Friday, May 20, 2016

Yay for Middle Grade Books: Guest Post With Janet Sumner Johnson

Today I'm happy to present a guest post with Middle Grade author Janet Sumner Johnson! Ms. Johnson's debut MG book, The Last Great Adventure of the PB&J Society, released last month! :)

Here's the guest post! :)

Middle Grade books have always been the sweet spot for me. Most people grow with the books they read, moving on to older and older reading fare as they age. And while I did love many of those books, I always came back to Middle Grade when I wanted to find something that spoke to me.

Today I want to share some of the MG books I grew up with, which influenced me and who I became

1.      My first ever "long" book was Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien. I was seven, and oh so proud that I could read a book with no pictures. The movie, The Secret of Nimh, had already come out, and of course I loved it. But reading the book taught me the lesson early on that the book is always better.

2.      The Ramona books weren't far behind. In 1984, Ramona Forever was released, and it just so happened that our ages collided. This is perhaps the first time that I really saw myself in a book. The first time I connected with a character on a deeper level. No surprise that I tore through this book and then went back and read all the previous ones. And then everything else by Beverly Cleary. (And boy, let me tell you, I still have a deep seeded desire to squeeze out a whole tube of toothpaste at once. I haven't for fear of having to spoon the remains into a baggy so I can use it up for the rest of forever.)

3.      Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume came next. Because I had (have) a little sister. A little sister who got on my nerves to no end! (Though you'll be happy to note we now are great friends and get along quite well!). The shoe-buying scene really stuck out to me as the epitome of unfairness that will always exist in life. And oh that poor turtle. But in the end, family is everything.

4.      The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (and really the whole series) by C.S. Lewis was a staple in my childhood. I must have read the series 4 or 5 times before I made it to Jr. High. I loved the idea of escaping into another world through a Wardrobe. And I may have checked the backs of the few I ever came across in real life. I always wondered if I would have been as brave as Lucy. It gave me courage.

5.      And finally, one last book that really showed me the power of good writing. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. I still can't read this book without crying at the end. It is that powerful. This book reminds me that there is good in everyone. And I aspire to tell such a story that moves people and leaves them just a little bit better for having read it.

Rest assured that many, many more books have influenced me, and even more than that could be considered my favorites. But these books—the onces I read as a kid—have become more than books to me. They are my friends, and what a difference they've made in my life!

I relate to this guest post so much! Especially that first paragraph. :)

Thank you for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: My husband (a.k.a. Jedi Master Daddy) and I (a.k.a. Princess Mommy) are raising three energetic Jedi: Master London, Jedi Brandt, and Padowan Khyah. I have mastered the use of my purple light-saber (inherited from Mace Windoo himself), the art of identifying the bad guys (they drink prune juice, NOT water), and the ability of crafting bases and ships from scraps (aka legos).
In my spare time I write children’s books, translate French to English, and keep up with my blog. So yes, my laundry is probably waiting to be done.

Here are a few links:

1 comment:

  1. oh I adored Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing - Fudge was hilarious! And must have been horrible as a brother


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