Sunday, April 30, 2017

Big and Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd) -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
”Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do---the actual act of writing -- turns out to be the best part. It's like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward. 
~ Anne Lamott ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Cathy Ballou Mealy has a terrific post HERE on changing your perspective to give you a kick in the writing pants. 

Writer’s Digest publishes some interesting guest posts. HERE Catherine Egan gives us 7 Writing Rules You Can Ignore. 

Augusta Scattergood has a nice post about naming HERE on the Nerdy Book Club blog.

I don't mention picture books too often here, but I won a copy of a new picture book from Carol Federlin Baldwin and Joyce Moyer Hostetter on their Talking Story newsletter. You can visit HERE. The book is a wonderful new biography of Dorothea Lange and if you enjoy picture book biographies, you are sure to enjoy this one by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Sarah Green.

Last week, I offered an ARC of Ronit & Jamil to one of you. This week's winner is Ruth Tenzer Feldman. If you don't know Ruth, she is a very well-published author from the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about her and her books HERE. Congratulations, Ruth! I will be getting the book out to you this week. For the rest of you, please keep reading. I have a very sweet book to give away.

I read about a middle-grade novel somewhere -- wish I could remember where -- and asked the folks at Manhattan Book Review to try to get a copy for me. They did, and I'm happy to share it with you today. The book is Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd) by Julie Bowe and here is the review I wrote for Manhattan Book Review.

Wren, nine years old, has been away for two months staying with her grandparents. She hasn’t texted or talked with her best friend, Amber, all that time. She just doesn’t know what to say or how to tell Amber that Wren’s family isn’t a family any more. Her parents are getting a divorce. But when Wren gets back at the end of summer, she discovers Amber is pretty mad and she has made a new friend, Mariana, who doesn’t seem very nice. But things aren’t always what they seem to be. Navigating middle school is tough enough without a disintegrating family, but Wren finds her way through the morass of having divorcing parents and living in two homes, and she also finds some new friendships and renews some old ones.

Julie Bowe has written a very engaging book for younger middle-graders that
Julie Bowe
Photo Credit: Jake Avery
tackles some tough topics — divorce, friendship, lying, secrets, and more. The voice (first-person narration) is spot on, the characters, both children and adults, are very believable, and the small-town setting is perfect to contain this story. This should be very popular with the middle-grade set and beyond.
 


I have a gently-read hardback copy of this sweet book to share with 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, April 23, 2017

Ronit & Jamil -- a Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
~ Zig Ziglar ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Janice Hardy again with a great revision trick HERE about getting rid of passive voice. 

I received an email from Alex at Ride the Pen with a link to this absolutely spectacular post about getting rid of thought verbs and strengthening your writing HERE. Do not miss this one. 

Writer’s in the Storm has a great post HERE on how to get your characters through adversity. 

Maybe I will find the way back to my writing. The flip house I have been working on is finished and went on the market yesterday. Fingers crossed! If you are interested in seeing what we came up with, you can click HERE. And if you know anyone who lives near Sacramento and needs a house, send them this way. 

Last week I offered a chance to win one copy each of Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere by Elise Gravel and Stick Cat by Tom Watson along with some art work from both. I've never done a giveaway from a publisher before, but the way it works is I send them the winner's information and they will send out the prize, so I have little control on timing. This week's winner is Dorine White. Congratulations, Dorine! If you don't know Dorine, she is a writer of YA and MG fantasy and has several books published. You can read more about her and find some good book reviews at her blog, The Write Path, HERE. Dorine, I will ask the publisher to send your prize post haste. For the rest of you, please keep reading. I have another giveaway.

I am becoming more and more enamored with books in verse, so I always grab them when they come up for review. Part of the attraction for me is the brevity. I simply can get through more books when they are written in verse, but beyond that they are generally great stories and really well written. They sometimes attack difficult subjects and are a conduit to good discussions with young people who see books in verse as very accessible. This week's choice was offered to me through Manhattan Book Review, and I snapped it right up. The book is Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin, and here is the review I wrote for them.

Ronit, an Israeli teen, lives with her parents and sisters near the wall that separates her village from the Palestinian territory. Ronit goes with her father, a pharmacist, to a clinic in East Jerusalem run by an Arab doctor. The doctor’s son, Jamil, is there. Both fathers warn their children to not look at the other. Of course, they do look at each other and find each is fascinated with the other. Soon they are finding ways to meet and spend time together, and, inevitably, they fall in love. Over time, their love deepens, and they become more and more desperate to be together. But the danger is always that their families will discover their relationship and put an end to it.

