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26. Japanese Craftsman Restores Old Books

Some bibliophiles like to sell their old books. Others transform them into gorgeous artistic pieces. One Japanese craftsman restores them beautifully.

According to RocketNews24.com, Nobuo Okano, a Tokyo-based craftsman, has the ability to “make even the most decrepit book look like you just pulled it off the shelf at the bookstore.” BoredPanda.com reports that he has “spent 30 years perfecting the art of restoring old books.” The video embedded above showcases Okano working on an old Japanese-English dictionary with his iron—what do you think?

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27. The Writer’s Page: In the Time of Daily Magic

eager_halfmagic_coverI have come to believe that the books that influence us most are the ones we read at the impressionable ages of eight to twelve, the time when readers are most open to imagination and possibilities. It’s 
the time, too, when our worldview is being formed, not only by experience but also by our readings. Who you become as a reader deeply affects who you become as a person and, for some, as a writer. My first introduction to literary magic was through the work of Edward Eager, which I was lucky enough to find when my life was falling apart in the real world as my parents divorced. I stumbled upon Half Magic stored on a dusty shelf at the Malverne Public Library one summer day when I still had all the time in the world. Was I looking for a way out of the sorrow that surrounded me? Absolutely. But I was looking for more. I was looking for instructions on how to live one’s life, something that was especially unclear to me at the time. Back then, no one recommended books to a child-reader, at least not to me, and finding a book that spoke to you all on your own, turning those first few pages and entering into another world, was pure magic.

Eager, who was a lyricist and dramatist, is a dry, witty, adult sort of writer who fell into children’s books accidentally (isn’t that how all good magic stories begin?) when he discovered E. Nesbit’s work while searching for books to share with his son, Fritz. His droll, self-effacing essay “Daily Magic,” published in The Horn Book Magazine in October 1958, celebrated both E. Nesbit and Eager’s own delight in finding magic. He wrote for children through his own adult sensibility in the time 
of real-life Mad Men, cocktails and trains home to Connecticut, but he was an adult who remembered what children loved most. At the same time, he never spoke down to his readers, something I very much appreciated and had previously found only in fairy tales. Eager predicted the flowering of magical realism, suggesting that the core of a good magic book was the dailiness of its magic: “So that after you finish reading…you feel it could happen to you, any day now, round any corner.” It’s the very ordinariness of both setting and characters that makes the magic all the more believable. It’s a lesson learned from fairy tales, wherein an ordinary girl can sleep for a hundred years and a perfectly normal brother and sister discover a witch’s house in the woods and beat her at her own game. The best magic, after all, is always woven into the facts of our everyday lives.

Eager insisted that his own books could not have existed without E. Nesbit’s influence. He thought of himself as a more accessible and lesser author, and referred to himself as “second-rate E. Nesbit.” But for American readers his magical worlds may be more relatable than Nesbit’s magical books, which can seem old-fashioned and stuffy to modern children. Eager’s books maintain a timelessness that allows current child readers to be as enchanted as I was when I discovered his books in the sixties. Because Eager is a lover of puns and jokes, his books are both entertaining and adventurous. But behind the fun there is more: the sense that an adult is telling important facts about issues of family loyalty and love, and of course Eager always includes a lesson concerning the love of reading and books. Behind the adventure there is the wise reminder that, even while growing up, it’s still possible to see the world as a place of enchantment and to not lose what we had as children: the power of imagination.

Eager’s theory of magic is that it can and will thwart you whenever possible. For children, well aware that the adult world often thwarts childhood itself, the contrary rules of magic come as no surprise. At last, someone is telling the truth: the world around us often doesn’t make sense, and we have to do our best to figure it out. Magic is playful and unreliable, and that’s half the fun of it, especially when it’s doled out in halves or discovered in a lake on a summer vacation. The participants have to figure out the rules as they go along, as they would a puzzle or a game with rules that may shift and change. They make mistakes — some amusing, some dangerous — and in many instances they have to tame the magic and take control of it lest it take control of them. Is this not the deepest fear and wish of every child? That he or she will manage to take charge of a world that is chaotic and unfathomable? As every child reader knows, especially those with unhappy childhoods, the first exit out of the dreariness and difficulties of one’s real life is through reading. All books make for a good escape route, although novels are always preferable, and, as one of the characters in Edward Eager’s bookish and wonderful Seven-Day Magic asserts, “the best kind of book…is a magic book.”

