Heartbreaking, sad funny literary work about a sister-brother team living in Ohio searching for their lost father, who has disappeared during the Iraq War.
"Tremendous--a village here"--Hillary Clinton
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Amy, my favourite books to read are those written for children that are equally enjoyable to adults, as they draw our own childhood emotions to the surface - A knock on the door did this and I would highly recommend it. Highly starred and I will continue to read. Michelle - 43 Primrose Avenue
Terrific. Now I understand why your book was chosen for "One To Watch On Wednesday". It's a good read and it's easy to identify with the characters. I imagine everyone has or had a teacher like Ms Greastrakes at some stage or another. A knock on the door is a very apt name for your book. With their father missing in action I'm sure the family live in trepetation of the dreaded knock on the door. Dad played with them before school each morning....very nostalgic.I also have that fear of the back doors opening and someone falling out. So I can definitely identify with the mother here. She shouted only because she cares and she was worried not because she was angry with the children but because she was afraid they would fall out.Very well done with this. Top stars.Alice.
OK, Amy. Back having read through these first three chapters. So much that is specific to love - the phantom limb game, Edna the Tall, an amiable zodiac sign. Like the leaves on a colorful tree here at the beginning edge of a rather amazing forest. Pulling back from the leaves to the tree, the characterizations are really wonderful. Some will say your 11-year-old is too wise and knowing but you have given us enough of the backstory (near genius [if thwarted] parents) and then, plausibility is overrated. Some have or would say that this is too hard for a young kid. So what. Genre is also a lot of nonsense unless you are writing in terms of units instead of books. You know what I mean. Impress yourself, please yourself if you can and the audience will sort itself out. So sayeth I. I hate when people talk about "voice" - something pretentious in the term, but I don't have a better one - and here I am to say Wanda has a great one. I read this on my computer screen, of course, which is really not optimal, and only once through. I was busy admiring the way you sketched these people out and your lovely turns of phrase (Will, the mailman, lives) that I am a little confused on the main plot points. I get that the Dad is missing - not sure for how long - and mother is planning something scary but I am a little confused about what happened to Dad and when at this point. Really, I am practically breathless with admiration. My only real question is why, since this has been brought to the attention of the Great and the Good of Harper Collins, they haven't been falling all over this (or maybe they have?) I signed onto the YA reading group here (YARG) and it was good citizenship there requires a review a month. So I will denominate this my YA review. (I'm not very good at Authonomy yet. Not sure if that label makes this review findable or if I have to do something else.)
Amy, I wouldnt normally stop and read something like this but I found it to be very enjoyable and I am glad that I did. There is a market for this kind of book within this genre and I think you would be a really good possibility of filling that hole. Brilliant voice here and such a nice flowing style to it. Great use of your characters in that you use them to set and maintain the pace of your book. Job well done I thought and I support your efforts. Loved it and I will be scoring this high.Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you??
Amy, After coming back and reading this a few more times, I thought I'd add a more lengthy comment.I don’t know if you’re still interesting in feedback from Authonomy, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading these three chapters. I hope you come back and add more. It is a compelling story with an interesting narrator. Because one purpose of this site is for feedback, I thought I’d leave an example of how the first few paragraphs might be made clearer without jeopardizing the rhythm. I hope you don’t mind. Good luck with this. (Also, did you know your book was placed on the “One to Watch Wednesday” list? See the Site Blog link at the bottom of the page.) *** Ms. Greatrakes taught us many surprising and useful things in sixth grade and then she told us this: that all the stories we would ever read in our young lives boiled down to One Story. A compact person, trim but sturdy, her lips painted a knockout orange, Ms. G wore sleeveless dresses that allowed her strong arms to swing. She spoke passionately in New York vowels that jangled oddly in our midwestern ears about the Sybil who presented nine books containing all the knowledge in the world to the Roman king Tarquin. He refused to buy the books, so she burned three of them. She asked again, wise and patient, but he refused her price, so she burned three more. Finally, exasperated, a little anxious, he bought the three remaining books at the asking price. What had been contained in the six lost books? A heap of knowledge that might have kept Rome from falling, Ms. Greatrakes asserted with an enthusiastic O to her fiery lips. In any case, the Sybil’s message was that each and every book contained all the knowledge of the world, if we only knew to look for it. ***
I don't see this as a children's book at all, but more of a fictional memoir. I love the voice.
Hi, I write children's fiction too, and this is a great work for children of another time and another place. I say this because children of yesteryear had greater attention spans and a higher tolerance for highly intelligent and witty writing (which this is). Today's children do not (at least here in America). My own children would not like this because of the above two reasons, although I like it very much. Children of 6th grade and below need more action and prefer conversation to descriptions, at least I always did and I was an avid reader with a very high reading level. Maybe make the kids into teens so it can be a teen book. Teens don't want to read about younger children I wouldn't think, but might be able to handle the language and slower pace. If you'd be willing to review my book, I'd appreciate it.