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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1552 Blogs, since 2/23/2008 [Help]
Results 6,526 - 6,550 of 505,809
6526. Dr Morg Video.wmv

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6527. Graveyard

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6528. One of My Favorite Moments in the “Jigsaw Jones” Series . . . A Small Tribute to My Late Brother

Illustration by Jamie Smith from Jigsaw Jones #10: The Case of the Ghostwriter. This is one of my favorite illustrations from the entire series for reasons explained below. Jamie gave me the original artwork -- for free, here, take it -- and now I hang it on my office wall, and it always makes me think of my brother. Every day.

Illustration by Jamie Smith from Jigsaw Jones #10: The Case of the Ghostwriter. This is one of my favorite illustrations from the entire series for reasons explained below. Jamie gave me the original artwork — for free, here, take it — and now I hang it on my office wall, and it always makes me think of my brother. Every day.


In what I hope will be a recurring feature on an irregular schedule, I thought I’d try to convey some of the background to each of my Jigsaw Jones titles.

And in no particular order.

The Case of the Ghostwriter has a lot of cool little things in it that most readers might miss.

I dedicated this book to Frank Hodge, a near-celebrity local bookseller on Lark Street in Albany, who is known and beloved by many area teachers and librarians. He’s one of Albany’s living treasures. When I moved to the area from Brooklyn, in 1990, Frank’s store, Hodge-Podge Books, was right around the corner. Of course, I stopped in and we became friends. I actually put Frank in this story: a guy named Frank owns a store called Hedgehog Books. I even included his cat, Crisis. Jigsaw and Mila visit Frank’s store in the hopes of tracking down a mysterious author.

Chapter Eight begins:

Hedgehog Books was a cozy little store. Our parents had been taking Mila and me since we were little. My mom said that Frank’s favorite thing was to bring books and kids together.

In the story, there’s a series of popular books — The Creep Show series — loosely modeled on R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps.” Mila has been eating them up, reading titles such as Green Wet Slime and Teenage Zombie from Mars. The author’s name on the cover, a pen name, is R.V. King. (Ho-ho.) There’s a rumor that he’s coming to visit room 201 for the “Author’s Tea.” Who can the Mystery Author be? I bet you can guess.

For me, the part I’m proudest of in this book is Chapter Seven, “My Middle Name,” a tribute to my oldest brother, Neal, who passed away in 1993, a few months after my first son, Nicholas, was born.

Ms. Gleason has the students reading family stories in class, Abuela by Arthur Dorros and The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Pollaco. The students, including Jigsaw and Mila, are asked to write their own family stories.

To research his family stories, Jigsaw interrupts his parents while they are playing chess. “Now’s not a good time,” his father replies. “I’m trying to destroy your dear mother.” (I always liked that line.)

At bed that night, Jigsaw and his father have a heart to heart. Mr. Jones tells Jigsaw about his middle name, Andrew, who was Jigsaw’s uncle. Now this part is totally true, because my son’s middle name is Neal, after his uncle.

“And he died,” I said.

“Yes,” he said. “Andrew died.” I heard the air leave my father’s lips. The sound of a deep sigh.

I put my head on his shoulder. “Why did you name me after him?”

They talk some more:

That’s when I noticed it. The water in his eyes. A single tear, then another, slid down his cheek. My father was crying. I’d never seen him cry before. It made me nervous.

“Don’t be sad, Dad.” I hugged him with both arms, tight.

He wiped the tears away with the back of his sleeve.

He sniffed hard and smiled.

“I’m not sad, Jigsaw,” he said. “It’s just that I remember little things that happened. Little things Andrew said or did. And I’ll always miss him.”

“Can you tell me?” I asked. “About the little things?”

My father checked his watch. “Not tonight, son. It’s late already. But I will tomorrow, promise.”

“Good night, Dad,” I said. “I’m sorry you’re sad.”

“Don’t be sorry,” he said. “That’s life, I guess. Sometimes we lose the good ones. Good night, Theodore Andrew Jones. Sleep tight.”

Then he shut the door.