The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is one many young Americans know little about.
Pamela L. Laskin
This modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet is an excellent story to use to introduce the issue. It is a short book, beautifully written in spare, lyrical verse that incorporates lines from Shakespeare’s play as well as from Middle-Eastern poetry. Author Pamela L. Laskin also uses some Middle-Eastern poetic forms. This book will likely become a classroom favorite.

I have an ARC of this lovely tome to share with 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, April 16, 2017

Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere & Stick Cat -- Double Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Writing is hard for every last one of us… Coal mining is harder. Do you think
coal miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal?
They do not. They simply dig.”
~ Cheryl Strayed ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
We all know our epic novels are made of lots of scenes, but do we always pay attention to making each scene the best we can? Bookfox has a great post HERE to help us make sure we do. 

K. M. Weiland has a wonderful post HERE that will help you keep your readers riveted by your writing. 

We all suffer from writer’s block now and again (or if you are like me, for months on end!). Group Blog has a great post HERE to help you break through. It is filled with a veritable plethora of idea to get you out of a writers miasma. 

When we last met here, I promised a gently-read, autographed hardback copy of Making Friends with Billy Wong, Augusta Scattergood's wonderful new book, to one of you. Our winner this week is Jenni Enzor. Congratulations, Jenni! Thanks for reading and commenting. I will get the book out to you this week. For those of you who don't know Jenni, you can read some mighty fine book reviews at her blog HERE. She is also a writer of middle-grade fiction. Check it out. Please keep reading as I have a rather special giveaway this week.

I was contacted by a publicist at HarperCollins last month to see if I would like to host a giveaway on my blog for two new middle-grade books. They looked pretty cute, so I agreed. I received my copies just a few days ago so have only read one and partially read the other. (Thanks, HarperCollins, for sending me copies and providing the prize package!) 

Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere by Elise Gravel is for the younger middle-grade set. It's the story of a girl who loves animals and discovers a new species -- a strange-looking, smelly thing -- and how she discovers what it likes and how to keep it happy. There are some fun characters her age and even a couple of cool adults who help her along the way. The book is FULL of black, red, and grey illustrations -- very cute ones that really support the story. There is a LOT farting, peeing, and pooping in the book -- not exactly my cup of tea -- but I asked my granddaughter to read some of it and give me her opinion. She thought it was hysterical, so it should do well with the kiddies.

Stick Cat by Tom Watson brings to mind the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and
Big Nate books, books I happen to love. I've only read a few pages of Stick Cat, but I can already tell I will like it a lot.  Here is the blurb from HarperCollins: "In the first adventure (available now), it’s a big day in the big city for Stick Cat and his best friend, Edith. There are treasures to hunt, songs to sing, pigeons to catch, and naps to take. But way up on the 23rd floor, danger lurks just around the corner. Terrible noises and violent crashes trap a desperate man in the building across the alley. Stick Cat will need to navigate his way across the alley—and around Edith’s peculiar ways—to attempt a rescue." I am really looking forward to finishing it. I suspect I will laugh a lot.

HarperCollins has offered one copy of each book and art prints from each of the books creators to one lucky winner. 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, April 9, 2017

Making Friends with Billy Wong -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it,
ignore it; or offer your own version in return. 
~ Salman Rushdie ~ 

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Janice Hardy has been running a 28-day revision workshop. I could have posted links to all of them, but I have picked some that I thought were particularly useful. HERE is one. 

Ride the Pen has a free mini-guide HERE to avoiding the problem of telling instead of showing. 

Just for fun, Buzzfeeds list of 37 of the Most Heartbreakingly Beautiful Lines in Literature is HERE for you to peruse. Yeah, I'd like to write just one sentence as good as most of these.

I am happy to report I have finally shaken the flu that knocked me down for so long. I feel fine for the first time in a long time. And on the house flipping front, we are almost at the finish line. This week there are only a few little touch-up kind of jobs left. We have window and house cleaners coming in and hope to have open house showings next weekend. It has been so much fun. My business partner and I are anxious to find another house to do it all over again.

