Thought for the Day:
“Persist. Talent is no guarantee of success; persistence is. You can learn to be a better writer. You can write more drafts, take more classes, query more agents. If you persist at what you need to do to become a published author, you will succeed.”
~ Jordan Rosenfeld ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Greg pointed out to me that my link for umping your slump didn’t work. I can’t find that same post, so HERE is a link to another post on overcoming writer’s block from he same blog.
Have an idea for a story, but not much more than an idea? The post HERE from Janice Hardy at Fiction University can help you figure out what to do with your idea.
There is a difference between copy-editing and proofreading and that is explained nicely by Just Publishing Advice HERE with some great examples.
When last we met, I offered an ARC of Big Nate: Payback Time by Lincoln Peirce to one of you. This week’s winner, who ALWAYS shares my link in several place for extra chances, is Danielle Hammelef. Congratulations, Danielle! I will get your book out to you soon. Everyone, please stay tuned for another giveaway.
Every now and then, I receive an email from a publicist who offers me some books for review. I am happy that one I hear from regularly is Candlewick Press. I always find some things on their list that interest me. The Dog Who Lost His Bark written by Eoin Colfer and illustrated by P. J. Lynch caught my attention right away. I mean, look at that cover! How can you not want to read that book? Even though an illustrator is listed, this is not a picture book. It has a lot of wonderful illustrations, but is a novel for middle-graders, I would say 2nd through 4th grade, although reluctant readers, especially those who love dog stories, up to 6th grade, will be taken with this one as well. Let me tell you a bit about it.
If the cover doesn’t break your heart, the story will — at least parts of it. The story opens with a puppy who is the shyest of a litter. The pups and their mother are owned by a mean guy, and after almost all the other pups are gone, the puppy is claimed by a new owner, but that family is also mean, and the puppy is badly abused. Finally the pup is literally thrown away. He ends up in a shelter and there he is claimed by a boy who seems nice, but the dog isn’t about to be fooled. It takes a long time but finally the boy, Patrick, wins the puppy over. He names him Oz, which is what Patrick’s father calls Australia where the father is touring with his band. Patrick and Oz are very happy together — until Patrick gets bad news. His father, Patrick is told, will be coming back to the states, but not to live with Patrick and his family. His father has a new girlfriend. Patrick is broken-hearted and shuts Oz out. Can anything heal this hurt?
Eoin Colfer has written a complex story looking at some very difficult issues that elementary students might find distressing. That said, it might make a good read-aloud in the classroom to generate discussions. The illustrations by P. J. Lynch are perfectly enchanting and may send readers out shopping for puppies. The book wont’ be out until September, but you can pre-order it now so you don’t forget.
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.