Book Reviews

"Self-esteem, courage, individuality, respect for differences, are the messages of Erin Ley's Maggie Unmasks Planet Pumpkin beautifully taught in a story that children can accept and integrate into their thoughts and feelings. Children need positive stories like this to help them develop their own self-esteem and individuality and Erin's series of books fits the bill."

Allan I. Stempler, M.D., F.A.P.A.; Private Practice, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine; Past President Nassau (NY) Psychiatric Society

"In each of the six stories, Maggie the Magnificent takes you on a fantastic journey to the outer limits of tomorrow. Parent and child will find Erin Ley's Maggie's in the Driver's Seat both absorbing and entertaining, while providing an opportunity for discussion of important character traits that are much needed for our journey through the real world of today."

Whoopi Goldberg, distinguished award winning actress and comedian; Radio talk show host邑ake Up With Whoopi, Television show host, The View; and so much more

Erin Ley Author

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Maggie the Magnificent​​​​​​​

Introducing...Maggie the Maginificent!

Blast off with space academy student Maggie the Magnificent, a gregarious girl with an inquisitive mind, courageous spirit, and loving heart, as she jaunts from one planet to the next in her spaceship. Fun, creative, intelligent, and meaningful, the stories present important lessons in exciting ways that encourage children of all ages to tell their parents about their own daily adventures

Erin Ley's children's book series, brilliantly illustrated by Stephen Adams, are out-of-this-world adventures that kids and parents can take together from their own home. Maggie's in the Driver's Seat and Maggie Unmasks Planet Pumpkin are fun-filled, action-packed, stimulating stories accompanied by full-color illustrations which give parents the tools to teach their children how to build positive character traits and discover basic human virtues. Each excursion delivers a memorable message that children will forever benefit from throughout their own life journey.

Erin Ley’s creation of her space academy student, Maggie the Magnificent, is a dream come true. Reach for the stars! That’s what Erin did and that’s exactly where her dreams took her.

Maggie the Magnificent is a sociable twelve-year-old girl with a curious mind, courageous spirit, and loving heart. She was born on December 8, 3498, over a thousand years from now, on Planet Earth. In the year 3510 Maggie travels from planet to planet, flying through the galaxy in her spaceship; however, she is always connected to her home through a chip in her arm. Her house is part human and part robot. It has feelings. Actually, her whole family is connected to the house and it takes very good care of Maggie, her younger brothers, Tommy and Joey, and her mom and dad mainly because they take very good care of their home. Some of her fellow space academy students from Earth and other planets don’t take care of their houses so their home does not thrive. This makes Maggie sad. She understands the importance of good character, good qualities in oneself, and to bring those to her house.

Maggie's in the Drivers Seat​​​​​​​

Ages 4-12

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Maggie Unmasks Planet Pumpkin​​​​​​​

Ages 4-12

"My books have been written to grow with the children. The younger children are introduced to each character concept and can identify with how the character traits apply to their lives. As each child grows, the deeper comprhension of positive character and its rewards, as illustrated in my books, grow with the child. The books are not only entertaining and informative; the text [from Maggie's in the Driver's Seat] has been used as a character-education lesson enhancer for many teachers since the year 2000." - Erin Ley

Maggie in the Drivers Seat

“Your book is written very well. Maggie is an amazing girl and you’ve really done a great job developing her personality. The reader gets who Maggie is and falls in love with her instantly. She’s our leader in this quest for character development and she’s great at it because she makes it fun, exciting, and interesting.”

Angelique Pinet, writer and editor for the Home Shopping Network (HSN)

“Eleanor Roosevelt wisely observed, ‘Character-building begins in infancy and continues until death.’ At a time when a negative media culture competes for our children’s conscience, parents do well to begin in the youngest years to help their children form a good character. Erin Ley’s Maggie’s in the Driver’s Seat offers six adventure stories that teach basic virtues we all want our kids to have.”

Dr. Thomas Lickona, developmental psychologist; author Character Matters

“Read Maggie’s in the Driver’s Seat together with your child and share a unique, fun-filled learning and bonding experience. These are adventure-filled stories parents can read and refer to over and over again to teach and reinforce basic but desirable character-forming traits.”
Caro E. McCarthy, M.D., F.A.A.P.; NSUH LIJ Schneider Children’s Hospital, Department of Pedatrics

“Your book is completely original with a fresh style.”
​​​​Lesley Bolton, author The Everything Guide to Writing Children’s Books

“Erin Ley’s Maggie’s in the Driver’s Seat invites the reader into an exciting adventure, while allowing them to explore character-building traits which are both invaluable and necessary for our children of today. Being a mother of three, I welcome any chance I get to share with my children stories of love, compassion, respect, and generosity. Thank you, Erin Ley, for forwarding this message through your heroine Maggie.”

Alison Bartlett O’Reilly, Emmy Award winning actress for her role as Gina on the highly acclaimed television show Sesame Street

Book Reviews

“The Maggie the Magnificent book series has been written for grades K-6 and discusses important themes that encourage children to be more aware of their individuality.” 
​​​​​​​The Garden City News

“Imagine Aesop’s Fables set in the future—including new planets, stars, and futuristic backdrops.” ​​​​​​​
Chad Kushins, Smithtown Messenger

“Books play an important part in children’s lives. They are essential in developing skills and ideas, so when a book that grabs the attention of both parents and children comes along we have to take notice. Erin Ley’s series about a child from the future, Maggie the Magnificent, teaches children to be accepting of themselves and others who are different than them. In Ley’s Halloween-themed short story Maggie Unmasks Planet Pumpkin, the heroine and her friends learn a valuable lesson about not judging a book by its cover—unless of course, it is the brilliantly colorful cover of this book.”

April Jimenez, Long Island Press

“Author of the children’s series, Maggie the Magnificent, Erin Ley has now launched her first book for adults titled, The Will to Live: The Perks of Cancer Through the Eyes of a Survivor. This book documents Erin Ley’s positive approach to her two and a half year encounter with this disease—from the non-Hodgkins lymphoma diagnosis to survival and success. Ley’s book emphasizes the importance of positive results from negative experiences.”

The Garden City News

“The character-building book, which teaches rather than preaches values as it captivates young readers, depicts the adventures of 12-year-old space academy student Maggie the Magnificent in the year 3510. Maggie is described by Mrs. Ley as “a gregarious girl with an inquisitive mind, courageous spirit, and loving heart” who travels from planet to planet in her spaceship, meeting an array of curious creatures along the way. In each of six stories, she discovers a valuable life lesson. By the time her intergalactic adventure ends, she realizes how she can apply the traits of responsibility, respect, honesty and accountability, compassion, self-discipline and generosity to her own life.”

Phyllis Lader, The Smithtown News

“That’s right. Maggie the Magnificent is back in a new spooky Halloween adventure that is sure to delight every child’s heart. The book, called Maggie Unmasks Planet Pumpkin, hit the shelves last month and is already popular among youngsters. In the book, penned by Erin Ley of Smithtown, the character Maggie, through a galactic adventure, teaches her readers the importance of self-esteem, individuality, and courage. ‘They [the children] are living in a world of tremendous performance pressure. I want children to understand that being the best individual they can be is far more important than being ‘better’ than someone else.’ Ley says the messages in her books are far from hidden.”

Erica Jackson, Smithtown Messenger

Book Reviews

Erin Ley's 80 page children's book, Maggie's in the Driver's Seat, is an out-of-this-world adventure that kids and parents can take together from their own home. Six stimulating stories accompanied by full-color illustrations give parents the tools to teach their children how to build positive character traits and discover basic human virtues. Each excursion delivers a memorable message that children will forever benefit from throughout their own life journey.

Each adventure story takes Maggie to a different planet where a different character trait is illustrated, learned, and applied. Maggie discovers responsibility, respect, honesty and accountability, compassion, self-discipline and generosity. As she encounters these traits, she realizes how she can apply them to her own life. 

Maggie's adventures also put her in contact with all sorts of curious creatures. On Planet Luvit she meets two-headed dragons. Planet Awe introduces her to a goobley goblin and a jumping giant. And on Planet Plenty, she has an enlightening conversation with the Present Givers.

Erin Ley blends universal themes and gives us insight into their simple yet powerful applications through the eyes of a young girl. She tells us that even in the year 3510 the world can be a better place if we all learn to value each other.

Maggie Unmasks Planet Pumpkin

Maggie the Magnificent has decided to throw her very first Halloween party. She is very excited to spend an evening with her close friends while meeting those from other planets as well. She is especially curious to meet the residents of Planet Pumpkin. Maggie used to have a pen pal from Planet Pumpkin who never signed her letters and would never answer any of Maggie's questions. Eventually she stopped writing to Maggie altogether.

When talking to her best friend Ryan, Maggie begins to wonder how she is going to get to know the residents from other planets if everyone is wearing a mask. She will have no idea whom she is talking to.

Maggie decides to tell everyone during the party that it is time to take their masks off and get to know each other. Little does she know the surprise that is about to ensue— especially when she is forced to confront the guests from Planet Pumpkin.

Erin Ley's 36 page character-building children's book, Maggie Unmasks Planet Pumpkin, is the second book of the Maggie the Magnificent series and has been created to illustrate the importance of self-esteem, individuality, and courage.

Maggie’s in the Driver’s Seat is a unique piece of literature that will prove to be useful in my work. The stories are inspiring, moving, lively, and enthralling. The message of positive character qualities comes across loud and clear, but not in a sermonic kind of way. My young patients as well as their parents will benefit from the book, whereby each story will open dialogue between the child and me, or the child and his or her parent.”

Marianne Muldoon, LCSW-R, National Association of Social Workers

“Erin Ley’s Maggie’s in the Driver’s Seat is a must-have for those of us with children. These creative and imaginative characters help parents to deliver great messages to our kids. This character-building book for children is priceless.”

Jim Breuer, comedian/actor/producer; Saturday Night LiveThe Jim Breuer Show; national radio host of Breuer Unleashed, on Sirius Satellite Radio; father of three young children

​​​​​​​​​Maggie Unmasks Planet Pumpkin is a wonderful adventure into the world of a child who uncovers the gift and importance of being both true and proud of oneself. The lessons contained therein are so meaningful and so easy to understand that Maggie Unmasks Planet Pumpkin should be mandatory reading for all elementary children.” 

​​​​​​​Jeffrey Faragasso, Elementary School Teacher and Character-Education Coordinator

“Erin Ley’s ever-popular Maggie the Magnificent stars in a brilliant character-building book for children. In Maggie Unmasks Planet Pumpkin, Maggie hosts a Halloween costume party and is surprised to discover that some of her guests refuse to take off their masks because they are afraid to show who they really are. Maggie saves the day and her self-conscious guests by turning the party into a celebration of self-esteem, individuality, and courage. I highly recommend this for children of all ages, and look forward to more Maggie the Magnificent books.”
Wendy Wax, Children’s Book Author and Illustrator

“Erin Ley has done it again! Maggie Unmasks Planet Pumpkin is an adorable addition to the Maggie the Magnificent series. The book, which concentrates on self-esteem and courage, shows children the importance of owning your individuality and being proud of your “flaws,” which are what ultimately create your identity. The book uses masks at a Halloween party as the ultimate symbol, showing children how much fun it can be to unravel and shine, and encouraging them to let go. Kudos to Erin, whose mission to give children the confidence they deserve is going to be a huge success!”

Krissy Brady, Freelance Writer

Book Reviews

“Just in time for Halloween, Smithtown author Erin Ley has published Maggie Unmasks Planet Pumpkin, the sequel to her first children’s adventure book, Maggie’s in the Driver’s Seat. In keeping with the character-building themes of the first book, this new work focuses on the importance of self-esteem, individuality, and the courage to unmask one’s true self. ‘My goal is to inspire children to recognize the significance of their individuality and the personal effect they have on others. They should not just like who they are, but love who they are—and, by doing so, be able to feel that way toward others.’ She [Mrs. Ley] said she hopes Maggie will help bring the issue of character to the forefront.”

Phyllis Lader, The Smithtown News


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