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Viewing: Blog Posts from the Bookseller category, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 15,783
1. Rex Wrecks It! by Ben Clanton

I almost didn't review Rex Wrecks It! by Ben Clanton. I reviewed Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, illustrated by Zachary Ohara in April of this year and the world play of "wrecks" and "rex" feels a little done. But . . . well . . . Clanton draws a mean monster, an adorable uni-rabbit and an endearing little robot. And then there are the building blocks. Clanton does amazing

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2. Egg and Spoon

In this modern literary folktale set in Tsarist Russia, we meet young Elena, who lives an impoverished life in the countryside, and Ekaterina, a girl whose life is filled with a wealth of riches on a luxury train. Maguire, the author of Wicked, weaves an intricate and playful tale rich in imagery, truly making this [...]

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3. Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

When Glory unexpectedly gains the power to see the future and other people's pasts, she begins dealing with the complications in her life. With powerful writing, this intense novel is full of love and humor as Glory overcomes her present difficulties. Books mentioned in this post Glory O'Brien's History of the Future A. S. King [...]

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4. The Accidental Highwayman

In this intricately illustrated fantasy set in 18th-century England, the young servant Kit becomes a highwayman by accident and is hurled into a grand tale with goblins, a fairy princess, a witch, and a magical map. This is a hilarious, rollicking adventure. Books mentioned in this post The Accidental Highwayman: Being the... Ben Tripp Used [...]

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5. The Doubt Factory

Bacigalupi's counterculture take on the teen thriller turns what could be a by-the-book page-turner into a how-to for critical thinking and media literacy. A good stepping stone for teens who aren't quite ready for Cory Doctorow's Little Brother. Books mentioned in this post The Doubt Factory Paolo Bacigalupi New Hardcover $18.00

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6. Atlantia

Dive into Atlantia and discover an undersea future of sirens and science, where one family's secrets will either save the world or destroy it completely. Creative world-building and an immersive mythology make this a refreshing addition to a YA shelf already filled with dystopias. Books mentioned in this post Atlantia Ally Condie New Hardcover $18.99

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7. Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories

Here's Horton — but not hearing a Who. And a Grinch who's not green (but still decidedly grinchy). And Marco from Mulberry Street. All back in a new book of lost stories from Dr. Seuss! Horton and the Kwuggerbug is like a whimsical, wacky, absolutely beezlenutty visit from a favorite old friend. Books mentioned in [...]

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8. Skippyjon Jones: Snow What

It's time to make some hot catnip cocoa and join Skippito Friskito in his newest adventure. Skippyjon Jones braves the snow, kisses, and tights to make his own "fuzzy tale." The songs are my favorite part, and there are plenty here to make this the perfect winter read-aloud. Books mentioned in this post Skippyjon Jones: [...]

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9. Pennyroyal Academy

When a girl with no name enters an enchanted kingdom, she is enlisted in a war battling witches and dragons trained by a fairy drill sergeant. This unusual fantasy intriguingly combines adventure and magical mischief with the witty and compassionate writing of a master. Books mentioned in this post Pennyroyal Academy M.A. Larson New Hardcover [...]

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10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

What could be worse than being stuck in a car with the Heffleys on a long road trip? Will Greg survive his parents, Rodrick, and Manny? This ninth book detailing Jeff Kinney's laugh-out-loud adventures will surely make you appreciate your next boring car trip. Books mentioned in this post Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The [...]

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11. LEGO Star Wars: The Dark Side

Explore the exciting Dark Side of LEGO Star Wars with this wonderfully comprehensive tribute to the villains of the LEGO Galaxy. Discover the secrets of the Sith, from the inner workings of Darth Vader's armor to Asajj Ventress's date of birth, and gain insight into their evil plans. This extensive volume includes an exclusive, collectible [...]

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12. Revival

Jamie Morton can't seem to shake the charismatic preacher he first meets as a child, later appearing randomly throughout his life. Each encounter becomes increasingly strange — right up to the astonishing conclusion. This gripping thriller demonstrates what King does best: evoking sinister, supernatural forces into the lives of seemingly ordinary people. Books mentioned in [...]

