Sunday, July 9, 2017

Women Who Dared -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, 
the farther you get.”  
~ Michael Phelps ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Jane Friedman has a wonderful post HERE on How to Immediately Improve Your Query Letter’s Effectiveness. 

Adventures in YA Publishing has some good, instructive posts. The post HERE will help you Strengthen Your Verbs and Your Writing. 

Greg Pattridge has another great post HERE about editing — searching for problem, over-used words. 

Last week, my daughter Maggie was in town from New York. We had a lovely family dinner, and I never got around to writing my blog post. Next Saturday morning, I will load my two grandkids, Gehrig and Gracie, into my Prius and move on down the road. We are driving to Denver for a couple days, then on to Montrose, Colorado, to visit friends and family. I will be on the road for the next two Sundays, so I won't be blogging. See you here again in three weeks.

For those who need reminding how much patience is needed in the business of writing, I have a story for you. I had an email about ten days ago from an editor at Humpty Dumpty magazine. She reminded me I had sent them a little story in 2015 and wondered if it was still available.They wanted to buy it for their September/October issue. I had given up on finding a home for that little story. So hang in there. You never know when you'll find a little success.

Last time I posted, I promised one of you an ARC of Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart. The winner this time is Jenni Enzor. Congratulations, Jenni! If you don't know Jenni, she is a writer from Oregon who blogs HERE and has great book reviews and posts for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. It's definitely worth a look. Jenni, I will get your book out soon. For the rest of you, keep reading. I have another fun book to giveaway. 

I've been on a bit of a non-fiction kick lately and have another one for you this week. The Manhattan Book Review had Women Who Dared: 52 Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Legends by Linda Skeers on their review list recently so I grabbed it. I love reading about these interesting women. Here is the review I wrote for the Review. 

What do a wing walker, a wrestler, a cosmonaut, a lighthouse keeper, and a spy all have in common? They are all women who did these things long before it was acceptable for women to be in such professions. Author Linda Skeers has gathered the stories of 52 women who did amazing and wonderful things with their lives in times and places when, according to their societies, they had absolutely no business doing them. Take Rose Fortune for instance. She was a former slave who escaped to Canada with her family in the late 1700s. She was an entrepreneur who built a business on transporting luggage and making wake up calls. This is just one example of these many fascinating women. Each has a full-page biography with some fun graphics, created by illustrator Livi Gosling,
Linda Skeers
and a full-page drawing of the woman. Young readers, ages eight and up, will find wonderful role models and their compelling stories in these pages that may give them the impetus to try new things and take the steps they need to create their own daring moments in life. The writing is snappy and the illustrations fun. This is a winner.

I have a gently-read ARC of this 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, June 25, 2017

Wicked Bugs -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.”
~ Bertold Brecht ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Literary agent Rachel Stout has a great guest post HERE on Nathan Branford’s blog about how to personalize a query. This is an important post. 

Stuart Horowitz wrote a guest post HERE for Guide for Literary Agents that might convince you to dig out an old manuscript and dust it off. 

Janice Hardy always has something important to say. The post HERE will keep you from the problem of contrived plots and is something we all need to keep top of mind. 

This week I spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Annual Conference on Creative Writing at Pacific. Pacific in this case refers to the University of Pacific in Stockton, CA. I hadn't heard of this conference before, but this is the fifth year. I wish I had heard of it sooner. First, it was very inexpensive, and as part of the registration fee I was able to enter my novel manuscript in a contest with a chance for a $500 prize and the possibility of being published by a small press in Stockton. Second, it is only an hour's drive from my home, so I didn't need a hotel. Third, the workshops were simply terrific. I had lots of choices, attended eleven workshops, and only was disappointed one time. I met some lovely people and even got to pitch my novel to three agents. One said, "No thanks." One said, "Cut your word count and then send it to me." And one said, "Send it to me." Yup. Send a full! I also got a terrific idea for a non-fiction picture book during a presentation by the head of archives at the UoP library. If you live in the area, check this one out next June. Oh, and I met a lovely young woman, 16 years old, who attended most of the same workshops I attended, paid attention, took notes, and asked really good questions. She is working on a YA historical novel and already has a finished first draft! At 16! I was so impressed. I'm pretty sure I will see her name on published books one of these days soon. It was a great three days for me.

