The Benefits of Being an Octopus — Review & Giveway

Thought for the Day:

“The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”
~ Muriel Rukeyser ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Rebecca Lu Ella Miller at Rewrite, Reword, Rework has a terrific post with lots of good examples HERE on Show Don’t Tell.

Time to start querying agents? The Writer Magazine has a good post HERE on the do’s and don’ts of submitting to agents.

SmartBlogger has a great post HERE with 7 Tips That’ll Make You a Better Writer (with Examples!). Some are good reminders and all will help you write better, but you might want to ignore that thing about the comma police.

Here is my helpful holiday shopping tip for the week. I have a granddaughter who is obsessed with all things Harry Potter AND obsessed with wild socks. I think I have found just the place to shop for her HERE. This place has socks with LOTS of literary connections. I particularly like The Very Hungry Caterpillar socks. Hopefully this will be helpful to you as well.

BenefitsTitling is so important in publishing. It certainly is as important to me as book covers. When I get my lists of available books for review, any title that captures my interest will get me to go find a book description and decide whether or not I will take the time to read and review. When I saw The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden, I had to find out what those benefits might be.  The benefit for me was getting to read a truly wonderful middle grade book. Here is the review I wrote for the Tulsa Book Review.

Zoey is in seventh grade, and if being in middle school isn’t enough, she has virtually no friends and has to spend a lot of her time and energy taking care of her two little brothers and sister. Her mother has to work long hours, and her mother’s boyfriend, Denny, is just plain mean. They all live in a trailer house with Denny’s father. Zoey’s favorite animal is an octopus, and she knows so much about them that sometimes she dreams she is one and has the skills to overcome almost anything. She is nearly invisible in school except by those who want to bully her, but she finally finds her voice when a compassionate teacher takes an interest in Zoey and challenges her to join debate club. This is life-changing for Zoey.

Ann Braden

Author Ann Braden has written a strong and important debut novel for middle-graders, but it deserves a much wider readership. This is a book far too many young people will see themselves in, but it will give them hope and, with any luck, help them find their own voices. The characters are incredibly real, the writing is beautiful, and the story is moving and very meaningful.

I have a gently-read ARC of this wonderful workbook 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.

24 thoughts on “The Benefits of Being an Octopus — Review & Giveway”

  1. This book is a must read for me and on my birthday wishlist (less than 2 weeks away!). Thanks for offering the ARC for one of your readers. I shared on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, tumblr, and Facebook.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an interesting title. It does make you want to know more. I love the idea of an octopus as a “power” animal. Look forward to reading a copy.

    You just made my day with the sock page — just bought two pairs and got a third pair free with free shipping. Loved the TBR pile, the Banned Books and the Hogwarts socks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so pleased you liked the socks. I think they are so cute and I’ll be buying some too. You will like this book when you get to it. Thanks for the comment. Good luck in the drawing.


    1. So nice to see you here. Yeah, it’s a book worth getting replaced. I didn’t think of it as a sad book. Interesting. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Good luck in the drawing.


  3. Yes, the title and story do hit the right notes. I’m looking forward to reading and sharing this one but let someone else win this week since I recently won.
    I laughed at seeing your sock idea as over the weekend I walked into a shop devoted solely to socks. I never knew how boring my socks were!
    The seven tips post was a perfect reminder with great examples for what to do in my own writing to make it stronger.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Speaking of sock stores, this week-end in Pacific Grove, we saw a shoe store that was half sock store, and a lot of the socks were famous paintings — The Girl with the Pearl Earring, Picasso’s guitar player from his blue period, a Modigliani long-necked, long-faced portrait. They were really a kick. In the realm of books, The Benefits of Being an Octopus really is a title that grabs one, and your review makes it sound like a classroom must have. I will pass on the contest, though. I am way behind in my reading. Best wishes to whoever wins it.

    Liked by 1 person

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