in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from the Reviews category, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 140,065
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Add a tag
There is, apparently, an upcoming comics event in Bath. No real info yet but when I get the info you'll get the info!www.bathcomicsandscifi.co.uk
Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd
I'm back in Colorado!
Well, to be honest, I've been back since July, so it's not exactly news. But moving across a few states, yard installation, getting kids settled, and hosting out-of-town guests has been a bit of a time hog.
But now I'm jumping back onto the world wide web. It's good to be back, because I missed reading everyone else's blogs, hanging out on Twitter, finding out what's going on in middle-grade, mystery, and beyond. Turns out it's almost CYBILS time
already. They're my favorite awards, so it'll be great to find out about everyone else's favorite titles of the past year.
And I'm back to writing middle-grade again. I forgot how much fun this part of the process is, and how much I love writing middle-grade. It's a cool mystery, that's all I've got so far. I'll keep you posted. Also, the third (and last) Linc adventure is out next month! More on this later.
So how about you, YA Sleutheri? What have you been up to....?
Enjoying happy hour on the patio at the Oakland Marriott (photo courtesy of ALSC)
Hello Institute goers! Thanks to everyone who joined us last night at the happy hour. We had great weather and even a chance to spend time outside on the patio.
If you weren’t at the happy hour, don’t worry. There are still plenty of opportunities to interact with your colleagues including the upcoming ALSC Connection events. At 12:15, we’ll be hosting a condensed, but exciting version of ALSC 101.
It sounds cliche, but getting to know people from across the country is a big part of the Institute. You never know who you’re going to meet! Personally, I’m really looking forward to the ALSC Connection and getting to know more about the people and representative of ALSC!
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.
I love narrative books. There's something about them that's so appealing because they often provide a nice escape from reality or an exciting adventure. I have no doubt that my children who are 4 1/2 and 20 months feel the same. So often we go to the library and come home with a stack of imaginative picture books. You'll see this blog is full of these types of stories. More often than not, the non-fiction and informational picture books can get left behind at the library!
There are really REALLY great reasons, though, to embrace (and yes, check out) books that are packed with information for children.
Here are 5 benefits of reading non-fiction and informational picture books with your young child.
- Children may gain interest in a new subject area, which drives them to learn (and read) about the topic even more.
- Opportunities for learning new vocabulary are plentiful (which is a great thing, since vocabulary knowledge has been linked to success in Kindergarten).
- Non-fiction and informational picture books can ignite curiosity in children and lead them to ask "why" questions.
- These books can provide a basis for hands-on learning activities (which is one of the best ways to learn about a topic).
- Often these books initiate more conversation than narrative stories, building language and comprehension skills.
Convinced you should check out some non-fiction and informational picture books on your next trip to the library? Take a look at these fall-inspired informational children's books!
Learn the names of plants and animals, and of course - some fun facts about squirrels. The blog Ready-Set-Read has several neat ways to extend the learning with this book in this post
Learn all about growth, gardening, and the life cycle from seed to pumpkin. Check out this sequencing activity to accompany this book.
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
This book is packed full of information about trees, birds, and gardening. Learn new science related vocabulary, and even practice several math concepts with these activities inspired by Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf.
Learn about the life cycle of a pumpkin, as well as pumpkin and Halloween traditions. Check out this post for some fun pumpkin games.
Learn about the life cycle of an apple tree, then try one of these cute apple crafts!
Do you have any books to add to the list?
The Sing, Talk, Read, Write and Play with Math and Science session focused on including STEM concepts in storytime. One of the biggest take aways is the fact that science and math concepts are not separate from early literacy, but a part of early literacy. Highlighting STEM in storytimes provides children with background knowledge. The more background knowledge a child has, the more likely he or she will recognize and understand concepts when reading.
The best part of this is that STEM is already present in many storytime classics, including nursery rhymes. Take, for example, the rhyme, Jack and Jill. This rhyme provides opportunities to discuss cause and effect, force and motion, the term crown, using a pail as a tool, and measuring volume with water.
Examine some of your favorite nursery rhymes. What STEM concepts can you find?
Talk about inspiration! I attended a fabulous program, which highlighted a panel of early literacy librarian experts. They talked about their wide variety of experiences developing collaborative partnerships in their community. Here are 3 of my quick takeaways:
- If you can train other community partners to extend your reach and support the goals of promoting literacy and school literacy, your impact multiplies.
- Our role as early literacy advocates should be to partner with local social service agencies to work together to break the cycle of illiteracy. Seek out homeless shelters, food banks, and other childhood agencies and connect with their professionals.
- Start up a conversation with parents and caregivers! Sometimes a quick 5-10 minute convo that includes a few early literacy tips is more meaningful and accessible to at-risk families, rather than offering librarian-led lecture style presentations about early literacy. Make it personal and get to know their children individually.
What tips do you have for maintaining successful and meaningful early literacy partnerships in your community?
Recommended for ages 4-8
In this laugh-out-loud new picture book from South African writer-illustrator Alex Latimer
, we discover that while it's not always easy to be friends with those who are different from us, the result can be worth the extra effort.
Pig is completely flummoxed when, for no reason at all, his nose begins to squeak.
What could it be? Time to get out the medical book, of course, to look for Squeaky Nose Syndrome. But it's not in the book (although the book includes Squeaky Knee Syndrome and others). Finally, after much observation, Pig discovers there's a tiny bug on the end of his nose, waving and squeaking at him. Pig can tell by the bug's friendly squeaking that he wants to be friends, but the activities they try --a tandem bike ride (with Pig pedaling and Bug holding on for dear life), a game of chess, making matching sweaters--don't work very well.
They are about to give up, when Pig has a sudden inspiration--a movie! Bug doesn't eat much popcorn, and he can sit right on Pig's ear. Soon they can think of all kinds of things they could do together! They even forget that one of them is big and the other little, until, in a surprise twist, an elephant comes along to ask if he can be friends, too.
