The Invincible Girls Club: Vol. 4) by Rachele Alpine and Steph B. Jones

Myka’s Gammy is coming to stay with her family for a few weeks, and Myka couldn’t be more excited! Her grandmother has always been the person who understands her better than anyone else, and Gammy’s visits include lots of quality time, fascinating stories, and Soul Food Sunday meals. But this time Gammy has a special surprise for her–a quilt that was created by and added onto by the women in their family for generations.

Myka is determined to carry on the tradition by signing her and Gammy up for quilting classes–joined by her best friends of course! But quilting turns out to be a lot harder than it seems, and Myka, who is used to being one of the best at each activity she tries, now feels like she’s the only one in the class who is struggling.

Will Myka be able to complete the family quilt before Gammy leaves, or is this one task that’s too hard to tackle? There’s only one way to find out … Thready, set, go!

 

Booked (Graphic Novel) by Kwame Alexander and Dawud Anyabwile

In this electrifying follow-up to Kwame Alexander’s Newbery winner The Crossover, soccer, family, love, and friendship take center stage. A New York Times bestseller and National Book Award Longlist nominee, now in a graphic novel edition featuring art from Dawud Anyabwile.

Twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read.

This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action, and emotion of a World Cup match.

A novel about a soccer-obsessed tween boy written entirely in verse? In a word, yes. Kwame Alexander has the magic to pull off this unlikely feat, both as a poet and as a storyteller. —The Chicago Tribune

Can’t nobody stop you

Can’t nobody cop you…

 

The Elephant Girl by James Patterson and Ellen Banda-Aaku with Sophia Krevoy

Clever, sensitive Jama likes elephants better than people. While her classmates gossip—especially about the new boy, Leku—twelve-year-old Jama takes refuge at the watering hole outside her village. There she befriends a baby elephant she names Mbegu, Swahili for seed.

When Mbegu’s mother, frightened by poachers, stampedes, Jama and Mbegu are blamed for two deaths—one elephant and one human. Now Leku, whose mysterious and imposing father is head ranger at the conservancy, may be their only lifeline.

Inspired by true events, The Elephant Girl is a moving exploration of the bonds between creatures and the power of belonging.

 

Growing Up Feeling Great! The Positive Mindset Puberty Book for Boys by Ken Stamper

Get familiar with your feelings–a puberty guide for boys 8-12

Puberty is an exciting time–but it can also be overwhelming as relationships evolve and feelings become more intense. This guide explores these inevitable changes and teaches boys how to stay positive even when life gets a little bumpy. This standout among puberty books for boys provides:

Emotional awareness–Boys will learn all about how the brain controls their emotions, the effects of their rising hormones, ways to improve their outlook when feelings of anger or embarrassment arise, and more.

Engaging exercises–Kids will gain a better understanding of how to handle their emotions with interactive quizzes, matching exercises, and calming activities like deep breathing or muscle relaxation.

Awesome illustrations–Colorful drawings help emphasize important info and make reading this book tons of fun.

 

Kids Cook Gluten-Free by Kelli Bronski and Peter Bronski

Are you ready for the best gluten-free biscuits you’ve ever had? How about gluten-free mac and cheese? Or brownies? Kids Cook Gluten-Free teaches children to make all these and more. From crowd-pleasing favorites like Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Hamburger Sliders to more adventurous options like Crispy Dover Sole and Red Lentil Dal, kids will love trying something new.

Each recipe has kid-friendly instructions with a list of common kitchen terms and tools. Guides to gluten-free eating, safety tips, and basic techniques help young readers get comfortable in the kitchen. Kids can make delicious food with a parent or all by themselves. No matter what, it’ll be a whole lot of fun–and taste great!

 

The Science Spell Book: Magical Experiments for Kids by Cara Florance

Have you ever wished you could cast a real spell with the wave of a magic wand? Have you ever wanted to mix a real color-changing potion? Now kids can perform magical feats with a few simple ingredients and a little help from science.

Kids will learn about physics, biology, chemistry, and more through 25 dazzling experiments and activities including:

Elixir of Enlightenment–brew a stunning color-changing tea!

Chaotic Calling–learn about chaos theory while creating art with a pendulum!

Fluorescent Feast–create a meal that glows under a black light!

North Divination–make a homemade compass!

Each experiment includes simple instructions, diagrams to follow along with, and an explanation of the science behind each magical experiment.

 

 

 

 

Editor Spotlight: Elizabeth Law at Holiday House

If you haven’t already met Elizabeth Law, by way of her website, social media, a writers conference, or a webinar, I’m delighted to be the one to introduce you to her. She is a fount of knowledge about children’s books (and Broadway), and recently took the time to tell us about herself and her career in publishing. Enjoy!

 

Dorian: Welcome, Elizabeth! It’s great to have you here at the Mixed-Up Files. Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and your career in children’s publishing?

Elizabeth: I’ve heard publishing called “the accidental career,” but it was anything but accidental for me. I loved to read as a kid, and when I was in high school, the librarian in my hometown of Belmont, Massachusetts, and I founded a children’s book discussion group. That really encouraged my passion. Then when I went to college, I took legendary critic Zena Sutherland’s course in Children’s Literature. She told stories about her friends who were editors in New York City, and who had worked on books such as Harriet the Spy, and I thought, “Oh, please, let that happen to me!” So I moved to New York after college, got a job as an editorial assistant at Viking Children’s Books, and have been in the field my whole post-college life.

