Thought for the day: “Don't romanticize your "vocation". You can either write good sentences or you can't. There is no "writer's lifestyle". All that matters is what you leave on the page. And work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet.” ~Zadie Smith
A gift for my writer friends. Creating characters seemed to be on more than one mind than just mine when I wrote my last post. Others were writing about character creation. The following two links are very good and continue the discussion. Enjoy!
The first book I want to talk about is Ted & Me by Dan Gutman. This is a middle grade novel that is eleventh book in a series called the Baseball Adventures. I can’t believe I didn’t discover this series sooner. I LOVE this book! If the others are even close to this good, I will be reading them all.
Joe Stoshack, Stosh to his friends, is a thirteen-year-old, baseball playing All-American kid. But there is another piece to him. He can time-travel and his vehicle is baseball cards. If he holds a Honus Wagner card, for instance, from the year 1910, he will travel to wherever Honus Wagner is at that time. Pretty cool, huh? Only a few people – his mother, father, uncle, and coach – know about his ability, and yet, one day an agent from the FBI shows up on their doorstep and knows about Stosh’s time traveling. We never find out how the FBI knows, but that is just about the only glitch in this book. The agency wants Stosh to go back in time to warn FDR about the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The agent claims it will save millions of lives. He leaves a signed Ted Williams card for Stosh and asks him to think it over. Stosh’s mother says it’s his decision. Interestingly enough, Stosh’s coach is against it. He feels if the bombing of Pearl Harbor never happens, the U.S. won’t get into the war, Hitler will win, millions more will be killed, etc., etc. But Stosh’s uncle tells him a story of a missed opportunity, and Stosh decides he should go for it.
However, I’m not giving this book away. My grandson, whose given name is Gehrig and who is a terrific baseball player, will be getting my copy. I think he will love it.
Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator. The book opens at the funeral of Guy’s father. Guy and his father were very, very close and this is a terribly sad time for Guy. So how is it, you might ask, that one would be laughing out loud before the short chapter is over? I don’t know, but the author, Josh Berk, is flat funny. You know, one of those people who know how to put the fun back in funeral.
Guy, who happens to be Jewish, is talked into joining the after school forensics club by his best friend, Anoop, who is of East Indian descent (and breaks any stereotypes people might have about that) so Guy can meet the girl of his dreams. I love quirky side-kick characters, and Anoop is the best I’ve read in a long time. (The best side-kick character is from another hysterically funny YA – the character of Victoria in Robin Benway’s laugh-out-loud Audrey, Wait! If you haven’t read that, do!) Anyway, back to Guy Langman. Guy is left with very little from his father – some advice and three gold coins. Guy tries to work through his grief by writing a book about his father and his witty advice. He and Anoop also keep busy with the forensics club and girls. When the three gold coins are stolen from Guy’s house, the club decides to solve the crime. The club also gets involved in a forensics competition and finds a dead body, another crime they think they can solve. Now things really get interesting.
On the book giveaway, this is for U.S. only. Sorry, but it would be too expensive for me to send books out of the country. But please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. Remember, if you have trouble leaving a comment, click on the title of the post and it will give you just this post with a comments section on the bottom. Also, if you haven’t signed up by email, please do. Just look in the upper right-hand corner of this page, pop your email address in, and you will receive an email each time I put up a new post. Your information will not be shared with anyone.