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Results 26 - 50 of 143,206
26. Book Signing Checklist

What to do before, during, and after your book signing event. 

http://www.amarketingexpert.com/book-signing-checklist-tip-29-52-ways-market-book/

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27. Asterix a Tintin Newydd i'r Nadolig / New Asterix and Tintin for Christmas



Asterix a Tintin mewn Cymraeg, Cernyweg, Gwyddeleg, Gaeleg a Sgoteg
Dalen (Llyfrau) Cyf

New Asterix and Tintin Adventures –
in Welsh, Cornish, Irish, Gaelic and Scots
Mae Asterix a Tintin wedi ennill eu plwy ar draws y byd fel ffefrynnau llyfrau straeon stribed, a'u hanturiaethau wedi eu trosi i dros gant o wahanol ieithoedd. Yn eu plith mae'r Gymraeg, Cernyweg, Gwyddeleg, Gaeleg a Sgoteg – gyda dwy antur newydd i Asterix yn Gymraeg yn cael eu cyhoeddi y Nadolig hwn!
Asterix and Tintin are firm comic book favourites all around the world. Both have taught themselves well over a hundred languages. Asterix has two brand new Welsh adventures out for Christmas, and Tintin joins him with appearances in Cornish, Irish, Gaelic and Scots!
Asterix a'r Cryman Aur © Les Editions Albert-René/Goscinny-Uderzo 2014
Asterix a'r Cryman Aur ac Asterix a'r Snichyn yw anturiaethau diweddara'r Galiad bach peniog yn Gymraeg. Mae tipyn o greisis yn taro pentre'r Galiaid yn Asterix a'r Cryman Aur. Ar gyfer paratoi y ddiod hud ryfeddol sy'n cadw'r Rhufeiniaid draw, mae angen i'r derwydd Gwyddoniadix ddefnyddio cryman aur. Ond ar ôl torri llafn yr unig gryman sy ganddo, mae gofyn i Asterix deithio ymhell, a datrys dirgelwch, er mwyn cael gafael ar gryman newydd o safon.
Daw pentre'r Galiaid dan fygythiad cyfrwys y Rhufeiniaid yn Asterix a'r Snichyn... mae Iŵl Cesar yn ceisio tanseilio undod y llwyth drwy daenu enllib a drwgdeimlad ymysg y pentrefwyr – ac mae gan ei gynllun gyfle rhagorol i lwyddo, diolch i snichyn bach dan din o'r enw Bacterius Drwgynycaus. Tybed a fydd Asterix a'i gyfeillion yn ddigon hirben i wrthsefyll y bygythiad? Amser a ddengys!
The plucky Gaul has two new adventures in Welsh – Asterix a'r Cryman Aur (Asterix and the Golden Sickle) and Asterix a'r Snichyn (Asterix and the Roman Agent). There's a bit of a panic in Asterix a'r Cryman Aur... to prepare the magic potion which keeps the Romans at bay, druid Gwyddoniadix has to use his golden sickle – but when the druid breaks the one and only sickle he possesses, Asterix is given the task of buying a new one. This takes Asterix on a dangerous journey to distant Lutetia where a mystery awaits him before he can find a sickle that meets the druid's exacting standards.
In Asterix a'r Snichyn, the Gaulish village is under threat from a cunning Roman plan, as Julius Caesar tries to spread distrust and bad blood throught the Gaulish tribe. Caesar's plan is sure to succeed thanks to his agent provocateur, Bacterius Drwgynycaus. He's a nasty piece of work, and Asterix and his friends will find it hard to resist his wily ploys.
Asterix a'r Snichyn © Les Editions Albert-René/Goscinny-Uderzo 2014
    
Tintin: Todóga na bhFarónna (Gwyddeleg / Irish) © Hergé/Moulinsart 2014

Y Bad Rachub yw antur ddiweddara Tintin yn Gymraeg, lle mae Tintin a'i gyfeillion mewn peryg enbyd ar ddyfroedd dyfnion y Môr Coch. Yn gymar i'r gyfres yn Gymraeg mae egin o'r gyfres mewn Cernyweg hefyd. An Ynys Dhu (oes rhaid cyfieithu'r teitl?!) yw stori gynta Tintin mewn Cernyweg, ac am y tro cynta erioed mae'r gohebydd pengoch hefyd wedi dysgu siarad Gwyddeleg gyda chyhoeddi Todóga na bhFarónna (Mwg Drwg y Pharo). Mae'r Gernyweg a'r Wyddeleg yn ychwanegu at ffurfafen Geltaidd Tintin, lle cyhoeddwyd Toit nam Phàro a The Merk o the Pharaoh (sef fersiynau o Mwg Drwg y Pharo) mewn Gaeleg a Sgoteg yn ddiweddar.
Tintin's latest undertaking in Welsh is Y Bad Rachub (Red Sea Sharks), where Tintin and his companions find themselves in mortal danger aboard a ship on the Red Sea. Joining the Welsh series are the first ever Tintin adventures in Cornish – An Ynys Dhu (The Black Island) – and Irish – Todóga na bhFarónna (Cigars of the Pharaoh). These join the growing series in Gaelic and Scots, with the recent publication of Cigars as Toit nam Phàro and The Merk o the Pharaoh – all available from Dalen!
Tintin: An Ynys Dhu (Cernyweg / Cornish) © Hergé/Moulinsart 2014
Cofiwch hefyd am…
Don’t forget…
Derwyddon: Cystudd y Cyfiawn
Mae rhan ola cyfres arswyd Y Derwyddon wedi ei chyhoeddi – penllanw'r gyfres ragorol hon ar gyfer oedolion. Yn Cystudd y Cyfiawn, y chweched bennod o'r stori, mae tro annisgwyl yng nghynffon y dirgelwch sy wedi drysu'r derwydd Gwynlan yn ei ymchwil i ganfod y rheswm dros ladd y mynachod yr Eglwys Geltaidd.
The final part of the gothic murder-mystery Y Derwyddon is now available. In Add a Comment
28. Happy Chocolate Covered Anything Day!

Strawberries.  Oreos.  Marshmallows.  Yum!  Can these things possibly be made any better than they already are?  Sure!  How?  Cover them in chocolate of course! 


Today is a very special day.  It is "Happy Chocolate Covered Anything Day".  Let's take a moment to celebrate.

Oh!  Chocolate!
Eating chocolate isn't the only way you can celebrate today, though I would never tell anyone not to eat chocolate, I wanted to recommend a few "candy" related books for chocolate lovers.



First things first.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Roald Dahl's classic book about Charlie, who can barely afford to buy a chocolate bar.  With a little luck, and help from his Grandpa Joe, Charlie finds a coveted "Golden Ticket", an invitation to tour Mr. Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.

The factory has been closed to the public for so long, that there are all sorts of rumors about Mr. Wonka!  Along with five other children who have also found the tickets.

However, Mr. Wonka himself is quite strange, and the chocolate factory is a dangerous place for misbehaving children.
Can Charlie make it to the end of the tour in order to claim the great reward?  If you haven't read this one already, today is a great day to pick it up.  If you have read it, re-read it!  Or maybe you would like to try one of the books below.



The Candymakers, By Wendy Mass takes a page from Charlie.  There is a chocolate factory, and a contest, but the children invited to visit are competing for creating a new type of candy.

Another big difference is that the children in Mass's story are all generally good kids, even if a few of them have an agenda for winning the competition.

Fans of Charlie will likely enjoy The Candymakers, but there is enough originality in this sweet tale to keep readers hungry enough to keep the pages turning until the very end.










