Gennifer Choldenko, Ida B, Katherine Hannigan

Chasing Secrets — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists
of writing or thinking about writing.  
~ Eugene Ionesco ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
The post HERE from the Teaching Authors blog on female protagonists is FASCINATING and should be read by everyone who writes for young people. 

The devil is in the details and Anne R. Allen has a great post HERE on how to create memorable characters with interesting details. Check it out. 

I found this link on Fiction University, so it has to be good, eh? It is on my favorite topic — cutting words from a manuscript that is too long, and it has lots of good tips. Click HERE to check it out. 

Last week, I offered a slightly used paperback copy of Ida B by Katherine Hannigan to one of you. This week’s winner is Carol Baldwin of the famous Carol Baldwin’s Blog which you can find HERE. Carol is a North Carolina writer who works with author Joyce Moyer Hostetter on the wonderful newsletter for parents and teachers called Talking Story. See the latest issue HERE. Congratulations, Carol! I will get your book out to you this week. Please read on. I have another giveaway.

So here I am again a bit late to the party. Nearly a year ago I read and reviewed a wonderful historical novel by Gennifer Choldenko, and somehow I never got around to featuring it here. It’s terrific. The book is Chasing Secrets and here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.

Lizzie Kennedy, thirteen years old, lives with her doctor father and older brother, Billy, in San Francisco. It is 1900 and the world is changing. Billy is saving to buy a horseless carriage and disappearing at night and coming home hurt. Lizzie has trouble making friends at the snobby finishing school her aunt insists she attend. Lizzie wants to go to medical school, not marry and raise a family, but science is not an acceptable path for a young lady. Rumors begin to fly about the plague being in San Francisco, and Jing, a favorite and most loyal servant of the Kennedy’s, disappears, and strange noises in the attic lead Lizzie to an astonishing discovery and further mysteries to solve.
“Papa is in the hall, talking to them in his soothing 
voice, but the bigger girl has a wild look in her eyes.
She won’t stop long enough to hear him. I can’t
understand a word, but her message is clear.”

Any writer who wishes to learn how to engage a reader from the first page

Gennifer  Choldenko

would do well to read this riveting historical novel by Gennifer Choldenko. The subject matter is fascinating, the characters well-drawn, the conflicts believable and compelling, and the writing is mesmerizing. Any reader who likes historical fiction and mysteries will love this book. The story is complex and completely satisfying. Though marketed to the middle-grade crowd, this deserves  to have a much larger audience.


I have a gently-read hardback 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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