Monday, August 27, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: With a Name Like Love

If you've read my MMGM posts for awhile, you know I have a fondness for quiet stories, those that whisper and tug at your innermost self as you read them. With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo is one of these, and while we might have different definitions of a quiet story, what it NEVER is, is dull or slow. 

The premise: All her life Olivene Love's daddy has been a traveling preacher, so when the family pulls into Binder, Arkansas, she expects the usual three-day stay, and then it's on to another town. But when Ollie meets Jimmy Koppel and discovers his mom's in jail for murdering his dad (and Jimmy insists she's innocent), Ollie's need for a friend and her daddy's heart for helping others prove to be a solid force for change in this little town.

What keeps readers reading: A situation you want to mend and make right. Readers become Ollie, they stand in the shoes of her daddy, and they cheer and love Jimmy as someone (a family of someones, really) finally stands against what's wrong in Binder.

What I loved: The story's tone and freshness. It's something lively, beautiful, and full of hope. I look at Ollie and say, "Everybody needs a heart like hers." And I admire Jimmy and say, "Every person needs a friend like him."

For more middle grade recommendations, check the links put together by Shannon Messenger. 
Happy middle grade reading! 

30 comments:

  1. I never thought about quiet stories. I like that concept.

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  2. Just added this book to my wishlist. I love the friendship aspect--I'm a sucker for any story that features friends in some way!--and the fact that it's full of hope intrigues me even more. Many of my favorite books have that feel!

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  3. I love quiet stories too, and big surprise it's what I tend to write. Gary Schmidt is the master of quiet stories (in my opinion), and I'm still trying to learn how to find that perfect balance in my own writing - quiet yet gripping and absorbing.

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  4. Have you read it with your kids? What did they think? (I have three boys, and "quiet" stories are not the first type to which they gravitate.)

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  5. P.S. I hope you're enjoying all your book winnings recently, Barbara. Everywhere I go on MMGM today you're a winner. If I were you, I'd buy a lottery ticket and query all the agents on your favorites' list this week!!

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    1. I didn't read it with my kids, but I will read it (rereading for me) aloud with my daughter this year. And about the winnings...I KNOW!! It was almost embarrassing, but there's nothing better to receive in the mail than BOOKS!

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  6. I've had this book on my TBR list forever. I love love LOVE the way it sounds. I need to break down and buy it now. Thanks for the reminder, BA! :o) <3

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  7. Awww, this sounds like a very sweet story.

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  8. Sounds lovely. It's going on my TBR list right now.

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  9. I have read this one, Barbara. And it is a quiet, sweet book--much like the author. I follow Tess Hilmo's blog, and she comes across as such a sweet person. You can't help but love her book. :)

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  10. I don't think I read many books that I would describe as "quiet", but I feel the need to read some of them. It sounds refreshing!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

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  11. Looks like a good one to add to Christmas lists for my niece and nephew:-)

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  12. I'm intrigued by the sound of this story. I'll definitely add it to my list to read. I know it's received a lot of critical acclaim.

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  13. I've seen the cover but had no idea what it was about. Thanks for sharing your review.

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  14. Barbara, you know I love quiet books too! This sounds lovely. I've seen it mentioned before on the blogs, but although I requested it for the bookstore last year, the owner/buyer never bought it. It's a shame when quiet books get pushed aside for those with more buzz and marketability.

    Oh, and I like Michael's comment about your winnings today!

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  15. Yay! Everyone read it if you haven't! It's so much loveliness...

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  16. The cover is just beautiful and the story sounds delightful. I can't wait to read it. I love people with big hearts. Thanks for introducing me to this one!
    ~Jess

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  17. Sounds like a great book. Love the cover. :)

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  18. Sounds great, going on the to-read pile!

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  19. Barbara, this sounds like a gem. The father-as-preacher part reminds me a bit of BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE, which also has a strong voice. WIll definitely check this one out!

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  20. Ooo,I love the sound of this one, Barbara. And really love the cover, too.

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  21. Sounds good! I agree with Deb on the cover.

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  22. Hello, Barbara, I'm just passing by. I'll return soon.

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  23. Thanks for this one, Barabara. At first, judging by the cover, I thought it was an older book, so I looked it up. But no - it's historical fiction.

    I completely agree with you - quiet doesn't mean dull or slow!

    Danika

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    1. Danika, yes! It's set historically (1950s...I think), but the historical part doesn't wager heavily on the plot as in most historicals, so I actually had (almost) forgotten that part (hence my 'I think' up there).

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  24. Thank you so much for the recommendation, Barbara! This sounds amazing and exactly like the type of books I love to read and strive to write.

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  25. I've been devouring MG books lately and I haven't come across this one. Thanks for the recommendation. I'm putting it on my to read list. ;)

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  26. The way you present the book I can't help but want to read it. Thank you for always featuring amazing reads out of my comfort genre. :)

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