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1. विचलित मन

विचलित मन ये तस्वीर आपको विचलित कर सकती है. बेशक, सोशल मीडिया यानि गूगल प्लस, फेसबुक, टवीटर पर लिखने , वीडियों अपलोड करने और अपनी बात रखने के अपने फायदे हैं ये एक खुला मंच है जहां हम अपने दिल की भडास या गुब्बार निकाल सकते हैं या अपने विचार सांझा कर सकते हैं पर […]

The post विचलित मन appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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SUPER MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY FEATURING BY SAMANTHA BARGER A few weeks ago I reviewed Samantha's novel, Super Freak. Middle grade readers, and even some adults will enjoy the fast-paced story of a one-of-a kind human girl, who lives in a totally supernatural town. She's the only one who has no special magic…at least, she thinks she is. I highly recommend Super Freak.

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3. Native Son

When cities lay claim
To those who gain fame,
They hope they'll attract lots of tourists;
But often their game
Gets flak or gets blame
From historians (most of them purists).

For no way everyone
Is a true native son
Though it's briefly where he once resided;
But when hype has begun,
Fans will certainly run
To the places the guidebooks have guided.

Still, of course I will bite
And I'll visit the site
Where a writer or artist created
And I'll smile in delight
Though it doesn't seem right
Since his other homes' fame might have faded.

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4. Diva Delight: Secret Garden and Christmas to Color

We are all coloring our heads off this holiday season. Check out these two beauties!

The first is Secret Garden, Artist's Edition, by Johanna Basford. There are 20 drawings to remove, color, and frame. The paper is heavy stock, and you are going to love the imagery collected from her two previous works, Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest. These images were considered the most popular and the larger format awaits your color. Laurence King creates such exquisite works for readers.

This beautiful coloring is from YATOPIA.

The second is Christmas to Color from HarperCollins by Mary Tanana. This one has imagery on both sides of the pages. The holiday theme makes it perfect to leave out on the coffee table for any in the mood to relieve a little stress and express themselves. I had guests coloring during Thanksgiving. Such a fun way to bring together family and friends.


Find your fancy and crack open your Crayolas this holiday season!                                                      

Secret Garden, Artist's Edition
By Johanna Basford
Laurence King, 2015

Christmas to Color
By Mary Tanana
HarperCollins, 2015

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz

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5. Browsings

cover artI have enjoyed Michale Dirda’s writing for a very long time. I even got to see him speak once and left liking him even more than I did before. He is one of those book reviewers who really do love reading and even better, he loves reading all kinds of books. The man is not a snob and enjoys the classics as much as pulp science fiction and is not ashamed of it. Add to this a relaxed writing style that comes across as friendly and smart and, well, what’s not to like about the guy?

In his newest collection, Browsings, we are treated to a year’s worth of online columns he wrote for The American Scholar from February 2012 to February 2013. These pieces are not reviews at all, more like blog posts in which Dirda shares about books he’s reading, conventions and book festivals he attends, the used bookstores he haunts and his reader’s dilemma of where to keep the piles he can’t help but bring home. He comes across as being a nerdy reader just like all of us, except he also happens to be the editor of the Washington Post’s Bookworld.

In one of his essays he mentions that the older he gets, the more he loves to read old, obscure stuff, adventure novels, science fiction and fantasy from the late 1800s to early 1900s. Problem is, he doesn’t get to write about these things very often. Now and then he gets to write an introduction to an anthology or to a reissue, but writing something in the Washington Post or other book review venue, not so much. They all want the new stuff. Which leaves him with a kind of lost feeling because he says he has

come to feel that if I don’t write about a book in a review or essay, then I haven’t actually read it. Gathering my thoughts, outlining an author’s argument, framing a few apt quotations, trying to make inchoate impressions coherent — all these activities give substance to my experience of a work, make it real in a way that ‘reading’ alone doesn’t.

Oh yes, Mr. Dirda, I know that feeling well!

He also made me wonder whether we all didn’t dream of having the same library and whether we might all go in together and do a time-share thing so that I can have the library for two weeks in December and a week in June and you can have it for a couple weeks in January and another week in August, that kind of thing. You know the library I am talking about, the same one Dirda dreams of having:

I yearn for one of those country house libraries, lined on three walls with mahogany bookshelves, their serried splendor interrupted only by enough space to display, above the fireplace, a pair of crossed swords or sculling oars and perhaps portraits of some great English worthy. The fourth wall would, of course open onto my gardens, designed and kept up by Christopher Lloyd, with the help of Robin Lane Fox, who would also be sure that there were occasional Roman antiquities — statutes of nymphs and cupidons — along the graveled walks.

