Midwinter’s Eve #Giveaway Hop ~ Norm and Burny: The Black Square

Hey there, everyone! It’s Paul here today, and I am excited to be participating in the Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer and Bookhounds. I’m also very excited to be reviewing Norm and Burny: The Black Square written by Jay Hosler and Peggy Harrison. I must confess that I’ve had this book for awhile. With school and work I just have been unable to find the time to read it; until now! I am so pleased that I did. As many of you may (or may not) know, I’m a dog lover, particularly rescue dogs. Well Norm and Burny has a dog in it, and it’s a rescue dog. Not only that, I loved the book. I won’t give too much away before my review though. Before we get to that I want to give a great big thanks to the Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop hosts I Am A Reader Not A Writer and Bookhounds. Now let’s get to that review and giveaway shall we?


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About the book

Here’s the Goodreads blurb: What would you do?

You buy a used tablet. It has an app whose icon is a plain black square. You have no idea what it does.

Do you dare run it?

If you’re a boy of 12, of course you do.

Norm does. Then his life goes crazy. He visits times and places he never imagined, with excitement and danger everywhere. He meets angry Bedouins, revenge-minded ship captains, knife-throwing Gypsies, and gun-totin’ cowboys. Plus a beautiful girl.

He’s lucky to have Burny, his dog, companion, and guardian. Also his conscience and voice of reason.

But the mysterious app has a dark side…
A children’s book for adults — the first of five!
For ages 8-108 (strictly enforced)

With 23 illustrations by Mindy Alper,
previewed at http: //NormAndBurny.com


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What I liked best: I love-LOVED-when Norm and Burny change places. I thought the slapstick humor and vivid descriptions of a dog being a boy and vice versa was classic! As an honorable mention I have to mention the fact that Burny is a rescue dog. Any time a dog is rescued from a shelter to their forever home I am a happy camper.

What missed a bit: Nothing really to report here. I am generally not a fan of cliffhangers, but I thought the ending to Norm and Burny: The Black Square was a great ending. It was apparent there will be another book, but I felt satisfied and the story was complete.

Overall: Great book! This is a must read for all ages. As a dog lover I think this should be at the top of every dog lover’s list. I have to mention that I really enjoyed the fact that Burny referred to Norm as “his boy”. I would love to get in the mind of dogs, and I bet this is exactly how they feel. I also really loved the way the book was broken up into short adventures. This is a wonderful way to keep a young readers attention all the while understanding that they may read in fits and starts. This is just a great book. The only thing I’m sorry about is that it took me so long to read it! I can’t wait to read the next one.

Disclaimer: I received a free book from the authors in exchange for an honest review.

Now for the giveaway! The authors have been kind enough to agree to give away one paperback copy of Norm and Burny: The Black Square (U.S. only), and one ebook copy.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Now that you’ve entered to win your copy of Norm and Burny: The Black Square make sure to follow the linky to “hop” on to all the other great blogs participating in the Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop for your chance to win great family friendly prizes!


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Paul R. Hewlett

Paul R. Hewlett is the author of the Lionel's Grand Adventure Series, beginning chapter books for children. He is also the co-author of the kidlit blog Sher A. Hart: Written Art. His debut book, Lionel and the Golden Rule, was released in December of 2011. He released his second book, Lionel's Christmas Adventure, in November of 2012. You can learn more about Paul and his books at his website: paulrhewlett.weebly.com.


  1. I had a dog named Billy growing up, but I don’t have any pets right now. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  2. I have had a lot of different pets growing up, but my favorite is the cat I have right now. I think he actually thinks he is a dog. He likes to fetch his toys and follows me around the house. He even sometimes comes when he is called, so the myth about that is not always true!

  3. My 8-year-old Weimaraner is my best friend. She’s lovely and loyal.

  4. Happy Holidays! Thank you for participating!

  5. I had a German Shepard who was a wonderful companion!

  6. had a lot of pets and now i have a beagle named Cassie Lou.

  7. We had a dog growing up; it was a dog our neighbors didn’t want anymore so we ‘rescued’ it 🙂

  8. I had a rescue cat, named Blackie, who loved to nap in my father’s cherished flower bed.

  9. I had a rescue boy until he grew up. I rescued him from so many places that I lost count. I just don’t know how humans without dogs even survive.


    • Burny,

      Believe me when I say it is very tough to survive without a dog. I won’t be without one for much longer. Thanks for all your heroics and for stopping by and sharing. Merry Christmas!


  10. I have 6 cats at home right now.

  11. No, did not have any pets

  12. I had a poodle growing up and her name was holly. She lived to be 16. I now have 2 dogs, one is a Corgi named Louie, the other a Labordoodle named Dutch.

  13. Pets were always part of my life growing up. Now that Im going on 50 and I don’t have the extra time to walk a dog. I have fish.

  14. I had a lovely companion dog name Michael. Best dog I ever had!

  15. yes i have two cats and a dog

  16. We have a baby kitten now named Julio and he is adorable.

  17. I had a parakeet named Peachie.

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