Sunday, October 5, 2014

Reading distracts from Revising, or Does It?

Skipped September, so make-up blog time for October. These are my feet and yes I often read, daydream and receive inspiration here on this hammock in my backyard. My latest two MG book reads starred a squirrel in one, and two raccoons in the other(star status is reserved for talking/thinking animals and bugs only). Flora & Ulysses...The Illuminated Adventures, by Kate DiCamillo combines a graphic novel and novel in one-brilliant! I adored all her quirky characters, especially the labeled cynic, Flora and the "unassuming" squirrel, Ulysses. I wonder how many fourth graders had to Google the word "cynic." Congrats to Kate DiCamillo for receiving 2014 Newberry Award for this fun and touching novel.
The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt had quite a few animal characters, but the true stars were the scouts-two raccoon brothers, Bingo and J'miah. And who couldn't love Chap Brayburn? A twelve year-old boy devoted to his mother's sugar pie business and the the swampland who struggles becoming a man after losing his grandfather. It's bitter-sweet like coffee and fried sugar pies. I was pleasantly surprised by the "save the environment" theme which is one of my themes in my book that came to me eight years ago. Until about two years ago, it was a rare find to come across an MG with this theme. I'm happy to see this niche in the market growing and having Kathi Appelt, a Newberry Honor award author to be a part of it, is awesome! Though I'm not a fan of a narrator being a character, this one did set a nice tone and rhythm. I definitely would have edited some of the details on the Desoto and instead, a point of view might of been fun. I did enjoy reading the several points of view that was in this book. Both of these MGs are a must read.
As for my question, yes, the reading did take time away from writing, but what I learned fueled my revisions. Stay tune for my latest YA reads.

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