Trusting True North — Review

Thought for the Day:

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
~ Muhammad Ali ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Do you have a novel in your bottom drawer that just doesn’t seem to work? Janice Hardy has a great post HERE with 5 Ways to Revive a Manuscript that Doesn’t Work.

Dialog is so important, so when I find a post on better dialog, I pay attention. HERE Kerry Rea has a great article in Writer’s Digest called Writing Better Banter: 4 Tips for Making Your Readers Laugh Out Loud.

Melissa Donovan at Writing Forward always has something worthwhile. The post HERE is on Storytelling: What is Plot?

When I was teaching, I had a lot of students who came from other countries. We often talked about how strange the English language is. When I ran across this recently, I had to save it and share it. It is a really good example of just how strange the English language can be. “The combination “ough” can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful plough man strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.” One example is a British pronunciation. Imagine just how much more strange the language becomes if you have to deal with all the different pronunciations we have along with Britishisms. I used to put “GHOTI” on the board and ask the kids what it spelled, then demonstrate how if you look at it as “gh” as in “rough,” “o” as in “women,” and “ti” as in “potion,” it clearly spells the word “fish.” So there’s your English lesson for today. Hope you enjoyed it.

Last week I offered a gently-read ARC of The Fort by Gordon Korman to one of you. This week’s winner is Janet Smart. Congratulations, Janet. I will get your book out to you soon. If you don’t know Janet, she is a West Virginia author, and I reviewed her book Duck and Cover HERE. If you click on the title, you can see the new cover! Nice. You can read more about her HERE at Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.

When I get a review list from the publications I write for, I look at publishers’ descriptions of the books before I choose what I would like to review. When I read about Trusting True North by Gina Linko, I thought it sounded like a timely book with an unusual story problem, so I chose it. It’s a really good book, and I enjoyed every word. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.

True is missing her mom, who is stuck in Canada due to the border being closed during the pandemic. Sure, True has the rest of her family, but True feels it’s up to her to keep everyone safe, especially Grandma Jo, who recently had cancer treatments, which is a lot of responsibility for a young girl. When True makes a treasure map for Georgie, they find themselves in the old barn, where they find a family of kittens and a misunderstood boy from school, Kyler, who is trying to save the kittens. True and Kyler become friends. As people around town start to get sick, True has to make some hard decisions.

Gina Linko & Friend

Gina Linko has written a sweet story from True’s point of view as she faces the problems of schooling, family, friends, a missing parent, and more during a lockdown. Many of the youngsters reading this book will relate to the problems True has to face. The pandemic, though, does not seem to be treated as seriously as it should have been. No one gets really sick and it skirts many of the issues of this cataclysmic event. Still, for the middle-grade set, this is a good story well told.

Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

16 thoughts on “Trusting True North — Review”

  1. This sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the review! And thank you for drawing my name and the shout out to my book and blog! When my contract ran out for Duck and Cover, I took back my rights, because I wanted a new cover (I didn’t like the cover they put on it at all and I love the new one I made for it), and I also wanted to make a few needed changes to it. I’m much happier with it now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Too soon! No thanks.” That’s what a 5th grader told me when I said there were new books set during the pandemic. This one does have a welcome story line so I hope it will find a lot of readers.
    I needed a little Janice Hardy inspiration today so thanks for her link and the others. Have a happy MMGM!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is the first book I’ve seen set during the pandemic. I agree with the comments Greg shared from the 5th grade student. But, important stories will begin to emerge because of the historical aspect. It sounds like a great read. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are always finding something new and different. I realize it may be too son for many, but this pandemic, like the one a hundred years ago, isn’t over yet. We have vaccines, but so many are refusing them. I’m old enough to remember when kids in my class suddenly disappeared (we were often told they had moved away unexpectedly) during the Polio pandemic. People seem to think one shot and everything should be over 100% and overnight. It’s never been like that. I’d read this and share it with others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree it isn’t over yet. I hope people don’t let their guard down. This flu season is supposed to be very bad, and we can help ourselves by getting Covid boosters and flu shots. I have. Thanks for reading and commenting;


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