Thought for the Day:
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
~ Mark Twain ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Since I’m working on a picture book right now, you may see some links to good picture book articles. HERE is one from Writers’ Rumpus with 3 Ways to Pace Your Picture Book.
The Writer Unboxed is featuring an article HERE by Donald Maass all about Novels that Shouldn’t Work but Do Work — and Why. And this is only part I, so there is more to come.
We see more than one character talking in TV and movies all the time, but how does one handle that in writing? Bryn Donovan has it covered HERE. And I learned something I didn’t know about the em dash. This post is worth your time.
If anyone knows how to contact an actual person at WordPress, I would be so grateful. Some things have gotten better. I had been able to look at previews of my posts, but today I cannot. I get a page that says, “Ooops. That page cannot be found.” I have been able to publish them with no problem. Let’s see what happens today. What I can’t seem to do is “like” comments so readers will be notified I have replied. I almost always do reply to comments, but I have no way for readers to know that. Also, every time I reply to a comment or put a comment on a WordPress blog of someone else’s, I have to fill in my information (name, email, URL) and sign in. I tell it to remember me, but it doesn’t, so I have to fill it out every time. This happens even when I am on my own blog! And now that I am working on a couple of picture books and really trying to stay on top of that genre, I am unable to do anything on Susannah Leonard Hill’s wonderful blog (check it out HERE) except read it. I cannot leave a comment. I cannot post a link. If I could, I would be posting on Fridays for Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. I have tried on four different devices and two different browsers. This week I am going to try to get to the library and see if I can do something on one of their computers. By the way, I am signed up for the Picture Book Summit on October 8, so I might just take that weekend off from blogging so I have time to concentrate on the summit. I’ll see how it goes. Sorry to be kvetching here, but I’m hoping someone might send me a suggestion or two about how to deal with all this. Thanks for listening.
A few years ago, I attended a writing retreat in New Jersey. I met a woman there named Darlene Beck-Jacobson and started reading her blog. You can check it out HERE. A couple months ago she reviewed a book that was right up my alley — I Will Protect You: A True Story of Twins Who Survived Auschwitz by Eva Mozes Kor with Danica Davidson. Darlene was kind enough to suggest to Ms. Davidson that I might be interested in reviewing the book on my blog. I was, and she sent me a copy. It is an amazing and heartbreaking story. I think it’s important for young people to know the history of the Holocaust, especially with what is going on with our politics right now.
Growing up in a small town in Transylvania, twins Miriam and Eva were happy and comfortable until they were about ten years old, and then things changed. People in the town, even those they thought of as good friends, turned on the family. The girls were treated unfairly and cruelly at school. Eva tried to talk to her parents about the family leaving, but they didn’t seem to think that was a good idea. By the time the family realized leaving was the right idea, it was too late. They were put onto crowded boxcars and shipped like cattle for days and days until they arrived at Auschwitz, a concentration camp in Poland. There the family was split up. Miriam and Eva, though, were able to stay together. Twins held a special status. Dr. Joseph Mengle needed twins to be able to conduct his appalling medical experiments. The horror of this turned out to be the only thing that kept the girls alive through the war. Their story will be a stark reality check for young readers, especially those who are being fed lies today. This is an important book that deserves wide readership and should be in every middle-grade classroom and library. The writing is quite wonderful and the story is incredibly compelling.
I do want to mention another book here. More sophisticated middle-grade readers who find this book interesting might well want to read Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. I read it recently and it just blew me away. It is a YA book that exposes a story of the Holocaust I knew nothing about. I understand there is a graphic novel version of this out as well.
Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.