Children's Literature

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  • My weekend reviews

    The Horn Book
    Roger Sutton
    31 Aug 2015 | 9:40 am
    Friday night–When Robert C. O’Brien’s 1975 YA Z for Zachariah made it onto the silver screen forty years later, you’d think its post-apocalyptic setting and sturdy heroine would have been enough to give it currency but NO: the famous two-hander is now a lurve triangle, and–spoiler alert–the attempted rape, so controversial in its time, is glossed over in favor of a passionate coupling with the rebooted James T. Kirk. Still, the performances are great as is the score, even if the whole thing is way too quiet to compete with Insurgent.    …
  • 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #447: Featuring Simona Ciraolo

    Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
    29 Aug 2015 | 11:01 pm
      “I’d had my suspicions for a while that someone had replaced my sister with a girl who looked a lot like her. It had to be! …” Thus opens the new book from author-illustrator Simona Ciraolo (who brought us last year’s Hug Me), Whatever Happened to My Sister? This will be on shelves, come November, from Flying Eye Books. It’s the story of a young girl whose teenage sister is keeping her distance, as teenage sisters are wont to do. The girl, however, is filled with confusion and sorrow, given that they used to play together closely. “I am rather…
  • Interview (Part 3) With Ashley Hope Pérez, Author of OUT OF DARKNESS

    Finding Wonderland: The WritingYA Weblog
    Sarah Stevenson
    31 Aug 2015 | 10:00 am
    Happy Monday! We're back again today with the final installment in our interview with the wonderfully articulate and interesting Ashley Hope Pérez, who has stopped by on her blog tour for her forthcoming novel Out of Darkness. The story is based on real-life events of the March 1937 gas leak which caused a massive explosion and killed almost 300 children and teachers at a school in New London, Texas. It also explores the fraught racial, cultural, and economic environment of Depression-era, pre-WWII small-town America.In the conclusion of our interview, we talk about what effect writers can…
  • Review: The Girl on the Train

    A Chair, A Fireplace, & A Tea Cozy
    Liz B
    17 Aug 2015 | 1:00 am
    The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin RandomHouse. 2015. Library copy. The Plot: Rachel takes the same commuter train to work and home, day in, day out. She watches outside her window, watches the buildings and houses. There is one couple in particular she watches, who she names Jess and Jason. Wondering about them and their lives, making up a story about who and what they are.Until one day, something happens. Something that forces her from observer to participant, off the train and into the lives of those she watches.The Good: I confess, that I'm not…
  • Remembering Katrina

    educating alice
    27 Aug 2015 | 2:10 am
    Katrina is burned into my brain. It is burned into many of our brains. And now for this tenth anniversary there are many considerations of what happened then, after, and is still happening. For children, there have been books. Quite a few works of fiction and some nonfiction.One of the best I’ve seen is Don Brown’s graphic novel Drowned City: Katrina and New Orleans. Simply outstanding in a heart-wrenching way. Here’s what I wrote on the third anniversary: In my experience as the daughter of Holocaust survivors, as time goes on there can be a tendency for the historical…
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    The Horn Book

  • My weekend reviews

    Roger Sutton
    31 Aug 2015 | 9:40 am
    Friday night–When Robert C. O’Brien’s 1975 YA Z for Zachariah made it onto the silver screen forty years later, you’d think its post-apocalyptic setting and sturdy heroine would have been enough to give it currency but NO: the famous two-hander is now a lurve triangle, and–spoiler alert–the attempted rape, so controversial in its time, is glossed over in favor of a passionate coupling with the rebooted James T. Kirk. Still, the performances are great as is the score, even if the whole thing is way too quiet to compete with Insurgent.    …
  • Crossover authors, pt. 1

    Shoshana Flax
    31 Aug 2015 | 9:35 am
    Is there a better feeling than discovering a new book by a favorite author? How about discovering a whole bunch of books you haven’t read yet by that author? Maybe you’re familiar with their work for adults, but didn’t realize they wrote for younger readers as well, or vice versa. For example (in alphabetical order and with many omissions, so tell us your favorites in the comments)… Sherman Alexie mostly writes novels (Flight) and short story collections (The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven) for adults, usually focusing on the experiences of Native Americans. His…
  • Crossover Week @ The Horn Book

    Elissa Gershowitz
    31 Aug 2015 | 9:30 am
    “I’m reading Austenland,” said boss-man Roger Sutton one day. “It’s a grownup book by that fantasy author who won a Newbery Honor. She did those fairy-tale graphic novels too. You know? Shannon Hale.” And from there sprang Crossover Week @ The Horn Book. Because it’s not just Shannon Hale. Lots of children’s authors have written adult books and vice versa. We started brainstorming, and the list goes on and on and on… We’ve talked to some authors about why they do what they do, and for whom. Let us know who we missed. See all of our…
  • James E. Ransome on Granddaddy’s Turn

    Robin Smith
    31 Aug 2015 | 8:00 am
    In our July/August issue, reviewer Robin Smith asked James Ransome about the challenge of illustrating difficult subject matter — specifically, voting disenfranchisement — for picture-book readers in Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box. Read the full review of Granddaddy’s Turn here. Robin Smith: How do you convey the seriousness and emotion of your subject matter without burdening the child reader? It must be hard. James E. Ransome: It is a delicate balancing act. One way I attempted to do this for Granddaddy’s Turn was by using warm tones and intimate spot art…
  • Review of Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box

    Robin Smith
    31 Aug 2015 | 8:00 am
    Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein; illus. by James E. Ransome Primary   Candlewick   32 pp. 7/15   978-0-7636-6593-7   $16.99 “Patience, son, patience.” That’s what the young narrator’s grandfather tells him as they wait for the fish to bite. That’s also what Granddaddy says when he puts on his church coat and tie, grabs his camera, and starts out on a mysterious long walk from the family farm. The grandson is confused until they get to town and he sees the VOTE HERE sign: Granddaddy plans to vote for the first time. Before…
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    Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

  • 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #447: Featuring Simona Ciraolo

    29 Aug 2015 | 11:01 pm
      “I’d had my suspicions for a while that someone had replaced my sister with a girl who looked a lot like her. It had to be! …” Thus opens the new book from author-illustrator Simona Ciraolo (who brought us last year’s Hug Me), Whatever Happened to My Sister? This will be on shelves, come November, from Flying Eye Books. It’s the story of a young girl whose teenage sister is keeping her distance, as teenage sisters are wont to do. The girl, however, is filled with confusion and sorrow, given that they used to play together closely. “I am rather…
  • What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week, FeaturingJayme McGowan, Victoria Turnbull, & Phoebe Wahl

    27 Aug 2015 | 11:01 pm
    “Where I lead, Oscar follows.”– From Victoria Turnbull’s The Sea Tiger(Click to enlarge)   “‘Shhh,’ said Sonya’s papa. ‘What might seem unfair to youmight make sense to a fox.’ And he told her a story. …”– From Phoebe Wahl’s Sonya’s Chickens(Click to enlarge)   – From Jayme McGowna’s One Bear Extraordinaire   This morning over at Kirkus, I peek at some Fall 2015 picture book releases and how in many of them, you’ll be greeting old friends. That link is here. Last week I…
  • My Rambling Thoughts Well After Breakfast

    27 Aug 2015 | 10:44 am
    Big thanks to Nick Patton for having me as a guest over at his place, The Picturebooking Podcast, this week. He and I chat about blogging and why precisely those of us who do it do it, and we talk about 7-Imp and picture books. AND lots of other stuff. The link is here. It was a pleasure to chat with him, and I appreciate the invitation to do so. Until tomorrow …  
  • Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Daniel Miyares

    24 Aug 2015 | 11:01 pm
    Author and illustrator Daniel Miyares—whose most recent picture book is Float, published by Simon & Schuster in June (and the subject of my Kirkus column here)—visits for breakfast this morning. Normally, he tells me, he has merely a hot cup of Earl Grey tea with a splash of milk in the fabulous mug his wife gave him, pictured below. (“She gets me,” he adds.) If he’s taking the time to sit down and eat in the mornings, he says, he goes with biscuits. “I grew up in South Carolina,” he tells me. “It’s kind of a requirement.” Hey,…
  • 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #446: Featuring Marc Boutavant

    22 Aug 2015 | 11:01 pm
    “‘You must tell me honestly if you’re getting angry,’ he went on.‘It would be too bad if you didn’t tell me, squirrel. It would be insulting.'”– From The Day No ONe Was Angry   Title page art from Edmond, the Moonlit Party   Want to join me this morning, dear Imps, in looking at some artwork from French illustrator Marc Boutavant? I’m looking at two new books, in particular, here — Astrid Desbordes’ Edmond, The Moonlit Party, which was originally published in France two years ago but came to American shelves in June,…
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    Finding Wonderland: The WritingYA Weblog

  • Interview (Part 3) With Ashley Hope Pérez, Author of OUT OF DARKNESS

    Sarah Stevenson
    31 Aug 2015 | 10:00 am
    Happy Monday! We're back again today with the final installment in our interview with the wonderfully articulate and interesting Ashley Hope Pérez, who has stopped by on her blog tour for her forthcoming novel Out of Darkness. The story is based on real-life events of the March 1937 gas leak which caused a massive explosion and killed almost 300 children and teachers at a school in New London, Texas. It also explores the fraught racial, cultural, and economic environment of Depression-era, pre-WWII small-town America.In the conclusion of our interview, we talk about what effect writers can…
  • Interview (Part 2) With Ashley Hope Pérez, Author of OUT OF DARKNESS

    29 Aug 2015 | 10:00 am
    Welcome back to our conversation with author Ashley Hope Pérez, author of the forthcoming YA historical novel OUT OF DARKNESS, which is based on real-life events of the March 1937 gas leak which caused a massive explosion and killed almost 300 children and teachers at a school in New London, Texas. This is part two of our three-part interview. OUT OF DARKNESS has been described as,“a powerful, layered tale of forbidden love in times of unrelenting racism,” while BookRiot's Kelly Jensen calls it “powerful, painful, raw, and easily one of the best books I’ve read this year.” It's…
  • Interview (Part 1) with Ashley Hope Perez, Author of OUT OF DARKNESS

    Sarah Stevenson
    27 Aug 2015 | 6:18 pm
    Welcome to Part 1 of our 3-part interview (we just couldn't stop chatting!) with Ashley Hope Perez, author of the forthcoming YA historical novel Out of Darkness, which is based on real-life events (and which we reviewed here).Not only was this a great opportunity to learn more about the story behind the story, it was also a chance to have a virtual conversation with one of our long-running blog buds and writer friends--because we DO like to put these in a less structured, more interactive form, going back and forth with the interviewee for more information and putting in a few thoughts of…

    25 Aug 2015 | 2:37 pm
    With its beautiful cover and terse writing style, THE STARS SEEM SO FAR AWAY is just the right book for August. Its tales of a slowly drying and warming world, and heading North to find water and life all seem supremely important and eerily real just now... Margrét Helgadóttir is a Norwegian-Icelandic writer whose imaginative linked short story collection hits just the right note of loss and longing. It's a story of isolation and loneliness, of losing and finding, connection and disconnection in a post-apocalyptic landscape - and ultimately, of losing the final connection to our planet.
  • Monday Review: THE CHESS QUEEN ENIGMA by Colleen Gleason

    Sarah Stevenson
    24 Aug 2015 | 2:00 pm
    Summary: This steampunk-paranormal mystery series is just plain fun. Three books into the Stoker and Holmes adventures and I'm still enjoying them immensely—prickly, socially awkward Mina Holmes; quick-tempered, impulsive, but brave Evaline Stoker—and this from a series that I actually wasn't initially sure I would like. The Chess Queen Enigma (love that word, enigma) is book 3, and it continues Mina and Evaline's fight against the shadowy and frightening person known only as the Ankh. Oh, and vampires. There are, of course, vampires to be vanquished, a princess to protect, and a chess…
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    A Chair, A Fireplace, & A Tea Cozy

  • Review: The Girl on the Train

    Liz B
    17 Aug 2015 | 1:00 am
    The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin RandomHouse. 2015. Library copy. The Plot: Rachel takes the same commuter train to work and home, day in, day out. She watches outside her window, watches the buildings and houses. There is one couple in particular she watches, who she names Jess and Jason. Wondering about them and their lives, making up a story about who and what they are.Until one day, something happens. Something that forces her from observer to participant, off the train and into the lives of those she watches.The Good: I confess, that I'm not…
  • Review: The Year We Fell Down

    Liz B
    6 Aug 2015 | 1:00 am
    The Year We Fell Down: A Hockey Romance (The Ivy Years Book 1) by Sarina Bowen. Rennie Road Books. 2014. Personal copy.The Plot: Corey Callahan is excited to be starting her freshman year at college. Just like her brother, she is going to Harkness College. Corey's also supposed to be playing ice hockey. But because of an accident her senior year, she's in a wheelchair. So Corey's not playing the sport that defined her. She's also not in a dorm with the others in her incoming class; instead, she's in the school's handicap accessible dorm.Determination, and refusal to be babied by her parents,…
  • Twitter Chat on August 18

    Liz B
    4 Aug 2015 | 1:00 am
    Save the date!On Tuesday, August 18, at 4:30 pm ET/ 1:30 pm PT, there will be a Little, Brown Twitter Chat with Jennifer E. Smith about her new book, Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between (publication date September 2015).I'm happy to say that I've been invited to be part of it; and I'm looking forward to it very much. As you can tell from my reviews of Smith's previous books (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and This is What Happy Looks Like), I enjoy Smith's works and her writing so I'm looking forward to chatting with her on Twitter.Twitter handles to know…
  • Va Va Vavoom!

