book review, Children's Writing, Jamie Gilson, Lisa Schroeder. My Teacher is an Idiom, My Secret Guide to Paris, San Francisco Book Review, Writing

My Secret Guide to Paris — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Nurture yourself. Read a great book. Sit in the back yard for ten
minutes and listen to all the sounds. What rests you? A rested writer
can tackle any problem, including schedules!”
~ Joan Broerman ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Every now and then I get a post from Writer’s Village that is pretty helpful. The guest post HERE by Renee Vaughn has some interesting ideas. You might get some good hints. 

James R. Tuck has a great guest post on Fiction University HERE on how to add tension. 

If you are doing re-writes, and who isn’t, You need to read The Editor’s post HERE to help you with that. 

Last time I wrote, I promised one of you my gently-read copy of My Teacher is an Idiom (LOVE that title!) by Jamie Gilson. This week’s winner is Patty Hawthorne. Congratulations, Patty! Patty is an aspiring children’s writer and lives in Grass Valley, CA. Patty, I will get this out to you very soon. For the rest of you, read on! I have another giveaway this week.

We are getting closer and closer to our move. The demo has finally been done at the new house, the cabinets are being made, the appliances ordered, and I feel like this is finally going to happen. Things are a bit stressful though. My husband has been sick for a couple weeks with something that is to date unidentifiable. I can’t seem to find much he feels like he can eat, and I’m feeling kind of helpless to do anything more than take him to doctor appointments and to the lab to get work done. When I’m not doing that, I am trying to sort things out and pack things up. One good thing that comes out of this, though, is rediscovering some books that somehow ended up in the wrong place and were overlooked. That happened with the book I’ll tell you about this week. It came out nearly a year ago, but I liked it a lot and want to share it here. It is My Secret Guide to Paris by Lisa Schroeder. If you missed it, you should really check it out. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.

Twelve-year-old Nora has dreamed of going to Paris for as long as she can remember. For a long time the plan has been in place that her Grandma Sylvia would take her, since Sylvia goes to Paris a couple times each year on business. When Sylvia dies suddenly, Nora is devastated. Nora goes with her mother to clean out Sylvia’s apartment and finds a stack of letters and a treasure map for her, along with three plane tickets to Paris for Sylvia, Nora, and Nora’s mother—odd because Nora’s mother and grandmother had been estranged for years. Her mother’s idea is to sell the plane tickets, but Nora talks her into taking Nora and her older brother and going on the trip. She keeps the letters a secret until she discovers her grandmother has left gifts for her she cannot claim without her mother. 
“It could have just been my imagination. Or maybe
Paris really was magical, just like Grandma had
made it sound when she shared her stories.”

Lisa Schroeder has written an engaging story middle-grade girls will find

Lisa Schroeder and friend

fascinating. The family dynamics are completely believable, the characters are realistic and well-rounded, and the writing is lovely. This could well garner readership beyond the middle-grade audience for which it is intended, and readers may feel a trip to Paris is mandatory after reading it.


I have a gently-read hardback copy of this book 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.

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