Blog Book Tour | “Amy’s Choice” {sequel to “Call Me Amy”} by Marcia Strykowski – a #YA sequel to a heart-warming #middlegrade novel!

Posted Tuesday, 7 October, 2014 by jorielov , , , 4 Comments

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Amy’s Choice by Marcia Strykowski
Published By: Luminis Books (@LuminisBooks) | Blog
Official Author WebsitesSite | @MarciaStry | GoodReads

Available Formats: Paperback, Hardback

Converse via: #AmysChoice, #middlegrade, & #KidLit

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Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Amy’s Choice” virtual book tour through JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. As this was the second novel in a book series, I was able to put in a request to receive the first novel Call Me Amy of which I received a complimentary copy of direct from the publisher Luminis Books without obligation to review. I received my complimentary copy of Amy’s Choice direct from JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I am always on the hunt for wicked quality Children’s Literature – stories which carve out a special niche of childhood innocence and the mirth of exploring how to find growth through life experiences. I want to find even more stories than I had as a young child myself – striving to find the writers who keep the tone of their novels radiating with light and the darkness can be erased through the resolutions at the ending of any conflict that a character needs to overcome. I like finding stories which give children a free sense about how to differentiate between right and wrong, whilst allowing them the grievance for understanding there is a measure of wisdom in living through our mistakes, our misunderstandings, and our ability to be humbled through adversity. I like stories that break down barriers and also serve to teach a lesson of stewardship and diplomacy. When I first saw this series going on tour on behalf of the publisher’s showcase, I simply knew that I wanted to take part and high shine a light on two stories that would benefit any library of a child or adult who appreciates the same types of stories I am passionately addicted to myself.

Blog Book Tour | “Amy’s Choice” {sequel to “Call Me Amy”} by Marcia Strykowski – a #YA sequel to a heart-warming #middlegrade novel!Amy's Choice
by Marcia Strykowski
Source: Direct from Publicist

Amy’s freshman year starts with a new best friend, Cat, and a newfound confidence. But she misses her crush, Craig, who has gone to live with his aunt in Boston. Craig has promised to write, and Amy checks the mail daily, but to no avail. There are new adventures, even so. Cat’s brother, Ricky, seems interested in Amy, but is she interested in him? And a new friendship with Finn, the lighthouse keeper, who Amy discovers is a talented artist, keeps Amy and Cat busy as they arrange for him to exhibit his work. But things get complicated when Craig returns from Boston and Finn is accused of arson. There are more questions than answers for Amy as life becomes as turbulent as the cold and stormy ocean of her coastal Maine town. Ideal for preteens, this novel is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Call Me Amy and touches upon issues of friendship, boyfriend troubles, and the power of believing in oneself.

Genres: Children's Literature, Middle Grade

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: Call Me Amy

Series: Amy, No. 2

Also in this series: Call Me Amy, Invincible

Published by Luminis Books

on 3rd November, 2014

Pages: 200

Author Biography:

Marcia Strykowski

Marcia Strykowski works at a public library. Earlier, between earning her BS in Fine Arts and raising her children, she worked for seven years in textbook publishing. Marcia participates in writing groups and enjoys family, art, music, travel, and theater. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. After numerous magazine and anthology contributions, CALL ME AMY was Marcia’s first novel. It was chosen for the 2014 Bank Street College of Education’s prestigious Best Books of the Year list. AMY’S CHOICE, a sequel to CALL ME AMY, is now available. You can find out more about her and her books at

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Call Me Amy by Marcia Strykowski

Amy’s voice in the novel is bang-on brilliant for her age in the story, as her curiosity and inquisitiveness about her life and the world around her comes out strongly perceptive. Her heart is open to the possibilities that first impressions are not always as receptively accurate as you first think they would be as much as she cares for those who are in need. I enjoyed watching her slowly emerge out of her shell once she had a project she could focus on that was outside of her own worries and insecurities. Amy starts to see the intricate balance of life, how staying true to who you are is key, and how being open to learning from misunderstandings enriches the spirit of who you become.

