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Jeffrey Brown authored the first three books in the Jedi Academy series, two of which I enthusiastically reviewed here. This trilogy is HUGELY popular in my school library and a fantastic alternative to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Before that, Brown wrote a trilogy of Darth Vader, a comics series that imagines Vader's life as father to Luke and Leia. Brown's new series debuted in August and features prehistoric siblings Lucy and Andy as they deal with typical kid stuff while also being filled with scientific information and facts about pre-history.
Jedi Academy was too good to let go, and quite smartly, Scholastic has tapped Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the Lunch Lady series of graphic novels. Jedi Academy: A New Class finds young Victor Starspeeder making a midyear transfer from the Jedi Academy at Obroa-skai, where he has had a series of mishaps to the Jedi Academy at Coruscant. Victor decides that he is going to start keeping a journal of his time at Jedi Academy because that is what his father, who died when Victor was a baby, did.
The Jedi Academy has its own challenges, starting with Christina, Victor's big sister, who already goes there. She tells him in no uncertain terms that once they are at school, they are strangers. Navigating the new school on his own, Victor is swayed by Zach, and older student, who turns out to be a bully and a prankster with his own agenda. He also gets stuck with Artemis, an asthmatic kid in a black hooded cloak who just might be a Sith. Victor tries to make friends, impress a girl, and get his special project on the planet Endor completed while also trying to stay out of trouble and keep Zach from getting him kicked out.
Krosoczka hits all the right notes in Jedi Academy: A New Class, continuing and updating features that Brown introduced in the first three books like handwritten notes between characters, school schedules and pages from the school newspaper, including an advice column by Ms. Catara, the school guidance counselor who is also a Gungan. Krosoczka also creates a couple new twists, including the Galaxy Feed, which is a social media type feature that pops up on a tablet like device, and a page of comic strips that look at classics like Family Circus, Peanuts and Garfield through the lens of Star Wars. I especially liked, "Huttfield," in which Jaba the Hutt is the lazy, food loving star of the strip.
While I love that this series continues on (and I hope that, after another three books a new author/illustrator takes on this challenge) and am thrilled that I have more of these books to offer students, for me, Krosoczka's take on the academic world of the young Jedi lacks a bit of the depth, heart and humor that I found in Brown's books. But hey, I'm pretty sure I'm not the target audience for these books...
East or West Twitter is The best Funny Social Media Cartoons – Twitter is best. सोशल मीडिया में सबसे पहले टविटर हमारा ध्यान आकर्षित करता है. मुहावरा पुराना हुआ कि लातों के भूत बातों से नही मानते… आजकल भूत लात हाथ से नही बल्कि सोशल मीडिया पर कुछ भी लिखकर मानते हैंं … मनोरंजन के […]
It’s easy to assume that only ‘evil’ people commit atrocity. And it’s equally easy to imagine the victims as ‘good’ or ‘innocent’. But the reality is far more complex. Many perpetrators are tragic. They may begin as victims. Victims, too, may victimize others. These victims are imperfect. Some victims survive – and some even thrive – because of harm they inflict.
In part three of 10 objects from the archive of objects found in my dad's house, I'd like to offer this.
School project: Toothless Old Man. Pen & Ink. 80cm x 60cm, 1976
After the tentative steps of the Henry Hudson picture I worked on two other school projects before setting to work on this large piece, which proved to be the most experimental and successful of my school drawings in pure pen and ink. It was drawn from a randomly selected photo reference using a multi coloured pen and ink line technique - on the face and hat I used three separate pen nibs to switch colours and gradually build up the drawing in different coloured cross-hatching, the waistcoat was filled in by dabbing ink with sponge. It was a labour-intensive technique for such a large sized drawing, but proved a great success. Sadly many of the coloured inks have faded over time.
The image was the centre piece of my school's 1976 art show during the summer festival, and made it to the pages of the local newspaper - my first press appearance! Even my junior school headmistress came to see it. By this time I was absolutely determined to be an illustrator and had my sights set on art college.
After the show this picture adorned the walls of my parent's house for a few years before being consigned to the loft. The identity of the man in the photo I never knew!
