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Today I had the privilege of being a reader at a local elementary school. I got to read one of my favorite books, The Bee Bully, and talk to the kids about being an author. The energetic kindergartners made me feel very welcome and I really enjoyed spending some time with them. We talked a little bit about what it means to be a bully and how important reading is.
Three reasons why reading is important to young children:
1). Reading exercises our brains. That’s right, our brains need a workout too. Reading strengthens brain connections and can even create new ones so pick up a book and help your brain exercise.
2). Reading improves concentration. Kids have to focus when they read which can sometimes be a difficult task. The more you read the longer you can extend that concentration time which will continue to improve.
3). Reading helps develop imagination. When you read your brain translates what is read to pictures. Did you know you can create a movie in your head while you read? We become engrossed in the story and we can connect with the characters. We can sympathize with how a character feels and reflect on how we would feel in that same situation.
Straight from the offices of Publishers Weekly, it’s More to Come! Your podcast source of comics news and discussion starring The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.
In this week’s interview special, Publisher’s Weekly’s Calvin Reid interviews indie comics master Dean Haspiel about his beginnings as well as his latest work, including The Fox from Archie Comics and Fear, My Dear: A Billy Dogma Experiencefrom new publisher Z2 Comics. Haspiel, known for his work on such books as “The Quitter” with Harvey Pekar and “The Alcoholic” with Jonathan Ames is also a co-founder of the web comics collective Act-I-Vate. All that and more on PW Comics World’s More To Come podcast.
As a writer, I travel to fascinating places. I've been on top of Mt. Greylock, in an attic full of bats, battling a storm over the Atlantic Ocean––in my imagination.
I also get to visit bookstores, classrooms and libraries all across the country. Last Sunday, I went someplace I have never been. Inside a yurt.
This yurt is the special place for the youth group at the Universalist Unitarian Church in Hartland, Vermont. I was fortunate enough to be invited inside to speak with them.
I read the section from The Desperate Adventures of Zeno and Alya in which Zeno first meets the homing pigeons. Zeno knows 127 words, but he isn't quite clear on the meaning of “friend” or “home.” He has heard that a friend is "another I," so he thinks his friends should also be African grey parrots.
The kids were much wiser. They knew the Golden Rule says we should treat our friends as if they were ourselves. They knew it would be boring if we were all the same. They knew that they can learn from having friends who are different. They knew the distinction between a house and a home.
It was fitting that we discussed those ideas in the yurt. The word "yurt" means "home" in Mongolian. The kids were of different ages and had different experiences. Several had moved quite a lot. I could tell that belonging to this youth group means a great deal to them.
Nomadic people carry their homes with them. We may not have such beautiful portable structures or any camels to help lug them. But we can still bring our friends and families with us wherever we go. As well as a few books!
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BOBBEE BEE says that he has learned 12 things you need to know in 2012. 1. I've learned that HATRED is like acid. It destroys the vessel that holds it. 2. I've learned that if love isn't taught in the home it's diffcult to learn it anywhere else. 3. I've learned that marriages are meant to last a lifetime. When they don't, all the world suffers.
4. I've learned that regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow are twin thieves that rob us in the moment.
5. I've learned that fame is written in ice and eventually the sun comes out.
6. I've learned that to get the right answer; you have to ask the right question.
7. I've learned that about 90% of the things that happen to me are good and only 10% are bad. To be happy, I just have to focus on the 90%. 8. I've learned to keep looking ahead. There are still so many good books to read. Sunsets to see, friends to visit, and old dogs to take walks with.9. I've learned that you shouldn't do anything that wouldn't make your mother proud.10.I've learned that if love isn't taught in the home it's difficult to learn it anywhere else.11. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. To learn more about Bobbee Bee and to in order a copy of the book e-mail firstname.lastname@example.orgAdd a Comment
The prize is presented each year by Slate in conjunction with the Center for Cartoon Studies which helps select the nominees. This year’s judges wereSlate’s Dan Lois, Dan Kois, the faculty and students at the Center for Cartoon Studies, and guest judge, Christopher Butcher.
Sunny, which won the Graphic Novel Prize, is an understated, sad story about Japanese orphans who fantasize about a better life via a junked yellow car.
Caroll’s Out of Skin, which won Best Webcomic, is the latest in her series of groundbreaking digital horror comics which use navigation and screen size to generate the mystery. Just click on it and read!
