A Crow Doesn't Need a Shadow, book review, Carrying Mason, John Drury, Joyce Magnin, Lorraine Ferra, Myra Cohn Livingston, Poem-Making, Poetry Dictionary

Poetry Craft and a Review and Giveaway of Carrying Mason

Thought for the Day:

“Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads.” ~Marianne Moore~

Some Gifts for My Writer Friends:

I love this post by K. M. Weiland on strengthening character voice. Click HERE to see it. 

Click HERE for one of the best posts on that old bugaboo Show Don’t Tell that I’ve ever seen. 

Darcy Pattison has a terrific post on Point of View: Techniques for Getting Inside a Character’s Head. Click HERE to see it.

Annnnnd! We have a winner. Last week I promised to send out copies of Mouse, Bird, Snake, Wolf and Jump Start Your Creativity to one lucky reader who left a comment. The winner is Helen! Congratulations, Helen. I will be getting those books in the mail to you this week. And there is another giveaway this week, so stay tuned.

I have been spending time on poetry lately and delving into some books on the craft. I’ve found a couple I’d like to mention here. I don’t spend enough time talking about craft and hope some of you will find this useful. 
The first book is really a book for kids — A Crow Doesn’t Need  A Shadow: A Guide to Writing PoetryFrom Nature by Lorramel Ferra. I will be passing this along to my granddaughter, a future writer and illustrator. There are some wonderful exercises and prompts in this one for any poet, no matter how old. I’m enjoying it. The writing is lively and it has many good examples and ideas.

If you are like me (and I’m not asking anyone to confess to that), you need to know the words for, well, just about everything. So when I found The Poetry Dictionary by John Drury, I had to have a copy. It really has shown me a lot of forms of which I was not aware, and it has solid examples for all of them. I like it. You might, too.

 But the best of the bunch, in my mind, is Poem-Making: Ways to Begin Writing Poetry by Myra Cohn Livingston. I am only about halfway through this one, but I’ve already been inspired to write some of the best stuff I’ve written. Really. I’m very excited about this book. It is simple and straightforward and chock full of excellent examples. Unfortunately, it has gone out of print, but there are plenty of used copies for sale. I’ve been using a library copy, but ordered a copy of my own before I finished the first section. This is one that will end up in tatters held together with tape, if you know what I mean. 

Now for a short review and the giveaway. Last March I reviewed a book by Joyce Magnin, Cake: Love, Chickens, and a Taste of Peculiar. I really liked that book. If you missed my review, you can click HERE to see it. I had the pleasure of interviewing the author, and she mentioned she had another book out, Carrying Mason, which I hadn’t read at the time. I had a chance to read it last summer, and I liked it even better than the first. I don’t know why I have waited so long to review it here.

Luna is thirteen years old and lives with her parents, three sisters, and a brother in a small town. It’s a

full house, but, for the most part, a happy one. Until, that is, Luna’s best friend Mason dies when hit by a car while riding his bicycle. Luna and Mason had a very special bond. It affects the whole town, but Luna more than anyone. Anyone except Mason’s mother, Ruby Day. Mason had taken such good care of his mother. She is somewhat developmentally delayed and, while some are cruel to her, many in the town look out for her. But she needs more than that. When Luna visits Ruby Day, she finds mildewed clothes in the washer and dirty dishes in the sink and realizes Ruby Day hasn’t bathed in too long. Luna decides it is up to her to take care of Ruby Day. She convinces her parents to let her move in with Ruby Day and promises she will keep up with her school work and will go to college when the time comes. She does remarkably well in her new role, but is faced with her greatest challenge when a relative shows up and insists she should take Ruby Day away. Luna is in for the fight of her life.

Readers will cheer for Luna and appreciate the difficulty of her situation. Most will imagine what it is

Joyce Magnin

like to take on such responsibility and will be interested in the idea of living away from their family. They will learn the kind of strength of character it takes for such a task and will also learn they have that kind of strength within themselves. 

I am offering my gently used paperback copy of this wonderful book to one of you. All you need do is be a follower (easy peasy on the right part of this page) and leave a comment. If you tweet the link to this post or post it up on the social media of your choice and tell me about it, I will give you an extra chance. 
Please check out Shannon Messenger’s blog for more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday book reviews. There is always a lot to see over there. Just click on her name to go there.

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