In the interest of full disclosure:
I read a very early kind of/sort of draft of this novel when Barbara first shared it at our fabulous writing retreat with Kirby Larson and Susan Hill Long,
over a year ago.
It was a few chapters, heartfelt characters, and a dog. I loved it.
We all loved it.
Here we are, working hard on four manuscripts that all will appear- or already have- in 2016.
That's Winston the Wonder Dog, ready to host the first ever Pet Book Group.
Truthfully, I've been a fan of Barbara's since our mutual friend Leslie Guccione asked her to read my very first manuscript, many years ago, and she offered some sage advice that helped turn that into my first novel, GLORY BE.
(Okay, it took about a zillion more drafts, but Barbara's encouragement was crucial.)
Her blog advice about writing craft ("Writing Tip Tuesdays") is invaluable to newly-minted writers.
Click on that link to see what I mean.
But I vowed a long time ago never to review a book I couldn't say nice things about.
Even if a friend writes it. ESPECIALLY if a friend writes it.
Of if I know the author. And by "know" I include social media.
Knowing an author has become very easy.
I have nothing but great things to say about WISH.
First, the characters will tug at your heart. Oh that redheaded boy with the up-down walk, Howard Odom. Big time, heart tug! A Backpack Buddy who shakes hands when he first meets Charlie on the bus. Tiny details say so much. That's the way Barbara writes her novels.
And poor Charlie. You will love this girl whose real name is Charlemagne. So unlikable and yet- well, I don't want to say too much. I want everybody to read this book when it finally appears, 11/1/16.
The entire time I was reading my Advance Reader Copy of WISH, I kept hearing it in my head.
A read-aloud kids won't forget. Ever.
I would love to share my copy, especially if you're a teacher or a librarian or someone who would continue to share.
Leave me a comment or a Facebook message or a Twitter reply, and I'll choose a winner early Thursday morning, just before I have to make a trip to the post office!
Oh! And there's a Doggie/ Kitty/ Bunny Book Group forming.
Post a picture of your pet reading the book on Twitter or Facebook.
Join the fun and celebrate another perfect Barbara O'Connor middle-grade novel.
Remember! Leave a comment before March 31st at 10 AM EDT and I'll pick a lucky winner.
You don't have to own a pet to be a fan. Or a winner.
In fact, you don't even have to love dogs to love this book.
We have a winner! Erin Preder, via Facebook.
But I drew two extra names, because I may have extra ARCs. Stay tuned!