The Fort — Review & Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
~ Mario Andretti ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Trimming words is one of the best things one can do when revising. HERE and HERE are two great posts from Kris Maze on Writers in Storm called Fix Fluff Words — 14 Fillers for Writers to Avoid.

Melissa Donovan has a terrific post on Writing Forward HERE that will help you with How to Engage Readers with Emotional Writing.

Kelsey Allagood has a great post on creating a “decision tree” HERE on Writer Unboxed.

It has been quite a week. I hope any readers in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina are okay and have suffered no damage. Gosh. What a mess. It will take months, if not years, and billions of dollars to put things back together again. It was great to see the Biden administration put politics aside and step up to help, not that I expected anything less. Things in Ukraine are getting really scary. Putin is such a despot, and to hear him threaten to use nukes gave me chills. I have no doubt he is quite capable of doing that. I really worry for my friends in Europe, really for all the good people in Europe. Hopefully, the news will be better next week.

I’ve always liked Gordon Korman‘s work. I haven’t read a ton of his books — he has written 100 — but I read about The Fort somewhere and it sounded like one I would like, so when it came up for review for the Portland Book Review, I requested it. I’m very glad I did. It’s a terrific book. It brought to mind an old Brendan Frasier movie, one of my favorites, called Blast from the Past. Any book that features a bomb shelter will get my attention. I was concerned when I read it was told from multiple points of view, but Korman handles it well and it didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment of the story. Here is the review I wrote for PBR.

Evan, C.J., Mitchell, and Jason have been best friends forever. They each have problems they are dealing with, some pretty bad. They have a fort in the woods that no one knows about, but after a big storm, Evan’s grandmother makes Evan take Ricky, a new kid in town, with him when he’s supposed to meet his pals at the fort. It’s fortunate Ricky is there because he finds an old bomb shelter with electricity, TV, VCR, great old tapes, lots of canned food, and more. The boys make it their new fort, but when they pawn some silver they find in the shelter, their newfound wealth causes even more problems for them. Soon their secret is out, and things get very scary.

Gordon Korman

Gordon Korman’s one-hundredth book is simply terrific. Told from the points of view of the five boys, readers get real insights into the problems middle graders face, and some of the things these boys have to face are difficult. The characters are believable, the story is complex and rich, and the writing is conversational and accessible. This is a satisfying story of friendship and loyalty, one that readers will love and remember. Don’t miss it.

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.

30 thoughts on “The Fort — Review & Giveaway”

  1. I only started reading Korman’s books a couple of years ago. I know that many middle-graders appreciate his sense of humor, yet I like that he’s willing to tackle tough subjects too.


  2. The book sounds great, and I have to admit I’m a fan of Blast from the Past as well. Please count me in on the drawing. I’ll post on Twitter and Facebook as well.


  3. I haven’t read this authors books, but I think I have to start! I too hope the news is much better this week and the aftermath of the hurricanes is unbelievable. I shared this post on tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this exciting novel.


  4. I read/reviewed my first Korman novel “Linked,” last month! I am not a fan of multiple voices, because it takes a while to remember who is who. But, I loved Linked and I imagine I’d really enjoy this new book took! Great story for boys.


  5. Thanks for the links once again. They always make my Monday go by faster while learning new writing techniques. I really enjoyed The Fort along with many other Korman titles. He has the MG audience figured out to perfection. No need to enter me in the drawing and thanks for being a part of MMGM this week.


  6. The Fort is my newest favorite MG book written by Gordon Korman. I deconstructed it for a mentor text, because it is so well- written. I can’t wait for his next novel.
    PS I read one of his first Macdonald Hall series books recently. Korman never misses mixing humor with relatable characters.


  7. Hi Rosi,

    Thanks for reviewing this great-sounding Gordon Korman book that will soon grace the top of my groaning TBR pile. I haven’t read Korman in awhile but my memory is of fast-paced plots with lots of interesting twists and turns. (Don’t enter me in the draw, as I have a Canadian address.)


  8. As a writer, I really appreciate your ‘Gifts for Writing Friends.’ THE FORT sounds great. I haven’t read Korman in awhile but my memory is of fast-placed plots coupled with rich stories. I’ll have to pick this one up.

    (This may be my second comment but I had trouble leaving the first one. Second time lucky!)


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