What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(from all 1540 Blogs)

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<August 2014>>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     0102
03040506070809
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1540 Blogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
1. Free Ebooks From This Site

If you take a look at the side of this page, among all the links to my reviewing policy and such, you'll find some things I've ebooked for you and put on Dropbox. I don't know how long it has been since anyone downloaded any of them - it's too easy not to notice stuff on the side - but there's some good stuff there. There are free samples from two of my books. There are some of my published stories. There is a book of interviews with the likes of Juliet Marillier and Marianne De Pierres, Charlie Higson and Mark Walden and Melbourne writer Gabrielle Wang and CBCA judges Tehani Wessely and Miffy Farqharson. There's a little book of student writing so you know what good stuff is happening in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

Help yourself! And do let me know what you think.

0 Comments on Free Ebooks From This Site as of 8/28/2014 6:05:00 PM
Add a Comment
2. Last weekend for the Pop-Up Shop + Surprise Gifts!

Last weekend to visit the Le Petit Elefant Summer Shop, with surprises & silliness in store.
Wow, August flew by quickly! I can't believe the end of the month is already here! I'm so grateful for all the lovely folks who visited, from high school friends, long-time customers, Instagram followers, and people who just stumbled upon it on their way to Mrs. Field's cookies. THANK YOU for all the support & love!! I've had such a wonderful time running my very first pop-up shop, and fingers crossed, this won't be the last one this year (I'll keep you all posted ;).

In keeping with my promise, I'll have a couple new items debuting on Friday, and a really REALLY fun, surprise, parting gift for my customers this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (August 29-31). 
Remember those origami fortune tellers? Well, if you spend $35 or more, you get to have your fortune told, revealing your FREE surprise gift. It could be a free original illustration, a tote bag, a coupon for the online store, a limited edition print... who knows! Come by for the final weekend, say goodbye and leave feeling like a kid again :).

Le Petit Elefant Summer Shop

Pop-Ups by SJ Made
at Westfield Valley Fair
2855 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95050

M-F 10am-9:30pm
Sat 10am-9pm
Sun 11am-7pm
Immediately after the pop-up closes, I'm heading east for my last two fairs of the summer, Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago and Brooklyn. I hope I'll see you there. I'm bringing the tote bags! :)

0 Comments on Last weekend for the Pop-Up Shop + Surprise Gifts! as of 8/28/2014 4:29:00 PM
Add a Comment
3. In the swing of things...



I'm afraid that projects and deadlines have kept things quiet on the blog lately.  And an especially beautiful Colorado summer has meant most of my free time has been spent outdoors.

The SCBWI Summer Conference in L.A. was amazing and inspirational and a bit overwhelming. It's taken me awhile to get back into the swing of things.  Meg Rosoff was especially wonderful, as was the writer's intensive.  And it's always great to see old friends and to meet new ones!

There has been the tiniest bit of fall in the air the last few days.  I really love fall... a season of cozy cardigans and crock-pot dinners, of change and of quieting down.  This coming autumn holds new book projects as well as a new adventure for my husband and I (which I'll tell you more about later).

I hope that you're enjoying the last days of summer and that you're in the swing of things.

I'll see you again soon! :)

0 Comments on In the swing of things... as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
4. Kirby... Warhol,... Warhol... Kirby.

Here's the final art I did for the Jack Kirby tribute show at The Piranha Shop in Seattle's Pioneer square tonight! It starts at 6pm... come see if you are in the area! :D 



0 Comments on Kirby... Warhol,... Warhol... Kirby. as of 8/28/2014 8:11:00 PM
Add a Comment
5. Why is Middle Grade better than Young adult?

Why do I write Middle Grade? Good question, faceless reader, and one I will answer forthwith.

Add a Comment
6. A Kephart is the first American to scale Mount Kilimanjaro


From my cousin Libby, earlier today, this bit of family history, posted on the Cornell University news site. I didn't know this. I probably should have. I find it especially interesting today, as I finish reading the new Matt Higgins book Bird Dreams: Adventures at the Extremes of Human Flight, a magnificent chronicling of the men (and women) who choose to jump from planes, buildings, antennae, and cliffs, some wearing nothing more than flying-squirrel-shaped suits.

