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Results 1 - 25 of 134,242
1. THINGS I NEED TO DO.

1. Make homemade Peeps.

2. Eat homemade Peeps until I'm sick.

3. Rest.

4. Repeat.

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2. Words with Wings, by Nikki Grimes -- powerful novel in verse (ages 9-12)

Kaiyah C., a fourth grader at Emerson, came to me last week asking to write a review of Nikki Grimes' Words With Wings. You have to know that it takes something special for a kid to ASK to write a review. This book is truly special, and it has found a home in Kaiyah's heart.
Words with Wings
by Nikki Grimes
WordSong, 2013
2014 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award
your local library
Amazon
ages 9-12
Review of Word with Wings
by: Kaiyah C.

I just read Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes and I really liked this book because I related to Gabby (Gabriella). We both daydream to keep our lives/minds magical so we can throw all our ideas out and put it on paper.

Gabby especially daydreams when her parents are fighting. This helps her forget. Gabby and her mom are very different. Gabby’s favorite word is pretend and her mom’s is practical . Gabby is just like her dad. Sometimes Gabby’s mom stops her from daydreaming because she does not want her to be just like her dad. In the end Gabby becomes an author and her mom starts daydreaming too.

I enjoyed reading this book because of the way it was written in poetry. I think you would especially like it if you daydream. It would be awesome if we could have 15 minutes of daydreaming, just like Gabby’s teacher told her to do. But I don’t think that will really happen for us. This was a really heartwarming book.

This was the best book I’ve ever read.
-------------------------------------
I think Kaiyah will be interested in reading Ms. Grimes' reflections on her own childhood and the importance of daydreaming to her personally, over at the Teaching Books blog. Ms. Grimes writes:
Daydreaming becomes a strong muscle if you exercise it often enough. By the time I was ten, I could lasso a daydream and ride the wind. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
There were no lassos where I grew up in the inner city, of course, but there were daydreams to be had, if you knew where to look. That’s the secret I shared with Gabriella, the main character in Words with Wings (Wordsong, 2013). Like Gabby, I was a girl who lived inside her head.
- See more at: Teaching Books blog
Thank you, Nikki Grimes, for writing such wonderfully powerful stories that speak to my students. Thank you, Kaiyah, for such a heartfelt response to Words With Wings.

The review copy came from our school library. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

0 Comments on Words with Wings, by Nikki Grimes -- powerful novel in verse (ages 9-12) as of 4/16/2014 9:53:00 AM
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3. Five Questions for Cynthia Leitich Smith from The Horn Book

Compiled By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

What fun it was to chat with The Horn Book about creepy cuisine, werecats and the kind of shape-shifter I'd most like to be!

Pop over to check it out and join in the conversation!

See also a review of my latest novel, Feral Curse (Candlewick, 2014) from The Horn Book. Peek:

"Debut character Kayla — level-headed, religious, but also quietly proud of her shifter nature — holds her own, nicely complementing Yoshi’s swagger, Wild Card shifter Clyde’s newfound confidence, and human Aimee’s resourcefulness. Witty banter peppered with pop-culture references keeps the tone light even as the stakes ramp up."


Cynsational Notes 

Reminder: E-volt is having a sale on Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick) for $1.99 and Feral Nights by Cynthia Leitich Smith, $2.99--discount prices will hold through April! Listen to an audio sample of Feral Nights and read a sample of Eternal

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4. This is How I Find Her -- Sara Polsky

This is how i find herSixteen-year-old Sophie is used to her mother's ups and downs. When she's up, she's vibrant and giddy. She's spontaneous, loves ice cream for breakfast, works tirelessly on her art, throws her cares to the wind.

When she's down, she barely speaks. She barely has the energy to move, let alone get out of bed. 

Sophie has been taking care of things since she was eleven years old. Making sure her mother takes her meds, that she eats regularly, that the bills get paid, that her mother's social worker doesn't see any red flags.

One day, she comes home to find that her mother has attempted suicide. She calls 911, her mother is rushed to the hospital, and Sophie goes to live with her extended family for the duration.

Her ESTRANGED extended family.

Pros:

  • Everything. I'm not being lazy! I really loved it, full stop. It's a sensitive, empathetic look at how bipolar disorder can affect a family; about the realities of living with depression; about how sometimes people cause more damage by trying to protect one another than by just being honest. It's about how a lack of communication and a difficulty in asking for help can make a hard situation that much harder; about misunderstandings, isolation, and about that moment of catharsis that comes when feelings that have been hidden for far too long are finally verbalized. It's about abandonment, and about how abandonment by a friend can just as painful as abandonment by family. It's about how you can intellectually understand why a person acts the way she does, but still get frustrated and angry, and about the guilt that comes out of that.

Cons:

  • I've got nothing. It's a solid read across the board.

Nutshell:

It made me cry, but in a good way. If you like contemporaries that deal with meaty issues without being trite, didactic, or manipulative, here you go. I've added Sara Polsky to my list of Must Read Authors.

__________________________________

Source: ILLed through my library.

__________________________________

Amazon.

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5. Wednesday Writing Workout: Book Spine Poems!

Throughout April (National Poetry Month), I'll be posting poetry-themed Wednesday Writing Workouts. For today's workout, why not try a book spine poem?

Nina Katchadourian's Sorted Books project has inspired numerous book spine poems. Also check out Travis Jonker's 2014 Book Spine Poem Gallery. You can even send in your own if you're so inspired!

I tried a few and could hardly stop myself. Good thing my bookshelves are somewhat limited! Do not set me loose in a library!

 Curiosity
 

Poetry Is

Note to Self

For the Next Generation
 

Remember to enter to win one of five Teaching Authors Blogiversary Book Bundles! Details are here. 

On my own blog, I'm posting more poetry writing tips and assorted poetry treats on Fridays, including giveaways of Write a Poem Step by Step. Be sure to stop by!

