Monday, August 27, 2012

Keeping Safe the Stars by Sheila O'Connor for MMGM -- and Giveaway Winners!


First, I have some winners to announce in my Road Trip Giveaway!  The first prize (a package including an arc of MALCOLM AT MIDNIGHT, a signed mini-poster and an arc of GREAT UNEXPECTED) goes to:

VIVIEN
  
Congrats, Vivien!  Expect an email from me.  You were only 60 miles off our actual driving distance of 2140 miles. Good guess!


For the second prize, amazingly, we have a tie!

BARBARA WATSON
and
NATALIE LORENZI

both guessed 1900 miles, which is the next closest guess! So, ladies, here's what I will do. The first to respond to my email will win Prize Package #2 (an arc of WHAT CAME FROM THE STARS and an arc of THIRD GRADE ANGELS).  The second to respond will win Prize #3, an arc of THE PECULIAR. Hope that's fair, and if you'd prefer a different arc, please email me and I'll see what I can find!

And if you didn't win something, come back on Friday, August 31 to enter a YA giveaway! I'm interviewing Corrine Jackson, author of IF I LIE and TOUCHED.  I'll be giving away a copy of her first book.


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Now onto MMGM! Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is the brainchild of Shannon Messenger.  For other participants, see my sidebar or Shannon's links.


Keeping Safe the Stars by Sheila O'Connor (Coming Oct 13, 2012 from Putnam, for ages 10 and up)


Source: advanced reading copy from publisher

Synopsis (from Indiebound): When crisis hits, a young girl becomes the only one left to take care of her family.

Pride, Nightingale and Baby are the Stars. Orphaned and living with their grandfather, Old Finn, in rural Minnesota, the children, like their grandfather, are wary of outsiders. They believe, as Old Finn taught them, in self-reliance.

But then Old Finn falls seriously ill and is taken to the hospital all the way in Duluth, leaving the children to fend for themselves. Pride, as oldest, assumes the lead. Though she makes mistakes, she keeps them afloat; they even earn money for the bus trip to Duluth. But when they finally see Old Finn, he can't walk or even say his own name, and Pride knows her days of keeping safe the Stars are drawing to a close. Self-reliance can't make Old Finn well again. But maybe, just maybe, a secret from Old Finn's past might make a way for them to stay together after all.

Why I liked it:  I know, I know; it's not coming out until October!  But I adore this book so much, I couldn't wait to share it with you! You may remember how much I loved the author's previous middle-grade novel, Sparrow Road (see my review here).  Well, this book is even better. O'Connor has outdone herself here.

Pride is a wonderful character. She seemed like a real girl in my mind. The prose is rich and powerful; the descriptions are gorgeous -- you'll have no trouble picturing Eden (Old Finn's farm) or the city. This takes place during the summer of the Watergate hearings, yet it has a timeless quality.  I love quiet books that explore the depths of one girl's heart. And oh, the ending is lovely.

I've always enjoyed stories about kids having to survive on their own, starting with The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner (which I read in third grade!).  What about you? What middle-grade books about kids on their own do you carry in your heart?

23 comments:

  1. Congrats to all the winners (you must have done a lot of side trips!!) I'll certainly be on the lookout for Keeping Safe the Stars.

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    1. Hi Michael! Well, we did drive up and down the coast of Maine after our visit to the far north! Lots of miles there.

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  2. So happy to have won! I wasn't quite fast enough on the email for second prize, but I'm super happy with whatever you send me, Joanne.

    This book sounds amazing, and since the story takes place in my home state (and O'Connor is a local author) -- all the more special.

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    1. I think you'll be very happy with what I send you, Barbara. Thanks for being so understanding. You're very lucky to live in the same state as Sheila O'Connor!

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  3. I haven't heard of this author before, but I love the cover and the storyline sounds great as well.

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

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  5. Sounds like a great book! Congrats to the winners of your giveaway, that's a lot of miles!

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    1. Yes, we do tend to cover a lot of miles on our road trips, Jennifer!

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  6. Congrats to the lucky winners! I love the cover of this book. It is beautiful!!! The book sounds fabulous. After reading your review I have added this one to my TBR list. Now I just need October to get here. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. I agree, Jess, the cover's awesome. Hope you get to read the book eventually.

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  7. Thrilled to have won some ARC love, Joanne--thanks so much for holding this contest!

    KEEPING SAFE THE STARS is a lovely title, and from your review, it sounds like a book I'd love. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  8. Hi Natalie! You're welcome. And your prize is already on its way to you.

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  9. i really appreciate mg books that have a strong, mature protagonist. always tugs at my heart!

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  10. thanks for sharing this one! I will be getting this in October and in the meantime I will get and read Sparrow Road!

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  11. AND! Congrats to the winners...that Barbara is winning all over the place,lol!

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    1. Hi Deb! Thanks for stopping by. And yes to the LOL about Barbara's winning nature this week.

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  12. Oh, I loved the Boxcar Children as well! I love the cover for this book. What an engaging image. And I can tell names are important in the book, too, something else that always intrigues me. I'll add it to my list!

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    1. YAY for THE BOXCAR CHILDREN! And YAY for KEEPING SAFE THE STARS! And oh yes, the cover's gorgeous.

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  13. This one's going on my Goodreads TBR list, and the library has Sparrow Road, so I can check that one out (get it?).

    Have you read Homecoming, by Cynthia Voigt? Very similar kind of story.

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YAY for comments! I read and appreciate each one and I always try to answer. All opinions welcome. Let's have a conversation.