Thought for the Day:
"Gather knowledge about the craft of writing. Immerse yourself in the art of it. Then write.
Write yourself silly. Write yourself mad. Write yourself blind. Trust the excitement that builds
within you when the idea is good and the writing is superb. You can do it, but that's
the hell of it as well as the exultation of it. You have to do it.”
~ Elizabeth George ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
T. P. Jagger has a fun and useful post HERE on From the Mixed Up Files…of Middle-Grade Writers that will give you 120 ways to get your characters moving.
If you think your book needs a good dose of realism, check out the terrific article HERE by Steven Pressfield.
Interesting article HERE on ways to create more memorable characters.
I seldom talk about books for adults here, but I do read them now and again. I just read the debut novel by Elizabeth J. Church called The Atomic Weight of Love. It is pretty spectacular! It is historical fiction beginning just prior to WWII and is set mostly in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The writing is gorgeous and the story and characters very compelling. Great summer read.
Last week, I offered one of you an ARC of Sleepover by Jen Malone. This week's winner is Danielle Hammelef. Congratulations, Danielle! I will get the book out to you this week. I don't know anything about Danielle except that she reads and comments each week and spreads the word about my giveaways on Pinterest, Twitter, and Google +. Those extra chances paid off. Thanks for doing that Danielle. For the rest of you, stay tuned. I have another great giveaway.
I've kind of been saving this one for close to the Fourth of July. I think it's perfect for this time of year. The book is Patriot Papers by Emelia Whippie Prior and J. J. Prior. The authors are both middle-grade teachers in New Hampshire. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.
There is a great deal of interest and conversation about the Constitution just now with an election year and an opening on the Supreme Court. This is a great time to get kids talking about the founding documents of our country. This book is a perfect entry for the middle-grade set. It examines the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America, and the U. S. Bill of Rights. Pretty dry stuff, eh? Not in this book. Every page is graphically exciting with Fun Facts pulled out and featured along with some word definitions, timelines, illustrations, photographs, important dates and events, maps, and more. A section in the back highlights 23 significant people of the time who influenced the founding of the country. This group includes the usual suspects such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, but also includes women and people of color and even an unnamed spy.
“Fun Fact: The Constitution never says how many judges
the court should have (today there are nine) or what
qualifications they must have.”
The authors also have ideas for teaching with the book including activities and helpful websites. Authors J. J. Prior and Elizabeth Whippie Prior have created a way fun for kids to examine the documents in their original language. Teachers, parents, and kids will all love this book.
I have a gently-read paperback 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.