    Liz B
    30 Jul 2015 | 1:00 am
    Like the photo I'm using on this page?It's from this year's birthday present to me: I did a pinup photo shoot at Vavoom Pinups in Chicago. Vavoom Pinups is about "empowering vintage photography" and I can say that description? Is totally, a thousand percent true.I had heard about Vavoom Pinups from friends; I was wanting to do something for me. And I was thinking about my younger self, and how sometimes I just wanted to go back in time and say you look amazing, you're not fat, wear that bikini. And I can't go back in time, but I wondered, twenty years from now am I going to be saying the same…
  • Review: The Trouble With Harry

    Liz B
    27 Jul 2015 | 1:00 am
    The Trouble With Harryby Katie MacAlister. Sourcebooks Casablanca. 2014. Library copy.The Plot: Regency England. Lord Harry Rosse thought he'd faced danger as a spy. But that he could handle... what he can't handle is life, now, raising five children alone. What he needs, what he wants, is a wife: someone to love his children, with all their antics and high spirits. Such high spirits he sometimes hides from them... A wife for company and companionship. Not one of those pretty young things only interested in his title and status, eager for children of her own. So he places an ad for a…
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    educating alice

  • Remembering Katrina

    27 Aug 2015 | 2:10 am
    Katrina is burned into my brain. It is burned into many of our brains. And now for this tenth anniversary there are many considerations of what happened then, after, and is still happening. For children, there have been books. Quite a few works of fiction and some nonfiction.One of the best I’ve seen is Don Brown’s graphic novel Drowned City: Katrina and New Orleans. Simply outstanding in a heart-wrenching way. Here’s what I wrote on the third anniversary: In my experience as the daughter of Holocaust survivors, as time goes on there can be a tendency for the historical…
  • An IBBY Wonderland

    26 Aug 2015 | 3:54 am
    If you are interested in international children’s books (hopefully you all are!) and able to make it to New York this October, I urge you to consider attending the 11th Annual IBBY Regional Conference, “Through the Looking Glass: Exploring the Wonderland of International Children’s Literature,” October 16-18, 2015. Several years ago I was able to attend the IBBY Congress in London (it is every two years in different parts of the world — next summer it is in New Zealand) and it was fabulous. (You can read my impressions in these blog posts.)  And so I’m…
  • A New Online Annotated Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

    22 Aug 2015 | 2:42 am
    I’m a fan of annotating books. Marginalia fascinates me. For decades I’ve introduced my 4th graders to the joy of close reading and annotating by way of Charlotte’s Web. And for my Alice in Wonderland unit I’ve depended very much on Gardner’s annotated edition. In fact, one year I had the kids do their own annotations for the book — they enjoyed doing that tremendously. And so I was delighted to see The Public Domain Review and Medium‘s cool project, an online annotated Alice. They describe it thus: This collection celebrates the 150th anniversary…
  • The Martian, Book and Movie

    19 Aug 2015 | 3:41 am
    I listened to Andy Weir’s The Martian last fall and, at first, wondered what it was all about, writing in a  goodreads update: Just as I thought “this is getting claustrophobic” the other side’s story kicked in. And once that happened, I was completely absorbed. My final brief review: This was fun. Pretty much a roller-coaster. Almost predicable in that as soon as things seemed okay something else terrible happened, but somehow super-smart Whatley figured them out each time. Now I’m evidently the last to know the movie is coming out this fall. The trailer has…
  • In the Classroom: Africa and Animals

    16 Aug 2015 | 5:12 am
    Right now I’m listening to the NPR show On Being where they are talking with Katy Payne, “a renowned acoustic biologist with a Quaker sensibility.” Her comments about elephants in particular are so moving and made me think about the recent complicated responses to the killing of Cecil the lion. I was completely disgusted and disturbed when first learning of Cecil’s death as trophy hunting seems a completely horrible activity to me. But as the media juggernaut continued it struck me that here again was the way Africa is perceived by those in the United States. (I was…
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    Chicken Spaghetti

  • Lynda Barry on Fairy Tales

    22 Aug 2015 | 7:58 am
    They can't transform your actual situation, but they can transform your experience of it. We don't create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay.  So wise. This is from the cartoonist Lynda Barry's memoir/exploration of images What It Is (Drawn & Quarterly, 2008). I so enjoyed the whole book, especially the part about the "transformational capabilities" of old stories. Barry's ideas reinforced my tentative plan to read the second graders a whole lot of fairy tales and folk tales this year. 
  • Reading Aloud, or Yay for Second Graders!

    11 Aug 2015 | 8:23 am
    Good morning! Sheesh, Chicken Spaghetti is pretty dusty, and needs some tidying up. But before I do that, let's talk books.  I had a really fun year reading to second graders at a nearby city school. I visit the class once a week, share a story, and then we talk. Sometimes we stay on topic. The class favorite of 2014-2015 was the very funny Book with No Pictures, by B.J. Novak. I could have read it 52 times, and the kids would have been happy. It's a goof on the grown-up doing the reading, forcing her to utter lines like, "My only friend in the whole wide world is a hippo…
  • Norman's Best Books of 2014

    3 Jan 2015 | 5:46 pm
    It's a New Year's tradition to hand over the blog to my husband, Norman, for his annual list! Thanks, Susan, for once again letting me tell your readers about the books I’ve enjoyed this past year. My favorite fiction books were, in no particular order, Redeployment, by Phil Klay; Family Life, by Akhil Sharma;  Euphoria, by Lily King; All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr; and Dept. of Speculation, by Jenny Offill. My top nonfiction books were Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson, and Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, by Roz Chast. After winning the…
  • My Favorite Books of 2014

    1 Jan 2015 | 1:08 pm
    My New Year's resolution is always Read More Books, and usually I end it there. In 2014 I was able to do a lot of reading. Yay! Meanwhile, Norman is working on his great list. Stay tuned. In 2015 I am most looking forward to works by my friends Mary Norris and Emily Nunn. Mary's Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen (W.W. Norton) is due out in April, and Emily's book, The Comfort Food Diaries (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster), hits the shelves in September. I can't wait! If you have a book being published in 2015, please mention it in the comments. I…
  • Brown Girl Dreaming

    19 Dec 2014 | 12:13 pm
    I usually have a couple of books going at once, and I love it when they talk to each other. Virginia Woolf asks, in Hours in a Library, a series of questions about contemporary authors’ works, issues that make their work appeal to us as much as the classics. “...What do they see of the surrounding world, and what is the dream that fills the spaces of their active lives? They tell us all these things in their books.” It’s as if Woolf knew I was reading the memoir Brown Girl Dreaming (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Random House, 2014), a children’s title by Jacqueline Woodson. Her dream,…
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    Chasing Ray

  • Savage Harvest – on the death of Michael Rockefeller & the art of the Asmat people

    18 Aug 2015 | 2:00 am
    The story of Michael Rockefeller is really interesting to me. It includes a member of one of America’s wealthiest and most iconic families, the pursuit of art and a mysterious disappearance/death in one of the most remote regions of the world. Carl Hoffman’s Savage Harvest, which looks into what happened to Michael in 1961, also delves deeply into the primitive art he was pursuing and the Asmat people in New Guinea who were the object of his fascination. Hoffman did a ton of research on the Asmat, on their complex culture and its heavy dependence upon ideas of violence and…
  • 3 mysteries to watch for – including 1 that is true

    16 Aug 2015 | 11:40 pm
    I am on a bit of a ridiculous mystery kick lately but not so much of a thriller nature, more of small towns, small mysteries, family connections. Here are three books that caught my eye in the Consortium Books catalog that run along those lines, one in the U.S., one in Turkey and one nonfiction set in Poland & Australia. Here’s a peek with some catalog copy: The Spy on the Tennessee Walkerby Linda Lee Peterson. Maggie Fiori, San Francisco magazine editor and amateur sleuth, gets a package that leads her to investigate a family scandal going back to the Civil War. Why was her…
  • Ladies of the ’50s & what they wore

    11 Aug 2015 | 8:20 pm
    I have been reading Women in Clothes, a fascinating book the includes the thoughts of literally hundreds of different women about what they wear, why, how it makes them feel, the clothes they remember, the clothes they have longed for and on and on. It’s really quite the piece of cultural history and I highly recommend it. It was fortuitous that while I have been reading this book, I uploaded another round of family photos including the one above. The older woman was my great grandmother’s sister Marie who moved away from NYC with her husband and owned and operated a motel in…
  • Upcoming titles that have caught my eye

    10 Aug 2015 | 9:48 am
    All of these books are at the very top of my wishlist – can’t wait for them to appear! (The descriptions are from the publishers unless otherwise noted.) 1. The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion by Tracy Daugherty. “Daugherty . . . offers a monumental, novelistic examination of Joan Didion’s life and career. The book’s impressively detailed attention to place, beginning with Didion’s California origins, grounds Didion’s development as both a fiction writer and journalist who served as ‘our keenest observer of the chaos’ of the 1960s and beyond . . .
  • Russian history that you must read

    27 Jul 2015 | 11:25 pm
    I rarely say this, but you have to read this book. Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M.T. Anderson is the kind of history writing that teachers dream about it. It’s factually accurate, for westerners covers a little known period of history, is passionately written and filled with riveting prose. Simply put, this is the book you have to read if you want to understand modern Russia. Have I persuaded you yet? I was fairly surprised that Anderson would be the one to write a book like Symphony as it is straight-up history and built around an…
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    Arthur Slade: Fantastical Worlds of YA Fiction

  • Margaret Atwood for Canadian Prime Minister

    Arthur Slade
    25 Aug 2015 | 11:05 am
       The Short Story I try to find a better choice for Prime Minister of Canada and come up with one conclusion.   The Whole Story: I'm saddened by the fact that we only have three choices for Prime Minister in this Canadian election and they're all male (I do realize I'm leaving out Elizabeth May but the Green wave is more of a conscientious trickle right now). I've thought long and hard about what we can do to get more and better choices. There's a team at work in the bunker trying to defrost Diefenbaker, but he may not be ready in time for October 19th, 2015. So my…
  • See My Editor Tear My Work to Shreds

    Arthur Slade
    18 Aug 2015 | 1:07 pm
    The Short version:An author tries not to cry as he reads the "suggested" changes from his editor on the first page of his manuscript.The DetailsThis is a page from my soon to be released book, Flickers. It's a novel set in Hollywood during the silent movie era. I've lost track of how many drafts I've done of this book. Let's just put it at more than ten and fewer than two hundred. And yet, there are still mistakes made. Places that can be cleaned up. Prose that can be un-purpled. And that's why we have editors (this post goes hand in hand with my "My Editor Says These Two Words I Use…
  • Shaun the Sheep is Brilliant

    Arthur Slade
    15 Aug 2015 | 7:20 pm
     Brilliant! Any movie that can entertain my six-year-old (and me) for an hour and a half is perfect. On top of that, there's no intelligible dialogue--the humans mumble, the sheeps (sic) bleat, the dogs bark. The whole story is implied by facial expressions, set-up, and excellent visual story telling. As someone who has been watching silent films as research for my latest novel, this is in many ways an ode to that style of film making. The only words you'll hear are in the excellent soundtrack. So...two hooves up for this one. Claymation = awesomeness.
  • Five Reasons to go on a Writing Retreat

