Monday, November 8, 2010

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - The Underneath (+ a giveaway)

Shannon Whitney Messenger wisely decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. Yay! After a few weeks of rabid appreciation, I decided to join the fun. I have always avoided memes (I don't know why), but this one is too dang awesome to avoid!


The Underneath by Kathi Appelt


Right off the bat I want to say that if you have not read this book, READ IT - not only for the fabulous storyline but also to study Kathi Appelt's mastery of craft.

I chose The Underneath for my first MG review because it is sadly under-appreciated. This book should be hailed as a don't miss, must read, future classic. I kid you not.

I don't know anyone who has read The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and not marveled at the beauty of the language and the cadence of the sentences. The Underneath is the MG equivalent of The Kite Runner. Seriously. Within the first chapter, I was captivated by the originality and beauty of the writing. I fell under the spell of the sentences and the words and the rhythm of this book. I did not want it to end.

In addition to the magic of the individual sentences and language choices, Kathi weaves together three seemingly unrelated storylines. She gets and holds our attention while shifting between characters and their stories, and then expertly brings them together for a stunning conclusion.

I can't explain the overall beauty of this book. When I think of it or share it with someone, I'm never sure whether I love it more for the story or for the beautiful way the story is written. It is a masterful example of craft.

*** Giveaway ***

Because I believe so passionately that everyone should read this book, especially other writers, I am going to give away one paperback copy and it's open internationally. And I'm going to make it easy for you ('cause I'm cool like that).
  • Be a follower of this blog
  • Leave a comment on this post by Friday, Nov.12th

What is one book you're willing to beg people to read?

54 comments:

J. L. Jackson said...

Since you recommended it so highly, I'd love to read it. Please enter me.

DreamyCowgirl@hotmail.com

I am a follower.

Kristen said...

I love reading pretty much anything. And you are very insistent that everyone read this so I would love to!

kristen_babygurl@hotmail.com

Kristen
My Bloody Fairy Tale

Renae said...

Sounds like a great read! Thanks for the great review!

Kenda said...

Shannon, you don't have to enter me in the giveaway since I've read this book--but I just wanted to add my YES! this is a great book. To whomever wins, ENJOY :-)

Jen Daiker said...

What a great review Shannon! I love the passion a writer has for a book so this one has definitely been added (that is, if I don't win it!)

Theresa @ TheCreativeWell said...

I would love to win this for my son! Thanks for the chance.

As for the one book I would beg people to read, it would be "Danann Frost Falls From Grace" by Joanne Valiukas. You can read the teaser here: http://www.joannevaliukas.com

My new all time favorite author and book!

the_happy_soul at yahoo dot com

Karen Senoo said...

Thank you so much for this international Giveaway!! =D
You can count me in

tibiux at yahoo dot com dot br

(GFC follower - Tiemi/@Tibiux)

salarsenッ said...

Shannon, seriously...you are rocking with middle grade, lately!! LUV it!! I'm in!

Diane said...

My daughter would love this book. Passionate girl!!! :O)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I have to say I tried this book and couldn't connect. Certainly willing to give it a second chance!

Old Kitty said...

Awwww what a great giveaway!! Thank you!!

I would beg people to read Terry Pratchett's Small Gods.
:-) Take care
x

storyqueen said...

I can't believe I haven't read this one.

Enter me!

Shelley

Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...

I'd love to read that one. Especially with my (almost)middler.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Meredith said...

This book sounds incredible! I'm definitely putting it on my TBR list. As for the book I'd recommend, I've been begging all of my friends to read The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. Such a powerful book.

Jana said...

So glad you spotlit (is that a word) this one! It's one of my absolute favorites.

Mary Aalgaard said...

I'm going to add this book to my list, so it would be great to win it! I'll have to think about a book that I'd "beg" people to read. I recommend books all the time. "A Northern Light" by Jennifer Donnelly comes to mind. YA

Laura Marcella said...

I love contests with easy entering, lol! I've heard of this book, and now I can't wait to read it even more. Thanks for the suggestion and the contest!

There are so many amazing books I beg people to read. I really can't choose just one!

Valerie Geary said...

A book about a dog and cat becoming friends? Count me in!!

Carolyn V. said...

The book sounds AWESOME! I think it's hard to pick a great book for everyone because there are so many different tastes in reading (I've tried forever to get some of my kids to read certain great books, but they are just not interested).

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Yay for middle grade love--thanks for helping spread the word, #2! That definitely qualifies you for #1 status! And what an awesome review. Don't hate me, but I haven't read this one yet (I'll pause while you yell at me). I am adding it to my TBR list immediately!

