Thought for the Day:
“Have compassion for yourself when you write. There’s no failure — just a big field to wander in.” ~ Natalie Goldberg~
Some Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Clem has but one wish. For his thirteenth birthday he wants a dog. But that isn’t what he gets. He gets a miner’s cap. His life is about to change. He is expected to work in the lead mine, deep underground, and to help support the family. His grandfather has miner’s lung and cannot work. His Pap works every day, but it is never enough. Clem’s sister, Esther, has epilepsy and the doctor’s bills make it impossible for Pap to earn enough on his own. But this is not what Clem has in mind for his life. He hates the dark, claustrophobic, physical work. He wants to be in school and able to make something more of his life.
“Clem’s hand went to his mouth as if to stifle a cry. He’d never before considered how his own father got the moonshine whiskey in his Thermos that day Clem caught him at it.”
Clem comes to know a girl from school, one who had been bullied by everyone, even Clem. Lindy is terribly scarred on half her face, and the kids call her Frankenstein. But when Clem discovers she helped Ester when she had a fit, he thinks differently of her. They become friends, then more.
Susan Hill Long has created a time-and place-machine with this lovely coming-of-age story. She transports readers to the Ozarks of the early 20th century with her compelling story.
Hunter Moran and his twin, Zack, discover there is an impending kidnapping in Newfield. Worse yet,
they figure out their little brother Steadman is the likely target. Sarah Yulefski has the inside information and charges them all they have for it. The kids erect a tree platform to keep an eye on things and find suspicious activity at the house across the street – the empty house – and decide the kidnappers must be using it to stage their crime. Their mother goes into labor and their parents head to the hospital. That’s when the boys find a note that looks like it’s from the kidnapper, but their sister Linny tears it up before they can read it. The boys find themselves in plenty of messes along the way, but ultimately discover that their dog Fred has been taken. They never seem to be at the right place at the right time to see anything useful. Will they ever find Fred? This book is fast-moving almost to the point of being manic. Younger middle-graders will enjoy the pace and story. It will help if they’d read the first book in the series and are familiar with this amazing cast of characters.
“We slog our way across the street, dripping muck and weeds. I use my hands like windshield wipers, back and forth across my cheeks, my forehead, my eyes. Behind us, someone is laughing like a maniac.”
All you need to do to win BOTH these books in hardcover is be a follower and leave a comment. If you aren’t yet a follower, it’s easy. Just look on the right column. If you want extra chances in the drawing, tweet the link or post it on Facebook or something like that and tell me you’ve done it. I will put in extra chances for you.
Don’t forget to check out Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blogs for more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday books and blogs. You can find it HERE.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to leave a comment.