Last time I posted, I offered a copy of Janet Smart's Duck & Cover to one of you. This time, Patricia Tilton is our winner. Congratulations, Patricia! I will get your book out soon. If you don't know Patricia, she is an Ohio writer for children and blogs at Children's Books Heal. Check it out HERE. It is worth your time. I have another great giveaway, so please keep reading.

Several weeks ago, Carol Baldwin offered a giveaway on her blog, Carol Baldwin's Blog (HERE). Now, I am way behind on my book reviews and trying to get rid of books, not get more of them, so I often leave myself out of drawings, but sometimes the book is one I can't resist. This was one of those times. It was for Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood. I had read and loved Augusta's other two books but hadn't gotten to read this one, so I threw my hat in the ring. I was surprised a couple days later to receive an email from Augusta saying she would like to send me a copy, that she was interested in my thoughts on the book. Kowabunga! How cool is that? So now I will share my thoughts on the book with all of you.

It is the 1950s and Azalea Morgan, eleven, is looking forward to spending the summer hanging out with her best friend when her parents announce they are taking her to stay with a grandmother she has never met, a grandmother who has injured her foot and needs a helper for several weeks. Azalea is not happy. Being stuck in the little town of Paris Junction, Arkansas instead of her home in Texas is not her idea of a good time. When her grandmother suggests she should make friends with a boy named Billy Wong, Azalea can't imagine making new friends (she is very shy) but particularly with a Chinese boy. Grandma has arranged for some of the children in the town to help in her very extensive garden. Billy is one of them. The other two are a local delinquent and a stuck-up prima donna. The summer is a real eye-opener for Azalea. She makes a great new friend, learns that people aren't always what they seem, and families can be full of surprises. 

The characters are complex, palpably real, and easy to like and relate to. The
Augusta Scattergood
setting gives a real taste of small-town America in the 1950s. The story is rich and the writing  is simply lovely. This is a book that deserves readership far beyond its intended middle-grade audience. I loved it. Honestly, I think this one just might be my favorite of Augusta's books. 

I have a signed hardback copy to share with 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, March 26, 2017

Duck and Cover -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Don't get it right, get it written.” 
~ Ally Carter ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
While the post HERE I found in Gotham Writers Newsletter focuses on writing mysteries, it has a great lesson an openings that will grab readers. Don’t miss this one. 

When you are feeling stuck, maybe a writing prompt will help. Ride the Pen has 63 of them for you HERE

Character descriptions are tricky. Janice Hardy has some good suggestions HERE to help make them more organic. 

Well, I'm back. I'm still not 100%, but I am getting there. In talking to other parents and grandparents at the baseball field this week (I couldn't miss any more games!), I'm hearing the cough can hang on for four to six weeks. It's the cough and tiredness that is still hanging on. I have nearly 1500 unread emails in my box. If I haven't gotten to reading and responding to your messages and blogs, that's why. The reality is, I will probably never get caught up on those. All I can do is go forward, and that's what I will do. 

When I was last here, oh, so long ago, I promised a hard cover copy of Holly Schlinder's terrific Junction of Sunshine & Lucky to one of you. The winner this time is Violet Tiger. Congratulations, Violet! If you don't know her, Violet blogs about middle-grade books at Reading Violet which you can check out HERE. I will get your book out this week, Violet. And I have another giveaway, so please keep reading.

When I was teaching, while teaching wonderful books like Lord of the Flies and Alas, Babylon, I often told my students I was surprised to be standing in front of them since I had spent my childhood thinking about how to get my dad to build a bomb shelter and doing duck and cover drills in school. I grew up fully expecting the world to be blown to bits long before I would be an adult. When Janet Smart contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing her new book, Duck and Cover, I was happy to have the chance. I have known Janet through her very smart blog(sorry, I couldn't resist)   Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch (click HERE) for some time. I also felt the subject matter was one I would relate to, and that it would be fun to revisit those times through someone else's eyes. I'm glad I had the chance.

