MMGM~WESTLY: A Spider's Tale by Bryan Beus & a GIVEAWAY!
I've been away from my middle grade spotlights for a while, but this is my SECOND released post in the same month. (my earlier post) It's great to be back in the lineup for Shannon Messenger's MMGM! Click HERE for the other participants.
Now those of you who've stalked the Alleyway for a while know that I like all that's spooky, eerie, and goose bump-worthy. I seek out the strange, the silence in the dark, and the squiggly. All except for one majorly, disgusting creepy crawler...Spid... Honestly, I can't even type the word. I do not like those eight-legged thingys. They can turn on a dime and always hide in places you can't quite see into, yet need to get something inside of.
However ... I just don't have those same feelings when I think about Westly's sweet middle grade tale, which is having his book birthday tomorrow! CONGRATULATIONS to Brian!!!
I'd like to thank the publisher for supplying me with an eCopy in exchange for an unbiased review.
Favorite Line/Passage: Finally, Westly glanced down and as he did, his eyebrows rose to the top of his head. His hands were not the delicate, elegant hands of a butterfly. His belly was not the soft fuzzy belly of a monarch. His feet were not tapered and clean, but pointy and sharp. His tail was not sleek and long, but bulbous and round. Worst of all, when he looked at his back he saw he was entirely without wings.
With a scream, Westly realized that his change had gone horribly, terribly, wickedly wrong. (Kindle 18%)
Description: This is tale of a caterpillar named Westly who is destined to be a Monarch butterfly and the next king of the butterfly kingdom. But sometimes things don't turn out the way we plan. When Westly emerges from his cocoon he is nothing like he expected. As a spider he must rediscover who he is. Adopted by the "dirt eaters," Westly is determined to make a difference. He is determined to belong, to be loved, and most importantly, to become who he was born to be.
COVETED! MUST HAVE!
My Splats: While you were a child growing up, ever believe you were one thing (type of person, likes, dislikes, etc...), and then, due to some event or circumstance, you came to discover you were not? This pretty much sums up Westly's sudden journey from child to tween.
The writing is very visual, which I especially noted from the first few words of the opening. Any reader will instantly become immersed within the world of these caterpillars. They have a home, a routine, and a hierarchy - on that Westly is very much a part of. He has a distinct voice. It's intelligent, but a little abrasive at first. His view of their world is much different from the butterflies and other caterpillars. He is the prince, after all, which is a lot to shoulder. And being responsible for protecting the Chandelier - their home - is quite a serious job. As the son of the Monarch, he's expected to behave accordingly, when in truth he'd like to be normal and fit in with his friends. Or as his father calls them 'subjects'.
But if Westly is honest with himself, being son of the king is not the only thing that makes him different. He's always had better physical strength than his friends, jumping higher and enduring longer. And when he wakes up from his cocoon he realizes why.
The doubts and insecurities that have always plagued him squelch his hopes and dreams, as the crowd stares at him. He's always feared disappointing his friends and mostly his father. This surely must be a great disappointment to them. So he makes the decision to leave, thinking he's saving them from such pain.
Along the way, Westly meets fascinating characters from grasshoppers to moths to dragonflies. He learns the world is much larger than the existence he's been living. (It kind of reminded me of when a child leaves and goes off to college. It was that sort of eye-opening adventure.) He undergoes trials and struggles trying to find where he fits in, to find his place in the world. But along this journey, there are also dangers he could have never dreamed of. Westly will learn to decipher these dangers, the people (of nature) involved, and decide how to handle them. He discovers that embracing oneself and one's own talents is where one's importance in life and to others truly lies.
This story is just adorable, filled with rights of passage, the art of true sacrifice, and the love of family. I would recommend this to any middle schooler, really. Any who like a sweet tale that still has some adventure. Oh, and it's also for you, of course! And I believe it would be a fantastic read-a-loud for a classroom!
Author Bryan Beus Bryan Beus – which rhymes with Zeus – is the winner of the Kirchoff/Wohlberg Award from The New York Society of Illustrators. He works full time as an illustrator for magazines, book covers, film and game conceptual art, and more. When not writing and drawing, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amanda, mindful meditation, drinking root beer floats, and eating far too many Sour Patch Watermelons. Westly is his debut novel. Website * Twitter
$25 Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon eGift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/15/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com eGift Card or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.