Sunday, December 4, 2016

Things That Make You Go Yuck!: Crooked Critters -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“The question is whether or not you choose to disturb the world around you, or if you choose to let it go on as if you had never arrived.” 
~ Ann Patchett ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Jennifer Louden has a good post at Writers in the Storm HERE with 6 Ways to Increase Your Productivity as a Writer Without Burning Out. 

I keep finding posts about words one should take out of one’s writing. If I read enough of these maybe I can get rid of about 20,000 flabby words hanging on my fat manuscript. Melissa Allen has a guest post on Fiction University HERE that has 14 Words that are Hurting Your Writing.

Beth Lewis has a guest post HERE on The Writer’s Dig with Tips for Creating Voice in Your Character. It’s got some great ideas. 

Last week I offered a gently-read hardback copy of Jubilee by Patricia Reilly Giff to one of you. This week's winner is Greg Pattridge, middle-grade writer and middle-school teacher (brave soul!) from Colorado who blogs at Always in the Middle. Check it out HERE. He writes great book reviews and has other interesting stuff on his blog. Congratulations, Greg! I will get your book out soon.

The book I am highlighting this week is a really fun non-fiction book. I love science books with a fun twist. This is that. Here is my review for the San Francisco Book Review for Things that Make you Go Yuck!: Crooked Critters by Jenni Dlugos and Charlie Hatton.
Imagine a fungus that can attach itself to a living being and not only cover the being with pointy spikes but invade the being and dissolve its organs and kill it as well. With ants, the fungus can actually release a chemical into the ant’s brain that turns it into a zombie. That’s nasty! And that is just one example of the many, many rude, crude, and murderous critters in this fun volume. This is part of a series of four books that examine the yuck-factor found throughout nature. Filled with plants and animals that spit, strangle, suffocate, slather, and otherwise threaten, injure, and kill other critters will fascinate young (and older!) readers. 
There is little the middle-grade crowd, especially boys, likes better than a book with a very high yuck-factor. This book, as the title implies, is going to be a big hit with the middle-grade readers. Authors Jenn Dlugos and Charlie Hatton have gathered some of the most fun facts in the natural world to keep youngsters reading and learning. The writing is crisp and the accompanying photographs are up-close and a little terrifying. This book is a real winner!
I have a gently-read ARC for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower, and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.
Don't forget to check out Shannon Messenger's wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Jubilee -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“I have written a great many stories and I still don’t know how to go 
about it except to write it and take my chances.” 
~ John Steinbeck ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
We all get a lot of writing tips. Some are great and helpful, some — not so much. Anne R. Allen has a terrific post HERE on Stupid Writing Tips. Check it out. 

Some great reminders in the article HERE on Bookfox that will tell you 25 Terrible Ways to Start a Novel. 

Writers Helping Writers always has great stuff. I don’t post links to their posts as often as I should, but I try to spread the love a little. Anyway, they have a TERRIFIC post HERE on inner conflict by Michael Hauge. Don’t miss this one. 

I hope all of you had a spectacular Thanksgiving. I had a lovely day with my daughter's family and she did most of the cooking! Then my 15-year-old grandson and I hopped in the car and drove to Seal Beach (south of L.A.) to visit friends. It was a great weekend, but the drive was ridiculous (pouring rain through the Grapevine -- yuck!), and I am ready to sleep for a week. It was a great weekend, though. So much fun!

Last week I promised one of you an ARC of The Poet's Dog by Patricia MacLachen. This week's winner is Susan Olson, a North Carolina writer and blogger and lover of time travel stories. She blogs HERE at Time Travel Times Two and always has great reviews. Check it out. Susan, I will get the book out to you this week. Now you won't have to wait for the library! For the rest of you, I have another giveaway so please keep reading.

As I have said before, I keep my eye open for certain authors when I am choosing books for review. When I saw that Patricia Reilly Giff had a new book coming out, I snagged it for review for the San Francisco Book Review. This is the review I wrote for them of Jubilee, her latest book, a middle-grade novel. 

