The Turtle of Michigan — Review & Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little.”
~ Sydney Smith ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Using flashbacks in your story can be really tricky. HERE is a terrific post on Writers in the Storm by Tiffany Yates Martin with 4 Questions to Ask When Writing Flashbacks. Don’t miss this one.

It’s great to find just the perfect metaphor to make your point when writing. HERE on Bookfox is a post with The 100 Best Metaphors Ever Written in Novels. I particularly love #21and #53.

I wonder if I might have posted this link from Writer’s Digest sometime in the past. It popped up in my email even though it was published some time ago. In any case, it’s such a good article, I’m posting it HERE. Robert Lee Brewer writes about How to Write Successful Queries for Any Genre of Writing.

We have been having quite the heatwave in the Sacramento area this week. It has been over 100 every day for a week, some days as high as 105. Needless to say, I have been spending most of my time inside with the air conditioner on, but the good news is I am getting a lot of reading done. I do love a good mystery, and I am reading one right now I want to mention for those looking for an adult book to read. Many years ago, a colleague introduced me to Tony Hillerman. If you aren’t familiar with his books, he wrote 18 novels in his Navajo series, mysteries set in the desert Southwest with main characters Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, Navajo tribal policemen. I think I read all of them, or at least most of them. The writing was spectacular and the stories riveting. Recently I was looking at a review book list and ran across a book by Anne Hillerman. It turns out Tony Hillerman’s daughter took over the franchise after her father’s death, and she has written several books with the same setting and characters. It was like running into an old friend when I started reading The Sacred Bridge. I’m going to have to find her earlier books and read those too. If you are a mystery fan and looking for some good books without a lot of gratuitous violence or sex, I recommend all the Hillerman books, both the father’s and the daughter’s.

I read a lot of wonderful reviews of The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye a few years ago. I actually have a copy in my staggering TBR pile, but I have never gotten around to reading it. I really have to. But I saw The Turtle of Michigan on the review list for the San Francisco Book Review, and I decided I should grab it. I’m really glad I did, and I am even more motivated now to read the first book. I loved the characters and particularly the relationship between Aref and his grandfather, Sidi. Here is the review I wrote for SFBR.

Aref is eight years old when his parents decide to move from Oman to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for three years while they attend graduate school. Aref is afraid about the move. He will miss his grandfather, his Sidi, and he will have no friends. His father goes a week early to make sure everything is in order. When Aref and his mother arrive, his father is very excited about showing them what a great place it will be for them to spend time in. Aref joins an art class and makes friends right away. They have wonderful neighbors who are very welcoming. He likes it there, but the problem is that he misses his Sidi very much.

Naomi Shihab Nye

This is a sweet, quiet book for the younger middle-grade set. Naomi Shihab Nye is a wonderful writer, and she has created characters readers are sure to fall in love with. This is more of a slice-of-life novel than a story with a problem driving the plot. The only problem Aref has is missing his grandfather, a problem he cannot solve, so this breaks some writing rules. That said, for younger readers, this is a perfect book.

I have a gently-read paperback 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.

22 thoughts on “The Turtle of Michigan — Review & Giveaway”

  1. I like mysteries, so thanks for the recommendation. Glad you enjoyed The Turtle of Michigan. It sounds interesting to me since it’s set in Ann Arbor where I live. I’m going to pass on the giveaway because I have too many books to read right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read either of these books although they are on my future read list. The main character sounds wonderful especially the relationship with his grandfather. Thanks for featuring your review on MMGM. No need for me to be in the giveaway since I won last week 🙂
    I had seen the Writer’s Digest article on querying but it is a good one to revisit. Thanks for all the links this week

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I love the Hillerman family’s books! Wonderful mysteries, and great characters. As for turtles – this one sounds like a great book. No need to put me in the give-away because my book basket is stacked to the ceiling.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I live very close to Ann Arbor and love finding books set in my home state. I enjoy mysteries and can’t wait to read this book. I shared on tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read her poetry, but I know I need to. Glad you liked the cartoon and other resources, Jilanne. Thanks for reading and commenting. Good luck in the drawing.


  5. This time of year, we’re happy to live in Eureka, though I’m supposed to be in your area in a couple of weeks (I’ve got a friend who lives in Folsom.) We’re going to a River Cats and a Giants game.

    Having had my share of adventures with turtles growing up, I enjoy books such as this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eureka sounds wonderful. You will always be cool at a Giants game, but for the River Cats, try to get seats in the shade. It can be brutal in that park. Thanks for the comment. Good luck in the drawing.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The Turtle of Michigan sounds like a lovely story. Wish I had an appropriately aged youngster to pass it on to. Don’t put me in the drawing this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great quote from Sydney Smith and so easy to fall into that trap! Thanks for the cartoon, loved it! I might pass on The Turtle of Michigan, not my genre (though I love the cover!) but thanks so much for the Hillerman tip. I love that Anne Hillerman is continuing her father’s writing, a real treat for fans!

    Liked by 1 person

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