Thought for the Day:

“You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer.”
~ Isaac Asimov ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Sometimes the Institute for Writers posts good articles online. HERE is their article on Setting as a Character. I hope you enjoy it.

I’ve never seen such a complete list of character questions as is found in the article HERE by Dave Chesson on Kindlepreneur. He has some really great questions.

There is a lot of information out there about protagonists and antagonists, but not as much about secondary characters. But secondary characters really add richness to our stories. HERE is a great article from NY Book Editors with Your Guide to Creating Secondary Characters.

I started getting my house put back together this week. I’m still fighting with the insurance company, but I just couldn’t live in a meat locker any longer, so I had someone come in and put back the insulation and close up the ceiling. What a difference that makes!

When I am not reading kids’ books, I like to read mysteries. A while back, I read a great mystery by C.J. Box, who sets his mysteries in the modern-day West. Recently, I picked up Open Season by Box. It is the first book in a series of over 20 books about a game warden named Joe Pickett who lives in a tiny town in Wyoming. Dang! These are such good books! I will finish the third book in the series today and have already ordered the next four books. I love the characters and the setting so much, and the stories are so well-written and compelling. I also like that there is no gratuitous sex, violence, or bad language. Just great storytelling. I heard a TV series had been made based on the books, so I signed up for a trial on the streaming service that carries it and watched the first episode. Meh. I’ll stick to the books. Anyway, if you are looking for some good adult mysteries, check out C. J. Box.

On another note, I might not be here next week. It is Oscars day, and that is a very big deal at my house. I’ve seen a lot of the nominated pictures. I think Women Talking is the best movie I’ve seen in a very long time. I am astonished that none of the actors were nominated. As far as I’m concerned, they all deserved to be nominated! I do think Brendon Frasier should win for best actor. He was amazing in The Whale. I thought All Quiet on the Western Front and Everything, Everywhere All at Once were also pretty phenomenal films.

When I receive the lists of books available for review, I jump on the internet and read summaries and sometimes reviews of the books before I choose. When I read about Meet Me Halfway by Anika Fajardo, it sounded like an awful lot of fun and a great concept. I really enjoyed reading it, and I think almost anyone who gets a copy will as well. Here is the review I wrote for San Francisco Book Review.

Mattie’s mom has remarried, and they have moved from Minnesota to California, where Mattie’s new stepfather and his two sons live. Her first day in her new school brings quite a surprise — a girl named Mercedes who looks exactly like her! But Mercedes is different — loud, boisterous, and likes attention. It isn’t long until Mercedes and Mattie discover they share a father — a man who has been absent for both their whole lives. But then they find out he is teaching for a short time at a nearby college. They decide that maybe it is just time to meet him, and their plan to accomplish that is filled with peril.

Anika Fajardo

Anika Fajardo has written a story that will absolutely fascinate middle graders. Lots of kids wonder if they don’t have family secrets that would be fun to discover, and this is a good one. Mercedes and Mattie tell the story from each of their points of view in every other chapter. The voices are perfect for seventh graders. They discover a lot about themselves and about friendship, the true meaning of family, and more. The writing is excellent, the dialogue is snappy, and the characters and story are complex. A winner!

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

18 thoughts on “MEET ME HALFWAY — Review”

  1. As usual, this sounds fascinating to me. I know someone who went through a very similar situation recently. I loved your thought of the day, and it’s great to hear you are getting your house reassembled.


  2. Meet Me Halfway sounds like an amazing story premise – and all too possible. Thanks for the Asimov quote. I really need to read that about twenty-five times until I get busy submitting again. And the article on characters – great share.


  3. I love mysteries too, and I added the C.J. Box book to my library wishlist. I’m watching Longmire, a mysteries series set in Wyoming too, that you might like if you haven’t seen it.


  4. I always have a mystery on my future read pile and this one sounds like a perfect new addition. Your review sold me.
    Great selection of links . I enjoyed all of them. Have a great Oscar watch party. I’m looking forward to see how these nominated movies fare.


  5. This sounds like a fun mystery! Who doesn’t love to investigate a family secret. I would have loved this book. Thanks for sharing. Yes, I’m looking forward to the Oscars too. Have my favorites and am rooting for Michelle Yeo.


  6. This sounds great! I love mysteries, too. I’ve been watching A Spy Among Friends on Amazon Prime and while I liked the series, I definitely want to read the book. I totally agree with you about Women Talking, though I’m so glad that Michelle Yeo’s been nominated.

    Best of luck with your house!


  7. Thanks for the great links and best of luck with the insurance company, I hope you get it resolved to your satisfaction. What a horrible situation for Mattie and Mercedes to find themselves in! I’m sure they manage to get to a good place in the end (I hope they do!). It’s not a family secret I’d like to discover!! It’s also not an unlikely situations, sadly, especially these days. My mother knew someone who met their brother but only discovered it when they got engaged… (and that was a long time ago!! She was Irish and he was English which is probably why it took so long to find out at the time. )


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