What people will do. What they can do. And apparently Leonard Kephart, my grandfather's brother, chose to scale Africa's great mountain all in a hunt for new glasses, and clover.
Aug. 30, 1927 Leonard W. Kephart, Class of 1913, is the first American to scale Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak. He was in Africa on a search for new grasses for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kephart took four days to reach the peak, slogging through snow-covered gravel the last day. The climb was not entirely without scientific reward, reported the Cornell Alumni News (Nov. 10, 1927). Kephart discovered three new varieties of clover on the expedition.
Leonard (pictured standing with my grandfather and great aunts (and Laura Mack)) was one of his six children born to Horace Kephart, the librarian-turned-outdoorsman who helped found the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I've written about Horace here. But just moments ago, I found this lovely biography on the Horace Kephart Alaska Center Weblog.

I learn so much from those who do history well.

0 Comments on A Kephart is the first American to scale Mount Kilimanjaro as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
7. The Bone Clocks

With the sweeping global vision and ability to sum up whole eras of time that he's become known for, along with a fascinating dose of fantasy, The Bone Clocks is David Mitchell's most enthralling and illuminating novel yet. Gorgeously written, bracingly intelligent, poignant, and occasionally very funny, The Bone Clocks is one of my favorite [...]

0 Comments on The Bone Clocks as of 8/28/2014 8:35:00 PM
Add a Comment
8. My Zombie Hamster, by Havelock McCreely | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of My Zombie Hamster, by Havelock McCreely. Giveaway begins August 28, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 27, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Add a Comment
9. ‘The New World’ Turns Novel Into Digital Experience

Chris Adrian and Eli Horowitz, winners of the Webby & SXSW Interactive Awards for their digital novel The Silent History, have a new digital novel out from Atavist Books that pushes the boundaries of the published word.

The story and the user experience of The New World  reflect the digital experience. The book tells the tale of a tragic love story between two doctors. The storytelling concept was conceived in cyclical structure, and is comprised of three cycles. Readers can swipe between pages and follow the story in different directions based on how they swipe. The reader reads through Cycle #1 and when they are finished, the content page reappears revealing Cycle #2.

Content-wise the story in Cycle #2 moves backwards in time, as readers swipe in the opposite direction. Readers might get the sense that the book has ended with Cycle #2, but once they have completed the text, Cycle #3 appears. This section of the book is read scrolling downwards.

 

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Add a Comment
10. WS studioarts: a gathering of my husband's art

Ceramics. Photography. Graphic Arts.

This is the work my husband does.

This summer, Bill has brought all of that together in a single web site, which I have the privilege of launching here.

Some of our clients will recognize some of the images. Our pottery friends will recognize the pots. Our dancing friends will find themselves inside Bill's magical 3-D imagery. My niece will find herself in the image above, reading a book that is called Small Damages.

The site is like a gathering. I hope you'll take some time to explore it.

The link, again, is this.

0 Comments on WS studioarts: a gathering of my husband's art as of 8/28/2014 8:17:00 PM
Add a Comment
11. Crowdfunding 101: INFOGRAPHIC

Thinking about launching a crowd funding project? HiveWire has created an infographic which explores trends in crowd funding based on numbers from Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

The graphic includes analysis of all campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo completed by August 7th, 2014. According to the graphic, donors pledged $1.17 billion on projects on the two sites combined in 2013. That number is expected to reach $4.35 billion by 2015. The graphic also reveals that about 26 percent of writing projects met their goal. This is based on about 26,000 projects tracked.

We’ve embedded the entire graphic after the jump for you to explore further.

 

(more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Add a Comment
12. The Look of Silence - Venice Film Festival 2014

THE LOOK OF SILENCE by Josh Oppenheimer
(Venice, Italy) THE LOOK OF SILENCE is the riveting companion film to Josh Oppenheimer's Academy Award-nominated 2012 documentary about the 1965-66 genocide in Indonesia entitled, THE ACT OF KILLING, which I have not yet seen. It is not necessary to see The Act of Killing to appreciate The Look of Silence, which stands alone.