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This upcoming Friday, I’ll be suiting up to join my colleagues at Mirror World Publishing for a much anticipated event! TheWorlds Collide Gala will be celebrating Mirror World Publishing’s new partnership with Adventure Worlds Press and all the 2016 book launches!
If you’re in the area, please join us at7pm Friday September 30, 2016 at Sho: Art, Spirit, and Performance 628 Monmouth Dr, Windsor, Canada for a night to remember. You can meet several of the authors, along with myself, my publisher, and the team behind Adventure Worlds Press, listen to some readings, win some prizes, enjoy the cash bar and light refreshments, music, and participate in the Q and A afterwards.
Also, a reminder that I have a GoodreadsGiveaway still going on until September 30th for a chance to win Book #1 in my MG/YA time travel series, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis. If you haven’t read the first book, please consider entering for a chance to escape to the past and have a blast before Book #2 The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret comes out on October 17th!
Here’s some more information about the Worlds Collide Gala:
We've all heard the expression never judge a book by its cover but what about never judge a suitcase until you see what's inside?
I'm sure you've seen lost luggage auctions on TV (like storage wars only with suitcases). It's where you bid on a case with no clue to the contents. Occasionally someone finds a laptop or jewellery, but more often than not it's a pile of dirty laundry. Personally, I've never wanted to go through someone else's lost luggage and sincerely hope nobody ever goes through mine. That, however, didn't stop me buying this case with very little knowledge of the contents.
It wasn't at a lost luggage auction but at a flea market or The Giant Shepton Flea Market to be more precise. I had an inkling of what might be inside because I saw someone open the case and take out this little book;
She took a quick flick through the pages before throwing it back in the case and walking away. I have a soft spot for flip books from the 1940s and 1950s and was quick to take her place. As I started rummaging through the case the stall holder said, "You can have that for a fiver (US$6.26) if you want it." I assumed he was referring to the book but when I queried it, he said, "No for the lot love, case and all." I mumbled "Yes OK," and he bagged the entire thing before I got as much as a second glance at what I was buying.
Although small, the suitcase is heavy, so the only sensible thing was to take it to the car. Once there, I couldn’t resist taking a peek inside. Imagine my delight at finding not one but eight flip books along with several story books by Racey Helps and Enid Blyton, a sweet story about Humpty Dumpty, one called Merry-go-round, a Vistascreen 3D viewer with slides and other bits and pieces. Time was getting on and anxious not to miss out on any treasures waiting to be found I decided to leave further investigations until I got home. In hindsight, I should have quizzed the seller about the origins of the suitcase. Did he buy it from an auction, a house clearance, did he know the previous owner, or was it his?
The case has seen better days, but the contents are joyous. I'm sure everything belonged to the same little boy. His name is in most of the books and in some instances so is his address. His name and address are also on a label inside the case but this time written in a different hand, possibly by an adult. I have an image of a little lad of around eight years old stashing his favourite books and bits and pieces inside his case, but I wonder why someone added his address. Maybe the family were moving home, or perhaps the little boy was going to stay with family or friends.
After a few days, the case and its contents began to trouble me. Obviously, I’m thrilled to have it in my care, but I’m also sad for the little boy and his lost treasures. Where is he now? Is he alive or dead? Why did he part with his case? I will probably never know, but I have learnt a little more about him. Looking through the books I discovered not one but two addresses, one in Parkstone, Poole, Dorset, and one in Alton, Hampshire. Using the age of the books as a guide, I concluded he and I must be of a similar age. I have a subscription to FindMyPast so it was fairly simple to find a record of his birth, which turned out to be 1949. He was born in Surrey, England, and spent part of his childhood in Alton, Hampshire, places I know well. He later moved to Poole, Dorset and married there in 1973. I can find no trace of him after 2003, but that may be my very amateurish attempts at searching. He is a year younger than me so if he is alive he is 67 now. I still don’t know why he parted with the case, but I feel an affinity with him and his childhood because mine was probably fairly similar. Between the ages of five and twenty one, I lived just 15 minutes or 6.3 miles from Alton, Hampshire. Without knowing it, he and I were near neighbours. We may even have seen or spoken to one another.