Alex Latimer's whimsical cartoon-style artwork is distinctive, with speech and thought bubbles taken from traditional cartoons. The illustrations are created first as pencil drawings, then digitized and finished with a bright color palette with orange and turquoise dominating. The colorful artwork meshes perfectly with his witty and engaging text. The theme of the challenges of friendship with someone different is a universal one, perhaps particularly appropriate in Latimer's hometown of Cape Town, South Africa, where the "rainbow nation" of post-apartheid still struggles with issues of equality for all its citizens, as we continue to do in the United States. This book would work well in a preschool or early elementary storytime, and could encourage discussions about how we get along with others. I could easily see a writing prompt about imagining activities Pig, Bug, and elephant could do together, for example. Latimer's earlier work, Lion vs. Rabbit
(Peachtree, 2013), in which a clever trickster rabbit outwits a lion, is also a terrific storytime selection.
For more on Pig and Small
, check out these other blog tour stops:
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Add a tag
Senior Editor @marcgraser
Machinima, an online network that mostly targets younger males, has secured the exclusive rights to a three-part animated “Justice League” series from Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment.
“Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles” will launch in the spring of 2015.
“Chronicles” is said to revolve around a newly conceived reality in the DC universe where Justice League members Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are much darker versions of the superheroes that people know.
The digital series is based on “Justice League: Gods & Monsters,” an original animated film executive produced by Bruce Timm and co-produced by Alan Burnett that will be released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment later in 2015. Timm and Burnett both collaborated on “Batman: The Animated Series.”
The “Chronicles” episodes will debut weeks before the launch of the film on home entertainment platforms.
The property is the first program the companies have collaborated on since Warner Bros. invested $18 million in Machinima in March.
It’s also the first project from Warner Bros.’ newly formed digital content production unit, headed up by Sam Register, president, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series — and, of course, comes as the film studio is filming “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” for 2016, followed by a “Justice League” movie in 2018.
“Ever since we announced the Warner Bros. strategic investment, we have been looking for a new and exciting way to tap into the company’s unmatched content,” said Chad Gutstein, Machinma’s CEO.
Announcement comes just days after Machinima announced Daniel Tibbets as the first chief content officer of the online channel.
Added DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson: “We are committed to delivering DC Entertainment’s extensive line-up of world-class characters and stories to audiences across all platforms and formats. ‘Justice League: Gods and Monsters’ is an exciting opportunity to bring alternate versions of DC Comics’ iconic Justice League characters to Machinima, and we look forward to bringing this new animated shortform series to life with our partners across Warner Bros.”
Machinima is looking to bolster its original programming offerings for its core 18-34-year-old demo after scoring with scripted series like “Mortal Kombat: Legacy,” “Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist,” “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” and “Battlestar Galactica Blood & Chrome.”
Now come on –DC is killing itself with all this “darker” crap! Can it get any “darker” at DC? Yes: the JLA go out murdering nurses, nuns, tramps and school kids “for the greater good”.
DC needs to wake up and I really do not give a feck if Bruce Timm is behind it: he’s doing this for the DC pay-cheque!
The beloved principal of Lynnhurst Elementary School, Mr. Tanen, is known for his tie collection. Every morning when the children enter school they check to see what tie Mr. Tanen is wearing. He keeps a closet of ties in his office and changes his tie many times throughout the day. He might wear a tie to match his mood, or the weather, or for his official duties. His tie collection is endless!
One day during an important meeting with Mr. Apple at the School Department he is told that education is serious business and that wearing silly ties simply isn’t proper. Mr. Apple hands Mr. Tanen a blue tie and tells him he must only wear blue ties. Plain blue ties.
The students miss Mr. Tanen’s special ties, and soon it becomes clear that a plain blue ties make everyone feel “blue”. When Mr. Tanen calls in sick for a week, it’s Mr. Apple who fills in as principal. He has lots of rules and, of course, a plain tie. During recess, the students notice Mr. Apple bird watching and the next day someone gives him a tie with birds on it. At the end of the school day, Mr. Apple finds himself admiring his new tie and he decides to put it on. While at the grocery store, he gets compliments on his lovely bird tie. What a nice feeling! All the rest of the week, Mr. Apple chooses a special tie to wear from Mr. Tanen’s closet of ties. Mr. Apple finds himself smiling often.
When Mr. Tanen returns to work on Monday he finds Mr. Apple waiting with a tie box for him. Inside is another blue tie, but this one isn’t plain at all – it has #1 blue ribbon all over it. Ties most definitely make a difference at Lynnhurst Elementary School where no one is feeling “blue” anymore.
There is yet another happy ending to Mr. Tanen’s Ties, so you might just want to check this book out!
Posted by: Wendy
Making Advocacy Awesome @ #ALSC14
My first program of the conference was led by the awesome triple-threat team of Jenna Nemec-Loise, Helen Bloch, and Katie O’Dell. They jam-packed their session with information and inspiration to turn us all into powerful advocates for libraries and children’s services.
Jenna Nemec-Loise started us off with a tour of the excellent & comprehensive resources on the ALSC Everyday Advocacy Website: www.ala.org/everyday-advocacy, and described the elements of advocacy:
Engage w/ Community
Share Your Advocacy Story
Helen Bloch talked about “building the foundation,” or having the groundwork already done, the relationships already established, etc. so that you are ready to advocate for your library at any time- to respond to crisis or to seize an opportunity.
Think about advocacy in terms of Who, What, Where, When, Why, & How.
Who- budget deciders, possible allies, local media
What- Demonstrate the value of the library and of children’s services
Where- Advocacy takes place both inside & outside the library
When- All the time
Why- the work we do is important!
Katie O’Dell explored the roles of advocacy- for administrators, frontline children’s staff, as a partner of other organizations, & more.
After the panelists’ presentations, we formed breakout groups:
Jenna Nemec-Loise led a group in developing example elevator speeches, using a 3-step process:
Identify a group you serve, list one service or program you provide to them, & describe it in terms of why that’s important. This was mine:
“I help childcare providers find & use resources to transform their centers into rich learning environments.”
