Monday, February 6, 2012

MMGM: Because of Winn-Dixie -- and then I'm entering the revision ... cave?

Keeping it brief today.  Just want to add my voice to the chorus of praise for a book I only recently purchased and read, thanks to the urging of my wise blogging friend Barbara Watson.  Go to this post for her take on the novel.


Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (paperback published Feb 2009 by Candlewick, for ages 9 and up)



Synopsis (from the publisher):  When ten-year-old India Opal Buloni moves to Naomi, Florida, with her father, she doesn't know what to expect -- least of all that she'll adopt Winn-Dixie, a dog she names after the supermarket where they meet.  With such an unusually friendly dog at her side, Opal soon finds herself making more than a few unusual friends.

My view: This is EXACTLY the kind of book I wish I could write.  It's quiet -- not a lot of action -- but oh how this lovely little story tugs at your heart-strings.  Kate DiCamillo makes it seem deceptively easy.  The characters are delightfully quirky.  Opal's relationship with her father is complex, realistic and most of all, loving.  A simply wonderful book.

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Now.... I've reached that stage in my writing where I really need to hole up and work like crazy on revisions so I can get on with the querying already!  Everyone talks about entering the Revision Cave or the Revision Tunnel.

Well, I've always been a little bit afraid of the dark.

So I'm heading for Revision Beach.  In my head.  After all, why pretend to be in a cave, when I can pretend I'm on a beach, with warm sun and palm trees and one of those fresh pineapple drinks with the little umbrella?  Oh, and my WIP, of course. Maybe I'll even get some revising done while I'm imagining myself on this beach.



But wait!  I need a chair.



Ah.  That's better.

I'll see you all in about a month.  Sometime in March, I'll be back to visit your blogs and post more MMGM reviews (although maybe not every Monday) and more Class of 2K12 interviews, plus a guest post or two.  In the meantime, go visit these wonderful people for insightful reviews, giveaways and more:


Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is the brainchild of Shannon Messenger. Other regulars include (but are not limited to):

Shannon O'Donnell at Book Dreaming
Myrna Foster at The Night Writer
Natalie Aguirre at Literary Rambles
Brooke Favero at Somewhere in the Middle
Deb Marshall at Just Deb
Barbara Watson at her blog
Anita Laydon Miller at her middle grade blog
Michael Gettel-Gilmartin at Middle Grade Mafioso
Pam Torres at So I'm Fifty
Ms. Yingling at Ms. Yingling Reads
Danika Dinsmore at The Accidental Novelist
Jennifer Rumberger at her blog
Akossiwa at Nye Louwon--My Spirit
Gabrielle Prendergast at angelhorn
Sheri Larsen at her blog

Gina Carey at her blog

36 comments:

  1. Good for you Joanne for taking a month off to write. Hope it's productive.

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  2. I will check out these blogs, Joanne. Meanwhile, have fun at the "beach" ;) I love the idea.

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  3. confession: i've never read anything by kate dicamillo! this sounds like a good start - thanks for the recommendation, and happy middle grade monday!

    good luck writing :)

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    1. Thanks, Gina. Wow, you've never read Tale of Despereaux or Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane or The Magician's Elephant? I've read all of those, but had somehow missed Winn-Dixie. I've also never read Tiger Rising.

      Definitely try to pick one of them and read it soon!

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  4. Kate does make it seem all too easy, doesn't she? That's why I so loved hearing her say that nothing, save naming characters, is easy about writing for her. This truly is a beautiful book on so many levels.

    Enjoy your revision beach visit. It's where I revise too. :-)

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    1. She's a gem of a writer, for sure.

      Yay for the beach instead of the cave! (I understand the point of the "cave" because you're hiding out from the world and shutting off all distractions, but hey, I can hide out on a pretend beach just as easily.)

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  5. Stop choosing beach chairs and get to work!

    LOVE Winn Dixie. One of my WIPs is aspiring to that style.

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    1. Ahaha, Gabrielle! Good one! Yes, after today, that's what I'll be doing.

      Good for you for aspiring to such a great style.

