Black Ships Before Troy, book review, Children's Writing, Giveaway, Rosemary Sutcliff, Susan May Olson, Time Jump Coins, Writing

Time Jump Coins — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“You are never too old to set another goal or to
dream a new dream.” 
~ C. S. Lewis ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Jenni Enzor has a great post HERE on extending your thinking on research, part of her Insecure Writer’s Support Group series. Check it out! 
Susannah Leonard Hill teaches picture book classes and blogs about picture book writing. Her post HERE is good advice for writers of any ilk, not just picture book writers. Strengthen those verbs, people! 
Writers in the Storm has an interesting post HERE on how to increase your productivity by sleeping! Now, that’s something I can get behind. 

I hope you are all enjoying your holiday weekend. We are seeing the beginning of another Sacramento summer here. We’ve only had a few really hot days, but enough to remind us of what’s to come, but for this weekend we are having nice weather. I’m enjoying it. I’m thinking about the heat to come because I received some good news yesterday. I had applied for a scholarship for a writer’s conference in August. Sacramento in August is HOT, HOT, HOT and the conference is in Mendocino — a beautiful town on the cool coast of northern California. I won a scholarship that will pay for half the conference, and I enjoy three half-day workshops led by Lewis Buzbee with about a dozen middle-grade writers. There are other workshops to fill the days, and all of them look great. Very excited!

Last week I promised one of you a copy of Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff. This week’s winner is Natalie Aguirre. Congratulations, Natalie! If you don’t know Natalie, you must! She writes MG and YA fantasy and has a fabulous blog — Literary Rambles — with so much good information for writers. Check it out HERE. Natalie, I will get the book out to you this week. I have another giveaway, so please keep reading, everyone.
One of the real bonuses for me of blogging all these years is that I have made several blogging buddies and have formed some long-distance friendships. While I’m not much of a fantasy reader, the one kind of book that I do like that is sort of fantasy is time travel. I was really happy to find Susan May Olson’s blog, Time Travel Times Two (HERE). I’ve found some really great books through her reviews. I knew she was working on a MG time travel book and was honored when she asked me to read it. Time Jump Coins is her debut novel, and I am very excited for her.

Joey is about to start fifth grade, but she isn’t looking forward to it. She doesn’t have any friends. She knows it’s because she can’t seem to control her temper, try as she might. Her dad tells her to do something other than watching TV, and Joey finds a box containing a collection of old Indian head pennies. There is a cryptic note in the box and, when Joey polishes one of the coins, she finds herself transported to Philadelphia in the year the coin was minted. It’s a startling experience, and when she finds herself back home, she wonders if it was really a dream. But she realizes it really happened. 

When school starts, Joey is assigned to sit with a boy named Eli on the bus. Eli also doesn’t have any friends. Eli can’t stand loud noises and has trouble communicating with others. Joey thinks maybe she can become friends with him. Then they will each have a friend. Joey works really hard on this friendship and learns a lot about controlling her temper with this sometimes difficult friend. She shares her time travel experience with Eli, and they learn a lot about history in their travels. 

This is a really well-written book that will capture the imaginations of the

Susan May Olson

younger middle-grade set. The story is compelling with lots of fun and excitement. The characters are very real, flawed, and yet brave and clever. Readers will like them and root for them. This is not a perfect book. I thought the kids could have faced greater obstacles. Some things came too easily, such as when they time travelled, they found themselves in period clothes with money conveniently in the pockets, so they weren’t forced to fend for themselves as much as they might have. That said, it’s a small flaw and probably won’t bother young readers at all. I like this book a lot and recommend it for anyone who likes time travel stories. Congratulations to Susan! It gives me hope I might get one of my books out there one day.

I have a gently-read ARC 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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