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Viewing Blog: Bookshelves of Doom, Most Recent at Top
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"Book reviews, book news, my life and anything else I think is interesting."
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Olivia kidneyFrom Reuters:

Moonbot Studios announced today that it will acquire film rights to the Olivia Kidney trilogy of young adult books by award-winning author Ellen Potter. The series is published by Philomel (a division of Penguin/Putnam). Moonbot plans to develop Olivia’s Alice in Wonderland-like adventures as a live action film with significant animation sequences. The film rights deal was handled by David Lipman and Michael Siegel for Moonbot and for Ellen Potter by Alice Tasman and Jennifer Weltz of Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency.

If the movie happens, hopefully the books will finally get the attention that they deserve. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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27. The 2014 Oklahoma Book Awards...

Mojo...have been announced.

The YA prize went to MOJO, by Tim Tharp.


Click on through for the other winners!

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28. The 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize winners...

Boxers and saints...have been announced.

The YA winner is: Boxers & Saints, by Gene Luen Yang.

Click on through for the other winners and finalists.

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29. Today @KirkusReviews...

The-vigilante-poets-of-selwyn-academy-kate-hattemer...I wrote about The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, and OMG I LOVE LOVE LOVED IT:

I laughed SO MUCH while reading it. Laughed and laughed and laughed. If Ethan wasn’t “stewing in the Crock-Pot of betrayal,” he was taking a “dumbwaiter ride to hell,” or becoming part of a “tornado of justice.” I loved the scenes with his triplet sisters; Ethan’s ongoing willingness to play with language (the past tense of high five is apparently “high fove”); and the many, many literary references (“...we were kicking it old-school, searching his files in the grand tradition of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”)

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30. More footage from The Giver has been released...

...and yes, some of it is in black and white:

I'm still feeling EXTREMELY skeptical. It just looks way... flashier than I ever pictured the book.

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31. Challenged in VA: Two Boys Kissing.

Two boys kissingFrom Fauquier.com:

Fauquier County Public Schools has received a request from a parent to withdraw from student use the book “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan which is a part of the high schools’ library collections. A school committee at Fauquier High School decided to retain the book in its library collection, and the parent is appealing the decision to the superintendent.

Related links:

Fauquier County Public Schools website

Fauquier.com: Venue changes for public hearing on ‘Two Boys Kissing’

Advocate.com: Op-ed: Banning Books, Risking Lives

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32. Top 10 most frequently challenged books of 2013.

Captain underpantsFrom the Guardian:

Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence

The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

Fifty Shades of Grey, by EL James
Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit

Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit

Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence

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33. Dead Boy Detectives, #1 -- Mark Buckingham, Toby Litt, and Gary Erskine


In an effort to thwart the robbery of a Van Gogh—hilariously, the robbers are taking advantage of the chaos surrounding a publicity stunt robbery okay-ed by the museum and carried out by a world-famous performance artist—the Dead Boy Detectives, Edwin and Charles, save the life of Crystal Palace, the performance artist's daughter.

For a moment, unlike most people, she SEES them. And not only does she see them, but she notices the Saint Hilarion's badge on Edwin's uniform. So, when she comes to, she asks her parents to send her away to boarding school—specifically, to St. Hilarion's.

Knowing that the place is FULL OF EVIL DOERS, the boys bravely follow her, returning to THE ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD THEY WANT TO AVOID.


I liked the muted colors in the flashback panels, and how Crystal is drawn more distinctly than the boys. I love that different fonts are used to differentiate between the two narrators, and how the choice of font evokes two very different voices. 

I also especially liked the parallel images in the section where the boys tell us about their pasts through tandem flashbacks.


Their voices aren't just distinct because of the font:

Edwin Paine: The young lady had swooned away, and was now deeply unconscious.

Charles Rowland: The babe was out cold.

Heh. And I love that in case a reader didn't go in aware of the fact, that the authors make it clear in a few way that this is in the same universe as Sandman, the most obvious being this:

Edwin: What if Death had come?

Charles: She didn't.

Lots of other stuff, too: Crystal's desire to be a normal kid; her parents' total self-absorption; the friendship between Edwin and Charles; the easily-drawn connection between the horrors of what happened to them at Hilarion's and the horrors that still go on in schools and colleges today; and then of course the intimations of HUMAN SACRIFICE AND PURE EVIL.

Note to self: never trust a dude with a pipe shaped like a devil's head.

Keep going?

