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Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Book of Boy Book Blast and Giveaway

Here's a young adult novel about a boy on an adventure and you can win a copy of the book. Open to residents of the US and Canada (excluding Quebec). You have through 11/11 to enter. Good luck. There are a total of five chances for you to win a copy of the book at each of the stops on the blog tour.

Welcome to Day #4 of The Book of Boy Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (on shelves now!), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Catherine, plus 5 chances to win a copy of The Book of Boy!

Best of the Best from Way Back When
by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Of all the books I loved as a child—and gosh were there a lot—my all-time favs were The Chronicles of Narnia. This is due in part to C.S. Lewis’s story-telling (he does a magical job of spreading the saga over seven books, which is a lot of books when you’re ten), and in part to my tantalizing, drawn-out discovery of the series. I was first given The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as a Christmas present, and because I have a heart and a brain, I adored it. Only later did I find out that there was a sequel! And a third! And one after that, and after that. . . . It was Christmas on top of Christmas. It was like C.S. Lewis read my mind. I devoured those books. That said, I am notorious for missing the obvious—my children had to explain that Silas in The Graveyard Book is a vampire—and same goes for Narnia. Didn’t realize it was Christian allegory until my thirties. And I mispronounced Chronicles! But still (or thus): bliss.

Another book I read so many times: Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey (1976), a classic story of a girl leaving her close-minded family for adventure and discoveries. I wanted a fire lizard so badly, I could taste it. I wanted musical ability too, but a fire lizard was more likely. The rest of Pern books also had space on my shelf, but Dragonsong was my bible.

Where’s Wallace by Hilary Knight (1964; he illustrated Eloise) is a picture book, but what pictures! Every spread has a hidden cast of characters with their own delightful stories, and my sister and I poured over the images like runic texts. Eventually the library copy was so worn out (by me) that the staff simply gave it to us. I just checked, and a used copy sells for $166! Psych.

Anything Joan Aiken wrote, I read. Even more than The Chronicles of Narnia, her stories intertwine, but subtly—you could live your whole life without realizing Dido from Nightbirds on Nantucket has a full backstory in several other books. What little I know of Bonnie Prince Charlie stems from Aiken, though please don’t ask me to spell it out.

Books I didn’t read but wish I had:

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (1949). How did I miss this? It features everything I love: castles, a motherless spunky heroine, England, bookish poverty, pets, castles. . . . It was different then, folks, back in the 1970s when one was at the mercy of one’s local library and what it held on its shelves. To be fair, our local library rocked. But it lacked this one key book.

Bloody Jack by L.A. Mayer (2002, obviously later than my childhood, but still) has everything I love minus the castles but plus sea battles and cross-dressing. A young girl terms herself Jack and gets a job aboard a man-o-war. Marvelous.


Blog Tour Schedule:

October 22nd –  Chat With Vera
October 23rd – Christy's Cozy Corners
October 24th – Beach Bound Books
October 25th – Java John Z's
October 26th – Bookhounds

A young outcast is swept up into a thrilling and perilous medieval treasure hunt in this literary page-turner by acclaimed bestselling author Catherine Gilbert Murdock.

This epic and engrossing quest story is for fans of Adam Gidwitz’s The Inquisitor’s Tale and Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, and for readers of all ages. Features a map and black-and-white art by Ian Schoenherr throughout.

Boy has always been relegated to the outskirts of his small village. With a large hump on his back, a mysterious past, and a tendency to talk to animals, he is often mocked by others in his town—until the arrival of a shadowy pilgrim named Secondus. Impressed with Boy’s climbing and jumping abilities, Secondus engages Boy as his servant, pulling him into an action-packed and suspensful expedition across Europe to gather the seven precious relics of Saint Peter.

Boy quickly realizes this journey is not an innocent one. They are stealing the relics and accumulating dangerous enemies in the process. But Boy is determined to see this pilgrimage through until the end—for what if St. Peter can make Boy’s hump go away? A surprising and unforgettable tale for readers of all ages.

Praise for The Book of Boy

* “Scuffles and sacrifices, ferocious animals, and dastardly thieves abound as Boy and Secundus are slowly revealed to readers—and each other. This is also a beautiful piece of bookmaking, from the woodblock-style design elements to the manuscript-like paper. A vivid, not-to-be-missed story.”
Booklist STARRED review

* “Light and darkness have never clashed with such fierce majesty and eloquent damnation. Murdock weaves an engrossing tale. ...Blend epic adventure with gothic good and evil, and add a dash of sly wit for a tale that keeps readers turning the page.”
Kirkus STARRED review

* “Fresh, immediate, and earthy: the fakery, the faith, the embedded stories, the escapades. The story is beautifully served by its package...Most remarkable and unusual is the character of Boy, a complex and compelling being whose defining quality is goodness.”
Horn Book STARRED review

About the Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock lives in Philadelphia with her husband, two brilliant, unicycling children, several cats, and a one-acre yard that she is slowly transforming into a wee but flourishing ecosystem.


  • One (1) winner will receive a copy of The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
  • US/Canada only
  • Ends 11/11/18 at 11:59 pm EST
The giveaway is for US and Canada residents who are 18+ and ends at 11:59pm on 11/11/18. For more complete rules see Giveaway Rules.

The Book of Boy Book Giveaway
Disclosure: Java John Z's did not receive compensation for this post and is not responsible for prize fulfillment.
*Read my Disclosure


  1. "If you could talk to only one animal, and they talked back, which would it be and why?" Well, I think squirrels would be good to talk to. They're not stupid and they see and do a lot--they know what's going on. And they're energetic--they wouldn't be boring!

  2. If I could talk to only one animal and have them talk back, it would be the American Buffalo. And it would be the buffalo because I think that there is something very special about them. The First Nations People of North America knew and know just how special they are.

  3. Definitely my dog. I'd love to know how she's feeling when she seems sick. Thanks!

  4. your dog, you spend the most time with them after all

  5. If I could only talk with one animal it would have to be a house cat. As many pet owners might do I at times talk for mine. Our dogs have always been aloof and loyal when I speak for them and our cats darn near narcissistic. It would be interesting to know what the cats are actually thinking.

  6. If I could only talk to one animal it would have to be Tinkerbell - our daughter's cat to figure out what she really thinks of us all :)


  7. If I could talk to only one animal and have them talk back, it would be dogs. I would love to have them actually talk back.

  8. If you could talk to only one animal, and they talked back, which would it be and why? I would probably want to talk to a dog. They have been man's best friend for so long, they must have a lot of ideas about humans.

  9. I would talk to cats because they seem to have interesting quirks

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  11. Definitely Cats. I'm curious as to why they like me but not others.

  12. I'd talk to the birds and find out how the weather was , wherever they go to

  13. If I could talk to an animal who would talk back it would be my dog. Why my dog? My dog is a boxer named Tugger. He's twelve years ago and I've been talking to him face to face since he was a puppy. I would love for him to be able to talk to me because I'm convinced that he understands me. So for that reason I hope Tugger starts talking to me today.

  14. I would talk to a horse. Find out what they think of having to run races. Preakness, Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes.

  15. I want to talk to my cat to find out what she thinks of her human family!

  16. I would love to talk to an eagle and ask it to tell me the beauty they see every day.

  17. a dog; they elicit compassion

  18. I would want to talk to a dog as I have 2 and love them so much. I would love to talk to them to see what they are thinking and have to say.

  19. I would like to talk to a Blue Whale. I would like to learn about everything under the oceans.

  20. my dog, because he is an awesome friend and he is so smart.

  21. I would like to be able to talk to dogs since they are man's best friend so that I could learn what they are thinking about the things we as humans do daily.