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13. Fields of Blood

I can think of no better writer than Karen Armstrong (bestselling author of A History of God) to serve as a guide to the timely subject of religion and its relationship with violence. Highly readable and easily digestible, Fields of Blood is a fascinating portrait of religious history that should be required reading for anyone [...]

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14. Living with Thunder

Living with Thunder is a stunning coffee table book that doubles as a serious geology study. Gorgeous color photographs of regional landscapes and rock formations are accompanied by accessible, detailed histories, often illustrated with maps and figures. Anyone with an interest in the Pacific Northwest's scenery, history, or geology will thrill to turn the pages [...]

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15. The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

Slip into a black and white world where order reigns supreme and all untidiness must be eradicated. Dave lives a nondescript life in Here until the day an untamable beard sprouts from his chin. Could the beard be a maleficent portal to There? Collins gently addresses the tangles of human existence in this playful graphic [...]

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16. Portland Events 2015 Wall Calendar

Plan ahead, Portland. With dates for over 250 events and activities — festivals, runs/walks, street fairs, and more — you won't miss out on any of next year's fun with this unique calendar. Each event and activity has a short description and website, so you can get the full details. Books mentioned in this post [...]

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17. Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis, illustrated by Gilbert Ford

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis and illustrated by Gilbert Ford is a revelation! I had no idea that this structure that I always thought of as a slightly sketchy carnival ride had such an interesting inception and remarkable beginning. When, with only ten months to go before the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, a contest is announced inviting Americans to outdo the star

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18. Author Spotlight: Austin Kleon

If you are an artist of any kind - a writer, a poet, a singer, a painter, a filmmaker, anything creative - and Austin Kleon is not already on your radar, please tune in:

In his book Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, Kleon encourages people to be confident when approaching their projects, even when that voice in the back of your head is telling you, "But someone's already done something like this. Someone's already written a story about this, or make a similar sculpture, or created a collage like this..." Because guess what? Even if that is true, even if there is something similar out there, your creation won't be the same as what came before, because it's coming from you, and your viewpoint and abilities will make it unique. So don't be scared to tackle something that you think has "already been done" - because it hasn't, if you haven't done it yet.

At the same time, remember to give credit when credit is due. That's mentioned in all of his books: if you're doing something directly based on someone else's work, give that person credit. If you choreographed a dance largely influenced by the life of Martha Graham or inspired by the paintings of Degas, say that. If your research was heavily based on someone or something, cite it. Be grateful for those who paved the way, acknowledge those who helped you, respect others and you'll be respected.

Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, Kleon's latest book, offers ideas and ways to share your work with the world. As with Steal Like an Artist, each chapter is motivational, brief, and to-the-point. There are those who feel the need to "network" and those who absolutely hate networking, and any number of folks in-between; Show Your Work focuses talks about using the network to help other people find your work, to share what you've done without feeling like you are self-promoting or self-involved.

Kleon's Newspaper Blackout is a collection of poetry he made by taking a permanent marker to newspaper articles and turning them into something new. My favorite piece in his collection is Underdog, as seen here; I am also fond of Enigma, created by Erica Westcott.

I'm cross-posting this at GuysLitWire. Why share this at a blog targeted to teen readers? It's simple: creativity exists in everyone, in people of all ages. Some creative people are very outgoing and outspoken (hello, that's me!) but others aren't as confident in their abilities, especially when they are younger and/or are trying an artistic pursuit for the first time. Some people need a little nudge to write down the story that's been in the back of their mind for years, just as others need a little nudge to try out for the sports team or the school play.

So what are you waiting for? If you've always wanted to play the tuba, go to the local music store and get a recommendation for a good music teacher in your area. Or, to be more specific to the aforementioned books and methods, if you want to be a poet or a songwriter or a hand-lettering artist or a greeting card designer and don't know where to start, look at the things YOU like, and create something inspired by your favorite poems and songs and illustrations. Start with what moves you, and go from there. In time, you'll find your voice, and make something wholly original that will, in turn, inspire someone else. Creativity is a cycle. Pay it forward!

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19. How Did I Find My Clients?

