book review, Cynthia Voigt, Keeper of the Lost Cities:Exile, Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things, Sacramento Book Review, San Francisco Book Review, Shannon Messenger

Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:


“I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult.” ~ E. B. White ~

Some Gifts for my Writer Friends:

Poets & Writers Magazine published two essays arguing the importance of backstory. You can find the essays by clicking FORand AGAINST.
An absolutely great and fun-to-read article from Writer’s Digest called 8 Things Star Wars Can Teach Us About Writing can be found by clicking HERE
 Darcy Pattison had a great post on dialogue recently. You can find it HERE
When I last posted, I offered a gently-read ARC of Shannon Messenger’s wonderful book, Keeper of the Lost Cities: Exile to one lucky reader/commenter. That lucky person is Faith Hough! WooHoo! Faith writes historical fiction and you can find out more about her on her web page.  Faith, it turns out, is with child, so probably needs a good book to read to help fill the waiting hours. Faith, I will be sending Exile to you this week. Didn’t win? Worry not. I have another wonderful giveaway for you. Read on to the end.

Some years ago, I picked up a book by Cynthia Voigt. I think it was something one of my students recommended to me. It was called Homecoming and I didn’t know when I started reading it that it was the first in a seven-book series. I started reading and couldn’t get enough of those characters and their stories. I read right through the series and wished it hadn’t ended. When I noticed a book by Ms. Voigt on my options for reviewing for the Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review, I grabbed it. It is the first in a series, and I don’t know how many books will be in this series, but I suspect I will read every one. Here is the review I wrote for the Book Review of Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things.

Max is used to drama. His parents are both actors who have their own theatre company, but Max is unprepared for all the drama he’s about to face. His parents are summoned by a Maharajah to teach theatre halfway around the world. Max insists he wants to go with. They arrange a ticket for him, but the day they are to sail, Max is late to the dock, his parents already gone. Although only twelve, Max feels he can take care of himself and stay in his parents’ home. His grandmother lives just across the fence. But Max needs to earn money. His grandmother doesn’t make enough to keep him without help. Max looks for work, but finds nothing until one day he finds a toddler in the park. When he returns the child to his mother, he is rewarded. This leads to other jobs solving disappearances. Max has a knack for solving problems for others, but seems unable to find his parents or solve the mystery of a group of long-eared people who are trying to get into his house.

“He saw the thing happen in chunks, as if it was happening at two different times. But it wasn’t. It happened all at the same time. The front door of the house burst open and a man emerged.”

Cynthia Voigt has another great series on her hands that the middle-grade crowd will devour. It’s a

Cynthia Voigt

great, fun adventure.

I know this is a little brief, but I am super busy working on some things for submission, including a major rewrite of my first novel. I’ve learned a lot the last few years and have a much better idea of how to fix the manuscript.Oh, and I had a little success last week. I sold an action rhyme to Highlight’s High Five magazine.

I am offering my gently-read copy of Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things to one lucky follower/commenter. If you tweet or post the link to this on Facebook or your own blog, please let me know and I will give you an extra entry for each that you do. Please check out Shannon Messenger’s blog for more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday blogs and giveaways. And don’t forget to leave a comment please.

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