Thought for the Day:
“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
~ Karen Lamb ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Louise Harnby has a terrific post HERE that will help you deal with accents in your writing. I wish I had found this one years ago!
If you are looking for a few good writing prompts, HERE is the place for thousands!
Gotham Writer’s Workshops sends out a monthly newsletter with good articles in it. One HERE will help you find your inner child when writing for children.
I’m back after a nice relaxing holiday break. I hope all of you had wonderful times over the holidays, and I wish you all a very happy new year. Now it’s time to get back to reality — reading, reviewing, and writing.
I received an email a while ago from Candlewick Press offering me ARCs of several books. I chose two they listed as middle-grade novels — Little Lunch: Triple Treats by Dany Katz and illustrated by Mitch Vane and Good Dog, McTavish. I was drawn to these because they looked funny and I love funny. Also, they were pretty short, and I had a lot of review books on my plate.
Little Lunch: Triple Treats is really three loosely-connected stories rather than a novel. The author and illustrator are both from Australia. The stories all take place in an elementary school, and the kids are supposed to be about 5th grade, although these stories seem much younger to me. They are filled with silly goings-on, and reluctant readers will be drawn in by the very funny drawings and premises in the stories. There are things American kids won’t get. I have never heard of Little Lunch before. I think it would translate to morning recess with a snack. Between the food fights, odd fund-raising ideas, and all that can go wrong on Grandparent’s Day, kids will be entertained. It turns out there are other Little Lunch books, and they are based on a Little Lunch TV show you can find on Netflix, Aussie accents and all.
Good Dog, McTavish is written by a British author. The main human character of the story is Betty, age 8, but almost 9. Betty is part of the Peachey family where nothing is really peachy. They are going through a bit of a crisis when the mother essentially resigns her position of mother. The older children, Ava and Ollie, are happy they will no longer live under matriarchal oppression or be forced to eat healthy food. Only Betty sees disaster ahead. The family goes to the shelter to look at dogs, and they come home with McTavish. He wants to heal this shattered family, and it’s fun to watch him work his magic. Sweet illustrations are scattered through the book and will help keep readers turning pages.
I have a gently-read ARCs of this books 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.