Sue Stainton's The Chocolate Cat, is a beautifully illustrated book that tells the story of a cat, a chocolate maker, and a town in need of inspiration.

When the chocolate maker creates chocolate covered mice with a little something extra, he doesn't think twice.  His cat, however, knows there is something special about this new creation.

When the townspeople begin to eat these adorable chocolate masterpieces, they are suddenly stuck with amazing ideas, that spice up their formerly drab lives.

The popularity of the chocolate mice brings new business to the chocolate maker, and new friends to talk to the cat, which just proves that chocolate can improve lives!



Prefer non-fiction?  How about a book about Milton Hershey?  Featured here is Who Was Milton Hershey, by James Buckley Jr..

While this book is a part of the popular Who Was series, the library has several books about Hershey, which is great, because he was a fascinating historical figure.

Aside from founding one of the most popular chocolate companies in the world, Hershey was a generous man who really wanted to spread joy to all.  Hershey built schools, supported his work force, and made chocolate affordable at a time when it was a luxury reserved for the very wealthy!

Isn't that the (chocolate) icing on the cake?




So grab one of these books after you enjoy your chocolate covered anything!  Just make sure to wash your hands first.  We all love chocolate, but best not to leave fingerprints on the pages!

Posted by- Miss Jessikah



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29. In Memory: Norman Bridwell

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Norman Birdwell, Creator of "Clifford The Big Red Dog" Dead at 86 from The Martha's Vineyard Times. Peek: "In 1962 Mr. Bridwell found himself having to support a wife and infant daughter on extra money he picked up doing freelance artwork. He considered supplementing his income by illustrating picture books."

"Clifford The Big Red Dog" Creator Norman Bridwell Has Died by Carolyn Kellogg from The L.A. Times. Peek: "The first Clifford book was published in 1963. All told, there are more than 129 million copies of the many Clifford books in print in 13 languages. The character was also been the basis of an Emmy-award winning animated television show on PBS."

Obituary: Norman Bridwell by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "Bridwell’s famous pup, introduced in 1963, was originally going to be called Tiny. But the author’s wife, Norma, suggested that the dog be named after her own childhood imaginary friend, Clifford."

See also Norman Bridwell Papers from de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi.

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30. Puppet Shows at Storytime

“Where’s Rockie? Is Rockie going to be here today? He’s so funny!” Preschoolers call out their excitement as soon as they see the puppet stage set up and ready for action. Rockie is the main character for our series of puppet shows about a raccoon and how he learns about his world. Each show is an original script, written by two librarians. It is usually based around a topic that is of some concern to young children—new baby, sharing, fears, exercising, learning to read, manners, moving, etc. Although the themes are somewhat serious, the antics of the puppets are always silly and broad, causing plenty of laughter as well as discussion.

The basic format is as follows:

  • RockieDig_smallAct One brings on Rockie and his friend(s).  One librarian is working the puppets, the other is outside the stage, interacting with the puppets and encouraging the children to participate in the conversation.  The “problem” is identified, there is some conversation, and the puppets exit.
  • The librarian reads a story related to the theme, followed by a movement rhyme.
  • Act Two brings back Rockie and pals.  There’s more conversation and lots of silliness, such as a chase scene, a puppet that appears and disappears, bubbles or a water pistol, and a movement song that everyone joins in on.  Then the puppets exit.
  • The librarian reads another story related to the theme, followed by a movement rhyme.
  • Act Three always offers either a resolution to the concern, or at least a conversation with Rockie (or whoever is experiencing the issue) and a promise to find a solution, based on the possibilities identified during the puppet show. For instance, in our show about getting a pet Rockie imagines having a porcupine, a monkey and a snake, each of which causes laugh-out-loud mayhem and chaos.  He finally decides to get a book at the library to help him choose.

Each of the puppets has a distinct personality. Rockie is melodramatic, Zelda the Zebra is logical, Tembo the Elephant can be a bit grumpy. One of my favorites lately has been Dig the Squirrel, who is always digging, never paying attention, and just when he finally gets around to talking with the librarian he suddenly stops, looks out, yells, “Dog!,” and disappears. Kids think it’s hilarious, especially when a dog really does appear at the end and calls out, “Squirrel!”

SheilaRockie_smallThe best part about Rockie Tales is that whatever we’re doing, the kids really listen and take the lessons to heart, while laughing and participating with the puppets. One mother said, “I could never get my son to follow best manners at the table, but after Rockie Tales, he was telling us how to behave!” Plus we’re demonstrating to care givers that the library has book resources to help with many of life’s challenges.

One script is here for you to review, but feel free to contact me if you need more examples or information. I hope you’ll try your own version of Rockie Tales; it is guaranteed to be a great way to teach as well as have fun.

(Pictures courtesy guest blogger)

***************************************************************

Our guest blogger today is Heather McNeil. Heather is the Youth Services Manager at Deschutes Public Library in Bend, OR.  She is the author of Read, Rhyme and Romp: Early Literacy Skills and Activities for Librarians, Teachers and Parents, as well as a professional storyteller and author of two collections of folklore.  You can contact her at heatherm@deschuteslibrary.org.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

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31. Combining History and Holiday

Hanukkah At Valley Forge

By Stephen Krensky, illustrated by Greg Harlin

With the arrival of the celebration of Hanukkah, I wanted to revisit a special book I have spoken about before; Hanukkah at Valley Forge. In 2007 this book received The Sydney Taylor Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries given in recognition of picture books and also those for teens that authentically reflect the Jewish experience. Here, the book’s vivid watercolor illustrations coupled with Mr. Krensky’s fictionalized retelling of a historically researched anecdote come together for what I think is a powerful picture book.

Stephen Krensky’s book, Hanukkah at Valley Forge, combines history and holiday in an interesting way. The parallels of American and Jewish history intertwine on a bitterly cold winter evening at Valley Forge. Faced with increasing uncertainty and mounting odds, General George Washington meets a Polish immigrant observing the first night of Hanukkah with the lighting of the candles there amidst the fading hope of Washington’s ragtag colonial army.

Common themes of man’s need to hope in the face of increasing despair and the price of liberty’s cause, echo in the meeting of these two men at a pivotal point in our nation’s early history. Some historical accuracy was apparently discovered in the research of the book, and it is left to the reader to wonder if chance meetings sometimes turn the tides of men and war.

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32. Thoughts on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies #OneLastTime

Before I say anything else, let me make it clear that I love these movies. I would watch the extended edition of the extended edition of the Extended Edition if it existed. Also, this is entirely based on the movies and not the books. I have read the books but it's been a long time, and I think the movies should stand on their own. For the most part, I enjoyed The Battle of the Five Armies

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33. Golden Dreydl

The Golden Dreydl. Ellen Kushner. Illustrated by Ilene Winn-Lederer. 2007. Charlesbridge. 126 pages. [Source: Review copy]

The Golden Dreydl is an interesting Chanukah themed fantasy novel for children. There is an album that goes along with it. The book and album put a Jewish twist on the Nutcracker story.

Sara, the heroine, of The Golden Dreydl has quite the bad attitude about "having" to celebrate Chanukah and "not getting to" celebrate Christmas like all her friends. But to the family gathering she will go--no matter the fuss. (Sara has an older brother, Seth).

Readers briefly meet Sara, Seth, and their many, many cousins. The "kids" of the family are playing dreydl. Sara is still in a mood. A mood that isn't exactly improved when Tante Miriam shows up with presents for one and all. It's not her fault, mind you, Sara even seems a little inclined to like her present: a golden dreydl. But Seth and her get into a bit of a fight. The dreydl ends up flying through the air and hitting the TV and breaking it. That puts most everyone in a mood.

