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Results 1 - 25 of 157,931
1. After the Offer

Here's a checklist of things to consider before you accept an offer.

http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2016/05/between-offer-and-acceptance-checklist.html

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2. Reflecting & Raising Clarity: Parent Communication

I began to see what my parent communication was missing. The families have various opportunities to see what we do in first grade, but I have not provided consistent access to the thinking and rationale behind my teaching practices.

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3. 30 Days of Books #27

 I saw this at The Written World--a blog I've been following for most of the time I've been blogging--and I thought I'd join in the fun. I believe the most recent recurrence of this is from Jenni Elyse's blog.

Today's prompt:  The most surprising plot twist or ending

Cain His Brother by Anne Perry

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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4. You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen

You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen  by Carole Boston Weatherford illustrated by Jeffrey Boston Weatherford Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2016 Grades 5-12 Carole Boston Weatherford is one of my favorite poets and authors of books for children. Her picture book, Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement won many awards and praises last year including a 2016 Sibert

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5. Review: Bring on the Heat

Bring on the Heat Bring on the Heat by Katie Rose
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This story had a great premise, but lost the plot. Badly. I liked Darcy and I liked Chase, but the whole pretending to be someone else is never going to fly. When Darcy's gig is up; of course, she's left alone and the real rich bitch gets the hot baseball player. I wish the story was fleshed out more.

View all my reviews


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6. Press Release Fun: Touring with Richard Peck

RichardPeck

Photo credit Sonya Sones (who, coincidentally, did my author photo as well)

As I mentioned in my 2016 Day of Dialog round-up, Richard Peck was the kickoff speaker this year, just before Book Expo.  I was moderating the middle grade fiction panel that morning, so I got to hang out with Richard in the green room a little before the event.  Now I’ve met him in the past, but very briefly indeed (I think I moderated a table for him at a different Book Expo event years ago).  A little more recently I posted on this blog about the fact that actress Lena Dunham has a Fair Weather tattoo.  I was assured by Richard’s editor later that she sent Lena a signed copy of Fair Weather after reading my post.

In any case, long story short, Richard by all rights shouldn’t have remembered me.  The man meets hundreds of librarians monthly, and yet if he’d forgotten my face he faked it with aplomb.  “You reviewed my pocket square!” he declared, and indeed that does sound like me.  Story checks out.

When you listen to Richard speak, it’s not talking.  It’s not speechifying.  It’s pure oratory, in crisp, clean perfection.  It makes you long for a time when students were taught public speaking as an artform.  And now, you lucky ducks, you have a chance to hear him firsthand.  You see, Richard has a new book out.  The details, should you be interested, are:

THE BEST MAN by Richard Peck (on sale September 20th; Ages 9-12; $16.99)

BestMan

When Archer is in sixth grade, his beloved uncle Paul marries another man–Archer’s favorite student teacher. But that’s getting ahead of the story, and a wonderful story it is. In Archer’s sweetly naïve but observant voice, his life through elementary school is recounted: the outspoken, ever-loyal friends he makes, the teachers who blunder or inspire, and the family members who serve as his role models. From one exhilarating, unexpected episode to another, Archer’s story rolls along as he puzzles over the people in his life and the kind of person he wants to become . . . and manages to help his uncle become his best self as well.

And since Richard’s on tour for this book, you can see him yourself.  I don’t often post tour dates here, but I do make the occasional exception.  And Richard is worth seeing.

The dates:

Monday, September 19th – DENVER, CO

6 PM

Tattered Cover

2526 E Colfax Ave

Denver, CO 80206

 

Thursday, September 29th – BELLINGHAM, WA

4 PM

Village Books

1200 11th St

Bellingham, WA 98225

 

Friday, September 30th – SEATTLE, WA

Time to Be Announced

Secret Garden Bookshop

2214 NW Market St, Seattle

WA 98107

 

Sunday, October 2nd – DANVILLE, CA

11 AM

Rakestraw Books

3 Railroad Ave

Danville, CA 94526

 

