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1. Convergence #8 Marks Another Reboot for the DC Universe

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So…while you were away DC Comics just rebooted their Universe. I know, I know, DC does this all the time. The last specific instance being in 2011, when this whole New 52 business first started. However, yesterday’s Convergence #8 revealed the publisher’s ulterior motives for the event.

Spoilers for Convergence #8.

Minor Information Update: 8:30

This might sound completely ridiculous, but it turns out that DC was actually trying to utilize their huge crossover to simply do some maintenance on their current Multiverse policy. So…the Multiverse is now back with new versions of old characters along with the full Multiverse concept, the difference is that all of these worlds have evolved for the aforementioned new characters. The Multiversity Guidebook #1 seems to be more important than ever, as the company is now trying to bring that series into effect with the various worlds introduced inside of it.

Of course, the publisher loves telling event series that are born out of huge sweeping changes to their line. One of the most notable and influential stories being the seminal Crisis on Infinite Earths by George Perez and Marv Wolfman. Since then, the DC has attempted to pay homage to that story time and time again. However, Flashpoint, and the New 52 did mark a time of exploration with them — albeit a tumultuous time in comics that ended up splitting comics fandom in two towards their opinions of DC. In fact, Convergence #8 featured a pair of splash pages highlighting some of the different Earths that were saved by Brainiac in the big event.

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The planets with updated characters from the Multiverse include the Pre-Crisis Universe, the New 52 Universe, a gender swapped Universe, a Bizarro Universe, Earth 2, an Ultra Comics Universe, Captain Carrot’s Universe, a place for the Charlton characters, a world for Kamandi to roam free as the last boy on Earth, and more.

Yet with Divergence now being imminent as the next upcoming DC reboot, the company is really attempting to give comics fandom exactly what they want. The House of Batman and Superman are experimenting with new looks for each character and shedding some light on their older and newer established properties. DC is always stronger when they take advantage of their already established canon. DC is over 75 years young, which is exactly why spinning concepts like Prez with new cultural context is likely going to payoff for the comics creators.

With a Multiverse filled with characters both old and new, comics fans should honestly be excited about what is coming next — even if the event that got us here (Convergence) seemed to be too wrapped up in editorial policy to contain a story that stood it’s own ground as a great comic book.

5 Comments on Convergence #8 Marks Another Reboot for the DC Universe, last added: 5/29/2015
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2. A Missed Opportunity in Cynthia DeFelice's FORT

The L.A. Times  released their Summer Reading Guide earlier today. I glanced at the Kids list. I'm thrilled to see Engle's Enchanted Air on it, and Older's Shadowshaper, too. I found much to love in both of those books.

I noticed Fort by Cynthia DeFelice on the list, too. Fort? That's one of the story lines that often trades on stereotypes of American Indians. Does DeFelice do that? I don't know. I haven't read her book. From the synopsis, it doesn't sound like it has anything to do with Native peoples:

In this boys-will-be-boys summer story about friendship and revenge, eleven-year-old Wyatt and his friend Augie aren't looking for a fight. They're having the best summer of their lives hanging out in the fort they built in the woods, fishing and hunting, cooking over a campfire, and sleeping out. But when two older boys mess with the fort--and with another kid who can't fight back--the friends are forced to launch Operation Doom, with unexpected results for all concerned, in this novel about two funny and very real young heroes.


Curious, though, I ran the "look inside" search on Amazon, using "Indian" and found this on page 74:



The set up for that passage is this: the boys are hunting squirrels. They have to be very still. Flies land on one of the boys and he wants to swat at the one that lands on his nose. That's when he thinks about that movie. In the next paragraph, he sees that ants are crawling on him. The third paragraph starts out "It seemed like a long time went by." Finally a squirrel comes by and the story shifts to hunting.

Did that passage about Indians and ants need to be in the story? What does it add? When I read "a movie" in that excerpt above, I started looking for such a movie. I found lots of references to an episode in Sons of Anarchy when the "Wahewa" Indians bury a man up to his neck and let ants crawl all over him. I'm sure there's similar scenes in old western flicks.

But regardless of what movie that scene is in, what does it add to this story?

If I was editing the manuscript, I think I'd have suggested that the author cut that paragraph and the next one. She could go from being still (paragraph before that one with the Indian movie reference) to the one that started out "It seemed like a long time went by."

I titled this post "a missed opportunity" because another option to address that excerpt is that the author could have inserted stupid so that the excerpt reads "I sat as quietly as I could, remembering a stupid movie I saw..." or another sentence at the end, such as "That was a stupid movie. When are movie makers going to stop making movies like that?!"

Lest you be tempted to say "it is one line" -- please think about all the "one lines" about Indians there are in children's books, in movies, in songs, in grocery store items, in video games, on athletic team gear... It adds up! Those one lines introduce inaccurate information and reinforce inaccurate information, too.

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3. Max & Shred Girls

Max & Shred girls Howie (Saara Chaudry), Abby (Emilia McCarthy)Meet EMILIA McCARTHY and SAARA CHAUDRY from Max & Shred!

