Thought for the Day:
“You might not write well every day, but you can edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
~ Jodi Picoult ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
We all hit creative slumps, so when I saw the post HERE by Macy Thornhill guesting on The Creative Penn, I thought it would be worth a read. It sure is. Number 5 is particularly pertinent to me.
Looking for an agent? NY Book Editors has a very helpful post HERE on how to land an agent.
As writers, we all love words. HERE is an article about some 1920s slang we should bring back in 2020. This is a lot of fun. Enjoy!
Once in a while, I have time to read an actual book for grown-ups. When I have that time, it’s almost always a mystery/thriller. I love them. I saw an ad recently for a new TV series called The Dublin Murders that will start early December. I realized it was based on a book that had been sitting on my bookshelf for a few years that I had never gotten around to reading. Well, I actually had time to do some recreational reading last week (while I was avoiding my writing) and started reading In the Woods by Tara French. It is absolutely riveting and it’s long. Around 450 pages and those pages are very dense. I read so many middle-grade books, I forget sometimes how much lovely white space there is in MG books, and that they are usually in a slightly larger font. I think In the Woods was probably a ten-point font. I guess I’m getting old. At least my eyes are. I had to take large breaks as my vision became downright blurry. Maybe it’s time for me to move to large-print books or an e-reader for adult books. Anyway, terrific book and worth the time, but not for the kiddoes.
I want to tell you about two new middle-grade books I’ve just read. I received ARCs from the publisher in exchange for honest reviews. I gobbled these two books up like chocolate. They are both delicious. They are A Piglet Called Truffle and A Duckling Called Button, the first two books in the new Jasmine Green Rescues series by Helen Peters and illustrated by Ellie Snowden. Let me tell you about them.
In a Piglet Called Truffles, Jasmine goes with her veterinarian mother to a neighboring farm. While there, Jasmine discovers a tiny runt when she visits the sty to see the newborn piglets. The farmer isn’t interested in caring for it, so Jasmine sneaks it home. She gives it medicine and food and keeps it warm, saving it. Her parents and the neighboring farmer allow her to keep it. This is her first rescue. She wants to have an animal rescue business one day with her friend Tom. She names it Truffles and actually trains it to sniff things out. That skill becomes really important when Tom’s guinea pigs Jasmine is caring for are lost in a storm.
In A Duckling Called Buttons, Naomi and Tom are out walking Naomi’s pet pig Truffle when an off-leash dog belonging to Bella Bradley — who should really be called Bella Bratly — chases the new lambs and then kills a duck. Naomi and Tom find the duck’s nest. Some of the eggs have been broken, but there are four left. The two children take the duck eggs home, arranging to borrow an incubator. It is decided Naomi will care for them and try to hatch them. It is a lot of work! And it takes a lot of patience. Ultimately, only one of the eggs makes it to hatching a living duckling. This duckling, which she names Button, goes on to be quite the hero in this sweet story.
Helen Peters has written a pair of really sweet stories that will engage elementary readers and keep them turning pages. The cute illustrations by Ellie Snowdon help emerging readers transition from picture books to novels. This is the first in a series that are bound to become fast favorites for the 7 to 10-year-old group and reluctant readers who may be a little older. The stories are compelling enough to engage them.
I have gently-used ARCs of these 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. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.