Readers next join Sara later that evening, for a fantasy adventure. She follows a young girl--a girl claiming to be the Golden Dreydl--through the hole in the TV, I believe. They arrive in a fantasy land, of sorts, with demons, peacocks, a fool, and King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. There is also much talk of a Tree of Life.

Sara is given a quest, of sorts, to save the girl from the demons/demon king. She has the Fool to help her. A few riddle games are played. First, between Sara and the Fool, and, then later between the Demon King and Sara and the Fool.

For those readers who enjoy fantasy novels, going to different worlds, doing quests, this one is enjoyable enough. If you get a chance to listen to the music, it will probably help you 'enjoy' it even more.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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34. How Do You Resolve Conflict with a Penguin? Flora Knows How

I just have to say that I absolutely adore Molly Idle, her art, and her lovely little girl Flora. I can not seem to get enough of Flora and now there is a new Flora book! Flora and the Penguin does not disappoint.

Flora The Penguin

The pragmatic mom herself and I were discussing who we think is up for the Caldecott and who is going to win. Flora and the Penguin is a book that would make my entire year if it won the Caldecott. This book is perfect for ages 3 to 5 but I  have to confess this grown woman adores it too.

Molly Idle has a way of telling a story that keeps her readers engaged. Did I mention she does this all with innovative illustrations ? There isn’t a word in the book.

This wordless wonder is innovative and brilliantly creative as it uses clever flaps that reveal Flora and her penguin friend becoming acquaintances, drifting apart and then coming back together as only friends can do.

In her last book Flora mastered the art of ballet. In Flora and the Penguin, we find her on ice skates, twirling, leaping, and gliding and her penguin friend is up to usual penguin antics by gliding on his flippers.

The ever perfect ice-skating duo mirror each other in an exuberant ice dance.

flora-penguin dance

The penguin delighted with his new skating partner, dives into under the ice to give her the gift of a small fish. Ever disgusted at the idea of a fish, Flora throws it back into the water and gives her new friend the cold shoulder.

flora flaps

Realizing she has offended her friend she takes off her skate to use as a fishing rod, to try and capture the fish back. This in itself leads to a new adventure and back to a very funny ice dance. All’s well that ends well.

Molly Idle has a great gift of story telling. The use of flaps I think is just brilliant and engages the child as well as the adult on many levels. Flora is still one of my favorites. I can’t wait to see what happens at Caldecott time and I really can’t wait until the next Flora book.

Molly Idle began her career as an artist working for DreamWorks Feature Animation, contributing to movies including The Prince of Egypt and El Dorado. From there she leapt into the world of children’s books. She lives in Tempe, Arizona. Grab your copy of Flora HERE.

Something To Do

Though snow and ice and such are winter themes, the truth of the matter is thanks to ice skating rinks, we can go ice skating anytime we want to. To celebrate Flora and the Penguin why not head out to your local ice skating rink for an afternoon of frivolous Flora fun !!!

Once you get your balance and can stand up on ice skates, here are some really fun games for you , your family and friends to play,….oh on the ice of course.

Ice Skating Games

ice skating games

Freeze skate

This game is played similar to the classic party game of freeze dance. Instead of dancing, however, kids will skate along to the music in whatever manner they wish, perhaps while performing some of their favorite skating moves. When the music stops, all skaters must freeze in place. The last player to freeze is out. Play continues until all but one player have been called out. The last player left on the ice is the winner.

Skate Chain

Have kids line up with their hands on each other’s waists, like when forming a conga line. Play some music and have the kids wind around the rink while linked together in the chain. Gradually increase the speed of the music and challenge the chain to speed up as the music does. Any kids who let go or break the chain are out of the game. Play continues until only two players are left. They are the winners.

Gliders

Have two kids stand behind the same starting line. On the start signal, these skaters may take three skating strides and then glide over the ice until they stop. The one who glides the farthest wins while the other player is out. Keep competing like this in pairs of two until everyone has had a turn. All of the winners will then compete against each other to see who can glide the farthest to win the game. To make it more challenging, you could also have the second round of skaters compete with one-foot-glides.

Ice Potato

This game is modeled after the traditional party activity of hot potato, but has been modified to play on the ice. Have your players skate freestyle around the rink. As they are skating, toss a foam ball to a random skater. That player must pass the ball off to the first player to cross his path. Kids will keep passing the ball from skater to skater until the music stops. Whoever is holding the ball when the music stops is out. Play continues in this manner until only one player is left. That skater is the winner.

Follow the Leader

This game is played very much like the well-known schoolyard game of Follow the Leader, except that it is played on the ice. To play, have skaters line up on the ice. Choose one to be the leader. That player will skate for a few feet, performing her best figure skating techniques as she does. All of the other players must follow her lead by repeating the same moves as they skate the same distance. Any player who fails to mimic the leader is out of the game. If all of the players are able to correctly follow the leader, then the leader is out and a new leader is chosen. Play continues until one player remains. That skater is the winner.

Ice Words

Write several words that have to do with ice, and ice-skating on small pieces of paper. Fold them and place them inside of an ice skate. All of the players gather on the sidelines. One player will choose a paper from the skate, look at the word (without saying it aloud) and then “spell it out” by skating. The other players must watch the motion of the skater’s feet to try and guess the word she is writing in the ice. The first player to guess correctly takes the next turn at writing a word with skates. A few suggestions for words to use include ice, skates, figure 8, rink, blade,, and a variety of common figure skating terms.

Need a last minute gift? Books always make a wonderful book for kids and A Year in the Secret Garden is a “must have” for any active family! This vibrant book is part of s huge holiday sale and is available for only $15.00 unti 12/31/14! Grab your copy of A Year in the Secret Garden  

ASAP!

A year in the secret garden

The post How Do You Resolve Conflict with a Penguin? Flora Knows How appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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35. F, a Novel

What is it with books and exquisite plotting lately? Flanagan’s Narrow Road to the Deep North, St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven and Jane Austen’s Emma (write up to come on that one!). I generally call myself a character novel person. Not that I don’t enjoy a good plot, I do! Most of the time though it seems that the best books are the ones centered on character with plot happening in order to provide the character with something to do. The meaning of the story lies in the character’s development. Books with meaningful characters and tight, meaningful plots that aren’t clunky or forced are hard to come by. At least in my experience.

But now to the list above I can add a fourth book, F by Daniel Kehlmann. Four books within two months. Unheard of!

F is about what happens when Arthur Friedland abandons his three sons to pursue a writing career. Arthur has a son, Martin, with his first wife whom he divorced. He has two sons, twins, Eric and Ivan, with his current wife. He has regular outings with his three sons and on this occasion he has taken them to see the Great Lindemann, a hypnotist. Arthur is certain he cannot be affected by hypnotism but when Lindemann calls him up on stage something happens. Was he really hypnotized or did Lindemann just manage to hit so close to the bone that Arthur could no longer remain in his mediocre life? Whatever the case, Arthur drops all three boys off at Martin’s house and disappears out of their lives. He doesn’t completely disappear, however, because he eventually becomes a best selling author.

Martin grows up and becomes a priest who doesn’t believe in God. Eric grows up to become a financial manager who begins an honest man but through a number of large investment errors ends up running a ponzi scheme in order to keep himself and his company afloat. Ivan sets out to be a painter but instead becomes a forger of paintings.

