May 2015 Archives

They may forget what you

They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
Carl W. Buechner

Kids Reading Books and Saying What They Think

image courtesy of Phaedra Wilkinson on
I recently ran across some blogs of preteen and teen bloggers because of MMGM (Marvelous Middle Grade Monday). Which made me interested in looking for more teens blogging about books.

It's fun seeing how articulate these kid bloggers are and what they are interested in reading. These kids are promoting good books now, which is so exciting. It was also fun seeing the books we like in common. We may be many years apart in age, but we share a love for some of the same stories.

What does that mean for me as a writer? It's a reminder that inside at some level we are still the same no matter what age we are. We still have hopes and dreams, struggle with issues of self-esteem or failure, have worries in our lives, etc. Those universal experiences are what make it possible for our stories to reach others and for others' stories to reach us.

It also is giving me a chance to see what books are appealing to some of today's kids. (I have grandsons and we discuss books they are reading, but no granddaughters, so don't get much firsthand experience on the girl side.) And, yes, this means my to-be-read list is getting longer and longer.

In case you are interested in checking out these young reviewers yourself, here's some I found.

Personal Websites:

The Paige Turner

Cindy Reads A Lot


This LA County Library has a teen review board! What a great idea!

Oh, look, Sno-Isle Libraries does the same thing, plus you get to find out what grade the teen is in.

Teen Space at the Cincinnati Library has a place for teens to review books and music.


Teen Ink is a magazine that features book reviews (and much more) by teens. Of course, at this age, many are reading "adult" books, too.

LitPick Student Book Reviews features reviews from kids all over the world.

Reader View Kids is a company that posts kids' book reviews.

Like many blogs, I found ones started by teens that have lasted a number of years and then the teen (or now adult) quit posting. Even found one library system that quit having teen posts although the old ones are still up.

If you know of any teens blogging about books, I'd love to hear about it.

In the end you can

In the end you can Give Up or Keep Going. Those are your only choices. The only good thing about giving up is that there's less competition for those who keep going.
Bruce Balan

If you tell me its

If you tell me, it's an essay. If you show me, it's a story.
Barbara Greene

Loved It! - Fish in a Tree

fish in a tree.jpgI loved Fish in a Tree (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2015) by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

Poor Ally has been hiding the fact that she can't read. Instead teachers and others think she's disruptive. She's often in trouble--like sent-to-the-Principal's-office trouble. In Ally's words, "Seven schools in seven years and they're all the same. Whenever I do my best, they tell me I don't try hard enough." The other kids get tired of her, too, and call her Freak. Dumb. Loser. Even her mom doesn't understand. But Ally can't tell the truth.

I loved the relationships in this book: Ally and her brother Travis, Ally and her new friends, Ally and her new teacher, Ally and her "away" father. I ached for Ally and all the frustrations and misunderstandings. (Can you tell I really liked this book?!)

And after finishing the book, I loved reading about how Ally's brother came to be in this post. To learn more, go to the author's website.

This is author Lynda Mullaly Hunt's second book. Hopefully, there will be many more to come.

Not Easy - The Truth about Twinkie Pie

YEH_TruthTwinkiePie.jpgThe Truth about Twinkie Pie (Little, Brown and Company) by Kat Yeh is not an easy story, but it's a good one.

Twelve-year-old GiGi and her nine years older sister DiDi have moved from South Carolina to Long Island. GiGi can reinvent herself at her new school and even go by the new name of Leia. (It's a better nickname for her real name of Galileo Galilei). But life gets complicated with a new friend--a guy!--a girl who hates GiGi/Leia, and family secrets revealed.

This isn't one of those forgettable books. Author Kat Yeh has a goal of helping children cope and has written about real life and real Issues in this story. (Read more on her blog April 9, 2015.) I hope it reaches the kids who need it and wins some awards, too!

A fun bonus of The Truth about Twinkie Pie is all the recipes written by the girls' mama.

Read about the author's published picture books on her site.

Writing is a job a

Writing is a job, a talent, but it's also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.
Ann Patchett