Last week, I offered a hardback copy of Innocent Heroes: Stories of Animals in the First World War by Sigmund Brouwer to one of you. This week's winner is John Smith. Congratulations, John! (Hmmmm. I wonder if that is a pseudonym.) Anyway, he read and commented and got lucky. John, I will send the book out to you soon. For the rest of you, please keep reading. I have a fun one to give away this week. 

I am always fascinated when I run across a middle-grade book that I know will get reluctant boy readers to open it. When I saw Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart come up on the list for the San Francisco Book Review, I requested it immediately. I knew if it would make my stomach do flips, it would be perfect for young boys. Oh, yeah. Serious flips and a couple of bad dreams. The boys will love this and some brave girls will as well. Here is the review I wrote for SFBR of this novel non-fiction. (Haha! Catch that play on words? Hmmmm?)

Some bugs are annoying, some are destructive, some cause pain, and some are downright deadly. This book has six sections — Deadly Creatures, Everyday Dangers, Unwelcome Invaders, Destructive Pests, Serious Pains, and Terrible Threats — that invite young readers into the world of the unpleasant side of bugs. No cute little ladybugs or lightning bugs here. No. Instead readers will discover flies that lay their eggs in a fire ant with larva that will proceed to eat the ants brain until it’s head falls off or worms that live in human intestines for as long as twenty years or even mites that live their whole lives under the skin of people causing terrible itching and rash.

This book is perfect for kids who have an interest bugs but are not squeamish.
Amy Stewart
Boy readers more than girls will like this, and reluctant readers will be drawn in. The writing is lively and fun. Author Amy Stewart has chosen well with the creatures she has included, and it is clear she knows her stuff about bugs. Full-color drawings by illustrator Briony Morrow Cribbs will make the squeamish even more so and the non-squeamish perfectly happy. This is a bug lover’s delight.

I have a gently-read ARC of this 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, June 18, 2017

Innocent Heroes -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Good books don't give up all their secrets at once.” 
~ Stephen King ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
I have a writing acquaintance who announced one day, “If you don’t write every single day, you are not really a writer.” I don’t write every day, and that really put me off. It’s good to know I’m not the only one. HERE is a post from Jami Gold that will give you permission to take some time off, if you need that. 

The Guide to Literary Agents blog has a guest post HERE by Jolina Petersheim that will give you 10 Tips for (Re)Writing a Novel. It’s refreshing. 

Writing your author bio can be pretty daunting. HERE are tips to make your bio more interesting. 

It's after seven in the evening and the temperature is down to 105. We are having quite a heat wave here. Welcome to Sacramento summer. We are supposed to have three days of 109, but then it will cool down to 106 and, finally by Friday 100. Praying for the marine layer and the Delta breeze to return. Please send cooling thoughts our way.

Last week I promised an ARC of Kate DiCamillo's cute new book, Eugenia Lincoln and the Unexpected Package. This week's winner is Greg Pattridge. Congratulations, Greg! If you don't know Greg, he is a middle-grade writer and teacher from Colorado. He has a terrific blog, Always in the Middle, with wonderful book reviews and great writing tips. Check it out HERE. Greg, I will get your book out this week. For the rest of you I have another terrific book giveaway, so keep reading.

Checking out the list of available books for the Manhattan Book Review, I ran across a book called Innocent Heroes: Stories of Animals in the First World War by Sigmund Brouwer. I couldn't figure out if it was fiction or non-fiction, but it sounded intriguing, so I grabbed it. It's kind of a hybrid and absolutely fascinating. What a great way for kids to learn about this chapter in our history. Here is the review I wrote for the Manhattan Book Review. 

War was quite different in the days of WWI. Allied soldiers spent miserable days and nights in cold, muddy trenches waiting for the many horrors the German army would throw at them. Besides the usual shelling and attacks with bayoneted rifles, the Germans used deadly gas that caused any caught in it to die horrible deaths. Radio communication was unreliable. Consequently, the men sometimes had to rely on animals — carrier pigeons, cats, specially-trained dogs of various breeds, and horses and mules. Several of these animals saved many lives and acted in truly heroic ways, even when badly injured. Some were even awarded medals for their brave acts. This book is historical fiction, following three fictional Canadian soldiers through the build-up to a great battle. Each chapter tells a bit of their story and how a heroic animal impacted what they experienced. Each fictional chapter is followed by a good write-up of a real heroic animal and its story. These include some grainy photographs. Excellent
Sigmund Brouwer
back-matter gives even more information. The writing is fine and the stories captivating. This will be a great introduction to WWI for the middle-grade set and others. Don’t miss this one.

