Friday, October 29, 2010

The Golden Pathway Blog Tour


The Golden Pathway Book Review
Author: Donna McDine
Illustrator: K.C. Snider
Print ISBN 13: 978-161633-081-1
eBook ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-082-8
Published by: Guardian Angel Publishing, August 2010
Recommended for ages 8 to 12
5 stars

Synopsis:
The Underground Railroad used many different code words to get slaves to freedom. The people that helped the slaves along the railroad were called “conductor.” The slaves were considered passengers or cargo and were called “freight” or “packages.” White folks that did not believe in slavery were called Quakers. The Underground Railroad was considered the golden path to freedom.

Raised in a hostile environment where abuse occurs daily, David attempts to break the mold and befriends the slave, Jenkins, owned by his Pa. Fighting against extraordinary times and beliefs, David leads Jenkins to freedom with no regard for his own safety and possible consequences dealt out by is Pa.

Overall Thoughts:
Donna McDine does a wonderful job with imagery to bring you right into the story. My heart would beat fast as David risk everything to help his friend, a slave named Jenkins to freedom. I could smell the air and even see in my mind’s eye every scene of this story. Children will enjoy this book not only for the historical facts, but also because they will feel as if they are there with David and Jenkins bravely finding their way on the Golden Pathway.


About the Author:
Donna McDine is an award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions. Donna’s stories and features have been published in many print and online publications and her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Her second book, The Hockey Agony is under contract and will be published by Guardian Angel Publishing. She writes, moms and is the Publicist Intern for The National Writing for Children Center and Children’s Writers’ Coaching Club from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Musing Our Children.

It’s nice to have you here today Donna. Can you share with us about your background and how you became a children's author?

I stumbled into writing for children when I came across an advertisement for the Institute of Children’s Literature and it pulled at my heartstrings immediately. When I was a child, I dreamed of becoming a reporter, but never followed this early dream for my future. It took me over 40 years to get where I truly feel I need to be, a children’s author.

Well we’re glad you made the journey to the World of Ink. You’re an amazing writer. We would love it if you could share with us about your current book “The Golden Pathway”?

Be transported through time to the Underground Railroad, where high-pitched screams echo each night. David’s cruel Pa always chooses the same victim. Despite the circumstances during slavery, David uncovers the courage to defy his Pa. 

Raised in a hostile environment where abuse occurs daily, David attempts to break the mold and befriends the slave, Jenkins, owned by his Pa. Fighting against extraordinary times and beliefs, David attempts to lead Jenkins to freedom with no regard for his own safety and possible consequences dealt out by his Pa.

Sounds like a very engaging story and one kids will learn a lot from. What gave you the idea to write about the Underground Railroad?

American history has always intrigued me and even though slavery was abolished, it is imperative that each generation learns about this horrific time in American History so that it never happens again.

As they say, “Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it”. Now what would you say is the most difficult part of writing for children?
Keeping it real without preaching.
Yes, I believe children today want you to explain, but not preach or talk down to them. Which can be very hard as an adult, but you did a great job in your book showing without preaching. Do you have any books coming out in 2011? If not, do you have any works in progress?
I currently have two more books under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing:
“The Hockey Agony” ~ Peer Pressure and honesty many times go hand-in-hand.  What is Larry to do when his teammate asks him to cheat when he is given the responsibility to run the clock during the big hockey game?  Outwardly, it may seem he will follow suit, but his conscious tells him otherwise at the moment of truth.

“Powder Monkey” ~ Forced into a life at sea by the Royal Navy Press Gangs, 12-year-old Tommy Kitt finds himself in a floating sea of misery. Life aboard the ship is like none other. Poor living conditions, beatings, and grueling hours are daily occurrences. Despite his runt like size, Tommy must summon the courage and physical ability to prevail in a situation in cannot escape.

