book review, Rebecca Petruck, Shannon Whitney Messenger, Shannon Wiersbitzky, Steering Toward Normal, What Flowers Remember

Steering Toward Normal — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” Berke Breathed
Gifts for My Writer Friends: 

A good article can be found HERE on 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Dialogue. 

Great article HERE on “Write What You Don’t Know.” 

And for another take on why you should write what you don’t know, click HERE
I didn’t have a chance to post last week. I spent Mother’s Day with my husband, our younger daughter, and our two grandchildren at a baseball game. I do love baseball, so it was a great way to spend the day. In the evening, my husband and I went to our older daughter’s album launch party. If you love beautiful music, click HERE for Amazon or HERE for iTunes to check it out. You can sample on iTunes without buying anything. 😎 Anyway, it was a long, wonderful day with no time for blogging. 
If you are wondering why a couple of things are highlighted in white boxes, I have no idea. Sometimes Blogger just does these things, and I am unable to correct them.

When I did post last, I promised a signed copy of What Flowers Remember by Shannon Wiersbitzky. I am happy to announce that our winner is Carl R. Scott! WooHoo, Carl. I will be sending your book out this week. It pays to tweet the link for extra entries! Carl did and he’s the winner. Stay tuned even if you didn’t win, because I have another great giveaway this week.
This week I’d like to tell you about another really terrific book, Steering Toward Normal by Rebecca Petruck. First, I’d like to thank Rebecca for naming her book Steering Toward Normal instead of Steering TowardS Normal. (Using towards instead of toward is a pet peeve of mine.) Second, this is a book set in Minnesota, my home state, and made me ever so comfortable. Third, it’s just a darned good book with engaging characters and a fabulous, rich, complex story line. Fourth, that cover just cracks me up every time I look at it!

Diggy Lawson is looking forward to his eighth-grade year. He has a great calf to raise to compete for a top prize at the Minnesota State Fair. He has great friends at school and in 4-H, where he gets to spend a lot of time with July, the girl he has a secret crush on. He and his dad, Pop, have a great time together, just the two of them. (Diggy’s mom had left when he was a baby.) But the wheels start to come off when a guy from school, one Diggy hardly knows, Wayne Graf, is tossed out in their driveway by his father and told he should live there with his real father. This was news to Diggy and not very good news. Wayne’s mother, who had been Diggy’s third-grade teacher, had recently died. Now this! Sure Diggy felt sorry for Wayne, but that didn’t mean Diggy wanted to share his life and his Pop with Wayne. To top things off, Wayne decides to get a calf of his own when he finds out the prize for Grand Champion is huge. AND July seems to pay a LOT of attention to Wayne now. So does Pop. Suddenly it seems to Diggy, he is on the outside looking in.
Rebecca Petruck

When you get around to reading this book, carve out some time. It doesn’t have any lulls or good stopping places. It practically demands to be read straight through. It is fun, funny, poignant, sweet, imaginative, and very real. I am offering my gently-read ARC to one of you. All you need do is have a U.S. address, be a subscriber or follower, and leave a comment. If you are not yet a subscriber or follower, it’s free and easy. Check the right-hand column to do either or both. Please let me know in your comment if you are a subscriber or follower. If you would like extra chances in the drawing, you can get the word out and link to this post by Tweeting, posting on your blog, linking on Facebook, or use some other social media and tell me about it in your comment. I will give you extra chances for doing so. It paid off for Carl R. Scott. It can pay off for you.


Don’t forget to stop by the lovely Shannon Messenger’s blog for links to more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday book reviews. Just click HERE to find your way.

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