I have a gently-read hardback of this 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, June 11, 2017

Eugenia Lincoln and the Unexpected Package -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
"What separates the talented individual from the successful one
is a lot of hard work." 
~ Stephen King ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Are you ready to start an agent search? Nathan Branford has a TERRIFIC post HERE to help you land the right agent for you. 

Greg Pattridge at Always in the Middle recently completed an SCBWI mentorship program. His first post HERE about some of the things he learned is absolutely dashing! His blog is always worth your time. 

Writers Helping Writers is always good, but the post HERE by Angela Ackerman is chock full of helpful links for writers. Check it out. 

Last week I offered an ARC of Reformed by Justin Weinberger. The reaction to mention of peanut allergies was eye-opening for me. I don't know a soul who has that allergy, but it's clear many of you do and that it's really a frightening problem. The winner this week is Patty Hawthorn. Congratulations, Patty! I will get the book out to you this week. For the rest of you, I have another fun giveaway, so please keep reading.

A couple years ago, my daughter Maggie, the actor, worked at the Utah Shakespeare Festival as an on-stage musician. During her time there she learned to play the accordion. One of my all-time favorite bumper stickers says, "Play an Accordion. Go to Jail. It's the law." I always thought it was hysterically funny, and then my daughter learned to play one. AND that particular talent helped get her a job in the national tour of Once, a fabulous musical. I still think accordions are a little funny. What does all this have to do with my blog? Read on, my friends, and you will know.  

I was contacted by a Candlewick Press publicist with an offer for some ARCs for review. I chose a few off the list and received review copies a few weeks ago. I am trying to find time in my busy schedule to get these in. The first one I picked up is Eugenia Lincoln and the Unexpected Package by Kate DiCamillo. First, I really like her books. Secondly, her books for very young middle-grade readers are usually quick and fun. This book is no exception.

Eugenia Lincoln is a cranky old woman who lives with her sweet sister, Baby Lincoln. One day a mysterious package arrives addressed to Eugenia. Inside is an accordion! (This made me think that I am not the only one tickled by the very idea of accordions. I think Kate DiCamillo and I have something in common.) Eugenia is clearly annoyed that someone has sent this to her, and she immediately goes about trying to get rid of the thing. She runs an ad to sell it, and an interesting character, Gaston La Treaux, shows up at her door. Eugenia thinks he is there to buy the accordion, but La Treaux announces he is there to teach her to make beautiful music with her new instrument. The entire neighborhood seems interested in these happenings, showing up and seeming to have an entirely different agenda than that of Eugenia. How all this untangles itself and what the outcome is is predictably funny and charming, as are all the DiCamillo early middle-grade books I have read. The exaggerated and cartoonish drawings by Chris Van Dusen that accompany this funny story are perfect to complete it. If you are a fan of books for this age, this one is not to be missed. It's terribly cute.
Kate DiCamillo

I have a gently-read ARC of this 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, June 4, 2017

Reformed -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, 
no surprise in the reader.” 
~ Robert Frost ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Randy Ingermanson can help you understand how to start and end a scene HERE

Donna Galanti wrote a gust post HERE on Writers in the Storm about how to find your childlike wonder and bring it into your writing for children. 

Having any trouble with writer’s block? Sue Heavenrich has a great post HERE to help you out. 

As summer begins in earnest, I should warn you I might disappear now and again from blogging, but I will be back whenever that happens. I have a couple of writer's conferences I will attend, and I might take my grandchildren on a road trip to Colorado. 

Last week, I had the pleasure of reviewing Susan May Olson's new book, Time Jump Coins. The winner of the ARC is Danielle Hammelef, who always shares my link for extra chances. Thanks for doing that, Danielle. It works! Congratulations to you! I will get the book out to you this week. If you didn't win, I do have another giveaway, so please keep reading. 

I am a sucker for books with bullies. It always makes for such interesting conflict. When I saw Reformed by Justin Weinberger on the list of books available for review from San Francisco Book Review, I snapped it up. I wanted to show you how cute the cover for this book is, but I was not able to get the image from anywhere. Not that it wasn't where I could see it, but try as I might, I couldn't get it to copy in a usable format. If you click on the title, you can see it at Barnes and Noble or if you click on the author's name, you can see it at his site. Here is the review I wrote for SFBR. 

