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Outside Nowhere — Review

Thought for the Day:

“Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except the best.”
~ Henry van Dyke, poet ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

K. M. Allan has a lot of great content on her blog. HERE she tells us How to Add Unpredictability to Your Story, something that will keep pages turning.

I don’t think I had heard the term “Understory’ before. Steven Pressfield has an interesting post HERE that talks about understory.

I saw this article from Writer’s Digest, and the title intrigued me. It turns out 6 Habits Writers Can Learn from Athletes by Henriette Lazaridis HERE had something to teach me. Maybe it will teach you something too.

The rains seem to have returned this winter. (Knocking on wood here.) Last year we had a huge rainstorm in November and then went right back to drought conditions for the rest of the season. This year we (so far) are getting rain more regularly. I just hope people don’t forget our groundwater store has been decimated, and we need to conserve like crazy. I am a water Scrooge and will continue to be. I sure am enjoying the rain while it’s here. I was happy to see Brittany Griner brought home from Russia this week. I wish we could have brought more Americans home, but I appreciate the efforts of this administration to deal with that despot Putin and accomplish what they did. And I paid only $3.88 a gallon for gas this week. That is down a couple bucks from a few months ago. Biden and his crew keep on making wonderful progress. I like it!

I ran across a book called Outside Nowhere by Adam Borba on the review list for the Manhattan Book Review a few months ago. I looked at some reviews of it and it sounded fun, so I requested it. I sure did enjoy it. It reminded me in some ways of Holes, which is a favorite of mine. I hope you will decide to read it after reading my review. It’s really worth your time. Here is the review I wrote for MBR.

Parker Kelbrook is slick, which allows him to slide out of whatever trouble he gets into. It works fine until his benefactor, Ms. Birdseye, gets him a summer job. But Parker’s best friend is going to spend a month at the beach, and Parker wants to go, so he plays a dirty trick to get fired so he can go to the beach. Not so fast, says his father. Ms. Birdseye has another assignment for Parker. He is put on a train and sent to a farm in the middle of nowhere. The work is hard. The only thing grown is radishes, and they are sold two or three at a time. But there is more going on than meets the eye, and it is a mystery Parker wants to solve.

Adam Borba

Adam Borba has written a unique story that is fun, engaging, and full of magic and mystery. The characters are all well-rounded and complex, each with their own backstory. The setting perfectly matches this unusual story, with it being contemporary and at the same time awfully old-fashioned. Young readers (and older ones as well) will be engaged to the end trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

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

29 thoughts on “Outside Nowhere — Review”

  1. Sounds terrific. And thanks for the chuckle. I an paying $3.29/gal gas here on Long Island. There is a light

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  2. This book sounds like a fascinating read, Rosi, and I’m already curious exactly what’s going on at the farm! And I’ve never actually read Holes, but I’ve loved some of his Wayside School books, and I can see how this story and Holes have some parallels.

    I love the meme and quote this week, and it’s wonderful that you’re being careful with your water usage to keep the environment safe, even when the threat isn’t as obvious and imminent as it was! Thanks so much for the wonderful post!

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  3. Yes, I will be reading this one thanks to your excellent critique. I’m also a big Holes fan so it’s a natural fit. Great set of links once again. They always have me learning new things as well as challenging me as a writer. Happy MMGM!

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  4. I LOVED Holes so I’m really looking forward to reading Outside Nowhere. (I also loved Small Steps, the sequel.) Thanks for the great reviews and writing tips! I’m working on a first draft at the moment, so the link about how to add unpredictability into stories is very welcome.

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