Friday, June 19, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

It's Time for Summer Vacation!

The last few weeks have been super busy with completing the preparations for my soon-to-be released children's book: THE NIGHT OF THE NORTH. Consequently, I'm looking forward to soon relaxing in the warm summer days - social distancing, of course!

Click here for my summer reading list for kids.

Click here to read my recent quarterly newsletter.

Check my website for upcoming news on my autumn book launch!

I'll be back on Writ of Whimsy this fall; have a sensational summer!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Apricate - (v.)
to bask in the sun.
Example: The author hoped to apricate all summer long!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

Merriam-Webster Children's Dictionary

Goodreads Description:
A must-have children's reference source with more than 35,000 words and 3,000 full-color illustrations specially created by DK's celebrated design team and Merriam-Webster's renowned language experts. 

My Thoughts:
This recently released dictionary for children is fabulous! If your child is a "word nerd," this book will entertain her for endless hours during this summer season, especially at this period of social distancing. The colorful illustrations also bring the words to life in an exciting fashion. I highly recommend this tome; it's a welcome addition in my library!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

My Annual Summer Reading List!
Once again it's time to feature my favorite middle grade books, that I've read since last fall. Merely select a title, click on it, and read my review. Enjoy!

The following fantastic books are listed in random order:

On the Horizon - by Lois Lowry

Echo Mountain - by Lauren Wolk

The List of Things that Will Not Change - by Rebecca Stead

Gold Rush Girl - by Avi

Here in the Real World - by Sara Pennypacker

White Bird - by R.J. Palacio

A Slip of a Girl - by Patricia Reilly Giff

Song for a Whale - by Lynne Kelly

Gittel's Journey - by Leslea Newman

Women in Art - by Rachel Ignotofsky

There's something for everyone on the list; enjoy reading this summer!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Vituperative - (adj.)
bitter and abusive.
Example: The protester shouted a vituperative attack upon the war veteran.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson

Flap Copy Description:
In September of 1941, Adolf Hitler's Wehrmacht surrounded Leningrad in what was to become one of the longest and most destructive sieges in Western history - two and a half years of bombardment and starvation. More than a million citizens perished. Survivors recall corpses littering the frozen streets, the relatives of the dead having neither the means nor the strength to bury them. Desperate citizens burned books, furniture, and floorboards to keep warm; they ate family pets and - eventually - even one another to stay alive.
Trapped between the Nazi invading force and the Soviet government itself was composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who would write a symphony that roused, rallied, eulogized, and commemorated his fellow citizens - the Leningrad Symphony. This testament of courage was copied onto microfilm, driven across the Middle East, and flown over the deserts of North Africa to be performed in the United States - where it played a surprising role in strengthening the Grand Alliance against the Axis powers.
This is a true story of a city under siege: the triumph of bravery and defiance in the face of terrifying odds. It is also a look at the power - and layered meaning - of music in beleaguered lives.

My Thoughts:
This superbly researched account of the life of Dmitri Shostakovich was informative and inspirational. It's also timely: Learning about the journey of the Russian composer from his birth through his death, at the most tumultuous times of the 20th Century, was entertaining, as well as eye-opening. What the brilliant musician endured throughout his life, just to continue creating, was heartbreaking. The portion of his story that included the Siege of Leningrad, was extraordinary. I highly recommend this work of non-fiction to readers aged fourteen and up.

Click here to learn about the award-winning author, M.T. Anderson

Friday, June 5, 2020

Storyteller's Journey


The day has finally arrived to reveal the cover and synopsis for my next children's book: THE NIGHT OF THE NORTH - painted in oils by my artist-husband, Michael Lindstrom!

Here is a synopsis of the illustrated short story, in flap-copy style:

In 1927, Nolan Soderstrom and his father depart Minnesota to learn the life of naturalists in the Territory of Alaska. But when they visit Mt. McKinley National Park over their winter holiday, Nolan finds himself lost & alone at the base of Denali, deep in the uncharted wilderness. 

Dangerous animals, a mighty winter wind, and even a mesmerizing display from the Northern Lights, are a few of the events twelve-year-old Nolan experiences on his daring adventure in the wilds of Alaska. It will take courage and conviction to find his way back to civilization.

Here's the fun book trailer for THE NIGHT OF THE NORTH:

THE NIGHT OF THE NORTH  will release this autumn! 
For more details over the summer, please check my website here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Augur - (v.)
(of an event or circumstance) portend a good or bad outcome.
Example: The success of the book event seemed to augur well for the author.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

The Starless Sea
by Erin Morgenstern

Flap Copy Description:
Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight. But those who seek will find. Their doors have been waiting for them.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable certainty that he is meant for another place. When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library, he begins to read and is entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly, a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood, impossibly written in this book that is older than he is.
A bee, a key, and a sword emblazoned on the book lead Zachary to two people who will change the course of his life: Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances. These strangers guide Zachary through masquerade-party dances and whispered backroom stories to the headquarters of a secret society, where doorknobs hang from ribbons, and finally through a door conjured from paint to the place he has always yearned for.
Amid twisting tunnels filled with books, gilded ballrooms, and wine-dark shores, Zachary falls into an intoxicating world soaked in romance and mystery. But a battle is raging over the fate of this place, and though there are those who would willingly sacrifice everything to protect it, there are just as many intent on its destruction. As Zachary, Mirabel, and Dorian venture deeper into the space and its histories and myths, searching for answers and one another, a timeless love story unspools, casting a spell of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a Starless Sea.

My Thoughts:
While I usually review books for children and young adults, The Starless Sea is a novel too good to miss! Erin Morgenstern has penned a spellbinding tale full of magic and timeless wonder. You'll feel as though you've dreamt it, rather than read it. The only comparable novel that comes to mind is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, but The Starless Sea is much more a fantasy. I highly recommend this recent release to adult readers who enjoy elements of time travel and magic.

Click here to learn about the author Erin Morgenstern.