Sunday, July 24, 2016

Aim -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my
literary thinking all my life.”  
~ Hunter S. Thompson ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Angela Ackerman has a good one HERE called Let’s Get Sensory: Powering Scenes Using the 5 Senses. 

Dr. John Yeoman has a fun and useful post HERE called How to Shape Great Stories with Word Games. 

Alex at Ride the Pen has some terrific ideas HERE about enriching your story with subtext. Warning: he uses a lot of bad words, but has good advice. 

Last week I offered a gently-read paperback of Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan to one of you. This week's winner is Helen! Congratulations, Helen. I will get the book out to you soon. For the rest of you, stay tuned. I have another wonderful book to give away.

Back in 2011, I reviewed a book called Healing Water: A Hawaiian Story by Joyce Moyer Hostetter. I loved that book (even though I called it Healing WaterS with a big, fat S when I reviewed it HERE). It was so different from anything else I had read. If you are not familiar with it, please check out the review. Anyway, when I heard Joyce had a new book coming out this year called Aim, I was really excited. When I was able to get my hands on an ARC, I was doubly excited. I was not disappointed. It's such a wonderful book. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review

Junior Bledsoe has much on his plate. His father’s a drunk, his granddaddy, who shares Junior’s bedroom, is a cranky, mean old man, World War II is looming, and the spinster next door is his teacher. Junior doesn’t see much reason to stay in school. He could be earning money so Momma could have something nice now and then. Junior has watched his father take apart and repair engines as long as he can remember. He’s sure he can do the same. His father goes out one night and is found dead in the morning. Now school really seems useless. Junior needs to find out how his father died. He learns a lot about his family and himself as he tries to discover what really happened.

“There we were, just sort of floating above the river—a grand
place to be on a school day, up at the height of the trees,
with the river below us, washing on downstream.”

Perhaps the true test of good fiction is that the reader must believe every word. That is the case with this wonderful story. Joyce Moyer Hostetter’s writing is
Joyce Moyer Hostetter
spectacular. She’s done excellent research and takes readers to another time and place and creates characters of great complexity and richness. The voice of young Junior Bledsoe is pitch-perfect in this first person narrative. Aim deserves a much wider readership than a middle-grade audience.

Joyce is a very prolific author and all her books deserve your time and attention. Please check them all out. She also has a newsletter about reading and writing that she and Carol Baldwin put out called Talking Story. You can see it by clicking HERE. It always has good things in it.  

Aim won't be out until October, but you can win an ARC here. I have a gently-read 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, July 17, 2016

Counting by 7s -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“What we expect rarely occurs; what we don't expect is what happens.”
~ Holly Goldberg Sloan ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Tired of your characters all sounding alike. Kathy Temean at Writing and Illustrating has a good post HERE on giving your characters unique voices.

Angela Ackerman did a great gust post HERE on 5 mistakes writers make with setting. As always, Angela has something worth your while. 

Helen Pyne has a fine post HERE on Through the Tollbooth about getting to the end of your novel. This will help most writers. 

No giveaway last week as I was busy supporting my local library, but this week I have knocked another book off my TBR pile and have a giveaway for you. Maybe I am the last person on the planet to get around to reading the very popular Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan. After all, it has been out for almost two years, but I suspect there are a few others who still have this on their I'll-Get-to-It-Soon list. Maybe this will spur you on to get to it.

Willow Chance is 12 years old and is different from most kids her age in several ways. She is obsessed with a few things -- medical problems (she likes to diagnose people's problems), everything about nature, and she counts by 7s. I don't exaggerate when I say obsessed. If someone were to diagnose Willow, it would surely be a diagnosis of OCD. Willow is also adopted and her parents are older than the parents of most other kids with whom she goes to school. Not that she spends much time with those kids. She is really a loner and doesn't have friends. And she is smarter than all the other kids -- probably than most of her teachers! When she is given a state-mandated test, she finishes it in no time and gets a perfect score. The teacher and principal can only come to one conclusion -- she cheated. She is sent for counseling. This is truly life-changing for Willow. Not because her counselor is so good at his job. Anything but. 

