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Viewing: Blog Posts from the Reviews category, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 150,867
1. Captain No Beard Blog Tour 2015

Captain No Beard sets sail on 9 separate voyages of the imagination with his fearless crew aboard his pirate ship The Flying Dragon.

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2. Boo! Before Breakfast


“Later Leo would not be able to say where the idea came from. He threw the bed sheet over himself and flew at the thief, who was so frightened he dropped all the salad forks. Leo chased the man into a closet, then slammed the door shut
and locked him inside. It was very well done.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


 

Over at BookPage, I’ve got a review of Mac Barnett’s Leo: A Ghost Story (Chronicle, August 2015), illustrated by Christian Robinson. That review is here.

And I’ve got a bit of art from the book here today. The only thing these spreads today are missing is the wonderful character of Jane, but you’ll just have to find a copy yourself so you can meet her. Oh, wait! She’s in the bottom right corner of this image:

 



 

I think this is one of the year’s best picture books thus far. Definitely a favorite for me.

Enjoy.



 


“This is Leo. Most people cannot see him.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


 


“But you can. Leo is a ghost.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


 


“The family called in a scientist, a clergyman, and a psychic to get rid of the ghost.
But they should have saved their money: Leo knew he was unwanted.
He said goodbye to his home and left.”

(Click to enlarge spread –
please note the colors are a bit off in this spread)


 


“‘I have been a house ghost all my life,’ Leo thought. ‘Maybe I would like being
a roaming ghost for a while.’ So Leo roamed.”

(Click to enlarge spread –
please note the colors are a bit off in this spread)


 



 

* * * * * * *

LEO: A GHOST STORY. Copyright © 2015 by Mac Barnett. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Christian Robinson. Images reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco.

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3. Write. Share. Give.

WRITE a slice of life story on your own blog. SHARE a link to your post in the comments section. GIVE comments to at least three other SOLS bloggers.

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4. a funny thing happened on the way to school

by Davide Cali illustrated by Benjamin Chaud Chronicle Books 2015 Excuses, excuses, but it's the SIZE of the lies that impresses here. When asked why he was late for school a boy goes into a lengthy, imaginative journey into all the obstacles in his path. From a story perspective it's exactly what one teacher once described as "one dang thing after another," and the twist on the last page

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5. It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 8-31-15

Thanks to our dynamic hosts: Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kelle at Unleashing Readers. Head to either blog to find reviews as well as dozens of links to other blogs filled with reviews!

The new classroom space is feeling a lot more like home now that the books are settled. There are still some adjustments to be made, but I am feeling ready for school to start. My new school community has been wonderfully welcoming, helping in any and all ways possible. And everyone is so ambitious, I am loving it! I would like to share some classroom pictures-soon!

Books I've Recently Read:

A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
Bloomsbury, 2015
Fantasy
224 pages
Recommended for grades 5-7

This book opens with force. The recommended age range in the ARC is 3-6. I find myself often wondering if I am too conservative, am I censoring??!! my classroom library, or are some books simply being pushed too soon on readers too young? What do you think: The book opens with a scene in which our main character's mother hangs herself outside the hospital from the branch of a dogwood tree. Pram's mother is pregnant, and as a result Pram also dies, and is then revived. This dying and reviving is part of the backstory to where Pram's ability to communicate with the dead, and to move between the space of the living and the dead, comes from.

Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein
Disney-Hyperion, 2015
Historical Fiction
368 pages
Recommended for grades 7+

Set in the 1920s-1940s, first in America and then in Ethiopia, we are taken on a journey with Emilia and Teo, the children of pilots Rhoda (White Raven) and Delia (Black Dove).  This book offers a different perspective on what was taking place as WWII gained momentum in Ethiopia, not our typical American and European views. Of course the war is only one piece of this story. It is so much more, a story of family and courage, of being true to yourself and also finding who that self is.

I'm Currently Reading:


Thanks for stopping by! Happy back to school time :)


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6. Happy Book Birthday to Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman!

Hey PubCrawlers, JJ here on a special Tuesday post. Today our very own Erin Bowman has a new book out! Come, raise a glass, toast our friend, and celebrate!

Huzzah, huzzah, huzzah, it’s finally here!

VengeanceRoad_CoverReveal

If you guys have been living under a rock, then you might not have heard of Erin’s awesome new YA Western pitched as True Grit meets the legend of the Lost Dutchman. I’ve wanted this book ever since I read the synopsis:

Vengeance Road

Welcome to the Wild West.

When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate discovers more about her family’s secrets, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there’s room for love in a heart so full of hate.

In the spirit of True Grit, this novel makes the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.

If that doesn’t make you want to read this, then just check out this trailer!

If you’re still not convinced, then look at the heaps of praise piled on to Vengeance Road!

★ An unflinchingly bloody tale of the Wild West…Thoroughly engrossing.

Publishers Weekly, starred review

A vivid portrait of a lawless world…The book demands the same stoicism from its readers as the heroine herself possesses.

School Library Journal

Refreshingly believable. Readers will be entranced by Bowman’s swiftly paced, romantic revenge drama.

Booklist

Fast-paced [and] entertaining.

VOYA

A story of grit, love, and deadly revenge that climbs off the page and into your heart–saddle up for a thrilling, harrowing ride!

—Alexandra Bracken, NYT bestselling author of The Darkest Minds trilogy

Vengeance Road is a page-turning, unputdownable story of revenge. Bowman paints a thrilling, vivid picture of 1877 Arizona, and Kate is a heroine to be reckoned with.

—Jessica Spotswood, author of The Cahill Witch Chronicles

Gritty and honest, Vengeance Road captures the heart of the Wild West.

—Mindy McGinnis, author of Not a Drop to Drink

A take-no-prisoners heroine with a bloody debt to settle. I’m still breathing in the dust and hot Arizona sun.

—Megan Shepherd, author of The Madman’s Daughter

Relentlessly readable, Vengeance Road is a perfect western. You won’t be able to turn in until you get to the very last page!

