Special Valentine’s Day hotTEA of Children’s Literature: Erik Weibel

Erik is a 13-year-old eighth grader who loves to read. He started his blog, This Kid Reviews Books, when he was nine. Erik writes a monthly book review column for his local free newspaper and is a Scholastic News Kid Reporter. He holds two black belts in martial arts but only uses his skills for good…or does he? MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!


☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: Loose-Leaf Irish Breakfast Tea – I like the sweet smell, and steeping it for at least 7 minutes to make it taste a bit bitter (I know weird). I put no cream or sugar – sometimes a drop or two of lemon juice.

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESSES: The Adventures of Tomato and Pea – Book 1: A Bad Idea (CreateSpace, 2013), and a short story entitled, “The Accidental Agents” in the Kissed by an Angel anthology edited by Robyn Campbell (CreateSpace, December, 2015). Proceeds from Kissed by an Angel benefit the Sturge-Weber Foundation.

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOK: The Redwall Cookbook by Brian Jacques and Christopher Denise (Philomel, 2005). 

☕ Visit Erik’s blog This Kid Reviews Books!

☕☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Read an excerpt from “The Accidental Agents”:

“I didn’t mean to blow it up,” I said as I slipped into the back seat of our minivan.

“Don’t worry about it, Oscar. It happened last year. They’ve probably forgotten about it,” Mom said. She nervously checked her phone as she piloted our van out of the driveway.

My little sister, Sam, sat next to me bobbing up and down on her seat, humming along to music only she could hear. She was clenching and relaxing her hands, never still for a minute. The doctors said she has SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). SPD makes her brain work differently. That means what Sam sees and hears gets mixed up and she constantly tries to make sense out of it. Sam also has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and anxiety disorder too. I think I’d be hyper and anxious if I had all the information in the world coming at me a million miles a second and none of it made sense. My mom said labels are dumb and Sam just has SAM (She’s Absolutely Marvelous).

It’s one of the reasons we attend The Klinkman Alternative Learning Institute (KALI). The kids at our old school made fun of her. Sure, Sam can’t read as well as other kids and maybe she has some odd quirks, but she knows stuff. Like, she can tell you the best spot for fishing by just looking at the environment around a pond and she can build a campfire in a downpour. She can even tell the type and altitude of an airplane flying overhead just by its sound. Don’t let her tiny body fool you either. Sam can toss a 2×4 in the air and snap it in half with a sidekick before it hits the ground.

She saw me watching her blonde curls bounce to her imaginary music and stuck her tongue out at me.


Mom was biting her fingernails again. I thought it was odd she had her briefcase on her lap instead of on the seat next to her.

I hoped it wasn’t the explosion that she’s stressing about.

Sam was one of the reasons we now go to KALI. I am the other. I’ve been labeled genius, prodigy, and gifted. I’ve also been labeled braniac, egghead and poindexter. Labels are dumb. Unlike Sam who tries to take in all information around her, I get hung up on over-analyzing everything.

It took me 45 minutes yesterday to brush my teeth. Well, not so much brushing my teeth. I was calculating the circumference of the water droplets coming from the bathroom faucet and theorizing how large they have to be to break the surface tension of the water to fall. Before I knew it, I was late for school (again).

I won’t even go into the computations that go through my head while tying my shoes. Mom tried to get me sneakers with Velcro to stop that, but Velcro has some fascinating properties…

I digress.

Traffic on the beltway going into Washington, DC was pretty light today.

You are probably wondering about the explosion. Last year, Principal Rozo started a new program for the students at KALI. The “Young Apprentice Program” is pretty much bring your kid to work day, but we also had to do a job and write a report about it. I was excited because we got to go to work with our mom at the NSA (National Security Agency). The director of the NSA invited newspaper reporters in to do a story on the event.


☕☕☕ CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Check out my interview with Erik about his book The Adventures of Tomato and Pea! 🙂




Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

22 thoughts on “Special Valentine’s Day hotTEA of Children’s Literature: Erik Weibel

  1. Love, love, love my donutty buddy. THANK YOU, for this. He is the best thing to happen to my family since, well, since the invention of the donut. This kid is so amazing. I love him and his family. And the story he wrote for the anthology is bodaciously awesome. He has learned his craft. I expect HUMONGOUS things from this guy in the future. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, he’s already amazing and awesome and well on his way to quite a writing career. And we can all say we knew him way back when . . . .:) Happy Valentine’s Day, Robyn!


  2. Terrific to hear more about what Erik is up to, and now to read this excerpt from his new book, sounds very good. I already want to know what happens next! Happy Valentine’s Day to Erik and to you, Jama. Thanks for the hot tea, but sugar and cream for me, please!


    1. Erik is quite a busy bee — don’t know how he manages to keep up with everything + all his schoolwork, etc.. Must be the tea he drinks! Like you, I prefer a little sugar and milk in my tea. . .


  3. Yay, Erik! This young mover & shaker is going places. We were so thrilled to have him on board with our anthology, we broke out the donuts and shared them liberally!
    I love his site, this kid reviews books.
    Nice job on the interview, too, by the way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Young, smart hotTea’s who are writers with cool tea mugs are the best. And, I like certain kinds of tea with nothing but lemon, too — good taste on all levels! Happy Valentine’s Day!


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