My Books


For Middle Grade readers. Eleven-Year-old New York City boy Nestor Ramirez is usually the one causing the problem, but ask him, and you’d get a different story. Nestor learns boundaries when he exhausts the patience of his friends and classmates with his incessant teasing, until they exact a plan to reinstate the relationships with a new set of rules.

Nestor’s best friend, Phil Williams, doesn’t want to know him. During the class science project presentations, Kwan Min Park, Nestor’s most recent victim, sics his toad on Nestor’s pet and science project, little Hector, the cockroach. Nestor never sees this coming.

Nestor’s insecurity and lack of popularity result in poor choices. He’s always in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. At first, Nestor doesn’t see his part in this negative reaction. In time, Nestor notices the scratches on the surface of the science table as he realizes that his wise-cracking attempts to be “cool” make his classmates grumble – not at all the reaction he expects.

Nestor discovers many science facts with his online research: DNA, amber, resin and cockroaches. His classmates share facts about parakeets, snakes, hamsters and toads. Nestor and the other students in the science class provide information in an entertaining way, making it interesting and easy to learn.

You’ll laugh your way through Nestor’s antics and you’ll learn at the same time. You see, Nestor really doesn’t have a clue.

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For Middle Grade readers. What begins as a lighthearted adventure ends as a commitment, when eleven-year-old New York City girl Holly Christiano uses her passion for poetry to win a grant writing contest to study marine life in Florida during Christmas vacation with her best friend Jasmine Jankowski. Holly looks forward to leaving the gray, winter skies of New York City behind. She imagines a carefree, fun in the sun adventure, but her optimism is short-lived.

Her fear of public speaking is highlighted as Holly learns she must present her findings at a multi-media presentation at a school assembly program. Jasmine’s family problems and her fear of flying and swimming create obstacles to Holly’s idyllic expectations.

The contrast between the girls is heightened by revelations of their family lives and their different approaches to the world around them. Holly, the gentle poet, overcomes her fear of public speaking as she continues to grieve her father’s death. Jasmine, the seemingly self-assured realist, battles her fears while dealing with the consequences of her alcoholic mother’s neglect.Their friendship grows stronger as the girls accept each other’s differences and limitations.

Environmental issues are understood and an appreciation of the balance of nature and the interaction between the animal world and the environment is gained, with visits to biomes and ecosystems, as they interact with dolphins, alligators, swamp wetlands and manatees. Holly vows to raise money to help stranded marine mammals as they participate in the heart-wrenching rescue of stranded pilot whales on Florida’s Gulf Coast. She realizes the difference one person can make and hopes to be a catalyst for awareness and positive action.

 Holly overcomes fears and personal disappointments to reach her goals. She now understands how keeping the environment in balance insures the continuity of all species.

Not only will you laugh and cry with these besties, but you’ll learn at the same time.

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For Middle Grade readers. Jesus and voodoo. Party and prayer. Love and betrayal. Twelve-year-old New York City boy, Phil Williams, struggles with conflicting messages when, entrusted by his grandmother in the role of Icebreaker, he visits estranged family in New Orleans as he sets out to restore the family relationship. With his best friend, Nestor Ramirez, in tow Phil encounters a series of strange events—erratic behavior by supposed family members, bloody headless chickens, an unseen intruder during the night. Nestor is convinced the bodies of Phil’s family members have been taken over by voodoo practitioners. Phil refuses to accept this explanation and is determined to uncover the truth. Is it Voodoo? Or scare tactics by mere mortals?

Phil’s visit to the Land of Pirates results in a plan of action and determination to solve the mystery. His investigations lead him to the source. Discovering an underground passageway once used as a stop in the Underground Railroad, the boys venture into the darkness to discover the truth. Wanting to be viewed as a hero in saving his great-aunt, her husband and housekeeper, Phil refuses to involve the police and unduly places everyone at the merciless hands of the culprits. With everyone’s life in jeopardy, Phil regrets his decision, realizing he may never get the chance to brag about his exploits at school. With the force for good watching, help comes from a hovering presence, just in the nick of time.

Phil learns his strengths and weaknesses as he struggles to put the jumbled puzzle pieces in play. His appreciation of true friendship is apparent as his love of family and New Orleans is renewed.

He visits Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the French Quarter, Mardi Gras World, the crypt of the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Jean Lafitte Louisiana , the Audubon Aquarium and Riverwalk. Phil learns about Louisiana’s history, swamps and the state’s concerns for environment and wildlife. He now understands the far-reaching effects of fracking and why environmentalists and public safety representatives are so strongly opposed.

You’ll laugh at the boys’ antics and learn at the same time.

 If Phil had it to do all over again, what would he have done differently? Probably nothing.

  Click here to order Who Do Voodoo? Ebook from Amazon.
  Click here to order Who Do Voodoo? Paperback from Amazon.

A Letter From Phil Williams

Hi! It’s Phil Williams, the main character in Who Do Voodoo.

We’re getting some feedback that readers are afraid my creator might be promoting voodoo. Not at all true.

I’m a kid from New York City who visits New Orleans with my best bud, Nestor. We get ourselves into a jam. I just know my New Orleans family is in deep trouble and I’m not walking away. Some creepy people are trying to scare us. Nestor is afraid it might be voodoo, but cooler heads prevail. I know it’s not the case and set out to prove it. My great-aunt’s housekeeper, Belle, tells me, “No one appreciates dumb.” OK, I know I did some really dumb things but I just wanted to be a hero as the Icebreaker. Hey, I’m twelve years old now, and people look up to me.

Here’s the point. The cover is meant to get your attention, not scare the heck out of you. My creator is a good Catholic school girl, and on the side of God and the angels. You’ll see.

Our book is loaded with science and social studies facts about wetlands, the environment, and fracking — to name a few. Did you know the pirate Jean Lafitte fought on the side of the Americans under General Stonewall Jackson during the War of 1812? This is just an example of what you can learn.

Please let me know how you like me. There’s nothing like a cool review to improve my standing with the ladies—and my family, of course!

______________________________________________

BOOK FOUR                          

For Middle Grade readers. Eleven-year-old New York City boy Nestor Ramirez embarks on a journey to Alaska, intending to bring his father back home after an unsuccessful attempt at striking it rich. With his friend Kwan Min Park in tow, Nestor’s days as class clown are over as he discovers positive role models in unlikely places, learning about Alaska and South Korean cultures, and a myriad of science and social studies facts. Readers will laugh and learn at the same time while being virtually introduced to the sights and sounds of our 49th state.

 

On the night of the blue moon, while toasting marshmallows and listening to scary stories, Nestor senses that changes are coming and redirects his attitude. “I also learned some important things this week. It’s all about GOALSGo Out And Learn Something. Stop wasting time. Make a plan. Then do it. Yeah. It’s that simple.”

Nestor visits the Alaska Aviation Museum, Earthquake Park, Anchorage Museum, Alaska Native Heritage Center, Mendenhall Glacier and Denali National Park. Nestor enjoys a number of first time experiences: dog mushing, kayaking, and snowshoeing. He learns about Native Alaska culture, the North Pole, the Arctic Circle, arctic dinosaurs, the Alaska Triangle, the Gold Rushes, the Alaska Pipeline, natural and man-made disasters, the Aurora Borealis, the Iditarod and Lance Mackey, one of the Iditarod’s greatest champions.

Readers won’t stop laughing over Nestor’s exaggerated fear of wolves, bears, sea otters, and the Shape Shifters of the Shinulaktup. Nestor is surprised at how much growing up he has done in one week. When Kwan Min tells him how much he likes the the new Nestor, he responds, “You know something, Kwan Min? So do I.”

Click here to order March of the Blue Moon Ebook from Amazon.

Click here to order March of the Blue Moon Paperback from Amazon.


For Middle Grade readers. Enjoy a day at the beach as we walk through sand, jump the waves, hear sea birds calling to each other as sea creatures seek food and shelter in a wondrous, hidden ocean biome.

This book can stand alone or act as a companion to “The Ocean’s Way” which tells the story of eleven-year-old Holly’s learning experience with marine life in Florida. A sample chapter appears after the Glossary.

This collection of37 unrhymed poems  (diamante, tanka, anagram) about ocean related topics is classified and organized alphabetically and supported by beautiful color photographs for visual clarity.

 

An extensive Glossary contains definitions, parts of speech and a pronunciation guide.

The Beach–  coral reefs, sand, sea shells, tides, tsunami, waves

Marine Mammals–  dolphins, killer whales, manatees, pilot whales, polar bears, sea lions, seals, sea otters, walruses, whales

Marine Birds–  albatross, gulls, penguins

Marine AnimalsCnidaria–  jellies, sea anemones

Marine Reptile– sea turtles

Chelicerata Arthropods–  horseshoe crabs

Carnivorous Fish–  rays, sea horses, sharks, starfish

Decapod Crustaceans–  crabs, crayfish, hermit crabs, lobsters

Cephalopod Mollusks-  octopus, squid

Mollusks-clams, mussels, snails

Experience the adventure.

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Travel to the rainforest of Peru as the original photos in this watercolor journey help tell the story in this unrhymed,  poetic narrative which captures the stillness of the night and my delight in seeing unique creatures secure in their own world.

Awestruck by the beauty of the Peruvian rainforest, I behold what is hidden in plain sight. Aided by the full moon, the stars and three flashlights, the jungle guide traces the almost imperceptible—camouflaged creatures, unseen but for the probing lens and heightened senses of this mentor who, among the cacophony of undefined sounds amid ambiguous paths with buttress roots spread wide, staunch soldiers in their mission as lianas reach up with wooden fingers in communion with arboreal giants, quietly courses ahead in this exalted forest with depths of knowledge and intuition surpassing my own.

A teacher by profession, I become the student in this unfamiliar great biome, learning facts but also becoming aware of my limitations as a sentient being, capable of looking, but incapable of seeing except for the gentle guidance of one who communes with nature.


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2016-02-17 14.05.25

The above content has been updated from 2014 to 2020. All rights reserved.

Author. Reading Specialist New York City Schools. Graduate degree, Hofstra. Undergrad, Queens College.

As a Reading Specialist, Elaine Donadio is able to teach with a heavy concentration of children’s literature.
Elaine is completely immersed in realistic fiction, fables, fairy tales, folk tales,poetry, tall tales biography and autobiography as well as a myriad of nonfiction books.

Elaine is available for writing projects and educational speaking engagements.

My ebooks are available at Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

My paperbacks are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Stand-alone Series: The Montgomery School Kids
Book 1—The Science Project
Book 2—The Ocean’s Way
Book 3—Who Do Voodoo?
Book 4—March of the Blue Moon

Click here to email me at elainewrites@earthlink.net.

 

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Saturday, March 14, 2020- Barnes & Noble, Massapequa, NY 12:00-4:00pm

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