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1. Book Launch Spring 2016!

It’s that time of year! Seven new books from Arbordale make their way into the hands of young readers across the country. This week we will be highlighting each book and their creators on our blog.

Before you learn about the inspiration for each of these books get to know the spring line up and pick your must have title for 2016!

BeenThereBeen There, Done That: Reading Animal Signs
by Jen Funk Weber
illustrated by Andrea Gabriel

Spotting wildlife is a thrill, but it’s not easy. When Cole comes to visit his friend Helena, he can’t wait to see all the wildlife the forest has to offer—and disappointed when all he sees are a few birds. Together the kids set out on a hike and encounter plenty of animal signs along the way. Through observation and her knowledge of animal behavior, Helena helps Cole learn what each of the signs means: something had been there; something had done that.

CashKatCash Kat
by Linda Joy Singleton
illustrated by Christina Wald

Gram Hatter and Kat set off on an adventure. Gram quickly folds up a pirate hat and places it on Kat’s head and they begin their mission to help clean up the city park. Volunteering turns into a treasure hunt as Kat finds pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and even a dollar. With each discovery Kat gets a new hat and Gram Hatter teaches Kat how to count her coins as they pick up litter at the park. When Kat adds up her money, there’s enough for ice cream. Or should she donate the money to support the park instead?

MammalsMammals
by Katharine Hall

All mammals share certain characteristics that set them apart from animal classes. But some mammals live on land and other mammals spend their lives in water—each is adapted to its environment. Land mammals breathe oxygen through nostrils but some marine mammals breathe through blowholes. Compare and contrast mammals that live on land to those that live in the water.

 

MidnightMadMidnight Madness at the Zoo
by Sherryn Craig
illustrated by Karen Jones

The bustle of the crowd is waning and the zoo is quieting for the night. The polar bear picks up the ball and dribbles onto the court; the nightly game begins. A frog jumps up to play one-on-one and then a penguin waddles in to join the team. Count along as the game grows with the addition of each new animal and the field of players builds to ten. Three zebras serve as referees and keep the clock, because this game must be over before the zookeeper makes her rounds.

OnceElephantOnce Upon an Elephant
by Linda Stanek
illustrated by Shennen Bersani

From stopping wildfires to planting seeds, one animal is the true superhero that keeps the African savanna in balance. Elephants dig to find salt for animals to lick, their deep footprints collect water for everyone to drink, and they eat young trees to keep the forest from overtaking the grasslands. In every season, the elephants are there to protect the savanna and its residents – but what would happen if the elephants were only “once upon a time”? Read along to discover the important role this keystone species plays in the savanna and explore what would happen if the elephants vanished.

SharksDolphinsSharks and Dolphins
by Kevin Kurtz

Sharks and dolphins both have torpedo-shaped bodies with fins on their backs. They slice through the water to grab their prey with sharp teeth. But despite their similarities, sharks and dolphins belong to different animal classes: one is a fish and gets oxygen from the water and the other is a mammal and gets oxygen from the air. Marine educator Kevin Kurtz guides early readers to compare and contrast these ocean predators through stunning photographs and simple, nonfiction text.

TornadoTamerTornado Tamer
by Terri Fields
illustrated by Laura Jacques

In this adaptation of The Emperor’s New Clothes, Mayor Peacock declares he will hire a tornado tamer to protect the town. After a long search, Travis arrives to fill the position and this weasel has a plan. He will build a very special, transparent cover to protect the town. Travis’ magical cover is so transparent that only those smart enough and special enough can even see it. Mouse is doubtful, but his questions are brushed off. Months later, the cover has been hung and Travis has been paid a hefty sum, but a tornado is in the distance and the town is in its path. Will the magic cover protect the town?

Find out more about our newest titles at Arbordalepublishing.com!


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2. Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar - a bookwrap








 The month of February has Valentine's Day tucked inside ready to be celebrated.  February 14th is the day we focus on the theme of love.  A book is the perfect gift to show your little ones how much you love them! Eric Carle's new interpretation of the classic "Very Hungry Caterpillar" will be sure to delight both you and your child.




Unwrapping...






by Eric Carle

Ages 0-3




Unwrapping some illustration fun...















About the book...





Oh how everyone loved "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."  He's back once again munching, crunching and chewing his way through another amazing book to show kids how much he adores them.  Eric Carle has taken his famous little character and created a minute book (little hands will appreciate it) that expounds on the multitude of ways "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" loves his reader.

He pours out adoration by proclaiming..."You are the bees knees" and "You make the stars sparkle" and the final, "You make my heart flutter."  What a gem of a book to build self-esteem, confidence and a deep sense of being loved and belonging.

The classic illustrations burst with joyous colour and animates the text making it come alive to your little ones.

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" spreads the love from page to page instilling in your children that they are special, making their world a more loving and accepting place in which to live.  

This book is a perfect gift to give on Valentine's day and the news?  It contains no calories nor will it promote cavities, which are two very good things!  I highly recommend it.  



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3. The Diversity Baseline Survey: What Happens Next?

Diversity 102Since its release, the Diversity Baseline Survey (DBS) has become the most visited blog post we have ever produced. The DBS has been widely read and written about, and has opened up a renewed interest in how to improve staff diversity in the publishing industry. In our first piece, Behind the Scenes of Publishing’s First Diversity Baseline Survey, we covered the methodology and obstacles we faced conducting the survey. In this piece we will shed light on what happens next—and what’s already happening to improve the numbers.

We surveyed a handful of the publishers and reviewer journals that participated in the DBS and asked them what initiatives they are planning or already have in place to make diversity a priority in their organizations. Here are some of the responses we received back:

Kiera Parrott, Reviews Director, School Library Journal and Library Journal: Participating in the survey was the first concrete and actionable thing I could do to be part of the solution. Even though I had a fair guess on the demographic makeup of our reviewers (most of them were recruited from ALSC committees, and that group is rather homogenous), I wanted actual numbers. My hope was that the statistics would help me pinpoint exactly where we needed to grow and develop.

