About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Pen Pal Gals: Friends Forever by Julie Thiessen: Review, Guest Post, & Giveaway with iRead Book Tours


Join Us for This Tour from February 1 to February 21!

Book Details:

Book Title:  Pen Pal Gals: Friends Forever by Julie Thiessen
Category: Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  64 pages
Genre: Juvenile Fiction/Early Chapter Book
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Release date:  February 1, 2022
Tour dates: February 1 to February 21, 2022
Content Rating:  Rated G. Suitable for everyone

Book Description:

Meet Reese and Addie―two girls, one great friendship. It’s summer break! Reese is on her way to vacation at Camp Lake Shore with her family. When Reese meets a new friend, Addie, the two immediately connect and form a lasting friendship. Swimming, boating, laughing, and soaking up the sun are just a few highlights of their summer vacation. The girls become best friends. When their vacation comes to an end, Reese realizes she may never see Addie again. Determined to stay in touch forever, can Reese and Addie find a way to continue their friendship and share their adventures?

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Pen Pal Gals: Friends Forever is a delightful story about two girls who become fast friends after meeting while on vacation. We get to see their friendship develop and deepen during a week of fun and adventures, and we witness their dismay when it's time to leave. Writing letters to each other seems to be a way to keep in touch, so Reese and Addie agree to become pen pals. As I read this, I was flooded with memories and emotions as I was taken back to a time of attending 4H Camp and meeting kids from other Kentucky counties. I recalled how sad I was when we had to leave until, just like Reese and Addie, we agreed to stay in touch by becoming pen pals!

This book is written in an engaging manner, as author Julie Thiessen offers a realistic look at making new friends during summer vacation. There are some brightly colored illustrations to add to its visual appeal, making it a wonderful transition from picture book to chapter book, and a great suggestion for teachers and librarians! I especially liked the emphasis on making friends, working to keep them, and using letter writing as a way to do it. There are even four pages of decorated stationery to encourage young girls to write those letters!

This book is perfect for the avid readers in your life, but it's also a great way to entice reluctant readers to want to read. I highly recommend Pen Pal Girls: Friends Forever and I hope that there will be more Pen Pal Gals in the future.

I received a complimentary copy from the author via iRead Book Tours. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Julie, I am so honored to feature this book on my blog today. I have a granddaughter who will be eight-years-old in about ten days, and I'm excited to share it with her. After reading your book, I wondered if it reflected your own experiences.  Pen Pal Gals: Friends Forever is set at a summer camp lake retreat.  Have you ever been there?

Yes, I have been there!  The lake is a place very familiar to me.  I grew up going to the lake each summer with my family where we camped, fished, swam and water-skied.  I have many fond childhood memories with family and friends at the lake.  I camped each summer with my own best friend at the lake where we shared wonderful times together.  My husband also grew up camping at the lake.  We love and appreciate the lake and continue this tradition by taking our kids to the lake each summer. We camp and often meet family and friends there.  Family time together is something we both value, and what better place to spend time together than the lake!  This is where my story began.

I decided to create my book setting at the lake because this is where my daughter, Reese, would meet her cousin Addie each year.  Things just fell into place as Reese became inseparable from Addie and they both enjoyed all of the same activities- camping, water skiing, swimming, and new adventures!   There was a sense of freedom at the lake, a place where friendships were formed.  Unfortunately, we lived far away from Addie and were not able to see her more than just once a year.  The two girls thought of a way to keep in touch. 

The beautiful warm weather, large body of water, relaxing boat rides, camping by the fire and cooking meals together became the perfect setting.  This familiar place to me is a place I wanted to share with others.  It was the perfect setting, and reality, of how Reese and Addie’s friendship evolved and where the story of Pen Pal Gals really began.

Meet the Author:

​Julie Thiessen always had a passion for creativity, design, and adventure, but above all, she values her lifelong friendships. With her bachelor's degree in graphic design and the inspiration of her daughter Reese, she created and branded Pen Pal Gals for all to share the gift of an everlasting friendship. Thiessen lives along the beautiful Central Coast of California with her husband, two daughters, and son.

connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~ instagram
Tour Schedule:

Feb 1 –
Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
Feb 1 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 3 – Splashes of Joy – book review / giveaway
Feb 4 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 7 – @twilight_reader – book review / giveaway
Feb 8 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Feb 8 - My Journey Back – book review / giveaway
Feb 9 – The Momma Spot – book review / giveaway
Feb 9 - The Phantom Paragrapher – book review / giveaway
Feb 10 – Pick A Good Book – book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 10 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Feb 11 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 14 – Kam's Place – book review
Feb 15 – fundinmental – book review / giveaway
Feb 15 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Feb 16 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 16 - icefairy's Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
Feb 17 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 17 - Older & Smarter? – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 18 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
Feb 21 – Reading is My Passion – book review
Feb 21 - Lisa's Reading – book review / giveaway
Enter the Giveaway:


PEN PAL GALS FRIENDS FOREVER by Julie Thiessen Book Tour Giveaway


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