Last week we introduced you to Jake and Johnny from the Nickelodeon show Max & Shred. This week, we have an interview with the girls who play Abby and Howie on the show.

Q: What is your favorite Max & Shred episode so far?
Emilia: I had to wear a Yeti suit. After watching it and all the hard work that we put into that episode and then seeing it, it definitely paid off. So it’s really funny. It was boiling, and on set it’s already really hot because of the lights and it was summertime. So, yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever sweat so much in my entire life.

Q: What do you think kids will like about the show? 
Emilia: There’s a character on the show that’s relatable to everyone. Everyone’s pretty different on the show. Like, there’s Howie, who’s played by Saara, and she’s the little 8-year-old genius. She’s 8 going on 30. And then there’s, you know, the two boys. One is the cool snowboarder guy and the other one is the scientist. And then there’s Abby, who’s the teenage girl who has a different boyfriend every week and she’s always on her phone. Everyone can find someone they relate to on the show, which I think is cool.

Q: You have a fun nickname like Howie does on the show. How did you get it?
Saara: When I was younger, I was very curious like Howie. Howie got her name because when she was little she kept asking, “How?” so everyone started calling her Howie because she was so curious. So when I was little I was really curious and I would always look up to things and say, “This,” because I didn’t know how to say anything else really. But I had a bit of a lisp so it always came out as “Dish.” So everyone in my family calls me “Dish” and it sort of stuck since I was little.

Q: What’s the funniest or most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
Saara: Um, well, I think it was probably when I was on stage when I was doing Les Mis in Toronto and it was my first night being Little Cosette on stage and all my family was there. I was so nervous that I hiccupped on stage in the middle of my song. It was pretty embarrassing just to know that I did something like that. I don’t know if many people noticed, but definitely my family did.

Q: Do you have any Mexican family traditions from your mom?
Emilia:  Well, New Year’s is very funny. She has all these Mexican voodoo things. I don’t even know if they’re real or if she just made them up. We have to eat a grape every minute for ten minutes before New Year’s and we have to make a wish.  And she also has to sweep. We have to go outside the house with our suitcases to represent travelling. She has all these crazy Mexican things . . . I don’t know, but I do them anyway. Like, ten minutes before New Year’s we’re doing all these crazy things like, “What the heck are they doing?” My dad is the most Canadian person I know and he has to put up with all these Mexican dishes and Tabasco sauce. He’s a good sport. But I love Mexican food so I wouldn’t be any happier than having tacos every day.

Q: Tell me about the book you wrote when you were 7.
Emilia: It’s called Baby’s Wish and it’s about what the baby wishes for before it’s born. It wishes about what the parents would look like and what it’s going to do and what it’s going to look like. And when it’s born, none of the wishes come true physically, but, you know, the baby realizes that the parents still love the baby and that’s really all that matters. My dad is a writer, so he helped me with the idea and he wrote it. It was kind of like a dream I had and we worked together to create a little, cute story. I am in the process of writing something. It’s been so long. But I really enjoy writing and I wouldn’t mind getting into screenwriting for movies.

Q: Tell me about the “Because I am a Girl” campaign. 
Saara: It’s a campaign for girls to get education and to have equal rights in parts of the world where they don’t get equal rights like in Africa and Asia and India. For my 9th birthday instead of choosing to get presents, I asked my friends to make a donation to the “Because I am a Girl” campaign. It’s something I’m really passionate about and I’m learning about that sort of stuff at school and everything, just like that whole topic about equal rights and girls’ education and charities and everything. It’s one of my big passions to help kids out around the world who don’t have opportunities like me and my friends. It’s something I really want all my fans to get into. 

Q: What is the best book you ever read?
Emilia: This book called Before I Fall (for ages 12 and up). I read it a few years ago. I love it so much. It’s about a teenage girl who gets hit by a car but then for some reason she survives. She travels back in time as if the car accident never happened and she gets to relive her life decisions. I love it so much. It’s so great for young girls to read. For me, reading it as a young teenager, I was so astounded by it.
Saara: Any Dr. Seuss book. Growing up, he’s been my favorite author. But I also love the author Deborah Ellis. She has some great books. I especially like the Breadwinner trilogy and My Name is Parvana. I love those books. My librarian at school actually introduced me to Deborah Ellis.

Q: Do you have any pets?
Emilia: I have a dog called Crème Brulée. He’s a Cockapoo. And he is quite a wimp and I feel kind of guilty because the name kind of suits him unfortunately. [Laughter] Actually he was on eTalk with me once for a “Work Out with Your Dog” segment, and he was so badly behaved. He should not be in the acting business. He tried and it did not work out for him and I don’t think he should pursue the acting business.
Saara: I have a couple of fish in my backyard, quite a few actually. They’re mostly koi fish that my dad takes care of because we have a small pond in my backyard. But I also have one fish just in my room and it’s a blue beta fish I think, and it’s called Juju. I love fish. I would like to get a dog, but my mom is allergic and she just doesn’t want to take care of it that much. [Laughter]

Interview by Marie Morreale 
Image courtesy of Nickelodeon

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4. A Scandalous Insult

I was planning on telling you about the next essay in The Art of Daring but it has turned out to be a hot and windy day and I feel a bit limp. So, I’m just going to tell you about a funny bit in the prologue to the biography of Keats I just began reading the other day.