Tuesday, October 4th – PLEASANTON, CA

Time to be Announced

Towne Center Books

555 Main St

Pleasanton, CA 94566

 

Wednesday, October 5th – SAN JOSE, CA

3 PM

Hicklebees

1378 Lincoln Ave

San Jose, CA 95125

 

Tuesday, October 18th – NAPERVILLE, IL

7 pm

Andersons

123 W Jefferson Ave

Naperville, IL 60540

 

Wednesday, October 19th –NORTHBROOK, IL

Time to be Announced

Book Bin

1151 Church St

Northbrook, IL 60062

 

Thursday, October 20th – CHICAGO, IL

7 PM

The Book Stall

811 Elm St

Winnetka, IL 60093

 

Friday, November 4th – Raleigh, NC

7 PM

Quail Ridge Books

4381-105 Lassiter at North Hills Avenue

Raleigh, NC 27609

Author Bio:

Richard Peck has won almost every children’s fiction award, including the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the Newbery Medal, the Scott O’Dell Award, and the Edgar, and he has twice been nominated for a National Book Award. He was the first children’s author ever to have been awarded a National Humanities Medal. He lives in New York City.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7. 30 Days of Books: Day #28

I saw this at The Written World--a blog I've been following for most of the time I've been blogging--and I thought I'd join in the fun. I believe the most recent recurrence of this is from Jenni Elyse's blog.


Today's prompt:  Your favorite title(s)

Louise Loves Art. Kelly Light. 2014. 40 pages. [Source: Library]

I am choosing this one because it has a super-clever title. Louise, the heroine, loves, loves, loves art. She is always making masterpieces. But. She also has a little brother named Art. And this story is about what happens when Art destroys--with scissors--her latest masterpiece. 

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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8. Welcome to SOL Tuesday!

Writing isn't magic, yet your writing can only exist with you.

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9. Origami Yoda Doubleheader

Since I read these two books close enough to each other that they were both still hanging out in my blogging document, and because the first ended on something of a cliffhanger, I figured I might as well do a doubleheader.

Title: The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett
Author: Tom Angleberger
Published: 2013
Source: Local Library

Summary: The origami kids find themselves facing a great evil - the looming specter of standardized testing, and the cramming sessions that go along with them, which have taken the place of all their favorite elective classes. Can their rebellion defeat the Evil Empire?

First Impressions: Entertaining anti-test story. I also loved how many different kinds of kids wound up working together, and how the principal wasn't the ultimate evil. But - uhoh! Cliffhanger.

Later On: This remains a realistic and entertaining middle-school series. The multitude of characters started to lose me, especially when introducing new ones that weren't around or weren't important in the first few books, but the central characters (Dwight, Harvey, and Kellan) are all there and all distinct. This is also taking on a more series-oriented arc with the rebellion against mandated testing.
This isn't the one to start with (all those characters!) but for fans of the rest of the series, it's a worthy entry.

More: Kirkus

Title: Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue
Author: Tom Angleberger
Published: 2014
Source: Local Library

Summary: Picking up where the previous book left off, the McQuarrie Middle School gang's attempts to defeat the deadly dull test-prep program, FunTime, seem doomed to failure. But Princess Labelmaker's got a secret plan - to turn the records of the Rebellion over to Principal Rabbski, in a last desperate hope to get her on their side against the evil test company that's sucking the life out of their school.

First Impressions: Most of these tend to be episodic, but this one was very much so. Still enjoyable, but I can't quite tell whether it's the end or not.

Later On: I really started to lost track of who was who in this book, especially since they each seemed to get one or two mini-stories in this, relating how the Origami Rebellion has changed them and helped them see the world differently. Kids who have been devoted readers probably won't encounter that problem, though.

Apparently there's one more book in the series, Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus, which will follow the kids on the Washington, DC trip that they fought to get back during this book.

More: Ms. Yingling Reads

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10. Acknowledgements

We all want to thank the people who have helped us with our book, but make sure they want to be publicly acknowledged.

http://www.katemessner.com/think-before-you-thank-writers-acknowledgments/

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11. Calling All Aussie and Brit Spec Fic Fans!

