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365 Days to Alaska — Review

Thought for the Day:

“Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But ‘said’ is far less intrusive than ‘grumbled,’ ‘gasped,’ ‘cautioned,’ ‘lied.’”
~ Elmore Leonard ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

I never think very much about fashion when I’m writing, but M. L. Davis at Uninspired Writers makes a good case in her post HERE for paying attention to that.

There is a reason classics are classic, and there is much to be learned from them by writers. C. S. Lakin at Live Write Thrive has a great post HERE with 5 Insightful Things a Writer Can Learn from 5 Timeless Classics.

We all use stock characters to some extent in our writing, but one needs to be careful. Melissa Donovan at Writing Forward has a very useful post HERE that will help you use stock or cloned characters appropriately.

Happy Easter to all of my friends here who celebrate it. We had a friend of my daughter’s (we are all vaccinated) join us today. She located to northern California last year to work in the wine industry, and her family is in the Midwest and the East Coast. Easter is a big deal holiday for her, and she really wanted to celebrate with a family even if it couldn’t be her own. We were quite honored she chose us. Her family celebrates Easter with a Mexican brunch, so that’s what we did. My granddaughter and daughters cooked up quite a feast for us, and our guest brought some amazing wine. It was a good day. I hope all of you had a good day as well.

Last week, I offered a copy of 7 Reasons Not to Grow Up by Jimmy Gownley. This week’s winner is Danielle Hammelef. Congratulations, Danielle! She always shares my link for extra chances and it worked this week in her favor. Thanks for doing that, Danielle. I appreciate it. I will send your book as soon as I can get to the post office.

I recently won a copy of 365 Days to Alaska by Cathy Carr. I wish I could tell you which blog it was from which I won it, but I just can’t remember. Blushing here. I was also assigned it for review with the Seattle Book Review. I really love this book. It’s so well-written and relevant for middle-grade readers. Here is the review I wrote for SBR.

Rigel lives with her two sisters and her parents in the wilderness of Alaska. They are pretty self-sufficient and don’t need to go into town, which is located miles away, very often. The girls are home schooled and really love their life. But tension between their parents is growing, and they eventually announce they are divorcing. The girls’ mother will take them to Connecticut where they will live with her and her mother. Their dad promises Rigel that she can come back in one year. Rigel has trouble adjusting to her new school, but eventually finds ways to cope. As the year goes on, communications from their dad trickle down to nothing. A phone call to a friend in Alaska and news of her father changes everything for Rigel.

Cathy Carr

Author Cathy Carr has written a terrific story that perfectly captures the angst of a middle-school girl torn from a home and father she loves and all she has to go through to navigate a new home, school, and life. Readers see her grow and change as she figures out what is really important in life and what it is that truly makes a family. The writing is great and the story compelling. This is a real winner.

I have no giveaway this week since I will donate the nice hardback copy I got to the school. Don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

22 thoughts on “365 Days to Alaska — Review”

  1. Thank you, Rosie! I have this week’s featured book on my wish list–I have fond memories of summers in Alaska camping and can’t wait to get back there by reading this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Enjoyed your link to a post about classic books. Very interesting and well written!

    What a culture shock, moving from the Alaskan wilderness to Connecticut. I love stories about Alaska, but this one is in reverse. Will have to check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great Easter here, too.
    I’ve had 365 Days to Alaska on my radar since January. Contemporary stories like this one are always a favorite. Hopefully, I’ll get to reading a copy myself this summer.
    I also liked the classic books link. So much to absorb!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad you had a nice Easter—it sounds like your special guest did too! 365 Days to Alaska sounds like an excellently executed MG story—I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about it! Thank you for the quote about using “said”—with my very occasional dabbling in fiction-writing, I have made the mistake of using a different verb, and it really does mess everything up. I love the meme as well! Thanks for the great post, as always!

    Liked by 1 person

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