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Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
1. Dr. Seuss Editor Cathy Goldsmith to Host Reddit AMA

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2. Disney Descendants Video Interview

Disney DescendantsMeet Cameron Boyce, Sofia Carson, and Booboo Stewart from Descendants

Attention villains and heroes alike! The new Disney Channel movie Descendants premieres Friday, July 31, at 8 p.m.! Are you excited to see what happens after “happily-ever-after?” Well, I got the chance to sit down with Cameron, Sofia, and Booboo and discuss their roles in the movie!

BOOBOO STEWART, DOVE CAMERON, CAMERON BOYCE, SOFIA CARSON, MITCHELL HOPE, SARAH JEFFERY

Image credit: Disney Channel/Jack Rowand

It was a blast getting to know Cameron, Sofia, and Booboo. I could see the camaraderie and friendship between them as they poked fun at each other and laughed together. They all reminded me in good, not evil, ways of their characters in Descendants. It was clear how much they loved creating this movie. Watch my exclusive videos with the stars below!

They started off with some words of wisdom about lessons fans can take away from Descendants. Apparently, this movie has a lot to teach you about growing up and becoming your own person.

Things became even more interesting when I asked what they wished they had known before filming the movie. Watch their funny responses here. Seems like Cameron Boyce did not like wearing that tight leather jacket!

Want to see more videos? Descendants stars reveal their favorite villains, other villain’s kids they would like to meet, glimpses into their own childhoods, second chances, and what it means to be the fairest of them all!

I could have hung out with these awesome stars all day, and I can’t wait to see Descendants! Leave a Comment about the interview and what about Descendants you’re most excited to see!

Megan, STACKS Intern

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3. Pine and the Winter Sparrow retold by Alexis York Lumbard

Pine and the Winter Sparrow is a retelling of a traditional Native American tale.  In the book a sparrow with a broken wing seeks shelter during the winter. All of the trees refuse him, except for Pine.  As a reward the pine tree becomes the only tree to not lose her leaves in the winter.  This is a nice book that teaches kindness, as well as a little bit about the rhythms of the seasons. 

Also Try:
The Magic Boat by Demi
A Grain of Rice by Helena Clare Pittman
Zomo the Rabbitt by Gerald McDermott

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4. Utah Boy Who Reads Junk Mail Receives Thousands of Books Thanks to Mailman's Facebook Plea


Matthew Flores
C/O Sandy post office
8850 s 700 e
Sandy, Utah 84070
He's counting on me, so I'm counting on you!






This is Matthew Flores. Today while delivering mail to his apartment complex, I saw him reading ads, and then he asked me if I had any extra mail he could read. He told me his wish is to have books to read. I told him the library had many, but he said they don't have a car, and couldn't afford the bus. So... let's get this 12 year old some books! Let's help him. I was given many books as a child, and it's time to help someone else! Please share and let's get him tons of reading material! Most kids his age want electronics! It's great to see his desire, and you should have seen him beam when I said I could help!
Matthew Flores
C/O Sandy post office
8850 s 700 e
Sandy, Utah 84070
He's counting on me, so I'm counting on you!

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5. If You Liked Cruel Beauty...

 

Contributed by Samantha Randolph, Staff Reviewer

 

Cruel Beauty is hands down one of my all time favorites. I’ve spent a whole chapter of my thesis working with it, and I just fall in love with it more every time I read it. My favorite part of the story? The main character, Nyx, a young woman who isn’t that nice. Nyx is a majorly complex character, full of bitterness, kindness, love, and hate. She is more than a touch wicked, but far, far from evil, and I love her for it.

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Here are 5 other books that have that same element of a main character who isn’t all smiles and sunshine (not that there is anything wrong with that either).

 

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Happy Reading!

 

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Samantha Randolph is a Staff Reviewer for YABC. She absolutely loves children's, middle grade, and young adult literature. Samantha is currently attending a small university where she will soon graduate with a degree in English Literature. She can also be found at The Forest of Words and Pages, Fresh Fiction, and most coffee shops that serve cinnamon roll lattes. 