The next steps after the survey have been 1) intentionally recruiting more diverse reviewers, and 2) developing diversity/cultural literacy training for our existing reviewers. Sometime in mid-2016, I’m launching a special course just for SLJ reviewers on diversity and cultural literacy. We anticipate this course beginning sometime in late Spring/early Summer.

Editorial note: Kiera also gives a much more detailed report on her progress diversifying her reviewer pool in an interview she gave at the Reading While White blog.

Jason Low, Publisher, Lee & Low Books: While many are aware of our 25-year mission to publish award-winning diverse books, we currently have several other initiatives in place.

DBS3-JL2To start, since the DBS was all about staff diversity, Lee & Low can firmly state that we practice what we preach. Lee & Low hires diversely and as a result our staff is very diverse. Overall 69% of our staff identifies as people of color (PoC). Departmentally the company breaks down like this: editorial: 50% PoC; marketing/publicity: 75% PoC; sales: 50% PoC; Operations: 100% PoC. We have fluent Spanish speakers in editorial, marketing/publicity, and sales.

Staff Diversity Training: Last year we sent a number of LEE & LOW staff members from different departments to an “Undoing Racism” workshop, held by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. We decided to do this workshop because even with LEE & LOW’s focus on diverse books, we felt that our staff would benefit from specific training in anti-racism concepts.

Author Award Contests: We sponsor two author awards for unpublished writers of color. Our New Voices Award is in its 17th year. The New Voices Award has launched the careers of 14 authors of color (with the work of three more authors currently in development), and we have given honor awards to another 11 authors. In 2013, we launched the New Visions Award, an award for unpublished authors of color who write middle grade and young adult novels.

Diversity in Publishing Internship: To address the lack of opportunities for diverse staff in publishing, we converted our paid internship program to one that is for diverse candidates only. Our internship program is designed to give candidates the kind of publishing experience and exposure they would need to consider a career in publishing.

Lee & Low and Friends Scholarship: In partnership with the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College, we have established a scholarship to increase diversity at the graduate school level. The Lee & Low and Friends Scholarship provides opportunities for students of color to enroll in the most prestigious children’s literature graduate program in the United States.

Diversity Gap Series: We published a series of eight studies that include statistics and interviews illustrating that the lack of diverse representation is a society-wide problem. The subjects covered so far: The Tony Awards, The Emmy Awards, The Academy Awards, The children’s book industry, The New York Times Top 10 Bestseller List, US politics, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Films, and Silicon Valley.

Angus Killick, Vice President/Associate Publisher, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and Monique Patterson, Editorial Director, Romance and Executive Editor, St. Martin’s Press: Macmillan established a Diversity & Inclusion Council this DBS3-angus3year aimed at promoting a broader representation of differences—gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability, age, gender identity and expression, family status, economic background and status, geographical background, and perspective in the workforce and the books we produce. The Council steers Macmillan’s diversity and inclusion efforts, and 1) determines priorities for programs and activities aimed at enhancing diversity in our books and authors and in our recruitment and retention efforts; 2) oversees sub-committees established to focus on individual priorities; 3) measures the results of our initiatives; and 4) reports back to the larger organization.

We’ve formed a number of sub-committees and each is involved in projects. For example, the Outreach Committee is creating a Publishing Ambassador Kit, so any employee can visit a middle or high school and talk about careers in publishing—not just in editorial, but in marketing, production, finance, IT. The Recruiting and Retention committee worked with We Need Diverse Books to expand our Intern pool this past summer and has expanded recruiting efforts to schools outside the tri-state area. The Acquisition and Marketing Committee is developing strategies for editors and imprints to broaden submissions both from the one-on-one meetings of editors and agents and from outreach to organizations such as the Asian American Writers Workshop or historically black colleges and their writing programs. Also, our Council is looking into participating in events such as the Harlem Book Fair and the LGBTQ Graphic Novels event. We have also reached out to the AAP and Young to Publishing to find ways to expand on what already exists. Macmillan joined other publishers in September in a baseline survey on our workforce and added several questions of its own to measure awareness and attitudes about Diversity and Inclusion.

We are in the early stages of exploring what will increase and sustain diversity in our books, our readership, and our workforce. We have much to learn, but look forward to continuing our efforts.

Vicky Smith, Children’s & Teen Editor, Kirkus Reviews: I’m not sure you can call an intention an initiative, but we are working hard to describe race and ethnicity accurately when we see it in the books that we review, as well as sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. We hope that by including that information in our reviews DBS3-paige5our readers will be able to make the most responsible purchasing decisions for their homes and libraries. I am also actively recruiting reviewers of diversity (for lack of a better term), who will provide a variety of lenses into the literature.

Paige Mcinerney, Vice President Human Resources, Penguin Random House: Our commitment to fostering diversity is reflected in our day-to-day workplace conduct, as well as by how we continue to find, develop, and publish a wide range of authors from many different cultural backgrounds, across all genres, for diverse audiences of readers everywhere.

At Penguin Random House, we have a robust, paid Internship Program. In recruitment for this program, we actively work with several diversity partners with whom we have longstanding and productive relationships. These include, among others, The Posse Foundation, Prep for Prep, and beginning in 2016, the United Negro College Fund in partnership with the Association of American Publishers. We work with these groups on all internship recruitment and also commit to filling a percentage of our internship openings with qualified candidates from these organizations.

Some of our divisions have employee groups that meet regularly to discuss how to maximize the potential of our diversity-related books, and how to make sure that their division is working toward as much inclusiveness as possible.

