Children's Literature

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  • Week in Review, July 27th-31st

    The Horn Book
    Katie Bircher
    31 Jul 2015 | 9:00 am
    This week on hbook.com… A week of Brooklyn books and book creators: The People in My Neighborhood: One Author/Illustrator’s Rambles Around Brooklyn by Stephen Savage You had us at artisanal pickles. We got your Brooklyn booklist right here. Brooklynite cover gallery Caldecott by the numbers: Brooklyn edition (math is fun!) Step right up and win a prize! Reports from the 2015 Simmons College Center for the Study of Children’s Literature: Homecoming 2015 Simmons Summer Institute: Homecoming Goodnight, Paresky Room Haunted home Reviews of the Week: Picture Book: Playful Pigs from A to…
  • What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I DidLast Week, Featuring Marianne Dubuc and Olivier Tallec

    Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
    jules
    31 Jul 2015 | 6:14 am
    “Who is in disguise?”– From Olivier Tallec’s Who Done It?(Click to enlarge)   “Ambassadors from far and wide would alsotravel long distances to pay tribute to him, king of the sheep.”– From Olivier Tallec’s Louis I: King of the Sheep(Click to enlarge)   “It’s Monday, and Mr. Postmouse is starting his rounds. …”– From Marianne Dubuc’s Mr. Postmouse’s Rounds(Click to enlarge)   Today over at Kirkus, I write about two new picture books about the 50th anniversary of the historic Voting Rights…
  • Walden Award Winner Announced for 2015--Yay, A.S.!

    Finding Wonderland: The WritingYA Weblog
    Sarah Stevenson
    31 Jul 2015 | 11:39 am
    I was thrilled (as many of you no doubt were as well) to see that A.S. King's latest Glory O'Brien's History of the Future was announced as this year's winner of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. There were some pretty amazing finalists, too: Diamond Boy by Michael Williams, Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero, The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson, and Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy) by Deborah Wiles. I've actually read three of them, which is pretty amazing for me and award titles, though I only reviewed the winner, apparently:"Trying to summarize it is only going…
  • Va Va Vavoom!

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

    educating alice
    medinger
    27 Jul 2015 | 2:40 am
    I was surprised last fall when, during a day of equity training at my school, some of my white Jewish colleagues struggled with the idea that they were privileged. This was due to their awareness of historical anti-semitism against Jews, especially the Holocaust, even though, in most cases, their own immediate families had not experienced this firsthand. As someone who is first generation German Jewish and did have immediate family who had experienced this, I was puzzled. My father, who fled Germany at age 14 after far too much experience with Nazis (his father stayed and was killed),…
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    The Horn Book

  • Week in Review, July 27th-31st

    Katie Bircher
    31 Jul 2015 | 9:00 am
    This week on hbook.com… A week of Brooklyn books and book creators: The People in My Neighborhood: One Author/Illustrator’s Rambles Around Brooklyn by Stephen Savage You had us at artisanal pickles. We got your Brooklyn booklist right here. Brooklynite cover gallery Caldecott by the numbers: Brooklyn edition (math is fun!) Step right up and win a prize! Reports from the 2015 Simmons College Center for the Study of Children’s Literature: Homecoming 2015 Simmons Summer Institute: Homecoming Goodnight, Paresky Room Haunted home Reviews of the Week: Picture Book: Playful Pigs from A to…
  • Step right up and win a prize!

    Elissa Gershowitz
    31 Jul 2015 | 7:08 am
    To go with author/illustrator Stephen Savage’s article about the talented People in His Neighborhood, Katie compiled an image gallery of Horn Book Magazine covers created by Brooklyn illustrators. Keeping up the love, we gave you a Brooklyn booklist. And some artisanal pickle commentary. And even a spreadsheet. Now we want to hear more from you. Tell us — in the comments here or any of the Brooklyn-tagged posts, on Facebook, or on Twitter @HornBook @RogerReads — a little something about your favorite Brooklyn book, author, or anecdote. If you’ve already commented, ba-da-bing!,…
  • Motion Math: Cupcake! app review

    Katie Bircher
    30 Jul 2015 | 1:00 pm
    I am not a math person. But I am a cupcake person, so math about making and selling cupcakes is far more appealing. Motion Math: Cupcake! (Motion Math, April 2015) allowed me to enact my cupcake-bakery (cupcakery?) daydreams. As the app opens, you set up shop with a one-oven bakery facility, a cute sea-green Vespa for making deliveries, $50 for supplies, and a forty-day selling season. Scoot over to the store and pick out some ingredients; then whip up two custom cupcake flavors and set their prices based on cost of production. Six or so customers in a row make purchases — with requests…
  • Caldecott by the numbers: Brooklyn edition (math is fun!)

    Elissa Gershowitz
    30 Jul 2015 | 10:00 am
    Inspired by Stephen Savage’s article on Brooklyn children’s book folks, Barbara Genco, special projects manager for our sister publication Library Journal — and a proud Brooklynite — sent us her “very unscientific spreadsheet” of Brooklyn-connected Caldecott Medal winners and Honor winners from 1960-2015. W-O-W. By our back-of-the-envelope calculation (based on an already admittedly unscientific number, but just go with it for the big payoff) that’s about 30% of total Caldecott honorees over the past fifty-five years with a Brooklyn connection. Not…
  • Brooklynite cover gallery

    Katie Bircher
    30 Jul 2015 | 9:14 am
    In 2010, the Brooklyn Public Library hosted “Drawn in Brooklyn,” an exhibit of art by Brooklyn-based children’s book illustrators. We have a gallery of our own: the Horn Book Magazine covers below were all created by Brooklynites. How do you like them apples? Click on the Brooklyn tag for more from The Horn Book. September/October 2003 cover by Paul O. Zelinsky November/December 2003 cover by Maurice Sendak September/October 2005 cover by Maurice Sendak November/December 2006 cover by Leo and Diane Dillon May/June 2008 cover by Christopher Myers July/August 2008 cover by…
 
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    Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

  • What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I DidLast Week, Featuring Marianne Dubuc and Olivier Tallec

    jules
    31 Jul 2015 | 6:14 am
    “Who is in disguise?”– From Olivier Tallec’s Who Done It?(Click to enlarge)   “Ambassadors from far and wide would alsotravel long distances to pay tribute to him, king of the sheep.”– From Olivier Tallec’s Louis I: King of the Sheep(Click to enlarge)   “It’s Monday, and Mr. Postmouse is starting his rounds. …”– From Marianne Dubuc’s Mr. Postmouse’s Rounds(Click to enlarge)   Today over at Kirkus, I write about two new picture books about the 50th anniversary of the historic Voting Rights…
  • The Return of Dory

    jules
    30 Jul 2015 | 6:07 am
    Final art:“That night my brain keeps waking me up with so many questions.”   Above: Early sketch   Today, author-illustrator Abby Hanlon shares some final art and early sketches from Dory and the Real True Friend (Dial, July 2015), which she and I talked about last week here at Kirkus. Enjoy the art. …   Some Final Art:   “… tomorrow is the first day of school!I tell Mary the big newswhile we are playing our favorite game, exercise club.”   “There is somebody at my table who is stuck in a shirt.”   “I played…
  • A Lisbeth-Zwerger Moment

    jules
    28 Jul 2015 | 6:46 am
    “Every afternoon, as they were coming from school,the children used to go and play in the Giant’s garden.It was a large lovely garden, with soft green grass. …”   Because Lisbeth Zwerger has always been one of my favorite illustrators, including one of the artists who made me want to study children’s literature, and because seeing her artwork improves the very quality of my day (and yours, I hope), I have a bit of art today from Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant, as illustrated by Zwerger. Zwerger originally illustrated this story back in 1984, but…
  • 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #442: Featuring Beatrice Alemagna

    jules
    25 Jul 2015 | 11:01 pm
    “This morning I heard my sister says these words:‘birthday—Mommy—fuzzy—little—squishy.’‘Oh, no!’ I thought. ‘She’s going to give Mom the most amazing present!’I had to do something too. But what?”(Click to enlarge spread)   Today I’ve got some illustrations from Beatrice Alemagna’s The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy. Originally published in France last year, it’s coming to American shelves in September from Enchanted Lion Books. Look closely on the title page spread, and you’ll see a…
  • What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Julie Morstad

    jules
    23 Jul 2015 | 11:01 pm
    “…Finally, she steps onto the stage alone … and sprouts white wings, a swan.She weaves the notes, the very air into a story. All those sitting see.They stare—Anna is a bird in flight, a whim of wind and water.Quiet feathers in a big loud world. Anna is the swan.”(Click to enlarge spread)   This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got some French picture book imports. That link is here. Last week, I wrote here about Laurel Snyder’s Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, illustrated by Julie Morstad (Chronicle), coming to shelves in August 2015. Today,…
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    Finding Wonderland: The WritingYA Weblog

  • Walden Award Winner Announced for 2015--Yay, A.S.!

    Sarah Stevenson
    31 Jul 2015 | 11:39 am
    I was thrilled (as many of you no doubt were as well) to see that A.S. King's latest Glory O'Brien's History of the Future was announced as this year's winner of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. There were some pretty amazing finalists, too: Diamond Boy by Michael Williams, Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero, The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson, and Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy) by Deborah Wiles. I've actually read three of them, which is pretty amazing for me and award titles, though I only reviewed the winner, apparently:"Trying to summarize it is only going…
  • Gone Reading... And Stuff

    Sarah Stevenson
    23 Jul 2015 | 7:14 pm
    Greetings from Portland, where I've not so much gone reading (as implied by the photo of this nifty bag I got at ALA) as gone learning Welsh (which, if you know me at all, is in fact quite normal for me). That's the reason for my silence, and Tanita is in Scotland, so we're both basically on summer hols at the moment. Fear not--we will resume our semi-regular schedule soonish. This work is copyrighted material. All opinions are those of the writer, unless otherwise indicated. All book reviews are UNSOLICITED, and no money has exchanged hands, unless otherwise indicated. Please contact the…
  • Gallimaufry Thursday

    Sarah Stevenson
    16 Jul 2015 | 4:55 pm
    1. I did a few more behind-the-scenes updates to Chasing Ray, which is where I got the idea for this post structure. Now you get to read about Stuff I Done Did, in no particular order, for no particular reason. Whee!2. I just finished reading an ARC of writing bud Ms. Ashley Hope Perez's upcoming title Out of Darkness and I cried. Watch this space for more info about that.3. I'm going to be away next week at a conference in Portland, where I sincerely hope to visit Powell's Books and do a lot of wonderful Pacific Northwest hiking, although I'm told it will be in the 90s the day we arrive.
  • Thursday Review: LOVE IS THE DRUG by Alaya Dawn Johnson

    Sarah Stevenson
    9 Jul 2015 | 1:42 pm
    Summary: I read this a while ago, and I've been terribly neglectful in writing up a review. This was my first experience reading one of Johnson's books, and I had high expectations after what I'd heard about The Summer Prince (reviewed here by Tanita), which I still need to read. Love Is the Drug did not disappoint—it was a political/sci-fi thriller about an all-too-believable virus epidemic, set in Washington D.C. in the world of prep-school teens. But don't let the fancy schools and uniforms and wealthy parties at the houses of diplomats' children fool you: the story's got plenty of…
  • Monday Review: I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson

    Sarah Stevenson
    6 Jul 2015 | 11:30 am
    Summary: This one hadn't been on my immediate radar until I signed up to attend the Printz award ceremony at ALA in San Francisco at the end of June—and then I decided I'd better get going on reading the winner of that prestigious honor if I wanted to get the most out of the author's speech and the experience as a whole. Plus, it would really be a much better thing to have read the book if I somehow ended up talking to the author…which I didn't, but if I had, I'd have told her that her book is amazing and I wish I'd written it. I'll Give You the Sun is about family and love, art and…
 
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    A Chair, A Fireplace, & A Tea Cozy

  • Va Va Vavoom!

