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26. Poetry Friday with a review of On the Wing by Douglas Florian

Douglas Florian is a poet and artist who has created poetry picture books that explore a wide variety of subjects. Over the years I have greatly enjoyed reading these books, and it is interesting to see how he applies his considerable talent to take on a new topic that interests him.

Douglas Florian
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Harcourt, 1996, 978-0152023669
Birds truly are remarkable animals. They come in a dazzling array of colors, live on every continent, and make their homes in all kinds of places. In this wonderful picture book Douglas Florian pairs short poems with his artwork to give readers a true celebration of birds.
   Over the millennia birds have evolved to suit many kinds of environments. Some birds, like the egret, sail on water and then rest on the beach making it seem as if there is a “feathered hat” lying on the sand. Dippers love to dip and dive in waterfalls. They are so aquatic that one wonders if they would be happy to “trade / Their oily wings for flippers.” They are such good swimmers that it is possible that the little birds might “think that they are fish.”
   Birds come in all shapes and sizes. The spoonbill is tall and thin with a beak that does indeed look like a long-handled spoon. In his poem about this rather odd looking species, Douglas Florian wonders if the spoonbill uses its bill “for stirring tea” or does it “use it as a scoop / For eating peas and drinking soup.”
   The stork has a bill that is perfectly suited for the environment it lives in. Wading through shallow water, the bird uses it rapier like bill to stab frogs and other creatures. Woodpeckers also have beaks that are perfectly adapted so that they can get to their chosen food - insects that live in wood and sap that runs through wood. Not only are these beaks perfect for creating holes, but woodpeckers also use them to communicate.
   With clever touches of humor and insightful descriptions, this collection of poems will give young readers a colorful picture of twenty-one bird species.

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27. How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky/Lydia Netzer: Chicago Tribune Review

I want to love every book I read. I crack the spine eager with hope. I struggled, unfortunately, with Lydia Netzer's new novel, a book that has elsewhere earned raves as well as raised eyebrows.

My review of the book is now live in Printers Row Journal. It begins like this, below, and can be read in its entirety here.
If you are a reader intoxicated by the strange, a reader for whom conceits matter more than characters and song, then Lydia Netzer's "How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky" is the sort of book that may well live up to its billing as a funny valentine. If, on the other hand, you read in search of stories that ultimately transcend ideas, then this second novel by the best-selling author of "Shine Shine Shine" may furrow your brow.

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28. Sometimes a Massive Breakdown Can be a Good Thing by Kate Brian


Kate Brian is the author of many YA novels, under this name as well as Kieran Scott. The second book in Kieran's True Love trilogy, COMPLETE NOTHING is hitting store at the end of September. The third and final book in Kate Brian's Shadowlands trilogy, ENDLESS, came out in July!

Sometimes a Massive Breakdown Can be a Good Thing by Kate Brian

For the longest time, I have been on a crazy writing schedule. The Private series was published twice a year, and once it spawned the spin-off Privilege, I was publishing three or four times a year. And yes, I was writing all the books myself (with plotting assistance from my editors). At the same time, I was developing other projects and working on some non-fiction, basically doing everything I could to keep my brain fresh and keep paying the bills. Occasionally someone would ask me, “How do you do it?” (My answer? “I don’t know. I just do.”) Or, the less kind, “When do you think you’re going to hit the wall?” In other words, when do you think you’re going to lose your mind and end up blubbering in the corner, unable to remember the names of your children, let alone the names of the hundreds of characters you’ve created over the years? My answer was always, (insert self-deprecating chuckle) “I suppose it’ll have to happen eventually.” But in the back of my mind, I couldn’t really imagine it. I’d always thrived on being busy, loved rising to the occasion, couldn’t wrap my brain around stopping.

Then, my mom died. My mom, who was basically my best friend, my greatest confidant, and the first person I called whenever anything monumentally good or soul-crushingly bad happened. The couple of months leading up to her death and the year afterward were the worst times of my life, and they just happened to coincide with the writing of the Shadowlands trilogy. If you haven’t read the books, I’m not giving too much away by telling you that the protagonist, Rory Miller, lost her mother to cancer four years prior to the beginning of the trilogy. In fact, her parting with her mother—at her house, in her bedroom, slow and agonizing—were not unlike my parting with my mother. It was all imagined up before it happened in real life, but I was writing and revising these scenes, working with this character who was defined by this tragedy, in the midst of dealing with it all myself. It was scarily parallel, and let’s just say, it was not good for my psyche.

