Augusta Scattergood, book review, Children's Writing, Duck and Cover, Giveaway, Janet Smart, Making Friends with Billy Wong, Writing

Making Friends with Billy Wong — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it,
ignore it; or offer your own version in return. 
~ Salman Rushdie ~ 

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Janice Hardy has been running a 28-day revision workshop. I could have posted links to all of them, but I have picked some that I thought were particularly useful. HERE is one. 
Ride the Pen has a free mini-guide HERE to avoiding the problem of telling instead of showing. 

Just for fun, Buzzfeeds list of 37 of the Most Heartbreakingly Beautiful Lines in Literature is HERE for you to peruse. Yeah, I’d like to write just one sentence as good as most of these.

I am happy to report I have finally shaken the flu that knocked me down for so long. I feel fine for the first time in a long time. And on the house flipping front, we are almost at the finish line. This week there are only a few little touch-up kind of jobs left. We have window and house cleaners coming in and hope to have open house showings next weekend. It has been so much fun. My business partner and I are anxious to find another house to do it all over again.

Last time I posted, I offered a copy of Janet Smart’s Duck & Cover to one of you. This time, Patricia Tilton is our winner. Congratulations, Patricia! I will get your book out soon. If you don’t know Patricia, she is an Ohio writer for children and blogs at Children’s Books Heal. Check it out HERE. It is worth your time. I have another great giveaway, so please keep reading.

Several weeks ago, Carol Baldwin offered a giveaway on her blog, Carol Baldwin’s Blog (HERE). Now, I am way behind on my book reviews and trying to get rid of books, not get more of them, so I often leave myself out of drawings, but sometimes the book is one I can’t resist. This was one of those times. It was for Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood. I had read and loved Augusta’s other two books but hadn’t gotten to read this one, so I threw my hat in the ring. I was surprised a couple days later to receive an email from Augusta saying she would like to send me a copy, that she was interested in my thoughts on the book. Kowabunga! How cool is that? So now I will share my thoughts on the book with all of you.

It is the 1950s and Azalea Morgan, eleven, is looking forward to spending the summer hanging out with her best friend when her parents announce they are taking her to stay with a grandmother she has never met, a grandmother who has injured her foot and needs a helper for several weeks. Azalea is not happy. Being stuck in the little town of Paris Junction, Arkansas instead of her home in Texas is not her idea of a good time. When her grandmother suggests she should make friends with a boy named Billy Wong, Azalea can’t imagine making new friends (she is very shy) but particularly with a Chinese boy. Grandma has arranged for some of the children in the town to help in her very extensive garden. Billy is one of them. The other two are a local delinquent and a stuck-up prima donna. The summer is a real eye-opener for Azalea. She makes a great new friend, learns that people aren’t always what they seem, and families can be full of surprises. 

The characters are complex, palpably real, and easy to like and relate to. The

Augusta Scattergood

setting gives a real taste of small-town America in the 1950s. The story is rich and the writing  is simply lovely. This is a book that deserves readership far beyond its intended middle-grade audience. I loved it. Honestly, I think this one just might be my favorite of Augusta’s books. 


I have a signed hardback copy to share with 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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