Judith is called Jubilee by her Aunt Cora who took her in when Jubilee’s mother dropped her off like a load of laundry when she was quite small. Jubilee hasn’t spoken a word since that time, communicating only through drawings and gestures. She and Aunt Cora live on an island, which Jubilee loves to explore while watching the wildlife. When she starts fifth grade, she is no longer in a special class but is in a regular class with a new teacher who has some different ideas about learning. It is there Jubilee meets Mason, who is sloppy and talks too much, but he doesn’t mind that Jubilee doesn’t talk as the other children do. They become fast friends. On Aunt Cora’s birthday, she receives a card from Jubilee’s mother, and Jubilee discovers her mother is nearby. She decides to go and see her.

When Patricia Reilly Giff has a new book out, it is cause for celebration among
Patricia Reilly Giff
readers. This lovely, lyrical book has everything a reader would want — strong, believable characters, an interesting setting, and a well-crafted story full of conflict and drama. This will surely garner readers beyond the intended middle-grade audience.

I have a gently-read hardback copy for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower, and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.
Don't forget to check out Shannon Messenger's wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Poet's Dog -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“You have to write at least a hundred pages of crap before your
writing starts getting good. So you may as well start now.”
Joe Haldeman

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
A couple years ago, a writer friend mentioned he had decided to enter contests. He thought his work was good enough to garner some notice. I thought about that and decided to do the same. I looked for small, local contests that wouldn’t receive several thousand entries (like the Writer’s Digest contests) and ended up winning or placing in a half dozen contests or so. Honestly, I didn’t keep track. I ended up with probably $300 in winnings and some nice certificates to hang on my wall and remind me some people think I write some pretty good stuff. HERE is a post that will give you some hints about doing what it takes to win contests. Hope Clark has a great newsletter (free) that always has some contests listed as well as a wealth of other writing information. If you don’t receive it, check HERE to get on her list. She also has a newsletter that has lots more information in it, but you either need to pay a small fee or buy one of her books (they are good, fun mysteries) to get that one for free. Some of the contests that sent me money were from her newsletter! Check it out. 

I found a really, really great post at Adventures in YA Publishing HERE that lists 30+ Words to Watch Out for as You Write. Everyone will benefit from this. 

It’s always nice to get some advice from those who have gone before you on this frustrating journey of writing. HERE are tips from 29 published writers. 

We had a great weekend in NYC. My daughter Maggie was magnificent in Richard III at Bridge Productions (if you are near NYC, go see it!). My daughter Sara and granddaughter Gracie saw Lion King and Mathilda and loved them both. The three of us saw School of Rock. The kids performances were outstanding! I also saw Something Rotten. Hysterical! I loved it. Anyway, I'm back and thanks for being patient while I took some time off. 

Two weeks ago, I offered a gently-used copy of Leslie Connor's outstanding book, All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook to one of you. This week's winner is Tudy! Congratulations, Tudy. I will get the book out to you this week. I do have another giveaway this week, so please stay tuned.

When I saw a new book by Patricia MacLachan on the list of review books, I snagged it right away. Especially with the title -- The Poet's Dog -- I just had to have it. I was NOT disappointed. Here is the review I wrote for the Manhattan Book Review

Two young children, Nick and Flora, are lost in a blizzard, having left the car where their mother had to leave them to go and get help. A dog, Teddy, comes upon them and, speaking softly to them, leads them to a cabin in the woods where Teddy had lived with his master, a poet named Sylvan. But Sylvan is gone. Yes, the children understand the dog as he speaks to them. Teddy had been told by Sylvan that only poets and children can understand dogs when they speak. Now Teddy knows this to be true. The children and Teddy stay together in the cabin for several days as the blizzard rages around them. They help each other to keep the fire going and to find and cook things to eat. 
Patricia MacLachlan reminds readers why she won a Newbery Medal. This
Patricia MacLachllan
enchanting story has a very old-fashioned, folktale feel to it. The characters are absolutely charming, the writing is spare and lyrical, and the story satisfies in every way. Younger middle-grade readers will especially enjoy being able to read such a rich story on their own, but everyone reading it will be equally charmed.                        
This is truly a story of love, friendship, hope, and redemption all packed into a coming-of-age novel that will capture readers’ hearts. The characters are rich and complex, the setting is unusual and will fascinate young readers. The writing is superb and the storytelling is terrific. This book deserves a wider readership than the middle-graders for whom it is intended. A real winner!
I have a gently-read ARC for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower, and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.
Don't forget to check out Shannon Messenger's wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.