Here’s the whole list of shortlisted works and winners — click on some of these links! I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Back in December 2011 I started to post about Lola on this blog. The story was born then, only I didn't really understand it yet. Lola forced her way onto my paper and gradually I understood that it is one of the stories I wanted to tell. I have been bursting to announce the book since quite some time now. In Fall 2015 Lola's Heart will be published by Penguin Books. This will be my first book as a writer/illustrator.
The former children's laureate Anne Fine, added her voice to the campaign, speaking of how "exasperating" it was that "these false and stupid assumptions about what each gender 'wants' are back in force, narrowing the horizons and possibilities for children of both sexes".
"You'd think this battle would have been won decades ago. But even some seemingly bright and observant adults are buying into it again - quite literally buying into it in the area of 'pink for girls and blue for boys'," said Fine. "There are girls of all sorts, with all interests, and boys of all sorts with all interests. Just meeting a few children should make that obvious enough. But no, these idiotic notions are spouted so often they become a self-fulfilling societal straitjacket from which all our children suffer."
The official Read an E-Book Week may be almost over, but we are taking advantage of the month-long version to celebrate the beauty and benefits of today’s children’s e-books. First, a bit about this unique event:
First conceived by author Rita Toews more than nine years ago as a response to the stagnant acceptance of electronic reading, Read An E-Book Week has slowly built a strong international following among digitally published authors and readers alike. This year’s event, which began March 3th and carried through to March 8th, brought authors from eleven countries together for a week of e-reading. Many organizations continue to celebrate this event all month long with e-book reading events and activities.
Read an E-Book Week works to educate and inform the public about the pleasures and advantages of reading electronically. Authors, publishers, vendors, the media and readers world-wide join in the effort to spread the love of e-books with families everywhere. Read more about the history of this event and the history of e-books HERE.
FREE eBOOK: Everyone loves a freebie and our friends at OceanHouse Media are offering a bunch of children’s e-books for free during this March event. Our top pick is The Berenstain Bears and The Golden Rule. Grab your copy HERE.
Then of course we have to mention our own top picks from the Audrey Press line-up! Our best-selling e-books for kids include:
The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Ever wanted to explore a chocolate river or create gobstopper gum? The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a front row seat to a delightfully illustrated and fabulously written children’s digital e-book.
This week had been a full week as I’m getting my broccoli book nearer to submission ready. I have the sketches done and now I need to finish a few illustrations before I start the submission process.
I’ve also been planning for Salt Lake Comic Con FanX. I’ve got a better plan for what I’ll be selling at my table. I hope if some of you are there you will stop by my table and say Hi. I plan on having some fun free stuff too.
One last thing that’s happening is WIFYR. I’ll be teaching an afternoon session on building websites. There is so much great stuff that happens at this conference. If your interested in writing or illustrating for kids or teens go sign up for it. You can sign up for the whole conference, the afternoon, or a mini session. It’s one of my favorite conferences.
The trailer for the upcoming remake of Annie is out, and we’re quite excited for the fabulously diverse cast! Quvenzhané Wallis, the talented young actress who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress (the youngest nominee ever!) for Beasts of the Southern Wild, plays the star role of Annie. Jamie Foxx is cast as Will Stacks, the modern version of Daddy Warbucks, Rose Byrne cast as Stacks’ trusty assistant, and Cameron Diaz plays the dreadful Miss Hannigan.
the cast of 2014 version of Annie
We like that the story is updated a bit; it feels less like a copycat of the original Annie and more like a fresh, modern take on the story of the lovable orphan. In the 2014 remake, Will Stacks is running for NYC mayor and strategically takes Annie in for publicity purposes. Annie, of course, thinks that Mr. Stacks is saving her, but… we all know who saves who and how this story ends. Take a look at the trailer below and look out for the movie in theaters this Christmas.
Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. This week we are heavy on events, and lighter than usual on book lists. Major events in the children's book blogging world this week included: the start of Women's History Month, World Read Aloud Day (March 5th), and Read Across America Day (March 2, Dr. Seuss's birthday).
And since I only post my FoodFic musings biweekly, I don’t get to blog about every book I read. And, to be fair, not every read lends itself to a good FoodFic discussion, either because the food in the story doesn't jump out at me, or my schedule’s already full for the year, or a book’s subject matter is too dark or serious for me to lightly chat about here.
Anyway, below are most (I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few) of the books I read over the past year that weren’t reviewed here at BWATE?