Ian Hart ends up in trouble the last day of middle school. The teacher had given a writing assignment, but Ian didn’t get it done. At lunch, one of his “friends,” Devon, plays a cruel trick on a boy named Max. Devon gets Ian to trade lunch with him. It’s not difficult since Ian’s mother packed him a peanut butter sandwich even after Ian begged her not to. Devon gives the sandwich to Max, who is highly allergic to peanuts and immediately goes into anaphylactic shock, nearly dying. The boys are found out, and, because it is so serious, Devon, Ian, and two other boys are sent to a reform summer camp. It is there Ian learns a lot about what true friendship is and how cruel bullies can be.


Justin Weinberger
Author Justin Weinberger seems to have some experience with middle-school bullies and how they work. This is an excellent portrait of bullies and their methods and meanness. It’s not a perfect book, as some of it stretches readers’ credulity, but it is pretty effective at getting its core messages across. The writing is good and the characters fully developed and believable. Middle-grade readers will like this.


I have a gently-read ARC of this 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, May 28, 2017

Time Jump Coins -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“You are never too old to set another goal or to
dream a new dream.” 
~ C. S. Lewis ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Jenni Enzor has a great post HERE on extending your thinking on research, part of her Insecure Writer’s Support Group series. Check it out! 

Susannah Leonard Hill teaches picture book classes and blogs about picture book writing. Her post HERE is good advice for writers of any ilk, not just picture book writers. Strengthen those verbs, people! 

Writers in the Storm has an interesting post HERE on how to increase your productivity by sleeping! Now, that’s something I can get behind. 

I hope you are all enjoying your holiday weekend. We are seeing the beginning of another Sacramento summer here. We've only had a few really hot days, but enough to remind us of what's to come, but for this weekend we are having nice weather. I'm enjoying it. I'm thinking about the heat to come because I received some good news yesterday. I had applied for a scholarship for a writer's conference in August. Sacramento in August is HOT, HOT, HOT and the conference is in Mendocino -- a beautiful town on the cool coast of northern California. I won a scholarship that will pay for half the conference, and I enjoy three half-day workshops led by Lewis Buzbee with about a dozen middle-grade writers. There are other workshops to fill the days, and all of them look great. Very excited!

Last week I promised one of you a copy of Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff. This week's winner is Natalie Aguirre. Congratulations, Natalie! If you don't know Natalie, you must! She writes MG and YA fantasy and has a fabulous blog -- Literary Rambles -- with so much good information for writers. Check it out HERE. Natalie, I will get the book out to you this week. I have another giveaway, so please keep reading, everyone.

One of the real bonuses for me of blogging all these years is that I have made several blogging buddies and have formed some long-distance friendships. While I'm not much of a fantasy reader, the one kind of book that I do like that is sort of fantasy is time travel. I was really happy to find Susan May Olson's blog, Time Travel Times Two (HERE). I've found some really great books through her reviews. I knew she was working on a MG time travel book and was honored when she asked me to read it. Time Jump Coins is her debut novel, and I am very excited for her.

Joey is about to start fifth grade, but she isn't looking forward to it. She doesn't have any friends. She knows it's because she can't seem to control her temper, try as she might. Her dad tells her to do something other than watching TV, and Joey finds a box containing a collection of old Indian head pennies. There is a cryptic note in the box and, when Joey polishes one of the coins, she finds herself transported to Philadelphia in the year the coin was minted. It's a startling experience, and when she finds herself back home, she wonders if it was really a dream. But she realizes it really happened. 

When school starts, Joey is assigned to sit with a boy named Eli on the bus. Eli also doesn't have any friends. Eli can't stand loud noises and has trouble communicating with others. Joey thinks maybe she can become friends with him. Then they will each have a friend. Joey works really hard on this friendship and learns a lot about controlling her temper with this sometimes difficult friend. She shares her time travel experience with Eli, and they learn a lot about history in their travels. 

This is a really well-written book that will capture the imaginations of the
Susan May Olson
younger middle-grade set. The story is compelling with lots of fun and excitement. The characters are very real, flawed, and yet brave and clever. Readers will like them and root for them. This is not a perfect book. I thought the kids could have faced greater obstacles. Some things came too easily, such as when they time travelled, they found themselves in period clothes with money conveniently in the pockets, so they weren't forced to fend for themselves as much as they might have. That said, it's a small flaw and probably won't bother young readers at all. I like this book a lot and recommend it for anyone who likes time travel stories. Congratulations to Susan! It gives me hope I might get one of my books out there one day.