Katie O’Dell walked the group through her excellent planning form for developing an advocacy campaign (posted online here: http://www.ala.org/alsc/sites/ala.org.alsc/files/content/NI14Handouts/MakingAdvocacyAwesomeProjectManagertemplate%20%281%29.pdf)
Helen Bloch led a brainstorm to identify actual and potential allies to help spread and support the library’s advocacy message.
We finished by banging the drum loudly as we cheered for advocacy and went forth to change minds and save the world!
“Ballet is so rigorous and formally precise. I spent a lot of time watching videos of ballet and going to see Misty dance specifically, because as precise as ballet is, the specificity of her art was most important to me. I wanted not just to capture the excitement of ballet, but the thrill of watching Misty perform those precision moves, the artistry that she brings to it.”
Today over at Kirkus
, I talk with Misty Copeland
and Christopher Myers
(pictured above), the creators of Firebird
, a picture book released by Putnam this month. That’s Chris quoted above, who is talking about Misty’s work as the second African American soloist in the history of the American Ballet Theatre.
That link will be here soon, and next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll have some artwork from the book.
* * * * * * *
Photos used with permission. Photo of Misty taken by Gregg Delman.
And I'm one of them! I've been a part of this annual award for four years now, and it never gets old. I'm looking forward to reading and discussing some fabulous easy readers and beginning chapter books in the months to come. Nominations start on October 1st, so mark your calendar and get ready to submit your favorite books.
And a big round of applause for all the judges who donate a huge amount of their time to this worthy endeavor.
For more info on the Cybils and a list of the judges, click here
According to Andye
If you've hung out with me, or around this blog for any amount of time, you'll know that YA Fantasy is my absolute favorite genre. Every time I hear there's a new one being published I start going into freak-out mode, needing to have it in my hands NOW! So, not surprisingly, many people ask me for recs of the best. I don't think I've ever actually compiled a list, so I
By: C. C. Gevry,
Who knew being brave would be so hard.
That’s a lesson Zippy learns when challenged by his older brother.
So he sets out to prove just how courageous he is.
Join Zippy on a nighttime adventure as he discovers not everyone in the forest is friendly.
Paperback: 50 pages
Publisher: White Bird Publications (September 2, 2014)
Hardcover: 50 pages
Publisher: White Bird Publications (September 2, 2014)
File Size: 24689 KB
Print Length: 50 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: White Bird Publications, LLC; 1 edition (September 2, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
My Cousin Rachel. Daphne du Maurier. 1951. 374 pages. [Source: Library]
Years ago I read and enjoyed Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I've been meaning to read more of her books ever since. My Cousin Rachel is the second of hers that I've read. I enjoyed it. I'm not sure I enjoyed it more than Rebecca. But I think it is safe to say that if you enjoyed Rebecca you will also (most likely) enjoy My Cousin Rachel.
My Cousin Rachel is narrated by Philip Ashley. He is the heir to his cousin Ambrose's estate. Ambrose took him in and raised him essentially. These two are close as can be. Daphne du Maurier knows how to do foreshadowing. In both Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel, she uses it generously giving readers time to prepare for tough times ahead. In this case, the foreshadowing is about Ambrose's trip abroad and his surprise wedding to a young woman, coincidentally a distant cousin, named Rachel. Rachel is a widow he meets in Italy. Instead of returning home to England, these two settle down in Italy--Florence, I believe. Philip is angsty to say the least. How dare my cousin do this to me! How dare he marry someone he barely knows! Philip spends months imagining Rachel's character and personality. She has to have an agenda! She has to be manipulative and scheming. She has to be TROUBLE. Now Philip doesn't voice his concerns to everyone he meets. He is more guarded, almost aware that it's silly of him to have this strong a reaction to someone he's never met. But Ambrose's happily ever after is short-lived. And not just because he dies. Ambrose wrote mysterious letters to Philip over several months. In these letters, Philip sees that all is not well. That there is something to his prejudice against Rachel. It seems that Ambrose has regrets, big regrets, about Rachel. The moodiest of all these letters reaches Philip after Ambrose's death.
So. What will Philip think of Rachel once he actually meets her? What will she think of him? Will they be friends or enemies? Will they trust one another? Should they trust one another? Whose story is based in reality? Is Rachel's accounting of Ambrose's last months true? Or was Ambrose right to mistrust Rachel? Will Philip be wise enough and objective enough to know what is going on?
The author certainly gives readers plenty to think about. Readers get almost all their information filtered through Philip's perspective. But I suppose the dialogue in the book might provide more. If one can trust Philip's recollection of it.
I think My Cousin Rachel is a character-driven horror novel. Though I'm not sure if horror is the right description. It is certainly creepy and weird. Not all horror novels star vampires and werewolves and ghosts and zombies.
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
Come and join me as I talk with author Jerilyn McIntyre about her chapter book Paws in the Piazza on Stories From Unknown Authors
http://blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors at 2 pm EST today.
“Back home, I was content to be just an ordinary house cat.
I didn’t get out much.
But it’s different here in Venice.”
How different? Harley quickly finds out after his family arrives in Italy.
He takes up with a group of local cats who roam wild in the alleys and neighborhoods of Venice, and meets the mysterious Angela,
a beautiful white Angora who steals his heart.
Then he becomes embroiled in a fierce and ongoing war between his friends and a rival band of cats, and discovers the magical order that underlies life in the enchanting and historic city that is his new home.
“Back home, I was content to be just an ordinary house cat. I didn’t get out much. But it’s different here in Venice.” How different? Harley quickly finds out after his family arrives in Italy. He takes up with a group of local cats who roam wild in the alleys and neighborhoods of Venice, and meets the mysterious Angela, a beautiful white Angora who steals his heart. Then he becomes embroiled in a fierce and ongoing war between his friends and a rival band of cats, and discovers the magical order that underlies life in the enchanting and historic city that is his new home.
- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: Bristlecone Books; First edition (December 11, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0989375323
- ISBN-13: 978-0989375320
Harley is a sleek black cat taking a vacation with his human family in Venice. Not really traveling much before, Venice opens Harley's eyes to many enchanting adventures. He becomes involved in a war between his new friends and a rival band of cats. He roams about the city in alleys and other neighborhoods. He learns much, but when his eyes fall upon a beautiful Angora cat whose mysteriousness enchants him, somehow stealing his heart, he does everything he can to know more about her. But will his vacation end in happiness or despair as his adventure leads him into one disaster after another?
