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By: James Preller,
Blog: James Preller's Blog
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, Bystander Preller
, James Preller
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Good news for fans of BYSTANDER, or for those potential readers who have only, say, three bucks worth of curiosity about the book. Now’s your chance! The Kindle version of my novel has been selected by Amazon for its monthly special promotion. And no, I don’t know exactly what that means either, because I’m a book-book kind of person. Old face, old school, that’s me. I suppose you can upload the book to your gadget-thingy-whatchamacallit real cheap.
That’s a good thing, right?
Wait a minute, what’s eight percent of $2.99?
Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to support your local, independent, brick-and-mortar bookstores. Our communities need ‘em, our world needs ‘em.
Here’s some old, dusty reviews for the discriminating reader . . .
“Preller has perfectly nailed the middle school milieu, and his characters are well developed with authentic voices. The novel has a parablelike quality, steeped in a moral lesson, yet not ploddingly didactic. The action moves quickly, keeping readers engaged. The ending is realistic: there’s no strong resolution, no punishment or forgiveness. Focusing on the large majority of young people who stand by mutely and therefore complicitly, this must-read book is a great discussion starter that pairs well with a Holocaust unit.” —School Library Journal, Starred Review
“Bullying is a topic that never lacks for interest, and here Preller concentrates on the kids who try to ignore or accommodate a bully to keep themselves safe. For Eric to do the right thing is neither easy nor what he first wants to do, and the way he finds support among his classmates is shown in logical and believable small steps. Eminently discussable as a middle-school read-aloud, [with] appeal across gender lines.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Preller displays a keen awareness of the complicated and often-conflicting instincts to fit in, find friends, and do the right thing. Although there are no pat answers, the message (that a bystander is hardly better than an instigator) is clear, and Preller’s well-shaped characters, strong writing, and realistic treatment of middle-school life deliver it cleanly.”—Booklist
“Plenty of kids will see themselves in these pages, making for painful, if important, reading.”—Publishers Weekly
“An easy pick for middle school classroom and school libraries, this book is a worthy addition to collections focused on bullying and larger public libraries, especially those with an active younger teen population.”—VOYA
By: Jerry Beck,
Blog: Cartoon Brew
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, Avatar: The Last Airbender
, Bryan Konietzko
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Hurry up and wait, benders! Bryan Konietzo's debut graphic novel series arrives in 2017.
A personal project, loosely based on the poem by Edgar Allan Poe "The Raven."
Summary: This one hadn't been on my immediate radar until I signed up to attend the Printz award ceremony at ALA in San Francisco at the end of June—and then I decided I'd better get going on reading the winner of that prestigious honor if I... Read the rest of this post
Earlier this year, HarperCollins Children’s Books announced that three E.B. White novels will be published as eBooks for the first time: Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan. The company has created a book trailer for the digital edition of Charlotte’s Web.
The video embedded above features a young reader, a cute pig, and a special message crafted with spider web. Earlier this year, the team at BBC.com conducted a survey and found that Charlotte’s Web was voted the most popular children’s book of all time.
Yours Truly has put together an amazing video and feature on Chaz Bundick a.k.a Toro y Moi. Chaz is well-known for his musical talents, but most people would be surprised to hear that he is an accomplished illustrator and designer as well. In the video, viewers are treated to a rare glimpse of his creative process including sketches for an exclusive t-shirt made for the feature. In addition, Yours Truly has teamed up with WeTransfer for a special download that includes photos, posters and sketches by Chaz.
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Every classroom teacher has a special tradition that gets pulled out each holiday season. In devising my own tradition, I fell back on what I know: Dr. Seuss. I spent my senior year of college becoming a Seuss-ologist (a term coined by my now-fiancé) while working on a research project that explored the language use in Dr. Seuss books. One of the primary take-aways from that project was that poetry has a special power to captivate kids, especially when it is shared orally.
And so, for my holiday tradition, I decided to memorize the entirety of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and then recite it to my students to kick off a day of Grinch-related literacy events.
When the Grinch-Day arrived last year, I was nervous that all of those rhymes I’d spent months memorizing would jumble together in my head. Instead, what happened was that my worries evaporated as my students and I reveled in the wonder of word play and language together. Even my most fidgety kids sat still while I shared the story; they hung on every word, despite the fact that most of them already knew the story quite well. No one interrupted, no one turned to talk to a neighbor – it was one of the most engaged moments we experienced in my classroom all year.
And, I don’t think it had much to do with the fact that I had worked so hard to memorize the story. If I had to sum up their captivation, it was 10% “Wow, my teacher is pretty cool!” and 90% “What’s that Grinch up to now?” or “That’s really fun to say!”
