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By: Shannon Hale,
Blog: squeetus blog
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Phaet Theta has lived a normal life on the moon, but when her mother is arrested and Phaet decides to save her, she finds everything she has learned is a lie. Combining science and humanity, this novel asks the question, if we devalue our arts, what is our future? Books mentioned in this post Dove [...]
Today’s mail brought a box of (foam) carrots*,
buttons, stickers, bookmarks,
and a very nice note from Wolfie the Bunny author Ame Dyckman. Thanks, Ame! In our March/April Magazine, Wolfie receives a starred review and Ame tells us a bit about Wolfie’s eating habits; look for the issue in your mailbox very soon.
*I have to confess we had hoped they were chocolate carrots — there are some Wolfie-sized appetites for sweets in our office!
The post The Carrot Patch comes to us appeared first on The Horn Book.
We had no water for 11 days. Heat? Check! Power? Good! Water? No, sorry. We spent a lot of time filling up jugs and dragging them home, visiting relatives just to use their showers and washing machines, and melting snow. Yes, I even resorted to melting snow for flushing toilets.
Since we are doing a lot of babysitting at the same time, I am not reading much - except for awesome picture books like Aki and the Fox by Akiko Hayashi
. Kon the Fox gets into a lot of trouble on the train ride to visit Grandma . I have always wanted a sequel to this book. I found the second illustration on klappersacks.tumblr.com
AND 10 Minutes to Bedtime by Peggy Rathman
. The little hamster kicking his soccer ball makes my favorite listener giggle every time.
A delicious cornucopia of Gaiman's short fiction. Dip in and enjoy. There's a bit of everything here, from Doctor Who to an unpublished American Gods story. Once again, Gaiman waves his magician's wand and we are swept away to slightly disturbing and eerie lands. Books mentioned in this post Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and... Neil [...]
Southern cooking show icon Paula Deen has joined forces with The Hachette Book Group (HBG).
The Emmy award winner and author of 14 cookbooks revealed that HBG will distribute all Paula Deen Ventures (PDV) titles worldwide in print and digital formats. This includes a new book coming out in September called Paula Deen Cuts the Fat.
“We are very excited to be partnering with industry-leading publisher Hachette Book Group. This is a perfect fit for many reasons, including Hachette’s philosophy regarding clients: treating each one as if it’s part of the Hachette family, while providing an incredible level of dedicated sales and operational resources,” stated P.J. Tierney, Vice President of Publishing at PDV.
In some ways, Ishiguro's latest is a classic hero's journey in a time of dragons and spirits and magical mists. But it is also a profoundly thought-provoking look at the timeless big things: love, marriage, death, and the unknowable and unavoidable consequences of all our actions, which always come back no matter what magic we [...]
So honored to have Shelley Swanson Sateren on the blog today! She has written many books for children, both fiction and non-fiction. Her latest project, just released by Capstone, are four chapter books in the Adventures at Hound Hotel series, and illustrated by me, Deb Melmon. Mudball Molly, Homesick Herbie, Growling Gracie and Fearless Freddie are funny and endearing stories about the Wolfe family and the antics that ensue when different breeds of dogs are boarded at their family-run kennel. Since I was lucky enough to illustrate these books, I thought it would be fun to do an in-depth interview with Shelley. After you read this you can head over to my personal blog and see more about the process of illustrating the covers!
How did you come up with the idea for Adventures at Hound Hotel?
The idea for a chapter book series set at a rural dog-boarding kennel was generated in-house at Capstone Press. I’d previously written numerous children’s books for their company (fiction and non-fiction) and an editor approached me with the Hound Hotel concept. I love dogs and immediately accepted the assignment. I had a contract in my email inbox three and a half hours after the editor’s initial email! The editor gave me this three-sentence pitch to work with: Eight-year-old twins Owen and Emma and their mom own an established boarding kennel out in the country. They live, work and play with dogs every day. Each story will feature a new dog and his/her adventure at the kennel, introducing a variety of breeds of dogs and typical dog antics.