JoAnn Early Macken

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6. App of the Week: FridgePoems by Color Monkey

Title: FridgePoems by Color Monkey
Platform: iOS
Cost: Free (for basic vocabulary set)

It’s National Poetry Month, and there’s no easier way to promote the creation of verse poetry than setting up a public access tablet with this fun app.

photo

When you launch the app, you get a “working” space with a handful of words, but you can zoom out to see more. Dragging the word boxes with your fingertips allows you to reorder things to create your verse.

Writers are not strictly limited to the words on screen. You can draw for new words or invest in themed WordPacks ($1 each for hipster tragic, redneck, hip hop, etc. or $3 for all of them). The provision of verb endings and plurals can add some variety as well.

You can save your poem to your camera roll, which inserts the App’s watermark, or share it using integrated social settings.
photo (6)

My students have been enjoying that special thrill that comes from creating something meaningful from a limited set of words and word endings. They only thing that could be better? Book- and technology-themed wordpacks!

For more app recommendations visit the YALSA App of the Week Archive. If you have an app you think we should review, let us know!

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7. Combining Blogs?

I'm seriously thinking of combing the British Golden Age Comics blogs with CBO for the reason that there seems very little interest in British GA comics unless they are the Beano, Dandy or an Associated Press title.

Nothing definite just yet but "under serious consideration"!

With the way Yahoo has totally screwed up its groups now the British Archives group has become such a pain to use that, despite all the info and pages of albums, I've just left it as it is.

The link is on the blog roll.

Now, off to rest my weary body!


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8. Press Release Fun: Children’s Literary Salon – Podcasting Children’s Books

I’m so pleased with this next Salon that I’m fit to burst.  Somehow I managed to wrangle THREE of our best children’s literary podcasters into one place at one time.  If I were a person prone to the term “squee” I would apply it here, now.

New York Public Library is pleased to announce our next Children’s Literary Salon held this Saturday, April 19th at 2:00 p.m.:

Podcasting Children’s Books: Ins and Outs, Ups and Downs

 

Join podcasters Katie Davis (Brain Burps About Books), John Sellers (PW KidsCast), and Matthew Winner (Let’s Get Busy) in conversation about the world of children’s literary podcasting and their experiences with the form.

Katie Davis is a children’s author/illustrator with titles ranging from picture books like Little Chicken’s Big Day to her latest, a young adult novel called Dancing With the Devil. She’s a video marketing maven and a “writerpreneur” with the #1 podcast in iTunes in the Children’s Publishing category Brain Burps About Books, and teaches tech-wary writers how to build and strengthen their platforms through video. She also coaches on social media and marketing, or as Katie calls it, “making friends and meeting people.”

John A. Sellers is the children’s reviews editor at Publishers Weekly. He also hosts the magazine’s children’s books podcast,PW KidsCast, and edits its cookbooks e-newsletter, Cooking the Books.

Elementary teacher and librarian Matthew Winner blogs at The Busy Librarian and is the creator of the Let’s Get Busypodcast.  In 2013 he was named one of SLJ’s Movers & Shakers.  Citing “his innovative ideas and boundless enthusiasm for student learning and engagement” SLJ also highlighted that Matthew is Maryland’s 2012 Outstanding User of Technology Educator, is a White House “Champion of Change,” and a published author.
This event will take place in the Stephen A. Schwarzman building (the main branch of New York Public Library) in the South Court Auditorium.

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9. Hogwarts Online.

So, am I the last person to realize that there is a fan-created Hogwarts website with actual online classes?

If so, carry on, nothing to see here.

(via Open Culture)

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10. Snuggle the Baby by Sara Gillingham

<!-- START INTERCHANGE - SNUGGLE THE BABY -->if(!window.igic__){window.igic__={};var d=document;var s=d.createElement("script");s.src="http://iangilman.com/interchange/js/widget.js";d.body.appendChild(s);} Sara Gillingham is yet another designer and art director who continues to bring her talents to the happily expanding world of quality board books. Her most most recent work as an

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11. The Shadow Throne (2014)

The Shadow Throne. Jennifer A. Nielsen. 2014. Scholastic. 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]

The Shadow Throne was the PERFECT conclusion to a near-perfect trilogy. I fell in love with this series from the very beginning. I absolutely loved The False Prince, which introduces the orphan Sage. Our hero is brave, strong, snarky, and clever. Technically, he's also good at lying. But some of that at least is due in part to the life he's been forced to lead for so long. Dare I say it's been NECESSARY lying?! Sage is a character I loved from the start. He's one of several orphan boys kidnapped by a rogue regent with his own agenda. Tobias and Roden are the other two boys. The regent's mad plan is to put an orphan onto the throne, trying to sell the other regents with the idea that this boy is THE LOST PRINCE thought to have been killed by pirates over four years before. Connor, the mad and bad regent, knows his schemes are ambitious. But he's very arrogant, confident that he can do the impossible: train an uneducated orphan how to be a prince in just TWO WEEKS. Sage, guessing that failure equals death, decides he will be THE ONE to win the job that when all is said and done he does not want. In book two, readers see Sage, King Jaron now, on the throne. But this transition has been anything but easy. His regents who are much, much older see King Jaron as a joke. I don't know that they'd openly admit that they regret his return from obscurity. But, more and more are willing to say they regret putting him on the throne WITHOUT a steward or regent to "GUIDE" him until he comes of age. Just a few weeks have gone by, and Jaron's future is looking bleaker and bleaker. Early on, it becomes obvious to Jaron that life cannot continue on as it is. Without his country's support, without his country's knowledge, King Jaron is determined to act in the best interests of Carthya, and try his best to prevent the war from starting NOW. Even Jaron knows that war will come. But war in a few months is better than war tomorrow if your country is as ill prepared as his is. This is the book with Pirates! In the third book, the war has begun. Jaron and Tobias and Roden (not to mention Imogen, Amarinda, Mott, and Harlowe) face incredibly difficult challenges; everyone will be pushed and challenged. It's VERY, VERY intense. I loved it.