—Saundra Mitchell, author of The Springsweet

Flinty and fierce, Kate is a formidable addition to the pantheon of tough young adult heroines. Her story and voice crackles to life.

—A.C. Gaughen, author of the Scarlet trilogy

Gold madness, a good-for-nothing posse, and frontier justice: Vengeance Road is everything you could want in a Western.

Jodi Meadows, author of the Incarnate trilogy

Vengeance Road had a bit of everything I love most in storytelling: a kick-butt heroine, life-or-death stakes, action to make my heart pound, and morals that go gray around the edges. This is the kind of book I’ll re-read again and again.

—Susan Dennard, author of the Something Strange and Deadly series

PLUS, Vengeance Road is one of PW’s Picks of the Week!

Based on all the excitement over Erin’s cover reveal, I know I’m not the only one dancing to read this. I love a good western. Growing up in California, my family history was shaped by the Wild West, gold mining, and cattle ranching, and the cowboy mystique holds some shiny for me still. I can’t WAIT to share this book with y’all!

To celebrate Erin’s release, I am giving away one hardcover copy of Vengeance Road. Tweet us a message, visit our Facebook page, add to your Goodreads shelves, or leave us a comment letting us know what your favourite Western is! Contest open until September 8, 2015 (sorry, US only!).

CONGRATS, ERIN!!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Erin BowmanERIN BOWMAN is a YA writer, letterpress lover, and Harry Potter enthusiast living in New Hampshire. Her Taken trilogy is available from HarperTeen, and her new book Vengeance Road is out now from HMH. You can visit Erin’s blog (updated occasionally) or find her on Twitter (updated obsessively).

ALSO! Two other PubCrawlers (one current, one alumna) also have books/novellas out today! Congrats to Jodi Meadows for the release of The Glowing Knight (an Orphan Queen novella) and Sarah J. Maas for the release of Queen of Shadows!

The Glowing Knight
Queen of Shadows

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7. The Survivor by Tom Doyle. Sydney: Macmillan, 2015

                                                     


George rescues a baby in a burning building and, as a reward, wins a trip to Australia on an adventure trip run by a company called Ultimate Bushcraft. They send two young group leaders to collect the group of boys from the airport and, right from the time the plane leaves, nasty things begin to happen, starting with an anaphylactic attack suffered by a boy who has an allergy to nuts - an attack that is no accident. One by one the boys die in the wilderness. As the story is told in statements by various people - and the rants of the killer - the reader knows that it is over and that George has been accused of the murders.  

The author, a school principal(my guess is that it's a boys' school) who is writing under a pen name, knows how to keep boys turning pages. As a thriller it works well and I have no doubt that they will enjoy it; there are two other thrillers by this author that are doing very well. 

 The reader is fed quite a few red herring clues along the way as to who the killer might be, then they are all killed. That's fairly standard in a murder mystery, but it is usually possible to go back and realise the clues were there all along. I didn't feel that way this time. 

I also had my doubts as to the plausibility of a number of things that happened, not so much the killings as the group leader's response to them. I can't discuss many of them without spoilers, but one example is that when the first boy falls seriously ill(poison), he is left behind with a carer but not immediately sent off to hospital - flown off if necessary. I would have thought that the group leader would have a lot of first aid and possibly paramedic skills that would make him ask questions, check the symptoms and call for help, then wait until help arrived. But this doesn't happen; the rest of the group continue with their activities and leave without him. He goes to hospital too late. I realise that the whole point of the novel is for everyone to die except the hero(hence the title), but it just didn't make sense to me. 

In all fairness, I also thought a lot of things made no sense in The Da Vinci Code - it must be a thriller thing! They simply fall apart if the reader tries to make sense of them. 

Will work well for boys from about thirteen up. I already have one waiting for this when I finish reviewing it.

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8. Captain No Beard Series, by Award-Winning Author Carole P. Roman | Giveaway

Enter to win a complete autographed set of the Captain No Beard series, by award-winning author Carole P. Roman; plus the PLAYMOBIL Red Serpent Pirate Ship. Giveaway begins September 1, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 30, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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9. Best New Kids Stories | September 2015

Our list of the best new kids books for September highlights some amazing books from many different genres: non-fiction, reality fiction, fantasy, and even a beautiful picture book that addresses gender identity. Take a gander and let us know which titles and covers catch your eye ... Read the rest of this post

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10. Diggy - a bookwrap










Unwrapping...





Authored by Calee M. Lee
Illustrated by Amy Mullen
Ages:  Toddlers - 4




Unwrapping some illustrations for you...

















About the book...





If you have a little digger lover in your home then this book is for you.  Kid's will be enthralled with Diggy, an adorable little digger who works very hard all day digging holes, filling up dump trucks until they are stuffed and then.... starting all over again... because there is so much work to get done.  

The text is simple and repetitive which little ones will love.  This book is reminiscent  of "Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site", and "Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night."





About the author...







CALEE M. LEE loves forest walks, city bakeries and 3-book weekends. She is the author of more than 15 children's books and the owner of more than she cares to count. She lives with her husband, 2 children, and Catty the cat in Southern California.




About the illustrator...






 

Amy Mullen is a self-taught digital illustrator living and working in the DC metro area. She likes to write and illustrate picture books. Amy a member of SCBWI, and runs the little print shop called Mint Parcel. Take a peek to view Amy as featured artist on That's My Folio. http://www.thatsmyfolio/

Say hi to Amy Mullen
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mintparcel
Email: amye.mullen@gmail.com
Website: http://amymullen.carbonmade.com/




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11. Der Rote Blitz und die Cops aus Batmans Stadt – Comics zu den TV-Hits FLASH und GOTHAM

Flash_Gotham1

„Arrow“, die TV-Adaption der Geschichte des Bogenschützen Green Arrow aus dem Universum von Batman, Superman und Co., lief auf VOX zur Prime Time so gut, dass Pro7 sich die Rechte an den neuen DC-Serien „Gotham“ und „Flash“ sicherte, obwohl letztere im selben Universum wie „Arrow“ spielt und es auch immer wieder kleine Crossover zwischen den beiden Serien gibt.