The biography is the one by Robert Gittings. In the prologue he tells a little story about the first biography of Keats intended to be published not long after his death in 1821, Memoirs and Remains of John Keats. Apparently friends of Keats were angry and scandalized that someone would so hastily and prematurely publish such a book.

Appointed spokesman of the friends tossed out a barbed insult at Taylor of the publishing firm Taylor and Hessey who were planning on printing the abomination. The insult? Are your ready for it? It’s really bad. Ok, Brown called Taylor “a mere bookseller.” I know, right? It doesn’t get any worse than that. The insult worked so well that the book was never published and no one who knew Keats firsthand ever wrote a full-length biography.

I know, it was a different time and a different publishing landscape. No doubt the epithet probably implied Taylor was a money grubbing opportunist or something like that. But to think that being called a bookseller and a mere bookseller at that, was once insulting is at least worth an amusing snort, don’t you think?

These days if “mere bookseller” were to be used as an insult I am afraid it would mean something more along the lines of “you are a stupid idiot because everyone knows print is dead and no one actually reads any more.” Of course we know differently, which would also make this worth a snort of amusement and perhaps a head shake of pity for the poor fool making the insult. And a sigh. I think a good sigh would also be in order.


Filed under: Books, Memoir/Biography Tagged: John Keats, Robert Gittings

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5. Throw Back Thursday

Feeling nostalgic. This was taken in the Fall of 2007. And yes, Kevin is holding a little clicker/timer thingie.

I miss these boys – so young.


Filed under: Throw Back Thursday

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6. The Islanders review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of yet another dark, dark tale by Pascal Garnier, The Islanders, UK-available, and due out shortly in the US.

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7. End of Year School LIbrary Procedures

Many schools are winding down in the next few weeks. For the school library, that means trying to get all materials returned and then inventoried. Do you have trouble getting your students to return materials? What about teachers? Do you collect their materials too?

Our school system has set procedures for closing up shop for the year. Three weeks from the last school day for students is the last day to check out books. All books are due at the two-week mark. We have normally not had issues with these dates, but two years ago, several students became very upset by this rule. We tried to explain why we had to stop checking out books so early (inventory, etc.), but several took upon themselves to start "stealing" whole manga series! When finally caught with the 20+ books in their backpacks, they said they were just borrowing them until the last day of school. Needless to say, we have kids who LOVE to read but think the rules do not apply to them.

We have also run into the issue of kids not wanting to return books because they may have accumulated our max overdue fine of $5.00.  To encourage kids to return their books, we designate one week near the end of the school year as "Fine Free Week".  Students can return any overdue books for free!  Yes, it would be awesome to have the money that we lose from these fines, but I would rather have the book back even more.

So what about teachers?  Our school system asks that all teachers return materials (books, DVDs, etc.), but many of our teachers argue that they are the only one to use a certain book or DVD, so why not just keep it in their room.  As a former classroom teacher, I understand that, but as a media specialist, I like to know that the materials are accounted for, inventoried, and housed in the media center over the summer.  You would be surprised how many teachers "claim" to have a book or DVD in their room, but it no longer exists because it was lost or stolen.  Returning library materials is now included on our school's teacher summer check-off sheet that is due before leaving for the summer.

Inventory is the biggest part of our end of the year procedures.  Once books are turned in, it usually takes about three days to complete our inventory.  We do use two-three very responsible student helpers for the process.  As with any inventory, it is a tedious process, but we are able to use the results to order missing or damaged materials.  We also use this time to run an end of the year report of our circulation.  Again, this is valuable data that tells us what our students are reading most, what programs are working best, and what goals we need to set for the next year.

In addition to collecting materials and completing inventory, we also use the end of the year to "clean up" our technology.  We delete user profiles and do a disk cleanup on all desktop and laptop computers.  Chromebook profiles are deleted, and iPads are updated.  Schools with maker spaces would want to check all equipment and materials for damage and working order, as well as reorganize for the next year.

I would love to say that closing up a school library was as easy as just dusting off the shelves and locking the doors, but there are many important steps in the process in order to maintain a successful library program.  As tedious as many of these steps can be, they are well worth it when you open in the fall ready to start a new year!

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8. Writing a Poem

This is what I need to write –
A pencil and a pad
And someplace where the background noise
Won’t drive me friggin’ mad.

Of course I need a topic
Which will get my brain in gear
Or else from my surroundings,
Inspiration may appear.

The first line leaps like lightning
From the pencil to the page.
The rest proceeds more slowly
As the thoughts and rhymes engage.

But the ending, ah the ending
Is the toughest nut to crack,
The point where many chuck it all
And let the words go slack.

So oftentimes I’ll read my poem
Again and yet again
Until I find a way to end
And then I’ll say – amen!