Of course, if you all want to go in on this we could save some cash by letting me be the gardener. Sure, I’d get to live there year-round but I’d only need a little house tucked away on the grounds and I’d stay away from the library during your visits unless you ask me to stop by for a cuppa. At which time I would also bring you some fresh-picked flowers for the library and vegetables for your dinner. What do you say?

Since Browsings is not specifically book reviews I feel as though I have gotten off lightly and didn’t add too many books to my TBR. I must admit though that Dirda did make me want very badly a book I had no idea even existed until he raved about it: The Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus. I have never gotten excited about a thesaurus before but after Dirda finished with me I was a drooling mess. And then in my email came a Black Friday 30% off Barnes and Noble coupon. And I happened to have to a gift card burning a hole in my pocket.

I succumbed.

My new thesaurus should be here by Wednesday or Thursday. So if my vocabulary begins to veer out of the usual ruts, you will know why! If it gets out of hand, send letters of complaint to Michael Dirda.

So, Browsings. An enjoyable little book to read in spare moments or before bed. Not a book to spend lengths of time with but to dip into, to browse. It whirls by faster than you expect it to and leaves you wanting more. Can’t get much better than that.

Filed under: Books, Essays, Nonfiction, Reviews Tagged: Michael Dirda

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6. Das Weihnachtsmarktwunder

Dieses Jahr durfte ich wieder eine wunderschöne Weihnachtsgeschichte für den Kinder Verlag illustrieren: "Das Weihachtsmarktwunder", eine Geschichte über die Erzgebirgsschnitzkunst und den Dresdner Striezelmarkt, geschrieben von Ralf Günther
Hier ist eine kleine Zusammenfassung:

Damals, als noch richtig Weihnachten war … 

Ein kleines, verschneites Dorf im Erzgebirge zu Beginn des 19. Jahrhunderts. Der 15-jährige Martin freut sich in diesem Jahr besonders auf das bevorstehende Weihnachtsfest: Er darf zum ersten Mal mit nach Dresden fahren, wo ein Händler das kunstvoll geschnitzte Holzspielzeug der Familie auf dem sagenhaften Striezelmarkt verkauft.
Doch der Händler erreicht das entlegene Dorf in diesem Jahr nicht, und Martins Vater liegt krank darnieder. Eine Katastrophe für die Familie: Nur auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt in der Stadt kann die Arbeit eines ganzen Jahres Käufer finden. Da fasst Martin einen mutigen Entschluss: Er macht sich mit voll beladenem Schlitten alleine auf den Weg nach Dresden  

Martin sieht zum ersten Mal Dresden

Eine herzerwärmende Geschichte, die ein traditionsreiches Handwerk und eine der schönsten Städte Deutschlands in weihnachtlichem Licht erstrahlen lässt. Und ein besonderes Geschenkbuch für die Feiertage, wunderschön illustriert.

Der Autor wird 3 Lesungen veranstalten, hier gibt es nähere Informationen zu den Terminen.

Viel Freude beim Lesen und eine wunderschöne Vorweihnachtszeit!

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7. Happy Birthday Jan Brett!


Happy Birthday to Jan Brett who was born on December 1, 1949.
She's a best selling children's author who writes and illustrates her books.

Here are a few of her books:

 You can check out her website for more information about the Author and other fun activities:

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8. Rochester Reading Champions: Literacy Tutoring for Every Community

RRC logoIn 2013, Rochester Public Library (MN) met with local organizations and community groups to figure out a way to work together to increase literacy rates. From these meetings a unique and sustainable program, called Rochester Reading Champions (RRC), was created.

This tutoring program reduces financial, transportation, and other barriers by training volunteers to offer free and targeted one-on-one Orton Gillingham tutoring to underserved individuals who are struggling to read. Orton Gillingham is a proven tutoring method requiring intensive training.

Through a partnership with The Reading Center/Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota, we currently  have 13 volunteers actively working with students. Through September 2015, these highly trained volunteers provided 450 free tutoring sessions. To date, 18 youth and adult students have participated in RRC.  Interim assessment results from 2015 show that students in RRC, who attended between 10-50 sessions made average gains of 20% in vowel sounds, 17% in consonant comprehension, and 32% in phonogram comprehension. This early RRC progress is very exciting!

Four innovative elements contribute to the success of RRC. First, Rochester Public Library worked with key partners to identify gaps, barriers, and local resources. Partnerships were created with local organizations committing staff time and other in-kind support. Second,  RRC relies on volunteers willing to commit to the intensive training and two years of tutoring. By investing in training for 8-10 new volunteers each year, RRC increases the number of tutors to meet the needs of our expanding community. Third, to reduce financial, transportation, and other access barriers for the students, RRC provides unduplicated and free tutoring to underserved struggling readers at the sites they already visit. Fourth, RRC students receive individualized lesson plans, twice per week for 45 minute sessions. With a standard intervention plan of 80-100 tutoring sessions, this intensive strategy produces at least a 20% improvement of skills.