This spring, Penguin Young Readers is sponsoring (in a partnership with We Need Diverse Books) a writing contest that will award a publishing contract to a previously unpublished author who self-identifies as a person of color or non-Caucasian.DBS3-karen6

Karen Lotz, President and Publisher, Candlewick Press: As an independent publisher, we’ve always understood that it’s our authors and illustrators who set us apart. Our roster of creators includes new and established talents from all backgrounds who themselves are committed to ensuring that ALL readers will be able to see themselves and the people they love reflected in the pages of—and on the covers of—the books they read. On the corporate level, from the covers of the Candlewick advertising catalog to our featured titles at conventions and shows, we consistently and consciously make choices to feature characters from many different backgrounds; we choose to illustrate characters of different backgrounds not just in the ‘issues’ books but across the board, to better depict society as a whole. We hope this creates an open and inviting atmosphere where authors and artists from diverse populations will feel welcome to publish. We understand, furthermore, that the economic support and financial offers we make to artists and authors and the quality we invest in producing each and every title are important to attract all authors and artists, certainly including those from diverse backgrounds.

And finally, we are very proud of the recognition our books have come to receive from outside groups, including recent NAACP Image and Honor Awards; Stonewall Awards and Honors; Pura Belpré Awards and Honors; and Coretta Scott King Awards and Honors. We are particularly grateful this year to the Coretta Scott King Committee for their bestowal of the John Steptoe New Talent Award to Ekua Holmes for Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, because at Candlewick we really work very hard to try to discover new talent and give brand-new creators of children’s books a graceful and rewarding entry into the world of children’s publishing.

This same commitment to creating a welcoming environment extends to our staffing. In recruiting, we make every effort to reach out to educational institutions and organizations whose goal is to cater to diverse populations. We have a special art resource coordinator on staff whose role is exclusively dedicated to seeking new talent from art schools and programs; she communicates wherever she goes that Candlewick welcomes artists from diverse backgrounds and with diverse interests. Throughout their careers, we support and encourage all of our staff to continue their participation in diversity studies, panels, and educational programs, including the CBC’s diversity program efforts and other local and national opportunities, including WNDB initiatives. We support our authors when they wish to do the same. We also work very closely with First Book and Jumpstart, as well as other literacy DBS3-marina7organizations whose goals include getting high-quality and appropriately representational books into the hands of all children—regardless of their families’ compositions, backgrounds, or economic situations.

Marina Tristán, Assistant Director, Arte Público Press: We obviously work to promote Latino books and authors, but we also try to promote books by other minority writers and publishers via our social media pages and in conversations with teachers and librarians.

In regard to hiring, we don’t honestly have any initiatives per se in place, but we do have a very diverse staff—mostly Latino/Hispanic—because we feel it’s important to employ a bilingual/bicultural staff.

Learning from the UK
There’s no way for us to predict how the United States publishing industry will tackle the diversity problem and how successful these initiatives will be. But looking at efforts similar to our own is a useful exercise. The DBS has precedence in a publishing diversity study conducted in the United Kingdom in 2014. The United Kingdom study had a scope larger than the DBS. In the UK they surveyed 66 publishing companies of all sizes, 49 literary agencies, and 536 authors. They spoke with authors, publishing professionals, and Human Resources heads. Earlier this year, we wrote about 6 key findings from that study. Recently we reached out to Danuta Kean, one of the planners of the survey, and asked her about the status of their research.

DBS3-danuta8“After the United Kingdom Survey concluded the findings were launched at the London Book Fair with a major press conference that was attended by over 100 people,” Danuta said. “Coverage in the national and trade press was extensive. All the major publishers expressed shock, but feedback among BAME authors and staff was very good: the report was true to their experiences and there was relief that it was being addressed in a hard-hitting manner. It has put diversity on the agenda.

“Spread the Word [the organization which created the study] has now met with HarperCollins and Penguin Random House and is establishing schemes to improve the situation with them. HarperCollins is the best: John Athanasiou, its head of people, has been a driver for change and asked me to present to the main board. He has also established a company-wide diversity forum and had a conference for staff to address issues raised in the report. The diversity firm, Equip, ran a poorly attended workshop at which I spoke. The feedback and enthusiasm was good, but I question the drive to bring about lasting change.

“Goldsmiths University held a diversity in the media day at which I presented our findings. Discussions have been held at three literary festivals, on national and digital radio, and diversity hashtags have been promoted on Twitter—the latest is #diversitydecember. Spread the Word also hosted a training and awareness day for BAME people interested in publishing and writing. More initiatives and meetings are planned for next year, and we raising funding for follow-up research.”


While the time and the scope of the survey did not allow us to document all inclusion initiatives, we encourage publishers, reviewers, and others to add commentary to the comments section below. What is your company or organization doing to address this problem?

Read also: Behind the Scenes Of Publishing’s First Diversity Baseline Survey and Where Is the Diversity in Publishing? The 2015 Diversity Baseline Survey Results

For press inquiries or permission to reprint, please contact hehrlich[at]leeandlow[dot]com.

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4. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 82 - 2.9.16


In the style of Pogo by Walt Kelly. The tagline is Kelly's from a poster for the original Earth Day in 1970 and was used again in the comic strip for Earth Day 2.0 in 1971. Although the Pogo-styled polar bear here is starring at an oil rig, the original intent goes much deeper and appropriately broader. For the most part, corporations and politicians are only giving us what we demand. We do have a say with what we purchase and who we elect -- duly noted with today's NH primary -- and we can have an impact.

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5. No Special Edition: NYC in 2016, but ReedPOP may be looking at an anime event again

ReedPOP head honcho Lance Fensterman has been doing the interview rounds of late including this podcast for More to Come where I interviewed him as he was boarding a plane. (he’s a busy guy.) In our conversation he hedged a bit about this year’s Special Edition, NYC, and in his interview with Comicbook.com, it was […]

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6. I Resemble A Mouse On My Birthday


Hello, is anyone there? I resemble the mouse in this image today. This past week, I've been in bed nursing a sinus infection and watching the ceiling swirl.  

I think my bed is floating across the room, but I can barely lift my eye lids, so I'm not sure.

The middle of my nose has grown an inch or two, my forehead resembles Frankenstein's, my eyes are droopy and red...I'm sorry, I'm sure you can relate, after all, I'm not the only person who has suffered from a sinus infection, it's just that viruses love me so much they overstay their visit.