On screen, Adi Rukun, the protagonist of The Look of Silence, who is an optician by trade, watches scenes from The Act of Killing in which members of the civilian militia enthusiastically reenact how they chopped off people's heads, slashed open their stomachs and chests, cut off their penises, sliced their throats, drank their blood, and then threw them in Snake River, all with the intent of cleaning the country of "communists." Adi's older brother, Ramli, was one of over one million victims; the difference between Ramli and the others who were slaughtered is that Ramli's death had witnesses.

Adi's parents today
Adi was born after his brother's murder when his parents were middle-aged; they are now both in their 100s. His mother is still wracked with sorrow over the death of Ramli; his father is blind and senile. The Indonesia genocide has been propagandized and covered-up -- to this day, the survivors have been terrorized into silence.

Oppenheimer's 2012 documentary The Act of Killing helped to break the silence. The Look of Silence goes further when Adi confronts those responsible for his brother's murder, not with anger, but with a deep desire to understand their motivation. Adi is not out for revenge: he wants to know why the family he grew up in is so traumatized and afraid. He wants the killers to acknowledge what they did, and to apologize, so the entire country can move forward. His story represents more than one million other Indonesians.


I don't know what is more astonishing -- that Oppenheimer actually got the killers -- who are still in power in Indonesia -- to boast about their acts on camera, or that they seem to feel absolutely no remorse whatsoever, and seem to have acted with complete impunity. It is as if they literally have been brainwashed to believe they have done something wonderful -- they giggle and laugh as they describe their sadistic murders. There is nothing normal or human about it.

Oppenheimer said:

"I did not know if it was safe to approach the killers, but when I did, I found all of them to be boastful, immediately recounting the killings, often with smiles on their faces, in front of their small grandchildren. In this contract between survivors forced into silence and perpetrators boastfully recounting stories far more incriminating than anything the survivors could have told, I felt I'd wandered into Germany 40 years after the Holocaust, only to find the Nazis still in power."

This time, I agree with all the reviews.

The Guardian:

The Look of Silence: Act of Killing director's second film is as horrifically gripping as first

Joshua Oppenheimer's stunning follow-up to 'The Act of Killing' shifts focus to the victims of Indonesia's communist purge.

Joshua Oppenheimer’s companion piece to 'The Act of Killing' revisits Indonesia’s mass murders of the 1960s and the outer reaches of human evil

Joshua Oppenheimer's film about Indonesia’s mass murders of the Sixties is a shattering voyage into the jungle of human nature

Joshua Oppenheimer
At the press conference, the last question Oppenheimer was asked was what his plans were for the future. He was evasive. Also, earlier, Oppenheimer had not answered a journalist who asked him if he thought he could have made the film in the United States -- he is an American based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and has pushed the US to acknowledge its role in the genocide. I, too, was curious what his answer would be, so I asked him after the conference (due to time constraints.) I said, "Josh, you didn't answer the question. COULD you have made this film in the United States?" Oppenheimer seemed genuinely bewildered. "Did I get asked that? Maybe that's the answer to the last question. Maybe that's what I'm going to do next."

Ciao from the Venice Film Festival,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

0 Comments on The Look of Silence - Venice Film Festival 2014 as of 8/28/2014 8:23:00 PM
Add a Comment
13. Warner Bros. Moves Forward with ‘Acme’ Feature

Warner Bros. is moving forward with "Acme," a new Looney Tunes spin-off centered around the fictional weapons supplier Acme Corporation.

0 Comments on Warner Bros. Moves Forward with ‘Acme’ Feature as of 8/28/2014 4:45:00 PM
Add a Comment
14. Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks (Action Movie) Trailer

nice bit of enjoyable fun!

Add a Comment
15. Get Your Bookish Opinions Heard!

That wig is BIG.Let's face it--we're all in this because we love children's and YA books. We read them. We write them. We want to talk about them until we drive everyone nuts within a 10-foot radius. But sometimes it seems like the people who really... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on Get Your Bookish Opinions Heard! as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
16. The secret to doing it all!

