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26. Why the ‘Adventure Time’ Peabody Award is Important for Animation

Is the Peabody Awards the only prestigious awards event that actually 'gets' animation?

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27. The truth will set you free

First of all, gratitude. Gratitude to Opera Parallèle for its consistently high quality productions of contemporary works, and for their extensive educational outreach program. More specifically, gratitude for its new production of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, featuring revised scoring for smaller orchestral ensembles—a revision that loses nothing and makes the piece more accessible for smaller companies.

The post The truth will set you free appeared first on OUPblog.

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28. Native American Representation in Children's Literature: Challenging the People of the Past Narrative, by Julie Stivers

Eds Note: Today, AICL is pleased to share a study done by Julie Stivers, a graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill, School of Library and Information Science. Ms. Stivers shared the poster (below) with me earlier this week. I was reading Ed Valandra's article that day and sent it to her because her study confirms Vine Deloria Jr.'s observations about books published from 1968 to 1975 (Valandra's article is listed below in Additional Resources). Of those four years, Deloria wrote (p. 105-106):

...it seemed as if every book on modern Indians was promptly buried by a book on the "real" Indians of yesteryear. The public overwhelming[ly] turned to Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and The Memories of Chief Red Fox to avoid the accusations made by modern Indians in The Tortured Americans and Custer Died for Your Sins. The Red Fox book alone sold more copies than the two modern books. 
Valandra continued:
In other words, the non-Indian literary world refused to consider Native peoples in a modern context, thus hindering the accurate depiction of contemporary Native issues.

Ms. Stivers studied children's books published since 2013. Her findings tell us that things haven't changed much. What gets published, matters. The writer's you read, and their viewpoints, matter. Please seek out Native writers! Think about their stories and what they choose to share. It matters. 

Thank you, Ms. Stivers, for giving AICL permission to share your excellent work on this project! 


Native American Representation in Children's Literature: 
Challenging the "People of the Past" Narrative
by Julie Stivers

Are you a librarian...a teacher...or a parent?  Let’s think for a moment about the books we own that feature Native American main characters.  What are their settings?  In the past?  Modern day?  If the text does not make this clear—if, for example, there are anthropomorphic animals—what are they wearing?  Baseball caps and modern clothes or ‘leather and feathers’?

It was these questions that drove me to research the time settings of books featuring Native Americans for a Children’s Literature class assignment on content analysis.  Of the many problematic stereotypes in youth literature written about Native Americans, I chose to focus on examining the prevalence of the ‘people of the past’ narrative.  At face value, readers and librarians may think this is a harmless problem—which is, of course—what makes it so dangerous.  However, a predilection for featuring only Native American books that are set in the past puts forth a narrative that Native American people themselves are only of the past, allowing their present lives—and their sovereign rights—to be ignored.  This stereotype is damaging to the sense of self of contemporary Native youth.  A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children (Seale & Slapin, 2005) contains “living stories" which shed light on the negative impact stereotypes in literature are having on Native American youth.

This poster displays results from the content analysis of youth fiction books published since 2013 with Native American main characters.  75% of books written by non-Native authors were set before 1900, compared with only 20% written by Native authors.  Increasing the time period granularity makes the results even more striking.  No books by non-Native authors were set after 1950, whereas 75% of books by Native authors were, with 2/3 of books written by Native authors set in present day. 
Which books do we think are being put out by the Big Five publishers?  Overwhelmingly, those set in the past.  So, if we are relying on ‘mainstream’ review sources, ordering platforms, and book fairs, we will get a clearly biased view of Native Americans in our youth literature.  Only by seeking out offerings from independent publishers and learning from sites such as American Indians in Children’s Literature and Oyate can we successfully challenge the ‘people of the past’ narrative by collecting books about—and written by—Native Americans that reflect a wide range of experiences and settings.

Please note that this research makes no claims as to the quality or authenticity of the titles.  The presence of a book in a ‘pre-1900’ category does not preclude it from being an excellent example of literature featuring American Indians, such as How I Became a Ghost by Tim Tingle, praised by both Native reviewers and mainstream critics.  For this sample, however, there was a commonality for all well-reviewed books set in the past—they were all written by American Indian authors.

Additional Resources:

Seale, D. & Slapin, B. (Eds.). (2005).  A broken flute:  The Native experience in books for children.  Berkeley, CA:  Oyate.

Stewart, M.P. (2013).  “Counting Coup” on children’s literature about American Indians:  Louise Erdrich’s historical fiction.  Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, 38(2), 215-235.

Valandra, E.C.  (2005).  The As-Told-To Native [Auto]biography:  Whose voice is speaking? Wicazo Sa Review, 29(2), 103-119.

Boccella Hartle, M. & Shebala, M. (2010).  When your hands are tied.  Documentary film.  http://www.whenyourhandsaretied.org/

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29. New Voice & Giveaway: Sarah McGuire on Valiant

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Sarah McGuire is the first-time author of Valiant (Egmont/Lerner, 2015). From the promotional copy:

Reggen still sings about the champion, the brave tailor. This is the story that is true.

Saville despises the velvets and silks that her father prizes far more than he’s ever loved her. Yet when he’s struck ill she’ll do anything to survive–even dressing as a boy and begging a commission to sew for the king.

But piecing together a fine coat is far simpler than unknotting court gossip about an army of giants, led by a man who cannot be defeated, marching toward Reggen to seize the throne. Saville knows giants are just stories, and no man is immortal.

Then she meets them, two scouts as tall as trees. After she tricks them into leaving, tales of the daring tailor’s triumph quickly spin into impossible feats of giant-slaying. And stories won’t deter the Duke and his larger-than-life army.

Now only a courageous and clever tailor girl can see beyond the rumors to save the kingdom again.