Partners developed RRC to be sustainable within five years. Any community with strong civic involvement can provide a similar system by adapting RRC’s methodology (i.e. volunteer recruitment form, student in-take criteria, parent questionnaire, partnership agreement, assessment process, and evaluation plan). RRC is designed to be scalable and replicable for any community!

The post Rochester Reading Champions: Literacy Tutoring for Every Community appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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9. Best of 2015: ‘Here’ is a New York Times notable book; Horn Book choices

And Who’s on first. Never realized there were so many jokes to be made with Richard McGuire’s masterful graphic novel Here. It’s the only gn to make the New York Times list of 100 Notable Books of 2015, which is a little disappointing, especially since Here came out in last 2014, but there weren’t too […]

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10. Top Ten 2016 Debuts I'm Looking Forward To...

From Becca's Shelves... Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.  
This week's topic is Top Ten 2016 Debuts I'm Looking Forward To...which was oodles and oodles of fun, because more than half of these I basically discovered tonight! SO YAY NEW BOOKS TO LOOK FORWARD TO! YIPPEE! WOOT! However, to make  this a little more fun (and because I'm lazy/still hungover on turkey leftovers)

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11. Leaving Your Agent

Sometimes the best of matches doesn't work out, and it becomes time to divorce your agent.


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12. Postcrossing Fun

postcrossing wall

I joined Postcrossing a couple of months ago and now it’s taking over our kitchen wall—in the best way. This is a site for exchanging postcards with people around the world. Hmm, “exchange” isn’t the right word because these aren’t reciprocal swaps where you send a card to someone and get one back from the same person. Instead, you create a profile and then you’re given the name and address of another user. You send a postcard to that person. When he receives it, he registers the card, which prompts the system to send your address to someone different. In the beginning, you’re allowed to send up to five cards at once. As people begin to receive and register your cards, your maximum increases. Not that you have to send out five, six, seven cards all at once. You can do it one at a time if you like.

So far we have sent out ten cards and received eight—from Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Taiwan, India, Switzerland, Germany, and Finland! As you can see, we’re taping them to the wall above our world map. So much fun. This is a pretty delightful way to combine the joys of snail mail with a whizbang dose of world geography.

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13. November Reflections

In November I read 58 books.

Board books:

  1. Board Book: Jingle Bells. James Lord Pierpont. Illustrated by Pauline Siewert. 2015. Candlewick. 14 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. Board Book: Jingle! Jingle! Sebastien Braun. 2015. Candlewick. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
Picture books:
  1. Two Mice. Sergio Ruzzier. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]  
  2. Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie the Pooh. Sally M. Walker. Illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss. 2015. Henry Holt. 40 pages. [Source: Library]
  3. The Only Child. Guojing. 2015. Random House. 112 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  4. The Nutcracker Comes To America: How Three Ballet-Loving Brothers Created a Holiday Tradition. Chris Barton. Illustrated by Cathy Gendron. 2015. Millbrook Press. 36 pages. [Source: Library] 
  5.  All I Want For Christmas Is You. Mariah Carey. Illustrated by Colleen Madden. 2015. Random House. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  6. The Nutcracker. Retold by Stephanie Spinner. Illustrated by Peter Malone. 2008. Random House. 40 pages. [Source: Library] 
  7. Tallulah's Tutu. Marilyn Singer. Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. 2011. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 40 pages. [Source: Library] 
  8. Tallulah's Solo. Marilyn Singer. Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 40 pages. [Source: Library] 
  9. Tallulah's Nutcracker. Marilyn Singer. Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. 2013. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 48 pages.
  10. Tallulah's Toe Shoes. Marilyn Singer. Alexandra Boiger. 2013. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 48 pages. [Source: Library]
  11. Tallulah's Tap Shoes. Mairlyn Singer. Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 48 pages. [Source: Library]
  12. Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Are You Going to School. Bill Martin Jr., and Michael Sampson. Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant. 2013. 13 pages? [Source: Library]
  13. Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Are You Waking Up. Bill Martin Jr., and Michael Sampson. Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant. 2008. 24 pages. [Source: Library] 
  14. Old MacDonald Had A Woodshop. 2002. Penguin. 32 pages. [Source: Library]  
  15. Katie's London Christmas. James Mayhew. 2014. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
  16. Harold and the Purple Crayon. Crockett Johnson. 1955. HarperCollins. 64 pages. [Source: Library]  
  17. Harold at the North Pole. Crockett Johnson. 1958. HarperCollins. 48 pages. [Source: Library] 
  18. Waddle! Waddle! James Proimos. 2015. [November] Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  19. The Night Before Christmas. Clement Clarke Moore. Illustrated by David Ercolini. 2015. [September] 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  20. Hunches in Bunches. Dr. Seuss. 1982. Random House. 48 pages. [Source: Library]
  21. The Butter Battle Book. Dr. Seuss. 1984. Random House. 42 pages. [Source: Library]
  22. You're Only Old Once! Dr. Seuss. 1986. Random House. 56 pages. [Source: Library]
  23. I Am Not Going To Get Up Today. Dr. Seuss. Illustrated by James Stevenson. 1987. Random House. 48 pages. [Source: Library]
  24. The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Beatrix Potter. 1902. [Source: Bought]
  25. The Tale of Benjamin Bunny. Beatrix Potter. 1904. [Source: Bought] 
  26. Beatrix Potter and Her Paint Box. David McPhail. 2015. Henry Holt. 40 pages. [Source: Library]
  27. Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues. James and Kimberly Dean. 2015. HarperCollins. 40 pages. [Source: Library]
  28. Too Many Toys! Heidi Deedman. 2015. Candlewick. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
Early readers and chapter books:
  1. I Really Like Slop! Mo Willems. 2015. Disney-Hyperion. 64 pages. [Source: Library]
Middle grade:
  1. The Great Turkey Walk. Kathleen Karr. 1998. 208 pages. [Source: Library]
  2. Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer. Kelly Jones. 2015. Random House. 224 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  3. The Mysterious Woods of Whistle Root. Christopher Pennell. Illustrated by Rebecca Bond. 2011/2013. HMH. 215 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  4. Breakthrough: How Three People Saved "Blue Babies" and Changed Medicine Forever. Jim Murphy. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 144 pages. [Source: Review copy]  
  5. Eight Cousins. Louisa May Alcott. 1874. 224 pages. [Source: Bought]
  6. Eat Your U.S. History Homework. Ann McCallum. 2015. Charlesbridge. 48 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Young Adult: 
  1. The Night Gardener. Jonathan Auxier. 2014. Abrams. 350 pages. [Source: Bought]  
  2. The Wise Girl's Guide to Life. Robin Brande. 2015. Ryer Publishing. 109 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  3. MARTians. Blythe Woolston. 2015. Candlewick. 224 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Adult books:
  1. All Things Murder. Jeanne Quigley. 2014. 411 pages. [Source: Library] 
  2. Let the Hurricane Roar. Rose Wilder Lane. 1932. 118 pages. [Source: Borrowed]
  3. Goblin Market and Other Poems. Christina Rossetti. 1862. 208 pages. [Source: Bought]
  4. Reading Picture Books With Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking About What They See. Megan Dowd Lambert. 2015. Charlesbridge. 176 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Christian Fiction:
  1. Verses, 1847. Christina Rossetti. [Source: Bought] 
  2. The Christmas Joy Ride. Melody Carlson. 2015. Revell. 176 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  3. Huckleberry Hearts. Jennifer Beckstrand. 2015. Kensington. 352 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  4. Keeping Christmas. Dan Walsh. 2015. Revell. 224 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Christian Nonfiction:  
  1. Family Worship. Donald S. Whitney. 2016. Crossway. 64 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. Exalting Jesus in 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. David Platt, Dr. Daniel L. Akin, and Tony Merida. 2013. B&H. 336 pages. [Source: Bought] 
  3. Advent in Narnia: Reflections for the Season. Heidi Haverkamp. 2015. Westminster John Knox Press. 96 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  4. The 30 Day Praise Challenge For Parents. Becky Harling. 2014. David Cook. 240 pages. [Source: Bought]
  5. Like Jesus: Shattering Our False Images of the Real Christ. Jamie Snyder. 2016. [February 2016] 192 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  6. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: His Life and Relevance for the 21st Century. Christopher Catherwood. 2015. Crossway. 160 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  7. Delighting in God. A.W. Tozer. 2015. Bethany House. 208 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  8. Jesus On Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament. David. P. Murray. 2013. Thomas Nelson. 246 pages. [Source: Library] 
  9. Owen on the Christian Life. Matthew Barrett and Michael A.G. Haykin. 2015. Crossway. 304 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  10. Silent Night. Joseph Mohr. Illustrated by Susan Jeffers. 1984/2003. Penguin. 32 pages. [Source: Bought]

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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14. The First Day of Advent

Advent begins, and with it a new Advent tree of artistic baubles to celebrate the season.