 


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6. Swan Lake Illustrations


Last November I worked with the U.S. Educational publisher Seed Learning to illustrate a picture book version of Swan Lake for early readers. Last week I received an exciting parcel in the post with two copies of the book all the way from Korea! It was a really fun project to work on and made me face my fear of illustrating human characters! 

Here are a couple of spreads from the book...



 


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7. Five Little Monkeys

Board Book: Five Little Monkeys: A finger & toes nursery rhyme book. Natalie Marshall. Scholastic. 2015. 12 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence:  Five Little monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head. Mama called the doctor and the doctor said...No more moneys jumping on the bed!

Premise/plot: A board book adaptation of the classic nursery rhyme "Five Little Monkeys."

My thoughts: The pages are easy to turn, which is a good thing, always. The illustrations are nice enough, I suppose. The text itself isn't surprising or extra-wonderful. The book includes "helpful" illustrations for parents who are clueless on the motions of the song/rhyme. (Are they necessary?)

The traditional rhyme is fun. As is the song. Here's one of my favorite adaptations:


© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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8. A Pleasant Surprise

Last night, my 10th grade English teacher, Mrs. Frances Fedor, surprised me at my presentation at the Walpole Public Library! I remember her class vividly, especially the big term project. Students were put into groups, and we needed to make a movie or play based on a book. My group chose Stephen King's Misery. Somehow I convinced my group to make an animated adaptation, everybody colored in the hundreds of drawings and supplied voices—it was a ton of work. (And you can find the movie at https://youtu.be/LfTAbv0iRPA) There's no doubt that project was a precursor to what I do now. 
Mrs. Fedor also chaperoned my senior year trip to Camp Sunshine. My work with the campers there, all families dealing with pediatric cancer, had a tremendous impact on my life. I can still feel the ripples from that week today! 
Oh, and I also happened to have a slide of The Picture of Dorian Gray in my slideshow—Mrs. Fedor's assigned summer reading in 1992. How appropriate!

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9. Tell Me What to Dream About by Giselle Potter

This is a very sweet, whimsical book that will delight kids.  It's also a sweet book about sisters and the relationship between them.  The little sister has trouble sleeping, so the big sister comes up with increasingly outlandish suggestions to dream about. The illustrations are cute and colorful.

Also Try:
Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins
Wild by Emily Hughes
Home by Carson Ellis

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10. Publishers Look to Libraries for New E-Book Opportunities

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11. Book Recommendations


If you were to put a Roald Dahl book and a Beverly Cleary book in a blender, you'd get Dory Fantasamagory. We LOVED reading this chapter book in my house. 
I recommended this book on my weekly segment on SiriusXM Kids Place Live. Listen for me every Tuesday at 8 and 10 AM. 
And find an archive of the books I talk about on air via the Pinterest. http://t.co/YhzqNTsLJB http://t.co/nVPchG61HN

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12. One Good Dragon Deserves Another: Review

If only a perfectly nice dragon could be left well enough alone to manage his curse removal business with his partner (and crush) the human mage, Marci. Unfortunately for Julius, his family is far too big and far too, well, draconic to ever let him be. And clan seer Bob claims to have big plans for him. This does not at all add up to a quiet lifetime of removing tank badger spirits (don’t ask) from the erstwhile cursed. This series is just so much awesome fantasy fun. Picking up shortly after the events of Nice Dragons Finish Last, Julius and Marci are giving it their best to scrape by running a curse removal business when major events start happening that throw the two into a situation way beyond their means. Estella, seer, daughter of the Three Sisters and long time enemy of the Heartstriker clan has put into motion... Read more »

The post One Good Dragon Deserves Another: Review appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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13. Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox

Peace is an Offering is a short but nicely illustrated book about peace and kindness.  It gives many examples of peace, all of which kids can relate to. There is a lot of detail in the illustrations, so parents can expand on each page and talk about the various topics.

