Thought for the Day:
“We need to remember that we are all created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed.”
~ Maya Angelou ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Every month Writer’s Rumpus offers a list of opportunities for MG and YA authors — classes, contests, etc. HERE is this month’s. You might want to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss any of these.
I don’t remember seeing many posts on the topic of sound in writing, but C. S. Lakin on Live Write Thrive has a post HERE on How to Effectively Bring Sound into Your Fiction.
Dialogue tags seem to cause writers some real trouble. I know we have spent a LOT of time in my critique groups through the years discussing this topic. HERE Louise Harnby, editor extraordinaire, has a post all about tags and how to use them.
I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a nice day, good food, and family time. To me, that is the perfect Thanksgiving. The only thing that could have made it better would have been more family, but we can’t fly everyone in. We spent some time watching the dog show. It has become something of a tradition at our house. We just can’t get enough of all those beautiful pups. I really wanted the bulldog to win. He reminded me so much of Winston Churchill that I thought he was a shoo-in, but it was not to be. Maybe next year.
Our trees are finally losing the last of their pretty leaves, and our weather has been cold (what we call cold in this part of the country). Time for me to stay in and concentrate on my writing. I mentioned before I was taking some online classes, mostly free ones, many of which were pretty much ads for expensive classes. On Friday, I took an all-day free boot camp from the Storytellers Academy. It was really quite valuable with six classes taught by different specialists. Yes, it was an ad for their program, but it still had a great deal of useful content. I have been wanting to focus some time on my picture book manuscripts, so I signed up for their program. It wasn’t cheap, but it looks like it will be a good value. And they do have programs that focus on middle-grade as well as picture books. The program starts in January. I’ll keep you posted.
I have so many books stacked up I want to feature here. Sometimes I feel like I’ll never get caught up. I should have really featured this book before. It came out in September, but today is the day. Paradise on Fire by Jewell Parker Rhodes is a terrific survivor story. You know I love those. When I spotted this one on the review list for Manhattan Book Review, I knew I had to read it. And that cover! How could you resist that beautiful cover? I was not disappointed. Here is the review I wrote for them.
Addy lost her parents some years ago in a fire. She lives with her grandmother, Bibi, in the Bronx, but now she is on a plane with five other African-American city kids, going to a wilderness camp in California. Addy’s not happy about it. She’d rather stay in the Bronx where she can always escape if something happens. She is always mapping, sometimes on paper, sometimes in her head, for that reason. Leo, who owns the camp, takes Addy under his wing, teaching her about different kinds of maps and about the wilderness. Near the end of the camp, the six kids and their two counselors take a hiking/camping trip into the forest. A forest fire breaks out, and it’s up to Addy to lead a group out. Can she do it?
Jewell Parker Rhodes has written a terrific survivor story that will have readers on the edges of their seats. The characters are fully developed and credible, the dialogue spot-on for the age, and the writing is quite wonderful. The setting almost becomes a character in its own right in this well-crafted story, coming alive and aggressive toward the end. It’s perfect for middle graders. Don’t miss this terrific book.
I have no giveaway this week since I hope to read this book one more time before 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!