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

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

    Liz B
    13 Jul 2015 | 1:00 am
    Taking the Heat (Jackson: Girls' Night Out) by Victoria Dahl. Harlequin. 2015. Reviewed from ARC. The Plot: Veronica Chandler is "Dear Veronica" for the Jackson, Wyoming local paper, the voice of wisdom offering funny and on-target advice for young and old, on everything from family relationships to sex.The thing is, she's hiding something -- she feels like a big fake. Yes, she has common sense, a sense of humor, the research skills and writing skills that make "Dear Veronica" such a success. What she doesn't have, well, is the real-life experience everyone thinks she has.Everyone thinks that…
  • Teaser - These Shallow Graves

    Liz B
    6 Jul 2015 | 1:00 am
    These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly. Delacorte Press. 2015. Reviewed from ARC. Publication date October 27, 2015.A historical mystery! In 1890's New York City, Josephine Montfort has everything: she's young, she's rich, her parents adore her, she has good friends. Soon, she'll be engaged to the handsome and rich young man who has been a good friend since childhood. She wants to be a reporter, like Nelly Bly, and puts together the school paper.All that changes when her father is found dead in his locked study, a gun in his hand. An accident.Jo can't understand how the accident…
  • Looking for recommendations....

    Liz B
    5 Jul 2015 | 9:42 am
    Sometimes, I'm reading for outside reasons (right now,  I'm reading YA for the Edwards Award, and New Adult for various articles and webinars) - and sometimes I read for me. Don't get me wrong, I love YA and New Adult, but the truth is, I like to mix up what I'm reading. And after months reading about teens or young twentysomethings, I want a change -- I want to read about characters that, well, are closer to my age. (This desire is one of the reasons I'm sympathetic to the reader-driven aspect of New Adult, of people wanting to read about those in their own age group.)So that's the long…
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    educating alice

  • The Holocaust and White Privilege

    medinger
    27 Jul 2015 | 2:40 am
    I was surprised last fall when, during a day of equity training at my school, some of my white Jewish colleagues struggled with the idea that they were privileged. This was due to their awareness of historical anti-semitism against Jews, especially the Holocaust, even though, in most cases, their own immediate families had not experienced this firsthand. As someone who is first generation German Jewish and did have immediate family who had experienced this, I was puzzled. My father, who fled Germany at age 14 after far too much experience with Nazis (his father stayed and was killed),…
  • Who’s Alice: An Evening with Kate Burton, David Del Tredici, Andre Gregory, and Monica Edinger

    medinger
    26 Jul 2015 | 3:02 am
    In 1982 the acclaimed actress Kate Burton launched her career portraying Alice in the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of Alice in Wonderland. With Alice Symphony, Haddock’s Eyes, In Memory of A Summer Day, and other works, Pulitzer Prize winning composer David Del Tredici has conjured the sounds of wonderland throughout his career. In 1968 director Andre Gregory and his The Manhattan Project, a renege troupe of alternative theater performers, flung audience down a reinvented, psychedelic rabbit hole. Today, Monica Edinger, celebrated teacher, author, and blogger at “Educating…
  • Which Charlotte’s Web character are you?

    medinger
    24 Jul 2015 | 7:53 am
     I’ve always thought it would be fun to create a children’s lit-centric buzzfeed quiz. So….I gave it a try. I sure hope E. B. White isn’t turning over in his grave!
  • Another Iconic American Author with a Newly Discovered Book

    medinger
    22 Jul 2015 | 3:02 am
    “Why, then, did … leave this one in the drawer?” No, that isn’t someone asking about Harper Lee. It is New York Times children’s book editor Maria Russo wondering about Dr. Seuss in her thoughtful review of his new posthumously published book, What Pet Should I Get?  I’d already seen the positive review by Michiko Kakutani’s for the weekday New York Times (done in Seussian rhyme no less), but it is Russo’s for the Book Review that really gets to the heart of the matter. She situates her review within a broader overview of Seuss’s…
  • Alice at the Morgan Library

    medinger
    21 Jul 2015 | 10:30 am
    There’s a splendid new Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland exhibit at the Morgan Library here in NYC and you can read my report on it over at The Horn Book Magazine here. The exhibit is up till October so you’ve all got plenty of time to get to it. And I should say, the museum, in addition to this wonderful exhibit, is well worth visiting.
 
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    Chasing Ray

  • Russian history that you must read

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

    colleen
    19 Jul 2015 | 9:26 pm
    Every now and again I come across an article that makes me long to be 17 years old again so I have the information to provide a kick ass answer to people who ask me what I think I can do with a degree in history. (I was told over and over the only option for historians was to become a teacher and as I did not want to teach, I could not major in history.) (Of course I later went back to school and got a second degree in history just because I wanted to and ended up teaching history for 5 years to soldiers but none of that was planned.) In the last issue of Frankie there is a piece on two…
  • Let’s all meet at Luke’s, shall we? (And bring along your notebook.)

    colleen
    14 Jul 2015 | 10:27 pm
    1. I am trying to understand how my life has been complete without the “Gilmore Guys” podcast in it. I can not explain why I love The Gilmore Girls so much (I’m sure many people would go on about the writing or acting which is true); I just know that I do. I have written many things while this tv show in playing in the background. Now I must listen to the podcast and embrace the love in a whole new way. 2. I just added Sarah McCarry’s About a Girl to my wishlist based on this bit from the School Library Journal review: This edgy, smart, and challenging title combines…
  • Assessing June on the resolution scale

    colleen
    9 Jul 2015 | 10:09 pm
    I don’t know how to convey how monumental June has been for me professionally. It is the first month where I felt like I had myself organized and that the things I have been working on came to fruition. Most significantly, I have an immense amount of momentum on all fronts and I have a plan for all my writing projects. None of this came easily or quickly and I think the biggest lesson I learned last month is that if you do the work, the success will come. This seems obvious (and even a little sappy) but I really needed the kind of results that June brought me. Here is what I got done…
  • Greetings from Hollywood High, 1944

    colleen
    22 Jun 2015 | 12:41 am
    During World War II my maternal grandfather, Pete Hurley, received Seabee training in Port, Hueneme, California and apparently (from this postcard anyway) had a bit of time to take in the sights. Read about the Seabees and the naval base here. My grandfather worked in a shipyard in NYC before the war so was a perfect fit for the “Construction Battalion”. He sent this to his mother-in-law, my Nana, who not only kept the three photo albums I have been sorting through but also all of the postcards ever sent to her (plus some she picked up on her own and wrote “I was here”…
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    Arthur Slade: The YA Fantastical Fiction Guy

  • The Canadian Election Explained Using The Lord of the Rings

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

    Arthur Slade
    7 Jul 2015 | 3:51 pm
    Goodreads Book Giveaway Modo by Arthur Slade Giveaway ends July 31, 2015. See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter Giveaway
  • My Editor Says That These Two Words I Use Make Kitties Cry

    Arthur Slade
    18 Jun 2015 | 9:04 am
    The short of it:My editor finds an innovative way to point out my repetitious writing habits.How it began:I handed in draft number umpteen (that's an understatement) of my 1920's horror novel, Flickers. A short time later (geologically speaking) I received the edited version all marked up in Microsoft Word. All was well and I even laughed when I came across this:So I dutifully changed it to this:Then a few pages later this appeared:Another uproarious laugh exploded from my lips. Exploded, I tell you! This is the kind of back and forth authors love with their editors. And on the next page I…
  • The 1st Page Critique Offer

    Arthur Slade
    5 Jun 2015 | 9:40 am
    Let me read your writing!The first page of your writing project is the most important. It's where you hook the readers. This is the same truth whether it's a short story, novel, or non-fiction piece. So I'm offering to do a critique of the first page of your piece of writing for anyone who's a subscriber to my newsletter. The actual offer will be in my next newsletter (to come out on June 16th) and will be available until June 30th, 2015.Hmmm. The word critique bothers me. It implies criticism. Instead I should call it here-are-my-humble-suggestions-take-them-or-leave them. I've been doing…
  • Writing lessons from Mad Max: Fury Road

    Arthur Slade
    26 May 2015 | 9:36 pm
    *minor spoilers follow Mad Max: Fury Road is an understated movie. Oh, I know, I know it's perhaps the greatest action/car chase/things-blow-up movie in existence. But it's also very understated and that serves to make it more powerful.One of the things I think about when writing is the relationship with the reader. Am I telling the reader too much (IE the ol' show don't tell rule). Am I trusting the reader to put two and two together (and make four, of course) or am I not trusting them and telling them too much backstory (again!)? Readers become more engaged if they are allowed to…
 
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    Books for Boys - Children's Adventure & Mystery Author Max Elliot Anderson

  • FREE Short Story For Kids - Willy The Wrong Way Rabbit

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

    max
    26 Jul 2015 | 10:19 am
    TO ORDER: http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Island-Smugglers-Adventure-Adventures/dp/1942513259/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_y  Following are a few examples of what people are saying about  Lost Island Smugglers, book #1 in The Sam Cooper Adventure Series. 5A Great Adventure Story! This is a great book for teenage and younger boys, or for anyone who enjoys an adventure!You will love getting to know Sam, Tony, and Tyler, as you follow them taking scuba lessons, testing out their new skills without permission, and then suffering the consequences, along with making an unexpected discovery.The…
  • PRWeb - NEWS: Author Contracts Twenty-Three Middle Grade Children’s Books

    max
    15 Jul 2015 | 10:50 am
    PRWeb - NEWS: Author Contracts         Twenty-Three Middle Grade Children’s Bookshttp://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/07/prweb12830042.htm
  • On The Cover of July's BOOK FUN MAGAZINE

    max
    2 Jul 2015 | 6:46 am
    I have the privilege to be featured on the July cover of Book Fun Magazine and with an interview on pages 118 - 127 http://digital.turn-page.com/i/534840-july-2015-magazine Max Elliot Anderson
  • Get kids started reading an exciting series this summer!

