Wednesday, April 19, 2006

One More Step by Sheree Fitch

All day and only a half of a chapter written. I must confess that I have to force myself to stick to my plan of not editing along the way. I have a tendency to want to go back and rewrite. I wonder how many other writers have this particular problem. I'm pretty sure it is another of my procrastination methods. I should make a list sometime of the various ways I procrastinate...Hey, it could be another tool for procrastination!

But, to the point of this blog, kids' books. I have to start by saying that I am a huge, and I mean huge Sheree Fitch fan. For those of you who don't love her nonsense poems like There Were Monkey's In My Kitchen as much as I do, you might want to try some of her many other books. A YA easy read that I just finished called One More Step, is fabulous. It's about a couple of brothers and their single parent mom who has a new man in her life. Told from Julian's point of view, it draws you in right away.

The book starts with "Purple condoms. My brother got purple condoms in his Christmas stocking. Mom must think things are heating up between Chris and Becca. Not likely."

Julian's voice rings true throughout; sometimes cocky and belligerent, other times unsure. There are some hilarious scenes, like when they are rained out on a camping trip. On the other hand, Christmas holidays with their real dad and his young family makes your heart ache. The closeness between Julian and his no-nonsense grandfather helps centre Julian, but when Poppy suddenly dies, Julian is like a lost little boy who lashes out. I won't give away any more except to say that Fitch's deft touch ensures that this is not an issue book but a story about people you will love. It is part of Orca Book Publishers excellent "Soundings" series for teens who are reluctant readers.

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