And, as always, please feel free to suggest some great reads for me in the coming year. :)
Howard wants to win. In fact, winning is the only thing that matters to him, and he would even cheat to win. He doesn’t know how to be a team player, and he won’t settle for second place.
But when his coach pulls him out of the game, Howard learns a few things. His teammates are kind to each other, and they enjoy playing without him. And an upset dad in the crowd makes him realize how bad his behavior has been. Maybe it is possible to play the game and not win – and still have fun.
Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Sportsmanship shows kids the importance of being a good sport, and not focusing so much on winning, in a non-preachy manner. Trophies are nice, but it’s the joy of playing the game that counts, in the end.
Have you ever read an I Survived book by Lauren Tarshis? If so, you know that the series is hard to put down once you get started! So far, there are books about kids surviving disasters like the Titanic, World War II, Pompeii (get excited for September!), and a whole bunch of other major events. Now, the time has come for you to help us pick the next one!
There are three awesome choices, which is sure to make it a hard decision. To help, we came up with these simplified summaries of each of the three. Which one will you choose?
The Winter at Valley Forge, 1777 Learn about the Revolutionary War in school? This is the ultimate butt-kicking George Washington choice! His Continental Army had to deal with every sort of obstacle: starvation, disease, not to mention the FREEZING conditions and the constant threat of attack over the three months that they hunkered down at Valley Forge. Pick this if you want to read about the red, white, and blue!
The Great Chicago Fire, 1871 Picture a massive, hungry fire that lasts for TWO FULL DAYS and destroys thousands of buildings, leaving 100,000 people homeless and an entire city in chaos. One tiny barn caught fire and it spread faster than you can imagine; the city was mainly made of wood, which you know is extremely flammable, and the air was as dry as can be – not a good combination. Can you stand the heat to pick this?
The Hindenburg Disaster, 1937 The LZ 129 Hindenburg was a huge airship that carried passengers from Germany to the USA. As the pilot prepared to land, the airship EXPLODED in a giant burst. We still don’t know for sure what caused it, but some hypotheses include 1. sabotage mission, 2. lightning strike, and 3. high intensity static charge (sort of like what happens when you rub a balloon on your head). Pick this to get the 4-1-1 and form a theory of your own!
If you’re ready to weigh in on what the next I Survived book should be, go to the I Survived website
What writers does author Stephen King like to read? Peter Abrahams, Pat Barker, Nelson DeMille, James Agee and Kirsten Bakis are among his top choices.
In the afterword to his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, the horror author outlined a list of 96 books that he recommends writers read. Aerogramme Writers’ Studio has shared the entire list on their blog.
“As you scan this list, please remember that I’m not Oprah and this isn’t my book club,” King explained along with the list. “These are the ones that worked for me, that’s all. But you could do worse, and a good many of these might show you some new ways of doing your work. Even if they don’t, they’re apt to entertain you. They certainly entertained me.”
As people age and the odds of getting sick and out of sorts becomes greater, it becomes increasingly important to rely on intuition salted with good common sense and a lifetime of experience to get through confusing symptoms and bad days. The odd tingling here, the unexplained headache there—not to mention feeling downright irritable or depressed—can lead one’s imagination to run wild, prompting questions like, “Is my diabetes acting up, am I having a stroke?” These events can be serious but they also might be nothing but instigators for bewildering and frightening experiences—especially if they come on a bad day when a person is lonely, or otherwise not feeling “up to it.” More questions surface, “Should I call my doctor? Can I afford another medical expense?” A whole litany of concerns pop into the mind, compounding the problem by adding to any anxiety or depression already manifesting itself.
Naturally, if a person suspects or has reason to believe a serious issue is presenting itself, a visit to the doctor would be appropriate. However, where there is reasonable doubt, a lifetime of having to solve problems requiring responses where one doesn’t have all the answers can encourage the senior to rely on intuition, common sense and previous experience. A decision to call the doctor will then be based on deep insight coming from the body itself, and can really help the doctor treat the person accordingly.
Most of us have had little motivation to develop intuition
However, most likely, we have not developed intuition for a number of reasons. For one thing, it was almost never taught in school despite the fact that most scientific advances come as a result of intuitive insight. Also, perhaps in younger days there weren’t so many “gray areas,” especially concerning health. Chances are, when we were in the full bloom of youth and health, we only dealt with issues that have ready solutions, or had a medical problem for which the doctors were able to heal or at least adequately address. The chronic conditions were a lot fewer. If we broke a leg skiing; we got a cast on our leg. If we contracted a strep throat; we were given an antibiotic to fight it. Most of us didn’t “listen” to our bodies. We took our good health for granted and lived in blissful ignorance.