The story is told in sections. The first is the events with Lindemann. The second section belongs to Martin. This is followed by a section that is a portion of a book Arthur wrote about his family history which may or may not be fiction. The next section belongs to Eric and events in this chapter neatly coincide in places with Martin’s section while also moving forward in time. The fifth section is Ivan’s and it continues to move the story ahead while also fitting in with events that happened in Martin’s and Eric’s sections. The final section brings them all together again with the addition of a third generation, Marie, Eric’s daughter. This too, ties in with events that happened in earlier sections but also moves forward in time.

There is much in the book about work, choosing a path or having it chosen for you, determination and lack of it. Also, what happens when you aim for big things but discover you are only average?

What does it mean to be average — suddenly the question became a constant one. How do you live with that, why do you keep on going? What kind of people bet everything on a single card, dedicate their lives to the creative act, undertake the risk of the one big bet, and then fail year after year to produce anything of significance?

And what is work and all the things we do in life about anyway? Is it all just meant to fill up time until we die?

All the same, a day was a long time. So many days still until the holidays came around, so many more until Christmas, and so many years until you were grown up. Every one of them full of days and every day full of hours, and every hour a whole hour long. How could they all go by, how had old people ever managed to get old? What did you do with all that time?

Something only a child can ask.

The “F” of the title is never defined. It could mean all kinds of things: Friedland, family, faith, fate, forgery, fraud, father and probably a few others. The writing is fairly unadorned, there is no fancy styling here, just good, competent prose.

F has gotten a bit of buzz. While I was impressed with the plotting, I didn’t especially love the book. It might be because it has a rather bleak outlook on life. No one in the book is happy about anything. And when there are moments of happiness they tend to be fleeting or arise from escaping punishment. It all kind of feels pretty close to nihilistic. Of course the gray skies I have been living under for the past two weeks probably didn’t help matters. If the sun had come out once or twice I might have felt differently. I think it’s time to pull a more upbeat book from the reading pile!


Filed under: Books, Reviews Tagged: Daniel Kehlmann

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36. Catching Up on Current Research

There’s always lots of interesting research going on in the field. To help you stay current, the Research Committee has compiled a short annotated bibliography of recent and ongoing research that offers a lot of food for thought.

Merga, M. K. (2014). Are Western Australian adolescents keen book readers?. Australian Journal Of Language & Literacy, 37(3), 161-170.

This study examines Western Australian teenagers’ reading habits and attitudes toward reading.

Valdivia, C. & Subramaniam, M. (2014). Connected learning in the public library: an evaluative framework for developing virtual learning spaces for youth. Public Library Quarterly, 33(2). 163-185.

Many youth services librarians aspire to create virtual spaces at their libraries that encourage youth participation, engagement and new media literacy development. This article presents an evaluative framework to aid youth services librarians in achieving this mission of providing informal learning opportunities through virtual spaces. The framework is designed to be used at any point in virtual space development.

Vickery, J.(2014). Youths Teaching Youths. Journal of adolescent & adult literacy (1081-3004), 57 (5), p. 361.

An exemplar study of teens in an interest-driven learning environment situated within the context of youth mentorship. This study builds on the "Connected Learning" framework that Ito and Martin outline in Connected Learning and the Future of Libraries Young Adult Library Services , Vol. 12, No. 1, Fall 2013.

Zickuhr, K. (2014). Teens and Tech: What the Research Says. Young Adult Library Services 12.2 : 33-7. ProQuest. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.

An article that summarizes the latest and most cited research related to teens, tech use, and libraries. It includes centerpieces such as the Pew Internet Research report. A good overview for the busy YA librarian.

Research in progress:

Take a look at this study in progress. Remember, these are preliminary results, but further information from this research will be quite interesting!

Barack, L. (2014). “Study Ties College Success to Students' Exposure to a High School Librarian.” The Digital Shift. Retrieved November 13, 2014, from <http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2014/09/k-12/good-research-habits-pay-study-ties-college-success-librarian-teacher-research-training-high-school/>.

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Stephanie Barta is the Young Adult Librarian at Westerly Public Library.  She is a member of the 2015 Morris Award Committee and Chair of the YALSA Research Committee.

 

 

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37. Three Months of Kidlit Book Giveaways! Awesome Books for Teens

giveaway

Can you believe that Christmas is only a hop-skip-n-a-jump away???

With the winter months upon us, I feel this is a great time for readers of all ages to snuggle in with a good book. I have been blessed with tons of amazing books titles for kids over these last few months and I want to get these books into the hands of young readers. SO, for the next three months Jump Into a Book will be hosting a book giveaway every Wednesday! Some giveaways will be a single title, some will be a “Book Bundle,” but all will be books that your readers will love and cherish. I think these books will also make great gifts as well! Here’s what we are giving away this week (NOTE: All of these books are physical books, not Kindle versions).

This week I am giving away some wonderful book that will appeal to our teen and YA readers. Enjoy!

Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

Briar Rose

Ever since she was a child, Rebecca has been enchanted by her grandmother Gemma’s stories about Briar Rose. But a promise Rebecca makes to her dying grandmother will lead her on a remarkable journey to uncover the truth of Gemma’s astonishing claim: I am Briar Rose. A journey that will lead her to unspeakable brutality and horror. But also to redemption and hope.

 

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

breadcrumbs

The winner of numerous awards and recipient of four starred reviews, Anne Ursu’s Breadcrumbs is a stunning and heartbreaking story of growing up, wrapped in a modern-day fairy tale. Read my extended review and bookjump HERE.

The Girl from Felony Bay by J.E. Thompson
The Girl from Felony Bay

Abbie Force has a mission: solve the mystery of her father’s accident and alleged theft. Since he has been in a coma for nine months and cannot defend himself, it is Abbie’s job to put the pieces together. Her life has been uprooted—her father’s unavailable; her home has been sold to a new family; she has to leave her beloved school; and now she has to live with her mean aunt and uncle that don’t give one lick about her. Her summer is starting off horribly. That is until she meets the new family that has moved into her old house with the same last name and a daughter near her age—Bee. These two adventurous girls become fast friends and on their many adventures through the plantation, discover a plot afoot right under their very noses. Read my extended book review and bookjump HERE.

Horn’s and Wrinkles by Joseph Helgerson

Horns and Wrinkles

How can you tell if a river’s under a spell? River trolls, rock trolls, blue-wing fairies—the usual suspects. The stretch of the Mississippi where Claire lives has rumors of them all, not that she’s ever spotted any. But then Claire’s cousin Duke takes a swim and sprouts a horn—a long, pointy, handsome thing. After that, Claire doesn’t have much choice but to believe that something rivery is going on, especially since she’s the only one who can help Duke lose his new addition.
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The post Three Months of Kidlit Book Giveaways! Awesome Books for Teens appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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38. Particpate in the Newbery Selection Process

Dear ALSC Members,

ALSC personal members are invited to participate in the 2015 Newbery Award selection process by submitting titles for consideration.

The Newbery Medal is presented annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children published in the United States during the preceding year.  Honor books may be named.

“Distinguished” is defined as:

o    marked by eminence and distinction: noted for significant achievement

o    marked by excellence in quality

o    marked by conspicuous excellence or eminence

o    individually distinct

For more information about the award, including a full list of criteria, terms and definitions, visit the ALSC Website.

Reflect on the 2014 books that you have read which clearly meet the Newbery Award Criteria and submit for the committee’s consideration with the following information:
1) author, 2) title, 3) publisher, 4) a brief explanation as to why you think the book meets the Newbery Award Criteria, and 5) your name.

Send your suggestions to Randall Enos, Chair at renos@rcls.org.

Suggestions should be submitted as soon as possible but by December 31 at the latest.
Thank you for your support and participation.

Remember: Only books from the 2014 publishing year are under consideration for the 2015 award.   Publishers, authors, illustrators, or editors may not nominate their own titles.

