Thought for the Day:
“I have written a great many stories and I still don’t know how to go about it except to write it and take my chances.”
~ John Steinbeck ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Greg Pattridge has some great links to important articles on his blog once a week. Check it out HERE. You might want to be sure you are subscribed to his blog. The article HERE is so important for us writers to read. Do NOT miss the one HERE about what middle grade readers want.
The Writer magazine has a good article HERE on Eight Writing Commandments to (sometimes) Break.
We all know character introspection can be the kiss of death in a story, but it’s sometimes necessary and useful. Janice Hardy has ways to make it work in the post HERE.
Last week I said I wouldn’t be here this week. Just goes to show that when you get as old as I am, you forget how to read a calendar. I am leaving in the morning for my trip and will be gone NEXT weekend at the family reunion. Sheesh. It sucks to get old.
Last week I offered a copy of the very magical Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead to one of you. I am departing from my usual drawing this week and awarding this book to C. Lee McKenzie. Lee is a writer who needs a little magic in her life right now. Her book Some Very Messy Medieval Magic was recently released and it looks like a winner. But shortly after that great event, Lee’s husband suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. She has young children and needs support from all of us, especially other writers. I just bought her book and will be reviewing it here soon. I hope you will also buy her book and spread the word about it. Honestly, it looks really good. It’s going on my trip to Colorado with me. Maybe I’ll read it to my grandkids in the car when someone else is taking a turn driving.
I recently received some books from Candlewick Press they offered me for review. One of them is a Hank Zipzer book by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver. It is Hank Zipzer: The Cow Poop Treasure Hunt. I have always loved Henry Winkler as an actor and, I heard some years ago he had started writing middle-grade books, but I never got around to reading any of them until now. I wish I hadn’t waited so long. This is some really funny stuff.
Hank Zipzer is a perfect middle-grade character, someone boys that age will absolutely relate to. He is an underachiever of the first order and yet has a pretty high opinion of himself much of the time. All he really wants is a little freedom, but his parents keep him on a pretty tight leash. Hank really wants to go to the mall with his friends without parental supervision. Is that too much to ask? Apparently. But Hank decides to prove he’s mature enough for the challenge by cooking dinner for the family. It does not go well. But Hank isn’t finished yet. He realizes he has to do something drastic to prove himself. Signing up for survival camp run by Miss Adolf, the toughest teacher at school is the drastic thing he chooses, and it is drastic. Hank’s nemesis, McKelty (or as Hank likes to say McSmelty), happens to be going too. And
somehow Hank talks his two best friends Frankie and Ashley into signing up as well. I will just leave you with the thoughts of camp food, leaky tents, cow pies, and Hank and McKelty as tent mates. As I said, this is some really funny stuff. An added bonus is the book is set in a font that is designed to boost readability for kids who are dyslexic. It’s a quick, easy read for middle-graders that will hold the attention of the most reluctant reader.
I have a gently-read ARC for one of you. All you need do is be a follower or subscriber (it’s free!), have a U.S. address, and leave a comment below. If you would like extra chances, please share the link to this post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet and let me know you have done that. If you are reading this in your email, please click HERE to get to my blog, then click on the title of the post, and leave a comment. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.