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9. Luna and Me’s Birthday!

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I am perpetually late sending off birthday cards. Blogging is no different. It’s nearly June, and not only do I have a six-month old son who oozes sweetness, I have a new book that got its wings a couple weeks ago – Luna and Me: The True Story of a Girl Who Lived in a Tree to Save a Forest, based on Julia Butterfly Hill’s tree-sit in an ancient Redwood tree. Contrary to most kids guesstimate that it takes me one week or one month to make a book, Luna and Me took me longer to write and illustrate than Butterfly’s 738-day tree-sit. Ha. An epic journey for sure, but I loved it all.

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We celebrated with a fun launch party Taos-style with a packed house of friends who braved the hail and COLD (yes, in May!) and were rewarded with Patrick’s spicy, hot chai, ginger owl cookies, and a book. :) The best part was when my friends’ son perfectly timed his desire to climb the carved “trunk” when I read, “To exercise, Butterfly climbed to the very top of Luna every day. With sticky sappy feet, she crawled like a spider up and down Luna’s trunk.” Hee!

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I feel blessed and grateful every time I think of the long list of people who helped me with research (!!), editing, feedback, listening to me talk about it (!), childcare (so I could paint), turning my paintings upside down for new perspective, sharing cool collage papers, and so on.

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And as much as my mind is focused on new books, it was important to stop for a moment and celebrate. Julia is an amazing example of how everyone can make a difference. We all have gifts to offer! I hope Luna and Me inspires readers to be caretakers for our magical and beautiful world and to take long walks with the trees.

xoJenny

P.S. I had the honor of being interviewed recently by the AMAZING, thoughtful, and Busy Librarian, Matthew Winner, about Luna and Me on his “Let’s Get Busy” podcast. I wish I had M.W. for a librarian when I was little!!

P.S. #2 Check out my summer schedule in the Midwest, CA, OR, WA, WY and NM. Hope to see some of you at an event!

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10. BEA 2015: More French comics on the way to the US

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The gorgeous Albertine bookstore at the French Embassy.

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I’m in the middle of Book Expo/Book Con hubbub but I wanted to draw beat readers attention to the conference on French-language comics held this past Tuesday as a kickoff for BEA. The invite-only event was organized by BIEF, a French books organization, but agent/translator Ivanka Hahnenberger , and included representatives of 35 US publishers and many French ones as well. There were lots and lots and lots of stats thrown out, and maybe the decks will be made public at some time, but I summed up some of them for the piece:

The event is part of a renewed effort by BIEF to attract more attention to French comics in a growing U.S. market that is changing to be more accepting of content beyond the superhero genre that has dominated it for decades. More such efforts are planned. Castille announced that in the fall of 2015, a coalition of 13 comics publishers from eight countries is launching Europecomics.com, an EU-cofunded online venture aimed at the North American market that will provide information and highlight events around European graphic novels.

Comics—or “bande desinée” as they are known in France—make up a much larger portion of the French publishing market than they do the U.S., about 12.5% of all the books published, compared to about 3% in the U.S. According to statistics from Livres Hebdo (the PW of France) 349 French comic publishers put out 5000 graphic novels in 2014, compared to 1500 graphic novels distributed in the U.S. through Diamond. Sales in France were led by the latest volume of the long-running humor comics series Asterix with 1.634 million copies sold.



Other numbersL currently digital comics make up only 1% of the French market, a fact that Izdeo and Comixology are trying to change…give them time, I’m sure it will happen.


The day was part of an effort to bring more Francophone comics to the US. Given the success of things like Beautiful Darkness, Lulu Anew, Exquisite Corpse, Sardine in Space, Robert Moses and Blue is the Warmest Color — all books from a spectrum of US publishers—it seems this is starting to happen. We may never get the total range of French GNs but we’re getting more of them and the variety is definitely adding to the general golden age of comics we’re now experiencing.

IMG_3541.JPGSchmoozing over wine and cheese.

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This fall europecomics.com will launch, a portal for all things Euro.

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11. HarperCollins & Shazam Team on Content Distribution

HarperCollins Publishers has teamed up with Shazam as the exclusive book partner of its new visual recognition tool.

Shazam’s new feature allows users to wave their mobile device over any HarperCollins book or piece of promotional content with the Shazam camera logo on it in order to access exclusive content. Doing so will lead the user to a site with features including: author interviews, videos and playlists. Once on the site, users can buy books and share content to their social networks.

The device must have a camera and access to the Internet for it to work.

 

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12. Dany Laferrière enters the Academy

       Dany Laferrière (Why Must a Black Writer Write About Sex ? etc.) has now taken his place (fauteuil 2) among the immortels of the French Academy -- "le premier Haïtien et le premier Québécois" to do so; see also, for example, the report, Writer Dany Laferrière inducted into the Académie française. (They make him wear a silly jacket, but he does get to play with a sword.)
       At the official site they now have his induction speech (in French, of course).