The award will be announced at the ALA Youth Media Awards Press Conference during the ALA Midwinter Conference to be held in Chicago, February 2, 2015.

The award will be presented at the Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder Banquet during the ALA Annual Conference to be held in San Francisco, June 28, 2015.

***********************************************************************

Our guest blogger today is Randall Enos, Chair of the 2015 Newbery Selection committee.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

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39. Fun Gift Idea: Dress Up Bunch Club

DUB-Club-2015-600x600

Saw this on Twitter and had to share! I love Wendi Gratz’s work—her book is one of Beanie’s go-to resources—and this doll + clothes pattern club such a fun idea I had to share.

You’re Invited to the Dress Up Bunch Club! – Shiny Happy World.

Join the club and on the 13th of every month you’ll get a brand new, never-seen before pattern!

The pattern in January will be for a new Dress Up Bunch doll (a human girl).

Every month after that for the rest of the year, the pattern will be for an outfit and some accessory (or accessories) to go with the doll. I don’t know what they’ll be yet (though I have some ideas) but at least some of them will tie in to seasons or holidays.

You’ll receive the pattern by email. You can start sewing that very day!

This isn’t an affiliate link or sponsored post, just a gift idea I thought some of you might enjoy. :)

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40. Spotlight and Giveaway: Double Trouble by Lori Wilde

This morning I have an excerpt and give away for Lori Wilde’s Double Trouble.  Enjoy!

About DOUBLE TROUBLE

Two Lori Wilde romances together for the first time in print!

CHARMED AND DANGEROUS

When her thrill-seeking twin sister goes missing, Maddie Cooper must come to her rescue-which means teaming up with irritating, arrogant, and altogether way too sexy FBI agent David Marshall. David isn’t one to get easily distracted but his new self-proclaimed partner has him completely sidetracked with her delectable curves and knockout smile. His first priority: follow the leads in the case. Then he can go about the all-too-enjoyable task of following his heart . . .

MISSION: IRRESISTIBLE

PR specialist Cassie Cooper loves the adrenaline rush of a well-planned party. And a masquerade ball at the museum is her best yet. But when a legendary amulet is stolen practically from under her nose, she needs the help of her nemesis, archaeologist Harrison Standish. No-nonsense Harrison has all the intensity of Indiana Jones. Though just when he needs his full attention on their mission, he’s having the damnedest time keeping his mind-and his hands-off Cassie . . .

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1rTIWNv
B&N: http://bit.ly/1FPwwsw
BAM!: http://bit.ly/12vZf7J

About Lori Wilde

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lori Wilde has written sixty novels. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and a certificate in forensics. She volunteers as a sexual assault first responder for Freedom House, a shelter for battered women. Lori is a past RITA finalist and has been nominated four times for theRomantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. She’s won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, the Lories, the More Than Maggie, the Golden Quill, the Laurel Wreath, and the Best Books of 2006 Book Award. Her books have been translated into twenty-five languages and featured inCosmopolitan, Redbook, Complete Woman, All You,TIME, and Quick and Simple magazines. She lives in Texas with her husband, Bill. 

AUTH. WEBSITE:

http://www.loriwilde.com/

AUTH. TWITTER ID:

@LoriWilde

AUTH. FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/LoriWildeBooks?fref=ts

From Charmed and Dangerous

The air in the room seemed miserably hot even though he’d twisted up the controls on the air conditioner when he’d walked in. Or maybe it was the heat of his blood rushing through his veins.

“Nobody likes being intimidated.”

“Don’t be so sure of that. Ever heard of a submissive?”

“I’m not a submissive,” she denied. “Far from it.”

“You sure? You entered a man’s room while he was getting undressed.”

“That doesn’t make me submissive. If anything, I’d say I was dominant.”

“You dominating me?” The notion was so foreign, so utterly ridiculous that David burst out laughing.

His derision incensed her. She stabbed an index finger in his direction. “Maybe you’re the one who’s longing to be submissive.”

“Oh yeah?” Swiftly he covered the remaining distance between them.

She backpedaled until she ran smack dab into the wall. David grabbed both her wrists, pinned her hands above her head and swiftly shoved one knee between her legs, completely hemming her in with no way out.

“This look like submissive to you, darlin’?” he growled.

They were both breathing hard, their lips almost touching.

“For your information I’m a third degree black belt in karate,” she said.

“Bring it on. I’m fifth degree.”

“You don’t threaten me.” She gulped, belying her own bravado.

He saw the column of her throat muscles pump hard and he knew he’d succeeded in intimidating her, but still she held her ground. She might be scared, but she was too damned proud to run away.

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The post Spotlight and Giveaway: Double Trouble by Lori Wilde appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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41. Mini-Reviews: The Children Act and My Other Ex

From Goodreads:
Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She is fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuances of her particular field of law...But Fiona's professional success belies domestic strife. Her husband, Jack, asks her to consider an open marriage and, after an argument, moves out of their house.  She decides to throw herself into her work, especially a complex case involving a seventeen-year-old boy whose parents will not permit a lifesaving blood transfusion because it conflicts with their beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses. But Jack doesn't leave her thoughts, and the pressure to resolve the case—as well as her crumbling marriage—tests Fiona in ways that will keep readers thoroughly enthralled until the last stunning page.
Writing
Well, we're talking about McEwan, so there's really no question here as to whether or not the writing will be superb, right?   He lives up to his reputation once again in this book, with strong, dynamic characters and a plot that forces them to grow and change throughout the story.  As with his other works, it's certainly character-driven, but he does an impeccable job of developing his characters and making them both believable and sympathetic, even in their faults.

Entertainment Value
Not necessarily fast-paced, but definitely engrossing.  It's short and the plot is compelling, but the real draw is in seeing how the characters evolve over the course of the story and in watching how their interactions with each other change the direction of lives.  The moral dilemmas faced by the main character, both personally and professionally, are intriguing and captivating.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Overall
It's short and not necessarily a difficult read, but it's also not fast-paced.  Nevertheless, I found myself unable to put it down, which is always a great quality to find in a book.  It's also fairly short and won't require a huge time commitment from readers who may be on the fence about character-driven fiction.

From Goodreads:
Not all friendships are meant to last forever. There can be so much good, so much power, so much love in female friendships. But there is also a dark side of pain and loss. And surrounding that dark side there is often silence. There is shame, the haunting feeling that the loss of a friendship is a reflection of our own worth and capacity to be loved. My Other Ex: Women's True Stories of Losing and Leaving Friends is a step toward breaking that silence. The brave writers in this engrossing, diverse collection of 35 essays tell their own unique stories of failed friendships and remind us of the universality of loss.
Writing
As much as I enjoyed the content of this book, the essays are not all from professional authors and, in certain essays, it shows.  That really didn't hurt my estimation of the book as a whole however, because I enjoyed reading what felt like the stories of everyday people, not essays crafted as works of literature.  There was something genuine about reading a less-than-perfectly-written essay when describing a personal story.

Entertainment Value
The great thing about having a sister is that not only is she stuck with you forever, but she can also tell you the truth with an honesty (and bluntness) that a friend might hesitate to give.  My sister was kind enough to tell me that my interest in end of friendship stories is "weird" and "creepy" and "twisted".  But I can't help it.  I love to hear women tell stories about friendship that just didn't work out.  I don't know what it is about them that just captivates me, but I love reading them.  This is the second book I read this year featuring essays about the end of friendships and I loved it just as much as the first.

Overall
If you're intrigued by other people's drama, this is a great book for you to read.  It's also good for those who have lost a friendship or those who have a more academic sociological interest in how female friendships work and then stop working.  Or you can just tell yourself it's academic when really you just like hearing the juicy details.  My interest is purely academic of course.