    max
    30 Jun 2015 | 2:06 pm
    Yes, there's still lots of time to get kids started reading an exciting series this summer! Books #1 and #2 of the Sam Cooper Adventure Series have been re-released by Elk Lake Publishing. These will be followed by #3 River Rampage, #4 This Property Is Condemned, #5 At The Buzzer, and #6 Ghosts In The Old Attic.Book #1 - Lost Island SmugglersBook #2 - Captain Jack's TreasureBook #3- River RampageBook #4 - This Property Is CondemnedBook #5 - At The BuzzerBook #6 - Ghosts In The Old Attic Order Lost Island Smugglers…
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    Wands and Worlds

  • Soar with Reading: An Open Letter to Jet Blue

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

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

    7 Jun 2015 | 7:04 pm
    SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERGame of ThronesHow I hate youHow I love youWhydid wehave to seea girlburnedalive?But OH!DaenerysRidingADragon!
  • BookExpo America 2015: Day 2

    1 Jun 2015 | 5:26 pm
    On Thursday, I attended the YA Editors' Buzz panel. I always enjoy these panels; it's interesting to hear the editors talking about the story behind the book. For example, Laura Chasen from St. Martin's Griffin talked about sitting down to read the manuscript of Dreams Things True by Marie Marquardt, and two hours later she was in the office saying, "We have to acquire this book!" Several of the other editors had similar stories. Christian Trimmer from Simon & Schuster said that the finished manuscript for The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch was amazing, but he told Daniel Kraus that…
  • BookExpo America 2015: Day1

    29 May 2015 | 4:24 pm
    The main conference and exhibit halls for BEA 2015 started mid-day on Wednesday, and ran for half a day. This unusual late opening was convenient for travel, because I was able to drive up in the morning and save a day in the hotel. However, it gave an odd feel to the exhibit hall, almost as if it were a preview and not fully open for business. Although there were plenty of people in the hall, it seemed to me less crowded than usual, and the mood seemed subdued. It'll be interesting to see if things are different today, the first full day of the conference. I spent most of the afternoon in…
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    American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL)

  • Native Writers and Illustrators on Twitter

    27 Jul 2015 | 1:26 pm
    Do you have a Twitter account? Do you follow or want to follow Native writers and illustrators? Here's a list! Some tweet a lot, some a little. Some tweet about books, some tweet about their nations, and some tweet about a wide range of topics.If you know of Native writers/illustrators who I haven't listed here, submit their name/Twitter ID in a comment and I'll add them to this list. These are primarily Native writers or illustrators whose work has been discussed on AICL.Sherman Alexiehttps://twitter.com/Sherman_Alexie@Sherman_AlexieShonto Begayhttps://twitter.com/shontobegay@shontobegayRoy…
  • POPCORN by Frank Asch

    23 Jul 2015 | 8:27 am
    Dear Editors at Aladdin/Simon & Schuster,A reader of AICL wrote to ask me about Frank Asch's Popcorn. It is an older book (pub year 1979, from Parents Magazine Press) that I haven't written about before. As a former elementary school teacher, I do remember one of the books about Sam (the bear). Not this one, though. Perhaps I saw it and decided not to use it. With good reason. In it, Sam (the bear) is having a Halloween party. Here he is in his costume:Source: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/_RDXFS33SaM/maxresdefault.jpgHere's the old…
  • Set two: Links to Oyate's BOOKS TO AVOID pages

    23 Jul 2015 | 7:24 am
    A few years ago, Oyate removed its Books to Avoid page. A great many people miss that page and write to me asking if I saved those reviews. I didn't--but they aren't gone forever! They're available on the Wayback Machine.In order to fit within the 200 character limit on "Labels" (the labels are on the right and serve as an index of what is in the post itself), I am creating several pages of the links, arranging them alphabetically. This post includes M through T.I'm also going to save a pdf of each one, just in case the Wayback Machine goes down.Marrin, Albert, Sitting Bull and His…
  • Set One: Links to Oyate's BOOKS TO AVOID pages

    23 Jul 2015 | 7:24 am
    A few years ago, Oyate removed its Books to Avoid page. A great many people miss that page and write to me asking if I saved those reviews. I didn't--but they aren't gone forever! They're available on the Wayback Machine.In order to fit within the 200 character limit on "Labels" (the labels are on the right and serve as an index of what is in the post itself), I am creating several pages of the links, arranging them alphabetically. This post includes B thru I.I'm also going to save a pdf of each one, just in case the Wayback Machine goes down.Banks, Lynne Reid, The Indian in the…
  • Set three: Links to Oyate's BOOKS TO AVOID pages

    23 Jul 2015 | 7:24 am
    A few years ago, Oyate removed its Books to Avoid page. A great many people miss that page and write to me asking if I saved those reviews. I didn't--but they aren't gone forever! They're available on the Wayback Machine.In order to fit within the 200 character limit on "Labels" (the labels are on the right and serve as an index of what is in the post itself), I am creating several pages of the links, arranging them alphabetically. This is the last set. I'm also going to save a pdf of each one, just in case the Wayback Machine goes down.Waldman, Neil. Wounded KneeWargin, Kathy Jo. The Legend…
 
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    Bildungsroman

  • Poetry Friday: An Irish Wild-Flower by Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

    31 Jul 2015 | 6:01 am
    She felt, I think, but as a wild-flower can, Through her bright fluttering rags, the dark, the cold. Some farthest star, remembering what man Forgets, had warmed her little head with gold. Above her, hollow-eyed, long blind to tears, Leaf-cloaked, a skeleton of stone arose... O castle-shadow of a thousand years, Where you have fallen - is this the thing that grows?- An Irish Wild-Flower by Sarah Morgan Bryan PiattView all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.Learn more about Poetry Friday.
  • Poetry Friday: After Wings by Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

    24 Jul 2015 | 6:00 am
    This was your butterfly, you see,- His fine wings made him vain: The caterpillars crawl, but he Passed them in rich disdain.-My pretty boy says, "Let him be Only a worm again!" O child, when things have learned to wear Wings once, they must be fain To keep them always high and fair: Think of the creeping pain Which even a butterfly must bear To be a worm again! - After Wings by Sarah Morgan Bryan PiattView all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.Learn more about Poetry Friday.
  • Poetry Friday: Everyone Sang by Siegfried Sassoon

    17 Jul 2015 | 6:01 am
    Everyone suddenly burst out singing; And I was filled with such delight As prisoned birds must find in freedom, Winging wildly across the white Orchards and dark-green fields; on - on - and out of sight. Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted; And beauty came like the setting sun: My heart was shaken with tears; and horror Drifted away... O, but Everyone Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done. - Everyone Sang by Siegfried SassoonView all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.Learn more about Poetry Friday.
  • Poetry Friday: Back Yard by Carl Sandburg

    10 Jul 2015 | 6:00 am
    Shine on, O moon of summer. Shine to the leaves of grass, catalpa and oak, All silver under your rain to-night. ... Shine on, O moon, Shake out more and more silver changes.- selected lines from Back Yard by Carl SandburgView all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.Learn more about Poetry Friday.
  • Poetry Friday: To love thee, year by year by Emily Dickinson

    3 Jul 2015 | 6:00 am
    To love thee, year by year, May less appear Than sacrifice and cease. However, Dear, Forever might be short I thought, to show, And so I pieced it with a flower now.- Emily DickinsonView all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.Learn more about Poetry Friday.
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    Jen Robinson's Book Page

  • Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: July 31

    Jen Robinson
    31 Jul 2015 | 9:00 am
    Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include the Amelia Elizabeth Walden award, book lists, growing bookworms, World Read Aloud Day, Read Where You Are, book donation, Legos, summer learning loss, KidLitCon, time management, schools, libraries, reading, publishing, bookstores, and parenting.  Book Lists and Awards Congratulations to @AS_King - 2015 Amelia Elizabeth Walden award winner for GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE from @lbkids  Everybody into the pool! Two Picture Books about Swimming in Swimming Pools…
  • Piper Green and the Fairy Tree: Books 1 and 2: Ellen Potter

    Jen Robinson
    30 Jul 2015 | 7:45 am
    Books: Piper Green and the Fairy Tree and Piper Green and the Fairy Tree: Too Much Good Luck  Author: Ellen Potter Illustrator: Qin Leng Pages: 112 / 128 Age Range: 7-9 Piper Green and the Fairy Tree is the first book in a fun new illustrated early chapter book series written by Ellen Potter and illustrated by Qin Leng. Piper is a second grader who lives on tiny Peek-a-Boo Island, which is apparently off the coast of Maine. Because there are only eight K-8 kids on Peek-a-Boo island, Piper rides a lobster boat every day to attend school on the slightly larger Mink Island. She also has a…
  • Growing Bookworms Newsletter: July 29

    Jen Robinson
    29 Jul 2015 | 10:13 am
    Today, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on children's and young adult books and raising readers. I usually send the newsletter out every two weeks. Newsletter Update: In this issue I have four book reviews (picture book and YA). I also have two posts with literacy and reading links that I shared on Twitter recently, and one post about a…
  • Rico the Brave Sock Monkey: Fiona Rempt & Noelle Smit

    Jen Robinson
    28 Jul 2015 | 9:16 am
    Book: Rico the Brave Sock Monkey Author: Fiona Rempt Illustrator: Noelle Smit Pages: 24 Age Range: 2-5 Rico the Brave Sock Monkey is a lovely Little Golden Book by Fiona Rempt and Noelle Smit. It was originally published in Amsterdam in 2009, and brought to the US in 2013 by Golden Books. It's the story of a stuffed sock monkey who becomes the best friend of a brown-eyed boy. Rico is brave through various adventures (being shipped to the toy store, brought home to the boy, etc.), but does become scared when the boy, growing up, puts him on a shelf in a closet. There is a happy ending…
  • Literacy Milestone: Giving Books As Gifts

    Jen Robinson
    24 Jul 2015 | 3:16 pm
    My daughter has been receiving books as gifts for her whole life, of course. And she has occasionally suggested books as a birthday gift to one of her friends. But this morning she wrapped up two books, separately, and gave them to me as presents. I believe that this is the first time she's given a book as a gift, completely on her own. Of course they were books from her own bookshelves, but still, the thought was there. And she knew that books are my favorite things to receive as gifts.  Ironically, the first package contained a book that I wrote about in an early post called: A Tip…
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    Writing and Ruminating

  • Time away

    28 Jul 2015 | 6:20 pm
    On Thursday afternoon, my sweetheart and I left for a weekend in Sedona, Arizona. Everything about the trip was wonderful: our flights went without a hitch (including having to switch on the way home in Atlanta on short turnaround), our rental car was great (and cheap, and easy-peasy), our hotel was excellent - we stayed at the Best Western Plus in Sedona, which has terraces; our room was on the second level, and had a gorgeous view of the hills to the east) - and our meals were terrific, especially the dinner at the Golden Goose Cafe. Besides eating and sleeping, we were pretty active over…
  • EATING ROME by Elizabeth Minchilli

    20 Jul 2015 | 4:35 pm
    The other night I purchased a copy of EATING ROME: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City, a book by expat American Elizabeth Minchilli. I would have selected a genre-related word instead of "book" to describe it in that last sentence, but . . . well, it's complicated.It is just the sort of hodgepodge book that I usually love - in the way that Molly Wizenberg's first book, A Homemade Life, became a much-loved favorite (though I still wish that the publisher had used much better paper to make the book - they went with recycled paper and it is yellowing like whoa). EATING ROME is part memoir,…
  • Two things

    14 Jul 2015 | 5:56 pm
    1. As I posted yesterday, I'll be at BookTowne in Manasquan, NJ this Saturday from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., and available to sign copies of AT THE BOARDWALK (my picture book) or THE UNIVERSE COMES KNOCKING (my chapbook), and possibly some anthologies I have poems in, like the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BOOK OF ANIMAL POEMS or DARE TO DREAM...CHANGE THE WORLD. (Also, there's an art festival, which means there will be art and music and such all over the place.)2. Over at Guys Lit Wire, I've got a review of MIKE'S PLACE: A True Story of Love, Blues, and Terror by Jack Baxter and Joshua Faudem, illustrated by…
  • I'll be at BookTowne in Manasquan this Saturday afternoon!

