Friday, May 9, 2014

Blog Tour- The Dyerville Tales by M.P. Kozlowsky Review and Giveaway

I am always happy to be part of a tour with Walden Pond Press, but today I'm really excited. The Dyerville Tales Blog Tour features a giveaway of a signed hardcover book at each stop and reviews, guest posts and interviews. It also features a really fantastic Middle Grade book that I am so in love with. I would put it in any reader's hands. Make sure to follow the rest of the tour so you don't miss your chance to win a copy of The Dyerville Tales and read about the author and what others thought of this really enchanting tale. (see below)

The Dyerville Tales by M.P. Kozlowsky
Available NOW
Walden Pond Press
Hardcover 336 pages
MG/ Fairytale/ Fantasy/Coming of Age
Reviewed ARC from Publisher
To Buy Links: Amazon/ Kindle/ BN/ Book Depository/
Indiebound/ Kobo

Goodreads - A young orphan searches for his family and the meaning in his grandfather's book of lost fairy tales in this stunningly original coming-of-age middle-grade fantasy

Vince Elgin is an orphan, having lost his mother and his father in a fire when he was young, but beyond that, his life hasn't been much of a fairy tale. With only a senile grandfather he barely knows to call family, Vince was remanded to a group home, where he spun fantastical stories, dreaming of the possibility that his father, whose body was never found, might one day return for him. But it's been a long time since the fire, a long time since Vince has told himself a story worth believing in.

That's when a letter arrives, telling Vince his grandfather has passed away. Vince cannot explain it, but he's convinced that if his father is somehow still alive, he'll find him at the funeral. He strikes out for his grandfather's small hometown of Dyerville carrying only one thing with him: his grandfather's journal. The journal tells a story that could not possibly be true, a story of his grandfather's young life involving witches, giants, magical books, and evil spirits. But as Vince reads on and gets closer to Dyerville, fact and fiction begin to intertwine, and Vince finds that his very real adventure may have more in common with his grandfather's than he ever could have known.

M. P. Kozlowsky, the author of Juniper Berry, has crafted a powerfully imaginative novel of the spaces in life where fantasy and reality intersect, a touching story of the things we give up to recover the things we've lost.


Some  books just take your breath away when you read them. That's what M.P. Kozlowsky's THE DYERVILLE TALES did to me. Simple yet beautiful. Understated and powerful at the same time. There are two stories within the book, but they are so intertwined, so connected they become one. Sometimes as I was reading, I had to remind myself who I was reading about, which of the characters as they are both named Vince. It is a fairy tale about a boy who decides to take a journey that becomes life changing. But it's also about believing in yourself, in the wonder of the unknown, of the possibilities, of not being afraid. Of just believing, having faith. I'm not sure if there is another book coming, if this a series. It has an ending. But could certainly be carried further. I sure hated closing the book.

Vince- The boy in the orphanage has lost his parents. One to death in a fire. One, he isn't sure. He believes his father is alive and it's his hope and belief that his father is still alive that keeps him going. He is a great storyteller and the kids in the orphanage love his stories. But when he gets word his grandfather has died he decides he wants to attend his funeral. Unfortunately, the orphanage director won't let him go.

The World- It seems to be present day though there is no mention of cell phones. There are computers. There isn't really a context to know what country where the story takes place, but it doesn't affect the story. There are mountains. There is a lot of snow. It could be anywhere. But then there is another world within that created in Vince's grandfather's book of tales. There are giants and witches. Razor sharp mountains and saltwater lakes. And magical worlds.

The Story- Simply put it's Vince's journey from the orphanage to Dyerville to attend his grandfather's funeral. But you know it isn't that simple. He receives word that his grandfather died with a letter from the man that took care of him in the nursing home and a book the man wrote with his grandfather's tales in it. As The Dyerville Tales goes on, Vince reads his grandfather's tales and things start to sound familiar, believable.

My Take- It doesn't matter if you don't like Midde Grade fiction. I think everyone should read this story. It is beautifully written. It reminds me of what it's like to be a kid in a word full of adults telling you that "you can't" or "things aren't like that". It reminds me to believe in possibility. That it just might be real, that thing I want to believe oh so much. And that ultimately, my life is my own to live. Vince makes his own decisions and believes in himself and his choices. He spends so much time hoping to find his father, until he finally realizes just what he needs to know. Umbia Rah!

Here is my favorite quote in the book and made me really reflect on Vince and my own kids. Vince is telling someone why people are looking for him.

Vince: "I ran away from my orphanage to get here. I must have upset a lot of people."
Chris: "And they never stopped to wonder just how upset you might be?" p.281 ARC

Thank you to Walden Pond Press for the ARC for review. This one is definitely going on the special shelf. I’ll have to get my own hardcover copy. It will definitely be a classic

Artwork © 2014 by Brian Thompson
(click to enlarge)

M. P. Kozlowsky is also the author of Juniper Berry. A former schoolteacher, he lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. Visit him online at

The Always Awesome Team at Walden Pond Press are offering one of you lucky readers a chance to win a signed copy of THE DYERVILLE TALES by MP KOZLOWSKY.
Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. US and Canada only J

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  1. Oh I'm glad I read your review! I have the book but I've been struggling with MG- just not feeling the urge to read it. But I'm more excited to read this now so I'll fit it in here soon.

  2. Oh Candace I think you'll love it! I haven't read Juniper Berry yet, but now I'm pulling it off the shelf. This was such a beautiful story! And that quote just made me want to start from zero with my kids. It really made me think, what do other people matter (as long as they aren't being harmed). Shouldn't we matter more? All those pins on Pinterest and this is what makes it finally sink in!

  3. MG is so hit or miss for me, but I know I will soon be reading lots of it with my kids so I will be wanting some good ones. I am going to put this on my Pinterest board for my kids because I am all about gorgeously written and entertaining books! Thanks for the recommendation. Have a Happy Mother's Day!

    1. Oh Heidi- You definitely want this one for your kids. It would be a great read a-long with your kids. I'm not sure how old they are, but the chapters leave off at a good stopping point every time. It's just a beautifully written book.

  4. Wow! This sounds amazeballs! I don't mind MG, but don't often read it. I always felt that a good story would transcend all age groups. This one sounds like it does just that! Oh and I also like those illustrations. Thanks for the great rec!!

    1. You would like this one Melissa! It does transcend all age groups. It's just the age of the main character that sticks it in MG. But half of the story is about his grandfather as a young man. I hope you get a chance to read it.

  5. This sounds great and the cover is awesome. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It is and the illustrations inside are wonderfully done. I read the ARC, but the pictures were all complete. The started each chapter. And the cover is beautiful.

  6. I've been hearing about this one around the blogosphere and while MG isn't what I usually read, I'll definitely have to look into this. Great review, Heather! :)

    1. Thanks Keertana! If you're in need of a palate cleanser, this one is the one I suggest. There is the merest hint of a romance. The bigger story is the family story within the story. It's a must read. You won't feel like you're reading MG. Some books feel like they are written for young children, but this one feels like anyone could read it and take what they wanted from it, middle grade readers to adults. That takes a special kind of writer.


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