„Flash“ folgt den Erlebnissen des Polizei-Forensikers Barry Allen, der nach einem Unfall zum schnellsten Mann der Welt wird und als kostümierter Flash andere Meta-Wesen jagt, die auf der Seite des Verbrechens stehen. Außerdem sucht er den Mörder seiner Mutter, wegen dem sein Vater unschuldig im Gefängnis sitzt. Eine spannende, packende,  äußerst sympathische Serien-Umsetzung.

„Gotham“ indes spielt clever mit den Anfängen des Batman-Mythos und verarbeitet diese in einer starken, düsteren Krimi-Serie, die „The Mentalist“-Macher Bruno Heller mitverantwortet. Im Mittelpunkt stehen der aufrechte, verbissene Cop Jim Gordon, der sich mit brutalen Irren, der Mafia und korrupten Kollegen herumschlagen muss, sowie Batman Bruce Wayne, Catwoman Selina Kyle und Pinguin Oswald Copplepot in jüngeren Jahren.

mehr lesen auf Comics.de -http://www.comic.de/2015/08/der-rote-blitz-und-die-cops-aus-batmans-stadt-comics-zu-den-tv-hits-flash-und-gotham/

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12. A Story That’s Worth the Ride!

Surfer of the Century

By Ellie Crow; illustrations by Richard Waldrep

 

One of the reasons that I love writing about picture books is the element of discovery. Sure, there are books that I personally love and want young readers and their families to discover and enjoy.

But, every once in a while comes a picture book that I get really excited about and wonder how it eluded me. Sometimes, it’s the narrative; sometimes the art, but always it’s the discovery of a story or a person that leads me to say, “How did I miss this one?”

“Surfer of the Century” is such a book. Ellie Crowe uncovers for young readers the true story of Duke Kahanamoku. And Richard Waldrep’s definitively drawn water-colored paintings bring Duke and his journey, boldly to life.

It is a story of overcoming odds with fierce and quiet tenacity in this young Hawaiian’s struggle to become an Olympic competitor multiple times in swimming. It is an inspirational story, and I know it will be that for any young reader or parent that turns the pages of this uniquely told and illustrated story.

Duke also became one of the great surfers in history that helped put the sport on the map. But more than that, he had the talent, technique, tenacity and timing to put it all together to set and win Olympic world shattering records in swimming.

In 1912, and 1920, he won gold in the 100-meter freestyle. He would have competed in Berlin in 1916, but the Olympic games were cancelled because of the World War.

One of my favorite stories in the book is one that surely teaches what sportsmanlike conduct is all about.

Duke showed up late for his event in the 1912 Olympic Games held in Stockholm, Sweden: the popular 100-meter freestyle. He overslept! All hope gone? Training wasted? Maybe. But who speaks up to the unsympathetic Olympic official in order to allow Duke to compete?  Cecil Healy does. He was the then Australian star swimmer and Duke’s chief competition! Cecil refuses to swim unless Duke is allowed to compete in the true spirit of competition.

Will the official relent? Will Duke be allowed to compete? Will he win? Will Cecil?

And how’s this for something the Beach Boys could have written a song about? In 1917, Duke rode a humongous wave, called a “Bluebird” that rose thirty-two feet far out in the ocean, on Waikiki Beach. Duke rode it for one and three quarter miles!

Did you know that in 2002, a Duke Kahanamoku commemorative stamp was issued by the United States Postal Service?

As summer draws to a close, if you and your young reader are taking one last dip in the ocean before the leaves begin to fall, ride a boogie board or surf along, and perhaps end the day with a read called, “Surfer of the Century.”

Duke’s story is worth the ride!

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13. Instagram of the Week - August 31

A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

As libraries continue to evaluate the needs of their communities, the physical space of libraries may evolve in an effort to meet those needs. Space may be repurposed for a teen area, new tables and chairs might arrive so patrons can create their own collaborative spaces, and group study rooms may be constructed. For patrons that rely on digital devices, additional outlets or charging stations could be in demand, desktop stations may move to make room for laptop bars, and mounted televisions for gaming, video conferencing, and collaborative projects may be needed. Below are some examples of libraries that underwent renovations, purchased new furniture, or reorganized bookshelves to make room for more open spaces and meet the changing technology needs of their patrons. Has your library undergone a similar change? We want to hear from you! Share with us in the comments section below.

For more information about teen spaces and the envisioned future of library spaces, please see The Need for Teen Spaces in Public Libraries and The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report.

 

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14. Sale Blitz: THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE by Lauren Layne

 
THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE
Sex, Love & Stiletto’s #4
Lauren Layne
Loveswept



As Lauren Layne’s salacious Sex, Love & Stiletto series returns, a jaded columnist discovers a steamy way to get over an old flame: falling for him all over again.
 
As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.
After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.
 
EXCERPT:

“You’re looking . . . glamorous,” Camille said, as Emma crossed her legs and carefully made sure her short satin dress didn’t ride up.

“Long story,” Emma said. Though her friends had an easy relationship with Camille, Emma was newer to the group—newer to Stiletto—and she wasn’t quite secure enough in her position at the company to run her mouth.

Not that Emma was ever one to run her mouth. She was more the live-and-let-live type.

It was a natural evolution for someone who’d grown up with a twin sister who’d had more than enough personality for the both of them. And speaking of her twin, Emma had no doubt that Daisy’s southern-belle sensibilities would probably be all why, I never! if she could see Emma’s current state of dishevelment.

Emma’s perfectly coiffed sister would have found a way to emerge from a flooded apartment looking every bit as darling as she had at the daffodil parades. All the daffodil parades.

