Thought for the Day:
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”
~ Pele ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
We all want to create anticipation in our stories. HERE is a really good post on doing that. It also has a link in it to another post on raising the stakes. Lots of good stuff.
Revision. The bane of my existence. HERE is a good article with 9 Techniques for Crisp, Powerful Revisions.
My critique partners have heard me rail for years against the lack of the Oxford comma. I am not alone in this quest for proper usage of this belittled punctuation mark. HERE is a passionate plea for use of the Oxford comma.
I hope all of you had a lovely Thanksgiving with lots of family time. I did. My exchange student, Amandine, was quite amazed to see her first turkey. She tried everything and has found some new things she really likes, especially turkey and cranberry sauce.
No giveaway last week (because I am selfish and wanted to keep the book all to myself!), so we will get right to this week’s book, The Theory of Hummingbirds by Michelle Kadarusman. I was captured by the title when I saw it and was glad I chose it for review. Here is the review I wrote for the Manhattan Book Review.
Alba and Levi have been best friends always, but life brings many changes, especially when one reaches sixth grade. For Levi, a science nerd, changes aren’t so readily apparent. His debilitating asthma attacks are still a part of his life. For Alba, though, a huge change is coming. For her whole life, she has lived with her left foot, which is “directionally challenged” to the point of having a name — Cleo. Cleo has had many surgeries and has always either been in a cast or a brace, causing Alba to walk with crutches and not be able to be part of many activities. She has long been the time-keeper for the cross-country team, but Cleo’s final cast is about to come off, and Alba dreams of running her first race. When she shares her dream with Levi, he cautions her not to hope too much, a message Alba doesn’t want to hear.
Author Michelle Kadarusman has written a gentle but powerful story of dealing with differences and problems in friendships within a coming-of-age story. The writing is lyrical, the characters believable and well-rounded, and the metaphor of Alba as a hummingbird is heartbreakingly perfect.
I have a gently-read paperback for of this 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 Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways. He has graciously agreed to take over temporarily for Shannon Messenger while she is running around promoting her latest book. Thanks, Greg, and good luck, Shannon!