"Twas in the moon of wintertime, When all the birds had fled..."
The Huron Carol

I began Advent early, two nights ago at the beautiful "First Light" events at Sainte Marie Among the Hurons in Midland, Ontario. It was here, in about 1642,  that Father Jean de Brebeuf wrote the famous Huron Carol, which is remembered in musical performances at First Light. The annual celebration of our shared history in Canada is a moving experience and has inspired this year's Advent collection.

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15. Happy Monday, Guerrilla Girls Style

I don't have a new review for you yet, but I do have this photo that I took while in Australia, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney. Enjoy your wry yet biting art-world commentary:For more great stuff by the Guerrilla Girls, check out... Read the rest of this post

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16. It’s Tuesday! Write. Share. Give

Come join the slicing community and share your story today.

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17. Fan Mail Wednesday #218: Sharing This Ridiculously Beautiful Letter from Calloway in Illinois.

I’ve neglected the blog of late, but to quote Vito Corleone, “I don’t apologize, that’s my life!”
“I refuse to be a fool dancing on a string!”
Just kidding about that. I am sorry. And I do apologize, Dear Reader. I’m horrible, frankly. The letters have been piling up, but I’ve been hunkering down with a deadline. And yes, that’s right, I nailed it! Thank you, thank you very much.
This letter came with a fabulous note from Calloway’s mother, who seems lovely and kind. She asked for my address, and I’ll give that to everyone here, even you crazy stalkers: James Preller, 12 Brookside Drive, Delmar, NY 12054.
Now, here’ s Calloway, unedited, from Illinois:
“Hi mr james preller. I love jigsaw Jones books. I read them all the time. Would you send me more? I drew a pictue of the ones i already have. I need the rest. I am a brownie girl scout. Did you know that i have diabetees to? i was born with it when iwas 2 years old. IT Meansxmy pancreeas doentst work. And then my brother stabbed me with a pencil last week and my mom got mad at us and made us collect food for hungry people and give away our halloeeen candy. and my mom got cancer this year snd she lets me use her new pink blankets and pillows. They are so fun to lay on. And i love the movie annie. But jigsaw Jones are my favorite books.. my teacher mrs. Garretson told me to read them. And my brother plays baseball and my dad teaches gym! He makes us do push ups and sit ups when we are bad. And i am in love with ______, a 5th grade boy. But you cant tell anyone that.
Ok. So send me my books. Hope you have a happy day!!! Lalalalala. Oh and i was elvis Presley for Halloween. He is my favorite.
Ok bye, love Calloway”
I replied:
Dear Calloway,
My goodness, your letter just made my heart explode a little bit. Now it’s all over the floor and in my hair and yuck, gross. You have such an exciting life! I’m so sorry about the pencil stabbing, but it sounds like your good mother handled it “astutely,” which means, in this case, with wisdom and grace.
No offense to your father, who I am sure is a great guy, but the thought of a tough gym teacher as a dad would have terrified me as a kid. “What, ten thousand more push-ups? YIKES!”
Don’t worry about your crush. Your secret is safe with me. (See how I removed his name?)
I am not always able to send books in the mail to every fabulous kid who writes to me. It would get expensive. But in your case — the most fabulous kid of 2015 — well, keep checking your mailbox.
True story about cancer: My oldest son, Nick, is a two-time cancer survivor. He got sick when he was 2 years old, then again when he was 10. Hard times. But you know what? He’s 22 now and perfectly, wonderfully, terrifically healthy! I wrote about it, in a sly way, in the book SIX INNINGS, which your brother and father might like. Anyway, Mom, I’ll keep you in my thoughts.
My best to your whole big beautiful family!
James Preller
P.S. Is there any chance you could send me a photo of you dressed up as Elvis Presley? Somehow my life feels incomplete without it.
P.P.S. Tell Mrs. Garretson that I love her (but don’t tell my wife)!
P.P.P.S. Lalalalala!

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18. Overlooked books

       A worthwhile variation on the best-books-of-the-year lists that continue to flood the internet (with a month still to go in the year, sigh ...) is Slate's The Overlooked Books of 2015, where: 'Slate Book Review critics recommend 27 books you'd probably love if only you knew about them'.
       I've only reviewed two of these: The Librarian, by Mikhail Elizarov (recommended by Jeff VanderMeer), and He Who Kills the Dragon, by Leif G.W. Persson (recommended by June Thomas) -- and while I can't quite agree with the latter choice I'll go along with it because Thomas is right about Persson's overlooked threesome (not of 2015 ...) that begins with Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End:

His trilogy about the unsolved 1986 murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme and other politically motivated crimes in recent Swedish history are the best books I've read all year: creepy, conspiratorial, and insanely compelling.