Received in my email yesterday the following request from a lady doing her Masters thesis on diversity in speculative fiction. This is a subject that is being much discussed recently and it will be interesting to see what results she comes up with in her thesis. I'm going to do it.

Sorry, Australian and British fans only this time.

Take it away, Rachel Aitken!

Calling all science fiction and fantasy literature fans! I'm Rachel, and I'm a student from Scotland studying the MSc Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University. I'm currently conducting research for my dissertation, which aims to critically analyse racial and gender diversity within sci fi and fantasy fiction, specifically in the UK and Australia. I'm looking for participants to complete the following survey, where you will be asked about yourself, your opinions on diversity in the genre, with some case study questions regarding book cover decisions as well. The survey itself shouldn't take longer than 20 minutes, and I will be extremely grateful if you could complete it! It's for British and Australian participants only, as I am investigating differences in the genre between these two countries. The deadline for answers is July 17th. You can contact myself, if you have any questions, on Twitter (@rh_aitken) and you can access the survey here. Thank you again! 

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12. Submit to Editors First?

If you're planning to query agents, should you be also be submitting to editors?

http://sally-apokedak.com/2015/03/31/should-i-sub-to-editors-first/

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13. Tru & Nelle: A Behind-the-Scenes Mini Documentary

TruNelleGreg Neri.  Now there’s a guy with range.  If he isn’t writing a picture book bio of Johnny Cash he’s doing a middle grade novel on inner city cowboys or a graphic novel on Chicago’s South Side.  Some authors fall into predictable patterns.  Not Greg.  I honestly never know what the man’s going to come up with next.  So when I heard that his next novel was a middle grade about the real-life friendship between Truman Capote and Harper Lee, it just kinda made crazy sense.

Greg actually visited me here in Evanston a couple months ago with a small group of fellow authors.  Not long after, he touched base and told me that he’d gotten an invitation to speak at the Monroeville courthouse from To Kill a Mockingbird.  When that happened, his friend and filmmaker e.E Charlton-Trujillo (who wrote the amazing Prizefighter En Mi Casa) said the two of them should make a little documentary about his journey there in search of the real places and people behind the book.

Now the video is done and it’s a lot of fun to watch.  And just because you guys are so handsome and clever, I’ll let you have TWO mini-docs for the price of one.  Video #1 is the long version (9.5 minutes).  Video #2 is shorter (5 minutes).

Enjoy!

Interested in chatting with Greg about his books?  Well, if you’re headed to Orlando this week for the Annual Library Conference, he’ll be signing at the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt booth this Saturday at 10am.

Here’s a link where anyone can read more about the book: http://www.gregneri.com/home/#/tru-and-nelle/

Thanks to Greg for the scoop!

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14. Picture Books Bios I’d Like to See (Based Entirely on Hark, A Vagrant Comics)

Okay. So now we’re finally getting some interesting picture book biographies on a regular basis.  When I was a kid you had your Helen Keller and your Abraham Lincoln and you were GRATEFUL!  These days, people are interested in celebrating more than just the same ten people over and over again.  Why this year alone I’ve seen some incredibly interesting picture book biographies of comparatively obscure figures.  These include . . .

  • Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer by Diane Stanley, ill. Jessie Hartland
  • Ada’s Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer by Fiona Robinson (Ada’s really hot this year)
  • Anything But Ordinary: The True Story of Adelaide Herman, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff, ill. Iacopo Bruno
  • Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles by Mara Rockliff, ill. Hadley Hooper
  • Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois by Amy Novesky, ill. Isabelle Arsenault
  • Esquivel! Space‐Age Sound Artist by Susan Wood, ill. Duncan Tonatiuh
  • Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Ann Cole Lowe by Deborah Blumenthal, ill. Laura Freeman
  • I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy, ill. Elizabeth Baddeley
  • The Kid from Diamond Street: The Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith Houghton by Audrey Vernick, ill. Steven Salerno
  • Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop: Slave‐Explorer by Heather Henson, ill. Bryan Collier
  • Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean‐Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe
  • Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh, ill. Raul Colon
  • To the Stars! The First American Woman to Walk in Space by Carmella Van Vleet & Dr. Kathy Sullivan, ill. Nicole Wong
  • Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super‐Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton, ill. Don Tate
  • The William Hoy Story by Nancy Churnin, ill. Jez Tuya

And those are just the ones I’ve seen!