Young Teddy Haynes has had some terrible changes in his life. He recently lost his father, and Teddy and his mother have moved from Cleveland to a little town in a holler in West Virginia to live with Teddy's aunt and uncle and two-year-old twins. These are not wealthy people. Teddy has to not only share a room, but a bed, with his little cousins. But they are good, loving people, and Teddy realizes he has much to be grateful for. It's not easy to move when you are twelve, but Teddy soon makes a friend. Melvin is a really smart boy, but he has a bad limp from having had polio when he was very young. (Polio was another real scare when I was a kid. It was interesting to have this fear addressed along with others from that time.) Melvin helps Teddy navigate the difficult transition to a new school. Soon Teddy has a small circle of friends and a blossoming romance when the prettiest girl in school, Skeeter, is part of the group. They all share the fear of a nuclear war and Russian missiles pointed at the US from Cuba. Teddy discovers his mother is busy secretly stocking the root cellar with supplies. The kids take a page from that book and set up a shelter in a nearby cave. They raid the local dump for some of the things they need and scrounge attics and homes for other needs. (I used to LOVE going to the local dump to find treasures! I think Janet is my sister from another mother.) 

I have a confession to make. I haven't finished the book yet (I really have been
Janet Smart
sick), but I will probably finish it by sometime tomorrow. So far (I'm more than two-thirds of the way through), I am loving this one. I have felt absolutely transported to another time and place. I love that about good historical fiction, and this one is good. The characters are all fully-developed and very real. I have lived in a small town, and the setting made me feel that. The story certainly connected for me, but more than that, I think it will connect and paint a picture of that time for my grandchildren and other readers of that age. I think this book will and should find a good audience in middle-grade classrooms. Teachers are always on the lookout for ways to teach particular time periods. This is a terrific portal to small-town America in the fifties and the fears that wore on young people in those times. 

I have an autographed paperback copy I will share with 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, March 19, 2017

Calling in sick...

Sorry to miss two weeks in a row. I have been slammed with a terrible flu. I have no energy to read or write. I'm told this should be through in about another week. I'll be back at it as soon as I can.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Junction of Sunshine & Lucky -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
 “Love is the answer to everything. It’s the only reason to do anything.
If you don’t write stories you love, you’ll never make it. If you don’t
write stories that other people love, you’ll never make it.”
~ Ray Bradbury ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Revision. Revision. Revision. I hate the word, but I know it’s necessary. Janice Hardy has a good post HERE on how to approach revision. 

It sure would be nice to make a living as a writer. Elizabeth S. Craig has ten hints on how to go about that HERE on Anne R. Allen’s blog. 

Part of the deal I have with Sacramento Book Review is that occasionally I write sponsored book reviews, ones that are paid for. I think most book reviews do this. Even Kirkus does. Anyway, I am reading a sponsored book right now, and the dialogue is just terrible. Half the time I don’t know who the speaker is. The author should have read Susan Uhlig’s post HERE on taglines and beats. 

I am in the middle of doing a house flip right now, and, honestly, I'm having trouble keeping up with things, so if I miss a post now and again, forgive me. I have to say, though, it is so much fun. This is something I have wanted to do for years, and it's finally happening. Now, if the market just holds a little longer.

Last week I offered an ARC of Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart to one of you. This week's winner is Danielle Hammelef, who always shares my link lots of places and gets extra chances. Sometimes that pays off, as it did this week. Thanks, Danielle. I will get your book out to you this week. For the rest of you, please keep reading. I have another book giveaway this week.

I am really, really late to the party on this one. The Junction of Sunshine & Lucky by Holly Schlinder has long been on my TBR list and on my Amazon Wish List. My daughter gave me a copy for Christmas, and just loved it. It was so worth waiting for. 

Auggie was named for her grandfather, August or Gus, as he is best known, a junk dealer. Auggie lives with him. Their home, in a poor part of town, is a place they both love. The local school has been closed and Auggie and her neighborhood friends have to start at a new school. This brings about plenty of challenges for all the kids, but for Auggie it's really hard when her best friend forever seems stolen away by a rich, rather powerful girl named Victoria. Victoria's father is on the city council, and they set up a beautification committee that makes rules that seem to be designed to push Auggie and the people of their neighborhood out of their homes. Try as they might to make their homes more beautiful, the rules seem to become more and more stringent, causing fines to pile up. Auggie and her grandfather try to beautify their home with sculptures, but Victoria makes fun of their "junk." 

Middle school is such a difficult time, and Holly Schlinder paints the picture
Holly Schindler
beautifully what it is like to get through that time, facing loss of friendship, facing ridicule, and facing losing one's home. I think this a such a wonderful book not just for young people but for 
anyone who loves strong characters and a fine story. I recommend it highly. I will be looking for more books by this author. She is a terrific writer.