And, you know what? Today is my birthday. Yes, I'm thirty years old today. (A lie)
Yes, I lived through my tender years and now it's time to celebrate.  I'm not going to let this virus stop me...No-Sir-Ree-Bob, not me, I'm getting out of bed so that I can resemble the image below instead...






 Then, get back in my bed...


In closing, I want to thank everyone who participated in Tuesday's Question last week and let you know I will post your links and answers this coming Tuesday.

Plus, I want to thank my loyal readers -you know who you are- for your patience while I was away. My cat, Simon will not post for me when I feel bad or I'm working offline, so I beg your pardon, and again, I appreciate you.

Thanks for visiting and reading A Nice Place In The Sun.

More posts coming soon...Cheers!







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7. A Shade of Vampire Leads the Self-Published Bestsellers List

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest continues to lead the Self-Published Bestsellers List this week.

To help GalleyCat readers discover self-published authors, we compile weekly lists of the top e-books in two major marketplaces for self-published digital books: Amazon and Smashwords. You can read all the lists below, complete with links to each book.

If you want more resources as an author, try our Free Sites to Promote Your eBook post, How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores post and our How to Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets post.

If you are an independent author looking for support, check out our free directory of people looking for writers groups.

Amazon Self-Published Bestsellers for the Week of February 10, 2016

1. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest: “On the evening of Sofia Claremont’s seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake. A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.”

2. PS…You’re Mine by Alexa Riley: “Katie Lovely signs up her class for a project, writing letters to Marines serving overseas, but a calculation error means she has to participate along with the class. She isn’t prepared for what happens after she gets the first letter.”

3. Broken Wings by Abigail Graham: “Ten years ago, I had the perfect life. A happy family, a loving boyfriend, a bright future. Then the accident took everything away. I woke up broken and scarred, my family destroyed. My boyfriend, Jack, gone.”

4. A Shade of Vampire 2: A Shade of Blood by Bella Forrest: “Having been delighted by the bestselling debut, A Shade of Vampire, readers are begging for more. In A Shade of Blood, Bella Forrest transports you deeper into a unique, enthralling and beautifully sensitive story. Prepare to be lost in its pages…”

5. A Shade of Vampire 3: A Castle of Sand by Bella Forrest: “What Sofia has with Derek feels like a sandcastle; temporary and something that the waves of life and time will soon ruin…Since the return of Gregor Novak, the island has turned several shades darker. His hatred toward Sofia and thirst for fresh blood lead to a brutal war igniting between father and son.”

6. Hold by Cora Brent: “They all said we were trash and would end up dead or in prison.
They were wrong. The three of us brothers endured hell together and somehow climbed out battle-scarred but whole.”

7. Vacation by Claire Adams: “Vivian Hall is soon to graduate from NYU, and she can’t wait. After being dumped by her long-term boyfriend, she’s looking forward to moving on with her life. Her best friend wants to have one more spring break trip, and though the circumstances aren’t at all ideal, Viv agrees.”

8. No More Secrets by Lucy Score: “In the small town of Blue Moon Bend, where everybody is a matchmaker, Carter wants to be left alone to tend the family farm. After returning from Afghanistan with scars, his only goal is recovery. He doesn’t need any distractions, and definitely not one with silver-blonde hair and lips that beg to be kissed.”

9. Wrong: A Bad Boy Romance by Katherine Lace: “Wrong? Hell yeah, it’s wrong. Wise guys never live by the rules, but there’s one you don’t break. I’m not a damn bit sorry. I’m done with one-night stands. I need a family to call my own. A wife. A kid.”

10. The Baller: A Down and Dirty Football Novel by Vi Keeland: “The first time I met Brody Easton was in the men’s locker room. It was my first interview as a professional sportscaster. The famed quarterback decided to bare all. And by all, I don’t mean he told me any of his secrets.”

Smashwords Self-Published Bestsellers for the Week of February 10, 2016

 

1. Health Promotion Pathways: Applied Activities for the Collegiate Classroom 

2. Enhancing Performance: Mental Training for Coaches, Athletes, and Parents 

3. Neuropsychopharmacology: A Tutorial Study Guide (box set) 

4. Naturally Flawless: A holistic approach to clear skin 

5. Principles of Biology: Animal Systems: A Tutorial Study Guide (box set) 

6. Economics for Smart Citizenship 

7. Nonprofit Animal Law 

8. Negotiating for Success: Essential Strategies and Skills 

9. English Grammar and Essay Writing, Workbook 2 

10. Digital Media Skills 

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8. Beth Revis and Cristin Terrill on women writing science fiction

It’s Jocelyn sneaking in a non-weekend post because Lindsey was kind enough to let me borrow one of her WoW slots for an interview with Beth Revis and Cristin Terrill. A while back, I attended one of their Wordsmith Workshops and Retreats, and it was amazing! In between craft sessions, critiques, writing, fellowship, and delicious food, I found time to chat with these delightful ladies. See what they had to say about being women who write science fiction.


Read more »

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9. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 2/10/16: Kickstarter has funded more than 3000 comics projects

#Transformers vs #GIJOE pic.twitter.com/ky11h2R6FP — Thomas Scioli (@tomscioli) February 5, 2016 Cobra Commander on Cybertron #Transformers vs #GIJOE pic.twitter.com/FUtVEbbyTu — Thomas Scioli (@tomscioli) February 9, 2016 § We live in a great time for comics when even Transformers vs GI Joe looks this good. Thanks, Tom Scioli. § Kickstarter has funded its 100,000th project and […]

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10. Day 10: Mo’ne Davis

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At 13-years-old, Mo’ne Davis became the first African American girl to play in a Little League World Series. She was the first African American girl to earn a win and to pitch a shutout in the 2014 Little League World Series. She can throw a 70 miles per hour fastball. And her curve ball is positively scary. Baseball isn’t even her favorite sport. Basketball is number one. Now she has written a book about her miraculous achievements, Mo’NE DAVIS REMEMBER MY NAME. Girls (and boys) will be inspired by her achievements and will definitely remember her name.

From the Back Cover
This inspiring memoir from a girl who learned to play baseball with the boys and rose to national stardom before beginning eighth grade will encourage young readers to reach for their dreams no matter the odds.
At the age of thirteen, Mo’ne Davis became the first female pitcher to win a game in the Little League World Series. She was the first Little Leaguer to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in the magazine’s sixty-year history. And as she began eighth grade in the fall of 2014, Mo’ne earned a place in the National Baseball Hall of Fame—her shutout jersey now hangs in the museum in Cooperstown, New York.

cover
Mo’ne’s story is one of determination, hard work, and an incredible fastball. From growing up in Philadelphia to throwing out the ceremonial first pitch—a perfect strike—at Game 4 of the 2014 Major League World Series, her groundbreaking achievements are changing the game for women in athletics and putting a positive new spin on the phrase “throw like a girl.” (HarperCollins Publishers)

Watch these interviews for more about Mo’ne.

Face to Face: Mo’ne Davis

Mo’ne Davis: Throw Like A Girl – Chevy Baseball | Chevrolet

 

 

 

 

 

 


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11. Anthony Lane on YA: a marketing wheeze

Every now and then, Anthony Lane, The New Yorker movie critic, will go in for the YA kill. He did it here, in his review of the movie "If I Stay," based on the Gayle Forman novel. And he did it again, just a few weeks ago, in his review of "The Fifth Wave."

I quote:

"The film is directed by J. Blakeson and adapted—though perhaps not adapted enough—from the novel by Rick Yancey. In other words, we are in the belly of young-adult fiction: a marketing wheeze dressed up as an art form...."

We have to hand it to Lane for the crisp cleverness of his phraseology. But I think we also have to ask: Is marketing wheeze how the YA category began, what it now is, what it is becoming, or simply an easy (outmoded) mode of attack?

The only way to defend this category from future Lane-isms is to write our stories unclassifiably well.

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12. UPDATE: ‘Cursed Child’ Book to be Published in July, and Jim Kay’s Illustrated ‘Chamber of Secrets’ Announced!

Following speculations, Pottermore and Little Brown UK have just announced that the script book for Cursed Child will be released July 31st (Harry Potter / J.K. Rowling’s birthday)!

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 14.27.39 Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 14.27.52 Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 14.28.00

Pottermore reports:

A host of new print and digital publishing has been announced from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, including a Special Rehearsal Edition of the script book of new stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II. 

Print and digital editions will publish simultaneously after the play’s world premiere this summer, and will comprise of the version of the play script at the time of the play’s preview performances. 

Theatre previews allow the creative team the chance to rehearse and explore scenes further before a production’s official opening night. Harry Potter and the Cursed Childopens for previews several weeks before its official first performance on Saturday 30 July and the Special Rehearsal Edition of the script book will later be replaced by a Definitive Collector’s Edition.

The news confirms that fans around the world will be able to join this next venture into the Wizarding World, so don’t fret if you didn’t get tickets to the play!

Pottermore also announced the release of Special Editions, and Jim Kay’s next illustrated edition of Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets!:

Next year will see the publication of four special editions of the first book in the UK, one for each of the four Hogwarts houses. There will also be a brand new edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 2017, with new content by J.K. Rowling, as well as new formats and editions of the Hogwarts Library books – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. 

Pottermore doesn’t play favourites, but we’re especially looking forward to nabbing a copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets illustrated by Jim Kay. That’s coming a little sooner, in October 2016, and we’ll be prodding Jim for a look at his latest work soon because we’re nosy like that.

2016 is looking like a huge year – Cursed Child, Fantastic Beasts, more Jim Kay illustrations – what more could we want?!

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13. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Just finished THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, loved it. This  historical fiction novel for middle grade is such a satisfying read, full of adventure and heartbreak and compassion. I loved the characters in this book SO MUCH, and desperately want a sequel.

I confess that I held off reading this book because its premise sounded too depressing but I am soooooooooo glad that I got over this and strongly encourage others who have held off for the same reason to get over it as well. Highly recommended.

Find out more about Kimberly Brubaker Bradley at her website.

More about the book on the Penguin Random House site.

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14. Trip to Denver: The Wyeth Exhibt

After "the business" was completed, we went to the Denver Art Museum's exhibition of arguably the greatest American family of artists, father and son- Andrew and Jamie Wyeth...


So popular is the Wyeth legacy, started first by "the grandfather" N.C, Wyeth...


 whose was one of our great American illustrators of the Golden Age and whose "prop" boots were on display...

The DAM show, which when I was a kid and went Denver on field trips to the Art Museum, would love to keep the little badges that proved we had paid the admission, cause it spelled a "naughty" world. Sadly, this trip I only got a sticker that spelled out the full name, but I digress.

This show featured N.C. son, Andrew Wyeth ( 1917-2009).....


know for his muted palette of browns and earth tones,  his studies of the local inhabitants of New England including the Helga series...


and the Olson family. His most famous painting that of Christina's World, gazing up through the grass of the Olson's farm. The finished painting was not at the DAM, but one of his preliminary sketches was, showing the energy of the idea, that is often lost when the idea is worked out.


We interrupt this review of a great show to highlight something else, who goes to museums in the middle of the day, middle of the week? 

Tourist and well, lots and lots of "older ladies", who made the day interesting. First, they are concerned with everything, their business and others. They first took notice of us, because the "Member's line" was rather long, cause they all come mid day, mid week and we were the only ones in the "other line" and they were rather vocal about that. Then, once our tickets were bought and we were waiting in the rope queue, they were rather upset we did not want to listen to the audio commentary, one reaching over the rope to stop us from going in, unguided to be washed this way and that in the exhibit hall. 


My husband dubbed them the "audio zombies" and they did seem to zombie walk from one painting to the next and then stand motionless listening to the commentary coming through the large satellite phone-ish looking device at their ear.

I was polite with the whole encouragement to not go in, unanchored and resisted tell them that my Wyeth knowledge was decades long,  Helga being released to the world when I was in art school decades ago and just recently watching a whole documentary on the Wyeth legacy.


And I was Jon's whispering commentary, directing  him to appreciate the photograph of the wooden box on the shore line and telling him of Andrew Wyeth's frustration with gawkers while he tried to work and his solution.

The show was very telling, especially the progression of Jamie Wyeth , (1946-  ), showing him experimenting for his voice, painting such icons as Warhol....


his father and grandfather's influence showing in his palette and subject matter....


to finding something that was truly his own....


greater than life whimsical animals. 

The show would have been wonderful, if not for the  "gaggle of older ladies" who didn't seem to know what to think, needing to be instructed, either with the "zombie audios" or clustered around a "docent", a volunteer guide of the museum with a tablet and mini microphone.


They were quite suprised by the "Nude Wall" , a series of sketches and studies...



I heard a few audible "Oh, mys!" as they came around the corner from the lovable animals.
Don't know what they thought of the "pumpkin head man...


 at the end of the show, by that time, I wanted to distance myself, cause, well, I had had my fill of "the gaggle". Unfortunately I would have to deal with them again in A Place in the Sun Exhibit...


 and this time my frustration is probably going to result in an email of complaint to the Denver Art Museum. That story to come in the next post. 



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15. Daniel Radcliffe Features in Short Film Defending The BBC

Daniel Radcliffe joined celebrities Dame Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, David Oyelowo, Sir Ian McKellen, Naomie Harris, and James Corden in a new video on behalf of The Great BBC Campaign, defending the BBC against cuts.

The video’s slogan is “Don’t let the BBC become a memory. Fight for it”.

Radcliffe thanked the BBC for his first role in David Copperfield, which also featured Dame Maggie Smith, and Imelda Staunton:

“I got to work on the first job I did with Bob Hoskins, Maggie Smith, Ian McNiece, Imelda Staunton, Paul Whitehouse, Emilia Fox, it just goes on and on.”

The film – made by Simon Curtis – has been released before a white paper is published, which will detail the future of the BBC.

Watch the video below!

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16. On Libraries and Bicycles

"My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. Both move people forward without wasting anything." - Peter Golkin.

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17. Marriage equality in Australia: will 2016 bring a change in the law?

Hopes for change on the issue in Australia were raised and quickly dashed following September’s leadership spill in the centre-right Liberal Party, in which Malcom Turnbull defeated Prime Minister Tony Abbott, 54 votes to 44. Once seen by advocates of law reform as a champion of marriage equality, the new Prime Minister stated his intention to maintain the coalition’s position on the issue.

The post Marriage equality in Australia: will 2016 bring a change in the law? appeared first on OUPblog.

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18. Booklist: Real Life Reads for Young Adults

Instead of the traditional booklist, I'm sharing a pictorial list...they appeal more to the senses and you got to hand it to book covers - these ROCK!

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19. My tweets

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20. SWEET HOME ALASKA by Carole Estby Dagg + Giveaway

SweetHome_FINAL

Please tell us about your book.

Terpsichore Johnson is thrilled when her family is chosen for the Depression-era program that would transport 202 families from northern Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan all the way to Alaska to be self-sufficient farmers. She had always loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books, and now she was going to have a chance to be a pioneer, just like Laura Ingalls.

She hadn’t realized, though, just what pioneering would mean – giving up inside plumbing, electricity, and even libraries! Worse yet, fumbled management of the project leaves some families in tents as the first snow falls.

Despite challenges, Terpsichore comes to love Alaska. Her mother, however, still misses their home in Wisconsin. What could Terpsichore do to make her mother love Alaska like she does? She hatches a plan that involves a giant pumpkin and a recipe for Jellied Moose Nose.

What drew you to this story?

When I think of the Depression, I think of the dust bowl, college-educated men selling pencils on the street corner, and lines at the soup kitchen. I never realized that New Deal programs extended up to Alaska until my son moved to Palmer, Alaska and bought a rustic cabin on the outskirts of town next to a potato field.

I’ve always liked old houses, and in researching the history of the early days of Palmer, I discovered transcriptions of interviews of old-timers who had moved up with the program in 1935. What a trove of first-hand accounts! If other people also hadn’t heard about the history of the Palmer Colony, maybe I should write a book about it. I couldn’t use all the incidents they described, but I combined many of them and assigned them to my fictional Terpsichore and her new friends.

Palmer tent city B1970_019_106

Palmer tent city

What’s your favorite thing about writing historical fiction?

I love the AHA! moments when I find just the right info to connect the dots between previously known facts. Or to discover new info about historic characters I thought I knew. For instance, who knew that Will Rogers and his pilot, Wiley Post spent one of their last days visiting the Palmer Colony before crashing near Barrow, Alaska?

What’s one of the most interesting things you’ve learned while researching?

I discovered a recipe for Jellied Moose Nose – someone on the Internet rated it as one of the ten most revolting foods.

The other oddest incident I ran across also involved a moose. A grave was dug the day before a funeral and during the night, a moose fell into it. The graveside service had to be delayed until the attendees figured out how to get the moose out of the hole. I wish I’d figured out a way to include that incident into the book!

Deer by Writer's Shack

I’ve always been charmed by your writing cabin. Could you tell us a little about it?

My writer’s shack started out as a wood shed – cement foundation with sturdy posts at the corners to support a roof. It’s one of the nicest spots on our get-away property on San Juan Island. Facing one direction, there’s a sliver of a view through the trees of Mosquito Pass. Facing the opposite direction, there’s a view of Garrison Bay and English Camp, established during the mid-1800’s when English and Americans were trying to decide which country owned the island.

Those views were too good to waste on a wood shed, so I asked my husband if I could claim it as my writing spot. I thought we’d just close in the sides with plywood and run an electrical wire out, but my husband found salvaged, leaded-glass windows for the view sides and had a small door custom made.

It’s only 7 feet by 8 feet, but it has all I need. I have a flat door held up by sawhorses for a desk, two lights, and a plug-in for an electrical heater so I can use it year-round. It’s about 30 paces from the house and another cup of tea.

What are you working on next?

My next book will be based on the Pig War, which took place on San Juan Island. 

Giveaway

Enter to win your own copy of SWEET HOME ALASKA below. The contest closes Wednesday, February 17. US residents only, please.

Carole - leaning smile-124 Carole Estby Dagg also wrote the middle-grade historical novel The Year We Were Famous. She was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and has lived in Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia. She has degrees in sociology, library science, and accounting. Her real-life adventures include tiptoeing through King Tut’s tomb, sand boarding the dunes of western Australia, riding a camel among the Great Pyramids, paddling with Manta rays in Moorea, and smelling the penguins in the Falkland Islands. She is married with two children, two grandchildren, a husband, and a bossy cat who supervises her work. She splits her writing time between her study in Everett, Washington, and a converted woodshed on San Juan Island.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Click through to sign up for my quarterly newsletter and you’ll receive a free printable from my novel, Blue Birds. Enjoy!

The post SWEET HOME ALASKA by Carole Estby Dagg + Giveaway originally appeared on Caroline Starr Rose

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21. Flogometer for Kelsey—are you compelled to turn the page?

Submissions Needed. If you’d like a fresh look at your opening chapter or prologue, please email your submission to me re the directions at the bottom of this post.


The Flogometer challenge: can you craft a first page that compels me to turn to the next page? Caveat: Please keep in mind that this is entirely subjective.

Note: all the Flogometer posts are here.

What's a first page in publishingland? In a properly formatted novel manuscript (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type, etc.) there should be about 16 or 17 lines on the first page (first pages of chapters/prologues start about 1/3 of the way down the page). Directions for submissions are below—they include a request to post the rest of the chapter, but that’s optional.

A word about the line-editing in these posts: it’s “one-pass” editing, and I don’t try to address everything, which is why I appreciate the comments from the FtQ tribe. In a paid edit, I go through each manuscript three times.

Mastering front 100WshadowBefore you rip into today’s submission, consider this checklist of first-page ingredients from my book, Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling. While it's not a requirement that all of these elements must be on the first page, they can be, and I think you have the best chance of hooking a reader if they are.

Download a free PDF copy here.

Were I you, I'd examine my first page in the light of this list before submitting to the Flogometer. I use it on my own work.

A First-page Checklist

  • It begins engaging the reader with the character
  • Something is happening. On a first page, this does NOT include a character musing about whatever.
  • The character desires something.
  • The character does something.
  • There’s enough of a setting to orient the reader as to where things are happening.
  • It happens in the NOW of the story.
  • Backstory? What backstory? We’re in the NOW of the story.
  • Set-up? What set-up? We’re in the NOW of the story.
  • What happens raises a story question.

Caveat: a strong first-person voice with the right content can raise powerful story questions and create page turns without doing all of the above. A recent submission worked wonderfully well and didn't deal with five of the things in the checklist.

Also, if you think about it, the same checklist should apply to the page where you introduce an antagonist.


Kelsey sends a revision of her first chapter of This Bitter Cup. The last submission is here. The rest of the chapter follows the break.

I closed the door softly and crept down the hallway. It was dark as the castle’s torches were not lit at this hour. I quickened my pace and just as I checked the hallway behind me I walked straight into a man.

No, a boy. My age. He was not wearing the uniform of the castle guard or a servant’s livery. His clothing was a muted shade of black, as if to hide among the shadows between the lines of moonlight shining through the balistrarias. We locked eyes for a moment before he continued running down the hallway.

I continued in the opposite direction from him and threw myself headlong down the spiral staircase into the bowels of the castle. I exited through the scullery entrance into the cool night. I pulled my hood close to hide my porcelain skin; it would instantly tell any guards I wasn’t the servant I was dressed as.

I followed the narrow river that bisected the city to Madge’s Inn. Upon entering I was startled to find Madge herself sitting behind the counter. No one knew how old Madge was but no one could remember a time before her Inn either. I had assumed she’d died but I was glad she hadn’t.

Madge nodded at me and moved her stool and the rug beneath it to reveal a small trapdoor. I opened it and climbed down the ladder into darkness.

Were you compelled to turn the page?

I do like the voice here and the atmosphere of this opening. It’s clear that the protagonist is up to something she doesn’t want anyone to know about . . . but what? She avoids discovery, but what are the consequences if she is discovered? What is the story about? These aren’t story questions, they are information questions, and it would be stronger if there were answers here. A hint of her mission, the stakes, any consequences to create a little tension. As it is, there wasn’t quite enough to pull me forward. As it turns out, even though we go with her to a secret meeting, we end up not knowing what it’s about, nor what the story concerns. We need more chew on before we can develop a taste here, Kelsey. But keep at it, there’s plenty of potential in these pages, and you've improved on the original. Some notes:

I closed the door softly and crept down the hallway. It was dark as the castle’s torches were not lit at this hour. I quickened my pace and just as I checked the hallway behind me I walked straight into a man.

No, a boy. My age. He was not wearing the uniform of the castle guard or a servant’s livery. His clothing was a muted shade of black, as if to hide among the shadows between the lines of moonlight shining through the balistrarias. We locked eyes for a moment before he continued running down the hallway. It seems to me that black is black and there are no shades of black. Those are called “gray.” And the boy/man wasn’t running when she walked into him, he just seemed to have been there. I would change “continued running” to “ran.” for this to track in a meaningful way.

I continued in the opposite direction from him and threw myself headlong down the spiral staircase into the bowels of the castle. I exited through the scullery entrance into the cool night. I pulled my hood close to hide my porcelain skin; it would instantly tell any guards I wasn’t the servant I was dressed as.

I followed the narrow river that bisected the city to Madge’s Inn. Upon entering I was startled to find Madge herself sitting behind the counter. No one knew how old Madge was but no one could remember a time before her Inn either. I had assumed she’d died but I was glad she hadn’t.

Madge nodded at me and moved her stool and the rug beneath it to reveal a small trapdoor. I opened it and climbed down the ladder into darkness. Here, if not earlier, would be a good place to hint at some aspect of story. For instance: I opened and climbed down the ladder into darkness to join my fellow conspirators.

For what it’s worth.

Comments, please?

For what it’s worth.

Ray

Submitting to the Flogometer:

Email the following in an attachment (.doc, .docx, or .rtf preferred, no PDFs):

  1. your title
  2. your complete 1st chapter or prologue plus 1st chapter
  3. Please include in your email permission to post it on FtQ.
  4. Note: I’m adding a copyright notice for the writer at the end of the post. I’ll use just the first name unless I’m told I can use the full name.
  5. Also, please tell me if it’s okay to post the rest of the chapter so people can turn the page.
  6. And, optionally, include your permission to use it as an example in a book on writing craft if that's okay.
  7. If you’re in a hurry, I’ve done “private floggings,” $50 for a first chapter.
  8. If you rewrite while you wait for your turn, it’s okay with me to update the submission.

Were I you, I'd examine my first page in the light of the first-page checklist before submitting to the Flogometer.

Flogging the Quill © 2016 Ray Rhamey, chapter © 2016 by Tamara

Continued

I felt for the door and rapped quickly, hoping I remembered the pattern. I heard the latch click and entered the room. The walls and floor were packed earth but the ceiling was black stone, like a starless night sky.

I sat at a table. “How many are we waiting for?” I asked the large, black bearded man behind the counter. I remembered him vaguely from the last meeting.

“Four,” he replied and continued to stare at the door.

I twiddled my thumbs. My nerves made me feel like a crouched cat, ready to flee at the first whiff of a threat. Four more people trickled through the door over the course of half of an hour. I recognized half of them. One was the town blacksmith’s apprentice. The other worked for the baker.

I sat alone at my table, the only woman in a room full of men.

One of the men I didn’t recognize stood behind the bar and the bearded man sat down at a table. He placed both his palms flat on the well-worn wood and looked out at the room.

He cleared his throat. “I’ve just received word that we have acquired the maps.”

He looked at me. “We have been trying to acquire these for some time but have been unable to ourselves,” he looked back out at the room, “this was accomplished through the use of an outside…contractor.”

The boy I had seen in the hallway?

“You will receive further instructions when we reconvene in a fortnight.”

That was all he had to say? Everyone left except for the black bearded man and the man who had addressed us.

“What the hell has happened since the last meeting?” I demanded. “Why isn’t Samuel running these meetings anymore? Why do I only recognize three people?”

“Such unbecoming language for a lady,” the black bearded man said.

“Introductions are in order,” the other man said more tactfully, “I’m Richard and this is my cousin John, you may remember him from the last weekend.”

“I remember,” I said, crossing my arms and raising my chin.

“We had an incident with Samuel last week,” Richard said, “the guards noticed him asking a lot of questions and they took him in to ask some of their own and he hasn’t been seen since.”

“If you kept a better handle on your castle you would have already known that,” John said to me. “And if you’d gotten the maps a fortnight ago like we’d planned this wouldn’t have happened.”

“Who was this contractor?”

John and Richard looked at each other. “No one you need you need to worry about,” said Richard. “You won’t ever be seeing him.”

“I like to meet everyone involved at least once,” I said. “You know that.”

“I no longer think that’s the wisest policy, plausible deniability and all that. With the guards taking people I’d hate to see your lovely name tortured out of anyone. Best to keep you in the shadows.”

I glared at them. “Fine, I’ll see you in a fortnight.” I stormed out of the room.

When I left Madge’s the river was lit with the silvery light of the moon but there wasn’t any hint of dawn on the horizon. I was on time. In the quiet silver light all I heard was the river lapping against the shore but I swear I felt someone watching me.

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22. “The experience of chocolate craving”- an extract from The Economics of Chocolate

It is indisputable that chocolate consumption gives instant pleasure and comfort, especially during episodes of ‘emotional eating’, which involves searching for food (generally in large amounts) even if not physiologically hungry in order to get relief from a negative mood or bad feelings (e.g. stressful life situations, anxiety, depression). The pleasure experienced in eating chocolate can be, first of all, due to neurophysiological components.

The post “The experience of chocolate craving”- an extract from The Economics of Chocolate appeared first on OUPblog.

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23. HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD!!

Extra!HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD PARTS I & II TO BE PUBLISHED IN PRINT BY SCHOLASTIC IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA  AT 12:01 A.M. ON JULY 31, 2016

Scholastic will publish a script book based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eighth Harry Potter story, will be priced at $29.99 U.S. and $39.99 Canada. The script eBook will be published by Pottermore simultaneously with the print editions by Scholastic in the US and Canada, and Little, Brown Book Group in the UK.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

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24. Blackhearts: Review

I was excited to read Nicole Castroman’s debut, Blackhearts, because I love historical fiction! I love historical fiction set in the 18th century! and Blackbeard! And, um, as a North Carolina resident, I went to the NC Maritime Museum this summer and saw artifacts from Blackbeard’s ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. If you are in or around Beaufort, NC, by the way, you too can do this thing. While I did not totally love Blackhearts, I am not sure that it’s the fault of the book? I went into Blackhearts wanting richly developed historical fiction with a little bit of romance on the side. What made Edward Teach into Blackbeard? Instead, the book is … a lot of romance. It’s primarily about Teach’s relationship with Anne Barrett, who is working, when they are first introduced, as a maid in Teach’s father’s home. Anne is the daughter of a white merchant and a... Read more »

The post Blackhearts: Review appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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25. Why is addiction treatment so slow to change?

The US taxpayers fund the overwhelming majority of addiction research in the world. Every year, Congress channels about $1 billion to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). An additional almost $0.5 billion is separately given to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), my own workplace for the past decade.

The post Why is addiction treatment so slow to change? appeared first on OUPblog.

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