There are so many reasons I loved this series.

I loved the characters. I loved how the characters developed throughout each book. I loved how the core of each character stayed the same, in a way, yet how they continued to grow and mature. I loved the main character, Sage/Jaron. I loved the minor characters. They never felt minor to me. I loved getting to know Tobias and Roden. Especially in this final book, I really appreciated these two! I also loved Harlowe, a character first introduced in the second book. Mott is another character I adored!!!

I loved the relationships. I loved how the relationships built. How respect and trust worked out in some of these relationships. I loved the theme of grace and redemption, of forgiveness. I loved the honesty. I loved see Jaron and Mott; loved seeing Jaron and Tobias; loved seeing Jaron and Roden. The friendships in this one are so very, very strong. And this isn't even including the light touch of romance!

I loved the world-building.

I loved the plotting. The twists and turns. This series has so many surprises! The plot is well-paced and a perfect blend of intensity and humor.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on The Shadow Throne (2014) as of 4/16/2014 1:57:00 PM
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12. Interview with Lauren Layne, Author of Just One Night and Giveaway

 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Lauren!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Lauren Layne] Snarky, yet hopelessly romantic.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your book?

[Lauren Layne] Ten years of unfulfilled sexual tension are about combust into one very hot night — but will one night be enough?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Lauren Layne] Well it’s the third in the Stiletto series, and I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to tell the story of a woman with a VERY sexy reputation but none of the actual sexual experience!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Lauren Layne] Sam and Riley have known each other for years, so it was fun getting to skip a lot of that “getting to know you” stuff and get straight to what draws these two together for an entire decade.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with this story?

[Lauren Layne] What made Sam tick. He’s SUPER secretive, so it took me awhile to figure out that his crappy home life totally did a number on him.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Lauren Layne] It changes pretty much every week, but right now I’m going with Pink’s “So What,” because it’s very power-anthemy, and reminds me that I’m in control of each day.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Lauren Layne] A hair band thingy. There’s always one on my wrist or in my hair, and if it’s missing, I get obsessed!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Lauren Layne] Notebook, laptop and water glass (I’m a minimalist!)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Lauren Layne] President Obama (“Nobody panic. I’ve got this.”)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Lauren Layne] I absolutely loved Tessa Dare’s Romancing the Duke. I couldn’t put it down.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Lauren Layne] You know, writing is pretty much always on my mind, but when I need a break, I love to have a glass of wine and cook with my husband.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Lauren Layne] I’m very slowly trying to get better at social media (GoodReads, Facebook, Twitter), but I LOVE email. Seriously, write to me about ANYTHING! Lauren (at) laurenlayne (dot) com

 

JUST ONE NIGHT: Sex, Love and Stiletto Series
Written by Lauren Layne
Published by Loveswept
ISBN: 978-0-34554727-9
On sale: April 22nd, 2014

Blurb

New York’s hottest “sexpert” has been living a lie—and it’s up to one man to keep her honest . . . all night long.

Riley McKenna knows sex – good sex, bad sex, kinky sex…Her articles in Stiletto magazine are consistently the publication’s most scandalous—and the most read. But Riley has a secret…all that sexy talk? Not an ounce of it comes from personal experience. Her own bedroom escapades are more limited than even her best friends know. When her editor requests that all columnists write something more personal for Stiletto’s anniversary issue, Riley turns to the one man she’s always been able to count on and calls in the favor of a lifetime.

Sam Compton would do anything for Riley McKenna. Anything except be her experimental sex toy. He refuses her request. At least until she tells him that it’ll either be him or she’ll go to someone else. And that, Sam can’t accept. Reluctantly he agrees to her terms—one night of completely meaningless sex in the name of research. Riley thinks she’s prepared for what awaits her in Sam’s bed.  After ten years of writing about sex, actually doing it shouldn’t be that different, right? So wrong. What starts as “one time only” becomes “just one more time.” And then one more. And before they know it, Riley and Sam learn first-hand that when it comes to love, there’s no such thing as just one night.

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Just-One-Night-Stiletto-Series-ebook/dp/B00F8F3JZK

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-one-night-lauren-layne/1116911372?ean=9780345547279

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/just-one-night/id725293406?mt=11

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2013/10/now-booking-tasty-virtual-book-tour-for_29.html

Author Info

Lauren Layne graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in political science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Layne moved to New York City, where she now writes full-time. She lives with her husband and their plus-size pomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.

Connect with Lauren: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Author links

http://laurenlayne.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LaurenLayneAuthor

https://twitter.com/_LaurenLayne

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Lauren Layne Prize Pack with: Review Copies of Stiletto Series, Loveswept Tote and Mug or $15.00 E-Retailer Gift Card of Winner’s Choosing )

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Interview with Lauren Layne, Author of Just One Night and Giveaway appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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13. Five Minutes with David Cole

Meet and get to know former Justice League of America superhero and Happiness Engineer extraordinaire, David Cole.

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14. Our Wonderful World.16

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.





PRANK

Snow is falling --
a mid-April joke
not meant to do real harm --
just a jest,
a parody of the pollen
that will soon sneeze up the air.

Bright green grass grins
through the dusting of snow.
Magnolia blooms chuckle
under caps of white.
Daffodils sigh,
sorry to be gone so soon.

Muffler and mittens snicker
at shivering shorts-wearing Springsters.
Forsythia half-heartedly bloomed
only just last week.
Everyone knows her punchline is
one more snow.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014



Yeah, I know. That poem has exactly nothing to do with the Panama Canal. But it's the poem I wanted to write, and it's the poem I wrote, and there aren't enough hours in the day to write another.

