Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

Lizardville The Ghost Story Wins Coveted Purple Dragonfly Book Award

The judges of the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards contest, which recognizes excellence in children’s literature, have spoken, and Lizardville The Ghost Story by Valrico author, Steve Altier, won 1st place in the Young Adult Fiction category.

“Winning any place in the Purple Dragonfly Contest is a huge honor because in order to maintain the integrity of the Dragonfly Book Awards, a minimum score is required before a First or Second place, or Honorable Mention will be awarded to the entrant – even if it is the sole entry in a category,” explains Linda F. Radke, president of Story Monsters LLC, the sponsor of the Dragonfly Book Awards. “Competition is steep, too, because there is no publication date limit as long as the book is still in print.”

Lizardville, The Ghost Story, is a spine-tingling, edge of your seat young adult adventure story that will keep you guessing until the very end. It retails for $9.99 and can be purchased at Barnes and Noble and Amazon websites at which books are sold.
For a complete list of winners, visit

Tampa Bay Thunder 12u Seeks Players

Tampa Bay Thunder is looking for a few 12u players for the fall 2017 season. The Thunder is a family-oriented team that focuses on developing players. Practice takes place two to three times per week and games take place two to three weekends per month. The team practices in the Plant City/Pinecrest/Lithia area and most games are played locally.

All players are welcome. If you love the game, want to work hard to get better and still keep the fun in the game, call or text Coach Tony at 731-3299 or email

2017 Nutcracker Auditions

Announcing Theatre Arts & Dance Alliance (TADA) in conjunction with Tampa Bay Dance Theatre’s audition for its 10th annual production of The Nutcracker.  Auditions will be held at Theatre Arts and Dance Alliance located 16711 Fishhawk Blvd. on Saturday, August 26. TADA’s annual production features a cast of 100 aspiring dancers, acrobats and actors as well as Hillsborough County Teachers and Administrators. Those interested in auditioning can go to to find audition information and times.

Performances will be at Howard W. Blake High School on Saturday and Sunday, December 9 and 10.

Visit or call 571-0901.

Tampa Bay Teen R&B Singer Audtions For American Idol

 JJosh, a local teen and R&B artist, teams up with the American Idol casting company to audition directly for the Executive Producers and bypass the lines of the upcoming season of Idol held in Orlando, on August 17. At only 15, his first single, 7 Years, released earlier this summer, creating interest with American Idol casting. The single is his own rendition of Grammy Nominated singer-songwriter, Lukas Graham’s, hit single; it was arranged and produced by Grammy winning pianist, Lannie Battistini under the Hands in Motion Music label.

JJosh is considered by those that listen to him “an old soul with young charm.” He is inspired heavily by old school and vintage styles, including Elvis, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra. His R&B inspirations are drawn from artists such as Kanye West and Drake, as well as being open to all kinds of inspiration, reworking it into his own sound and voice comfortably. “This has always been my dream,” said JJosh. “If I keep my passion with the support of my family and friends, I know I can do this.”

For more information, visit and also on Twitter @RnBJJosh, Soundcloud, and Facebook JJosh Music.

Family Time At Brandon Regional Library

Make reading time family time. On Tuesday, August 15, 22 and 29 at 7 p.m., enjoy stories, action rhymes, songs and interactive activities make up this fun 30-minute program that celebrates a love of reading for children of all ages. Children may wear pajamas and bring a blanket and favorite cuddly toy. Family Time is for children and their caregivers.

Brandon Regional Library is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon. Call 273-3652 for more information.

Previous articleFeld Entertainment, Inc., Brings Newest Disney On Ice Frozen to Tampa
Next articleTransportation And Student-Safety Takes Center Stage At Start Of 2017-2018 School Year
Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.