Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nate Rocks the World by Karen Pokras Toz - Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Nate Rocks the World blog tour sponsored by Innovative Online Book Tours. Last week I did a review of Nate Rocks the Boat. Today I will review book one in the Nate Rocks series. Below you will find a blurb about the book, excerpt, author bio, great links, YouTube trailer clip, buy now links, TWO giveaways and my review.

Ten-year-old Nathan Rockledge cannot catch a break. After all, life as a fourth-grader  can be hazardous what with science projects to deal with and recces football games to avoid. Everyone, including his best friend Tommy, seems to have bad luck when hanging around Nathan. Throw in an older sister who is a royal pain, a dad who is stuck in the past, and a mom who keeps trying to poison him with her awful cooking, and poor Nate's life as a fourth-grader appears to be completely doomed.

Armed only with his sketchpad, his imagination, and his wits, Nathan Rockledge navigates the perils of fourth grade in style, to emerge heroic, as Nate Rocks, proving that even a ten-year-old can accomplish great things.



Karen is a writer, wife and mother. Karen grew up in Connecticut and currently lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and three children. In June 2011, Karen published her first middle grade children's novel for 7-12 year-olds called Nate Rocks the World, which won First Place for Children's Chapter Books and the Grand Prize Overall in the 2012 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, as well as placing first for a Global E-Book for Pre-Teen Literature. In 2012, Karen published the second of the Nate Rocks series, Nate Rocks the Boat, followed by middle grade novel, Millicent Marie Is Not My Name. Karen is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).


"The score is three to two in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. The Philadelphia Phillies have a man on first base, but honestly folks, I think the game is over. The Phillies have just not been able to pull it together this World Series, and now with all these injuries, who could the Phillies possibly put in to bat? It looks like this hometown team is running out of options. I hate to say this, but I think the dream of winning this year's World Series is now over for this team. Wait a minute - is that Nate Rocks approaching the plate? He hasn't been off the bench all season. Surely, the Phillies have someone more experienced they can use. Even Nate looks confused, as he steps up to the plate. Here comes the first pitch ... swing ... and a miss. Second pitch ... ooh, a 95 mph fastball ... and that's strike two. The Philadelphia crown of 45,000 is silent, as we wait for the third pitch ... the pitch that determines this year's world champions. The pitcher looks around, winds up, and ... CRACK - that ball is OUT OF HERE! I don't believe it, folks! Nate Rocks has hit a home run and the Philadelphia Phillies have won the World Series!!!"

The Phillies rush outof the dugout, running toward me, as I cross home plate. They pile on top of me. Thunderous cheers of enthusiastic fans echo through the stadium. I can barely breath. I feel a hand reach out to me.

"You did it, Nate! You did it!" The Phillies' first baseman yells. He pulls me to my feet. 

Two other players help hoist me up over their shoulders. I wave to the crowd in victory. The players parade me around the base and the crowd begins chanting:




"Nathan! For the fourth time - dinner is ready!"

"Huh?" I ask.

Mom is standing in my bedroom doorway, hands on her hips, staring at me, as I sit on my floor among a sea of colored pencils.

"I said dinner is ready. And for goodness sake Nathan Michael Rockledge, clean up this mess!"

"Okay, Mom," I say.

Mom turns around and heads down the steps.

I know your hooked, so buy now!


To learn more about Nate Rocks:

Website: karentoz.com


Poppy and I have both been reading the Nate Rocks series. She has never really been a reader, but every once in a while she does find a book she really likes, and then she doesn't put it down. At first I had to actually make her read Nate Rocks the World. She had not picked out the book herself, she knew nothing about it, and therefore had no desire to read it. However, once she started reading she was hooked and read the first 3 chapters that evening. 

Recently I had Poppy write a book review for composition, and what better to do a book review on than Nate Rocks the World. Poppy had to give an intro, tell about the author, write a summary about the book, give her opinion and who she would recommend the.to She had to do a re-write once, but over-all she did well. 

Poppy with her autographed bookmark
from Karen!
In her book report Poppy said, "I like how when Nate is daydreaming it is kinda hard to tell at first. When I first read it I was confused what was going on. However, it is not the type of confusing that makes you want to stop reading. I would recommend Nate Rocks the World to anyone that enjoys reading fiction books. You will certainly get a few good laughs!"

I must agree with Poppy, I love the way Karen transitions the book from Nate daydreaming to reality so seemingly.  Half the time I wouldn't realize he was daydreaming until I would read the famous line, "Why because you're Nate Rocks, of course!"

Nate seems like your average, everyday 10 year-old with an annoying older sister. Only, Nate has a very active imagination that takes him away from his annoying sister, his overbearing Mom and her awful cooking, and even the annoying Lisa Crane - his Mom's best friend's daughter and his classmate. When Nate is forced to work with Lisa on a class project it all goes down hill.
He has to waste a Saturday working on the project with her, instead of hanging out with his friends. She writes the entire report, throws his poster away and replaces it with one of her own, does all the talking during the presentation and makes it look like she did it all.

On Halloween Nate is able to go Trick-or-Treating with his two best friends, Sam and Tommy, and without any parents! Nate's older sister Abby and her best friend Emma decide to scare the boys. The boys take off running but Sam is so scared they end up lost. The next day Nate and Tommy plan to seek revenge on Abby, and what better way then her upcoming sleepover for her birthday. Only, sometimes plans don't always go as we'd hope!

Can poor Nate ever catch a break?
Nate Rocks the World is a great book for both boys and girls, old and young. If your child is not reading chapter books yet, it's at a manageable length to read to them. I can even see them turning around and reading it again when they are older. I know we will be re-reading them again, and soon!

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DISCLAIMER: I received the aforementioned book for the sole purpose of providing an accurate and honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and all words and opinions are my own.

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