What happens when you try to be a mom and a wife, and have a full time PR job and write a book a year?

It ain't pretty.

But there is one secret. You will at times be a crappy writer, a crappy mom, a crappy housekeeper, a crappy cook, a crappy wife, and a crappy exerciser. The secret is to make sure you rotate your area of crappiness.


When I still had a day job, I was on the go constantly, and as a result, I often left my brain behind.

Housekeeping
In the flipper of flapjacks part of my life, I became a not very good housekeeper or cook. I learned you can clean pretty much any area of the bathroom with a wet piece of toilet paper. When she was three, my daughter told me we didn't have to pick up the living room, that we could simply "step over" stuff. This became my new mantra. And when it came to cooking, there was the time I made my famous cinnamon rolls and grabbed the chili powder instead of the cinnamon. Did you know you can wash dough?

Hooray for Literacy!
I basically spent a good part of my life playing catch-up, never quite hearing what anyone said. I was always multi-tasking. I was in the middle of doing something else about a dozen years back, when I was asked to attend an event. I was in the process of saying no, when she mentioned it was for adult literacy. My imagination caught fire. Now here was an event I could get behind: adults who had just learned to read. I said yes and immediately went to work preparing my talk. When I showed up, I was surprised to find 200 people. All of them looked middle class. I mentally berated myself for stereotyping folks. As I looked around the room, I was thinking, "Wow! Just a few weeks ago these folks couldn't even read a street sign." There was a bookseller there, and I was concerned that all of the books she had were novels. I asked why she didn't have some smaller, less intimidating books. This was about five minutes before I was to go on stage to address the crowd. I had my speech all planned out, one that praised their courage. The bookseller looked at me like I was nuts. The event, she explained, was part of the library's summer reading program. Any adult who checked out six books over the summer was eligible to come. It encouraged adults to read. So there I was, with a stack of index cards addressing the completely wrong issue.

Keys, keys, who's got the keys?
In the first three years after my first book was published:

  • I lost my keys.

  • I left them in my car.

  • I drove my ancient Subaru, which had optional four-wheel drive for use in the snow, in four-wheel drive at freeway speeds, and wondered why it was handling funny.

  • I drove back from the mall, complaining loudly to my daughter about people who drove cars that obviously needed a tune-up, when finally my daughter pointed out to me that the bad burning smell was coming from our car. I had left the emergency brake on.


Panties in a twist
On DorothyL, a listserve for mystery fans, there was a big argument a few years back. One person accused another of getting their panties in a twist. Others chimed in with different versions of this (in England they say "knickers in a knot"), while some felt it was a rude thing to say at all. In the middle of all this I was having one of those crazy days I often had. All day I had the nagging sensation that something was wrong, but I wasn't sure what it was, and I didn't have time to think about it. About three in the afternoon I was in the restroom when I glanced down between my legs. There was a tag in the crotch of my panties. A tag that is normally on the side. I realized I had put my underwear on sideways that morning. I had one leg in a leg hole, one leg in a waist hole, and one leg hole around my waist. Which was why I wasn't comfortable.

But looking down I did realize one thing. It is possible to get your panties in a twist.

Add a Comment
17. Marvel Reboot On The Way....well, d'uh!

Avengers_35_Cover

MONTHS ago I stated that  this year (September/October) Marvel Comics were going to reboot their comics line....again.  Just google "Marvel Comics reboots" and it comes up with Marvel Comics reboot 2011...Marvel Comics reboot 2012 and so on and so on.

Now -no pun intended -"Marvel Now"- fans are up in arms as they hear everything is being rebooted from the start with...more #1s ("Number Ones" is a euphemism for peeing -you realise that, right?). I have just been reading some furious die-hard Marvel fans screeching "enough is enough!" and even some bloggers like Hippycollectibles has declared his anger at another reboot and that he is going to instead concentrate on completing his Silver Age collections.

DC reboots all the time.  They're dead in the water.

