When I’m not feeling the writer bug, I tend to focus on my task list. That might be getting interview questions out, researching people to interview, or reading up on some topics. Those things tend to help me get back into a motivated writer frame of mind.
Rhys Keller

When I’m not feeling

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Beginner’s Welcome

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Beginner’s Welcome (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2020) by Cindy Baldwin is such a beautifully written and touching book.

It’s the first day of 6th grade and Annie Lee wakes to the sound of her mother crying in the bathroom. It’s been eighty-three days since her father died, but it’s as if he’s not quite gone–whiskers in the sink, smell of his aftershave, one of his favorite records playing… Not only did Annie lose her father, she feels like she’s lost her mother, who has to work all the time. And her two best friends have drifted away, too. She’s never felt so alone in her whole life. Annie decides being invisible and not getting close to anyone is a good way not to be hurt again.

I agree with what New York Times Bestselling Author of Tuesdays at the Castle, Jessica Day George says: “As delicate and powerful as a sonata, Annie Lee’s story of music, magic, loss, and love should not be missed!”

Check out the author’s playlist for the book here on her blog. You’ll also learn about her own musical background. And read her bio here.

Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

The True Story of Zippy Chippy

Perfect Picture Book Friday

I didn’t expect The True Story of Zippy Chippy: The Little Horse That Couldn’t (North-South Books, 2020) by Artie Bennett and illustrated by Dave Szalay to make me laugh out loud, but it did. Who’d have thought a true story about a loser could be so fun? And touching?

Zippy Chippy was a racehorse descended from legend racehorses, who couldn’t win a race. He even lost a 40 yard race against a human baseball player! He retired after losing 100 races, yet somehow his popularity has grown.

Definitely read the back matter after the story. It’s so fascinating.

Read the author’s amusing bio here. And read about Artie’s other books here.

You can find the illustrator’s bio here where you’ll find out he’s also an author. There are lots of sample illustrations on his home page. I like many of his other illustrations here, too.