Big Top Burning, book review, Cynthia Voigt, Giveaway, Laura A. Woollett, Manhattan Book Review, Mister Max: The Book of Kings

Big Top Burning — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else 
who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. 
Imagination should be the center of your life.” 
~ Ray Bradbury ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
We can all learn from the masters. HERE is a list of 36 Killer writing tips from Stephen King. 
Cutting scenes is really hard to do, but Erika Wassall has an excellent post HERE on Kathy Temean’s Writing and Illustrating to help you with that. 
Anne R. Allen, along with Catherine Ryan Hyde, has a terrific post on rejections — how to handle them and what you can learn from them. Click HERE to check it out.
I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday and we had lots of good food and family time. Now comes the quick march to Christmas. We will all be busy, I know, and I will be particularly so with the move and all, so I will be here when I can and hope for your patience when I can’t.
Last time, I offered an ARC of Mister Max: The Book of Kings by Cynthia Voigt to one of you. This week’s winner is Elizabeth Varadan. If you haven’t met Elizabeth, she is the author of Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls which I reviewed HERE. Elizabeth also writes two blogs — Elizabeth Varadan’s Fourth Wish and Victorian Scribbles. If you click on the titles, you can visit them. Congratulations, Elizabeth. I will get your book to you soon. For the rest of you, I have another terrific giveaway, so please keep reading.
If you have read my blog for awhile, you know I love history. I have been reading quite a bit of middle-grade and tween non-fiction lately, The book I will tell you about this time falls into that category and it is terrific. Big Top Burning: The True Story of an Arsonist, a Missing Girl, and the Greatest Show on Earth by Laura A. Woollett is a fascinating story. Here is the review I wrote for the Manhattan Book Review.
It was a hot July afternoon in 1944 when the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus came to Hartford, Connecticut. Even as World War II raged and many fathers were gone, this was an exciting day for many. Since the circus train had been late, the Saturday matinee was cancelled.
Consequently, Sunday’s matinee was a full house with over 6000 people crowded into the big top. Because of the lateness of getting the tent up the day before, some things were left undone. Perhaps most importantly, fire extinguishers were not placed around the arena. Some of the staff had to leave their posts at the seats to help move chutes blocking exits after the animal act. Suddenly, flames appeared high up on the side of the tent. Thus began the worst circus tragedy to date.
“Donald was safe in the comforting arms of his aunts and uncles. 
Doctors and nurses cared for Mildred at Municipal Hospital, and 
Edward had gone to a place where pain could no longer touch 
him. But where was Donald’s sister, Eleanor?”
To write a book about such a terrible event that is for young readers is a difficult

Laura A. Woollett

task, but author Laura A. Woollett has used impeccable research and personal stories of people involved to tell the story in a way young people will find fascinating and will inspire them to learn more. This is non-fiction at its very best.

I have a hardback copy of this 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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