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By: Nicole L.,
The new classroom space is feeling a lot more like home now that the books are settled. There are still some adjustments to be made, but I am feeling ready for school to start. My new school community has been wonderfully welcoming, helping in any and all ways possible. And everyone is so ambitious, I am loving it! I would like to share some classroom pictures-soon!
Books I've Recently Read:
A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
Recommended for grades 5-7
This book opens with force. The recommended age range in the ARC is 3-6. I find myself often wondering if I am too conservative, am I censoring??!! my classroom library, or are some books simply being pushed too soon on readers too young? What do you think: The book opens with a scene in which our main character's mother hangs herself outside the hospital from the branch of a dogwood tree. Pram's mother is pregnant, and as a result Pram also dies, and is then revived. This dying and reviving is part of the backstory to where Pram's ability to communicate with the dead, and to move between the space of the living and the dead, comes from.
Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein
Recommended for grades 7+
Set in the 1920s-1940s, first in America and then in Ethiopia, we are taken on a journey with Emilia and Teo, the children of pilots Rhoda (White Raven) and Delia (Black Dove). This book offers a different perspective on what was taking place as WWII gained momentum in Ethiopia, not our typical American and European views. Of course the war is only one piece of this story. It is so much more, a story of family and courage, of being true to yourself and also finding who that self is.
I'm Currently Reading:
Thanks for stopping by! Happy back to school time :)
By: Sue Bursztynski,
George rescues a baby in a burning building and, as a reward, wins a trip to Australia on an adventure trip run by a company called Ultimate Bushcraft. They send two young group leaders to collect the group of boys from the airport and, right from the time the plane leaves, nasty things begin to happen, starting with an anaphylactic attack suffered by a boy who has an allergy to nuts - an attack that is no accident. One by one the boys die in the wilderness. As the story is told in statements by various people - and the rants of the killer - the reader knows that it is over and that George has been accused of the murders.
The author, a school principal(my guess is that it's a boys' school) who is writing under a pen name, knows how to keep boys turning pages. As a thriller it works well and I have no doubt that they will enjoy it; there are two other thrillers by this author that are doing very well.
The reader is fed quite a few red herring clues along the way as to who the killer might be, then they are all killed. That's fairly standard in a murder mystery, but it is usually possible to go back and realise the clues were there all along. I didn't feel that way this time.
I also had my doubts as to the plausibility of a number of things that happened, not so much the killings as the group leader's response to them. I can't discuss many of them without spoilers, but one example is that when the first boy falls seriously ill(poison), he is left behind with a carer but not immediately sent off to hospital - flown off if necessary. I would have thought that the group leader would have a lot of first aid and possibly paramedic skills that would make him ask questions, check the symptoms and call for help, then wait until help arrived. But this doesn't happen; the rest of the group continue with their activities and leave without him. He goes to hospital too late. I realise that the whole point of the novel is for everyone to die except the hero(hence the title), but it just didn't make sense to me.
In all fairness, I also thought a lot of things made no sense in The Da Vinci Code - it must be a thriller thing! They simply fall apart if the reader tries to make sense of them.
Will work well for boys from about thirteen up. I already have one waiting for this when I finish reviewing it.
By: Jerry Beck,
Blog: Cartoon Brew
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, Cyndi Lauper
, David Bowie
, David Zinn
, John Legend
, Jonathan Coulton
, Kevin Adams
, Kyle Jarrow
, Peter Nigrini
, SpongeBob Squarepants
, The Flaming Lips
, They Might Be Giants
, Tina Landau
, Tom Kitt
, Walter Trarbach
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'The SpongeBob Musical' will debut in Chicago next year before heading to Broadway.
|Monks and Scribes Guild Seeks Injunction |
Against New Self-Publisher, Gutenberg
Recently we've discussed some of the attractions that no-cost self-publishing providers offer to book writers. Amazon's KDP for e-books, and CreateSpace for printed books, were the focus of our earlier discussions, though there are also other providers. I published a Young Adult novel, Leaving Major Tela
, in both formats with these providers, and found it a generally interesting and encouraging experience. Now, another new development has arrived: reader-powered publishing.
