Secrets, Gianna Z., and Me.

 Kate Messner – a talented middle grade author who wrote The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. (Gianna Z. won the E.B. White read aloud award! And Kate recently announced a three book deal with scholastic. Woo hoo! Go Kate!)

 A girl (Gianna). A boy. A leaf project. A cross country meet. A grandmother who is developing Alzheimers. A family who doesn’t want to admit it. Italian wedding cookies. And there is Gianna Z in the middle of it. Trying to get her leaf project done to be able to compete in the cross country meet while dealing with her grandmother.

 Let’s just say, I cried off and on throughout the last quarter of the book.

 Let’s go back to the New England SCBWI conference. Kate Messner’s new arc – Sugar and Ice. I brought it home. My first arc. Yay!!! I read it. I loved it. Stayed up to midnight reading it.

Sugar and Ice – Claire Boucher, a farm girl who likes to skate on frozen cow ponds, starts training at Lake Placid. As she experiences the ups and downs of competitive skating, she must decide which of her dreams to follow.

Though I didn’t cry in this book, tension crackled (I seriously think I heard it) and had me reading straight through. I couldn’t put it down.

These books are the perfect example of great contemporary middle grade. You’ll find it all. High stakes. Three dimensional characters. Great dialogue. Emotion. Conflict.

Oh, yeah. Secrets. I have a secret –about my reading and writing – to share on Wednesday when I start a summer series called, How I  Write. Wednesday is all about idea creation.

And then on Friday I might or might not be having a book give-a-way contest. (And it might or might not have to do with the books in this post.)

Share the last great book you read. I want to know.


15 Responses to Secrets, Gianna Z., and Me.

  1. Kris June 14, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    Can’t wait to read Sugar and Ice and I absolutely loved Gianna Z! I’m reading Newsgirl by Liza Ketchum with my daughter right now – about life in San Francisco during the gold rush. She loves it!

    Can’t wait to see what you’ve got going on Friday…*wink*

  2. Terry Lynn Johnson June 14, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    great reviews! I must read both of these books! thanks for highlighting MG! Yay!
    I’ve just finished Dust of 100 Dogs and can’t stop thinking of it. Super!
    Can’t wait for your Wednesday idea days. Awesome idea!

  3. Laura June 14, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    Thanks Kris *wink*

    Terry Lyn – I’ve heard a lot about the Dust of 100 Dogs. Sounds really good. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Jennifer Shirk June 14, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    I’m reading a really good book right now. The character really has me and although I’m only about 1/4 way thru, I’ve already gotten that tightening in the stomach feeling from reading it. It’s called “Love Starts with elle” by rachel hauck.

  5. Creepy Query Girl June 14, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    OOoh, this sounds really cute! And your first ARC- and a book you really enjoyed?? Priceless! Thanks for sharing your reviews and I’m looking forward to your ‘secret’.

  6. Andrea Vlahakis June 14, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    I’ve got to read these two books. Can’t wait for Wednesday and your How I Write series! 🙂

  7. Kelly Polark June 14, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    I haven’t read any of Kate’s books. I need to. I’ve been reading mg’s lately!

  8. Laura Marcella June 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    These books look great! Thanks for suggesting.

    I just finished re-reading Little Women by Lousia May Alcott and Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards. So good! I’m currently reading Christopher Pike’s Thirst series, and I have Hoot by Carl Hiaasen waiting on the sidelines. 🙂

  9. Anna June 14, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    I really enjoyed Gianna Z; the characters were just so REAL. Plus Kate Messner is the nicest person. I can’t wait to read Sugar and Ice!

  10. Laura June 14, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    Jennifer – I picking up a book and knowing with in the first chapter that I’m going to love it!

    CQG – It was kinda neat. I’d never had an arc. Hard to give it up!

    Andrea – The summer series will be interesting. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot about my writing process.

    Kelly – Good mgs are hard to find.

    Laura – Sounds like you’ve got a lot to read!

    Anna – Yes, Kate is super nice and real!

  11. Stina Lindenblatt June 14, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    I only read YA, but I’ll let my kids know about it. It sounds like something they might be interested in. 🙂

    Thanks for highlighting it!

  12. angela June 14, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    Oh! I want to read both of these. Thanks for the great summaries that tell a bit but don’t spoil things, you know? LOVE!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  13. Karen June 15, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    Middle-grade. My first love! I’ve heard good things about Kate’s books.

    The last good middle grade that I’ve read recently is DARK LIFE by Kat Falls. It was a good read. Good for boys and girls.

  14. Catherine A. Winn June 15, 2010 at 1:46 am #

    I’ll be adding Kate Messner to my summer author must read list. Thanks! The books sound wonderful.

  15. Jody Hedlund June 15, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    Don’t you just love reading something totally inspiring? When I do, it pumps me up for my own writing!

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