It’s encouraging.  And then I wonder – do people need suggestions for more fun biographies?  Because if they do have I got the woman for you!

First off, meet Kate Beaton.  You may only know her from her two Scholastic books, last year’s The Princess and the Pony and this year’s King Baby.  But Kate has been running an online comic site called Hark, A Vagrant! for years.  There are many lovely things about the site, but I’m particularly fond of her brief biographical comics on obscure historical figures.  She’s been doing them for years and once in a while I really do see one turned into a picture book (paging Ada Lovelace . . .).  So in today’s goofy post I’m going to pull out some of Kate’s work in the hopes that maybe there’s an author or illustrator there who’d like to write a picture book biography about someone awesome and relatively unknown.

By the way, you can follow these links to read these comics in a clearer format, if you like.  And I think you can even buy prints of them, if you want.

First up:

Katherine Sui Fun Cheung

KatherineSuiFunCheung

I legitimately had never heard of her.  A badass Asian-American aviatrix heroine?  Um… how is she NOT in a picture book bio?  Because quite frankly we could use a huge uptick in our Asian-American women bios in general.  Particularly if they involve air stunts.

Matthew Henson

hensonsm

Is it weird that there isn’t a really well-known Henson picture book biography out there?  I guess his life wasn’t completely perfect (second family at the North Pole and all) but as African-American explorers go, he’s fantastic.  As it happens, this was the first Hark, A Vagrant! comic I ever read.  I was a fan for life afterwards.

Rosalind Franklin

rosalindsm

She helps to discover DNA!  She doesn’t get credit for it!  This story has everything!

Dr. Sara Josephine Baker

Baker1Baker2

She’s so often just linked to Typhoid Mary, but Ms. Baker did wonders for infant mortality rates and just generally sounds like an amazing woman. And I like how Beaton draws her hair.

Ida B. Wells

IdaBWells

I’m pretty sure we’ve had picture book bios on her before, but the only one I can remember was for older kids.

Mary Seacole

seacolesmall

Again, never heard of her. And as Kate put it regarding Nightingale, “She is no longer my favorite Crimean War nurse.”  This is timely too since as of three days ago there was a report in The Guardian over the huge furor over a statue honoring Seacole’s achievements.  Read it, when you get a chance.  Then write a bio of Seacole.

Harvey Milk

HarveyMilk

Maybe not so obscure thanks to his biopic, but sure as shooting lacking in some significant pic bios.

Of course when all is said and done, Kate should really just make her own picture book biographies.  Or, do a book for older readers of Biographies You Should REALLY Know and Don’t.

Oh, it would work.

Happy writing!

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15. The Schaller-Cheney Road Show at Weird Fiction Review



The marvelous Weird Fiction Review website has now posted a conversation that Eric Schaller and I had about our books, our magazine The Revelator, the weirdness of New Hampshire, and other topics.

Along with this, WFR has posted Eric's story "Voices Carry" (originally in Shadows & Tall Trees) and my story "The Lake" (originally in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet).

So if you're curious about us or our writings (or just utterly bored), Weird Fiction Review is a great place to start.

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16. Writing Our Way to Goodbye

Today is my last day of school! My third grade students and I have been writing our way towards goodbye over the last few weeks.

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17. By the Great Horn Spoon

By the Great Horn Spoon! Sid Fleischman. 1963. 224 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: A sailing ship with two great sidewheels went splashing out of Boston harbor on a voyage around the Horn to San Francisco.