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42. Little White Lies, by Katie Dale | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a hardcover copy of Little White Lies, by Katie Dale. Giveaway begins December 17, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends January 16, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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43. Top Ten Tuesday #16 - Top Ten Books I Read in 2014


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Picking the top ten books I've read in 2014 was no easy task, so I've decided to list the top ten books I've read here on The Children's War and list the top ten books I've read on my other blog Randomly Reading.

(I liked these books all equally well, so the list isn't from favorite to least favorite)

1- Dash by Kirby Larson
Mitsi and her family lose everything when they are forced to live in an internment camp, including her beloved dog Dash.  Luckily, a kind neighbor agrees to care for Dash.

When a cruel German captain orders the killing of the last of a small herd of Przewalski's horses, a young Jewish girl tries to save the mare and stallion that survive, even if it means putting herself in danger.  

I love a good mystery and I love historical fiction, so this mystery series is perfect.  Maggie Hope is a great main character, an American who found herself in England at the start of World War II and remained there.

This graphic novel, illustrated in a palette of wonderful colors, tells the story of a Japanese American teen and his American mom forced to go into an internment camp and the nightmares he has about his dad, stuck in Japan when Pearl Harbor was bombed while caring for his elderly parents.

With his signature collage illustrations, Sis writes about the life of Antoine de Saint Exupéry, his love of flying and its connection to writing The Little Prince.  A beautiful picture book for older readers. 

This was a fun novel to read.  It's a great New York story, but also a nice introduction to monuments men who saved works of art in Europe during WWII.

This is a poignant World War I story about a boy, his dad and PTSD.  When his dad's letters stop coming from the front lines, his young son wonders why.  Then an overheard comment in King's Cross  Station results in discovery and surprise for the son.

This is a two for one because I read both this year and couldn't decide which to list.  Besides, I'm really hooked on these post war mysteries.  Young Flavia de Luce is quite the amateur detective, complete with her own lab.  These are fun mysteries and I can't wait to read the next one.

I loved Hartnett's The Midnight Garden and this is just as wonderful.  Two children, evacuated to the country during WWII, meet two boys who seem to be from another time.  And they are, but it is all connected as only Hartnett can do. 

My mom was a nurse and so I have a real soft spot for them.  This nonfiction book about nurses caught in the Pacific war, their dedication to their patients, even under harsh circumstances as POWs, is an excellent addition to women's history, especially during wartime.  

11- The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin
Another favorite nonfiction book, I learned so much about this almost completely unheard of event that happened in WWII, perhaps because it involved African American sailors.  This is really one of the best books I've read this year.






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44. The Fifth Children's Poetry Festival in El Salvador

From the Macondo Newsletter

Edited by Reyna Grande


MACONDISTAS GOING ABROAD

Macondista Rene Colato Lainez recently visited his native country, El Salvador, as a featured author. Read about his visit!


The Fifth Children's Poetry Festival in El Salvador



by Rene Colato Lainez

As a child in El Salvador, I loved to visit the old National Library and read books. I would wonder about the authors whose books I would read. Where they nearby or did they live far away? Were they young or old? How could they have written all those wonderful words that I so enjoyed reading? 

Then one day, when I was living in Los Angeles, I saw on TV and read in the newspaper that an earthquake had destroyed the National Library. I was a sad to know that I was enjoying the public library in Los Angeles while the children in El Salvador no longer had a library, the place that I had loved to visit. 

Years later, the library in El Salvador was rebuilt in a place that used to be a bank and was named after the Salvadoran writer Francisco Gavidia.I wondered if one day, I would be able to visit this new library.



I never dreamed that one day I would, in fact, visit this library, and not as a patron, but as a featured author! I am so privileged that now as an author, I can go back every year to my native country and read my books at the annual Children's Poetry Festival in San Salvador which is hosted by this library.The festival is organized by Salvadoran children's book author Jorge Argueta and his wife Holly Ayala in San Francisco and author Manlio Argueta and the National Library in San Salvador. 



At the festival, the children were very excited to meet authors and poets. Some were local authors, such as Silvia Elena Regalado, Alberto Pocasangre, Jorgelina Cerritos, Ricardo Lindo and Manlio Argueta.Other authors came from abroad, such as Jorge Argueta, Mara Price, Margarita Robleda and myself.

Since some of my books are about Salvadoran children (Waiting for PapáRené Has Two Last Names, My Shoes and I and I am René, the Boy) I was able to connect with the children at the festival through my books. The children there could see themselves, their culture and their country in my books. I told them that dreams do come true. When I was a kid in El Salvador, I had two dreams: to become a teacher and to be an author. Now my dreams are a reality because I believed in myself, did my best and did  not give up. Children looked at me with sparkles of hope in their eyes. They told me that they will also reach for their dreams, and they were so proud to meet me. 

As the children were listening to my books, I could see my own reflection in their eyes. I could see the young boy who had loved visiting the library, enjoyed reading books and wondered about authors. 



The spirit of Macondo is to give back to our communities. I am so happy that I am giving "mi granito de arena" to the children of El Salvador. Many of these children are from rural areas where their parents work hard to provide for them and often there is not enough money to buy books or school supplies. 

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At the end the festival, each child received a festival tote bag with school supplies and gifts, and they also enjoyed a delicious lunch. I am so happy to instill in them the love of books!



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45. New Voices Interview: Trisha Leaver & Lindsay Currie on Creed

By Karen Rock
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

From the promotional copy of Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie (Flux, 2014):

Three of us went in. 
Three of us came out. 
None even a shadow of who they once were.

When their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Dee, her boyfriend Luke, and Luke’s brother Mike, seek help in the nearby town of Purity Springs. 

But as they walk the vacant streets, the teens make some disturbing discoveries. 

The seemingly deserted homes each contain a sinister book with violent instructions on disciplining children. The graveyard is full of unmarked crosses. Worst of all, there’s no way to contact the outside world. 

When Purity Springs’ inhabitants suddenly appear, Dee, Luke, and Mike find themselves at the mercy of Elijah Hawkins, the town’s charismatic leader who has his own plans for the three of them. 

Their only hope for survival is Elijah’s enigmatic son, Joseph. And his game may be just as deadly as his father’s . . .

In less than thirty words, tell us about Creed.

Lindsay: Creed is a psychological horror about three teens in upstate New York who find themselves at the mercy of a deadly cult, and their struggle to survive.

The setting of Creed is unusual. Would you tell us about it and what’s behind its inspiration? Are there any real life places that you might compare it to?

Trisha: Creed…or at least the start of it was a nightmare for me. I was on route to a concert with my sister and two of my childhood friends. We hit a deer and totaled our car, forcing us off the road.

Needing help, we wondered into a nearby town only to find it empty, emergency sirens blaring in the background. People had been there…recently. The car doors were open, there was food cooking on the stove, there was even a fire smoldering in the fireplace. It was like the townsfolk had just upped and vanished. What I could see were shadows, the outlines of people dancing behind the buildings. But I couldn’t get them to interact with me, couldn’t get them to even acknowledge my presence.

That’s when I woke up, heart pounding and irritated that my subconscious had left me suspended in a dream with no clue who or what was after me.

So in essence…Creed was my way of finishing that nightmare.

Lindsay: The inspiration came from a very vivid nightmare that Trisha had. Of course she immediately called me and freaked me out which led us both to think the same thing: We have to write this story.

