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Showing posts from April, 2016

Sometimes You Need A Shove

Like most of my life, my writing takes me in so many different directions. Sometimes I'm writing articles for an online outlet, sometimes I'm blogging, sometimes I'm working on an article for an education site I work for, but when I'm writing for myself I'm usually writing children's books or thinking about writing for children in some way.

I guess for a long time I've thought about my children's book writing as my hobby. I've read other people's writing and been a huge proponent of promoting children's books and their authors. I blog about them. I connect with them on FaceBook and Twitter. I am a fan, but I am not one of them.

Though I probably write as much.
Though my work is damn good, if I do say so myself.
Though I've accumulated quite a volume of work despite my claiming it is a hobby.

Last night, out of the blue, I received an email from Barbara O'Connor. If you don't know her writing, you need to. Her work and her thinki…

Mystery of the Missing Fox by Tamra Wight

Mystery of the Missing Fox
by Tamra Wight
Islandport Press
April, 2016
middle grade
When our family goes camping, I make my kids keep journals. They can put anything they want in their journals but they must add a page a day. When they return to school after the summer, they never complain that they have nothing to write about and this makes me glad for the journal. Camping brings out the best in my children. They reconnect with nature. They laugh a bit more. They discover the joy of doing nothing. We hike, cook, swim, and read a lot. If someone asks my kids their favorite thing to do in the summer, they will always say camping. It's also great for me because my husband and I do a complete role reversal. He takes care of everything. He sets up the tent, cooks, cleans, and manages the kids. I sit and read and pour coffee or wine depending on the time of day.

Tamra Wight's third Cooper and Packrat book, Mystery of the Missing Fox is the book for kids who love camping or who dream of…

Wish by Barbara O'Connor

by Barbara O'Connor
Middle Grade
Farrar Straus Giroux, August 2016
Last year, among the more than 52 books I read aloud to my own children, we read "The Boy on the Porch" by Sharon Creech. It was a powerful book for us. We are deeply feeling three people--Felix and Annie and I. We love when characters are portrayed with goodness and kindness. After reading Creech's book, we went for a long walk to watch the sunset. None of us spoke a word for over an hour. Then Felix broke the silence by saying, "that book needed time to settle into our bones I guess." We nodded. This year when Barbara O'Connor's ARC of "Wish" arrived, both kids said "That's our next read aloud!"

O'Connor's "Wish" is just as powerful. In fact, we have stopped and re-read parts so we could admire the character shifts and mannerisms. My children have asked me to slow down so they could think about why the main character Charlie finds it so d…

The Island of Beyond by Elizabeth Atkinson

The Island of Beyond Elizabeth Atkinson Carolrhoda Books 2016 Middle Grade Review by Kimberley Moran I grew up in New York City but spent every summer in Maine where the rules were entirely different regardless of your age. My mother fed us breakfast and then ushered us out the door for the day. “Don’t forget your sailing lesson,” she’d say. “Stop at your grandparent’s for a hot dog if you’re hungry,” she’d add. We walked our bikes from behind the shed down to the street and took off. There was no slathering of sunscreen, hats, or even bike helmets. We were free for the whole entire day. We rode down to the back shore and tiptoed in the cold water looking for fish, snails, and cool rocks to put in our pocket and rub during the day. Then we’d head around the bend and fire down the hill whooping and hollering from the speed, hang left on to Court Street and pull up in front of the library. We’d lie on the cold marble floor when it was hot outside and read through the shelves. If we were hungr…