Sunday, November 6, 2016

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” 
~ Orson Scott Card ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
At our critique group meeting recently, we talked a lot about authentic dialogue. Word choice is so important. What I would have said as a teenager has nothing to do with what today’s teenagers would say. We certainly need to be cognizant of this in all our writing, not just dialogue. Anne R. Allen has a terrific post HERE, with tons of great links, on finding the right words. 

Most of us have thought of hiring an editor to help finish the work on a novel. Heck, some of us have even done it and been disappointed with what occurred. (Yes, that would be me.) Bookfox has a good post HERE about how a developmental editor can help and what to expect. 

I know I always struggle with titles. Alex Limberg posted an article HERE with hints for good titling from 17 fiction writers. 

Next week I will be in New York City seeing my daughter Maggie in a production of Richard III, one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. Maggie is playing Queen Elizabeth, a pretty juicy role, and I'm excited to be able to go and see her. My other daughter, Sara, is also coming to NYC and bringing my granddaughter Gracie for a girls' weekend filled with theatre and shopping. That is all my way of telling you that I am taking another week off next week, but will be back the next week. 

Last week I offered an ARC of Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom by David Neilsen to one of you. This week's winner is Danielle Hammelef. Congratulations, Danielle! I will get your book out to you this week. For the rest of you, I do have another giveaway this week, so please keep reading.

When I first heard about All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor, I knew it was a book I had to read. I requested it from the San Francisco Book Review and was able to get a copy. I LOVE this book! Here is the review I wrote for the SFBReview.
Perry T. Cook was born in prison. That’s not so uncommon, but a smart, kindly warden takes him on as her foster child and allows Perry’s mother to raise him in the small, minimum-security prison in Surprise, Nebraska, where he is loved and raised right by a large, extended family. Everything is fine until a new DA comes to town and discovers this unusual arrangement. The DA is a do-gooder who decides Perry would be a lot better off with the DA and his family, and Perry’s mother hasn’t really properly served her time since she was allowed to have her child with her. When Perry gets a school assignment that allows him to tell the stories of some of the prisoners and finally learn his mother’s whole story, it changes everything.
This is truly a story of love, friendship, hope, and redemption all packed into a
Leslie Connor
coming-of-age novel that will capture readers’ hearts. The characters are rich and complex, the setting is unusual and will fascinate young readers. The writing is superb and the storytelling is terrific. This book deserves a wider readership than the middle-graders for whom it is intended. A real winner!
I have a gently-read hardback copy for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower, and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.
Don't forget to check out Shannon Messenger's wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.




Sunday, October 30, 2016

Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.”
~ Phillip Roth ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
I have mentioned before that I receive an email each day from "TUT, The Universe." They are uplifting and fun and once in awhile, so pertinent to what we as writers do, that I just have to pass them along. This is one I received recently. 
"It's true, Rosi, the early bird gets the worm. 
So does the late bird and the bird in-between. Because, by design, there are always more than enough worms. 
In fact, the only bird that doesn't get a worm is the bird that doesn't go out to get one. 
Oh, to be alive... The Universe"

Just in time for NaNoWriMo HERE is a post on how to start writing a novel. 

I don’t think a writer can read enough about balancing showing and telling in thier stories. HERE is a good post on exactly that from The Write Life. 

I have been doing searches for filtering words in my novel, and, while an arduous task, it’s worth it. HERE is a good article from Writers in the Storm about that. 

I still have not solved my spacing problems, so please forgive me the sonny layout.

When I posted two weeks ago, I offered a copy of Edna in the Desert by Maddy Lederman to one of you. The winner is Alex Baugh. Congratulations, Alex! I will get your book out to you soon. The rest of you can find out more about Alex at the Randomly Reading blog HERE. Please keep reading. I have another 
giveaway this week.

I read and reviewed a fun book recently -- Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom by David Neilsen. How can you not love a book with that title? It has been getting a lot of buzz and with good reason. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.

