A Talent for Trouble — Review

Thought for the Day:

“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”
~ Shannon Hale ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

It’s awfully important to have clarification on your theme as you write your novel. C. S. Lakin at Live Write Thrive has a great post HERE with 4 Ways to Bring Out Theme in Your Story.

Why do I keep posting links to articles about filter words? Because, as Susan Dennard tells us HERE on Pub Crawl, we need to remind ourselves over and over that this is a problem.

Mellissa Donovan has a great article HERE on Writing Forward that has 100 Common-Sense Ways to Write Better.

And 2020 marches on with the Covid crisis getting worse by the day, and the presidential drama getting ever more dramatic, and the word million coming to mean a few thousand. What a strange year this has been and continues to be. I sure hope things will settle down soon. It will be nice to not have to think about politics for awhile. We are busy planning for holidays like no others. We made the hard decision this week we can’t bring my grandson home for a visit, which makes us all very sad. But we are all well, and I will have my two daughters and granddaughter and son-in-law here with some nice family meals. It is the best we can hope for in this strange year.

Last week, I offered a gently-read ARC of Clan by Sigmund Brouwer to one of you. This week’s winner is Nancy. Congratulations, Nancy! I will get your book to you soon. I know you will enjoy it.

This week I want to talk about a book I should have reviewed long, long ago. It’s one of those books I donated to the school and it fell off my radar, but I just loved it, and I don’t want it to be missed by any of you. The book is A Talent for Trouble by Natasha Farrant, and it is a real romp. Here is the review I wrote for the Manhattan Book Review.

Alice lives at Cherry Grange, a sweet cottage in the English countryside. She misses her mother, who died a few years earlier, and her father, who travels a lot, but she has her Aunt Patience to take care of her. Unfortunately, they can’t afford to keep the cottage. Aunt Patience sells it and sends Alice to Stormy Loch, a Scottish boarding school.

Natasha Farrant

On her way there, Alice meets another student, Jesse, but they have a misunderstanding. Then she meets Fergus and they become friends, which hurts Jesse. Alice receives a mysterious package and instructions to meet her father. When Alice, Fergus, and Jesse are assigned to team up for an orienteering challenge, Alice sees this as the chance to meet up with her father. What could go wrong?

Author Natasha Farrant has written an adventure that will have youngsters holding their collective breath and turning pages as fast as they can read them. The story is very compelling, the characters are endearing and realistically flawed, and the writing is crisp. The second-person perspective with a true storyteller at the helm is perfect for this sweeping story. Although the cover is cute, it doesn’t represent the excitement inside.

I have no giveaway this week since I long ago 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.

26 thoughts on “A Talent for Trouble — Review”

  1. Rosi, your craft tips are always helpful. I have one to share with you and your readers. Barbara Dee, author of 9 MG novels wrote a guest blog post on CYNSATIONS blog (penned by Cynthia Leitich Smith).called “Keeping It MG- Handling Tough Subjects in Fiction. It was published June 7, 2018. Dee’s knowledge of MG readers is authentic and her list of mentor texts is extensive and current. I hope you can find the article. If nit, I can send the link to your email to share with your audience.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like a mystery, and you know how I love mysteries. Also enjoyed the links, thanks. Right now I’m immersed in a poetry collection, but when I get through that, I’ll be returning to a mystery, so these are all good tips for me to keep in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What’s Gilligan’s Island? 😉
    Thanks for the great set of links. Perfect reminders for writers no matter what their level.
    A TALENT FOR TROUBLE is a book I’ve been wanting to read for the past year. Thanks for the reminder how enjoyable it will be when time allows. I hope you enjoy the holidays with your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the review. I’m sure kids will love A Talent for Trouble! Have wonderful holidays with your family. It’s sad that your grandson will, again, not be able to join you. What a year! Come on, 2021!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love that cover — it is so appealing. I could use a break from a lot of the serious books I’ve been reading. Would be fun story to read. Love the Gilligan’s Island meme!

    Enjoy your holidays with your daughters. Our families aren’t going to risk any gatherings — especially since my husband is 84. Until a few weeks ago I didn’t know anyone who had COVID. Now my sister-in-law has it and a 2-year-old great nephew was exposed. We also know five people with COVID, two have passed. So glad to hear the news today about another vaccine. We have to focus on what we are thankful for in the coming weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This sounds like a really cool story! I’ve never seen a full book in second-person before—the closest I’ve ever seen was the second-person portion of Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead. I’m sorry your holidays have been flipped upside down—the pandemic really does ruin everything, doesn’t it? I love the quote and meme! Thank you for the wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

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