And so, it finally happened. Somewhere around the fourth revision of Hereafter, the second book in the Shadowlands series, I finally hit my wall. I was pouring all the emotional aftermath of my mom’s death into that book, and thinking that if anything good was going to come out of my mom dying it would be that Rory would be realistic. My editors disagreed. Therefore, the four revisions. Of course, I took offense at their notes to soften Rory, to make her less angry, that she was unlikable the way she was, because hey—I was going through this and she was basically me. How dare they tell me what I was going through? That I was too angry? That I was unlikable? So there were many tense conversations with my editor and with my agent, followed by one, massive, breakdown when I couldn’t get my point across, when I couldn’t make them understand. I remember a lot of screaming and crying and snot and tears. I remember screaming at my agent on the phone to do something. I also remember my agent being extraordinarily patient with me, calming me down, and then going about making everything better. (Sidebar: If you’re looking for an agent, find someone who is human and kind. It comes in handy.)

There was a moment, actually, there were weeks, in which I really thought I was never going to write another word. I thought I’d lost the elusive “it” that gave me my voice, that made me me. I seriously considered becoming a realtor or a baker. I had to just step away for a while.

Unfortunately, I was also on deadline, so I couldn’t step away for too long. It turned out, however, when I sat down to work again, it was easier to look at the manuscript and see the problems my editors saw. I realized I wasn’t writing a book about my experience, I was writing a book about Rory’s experience. And while, yes, she still missed her mother, she was four years further into living with it than I was. She had adjusted, to whatever degree one can adjust to such a loss, while I most certainly hadn’t. Once I’d gotten all my emotions out, and screamed and cried and vented, I was able to approach things with a clear head. I revised the book, and it was finally put to bed.

Luckily, the final book in the series was much easier to write. It started in a dark place, but ended up in a lighter one. Just knowing that I was working toward a happy ending made the work so much easier.

But my breakdown didn’t just get me through the rest of the trilogy. It made me realize a few things about myself and the person and the writer I wanted to be going forward. I realized I didn’t need to kill myself writing four things at the same time. I realized I didn’t want to work on anything too dark—at least not for a while. And I realized that, while the actual business of sitting down and writing is a solitary pursuit, having a solid support team is so very important. Being honest and realistic with my editors and my agent about their expectations and my abilities has gotten me a long way in this career, and won me a few champions along the way. They rallied around me during the toughest moment in my personal and professional life, and for that I’m eternally grateful.

About The Author

Kieran is from Montvale, New Jersey and was raised in Bergen County.[1] She enjoyed cheerleading, singing, and acting when she was growing up.

She graduated from Pascack Hills High School[2] and attended college at Rutgers University with a double major in English and Journalism. She worked as an editor for four years before becoming a writer.[3]

She resides in New Jersey with her husband and sons.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads







About The Book

True’s matchmaking skills are the stuff of legend! The second novel in Kieran Scott’s delightful teen romance series that TeenVogue.com called “the next Twilight.”

True is not exactly loving New Jersey. Banished from Mount Olympus and tasked with helping couples find love without using her powers, the goddess-formerly-known-as-Cupid is having a tough time. Especially now that True’s immortal love, Orion, has also appeared at her New Jersey high school—but with no memory of their relationship.

To distract herself from seeing Orion flirt with another girl, True focuses her efforts on making a match: Peter and Claudia. Peter is the star quarterback and the most popular guy in school. But he’s insecure about his future, so he preemptively dumps Claudia, his girlfriend. (If she won’t want to be with him later, why stay together now?) Claudia doesn’t take the breakup too well, and she’s ready to show the quarterback of their rival school just how ready she is to get over it.

But True sees something in these two seniors. She believes they should be together—but can she help them find their way back to each other (and get herself closer to home)? Or have things already spun too far out of control?

Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads

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29. Poetry Friday - A review of On the Wing

Douglas Florian is a poet and artist who has created poetry picture books that explore a wide variety of subjects. Over the years I have greatly enjoyed reading these books, and it is interesting to see how he applies his considerable talent to take on a new topic that interests him.

Douglas Florian
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Harcourt, 1996, 978-0152023669
Birds truly are remarkable animals. They come in a dazzling array of colors, live on every continent, and make their homes in all kinds of places. In this wonderful picture book Douglas Florian pairs short poems with his artwork to give readers a true celebration of birds.
   Over the millennia birds have evolved to suit many kinds of environments. Some birds, like the egret, sail on water and then rest on the beach making it seem as if there is a “feathered hat” lying on the sand. Dippers love to dip and dive in waterfalls. They are so aquatic that one wonders if they would be happy to “trade / Their oily wings for flippers.” They are such good swimmers that it is possible that the little birds might “think that they are fish.”
   Birds come in all shapes and sizes. The spoonbill is tall and thin with a beak that does indeed look like a long-handled spoon. In his poem about this rather odd looking species, Douglas Florian wonders if the spoonbill uses its bill “for stirring tea” or does it “use it as a scoop / For eating peas and drinking soup.”
   The stork has a bill that is perfectly suited for the environment it lives in. Wading through shallow water, the bird uses it rapier like bill to stab frogs and other creatures. Woodpeckers also have beaks that are perfectly adapted so that they can get to their chosen food - insects that live in wood and sap that runs through wood. Not only are these beaks perfect for creating holes, but woodpeckers also use them to communicate.
   With clever touches of humor and insightful descriptions, this collection of poems will give young readers a colorful picture of twenty-one bird speci

