March 20, 2013


       Has it been a year?  It has, and it is time to say "thank you."

     Yesterday, I was interviewed on Grand Junction station KAFM by one of my favorite Grand Junction literary giants, Patti Hoff of Brass Frog Book Works.  Patti is an independent book publisher with a high level of professionalism and pizazz. We chatted away about Book Wisdom and the need for high quality literature for children and how that need has shifted.  Thank you Tamarah Hardesty, KAFM program director for creating a space for literacy on Public Affairs and the local airwaves.

       I would like to thank a few people who have been great support in the process of this blog and sharing books with local viewers.  Sandra Dorr and Terri Chappell and Margie Wilson whose support was instrumental in getting started.  My writing and illustration guild, Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, my local writer peeps, my critique group Pens and Brushes, Megan Wallace and KREX, all the authors and illustrators who have generously sent me material, my readers and viewers, and my family, especially my husband Peter.   I am truly blessed!

       In honor of this one year milestone, Book Wisdom by Diane is having a surprise giveaway for my readers and viewers.  Leave a comment below or via email or like the Book Wisdom by Diane page on Facebook to be entered!  The winner will be drawn on April 19th!   Congratulations Kathleen G.!  

March 5, 2013

Book Wisdom, March 5, 2013, Book of the Month, Award Winning, The Queen of Water

THE QUEEN OF WATER by Laura Resau & Maria Virginia
    There are times when I solicit authors and illustrators for their work, and there are authors who solicit me with their books.  Both ways of submission bring in good children's books.  Last June, I was approached by Colorado author, Laura Resau who offered to send me her award winning young adult novel, THE QUEEN OF WATER.  Laura had looked at my site and felt I might be a good match for her book.  From reading this book, I have determined a third way of books arriving at my doorstep.  This book was simply meant to be.  It's the perfect book for me, my background, and passions.  I'd like to think that it was many indigenous children and children of poverty who I have worked with over the years calling out to Laura saying please send this to Mrs. Hower.  This story speaks for many unheard voices of children and adolescents who have lived and are living in difficult situations.

      Award winning, THE QUEEN OF WATER by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango is a young adult novel based on the true story of Maria Virginia's life growing up in Ecuador.  The names and places have been changed in respect of privacy.  Laura has embellished a bit to make this a fictional novel based on true life. THE QUEEN OF WATER wraps  the reader's fingers into the tiny hand of 7 year old Virginia, an indigenous child, living in rural Andean Ecuador.

      THE QUEEN OF WATER begins with the forced departure of Virginia who has to leave her family and everything she knows and loves, including her beloved Cheetah. "It's good to have someone love you so fiercely. Even if that someone is a goat." The reader quickly experiences the sharply contrasted reality of Virginia's indigenous life and the upper ruling class of Spanish descendants as she is thrown into the role of servitude as a child to a middle class family. Virginia is a fiery, tenacious, intelligent girl whose sheer will and fortitude guide her in dealing with the ugly side of humanity.  Laura's co-creation of Maria Virginia's voice as a child moves consistently and with clarity through the thread barren warp of Virginia's tapestry of life from childhood through puberty and into adolescence, the colors and textures of the tapestry's weft only strengthen it by creating a story of hope and inspiration.

Maria Virginia and Laura
       Laura  and Maria Virginia do a superb job of staying true to childhood development stages through three distinct stages making an already authentic story, exceptionally real.  Another strength Laura and Maria Virginia bring as a writers is the questions many children ask themselves about life, love, and family when found in the dark places adults knowingly and unknowingly place them.  Sharing just enough emotion and information, the reader is touched by raw reality without going over the edge.  It takes understanding and caring, respect for others, and sheer writing skill to pull together this tightly written, compelling story with the level of integrity and beauty it brings.  Understandably so,  Laura and Maria Virginia six years to write THE QUEEN OF WATER.

I give this book five apples, cream of the crop.  THE QUEEN OF WATER takes an incredible story about will power and resiliency to a very high level through skill and understanding of children and their development into adults.  It is a 350 page, fictional novel based on a true story for mature young adults.

The themes in the story are will power, cultural identity, resiliency, child servitude, freedom, family, class structure and barriers to learning. Parts of the story involve abusive situations which are handled with integrity and respect.

This book is published by Delacorte Press/Random House and is available through your independent bookseller, Barnes and Noble, and online.  It is available in ebook, hardback & paperback. You can find about award winning author, Laura Resau and her other books at: LAURA'S WEBSITE with additional information about Maria Virginia at this location too.