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1. A former child soldier prosecuted at the International Criminal Court

It’s easy to assume that only ‘evil’ people commit atrocity. And it’s equally easy to imagine the victims as ‘good’ or ‘innocent’. But the reality is far more complex. Many perpetrators are tragic. They may begin as victims. Victims, too, may victimize others. These victims are imperfect. Some victims survive – and some even thrive – because of harm they inflict.

The post A former child soldier prosecuted at the International Criminal Court appeared first on OUPblog.

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2. Funny Social Media Cartoons – Twitter is best

East or West Twitter is The best Funny Social Media Cartoons – Twitter is best. सोशल मीडिया में सबसे पहले टविटर हमारा ध्यान आकर्षित करता है. मुहावरा पुराना हुआ कि लातों के भूत बातों से नही मानते… आजकल भूत लात हाथ से नही बल्कि सोशल मीडिया पर कुछ भी लिखकर मानते हैंं … मनोरंजन के […]

The post Funny Social Media Cartoons – Twitter is best appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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3. Writing: A Path to Become an Intentional Educator

What if there was a way to build in opportunities to reflect, in writing, about my teaching right in the place where the lesson plans reside? And what if that place could also offer daily inspiration and opportunities to set positive intentions for the week ahead?

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4. Jedi Academy: A New Class by Jarrett Krosockza, 176 pp, RL 4




Jeffrey Brown authored the first three books in the Jedi Academy series, two of which I enthusiastically reviewed here. This trilogy is HUGELY popular in my school library and a fantastic alternative to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Before that, Brown wrote a trilogy of Darth Vader, a comics series that imagines Vader's life as father to Luke and Leia. Brown's new series debuted in August and features prehistoric siblings Lucy and Andy as they deal with typical kid stuff while also being filled with scientific information and facts about pre-history. 



Jedi Academy was too good to let go, and quite smartly, Scholastic has tapped Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the Lunch Lady series of graphic novels. Jedi Academy: A New Class finds young Victor Starspeeder making a midyear transfer from the Jedi Academy at Obroa-skai, where he has had a series of mishaps to the Jedi Academy at Coruscant. Victor decides that he is going to start keeping a journal of his time at Jedi Academy because that is what his father, who died when Victor was a baby, did.

The Jedi Academy has its own challenges, starting with Christina, Victor's big sister, who already goes there. She tells him in no uncertain terms that once they are at school, they are strangers. Navigating the new school on his own, Victor is swayed by Zach, and older student, who turns out to be a bully and a prankster with his own agenda. He also gets stuck with Artemis, an asthmatic kid in a black hooded cloak who just might be a Sith. Victor tries to make friends, impress a girl, and get his special project on the planet Endor completed while also trying to stay out of trouble and keep Zach from getting him kicked out.


Krosoczka hits all the right notes in Jedi Academy: A New Class, continuing and updating features that Brown introduced in the first three books like handwritten notes between characters, school schedules and pages from the school newspaper, including an advice column by Ms. Catara, the school guidance counselor who is also a Gungan. Krosoczka also creates a couple new twists, including the Galaxy Feed, which is a social media type feature that pops up on a tablet like device, and a page of comic strips that look at classics like Family Circus, Peanuts and Garfield through the lens of Star Wars. I especially liked, "Huttfield," in which Jaba the Hutt is the lazy, food loving star of the strip.

While I love that this series continues on (and I hope that, after another three books a new author/illustrator takes on this challenge) and am thrilled that I have more of these books to offer students, for me, Krosoczka's take on the academic world of the young Jedi lacks a bit of the depth, heart and humor that I found in Brown's books. But hey, I'm pretty sure I'm not the target audience for these books...

Source: Purchased

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5. Juncture Workshops: One Final Spot Left in Cape May, NJ



We may still be riding the waves of our Field Notes memoir workshop but we're also eagerly anticipating our time by the Jersey shore, this coming November.

We have one spot left in this gorgeous painted lady.

Write to us here, if you have interest.

