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A Story about friendship and family

Aven Green, the main character in Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, (by Dusti Bowling, published by Sterling), happens to have been born without arms. But this story is not about Aven’s armlessness per se. It is, at its heart, a story of friendship and family.

The Wish List: A lighthearted middle-grade series about Sparkles and so much more

In any classic fairy tale the fairy godmother shows up, wand in hand, grants the main character’s wish and then — her job done — POOF! she disappears in a shower of sparkles.

In her lighthearted series, “The Wish List” (Scholastic), Sarah Aronson (no relation) has taken that trope and turned it on its ear, transporting the reader into the world of fairy godmother school.

Breyerfest, Or, An Author Meets Her Readers

Writing is a lonely pursuit. You write and you write. You send your words out into the world. And then? Silence. Crickets. Unless you are lucky enough to do something like, in my case, the Breyerfest.

 

This Makes Me So Happy!

This review made me so happy because it begins with the premise I've always embraced; that the most interesting stories are not those of famous people but those peoplewho fly under the radar but have had amazing lives. 

It begins like this: 

So Many Books, So Little Space

In this review, I decide to write about two, vaguely related, books, in a desperate chance to cover more reading ground!

 

A Song From Somewhere Else and Summer of Lost and Found

This week I’m reviewing two middle-grade books that, while very different, both have supernatural elements to them.

Reviewing Middle Grade Books

Recently I got the opportunity to begin reviewing middle grade books for my local paper, the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. I leaped at the chance, not for the fame or fortune, but because it dovetailed with my desire to read more middle grade. I am expected to write one review every three weeks. And I plan to post those reviews here, as well. With no further ado, here is my first review!

The Significance of Snowflake Bentley and The Power of Jealousy

I have read a lot of books in my life. But Snowflake Bentley, by Jackie Briggs Martin, stands out in my mind because it was the first picture book biography I’d ever seen of someone who wasn’t already a household name. The book came out the year my oldest child was seven. She is now 27…. It was a revelation.

Non-fiction Conference in Iowa Was Inspiring and Rejuvenating

 

This past Saturday I went to a non-fiction SCBWI (Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

How to Keep Going in the Dead of Winter, When You Mostly Want to Hibernate And Eat Chocolate

Well, one of my new year’s resolutions was to write a blog every week. And so far, so good. It turns out I wrote six in January. And I felt good in January!  I felt productive! I was on track! I kept showing up! I had friends! I exercised! I hardly snacked!

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