Monday, July 23, 2012

MMGM: A Scary Good Book

Shannon Whitney Messenger created Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays to bring attention to some fabulous books. I'm playing along this week! :)



Anita Laydon Miller has done it again. Her first book, Earthling Hero, was a big hit with the students in my class last year. I haven't read A Scary Good Book to my class (yet), but I know they're going to love it!

In this story, Hannah finds the words Help Me underlined in a library book. When she finds other clues, she starts to wonder if the words are a serious cry for help. As a 12 year old, it's hard to get adults to treat your suspicions seriously, and Hannah continues to investigate on her own, and then with her best friend Ollie.

Hannah's a fabulous character - lots of layers and interesting angles inside her. One of her greatest traits is her courage.

I don't want to give away any spoilers, but this book has it all: mystery, adventure, humour, action, suspense and even a bit of realistic 12-year-old romance. Loved it!

I also love cover of this one. Anita & her hubby did it together!

I haven't made a cover yet, but I'm looking forward to giving it a shot one day! Have you attempted doing any cover work yourself?


52 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Considering the covers my publisher produces, I'm not even going to try!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Clever cover.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I wouldn't know where to start to do a cover.

Yvonne.

Jemi Fraser said...

Alex - agreed - you've got AWESOME covers!

Diane - it is! I like it :)

Yvonne - one of my crit buddies makes beautiful covers - but I'm with you!

Julie Dao said...

This story sounds deliciously creepy and fascinating! I'd be freaked out if I found those words underlined in a book...

Barbara Watson said...

Sounds like such a great one!!

No cover work for me. Just not creative that way. I do a whole lot of admiring of other people's work, however.

Jemi Fraser said...

Julie - me too! And she doesn't ignore it like I'd be tempted to! :)

Barbara - I do that admiring too - wouldn't mind giving it a try one day! :)

DMS said...

I have never heard of this author- but this book sounds intriguing. I like the mystery and the main character sounds interesting. The cover is great! I have made a cover for my MG book, which includes a drawing I did (I have changed it a few times). Right now we have some copies of our book for people to read and review- but we are hoping to have the book published, so the cover would change. :)

Awesome review!
~Jess

Medeia Sharif said...

I have this in my TBR pile. I should move it closer to the top.

Great MMGM post.

Miss Jack Lewis Baillot said...

This sounds like a very good book! I'm going to look for it and the first! And I love their cover idea!

I'm making my own cover too, just no idea how I'm going to do it yet.

Ruth Donnelly said...

Sounds wonderful. This one is definitely going on my list!

Jemi Fraser said...

Jess - sounds great! Covers do tend to change as you go through the publishing journey! Good luck with it :)

Medeia - thanks! I really enjoyed the characters in this one! Love Anita's work :)

Jack - making an effective cover is not as easy as it sounds. There's a LOT that goes into it! :)

Ruth - yay! I know you'll enjoy it! :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Sounds like a great book. Too bad my kids are all grown.

Old Kitty said...

Any book with libraries in it has then thumbs up from me! Yay!! Thanks for the intro and review to this exciting book! I just know your class will enjoy it too! take care
x

Natalie Aguirre said...

Cool cover. I'm no where near artistic enough to try one.

Jemi Fraser said...

Susan - it is! I know my kids will enjoy it too :)

Old Kitty - that's true! If the setting is a library, it's got a leg up before I even start!

Natalie - I know what you mean. It's intimidating to make the attempt! :)

ali cross said...

This book sounds like maybe it would work for boys too? Even though it's a girl MC? From what you described I'm thinking my boys would like it, too.

Super interesting premise!

Jemi Fraser said...

Ali - I think it would! That suspense element is a great pull. I think they'd like it! :)

The Golden Eagle said...

It sounds like a fun book!

I've tried making a cover a couple times; never put a whole lot of work into it, though, since I'm not close to publication or anything. :P

mshatch said...

I've made a couple of covers - just the picture though since I've no idea how to do the rest plus the piccies I've found all belong to people so I can't really use them unless I ask and/or pay for use. But they're fun to look at and imagine them with the title and my name.

Jemi Fraser said...

Golden Eagle - I know what you mean. I'd like to play around with Photoshop to see what it takes - but it would be just for fun at this point!

Ms H - Your pics are always gorgeous I bet you could take some great ones for covers! It really is fun! :)

Jemi Fraser said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie S. Rose said...