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30. Why We Read

DSC_0611

Books are the plane, the train, and the road. They are the destination and the journey.
-  Anna Quindlen

The post Why We Read appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

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31.


Hello Friends, Hope that you all are doing well. Summer is just about over, but I hope you all had fun. I would love to know what you did over the summer? I have been working all summer long. Work is a good thing. I'm not complaining. Here is a new character that I am working on. I don't know who she is or what her name is. Maybe you could tell me? Anyway, thank so much everyone for your kind comments Sending you ALL hugs!

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32. World War One Exploitation In Comics -hmm?

Alright, someone on Google+ mentioned The Savage Wolverine and how it was set during World War One.  Well, okay, exploitation of a subject currently in the media in comics...as in WW I and WW II the Americans are years late. :-P

Anyhow, accurate? No. The pickelhaube (spiked German/Prussian helmet) had the spike removed early on in the conflict.  Also, the helmet, from 1892, was covered by a light brown cloth helmet cover, the M1892 Überzug.  Regimental numbers were sewn onto these.  The spike was a problem and by 1915 and by 1916 you had the stahlhelm.  So the German is not quite right and the first German gas masks were very basic and cloth and NOT face covering.

The British Mark I steel helmet was not introduced until 1916 so the pickelhaube and 1915 helmet together on ....well, someone didn't quite do their research.

How's that for being a pain-in-the arse?

Both covers would put me off.  Hey -any cosp-layers going to conventions in WW I outfits???

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33. Why you should savor the journey and enjoy every success along the way, no matter how small

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34. Review: Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? by Sara Hantz

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I decided to read Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? because Abi’s a kickboxer, and the movie set setting sounded interesting.  I really enjoyed the beginning of the book, but Abi’s lack of common sense derailed some of my enjoyment later on.  The ending was satisfying, but the middle stretch did test my resolve.  The story would have worked better for me if Abi had been 16 instead of 18, because she acted so immature.  Part of that is because of her speech impediment, which made her family and her friends want to take the lead and help her over life’s little hurdles.  It quickly got annoying when she continually craved their help and feedback, or when she blamed everyone but herself for the messes she found herself in.

With speech therapy, time, and practice, Abi has overcome her embarrassing stutter.  Bullied because of it when she was younger, her parents enrolled her in kickboxing lessons to help build her self esteem.  Discovering that she was good at it, Abi has become a champion kickboxer.  When her instructor suggests she audition as a stunt double for an indie movie that his friend is working on, she’s reluctant to step outside of her comfort zone.  Her friends Matt and Liv convince her to give it a shot, but Abi still has her reservations.  She’s never wanted to be in the limelight, and even though the job is to be star Tilly Watson’s stunt double, she’s scared she’ll have trouble interacting with a new group of people.

The audition is almost a complete disaster; her stutter returns with a vengeance, and she’s so nervous she can barely think.  When it’s time to show off her martial arts skills, however, she’s immediately calmed and is able to nail the job.  Once on the set, she starts to think that she’s made a horrible mistake.  Tilly is mean and taunts her about her speech impediment, and the director is a stern task master.  Just when she’s beginning to regret taking the position, Tilly’s boyfriend shows up on the set.  Mistaking Abi for Tilly, he greets her with a kiss – and Abi is smitten with the young actor.

As I stated earlier, I enjoyed the book at first.  Then after Abi starts her new job, I started to get annoyed with her.  She’s basically a doormat for Tilly, and starry eyed over Jon, she starts letting down her best friends.  She makes some very bad decisions, and then doesn’t take ownership of them.  She feels sorry for Jon because Tilly is cheating on him, and starting wondering what it would be like to be his girlfriend. He’s so kind to her, and he’s gorgeous, too.  I was disappointed in her, thinking that it was kind of low for her to even contemplate stealing someone else’s boyfriend, so when Jon’s attentions aren’t quite everything they seem, I thought Abi got a little bit of what she deserved.

