Book Reviews

Book Review: Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

Everybody loves Mother Paula’s pancakes. Everybody, that is, except the colony of cute but endangered owls that live on the building site of the new restaurant. Can the awkward new kid and his feral friend prank the pancake people out of town? Or is the owls’ fate cemented in pancake batter? My thoughts: People say… Continue reading Book Review: Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

Book Reviews, Editing, Reading, Writer Life

10 Opening Lines: Do they entice you to read on?

I picked 10 novels off my middle grade and young adult shelves. All books I've read and enjoyed, but I was curious to pay closer attention to how they start. Do their opening lines have a hook? Let's take a look: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate I am Ivan. I am a… Continue reading 10 Opening Lines: Do they entice you to read on?

Editing, Reading, Writer Life

Regina Brooks’ 5 Rules for Engaging YA Readers

When I first started writing YA, long ago, I picked up Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks. It's a book I still highly recommend today. However, it's been years since I read it, so I've pulled it off my shelf to give it my time and attention again. And I'm rather amused.… Continue reading Regina Brooks’ 5 Rules for Engaging YA Readers

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as… Continue reading Book Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Editing

“Use dialogue tags sparingly, if at all,” she said.

I was recently asked by one of my readers my thoughts on the dialogue tag "said." I  do have thoughts, and thank you for asking this question. In grade school we are taught to use all kinds of dialogue tags: "Watch out," he exclaimed; "Get back here right now," she yelled; "We can't go to… Continue reading “Use dialogue tags sparingly, if at all,” she said.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Where I Belong by Tara White

Where I Belong by Tara White This moving novel of self-discovery and redemption takes place during the Oka Crisis of the summer of 1990. Having been adopted as an infant, Carrie has always felt out of place—and recurring dreams keep warning that someone close to her will be badly hurt. When she finds out that… Continue reading Book Review: Where I Belong by Tara White

Editing

The biggest lesson about the editing process.

I've written stories nearly all my life. I still have an original from when I was in grade two, three maybe. I wrote poetry and gory short stories through my teens. Picture books when my kids were little. And now, I focus on novel writing for middle grade and young adult audiences.  Amazing how our… Continue reading The biggest lesson about the editing process.