Thought for the Day:
“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” ~Crowfoot, Native American warrior and orator (1821-1890) ~
Some Gifts for My Writer Friends:
A very useful post on using meaningful verbs can be found HERE.
If you click HERE, you will find a wonderful post on using poetic devices in writing fiction.
For 33 Untold Truths That Writers Know Too Well click HERE.
Last week I was part of the blog tour for Laurisa White Reyes‘s new book, The Last Enchanter. I offered an ARC of the book to one lucky reader. I am happy to report Margo Dill, who said in her comment she loved these kinds of books as a kid, will get to take a trip back to her childhood while she reads The Last Enchanter. Congratulations, Margo! I will be sending your book out this week. If you don’t know Margo, you should get to know her. She is a writer of children’s books, is a writing coach, and offers editing services (very good editing services!). She has a wonderful blog HERE and happens to have a giveaway going on right now. Check it out! If you didn’t win, please read to the end. I have a wonderful adventure to give away this week.
I want to talk about a book I read this week that has taken over my brain. Honestly, I can’t stop thinking about it, and the more I think about it, the more I like it. The book is Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. I found out after I read it that it is a follow-on book to Wein’s earlier book, Code Name Verity, a book I have not read, but probably will soon. If it is anywhere near as good as Rose Under Fire, I will be in for a treat.
Rose Justice learned to fly when she was only twelve. Her father owned a flying school in a small town in Pennsylvania, and she learned more than how to fly. She learned independence, curiosity, resilience, and resourcefulness. At eighteen, Rose leaves her little home town and goes to England to join the Air Transport Auxiliary in England. As readers, we have the luxury of getting to know Rose, her job, and her friends in the first part of this book without being immediately thrown into the action. As a writer, I had to ask myself how the heck did she get away with this? Go to a conference or on a blog contest or even some agents websites and you will be invited to send your first 250 words or first page or, if you are really, really lucky, your first five pages. Elizabeth Wein takes nearly 60 pages to let the reader know the main character, take the measure of the woman, and, perhaps most importantly, care about her. In this sense, this is a very old-fashioned book. And that is one of many things I like about it.
Rose manages to finagle a trip to the continent transporting a plane. Rose finds herself in sight of a doodle-bug, an unmanned flying bomb. She has heard of pilots tipping the doodle-bugs and sending them into the ground before they reach their targets. Rose just can’t help herself. She goes after it and, after several tries, disrupts its flight. As she flies slow, triumphant loops over the French countryside, she finds herself flanked by Luftwaffe jets. They escort her to Mannheim, well behind enemy lines in the heart of Germany. It is ironic that when Rose is grounded, the story really takes off.
Rose finds herself, after several misunderstandings and mishaps, sent to Ravensbruck, the most infamous women’s concentration camp in the Third Reich. It is here we really come to know Rose Justice in all her complexity, strength, and adaptability. We meet women here who will remain with us long after this book has been shelved and collected a good coating of dust. The courage and toughness and substance readers are witness to in these amazing women is a story that has not been widely told. Elizabeth Wein has done her homework. She tells a story that really needs to be told and told and told.
My best advice is to find this book and read it as soon as you can. I won’t be giving my copy away. I need to share this with some family and friends. And I really hope I can make time to read it again soon. It is worth the effort.
I promised you a giveaway and I will not let you down. I am giving away a wonderful adventure for middle-grade boys and the girls who are smart enough to realize boys’ books are not just for boys. Never Say Die by Will Hobbs and I have a nice hardcover copy for one of you. I reviewed this book for the Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review a while ago. You can find my review by clicking HERE. I gave it five stars for a reason. It is a riveting story. All you need to do is be a follower and leave an interesting comment. Your name will go into a drawing and one lucky winner will receive the book. The drawing is for U.S. addresses only.
Don’t forget to check for more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blog by clicking HERE.