At the start of the story, she is head over heels in love with Matt, but because she’s afraid of ruining their friendship, she keeps her feelings a secret.  Her flip-flop between the two guys made her seem shallow, and it looked like she was just using Matt.  As a distance grows between them, she’s confused and blames him for not accepting her new happiness with her job.  She finally feels like she belongs somewhere, but she can’t seem to meld her old life with her new one.  Soon, Liv isn’t speaking to her at all, and there’s a new awkwardness with Matt.

While Abi does finally understand that she is the cause for most of her grief, it takes a long time for her to get even the smallest hint that most of her problems are self-inflicted.  I liked the ending because she finally does grow up and stop taking her friends and family for granted, but it took a long time for that to happen.

Grade:  C+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Abi Saunders might be a kickboxing champion, but when it comes to being the center of attention, she’d rather take a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus any day. So when her trainer convinces her to audition to be the stunt double for hot teen starlet Tilly Watson, Abi is shocked—and a little freaked out—when she gets the job.

Being a stunt double is overwhelming, but once the wig and makeup are on, Abi feels like a different person. Tilly Watson, to be exact. And when Tilly’s gorgeous boyfriend, Jon, mistakes Abi for the real star, Abi’s completely smitten. In fact, she’s so in love with her new life, it isn’t long before she doesn’t have time for her old one.

But when the cameras are turned off, will she discover running with the Hollywood A-list isn’t quite the glamorous existence she thought it was?

The post Review: Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? by Sara Hantz appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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35. New! Friday Black and White "KING BRONTY" Raptor's Claw Story line Continues!

Happy Friday!  More from the "Raptor's Claw" story line!  I hope you enjoy it!- JRY

"The Raptor's Claw, Continued Again!"







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36. MOMA Reframes Christina's World



Peter Perez, Foreman of the frame shop at the Museum of Modern Art, discusses the thinking he brought to the reframing of Andrew Wyeth's 1948 painting "Christina's World." (Link to video)

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37. HFVBT Presents Donna McDine's Powder Monkey Blog Tour, August 25-September 19 - Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Powder Monkey

HFVBT Presents Donna McDine's Powder Monkey Blog Tour, August 25-September 19 - Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Amy Bruno of HFVBT has coordinated a fabulous virtual book tour of Powder Monkey. Hope you can join me or share on social media throughout the tour. I am looking forward to engaging with the hosts and visitors. Thank you! 

Monday, August 25
Wednesday, August 27
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Monday, September 1
Tuesday, September 2
Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, September 4
Monday, September 8
Review at Bookish
Wednesday, September 10
Thursday, September 11
Friday, September 12 Review at Just One More Chapter
Friday, September 19
<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE <![endif]-->

Review and Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Thank you for your time and interest! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,

Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Reader's Farvorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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38. I Kill the Mockingbird: Review Haiku

Literary civil
disobedience with
my favorite novel.

I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora. Roaring Brook, 2014, 192 pages.

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39. Query Question: Full request, but did they receive it?


A few months ago I started the querying process for a supernatural thriller of mine. Within the first couple of weeks I received three requests for the full manuscript. About a week later, two of those three agents politely declined. Three months later, and one of them has yet to get back to me. My problem is this: I emailed the manuscript to the agent's assistant as requested. The agent's website indicates response time of 4-6 weeks. It's been well over that, so last week I sent a polite follow up to the assistant just to make sure the manuscript was received, and I have yet to get a response.

Is it considered 'too pushy' to email the agent directly for a follow up? I'm worried that perhaps the assistant isn't receiving my emails. I say this because the other two agents I emailed responded right away with a "thank you! I will get back to you in ____ amount of time," but I didn't receive any confirmation from the assistant what so ever.

Thanks for you time! I hope I'm not being too paranoid.

There's no such thing as too paranoid when you're a writer. You guys can work yourselves into a frenzy over correct punctuation. I've seen it happen:





However in this case you are not paranoid. You are correct to be concerned.  I can think of several things that might have happened:

1. The assistant is no longer employed there and the agency hasn't fixed her email yet.

2. The assistant doesn't know she's supposed to acknowledge receipts of full manuscripts.

3. They didn't get it, the assistant lost it, or some other cataclysmic event that is giving the assistant conniptions.

Therefore, because this is your career, and your manuscript, you politely email the agent and say "I just want to confirm that you received the manuscript you requested from me on DATE.  Thank you for your time and consideration.  Love, You.  PS Your assistant is a slacker.


 Never assume someone got a file.  I've seen this happen, and in fact, wrote a blog post about it.


And the reason I know this is the correct path? It happens with editors too.

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40. My tweets

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41. Shady hostel


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42. Follow Friday four Fill-In Fun - 8/22/14

Feeling Beachie
Love this meme....I hope you can join in the fun.