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13. Book Review: Dark Sparkler by Ambery Tamblyn

From Goodreads:
The lives of more than twenty-five actresses lost before their time—from Marilyn Monroe to Brittany Murphy—explored in haunting, provocative new work by an acclaimed poet and actress.

Amber Tamblyn is both an award-winning film and television actress and an acclaimed poet. As such she is deeply fascinated-and intimately familiar—with the toll exacted from young women whose lives are offered in sacrifice as starlets. The stories of these actresses, both famous and obscure-tragic stories of suicide, murder, obscurity, and other forms of death—inspired this empathic and emotionally charged collection of new poetic work. 

Featuring subjects from Marilyn Monroe and Frances Farmer to Dana Plato and Brittany Murphy—and paired with original artwork commissioned for the book by luminaries including David Lynch, Adrian Tome, Marilyn Manson, and Marcel Dzama—Dark Sparkler is a surprising and provocative collection from a young artist of wide-ranging talent, culminating in an extended, confessional epilogue of astonishing candor and poetic command. 
Writing
I mean, it's poetry.  It's really hard for me to judge the artistic merits of modern poetry because I don't get most of it.  And I have a lot of insecurity relating to the fact that my brother is a complete professional at poetry (no seriously, he's published and teaches it on a college level) and I am terrified of the entire genre, particularly modern blank verse.  I feel like I have no idea what makes something good versus what makes something random strings of words.

In this case, my gut leads me towards mediocre.  I say that as a total and complete non-expert and I'd happily change my opinion if someone explained things to me differently.  But from what I could tell, these are decent but not exceptional poems.  The idea behind them, however, is original and interesting, especially given that the author is a celebrity herself and that the poems deal with fame and its tragic ends.

I do think she did a fine job of conveying her theme - that celebrity doesn't frequently bring happiness, that aging is a death sentence for the careers of women in show business, and that fame can turn on you in a second.  While the theme came across, I didn't find anything particularly memorable about the language she used or the style of her writing.  It wasn't bad, but I also wasn't impressed enough to keep any of these around for future reference.

Entertainment Value
I think the main entertainment value in these was in looking up each actress and reading about her life and tragic end.  There were only a few I had heard of - Brittany Murphy, Marilyn Monroe - and many who I had the joy of reading about for the first time.  While the book could easily be read in under an hour, I spent quite a few hours with it looking up each actress and reading about her life and what became of her in the end.  Many of the poems only make sense if you read them with a knowledge of the subject's life, so it is important to have that background information.

Overall
I have to say that, while I think this is interesting and original, it's not a must-read.  If you're not really into poetry and the idea of fame and celebrity and its fickleness doesn't particularly interest you, this is probably one you can pass on.  That said, it does make for an interesting concept, particularly with the art included.  I read it right before listening to Almost Famous Women, which I'll be reviewing soon and it made for some very interesting comparison.  I think the two pair pretty well together, if you're looking for something similar in theme.

Thanks to Harper Collins for providing me with a copy to review.

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14. How to quote

Question: I want to know when get information from other sources e.g. internet, different web sites books etc; at the end do I have to mention all the

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15. That yucky voice again?????

The other day I came across a picture that my daughter drew ten years ago. She was just beginning to fall in love with the theater. I was so enchanted with her depiction of herself taking over the stage.


Until I looked closer. In the middle of the cheering crowd, there was one critic, shall we say, who chose to point a finger at the performer.


My heart sank. Here was proof that, despite how many opportunities and awards Sofia had received, despite how happy she was to be performing, she still heard a yucky voice. In fact, she heard it so clearly that she made it part of her picture.

In my first novel, NATURE GIRL, the main character has a continuing struggle with her yucky voice. As Megan hikes the Appalachian Trail, her confidence grows. The voice gradually fades, until Megan realizes with delight that the voice is gone.

I have to confess that that isn't really accurate. Those who have yucky voices, and I am one of them, know that permanently silencing that voice is very very difficult. The past few months, I've been struggling with an impossible novel. My yucky voice has been positively gleeful to have so many opportunities to make me feel bad. But I haven't let it completely take over my life.  I haven't quit. Instead I keep reminding myself of the positive comments I've received. It feels a little vain to reread kind emails and notes. That goes against my Midwestern upbringing. But why should we dwell on the negative? Why let that one voice be louder than the positive?

And so, in that spirit, I made a few alterations to my daughter's drawing. I decided to include what I know the rest of the audience was thinking. I hope she understands.





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16. Friday Feature: Don't Call Me Kit Kat



Junior high is where things really start to happen. Cliques form and break apart. Couples are made and destroyed. And a reputation is solidified that you won’t ever be able to escape. Everything you do and say, and everyone you spend your time with, matters. 

Katie Mills knows that. She gets it. That’s why she tried so hard to get in with the cool girls at school. And why she was so devastated when those efforts found her detained for shoplifting and laughed out of cheer squad tryouts. 

But Katie has more to worry about than just fitting in. Her parents are divorced and always fighting. Her sister never has time for her. And her friends all seem to be drifting apart. Even worse? The boy she has a crush on is dating the mean girl at school. 

