The Insiders — Review & Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“I came to writing kind of late. I was an engineer, and the one thing I’ve learned is that you have to steer a project in the direction of the maximum fun for you. You could say lively energy, or you have to try to be intrigued. Basically, if you were a musician and you were playing joylessly, nobody would want to hear you.”
~ George Saunders ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Details can make all the difference in making a book believable. Orly Konig has a good post HERE on the Tor/Forge Blog about finding those nice details for your writing.

If you have been knocking around writing for kids for a while, you probably know the name Mary Kole. HERE she has an article for Writer’s Digest on How to Write the Perfect Query Letter. She has terrific examples. This is an older article, so I may have linked to this before, but it’s so good, it’s worth another look.

If you ever have a writing slump, you can find some help HERE on A Writer’s Path with this post by Elethwyn.

Well, it has been an interesting week. The team that beat the dastardly Dodgers in the playoffs also beat the Astros and won the World Series. It was a fun series. I enjoyed every minute. Now I am busy counting the minutes to spring training. Sure, I have hockey to keep me entertained, but my beloved Sharks are not looking too good this season. They are in kind of a rebuilding mode, so it won’t be a very fun season. Of course, I also have the ongoing shenanigans in Washington D. C. to keep me entertained. I am so glad the infrastructure bill has finally passed. This will mean a lot more jobs in an already healing, strong economy. With the vaccine approvals for youngsters, we might just beat this pandemic back and get back to normal. Now, if we can just get through flu season.

One of my bigger problems is finding enough time to read all the books I want to read. One of the other big problems I have is choosing which books from the multitude of books there ar I will spend my limited time reading. When I get the lists of available books for review, I am like a kid in a candy store. I want them all, but I can’t do that, so I check Amazon and read the summaries. When I saw The Insiders by Mark Oshiro on the list for the Seattle Book Review, I felt like I had read something about it, but I couldn’t remember where or when. The summary sounded interesting, so I requested it. Here is the review I wrote for SBR.

Hector is a loud and proud gay boy who loves theatre and lives his life dramatically. This is fine when his family lives in San Francisco, but when they move to Orangevale, and Hector goes to school wearing purple pants with glitter on his face, things don’t go well. He ends up at lunch with The Misfits, a group of kids who have been bullied by Mike. All the teachers love Mike and are completely blind to his bullying. Hector is Mike’s new target. Hector hides in the janitor’s closet, and there finds a safe place. It’s a magic room that is exactly what he needs. He meets two other kids from across the country in the room who are also LBGTQ+ and are having similar problems. It is in the magic room that all three find what they need.

Mark Oshiro

Mark Oshiro has written an important book for middle graders to help them stand up to bullies, get the help they need from adults around them, and learn ways to get along with other kids. It’s exciting and well written. The only problem is that almost everyone in the story is LBGTQ+, which makes it somewhat unbelievable, but it’s still worth the time.

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 Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

14 thoughts on “The Insiders — Review & Giveaway”

  1. I have a hard copy of this book here to be read (hopefully) before 2022. I’m just like you and so many other book lovers and want to read all the books.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post as usual, Rosi! I will pass on this book, but you wrote a great review. Always like Try Kole’s blog posts and your quotation which provide inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great book about finding friends who understand your problems and can support you. I’ll pass, because I have too many books needing my attention!

    Funny, I do the same thing with the books choices I get. If it is a well-known author, it is always a must read. But, like you, can’t read everything and I have a stack!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Finding a support system is so important for kids—both with peers and adults. I like that this one goes in both directions. A very helpful book for many and an enjoyable sounding story. As usual I’m swamped with books and will have to sidestep the giveaway.
    Mary Kole is always one of my favorites. I had read her piece before but reading it again was helpful. Thanks for featuring your review and special links on MMGM.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This sounds like such a wonderful novel! I can imagine so many young readers will feel seen in this story. I’ve noticed that LGBTQ+ representation tends to be a little rare in MG stories (although that’s changing a little now), but kids really are dealing with that stuff at those ages and need to be hearing about it then, not in high school or whenever they move onto YA novels, so these books are really filling a void!

    Also, I love the meme and quote, and I hope you can find some sports that keep you interested! And I’m glad someone is mentioning that we are literally 1 year and 8 months into this pandemic—it’s getting so utterly ridiculous at this point, but wearing a mask isn’t that bad, so I’ll just keep doing it, I guess. (I do wish they fit better, though—I have to twist the loops on my KN95s like 9 times so it’s not super-loose.) I’ll pass on the giveaway due to my usual drowning-in-books predicament, but thanks so much for the great post!


  6. I couldn’t agree more. Kids really do need these books in middle school. I hope you can find masks that fit better. We all need to keep wearing them. Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. I really appreciate it.


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