Yesterday I didn't get Carol's poem in two voices for the Itaipu Dam linked in, nor Kevin's flowchart poem for the Delta Works. Be sure you check them out. Both are amazing in their own unique ways.

Carol's poem for the Delta Works is here, and Kevin's Panama Canal poem is here.


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15. Interview with Sallie Haws, Author of Quantum Spirit: Apocalypse

sallie haws

As the great-granddaughter of the inventor of the drinking fountain and founder of Haws Corporation, Sallie Haws put her UC Santa Barbara bachelor’s degree in organizational psychology to work to make a positive impact on her family’s business. Sallie held numerous jobs in the company over her 26-year tenure from file clerk to President and CEO.

At a young age, Sallie’s passion for writing was fed by taking creative writing classes in high school and college. It was nursed along throughout her adult years by a voracious reading habit of paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy novels.

After selling the family business in 2011, Sallie finally had the time and inspiration to write.

“Quantum Spirit – Apocalypse” (August 2013, Fedd Books) is the culmination of years of personal and professional life experience combined with the
desire to empower, entertain and inspire adults and teenagers.

Sallie lives in Reno, Nevada, with her husband, son, daughter and black kitty named Chubs.

Visit Sallie online at www.quantumspiritbooks.com 

 

Salena Hawthorne, the teen heroine in “Quantum Spirit: Apocalypse,” is incredibly smart, strong and courageous. What do you want readers to learn from her?

I would love for them to learn how to tap into their own innate power and abilities. After being a business leader and mentor for many years, I decided to take what I’ve learned and share that with eager and open-minded young women through an entertaining and non-threatening medium.

My personal reading genre of choice is paranormal urban fantasy. However, I didn’t want to write a book about vampires or were-creatures. There are some awesome authors out there who do that extremely well, and I didn’t think it needed to be done again. I also wanted to write a book with a positive outlook for humanity’s future. I’m a little tired of the dystopian genre. I wanted to create a state of wonder with my audience. Our world is so full of fear and discord; it’s time to imagine a world full of love and connectedness.

On the surface, “Quantum Spirit” is a fun, easy read about a young girl who has some amazing abilities and some fantastic adventures. But the deeper you get into the book, the more profound the story becomes. Can you expand on that?

For many, the quick surface read will be enough. For those with a little more curiosity, dropping down one level, the premise of the book is how deadly fear can be, and how love, gratitude and forgiveness is the antidote. The third level introduces some metaphysical and spiritual concepts that are currently being practiced and taught all over the world. In that regard, “Quantum Spirit – Apocalypse” could almost be considered realistic fiction.sallie

How did you come up with the idea of giving Salena all of these different gifts – clairvoyance, seeing auras and traveling between dimensions?

I actually had a dream about a young girl who could change her body’s vibrational resonance that allowed her to disappear in the Third Dimension and travel to the Fifth Dimension. So that gift was the first one I came up with, but then I needed to provide reasonable cause as to why she might develop such a talent. Being an exceptionally strong clairvoyant at a young age I felt would lead credence to the development of more advanced abilities at the onset of puberty. Being able to see auras just seemed to make the package complete.

If you could have any the abilities that Salena has in your book, which would you pick and why?

I think my first choice would definitely be the ability to transcend dimensions. Being able to teleport anywhere in the world would seriously cut down on my travel expenses! Not to mention the money I would save on new clothes and accessories that I could instantly manifest while in the Fifth Dimension. As distracting as I’m sure it would be, the ability to see auras would be my second choice.

Crystals play an important role in “Quantum Spirit.” Can you tell us a little about them?

The two main types of crystals that play a role in the book are Selenite and Quartz. The use of Selenite came about by pure synchronicity. It was completely coincidental that the majestic crystal caves in Niaca, Mexico where I chose to put the Akashic Records were made of selenite. Selenite was named after the Greek word for moon, and Selene is the name for the Greek Goddess of the Moon. (I had named my heroine Salena way before I discovered the crystal caves and what type of crystals were in them.) After researching all of the physical and metaphysical properties of selenite, I knew that if the Akashic Records were ever going to be located in a single place, they would definitely be stored in those crystal caves.

I chose quartz for the healing ceremony because that is the first choice for metaphysical practitioners who use crystals to augment their healing practice. Quartz crystals are able to structure, store, amplify, focus, transmit and transform energy, which includes matter, thought, emotion and other forms of information. They were the best tool I could give Salena to allow her to trap the negative energy of the Blue Flu.

Did you do a lot of research while writing “Quantum Spirit?”

Yes. While the story is fiction, all of the metaphysical, spiritual and scientific concepts in the book are based on theories and research done by many different people. I read and/or referenced at least 13 different books and I don’t know how many dozens of websites on the various different concepts that I weaved into my story. Links to the books are all listed on my website.

Do you believe in the paranormal?

Absolutely. In fact, I believe in every one of the metaphysical concepts I put into Quantum Spirit: Apocalypse, even the existence of the Fifth Dimension. That doesn’t mean I have the ability to do any of the “paranormal” things that Salena can do, but I do believe they are possible.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes, I’ve always wanted to write a novel my whole life. My first attempt was in seventh grade, and there were a couple of other ones after that. After selling the family business in 2011, I knew I wanted to take this opportunity to finally write, but I didn’t have what I felt was a compelling enough story. In June of 2011, while on a houseboat vacation on Lake Shasta, I dreamed about a young girl who could change her body’s vibrational level and travel back and forth from the third dimension to the fifth dimension. Upon awakening, I walked out to the living room where my husband, son and his friends were eating breakfast and announced to the group, “I have my story.”

Without any spoilers, can you give us a hint of what to expect in your next book, “Quantum Spirit: Redemption?”