    Arthur Slade
    6 Aug 2015 | 8:49 am
    St. Peter's Abbey, Muenster SKThe short of it:A cookie stuffed author explains why going on a writing retreat is so very helpful to writing. The long of it: Recently, I went on a four-day retreat to St. Peter's Abbey. There were eight other writers participating in this escape from the world (or should I say escape into other worlds?). The abbey is in the middle of the prairie in Saskatchewan (which is in the middlish part of Canada). And there are cookies. Did I mention the cookies? It may seem odd that a full-time writer needs to get away, but sometimes it's necessary.
  • The Canadian Election Explained Using The Lord of the Rings

    Arthur Slade
    23 Jul 2015 | 10:20 am
    The Short Story:An author attempts to explain the upcoming Canadian election using The Lord of the Rings references. Apologies to JRR Tolkien.The Medium Story:Liberals = ElvesNDP = DwarvesConservatives = I'll let you find outThe Full StoryCanada is a democracy. This may come as a surprise to people outside the country who assumed we were still a monarchy. We just let the queen visit sometimes and ooh and aaw when her progeny have progeny and put them in fancy clothes. But we are a very complicated democracy and the prime minister is head of government for Canada. There are 338 seats…
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    Books for Boys - Children's Adventure & Mystery Author Max Elliot Anderson

  • Focus On The Family reviews When The Lights Go Out

    27 Aug 2015 | 2:02 pm
    Recently I learned that Focus On The Family did an in-depth review of one of my books: When The Lights Go Out. With another anniversary of 9/11 upon us soon, I thought you might be interested in this middle grade book. Thanks for taking a look!MaxBook Video Trailer
  • Sunken 1715 Spanish treasure ship yields more gold coins

    21 Aug 2015 | 5:30 am
    Captain Jack's Treasure is set on the Treasure Coast of Florida for good reason! Gold coins are still being found. Here's an article today, August 21, about a find worth millions in gold coins just discovered. you read the article, get your hands on a copy of Captain Jack's Treasure for your middle grade reader. You'll be glad you did and so will…
  • REVIEWS for Captain Jack's Treasure

    19 Aug 2015 | 7:26 am
    Here's what people are saying about Captain Jack's Treasure; book #2 in The Sam Cooper Adventure Series.1.This book touches on trust, truthfulness, respect and important life issues such as what we will value in life and the importance of family.This book is written for ages 8 and up. and the author has a great gift, to offer stories that appeal to those who love adventure, and to adults who will love the way the story leads youngsters to think how this may relate to their lives, and in a way they will enjoy reading it.I highly recommend this book ! I am looking forward to reading…
  • FREE Short Story For Kids - Willy The Wrong Way Rabbit

    31 Jul 2015 | 9:44 am
    Willy The Wrong Way Rabbit  byMax Elliot Anderson            A young rabbit stood outside his home, looked down at the ground and mumbled, “Willy the wrong way rabbit.” He shook his head and repeated, “Willy the wrong way rabbit.” He took a deep breath. “That’s what they call me, Willy the wrong way rabbit.”            Willy wasn’t worse than other rabbits. His ears stood up straight like theirs, he had the same color of fur, and his bushy tail looked just as…
  • Reviews for Lost Island Smugglers!

    26 Jul 2015 | 10:19 am
    TO ORDER:  Following are a few examples of what people are saying about  Lost Island Smugglers, book #1 in The Sam Cooper Adventure Series. 5A Great Adventure Story! This is a great book for teenage and younger boys, or for anyone who enjoys an adventure!You will love getting to know Sam, Tony, and Tyler, as you follow them taking scuba lessons, testing out their new skills without permission, and then suffering the consequences, along with making an unexpected discovery.The…
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    Wands and Worlds

  • Cybils Awards: Five Reasons to Apply as a Judge!

    26 Aug 2015 | 6:35 pm
    Everyone else is doing it, so I thought I'd post my five reasons why you should apply to be a Cybils Awards judge. As you would expect, there's a lot of overlap with other people's reasons, but I'll add my own spin on them, and with an emphasis on my category, Young Adult Speculative Fiction. For those who don't know what speculative fiction is, it includes fantasy, science fiction, horror, dystopian, steampunk, and basically anything else with supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic elements.1. Read and discuss good books. Hopefully you don't need an excuse to read, but it doesn't hurt to…
  • Book Review: The Temple of Doubt

    5 Aug 2015 | 4:12 pm
    The Temple of Doubtby Anne Boles LevyFifteen-year-old Hadara and her mother Lia are technically committing a sin when they collect plants and make medicines. The priests of the Temple of Doubt use magic to cure people under the power of their god Nihil; natural remedies are heresy. But magic doesn't always work, and the priests usually look the other way and ignore the illicit medicines.Everything changes when two powerful Azwans visit Port Sapphire. The Azwans are Nihil's highest priests, or "navigators," and they come seeking a demon that fell from the sky. Hadara and Lia are forced to…
  • Soar with Reading: An Open Letter to Jet Blue

    14 Jul 2015 | 8:07 pm
    Literacy/kidlit folks: please take a minute to read, sign, and share this open letter to Jet Blue about their new Soar with Reading program.  This is a promising pilot program that aims to encourage literacy by placing book vending machines in low-income areas of Washington, DC. Sadly, the selection of books lacks diversity, and only four out of the initial selection of books reflect diverse authors or characters. Author Zetta Elliott, with help from the community, has researched and written an excellent letter to Jet Blue. Please read and sign the letter here, then share it with…
  • Ten year blogiversary!

    11 Jun 2015 | 8:30 am
    Ten years ago today, I made my first blog post. It was a report on BookExpo America 2005, and it doesn't sound all that different from my most recent posts, although written in a slightly more formal voice. It's funny to think that Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince hadn't been released yet when I started blogging. It seems so long ago now.I was inspired to start blogging by the fabulous Tasha Saecker, who now blogs at Waking Brain Cells. I had already been reviewing books on a website (the original Wands and Worlds, no longer online) that I created with my son. I followed and…
  • Game of Thrones: "The Dance of Dragons" - SPOILERS

    7 Jun 2015 | 7:04 pm
    SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERGame of ThronesHow I hate youHow I love youWhydid wehave to seea girlburnedalive?But OH!DaenerysRidingADragon!
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    American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL)

  • If Claire Kirch was Kate Gale's editor...

    27 Aug 2015 | 10:36 am
    Dear Claire Kirch,In your article, today, you wrote this about Kate Gale's essay in Huffington Post:The article--which can be seen in full in these screen shots captured by PW--attempted to defend AWP against recent complaints about the lack of diversity represented in its programming, as well as the lack of transparency in its actions. Gale's article, however, featured inflammatory language that drew its own backlash. (Among other things, the article referred to Native American as Indians.)Really, Claire? If you were Kate Gale's editor, you'd suggest she change this sentence:I pictured David…
  • About Kate Gale's post, "AWP Is Us"

    26 Aug 2015 | 6:48 am
    Eds note: Earlier today, Gale deleted her post at Huffington Post. If you are looking for it, here is a link to download a pdf: AWP Is Us. ____________________________________________Yesterday (8/24/2015), I read Kate Gale's post, "AWP Is Us." Here's a screen cap of the second and third paragraphs in her post:Gale recounts being at a dinner where a woman leaned over to her and said that AWP hates Native Americans. She writes that she took out a pen and paper and asked the woman who, at the AWP office, hates Indians. Gale says that she imagined David Fenza saddling a horse and going out…
  • Chapter-by-chapter notes on Erin Bowman's VENGEANCE ROAD

    23 Aug 2015 | 9:46 am
    I'm reading an ARC (advanced reader copy) of Erin Bowman's Vengeance Road. Here's my notes as I pick up and start to read Vengeance Road. Summary is in standard font. My questions, comments, observations are in italics.Notes on August 23, 2015The front cover: Cactus, skulls (human and animal), pistols.Debbie's thoughts: This is a western. The back cover: Blurb tells me the story is about 18 year old Kate Thompson. Her father is killed "for a journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine."Debbie's thoughts: Hmmm... an old west story, something to do with gold…
  • Dorling Kindersley's POCAHONTAS (Beginning to Read Alone Level 2)

    15 Aug 2015 | 11:13 am
    Hey all... you know that Pocahontas did not marry John Smith, right? Check this out:Here's the synopsis:In this book, children learn the story of Pocahontas. Famous for helping maintain peace between the English colonists and Native Americans, this brave Indian woman befriended the settlers at Jamestown, saving the life of their leader, Captain John Smith, whom she later married.I wonder if the synopsis is wrong? Does the book actually have that error in it?

    14 Aug 2015 | 1:27 pm
    I'm at the Oak Park Public Library, in Oak Park, Illinois for the afternoon. While here, I thought I'd take a look to see their holdings about Pocahontas. I found Pocahontas: Princess of the New World by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by David Diaz. Published in 2007 by Walker Publishing Company, its title is the first indication that it is not a book that can provide young children with solid information about Pocahontas.Pocahontas was not a princess! On that fact alone, librarians can deselect (weed) books about her that say she was a princess. Here's the opening…
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  • Best Books of August 2015

    31 Aug 2015 | 8:01 am
    August 2015: 13 books and scripts readThe Tenderness of Thieves by Donna Freitas was a thought-provoking novel.I'm also enjoying the Wise Girl Daily Wisdom emails from Robin Brande that go along with her new non-fiction release, The Wise Girl's Guide to Life.
  • Poetry Friday: Shadow-Evidence by Mary Mapes Dodge

    28 Aug 2015 | 6:00 am
    Swift o'er the sunny grass, I saw a shadow pass With subtle charm,-So quick, so full of life, With thrilling joy so rife, I started lest, unknown, My step - ere it was flown - Had done it harm. Why look up to the blue? The bird was gone, I knew, Far out of sight. Steady and keen of wing, The slight, impassioned thing, Intent on a goal unknown, Had held its course alone In silent flight. Dear little bird, and fleet, Flinging down at my feet Shadow for song: More sure am I of thee -Unseen, unheard by me -Than of some things felt and known, And guarded as my own, All my life long.-…
  • Poetry Friday: Homesick by Dorothy Frances McCrae

    21 Aug 2015 | 6:01 am
    I hate this fog and yellow gloom, These days of grey and amethyst; I want to see the roses bloom, The smiling fields by sunshine kissed-O land of gold and burning blue! I'm crying like a child for you!- the closing lines of Homesick by Dorothy Frances McCraeView all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.Learn more about Poetry Friday.
  • The Tenderness of Thieves by Donna Freitas

    17 Aug 2015 | 8:03 pm
    The Tenderness of Thieves by Donna Freitas is the tale of Jane and her seventeenth summer - and of the tragic crime which happened just months before, in February, when Jane was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Though pelted with summer sun and surrounded by a supportive mother, three close friends, and one very interesting boy, Jane cannot escape the shadow of that night, with details revealed in short bursts throughout the novel, shared between chapters.It is difficult for me to review this book without spoiling it, because what I most want to discuss is the big reveal, something I…
  • Poetry Friday: Alien by George William (A.E.) Russell

    14 Aug 2015 | 6:00 am
    Dark glowed the vales of amethyst Beneath an opal shroud: The moon bud opened through the mist Its white-fire leaves of cloud. Through rapt at gaze with eyes of light Looked forth the seraph seers, The vast and wandering dream of night Rolled on above our tears. - Alien by George William (A.E.) RussellView all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.Learn more about Poetry Friday.
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    Jen Robinson's Book Page

  • Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: August 28

    Jen Robinson
    28 Aug 2015 | 8:57 am
    Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include book awards, book lists, nonfiction, empathy, mysteries, the Cybils awards, diversity, women's equality day, growing bookworms, kidlitcon, ebooks, parenting, starting kindergarten, teachers, librarians, and accelerated reader program.  Awards Children's Book Council of Australia Awards for 2015: Winners & Honour Books from @TrevorHCairney  #kidlit Fun stuff! 2014-2015 yearbook superlatives in #kidlit + YALit from @HornBook …
  • The Rise and Fall of Oscar the Magician: Matthew Porter