Children between the ages of 10 and 14 will enjoy this 96 page chapter book animal adventure with Harley. This story will teach the reader about loyalty and courage, but also about the eternalness of love and how it can create a bond that is unbreakable.
By: Julie G,
Blog: Book Hooked
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Add a tag
Kick Lannigan, 21, is a survivor. Abducted at age six in broad daylight, the police, the public, perhaps even her family assumed the worst had occurred.
And then Kathleen Lannigan was found, alive, six years later. In the early months following her freedom, as Kick struggled with PTSD, her parents put her through a litany of therapies, but nothing helped until the detective who rescued her suggested Kick learn to fight. Before she was thirteen, Kick learned marksmanship, martial arts, boxing, archery, and knife throwing. She excelled at every one, vowing she would never be victimized again.
But when two children in the Portland area go missing in the same month, Kick goes into a tailspin. Then an enigmatic man Bishop approaches her with a proposition: he is convinced Kick's experiences and expertise can be used to help rescue the abductees. Little does Kick know the case will lead directly into her terrifying past…Writing
Chelsea Cain is one of my favorite thriller authors. I think she does a great job of creating flawed characters that the reader can truly root for, but believe at the same time. I mean, within limits - this is thriller writing, so yeah, we do have to suspend our disbelief a bit. She also does a great job of creating creepy, loathsome villains. Entertainment Value
This is where the novel shines. I read the entire book in one sitting, staying up till 2 AM to finish. I'm not typically one to sacrifice sleep for reading, so it says something about how much I was into the story. Loving the characters was just part of the pleasure - the book is also fast-paced and keeps the reader (or at least this reader) on the edge of her seat. Lots of fun, particularly with Kick, who knows how to do everything except take care of herself. And I loved her relationship with both her birth family and the family of her own creation.Overall
If you like Chelsea Cain, then you definitely have to try it. I also recommend it to fans of the thriller genre. In addition, I think it's worth giving a try if you're not looking for anything ultra-dark or intense. And by that I mean you're not going to get anything darker than the typical fare from shows like Criminal Minds or Law and Order. It does center around a child pornography ring, but there are no descriptions of child porn or abuse, just the knowledge that that is what is going on. If you're particularly squeamish about the subject, it may be one to avoid, but, again, you won't be exposed to anything not seen on the typical network hour crime drama.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review.
|Newlyweds Chris & Jenny|
By Chris Barton
for Cynthia Leitich Smith
Many of my ideas -- good, bad, and otherwise -- originate while I’m exercising, and Modern First Library
was among these.
One evening this past winter, while my wife, fellow author Jennifer Ziegler
, and I were walking our dog, I bemoaned an article I’d read
about an independent bookseller’s baby gift registry.
Of the classic picture books mentioned in the article -- through no fault of the store, I’m assuming -- the newest one was published during the first Nixon administration.
We’re in a pretty terrific era for picture books. You might even call it a golden age, and I’ve been working for years to try to contribute to it myself. But how, I griped, was the general book-buying public going to know about contemporary standouts such as I Want My Hat Back
by Jon Klassen
(Candlewick, 2011) if major media outlets so readily reinforce shoppers’ tendencies to look to their own youth -- or even to earlier decades -- for the books they give as gifts to modern kids?
If only, I thought, there was some way to leverage the public’s interest in buying the tried and true into the purchase of classics and contemporary titles. I wasn’t interested in just shifting sales from old to new -- booksellers and kids alike would benefit a lot more if those parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and godparents and family friends bought two picture books instead of just one.
Our walk ended, and that was as far as it went. But not for long.
A couple of weekends later, the groundshifting essays by Walter Dean Myers (“Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?”)
and Christopher Myers (“The Apartheid of Children’s Literature”)
ran in The New York Times.
A widespread urge to Do Something About This led to lots of conversations among authors, editors, librarians, and other champions of children’s literature. It led to the #WeNeedDiverseBooks
And it led me to email Meghan Goel, the children’s-book buyer at my beloved local indie BookPeople
, to discuss a new spin on the notion I’d had on that recent walk.
Wait -- email Meghan in what capacity?
As an author? Yes, but also as a BookPeople customer, and as a dad, and as a member of the community. Of various communities, in fact, large and small.
What’s important is not whether I felt especially qualified to lend my voice but rather that I had an idea that I thought might be worth trying and I decided not to keep it to myself.
Sharing an idea was the least I could do.
Here’s what I emailed, under the subject line “Getting past Goodnight Moon”:
Hey there, Meghan,
Like apparently half of everyone I know, I've read the Myers' New York Times essays with tremendous interest. And those essays sparked a diversity-encouraging idea that I wanted to run past a bookseller or two before I get too enamored of a notion that may be either entirely unoriginal or totally unworkable or both.
My sense is that there a lot of gift-giving adults whose familiarity with picture books doesn't go far beyond the likes of:
Would there be an effective way to encourage these adults to buy the classic titles they have in mind and a new picture book that reflects the modern, diverse world that the recipients inhabit? And could such an effort be widespread and long-lasting enough that it could reward publishers for doing a better job of making good on their good intentions?
Am I nuts? A simpleton? Both -- and way off base, to boot?
I'd love to know what you think.
“I love this idea.”
Right away, she came up with the name “Modern First Library.”
Meghan suggested partnering with a small but diverse group of other authors whose voices on behalf of such a program might make it more successful. And she thanked me for reaching out to her.
We worked together to come up with a list of other authors we wanted to have involved. We tossed around ideas for great, vibrant, fun contemporary titles that we ourselves would want to have as the foundation for a child’s first collection of picture books alongside the established classics.
All the while we kept in mind the need for a program that would work specifically for BookPeople -- for its staff, its available space for in-store and online promotion, and local tastes and demographics -- while being potentially repeatable by indie booksellers in other communities.
