Barbara Krasner, book review, Goldie Takes a Stand, Josh Berk, Nancy Castaldo, Ralph Waldo Emerson, San Francisco Book Review, Say It Ain't So, Sniffer Dogs

Say It Ain’t So by Josh Berk — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already 
mastered you will never grow.” 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Janice Hardy’s Fiction University has an interesting post called Why Should Anyone Help Your Protagonist. This will give you much to ponder. Click HERE to read it. 
The Editor’s Blog has a wonderful post on what doesn’t belong in your writing. Click HERE to read Exclude Us from Novels. Isn’t that a great title?
An interesting article in the New York Times by Aimee Bender suggests what all writers can learn from Goodnight Moon. Click HERE for this fun and interesting article. 

Gehrig with Trophy
This is baseball week here at The Write Stuff. Actually, one of many baseball weeks for me. We spent this weekend at a baseball complex in 95 degree heat watching our grandson, Gehrig, and his team win a local championship. It was a great warm-up for the big tournament next week in Cooperstown, NY, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Yup. We are all trekking to New York to watch kids play baseball. I think this week’s Thought for the Day is as apropos for baseball players as it is for writers. If I don’t get around to posting next week, don’t be surprised. I will be jet-lagged and baseball busy.
Last week I had two posts with a giveaway on each. First, the copy of Goldie Takes a Stand by Barbara Krasner will be going to Claire M. Caterer. Claire is also a writer and has a great blog you can check out HERE. Congratulations, Claire! The copy of Sniffer Dogs by Nancy Castaldo will be going to Michael GG. Michael has a blog with the interesting title of Middle-Grade Mafioso you can check out HERE. Congratulations to you, Michael. I hope to get these in the mail before I leave town. 
Sticking with the baseball theme this week, I have a nice little middle-grade baseball mystery. Say It Ain’t So by Josh Berk is a book I reviewed for the San Francisco Book Review a couple months ago, and since my brain is baked today, I will simply reprint the review I wrote for them. Josh Berk is a funny guy. I reviewed his earlier YA, Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator, on my blog a couple years ago. If you missed it, you can see it HERE. Here is my review of Say It Ain’t So.

Lenny, Mike, and Other Mike are in the glory that is seventh grade, when Mike decides he has to go out for catcher on the Schwenkfelder Middle School team. The fact that Davis Gannet, the biggest and meanest eighth grader, is the catcher doesn’t faze Mike. His dad builds a pitcher’s mound and backstop in their backyard, and Mike recruits Lenny to train him. Why? Because Lenny has the worst arm on the planet. If Mike can catch or block everything Lenny throws, Mike will have a shot. Not only does Mike make the team, but Davis Gannet is caught stealing a cell phone and is kicked off the team! Then it’s discovered that the Griffith Griffins are stealing signs. This doesn’t pass the smell test. Lenny decides to put his detective hat on to see what he can uncover. He is attacked at Griffith Middle School and the librarian’s niece, Maria, rescues him, and a partnership is born, and maybe a little romance as well.

 “Who wouldn’t get a little angry about that? You’re framed for a crime and kicked off the team. The guy who got you booted takes your place and gets all the glory.”

Josh Berk

Josh Berk has a winning formula with the middle-school setting and his wisecracking trio of characters, Lenny, Mike, and Other Mike. This will be a welcome addition to his middle-school baseball mystery series.

I have a gently-read hardback copy of this book for one of you. All you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do. 

For more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews, check out Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blog by clicking HERE.


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