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<![endif]--> Besides reading level, word count and front/back matter expectations, this brief, simple pitch was the only guideline I received. After much research and many deep dives into my imagination, I created the Hound Hotel world around it, though I changed the children’s names to reflect the humorous tone of the stories. I love writing to assignment like this. It’s an invigoratingly creative process for me.
The main characters of the book, the Wolfe family, are so cleverly written. Can you fill us in on the dynamics of the family and the twins, Alfie and Alfreeda?
My first draft of the first book, Homesick Herbie, was a realistic account of two siblings helping a little Yorkshire terrier adjust to his first over-night stay at a boarding kennel. I had bits of humor in that draft and the editor asked for more; she encouraged me to push beyond the boundaries of reality and bring more over-the-top humor to the script. So I re-wrote the whole story to match the new comedic tone and turned the main character, eight-year-old Alfie, into an underdog who’s always in competition with his “top dog” twin sister. I based their ever-competitive spirit on the dynamics of wolves in packs—dominant versus submissive (information gleaned in part from the excellent book, The Dog Listener, by Jan Fennell, which links dog behavior to wolf behavior). No matter how hard Alfie tries to become an alpha (top) dog in his pack (family), his sister usually triumphs. Of course this dynamic lent itself to much more humor. (As Garrison Keillor says, “Humor belongs to the losers.”) After I turned Alfie into an underdog, the stories became much easier and more fun to write. I named the twins Alfie (as in Alpha) Wolfe and Alfreeda Wolfe for an added sprinkling of comedy. And I gave their father the job of wolf researcher. He’s often gone on long trips to study wolves in the wild, which Alfie bemoans; Alfie really misses his father, which parallels the little terrier, Herbie, missing his owner. Also, I named the twins’ mother Winifred Wolfe. I considered the word “win” within “Winifred.” As much as the twins vie for top-dog status, of course their mother is truly the one in charge at Hound Hotel. How did you select the breeds of dogs that come to visit the Hound Hotel? I spent many weeks researching dog breeds and dog-boarding websites/facilities. Choosing four breeds (one per book) wasn’t easy because there are so many great ones! These were my criteria: a breed that young kids could safely play with; a loveable breed; a bit of a troublemaker. Trouble = entertainment.
Do you have your own dog?
Not right now. I grew up with various canine breeds as pets and, as an adult, adopted a West Highland terrier named Max. Max now lives in the happy dog park in the sky and I miss him! He was full of crazy high energy and I thought of him often as I wrote these books, especially Mudball Molly. I visited dog kennels as part of my research for this series and had a difficult time not adopting one of the adorable dogs on the spot! But owning a dog is a huge responsibility and my husband and I agree that we’re too busy to give a very social pet, such as a dog, the attention it needs. Last summer, soon after wrapping the final book in the series, I dogsat a tiny teacup Yorkshire terrier named Chloe. She helped ease my desire to adopt my own dog—just a little!
Do you write every day? Tell us a little bit about your process.
It’s a rare day when I don’t write. Mornings are my most productive time. I try to get household tasks done in the evenings so that my weekends are free to write, too. It’s a very time-consuming process, writing books that kids will enjoy, so I devote many hours to it every week. For me, writing is a vital part of my day, as important and necessary for my wellbeing as brushing my teeth and eating healthy meals.
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<![endif]--> I write longhand for the first several drafts and type only when the story is close to sharing it with my first readers. Because the deadlines were so tight, just one person read the Hound Hotel scripts before I sent them to my editor: my son, Anders. He was a senior in high school at the time. He’s a very good editor, in my opinion. He understands the sensitive, playful mind and heart of an eight-year-old boy very well.
