Children's Literature

  • Most Topular Stories

  • WINTER BEES and Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman, illus. by Rick Allen

    Writing and Ruminating
    13 Nov 2014 | 3:11 pm
    I have been waiting for MONTHS for this book to come out, and although I was sorry to have to wait so long, I can tell you that it was well worth the wait. I'm so excited about it, in fact, that I've put up my Poetry Friday post on Thursday!Joyce Sidman's poetry sings from the pages, paired with some of the most beautiful images I've seen in a while. Rick Allen evidently made them by combining the very old practice of block printing (using linoleum) with hand coloring and digital scanning. The illustration note in the front matter claims to have found a way to make all processes even slower…
  • Using imaginative storytelling with young children

    Literacy, families and learning
    Trevor Cairney
    20 Nov 2014 | 2:58 am
    From a very early age, children begin in varied play situations to experiment with story using the springboard of literature, song, film or even real-life accounts. My youngest granddaughter Lydia has been fascinated by story since her first year of life. At dinner this evening she wrapped a piece of lettuce around her fork and the newly created 'butterfly' was having a long conversation with her knife. She was oblivious to others at the table as she was lost in her storytelling. It seems that they were in fact two butterflies sharing just one set of wings. She has just turned three and…
  • Review of Little Melba and 
Her Big Trombone

    The Horn Book
    Kathleen T. Horning
    26 Nov 2014 | 8:00 am
    Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown; 
illus. by Frank Morrison Primary    Lee & Low    40 pp. 7/14    978-1-60060-898-8    $18.95    g From the time she was a little girl, Melba Liston loved music, especially the jazz music that surrounded her while she was growing up, first in Kansas City and then in Los Angeles. Given the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument at age seven, she chose the trombone. It was not a traditional choice for a girl, especially a small girl whose arms weren’t even long enough yet to push out the slide. But…
  • A Moment with the Art of Lisbeth Zwerger

    Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
    25 Nov 2014 | 6:52 am
      I’ve got some art here at 7-Imp today from Austrian illustrator Lisbeth Zwerger. First up are Zwerger’s illustrations—originally created in 2009, I believe—from The Pied Piper of Hamelin, an edition of the story retold by Renate Raecke and translated by Anthea Bell. This was just released in September by Michael Neugebauer Publishing, a.k.a. Minedition. The Kirkus review writes: “This strange and unsettling tale is made all the stranger and more unsettling by Zwerger’s spare, isolated figures in their pale interiors and landscapes.” Today feels…

    Finding Wonderland: The WritingYA Weblog
    25 Nov 2014 | 12:01 am
    Fans of Patricia McKillip, Juliet Marillier, Brenna Yovanoff, of Holly Black's plot twists, and of a good hedgehog tale will really enjoy the newest from T. Kingfisher, just in time to read whilst you're waiting for your root veg to roast before being mashed. Originally to be a "children's" novel and published as adult, this short novel gallops into YA and on past into CREEPY (think Robin McKinley's DEERSKIN) adultish fiction. For those of you looking for specifics, yes, I still would hand it to an older teen and say, "Enjoy" if that teen were worldly-wise and in need of a novel where, like…
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    The Horn Book

  • Review of Little Melba and 
Her Big Trombone

    Kathleen T. Horning
    26 Nov 2014 | 8:00 am
    Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown; 
illus. by Frank Morrison Primary    Lee & Low    40 pp. 7/14    978-1-60060-898-8    $18.95    g From the time she was a little girl, Melba Liston loved music, especially the jazz music that surrounded her while she was growing up, first in Kansas City and then in Los Angeles. Given the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument at age seven, she chose the trombone. It was not a traditional choice for a girl, especially a small girl whose arms weren’t even long enough yet to push out the slide. But…
  • #HBWhoSaidIt? quotes

    Elissa Gershowitz
    26 Nov 2014 | 7:30 am
    Every day in November we’re tweeting (from @HornBook) a quote about the creative process, by a children’s author or illustrator. Can you guess who said it? Click the hashtag #HBWhoSaidIt? for the latest tweets. See all “Who Said It?” quotes and their sources below. 11/3: “When I’m not writing well, I can barely remember what it feels like to write well. When that happens, I read.” Answer here. 11/4: “I kept a comics journal [as a kid]. I used to draw a comic about my day, pretty much every day.” Answer here. 11/5: “Writing is, like any…
  • Review of Nuts to You

    Sarah Ellis
    25 Nov 2014 | 8:00 am
    Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins; illus. by the author Intermediate    Greenwillow    260 pp. 8/14    978-0-06-009275-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-226220-2    $8.99 Jed the squirrel’s odyssey begins dramatically when he is captured by a hawk and carried far away from his community. Using an “ancient squirrel defensive martial art,” he escapes and so begins his journey home. Meanwhile, his two best friends Chai and TsTs set off to find him. In the course of these two (eventually converging) adventures, our heroes meet some helpful hillbillyish red squirrels, a…
  • Some people smarter than I

    Roger Sutton
    25 Nov 2014 | 7:52 am
    While putting my thoughts back in to fully bake–just kidding, I’ve ditched that recipe–I wanted to share some of the valuable links people provided in the comments to my last post and on Facebook. And let me say again how grateful I am for your bearing with me. I think a lot about what it means to be a man in children’s books (why, for example, do so many of us talk about book awards like they are sports?) but my post of last Friday was not only half-baked, it was clueless as to what was happening in the kitchen and the nation. So here’s some reality. Jackie…
  • Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas

    Lolly Robinson
    25 Nov 2014 | 7:42 am
    Since Brian Floca won the Caldecott last year for Locomotive, you can bet this year’s committee will be taking a look at his 2014 picture book. Written by long-distance swimmer Lynne Cox, this is a factual account of a particularly incorrigible elephant seal and the Christchurch, New Zealand, community that eventually made way for her. Cox doesn’t say just when this happened, but possibly as early as 1975 (the date of her most famous New Zealand swim), which would explain the older-looking cars. We do know that she heard the story from Michael and Maggie, a young brother and…
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    Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

  • A Moment with the Art of Lisbeth Zwerger

    25 Nov 2014 | 6:52 am
      I’ve got some art here at 7-Imp today from Austrian illustrator Lisbeth Zwerger. First up are Zwerger’s illustrations—originally created in 2009, I believe—from The Pied Piper of Hamelin, an edition of the story retold by Renate Raecke and translated by Anthea Bell. This was just released in September by Michael Neugebauer Publishing, a.k.a. Minedition. The Kirkus review writes: “This strange and unsettling tale is made all the stranger and more unsettling by Zwerger’s spare, isolated figures in their pale interiors and landscapes.” Today feels…
  • Indies First Day

    24 Nov 2014 | 5:57 am
    See this? It’s IndieBound’s list, by state, of which authors and illustrators will appear at their local indies as volunteers on Saturday, November 29, for Indies First Day. Nashville folks, I’ll be volunteering at Parnassus Books from 10 to 11, and I’ll do story time during that hour with my friend, author Jessica Young. Bring your wee ones to us! Sherman Alexie started Indies First Day last year, encouraging authors to work a shift in their local independent bookstore on Small Business Saturday. This year, Indies First is being spearheaded by Neil Gaiman and Amanda…
  • 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #407: Featuring August Hall

    22 Nov 2014 | 10:01 pm
    “Foxes, wolves, deer nest too. Forest knows waking, opening up.”(Click to enlarge spread)   I always look forward to new picture book releases from Kentucky novelist and poet, George Ella Lyon. I reviewed her newest picture book, What Forest Knows (Atheneum, November 2014), illustrated by August Hall, for BookPage. That link is here, if you’d like to read more about it. And today I’m sharing some spreads from it. While we’re on the subject of Lyon, I’m also currently reading this wonderful book, which she wrote with J. Patrick Lewis and which was…
  • What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Alexis Deacon

    21 Nov 2014 | 8:22 am
    (Click to enlarge)   This morning over at Kirkus, I write about Bárður Oskarsson’s The Flat Rabbit, released by Owlkids Books in September. That link is here. Last week, I wrote about Russell Hoban’s Jim’s Lion, which has been re-imagined as a graphic novel (Candlewick, November 2014) with the illustrations of Alexis Deacon. That link is here, and above and below are some spreads from the book, as well as the cover of the 2001 picture book with art from Ian Andrew. Enjoy. (Click either image to see spread in its entirety)   JIM’S LION. Text copyright © 2014 by…
  • Hook, Heidi, and Hendrix

    20 Nov 2014 | 6:52 am
    “Though she couldn’t tell for certain from her vantage point, Jocelyn did not expect to find a single corset on the entire island. She was utterly charmed. Even so, the girl knew that somewhere down there, amidst all the wonder, a terrible beast was waiting. Reminds me a bit of my first wedding day.”   Just last week, dear Imps, I chatted over at Kirkus with author Heidi Schulz about her debut novel, Hook’s Revenge (Disney-Hyperion, September 2014), illustrated by John Hendrix. That link is here, but I wanted to follow up with some art from Hendrix today. Above…
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    Finding Wonderland: The WritingYA Weblog


    25 Nov 2014 | 12:01 am
    Fans of Patricia McKillip, Juliet Marillier, Brenna Yovanoff, of Holly Black's plot twists, and of a good hedgehog tale will really enjoy the newest from T. Kingfisher, just in time to read whilst you're waiting for your root veg to roast before being mashed. Originally to be a "children's" novel and published as adult, this short novel gallops into YA and on past into CREEPY (think Robin McKinley's DEERSKIN) adultish fiction. For those of you looking for specifics, yes, I still would hand it to an older teen and say, "Enjoy" if that teen were worldly-wise and in need of a novel where, like…
  • Thursday Review: MORTAL HEART by Robin LaFevers

    Sarah Stevenson
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:21 am
    Summary: Mortal Heart is the final book (SAD FACE) in Robin LaFevers' His Fair Assassin trilogy (Book 1 reviewed here; Book 2 reviewed here). The books take place in medieval Brittany and France, a setting which the author has obviously researched well in order to write these stories in such vivid detail. (I'm always impressed by that.) They combine some of my favorite genres and themes: historical fantasy, adventure, political intrigue, strong female heroines—and throw in a bit of romance to boot. And, assassin nuns! Who serve the death god, St. Mortain! Oh, and don't forget the Website of…
  • Books I'm Excited About Today

    Sarah Stevenson
    17 Nov 2014 | 4:35 pm
    I'm still not quite back on a normal blogging schedule--I don't quite have the brain space for a review today (though the book currently on deck is an exciting one: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers!). But I did want to share a few books which arrived on my desk that I really cannot wait to read. First up, yesterday a friend loaned me a copy of the recently-released graphic novelization of the new Ms. Marvel--if you haven't heard about her yet, she's a 16-year-old Muslim Pakistani-American from New Jersey named Kamala Khan. I was definitely excited about the idea, but I didn't realize how amazed…
  • TURNING PAGES: EUPHEMIA FAN: SPY GIRL by Cassandra Neyenesch

    14 Nov 2014 | 3:24 am
    I received this book courtesy of Full Fathom Five Digital and while normally I prefer digital books which have paper counterparts, I made an exception this time, for Reasons. FFF Digital is an imprint of Full Fathom Five, the content creation company founded in 2010 by best-selling author James Frey, so this should tell you something about the authors they work with - they're no slouches in the make-the-most-of-interesting-stuff department. I picked up this novel because a.) the name Euphemia, b.) EUPHEMIA!? and c.) "Spy Girl" in a title is a great hook. Also, Euphemia. If that's your name,…
  • Read All Day? Sign Me Up!

