Thought for the Day:
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
~ Arthur Ashe ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Bethany Henry wrote a guest post HERE on Fiction University called 5 Reasons Our Characters Need to Fail. It’s a good one.
Proofreading is both important and hard to do. Why not learn from the best? Louise Harnby has a great post HERE that will give you 10 Ways to Proof Your Own Writing.
Author bios are a necessary evil for writers. Writing a good one, though, can make all the difference. The Happy Self-Publisher has a really good post HERE with excellent examples that will help make the job easier.
I am not going to be in isolation alone much longer. My daughter Maggie, like every other actor in America right now, is an out-of-work actor. She found a long-term renter for her home in upstate New York and flew, gloved, scarfed, masked and goggled, to Sacramento on Friday. She is quarantining for two weeks at a friend’s empty apartment and then will be here with me until things change. Best Mother’s Day present ever. I’m very excited! I am feeling a little less frozen, doing more reading, and even dipping my toe into my writing a tiny bit. I hope you are all doing well and staying safe.
Last week I offered a gently-read ARC of Sylvie by Sylvie Kantorovitz. Our winner this week is Janet Smart. Congratulations, Janet! I will get your book out to you as soon as I can get someone to go to the post office. It might be a while. If you don’t know Janet, she is an author from West Virginia. Check out her blog, Writing in the Blackberry Patch HERE, and find out more about her and her writing.
I regularly read a blog by a woman named Afoma Umesi. She posts wonderful book reviews and lists of good books. Most are middle-grade, but sometimes she posts about YA. I saw a list on her blog of the 25 Best Middle-Grade Books about Homelessness and Poverty. I had read some of the books and was intrigued by others. I got a copy of My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder after reading about it on that list and after seeing that cover. How could you pass that cover by? Here are my thoughts.
Leah has had a difficult year. Everything has changed. Her friends have distanced themselves and seem to be going in different directions. Her parents almost seem like ghosts in the house — her father lost in his phone and his job, her mother just lost. And Leah is burdened with immense sadness. When she is out walking one day at an old farm, she runs across a girl her own age sitting on a rock in the creek. Leah is instantly engaged by this free-spirited girl with an interesting name, Jasper, and they become fast friends. If Leah weren’t in such a fog of sadness, she might pick up on some of the cues Jasper puts out there about her situation. Jasper washes her clothes in the creek, she doesn’t keep herself clean, she is staying in an abandoned house, she is always hungry. But when each girl reveals her deepest secrets, that fog lifts. How to help is a real dilemma.
Laurel Snyder is a terrific writer, painting beautiful pictures with her words and absolutely nailing the uniqueness of the 12-year-old mind. Her characters are well-rounded and completely credible and engaging. The dual storylines of the two girls make for a wonderfully complex and rich book. My only small complaint is that I felt the ending was a bit predictable and perhaps too tidy. That doesn’t take away from the fact that I enjoyed this book immensely and think it will open the eyes of readers to a world too many of our young people already understand. I really recommend this book.
No giveaway this week. I am donating my hardbound copy to the school library. But check back next week. I may have a giveaway then. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.