I first herd (ha, ha, couldn't resist) about Rebecca Petruck's upper MG steer-raising-themed Steering Toward Normal ARC (advanced reader copy) tour from Carol Baldwin. She dissected Petruck's debut novel according to the fifteen beats of Blake Snyder's Save the Cat here on her blog. She also individually called out some of her writing friends on Facebook who live in different states, and urged us to enter her lend-away contest.
Carol's contest incorporated Rebecca's desire for her book to graze in as many states as possible prior to its May release date. Here's what happened:
1) the last reader mailed the ARC from its home state of NC, where Rebecca now lives and Carol also resides, to me.
2) ARC was read
3) comments were left within its pages
4) a choice was made whether to snap a picture or make a short video with the book
5) photos made their way to Rebecca via electronic notification of this post
6) the ARC passed to its next recipient
A literary version of Flat Stanley. How fun is that? Rebecca plans on sending blue ribbons to all of the ARC readers and showcasing her pictures/videos closer to the release date.
I loved the book. Although set in the 4-H world of Minnesota, the book opens on the MC, Diggy's "normal" life. He's being raised by his real father (Pop Lawson), after his mother abandoned him on Pop's doorstep, and putted out of town forever on a tractor. We meet Diggy in the fall of his 8th grade year, when a schoolmate is dropped on that same doorstep by the husband of a recently deceased local teacher. The reason? Why, Pop Lawson is the biological father of that second boy too.
Whoa! Diggy's "normal" existence turns on its head.
My review of this heart-tugging battle of mind vs. heart is here.
It just so happens that Ohio is a big fair state. People I know exhibit guinea pigs and pies and flowers in the Lake County (the next county over from Cleveland) Fair and sell their maple syrup in the Geauga County Fair. And the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, well, it's always a whopper. I was there a couple of years ago with my youngest stepdaughter and so...I resurrected those pictures for you now. (After just a wee bit of editing.)
Introducing...Steering Toward Normal visits the Ohio State Fair!
|STN enjoys the marching band and some requisite fried fair food.|
|STN takes in a pig race.|
|STN visits the other animal exhibits.|
|STN appreciates a hefty squash.|
The ARC didn't stay in OH long. Right after I finished it, I contacted MG writer Marcia Hoehne, and told her this is a story she'd like to wrangle with. She agreed to welcome the ARC and show it a good time...in Wisconsin.
Get along little dogie. Spread your tale across the nation.