    Sarah Stevenson
    13 Nov 2014 | 4:30 pm
    I just heard word in my inbox of a new upcoming event for all of us voracious readers. In case MotherReader's 48-Hour Book Challenge isn't enough for you--or if, like me, it's sometimes too much--maybe this will suit: Penguin Random House, the National Book Foundation, GoodReads, and Mashable are teaming up for National Readathon Day, a brand-new collaboration.The date in question is Saturday, January 24th, 2015, from Noon-4pm. Kind of like a walkathon, participants in the Readathon sign up for their own fundraising page on FirstGiving, and the money donated helps the National Book Foundation…
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    A Chair, A Fireplace, & A Tea Cozy

  • Review: A Little Something Different

    Liz B
    12 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    A Little Something Different: Fourteen Viewpoints, One Love Story by Sandy Hall. Swoon Reads, an imprint of Feiwel and Friends. 2014. Review copy from publisher.The Plot: Lea and Gabe meet in creative writing class. It's going to take more than sharing a college class to get these two together, even though they sit side by side.What's keeping them apart? And what will it take to get them together? Well, Lea and Gabe won't tell you, but their friends, family, and others around them, from the bus drive to the waitress, will.The Good: I just loved the narrative device of fourteen people…
  • YALSA YA Lit Symposium 2014

    Liz B
    10 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    This Thursday I will be heading out to the 2014 YALSA YA Lit Symposium in Austin, Texas! Part of the reason I will be there is because I'll be presenting. I'm part of a panel, Whose Reality Gets Written?, on Sunday, 10:30am-12:00pm. Panelists are Svati Avasthi, Steve Brezenoff, Elizabeth Burns, E. M. Kokie, Andrew Karre, Blythe Woolston.The full description: "The formula for YA fiction is no secret: Wrap a load of dysfunction in a layer of bleak despair and spice it up with little romantic angst. Problem is, that formula is a fantasy. Writers, editors, and readers are all making personal,…
  • Review: The Fall

    Liz B
    5 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    The Fall by Bethany Griffin. Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. 2014.The Plot: A retelling of The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe.The Good: Did you not see what I said? A retelling! Of The Fall of the House of Usher!OK, it's true that not every retelling or re-imaging is done well. And it's also true that there are many ways to revisit a story. So you need more from me, to let you know that this one is well worth the read.The Fall is an emotional, character driven retelling, making the doomed Madeline Usher the main character.It is Madeline telling the story,…
  • Review: How We Fall

    Liz B
    31 Oct 2014 | 1:00 am
    How We Fall by Kate Brauning. Merit Press. 2014. Reviewed from ARC.The Plot:  Jackie's feelings for Marcus are intense, but she tries to hide it. Oh, they flirt, and yes, there are stolen kisses. So why can't they just both admit that it's more than flirtation, why not go on a real date?Jackie's afraid, afraid of what people will think. Marcus is her cousin. And, to make matters more sensitive, or at least Jackie more sensitive to what people will think, their families share one home. They live under the same roof.Jackie has few people she can trust or turn to. Her older sister is at…
  • Review: Gracefully Grayson

    Liz B
    23 Oct 2014 | 1:00 am
    Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky. Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group. 2014. Reviewed from ARC.The Plot: Grayson Sender is twelve years old.Grayson is lonely, even surrounded by classmates, even at home, living with cousins, an aunt and uncle.Grayson is lonely in part because of Grayson's parents death years ago, leading to Grayson being the odd child out at home.Grayson is lonely because Grayson cannot connect with others because Grayson is hiding the most important part of who Grayson is.In Gracefully Grayson, Grayson gradually gains trust and friends until Grayson can reveal…
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    educating alice

  • NCTE

    25 Nov 2014 | 12:14 pm
    I had a terrific time at NCTE. It was the third of four trips for me this November. First was DC for the Children’s Africana Book Awards followed by FILIJ in Mexico. The final one starts tonight when I head to Rome, Italy for Thanksgiving. (Unlike the others, this is for pure personal pleasure.) But back to NCTE. I arrived Friday evening in time to take a quick jaunt around the exhibits before heading off to a dinner. The National Harbor Gaylord Resort had the requisite light show, but it didn’t seem quite as over-the-top as those at the Opryland Hotel where I spent several…
  • Give Your Teddy Bear a Treat

    24 Nov 2014 | 2:27 am
    I’ve been following the activities of Oxford’s Story Museum ever since Philip Pullman took me to see it a few years ago. Now I see that like many other museums they periodically offer weekend sleepovers, but theirs are unique in being for toys not people. Their latest teddy bear sleepover will be the weekend of December 6th. If you are in the vicinity (and I’m sadly not) and have an eager teddy bear (along with its human companion who will have to drop off and pick up, of course)  the details are here. Here’s what happened during their last teddy bear…
  • NCTE

    21 Nov 2014 | 7:34 am
    I’m off to NCTE later today and will be presenting tomorrow with Peter Sis and Susannah Richards on “CROSSING THE LINE: STORYTELLING THAT INTEGRATES FACTS AND ARTIFACTS”  at 4:15 at the Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor 13.  There will be pictures, information, chatter, and fun — I’m sure. Still not so sure? Here’s the official annotation: Grappling with texts is a healthy and productive way to satisfy many of the Common Core standards for reading and writing. Authors find stories in history and use their storytelling to develop context for…
  • For Alice Obsessives

    21 Nov 2014 | 2:25 am
    (Thanks to Michael Patrick Hearn)
  • Learning About Africa: Ebola and Everyone

    19 Nov 2014 | 2:02 am
    I want to live in a country that understands Ebola. I want to live in a world that cares about those dying from this terrible disease in West Africa. Nobody should’ve had to watch me ride my bicycle out in the open as politicians fed the public false fears and misinformation. I want to live in an America that reaches out to aid workers as they return from West Africa and says, “We loved and stood by you when you were fighting this disease. We will love and stand by you now.” Me too. From Kaci Hickox’s “Stop calling me ‘the Ebola nurse‘”.
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    Chicken Spaghetti

  • Dept. of Still a Ways to Go

    24 Nov 2014 | 5:52 am
    [Gillian] Flynn: I would love it if I could do an event without a very well-meaning man telling me, "I don't normally read books by women." Do you get that? [Cheryl] Strayed: All the time. [...] From "Gone Girls, Found," Cara Buckley's interview with Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and Cheryl Strayed (Wild), in the New York Times, Sunday, November 23, 2014.
  • Libraries, Peanut Butter, and Bears

    1 Oct 2014 | 10:17 am
    School has started, and with it, I'm back in the classroom once a week, reading to second graders. So far we have read these picture books: Tomás and the Library Lady, written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Raul Colón. A friendly bookseller at Manhattan's charming La Casa Azul recommended this one, which is sprinkled with Spanish words. Tomás, the child of migrant Texas farm workers, find a place of refuge in an Iowa library and enjoys the attention of two mentors in the "library lady" and his grandfather. It's based on the childhood experiences of Tomás Rivera,…
  • Second Grade: Thumbs Up for "The Incredible Book Eating Boy"

    13 Jun 2014 | 8:36 am
    Another June, another school year coming to a close. Up here in New England we keep 'em in class until almost the end of the month. I've been a volunteer classroom reader for a while now, and I love it, even the unpredictable nature of the last few weeks of the academic year. I read in the afternoon, and sometimes the second graders are almost sleeping, exhausted from the heat (no a.c. at this school) and other times they are buzzing around the room like bees in a hive. They are always ready to listen to a read-aloud, though. Earlier this week I shared Oliver Jeffers' picture…
  • Bloggers Choose Children's Book Award Winners

    14 Feb 2014 | 8:16 am
    Announced this morning: the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards, a.k.a., the Cybils. You'll find many ideas for good reading in the lists of winners.  Take a look.
  • Norman's Best Books of 2013

    5 Jan 2014 | 1:49 pm
    Today I'm turning over the space to my husband, Norman Trepner, an avid reader and an all-around good guy. Take it away, Norm. Susan Once again Susan has asked me to share with her Chicken Spaghetti friends my favorite books I’ve read this past year, and once again I’m more than happy to comply! Three of my top ten books were stories about teens and tweens. A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki, is the story of a 16 year old Japanese girl who writes in her diary about her 104-year old Buddhist nun great-grandmother, and the book also tells of a woman in a remote British…
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    Chasing Ray

  • On Maira Kalman's Favorite Things

    23 Nov 2014 | 6:43 pm
    The ability to take a walk from one point to the next point, that is half the battle won. Go out and walk. That is the glory of life. A very short excerpt from Maira Kalman's My Favorite Things which is an incredibly indulgent purchase, a trifle really, but hard to resist. It chronicles the items selected by Kalman in 2011 after she was invited to curate an exhibit by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Kalman selected her favorite things from the museum's collection and they were arranged in a room that thus provided an inside look at her thought process and creativity. As it turns out…
  • Returning, some changes, some girls & a car

    17 Nov 2014 | 12:13 am
    I have been, as they say, away for a bit. I can definitively report that sunny Florida is still, even as the country freezes, sunny Florida. The beach was fab, the oysters tasty and much fun was had by all. As always, I am amazed that I could have grown up someplace so very different from where I live now. Life does take us all in the most interesting unplanned directions, doesn't it? The best thing about going home and eating your mother's cooking is the time you end up spending thinking about your life. It happens, even when you don't plan it. Just driving all those roads that still hold…
  • Forsaken by Kelley Armstrong (an "Otherworld" novella)

    27 Oct 2014 | 10:56 pm
    I am a light reading fan of Kelley Armstrong's werewolf books, which started with Bitten (which spawned a tv series) (which I have not watched). In all honestly, I didn't love Bitten--the world building was pretty cool but there was some killing that seemed to be gratuitous and all the dramarama was a tad bit soap opera-ish at points to me. But I did read it and I didn't hate it and it certainly was not anything like Laurell K. Hamilton's succubus insanity so I've been open to reading Armstrong's other books in the series, especially the novellas released by Subterranean Press. Forsaken is…
  • "...and the local library matters." - Bill Moyers

    23 Oct 2014 | 8:10 pm
    One of the best books I read this year and a truly important reading experience is The Public Library, a photographic essay by Robert Dawson. Published by Princeton Architectural Press, this is a gorgeously designed book of photos and essays on American public libraries, which I could not stop paging through. Right now, you are probably thinking you know what the book is and agree with me that it's important and yet you likely have no interest in paging through it. A book like this is a good thing, but you already value libraries, right? You think you don't need this one. Allow me to convince…
  • Celebrating Ballou Sr High School's library dynamo

    21 Oct 2014 | 2:17 am
    We are often asked why we have chosen to stay with Ballou Senior High School for our annual book fair. Prior to Ballou, Guys Lit Wire worked with a group serving juvenile offenders in Los Angeles and two schools on reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. While we certainly were happy to help those folks and felt that our book fairs did a lot of good and were appreciated, when we first teamed up with Ballou we quickly realized we had found a special situation. Melissa Jackson, the Library Media Specialist, loves her job and her enthusiasm is quite infectious. A look at the library's facebook…
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    Wands and Worlds

  • Book Review: The Name of the Blade by Zoe Marriott

    4 Nov 2014 | 10:00 am
    The Name of the Bladeby Zoë MarriottMio Yamato has a secret sword hidden in the attic. Her grandfather, Ojiichan, showed it to her when she was nine years old, He told her that the sword would be hers when she turns 16, but he made her promise not to touch it before then. Ojiichan planned to teach her about the katana, but he never got a chance, because the next day he died from a massive stroke.All these years, Mio has avoided the sword as she promised her ojiichan, and kept it hidden away, even from the rest of her family. But when she needs a katana to complete her costume for a…
  • Cybils Nomination Suggestions!

    15 Oct 2014 | 9:07 pm
    Wednesday is the last day for Cybils Awards nominations, and there are still eligible books that haven't been nominated that maybe should be considered. If you're looking for something to nominate, here are some suggestions that might jog your memory. See this post for information on eligibility and how to nominate.Young Adult Speculative FictionChasing Powerby Sarah Beth DurstISBN 978-0802737557Published today (October 14), but still within the eligibility window.Amazon linkHas now been nominated.The Truth Against the Worldby Sarah Jamila StevensonISBN 978-0738740584Amazon…
  • Calling all bloggers!

    25 Aug 2014 | 9:59 am
    If you blog about children's and/or YA books, whether on your own blog or a group blog, the Cybils Awards need you! We're currently accepting applications for judges for the 2014 Cybils Awards season, which will run from October 1, 2014 through February 14, 2015. It's a lot of work and takes up a lot of time, but it's oh, so worth it for a chance to read and discuss books with other like-minded bloggers. I've learned so much from my fellow judges in the years that I've been a judge, and some of them have become dear friends.I am again the Category Chair for YA Speculative Fiction, as I have…
  • Book Review: Chorus by Emma Trevayne

    13 Jun 2014 | 1:24 pm
    Chorus(Sequel to Coda)by Emma TrevayneNote: Chorus is the sequel to Coda, and this review will contain spoilers for Coda. If you haven't read Coda and want to avoid spoilers, you might not want to read this review. If you're looking for an awesome YA dystopian novel with a unique premise (controlling the population with addictive music) and a diverse cast, go forth and read Coda! You won't be sorry.Eight years have passed since Anthem led the movement to defeat the Corp and stop their use of mind-controlling music tracks on the population of the Web. During the battle, the Corp used Anthem's…
  • Book Review: Raging Star (Dust Lands Book 3) by Moira Young

    7 Jun 2014 | 6:07 am
    Raging Star (Dust Lands Book 3) by Moira YoungNew Eden is a paradise: a fertile land surrounded by post-apocalyptic wastelands. New Eden holds promise and hope for the future, and one man, DeMalo, who calls himself The Pathfinder, has a vision of leading humanity into that future. DeMalo feels that the future belongs to the strong, that only the strong and healthy can bring about a utopian future. In DeMalo's New Eden, those not strong and healthy enough to be among the chosen are either exiled, enslaved, or put to death.Saba and her friends, including her twin brother Lugh and…
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    American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL)

  • Debbie Reese (me!) on CUNY's INDEPENDENT SOURCES

    26 Nov 2014 | 10:47 am
    Finally had a chance to watch the segment that CUNY's Independent Sources asked me to do with them about children's books and Thanksgiving. My belly is always in knots when I do something like this. But! The people I worked with there are terrific. Thanks, Nicole and Zyphus! I think it turned out great and hope AICL's readers will take a few minutes to watch/share it, and of course, get the books I recommend!Scroll down to see the video. Here's some screen captures of it. I'm sharing them because THEY LOOK SO COOL!And here's the video:
  • How 'bout we all pan NBC's PETER PAN and Warner Bros PAN, too.