    Jen Robinson
    27 Aug 2015 | 8:56 am
    Book: The Rise and Fall of Oscar the Magician Author: Matthew Porter Pages: 32 Age Range: 5-8 The Rise and Fall of Oscar the Magician is part of Matthew Porter's Monkey World Adventure series (though I haven't read anything else in this series). A magician monkey named Oscar is nominated by a magazine for the title of Magician of the Year. However, another monkey, the Milton the Magnificent, is also nominated, and very badly wants to win. Milton makes a variety of attempts to cheat and knock Oscar out of the competition. Oscar, through a combination of luck and an easy-going nature, triumphs…
  • Growing Bookworms Newsletter: August 26

    Jen Robinson
    26 Aug 2015 | 11:28 am
    Today, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on children's and young adult books and raising readers. I usually send the newsletter out every two weeks. Newsletter Update: In this issue I have four book reviews (3 picture books and one YA), as well as a post with mini-reviews of some back to school picture books. I also have two posts with literacy and reading…
  • For Bloggers: Why You Should Consider Judging #Cybils + Attending #KidLitCon

    Jen Robinson
    26 Aug 2015 | 11:20 am
    If you are a person who blogs about children's and/or young adult books, whether fiction or nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels, or even book-related apps, here are two great opportunities for you to get more involved in the larger community.  The Cybils Awards Applications are now open for Cybils judges. The Cybils Awards, now in their 10th year, highlight children's and young adult books that are both well-written and kid-friendly. Anyone can nominate titles published in the past year in each of 10 categories. Following the nomination period, two rounds of judging are conducted by…
  • Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova: Laurel Snyder and Julie Morstad

    Jen Robinson
    25 Aug 2015 | 8:38 am
    Book: Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova Author: Laurel Snyder Illustrator: Julie Morstad Pages: 52 Age Range: 6-9 Swan: The LIfe and Dance of Anna Pavlova is a nonfiction picture book written in poetry by Laurel Snyder, and illustrated by Julie Morstad. The text is quite spare, leaving some of the details of Pavlova's life to be inferred by the reader, until they are filled in by an Author's Note at the end of the book. This subtlety, as well as a sad (though poetic) ending, make this a better fit for elementary age readers than for preschoolers.  Pavlova, as portrayed here,…
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    Writing and Ruminating

  • 95 Years Ago Today

    26 Aug 2015 | 1:50 pm
    On August 18, 1920, as women were campaigning state by state for ratification of the 19th amendment, Tennessee became the state to put them over the top, thereby making it possible for women to vote in the Presidential elections that fall.There's a lot to be said about the hard work done by many women--and men--in introducing and passing the 19th Amendment, and over the next few years, I will probably say some of it, as I am in the midst of a new poetry project with which I'm in love, involving womens' suffrage at its core.The hero of that day ninety-five years ago today was Harry T. Burn, a…
  • Stuck Doing Chores on a Summer's Evening - a Poetry Friday post

    21 Aug 2015 | 4:40 pm
    Following, the closing poem from my chapbook, The Universe Comes Knocking, out earlier this year from Maverick Duck Press (where, HEY!, you can still order it! or you can contact me and buy one!) This poem was first published by U.S.1 Worksheets, and it always gets a laugh at poetry readings. I'm extra proud of it because I adhered to the rhyme and meter of the original, including the same sounds on the line-ends. Here it is:Stuck Doing Chores on a Summer's Evening with apologies to Robert Frostby Kelly Ramsdell FinemanWhose clothes these are, I think I know.I gave them birth. I've watched…
  • Mammogram time - an original poem for Poetry Friday

    14 Aug 2015 | 12:10 pm
    Spent a short bit of yesterday getting my breasts examined at the radiologist's, which put me in mind of this poem I wrote a year or so ago, and it being Poetry Friday, I thought I'd (over-?) share:Mammogram timeby Kelly Ramsdell FinemanMammogram time, saysthe notice from nobodyat the radiology center,or at least, nobody signedit. Still, it's nice that someanonymous bodycared enough to remindme to set up an appointmentfor the annual breast-mashing. Who knew the old girlshad so much flesh in them?I think, Macbeth-like, everyyear as they spread likechicken cutlets betweentwo glass pressure…
  • Over at Guys Lit Wire

    13 Aug 2015 | 11:29 am
    It's my review of YOU NEED MORE SLEEP: Advice from Cats by Francesco Marciuliano, which turns out to be pretty funny overall, and pretty decent advice in places.Cat-lovers in your life will decidedly want this one. You can read the review at Guys Lit Wire.
  • Three Classified Ad Haikus - a Poetry Princess Post

    6 Aug 2015 | 6:51 pm
    This month's poetry sister project was haiku - specifically, haiku in the form of classified ads. Three of them. And man, I found this so much harder than it sounds. Here are what I came up with:ChickachickachickSingle cicada seeks mateChickachickachickFor free: one mattressIncludes foam mattress topper,Future ex-husbandWant: Cabana boyGrapes and fans not optionalLife is too damned hardI hope you will check out the wonderful work by my poetry sisters:Laura Purdie SalasTanita DavisAndi JazmonLiz Garton ScanlonTricia Stohr-HuntSara Lewis HolmesFor still more poetry, click on the link below for…
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    The Miss Rumphius Effect

  • Poetry Friday - The Box Marked Summer

    27 Aug 2015 | 9:01 pm
    As I hit the road today to enjoy one final weekend of summer and a BIG birthday (tomorrow!), I'm well into back-to-school mode as I watch my son desperately hang onto the last few days before he begins the adventure known as high school.Today I'm sharing a poem by Bobbi Katz.What Shall I Pack in the Box Marked "Summer"? by Bobbi Katz found in A Chorus of Cultures: Developing Literacy Through Multicultural Poetry (p. 238)A handful of wind that I caught with a kiteA firefly’s flame in the dark of the nightThe green grass of June that I tasted with toesThe flowers I knew from the tip…
  • Monday Poetry Stretch - Lune

    24 Aug 2015 | 9:32 am
    One can find many variations on haiku these days. Often these forms attempt to find a syllabic pattern that is more appropriate to English than Japanese. Today's poetry stretch takes the form of one of these variations.The lune is a haiku variation invented and named by poet Robert Kelly. The lune, so called because of how the right edge is bowed like a crescent moon, is a thirteen syllable form arranged in three lines of 5 / 3/ 5 respectively.(Adapted from The Teachers & Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms.)You can try your hand at writing an instant lune or learn…
  • Poetry Friday - End of Summer

    21 Aug 2015 | 11:15 am
    I'm sad to report that summer has officially been over for me for at least two weeks. However, that melancholy is always replaced by the joy of welcoming new students. Today I'm sharing a poem by Stanley Kunitz.End of Summerby Stanley KunitzAn agitation of the air,A perturbation of the lightAdmonished me the unloved yearWould turn on its hinge that night.I stood in the disenchanted fieldAmid the stubble and the stones,Amazed, while a small worm lisped to meThe song of my marrow-bones.Read the poem in its entirety.I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic…
  • Monday Poetry Stretch - Décima

    16 Aug 2015 | 9:01 pm
    The following description comes from my April 2015 interview with Margarita Engle.The décima is a rhymed, metered poem that most commonly has ten eight-syllable lines in a rhyme pattern abba aa abba. Here's an example.BIRD PEOPLEby Margarita EngleIn a time when people were starsin deep, hidden caves of the sea,a fisherman ventured so farthat a hole in the cave set him free.He burst from the cave up to skyand reached the bold shimmer of light.No longer a man who could cry,he was silent until darkest night.Then the song that flew from his heartwas the sweetest song ever heard,a melody about…
  • #pb10for10 - Books to Begin My Semester

    10 Aug 2015 | 6:29 pm
    I've been working these last few weeks on preparing my syllabi for fall classes. Here are the books I'll be sharing the first week of the semester with my preservice teachers in my math and science classes.ScienceDuring the first week we explore the nature of science and the work of scientists.What is Science?, written by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and illustrated by Sachiko YoshikawaWhat is a Scientist?, written by Barbara Lehn with photographs by Carol KraussBoy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs!, written by Kathleen Kudlinski and illustrated by S.D. Schindler11 Experiments That Failed, written by…
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        Poetry for Children

  • Welcome to the Poetry Friday Neighborhood

    Sylvia Vardell
    27 Aug 2015 | 10:30 pm
    I just returned from Cape Town, South Africa, where I attended the IFLA conference (for librarians worldwide) and had the opportunity to do several talks about poetry in a variety of locales (including for the newspaper and national radio). One thing that was universally popular was the whole idea of Poetry FRIDAY! The idea of pausing for poetry at the end of the week just grabbed everyone across the board. And I just love that! So here we are celebrating another Poetry Friday. Welcome, everyone!Here's a poem that I shared several times that was a always a big hit-- along with the "Take 5"…
  • Poetry for young people in South Africa

    Sylvia Vardell
    20 Aug 2015 | 2:00 pm
    I have been so lucky to be attending the IFLA conference (for libraries and librarians) in Cape Town, South Africa. It's been an opportunity to serve on the standing committee for the Literacy and Reading section, meet colleagues from around the world, and talk with South Africans in several locations about poetry for young people. I also found out that there is a big poetry festival next week in South Africa, the McGregor Poetry Festival. Wish I were going to be here a bit longer to check it out!First, I visited the people at Enlighten Education Trust in Hermanus (an hour away).
  • Start joking around!

    Sylvia Vardell
    14 Aug 2015 | 3:42 pm
    I once read that children laugh approximately 400 times a day! Adults? Adults laugh about 15 times a day-- not nearly enough since laughter is supposed to be good for the heart, circulation, and stress.  So it's time to share a joke and a chuckle with the kids in your life. Try this poem and these activities from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations to get you started! And if you don't have your copy of this collection ready for the new school year, you can get it here. And here are the Take 5 activities for sharing this poem:Set the stage for this…
  • Poetry on Pinterest

    Sylvia Vardell
    7 Aug 2015 | 9:54 am
    Are you a fan of Pinterest? It's a website that offers a virtual "bulletin board" of visuals that often link to other sites you can learn more (and often buy things). It's an interesting tool for actively collecting images and ideas, particularly for crafts, projects, recipes, events, etc. Very teacher-friendly and also a black hole for losing yourself in a multitude of "pins." For poetry, I have found it an interesting source of ideas and inspiration-- and in the spirit of full disclosure, Janet (Wong) and I have used it to share poem "cards" based on our Poetry Friday books (more on…
  • Flashback to the ALA Poetry Blast

    Sylvia Vardell
    31 Jul 2015 | 8:26 pm
    Before the summer gets away from me, I wanted to post tiny video clips of the poets reading at the Poetry Blast at the ALA convention in San Francisco in June hosted by Marilyn Singer and Barbara Genco. It's always fun to hear poets read their own work aloud-- I never get tired of that. And if you couldn't join us, this is the next best thing-- if you'll forgive the mediocre skills and equipment used here. First up: Betsy Franco reading from her brand new book, A Spectacular Selection of Sea Critters (Millbrook Press). Here she reads her sea turtle poem. Next,…
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  • Best Picture Books for the New School Year!

    Esme Raji Codell
    30 Aug 2015 | 3:43 pm
    Oh my goodness, if teachers haven't spent enough already on glue sticks and bulletin board border and what-not...but one of the great pleasures of the plundering of the pedagogue's paycheck is the building of one's own special classroom collection.  Here are a baker's half-dozen of primary picture book titles that I would hazard to suggest are useful and lovely enough to be considered must-haves of the season.  Treat yourself, or if you're a parent, treat a teacher...and know that the children are being treated as well! Mouse's First Night at Moonlight School by Simon Puttock,…
  • PLANETESME PICKS: Best Picture Books and Nonfiction of 2014

    Esme Raji Codell
    31 Jan 2015 | 8:38 am
    What makes a book great?  I created this list with a teacher/school librarian's eye.  These are books that are fun to share with a group;  books that children love and make children cheer;  books that connect to the wider world, and springboard us into further classroom connections or themes; books that promote empathy, history, imagination and arts appreciation; books that are exemplary in their beauty and expand what a book can be.  I create these lists with the belief that children's literature is our best hope for equalizing education in America, and recognizing…

    Esme Raji Codell
    28 Sep 2014 | 3:11 pm
    The Pilot and the Little Prince:  The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sis (Farrar Straus Giroux). 

