book review, Cynthia Levinson, Giveaway, Luke Reynolds, San Francisco Book Review, The Looney Experiment, Watch Out for Flying Kids

The Looney Experiment — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“I have often thought that this [East of Eden] might be my last book.
I don’t really mean that because I will be writing books until I die. But
I want to write this one as though it were my last book. Maybe
I believe that every book should be written that way.”
~ John Steinbeck ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
If you write for middle graders, you sure don’t want to miss the guest post for The Writer’s Dig HERE by Luke Reynolds, 7th-grade teacher and author of The Looney Experiment. It is very good advice. 

Janice Hardy posted a good article on character development HERE. As always, this is well worth your time. 

A.J. Steiger has a guest post on Adventures in YA Publishing about when to break writing rules. Click HERE to read this excellent post.

Last week I offered an ARC of Cynthia Levinson‘s new book, Watch Out for Flying Kids. Cynthia offered a signed bookplate and a clown nose to the winner as well! How fun is that? This week’s winner is Sue Heavenrich, a science and environmental issues writer for both adults and children and a blogger extraordinaire. She regularly posts to THREE blogs — Archimedes Notebook, Sally’s Bookshelf, and The Marcellus Effect — all of which are worth visiting. I always learn something when I read her blogs. Click on any of their titles to see them. Congratulations, Sue. I will get the book out to you this week. I do have another giveaway this week, so please keep on reading.

A few months ago as I was choosing books for review for the San Francisco Book Review, I ran across a book called The Looney Experiment by Luke Reynolds and was attracted by the title. I read a little about it and requested it. I am so glad I did. It is an absolutely terrific book. Here is the review I wrote for SFBR.

Atticus Hobart’s life isn’t so good. He can’t bring himself to speak in public. He hears voices in his head. He’s in love with the most beautiful girl in school, and he’s sure she doesn’t know he exists. The school bully, Danny Wills, has too much power and is completely protected. Danny’s father is the baseball coach, and his mother is school board chairperson. He can call Atticus “Fatticus” all he wants and beat him up with no qualms. Just when Atticus thinks things can’t get worse, his father leaves and his English teacher is replaced by the strangest, oldest teacher on the planet. But this teacher, Mr. Looney, introduces Atticus to new ways of looking at things and, perhaps most important, new ways of looking at himself. Just as Attius seems to be getting his balance, something happens to threaten it all.

“Then you grow up and realize that’s all load of crap. Your 
parents decide they’re going to get divorced; you get bulled 
at school because you’re a mime compared to everyone else; 
and you’ve got the World’s Worst Name.”


Luke Reynolds has written a story that will resonate with a lot of young people,
Luke Reynolds

both boys and girls. The premise is surprisingly fresh, the characters real and believable, and the writing is simply terrific. This book deserves readership far beyond the middle-school audience for which it is intended. Don’t miss this amazing book.

I have an ARC of this wonderful book I would be happy to send to 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. 

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