It reminds one of how the music industry's decades-long, rigid control of who gets to have their music made available to the public, and how much it should cost, crumbled with the arrival of internet alternatives. Some, like pirating, were not valid alternatives, but others like You Tube
gave artists a chance to gain an audience, and revenues, from a large, potential fan base without going through the major labels. Here's how things have evolved in a related way for book publishing.Legacy publishers
are the long-serving, traditional publishers for the book industry. Over time, many of these publishers and their imprints have been acquired and merged into a fewer number of mega-corporations. The modern business practices and required profit margins imposed by the mega-corporations on their new publishing divisions have led to smaller editorial staff to acquire new manuscripts, guide them through the publication process, and conduct the marketing program. Since they have trimmed their work force to far fewer skilled editorial staff to do this work, the initial acquisition process has largely been farmed out to private, literary agents, who now act as the industry's first-line gatekeepers--at no cost to the mega-corporation. Gatekeepers
--there appear to be many literary agents available to do this job, but they all must compete to sell to the same mega-corporations. The marketability of any manuscript may depend on genres and themes that are currently in vogue, as researched by the mega-corporations, and a new writer working with a theme in any other area has difficulties getting past the gatekeepers. Agents, without a sufficient number of well-known writers contributing material to them, may choose to resort to passing along part of their overhead and operating costs to their hopeful, new writers--an increased price of admission for the writer.The mega-corporations
also depend to a much greater extent now on enlisting the free services of authors in their marketing campaigns, such as making book-signing tours. Some authors may relish this, others may not.The early business models of the new, self-publishing providers
seem designed to give authors greater access to getting their book produced in e-book or printed versions, with minimal gatekeeping hurdles, and at essentially no cost to the author. However, there has been little marketing followup by the self-publishing provider, aside from displaying an attractive webpage wherein the book description and its contents may be sampled online by the prospective reader, and which provides the reader an opportunity to click on the ordering button. But how to coax the reader to find that page? Providing links on your own blogging pages, or getting the book reviewed by other bloggers, are typical author strategies. An author can also make his book more attractive to the casual web surfer by publicizing favorable reviews from prominent readers' websites, like ReadersFavorites.com, or GoodReads.com. Such marketing is hard, and requires a degree of luck to get a following, but it can be done in a writer's available time, and from his own office.The newest business model of "reader-powered" publishing"
is the (Amazon) Kindle Scout venture. In this model:
Authors who want to get their books published submit to Kindle Scout and accept the Submission & Publishing Agreement. The first pages (about 5,000 words) from each book are posted on the Kindle Scout website for a 30-day scouting period where readers can nominate up to three books at a time. The more nominations a book receives, the more likely it gets discovered by the Kindle Scout team. If selected, the book will be published by Kindle Press and all the readers who nominated the book will receive an early, free copy and be invited to leave reviews.
When an author's book is selected by this process, Kindle Press offers a $1,500 advance and 50% e-book royalties. Kindle Press books will be enrolled and earn royalties for participation in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited, as well as be eligible for targeted email campaigns and promotions. The advance and e-book royalties seem acceptable, but the proposed Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited compensation is not specifically given. In the past my opinion of those programs in the earlier (and ongoing) business model has been they provide library content to serve as free perks to attract subscription-based customer programs, but provide little or no compensation to the writers.
I think I might like to submit a manuscript to Kindle Scout, and if so, would report more on the experience later.
By: Julie G,
Blog: Book Hooked
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Carolyn's not so different from the other human beings around her. She's sure of it. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. She even remembers what clothes are for. Writing
After all, she was a normal American herself, once.
That was a long time ago, of course—before the time she calls “adoption day,” when she and a dozen other children found themselves being raised by a man they learned to call Father.
Father could do strange things. He could call light from darkness. Sometimes he raised the dead. And when he was disobeyed, the consequences were terrible.