We didn’t rush into anything, even as the conversation about diversity in children’s literature remained a passionate one within the publishing and bookselling industries.
By the time our planning was done and the program launched
the first week in July, Modern First Library consisted of a simple in-store display of both standalone titles and starter sets of similarly themed books, plus an online campaign that soon began featuring insightful, inspiring blog posts
by locally based and nationally established creators of books for children and young adults.More starter sets are available online
, and the program is still picking up momentum. Those pre-wrapped gift sets will be heavily featured at the store during the upcoming holiday season.
Let me tell you, it feels great to know that young readers will be receiving selections from Modern First Library as gifts this year.
I stop by the Modern First Library display, just to admire it, every time I’m in BookPeople. Seeing it makes me glad all over again that I reached out to Meghan rather than assume I had no part to play in addressing the dearth of diversity in children’s literature.
And considering that all this began with my wife and me walking the dog, it’s certainly provided positive reinforcement for us to keep on getting plenty of exercise.
In all sorts of ways, this entire experience has been a gift in itself.Cynsational NotesChris Barton
is the author of the picture books Shark Vs. Train
(Little, Brown, 2010)(a New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller) and The Day-Glo Brothers
(Charlesbridge, 2009)(winner, American Library Association Sibert Honor), as well as the young adult nonfiction thriller Can I See Your I.D.? True Stories of False Identitie
s (Dial, 2011).
His 2014 publications include picture book Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet
(powerHouse) and his YA fiction debut as a contributor to the collection One Death, Nine Stories
(Candlewick), and 2015 will bring picture book biographies The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch
(Eerdman's) and Pioneers & Pirouettes: The Story of the First American Nutcracker
Chris and his wife, children's-YA novelist Jennifer Ziegler
(Revenge of the Flower Girls
(Scholastic, 2014)), live in Austin, Texas, with their family.
One reason I love my high school library job is that I don’t have to tell people what to do all day. Sure, I’m always checking passes, giving instructions and directions, or pointing the way to obtain the desired outcome. But, when a teen walks through the doors of our school library the decision about what to do next is totally up to them. It is so unlike walking into a classroom where the next 90 minutes are highly structured and choices are circumscribed. The ability to provide an intellectually stimulating environment where teens get to make the choice of what to do next is empowering for our young people and deserves to be protected.
The high school library is one of the few places where students are given decision-making power. Sure, it is the decision-making power over their own actions, but, that is where empowerment starts. When they walk through that library door, decisions await. Where to sit, computer or table? Do they need to work, or socialize a bit? Should they listen to music while they work independently, or work with a group of classmates? Do they want to work with a group of our coders on the 3D printer or lounge in a comfy chair and read a magazine? Perhaps they stayed up late studying last night and just need to take a nap. The library is one of the few places on the high school campus where students can be self-directed.
The library is the third place for our teens. Described by Ray Oldenburg as neither work (classroom) or home the third place is where community building and a sense of place are fostered and nourished. I say it is also a place where youth empowerment occurs. In our library, where teens have choices and can create their own culture we have helped to foster this third place. It is the place where the 3C’s of the 21st Century learning paradigm come together: communication, collaboration and creativity.
In a time when school and district administrators, as well as city government, want to defund libraries, eliminate staff and cut hours it is time for librarians to show that keeping libraries open and accessible is valuable. Just because many of our students research online and are collections are more digital than ever, school libraries remain that third place where students can become creators rather than just consumers. School libraries and teen libraries are that place where kids can meet, create, and communicate. In fact, it is one of the few places left for students to be able to do this and we owe it to them to keep our libraries open and staffed.
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Add a tag
Firstly a THANK YOU to Mark who got in touch. He has purchased Black Tower books and is only the second person to actually contact me about them!
It's nice to hear from readers.
Steve and Dan were also asking questions about Green Skies and other Black Tower projects.
Firstly, yes, there is still going to be a Green Skies book! It's going to be an epic like Return Of The Gods
so I decided that the publication date will be around January, 2015 which will celebrate 2014s BTC&Bs 30th anniversary. I want to set a bit more groundwork in motion first. It will be worth it.
Secondly, "What is the Invasion Earth trilogy?"
Well, back in 1987 I had plotted "Invasion Earth 1987 AD" which was a little title hommage to the 1966 Dr Who movie starring Peter Cushing -Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.1966
-what a year!
Anyway, the series was put together as a proposal to Fleetway where a couple editors liked the idea but then panicked when they realised there was no existing title they could fit the story into. Gil Page was Managing Editor and had the final "No" -Fleetway was a bit of a mess and merging with Maxwell Pergamon Publishing did not help. On the occasion I met Maxwell he was very enthusiastic because he wanted to publish a line of successful comics -I understand that he had heard Rupert Murdoch might
be thinking of publishing comics.
Multi-millionaires and their pissing up the wall competitions. Quite messy.
Some of the plot has been used in other books -the parasitic menace of the alien Krale, Freelancer and so on.
When I met Archie Goodwin at a UK Comic Art Convention (UKCAC) I outlined the idea to him (I still wanted to work for Marvel in those days). He was thoughtful and very kind but, ultimately, he said neither Marvel nor DC would probably touch the idea because they both had
to own character copyrights. He suggested Eclipse.
Please, never ever ask me about the response from Eclipse where I got a rant about the Germans and World War 2 --I still have no idea where that came from!!!
So nothing happened.
Then Print-on-Demand happened. Black tower adventure was relaunched in a new, bigger format. And as I had artwork for Return of the Gods I used it. When published as a "trade" it had 196 pages. I wasn't happy because so much had been left out so I got to work -331 pages was the end result.
Some background info here:http://hoopercomicart.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/the-ultimate-game-and-return-of-gods.html
But lots of threads came together including the alien menace to Earth, which got invaded by-the-way. All that rounded up part 1.
Part 2 looked at the aftermath and what the heroes were up to -or not. It's a stand alone book -The Cross Earths Caper. It sets up a lot of things BUT you do not have to buy Return to understand it. Nor buy the Cross Earths Caper to understand Return.