It hadn’t been easy being Daisy Sinclair’s quiet, boring sister. When they were growing up, Daisy had been the quintessential little princess. She always wore dresses, and the dresses would never have lemonade spilled down the front like Emma’s. Daisy knew exactly what to say to boys to make them fall all over themselves, whereas Emma had been horribly shy around the opposite sex.

When Emma had gotten engaged first, she’d been braced for Daisy’s resentment. Not because Daisy was generally resentful, but because everyone—Emma included—had assumed that Daisy would be the first sister down the aisle. But nobody had been happier for Emma and Cassidy than Daisy. Because as if it weren’t enough that Daisy were the charming one, she was also good. Emma would be annoyed if she didn’t love her sister so damn much.

And as it turned out, Daisy had been the first—and only—twin to walk down the aisle after all. Of course, she’d also been the only sister to get divorced. Daisy always joked that the twins had two unshakable things in common: a face and a shit-ton of heartache.

Except Daisy hadn’t actually said the “shit-ton” part. That was Emma’s special profane spin on the situation.

“I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours,” Camille said.

“Sorry?”

Camille pointed a coral fingernail at Emma’s still-damp hair. “You tell me why you’re rocking the fresh-outta-the-shower look, and I’ll tell you while I’m leaving my darling magazine in the hands of one of the Oxford buffoons.”

Emma pursed her lips. Couldn’t argue about the buffoon part. Although she was pretty sure that, despite her boss’s words, there was plenty of mutual respect between Cassidy and Camille. Still, Camille always saw Oxford as a bit of an enemy. The competition, so to speak.




Grab Now for ONLY $0.99




Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren’s gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.




Start the Stiletto Series from the Beginning

AFTER THE KISS

LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH
 
JUST ONE NIGHT
 
Stiletto Spin Off:
IRRESISTIBLY YOURS
OXFORD Series #1
Coming October 6th
KINDLE | NOOK | IBOOKS | KOBO
 
 

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15. What's New in YA--September 1, 2015

 

Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!

 

 

Sarah J. Maas's New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire-for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past...

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight. 

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena's epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena's story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

 

 

 

The sixth and penultimate book in the New York Times bestselling I Am Number Four series!

For years the Garde have fought the Mogadorians in secret. Now all of that has changed. The invasion has begun. John is on the front lines of the fight in New York City. And just as the odds seem stacked against him, his best friend, Sam, a human, inexplicably develops a Legacy—and Sam isn't the only one.

While the pair try to track down Five and Nine amid the chaos, they encounter another teen who can wield abilities that were once only meant for the Garde. Whether she is a friend or a foe, however, remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Six, Marina, and Adam are trapped in Mexico. They fought their way into the Sanctuary and were able to awaken the power hidden within, but their preceding battle has left them without any way to reach the others. The Mogs are returning in full force, and it will take a miracle to escape.

The Garde are stretched thin, fighting this war on many fronts. The only chance they have is to take out the Mogadorian leader once and for all—but his fate is now irrevocably tied with Ella's. They can't destroy one without the other. But if the Garde can't find another way to stop the Mogs, humanity will suffer the same fate as the Loric: annihilation.

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Pratchett's final Discworld novel, and the fifth to feature the witch Tiffany Aching.

A SHIVERING OF WORLDS

Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength.

This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad.

As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land.

There will be a reckoning. . . .

THE FINAL DISCWORLD® NOVEL

 

 

 

 

 

They came after the Diseray. Some were terrors ripped from our collective imaginations, remnants of every mythology across the world. And some were like nothing anyone had ever dreamed up, even in their worst nightmares. 

Monsters. 

Long ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were ripped open, and it's taken centuries to bring back civilization in the wake of the catastrophe. Now, the luckiest Cits live in enclosed communities,behind walls that keep them safe from the hideous creatures fighting to break through. Others are not so lucky. 

To Joyeaux Charmand, who has been a Hunter in her tight-knit mountain community since she was a child, every Cit without magic deserves her protection from dangerous Othersiders. Then she is called to Apex City, where the best Hunters are kept to protect the most important people. 

Joy soon realizes that the city's powerful leaders care more about luring Cits into a false sense of security than protecting them. More and more monsters are getting through the barriers,and the close calls are becoming too frequent to ignore. Yet the Cits have no sense of how much danger they're in-to them, Joy and her corp of fellow Hunters are just action stars they watch on TV.

When an act of sabotage against Joy takes an unbearable toll, Joy uncovers a terrifying conspiracy in the city. There is something much worse than the usual monsters infiltrating Apex. And it may be too late to stop them 

 

 

 

 

 

What if Aladdin had never found the lamp? This first book in the A Twisted Tale line will explore a dark and daring version of Disney's Aladdin.

 
When Jafar steals the Genie's lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.

What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.
 
 
 
 
 
In the stunning follow up to The Secrets of Life and Death, Rebecca Alexander has created a gripping supernatural thriller that bridges time, legend and the power of blood.
 
Following her showdown with Elizabeth Bathory, Jackdaw Hammond is running from her past, hiding from her future, and hoping to contain her newfound thirst for blood. Buying an overgrown home in the middle of nowhere seems like the perfect place to escape…at least until she finds herself in the sights of a murderous family with a terrible secret and a penchant for dark magic. Meanwhile, her old ally Felix Guichard has gone to New Orleans to conduct his own investigation into the nature of blood magic, but is soon sucked into the intrigues of the city’s occult underworld. But Jack will need Felix more than she knows, for the battle for her soul is set to begin.
 
Her only salvation may lie with the secrets of 16th century master occultist Edward Kelley, and a dangerous mission he undertook in Venice to confront the Inquisition, the darkest deeds of his own past, and the fearsome power of Elizabeth Bathory.
 
 
 
**DISCLAIMER: 

 

If there are any new YA books we missed, let us know in the comments below, and we'll add them to the list! 

 


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16. Ms. Marvel, No Normal

cover artMs. Marvel Volume 1, No Normal by G. Willow Wilson (story) and Adrian Alphona (artist) made me giddy happy it was so much fun. I completely understand why it won a Hugo Award last week and I am very much looking forward to reading more of the story.

