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:

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

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

    Yvonne.

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  3. 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!

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

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  5. 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.

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  6. 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! :)

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  7. 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

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

    Great MMGM post.

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  9. 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.

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

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  11. 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! :)

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

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  13. 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

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

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  15. 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! :)

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  16. 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!

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

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  18. 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

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  19. 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.

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  20. 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! :)

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  22. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

    Talli - me too! It is :)

    Christina - Anita has another great one with this book!

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  28. 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! :)

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  29. 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 :)

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  30. 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.

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  31. 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!

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

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

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  34. 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.

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  35. 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!

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  36. 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!

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

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  38. 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.

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  39. 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! :)

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  40. 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!

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

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

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

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  44. 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... :)

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  45. 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! :)

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

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

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

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

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


    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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

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