This week, KarateKid and I are part of a blog book tour for two kids’ novels by Melissa M. Williams: Iggy the Iguana and Summer League.
Iggy the Iguana is the first book in the Iggy Chapter Book Series for ages 7 to 11. The story focuses on the major themes of acceptance, friendship, and diversity while Iggy starts a brand new school. The transition from a private “all-lizard” school to a public “all-animal” school is eye opening, as Iggy soon accepts that just because other animals are different doesn’t mean they can’t be your friends. By the end of Iggy’s 4th grade year, he realizes that changing schools was the best move he could have ever made!
Summer League is the second book in the Iggy the Iguana Chapter Book Series. After an exciting school year, Iggy and his friends kick off their summer vacation with some fun in the sun and … baseball! While playing on his All-Star little league team, Iggy faces a very difficult situation that could change his future in sports forever. Iggy learns many valuable lessons during the summer, most importantly, it is not wise to keep secrets from adults and we can’t judge others on the outside.
Melissa M. Williams has been writing stories since the age of eight years old. Many of her stories were inspired by real life experiences with childhood pets she owned while growing up in Houston, Texas. It is extremely important for her to reach out to her young readers and show them the benefits of using their creativity at a young age. While pursuing a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling, Melissa started substitute teaching, which inspired the writing of a series relatable to elementary students while including lessons, values, and acceptance within the storyline. Melissa spends most of the school year visiting students and encouraging them to think outside the box and write their own stories. Inspiring students to read and write is the main goal as she promotes literacy through her creative writing contests and activities within the Texas area. Williams always reminds her audience that she gets her ideas from them. “The young brain is a naturally creative brain, so we must learn to take advantage of that gift and continue to develop it into our later years.” Melissa’s articles, radio interviews, and online author presentations can be found on Iggy’s Website at www.iggytheiguana.com
The picture above is a young Melissa holding the original Iggy the Iguana! Since KarateKid has recently adopted two lizards as pets, he was very taken by the fact that the book’s author really had an Iggy (and a Liz, and most of the other characters). I think kids love to be able to relate to people in that way, to know how their childhoods made them who they are.
KarateKid and I both read the books, and we discussed them together. Here is what he wanted to contribute to the review:
They were awesome, as any good story should be!
It’s about a young boy lizard, Iggy, who falls in love with a girl lizard, Liz, at his school. In the first book he sort of has a rival too. He also meets a sort of slick, cool dude who’s a turtle, Snap Shell. The first book is mostly about Iggy making new friends at his new school, and it’s very cool.
In the second book he hurts his arm but keeps it a secret from his family until it hurts him so much that he almost passes out from the pain in the middle of a baseball game. That was one of the most exciting parts of the book, I think you’ll be worried about Iggy just like I was.
I can’t wait until the next book comes out. I bet that when you guys, who are reading this blog, read these books, you’ll want the third book out too!
To me, as a mom, any book that makes him that excited and gives him that much enjoyment is well worth the read! The stories and characters were engaging and face typical confusing social situations, and draw strength and wisdom from their families and friends to help them through. I’m glad to add these books to KarateKid’s shelf.
I am also impressed that Melissa Williams and LongTale Publishing have created the Read3Zero campaign for literacy awareness, with the idea of encouraging adults to spend at least 30 minutes a day (3Zero) reading with the kids in their life.
To learn more about Iggy and Melissa Williams – visit www.iggytheiguana.com. Win the Iggy the Iguana Give Away! Including the Newly Released Items in Iggy Collection, Snap Shell the Turtle (Plush Doll), Iggy Collector’s Baseball Cards, and The Read3Zero T-Shirt … supporting the fight against illiteracy 30 minutes at a time. Be our most active visitor during the tour for a chance to win this Iggy Collection — the tour schedule is posted at http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2010/01/iggy-iguana-and-melissa-m-williams-tour.html to make it easy for you to visit and comment.
This post is part of the Iggy the Iguana blog tour. The books were provided to us for the purpose of this review, but we weren’t compensated in any other way. The opinions above are our own!