Thought for the Day:
“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
~ Bill Gates ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
My critique group complained that my main character was just too perfect. They were right. I had to rough him up a little. Ellen Buikema has a great post HERE on Writers in the Storm about Writing Memorable Character Flaws. She has lots of good examples.
K. M. Allen has a really good post HERE about using internal thoughts in your writing. She has some compelling reasons for this.
Every writer has probably run across another book that seems to be just like the one he or she is working on. While one may feel like their story has been stolen, that doesn’t mean one is out of luck. HERE Stephanie Bearce at Non-Fiction Ninjas has a post on that topic with some good ideas about what can be done to save one’s story. These tips are as good for fiction as non-fiction.
I don’t talk about movies here very often, but now and then I run across something that is really exceptional, and I feel the need to spread the word. If you have read my blog for a while, you probably know that I do love history. I saw a movie recently on Netflix that is one of the most fascinating stories of World War II I’ve run across. The movie is called Operation Mincemeat. The casting is wonderful, it’s incredibly well-acted and well-written, and the story is so compelling. The best part is that it is a true story, one that will keep you riveted through the whole movie. I mentioned to my daughter that I would like to read the book after seeing the movie, but then I discovered it is a three-book set that comes in at a hefty 1100+ pages. Yeah. I probably won’t get to that anytime soon. My TBR list is already so long. But know that the story is that fascinating. I hope many of you will have a chance to watch the movie.
Last week, I offered a copy of How to Take the GROAN Out of Grown-Ups (and Get Along!) by Eric Braun and illustrated by Steve Mark to one of you. This week’s winner is our own MMGM host, Greg Pattridge. Congratulations, Greg! I’ll bet you will find some gems in here for use in your classes next year. I’ll get your book out to you soon. Please make sure you check out Greg’s blog HERE.
I don’t read a lot of graphic novels. I guess I have never gotten over the fact that to me they remind me of comic books, and those never seemed like “real reading” to me. Yeah, I’m probably a bit of a reading snob. But once in a while, I pick one up and do enjoy the quickness of them. And I certainly recognize that it is a great way to get some kids into reading, particularly those who are reluctant to read. I also don’t read much fantasy, but this book is also a bit of a fantasy, another hook for young readers. So I broke a lot of my own rules to read Treasure in the Lake by Jason Pamment for review for the Manhattan Book Review and found that I liked it a lot. Here is the review I wrote for MBR.
Iris is thirteen and lives in a most boring small town, Bugden. The only things that keep her from total despair are reading, which she loves, and her best friend, Sam. Iris can’t wait to leave Bugden and go off to work as an archeologist, but Sam is pretty content there. One day, while exploring the area, the kids find the local river has mysteriously dried up. It is then they find a town that had long been submerged. It had been abandoned when a dam was built. The kids become separated as they explore the town. Sam meets an old man who had lived in the mysterious town and has great stories. Iris meets a girl named Lily who guides her into danger. When water comes rushing back, can the kids escape?
Jason Pamment has written a middle-grade graphic novel that is part mystery, part fantasy, and part adventure. The story is compelling, and the characters are complex and interesting. The illustrations are well done and have interesting clues scattered about that will keep young readers riveted to the book. This is an especially good choice for reluctant readers.
Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.