Encouragement and instructive pointers in a package guy writers will enjoy.

GUY-WRITE

WHAT EVERY GUY WRITER NEEDS TO KNOW

Guys love writing as much as they love reading...when they can do their own thing.

Writer and writing instructor Fletcher offers a new writing guide with advice aimed squarely at boys. Most guys love to write, but they might not love writing what is expected of them at school. Fletcher starts by letting guy writers know that they are far from alone. He lets guy writers know it's OK to write what they love: humor, grossness, battles, fantasy and horror. And he counsels guy writers on how to talk with their teachers about writing what they love to satisfy assignments. Along the way Fletcher peppers the text with general writing tips and suggestions for ways to make all types of writing stronger and more enjoyable (for the writer and readers). There are interviews with adult writers for guys, in which the likes of Jon Scieszka, Robert San Souci and Robert Lipsyte all talk about their writing process. The black-and-white illustrations come from real (young) guy writers as do many of the writing samples. The final two tips—keep a journal and read to improve your writing—deservedly get their own chapters. Fletcher even includes a reading suggestion for each type of guy writing.

Encouragement and instructive pointers in a package guy writers will enjoy. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: July 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9404-6

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2012

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Come for the mystery, stay for the backmatter.

JULIETA AND THE DIAMOND ENIGMA

This gentle, fast-paced mystery will hook readers with interesting details.

Julieta Leal, 9, is a magnet for disasters. She has a reputation at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, where both her parents work, for making trouble. Julieta is just trying to help, and it’s not her fault that sometimes things get broken or she has a hard time following the rules. When Julieta’s dad invites her along on a trip to Paris regarding the loan of some pieces from the Louvre, she jumps at the chance to add another purple pin to her family’s world-travel map. She promises to be helpful and stay out of trouble and desperately wants to shed her reputation of being a liability. This proves difficult when the dazzling Regent Diamond is stolen and Julieta and her dad are implicated in the theft. With her dad’s job in peril and the prized gem missing, Julieta must rely on her keen observations and tenacity to clear their names. Detailed descriptions of Paris landmarks and factual information about museum pieces are woven naturally into the fast-moving plot so that readers come away with knowledge of these topics alongside a satisfying story. Several pages of backmatter notes bolster the learning. The endearing Julieta is bilingual, and she and her family are Mexican American.

Come for the mystery, stay for the backmatter. (glossaries) (Mystery. 8-11)

Pub Date: June 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64379-046-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Tu Books

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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Alert readers will find the implicit morals: know your audience, mostly, but also never underestimate the power of “rock”...

THE SINGING ROCK & OTHER BRAND-NEW FAIRY TALES

The theme of persistence (for better or worse) links four tales of magic, trickery, and near disasters.

Lachenmeyer freely borrows familiar folkloric elements, subjecting them to mildly comical twists. In the nearly wordless “Hip Hop Wish,” a frog inadvertently rubs a magic lamp and finds itself saddled with an importunate genie eager to shower it with inappropriate goods and riches. In the title tale, an increasingly annoyed music-hating witch transforms a persistent minstrel into a still-warbling cow, horse, sheep, goat, pig, duck, and rock in succession—then is horrified to catch herself humming a tune. Athesius the sorcerer outwits Warthius, a rival trying to steal his spells via a parrot, by casting silly ones in Ig-pay Atin-lay in the third episode, and in the finale, a painter’s repeated efforts to create a flattering portrait of an ogre king nearly get him thrown into a dungeon…until he suddenly understands what an ogre’s idea of “flattering” might be. The narratives, dialogue, and sound effects leave plenty of elbow room in Blocker’s big, brightly colored panels for the expressive animal and human(ish) figures—most of the latter being light skinned except for the golden genie, the blue ogre, and several people of color in the “Sorcerer’s New Pet.”

Alert readers will find the implicit morals: know your audience, mostly, but also never underestimate the power of “rock” music. (Graphic short stories. 8-10)

Pub Date: June 18, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-59643-750-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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