Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dash by Kirby Larson -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:


“The thing about creativity is, people are going to laugh at it.
Get over it.”
~ Twyla Tharp ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Anne R. Allen has a post all of us need at one time or another. Click HERE to read 14 Block-Busting Never-Fail Tips Every Writer Needs to Know.

Fiction University has a terrific post HERE by Stephanie Gaither on How to Hook Readers from Page One.

I have often wondered what someone means when using the term “literary fiction” and have never gotten a clear answer. Dear Editor.com has a pretty good answer to this. Take a look HERE to see what she has to say. 

Last week, I offered my gently-read copy of All Four Stars by Tara Dairman to one of you. This week's winner is Joanne Fritz. Congratulations, Joanne!! WooHoo for you!! If you don't know Joanne, you can find her blog HERE, and it is worth your time. She does book reviews and giveaways and then there's the brain stuff... Well, you'll have to check it out and take a moment to read her About Me tab. Joanne, I will send the book out this week. For the rest of you, stay tuned as I have another great giveaway this week.

I am going to make this short and sweet this week. I was up at 4:30 this morning so we could drive two hours to an early morning baseball tournament my grandson played in. It was a long day including two games for him and coming home in time to watch the NLCS game between the S. F. Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals. Just about enough baseball to keep me happy. Anyway, I
am beat. So I am going to reprint the short review I wrote of Dash by Kirby Larson. I had a the great pleasure of meeting Kirby at a Highlight's Workshop I attended last year, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this lovely book. It did not disappoint, hence the 5-star review. 

Mitsi Kashino is returning to her fifth-grade classroom after Christmas vacation, but her best friends, Mags and Judy, aren’t at their usual meeting place. At school, Mags and Judy are hanging out with Patty, who has never been nice. Judy and Mags ignore Mitsi and never defend her when Patty is mean. At least she still has her very best friend, her sweet dog Dash. But soon everything changes. The Kashino family is sent to an internment camp, and Mitsi isn’t allowed to take Dash. Life in the internment camp is hard on the family, and sometimes the family seems to be disintegrating. Will anything ever be right again for Mitsi and her family?
 
Kirby Larson takes her readers back in time to one of the saddest chapters in
Kirby Larson
our history to tell the moving story of a very American family. Her impeccable research and great writing makes this story feel absolutely authentic. Young readers will be transported and completely immersed in Mitsi’s story, all the while learning an important history lesson without knowing it. This book should find a home in middle-grade classrooms and school libraries across the country and will transcend that age group. Don’t miss this one.

I have a gently-read hardback copy of this wonderful book to offer to one of you. 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. 

And don't forget to check Shannon Messenger's wonderful blog for more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways. Click HERE to visit.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

All Four Stars -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:


Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, 
and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. 
You simply must do things.” 
~ Ray Bradbury ~



Gifts for My Writer Friends:

K. M. Weiland has a list HERE of ten tools to make writers more efficient. Check it out.

For some good ideas on helpful critiques from Writers Rumpus, click HERE.

Dealing with rejections? HERE and HERE are a couple of links that will help you out. 

Last week, I offered my ARC of The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer to one of my readers. This week's winner is Helen! Congratulations, Helen. I will get the book out to you this week. For the rest of you, another great giveaway coming up this week, so stay tuned to the end.

I have a positively delicious middle-grade book this week. A few weeks ago, I was the lucky winner of a brand-spankin' new hardback copy of All Four Stars by Tara Dairman from the Literary Rambles blog. If you aren't reading Literary Rambles, you are missing a good bet. Casey McCormick and Natalie Aguirre share duties there and do a lot of book reviews, book giveaways, author interviews, and agent spotlights. There are great resources there. Click HERE to check it out.

Anyway, it took me awhile to find time to read All Four Stars, but it was sure worth the wait. What a fun read. Gladys Gatsby, eleven, loves good food and, even more, loves to cook it. Unfortunately, Gladys's parents are terrible cooks, have absolutely no palate, and certainly don't encourage Gladys's passion. Gladys, a latch-key kid, does all her cooking after school and before her parents get home. She airs out the house and hides the evidence each day, so her parents won't know what she's up to. All is going well until Gladys uses her father's blow torch (Yup. I said blow torch!) to make creme brulee, but sets the kitchen on fire. And, of course, her parents come home early that day. This is not the best day for Gladys. She is forbidden to cook anything, has her allowance cut off until the curtains are paid for, and is ordered to do more "kid" activities like playing video games, watching sitcoms, etc. How will Gladys ever get back to cooking and eating good food? 

Tara Dairman has written a peach of a book for middle-graders and anyone else
Tara Dairman
who loves funny, creative stories. I love the upside-down life of Gladys Gatsby with parents who seem to want the opposite for Gladys than any parents would. I love the persistence and creativity of Gladys. I love the middle-school problems she faces being something of an outsider. In fact, there is nothing about this book I don't love. I just had so much fun reading it, and I know you will as well. Get hold of a copy. This is a real winner.

I am offering my gently-read hardback copy of this to one of you. 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. 

And don't forget to check Shannon Messenger's wonderful blog for more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways. Click HERE to visit.