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Viewing: Blog Posts from the Bookseller category, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 15,661
1. Magic in the Mix by Annie Barrows, 278 pp, RL: 4

You probably know Annie Barrows for her fantastic ivy + bean series, now 10 books strong (you can read my review here) but my first introduction to Annie Barrows was when I reviewed her book The Magic Half in 2010. Published in 2007, this story captured my imagination and has stayed with me. I was THRILLED when I learned that Barrows was working on a sequel and am happy to say that it's

0 Comments on Magic in the Mix by Annie Barrows, 278 pp, RL: 4 as of 9/15/2014 5:08:00 AM
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2. I’ll Give You the Sun

How did twins Jude and Noah lose the tight bond they once shared? Jude's story unfurls in the present while Noah narrates from the past, weaving a complicated story of art, family, and what it means to give up something you love. Books mentioned in this post I'll Give You the Sun Jandy Nelson New [...]

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3. Poetry Friday: She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

- She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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4. Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine by Gloria Whelan, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine is a new, non-fiction picture book by Gloria Whelan, superbly illustrated Nancy Carpenter. Whelan, who is now in her 90s, is the author of several books for young readers, many of which are historical fiction that take place all over the world. While I have only read a handful of her books, I have loved and been moved by each and every one. You can read my

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5. Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen, 343 pp, RL: TEEN

After reading my review, be sure to read my interview with Michelle Knudsen here! When I heard the title of Michelle Knudsen's new novel, Evil Librarian, I got really excited. I didn't even need to know what the plot was, the mere idea of a  character who is a high school librarian AND a demon is hands-down awesome. Happily, Knudsen brings so much to the plot of this supernatural story,

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6. Michelle Knudsen EVIL LIBRARIAN Blog Tour Interview!

Be sure to read  my review of Michelle Knudsen's new YA novel, EVIL LIBRARIAN. 1) As I was writing my review of EVIL LIBRARIAN, I realized that what I wanted to talk about most was the relationship between Cyn and Ryan and the internal monologues the reader is treated to, especially the private, crazy stuff that Cyn (and all of us) thinks to herself. I have to admit, I groaned quietly to

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7. Beyond the Headlines: Race, the Inner City, and Books That Delve Deeper

Like many Americans I walk an uneasy line between being appalled by the living conditions of the inner-city and being afraid of them. The educational and socio-economic disadvantages common in inner-city neighborhoods, along with the high rates of drug- and gang-related violent crime, are already hard problems to grasp and tackle. The fact that these [...]

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8. Leviathan Wakes

Leviathan Wakes is an excellent, fast-paced, well-thought-out version of a near-future, space-faring humanity. Full of actual science, realistic characters, and a believable human future, the novel contains some very intriguing ideas about space combat and possible alien life. I'd recommend this book to hard-core science fiction lovers along with just about anyone. Books mentioned in [...]

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9. Liar, Temptress, Solider, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy is the true story of four women fighting for their countries during the Civil War. It's a stunning narrative compiled from personal letters, covert correspondence, and arrest records! The Civil War pit brother against brother, but as Karen Abbott eloquently proves through this book, it also pit sister against sister. This [...]

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10. The Secret Place

Tana French's talent for gorgeously crafted psychological mysteries shines in The Secret Place, the latest installment of her Dublin Murder Squad series. The narrative centers on the murder of a boy in the gardens of an exclusive girls' school, but its real drama is in the fraught relationships between teenage girls and the awkward partnership [...]

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11. The Popularity Papers: The Less-Than-Hidden Secrets and Final Revelations of Lydia Goldberg and Julie Graham-Chang by Amy Ignatow, 208 pp, RL 4

Tomorrow marks the end of a really, supremely, special era that began back in 2011. Book 7 of The Popularity Papers, The Less-than-Hidden Secrets and Final Revelations of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang, will be published. Amy Ignatow may have been capitalizing on the popularity of the Dork Diaries and Diary of a Wimpy Kid when she created the diaries of Lydia and Julie, 5th graders

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12. The Best Part of Growing Up

Growing up in the '50s, the biggest joy of my life was throwing a ball. True, Easter was bountiful in candy; Christmas was full of toys; birthday parties were fun; and the tooth fairy always paid off, but that perfect pink rubber ball symbolized heavenly slices of childhood, and both of my parents knew it

 Our front door looked dented and battle worn from hard rubber projectiles pounding its surface. My father’s ritual nap after work was constantly interrupted by mortar fire. Our ball playing broke windows, tore up the lawn, cheated serious injuies, and created lasting memories.  

