November 25, 2017

CLOSED Giveaway: Awesome Page-Turner and a $25 Starbucks Gift Card

Winner will be announced on Facebook shortly.

Author Terry Caszatt’s Brass Monkeys fills a void in a book market for kids 9 and up- it has a page-turner plot and strong message, yet it’s smarter than much of the gratuitous violence and dumbing down content that greets our kids at the library these days.  Terry particularly wanted a book boys would enjoy too, since he feels most books are geared towards girls.

I asked a mom friend of mine to read it as well, and her review of the book is so great I’ve included it.  Sel Richard is the mother of 2 children, ages 7 and 9.  Not only did she enjoy reading the book herself (read her review), her 4th grade son devoured it in 2 days!  She says it reminds her of great books like the Percy Jackson series.

The author, Terry Caszatt, is so gracious- he’s offering 1 signed copy of BRASS MONKEYS to 4 different lucky winners!

This book would make a great Christmas gift for the reader in your life, young or old :)  1 lucky winner will also get a $25 Starbucks gift card to go along with the book.


Here’s how the contest works:

For 1 chance to win: Leave a comment after this post for the author.  Read his post about his inspiration behind writing it if you’d like some ideas to talk about.  He is going to answer your questions!

For extra entries:

“Like” our Kid Focused Facebook page

“Subscribe to Kid Focused” newsletter to receive free Kid Focused news every week directly to your inbox. Be sure to complete the sign-up process.

Subscribe to Terry Caszatt’s Facebook page

Share this contest on your Facebook wall.

Tweet about this contest.

Remind me in your comment if you do the extra entries, or if you are already a Facebook fan or newsletter subscriber.

The contest will close at 12pm Pacific Time next Sunday, December 4th. The signed book and gift card will be shipped anywhere in the United States. No more than 1 comment or question for the author per visitor. Winner will be randomly selected.






  1. Shannon Baas says:

    Looks like a good book.

  2. Marilyn Wons says:

    I believe this has a good message for the younger girls

  3. It’s funny that even as a kid we know good and bad teachers. I had some wonderful ones that continue to have my gratitude and admiration.

  4. Like on fb (Cynthia Conley)

  5. Thank you Terry Caszatt, as a mother of 3 boys (two 8 year old book worms) I know all too well how hard it is to find good “boy” books with positive messages that apply to their lives. I think my boys will love Brass Monkeys.

    • Wow, Angela, I tried hard to get their attention. Without firing a cannon, or snowboarding off the roof, I put it all on the paper, hoping to snag those guys. Let me know what you think. The boys, too.

  6. shirley fin says:

    I think my nephews would really enjoy your work.

    • Hi Shirley. I’m guessing they will. I say that because the boys who read the book tend to like it. They like the action, but they also respond to the dilemma that Eugene (Billy Bumpus) faces: having to put his life on the line to save his friends. That resonates with the boys…

  7. shirley fin says:

    like kid focused on fb

  8. shirley fin says:

    kid focused subscriber

  9. Mary Casper says:

    looks like an interesting read for my daughter

    • Hi Mary. Thanks for your comment. I certainly put my heart into creating the women characters. As a child I was surrounded by the very best models – my mother, my aunts, and grandmothers. What can I say about these people other than they were the best of their kind, and that I was among the lucky ones to be around them, to talk to them, to sit down and eat with them, and last, to remember them always in those lost, golden rooms of childhood.

  10. Marcia Funnell says:

    Great read!! I thoroughly enjoyed it…and purchased books for my grandsons and friends… The characters are fun and full of life! Good job, Terry…

    • Thanks Marcia. I’m really aiming this series at those younger kids; I want them as readers. I’m also making it a crusade: get the boys back on the trail. Let me know what your grandsons think when they’re done with the book. I need the feedback for the sequel!

  11. Randell J. Caszatt says:

    I knew there had to be a sequel. This fast paced book begged for it. I left a post on another page of Kids Focused.

  12. Michelle McKerchie says:

    Hi Mr. Caszatt,
    Long time no see (IAA ’87). I’m surely getting this book to read with my 8-year old, Jack. He’ll find it under the tree this year.

    • Hi Michelle. Terrific to hear from you. Wow, 1987 – just yesterday, right? Thanks for coming back around and completing the circle. Hey, I hope Jack likes Brass Monkeys. Let me know.


  13. I’m hope this keeps my boy intrigued…sounds good to me.

    • Hi Erica. Thanks for writing in. I think it has a lot to do with how old your boy is, and what his reading habits are. If he doesn’t read much on his own, you may have to help him along with Brass Monkeys – sort of get him started. If he’s a reader, it may be enough to simply hand him the book. I want boys to get some strong messages out of the story: what does it mean to be a man – the responsibilities that go with it. I hope your son likes it. Let me know how it goes.

