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1. The story behind Modern First Library

Modern First Library

I’m guest-blogging over at Cynsations today with a behind-the-scenes account of how the Modern First Library program came about. Here’s a taste of what I’ve got to say:

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 campaign. 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.

Thank you, Cynthia Leitich Smith, for inviting me to share that story. And thanks to Meghan and the BookPeople staff for the fact that we have this story to share in the first place.

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2. Enter Now to WIN signed copies in the Ruff Life Series

Hi everyone

Things have really moved on at Ruff Life.  We now have 5 tremendously exciting books for you to have a blast reading. And to launch it all off we are giving away one signed copy of each of the following titles before Christmas, so if you hurry you can get a very rare extra Christmas gift.

Watch this space - the new links will be added as soon as they are available.

To enter for a chance of winning the signed copy of the new improved 2 edition It's A Ruff Life click on any of the following link.

GOOD LUCK!




Goodreads Book Giveaway

It's a Ruff Life by B.R. Tracey

It's a Ruff Life

by B.R. Tracey

Giveaway ends October 25, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win



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3. SALT & STORM by Kendall Kulper {Review}

"Review my Books" Review by Valerie <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin-top:0in; margin-right:0in; margin-bottom:10.0pt;

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4. H.C.Artmann-Preis

       I think it's pretty neat that the city of Vienna has a (biennial) H.C.Artmann-Preis -- a decent €10,000, and a namesake who isn't exactly one one would expect hidebound bureaucrats and politicians to appreciate. Near-impossible to translate, Atlas Press have given it a go with The Quest for Dr. U -- see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk -- but his original Viennese-dialect(ic) wordplay is, in fact, a challenge even for German-German readers.
       They've announced this year's winner of the prize, and it's Elfriede Czurda -- one of whose books, Almost 1 Book / Almost 1 Life, has been translated by Rosmarie Waldrop (if anyone could, then she); see the Burning Deck publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. (I have a copy; it looks good, and I hope to review it at some point.)

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5. When 3rd Place is Good. Empowering Students in the Library.

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.

 

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6. Book Blogger Hop - 9/19 - 9/25

 Question of the Week:

How important is a book's cover to your overall impression of it?


My Answer:

Oh my goodness...a cover to me is as important as the book's characters and storyline.

Covers pull me in.  I am a cover nut.  :) 

What about you? Would a cover make or break your decision to read a book? 








 


Read the complete post...

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7. Thursday Review: GIRL ON A WIRE by Gwenda Bond

Right--in the interests of full disclosure, Gwenda and I have the same agent, and we've been blog buds for a number of years, so be aware that any viewpoints herein may or may not be free of personal bias. :) I received a review copy of this book... Read the rest of this post

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8. Marking a Day of History - A Call to Write: Lucy Coats


It is hard to know what to write today - because I am writing this in the past. Today's landscape may be very different from yesterday's. Are we a nation irrevocably divided or a nation still hanging together by a thread? You, reading this, will know if Scotland is still with us. I do not yet.

It is a rare thing to realise, in advance, that a day of history is happening. Normally we can only look back and see with hindsight that it was so. Sometimes it's a small thing - a pebble which rolls a little way, almost unnoticed, and then sets off an avalanche of global proportions. Sometimes it's something so epic, so inconceivable, that it is itself the avalanche.

As writers and readers, I think we have a responsibility to mark days of history, even if only for ourselves. So I ask this of all of you reading this, writers or not: will you write today, please? Whichever side of the debate you have been on, - yes, no, or none - will you write down your experience of it so that future generations can know how you felt today? Whether you choose fiction or fact doesn't matter, whether you publish or keep it private doesn't matter. What matters is that it's there, a body of evidence for future generations if they want to read it. I will come back later today and write down my own reactions below. It will probably be a very emotional addendum, whatever the result. I am a Scot, after all.

New dates announced for Lucy's Guardian Masterclass on 'How to Write for Children' Why not book now?

Captain Beastlie's Pirate Party is now out from Nosy Crow!
"If you’re going to select only one revolting, repulsive pirate book, this is arrrr-guably the best." Kirkus
"What right-minded child could resist his allure?" Books for Keeps
"A rollicking story and a quite gloriously disgusting book that children (especially boys) will adore!" Parents In Touch magazine
Atticus the Storyteller's 100 Greek Myths is available from Orion Children's Books.
"A splendid reminder of the wonder of the oldest of stories…should be in every home and classroom" The Bookseller
Website and blog
Follow Lucy on Facebook 
Follow Lucy on Twitter

Lucy is represented by Sophie Hicks at The Sophie Hicks Agency

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9. Book Review: One Kick by Chelsea Cain

From Goodreads:
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.