Kids seem to have an intrinsic interest in language and words – that’s one reason why I think the Dr. Seuss stories, which epitomize language play, continue to be so popular with readers of all ages. My students always love when our read-aloud is a Dr. Seuss tale, but their reaction to this recitation experience was on a completely different level than their typical responses.
With no pictures to take some of their attention off the words, I believe that my students could focus on the sheer delight of rhythm, alliteration, and all of those other literary devices poets so aptly incorporate into their work. It also allowed them a chance to use their own imaginations to picture the story unfolding, rather than having an illustration present them with “the way the story looks.”
And was it a fluke what happened in my classroom that day? / Well, I repeated the exercise this year in the same way, / to an audience of students who all sat bolt upright, / with expressions on their faces nothing short of sheer delight.
So teachers and parents, here’s a New Year’s challenge for you: memorize a piece of poetry (it doesn’t matter how long) and then recite it to a child you know. Be sure to share your results. As for me? I’ve started memorizing The Lorax.
The post How the Grinch stole the show appeared first on The Horn Book.
The follow-up fantasy-noir thriller from the makers of "A Cat in Paris" will receive a North American release.
Submitted by Gila for the Illustration Friday topic SHARP.
I'm having a lot of fun doing portrait commissions.
Here is a matching set of twin girls.
By: Steve Morrison,
Apple will pay consumers $450 million as part of its settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, a federal appeals court has ruled.
The ruling, which was filed last week, comes after a settlement between Apple and the DOJ last summer. Reuters has the scoop:
By a 2-1 vote, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that the conspiracy violated federal antitrust law, and that the judge acted properly two years ago in imposing an injunction to prevent a recurrence.
“While we want to put this behind us, the case is about principles and values,” Apple said in a statement. “We know we did nothing wrong back in 2010 and are assessing next steps.”
I’m just back from ALA in San Francisco (conveniently also home to my two adorable grandchildren), where the term I kept hearing throughout the exhibit halls was narrative nonfiction (last year it was bullying). As is so often true of these trends, the term meant different things to different people, with definitions ranging from “like Steve Sheinkin” to “informational books with a beginning, middle, and end” to “Core Standards–ready with a story besides.” Me, I just kept thinking of Henrik Van Loon’s The Story of Mankind, but I suppose reinvention is what keeps us young!
Van Loon won the first Newbery Medal in 1922, too early for us to have included his acceptance speech in the Horn Book Magazine‘s pages. But this year’s winner’s speech (by Kwame Alexander, along with those for the Caldecott, Wilder, and Coretta Scott King awards) are all in our current July/August issue, itself graced with a cover created by 2015 Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat. I think it’s quite one of the most spectacular issues we’ve published; go here for information about how to get a copy for yourself.
Editor in Chief
The post From the Editor – July 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.
By: Julie G,
Blog: Book Hooked
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Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS and the architect of the Holocaust, oversaw the construction of a special concentration camp just fifty miles north of Berlin. He called it Ravensbrück, and during the years that followed thousands of people died there after enduring brutal forms of torture. All were women. There are a handful of studies and memoirs that reference Ravensbrück, but until now no one has written a full account of this atrocity, perhaps due to the mostly masculine narrative of war, or perhaps because it lacks the Jewish context of most mainstream Holocaust history.