In the years since Father took her in, Carolyn hasn't gotten out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father's ancient Pelapi customs. They've studied the books in his library and learned some of the secrets behind his equally ancient power.
Sometimes, they've wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God.
Now, Father is missing. And if God truly is dead, the only thing that matters is who will inherit his library—and with it, power over all of creation.
As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her.
But Carolyn can win. She's sure of it. What she doesn't realize is that her victory may come at an unacceptable price—because in becoming a God, she's forgotten a great deal about being human.
I seriously can't believe this is a debut. It is SO imaginative, so original, and so unique. The characters are original and the story line is just insane. It's one of the first books I've read in a long time where I just had absolutely no idea where it could be leading. In terms of fantasy, I usually gravitate towards the more medieval settings of high fantasy, but this one is set in our world. I would compare Carolyn and her siblings to the Weasleys - a magical family that is thrust into the world of regular Americans and has no idea how to fit in. But a twisted, psychotic, totally unhinged version of the Weasleys. I don't want to say too much and reveal anything, but if you like having no idea what will happen next, this is a book you need. And the fact that this is Hawkins' first novel is amazing, because the writing is spot on. The perfect blend of funny and horrific. I think the Neil Gaiman comparisons I've read are spot on, but this is more brutal than any of the Gaiman I've read.Entertainment Value
Well, I stayed up till 2AM finishing this one, so you can certainly say I was entertained. I couldn't stop listening. Because the book is so dark, there were times when I felt like my brain maybe needed a break, but I just couldn't stop. It's funny and has its moments of lightheartedness, but it's also a very dark book with its fair share of violence. I can't wait to see what else this author writes - he's definitely on my must-read authors list now.Overall
Yes, yes, yes, a million times yes. This is maybe the best book I've read this year. It's everything I didn't know I loved. My words of caution are that it is violent and gruesome (if you can't handle Game of Thrones, maybe skip this one) and has its fair share of bad language. It's not family listening. Don't put it on in the car while you drive your kids to school or share it with your grandma. But if you can handle some violence (including a scene or two of violence with animals) you absolutely must read this. And when you're done, message me and let's discuss!
Thanks to NetGalley and to Hoopla for providing me with a copy to review.
This blog post is sponsored by T. Rowe Price.
Are you a money confident kid? Here’s a chance to win one of six different prizes including $1,500 and a library of books for your classroom! All you need to do is interview your parent or guardian and write a short essay about the experience. Go to scholastic.com/mck/entryform.pdf for all the details and to download the entry form.
Questions? Post below!
Ms. Marvel Volume 1, No Normal by G. Willow Wilson (story) and Adrian Alphona (artist) made me giddy happy it was so much fun. I completely understand why it won a Hugo Award last week and I am very much looking forward to reading more of the story.
And about that story.
Kamala is sixteen and wishes she were someone else. Her family is Muslim and from Pakistan. She is not allowed to go to parties or go out on dates with boys. Her parents are liberal as far as they can be but even that is too strict for Kamala who wants to fit in and be like everyone else. She loves the Avengers and dreams of being Captain Marvel.
One of the popular girls at school invites her to a beach party and Kamala sneaks out of the house to go only to discover when she arrives that the point of her being there is to serve as the butt of jokes. She runs off and the city is overtaken by a mysterious mist. In the mist Kamala is visited by Iron Man, Captain America, and Captain Marvel. She is granted her wish to be Captain Marvel who tells her that things will not turn out the way she thinks they will.
And it’s true. As Kamala tries to figure out her new super powers and how to use them to help people she often misreads situations and causes more harm than good. But with the help of her best friends, Nakia and Bruno, Kamala learns a few important lessons about friendship, helping others, and being herself. The latter is of course the most important lesson of all because it isn’t until Kamala understands that she can’t be Captain Marvel but only ever herself, everything else comes together. And thus she becomes not Captain Marvel but Ms. Marvel.
By the end of the story she has made a daring rescue and gained a nemesis as well as been grounded by her parents. It’s hard to fight evil when you’re grounded, but I expect Kamala will figure it out.
