Thought for the Day:
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.”
~ Robert Lewis Stevenson ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Doug Lewars has an interesting post HERE at A Writer’s Path called Remembering What You Wrote.
Ellen L. Buikema has a great post HERE on Writers in the Storm about Loving Your Hateful Antagonist.
Janice Hardy at Fiction University always has great posts. The post HERE will help you set the tone and mood in your stories. We don’t have music and lighting like the movies, so you need this.
So much is going on right now it is hard to get out of bed in the morning and keep on going. The horrible murder by Minneapolis police officers followed by protests and riots across the country has knocked the pandemic off the front pages, but not out of our lives. I am sickened and deeply saddened by the news this week. My daughters asked me to watch a documentary on Netflix with them called 13th. It is extremely well done and profoundly important. If you have the chance to see it, I recommend it. I don’t have the heart to post a funny meme this week.
Last week, I promised a gently read ARC of Kids Fight Plastic by Martin Dorey and illustrated by Tim Wesson to one of you. This week’s winner is Stephanie@Fairday’s Blog. Congratulations, Stephanie! I will get your book out to you soon. If you don’t know Stephanie, she and her writing partner have written a couple of terrific middle-grade mysteries. You can learn more about this and find some great book reviews, riddles, and more at The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow blog HERE.
The pandemic has slowed a lot of things down, and even the book review I write for isn’t getting as many books as usual. This has given me a chance to knock some titles off my TBR list. This week I read one I have wanted to read for quite a while, The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor. I had read another of Leslie Connor’s books, All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook (my review HERE) and loved it. I had also heard so much about how good this book was, that I was thrilled to have time to read it now. Here is my review.
Mason Buttle is big — bigger than anyone else in his grade, bigger than even some of the adults at school — and he sweats a LOT and he really can’t read or write. But he is sweet and caring and honest as the day is long. He lives with his grandmother and his Uncle Drum in a house that is crumbling around them. Uncle Drum has been selling off parts of the huge apple orchard that has supported the family for a long time, but since Gramps and Mason’s mom had died six years earlier, nothing is the same, and Uncle Drum doesn’t seem to want to do anything much. And then about a year ago, Mason lost his best friend, Benny Kilmartin. In fact, Mason had found Benny’s body at the foot of the tree that held their tree fort, and the police lieutenant keeps asking Mason questions about it, but Mason has trouble telling the story because the lieutenant keeps interrupting and not listening well.
Mason is relentlessly bullied by a couple of boys at school — Matt Drinker and Lance Pierson — and when Mason makes a new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, he becomes another target for Matt and Lance. The friendship between Calvin and Mason grows, and it is really good for both of them. But then something terrible happens, and everything changes.
Leslie Connor chose to write this book in first-person from Mason’s point of view. It’s a terrific choice. Readers really understand the particular learning and physical problems Mason has to deal with daily and are able to feel what he feels. It is an amazing story, beautifully written and filled with well-rounded, interesting, and credible characters most with his or her own interesting back-story. Keep some tissues at hand when you read this one. It will touch your heart.
No giveaway this week. I donated 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.