    26 Nov 2014 | 9:41 am
    Over the weekend, Heather (a reader of AICL) wrote to ask if I'd seen a Salon article about changes made to music and lyrics in the version of Peter Pan that NBC is going to air in December. Though I knew about the production, I didn't know about these changes. Thanks, Heather, for letting me know.In a nutshell, NBC hired Jerod Tate, artistic director of the Chickasaw Chamber Music Festival. He's Chickasaw but I don't know anything else about him other than what his bio (linked with his name) says.With his assistance, the song "Ugg-a-Wugg" was changed.Ugg-a-Wugg is a duet sung by Peter Pan…
  • TEEN SPIRIT by Francesca Lia Block

    21 Nov 2014 | 1:30 pm
    I'll start with this: I think Francesca Lia Block likes Indians.I'm just not sure what she knows about us. I kinda think she doesn't know a Native person.By that, I mean one who is on-the-ground Native, as in living on the reservation, or hanging with the Native community in whatever city or suburb they're in, or, if they're in a part of the country where there is not a Native community, then, one who goes home to that community and/or talks to people from there a lot.That on-the-ground identity is in stark contrast to the person who has a family story where a great great ancestor was Native.
  • Francesca Lia Block apologized for Native stereotyping in WEETZIE BAT

    20 Nov 2014 | 12:17 pm
    On November 11, 2014, the We Need Diverse Books campaign hosted a twitter chat about LGBTQ literature. During that chat, Emily Campbell (@Ms_Librarian) tweeted that Francesca Lia Block's book, Baby Bebop, was important to her. She included Block in the tweet. I replied, saying "The Native content in her bks is stereotyping 101." Here's a screencap:Campbell asked for more information, and I sent her a link to my analysis of Weetzie Bat. The next day, November 12, Block replied to me and Campbell, saying "No offense meant. My apologies. All respect for all." Here's that screencap:I thanked…
  • Mass Media Fail(s): Describing Indian man's singing as "chants" and "yowls" and "wails"

    19 Nov 2014 | 3:21 pm
    Yowls? Chant? Wail?!! This is a wild guess, but I wonder...When they were kids, did Dina Capiello of the Associated Press, Andrew Kirell of Mediaite, and the nameless person who posted a video at CNN read children's books like Little House on the Prairie that told them that Native people "yowl" or "chant" or "wail"?!While any person might do any of those things for one reason or another, those words are not what took place in the Senate Gallery yesterday. Something happened when the Senate voted down the Keystone pipeline bill. Greg Grey Cloud sang a song.Grey Cloud is an enrolled…
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  • Poetry Friday: Brutal Romance by Brooke Fraser

    21 Nov 2014 | 6:01 am
    All shapes and coloursRolled and stained in aging handsSculpted explosionsHistories unfoldOur Jackson Pollocked earth turnsA silent witnessLonely as silentPoets bequeath best attemptsRomanticisingThe brutalityOf the ages and of usAvarice and lustLove and death, and death and loveBrutal romanceThe silver thread, the sharpened knifeA spinning slow-danceI can't remember beforeWarmth in the veins, lead in the coreBrutal romanceYou're dripping with goldMine is more interiorYours is sinking youMen at attentionDevouring a drowning fleetEpaulettes of charmLove and death, and death and…
  • Entertainment Weekly's list of 50 Books Every Kid Should Read

    19 Nov 2014 | 7:36 pm
    Entertainment Weekly just released a list of 50 Books Every Kid Should Read. As I read the list, I kept thinking, "That's interesting," as in it was interesting to see what was included and what was not. For example, I was incredibly happy to see The Phantom Tollbooth, the All-of-a-Kind Family books, and The Book Thief on the list. Then there are some titles that I wouldn't have included, but that's just me. I'd be interested to hear what books on this list my fellow bloggers and loyal readers have read, and what books they would add to the list. Please leave your comments below so we can…
  • The Palace Chronicles series by Margaret Peterson Haddix

    15 Nov 2014 | 10:09 pm
    When kids and teachers ask me for a book that's a twist on the Cinderella story, I offer them Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix and the companion novel, Palace of Mirrors. These books are royally good, and I strongly recommend them to fans of Shannon Hale.In Just Ella, we met 15-year-old Ella after the big ball we're all familiar with - but it turns out the story everyone has heard isn't exactly true. Instead of getting glass slippers from a fairy godmother, Ella won them in a wager with a glassblower. Instead of having a pumpkin transformed into a carriage, Ella got a ride from a kind…
  • Quotes: On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

    15 Nov 2014 | 7:18 pm
    Continuing my transcription of notes I took five years ago, I offer you quotes from the outstanding book On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta:The faces of the dead or missing, so young and happy that all I can think of is, how can they be dead? Toothy grins, mostly those school photos that you keep hidden. - Page 60After Taylor finds all of the songs that Hannah mentions in her manuscript, she downloads them, making her own soundtrack:I wrap myself in the music, curled up in my bed, thinking of Hannah, eyes wide open, forcing myself to keep awake. Unlike Macbeth, who has sleep taken away…
  • Hacking Harvard by Robin Wasserman

    15 Nov 2014 | 6:25 pm
    The novel Hacking Harvard by Robin Wasserman starts with a prank. Readers quickly learn that these characters aim to do things that will make people stop and think, to consider what's happening - no whoopee cushions or silly hacks, but rather, something that means something, that makes a statement.The bet is to get someone into Harvard that wouldn't get in otherwise. Not a prank, Max clarifies, but a hack. Forget the kid stuff they've done before - this will be something huge, powerful, meaningful. Schwarz doesn't want to get expelled. Eric doesn't want to do something immoral. They find out…
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    Jen Robinson's Book Page

  • A Good Home for Max: Junzo Terada

    Jen Robinson
    25 Nov 2014 | 8:53 am
    Book: A Good Home for Max Author: Junzo Terada Pages: 40 Age Range: 3-5  A Good Home for Max by Junzo Terada was originally published in Japan in 2005, and was brought to the US this year by Chronicle. It's the story of a mouse named Tabi who lives in "a little shop in a little town". Every night Tabi comes out of hiding to clean and re-stock the shop, paying special attention to the stuff animals. Tabi tries to help a particular animal friend, a stuffed dog named Max, to become enticing enough to be purchased. But every night, Max is still there, and the friendship between…
  • Waiting Is Not Easy! (An Elephant and Piggie Book): Mo Willems

    Jen Robinson
    24 Nov 2014 | 8:00 am
    Book: Waiting Is Not Easy! Author: Mo Willems Pages: 64 Age Range: 5-7 Waiting Is Not Easy! is the newest title in Mo Willems' Elephant & Piggie early reader series. In this installment, Piggie tells Gerald that she has a surprise for him. Gerald spends most of the book trying to figure out what the surprise might be, and then lamenting how long he has to wait. Of course in the end, the surprise is worth waiting for. Willems perfectly captures the attitudes of young children. The very idea of a surprise is delightful. But actually waiting for something nice, particularly when you don't…
  • Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin Trilogy): Robin LaFevers

    Jen Robinson
    21 Nov 2014 | 10:00 am
    Book: Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin Trilogy, Book 3) Author: Robin LaFevers Pages: 464 Age Range: 13 and up Mortal Heart is the final book in Robin LaFevers' fabulous His Fair Assassin trilogy. This installment is told from the viewpoint of Annith, fellow handmaiden to Death with prior protagonists Ismae and Sybella. As Mortal Hearts begins, Annith, who has spent her whole life preparing to serve the god Mortain, chafes at being kept at the convent, instead of being sent out on a mission as an assassin. When she learns that the Abbess intends to keep her at the convent forever, trained to…
  • Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: November 21

    Jen Robinson
    21 Nov 2014 | 8:42 am
    Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include book lists (many!), the National Book Awards, the Cybils Awards, diversity, growing bookworms, National Readathon Day, KidLit TV, parenting, schools, libraries, and time management.  Books, Book Lists and Awards Jacqueline Woodson’s ‘Brown Girl Dreaming’ Wins 2014 National Book Award for Young People's Literature| @sljournal The 2014 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize Winner is The Dark Wild by Piers Torday via @tashrow #kidlit…
  • Pirate, Viking & Scientist: Jared Chapman

    Jen Robinson
    20 Nov 2014 | 9:01 am
    Book: Pirate, Viking & Scientist Author: Jared Chapman Pages: 40 Age Range: 3-6 Pirate, Viking & Scientist, by Jared Chapman, is a lively picture book about a boy (Scientist) who is friends with both a pirate and a viking. Scientist has a great time launching cannons with Pirate and dancing with Viking. However, to Scientist's regret, Viking and Pirate are NOT friends. Their rivalry casts a shadow over the boy's birthday celebration, leaving the boy "uncomfortable." Being a scientist, however, he attempts to solve the problem. Will BIRTHDAY CAKE be the answer, or will this thorny…
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    Writing and Ruminating

  • This just in: Another First Folio has been found in France

    26 Nov 2014 | 9:11 am
    My, but that was a lot of alliteration in one title. But it is true: A library in Saint-Omer, near Calais, recently discovered that the old edition of Shakespeare's plays that they have, which is missing a few pages, including the title page, is, in fact, a First Folio.For those of you bewildered by what that means, it's the earliest known edition of Shakespeare's plays, published after Shakespeare's death and edited by fellow actors of the Bard's. The publication of the First Folio led to the Second Folio (which had some differences), but the fact that the plays were collected and published…
  • The thing about autoimmune diseases is . . .

    24 Nov 2014 | 3:46 pm
    The thing about autoimmune diseases is that you can just never tell what's going to happen next. Turns out I've now got something called "inappropriate tachycardia", which is a fast heartbeat that doesn't seem to be caused by a problem with my actual heart. And it might be a side effect of the drug I take for my rheumatoid arthritis, so now I have to not take it for a couple weeks to see if my heartbeat drops back into normal ranges. Time will tell.Also? Sometimes you can tell what will happen next. Last Friday, my daughter Maggie left for Italy. She goes to school in Massachusetts, and had…
  • A bit of witchery, including Macbeth and Tiffany Aching

    19 Nov 2014 | 2:42 pm
    Being Wednesday, I thought it might be a good day for a post related to the Bard. So I bring you the opening of Act IV, Scene 1 from Macbeth:SCENE I. A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.Thunder. Enter the three WitchesFirst WitchThrice the brinded cat hath mewed.Second WitchThrice and once the hedge-pig whined.Third WitchHarpier cries 'Tis time, 'tis time.First WitchRound about the cauldron go;In the poisoned entrails throw.Toad, that under cold stoneDays and nights has thirty-oneSweltered venom sleeping got,Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.ALLDouble, double toil and trouble;Fire…
  • What I'm thinking about this morning

    17 Nov 2014 | 9:13 am
    You didn't ask for it, but I'm going to share anyhow. And what an interesting mishmash of things it is.A quote about poetry that I liked, especially when I misread itFirst, there's the quote of the day from "Advice to Writers", which allows you to sign up for a daily inspirational quote. I often like what I get, and here's what was in my inbox this morning:You must let your poems ride their luckOn the back of the sharp morning airTouched with the fragrance of mint and thyme ...And everything else is Literature.PAUL VERLAINEOnly I misread it at first, and thought it said "And everything else…
  • WINTER BEES and Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman, illus. by Rick Allen

    13 Nov 2014 | 3:11 pm
    I have been waiting for MONTHS for this book to come out, and although I was sorry to have to wait so long, I can tell you that it was well worth the wait. I'm so excited about it, in fact, that I've put up my Poetry Friday post on Thursday!Joyce Sidman's poetry sings from the pages, paired with some of the most beautiful images I've seen in a while. Rick Allen evidently made them by combining the very old practice of block printing (using linoleum) with hand coloring and digital scanning. The illustration note in the front matter claims to have found a way to make all processes even slower…
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    The Miss Rumphius Effect