    Esme Raji Codell
    4 Mar 2014 | 3:41 pm
    My Teacher is a Monster!  (No, I Am Not.) by Peter Brown.  A boy with a penchant for irritating his teacher encounters her outside of school and finds her to be an entirely different creature.  Brown's pictures are funny and Ms. Kirby's illustrated metamorphosis into a human being is gradual and pretty darn great.  This book, despite it's laughs, has an unexpected depth and speaks volumes about teacher/student relationships; the only disappointment is that when Robert regresses into his bad behavior back in the classroom at the end of the book, Ms. Kirby is depicted as the…

    Esme Raji Codell
    28 Feb 2014 | 6:57 pm
    Firefly July:  A Year of Very Short Poems by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Melissa Sweet.  Sun's a roaring dandelion, hour by hour.Sometimes the moon's a scythe, sometimes a silver flower.But the stars!  all night long the stars are clover.Over, and over, and over!- Robert Wallace, "In the Field Forever"What greater gift on the bookshelf than a perfect anthology of poems?  This lovely, over-sized tome of thirty six well-chosen treasures takes us through the wheel of the year with evocative and colorful full-edge mixed media. The only complaint might be wishing the…
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    WordPress Tag: Children's Book

  • Iron Bars is now Available on Amazon

    Adventures of Dylan Davis
    31 Aug 2015 | 7:39 am
    My second book in the Adventures of Dylan Davis series has been released today, August 31, 2015. Sev
  • The Red Prince by Charles Jubb & Tom Clohosy Cole (Templar Publishing)

    31 Aug 2015 | 7:06 am
    We adored Tom Clohosy Cole‘s debut picture book,Wall. It was a poignant and truly atmospheric historical journey with a stunning illustrative style. In his collaboration with Charles Jubb, ‘The Red Prince‘ is tale of camaraderie, courage and escape, set in the most beautiful landscape. In a kingdom named Avala, a king and queen ruled the island. They were loved by their people, as was their son. The king and queen are required leave the island to take a tour of the mainland. As they head off, they leave the young Prince in charge of the island. But that night, a…
  • Book Week stories

    Julie Fison
    31 Aug 2015 | 3:38 am
    Celebrating Book Week with Uber Librarian Alison Findlay and Picture Book Queen Juliette Maclver A m
  • The Midnight Hare: Milo up the Tree

    Cara Lockhart Smith
    31 Aug 2015 | 3:01 am
    This is a detailed rough painting for “The Midnight Hare”. A little whimsical, the boy, he should perhaps be a bit less pretty, more sparky, as he shows plenty of energy in the story. But the slight air of melancholy is OK, and I quite like this person in the picture.  When the page is full of leaves, and with a less magenta background, it should look nice.  I am still trying to work out how to use colour to show that it is night during much of the story –  but a summer night, when much can be seen – it needs to be seen, otherwise there is no story.  I always find…
  • You Get What You Pay For

    31 Aug 2015 | 1:47 am
    Today is something of a celebration. It marks the one-year anniversary of the day I said goodbye to full-time employment and embarked on the scary, but invigorating, journey of being a freelancer. One year ago, I said my final goodbyes at my then employer and walked out of the doors, vowing to do everything I could to stay my own boss. It has been wonderful, but at times, terrifying. (Ok, yes, I know it was a Sunday, but my employment contract ran until 31 August, ok). Of course, there are the standard issues all freelancers face – will there be enough work? Will people take me…
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    School Library Journal

  • Nicola Yoon Spills “Everything, Everything” About Her YA Debut

    Shelley Diaz
    31 Aug 2015 | 10:49 am
    Debut author Nicola Yoon’s much-buzzed-about Everything, Everything (Delacorte, 2015) about a teen girl born with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) will officially release on September 1. Maddy’s stirring story of adversity, love, and the importance of living life to the fullest has already garnered multiple starred reviews (including one from School Library Journal) and a movie deal. Yoon talked with SLJ about her inspiration for the novel, her experience collaborating with her husband, and more. Where did you get the idea for the novel? How long did it take for you to write? I…
  • Set the Right Course for Back to School

    31 Aug 2015 | 7:00 am
    Illustration By Richard Faust/ During my first week back at my public high school in New York City, I’m always running in 10 different directions. I do library tours, scavenger hunts, introductory emails, workshops, meetings—and more meetings. I want to reach out to faculty while they’re shaping their curricula. I also want to welcome students back and help newcomers fall in love with the place that many of them call “home away from home.” Students test boundaries and rules in the first weeks, too, especially if the library feels comfy and homey. That’s when…
  • Infinite in Between by Carolyn Mackler | SLJ Review

    31 Aug 2015 | 6:00 am
    MACKLER, Carolyn. Infinite in Between. 480p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Sept. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780061731075. Gr 7 Up–What are the four years spent in high school made up of? Teens tend to focus on the big moments—midterms and finals, homecoming and prom, first dates and first loves. But what about those unexpected battles and victories that truly shape and change them? Mackler follows five young adults from freshman orientation to senior graduation. Jake, Zoe, Whitney, Gregor, and Mia all have their own expectations for where they want to be at the end of high school. With shifting…
  • Hot Read-Alikes for “Maze Runner” and “Mockingjay” Film Fans | Media Mania

    Joy Fleishhacker
    31 Aug 2015 | 5:41 am
    It’s a sizzling season for YA sci-fi/dystopian literature on the silver screen. Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his fellow Gladers face another treacherous ordeal in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (PG-13; premieres Sept. 18), based on James Dashner’s series (Delacorte), and Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and her crowd bring The Hunger Games to a soul-stirring close with Mockingjay: Part 2 (PG-13; Nov. 20), the final chapter in Suzanne Collins’s epic trilogy (Scholastic). Not to mention The Martian (not yet rated; Oct. 2), a stranded-on-inhospitable-planet thriller starring Matt Damon,…
  • Taking It to the Kids—Middle grade author visits

    31 Aug 2015 | 5:00 am
      AUTHORS KIRK SCROGGS NIKKI LOFTIN SHELLEY MOORE THOMAS Oh boy! An author visit. It’s a lot of work, to be sure. And we know it’s work that most often falls to the school librarian or to the children’s or YA librarian in a public library. In this and in a series of articles that will follow, authors who often visit libraries and schools will reveal that there’s plenty of work on their sides, too. They’ll also let you in on some of their best practices, missteps they’ve encountered, and lots of lessons they’ve learned along the way. Here you’ll meet three authors of…
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    A Fuse #8 Production

  • Girls: Beyond Eyelashes and Bows

    Elizabeth Bird
    30 Aug 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Not too long ago The Guardian had a piece out called Picture books that draw the line against pink stereotypes of girls.  I was keen on it, particularly since in the midst of all these children’s books about breaking down stereotypes, I’ve seen awfully few “tomboy” titles.  Books about girls who won’t wear dresses or care two bits about makeup and pink sparkles.  They exist, but they’re not often commented on, so I liked the piece. In the midst of all its books mentioned, I was particularly intrigued by a Yasmeen Ismail title that I’d not seen…
  • Press Release Fun: A 2016 Children’s Literature Fellow Program Accepts New Applications

    Elizabeth Bird
    27 Aug 2015 | 9:00 pm
    MFA in Creative Writing and Literature CONTACT: Emma Walton Hamilton Stony Brook Southampton                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2016 Children’s Literature Fellows Program Now Accepting Applications from Aspiring Children’s Authors Worldwide August, 2015. Southampton, NY. The Children’s Literature Fellows, a one-year graduate level certificate program sponsored by Stony Brook Southampton’s MFA in Creative Writing and Literature, is now accepting applications for 2016. The year-long course of…
  • Review of the Day: The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

    Elizabeth Bird
    25 Aug 2015 | 10:07 pm
    The Nest By Kenneth Oppel Illustrated by Jon Klassen Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-4814-3232-0 On shelves October 6th Oh, how I love middle grade horror. It’s a very specific breed of book, you know. Most people on the street might think of the Goosebumps books or similar ilk when they think of horror stories for the 10-year-old set, but that’s just a small portion of what turns out to be a much greater, grander set of stories. Children’s book horror takes on so many different forms. You have your post-apocalyptic, claustrophobic horrors, like Z for…
  • Press Release Fun: Warwick Children’s Book Festival

    Elizabeth Bird
    24 Aug 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Because life is too short not to know about cool children’s book festivals.  Heads up, Orange County! Behold: Warwick Children’s Book Festival September 26, 2015 11am-4pm, rain or shine Free Admission; open to the general public Railroad Avenue, Warwick (Orange County) Children, readers and book lovers of all ages are cordially invited to the Warwick Children’s Book Festival on Railroad Avenue in Warwick on Saturday, September 26, 11am-4pm.  Fifty prominent and distinguished authors and illustrators of books for children (pre-K-12th grade) will…
  • Review of the Day: Moletown by Torben Kuhlmann

    Elizabeth Bird
    23 Aug 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Moletown By Torben Kuhlmann North/South Books, Inc. $17.95 ISBN: 978-0-7358-4208-3 Ages 4-6 On shelves October 1st Cautionary tales for kids who can’t do a darn thing about the original problem. It’s sort of a subgenre of its very own. As I hold this lovely little book, Moletown, in my hands I am transported back in time to the moment I first encountered The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. A child of the 80s, my youth was a time when scaring kids straight was an accepted educational technique utilized in everything from environmental protection to saying no to drugs. The film version of The Lorax…
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    Michael Gerson: Most Recent Articles and Archives

  • Hillary Clinton’s Nixonian mindset is on full display

    Michael Gerson
    17 Aug 2015 | 5:04 pm
    When the Clinton campaign stirs and moves, it is the sound of a thousand focus groups buzzing, a thousand memos fluttering, a thousand consultants consulting, a thousand talking points repeated in singsong unison. It advances like a big push at the Second Battle of the Somme — idealism long gone, but grim duty remaining. The whistles blow along a vast line. Boots churn in mud. Over the top, boys. Over the top. Read full article >>
  • We need a miracle on climate change

    Michael Gerson
    13 Aug 2015 | 5:40 pm
    In recognition that Internet questionnaires get more eyeballs than earnest columns on energy policy, here is today’s quiz on obscure presidential history: When President George W. Bush met Bill Gates for the first time, the topic of discussion was (A) nuclear power, (B) rural Internet access, (C) global health, or (D) all of those subjects, in considerable depth, in that order. Read full article >>
  • Donald Trump will inevitably flame out. Here’s why.

    Michael Gerson
    10 Aug 2015 | 4:39 pm
    In the first Republican debate, the klieg light that Donald Trump always carries around with him revealed four or five presidential candidates who, under the right circumstances, could beat Hillary Clinton. (Trump was not among them.) But there was also a moment that could predict the defeat of the GOP in 2016. Read full article >>
  • Obama’s bitter endgame on Iran

    Michael Gerson
    6 Aug 2015 | 4:22 pm
    President Obama’s closing argument in favor of the Iran nuclear deal has become so exaggerated, so bitter, so simplified, that it risks parody.He accuses his opponents of wanting another war — like the last one they caused in Iraq — and “making common cause” with Iranian hard-liners who chant “Death to America.” This goes beyond the questioning of patriotism. Critics of the agreement are, in Obama’s depiction, the bloodthirsty allies of theocratic butchers. Thanks so much, Mr. President, for your fair-minded words.Read full article >>
  • How the nuclear deal will fund Iran’s imperialism

    Michael Gerson
    3 Aug 2015 | 5:08 pm
    The realist’s argument for the Iran nuclear agreement is that it is the least bad deal that a conflict-weary United States could secure. Now, with the nuclear issue parked (at least for a decade), we can get down to the business of strengthening friends in the Middle East and pushing back against Iran’s regional ambitions. Read full article >>
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  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

    31 Aug 2015 | 5:51 am
    A couple of years ago I made a “bliss list” of 52 subjects that hook me into reading and enjoying a book: everything from community to eccentricity to Winston Churchill. Number 3 on that list was “insanity, mental illness, and mental differences and disabilities. Everything from schizophrenia to autism to deafness and blindness and how those affect perceptions and ideas.” All the Bright Places certainly taps into that particular fascination, even though Finch, one of our two protagonists, doesn’t like labels and refuses to think of himself as bipolar or mentally…
  • Saturday Review of Books: August 29, 2015

    28 Aug 2015 | 5:25 pm
    “Every night, after supper, we read some part of a small collection of romances, which had been my mother’s. My father’s design was only to improve me in reading, and he thought these entertaining works were calculated to give me a fondness for it; but we soon found ourselves so interested in the adventures they contained, that we alternately read whole nights together and could not bear to give over until at the conclusion of a volume. Sometimes, in the morning, on hearing the swallows at our window, my father, quite ashamed of this weakness, would cry, ‘Come, come,…
  • The Envoy by Alex Kershaw