I have a gently-read ARC of this 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, May 21, 2017

Black Ships Before Troy -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”  
~ Confucius ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Kathy Temean at Writing and Illustrating always has such interesting posts. The one HERE will be particularly helpful as you write the dreaded synopsis. 

We always hear so much about the importance of the first page. HERE is a terrific post from M. L. Keller on Writing a Killer First Page. 

Do you know what your Origin Scene is? Honestly, I had never heard the term before, so I sure learned a lot from the post HERE on Writers in the Storm. It’s a good one. 

Sorry to have gone missing last week. It was my daughter's last weekend in town, and we had a wonderful family dinner that ran long. We all had a lovely time and blogging was the last thing on my mind. Also for those who have been following the flipping saga, we are in escrow with a very nice young couple -- first-time home buyers. We didn't get quite as much as we hoped, but it was still a very satisfying experience. If all goes well, we should close in a little over a month. Then we will try to find another house.

Last time I promised an ARC of Mango Delight to one of you. This week's winner is Suzanne Warr, a North Carolina writer who blogs at Tales from the Raven. You can Find her blog HERE and read some great MG book reviews there. Congratulations, Suzanne. I'll get your book out this week. For the rest of you, keep reading. I have a terrific book to give away.

A publicist offered me a review copy of Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of THE ILIAD by Rosemary Sutcliff. I have long felt The Iliad was treated a bit like the ugly step-sister of The Odyssey and that's so unfair. I think it's such a great story, but most young people know a LOT about The Odyssey. They are familiar with the characters and many of the stories. There are, it seems to me, many versions of The Odyssey and parts of it are found in many, many school literature books. But not The Iliad. So I was excited to see a rendition for middle-graders of this great story. I was not disappointed. 

The writing is positively delicious. It has the cadence of an ancient text and the word choice is wonderful. "With his heart sick and hammering within him, Patroclus ran for the camp of the Myrmidons, which the fighting had not yet reached, and the ship where his lord Achilles waited for him." I love the rhythm of her writing and the way it takes one back in time and into this mythological world. The story is a great one and Sutcliffe tells it well and quite completely. 

This is a big (9" X 11"), beautiful book with lush illustrations and graphics on
Rosemary Sutcliff
nearly every page. The illustrations by Alan Lee use somewhat muted colors, but have a look that will transport readers to ancient Greece. This is just a delightful book that will engage young readers and introduce them to a story they might not otherwise discover until college. Seriously, find this book and read it.

I have a gently-read hardback of this 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, May 7, 2017

Mango Delight -- Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
~ Herman Cain ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Editing? Aren’t we all always? HERE are 25 Editing Tips for Tightening Your Copy.  

Anne R. Allen’s blog has a post HERE that many of us will find helpful: Rejection and Failure: Why There’s a Difference and Why Neither Means You Should Quit. 

I just love this post from Janice Hardy on “minitagonists.” I have plenty of them in my book and am glad to have them validated HERE

Last week I offered a copy of Big and Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd) by Julie Bowe to one of you. Danielle Hammelef always shares the link on my blog for extra chances. This week it paid off for her. Congratulations, Danielle! I will send out your book this week. Thanks for always reading, commenting, and sharing my link. For the rest of you, please keep reading. I have another giveaway for you.

I ran across Mango Delight by Fracaswell Hyman as I perused the list of available books for review from the San Francisco Book Review. The title caught my attention and, honestly, so did the author's name. When I read a synopsis, I grabbed it off the list. Here is the review I wrote for SFBR.

Mango Delight Fuller and her best friend, Brooklyn, seem to be the only two middle-school girls without cell phones. They are BFFs and get through waiting for this great status symbol together, but Brooklyn suddenly gets a phone and moves on to a stuck-up clique Mango and Brooklyn always referred to as Cell-belles, leaving Mango in her dust. Then Mango finds out Brooklyn has broken Mango’s trust in the worst way. An unfortunate cell-phone accident occurs that changes everything — not just for Mango and Brooklyn, but for her family as well. Brooklyn signs Mango up on the audition list for the school play, probably thinking she will embarrass herself, but quite the opposite happens. Lots of fun and interesting twists and turns.

Author Fracaswell Hyman has built a fascinating story for middle-graders with
Fracaswell Hyman
well-rounded, believable characters and a story that will keep readers turning pages. Unfortunately, the voice sounds more like someone 35 than someone 12 and the slang used by the young characters throughout will make this book seems out of date in no time at all. 

I have a gently-read ARC of this 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.