Premise/plot: Jack Flagg, our young hero, runs away from home--with his butler, Praiseworthy--to seek his fortune (literally) in the 1849 California Gold Rush. While the two set out with enough money to pay for their passage aboard a ship, the two are robbed while buying their tickets. They decide to stowaway though not for the entire voyage. They turn themselves into the ship's captain. They tell their story and prove willing to work. While working, one of them comes up with a genius way to catch the thief whom they are sure is on board. This is just the first sign that this team is unstoppable and that together they are in for a lot of adventure, danger, and FUN. The book chronicles their journey on the ship, and, in California. There's more comedy than drama. Which I think is overall a good thing. It's good to be kept smiling. And while this one may lack intensity and edge-of-your-seat suspense, it has a lot of feel-good adventure.

My thoughts: I may have a soft spot for this one because I spent so many hours playing Goldrush. I liked the comedy. I liked the friendship. I loved the resolution. How the two were working so hard so they could head back East to save the family home. And well, I won't spoil it. But it's lovely!

I would definitely recommend this one.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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18. Shopping At Dymock's - First Of The Year!

I'm now sitting at Ganache, a lovely chocolate and tea shop, having a well earned cuppa and three choccies. It's my usual reward for going out to buy books for the kids.

It was hard enough to get them to request what they felt like reading next - I have had more enthusiastic book clubbers in previous years. I mean, yes, they turn up at meetings and chat quite happily about things bookish, but there aren't the same cries of joy as they dive into a box of new books and too many of them read one book at a time and firmly refuse to borrow another one till it's finished.

But in the end, I had a decent shopping list from them - and, oddly, from some non members who turned up today, just in time, asking for such things as the next Magisterium novel(Holly Black and Cassndra Clare) and a series by a Polish gentleman which inspired a video game. And I found both! I bought the first novel in the series, and Book 2 of Magisterium(it was in the children's section instead of the YA and the Polish novel was in the SF). In the SF also I easily found a Terry Goodkind book for one of my book clubbers who wanted to read it because she had seen a TV show based on it. Fine. I imagine some of my spec fic lovers will read it after her.

There was a request for "more Diary of A Wimpy Kid, miss" from a Year 7 - I bought the latest,  which we don't have.

I'm afraid the vampire fans will miss out yet again. I did find a couple of the requested books, but not all, and the only Morganville Vampire book they had was the first, which we have. I must ask our bookseller if she can get hold of some more. I keep disappointing that young lady.

My young history lover, who was in my class in Year 8 the other year, asked for "anything about war."  I found a couple of books about WWI which he should find of interest but which Year 9 students can also use after him. One of them was actually on the CBCA short list a few years ago, but I must have missed it - I mostly read and buy the Older Readers books.

Speaking of which, I suddenly realised that they had some of this Year's Short List which I had missed. Two were Younger Reader books, but I bought them anyway. It's surprising what turns up there.

Anyway, time for tea and we will have some lovely new books early next term!


    Creative Commons image

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19. Coloring Book Review: Wonderland by Amy Shen



I have jumped into the deep end of the adult coloring trend.  I think a racing mind is a pretty common introvert problem and it's definitely an OCD problem - my head is very rarely a quiet place.  But I've found that coloring is one activity that really helps me turn off my thoughts.  If I'm coloring I can sit and watch an entire TV show without getting jittery or listen to an audiobook for longer than ten minutes without having to get up and DO SOMETHING.  It's a great way to relax and keep my hands busy and my mind occupied enough that it isn't running off in a billion directions (similar to sewing or painting or even processing and covering books for the library).  

All that to say, coloring has become one of my favorite hobbies and I'm always on the lookout for new coloring books.  I cannot express how thrilled I was to have a chance to review this one.  I wasn't familiar with Amy Shen before, but she has now joined Johanna Basford and Daria Song as a must-buy artist.  

Her illustrations are gorgeous and super intricate, which are my favorite to color.  I love lots and lots of tiny spaces to fill in.


Of course Pompom had to give it a good look too.  


I'm going to assume his snuggles means he loves it as much as I do.


I'm so glad that I had the chance to review this one.  It's just stunning, and a joy to color.  I've already finished the first pages, because I can't put it down and go to something else.  I also love that the author has included a story along with the book, so several pages have text.  It's her own take on Alice in Wonderland, so it is unique and new.  I'm really enjoying reading it as I color.