Also Try:
One Family by George Shannon
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
Old Turtle by Douglas Wood

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14. Get the Word out about Your #SummerLearning Successes!

You work hard all summer to provide teens with a variety of activities to help them learn and grow.  But chances are, your elected officials do not know about the great work you do and what it means to teens and to the community.  So, it's up to you to show them!  Elected officials need to know about the vital role libraries play in helping teens succeed in school and prepare for college, careers and life.  Without this knowledge, they will not be able to make informed decisions regarding key pieces of legislation, such as the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) or the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA).  District Days--the time when members of Congress are back in their home states--are the perfect chance for you to show off all the great things you do for and with teens through your library, by inviting your Congressperson to come and visit any time between Aug. 1 and Sept. 6, 2015.  You could also bring your teen patrons to them at their local office.  YALSA's wiki page has everything you need to extend your invitation, plan for a visit, and be a great host!  Your teens are relying on you to speak up for them, so be sure to seize this opportunity.  Then, tell us how it goes by sending photos and information using the #act4teens hashtag.

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15. Peanut Butter and Jellyfish Audiobook


Did you know that I recorded an audiobook of Peanut Butter and Jellyfish? Weston Woods & Scholastic Audio also made a spiffy animated adaptation. 
I just received my first review for my voiceover work. I'm used to getting taken to task for my words and pictures, but it was so surreal to read a review of my "acting." It was a really nice review!

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16. Some love from the New York Times

YAY!!!


http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/29/books/review/29childrens.html?_r=1
XOXOX

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17. Princeton Children's Book Festival

I'm incredibly honored to have created the artwork for the 2015 Princeton Children's Book Festival! It's their 10th anniversary, and I can't wait to join in on the festivities on September 19!


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18. An Incredible Signature: Thanks, Marcia and Sergio!

As writers, we put our books out into the world, and they take on a life of their own, apart from us. But sometimes, we get an echo back about what the book is doing, who is reading it and how they are affected. This week, I had one of those incredible, amazing and powerful moments.

Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma

Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma in English. Named an NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book 2015. | DarcyPattison.com Brazilian/Portuguese version of Abayomi. Released in Brazil Summer 2015. | Fiction Notes by Darcy Pattison

When I worked on the story of an orphaned puma cub from Brazil, the scientists involved were incredibly generous with their time and information. Dr. Marcia Goncalves Rodrigues and Sergio A.P. Ferreira made this book possible. With the publication of the Brazilian translation, they are able to go into the schools with Project Abayomi and do education of teachers and students. Recently, over 500 teachers listened the story of the plight of pumas and other wildlife in urban areas of Brazil.

That’s exciting news, for sure. To see a book travel to a different country and start to make a difference is amazing.

And then, I received this special version of the Portuguese version of the book. What’s so special about it? Why am I grinning so crazily?

Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma, personalized with a signature from the puma himself. | DarcyPattison.com
This book was signed by Abayomi himself. That’s his paw print. Thanks, Marcia and Sergio for allowing me to be part of Abayomi’s story.



Because Abayomi himself signed this book. When the puma was receiving a regular medical checkup, Sergio inked his paw and added his paw print to my book. This is one of those teary moments when you realize that a book isn’t JUST a book. It’s an idea. Pumas face very real dangers from loss of habitat and urban encroachment on their habitat. It’a a small thing to write a book; but a small book can have a huge impact. Thanks, Marcia and Sergio for allowing me the privilege of having a small part in Abayomi’s story. It’s been incredible.

Read More about the Brazilian Corridor Project for Pumas

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19. It's Tough to Lose Your Balloon

I'll never forget the unexpected thrill I got when I first saw my last name on the spine of a published book. For whatever reason, I had anticipated seeing it on the cover and title page, but not the spine. It's Tough to Lose Your Balloon marks the 30th time I've experienced this—and seeing my family name printed on the spine of a book is as thrilling as ever! (And you'll be able to see for yourself on September 8th, when Balloon launches!)
My new life goal is to see that consonant-heavy name printed horizontally on the spine of a book!