I see you come from a very creative family. Can you tell us a bit about your parents? It would be impossible to encapsulate fully, in this small space, how very creative these two people are. Nothing about Steve and Judy Swanson’s life is cookie cutter, except maybe their “Minnesota Niceness.” Their house is filled with their creations—paintings, ceramics, sculptures, etc. My mother is a graphic designer. She’s designed countless logos, brochures, book covers, banners, posters, production sets, convention spaces, etc. My father, besides being an English professor and Lutheran pastor, is a book writer and a metal sculptor. He welds animals out of old car parts and other cast-off metal. I grew up watching him type his many sermons, articles and book manuscripts. He’d pound away at his noisy typewriter and I knew from a young age that I’d be happiest sitting in front of a typewriter doing the same thing. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Consciously, fifth grade. My teacher in Seguin, Texas, where we lived at the time, read A Wrinkle in Time to our class. I went straight home and told my mother, “You know what that book makes me want to do? Write.” Immediately, I began to draft a chapter book called “Mystery in the Library.” I loved reading mysteries in elementary school. In seventh grade, I turned “Mystery in the Library” into a play. I wrote, directed and starred in it. Some of my classmates and I performed the play at my middle school in Camrose, Alberta, Canada, where my family lived at the time. I was always a big letter writer, to my grandparents mainly, since we always lived far away from them. I often kept a diary, too. One of the greatest regrets of my life is that I, as a teenager, threw away my childhood diaries. (I think I saw them as “baby writing.”) My mother must not have been aware that I tossed them in the trash; for sure she would’ve stopped me.
What books influenced you when you were young?
The ones with the most endearing and enduring characters influenced me the most: Curious George; Max in Wild Things; Pippi Longstocking; Harriet the Spy; Madeline; Peter Rabbit, etc. Strong-minded characters with a mischievous streak always took permanent residence in my childhood heart. What other books have you written? My complete bibliography is posted on my website: www.shelleysateren.com. Because I love research and because I once worked as a children’s non-fiction book editor, I’ve written many non-fiction books for kids. My Humane Societies: A Voice for the Animals was a Children’s Choice book. I wrote twelve early chapter books in the Max and Zoe series (fiction) plus a humorous, contemporary middle grade novel called Cat on a Hottie’s Tin Roof (Delacorte/Random House) which Publishers Weekly called “hilarious, punny and fun.” I’m currently at work on two more middle grade novel scripts. Do you have plans for more Hound Hotel adventures? I did loads of research on different breeds and dog-behavior issues for the first four books and have a three-ring binder filled with extraneous material. If the good folks at Capstone Press decide they want more books in this series, I’m ready! Where do you find your creative inspiration when you are not actually writing? From many places: long walks in my pretty neighborhood or around the lake near my house; trips to the family cabin or museums; soul-enriching movies; gorgeous music; farm and zoo animals; my funny friends or family members; great books, etc. However, because I write primarily for children my greatest inspiration comes from kids. Of course, memories of my own childhood are paramount, especially emotion-laden ones, times when I felt really afraid, excited, joy-filled, etc.
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<![endif]--> Also, I usually have a part-time job to support my writing income and many have involved working with kids. I’m inspired to write board books or pre-K picture books if I’m working with babies and toddlers; I’m inspired to write chapter books if I’m working with older kids. I’m always scribbling down something that kids in my life say or do, funny things, sad things. I’ve got boxes filled with these scribblings, including my priceless journal notes from the years my two sons, Erik and Anders, were young. I hope I live beyond age one hundred so I can turn many of these golden nuggets into publishable stories for kids’ enjoyment!
For more information about Shelley, you can visit her website here and to see my blog post on how I created the covers for these books, you can visit here. And you can also visit my newly revamped website at deborahmelmon.com.
By: Anna Lyndsey,
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, Andy Mcnab
, Anna Lyndsey
, Bram Stoker
, Charlotte Bronte
, Claire Messud
, David Mitchell
, Frank Mccourt
, Jean Dominiqu Bauby
, Matthew Kneale
, Mervyn Peake
, Rumer Godden
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I have always been a reader, but eight years ago, strange circumstances conspired to make me totally book-dependent. I was stuck within four walls, desperate for distraction and a conduit to the world; but I had to live in total darkness, unable to see words on a page. So, from the small player in the [...]
NYT bestselling author Jamie McGuire started her career as a self-published author.