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10. Literary Turk

       At Eurozine E. Khayyat wonders How to turn Turk ? (a piece originally published in the Belgrade Journal of Media and Communications), an interesting look at: "The literary history of the Turk".

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11. The 10 Best Young Adult Fantasy Series

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

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12. Friday Feature: Who R U Really? Book Birthday & Elixir Bound Sale and Giveaway


It’s a BOOKBirthday!
The birth of a debut book is often a long labor of love, and Margo Kelly’s Who R U Really? is no exception. Margo finished the first draft of the manuscript in 2010! More than four years later, more than four title changes, and way-more-than four revisions … it has finally arrived! WAHOO!

*.-*.-**throws confetti**.-*.-*
When Thea discovers a new role-playing game online, she breaks her parents’ rules to play. And in the world of the game, Thea falls for an older boy named Kit whose smarts and savvy can’t defeat his near-suicidal despair. Soon, he’s texting her, asking her to meet him, and talking in vague ways about how they can be together forever. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit’s allure, and hurtles toward the very fate her parents feared most. Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea’s life spins out of control.

“Kelly has painted a realistic picture of how a smart girl can get caught up in something dangerous online. … Guaranteed to give readers goosebumps.” -- School Library Journal.  (http://www.bookverdict.com)

“Thea’s mistakes, while frustrating to encounter, are frighteningly plausible, and the relationships among characters are well–fleshed out, especially between mother and daughter. Kelly’s first novel is a suspenseful page-turner.” -- Kirkus Reviews (www.kirkusreviews.com)

Who R U Really? published in hardcover and e-book versions by Merit Press (F+W Media) on September 18, 2014.

Buy online:

You can also enter for a chance to win a copy in the Goodreads giveaway here.

*.-*.-**throws confetti**.-*.-*

Margo Kellyis a native of the Northwest and currently resides in Idaho. A veteran public speaker, she is now actively pursuing her love of writing. Who R U Really? is her first novel. Margowelcomes the opportunities to speak to youth groups, library groups, and book clubs.

Follow her online:
Twitter: @MargoWKelly

Scheduled Appearances:
September 26, 2014 – 5pm – Book Signing at Hastings in Meridian, Idaho
September 27, 2014 – 4pm – Book Signing at Hastings on Overland in Boise, Idaho
October 3, 2014 – 7pm – Book Launch Party at Hyde Park Books in Boise, Idaho
October 11, 2014 – 4pm – Book Signing at Barnes & Noble in Boise, Idaho



That's not all! 



My fellow writer friend, Katie Carroll's YA fantasy, Elixir Bound, is on sale (ebook version) for only $.99 until September 27th. And there's a giveaway on Goodreads for a signed paper back. First, here's her book:




Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.

It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.




Ebook on sale for $.99 until September 27:

Prefer paperback? Enter the Goodreads giveaway here.

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13. Romain Gary at 100

       Romain Gary is one of the big-name authors celebrating the centenary of their birth in 2014 (others include: Tove Jansson, Julio Cortázar, and Arno Schmidt) and among the more impressive efforts celebrating that can now be found at the Institut français de Lituanie (!), where they have a pretty impressive web-documentaire on the Hocus Bogus-author. Yes, it's all in French, but if you can manage that it's well-worth your while.

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14. Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit

An homage to the institute of the fading British holiday centers, Graham Joyce tells an addictive tale here. David, a university student, spends his 1976 summer working at the rundown Skegness resort — a hot, sticky, and ladybug-infested summer — in order to escape home. Something has brought him here, although he's not sure what, [...]

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15. Newman Prize for Chinese Literature

       They've announced that Chu T'ien-Wen [朱天文] Wins 2015 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature. The fourth winner of the biennial prize -- after Mo Yan, Han Shaogong, and Yang Mu -- she beat out other nominees Yan Lianke, Yu Hua, Ge Fei, and Chang Kui-hsing.
       Chu is best-known in English for her novel, Notes of a Desolate Man; see the Columbia University Press publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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16. Under the Dome recap (link)

From Tor.com:

I gave up on Under the Dome at the end of last season (and it had such promise!), and I see that it continued its downward spiral: Under the Dome: “Turn”

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17. Book Beginnings - 9/19/14


*Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.  *Taken directly from Rose City Reader's Blog Page.

