Dear Libby — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“First, find what your hero wants, then follow him” 

~ Ray Bradbury ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Since I write historical fiction, I’m always on the lookout for ways to make my writing better. The post HERE from The Creative Penn discusses the important difference between authenticity and accuracy.

We all need to make our readers laugh now and then or even more than now and then. The post HERE from Writers in the Storm will give you 5 Techniques to Make Your Readers Laugh.

Everyone gets writer’s block now and then. SmartBlogger has a post HERE to help you get rid of that problem.

I forgot to mention on my last post that I would be AWOL last week. I was in Avalon, NJ for a wonderful writer’s retreat run by Kathy Temean, who regales us all with great advice and information on her blog Writing & Illustrating, a must read for all in children’s writing. Kathy had an agent and an editor there with eight attendees. Each person sent an entire novel manuscript and a thirty page piece. Everyone had the thirty page piece read and critiqued by either the agent or editor and their entire manuscript read and critiqued by the other professional as well as three other attendees. I read and critiqued the manuscripts of three other writers. We met at a lovely vacation home on the Jersey shore for three days and talked writing, met with each other, got our very valuable critiques, ate really well, and there was wine. It was a great experience and it happens every year. If you read Kathy’s blog, you will learn a lot and find out when the next retreat happens.

I went on to NYC to spend three days with my daughter Maggie and had a great time there. I saw three shows on Broadway — The Band’s Visit, The Lifespan of a Fact (with Daniel Radcliffe), and The Waverly Gallery (with Elaine May). All were terrific and I really enjoyed my visit to the Big Apple.

Dear LibbyThis week I want to tell you about a book I reviewed for the Manhattan Book Review. It’s an advice book and not the sort of thing I usually pick up, but sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zone. Here is the review of Dear Libby by Libby Kriszner I wrote for them.

Growing up is never easy, but the teen years can be especially difficult. Many teens feel they have no one to talk to and no place to turn. An experienced counselor can help kids navigate the difficult teen years, and that is what this book tries to do. Using a format of advice columns, author Libby Kiszner, an advice columnist, educator, counselor, and mother of nine, passes along a great deal of advice in seven chapters: See Yourself, Care for Yourself, Comfort Yourself, Listen to Yourself, Express Yourself, Connect with Others, and Keep Growing. The letters included purport to be from teens, but they are either made up or highly edited. They certainly don’t sound like letters that would have been written by real teens. The advice given is sound and helpful, but comes across as achromatic, emotionless, and a little preachy. While some teens will certainly find comfort and help in this book, wide readership among teens is unlikely due to the tone and language found in both the letters and the concomitant advice and counsel. That said, this would be a useful addition to middle school and high school libraries.

Libby Kiszner

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.

22 thoughts on “Dear Libby — Review and Giveaway”

  1. Welcome back. Sounds like your trip was wonderful. I just finished re-watching the entire Harry Potter series of movies, so you KNOW I’m more than a bit jealous that you got to see Daniel Radcliffe in New York. I just started a new job and haven’t found much reading time, so I’ll ask to skip the drawing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You certainly had a fulfilling and eventful trip. It reminds me I need to do one of those Broadway and retreat type trips in the future. Kathy’s sounds like a worthwhile one.
    All three links are ones I will be looking at during breaks today. Historical fiction, humor, and writer’s block are right up my alley.
    Teens enjoy this type of Q &A book and I believe I saw this one someplace recently. No need for me to be in the drawing as I have once again a ton of books piling up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Rosi. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. The retreat sounds truly valuable, and who wouldn’t enjoy a trip to New York that included 3 shows! (I’m an old Elaine May fan. Long ago I had a couple records of her and Mike Nichols that really made me laugh a lot.) The book above doesn’t particularly grab me, but thanks for the links — especially the link to the Creative Penn article on authenticity/accuracy in historical fiction. I really enjoyed that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great trip, a good retreat, fun shows and, especially, time with Maggie! Thanks for the information about the book. This isn’t one which I would find useful so please leave me out of the drawing this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful writer’s retreat! I am so glad you attended and shared with us. Hard to imagine questions being made up by an advice columnist. Your review reminded me of a relationship I had with a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist in the 70s, Helen Bottel, of King’s World. Sorry that the book you shared didn’t meet your expectations. She was the real thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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