Thinking about it now I have to assume the stall holder acquired the case from an auction or house clearance. I have no evidence of that, just a hunch, plus the seller didn't look as if he was in his sixties. I suppose the case could have belonged to his father? It's sad to think of someone's cherished possessions given so little regard or value, but I'm thrilled to have them and will do my best to be a good custodian of the memories contained in a battered case.
My post next week will include a giveaway for followers of this blog. Be sure to call back and don’t forget to follow.
Happy Fusenews day to you, guv’nor. In today’s episode we tip our hat to a post last week that is probably my most popular of all time. Who knew knitting needles could be such lightning rods? In any case, on with the newz!
How old is the picture book biography as we know it today? Recently I’ve been thinking long and hard about what its purpose is, as well as its limitations. Jacqueline Davies has thought longer and harder in some ways, though, since her recent post Writers and the Real Estate Market takes a very personal look at the choices she made when she wrote The Boy Who Drew Birds. She makes some remarkably interesting points about content and format.
Boy, it must be hard. Every year, without fail, Marjorie Ingall (Mamaleh Knows Best) scours the publishing world for great Jewish-centric books for kids. The pickings are almost always slim, but once in a while you get some really good biographies. Picture book biographies (I sense a theme to today’s post) no less. The first is of the current Ruth Bader Ginsberg bio in the piece Teaching Kids the Value of Dissent and the other Rich Michelson’s most recent bio in Leonard Nimoy’s Fascinating Life. Great books. Great write-ups.
Librarians. We have one of those professions where it’s pretty clear that whenever we appear in the news, 50% of the time it’s not about something good. Case in point, the recent news about a thrifty library cataloger who donated $4 million to his employer after his death. His employer, however, was a university library. So, naturally, $1 million of that is going to a football scoreboard. Some folks are less than entirely pleased with that development.
I mentioned it last week but I’m mentioning it again today because it’s a darn good cause. If you don’t know about why authors and illustrators alike (as well as celebs like Al Roker and Nicole Kidman) are painting piggy banks for auction, you should fill yourself in here. A good cause and you get art. The bidding just started yesterday, so don’t be left behind. And I know I won’t get it, but this is my own personal favorite piggy:
I already read this four years ago, but with the recent passing of Gene Wilder I saw it included in a Chronicle Books newsletter and just couldn’t resist putting it up again. It’s Gene Wilder’s handwritten notes on the changes he’d prefer to the Willy Wonka costume he was initially given. Ole blue eyes himself.
Maurice Sendak was initially going to design that old movie Return to Oz?!? Apparently it never happened but he did create a publicity poster for the ad campaign. Not that it really looks like any of the characters in the movie (I’m working on a couple theories on who the guy on the far right is) but in terms of the book Ozma of Oz, it’s not terrible.
Many many thanks to J.L. Bell at Oz and Ends for this image. Yet another old post from 2012. I’m having that kind of a day.
आप पार्टी समाचार – ब्रेकिंग न्यूज आज कल ब्रेकिंग न्यूज बनी हुई है कि AAP Party का विधेयक आज जेल गया. आज मार पीट हुई आज स्याही फेंंकी गई … अरे भई जिस दिन कुछ नही हुआ उस दिन भी तो ब्रेकिंंग न्यूज बनती है .. कि आज कुछ नही हुआ .. आम आदमी पार्टी […]
Dog Loves Counting. Louise Yates. 2013. Random House. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
First sentence: Dog loved books. He loved reading them late into the night and didn't like to leave them for long.
Premise/plot: Dog knows he should go to bed, but, he's having trouble falling to sleep. He decides to count something--not sheep--to help him sleep. So he opens a book, finds himself inside, of course--Dog gets lost in books, becoming part of the action--and starts to find things to count. He makes friends too, of course.
My thoughts: Of the three books, this is my least favorite. I still love Dog as a character. And I can even relate to not wanting to put down his book and go to bed. But as an adult reader, I can't really lose myself in a book that focuses on counting from one to ten and back again. I just can't. For young children, of course, this one is still recommended. But it feels more 'educational' than the previous two in the series.
Text: 3 out of 5 Illustrations: 3 out of 5 Total: 6 out of 10
Thank you for checking in with me now and again. Good news. My writer, Cindy, presented my story to several agents and publishers last week. WOOHOO! They are interested. This makes me just that much closer to flying in for you to read about me.