And about that story.

Kamala is sixteen and wishes she were someone else. Her family is Muslim and from Pakistan. She is not allowed to go to parties or go out on dates with boys. Her parents are liberal as far as they can be but even that is too strict for Kamala who wants to fit in and be like everyone else. She loves the Avengers and dreams of being Captain Marvel.

One of the popular girls at school invites her to a beach party and Kamala sneaks out of the house to go only to discover when she arrives that the point of her being there is to serve as the butt of jokes. She runs off and the city is overtaken by a mysterious mist. In the mist Kamala is visited by Iron Man, Captain America, and Captain Marvel. She is granted her wish to be Captain Marvel who tells her that things will not turn out the way she thinks they will.

And it’s true. As Kamala tries to figure out her new super powers and how to use them to help people she often misreads situations and causes more harm than good. But with the help of her best friends, Nakia and Bruno, Kamala learns a few important lessons about friendship, helping others, and being herself. The latter is of course the most important lesson of all because it isn’t until Kamala understands that she can’t be Captain Marvel but only ever herself, everything else comes together. And thus she becomes not Captain Marvel but Ms. Marvel.

By the end of the story she has made a daring rescue and gained a nemesis as well as been grounded by her parents. It’s hard to fight evil when you’re grounded, but I expect Kamala will figure it out.

I’ve never thought of myself as a comic kind of reader and while I enjoy The Avengers films and Agent Carter and Agents of Shield, I have not been especially interested in reading the comics. But Ms. Marvel while on the fringe of the superhero comic world, is her own story that is also outside of all the already known superhero stories. That to me makes it fresh and interesting especially because she is not your average kind of superhero. More fun and adventures ahead!


Filed under: Graphic Novels, Reviews

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17. The Hornbook Magazine

I read lots of blogs, I tweet, I follow #titletalk every month and I have lots of friends who tell me about new books. But I still LOVE my 6 issues of The Horn Book every year. I have been subscribing to it for years and years. It is one of the very few paper magazines I still get in the mail and it is the ONLY one I actually read every time it arrives. An hour or two with every issue and I get a ton of great reading and a lot of info on new books that I want to check out.

This week, I got the September/October issue of The Horn Book magazine.  Not only did I get to read fabulous pieces by Jack Gantos and Kwame Alexander, I also discovered lots of new books:

--I discovered a new series that looks promising for 3rd graders--Lola Levine, due out in November.

--I learned that a new book in the Ling and Ting series is coming in November!

--I am interested in reading the new Graphic novel by Ben Hatke, Little Robot.


-- I had NO IDEA that on September 1, The Full Moon at the Napping House would be released!  Can't wait to see what they did with this one!


--I was reminded that One Day the End by Rebecca Kai Dotlich is due out soon, a book I have on my TBR list


--And a sequel to Where's Walrus? What could be better. Can't wait to see Where's Walrus? And Penguin? (and from what I can tell, this book already has several starred reviews!)

--I loved My Heart is Laughing so am looking forward to When I am Happiest.


--I loved Ship of Dolls and had no idea that here was a companion book/sequel.  Interested in checking out Dolls of Hope.

--Some of my favorite reads of the year (Waiting, Crenshaw, and Sunny Side Up) got starred reviews from Horn Book this month!! Such great books!

--Two Mice looks like a great fun story told in two-word phrases. I always like the creativity in books like that!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Horn Book and highly recommend it to everyone who loves children's books. One of the best resources out there for sure!  And I'd also subscribe to the blog Read Roger for even more fun. The Horn Book is the best.




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18. It's live!! Cover Reveal: I Love Him, I Love Him Not by Ella Martin + Giveaway (US Only)

Hi, YABCers!

Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for I LOVE HIM, I LOVE HIM NOT by Ella Martin, releasing September 29, 2015 from Clean Reads/Astraea Press. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Ella:

 
Hi, guys! Thanks for joining me for the cover reveal for my newest book, I LOVE HIM, I LOVE HIM NOT.
 
I’m so psyched about this cover, and I think Talia, the main character of I LOVE HIM, I LOVE HIM NOT would approve of the awesomeness. The designer, Amanda Matthews, did a fantastic job of capturing just the right amount of angst, and it sets the tone of the novel perfectly. Oh, and I so want those boots. You’ll see what I mean. ;-)
 
Check out more about the book below, and I’ll see you at Westgate Prep!
 
xoxo,
 
~ Ella Martin (I LOVE HIM, I LOVE HIM NOT, Clean Reads/Astraea Press)
 

 

 

Ready to see?

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Here it is!

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_ILHILHN-Cover.jpg

*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter Ella's giveaway. Thank you! ***

 

I LOVE HIM, I LOVE HIM NOT

by Ella Martin
Release date: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Clean Reads/Astraea Press
 
 
About the Book
 
Talia Nicoletti’s life has been turned upside down–and that’s probably an understatement. Her mother goes off on a business trip… and comes back married. Her estranged father wants to be less estranged. And her best friend Jake DeSantos suddenly has a new confidante who Talia doesn’t want to like but kind of does anyway.
 
Talia has to unravel her tangled up emotions to figure out what she really wants. Does she want to accept her father back in her life? Can she trust her new-stepfather? There’s too much hitting her at once, and she’s not ready to deal with any of it. The one person she can always turn to is Jake, and he’s being secretive and isn’t exactly available. And that hurts her more than she thought possible. Talia prides herself on being able to keep her emotions in check and hates that she’s jealous of the new girl in Jake’s life, especially since she can’t decide if she loves him … or if she loves him not.
 
