Monday, August 13, 2012

Malcolm at Midnight for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday!

Whew! That's a lot of M's.  And I've just been in Millinocket, Maine.  More M's.  Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is the brainchild of Shannon Messenger (Ha!  One more M!)  For other participants, please see my sidebar to the right.

I'm back from our road trip vacation and I have a terrific new book to share with you.  And a giveaway!  I'm celebrating two things since I last posted for MMGM: My seven years of survival since my brain aneurysm ruptured in 2005. And my three years of book blogging. So I figured it was only natural to have a giveaway!  Read on for my MMGM pick this week and for details about the giveaway.



Malcolm at Midnight by W.H. Beck, with pictures by Brian Lies (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Coming 9/4/2012, for ages 9 to 12)

Source: advanced reading copy from publisher

Synopsis (from the publisher):  When Malcolm (a smaller than average rat) arrives as the fifth grade pet at McKenna School, he revels in the attention, the Pop-Tart crumbs, and his new Comf-E-Cube.  He also meets the Midnight Academy, a secret society of classroom pets that keeps the nutters (kids) out of trouble.  After all, everybody knows, "a lot happens in a school when the teachers aren't looking."

There's just one problem.  Rats have a terrible reputation.  So when the Academy assumes Malcolm is a mouse, he doesn't exactly speak up.  Then the Academy's leader, a glasses-wearing iguana named Aggy, disappears and the Academy smells a rat... a dirty rat fink, to be specific.  Now Malcolm must use all of his ratty persistence to prove his innocence, get Aggy back under her heat lamp -- and find out if it's possible to be a critter of valor and merit even if you're a rat.

Why I liked it:  They had me at "a secret society of classroom pets"! This is great fun, especially for fans of the Ralph S. Mouse books by Beverly Cleary and the Humphrey books by Betty G. Birney.  An added bonus is the format. The book is written as an anonymous letter and story that the fifth-grade teacher, Mr. Binney, found on his desk one day, and the anonymous authors have cleverly inserted lessons they've learned from Mr. Binney, fifth-grade vocabulary words, and some funny footnotes. Alert readers will eventually realize which students wrote the note and story. I found this book hugely entertaining, and Malcolm a worthy middle-grade hero.

Read about the author here

Read about the illustrator here

And now for the good stuff:  the Giveaway!

This giveaway is open internationally. You must be a follower and you must comment on this post.  But to make it a little bit challenging, I'm going to do what I did last year and give away some arcs and things based on your response to one question:

HOW FAR DO YOU THINK WE DROVE ON OUR ROAD TRIP?  

Road to Campground in Baxter State Park - never saw another car!






That's me at Sandy Stream Pond in Baxter State Park  

Mt. Katahdin





We started in Southeastern Pennsylvania and drove all the way to Millinocket, Maine, and Baxter State Park, up in the far northern woods of Maine (no, we didn't see a moose, darnitall -- it was too hot!).  But keep in mind we made many side trips along the way up and back.








The person who comes the closest to guessing how many miles we drove wins first prize.  The second closest guess wins second prize.  And the next closest guess wins third prize. 

Holy Smoke!  Three prizes!  I've never done this before.  

FIRST PRIZE:  An arc of Malcolm at Midnight AND a mini-poster of an illustration from the book, signed by Brian Lies AND an arc of The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech (also pubbing in September)






Detail from Brian's drawing



SECOND PRIZE:  An arc of What Came From the Stars by Gary D. Schmidt (see my review here) AND an arc of Third Grade Angels by Jerry Spinelli (both due in September)




THIRD PRIZE:  An arc of The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann (also coming in September)



So put your thinking caps on and try to guess how many miles we drove on our road trip.  Just include your answer in a comment below.  Thanks for entering!  This giveaway will end at 10:00 pm EDT on Saturday August 25, 2012.  Winner will be announced on Monday August 27.


29 comments:

  1. What wonderful anniversaries to celebrate! And your vacation photos are breathtaking!!

    I've been hearing about Malcolm at Midnight. Thanks so much for the chance to win some great books!

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    1. Oops! Forgot the distance guess...ummmm...I'm a terrible guesser, but I'll go with 1900 miles.

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    2. Thanks for entering, Barbara. And thanks for the kind words.

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  2. Well if you're counting there and back to PA I'm going to guess 2200 miles.

    Sounds like a blast!!

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    1. Hi Vivien! Thanks for entering. And yes, it was a blast, even if we didn't see a moose.

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  3. Congratulations on your survival. I'm certain you have many more bookish and happy years ahead to live.
    I think this is the second time I'm seeing Malcolm at Midnight today.
    My guess would be 2700 miles. A very wild guess. :)
    Happy to have you back and thank you so much for this amazing giveaway.

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  4. Congrats on your milestones! Malcolm at Midnight sounds great, and so do the prizes. Hmm...to a Midwesterner everything in the northeast seems close together, but you mentioned a lot of side trips, so I'll say 2,479.

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. Some day we'll have to do a midwest road trip.

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  5. What a joyous occasion to celebrate, Joanne!

    Malcolm at Midnight sounds charming, and one I'll have to check out for sure.

    I'll guess 1,900 miles. Looks like your trip was fantastic!

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    1. Thanks, Natalie. And yes, it was fantastic. But I'd love to go back to Italy, where you go every year! I was there in 1976 and I still remember details.

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  6. Congratulations on your anniversaries, particularly your survival of your brain aneurysm. And your blog is one of the best!!

    I love all the books you have up for grabs. My guess on your mileage: 1698 miles. (Fingers crossed!)

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    1. Wow, I didn't even ask people to tweet! Thanks, again, Michael!

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  8. hi joanne - your road trip sounds so fun! i'm the worst at guesstimating anything! how about 1400 miles?

    i loved malcolm at midnight too - and i can't wait to read the peculiar when it comes out. it sounds amazing.

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    1. Hi Gina. I noticed you were also giving away an ARC of Malcolm at Midnight, along with all those other amazing books!

      I haven't actually had time to read The Peculiar yet. Might try to do that before I give it away.

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  9. i'll guess 3000 miles..lol..

    i just followed you on gfc

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    1. Thanks for following and entering, Mariska.

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  10. Congrats on 3 years of book blogging and 7 (WOW) years surviving an aneurysm! That is amazing! Looks like a fun road trip too! As a southerner, I know nothing about the distance of things in the northeast, so I'm going to guess a random 1364 : )

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    1. Thanks, Alicia. Yeah, I'm a pretty lucky person!

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  11. Congrats on your anniversaries! I love your vacation pictures, so beautiful.

    All three prizes look amazing, thanks for such a great giveaway. My guess is 1452 miles.

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! And thanks for entering.

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  12. Congrats on 3 years blogging and 7 years surviving! Both fabulous things to celebrate.

    Your trip looked amazing! Glad you had fun. Thanks so much for the giveaways- I would be thrilled with any of the packs. I think you went: 1750 miles

    Malcolm at Midnight sounds adorable. I look forward to reading it. Great review!
    ~Jess

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    1. Oh- and I am a follower!
      GFC: Jess/DMS/Fairday- Google keeps changing the name- but the picture stays the same. :)

      ~Jess

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    2. Thanks, Jess! And thanks for entering. And following.

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