What if there was a way to build in opportunities to reflect, in writing, about my teaching right in the place where the lesson plans reside? And what if that place could also offer daily inspiration and opportunities to set positive intentions for the week ahead?
I am so looking forward to the movie, " Hidden Figures". It inspired this little piece for the cover of the fall issue of SCBWI. The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. SCBWI.org. If you are interested in learning about how to write or how illustrate children's books you want to start here.
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Russian politics has always been a fascinating subject around the globe. Exactly how politics works there, along with Putin's vision for the country and the world at large is the source of constant debate.
And this year's focus is on Celebrating Diversity. Click the banner to learn more about BBW, read articles about why diverse books are commonly banned, and find some titles that some people would rather you didn't read - and go read them!
“O, wonder!/How many goodly creatures are there here!/How beauteous mankind is!/O brave new world,/That has such people in't!” Shakespeare’s lines in The Tempest famously inspired Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World, first published in 1932. Huxley’s vision of the future has become a byword for the idea that attempts at genetic (and social) engineering are bound to go wrong. With its crude partitioning of society, by stunting human development before birth, and with its use of a drug – soma – to induce a false sense of happiness and suppress dissent, this was the opposite of a ‘beauteous’ world.
Before I get to this week's MMGM link, I just wanted to say a quick sorry if anyone tried to catch me at the OC Kids' Book Festival yesterday.
I was there for my 1:00 signing and got to chat with some of you, but I know I also said I'd be speaking on the Tween stage at 3:20--and I thought I was. But when I got to the stage, it listed someone else in my timeslot. And I spent the next hour getting led around to different stages by different volunteers and none of them were right and no one seemed to know where I should be. So, long story short, if you were looking for me and couldn't find me, it wasn't for lack of trying. And hopefully we can meet at one of my upcoming SoCal events.
Anyway, on to MMGM!
- Bookish Ambition is spreading some love for BEHEMOTH. Click HERE to see what they thought.
- Randomly Reading is cheering for A BOY NAMED QUEEN. Click HERE to see why.
- S.A. Larsen is giving a sneak peek at one of the characters in MOTLEY EDUCATION. Click HERE for all the fun.
- Andrea Mack is spotlighting ONE FOR THE MURPHYS. Click HERE to see what she thought.
- Justin Talks Books wants everyone to visit THE KINGDOM OF OCEANA. Click HERE to read his review!
- Got My Book is talking about the audiobook for THE BRONZE KEY. Click HERE to see what they thought.
- Patricia Tilton at Children's Books Heal is championing APPLESAUCE WEATHER. Click HERE to read her review.
- Completely Full Bookshelf is raving about RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE. Click HERE for their take.
- Susan Uhlig is seeing stars for ALL FOUR STARS. Click HERE to see what she thought.
- Jenni Enzor is spotlighting FRAMED. Click HERE to see why.
- Greg Pattridge is feeling FRAZZLED. Click HERE to read his review.
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--UNBOUND. Click HERE for all the fun.
- Jess at the Reading Nook has a guest post from author M. Tara Crowl. Click HERE to check it out.
- Tara Creel is sharing her favorite Spooky Reads. Click HERE to see what they are.
- Michelle Mason is inviting everyone over for THE SLEEPOVER. Click HERE to read why.
- Carl at Boys Rule, Boys Read! wants to know WHO WOULD WIN? Click HERE to read his feature.
- Shannon O'Donnell is back--and planning a weekly MMGM again. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time.
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site.
If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com.(Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)
If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.
Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!
*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.
My Maisons du Monde features are carrying over from last week. One because we had a day off to focus on the Sock Design Contest and two they have so many lovely things to see. The French based retailer was founded in 1996 and celebrates it's 20th birthday this year. It has nearly 200 stores in France with a further 69 across Europe including Italy where I came across them. There philosophy is
Judging a book by its cover has turned out to be a necessity in life. We've all perused book shops and been seduced by a particularly intriguing cover--perhaps we have even been convinced to buy a book because of its cover. And, truly, there is no shame in that. It takes skill and artistry to craft a successful book cover, and that should be acknowledged.