Thought for the Day:
“I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.”
~ Oscar Wilde ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Is your main character just waking up or having a dream or memory at the beginning of your book? You know that’s a no-no, but the Manuscript Shredder has a post HERE that suggests it may be all right under some circumstances.
I’m always trying to find ways to write funnier. The Writer’s Digest has a good article HERE by Susan Shapiro on just that topic.
I have begun the agent search, so the article HERE from Writer Magazine with Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Submitting to Literary Agents by Dionne McCulloch came in handy for me.
I don’t often mention adult books here, but I do want to recommend a really fun book I am reading right now. It is The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine by Thomas Morris. Morris has found a great many stories of strange, amazing, and sometimes horrifying things that people have done to themselves or had done to them or even of the cure being worse than the problem. Thankfully, medicine has come a long way in the last three hundred years (the period Morris reports on). Anyway, this book is certainly worth the price of admission.
Joan is just thirteen and living with her mother and siblings in a suburb of Liverpool, England. It is 1941 and the Liverpool docks are the a favorite target of Luftwaffe bombers. The nightly raids keep everyone on edge. Joan’s family struggles with the problems of war such as rationing perhaps more than most as Dad, a merchant marine, had been lost at sea a couple years earlier. Joan’s mother is seeing a really obnoxious man, and his presence is difficult for the children. Joan sometimes sees a mysterious man lurking in their garden at night. The bright spot in Joan’s life is her best friend Doreen and their time going to movies where they can find distraction with American movies and forget the war for a little while.
There is a new girl in school, a shy, quiet girl named Ania from Poland who becomes a target for the school bully. Over time, Joan and Doreen get to know Ania and learn her sad story of loss and loneliness. Little does Joan realize the mysterious man may be an answer for some of Ania’s sadness. Another mystery is uncovered by Joan’s friends Derek and Ross who often working on salvaging with Joan. They find a huge stash of rationed food where it doesn’t belong. Little do they realize how much of an impact this mystery will have on their town.
Shirley Hughes has written a book that will give young readers a lot of information about WWII and how people in Europe were affected by living with the war, how people there had to change their daily lives, and how some otherwise good people changed their ways to make the changes more bearable. The mysteries will keep pages turning and kids learning. It’s a good addition to WWII books for this age.
I have a gently-read ARC of this book 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.