book review, Children's Writing, Clayton Stone: Facing Off, Ena Jones, Giveaway, Manhattan Book Review, Orphan Trains: Taking the Rails to a New Life, Rebecca Langston George, Writing

Clayton Stone, Facing Off — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it’s work. … Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an

abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything.” 
~ Stephen King ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
We all make mistakes, but mistakes in our writing life can be really costly. Adventures in YA Publishing has a good post HERE written by editor Emma D. Dryden that will help you avoid the most common mistakes writers make. 

Dear Editor has a tiny hint, but a powerful one, HERE. I like it! 

Alex Limburg has a guest post on Kristen Lamb’s blog HERE that will tell you How to Make EVERY Page of Your Story Interesting. 

Last week I offered a copy of Orphan Trains: Taking the Rails to a New Life by Rebecca Langston George to one of you. This week’s winner is Nancy Kelly Allen. Congratulations, Nancy! If you don’t know Nancy, she is a Kentucky children’s writer with over thirty books out there. (My personal favorite is Barreling Over Niagara Falls. Check it out!) You can learn more about her HERE. Nancy, I will get your book out to you this week. For the rest of you, I have another giveaway, so please keep reading. 

Just a little heads up before I get to business. I am going to New York this week to spend a few days with my daughter Maggie. I seriously doubt I will get around to posting next weekend, so if I’m MIA, that’s the reason. 

I have mentioned Greg Pattridge’s blog before. He writes really intriguing book reviews and when he says something is worth a look, I always pay attention. You can find his blog HERE. It’s always worth a look. Anyway, he reviewed and recommended the first two books of the Clayton Stone series on his blog sometime back, and they sounded like terrific books. I checked my reviewing options and was able to pick up Clayton Stone, Facing Off by Ena Jones for the Manhattan Book Review. What a fun read! Here is the review I wrote.

Clayton Stone is happy at his middle school. His lacrosse team is destined for the playoffs, and all is right with his world. But his grandmother tells Clayton he needs to go undercover at a rival middle school. It’s necessary. The president’s only child, Kyle, also a lacrosse player, goes to that school, and chatter has been picked up that is deemed to be a threat. Clayton is disguised and sent to the new school where he can play on the lacrosse team and try to make friends and stay close to Kyle. But when a bully starts making everyone’s lives miserable and a mysterious boy shows up as a new student, things get pretty interesting. 
Tweens and teens as secret agents and spies aren’t uncommon in kidlit, but, for the most part, they end up sounding and often acting like they are thirty-five. Not this time. Author Ena Jones has created a spunky young character who tells his story in a pitch perfect twelve-year-old boy’s voice. Clayton is smart and funny, with just the perfect amount of wonder at his secret-agent grandmother and all the spy toys he gets to use. Don’t miss this!

Ena Jones

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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