Her fourth book Beautiful Disaster was picked up by Simon & Schuster’s Atria imprint and became an international bestseller. Yet after her contract ran out, she’s decided to go back to self-publishing. In an interview on Smashwords, she explains why. Check it out:
The deciding factor though was realizing that I had signed foreign book deals for five to seven years on average, and my domestic deals were indefinite. That made sense before ebooks, but because the overhead for digital books is negligible, publishers can make them available indefinitely. Before, authors might have once been able to see rights returned to find new ways to revive their backlists, but now, signing is permanent. Going forward, I knew I could potentially make more money holding on to my digital rights because ebooks are forever.
Are you hungry as a crow? Hungry as a crow in a red striped shirt? Hungry for three ripe mangoes? Six salty peanuts? Nine spicy ants? Then come snack along with the counting crows and enjoy the mischievous, munchy mayhem — but watch out for the cat! Books mentioned in this post Counting Crows Kathi [...]
Last Friday in my weekly goals and objectives post, I wrote about planning to submit a manuscript to a journal that is only open for submissions for part of each month. It opens on the 1st and closes when it reaches 200 submissions. That's the number of submissions the staff feels it can deal with in a month.
As it turned out, yesterday was the 1st. So I planned to submit yesterday or today. I was on the road most of yesterday, worked on completing the revision of a chapter today, and when I went to submit the manuscript in question, maybe ten minutes ago, the journal was already closed to submissions. It reached it's 200 mark in less than 48 hours.
Clearly I should have rearranged my time and tried submitting this morning. Or last night after getting back from a day trip. Or yesterday morning before I got on the road at 8:30.
I did not schedule my time correctly. And, you know, I did have a feeling I wouldn't have more than a couple of days to do this.
This is our first trip over and we're scouting out all sorts of things. Stan has interviews lined up. We'll be meeting with various realtors. AND I finally got to tour the College of Art in the University of Edinburgh where I will be studying an MFA in Illustration!
I was so flattered that the head of the illustration department, "Johnny" Gibbs accompanied me, Stan and Lecturer/artist Mike Wendle all around the art school. I even got to see the graduate student studios. The whole thing was so inspiring, I was completely wound up after we left! I cannot wait to get over here full time and get to WORK!
Of course, we're also running on very little sleep. We flew from Atlanta to Amsterdam, then Amsterdam to Edinburgh. It was Sunday when we started and sometime Monday when we got here. But that's the best way to adjust to a new time zone (5 hours ahead) - just go-go-go until you fall over at a normal local time.
So far we are in love with this city. Everybody is SO friendly here - and that's coming from a Georgia girl. Peaches - the south has nothing on the Scottish - no lie! And yes, the weather is a little crazy - we've already experienced sunshine rain, snow, sunshine again, snow again, and lots of wind. But it's been so much fun to walk around like a bobble-head, admiring everything, we really haven't noticed that much. Tonight we meet up with a foodie group - chefs and the like. Stan's been plugging us in with the gastronomic crowd, so we are already eating well. But I am becoming a bit sub-verbal and will fall over soon...
Because we continue to go to war, we continue to need war stories, to share some tiny percentage of the experience of the soldier with the people back home they were protecting. This book continues in the tradition of The Things They Carried by bringing readers into the chaos of the lives of soldiers at [...]
Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel recently held another book club gathering. Kimmel and the young members came together to discuss Simms Taback’s There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. This picture book won the Caldecott Honor back in 1998. The video embedded above has drawn more than 88,000 views—what do you think? (via ABC7news.com)
readergirlz! This is our own Diva Martha Brockenbrough's next EPIC work. The stars are zooming in from the critics for this masterpiece. Rights are selling around the world. We are cheering and can't wait for you to read THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH!
Here's the overview for you:
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?
Do you see what I mean? Squeeeeee! Shout out to Martha!
By: Andye ReadingTeen,
Blog: Reading Teen
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Get Excited Y'all!!
I'm being an activist!
