book review, Chris Crutcher, Lisa Bullard, Period 8, Sacramento Book Review, Turn Left at the Cow

Review and Giveaway of Turn Left at the Cow

Thought for the Day:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson
I know that I used this Thought for the Day once before, but I think it bears repeating and what better time than as we come to a brand-spanking new year? 
Some Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Fantastic post found HERE on all the dragons we writers need to kill. Don’t miss this one. 

Wonderful post on Adventures in YA Publishing by Sandra Neil Wallace can be found by clicking HERE to learn more about Turning History into Fiction. 

Setting is so important and this post will tell you exactly how important. Click HERE

When I was last here, I promised one lucky reader a copy of Period 8 by Chris Crutcher. Our winner this week is Jill the Owl! Well, she isn’t really an owl, but that is the moniker she has chosen for her public-blogging self. She actually teaches sixth grade and besides running her own blog (The O.W.L. Outrageously Wonderful Literature from the Middle Grades) and hosts a blog for book reviews by her students (Hooked on Books). If you click on the titles of the blogs, you can check them out. Congratulations, Jill. I will be sending Period 8 to you this week. If you didn’t win, keep reading. I’ve a terrific book to give away this week.

I’m kind of on holiday break this week, so I am going to paste in a review I wrote recently for the Sacramento Book Review. Some of you may know I am from Minnesota, so when I found a funny tween book set in Minnesota, I was all over it. This is a really good one.

Turn Left at the Cow

Posted in Tweens by – December 23, 2013

Turn Left at the Cow By Lisa Bullard
Harcourt Children’s Books, $16.99, 304 pages

Thirteen-year-old Travis feels like an outsider in his step-father’s house. Travis leaves California for Minnesota and his grandmother. He wants to find out about his real father. What he finds is not what he hoped for. His father disappeared long ago, before Travis was even born, and right after his father had robbed a bank. Gram is pretty sure he is dead. He wouldn’t leave her wondering all these years. But she didn’t think he was the kind of person to rob a bank either. When Travis comes to town, Gram hands him money at several times to buy things. Suddenly the sheriff is at their door. Some of the robbery money has started turning up. People think Travis has the money. Travis has made friends with Kenny and Iz, kids his age who live next door. They are looking for the money, too. Iz thinks the reward will solve all her problems. The mystery deepens for these kid detectives.

 “Any minute I was sure the stars were going to jump out of their constellations and spell out the word dweeb across the sky. I mean, there I was, alone with this hot girl, and I decided the thing we should do was play language-arts games?”

This is a terrific story with lots of fun, action, mystery, a little romance, and great characters. Kids will love it, but so will adults. It’s funny and smart. This is a real winner.

Just be a follower (free and easy — look in the right-hand column to join) and leave a comment. I will be giving away a gently-read hardcover of this funny book. This drawing is for U. S. addresses only. If you would like to check out reviews of other middle-grade books, hop on over to Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blog. Click HERE to be magically transported there. 

Have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve. See you next year!

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