I’ve never thought of myself as a comic kind of reader and while I enjoy The Avengers films and Agent Carter and Agents of Shield, I have not been especially interested in reading the comics. But Ms. Marvel while on the fringe of the superhero comic world, is her own story that is also outside of all the already known superhero stories. That to me makes it fresh and interesting especially because she is not your average kind of superhero. More fun and adventures ahead!
Filed under: Graphic Novels
By: Shawn Donley,
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, Bill Clegg
, David Huddle
, Haven Kimmel
, Jenny Offill
, Lauren Groff
, Ottessa Moshfegh
, Peter Mendelsund
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In January of this year, eight months before its release date, the buzz was already starting to build for Bill Clegg's Did You Ever Have a Family. Bookseller colleagues were passing around the few advanced reader copies we could get a hold of and telling each other, "You have to read this!" Four major review [...]
posted by Neil Gaiman
Amanda is now 8 and a bit months' pregnant, and she wanted to have our baby off the grid, in the middle of the woods with nothing and nobody around but midwives, a doula, and me.
Which seemed like an odd idea when she first floated it by me, but has come to strike me as more and more sensible in the last few months, especially when I would look at my deadlines. It's been a mad year anyway, and more and more things have crept onto my schedule: the idea of going off to a cabin in the woods and writing, away from phones or emails or any distractions seemed increasingly attractive. So I get the best of all worlds: undistracted time with Amanda, undistracted time with Amanda and the baby (when he appears), and relatively undistracted time to write.
Photo by Kyle Cassidy, last Friday.
Except, the birth-month is September. And September is the month when everything is happening.
The last issue of Sandman Overture
will come out in September (although not the hardback collected edition of the whole thing. That comes out on November 10th -- my birthday, oddly enough: details at http://bit.ly/OvertureDeluxe
And, more personal for me even than these, it's the month that the Humble Bundle happens.
You know what a Humble Bundle is, don't you…? It's a bundle of Digital Stuff (usually games, sometimes eBooks or Graphic Novels) that goes out to the world on a Pay What You Like basis. Sometimes you can get hundreds of dollars of stuff cheaply.
But I think it's fair to say there will never have been a Humble Bundle like this before. Why ever is that? you wonder. Ah, you will have to be patient. It's going to be remarkable.
I'm going to be away. So I'm planning to learn how to use the various timed posting things on Twitter and Facebook and here on the Blog. People will think I am back from the woods, but no, I won't be. Magical timed postings will be going up to let people know what's happening.
(This may also result in a few tone deaf postings in September, as I apparently plug the Humble Bundle or Sleeper and the Spindle immediately after I hike into town to find internet to tell you that the baby has turned up. Forgive me if they happen.)
A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.
As libraries continue to evaluate the needs of their communities, the physical space of libraries may evolve in an effort to meet those needs. Space may be repurposed for a teen area, new tables and chairs might arrive so patrons can create their own collaborative spaces, and group study rooms may be constructed. For patrons that rely on digital devices, additional outlets or charging stations could be in demand, desktop stations may move to make room for laptop bars, and mounted televisions for gaming, video conferencing, and collaborative projects may be needed. Below are some examples of libraries that underwent renovations, purchased new furniture, or reorganized bookshelves to make room for more open spaces and meet the changing technology needs of their patrons. Has your library undergone a similar change? We want to hear from you! Share with us in the comments section below.
For more information about teen spaces and the envisioned future of library spaces, please see The Need for Teen Spaces in Public Libraries and The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report.
Christian Trimmer photo credit: Walker Brockington.
In addition to being a debut picture book author, Christian Trimmer is an editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. I love his enthusiasm for kidlit/YA on his Twitter feed, plus he's edited some pretty amazing books. Like THE DEATH AND LIFE OF ZEBULON FINCH by Daniel Kraus (here's what I posted about the book), which comes out from S&S BFYR this October.
You can find Christian Trimmer on Twitter at @MisterTrimmer, his website at Christiantrimmer.com and the Simon & Schuster BFYR team page.