Does Marvel Disney care?  No. "Hey, those jerks will spend even more money cus its more number ones and their such dumb-asses they'll buy the lot!"  How can I adequately explain what Disney (there is NO Marvel Comics any more) is doing to you comic buyers?

It's 03:00 hrs (that's 3 am) and you wake up.  Some man in a suit is taking all the money out of your wallet/purse whatever.

You: "Who-who the hell are you? How'd  you--?"
Suit: "Ah, shut the **** up, moron. I wanted your money so **** you!"

Suited man throws something onto your bed.

You: "What was THAT???"
Suit: "I just crapped on your bed and needed to wipe my ass. You had plenty of first issues so I used those"
You: "You...you can't do that!"

Suit moves over to you, leans right in and pokes you in the eye.
Suit: "Listen shit-for-brains -spend your money, when you get more, buy them again. Got it?"
You: "But you can't just break in here, steal my money and crap on my bed and then use my comics as toilet paper -who gave you the right?!!"
Suit: "You did you dumb-ass. Oh. I butt-*****  "Namor" your goldfish, too."

"You" goes out next morning and withdraws more money from the TRM cash machine. "You" goes to his comic shop where he has to pay extra for the, uh, 'old' comics. As "You" sits at home wondering where it'll be safe to put his comics - his eye catches the rather sluggish goldfish. "You" feels momentarily ashamed.  "You" feels guilty but realises that at least he got those comics!

Even later online he reads "Marvel To Reboot entire line next month!"  "You" shrugs: "I'll have to make sure I set up a standing order for those!"

Two months later "You" wakes up at 03:00 hrs. A suited man is taking money ........

In an office at Disney a lot of men in suits are barely concealing their sexual arousal as they rub themselves in $ bills. One laughs out loud: "We got them bitches whipped -reboot in three months, guys!"

There.

I warned you all last time.  "What does he know?"  I warned you THIS time.  "BS, man!" So here is a snippet of more BS for you. At a "Marvel" meeting a lot of discussion was going on about rebooting and "restructuring the (comics) line" --around May 2015.

At this very moment "You" is getting ready to draw up his standing order list....unaware that in the background a man in a suit.....

Add a Comment
18. Adding Depth

Adding more scenes is not the same as adding depth to your story. 

http://scotteagan.blogspot.com/2014/07/adding-depth-to-your-stories.html

0 Comments on Adding Depth as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
19. Writing Tip: Raising Plot Tension

Writing Instruction Video

Sometimes beginning writers struggle to engage and maintain the reader's interest in their stories. Sometimes this happens because the protagonist solves plot conflicts too easily or too early in the story. Sometimes it happens because the opposite occurs, that it seems to take forever for the hero to solve the problem. This video demonstrates a writing technique that helps writers strike just the right balance in order to raise plot tension, thereby engaging and maintaining the reader's interest.



For teachers interested in using this video as part of creative writing lessons, the instruction video along with slide handouts that can be used to review the raising tension technique can be found at www.kenbakerbooks.com/raising-plot-tension.html.

0 Comments on Writing Tip: Raising Plot Tension as of 8/28/2014 5:13:00 PM
Add a Comment
20.








The cover reveal for my new novel. I don't know if this is the shortest novel in the world but it is certainly a quick read. I hope it gives a feel for the longer version.




The 2-Minute Novel: UTOPIA, IOWA by Brian Yansky

Here is UTOPIA, IOWA, from the first few pages to the last (with a few parts left out). It should take you about two minutes to read.  You can fill in the missing words yourself and/or wait to read the whole story,  300+ pages, which comes out February 10, 2015.

11.     I learned a lesson that day: Real revolution needs more than creamed corn.

22.     But I wondered if skewed priorities were a bad thing—which was probably just further proof I had them.

33.     I was already dealing with detention, the start of senior year, and all kinds of questions about my future. I didn’t need a dead girl, too.

44.     “What do you think, Mr. Bell, is true love real?”

55.     “Nathaniel says The Matrix is like Philosophy for Dummies…”
That sounded like Nathaniel.

66.     “Does the Banshee always mean death?” Whisper Wainwright asked.