Colene Murphy said...

fun! Sounds great! Awesome contest!

Racquel Henry said...

Sounds like a great book Shannon! The one book I would beg people to read is Self Help by Lorrie Moore.

Creepy Query Girl said...

awesome!! I will put this on my tbo list because I believe you- if you say it's great, it's great and I really need to buff up on my MG! Thanks Shannon!

Lydia Kang said...

With a glowing review like that, how can I not want to win this?

Susan R. Mills said...

Okay, I must read this book!

Steena Holmes said...

Totally off subject, but you WON the logline blogfest! Way to go!
Come on over to see the results

www.steenaholmes.blogspot.com

Marieke said...

This sounds like an amazing book! Count me in! :D


And CONGRATS!!!! :)

Nicole Zoltack said...

Awesome contest! And congrats on winning the logline contest! Your logline was awesome.

lexcade said...

hey, just wanted to congratulate you on your win @ chocolate reality!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Thanks for the wonderful review. I'll definitely keep and eye out for this book.

The book that struck me in the same way this book struck you was Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. Beautiful!

Conda V. Douglas said...

Sounds like a wonderful read for all ages--I'm a follower of you too, so count me in on the contest!

Jemi Fraser said...

I haven't read this one yet - sounds like I need to and to get a copy for my classroom!

Heidi Willis said...

a book I'm begging people to read... besides mine? :) ha ha!

You Belong To Me by Marisa de los Santos. One of my favs! More recently, Live Through This, a memoir, has really gotten under my skin and I've already bought it for someone as a gift. Gotta love pushing books!!

I'm already a follower!

L'Aussie said...

These books sound amazing, especially Underneath. I would love to be in it to win it. So many contests aren't open to Aussies.

Thanks for the enthusiastic reviews!

andii* said...

awesome giveaway!! i´m in!!
andiiblogs(at)hotmail(dot)com
answering to the question:
it would be "the hunger games" that´s one of my favorite books!! i live it :)
thanks!

Lynn said...

This sounds like a great read! I'd say The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill is a must read.

Kulsuma said...

Thanks for the giveaway! and it'd have to be Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo:) Classic.

k_anon[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

Kelly said...

I'm in!
I love great mg's!

Cleverly Inked said...

Ok, you got me! I would read this!

Medeia Sharif said...

I haven't read this book yet, but I'd like to.

I wish everyone would read Clive Barker's The Thief of Always.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Shannon -

My honorary niece would love this book. (Of course, I'd read it first. Ahem, must make sure it's suitable.)

Please enter me. I'm a Follower.

susanjreinhardt AT gmail DOT com

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan Fields said...

Wow - that does sound good! Don't enter me in the contest since I just won your pre-order contest (yippee!), but I've begged people to read The Hunger Games trilogy.

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Shannon, "The Indigo Notebook" by Laura Resau. I may have mentioned the author or one of her books here before, but have heard so little about her and think she's a beautiful writer who deserves more recognition. I have enjoyed all her books so far; there are five or six.

Ishta Mercurio said...

Ooh, enter me, enter me! Two other people have recommended this book to me in the last two weeks - the Universe has spoken, and I will read it.

Lately I've begged people to read Going Bovine by Libba Bray (YA), Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston (MG), and The Hunger Games (first book) by Suzanne Collins (YA).

Christie Wright Wild said...

Here's to hoping I win. Thanks for the chance.

Stephanie Thornton said...

This one sounds great. I wish everyone would read Life of Pi. I just love that one.

Stephen Tremp said...

My very first book report was on Myster by Moonlight by by Mary C. Jane. So perhaps I'm a bit biased, but this is a book I would recommend off the top of my head.

Theresa Milstein said...

Don't enter me because we have it and my son is reading it based on his teacher's recommendation. But what a nice thing for you to do. Now I'll have to read it.

What would I recommend? The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.

Llehn said...

Neil Gaiman's Coraline :D

I'm a follower.

lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

Angela Ackerman said...

I haven't read this one yet, so please enter me with huge thanks. :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Solvang Sherrie said...

I've heard so many great things about this book. Hope I win :)

Susanne Drazic said...

I haven't read this book but from what you have said about it, I would like to.

I would have to say that I would tell everyone to read GOD AND DOG by Wendy Francisco.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shannon .. I know I'm late for the party - but I just wanted to say - what an amazing review and bringing in the comparison with The Kite Runner .. so I must definitely put it on my list .. "The Underneath" ..

There are books I couldn't do without - Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable .. love it!

Thanks - Hilary

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Not entering the contest because I just won your other awesome contest (I think it's too late also) but just want to chime in here to say YAY for Middle Grade!

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