Ninety percent of Ravensbrück's prisoners were not Jewish. Rather, they were political prisoners, Resistance fighters, lesbians, prostitutes, even the sister of New York's Mayor LaGuardia. In a perverse twist, most of the guards were women themselves. Sarah Helm's groundbreaking work sheds much-needed light on an aspect of World War II that has remained in the shadows for decades. Using research into German and newly opened Russian archives, as well as interviews with survivors, Helm has produced a landmark achievement that weaves together various accounts, allowing us to follow characters on both sides of the prisoner/guard divide. Chilling, compelling, and deeply unsettling, Ravensbrück is essential reading for anyone concerned with Nazi history.Writing
This is the gold standard for historical non-fiction in my eyes. You couldn't ask for better documentation/citation of the research. And the research itself is absolutely exhaustive. If it happened at Ravensbruck it is included in this book. I appreciated her decision to write the history biography style, so that we got the "life" of the camp in chronological order. Despite the heavy subject matter and the depth of the research, Helm manages to keep the reader interested and the story moving along. It took me over a month to read it, but I never once wanted to give up because it was so interesting. Any other book that took that long would have earned itself an automatic DNF spot, but this was too fascinating and informative to give up on.Entertainment Value
So as I mentioned above, this is a very long, very detailed book. If you're looking for a quick overview, this is not the place to start. It's highly detailed and covers every aspect of the camp. That also means that it contains some information that is very hard to read. Despite the length and the difficulty in reading about such evil, I think it was completely worth the time and effort. I learned so much more about concentration camps, and about how political prisoners, resistance fighters, and "asocials" (prostitutes, lesbians, anyone who spoke against Hitler) were treated. I was particularly surprised by how many German women were eliminated during the Holocaust and how many non-Jews were killed. It also really helped put the Holocaust in a historical context. I think because the images we see are all in black and white, it's easy to believe this is something that happened a long time ago. Reading this book helped me really grasp how recently this took place in the scheme of history as a whole.Overall
I highly recommend this to any fans of historical non-fiction, World War II, or who have an interest in human rights history. I also think it could be a possible crossover for fans of recent YA books like Rose Under Fire or Code Name Verity who want to read a non-fiction book to learn more about life in a concentration camp. That said, it is a very long and very detailed book. It also contains some very difficult passages on conditions in the camp and, particularly, medical experiments that were conducted on prisoners. As much as I enjoyed it and feel like I learned from it, there may be readers who aren't interested in investing the time or have the stomach for reading the more difficult portions. My opinion is that it's something we should all be familiar with, however, and this book is an excellent place to get a detailed account.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review.
बहस बनाम ऊंगली उठाना
न्यूज चैनल कोई भी हो co called ज्ञानी, प्रबुद, नेता व अन्य अक्सर बहस के दौरान ऊंगली उठाए मिल जाते हैं .. अरे ??? क्या क्लास लग रही है क्या ?? कल तो एक चैनल पर चारों आमंत्रित मेहमान ऊंगली उठाए रहे और एंकर अपना ही बोले जा रहा था. और अगर ये सोच रहे हो कि ऊंगली उठा कर एक समझदार सभ्य बच्चे की तरह छवि बन जाएगी तो क्षमा करें ..
जिस तरह से आप लोग चैनल पर तू तू मैं मैं करते हैं वो जग जाहिर है…फिर फिर ये उंगली का नाटक बंद करके सीधा मुद्दे और आईए और ढंग से बात कीजिए पर ऊंगली उठा कर मजाक का पात्र न बनिए.. अपनी गरिमा दिखाईए … !!!
The post बहस बनाम ऊंगली उठाना appeared first on Monica Gupta.
As you know, I love me some Originator Kids apps (I’ve reviewed their educational apps Endless Alphabet, Endless Reader, and Endless Numbers; Elissa reviewed their building game app Be Bop Blox). The latest in their series of educational “Endless” apps is Endless Wordplay (
The friendly monsters built a robot named Alphabot
rhyming sight words, emphasizing the similarities between the three words
“‘Lap’ is like ‘nap’ but it starts with L.”
The map on my lap vanished during my nap.
“Aw, yeah!” “Radical!”
The post Endless Wordplay app review appeared first on The Horn Book.
By: Ray Rhamey,
Blog: Flogging the Quill
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I received submissions formatted every whichaway, and that's okay. Writers should use whatever formatting--font, spacing, page size, whatever--they like best for working onscreen. But when it comes to submitting to agents and publishers, they have certain expectations, if not requirements.
One of the things they frequently require is 12-point type, and a serif font is generally preferred. A serif font is like the one on this page. Sans serif is like the Ariel font that is so common, like this.
I recommend using Times New Roman, although there are many others that are acceptable. The simple reason why is that it is a narrow font, designed for narrow newspaper columns, and that means you'll get more of your precious words on a page. If an agent only gives a page or two a scan before accepting or rejecting, it's a plus to have as much narrative on those pages as possible.
In Word 2010, the one I use, there's a "ribbon" at the top with tabs. In the Home tab you can set the font for your document. The dialogue box should look like this:
Paragraphs and spacing:
Double spacing between lines is the standard for editors and agents. Other industry expectations include a 1/2-inch indentation for the first line of each paragraph. That can be done with the tab key, but it's better to build it in to your paragraph format, and that reduces the number of key strokes. When I design a book one of the first things I often have to do is remove all the tabs. I should include that the standard page size is "letter," in the US that's 8.5" x 11".
I see a lot of writers who use no paragraph indents and put extra spaces between paragraphs as well. While that's typical formatting for email text and web pages, it's not best practice for manuscript submission. Indented paragraphs with no extra space between is the standard.
To set your paragraph style, click on the little arrow in the paragraph section in the Home tab:
You'll get a dialogue box. Here are the settings for manuscript formatting.