Counselor Dell Duke doesn't love his job, but he tolerates it and truly tries to do no harm. But counseling doesn't seem to be a big part of it. The good he does, for the most part, is pretty accidental. But Willow finds a couple other kids, a brother and sister named Quang-ha and Mai, on her forays to Dell Duke's office and decides she wants to be friends with the sister. Naturally, Willow teaches herself Vietnamese to be able to make that friend. It is on one visit to Duke that he ends up taking them all home and, when they arrive at Willow's home, they discover Willow's parents have both been killed in a terrible accident. Thus begins a journey that draws all these people (and a couple more) into a fascinating alliance and changes every one of them in wonderful ways. The writing, characters, and story are all amazing. I need to find out what else Holly Goldberg Sloan has written and add her other books to my TBR list.

Holly Goldberg Sloan

There are a lot of dead-parent stories, it seems, in middle-grade literature. Sometimes it seems a bit much, but I understand the reason for it. If a writer thinks about what worries kids this age, this is probably the very thing that worries them most. For Willow, this is the most devastating since she has no other relatives she knows of. That almost certainly means foster care -- something kids this age worry about too -- but this is a story that is filled with hope and personal growth and is anything but a dead-parent downer. I loved this book and found it so uplifting. If you haven't read it yet, I hope you will. To that end, I will pass along my copy to one of you.

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, July 10, 2016

Wolf Hollow -- a Review

Thought for the Day:
“To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the
beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.”
~ T.S. Eliot ~


Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Steven Pressfield has a really interesting post HERE about writing out of sequence. I never would have thought of doing this, but now maybe I will.

The Editor’s Blog always has great stuff. The post HERE on reviving scenes with verbs is really terrific.  

HERE are writing tips from 50 famous authors. Some good stuff and some that seems silly. 

When last we met, I promised a gently-read hardback of Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee to one of you. This week's winner is books4learning. I don't know the person's real name, but you can see his/her blog HERE, and she/he is an educator and avid reader of children's books. Congratulations, books4learning! I will get your book out this week. I have no giveaway this week, but I have a review of a terrific book, so I hope you will all keep reading.

I have had some adult books from the San Francisco Book Review I had to get through so haven't anything lined up for a giveaway, but I did get to the library and finally knock one of the books off my TBR list that has been at the top for awhile. It is Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk. Goodness! What a wonderful book. I'm so glad I got to it. 
Lauren Wolk with her book Wolf Hollow

Annabelle lives with her parents, two younger brothers, her grandparents, and cranky Aunt Lily on a farm near a small town in Pennsylvania. It is 1943 with WWII raging across the ocean, but echoing even in America's small towns. These are simple people and their lives are simple and comfortable. The children walk to school each day through Wolf Hollow, the little boys spurting ahead of Annabelle and leaving her walking on her own. Sometimes she sees Toby in the fields as she's walking. He's an odd fellow who lives in the hills, seldom talks or interacts with anyone, and lives in an old smokehouse. But Annabelle has always known he is a good person and has never been afraid of him.

One day a new girl shows up as Annabelle is walking to school and threatens Annabelle. He name is Betty and she is clearly a bully. But Annabelle says nothing to anyone and decides to handle this on her own. She hears that Betty has been sent to live with her grandparents because she is incorrigible, a word new to Annabelle, but one she soon understands. Betty's behavior escalates and she curries favor with a boy named Andy to assists her in some of her more nefarious escapades. But when Annabelle's little brother James is injured by one of Betty and Andy's nasty tricks, Annabelle nows she must get help in stopping her. Betty turns everything around on Annabelle and soon the town is divided. Things get even worse as Annabelle's best friend Ruth is terribly hurt, and Betty claims the deed was done by Toby. And when Betty disappears, Toby is immediately suspected. How much worse can it get? 

This book should be very high on everyone's TBR list. It is certainly one of the best I have read in a very long time. It reminds me in many ways of To Kill a Mockingbird, and I can't think of much higher praise than that. The writing is amazing. The story and characters and setting are a perfect confluence for a most memorable book, one that should become an instant classic. Even though this is marketed as a middle-grade book, it should be much more widely read than that. Get this book. Read it. And do it soon. It's just so good!

