Sunday, March 31, 2019

MMGM - The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
By Rodman Philbrick
2010 Newberry Honor Book

A humorous and informative book from the beginning. Homer and his older brother Harold are orphans being brought up by a mean uncle. Their uncle sells 17-year-old Harold into the Union Army and 12-year-old Homer runs off to find him. The story, filled with one way-out adventure after another, starts in Pine Swamp, Maine and it ends up at Gettysburg.

The story is filled with characters with crazy names. It reminds you of Mark Twain’s Huck Finn. Homer is courageous and funny and has a knack of stretching the truth whenever he needs to.

The reader learns a lot about the time period – the underground railroad and the Civil War. When at Gettysburg the story does gets a little graphic about the fighting. He does find his brother, but I’ll let you read the book to see how it ends.

And if you don’t like the book, you have Jebediah Brewster to blame, not Homer. You also must read the book to find out why.

Go over to Always in the Middle to find out who else is posting about MG Books.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

MMGM - The Littlest Bigfoot

The Littlest Bigfoot

The Littlest Bigfoot
by Jennifer Weiner
September 2016

I posted about this book before, but not for MMGM.

 I admit I am a "wanna be believer" in Bigfoot. So, when I saw this MG book, I just had to read it.

I love the beautiful cover with a pretty young girl and a cute littlest Bigfoot.

The MC feels she is unwanted, unloved, too big and has very unruly hair. I do feel that the cover should have been more true to the description of the main character in the book. I know some of you may think this sounds silly, but I feel if a young girl who is a little overweight reads this book and then looks at the picture on the cover, she's going to think, "If she's supposed to be big, then I must really be big."

The book starts out slow and is written in three POVs - Alice, Millie and Jeremy. If you can keep reading through the slow beginning and get used to the three POVs, you will find it to be an interesting read. In the second half of the book, I found myself wanting to finish the book to see what happens - and that is good.

This is what it says on Amazon:

Alice Mayfair, twelve years old, slips through the world unseen and unnoticed. Ignored by her family and shipped off to her eighth boarding school, Alice would like a friend. And when she rescues Millie Maximus from drowning in a lake one day, she finds one.

But Millie is a Bigfoot, part of a clan who dwells deep in the woods. Most Bigfoots believe that people—NoFurs, as they call them—are dangerous, yet Millie is fascinated with the No-Fur world. She is convinced that humans will appreciate all the things about her that her Bigfoot tribe does not: her fearless nature, her lovely singing voice, and her desire to be a star.

Alice swears to protect Millie’s secret. But a league of Bigfoot hunters is on their trail, led by a lonely kid named Jeremy. And in order to survive, Alice and Millie have to put their trust in each other—and have faith in themselves—above all else.

Have you read The Littlest Bigfoot?
Are you a "wanna be believer" in Bigfoot?

Go over to Always in the Middle to find out who else is posting about MG Books.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

MMGM - The Last Treasure

Image result for the last treasure images

The Last Treasure
by Janet S. Anderson

This story is interesting and might be something you always dreamed of happening to you when you were a child - but didn't. 

You see, there's a family treasure. And that treasure can only be found by children in the family. The story spans many generations of the Smith Family. In the front of the book there is a family tree with all the names and dates of the Smith Family ancestors. There is also a map of the Square where all ten of the family houses are located.

I love mysteries like this and I am one of those who wishes that there was a treasure to be found in my family tree. (I even wrote a manuscript about it and hopefully one day it will be published).

Thirteen-year-old Ellsworth (Zee) Smith receives a letter from one of his relatives still living in the Square in New York. She wants him to return and help find the last of the three treasures that the Smith family patriarch left for his descendants. The Square is in bad shape. There's been a long drought, the pond is drying up, the huge trees are dying and most of the houses need repairs. They need to find the treasure.

His dad doesn't want him to go, but with money his relative sends him, he hops on a bus and goes anyway. When he arrives he finds and becomes acquainted with many relatives that he doesn't know anything about. He joins up with Jess, a girl cousin his age, and they become obsessed with finding the treasure.

There are a lot of characters and many of them don't get along. But in the end they come together to try and find the treasure - and bringing the family together might be the greatest treasure of all.

It is a good read and I recommend it for people who like a little mystery.

Join others reviewing middle grade books over on Always in the Middle.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

MMGM - Shooting the Moon

Image result for shooting the moon book


by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Atheneum Books for Young Readers



This story takes place during the Vietnam War. Twelve-year-old Jamie and her brother have both dreamed of following in the footsteps of their father, the Colonel. She is thrilled when her brother enlists in the army and is being sent to Vietnam. Her parents aren't as thrilled, because unlike Jamie, they know what the consequences could be. 

She looks forward to letters from her brother, but instead of writing to her, he sends rolls of film to her to develop on a regular basis. 

A lot of the story takes place in a rec room on the base where she volunteers at during the summer. She plays gin rummy with the soldier who works there. A  friendship grows between the two and slowly Jamie grows to dislike the war and worries about her brother and that her friend might also be sent to Vietnam.

The end is a little abrupt and different, but all in all satisfying.

The Horn Book said "complicated and unpredictable -- just like war."

This historical fiction was a fairly quick read. I read it in one day. If you are interested in the Vietnam War and that time period, I would recommend it.

Click here to check out my post on Darlene Beck-Jacobson's web page today. It is about the research I did on my book, Duck and Cover.

Happy reading!

Join others reviewing middle grade books over on Always in the Middle.

Friday, March 1, 2019

A Writer's Bookshelves

I love books!

This is a bookshelf that sits next to my computer. It has my reference books in it and some of my favorite middle grade books.

For 8 years I wrote a column for kids and I also like writing historical fiction.

My middle grade book (which means it is geared toward 8-12 year olds - but baby boomers love it, too, because they were young when this story takes place) Duck and Cover, is a historical fiction novel. It takes place in the fall of 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Here are some more reference type books that I have on my shelves that I have found to be very helpful in my writing.

Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg. I have 3 other bookcases in our family room. They are filled with numerous other books, including picture books, chapter books, vintage books, copies of Two Lane Livin' (the magazine I wrote a children's column in). etc. etc.

Oh, I can't leave out a pic of this old floor-model radio which was converted into a bookcase. I bought this at a yard sale for $3. It is filled with Little Golden Books!

Do you have lots of books, too?
If you like, tell us about them in your comment.
Or better yet, do a blog post about them and come back and put a link to it in your comment - I'd love to see them.

Happy Writing