I’m an avid reader of books for kids – 20 years as a middle school teacher and librarian!  Where has the time gone?

At school, I tell only about books I’ve liked and let kids make up their own minds about the rest. Everyone has a right to read what they like! On this blog, I’ll post it all. Much of this has been stored away on notecards and in computer files for a long time. It’s about time for me to get organized! I started this blog in mid-2012, but I will add back posts according to the original review date.

What I really need: contemporary/futuristic African-American fiction. There seems to be a dire need for middle grade fiction for this group. No more books about slavery & civil rights, please. No more high school ghetto dramas. Are the only choices for boys: gangs, drugs, or basketball?  I want to read and promote teen lit about modern problems and solutions, school and life, college and career… I WANT BLACK TEEN/TWEEN CHARACTERS IN SCI-FI & FANTASY!! Where are you? I’d love to hear your recommendations or read new authors for this audience.

I’d like to make “movie trailer quality” commercials for books someday. Kids get marketed to for so much other stuff, why not books?

I’ve got a new passion for gardening and permaculture that is “growing” daily, so you might see some books on those topics too! Every now and then I can’t resist reading something that isn’t for work, so here and there I’ve got an adult post.

Disclaimer: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you like my blog advice, I’d be happy to get your support in a click-through to purchase a title. But, I’m an advocate for libraries – so if you borrow before making purchase decisions, I support you!

I make no promises to review every single request sent my way, my priorities are middle grade focused fiction as capitalized above. I define middle grade fiction as being suitable for students in grades 6, 7 or 8 (kids of age 10/11 to 13/14). I believe that the main characters of those books would also be in middle school or early high school, excepting those non-human species! I review every book with my own honest opinion. You can contact me at the following snail mail address:

Movies of the Mind

PO Box 153

Clarcona, FL 32710

Commenting on my blog is the best way to reach me, but if you need something more secure, here’s my ugly-but-spam-safe e-mail address:

tracy (no space)

@ (no space)

moviesofthemind (no space)

. (no space)

com (got it?)


18 comments on “About

  1. I have a fiction novel of survival that has (among the other characters) a black schoolteacher and her family involved in a nuclear catastrophe. I just updated it and brought out the 3rd edition. My local librarian read and favorably reviewed the story. The sample chapters on Amazon kindle have not been updated yet by Amazon. I can give you a preview link but the story about Althea Carr and her family does not start until chapter 4. “The Nuclear Catastrophe”, a fiction novel of survival is suitable for school age children (I was once a teacher). https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1108743
    I would be more than happy to send you a .pdf copy if you are interested.

    • If the target audience is for ages 10-14, I’d be happy to read it! Sounds interesting! Look at my about page and my e-mail address is there for you to send the pdf whenever you have time. I’ve got about 4 other requested reviews to get through, so it might be a month or two before I finish.

    • I’d love to say yes, but I’m booked up pretty far in advance and I’ve got a few new projects going on that might slow me down on those. The only books I’m making room for right now are African American character middle grade books. But thanks for asking and if I ever catch up, I’ll contact you.

  2. Amanda is the love of Tom’s life. After an argument, Tom crashes his car and wakes up in an unfamiliar place. Amanda is out of reach. Then he meets Marcus, who has more experience in the areas that now matter. Tom accepts his help, but Marcus has his own concerns, and eventually Tom is alone again.

    How can Tom let Amanda known how much he loves her? Does she feel the same way?

    Spooking is a romantic paranormal Young Adult novella.
    Would you be interested in reviewing it?

    • Dr. James,
      Thank you for considering me as a reviewer! However, I am booked through the last quarter of 2013 and I am restricting my future reviews to authors and characters of color. Good luck with your novella!