  • Monday Poetry Stretch - Etheree

    23 Nov 2014 | 9:01 pm
    An etheree is a poem of ten lines in which each line contains one more syllable than the last. Beginning with one syllable and ending with ten, this unrhymed form is named for its creator, 20th century American poet Etheree Taylor Armstrong.Variant forms of the etheree include the reverse form, which begins with 10 syllables and ends with one. The double etheree is twenty lines, moving from one syllable to 10, and then from 10 back to one. (I suppose a double etheree could also move from 10 syllables to one, and then from one back to 10.)You can learn more about the etheree at The Poets…
  • Monday Poetry Stretch - Septolet

    16 Nov 2014 | 9:01 pm
    A septoletis a 14-word poem written in two stanzas and connected by the same idea.I've not seen any consistency regarding number of lines (I've seen 5, 6, and 7) or where the break between stanzas should be (some recommend between lines 4 and 5 if the poem is 7 lines long).You can read more about the septolet at The Poets Collective and Super Forty.I hope you'll join me this week in writing a septolet. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.
  • Thank You, Veterans

    11 Nov 2014 | 7:19 am
    I've been privileged to know many veterans over the years, and I am eternally grateful to them for their service to our country.Today I'm honoring a veteran close to my heart, my dad. Here are some pictures from when he was stationed at Kaneohe in Hawaii.        Here's a little something I found packed away with a letter to my grandparents saying that my dad was being discharged and would be coming home soon.And here's a form letter from Truman.Thanks to my dad and all the other veterans who have served. We owe you more than we can ever repay.
  • Monday Poetry Stretch - Epiphora

    10 Nov 2014 | 6:31 pm
    Early this year we wrote poems that used the device anaphora. Anaphora is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive sentences or clauses. Epiphora (or epistrophe) is the exact opposite, where this repetition occurs at the end of successive sentences or clauses.Here are a few examples.The Gettysburg Address“… that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.“From "Song of Myself" by Walt WhitmanAnd am not stuck up, and am in my place.(The moth and the fish-eggs are in their place,The bright suns I see and the…
  • Poetry Friday - Acquainted with the Night

    6 Nov 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Last week for Halloween I was persuaded to post the rap from the song Thriller. What I really wanted to post was this.Acquainted with the Nightby Robert FrostI have been one acquainted with the night.I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.I have outwalked the furthest city light.I have looked down the saddest city lane.I have passed by the watchman on his beatAnd dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.Read the poem in its entirety.I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Diane at Random Noodling. Happy poetry Friday…
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        Poetry for Children

  • NCTE CLA Master Class: Poetry Across the Curriculum

    Sylvia Vardell
    21 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    While attending the NCTE conference, I’ll also be participating in the annual “Master Class” coordinated by the Children’s Literature Assembly of NCTE (such a great organization). The focus is poetry across the curriculum and I’m responsible for the social studies area. I’ll be sharing sample poems, teaching tips, and activity suggestions. Sharing poetry in the context of social studies is a natural given the topics that make up this content area. The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Curriculum Standards quickly reveal the poem connection possibilities with Thematic…
  • Poetry, Kindness and NCTE

    Sylvia Vardell
    20 Nov 2014 | 5:04 am
    I’m off to the annual conference of the National Council of Teachers of English and looking forward to presenting (twice!). My first session is “Sharing Random Books of Kindness: The Power of Story” alongside Eileen Spinelli, Jerry Spinelli, and Janet Wong. We’ll be talking about all kinds of books related to the theme of kindness—including poetry, of course. Here are some of the resources I’ve gathered on our topic.PROFESSIONAL RESOURCE BOOKSFerrucci, Piero. 2007. The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life. Tarcher.Goldman, Carrie.
  • Talking about poetry at the YALSA Symposium

    Sylvia Vardell
    15 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    I’m off to the YALSA Symposium in Austin, Texas, and looking forward to presenting alongside these fabulous poets:K A Holt / http://kaholt.comSara Holbrook/ Garcia McCall/ Salinger/ S. Wong/ http://www.janetwong.comJacqueline Woodson / http://www.jacquelinewoodson.comOur program title: Keepin’ it Real: Sharing Poetry with Tweens and TeensSession Description: What is true and relevant in providing meaningful connections between students and poetry? As they are poised between…
  • Time for Winter Bees

    Sylvia Vardell
    12 Nov 2014 | 8:03 pm
    Winter has blown in this week, even in Texas, and the temperatures have dropped significantly. What happens to the bees in temperatures like these? Ask Joyce Sidman! Her new book, Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold was just published and it’s a beautiful look at how a variety of plants and animals of the north cope with winter weather. If you’re familiar with Joyce’s work, this new book is parallel to three of her others that examine creatures in a designated ecosystem—through lyrical poetry, informative prose paragraphs, and evocative illustrations:Sidman, Joyce. 2005. Song of…
  • Booklist Feature: Exploring Science and Poetry

    Sylvia Vardell
    3 Nov 2014 | 7:15 pm
    I write a regular column on poetry for Book Links magazine and every now and then they double-up and feature it in Booklist Online, too. This is one of those times! My November article, "Classroom Connections: Exploring Science with Poetry" appears in the print issue of Book Links and online at Booklist here.It starts off:As literacy expert Bernice Cullinan (1995) reminds us, “Scientists observe with a clear eye, record their observations in precise, descriptive language, and craft their expressions. Poets do the same thing.” Maximizing that reciprocal relationship between how scientists…
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  • Cynsational News & Giveaways

    Cynthia Leitich Smith
    26 Nov 2014 | 7:01 am
    By Cynthia Leitich Smithfor CynsationsSix Picture Book Biographies Show the Joy of Longer Lives by Lindsey McDivitt from A Is for Aging. Peek: "...these picture book bios offer huge benefits to kids—showing them adventure, creativity, and enjoyment, not only over the course of an evolving life, but well into old age." Outlining: Why I Made the Switch and Tips for Trying It by Elizabeth S. Craig from Writer Unboxed. Peek: "...I’d have to outline for the one editor anyway, and I’d either have to be super-organized and not make any mistakes to get the other two out…or else I could try…
  • Giveaway: ARC of Wish Girl by Nikki Loftin

    Cynthia Leitich Smith
    25 Nov 2014 | 6:06 am
    By Cynthia Leitich Smithfor CynsationsEnter to win a signed advanced reader copy of Wish Girl by Nikki Loftin (Razorbill, 2015). Author sponsored. Eligibility: North America. From the promotional copy:...this lyrical novel that will break your heart and lift your spirit.Peter Stone’s parents and siblings are extroverts, musicians, and yellers—and the louder they get, the less Peter talks, or even moves, until he practically fits his last name. When his family moves to the Texas Hill Country, though, Peter finds a tranquil, natural valley where he can, at last, hear himself think.There, he…
  • New Voice: Cori McCarthy on The Color of Rain

    Cynthia Leitich Smith
    24 Nov 2014 | 7:03 am
    By Cynthia Leitich Smithfor CynsationsCori McCarthy is the first-time author of The Color of Rain (Running Press, 2013). From the promotional copy: If there is one thing that seventeen-year-old Rain knows and knows well, it is survival. Caring for her little brother, Walker, who is “Touched,” and losing the rest of her family to the same disease, Rain has long had to fend for herself on the bleak, dangerous streets of Earth City. When she looks to the stars, Rain sees escape and the only possible cure for Walker. And when a darkly handsome and mysterious captain named Johnny offers…
  • Cynsational News & Giveaways

    Cynthia Leitich Smith
    21 Nov 2014 | 7:06 am
    By Cynthia Leitich Smithfor CynsationsA Trio of Trailblazing Performers by Joy Fleishhacker from School Library Journal. Peek: "Introducing three African American women born in the early 20th century, these noteworthy picture book biographies resound with compelling storytelling, expressive artwork, and a sonorous message about overcoming obstacles and following one’s dreams."Selling on Proposal AKA The Dreaded Synopsis by Gretchen McNeil from Adventures in YA Publishing. Peek: "It’s a double-edged sword, of course. While you’ve managed to charm an editor and publisher with your…
  • Guest Interview: Lindsey Lane on A Heap of Talking with Edward Carey

    Cynthia Leitich Smith
    20 Nov 2014 | 6:45 am
    Edward in Edward Gorey's coat; photo by Allison DeversBy Lindsey Lanefor Cynthia Leitich Smith's CynsationsI am sitting at Sweetish Hill Bakery & Cafe, waiting to interview Edward Carey, author of the forthcoming middle grade/YA novel Heap House, Iremonger Book One.If I’d read his bio before the interview, I might be a little bit intimidated.Not only is Carey the author of two adult novels, Observatory Mansions and Alva and Irva: the Twins Who Saved a City, which have been translated into thirteen different languages, and both of which he illustrated, he is also a playwright with a long…
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    Read Alert

  • Reading Matters 2015: The Conference

    Adele Walsh
    11 Nov 2014 | 5:22 pm
    Reading Matters is Australia’s leading youth literature conference for professionals and youth literature enthusiasts. Gather to discuss big issues, YA trends, and celebrate new and established young adult writers. Share ideas with colleagues from across the country, find inspiration in outstanding talent, mull over the big issues and celebrate the strength of our industry at Reading Matters. Dates: 29 – 30 May 2015 Venue:  ANZ Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne Bookings: Early bird (until 31 January 2015): $490 Full price: $540 Book now. The Centre for Youth Literature is excited…
  • Position Available: Events Officer – Centre for Youth Literature

    Adele Walsh
    5 Nov 2014 | 3:17 pm
    The Centre for Youth Literature is looking for a new team member – might that be you? Events Officer – Centre for Youth Literature Fixed term to 30 June 2015 Part-time – 3 days per week, with additional hours as required VPS 3.1 – $58,630 per annum (pro rata) About Us The Centre for Youth Literature connects Australia’s young people with literature, inspiring young adults to engage with books, stories and writing. The Centre sits within Reader Development unit of the State Library of Victoria’s Learning Services Division, and develops an array of reading,…
  • 2014 Inky Awards – The Winners

    Adele Walsh
    20 Oct 2014 | 10:32 pm
    The Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria today announced the winners of 2014 Inky Awards – Australia’s only national teen choice literary prize. The Gold Inky is awarded to an Australian author and includes $2,000 prize money. The 2014 Gold Inky winner is: The First Third by Will Kostakis (Penguin). Life is made up of three parts: in the first third, you’re embarrassed by your family; in the second, you make a family of your own; and in the end, you just embarrass the family you’ve made. The Silver Inky is awarded to an international author. The 2014…
  • 2015: The Year Ahead in Youth Literature

    Adele Walsh
    12 Oct 2014 | 7:04 pm
    presents 2015: The Year Ahead In Youth Literature Tuesday 2 December, 6pm – 8:30pm The Courtyard, State Library of Victoria Cost: $18 per person Bookings: Book online or (03) 8664 7099 Are teen memoirs really the next big thing?  Will old favourites shock us with something terrifically new? The world of youth literature is an ever evolution place with many stories to be told.  Join a fabulous roster of publishers, literary organisations, and teen fiction fans for a fast-paced, sneak peek at the year ahead. Upcoming trends and interests for youth readers, projects, and programs will be…
  • 2014 Inky Awards Celebration

    Adele Walsh
    2 Oct 2014 | 5:32 pm
    Date: Tuesday 21 October 2014, 10:00am - 12:30pm Cost: $9.90 (teachers with a group of 10 students will receive one complimentary ticket) Bookings Book online 03 8664 7099 Venue: The Courtyard - Main entry, Swanston St   Australia’s top teen-choice book awards – the Inky Awards – are back! Join the celebration of great new books and young adult voices at the 2014 Inky Awards winners’ announcement ceremony. The Inky Awards are an annual literary prize for the best new Young Adult literature as chosen by teen readers, in two categories: the Gold…
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    WordPress Tag: Children's Book

  • "William" Release Happenin' Tonight!!

    20 Nov 2014 | 4:08 pm
    Hullo, readers, friends, and fans! The release of my first children’s book, The Adventures of William the Brownie, draws nigh–only six hours away! I’ll be doing another post as soon as the Smashwords ebook copy goes live; the print version may not be available on Amazon straight away. Also, tonight is your last chance to enter the Goodreaders give-away; twenty-one lucky winners, and you could be one of ‘em! Remember that a percentage of all royalties made from William will go toward…
  • For Children of All Ages..

    The Secret Kingdom
    20 Nov 2014 | 3:25 pm
    My sister is a Hospice nurse. Several months ago, she gave her copy of The Secret Kingdom to one of her patients: a 90-year-old man who loves poetry. She tells me that this gentleman reads The Secret Kingdom every night before he goes to bed, and often has her read the entire book aloud to him during her visits. He shares The Secret Kingdom with everyone he knows – from family members to the CNA who comes to help him bathe. When my sister told me this, I was practically speechless… When she showed me this picture, I was moved to tears. Truly, art is for everyone, and…
  • Children's Book Written By Spiritual Activist, Russell Brand

    Ashley Kimler
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:05 am
    “The Pied Piper of Hamelin,” a children’s book written by actor/ comedian/ social activist Russell Brand, was recently published by Atria books. The visuals for this book were executed by Chris Riddell, who is known for his work as a cartoonist with The Observer as well as illustrating books by Paul Stewart. Brand is one of my favorite public personas to follow. He advocates  spiritual truth as well as extreme political change for humanity’s advancement. Although not a parent yet himself, Russell Brand is a role model I would be proud to have my children look to…
  • Long time No see Penguin Family

    20 Nov 2014 | 7:01 am
    Medium: Watercolour Pencils, Ink, Watercolour Brushes My apologies for being away from the blog and being a stranger for the past few months. I was shocked to see the date for my previous post which was in April this year! My goodness. Where did the time go…? This illustration was inspired by the documentary I watched about the Emperor penguins last week. I really enjoyed holding brushes and painting these tiny beautiful creatures on white canvas. It’s not finished yet but thought of sharing them with you tonight. Hope you enjoy.:) Marysue
  • The ABCs of Yoga for Kids by Teresa Anne Power

    19 Nov 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Title: The ABCs of Yoga for Kids Author: Teresa Anne Power Illustrator: Kathleen Rietz Publisher: Stafford House – Smith Publicity Published: September 16th, 2009 Rating: 5/5 A brilliant alphabet of yoga, told in rhyme With illustrations to help you every time To understand and help children try these Yoga positions on hands, feet, toes and knees! Start off by being an airplane flying high in the sky A bridge, a boat or even a butterfly! A dolphin, an elephant or even a fish This book helps you do every pose you could wish. Instructions are given so clearly in rhyme Not to follow them…
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    School Library Journal

  • Ferguson Library Provides Calm Refuge for a Torn Community

    Lisa Peet
    26 Nov 2014 | 9:20 am
    Photo by @IndyJazzBelle On November 24 a grand jury in Ferguson, MO, delivered its verdict on the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a Ferguson police officer. The St. Louis County grand jury chose not to bring criminal charges against the officer, Darren Wilson; the decision, which was announced just after 8 p.m. CST, set off a night of protests and civil unrest, the most violent including arson, shattered windows, injuries, and, as of press time, a possible murder. During the nearly four months of unrest since Brown was killed, the Ferguson Municipal…
  • Sir David Attenborough investigates “Fabulous Frogs”| DVD Pick

    26 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    Fabulous Frogs. (Nature). 60 min. Dist. by PBS. 2014. DVD $19.99. Blu-ray $24.99. ISBN 9781627890731. Gr 4 Up–Presenter Sir David Attenborough states, “There’s more to frogs than you might suppose,” and this film has the quality sound and visuals viewers expect from this series, in addition to Attenborough’s charming, conversational approach. He clearly loves these creatures. An abundance of interesting facts concerning the 5,000 species of frogs and toads that share our planet will captivate viewers, along with explanations and discussions of their evolution, anatomy, courtship and…
  • Bilingual and Spanish-language titles that celebrate family ties | Libro por libro

    Tim Wadham
    25 Nov 2014 | 10:06 am
    ’Twas Nochebuena: A Christmas Story in English and Spanish (Thong)©2014 by Sara Palacios Family is an integral part of Latino identity. These bonds often go beyond nuclear units to include tíos (uncles) and tías (aunts), primos (cousins) and abuelos (grandparents), and even other distant and semi-distant relations. Grandparents often live in the same households with children and grandchildren and gatherings are filled with lively and joyous festivities. As the holidays approach, Libro por libro highlights core titles about family, including bedtime stories, Spanish-language lullabies,…
  • #GiveaBook: Penguin Random House to Launch Book Donation Campaign with Save the Children

    25 Nov 2014 | 8:55 am
    Penguin Random House announced its November 29 launch of a new social media book donation campaign, #GiveaBook, to benefit children’s nonprofit, Save the Children, to benefit children in need. For every use of the hashtag #GiveaBook on Facebook and Twitter before December 25, Penguin Random House will donate a book to the Save the Children organization, up to 25,000 times. Read the full press release: New York, New York, November 20, 2014 — Penguin Random House, the world’s largest and most global trade book publisher, is announcing the launch of GiveaBook, a newly created…
  • Capstone Launches PebbleGo Next

    25 Nov 2014 | 8:32 am
    Capstone, a leading publisher of children’s books and digital products and services, announced the launch ofPebbleGo Next, its newest line of database modules that features content connected to grades 3–6 curriculum with longer, more robust information. PebbleGo Next debuts with a State and American Indian Studies module. Featuring articles for all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC, plus 11 American Indian culture areas with 40 distinct tribes, the module explores the history, geography, government, people, and more across a variety of articles. “Today is an exciting day for…
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    A Fuse #8 Production

  • Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

    Elizabeth Bird
    26 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    Recently I had the pleasure of attending the AAP Tri-State Book Buzz for Children’s and Teen Librarians here in NYC.  This is an event where a whole heaping helpful of publishers gather together to do a kind of massive librarian preview for folks like myself.  It’s a mix of big folks (Macmillan, Random House, etc.) and smaller houses you might not hear from otherwise.  With that in mind, I’ve either already attended or am about to attend some of the big guys, so I’ll leave them off of this particular preview.  Additionally, I had a meeting in the morning of the…
  • Thoughts on the Debut Author/Illustrator

    Elizabeth Bird
    24 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    Last week Jackie Woodson won The National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.  It was a win so deserved that I had difficulty processing it.  Under normal circumstances National Book Awards for children’s books come out of left field and are so blooming unpredictable that they almost always serve my perpetual amusement.  The fact that a deserving book (one might call it “the” deserving book of the year) won was enormously satisfying.  Of course, Ms. Woodson’s not exactly the new kid on the block.  She’s been writing for decades, her style growing…
  • Review of the Day: Neighborhood Sharks by Katherine Roy

    Elizabeth Bird
    21 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands By Katherine Roy David Macaulay Studio – Roaring Brook (Macmillan) $17.99 ISBN: 9781596438743 Ages 7-12 On shelves now. When you’re a librarian buying for your system, you come to understand that certain nonfiction topics are perennial favorites. You accept that no matter how many copies you buy, you will never have enough train or joke or magic books. And the king daddy topic to beat them all, the one that leaves a continual gaping hole in the Dewey Decimal area of 597.3 or so, is sharks. Kids…
  • Fuse #8 TV: Eric Carle Museum Tours and Absolutely Lisa Graff

    Elizabeth Bird
    20 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    Top of the morning to you, folks!  I’m happy to release my second Fuse #8 TV episode.  This time around I thought it would be a bit of fun to take a trip to the Eric Carle Museum.  Not everyone has ever had a chance to visit and it’s just the loveliest place.  After that, I sit down with the truly delightful Lisa Graff to talk a bit about the slow burn of her career and her latest book Absolutely Almost.  Enjoy!
  • Press Release Fun: Spend an Evening with Brian Floca (for free!)

    Elizabeth Bird
    19 Nov 2014 | 1:00 am
    Free Lecture An Evening with Brian Floca Saturday, December 6, 6:00–7:30 p.m. Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall, Uris Center for Education, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Join award-winning author and illustratorBrian Floca, this year’s recipient of the prestigious Randolph Caldecott Medal for Locomotive, for a presentation about his creative journey, his work in various formats, and exciting upcoming projects. Meet the artist and explore the Museum until it closes at 9:00 p.m. Brian Floca is the author and illustrator of picture books Locomotive, Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo…
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    Michael Gerson: Most Recent Articles and Archives

  • Michael Gerson: Obama’s executive order redefines the immigration debate

    Michael Gerson
    24 Nov 2014 | 4:15 pm
    Following President Obama’s ambitious executive order on immigration — unprecedented not in subject matter but in scope and ambition — we are left to pick through the wreckage of law and precedent. Obama’s action was a substitute for legislation — imposed precisely because legislation he favored did not pass. So what issues might have been raised during the legislative debate Obama preempted? Read full article >>
  • Obama’s immigration executive order is a confession of democratic failure

    Michael Gerson
    20 Nov 2014 | 5:58 pm
    There are any number of marvelous things one might do as president, if Congress were not such a checked and balanced mess. But future presidents now have a new method at their disposal: Declare a long-running debate to be a national emergency. Challenge Congress, under threat of unilateral executive action, to legislate on the topic before your term runs out. And when lawmakers refuse, act with the most expansive definition of presidential power. Read full article >>
  • Michael Gerson: Pope Francis challenges the faithful

    Michael Gerson
    17 Nov 2014 | 4:44 pm
    Pope Francis’s American honeymoon is over (though the whole idea of a papal honeymoon smacks of Borgia-era excess). At first, some political conservatives complained that Francis was showing insufficient respect for distinguished Catholic theologians such as Adam Smith and Milton Friedman. But now, more thoughtful Catholic writers wonder if the pope (who conspicuously marries cohabiting couples) is laying the groundwork for more substantive changes on the sacrament of marriage and access to the Eucharist for the divorced and remarried. This, argues Ross Douthat of the New York Times, would…
  • Michael Gerson: A gathering storm on immigration

    Michael Gerson
    13 Nov 2014 | 5:14 pm
    When Abraham Lincoln first presented a version of the Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet, Secretary of State William Seward warned that issuing it after a defeat would look desperate. Better to wait “until the eagle of victory takes his flight” and then “hang your proclamation about his neck.” Lincoln postponed action until after the Union victory (such as it was) at Antietam. Read full article >>
  • From Ohio, a different sort of Republicanism

    Michael Gerson
    10 Nov 2014 | 4:53 pm
    Aweek after the midterm elections, Republicans are still browsing through the jewelry store of their victories, admiring this bauble and that. Most of their Senate wins were predicted by the electoral map. The victories of many Republican governors, however, were impressive for extending the map, holding hard-earned territory or crossing demographic barriers. Read full article >>
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  • The Last Wild by Piers Torday

    24 Nov 2014 | 4:56 am
    “Wild” is a noun, not an adjective in this novel, and it means a group of animals who live together in a sort of ecosystem. Kester Jaynes is a boy, the son of a former veterinarian, who lives in a home for troubled children in a society that has become somewhat troubled, perhaps insane, itself. The animals have all been destroyed because of the the “disease worse than a nuclear bomb” called red-eye. The animals were carriers, and now most of them are gone, except for insects and a few species of birds. However, one night Kester discovers that even though he is unable…
  • If You’re Reading This by Trent Reedy

    22 Nov 2014 | 4:18 am
    Mike gets a letter a few weeks before his sixteenth birthday: “If you’re reading this, I’m very sorry, but I was killed in the war in Afghanistan.” Thus begins a series of letters to Mike from the dad he didn’t really know who died in Afghanistan when Mike was eight years old. Can Mike get to know his dad and maybe get some wisdom and advice, even though his dad is gone? This YA contemporary fiction book has several things going for it: It has a male protagonist, written by a male author. Mike really feels like a typical sixteen year old guy, kind of a straight…
  • Saturday Review of Books: November 22, 2014

    21 Nov 2014 | 8:08 pm
    “The greatest gift is the passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.” ~Elizabeth Hardwick Welcome to the Saturday Review of Books at Semicolon. Here’s how it usually works. Find a book review on your blog posted sometime during the previous week. The review doesn’t have to be a formal sort of thing. You can link to your thoughts on a particular book, a few ideas inspired by reading the book, your evaluation, quotations, whatever. Then on Friday…
  • My Zombie Hamster by Havelock McCreely

    21 Nov 2014 | 4:43 am
    When Matt gets a hamster for Christmas instead of the Runesword that he asked for, he’s not a happy camper. Then when Snuffles the Hamster dies, Matt really feels “horrible about the poor thing.” But when Matt realizes that Snuffles has turned into a Zombie Hamster (Anti-Snuffles), things start to get complicated, maybe even dangerous. Anti-Snuffles escapes and begins infecting the pets in the entire neighborhood with zombie-ness. Meanwhile, Matt’s friend Charlie (girl) is acting kind of strange. And the Zombie Police are on the watch for any new zombies, dead or…
  • Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins

    20 Nov 2014 | 3:50 am
    I didn’t care for Lynne Rae Perkins’ Newbery Award winning book, Criss Cross. As I remember it, the book was partly written in verse, and I don’t care for verse novels. It also was confusing, about teenagers, and I just didn’t “get it.” Nuts to You is not Criss Cross. It’s not even similar to Criss Cross. If you liked last year’s The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt or even last year’s Newbery Award winner, Flora and Ulysses: the Illuminated Adventures by Kate di Camillo, then Nuts to You should be just up your alley.
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    Ally Carter

  • Magnificent Monday

    24 Nov 2014 | 10:02 am
    Hi All! We have a ton of things going on for all of you Ally Carter fans out there. The biggest thing happening is all the buzz about the Ally Ambassador program! If you have not signed up for it you are going to miss out on some fun missions and awesome prizes! So, go Sign up to be an Ambassador here(or here if you’re a UK resident!) Want to see Ally in person? Your next chance will be in New York on December 4th. See Ally at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble for a signing with some of the other authors of My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories. I can’t wait to hear about…
  • Calling all Ally Ambassadors!

    19 Nov 2014 | 10:07 am
    Hi everyone! Here is your chance to be an Ally Ambassador!  What is an Ally Ambassador you ask? Ally Ambassadors will be members of the official Ally Carter street team! They will complete missions to help spread the word about EMBASSY ROW, and have access to exclusive Embassy Row content AND great prizes! Sign up to be an Ambassador here (or here if you’re a UK resident!) and download official social media images here! The first 100 US and Canadian residents to sign up will receive a special advance copy of Embassy Row #1: All Fall Down, and EVERYONE who signs up will receive a bonus…
  • Magnificent Freezing Cold Monday

    17 Nov 2014 | 7:39 am
    Hi Everyone! It is a super cold Monday morning and I am enjoying some hot tea and pumpkin scones. I am so excited that winter is here! I love hot tea, hot chocolate, and hot soup! Fun Ally Carter fact: She makes the best tomato soup! Are there any Ally Carter fan chefs out there? Or just any soup fans like me? Favorite cold weather food or drink? And just in case you are ready to fully immerse yourself  in all things Christmas go check out My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories. Even better, if you are going to be in New York on December 4th go see Ally at the Tribeca Barnes…
  • Magnificent Monday

    10 Nov 2014 | 6:32 am
    Hey Everyone! Wow! What a fun past few weeks giving away all the ARC’s of All Fall Down! We were overwhelmed with all the responses! Ally Carter fans are truly the BEST! What did you guys think of all the different contests on all the different social media sites? Which one was your favorite? Even if you didn’t win did you know you can read the first 2 chapters of All Fall Down book one of the Embassy Row Series HERE!?!?!?! Want to see Ally in person? Come see Ally at the following conferences and events! Barnes & Noble, Tribeca* New York, NY December 4, 2014 *Joint event…
  • Embassy Row ARC Giveaway #5

    3 Nov 2014 | 8:06 am
    Hi Everyone! Who is ready to Win an Advanced Reading Copy of All Fall Down, Book 1 of the Embassy Row Series? For your FINAL chance to win an ARC of All Fall Down head over to Ally’s Twitter Page, Contest Rules: To be entered into the contest you must  go on Twitter and Retweet Ally’s tweet about the contest Winner will be picked randomly in 48hours!   Good Luck! Ally & Shellie The post Embassy Row ARC Giveaway #5 appeared first on Ally Carter.
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    Among Amid While

  • Sea Hearts and The Night Guest win the Barbara Jefferis Award

    Among Amid While
    6 Nov 2014 | 1:02 pm
    I'm really pleased to announce that Sea Hearts is joint winner, with Fiona McFarlane's The Night Guest, of the Barbara Jefferis Award for "the best novel written by an Australian Author that depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls in society".      The award was given at a lovely event last night hosted by the Australian Society of Authors in
  • Conflux 10 appearances

    Among Amid While
    26 Sep 2014 | 6:54 pm
    I appear to be taking a year off from this blog. Which is long enough to have to re-learn how to get into it. Way to complicate things, Google and Blogger.      Anyway, I'm breaking radio silence to bring you my schedule for next weekend's appearances at Conflux 10 in Canberra, where I am really pleased to be Guest of Honour, alongside Alisa Krasnostein.      Here's what I'll be doing on the
  • 2013 in review: an out-and-out skite

    Among Amid While
    22 Dec 2013 | 5:29 pm
    My four Aurealises, and my Horror-Awards-bestowing  gloves I've been meaning to compile a list of all the Sea Hearts/ Rollrock achievements, and the end of the year provides a neat excuse, as well as the time, of course *waves cheerily to the day job*. So here we go. Some of this is from last year, but I wanted all the glory in one place, so forgive me if it gets repetitive. Also, if anyone
  • Meanjin Tournament of Books...

    Among Amid While
    2 Dec 2013 | 11:50 pm all about watery themes this year, so the shortlist is very blue, except where it's green or black. And wonder of wonders, Sea Hearts (a) is on it and (b) has made it through the first round.
  • Sea Hearts is nominated for the IMPAC

    Among Amid While
    2 Dec 2013 | 11:41 pm
    I know, it's outlandish. But it's true. Me and Hilary. And, erm, 150 other authors/books. I am celebrating now, in the expectation of its not getting any further. We'll find out in April.
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    Scott Westerfeld

  • Tour Is Done

    11 Nov 2014 | 8:12 am
    My twenty-city, three-country, back-breaking tour for Afterworlds is done! Now I can go back to that other job I have. Which is, um . . . writing. Yeah, that’s it. A few notable things: My next graphic novel project has been announced on io9! (More on this here soon.) The New York Times gave me a great review, which contained this marketing-department-happy-making pull-quote: “‘Afterworlds’ is a wonderful book for any young person with an interest in growing up to be a writer.” Though I would add the words or who is already a writer. Because it’s November,…
  • Single Limited Viewpoint

    2 Nov 2014 | 11:17 am
    This is an excerpt from a work in progress called How to Write YA. It’s a companion to my current book, Afterworlds, about a young novelist living in NYC. There’s more info on this page, and you can listen to me talking about Afterworlds here on Wisconsin Public Radio. Point of View Point of view is hard. It’s complicated, subtle, and confusing, and POV failure is one of the most common reasons why agents and publishers cast aside submissions half read. To make things worse, a lot of the writing advice on the subject is unhelpful or downright wrong. Much of the terminology…
  • Still on Tour

    10 Oct 2014 | 8:10 am
    The Afterworlds tour is pretty much over, except for my visit to Toronto, Canada and YallFest in Charleston, SC. (See my Appearances page for details on those.) For the rest of you, here are some amusing photos from tour. This is evidence of studious reading: Here’s what an audience looks like when you’re giving a presentation. In no way intimidating! This is one I took for my upcoming Tumblr, IndieBookstoreBathrooms: It’s always great to see Midnighters tattoos: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare were also on tour at the same time, so they left me and Justine friendly notes in…
  • Afterworlds Spoiler Thread

    22 Sep 2014 | 9:02 pm
    It’s that time again: A TIME OF SPOILAGE. Use the comment thread of this post to discuss all that happens in Afterworlds. If you haven’t read the book, however, it might be wise to NOT LOOK AT THE COMMENTS. Don’t forget what happened to this person back in May of 2006. I quote from the famous Specials spoiler thread: oh god, i read the spoiler section before i read the book. i would have read the book by now but the bookstore doesn’t have it in yet! i got the first two before the sale date. why can’t i do that now!? crap i can’t believe i read the spoiler section . . .
  • The Committee Strikes

    18 Sep 2014 | 7:59 am
    I knew those creeps at the Committee to Protect YA would hit me sooner or later, but I didn’t think they’d hit me this hard: Click here for bigger.
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    deborah wiles: field notes

  • revolution, everywhere

    Debbie Wiles
    10 Nov 2014 | 7:45 am
    One week in the life, and what a week. Monday I started out for North Carolina, with REVOLUTION, and Sunday night, last night, I sat in the tutti-fruitti chair at home in Atlanta, with Masterpiece Theater and my phone, watching and texting along with my Mississippi cousin, Carol, a long-standing tradition. Some of the life between those two moments is captured below in phone photos -- I miss my camera! But I did not miss my friends. They were right there, all along, right beside me, as you will see, accompanying me and championing me and coaxing me forward, in person and online, and certainly…
  • picture stories

    Debbie Wiles
    20 Sep 2014 | 8:34 pm
             An afternoon drive out of Atlanta, a patriotic rest stop, a Confederate flag flying over the Columbia, South Carolina Statehouse, an arrival at Mama's house on John's Island.O Charleston, O Youth, O History of Long Ago. The marsh, the swamp, the salt, the breeze. Falling in love with the sousaphone player in the high school marching band who would grow up to be the piano man who would lure me to Atlanta, where I've lived these past ten years.Yesterday we traveled, like we often do, to the place where we fell in love and parted from one another for…
  • birthing a revolution

    Debbie Wiles
    7 Sep 2014 | 3:55 am
    Friends, I am Mississippi as I write this. I have an essay at the Nerdy Book Club blog today, about birthing Revolution in MississippiI wrote it on the eve of my trip. I am still in Mississippi, with family, until tomorrow, when I come home and write about my adventures in schools, in bookstores, and in my own heart. In the meantime, you can read the Nerdy post and then catch up visually with this past week's adventure on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Most of the photos are at Instagram.It has been an emotionally packed week that has walloped me upside the head more than once, has…
  • debbie's big adventure (the snowy days)

    Debbie Wiles
    5 Apr 2014 | 10:09 am
    I flew into JFK in February knowing it was cold. I took public transportation from the airport to Great Neck, which took three train changes and about three hours. I saw Brenda Bowen on the train platform in Jamaica and we were both so frozen it took minutes (and boarding the next train) before it registered that that was really her. We wrote to each other later, "I thought I recognized that smile!"I had come to New York to work at Great Neck South Middle School and to visit my Scholastic peeps and put REVOLUTION to bed bed BED, and I knew it was going to snow while I was there. I didn't…
  • it was a long winter

    Debbie Wiles
    5 Apr 2014 | 6:42 am
    It wasn't the amount of snow. It was the cold. It was how long it was cold, in Hotlanta. It was so cold this past winter. I just wanted to make soup and popcorn and burrow under old quilts and watch old movies; and look out the kitchen window to see the winter birds forage on all the old seed pods in the garden; take selfies of ourselves now, and compare them to old pictures of us on my dresser and tell ourselves we're not that old yet; buy an enormous (heavy!) cast iron pot and make more and more soup; get up at four in the morning and turn on the lovely lamps and write in my cozy writing…
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  • Katie in Scotland

    25 Nov 2014 | 9:45 pm
    Cabers were tossed. Also, there’s a most capable Grandma (as they should be), there’s Nessie, beautiful scenery, an efficient and helpful train crew. In short, James Mayhew’s Katie in Scotland has all you could want from a picture book about Scotland. I don’t know why I’ve never investigated James’s books before. I suspect I might be an idiot. This is a truly lovely picture book, and one for which there is absolutely no need to be a child to enjoy. It begins with Grandma, who takes Katie and her brother Jack to see Nessie. I mean, to see Loch Ness. You just…
  • Endless Empress

    24 Nov 2014 | 9:09 pm
    Wonderfully weird, would be a good way to describe today’s Book Week Scotland read. Those of you who have already read my snippets about Kirkland Ciccone on here, will not be surprised to hear my opinion of this crazy author’s second novel. In fact, you will probably have suspected ‘the worst.’ Perhaps better suited to the YA readers Kirkland had in mind, than us oldies, it’s still fascinating and will potentially give us an insight into the warped minds of some teenagers. Or are they warped? I don’t know. Maybe this was all a game, and perhaps there…
  • The Tobermory Cat 1 2 3

    23 Nov 2014 | 8:27 pm
    The Tobermory Cat is back. This time he – and Debi Gliori – teach young readers to count. He’s such a hungry cat that I was reminded of Six Dinner Sid, although TC appears to have a mere five houses in which to have lunch. How he can possibly have room for snacks before dinner is beyond me. But TC is a clever and capable cat. Still as orange as ever, TC thinks, and dreams, mainly about food, from breakfast to his bedtime drink. Between meals he fights wasps, sleeps on cars and has his photograph taken by lots of people. Whatever he does, we can count it. This is a great…
  • The cookbook

    22 Nov 2014 | 9:46 pm
    As a forgetful kind of person I make notes in my diary regarding almost everything I need to remember. Mid-October it tells me to make the Christmas cake. It’s early, but not too early, since I’m aware I tend to procrastinate a bit, and will need the extra time. This year I started on the right day. By the right day I mean I sat down to write a list for what to buy; the dried fruit, plenty of glacé cherries for Son, and maybe some new brandy. (I had forced most of my old ingredients onto our now ex-neighbours before the move.) Do you recall what happened to the Sara…
  • Witch livingroom library #1

    21 Nov 2014 | 9:13 pm
    Well, it’s a start. The upright thingies and the brackets are in place. The black dust has settled. (We have black bricks.) The shelves are resting losely on the brackets, in order to ease the painting of them. Nine shelves, all with undersides and topsides, not to mention edges. Right now I’d like to see a painting scene like you get in these film snippets where the film speed has been ‘improved’ on. That way those shelves could be snow white tomorrow. The joiner asked if we have many books. The Resident IT Consultant has yet to learn that it’s easier to…
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    Confessions of a Bibliovore

  • Book Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

    15 Nov 2014 | 2:00 pm
    Book: To All the Boys I’ve Loved BeforeAuthor: Jenny HanPublished: 2014Source: Local LibraryLara Jean Song has loved many boys, but never one who’s loved her back. She formed a habit of writing a goodbye letter to each boy and hiding it in her treasured hatbox as she gets over them.Suddenly the letters disappear, sent out to the boys who were never supposed to see them. Lara Jean finds herself facing the consequences of her own emotions for the first time. The most horrifying consequence is that one of the letters went out to Josh, her next-door neighbor, and also her big sister’s…
  • Reading Roundup: October 2014

    1 Nov 2014 | 9:09 pm
    By the NumbersTeen: 16Tween: 1Children: none(All Cybils reading, all the time!)SourcesReview Copies: 7Library: 9StandoutsTeen: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie StiefvaterThe story of Blue and her raven boys continues to unfold at a leisurely pace, though there's progress toward the climax that devoted readers of this series have been dreading for three books now. Tween: The Islands at the End of the World by Austin AslanThough the character is stated to be seventeen, she read younger to me. Kids who can handle rough and tough survival stories will be drawn to this. Like Mike Mullins in his…
  • Have You Nominated for the Cybils Yet?

    12 Oct 2014 | 3:35 pm
    Because today is the Very. Last. Day.If you're not sure what to nominate, check out some of the posts on, where people have gathered lists of the books they would like to see nominated and would have nominated themselves except they already nominated one because it's sooooo haaaard to choooooose!
  • Reading Roundup: September 2014

    1 Oct 2014 | 7:50 pm
    By the NumbersTeen: 10Tween: 3Children: 2SourcesReview Copies: 10Library: 3StandoutsTeen: Sway by Kat SpearsI really liked this examination of a morally grey kid with a surprisingly good heart.Tween: My Year of Epic Rock by Andrea Pyros (link goes to my review)It's a tale as old as time - dumped by your BFF on the first day of seventh grade. Luckily for Nina, there's nowhere to go but up from here.Children: Thursdays with the Crown by Jessica Day GeorgeThe third adventure for the royal family finds them far from home and trying to work out what really happened hundreds of years before. You…
  • Cybils Eve

    30 Sep 2014 | 11:30 am
    Guess what!Go on, guess!Okay, fine, I'll tell you. Starting tomorrow through October 15, you get to nominate books for the Cybils! The world's only Children's and YA Blogger award opens its nomination period tomorrow, in thirteen categories from picture books to YA fiction, from book apps to poetry.Anybody can nominate, and the books can be anything published in English in the US or Canada in the past year.  Remember, each book (or app) can only be nominated by one person. So if you're going in, take at least a few faves in each category with you.  More info here: Nominating for the…
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    ReadPlus Review Blog

  • Hansel & Gretel by Neil Gaiman

    26 Nov 2014 | 11:28 am
    Ill. by Lorenzo Mattotti. Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781408861981 (Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Fairy tale, Witchcraft, Graphic novel. With brooding black and white illustrations covering every second double page, the familiar text between is permeated with ominous dread as the children are duped into going into the forest with their parents. There they are left, the first time finding their way back home using small white stones dropped to show them the way, and the second time using breadcrumbs which when eaten by the birds, leaves them stranded. They discover a gingerbread house in which…
  • Cooper Bartholomew is dead by Rebecca James

    26 Nov 2014 | 11:26 am
    Allen & Unwin 2014. ISBN 9781743319239 (Age: 15+) Nineteen-year-old Libby has just lost her new boyfriend, Cooper, to an apparent suicide. In a series of flashbacks we learn of their romance, which began after meeting again post-high school. Libby slowly learns that Cooper is far more than the popular boy she believed didn't notice her. Thrown into the mix are two other Cooper admirers, popular, catty ex-girlfriend Claire and rich best friend Sebastian.As the romance develops we are also transported to the present and drawn into the fallout of Cooper's death and the possibility of foul…
  • Dreamers by Ezekiel Kwaymullina

    26 Nov 2014 | 11:24 am
    Ill. by Sally Morgan. Fremantle Press, 2014. ISBN 9781922089700 (Age: 3+) Aboriginal themes, Dreaming. Children run, jump, dance and sleep across every page as the vibrant colurs swirl around them, cocooning them, and at the same time, making us more aware of their creativity and enticing the young reader to look more closely at their various poses. The images of the children at play in a multitude of situations are infectious, making the reader marvel at the variety. Sally Morgan's illustrations bring movement to the book, showing kids in all sorts of poses, making readers take note of the…
  • Jake in Space: Moon Attack by Candice Lemon-Scott

    26 Nov 2014 | 11:22 am
    New Frontier Publishing, 2014. ISBN 9781925059090 (Age: 9+) Highly recommended. The opening chapter of this story should engage its readers - driving at age 11, telepathy, living on a space station, going to the moon . . . Our main character, Jake, has struggled to pass his space car driving test and is now being sent to remedial driving school. To say he is embarrassed is probably an understatement! The story continues as Jake starts to make new friends but there is something strange about Henry. He talks funny, seems to know everything and Jake is sure he saw Henry going outside without a…
  • The talkative tombstone by Ursula Dubosarsky

    26 Nov 2014 | 11:21 am
    Ill. by Terry Denton. The cryptic casebook of Coco Carlomagno series. Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743319529 (Ages 6-9) Highly recommended. This is the sixth book in the popular Coco Carlomagno series. Alberta the guinea pig is very excited to receive a card from her cousin Coco, the chief of police in Buenos Aires. She travels to South America where together they must solve the mystery of why the tombstone of a beloved tango singer has started to talk. Once again Alberta's practical nature helps the anxious Coco to remain calm when his nerves threaten to get the better of him.
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    There's a Botticelli Angel Inside, Snapping Beans:

  • Fat politics: You can't talk about just yourself.

    17 Nov 2014 | 5:30 pm
    One step in integrating fat politics into your life is refraining from imposing fatphobia on others, which means (among other things) refraining from urging weight loss on anyone. Much urging of weight loss hides behind the guise of concern for health when really it’s an insidious mix of aesthetic, moral, and cultural discomfort at fat people existing—and especially at fat people existing without trying to lose weight. Refraining from saying or hinting that fat people in general or a certain fat person should strive to be less fat—that’s big. Once folks are on board with fatpol, they…
  • A bit about Linda Vigen Phillipps' Crazy

    17 Nov 2014 | 5:06 pm
    Crazy by Linda Vigen Phillips has some interesting things about the treatment of mental illness in the 1960s. I have reservations about the ending regarding treatment of mental illness and would like to discuss the ending if any of you have read it.Meanwhile, Crazy holds a stellar example of how white America uses the notion of Indian-ness as something for itself. There are no Indian people in the book. There are three mentions of a mountain range near the white protagonist's house. Here's the first one (slashes indicate a line break; the prose is free verse):“my favorite mountains, / the…
  • Wearing your heart on your… whole torso

    1 Aug 2014 | 10:41 pm
    Via my dear friend Jess, here is a way you can wear an entire book on your shirt. An actual entire book.
  • I wrote a personal disability article.

    13 Jun 2014 | 2:06 pm
    It's posted at xojane, if you're curious.
  • Trans Bodies, Trans Selves

    1 Jun 2014 | 10:34 pm
    I had the opportunity to see the book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves tonight. For people new to my blog who haven't heard of it, "Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a resource guide for transgender populations, covering health, legal issues, cultural and social questions, history, theory, and more. It is a place for transgender and gender-questioning people, their partners and families, students, professors, guidance counselors, and others to look for up-to-date information on transgender life."I was at a party when I saw it, so I couldn't properly sit down and read, but I perused, and it looks pretty…
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    I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I read?

  • Gender 101 Episode 32 Redux: Nenu and Frankie on Being Gender Queer AND Persons of Color

    Lee Wind, M.Ed.
    26 Nov 2014 | 3:03 am
    Benji (a.k.a. Lucy) continues our discussions on gender, asking Nenu and Frankie to share about being both Gender Queer and People of Color.What amazing latin@s!Check out the original posting here.Namaste,Lee
  • "I Am Thankful For..." Jodi Picoult's Answer To This Time Magazine Piece Makes A Difference

    Lee Wind, M.Ed.
    24 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    So in the current Time magazine, December 1-8, 2014, on page 18, they ran a piece by Tessa Berenson, interviewing four notable people and asking them to share what they are thankful for. Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, Actor Chelsea Peretti and current U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry all weighed in with their answers.But Jodi Picoult took this one step further - as an opportunity. Here's what she wrote:'I'm thankful for my family, as it expands in very wonderful directions. This Labor Day, my son Kevin proposed to his boyfriend Kyle. On paddleboards. In the middle of a lake. With a…
  • Inheritance - Book 2 in Malinda Lo's ADAPTATION Sci Fi Series About A Bi Teen

    Lee Wind, M.Ed.
    21 Nov 2014 | 2:55 am
    Inheritance by Malinda LoReese and David are not normal teens—not since they were adapted with alien DNA by the Imria, an extraterrestrial race that has been secretly visiting Earth for decades. Now everyone is trying to get to them: the government, the Imria, and a mysterious corporation that would do anything for the upper hand against the aliens.Beyond the web of conspiracies, Reese can’t reconcile her love for David with her feelings for her ex-girlfriend Amber, an Imrian. But her choice between two worlds will play a critical role in determining the future of humanity, the…
  • Gender 101, Episode 31 Redux: Benji, Nenu, Frankie and Emmi on Presenting

    Lee Wind, M.Ed.
    19 Nov 2014 | 3:03 am
    It's the first of our panel discussions on gender, and Benji (a.k.a. Lucy) continues the conversation with Nenu, Frankie and Emmi. They discuss being Gender Queer and how they present themselves... covering issues of clothing, body acceptance, androgyny and safety. My thanks to Benji, Nenu, Frankie and Emmi for sharing so honestly. You can check out the original posting here, where Sally Bibary wrote this comment:Sally Bibrary said...Fantastic video! It makes me feel so good to see the next generation sharing so openly and honestly. :)May 30, 2012 at 6:46 AM Also, note that tomorrow (November…
  • Senior Editor Ben Rosenthal: The Pre-#NY15SCBWI Conference Interview

    Lee Wind, M.Ed.
    17 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    Ben Rosenthal is a senior editor at Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books. He acquires middle grade and YA fiction but also loves fresh and surprising nonfiction. At Harper, he has worked with such authors as Patrick Carman, Mindy McGinnis, and Jordana Frankel. Before arriving at KT Books in 2014, Ben spent seven years at Enslow Publishers, where he edited more than 150 nonfiction and middle grade fiction titles and created a teen fiction imprint, Scarlet Voyage. Raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, he now lives in New Jersey with his wife.Senior Editor Ben…
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    Literacy, families and learning

  • Using imaginative storytelling with young children

    Trevor Cairney
    20 Nov 2014 | 2:58 am
    From a very early age, children begin in varied play situations to experiment with story using the springboard of literature, song, film or even real-life accounts. My youngest granddaughter Lydia has been fascinated by story since her first year of life. At dinner this evening she wrapped a piece of lettuce around her fork and the newly created 'butterfly' was having a long conversation with her knife. She was oblivious to others at the table as she was lost in her storytelling. It seems that they were in fact two butterflies sharing just one set of wings. She has just turned three and…
  • Raising Chickens: The Power of Experience for Learning

    Trevor Cairney
    11 Nov 2014 | 12:54 pm
    The benefit of 'hands on'!I have written previously about the 'The Language Experience Approach' (LEA) to literacy on this blog (here) and how direct and personal experience is a key method for rich learning to take place (here).Some of my grandchildren are experiencing this in a very special way right now as they raise four chickens. There are four children in the family and four chickens. Every day brings new observations, discoveries, investigation and research as they feed, hold and simply watch their development day by day. Questions are asked constantly as changes occur in the chickens.
  • Reading to children: Why & How to do it well?