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6. MAISONS DU MONDE - modern copper

My Maisons du Monde features are carrying over from last week. One because we had a day off to focus on the Sock Design Contest and two they have so many lovely things to see. The French based retailer was founded in 1996 and celebrates it's 20th birthday this year. It has nearly 200 stores in France with a further 69 across Europe including Italy where I came across them. There philosophy is

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7. Never judge a suitcase ...

We've all heard the expression never judge a book by its cover but what about never judge a suitcase until you see what's inside?

I'm sure you've seen lost luggage auctions on TV (like storage wars only with suitcases). It's where you bid on a case with no clue to the contents. Occasionally someone finds a laptop or jewellery, but more often than not it's a pile of dirty laundry. Personally, I've never wanted to go through someone else's lost luggage and sincerely hope nobody ever goes through mine. That, however, didn't stop me buying this case with very little knowledge of the contents.

Battered suitcase from The Giant Shepton Flea full of vintage books

It wasn't at a lost luggage auction but at a flea market or The Giant Shepton Flea Market to be more precise. I had an inkling of what might be inside because I saw someone open the case and take out this little book; 

Honk and Tonk by Joy K Seddon Flip book Vintage children's books

She took a quick flick through the pages before throwing it back in the case and walking away. I have a soft spot for flip books from the 1940s and 1950s and was quick to take her place. As I started rummaging through the case the stall holder said, "You can have that for a fiver (US$6.26) if you want it." I assumed he was referring to the book but when I queried it, he said, "No for the lot love, case and all." I mumbled "Yes OK," and he bagged the entire thing before I got as much as a second glance at what I was buying.


A case full of vintage flip books & other children's books from the 1940s and 50s

Although small, the suitcase is heavy, so the only sensible thing was to take it to the car. Once there, I couldn’t resist taking a peek inside. Imagine my delight at finding not one but eight flip books along with several story books by Racey Helps and Enid Blyton, a sweet story about Humpty Dumpty, one called Merry-go-round, a Vistascreen 3D viewer with slides and other bits and pieces. Time was getting on and anxious not to miss out on any treasures waiting to be found I decided to leave further investigations until I got home. In hindsight, I should have quizzed the seller about the origins of the suitcase. Did he buy it from an auction, a house clearance, did he know the previous owner, or was it his?


Flip books, Honk and Tonk, Jimmy at the Zoo etc., vintage children's books

The case has seen better days, but the contents are joyous. I'm sure everything belonged to the same little boy. His name is in most of the books and in some instances so is his address. His name and address are also on a label inside the case but this time written in a different hand, possibly by an adult. I have an image of a little lad of around eight years old stashing his favourite books and bits and pieces inside his case, but I wonder why someone added his address. Maybe the family were moving home, or perhaps the little boy was going to stay with family or friends.  


Vistascreen 3D printer, Racey Helps Books found in case at Shepton Flea

After a few days, the case and its contents began to trouble me. Obviously, I’m thrilled to have it in my care, but I’m also sad for the little boy and his lost treasures. Where is he now? Is he alive or dead? Why did he part with his case? I will probably never know, but I have learnt a little more about him. Looking through the books I discovered not one but two addresses, one in Parkstone, Poole, Dorset, and one in Alton, Hampshire. Using the age of the books as a guide, I concluded he and I must be of a similar age. 

I have a subscription to FindMyPast so it was fairly simple to find a record of his birth, which turned out to be 1949. He was born in Surrey, England, and spent part of his childhood in Alton, Hampshire, places I know well. He later moved to Poole, Dorset and married there in 1973. I can find no trace of him after 2003, but that may be my very amateurish attempts at searching. He is a year younger than me so if he is alive he is 67 now. I still don’t know why he parted with the case, but I feel an affinity with him and his childhood because mine was probably fairly similar. Between the ages of five and twenty one, I lived just 15 minutes or 6.3 miles from Alton, Hampshire. Without knowing it, he and I were near neighbours. We may even have seen or spoken to one another. 

