Kyle’s Little Sister — Review & Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“You take people, you put them on a journey, you give them peril, then you find out who they really are.”
~ Joss Whedon ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Janice Hardy has a guest post for Writers in the Storm HERE that will show you 5 Ways Your Story Hurts Your Novel, and she give you some good ways to fix the problems.

I can’t get enough good information about writing the dreaded synopsis. HERE Courtney Carpenter has a great article in Writer’s Digest, Learn How to Write a Synopsis Like a Pro.

Josh Sippie has a must-read article HERE in The Writer called The Power of First Lines in Fiction. His examples are terrific.

We are in the teeth of a very big storm here. This is actually a good thing. We are in a drought that is, according to the experts, the worst in over 1200 years. It has felt like it. I am personally very grateful for any rain we get. We had rain a couple times earlier this week, and now we are having rain that is expected to last for about 48 hours and may drop as much as five inches, giving a particular kind of truth to that old saying, “It never rains but it pours.” In continuing good news, my daughter Maggie is in town, and my daughter Sara, my granddaughter Gracie, and I got to see Maggie and some very talented friends in concert last night at the Sierra Repertory Theatre in Columbia, California, a terrifically cute little town in the foothills of the Sierra Madres. It was a Joanie Mitchell tribute concert. Some years ago, Maggie recorded an album that was a cover of Joanie Mitchell’s Blue album. It is called Another Shade of Blue, and it was the basis for the concert, although they added some other songs and told some interesting stories. If you click on the album title you can sample some of her music. The audience had a lot of people my age (I’m 75) who were big Joanie Mitchell fans. We had a great time.

I don’t read a lot of graphic novels. They just aren’t as interesting to me as other novels. That said, I pay attention when I read reviews. I saw some reviews of Kyle’s Little Sister by BonHyung Jeong on Always in the Middle and Completely Full Bookshelf that made me think I might like it. I was able to snag a review copy for the Manhattan Book Review. I did like the book, but I didn’t love it. Maybe it’s just the format that doesn’t work for me. Still, I can see how it would garner a lot of middle-grade readers and is an excellent way to appeal to reluctant readers. Here is the review I wrote for MBR.

Grace, a quiet girl who likes gaming, is starting middle school and will be in the same school as her older brother, Kyle, a popular, athletic, and outgoing boy. Grace has lived in her brother’s shadow before, and she doesn’t like how it feels. She will be “Kyle’s little sister” again, and everyone will wonder why she isn’t as good at everything as he is. To make things worse, Grace has a falling out with her two friends, Jay and Amy. While sitting alone at lunch, Cam, a popular but mean girl, disses Amy and befriends Grace. Grace is surprised, but likes having a popular friend. Cam asks a lot of questions about Kyle, and Grace wonders if she has more of an agenda than just being friends. There is no drama like middle-school drama, and this book is filled with it.

Author and illustrator BonHyung Jeong seems to have a perfect understanding of both sibling rivalry and middle-school drama. Her characters are very realistic in their actions toward and reactions to the other kids in school and to friends and siblings outside of school. Kids will like this nicely illustrated graphic novel. It is great for reluctant readers.

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.

18 thoughts on “Kyle’s Little Sister — Review & Giveaway”

  1. At heart, I am not a graphic novel fan. I’ve just never been able to get into them. I enjoyed the links, though, and bookmarked the one about beginning lines and the one about synopses. Thanks so much for these. I also visited Maggie’s record. She has a beautiful voice! (Which I’m sure you know. 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really think that graphic novels hit a sweet spot for middle grade students and young readers. Especially kids who love comic books. Like everyone else, I’m not a fan, but I’m all for GN that get kids reading. I especially like wordless PBs for young kids so they can tell the story as they see it. I’ll pass on this book.
    Loved hearing Maggie’s soulful voice. I have always enjoyed Joanie Mitchell. What fun the tribute to her must have been for all of you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree anything that gets kids to read is a good thing. I hadn’t thought about wordless picture books helping little ones learn to tell stories. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It’s always nice to hear from you.


  3. I’m not a big graphic novel fan and prefer spending time with a nice contemporary mg novel. I did enjoy this one but kids enjoy it more. No giveaway entry for me since I have my copy waiting for the first trick or treater to grab it next Sunday in my free pile.

    I saw some of your rain yesterday when watching a part of the 49ers game. Hope some of that is headed our way although would prefer a little lighter dose.

    Fantastic links. I can also never get enough of synopsis help articles and first lines. Great stuff I hadn’t read before.

    Congrats to Maggie and getting to perform in front of an audience again. It’s been too long. My only question is who is this Joanie Mitchell person you referred to?? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re a funny guy, Greg. I know you are a lot younger than I am, but c’mon. Joanie Mitchell? I hope you got some of that rain. We need more and are hoping to get some this week. Glad you like the links. Thanks for always reading and commenting.


  4. I’m glad I happened to be watching me email better today and noticed this writer gift with synopsis help! I’m about to turn in edits to my agent and need a MUCH better synopsis than I’ve got pulled together. 😀

    Kyle’s Little Sister sounds fun, as well! I enjoy graphic novels, and as a fourth sister can really related to following everyone else into school and battling those expectations. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, and am also going to check out Maggie’s album!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much for the shout-out! I’m thrilled that you gave a graphic novel a shot on my (and Greg Pattridge’s) recommendation—they can definitely be a strange format to get into, but this one is a fun read, and I agree, MG readers will gobble it up!

    I’m so glad you got to see your daughter in concert—that sounds like so much fun, especially when it’s a tribute to an artist you already love! And I’m glad the storm is helping y’all out with the drought, at least. I also love the quote and meme! I’ll pass on the giveaway since I’ve of course already read this book, but thanks so much for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have heard a lot about this book – and the premise sounds promising and full of the middle school drama some kids get drawn into. But, like you, I don’t “love” GNs – give me a thick word-filled book any day and let me engage my imagination. Having said that – there are some GNs and science comix that I enjoy… maybe I am too persnickety.

    Liked by 1 person

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