Synopsis of SIMON'S NEW BED, written by Christian Trimmer and illustrated by Melissa van der Paardt:
"After a lazy afternoon of watching cat and dog videos, I was inspired to write this harrowing tale of the deep-rooted tension that exists between siblings. Much like Cal and Aron Trask or the daughters of King Lear, Simon and Miss Adora Belle are in a never-ending battle for supremacy. Also, cats stealing dog beds!"
Q. Could you please take a photo of something in your office and tell us the story behind it?
I’m a huge Ben Clanton fan. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers recently published his Something Extraordinary, which I was very fortunate to inherit from Julia Maguire (who is now at Random House). Ben’s stories are so sweet and playful, and his art is wonderfully expressive. He and I are working on a bunch more books together. He happened to be in New York for BEA this year, and we hung out at the Art Auction. He had donated a fantastic piece to the auction, and I put in a bid on it—I was desperate for more original art for my office, specifically Ben Clanton art. Ben saw my name on the sheet, and he was all, “Christian, you really don’t have to do that” to which I responded, “Ben, I want to do it” and he said, “I mean, you really don’t have to do that.” I thought he was just being modest or shy. At the last minute, someone outbid me. But as it turns out, which I discovered when we met at the S & S offices the next day, he had packed a different piece from the same series—this one—for me. All together now: Awwww!
Q. What advice do you have for young writers?
1. Be nice. To everyone.
I know that this is advice you give to a small child, but it’s really applicable when you’re an aspiring writer. Because when it’s time for your book to come out, the book that you’ve spent years perfecting, the story you’ve cried over and on, the manuscript that represents everything good about your mind and soul…you want people to think of you fondly. Because when people like you, they want to support you. So maybe they buy your book. Maybe they talk about your book with their teacher friends. Maybe they share your Facebook status update. More than that, you never know from where the next great opportunity is going to come. As an example, I recently ran into this restaurant manager that I’ve known for a couple of years. He’s a great guy and so good at his job, and I’m always happy to see him. This most recent time, I mentioned that my debut book, Simon’s New Bed, was about to come out. He was so genuinely excited for me, and not only that, he reached out to his mom who oversees the nursery division at one of the best schools in New York. Now, I’m scheduled to read to her students in October!
2. Everyone has her/his own path.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed in our glorious industry. Advice is flying at you from every direction, advice from editors and agents and other writers, published and not. But it’s important to regularly remind yourself that this is your journey, and it’s not going to look like anyone else’s. For a long time, despite hungering to create something, I resisted writing. As a book editor, I’m surrounded daily by gifted writers, many of whom have studied the craft for years, who have masters degrees, who have written for TV shows, who have won awards. I often thought, Don’t bother. Leave it to the real professionals. But something clicked one day, this acceptance that I had something worthwhile to say. So I finally took the chance. And I sold the first picture book manuscript I wrote, and then the second, and then the third. I still have moments of insecurity, but I’m getting better. So, listen to the advice that others are giving you and take the advice that makes sense to you. Then, go create!
Q. What are you excited about right now?
My Fall 2015 list is AWESOME. I’m, of course, excited for all of those books, which you can find here. But I’d like to single out a novel that my colleague Ruta Rimas is editing called The Way I Used to Be. It’s by Amber Smith, and it’s beautiful and devastating and empowering. It comes out this March.
For more interviews, see my Inkygirl Interview Archive.
Oslo's trailer park home falls into a sinkhole, and he must choose between a life of warm simplicity and rigid luxury.
I spent the past weekend on Star Island
for Gatsby on the Isles
. A 1920's themed shindig, it's a real delight full of top notch company, sharp dressing and hot jazz. I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked, but here's a few snaps that I did manage. The top two are of the Oceanic Hotel (as well as a few revelers) and the bottom is Sunday's sunrise.