Noddy, Humpty Dumpty, Enid Blyton old books

Thinking about it now I have to assume the stall holder acquired the case from an auction or house clearance. I have no evidence of that, just a hunch, plus the seller didn't look as if he was in his sixties. I suppose the case could have belonged to his father? It's sad to think of someone's cherished possessions given so little regard or value, but I'm thrilled to have them and will do my best to be a good custodian of the memories contained in a battered case.

My post next week will include a giveaway for followers of this blog. Be sure to call back and don’t forget to follow.

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8. Fusenews

Happy Fusenews day to you, guv’nor.  In today’s episode we tip our hat to a post last week that is probably my most popular of all time.  Who knew knitting needles could be such lightning rods?  In any case, on with the newz!


 

boywhodrewHow old is the picture book biography as we know it today?  Recently I’ve been thinking long and hard about what its purpose is, as well as its limitations.  Jacqueline Davies has thought longer and harder in some ways, though, since her recent post Writers and the Real Estate Market takes a very personal look at the choices she made when she wrote The Boy Who Drew Birds.  She makes some remarkably interesting points about content and format.


 

Boy, it must be hard.  Every year, without fail, Marjorie Ingall (Mamaleh Knows Best) scours the publishing world for great Jewish-centric books for kids.  The pickings are almost always slim, but once in a while you get some really good biographies. Picture book biographies (I sense a theme to today’s post) no less.  The first is of the current Ruth Bader Ginsberg bio in the piece Teaching Kids the Value of Dissent and the other Rich Michelson’s most recent bio in Leonard Nimoy’s Fascinating Life.  Great books.  Great write-ups.


 

Librarians.  We have one of those professions where it’s pretty clear that whenever we appear in the news, 50% of the time it’s not about something good.  Case in point, the recent news about a thrifty library cataloger who donated $4 million to his employer after his death.  His employer, however, was a university library.  So, naturally, $1 million of that is going to a football scoreboard.  Some folks are less than entirely pleased with that development.


 

I mentioned it last week but I’m mentioning it again today because it’s a darn good cause.  If you don’t know about why authors and illustrators alike (as well as celebs like Al Roker and Nicole Kidman) are painting piggy banks for auction, you should fill yourself in here.  A good cause and you get art.  The bidding just started yesterday, so don’t be left behind. And I know I won’t get it, but this is my own personal favorite piggy:

bruelpiggy


 

I already read this four years ago, but with the recent passing of Gene Wilder I saw it included in a Chronicle Books newsletter and just couldn’t resist putting it up again.  It’s Gene Wilder’s handwritten notes on the changes he’d prefer to the Willy Wonka costume he was initially given.  Ole blue eyes himself.


 

Daily Image:

Maurice Sendak was initially going to design that old movie Return to Oz?!?  Apparently it never happened but he did create a publicity poster for the ad campaign.  Not that it really looks like any of the characters in the movie (I’m working on a couple theories on who the guy on the far right is) but in terms of the book Ozma of Oz, it’s not terrible.

sendakoz

Many many thanks to J.L. Bell at Oz and Ends for this image.  Yet another old post from 2012.  I’m having that kind of a day.

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9. Suiting Up for the Worlds Collide Gala…


This upcoming Friday, I’ll be suiting up to join my colleagues at Mirror World Publishing for a much anticipated event! The Worlds Collide Gala will be celebrating Mirror World Publishing’s new partnership with Adventure Worlds Press and all the 2016 book launches!

If you’re in the area, please join us at 7pm Friday September 30, 2016 at Sho: Art, Spirit, and Performance 628 Monmouth Dr, Windsor, Canada for a night to remember. You can meet several of the authors, along with myself, my publisher, and the team behind Adventure Worlds Press, listen to some readings, win some prizes, enjoy the cash bar and light refreshments, music, and participate in the Q and A afterwards.

