Thought for the Day:
“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know ten dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.”
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
The Editor’s Blog has a great post HERE on dialogue tags. It is full of excellent reminders.
The Write Practice has lots of good posts. The one HERE on Why You Should Write What You DON’T Know is very good.
Have you heard of EasyBib? If you do any research for your writing, you might want this free program. The folks at Group Blog have a great overview HERE. I’m going to check this out.
Last week I offered a hardback copy of The Tapper Twins Go to War (with each other) by Geoff Rodkey. This week’s winner is Natalie Aguirre. Congratulations, Natalie! If you don’t know her, Natalie is an aspiring MG and YA fantasy writer and an attorney. She shares the blog Literary Rambles with another writer. If you aren’t familiar with Literary Rambles, click HERE and check it out. They do reviews, agent and author interviews, and often have giveaways. It’s a terrific blog. I do have another giveaway this week, so please keep on reading.
This week I have a true middle-grade book that is really designed for the younger middle-graders. I tend to gravitate toward the older MG books, but when I read a good one, as this is, for the younger set, I am surprised how engaging these are and wonder why I don’t pick up more of them. I love that I can read one in a couple hours and feel very satisfied. This one, Ranger in Time: Danger in Ancient Rome by Kate Messner is very engaging and I think kids will gobble it up. I mean, combining time travel and Ancient Roman history is just too good to pass up! Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.
Ranger has been trained as a search and rescue dog. He is a golden retriever and the family he lives with has two young children to keep him busy and happy. He found a first aid kit in the back yard that has magical powers. When it glows, Ranger pulls the strap around his neck and is transported to a place and time where someone needs his help. In this adventure, Ranger finds himself in ancient Rome at the Coliseum. There he meets a young boy, Marcus, and a new gladiator-in-training, Quintus. Ranger isn’t sure which of them needs his help, but at first he is busy dealing with the strangeness of the blood-filled sand and wild animals he finds in the underground area of the Coliseum. Can Ranger figure out his mission and safely get back to his family?
“Once, Villius stopped to watch him. Marcus thought he saw
a flash of admiration in the manager’s eyes. But it was
only there for a moment before he turned and walked away.”
Kate Messner has clearly done her research to make this story a good picture of a historical time and place that will be really interesting and fun for younger
middle-graders. The characters are well-rounded, the story exciting, and the setting fascinating. Readers should not miss the author’s note, glossary, sources, and further readings at the end.
I have a gently-read copy for one of you. To win, 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 are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. 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.
Don’t forget to check out Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.