Last week we were treated to Margot Finke’s guest post on how to start our stories off with a BANG! And today I am reviewing her latest book, DOWN UNDER CALLING.
As you can see I am posting on Monday and not on my regular day, Tuesday. That is because I want to present you with…Ta da!
A Marvelous Middle Grade author today on Monday! Margot Finke has written a marvelous middle grade novel that I want to feature today on MMGM. Let me explain. Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and as you guessed “Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays” was born. Or the abbreviation MMGM.
In this great middle grade wonder, DOWN UNDER CALLING won my heart when Grandma Rose began a stories series in her letter writing, starting with how chickens became food. In the true to life story the chicks had stopped laying and were butchered with an axe and dipped in boiling water to make the feathers come off easier. This sounds a little gruesome but I know this method. It is a story from own past life when we were raising our sons and chickens at the same time.
Margot Fink tells these tales with a lot of imagination and zest. Using words like chuckle when she’s talking about chickens to make me think of cluck.
Her book is divided into chapters with each of the main characters represented by a different chapter. Grandma Rose is one and her grandson Andy is another while within the chapters are their letters to each other. Grandma’s chapters are full of her life in real-time Australia while she writes her letters with her childhood stories to Andy.
This book had me glued to my seat. I think it is one of Finke’s best yet. I loved reading about both Grandma’s and Andy’s lives. Andy’s Dad had been recently down sized and Andy was adjusting to life in a small apartment and no more money for music or video games when he makes friends with a neighbor girl. The book covers issues of downsizing, divorce and greater themes of togetherness, family and love.
As a benefit while reading, I was treated to information about Joeys, Frill neck lizards and other interesting tid bits of Australian life in the ‘down under.’
I found I had a lot in common with Grandma and have a feeling this was autobiographical for the author.
I highly recommend this to any middle grader and to the boomer generation who might be longing to reflect on their own life on the farm.
Here is Margot Finke’s bio
Margot Finke is an Aussie transplant, now living in Oregon with her husband and family. She has 13 published books (PB to young teen), and runs a well known Manuscript Critique Service. She also offers FREE Skype Author Visits to schools and book clubs.
*HOOK Kids on Reading: http://hookkidsonreading.blogspot.com/
**Autographed books come with her FREE “Fairdinkum Aussie Recipe Book” – tucker Margot loved to eat as an Aussie kid.
*FREE “Sneak Peek” inside all her books: http://tinyurl.com/9npjy9n
*SKYPE Author Visits (schools etc) : www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-LLo_eWdxk
Take care good friends. I’ll see you here on Friday for a review on my selection for PPBF or Perfect Picture Book Friday. In the meantime, have a great week!
(c) 2014 Clara Bowman-Jahn aka Clarike Bowman-Jahn