– quoted from my book review of Call Me Amy

Alighting inside Amy’s life as a freshman:

By the conclusion of the first novel, we were ready to see where Amy’s life would take her next, as she had a newly acquired voice of confidence that had led her heart towards a path of community spirit and innovative restitution. I loved how at the end of Call Me Amy, she truly lived up to the title as she had a newfound bold confidence in who she was and understood better the way in which she understood life itself. In my own life, my Mum would have simply said “Amy has finally found the *big!* C!”, and therein lies the best bit of reading Call Me Amy ahead of Amy’s Choice! The very first sentence of the sequel begins with the very last expressed words of Amy allowing complete continuity between the two stories.

Seeing how her progression out of holding back from interactions with her peers due to her shyness and shedding a bit of her introverted moments of unease, Amy steps forward out of her 13th year a strong 14 year old ready to tackle high school. She learnt quite a heap from her friendship with Miss Cogshell and Craig, giving her the ability to seek out other new friends and relationships as life afforded the connections to cross her path. She maintains her kismet insight to knowing when a moment has arisen to give her an unexpected friend, as this is how she came to know Cat and Cat came to love her company.

My Review of Amy’s Choice:

I am always hopeful there will be seamless continuity between installments of series, and I was not disappointed with the beginning chapters of Amy’s Choice as I felt as though I was merely turning ‘the next page’ rather than opening a new book! This is quite the feat, as previously it is rare that a writer will pick up right where we leave off – although I did have the blessing of finding this in the Daughters of Boston series by Julie Lessman.

I couldn’t help but shimmer a happy glow of delight seeing that Amy is now regularly volunteering at her new towne’s library! I was happily wandering my own libraries growing up that I should have thought to ask if I could volunteer – my mind was always happily wrapped up in a topic to research or a new author to discover, that I never gave any credence to the idea of being able to help others find wicked reads of their own! Unless of course, I stumbled across someone who was plumb lost in the stacks and/or I was at an Indie bookshoppe and simply supplied information as though it was commonplace and not unusual. Sometimes I think sorting out where your best to alight to give back your gifts of insight is a bit tricky, not to mention that most of the libraries I have always known were heavily regulated and had more rules to understand than a DMV driving manual!

Troll dolls with wild hair – now that brought back happy memories; even if it did take me half of forever to sort out which troll I wanted to bring home with me! The flickering visual clues to the seventies are happily still evermore present in the sequel, yet what strikes me the most about seeing them is just how much I can personally relate to knowing about! From the music to the toys to the series on television – one would have thought I was brought up a full decade before I was actually bourne by the way I can honestly attest all the familiarity of Amy’s childhood is wrapped inside my own! Lest I mention that I used to make the folded paper ‘magic solution’ boxes as easily as Amy and Cat! Except to say, they called them something a bit different in the 80s!

Lighthouses have simply captured my wonderment for absolute ages – the fact they are beacons of safety for seamen and captains notwithstanding, there is an allure of wonder attached to them for me. We have a few where I live but they are not as readily well-known as the ones sprinkled up and downeast the starboard side of Maine! From what I can gather about the lighthouses up there, you could island hop half your life and still never quite see them all in their glory. What a fantastic adventure though? To nip around, camera in hand, and a heart full of salt air and vistas that are hard to describe as they are felt in the spirit of the moment? Getting to cosy up to a lighthouse keeper inside Amy’s Choice was a treat for me! Especially considering I spent how many hours watching Pete’s Dragon as a child and young teen?

A very inspiring companion is found inside Amy’s Choice, as the title eludes to a choice Amy needs to make that may or may not be an obvious answer to the question that is eating away at her the most. Like most girls her age, she is trying to decide where she stands on the more difficult issues that start to arise when your in high school. The best part of the story is that the setting of her life is in Maine, where life ambles forward at a slower pace and allows the grace of growing through your childhood to have a rhythm of it’s own that is not always dependent on the fast pace of the outside world. In this setting, children can grow as they take on responsibilities inside their communities and needle out where their focus should be in the long term whilst appreciating the short expanse of childhood itself. What staid with me throughout the sequel is how reassuring the heart of the story is left in your mind. No matter what obstacles try to forfeit your plans or upset your course, you can find the strength to handle life as it comes along to you. There is a powerful life lesson etched in this novel and I was quite happy to see it included.

Establishing herself as a stronghold in Children’s Lit:

Not since I showcased Carol Antoinette Peacock {Red Thread Sisters}, Jackie Gamber {the Leland Dragons series}, Hannah L. Clark {Uncovering Cobbogoth}, R.J. Palacio {Wonder}, Laura Stoddard {The Dreamosphere}, Nancy Lorenz {The Strength of Ballerinas}, Mandy Madson Voisin {Star of Deliverance} and my forthcoming showcases on behalf of the published works of Laura Resau have I settled into such a heart-warming style of a writer who is contributing such a positive mirth of stories for children, young adults, and the young at heart who appreciate soaking inside stories of how we start to awaken into ourselves whilst growing up. I appreciate their styles of story-telling (as well as the writers I spotlighted on my Children’s Lit page) as they convey such a breadth of story yet tell the tales in a way that not only uplifts the reader but helps to teach through the craft of story-telling — the benefit that I believe reading provides across the spectrum of literature itself.

Strykowski has established herself as a stronghold in Children’s Lit inasmuch as the other writers have given us the chance be introduced to characters we can respond too and stories we do not want to soon forget having read. I could even imagine her stories becoming family films, as they are light-hearted yet full of the lessons all children have to learn somewhere along the corridors of their growing years. The fact these stories are set in the 1970s doesn’t diminish their impact, and in fact, I think in many ways the impact is heightened. I know she has a few stories she is currently working on completing and I cannot wait to see what is released next!

One happenstance moment of a lightbulb going off for me was realising I had forgotten the story of Andre the seal had a foothold in Maine! It was quite clever how this bit of trivia was worked into a conversation between Craig and Amy!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via
Previously I shared my thoughts on:
“Call Me Amy” – where the story begins,…

Call Me Amy by Marcia Strykowski

This blog tour stop is courtesy of:
JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm

Luminis Books Blog Tour with JKS Communications

 See what I will be hosting next with:

JKS Communications Literary Publicity Firm

By visiting my Bookish Events page!
I positively *love!* comments in the threads below each of my posts, and as CommentLuv only requires Email to leave a note for me I cannot wait to see what starts to populate below! Kindly know that I appreciate each thought you want to share with me and all the posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary! Short or long, I appreciate the time you spent to leave behind a note of your visit! Return again soon!

{SOURCES: The tour badge was provided by JKS Communications and used with permission. Book Cover Art for “Call Me Amy” & “Amy’s Choice”, Author Biography & Book Synopsis provided by the author Marcia Strykowski and used with permission. The book trailer for “Call Me Amy” had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it.Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets are embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The ‘live reading’ tweets I shared as I read & reviewed “Amy’s Choice”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 7 October, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, ARC | Galley Copy, Art, Blog Tour Host, Bullies and the Bullied, Children's Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Family Life, Geographically Specific, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Maine, Middle Grade Novel, Nature & Wildlife, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Rescue & Adoption of Animals, School Life & Situations, Siblings, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Natural World, The Seventies, Walking & Hiking Trails

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4 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “Amy’s Choice” {sequel to “Call Me Amy”} by Marcia Strykowski – a #YA sequel to a heart-warming #middlegrade novel!

  1. This really is a lovely review and highlights both the coming-of-age themes of the Amy books and Strykowski’s skill at creating character, weaving plot and establishing setting. I loved CALL ME AMY and can’t wait to read AMY’S CHOICE! Best of luck on the rest of the Blog Tour!

    • Good afternoon, Ms. Ray!

      Thank you for stopping by my review & for appreciating the writing voice of Ms. Strykowski as much as I do! :) She’s quite the champion for this area of literature, I must say! :) Ooh, boy — you are in for a special treat then! You’ll have a most delightful time snuggling into the sequel, as she carries everything we loved about Call Me Amy straight into this one! It is so nice of you to ‘drop by’ and I am most delighted to find another reader who loved the voice & tone of the stories themselves! You said it best: Strykowski’s skill at creating character, weaving plot and establishing setting to which I can add “is smashingly awesome”!

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