    Trevor Cairney
    29 Oct 2014 | 4:29 am
    Listening to your child reading is more complex, and important than people think. While I've written previously on reading to your child (here) and listening to them (here) back in 2008, I wanted to revisit these two topics in the one post. It's easy to do it badly, but not so easy to do well. In this post I'll comment on three things:The value of reading out loudSome DOs and DON'Ts for listenersA couple of specific read aloud strategies1. Some general comments on the value of oral readingAs an instructional strategy oral reading has some clear advantages:Anyone can do itIt ensures that the…
  • 10 Great New Non-Fiction Books for Younger Readers

    Trevor Cairney
    23 Oct 2014 | 2:19 pm
    1. 'Funny Faces' by Dr Mark Norman (Black Dog Books)This delightful book is a companion to 'Funny Bums' and 'Funny Homes'. The faces of some animals might look 'funny' to us but their eyes, ears, noses and mouths are what these animals need to survive. Dr Norman is Head of Sciences at Museum Victoria where he leads the large and active natural sciences research team. The books have wonderful photographs of different animals and clear and relatively simple text to explain why these creatures have these special features. The Tarsier, which is the cover image, has large eyes for hunting spiders…
  • Six Good Reasons Why Family Conversation is Still Important

    Trevor Cairney
    14 Oct 2014 | 4:20 am
    Have you noticed how when people under the age of 35 eat out, they usually do so with their smart phones on the table or in their hands, with sideways glances to share posts, funny videos, pictures and so on. While there's talk going on it's quite different. Conversation happens, but it is mediated by smart phones.More worrying than the above scenario is that when families eat out often the adults talk and the kids play with the smart phones. While I know adults need to talk without kids, when families get together over a meal it's a precious times for lots of things to occur.Above: Not all…
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    The Book Chook

  • Top Book Gifts for Kids, 2014

    25 Nov 2014 | 10:00 am
    Top Book Gifts for Kids, 2014by Susan Stephenson, Here’s a list of (mostly) recently-published books that would make fine gifts for the young readers in your life. Below you’ll find books for babies through to young adults, puzzle books, chapter books, classics, award-winners, funny books, graphic picture books, Christmas-themed books - the whole gamut of reading material! In the interests of keeping the list manageable, I had to leave out hundreds of other excellent books. Locate many more book gift ideas by clicking on Reviews. Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Safari:…
  • Poster Maker, Pixteller

    23 Nov 2014 | 10:00 am
    Poster Maker, Pixtellerby Susan Stephenson, I love to fool around with images. I’ve written several articles about image editors, because I think they’re useful to both the adult readers of my blog, and their children/students. Early this year I brought you my favourite image editors and then updated that list in August. I’ve written about ways kids can investigate and play with images, and ways we can help kids produce visual content online. Recently I also talked about Ways Kids Can Create Images with iPad, and last month described Visme, an online space for…
  • Writing Prompts for Young Writers

    20 Nov 2014 | 10:00 am
    Writing Prompts for Young Writersby Susan Stephenson, Ask anyone to sit down in front of a blank sheet of paper and write, and you’ll likely elicit desperate looks and head-scratching. Most of us need something to get us started, whether that be a spontaneous idea, a sentence fragment, an image, or parameters within which we must write. Young writers, even those who love to write, might find some of these ideas helpful. Make Your Own PromptsMaking our own prompts for writing is lots of fun. Better still, have kids make them for someone else. Sometimes we tend to choose…
  • Children’s Book Review, Being Jack

    18 Nov 2014 | 10:00 am
    Reviewed by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.comBeing Jack was written by Susanne Gervay, illustrated by Cathy Wilcox, and published by Harper Collins Australia, 2014. From the publisher:Jack is in Year 6 now and still loves his photography, surfing, and crazy family. Things are going well for him, particularly at school where he isn't bullied any more. But he notices that his best friend Christopher is being taunted and is starting to miss school and hiding out and avoiding everyone. And when a football match turns ugly and Jack and Christopher witness some unfair dirty play, they know…
  • Children’s iPad App, Screen Chomp

    16 Nov 2014 | 10:00 am
    Children’s iPad App, Screen Chompby Susan Stephenson, Screen Chomp is an app I’ve seen mentioned in lots of app lists. The general consensus is that it’s very useful in an educational context. Basically it allows kids or teachers to make a quick and easy video of a kind of digital whiteboard, complete with markers. The video might be to explain or demonstrate something, or relate in some way to images from the Camera Roll or Dropbox. The user is then able to get a link to share that video. From the developer:1. Touch RECORD to capture your touch interactions and…
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    Gail Carson Levine

  • Smile Induction

    26 Nov 2014 | 8:50 am
    My best wishes to all of you who are bravely writing away on you NaNoWriMo projects. Hope it’s going along swimmingly!For any of you in my neck of the woods, I’m going to be part of a kids’ book author panel and then a signing on the evening of Monday, December 8th, from 6:00 to 7:30 at Fox Lane Middle School, 632 South Bedford Road, which is in Bedford, New York. If you can come, I’d love to meet you!Also, at the suggestion of Lydia S. last week on the blog, we’ve added a new feature right to the right of these words: FOLLOW BY EMAIL, which will let you know about blog updates, if…
  • Picky, Picky

    12 Nov 2014 | 5:38 am
    In July, this question came from Leah on the website: What is the right kind of details? Which details are important and which not so much?I talk about this in Writing Magic, so if you have the book you may want to look at Chapters 8 and 20. For now, let’s start with what a detail is, which is slippery, like most matters in writing.I’d say that a detail is any snippet that conveys information. Sometimes whatever that is may not seem like a detail. Suppose, for example, our MC is Candace whose birthday is today. Her mother comes into her bedroom to wake her up, bearing a big gift-wrapped…
  • Mama Mia!

    29 Oct 2014 | 5:49 am
    For those of you who are about to dive into NaNoWriMo, all my best wishes! Don’t forget to eat and sleep and read this blog!I look forward to meeting one--carpelibris!--or more of you this Saturday in Albany, New York!Now, imagine fanfare, a trumpet blowing, confetti. See it first here: the final cover for Stolen Magic!I think it's appealing and inviting, just what we want a cover to be.And on to the post. Two related questions came in over the summer. On July 23, 2014, Elisa wrote, What do you do with parents? I mean, I write from the perspective of children and teens--for the most…
  • Out With the Old... Or Not

    15 Oct 2014 | 5:12 am
    First off, I’ll be signing books from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on November 1st at the book fair in Albany, NY. The event is at the Silipigno Athletic Facility, 140 Academy Road. If you are going to be in the area, I’d love to meet you.On to the post. On July 23, 2014 Bibliophile wrote, Does anyone else ever cringe when looking at stuff they wrote ages ago? I was rereading the one 'book' I ever finished writing and just started to die inside. The heroine gives in to the hero too easily, there is no real main conflict and the magic I use is not only cliche, but has no rules. The romance in…
  • Curtains

    1 Oct 2014 | 5:43 am
    First a little lovely news: Writer to Writer, From Think to Ink (based on this blog, for any of you who don't know) has been chosen by the discerning people at the Junior Library Guild as one of their selections when it comes out, and both Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus will soon be giving the book lovely reviews. Publisher's Weekly calls the book "valuable," and Kirkus says it's "comprehensive."Onto this week's post. On July 23, 2014, Penelope wrote, I've been having a really hard time with my endings. I'm doing a redo of a fairy tale and I'm split on the ending. What I originally…
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  • Meet My Character Blog Tour: Annabelle

    13 Nov 2014 | 10:43 pm
    Thanks to Donna Miskend, an illustrious author and illustrator, for inviting me to join this blog tour.   My character is named Annabelle, and she’s a goat who’s a perfectionist, sort of like Martha Stewart. As you can imagine, this doesn’t always make her popular in the barnyard, where the pigs want to cool off in the mud, the sheep want to let their wool grow out, and the chickens like to have free range. Here she is, styling Sheep.       Next blog tour stop … Michigan wordsmith LuAnn Kern! She’s the author of The Night the Tooth Fairy…
  • Ludwig Bemelmans’ Dear Jackie Letter

    30 Oct 2014 | 9:56 pm
    Jacqueline Bouvier in 1935, later Jackie Kennedy and Jackie O. Please, Mrs. Kennedy–start rhyming!   The Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans show at the NY Historical Society was amazing. Ludwig Bemelmans had written a letter to Jackie Kennedy telling her she inspired the story he outlines below, and inviting her to work on it with him. Jackie Kennedy replied (her letter was also exhibited) thanking him and joking threatening a suit over his inspiring her young daughter, Caroline, to imitate one of his book characters by jumping into the Potomac. He includes…
  • Children’s Book Art Auction Piece: Dr. Seuss Tribute

    13 May 2014 | 10:09 pm
      Here’s my donation to this year’s American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) 2oth Annual Children’s Book Art Auction. This year’s illustration theme is a special dedication to Dr. Seuss. I’ve borrowed his characters, as you can see (I did add my own Who, and the Cat in the Hat is none other than Dr. Seuss himself). The giant instrument was from a story I wrote that was a bit Seussian, in its own way, and it seemed apropos here. I enjoyed doing the flat watercolors. He used black ink to shade and outline. I’ve used pencil here.
  • New Pieces with blue warthog

    4 Apr 2014 | 4:48 pm
    Here are two new children’s book illustrations for a postcard featuring a blue warthog and various other characters in part or whole for a story. I used a softer brush for this style than I usually do. I like the effect.  Guess this is my blue period?  
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    TR - Blog for Books, Reviews, Opinion and discussion

  • The Little Lady bug - Poem Review

    imTabula rasa
    25 Nov 2014 | 9:36 pm
    A few days back, I had an opportunity to read a delightful poem based on the need for friendship.At first I thought that this was a simple children's poem guaranteed to capture their heart's but a slower re-reading made me realize that it is a poem that holds meaning to adults too. Reviewed (click the link below)The Lady Bug
  • Huckleberry Fin - Review of the book

    imTabula rasa
    25 Nov 2014 | 5:33 am
    Huckleberry FinnSummary: Huckleberry is a story about a vagabond  with a heart of gold. His kind and brave deeds earn him praises from the community and two kind hearted ladies adopt him with the intention of providing him a loving house,education and  good life.This attempt at turning him into a gentleman  does not sit well with Huckleberry  but manfully bears it UNTIL the advent of his mean father who wants to usurp his money but Huckleberry preempts his scoundrel father's moves by transferring all his wealth to Judge Thatcher! Quivering in rage at being baulked…
  • Heidi - A celebration of Relationship

    imTabula rasa
    22 Oct 2014 | 5:13 am
    HEIDISummary:Heidi is a story of an orphan girl who is sent to her reclusive grand father who has cut himself off from the rest of the community. It is a story of how unconditional love wins over the curmudgeon Old man and how Heidi's innocence and naivete wins over and ushers in changes in the lives of people she encounters.Review As a girl growing up in a small town , Heidi was given to me as part of summer vacation present to ward of infinite boredom. To say that I fell in love with the book would be an exaggeration. I thought it was a completely boring book!! It lacked action, adventure…
  • 50 Shades of Grey - Without Substance but full bodied

    imTabula rasa
    15 Oct 2014 | 1:02 am
      SummaryAnastasia Steele is a college student, graduating virgin fresh  to face the onslaught of the not so virgin world.  She meets Christian Grey, Young and dashing  CEO  who has a mesmerizing effect on her, he comes with a dark secret though. Anastasia soon discovers that the spell of hypnotism works both ways and that Christian Grey is susceptible to her charms too. Soon there begins a torrid affair with Anastasia discovering the dark secret of Christian Grey whom she has come to love whole heartedly.Will this secret part them forever or bring them…
  • Review of Judas Iscariot - traitor or a misunderstood man ?

    imTabula rasa
    14 Sep 2014 | 5:59 am
    . Judas The Betrayer I have grown up reading several documented histories about the rise of Christianity, the evolution of Son of Nazareth from the outcast to the glorified god who suffered for our sins. There has been books on him, some sneering, some speculative, Some pious ..The common theme in most of these book was a round condemnation of Judas, those that did not engage in downright denunciation elevated him to a status of Saint. Throughout this process, there has been one and only one thought scrolling in my mind. What would Judas say for himself? This book by Archer in collaboration…
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