I'll read this to my class and we can compare notes. I'm impressed with anyone who has the talent to create a cover.

Jemi Fraser said...

Leslie - that would be fun! :) Me too - a friend of mine designs for others - hers are amazing too!

Andrea Mack said...

This sounds like a good story - thanks for the heads up!

Talli Roland said...

Love the title! Sounds like a good (scary!) read. :)

Christina Farley said...

This sounds like an awesome book. I love a good scary book too.

Jemi Fraser said...

Andrea - I really enjoyed it - lots of fun and suspense!

Talli - me too! It is :)

Christina - Anita has another great one with this book!

Susan Bodendo - Super Earthling said...

I haven’t heard of the author before but it sounds like she’s written a wonderfully interesting, scary book. I think she and her husband have succeeded in creating a good, effective book cover because it shows just enough about the main plot element to draw reader interest. :)

I’ve been making book covers for myself and other writers for years. I’m too busy to make them for others now, but I still enjoy doing my own because I have full control over the style and feel that way.

I always enjoy your posts, Jemi! :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Susan - thank you! :)

Your creativity ensures your covers will always be awesome! I haven't ventured that route yet - but I did buy the basic photoshop to play with! Maybe one day :)

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Sounds like a great book!

No, I have a feeling I could really muck up a cover. :) But I've hired people who have done a good job for the 2 titles I put up myself.

Jemi Fraser said...

Elizabeth - that's what worries me too! I'd like to play with the programs for a bit, but I'd be needing someone else for a real cover!

Lisa Gail Green said...

I am so not talented in that way. I wish I could do cover art, but I wouldn't even attempt it!!

Jemi Fraser said...

Lisa - I'd like to try it out - but just for fun at this stage! :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Thanks for letting us in on this author, Jemi...

It certainly sounds like an intriguing read. I write M/G and Y/A so I need to read this one. I'll pick up her first book too.

As for covers. My career out of college was as a cover illustrator, so yes, I would definitely do my own cover.

Jemi Fraser said...

Michael - both of Anita's books are great! She infuses it all with humour that works for the kids and adults. :)

I bet you'd create some great covers!

Deb Marshall said...

I have Earthling Hero lined up to read, am way behind on that. Need to catch on up, add this one to the e-reader and get it read too. Thanks for telling us about it!

Jemi Fraser said...

Deb - I really enjoyed Earthling Hero too! It's SO hard to keep up with all the fabulous books out there! :)

DEZMOND said...

I love working on book covers, and love giving ideas to the designers who work on the covers for the books I translate.
I don't like this cover, though. It needs a lot of work since in this shape it won't attract many readers to pick it up in a bookshop. I'd put half of the cover red and half white with white and red typing letters and would make the title in the middle with a huge emphasis on word SCARY, maybe even highlighted in black, which would attract buyers to see it in the shop.

Jemi Fraser said...

Dezzy - those are good suggestions! This one's only available as an ebook, but I don't know if that makes a difference or not! :)

Rosalind Adam said...

This sounds like my kind of a book. There's so much horror around that it's refreshing to see something that sells itself on mystery, adventure and humour.

There's no way I'd ever be good enough to design a front cover although I'd love to have those skills. I'd also love to be able to write and illustrate a picture book myself but, for the same reason, it's not going to happen!

Jemi Fraser said...

Rosalind - I'd love to have those skills too. I've got a basic photoshop - just need more time to play around with it!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Very cool cover and the story sounds super. Anita is awesome!

Jemi Fraser said...

Sharon - she really is! My kids always enjoy her stories! :)

Lauren said...

I've never tried to do my own covers, but my sister's kind of into that sort of thing, so she's designed some based on my WIP's, for fun. Not that I have anything finished and ready for a cover yet, though... :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Lauren - that's the best time to try it out! Then when the time comes you have something to start from. My daughter's good at all this stuff too - I'll have to get her on that! :)

cleemckenzie said...

Covers are so interesting and so important. This one's great. Congratulations.

Jemi Fraser said...

Lee - they really are! And everyone likes different things! :)

Kelly Polark said...

I loved A Scary Good Book!!!! So glad you are featuring it this week!!

Jemi Fraser said...

Kelly - it's such a great story! :)

Arlee Bird said...

I always loved scary stories when I was a kid. I still do in fact.


Lee
Wrote By Rote

Jemi Fraser said...

Lee - I'm kind of a wimp! I read 3 or Stephen King stories as a kid and that pretty much did me in! :)