Then there is the third and ultimate part of this trilogy -Green Skies. Again, it is linked to events in Return, Cross Earths and Black Tower Adventure strips but
you do not have to buy those books to understand what is going on.
Green Skies will see so much cleared up, mysteries revealed and open the door for future stories but it will be the epic story out of the way. I'm not giving anything away. Nothing. But some aspects of the story seriously depressed me.
Because of the work involved, Green Skies should be out in January 2015 and will be the big 30th anniversary book from Black Tower. I can then breath a sigh of relief and relax.
I hope that answers some questions?
The last couple of weeks, I've been doing much of my kidlitosphere work behind the scenes selecting the judges for this year's Cybils awards. I'm very excited to introduce the panels for Fiction Picture Books, and we're going to have a great time sorting through over two hundred expected nominations to bring you the best titles. Get in your nominations and make us work for it!
I just wanted to say that if you weren't selected this year as a Cybils judge, don't take it personally. Please understand that the category chairs balance a lot of factors in putting together panels that can represent different perspectives and experience. Many times we were passing on former judges to let someone new have a chance. Other conversations had us we comparing how many librarians versus authors we had in a category. We might "give up" an experienced candidate to other category that needed more institutional knowledge. A blogger with tons of reviews might balance a less prolific blogger. An impassioned statement of why a candidate wanted to participate in the Cybils might trump their less passionate reviewing. Or not. In putting together panels we're looking for a mix of experience levels, different perspectives, blogging frequency, community participation, thoughtful reviewing, positive referrals, and application statements. Even the state where you live can become a tie-breaker.
And all these factors don't even getting into the various preferences of the category chairs. For me, an enthusiastic statement on the application can be more compelling than in-depth reviews. The Young Adult category, on the other hand, may
not choose a candidate that uses a lot of jacket-flap copy. Some of us look first to the "kidlit-related actives" part of the application, while others are noting the Twitter handle.
So it's bit of luck, along with talent, as in many many thing. If I were to give any advice, I'd suggest to apply early in the process , use the two discussion questions to tell us about yourself, make sure you submit sample posts that are relevant and show off some level of book analysis. If you didn't make the Cybils judging this year, please try again. And certainly help us in choosing the best books by nominating your favorite titles.
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Add a tag
Heroes on the run as super heroes become possessed by a dark force/entity. The world changing about them as the heroes mount a last ditch resistance. Using a pan-dimensional device to get from one point to the other. Eventually defeating the god-like opposition.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Avengers Vs X-Men
What does Wikipedia say?
Now, let me explain what happened. I was walking through a book store in Bristols Union Street when I saw some, presumably, sale item trades. One was Avengers Vs X-Men and had a price of £5.99. The book has 372 pages and collects Avengers Versus X-Men #0 and 1-12. On Ebay some crooks are asking for £45-70 which is $73-122.00 or 57-97 E:- Am I going to say "no"?
A clue to the answer is: (1) I've ready everything I have so many times its monotonous. (2) I bought the book.
So I sat down at 21:00 hrs and read the book in one long session --finishing about 01:00 hrs since I look at the art and don't just read through! All the way through the book I kept thinking "I'm sure I've seen this all before?"
Now, I have mentioned before that Avengers versus X-Men is not a new idea -1960s, 1970s, 1980s. But this time round it was 'different' but let's not get into that. Somewhere on this blog, if you can find it, you can read it. But let's deal with the 'epic' itself.
Were this another comic company using its own characters then it might have all worked. In fact, part through I just switched off 'Marvel' and continued. Then no real problem. But, seriously, far from being a "landmark pop-culture event" it was more akin to a "landmark slap-it-all-together-and-see-how-it-turns-out" event.
Firstly, we have Prince Namor The Sub-Mariner. I have a run of the 1960s series and just one story from that run wipes this AvX crap into the pan. Namor is treated as one of the "big guns" of the X-Men since he was "Marvels First Mutant" (no, I am NOT going there). Well, in fact he is treated a little like Aquaman is said to have been treated -as a joke.
The Thing and Luke Cage are smashing the crap out of Namor's face (UNDERWATER TO BOOT!!! W T F????) and what does the Scion of Atlantis do? He limply starts saying "Imperius Rex". I am NOT kidding. Cue another fight and Namor again getting the crap beaten out of him. His response? "Imperius Rex" but it gets worse. At another point he is transported by a pan-dimensional/Einstein-Rosenberg Bridge/Boom Tube type device to another location and as he looks up he says...."Imperius Rex".
I say there and, almost stunned. This is the best that such 'Great' writers could come up with? Let me give you an equation here:
Luke Cage invulnerability/strength v Sub-Mariner. Invulnerable, flies, super-super strength =Luke Cage delivered home in a doggy bag. Fact.
Ben Grimm aka The Thing -tough but has never beaten the Hulk. Namor has pummeled the Hulk and even fought him to a stand-still underwater and on solid ground. The Thing -again- has never beaten the Hulk. So...Thing v Sub-Mariner =Thing sent home in a doggy bag. Underwater Cage + Thing =Sub-Mariner delivered back to Fishy Al's in Atlantis is a dogfish bag.
No FECKIN way!!
Namor is treated like some inferior third rate hanger-on. Even with the "phoenix force" he is.....crap.
Very very very poor characterisation. However, as Bendis et al have shown they have no real interest in the characters what can you expect. It's all ego massaging and pay cheques to them.
Dr Strange Master of the Mystic Arts is tricked in the most dumb-ass way by young Illyana and gets creamed. This is, I assume, NOT the Dr Strange who defeated Nightmare, Mephisto and any other number of demons and supernatural threats? NOT the Dr Strange who was involved in the Sise-Neg Genesis? Or any of the major stories you'll find in his Marvel Premiere, Strange Tales or Dr Strange comics? Again, the Sorceror Supreme is a third rate character.
If you are going to throw in so many characters get a writer who CAN handle them --Kurt Busiek for one. Oh, I was forgetting that he has integrity.
The story-telling was very shaky and odd. I actually read this twice which is why it took me so long. Pacing seemed to be all over the place at times. I'll not mention characterisation again. Nova -another cast off character.