They both sound wonderful. I can’t wait to read them when they are available. Okay Donna, if you could live in any book, which one would you choose?
Hmmm…this is a tough question since I’ve read so many wonderful books. The one that captured me from the onset is Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines by Beverly Stowe McClure. This time period of elegance and grace; and the beginnings of options for women is fascinating.
I haven’t read that one, but I’ll have to check it out. Beverly Stowe McClure is also a great writer just like you, Donna. Now what do you do when you're not writing?
Ahh, as mother’s we never stop. I’m usually in the midst of carpool and I’ve learned to take advantage of the time waiting at basketball practices and art classes. I always bring my writers bag with me so I can catch up on my reading or work on my writing. As I write my responses to your questions, I’m sitting in the lounge area during Hayley’s basketball practice.
Of course, reading and spending time with my family and friends is important to me, especially, curling up on the couch with my hubby and girls to watch a movie. Nicole and I love scary movies and not too long ago we picked one out that scared the heck out of us and never even finished watching it. I can’t remember the name of it, but it was a movie with Kevin Costner who played a divorced father of a boy and girl and strange happenings occur at their new home and to his daughter. Spooky scary!! Maybe one of these days we will actually finish watching it. Tom and Hayley want nothing to do with it.
You sound very busy. I’m surprised you find those minutes and hours to write. Do you make school visits? If so, please describe a typical school presentation.
I’ve taken the description of one of my school visit presentations from my website:
Invite children’s author, Donna M. McDine to your school for a fun day of hands-on writing workshops.  Donna will meet with you and your colleagues prior to her school visit to discuss your curriculum and how best to structure the workshop around your state guidelines. 

Your session will include the reading of the short story or non-fiction article aloud to the students followed with a short discussion and Q&A on the reading and interactive breakout sessions. At the conclusion of the reading, the students will participate in a group breakout session to brainstorm and develop a new ending or what happens next in the short story. 

If the reading includes a non-fiction article the students will also participate in a group breakout session to develop a graphic organizer and illustration of the topic discussed.

Workshops are scheduled around a standard classroom timeframe of approximately 40-45 minutes.

A personalized Certificate of Participation will be presented to each student and special handouts curtailed around the workshop will also be distributed to the students.

Contact children’s author, Donna M. McDine at donna@donnamcdine.com, today to discuss your needs.
I think teachers and school should be knocking down your door from that description. Makes me wish I were still in school just so I could go. Now Donna, where can our readers go online to learn more about you and your book(s) and to order?
Donna, it has been great having you. Can you share with us before you go your best tip for aspiring authors?
Writing for children is a tough business and you must have a thick skin. Rejection is inevitable and it only takes one acceptance to reach your dream of publication.

Do not spread yourself too thin in social networking, which is quite time consuming and can easily take over your critical writing time.

9 comments:

  1. Great interview, Donna and Virginia!

    You always provide such wise words.

    Karin
    http://www.karin-larson.blogspot.com

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  2. Thank you for hosting Donna today. You are one of the last stops that concludes Donna's two-month virtual book tour. So many bloggers had wonderful things to say about The Golden Pathway. Did you know this is the first hardcover book released by Guardian Angel Publishing?

    Thanks again for hosting Donna. I hope your readers will stop by her website to learn more about her.

    Cheryl

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  3. Virginia:

    Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to interview and host me today. It's a thrill to be here. Especially since SFC Magazine was my first publication acceptance back in 2007. Wow, how time has flown.

    Karin and Cheryl:

    Thank you for stopping by today and for your words of support. Your never ending support mean the world to me.

    Best wishes,
    Donna

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  4. You're Welcome Donna. Stories for Children loves seeing those we have worked with reach their dreams. You are a very talent author.

    Cheryl, I didn't know this was the first hard cover book. Wow. That is great for Donna.

    Hope everyone swings by Donna's sites and picks up a copy of The Golden Pathway.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

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  5. Donna is such a talented author. So glad to have here interviewed here.

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  6. Virginia and Terri:

    Thank you for your heartfelt words. I appreciate it very much!

    Best wishes,
    Donna

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  7. Great interview, Virginia,

    And, Donna, I know what you mean about spending time wisely. I always have a writing magazine with me. And, now that my 4 yr old grandson goes to preschool on a day I watch him, after I bring him to school, I put the little one down for his nap and get about an hour of laptop time in.

    I wish you much success with your book.

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  8. Karen:

    Thanks for visiting. Yes, grabbing those few precious moments adds up.

    Best wishes,
    Donna

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  9. I read this book to my 2nd grade son when he was being bullied by one of the 3rd graders in his classroom. My son ended having tremendous anxiety about being at school. One of the Mom's recommended this book to me. After reading the story to my son he was able to stand up for himself and tell the bully that he didn't like the way he was being treated. I think the book gave him the courage to stand up for his rights!

    Thank you!

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