book review, Giveaway, Juba! a Novel, Luke Reynolds, San Francisco Book Review, The Looney Experiment, Walter Dean Myers

Juba! A Novel by Walter Dean Myers — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing. Isolated, neurotic, 
caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination, consumed by feelings of panic, 
self-loathing,and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that’s on a good day.”
~ Robert De Niro, actor ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends
The Writer’s Circle post on useless words is a really good one. The word THAT is one we could all use far less and be better writers for it. Check out the post HERE

I have been suffering from the most mind-boggling writer’s block for so long. This post (HERE) on Adventures in YA Publishing by Jen Larsen says it all. It is a real day brightener. 

The ladies who brought you The Emotion Thesaurus and other writing books are starting a new venture. There is an announcement HERE about it, and it also has several great checklists for writers. This is worth a look. 
My blogging may become a bit sporadic over the next couple of months. We bought a house this week which we will close on early November, then make a slow move before we put our present house on the market. We have nearly fifty years of stuff we have collected to sort through and downsize. We will be moving closer to our grandchildren and into a more manageable home. Anyway, while my intention is to blog every week, there may be Sundays I simply don’t get to my blog. But rest assured, I will be back.

Last week, I offered a copy of The Looney Experiment by Luke Reynolds to one of you. This week’s winner is Helen. Helen is an occasional artist who lives in the mountains of New Mexico. Congratulations, Helen! I will get your book out to you soon. For the rest of you, I have a most interesting book this week and a giveaway.

It was a sad shock in July of 2014 when it was announced that Walter Dean Myers had died. I really liked the books of his I had read, and I knew he had legions of young fans. When I ran across his last novel on the list of choices from the San Francisco Book Review, I had to grab it. I’m glad I did. It’s a great example of historical fiction called Juba! A Novel. Here is my review.

Juba lives with Stubby, another young black man, in a room they rent from a white man in New York City. It is 1842 and neither has much in the way of future prospects, but both have dreams. Stubby wants to be a great chef and Juba a dancer. Mostly they help their landlord in his smoked fish business, but it is barely enough to keep body and soul together. Juba dances wherever and whenever he gets a chance, making very little money doing it, but his fortunes change a bit when Charles Dickens attends a performance. Dickens is dazzled by Juba’s fast, intricate footwork. When Dickens returns to England, he writes about Juba which leads to what seems to be a great opportunity for Juba to work in London. But is it?
“I ended up with a ‘yes,’ and Mr. Pell said he was glad and that he thought I would be glad as well. He set up a time for me to meet the other performers.”

Walter Dean Myers brings the true story of Juba to life for modern readers with
Walter Dean Myers

a first-person narrative based on impeccable, deep research. The voice is so real, readers will forget this is historical fiction and will come to believe they are reading a diary. Adding to the realism, it is illustrated with maps, photographs, and reprints of handbills and newspaper ads, stories, and drawings. 

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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