77.     Penny was a fortune-teller. She also had a nursery. She was very good with plants and visions of the future. It was a small town; a lot of people needed more than one talent to get by.

88.     She had many gifts/curses but she didn’t like to be specific about what they were.

99.     “…something dead—dead and old and very powerful—was controlling her. But here’s the really spooky part.”
“That wasn’t the spooky part?” I said. “That sounded like the spooky part.”
           
110. He had a glass eye that saw much further than his natural one.

111.  Ash softened…”Just don’t take your dead girls out on me…”

112. She told me she needed a friend not another boyfriend. Numerically this was true, but…

113. Next to Ishi the king looked small and weak. All the same Ishi would be dead before he took one step if the king felt threatened.

114. “A dream,” the detective said…He reminded me of Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive (1993…)

115. The next morning Mom and Dad didn’t fight. It was worse. They were polite.

116. She wasn’t fooling me. I knew she was using some kind of reverse psychology. Still it’s kind of disconcerting to have your mother advise you to hold up a bank.

117. The dead wanted to forget they were dead. It was best for everyone if they didn’t.

118.   “You must eat your mortal’s heart,” the king says.

119.  It was not at all The Breakfast Club (1985…)

220.  Love is madness.

221.  “The dead don’t bleed,” I said, trying to reassure her.

222. My fourth mistake was not riding away after I called the police.

223. I liked to think of myself as the loner-outsider type (See Cool Hand Luke and Junoand about a million other movies) but maybe I was just socially challenged.

224. “I’m so tired of this small town,” she said.

225.  Sometimes she could be a very irritating witch.

226. Gram drank her potion and gave a few drops to Captain Pike.

227. “A monster’s got her,” Amanda said.

228. The bell rang.

229. Thanks to Silence of the Lambs (1991…)

330. Ash drove us over to the Cowboy Guru’s house…

331. “It’s a place that was and can never be again,” he said. “Now you be careful. The young should never want the past more than the future.”

332. The Princess Bride, I think.”
“That’s a great one,” I said.

333. “Hollywood,” she said.

“The stuff dreams are made of…” (Maltese Falcon, 1941)

3        THE END

UTOPIA, IOWA is about a small town where the supernatural meets the natural. There’s some murder and mystery and mayhem in this novel. Ghosts and other creatures and humans abound.  Some funny moments. Some sad. At heart, it’s a story about a boy who wants to write for the movies and his struggle with leaving all he knows (family, friends, hometown) to pursue his dreams. Long version-300+ pages available FEB 10, 2015: Candlewick Press.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22747808-utopia-iowa

0 Comments on as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
21. The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe

Viking Childrens, 2014


There is no stronger bond than....what?  Daisy isn't sure about her life anymore.  She remembers her family and the memories they shared, the little brother that came into her life, the music, her parents' laughter.  Although those same memories exist today, it's a completely different dynamic, especially when the entire family's loyalties are put to the ultimate test.

Daisy has friends, and she has a boyfriend.  She's musically gifted (more like a prodigy) and has been asked to attend prestigious schools and academies.  Her grades are good and her parents allow her to go out, but it's all dictated by her little brother Steven, who is autistic.  While their mother takes care of him most of the time, she also needs time away.  Their father works long hours and comes home worn out, taking on the night time rituals, including the wrestling match that is more common than showers now. They all walk on eggshells, afraid to make any sudden moves, noises, or modifying a different routine that will spiral Steven into an outburst.  No longer a child, Steven has gotten stronger and while his autism was more controlled when he was little, it has now become dangerous.  When Daisy comes home one day, she sees what Steven's unintentional outbursts did to her mother. It wasn't an easy decision and one that wracked her parents longer than Daisy knew, but it's now come to a point where her mother doesn't feel strong enough to help Steven.  Something had to give, and Steven will be leaving soon. 

