Thought for the Day:
“A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.”
~ Sidney Sheldon ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
I have often thought about writing a book with talking animals, but I never tackled it. But since reading the article from The Writer HERE by Yi Shun Lai called From the Front Lines: Writing Compelling Animals that Talk, I just might try it.
We have all been told it is important to include comp titles in our pitches. The Raven Quill Literary Agency has a great post HERE called The Dreaded “Comp Titles”: What Are They and How Do You Use Them?
It’s always a good idea to ramp up tension whenever you can. Janice Hardy at Fiction University has 8 Suspense-Boosting Techniques for Writers HERE to help you with that.
I have enjoyed most of my little vacation from blogging. I have gotten a lot of reading done and will be telling you about most of it as time goes on. I was grateful to have 2020 come to an end, and I somehow thought things would start to get better right away. What a foolish thought. The pandemic is raging more than ever, the vaccines aren’t getting to people very quickly. I’m a pretty senior senior, so I should be near the top of the list, but it seems until I have another birthday, I won’t be old enough. Ah, well, I’m sure my day will come soon. And then came January 6 and the angry mob of armed thugs fomented by the so-called president, and congresspeople and senators that lied about the results of a free and fair election and objected to confirming the electors, fomenting them even more. Come on January 20. Bring some sanity to our world.
I requested some ARCs from the publicist at Candlewick Press (Walker Books US) not long ago, and one of them was the sort of thing I normally wouldn’t choose, but there was something about the description that captured me. In fact, when I first got the package, they had sent the wrong book and not included this one. I got in touch with the publicist and asked for it again. That is how captured I was. It was the right move. Here is my review of Leonard (My Life as a Cat) by Carlie Sorosiak.
In a galaxy far, far away, beings are immortal. Each being, to celebrate one’s 300th birthday, is allowed to visit Earth for one month. The being can take on any form it likes — penguin, elephant, or human — and spend that month experiencing life on Earth in the chosen form. The beings study life on Earth by watching things like I Love Lucy shows. One of these aliens has been planning his trip to Earth for quite a while, and he is ready to take his place as a park ranger at Yellowstone National Park. He has dreamed of his month on Earth. “I’d … carry many useful things in my pockets: a Swiss Army knife, a butterfly net, a variety of pens for writing. Humor is a valued trait among humans, so for an entire year, I exclusively prepared jokes.” He wants to hold an umbrella in his hands, and he really can’t wait to have hands. But sometimes excitement overcomes one and one loses focus. This is what happens to our little alien. He loses focus on his way to Yellowstone, and instead of becoming a park ranger there for the month, he becomes a cat in South Carolina, rescued from a storm by an eleven-year-old girl named Olive. She is staying with her grandmother, Norma, and they both volunteer at the aquarium, working with a great guy named Q, a good friend of Norma’s. Olive names the cat Leonard, and Leonard has 30 days to figure out how to get to Yellowstone, his pick up point, or he will never be able to return to his own planet. While Leonard has the ability to converse with other animals, finding a way to talk to humans is no easy task. Leonard has his hands full trying to figure out how to communicate, whom to trust, and how to travel over 2000 miles in time to be picked up. It’s quite a tale.
I absolutely loved every word of this book. It made me laugh out loud, it had lots of tension to keep the pages turning, and it brought me to tears. The story concept is unique, the characters are all believable and interesting, there is lots of humor, and the writing is spectacular. Buy this one for every middle-grade kid you know and get a copy for yourself. You won’t regret it. I received an ARC from the publisher, Walker Books US, in exchange for an honest review.
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.