    26 Aug 2015 | 5:34 am
    The Envoy: The Epic Rescue of the Last Jews of Europe in the Desperate Closing Months of World War II by Alex Kershaw. On Saturday morning, I went to this protest at Planned Parenthood, Gulf Coast, the site of the largest and most lucrative abortion facility in the United States. On Saturday afternoon and evening, I read The Envoy, the story of the final months of World War II in Hungary and the genocide organized by Adolf Eichmann as a “final solution” to the “Jewish problem” in Hungary. Even though, as Jen Fulwiler writes in this piece, the analogy between the Jewish…
  • Junior Scholastic Magazine Gold Seal Award

    25 Aug 2015 | 5:15 am
    The Junior Scholastic Gold Seal Award was given by Junior Scholastic Magazine to those juvenile books “that are considered to be an enriching experience in the lives of young Americans.” The first Gold Seal Awards were given in 1942. 1942 Paul Bunyan, by Esther Shephard, illustrated by Rockwell Kent. (Harcourt) Subtitled “Twenty-one Tales of the Legendary Logger,” these stories are written in dialect, which charmed some Amazon reviewers and annoyed others. You can take a look at the 1985 reprint edition at Amazon and see which group you’re in. I thought it looked…
  • The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose

    23 Aug 2015 | 6:17 pm
    The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose. The Newbery honor and National Book Award winning author of Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, Phillip Hoose, has chronicled the fascinating true story of a group of Danish boys who jump-started the resistance to the Nazis in Denmark during World War II. Knud Pedersen, a pastor’s son, joined with his high school buddies to harass and subvert the Germans who were occupying Denmark. They stole guns, burned German vehicles, confused signage, posted graffiti,and cut phone lines, among other acts of…
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    WordPress Tag: Children's Book Illustration

  • Work in progress....Crocodiles

    30 Aug 2015 | 3:51 am
    People often ask my why my drawings are so large and I really have no idea!! I don’t actually think about how I draw them,  I just naturally draw my characters at around A6 size. I’ve tried to go smaller but it really does cramp my style – I like to have fluidity when i’m drawing and freedom to play around with different media, which for me just couldn’t be achieved if my drawings were too small. To give you and idea of scale, the image above is hand drawn onto A3. I don’t try to squash characters into a certain space, I draw the image, sometimes extending…
  • Storytelling

    Karen Erasmus
    27 Aug 2015 | 7:04 pm
    This week I have been exploring a change in colour pallet and using pencil instead of ink for lines. I’m happy with the results. It’s also been Book Week in Australia and there’s been a flood of gorgeous pictures of kids dressing up as their favourite character. These images are drawn directly from personal experience and memories. Some of my best memories are of holidays with my sisters. The other picture is a remake of a picture I did a while ago based on my eldest child love of climbing. She competes in rock-climbing now, but when she was younger a large tree in the back…
  • Daily Drawing

    27 Aug 2015 | 7:36 am
    Today I’m drawing Crocodiles! and then Dragons and Ogres!
  • Painting Portraits - the Grisaille Approach

    26 Aug 2015 | 4:40 pm
    I finished my watercolor portrait workshop with Hamid at Gage Academy this past week, but I still wanted to learn more, so I checked out Scott Waddell‘s  Art of the Painting video. It’s great!  His demo is for oil, but most of his principles work for all classical painting. He starts off ‘posterizing’ the major lights and darks, establishes the values, then shifts into conceptualizing mode, carving the face in 3D in color. I found the method straightforward and much simpler than just trying take in all the information at once. Scott supplements his painting…
  • Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland at The Morgan

    23 Aug 2015 | 5:50 pm
    I went to The Morgan Library and Museum to see Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland. This is not the show about Disney animation but the original book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland written by Lewis Carroll and illustrated by Sir John Tenniel. It was so many people. By my surprise, many guys were there and looking very carefully. Because the main character, Alice is a girl, I thought that only female readers love this book so much. But I was wrong!
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    Stories from NPR : NPR

  • Are Some Of Trump's New York City Buildings A Mirage?

    Janet Babin
    31 Aug 2015 | 11:55 am
    Plenty of buildings still boast Donald Trump's name in Manhattan, where he became famous as a real estate developer. But he doesn't actually own most of them and never has.» E-Mail This
  • World Cafe Next: GospelbeacH

    31 Aug 2015 | 11:43 am
    Buoyant and breezy with a beachy twang, the band serves up a reminder that summer isn't over yet.» E-Mail This
  • Piano Twang: Steven Mayer Plays 'Le Banjo'

    Tom Huizenga
    31 Aug 2015 | 11:30 am
    Music by New Orleans native Louis Moreau Gottschalk, America's first musical superstar, is a gumbo of styles including pop and classical.» E-Mail This
  • Metropolis: 8/29/15

    31 Aug 2015 | 11:11 am
    KCRW's Jason Bentley spins new music by Låpsley, Booka Shade, Gorgon City and more in this week's two-hour EDM mix.» E-Mail This
  • Oliver Sacks: A Neurologist At The 'Intersection Of Fact And Fable'

    31 Aug 2015 | 11:09 am
    The neurologist, who died Sunday, saw "infinitely moving, dramatic, romantic situations" during his decades studying the human brain. Fresh Air remembers Sacks with two interviews from 1985 and 2012.» E-Mail This
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    Ally Carter

  • Magnificent Tumblr Contest

    Ally Carter
    24 Aug 2015 | 9:39 am
    Hi Everyone! This week are having  an Embassy Row Fan Art Contest on Tumblr! So head over to Tumblr and post your best Embassy Row Fan Art and use the hashtags #embassyrowcontest & #isgracecrazy You have until this Friday August 28th to post your art and you must use the 2 hashtags to be entered. Ally will pick a winner or winners on Monday August 31. What’s the prize you ask? An Advanced Reading Copy of See How They Run!!!! That’s right you can win it before you can buy it! Can’t wait to see all the art that you post! Good Luck! Shellie The post Magnificent Tumblr…
  • Magnificent Answer Monday

    17 Aug 2015 | 11:53 am
    Hi Everyone! A few weeks ago I asked you to send in your questions for Ally, and today I am going to post some of the questions and her answers! Can you describe See How They Run in one word? INTENSE!   What book was the most fun to write? I’m sure I probably hated every single one of them at one point or another in the process, but as far as just the sheer glee of it, I’m going to have to say the first draft of Love You, Kill You. It got much, much harder and more stressful when I started revisions, but up until that it was a lot of fun! (Probably because I had absolutely no idea…
  • About Money

    Ally Carter
    12 Aug 2015 | 1:40 pm
    Hi, all! Ally here again to continue my series of blog posts about Things I’ve Learned in the Past Ten Years, because, as you know, this December will mark my ten year “publiversary”, so I’ve been thinking a lot about all the things that a-decade-ago-me didn’t quite understand yet. And so this is me trying to pass some knowledge along. Today is a hard one–but an important one: money. No. I’m not going to talk about how to make pots of it. I’m going to talk about what you should do with what you’ve got. If there is one business management…
  • Ally Goes to Hollywood

    Ally Carter
    7 Aug 2015 | 10:22 am
    So…earlier this week, THIS happened.     Here I am pictured with Brownstone Productions, specifically Max Handelman, Elizabeth Banks (yes, that Elizabeth Banks) and Allison Small. These are three of the wonderful and very smart people who are working to make Heist Society a movie, and I was so excited to get to go to their offices to talk about the script and the progress they’ve made so far. (Which is incredibly impressive because, again, they’re very smart.) Now, as soon as I posted this pic Monday afternoon the internet exploded into a chorus of “IS HEIST…
  • Magnificent Ask Ally Monday

    3 Aug 2015 | 10:46 am
    Hey Everyone! Since we asked you questions last week, I thought this week we would let you ask the questions! I will pick a handful of fun questions to have Ally answer. For example, I know Ally likes to bake but I wonder what her favorite thing to bake is?!?!?!? I think that will be my question! Ha! So post your questions and I will get some answers! Have a good week! Shellie The post Magnificent Ask Ally Monday appeared first on Ally Carter.
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    Scott Westerfeld

  • Uglies Audiobooks

    23 Aug 2015 | 6:50 pm
    The Uglies series has a new set of audiobooks out, with a new reader, Emily Tremaine. (Wolf of Wall Street) Here’s a sample from Uglies: And here’s a sample from Pretties. It’s the scene in which Tally and Zane first kiss! Download your copies here: Uglies iTunes Audible Pretties iTunes Audible
  • Me at SDCC

    1 Jul 2015 | 2:41 pm
    UPDATE: My SDCC panel has already happened, but I’ll also signing on Saturday! Place: Mysterious Galaxy (Booth 1119) Time: SATURDAY, July 11 1:30-2:15PM There will be free Zeroes samplers and many of my books for sale! _____________ I’ll be talking about my next novel, ZEROES, at San Diego Comic Con next week, in company with my co-authors, Deb Biancotti and Margo Lanagan. We have our own panel to discuss the book! We’ll have swag and chapter samplers there as well. The details: “From Zeroes to Heroes” Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deb Biancotti Thursday, July…
  • Uglies in Time Magazine

    24 Jun 2015 | 8:11 am
    Time Magazine has a cover story about ubiquitous plastic surgery this week, and I am quoted in my capacity as Author of Uglies and Fake Expert on Body Image Stuff. Behold:
  • Zeroes BEA Interview

    14 Jun 2015 | 1:02 pm
    At Book Expo America, I spoke with Jessica Mazo about Zeroes, my next novel, cowritten with Deb Biancotti and Margo Lanagan. Behold:
  • Moggle Is Real

    18 May 2015 | 11:19 am
    Readers of the Uglies series may remember Aya’s pal Moggle in Extras, a semi-intelligent hovercam that tracks her around, providing footage of her exploits for her feed. It seems that someone has invented something similar, but called it Lily. Lily, of course, uses rotors instead of magnetic lifters, and only has 20 minutes battery life. It costs $500 if preordered now before anyone has reviewed a real one, and will be twice that when it ships next February. (Buyer beware.) Here’s the camera’s official site, and you can find tons of other articles around the web. It’s…
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    deborah wiles: field notes

  • research: choosing scrapbook anchor songs, book three sixties trilogy

    Debbie Wiles
    28 Aug 2015 | 5:00 pm
    Each scrapbook in COUNTDOWN and REVOLUTION is anchored by a song from that period that helps the reader "hear" that particular time-and-place, and sink deeper into the story. Book 3 will be the same.I don't have scrapbooks done yet, but I'm keeping a hold file of possible photos on Pinterest, as well as a board with song possibilities (well.. two... maybe three.. I need to consolidate, now that I better understand what I'm doing).Many of the songs I'm gathering will be mentioned in the narrative, but seven (or so) will be anchors for the scrapbooks of photos, newspaper clippings, and other…
  • finding ways in

    Debbie Wiles
    28 Aug 2015 | 6:57 am
    The way into a story often comes in unexpected ways, as bit of kismet or synchronicity at work, I am convinced.This morning I read on NPR ("An Unlikely Hit in an Imaginary Language") about Paul Kingsnorth's new novel, THE WAKE, about 11th century England after the Norman conquest. I was intrigued because the review talked about a made-up language. So I followed a few links to the Guardian, and one to Mark Rylance (who was Cromwell in PBS's WOLF HALL production) reading from THE WAKE.And it was a wake-up call. OMG, I get it. My language is ALL WRONG with book three. Not that standard English…
  • research: book 3 sixties trilogy

    Debbie Wiles
    27 Aug 2015 | 3:04 pm
    I'm gonna do occasional posts on research as I move deeper into Book 3 of the Sixties Trilogy. I house research links on my Pinterest boards, but I also want to document my process, thinking, and resources here. I'll label all research posts as such. ===========Full disclosure: I am stuck with book three. I don't know my story. I'm frustrated. So I'm contenting myself with research, which I've been doing intensely (ebb and flow) for about a year now, which has been mostly reading, and with no real focused objective but to understand the late sixties.I did this with REVOLUTION and COUNTDOWN as…
  • dispatch from mississippi: belonging