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19. Pottermore at the MinaLima Exhibit

As we reported previously, MinaLima has a special exhibition currently in London. The Pottermore Correspondent took a trip to the exhibition (and hinted that a Harry Potter actor or two may show up to see the exhibition themselves sometime). The PMC was also able to conduct an exclusive interview with Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima.

Pottermore uploaded high resolution scans of some of the artwork that will be displayed at the exhibition. Of the PMC’s chat with Mina and Lima, Pottermore reports:


Edwardo tells me there are nearly 90 prints in this exhibition. ‘We are doing it chronologically, by book. So we start with the letter and the ticket…’

‘It gets very busy by the sixth book. It’s just all over the place,’ says Mira.

‘And we have a selection of authentic props, too,’ Eduardo adds.

‘It was so nice of them to let us do that,’ says Mira, meaning the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, who has lent them some of the props they designed for the films, to show at the exhibition. They’ll be carefully placed on display in cabinets throughout the gallery space.


Pottermore got the two talking about collaboration and what it was like working together on such big projects. The pair have been working in tandem for so long, they think of themselves as one unit.


One of the charming things about Mira and Eduardo is how they finish each other’s sentences. They never properly interrupt one another though; it’s more that they’re on the same train of thought. That’s how they work together, too, they tell me. It’s so collaborative they can never really tell who did what and when.

Eduardo says, ‘We are basically two bodies and one brain.’

‘Er, gross,’ says Mira.

‘No, well we can’t really say now that one person designed one thing and one did the other, can we?’

‘That’s true,’ Mira adds. We might say ‘oh, can you do this bit for me?’ or I might draw on something he’s started. But yes, you’re right. That’s how we are.’


To see photos of parts of the exhibit, Pottermore has uploaded a small collections of photos onto their Twitter. The exhibition opened today, November 30, and will remain open until December 19th. MinaLima’s last exhibition saw over 10,000 visitors, including special guests. The exhibition resides at The Coningsby Gallery, London, and is free admission. Please see the Gallery website for times and other important information.

Leaky will be present at the MinaLima exhibit and Dinner in the Great Hall later this week. Please stay tuned for articles of these fan attractions first hand!

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20. Spooky Action at a Distance review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of George Musser's Spooky Action at a Distance.
       This title is noteworthy for its subtitle, too -- one of the longest in recent memory --The Phenomenon That Reimagines Space and Time -- and What It Means for Black Holes, the Big Bang, and Theories of Everything -- and yet still managing to leave out the key term, the phenomenon in question (nonlocality).

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21. Russian Music Producer Max Fadeev Unveils His Feature ‘Savva: Heart of the Warrior’

The film opened in second place at Russia's box office earlier this month.

The post Russian Music Producer Max Fadeev Unveils His Feature ‘Savva: Heart of the Warrior’ appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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22. The Day To Day

I've started a very serious and terribly important soap opera on Instagram.  Catch the latest.

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23. Hillary Clinton Paper Dolls - Yes, This Is Real Life

This may just be the single most exciting review experience I had this year.  I couldn't believe it was even a question when I got the email from Quirk asking me to review the Hillary Rodham Clinton Presidential Playset.  It's got pantsuits, it's got White House ghosts, it's got Republican Adversaries, it's got Supreme Court Justices, it's got it all.  You can click here to get all the details and specs, but basically all you should need to hear is Presidential Paperdolls.

The idea for the book tour was to set a scene and give it a creative caption, which I have done below.

Feminist dance party in the Oval Office with RBG, Oprah, the ghost of Nancy Reagan, lady secret service, and Bono (who we all know is a friend to the ladies).  Jeb Bush only wishes he were invited.

So I've been playing with this dolls all weekend and marveling at their hilarity, but Luke really kicked it up a notch last night when he ran into my room and said "Come see what Bill did!"

Bill knew I was stressed so he took it upon himself to clean and vacuum my living room.

Hill, Jeb, the ghost of George Washington, and Clarence Thomas made sure he didn't miss any spots.

Of course it's only fair that I make the dolls do something for Luke now, so while he was at work this morning, they got out all the Christmas decorations.

The Ghost of George Washington hanging our stockings by the chimney with care.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg putting some lights on the tree.

Hillary supervising the unpacking of the ornaments.

And good old Bill, providing some jazz carols to keep them all in the holiday spirit.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Quirk for sending me this playset and please go get one of your own.  Regardless of your political persuasion, this is just a blast to have on hand.