Salena has a lot of work ahead of her. On top of staying one step ahead of the nefarious goons who are trying to kidnap her, she must also continue to find a solution to help the millions of souls who are still trapped in stasis. Keeping track of Jace and trying to find a way to save him will also keep her rather busy, and she still has to pass eighth grade algebra.


1 Comments on Interview with Sallie Haws, Author of Quantum Spirit: Apocalypse, last added: 4/16/2014
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16. Me And My Cat?



Review by Ariadna Sánchez

While waiting for the train at 7th Street/Metro Center station in Downtown Los Angeles, a young lady approached me for help. She was confused and worried at the same time; she needed to catch the train toward Long Beach. She was visiting Los Angeles for the first time to meet her nephew. Her words were filled with great expectation and excitement, but her spirit seemed intimidated by the speedy trains that passed by. Finally, we looked at the screen showing the Metro Blue Line schedule. The next departing train to Long Beach opened its doors welcoming all passengers aboard. When she got inside the train, it took only a few minutes before the train began moving. The young lady waved at me as the train vanished into the dark tunnel. I sat down for a moment in the waiting area for my train to arrive thinking about this experience. I put myself in this lady’s shoes and realized that life is a unique adventure full of amazing trips.

Me And My Cat? written and illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura is a story that narrates the abruptly transformation of Nicholas and his cat Leonardo. Late one night, an old lady in a pointed hat climbs through the window into Nicholas’s bedroom. She brandishes her broom, fires out some weird words, and leaves. The following morning Nicholas is living “inside” his cat Leonardo and Leonardo is living “inside” Nicholas. Nicholas is shocked to look at himself in the mirror with long whiskers, sharp claws, and purring like a sweet little kitten, MEOW! Outside the house, Nicholas, who is inside Leonardo’s body, realizes that life is tough and complicated for a cat when he is chased by three mean cats and Mr. Stone’s furious dog. Hours later, Nicholas sees himself coming back from school and acting like Leonardo, the cat.  This behavior makes his mother very upset, so she decides to call the doctor. The doctor recommends sending Nicholas to bed early. That night, the old lady in the pointed hat pays Nicholas a second visit. She apologizes for throwing a spell at the wrong person. The old lady brandishes her broom and blurts out some mysterious words disappearing as quickly as a thunder. The next day everything is back to normal, Nicholas is ready for school and Leonardo is actively climbing over the shelf. At school Mr. Gough, Nicholas’ teacher sits on the table, scratches his back, licks his cheeks, and falls asleep.

Can you guess who the old lady in the pointed hat visited last night? Be careful, you might be next!

The story Me and my Cat? stimulates deep perceptions to the young readers. Thinking about others’ needs creates mature and responsible children. Teaching values like respect, tolerance, and acceptance are some ways to show sympathy to new generations for a better community and for a better world. Visit the local library today. Reading gives you wings! Purr


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17. HAPPY EASTER with love the BOOKED! Team!!




Easter Egg
It’s Easter time and we want to celebrate with a gift from the BOOKED! team!!
All you need to do is look for the egg picture above which can be found on one of our pages and click on it – you will then be taken to a very special ticket page for BOOKED! which can only be accessed through this image.
There you will find a VERY LIMITED set of tickets for BOOKED! with incredible discounts. There will be a limited amount of each type of ticket.
So what are you waiting for? Get your tickets today!!
Here is the hint for where to find the Backcover Promotions

Egg….

Hearts are normally RED, but this heart is WHITE!!


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18. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy: Review Haiku

A few obvious
plot points, perhaps, but still,
a marvelous story.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee. Knopf, 2014, 240 pages.

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19. Trailer: If I Stay.

Oh, my. THAT MOVIE IS GOING TO BE A SOBFEST.

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20. Spotlight and Giveaway – Plain Jayne by Laura Drewry

 

 

Plain Jayne  By Laura Drewry

Publisher: Loveswept Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: April 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8041-7773-3

In Laura Drewry’s funny, heartwarming Loveswept debut, a man and a woman learn the hard way that a little bit of love makes staying friends a whole lot harder.

Worn out from the long drive back home, Jayne Morgan can only smirk at the irony: Of course the first person she sees from her old life is Nick Scott. Once best friends, they lost touch when Jayne left town at eighteen, but nothing could keep them apart forever. Jayne has returned to take over her grandmother’s bookstore, determined to put all her bittersweet memories and secret disappointments strictly in the past—until, that is, Nick insists she bunk at his place.

Nick never did care what people thought about having a girl for a best friend—or the “scandal” she caused by showing up to his wife’s funeral four years earlier—so he’s got no problem with the gossips now. Jayne was always the one person he could count on in his life. Now Nick is starting to realize that he never wants her to leave again . . . and that being “just friends” isn’t going to be enough anymore.

Available 4/08/14:

Random House: http://www.randomhouse.ca/search/node/laura%20drewry

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Plain-Jayne-Laura-Drewry-ebook/dp/B00FUZQZZO/ref=la_B00J6PQ8EW_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396072181&sr=1-1

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/plain-jayne-laura-drewry/1117135307?ean=9780804177733

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/plain-jayne/id737586209?mt=11

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Laura Drewry had been scribbling things for years before she decided to seriously sit down and write. After spending eight years in the Canadian north, Laura now lives back home in southwestern British Columbia with her husband, three sons, a turtle named Sheldon, and an extremely energetic German Shepherd. She loves old tattered books, good movies, country music, and the New York Yankees.

Website: http://www.lauradrewry.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laura-Drewry-Author/229599547078623

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lauradrewry

Excerpt from Chapter Two of PLAIN JAYNE by Laura Drewry

“Well I’m sure as hell not staying in that apartment, Nick, so unless you’ve got a better idea . . .”