Each week, Feeling Beachie lists four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. 

**There is a giveaway for WE ARE NOT OURSELVES here until August 28.**

The statements:

  1. ___ is my least ____
  2. When I was ___ I thought _____
  3. My worst subject in high school was ___
  4. I write best ____.
My Answers:

1.  Dusting is my least favorite cleaning procedure.

2.  When I was twenty-one, I thought everyone was friendly.

3.  My worst subject in high school was math.

4.  I write best when everything is quiet.
 









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43. An Oxford Companion to being the Doctor

If you share my jealousy of Peter Capaldi and his new guise as the Doctor, then read on to discover how you could become the next Time Lord with a fondness for Earth. However, be warned: you can’t just pick up Matt Smith’s bow-tie from the floor, don Tom Baker’s scarf, and expect to save planet Earth every Saturday at peak viewing time. You’re going to need training. This is where Oxford’s online products can help you. Think of us as your very own Companion guiding you through the dimensions of time, only with a bit more sass. So jump aboard (yes it’s bigger on the inside), press that button over there, pull that lever thingy, and let’s journey through the five things you need to know to become the Doctor.

(1) Regeneration

Being called two-faced may not initially appeal to you. How about twelve-faced? No wait, don’t leave, come back! Part of the appeal of the Doctor is his ability to regenerate and assume many faces. Perhaps the most striking example of regeneration we have on our planet is the Hydra fish which is able to completely re-grow a severed head. Even more striking is its ability to grow more than one head if a small incision is made on its body. I don’t think it’s likely the BBC will commission a Doctor with two heads though so best to not go down that route. Another example of an animal capable of regeneration is Porifera, the sponges commonly seen on rocks under water. These sponge-type creatures are able to regenerate an entire limb which is certainly impressive but are not quite as attractive as The David Tenants or Matt Smiths of this world.

Sea sponges, by dimsis. CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Flickr.
Sea sponges, by Dimitris Siskopoulos. CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Flickr.

(2) Fighting aliens

Although alien invasion narratives only crossed over to mainstream fiction after World War II, the Doctor has been fighting off alien invasions since the Dalek War and the subsequent destruction of Gallifrey. Alien invasion narratives are tied together by one salient issue: conquer or be conquered. Whether you are battling Weeping Angels or Cybermen, you must first make sure what you are battling is indeed an alien. Yes, that lady you meet every day at the bus-stop with the strange smell may appear to be from another dimension but it’s always better to be sure before you whip out your sonic screwdriver.

(3) Visiting unknown galaxies

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field telescope captures a patch of sky that represents one thirteen-millionth of the area of the whole sky we see from Earth, and this tiny patch of the Universe contains over 10,000 galaxies. One thirteen-millionth of the sky is the equivalent to holding a grain of sand at arm’s length whilst looking up at the sky. When we look at a galaxy ten billion light years away, we are actually only seeing it by the light that left it ten billion years ago. Therefore, telescopes are akin to time machines.

The sheer vastness and mystery of the universe has baffled us for centuries. Doctor Who acts as a gatekeeper to the unknown, helping us imagine fantastical creatures such as the Daleks, all from the comfort of our living rooms.

Tardis, © davidmartyn, via iStock Photo.
Tardis, © davidmartyn, via iStock Photo.

(4) Operating the T.A.R.D.I.S.

The majority of time-travel narratives avoid the use of a physical time-machine. However, the Tardis, a blue police telephone box, journeys through time dimensions and is as important to the plot of Doctor Who as upgrades are to Cybermen. Although it looks like a plain old police telephone box, it has been known to withstand meteorite bombardment, shield itself from laser gun fire and traverse the time vortex all in one episode. The Tardis’s most striking characteristic, that it is “much bigger on the inside”, is explained by the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, by using the analogy of the tesseract.

(5) Looking good

It’s all very well saving the Universe every week but what use is that without a signature look? Tom Baker had the scarf, Peter Davison had the pin-stripes, John Hurt even had the brooding frown, so what will your dress-sense say about you? Perhaps you could be the Doctor with a cravat or the time-traveller with a toupee? Whatever your choice, I’m sure you’ll pull it off, you handsome devil you.

Don’t forget a good sense of humour to compliment your dashing visage. When Doctor Who was created by Donald Wilson and C.E. Webber in November 1963, the target audience of the show was eight-to-thirteen-year-olds watching as part of a family group on Saturday afternoons. In 2014, it has a worldwide general audience of all ages, claiming over 77 million viewers in the UK, Australia, and the United States. This is largely due to the Doctor’s quick quips and mix of adult and childish humour.

