The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters by Kara LaReau, a review

The Jolly Regina and The Uncanny Express by Kara LaReau, Books 1 and 2 of the Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters, a review. Published 2017 and 2018 by Amulet Books, New York, each about 160 pages, illustrated by Jen Hill Genre: Middle grade, aimed at kids about twelve years old These books both break a […]

Little Bigfoot, Big City by Jennifer Weiner, a review

Little Bigfoot, Big City by Jennifer Weiner, Book 2 of the Littlest Bigfoot series, a review Published 2017 by Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, 317 pages Genre: Middle grade fantasy, aimed at readers approximately 12 years old I was trying to get a recently published book to read and ended up with this one, which […]

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson, a review

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz series #1, a review Published 2007 by Scholastic, 308 pages Genre: Middle grade humorous fantasy, aimed at readers approx. 12 years old This engaging and funny book promises to encourage reluctant readers with plenty of improbable silliness. Its only flaw is that it isn’t all that […]

The Hostage Prince by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple, a review

The Hostage Prince by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple, Book 1 of The Seelie Wars, a review Published 2013 by Viking/Penguin Young Readers Group, 232 pages Genre: Middle grade fantasy, aimed at readers approx. 12 years old Snail is her name, and she’s an odd person in the Unseelie Court. She’s a midwife’s apprentice, clumsy, […]

Dear White Christian, a review

Dear White Christian by Aaron J. Layton Published 2017 by the Committee on Discipleship Ministries, Lawrenceville, GA Nonfiction, 120 pages I am a writer of fiction for twelve-year-olds. In my manuscripts, I have found myself returning again and again to the theme of racial reconciliation through the eyes of a white person. So I was […]

Prince Oleomargarine, Mark Twain’s new book for kids: a review

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain and Philip Stead, illus. by Erin Stead Genre: Middle Grade read-aloud picture book, 8 1/2 x 11-inch format, 152 pages Published 2017 by Doubleday Books for Young Readers Great news for Mark Twain fans! An unfinished children’s tale was found in 2011 in Twain’s papers–misfiled under recipes, […]

I am hopeful about my latest book!

As you know, my loyal fans, I’ve been working on learning the novel-writing craft for about twelve years. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I’ve been able to bless others as an editor and publisher. But my own fiction work remains unpublished. That’s because the genre I choose to write in, aimed at […]

Ella Hough, full of promise

My great-aunt, Ella Hough, was an amazing artist. I know because I have her sketchbook. She was born in 1868 to Thomas Hough and his wife Jane. Thomas was a successful entrepreneur who immigrated in his early twenties from Yorkshire, England, in about 1865. He’d left his job operating an elevator in a textile mill […]

Update on editing and publishing

I notice I haven’t posted in eleven months. I’m not very focused on promoting myself, I guess.  But I have been a busy bee! I have a manuscript that is ready for publication, in my professional opinion and that of other professionals, but it’s not *exactly* what is most popular in the middle school-tween market […]

Editing Jane Austen!?!

A teen-aged Jane Austen wrote a novella that she never even titled, much less published herself. It’s been called Lady Susan, and now it’s been made into a movie, “Love and Friendship.” Austen is known for originating the romance novel. She really hit the sweet spot with readers ever since her brief career of 1811-1817.  […]