While I don't have a giveaway this week, I will have one next week, so please come back. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. 


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

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Maybe a Fox -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
"Gather knowledge about the craft of writing. Immerse yourself in the art of it. Then write.
Write yourself silly. Write yourself mad. Write yourself blind. Trust the excitement that builds
within you when the idea is good and the writing is superb. You can do it, but that's the hell of it as well as the exultation of it. You have to do it.”
~ Elizabeth George ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Think you have a good idea for a book? Janice Hardy at Fiction University has some questions HERE you should ask yourself before embarking on that writing journey. 

Helen Pyne has a terrific post on Through the Tollbooth HERE about how to use setting to reveal much about your characters. 

Alex Limberg has a good post HERE on spiffing up your dialogue — always a good idea.

Last week I promised one of you a paperback copy of Patriot Papers: Bursting with Fun Facts about America's Early Rebels. This week's winner is Patty Hawthorne. Congratulations, Patty! I will get the book out to you this week. For the rest of you, hang on. Another great giveaway coming this week.

I found myself in a strange position this week of having nothing already reviewed and in my queue. My reading and reviewing was cut way back during my husband's long illness, so the well was pretty dry. I do have quite a TBR pile, though, books I don't seem to get to since there always seems to be a book I need to review that has a deadline. On top of the pile? Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee. I have really meant to get to this one for quite a while, but life got in the way. 

Jules and her sister Sylvie are best friends, but like best friends and sisters, sometimes they argue and want to do things differently from the other. Sylvie is a runner, the fastest runner in their school. Jules is a rock hound with a huge collection of all kinds of rocks, including several wishing rocks. They know from a neighbor woman that if they put their wish on a rock and throw it into "the Slip," a place where the river boils and disappears into the ground, their wish may come true. The girls are strictly forbidden by their father to go anywhere near the Slip. But one morning, Sylvie insists she will run quickly to the Slip and back, in plenty of time to catch the school bus. Jules tries to stop her, but Sylvie slips away, leaving Jules with only Sylvie's empty mitten in her hand. And Sylvie is gone. 
Kathi Appelt

The girls' good friend, Sam, tries to be there for Jules, but he is dealing with losses of his own besides the loss of Sylvie. Though his wishing rocks seem to have worked, bringing his brother, Elk, home from Afghanistan, Elk's best friend, Zeke, did not return, and it is a terrible loss for both the boys. And Elk is not the same, adding to Sam's loss.

At the same time, a fox is about to give birth to three kits, one of which, the mother realizes, is a Kennen, a magical being with a special connection to other Kennen beings, human and animal. The reader comes to realize that the little fox kit, Senna, is somehow connected to Jules. Can all these damaged people be helped by the magical creatures in this story? 

Alison McGhee
I am not a big fantasy reader, but this is such an enchanting book, I am really glad I picked it up. The writing is beautiful, the story is terribly sad and sweet, and the characters will grab your heart and leave an indelible impression. Keep the tissues handy, but make time to get to this one. It's lovely.

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, June 26, 2016

Patriot Papers -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
"Gather knowledge about the craft of writing. Immerse yourself in the art of it. Then write. 
Write yourself silly. Write yourself mad. Write yourself blind. Trust the excitement that builds 
within you when the idea is good and the writing is superb. You can do it, but that's 
the hell of it as well as the exultation of it. You have to do it.”
~ Elizabeth George ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
T. P. Jagger has a fun and useful post HERE on From the Mixed Up Files…of Middle-Grade Writers that will give you 120 ways to get your characters moving.

If you think your book needs a good dose of realism, check out the terrific article HERE by Steven Pressfield. 

Interesting article HERE on ways to create more memorable characters. 

I seldom talk about books for adults here, but I do read them now and again. I just read the debut novel by Elizabeth J. Church called The Atomic Weight of Love. It is pretty spectacular! It is historical fiction beginning just prior to WWII and is set mostly in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The writing is gorgeous and the story and characters very compelling. Great summer read.