“As a matter of fact . . .” Was he crazy to even suggest it? Probably. Would she agree to it? Probably not. “I know a great place with plenty of room, kitchen’s available 24/7, open bar, flat screen, free wireless, and easy access to laundry services.”

A moment’s hesitation, a frown, then her blue eyes flew open. “No way.”

“Why not? It’s perfect.”

“No.”

Nick ignored her and kept driving. What could she do—jump out?

“To make up for being such a prick the last time he saw you, the owner’s offering free room and board for as long as you like.”

He could hear the arguments building behind her open-mouthed gape. Best to cut her off before she started.

“What’s the big deal? You need a room, and I’ve got one. Big one, too, with your own bathroom and a butt load of closet space.”

“Seriously?” She lifted her hands, palms up, and exhaled a snort that pretty much covered how stupid she thought he was. “What’s the big deal? You mean besides the fact it’s just flat-out weird?”

“Says who?” As far as he was concerned, it was a done deal. Hell, even if there were hotel rooms available, this made more sense.

“Says me!” She made a sound like a wounded bear, which only made Nick laugh. “We haven’t seen each other in four years, Nick, and before that—”

He rolled his eyes. “Before that you refused to stay with me because you thought Abby hated you.”

“She did!” The growl sounded again, slower, longer. “There was no way she would’ve let me stay with you and there was no way in hell I’d even ask.”

“Well, you’re not asking, and Abby’s not here to put up a fight, is she?”

That shut her up for a second; but only a second. “What are people going to think?”

“Who cares?” He followed the highway around past the ball field and over the bridge.

“Hello!” she snorted. “Does the name Debra Scott ring a bell? Jeez, Nick—your mother has found a way to blame me for every breakup you ever had, so if it even looks like I’ve come back to shack up with her darling little Nicky, she’s going to have me strung up in town square faster than you can say ‘Holy flying axe throw, Batman.’”

“Town square? Really?” He laughed, then pulled his arm out of reach when she made to smack him. “The gallows were dismantled a couple months back, so you’re probably pretty safe.”

“Very funny.”

From the corner of his eye, he could see she was shaking her head at him, but as he steered the truck into the exit lane, he caught the glimpse of a smile.

“Didn’t you tell me you had a girlfriend?”

Damn it. He’d been seeing Lisa for a couple months now, and even though he didn’t consider it anything serious, he knew Lisa did. He’d have to at least let her know what was going on.

Jayne clicked her tongue. “I’ll take your silence as a yes.”

“So?”

“Oh my God, Nick, do you rent out that space in your head? No woman is going to be happy about her boyfriend inviting another woman to live with him.”

“It’ll be fine.” It was more of a hope than a lie. “So unless you’ve got someone who’s going to kick my ass for even suggesting this . . .”

He waited for her to answer, but when she didn’t, he laughed.

“I’ll take your silence as a no. Any other excuses?”

“I’m thinking.”

“Think fast, because we’re almost there.”

“This is crazy.”

“No. Driving back and forth to Vancouver every day is crazy; this is nothing.” At the stop sign, he glanced over and watched her chew her bottom lip. “I’m not saying you should move in permanently, just stay until we get your place fixed up. And trust me, my place is a hell of a lot better than a hotel room we both know will never be clean enough, no matter how much you clean it yourself.”

The second her nose wrinkled, he knew he had her.

“How did you survive the hotel rooms on the trip out, anyway?” he asked.

Her mouth twitched a little before she finally smiled. “I bought a sleeping bag.”

“And how many tubs of Lysol wipes did you go through?”

“Only two.” After a second, she sighed and lifted her left shoulder. “And a half.”

Two and a half tubs of wipes. He could have pulled the I-told-you-so card, but didn’t. Instead, he just drove on, waiting for her to realize he’d won.

“And what if your girlfriend freaks out?”

“Her name’s Lisa, and she won’t.” At least he hoped she wouldn’t.

“You don’t know that,” Jayne cried, fisting her hands against her knees. “What makes you think Linda’s going to feel any different than Abby did? I don’t want to screw this up for you.”

“It’s Lisa.” Nick sighed quietly. “And no one’s going to screw anything up, Jayne. If she can’t handle you and me, that’s her problem.”

“No, Nick, it usually ends up being my problem.” Jayne huffed so hard it was surprising she had any breath left to keep talking. “It’s not exactly normal that we’re . . . like this . . . and you can’t blame people for thinking the worst.”

“What worst? If my best friend was a guy, there’d be no problem with him staying at my place, so I don’t get why it’s a problem to have you stay there.”

“The problem,” she ground out, “is that I’m not a guy. In case you hadn’t noticed, you idiot, I’m a girl.”

It was all Nick could do not to laugh out loud. They may have been best friends all these years, but he was still a guy. He noticed.

Admitting it, though, would only prove her point.

He wheeled the truck into the long driveway and threw it in park. “I’m telling you, Lisa won’t care. And if she does, that’s between her and me, it’s got nothing to do with you.”

“Yeah, right. Until she goes crying to your mother and I end up on the top of the Debra Scott hit list again.”

“Not gonna happen. Besides”—he pushed the button on his visor and the garage door jerked then started rolling up—“there’s someone else who wants you to stay.”

A second later, his old basset hound came wobbling out from under the door, his tail swinging, his ears flapping along beside him.

“Duke!” Jayne was out of the truck before Nick pulled the key out of the ignition. Cooing and laughing, she dropped to the driveway, arms outstretched.

Nick climbed out of the truck and laughed as he walked over to where Duke had already climbed onto Jayne’s lap and was busy smothering her face in wet sloppy kisses.

“Looks like we got us a houseguest, buddy.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Spotlight and Giveaway – Plain Jayne by Laura Drewry appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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21. Review: Snowpiercer

As I say at the beginning of my review of Korean director Bong Joon-Ho's first English-language film, if you're like me then the first thing you ever heard about Snowpiercer was that it was in danger of being chopped down and dumbed down by its distributors for the sake of English-speaking audiences.  And then you were probably incensed, not only because you're fully capable of watching a

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22. #540 – Beneath the Sun by Melissa Stewart & Constance R. Bergum

cover.