I grew up in the Midwest, so Purity Springs looks like about three dozen small farming communities I grew up around. You know the look – flat land, roads that stretch for miles surrounded by fields of corn or soy. Yeah, that’s Purity Springs to me.

Describe your research for this book.

Lindsay (black jacket over white print) & Trisha (in red) at their book launch.
Trisha: Ah…the Internet is both an informative and invasive space, one that provided us with the foundation we needed to create the characters in Creed.

Creed is essentially a cult book, so we had to do a fair amount of research into not only the hierarchical structure of different cults but the mentalities of their leaders and followers.

We poured over interviews with individuals who had left cults, public documents surrounding investigations into their abusive practices, and their child-rearing believes. The research was both fascinating and heart-breaking.

Lindsay: We did a great deal of research into cult mentalities for Creed. For one, to create a convincing group of people we had to figure out the leader, Elijah and how he would operate. In addition, one of our characters – Joseph – grew up inside the cult, which makes his headspace a little trickier to get into without a lot of digging around.

Which character in Creed intrigued you the most and why?

Trisha: Dee. Hands down, Dee. I am not a plotter, but I do create rather detailed character maps. Before I even put pen to paper, I map out the emotional stage of my main character— their past, their present, even their future dreams come into play.

When I choose my main character, I am purposefully picking the character who will struggle the most…who has the most to lose in that setting.

Dee is a foster kid with a history of abuse both in and out of the system. She has trust issues, has an entire history she refuses to speak of never mind relive.

Forcing her into this cult, connecting her abusive past to the current practices of the town, forcing her to place her trust in a stranger...all that goes against every instinct…every lesson life has taught her. That’s what makes her character so fascinating to me; the constant internal struggle that has her questioning her every decision.

Lindsay: For me, Joseph hands-down. Joseph is one of those characters who exists in the gray spaces between good and bad. Like the Doctor in Frankenstein (1818). He might do some unsavory things, but it’s tricky to label him one way or the other because his motives complicate things. He’s a product of his circumstances, and that isn’t a simple thing to toss into one category or another.

Creed is receiving rave reviews with a just a few polarized opinions about the religious aspects in the books. What role does religion play in the novel?

Trisha: I think by default, Creed is going to rub some people the wrong way. I mean it is nearly impossible to write a book about a cult without delving into the religious foundation of their existence. That said, I don’t think religion is at the heart of the story.

When I set out to co-author Creed, I was more interested in exploring the darkness that surrounds us every day, the evil that lurks within a chosen few and their dark past and tortured existences. The cult setting was truly just the avenue I used to explore the darker side of humanity.

Lindsay: Religion in the novel is always an interesting question because Creed truly isn’t intended to be a commentary on any particular religion or even organized religion in general. It plays a role because these cults do exist and have existed in different parts of the world for years and that’s what makes it so scary. If you take the religion out, it’s really just about what happens when a person in a position of power begins to believe they are omnipotent and abuses it.

Do you think a world like Purity Springs exists or could exist? Why? Are there aspects of our society that lend itself to the events in this book?

Trisha: Absolutely….if not the town, than the people. There is a line in the book that I think answers this question perfectly:

“My father told me not to be fooled, that the devil had two faces —one charming and meant to draw you in, the other full of sinful pride.” 

The seemingly innocuous people who we pass every day and never give them a second glance, the sweet neighbor next door who is living a double life…it is those people I tied to capture in Creed.

Lindsay: Ah, I might have accidentally answered this a little in the question above. But I’ll take this answer a slightly different route.

Yes, I see aspects of our society that lend themselves to the events in Creed. Every time you hear something terrible in the news about an authority figure - someone people trust and follow – it changes my perception of them and their private life whether I want it to or not.

This makes me think of Creed. Elijah Hawkins positions himself as taking care of others and protecting them, but once you begin peeling back his layers the truth is revealed and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen something like this in real life.

Describe a place, person or event that terrified you as a child.

Trisha: “Carol Anne, go into the light.”

Yeah…so I still might have a slight aversion to closets.

Who am I kidding? I still can’t sleep with the closet door open.

Lindsay: Gladly. I was always terrified by my grandmother’s basement. It was one of those places that just reeked of scary things – it smelled like dirt, was dark twenty-four hours a day and had one of those giant coal-burning furnaces stuffed in the back of it. I always had the unsettling sensation that something bad happened in there…even as a small child.

What draws you to YA horror fiction?

Trisha: I was deathly afraid of the dark when I was a kid. I used to check under the bed every night and refused to sleep without the hall light. My older brother used to tease me, say it wasn’t the monsters under the bed that I should be worried about, rather the ones lurking in the closet.

We were stupid, bickering kids back then, but years later, with a lifetime of experiences behind me, I finally got what he meant. There are no paranormal creatures in my manuscripts. No fangs, no claws, no mist as I like to say. It’s not because I don’t love a good fanged monster, but because I believe the darkness that surrounds us every day is scarier.

Lindsay: Well, the easy answer is that I love to be scared!

Well, let me add a caveat to that…I love what I call “safe fear”. So, the fear you feel in the movie theater, or curled up on your couch, or in bed reading a scary book. That fear is fun and exhilarating and nothing like real fear if you actually perceive yourself to be in danger. That’s why I like YA horror fiction.

When writing YA horror fiction, are there any lines you won’t cross with this genre?

Trisha: Hmm…I don’t think there is a thread or plot point I would avoid exploring so long as it is true to the character and his/her struggle. I don’t add things for shock factor, but I am not one to pull my punches either

Lindsay: Any lines we won’t cross. Hmmm.

Well, Trisha and I would probably be hard-pressed to kill any animals in our books. We’re both big animal lovers. But everyone and everything else is fair game.

Tell us about your journey in writing this book. How is writing as a team different than writing solo?

Trisha: Writing is a lonely process. You spend days, months, sometimes years in your own head, dreaming up characters that nobody but you can hear.

Co-authoring takes some of the isolation away. There is another person who is as intimately connected to the characters as you, who hears their voices and knows their plight.

I wouldn’t say my “solo” writing process is different – I’m still drawing out character maps, still fleshing out back-stories and constantly trying to find ways to inflict more pain on my characters -- but it is definitely a more secluded process. Equally fulfilling, just quieter.

Lindsay: And as for writing as a team – it’s very different, but works amazingly well for us. Trisha and I have very similar writing styles and tastes and therefore it’s an adventure to team up on a book. Is it challenging sometimes? Sure. But overall, it’s a phenomenal experience and hey – two sets of eyes is better than one!

What essential things have you learned about writing in the last year? What have you learned from each other?

Trisha: I have learned that plotting is a necessary evil. When I wrote Creed and The Secrets We Keep (FSG, 2015), I was a total panster. I had solid start and a general idea of where I wanted the book to end, but everything in the middle…the wide open space.

Now that I am writing proposals for option books, I learned to make friends with dreaded outline. I don’t like it – outlining scenes and chapters doesn’t jibe with my writing process – but I understand its necessity and plow my way through it.

As for what Lindsay has taught me…she taught me to let go. I’m the kind of person who will revise a book to death, obsessing over it. Without her, I’m not sure I’d ever let a manuscript leave my computer. I’d still be sitting her staring at a dozen finished projects, tweaking perfectly fine sentences. In a way, she gives me the confidence to hit the “send” button.

Lindsay: I’ve learned better dialogue from Trisha for sure. She’s really a master at authentic and effortless dialogue and that’s something I’ve always had to work on.

And essential things I’ve learned about writing…I’d have to say I’ve learned to write the book I want to write. Creed wasn’t the easy book to write because it’s a challenging sell. It pushes the limits of YA fiction with some of it’s themes and for that reason, I think if Trisha and I had backed down and written something a little “safer” our path might have been simpler. But I think writing the book we wanted to write and writing it our way is ultimately what made it a good book.