You’ve done it! You’ve conquered the cybermen, exterminated the daleks, and saved Earth (we’re eternally grateful of course). Why not take the Tardis for another spin and adventure through more of Oxford’s online products?

Image credit: Doctor Who poster, by Doctor Who Spoilers. CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Flickr.

The post An Oxford Companion to being the Doctor appeared first on OUPblog.

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44. Dori Weintraub Named VP of Publicity at St. Martin’s Press

Dori Weintraub has been named vice president of publicity at St. Martin’s Press at Macmillan, Inc. She will oversee campaigns for both fiction and nonfiction titles.

Weintraub has devoted fourteen years of her career to this imprint. Prior to this appointment, she served as the vice president of marketing, communications, and audience development.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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45. Book Promotion - Great List of Websites That Will Promote Your eBook

Whether you're an author, a marketer,  or a business owner with your own ebook, this is something you should checkout. James Calbraith (author / publisher) has an amazing list of 90 websites where you can promote your ebook. He notes though that the "majority of these sites advertise books when they’re free, as part of KDP Select or Smashword promo. If you want to promote a paid book, you

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46. Friday Linky List - August 22, 2014

At Bookpage.com: 10 Children's Book Illustrators to Watch

From David Lubar: Educators -- From the Ventura County Reading Assoc. Hosted an author visit at your school? Please fill out the survey http://tinyurl.com/kzjnutv

At From the Mixed-Up Files: Finding it difficult to focus? Join the club - great solutions for unplugging to write - funny!

At The Week (via PW): What the 'death of the library' means for the future of books

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47. Table Conferences: An Important Coaching Move at the Start of the Year

Over the summer, we catch up on professional reading, we organize our classrooms, we make plans. In our reading and our planning, we imagine the very best possible scenarios. We see our children working… Continue reading

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48. A Peek into Thailand {Guest Post from Stephanie Kammeraad of Mama-Lady Books}

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My Discover Your World Summer Reading Extravaganza is winding down, but I continue to be amazed at the high-quality and in-depth book reviews my guest posters have come forth with. This week is no exception either as the always-creative Stephanie from Mama-Lady Book shares an amazing book pick with JIAB readers. Enjoy!

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A Peek into Thailand
By Stephanie Kammeraad of Mama-Lady Books

I love sharing stories from around the world with my children and students.  I educate our two children at home, and I love that I can incorporate great books that are both mirrors and windows* for them throughout our days.  I also coordinate and teach at a heritage camp each summer, which is a week-long day camp for children adopted internationally to learn more about their birth country and the birth countries of others.  I’ve had children in my classes over the years who were adopted from China, South Korea, Thailand, Ethiopia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mexico, Peru, Guatemala (where our son was born), and Colombia (where our daughter was born.)  It has been such a delight to discover and share stories and activities with them about these countries!
One of our favorite book discoveries has been The Umbrella Queen by Shirin Yim Bridges, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo.

Discover Your World Summer Reading Extravaganza

This heartwarming story is about a little girl named Noot who has shown that she is now skilled enough to paint her own umbrellas, just as her mother does.  The story is set in a tiny village in northern Thailand, where villagers have been making and painting paper umbrellas for hundreds of years.  Noot’s mother shows her how to paint flowers and butterflies on the umbrellas, and although Noot copies her mother’s work beautifully, when she is finally given five umbrellas of her own to paint, Noot paints the elephants that dance into her mind.  All afternoon she sits and joyfully paints elephants on her umbrellas, until her mother notices and sternly reprimands her for deviating from what has always been and must continue to be painted.  Disappointed, Noot concedes, knowing that “Painting umbrellas wasn’t just for fun.  It was work to help feed the family.”

Every day after that Noot dutifully paints her umbrellas with flowers and butterflies, but in the evenings she takes the scraps of bamboo from her father and the mulberry paper from her grandmother to make doll-sized umbrellas just for her, on which she paints the elephants that bring her delight.

The tradition in her village is that every New Year’s Day, the woman who has painted the most beautiful umbrella is chosen as the Umbrella Queen and leads the villagers in a big umbrella parade.  This year, the villagers decide to invite the King to come to choose the Umbrella Queen, as he has decided to spend the winter in his nearby winter palace.  Two weeks before New Year’s Day, the King accepts their invitation!

When the day finally arrives, the villagers set out their most beautiful umbrellas along both sides of the road for the King to inspect as he comes through.  He stops in front of Noot’s house, gives a compliment to her mother for the beauty of her umbrellas, but then notices some tiny umbrellas in the window sill behind her.  Upon questioning, Noot admits to painting them.  When asked why, and what is wrong with painting flowers and butterflies, Noot respectively responds with, “I like elephants.”