* * *

Eager’s magic series totaled only seven in number due to his untimely death at the age of fifty-three. Still, seven is the most magical of numbers, just enough books to last through a summer. One of the best summers I remember with my own son was the summer of Edward Eager, a glorious time when we read all of the books in the series aloud, often in a hammock, beside a pond that some people said was enchanted. Half Magic begins the series, with a troublemaking talisman found on the sidewalk that grants only half wishes, including a cat that can half-talk in a hilarious half-language. O, unpredictable magic, wise enough to make certain that the adults in the picture remain unaware of its powers! Children can see what adults cannot, in life and in Eager’s book. The novels that follow — Knight’s Castle, Magic by the Lake, The Time Garden, Magic or Not?, and The Well-Wishers — lead up to the final book, the brilliant Seven-Day Magic, which gets to the heart of Eager’s enchantments. Here, a library book that can be checked out only for seven days creates literary enchantment. When I read it I couldn’t help but think: how does Mr. Edward Eager know this is what happened to me in my library, on my summer vacation, when I first discovered Half Magic on the shelf? And then I understood what the best novels do: they know how you feel before you do.

hoffman_practical magicMy own work for children has been influenced by Eager and his creation of what I call suburban magic, and my aptly titled Practical Magic is a book for adults who can still remember what magic was all about. No enchanted woods, no brothers who turn into swans, no vine-covered cottages, but rather small towns where nothing unusual ever happens — until one day, it suddenly does. The suburbs would seem the least likely place in the world to find magic, and yet such places turn out to be rife with enchantment. Here every bit of enchantment matters, and each firefly counts. My own magical books for children occur in small towns and suburbs, often in the summer, often involving the characters who most need magic in their lives: the lonely, the unloved, the secret-keeper, the fearful, the outsider that most of us were at some point in childhood.

Here is the best thing about magic: you never know if it’s real or imagined. But as Eager suggested, “The next best thing to having it actually happen to you is to read about it…” As a child I found solace in books in a way I couldn’t in the real world. I understood, in some deep, immutable way, that even the powerless have power through imagination. That is the gift of magic and of Edward Eager’s books. All you have to do is walk out the door on a July afternoon and turn the corner, and magic will be waiting for you. All you have to do is read.

From the May/June 2015 special issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Transformations.


The post The Writer’s Page: In the Time of Daily Magic appeared first on The Horn Book.

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28. Pulling a scam & learning to be Popular

Jackson Greene has spent four looooong months behaving like a model citizen since he was caught lip-locking Kelsey in front of the Principal's door. (He was trying to pick the lock.  The kiss was a cover-up.) BUT when he hears that Keith Sinclair is running for Student Council President against his ex-bet friend, Gaby de la Cruz, he assembles a team and gets to work.

Varian Johnson has written a guidebook to pulling scams in his book The Great Greene Heist.  Jackson's team of middle school nerds, techies, cheerleaders and chess champs manages to uncover a plot to fix the election so that Keith will win.  There are references to Jackson's older brother, Samuel, and a criminally inclined grandfather that makes ME hope for more about the Greene family of rapscallions.

Maya Van Wagenen was an 8th grade Social Outcast at her middle school.  Even the sixth graders insulted her.  When she found a copy of Betty Cornell's Teenager Popularity Guide circa 1951, her mom suggested that Maya follow the guide as an experiment and journal about it.  The result is Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek, a clever, funny and moving adventure into the social jungle that is Middle School.  Maya followed advice that is timeless AND dated in her attempt to be popular.  And what Maya learned is a lesson we can all use.