As a part of Culture Days in Windsor, this event is free and open to everyone to attend. For more information, or to RSVP, please head over to our Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1186485788080361/

Also, a reminder that I have a GoodreadsGiveaway still going on until September 30th for a chance to win Book #1 in my MG/YA time travel series, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis. If you haven’t read the first book, please consider entering for a chance to escape to the past and have a blast before Book #2 The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret comes out on October 17th!

Here’s some more information about the Worlds Collide Gala:


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10. New Voice & Giveaway: Maria Gianferrari on Penny & Jelly

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Maria Gianferrari writes both fiction and nonfiction picture books from her sunny, book-lined study in northern Virginia, with her dog Becca as her muse.

Maria’s debut picture book, Penny & Jelly: The School Show, illustrated by Thyra Heder (2015) led to Penny & Jelly: Slumber Under the Stars (2016)(both HMH Books). 

Maria has seven picture books forthcoming from Roaring Brook Press, Aladdin Books for Young Readers, GP Putnam’s Sons and Boyds Mills Press in the coming years.

Could you tell us about your writing community--your critique group or partner or other sources of emotional, craft and/or professional support?

In the spirit of my main character, Penny, an avid list maker, here are my top five answers:

1. Ammi-Joan Paquette:

I am so grateful for my amazing agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette!

Where do I begin? I owe my writing career to Joan, for taking a chance on and believing in me. She has been sage guide, a cheerleader and champion of my writing from the get go.

She’s made my writing dream come true!!

2. Crumpled Paper Critique (CP):

I would not be where I am today without my trusted writing friends and critique partners: Lisa Robinson, Lois Sepahban, Andrea Wang, Abigail Calkins Aguirre and Sheri Dillard. They have been such a wonderful source of support over the years, in good times, and in bad.

Yes—it’s kind of like a marriage—that’s how dedicated we are to each other’s work! They’re smart, thoughtful, insightful, well read, hard-working and the best critique partners one could hope for!

We have a private website where we share not only our manuscripts, but our opinions on books, ideas, writing inspiration and doubts. I treasure them and wish we lived closer to one another to be able to meet regularly in person. Hugs, CPers!



3. Emu’s Debuts:

Like many other writers, I’m quite a shy and introverted person. If you’ve seen that classic hamster ball cartoon about introverts, that’s me! Having a book debut is extremely intimidating.

I was so lucky to have joined the ranks of Emu’s Debuts, so named for clients and debut authors affiliated with Erin Murphy Literary Agency (EMLA).

The Emu’s Debuts blog is a place for sharing thoughts on the craft of writing and illustrating, being debuts, and most importantly, helping launch our books into the world. I have since fledged, but it was so helpful, reassuring and fun to be a part of this community of very talented, kind and generous people. Check out the current flock of Emus.



4. Tara Lazar:

Picture book author extraordinaire, and founder of PiBoIdMo (picture book idea month), Tara has also been a generous supporter, not just of me, but for all the pre and published picture book authors and illustrators out there. Thousands of writers participate and are inspired by guest posts during PiBoIdMo, November’s picture book idea challenge. She shares insights on craft, the field of publishing, new books, interviews, giveaways, etc. on her popular blog, Writing for Kids (While Raising Them), throughout the year.

When the news of the Penny & Jelly sale broke, Tara kindly offered to host me of her blog. Later, she invited to be a contributor for PiBoIdMo, and last year she also participated in my blog tour for Penny & Jelly.

5. Kirsten Cappy of Curious City:

Kirsten’s a kidlit marketing guru and owner of Curious City. She was invaluable in sorting through the mire that is promotion.

Kirsten’s clever and creative and had so many wonderful ideas for promoting Penny & Jelly in ways that would be most comfortable for an introvert like me. She designed a Jelly banner with original art from illustrator Thyra Heder for use as a photo booth so kids could “be” Penny and pose with Jelly, as well as gorgeous postcards and business cards.

I especially love the talent show kit for library and classroom use that Kirsten designed. Please feel free to share and use it.

As a picture book writer, you have succeeded in a particularly tough market. What advice do you have for others, hoping to do the same?

