Friday, December 17, 2010

My New Avatar

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember last January's CALAMITY JACK contest.  If not, you can read about it here. I just gave a copy of RAPUNZEL'S REVENGE to Daxton's teacher for Christmas. I'm a fangirl. These books even make children who hate reading want to sit and read for hours.

Rapunzel's RevengeCalamity Jack

This afternoon, I came home from room mothering to find this avatar in my e-mail.  

If you've read CALAMITY JACK, you ought to recognize the Pru-style pixie hat. I love it. It's my birthday this weekend. Thanks, Nathan (illustrator extraordinaire) Hale for the early birthday present! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Matthew Kirby's Debut Novel

I ended up googling Matthew J. Kirby, after reading some of the comments on my post about his debut novel, THE CLOCKWORK THREE, and found this video where he discusses it. I also found a book trailer, but I thought this one gave a better feel for the book than the trailer did.

Yes, I'm still thinking about this one, even though I've read a couple of others since then. That's usually a good sign, right?

Has anyone else read it yet?

Friday, December 10, 2010

One Person

Last night, when I went to the post office, I opened my last rejection for 2010. It wasn't a good feeling. If you've been rejected, you know what I mean.

Then today, I went to eat lunch with my son at his school because it's his week to be recognized in his class. A girl I vaguely recognized came up to me in the lunch room. She smiled at me and looked fluttery, though I couldn't imagine why.

"Mrs. Foster?" she said.

I nodded.

Her smile got bigger. "You came to our class last year and wrote poems for us."

"Yes, I did," I said, realizing why she look familiar. She'd asked a lot of questions during my poetry workshop.

She ran off, and I ate lunch with my son, but I'm not feeling as upset over that rejection anymore. It doesn't take much to lift another person, the way this girl lifted me today.

One of my critique partners has pledged to make school kits for children in need, one for every book we buy for a child this Christmas. All you have to do is go over to Jackee's 200th Post Celebration and tell her you've bought a book for a child (by December 23rd), and another child will receive much needed school supplies. Oh, and you'll be entered in her drawing to win books. It isn't so hard to make a difference.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, December 6, 2010


I just finished an incredible story, a book I hadn't heard of that I picked up because our librarians displayed it in the children's section. Today's Marvelous MG Monday is all about THE CLOCKWORK THREE, by Matthew J. Kirby.

The Clockwork Three 

Isn't that a GREAT cover?

Three ordinary children are brought together by extraordinary events. . .

Giuseppe is an orphaned street musician from Italy, who was sold by his uncle to work as a slave for an evil padrone in the U.S. But when a mysterious green violin enters his life he begins to imagine a life of freedom.

Hannah is a soft-hearted, strong-willed girl from the tenements, who supports her family as a hotel maid when tragedy strikes and her father can no longer work. She learns about a hidden treasure, which she knows will save her family -- if she can find it.

And Frederick, the talented and intense clockmaker's apprentice, seeks to learn the truth about his mother while trying to forget the nightmares of the orphanage where she left him. He is determined to build an automaton and enter the clockmakers' guild -- if only he can create a working head.

Together, the three discover they have phenomenal power when they team up as friends, and that they can overcome even the darkest of fears.

The first point-of-view shift annoyed me because I wanted to read more about Guiseppe, but then I became just as attached to Hannah and Frederick. The historical fiction element (the little street musicians, kidnapped or sold as slaves and forced to work for their masters) reminded me of OLIVER TWIST, while the fantasy and danger reminded my husband of THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES. And while I can see his point, the magic didn't have anything to do with faeries. Mostly, it's more mechanical or functional. We both loved it. The prose is even more beautiful and functional than the magic. 

Have any of you read THE CLOCKWORK THREE? If so, what do you think? It's only been out since October, but I'm still surprised I haven't seen reviews for it.

Shannon Whitney Messenger is also hosting a MMGM and a book giveaway today, if you'd like to hop over there.