To learn more about the first book in the Westgate Prep series, WILL THE REAL PRINCE CHARMING PLEASE STAND UP?, and see our review, go HERE.
 

b2ap3_thumbnail_EMC-Author-Photo.jpgAbout the Author

Ella Martin is a young adult author and self-described “prep school survivor” from Southern California. With a keen sense for combining relatable teen characters with engrossing stories, her books blend aspects of romance, angst, and intrigue. Her Westgate Prep series of books tackle female friendships, quirky characters, and sensitive topics with equal tact.
 

Twitter | Web | Facebook | Tumblr | Goodreads | Instagram | YABC Profile

 

Giveaway Details

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • Westgate Prep school supplies (folder, notebook, composition book, and pencils)
  • a signed copy of WILL THE REAL PRINCE CHARMING PLEASE STAND UP? (the first book in the Westgate Prep series)
  • an autographed poster of the cover for I LOVE HIM, I LOVE HIM NOT

Two additional winners will each receive an autographed poster of the cover for I LOVE HIM, I LOVE HIM NOT.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

What do you think about the cover and synopsis?

Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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19. NEW ISSUE OF JOURNAL OF RESEARCH ON LIBRARIES & YOUNG ADULTS

The Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults is pleased to announce the recent publication of two new papers discussing research related to teens and libraries.

In “Adolescent Females and the Graphic Novel: A Content Analysis,” Emily Simmons analyzes 70 books from several of YALSA’s recent “Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens” lists to examine the gender distribution of the main characters and the racial/ethnic diversity of the female main characters. She finds that about a quarter of the 70 titles feature exclusively female main characters, whereas nearly half feature exclusively male main characters. In addition, nearly three-quarters of the female main characters are white, and as a group the female main characters include just four of the fourteen disability characteristics identified by the Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. To encourage greater diversity of representation in the materials that teens read, the author suggests that librarians, teachers, parents, and other adults who recommend graphic novels to teens should consider the gender, racial/ethnic, and disability representation of the main characters in titles they recommend.

With the goal of learning how public libraries can make their websites more appealing to teens, Robin Naughton presents a study entitled “Teen Library Website Models: Identifying Design Models of Public Library Websites for Teens.” For the paper, she analyzed the teen sections of 60 U.S. public library websites in 2012 and again in 2015 to identify recurring design patterns and to look for design changes over time. She identifies four common models: the Reading Model, the Media-Oriented Model, the Portal Model, and the Information Discovery Model. Unfortunately, the Reading Model, which past user studies have shown to be largely unappealing and boring to teen users, was by far the most common design model in both 2012 and 2015. The author suggests that libraries using the Reading Model modify their websites to increase interactivity and visual content. The paper concludes with a useful list of questions that public library staff can use to assess the design and appeal of their own library websites to teens.

 

Denise Agosto, Editor

 

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20. Diagnostic criteria

Me, answering a question distractedly: That’s just, um—

Rilla, shocked: That’s just dumb?

Me: No, just ‘UM’—I was thinking.

Rilla: That makes more sense. If you had really said ‘that’s just dumb,’ I would have thought you had a bad sickness.

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21. Tony the Truck & Construction Vehicles - App for Kids: Diggers, Cranes,...

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22. August Reflections

In August I read 55 books.

Board books:

  1. Board Book: Carry and Learn Shapes. Scholastic. 2015. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. Board Book: I Love My Puppy. Caroline Jayne Church. 2015. Scholastic. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  3. Board Book: Oh No, George! Chris Haughton. 2015. Candlewick Press. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  4. Board Book: Ten Playful Penguins. Emily Ford. Illustrated by Russell Julian. 2015. [October] Scholastic. 22 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
Picture books:
  1. Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became The Beatles. Susanna Reich. 2015. Henry Holt. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. Friendshape. Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld. 2015. [August] Scholastic. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  3. The Queen's Hat. Steve Antony. 2015. [August] Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  4. When Sophie's Feelings are Really, Really Hurt. Molly Bang. 2015. [September] Scholastic. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  5. Your Hand in My Hand. Mark Sperring. Illustrated by Britta Teckentrup. 2015. [November] Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  6. A Lucky Author Has A Dog. Mary Lyn Ray. Illustrated by Steven Henry. 2015. [August] Scholastic. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  7. Elephant in the Dark. Mina Javaherbin. Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin. 2015. [August] Scholastic. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  8. Where Did My Clothes Come From? Chris Butterworth. Illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti. 2015. Candlewick Press. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  9. Frog on a Log? Kes Gray. Illustrated by Jim Field. 2015. [September] Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  10. Where's Walrus? and Penguin? Stephen Savage. 2015. [August] Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  11. Clifford Goes to Kindergarten. Norman Bridwell. 2015. Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  12. Railroad Hank. Lisa Moser. Illustrated by Benji Davies. 2012. Random House. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  13. Peppa's Windy Fall Day. Adapted by Barbara Winthrop. 2015. Scholastic. 24 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  14. (Peppa Pig) Best Friends. 2015. Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]  
  15. Double Play: Monkeying Around With Addition. Betsy Franco. Illustrated by Doug Cushman. 2011. Random House. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  16. Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! Dr. Seuss. 1971. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]
  17. In A People House. Dr. Seuss. (Theo LeSieg) Illustrated by Roy McKie. 1972. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]
  18. Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? Dr. Seuss. 1973. Random House. 47 pages. [Source: Library] 
  19. The Shape of Me And Other Stuff. Dr. Seuss. 1973. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]
  20. There's a Wocket in my Pocket! Dr. Seuss. 1974. Random House. 30 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Early readers and chapter books:
  1. Big Dog and Little Dog. Dav Pilkey. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 24 pages. [Source: Review copy]  
  2. Eva Sees A Ghost (Owl Diaries #2) Rebecca Elliott. 2015. Scholastic. 80 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Middle grade:
  1. Milo Speck, Accidental Agent. Linda Urban. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 272 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. Walk Two Moons. Sharon Creech. 1994. HarperCollins. 280 pages. [Source: Bought]
  3. The Whipping Boy. Sid Fleischman. Illustrated by Peter Sis. 1986. 96 pages. [Source: Bought]
  4. Finding Serendipity. Angelica Banks. 2015. Henry Holt. 288 pages. [Source: Library]
  5. The View From Saturday. E.L. Konigsburg. 1996. 176 pages. [Source: Bought]  
  6. A Girl Named Disaster. Nancy Farmer. 1996. Scholastic. 320 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  7. Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind. Suzanne Fisher Staples. 1989. 240 pages. [Source: Book I Bought]
  8. Missing in Action. Dean Hughes. 2010/2015. Random House. 240 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
Young adult:
  1.  Terezin: Voices From the Holocaust. Ruth Thomson. 2011. Candlewick. 64 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. A Little In Love. Susan Fletcher. 2015. Scholastic. 288 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  3. An Ember in the Ashes. Sabaa Tahir. 2015. Penguin. 446 pages. [Source: Library]
Adult:
  1. The Life of Charlotte Bronte. Elizabeth Gaskell. 1857/1975. Penguin Classics. 623 pages. [Source: Bought]
  2. When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II. Molly Guptill Manning. 2014. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 288 pages. [Source: Library]  
  3. Gut: The Inside Story of Our Most Underrated Organ. Giulia Enders. Illustrated by Jill Enders. 2014/2015. Greystone Books. 288 pages. [Source: Library]
  4. A Bitter Truth. Charles Todd. 2011. HarperCollins. 352 pages. [Source: Library]
  5. Go Set A Watchman. Harper Lee. 2015.  HarperCollins. 278 pages. [Source: Library] 
  6. Wish You Well. David Baldacci. 2000/2007. Grand Central Publishing. 432 pages. [Source: Library]
  7. Murder at Longbourn. (Elizabeth Parker #1) Tracy Kiely. 2009. St. Martin's Press. 320 pages. [Source: Library]
Christian nonfiction:
  1. John: That You Might Believe (Preaching the Word) R. Kent Hughes. 1999/2014. Crossway Books. 528 pages. [Source: Bought]
  2. The Original Jesus: Trading The Myths We Create For The Savior Who Is. Daniel Darling. 2015. Baker Books. 160 pages. [Source: Review copy]  
  3. Compassion: Seeing with Jesus' Eyes. Joshua Mack. 2015. P&R Publishing. 48 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  4. Ladylike: Living Biblically. Rebekah Curtis and Rose Adle. 2015. Concordia. 224 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  5.  Our Only Comfort. Neal Presa. 2015. Westminster John Knox Press. 160 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  6. Modesty. Martha Peace and Kent Keller. 2015. P&R Publishing. 176 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  7. Five Minute Bedtime Bible Stories. Retold by Amy Parker. Illustrated by Walter Carzon. 2015. Scholastic. 192 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  8.  Respectable Sins. Jerry Bridges. 2007. NavPress. 192 pages. [Source: Bought]
  9. The Unbelievable Gospel: Say Something Worth Believing. Jonathan Dodson. 2015. Zondervan. 240 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
Christian fiction:
  1. Through Waters Deep. (Waves of Freedom #1) Sarah Sundin. Revell. 384 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. Lady Maybe. Julie Klassen. 2015. Penguin. 400 pages. [Source: Library]

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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23. Archivist Wasp

Archivist Wasp. Nicole Kornher-Stace. 2015. Big Mouth House. 268 pages. [Source: Library]

Two words describe Archivist Wasp, in my opinion, confusing and compelling. It's not often a book is equal parts confusing and compelling. Even though I found myself with more questions than answers and lingering confusion, I couldn't stop reading Archivist Wasp. Two more words to describe the book? How about post-apocalyptic and ghosts?

Our heroine is an archivist calling herself "Wasp." I'll be honest, Wasp doesn't have the best of lives, even, when she's not fighting for her life, fighting to stay the Archivist. (She's challenged every year by three Upstarts. That's how she got the job as well, by killing the previous Archivist.) Archivists have a marginally better life than Upstarts. But essentially, no one in this post-apocalyptic world has a happy, easy life. The villagers, well, they have their problems too. But at least they aren't tortured/tormented by the Catchkeep's Priest and brainwashed into a life of hate and violence.

So what does an Archivist do? She hunts ghosts, recording what she learns from each ghost, disposes of ghosts after studying, except, for when a villager wants to buy a ghost for whatever reason. It's a bleak, lonely life. And Wasp does spend a good bit of the book recovering from various injuries.

So the book is about what happens when Wasp meets an out-of-the-ordinary ghost, one that is actually able to communicate with her, one that has a tragic tale to tell and a huge request for her. This nameless ghost (he can't remember his identity, I believe) wants her help in finding another ghost, Catherine Foster. He wants them both to travel to the underworld and search the spirit-world. She agrees, and, in the process learns that life below isn't any more bleak than life above. In fact, in some ways it might even be slightly better. But the search won't be easy. And it will have its own dangers.

The book is about what she learns through this search, it will change her certainly....

Do I understand everything that happened in Archivist Wasp? Not really. The quest was really confusing in places, and, she is thrown in and out of other people's memories. She sees the past on her quest, in bits and pieces, and probably not sequential flashbacks either. She has to piece it all together. And she does a much better job than I did with that!


© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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24. Interview – Lauren DeStefano and A Curious Tale of the In-Between

First things first. Look at that book jacket.

CuriousTaleInBetween

Gaze upon it. Feast thine peeper upon its delightful creepy factor. That’s a cover, my friends. And it takes a good book to live up to it. Fortunately, A Curious Tale of the In-Between hasn’t exactly been lacking for the stellar reviews. As Kirkus put it, “DeStefano artfully concocts a moving and multilayered tale that is an effective mix of genres and tones, at times contemplative and philosophical yet also macabre and psychologically sophisticated. Love, loss, and hope are at the heart of this exciting read.”

You’ll understand then why I was intrigued when Bloomsbury offered unto me Ms. Lauren DeStafano herself for an interview. And actually, I saw her speak in person years ago. Remember the YA Chemical Garden trilogy? That was her! So saying, she agreed to my probing queries:

Betsy Bird: Hello!  Thank you so much for acquiescing to a rousing series of questions.  First things first, though.  What we have here appears to be a book by the name of A CURIOUS TALE OF THE IN-BETWEEN.  Can you give us a run down of what it’s about?

Lauren DeStefano: I like to describe it as a love story between a living girl, a living boy, and a ghost.

BB: Well, how did you come to write it?  Which is to say, why did you make it a middle grade book (for ages 9-12) and not YA.  You are, after all, the author of two New York Times bestselling YA series.  Why the switch into younger territory?

LD: When I wrote this story, I wasn’t conscious of the idea that it would get published, so things like MG and YA weren’t in my head. I had an idea about a girl who had a peculiar condition that caused her to conspire with ghosts, and I began to write it. After dinner one night, my cousin, who I think was 8 or so at the time, asked me to tell her a story. I told her about this one, though it was only half finished at the time. Her interest and questions really surprised me, and I began to wonder if Pram did have something to offer to younger readers.

BB: I know that writing books on the younger end requires an entirely different set of muscles than writing for the YA crowd.  How was writing this book for you?  Did anything surprise you along the way?

LD: Writing for younger readers was nothing but a joyous experience from start to finish. I had little of the fears and insecurities I have when tackling some of my other endeavors. All I had to do was believe in magic and let that carry me to the end.

BB: Great.  Now when an author gets a particularly good cover on their newest title I like to say they’ve made small animal sacrifices to the book jacket gods.  You fall into that category perfectly.  How do you like it?

LD: I LOVE it. I wish I could claim credit, but that all goes to my designers.

BB: This book has already been compared to Coraline, which is sort of the de facto thing reviewers say when dealing with gothic middle grade literature.  What are some of the books for kids you’d equate it with?  Related (or maybe not) what did you like to read when you were a kid?

LD: That is an incredibly flattering and humbling comparison, and I’m honored to hear that. I don’t know if, plot-wise or voice-wise, I could compare it to any particular work off the top of my head. When I was a young reader, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH was my most treasured book and I obsessed over it for months. It reached me on some cosmic level that made me feel understood. I would just hope this story could do that for someone else.

BB: And finally, what are you working on next?

LD: A tangled web of secrets and intrigue.

Many thanks to Ms. DeStefano for submitting herself to questions that, I am sure, she has answered many times before and will answer many times again.  And thanks too to Bloomsbury for offering her up to me in the first place.

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25. I Left My Heart at ALA Annual

Around 8:00 a.m. PST on June 26th, 2015, I sat at a Starbucks, downing as much coffee as possible before my first day at ALA Annual began. As I anxiously flipped through Facebook, a theme spread like wildfire through every post: Marriage equality is the law of the land! Love wins! SCOTUS FTW! I could hardly believe my good fortune to be in what felt like the center of the universe for this landmark decision. Awestruck, I gathered up my things and headed to a 3.5-hour preconference: Rolling Out the Rainbow Carpet: Serving LGBTQ Communities. Later that same day, I heard Roberta Kaplan give the opening keynote speech. Two days later, I donned my rainbow regalia and watched the San Francisco Pride Parade.

In addition to all of that amazingness, my conference experience was made special in the following ways:

  • Attending a preconference. I gained so much in the way of programming ideas that the preconference practically paid for itself. Also, David Levithan magically appeared as part of a panel discussion and then signed books (squee!).
  • Fun, yet practical sessions. I learned the best strategies for approaching my manager with creative (read: far-fetched) ideas. I learned how to fearlessly weed print and digital materials. I learned how to fail gracefully and embrace “relentless optimism” (my new favorite phrase). I learned about the art in Caldecott winners and got a chance to apply that knowledge to upcoming contenders. All this, and more, were immediately applicable to my work.
  • The Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder banquet. Putting on a fancy dress and eating dinner with lovely individuals is great. What’s even better? Hearing Dan Santat and Kwame Alexander’s emotionally charged speeches, and then telling them that they made me cry a little bit. I also got to tell Dan Santat how, upon reading The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, I ran around my library showing everyone Beekle’s backside, saying “Look at his little butt! Look at it!!”
  • Meeting authors. Cece Bell referenced the movie Heathers while being unbelievably sweet. After I gushed effusively over I’ll Give You the Sun, Jandy Nelson told me she wanted to take me with her everywhere—especially while writing. Tim Federle told me that my necklace was “funsies.” Authors are rock stars, and I will unapologetically geek out over these interactions for the rest of my life.
  • Exhibit hall happenstance. While booking it around the exhibit hall, I screeched to a halt in front of the world’s coolest and most versatile LEGO-Train-Light-Tinker Toy Table. Not only were we in the market, but it even fit my library’s color scheme. Serendipitous! I sped down an uncrowded aisle only to see Raina Telgemeier sitting in a booth all by her lonesome. Magical! I came across my grad school’s booth and there was my advisor! And there were cookies!!  Exhibit hall happenstance: it’s a thing.

Before attending ALA Annual, I spent a lot of time researching it and getting advice from veteran conference-goers. The best piece of advice I got was to talk to everyone. Though extroverted, I am not always outgoing with strangers. But these are librarian-strangers—the best kind of stranger! By chatting with those around me, I managed to befriend people in libraries near my own (what are the odds?), learn major takeaways from sessions I’d missed, exchange business cards, programming advice, book recommendations, laughs, and hugs. Putting yourself out there is the best thing you can do.

Thank you so much to Penguin Young Readers Group and the award committee for allowing me the incredible opportunity to attend the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

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FullSizeRender

Photo courtesy of the guest blogger

Today’s guest blogger is Heather Thompson. Heather is a Children’s Librarian / eMedia Coordinator and science programming enthusiast at the Cook Memorial Public Library District. Heather was a recipient of the Penguin Young Readers Group Award.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

The post I Left My Heart at ALA Annual appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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