An abandoned old house has long been the playground of the neighborhood’s children, so when moving vans show up and begin to unload, there is both curiosity and disappointment. The children feel like their best times are being taken from them. Trucks and trucks are unloaded, and a funny-looking old man moves in. A couple days later, the most amazing playground–a combination of castles, pirate ships, and other exciting things–appears outside the old house. Soon children are swarming the place and seem to fall under a spell. The old man, Dr. Fell, seems able to enthrall all the parents and cure injuries miraculously. Three of the youngsters think something doesn’t quite add up and begin a quest to discover what’s really going on. But can they take on the strange Dr. Fell and win? 
Author David Neilsen has conjured up a story that will positively fascinate
David Neilsen
middle-grade readers and cast them under some kind of reading spell–a very good thing. The story is a combination mystery, supernatural, suspense, horror and will keep those eyeballs fast to the pages. Great characters and excellent writing will make this a true winner in the middle-grade category.
I have a gently-read ARC for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower, and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.
Don't forget to check out Shannon Messenger's wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.



Sunday, October 16, 2016

Edna in the Desert -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Keep a small can of WD-40 on your desk-away from any open flames-to remind yourself that if you don't write daily, you will get rusty.” 
~ George Singleton ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
I write some children’s poetry and am always interested in good ideas for that genre. Today’s Little Ditty has a fantastic guest post by Carrie Clickard on using made-up words. Check it out HERE.  

Kristen Lamb always cuts to the chase. HERE she will tell you what a synopsis will reveal about your book. Good stuff. 

Any time I can get new ideas for the editing process, I am happy for it. HERE you will find 9 Tips to Become a Better Self-Editor. 

Just a heads up -- I probably will be MIA next week. I am going to North Carolina for a poetry workshop and will be flying home on Sunday. But I will be back the week after. 

Last week I offered a copy of the wonderful Still a Work in Progress by Jo Knowles. This week's winner is Sue Heavenrich. Congratulations, Sue! If you don't know her, Sue is a writer about science and environmental issue and runs THREE blogs! Holy smoke, I can barely run one. You can find her blogs by clicking on the titles: Archimedes Notebook, Sally's Bookshelf, and The Marcellus Effect. They are all worth a look. Sue, I will get your book out soon. For the rest of you, I have another giveaway, so please keep reading.

I was contacted by Maddy Lederman a few weeks ago and she offered to send me her debut novel, Edna in the Desert, for review. I really liked the concept so put it at the top of my TBR list and, miracle of miracles, I found time last week to get to it. I would call it a tween book, but sophisticated, upper-middle-graders would probably enjoy it. 

Edna is thirteen and lives with her parents and little brother in Beverly Hills. To suggest that she is spoiled is an understatement. Her parents have created this monster, but they are sick and tired of the chaos she creates at school, so they decide the best thing is to drop her off with her grandparents who live in a little cabin in the middle of the desert. They have no television, no computer or internet, and no cell phone reception. There are no restaurants or shops nearby. Edna will spend the summer there. (I must say, as a grandparent of a fifteen-year-old grandson, I must never let my daughter or son-in-law read this book.) Edna will sleep in a tiny pantry and have chores to do every day. She doesn't think she can survive this punishment and actually walks out into the desert in a kind of attention-getting run-away attempt fueled by some thoughts of suicide that actually ends up giving her the impetus to accept her situation after she is
Maddy Lederman
rescued by a drop-dead gorgeous teenage boy. She spends the summer trying to find ways to spend time this boy, Johnny, and inadvertently gets to know her grandparents and herself a whole lot better.

I do like the story, although I think it is a little too neatly wrapped up. The biggest problem I had was the point of view shifts that practically gave me whiplash. It was Edna's story and mostly told from Edna's PoV, but the author seemed unable to stay there, shifting to other character's PoV frequently, sometimes even in the same paragraph or sentence! All that said, the story is good enough to keep most young readers engaged and, who knows, maybe teach them a little something along the way. 
I have a gently-read paperback for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower, and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.

Don't forget to check out Shannon Messenger's wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Still a Work in Progress -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing. Isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination, consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing, and soul-crushing inadequacy. 
And that’s on a good day.” 
~ Robert De Niro~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
I have long been a fan of fractured fairy tales. HERE is a terrific post from Group Blog with good advice for writing them. 

Janice Hardy at Fiction University does it again. The great post HERE is about the important difference between a surprise and a trick. 

From the Mixed Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors you will find a great post HERE on subtext. 

Still having spacing problems. I can't figure it out. Someday maybe I will move to WordPress. I have heard good things.