    13 Jul 2015 | 7:01 pm
    Hello friends!Want your own copy of AT THE BOARDWALK? Signed?Or your own copy of my chapbook for grownups, THE UNIVERSE COMES KNOCKING? Signed?Or quite possibly one or more of the anthologies that I've got poems in? (Signed?)Then do I have news for you:I will be at the wonderful independent bookstore, BookTowne, in Manasquan, NJ this Saturday afternoon between 4 and 5 p.m. And there happens to be an art festival going on. In Manasquan. Blocks from the beach. Hope some of you (or someone - anyone!) stop(s) by!
  • tortie and tabbie and tubbie and tom by kelly ramsdell fineman - a Poetry Friday post

    9 Jul 2015 | 5:16 pm
    My poetry sisters and I tackled an unusual form of poetry this month, in that it's not a specific form. Instead, we did poems "in the style of" someone else. And the someone else we ended up choosing was e.e. cummings. We didn't pick one poem, but each selected a different piece of his work to play with. I chose "maggie and milly and molly and may", a poem about four little girls at the beach, and wrote my own poem about rescue cats.tortie and tabbie and tubbie and tomby kelly ramsdell finemantortie and tabbie and tubbie and tomwere one-time stray cats (that found a home)and tortie discovered…
 
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    The Miss Rumphius Effect

  • Monday Poetry Stretch - Sedoka

    Tricia
    28 Jul 2015 | 9:01 am
    Yes, I know it's Tuesday. We've had family in town since Friday and I forgot to schedule this, so I am a day late.Continuing on the theme of Japanese poetic forms, the sedoka is an unrhymed poem made up of a pair of katauta. A katuata is a three-line poem with the syllable count of 5 / 7 / 7. Generally a sedoka addresses the same subject from different perspectives.You can read more about the sedoka at Encyclopedia Brittanica.I hope you'll join me this week in writing a sedoka (or two). Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.
  • Monday Poetry Stretch - Dodoitsu

    Tricia
    19 Jul 2015 | 9:01 pm
    Dodoitsu is a Japanese poetic form. Similar to other Japanese forms, it does not rhyme and is not focused on meter, but rather on syllables. Dodoitsu is a 4-line poem with a syllable count of 7 / 7 / 7 / 5. Generally the subject of these poems is love or work. They also often contain a bit of humor.  You can read more about this form and see a few examples at Poetic Asides.I hope you'll join me this week in writing a dodoitsu (or two). Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.
  • Poetry Friday - Roma Aeterna

    Tricia
    16 Jul 2015 | 9:01 pm
    We left last Friday to visit family in NY. Our trip up should have taken just over 5 hours by plane, but it turned into a 15+ hour odyssey. We did finally make it and had a wonderful 6 days. On our last day in Rochester, we made a short visit to Mount Hope Cemetery. I visited once in high school (many moons ago) and knew the graves of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony were there. However, on this visit I learned that someone appropriate to the Poetry Friday set was here as well. In honor of Adelaide Crapsey, here is a cinquain of hers.Roma AeternaThe sunIs warm to-day,O Romulus,…
  • Monday Poetry Stretch - Ae freslighe

    Tricia
    12 Jul 2015 | 9:01 pm
    Ae freslighe (ay fresh lee) is an Irish poetic form. Each stanza is a quatrain with lines of seven syllables. The rhyme scheme is a b a b. In forming rhymes, the end rhyme in lines one and three is three syllables, while the end rhyme in lines two and four is two syllables. Finally, Irish poetry is cyclic, so the poem should end with the first word or entire first line.Here's what the poem form looks like.x x x x (x x a)x x x x x (x b)x x x x (x x a)x x x x x (x b)You can read more about this form at The Poets Garret and Creative Bloomings.I hope you'll join me this week in writing an Ae…
  • Poetry Seven Write "in the style of" - e.e. cummings

    Tricia
    9 Jul 2015 | 9:01 pm
    This month the poetry seven were tasked with writing poems "in the style of." We had quite a bit of discussion about what this meant before we ever got off the ground. When we settled on e.e. cummings I was terrified, and that's putting it mildly. While I may eschew punctuation and capitalization in my poems, I don't usually play with them in the manner of cummings.Okay, confession time. I have always disliked the poetry of e.e. cummings. There, I said it. His poems have always made me feel dumb. I just don't get them, and (I say this rather immodestly, but I'm a pretty smart cookie), when I…
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        Poetry for Children

  • Flashback to the ALA Poetry Blast

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

    Sylvia Vardell
    24 Jul 2015 | 5:31 am
    I ran an errand this week and saw that school supplies are already on sale! I was both surprised that stores were already stocking school supplies AND excited to get a great price on new scissors, glue, and spiral notebooks! (I love school supplies even though I don't have young children in school any more.) I thought it might be fun to post a poem from our CELEBRATIONS book that is perfect for an upcoming holiday as well as back-to-school sharing. Did you that July 30 is the International Day of Friendship? That's one of the special occasions that we discovered when we created The Poetry…
  • Presenting at ILA on TRANSMEDIA

    Sylvia Vardell
    17 Jul 2015 | 4:30 am
    I'm heading to St. Louis for the International Literacy Convention this weekend. Formerly the International Reading Association, this big organization has also moved its annual conference from May to July, so it will be interesting to see the difference. I'm looking forward to seeing friends and presenting alongside Janet Wong, Rose Brock, and Cynthia Alaniz. Originally, Mary Lee Hahn was also supposed to present with us, but she needs to be with her mom-- which we understand completely. We'll miss her!Our talk is on "transmedia" and how we can use all kinds of media alongside books in print…
  • Celebrate Pride!

    Sylvia Vardell
    27 Jun 2015 | 10:51 am
    It's Gay Pride weekend in San Francisco where the ALA conference is going strong. Tomorrow is officially Gay Pride Day and the Supreme Court has made their historic ruling. What a confluence of moments! Celebrate with this fun poem:And here are the Take 5 activities that go with this poem: Play marching band music in the background as you read this poem aloud enthusiastically. One source is SoundCloud.com/lumarchingband.Read the poem again and invite children to cheer along with the phrase Hip Hip Hooray! as you read the rest of the poem.Share experiences watching, attending, or…
  • YALSA at ALA in San Francisco

    Sylvia Vardell
    26 Jun 2015 | 8:19 am
    It's time for the annual conference of the American Library Association, this time in San Francisco, California! I'm lucky enough to be presenting alongside an amazing panel, thanks to YALSA. Here's the lowdown: The WeNeedDiverseBooks movement challenges us to help young people connect with their passions, desires, and interests by embracing diversity. A panel of scholars, authors, and practitioners including Professors Sylvia Vardell and Antero Garcia, librarian Marianne Follis, and authors Janet Wong, Margarita Engle, and Lesléa Newman will discuss how diversity is key—in literature,…
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    WordPress Tag: Children's Book

  • The Holey's in the wall by Helen Ryan

    littlebookblog
    1 Aug 2015 | 3:29 am
    Hellllllllo readers, hope you’re well. I’m thinking of starting a monthly wrap up but because I review every book  I read I wonder whether it’s a bit repetitive. Saying that, I read and reviewed thirteen books in June, honestly how is that possible? Was I not sleeping? But it’s fair to say it’s been a good month in terms of reading and I intend mightily to keep it up. Today’s book is from the wonderful Helen Ryan who wrote the brilliant McSorely’s evil tea, which I adored. So here is my review of her second book and another great little read.   Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
  • Little Red Riding Hood by Eric Braun

    bicted
    1 Aug 2015 | 12:00 am
    Title: You Choose Books: Little Red Riding Hood: An Interactive Fairy Tale Adventure Author: Eric Braun Illustrator: Mariano Epelbaum Publisher: Capstone: Capstone Young Readers Published: September 1st, 2015 Rating: 3/5 This isn’t a typical book, as the series title suggests, this is one where the reader is given a series of choices about what happens next and, depending on their choice, a different ending may happen every time you read it. There are actually 46 choices and 22 different endings in this book which initially lets the reader choose to be “modern day city kid walking through…
  • I Know Sasquatch by Jess Bradley

    bicted
    1 Aug 2015 | 12:00 am
    Title: I Know Sasquatch Author: Jess Bradley Publisher: Capstone – Picture Window Books Published: August 1st, 2015 Rating: 4/5 What a fantastic book! Sasquatch (or Bigfoot) has a really bad reputation but this book is written by someone who claims to have met and befriended on who also helped write the book! It includes brilliant, colourful mixed media images showing how and where Jess first met Sasquatch and what they then did together. It shows that sometimes you should get to know someone to find out what they are really like rather than just accepting the opinion of others about…
  • Watch Out For Flying Kids by Cynthia Levinson

    bicted
    1 Aug 2015 | 12:00 am
    Title: Watch Out for Flying Kids! – How Two Circuses, Two countries and Nine Kids Confront Conflict and Build Community Author and Illustrator: Cynthia Levinson Publisher: Peachtree Publishers Published: August 1st, 2015 Rating: 4/5 This book explores social circuses and some of the performers in them. It gives indications of their background and motivation for participating in these and the impact this has had on their lives and outlook. It concentrates on two such circuses – the St Louis Arches Circus Harmony in America and the Galilee Circus in Israel. It goes on to tell their…
  • Benji Franklin: Kid Zillionaire: Money Troubles by Raymond Bean

    bicted
    1 Aug 2015 | 12:00 am
    Title: Benji Franklin: Kid Zillionaire: Money Troubles  Author: Raymond Bean Publisher: Capstone Young Readers, Capstone Published: August 1st, 2015 Rating: 5/5 What a great story for children! Benji Franklin has already saved the world twice because he is brilliant at problem solving and this book contains two more adventures. The first concerns saving an island from earthquakes and the second stopping criminals gaining money by syphoning money paid for electronic transactions into their own accounts rather then the company selling the goods. Benji is a school boy but his Headteacher has…
 