The smiling King then takes her hand and pronounces Noot as this year’s Umbrella Queen “because she paints from her heart.”

Shirin Yim Bridges has written this delightful story that I’ve witnessed being enjoyed as a read-aloud by children between the ages of five and ten.  Shirin grew up in a Chinese-speaking family in California, but has traveled the world and lived in many countries.  She is an author of numerous picture books as well as an award-winning publisher of Goosebottom Books, an independent publishing company that has published three different successful non-fiction and historical fiction series: The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Glorious Goddesses, The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Dastardly Dames, and The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Real Princesses.

Although Noot is not a “real” princess or queen, I believe her story is just as important to read, to remind ourselves and our children to be proud of who we are, to be true to ourselves, and to share our talents with those around us.  This reminds me of the famous words of author Marianne Williamson in her book, Return to Love: “We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world…We are all meant to shine, as children do…And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. “ Yes?  Then let’s go!

Let your children’s creativity shine as they paint from their heart!  Here are two activities that you can do as a follow up to reading The Umbrella Queen.

1. Paint nylon umbrellas with fabric markers or acrylic or tempera paint. (I used washable tempera paint with my students.) Just make sure that you lay down a covering for your workspace (newspaper, a plastic tablecloth, etc.) I provided large stencils for the kids to use for those who were interested, but most just painted “free style!” To purchase nylon umbrellas, check out: http://www.orientaltrading.com/diy-white-umbrellas-a2-56_9027.fltr?Ntt=umbrella.

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Make and decorate paper umbrellas of various sizes.  Simply cut out a circle (free-hand or by tracing something round), and then make a single cut from anywhere on the outside edge into the center of the circle.

Grab hold of the circle on either side of the slit you just made and place one side over the other, creating a cone.  Glue the cone into place, trim off any edge that you might need to trim off, and you have the umbrella canopy!  Now is the time to decorate it Make and decorate paper umbrellas of various sizes.  Simply cut out a circle (free-hand or by tracing something round), and then make a single cut from anywhere on the outside edge into the center of the circle.

Grab hold of the circle on either side of the slit you just made and place one side over the other, creating a cone.  Glue the cone into place, trim off any edge that you might need to trim off, and you have the umbrella canopy!  Now is the time to decorate it using markers, paint, crayons, gluing sequins on, etc.  Once dry, it’s time to attach the pole, which can be a plastic drinking straw, a tooth pick, or a bamboo skewer (most authentic) depending upon the size of your umbrella’s canopy.  Place glue (white or hot) on the top of the “pole” and glue into place.  Voila!  A paper umbrella!

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For a further peek into Thailand, my list of recommended picture books set in Thailand can be found here: http://www.mama-lady-books.com/thailand.html.

* “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors” by Rudine Sims Bishop: http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/multicultural/mirrors-windows-and-sliding-glass-doors.htm

Mama-lady books

Stephanie Kammeraad is a writer, book-lover, and home educating mama of two.  She is also a passionate multicultural children’s book advocate which you can see on her blog Parenting and Teaching Multiculturally (http://www.mama-lady-books.com/parenting–teaching-multiculturally), on her website Mama-Lady Books (http://www.mama-lady-books.com/), and on her Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Mama.Lady.Books).  As a former Special Education teacher, Stephanie now facilitates multicultural story times, school book fairs, and presents professional development sessions for early and elementary educators.  Her husband and children live in Grand Rapids, MI but you can often find them traveling throughout their home state, across the country, and beyond!

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The post A Peek into Thailand {Guest Post from Stephanie Kammeraad of Mama-Lady Books} appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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49. Back to School: Challenging the Freedom to Teach and Learn about Labor

What if the collection in your library was circumscribed by your state legislature? This spring, the Michigan state legislature introduced a bill specifically designed to penalize instruction surrounding an important but politically disfavored topic, that of labor organization.

The legislation reads:

Prohibited Instruction Activity. The Senate added new language stating that it is the intent of the Legislature that a public university that receives funds under section 236 shall not participate in any instructional activity that encourages or discourages union organizing of employees including, but not limited to participating with any business or union, or group of businesses or unions, in hosting, sponsoring, administering, or in any way facilitating an academy, seminar, class, course, conference, or program that provides instruction, in whole or in part, in techniques for encouraging or discouraging employees in regard to union organizing. The appropriation in section 236 for any university that participates in an activity described in this section shall be reduced by $500,000 for each occurrence. (Sec. 271A)

Specifically, the bill challenges Michigan State University’s incorporation of a Building Trade Academy as part of their existing School of Human Resources and Labor Relations. The issue seems to have come to a head surrounding coursework that has been described as promoting labor organization.

