Thought for the Day:
“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life–think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”
~ Swami Vivekananda ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
I ran across something I hadn’t seen before, but it made perfect sense to me as soon as I read it. Mindy Halleck wrote a guest post HERE at A Writer’s Path about How Objects Tell Your Story. This is great stuff.
Dialogue is so important to any book. Make sure you are doing it right. K. M. Allen has a great post with a Dialogue Checklist for you HERE.
A lot of posts talk about the saggy middle of a novel, but the closing can be just as difficult. HERE Anne R. Allen has 6 Do’s and Don’ts for Bringing your Novel to a Satisfying Conclusion.
I have signed up to take some on-line picture book classes. I have never been very good about reading books about craft, but I think the on-line classes might work for me. I have some picture manuscripts I’ve been working on and would sure like to get them published. Of course, when you want to write something, you really need to read in that genre, so I have been reading a LOT of picture books. I don’t mention them here often, but I read one today that just knocked my socks off, and I think it could be a very good read-aloud for middle-graders. It is Each Kindness by the very prolific Jacqueline Woodson, and it is very powerful. Read it if you can.
I received some books from Candlewick Press in December in exchange for reviews. I’m trying to make sure this stack doesn’t get lost in my book-filled house. I could not resist a book with the title of The Summer We Found the Baby by Amy Hest. It just sounded too good. And it is historical fiction, and if you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that is my favorite genre. It’s a super quick read and a really fun story. And that cover! So sweet. Here is the review I posted on Goodreads.
Bruno Ben-Eli, age 12, lives in a small beach town on Long Island. He’s not one of the summer people. This place is his home. His older brother is overseas fighting against the Nazis in the big war, and Bruno really misses him. Julie, a girl Bruno’s age, and her little sister Martha move nearby for the summer. Julie and Ben are friends for a while, but they have a falling out and aren’t speaking when something quite extraordinary happens. Julie and Martha are going to the dedication of the new town library and find a baby in a basket on the front steps. Julie and Martha take the baby, and, although Bruno is supposed to take the train to New York City on an important errand for his brother, instead he follows what he perceives to be the kidnapping girls. Mysteries abound.
Amy Hest has written a sweet story that will take little time to read. She tells the story from the points of view of Bruno, Julie, and Martha and each has a very distinctive voice. This is no easy task, but Hest handles it with aplomb. Readers will be completely transported to a different time and place, and they will really understand what it was like to be a kid during WWII. This is a really nice piece of historical fiction for middle-graders, and it has a lot of heart and humor to keep them turning pages.
I have a gently-used 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. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.