Hats

My kids, like most, have a dress-up collection that includes everything from old Halloween costumes to scarves to miscellaneous scraps of junk that find themselves repurposed into everything from lasers to magic wands. Then there are the hats. So many hats. Watching my daughter try on almost all of her hats (at the same time, of course) made me start to think about the different “hats” that I wear.

Wife, mother, children’s author, cover designer, editor, avid reader . . . these are a few of the hats that I wear. And now I add “Blogger” to the mix. The strange thing about the blogging hat is that I’ve had to find my own voice. It may seem strange that an author wouldn’t have her own voice, but I’m finding my voice outside of the hats that I put on. I’m finding MY voice, and as I continue to blog and share what I love–my family, reading books, creating books, designing book covers–I’m finding that my voice is becoming this strange combination of everything that I do. I know you more enlightened folks out there might be crying, “Duh!” But I’m guessing there are a few others looking for their voice, as well.

Sometimes we get lost in choosing a hat, and forget completely about the head we’re putting it on.

I initially thought that I would make this blog very formulaic: funny kid story, bit of wisdom, then a book review. But it’s becoming more about who I am as a person, a person who wears many hats that sometimes feel too small, yet are usually too big, but occasionally fit just right.

I recently finished the first installment from Chris Colfer’s Land of Stories series, The Wishing Spell. I REALLY wanted to LOVE this book. It had everything going for it, all the action and adventure and lightning fast pace that I usually enjoy in a middle grade book.

This weeks Book Review:

Last week, I reviewed Rump by Liesl Shurtliff, which I found be  formulaic but enjoyable. This week I finished The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer (of Glee fame), and I wish I could say the same. Unfortunately, The Wishing Spell fell into a cliched and predictable pattern. I REALLY wanted to LOVE this book. It had everything going for it, all the action and adventure and lightning fast pace that I usually enjoy in a middle grade book, but I just did not like it.

Then I realized something.

I don’t think I was supposed to like this book. This is a middle grade book that is written for–gasp!–middle grade kids. This book is for kids who are just discovering fairytale retellings. It is written in a very approachable way. While I, personally, found it over descriptive and REALLY predictable, I’m guessing that a fifth grader would be totally immersed in Colfer’s new telling of some very familiar tales and characters. I also think they would completely relate to the two central characters, Conner and Alex, who literally fall into The Land of Stories.

(My mom is a children’s librarian. She recommended this book to me, mostly because they couldn’t keep it on the shelf. Kids are checking it out like crazy. And I am always 100% for any book that gets kids reading!)

So as far as hats that fit “just right” . . . The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell was not the book for me. However, it wasn’t written with thirty-something moms in mind. It was written with middle schoolers in mind, and they will think it’s um, like, you know, totally awesome n’stuff…

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