*****************
This is the same as last week.  I am almost done with LAST BREATH.  Very good mystery.
 
This week's book beginnings comes from LAST BREATH by Kimberly Belle.


"Some guy on Oprah last week said there is no such thing as an accidental lapse of memory.  That every phone call you forget to return, every errand you forget to run on the way home is a whisper of your subconscious."

That first line drew me in immediately.  I forget a lot of things lately. :)

*****************
Read last week and wanted to share.

Review is in the book's title.
FLIGHT OF THE SPARROW by Amy Belding Brown

It is an account of how folks had to live in Early, Puritan America.  It was a good historical book.
 *****************
What are you reading that you can't keep to yourself?  :)

*****************




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18. A Jumble of Things

Ah Thursday! A happy day that means tomorrow is Friday and the weekend is very close at hand. I have a jumble of things this evening.

RIP Update
I am nearly done with Haggard’s She. I am alternately amused and appalled by it. I have also found the structure of the novel interesting because Danielewski’s House of of Leaves which I am also reading has a similar structure. Maybe structure isn’t the right word, frame or perhaps technique would be better. I find it fascinating that this very Victorian novel and a wacky postmodern novel both use manuscripts from a dead man to tell the story and each uses footnote comments from the inheritor of the manuscript to comment on the the text. It goes even farther than that in House of Leaves. But that I am reading two RIP books from different centuries that both use the same approach is fascinating. I’m not sure what else to say about that yet, perhaps there is a post about it after I finish both books. Oh and House of Leaves, had me feeling the chills in broad daylight.

Andrea Dworkin
I did some looking into various books of hers today and it turns out that someone has probably illegally scanned them and made them available online as PDFs. So if you are interested, download them while you can! The titles I am especially curious about at the moment are Our Blood: Prophecies and Discourse on Sexual Politics, Woman Hating, and Right-Wing Women. I have no idea how long these books will be allowed to stay out in the wild, so if you are interested, get them now.

Experimental Novels
Flavorwire has a list of experimental novels that are worth the effort in honor of the publication in the U.S. of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing. I am proud to say the U.S. publisher is Minneapolis’s own independent Coffee House Press. Woo! I am very much interested in the novel. Has anyone read it yet?

As to Flavorwire’s list, I take exception to the “worth the effort” bit. Any good book is worth the effort, so what if it is difficult. The list is good in spite of that. I’ve not read any of the books on it though I have read other books by several of the authors listed. Does anyone have a favorite experimental novel (if that even really means anything) that is not on the list you would recommend?

Reading Insecurity
A somewhat amusing article at Slate, Reading Insecurity. What is it? That feeling that you are not getting as much from your reading as you used to. The worry that you aren’t reading as much and when you do read you are distracted. The belief that you spent all day lost in a book as a kid and can no longer achieve that level of reading nirvana. It isn’t a bad article as these things go.

Readathon!
I was just wondering the other day when the fall readathon was going to be because it has ben a couple years since I participated and I am in the mood. Then today in my feed reader, behold! Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is scheduled for Saturday, October 18th. I have signed up and I am already wondering what I will read! Not only that I am wondering what delicious snacks I can get Bookman to make me to fuel my reading! I’m not sure which I am more excited about, the reading binge or the snacks.

Well, that should do it for now. Off to get in a little exercise and a little reading.


Filed under: Books

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19. Free Fall Friday

IF metamorphosis final b

Dow Phumiruk is an aspiring children’s book illustrator.  She won the 2013 SCBWI On-the-Verge Emerging Voices Award that promotes diversity in children’s books.  Please visit her newly organized portfolio site at www.artbydow.blogspot.com.  The Emerging Voices Award 2014 opened for submission on September 15! Scroll to see Monday’s post about it.

ANNOUNCING THE WINNER OF DARLENE BECK-JACOBSON’S WHEELS OF CHANGE is: Drum roll please… Donna Taylor from Writer’s Side Up. Congratulations! Donna. Please send Darlene or me your email address so Darlene can send out your book.

Since I know so many in the audience love Eileen Spinelli, I thought you would want to read this interview Lora over at Words On A Limb had with Eileen. Here is the link:Eileen Spinelli Interview

joycebook

Joyce Wan just received her advance reader’s copy of her new picture book, THE WHALE IN MY SWIMMING POOL, which will hit book shelves in April 2015! A WHALE of a tale that is sure to evoke giggles from little guppies! ♥

At Running Press Kids, Lisa Cheng has been promoted to senior editor.

At Simon & Schuster Children’s, Jenica Nasworthy has been promoted to assistant managing editor.