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29. BOBBEE BEE: Lessons From Steel Magnolias

1. Pain Does Not Discriminate.
When we meet Shelby she seems like a spoiled princess with every advantage. Then she nearly falls into a diabetic coma at the beauty parlor and we feel like jerks for misjudging her.  That one early scene reveals the heart of the whole film: everyone suffers; try not to do it alone.

2. Holidays & Events Are Meant To Be Celebrated.
And unless that celebration can be seen from space, it doesn’t count.

3. ‘Thirty Minutes of Wonderful’ Is Better ‘Than A Lifetime Of Nothing Special’.
4. ‘Personal Tragedy [Should] Not Interfere With [The] Ability To Do Good Hair’.
Or wash your face. Or put on a pretty dress. Southern women understand half the battle to regain your footing is looking the part.

5. Perfection Is A Myth.
Also, boring. Every character in the film is his or her own brand of crazy, and as such, none seem crazy at all.  They seem human.  Which is why we love them so dearly.  We should be so kind to ourselves.

6. Old Southern Women Are ‘Supposed To Grow Vegetables In The Dirt’.
And wear silly hats. An utter off-color remarks. Eccentricity is our birthright.
7. There Is No Such Thing As ‘Too Much’.
This applies to hair, jewelry, laughter, heel height, cake, cleavage, pulled pork, emotion, faith, persistence, and revelation.  Contrary to the old adage, less is actually less, and more is divine.
8. Busy Is Better Than Therapy.
Just as M’Lynn goes right on cooking as Shelby delivers the news of her health-threatening pregnancy, women know that when calamity comes knocking, you don’t sit on your fanny and do nothing.  Productivity beats wallowing every time.
9. Women Can, Should, And Do Share Everything.
TMI did not exist in the world of Steel Magnolias, and the women were the better for it.

10. Life Is A Joking Matter. 
Southerners know the more serious the situation, the more critical it is that we laugh.  Humor is as lifesaving as any flotation device in the rough sea.”

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30. Entertainment Round-Up: New Nightcrawler concept art, Daniel Brühl confirms his role as Baron Zemo, Michael Green to pen Wolverine sequel

It’s the start of another week, here are the headlines that are making waves this morning!

Bryan Singer is keeping the teases rolling for X-Men: Apocalypse, this time around, he shared some concept art for Kodi Smit-McPhee’s younger version of Nightcrawler:


This new Nightcrawler isn’t too terribly far afield from Alan Cumming‘s appearance in X2: X-Men United, which is surely the point. I do wonder though if we’ll get any explicit connection between Kurt and Mystique (and/or Azazel), perhaps that’s a road best not taken.

– Even though we pretty much knew this already, Daniel Brühl recently confirmed in an interview with The Independent that he will indeed by playing Baron Helmut Zemo in Captain America: Civil War, as he responded in the affirmative to a question about his upcoming role:

“I think I can tell you that without being thrown into Marvel prison… For the first few days I’ll walk around like a little boy, just amazed by the megalomania of it. It’s such a huge project. We could do 20 films with the budget.”

So there you have it folks, along with whatever is happening between Iron Man and Captain America, the appearances of Spider-Man and Black Panther, and whatever angle the Winter Soldier story takes, we’re also getting Baron Zemo. This movie is looking more stuffed than Age of Ultron.

– Over the weekend, and somewhat lost in the hoopla over Jared Leto’s Joker, TheWrap reported that Green Lantern and Blade Runner sequel screenwriter Michael Green will be penning the upcoming sequel to James Mangold‘s The Wolverine.

I’m not sure how much blame Green should take for what ended up on screen in Green Lantern, but given his recent high profile gigs (that also includes work on Prometheus 2), we’ll keep our fingers crossed that it was just an aberration on his resume.

Hugh Jackman has stated that this will be his final outing as Logan, so perhaps the time is right to adapt Old Man Logan, especially since it’ll be a while before the Wolverine films and the X-Men films catch up to each other on the timeline, most likely. The new film is scheduled to release on March 3, 2017.

