book review, Children's Writing, Clayton Stone: Facing Off, Ena Jones, Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, San Francisco Book Review, Shari Green, Writing

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Don’t say it was delightful; make us say delightful when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers Please will you do the job for me.” 
C. S. Lewis ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
I have been saving this one for closer to tax time. Bookfox has a post HERE with 21 Tax Deductions that Save Writers Money.  
I am driven crazy by grammatical errors in the books I read for review. So does The Editor and she has a great post HERE on that very topic. 
Revision is so hard. Adventures in YA Publishing has a good list HERE of 30 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Tackle the Next Phase of Your Manuscript. 

My trip to NYC was great, and I had some wonderful time with my daughter Maggie. We saw Cate Blanchette in The Present. The performances were wonderful. Ms. Blanchette was dazzling, but I think this old Chekhov play was never published for a reason. We also saw Josh Groban in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. It is a spectacular production. The first act is a bit taxing since they are so busy introducing a cast of characters that requires a family tree in the program. (Yup. A family tree. Seriously.) That said, the second act music and story are quite wonderful and the amazing production is worth the very hefty price of admission. If Maggie hadn’t had a friend in the show, we would never have gotten tickets. It’s problem the second hottest ticket on Broadway behind Hamilton.

I don’t usually mention adult books here, but I read one recently that was so amazing, I have to give y’all a heads up. Some years ago, I read a wonderful book called Plainsong by Kent Haruf. (If you click HERE you can read a wonderful article about what one student learned from studying writing with Haruf.) I loved it and think of it often, but I never got around to checking out his other books. I read a lot of blogs, and I read about another book by Haruf in two or three blogs in a period of one week. I took it of a sign that I needed to read it. Our Souls at Night is a magnificent book. I don’t think there is one curse word in it nor is there any sex, so I wouldn’t even be worried if any teens picked this one up, but for my adult readers, this book is simply amazing. I recommend it. It’s a small book that can be read in a long afternoon, and it will be a wonderful afternoon for you.

Two weeks ago, I offered a copy of Clayton Stone Facing Off  by Ena Jones. to one of you. Honestly, if I ever had time to re-read a book, I wouldn’t let this one go. But my busy life is your gain. This week’s winner is Nancy, who shared my link on Facebook and got an extra chance. That paid off. Congratulations, Nancy! I will get this out to you soon. For the rest of you, I have a wonderful giveaway, so stay tuned.

As I have often mentioned, I am continually fascinated by novels in verse for young people. I ran across Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles by Shari Green as a review book for San Francisco Book Review and I snagged it. What a good choice that was for me! Here is the review I wrote for them. 

Bailey and her little brother, Kevin, have been dropped off at their grandmother’s to spend a month on the island while their parents attend a marriage camp, trying to find a way to stay together. Bailey is quick to make friends, and she and a neighbor boy, Daniel, become best friends immediately, exploring, swimming, and getting to know the island prognosticator, Jasper, former minister of the church. He foretells some interesting events, and Bailey grabs onto his foretelling as the answer to many of the problems she perceives in her life — her parents’ crumbling marriage, Daniel’s cystic fibrosis, and more. But miracles are hard to come by and don’t always happen as expected. 
Author Shari Green has pulled off a terrific feat. She writes this affecting book in

Shari Green
Photo by Pedersen Arts Photography

first person point of view in young Bailey’s voice in beautiful, lyrical blank verse — and it works seamlessly. The voice is pitch perfect for a young girl, the characters are all fully developed and completely believable, and the story will leave readers deeply moved and wanting more. This lovely book deserves a far wider readership than the middle-grade audience to which it is being marketed. Don’t miss this one.

I have a gently-read paperback 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s