1. Write What You Love:

Write what you’re obsessed with. This will help you not only endure the inevitable rejections along the way, but also the winding road of revision.

My debut nonfiction book, Coyote Moon, was released this July. It initially began as an article on suburban coyotes for "Highlights."

Well, "Highlights" rejected it, but I wasn’t ready to let go of my manuscript.

The coyotes kept howling in my head, so it morphed into a poetic picture book.

Several revisions later, it won a Letter of Commendation for a Barbara Karlin grant from SCBWI; many more revisions later, it was acquired by Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook Press. And I am so in love Bagram Ibatoulline’s illustrations. They are absolutely stunning!

2. Read. Read. Read:

Then read some more. I once read that before attempting to write one picture book, we should first read 1,000. But don’t just read them, see them as teachers, as mentor texts for your own work.

One of the most helpful exercises is to hand-write or type the words of my favorite picture book texts, to feel the rhythm of the and pulse of the story in my fingers, to get under the story’s skin—see its bones or structure and the way the muscles and sinews, rhythm, refrain and repetition, are bound together. Doing this helps us find a story’s heart, its elusive soul and helps us understand our own work.

Consider joining founder Carrie Charley Brown’s ReFoReMo, where picture books are studied as mentor texts. Get ready to dig deep!


3. Don’t Give Up!

Persevere! Keep swimming! Rejection is at the heart of this journey and it’s not usually a linear journey, it’s more circuitous, with ups and downs along the way.

Take it one day, one moment at a time, and celebrate all of your successes, both big and small.

And remember, keep improving your craft, and building your connections, you will get there!

(See #1 again)

4. Play and Experiment:

To find your writing voice, play with different points of view. Change genres. Try out different structural techniques like letters, or a diary format or lists, like I did with Penny & Jelly.

Think about the shape of your story. Is it circular? Could it be a journey? Would a question and answer format enhance it? Does it have a refrain?

I’m not an illustrator, but you can do the same kinds of things to find your visual voice—switch sketching for sewing, or painting for clay. And most of all, embrace your inner kid and have fun!

5. Reach Out:

Connect with your local and online writing community—there are so many valuable resources out there. You’re reading Cynsations, so that’s a great start! If you haven’t already joined SCBWI and found a critique group, that’s a must. As I mentioned above, join Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo challenge in November, or Paula Yoo’s NaPiBoWriWee to write a picture book a day, which takes place in May.

There’s a plethora of writing groups on Facebook. One I highly recommend is Kidlit411, co-run by Elaine Kieley Kearns and Sylvia Liu. It’s such a wealth of information for authors and illustrators on writing/illustrating craft, on promotion, on submissions for agents and editors, revision—all kinds of things. And to borrow Jane Yolen’s title, above all, Take Joy!

Cynsational Giveaway


Enter to win an author-signed copy of Penny & Jelly: The School Show and Penny & Jelly: Slumber Under the Stars. Eligibility: U.S. only. From the promotional copy:

This young and funny picture book introduces the soon-to-be star of her school talent show: Penny. Despite her desire to knock everyone's socks off, Penny's having a tough time deciding on what talent she might have. With a little help from her dog, Jelly, Penny tries out various talents—from dancing to unicycling, fashion designing to snake charming—with disastrous results. That is, until she realizes that she and Jelly have a talent to share that's unlike any other.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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11. आप पार्टी समाचार – ब्रेकिंग न्यूज

आप पार्टी समाचार – ब्रेकिंग न्यूज  आज कल ब्रेकिंग न्यूज बनी हुई है कि AAP Party का विधेयक आज जेल गया.  आज मार  पीट  हुई आज स्याही फेंंकी गई … अरे भई जिस दिन कुछ नही हुआ उस दिन भी तो ब्रेकिंंग न्यूज बनती है .. कि आज कुछ नही हुआ .. आम आदमी पार्टी […]

The post आप पार्टी समाचार – ब्रेकिंग न्यूज appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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12. Five questions for Oxford World’s Classics cover designer Alex Walker

Judging a book by its cover has turned out to be a necessity in life. We've all perused book shops and been seduced by a particularly intriguing cover--perhaps we have even been convinced to buy a book because of its cover. And, truly, there is no shame in that. It takes skill and artistry to craft a successful book cover, and that should be acknowledged.

