Thought for the Day:
“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think…”
~ Lord Byron ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
HERE is a post called 12 Things Everyone Tells You About Writing But Maybe You Need to Hear Them Again. You’re welcome.
Good research is particularly important for historical books. HERE is a fun post from mystery writer Sue Coletta that demonstrates what a gift good research can be for writers.
Books & Such has an interesting post HERE called Publishing’s Tripping Hazards. Good stuff.
Last week I offered a gentry-read ARC of Wildfire by Rodman Philbrook to one of you. This week’s winner is Danielle Hammelef. Congratulations, Danielle! Every time I have a giveaway here and Danielle comments, she shares the link to my blog on social media for extra chances. I appreciate that. Maybe those extra chances are why she won this book. Anyway, it’s a nice thing she does. I don’t have a giveaway this week, but I think I will be having a double giveaway next week, so please keep reading every week.
I wish I could remember where I read about The Disaster Days by Rebecca Behrens, but I just can’t remember. I know I read about the book and it sounded so good, I wanted to get my hands on it quickly. I found a copy at my library and dug right in. I do love survival books like Wildfire, and this is another really good one.
Living on a beautiful island outside Seattle, Washington, is a pretty wonderful place for Hannah Steele, age 13. When her next-door neighbor asks her to babysit Oscar and Zoe, Hannah feels like it will be no big deal. She has taken a babysitting class, and it’s not like the kids are babies. Zoe is in fourth grade and Oscar is in second grade. It’s only Hannah’s second time babysitting, but she isn’t worried, even though Mrs. Matlock will be going into Seattle and off the island and Hannah’s mother will be at work, also off the island. Hannah is a little distracted though as she and her best friend, Neha, are having a fight by text. Still, everything is going along fine when the earth literally starts to move and shake, going on for four minutes, although it seems much longer. The damage is severe. Hannah gets the kids under the dining room table as windows break, pottery falls and shatters, and furniture falls. Even the big refrigerator in the kitchen marched across the floor several feet. But Hannah and the kids are okay. Hannah finds her cell phone won’t call out or text or do anything except act as a flashlight. She assesses things and starts to gather things she thinks will be helpful, including an emergency radio that can be charged with a crank. Zoe gets a shard of glass in her arm, and Hannah has to remove the glass and bandage it, but there is no antibiotic cream to put on it. When darkness falls and they all realize Mrs. Matlock is running very late, Hannah convinces the kids they should settle in for the night and she will wake them when their mother returns. There isn’t much food, and when one of several aftershocks hits, the refrigerator falls over and can’t be opened. Hannah sneaks the radio into the bathroom while the kids sleep and hears reports that make her realize the damage is terrible and far-reaching and the adults probably can’t get back to the island very soon. She is really on her own and things continue to get worse. There is a gas leak and Oscar falls and breaks his leg and the water coming out of the faucet becomes dirty and undrinkable. And then there is the bear. Can Hannah really handle all of this, keep the children and herself reasonably safe, and get the help they need?
Rebecca Behrens has written a pure page-turner that is filled with danger, intrigue, and young characters who discover their own inner strength and resourcefulness. The writing is terrific and the story is so compelling. This is something that could happen to kids. They can learn much by reading this, information that could help them survive a disaster, but it is all embedded in a great story. Once I got started reading it, I just couldn’t put it down. I recommend it!
As I said, no giveaway this week since I refuse to steal books from my library. But next week I will have a double giveaway. Don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.