Friday, October 23, 2020


Whoa...calling all writers! Look at this fantastic opportunity to win a critique by an author, illustrator, or agent. The list is amazing, and I'm SO appreciative of their time!  

Author Bios

Illustrator Bios

Agent Bios

Check out #PBCritiqueFest on Brian Gehrlein's blog You can also sign up for his blog posts to come directly to your email. I highly recommend it. He has great posts!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Fall Writing Frenzy

I have taken the challenge... the Fall Writing Frenzy challenge! Hop over and take a look at all the photos. See if one inspires a story, poem, or any other musings. Then enter the contest. Hurry! It's only open for three days. A huge THANK YOU to all the donors for prizes and, of course, to the hosts, Kaitlyn Sanchez and Lydia Lukidis and to the whole kid lit community! 

I selected this sweet picture and was inspired to write a little poem.

(Image 5)

Pirates wear a black patch.
And fairies wear a leaf patch,
a splotchy reddish tree patch.
Come and twirl with me. 

Flutter through the sun patch.
Then sputter through the light patch,
a shiny yellow bright patch.
Come and swirl with me. 

Slide along the frost patch.
Or bounce along the rough patch,
a hidden bumpy tough patch.
Come and whirl with me.

Pick one from the orange patch.
And stuff the scarecrow’s knee patch.
Then zag into the maze patch. 
Come and furl with me. 

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Tracy's 2019-reads book montage

A Curious Tale of the In-Between
When's My Birthday?
Shark Nate-O
Nothing Can Frighten a Bear
Be Kind
Don't Forget Dexter!
Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles
Truck, Truck, Goose!
Misunderstood Shark
Ocean Meets Sky
This Book Is Spineless
Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise
It's Not Hansel and Gretel
Flying Deep: Climb Inside Deep-Sea Submersible Alvin
The Queen and the First Christmas Tree: Queen Charlotte's Gift to England
Hey, Hey, Hay!: A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them
Everything You Need For a Treehouse
Fairy Spell: How Two Girls Convinced the World That Fairies Are Real
We Don't Eat Our Classmates

Tracy J Hora's favorite books »

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Your First Day of Circus School by Tara Lazar

written by Tara Lazar
illustrated by Melissa Crowton
published by Tundra Books

In true Tara Lazar style, this circus story is a totally new spin on the first day of school. It is full of puns, heart and humor. A nervous child will see how this boy copes with all the feelings and questions the first day of school brings in such a fun setting.  As a child, I lived near the winter quarters of a circus. I loved being able to visit the animals, who I believed were my friends. As an adult, I see that they probably didn’t have the best life which is disheartening. Your First Day of Circus School brings me back to the magic of the circus animals and will be a welcome addition in schools and libraries everywhere! The illustrations are perfect.

Thank you NetGalley and Tundra Books for a digital copy to review. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Children's Book Academy

My word for the 2019 is INTENTIONAL. I have a calendar year filled with goals and have been ticking them off!

One of my goals was to write my chapter book and my series premise, outlines, etc. I got it accomplished and it felt great! Then, I wanted to workshop it. That's when I found this amazing class. Well, actually, I've had them on my radar for a long time. It's hard to decide which class to take!

So, I'm taking my first Children's Book Academy class, and it's amazing! It's only day 5, and there's been so much information! I highly recommend any class through the Children's Book Academy. Everyone has been so kind and generous.

My weekend job is to read the first two chapters and the last chapter of many chapter books. OK! I'm off to read!!!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo

written by Kate DiCamillo
published by Candlewick

Beverly, Right Here is another wonderful middle grade story by Kate DiCamillo. I feel like Beverly was older than the characters were in the other two companion books. I liked that, though I’m not sure which age bracket to really put this in.  Beverly struck out on her own in search of her true self. She wanted to re-invent her life and leave her troubled family life behind. She winds up in a beach town and befriends an older woman in a trailer home. Having grown up in a Florida beach town myself, Kate’s attention to detail for this setting was spot on. It even brought back memories of my own. 

When I close Kate’s books, I always want to re-read them. Thank you NetGalley and Candlewick for a digital copy to review.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Writing Essential

written by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

I am thrilled that I found this book.  It's been an invaluable tool as I was getting to know my characters while planning for my chapter books. There's actually a series of them. I have had no hesitation purchasing other titles from this series as I've needed them. I think I have four now.

The Collection!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

2019 A New Writing Year

I love the promise of a new year and all the dreams it has to offer. I truly love my writing journey. The beginning of the year offers many resources for writers. Here are my top 3 for January. I have my eye on more for February!

First, there is Tara Lazar's StoryStorm. Here we read a motivating post each day of the month of January. Generally, we learn ways to see the different ideas all around us from true-for-real authors! It's a great resource for writers or teachers of little writers! You can always access older posts under the StoryStorm tab.

Next is Julie Hedund's 12x12 Writing Challenge. It was initially set up to motivate writers to get that crappy first draft down on a month. But, it is SO much more. It is a community of kid lit writers who travel the ups and downs of this journey together. We are all at different places in our lives and our careers, but this is for anyone who wants to write picture books for kids.

Then there is the new and improved Aree Chung's StoryTeller Academy! This is the first year for the membership version. The classes that I took last year were phenomenal. This year offers those and a whole lot more! 

Happy Writing in 2019!