I highly recommend it if you're a fan of adult coloring books, especially if you're already a fan of artists like Basford and Song who do intricate and detailed drawings of fanciful settings.  And of course it has the bonus of being inspired by literature!

Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing me with a copy to review.


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20. Book Review: Bukowski in a Sundress by Kim Addonizio

Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life
Kim Addonizio is used to being exposed. As a writer of provocative poems and stories, she has encountered success along with snark: one critic dismissed her as “Charles Bukowski in a sundress.” (“Why not Walt Whitman in a sparkly tutu?” she muses.) Now, in this utterly original memoir in essays, she opens up to chronicle the joys and indignities in the life of a writer wandering through middle age.
              
Addonizio vividly captures moments of inspiration at the writing desk (or bed) and adventures on the road—from a champagne-and-vodka-fueled one-night stand at a writing conference to sparsely attended readings at remote Midwestern colleges. Her crackling, unfiltered wit brings colorful life to pieces like “What Writers Do All Day,” “How to Fall for a Younger Man,” and “Necrophilia” (that is, sexual attraction to men who are dead inside). And she turns a tender yet still comic eye to her family: her father, who sparked her love of poetry; her mother, a former tennis champion who struggled through Parkinson’s at the end of her life; and her daughter, who at a young age chanced upon some erotica she had written for Penthouse.
Writing
This book is such a joy to read.  Addonizio is obviously a talented poet - her word choice and lyricism shine through even in essay format.  In addition to having a stunning sense of which word will sound the best where, she's funny and smart and just the right amount of self-deprecating.  She can laugh at herself without being self-pitying.  I'm not a huge reader of poetry (esssays are more my style) but I will be picking up one of her poetry collections because I was so impressed with how poetic (and yet accessible) her essays were.  If her poetry is anything like her essays, I think I'll be able to appreciate it in a way that I don't with much modern poetry.

Entertainment Value
There are two themes among the essays in this collection - Addonizio's personal life and experiences and her experiences and thoughts on the art of writing.  I definitely preferred the essays about her craft to the essays about her personal life.  While her thoughts on writing are universal, I found her personal life to be just completely beyond the realm of my experience and not something I could identify with,

Overall
I highly recommend this to fans of poetry, fans of the author herself, or those who are invested in writing in some fashion, especially if you're trying to get published.  I've got a list of several author-friends I plan on sending my copy to.

Thanks to the publisher (Viking/Penuin Random House) for providing me with a copy to review!

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21. Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

It's 1943 and the world is in the throes of WWII.  In the small rural Pennsylvania community where Annabelle, 12, and her family live, things haven't changed that much with the exception of the gold stars in people's windows indicating that they have lost a loved one in the war. 

Years earlier, Toby, a gentle unkempt shell-shocked veteran from WWI, had arrived in Wolf Hallow after returning from the war, taking up residence in an old abandoned smokehouse and isolating himself from society, content to wander the woods surrounding the area to wrestle with his wartime demons.  Occasionally he would gratefully accept food from Annabelle's mother.

Into this mix, comes Betty Glengarry, a 14 year old girl who is sent to her grandparents in the country because she is considered to be "incorrigible," capable of doing harm to whomever she decides is her prey.  She immediately begins bullying Annabelle, and threatening to hurt her if she doesn't give Betty what she wants.  And she carries out her threat, hitting Annabelle on the thigh with a tree branch, when she is only given a penny.  Toby intervenes to help Annabelle and becomes Betty's next victim.  

Betty insists later that she saw Toby throw the rock that hit Annabelle's best friend Ruthie causing her to lose an eye, claiming the rock's real target appeared to be an older German man who had lived in Wolf Hollow for years. But Betty knew she could capitalize on people's renewed anti-German feelings, and Toby's eccentric behavior.  Annabelle knows the truth, but everyone believes Betty. After all, Betty looks like a sweet innocent girl with long blond braids and plaid dresses, while Toby looks like a “crazy” person wearing a long coat, a hat the covers most of his face, long straggly hair and always carrying three guns across his back.  

