Thought for the Day:
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
~ Kurt Vonnegut ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
All writers want to write great sentences. Martin Amis explains his Method for Writing Great Sentences HERE on Open Culture. Pretty interesting.
Jane Friedman has a great post HERE with excellent examples to help you with The 3 Ms of Character Setup.
Janice Hardy has (here’s a surprise) a really good post HERE at Fiction University with 10 Traits of a Strong Antagonist.
And the beat goes on. 2020 just gets better and better. This week my daughter suggested I check on my voter registration, which I thought was awfully good advice. In California, I was not only able to check on my voter registration, but I was able to sign up to track my mail-in ballot and receive text alerts at each step. I have been voting by mail for a very long time. It works, despite what anyone says. My sister posted this link on Facebook — https://www.vote411.org/ — which works, I believe, from any state to check your registration and request a ballot. This is probably the most important election of our lives. And with the post office under severe threat, please get your ballot turned in as early as possible. And something I thought I would never say, buy stamps. We all need to support the post office. Okay, stepping down from my soapbox now.
I am always keeping my eyes open for books that will help young people be more inclusive in their lives. There is so much peer pressure at that age, so much bullying, and so much misunderstanding. So when I find a book that looks like it might help in that area, I grab it. Rick by Alex Gino came up for review at the Manhattan Book Review, and it sounded like it might be a good choice. It was. And isn’t that a great cover? I love it. Here is the review I wrote for them.
Rick is starting middle school, and things are pretty much the same, right? Rick and his best friend Jeff fall into place as always. But Jeff is loud and proud about some things that make Rick very uncomfortable. Jeff seems to think everyone who isn’t just like him is fair game, and he particularly picks on kids in the Rainbow Spectrum club—a safe place for kids in the LGBTQIAP+ community. But Rick is questioning a lot about himself. He doesn’t get excited about girls but doesn’t get excited about boys either. He’s confused. His father talks about girls to him a lot. His mother makes it clear it’s okay for him to like boys. It’s Rick’s grandfather and Rainbow Spectrum who really open doors for him.
Author Alex Gino has done a terrific job writing about an important, difficult subject for middle-graders. The characters are credible and will-rounded, the situations are things to which kids will relate, and the handling of the subject matter is deft. Readers will find themselves cheering for Rick to make good choices and learn to live his life on his terms. This will be a great discussion starter for middle-grade classes.
I have a gently-read ARC 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.