Last week, I offered one of you an ARC of Sleepover by Jen Malone. This week's winner is Danielle Hammelef. Congratulations, Danielle! I will get the book out to you this week. I don't know anything about Danielle except that she reads and comments each week and spreads the word about my giveaways on Pinterest, Twitter, and Google +. Those extra chances paid off. Thanks for doing that Danielle. For the rest of you, stay tuned. I have another great giveaway.

I've kind of been saving this one for close to the Fourth of July. I think it's perfect for this time of year. The book is Patriot Papers by Emelia Whippie Prior and J. J. Prior. The authors are both middle-grade teachers in New Hampshire. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review

There is a great deal of interest and conversation about the Constitution just now with an election year and an opening on the Supreme Court. This is a great time to get kids talking about the founding documents of our country. This book is a perfect entry for the middle-grade set. It examines the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America, and the U. S. Bill of Rights. Pretty dry stuff, eh? Not in this book. Every page is graphically exciting with Fun Facts pulled out and featured along with some word definitions, timelines, illustrations, photographs, important dates and events, maps, and more. A section in the back highlights 23 significant people of the time who influenced the founding of the country. This group includes the usual suspects such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, but also includes women and people of color and even an unnamed spy. 

“Fun Fact: The Constitution never says how many judges
the court should have (today there are nine) or what
qualifications they must have.”

The authors also have ideas for teaching with the book including activities and helpful websites. Authors J. J. Prior and Elizabeth Whippie Prior have created a way fun for kids to examine the documents in their original language. Teachers, parents, and kids will all love this book.

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, June 19, 2016

The Sleepover -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
"When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a 
gun in his hand."
~ Raymond Chandler ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Sue Colletta wrote a very useful post on The Wicked Writing Blog HERE that has 10  ways to keep readers enthralled. 

I saw myself in this post by Janice Hardy on Fiction University. HERE you will find a good post on too much plot. 

Martina Boone at Adventures in YA Publishing has a great post about tricks to creating engaging characters HERE. This is just Part I, so there will be more. 

Last week I offered one of you a hardback copy of Sweet Home Alaska by Carole Estby Dagg. This week's winner is Nancy. Congratulations, Nancy! I will get the book out to you this week. For the rest of you, please stay tuned. I have another cute book to give away this week.

When I saw Jen Malone had a new book coming out, I couldn't resist getting a copy for review. I loved her earlier book, At Your Service, that I reviewed HERE. The Sleepover is terrific and I loved it just as much. The cover is perfect! Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review

Middle-schooler Meghan has never made it through an overnight, but tonight will be different. It’s Anne-Marie’s birthday and with Paige, the three best friends are planning an EPIC night, but a few things go awry. First Anne-Marie’s future step-sister, Veronica, joins the party, and she is pretty wacky. She has hired a hypnotist to entertain the girls at the party. Anne-Marie’s little brother is trying to make a name for himself with on-line videos. He loves to post pictures of his sister looking foolish, and he gets in the mix. When the girls wake up in the morning, they find Meghan wearing the sweatshirt of a local bad boy, on whom Meghan has a huge crush, and Anne-Marie is missing. No one can remember anything from the night before!

“So what if he’s gorgeous, with this kind of blue-black 
hair that falls across his face and bright blue eyes that 
have actual soul to them?”

Jen Malone is in the habit of writing smart, funny middle-grade novels with compelling characters and super stories. This is no exception. The voice of
Jen Malone
Meghan, the narrator of this story, is absolutely pitch perfect. The writing is snappy, the dialogue sounds right out of a middle-grade playground, and there is just a little bit of romance to spice things up. 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, June 12, 2016

Sweet Home Alaska -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Patience is also a form of action.” 
~ Auguste Rodin ~ 

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Rejections got you down? Maybe you shouldn’t let it get to you so much. Find out HERE why. 

Keeping your characters in character is pretty darned important. HERE at Through the Tollbooth, Catherine Linka gives us some pretty darned good tips for doing that. 

Bonnie Randall wrote a good article at Fiction University HERE about using cliches in a whole new way. Check it out. 