So aging seems to bring, along with the gray hair, more and more gray areas in life, especially health related issues, where there are no set solutions to matters of mind, body and spirit A little more than an apple a day is needed to address the problem of an arthritic knee, and no one person has all the answers. In some cases, there simply are no answers or cures. One must somehow forge one’s own path ahead to get light and definition in the gray areas. This can be done through intuition.
Never too late to Build Intuitive Skills
Intuition is something all of us are born with, but few of us make a point to work on as we would work on building our muscles or financial portfolio. Yet like our muscles and portfolios, it’s never too late to work on our intuitive abilities as long as we are mentally competent.
At first this effort to develop intuitive skills most likely will seem completely stupid, especially if one hasn’t tried it. After all, within is where all the problems are felt—between the pounding heart, the tightened stomach and splitting headache!
Where to Start
It helps beginners to read a few good books on intuition or maybe take a class in intuition. It takes a little guidance for most adults to go from the head to the heart, a journey described as one of the longest anyone can possibly make. Like every serious undertaking, a little groundwork and the learning of a few techniques are required. And being serious about it helps. You can’t just say a few “oms” and expect to feel better. For some seniors, reading the books and applying the self-help techniques to develop intuition are quite enough and could prove very beneficial. Others will become fascinated by what they learn, and realize they possess special intuitive gifts which they may want to develop through the help of a trainer. Most will certainly become more confident in making decisions regarding the “gray areas.” The discovery of these gifts could open up a new phase of life not only for self development but for helping others.
Category: Young Adult Fantasy Keywords:Fantasy, Dragons, Souls, Reincarnation Format:ebook, Hardcover Source: Purchased
DESTRUCTION The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.
FLIGHT Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.
CHOICE The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.
It’s a really hard review for me to write. I had such hope for this series, especially because I enjoyed the first book so much.
While the first book in the series, Incarnate, is catching and fresh, I felt more and more distance from the characters as the series wore on. So by the time book three, the last book, came out, I was not heavily invested in the story or the main characters. Mostly, I wanted to see how it ended.
I think there was a lot of potential in the first book. The series is easy to read. The premise is intriguing. Souls reincarnated over and over again? 5,000 years of it? Imagine the baggage! The emotional turmoil! There was so much I wanted from this series! But sadly for me, it didn’t deliver.
There’s a lot of action, but not a whole lot of descriptions. A lot of the time I felt like I was mostly reading actions and dialogue, but I didn’t have a good sense of the motivation behind each character. Nor did I feel particularly drawn to any of them. I know I’m supposed to like Ana, and her devotion to New Souls is admired, but character wise, I felt like she was hollow. I still wasn’t sold on Sam either. Even in the first book, I didn’t totally buy him as the big love interest. He is sweet and kind but totally, utterly boring. Someone told me that they sometimes find some YA books hard to read because they play into male fantasy characters for teenage girls. And for this one, I would have to agree with them.
Sam is dull. Yes, he’s a musician, he’s been alive for 5,000 years. He has a little bit of baggage, as he is eaten by a dragon like 30 times, but overall, Sam mopes about playing music and telling Ana of his undying love to her. Really, Sam? Where’s the passion, the hurt, the strength? Where’s the madness and motivation and challenge? No, Sam is more like a wet noodle from a very old bowl of soup.
The secondary characters are not solid for me either such as Stef. Stef, who is reincarnated over and over again as Sam’s best friend and sometimes love interest, fades into the background by book three and nothing is really resolved. Even the big bad guy, the big evil, the man with the plan who wants to enslave everyone, is an annoying gnat you want to swat away. He's not the immediate danger, no matter how far into the series I got. I was more concerned with the townspeople wanting to kill Ana and her friends and the pregnant mothers who may have No Soul babies.
Imagine you have a town of people who have lived and loved over and over again for 5,000 years. It’s like an never-ending high school filled with love, hope, emotional angst and incestuous relationships. (I mean that as in my boyfriend is now your boyfriend, and now he’s my boyfriend again, etc.) But instead, we barely brush the surface of the last 5,000 years and what this means to each of the characters.
I’m sorry I didn’t enjoy Infinite. While I love the idea of the story and the possibilities of what it could have brought, I was left disappointed in the series and ending.