 

Dorian: What middle-grade books influenced you the most as you were growing up?

Elizabeth: My sister is five years younger than I, and we lived in a big house. I had the third floor all to myself, and I idealized books about big, chaotic families and adventures. (The opposite of my small, WASPy, organized, and stable family.) I read the Elizabeth Enright books about the Melendys and Cheaper By the Dozen over and over again.  Today, Polly Horvath’s Pine Island Home and Rita Williams-Garcia’s Gaither sisters books still capture that feeling for me. Those are families I fantasize about being part of. So are the Penderwicks and Hilary McKay’s Cassons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still, that list barely scratches the surface of my childhood reading. I feel I need to give shout outs to Half Magic by Edward Eager, The Mixed-Up Files*, the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and anything by Beverly Cleary. Looking at this list now, I think, “Wow, that list is WHITE.” But that’s what we had in those days, and the books were great.

*Speaking of Mixed-Up Files, a kid asked me recently if there are more stories about Claudia and Jamie. These days Elaine Konigsburg would be under a lot of pressure from her fans and publisher to produce a sequel! I bet she would have resisted, though. But it shows how the business has changed.

 

Dorian: I know you’re one of Broadway’s biggest fans. What middle-grade novel or novels do you think would be great on Broadway?

Elizabeth: I love this question, Dorian! I would pick Jerry Craft’s New Kid because musicals set in high school are really trendy right now and it’s a great story. Also, I would love, LOVE to see Rita Williams-Garcia’s P.S. Be Eleven musicalized. It’s set in the sixties, and the music would be so hot, and Lilias White could play Big Ma and bring down the house with an 11 o’clock number. (Producers, are you paying attention?)

Dorian: What are some favorite middle-grade books you’ve worked on in the past? And what are some you’ve worked on recently that our readers should look out for?

Three I’m proud of in my past are No Talking by Andrew Clements, The False Princess by Eilis Oneal, and a book that might be hard to find by Christine McDonnell called Ballet Bug—it reminded me of a Scholastic paperback I had as a kid called On Your Toes, Suzie! (Why does ballet seem so magical to little girls?) I’m now working with an author named Polly Farquhar who is terrifically talented and whose characters are just so real. You can’t help but root for them as you read! Her debut novel is Itch, and she has a new novel next year called Lolo Weaver Swims upstream that I am really excited about.

Also, I’ve worked with Dan Gutman since his very first book for kids. I haven’t edited all his books—hardly—but one we just published, Houdini and Me, is super kid-pleasing—it’s the perfect, action-packed book for young middle graders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dorian: I’m sure you have a plethora of stories about publishing. Anything else you’d like to tell us about middle grade?

Elizabeth: I have a neat story. I became good friends with Ann Durell, the legendary editor who edited The Westing Game, Judy Blume’s Fudge books, and many others. She told me a story about my beloved Chronicles of Prydain, a Welsh fantasy series by Lloyd Alexander, that I read countless times as a kid. In those days, people said, “Fantasy doesn’t sell.” But she and Lloyd had dinner and she’d had a lot to drink so she signed the first book up! The series became a big hit, and a few years later Lloyd turned in the manuscript for the final book in the series, The High King. It wrapped up all the threads with a wonderfully satisfying conclusion and went on to win the Newbery Medal. Ann read the manuscript and said, “There’s a book missing.” Wow. She knew that we needed to know more about the main character’s origins to really appreciate, and get the full impact of, the final book. That “missing” book became Taran Wanderer, the penultimate book in the series.  Of course, as a reader, I never knew any of that. I just read the books over and over. But boy, did that story teach me about the power of editorial collaboration. When an editor and a writer are really in sync, it’s magical.

 

Dorian: What genres, themes, etc. are you particularly looking for at Holiday House?

Elizabeth: I, personally, am looking hard for middle grade fiction, and your readers can submit to submissions@holidayhouse.com and put my name in the subject heading. And since we have an open submissions policy, if you’re writing a different genre, just send it to the same address and someone smart will read it.

 

Dorian: You teach writing workshops all over the country. What are three top pieces of advice you have for writers?

Elizabeth: Write what you care about—don’t write for trends. That’s my first, second, and third piece of advice. I’ve learned again and again that trying to write something you don’t care about because you think there’s a demand for it never works. It’s the same with being an editor—when I’ve tried to publish something “popular” that I didn’t personally like, it bombed.

Also, it really IS about writing a good book, not about having the right contact or getting someone’s name to submit to. If you can get your book to a house that has an open submissions policy, that book will be read, and passed on to the right editor.

Finally, I’d add that it’s ok to let your manuscript rest. I so often get manuscripts re-submitted very quickly, and I think, “Did the author have time to digest my comments?” Step away for a bit and you’ll be surprised what you see when you come back to it.

 

Dorian: How can our readers follow you on social media?

Elizabeth: I’m @Elawreads on Twitter and Instagram. And I also have a side hustle and will work with you to help get your book stronger, or to get a query in shape, or to help you break through and get an agent. Or just anything you need, writing-wise. Check out my website, Elawreads.com.  Thanks, Dorian!