Last week I promised an ARC of A Weird and Wild Beauty: The Story of Yellowstone, the World's First National Park by Erin Peabody. This week's winner is warrchick, AKA Suzanne Warr, a North Carolina writer who blogs at Tales from the Raven. Check out her blog HERE. She also participates in Marvelous Middle Grade Monday and has lots of good reviews and other stuff. Congratulations, Suzanne. I will get your book out to you soon.

I probably should have gotten around to reviewing Sweet Home Alaska by Carole Estby Dagg some time ago. After all, it came out in February, but life got in the way. But it's never too late to share about a good book. It reminded me of some favorite books from my childhood -- the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink, and the Anne of Green Gables books. It is a real treat. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.

Terpsichore’s family has been hit hard by the Depression. Pop’s job is gone and there are no others for him or others in their small Wisconsin town. When FDR offers lands and loans in Matanuska Valley, Alaska, to families like the Johnsons, Pop wants to go. They start this great adventure with the caveat that Mother can decide whether or not they will stay after their second harvest in Alaska. The young village grows in the valley with a lot of enthusiastic people and a few bumps along the way such as buildings taking long to be built and a doctor and hospital coming late. But Terpsichore makes friends and learns to love her new home, as do her sisters. But Mother misses her own mother and the piano they couldn’t bring. The fear is Mother will vote to leave, but Terpsichore has an idea to change Mother’s mind.

“Terpsichore looked at the faces of colonists around her.
People were beginning to hope again.”

Based on real happenings, this engaging novel is filled with charming characters and a very compelling story set in a time and place readers will find fascinating. Author Carole Estby Dagg’s excellent research shows as does her talent for
Carole Estby Dagg
creating believable scenarios and dialogue. This deserves wider readership than middle-graders.

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, June 5, 2016

A Weird and Wild Beauty -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader. Not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”
~ E.L. Doctorow ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Greg Pattridge has come up with a good method HERE to avoid slowing your story down with too much back story. 

Overused words? Erika Wassal has a guest post on those HERE on Writing and Illustrating. Check it out. 

Kristen Lamb writes great posts for writers and the one HERE is just plain fun, telling us 13 Ways Writers are Mistaken for Serial Killers. 

Last week I promised an ARC of Cici Reno: MiddleSchoolMatchmaker by Kristina Springer to one of you. This week's winner is Janet Smart, a children's writer and blogger from West Virginia. If you haven't checked out her blog, Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch (Don't you love that title?), you can do so now by clicking HERE. I recommend it. Congratulations, Janet. I will get the book out to you this week. 

One of my grandkids is already out of school for the summer, and the other will be out next week. It's that time of year when people are planning vacations and getting away. My family's favorite excursions would include any national park we could get to. Our National Park system is amazing. In honor of the vacation season and our National Parks, this week I am offering an ARC of A Weird and Wild Beauty: the Story of Yellowstone, the World's First National Park by Erin Peabody. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review

The very first national park in the world was Yellowstone National Park. The bill passed by congress and signed into law by Ulysses S. Grant in 1872 set aside more than 2 million acres of spectacular wilderness for people to enjoy. But how did this all come about? The area had been largely ignored by white Americans. It was hard to reach, particularly in the winter, and it was an area used for hunting and held sacred by Native Americans, who fiercely protected it. But when gold was discovered there, white settlers were willing to go, and they discovered a land of wild and strange beauty with bubbling mud, hissing hillsides, roaring rivers, and great wildlife. It took a wealthy railroad magnate, geologists, other scientists, conservationists, artists, and more to bring about this amazing bill to protect this wild and beautiful place. 

“Hayden’s small party bound for the land of bubbling fountains departed on the morning of July 31. The excitement must have been palpable as they contemplated upcoming wonders that Langford had described as ‘entirely out of the range of human experience.’”

There have been histories of this great park written, but never one for the middle-grade crowd. This book, with lively writing, great research, and
Erin Peabody
wonderful photographs, maps, and other graphics, deserves a much wider readership than its intended audience and should find a place in libraries and classrooms everywhere.

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.