Tips for Magicians — Review

Thought for the Day:

“Sometimes, when you’re writing sentence by sentence, you’re not really sure what footprints you’re going to fall into, or what ghosts might appear.”
~ Karen Russell ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Eldred Bird has an article on Writers in the Storm HERE that explains what a MacGuffin is. First, it’s very entertaining to read, and secondly, I realized I have a MacGuffin in the novel I’m polishing.

Lisa Hall-Wilson has a very interesting post HERE on Writers in the Storm all about writing in Deep PoV.

M. L. Davis has a great post HERE on Uninspired Writers that will show you how Creating a Playlist — the Soundtrack to Your Story — can be done. I never thought of doing this, but I wish I had.

Well, it was quite a week in baseball, and not in a good way. The Giants dreams were cut short, not by overwhelmingly excellent play by the dastardly Dodgers, but by an umpire who either doesn’t understand what a checked swing is, or wasn’t watching and made the call anyway, or had his brain taken over by an alien. Ugh. The good news is hockey season officially opened, and my beloved Sharks won their first game. I have that to look forward to. The other good news is I am making some very good progress on three writing projects. There is quite a bit of research needed for two of them, and I am kind of a research junky. I have to be careful I don’t get lost in it and forget to get back to the writing, but so far so good. I have also started doing something I have long known I should do, but never did — reading my own work out loud. It’s kind of weird how much I have avoided this. I was talking to my daughter about this reluctance, and I have come to the conclusion that I don’t really like the sound of my own voice. All that said, I now realize what an important step this is. I am finding things — little things — that I never noticed in all the times I have read through my work. It’s a good thing, an important step, in writing.

Last week I offered a gently-read ARC of Linked by Gordon Korman to one of you. This week’s lucky winner is Patricia Tilton. Congratulations, Patricia! If you don’t know Patricia, she is a writer and has a wonderful blog called Children’s Books Heal. Check it out HERE. She has great book reviews you won’t want to miss. Patricia, I will get your book out to you soon.

I ran across a title that caught my interest in looking at books available for review for the Portland Book Review. It was Tips for Magicians by Celesta Rimington. I checked out what the publisher had to say about the book, and it sounded like a good book. I don’t usually read fantasy, but when fantasy is sort of the side show to the main event in a contemporary story, I find that interesting. So I requested and received the book. It was a very good choice for me. I really love this book. Here is the review I wrote for PBR.

Harrison’s dad has been super busy since Harrison’s mom, a famous singer, died in an accident. Harrison is trying to learn magic tricks, but he can’t come up with magic that will keep his dad from taking a traveling job and sending Harrison to live with his aunt in Muse, Nevada, a town with a magical history. There, Harrison makes friends with Marco, a young falconer, and Chloe, a girl he knew years earlier when visiting Muse with his mom. The three seventh-graders work together on projects for an upcoming art festival, hoping to recall the Muse, long absent from the town. Harrison believes it’s the way to get his dad back in his life.

Celesta Rimington

This is truly an enchanting book with well-rounded characters, a compelling story, and a magical setting. Author Celesta Rimington is clearly in touch with her inner child because she nails the voice in this middle-grade, first-person point-of-view book. She tells this story of loss, friendship, family, and home with a great deal of heart and beautiful writing. We see not just Harrison, but Marco and Chloe as well, learn and mature. This book is not to be missed.

I have no giveaway this week since I will donate the nice hardback copy I received. 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!

19 thoughts on “Tips for Magicians — Review”

  1. Glad you’re making progress with your writing. I often read a chapter I’m working on at some point before I submit it to my critique partners. I usually catch errors this way. This sounds like the kind of fantasy I’d like because it’s set in a contemporary setting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for selecting me. Linked will add to my WWII collection — it is the perfect read for me. And I will finally read a Korman book!

    Loved your review today. I have grown to love MG fantasy, but like you I like to see realistic every day issues in the stories. This sounds like another great read! Thanks for sharing today!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you’ve been donating good books to your granddaughter’s school. I love reading them when I win but can’t give them the wide audience the school will provide. I enjoy fantasy and bet the middle graders will as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The links were much appreciated. Such good advice and I do want to try Deep POV . You already have the perfect setup with alien umpires as the focus in one of your future stories.

    Your review selection sounds like one I would enjoy. I’m also not big of fantasy’s unless it has a contemporary background. Thanks for featuring on today’s MMGM. I’ll be tracking down a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you like the links. Yes, that alien umpire might show up in a future manuscript. I think you will like this book. It might make a good read-aloud for your classroom. I hope you have a chance to read it soon. Thanks for always reading and commenting.


  5. I’m so sorry about the Giants and the way the game was called—but I’m glad you’re enjoying hockey! And that’s wonderful that you’re making progress on your writing and reading your work aloud—I can imagine that would feel very awkward, so it’s great that you’re being brave and pushing through!

    This sounds like such a compelling novel! It reminds me a little of A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd for some reason. The characters and storyline sound so compelling! Also, I love the quote and meme this week as well. Thanks so much for the wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Somehow I have never gotten around to reading A Snicker of Magic even though it has been on my TBR list forever. I need to get a copy and find time to read it. I know I will like it. Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Reading your own work aloud – so important, I’ve found. I have to ignore the sound of my gravelly voice and focus on the words. Also listening to someone else read it aloud is helpful. And a BIG hooray for hockey season. Although we are passing on the opportunity to go support our fave BIG RED Women’s Cornell Hockey Team until we feel more comfortable rubbing elbows with other fans.
    As for Fantasy – up there on my list of faves. I will pretty much try any fantasy or sci-fi book because I love world-building and the way magic – or tech – is integrated.


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