Beneath the Sun

by Melissa Stewart & Constance R. Bergum, illustrator

Peachtree Publishers         4/1/2014

978-1-56145-733-5

Age 4 to 8         32 pages

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“When the sun is scorching, you put on sunscreen and run under the sprinkler to stay cool. But how do wild animals survive in the heat? Journey from your neighborhood to a field where an earthworm loops its long body into a ball underground, to a desert where a jackrabbit loses heat through its oversized ears, to a wetland where a siren salamander burrows into the mud, and to a seashore where sea stars hide in the shade of a seaweed mat—and learn of the many ways animals carry on in spite the sun’s sizzling rays.”

Opening

“On the hottest days of the year, the sun rises early. Its bright light shines down on us, hour after hour.”

Review                                                                                                                                                     

Beneath the Sun explains what some of the earth’s creatures do to beat the heat when temperatures rise to unbearable levels. We humans, we get wet. Children enjoy sprinklers, swimming pools, and fire hydrants as three ways to keep cool in the heat of summer day. We also can use sunscreen to avoid burns and air conditioners to keep cool indoors.

Animals are not so lucky. They need to rely on instinctive measures and Mother Nature to survive the blast of the sun’s rays. Divided into four ecosysems, the book gives examples of animals defeating the sun’s effects in a field, on a seashore, in a wetland, and in the desert. For example, in a field, the woodchuck takes advantage of the cooler morning to munch on grass and then beats the heat of the open field’s sunrays by staying in a cool underground cave during the worst of the day’s hot weather. In the wetlands live the osprey. The male osprey stays cool by soaking his feathers in water, and then upon returning to his nest, his children soak the water from his feathers.

desert

The herring gull, who lives on a seashore, fans its wings to protects its young from the sun and then pants like a dog to keep itself cool. Kids will love reading that, as they will the turkey vulture who must protects itself from the treacherous desert sun and harsh heat. It accomplishes this by spraying urine on its legs. The author is good at presenting—in two or three sentences—these odd heat beaters kids will enjoy learning.

The illustrations are realistic, as one would expect in a nature book such as Beneath the Sun. The images take children to each ecosystem with enough detail to be able to turn a page and know where the featured animal lives. The illustrations also frame the animals inside one complete day. Bergum did this by her watercolor end pages. The front depicts the sun rising and the back depicts the cooler end of the day. Returning to children at the end of their day completes a circle of time even the youngest can understand.

Beginning each book with the things children do when it gets too hot and sunny to play outdoors, framing the entire animal kingdom so kids can relate to the other species. The same holds true in When Rain Falls (2008) and Under the Snow (2009),the two former editions of a series comparing children’s activities to those of other species. Similar to At the Same Moment, Around the World (Perrin, Clotilde, 2014), the different environments simultaneously occur during the span of one day, an easy concept children can grasp from this well-written picture book.

.wetland

BENEATH THE SUN. Text copyright © 2014 by Melissa Stewart. Illustrations © 2014 by Constance R. Bergum. Reproduce by permission of the publisher, Peachtree Publishers, Atlanta, GA.

Learn more about Beneath the Sun HERE.

Purchase Beneath the Sun at AmazonB&NPeachtree Publishersyour local bookstore.

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Meet the author, Melissa Stewart, at her website:   http://www.melissa-stewart.com/

Meet the illustrator, Constance R. Bergum, at her jacketflap:   http://www.jacketflap.com/constance-rummel-bergum/30188

Find other wonderful books at the Peachtree Publishers website:   http://peachtree-online.com/

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Also by Melissa Stewart & Constance R. Bergum

When Rain Falls

When Rain Falls

Under the Snow

Under the Snow

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New at Peachtree Publishers

Claude at the Beach

Claude at the Beach

 

About Habitats: Forests

About Habitats: Forests

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beneath the sun

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Peachtree Publishers Book Blog Tour

Beneath the Sun

Monday 4/14

Jean Little Library 

Blue Owl

Tuesday 4/15

Geo Librarian

Wednesday 4/16

Kid Lit Reviews

Thursday 4/17

Tolivers to Texas 

Chat with Vera 

Friday 4/18

Sally’s Bookshelf

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Today is NATIONAL BOOKMOBILE DAY!

Support your local Bookmobile.

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Filed under: 5stars, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Series Tagged: blasting heat, children's book reviews, Constance R. Bergum, environments, habitats, Melissa Stewart, nature, Peachtree Publishers, relief from the sun and the heat, the burning sun

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23. Review: Bang by Lisa McMann

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I thought that Crash, the first book in the Visions trilogy, was a bit repetitive.  Don’t get me wrong – I still couldn’t put it down and read it in short order.  But the never ending replay of the vision haunting Jules became tedious about the 100th time through.  Bang never felt like a CD set on Replay, probably because the vision is Sawyer’s, and Jules does not have firsthand knowledge of it.  Instead, Sawyer’s nightmare is relayed to Jules in painstaking detail as he is forced to watch it over and over again.  That distance made all the difference.

When Sawyer tells Jules that he’s suffering from a vision of an impending disaster, she wants to help him figure out what’s going on so they can stop it from happening.  Sawyer is haunted as the vision becomes ever more gruesome – a pile of bodies lie crumbled in a classroom, staining the floor red with blood.  All he can hear is the bang! bang! bang! of gunfire.  He’s desperate to find a way to make it stop, but if it’s anything like Jules’ vision of the crash, the only way to make it go away is to figure out when the shooting is going to happen and stop it, saving the lives of a bunch of people he doesn’t even know.

