All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, book review, Children's Writing, Leslie Connor, Patricia MacLachen, San Francisco Book Review, The Poet's Dog, Writing

The Poet’s Dog — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“You have to write at least a hundred pages of crap before your
writing starts getting good. So you may as well start now.”
Joe Haldeman

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
A couple years ago, a writer friend mentioned he had decided to enter contests. He thought his work was good enough to garner some notice. I thought about that and decided to do the same. I looked for small, local contests that wouldn’t receive several thousand entries (like the Writer’s Digest contests) and ended up winning or placing in a half dozen contests or so. Honestly, I didn’t keep track. I ended up with probably $300 in winnings and some nice certificates to hang on my wall and remind me some people think I write some pretty good stuff. HERE is a post that will give you some hints about doing what it takes to win contests. Hope Clark has a great newsletter (free) that always has some contests listed as well as a wealth of other writing information. If you don’t receive it, check HERE to get on her list. She also has a newsletter that has lots more information in it, but you either need to pay a small fee or buy one of her books (they are good, fun mysteries) to get that one for free. Some of the contests that sent me money were from her newsletter! Check it out. 
I found a really, really great post at Adventures in YA Publishing HERE that lists 30+ Words to Watch Out for as You Write. Everyone will benefit from this. 

It’s always nice to get some advice from those who have gone before you on this frustrating journey of writing. HERE are tips from 29 published writers. 

We had a great weekend in NYC. My daughter Maggie was magnificent in Richard III at Bridge Productions (if you are near NYC, go see it!). My daughter Sara and granddaughter Gracie saw Lion King and Mathilda and loved them both. The three of us saw School of Rock. The kids performances were outstanding! I also saw Something Rotten. Hysterical! I loved it. Anyway, I’m back and thanks for being patient while I took some time off. 

Two weeks ago, I offered a gently-used copy of Leslie Connor‘s outstanding book, All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook to one of you. This week’s winner is Tudy! Congratulations, Tudy. I will get the book out to you this week. I do have another giveaway this week, so please stay tuned.

When I saw a new book by Patricia MacLachan on the list of review books, I snagged it right away. Especially with the title — The Poet’s Dog — I just had to have it. I was NOT disappointed. Here is the review I wrote for the Manhattan Book Review

Two young children, Nick and Flora, are lost in a blizzard, having left the car where their mother had to leave them to go and get help. A dog, Teddy, comes upon them and, speaking softly to them, leads them to a cabin in the woods where Teddy had lived with his master, a poet named Sylvan. But Sylvan is gone. Yes, the children understand the dog as he speaks to them. Teddy had been told by Sylvan that only poets and children can understand dogs when they speak. Now Teddy knows this to be true. The children and Teddy stay together in the cabin for several days as the blizzard rages around them. They help each other to keep the fire going and to find and cook things to eat. 
Patricia MacLachlan reminds readers why she won a Newbery Medal. This

Patricia MacLachllan

enchanting story has a very old-fashioned, folktale feel to it. The characters are absolutely charming, the writing is spare and lyrical, and the story satisfies in every way. Younger middle-grade readers will especially enjoy being able to read such a rich story on their own, but everyone reading it will be equally charmed.                        This is truly a story of love, friendship, hope, and redemption all packed into a coming-of-age novel that will capture readers’ hearts. The characters are rich and complex, the setting is unusual and will fascinate young readers. The writing is superb and the storytelling is terrific. This book deserves a wider readership than the middle-graders for whom it is intended. A real winner!

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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