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THE MARBLE QUEEN

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I read this book last night and this morning and loved it! Here is my review from my blog:

Ten-year-old Freedom is good at marbles even though the boys don't want to play with her anymore, but she's determined to compete in the Autumn Jubilee while her pregnant mom, drinking dad, and troublesome little brother keep her on her toes at home. Freedom's personality bursts off every page of this 1959 story. I loved her honesty, spirit, and determination, and the happy ending that wasn't perfect, but served the story right. A lovely family MG novel. (Amazon Children's, 2013)

Yay Steph! :)
#1 - January 13, 2013, 12:35 PM
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My eleven year old son is reading this on my Kindle and really enjoying it. Great, review! And, yay, Steph!
#2 - January 13, 2013, 12:41 PM
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I finished it last week and I loved it too -- great voice and lots of heart.
#3 - January 17, 2013, 03:29 PM

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Thanks for the brief review here. Sounds like I'd better get my hands on a copy of this. It could help a couple of kids that come in my library.
#4 - January 17, 2013, 09:54 PM
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On hold at my library!
Can't wait to read.
Author bio in this month's Writers Digest. Inspirational!
#5 - January 18, 2013, 01:26 PM

Thank you, all!
#6 - January 24, 2013, 07:46 AM
Stephanie J. Blake
MY ROTTEN FRIEND (Albert Whitman, September 1, 2015)
THE MARBLE QUEEN (Two Lions, December 1, 2012)

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Finished MARBLE QUEEN last night. Now, this is Steph's book we're talking about. Us Blueboarders have watched her journey and cheered her on. This book traveled a long road to being out in the world and it deserves a thoughtful review but all I got is :wow.

THE MARBLE QUEEN is honest and heartfelt and gritty and wonderful and absolutely beautifully written. You want to know what pitch perfect voice is? Read this book.  :love4:
#7 - January 28, 2013, 07:14 AM

I've been wanting to read this too, especially after following Steph's journey, and you all sold me! Just downloaded... it's $3.99 for Kindle editions right now.
#8 - January 28, 2013, 07:24 AM

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Think I"ll have to download. My library has the book on order. Not willing to wait!
#9 - January 28, 2013, 01:13 PM

Thank you, friends!
#10 - January 28, 2013, 01:54 PM
Stephanie J. Blake
MY ROTTEN FRIEND (Albert Whitman, September 1, 2015)
THE MARBLE QUEEN (Two Lions, December 1, 2012)

Can't wait to read it!! Barb
#11 - January 28, 2013, 01:59 PM
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Okay Steph, I've been thinking about this all day. I NEED to know what happens to Freedom down the road. You should pen a sequel when she hits her teen years. Then I checked out the website and saw this!

"Hopefully this engaging first novel won’t be the only book about Freedom Jane McKenzie, because she is one likable gal." School Library Journal  :yay
#12 - January 28, 2013, 05:00 PM

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I just finished the Marble Queen.  I loved it and I will post reviews on B&N and Amazon, when I get it written. 

I want you to know I seldom read books from this period because it is the period of my childhood and most authors tend to gloss over how things really were for girls during that time period.  Stephanie, you nailed it.  I was one of those girls that played marbles with the boys, there were a couple of others.  I had a marble bag that I took to school every day and I had my favorite marbles to play with and yes, some games were for keeps and some were just practice games.  We did not play in a circle, but had a way of lining up the marbles and shooting them.  By the end of my marble playing time, I had an entire shoe box of marbles (which my mother got rid of when we moved. :p)  I, like Freedom lost interest around fifth or sixth grade in being a serious marble player, took up baseball instead.  LOL  Girls were lucky if they got to wear blue jeans and never to school.  Although in the middle of winter we wore pants under our dresses (cotton) to keep our legs warm and the teachers didn't make us take them off as we had recess and yes we had to walk home for lunch.  My school (rare) did not have a cafeteria. 

The drinking of beer was handled well.  Personally, I thought it was well thought out and seen through Freedom's eyes and not such a big deal at times to her, it was just part of life as she knew it.  Her brother seemed like a bigger pain than her father's drinking problem. 

Sitting in church reminded me of sitting in church next to my younger brother and someone getting their knee squeeze, oh yeah I did have white gloves for a time even.  Only not every Sunday, I think they gave up on that, mostly just Easter.
Well presented book of the time period and of a families problems and of a girl growing up in the late fifties. 
#13 - March 14, 2013, 07:14 PM
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I would love to hear more about Freedom too! Any chance you'll write another book about her, Stephanie?
#14 - March 15, 2013, 05:02 AM
Film school grad. Time traveller. Billy Bragg fan. Canadian/Irish novelist of character-driven fiction from sci-fi to slice of life.

Thank you for the kind words...

I am working on a companion novel. 10 years ahead in 1971. Freedom is in college.
#15 - March 15, 2013, 07:44 AM
Stephanie J. Blake
MY ROTTEN FRIEND (Albert Whitman, September 1, 2015)
THE MARBLE QUEEN (Two Lions, December 1, 2012)

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My copy just arrived a couple of days ago, I'm moving it to the top of my to read list.  I'm looking forward to it.
#16 - March 15, 2013, 08:10 AM

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I've followed Stephanie's journey to publication, too. What a gut-wrencher! Especially when she quit. So this beautiful book is all the more precious. I't part of a very short stack of books I love right next to my writing spot. I agree--the voice is spot-on. I'm so excited to find out what becomes of this brave girl. Freedom, I mean. We already know what happened to Stephanie.
#17 - March 15, 2013, 01:14 PM

Thank you, all!
#18 - April 08, 2013, 08:41 AM
Stephanie J. Blake
MY ROTTEN FRIEND (Albert Whitman, September 1, 2015)
THE MARBLE QUEEN (Two Lions, December 1, 2012)

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