The post Five questions for Oxford World’s Classics cover designer Alex Walker appeared first on OUPblog.

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13. Critique Partners

Why is it so important to have someone else read your work-in-progress?

https://livibuglady.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/cps-and-why-you-need-them-meredith-ireland/

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14. Dog Loves Counting

Dog Loves Counting. Louise Yates. 2013. Random House. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Dog loved books. He loved reading them late into the night and didn't like to leave them for long.

Premise/plot: Dog knows he should go to bed, but, he's having trouble falling to sleep. He decides to count something--not sheep--to help him sleep. So he opens a book, finds himself inside, of course--Dog gets lost in books, becoming part of the action--and starts to find things to count. He makes friends too, of course.

My thoughts: Of the three books, this is my least favorite. I still love Dog as a character. And I can even relate to not wanting to put down his book and go to bed. But as an adult reader, I can't really lose myself in a book that focuses on counting from one to ten and back again. I just can't. For young children, of course, this one is still recommended. But it feels more 'educational' than the previous two in the series.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 6 out of 10

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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15. Sparkin Is On His Way!

Hi all,

Thank you for checking in with me now and again. Good news. My writer, Cindy, presented my story to several agents and publishers last week. WOOHOO! They are interested. This makes me just that much closer to flying in for you to read about me.

World . . . here I come!

Sparkin, the Wind Rider.

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16. Putin and beyond: a Q&A on Russian politics

Russian politics has always been a fascinating subject around the globe. Exactly how politics works there, along with Putin's vision for the country and the world at large is the source of constant debate.

The post Putin and beyond: a Q&A on Russian politics appeared first on OUPblog.

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17. It's Banned Books Week!

And this year's focus is on Celebrating Diversity. Click the banner to learn more about BBW, read articles about why diverse books are commonly banned, and find some titles that some people would rather you didn't read - and go read them!

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18. And the Winner of FULL OF BEANS is...

I'm happy to announce that, according to randomizer, the winner of the hardcover copy of FULL OF BEANS is...





Congratulations, Suzanne! Expect an email from me asking for your mailing address.

*   *   *

Next week, I'll be featuring a review of TIME TRAVELING WITH A HAMSTER by Ross Welford, and the week after, an exclusive Q&A with Ross, and a giveaway!




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19. Monday Mishmash: 9/26/16


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Only One Week Until After Loving You Releases!  I can't believe October 3rd is almost here! 
  2. Editing  I'm finishing up a client edit this week in time for a new one on October 1st.
  3. Two Work Days With Extended Hours  This week my daughter has student council and chorus after school, so thus begins my longer work hours on Tuesdays AND Wednesdays. 
  4. 2017 Publication Schedule  I'm going to be releasing books every two months in 2017. Stay tuned for more information on that this Wednesday.
  5. Fall!  My favorite season is here! I love the smell of fall, specifically the smell of October. October has been my favorite month all my life. There's something special about it.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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20. MMGM Links (9/26/16)

Before I get to this week's MMGM link, I just wanted to say a quick sorry if anyone tried to catch me at the OC Kids' Book Festival yesterday.

I was there for my 1:00 signing and got to chat with some of you, but I know I also said I'd be speaking on the Tween stage at 3:20--and I thought I was. But when I got to the stage, it listed someone else in my timeslot. And I spent the next hour getting led around to different stages by different volunteers and none of them were right and no one seemed to know where I should be. So, long story short, if you were looking for me and couldn't find me, it wasn't for lack of trying. And hopefully we can meet at one of my upcoming SoCal events.

Anyway, on to MMGM!

