"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Blog Tour (Review): DEADWOOD by Kell Andrews (MG)


by Kell Andrews
Release date: June 24th, 2014
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: Middle Grade
Format: Paperback
Format read: A paperback from the publisher for an honest review. 


Sometimes a lucky ritual becomes a curse. Seventh-grader Martin Cruz hates his rotten new town, Lower Brynwood, but with his mom fighting a war in Afghanistan, he has no other choice but to live with his crazy aunt. Then he gets a message from a tree telling him it's cursed--and so is he.

It's not just any tree either, it's the Spirit Tree, an ancient beech the football team carves for good luck before the season opener. But every year they lose. Now the Spirit Tree is dying, and the other trees in the park are toppling around it like dominoes. The town is plagued with unexplainable accidents and people begin to fade, drained of life. Martin must team up with a know-it-all soccer star, Hannah Vaughan, if he has any chance of breaking the curse. 

If they fail to save the Spirit Tree, it could mean the destruction of Lower Brynwood and a permanent case of bad luck.


A fast-paced, enjoyable, contemporary fantasy that upper middle graders will truly enjoy!

Martin is a strong, determined teen who was sent to live with his mother's cousin while she's deployed. Martin does his best to stay out of his "Aunt" Michele's way, and tries to get by on her strict regimes of eating healthy and living life to their full "brain-power" potential. He's a runner and trains as often as he can, determined to complete any marathon as long as his mother can do it with him.
On his first run through Lower Brynwood aka Deadwood, he runs into a group of people performing a school ritual on a tree. He is angered that they've been damaging this poor tree for many years and tries to stop it - but what can one little teen do against a whole high school football team?
After they're done, Martin is left alone with the tree and meets Hannah. Hannah is a tomboyish girl who has lived in Lower Brynwood her whole life and knows all about the Spirit Tree and most of what happens in the town. While they're standing under the tree, an unexpected storm drops in and lightening hits the tree. While they stare at the tree and watch it light up from the inside, the carvings start to light up, letter by letter, delivering a message to them. An unbelievable scary message - the town is cursed.

Against their will, Martin and Hannah team up to figure out the Spirit Tree's message, why its dying? Why are there other trees in the town are dying too? Why is the town and its occupants are cursed?

The story is told from three different perspectives, Martin's, Hannah's and the Spirit Tree. Reading from the tree's perspective was extremely interesting, it gives insight to how a tree would view its surroundings and history. I really enjoyed that aspect a lot.

The perfect blend of relatable contemporary, supernatural elements, mystery and environmental awareness - an amazing middle grade book for all ages to read!

(I received this paperback from the publisher/tour host for an honest review.
My thoughts are my own.)

June 23rd
A Leisure Moment (www.aleisuremoment.com) | Excerpt
Mythical Books (http://www.mythicalbooks.blogspot.ro/) | Highlight & Giveaway
Coffee Books & Art (http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com/) | Highlight & Giveaway

June 24th
Literary Winner (http://literarywinner.com) | Review
Brooke Blogs  (http://www.brookeblogs.com) | Review
Because Reading is Better Than Real Life (www.becausereading.com) | Top Ten

June 25th
Bumbles and Fairy-Tales (http://bumblesandfairytales.blogspot.com) | Review
Reading Tween (Http://readingtween.blogspot.com/) | Teaser
Book Lovers Life (http://bookloverslife.blogspot.ie/) | Highlight & Giveaway

June 26th
Platypire Reviews (platypire.com) | Review
The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia (http://hauntedorchid.blogspot.com) | Review
Curling Up With A Good Book (curling-up-with-a-good-book.blogspot.com) | Teaser

June 27th
Tanya's Book Nook (http://tanyasbooknook.blogspot.com) | Review
Hope To Read (http://hopetoread.com) | Excerpt
The Cover Contessa (http://www.thecovercontessa.com) | Interview

Kell Andrews writes nonfiction for adults and fiction for children. A little bit of magic helps with both. Growing up, she spent a lot of time reading, writing, drawing, and looking for treasure in the woods and on the beach. She still does. Kell holds a humanities degree from Johns Hopkins University and a master of liberal arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. A lifelong Philadelphian, she lives with her husband and two daughters in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, right next to a park a lot like the one in Deadwood.



  1. Margie, thanks so much for reading, reviewing, and hosting the giveaway. I'm glad you liked it!

  2. Great review! And congratulations, Kell!

  3. Great review...sounds like a great with lots of great elements...Love books that can help with environmental awareness!

  4. I enjoyed the post and review. Congratulations, Kell! Happy book birthday to you!


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