Winter 2019 Books From Midwest Authors

cover art from Wintercake, Every Stolen Breath, Crumbled, and Bread & Butter in background, and in foreground the words "books by Midwest Authors winter 2019"

Welcome to my  Midwest authors series! Seasonally, I'll highlight books from Midwest authors that your family might enjoy, both new books and books you might have missed or forgotten. Some of the books featured are books I've received free from publishers or authors for review purposes, and all Amazon links are affiliate links.

What's better than reading a book together while watching snow fall outside? For me, a cozy midwest winter wouldn't be complete without some new books to read and to gift to others. Here are a few books by Midwest authors that you may want to add to your wishlist, or buy for kids, teachers, and others in your life. There are books here for all ages and stages, from picture books to a YA thriller, and a kitchen planner the moms and Grandmas in your life will love! Enjoy:

Wintercake by Lynne Perkins

several small animals walk atop a fruitcake against a snowy background on the book Wintercake by Lynne Rae Perkins

I received a free copy of the book Wintercake to review.
About the Author:
Lynne Rae Perkins is an author, illustrator, wife, and mom from Michigan. She has written and illustrated more than a half dozen books, and is a Newbery Medal winner because of her excellent work! You can find out more about Lynne Rae Perkins, get a peek behind the book writing and illustrating process, and find ideas for activities to go with Wintercake and her other books, on her website.
Publisher: Wintercake was published by Greenwillow Books on Oct. 15th, 2019
What's it about? Wintercake is about some animals trying to celebrate their favorite winter holiday, Winter's Eve, by making a tradional "wintercake" only to discover their dried fruit (a crucial ingredient) has gone missing. The animals have to work together to find a way celebrate their holiday despite the setback.
Our favorite part:
My kids loved all of the colorful illustrations, but especially liked the animal characters!
As a mom I liked the message and thought the illustrations were beautiful. And I loved that it led to this sweet moment as my oldest read to my middle child!
a boy in a gray t-shirt reads to a smaller boy in a red sweatshirt while both sit in a brown chair.

Who's it best for? Toddlers, preschoolers, and early elementary age
How to get a copy: You can buy a copy of Wintercake from Amazon and most other book retailers.

Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle

I received temporary access to a free digital copy of this book to review. 
About the Author:
Laura Purdie Salas is a Minnesota mom of 2 and a prolific writer of excellent children's books--she has written over 100! You can find out more about Laura Purdie Salas on her author website.
About the Illustrator: Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle is illustrated by Claudine Gevry, a
Publisher: Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle was published by Millbrook Press. part of Lerner Publishing, on Sept. 3rd, 2019
What's it about? Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle is a picture book about animal adaptations for winter.
Our favorite part: My kids loved the beautiful illustrations and giggled when they got to the human page, because it looked like such fun.
My favorite part was learning more about what animals do to handle winter. I had never heard it laid out so clearly into the three main categories (migration, hibernation, toleration) and thought that was a great way to explain it that will be easy for kids to understand. It seems like it would lend itself really well to a sorting worksheet for kids to place different animals into the right categories! But it was also a book that worked well for reading just for fun.
Who's it best for? Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle is great for toddlers through early elementary age student, and would work especially well as part of a science discussion or curriculum about hibernation, migration, and other winter adaptations!
How to get a copy: You can buy a copy of Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle from Amazon and most other book retailers.

Crumbled by Lisa Hardraker

cover art showing a boy with red hair and a green tunic and the words "Nobbin Swill" and "Crumbled by Lisa Harkrader"

I received a free copy of this book to review.
About the Author:
Lisa Hardraker is an award-winning children's book author, but she is also a mom from Kansas and is a proud KU Jayhawk fan.
Publisher: Crumbled was published by Yellow Jacket in August 2019
What's it about? Crumbled is the latest in the fun trend of twisted fairy tales and follows the tale of Noggin, a royal dung farmer, who finds himself unexpectedly aiding Prince Charming in a quest to find missing village children Hansel and Gretel and save the kingdom.
Our favorite part:
My 10 year's old favorite part was Nobbin--he especially liked hearing about his invention!
As a mom I thought Crumbled  was a light-hearted fantasy romp with characters kids will recognize, in unexpected situations, but nothing inappropriate. The bathroom humor was very age appropriate, and I appreciated the historical information about castle toilets in the back of the book! The illustrations were nice, and I felt made the book a really nice transition from picture books to more grown up books with no or few illustrations.
Who's it best for? Tweens!
How to get a copy: You can buy a copy of Crumbled from Amazon:

Every Stolen Breath

a girl looks at the chicago skyline through fog on the cover of Every Stolen Breath by Kimberly Gabriel

I received a free copy of this book to review.
About the Author:
Every Stolen Breath is written by Kimberly Gabriel, an English teacher and mom from northern Chicago. You can find out more about Kimberly Gabriel on her author website or connect with her on Instagram.
Publisher: Every Stolen Breath was published by Blink, a Harper Collins imprint focused on titles for young adults, on Nov. 5th, 2019
What's it about? Every Stolen Breath is a thriller, following high-schooler Lia Finch as she strives to uncover the members of the murderous Swarm that killed her father before they take her down too. The book takes places in modern day Chicago, and Lia navigates high school, grief, and mental illness while essentially being hunted.
My favorite part:
I found the entire book very well written and quick-paced. It's definitely the kind of book you don't want to put down! I thought all the chase sequences were very fun, and Kimberly Gabriel even did a good job of making things like researching on a computer in a library interesting, but probably my favorite thing was her character development. The main characters were very relatable and many of them, and many of the supporting characters, made me think of people I know in the Midwest! I predict that this book will be a big hit, and could be a great movie along the lines of the Hunger Games and Divergent series, but more realistic. I liked that she used real Chicago landmarks. I haven't been to the windy city myself (it's on the bucket list!) but I recognized several from pictures friends and relatives have shared from Chicago, like Navy Pier and the Shedd Aquarium!
Who's it best for? High schoolers and adults. There is some violence, including several graphic murders, and lots of scary suspense that might be upsetting for younger readers.
How to get a copy:  You can buy Every Stolen Breath from national book retailers like Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Bread & Butter 

pink and green words and a loaf and slice of bread grace the cover of the "Bread & Butter" kitchen planner

About the Author: Ally is an Iowa mom and food blogger who shares her recipes and tips on Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats. You can also connect with Ally on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
What's it About? Bread & Butter is a meal planner, shopping list, and recipe book for modern home cooks!
My favorite part: I love that the planner and shopping list are both so open-ended, so you can use them whenever. I hate buying planners where everything is dated so then unless I bought it the month it starts, I feel like a bunch of pages are wasted. With this, there's no waste! The only thing I would personally change in the next edition is to make the cover wipe-able. I got marinara sauce on it the first day I had it. I should be more careful with books, but this one is designed to be in the kitchen, so that would be a nice feature to include.
I also love the recipes Ally included. We made loose meats already, and I can't wait to try the one pot skillet lasagna!
Who's it for? People who want to be more intentional about their time and effort in the kitchen and the store! I think it would be a great Christmas present for moms and Grandmas who cook.
How to get a copy: You can buy Bread & Butter from Ally's website here.

Baking Your Way Through the Holidays

I am receiving a free copy of this book to review.
About the Author: Father Dominic Garramone is a Benedictine monk from St. Bede Abbey in Peoria, Illinois, and he's widely known as "The Bread Monk", having hosted a PBS show by the same name in the late 90's/early 00's. Father Dominic has written several books about bread (including one I have, "How to Be a Breadhead" and I credit his book, along with a few others, for my blue ribbons in baking at our county fair!). Father Dominic also writes a bread blog on his website, The Bread Monk.
Publisher: Baking Your Way Through the Holidays is published by Reedy Press, a publisher based in Saint Louis, and will be out December 14th, 2019.
What's it about? Baking Your Way Through the Holidays is full of delicious festive recipes, with a particular focus on yeasted treats! Recipes include gingerbread pancakes, challah bread, and breakfast sausage.
My favorite part: I'm excited to share this with you after it comes. Watch for this post to be updated after the book is released, and watch my Instagram feed for pics of my bakes!
Who's it best for: Anyone who loves to bake!
How to get a copy: Baking Your Way Through the Holidays is available for pre-order through Reedy Press.

You may also enjoy my recent post about Fall Books from Midwest Authors. I'll be back in a few months with spring books from Midwest Authors, so check back!

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