book review, Children's Writing, Giveaway, Seattle Book Review, When the Sky Breaks. Simon Winchester, Writing

When the Sky Breaks — Review & Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”
~ Neil Gaiman ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Lee Martin has 10 truths authors need to learn to accept HERE
Mary Kole has a great post HERE on KidLit about how to bring dead characters to life in your stories.
If you are writing for kids of any age, you should be aware of KitLit411. If not, here is a link to one of the best posts I’ve seen there, and I have seen plenty of excellent posts. This one is chock full of links that will help you improve your writing and on the road to success. Click HERE for all kinds of good help.

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season. I know I did. I had lots of relaxing time, caught up on some of my reading, and feel like my batteries are recharged. I was even inspired to write an article I will be sending out to some children’s magazines this week. (Fingers crossed!) I had wonderful time with family including a very short but really nice visit from Maggie all the way from New York. But now everyone is back where they belong, the grandkids will go back to school, and I am back to blogging.

One of the things I like about Common Core is that it has given us a great many wonderful non-fiction books. When I get a chance to grab some of those for review, I do it. I want to tell you about one I really enjoyed early last year. It is called When the Sky Breaks: Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and the Worst Weather in the World by Simon Winchester. This one comes from Smithsonian, and their non-fiction books for kids are always great. Here is the review I wrote for the Seattle Book Review.

Most middle-grade readers are old enough to remember hearing about the terrible damage Hurricane Sandy caused just a few years ago. Many have probably heard of Hurricane Katrina as well. Every year these youngsters see reports of tornadoes, typhoons, and other great storms. Has it always been this way? What causes these awful events? These are the kinds of questions kids are curious about, and this is a book that will help to quell that curiosity. Author Simon Winchester was a scientist before he became a journalist and writer, and that shows nicely in his approach to the subject. It’s clear he has a good understanding of the subject of violent weather

Simon Winchester

and brings both scientific knowledge and historical perspective to the subject of storms. He then ties all of this together into a story the weather tells about the larger issue of climate change. Winchester’s writing style is that of a storyteller. He uses creative writing techniques, making it fun for readers while they are learning, and learn they will. The text is supported with spectacular photographs of storms and storm damage and of illustrations for stories of times past, as well as charts and maps to support the science.

I have a gently-read hardback 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. 

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