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    School Library Journal

  • The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall | SLJ Review

    SLJ
    1 Aug 2015 | 6:00 am
    Pearsall, Shelley. The Seventh Most Important Thing. 288p. ebook available. Knopf. Sept. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780553497281; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780553497298. Gr 4-7–A middle school student learns the meaning of redemption in this excellent coming-of-age story. For the rest of the country, it was the year President Kennedy was assassinated. For Arthur Owens, it would always be the year his Dad died. Arthur is struggling to adapt. When he sees his Dad’s hat being worn by the neighborhood “Junk Man,” it is just too much. Arthur isn’t a bad kid, but he picks up that brick and…
  • Strike Up the Band | M.T. Anderson and the Story Behind the Leningrad Symphony

    Luann Toth
    31 Jul 2015 | 12:31 pm
    A new book from National Book Award winner M.T. Anderson is always sure to catch teens’ (and reviewers’) attention. Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad (Candlewick, 2015), his first work of narrative nonfiction, is no exception. It is a thoroughly researched and brilliantly multilayered look at the life of composer Dmitri Shostakovich, his creative influences and challenges with the Stalin regime, and the devastating Siege of Leningrad. The book is as compelling as any spy thriller, as horrific as a zombie apocalypse, and as moving as a…
  • The Keeper by Darragh | SLJ Review

    SLJ
    31 Jul 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Martin, Darragh. The Keeper. 280p. glossary. Little Island. Jul. 2015. pap. $15.99. ISBN 9781908195845. Gr 7 Up–Twelve-year-old Oisin Keane has grown up in the suburbs of Dublin without the slightest clue that he coexists with the ancient magic of the land. He and his youthful looking Granny Keane are the only members of the family with green eyes. Celtic folklore and legends attribute magical powers to those with green eyes, because green is said to be the color of Fairies’ eyes. While in his granny’s spare room, Oisin is chosen by the Book of Magic, one of the only remaining relics…
  • Harris Poll Shows Growing Support for Book Banning, Ratings

    Lisa Peet
    31 Jul 2015 | 10:51 am
    A recent Harris poll on attitudes about book banning and school libraries revealed that out of the 2,244 U.S. adults surveyed in March 2015, the percentage who felt that certain books should be banned increased by more than half since the last similar study conducted in 2011. In addition, more believe that some books deserve to be banned than movies, television shows, or video games. In 2011, 18 percent of adults surveyed answered yes to the question “Do you think that there are any books which should be banned completely?” In the most current study, published July 8, 28 percent answered…
  • Game Design-Based Lessons can Help Shrink the Digital Divide, Says Study

    Lauren Barack
    31 Jul 2015 | 7:09 am
    Daily technology-based lessons, specifically those around game design that are taken for school credit, can help bridge the digital divide among students—particularly that between boys and girls, according to a new study. Students used Adobe Flash to program and edit games, starting with a paper prototype and moving through to a final, group programmed demo. Inquiry and collaborative skills were infused into computer programming by putting students together as teams—and requiring they finish the work for credit. The direction, group work, and even the stakes involved all help “attenuate…
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    A Fuse #8 Production

  • This Bird Has Flown

    Elizabeth Bird
    30 Jul 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Bram Stoker had this to say about Chicago: It, “neither fears the devil nor troubles its head about him and all his works.”  So in light of my recent move, and in celebration of this (my first day), I offer the following to you: Goodbye Library (With profuse apologies to Margaret Wise Brown, who would find it hilarious that a NYPL children’s materials specialist was referencing one of her books) Goodbye, branches 89 Goodbye, pretty Lego lions Goodbye, Winnie. Goodbye, Pooh Camera- Leaf Aptus22/ Hasselblad H1Color space-ProPhotoRGBDate- 4/10/08 Goodbye, toys (still missing…
  • Finding the Funny: The Newbery Award and Various Works of Hilarity

    Elizabeth Bird
    26 Jul 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Do funny books get short shrift when award season comes ah-knockin’?  It’s not a ridiculous notion.  After all, the Oscars are notorious for consistently promoting and lauding saddy sad performances and films over their funnier contemporaries.  So I took a gander at some of the recent winners of the Newbery Award (and Honors) and determined that while humor isn’t the most lauded quality in “distinguished” works of children’s literature, neither is it a true detriment.  Some funny winners that come immediately to mind might include: El Deafo by Cece Bell…
  • Summer Reading Lists: Worst Titles Ever

    Elizabeth Bird
    23 Jul 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Recently I was admiring two different but certainly related articles online.  The first was Mike Lewis’s Non-Required Summer Reading List, which is just the loveliest little PDF of fun summery read titles.  A great list in and of itself. The second piece was the infinitely useful article How Teachers Can Create a Summer Reading List That Won’t Make Librarians Die or Children Cry: Unsolicited Advice from a Public Librarian.  That public librarian is Miss Ingrid Abrams, and when she talks about summer readings lists I know from whence she speaks.  You see, here in NYC, there is…
  • Second Novels We Wish We Could Read

    Elizabeth Bird
    21 Jul 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Like the rest of America I have watched, enthralled, the debate going on at the child_lit listserv as to whether or not folks should/are choosing to eschew reading Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman. I’m sorry, what that? I’m being informed that despite my opinions on the matter, America does not collectively read child_lit.  I find this version of the facts suspicious and will look into it further, later. In any case, here at NYPL, Gwen Glazer came up with an interesting idea.  She wrote, “we’re thinking about other authors we wish would suddenly come out (some…
  • Press Release Fun: TeachingBooks.net Author Name Pronunciation Guide Reaches 2,000 Audio Clips

    Elizabeth Bird
    20 Jul 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Maybe one of the more enjoyable press releases I’ve released. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Authors and Illustrators Reveal the Origins and Pronunciations of Their Names – See more at: http://forum.teachingbooks.net/2015/07/teachingbooks-net-author-name-pronunciation-guide-reaches-2000-audio-clips/#sthash.oAjVyX6K.dpuf MADISON, Wis. (July 16, 2015) – Ever wondered how to pronounce a favorite author’s name? Since 2007, almost half-a-million readers have visited www.TeachingBooks.net/Hello to hear authors and illustrators say their names and recount brief stories about them. Jon…
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    Michael Gerson: Most Recent Articles and Archives

  • A GOP led by Donald Trump will fail, and deserve it

    Michael Gerson
    30 Jul 2015 | 5:06 pm
    At this point in the 2016 presidential campaign, the noble, elusive stag of political rhetoric is pretty much road kill.This judgment is unfair to a few candidates — Rick Perry, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio come to mind — delivering thoughtful speeches. But in portions of the Republican field, the normal limits of civility have been crossed and recrossed in the relentless search for viral attention. Mike Huckabee compared the sitting president to a Nazi prison guard. Ted Cruz accused the Senate majority leader of being a liar. Donald Trump, well, opens his mouth. His opponents are invariably…
  • Hillary Clinton, the Democrats’ wounded queen?

    Michael Gerson
    27 Jul 2015 | 4:55 pm
    The most surprising revelation in recent presidential polling is not that Donald Trump has low favorability in key states — a welcome indicator of national sanity — but rather that Hillary Clinton’s numbers are almost as bad. Put another way: A vacuous, gaffe-prone, xenophobic, conspiracy-minded reality television star whose nomination, by most accounts, would destroy the GOP has about the same approval ratings in Colorado and Iowa as the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic nomination. Read full article >>
  • Rick Perry emerges as a responsible voice among Republicans

    Michael Gerson
    20 Jul 2015 | 4:56 pm
    In the early days of the 2016 Republican campaign — an unusually important period, in which the viability of the GOP is being defended against a toxic form of populism — some of the clearest leadership has emerged from an unexpected source: former Texas governor Rick Perry. Read full article >>
  • Planned Parenthood video shows an appalling trivialization of life

    Michael Gerson
    16 Jul 2015 | 5:01 pm
    At first, it seemed like an Internet hoax. A doctor, over a glass of wine and a salad, coldly describes the extraction and monetization of fetal body parts. Surely this is some kind of sick parody. But it is not a hoax. It is Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, Deborah Nucatola, caught in a sting video by an antiabortion group. Planned Parenthood’s reaction essentially confirmed the conversation as genuine, but insisted that it concerned the extraction of tissue for scientific research “under the highest ethical and legal standards.” Read full article >>
  • Obama’s Iran deal is a reckless bet

    Michael Gerson
    14 Jul 2015 | 8:12 am
    As the world and Congress examine the Iran deal’s fine print, the strategic large print is clear enough. “Obama wants this [deal] as a centerpiece of his legacy,” an anonymous U.S. diplomat is quoted as saying, “and he believes a peaceful Iran could be a bulwark against ISIS in the Middle East and the key to peace there.” Read full article >>
 
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    Semicolon

  • Saturday Review of Books: July 31, 2015

    Sherry
    31 Jul 2015 | 8:57 pm
    “I would urge upon every young man, as the beginning of his due and wise provision for his household, … to obtain as soon as he can, by the severest economy, a restricted, serviceable, and steadily — however slowly — increasing series of books for use through life; making his little library, of all the furniture in his room, the most studied and decorative piece; every volume having its assigned place, like a little statue in its niche, and one of the earliest and strictest lessons to the children of the house being how to turn the pages of their own literary possessions…
  • Booker Prize Longlist

    Sherry
    30 Jul 2015 | 8:27 am
    The Booker Prize, awarded in England, used to be limited to authors of the British persuasion, including authors from Commonwealth countries all over the world. Now, it’s open to U.S. authors, too, and five of the twelve authors on the prize’s longlist this year are American. Here’s the list: Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg. The Green Road by Anne Enright A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami Satin Island by Tom McCarthy The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma The Illuminations by Andrew O’Hagan Lila by Marilynne Robinson…
  • Reading and Thinking on my Birthday

    Sherry
    29 Jul 2015 | 8:24 am
    So, what have I been reading and thinking about on my birthday and the morning after? I spent some time yesterday morning listening to Ravi Zacharias’ recent podcasts. That man is an inspirational speaker, preacher, and thinker. I enjoy listening to him speak much more than I enjoy his books, however, even though I like his books well enough. Then, I read some in Walter Wangerin’s Paul: A Novel. It’s an interesting perspective, or rather multiple perspectives, on the life of the apostle Paul. The novel switches narrators every few pages from Luke to Timothy to Barnabas to…
  • Saturday Review of Books: July 25, 2015

    Sherry
    24 Jul 2015 | 9:11 pm
    “Don Quixote, perceiving that he was not able to stir, resolv’d to have recourse to his usual Remedy which was to bethink himself what Passage in his Books might afford him some Comfort.” ~Don Quixote by Miguel Saavedra de Cervantes 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…
  • What’s New in My Library?