For the month of March, I'm joining with The Average Advocate (@averageadvocate) to raise awareness on the issue of human trafficking. This is a huge problem in our state, country, and around the world. Bigger than I ever realized. Elisa, who reviews here occasionally, is a huge advocate for this cause and came up with the amazing idea to wear a
In this expansive book of essays, the author of How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia takes us deep into his world spanning New York, London, and Pakistan. Hamid explores the intersection of life, art, and politics in an age of increasing globalization, making for a unique, thought-provoking collection. Books mentioned in this post [...]
I'm just saying. @gayleforman @libbabray @HousingWorksBks pic.twitter.com/Har5rG2w4i
— E. Lockhart (@elockhart) February 28, 2015
Gayle Forman, E. Lockhart, and Libba Bray appeared together at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe last week. The trio of young adult authors were celebrating the release of Forman’s new book, I Was Here. When they first presented themselves to the audience, the three women were wearing fake mustaches.
Forman explained that they were protesting against the act of driving young boys away from titles that are considered to be “girl books.” The group strongly agrees with the sentiments that fellow novelist Shannon Hale expresses in a recent blog post. Hale felt compelled to discuss this because of her recent experience during a school visit where only female students were given permission to meet her. Below, we’ve collected several of the writers’ tweets with their opinions on this subject in a Storify post.
Here’s an excerpt from Hale’s blog post: “Let’s be clear: I do not talk about ‘girl’ stuff. I do not talk about body parts. I do not do a ‘Your Menstrual Cycle and You!’ presentation. I talk about books and writing, reading, rejections and moving through them, how to come up with story ideas. But because I’m a woman, because some of my books have pictures of girls on the cover, because some of my books have ‘princess’ in the title, I’m stamped as ‘for girls only.’ However, the male writers who have boys on their covers speak to the entire school.”
Some Legend of Korra for your afternoon.
Fun Book Clothes!
This week while I was online, I found quite a few fun things to wear- book nerd style! Here are a few of my favorites that I thought were super creative- enjoy!
The "I like big books and I cannot lie" sweatshirt. Perfect for winter and letting everyone know that the bigger the book the better:
This ridiculously cool "book skirt." I don't know whose idea this was, but I approve:
A print scarf. Um, yes please:
This awesome Divergent shirt. Perfection down to the last faction:
And, finally, this amazing Harry Potter tank that reminds us all where the series started:
I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did! I want to see some of these things on shelves, and certainly in my wardrobe.
Best and happy reading!
Sony Pictures has acquired the film rights to the forthcoming YA novel Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy, which comes out this month.
The thriller is set in 2048 and focuses on a team of teen Air Force pilots. The book has already racked up four stars on Goodreads. You can check out the book trailer here.
Jason Dravi, a co-agent on the movie deal, also sold film rights film rights for The Hunger Games. Barry Josephson, from the TV series Bones, will serve as a producer on the project.
Farewell to the East End. (Call of the Midwife #3) Jennifer Worth. 2009/2013. HarperCollins. 336 pages. [Source: Library]
I still haven't read the first book in the Call The Midwife series by Jennifer Worth, but, I have watched and enjoyed the first two series of the show, an adaptation of the books. I loved the second book, Shadows of the Workhouse. I'm not sure I "loved" the third book, Farewell to the East End. I suppose you could say I found it equally fascinating and disturbing. The stories are definitely darker and heavier--dismal and bleak. Mixed in with stories are a handful of research chapters about various topics.
Highlights (not highlights because of 'hope') include several chapters focused on twins Megan and Mave, several chapters focusing on the Masterson family, several chapters focusing on the Harding family, and several chapters focusing on Chummy.
One of the most haunting stories, in my opinion, is "The Captain's Daughter." Chummy is called aboard a merchant ship to tend a woman with stomach cramps. The woman believes she's just had too many apples. But it soon becomes apparent to Chummy that all is not right. The woman is in fact pregnant and in labor, and, the father could be any of the crew including her own father, the Captain. Chummy learns that she's been on board and servicing the men--keeping them all happy--since the age of fourteen, soon after her mother's death. Chummy is a bit shocked--who wouldn't be--but very practical and down to earth. The birth is challenging and quite memorable.
© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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