Friday, February 8, 2013

Wanted: Dead or Undead (Book 1) by Angela Scott - 2012 SWBA Runner Up: Young adult

From the Sharp Writ Book Awards judges:

  • Loved it!! I thought the concept would be a hard sell but it worked perfectly. The author has seamlessly created a totally plausible picture of what a zombie plague could have looked like in pioneering times. The book has some great twists and turns - I read the whole thing in one sitting. 
  • This book was great!  Hooked me from the start and kept me reading.  I will definitely read the next in the series.  
  •  This is a terrific zombie tale, with a sense of humor, imaginative twist, and nice set up. I couldn't really put it down. There's a certain amount of cliché and predictability, shall we say, but it's quite well thought through.  Three things kept me from giving it a perfect score: 1) the author's virtual inability to use the pluperfect, which was very necessary, given all the flashbacks; 2) the ending needed to be written out a little bit more;  3) It clearly is the first of a series, as not everything is wrapped up.  It's a cross between Older YA and regular grown up genre fiction, in my opinion.

Jesus Loves Everybody: Especially Me by Nicole Benoit-Roy - 2012 SWBA Runner up: Childrens

From the Sharp Writ Book Award judges:

  • Writing is simple for very young children to understand.  Good introduction to Christian concepts.
  • I am a devout Christian.  This book was overly repetitive.
  • I didn't like the message that all you have to do is believe and you get food and good health. Writing was simplistic.  

The Life in the Wood with Joni-Pip by Carrie King - 2012 SWBA Runner Up: Childrens

From the Sharp Writ Book Award Judges:
  • I gathered 5 children between the ages of 5-7 and read them the book while they looked at the pictures, as if it was story time at a local public library. When we had finished I asked them about the story and from the children, I developed my score.  The first page was a total stop to the story for a raft of questions - possibly too serious a beginning  for young ones. 
  • This book would likely be better suited to UK readers where the setting of the story is located, and where the frequent use of hyphenated names might be more acceptable.  There is a great deal of anthropomorphization of the animal characters, palatable in the Children’s version, which is an Early Reader—not a Picture Book.  The illustrations seem poorly reproduced in the printing process. Perhaps others will find them charming in a primitive fashion.
  • Picture books are a specific art form, much like poetry.  One of the fallacies for many beginning authors (as well as the general public) is that a picture book is easy to write.  It IS a good place for a beginning children's writer to start, mostly because the discipline of the genre is wonderful training and the aspects of plot are somewhat less complicated.  The writing should ideally be beautiful and terse, and the illustrations should be equally or even more important than the text, as picture books are illustration-driven.  Too much telling and not enough showing through illustrations.