In one scene, Wanda The Scarlet Witch is invited back to Avengers Mansion. Here her 'ex'(?) husband, the synthezoid Vision, tears into her telling her it is no longer her home and she is no longer welcome. Now, she was invited back there BY Avengers and Tony Stark (I assume he still owns Avengers Mansion?) stands by as one of his oldest friends is told to "go feck off" but just says to, after: "I get it. I just always liked them together"....well, feck you, Tony.
Oh, and the kicker to this is that (I'm sobbing now -see that tear running down my cheek?) the Vision has his back turned to the others and is 'crying' -how poignant. No, not really. Just a bad...er..."hommage" to the famous "Even An android can cry" panel from Avengers v.1, no.58
When I saw that page (Avengers 58) first it really
had an impact on me. Even decades later I consider that to be one of the
most iconic images from the comic. In A v X it had no impact what-so-ever. I'd call it "naff".
The art. Well, there was not a great deal wrong there. Oddly, John Romita Jnr art shone through. Figures, colour -all seemed to work well. Frank Cho -well, he's Frank Cho! But this book showed the major problem if you have more than one artist. Yes, pick a good artist for pencils (if they use pencils any more) and a good inker. Give them the script and get to work. Yes, I know, two books BUT it's not a race to see how many crises a year you can produce....is it?
I had to keep checking while reading as Illyana looked different depending on who drew her, Emma Frost -ditto. And what the Hell was this costume -lack-of-design that was going on? Okay, Emma Frost (the character with the odd, changing personality) doesn't wear that much BUT it looked like they were trying to outdo Cher's outfit from the "Turn Back Time" video!
The focus of the story, the character Hope, attacks the Serpent Society during a robbery and this line is part of the dialogue:
"You mean your friend with the tail and big spiky arms? Did you guys know those arms are cybernetic? I didn't. Until i cut them off."
And then I got it:
Above: page 61 (in sequence) of Zenith Phase III: War In Heaven, 1988
Hmm. The Lloigor defeat and take over the bodies of heroes. Heroes from other parallels are fighting these creatures as the world changes around them. They use an Einstein-Rosen Bridge to travel from one point to another.
Hey, Wikipedia -whaddaya say?
Zenith Phase III involved a multi-dimensional war against the Lloigor utilizing comic-book characters from other British comics from the '50s, '60s and '70s (using either the actual characters or analogs, depending on their legal status). The Lloigor, close to "ascending" and dominating the universe(s), were waiting for the infinite alternate universes to align and form a universe-sized crystal –- the "Omnihedron". The multi-universal heroes destroed several alternate Earths to introduce a flaw into the Omnihedron and prevent the alignment, but discovered that they had been betrayed by Maximan: the destruction of the worlds removed a flaw already present in the Omnihedron. Only at the last moment did they succeed by destroying the alternate Earth that the Lloigor were using to ascend. Due to the vast cross-dimensional body count incurred in this series, a surviving superhero commented that it may have been "...a pyrrhic victory".
Hmm. A bit like the end to the whole Avengers Versus X-Men thing, you mean?
ran in 2000 AD
and it was criticised by some as consisting of "scratchy" artwork. Sheer and utter crap. Steve Yeowell produced a comic strip and art that is truly "of the time" -Punk, New Wave, Acid House --it's all there. Phase III, from which the art here is taken was probably the
best of the stories. Series writer, Grant Morrison described it, modestly, as "I think it is one of the greatest superhero crossover events ever."
Hmm. It is good. I'd say Crisis On Infinite Earth
at #1 with Zenith
at #2 but that's comparing it to American comics. By itself I think Zenith Phase III can't really be beaten. Yes, I know, there are certain people now calling me all sorts of names! I am not
a big Grant Morrison fan. I like some of his books just as I like some of Alan Moore's...but, no, I just ain't getting into that
You know, there are so many comparisons that I keep thinking "What are the chances?" Well, I have said it before, written it ad nauseum
so let's add a bit more nauseum
to the ad
There are in most genres, 6-7 story plots. Or basic ideas. The difference comes in how you develop and use those genre plots. Yeas, folk can say Zenith was "like" Crisis On Infinite Earths but
it was also quite different.
The gathering of heroes to go on a quest or fight a powerful foe is millenia old -Jason and the Argonauts is possibly the most famous but you also have Homer's The Illiad, set in the last weeks of the Trojan War -sigh. The movie "Troy" in case you don't read the Classics. So that is part of story-telling -whether the ancient or Medieval (such as Arthur and the Round Table) or even the modern super hero. The main hero in a group is also a common theme -Robin Hood, Hector and so on.
Now, unless I want to get out all my old 2000 ADs and read the Zenith strips the difference is that Crisis was collected into a trade paperback so you can read it in one book. Avengers Versus X-Men was collected into a trade (unbelievably there is a 140pp version with "expanded fight scenes"???). Zenith, however, has only appeared in no longer available Titan Books (someone is 'willing to sell' one of these for £400!!). And Rebellion Studios released a very -VERY- over-priced collection, and I know there are plans for single volumes but....
Off topic. Back to topic.
Having read the entire Avengers Versus X-Men trade I can say that it is NOT that well written considering the writers are over-hyped as "Today's modern masters of comic book story-telling". If that's true "We're fecked, mate!" Characterisation is not good. As I've already noted, if this were an Indie comic company book I'd be more impressed but it isn't. This is from what used to be Marvel Comics. And they still use the "House of Ideas" blurb?!
It's what happens if you have five hyped egoes who then get their stories turned into a script by one of their number -Bendis in this case. And here is what I like as the punchline for a story that comes out as passable.Two Assistant EditorsOne Associate EditorOne Editor
(come on, Tom Brevoort -who I used to respect- couldn't edit his lunch!)One Consulting EditorOne Editor In ChiefOne Chief Creative Officer snicker
One Executive Producer
That's five -FIVE- editors! "Chief Creative Officer" -if ever a job title said "Yes- man -free lunches" it's that one. "Executive Producer".....WTF??? Did he have the "casting couch" for the characters cus that might explain WHY Namor was treated like crap. He ain't biting the pillow for anyone. He likes his women! Executive Producer: "You don't put out you don't get, Namor" Namor:"Im...per...ius....Rex"
I may be a bit cruel. If you don't have any interest in the decades long history of the characters and a good read that won't challenge you then this is it. I'm sure many did enjoy this book. Really, people, do yourself a favour and go buy Avengers Forever by Kurt Busiek (a GOOD writer) and Carlos Pachecco -a great artist! You'll see epic story-telling.