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20. Tonight in New York: Animation Block Party Opening Night

The opening night screening is free and open to the public.

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21. New Baby Books

With the imminent arrival of my own new baby, I’ve had baby books on the brain these past few months. From the books we recommend to sleepless parents to the books about childhood and technology we give to the parents of savvy teens, librarians are sometimes intimately involved in the struggles of our patrons’ childhoods. Never is this more clear than when we’re asked for books about a new baby. A great new sibling book can help immensely in easing the transition from being an only child to being one of a group.

julius_baby_of_the_worldKevin Henkes’s Julius, the Baby of the World is one of my favorite picture books, period, but it also is one of the best new sibling books I think I’ve read. I recommend it to parents all the time, and have the personal experience to back it up – this is the book my parents gave to me and my sister before the arrival of my much-younger baby brother. Children of all ages can identify with Lily’s excitement about her new sibling before he arrives and her horror at the way her life changes afterwards! The resolution, when it comes, is perfect. Of course Lily can say mean things about her brother, but no one else can!

peter's chairAnxiety over a new sibling is a universal issue, which is why a book first published in 1967,  Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats, as relevant today as it was the day it was published. When Peter’s parents repaint his crib pink for his new baby sister, Peter is perturbed but willing to let it go. When they decide to paint his chair, however, Peter takes a stand. Again, Peter’s eventual acceptance of his sister’s place in his life shows a way forward for children hearing the story that is both natural and comforting. Life will change with a new sibling, but it doesn’t have to change for the worse.

What are you favorite books about new babies?

 

The post New Baby Books appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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22. Will the Seminole Tribe of Florida & Hard Rock Buy the Venice Casinò?

Chief James Billie (center) with Hard Rock Cafe staff in Venice
(Venice, Italy) Chief James E. Billie, Chairman of the Seminole Tribal Council, is a colorful character -- gutsy, outspoken, warm and sincere, a Native American whose culture rings from his heart. Leader of the only unconquered Native American Tribe in the United States, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, who own Hard Rock International, Chief Billie served 22 years as Chairman/President of the tribe, from 1979 to 2001, "the longest tenure of any elected leader in the Western Hemisphere, other than Fidel Castro." The Seminoles are the only tribe that never signed a formal peace treaty with the United States.

Chief Billie's mother belonged to the Bird clan; his father was was a white sailor who went to Europe during WWII without knowing of the pregnancy. As an infant, Seminole medicine men wanted to kill Jim Billie the traditional way -- by stuffing mud in his mouth and leaving him to die in the Florida Everglades -- because he was a half-breed. His mother, Agnes Billie, who died when he was nine, and Betty Mae Tiger Jumper, another half-breed -- who went on to become the first and only tribal chairwoman -- put a stop to it. To earn money, Jim Billie went on to wrestle alligators for tourists, as well as build chickee huts.

Chickee hut at Big Cypress Indian Reservation
Chief Billie is one of the people responsible for giving birth to the Indian gaming industry in the United States by pushing through a contract to operate high-stakes bingo on the Seminoles' Hollywood reservation in 1979, and then leading the tribe when it won a US Supreme Court 1996 decision upholding the sovereign rights of tribes to conduct gaming on their reservations. Like many Indian tribes, the Seminoles were heavily dependent on federal welfare, which Billie believed were used to keep Indians "down, uneducated, inexperienced in the business world."

When the money started gushing in, Chief Billie became a thorn in the side of the Florida government and big business, insisting on behaving like a Native American by refusing to put toxic dumps and landfills on Seminole land, and being uncooperative about pipelines, flight paths, roads and telephone towers. No American Indian has been more investigated by the US government than Chief Billie-- including by the FBI and the IRS -- yet no agency has brought a single criminal charge against him. When he started to criticize his fellow councilmen's spending habits, and brought in an outside administrator, Chief Billie rankled the Seminole ranks, who began to block him. However, what actually brought him down was a woman scorned, who later said she had been coerced into filing suit against Billie for sexual misconduct by other Seminole leaders. Chief Billie was impeached by the Seminole Council in 2001, and started, once again, to build thatched chickee huts in South Florida, waiting for his opportunity to make a comeback.