Now all you have to do is write a hulluva story.
For what it's worth,
© 2015 Ray Rhamey
Good news for comic book fans. French independent comic book publisher Delcourt Group has debuted an exclusive line of English language digital comics through comiXology, the Amazon owned digital comic book publisher.
This release is the first time that Delcourt has made its content available directly to the English language market. The new line launches with three titles this week including The Curse of the Wendigo from artist Charlie Adlard known for his work on The Walking Dead.
\"The French comic market is one of the most diverse in the world, and it’s fantastic to be a part of this game-changing deal with Delcourt,\" stated co-founder and CEO of comiXology David Steinberger. \"The English language audience is more diverse than ever and Delcourt’s compelling titles will speak to comiXology fans. It’s high time that French comics take their rightful place as a major comics category – today marks the beginning of the ‘French Invasion’ of comics in the English language market!\"
It seems that the insect-of-the-moment is… the fly (and I don’t know why; maybe butterflies were too pretty). Here are five recent books starring those pests, plus reviews of a few more favorites below. Could that Old Lady who swallowed one have been on to something?
Super Fly: The World’s Smallest Superhero!
by Todd H. Doodler (Bloomsbury, May 2015)
by Karl Newsom Edwards (Knopf, March 2015)
I, Fly: The Buzz About Flies and How Awesome They Are
by Bridget Heos; illus. by Jennifer Plecas (Holt, March 2015)
by Petr Horáček (Candlewick, May 2015)
Astrid the Fly
by Maria Jönsson (Holiday, May 2015)
Arnold, Tedd A Pet for Fly Guy
32 pp. Scholastic/Orchard 2014. ISBN 978-0-545-31615-6
(3) K-3 In his first picture book outing, easy-reader star Fly Guy wants his own pet. He and (boy) Buzz are excited, then frustrated, then disappointed when each choice (dog, frog, worm) is unsuitable. The two realize that Fly Guy needs “a pet with a cool name.” Buzz? “YEZZ! BUZZ!” Arnold’s lively illustrations make the most of the characters’ special friendship; the final page is especially satisfying.
Cronin, Doreen Diary of a Fly
40 pp. HarperCollins/Cotler 2007. ISBN 978-0-06-000156-8
Library binding ISBN 978-0-06-000157-5
(2) K-3 Illustrated by Harry Bliss. Like Diary of a Worm and Diary of a Spider, this book relays real-life information through Cronin’s impeccable comedic timing in a way that makes the facts memorable. Bliss’s illustrations, including additional pictures on the endpapers, incorporate many witty details. The short sentences and visual jokes make this a great selection for listeners and new readers alike.
Gravel, Elise The Fly
32 pp. Tundra 2014. ISBN 978-1-77049-636-1
Ebook ISBN 978-1-77049-638-5
(3) K-3 Disgusting Critters series. This humorous, informative volume gives basic facts about the title creature. Cartoon illustrations and speech-bubble text play up the kid-friendly silliness: “The housefly is a member of the Muscidae family. Mom Muscidae, Dad Muscidae…Teenager Muscidae: ‘Yo!'” The familiar subject and friendly presentation give this book broad appeal.
Howitt, Mary The Spider and the Fly
40 pp. Simon 2010. ISBN 978-1-4424-1664-2
(3) K-3 Illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi. New ed., 2002. Inspired by Gorey, Addams, and film noir, DiTerlizzi spins his own stylish version of Howitt’s cautionary 1829 poem. As a debonair spider lures a doe-eyed fly to his lair, ghosts of the spider’s prey flit about. Black-and-white illustrations with a silvery sheen capture the dance with cinematic flair. This paper-over-board edition of the Caldecott Honor Book is notable for its bargain price.
Mack, Jeff Frog and Fly: Six Slurpy Stories
40 pp. Philomel 2012. ISBN 978-0-399-25617-2
(3) PS It’s survival of the cleverest in these six short stories. Laid out in easy-to-read comic-book panels, the simple text focuses on several scenarios between a fly and the hungry frog that wants to slurp him up. Just when you think the fly is doomed every time, the frog gets his comeuppance in the final story and readers get a good laugh. Multi-media cartoons amusingly depict the conflicts.
Reynolds, Aaron Big Hairy Drama
128 pp. Holt 2010. ISBN 978-0-8050-8243-2
Paperback ISBN 978-0-8050-9110-6
(3) 1-3 Illustrated by Neil Numberman. Joey Fly, Private Eye series. In his second graphic novel, private investigator Joey Fly looks into another crime in the “bug city.” Butterfly actress Greta Divawing has disappeared on the eve of her opening-night performance of Bugliacci; the suspects are other members of the cast. Varied cartoon-panel illustrations feature details of bug life that add interest and humor to the mystery.