    Sherry
    24 Jul 2015 | 9:38 am
    I have a private, subscription library in my home—sort of a school library for literature lovers and homeschoolers. It gives me an excuse to purchase and rescue those treasures of books that I find in the thrift store or at the garage sale. I bought lots of books this week, first at the Books Bloom seminar with Jan Bloom, then at the thrift store. Something for everyone! Picture books: Wombat Stew by Marcia K. Vaughan. A dingo captures a wombat and decides to make himself a gooey, brewy, yummy, chewy wombat stew. But the wombat has a few tricks up his sleeve. This is a great Australian…
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    WordPress Tag: Children's Book Illustration

  • Kahukura (red admiral) illustrations #tereo

    drawingescape
    31 Jul 2015 | 3:01 am
    Just quickly popping in to say hi and share these beautiful illustrations by Cliff Whiting from the maori childrens book Pūrerehua (Kahukura) by Hirini Melbourne, which is about the life cycle of the NZ Red Admiral. I thought it was quite fitting to share these today as we come to the end of Te wiki o te Reo Maori (Maori Language Week) here in NZ!! ‘Lands, lands, on a stinging nettle’ | ‘It lays eggs; one, two, three, four’ ‘Wriggles and squirms and out pops four caterpillars’ | ‘Eat. eat, eat the leaves are gone, they are hanging dangling…
  • Poster for a New Opera for Children: "The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge"

    patachilles
    27 Jul 2015 | 7:09 am
    It’s always a happy occasion when someone creates a new musical experience for children, espec
  • 2015 DEGREE SHOW

    mdxillustration
    24 Jul 2015 | 10:34 pm
    Earlier this summer our graduating 3rd years showcase their work at Middlesex’s annual degree show. If you didn’t manage to make it down  at the the Truman Brewery here are a few highlights from the exhibition; DANIEL METSON Website | Twitter | Instagram – TARO QURESHI Website | Twitter | Instagram – ELLIE LAWRENCE Website | Instagram – YUN RU TAN Website | Twitter | Instagram |Facebook – SACHIKO OGURI Website | Tumblr | Twitter |  Instagram – NATALIA GLADOSZ – JASMINE BRADY…
  • 7 Steps for Marketing a Children's Picture Book

    Dayne Sislen, Children's Book Illustrator
    24 Jul 2015 | 11:34 am
    Back Cover, There’s a Mouse on My Head! Everything I’ve read says it’s a lot of work to market any book, much less a self-published children’s picture book. Donna Warwick the author of “There’s a Mouse on My Head!” and I, as the illustrator, are starting down this long road to what we hope is success. The first copies of the book have been printed and shipped. They haven’t arrived yet. We need to make sure everything is perfect before we release them to the public. Publication date is set for August 10. Our book will be available on Amazon,…
  • Illustrating Children’s Books

    susandilldetwiler
    22 Jul 2015 | 10:31 am
    If you want to be an illustrator of books for children, how do you go about it? I recall that I hadn’t a clue as an art student regarding the path to that goal, and it took several years of trial and error — and a dose of good luck — for me to find my way to publication and (semi-)regular assignments from art directors. Joining the SCBWI was absolutely a great move, and going to as many conferences as possible also helped, but I am still learning! The industry changes have been monumental since I started my career, and keeping up can be a challenge. There are new and exciting ways to…
 
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    Ally Carter

  • The Book That Almost Killed Me

    Ally Carter
    30 Jul 2015 | 4:19 pm
    Hello, everyone! Ally here! As those of you who follow me on twitter might have seen a week or two ago, I just realized that this December will be my ten year Publiversary! Yep. My very first novel (which is now out of print and very hard to find, sorry) came out almost ten years ago. I’ve been thinking for a while now of what I might do to mark the occasion, and I’ve got some ideas for something I think you guys are really going to like. But that’s going to take a little while to bring into fruition. In the meantime, I’m going to try really, really hard to write…
  • Magnificent Quiz Monday

    Shellie
    27 Jul 2015 | 9:09 am
    Hi Everyone! Since we have a lot of new followers to the blog I thought a fun “get to know you” quiz would be fun! 1. Hamburger or Hotdog or I don’t eat meat? 2. Call or text or snapchat? 3. Purse or Backpack or Nothing, a true spy just uses what’s around? 4. Outside or Inside or Either? 5. Makeup or just mascara or nothing but face lotion? 6. Bike or skateboard or what are those? 7. Winter or Spring or Summer or Fall? 8. High heels or Tennis shoes or Hiking boots or Flip flops? Hope everyone has a good day!!! xoxo, Shellie   The post Magnificent Quiz Monday appeared…
  • Baking Soda and the Art of Book-to-Film Adaptations

    Ally Carter
    23 Jul 2015 | 5:17 pm
    So this is something I’ve been thinking about writing for a long time. At least a year. Maybe longer. Probably longer. And I’ve decided to write this now because John Green’s PAPER TOWNS opens this weekend, and I’m extremely excited for John and about the movie. Also because the “John Green Hollywood experience” has been on my mind a lot lately. It never ceases to amaze me how much the book-to-film process both captures the public’s fascination and confuses the heck out of people. If you write a book – any book – you will hear every day that “you should make a movie…
  • Magnificent Cryptogram Monday

    Shellie
    20 Jul 2015 | 8:53 am
    Hey Everyone! I thought I would give you a cryptogram to solve today! I haven’t posted one in a while and thought I would pull a quote from All Fall Down. Good Luck! W FEX’V KMCX VE LMV WXVE VSENOUM.  VSENOUM HNTV TESV EJ JWXFT KM. For those of you who have never solved a cryptogram puzzle before, the rules are simple… It is basically a secret code where different numbers, symbols, or in this case, letters, represent a different letter. I will hold all comments with answers for 24hrs to give everyone a chance to solve the puzzle! I will approve comments that include tips,…
  • Magnificent Monday

    Shellie
    13 Jul 2015 | 11:45 am
    Hi Everyone! I have to say the BEST part of my job was getting to proof read See How They Run this past weekend!! It is amazing! I can’t wait for everyone to get to read it and that way we can all geek out over it! And in case you missed it….Ally put this little excerpt  from See How They Run on her social media sites Saturday. And if you are in the Oklahoma City area this weekend go and see Ally  Saturday, July 18th, at 3:00 at the Barnes & Noble at the Qual Springs Mall!   Have a great week! xoxo, Shellie    The post Magnificent Monday appeared first on Ally…
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    deborah wiles: field notes

  • 48 days, day 47: celebration

    Debbie Wiles
    30 Jul 2015 | 8:46 am
    {{ I am chronicling 48 days of writing before my July 31 travel. If you are chronicling your summer writing/days and would like to share, please link or comment so we can all cheer one another through. Strength to your sword arm!}}The Year of Exploration is here.On Being a Late Bloomer is here.My speech at Vermont College (moments, memories, meaning) is here. ====================We don't have a picture of us in the sixties. We met when our mutual friend, Jimmy Murphy, who lived down the street from me and drove me to school in his family's Corvair, asked me one morning at pick-up, "Can…
  • 48 days, day 44-46: almost time

    Debbie Wiles
    29 Jul 2015 | 1:30 pm
    {{ I am chronicling 48 days of writing before my July 31 travel. If you are chronicling your summer writing/days and would like to share, please link or comment so we can all cheer one another through. Strength to your sword arm!}}The Year of Exploration is here.On Being a Late Bloomer is here.My speech at Vermont College (moments, memories, meaning) is here.It's that no-man's place where I've got one foot in the work I'm trying to do, and one foot in my suitcase, trying to make sure I remember to pack everything I'll need in California this weekend... not very effective for doing anything…
  • 48 days, day 41-43, we are stories surrounded by stories

    Debbie Wiles
    27 Jul 2015 | 11:47 am
    {{ I am chronicling 48 days of writing before my July 31 travel. If you are chronicling your summer writing/days and would like to share, please link or comment so we can all cheer one another through. Strength to your sword arm!}}The Year of Exploration is here.On Being a Late Bloomer is here.My speech at Vermont College (moments, memories, meaning) is here.Wesley, my granddog, hoping for scraps.My friends at Turnrow Books in Greenwood, Mississippi always wrap my books in brown paper. I love that.I am surrounded by the stories behind the stories as well... The past three days were full of…
  • 48 days, day 39-40: a welcoming

    Debbie Wiles
    23 Jul 2015 | 8:39 am
    {{ I am chronicling 48 days of writing before my July 31 travel. If you are chronicling your summer writing/days and would like to share, please link or comment so we can all cheer one another through. Strength to your sword arm!}}The Year of Exploration is here.On Being a Late Bloomer is here.My speech at Vermont College (moments, memories, meaning) is here.Ha! The joke is on me. I have two manuscripts, here in my enormous trove, that are finished, that are revised multiple times for different editors (editors I no longer work with and who have changed houses as well), that went to committee…
  • 48 days, day 37-38: the beating heart

    Debbie Wiles
    21 Jul 2015 | 12:37 pm
    {{ I am chronicling 48 days of writing before my July 31 travel. If you are chronicling your summer writing/days and would like to share, please link or comment so we can all cheer one another through. Strength to your sword arm!}}The Year of Exploration is here.On Being a Late Bloomer is here.My speech at Vermont College (moments, memories, meaning) is here.Taken at Tallulah Gorge in the North Georgia mountains a few years ago... writing is kind of like this... looking for the best view to tackle the story.. or our writing lives.Well, it rained again, and I slept again, and I got to work…
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    Lili Wilkinson

  • Three chances to win a signed copy of Green Valentine!

    lili
    29 Jul 2015 | 5:27 pm
    To celebrate the release of #GreenValentine I am giving away three SIGNED copies – one each on Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter! Official publication page. In Melbourne? Come to the launch and get a signed book and free organic vegetable seedlings!
  • Green Valentine Launch!

    lili
    7 Jul 2015 | 6:07 pm
      BOOK LAUNCH! 6 August, 6pm. Readings Bookshop, 309 Lygon Street, Carlton, Victoria, Australia 3053 Buy the book! Get it signed! I’ll give you a free herb or veggie seedling! No RSVP necessary, but you can on fbook if you really want to. Official publication page. Preorder now! RESISTANCE IS FERTILE
  • The Writer’s Blog Tour

    lili
    25 May 2014 | 6:35 pm
    My Very Clever Friend Snazzy has dobbed me in for this. She writes amazing televisions, and the other day she got to be an extra in a TV show she created and wrote, wearing a medieval gown and holding an owl, so that’s really all you need to know about how excellent she is.   What am I working on?  Three main things: working on two novels, working on my PhD, gestating a tiny human. I’m in the edit stages of a novel at the moment that will either be called Bewildering or Lobstergirl and Shopping Trolley Guy or something else entirely. It’s a YA agricultural environmental…
  • Structure Workshop at 100 Story Building

    lili
    28 Apr 2014 | 4:55 pm
    I’ll be teaching this workshop on story structure on Saturday 24 May, and if you want to write a novel, or you have a work-in-progress and need a bit of a nudge on structure, then you should definitely consider coming along. 100 Story Building is a centre for young writers based in Melbourne’s inner-west, that also runs writing programs for adults. It’s totally awesome and you should check it out.
  • Reaching Out – Messages of Hope

    lili
    23 Aug 2013 | 5:57 pm
    Fifteen-year-old Mariah Kennedy is passionate about fighting for social justice. As the UNICEF Australia Young Ambassador, Mariah created REACHING OUTas a fundraising project and all author royalties will be donated to UNICEF. Heartfelt and inspiring, this book contains stories, poems and illustrations that have been donated by some of the most world?s renowned and respected authors and illustrators, including Graeme Base, Jackie French, Michael Leunig, Bruce Whatley, Michael Morpurgo, Andy Griffiths, Anna Perera, Libby Gleeson, Melina Marchetta, Alison Lester, Morris Gleitzman and many more.
 