Using her experience with her own vision as a guideline, Jules dives in and helps him sort out details of the upcoming tragedy.  Where are the victims?  What are they wearing? Can he tell what time of day the shooting will occur?  They slowly unravel snippets of details about the incident, which aid them as they race to solve the mystery before the shooting happens, or before Sawyer is driven insane by what’s he’s forced to watch all the time.

To complicate matters, Jules and Sawyer have to deal with their families and their animosity towards each other.  The Demarco’s and the Angotti’s certainly know how to hold a grudge.  Neither of their fathers is ready to bury the hatchet on the feud that has simmered between them for years, and both Jules and Sawyer are punished when they are caught together.  Jules is having a terrible time showing any kind of respect for her father.  He’s a liar and a cheat, and she suspects that he’s a coward, as well.  I wonder if he suffers from the visions, too, but hasn’t been able to do anything about them.  Maybe that explains his odd behavior and probable mental illness?

I enjoyed the book because I liked Jules, her siblings, and Sawyer so much.  They are just trying to do the right thing, and not get buried by the weirdness of their families.  They all start to show some independence and resistance to the status quo, though all of their parental relationships suffered for it. 

I don’t want to spoil any of the mystery, so I’ll just sum things up by stating that Bang kept me on the edge of my seat, and I hated to put it down.  It’s a very fast read, with plenty of twists and turns, and enough parental conflict to keep any teenager distracted.  I felt so bad for Jules!  Her home is certainly not a haven for her, and neither is Sawyer’s. I can hardly wait to learn what secrets Jules’ father is hiding in Gasp, the last volume of the Visions trilogy.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

What Sawyer’s seeing might mean murder. The second book in a series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Wake trilogy.

Jules should be happy. She saved a lot of people’s lives and she’s finally with Sawyer, pretty much the guy of her dreams. But the nightmare’s not over, because she somehow managed to pass the psycho vision stuff to Sawyer. Excellent.

Feeling responsible for what he’s going through and knowing that people’s lives are at stake, Jules is determined to help him figure it all out. But Sawyer’s vision is so awful he can barely describe it, much less make sense of it. All he can tell her is there’s a gun, and eleven ear-splitting shots. Bang.

Jules and Sawyer have to work out the details fast, because the visions are getting worse and that means only one thing: time is running out. But every clue they see takes them down the wrong path. If they can’t prevent the vision from happening, lives will be lost. And they may be among the casualties…

The post Review: Bang by Lisa McMann appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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24. Viku and the Ivory Thieves

Viku and the Ivory Thieves
Author: Debu Majumdar
Illustrator: Lynn Wolfe
Publisher: Bo-Tree House
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-9832227-3-6
Pages: 52
Price: $12.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

In this sequel to Viku and the Elephant and Viku to the Rescue, Viku and his elephant friend, Haatee, are back again to protect the forest. Although two of the ivory thieves have been stranded on an island surrounded by crocodiles, some are still on the loose. With the help of the police, all of the poachers are rounded up and sent to prison.

But the dangers to the elephants and the forest continue, and Viku and the police must step up their efforts to protect them. When an evil scheme is uncovered, Viku and Haatee help to thwart it. One of the ivory thieves has now completely reformed and assists them in their efforts.

The forces of good and evil are portrayed very strongly in this series, with good always triumphing over evil. And in Viku and the Ivory Thieves, evil is even transformed to goodness. Kids will cheer for Viku and Haatee, wanting to see them succeed in stopping the thieves once again. I highly recommend this series for the positive values demonstrated.

Debu Majumdar shared his thoughts with us in an interview. Please be sure to read what he has to say!

Reviewer: Alice Berger


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25. The QwikPick Papers: Poop Fountain - a review

Angleberger, Tom. 2014. The QwikPick Papers: Poop Fountain! New York: Abrams.

(Advance Reader Copy supplied by publisher)

A bi-racial, Jehovah's Witness girl; a poor boy from the trailer park; a nerdy Jewish boyall victims of school bullying.

Sounds like a perfect trio of protagonists for a serious book of realistic fiction, doesn't it? But it's notnot really. These are the founding members of Tom Angleberger's hilarious new creation, the QwikPick Adventure Society, which makes its debut in a new series, The QwikPick Papers.

So, what do this Jehovah's Witness, Jew, and very poor kid have in common? At first, only that each has nothing to do on Christmas Day.  Marilla and Dave don't celebrate Christmas and don't enjoy spending time at home.  Lyle's parents have to work at the QwikPick convenience store all day. But don't feel sorry for them.  It's the perfect day for a secret mission to visit the Poop Fountain, an antiquated aeration device at the town's waste water treatment plant.

Written as an illustrated "report" by the QwikPick Adventure Society, this novel of only 135 pages, Poop Fountain! is stomach-churning disgusting at times, and hilariously funny at others.  That's why kids will love it, but it's not why you should.

You should love it because Angleberger has proved again (as in the Origami Yoda series) that he can tackle sensitive subjects with charm and  a good deal of humor.

     Everybody else was talking about the Super Bowl coming up that weekend, but we all agreed that it was stupid and football was stupid and the Redskins' mascot was stupid.
     Unfortunately, Jeremy heard me saying something and hollered down the table, "Hey, if we wanted any of your crap, I'd beat it out of you."
     "Shove it, Jeremy," said Dave, which was the nicest thing anyone had ever said in my honor.
     When it was time to go, Marilla said, "Hey, if you want, I'll save this seat for you tomorrow."
     That was when, without them even knowing it, Marilla and Dave became my best friends.

Other reasons for you to love Poop Fountain!, "shout-outs" to
  • The Hoboken Chicken Emergency
  • Fred Astaire
  • The Princess Bride (the movie)
  • the BBC
Coming to a bookshelf near you in May, 2014.  Can't wait 'til May?  It's on NetGalley now.

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