Rick — Review and Giveaway

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.

Meme 2020 Alien InvasionAnd 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.

RickI 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.

Alex Gino
Alex Gino

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.



24 thoughts on “Rick — Review and Giveaway”

  1. This book sounds like an important addition to a middle-grade/middle-school library collection because it includes many timely topics to that age group. Thanks for sharing this one for MMGM. :0} {No need to include me in this giveaway.}

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like a wonderful book! I haven’t actually read any books by Alex Gino yet, but from what I’ve heard, they’ve done a wonderful job adding LGBTQIAP+ representation to MG literature! I love the quote and the meme, as always—it feels like so much impossible stuff has happened lately, why not add an alien invasion to the mix? I’ll pass on the giveaway, but thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve seen this book before and immediately added it to my TBR–this sounds so good. I shared on tumblr, twitter, and Facebook. Thanks for the post today and chance to win a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed Alex’s previous book and this one should hit home for many families. I also like your comment about it being a good discussion starter. Thanks for featuring on MMGM.
    Enjoyed the links as I am always trying to make my characters stronger. You keep my brain active each Monday with your selections.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an intriguing book. Love the cover — and the stickers on Rick’s backpack make you think of him as every other kid. This is such an important topic. I like that author shows that he’s trying to find himself — he’s not sure he likes girls or boys. Many kids that age share that struggle. Will have to read it to find out how it ends. Excellent review.

    Sent our ballott requests for the General Election weeks ago. I got a phone call confirmation. And, I love how you can follow your ballott on line. Doesn’t sound like fraud to me! I have boted absentee for years because I travel in November. Probably not this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This sounds like a great story that will help some middle graders as they are figuring things out about themselves and others. Glad you liked it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for the excellent revue, Rosi, and for the reminder to get our absentee ballots. We’ve been voting absentee for many years. We think having the ballot at home where we can study those very important but little mentioned races and issues before voting has helped us vote more intelligently!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Excellent voting advice and thanks for the link, Rosi. I’d like to point out that this month marks 100 years women have been voting and I’m grateful to all the suffragettes who spent decades of their time to give me the privilege.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I definitely plan to vote! I hope people mail them in or go in person (if it is safe- I know the process is different everywhere). I didn’t know that about that voting/ballot website- so I plan to go there and check it out.

    Rick sounds like an interesting book- and one kids need. I hadn’t heard of it. I will definitely need to check it out to see if it is a good fit for my library (sounds like it is from your review). Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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