– For those interested, Fox has updated the Fantastic Four movie website to now include bios of the team, with some interesting descriptions of their powers; for example Reed now has abilities that “can warp the space around him, and appear to stretch his body into impossible forms and to incredible lengths.”

Check out further details at the site.

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31. Spring has sprung (at last!)

In Boston we’re still having as many chilly days as nice ones, but spring is indisputably (finally) here… and the the winter of our public transit discontent is a distant-ish memory. (The MBTA kindly gave free rides all day Friday to thank passengers for their patience during the winter. For more on that mess, see Shoshana’s hilarious Bostonian dystopia, “Diverted.”)

Two more signs of spring spotted near our office:


geese (and the ubiquitous goose poop) in the Simmons quad

sailboats on the charles

sailboats on the Charles River

Here are all of our “signs of springtime” posts (with recommended books):


The post Spring has sprung (at last!) appeared first on The Horn Book.

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32. Do you BookBub?

I’m finding BookBub to be a terrific resource for both reading matter and research.  BookBub offers deals on ebooks with the cost ranging from free to $1.99, sometimes more. They offer ebooks in the Kindle (.mobi) and Nook/Kobo (.epub) formats.

When I get going, I’m a fast and voracious reader, faster and more voracious than my budget can afford if I’m buying print books. But with BookBub I’ve downloaded a bunch of books in the free and $.99 range. Sometimes I get an entire trilogy for free or $.99.


The first reason I started with Book Bub was to see what was going on in various genres. I’m interested in Young Adult dystopian fiction, and they have a YA category as well as fantasy and science fiction. Those are the categories I’ve signed up for, and I get a daily email with offers. The choices range from bestselling authors to classics to lots of Indie authors, so I fell that I do get a good look at what’s happening in the categories I’m interested in. It's a great way to immerse yourself in the styles and requirements of a genre. And, at the low cost, if I don’t care for a book I don’t feel it’s a waste to delete it before finishing it.


You probably know that you don’t have to have a Kindle or a Nook or a Kobo ereader to read these books. You can download free applications for reading them on your computer and, I assume, tablet. Click the type you need:

The categories available at BookBub

  • Action & Adventure
  • Advice & How-To
  • African-American
  • Bestsellers
  • Biographies & Memoirs
  • Business
  • Chick Lit
  • Children’s
  • Christian Fiction
  • Contemporary Romance
  • Cooking
  • Erotic Romance
  • Fantasy
  • Historical Fiction
  • Historical Romance
  • History
  • Horror
  • LGBT
  • Literary Fiction
  • Middle Grade
  • Mysteries
  • New Adult & College Romance
  • Nonfiction
  • Paranormal Romance
  • Parenting
  • Religious & Inspirational
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Science Fiction
  • Supernatural Suspense
  • Teen & Young Adult
  • Thrillers
  • True Crime
  • Women’s Fiction

For what it’s worth.


© 2015 Ray Rhamey

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33. ‘Go Set a Watchman’ to Be Narrated By Reese Witherspoon

Reese WitherspoonAcademy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon will serve as the narrator for the audio edition of Go Set a Watchman.

Cademon Audio, a HarperAudio imprint, will release the audiobook on July 14th. The print edition of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird sequel will be published on the same day.

Witherspoon (pictured, via) had this statement in the press release: “As a Southerner, it is an honor and privilege to give voice to the Southern characters who inspired my childhood love of reading, Scout and Atticus Finch. I am eager for readers to be transported to a pivotal time in American history in the manner that only Harper Lee’s gorgeous prose can deliver.”

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34. Pick of the Week for WINDOW and This Week’s Topic


Happy Illustration Friday!

We’re excited to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the illustration above by Gayle Kayaker, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of WINDOW. Thanks to everyone else for participating. We hope it was inspiring!

You can also see a gallery of all the other entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:


Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the participant gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!


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35. Instagram of the Week - April 27

A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

Showing off those new books and media!

