Alan Lee, Black Ships Before Troy, book review, Children's Writing, Giveaway, Mango Delight, Rosemary Sutcliff, Writing

Black Ships Before Troy — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”  
~ Confucius ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Kathy Temean at Writing and Illustrating always has such interesting posts. The one HERE will be particularly helpful as you write the dreaded synopsis. 
We always hear so much about the importance of the first page. HERE is a terrific post from M. L. Keller on Writing a Killer First Page. 
Do you know what your Origin Scene is? Honestly, I had never heard the term before, so I sure learned a lot from the post HERE on Writers in the Storm. It’s a good one. 

Sorry to have gone missing last week. It was my daughter’s last weekend in town, and we had a wonderful family dinner that ran long. We all had a lovely time and blogging was the last thing on my mind. Also for those who have been following the flipping saga, we are in escrow with a very nice young couple — first-time home buyers. We didn’t get quite as much as we hoped, but it was still a very satisfying experience. If all goes well, we should close in a little over a month. Then we will try to find another house.

Last time I promised an ARC of Mango Delight to one of you. This week’s winner is Suzanne Warr, a North Carolina writer who blogs at Tales from the Raven. You can Find her blog HERE and read some great MG book reviews there. Congratulations, Suzanne. I’ll get your book out this week. For the rest of you, keep reading. I have a terrific book to give away.

A publicist offered me a review copy of Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of THE ILIAD by Rosemary Sutcliff. I have long felt The Iliad was treated a bit like the ugly step-sister of The Odyssey and that’s so unfair. I think it’s such a great story, but most young people know a LOT about The Odyssey. They are familiar with the characters and many of the stories. There are, it seems to me, many versions of The Odyssey and parts of it are found in many, many school literature books. But not The Iliad. So I was excited to see a rendition for middle-graders of this great story. I was not disappointed. 

The writing is positively delicious. It has the cadence of an ancient text and the word choice is wonderful. “With his heart sick and hammering within him, Patroclus ran for the camp of the Myrmidons, which the fighting had not yet reached, and the ship where his lord Achilles waited for him.” I love the rhythm of her writing and the way it takes one back in time and into this mythological world. The story is a great one and Sutcliffe tells it well and quite completely. 

This is a big (9″ X 11″), beautiful book with lush illustrations and graphics on

Rosemary Sutcliff

nearly every page. The illustrations by Alan Lee use somewhat muted colors, but have a look that will transport readers to ancient Greece. This is just a delightful book that will engage young readers and introduce them to a story they might not otherwise discover until college. Seriously, find this book and read it.

I have a gently-read hardback of this book 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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