I’d never attempt to read that chapter aloud to a group. I can never read it  without remembering, without crying. I guess in that scene, I’m Jigsaw’s dad — and my son, Nicholas Neal Preller, stands in for Jigsaw, trying to learn about an uncle, my brother, whom he never had the chance to meet.


NOTE: I originally posted this in 2009.

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6529. Comment on One of My Favorite Moments in the “Jigsaw Jones” Series . . . A Small Tribute to My Late Brother by Nan Hoekstra

We seven sibs and Dad are still here — Mom has gone on ahead. My Amy has her middle name, Elizabeth. Some places are deep and dark, thanks for the light.

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6530. Malala Yousafzai Interview

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6531. ‘Strange Creature’ by Cristina Garcia Martin

A mysterious changing creature can take almost any form. Is he one animal with many eyes or many animals? Can he fly? Can he talk? Does it come from the stars? Is he alone? Is he the only one in his world?

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6532. The Purple Hood in "Fox On The Prowl"

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6533. Electronic Music – The Next Step

Along the same lines of being melodic that my wife suggested. Here is one that I call the next step. There is a stepping arpeggio in it. I also call it the next step, because I’m stretching myself to go to the next step.  It is very hard to get out of the same way […]

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6534. John Green ~ Author of The Fault in Our Stars ~ Interview

0 Comments on John Green ~ Author of The Fault in Our Stars ~ Interview as of 2/16/2015 6:33:00 PM
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6535. Hanging On

 I walked in my son's room and found it funny how his stuffed dog was somehow hanging on.

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6536. Presidents' Day Visit

Braved the cold and took a shot –
Left a perfect parking spot –
Just to get a little taste
Of one we’ve lovingly embraced.

An afternoon of pure delight
With Henry* – cute and oh, so bright –
Was worth the venture and the drive
For he’s the greatest kid alive!

I am his nana – can’t you tell?
On Gramps and me, he’s cast a spell.
We’re drawn to him like moths to flame
Since on our hearts, he’s staked a claim.

Of course, this visit had a plus
For also, rather close to us
Are Henry’s mom and dad (our son)
And seeing them was also fun.

*17 months old today!

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6537. Malala Yousafzai ~ Author of I Am Malala

malalaMalala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. She is known mainly for human rights advocacy for education and for women in her native Swat Valley in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Yousafzai’s advocacy has since grown into an international movement.

Her family runs a chain of schools in the region. In early 2009, when she was 11–12, Yousafzai wrote a pseudonymous blog for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban occupation, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls in the Swat Valley. The following summer, journalist Adam B. Ellick made a New York Times documentary about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region. Yousafzai rose in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television, and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by South African activist Desmond Tutu.

On the afternoon of 9 October 2012, Yousafzai boarded her school bus in the northwest Pakistani district of Swat. A gunman asked for her by name, then pointed a pistol at her and fired three shots. One bullet hit the left side of Yousafzai’s forehead, travelled under her skin through the length of her face, and then went into her shoulder. In the days immediately following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, for intensive rehabilitation. On 12 October, a group of 50 Islamic clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwa against those who tried to kill her, but the Taliban reiterated their intent to kill Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai.

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Found a few of the old video ads! 

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6539. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

malalabookHardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (October 8, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316322407
ISBN-13: 978-0316322409


“I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.”

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

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6540. John Green ~ Author of The Fault in 0ur Stars

John_Green_by_Gage_SkidmoreJohn Green is a New York Times bestselling author who has received numerous awards, including both the Printz Medal and a Printz Honor. John is also the cocreator (with his brother, Hank) of the popular video blog Brotherhood 2.0, which has been watched more than 30 million times by Nerdfighter fans all over the globe. John Green lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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6541. Comic-Con registration starts on February 21st; new guests

Here it comes! Preliminary instructions for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con open registration is coming next Saturday, 2/21 at 9 am pst. As usual links will be revealed later and you’ll get into a waiting room before being able to get in and purchase tickets. Only THREE PER PERSON this year, which is tough. Here’s some rough guidelines:

