Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Power of Books

I had an hour with twenty fourth grade girls. Talking about books. And the wonder they contain. And the worlds you can visit in them. Making and drinking 'Dump Punch' and crafting yard candles from paper lunch sacks, sand, and votive candles.

Twenty girls, whose eyes lit like Fourth of July sparklers when I handed out specially printed World Book Night 2012 copies of Because of Winn-Dixie.

One hug. Given to me. By one of the girls. It made the entire experience simply perfect.


My Giver Box is now empty, and my heart is full. And twenty fourth grade girls learned about the power of books. Thank you to all who made World Book Night possible.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

World Book Night

Yesterday I picked up these!!!


And on Monday I get to chat with a group of fourth graders at a local elementary school who don't like to read. I'll be asking lots of questions (my opening one being: If you could take a trip anywhere, where would you go? --To make them realize books take you EVERYWHERE!). We're also making 'Dump Punch' (page 144 of Because of Winn-Dixie) and drinking it together. I'm super excited to be part of this (first!!)
U.S. World Book Night! I'll share all about it next week.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Three Times Lucky (and ARC giveaway)

The winner of my hardcover of Summer on the Moon is:
Gina Carey!
Yay! Email your mailing address to: barbarawatson94(at)gmail(dot)com

 Now, for today's feature . . .

This sweet gem of a novel, Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage, is a murder mystery and beautiful story woven into one (how is that even possible?), and I don't think I've read anything quite like it. Honestly. And with a main character named Mo LoBeau who has a best friend named Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, you can tell it's loaded with personality. It doesn't release until May 10, 2012, but I'm giving away my ARC to one of you!

The premise: Eleven-year-old Mo, salvaged from a hurricane by the Colonel when she was just a baby and raised by the loving Miss Lana, has spent her entire life in the small town of Tupelo Landing, North Carolina. When a detective shows up asking questions about a murder, Mo knows she has to do everything she can to save those she loves.

What keeps readers reading: The marvelous mystery. It keeps you on your toes--beginning, middle and end. Add in the quirks of small town living and a small girl who stands biggest when she's cornered, and this book is purely magical.

What I loved: Mo's pluck and the way Sheila Turnage took everything middle graders care most about--family, friends, and home--and blended those with murder and mystery. Three Times Lucky stays on your mind and in your heart long after you read the last page.

To enter a drawing for my ARC (which I won from Myrna Foster!), please comment on this post by Sunday, April 15th, by 8pm CDT. International entries welcome. Winner announced on Monday, April 16th. Check my Middle Grade Monday tab or Shannon Messenger's links for more middle grade recommendations.

Happy middle grade reading!