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1. Graywolf Press profile

       At Vulture Boris Kachka explains How the Tiny Graywolf Press Became a Big Player in Book Publishing in a profile of independent non-profit publisher Graywolf Press.
       As he notes:

Publishing just over 30 books a year, Graywolf has had authors win four NBCC awards, a National Book Award, two Pulitzers, and a Nobel Prize -- all in the last six years. This year, it will exceed $2 million in sales for the first time. No other independent press, never mind a 41-year-old nonprofit, has come so far so fast.
       A nice success story.

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2. Liu Cixin Q & A

       Liu Cixin's The Three-Body Problem won the 'Best Novel'-category this year at the just-announced Hugo Awards (all the more impressively for being a replacement-finalist that wasn't even in the running originally), and at Caixin Shi Rui has a Q & A with the author.
       Asked about the differences between Chinese and Western science fiction he suggests:

One aspect is that Western sci-fi stories are often embedded with elements of Judeo-Christian thought and tend to focus on belief systems, concerning itself with moral issues such as cloning or artificial intelligence. Chinese sci-fi has emerged from its own cultural background and this accounts for many differences in how the genre has been uniquely interpreted.

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3. Captain No Beard Blog Tour 2015

Captain No Beard sets sail on 9 separate voyages of the imagination with his fearless crew aboard his pirate ship The Flying Dragon.

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4. Draw Tip Tuesday: Art Journal Ideas

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

Today I am not drawing, i just want to show you a few pages of my sketchbook to give you a few ideas on how to fill your art journal, because sometimes you will have little time and sometimes you will have a little bit more time, so I picked a few pages that I want to show you, to also show you my process, because I don’t always have a lot of time, and if I do, I really enjoy spending every single minute. But If I only have a few minutes, I can still make a drawing that is valuable to me and that does’t feel like it was rushed.


I hope you have fun - and if you want to learn more about art journaling, join my online workshop  Awesome Art Journaling! It starts september 7 and I will guide you through 4 weeks of art journaling to really get you into that creative habit and to get you a lot of ideas to start journaling and to keep journaling and to document your days.
I hope to see you in class! To find out more and to join me click here

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5. Boo! Before Breakfast


“Later Leo would not be able to say where the idea came from. He threw the bed sheet over himself and flew at the thief, who was so frightened he dropped all the salad forks. Leo chased the man into a closet, then slammed the door shut
and locked him inside. It was very well done.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


 

Over at BookPage, I’ve got a review of Mac Barnett’s Leo: A Ghost Story (Chronicle, August 2015), illustrated by Christian Robinson. That review is here.

And I’ve got a bit of art from the book here today. The only thing these spreads today are missing is the wonderful character of Jane, but you’ll just have to find a copy yourself so you can meet her. Oh, wait! She’s in the bottom right corner of this image:

 



 

I think this is one of the year’s best picture books thus far. Definitely a favorite for me.

Enjoy.



 


“This is Leo. Most people cannot see him.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


 


“But you can. Leo is a ghost.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


 


“The family called in a scientist, a clergyman, and a psychic to get rid of the ghost.
But they should have saved their money: Leo knew he was unwanted.
He said goodbye to his home and left.”

(Click to enlarge spread –
please note the colors are a bit off in this spread)


 


“‘I have been a house ghost all my life,’ Leo thought. ‘Maybe I would like being
a roaming ghost for a while.’ So Leo roamed.”

(Click to enlarge spread –
please note the colors are a bit off in this spread)


 



 

* * * * * * *

LEO: A GHOST STORY. Copyright © 2015 by Mac Barnett. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Christian Robinson. Images reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco.

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6. Coloring Page Tuesday - Bagpipe Playing Bear

     In honor of our new home, I give you the most traditional of Scottish traditions - a bagpipe being played by a bear. Okay, maybe the bear part isn't quite so traditional. But I sure have been hearing a lot of these lately!
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages!
     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...
my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET - winner of six literary awards. Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

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7. busy week ahead....

painting petals and tresses...







putting the finishing touches on a couple of  things as well as starting a new triptych of cute little woodland animals for a new mommy to be.

floral flourishes....
 {a very productive August, i might say....}
heads-up, little guy...