Spring is in the air and new books and media items are popping up on our shelves. Now, how do we help our teens pick them and take them home? It's interesting to see the variation in library posts that spread the word about new materials. Some post photos as soon as those delivery boxes are unpacked or as the books are nearly finished with processing. Others share a photo of all of the books in the new section or highlight one title with a brief summary or review. Participating in weekly columns such as #bookfacefriday and #fridayreads or April's spine poetry contests can be another way to spotlight new titles in the collection. In addition to drumming up interest for new materials, these posts provide a great opportunity to remind our patrons that items can be placed on hold.

How do you show off your new materials? Have you found an approach that generates the most interest? Share with us in the comments section below!

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36. Amber Tamblyn Performs Her Own Original Poem

In honor of National Poetry Month, we’ve dug up a video of actress Amber Tamblyn reading her original poem “Dear Demographic.” Throughout the performance, Tamblyn’s mother Bonnie plays the guitar.

The “Dear Demographic” piece can be found in Tamblyn’s 2009 collection, Bang Ditto. Harper Perennial released Tamblyn’s third poetry book, entitled Dark Sparkler, on April 7th.

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37. Wilhelm Kuhnert's African Wildlife

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Lions at Rest, courtesy Heritage Auctions
One of the works in the upcoming May 2 Heritage Auction is this oil painting Ruhende Löwen  (Lions at Rest), by Wilhelm Kuhnert (German, 1865-1926).
Wilhelm Kuhnert Jungle Life, BBC Images
Kuhnert was one of the pioneers of early 20th century wildlife art. According to the auction website, "he developed his passion for animal painting during the 1880s in the classroom of Paul Meyerheim at the Royal Academy of Arts in Berlin, who taught the importance of sketching from live models at the zoo."

Wilhelm Kuhnert, Cape Buffalo, Heritage Auctions, May 2, 2015
In Meyerheim's class, students learned to draw animals "from the inside out—the skeletal structure, lay of muscles, and finally the depth and texture of the skin and fur."
Kuhnert, Lion Cub study, 6 x 9 inches, courtesy Delahunty
On trips to Egypt, East Africa, and India, Kuhnert took Meyerheim's lesson one step further and began to draw animals in the wild - a feat especially challenging, as he was not a professional hunter or tracker."
Wilhelm Kuhnert, African Crowned Eagle, pencil, 12 x 9 ½ in.
courtesy Delahunty 
"Kuhnert withstood adversity in attempting to observe the animals as thoroughly as possible, maintaining his concentration through torrential rainstorms, wildfires, severe drought, and heat, not to mention the courage it took to confront a savage, hungry beast." 
Above quote from the book: After the Hunt
Book: The Animal Art of Wilhelm Kuhnert
Online gallery of Kuhnert works at Delahunty
Previous GurneyJourney post about Meyerheim's class: Posing Animals
Heritage Auction, May 2, "The Collection of Judson C. and Nancy Sue Ball", Dallas. Includes the lion painting and the cape buffalo study.
Art and Influence post on Kuhnert

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38. Review of Meet the Dullards

pennypacker_meet the dullardsstar2 Meet the Dullards
by Sara Pennypacker; illus. by Daniel Salmieri
Primary   Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins   32 pp.
3/15   978-0-06-219856-3   $17.99

The tradition of Bottner’s The Scaredy Cats (rev. 3/03) and Allard’s Stupids books (The Stupids Die, rev. 8/81) lives on with the Dullards, a family of five engulfed in ennui. The Dullard parents are horrified when they catch their children Blanda, Borely, and Little Dud reading books, asking to go to school, and even trying to play outdoors. Though the parents try to nip this revolt in the bud by moving to an even more boring house, they are challenged when a welcoming neighbor brings over a cake made with chunky applesauce (“so unpredictable”) and speaks enthusiastically (“‘Please don’t use exclamation marks in front of our children,’ said Mrs. Dullard”). And so it goes until, while watching paint dry (a mix of beige and gray labeled “Custom Dull”), the children finally escape out a window and make their own fun. Close readers will no doubt notice that the books the children were reading in the first pages of the story inspire both their imaginative play and the final circus scene. Pennypacker’s droll, deadpan text is matched by Salmieri’s flat and hilarious illustrations; the characters, with their elongated limbs and prominent eyes, might remind readers of Gru in the movie Despicable Me. The big, wide world is painted in bright reds and blues, while the Dullard parents stick to their predictable oatmeal-colored world, “secure in the knowledge that their children were perfect bores.” Not.

