HOME AWAY FROM HOME — Review & Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“You sit down and you do it, and you do it, and you do it, until you have learned to do it.”
~ Ursula K. Le Guin ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Some people know that I am a bit of a grammar Nazi. There are so many rules, and I don’t know them all by any stretch, but when I see grammar mistakes, they bother me. Some of the most common ones I see have to do with punctuating dialogue, so when I saw the article HERE from Institute for Writers called A Primer for Dialogue Punctuation, I thought I should share it.

Novels are made up of scenes, so it’s good to examine your novel by scenes. HERE Randy Ingermanson at Advancedfictionwriting.com has an excellent post with superb examples called What Happened in This Scene.

No matter how serious your book is, it needs to have a little humor now and then to release the tension, or you might just exhaust your readers. HERE is an article by Susan Reinhardt from Writer’s Digest about A Delicate Balance: Flavoring a Serious Novel with Dashes of Humor.

I finally arrived home early yesterday morning from my latest trip. In the last five weeks, I have visited (if I counted right) 29 states, some of them more than once. I am ready to be home sleeping in my own bed for a while. There were some real highlights on this trip. Of course, my daughter’s show at the Florida Repertory Theatre was the best for me, but another big one was visiting with some very dear friends in Sarasota, Florida whom I’ve not seen in over half a century. Yup, that long. It was a lovely afternoon. Visiting Savannah, Georgia was also a treat. I’d never been there before, and it is a beautiful city. I took a trolley tour twice, once sitting on the left side and once on the right, with two different tour guides. I got all the photos I wanted that way, and I learned a lot about the city. In New York City, Maggie and I saw two Broadway shows — Shucked and Hadestown. Both were really well done, but Hadestown just knocked my socks off. I will see it again when the tour comes to Sacramento. It was that good. My cross-country train trip on Amtrak was good, but not fabulous. Somehow they don’t manage to schedule the trains so the most beautiful sights are passed during daylight hours. My train skirted all of Lake Erie, but I never saw a drop of it because it was all at night. I saw all of North Dakota and most of Montana, but by the time we got to the mountains, it was dark. But there were some beautiful areas — the Columbia River Gorge and following along the Willamette River were spectacular. The attendants and servers on the train were first-rate, and the food they served was superb, but the bedrooms and bathrooms were TINY. One must be something of a contortionist once the bed is made up, but when the bed was put away, it was quite comfortable to sit and watch the scenery. Also, there was no Wi-Fi on any of the trains, although they say they have it. Very frustrating. I don’t think I will take another cross-country train trip, but I will take shorter ones.

I ran across HOME AWAY FROM HOME by Cynthia Lord on the review list for the Portland Book Review and remembered how much I liked her book BECAUSE OF THE RABBIT so I requested HOME AWAY FROM HOME right away. Lord is an awfully good author. I’m going to have to find time to read more of her books. I liked both of these so much. Here is the review I wrote for PBR.

Every summer, Mia and her mom visit Mia’s grandma in tiny Stone Harbor, Maine. This year Mia is going by herself. Her parents had divorced, and Mom and her boyfriend, Scott, are buying a new house and will move while Mia visits Grandma. Mia likes Scott okay, but she doesn’t like the idea of losing her home with all its memories. When Mia arrives at Grandma’s, she discovers Grandma has made friends with a boy, Cayman, just Mia’s age. He’s a little bossy, and Mia doesn’t like sharing Grandma with anyone. The kids discover a rare falcon in the harbor, and Mia posts a photo online in an effort to beat Cayman in finding out what it is, starting all kinds of trouble.

Cynthia Lord

Cynthia Lord has written a very compelling story with rich characters and a wonderful setting. The writing is excellent, and the first-person point-of-view is a great way for Mia to tell her own story. The voice is pitch-perfect for an eleven-year-old girl. The relationship between Mia and her grandmother is very sweet, and the grandmother is a terrific character who really helps Mia grow during the story. This is a winner.

I have a gently-read ARC for one of you. All you need to do is be a follower (it’s free and easy — see the top, right corner of the post) and leave a comment. If you share the link to this post on social media, please let me know in your comment, and you will get extra chances. And please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

24 thoughts on “HOME AWAY FROM HOME — Review & Giveaway”

  1. Wow! Being home after that much time on the road must feel good. The book looks great. My favorite middle-grade books are contemporary ones dealing with problems many kids will be able to relate to.


  2. I have this book on my reading list and wish list as this is a really talented writer. Thank you for sharing your ARC with one of us. I shared this post on tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter.


  3. Welcome home, Rosi! It sounds like you had a fabulous trip (though disappointing the train schedule wasn’t geared towards showing off the magnificent landscape). You must be glad to be back after 5 weeks. Thanks for the writing links and for this week’s chuckle 🙂 . Home Away From Home sounds a sweet story, thanks for sharing!


  4. What a trip! Thanks for sharing many of the highlights. I have always enjoyed Cynthia Lord books but have yet to read this one. Please let someone else win who could give this one a go a lot quicker than I could get to it.
    Great links again, and one bonus from your absence was I was able to catch up on all your past links. Have a Happy MMGM!


  5. So glad your trips went well! We’ d heard about Amtrak being less customer aware than they should be.
    Home Away from Home sounds like another excellent story.


  6. It sounds like a great adventure. I love all of Cynthia Lord’s books. I can’t wait to read this one!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s