Last week I offered a copy of The Slowest Book Ever (such a funny and good book!) by April Pulley Sayre to one of you. This week's winner is Jenni Enzor. Congratulations, Jenni! Jenni is a writer and a blogger. You can check out her blog HERE where she posts reviews of middle grade books and also posts about the writing process. Check it out. It's worth your time. I do have another giveaway this week, so stay tuned.

I don't remember where I first heard of Still a Work in Progress by Jo Knowles, but as soon as I read about it, I requested it for review. It sounded like such a good book. I was not disappointed. Here is the 5-star review I wrote for San Francisco Book Review

Seventh grade isn’t easy, but for Noah it’s especially hard. He has great friends—Ryan and Sam—but things are changing. Sam has a girlfriend, and Ryan seems so angry that the three of them are having trouble just being friends. And, of course, The Thing They Don’t Talk About is like a dark cloud over Noah, his sister Emma, and his parents. He worries about it all the time and wonders if it’s his fault or if he should have done more or if it will happen again. And no one, not even his best friends or his teachers or anyone else, seems to worry or care about it. And then it happens all over again, and Noah feels incredibly responsible and alone. 
Author Jo Knowles has written a beautifully crafted novel about a very tough
Jo Knowles
topic, encapsulating it in a laugh-out-loud, very real story of a young boy. Noah tells his story in the pitch-perfect voice of a boy who worries about pimples, girls, farting, a hairless cat, homework, and his best friend, his sister Emma, who seems to be disappearing. This is a profoundly important book that should not be missed.                                I know I said this last week, but it's true again. I kind of hate to give away my copy of this one, but at the same time I feel it deserves to be shared, so I have a gently-read hardback for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower, and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.

Don't forget to check out Shannon Messenger's wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Slowest Book Ever -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." 
~ Ray Bradbury ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
I don’t know if you receive message from the Universe each day in your email, but I do. Sometimes they are the perfect kick-in-the-pants I need. A perfect one I received recently was this: 
Until the really "great" stuff comes along, Rosi, do the not-so-great stuff. 

The not-so-great stuff always leads to the great stuff. Whereas doing nothing pretty much leads to nowhere. 

And do it with a passion. 

Tallyho, 
    The Universe

If you need a fun, inspirational message in your email each day, sign up by emailing the Universe at theuniverse@tut.com. Isn’t that perfect for a writer?

HERE is kind of a fun chart with 33 often misused phrases from Writer’s Digest. 

Kristen Lamb has a great guest post by Alex Limburg HERE on her blog that will help you to infuse your writing with body language to show your characters state of mind. 

I found a fun list of "28 Underused Words You Really Need to Start Using." Some of them (HERE) are humdingers. Enjoy!

Still having spacing problems. Please be patient. I'm trying to find a way to fix it.

Last week, I offered a gently-read ARC of Unbound by Ann E. Burg. The winner this week is Danielle Hammelef. Congratulations, Danielle! It pays to spread the word for extra chances in the drawing. I will get your book out to you this week. If you didn't win, keep reading. I have another giveaway this week.

I love books that cover superlatives -- the biggest, fastest, strongest, etc. When I saw The Slowest Book Ever by April Pulley Sayre on the list of books for review from the San Franscisco Book Review, I grabbed it right up. I'm glad I did. It is just so much fun. Here is the 5-star review I wrote for SFBR.

Everyone probably is familiar with the story of the tortoise and the hare. On reading the story, one is reminded that slow and steady is often a pretty good way to go and when reading this book, it definitely pays to slow down and savor all the wonderfully slow things presented. There are nine sections including nature, animals, plants, geology, stuff, and more. There are also “Two pages on which to rest your face as you ponder the slowness of the universe.” That alone give one a flavor of the book which is a bit irreverent and fun. 
Author April Pulley Sayre has explored the world far and wide to find the slowest
April Pulley Sayre
things to talk about — everything from the expected snail to the largely unexpected cow digestion and the weathering of tombstones and the incredibly slow growth of the Atlantic Ocean. Super fun illustrations, all in black, white, and various tones of orange, help tell the stories and keep young readers interested. Sayre includes a good glossary and index which sandwich a must-be-read end notes section. The writing in this terrific tome is superb — crisp, funny, and smart. Kids will love this one.
I kind of hate to give away my copy of this one, but at the same time I feel it deserves to be shared, so I have a gently-read hardback for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower, and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.

Don't forget to check out Shannon Messenger's wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.