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8. CARDS - studio ink

And I couldn't talk about Studio Ink without mentioning another couple of artists - Samantha Lewis and Mirna Stubbs. The first designs are by Samantha Lewis (of Pencil Pop) who has created a beautiful range of watercolour cards... And arriving at Studio Ink recently is an intricately painted range from artist Mirna Stubbs who we mentioned in the last post.... Read the rest of this post

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9. I Left My Heart at ALA Annual

Around 8:00 a.m. PST on June 26th, 2015, I sat at a Starbucks, downing as much coffee as possible before my first day at ALA Annual began. As I anxiously flipped through Facebook, a theme spread like wildfire through every post: Marriage equality is the law of the land! Love wins! SCOTUS FTW! I could hardly believe my good fortune to be in what felt like the center of the universe for this landmark decision. Awestruck, I gathered up my things and headed to a 3.5-hour preconference: Rolling Out the Rainbow Carpet: Serving LGBTQ Communities. Later that same day, I heard Roberta Kaplan give the opening keynote speech. Two days later, I donned my rainbow regalia and watched the San Francisco Pride Parade.

In addition to all of that amazingness, my conference experience was made special in the following ways:

  • Attending a preconference. I gained so much in the way of programming ideas that the preconference practically paid for itself. Also, David Levithan magically appeared as part of a panel discussion and then signed books (squee!).
  • Fun, yet practical sessions. I learned the best strategies for approaching my manager with creative (read: far-fetched) ideas. I learned how to fearlessly weed print and digital materials. I learned how to fail gracefully and embrace “relentless optimism” (my new favorite phrase). I learned about the art in Caldecott winners and got a chance to apply that knowledge to upcoming contenders. All this, and more, were immediately applicable to my work.
  • The Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder banquet. Putting on a fancy dress and eating dinner with lovely individuals is great. What’s even better? Hearing Dan Santat and Kwame Alexander’s emotionally charged speeches, and then telling them that they made me cry a little bit. I also got to tell Dan Santat how, upon reading The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, I ran around my library showing everyone Beekle’s backside, saying “Look at his little butt! Look at it!!”
  • Meeting authors. Cece Bell referenced the movie Heathers while being unbelievably sweet. After I gushed effusively over I’ll Give You the Sun, Jandy Nelson told me she wanted to take me with her everywhere—especially while writing. Tim Federle told me that my necklace was “funsies.” Authors are rock stars, and I will unapologetically geek out over these interactions for the rest of my life.
  • Exhibit hall happenstance. While booking it around the exhibit hall, I screeched to a halt in front of the world’s coolest and most versatile LEGO-Train-Light-Tinker Toy Table. Not only were we in the market, but it even fit my library’s color scheme. Serendipitous! I sped down an uncrowded aisle only to see Raina Telgemeier sitting in a booth all by her lonesome. Magical! I came across my grad school’s booth and there was my advisor! And there were cookies!!  Exhibit hall happenstance: it’s a thing.

Before attending ALA Annual, I spent a lot of time researching it and getting advice from veteran conference-goers. The best piece of advice I got was to talk to everyone. Though extroverted, I am not always outgoing with strangers. But these are librarian-strangers—the best kind of stranger! By chatting with those around me, I managed to befriend people in libraries near my own (what are the odds?), learn major takeaways from sessions I’d missed, exchange business cards, programming advice, book recommendations, laughs, and hugs. Putting yourself out there is the best thing you can do.

Thank you so much to Penguin Young Readers Group and the award committee for allowing me the incredible opportunity to attend the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

********************************************************

FullSizeRender

Photo courtesy of the guest blogger

Today’s guest blogger is Heather Thompson. Heather is a Children’s Librarian / eMedia Coordinator and science programming enthusiast at the Cook Memorial Public Library District. Heather was a recipient of the Penguin Young Readers Group Award.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

The post I Left My Heart at ALA Annual appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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10. NATURE BOOK UPDATE

It is the final day for submissions to Print & Pattern Nature and huge thanks to everyone who has already submitted. There have been more than 600 entries so far, over 230 of which came in this bank holiday weekend alone. Unfortunately there was also a bit of an inbox breakdown last week while I was away on holiday as lots of large files caused it to become overfull. Apologies for anyone who

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11. Interview – Lauren DeStefano and A Curious Tale of the In-Between

First things first. Look at that book jacket.

CuriousTaleInBetween

Gaze upon it. Feast thine peeper upon its delightful creepy factor. That’s a cover, my friends. And it takes a good book to live up to it. Fortunately, A Curious Tale of the In-Between hasn’t exactly been lacking for the stellar reviews. As Kirkus put it, “DeStefano artfully concocts a moving and multilayered tale that is an effective mix of genres and tones, at times contemplative and philosophical yet also macabre and psychologically sophisticated. Love, loss, and hope are at the heart of this exciting read.”

You’ll understand then why I was intrigued when Bloomsbury offered unto me Ms. Lauren DeStafano herself for an interview. And actually, I saw her speak in person years ago. Remember the YA Chemical Garden trilogy? That was her! So saying, she agreed to my probing queries:

Betsy Bird: Hello!  Thank you so much for acquiescing to a rousing series of questions.  First things first, though.  What we have here appears to be a book by the name of A CURIOUS TALE OF THE IN-BETWEEN.  Can you give us a run down of what it’s about?

