Thought for the Day:
“Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again.”
~ Bob Feller ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Even if we are writing fiction, we really need to check our facts. HERE is a post by Selina J. Eckert with good tips for doing so.
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.
Janice Hardy has a wonderful post HERE that asks two simple questions that can really strengthen your story.
Last week I offered copies of Good Dog, McTavish by Meg Rosoff and Little Lunch: Triple Treats by Danny Katz to one of you. The winner this week is Liz Steinglass. If you don’t know Liz, she is a wonderful poet from Washington, D. C. You can read more about her and see some of her poems HERE at her blog. Liz, I will get your books out to you soon.
I don’t know how things are where you live, but the homeless population in the Sacramento area is large, and, sadly many are children. This is a problem middle-graders need to understand, so I was glad to see No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen come up for review from the San Francisco Book Review. Of course, I grabbed it. Here is the review I wrote for them.
It has always been just the two of them — Felix, 12 years old, and his mother, Astrid, whom he calls Astrid. Things have been tough for awhile, but when the last itinerant boyfriend leaves and they run out of friends to stay with, they find themselves living in a van. It’s just temporary, Astrid proclaims, but Felix knows Astrid has trouble holding jobs, especially when she goes into one of her slumps, and those slumps seem to be getting longer and more frequent. Still, Astrid has a way of making some things happen for Felix that are important to him. She gets him into a special French-immersion school he really wants to be in, and he loves it. Felix auditions for a TV trivia show that could change everything for them, but then the wheels start to come off.
Unfortunately, kids today face these kinds of problems far too frequently. Susin Nielsen has written a powerful story that will touch readers and reveal problems in today’s world kids need to understand. Nielsen uses great writing, terrific characters, humor, and heartbreak to keep readers turning pages. This book deserves readership well beyond her intended middle-grade audience.
There will be no giveaway this week. I gave 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 time. I may have a giveaway then. 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.