Perfect for fans of Shannon Hale and Gail Carson Levine, Valiant richly reimagines "The Brave Little Tailor," transforming it into a story of understanding, identity, and fighting to protect those you love most.

Was there one writing workshop or conference that led to an "ah-ha!" moment in your craft? What happened, and how did it help you?

I think it came in stages for me. I was one of the lucky writers included in the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program. Harold Underdown chose me as one of his mentees, and for six months, we worked though my novel. I think my biggest takeaway was tackling the middle of the novel and keeping it from sagging.

Even though I had to slide that novel, under the metaphorical bed, I had a much better understanding of story structure. And I used it in Valiant, making sure I had a tent pole of tension to hold up the center of the story.

My next jump was in a Highlights Workshop with Patti Gauch. She taught (among other things) about going far enough emotionally, about reaching a transcendent moment of fear or hope or joy. She taught me to watch for those places in the story that already meant something to me. I learned to circle back to those places and dive into the emotion of that moment.

I think as writers, we're afraid of our emotion in a scene seeming cheesy or overwrought. And from that place of fear, we keep our emotion on a tight rein. I would have said I was being subtle, but the truth was that I was scared– scared of purple prose and people laughing at over the top scenes. When I was afraid, and didn't go far enough, my writing came across as insincere or insubstantial.

And ... here's the secret: it was. I was too scared to reveal the substance of that emotion. I was too afraid to be truly sincere. My fear of emotional triviality actually made my writing trivial.

But now I'm all better.


Of course, I still work at this. And I still don't get it right the first or second draft. Or the third. And when I do finally go far enough, I have to loop back a few days later to trim and shape and make sure there's nothing in the writing of that moment that would keep a reader from going far enough. But I'm getting better at it. And knowing when I don't go far enough is half the battle, right?


As a fantasy writer, how did you go about building your world?

Photo by Chris Anderson
I found that stories and math (among other things!) shaped Valiant's world.

Let's start with stories. When we think of world building, we often think of government, architecture, all the minute details of daily life. But we forget that we view our own world through the lens of story.

For instance, going off to pursue a dream is most mostly viewed as proper independence in America. In our stories and movies, it's often rewarded. But in other cultures, such independence might be viewed as destructive and selfish.

Anyway, once I realized I'd be writing a story about giants, I knew wanted to work within the stories we all know about giants--even if we don't think we know them. So I did an informal survey of Western myth, folk and fairy tales. Whether it was a titan of Greek mythology or the giant who ground bones to bake bread, giants were brutes who could only be overcome by some form of trickery.

(I found one story of a smart giantess: Oona, the wife of Finn MacCoul. But she defeats another giant through (you guessed it!) trickery. The only story I could find in which someone beat a giant through a straightforward attack was David and Goliath.)

So I had stories where giants were 1) the enemy, 2) stupid, and 3) sometimes ate humans. It seemed only right that the humans in my novel would have similar stories (and thus views) of giants.

David and Goliath, by Osmar Schindler (c. 1888)
But things got interesting when I looked back through that same story-lens. Given those stories, how would giants view humans? As unreliable tricksters who used their wits to overcome and kill giants.

So within the giantish world, the most powerful giant might not always be the strongest, but the one who couldn't be fooled.

For me, that was when things got interesting. So I wrote Valiant with the idea that I had two cultures with the same set of stories, but who viewed those stories from two very different perspectives.

I also used math to build my world. (Such a whiplash-inducing change from stories, isn't it? But bear with me.) I was thinking about volume.

Let's say you have a cube that measures one inch on every side. It's volume is length x width x height, or 1 x 1 x 1, which equals 1 cubic inch. If I had a cube that was six times the size of the first cube, 6 x 6 x 6, its volume would be 216 cubic inches.

So–and this is an oversimplification– if a giant was six times as big as a human, he could weigh roughly 200 times more. And he'd need a lot more food than six humans.

Where might giants living in the stony Belmor Moutains find food? And how could they travel the great distance they did in Valiant? I discovered some of my favorite details about the world of the uten by exploring that. What started as mathematical ended with one of my favorite scenes.

Cynsational Giveaway

Enter to win a signed copy of Valiant by Sarah McGuire (Egmont USA/Lerner, 2015). Author sponsored. Eligibility: North America.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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30. Plot with some religious elements

Hi! First of all, thanks for all the tips in this website. They are very helpful :) Now onto the question. I'm writing a short novel wherein three girls

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31. X is for Xenophilia ~ A to Z 2015 Challenge

X is for Xenophilia



1.an attraction to foreign peoples, cultures, or customs.

In researching what I would blog about for the letter "X" for the A to Z Challenge I discovered this wonderful website with inspiring words from A to Z. Talk about synchronicity! How cool is that! Check it out...


That's when I discovered the word, Xenophilia.


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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32. Mom School - a bookwrap

Mother's Day is fast approaching, arriving May 10th, and I want to get a head start on the day by sharing this wonderful book with you, "Mom School".  But first let me give you a sense of motherhood through the eyes of a mom that is anticipating the birth of her miracle baby...

Can't Wait To Be Your Mommy!    

© Cindy Hawkins

So I am sitting here thinking of the perfect words to say,
to tell you how I feel about the arrival of your birthday.

I am feeling a little nervous, with hopes I do everything right,
but I can't wait to be your mommy, every waking day and every sleepy night.

I have so many plans and things for us to do,
So I sit here in anticipation just waiting to meet you.

You already mean the world to me and so, so much more,
I can't wait to be your mommy, that's all I'm waiting for.

Mine and your bags are packed and waiting in the car,
because the day that you will be here isn't very far.

So here I sit thinking of the perfect words to say,
But all that comes to mind is
I can't wait to be your mommy every single day!!!!

Unwrapping today's book which is an adorable kids-eye view of what would happen if Mom went to Mom School....

