Thursday, March 20, 2014

Nate Rocks the City Blog Tour with Karen Pokras Toz ~ Excerpt, Review & Giveaway

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Hey New York! Are you ready for Nate Rocks?
Fifth grader Nathan Rockledge has been counting down the 
days—and meals—until his class trip to New York City. Now 
that the big event is finally here, he can barely stand the 
excitement. After all, isn’t this what being a fifth grader 
is all about? Oh sure, his Mom is one of the chaperones, his
annoying sister Abby is tagging along, and that know-it-all 
classmate, Lisa, will be there as well. However, none of 
that matters. Not when he’ll be with his best friends, 
Tommy and Sam.

While seeing the sights, his teacher wants his class to take 
notes, but Nathan has other ideas. With paper and pencil in 
hand, Nathan prefers to doodle, transforming himself into 
Nate Rocks, boy hero. Amid ninja pigeons to fend off, aliens 
to attack, and the baseball game of the century to save, 
will Nate Rocks be able to save the day one more time?


Karen Pokras Toz writes middle grade and adult contemporary fiction. 
Her books have won several awards including two Readers’ Favorite Book
Awards, the Grand Prize in the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, as well 
as placing first for two Global E-Book Awards for Pre-Teen Literature. 
Karen is a member of the Society of the Children's Book 
Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). For children, her books include the 
Nate Rocks series, Millicent Marie is Not My Name, & Pie and Other 
Brilliant Ideas. For adult readers, Karen’s books include Chasing 
Invisible, and her soon to be released, Whispered Wishes series. 
A native of Connecticut, Karen now lives outside of Philadelphia 
with her husband and three children. 

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Nate Rocks the City Excerpt

“Um, what just happened?” Claire nervously asks.
“Nathan broke the elevator, that’s what happened!” Lisa exclaims, hands on her hips.
“I did not,” I say, looking at Lisa. “You’re the one who did it. You pressed all those buttons at the same time.”
“Well, you made me do that. You pushed my hand right into the panel. Wait until I tell my mother … and your mother … and Mrs. Cogin … and—”
As if being stuck in the elevator weren’t enough, as if listening to Lisa cackle weren’t enough, suddenly, all of the lights in the elevator go out, leaving us in the pitch dark.
Kara screams. Really screams—like horror movie type screams, that is, until Lisa slaps her across the face—impressive, too, since she is able to make a direct hit in the dark. I can’t really say I blame Lisa there. Kara is now quietly whimpering, but at least she has stopped screaming.
“The alarm!” I blurt out. “Whenever an elevator gets stuck in a movie, they always press the alarm button. There has to be one somewhere.”
“Great idea, genius,” Lisa says. “Except, we’re standing in pitch black. How are we supposed to find the alarm button?”
“Hello?” Claire yells. “Hello? Can you hear us? We’re stuck inside this elevator! Anybody?”
“Well, why don’t we just press buttons? What’s the worst that could happen? We’re already stuck,” I suggest.
“No thanks to you,” Lisa complains. “Isn’t that what got us here in the first place?”
“Don’t blame me for this!” I yell. “This is all your fault. You’re the one who is so bossy all the time. You’re the one …”
A tiny bit of light comes on in the back corner of the elevator, and we turn around. Anna is holding a small flashlight. She shrugs and points to the key ring that connects the flashlight to her backpack.
 “Smart,” I say.
Anna shines it on the control panel, and I find and press the button labeled lights. Tiny emergency lights come on at each of the top corners of the elevator. Next, I press the bright red alarm button. It’s loud; almost as loud as Kara’s screaming, which has started up once more and is louder because it is right next to my ear. I look at Lisa to see if she is going to slap her again, but she is too busy pounding on the elevator door with Claire.
 “Help us! Help! Get us out!” Claire and Lisa both yell together. “Please!”
Anna just stands there as if frozen, staring weirdly at the control panel.
I slowly back up until I feel the wall hit my heels, and I slide halfway down into a crouching position. Hanging my head, I cover my ears with my hands. Well this is fun. I wonder if the rest of the class has even noticed we’re missing. They’ve probably already left for dinner. They’re probably sinking their teeth into a juicy hamburger right this very minute. They’re probably…
The deafening sound of the alarm finally stops, along with Kara’s screams and Lisa and Claire’s yelling as the doors slide open.
 “My baby! My baby!” Mom rushes into the elevator and tackles me all the way to the ground as she tries to embrace me.
“Cant. Breathe.” Those are the words I attempt to say, but it comes out sounding more like, “Ka. Boom.”
“Awww, was Natie afwaid the elevator would go boom?”
I look up between what little space I do have between myself and Mom’s body to see my sister, Abby, standing over me with her hands on her hips and a smirk on her face. Mom stands up, helping me up as well.
“What are you doing here, Abby?” I ask, brushing my pants off.

REVIEW - 5 Stars

Nate Rocks it out hard as the series comes to an end - action packed, full of adventure, creative imagination, and laugh out load fun!

In the last installment of the Nate Rocks series, Nate's class visits New York City. With Nate's overactive imagination and his trusty sketchpad this won't be like most visits to NYC. With ninja birds, aliens, & more - you're sure to have fun! 

Tour Schedule: 
March 10 
Book Blast 
 March 11 
Living, Learning, and Loving Life  Review 
 March 12
 A.B. Shepherd Author Guest Post

March 13
 Java John Z's Excerpt

March 14 
Lindsay and Jane's Views and Reviews Review & Excerpt

March 15 
Happily Managing a Household of Boys Review & Character Interview

March 16 
Tyrneathem Review & Excerpt

March 17 

Sweet Little Pretties Review & Character Guest Post

Fairday's Blog Riddle

March 18  
Cindy's Love of Books Review & Author Guest Post

March 19 

Kid Lit Reviews Review & Character Interview

Fairday's Blog Review

March 20 

MHZ Book Reviews & Giveaways Review & Excerpt

Happy Green Baby Review & Author Guest Post

March 21 

Must Read Faster Review

Fairday's Blog Author Feature