Promoting labor relations – that seems like a broad umbrella. There is real potential for this movement to stifle any academic debate related to labor history and workers’ rights.

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsa.8b04027/

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsa.8b04027/

If you’re not working in higher education, or not in Michigan, or not at Michigan State University, the reduction in funding of one academic program might not seem like a serious issue. But the “chilling” effect of prohibitions linked to funding have real consequences.

If Holocaust studies could be considered taboo under Tuscon’s ethnic studies prohibition, it is not difficult to imagine a campus climate where faculty avoid introducing the Triangle Shirtwaist Disaster, John L. Lewis, or the groundbreaking photography of Lewis Hine.

The challenge to labor in the curriculum should be taken as seriously as when another state legislature withheld state funding from the two colleges for choosing books that address LGBT topics for school-wide reads.

As of March, MSU’s 2014-15 funding appropriation had been decreased by $500,000 because of this “Prohibited Instructional Activity.” And the fact that this limitation comes from Michigan, home to Henry Ford’s particular brand of “welfare capitalism,” offers a teachable moment for classrooms concerned with academic freedom.

What can you do to raise awareness about this threat? I am working on pulling together some titles on labor history for an epic Labor Day display for my library…sometimes it feels like raising awareness is all you can do in solidarity.

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50. Guest Post and Giveaway: Finding Miss McFarland by Vivienne Lorret

Please give a warm welcome to Vivienne Lorret!  She’s here to answer a question and to share some information about her latest release, Finding Miss McFarland.  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

 

How does Griffin relax after a hard day saving Delaney from herself?

Unfortunately, Griffin Croft doesn’t know how to relax. In the beginning, when Delaney frustrates him to insanity, he spends much of his time boxing at Gentleman Jackson’s. Some days, he’d love nothing more than to settle down into a wing-backed chair and indulge in a slice (or two) of gingerbread. Yet, even that plan goes awry when he discovers that Miss McFarland shares a fondness for the cake.

Of course, by the end of the story, I imagine he is perfectly capable of keeping both of them thoroughly occupied and sated. 

Finding Miss McFarland

Wallflower Weddings Book Three

By: Vivienne Lorret

Releasing August 5th, 2014

Avon Romance

Blurb

Fans of historical romance authors Lorraine Heath and Sophie Jordan will adore Vivienne Lorret’s latest Wallflower Wedding novel. 

Delaney McFarland is on the hunt for a husband—preferably one who needs her embarrassingly large dowry more than a dutiful wife. After the unspeakable incident at her debut, Delaney knows marrying for love is off the table, but a marriage of convenience—one that leaves her free to live the life she chooses—is the next best thing, never mind what that arrogant, devilishly handsome Mr. Croft thinks. Delaney plans to marry for money … or not at all.

Ever since the fiery redhead burst into his life—in a most memorable way—Griffin Croft hasn’t been able to get Miss McFarland out of his mind. Now, with the maddening woman determined to hand over her fortune to a rake, Griffin knows he must step in. He must help her. He must not kiss her. But when Griffin’s noble intentions flee in a moment of unexpected passion, his true course becomes clear: tame Delaney’s wild heart and save her from a fate worse than death … a life without love.

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/06/now-booking-tasty-virtual-tour-for_6353.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18780732-finding-miss-mcfarland?from_search=true

Series Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/115423-wallflower-weddings

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Miss-McFarland-Wallflower-Wedding-ebook/dp/B00GLS2I46

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-miss-mcfarland-vivienne-lorret/1117657323?ean=9780062315786

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/finding-miss-mcfarland/id747479279?mt=11

Author Info

I fell in love with fairy tales and the romance behind happily ever after at a very young age. Like a lot of you, I tweaked the fables bit by bit in my imagination until they suited me perfectly. By the time I was eleven, a teacher encouraged me to start writing.

Throughout the years that followed, my teachers remained my most fervent supporters, giving me the tools I needed to continue my journey as a writer.

My husband and I have two teenage boys, who are heroes in their own right. For now, we live in a small Midwestern town near Lake Michigan…until a time in the future when a new adventure calls us to other shores.

I am currently working on my next novel, but I always enjoy hearing from my readers. Feel free to email me at vivienne@vivlorret.net

Author Links

http://www.vivlorret.net/home

https://www.facebook.com/vivienne.lorret

https://twitter.com/VivLorret

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806374.Vivienne_Lorret

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Digital Set of DARING MISS DANVERS and WINNING MISS WAKEFIELD)

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The post Guest Post and Giveaway: Finding Miss McFarland by Vivienne Lorret appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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