Hamish Dodds, Chief Billie & Pablo Castrogiovanni - Hard Rock Cafe, Venice
In 2011, at age 67, James E. Billie defeated Mitchell Cypress, the previous two-term chairman, by a landslide to return, once again, as Chairman of the Seminole Tribe... which is why he was here in Venice at the Hard Rock Cafe on Monday, July 27 -- which also happened to be my birthday.

Cat Bauer with Seminole Chief Billie at Hard Rock Cafe, Venice
With James E. Billie was Hamish Dodds, Hard Rock International President and CEO, as well as Chief Billie's wife, Maria, 13-year-old son, Eecho, 12-year-old daughter, Aubee, and other members of the tribe including Josh John, Nancy Willie, Danny Tommie and Trishana Storm, a descendant of George Storm, the man who had taught Jim Billie how to wrestle alligators. It was a tight group.

As President and CEO of Hard Rock International, Hamish Dodds, a Scotsman, oversees all aspects of the global enterprise, and is responsible for strategic development. Previously, he worked as CEO for Cabcorp, and then in the upper ranks of PepsiCo. He said that Italy was a very, very important market for Hard Rock, and spoke of the passion the Seminole owners have for their own brand. Dodds said that it was not easy to do business in Italy, but that he thought that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was trying to make it easier.

Ca' Vendramin Calergi - Home of Venice Casinò
Dodd said he had been looking into investing in the casino here in Venice for about five years, but back then the environment was not conducive. Hard Rock is interested in buying the casino out by the airport and turning it into a Hard Rock Casino. When it comes to Ca' Vendramin Calergi, the casinò here in Venice on the Grand Canal -- the world's oldest casino -- Dodds said it was a beautiful, historic building that needed to be preserved, and they would be interested in an operating partnership with Venice, but do not want to put the Hard Rock name on it.

At that point I was bursting with excitement -- I had come to the conference hoping for the opportunity to discuss just that topic, and here the CEO of Hard Rock was presenting it himself! To me, if the Hard Rock transformed the casino by the airport into a Hard Rock Casino, yet was behind the scenes at Ca' Vendramin Calergi, it would bring much needed wealth and positive energy to Venice. Venetians and Seminole Indians under the leadership of Chief James E. Billie are a good fit. I THINK THIS IS A FANTASTIC IDEA.

Seminole Indians at Hard Rock Cafe, Venice
Chief Billie then told the story of how he had always loved rock and roll, especially Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, and plays himself (he was even nominated for a Grammy for his song, "Big Alligator"). He got back from serving in Vietnam, and kept seeing Hard Rock Cafe tee-shirts everywhere. So he bought a tee-shirt. Then, his tribe opened the first high-stakes bingo on the land of a sovereign Indian nation, and they got some money. One day he found himself sitting next to a guy named Pete on a first-class plane trip, who ended up being Peter Morton, who, together with Issac Tigrett, had founded the Hard Rock Cafe. They spoke about doing business together -- Chief Billie said he thought something along the lines of Hard Rock garb and a franchise, nothing like buying the company, which happened when he was not on the council.

Several times Chief Billie said how grateful and thankful he was. He taught us the Seminole word "Sho Na Bish," which means "thank you," and wants to put that on all the Hard Rocks, too, in addition to the LOVE ALL - SERVE ALL put there by Issac Tigrett.