I have my own gently-read hardback to pass along to 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, February 26, 2017

Scar Island -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
~ Thomas A. Edison ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Jessica Strawser has an interesting post on Writers in the Storm HERE about Acting Out of Character and how that can add interest and layers to our writing. 

Janice Hardy always has such great stuff on her blog, Fiction University. The one HERE is all about How to Write with a Teen Voice. It’s chock full of good info. 

If you are confused about plot and why it’s so critical, you will want to read the post HERE by K. M. Weiland.

I know I disappeared last week. It was my birthday and one of my former students gave me tickets for a San Jose Sharks game (that's hockey, folks, in case you don't know). I took my grandson and was gone until very late. Even though my team lost in overtime, it was a great game and we had a lot of fun. Anyway, I'm back!

Last time I showed up here, I promised a copy of Garvey's Choice by Nikki Grimes to one lucky winner. This time, our winner is Myra. Congratulations, Myra! I will get your book out to you soon. Thanks for reading and commenting. I have another book to giveaway, so everyone please keep reading.

I am always searching for terrific middle-grade books, especially those that will engage boy readers. When I ran across a new mystery-adventure available for review for the San Francisco Book Review, I grabbed it. It is Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart, and I love it's nod to several classic novels. Here is the review I wrote for SFBR.
Jonathan Grisby has been sent to Slabhenge, a reform school for boys. It used to be an insane asylum and is on an island in some very rough seas. Run by by the Admiral and a crew of nefarious men, it might seem that the inmates have taken over the asylum. When a crazy accident kills all the adults, the boys are on their own. They are prepared to send a rescue message with the mail boat that comes every day when a few decide it might be interesting to just be on their own for awhile, so they trick the mail boat driver and form their own little society. That’s when things get interesting. 
Author Dan Gemeinhart takes a helping of Shutter Island and mixes it with a bit
Dan Gemeinhart
of Treasure Island and a huge dollop of Lord of the Flies to create a contemporary middle-grade novel that will capture its intended audience and keep them turning pages until the surprising and exciting climax. This is a terrific book, and middle-grade boys — those boys that are so hard to get to read a book — especially will love it.
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, February 12, 2017

Garvey's Choice -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
"A successful book is not made of what is in it, 
but of what is left out of it” 
~ Mark Twain ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Lisa Cron has a brilliant post HERE on backstory. Don’t miss this one.

Sarah Albee has a great post HERE that will help you inject humor into your writing — always a bonus. 

The Editor’s Blog has a terrific post HERE on The Perspective from Inside the Character. Really good stuff. 

I have mentioned here that my older daughter, Maggie, is an actor. I received a note from her today telling me that she has a show airing next Sunday on Investigation Discovery. The show title is Evil Lives Here: My Secret Life. You should be able to search for it and set it up to record. In case you missed the earlier show she did for them, you can watch it HERE. She was murdered on that episode (YIKES!). These are not for the kiddies, by the way.

Last week I offered a fun book to one of you called Totally Wacky Facts About History by Cari Meister. This week's winner is stephie5741 who, it turns out, is Stephanie Faris, author of the Piper Morgan picture book series as well as other books. You can check out her blog HERE. Congratulations, Stephanie! I will get the book out to you this week. For the rest of you, I have another fun giveaway, so please keep reading.

I am becoming more and more enchanted by novels in verse. When I had a chance to review Garvey's Choice, a new novel in verse by the wonderful Nikki Grimes, I jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed. It is positively magical and truly amazing. This is my review for the San Francisco Book Review.
Garvey has a lot to deal with in his life — he is overweight, he has a sister who is a natural athlete, something Garvey’s father wishes Garvey was, and he has to deal with middle-school bullies. But Garvey has a best friend, Joe, who really gets him and helps him deal with all his adversity. Lunchtime is the best time for Garvey because he spends it with Joe and because he gets to eat, but when Joe’s schedule is changed, Garvey is alone again. Joe encourages Garvey to join the chorus. Garvey has a great voice and he makes a new friend, a boy with albinism, who helps Garvey learn to deal with the bullies. Garvey’s real success is in chorus, where he finds his voice in more ways than one. 
Nikki Grimes has written an entire novel in tanka poems. It is so beautifully
Nikki Grimes
written, readers will be lost in the lyrical lines. Young readers, often reluctant to read poetry, will be so taken with the well-developed story and engaging characters, they will forget it is all poems. This lovely book deserves to and will garner wide readership among the middle-grade set.
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.