  14. Even though it’s geared towards boys, I think girls would love this too – we don’t always want to read about sparkly vampires and prep schools – so good job!

    • Hey Sammi. Trust me when I say I really thought hard about what girls might think and want in this book. True, I wanted the boys to get on board, but I was really really aware of young women and their interests. Example: my daughter reads everything I write; she is my instant critic and constant reader (and an author in her own right) and brother (sister) you better believe I try hard to get stay inside the charmed circle. But that said, you’re right about the “sparkly vampires and prep schools” – I’m not interested. Thanks for your comment. After you read it, let me know.

  15. melissa Resnick says:

    great book for young girls

    • Hi Melissa. Thanks for the comment. If you read the book, or have read it, let me know what age group you’re talking about. Brass Monkeys is supposedly for the 9-14 crowd. I thought it was a YA book, but my publisher says it’s a middle reader; it seems to be going all over the place. A sixty year-old woman just wrote a review on Amazon saying she liked the book. It’s quite likely no one knows what’s going on…

  16. Jennifer C says:

    I like how you put loyalty in the book. I work in a school and see so much of the “me first” attitude from the kids and how they treat classmates poorly. It makes me so sad.

    • Jennifer, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I think this attitude comes straight out of the home; these kids are picking up the “me first” business from angry, insecure Moms and Dads. Parents have to do a better job. Then teachers have to reinforce it. Thanks for your comment.

  17. Susan Smith says:

    I like that there is no violence in the book asids get enough violence in video games and movies.

    • Hi Susan. Thanks for taking time to write a comment. I tried to watch the level of violence in the story – not get too much. Also, I tried to leaven the effect by adding humor. It’s a bit of a balancing act: I like action – which can translate as violence – but I didn’t want the kind of gratuitous stuff you see in a lot of books.

  18. Susan Smith says:

    Like you on fb Susan Smith

  19. Susan Smith says:
  20. Valerie Taylor Mabrey says:

    I love writing it is finding the time that is the problem
    vmkids3 at msn dot com

    • Hey Valerie, “finding the time” is always the problem. We’re all up against the clock, in one way or another. But if you really love writing, you’ll make the time. I’m guessing you have some kind of story you want to get out… Just a thought. Maybe 2012 is the year for a book/story by Valerie Taylor Mabrey.

  21. I love reading what inspired him especially about the lonely reader who gets swept up in a fabulous tale! My question would be what reading spot did he love as a kid and which books inspired him?

    • Hi Dee. That’s easy for me to answer. We had a spare room upstairs in our house at Bay Port, Michigan. I used to go up there – usually on a summer day – and sprawl out on the bare mattress and read. I always took an apple or two, along with the salt shaker. And I was in heaven. The early books that inspired me are pretty much set in stone: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; Huckleberry Finn; Treasure Island. At the age of eleven, I thought those books marked the beginning and ending of all writing. There were many other books along the way, but those are the iconic ones; I still recall the excitement of discovering them, especially Mark Twain’s work.

  22. email subscriber :)

  23. I like Terry Caszatt’s Facebook page as Dee G :)

  24. I like Kid Focused on fb as Dee G.

  25. Kerrie Mayans says:

    Thank you for the giveaway! I think my 9 year old would like to ready this book.

    • Hi Kerrie. Nine is at the lower end of the scale. Depends on the maturity of the child. Some parts might be a bit scary for the average kid at that age. But I’ve had a lot of people who say their nine year-old really got it! Let me know how it turns out in your case. Good luck in the contest.

  26. I am going to recommend this to my sister in law- her 9yo son tries to avoid reading at all costs but I think if we can find something that grips them kids will eventually turn into readers (my little middle was 17 before it happened for her and she was read to daily!)

    Any tips on that- getting kids to want to read?

    (Al 4l of my girls and Ian are readers, and Casey was the only one who hated it – now loves its and we’d just really love to know how to turn around David earlier.)

    • Hi dddiva. Your sister-in-law’s son sounds like a prime prospect for Brass Monkeys. Tell him I put a “secret message” in the book for guys who don’t like to read. See if he can spot it. Yes, I do have a tip for getting kids to read. Make up an adventure story with your child as the hero. Lots of action. Lots of humor. Cliff-hangers galore and make the experience a treasure and a huge treat. But hand it out sparingly, as only great gifts are. And of course, try to use complete sentences. :-)

  27. Like Kid Focused Sherry Conrad

  28. Subscriber

  29. FB Terry Caszatt Sherry Conrad

  30. this is a great book to get kids back into reading!!

    • Wow, thanks for that, Chris. How about if I hire you to be my PR person. I could use that kind of enthusiasm. I’m curious to find out why you think it would get kids to read again. Anything specific?

Speak Your Mind