A month ago, while riding my bike for exercise, I had an unusual daydream that reminded me of how important a rubber ball could be. As I slowly drove through a plaza, my eyes caught an old brick wall with a perfectly drawn stickball batter’s box. Suddenly I imagined the batter’s box screaming at me, “Stop! Get off your bike! Play here! Practice! Fire your best pitch!”

I yelled, “I don’t have a ball!”

The box declared, “Your loss fella, not mine!”

The rest of that day I couldn’t think about anything else, except the most popular sport played during my childhood—baseball, in any form, including stooball and stickball.


As a younster, I had two choices as what to do with my time. I could go outside or I could go outside. Rain? Rainy days didn’t count. They were strange interludes in baseball limbo before we could take the field again. On rainy days, I played ball by seeing how close I could throw the ball up to the ceiling without hitting it until I exhausted my mother’s patience. In the bedroom I could play “All-Star Baseball” with players represented on cardboard disks. But I’d rather be playing ball outside because inside the house I felt like a baseball without a cork core, hallow and  bounceless.


When I played stickball near my cousin John’s house, his ballpark was on the side of a factory building. If you blasted the ball on the roof of a distant factory, that was a Mickey Mantle home run. As soon as it was hit, the batter automatically yelled, “Going! Going! Gone!”
 


A Mickey Mantle home run was a joy to hit, but a small nightmare to retrieve Now we had to climb on the roof to retrieve our rubber Spalding. A collection of galvanized pipes, running from one building to the other, formed a makeshift “ladder.”

It was like climbing a fire escape with half the steps missing. Fortunately, workers never caught us. They were too busy working, and they always missed our death-defying aerobatics. We used every limb to reclaim our twenty-nine cent investment in fun.

There was that one time we used the back of the house as a backstop and my Aunt Frances warned us, “You’re going to break a window!”

We assured her that the ball never goes near the windows. Of course, we were

absolutely right about that. Wanting to hit a home run with my first at-bat, I slashed at the first pitched ball with all my might, and the wooden-broom-handle bat sailed through the kitchen window.

In disbelief Aunt Frances stuck her head through the shattered window and said, “I thought you couldn’t break a window!”

It was obvious that we had to focus on playing ball at my house for a long while.

Fortunately, I did have special parents.


To play stoopball properly, you needed parents who were enlightened enough to realize that it was “okay” in the long run, if their child periodically broke the amber bug light above the door, bent the scallops on it with erratic foul balls, and riddled the bottom of the door like a car crusher. It was “okay” if John and I wouldn’t allow cars to park near the house or across the street in front of the home run trees, while a game was in progress. It was “okay” to redirect traffic and parking on the block. Playing ball ruled.

We needed access to those trees because that’s where the home run balls were headed. The fielder, standing in the middle of the street, he had one chance to make a miracle catch by swiveling around, racing to the trees, and snatching the ball out of mid-air. These miracles occurred with the frequency of Brooklyn Dodger World Series victories; but when they happened, it felt as if we just had won the Golden Glove Award for fielding.


We knew that we were good at something: catching a little pink missile as it scrambled down through the maple leaves or hitting majestic home runs. And we never had any trouble with self-esteem. We didn’t need brown certificates of merit, blue ribbons of achievement or towering silver plated-trophies. We just needed a special moment in the sun and parents who understood the joys of youth.


That pink ball had magic. We just had to unleash it.



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13. The Witch’s Boy

Ned is a boy with a curse and Aine is the child of a bandit king. Together they encounter an enchanted forest, powerful stones, feuding kingdoms, magic, greed, death, war, forgiveness, and peace when they discover friendship conquers all. This is a true joy and a wonder to read. Books mentioned in this post The [...]

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14. Trial by Fire

Everything is falling apart in Lily's life and she wants to disappear. Suddenly she finds herself in an alternate universe where powerful magic reigns and her evil twin self rules with an iron hand. Lily's weaknesses become her strengths as she fights to save this mirror world. Books mentioned in this post Worldwalker Trilogy #1: [...]

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15. Julia’s House for Lost Creatures

From the author of the beloved children's graphic novel series Zita the Spacegirl comes this wonderful picture book. Julia and her walking house move to a town by the sea and find things a little too quiet. Soon she hosts mythical creatures of all sorts, and they all have to learn to behave themselves and [...]

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16. Jackaby

A unique mystery set in 1892 New England told with warmth, humor, and suspense. The narrator, Abigail, sees the details in the ordinary, and Jackaby (a combination of Dr. Who and Sherlock Holmes) has the power to see the supernatural. This is a promising start to a new series. Books mentioned in this post Jackaby [...]

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17. The Happiness of Pursuit

Always wanted to make croissants? Dreamed of learning to surf or opening a cat sanctuary? Whoever said it's not about the destination but the journey was only half right. Bliss lies in pursuing the seemingly impossible with steely tenacity, and Guillebeau offers solid advice and tales of his own journeys to inspire you to pursue [...]

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18. The Children Act

Ian McEwan's newest is a beautiful exploration of the distance we create between ourselves and other people and the irrevocable damage it causes. How can we move through life, the novel asks, from the unshakeable belief in the rightness of things in adolescence, into the gray areas of adult life, without shutting our gates and [...]

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19. Oh Dear, Geoffrey! by Gemma O'Neill

I almost passed on reviewing Oh Dear, Geoffrey, the debut picture book by Gemma O'Neill, because  it seemed like another jungle story about a clumsy giraffe. But, after reading it a few more times, I just couldn't get her marvelous illustrations out of my mind. Her style is vibrant and vivid, filled with texture and action and her meerkats are spot on. When we first meet Geoffrey, his "

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20. Powell’s Q&A: Emily St. John Mandel

Describe your latest book. My new novel is called Station Eleven. It's about a traveling Shakespearean theatre company in a post-apocalyptic North America. The book moves back and forth in time between the years just before a devastating flu pandemic brings about the collapse of civilization as we know it, and a time 20 years [...]

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21. The Promise by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin

The Promise by written by Nicola Davies and magnificently illustrated by Laura Carlin is a modern day fable, of sorts. It reads like a harder edged, less whimsical version of Peter Brown's The Curious Garden that is powerful without being didactic or preachy. The narrator tells us about growing up in a city that was "mean and hard and ugly. Its streets were dry as dust, cracked by

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22. The Two Bodies of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism

My new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, is the story of two bodies. The first body was the new kind of slavery that emerged in the young United States right after it achieved its independence from the British Empire. Although at the end of the American [...]

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23. A Library Book for Bear by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

A Library Book for Bear is the newest book from Bonny Becker and Kady MacDonald Denton, creators of four other books featuring this odd but endearing couple. I reviewed the beginning readers book A Birthday For Bear back in 2009 and have been reading the Bear books at story time ever since. Maybe it's because I relate to bear, who is a homebody, stick-in-the-mud who doesn't like change.

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24. The Little Prince

There are always books that we won't read for various reasons. Maybe it has to do with the genre or the author, or the person who recommended it, but for whatever reason, certain books just don't appeal to us. This was true for me when it came to The Little Prince. I am not sure [...]

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25. Poetry Friday: Maud by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

All night have the roses heard
The flute, violin, bassoon;
All night has the casement jessamine stirr'd
To the dancers dancing in tune;
Till a silence fell with the waking bird,
And a hush with the setting moon.
- from Maud by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Read the poem in its entirety here.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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