    Debbie Wiles
    26 Aug 2015 | 8:18 am
    I was born in Mobile, Alabama, while my dad was stationed at Brookley Field. He had gone off to the Korean War in 1951, just after he and my mother married, and now here I came, in 1953, on the heels of his return. We lived in Mobile for five years, until the Air Force transferred us to Hawaii. I have always claimed Alabama as the land of my birth, and I also claim Mississippi as home, as it was the land we returned to over and again as I grew up, and as my own children grew up, as my people were there. And so was my heart.My mother was born in Mississippi and grew up in West Point, MS. My…
  • heady stuff

    Debbie Wiles
    14 Aug 2015 | 8:08 am
    OMYGOODNESS life is on and on and on this week. Next week is an off week, where I'm writing, so there will be lots of sitting in the pink chair by the (cold) fireplace, and putting words to paper, before we head to Mississippi for the first-ever Mississippi Book Festival. More on that next week. In this week I have visited Scholastic Book Fairs' Southeast Regional Office; I spent some time at re:loom gathering stories; I worked at Georgia State's College of Education doing a video podcast for NCTE's Language Arts, and I hung out with some wonderful folks at the Georgia Center for the Book and…
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  • Translated

    30 Aug 2015 | 7:16 pm
    Another thing I didn’t do on Saturday was translate a book. Daniel Hahn rather thought I must, but I felt better suited taking pictures of those who did and of their work. I know they said you didn’t need to know French, but quite frankly, it was translation of a graphic novel (Barroux’s Alpha: Abidjan – Gare du Nord) from French into English. Do you want your translator to be a linguist, or not? Run by Sarah Ardizzone, people dropped in and volunteered to do a bit of the book, all day long. They hung out in the Writers’ Retreat, and everyone seemed to have a…
  • Some more Saturday in Charlotte Square

    30 Aug 2015 | 7:20 am
    The first thing I decided after travelling in to Edinburgh yesterday morning, was that rubbing shoulders with Francesca Simon had to go. It would have been lovely, but the party at the Edinburgh Bookshop I’d kindly been invited to meant returning home on a late train, full of rugby fans and festival goers. And I like my trains a bit emptier than that! So it was with a heavy heart that I didn’t go and meet all those authors. (I’d like these festivals and things to be more spread out, and for me to be the only one out travelling on a weekend.) And I actually bought a book.
  • W.A.R.P.ed, or when Fong broke his arm

    29 Aug 2015 | 9:40 pm
    Admittedly it was my own fault. When the programme said Eoin Colfer would be talking about his second WARP book, I could have done my homework and seen that it’d be the third book. But luckily he didn’t really talk about either of them, except to read a chapter from book three, which will be the last. WARP, that is, not from Eoin. He has lots of books coming, already written. (But I could have prepared by acquiring and reading the last WARP. Just so I wouldn’t feel left out.) Eoin had a photocall session before his event, and he was only scolded once for looking my way and…
  • The Amnesty readings

    28 Aug 2015 | 9:44 pm
    If you feel up to the gruesome nature of what some people do to other people, you should go along to one or more of the Amnesty International readings in Charlotte Square. They are free, and they are good, but they could make you cry, as happened to one of the authors reading the other night. But then, if the people who need Amnesty’s help can put up with what’s being done to them, I reckon we can. I’ve been to two readings this week. The first one had Dreams of Freedom as its theme, and it is also the title of a book published in association with Amnesty. It has short…
  • Celebrating Young Adult Fiction

    28 Aug 2015 | 4:18 am
    There were so many authors for Daniel Hahn’s event on YA literature that we got 15 minutes extra to sort out the seating arrangements, (a rather nice booth at the edge of the Spiegeltent for me) or so he claimed. We should – could – have had much longer. Not so much for the chairs as for the sheer marvel of what everyone had to say, whether or not YA exists. (Some of them reckon it doesn’t.) Them, were Elizabeth Laird, David Almond, James Dawson and Tanya Landman, plus Agnes Guyon, chair for this year’s Carnegie. That’s four award winners, and one awarder.
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    Confessions of a Bibliovore

  • Book Review: 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

    29 Aug 2015 | 11:50 pm
    Book: 5 to 1Author: Holly BodgerPublished: 2015Source: Review copy from publisher via NetGalleyAfter decades of gender selection, the ratio of boys to girls has become 5 to 1, and the tiny country of Koyangar has instituted elaborate tests for girls to pick their mates. The winners will get marriage, money, and a life of trying to breed more daughters. The losers will get menial jobs or worse, sent to the wall that separates Koyangar from the rest of the Indian subcontinent, an almost certain death sentence.Sudasa is the granddaughter of a highly-placed woman in the government, and knows that…
  • Book Review: The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

    22 Aug 2015 | 10:15 am
    Book: The Fourteenth GoldfishAuthor: Jennifer L. HolmPublished: 2014Source: review copy from publisher, picked up at ALA last yearWhen Ellie's grandfather comes to live with her and her mom, it's worse than most people's grandfathers suddenly moving in. An old man would be bad enough. But Ellies grandfather is a scientist who's learned how to dial back the aging process, so now he's in the body of a thirteen-year-old boy, with all the stinky socks and boundless appetite that go with it.That stuff is no fun, and neither is listening to her mom and grandfather fight all the time. But he also…
  • Book Review: Goblin Secrets by William Alexander

    15 Aug 2015 | 9:06 am
    Book: Goblin SecretsAuthor: William AlexanderPublished: 2012Source: Local LibraryRownie isn't like all the other children who live in Graba's house, because Rownie has a brother of his own. But Rowan disappeared a couple of months ago, leaving Rownie all on his own without any defenses against the old witch.When Rownie runs away from Graba's house and falls in with a troupe of goblin actors, he discovers a place where he's welcome, and moreover a gift for acting. With a mask on, he can be anybody. But Graba doesn't let go of what's hers that easily. Not to mention, the floods threaten their…
  • Book Review: Starglass by Phoebe North

    8 Aug 2015 | 4:10 pm
    Book: StarglassAuthor: Phoebe NorthPublished: 2013Source: Local LibraryTerra's world is bounded to a single spaceship, the Asherah. It's been that way since she was born, and her mother, and her mother's mother back through generations since they left the dying Earth to travel to their new home of Zehava. Her life is laid out in a similarly confined way. At sixteen, she will take the job that the ruling Council has chosen for her, she will marry before the age of eighteen, and she will have her requisite two children in her early twenties.But unlike her ancestors, Terra will land on Zehava.
  • Reading Roundup: July 2015

    1 Aug 2015 | 7:12 pm
    By the Numbers Teen: 10 Tween: 2 Children: 5 Sources Review Copies: 7 Library: 7 Standouts Teen: Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older The rich world of Puerto Rican Brooklyn comes to life, with a plot and powers that have their roots in Sierra's heritage and everyday life. I wanted to spend a lot more time there. Tween: The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Wilson Calpurnia Tate, that science-minded girl, is back. While this was fairly episodic in nature and had an oddly abrupt ending, I still loved seeing how she matures, starts to understand what she wants and how the world may not…
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    ReadPlus Review Blog

  • The marriage of opposites by Alice Hoffman

    31 Aug 2015 | 10:27 am
    Scribner, 2015. ISBN 9781471112102 (Age: Adult/young adult) Recommended. Alice Hoffman is a highly successful author with more than thirty works in her manifest. In The Marriage of Opposites Hoffman paints her perspective on the family life of Rachel Pomie and her son Camille Pissarro. Camille Pissarro helped introduce the world to Impressionist painting and is widely viewed, along with Claude Monet and others, as one of the shapers of Impressionism. Hoffman's impression of Pissarro's family focuses attention on Pissaro's mother - her rebellious childhood, her forbidden love, two marriages,…
  • Fearless with my Dad by Cori Brooke

    31 Aug 2015 | 10:25 am
    New Frontier Publishing, 2015. ISBN 9781925059403 (Age: 6+) Highly recommended. Fearless with my Dad is a beautiful picture book, following a young boy and his dad. Together they are pirates, flying like an eagle and travelling to the moon. The underlying theme is a child can be anything and do anything as long as they have their dad there to support them. The beautifully illustrated text will engage younger readers and encourage new vocabulary as children and their carers discuss all the amazing adventures of this boy and his dad. Older readers could create their own version and the main…
  • Something's amiss at the Zoo by Jen Breach

    31 Aug 2015 | 10:24 am
    Lothian Children's Books, 2015. ISBN 9780734416223 The zookeepers at this crazy, mixed-up zoo really don't seem to know what's best for their animals. Who ever heard of Kitty Litter for Catfish? Could a shark be happy in a tiny jungle pool? Does a spider monkey really want to eat flies and spin a web? And, LOOK OUT elephant beetle! Look out for the elephants! The expressions on the faces of the animals on this book's front cover can only leave the reader wondering what COULD be amiss at this zoo. Happily a small, clever boy comes and helps to salvage the situation for the bewildered zoo…
  • Birdy by Jess Vallance

    31 Aug 2015 | 10:22 am
    Hot Key Books, 2015. ISBN 9781471404665 (Ages: 14+) Some strong language. 'Frances Bird has been a loner for so long that she's given up on ever finding real friendship. But then she's asked to show a new girl around school, and she begins to think her luck could finally be changing. Eccentric, talkative and just a little bit posh, Alberta is not at all how Frances imagined a best friend could be. But the two girls click immediately, and it's not long before they are inseparable. Frances could not be happier. As the weeks go on, Frances finds out more about her new best friend - her past, her…
  • The Rapunzel dilemma by Jennifer Kloester

    31 Aug 2015 | 10:21 am
    Penguin Books, 2014. ISBN 9780143571087 (Ages: 12+) Modern interpretations of familiar fairy tales can be fascinating to read. I recall those of Robin McKinley and Gail Carson Levine - cleverly told with a touch of something magical, which stays with the reader long after the story has been read. Jennifer Kloester's modern day version of Rapunzel (a companion novel to The Cinderella Moment) lacks the skilled approach, which brings the fairy tale to the fore. Rich girl, Lily, longs to join the London Drama Academy, and when successful for a trial period, meets fellow students who do not…
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    I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I read?

  • Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress - A Picture Book About A Boy In A Dress... And How That's Not Just Okay, It's Pretty Great

    Lee Wind, M.Ed.
    31 Aug 2015 | 6:00 am
    Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino, illustrated by Isabelle MalenfantMorris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. But most of all, Morris loves wearing the tangerine dress in his classroom's dress-up center. The children in Morris's class don t understand. Dresses, they say, are for girls. And Morris certainly isn t welcome in the spaceship some of his classmates are building. Astronauts, they say, don't wear dresses. One day when Morris feels all alone and sick from their taunts, his mother lets him stay home from school. Morris dreams of a…
  • Hell No - Identity is NOT a costume! Stand up for Caitlyn Jenner and ALL Trans people!

    Lee Wind, M.Ed.
    28 Aug 2015 | 5:55 am
    I really believe in this ALL OUT campaign to stop a Halloween costume store from selling costumes mocking Caitlyn Jenner's recent transition. As they say so eloquently,"Identity is not a costume."Here's the full text of their appeal:Nope. No way. The biggest Halloween shop in the U.S. is trying to sell a costume that makes fun of transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner. That’s right. Spirit Halloween will be telling thousands of party-goers that trans people are a joke.Caitlyn’s high profile transition gave millions of people a more sensitive understanding of what it means to be trans. But…
  • Made By Raffi - A Picture Book About Being Your Authentic Self That I Wish Had Been Read To Me When I Was A Little Kid

    Lee Wind, M.Ed.
    26 Aug 2015 | 6:00 am
    Made By Raffi By Craig Pomranz, illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain Raffi is a shy boy who doesn't like noisy games and is often teased at school. But when he gets the idea of making a scarf for his dad's birthday he is full of enthusiasm, even though the other children think it is girly to knit. Then the day draws near for the school play, and there is one big problem: no costume for the prince. And that's when Raffi has his most brilliant idea of all: to make a prince's cape. On the day of the show, Raffi's cape is the star.What do I love? Throughout, Raffi's parents embrace and accept him…
  • Tyler Ford, featured on "Breaking the Binary" PBS Digital Studios' First Person #11

    Lee Wind, M.Ed.
    24 Aug 2015 | 6:00 am
    This was really cool:"...Existing is a form of resistance. And existing is a form of activism. It's important for me to be who I am, to have the space to be who I am, to make the space to be who I am, and to create space for everyone else to be exactly who they are."            -Tyler FordYes! Being your authentic self is the most powerful thing any of us can do!So happy to learn about Tyler.You can follow Tyler on twitter @tywrent and check out their website here.
  • More Than This - A Gay Teen Dies. And Then Wakes Up. And Then Has To Figure Out What's Going On...