Authored by Rebecca Van Slyke
Illustrated by Prsicilla Burris
Ages ... unlimited

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33. Beastly Verse

Beastly Verse by JooHee Yoon

by JooHee Yoon (Enchanted Lion, 2015)

Beastly Verse by JooHee YoonBeastly Verse by JooHee Yoon

(click to enlarge)

This book is something. A mashup of poetry and pictures, washes of color and words.

Beastly Verse by JooHee Yoon Beastly Verse by JooHee Yoon

(click to enlarge; this is an example of a spread that folds out to reveal an entirely new and more expansive illustration.)

Some thoughts from JooHee on the art and creation of Beastly Verse:

I wanted to create a book that not only tells wonderful stories, but one that is beautiful to behold. For me, the design of the book is just as important as its content; they are inseparably linked. I believe all elements of a book–its paper, binding, size and weight–create an atmosphere that plays an important role in the experience of reading.

The printing process fascinates me. Not only traditional printmaking, but also industrial processes as well, since these are just a further development of the old printmaking techniques. I have always been drawn to printmaking, and rather than mixing colors on a palette and putting them on paper, I enjoy working with flat color layers overlapping one another to create the secondary colors. My experience with printmaking informs almost all of my artwork today. I wanted to take advantage of the industrial printing process so the printer is not just reproducing the image I make, but in a sense creating the image itself.

Beastly Verse by JooHee Yoon Beastly Verse by JooHee Yoon

This book has been printed using just three colors. The areas where the main colors overlap create secondary colors, resulting in a book that seems very colorful even though only a limited palette was used. Seen alone, each layer is a meaningless collection of shapes, but when overlapped, these sets of shapes are magically transformed into the intended image. To me the process of creating these images is like doing a puzzle, figuring out what color goes where to make a readable image.

I am very inspired by books from the early 1900s – 1950, when artists were forced to work with spot colors since reproduction methods weren’t as developed as they are today. It is amazing what some artists could do with just two or three colors, and this is exactly the same process I am using, but one from choice rather than necessity. There is a luminous brilliant quality to the colors when images are reproduced this way that I love.

Beastly Verse by JooHee Yoon Beastly Verse by JooHee Yoon

(click to enlarge; this is an example of a spread that folds out to reveal an entirely new and more expansive illustration.)

It’s fascinating to pull the curtains back on an illustrator’s process, and I’m thankful to JooHee for her words here. Her explanation of something so simple, so exquisite, and so complex is as brilliant as those colors she creates.

And the book itself is definitely a work of art. Uncoated, thick pages. Slightly oversized. There’s a non-uniform feeling to the ends that isn’t quite a deckled edge, but a bit more raw and tactile. Hand-crafted almost.

Beastly Verse by JooHee Yoon

(click to enlarge)

Beastly Verse’s dedication reads simply, For the Reader.

Here, the reader is also the design enthusiast, the art collector, and the wordsmith. A book for book lovers.



Huge thanks to Claudia Bedrick at Enchanted Lion for the images in this post. 


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34. Cover Revealed For New Wimpy Kid Book

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 10 Cover

The title and cover for the tenth installment of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has been unveiled. For this new book, series creator Jeff Kinney will push protagonist Greg Heffley into an “Old School” adventure.

We’ve embedded the full image above—what do you think? According to The Guardian, this book will be published in over 90 countries on November 3rd.

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35. BEA for aspiring writers

I'm an aspiring novelist and an assistant editor for a travel book company. I'm going to BEA for the first time this year and I'm a little overwhelmed by the schedule. Do you have any recommendations of the best ways to spend my first BEA, given that I am trying to get published/get an agent within the next few years (knock on wood)? 

Yes. Don't go.

Unless your job for the travel book company requires you to attend, you're better off not going. If your job
does require you to attend, focus on what you need to do for your job. At your first BEA that will be more than enough to keep you busy.

BEA is NOT a place for writers to meet agents or try to get info on getting published.  Yes, I'll be there. So will everyone from my office. I'm not there to meet you. I'm there to see what publishers are doing. I'm there to meet with my co-agents from far flung lands.  I'm there to get a sense of the sea changes in the industry.  

The people who staff the booths of the publishers are most often NOT the editors who acquire manuscripts either. They're the sales people, the marketing folks, the publicity team.  They're there to talk to book buyers from bookstores, librarians, wholesalers and overseas publishers.  

Every single person working a booth at BEA has a horror story of some deluded author trying to press a manuscript on them, or asking who to send the manuscript to. Don't be that author, please.

And just in case you're absolutely sure you're the exception to this rule, here's a little known fact that should seal the deal: often times the people in the booth wear the wrong name on their badge because they share badges.  You think you're talking to a marketing person, it's really an intern brought in to help pack up boxes or hand out ARCs.

I know many authors who've gone to BEA and the most common response has been "I had no idea there were this many books." In other words, it's a daunting place to be particularly when you don't have an agent, let alone a book deal.

You want to go to WRITER'S CONFERENCES, not trade shows.  Go where agents ARE actively looking to talk to you.

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36. What's New in YA


Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!




Readers of I Am Number Four, The Maze Runner, and Legend will love this sophisticated adventure series by the cocreator of the groundbreaking television show Twin Peaks, with its unique combination of mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural.

After exposing the sinister underground society of students known as the Knights of Charlemagne, Will West stays at the Center over the summer to explore his newly developing physical and mental abilities. Meanwhile, his roommates investigate the Knights' shadowy purpose and discover unsettling information about their own backgrounds. Will and his friends must quickly figure out what's going on and separate friend from foe as they prepare for the coming fight.


*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!




Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free. Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do. But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.


*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!




In critically acclaimed author Sarah Darer Littman's gripping new novel what happens online doesn't always stay online . . .
Lara just got told off on Facebook. She thought that Christian liked her, that he was finally going to ask her to his school's homecoming dance. It's been a long time since Lara's felt this bad, this depressed. She's worked really hard since starting high school to be happy and make new friends. Bree used to be BBFs with overweight, depressed Lara in middle school, but constantly listening to Lara's problems got to be too much. Bree's secretly glad that Christian's pointed out Lara's flaws to the world. Lara's not nearly as great as everyone thinks. After weeks of talking online, Lara thought she knew Christian, so what's with this sudden change? And where does he get off saying horrible things on her wall? Even worse - are they true? But no one realized just how far Christian's harsh comments would push Lara. Not even Bree. As online life collides with real life, the truth starts to come together and the backlash is even more devastating than than anyone could have imagined.
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!
Kevin Emerson's Exile trilogy combines the swoon-worthy romance of a Susane Colasanti novel with the rock 'n' roll of Eleanor & Park. Filled with infectious music, mystery, and romance, the electrifying Encore to an Empty Room doesn't miss a beat.
Summer always wanted Dangerheart—the band of talented exiles she manages—to find success. Now that they've become an overnight sensation, they are on the verge of a record deal, and all of Summer's hard work is about to pay off. All they need to do is find the next missing song. But are Caleb, the band's future, and the lost song more important than college? Summer will have to decide. It's time to choose who she wants to be, even if that might mean kissing Caleb good-bye.
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!
Imagination takes on new meaning for a uniquely talented teen in this debut novel that is a breathtaking blend of contemporary, fantasy, and romance.
Sometimes Jonathan Aubrey wishes he could just disappear. And as luck—or fate—would have it, he can. Ever since coming out of a coma as a kid, he has been able to create alternate worlds. Worlds where he is a superhero, or a ladies’ man, or simply a better version of himself. That’s the world he’s been escaping to most since sophomore year, a world where he has everything he doesn’t have in real life: friends, a place of honor on the track team, passing grades, and most importantly, Kylie Simms as his girlfriend. But when Jonathan confuses his worlds senior year and tries to kiss the real Kylie Simms, everything unravels. The real Kylie actually notices Jonathan…and begins obsessing over him. The fantasy version of Kylie struggles to love Jonathan as she was created to do, and the consequences are disastrous. As his worlds collide, Jonathan must confront the truth of his power and figure out where he actually belongs—before he loses both Kylie forever.
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, HERE!
Evie is living on borrowed time. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer several months ago and told that by now she’d be dead. Evie is grateful for every extra day she gets, but she knows that soon this disease will kill her. Until, miraculously, she may have a second chance to live. All Evie had wanted was her life back, but now that she has it, she feels like there’s no place for her in it—at least, not for the girl she is now. Her friends and her parents still see her as Cancer Girl, and her boyfriend’s constant, doting attention is suddenly nothing short of suffocating. Then Evie meets Marcus. She knows that he’s trouble, but she can’t help falling for him. Being near him makes her feel truly, fully alive. It’s better than a drug. His kiss makes her feel invincible—but she may be at the beginning of the biggest free fall of her life.
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!
Kody Keplinger returns to the world of The DUFF in this brand-new companion novel!
Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go. Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with -- secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross. Ryder's the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can't stand -- a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed. But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually like him. Only there's one small catch: he thinks he's been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she's the girl he's really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!
Maria Dahvana Headley's soaring YA debut is a fiercely intelligent, multilayered fantasy where Neil Gaiman's Stardust meets John Green's The Fault in Our Stars in a story about a girl caught between two worlds . . . two races . . . and two destinies.
Aza Ray Boyle is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name. Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who's always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia. Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza's hands lies fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!
Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he'd signed his own death warrant. Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order's headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember's own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George. A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!
A remarkable and utterly inventive novel bursting with intrigue and romance, from Sharon Cameron, acclaimed author of The Dark Unwinding, which USA TODAY called "spellbindingly imaginative."
Centuries after a shifting of the Earth's poles, the Sunken City that was once Paris is in the grips of a revolution. All who oppose the new regime are put to the blade, except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal? Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy's arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she. As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse. Daring intrigue, delicious romance, and spine-tingling suspense fill the pages of this extraordinary tale from award-winning author Sharon Cameron.
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!
Fan-favorite author Bree Despain continues her modern-day romance trilogy inspired by the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades with this second book in her Into the Dark series.
Haden Lord, the disgraced Prince of the Underrealm, has chosen love over honor and will do everything in his power to protect Daphne Raines, the human girl he was supposed to bring to the Underrealm. Haden’s choice is put to the test as the Skylords and a figure from his past arrive in Olympus Hills with a plan that could destroy all of the realms. Embracing her destiny as the Cypher, Daphne begins to understand the immense power of her musical ability to control the elements, but she must come to terms with her feelings for Haden and what she must sacrifice in order to protect him and her friends. Believing the Key of Hades is the only thing that can stop the Underrealm Court from releasing the monstrous Keres on the mortal world, Haden, Daphne, and their friends set out to find the Key before Persephone’s Gate opens again on the spring equinox.
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!
Not since The Book Thief has the character of Death played such an original and affecting part in a book for young people.
Flora and Henry were born a few blocks from each other, innocent of the forces that might keep a white boy and an African American girl apart; years later they meet again and their mutual love of music sparks an even more powerful connection. But what Flora and Henry don't know is that they are pawns in a game played by the eternal adversaries Love and Death, here brilliantly reimagined as two extremely sympathetic and fascinating characters. Can their hearts and their wills overcome not only their earthly circumstances, but forces that have battled throughout history? In the rainy Seattle of the 1920's, romance blooms among the jazz clubs, the mansions of the wealthy, and the shanty towns of the poor. But what is more powerful: love? Or death?
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!
For fans of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones and Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone, The Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.
Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known. Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act. Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it. But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!
Romantic and action-packed, The Replaced is the gripping second installment in the Taking trilogy.
Kyra hasn't been the same since she returned from her mysterious five-year disappearance. Now, on the run from the NSA, Kyra is forced to hide out with others who, like her, have been Returned. Yet she is determined to find Tyler, the boy she loves who was also abducted—all because of her. When her group intercepts a message that Tyler might still be alive but is in the hands of a shadowy government organization that experiments on the Returned, Kyra knows it's a risk to go after him. What if it's a trap? And worse, what if the returned Tyler isn't the same boy she lost? Perfect for fans of The Fifth Wave and the Body Finder series, The Replaced is both chilling and explosive, with creepy, otherworldly elements and twisty, psychological thrills that will have you questioning what exactly it means to be human.
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!
Louisa May Alcott can't believe it—her mother is leaving for the summer to earn money for the family and Louisa is to be in charge of the household. How will she find the time to write her stories, much less have any adventures of her own? But before long, Louisa finds herself juggling her temperamental father, a mysterious murder, a fugitive seeking refuge along the Underground Railroad, and blossoming love. Intertwining fact, fiction, and quotes from Little Women, Michaela MacColl has crafted another spunky heroine whose story will keep readers turning pages until the very end.
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!
Set in the same world as The Promise of Amazing, this smart, surprising, and romantic follow-up to Robin Constantine's debut novel follows two New Jersey teens as they become friends and fall in love. Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Mlynowski, and Jennifer E. Smith.
Madison Pryce thinks she's got everything figured out—she's working on a portfolio for a summer art program and hanging with her friends. Plus she has her hot boyfriend, Zach. But then a visit from a family friend turns Maddie's life upside down. Jesse McMann is still reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band. Then pride (and some goading from his bass player and fellow barista) forces him to find a new drummer—and the inspiration to write music again. Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett, who tries out for Jesse's band, and whose girlfriend is BFFs with the cute girl who orders a chai latte after yoga every Thursday: Maddie. What Jesse and Maddie thought they knew about the secrets of attraction and the rules of romance changes once they start falling for each other.
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!
"A girl takes over her twin sister's identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters."
Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world. When--after a heated argument--Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy's life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options--confess her deception or live her sister's life.
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, go HERE!


If there are any new YA books we missed, let us know in the comments below, and we'll add them to the list! 


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37. Article- Terror Earth quake

भूकम्प… तबाही … और अब अफवाहे… हे भगवान !!! मणि तो बता रही थी कि उसे अब भूकम्प के ही सपने आते हैं और जब आखं खुलती है तो बहुत राहत मिलती है कि शुक्र है सपना था.. वही एक जानकार जो दिल्ली में हैं वो बहुत धबराए हुए रहते हैं . हर समय खुद को तैयार रखते हैं कि कोई अनहोनी हो तो बाहर भागे … वही मैनें भी कुछ मैसेज वटस अप किए जिसमें कहा गया कि “नासा”की तरफ से है कि भूकम्प फलां टाईम आ सकता है. जबकि बाद मे पता चला कि भूकम्प का पूर्वानुमान नही लगाया जा सकता. वही कल अफवाहों का बाजार गर्म था कि …. !!! खैर आज फिर एक खबर ने चौका दिया कि वो ये आतंकी हमला हो सकता है वो भी ड्रोन के जरिए … हे भगवान !!! प्राकृतिक आपदा से बचा नही जा सकता पर ये आतंकी हमला करने वालो को तो सोचना चाहिए … ईश्वर से डरना चाहिए …

फिलहाल तो आदमी भूकम्प से ही बहुत डरा सहमा सा है

cartoon-Earth quake

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38. Saying No to Exclusives

Years ago, I mean back when I was a baby agent, I sat on a conference panel with about three other agents. During the panel the question of exclusives came up. Since this has always been a (odd) passion of mine I spoke up to say how wrong I felt exclusives were. Another agent disagreed.

She spoke up and said that she always asked for an exclusive. Her reasoning was that it was a waste of time not to because if a "bigger" agent offered, writers were going to go with the bigger agent and she wasted her time. First, I was shocked that she didn't believe in herself enough to think authors would benefit from being with her and second, I was shocked that she actually justified locking authors in without any options.

So we argued. And it wasn't pretty, but I bet it was fun for the conference attendees.

Agents still ask for exclusives and authors still need to respond to that. My advice on saying no to an exclusive is you kind of don't.

When an agent asks for an exclusive I would still send the material and simply say in my letter, "I'm afraid I can't offer an exclusive since I have queries/requested material out elsewhere. However, I will gladly keep you informed should another agent come forward with an offer."

Simple and straightforward and my guess is that the agent will read your material anyway.


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39. The life of Colonel William Eddy

Missionaries and US Marines? It did not seem a natural combination. But while working on a book about American Protestant missionaries and their children I came across a missionary son who became a prominent officer in the USMC and one of the most effective agents of the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. Col. William Eddy was in charge of the OSS operations in North Africa [...]

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40. For the birds: Poetry that celebrates our fine feather friends (ages 4-9)

Every spring, I love hearing birds chirping outside as we wake in the morning--a sure sign that daylight is coming earlier each day. As we enjoy our last week of National Poetry Month, I would like to share two new books that celebrate the beauty of birds in nature, prompting us to marvel at birds in nature.

Sweep Up the Sun
by Helen Frost
illustrated by Rick Lieder
Candlewick, 2015
Your local library
ages 4-9
Poet Helen Frost reunites with photographer Rick Lieder to explore the wonders of the natural world. I adored their previous collaboration, Step Gently Out, and this new book is equally as delightful. Frost's poem encourages young readers to watch birds in flight playing in the sky, learning to fly and trusting the sky to hold them aloft. But she also encourages children to do the same: 
"Spread your feathers,
sweep up the sun,
ride the wind and explore."
We can read this as a direct encouragement for children to take off and soar on their own. Lieder's amazing photography captures birds in mid-flight, freezing a moment in time. The final two pages provide brief information about each of the species photographed, ranging from house sparrows to Northern Cardinals.
The Sky Painter:
Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist
by Margarita Engle
illustrated by Aliona Bereghici
Two Lions, 2015
Your local library
ages 6-9
Margarita Engle captivated me with her biography of Louis Fuertes, the artist who is known as the "father of modern bird art" because of the way he painted birds in flight in their natural environments. Fuertes loved watching birds as a young boy. As he began his career, he realized that revered artists such as James Audubon painted birds they had shot and killed, so that they could study their anatomy in detail.Fuertes decided that he wanted to let birds live, so he developed the skills to paint them, quickly capturing their flight and grace:
"painting quickly, while wings
and race
so swift,
and so alive!"
Pair these two books together and talk with children about the power of art and the call of nature. Why did these artists decide to focus on birds? What drew them to capture their flight? What do they want their audiences to think about? How do the poets words capture the birds' flight in a different way?

The review copies were kindly sent by the publishers, Candlewick Press and Two Lions. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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41. Coloring Page Tuesday - Dancing Porcupines

     What are porcupines to do when they want to dance? Be very, very careful!
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages!
     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...
my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET - winner of nine literary awards. Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

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42. Fun Home the musical gets 12 Tony Award nominations


The Tony Awards nominations are out today, honoring the best on Broadway, and Fun Home tied for most nominations with 12 (An American in Paris also got 12.) The musical, based on the Alison Bechdel graphic novel, was nominated for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, Best Director, Best Actor in a Musical (Michael Cerveris), Best Actress in a Musical (Beth Malone), three in the Best Featured Actress category ( Judy Kuhn, Sydney Lucas and Emily Skeggs,) Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Orchestration.

I was lucky enough to see this last week, and its deserving of every honor it gets, a truly mesmerizing and heartbreaking night of theater. If I had to pick one performance to call out it would be 12 year old Sydney Lucas, who is simply astonishing as Small Allison. Alison Bechdel’s memoir about her family life, family secrets, coming out and dealing with the past has achieved a cultural significance that no graphic novel save Maus has ever come close to.


Bechdel drew a brief but powerful coda to the Fun Home experience as a webcomic for Vulture.

And the NY Times profiles her and the strange experience of seeing your life turned into a musical::

“She is a curious human being, and she’s curious about herself most of all,” Ms. Malone said of Ms. Bechdel. “Even her look is all about telling the truth — no ornamentation, nothing pretty. She hates lies — lies and embellishments are what got her dad killed.”

Ms. Bechdel has no formal role in creating the musical, but checks in often, answers questions by email and offers the periodic note. She asked them to change one sentence, to make clear that her father, a fastidious home restorer and antiques collector, had used real William Morris wallpaper, and not an imitation.



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43. April 30: Celebrating Children’s Day, Book Day

In just a few days, we’ll be celebrating El día de los niños, El día de los libros; Children’s Day, Book Day. It’s officially on April 30, but you can certainly celebrate books and children any day! Día (for short) originates with poet, author, and literacy advocate Pat Mora and we are so thrilled to have a poem in honor of this multicultural celebration of children and books penned by Pat herself. 

Here’s Pat talking about the Día celebration: 

And for more about Pat Mora, click HERE and for more about celebrating Día, click HERE.  

For the full text of this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.

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44. Melissa Grey & Marissa Moss Get Booked

A Great Good Place for BooksHere are some literary events to pencil in your calendar this week.

To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.

Author Hubert Crouch will discuss his new thriller The Word at Parnassus Books. Hear him on Tuesday, April 28th starting 6:30 p.m. (Nashville, TN)

Young adult novelist Melissa Grey will celebrate the release of her new book, The Girl at Midnight. Join in on Wednesday, April 29th at Books of Wonder from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (New York, NY)

Writer Robin Newman will headline a signing session at The Corner Bookstore. See her on Thursday, April 30th starting 7 p.m. (New York, NY)

Children’s books creator Marissa Moss will appear at Great Good Place for Books to talk about the final installment of the Amelia’s Notebook series. Meet her on Saturday, May 2nd starting 12 p.m. (Oakland, CA)

The Powerhouse Arena will host the launch for artist Krzysztof Poluchowicz’s book, Brooklyn ABC: A Scrapbook to Everyone’s Favorite Borough. Check it out on Saturday, May 2nd starting 4 p.m. (Brooklyn, NY)

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45. Fearing What You Love -- The Scary Side of the Writing Life

Before I get to today's post, I have to tell you that Adventures has been honored by Writer's Digest Magazine with a listing in their 101 Best Websites for Writer's issue!

This is the third year in a row, and I want to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful team that we have in place here. Lisa Gail Green, Jocelyn Rish, Susan Sipal, Shelly Zevlever, Erin Cashman, and Jan Lewis, thank you all so much for the amazing work you do day in and day out. Thank you also to Alyssa Hamilton, who has unfortunately recently left us to concentrate on her studies, and to all the authors and publicists who provide the wonderful interviews, guest posts, and giveaways, and thank you to all of YOU--the readers. This is the best kind of team effort!

Fearing What You Love -- The Scary Side of the Writing Life

I've wanted to be a writer most of my life, but the word "author" really didn't enter into that equation. Not because I didn't want to be one, but because I had no perspective of what it meant. All I wanted was to get put words on a page and bring characters and ideas to life. Raise a few questions, connect a few thoughts.

Beyond publication, there is a whole world of things that go into being an author. I'm goodish at some of them. The things that are similar to the business world, those I can handle, and I love, love, love talking books and writing, anytime, anywhere. I love helping people. But the rest?

  • Pre-publication publicity and marketing
  • Interviews and guest posts
  • Getting and navigating reviews 
  • Pre-order giveaways
  • Blog tours
  • Launch parties
  • Book tours and events
  • Engaging with publicists
  • Ongoing post-publication publicity and marketing
  • Subbing to book festivals or responding to invitation

And that doesn't include writing the next book or editing the current one. Learning to write better books. All at the same time.

It's a lot.

Don't get me wrong, it's a mind-blowing honor and a wonderful opportunity, but the problem is there is no guidebook for this portion of the journey.

I'm going to the RT Convention in Dallas in a few weeks. And the more I think about it, the more I get hot flutters of panic. It's such a HUGE event. People dress up, and I don't really know anyone well. The social and the event side of publishing always make me feel completely inadequate.

Don't get me wrong, everyone I've met in the book world is truly nice. Really nice. But I'm a little shy, and when I'm nervous, I tend to babble, or fall back on things I know. What I know is business, and organization, and timetables, and how to get things packaged and put together. Which means that most of the time, working with other authors, I feel like an idiot.

Being an author is scary. It's a whole new career, and I'm on the bottommost rung, and the rest of the rungs are shrouded in mist.

Thinking about going to the RT Convention, it occurred to me that I haven't felt this way since I was a teen. Lost and confused and inadequate. Afraid. Convinced I would never be good enough. Afraid that people would laugh at me, or no one would talk to me. Afraid that I would fall on my face or make an idiot of myself.

Back when I was a teenager, I wouldn't have admitted those fears. Maybe that's the difference. I would have buttoned them inside myself.

Today, I know that everyone falls on their faces. I know that it's pulling myself up after I fall that makes me stronger.

Maybe this fear will be a good reminder for when I write. I'm writing some scary scenes for Barrie, and this third book has made me nervous. Stepping into the climax, it's good to connect back to being afraid. Hopefully, it will make me a better writer.

Thinking about going to the RT Convention, it has been tempting to cancel. I've considered it several times.

But I won't.

Because fear is good. Fear pushes us. New things stretch us.


So tell me. What are you afraid of?


SThe #1 New York Times bestselling author Carl Hiaasen serves up his unique brand of swamp-justice in Skink—No Surrender.

Classic Malley—to avoid being shipped off to boarding school, she takes off with some guy she met online. Poor Richard—he knows his cousin’s in trouble before she does. Wild Skink—he’s a ragged, one-eyed ex-governor of Florida, and enough of a renegade to think he can track Malley down. With Richard riding shotgun, the unlikely pair scour the state, undaunted by blinding storms, crazed pigs, flying bullets, and giant gators.

Carl Hiaasen first introduced readers to Skink more than twenty-five years ago in Double Whammy, and he quickly became Hiaasen’s most iconic and beloved character, appearing in six novels to date. Both teens and adults will be thrilled to catch sight of the elusive “captain” as he finds hilariously satisfying ways to stop internet predators, turtle-egg poachers, and lowlife litterbugs in their tracks. With Skink at the wheel, the search for a missing girl is both nail-bitingly tense and laugh-out-loud funny.

Purchase Skink - No Surrender at Amazon
Purchase Skink - No Surrender at IndieBound
View Skink - No Surrender on Goodreads

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46. ‘The Knife That Carves’ Poetry Video Goes Viral

How do you handle painful situations? Poet Cassidy Foust explores this question with her poem “The Knife That Carves.”

The Button Poetry YouTube channel posted a video (embedded above) featuring Foust’s performance at the 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. Follow this link to listen to another one of her pieces.

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47. Walking the Game Beat: Batman, Disney Infinity 2.0, Call of Duty, RIP Silent Hills

What a 48hrs it’s been. Gamers have been given reason to cheer and cry. Such weight that can only be decompressed with hours of performing Mortal Kombat X fatalities.

Wait that ain’t it… oh well let’s talk about some of the major news video games has recently bombarded us with.

On Sunday, Treyarch showed off the first full trailer for the next installment of the Call of Duty franchise. Call of Duty: Black Ops III comes to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC this November.

Now the series has become a yearly expectation, not unlike a new Madden Football game or MLB The Show. Hell, the game has even aided in giving birth to pro gaming leagues where Mountain Dew fueled players compete for bragging rights and copious amounts of cash. So what can a new installment bring that we haven’t seen before? Bigger combat arenas allowed the game to boast a 4-player co-op campaign. For the first time in the franchise’s history, the campaign’s protagonist is fully customizable. In addition to upgrading abilities, changing your character’s appearance and tweaking weapons, players can pick the gender of their Call of Duty hero. Black Ops also brings back Zombie survival mode, where players obliterate wave after wave of the undead. This time the mode comes with a full character progression system similar to multiplayer.

Being the third CoD game by Treyarch, the group is leaving nothing out. Come November we’ll see wall running, underwater combat, unlimited sprinting, the ability to customize your solider as a heroic female in the campaign, and swimming. Yes according to the developer certain battle arenas will have areas where players can have their solider swim while still controlling weapons and combat. Though we haven’t seen much of how this development will affect the game, it sure does sound like a thing they threw in after the art directors pool party. The one thing the game really needs is a new Jim Lee drawn cover.


Cause this weird “I gotta go to the bathroom but I don’t want to put my guns down” box ain’t cutting it.


WtolZw1Call of Duty: Black Ops III is set to release on November 6, 2015. Preordering through Gamestop will get you access to the upcoming beta.



Disney Infinity 2.0 finally released their mobile app on Android today. The guesstimated five of us that don’t have iPhones can now:

Create your own worlds and games starring over 60 of your favorite Marvel and Disney characters! Marvel Super Heroes come to Disney Infinity: Toy Box 2.0, with some of your favorite characters including the Avengers, Spider-Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Also explore some of your favorite Disney and Disney/Pixar characters from Frozen (Elsa & Anna), Big Hero 6 (Hiro & Baymax), Brave (Merida), Pirates of the Caribbean, Monsters Inc, and more!

For anyone that hasn’t picked up any Disney Infinity console and PC version… yes the cost goes beyond what you’ll initially pay after the starter set. This is just the new trend in gaming. These miniature versions of Mickey Mouse, Venom, Jack Sparrow, and Baymax we all have to buy are the new form of downloadable content for games. Though they have the distinction of having desk/shelf potential for collectors, it can still add up to serious coin, which is why it’s a nice feature that you can use web code cards from your physical Disney Infinity Figures to unlock characters in the mobile game. Such a novelty is essentially making the content transferable through all the platforms that gives it a value other games could learn from.

Now if we could just get those Legos and Amibos to talk to each other.

Plus look at the meme potential!



As we talked a little about yesterday, Batman: Arkham Knight or as I call it “That thing I’m not going to work the week of June 23rd for,” dropped a new trailer that included the long awaited story playability of Nightwing, Robin, and Catwoman (I don’t count Arkham City cause you had to download her). The feature looks to be similar to what Grand Theft Auto 5 did with switching between three main characters at the push of a button at any time.

Here it is again in all it’s glory:

Two-Face, Oracle, Azrael, and the bat-plane also appear in the trailer. In addition to all this, pre-ordering the game get’s you a playable Harley Quinn in the game’s challenge maps and if you do it through GameStop then the Red Hood (Jason Todd) will also be yours. The game’s “Mature” rating doesn’t shine through in the trailer but you can see a level of despair that hasn’t been hit in the series yet, and that’s saying a lot because Arkham City wasn’t exactly sunshine and roses.

Fortunately we won’t have to wait too much longer as the game is locked into releasing worldwide June 23, 2015 on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

In the meantime, have you figured out who “Johnny Charisma” is yet?


Before we start the rundown of what gaming comics will be in stores this week, we should take a moment of “silence” for Silent Hills. Last year the world was told to play the creepy ass downloadable game P.T. In it, you’re put in the shoes of a man trapped in the hallways of a house where some supernatural depressing Scooby Doo ghost shit is going down.  The erie vibrance and mind bending nature of the situation made the game a brief but intense ride. Then at the end players find out that this is just a “Playable Teaser” for a game called Silent Hills. As if that wasn’t enough, we’re then told the game is being developed by Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima and master film director Guillermo Del Torro. Then as if that isn’t enough we’re told Daryl Dixon himself, Norman Reedus, is going to  model and voice the main character.

Yesterday, Konami confirmed our worst fears and officially canceled Silent Hills.

For fans of the Silent Hill series; the teaser was like being defibrillated back to life. A franchise whose better days were behind them, only showing mere glimpses of awesome in comics being published by IDW, was going to make a comeback. For a brief moment two storytelling giants that specialize in the bizarre were going to give fans the game they knew this series could be and P.T was the proof.


What went wrong? While we may never know the real answer to that, at least until someone makes the documentary about all this ten years from now; the writing had been on the wall for quite sometime. Rumors surrounding Kojima leaving Konami after Metal Gear Solid 5 turned into plausible scenarios. Though he doesn’t look it, Hideo Kojima is like 50 something years old (Somewhere there’s an attic with a painting of an old Hideo Kojima screaming cause this guy doesn’t age). If he feels it’s time to move on and tell a new story then he’s earned that right. Most feel that he’ll put his passion for Hollywood to use. Then, Konami itself is starting to show signs of restructuring to focus on other ventures like gambling; they even pulled themselves from the New York Stock Exchange. Though, if you look at their numbers, it was apparent very little trading happened in the US for them. Both parites will undoutebly be okay as their names and properties alone could keep them afloat for years.

There’s the matter of Guillermo Del Torro. He was the first one to come out and say that he was no longer working on Silent Hills. The news was just the latest in a string of incomplete projects the filmmaker has in his portfolio; Justice League Dark and Haunted Mansion (announced at SDCC 2010 but only now finding its star) come to mind . It looks like Pacific Rim 2 will be done before either of those movies gets to theaters. In the end the tragic news of Silent Hills doesn’t fall on Del Torro, he’s a gamer and a storyteller who wanted to create art with a man he sees as a legend. When it became apparent that the legend was leaving the table, he decided not to do the project.

Kojima will be okay, Del Torro will be okay, Konami will be okay; the only real casualties here are all of us because we’ll never know what could have been.



Gaming Comics 4/29:

Injustice: Year Three Annual #1                                                                                                                                         (W) Ray Fawkes, Brian Buccellato (A) Sergio Fernandez Davila & Various (CA) Neil Googe

The Year of Magic is over, and the stalemate between Superman’s regime and Batman’s resistance continues. But some mysteries remain to be explained, like the true start of John Constantine’s involvement. What secret role did Dr. Occult play? And what have the Titans been up to all this time?
Munchkin #4 (BOOM! Studios)
(W) Tom Siddell, Jim Zub (A) Mike Holmes, Rian Sygh (CA) Ian McGinty
Based on the popular card game. A squad of space marines are sent to investigate a colony that has recently fallen out of contact, but when they get there, they find the first signs of nonhuman life are super annoying. Plus, an exclusive game card is included with every copy of the first printing!
Sonic Boom #7 (Archie Comics)
(W) Ian Flynn (A/CA) Matt Herms & Various
It’s wacky-racin’ adventure in “Everybody’s Super Sonic Racing” Part Two: Dr. Eggman’s fun and “friendly” go-kart challenge has turned deadly! But, really, who didn’t see that “twist” coming? Can Sonic salvage the race and prove to the bad doctor he can win fair and square? More importantly, can Sonic survive long enough to return to the race course?! Discover the fate of life, limb and ego in this super-fast story with cover art from Sonic comic fav Jamal Peppers, and an all-new “insubordination” variant cover from painter Erik Ly!

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