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Hi everyone, I’m really excited to present you with this interview today. It’s with Tate Linders, the author of Mystery on the Missing Ship, which she wrote when she was only just eleven years old!

Now she’s a published author (in the intro I mistakenly say she’s traditionally published; she is self-published, but had an editor and some people to help get her book out. That’s also not clear in the interview, so I wanted to make sure and explain that for you), working on her second book.

It all came when she read the Titanic Series by the writer who also happens to be my greatest inspiration, Gordon Korman! When she revealed this in the interview I was pretty floored, haha.

But after reading that she got inspired and decided to write a Titanic mystery/romance/crime/historical fiction all wrapped into about a hundred pages! She relates in the interview how she only wrote for a little bit of time each day for a year (personally I can’t understand how she could be that patient and not just do the whole thing at once, and a little amazed that she kept preserving like that for a whole year; it should be an example to all writers of what’s possible and what we can do).

Her book is on Kindle Unlimited for free, so check it out if you want. The romance is pretty heavy, and it’s also extremely fast-moving with tons of action. It’s a quick read, so again you can get it here on Amazon.

Here’s the interview where you can hear all the details of exactly what she did and what happened. I hope you’re inspired by Tate’s story like I am!


Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Review

by Daniel Johnston on March 29, 2015 · 1 comment

OfMiceAndMenJohn Steinbeck wrote many classic novels, and Of Mice and Men is widely considered to be among his best. The story of two country workers takes readers into another world and explores some powerful themes.

I definitely recommend this book, but the fact that it’s rather short doesn’t mean that young people should read it, as I’ll discuss later.


George Milton and Lennie Small are out in search of work, trying to find something to do out in California. They’ve just had a job, but had t0 run after Lennie touched a girl. He didn’t mean anything bad by it, it’s just that he’s not too smart.

No, Lennie isn’t smart at all, but he’s a big fella and a great worker. George is a smart guy, and he helps Lennie and looks after him. They’re always talking about how they’ll save enough money and one day they’ll have enough money and a nice ranch of their own instead of just working for other people.

They start a new job, and start saving up. There are some distractions, with the son of the ranch boss, Curley, just waiting to have a fight with Lennie because of how big and strong Lennie is. Eventually Curley picks a fight, swinging his fist toward Lennie, and all Lennie does is grab the guys’ hand and squeeze on to it, like he has a fixation of doing. That’s enough to seriously hurt Curley, and he’s not going to tell anyone because of how ashamed he is.

George also makes acquaintance with Slim, the leader of the workers. Everybody respects him a lot, and he often gives good advice over horseshoe games. A lot of people go to town on the weekend and blow all of their money, but George and Lennie are determined to save theirs. It isn’t long before Candy, an old ranch worker with only one hand, joins them in trying to get a ranch of their own.

For awhile it seems like they may actually save up the money and get their own ranch, but Curley’s wife is also making trouble. She loves to tease her husband by messing around, and she goes and speaks with the ranch workers, often making trouble for them.

She goes in on Lennie and starts stirring up a conservation. Lennie starts thinking her hair seems really nice and starts petting it. She tries to fight him, but he covers her mouth to make sure no one hears. When he releases his grip, she’s dead.

When George comes back, he realizes what’s happened and knows they’re going to try to kill Lennie. George finds him and tells him the story Lennie likes so much about how they got each other and they’re going to get themselves a ranch of their own. In that relaxed state, George kills him.


This is an excellent book. Steinbeck’s writing ability is quite well known, and in this story he takes us into the ranchers of the West. It’s interesting how the main characters are always dreaming of and planning to get a better life, and Lennie still believes he is about to get it at the end even though he’s really about to get killed. The symbolism is that throughout the novel the characters believe they are really going to get their own place, when no such thing is going to happen.

As for kids reading it, though, it’s hard to support that. Most kids today have absolutely no conception of the kind of world in this novel, and confusing young people with a book like this where multiple people are killed in a rather foreign setting does not really seem advisable. 

