These Unlucky Stars — Review

Thought for the Day:

“I learned to write by reading the kind of books I wished I’d written.”
~ Barbara Kingsolver ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Melissa Donovan has a good post HERE on Writing Forward with 21 Do-It-Yourself Editing Tips.

Joan Hall has a great post HERE on the Story Empire Blog about the Know-It-All Character Type. It looks like this is the third in a series on character types. I missed the first two, but she has links to them in the post. Very helpful stuff.

Kristen Overman has an excellent post HERE on Good Story Company that will help you with How to Create Characters.

When I was still teaching, I was the adviser for both yearbook and the school newspaper for a couple of years. I discovered that I really loved doing page layout. The poor kids hardly ever got a chance to do layout because I was having so much fun. I am a member of the California Writers Club in Sacramento, and for the past few years I have been the newsletter layout editor. I still love it. The last weekend of each month is the time for that. I started on the newsletter midday yesterday, but I had to take a break to watch the Giants game. It seems the Giants can’t play a game in under four hours, but at least they won. Consequently, I finished the layout at one this morning. I’m an old lady. I’m always in bed by eleven!

This morning, I was invited to meet a former student and his beautiful family for his son’s soccer game that was being held very near my house. They live a couple hours away from me, so it was a great chance to see them and get in a visit. This is all to say, I don’t have anything very scintillating to write about today, so here are a few writer jokes for you.

How many science fiction writers does it take to change a light bulb?
Two, but it’s actually the same person doing it. He went back in time and met himself in the doorway and then the first one sat on the other one’s shoulder so that they were able to reach it. Then a major time paradox occurred and the entire room, light bulb, changer and all was blown out of existence. They co-existed in a parallel universe, though.
How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Two. One to screw it almost all the way in, and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.
How many screenwriters does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Why does it have to be changed?
How many cover blurb writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

I ran across a review of These Unlucky Stars by Gillian McDunn a couple months ago, and it sounded really good. I was happy to see it show up on the available-for-review list from the Portland Book Review. I requested it and was excited to read it. I loved the idea of how words have such a powerful impact on peoples’ lives, and I loved the book. I have had her book Caterpillar Summer on my TBR list for ages. I really need to get to it! Here is the review I wrote for PBR.

Annie lives with her dad and brother Ray in the small town of Oak Branch. Her mother told Annie she was born under unlucky stars and then left when Annie was only four. She misses her mother inconsolably and can’t get past her bad luck. She doesn’t have any friends and is only happy when she is sitting on the roof drawing her beautiful mountains. Annie is dared one day to play dong-dong-ditch, and when she is ready to ring the bell, a scary dog started barking, and an old woman in the house falls and calls for help. It is all unlucky Annie’s fault. She calls her father and they take the woman, Gloria, to the hospital. Annie goes every day to Gloria’s house to take care of the dog and help Gloria as she heals. But maybe Gloria isn’t the only one healing.

Gillian McDunn

Gillian McDunn has written a sweet story middle-grade readers will relate to. The characters are well-rounded, interesting, and very real. The dialogue is pitch-perfect for the middle-grade set, and the writing is excellent. The story is compelling and the family dynamics will speak to young people.

I have no giveaway this week since I will donate the nice hardback copy I got. Don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE. He always has links to several middle-grade reviews, and he writes reviews on his own blog two or three times a week. See you here soon!

20 thoughts on “These Unlucky Stars — Review”

  1. I always enjoy reading your gifts for your writer friends even though I have no aspirations of becoming a writer. And I really enjoyed reading your review of These Unlucky Stars. I’ve read other books by Gillian McDunn and enjoyed them, so I’m sure I’ll like this one, too. Thanks for your review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The inter-generational aspect of the story was a highlight for me. The MC carried the story well and I’d like to see another book with her as the focus.
    The links as always were worth the time. Reminders and new learning help me focus on the writing task. Very helpful!
    I’m glad the Rockies made it a worthwhile for Giant’s fans. It’s about all that team has gotten right the past few years. At least we have a sliver of hope for our football team.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you like the links. I don’t watch much football anymore. I used to. Since I don’t have a team, I will keep good thoughts for the Broncos. I hope they have a great season. Thanks for visiting.


  3. Rosi, Thank you for the writer’s hints. I especially felt the resonation of John Howell’s quotes for writers from writers (a link from Story Empire.com). “The miraculous connection between writing and the immune system…”

    Liked by 1 person

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