Thought for the Day:
“A drop of ink may make a million think.”
~ Lord Byron ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
I have been struggling trying to find the right title for one of my manuscripts for a long, long time, so I was happy to find the post HERE from M. L. Davis at Uninspired Writers with some good tips about how to find good titles for novels.
Getting dialogue right is so important when writing. K. M. Allen has a good post HERE that will help you get it right.
You know I love historical fiction and I also write it. I’m always interested in posts about research. HERE is a wonderful, rich post by Beth Castrodale that will help you with your research questions.
If any of you are Dodger fans, you might want to avert your eyes here. I’m watching what I hope will be the last game of the World Series as I write this. Not that I want baseball to be done for the year, but I sure want the Sox to win it. And they have been magnificent. What a fun post-season it has been. No matter what happens, it will be over before I post next. Then I will start to count the days to opening day. I do love baseball, but I will have hockey to help fill that void. Go, Sharks!
Last week, Joyce Moyer Hostetter, author of Drive, generously offered to give a copy to one of you. This week’s winner is Suzanne Warr. Congratulations, Suzanne! If you don’t know Suzanne, she has a wonderful blog where she and her cat review middle-grade books, and she is a writer and martial arts expert. Check out her blog HERE. She has a really cool book review up right now.
This week I want to tell you about a book that has such an intriguing title, that I chose it based on that alone. Once I read that title, I had to read the book. I sure hope I can find a title that good for my manuscripts. The book is The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods. How can you NOT pick up that book? Anyway, here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.
Alberto, a carpenter, lives alone in a small town by the ocean. He built beautiful furniture and lovely toys for his children, but he lost his wife and all three of his children when a plague gripped the town. After he lost his family, he lost the desire to build anything except coffins. A young woman dies and is brought to Alberto for burial. Something about her touches him, and she stays on his mind. Soon, Alberto notices food missing from his kitchen, and he discovers the thief is a young boy, Tito, with a glittering bird, Fia, for a pet. Alberto finds a way to talk to the frightened boy, and an unlikely friendship forms. Alberto hears the boy’s story (Tito is the young woman’s son) and knows he must protect Tito and Fia.
Author Matilda Woods has written a sweet but melancholy story that has the feel of an old-fashioned folk tale from some long-ago culture. The writing is lovely and quite lyrical, and the characters are sympathetic and well-drawn. The books has decoration on every page and is interspersed with simple drawings in muted colors. Middle-graders who like quiet books will like this.
There will be no giveaway this week. I am giving the nice hardbound copy I received for review to the library at my granddaughter’s charter school. They have a tiny budget and really need books. Check back next week. I will have a giveaway then. And it’s a good one! 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.