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Ramblings of an urban highschool librarian. Single. Old. Very old. On a good day, I even wear the traditional library bun.
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Matt de la Peña has released a new book. Infinity Ring Book 4: Curse of the Ancients is part of an MG series where each book is written by a different author. (A librarian’s nightmare to shelf!!)
Sera has a secret. She’s seen the future, and it is terrifying. Unfortunately, she can’t do anything to prevent the Cataclysm while stranded with Dak and Riq thousands of years in the past. Their only hope lies with the ancient Maya, a mysterious people who claim to know a great deal about the future. Is there more to these ancients than meets the eye?
I was surprised when he announced the release on Facebook because I hadn’t seen it coming. Looking at the age, it was recommending for ages 8-12. MG???
Sure, Matt wrote A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis and it appealing to younger readers, but having heard Matt speak twice, having read his books, I’d say his passion is YA.
He speaks about his own personal coming of age experience with his dad, how he connects with his high school readers and what it has been like growing up as a Latino, finding his own voice. He’s so personable that you realize storytelling comes natural to him.
And perhaps that’s how he found himself writing this book that publishers recommend for 8-12 year olds.Honestly, I’m glad to see anything Matt writes, I just can’t get over this 8-12 thing. Here’s why.
Publishers consider middle grade (MG) books written for ages 8-12. Upper middle grade books are 10-14 and young adult books are 12-18.
Educators identify elementary grades as 1-5, middle grades as 6-8 and high school as 9-12.
Depending on local laws and when birthdays fall, children can enter the first grade at ages 5, 6 or 7. Using, the median age, a child would be 6 in the first grade and 8 in the third grade. When a child enters middle grades (6th grade) she would be 12 and 14 in the 9th grade, a freshman in high school.
Essentially, they’re recommending Matt’s book for third graders. Up to my shoulders in YA books, I don’t quite have time to read Curse of the Ancients to see where I think it will fit best, but I may be able to work in The Living which releases in November. It’s a YA book, Matt’s fifth novel.
Matt de la Peña is the author of four critically-acclaimed young adult novels: Ball Don’t Lie, Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here and I Will Save You. He’s also the author of the award-winning picture book A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis (illustrated by Kadir Nelson). Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship.
de la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn NY.Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific, where he attended school on a full athletic scholarship for basketball. source
Filed under: male monday
Tagged: Male Monday
, Matt de la Pena
I received the following information in an email. If you or someone you know is a member of an under-represented community and are interested in an Master in Library and Information Science, please read on!
Deadline: August 1, 2013.
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro was recently awarded a 3rd ACE (Academic and Cultural Enrichment) Scholars grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.
As part of this grant, UNC-G needs to recruit 10 students from under-represented communities into their ALA-accredited two-year Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) degree program and prepare them for professional positions in community college libraries, with emphasis on serving diverse populations, including refugees and immigrants.
The program can be completed online or face-to-face on the campus in Greensboro, NC. The program requires a full semester practicum in a community college and service learning projects, as well as specialized course work in community college librarianship. As fellow NCLA members, we are hoping that you might be able to identify staff members, former students, or interested others to join the program.
The ACE Scholars will receive:
· full tuition and fees, and a monthly stipend to attend the UNCG LIS program
· memberships to ALA and NCLA or other state organization
· community college practicum opportunities
· networking and mentoring opportunities from community college librarians
The time for application is short. We must have a completed application to the graduate school by August 1, 2013. The program will start in mid-August. The program is fast-tracked. It must be completed in 2 years.
1) To apply for admission to the graduate school. For this they will need:
· Recent (within 5 years) GRE scores
· Transcripts from either a US institution or have transcripts from a non-US institution evaluated by a NACES accredited organization.
2) To apply for the ACE Scholars Program for Community College Librarianship scholarship. Please submit:
- The application
- A personal statement that explains your interest in community college libraries
- The statement can be a written document or a video presentation
- Discuss in up to 500 words why you are interested in participating in the current ACE Scholars Program and
- Discuss in up to 500 words what value your diversity background/experiences will add to community college libraries serving diverse communities, such as New Americans
3) Participate in an interview with the grant’s principal investigators in person or through some other medium.
Click here to complete the ACE Scholar application and upload your documents.
Learn about admission and application requirements here:
Filed under: librarianship
, professional development
Tagged: library scholarship
I actually met Alaya (‘rhymes with papaya’) Dawn Johnson at ALAN in Las Vegas last winter. She radiated an energy that was fresh and new to YA and I knew I wanted to interview her. Since then, she’s released The Summer Prince and, from the reviews I’ve been seeing, she’s been quite busy! Thankfully, I was recently able to connect with her for the following interview.
From GoodReads on The Summer Prince
The lush city of Palmares Três shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that’s sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June’s best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.
Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Três will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government’s strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.
Pulsing with the beat of futuristic Brazil, burning with the passions of its characters, and overflowing with ideas, this fiery novel will leave you eager for more from Alaya Dawn Johnson.
First, congratulations on the wonderful reviews you’ve been receiving!
Let’s start with a few short questions.
Where did you grow up?
Just outside of Washington, DC in Maryland.
Do you have any pets?
Not now, though I do have a lot of plants!
What do you enjoy watching on television?
I don’t watch much these days, but some of my favorite newer shows are Downton Abbey, Dance Academy (this Australian TV show about teens going to a dance academy…I have no idea why it’s so great, but it is), and a whole bunch of Korean dramas (in particular Sungkyunkwan Scandal and Scent Of A Woman).
Meat or vegetables?
Vegetables! I was raised vegetarian, in fact, so I’ve never (deliberately) eaten meat.
Are there any books that stand out in your memory from your childhood?
Tons, but in particular I adored Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Kindred by Octavia Butler, Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay and The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett.
What book(s) are you in the middle of reading right now?
Too many! I’m reading The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock, which seems to be a proto-Downton Abbey, The Discovery And Conquest of Mexico by Bernal Diaz del Castillo (a memoir by one of the conquistadors) and Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (the writing is so good).
There is so much complexity to Summer Prince I have to wonder how long it took you to write.
Thank you! The first draft took me about a year. The funny thing is that when I started the book, I’d somehow convinced myself that I could bang out a very rough draft in a month and then return to the project I was supposed to be working on. I took three weeks off from my life, basically, and wrote as much as I could. And I did write a significant chunk of the novel, but I realized how big and complicated the project was. I realized that I had to take a deep breath and focus on it for a much longer time than I’d thought at first. But I’m always over-ambitious when it comes to my writing speed. After the first draft, I spent about another year doing revisions. The writing could get intense–I would work for hours and only get out a couple of hundred words. But even a slow writer can finish a book if she does it consistently, and thank goodness!
What was the biggest challenge in writing The Summer Prince?
Probably the hardest aspect of writing The Summer Prince was figuring out how to create a world that was complex and nuanced and very different from our own, integrate that with strong characters, all without breaking the story up with infodumps. Figuring out how to juggle all of those elements with some sort of economy and grace took years and many rewrites. I’m pleased with how it turned out in the end, but the complexity itself sometimes daunted me.
When I look at the title, I see you as referring to Enki as ‘The Summer Prince’ and not ‘The Summer King’. Why do you see him that way?
A few characters in the book will reference Enki as a “moon prince” or a “summer prince.” I wanted to use that as the title, instead of the more obvious “Summer King”, because I wanted something that evoked the struggles between youth and old age that are so important in the novel. Because Enki is a character who dies young, and who chooses to do so. Calling him a “prince” gives him his power in a way that calling him a “king” doesn’t.