Rosen, Michael Tiny Little Fly
32 pp. Candlewick 2010. ISBN 978-0-7636-4681-3
(2) PS Illustrated by Kevin Waldron. “Tiny Little Fly / sees great big toes… / Tiny Little Fly / sits on Elephant’s nose.” Fly first bugs–then escapes from–Elephant, Hippo, and Tiger, even when they unite. In Waldron’s arresting digitally enhanced gouache and pencil illustrations, bold lines and a vivid palette command attention. With a pesky antihero and catchy repetitive verse, the story will captivate listeners.
The post Shoo, fly appeared first on The Horn Book.
My Caldecott Committee in January 2005 soon after our final vote. Caffeine and snacks are an important part of any deliberation.
Robin posted yesterday, asking for the titles that won your own mock Caldecotts. Today I want to hear how you organize your mock award deliberations. We’ve asked this question before, but I think it’s worth asking again.
For the first time this spring, I plan to do mock award sessions (Caldecott, Geisel, possibly Sibert) with my adult students at a school of education. One problem I’m facing is that this process will happen just a couple of months after the actual award is announced, AND we have no budget for extra books. I will need to use books that the school already owns or ones I will lend them. I thought about using library books, but I want them to have access for the nominated books for the six weeks leading up to Mock Award Day. Has anyone else tried something like this? — you choose 15 or 20 books that you think are exemplary or otherwise worth discussing, and then just let them go at it, guided by the actual ALSC guidelines.
I think this is going to work, but I’d love to hear your advice. We also want to use these comments for you to provide a rundown of how you all have run your own mocks. Be sure to tell us what ages you were working with, what kind of time-frame you used, etc.
The post Mock Caldecott techniques appeared first on The Horn Book.
Amazon turns 20 next week and to celebrate, the online retail giant is running a Prime Day sale on July 15.
The promotion, which Amazon promises to offer “more deals than Black Friday” is available exclusively for Prime members in the U.S., U.K., Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada and Austria.
The effort, a push to support the company’s Prime business, will feature Lightning Deals, Deals of the Day and of course, free shipping. Amazon hasn’t revealed the products that will be featured as of yet, but according to the site the sale will feature deals on “electronics, toys, video games, movies, clothing, patio, lawn and garden, sports and outdoor items and more.”
“Deep in the Meadow”
Mockingjay: “The Hanging Tree”
The Hobbit: “The Misty Mountain Cold”
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
James and the Giant Peach
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by Amanda Panitch
Release Date: 7/21/2015
About the Book
Family can be a real killer. DAMAGE DONE is a gripping YA debut about a girl trying to escape the past. In this deliciously disturbing, heart-in-your-throat psychological thriller, the truth hurts.
Before the incident, Julia Vann had a twin brother. After, she has a new identity in a new town and a memory of that terrible day that refuses to come into focus.
Now that she’s Lucy Black, she’s able to start again. And she’s stumbled onto the radar of one of the hottest guys in school, a boy who will do anything to protect her. Lucy’s even getting used to the empty bedroom where her brother should be. But when someone from her past starts asking questions and threatening to tell all, she’s forced to confront the terrors—and the dark secrets—she thought were safely left behind.
One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. . . .
To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE.
About the Author
AMANDA PANITCH grew up next to an amusement park in New Jersey and went to college next to the White House in Washington, DC. She now resides in New York City where she works in book publishing by day, writes by night, and lives under constant threat of being crushed beneath giant stacks of books. Visit Amanda online at amandapanitch.com and follow her on Twitter @AmandaPanitch.
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The Polar Bear Scientists. Peter Lourie. 2012/2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 80 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Curious about polar bears? Especially polar bears in the wild? Have an interest in science? Curious about what it is a scientist actually does day to day? Peter Lourie's The Polar Bear Scientist is a reader-friendly book giving readers a behind-the-scene look at several scientists who study polar bears--who have spent most of their lives studying polar bears.
I loved the photographs I did. Yes, the book is packed with information, but, it was the photographs themselves that held my interest. Personally, I found the layout to be a bit difficult on the eyes. Some pages were black text on top of light photographs--snow mainly--but, plenty were white text on a black background. Not every reader will mind this, but, it was hard on my eyes and probably kept me from fully engaging with this one.
Polar Bear Scientists is one of the books in the Scientists in the Fields series published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews