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Zoomer's Out-of-This-World Christmas appears to be Ned Young's third book about Zoomer, but it's the first one that I've run across. Zoomer is a young dog, preparing for Christmas with his two brothers. While on the lookout for Santa, the brothers are surprised to discover that a spaceship has landed in their backyard. The alien family that comes from the ship is friendly (and surprisingly humanoid). Adventures ensue, followed by a sacrifice made by Zoomer on behalf of his new friends.
I'm not sure that I am completely on board with the end of this book, in which Zoomer is rewarded by Santa for his sacrifice. Does this suggest that we should do good things only in the hope of someone noticing and quietly rewarding us later? Perhaps there is truth in that, but it's not my first choice for a Christmas message. Still, it does make for a festive ending to the book.
Ending aside, it is a fun book. Young includes a few nonsense words, like this:
"... And out stepped a family from outer space, their robot, and their pet--a yarple-headed gigantaziller."
"They feasted on kookaloon sandwiches, zablookee salad, and blopwapple pie and washed it all down with some zoinkinfizz soda. Everything was out-of-this-world delicious."
And yet, despite the innate ridiculousness of the whole thing (from the pups living with their parents in a gabled house, as though they were regular children to the aliens somehow managing to eat pie through their space suits), Young presents everything in straight up fashion. Apart from the aforementioned nonsense words, the text is relatively staightforward.
The real playfulness comes via the illustrations. The aliens and their gadgets are brightly colored and detailed, with a vaguely Seussian flair. The gigantaziller is a friendly blending of giant caterpillar and butterfly, with several shoe-clad feet. There is a force-field swimming pool that makes for interesting visuals, too. The pictures are highly dynamic, and certainly kid-friendly. There are plenty of details to reward repeated viewings.
All in all, Zoomer's Out-of-This-World Christmas is an unconventional holiday-themed book, merging sled-riding dogs, humanoid aliens, and Santa Claus into one colorful, snow-covered mashup. For those looking for something to mix things up a bit, and especially for kids who are fascinated by aliens, this one is worth a look.
Publisher: HarperCollins (@HarperChildrens)
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).
Reading that, you’d think that “YA Romance” was just another kind of contemporary romance, wouldn’t you? Like “contemporary romances” (i.e., now-set romance novels with no strong paranormal, mystery, thriller, religious, etc. plotline) YA romances are required to “focus primarily on the romantic relationship.”
Except, we all know that’s not what all YA romances are. Sometimes they are contemporary romances that focus primarily on a romantic relationship (Anna and the French Kiss, Eleanor and Park, Perfect Chemistry, etc.) Sometimes, in addition to the romance, there’s a lot of other stuff going on, like saving the world from a demon invasion (The Mortal Instruments), or running away from home and falling into a magical addiction (Valiant), or trying to survive on an alien planet after your spaceship crashed (the upcoming These Broken Stars).
Because of this description, a lot of people didn’t enter their YA romances.
Howard’s descriptions of Wonderland—Alyssa and Co. don’t actually spend much time there in this installment, but it makes its way into our world—play off Carroll in creative, often unexpected ways, and the result is lush and vivid and dark and dangerous and weirdly attractive. Alyssa’s growing affection for Wonderland and her ultimate acceptance of her birthright is a long, sometimes annoying journey, but the beauty she sees in it—even amid the occasionally macabre and sometimes downright horrifying—is undoubtedly there.
HAS ANYONE ELSE READ IT? Because I have some things I'D LIKE TO DISCUSS.
Do you crossover and read adult works as well? Of course we've seen many adult authors enter the YA stream. Now watch as YA authors step into the adult market. Sonya Sones did it with her Hunchback of Neiman Marcus, which Meg Cabot called: "Funny, fresh, and heartbreakingly poignant, this book had me laughing and crying at the same time."
Kirkus gave He's Gone a starred review and said, "YA veteran and National Book Award finalist Caletti (The Story of Us, 2012, etc.) makes a striking adult debut with this tale of a husband's mysterious disappearance...Well written, strongly characterized and emotionally complex fixtion."
Well done, ladies! Representing! Rgz, look for these if you read adult, or maybe they are the perfect gifts for those adults you live with. :~) Happy shopping!
Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul,
With a corncob pipe and a button nose
And two eyes made out of coal.
Frosty the snowman is a fairy tale, they say,
He was made of snow
Extended character descriptions. Don’t be afraid to take time to describe the main character. One the continuum of character descriptions, this one is longer than you’ll find in most children’s picturebooks. But it works because this is a character story.
but the children
Know how he came to life one day.
There must have been some magic in that
Old silk hat they found.
For when they placed it on his head
He began to dance around.
Point of view. Notice the point of view here. The attention is squarely on Frosty, not on the children who found the old silk hat. When you write a story for kids, you don’t always have to put the child as the main character.
O, Frosty the snowman
Was alive as he could be,
And the children say he could laugh
And play just the same as you and me.
Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Look at Frosty go.
Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Over the hills of snow.
Language play. This section doesn’t add much to the plot, it’s just pure language play. But this is perfect for the younger audiences, who know that playing around with language is half the fun of reading a story or singing a song. Great onomatopoeia.
Frosty the snowman knew
The sun was hot that day,
So he said, “Let’s run and
We’ll have some fun
Now before I melt away.”
Conflict. Every good story needs conflict. And the character’s attitude in the face, well, in the face of certain death, is evident. It’s an attitude of taking joy where you find it and facing the future with courage.
Down to the village,
With a broomstick in his hand,
Running here and there all
Around the square saying,
Catch me if you can.
He led them down the streets of town
Right to the traffic cop.
And he only paused a moment when
He heard him holler “Stop!”
For Frosty the snow man
Had to hurry on his way,
Development of the conflict. The traffic cop provides an extra bump of conflict that adds to the story’s development. For picturebooks, it doesn’t have to be much; in fact, it can’t be huge, or you’re writing a novel. This is perfect, just the introduction of an authority figure who yells, “Stop!” but can’t really do anything to stop the breakneck speed of Frosty’s life.
But he waved goodbye saying,
“Don’t you cry,
I’ll be back again some day.”
Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Look at Frosty go.
Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Over the hills of snow.
Hope. Children’s stories may end in tragedy, but the best offer a spot of hope. Notice also the nice repetition of the language play that sends the story off with a nice echo.
Earlier this year, a friend and I discussed the viability of a drinking game involving HGTV, where every mention of the words "granite countertops" or "double sinks" or "perfect for entertaining," would result in a shot. We figured it would only take a single thirty-minute episode of House Hunters to intoxicate the average person; if it was a showing of Property Virgins, the person wouldn't get through the first house. (As my friend put it, "No one ever talks about a room that's perfect for eating ice cream alone in front of the TV.")
Howard Mansfield has written several books that discuss different facets of history, architecture, and preservation, often with an eye toward his New England roots, including The Same Ax Twice, and Bones of the Earth. His most recent title, Dwelling in Possibility, is an exploration of the nature of home and more specifically, how we have distanced ourselves from the concept of dwelling. "We have shelter from the rain and snow and sun," he writes, "but our houses aren't sheltering our souls."
For a population of rabid HGTV watchers, Mansfield's conclusions about clutter, space, and useful design will be both familiar and reassuring (and often quite funny as well). But there is much more to this title then wryly noting our national designer addictions. Dwelling in Possibility exhorts readers to consider why building houses, as opposed to building homes, has become a national past time.
In three separate sections Mansfield considers "Dwelling in the Ordinary," "Dwelling in Destruction," and "Dwelling in Possibility." In the early chapters his witty sense of humor is on full display, most especially when considering the power of clutter to control our daily lives. It's hard not to laugh (and agree) when reading a rant like this one:
We have poured our concerns about clutter into almost every shape we know: self-help, recovery support groups (Messies Anonymous, Clutter Diet), meet-up groups, Let Go of Clutter Retreats, Feng Shui, vague Zen aspirations ("Do More With Less in Your Zen Bathroom"), decluttering online in the Second Life world, and television shows where you can watch people throw out junk. There's Clutter Awareness Week (the third week in March), a Clutter Hoarding Scale, newspaper stories ready to pronounce a national epidemic ("Stuff Robbed Dee Wallace of Love"), and a tsunami of books soon to be at a flea market near you. "I own several organizing books and this is my favorite," said one reader at Amazon. Another woman, who had surrendered to a professional organizer, confessed to squirreling away boxes of her favorite "decluttering" magazine articles.
Fair enough. Mansfield has us on our endless desire to remove stuff from our lives and our acute inability to apparently accomplish that without buying more stuff to "do it right." What the author does that is unexpected, however, is take all this humor about modern living and pivot in a wholly different direction in the book's stark second section. In these chapters, he writes of the twentieth-century cities, towns, and villages that have suffered "de-housing" through the tactics of war, and shows how our inherent yearning for home has all too often been used as way to destroy civilian populations.
Sadly, there are all too many examples of military destruction that Mansfield can point to, but as he takes readers on this grim historical tour he cannot resist teasing out the many complicated stories that linger behind the factual records. While recalling the infamous initial report of U.S. Marines torching huts in Vietnam as a way to punish the populace, he shares the powerful threats brought against reporter Morley Safer for revealing the dark side of the American occupation to the public.
In Vietnam, like everywhere else in Asia, property, a home, is everything. A man lives with his family on ancestral land. His parents are buried nearby. These spirits are part of his holdings," says Safer.
The images of the Zippo lighters setting fire to a grass roof while families huddled nearby was deemed so damaging to the war effort that the Pentagon tried to ruin Safer's reputation; President Johnson was certain Safer had bribed a Marine to set a fire.
"Burning down a house is a transgression," writes Mansfield, "It's an obvious sin..."
Through the bombings of London, Tokyo, and Hamburg, the author pores over the words of the men who ordered the attacks and those who dutifully followed through, while also considering their ultimate failure. The houses were destroyed, but the people, without exception, remained determined to rebuild, and no one surrendered because a city was lost. In the end he notes how house destruction became a policy that stubbornly held on in the face of all evidence, suggesting it was not a worthwhile use of money or men. "These things develop their own momentum," he writes. We bombed cities day in and day out simply because we kept getting better at hitting them.
It seems impossible that a title could include discussions of the significance of useful footpaths to a community, the allure of California Closets to cure what ails us, and also the profound despair left in the wake of Tokyo's burning. Yet Mansfield's light touch, whether engaged in humor or sympathy, never wavers from his intent to fully understand his overall subject. He is fascinated by what we need from a home and how confusing our relationship with that concept has become. As he always does, Mansfield quotes from all manner of writers, architects, and historians throughout the text, but mostly it is his own voice that shines through. As he writes of house hunting with his wife in the earliest pages, you can imagine him walking through countless doors, his curiosity endlessly piqued as he surveys the rooms around him. He can't stop looking; he can't stop noticing:
Houses that smell of feet, or vaguely like diapers, even though the children are in high school.
Houses that are worn and comfortable, like an old fielder's mitt, like the sweatshirt and jeans the commuting executive wears on Saturdays.
Houses that are walled in with photos of children, grandchildren, nieces, and grandnieces. The walls of diplomas like battle ribbons.
Houses in which nothing has happened, and that seems terrible...where boredom sticks to the walls, yellows the walls like grease from ten thousand meals.
Howard Mansfield has seen it all, stood there, collected his thoughts, and now shares his conclusions. In elegant, careful prose he ushers readers far beyond the peeks we are accustomed to having through our television shows and shelter magazines. This is an author who is endlessly patient while pursuing his subjects, and delightfully capable of sharing his journeys with the rest of us. As a cultural historian, there can be few more determined to understand the modern human condition. Dwelling in Possibility is thus quite extraordinary in its quiet message about how we live, and certainly a triumph for this brilliant author.
Dwelling in Possibility by Howard Mansfield
With winter break looming large, it's time to get a stack of books together for a nice long afternoon of escapist fiction. Go ahead and indulge yourself with these adventures -- I'm sure you deserve them!
Gwenda Bond provides readers with a rousing drama that is firmly grounded in a classic coming-of-age story with her mash-up of myths and secret societies, The Woken Gods. Washington, D.C. is now home to embassies housing the physical manifestations of legends from around the world and throughout history, including the Greeks, Egyptians, Sumerians, American Southwest and even New Orleans. Just as global politics has always involved uneasy detentes between nations, the gods and man are gripped in a peace forged in death that is maintained by the mysterious Society of the Sun. Society members keep the gods from killing mankind through brute strength and hundreds of "relics" that have been gathered and guarded through the ages and now are the only effective weapons against immortal power. That Raiders of the Lost Ark warehouse is very real, only it involves the relic-gathering skills of a ton of Indy-like archaeologists and is in a way cooler location.
Kyra Locke knows all about the Society and the gods because her father works there and her mother lost her mind when the gods were "awakened." Now an angry high school student, she spends a lot of time failing to get her father's attention and hanging out with ex-boyfriend Tam and best friend Bree. Then Kyra's dad giver her a vague "if I don't come home you must run away" lecture and a god tries to kill her in the middle of the street. The Society saves her butt and hauls her and her friends away to tell them what has really been going on. Except they don't really and the teens must figure it out on their own. But the fun here is all the twists and turns and lies and revelations, and careful world building and nonstop action (with bonus romance) that make anyone looking for a bunch of smart tough characters to hang out with very, very happy.
What Bond gives readers here is a whole bunch of adults who have not done the right thing in ways big and small. She also gives us adults who can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that teenagers are not stupid or silly and thus can actually be trusted with the truth. There is some research à la Giles, some breaking and entering (more than once) and some running for your life that is not always successful. Also a few serious ceremonies, the frustration of secret justice, the "I didn't know you liked me but I'm so glad I know now" kind of conversation and the requirement of putting your hand into an open wound to stop a deadly infection. Clearly, the squeamish need not apply to save the world in this case.
The Woken Gods is a fast-paced tonic for curious readers who seek multi-layered mysteries and a salute to smart under-appreciated kids everywhere. The cool part is when it all comes together at the end and some very delightful parents do step up to the plate because they trust their kids. Bond has her characters growing up in a strange new world, in a bold brave way. The Woken Gods is one mighty fun read, and thus a perfect respite from holiday madness. Smart equals good in any adventure, and this is a very good read.
Jasper Fforde follows up The Last Dragonslayer with the second book in his "Chronicles of Kazam" series: The Song of the Quarkbeast. These books (and they really should be read in order) are set in a funny world where magic is used for fixing construction projects, large-scale landscaping and speedy delivery via flying carpet. There are also pointless foreign policy squabbles, foolish bureaucrats, a despotic king and all number of recognizable societal silliness. Our heroine, sixteen-year old Jennifer Strange, lives in the Kingdom of Snodd where she runs the show for a bunch of "underemployed magicians" at Kazam Mystical Arts Management and nothing ever seems to go the way she wants it to.
In The Song of the Quarkbeast, Jennifer has a lot on her plate. Kazam's founder is still missing in an enchantment that went wrong (although reappearing unannounced in various points in the kingdom on occasion), her most powerful magicians have fallen victim to a spell, Kazam is under attack from a power-mad professional rival and there are trolls. She is also missing her late lamented pet quarkbeast very much, which becomes that much more difficult when she meets a rather demented quarkbeast hunter. All in all, Jennifer's life is as complicated as ever and keeping a cool head is especially critical if she wants to save the kingdom again.
Fforde knows exactly what he is doing with these books, and while they are a bit lightweight, they are also a lot of fun. Jennifer possesses a wry sense of humor that serves her well and her friends and coworkers continue to balance quirkiness and kindness in equal parts. Fforde fits all of their idiosyncrasies into this tightly crafted plot with ease and the addition of a hint of romance this time around is welcome but not a distraction from the continued unfolding of life around Kazam. There is also more than one mystery but every last bit is solved, sorted, and dealt with by the final paragraphs. There is no villain in these books, Fforde prefers to give his readers the sort of political messiness we are all too familiar with in the twenty-first century. The politics are so funny, teen readers will enjoy their addition to the plot. The Song of the Quarkbeast is pure fantasy comfort food: an excellent choice for decompressing in the midst of your own family political upheavals this month.
The adventure in The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence hits much closer to home but also involves leaps of faith and a strong heart for the title character. As the story opens, seventeen-year-old Alex is stopped at a border crossing and herded off by the police on drug charges. He is apparently the center of a national news story and facing multiple personal crisis. Plus his closest friend is dead, and he's the only one who can explain what happened. That's the setup, and the chapters that follow bring readers back several years to explain how Alex got there.
First and foremost, he is the boy who got hit by a meteorite and lived. The one-in-a-million accident made him famous and left him with a unique perspective that has colored every choice he makes in life. Raised by a mother who runs a wiccan-type shop and gives tarot card readings, he is used to being an easy target for bullies. Now with a wicked scar on the side of his head, a crazy story and avid interests in astronomy and neurology (for obvious reasons), keeping himself from being a target is nearly a full time job. It is while on the run one day that he meets a reclusive neighbor, the gruff widower Mr. Peterson, and finds the friend who changes his life.
Alex is a complex and endearing character, intrigued by science and literature and especially, through his friendship with Peterson, drawn to the works of Kurt Vonnegut. Extence makes sure to explain these interests, allowing Alex to have deep considerations of writing and astronomy that carefully add layers of meaning to the story. Most importantly he is a very likable kid whose curiosity will appeal to many readers. Consider this revealing passage:
I think if I could just spend the whole six hours of the school day solving algebra problems, then I'd be extremely happy. But, of course, that's not exactly normal. That's the part everybody hates. Most of the other boys can't wait for the break so they can go outside and play football. And to me, that really is baffling. It seems like such a waste of time and energy. It doesn't tell you anything about the world. It doesn't add or change anything. I don't get the appeal.
Extence takes Alex far beyond the point of traditional bullying and places him in an adult situation that calls for problem solving and sincerity of the highest order. He must make decisions that rattle not only his family but also ultimately spark a national dialogue, and he does it all for the most basic of reasons: it's the right thing to do. Light years from the traditional "problem of the week" novel and a brilliant look at the creative mind of an intelligent teen who willfully challenges the adults around him, The Universe Versus Alex Woods is thought provoking and intense. Fans of Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian or Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes should especially give this one a look.
Joanna Nadin's Paradise combines family drama and secrets in the best gothic tradition, while still firmly set in contemporary England with nary a moor in sight. Sixteen-year-old Billie should be happy, the grandmother she never knew has left her a house in her will, and as Billie and her mother and little brother are barely hanging onto their crappy London apartment, this refuge sounds like a godsend. The problem is that her mother, who has always exhibited unpredictable behavior, is determined to leave without telling her boyfriend and Billie isn't too excited about being in a place she doesn't know with a mother who is starting to unravel again. She is sorely tempted to just walk away from it all, but her brother needs her and she loves her mother and the house does offer a possibility of... something else. In the grand scheme of things, that is enough to tip the scales and so off the little family goes to Cornwall where, of course, everything comes apart.
As you would expect, there is a big house where everything is mysteriously undisturbed, as if it has been waiting for the new occupants. Billie's uncle died years before in an accident as a teenager and his room is just as he left it, whereas her mother's childhood room bears no hint that she ever lived there. The town seems to know more about the family then Billie does and while a small group of teens seems welcoming, Billie's mother becomes more and more unhinged making it difficult to pay bills, let alone invite friends over. All too soon everything goes to hell in a hand basket in the most spectacular fashion but not before Billie learns just enough about her mother's past to demand more answers, which entails visiting a graveyard, nearly drowning in a dangerous sea, and finally figuring out who her father was and why he left her before she was born. The secrets are revealed so quickly in the end that your head spins a bit, but as someone who hung on every word of Victoria Holt when I was fourteen, I think the rhythm is just fine and readers will be delighted. Consider this one a modern twist on a classic narrative and a true page-turner.
For those seeking a bit more of a cautionary tale for their vacation reading à la Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bridget Fonda's roommate-from-hell classic Single White Female, I recommend Jenny Davidson's subtle novel, The Magic Circle. The story starts out with one of those uniquely cerebral bar discussions favored by grad students, albeit on an unexpected topic. The plot centers around the groundwork that goes into developing a game to be played on the street level that realistically incorporates the architecture and history of the environment around it. For Columbia University students Ruth and Lucy, this means figuring out what to include in their game about the Victorian era in New York City, "Trapped in the Asylum."
The game is set in the Morningside Heights neighborhood, and is based on the real history of the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum. Using the game's app as a guide, players move through the streets portraying someone voluntarily committed to the asylum à la Nellie Bly. They will also gain experiences and answer questions that uncover clues about the asylum's creepy past. The goal is to make an educational game interactive and fun, part of what Ruth is researching in school, and it all seems quite interesting but relatively innocuous. The inclusion of neighbor Anna, a visiting scholar from Denmark, turns Ruth and Lucy's careful game planning on its ear however and brings a level of uncontrollable chaos into their lives.
On the surface, The Magic Circle is very much about game theory and the work that goes into creating a successful manufactured environment. The women work hard at making their games work in a logical way, both Ruth's "Trapped in the Asylum" and Anna's brainchild, "Places of Power", the latter of which incorporates Greek myth, the occult, and architecture into the mix. (Ghostbusters is appropriately name-dropped here, though Anna's vision has a much more adult form.) Through email excerpts and online journal entries, Davidson shows Ruth and Anna working through the details of their separate games while alternately arguing against and supporting each other's visions. Lucy, who is called away for several chapters due to a family crisis, serves to show the readers just how much the games change and overwhelm their creators' original visions when she returns and is shocked to discover how far her friends have moved from their original theories. Lucy cannot resist being drawn into the debauchery presented by Anna's game however, changing her view of what the games are supposed to be about. (So much for education.) Anna shows the appeal of game playing can be more than just leaving reality behind; it is about embracing a fantasy that is as close to real as it gets and presents potential consequences that are unpredictable and thus extremely exciting. It should come as no surprise that all of this takes a serious turn for the worse very quickly.
Anna's brother arrives and romances the reserved Ruth. "Places of Power" rapidly gains in popularity as word spreads through online message boards and forums and groups converge to play the game in a wild weekend that finds all the players engaging in dangerously indulgent behavior in Morningside Park after dark. The intoxication of playing the game infuses every aspects of Ruth and Lucy's lives and pitted against each other by their roles, they find themselves less inclined to question their conduct and suspicious of ulterior motives. Through it all, the Danish siblings weave a web that threatens to overwhelm the other two women, and lures them deeper into a game they never intended to play, let alone expected to threaten their lives.
The Magic Circle is a subtle thriller that effectively introduces the appeal of urban exploration and game playing into the freedom presented by the college environment. The dark turn that the plot takes is a warning call to any older teen who feels the lure of leaving the rules behind. Davidson shows how easy it is to lose your way and come unmoored from the person you thought you were when tempted by others. Teens about to leave for college will find a lot to consider in Ruth and Lucy's adventures and many questions to answer about how they would respond to all the possibilities that these games present. (Some sexual content makes this one a crossover for older teens only.)
Finally, as this is the holiday season, I couldn't resist a couple of unusual ideas that would certainly have appealed to me as a teenager. (And frankly still do.) Beth Kephart's recent title on writing memoir, Handling the Truth, has been receiving accolades all over the place for its thoughtful consideration of the good and bad in the genre, as well as providing examples from many wonderful books. Kephart is a National Book Award finalist who teaches writing; she pulls from her own experience and classroom discussion to illustrate many points. For the teen writer, Handling the Truth offers some valuable insight into many facets of the writing life, especially finding the truth in a story. Packaging Handing the Truth along with a couple of the dozens of memoirs Kephart lists in her detailed bibliography would be a great way to tell the teen in your life that your take his or her writing dreams seriously.
Another idea is to purchase a book subscription for YA lovers that will extend the gift-giving season into their mailboxes all year long. After filling out a questionnaire to help narrow down the gift recipient's interest, Oblong Books and Music in New York State will mail recipients"...a brand-new hardcover YA book specially chosen for them each month, along with swag and info about the books and authors we love, and whatever's hottest in the YA world. We'll help you discover the books that will be your new favorites." The service is available for three, six, or twelve month installments and all information can be found on the store's website.
COOL READ: Oyvin Torseter's The Hole is certainly one of the most simple yet innovative picture books I have come across in ages and an absolute treat for young children. Nicely designed by Enchanted Lion Books with heavy cardboard covers and sturdy pages, Torseter's story is beguiling in its simplicity. An animal-man (who stands upright but looks like a dog) has just moved into a new apartment. As he wordlessly unpacks, he is shocked to discover a hole in the wall. The hole appears and disappears at random as he tracks it around the rooms until finally capturing it in a box. He then goes off into the city (full of all manner of other "people" plus, great buildings and cars), boards a bus, and travels to a large facility where the hole is unpacked and studied until the techs tell him "that's all we can do for now" and packs the hole away for future study. He returns home, goes to bed and, of course, the hole is still there. (Fortunately for our hero's sanity, he doesn't notice.)
This subversive little story is laugh out loud funny, witty as hell, even with its very few words, and, as the hole is physically present through an actual hole in the page, also a very active book for the reader to engage with. The spare use of color and the line drawings give the pages plenty of white space for the hole to stand out, and the diversity of the characters gives the book a broad appeal. The Hole is an ageless read, as it will be enjoyed by everyone who picks it up. (And trust me, everyone will want to pick it up.) This is one of those titles that from conception to final product is just utterly and completely original. It's as good as it gets, and I can't recommend it enough.
While a lot of attention deservedly goes to the pilots who first developed Alaska's aviation industry, less is known about those who thrived in the post-war era. In the 1950s and 1960s the fledgling air carriers that had struggled for decades truly began to soar and at the front of the pack was the territory's oldest airline, (the second in the U.S.), Wien Air Alaska.
In 1948 pilot James "Andy" Anderson was hired by Wien to establish and operate the company's Bettles base. A World War II Navy veteran, Anderson had arrived in the small village a year prior to work for the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA). Over the next 20 years he flew all over Interior Alaska for Wien and also built and operated the company's roadhouse, the present-day Bettles Lodge.
Anderson accumulated 32,000 hours by the time he left Alaska. Thirty years later he told his story to writer Jim Rearden, who had flown with Anderson many times. The result is "Arctic Bush Pilot," a fascinating look at mid-century commercial flying in Alaska.
With over 50 photographs to illustrate his experiences, "Arctic Bush Pilot" takes readers from Anderson's military years flying the Curtiss Helldiver to his employment as a radio operator with the CAA in Bettles where he first met Sig Wien. His recollections of flying for Wien Air include multiple aircraft such as the Cessna 180, Republic Seabee Amphibian and a military surplus Noorduyn Norseman from Canada. He also details his close relationship with the company, especially Sig Wien and how he came to be one of the largest stockholders in Wien by the time he left.
For modern pilots, "Arctic Bush Pilot" will likely be appealing because so many of the situations Anderson describes are remarkably similar to their own. Consider this excerpt on the subject of pressure:
The aerial mail routes I established in the Koyukuk Valley were flown with no radio or navigation aids. Weather was often lousy. Regardless, after a time the villagers not only expected, but demanded, that mail be delivered as scheduled and on time.
Sometimes weather was bad at Bettles Field at the same time it was good at one or more of my stops. Often villagers weren't aware of this and scolded me when I missed a mail run due to bad weather they didn't experience. I had to be careful to not allow this pressure to push me into unsafe flying.
One of the more gripping episodes Anderson recalls is an emergency flight in 1955 for Sydney Huntington, who had a splinter embedded in his right eye and was suffering tremendous pain. After waiting through steadily decreasing temperatures, Anderson finally chose to depart for Huslia at 60 below. He first flew Huntington to the small hospital in Tanana where the doctor determined he could not be adequately treated and must go onto Fairbanks. The temperature there was 52 below zero and ice fog, which still shuts down the airport every winter, cloaked the city. Anderson recalled:
As we neared the town I could see it was mostly obscured by dense ice fog. I dropped to 1,000 feet, used flaps, and crawled along at about a hundred miles an hour, following the railroad tracks toward the airport as visibility decreased.
I called the control tower. They were expecting me, having been informed by the CAA of my medivac [sic] flight. Visibility was down to a few hundred yards when I landed at Fairbanks International Airport.
Huntington was immediately transported to the hospital and the splinter removed. Six months later, after suffering continuous pain, the injured eye was replaced with a glass one. When "Arctic Bush Pilot" was published, he credited Anderson with saving his life.
There are many stories of flying in bad weather or carrying awkward loads in "Arctic Bush Pilot" as well as insight into the burgeoning Wien operation. Anderson writes of the company building landing fields at Venetie, Kobuk, Arctic Village and Anaktuvuk Pass and establishing a radio network throughout the Interior. He recalls being stuck in Anaktuvuk until local residents used caribou fat to patch a hole in a torn wing float and serving as the only lifeline for miners in the remote Chandalar country. At times humorous and witty and at others wistful and nostalgic, Anderson's reminiscences always show a deep affection for the people he worked with and flew.
But what comes through strongest from "Arctic Bush Pilot" is that once upon a time, in a place where the maps were still being drawn, Andy Anderson considered himself lucky to be part of the Alaska story. His contribution to the state's aviation history is undeniable to anyone who uses the airports he developed or frequents the many villages that depended upon his single aircraft for air service. Most importantly though, he took the time to share his experiences with Rearden and together they produced a thoroughly engaging and highly readable book.
"Arctic Bush Pilot" is available at libraries and bookstores across Alaska. It can also be ordered online from numerous booksellers. Learn more at the publisher's website.
As of November 20, 2012 (that is, Midnight Eastern Time tonight) I am closed to queries. I will reopen to queries January 7, 2013.
If I already have your work, you should hear from me by January 7. (That's the point of taking the break, I have to catch up!)
I'm sorry to say that I cannot respond to new queries sent during this time.
The exceptions will be: work that I've requested -- conference material -- client or editor referrals -- and people I actually know in real life. If this is you, please be sure you've said so, along with the word Query, IN THE SUBJECT LINE of your email. Otherwise, your query will be deleted.
For all other regular queries, please feel free to try any of my colleagues at Andrea Brown Lit, or else try me again in January.
Thanks again for thinking of me in regard to your work.
It’s a cold winter’s night, and Rabbit smells snow coming. That means it’s time to find food, and Rabbit is lucky to find not one, but two turnips! It occurs to Rabbit that maybe Donkey hasn’t found enough food, so he decides to leave his extra turnip by Donkey’s door. Donkey, in turn, decides to leave the turnip for Goat. Goat has the same idea, and so does Deer when a mysterious turnip appears at his door. Rabbit’s gift is passed from friend to friend, and ultimately ends up bringing all four friends together to share a cozy turnip meal.
The author’s note tells us that the story is based on a folktale traced back to China, but that similar folktales have been told around the world. Laura Dronzek’s paintings are soft and clear, and perfectly evoke a snowy winter’s night. Chinese characters for each of the four animals are included in the illustrations, with a glossary accompanying the author’s note.
This is a lovely picture book that would make a wonderful read-aloud for the holiday season (and a great pick if you are looking for a book that is not actually about a holiday). Rabbit’s Gift quietly celebrates generosity, thankfulness, and soft snowy nights with friends.
Constructive Play is a valuable experience for child development and for the acquisition of early literacy skills. When children play with blocks they are engaged in the use of fine and gross motor skills, developing problem solving skills, hand eye coordination and visual/spatial awareness. Beyond these developmental skills needed for growth and school success block play also allow children to develop social/ emotional skills. Children can learn conflict resolution, build self-confidence and engage in open ended play with free expression. By creating new worlds, designing imaginary stories, engaging in identifying shapes and relationships between them while playing with blocks, children are developing early literacy skills.
Block come in all shapes and sizes!
Including Blocks in your Library
Select the blocks that work for your branch. Think about the space you have to allocate and the noise level you prefer to keep.
Plan a way for blocks to be stored. Will you use a block cabinet, baskets, bins or shelves? Whatever you choose make sure you have a plan in place for your customers to know where to put away the blocks when their play time is over. This keeps your blocks nice as well as saves on staff time.
Encourage Customers to put away their blocks after playing. When kids clean up blocks and put them into your planed storage system they have to sort them which is a math skill! Offer a stamp or sticker for kids who clean up their mess. We post signs around some of our more messy centers that encourage kids to clean up. After they clean up what they played with they can show the Librarian and get a stamp. Most children will do anything for a stamp or sticker. They are low cost and will save you and your staff a lot of cleaning.
Sanitize Your Blocks! All you need to sanitize these items is water, bleach and a spray bottle. Mix 1 teaspoon of bleach with 1 gallon of water and fill the spray bottle. This mixture is good enough to kill germs but will not damage items, clothes, carpet or furniture. Spray your items liberally at night and leave them to dry overnight.
Know that all children will play with blocks differently depending on their developmental stages.
Carrying (blocks carried, not used for construction; young children around age 2)
Stacking (horizontal or vertical stacking; beginning around age 3)
Bridging (children create a bridge using two blocks to support a third; also around age 3)
Enclosure (blocks enclose a space; around age 4)
Patterns and Symmetry (balanced structures, decorative or symmetrical patterns; ages 4 & 5)
Early Representational (name structure during or after construction; age 4 ½)
Later Representational (announce name before building begins, often use props for dramatic play;age 5
Watch the Magic Happen! Observe the great creations and learning opportunities happen before your very eyes!
Every year I keep an eye out for special books that I believe will make excellent unexpected gifts for holidays. Readers love a good novel or story collection but there is something to be said for the appeal of innovative nonfiction, especially when it is heavily illustrated. I think the coffee table book is one of the better inventions of the publishing industry and I'm still annoyed that all books, regardless of audience, do not come with pictures. Consider these titles the best of both worlds: visually captivating to the very young while engaging and informative to readers of any age.
I first saw the pop-up book America's National Parks across the room at a booksellers' tradeshow and had to pick it up. With paper engineering by Bruce Foster, illustrations by Dave Ember and text and concept by Don Compton, this collaboration is not only a stunner to page through but extremely informative as well. The pop-ups are insane. Six of the national parks are highlighted, and within each massive double-page spread are smaller pop-ups highlighting specific aspects of each destination like the "red jammer" touring buses in Glacier and the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite.
Unlike many pop-ups, which serve as glorious art objects but are light on text, Compton has done a first-rate job of informing readers about the specific parks (including photographs of each destination in small accompanying foldouts). He breaks up the pop-ups with spreads introducing each region and discussing other significant parks that can be found there, such as Shenandoah, Acadia, Cuyahoga Valley and Mammoth Cave in the eastern U.S. These spreads include full-color reproductions of historic posters created by the WPA in the 1930s. That style is duplicated in Ember's many illustrations, which celebrate each destination in a way that is both evocative of the past and thoroughly modern.
Young budding cartographers who would like to look beyond America's borders will find a lot to love in the oversized Maps by Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński. With fifty-two full-color maps of continents and countries, there is a lot to love in this fanciful yet accurate journey around the world. The maps, on matte paper with muted colors, include everything from landmarks to animals to popular foods. Every country has a boy and girl representative with names common to their homelands and famous people from history (Cleopatra! Da Vinci! Confucius!) are depicted as well.
Maps reminded me a bit of the Walt Disney "Small World" ride (this is a compliment) and brought the same sort of wonder to mind. There is so much to look at in these big spreads that children can easily pour over the pictures for hours. I loved how many different things are included, from sports to art to geology, and that each page also includes information such as capitals, population, and primary languages. Maps is a colorful way to learn geography that is not cartoony or simple; this is in fact one of the more elegant titles on the subject for the very young that I have seen. It's truly delightful.
For older readers with an interest in the evolution of cartography, two recent titles take a look at how sea monsters played a part in mapmaking for centuries. Joseph Nigg's Sea Monsters: A Voyage Around the World's Most Beguiling Map is an in-depth look at a 1539 Nordic map, the Carta Marina, which was designed by Olaus Magnus. This map was influential in the work of many mapmakers and historians for centuries who used Magnus' depictions of creatures such as "Pristers" (aka whales), the "Polypus" (lobster), and the legendary Kraken in their own work. The dust jacket unfolds to reveal the full map, which is a treat unto itself.
Chet Van Duzer takes a broader geographic look in Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps, where he considers how creatures evolved in their appearance over a variety of European maps between the tenth and sixteenth centuries. Referring to all sorts of texts, including Ptolemy and Magnus, Van Duzer shows how creatures have changed as our understanding of them grew. The eight illustrations of the evolving walrus are both bizarre and amazing.
Most of these maps, and indeed the time periods they cover, will be foreign to teen readers, but the idea of "Here There Be Monsters" written across a map is something any fan of fantasy literature or science fiction will recognize. Nigg and Van Duzer explore places and times where such monsters were very much alive to most of the world's population. The glossy illustrations are attractive and the texts compelling. To know what people thought -- what they believed -- so long ago provides a valuable window into the past. The fact that these two books come wrapped up in maps and monsters makes the history that much more impossible to resist.
For readers interested in getting their hands a bit dirty, Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe (aka "the Coke and Mentos Guys") have a new book of science projects out: How to Build a Hovercraft. The experiments run through three levels of difficulty from the more basic (such as the "yanking tablecloths and other near disasters," which they caution needs lots of practice), to a "Coke-and-Mentos-powered rocket car" which does pretty much what you want such a contraption to do. There is indeed some adult supervision required on this stuff (and safety goggles) and certainly a likelihood of getting in trouble with the powers-that-be if you do any of it near a school, but How to Build a Hovercraft is well designed, full of easy-to-follow instructions and proof positive of the fun that can be found in science. It's got gold mine potential written all over it for kids who are bored with memorizing the periodic table of the elements and desecrating the bodies of dead frogs. Yes, there is some inherent danger in experiments like the Fire Wire, but the authors have all the necessary warnings and walk you through step-by-step. Get outside, get some tools and dive into this book; it will shake up your ideas about science in more ways than one.
A bit less intense but still hands-on, Philippe Petit (author of Man on Wire), has crafted a lovely exploration of sixty different types of "beautiful, lifesaving, and secure knots!" with his title Why Knot?
This compact hardcover (which comes with its own small piece of rope for practice) includes not only easy-to-follow instructions for knot making, but illustrations to help along the way and also -- the best part, I think -- Petit's own high-wire memories and photos from his walks. He also provides general advice on knots throughout the book including such things as how to protect the "extremities."
What elevates Why Knot? above the younger Klutz publication fare is not only the thoroughness of the subject matter, but also Petit's wise thoughtfulness. The introduction considers "knot science" and the seriousness of the craft and takes readers through all sorts of topics such as function, tradition and history associated with knots. This is serious stuff he's writing about, and a subtle way of reminding readers that they should know about something like knot-tying in order to accomplish many other wondrous things (like walk between very tall buildings). Consider Why Knot? a return to craftsmanship, another remedy for our diminished ability to fix stuff. If you're shopping for a certain middle-grade reader, I'd pair Petit's work with Susan Patron's The Higher Power of Lucky; fans of the knot-tying character Lincoln are going to love following in his footsteps.
For the contrarian who is just tired of all the ostrich behavior going on in society today, Darryl Cunningham's graphic novel How to Fake a Moon Landing: Exposing the Myths of Climate Denial is exactly the tonic they are waiting for. (I'm tempted to say we should all chip in and send this to every high-school kid in Texas to save them from their textbooks, but I figure if we talk it up enough online, they will find it anyway.)
Cunningham is fed up with everyone who says the moon landing did not happen. Other targets include "The MMR Vaccination Scandal," "Evolution," and "Climate Change." Very carefully, he leads readers through the reasons why the primary arguments against the science on such subjects are incorrect. For example, he explains why no stars are present in the famous shot of the earth from the moon (this leads to a discussion of glare in photography) and uses not only his own drawings but actual photographs of astronauts and the moon to make his point. He also namedrops the Mythbusters and their experiments on the subject, which ups the book's coolness factor by about a million.
For all its sly humor, Cunningham is doing something very serious with Moon Landing: he is asking his readers not to be afraid to challenge the adults in their midst when they toss about dubious claims or make assertions that fly in the face of reason. The vaccination chapter in particular is a brilliant example of this, as Cunningham showcases the determined journalistic inquiry that revealed the opportunism and cold hard cash that fueled the now discredited study claiming the MMR vaccination led to autism. Reading this chapter will likely fuel the indignation of a thousand future Frontline investigative reporters.
Follow the truth, says Cunningham throughout his book, and more importantly, embrace the truth. Then go and tell anyone who challenges the moon landings that really, there's no freaking way.
Finally, one of the bigger surprises of the past couple of months is the amount of pleasure I have found in paging through a book on collective nouns. I should have known better than to underestimate the fine folks at Woop Studios, for their delightful A Compendium of Collective Nouns is miles from traditional etymological resources. While the words might be in the expected alphabetical order, their presentations never fail to surprise. Consider the history behind a Draught of Butlers, which is begging to be an answer to a bar trivia contest:
Prior to the advent of glass bottles, wine was stored in wooden casks, or butts, which were stored in the buttery. From the buttery arose the title butler, with one of his duties being to draw a draught of wine before he served it to his masters. The butler, of course, had many other duties, but perhaps none so pleasant as sampling the draughts, which brings us this term with a wink and a smile.
The authors have a lot of fun with the words they chose to include in their collection with everything from "a fright of ghosts" to "a circus of puffins" to "a rage of teeth." They acknowledge a wide variety of references with everything from a 1909 issue of Field and Stream to the Bible, note what are likely errors in transcription over the years -- the Middle Ages use of "sloweth of bears" somehow became "sleuth of bears" -- and include a variety of graphics, many of them full color, to liven up the pages. For the budding wordsmith, this title cannot be beaten.
For young readers, there are many solid collective noun alphabet books (A Crossing of Zebras also by Woop Studios, is one to check out) but I have a particular soft spot for the colorful and cheery Have You Ever Seen a Smack of Jellyfish? by Sarah Asper-Smith. The hook here is as much the artwork as the text. Asper-Smith uses silhouettes for the words and animals on each page while bright colors provide the backgrounds. A "murder of crows" perch on a blue tree while a "string of ponies" frolic within a yellow corral. A "pod of whales" swim in a deep green sea while a "parliament of owls" keep watch from a burnt orange barn. The title creatures, a "smack of jellyfish" are home in a purple ocean with green seaweed.
Asper-Smith has made something beautiful here, giving preschoolers a collection of thoughtful terms and animals to learn about and graphic arts fans something to appreciate. Have You Seen a Smack of Jellyfish? is the book that readers of A Compendium of Collective Nouns will learn their first big words from. Both are crisp and witty walks on the wild side of the English language, and along with all the other titles discussed here, they prompt the question: "Who knew learning could be so cool?"
I get that it is a compliment, to tell authors that you cry. And I get that we want books that make us cry. I do, anyway. Just not necessarily in front of dozens of strangers.
This is why I am proposing a new literary award. It is to be called the SNOT award. Given to STORIES NOT to be read ON TRANSIT, the SNOT shall honor and mark books that will make you ugly-cry while on a crowded cross-town bus.
The SNOT sticker will be gold and embossed, and will stand as both a ringing endorsement and a useful warning.
Many incredible stories of healing are recorded in the Bible, but one may wonder if God is still working miracles among us now. In Chosen to Heal: Gifted Catholics Share Stories of God’s Miraculous Healing Power, Laura Wright presents six healers who are active in the world today.
These six individuals – Domingo Setien, Tom Naemi, Father Jose Maniyangat, Stella Davis, Father Richard McAlear, and Father Dan Leary – did not ask to be given the gift of healing. In fact, they were all surprised when they discovered that they had received this gift. But after the miracles started to occur, they opened themselves to being a channel for God’s healing work. Just as Jesus used healing miracles to draw people closer to him, these individuals also use their healing ministry to the glory of God and the opportunity for evangelization.
Chosen to Heal offers a glimpse into the life and ministry of each of these gifted people. Each chapter focuses on one healer’s story, with numerous examples of people healed at their touch or command. Information on how to reach them is also provided, for those in search of their own miracle.
It’s easy to look around at our broken and hurting society and doubt that God is still active among his people, but seeing miracles such as the ones presented in this book reminds us he’s still very involved in our lives. Not only is he with us, but he cares enough about us to continue to provide us with many much-needed miracles. I highly recommend Chosen to Heal as a source of inspiration for God’s people today.
Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) When Johnson City parent Jeannette Farr saw what her eight-year-old daughter was reading, she was shocked.
Illustrations of soldiers bombing villages, and terrorists kidnapping a girls father were just a few of the details Farr couldn't believe her third-grader was reading.
"It's scary. We don't have guns in our house, my kids don't see guns, my kids don't watch the news," Farr said.
Although each story has a positive message, Farr says the illustrations are too much.
"I was surprised at how graphic the photos were," she said.
She even suggested banning the books, at least for elementary school students.
Not that anyone is infallible, but SLJ suggests both books for grades 2-4 and Booklist suggests Nasreen for grades 2-4 and Basra for grades 3-5. Anyway. Yes, fine: if a parent chooses to not have guns in the house and to avoid the news, that's her choice, etc., etc. But to expect an entire classroom—an entire SCHOOL—to conform to one's own personal worldview is just ridiculous.
No one person is the center of the universe, and in the Heat of the Moment, I think we all tend to occasionally forget that.
From Liz Burns re the #ReadAdv Twitter chat for librarians and interested parties:
Our next chat takes place on Thursday, December 5 at 8 P.M. EST.
Sophie and Kelly and I were tossing around possible topics for our next chat, and homeschooling came up. Seems like librarians are always asking about and wondering about working with homeschoolers. What can they do? What should they do? What works?
So I said, oh, we should have guests. And I had a short dream list of possibilities: the two people who, in talking about homeschooling, makes me want to have kids just so I can homeschool them.
They are, of course, Melissa Wiley and Quinn Cummings. And both these terrific women said YES. So Melissa Wiley (@melissawiley on Twitter) and Quinn Cummings (@quinncy) will be joining us on December 5.
Got anything you’d like me to share with librarians who are wondering how best to serve homeschoolers? Wish lists, etc? Send me your questions and I’ll share them this evening, 8pm EST, 5pm here on the West Coast. Follow #ReadAdv to see the discussion unfold.
Mexican auteur Alejandro González Iñárritu, renowned for high-minded dramas such as Babel and 21 Grams, is being lined up to direct a big-budget adaptation of The Jungle Book, it has been reported.
However, this live-action Jungle Book, written by Harry Potter's Steve Kloves and back[ed] by Warner Bros, is facing serious competition in the shape of a similar project from Disney, which earlier this year was reported to have attached Iron Man's Jon Favreau as director. Disney recently confirmed an October 2015 release date for their movie, so it would appear their project is well advanced.
And now The Bare Necessities is going to be in my head all day.
This was, quite simply, too cool not to promote in some way. It’s precisely touching on a topic we’ve all been discussing for a while. I would kill to go:
The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies is pleased to announce the 2014 National Latino Children’s Literature Conference to be held in Tuscaloosa, AL on March 13-14, 2014. This exclusive conference was created for the purpose of promoting high-quality children’s and young adult books about the Latino cultures and to offer a forum for librarians, educators, researchers, and students to openly discuss strategies for meeting the informational, educational, and literacy needs of Latino youth (children and teens) and their families.
Featuring nationally-acclaimed Latino literacy scholars and award-winning Latino authors and illustrators of children’s and young adult books, this exclusive conference is truly an unforgettable experience. Authors for 2014 include Margarita Engle, Meg Medina, Lila Quintero Weaver, Laura Lacamara, and Irania Patterson. Latino children’s literature publicist Adriana Dominguez will also present on the state of Latino children’s literature publishing.
Request for Proposals: We invite poster and program proposals that contribute to and extend existing knowledge in the following areas: Latino children’s and young adult literature, bilingual education, Latino family involvement in the school curriculum, Latino cultural literacy, library services to Latino children and their families, literacy programs utilizing Latino children’s literature, educational needs of Latino children, educational opportunities and collaborations with El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), Latino children’s responses to culturally-responsive literature, social influences of children’s media on Latino youth, Noche de Cuentos literacy programs in schools and libraries, creating cross-cultural connections with Latino children’s literature, and other related topics. Presentations and posters can share recent research or provide practical suggestions for current or preservice librarians and educators. The National Latino Children’s Literature Conference is both a research and practitioner conference and proposals are peer reviewed.
Program/Paper Proposals: Programs/papers can be a presentation of research or practical suggestions for teachers, librarians, and other educators. To submit your program/paper proposal, please provide the following information: a 250 word (maximum) abstract of your presentation along with the program title; the name of the program organizer; the names of all presenters and their affiliations along with their preferred contact phone, email, and address; and your preferred presentation day (Thursday, Friday, or Either) to conference chair Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo at email@example.com. Please be sure to put “program proposal” in your subject heading.
Poster Proposals: Posters can be a presentation of research or practical suggestions for teachers, librarians, and other educators. To submit your poster proposal, please provide the following information: the title of your poster; a 200 word (maximum) abstract of your poster; the subject of your poster (choose Literature/Media Studies, Programs & Services in Libraries, Educational & Literacy Strategies, or Exemplary Programs); your name and affiliation; your preferred contact phone, email, and address; and your preferred presentation day (Thursday, Friday, or Either) to conference chair Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to put “poster proposal” in your subject heading. Easels will be provided for posters and additional information about poster size will be provided with the acceptance letters.
The deadline for proposal submissions is midnight December 9, 2013 with notification of acceptance on or before December 18, 2013. More information is available on the conference website: http://www.latinochildlitconf.org/.