Thought for the Day:
Writing is like giving yourself homework, really hard homework, every day for the rest of your life. You want glamorous? Throw glitter at the computer screen.
A Gift for My Writer Friends:
For a real horror storyabout agents and self-publishing, click HERE.
Click HERE for a terrific post on Chapters.
You can read a really fun article on getting rid of writer’s block if you click HERE.
I know I have been absent for a week. Sometimes life gets in the way and sometimes we need a little break. Anyway, I’M BACK!!! But just a head’s up — I might disappear again for a week in June. Family reunion and travel plans might get in the way of blogging.
When I was last here, I offered a copy of the sweet Ivy in the Shadows by Chris Woodworth. And the winner is (drumroll, please) Barbara Watson!! Congratulations, Barbara. I will be sending the book along to you this week. For those of you who don’t know Barbara, she is a teacher, writing, and freelance editor who does great editing work. You can find out more about her and her work by clicking HERE.
I reviewed a new book by Patricia MacLachlan recently for a review in the Sacramento Book Review. She is a prolific writer and probably most famous for her Newbery-winning Sarah, Plain and Tall. The book I reviewed is called The Truth of Me, and it is simply a lovely book.
Robbie is an only child. He has longed for a sibling, but it’s clear that won’t happen. His rather self-absorbed musician parents travel too much and have made it clear they don’t need or want another child in their lives. Robbie often thinks they’d rather have one less child in their lives. They did get him a dog, however, a sweet hound named Eleanor, but Robbie calls her Ellie, and Ellie is his best friend. Well, he has another best friend. His grandmother Maddy is also his best friend. Not many kids have a grandmother for a best friend, but Maddy is pretty special.
When Robbie’s parents go off to play concerts in Europe for the summer, Robbie is able to spend that time with Maddy, and he is able to take Ellie with him. It turns out to be a very memorable visit. Spending time with his grandmother allows Robbie to learn some truths about his mother that helps him understand a lot of things.
Maddy isn’t much of a cook, but her neighbor, Henry, the local doctor, loves to cook and spends nearly every evening with Maddy and Robbie, cooking up wonderful things. But Maddy, who communes with nature as few others can, wants to take Robbie camping in the nearby woods. Henry has no interest in camping, so it is just Robbie, Maddy, and Ellie. While camping, Maddy shows Robbie how to relate to wild animals in a magical way she has. But while some of those animals are in camp, Maddy suffers a bad injury just as a large bear comes on the scene. Maddy can’t be moved. It is up to Robbie and Ellie to take care of Maddy and get help, all while making sure she is safe.
“It is beautiful at the top of the hill. The sun is setting, leaving a rose sky. We set up the tent together in a clearing. Maddy builds a small campfire in a stone pit, and we eat our food. There are two logs to sit on. I stare at the logs, remembering Maddy’s story about eating corn bread with a bear, both of them sitting on a log.”
I love The Truth of Me and think most kids fourth through sixth grade will as well. It’s a little book, but has so much depth and so much truth in it. The writing is beautiful and the story is one to which many of us and of the kids out there can relate. You can win my ARC of this sweet book by being a follower (please help me reach 100!!) and leaving a comment. As a bonus, I am also giving away a copy of Kicking In the Wall: A Year of Writing Exercises, Prompts, and Quotes to Help You Break Through your Blocks and Reach Your Writing Goals by Barbara Abercrombie. This is another book I reviewed recently and, honestly, I have way too many writing books already, so you can win them both. Just be a follower and leave that comment. If you want more chances, post the link to this post on Facebook or Tweet it and let me know. I’ll put your name in an extra time.
Don’t forget to check in with Shannon Messenger for more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday book reviews. Just click HERE to get to her wonderful blog.
For the giveaway, it is for U.S. only. Sorry, but I just can’t afford to send books out of the country. Hope you understand. But do leave a comment please. I love to hear from my readers.