Betty continues her reign of terror directed at Annabelle, her two younger brothers and Toby, until one day, she goes missing.  And it doesn't take long for the community to point its collective finger at Toby, blaming him for what happens. 

Wolf Hollow is a beautiful and sensitively written, multilayered novel that tackles some really weighty themes.  It is narrated by a now adult Annabelle, looking back over the events of 1943, the distance giving her some understanding of what happened, yet letting the reader see how limited she was in some of her choices and her 12 year-old understanding of what was happening around her.  

I liked the way the author juxtaposed Betty and Toby, both characters suffering from some form of mental illness, she from what appears to be sociopathic behavior, he from PTSD, and challenging the reader to try to understand the moral dilemma that Annabelle faces.    

Lauren Wolk bravely allows the level of cruelty that Betty is capable of, without regret or guilty conscience, to evolve just as she allows Toby's odd dress and behavior to unfold in order to make a very important point about preconceived notions of who is guilty or who is innocent by how they appear.  Wolf Hollow, Annabelle's grandfather explains, is named that because in the old days when everyone was farming, the men would dig a deep hole and once it was full of wolves, they would shot them to keep their community and farms safe. And the question here is just who is the wolf that is threatening Wolf Hollow now?  Toby or Betty?  

This is a novel that becomes darker as the tension builds and there is plenty of tension. Though this is basically a middle grade novel, I would have to caution readers that it is not for all of kids.  There is some violence that just may be too disturbing to more sensitive readers.

Wolf Hollow is a morally complex novel that deals with themes of mental illness, courage, cowardice, and war, and yes, I highly recommend it.

This book is recommended for readers age 10+
This novel was an EARC, part of which was received from NetGalley

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22. Journey & Quest Giveaway

FTC Disclosure: I received complimentary review copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The giveaway prizes are provided by the publisher.

Hello everyone! I am happy to announce a great giveaway today--1 winner will receive hardcover copies of Journey and Quest, by Aaron Becker, to celebrate the August release of Return, the third book of this wordless picture book trilogy. US & Canada only please! Giveaway ends on 7/10/2016. Read on for more about the books.

Journey

Book # 1 in the Journey Trilogy
A 2014 Caldecott Honor Book

Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship.

A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

Q&A with Aaron Becker The Journey Trilogy Activity Kit

Quest

Aaron Becker, creator of Journey, a Caldecott Honor book, presents the next chapter in his stunning wordless fantasy.

A king emerges from a hidden door in a city park, startling two children sheltering from the rain. No sooner does he push a map and some strange objects into their hands than he is captured by hostile forces that whisk him back through the enchanted door. Just like that, the children are caught up in a quest to rescue the king and his kingdom from darkness, while illuminating the farthest reaches of their imagination. Colored markers in hand, they make their own way through the portal, under the sea, through a tropical paradise, over a perilous bridge, and high in the air with the help of a winged friend. Journey lovers will be thrilled to follow its characters on a new adventure threaded with familiar elements, while new fans will be swept into a visually captivating story that is even richer and more exhilarating than the first.

One more video, then it's time for the giveaway!

Giveaway Time!

Enter to win hardcover copies (1 each) of Journey and Quest by Aaron Becker. Prize provided by Candlewick Press.

  1. Open to the US/Canada only, ends 7/10/2016.
  2. No purchase is necessary to enter the giveaway. Void where prohibited.
  3. We and the publisher/publicity department are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
  4. One set of entries per household please.
  5. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
  6. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
  7. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
  8. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at readnowsleeplater@gmail.com
  9. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps, but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find.

Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for reading! Did you enjoy this post? Follow us on Bloglovin' to make sure you don't miss a thing! I'll also be back in a couple of weeks with the review post for Return, the latest in the Journey Trilogy.

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23. 2016 Completed Challenges: Once Upon A Time X

Name: Once Upon a Time X
Host: Stainless Steel Droppings (sign up here)
Dates: March 21-June 21 2016
# of Books: Signing up for Quest the First; five books from any of these categories (fantasy, folklore, fairy tales, mythology)
All reviews should be linked to the review site.

