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Things Seen From Above — Review

Thought for the Day:

“When it comes to people – don’t write about who you know, but what you know of human nature.”
~ Candace Bushnell ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

I think it’s always informative to read hints from successful writers. HERE you will find an article called How I Do It: Anne Rice on Writing Technique. She’s pretty successful and has some great ideas.

Body language is important in developing a well-rounded character, but too much can be a distraction. Ellen Buikema has a good post HERE on Writers in the Storm with A Look at Body Language in Writing.

Jami Gold always packs a lot of good information into her posts, but the post HERE on Storytelling Verb Tenses: Past, Present, and “Literary” Past Tense packs a wallop.

1A7026AA-9BB6-4F8E-ABCD-616B341CE704Still laying low and trying to avoid the Covid. The numbers are not encouraging, but we must each do what we can. I hope all of you are staying safe and taking good care. That’s about all we can do. And read a lot. That’s something else we can do. I have been reading a lot, including picture books. I don’t talk about them here very often, but I do want to mention a new one today. Nancy Bo Flood is a favorite author of mine. Everything she writes is magical. Her latest offering is very special. I Will Dance tells the story of a young girl named Eva who has cerebral palsy, but she dreams of dancing in a troupe with other dancers. She is able to find a dance company that welcomes everyone who wants to dance no matter I Will Dancewhat their abilities. This is a place where dreams really do come true. This uplifting and beautiful story (with gorgeous art by Julianna Swaney) just came out and, I believe, part of the profits go to support Experience Young Dance, a Minnesota dance troupe of all ages and abilities. I highly recommend it.

Last week I offered a gently-read ARC of The Unteachables by Gordon Korman. This week’s winner is Natalie Aguirre. Congratulations, Natalie! I will get your book out soon. For those of you who don’t know Natalie, you are missing a LOT. She has an incredible blog called Literary Rambles (HERE) with agent interviews, author interviews, links to all kinds of useful things, and more. If you don’t know her blog, you should really check it out. I try to never miss it.

Things Seen From AboveI’d like to tell you about a wonderful book I found for review on the Manhattan Book Review list this spring. I had read an earlier book by this author, The Seventh Most Important Thing, that I just loved, so I was happy to get another book by her.  Things Seen From Above by Shelley Pearsall tells a really extraordinary story that will help readers to appreciate and hopefully accept those who see the world in different ways. Here is the review I wrote for them.

Sixth grade isn’t an easy time for anyone, but April is having a particularly hard time. Her best friend has changed a lot, but April really hasn’t changed at all. In an effort to escape the sixth-grade drama, she volunteers to be the Bench Buddy, a person whom kids can come to for companionship, during the fourth-grade lunch. Soon after April takes this on, a new volunteer, Veena, a recent immigrant from India and in fifth grade, joins April. They notice a pale boy who keeps to himself, dragging his feet through the woodchips on the playground. But they discover the shy boy, Joey Byrd, is actually making huge pictures that can only be appreciated from above. Everything changes.

Shelley Pearsall
Shelley Pearsall

Author Shelley Pearsall has found a most interesting set of characters to tell the story of some kids who don’t seem to fit in and one who has an unusual talent. Told in two points of view—April’s and Joey’s—this lovely story will speak to kids who see themselves as living on the fringes and help them to find their own strengths. The writing is beautiful and the story is compelling. Don’t miss this one.

I have no giveaway this week. I have donated the nice hardback copy I got to the school. Don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

28 thoughts on “Things Seen From Above — Review”

  1. This sounds like such a wonderful book. The place where Linda used to work (VSA, Very Special Arts) had such a program. For a few years, Linda assisted with the dance program and danced in the performances with the students, people of all ages with all kinds of disabilities, including those in wheelchairs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Things Seen From Above sounds like a great novel! Also, I Will Dance looks like a wonderful picture book—I looked it up, and the illustrations inside are beautiful! I love the week’s quote and meme. Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You managed to put THINGS SEEN FROM ABOVE at the top of my TBR list. It sounds like a very heart tugging contemporary story. Thanks for featuring on MMGM.
    Your link to Jami Gold’s verb tenses really was gold. A great resource for writers of all ages.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing “I Will Dance” as I’m always searching for PBs that deal with this topic. It is such a hopeful book! And, I loved your review of “As Things Seen From Above,” another book that intrigues me! Bookmarked them both. Thanks for the recommendations!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I will have to look for “I Will Dance.” It would be a good one to use with my students. I’d love to see more books like this. And your MG feature sounds really lovely. I can already picture the characters, and it sounds like a book with a lot of depth and emotion.
    Thanks for your links this week! The body language one is especially helpful as that is something I am working on!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rosi — Thank you for reviewing my newest book, THINGS SEEN FROM ABOVE! I wrote the story to give a voice to the kids on the margins who I believe have so much to offer our classrooms (and our world). Your support means a lot, especially for new books like mine coming out in these challenging times. For your readers who are interested, I’m offering free 20-minute virtual chats about the book through the summer and new school year. They can be booked through my website. Thanks again! Shelley

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have Things Seen From Above, but I have not had a chance to read it soon. Reading this review makes me want to move it up my pile! Sounds like a great one. Also- I Will Dance sounds fantastic. I am going to try to locate a copy to read because I think it will be an important book for some of my students. Thanks for the great recommendations! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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