Can you tell us about any upcoming novels, together or separately?

Trisha: On the solo front – My YA contemporary, The Secrets We Keep, drops April 28 with FSG.

On the co-authored front, Sweet Madness, a YA Historical Horror about the Lizzie Borden murders, drops August of 2015 with Merit Press. Hardwired, a stand-alone YA thriller that navigates that blurry line between nature and nurture, drops fall of 2015 with Flux.

Cynsational Notes

Trisha Leaver graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in social work. She lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three kids and one rather irreverent black lab. She is a member of  SCBWI, the Horror Writers Association, and the YA Scream Queens. Find her at Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Lindsay Currie graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois; with an English Literature degree. She is a member of SCBWI, the Horror Writers Association and a contributor to the YA Scream Queens. Find her at Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

More on Karen Rock
Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time author. With her co-author, Joanne Rock, she’s penned the Camp Boyfriend series with Spencer Hill Press under the pseudonym J.K. Rock. She also writes contemporary romance for Harlequin Enterprises.

When she's not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother's family recipes and hiking. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of "fetch" though they know a lot about love.

Check out her website, her co-author website, her Facebook page, and follow her on Twitter @karenrock5. Then check out Camp Boyfriend.

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46. Clifford the Big Red Dog Creator Norman Bridwell has died


    Norrman Bridwell, creator of the "Clifford the Big Red Dog" children's books, died Friday in Martha's Vineyard, Mass., his publisher Scholastic announced. Bridwell was 86. “He’s red and he’s warm. Clifford does what you’d like to do but can’t," Bridwell said of his famous character. "Because Clifford is so big and also because he’s a dog, he’s able to do the most unbelievable and imaginative things.”


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47. A Quilt for Christmas (2014)

A Quilt for Christmas. Sandra Dallas. 2014. St. Martin's Press. 256 pages. [Source: Library]

For readers who love to read about quilters or quilts, this one may prove satisfying. Also, this one would be a good match for those who like to read about the Civil War. This one is set in Kansas during the last year of the Civil War. I liked Sandra Dallas' A Quilt for Christmas even though I don't consider myself fitting into the ideal audience. (I don't particularly seek out books about quilts. I don't seek out historical fiction set during the Civil War.)

Eliza Spooner is the heroine. She loves, loves, loves to quilt. She loves to get together with other women in the community. The war has had an effect on the community. Many husbands (and brothers, fathers, sons, etc.) are gone, away fighting for one side or the other. Eliza's husband, Will, is fighting for the Union. The novel opens with Eliza finishing a quilt she's made for her husband. She'll be sending the quilt along with a soldier who is returning to her husband's unit from leave. Her love for her husband is obvious, and, not just because she's spent all this time making a quilt. There are dozens of flashbacks. These flashbacks give readers a chance to get to know the couple. However, I must admit that these flashbacks are confusing at times. They are not really set apart in the text, and the transition from present-day to the past can be sloppy at times.

Readers meet Eliza and her son and daughter. Readers meet men and women of the small community as well. Mainly, readers get to know Missouri Ann and her daughter. When Missouri Ann's husband dies, she takes the opportunity to flee from her abusive in-laws. Eliza opens her home to the pair, and this isn't without some risk. Missouri Ann's in-laws are probably without a doubt the meanest and cruelest in the county--if not the state. But not everyone in the community is as immediately open to including Missouri Ann in their group. Her in-laws have tainted her, a bit, no one wants to get close to someone who would marry into that family.

At one point, at a quilting party of sorts, the discussion of slavery and runaway slaves comes up. Opinions are mixed. Prejudices are voiced. Even though most of the women are for the Union--for the Yankees--most if not all have very strong views about blacks.

Eliza's own views will be tested when she's asked to hide a runaway slave: a woman who murdered her mistress. Will she welcome her home to this slave and put her own life and the lives of her children at risk?

A Quilt for Christmas is an odd book at times. It seems to have a handful of plots and stories, any one could be the MAIN one, but really not one seems to stand out as being the one it's all about. It's definitely NOT a plot-driven book. It's mainly about the lives of women in a particular community during the fall of 1864 and throughout 1865.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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48. You deserve to be loved and cherished–by others and by yourself.

deserve-loved-20141216_105838-450
You deserve to be loved and cherished–by others and by yourself. I hope you’re treated with love–by your friends and family, by people around you, and by yourself. It’s important both how others treat us, and how we treat ourselves. Keep taking in the love and compassion, and rejecting any ill treatment. You only deserve good things.


This can be a hard time of year for many people, so I thought I’d post more positive messages for people again–selfies along with the messages, so people can see the person (and author) behind the message. I think it helps make it more personal and real.

I will try to post photos most days of December for you all. Let me know if you like this idea. :)

And if you like this post, if it speaks to you, I hope you’ll share it with others.

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49. Creature Features: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page,

Steve Jenkins and Robin Page have a talent for presenting the animal world in endlessly interesting ways for readers young and old, as they prove once again with Creature Features: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do. Jenkins's colorful collage-style illustrations get up close and personal with the sometimes strange faces of animals from all over the world in this new book,

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50. Grandma, Aren't You Glad The World's in Color Today! - a book wrap



Bookwrap:



With family gathering for the holidays, and many generations present, this book is the ideal gift to give.  It is a perfect read aloud and catalyst for sharing family history and stories from "the head."   This book begs to  be set on your coffee table for  non-family members as well to pick up, browse and enjoy.  A trip down memory lane and into the present binds generations together in a fun, informative way.  

This book is truly a must-have.  Written in rhyming couplets that trip along and beautiful photos that bring the text alive, both the younger generation and the older one will appreciate the contrast of it's content.  

Narrated by a loving grandmother to her grandchildren,  she visually explains to them, through vintage pictures and storytelling, the life and time of her own mother.

"Those are the family albums my dears,
Full of old photos of life through the years,
Let's thumb through these pages," the grandmother said,
"While I tell you stories I've stored in my head."

Spanning time from the Great Depression until modern day this book takes the child on a journey of just how much the world has changed from then until now.  Fashion, schools, entertainment, technology, culture and the arts are all featured to give the child a greater understanding of how the history of the her world has progressed.  

I am sure that this book is headed to be a "classic".  The brilliant way the author has chosen to pass on the heritage of the family, with historical facts and timelines inserted, and with the added beauty of the photos to visually enhance the text, this is a book that  you  will certainly want to add to your collection.

This is a "passing of the torch" book that will help grandparents open up and tell their stories to the next generation.  I highly recommend it.

Unwrapping....













Who wrapped up such a great gift?







Lori Stewart is an award-winning author of multi-generational books and a range of other works. Born and raised in northern California, she graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in economics and headed East for careers in finance and technology. She returned to her California roots in 2004 and currently lives and writes in Carmel. In addition to writing, Lori ran AFTA Associates, a non-profit organization she founded to support wildlife conservation through community enterprise. She also works with the recently launched Ceca Foundation, which promotes quality patient care through programs that recognize exceptional caregivers.
Grandma, Aren’t You Glad the World’s Finally in Color Today! is her second grandparents’ book, and winner of a Mom’s Choice Award (Gold).  Her first bookIf I had as many grandchildren as you… received a 2013 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award and 2012 and 2013 Family Choice Awards. Her other writing have been published in books, brochures, magazines and across the web.

Read on and read always!  
It's a wrap! Maybe not......
Just for fun.....





There now all wrapped up!!! Enjoy your day everyone.

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