HECK, YEAH. Also! I clearly need to revisit Sandman, which is where the boys first appeared, and I need to read the Children's Crusade crossover series, because they pop up there, too. So many things to read! I AM GOING TO BE SO BROKE.

Book source: Purchased.

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34. Five Slightly More Plausible Dystopias...

...at Quirk Books:

IN A WORLD where the government regulates the temperature of microwaveable food so that no one burns their mouth on frozen burritos, one girl must fight for her family’s right to consume something other than lukewarm convenience foods.

“I don’t want my food to be safe, or still kind of icy in the middle,” I cried. “I want it to be burning hot and freezing cold. I want to singe the taste buds off my tongue and give myself incapacitating ice cream headaches whenever I eat a freeze pop.”
“You want to taste things the way they really are,” said the mysterious new boy in school.
“I want to

AHAHAHAHA, "the mysterious new boy in school".

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35. Today @KirkusReviews...

Providence...I wrote about Lisa Colozza Cocca's Providence:

It’s Becky’s voice that makes Lisa Colozza Cocca’s Providence work. She’s tough and honest; craves affection but is understandably guarded; she’s prone to quoting her father but hasn’t adopted the entirety of his philosophy. She’s practical, but has dreams; she’s generous and tenacious; she’s funny, awkward, creative, reliable, independent and sweet. Though her situation is a very different one, she feels like a direct descendant of another stubborn farmgirl: D.J. Schwenk, of Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s Dairy Queen.

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36. Lauren Myracle on banned books.

TtylFrom the Huffington Post:

Grown-ups tend to think their problems are bigger and more important than the trials kids experience, but guess what? They're not. We're all traveling through life together--and not only that, but every adult was once a child. Too many adults forget that, I think. Too many adults forget what it feels like to be that awkward middle schooler worrying about which table to sit at during lunch. They forget that dealing with changing bodies, ever-shifting friendships, and maybe-getting-divorced parents is hard. So hard. I write about all that stuff (and more), but I don't write with the goal of corrupting my readers. I write with the hope of handing my readers a mirror in which they can see themselves as well as a window through which they can see the pains and joys of others.

Relatedly: Her 2013 AMA at reddit.

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37. Indiegogo campaign: Tabletop, Season Three.

Almost at the first goal, eeeeeeeeee!

(Via Adam)

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38. Trailer: Bletchley Circle, Season Two.


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39. Penny Dreadful -- Laurel Snyder


And, despite my difficulty with the ultra-quirk end of the spectrum—inhabited primarily by Stargirl and her ukelele—I adored this book. It's basically Hart of Dixie, if Zoe Hart happened to be a formerly affluent ten-year-old. It's got that same city-to-small-Southern-town move, that same solitude-to-community arc, the same cultural fish-out-of-water story, as well as a lot of learning about friendship and not making assumptions and working together and just plain old summertime kid fun.

THE BOOKS! Penny is a huge reader, most of her understanding of the world comes from living vicariously through books, and thus, that affects her thought process and perspective:

Duncan didn't look especially fragile or sensitive to Penny, no more so than anyone else she'd ever met. But looks could be deceiving. Maybe Duncan was like an upsetting book with an ordinary, happy cover. Maybe he was Bridge to Terabithia.


PENNY AND HER PARENTS! There is a whole lot of strife in the household, most of it due to financial woes—and that, in itself, is another plus: speaking as someone who grew up in a "scrimp and pinch" family, as much as adults try to protect them from it, economic hardship is a very real fear for kids, and it's always nice to see it addressed—but there's also plenty of love and affection. And it isn't just Penny's family. All of the various parents at the Whippoorwillows compound are loving and emotionally generous, with their own children and with the children of others, and the children have those same qualities. While that might seem unrealistic to some readers, it's important to remember that the tenants aren't random: every family living there is there by specific invitation.

FRIENDSHIP! As I mentioned above, there are lessons about friendship, about making assumptions, about working together, and about when to ask for help... but all of them are integrated organically into the story, and it's very much a story about Penny figuring things out, rather than a story created to teach the reader. Upon her family's arrival at the Whippoorwillows, Penny almost immediately finds a bosom friend in Luella. They clearly adore each other, but that doesn't prevent them from having disagreements or from—especially in Penny's case, as she's never really had a real friend before—making mistakes. 

THE ART! I love it so much when it's clear that the artist did a close-read of the text. Abigail Halpin includes so many dead-on-the-money details that I'm going to hunt around for other chapter books she's illustrated. [ETA: Well, then. That was the easiest research I've done, like, ever.]

It's warm and cozy, it's about family and friends and community, and about how you don't have to go out looking for dragons to be a hero: oftentimes, it's everyday life that brings the real adventure.


Book source: ILLed through my library.



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40. Yesterday @KirkusReviews...

What we hide...I wrote about Marthe Jocelyn's What We Hide:

Anyway, enough pontificating from me, right? On to the actual book! Clearly, Marthe Jocelyn’s What We Hide succeeded in at least getting THIS reader thinking about truth; about secrets; about lies of malice and lies of boredom, about lies of omission and lies of desperation, about lies to loved ones and lies to ourselves; about perspective and worldview and, yes, the reliability of any given narrator.

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41. First blood.


Oh, man. It's going to be a gory spring.

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42. 404 Day: A Day of Action Against Censorship in Libraries.

404 dayFrom EFF:

Join EFF on April 4th for 404 Day, a nation-wide day of action to call attention to the long-standing problem of Internet censorship in public libraries and public schools. In collaboration with the MIT Center for Civic Media and the National Coalition Against Censorship, we are hosting a digital teach-in with some of the top researchers and librarians working to analyze and push back against the use of Internet filters on library computers.


This is why EFF is calling on librarians, students, and concerned library patrons across the country to take action on 404 Day to raise awareness and call attention to banned websites and Internet censorship in libraries. Please join us at 12:00pm PST/ 3:00pm EST for a digital teach-in featuring Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Director of Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association, Chris Peterson from MIT's Center for Civic Media and the National Coalition Against Censorship, and Sarah Houghton, blogger and Director of the San Rafael Public Library in Northern California for an in-depth discussion about banned websites in public schools and libraries.

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43. Part-time Indian removed from curriculum in Idaho school district.

ParttimeindianFrom the Idaho Statesman:

Meridian trustees voted 2 to 1 to keep in place a hold on “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie. The hold was put in place a few weeks ago after some parents objected to the book.

Board members rejected a recommendation from an earlier committee that said the book should stay on the 10th grade English supplemental reading list, with parental permission required for children to read it.

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44. Dirtbag Anne of Green Gables.

Dirtbag anneFrom The Toast:

[The schoolhouse burns in the distance. Anne stands on the porch, face flushed and streaked with ash]

(Via my Treasured Sister, obviously.)

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45. I am Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket, AMA...

...at reddit, obvs.

I haven't finished reading down through, but this answer made me howl:

[–]DunkRyder 189 points 5 hours ago

What's your opinion of the film? How did you feel about the whole thing during development, after release and how do you feel about it now?

[–]DanielHandler aka Lemony Snicket[S] 543 points 4 hours ago

"I have nothing to announce at this time."

(via Brooke)

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46. A few details about the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie.

Fantastic beasts and where to find themAt the NYT:

That is when Warner announced that Ms. Rowling had agreed to adapt for the big screen her “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a 2001 book billed as one of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbooks. Three megamovies are planned. The main character will be a “magizoologist” named Newt Scamander. The stories, neither prequels or sequels, will start in New York about seven decades before the arrival of Mr. Potter and his pals.

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47. The 2014 Little Rebels shortlist...

Middle of nowhere...has been announced.

The contenders are:

Moon Bear, by Gill Lewis

After Tomorrow, by Gillian Cross

Real Lives: Harriet Tubman, by Deborah Chancellor

Stay Where You Are, by John Boyne

The Middle of Nowhere, by Geraldine McCaughrean

Rosie Revere, Engineer, by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

The Promise, by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin

Click on through for more info.

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48. Hollywood SF and race.

At the Atlantic:

More importantly, Star Wars encapsulates a pop-culture tradition of space operas that can easily invent spaceships and robots and aliens, but that helplessly acquiesce to old, stereotypical treatments of gender and race. Why does that matter? Sci-fi is at least in part a dream of a different world and a different future. When that future unthinkingly reproduces current inequities, it seems like both a missed opportunity and a failure of imagination.

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49. This week @KirkusReviews...

...I wrote about some April and May releases that I'm looking forward to reading.


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50. Movie news: Eleanor & Park.

Eleanor and parkFrom EW:

“The book is uniquely structured in that one chapter is told by Eleanor and one chapter is told from Park’s perspective, and they alternate,” Bario points out. “So we’re trying to figure out how to do that in a movie. There are all storts of groovy stylistic things you could do with voice over, or words on the screen, but we want something that’s real Rainbow.”

With that in mind, Rowell – who is repped by UTA — has also been hired to write the screenplay. “She’s in the middle of writing another book, so we’re patiently waiting for her,” Bario said.

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