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24. Berwisata dan Belajar di Taman Pintar Jogja

Taman Pintar adalah sebuah tempat wisata sekaligus tempat belajar dan bermain bagi siswa. Di taman ini setiap pengunjung khususnya siswa akan diperkenalkan tentang sains dan teknologi, di dalam taman ini pun banyak sekali berbagai macam alat peraga sains yang disediakan pengelola. Tujuannya agar pengunjung dapat mempelajari sains dengan menggunakan alat peraga yang telah di sediakan oleh pengelola.

taman pintar jogja

Berbicara mengenai Taman Pintar, tempat ini dibangun dan digagas oleh pemerintah kota Yogyakarta. Disebut “Taman Pintar” karena pemerintah Jogja berharap agar taman mampu menjadi wadah siswa untuk belajar dan berkarya di dunia sains. Proses pembangunannya pun berlangsung dalam 3 tahap yaitu:

1.    Tahap satu pada tahun 2004 dan diresmikan pada 20 Mei 2006 oleh Mendiknas.
2.    Tahap kedua diresmikan pada 9 Juni 2007 oleh Mendiknas dan dihadiri pula oleh Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X.
3.    Tahap pembangunan ketiga rampung dan diresmikan pada 16 Desember 2008 oleh presiden.

Nah bagi Anda yang ingin belajar sains Anda mengunjungi Taman ini. Untuk belajar di Taman Pintar sendiri Anda bisa datang ke alamatnya yang berada di jalan Panembahan Senopati no. 1-3 Yogyakarta, taman ini juga dekat dengan beberapa objek wisata Jogja lain seperti Taman Budaya, Museum Vredeburg, Gedung Agung, dan beberapa tempat wisata lainnya.

Wahana yang Ada di Taman Pintar

Ada banyak wahana yang bisa Anda coba untuk berwisata dan tentunya menambah ilmu pengetahuan Anda di sini. Lalu apa saja wahana tersebut? Nah berikut adalah wahana-wahana yang bisa Anda coba:

1.    Gedung Memorabilia 

gedung di taman pintar jogja

Salah satu gedung di Taman Pintar ini mirip seperti musium sejarah, di dalam gedung ini memiliki banyak sejarah-sejarah tentang Indonesia dan Jogja. Sejarah di sini pun beragam seperti:

a.    Sejarah keraton Jogja yang akan membahas mengenai berbagai macam seluk beluk keraton Jogja, sultan Jogja, dan nilai kehidupan warga Jogja.
b.    Sejarah Tokoh Pendidikan yang akan membahas berbegai macam perjuangan tokoh-tokoh pendidikan Indonesia seperti Ki Hajar Dewantara, KH. Ahmad Dahlan, dan tokoh-tokoh lainnya.
c.    Kepustakaan presiden akan membahas mengenai kehidupan presiden yang pernah menjabat di Indonesia.

2.    Gedung Oval

gedung di taman pintar jogja

Di gedung yang berada di komplek Taman Pintar ini, Anda akan melihat beberapa wahana yang bisa Anda jadikan input untuk pengetahuan Anda. Nah adapun wahana-wahana tersebut adalah:

a.    Aquarium air tawar, tempat ini akan mengajarkan Anda tentang berbagai macam jenis dan karakter biota air tawar.
b.    Zona cuaca iklim di gedung ini akan membahas mengenai berbagai macam gejala dan fenomena alam.
c.    Zona agro akan membahas mengenai perkembangan dunia pertanian dan perkebuanan.
d.    Zona purba akan mengajarkan Anda mengenai kehidupan purba di dunia dan Indonesia.

Selain zona-zona di atas, Anda juga bisa belajar dan berwisata di Taman Pintar ini dengan meilihat zona-zona lainnya di gedung Oval.

3.    Gedung Kotak 

gedung di taman pintar jogja

Anda juga bisa mempelajari berbagai macam hal menarik di gedung ini, Anda bisa mendatangi dan masuk ke gedung ini dan menikmati wahana-wahana berikut:

a.    Perpustakaan, tempat ini akan membantu Anda mendapatkanbuku-buku yang berkwalitas dan cocok untuk menambah ilmu pengetahuan Anda.
b.    Zona kendaraan roda dua, tempat ini akan membantu Anda mengetahui seluk beluk mengenai kendaraan rota dua seperti sedepa motor.
c.    Zona hand on science, tempat ini akan membantu Anda melakukan percobaan sains yang sederhana dengan dipandu oleh pembimbing ada di sana.
d.    Zona pusaka, tempat ini akan membantu Anda menemukan berbagai macam pusaka yang ada di Indonesia.

Nah selain zona-zona di atas, masih banyak lagi zona lain yang bisa Anda lihat dan kunjungi di gedung kotak ini. 

4.    Gedung planetarium

gedung planetarium jogja

Taman Pintar juga memiliki Gedung yang  akan membantu Anda menambah ilmu tentang benda-benda langit. Di sini Anda akan meilihat berbagai macam benda-benda langit, film pendaratan manusia di bulan, juga beberapa pengetahuan akan benda langit lainnya yang di kemas unik.