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    Bookwitch

  • Flying royally

    bookwitch
    31 Jul 2015 | 9:31 pm
    All roads lead to Holiday Bookwitch Towers. Maybe. I told you a couple of months ago about our unusual flight route here, but a witch can always come up with more different ways. This week I went another unexpected way, and I did it alone. The Resident IT Consultant and I were flying to Copenhagen, yet again (but we are clearly doomed), this time via Heathrow. But with our first flight delayed, we’d miss our second. We have no idea what was going on in Denmark, but judging by the lack of seats on any plane, with any airline, the whole world was heading there. Meanwhile, poor…
  • Puppy Academy – Scout and the Sausage Thief

    bookwitch
    30 Jul 2015 | 9:52 pm
    They know who the sausage thief is. Frank Furter. It’s just a case of catching him, and preferably before the village sausage festival in Little Barking has to be cancelled. Here, with Puppy Academy, Gill Lewis is back with clever doggy students who want nothing better than to be good working dogs. Scout, the German shepherd puppy, wants to be a police dog like her mum and dad. As you will have worked out, this is not a real school where dogs are trained to be police dogs. This is more a world of dogs who talk, go to school and have jobs, while being pretty much the same as you and me.
  • A little wolfie gift for you all

    bookwitch
    29 Jul 2015 | 9:31 pm
    Cliff McNish is a very kind man. He has written a lovely fairy tale called The Winter Wolf, and he persuaded his friend Trish Phillips to make him some rather nice illustrations to go with it, and then his brother Michael did some, well, stuff, and here it is, for everyone to download and enjoy. I thoroughly enjoyed this tale about the wolf that howls every winter, scaring the other animals in the wood. They all warn their children against him, saying you can’t trust a wolf. It’s just a trick. But there is – naturally – a tiny squirrel, who wants to find out more,…
  • Precious and the Zebra Necklace

    bookwitch
    28 Jul 2015 | 8:56 pm
    I used to love sitting down with the latest novel about Mma Ramotswe. To begin with I kept up with each new book as it came, but when Bookwitch got going, a few pleasures fell by the roadside, and my crime sprees in Botswana were among them. I still drink my redbush tea, though. So I was happy to reacquaint myself with Precious Ramotswe in Alexander McCall Smith’s shorter books about our favourite detective as a child. She was just as sweet then, as the woman she became. In Precious and the Zebra Necklace, she makes a new friend at school, and when she discovers this girl has a sad…
  • The #13 profile – Kirkland Ciccone

    bookwitch
    27 Jul 2015 | 9:29 pm
    Brownie points to anyone who noticed this is profile #13, following – not so – closely in the footsteps of profile #14, but a bit before #15. Not everyone is comfortable with thirteen. Quite possibly Kirkland Ciccone is not comfortable with it either, but here he is anyway. It’d be a waste of numbers not to, or so I reasoned: ‘How many books did you write before the one that was your first published book? I wrote two novels and sent them out to publishers, hoping they would find me all the way in Cumbernauld. They didn’t at first and that’s just as well because I…
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    Confessions of a Bibliovore

  • Book Review: Gabby Duran and the Unsittables by Elise Allen and Daryle Conners

    Bibliovore
    25 Jul 2015 | 10:09 pm
    Book: Gabby Duran and the UnsittablesAuthor: Elise Allen and Daryle ConnersPublished: May 12, 2015Source: review copy from publisher via NetGalley.comGabby Duran has a reputation as the babysitter who can handle even the toughest cases with ease, and has a thriving babysitting empire. She's well used to things like being flown to Florida for the day to babysit a movie star's rambunctious triplets. However, she's thrown for a bit of a loop when she gets tagged to babysit little extraterrestrials by Edwina, the humorless head of A.L.I.E.N. (Association Linking Intergalatics and Earthlings as…
  • Book Review: The Doublecross (and other skills I learned as a superspy) by Jackson Pearce

    Bibliovore
    18 Jul 2015 | 7:14 pm
    Book: The Doublecross (and other skills I learned as a superspy)Author: Jackson PearcePublished: July 14, 2015Source: review copy from publisher via Netgalley.comHale's parents are two of SRS's best spies. The Jordans are known worldwide. Too bad for them that he's a chubby, awkward kid who couldn't win a footrace against a herd of snails - hardly the kind of son to live up to superspy parents. Still, when they disappear on a mission, Hale knows he can break into the evil League's headquarters and rescue them, because he's got plenty of brains and wits, and really, what's more important to a…
  • Book Review: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt

    Bibliovore
    11 Jul 2015 | 11:17 am
    Book: Hold Me Like a BreathAuthor: Tiffany SchmidtPublished: 2015Source: review copy from publisher via NetGalleyPenelope Landlow is a Mafia princess, the daughter of one of the most successful organ traffickers in the country. But she's shielded from the business because of her illness, an autoimmune disorder that means she bruises at the barest touch. Wrapped up in cotton wool and sheltered from the world, she chafes at her restrictions and dreams of escaping to New York City and being allowed to love Garrett Ward, her brother Carter's bodyguard.When Carter is murdered, apparently by the…
  • Book Review: Will Sparrow's Road by Karen Cushman

    Bibliovore
    4 Jul 2015 | 9:42 pm
    Book: Will Sparrow's RoadAuthor: Karen CushmanPublished: 2012Source: Local LibrarySold by his father for ale, mistreated by his new master, twelve-year-old Will Sparrow takes off, vowing to care only for himself. But the world of Elizabethan England isn't known for its kindness to the young and the vulnerable, and Will is taken advantage of time and again.When he falls in with a most unusual group - a dwarf man, a cat-faced girl, their wagon full of oddities, and Tidball, the man who owns them all - Will thinks he's found a place to belong, at least for a little while. But how long can such a…
  • Reading Roundup: June 2015

    Bibliovore
    1 Jul 2015 | 9:53 pm
    By the Numbers Teen: 13 Tween: 7 Children: 4 Sources Review Copies: 11 Library: 11 Standouts Teen: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt Riffing on both Rapunzel and the Princess and the Pea, this story about a frustrated, sheltered, and naive girl becoming a self-reliant young woman caught me hard. I just had to hang there through the slow start. Tween: The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm This story of a grandfather who's discovered the fountain of youth and a granddaughter who's discovering science, and the way they both learn to accept that life is about change, tugged at my…
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    ReadPlus Review Blog

  • Under My Skin by James Dawson

    30 Jul 2015 | 8:19 am
    Hot Key Books, 2015. ISBN: 9781471402968 (Age: 13+) Highly recommended. 'You have changed me so much and, here's the thing: I needed to change. Before you I thought I was weak scared and uncertain . . . You made me see I was wrong. You made me realise I could do things I never thought I could do.' James Dawson writes teen Horror with great skill and this book is no exception. It is difficult to put this book down as the writer skilfully draws the reader into the sinister and terrifying world Sally encounters. Sally Feather is 17 years old. She is shy and lives with parents who keep her world…
  • New Boy by Nick Earls

    30 Jul 2015 | 8:18 am
    Puffin Books, 2015. ISBN 9780143308393 (Age: 10+) Nick Earls is a popular award-winning author whose recent novel New Boy tells the story of Herschelle, a South African boy of Dutch ancestry. Upon arriving in Australia with his family, Herschelle unexpectedly discovers he will 'have to confront racism, bullying and his own past before Australia can feel like home . . . ' A difficult task, especially as school bully Lachlan is on his case making fun of Herschelle's name and accent. Then Herschelle's own opinion that the school staff made a monumental mistake appointing Max the nerd as his…
  • The Drowned Kingdom by Kate Forsyth

    30 Jul 2015 | 8:16 am
    The Impossible Quest bk 4. Scholastic Australia, 2015.ISBN: 9781743624098 (Age: 10+) Fans of this fantasy adventure will be pleased to see this next instalment which gives us more information about Quinn's past and sheds some light on the motivation behind the original invasion of Wolfhaven. Themes of good and evil, jealousy and forgiveness abound. The Impossible Quest continues as Quinn, Tom, Sebastian and Elanor have only one more object to collect and then hopefully the Grand Teller's prophecy will come true and the people of Wolfhaven will be saved. How hard can it be to find the scale of…
  • Storm Rescue by Darrel and Sally Odgers

    29 Jul 2015 | 10:01 am
    Ill. by Janine Dawson. Pup Patrol bk 3. Scholastic Australia, 2015. ISBN 9781743623015 (Age: 6-8 years) Recommended. Storm Rescue is the third book in the Pup Patrol Series by the same authors who bought us the delightful Jack Russell: Dog Detective and Pet Vet series. Aimed at the young independent reader and narrated by Stamp we are given a dog's view of events. Stamp, the Border Collie, and his friends Ace, 'a dog of mixed breed and bad manners', and James, their human, attend the Great Atherton K9 Festival, but competition is not the only challenge they have to face. It appears that…
  • Almost Grace by Rosie Rowell

    29 Jul 2015 | 10:00 am
    Hot Key Books, 2015. ISBN 9781471401275 (Age: 14+) Recommended. 'I will support and love you through whatever it is that is causing you anxiety but I will not follow you down this road of self-destruction.' This book, the story of Grace, is set in South Africa. There are explanations throughout the book of Afrikaans words. Grace has just finished High School and is unsure of what the future may hold for her. She is controlling the only thing she can control - her body. It soon becomes apparent that she is eating little and her friends and family are very concerned for her. She travels with…
 
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    There's a Botticelli Angel Inside, Snapping Beans:

  • S.L. Huang on The Fault in Our Stars

    17 Jul 2015 | 12:28 pm
    "I do not exist to be your tragedy. I do not exist for you to find special meaning in your life. I do not exist to teach people Lessons or to give people Feels." Over at Disability in Kidlit, S.L. Huang reviews John Green's The Fault in Our Stars.
  • Visiting Day by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by James E. Ransome

    2 Jul 2015 | 11:34 pm
    If you have or know young kids who have a loved one who is in prison, or if you have or know young kids who know other kids who do, or if you have young kids in your life who you want to know that some kids go through this, I'd like to recommend Jacqueline Woodson's picture book Visiting Day. James E. Ransome illustrates it in rich acrylic paintings. The cover looks like this. This book is warm, loving, serious, and layered. It has sweetness and it has mournfulness. Ransome does a lot of that, using visible brush strokes and stark value contrasts, and painting complex and nuanced emotions…
  • Choosing a Little Red Riding Hood

    2 Jul 2015 | 11:21 pm
    There are so very many picture book versions. Over many years, I've been trying to look at as many as possible. I'm quite fond of this particular one: Little Red Riding Hood by Jerry Pinkney. Just look at this art: Cover. LRRH when the wolf is in bed. This blogger has scanned in many of the pages very large.
  • "Dear Tim Federle: Some thoughts on Native content in BETTER NATE THAN EVER," by Debbie Reese

    2 Jul 2015 | 2:15 pm
    Over at American Indians in Children's Literature: Dear Tim Federle: Some thoughts on Native content in BETTER NATE THAN EVER, an open letter from Debbie Reese.
  • The problem in Mary Hoffman's Amazing Grace.