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  6. I know the cave well. I'm in and out of it all the time. Have fun. Don't get lost.

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    1. Hi Brooke! Yeah, I just couldn't face the thought of the cave, even if it is virtual. I'll try not to get lost, hahaha. Thanks.

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  7. See you in a month! And you are totally on point with Revision Beach. I like how you think.

    Finally...can you believe....I have not read BOWD? I know...

    p.s. don't forget your sunscreen!

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    1. Ahaha, Deb. Sunscreen. Right. I think I should listen to steel drum music too.

      I can believe you haven't read Winn-Dixie, because up until recently I hadn't read it either!

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  8. This in indeed a gem of a book!

    You are a mastermind, Joanne, going to the beach to revise. I have to do that too, and have been putting it off--perhaps because I too don't like caves and tunnels. You have freed me!!

    Off to Hawai'i I go! (See you when you get back.)

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    1. Caves and tunnels, bah! Hawai'i, YES! I'm so there. Starting tomorrow. At least in my imagination.

      I was thinking of the Caribbean, but your idea is far superior.

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  9. Okay, I'm with you on Revision beach. I'm on the chair under the palm tree. What an awesome idea. I'm not sure how much I will get done though. A nice pina colada, warm breeze...distraction sure, but you got the right idea. I'm so there.
    I will check out that book too. Thanks.

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    1. Christine! You're here! Can you smell the sunscreen yet?

      Good luck with your revisions.

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  10. Have fun on Revision Beach and best of luck with your writing! I'll miss your posts and see you in March!

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  11. That's what I need - Revision Beach! I've been spending my time in Revision Shed (with no insulation).

    And Kate DiCamillo is on my top list of "writers i'd want to be" as well. :-)

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    1. Oh, brrr. Revision Shed and no insulation?? Oh, yeah, join me on Revision Beach. It's lovely.

      Kate DiCamillo is the best!

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  12. Good luck revising on the beach. I really liked your take on the traditional "revision cave". :)
    Looking forward to your return in March. :)

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  13. I love this book and so does my 12-year-old daughter.

    Good luck on the revisions!

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    1. Thanks, Andrea. Glad to hear your daughter likes the book too!

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  14. Great review! And I'm in the revision hole too. :-)

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    1. Hole, Shed, Cave, Tunnel, Beach. It's getting crowded in here!

      Thanks, Shannon! Good luck! I know you'll have a contract before too long.

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  15. Hello Joanne,

    I was thrilled to read your review on Winn Dixie. (I'm popping by from Erik's blog, by the way. :) ) You're right, this is the kind of novels we wish we'd written. It's sweet and strong. I loved Opal, loved Winn-Dixie, loved Opal's brokenhearted father, and the gang Opal meets.

    Thank you for reminding me of this book again. Best of luck with your revision!

    Claudine
    http://www.carryusoffbooks.com/blog.html

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    1. Hi Claudine and thanks. Nice of you to pop over from Erik's blog! Glad to hear you love Winn-Dixie as much as the rest of us do. Your enthusiasm is wonderful.

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  16. I actually won this book from Barbara Watson and have been reading it out loud to my girls. We all love it! It does have a quiet, quirky appeal to it.

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    1. Oh, you were the lucky blogger who won the book! Congrats. I had to go out and buy a paperback, heh heh. (Easy enough, since, um, I work in a bookstore) But I bought it specifically because of Barbara.

      So happy to hear your girls love it too.

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  17. Hope you have a nice stay at Revision Beach! I need to go to Querying Cove. Perhaps we'll cross paths as we go to freshen up our exotic fruit drinks.

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    1. Hey Susan! Querying Cove -- great idea! How clever of you! I'll be there after Revision Beach. Leave me a seashell or two as a sign.

      Good luck!

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  18. hi miss joanne! mostly i like action books and im mostly dont like girl mcs but for sure i looooove animals so i might read this book. i hope you get to that beach and get all your revising done. you can do it!!! :)
    ...hugs from lenny

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  19. Thanks so much, Lenny! That was really nice of you to stop by.

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