Book Giveaway, book review, Children's Writing, Helen Frost, Writing

Applesauce Weather — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“So you’re taking a few blows. That’s the price for being in the arena
and not on the sidelines.” 
~ The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Janice Hardy again. This time she discusses Story Questions and it’s a good one. Click HERE to read it. 

Anything to make our characters richer is a good thing. Check out this post from Adventures in YA Publishing HERE for some great ideas on building rich characters. 

Writers Helping Writers has a great post HERE on using Twitter as a research resource. Who knew?

I may disappear for a bit. My husband’s illness marches on. He had two surgeries last week — Sunday night they tried to place a stent, but the colon was perforated and Monday morning at about 5:30 they called telling me they would have to operate again and remove his colon. It was not the outcome we hoped for, but we hope it will give him a chance for good health. His recovery is rough. He is still in the hospital, has had some setbacks this week, and when he is able to leave will have to go to a skilled nursing facility for rehab. Our remodel is a day or two from finished, and I need to get us moved to our new house and get this house on the market. So if I disappear for a couple weeks, don’t be too surprised. On the other hand, writing this may be good therapy for me, so I might just show up.

This week I’d like to introduce you to a new middle-grade book written in verse. Here is the description for Applesauce Weather by Helen Frost from Goodreads: In a touching poetic novel, a fall apple ritual—along with some inventive storytelling—brings a family together as they grieve the loss of a beloved family member.


When the first apple falls from the tree, Faith and Peter know that it’s applesauce weather, even though Peter is getting a little old for such things. It also means Uncle Arthur should be here to tell his stories, with a twinkle in his eye as he spins tales about how he came to have a missing finger. But this is the first year without Aunt Lucy, and when Uncle Arthur arrives, there’s no twinkle to be found and no stories waiting to be told. Faith is certain, though, that with a little love and patience, she and Peter might finally learn the truth about that missing finger. Paired with warm, expressive illustrations by Amy June Bates, this heartfelt tale by award-winning poet Helen Frost highlights the strength of family and the power of a good story.


I love this little book. It’s only 112 pages and you can read it in no time at all. It has quite a lot of illustrations, perfectly charming ones at that, and looks like a book for very early middle-grade readers, but the richness of the story and the complexities of the characters and the mature issues discussed along with the beautiful, lyrical writing may well garner some older readers as well. I particularly love the inclusion of a verse from Aunt Lucy, the great-aunt who has passed away and who was so important to the characters, at the beginning of each chapter. It really gives texture to the story to have some of her memories woven throughout. I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book won’t be out until August, but you can surely pre-order it, and it’s

Helen Frost

worth doing. Heck, the cover alone is worth it! This book is simply lovely. I have a gently-read ARC 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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