I read a forum post this morning quizzing agented authors on where they found their agents. The authors were very nicely answering, but most of the answers were the same: "I did my research and then sent a query letter."

Why was this the most likely way they answered? Because it's the most likely way to get an agent.  It just IS. I know the myth is that you have to "know somebody" but that really isn't true. Which got me to thinking about how my clients found ME (or, vice-versa). And I decided to bust out the chart-making tools again because I know you like that.

So let's break it down:

56% of my clients came to me because of straight up query letters, from the slush. They didn't know anybody, they didn't drop names, they weren't published before, they didn't go to conferences, they didn't meet me first - some of them I still haven't met in person, because they live thousands of miles away!

24% of my clients were people that I'd met somewhere before they queried me. These are people I met at conferences, in a couple of cases, or published authors that I met in my capacity as a bookseller. (There's also a former co-worker in the mix, an SCBWI RA, and one of my neighbors. What can I say, she's a great writer!). The thing is: All these people STILL HAD TO QUERY. It's not like I said, oh, I know you, so sure... they still had to show me something I thought I could sell.

16% of my clients were referrals. This means that somebody I really trust - like an editor who knows my taste, or an existing client - thought this would be a good fit for me, and e-introduced us. But, you guessed it: These people STILL HAD TO QUERY, and show me something I thought I could sell.

4% of my clients were inherited from other agents at my agency. They actually are the only people who were kinda "grandfathered in," and did not have to show me something new to be taken on. However, I also trusted that they could write, that they had great stories in them, and that we'd gel well - and we spoke before I took them on. Still, this does not always work out, so I feel very lucky that these have!


Moral of this story? 

96% OF AUTHORS NEED TO 
WRITE A GREAT QUERY LETTER.

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20. Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer, 272 pp, RL: YA

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer is just flat out brilliant, both for the subject matter and how the author chooses to tell the story.  And in this, Belzhar is ideally pitched to its audience, in tone and content. Even the cover image is perfect! Wolitzer is an award winning writer of books for adults, most recently The Interestings, as well as The Ten Year Nap, which I read and enjoyed immensely.

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21. Construction by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Brian Lovelock

Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock are the creators of fantastic books about all the things that gigantic, hardworking vehicles specialize in. The illustrations provide all the details little listeners love and the texts are packed with onomatopoetic words that make these books fun to read and especially entertaining. Their newest book, CONSTRUCTION, begins, Dig the ground. Dig the ground.

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22. Poetry Friday: Head, Heart by Lydia Davis

Heart weeps.
Head tries to help heart.
Head tells heart how it is, again:
You will lose the ones you love. They will all go. But even the earth will go, someday.
Heart feels better, then.
But the words of head do not remain long in the ears of heart.
Heart is so new to this.
I want them back, says heart.
Head is all heart has.
Help, head. Help heart.
- Head, Heart by Lydia Davis

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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23. Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire, 479 pp, RL 5

Many of you probably know Gregory Maguire as the author of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. I discovered it a year or so after it was published in 1995 in the bargain section of the bookstore where I worked and remember how thrilling it was to read back then. Long a fan of fairy tales, I was amazed to learn that a meal could be made of a behind the scenes, adult

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24. GraphicAudio Releases Their First Graphic Novel Adaptation - Cemetery Girl, Book One


If you cannot see the media player embedded above, click here to listen to the sample track at SoundCloud.

GraphicAudio has released their first graphic novel adaptation - and it's CEMETERY GIRL Book One: The Pretenders by Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden. Double cool! I loved the original book, and the audio sample released by the publisher (see above) immediately sets the stage for the story's location and feel. Kudos to Emlyn McFarland, who plays the main character, Calexa, and to the sound designers and producers.

Read my review of the original graphic novel.

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25. Miriam Toews: The Powells.com Interview

Some people are compelled by a restlessness from within; others are shaped by the unwieldy forces around them. In Miriam Toews's poignant new novel following two sisters raised in a small Canadian Mennonite community, siblinghood is a bond strengthened by this dynamic. Elf is now a world-famous concert pianist with a happy marriage, while her [...]

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