A part of Daisy wants to be happy.  She can have her freedom back.  This could mean sleepovers at her house, going out on dates without such stringent time limits, going to music camps, playing her trumpet in the house instead of the basement.  But Daisy is also struggling with the change.  How could her parents want to do this to their only son?  How could she have helped more to prevent this?  What could her parents do more of so Steven can stay home?  It's an emotional battle that only Daisy can fight, and it will be the most difficult one she's ever had to.  Can the family survive this huge change in their lives when Steven has been in their lives creating the familiar habits they are now accustomed to, or will they fall apart over this controversial decision that will make each one of them re-evaluate what their roles in life and family are?

Stasia Ward Kehoe writes a beautiful novel in verse about a topic that seems to only capture lurid headlines without looking at the entire situation a family goes through.  Daisy is the character in limbo throughout the story by trying to have as normal a teen life as possible while also holding the reins of responsibility of taking care of a teenage boy whose autism is creating an unsafe situation he isn't even aware of.  Kehoe writes about this emotional stage of life from all perspectives while being able to fluidly create a centrifugal force that isn't Steven, but is Daisy's life, before, during and after. This is a novel unlike any other and one that should be on YA shelves.  Recommended.

0 Comments on The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe as of 8/28/2014 4:05:00 PM
Add a Comment
22. Hardy Har Har

Almost two weeks ago now I started reading Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd. I’ve not ever read Hardy before. I know! I have seen a movie version of Tess a very long time ago, does that count? Anyway, whenever I’ve mentioned Hardy on this blog over the years I’ve gotten two reactions:

  1. He’s sooo good, you have to read him!
  2. He’s really depressing so be prepared

The so good and the really depressing even come from the same people, implying that depressing does not mean a bad book. So when I began Far from the Madding Crowd I was expecting a really good book that is also a downer. Maybe it’s me, or maybe this is Hardy’s only non-depressing book, but I’ve been laughing while reading it. Laughing a lot. This I did not expect and was confused at first, worried perhaps I was misreading or something. But no, Hardy is funny. How can this not make you laugh?

Oak sighed a deep honest sigh—none the less so in that, being like the sigh of a pine plantation, it was rather noticeable as a disturbance of the atmosphere.

Or this:

‘Come, Mark Clark—come. Ther’s plenty more in the barrel,’ said Jan. ‘Ay—that I will, ’tis my only doctor,’ replied Mr. Clark, who, twenty years younger than Jan Coggan, revolved in the same orbit. He secreted mirth on all occasions for special discharge at popular parties.

Or that one man in the neighborhood is known only as “Susan Tall’s husband” because he has no distinguishing characteristics of his own. I find myself giggling every time Susan Tall’s husband shows up, which isn’t often enough if you ask me, but I suppose you have to play lightly with that joke or it will wear itself out too quickly.

It’s not like Hardy’s humor slaps you in the face, it is pretty subtle most of the time. It doesn’t make me laugh out loud but it does make me grin. I’m far enough along to know there is trouble ahead for Bathsheba, but I’m not sure that it will be enough to turn everything depressing. Am I safe to put my hanky away or should I keep it in reserve?


Filed under: Books, In Progress Tagged: Thomas Hardy

Add a Comment
23. maudnewton: Dear ragweed: I almost typed rageweed by accident,...



maudnewton:

Dear ragweed: I almost typed rageweed by accident, even though I was going to try to come up with something fair-minded to say. Such as, theoretically I have nothing against you. But if you could just not pollinate? Or if you could thrive on the moon?

Ugh, yes. When I read today’s horoscope for Geminis, it left off, “You will accidentally take a Benadryl nap midmorning.”

0 Comments on maudnewton: Dear ragweed: I almost typed rageweed by accident,... as of 8/28/2014 3:51:00 PM
Add a Comment
24. life sketch

a short time sketch on a very (and i mean VERY) cheap paper with a Cretacolor 6B graphite bar.

0 Comments on life sketch as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
25. Find Me Online

Books & SuchI blog every Wednesday at our agency site, Books & Such. To read my posts and participate in the comments, click HERE.

I have an agent page on Facebook. You can follow me on Twitter. Check out my Pinterest boards. Or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Scroll down for the latest posts here at my blog.

 

 

The post Find Me Online appeared first on Rachelle Gardner.

0 Comments on Find Me Online as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts