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Karen Kostlivy

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Member Since: Apr, 2010

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Cyber Writers and the Zebra of Life
by Karen Kostlivy   

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Category: 

Action/Thriller

Publisher:  3L Publishing ISBN-10:  0615362265 Type: 
Pages: 

136

Copyright:  April 26, 2010 ISBN-13:  9780615362267
Fiction

Amazon
Cyber Writers

This is the first book in a series of adventure books designed to interest middle school age boys in reading.

  Mason Witt, a skateboarding American teenager, catapults himself into the greatest adventure of his life after reading the plight of a new Cyber Writer(a group of virtual pen pals that come from all over the world) from Africa.  . Lutalo knew he would come so he sent Mason an urgent plea for help. His village has lost its precious Zebra of Life -- and his father has gone missing in the pursuit of the evil men who stole it. Here begins this thrilling adventure of two boys, a smart-talking panther, and an amazing zebra that sustains life.

    Come and join Mason and Lutalo on this fantasy adventure.

 
Excerpt
1
Mason Witt sat at the back of a hot,
musty school bus. His seat was sticky andsmelled of tuna sandwiches and old milk. Paper airplanes,pencil erasers, leftover lunch bits, and various small toyswhizzed through the air in all directions. His daily bus rides
had caused him to become quite good at dodging stray, flying objects. The regular bouncing, screaming and singing
from the other kids always reminded Mason of the monkeys he had seen on a field trip to the zoo. Out of the window hesaw the bright green Queens Avenue street sign. “Almost there,” he said to himself. He couldn’t wait to get home. Itwas finally the day he could get back on his skateboard. Mason’s mother had grounded him for a week for skateboarding in their neighbor’s empty swimming pool without her permission. Being deprived from his board the entire time had driven him practically crazy. He loved the way the wind smacked against his face whenever he and his best friend Cole practiced together in old Mr. and Mrs. Johnson’s pool. He closed his eyes and remembered gliding between the deep and shallow ends, high-fiving Cole as they crossed each other in the middle — and even suffering a few magnificent wipeouts.
“Hey, are you asleep?” Mason heard someone say. He opened his eyes and turned to his left. A bigger boy with giant, black glasses was staring him in the face.
“Oh, hey, Adam. No, I wasn’t sleeping, just dreaming,” said Mason.
“I like day dreaming,” piped Adam.
“What are you drawing?” Mason asked.
“A collage of animals,” Adam replied.
“Let me take a look,” Mason reached out his hand taking the sketch pad from Adam.
“Awesome!” Mason voiced. “Unbelievable, I can’t believe this. I can see a zebra and then I can’t. You can really
draw dude.” said Mason as he handed the pad back to Adam.
Adam had started to stand up when the bus suddenly came to a hard, jerky stop. He and Mason were both launched forward
in their seat from the sharpness of it. Sitting up straight, Mason saw another bright green street sign outside of his
window. It was the one he had been waiting for.
“See you!” He shouted as he rushed down the aisle. He jumped out of the bus, skipping the three steps, and walked
hurriedly up Stabler Lane. Two-story buildings, that looked to Mason like doll houses,lined both sides of the street. They all looked the same
except for the paint color. Each had a small front lawn, and tall trees that made them almost invisible from the sidewalk.
Mason ran up the front walkway of number 708. It was the only olive green house on Stabler Lane. Opening the front
door, he shouted, “Mom, I’m home.”
Mason dropped his backpack in the front foyer and walked into the kitchen. His mother was looking in the refrigerator
for apples and peanut butter — Mason’s favorite after-school snack.
“Hey, Boo. How was your day?” she asked withoutlooking up.
“Boring. And jeez Mom. Don’t call me that alright. What’s
up with Dad? Is he home?”
“Are you missing him?”
“Yeah … this trip’s too long.”
“It will be great when he comes home. No worries, it’s not
much longer.”
“Yeah, OK.”
“Do you have any homework?”
“Nope. Did it on the bus.”
“Good we have errands to run.” She stood up straight and closed the refrigerator to give Mason a hug. “Mason, your
hair. Come on. Don’t you care about how you look? Seriously comb your hair.”
Mason’s mother had tried daily to get him to neatly fix his hair. “Why don’t you try parting it on the side? Or maybe put some gel in it,” she would say. But Mason always shrugged away the suggestions. He liked the way his hair looked when he didn’t comb it. He liked to keep clean, but he liked his
clothes and hair to look messy. He teased his mother by running his fingers through his thick, wavy, blond hair, trying tomess it up even more.
“Oh, stop that,” she pleaded. “Well, at least you’re getting
a haircut today.”
“What time?”
“We need to leave here in about an hour. We have to pick up your brother from karate and go to the grocery store, too.”
“Can I skate until then?”
“Absolutely not. You’re still grounded.”
“No I’m not. Yesterday was my last day.”
His mother thinks for a moment. “I suppose.”
“I’m gonna get my board right now!”
“Okay, but hurry. Remember we have to leave soon. Take your food and put your backpack in your room before you
go outside.”
Mason grabbed the plate of sliced apples and peanut butter. His mom had arranged the apple slices in a circle
around the plate with the peanut butter in the center just as Mason loved it: his big fruit flower. He looked at his plate — a neat circle of sliced apples with peanut butter in the center — and wonders when his mother will stop treating him like a baby. He has learned to quit pointing it out. She will keep doing it — and he feels kind of guilty when she looks all sad and discouraged, but really it’s kind of embarrassing
he thinks as he heads upstairs. Walking upstairs to his room, Mason stuffed an entire slice covered with peanut
butter into his mouth. His cheeks were so full he could hardly chew. With his backpack on his right arm and his
apples on the plate in his left hand, Mason stumbled into his bedroom. He tossed the backpack onto his bed and set
the plate down on his desk and turned on his laptop computer. Since his bus ride had left him smelling like rotten
milk and sandwiches, he decided to change clothes before doing anything else. Mason noticed the screen of his laptop flashed a new message.
The new message in his inbox was from Cyber Writers- Africa and was marked URGENT! He had been a member of an international cyber pen pal club for as long as he could remember and had received e-mails and text messages from
all over the world, but never one from Africa. Mason was so overwhelmed with excitement that he almost choked on the
6 apple slice still in his mouth. He grabbed his laptop, leaped onto his bed and started to click on the icon to the inbox to open his new message, being careful not to hit the delete button
by mistake. Just as his finger was ready to click on the key to open his new message his mother burst into his room.
“Mason, we’ve got to go now! I made a mistake. Your haircut is in 20 minutes, and we still have to get your
brother first!”
“But, Mom, I …”
“ Come on let’s go.”
Wanting to savor the new message for later, Mason decided to leave his laptop at home. He quickly changed his shirt and rushed downstairs.


Professional Reviews

Middle Grade Fiction
“Middle-grade fiction -- that genre between early readers and young adult novels -- must accomplish an often difficult task; engage reluctant or struggling readers. Cyber Writers, by Karen Kostlivy, does just that. Teenager Mason Witt teams up with a fellow cyber writer for an incredible adventure through the heart of Africa. Kostlivy’s rich descriptions put the reader into the story as Mason and his friend experience the true meaning of friendship, loyalty and the strength of family. But the best news about Cyber Writers is that it’s the first of a series.”
- Denise McDonald


A Fine Yarn
“Karen Kostlivy spins a fine yarn that your son or nephew or daughter or niece are going to love. She knows young people, and she knows how to tell a story. Young readers will adore these action-packed adventures that have something for everyone -- including parents.”
- Timothy May, professor of English



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