Thought for the Day:
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
~ Vincent Van Gogh ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
I found the link on KidLit411 to a terrific post on Ingrid’s Notes HERE from a few years ago with a Character Questionnaire: Getting to the Guts of Your Character.
Antagonists, those characters we love to hate, are critical to any good novel. C. S. Lakin at Live Write Thrive has a good post HERE with excellent examples that will help you build engaging protagonists.
Doug Lewars has an interesting post HERE on A Writer’s Path called Coming Up With a Unique Book Title. I think titles are hard, so this was a welcome post.
Things settled down here in Northern California, at least for several days, and we were able to open our windows and walk outside fairly fresh air. The smoke is back and we weren’t able to do these things today. But, I keep telling myself, about this and other unhappy things going on in the country, this too shall pass. Sooner rather than later, I hope. I am not seeing much good news on the Covid front, and I am still thinking I will be staying home until the spring at the earliest. What a year! At my age, I usually pray time will slow down, but I could sure use a fast forward button right now. Stay safe out there, everyone.
I don’t remember where I heard of The Time of Green Magic by Hilary McKay, but I read about it somewhere and immediately asked the book review people to see if they could get a review copy for me. Fortunately for me the Seattle Book Review was able to get it. I usually don’t read books that are at all scary, and this one has some scares, but nothing a middle-grader and I can’t handle. I’m awfully in love with that cover, too. This book is terrific. Here is the review I wrote for book review.
Abi finds herself in the middle of a new family with two brothers — Max, a little older, and Louis, younger by six years — when her father, Theo, falls in love and remarries. It’s hard. They need to find a bigger place to live in. They find an odd, ivy-covered house that Abi thinks is magical, but magic isn’t always fun. Theo and Polly have to work more, often leaving the kids to their own devices. Abi has a couple of scares while reading books she found in the house, but things get terribly frightening when Louis invites a creature called Iffen into his room. Iffen grows and becomes demanding and threatening. Can the kids come together and save the family?
Author Hilary McKay has written a perfectly enchanting story with beautifully developed characters readers will love and root for, and she has put them in danger that is, at moments, heart-pounding and palpable. All this magic is embedded in very real problems young people face with blended families, sharing parents and space, and learning to live together. The writing is splendid and the story a real page-turner. This book deserves readership beyond the intended middle-grade audience.
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.