Thought for the Day:
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.
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
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!