From the March/April 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.


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39. Sponsor // 100% Free Assets for Every Designer

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40. ‘Choir Tour’ by Edmunds Jansons

It’s a wild free-for-all when a famous boys’ choir breaks away from their conductor while on tour in Seoul and causes mayhem in the hotel.

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41. New open source Comic Smart Panels allows you to make your own animated comics

As digital comics have become a cornerstone of comics reading, several companies have offered their own version of a technology which allows the panels to transition for digital reading. Comixology has “Guided View,” Marvel has its Unlimited technology; iVerse offers uView. The iVerse systems can be applied by users to comics viewed through their platforms, and Comixology also allows publishers to adapt their own comics.

Yugoslavian software developer Zoran Bosnjak writes to inform us of a new open source software that allows you to apply this kind of technology to any comic. It’s called Comic Smart Panels Creator & Viewer (available for Windows for now) which allows fluid panel animations and scaling for any kind of comic. Balloon sequence can also be defined, as seen with the Thrillbent comics and other “ecomics” platforms.

The files are stored in Comic Panel Definitions (CPD) files which are JSON files (with meta information about panel positions and dimensions.) While these can be read by the companion “Viewer” program, they should be importable to other viewing platforms.

As you can see from the screenshots below this still seems to be a but tech-y and not necessarily a weekend project for most folks.Both Guided View and uView are already available to those who want it, and have perhaps a bit less of a learning curve (the issue of the Maxx shown in the YouTube video is perhaps the least likely candidate for any kind of guided view.) . However, the more software the more people have, the more results you’ll see.






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42. Here’s a giant interactive map of 200 comics events around the world


Planning to visit a con, or set up? You can map your world tour with this resource. Biserka Stringer-Horne has just created a massive interactive map of more than 200 comics conventions in 50 countries as part of her site Comics Explorer.

Because comic conventions are such an important part of any creator’s calendar, I wanted to collect together as much information as I could to help you find the perfect convention near you. As you can see there are gazillions, and you have no excuse not to go to at least one. So, pick one, go meet some people and spread the word of your comics awesome. Happy con-going, wherever you are in the world!

I hadn’t seen Comics Explorer before, but it’s a nice site aimed at comics creators with a lot of resource posts. Stringer-Horne helps put on Thought Bubble, the much loved con/CAF, held every fall in Leeds UK. The site also has posts on choosing the perfect con, and convention prep, all worth a look.

If nothing else, this map shows how comics culture has become ingrained in world culture, from the Chile Comic Con in Santiago to TwinCon in Islamabad, Pakistan.

And as a reminder, The Beat is always looking for “On The Scene” reports from comics events anywhere in the world, including original reports and links to your reports. This is a thriving worldwide phenomenon and reflecting that is one of our missions here. Email us here.

