Monday, September 23, 2013

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel & an announcement!

This week's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is by my new writing friend and fellow Michiganian, Ruth McNally Barshaw. Ruth is one of those special people in the writing community who are not only talented and smart, but share their knowledge about writing, the business and everything in between with others. Ruth and I spent some quality time together traveling to and from and during the Indiana SCBWI Picture Book Day a couple weekends ago. If you missed my post on that, catch it here

Ruth's book that I'm sharing today is the first in her Ellie McDoodle highly illustrated series. She is currently finishing up book six, and I was able to see how she puts the book together for her editor as she writes and illustrates each page. Very cool! Now, on to the book.

by: Ruth McNally Barshaw
Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books 2007

As you can see I put two different covers up. The first is the original hardcover and the second is the new hardcover edition with a slightly new name to the series - The Ellie McDoodle Diaries

Description from Ruth's website:
One girl. One sketchbook. One week of camping with the world's most annoying relatives!

Ellie McDougal (better known to her friends as McDoodle) is being held prisoner . . . by her aunt, uncle, three annoying cousins, and baby brother, Ben-Ben. Sentenced to a camping trip with them while her parents are out of town, Ellie is absolutely, positively determined to hate every single minute of it. Thank goodness she at least has her sketch journal in which to record all of the excruciating (and, ahem, funny) details. But how will Ellie keep her journal from falling into Er-ick the Enemy's hands? And what will happen if -- inconceivable! -- she actually starts having fun? 

Part graphic novel, part confessional journal, part wilderness survival guide, Ellie's story is a treat for young campers, vacationers, or any kid looking to curl up with a great summer read

Why Kids Will Love It: The voice! Ellie shares all her thoughts in her drawings and the text of the book making the reader feel like they ARE Ellie. Her adventures with her cousins are funny and very real.  Any child could picture themselves as Ellie.

What I learned as a writer: It is SO important to nail the voice of your main character!

I also have some exciting news to share with you all today.  I was picked to be one of the first round judges for the Cybils awards in the middle grade fiction category. I'm excited to begin reading and discussing with my fellow panelists. The nomination period opens October 1, so only a couple more weeks until we start!

Thanks so much for stopping by today. For other MMGM recommendations, see the list of my favorite blogs on my website.  Have a great week!