This kid's abandon makes me grin as he plays in the water near Marina del Rey, CA. Behind him looms a barge and dredging machine. In this post I'm going to link kids and digging and books. Trust me.
When I first saw that tall rig, I couldn't figure out what it was, so I walked a mile or so to the marina for a closer look. I was even baffled the first time I saw the barge being hauled to sea. Eventually, I put all the puzzle pieces together (and looked online for an explanation!). There are so many projects and jobs in this world that are discoveries to me.
Anyway, I promised kids and books and digging. Yesterday as I walked the shore, a boy yelled, "Dig faster!" to his friend. They were trying to beat the tide as they burrowed into wet sand. Their energy and enthusiasm were contagious, and again, I had to smile. This time I was thinking of a middle-grade adventure I just read, THE SECRET UNDERGROUND by Natalie Bahm, which captures the excitement of kids digging tunnels, the problem of where to put the dirt so they go undetected, the dark secrets they uncover, as well as the value of friendship and loyalty.
I'm not going to give away more than that today, because I have a fun Q&A with Natalie planned for the week of Sept. 28, the release date. Natalie will talk about why she likes to write for middle-graders--that transition period between being a kid and a teenager. If you haven't heard that she's donating all proceeds from the sale of this book to the family of a sick, little boy, she explains why here. *
More heads up: There's another middle-grade book I'm going to highlight, THE SEVEN TALES OF TRINKET by Shelley Moore Thomas. I plan to review it this coming week, because Shelley is going to hold a launch party Sept. 20 with all kinds of Trinket-swag. You don't want to miss her party or this delightful book.
UPDATE: Shelley is hosting two parties on the 20th--one on her blog and one at 6 p.m. at the Oceanside Barnes & Noble in Southern California. If you're anywhere in that neighborhood, it looks like it's going to be really fun.