When the conference was over, Hamish Dodds said that anyone -- the press, the employees, the kitchen staff, anyone -- could ask them anything. He was immediately interrupted and told that a list of questions had already been prepared. He responded that it would lose the spontaneity, but acquiesced. They were then asked several innocuous questions by the translator; for example, to Chief Billie: 'Why do you think the word "Hard Rock" is so successful, and what do you like about it?" To which he replied, "You can probably answer that yourself," and then went on to say it was a romantic word, a sexy word.

Maria, Chief Billie's wife, and Cat Bauer
Chief Billie also spoke about how much he loved his wife, Maria, and how grateful he was that she was here with him. He said that the Seminoles were good hunters, and that now they hunt for businesses instead of animals. He said that running into Hard Rock was a good hunt.

Chief Billie ended the conference by saying that back when the Seminole used to fight the military that they called themselves the unconquered, and that he had discovered that Venetians call themselves unconquered, too. Then he exclaimed: "Sho Na Bish!"

From the press notes:

With a total of 202 venues in 64 countries, including 154 cafes, 21 hotels and 10 casinos, Hard Rock International is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar Hard Rock owns the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe.

Visit www.hardrock.com for more information.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

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23. First Book- Manhattan


If you like Dr. Seuss and enjoy supporting First Book - Manhattan, you may want to save the date for this December event. I am delighted to be returning to Symphony Space to host this celebration and fundraiser. There will a cavalcade of talented actors on hand to read from the works of Dr. Seuss—this is not to be missed!

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24. C. H. Greenblatt ‘Not Thrilled’ With Nick’s Treatment of ‘Harvey Beaks’

New episodes of "Harvey Beaks" were pulled from the network's summer schedule with no warning to the staff.

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25. Face-Lift 1268


Guess the Plot

Misgivings of Pawns

1.  We're supposed to move forward little by little, but what's the point? We almost never make it to the other side. Those rooks and bishops and knights would eat us for lunch. No, we're staying put, it's too dangerous out there.

2. They are treated like pawns by their government. Yet even a lowly pawn can become a knight. Well, in chess anyway. But not in the Valnesian Empire. where they are squashed like bugs.

3. In the nightmarish not-so-distant future, humans have voluntarily subjugated themselves to a ruling elite called the Overseers. One day, 16-year-old Atricia gets too inquisitive about the hierarchy and finds herself in a Correction Camp. A mysterious, barely communicative boy rescues her and takes her to the Outlands, where rebels are preparing to restore humans as rulers of their own destiny. The fate of mankind rests on Atricia's shoulders. But first, she must figure out whether she is a Suzanne Collins character or a Stephenie Meyer character.

4. When the young wife of chess champion Feodor Wadzyk is found strangled in the family garage, homicide detective Zach Martinez knows two things. One, the 80-year-old chess master didn't use his own jock strap to kill the 20 year old model; and two, tonight is family game night, so when his Dad says the goddamn top hat is a hotel, the goddamn top hat is a hotel.

5. It was a mistake to come this close to shore. We could get caught in a net. What? Oh, I thought you said Misgivings of Prawns.



Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

My name is ________, and I am a recent high school graduate living in ________ in a town called ________. [I know it's unfair, but almost all of the people to whom you might send your query will lose interest after reading the phrase "recent high school graduate. Solution: Omit this sentence. They don't care where you live and if they want to know your name, it's at the bottom of the letter.] [By the way, I haven't been able to figure out what belongs in your second blank. My best guesses:

1. my parents' basement

2. a material world
3. Walmart ]

I am searching for an agent to represent my first book, Misgivings of Pawns, which is a 120,000-word epic fantasy story following a boy named Roland Traske on his journey through The Valnesian Empire. Within this book, I wanted to relate the mental hardships that losing one’s family, home, and way of life can cause while still telling an entertaining story. I ended up with a book that I’d love to read. [Excellent. That's one copy we can count on selling.] Roland, however, is an unwilling adventurer, and although his actions will decide the outcome of a conflict no one in his world saw coming, he’s nowhere near happy about it. Here’s what he has to say…

Hello, my name is Roland Traske, and this book is all about me...