1) The Silver Chair. (Chronicles of Narnia #4) C.S. Lewis. 1953. HarperCollins. 243 pages. [Source: Bought] [fantasy, children's classic]
2) The Fellowship of the Ring. J.R.R. Tolkien. 1954/1965. Houghton Mifflin. 423 pages. [Source: Bought] [YA/Adult fantasy]
3) The Two Towers. J.R.R. Tolkien. 1954/1965. Houghton Mifflin. 352 pages. [Source: Bought] [YA/Adult fantasy]
4) Return of the King. J.R.R. Tolkien. 1955. 590 pages. [Source: Bought]
5) The Girl in the Tower. Lisa Schroeder. 2016. Henry Holt. 256 pages. [Source: Library] [Middle grade fantasy]
6) The Toymaker's Apprentice. Sherri L. Smith. 2015. 400 pages. [Source: Library] [MG/YA Fantasy]
7) The Children's Homer. Padraic Colum. 1918/1982. 256 pages. [Source: Bought] [MG Fantasy, Children's Classic]
8) Mary Poppins. P.L. Travers. Illustrated by Mary Shepard. 1934/2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 224 pages. [Source: Review Copy] [J/MG Children's Fantasy; Children's Classic]
9) The World of Winnie the Pooh. A.A. Milne. Illustrated by Ernest Shepard. 1926. 353 pages. [Source: Library]
10) A Midsummer Night's Dream. William Shakespeare. 1596. 181 pages. [Source: Library]
11) James and the Giant Peach. Roald Dahl. Illustrated by Quentin Blake. 1961. 146 pages. [Source: Library]
12) Fantastic Mr. Fox. Roald Dahl. Illustrated by Quentin Blake. 1970. 96 pages. [Source: Library]
13)  The BFG. Roald Dahl. Illustrated by Quentin Blake. 1982. 199 pages. [Source: Library]
14) Gudgekin, The Thistle Girl. John Gardner. 1976. 55 pages. [Source: Bought]
15)  Socks. Beverly Cleary. 1973. 160 pages. [Source: Library]

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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24. A Lion To Guard Us

A Lion To Guard Us. Clyde Robert Bulla. 1981. 117 pages. [Source: Library]

I really enjoyed reading Clyde Robert Bulla's A Lion To Guard Us. I saw this one on the library shelf, and, it said TAKE ME HOME. It is historical fiction and follows three siblings as they travel to America in 1609 to the first (and only) British settlement of Jamestown. The novel opens with Amanda hearing news of her father from a stranger--a sailor. Amanda is serving--in her mother's place--in a household. (Her mistress (Mistress Trippett) isn't the nicest or best.) Soon after the book begins, the mother dies leaving Amanda the sole guardian of her younger siblings: Jemmy and Meg. She wants to go to America and find their father. The problem? The family's money was taken by Mistress Trippett when the mother got sick and took to her bed. She's now claiming that the money isn't theirs but hers. And she's so insulted by their asking for the money, that she keeps all three out. Fortunately, they find a sympathetic soul in the doctor that treated the mother. This doctor, Dr. Crider, has dreams of his own. And those dreams include traveling to America. He takes the children in and promises a bright future for one and all. Their new lives will start aboard the ship The Sea Adventure. But readers learn that life is full of uncertainty...

I loved this one. It is historical fiction at its finest. I enjoyed the chacterization and the action. It's a very simple yet emotional story. Definitely recommended!

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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25. 30 Days of Books #26

 I saw this at The Written World--a blog I've been following for most of the time I've been blogging--and I thought I'd join in the fun. I believe the most recent recurrence of this is from Jenni Elyse's blog.

Today's prompt: A book that changed your opinion about something

Secrets from the Eating Lab by Traci Mann.  If I could send this book to myself twenty-two to twenty-five years ago, I wonder what I would have made of it?!?! How much grief I could have saved myself. Now, I am not advocating eating unhealthy and being as large as possible. Far from it. Just celebrating the fact that you can eat healthy, exercise, and still not be thin....and that is okay.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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