Kenapa unik? Karena Anda akan mempelajari itu semua dalam bentuk tampilan proyektor, sedangkan untuk layarnya sendiri pengelola menggunakan kubah yang yang berbentuk setengah lingkaran. Baca juga : Daftar Hotel Murah Dengan Fasilitas Mewah Dekat Malioboro

Tiket Masuk Ke Taman Pintar

Untuk belajar dan masuk ke Taman Pintar tidaklah gratis, pasalnya Anda diwajibkan untuk membayar tiket masuk yang sudah di siapkan pengelola. Untuk tiket masuk sendiri dibanderol dengan harga Rp 10.000,- untuk anak-anak dan Rp 18.000,- untuk dewasa, sedangkan Anda juga akan dikenakan biaya tambahan jika memasuki wahana lain, nah berikut ini adalah daftar wahana beserta biaya tambahanya:

1.    Gedung PAUD – Rp 3.000,- per anak.
2.    Planetarium – Rp 15.000,- per orang.
3.    Wahana Theater 3D – Rp 20.000,- untuk dewasa dan Rp 15.000,- untuk anak-anak.
4.    Wahana Bahari – Rp 4.000,- per orang.

Sedangkan jika Anda ingin belajar porgram kreativitas, Anda juga akan dikenakan biaya tambahan. Nah adapun program kreativitas dan biaya pelaksanaannya adalah:

1.    Kreasi batik – Rp 5.000,- per orang.
2.    Kreasi gerabah – Rp 5.000,- per orang.
3.    Lukis kaos – Rp 40.000,- untuk dewasa dan Rp 30.000,- untuk anak-anak.
4.     Lukis gerabah – Rp 10.000,- per orang
5.    Program Hand on science – Rp 5.000,- per orang
6.    Presenter TV – Rp 10.000,- per orang.

Nah biaya di atas adalah biaya yang harus Anda keluarkan untuk bisa berwisata dan belajar di Taman  Pintar Jogja,  walaupun biaya tersebut sedikit besar namun tidak menyurutkan niat orang-orang untuk mengunjungi tempat ini. Tempat ini bisa dengan  mudah Anda akses, kenapa? karena tempat yang beralamat di Jalan Panembahan Senopati nomer 1-3 ini dekat dengan pusat kota Yogyakarta.

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25. Basketball books for young fans: Stephen Curry and beyond (ages 6-12)

It's an exciting start to the basketball season for Warriors fans here in the Bay Area, and I love helping students find great books to fuel their love of the game. Below are some new basketball books geared for 2nd through 5th grade reading. But really, I've found that they all appeal to a wide range of ages.

Full disclosure--I am not a huge sports fan. While I can look at these books in terms of their readability and design, only a real fan will be able to tell you if they are accurate and interesting.

All About Basketball
by Matt Doeden
Capstone, 2015
Google Books preview
Your local library
ages 6-9
Doeden is one of my favorite sports writers for young readers. Here he introduces the sport of basketball using short sentences, dynamic photographs and clear diagrams. "Defenders try to stop the other team from scoring. They knock the ball away. They steal passes." Throughout, Doeden uses nonfiction features like headings, captions and vocabulary to direct kids' reading. I especially noticed how diverse the photographs are, with plenty of examples of women players as well as kid and amateur players too. A terrific book for new readers who are interested in learning more about the game.
Stephen Curry
Amazing Athletes series
by Jon M. Fishman
Lerner, 2016
Google Books preview
Your local library
ages 7-10
The Amazing Athletes series is one of our favorite new series for sports biographies. Geared for third grade readers, this series balances straightforward, simple writing with interesting details. As any of our basketball fans can tell you, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry has racked up impressive stats, winning 2014-15 Most Valuable Player for the NBA. With this biography, readers will learn about his family life, high school and college years, and then look at his first few years playing for the Warriors. While there is not any mention of winning the 2015 NBA championship, most of my students will know all about that already.
Basketball Legends in the Making
by Matt Doeden
Sports Illustrated Kids / Capstone, 2014
Google Books preview
Your local library
ages 8-12
Instead of focusing on the classic players you may remember, this book looks at the new stars--wondering who will be the superstars of tomorrow. Young fans will like the trading card like layout which features one large action photo, a short description of the player's playing history and achievements, and a quick "Did You Know?" fact in bold print. Pair this with Side by Side Basketball Stars, also from Sports Illustrated Kids but with more challenging text, and encourage students to debate which stars are the greatest players--backing up their arguments with facts and reasons. On the easier side, I've just ordered Basketball's Greatest Stars, by S.A. Kramer, which is a new book in the Step Into Reading series.

The review copies came from our school and public libraries. 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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