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.