I’d say that before introducing a kid to this book you should have them read some other books about ranch work and the West, so that they understand it, and wait with this one until they’re more mature and in their mid-to-late teens. If someone reads a book like this that has a kind of depressing theme and is not able to understand it, it can only be a negative.

Of Mice and Men is a great Steinbeck classic. Not for middle grade readers, but most others will greatly enjoy it.

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An Objective Standard for Books?

March 25, 2015

Do books have an objective standard, or are they purely subjective, the only judgment of them up to the reader to decide? Let’s remind ourselves exactly what we mean by objective vs. subjective. If books have an objective standard, then that means they are intrinsically good or bad, regardless of what anyone says about them. […]

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Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja Book 1 by Marcus Emerson Review

March 22, 2015
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The concept of Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja by Marcus Emerson is great-a secret ninja clan living right in the midst of an erstwhile normal seeming school. A secret ninja club like this is just the kind of thing that gets me super excited. Unfortunately, there are a number of missteps in the book that […]

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The Readers and Writers Paradise Podcast Episode 11

February 28, 2015

Hi everyone, thanks so much for your support of Kid Writers Magazine Edition #2! It’s great to see the magazine getting into the hands of readers. Today I’m releasing another episode of the podcast, which is something I know I haven’t done in awhile. My plan is to come out with a lot more in the future, […]

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Kid Writers Magazine Edition #2 Is Out!

February 16, 2015
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Hi everyone! Thanks for you all being great and helping me through with the launch of Kid Writers Magazine, the only writing magazine in the world managed by kids, for kids. As you may know, it’s a place where kids can learn about writing and get published. I’m proud to announce that the second edition of […]

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Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose Review

January 14, 2015
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Blue Birds is the second book by Caroline Starr Rose, and I was fortunate enough to have been given a copy of the ARC. Caroline is also the author of May B., a good book that I especially liked for its allusion to “the place where the earth meets the sky.” Both are historical fiction novels, with […]

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ARCs for My New Book!

December 27, 2014

Hi everyone, thanks for helping support me with my project, Kid Writers Magazine! I’ve been working on something else that’s also going to be awesome; my first book! Of course I’ve been writing books for a long time, but this is the first time I’m actually going to publish one. It’s called The Club Calamity: Calvin’s Crazy […]

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My Awesome New Project You Can’t Miss! – Kid Writers Magazine

December 4, 2014

Hi everyone! Wonder why this blog has been kind of quiet lately? It’s because I’ve been devoting all my time to something amazing, something far beyond anything I’ve ever done before. It’s taken three months and hundreds of hours of work, and I’m proud to tell you today about the launch of Kid Writers Magazine! […]

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Stanley and Katrina by Felicia Maziarz Review

April 19, 2015
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It’s not often that you get to read a books written by someone who started them when she was nine years old. Even more rare is that they’re actually really good. That’s exactly the situation with Stanley and Katrina, both book one and book two. The author, Felicia Maziarz, composed these two books about the relationship between […]

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A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park Review

March 19, 2015
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Having recently interviewed Linda Sue Park for the latest edition of Kid Writers Magazine, I was excited to read her bestselling book A Long Walk to Water. The book details the story of a boy named Salva who leaves Sudan during a war and eventually finds his way to Kenya and the United States. Salva lives […]

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Anne of Green Gables Review

March 16, 2015
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Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery is a childhood classic that kids (especially girls) have been voraciously digesting since its release in 1908. But is it still relevant to today’s children? For those of you who don’t know, Anne of Green Gables is a book about a girl named Anne who is adopted by Matthew […]

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The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame Review

March 2, 2015
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When a children’s book was praised by none other than sitting US President Theodore Roosevelt, that tells you two things: 1. The book is old. 2. The book is good enough for a President to spend his time reading it, so its got a good chance of being pretty good. The Wind in the Willows […]

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Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix Review

February 26, 2015
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Double Identity is a science fiction book written by Margaret Peterson Haddix that has the twists and turns typical in a Haddix story. The book has some good things and some bad things, but is anything is for sure it’s that you’re not going to get bored reading anything by this author. Summary The book […]

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