Which character is you in this book?
No character is exactly like me, though June and I definitely share some prominent characteristics. We are both obsessed with our respective arts, and very ambitious (though June’s attitudes at the beginning of the book are more extreme than my own). But I think I share with Bebel a more holistic appreciation of competition, and I very much admire Enki for his dedication to what he believes in, though I could never do what he does.
I tuned into some of my favorite Brasilian tunes while reading Summer Prince, but I’m wonder what songs you would put into a playlist for readers?
So many songs! But among my favorites (many of which are mentioned in the book): “Roda Viva” by Chico Buarque, “Eu Vim Da Bahia” by João Gilberto (and everything else he wrote ever), “Sonho Meu” by Maria Bethânia, “Quilombo, O El Dorado Negro” by Gilberto Gil, “Velha Infancia” by Tribalistas (that whole album is great), “The Carimbaeo” by Nação Zumbi, “Life Gods” by Marisa Monte and Gilberto Gil, “Oba, Lá Vem Ela” by Jorge Ben, “Tudo Que Voce Podia Ser” by Simone and “O Leãozinho” by Caetano Veloso.
I have that Tribalista album. Love it!
You’ve literally turned the world upside down with people no longer living on the ground, women ruling the world and the sexual identity no longer existing as a boundary. The story questions the use of technology, and treatment of the poor. And, June’s main weapon is art. Why art?
Possibly this is because I’m an artist, but I think that art is potentially the most powerful force in human culture, and certainly one of the most important ways that cultures express and change themselves. Think about iconic posters that have recruited for wars, or convinced people to support different causes or politicians. Art can reflect the zeitgeist, but I also think that it can create it. I’ve always wanted to write a novel about art and politics, and with June’s story I finally had that chance.
I hear you’re working on another YA project! What is it about?
It’s very different, in some ways, from The Summer Prince–it’s set in the modern US, for one. And I’m drawing a little more on my personal experiences, since it takes place in Washington, DC at a private school in the midst of a flu pandemic. But like The Summer Prince it deals with race and class and politics and family troubles and first loves.
Obrigada! I wish you much success and, I hope to see you at ALAN again!
Filed under: Authors
Tagged: Alaya Dawn Johnson
, speculative fiction
, Summer Prince
“After so many dark YA books that feature dystopias and bleak futures, The Chaos is a rollicking, frolicking breath of fresh air.”
Title: The Chaos
Author: Nalo Hopkinson
Date: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2012
Reviewer: Craig Laurance Gidney
In many ways, Sojourner “Scotch” is a typical teenager. She must navigate between her “good girl” persona when at home with her strict parents and her saucier persona at school, where she is a member of a hip hop dance crew. She has broken up with her boyfriend, and her (former) best friend is sniffing around him. And in many ways, Scotch’s problems are unique. She is the light-skinned daughter of a mixed race couple, so she has to deal with the “what are you?” questions all the time. Her older brother has just come back from juvie after being busted by her parents for having marijuana. And a couple more things: Scotch has a weird skin condition, where black, sticky splotches appear on her skin, and she’s been seeing floating horse heads swooping around everywhere. Scotch thinks she’s going mad, and keeps this information tightly under wraps.
All that changes one night when the world goes topsy-turvy. A volcano sprouts up in the middle of Lake Ontario. Pterosaurs and Sasquatches appear on the street. People begin to sprout weird things over their bodies, like flowers. And everyone can see the “Horseless Headmen.” Folkoric creatures stalk the street—most notably, the Russian witch Baba Yaga. As madcap as all this seems, there is a darker aspect to this surrealistic disaster. Deaths have been reported, and several countries declare war against one another. And Scotch’s brother is missing—disappeared into thin air.
Hopkinson does not provide an explanation for the sudden influx of insanity into the world, which is dubbed The Chaos. There is some speculation about it being the manifestation of people’s madnesses, but that is just briefly touched upon. Instead, the narrative focuses on Scotch and her immediate problems. In addition to the dangers of this newly transformed world, Scotch must find her missing brother while dealing with her gradual transformation into a living Tar Baby.
Scotch is the narrator of the tale, and her style is peppery and colloquial. As a result, The Chaos shares its literary lineage with “mad romp” books as Alice in Wonderland and The Phantom Tollbooth. Humor and horror go hand in hand in that sort of fiction, and that’s the case here. Some of Scotch’s Jamaican background comes vividly to life, in the form of remembered Brer Rabbit stories and an eerie creature that serves as an antagonist, called the Rolling Calf. The Toronto that she lives in is multi-ethnic and her milieu is very tolerant of differences—there are gay characters and subplots in the novel. As is the case with many “mad romp” books, the plot is episodic and loosey-goosey.
After so many dark YA books that feature dystopias and bleak futures, The Chaos is a rollicking, frolicking breath of fresh air. Hopkinson lets her imagination run wild. While the book is about finding ones identity and touches on some serious issues, it is mostly a rollercoaster ride into the Id, full of thrills and chills.
Craig Laurance Gidney is the author of Sea Swallow Me and Other Stories and the recently released Bereft. Gidney writes both contemporary, young adult and genre fiction. Recipient of the 1996 Susan C. Petrey Scholarship to the Clarion West writer’s workshop, Gidney has published works in the fantasy/science fiction, gay and young adult categories.
Filed under: Book Reviews
Tagged: Craig Laurance Gidney
, guest review
, Nalo Hopkinson
- A recap of May releases:
P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams Garcia; Amistad, 21 May
How I became a ghost by Tim Tingle; Road Runner Press; 28 May
Get over it by Nikki Carter; Dafina Press; 28 May
Death, Dickinson and the Demented life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres-Sanchez; Running Press Kids; 28 May
Note that in June 2011, I listed 11 books written by authors of color.
The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata. Atheneum, 4 June. MG Summer knows that kouun means “good luck” in Japanese, and this year her family has none of it. Just when she thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong, an emergency whisks her parents away to Japan—right before harvest season. Summer and her little brother, Jaz, are left in the care of their grandparents, who come out of retirement in order to harvest wheat and help pay the bills.
The thing about Obaachan and Jiichan is that they are old-fashioned and demanding, and between helping Obaachan cook for the workers, covering for her when her back pain worsens, and worrying about her lonely little brother, Summer just barely has time to notice the attentions of their boss’s cute son. But notice she does, and what begins as a welcome distraction from the hard work soon turns into a mess of its own.
Having thoroughly disappointed her grandmother, Summer figures the bad luck must be finished—but then it gets worse. And when that happens, Summer has to figure out how to change it herself, even if it means further displeasing Obaachan. Because it might be the only way to save her family. (Amazon)
Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel by Diane Lopez (who I am so glad to see writing again!) Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 11 June. It’s summer before eighth grade, and Erica “Chia” Montenegro is feeling so many things that she needs a mood ring to keep track of her emotions. She’s happy when she hangs out with her best friends, the Robins. She’s jealous that her genius little sister skipped two grades. And she’s passionate about the crushes on her Boyfriend Wish list. And when Erica’s mom is diagnosed with breast cancer, she feels worried and doesn’t know what she can do to help.
When her family visits a cuarto de milagros
, a miracle room in a famous church, Erica decides to make a promesa
to God in exchange for her mom’s health. As her mom gets sicker, Erica quickly learns that juggling family, friends, school, and fulfilling a promesa
is stressful, but with a little bit of hope and a lot of love, she just might be able to figure it out. (Amazon
The Girl of His Dreams by Amir Abrams. K-Teen Dafina, 25 June. YA
That’s the motto 17-year-old heartthrob Antonio Lopez lives by. Since his mother walked out, Antonio’s father has taught him everything he needs to know about women: they can’t be trusted, and a real man has more than one. So once Antonio gets what he wants from a girl, he moves on. But McPherson High’s hot new beauty is turning out to be Antonio’s first real challenge. (Publisher
Dork Diaries 6: Tales from a Not-So-Happy-Heartbreaker by Rachel Renee Russell. Aladdin, 4 June. MG
It’s the biggest dance of the year and Nikki Maxwell is hoping her crush, Brandon, wants to be her date. But time is running out. What if he doesn’t want to go with her? Or worse—what if he ends up going with Mackenzie?!! (Amazon
Filed under: New Books
Tagged: june 2013
, new releases
author: Sherri L. Smith
date: Putnam Juvenile; March, 2013
Reviewed by Craig Laurance Gidney
In 2056, New Orleans is unrecognizable. A series of storms has basically destroyed the Gulf Coast region. The final one named Hurricane Jesus, was a Category Six. A new, highly contagious virus that attacks the blood developed in the region. In 2025, the United States builds a wall around the Gulf Coast to contain the spread of the disease. While the rest of the U.S.—now called the Outer States—struggles to get back on its feet, those left behind the Wall develop a tribal society divided by blood types. Those with O-positive or O-negative blood are hunted by others, since their blood is the least susceptible to the fever. Blood farms and smugglers exist in this city, which has been overtaken by nature and is flooded.
Fen de la Guerre has grown up in this world, where she must be fierce and resourceful if she is to survive. She is the second-in-command of her O-positive tribe when it is attacked. The leader of her tribe gives birth to a daughter in the midst of the attack and dies, but not before charging Fen with the task of delivering her infant to someplace over the Wall, away from the violence and illness.
Simultaneously, scientist Daniel is seeking a way into Orleans to test out a potential cure for Delta Fever. He carries with him vials full of a substance that could be an antidote, but in its present state, is deadly. Eventually the both of them meet in a blood farm, and make a pact to escape together. The two of them travel across the post-apocalyptic landscape together, running into and barely escaping various dangers.
Fen’s story is told by herself, in a present-tense first-person style that lends immediacy to the narrative. It takes a little getting used to; Smith has chosen to flavor Fen’s voice with a slang that developed in Orleans, which is heavily influenced by African American English. By contrast, Daniel’s story is a traditional third person past-tense narrative; it’s a style that underscores his stranger-in-a-strange land predicament. Both styles complement each other very well.
This is a very dark novel. The world is in ruins, both inside and outside the Wall. Society has crumbled in Orleans; the tribes and individual free agents are vicious and violence blooms at any moment. Some of the scenes verge on outright horror. Smith avoids gore but the suggestion of violence, sometimes sexual is very powerful and disturbing. In many ways, Orleans is reminiscent of Octavia Butler’s work, particularly The Parable of the Sower and its sequel, The Parable of the Talents. Surface similarities are there: a young woman of color with grit and courage pitted against a hostile world. But there is also a deeper sense of social justice and outrage; the present is as much on trial here as the future. The specter of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina haunts these pages. If the film Beasts of the Southern Wild dealt with the psychic stain of Katrina in fantasy terms, Orleans deals with it in science fictional ones. This subtext adds a richness and depth to this YA dystopia.
Craig Laurance Gidney is the author of Sea Swallow Me and Other Stories and Bereft. Gidney writes both contemporary, young adult and genre fiction. Recipient of the 1996 Susan C. Petrey Scholarship to the Clarion West writer’s workshop, Gidney has published works in the fantasy/science fiction, gay and young adult categories.
Filed under: Book Reviews
Tagged: sci-fi; African American; Sherri L. Smith; Craig Laurance Gidney
The month of May has been full of celebrations of Asian American Pacific Heritage Island month. I can’t say I often find much that highlights Pacific Island Heritage. It’s estimated that the Pacific Islands consist of 20,000-30,000 islands and is divided into three specific regions: Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Three blogs I would suggest following to keep up with children’s and YA lit in this region are the following.
Hawaiian Book Book
Asian in the Heart World on My Mind
Into the Wardrobe
And, you’ll never go wrong following Asian Pacific American Librarians Association’s website. In addition to highlighting members, they feature articles which answer “What’s Your Normal?”, sponsor literature awards, mentor new members, offer grants and scholarships and sponsor Talk Story , a literacy program that reaches out to Asian Pacific American (APA) and American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) children and their families.
The following are a few of the recent books set in this region.
Island boyz Graham Salisbury In this rich collection, Salisbury’s love for Hawaii and its encircling sea shines through every story. Readers will share the rush a boy feels when he leaps off a cliff into a ravine or feasts his eyes on a beautiful woman. They’ll find stories that show what it takes to survive prep school, or a hurricane, or the night shift at Taco Bell, or first love. Graham Salisbury knows better than anyone what makes an island boy take chances. Or how it feels to test the waters, to test the limits, and what it’s like when a beloved older brother comes home from war, never to be the same.
The Earth of Mankind by Pramoedya Ananta Toer Minke is a young Javanese student of great intelligence and ambition. Living equally among the colonists and colonized of 19th-century Java, he battles against the confines of colonial strictures. It is his love for Annelies that enables him to find the strength to embrace his world.
Aloha, Kanani and Good Job, Kanani by Lisa Yee Kanani loves helping out in her family’s store and sharing the wonders of Hawaii with visitors. When her chic cousin Rachel from Manhattan comes to stay for a month, Kanani can’t wait to get to know her cousin and help Rachel feel at home. But a clash of cultures ensures, and Kanani feels ignored. She tries to extend hospitality but everything she does seems to make Rachel unhappy. How can she find a way to connect with her cousin and make things better? Sometimes people who want help the least need it the most– her mother tells her. After a mixup with a diary leads to a fight, Kanani reaches out to Rachel in an openhearted spirit of caring and good will, and discovers that she has misjudged her cousin. In the process, Kanani learns the true meaning of Hawaii’s aloha spirit.
Tall story by Candy Gourlay Andi is short. And she has lots of wishes. She wishes she could play on the school basketball team, she wishes for her own bedroom, but most of all she wishes that her long-lost half-brother, Bernardo, could come and live in London where he belongs.
Then Andi’s biggest wish comes true and she’s minutes away from becoming someone’s little sister. As she waits anxiously for Bernardo to arrive from the Philippines, she hopes he’ll turn out to be tall and just as crazy as she is about basketball. When he finally arrives, he’s tall all right. Eight feet tall, in fact—plagued by condition called Gigantism and troubled by secrets that he believes led to his phenomenal growth.
In a novel packed with quirkiness and humor, Gourlay explores a touching sibling relationship and the clash of two very different cultures.
Mister Pip by Lloyd Johnson (links to review on this blog)
Book descriptions from Amazon.com.
What other books or blogs have you found that highlight Pacific Island literature for children or teens?
Filed under: culture
, Asian American Pacific Island Heritage Month
, Pacific Islands
We are excited about the upcoming IBBY Regional Conference in St. Louis, October 18-20, 2013. Early bird registration ends June 16. Please spread the word so people can save $35-$40 if you are a member or non-member. The line up of general session speakers is quite amazing and includes: Ashley Bryan, Pat Mora, Katherine Paterson, Siobhan Parkinson, Peter Sis, Klass Verplancke, Mem Fox, Jacqueline Woodson, Bryan Collier, Gregory Maguire and more. Conference details and registration/hotel information can be found at: http://www.usbby.org
This month we wanted to share information about children’s book awards in Canada. Here are some of the highlights from the 2012 Canadian children’s book awards.
The Governor General’s Literary Awards are given by the Canada Council of the Arts. A text and illustration award is given each year in both French and English. The 2012 recipients:
Children’s Text Winner
Nielsen, Susin. The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen (Tundra)
Daigle, France. Pour sûr (Éditions du Boréal)
Children’s Illustration Winner
Maclear, Kyo. Virginia Wolf. Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (Kids Can)
Gravel, Élise. La clé à molette (Éditions de la courte échelle)
The Canadian Children’s Book Center awarded six major children’s book awards in 2012.
TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award: Kent, Trilby. Stones for my Father (Tundra)
Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Côté, Geneviève. Without You (Kids Can)
Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction: Vande Griek, Susan. Loon (Groundwood)
Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People: Cayley, Kate. The Hangman in the Mirror (Annick)
John Spray Mystery Award: Mills, Rob. Charlie’s Key (Orca)
Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy: Collins, P. J. Sara. What Happened to Serenity? (Red Deer Press)
The most recent recipient of the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children is: Pearson, Kit. The Whole Truth (HarperCollins; awarded April 2012).
This content originally appeared in an email from USBBY to Edith Campbell.
Filed under: USBBY
I was running just a little late yesterday, looking forward to meeting with a colleague for breakfast yesterday morning. I still swear I’m not a morning person, but I enjoy early morning workouts and breakfasts! I was a bit surprised to see that a tree had fallen overnight and was quite shocked when I stood next to my car and saw all the damage! I stayed home and spent the day working through insurance, car rentals and tree removal. My entire day was off!
When I finally made it to my email account this morning, I found several items of interest.
First, thanks to librarian friend Nichelle Hayes for sharing information about Dial-A-Pacer!
Children of all ages and families are invited to hear members of the Indiana Pacers read their favorite stories in children’s literature during “Read Like a Pro — Call-a-Pacer 2013″ on The Indianapolis Public Library’s 24-hour Call-a-Story telephone line.
By dialing 275-4444, or toll-free at 877-275-9007, callers will hear recorded stories from Pacers players who demonstrate their love of reading as a way to encourage young ones to develop the habit.
At New Augusta, the school library program and Lauren Kniola, the school librarian, help to fulfill this mission. In the letter of support from Principal Mary Kay Hunt, she writes, “Under the leadership of Mrs. Lauren Kniola the library program flourishes. She prepares our students to become outstanding members of a global society. She works side by side with the classroom teachers to help the students learn in multiple ways: inquiry based projects, distance learning, in addition to help the students develop a love of reading. Mrs. Kniola has built a learning environment that is stimulating, student centered, and a flexible schedule so that our library can enhance their learning and be the hub of learning.”
My youngest son went to NAPA-South when it first opened, so I’m quite proud of this IN school.
Edited by Jamie Campbell Naidoo and Sarah Park Dahlen, this contributed volume presents chapters on the representations of culture groups that are often ignored in examinations of diverse youth literature, while also examining more common cultural groups through a new lens or perspective.
It feels good to have good news from right here in Indiana!
My pile of books for BFYA has settled at around 40 books. While there will be more to read after ALA in June, this serves as a chance to get caught up before discussions at Annual and then, it begins all over again. I still cannot discuss the books and still really would like more guest reviewers! So, if you’re interested in reading and reviewing for me, I have books available I can send you.
The language inside by Holly Thompson.
Emma Karas was raised in Japan; it’s the country she calls home. But when her mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, Emma’s family moves to a town outside Lowell, Massachusetts, to stay with Emma’s grandmother while her mom undergoes treatment.
Emma feels out of place in the United States.She begins to have migraines, and longs to be back in Japan. At her grandmother’s urging, she volunteers in a long-term care center to help Zena, a patient with locked-in syndrome, write down her poems. There, Emma meets Samnang, another volunteer, who assists elderly Cambodian refugees. Weekly visits to the care center, Zena’s poems, dance, and noodle soup bring Emma and Samnang closer, until Emma must make a painful choice: stay in Massachusetts, or return home early to Japan.
Revenge of a not so pretty girl by Carolite Blythe.
Girls who are pretty have a way of looking down their perfect noses at anyone they feel isn’t worthy of sharing the air with them. They have a way of making regular girls like me feel inferior for not winning the gene pool lottery. Tormenting them is my way of getting even.
Everyone knows that pretty equals mean, and Evelyn Ryder used to be a beautiful movie star—never mind that it was practically a lifetime ago. There’s no time limit on mean. So if you think I feel guilty about mugging her, think again.
But for something that should have been so simple, it sure went horribly wrong. See, I think I might have killed that old movie star. Accidentally, of course. And I’m starting to believe that my actions have cursed me, because nothing in my life has gone right since then.
That’s why I’m returning to the scene of the crime. To see if there’s any chance that old lady might still be alive. To see if I might be able to turn my luck around. Maybe my life can be different. But if I want things to change, I’m gonna have to walk the straight and narrow. And that means no more revenge.
Yacqui Dalgado wants to kick your ass by Meg Medina.
One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away? In an all-too-realistic novel, Meg Medina portrays a sympathetic heroine who is forced to decide who she really is.
Please, email me if you’re interested!
crazyquilts at hotmail dot com
Filed under: Me Being Me
Tagged: ALA publication
, diversity in YA
, guest reviewers
I put down roots in the Haute this weekend. We’ve finally had a sustained break from all the rain and hopefully there will be no more morning frost so I got vegetables and herbs planted in my garden.
There are a couple of pieces of land close to campus that have been divided into plots for community members to grow crops each summer. Sounds nice, huh? Well, it gets even better! There are tool sheds on the grounds with gardening implements and wheel barrows. Leaf mulch and horse manure mulch is available and area farmers provide inexpensive straw to help the soil retain moisture. This wonderful deal isn’t free. There are dates by which certain progress must be made and a portion of the harvest must be donated to the local food agency. Nope, nothing is free, but this comes awfully close!
My sister drives over from Indy and we’re farming together. We’ve planted cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes (too many!), sweet and hot peppers, cucumbers, turnip greens, okra, sage, dill, fennel, basil and catnip. While the herbs will be a welcome part of the harvest, they’re also strategically placed in the garden to ward off pests.
I’ll be balancing my time at the garden with the time needed to finish the few dozen books I have to finish for BFYA which will be at ALA in a few short weeks. I won’t do much there other than committee meetings and catching up with people I’ve probably never met before. If you’re going to be there, please let me know!
I do plan to see Kathy aka The Brain Lair and I’ll congratulate her in person for being named her local Teacher of the Year. This is an awesome accomplishment for any educator but, especially for media specialists/school librarians who most people don’t recognize as such. From the article, from knowing all the great things Kathy does, I know she’s more than deserved this award!
I never give a second thought about what I share here. I find information I enjoy and I look forward to sharing it. When it comes to the give-a-way on Anali’s First Amendment, I have had second thoughts. I so want to win one of those prizes that I hate to limit my chances! But I will, not only for the sake of my readers but also to help draw more support to The Arc.
Anali’s First Amendment is hosting the All Aboard the Arc annual fund raiser to benefit The Arc of Massachusetts, which serves men, women and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The blog has much more information about the Arc and ways you can donate to support this worthy cause. To help bring attention, there’s a giveaway and it ends Monday 20 May.
- Firehouse Subs gift cards
- Greyston Baker brownies
- The Greyston Bakery Cookbook
Author Meg Medina (Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass) also recently blogged about one of her passions, Partners in Print, an organization which supports literacy development mostly for ENL students. In the post, Medina provides unique insights into what it’s like being bilingual.
I have a co-worker from Congo who often tells me what a disadvantage she has because she’s not a native English speaker. (I’m smiling because she often reads these posts.) She’s lived here some 40 odd years, but still translates in her mind. One wouldn’t know this because she never misses a beat, no matter it be a technical cataloging question or a casual conversation filled with U.S. idioms.
Most native born Americans only speak one language like me and will have a difficult time understanding the difficulties these adults and these students, face. I am so amazed by their linguistic abilities, that I don’t see the problems. Thanks to Medina’s post, I understand more.
Don’t miss artist Jimmy Liao (The sound of color )in the Gallery on the PaperTigers website.
Have you looked at Google+Hangouts yet? Again I say: Google concerns me. I was listening to a piece about Google on NPR this past week about their new voice search. The story also mentioned Google Travel which will read information from peoples’ photos to help plan vacations. They’ll look at both faces and places to determine your ultimate spot. One more way for them to collect data. No, I’ll not be using an Android, Google Chrome or Google Glass. I want to think I’m making you work for my information.
I don’t watch Scandal; I’m an Elementary girl. I think it’s interesting that while Kerry Washington, an African American woman, can be promoted for her sexuality, Lucy Lui, an Asian American woman, cannot. Neither can Sandra Oh who preceeds Scandal in Grey’s Anatomy. Read Lucy Lui on this topic :” I kind of got pushed out of both categories. It’s a very strange place to be. You’re not Asian enough and then you’re not American enough, so it gets really frustrating.” MORE
If you have time to up your professional reading this summer, don’t miss Voya’s 5 Foot Bookshelf: Essential Books for Professionals Who Serve Teens.
I’m so glad to be getting my hands in the soil! So thankful to be growing my own food and for the people I’m meeting in the process. I’ve found one more thing to help fill my summers days, but there’s always time for the things we want to do!
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
Filed under: Sunday Reads
, meg medina
CONGRATULATIONS, COURTNEY YOUNG, AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT ELECT!
Do chefs and other food professionals remain able to enjoy their parents and grandparents home cooking?
I’m watching Guy Fieri cook with his mom today and these are his recipes, he’s in charge. Makes me wonder if he still likes his mom’s cooking.
He’s not the only one with his mom on the show, they’ve been on Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight and many, many other shows. There are the Mother’s Day sales, coupons, flower displays… So much to celebrate the holiday.
Does everyone do that much Mother’s Day celebrating with their family?
I’ve finally come to learn that not so many people do the New Years Eve parties. Most people I’ve talked to actually do quiet evenings at home or church. Yet, we would be led to believe everyone goes to parties. Perhaps it’s only the 10%.
Last Christmas, I brought a friend from Egypt to my sister’s home for the holiday. She was excited as this was her first Christmas dinner and, she was really looking forward to the singing. Singing?? Yes, in the movies everyone does Christmas carols. I don’t know anyone who does that, or who goes Christmas caroling! Oh, sure there are people who do those things, but those practices aren’t as pervasive and Hollywood makes people believe.
I hate to admit how many books I still have to read for BFYA. I should not be writing this post, should not have gone to the store this morning, should not be doing anything other than reading! I’ve received some very interesting boxes lately and see so many books I’d love to pick up, but I am required to have read everything nominated to the committee before we meet in June.
I have to say I’m really disappointed in the lack of ethnic diversity in the books I’ve received. Scholastic has stood out as the company whose selection has been the most multicultural.
While I look for ethnic representation, I am so aware of diversity in the broad sense while reading these books. I’ve seen very few books by male authors or with male protagonists. The numbers of books with autistic characters is growing. There are quite a few mysteries, a lot of historical fiction and paranormal seems to be dwindling. There is always death. There is little religion or spirituality and I find that intriguing considering the searching for meaning that young adults do.
There is a fair amount of LGBT, a surprising amount of animals and surprising few talents (excluding paranormal) or crafts.
There is violence, death, depression, bullying and abduction. The trend is to deal with the act more than the consequences. Call me a prude, but I can’t bear to live through another mass shooting, stabbing or kidnapping; I don’t think access to guns is the root cause. I can raise this issue, but not let it deter me from recognizing a good book.
Diversity would extend to books that appeal to 13 year olds as well as to 18+, to books that recognize those who are embarrassed to read profanity as much as those who read expecting it. There are low ability readers and those who need complex, intricate story lines. Did I mention there is a lot of death?
Most librarians know this already and work hard to find all these different books, but the ones that are well written? I’ll be reading non-stop through 28 June to find them!
Filed under: Sunday Reads
What better day for book trailers than a Saturday?
About the book:
Angie is broken — by her can’t-be-bothered mother, by her high-school tormenters, and by being the only one who thinks her varsity-athlete-turned-war-hero sister is still alive. Hiding under a mountain of junk food hasn’t kept the pain (or the shouts of “crazy mad cow!”) away. Having failed to kill herself — in front of a gym full of kids — she’s back at high school just trying to make it through each day. That is, until the arrival of KC Romance, the kind of girl who doesn’t exist in Dryfalls, Ohio. A girl who is one hundred and ninety-nine percent wow! A girl who never sees her as Fat Angie, and who knows too well that the package doesn’t always match what’s inside. With an offbeat sensibility, mean girls to rival a horror classic, and characters both outrageous and touching, this darkly comic anti-romantic romance will appeal to anyone who likes entertaining and meaningful fiction. (from the publisher)
e.E Charlton-Trujillo’s previous works include Prizefighter en mi casa and Feels like home.
Filed under: trailers
Tagged: e.E. Charlton-Trujillo
, saturday trailers
The Male Monday feature began with Ari at Reading in Color.
The world of children’s literature suffered a great loss on Sunday 28 April with the passing of Fred McKissack. In the books that he wrote, the stories he told and the life he lived, he paved the way!
Fred McKissack first worked as a civil engineer for the city of St. Louis and then with U.S. Army. He also owned his own general contracting company in St. Louis. In the early 1980s, he began writing children’s books with his wife, Patricia. Even when his name was not in the title, he was there in the research in the books his wife would write.
What was it that made their writing special? In reading through inteviews with the McKissacks, I find so many examples, both those stated directed and those implied through tone and sentiment that explain why this couple managed to create over 100 books for children. Perhaps the most obvious explanation of what made them special is that they were always there, together even for each interview. Once, an interviewer asked Frederick if only one could attend an award ceremony, who would go?
Neither one. Why? Because Pat wouldn’t dream of going without Fred and Fred wouldn’t go without Pat. We are a team, and a team is just that — we come as a package, and those who give awards know that. Now, Pat has won awards for her work, and Fred has won awards that have honored his work. That’s different. We go and cheer the other one’s success. But when we share an award we share it 50-50. Think of it this way. If we get a bad review or don’t win an award, that is certainly shared, then so should the rewards of our combined efforts.
If one can care that much for those inside their world, they can care almost as much for those of us on the outside as well.
What did they write about?
And our niche was that time period between 1800 and 1900 — that’s pre-Civil War, Civil War, post-Civil War, up through and until the Harlem Renaissance. And we just carved that out as our niche and we worked very, very hard to try to tell that story. And I hope that what we’ve done is to make our history a little bit clearer — something that doesn’t make the children feel ashamed or hurt.
It is not designed to point a finger or to make some child in a classroom feel responsible for all that happened back then, but we can’t shovel it under the rug and say that those things did not happen — they did. But let’s tell it by telling an even-handed, well-researched, well-documented story and that’s what we tried to do in Days of Jubilee, Rebels Against Slavery, and Goin’ Someplace Special. And even the whale men, White Hands, Black…I mean, Black Hands, White Sails.
“We could write 100 books a year for the next 100 years and still not scratch the surface of stories that have fallen through the cracks, ” says Pat McKissack.
Complete biographies can be found at Publishers Weekly or the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Filed under: male monday
Tagged: Frederick McKissack
, Male Monday
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know I’ve spent the morning searching for and posting new POC releases. I didn’t find many for May.
I did find a few to add for April and they’re posted on the Pinterest board for April. I probably post new titles to Pinterest before I do anywhere else, it’s just easier! When I post there, I quickly tweet or post my finds to FB.
I’ve continue posting new POC books to Pinterest since last year and there is one for May. And, there is always my annual list of books as well. I’ll catch up the April titles on my annual list later; I have a graduation party at the Islamic Center to attend this afternoon!
- P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams Garcia; Amistad, 21 May
- How I became a ghost by Tim Tingle; Road Runner Press; 28 May
- Get over it by Nikki Carter; Dafina Press; 28 May
- Death, Dickinson and the Demented life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres-Sanchez; Running Press Kids; 28 May
Filed under: New Books
Tagged: new releases
The Smithsonian and Teaching Tolerance want to help you celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a set of eight visually compelling educational posters: I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story. Rich with complex, often surprising stories, these posters take a sweeping look at Asian Pacific American history—from the very first Asian immigrants to the influx of highly skilled workers many decades later.
The Asian Pacific American journey has many points of origin but a shared destination—the United States, a nation founded and built by immigrants and enriched by the vibrant diversity of their heritages and traditions. Asian immigrants are an integral part of every chapter in this country’s great chronicle, from toppling barriers to forming communities and ultimately pointing the way to its future.
The I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story posters will engage and inspire students, regardless of heritage and family history. Additional online education resources include activities and lessons in social studies, creative writing, art and communications as well as an exhibitor handbook with instructions for mounting, installing and promoting the posters. Printable PDF versions of the posters are also available should you or your colleagues want additional sets.
The number of posters is limited, so order your set today. I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story begin to ship in early May.
Filed under: Me Being Me
Tagged: Asian American; posters
I’m quilting it all together today with Jimmy Santiago Baca. He’s here on Male Monday this first Monday in April: Poetry month. From his biography:
Baca has devoted his post-prison life to writing and teaching others who are overcoming hardship. His themes include American Southwest barrios, addiction, injustice, education, community, love and beyond. He has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries, and universities throughout the country.
Welcome April, month of poetry!
from Healing Earthquakes (1989)
If it does not feed the fire
of your creativity, then leave it.
If people and things do not
inspire your heart to dream,
then leave them.
If you are not crazily in love
and making a stupid fool of yourself,
then stop closer to the edge
of your heart and climb
where you’ve been forbidden to go.
Debts, accusations, assaults by enemies
go where the fire feeds you.
Turn your attention to the magic of whores,
grief, addicts and drunks, until you stumble upon
that shining halo surrounding your heart
that will allow you to violate every fear happily,
be where you’re not supposed to be,
the love of an angel who’s caught your blood on fire
again, who’s gulped all of you in one breath
to mix in her soul, to explode your brooding
and again, your words rush from the stones
like a river coursing down
from some motherly mountain source,
and if your life doesn’t spill forth
unabashedly, recklessly, randomly
pushing in wonder at life,
then change, leave, quit, silence the idle chatter
and do away with useless acquaintances
who have forgotten how to dream,
bitch rudely in your dark mood at the mediocrity
of scholars who meddle in whimsy for academic trifles–
let you be their object of scorn,
let you be their object of mockery,
let you be their chilling symbol
of what they never had the courage to do, to complete, to follow,
let you be the flaming faith that makes them shield their eyes
as you burn from all sides,
taking a harmless topic and making of it a burning galaxy
or shooting stars in the dark of their souls,
illuminating your sadness, your aching joy for life,
your famished insistence for God and all that is creative
to attend you as a witness to your struggle,
let the useless banter and quick pleasures
belong to others, the merchants, computer analysts
and government workers;
you haven’t been afraid
of rapture among thieves
bloody duels in drunken brawls,
the essence of your soul work
as poems rusted while you scratched
at your heart to see if it was a diamond
and not cheap pane of glass,
now, then, after returning form one more poet’s journey
in the heart of the bear, the teeth of the wolf,
the legs of the wild horse,
sense what your experience tells you,
your ears ringing with deception and lies and foul tastes,
now that your memory is riddled with blank loss,
tyrants who wielded their boastful threats
to the sleeping dogs and old trees in the yards,
now that you’ve returned form men and women
who’ve abandoned their dreams and sit around
like corpses in the grave moldering with regret,
steady your heart now, my friend, with fortitude
long-lasting enduring hope, and hail the early dawn
like a ship off coast that’s come for you,
spent and ragged and beggared,
if what you do and how you live does not feed the fire
in your heart and blossom into poems,
leave, quit, do not turn back,
move fast away from that which would mold your gift,
break it, disrespect it, kill it.
Guard it, nurture it, take your full-flung honorable
heart and plunge it into the fire
into the stars, into the trees, into the hearts of others
sorrow and love and restore the dream
by writing of its again-discovered wild beauty.
Filed under: male monday
Tagged: Jimmy Santiago Baca
, Male Monday
, poetry month
2-4 April, Forever My Lady by Jeff Rivera is free to download on Amazon. Please take the time to download it. Please!! Take the time to download and have your friends download it, too! You don’t have to have a Kindle or plan to read the book. You do have to take the time to show your support for books by Latinos. Download free here.
A synopsis of the book from Amazon:
Dio Rodriguez grew up on the streets and knew all too well the hard, cool feeling of the barrel of a gun tucked down the back of his jeans. But his hard exterior softened when he met Jennifer. Jennifer understands Dio like no one else and makes him want to be a better man. Suddenly a drive-by shooting lands Dio in a prison boot camp and sends Jennifer to the hospital. When Dio learns that Jennifer is pregnant, he realizes that he must find a way to turn his life around and return to his lady. But can trainee Rodriguez get his act together among the hardcases in prison? And will Jennifer be waiting for him if and when he does?
Literature by authors of color is definitely worth supporting. Have you read any of Benjamin Alire Saenz’s books yet? His YA novels include Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, Last Night I Sang to the Monster and Aristotle and Donte Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I loved Aristotle and Dante and was not surprised after it won so many awards at ALA Midwinter. I was able to speak with Saenz at ALAN last November and when our conversation was done, he actually offered me the copy of Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club which he had been carrying with him. I should have had him autograph it.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz has been awarded the prestigious 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for his book Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club!The PEN/Faulkner Award is America’s largest peer-juried prize for fiction, and past winners have included Phillip Roth, Sherman Alexie, John Updike, Julie Otsuka, Ha Jin and others. As winner, Sáenz receives $15,000. Each of the four finalists—Amelia Gray for Threats (FSG); Laird Hunt for Kind One (Coffee House); T. Geronimo Johnson for Hold It ‘Til It Hurts (Coffee House); and, Thomas Mallon for Watergate (Pantheon)—receives $5,000. Sáenz is the first Mexican-American and the first Texan to win the award. It’s been 15 years since a small press published a PEN/Faulkner Award Winner. Cinco Puntos is wonderfully happy for Ben and extremely proud to have published his book.
Read more about the award in the El Paso Times.
(quoted from email from Cinco Puntos Press)
Yes, I should have had it autographed!!
Filed under: Authors
Tagged: Benjamin Alire Saenz
, Jeff Rivera
I’m getting behind! My pile of BFYA books is growing! Still, it’s a pleasure to look at that pile because they all stand a chance of being a really good read. The books in that pile have been nominated by BFYA committee members or by the general public as titles that should be on the annual list. The titles nominated are announced each month and the committee members get busy locating copies of the books so that they can be read before each of the ALA conventions.
What don’t I like about the process? The very few titles by authors of color – or featuring characters of color – that we receive. The number is even smaller than the number of the books that are published.
What do I like? I like broadening my reading selections. I avoid monsters, paranormals, werewolves… at all costs, but I cannot avoid them this year! I don’t like reading about murder as entertainment and hate to see that trickle into YA but, I’m reading these books and developing new perspectives. Closing one’s self off from situations isn’t a way to grow.
I also like being able to help get teens reading with the books. I’m getting LOTS of them and am looking for good ways to get them where they’re needed. Please email me if you have suggestions. I’ve been thinking about shipping them down to Henryville, getting them to some of the high schools around here or even taking them to ALA to give them to high schools there. One thing I’ve learned is that schools in small communities are quite conservative, so not all will appreciate some of these books.
I put off posting the new April releases, thinking I might still find a few more titles and maybe I still will. Looking for new books is really getting interesting. I usually go to Amazon to look and every month, struggle with search terms to find new books that have been released by authors of color for teens. I had seen Walter Dean Myer’s latest book, but in searching for it using his name, the title did not come up for me. I had to use the title of the book to find it. I’ve had this happen with other authors as well. Have you?
Last month, I found the following after posting March releases.
Fat Angie e.E. Charlton-Trujillo; Candlewick, March: Angie is broken — by her can’t-be-bothered mother, by her high-school tormenters, and by being the only one who thinks her varsity-athlete-turned-war-hero sister is still alive. Hiding under a mountain of junk food hasn’t kept the pain (or the shouts of “crazy mad cow!”) away. Having failed to kill herself — in front of a gym full of kids — she’s back at high school just trying to make it through each day. That is, until the arrival of KC Romance, the kind of girl who doesn’t exist in Dryfalls, Ohio. A girl who is one hundred and ninety-nine percent wow! A girl who never sees her as Fat Angie, and who knows too well that the package doesn’t always match what’s inside. With an offbeat sensibility, mean girls to rival a horror classic, and characters both outrageous and touching, this darkly comic anti-romantic romance will appeal to anyone who likes entertaining and meaningful fiction.
Lightning Dreamer by Margarita Engle; Harcourt, March: “I find it so easy to forget / that I’m just a girl who is expected / to live / without thoughts.” Opposing slavery in Cuba in the nineteenth century was dangerous. The most daring abolitionists were poets who veiled their work in metaphor. Of these, the boldest was Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, nicknamed Tula. In passionate, accessible verses of her own, Engle evokes the voice of this book-loving feminist and abolitionist who bravely resisted an arranged marriage at the age of fourteen, and was ultimately courageous enough to fight against injustice. Historical notes, excerpts, and source notes round out this exceptional tribute.
- Darius and Twig by Walter Dean Myer; Harper 23 Apr
Darius and Twig are an unlikely pair: Darius is a writer whose only escape is his alter ego, a peregrine falcon named Fury, and Twig is a middle-distance runner striving for athletic success. But they are drawn together in the struggle to overcome the obstacles that Harlem life throws at them.
The two friends must face down bullies, an abusive uncle, and the idea that they’ll be stuck in the same place forever in this touching and raw new teen novel from Walter Dean Myers, award-winning author of Monster, Kick, We Are America, Bad Boy, and many other celebrated literary works for children and teens.
- The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa Harlequin; 30 Apr
click this link to watch the trailer
- The witches of Ruidoso by John Sandoval; Arte Publica April
Young Elijah was sitting on the porch of the Ruidoso Store when fourteen-year-old Beth Delilah and her father climbed down from the stage coach. Blond with lovely pale skin, big blue eyes and “dressed from boot to bonnet in black” in mourning for her mother, she was the prettiest, most exotic thing he had ever seen. And when she bent over to pick up a horned toad, which she then held right up to her face in complete fascination, Elijah learned that it’s possible to feel jealous of an amphibian.
In the last years of the nineteenth century, in the western territory that would become New Mexico, the two young people become constant companions. They roam the ancient country of mysterious terrain, where the mountain looms and reminds them of their insignificance, and observe the eccentric characters in the village: Mr. Blackwater, known as “No Leg Dancer” by the Apaches because of the leg he lost in the War Between the States and his penchant for blowing reveille on his bugle each morning; their friend, Two Feather, the Mescalero Apache boy who takes Beth Delilah to meet his wise old grandfather who sees mysterious things; and Senora Roja, who everyone believes is a bruja, or witch, and who they know to be vile and evil.
Elijah has horrible nightmares involving Senora Roja, death and torture. And when the witch enslaves a girl named Rosa, the pair must try to rescue her from her grim fate. Together, Elijah and Beth Delilah come of age in a land of mountains and ravens, where good and evil vie for the souls of white men and Indians alike.
All book descriptions were shamelessly lifted from Amazon who probably would appreciate your consideration when purchasing your books. I do not work for Amazon. I don’t always shop at Amazon!
Filed under: New Books
Tagged: April 2013
, new releases
Cynthia Leitich Smith just tweeted this fabulous collection of superhero art drawn in a traditional Native American style. The artist, Jeffrey Veregge was inspired by traditional coastal Salish art.
I’m just back from the ACRL annual conference in Indy and continue to be amazed by the things librarians are doing. No doubt, the presentations over the past few days would be very much at home in any tech conference anywhere in the world. I spent my breaks reading through YA books for BFYA, tweeted through sessions on data management and information literacy and networked with librarians discussing library space, growing reference services and data curation. While now is the time to process this information, I’ll spend the afternoon delivering my first program at ISU. We received a Bridging Cultures: Muslim Journey grant from the NEH and ALA and today is the program to present the materials. There will be one panel discussing Muslim contributions to the world, and another consisting of students discussing their journey to Terre Haute. I hated being gone a week before this program because it was down to that final, crucial detail of marketing. Fingers crossed it all goes well!
Latinas4Latino Literature have organized a blog hop! “Each day, starting on April 10th (next Wednesday), a different Latina blogger will be hosting a different Latino children’s book author and/or illustrator. “
#rockthedrop is coming! 18 April (this Thursday!!) is the day for you to print a label found on the ReaderGirlz blog page, affix it to a YA book and then leave that book for a teen to find, read and enjoy!
Al Roker is looking for teens 13-16 to join his book club.
Blogging has taught me to be selective with my words. Not so much because 10 or 15 people may actually read them but because I want to be accurate in how I express myself and I don’t want to be boring. As an example, I don’t want to just state that a book is ‘good’ or to find creative ways to state that it’s enjoyable. I want to describe why it appealed to me, perhaps similar to Steph Su because I’ve improved my ability to analyze literature as much as my ability to proof my own writing.