Only those with a confirmed Member ID account are eligible to participate in Open Online Registration. If you purchased the Preview Night option during attendee preregistration, you are not eligible to participate in Open Online Registration or buy badges for others.
Your browser should have JavaScript and cookies enabled to function reliable in the EPIC waiting room. 
You can buy badges for up to three people – yourself included – during your registration session. Each person must have thier own Member ID and must be eligible to participate. 
In order to buy a badge for another attendee, you will need their Member ID and LAST NAME. You do not need their Member ID password.
You must enter the EPIC waiting room before 9:00 AM Pacific Time. You will need your personal registration code to enter.
Only use one browser tab or instance when trying to purchase badges. Multiple browser tabs will confuse the registration process and cause your transaction to fail.

But more details in the link.

There will be spinning beachballs, there will be frustrations, desk punching, tears and gritted teeth. but it will all be worth it because IT’S COMIC-CON PEOPLE!

Also, a few more guests were just announced:

Franco Aureliani, Writer/artist, Tiny Titans, Itty Bitty Hellboy
Art Baltazar, Writer/artist, Tiny Titans, Itty Bitty Hellboy
Steve Lieber, Artist, Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Whiteout
Jimmie Robinson, Writer/artist, Five Weapons, Bomb Queen
Sara Ryan, Writer, Bad Houses, Empress of the World


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6542. The Iron Warrior v. Big Bong! in: "When Giants Fought."

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6543. Jacqueline Woodson ~ Author of Brown Girl Dreaming

Jacqueline_Woodson_by_David_ShankboneJacqueline Woodson (born February 12, 1963) is an American writer of books for children and adolescents. She is best known for Miracle’s Boys, which won the Coretta Scott King Award in 2001 and her Newbery Honor-winning titles Brown Girl Dreaming, After Tupac & D Foster, Feathers, and Show Way. Her work is filled with strong African-American themes, generally aimed at a young adult audience.

For her lifetime contribution as a children’s writer, Woodson won the Margaret Edwards Award in 2005[1] and she was the U.S. nominee for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2014. IBBY named her one of six Andersen Award finalists on March 17, 2014. She won the National Book Award in 2014 in the category of “Young People’s Literature” for her work Brown Girl Dreaming.

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6544. Our Books Around the World

Readergirlz diva, Justina Chen, is on the road this week.
She took this photo when she spotted her books in Dubai!

More proof readergirlz authors reach around the world.

May your stories flourish everywhere.

Readergirlz wish you happy and safe travels, Justina!

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6545. Free Video Series Answering Your Picture Book Submission Questions

Group of Diverse People's Hands Holding Answers ConceptFor those of you who write picture books, here’s some great news!

My friend and colleague Julie Hedlund and I recently ran a survey asking for questions about picture book submissions. We received SO MANY great questions – literally, hundreds – and we were amazed by how many people asked the same questions.

Julie and I are both dedicated to supporting fellow children’s book authors – in our view, the children’s book writing community is perhaps the most mutually supportive of any professional community out there, because, hey, we’re all writing for kids!  So we decided to create a FREE video training series answering your most commonly recurring questions as follows:

1. How to write a GREAT HOOK sentence in your query letters

2. The Top 5 MISTAKES TO AVOID, and 5 lesser known (but frequently made) mistakes – so you don’t sink your submission before it starts.

3. Our ANSWERS to the most commonly asked QUESTIONS that came up over and over again in the survey.

Click here to sign up for the free training…. but do it quickly! These videos will expire in 10 days!

P.S. Please share this post on social media or with your picture book writing friends… there’s great information in these videos for everyone who writes picture books. And check out some of the fabulous comments we’ve already received on the first video, below!


Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 3.35.39 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 3.36.43 PM

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6546. San Diego gardening is a quirky business

spring pumpkins

Remember those pumpkins I said might be ripe in time for Christmas? More like Valentine’s Day. We gave most of them away to a neighbor (who thanked us with pumpkin bread, so we came out ahead) but kept a couple to perpetuate the cycle. We’ll ignore these and let Nature do her thing, and maybe we’ll have some seeds sprouting earlier in the season this time around. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the jarring contrast of spring flowers and fall harvest.

Spotted two tiny caterpillars on the milkweed! Sadly, however, we also found a withered monarch chrysalis hanging on the fence with a pinprick hole in it. It looks like we’re raising caterpillars for something’s lunch. Not cool, Nature. Monarchs have enough to contend with these days.

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6547. Dreamland Book Cover Revealed

EpicReads has revealed the cover for debut author Robert L. Anderson‘s upcoming YA novel. Erin Fitzsimmons designed the mysterious book cover.

HarperTeen is publishing the work, which hits bookshelves in September. The book is about a girl who is able to travel through other people’s dreams.  Check it out:

Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never interfere. Never be seen. Never walk the same person’s dream more than once. Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them.

We’ve got the full cover after the jump.



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6548. Book Review: I Want to Show You More by Jamie Quatro

From Goodreads:
The hypnotically intimate, urgent stories in I Want to Show You More are about lives stretched between spirituality and sexuality in the New American South. In narrative modes ranging from the traditional to the fabulist, these stories are interconnected explorations of God, illicit sex, raising children—and running. Jamie Quatro’s stories confront us with dark theological complexities, fractured marriages, and mercurial temptations: a wife comes home with her husband to find her lover’s corpse in their bed; a teenager attends a Bible Camp where he seduces a young cancer survivor with hopes of curing his own rare condition; marathon runners on a Civil War battlefield must carry phallic statues and are punished if they choose to unload their burdens; a girl’s embarrassment over attending a pool party with her quadriplegic mother turns to fierce devotion under the pitying gaze of other guests; and a husband asks his wife to show him how she would make love to another man.

I Want to Show You More unleashes Quatro’s exhilarating talent for exposing the quiet terrors of modern life with stunning and subversive energy.
It's complete serendipity that I stumbled across this work.  I actually purchased it for my brother as a Christmas gift just because I had seen it mentioned on Book Riot and it was the only book I recognized from his list (IE: the only non-poetry book).  When it came I was thrilled to find that not only was it signed (thanks Amazon!) but also set where I live.  It ranges from my tiny Southern town to my parents' tiny Southern town to the big city of Chattanooga, but almost every single story is set in a locale I not only recognize but frequent on a regular basis.  So in the few days before I gave him the gift, I frantically read it myself and I'm so glad that I did.

The writing is just gorgeous.  If I had to compare it to another author, I'd say a very feminine George Saunders.  And by feminine, I don't mean that it's intended for women, I just mean that it's focused on relationships and the home, as opposed to the cultural commentary of Saunders.  I particularly thought the connected stories chronicling the end of a marriage were beautifully done.  My favorite by far was the story of a woman who is forced to share her bed with her husband - and the decomposing body of her lover.  It's just gorgeous writing, and the setting has been captured so perfectly it's obvious that Quatro is a local.

Entertainment Value
Again, a huge part of my love for this collection is the fact that the author has captured the setting and the gorgeous Lookout Valley area so perfectly.  In addition to having the setting down pat, Quatro also captures what I think is the essence of the South and Southern literature with her allusions to religious and sexual complexities and complicated family relationships.  I absolutely devoured it, but it left me wanting and needing a second read to really grasp all the complexities of the book.  I can't wait to get a copy on my own shelf and to reread it slowly and closely.

I can't recommend this collection more highly, particularly to fans of Southern literature, family dynamics, or short stories.  And if you live in or are familiar with the area, even more reason to grab a copy.

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6549. Princeton Inherits $300M Worth of Rare Books

William H. Scheide, a graduate of Princeton University, passed away last year and left a very valuable rare book collection to his alma mater.

The collection includes about 2,500 books collectively worth about $300 million. Princeton’s Firestone Library has held the collection since 1959. The Scheide Library includes the first six printed editions of the Bible, including a 1455 Gutenberg Bible, as well as an original printing of the Declaration of Independence. There are a number of musical manuscripts in the collection as well including music sketchbooks from Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Schubert and Wagner.

Follow this link for more details about the inheritance.

(Via NJ.com).

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6550. Tales of Terror

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