Monday, April 8, 2019

MMGM ~ Roger Mantis by Author Tom Alan Brosz & a Giveaway!

Monday's are a favorite day for me when I get to participate in Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays! And this Monday I have a really sweet middle grade read to share.

Psst . . . and you get to read an excerpt! Remember to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post.

Meet Roger Mantis and his creature Author Tom Alan Brosz.

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Roger Mantis by Tom Alan Brosz

Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Publisher: Tantrum Books

Baseball is Roger McGillicutty’s whole life. That is until he wakes one Saturday to find he is no longer a normal eleven-year-old boy. He's a five-foot-tall praying mantis.

Roger has school on Monday, the carnival comes to town next week, and his baseball team is poised to play their biggest rival in one week. Being a giant bug will seriously cramp Roger’s style!

To Roger’s surprise, his parents and friends are supportive. Even his dog isn’t spooked. But not everyone’s thrilled about Roger’s change. Some people are frightened and others would like nothing more than to squash him into the ground like the bug he is.

And when Little League officials oust Roger from baseball, his world collapses.

When a reporter from the city comes snooping around rumors of a man-sized baseball-playing praying mantis, Roger must choose between hiding his true self or being the hero he's always wanted to be.

Doesn't this story sound like such a hoot for an adventurous middle grade reader you know?!!! Here's a snippet from Roger's story:

Slowly, carefully, and as quietly as possible, Roger staggered across the room to the mirror over his dresser.

As prepared as he was, it was still a shock. A triangular emerald-green head looked back at him, with two enormously round green compound eyes on either side. Two long, thin antennae stuck out of the top of his head. He could move them around if he tried, kind of like wiggling his ears (which he didn’t have anymore and couldn’t wiggle when he did). His mouth was … he didn’t know what the heck his mouth was. It was a weird mess of powerful-looking cutting and crunching things and some even weirder tentacle things. Roger wiggled the many separate bits around and then quickly stopped, deciding it wasn’t quite as gross if he wasn’t moving it.

He folded his arms tightly together in front of him, side by side. He had done it without really thinking about it, but his odd posture suddenly made him realize what he had become.

“I’m a praying mantis,” he said in his new buzzy voice. “A big, frigging praying mantis.”

Tom Alan Brosz actually is a rocket scientist (sort of), having done design and engineering work in the private space industry back before the private space industry was cool. His qualifications for writing this book are that he has experience in raising children who like bugs, and raising pet mantises for those children. Normal-sized mantises, of course.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interested in being part of MMGM ~ Shannon Messenger's genius plan to give middle grade reads their just due? Click HERE to join in and for the other participants.

Want to read more excerpts or interviews with Roger and his creature? Follow the Roger Mantis BlogTour!  Blog Tour Schedule

Have you read a middle grade story where the main character turns into an insect? An animal? Something else? Please share!


  1. What a fun book! And what neat parents - being a mantis didn't even bother them. I don't think my parents would have been so supportive. Thanks for the review of this unique book.

    1. Your response is so funny because I thought the same thing! I'm thinking this situation would have freaked me out whether child or parent. Haha...

  2. A wonderfully inventive idea for an MG story. Young readers (and a few of us older ones) would enjoy the engaging plot. Thanks for the heads up.
    Also...thanks to the nod to MMGM, but your link is out of date. Shannon turned over the MMGM responsibilities to me in late 2017. Writing and creating the weekly MMGM post had become a little much for her. Anyway, you can find MMGM at

  3. Wow! That would be a little startling to suddenly become a giant insect! I wonder if the way he sees is exactly the way an insect lens views the world. It would be kinda hard to play baseball with eyes like that!

  4. This does sound like a great book, especially for boys.Thanks for featuring it.

  5. Very clever and imaginative idea for a book -- seeing the world through the eyes of an insect. Readers like to laugh and this one sounds hilarious. Good choice!

  6. Wow. Franz Kafka comes to middle-grade. Sounds like a very fun read. I love baseball, but I never thought I'd read a baseball book about a giant bug. Thanks for the heads up.

  7. This sounds like a fun become an insect would be a huge shock!

  8. This sounds unique. I would be fascinated to see a human size praying mantis! Thanks for sharing. :)

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