Words embody our thoughts and emotions are powerful in the effect they have on us, the actions they provoke. Such it is with ‘diversity’ and ‘social justice’. Says Paul Gorski
What confuses me even more than inclusive excellence, though, is what feels like a sudden caché associated with “social justice.” I can remember when those of us who built our lifework around social justice were booted so far to the margins by people who were all about “diversity” that we found clever ways to mask our intentions in job interviews, campus programs, and conference proposals. Instead, it was intercultural this and intergroup that or the six then seven then nine strands of diversity. And if you were a person of color or queer or had some other identity that frightened the shuddering straight white Christian masses, you hardly could say “racism” without being labeled a radical. That’s still true in many contexts, actually.
Here, I clearly and consistently blog about ethnic diversity although I know that in promoting books by authors of color, I achieve no justice if I don’t acknowledge the need for ALL young people to find themselves represented in the books they read and enjoy.
I used to have a poster in my classroom that said “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can really hurt me”. Words are painful when they are carelessly directed at us, but also when they ignore us. I love this poem which BlackGirlsRock posted on Twitter. I admire this young girl’s attitude! She has a sense of confidence that comes from others who have worked for justice on her behalf. We need more superheros!
Filed under: Sunday Reads
WEBINAR: “Detained and Forgotten: Informational Needs of Youth in Detention”
Wednesday, April 17, 4:00-5:00pm Central time
Hosted by ASCLA–the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies
REGISTER NOW: http://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=olweb&Template=/Conference/ConferenceList.cfm&ConferenceTypeCode=X
Registration closes at noon central time on Tuesday, April 16.
Can’t attend the live event? Register to receive a link to the session recording following the session.
This webinar will cover:
=The informational needs of the incarcerated and recently released youth.
=How the library can support these needs inside and outside of the detention center.
=The responsibility of the library to develop relationships with outside organizations and libraries that will continue to provide support to the youth upon his or her release from the detention center.
Who Should Attend: Those employed at academic libraries, prison libraries; state libraries; and public libraries; libraries serving incarcerated youth and/or adults, and libraries serving people with disabilities
Presenters: Glenn Scott and Dena Gould. Glenn recently presented “”Am I My Brother’s Keeper: The Library’s Responsibility to Imprisoned Youth” at the Library 2.0 2012 online conference. Dena spent considerable time volunteering at the Los Angeles County Juvenile Hall in Summer 2012 and is a MLIS candidate at San Jose State University. Glenn and Dena’s research and personal involvement in the academic and social well-being of imprisoned adults and youth has given us special insight into the informational and literary needs of this special population.
REGISTER NOW: http://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=olweb&Template=/Conference/ConferenceList.cfm&ConferenceTypeCode=X
Individual registration rates start at $40 for ASCLA members.
Sign up as a group–it’s a great way to start the conversation about serving this growing population of library users. Register for a single login group for $99. Multiple login groups of two or more participants get 15% off the individual registration rates. Get more information about group registrations at the ASCLA Online Learning page: http://www.ala.org/ascla/asclaevents/onlinelearning/onlinelearning
Filed under: Me Being Me
OK, which of these scares you more. A or B?
Just like I do every time I stay at a hotel, I left my key in my hotel room last week. I went to the desk to ask them to help me get back in. The desk clerk asked me my name and gave me another key. That was it, no other verification required.
Typically, when I forget me key, I’m asked to describe what the inside of the room looks like, numbers on my credit card and always to show and ID.
My UPS person refuses to just leave packages at my door, although I meet the requirements UPS has in place for them to do so. I contacted the company online and was told that I could register for their free service called My Choice. Using My Choice, I could make arrangements for packages to be left without me signing, schedule deliveries, get delivery notices via email or text and a few other services.
Sounds good, don’t you think?
So, I began registering by giving them my name, phone number, email and postal addies and creating a password. Then, it got interesting.
In order to verify who I was, I was given multiple choice questions in which I had to verify the street my daughter lives on and a city where I used to live. I entered the correct answers, was told I was wrong (!) and had to then verify a street on which I used to live and the address of property I own. Remember, the only information I had given them was my name, phone number and email and postal addies.
Again I ask, which concerns you more?
Filed under: Me Being Me
I’ve tried to avoid the news from Boston this week. I just can’t listen to horrific news any more, I’m not trying to be naive, it just aches me in ways that are discomforting. Today, it couldn’t be avoided looking at a city that is shut down, trying to capture one violent criminal.
I think about people all over the world who live in violent areas where it isn’t safe to go anywhere and in some cases not even safe to be at home! Not just places in Mali or Congo, but in Chicago, ATL and Indy as well.
The day the bombing happening I was speaking with a student here from Bangladesh and he was so excited to be going home during the summer. It will be his first Ramadan with his family in years. His one hesitancy in going home would be his return to the US and going through customs because of his name. Although neither he nor his identical twin brother have ever faced any difficulties, he knows people who have, because of their color. Later that evening when I mentioned the bombing to him, he stated that coming back will be even worse if the bombers are Muslim.
I think of these students when the press tries not to say these terrorists are Muslim. They are struggling right now not to draw conclusion. Buried in the conversation on NPR was in interview with a women who knew the two suspects for years via the schools they’ve attended in the US. They’re not new to this country!
I worried somewhat about the safety of Arab and Muslim students here as events unfold, but then I remember how little too many college students know of current events. Gen Y doesn’t watch TV, I wonder how they do get their news? What news sources are in their FB or Twitter feeds? Do they stop to visit Yahoo news when they go online? Do they look for trusted sources for local, national and global news? How do they grow their awareness of the world around them? Do they, like me sometimes choose to bury their heads in the sand?
I don’t want to send money or books to Boston. I want to do something to keep my corner of the world safe and free from cruelty, harm or danger.
Filed under: Me Being Me
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It’s election time for members of the American Library Association. Even if you’re not a member, I think you’ll enjoy hearing from Courtney Young, a candidate for ALA president. Courtney wrote the following to share with you what librarians can do through the ALA to serve our communities.
If you’re not a librarian, continue reading to know what to expect of your local school, public or academic library. If you are a librarian, read to know what a vote for Courtney will mean for the ALA. Voting in the 2013 ALA election began at 9:00 a.m. Central Time (US) on March 19, 2013. Ballots close at 11:59 p.m. on April 26, 2013.
The future of libraries is brighter than ever!
My name is Courtney Young and I ask for your vote for ALA President.
My platform focuses on the value of membership in the association. ALA exists for members in practical, relevant ways. In a time when we are faced with fiscal uncertainties, a growing impact of technology on core library collections and services, and staffing challenges, the library community needs to know that ALA is there for them. I am prepared to continue my service to the library community as President of the American Library Association, by advancing what I believe are three issues affecting all of us: Diversity, Career Development, and Engagement and Outreach.
Library services are strengthened when the diversity of the profession represents the diversity of the communities we serve. Likewise, our association is strong because of the diversity of the types of libraries we serve. ALA empowers our diverse voices.
Keeping all library employees current and equipped to serve their communities is one of the key roles of the association. By supporting substantive interactions, including professional networking, collaboration, and continuing education, ALA ensures that library and information professionals well-equipped with skills and training, well-informed of the issues that impact libraries and our profession, and well-connected to the changing world around us. ALA is the central thread that connects all of us.
Libraries are nimble and responsive to the changing information and service needs of our communities. They empower users and foster participation in the larger community providing access to information, by supporting use of networks and social media, and by advocating for users’ rights to information. ALA truly builds communities.
As ALA heads into strategic planning for 2020, I will work to keep these initiatives and the association valuable to member needs.
Thank you in advance for your support! To learn about my campaign and active leadership in ALA, please visit http://courtneyyoung.org.
Courtney L. Young
Head Librarian, Penn State Greater Allegheny
Filed under: Causes
, Courtney Young