…and how my life collapsed into fire and rubble.

Here, you’ll find the people, places, and events that started everything. I was barely a man in these pages, [Earlier you called him a boy. Tell us his age. Also, if he's a teen we'll be wondering whether you intend the book for a young adult audience or middle grade, or adults.] and The Valnesian Empire was being torn apart by conflicting beliefs and politics that I thought I understood. It only took one day for everything to come to a head and leave me broken, homeless and wandering.

That day and the days after doubtless had the makings of a good story, but as I ran from my ruined home and my ruined life, that was the last thing on my mind. When I fled across The Empire in the backs of wagons and on bleeding feet, I wasn’t worried about the plot. When I arrived in Watching and was sent on a hopeless errand by a desperate Lord, I wasn’t thinking about style. [I'm more interested in whether you were thinking about those things when you wrote the book.] When Fate revealed its own twisted plans for me in a place of death and darkness, I wasn’t dwelling on grammar. When I was gifted and cursed with powers I didn’t understand, I never considered symbolism. When I stood in defense of a city that wasn’t mine, I couldn’t care [have cared] less about character. [However, now that I'm trying to make a buck off my story, I'm told that all this crap I never cared about actually matters. Who knew?] [This is just a list of things that happen in the book (You left your ruined home, fled across the empire, attempted to run an errand, developed a super power and defended a city.) which you appear to be using to explain why your book isn't well-written. It also goes on too long. Three items is the most that should be on a list. Did you notice that my list of places you live had three items? Sure I could have continued:

4. luxury
5. Westeros
6. the psych ward
7. Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood
8. sin
9. a double-wide trailer
10. the funk

but you would have gotten bored.] 

All the way, I carried Pity at my side and a legacy on my back, but I also had a city of death on my conscience. I brought an end to ally and foe alike as I ran from my guilt, and it stung me each time, but I pressed on regardless. Now, looking back, I see that it had to be me. I was the only one who could have done what needed done [doing] and shouldered the weight that brought on. Looking back, I see that it was a good story, but I was the one who had to live every second of it. All I ask is that, as you read, remember that a good story does not always make for a good life and that I lived this one…

Because I’d give anything to change it all. [That whole section is vague. We want to know what happens in your book. What is Roland after? Who is trying to prevent him from getting it? What's his plan? What goes wrong?] 

Roland is a little morose right now, but there may still be hope for him down the road. Included are the ______ of Misgivings of Pawns, the beginning of his story. If you’re interested in the full manuscript, please contact me at this email and let me know. I’m currently preparing for college and working on my second book, Trials of a Knight.

Sincerely,


Notes

I couldn't tell if the section from Roland's point of view was the book's prologue or was an attempt to do something clever. Most agents would rather hear the story from you than from your character. If writing queries from the POV of a character in the book led to frequent success, everyone would do it, and agents would . . .  Well, actually, they would accept it because otherwise they'd have to go back to being editors. But the point is, agents don't want you to be clever, they want to know if you have a good story. Therefor, I recommend boiling your book down to three paragraphs:

1. The setup. Who's the main character and what's his situation when the plot begins to unfold? For instance: As war, pestilence and natural disasters consume the Valnesian Empire, sixteen-year-old Roland Traske watches as a marauding army destroys his home and kills his parents. He flees on foot, hitching an occasional ride on a wagon, and finds his way to the town of Watching, where a podiatrist cures his bleeding feet.

2. The Story. What does he want? Revenge on those who killed his family? To reach Pleasantville? To save his new home from an approaching danger? What's the biggest obstacle to attaining this goal? What's his plan? How does he go about it? What's this power that presumably gives him a chance of succeeding?

3. The Dilemma. What choice must he make when the chips are down? What's the downside of each choice? 


Focus on Roland. Within each paragraph connect ideas with transitions/cause and effect. Each sentence should lead logically to the next. You're telling a story, not making a list. 


Come up with a more intriguing title. I recommend Leon Trotsky: A Life 


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