- Bookish Ambition is spreading some love for BEHEMOTH. Click HERE to see what they thought. 
- Randomly Reading is cheering for A BOY NAMED QUEEN. Click HERE to see why. 
- S.A. Larsen is giving a sneak peek at one of the characters in MOTLEY EDUCATION. Click HERE for all the fun.   
- Andrea Mack is spotlighting ONE FOR THE MURPHYS. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Justin Talks Books wants everyone to visit THE KINGDOM OF OCEANA. Click HERE to read his review!
- Got My Book is talking about the audiobook for THE BRONZE KEY. Click HERE to see what they thought. 
- Patricia Tilton at Children's Books Heal is championing APPLESAUCE WEATHER. Click HERE to read her review.
- Completely Full Bookshelf is raving about RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE. Click HERE for their take. 
- Susan Uhlig is seeing stars for ALL FOUR STARS. Click HERE to see what she thought.
- Jenni Enzor is spotlighting FRAMED. Click HERE to see why. 
- Greg Pattridge is feeling FRAZZLED. Click HERE to read his review.
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--UNBOUND. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Jess at the Reading Nook has a guest post from author M. Tara Crowl. Click HERE to check it out.  
- Tara Creel is sharing her favorite Spooky Reads. Click HERE to see what they are.
- Michelle Mason is inviting everyone over for THE SLEEPOVER. Click HERE to read why. 
- Carl at Boys Rule, Boys Read! wants to know WHO WOULD WIN? Click HERE to read his feature. 
- Shannon O'Donnell is back--and planning a weekly MMGM again. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.  
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time.  
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week  
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site. 

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 
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21. The Nature Center

Wooded paths with fallen trees
And sunlight dappling through
Provided us with such a lovely
Sunday thing to do.

Deer were munching leaves and barely
Noticed us pass by,
While squirrels scampered from the ground
To branches way up high.

As Henry jumped from stump to stump
(The playground kept the theme),
I made his sister giggle
(Which is every Nana’s dream).

Although I am a city gal,
The forest has its charms,
The better to appreciate
With grandkids in one’s arms.

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22. A History of my Archive in 10 Objects. No.3: Toothless Old Man, 1976

In part three of 10 objects from the archive of objects found in my dad's house, I'd like to offer this.

School project: Toothless Old Man. Pen & Ink. 80cm x 60cm, 1976
After the tentative steps of the Henry Hudson picture I worked on two other school projects before setting to work on this large piece, which proved to be the most experimental and successful of my school drawings in pure pen and ink. It was drawn from a randomly selected photo reference using a multi coloured pen and ink line technique - on the face and hat I used three separate pen nibs to switch colours and gradually build up the drawing in different coloured cross-hatching, the waistcoat was filled in by dabbing ink with sponge. It was a labour-intensive technique for such a large sized drawing, but proved a great success. Sadly many of the coloured inks have faded over time.

The image was the centre piece of my school's 1976 art show during the summer festival, and made it to the pages of the local newspaper - my first press appearance! Even my junior school headmistress came to see it. By this time I was absolutely determined to be an illustrator and had my sights set on art college.

After the show this picture adorned the walls of my parent's house for a few years before being consigned to the loft. The identity of the man in the photo I never knew!

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23. Life After Pixar: An Interview with Brenda Chapman

"Brave" director Brenda Chapman reveals big new plans in an exclusive interview with Cartoon Brew.

The post Life After Pixar: An Interview with Brenda Chapman appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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24. Negative 15 degrees Celsius


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25. Genome editing’s brave new world

“O, wonder!/How many goodly creatures are there here!/How beauteous mankind is!/O brave new world,/That has such people in't!” Shakespeare’s lines in The Tempest famously inspired Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World, first published in 1932. Huxley’s vision of the future has become a byword for the idea that attempts at genetic (and social) engineering are bound to go wrong. With its crude partitioning of society, by stunting human development before birth, and with its use of a drug – soma – to induce a false sense of happiness and suppress dissent, this was the opposite of a ‘beauteous’ world.

The post Genome editing’s brave new world appeared first on OUPblog.

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