Everything is a mess, and Katie doesn’t feel like she has control over any of it. Certainly not over her weight, which has always topped out at slightly pudgier than normal—at least, according to her mother. 

So when she happens to catch one of the popular girls throwing up in the bathroom one day, it sparks an idea. A match that quickly engulfs her life in flames. 

Is there any going back once she gets started down this path? 

And would she even want to if she could?

Find it on Amazon.

Check out this trailer:


Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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17. Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Paul Pope

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Paul Pope is one of the indy comics/small press stars to emerge from the 1990’s. Premiering in 1994, his self-published comic THB is the futuristic story of a girl living on Mars with her super-powered, inflatable bodyguard. It’s hard to categorize Paul Pope’s work. I see that THB often gets lumped in with other genre indy comics of that era, like Jeff Smith’s Bone and James A. Owen’s Starchild. I see his work fitting better in the alternative/small press sphere, at least stylistically speaking. Maybe that’s just a testament to the uniqueness of Pope’s work; his fluid line work and stark sense of design.

Paul Pope has been living and working in New York City for most of his career. He’s created comics for many of the major comics publishers, including the multi-Eisner winner Batman 100 for DC Comics.

Recently, Paul Pope created the graphic novel Battling Boy for First Second, with the follow-up titled The Rise of Aurora West.

You can keep up with all things Paul Pope on his website here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates

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18. Summer Reading Self-Care

Summer reading it upon us. For many librarians, registration has already begun.

Summer reading is hard, y’all. It’s fun, but it’s stressful and it tests us. So I think the thing to do is to decide beforehand that we’re going to take care of ourselves. Once we’re in it, it’s too easy to get carried away. Here’s a few quick tips:

1) Keep an eye on your overtime. At my last branch, all of my family programs were in the evening. It was just too easy to come in at the regular time and work all the way to close. I don’t care how young you are, your body cannot handle multiple 12-hour workdays. You will burn out early on and your summer will be miserable.

2) Ask for help. Do you have a staff? Delegate. If you don’t, that gets trickier. You might have to ask your manager or other non-YS library staff for help. In a perfect world, they would be thrilled to help, but we all know that’s not the case. But summer reading is NOT a one-man operation. Don’t try to do it on your own.

3) Set aside you time. Make sure you block off a specific time each week for something for you to do. Seriously. Put it in your phone, planner, or desk calendar. Do you love to read? Grab a book and hit your favorite shady spot. Are you a gamer? Grab that controller because you deserve it. Your brain needs these outlets.

4) Consider taking vacation time in the fall. When I ran a department that was in charge of running summer reading for preschool, K-6, and teens, by the end of the summer, I was totally useless. I used to save up my vacation all year and take two weeks off in August. I know this isn’t feasible for everyone, but think about taking at least a long weekend after your programs are over. You deserve it.

5) Find some support. Maybe you have an excellent support system, like coworkers at a large library system or other librarians in your area to help you get through, but if not, consider your online sources. Twitter has an active library community. Check out the hashtags #librarylife or the humorous #librarianproblems. Storytime Underground and Teen Services Underground both have active Facebook communities that encourage discussion. These resources are so valuable, both for everyday use and to remember that you’re not alone.

Happy Summer Reading, Librarians! You can do it.

*

Our guest blogger from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a Library Consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission.

The post Summer Reading Self-Care appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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19. Spotlight and Giveaway: Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt

This morning I have an excerpt and giveaway for Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt. Enjoy!

DEAREST ROGUE by Elizabeth Hoyt (May 26, 2015; Grand Central Publishing Mass Market)

HE CAN GUARD HER
Lady Phoebe Batten is pretty, vivacious, and yearning for a social life befitting the sister of a powerful duke. But because she is almost completely blind, her overprotective brother insists that she have an armed bodyguard by her side at all times-the very irritating Captain Trevillion.
FROM EVERY DANGER
Captain James Trevillion is proud, brooding, and cursed with a leg injury from his service in the King’s dragoons. Yet he can still shoot and ride like the devil, so watching over the distracting Lady Phoebe should be no problem at all-until she’s targeted by kidnappers.

 

BUT PASSION ITSELF
Caught in a deadly web of deceit, James must risk life and limb to save his charge from the lowest of cads-one who would force Lady Phoebe into a loveless marriage. But while they’re confined to close quarters for her safekeeping, Phoebe begins to see the tender man beneath the soldier’s hard exterior . . . and the possibility of a life-and love-she never imagined possible.


Buy Links:

Amazon

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iBooks

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BAM

Kobo


About the author:

Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weeklyhas called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.
The winters in Minnesota have been known to be long and cold and Elizabeth is always thrilled to receive reader mail. You can write to her at: P.O. Box 19495, Minneapolis, MN  55419 or email her at:Elizabeth@ElizabethHoyt.com.


Social Media Links:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

EXCERPT:

He cleared his throat. “Malcolm MacLeish is young and handsome—”

“A fat lot of good that does me, since I can’t see him.”

“— a gentleman of high spirits and quick wit and seemingly smitten with you as well.”

There was a silence.

“Smitten,” Phoebe said at last. “Smit-ten. The word sounds like a skin disease if you think about it too much.”

“He smiles every time he sees you,” he murmured quietly. Was he jealous?

“I smile every time I smell cherry pie.”

“You’re being ridiculous,” Trevillion said disapprovingly. “I don’t see why you’ve rejected him out of hand.”

“You sound like a querulous old aunt, scolding children for running through the house.”

“I am older than you,” he replied stiffly, “as I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions.”

A terrible thought struck her. “Are you shoving me at Mr. MacLeish because I kissed you?”

“I—”

“It was my very first kiss, you ought to know,” she said very rapidly, because sometimes it was just better to say the embarrassing thing and get it over with. “I’m sure I’ll improve with practice. In fact, I’m sure of it. Almost everything improves with practice, don’t you think? And

really, if I had a just a bit of help from your end next time—”

“I am not kissing you,” he said with the awful finality of a judge pronouncing a death sentence.

“Why not?”

“You know very well why not.”

“Nooo,” she said slowly, thinking it over. “No, I can’t say that I do, really. I mean I know why you think we oughtn’t kiss again: you’re as old as the Thames, you’re below me in rank, I’m too young and frivolous, and you much too serious, et cetera, et cetera, and et cetera, but frankly I don’t have any reasons not to kiss you.” She stopped for breath and to think and amended her statement. “Unless, of course, you’re either (a) a murderer running from the law or (b) hiding a secret wife. Are you?”

“I . . . what?”

“Are you,” she repeated patiently, “either a murderer running from the law or hiding a secret wife?”

“You know I’m not,” he said with impatience. It was a good thing she was so stubborn, because that tone might have put off many another young girl. “Phoebe—”

“So then there’s no reason at all not to kiss me again.” She folded her hands in her lap and smiled.

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20. Love Interest?

Hi! I am a huge fan of your site and I have a question... (I am sixteen, by the way.)(Sorry for the terrible grammar ^^;) I am currently making a story

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21. The Mushroom Gatherers


Something from earlier in the spring, back when green, growing things seemed as farfetched as mushroom gathering maidens.

0 Comments on The Mushroom Gatherers as of 5/28/2015 5:25:00 PM
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22. Books from Finland to cease publication

       I'm a big fan of national literary organizations' various efforts to try to spread the word about local literature for foreign markets -- and Books from Finland has long been among the most impressive such efforts.
       How long ?

Books from Finland, which presents Finnish literature in English, has appeared since 1967. Until 2008 the journal appeared four times a year in a paper version, and subsequently as a web publication. Over the decades Books from Finland has featured thousands of Finnish books, different literary genres and contemporary writers as well as classics. Its significance as a showcase for our literature has been important.
       Indeed -- and I've often mentioned and linked to stories there. Most recently, just ... the day before yesterday.
       Alas, now comes word that: "The Finnish Literature Society is to cease publication of the online journal Books from Finland with effect 1 July 2015", as: Books from Finland to take archive form.
       As they note:
The reasons for ceasing publication of Books from Finland are also economic. Government aid to the Finnish literature information centre FILI, which has functioned as the journal's home, has been cut by ten per cent.
       And, yes, FILI remains, and remains a useful resource -- but I'm shocked and disturbed to hear:
The need for the presentation of our literature has changed. Among the ways in which FILI continues to develop its remit is to focus communications on international professionals in the book field, on publishers and on agents.
       Dear god ! What an awful idea ! It's the readers you want to reach -- and something Books from Finland could do so well. 'Professionals' are, in every case, a highly suspect class -- and that goes many times over for this odd field that is publishing; leave them out of it when and where you can. (Be cautious in your trust of amateurs -- or semi-pros, like me -- too, of course, but the 'professionals' ... no, no, no .....)

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23. I love the smell of crayons in the morning

It's so cool to have a whole wall of whiteboard in my tiny studio. 
It's a great way to add notes to self on, but also to draw on! 
Here's what's on the whiteboard today. 

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24. 2015 South Asia Book Award Winners

Looking for a high-quality children's or young adult book published in the U.S.A. that portray South Asia or South Asians living abroad? Check out the South Asia Book Award.  To encourage and commend authors and publishers who produce such books, and to provide librarians and teachers with recommendations for educational use, the South Asia National Outreach Consortium (SANOC) offers a yearly book award to call attention to outstanding works on South Asia. Congratulations to this this year's winners.

2015 South Asia Book Award Winners

Twenty-Two-Cents
Twenty-Two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank by Paula Yoo, illustrated by Jamel Akib (Lee &Low Books Inc., 2014). Twenty-Two Cents smartly chronicles the life and inspiration behind Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus, and the internationally transformative Grameen Bank’s micro-lending system. Coupled with rich illustrations that vibrantly capture the essence and depth of Yunus’ experiences, this poignant picture book easily lends itself to readers of all ages. Includes an afterword and author’s source notes. (Grades 2-5)
Bombay Blues
Bombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier (PUSH, an imprint of Scholastic Press, 2014). The dense, chaotic, yet lyrical, pulse of daily life in Bombay collides with the dissonant, hip-hop sensibility of affluent, urban Indian youth in this story of Dimple, a young Indian-American woman’s journey of self-discovery. (Grades 10 and up)

 2015 Honor Winners

A Time to Dance
A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman (Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2014). Skillfully told in verse, Veda’s inspirational story reveals an athletic young woman passionate about traditional Indian dance. When she loses a leg in an accident she must fight to determine her identity and future. (Grades 6 and up)
Chandra's Magic Light A Story in Nepal
Chandra’s Magic Light: A Story in Nepal by Theresa Heine; illustrated by Judith Gueyfier (Barefoot Books, 2014). Living in a traditional village in Nepal, young sisters pick and sell flowers at the market to earn money to buy a solar lamp which will help the air quality in their home. Soft complimentary illustrations. Excellent end notes. (Grades K-3)
God Loves Hair
God Loves Hair by Vivek Shraya; illustrated by Juliana Neufeld (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2014). A seemingly unconnected collection of beautifully written vignettes, tells the true story of a young Indian teen trying to find his place in the world. Shraya writes with intense honesty and insight about the cutting pain of not only being of a different race and religion, but also discovering that he is gay. Readers will be amazed by the author’s strength and resilience. (Grades 7 and up)
Secrets of the Sky Caves
Secrets of the Sky Caves: Danger and Discovery on Nepal’s Mustang Cliffs by Sandra K. Athans (Millbrook Press, 2014). The Mustang Cliffs in Nepal have been untouched for thousands of years. Discover how mountain climbers, archaeologists, scientists and historians all learned how to traverse the seemingly inaccessible “Sky Caves.” What secrets will these modern day adventurers discover – keys to an ancient civilization or simply plundered cave dwellings? (Grades 4-6)

2015 Highly Commended Books

A Pair of Twins
A Pair of Twins by Kavitha Mandana; illustrated by Nayantara Surendranath (Karadi Tales, 2014). A vibrantly illustrated and empowering tale of an Indian girl and her “twin,” an elephant born the same day, who bravely break down cultural and gender barriers while taking on roles historically restricted to males. (Grades K-3)
King for a Day
King for a Day by Rukhsana Khan; illustrated by Christiane Krömer (Lee & Low Books Inc., 2014). Despite being confined to a wheelchair, Malik endeavors to capture the most kites during Basant, the spring festival of kites in Lahore, Pakistan, and become “king” of this special day. Includes author’s note. (PreK-Grade 2)
Escape from Tibet
Escape from Tibet: A True Story by Nick Gray with Laura Scandiffio (Annick Press, 2014). Based on a true story, two brothers from Tibet embark on a dangerous journey to India in search of a better life. A thrilling story of courage and adventure, readers will delight in Tenzin and Pasang’s trek to freedom. (Grades 5-8)
Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal
Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson; illustrated by Adrian Alphona (Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2014). Kamala Khan is many things – a teenager, Pakistani-American, Muslim, Fangirl, and the super hero protector of Jersey City! How is she able to balance all these roles and be the perfect daughter to her parents? Can Kamala be the new Ms. Marvel and still honor her heritage? (Grades 5-8)
The Secret Sky

The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi (Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2014). This classic tale of taboo love illuminates the cultural and political complexities of present-day Afghanistan. Wrought with tension and dreams of a brighter tomorrow, The Secret Sky humanizes a land often only ever heard about in news sound bites. (Grades 8 and up)

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25. Cinebook The 9th Art: Spirou & Fantasio 8 - Tough Luck Vito





Spirou & Fantasio 8 - Tough Luck Vito
Authors: Tome & Janry
Age: 8 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
ISBN: 9781849182485
Price: £6.99 inc. VAT

Publication: April 2015

An old seaplane skims the waves over the Pacific. Onboard are Vito Cortizone, former Don of the New York Mafia forced into early retirement by Spirou and Fantasio; Von Schnabbel, unscrupulous pilot; and a mysterious cargo supposed to turn Cortizone’s fortunes around. But the mafioso is cursed with terrible luck, and the plane ends up at the bottom of an isolated island’s lagoon. When two months later a sailing boat arrives, an unrecognisable Vito sees none other than our two adventurer-reporters come ashore!

I think the first page below shows what I what I meant when I wrote of Papyrus as being cartoony character art but set in a really well drawn world.  Look at those palm trees and that aircraft and last panel -big foot character art!

And wait til you see the aircraft flip in the shark infested water.  Sorry, why do they call this man "Tough Luck Vito"??

It's great story, gags, lovely art and Stephane de Becker's colour work, like many of these European artists, adds more weight to the pages.  Another of those books that I think cover "kids of all ages". Really nice read.

I'm getting old.  I saw Spirous and Fantasio looking around and Vito with a gun behind them and thought "uh-oh!".  It was only on checking the cover a third time -a third time!- that I saw the shark behind Vito.

I need to retire.

 

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