If We Were Giants by Dave Matthews and Celete Barrett Smith

IF WE WERE GIANTS Blog Tour Digital Assets

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the IF WE WERE GIANTS by Dave Matthews & Clete Barrett Smith Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: IF WE WERE GIANTS

Author: Dave Matthews & Clete Barrett Smith

Pub. Date: March 3, 2020

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 304

Find it: Goodreads, AmazonKindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org

 

World-renowned musician, environmentalist, and humanitarian Dave Matthews, in collaboration with popular children’s book author Clete Barrett Smith, has conjured an exciting and poignant fantasy about a girl who must confront her past mistakes before she can save her peaceful community from a gigantic threat.

 

Kirra, a curious, agile, and outgoing girl, lives in an idyllic community hidden inside a dormant volcano. She and her father are the only two people allowed to venture beyond its walls. Kirra is in training to become a Storyteller like him, and together they travel from village to village spreading fearsome tales designed to keep outsiders away from their secret nest. One day, after hearing rumors of strangers called the “Takers,” Kirra leaves the volcano by herself, hoping to discover her own story. But she unknowingly leads the Takers back to her doorstep, and they rob her of everything she has ever held dear. A devastated Kirra is found by a boy named Luwan and adopted into his family, which lives among others high in the trees of a dense forest. Now quiet and withdrawn, Kirra hides her dark past from everyone and never wants to leave the safety of her tree dwelling. Luwan, on the other hand, loves to explore. One day it leads to trouble: He is captured while spying on a group of strangers. The Takers have returned. To save the Tree Folk, Kirra must face her inner demons and summon all her storytelling to weave the most important tale of her life. This compelling novel about overcoming loss, embracing community, and living in harmony with nature is highlighted with a full-color insert of concept artwork, making it perfect for family sharing.

 

Clete

 

Dave & Clete Talk about IF WE WERE GIANTS

 

YouTube Embed Code:

 

YouTube Link:

https://youtu.be/L5qKjrApV_8 

 

Disclaimer: I received an e-arc and a copy of this book from netgalley and the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Book: If We Were Giants

 

Author: Dave Matthews, Clete Barrett Smith

 

Book Series: Standalone

 

Rating: 4/5

 

Publication Date: March 3, 2020

 

Genre: MG Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: 12+ (death, scary moments, kidnapping, environmental activism)

 

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

 

Pages: 304

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: Kirra, a curious, agile, and outgoing girl, lives in an idyllic community hidden inside a dormant volcano. She and her father are the only two people allowed to venture beyond its walls. Kirra is in training to become a Storyteller like him, and together they travel from village to village spreading fearsome tales designed to keep outsiders away from their secret nest. One day, after hearing rumors of strangers called the “Takers,” Kirra leaves the volcano by herself, hoping to discover her own story. But she unknowingly leads the Takers back to her doorstep, and they rob her of everything she has ever held dear. A devastated Kirra is found by a boy named Luwan and adopted into his family, which lives among others high in the trees of a dense forest. Now quiet and withdrawn, Kirra hides her dark past from everyone and never wants to leave the safety of her tree dwelling. Luwan, on the other hand, loves to explore. One day it leads to trouble: He is captured while spying on a group of strangers. The Takers have returned. To save the Tree Folk, Kirra must face her inner demons and summon all her storytelling to weave the most important tale of her life. This compelling novel about overcoming loss, embracing community, and living in harmony with nature is highlighted with a full-color insert of concept artwork, making it perfect for family sharing.

 

Review: I thought this was a beautiful story about social activism. The book did well to convey the message of the importance of our environment and can be read by children and adults alike. The book was also well written and had amazing character development.

 

However, I did find that the world building could have been a bit better. Also, the pacing wanes a bit and the time skipping is a bit weird in places.

 

Verdict: A well done novel that’ll make you appreciate nature.

 

About Dave: 

Dave Matthews has chronicled his life’s travels so often that when asked, he can rattle off the details without pause. It goes like this:

 

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1967. Moves two years later with his family to Westchester County, NY, where his dad, a physicist, goes to work for IBM. Then, in the early `70s, to Cambridge, England, before returning to New York — where his dad died in 1977. The family moved back to South Africa in 1980, where Matthews went to a few different schools and “got more wise about the evils of government, there and in general.” O.K.; pause for a breath.

 

The key move for Dave Matthews Band fans, of course, was when he relocated in 1986 to Charlottesville, VA, where his parents had lived before he was born. Though he also logged time back in South Africa and in Amsterdam, it was in Charlottesville where Matthews — who took piano lessons as a child before picking up the guitar at age nine — became part of the local music community and hatched the idea for his own band.

 

“I didn’t really have a vision, or a plan,” says Matthews, acknowledging that some of his musical sensibility came from spending time in so many different places as a child. “I’m sure it gave me a little bit of an openness. The most diverse music in the world is in America, ’cause there’s so many different cultures here, but what tends to be pushed to the top is often a narrow view of what there really is. So maybe (his travels) just gave me a wider pool of listening.”

 

Matthews says his principal goal with the band was to surround himself with the best players possible. To this day he remains “amazed” that he was able to recruit and retain the four musicians he rather modestly refers to as his superiors. “I was just looking for people that I liked,” explains Matthews, who feels he’s “gotten a bit better” over the years. “Could I play with them was more of the question, I think. We just ended up fitting together. The band wasn’t something that I was looking for; it was very much I loved the people I asked to play with me. There was a connection at the beginning, and I think what we’ve been about is not some grand scheme but more the spirit of everyone, which is why we ended up with this band and why it sounds like it does.”

Dave Matthews photo credit Brantley Gutierrez

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

 

About Clete: 

Clete Barrett Smith’s first novel for teens, Mr. 60%, will be released by Crown Books in August, 2017. Smith has also written four humorous middle grade adventures: Aliens on Vacation Alien on a Rampage, Aliens in Disguise, and Magic Delivery. Aliens on Vacation was released by Disney-Hyperion Books for Children in May, 2011 and named an American Booksellers Council “New Voices” selection as one of the top middle grade novels of the year by a debut author; and AOV was nominated for state award lists in Texas, Florida, Washington, Pennsylvania and Nebraska. A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Clete Barrett Smith taught English, Drama and Speech at the high school level for over twenty years. Clete received his MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2010. He currently lives in Bellingham, Washington with his family.

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Giveaway Details:

Three lucky winners will receive a finished copy of IF WE WERE GIANTS, US Only.

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

3/2/2020

Nay’s Pink Bookshelf

Review

3/3/2020

Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Review

3/4/2020

Lifestyle of Me

Review

3/5/2020

She Just Loves Books

Review

3/6/2020

Hurn Publications

Review

 

Week Two:

3/9/2020

The Writerly Way

Review

3/10/2020

BookHounds YA

Review

3/11/2020

Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt

3/12/2020

Turning the Pages

Review

3/13/2020

Log Cabin Library

Review

 

Week Three:

3/16/2020

Word Spelunking

Excerpt

3/17/2020

fictitious.fox

Review

3/18/2020

My Quirky Writing

Review

3/19/2020

Little Red Reads

Review

3/20/2020

Locks, Hooks, and  Books

Review

 

Week Four:

3/23/2020

Fyrekatz Blog

Review

3/24/2020

BookHounds

Excerpt

3/25/2020

momfluenster

Review

3/26/2020

Savings in Seconds

Review

3/27/2020

PopTheButterfly

Review

 

Week Five:

3/30/2020

Twirling Book Princess

Excerpt

3/31/2020

Two Points of interest

Review