Sunday, September 14, 2014

Smile -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:


"When you write any book you do not know who's going to read it, and you do not know when they're going to read it. You don't know who they will be, you don't know their age, or gender, or nationality, or anything else about them.
So books, anyway, really are like the message in the bottle." 
~ Margaret Atwood ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends: 


K. M. Weiland has a terrific post How to Write a Gut-Wrenching Tragic Scene–Thanks to One Surprising Detail! You can find it HERE

The Editor has two interesting posts on “nothing words.” Check HERE  and HERE for the great tips she offers. These are really good.

Kristin Lamb has a guest post by Marcy Kennedy that is chock full of great grammar advice. Click HERE to read it. I promise it is worth your while.  

Last post, I promised one of you an ARC of Kerman Derman and the Relic of Perilous Falls. After I posted the review, I had an email from the publicist who had originally contacted me telling me the release of the book had been delayed for the foreseeable future. I guess that makes this book a collector's item! Who knows if there will be other copies? Our winner this week is Greg Pattridge. Greg is a middle-school teacher and a writer. His blog, Always in the Middle, is a great read with lots of reviews and writing tips. You can find it HERE. Greg, I will get your book out to you this week.


A couple months ago, I read something about a book that intrigued me enough
to pick it up. I hadn't read a real review of it, just a line or two about a girl who had the kind of accident that could really put a crimp in her growing-up experience. What I didn't know when I picked it up was that it was a graphic novel. Yup, I never even opened it. Just bought it and brought it home. I don't generally read graphic novels. Okay. Not not generally. I never do. But I'm glad I didn't know or I never would have read it. 

Smile opens with Raina finding out she will have to have braces and, as kids are wont to feel, she thinks it's going to be awful and make her a real outcast in sixth grade. She has no idea how bad it can get. As she and some friends race after a Girl Scout meeting, Raina trips and falls in the street. Her two front teeth are gone, but they can only find one of them. The other had been driven in, out of sight. Rushed to the dentist, Raina's teeth are returned to their original place, but whether or not they would stay was another question. And, they do not. There had been bone damage, and Raina begins a long, long journey of trying to find an appropriate treatment that will allow her to look like a normal girl again. All this, of course, while she is trying to fit in
Raina Telgemeier
and find friends and have crushes and compete in school and all the other things kids need to go through. 

Smile follows Raina through middle school into high school. It is autobiographical and is written and illustrated by the very talented Raina Telgemeier. I know kids like this book. My grandson came over when I was reading it and told me he had read it right through when he got it. He doesn't read much right through, so I know he liked it. I also liked it a lot. It's fun, clever, had a great story, and will remind you what it's like to be a kid. I would like to pass my copy along 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 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, September 7, 2014

Kerman Derman and the Relic of Perilous Falls -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:


“A writer is like a bag lady going through life with a sack and a pointed stick collecting stuff.” 
~ Tony Hillerman ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:


Aerogramme Writer’s Studio has a fun post: 23 Writing Tips from Booker-Prize Winning Authors. You can find it HERE.

Kathy Temean over at Writing and Illustrating has a gives us Ten Tips to Juice Up Your Protagonist. Click HERE for this helpful post.  

Writing Tips from Janice Hardy at Fiction University has a wonderful post HERE discussing the softer conflicts that can make your scenes work so well. Don’t miss it. 

I have a book for my recommended list. This is a book I just read and reviewed
for San Francisco Book Review, but the review hasn't been published yet. Sometimes I review a book and can't bring myself to give it away, and this is one of those. But I want people to know about it. The title is Voices from the March on Washington. It is a collection of poems written by J. Patrick Lewis and George Ella Lyon that tell the story of that important event from the points of view of several people who might have been part of it. It is fiction, but so well researched and so movingly written, I really think it is worth your time. It is aimed at young people, but I think adults will appreciate it as well. It is powerful stuff. The book won't actually be out until October, but you can pre-order it or ask your library to order it now.


Last week I promised one of you a copy of The Secret of Haney Field. This winner if Elizabeth Varadan. Congratulations, Elizabeth! I will get the book to you very soon. If you don't know Elizabeth, she is a writer of all kinds of things, but mysteries are her special bailiwick. You can find out more about her at her blog, Fourth Wish. You will find it HERE.

While we were traveling last week, I had a chance to read Kerman Derman and the Relic of Perilous Falls. This book was sent to me for review by the publisher and it is coming out tomorrow. I really enjoyed it. It's a real romp -- sort of a young person's combination of Raiders of the Lost Ark meets the Da Vinci Code in middle school. Kerman Derman is caught up in a battle between good and evil in his small hometown of Perilous Falls. A holy relic had been brought to Perilous Falls by Kerman's great-grandfather, and it has protected the town ever since. Ernest Derman rescued the relic from a church in Germany during World War II. When Kerman's brother breaks his arm, Kerman gets it into his head that if he can get the relic out of its safe respository at the local church, he can heal his brother. What he doesn't realize is that the forces of evil are waiting for just such a moment to get the relic and use it for evil purposes. Kerman acts like the 12-year-old he is and gets his buddies to help him break through some incredible defenses to steal the relic, only to turn it over to a truly evil being. Then all hell breaks loose. Can Kerman ever make things right or will his town, family, and way of life be destroyed?

I have an ARC for 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 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.