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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„Arrow“, die TV-Adaption der Geschichte des Bogenschützen Green Arrow aus dem Universum von Batman, Superman und Co., lief auf VOX zur Prime Time so gut, dass Pro7 sich die Rechte an den neuen DC-Serien „Gotham“ und „Flash“ sicherte, obwohl letztere im selben Universum wie „Arrow“ spielt und es auch immer wieder kleine Crossover zwischen den beiden Serien gibt.
„Flash“ folgt den Erlebnissen des Polizei-Forensikers Barry Allen, der nach einem Unfall zum schnellsten Mann der Welt wird und als kostümierter Flash andere Meta-Wesen jagt, die auf der Seite des Verbrechens stehen. Außerdem sucht er den Mörder seiner Mutter, wegen dem sein Vater unschuldig im Gefängnis sitzt. Eine spannende, packende, äußerst sympathische Serien-Umsetzung.
„Gotham“ indes spielt clever mit den Anfängen des Batman-Mythos und verarbeitet diese in einer starken, düsteren Krimi-Serie, die „The Mentalist“-Macher Bruno Heller mitverantwortet. Im Mittelpunkt stehen der aufrechte, verbissene Cop Jim Gordon, der sich mit brutalen Irren, der Mafia und korrupten Kollegen herumschlagen muss, sowie Batman Bruce Wayne, Catwoman Selina Kyle und Pinguin Oswald Copplepot in jüngeren Jahren.
mehr lesen auf Comics.de -http://www.comic.de/2015/08/der-rote-blitz-und-die-cops-aus-batmans-stadt-comics-zu-den-tv-hits-flash-und-gotham/
I’m sharing this letter that’s been going around the interwebs today. I wish for all teachers that they can experience this level of support.
Have a great school year!
Me, answering a question distractedly: That’s just, um—
Rilla, shocked: That’s just dumb?
Me: No, just ‘UM’—I was thinking.
Rilla: That makes more sense. If you had really said ‘that’s just dumb,’ I would have thought you had a bad sickness.
I'm vacationing in Maine
And surrounded by the sea.
As the season's winding down,
It's a lovely place to be.
There is sea food, there is beer,
Lots of ice cream, small-batch made;
Restaurants with outdoor decks,
Some where music's being played.
There are trails and boats and bikes,
Lots of stores with souvenirs,
Plus museums and historic homes
With old-time atmospheres.
It's a change of pace for me,
Some relaxing by the shore,
But of course that is exactly
What vacationing is for.
By: LAURIE WALLMARK,
Blog: Just the Facts, Ma'am
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This may sound strange to some of you ,but I have close relationships with a few of my books. They have become friends, companions who comfort me during hard times. The familiar words offer solace when the world feels unfriendly and confusing.
Today's picture book explores the relationship that one little boy has with a book, and readers will be intrigued to see that the story does not, perhaps, turn out the way they it would.
The good little book
Illustrated by Marion Arbona
For ages 5 to 7
Tundra, 2015, 978-1-77049-451-0
There once was a good little book that rested on a shelf in a study alongside many other books. Unlike many of the other books, the good little book did not have a flashy cover, nor had it been awarded medals. It was just a modest little book.
One day a boy came into the study, and he was not in a very good mood. He was in trouble and had been told to “think things over.” The boy did this, for the briefest of times, and then he started to look around the study. He found the good little book, opened it, and started to read. In no time at all the boy was swept up by the narrative in the book, and he barely noticed time passing. He read the book from cover to cover and then read it all over again.
All through winter the boy went about his days with the good little book as his “loyal companion.” In spring the special connection between the book and its boy kept going, until one terrible day when the book fell out of the boy’s backpack and was lost. The boy was so worried about the book and spent hours looking for it. The boy was concerned that the book, which “did not have the skills that would help it in the dangerous wild or in the rushing streets,” would not be able to survive.
The boy asked people for help, he put up lost book posters, and he searched the library; all to no avail. What he did not know was that the good little book was coping quite well, considering that it was small, unassuming, and helpless.
This wonderful picture book beautifully captures the way in which a person can have a special relationship with a book. It also celebrates the way in which a book lives on within the hearts and minds of its readers, long after it has gone out into the world to find new readers.