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43. I AM

I Am

Where are you from? they ask.
Your moms from here. Your dads from there, they say.
Im from here, from today, same as everyone else, I say.
No, where are you really from? they insist.
I ask Abuelo because he knows everything,
and like me, he looks like he doesnt belong.
Where am I from?
Abuelo thinks. His eyes squint, like hes looking inside his heart for an answer.
You come from the Pampas, the open free land, he says.
Youre from the gaucho, brave and strong. From the brown river that cleanses and feeds the land that gives us the grain for our bread, the milk from the cows.
Youre from mountains so high they tickle Señor Cielos belly,
where the condor roosts his family
 and the jaguar prowls the night.
But youre also from the warm, blue oceans,
and the elegant palm trees that stretch their fingers to caress the waves.
Youre from a tiny singing frog that calls the island people home when the sun goes to sleep.
Youre from hurricanes and dark storms.
From the copper warriors that rode the ocean and worshipped the silver moon.
Youre from sea explorers, from their courage and their maps.
From two cousins that escaped war in the land that Jesus walked,
 From these new shores where they built a home for all of us.
Youre from the grandmothers who look for their grandchildren, waiting, always waiting  in a plaza, their white handkerchiefs wrapping the sorrow of their thoughts.
Youre from Pacific and Atlantic, Mediterranean and Caribbean.
You come from the sunshine that lights our path in this world and the rain that washes away our mistakes.
But Abuelo, I ask, Where am I really from?
Abuelo laughs. You want a place?
Then know that youre from here, he points to his temple,
from my dreams of freedom and books.
He points to his heart,
 Youre from here, from my love and the love of all those before us,
those who dreamed of you, free to ask questions and have a future.
Youre from all of us.
I am.
Im not from here, and Im not from there. Im from dreams and hopes,
from hard work and love. 
I am.

Yamile Saied Méndez was born and raised in Argentina, but has lived in Utah half of her life. She's a mother of five, lover of futbol, Irish dancing, and books. She's a free lance writer and a MFA candidate at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her musings can be read at www.yamilesmendez.com 

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44. 17 Carnations (2015)

17 Carnations: The Royals, the Nazis, and the Biggest Cover-Up in History. Andrew Morton. 2015. 384 pages. [Source: Library]

Did I enjoy reading 17 Carnations: The Royals, The Nazis, and the Biggest Cover-Up in History? Yes and no. I enjoyed reading the first half very much. It was fascinating and informative. I couldn't put it down. The second half, however, felt both rushed and prolonged. Rushed in that the last few years of war were covered quite quickly and with no real detail. Prolonged in that the coverage of the "secret files" recovered seemed to go on forever and ever. And at the expense of covering the lives of the Duke and Duchess after the war.

I definitely am glad to have read it. It was my first book about Edward VIII (later Duke of Windsor). And I felt I learned much from reading it. I just wish it had stayed focused more on him and less on decades of cover-up. Or that it had handled the cover-up aspects a bit differently--in a more engaging way.

So the book isn't quite satisfying as a biography or as a "war book." Though it is almost both. I would say the book is definitely rich in detail and provides a unique perspective of the war and the royal family.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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45. Artist of the Day: Anne Hemstege

Discover the work of Anne Hemstege, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!

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46. Sarah Mazzetti Update

Sarah Mazzetti

Lots of new work to peruse and admire at Sarah Mazzetti’s site.




Sarah Mazzetti

Sarah Mazzetti


Also worth viewing:
Hulse & Durrell
Kelly Thorn
Gracia Lam

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47. Author Top 5 with Jenny Martin


Today we welcome Jenny Martin to YABC! Martin's soon to be released debut novel, Tracked, is sure to appeal to fans of The Fast and the Furious and Firely along with Marie Lu's Legend and Veronica Roth's Divergent. This book will be racing across the finish line May 5th and we can't wait to go along for the ride! But for now, Jenny Martin  is sharing her five favorite things about her new novel.


Meet Jenny.


Jenny Martin is a Texas school librarian, a book-devouring monster, and an electric-guitar-rocking Beatle-maniac. She lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with her husband and son, where she is an active member of the YA publishing community, and regularly blisses out over all kinds of live and recorded music. This is her debut.


Here are five of Jenny's hobbies/interests:

1. Superheroes -- I have a weakness for all things superheroes. My all-time fave, though is, Superman


2. Science Fiction/Fantasy Franchises: Lord of the Rings? Yep. Love it. Harry Potter? Been there, drank the butter beer and snagged the t-shirt. Narnia? Sign me up for that wardrobe tour. And let's not forget my favorite series of all time...Star Wars. Han Solo, you complete me. 


3. Rock and Roll (Fun Fact: I'm going on a book tour this summer, and our final destination will be Foo Fighters' Twentieth Anniversary Concert in DC, on the Fourth of July!)