Co-founder of start-up Ruckus Media and one-time president of Simon & Schuster Children’s Rick Richter is joining Zachary Schuster Harmsworth as an agent, working in their Boston office. Richter will represent children’s books as well as narrative nonfiction focused on history and military history.

Longtime editor Tom Miller will join Sanford J. Greenburger Associates as a literary agent on September 15. He will represent primarily nonfiction projects in the areas of diet and wellness, psychology and self-help, business, popular culture, spirituality, cooking, and narrative nonfiction. Most recently, he was an executive editor at McGraw-Hill.

Annie Nybo has been promoted to assistant editor at Margaret K. McElderry Books.

PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT A FIRST PAGE FOR CRITIQUE IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO HAVE THE CRITIQUE POSTED. Thanks!

Rachel_Brooks_LPA_photo_17781343_stdAgent Rachel Brooks from the L Perkins Agency has agreed to be September’s First Page Critiquer.

Before joining the L. Perkins Agency, Rachel worked as an agent apprentice to Louise Fury. In addition to her industry training, Rachel has a business degree and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English from Texas A&M University-CC.

WHAT RACHEL LIKES: She is excited about representing all genres of young adult and new adult fiction, as well as adult romance. While she is looking for all sub-genres of romance, she is especially interested in romantic suspense and urban fantasy. She is also on the lookout for fun picture books.

She’s a fan of dual POVs, loves both print and ebooks, and has a soft spot for marketing savvy writers.

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in September: In the subject line, please write “September First Page Critique” or “September First Page Picture Prompt Critique” and paste the text in the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it is as picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top.

Plus attach your first page to the email. Please format using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double spaced, no more than 23 lines. Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Remember to also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail, plus attach it in a Word document.

DEADLINE: September 19th.

RESULTS: September 26th.

You can only send in one first page each month. It can be the same first page each month or a different one, but if you sent it to me last month and it didn’t get chosen, you need to send it again for this month. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the same submission. It can be a first page from a work in process or you can use the picture prompt above.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, Kudos, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Agent at L. Perkins Agency, Dow Phumiruk, Editor Tom MIller joining Sanford J Greenbuger as Agent, Free Fall Friday, Publishing Industry promotions, Rachel Brooks, Simon & Schuster Children's

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20. Poetry with kids, Storified

Today on Twitter Sally Thomas wondered aloud what a ‘poetry-centered curriculum’ would look like, and a marvelous discussion ensued. Kortney of One Deep Drawer went to the trouble of Storifying the conversation—what a gem she is! Do hasten to her blog and enjoy it. (This link goes to her intro post, which links in turn to the Storify.)

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21. Being with Jane Goodall

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22. Nonfiction News

Have you seen the new nonfiction blog in town? The Nonfiction Minute is a project from the creators of Interesting Nonfiction for Kids. The blog features high interest articles and essays written by various nonfiction authors. There's also a page that provides educators with ideas for how to use the articles with students. Be sure to read Pamela S. Turner's post Why Crows Peck Eyeballs.

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23. Sony Unveils CGI Popeye Test by Genndy Tartakovsky

Sony Pictures Animation just debuted on its YouTube channel an exclusive animation test from Genndy Tartakovsky's "Popeye" CG feature.

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24. Book Spotlight: Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale

revenge

Once upon a time, in a land you only think you know, lived a little girl and her mother . . . or the woman she thought was her mother.

Every day, when the little girl played in her pretty garden, she grew more curious about what lay on the other side of the garden wall . . . a rather enormous garden wall.

And every year, as she grew older, things seemed weirder and weirder, until the day she finally climbed to the top of the wall and looked over into the mines and desert beyond.

Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale teams up with husband Dean Hale and brilliant artist Nathan Hale (no relation) to bring readers a swashbuckling and hilarious twist on the classic story as you’ve never seen it before. Watch as Rapunzel and her amazing hair team up with Jack (of beanstalk fame) to gallop around the wild and western landscape, changing lives, righting wrongs, and bringing joy to every soul they encounter.

Age Range: 10 – 14 years
Grade Level: 5 – 8
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; First Edition edition (August 5, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599902885
ISBN-13: 978-1599902883

PURCHASE HERE!


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25. Distracted

While getting off the bus, a woman
Saw her cell phone fall.
She leaned to pick it up,
Perhaps to get or make a call.

The driver pulled out from the curb
But crushed her with his tire.
He didn’t have a clue about
What he’d caused to transpire.

The woman’s dead, the driver free,
A story sad but true,
Distraction interfering with
The rules we thought we knew.

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