    21 Jun 2015 | 10:28 pm
    Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman is often cited, even outside our field, as a great book for empowering black kids, especially black girls. In an Everyday Feminism article from a year ago called 6 Things White Parents Can Do to Raise Racially Conscious Children, Bree Ervin says,One of my favorite books for young children is Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, which invites the reader to reimagine Peter Pan as a Black girl! Try introducing the children in your life to a similarly diverse story. It can go a long way in helping them imagine people of color more complexly.The problem is, in one scene,…
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    I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I read?

  • #LA15SCBWI – My Top Ten Verbs For The Conference Ahead

    Lee Wind, M.Ed.
    31 Jul 2015 | 5:56 am
    The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' 2015 Summer Conference is going to be an amazing event, bringing together over 1,000 of my fellow writers and illustrators and agents and editors and publishers and art directors of books for kids and teens. All of us passionate about telling great stories, and about the power of stories to make kids' lives, and our world, better.I will be...#1MODERATINGOn Friday, from 5:00 pm-6:00 pm, I'll be moderating the SCBWI Success Story panel, talking with Martha Brockenbrough, Mike Curato, Stacey Lee, Lori Nichols and Anna Shinoda about "Tips…
  • The Boy Scouts Lift Their Ban On Gay Scout Leaders!

    Lee Wind, M.Ed.
    29 Jul 2015 | 5:55 am
    BIG, exciting news!Here's looking forward to the day when, like the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts come out with a consistent, proud message that scouting is #FOReveryKID! And now we're so much closer to that.The New York Times article brought up that the Mormon Church is still obstructing equality, still fighting for their homophobic agenda. (And there's still a loophole for churches, where "...the new policy allows church-sponsored units to choose local unit leaders who share their precepts, even if that means restricting such positions to heterosexual men.")But for now, in the big picture,…
  • The Balance - A Dystopian Future, Love between Two Teen Guys and a Battle For Survival

    Lee Wind, M.Ed.
    27 Jul 2015 | 6:00 am
    The Balance by Neal WootenPiri is a nineteen-year-old boy who lives in a technological metropolis that rises up above the clouds. But when an accident drops him out of the city, everything changes. At first terrified by the atrocious reality of life on the surface, including surviving gruesome creatures known as Scavs, Piri is soon mesmerized by the bond they have for one another. He also comes to understand his own feelings for Niko, the boy who rescued him.In the end, Piri chooses love over comfort. But things are never as they seem. When he discovers just how far the city dwellers will go…
  • Remember Me - A teenage girl's life with grief, art and love (with another girl!)

    Lee Wind, M.Ed.
    24 Jul 2015 | 6:00 am
    Remember Me by Melanie BatchelorJamie Richards has lost a lot. Her father died four years ago and her mother is consumed by her career. Jamie finds an escape through her artistic passion and her first love--the one person who hasn't abandoned her, Erica Sinclair. Overwhelmed by their own harsh realities, Jamie and Erica create a world of their own in an abandoned park--a place they call "Wonderland." Jamie idolizes Erica until the two grow closer, and she realizes that her ideal image of Erica is nothing shy of fiction. When cracks beneath the exterior become more prevalent, Jamie begins to…
  • The Waiting Tree: Simon loves Stephen, but life (and religion, and family) get in the way

    Lee Wind, M.Ed.
    22 Jul 2015 | 6:00 am
    The Waiting Tree by Lindsay MoynihanEighteen-year-old Simon Peters wants to stand up for the truth about who he is. His love for Stephen is unwavering, but does he have the courage to defend it when his entire church community, including his eldest brother Paul, have ostracized him? Will Stephen's feelings change now that he's been banished to the Waverly Christian Center to learn how to be normal again? Trapped in a cashier's job he hates, struggling to maintain peace with his brothers after their parents have died, and determined to look after his mute twin and his friend Tina, Simon puts…
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    Literacy, families and learning

  • Seven New Children's Picture Books

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

    Trevor Cairney
    20 Jul 2015 | 8:02 pm
    There are few parents that don't worry about the amount of time their children spend using media of one kind or another. Thirty years ago our major fear as parents was how much television our children watched. I can recall as a teacher surveying a class I was teaching and being horrified that the average TV time was 21 hours per week.A decade later we added electronic gaming and videos to the list of worries. But in the last decade, we've seen an explosion of options as media of one kind or another, have become available 24/7 at our fingertips (literally).Of course, right up front let me…
  • 25 Short Story Anthologies for Children 5-15 years

    Trevor Cairney
    11 Jul 2015 | 3:50 am
     This is a revised version of a post I did two years ago on the value of anthologiesThere was a time when everyone read short stories. While school primers and reading resources still make good use of collections of stories, it seems that they are recommended less for general reading. This is a pity because short stories have a valuable place in the world of literature. In many ways, the short story is a novel in miniature. Like the novel, they can draw on the full spectrum of writing. The short story is a written account of connected events, presented in such a way that they communicate…
  • Boys & Learning: 'Active Learning' works!

    Trevor Cairney
    29 Jun 2015 | 4:00 pm
    In an article in 'The Atlantic' Jessica Lahey called on schools to 'stop penalizing boys for not being able to sit still at school'. The article was motivated by her observations of boys as a teacher and her reading of the findings of research on boys published by the International Boys’ Schools Coalition’s 'Teaching Boys: A global study of effective practices'. Her teaching of boys suggested that while some struggled at school, others thrived. What is the ingredient that leads to inconsistency? Is it simply within the boys, or are there factors external to the boys that are at work?As a…
  • Graphic Novels: Reviews of some recent arrivals

    Trevor Cairney
    18 Jun 2015 | 4:58 pm
    What is a Graphic Novel?The term graphic novel has grown in popularity in the last decade, as an increasing number of authors have experimented with this format for presenting narrative accounts. In simple terms it is a text that makes added use of drawn images to communicate its meaning. In some cases, words are absent or largely secondary, whereas in other cases, word and image are used equally with clever integration.Some include comics within the category, although the pairing of 'novel' with 'graphic' reflects the increased development of long fictional works. But this textual form can…
 
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    The Book Chook

  • Children’s iPad App, Play Opera

    30 Jul 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Children's App Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.comPlay Opera: Mozart, Puccini, Rossini, and Verdi masterpieces for kids is a recent app created by Dada Company. I have previously reviewed Dada’s Peek-a-Word. From the developer: Play Opera introduces children to the opera through the work of five great composers, encouraging the development and education of musical tastes. A challenging educational experience that promotes active listening thanks to fun interactions. Each piece includes character profiles and a brief synopsis of the opera to which they belong.Play Opera combines…
  • Children’s Book Review, Don’t Think About Purple Elephants

    28 Jul 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Children’s Book Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com Don’t Think About Purple Elephants is a children’s picture book written by Susan Whelan, illustrated by Gwyneth Jones and published by EK Books, an imprint of Exile Publishing, 2015. l From the publisher:Sometimes Sophie worries — not during the day when she is busy with family and friends, but at night when everything is calm and quiet. Her family all try to help, but somehow they just make her worries worse. Until her mother thinks of a new approach … that might just involve an elephant or two! But wait, don’t…
  • Creating with Kids and iPad Apps (July 2015 Update)

    26 Jul 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Creating with Kids and iPad Apps (July 2015 Update) by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.comI've updated my List, Creating with Children and iPad Apps. Check out the List below (and don't forget to navigate to the second/third page via arrows bottom right) to browse those apps I’ve reviewed where children can create something. Whether that creation takes the form of telling a digital story, recording themselves making art, arranging elements to make a digital picture, creating a cartoon or a video, taking pictures with a camera, rearranging words and letters to make something new, making…
  • Listly for Educators

    23 Jul 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Listly for Educatorsby Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com Why Listly? Creation, Curation and UsabilityRecently I’ve begun using Listly more and more. It’s a website and tool for making lists. But it’s much more than that. Listly is a way to gather resources and share them with others. It’s a versatile visual way to create all sorts of lists that curate the resources, or groups of resources, you gather. Listly enables the gathering of resources via a bookmarklet in your browser toolbar. If you find something, you click the bookmarklet and Listly prompts you to add it to the correct…
  • Children’s Book Review, Thunderstorm Dancing

    21 Jul 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Children’s Book Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com Thunderstorm Dancing is a children’s picture book written by Katrina Germein, illustrated by Judy Watson, and published by Allen and Unwin, 2015. From the publisher: When a sunny day at the beach turns stormy, a little girl runs for cover. Her daddy and brothers are wild in the wind and lightning, and her poppy is as loud as thunder. They fill the house with stamping and crashing while Granny plays piano to their riotous thunderstorm dancing... until the storm passes and they all fall down. Then, in the stillness, the girl…
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    Nana's Buzz

  • Mind Your Brain Health: Dehydration

    nana2
    18 Jul 2015 | 2:47 pm
    Consider these facts: #1  The human brain is 85% water. #2  As we age, we tend to lose our natural thirst. #  The brains of people with Alzheimer’s appear shrunken relative to healthy brains. Could these three facts be related?  Could the answer to the question of maintaining our brain health be simply: DRINK MORE WATER?  I recently read an article that cited a study comparing thirst in young people to that of older adults.  Both groups were deprived of water for an extended period.  When they were then given water, the young people were very thirsty and hydrated quickly.  The…
  • The Beauty of Aging

    nana
    10 Jul 2015 | 5:44 pm
      I just had a birthday . . . a big one.  A friend called it a “speed limit ” birthday.  I like thinking of it that way . . . it could be 55, 60, 65 or 70.  I anticipated having a problem with a big birthday but it’s actually been fine.  There’s so much written about aging and boomers these days and all that they can accomplish and how 60 is the new 40 and so on. I’m always seeing photos of “seniors” who I think have such beauty.  Sometimes it’s surface beauty and sometimes it comes from inside with the strength and wisdom of age…
  • Fostering a Love of Music – Part 2

    nana2
    7 Jul 2015 | 7:22 pm
    How many times have you heard an adult say (maybe you have even said it yourself): “I took (insert instrument) lessons for a couple of years in elementary school but I didn’t like it and then I quit.  I wish that I had stayed with it.”  The parents, myself included, worn down by the constant struggle over practicing and with some incomplete understanding of self-actualization, gave in and gave up the lessons. Then there is the “tiger mom” Amy Chua who was so determined that her daughters would play at Carnegie Hall that she denied her daughters sleepovers,…
  • Fostering a Love of Music – Part 1

    nana2
    29 Jun 2015 | 9:47 am
    A friend stopped by my home for the first time recently and commented: “Quite a musical family.”  I realized that she might have been prompted to say that because, in our small living room, are a full-size electronic piano keyboard, a cello, and 2 acoustic guitars. I do place a high value on the role of music, listening to it or creating it, in one’s life: its ability to soothe in times of stress, and to give pleasure to oneself and to others.  For most people who manage to achieve some level of proficiency with an instrument, including the human voice, it comes only with…
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