Thought for the Day:
“Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my
literary thinking all my life.”
~ Hunter S. Thompson ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Angela Ackerman has a good one HERE called Let’s Get Sensory: Powering Scenes Using the 5 Senses.
Dr. John Yeoman has a fun and useful post HERE called How to Shape Great Stories with Word Games.
Alex at Ride the Pen has some terrific ideas HERE about enriching your story with subtext. Warning: he uses a lot of bad words, but has good advice.
Last week I offered a gently-read paperback of Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan to one of you. This week’s winner is Helen! Congratulations, Helen. I will get the book out to you soon. For the rest of you, stay tuned. I have another wonderful book to give away.
Back in 2011, I reviewed a book called Healing Water: A Hawaiian Story by Joyce Moyer Hostetter. I loved that book (even though I called it Healing WaterS with a big, fat S when I reviewed it HERE). It was so different from anything else I had read. If you are not familiar with it, please check out the review. Anyway, when I heard Joyce had a new book coming out this year called Aim, I was really excited. When I was able to get my hands on an ARC, I was doubly excited. I was not disappointed. It’s such a wonderful book. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.
Junior Bledsoe has much on his plate. His father’s a drunk, his granddaddy, who shares Junior’s bedroom, is a cranky, mean old man, World War II is looming, and the spinster next door is his teacher. Junior doesn’t see much reason to stay in school. He could be earning money so Momma could have something nice now and then. Junior has watched his father take apart and repair engines as long as he can remember. He’s sure he can do the same. His father goes out one night and is found dead in the morning. Now school really seems useless. Junior needs to find out how his father died. He learns a lot about his family and himself as he tries to discover what really happened.
“There we were, just sort of floating above the river—a grand
place to be on a school day, up at the height of the trees,
with the river below us, washing on downstream.”
Perhaps the true test of good fiction is that the reader must believe every word. That is the case with this wonderful story. Joyce Moyer Hostetter’s writing is
|Joyce Moyer Hostetter
spectacular. She’s done excellent research and takes readers to another time and place and creates characters of great complexity and richness. The voice of young Junior Bledsoe is pitch-perfect in this first person narrative. Aim deserves a much wider readership than a middle-grade audience.
Joyce is a very prolific author and all her books deserve your time and attention. Please check them all out. She also has a newsletter about reading and writing that she and Carol Baldwin put out called Talking Story. You can see it by clicking HERE. It always has good things in it.
Aim won’t be out until October, but you can win an ARC here. I have a gently-read copy 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.