  3. Hi Tracy,
    It looks like you are pretty busy, but thought I would contact you anyway because it looks like your interests might match my new book.
    Lotto’s Super-Awesome Unbelievable Park Adventure is fantasy meets travelogue in a middle grade adventure novel.
    The main character and his siblings are African American (at least in my mind). I dropped a few hints in the book as to their race, but they are very subtle hints. I really wanted to write a book with a young African American protagonist for a mainstream audience – so to be fair and up front, the book is not about being African American, the kids in the book just happen to be, if that makes sense.
    If you are interested or know anyone who might be, the book will be offered for free on Kindle this Sunday, January 6 for a promo day.


    Best to you,

  4. Would you be interested in reviewing my book, The Fat Girl Bus, a novel about several pregnant students who attend an alternative high school which is facing closure due to budget cuts? Teen pregnancy as you know is a global issues that has no ethnic, racial or economic boundaries. The racial backgrounds, academic achievements and other accomplishments of the characters in the book vary.. You may preview the book on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/147970217X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_FpkXqb0PC I’ve also attached the link to PR release http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/1/prweb10314280.htm.

    If you elect to review The Fat Girl Bus, will you accept a PDF file? Thank you for your consideration.
    Byron C. Taylor, Sr.

    • The age group and subject matter are a bit more than what I’m looking for right now. However, if I can find some extra time before the end of 2013, I will contact you to see if we want to go forward.

  5. Hi
    I have two books out, one sequel to the other, about a young, black 11-12 year old girl who goes on an adventure of a lifetime when her grandfather is visited by an old childhood friend who turns out to be an alien, and headteacher of The Firestone Academy on Planet Aruuliah. The main character, Thea, is not American (don’t know if that matters to you), but is British. Her grandfather is from a small caribbean island. Don’t know if this fits in with your preference, but more details can be found here: http://www.firestone.moonfruit.com.

    Hope to hear from you soon.



    • YES!!! This sounds perfect in the type of book I am looking for. If you want to send me a print copy or Kindle version, take a look at my “about” page and you’ll find my contact info. I’ll contact you via e-mail and let you know when to expect a review, and you can check my “review calendar” page to keep track of my progress.

    • I would love to support you as an author. If you want to send me a print copy or Kindle version, take a look at my “about” page and you’ll find my contact info. I’ll contact you via e-mail and let you know when to expect a review, and you can check my “review calendar” page to keep track of my progress.

  6. I hope my book, Summer of Leopard Maasai, fits your preference and I would love to have you review it. Here’s the book description from Amazon:

    “If a herdsboy spears a lion, he may leap-dance with the warriors that day.” So says Sankara’s Maasai grandfather to explain the rewards of responsibility in this story of a bi-racial boy with an Americanized Maasai father. Years earlier when a snow-white giraffe is born in the Elgon game park, the chief sorcerer of the Elgon Maasai people suspects it is no ordinary event. His great-grandson, Sankara Sang, is born that same day in America. As time passes, Sankara longs for a connection with his African relatives. When he travels with his mother and little brother to Kenya, he not only discovers the Maasai magician lineage his father has never revealed-he also bonds with his Maasai grandfather and warrior cousin. They immerse themselves into a world of magic spells, leopard companions and other enchanted wild animals in a struggle against darkside antagonists who are out to decimate Sankara’s Elgon Maasai people.

    The protagonist is a 10 yr old biracial boy with a Kenyan-immigrant dad and a Mid-Western mom (as in, my kids, not that other famous bi-racial guy). Once again, here’s the Amazon link: http://t.co/LP08ehRI7A

    Hope to hear from you soon.

  7. Hello!

    I was wondering if you would like to review either of my books, The Inheritance of a Swamp Witch (book one) or A Witch’s Welcome (book two) of my Swamp Witch series.

    Best Regards,

    Sonia Taylor Brock

    P.S. The first book takes a little while to take off, be patient and you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

    • What age level would you consider as the appropriate audience? If it is from ages 10-15, I would consider it. However, being back in the classroom has left me little time for book reading and even less time for reviewing. I mostly get to listen to audiobooks in the car as my “reading.” It could be more than a year before I get to read yours.

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