book review, Children's Writing, Eugenia Lincoln and the Unexpected Package, Giveaway, Innocent Heroes, Kate DiCamillo, Manhattan Book Review, Sigmund Brouwer, Writing

Innocent Heroes — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.” 
~ Stephen King ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
I have a writing acquaintance who announced one day, “If you don’t write every single day, you are not really a writer.” I don’t write every day, and that really put me off. It’s good to know I’m not the only one. HERE is a post from Jami Gold that will give you permission to take some time off, if you need that. 
The Guide to Literary Agents blog has a guest post HERE by Jolina Petersheim that will give you 10 Tips for (Re)Writing a Novel. It’s refreshing. 
Writing your author bio can be pretty daunting. HERE are tips to make your bio more interesting. 

It’s after seven in the evening and the temperature is down to 105. We are having quite a heat wave here. Welcome to Sacramento summer. We are supposed to have three days of 109, but then it will cool down to 106 and, finally by Friday 100. Praying for the marine layer and the Delta breeze to return. Please send cooling thoughts our way.

Last week I promised an ARC of Kate DiCamillo‘s cute new book, Eugenia Lincoln and the Unexpected Package. This week’s winner is Greg Pattridge. Congratulations, Greg! If you don’t know Greg, he is a middle-grade writer and teacher from Colorado. He has a terrific blog, Always in the Middle, with wonderful book reviews and great writing tips. Check it out HERE. Greg, I will get your book out this week. For the rest of you I have another terrific book giveaway, so keep reading.

Checking out the list of available books for the Manhattan Book Review, I ran across a book called Innocent Heroes: Stories of Animals in the First World War by Sigmund Brouwer. I couldn’t figure out if it was fiction or non-fiction, but it sounded intriguing, so I grabbed it. It’s kind of a hybrid and absolutely fascinating. What a great way for kids to learn about this chapter in our history. Here is the review I wrote for the Manhattan Book Review. 

War was quite different in the days of WWI. Allied soldiers spent miserable days and nights in cold, muddy trenches waiting for the many horrors the German army would throw at them. Besides the usual shelling and attacks with bayoneted rifles, the Germans used deadly gas that caused any caught in it to die horrible deaths. Radio communication was unreliable. Consequently, the men sometimes had to rely on animals — carrier pigeons, cats, specially-trained dogs of various breeds, and horses and mules. Several of these animals saved many lives and acted in truly heroic ways, even when badly injured. Some were even awarded medals for their brave acts. This book is historical fiction, following three fictional Canadian soldiers through the build-up to a great battle. Each chapter tells a bit of their story and how a heroic animal impacted what they experienced. Each fictional chapter is followed by a good write-up of a real heroic animal and its story. These include some grainy photographs. Excellent

Sigmund Brouwer

back-matter gives even more information. The writing is fine and the stories captivating. This will be a great introduction to WWI for the middle-grade set and others. Don’t miss this one.

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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