4. Interval Training -- For most of my life, I've been a giant triple-shot of out-of-shape weaksauce. But over the course of the last year, I've begun working with a trainer, and I'm tougher and stronger than I've ever been.

5. Breakfast food -- More specifically, PANCAKES. Seriously, if I don't get my hands on a short stack (slathered with extra butter) at least twice a week, I'm bereft.




Now that you know a little bit more about Jenny Martin, it's time to meet her new book, Tracked!



On corporately controlled Castra, rally racing is a high-stakes game that seventeen-year-old Phoebe Van Zant knows all too well. Phee’s legendary racer father disappeared mysteriously, but that hasn't stopped her from speeding headlong into trouble. When she and her best friend, Bear, attract the attention of Charles Benroyal, they are blackmailed into racing for Benroyal Corp, a company that represents everything Phee detests. Worse, Phee risks losing Bear as she falls for Cash, her charming new teammate. But when she discovers that Benroyal is controlling more than a corporation, Phee realizes she has a much bigger role in Castra’s future than she could ever have imagined. It's up to Phee to take Benroyal down. But even with the help of her team, can a street-rat destroy an empire?


And now...Fast Five: Jenny Martin's Favorite Things about Tracked


1. Futuristic Street Racing! 

Was it fun to write not one, not two, but five major foot‐to‐floor, out‐of‐control action sequences? With fast cars, vicious stunts and high stakes? HECK YEAH. 





2. Banter!
Ain’t no banter like science fiction banter. You know it. I know it. So how could I 
possibly resist writing some for Tracked? Am I sorry? Nope. Not sorry at all. 





3. Rogue Princes!

Every heroine needs someone to rescue—how about a handsome, smart‐mouthed, rebellious prince? Meet His Highness, Cashoman Dradha...but you can call him Cash, especially when he’s on the track, at the tables, or maybe just allllllll up in your personal space. 





4. Ruthless Villains!

If ruling the galaxy through sharply dressed deception, political manipulation, and brute force is wrong, then honestly...Charles “King Charlie” Benroyal doesn’t wanna be right. 





5. Bear Larsson

For a street racing, spitfire girl like Phee, only one guy in the universe fits the bill—as the perfect best friend, and her partner in crime. Meet Bear Larssen...six foot five, two hundred forty pounds of stoic, steadfast, never‐let‐you‐down loyalty. 





Thank you, Jenny!

So what do YOU think? Let us know what you're most excited for in Jenny's debut novel in the comments below. Don't forget to pick up a copy of Tracked on sale May 5th! And for more information about Jenny and her writing, visit her website HERE!


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48. More Paleontological Evidence! Heretofore unpublished images of KING BRONTY!

Yes! Just like the title suggests! Just you feast your eyes on this scientific evidence then I dare you to deny the existence of King Bronty! I hope you enjoy "King Bronty". -John Randall York

 I hope you enjoy this blog. Though I truly enjoy making "King Bronty" please join in and  encourage it's continued creation by support for art supplies, coffee, etc.  JRY


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49. Triangle Award Winners Revealed

The 27th annual Triangle Awards, which celebrates the best lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender fiction, nonfiction, and poetry published in 2014, were revealed in New York last week.

“Mr. Loverman” by Bernardine Evaristo (Akashic Books) won The Ferro-Grumley Award for lesbian and gay fiction which honors the memory of authors Robert Ferro and Michael Grumley“For Today I Am a Boy” by Kim Fu (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) took The Publishing Triangle’s newest literary award, the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction.

“Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: 40 Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith” by Barbara Smith (SUNY Press) won the Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction. “Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity” by Robert Beachy (Alfred A. Knopf) won the Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction.

“The New Testament” by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon Press) won The Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. “Last Psalm at Sea Level” by Meg Day (Barrow Street Press) won the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry.

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50. Doubling Rent Forces Cartoon Art Museum To Leave Its Home

San Francisco's cartoon art-championing institution is searching for a new home.

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