    Lee Wind, M.Ed.
    21 Aug 2015 | 6:00 am
    More Than This by Patrick NessSeth drowns, desperate and alone. But then he wakes. Naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. And where is he? The street seems familiar, but everything is abandoned, overgrown, covered in dust. He "remembers" dying, his skull bashed against the rocks. Has he woken up in his own personal hell? Is there more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?Add your review of "More Than This" in comments!
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    Literacy, families and learning

  • How About a Literature Unit on Cats? 20 books & ideas to get started!

    Trevor Cairney
    30 Aug 2015 | 11:44 pm
    I've written many posts about Key Themes in children's literature. While cats haven't taken over the children's literature field quite as much as they've seized the Internet, there are MANY books about them. Here is a sample. I'd love to hear of some of your favourites as well.A unit on cats would be a lot of fun. There would be so many angles. You could consider:the adventures of catsways cats 'change' our worldthe many personalities of catscats from many nationstheir relationship to peoplethe world through the eyes of cats 1. 'Sam, Bangs & Moonshine' by Evaline NessSam (short for…
  • Children's Book Council Awards for 2015: Winners & Honour Books

    Trevor Cairney
    23 Aug 2015 | 10:48 pm
    The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards were announced on the 21st August. This event always marks the beginning of Children’s Book Week. As usual, the winners and honour books are a fabulous collection. But for every book that wins or is an honour book, there are many more worthy books. Thankfully, the CBCA publishes a set of category lists for approximately 100 notable books each year. You can find the lists HERE.This year we have superb books and memorable successes.  Perhaps the stand out is the success of illustrator Freya Blackwood in winning not…
  • Race, Racism & Equality: Children's Books for all Ages

    Trevor Cairney
    13 Aug 2015 | 5:47 pm
    It is difficult to grow up in any urban area within any open society without being confronted by people different from yourself. Whether it's social class, race, ethnicity and language, we can all feel isolated and different. In fact, even different cultural and social practices as basic as fashion and popular culture, can make us feel unequal.  I've written previously on racism, civil rights and also 'The Other' because these are critical themes for children to tussle with. I suspect that while schools have been good at stressing and celebrating multiculturalism, there is potential and…
  • 'Hiroshima' (70 years today): Remembered with Children's Books

    Trevor Cairney
    6 Aug 2015 | 5:36 am
    On the 6th August 1945 the first of two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. The first was on Hiroshima and led to the death of an estimated 140,000 people. A second was dropped on Nagasaki on the 9th August that is estimated to have killed 80,000 people. However, it is difficult to estimate numbers as people are still dying from the effects of the two explosions. Debates rage still about the justification for the bombing and its use to end WWII. Irrespective of our views on this, today at the very least, we should consider the impact of such weapons and their potential to do even more…
  • Seven New Children's Picture Books

    Trevor Cairney
    29 Jul 2015 | 11:41 pm
    I receive many books for review. While I don't review all of them here are some that I've received in recent times. There are some wonderful books here. 1. 'Summer Rain' by Ros Moriarty and illustrated by Balarinji (Allen & Unwin)This delightful picture book for younger readers is another excellent offering from Ros Moriarty who is well known for her work 'Listening to Country' as well as her creation of leading Indigenous design studio Baralinji. The language is simple and yet lyrical and the illustrations are vibrant and colourful.First...the land wakesin the morning light.Turtles…
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    The Book Chook

  • iPad App, Lark by Storybird

    30 Aug 2015 | 12:00 pm
    iPad App Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.comPerhaps you already know Storybird, a website where kids and adults can immerse themselves in building their own stories with others’ art. Now we have Storybird’s new app, Lark. Its purpose is to make and share art-inspired poetry. From the developer: Lark works by adding words to artwork to make poems. Here’s how…Start by tapping the lightning icon. That loads the editor.In the editor, hold and pull the artwork from left-to-right to refresh the artwork. Double-tap the image to browse or search art.Found some art? Now play with…
  • Review: iPad and Android App, Alphabear

    27 Aug 2015 | 12:00 pm
    App Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.comAlphabear was suggested to me by my son. He thought I would find the combination of word game and teddy bears irresistible. I did!From the developer: Alphabear is an original word puzzle game by Spry Fox, the developer of the award winning game Triple Town.In Alphabear, you spell words by selecting letters on a grid. When you use letters that are next to each other, bears appear! The more letters you use in an area, the bigger the bear gets, and the more points you earn. Perform well enough, and you might just a win a bear of your own to…
  • Children’s Book Review, Stories for Simon

    25 Aug 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.comStories for Simon is a children’s picture book written by Lisa Miranda Sarzin, illustrated by Lauren Briggs, and published by Random House Australia (2015.) RRP: $24.99.From the publisher: When Simon unwraps a beautiful boomerang wrapped in an old newspaper, he learns of the national apology to the Stolen Generations. Who were the Stolen Generations and how can saying ‘sorry' help? Through a new friendship and a magnificent collection of stories, Simon gains a deep appreciation of the past and a positive vision for the…
  • Children’s iPad App, Plum’s Photo Hunt

    23 Aug 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Children’s iPad App Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.comHere’s a great free app that encourages kids to explore with the iPad’s Camera. Plum’s Photo Hunt is part of PLUM LANDING, an environmental science media property designed to get kids excited about exploring the wonders of our planet. Plum is a little alien who sends kids on missions to take photos. The developer is PBS Kids, producers of great TV shows for children in the USA. From the developer: Plum’s Photo Hunt is based on the PBS KIDS web-original PLUM LANDING, developed by WGBH, producers of award-winning kids…
  • Book Chook Favourites - iPad Apps for Drawing

    20 Aug 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Book Chook Favourites - iPad Apps for Drawing by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.comMost kids like to draw, or maybe they call it fooling around with a pencil or paintbrush. By encouraging our kids to experiment with digital drawing, we’re providing them with an opportunity to create something, an activity I believe is worthwhile and educational. Drawing on an iPad should NOT take the place of real life drawing and play. Rather, to me it’s just another tool we can use with kids. Like ebooks and print books, there will be times that drawing and creating on an iPad will appeal to certain…
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    Reading Rumpus

  • Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson

    Cheryl Vanatti
    23 Aug 2015 | 8:17 am
    Thank you to @christiemath @GreenwillowBook for my review copy My two cents: Touch the Brightest Star is a lovely picture book for both pre-readers and beginning readers. Told in flowing cadence and rhyme, it tells the story of day's end turning to night and then ends with the closing of eyes to darkness, only to open again to morning. This is a great vehicle for foreshadowing and inference (what happened while the eyes were closed?). Because the vocabulary is limited, and there are numerous spelling repetitions due to the rhyme scheme, it also makes a good book for beginning readers…
  • Edgar and the Treehouse of Usher by Jennifer Adams

    Cheryl Vanatti
    17 Aug 2015 | 4:30 am
    (Thank you to ericsmithrocks & GibbsSmithBooks) for my first BabyLit copy! My two cents: I had heard of the BabyLit series, but had not held one in my hands. They sure sounded great, but I am a middle school reading specialist so they were honestly kind of low on the TBR stack. When I got an email to take a look at Edgar and the Tree House of Usher, I thought that I would probably like it. I mean, any bibliophile has to at least like the idea of putting classical readings in children's hands as young as possible, right? And who doesn't love Poe? I mean, c'mon now!So... if I…
  • Max the Brave by Ed Vere

    Cheryl Vanatti
    15 Aug 2015 | 4:01 pm
    (Thank you @Sourcebooks) My two cents: A spunky cat has to figure out what a mouse looks like so that he can chase it. Children and adults alike will gasp when Max finally encounters the "mouse." This is a sweet and funny tale that should not be missed. The funny and surprising ending make this title a must buy for preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Publisher's Synopsis: "Max is a fearless kitten. Max is a brave kitten. Max is a kitten who chases mice. There's only one problem-Max doesn't know what a mouse looks like! With a little bit of bad advice, Max finds himself…
  • Fun Vocabulary-Building Books for the Earliest Readers

    Cheryl Vanatti
    15 Aug 2015 | 12:31 pm
    (Thank you ChronicleKids)I am always excited to find  beginner books from @ChronicleKids because as a reading specialist (and soon to be school media specialist), I really understand just how important it is for parents to read good, exciting and fun books to their babies and toddlers. There is much research backing what those of us who have been in the struggling reader trenches know by living it.I absolutely love Who Done It? by Olivier Tallec! Perfect for mastering the skill of using clues to make inferences, the reader must look at the illustrations to answer…
  • Nest by Esther Ehrlich

    Cheryl Vanatti
    15 Aug 2015 | 11:10 am
     (Thank you @randomhousekids)Publisher's Synopsis: "A heartfelt and unforgettable middle-grade novel about an irresistible girl and her family, tragic change, and the healing power of love and friendship. In 1972 home is a cozy nest on Cape Cod for eleven-year-old Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein, her older sister, Rachel; her psychiatrist father; and her dancer mother. But then Chirp’s mom develops symptoms of a serious disease, and everything changes.   Chirp finds comfort in watching her beloved wild birds. She also finds a true friend in Joey, the mysterious boy who…
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    Blog - Alan Dapré - Children's Author

  • Launch of the ‘Young Kelpies’ range of new books. Mine included.

    23 Aug 2015 | 1:41 pm
    I was delighted to be invited to attend the launch of the new Young Kelpies range. It features four series from exciting authors. ‘Axe throwing’, ‘goal scoring’, ‘mysterious’ and ‘adventurous’ are the key words for each series. Mine is the adventurous one…with lots of gags, wordplay and exciting action. Each brilliant series has six books and is written for […]
  • Back In The Room…

    7 Mar 2015 | 7:01 am
    It’s good to be back! I have taken time off from writing this blog to concentrate on writing children’s books. It takes a while to create meaningful, exciting and engaging characters who jump off the page, climb up your nose and playfully mess about with your brain. I shall be posting soon about some exciting new […]
  • Far from perfect grammar

    14 Jan 2014 | 3:39 am
    My Grammar School inconveniently forgot to teach me grammar. Fact. We had a few lessons about verbs and adverbs, prepositions and commas – and that was about it. When I became a Primary teacher I swotted up on the basics, while older colleagues banged on about the dubious merits of Box Analysis.   As a […]
  • ‘It’s good to write badly’ – Writing tips from Alan Dapre

    4 Jan 2014 | 7:50 am
    It’s good to write badly. Baldly, in my case. Back in the noisy days of  typewriters I was indebted to a strip of white tape that I placed on the paper to strike out mistakes. This was replaced in time by liquid paper. Nowadays the computer Delete key is my friend. Though I enjoy drafting […]
  • Of the 8 million children in institutions worldwide, more than 90% are not orphans.

    3 Jan 2014 | 1:26 pm
    So says Lumos. A UK based charity dedicated to getting children out of institutions. Further to my earlier blog about Lumos – the charity chaired by J.K. Rowling – I thought I’d share more about what it is trying to do. ‘Across the globe 8 million children are living in institutions that deny them individual […]
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    TR - Blog for Books, Reviews, Opinion and discussion

  • Nora Roberts - Circle Trilogy 02 - Dance of the Gods epub

    imTabula rasa
    20 Aug 2015 | 7:26 am
    The second in the Circle Trilogy focuses on Blair, Niece of Hoyt & Cian - a vampire slayer !  Raised in a family of demon hunters, Blair Murphy has her own personal demons to fight - the... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Nora Roberts - Circle Trilogy 01 - Morrigons Cross

    imTabula rasa
    17 Aug 2015 | 4:22 am
    In the last days of high summer, with lightning striking blue in a black sky, the sorcerer stood on a high cliff overlooking the raging sea…   His heart black with grief rivaling the... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Quote - Never rest on Success!

    imTabula rasa
    6 Jun 2015 | 5:49 am
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • The Passions of Jodha Akbar - SS Part I

    imTabula rasa
    4 Jun 2015 | 3:40 am
    The Romantic interlude of Akbar & JodhaCirca 1574: The palace was ablaze with light, the sounds of retiring emanating all around while the ever vigilant Soldiers guarded the Royal personnel... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • The Mystery of Titanic - The Unsinkable Ship

    imTabula rasa
    3 Jun 2015 | 11:36 am
    Titanic is  the ship that never sinks or so went the advert about the ship but fate or nature the great leveler served a catastrophic lesson that history has not forgotten to this day. There... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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