There's that other book.... a 330 pages thick epic somewhere -gods, sci fi, robots, super heroes, magic, alien invasion, Lovecraftian dark old ones...no. Can't remember what it's called again.
Ah -THAT'S THE JOHNNY!
Editor Terry Hooper-Scharf
Writer Terry Hooper-Scharf
Penciller Terry Hooper-Scharf
Inker Terry Hooper-Scharf
Lettewring Terry Hooper-Scharf :-)
Design Terry Hooper-Scharf
Publisher Terry Hooper-Scharf
Medication Terry Hooper-Scharf
Black & White
STAND ALONE BOOK -no tie-ins to buy!!Price: £15.00
It begins slowly with Earth’s heroes going about their daily tasks –fighting a giant robot controlled by a mad scientist’s brain , attackers both human and mystical -even alien high priests of some mysterious cult and their zombie followers and, of course, a ghost and a young genius lost in time.
Ships in 3–5 business days
But there is a huge alien Mother-ship near the Moon and strange orange spheres chase some of Earth’s heroes who vanish into thin air –are they dead?
Then black, impenetrable domes cover cities world-wide.
Alien invasion of Earth!
A war between the Dark Old Gods and the pantheons that followed!
Warriors from Earth’s past having to battle each day and whether they die or not they are back the next day!
And no one suspects the driving force behind the events that could cause destruction and chaos throughout the multi-verse —assaulted on all fronts can Earth’s defenders succeed or will they fail...is this truly the end?
And, crypticaly, might I add -Andrew Hope should remember this: The Wonderland Effect
I love science, and I love poetry, so attending this session was a slam-dunk decision for me! This program was hosted by Sylvia Vardell and featured the poets Alma Flor Ada, Susan Blackaby, F. Isabel Campoy, & Janet Wong
Sylvia Vardell started us off by reading a poem call ed “Recycling” by Susan Blackaby, then walked us through the steps of “Take 5 with Poetry & Science:”
1. Read the poem aloud
2. Read again, inviting kids to participate in the reading
3. Discuss and research the poem and its topic
4. Connect the poem to a specific science topic with a demonstration or hands-on activity
5. Share more, related poems & other readings
Susan Blackaby shared some of her lovely poems and discussed the connections and similarities between poetry and science. Both science and poetry require precision, careful use of language, trying and trying again, and making revisions. Both use observation and description. Both are beautiful.
She also told us how, when her book Nest, Nook, & Cranny was reviewed by a biologist to make sure she had all the science right in her animal poems, there were no problems with the simple poems… but she had a wrong fact about beavers that forced her to make a change to her villanelle, a poetry form so complicated that “it can just reduce a poet to tears.”
Alma Flor Ada talked about the importance of children seeing “people like them” reflected in the people and subjects they read and study about. She said, “I think every child needs to know the richness and diversity of everyone who contributes to culture and science.” Ms. Ada read us a lovely essay from her and Isabel Campoy’s book Yes! We Are Latinos. Isabel Campoy followed with another moving essay from the book.
Janet Wong shared her insight on the value of reading poetry aloud with children, not just studying poems on the page. Reading aloud together, discussing poems, joining in and making connections with the poetry are much more engaging then dissecting them as a written assignment. She also talked about something that disturbs Janet Wong: at teacher conferences, her general poetry anthology sells out quickly, & some teachers say “Oh, you only have the science book left? I don’t do science.” That’s not responsible, Janet says, because teachers model their attitudes towards science to their students.
All of the poets talked about the ways that science poetry can be both a way into science for kids who think science isn’t for them… and a way into poetry for kids who think they aren’t poets.
The excellent handout from this session lists the books these poets have written, lots more books of science poetry, and a long list of websites to suppor science learning (and link to science poetry):
View Next 25 Posts
You already know that Atria Books is a big fan of Accidents of Marriage
, the latest book from bestselling author Randy Susan Meyers, and they are not the only ones!
Just take a look:A People Magazine
Book Pick!Library Journal
says “In successive, sensitively written chapters, Ben, Maddy, and Emmy pour out their heartache and despair, eliciting compassion and high hopes from caring readers.” Read the full review.The Star Tribune
calls Accidents of Marriage
“compelling,” praising Randy for her “deft exploration of the borders of abuse and the aftermath of tragedy, the triumphs and disappointments of recovery, and the possibilities of faith and forgiveness.” Read the full review.The Boston Globe
raves “A complex, captivating tale… In Accidents of Marriage
, Randy Susan Meyers explores a marriage undermined by one partner’s rage and the other’s complicity. The subject, emotional abuse, is usually addressed as a component of domestic violence, but Meyers’s novel explores how destructive emotional abuse by itself can be… Meyers deftly deploys a large cast of major and minor characters in telling this complex story. Her painstaking description of both emotional abuse and brain injury are impressive. Accidents of Marriage
… rewards readers in deeply satisfying ways.” Read the full review.
In a starred review, Kirkus
called it “beautifully written, poignant and thought-provoking.” Read the full review.
************Have you read it? What did you think? Share your reviews of Accidents of Marriage with Atria Books at:AtriaNewsRoom@simonandschuster.com
************RANDY SUSAN MEYERS
Randy Susan Meyers is the author of The Murderer’s Daughters
, a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award, named a “Must Read Book” and one of the “2011 Ten Best Works of Fiction” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book.
Her writing is informed by her work with abusers and victims of domestic violence, as well as her experience with youth impacted by street violence. She lives with her husband in Boston, where she teachers for the Grub Street Writer’s Center.
Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers is available now