Lauren DeStefano: I like to describe it as a love story between a living girl, a living boy, and a ghost.

BB: Well, how did you come to write it?  Which is to say, why did you make it a middle grade book (for ages 9-12) and not YA.  You are, after all, the author of two New York Times bestselling YA series.  Why the switch into younger territory?

LD: When I wrote this story, I wasn’t conscious of the idea that it would get published, so things like MG and YA weren’t in my head. I had an idea about a girl who had a peculiar condition that caused her to conspire with ghosts, and I began to write it. After dinner one night, my cousin, who I think was 8 or so at the time, asked me to tell her a story. I told her about this one, though it was only half finished at the time. Her interest and questions really surprised me, and I began to wonder if Pram did have something to offer to younger readers.

BB: I know that writing books on the younger end requires an entirely different set of muscles than writing for the YA crowd.  How was writing this book for you?  Did anything surprise you along the way?

LD: Writing for younger readers was nothing but a joyous experience from start to finish. I had little of the fears and insecurities I have when tackling some of my other endeavors. All I had to do was believe in magic and let that carry me to the end.

BB: Great.  Now when an author gets a particularly good cover on their newest title I like to say they’ve made small animal sacrifices to the book jacket gods.  You fall into that category perfectly.  How do you like it?

LD: I LOVE it. I wish I could claim credit, but that all goes to my designers.

BB: This book has already been compared to Coraline, which is sort of the de facto thing reviewers say when dealing with gothic middle grade literature.  What are some of the books for kids you’d equate it with?  Related (or maybe not) what did you like to read when you were a kid?

LD: That is an incredibly flattering and humbling comparison, and I’m honored to hear that. I don’t know if, plot-wise or voice-wise, I could compare it to any particular work off the top of my head. When I was a young reader, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH was my most treasured book and I obsessed over it for months. It reached me on some cosmic level that made me feel understood. I would just hope this story could do that for someone else.

BB: And finally, what are you working on next?

LD: A tangled web of secrets and intrigue.

Many thanks to Ms. DeStefano for submitting herself to questions that, I am sure, she has answered many times before and will answer many times again.  And thanks too to Bloomsbury for offering her up to me in the first place.

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12. Free Downloadables, Scavenger Hunt Fun, and Pre-Order Giveaways! Join the Fun

Persuasion will be out in less than two months. And since the paperback of Compulsion just released, we're combining both those things along with a thank you to lovely readers and doing a pre-order giveaway. But mostly, we're playing a GAME. Because two months out from release and coming up on the revision deadline for book three, I need some fun.
Ready? Here's the fun part. You know by now that Barrie Watson has a gift for finding lost things. And since Eight Beaufort’s gift is knowing what Barrie wants, when Barrie needs to develop her gift and test its limits in Persuasion, Eight symbolically gives her a book of word search puzzles. That makes it fitting that the pre-order incentive for Persuasion is a word search, doesn’t it? : )

There are thirteen code words that relate to Persuasion and the Heirs of Watson Island series.


  • From 8/31 to 9/11, the Compulsion blog tour will reveal the code word or words that will unlock a special page here on the website that day. 
  • The blog tour schedule will be updated daily with direct links to the posts so that you can visit every stop. You can find it here: http://martinaboone.com/index.php/books/downloadables/tour/
  • There are three big giveaways that are part of the tour as well–those are separate and on top of the basic pre-order incentive giveaways.
  • As a code word unlocks a page, you can go to that page to download free items. There will be stickers, a DYI origami bookmark, beautiful wallpapers, and more.
  • To unlock a page, replace the word CODEWORD in the following URL with the actual code and type or copy the whole thing into the address bar of your web browser: http://martinaboone.com/index.php/books/downloadables/CODEWORD
  • ALL pages will be unlocked by 9/11.
  • All downloads are free, and most are available whether or not you pre-order.
  • A few downloads will only be available with a pre-order receipt or order number.
  • Wherever you need a pre-order receipt, there’s also a special Rafflecopter with additional AMAZING giveaways.
  • With pre-order, a limited number of people will also receive a signed bookplate and beautiful signed Compulsion and Persuasion charm bookmarks with ribbons.

And here are the blog tour prizes!

Prize One–The person who best answers the question(s) on the blog tour will receive:
Prize1
Prize Two–A random winner from among those who find all the code words in the scavenger hunt will receive:
Prize2
Prize Three–A random winner will receive:
Prize3

More Prizes

Remember, there are more prizes scattered throughout the pre-order fun, so find those code words and play along!


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13. Write. Share. Give.

WRITE a slice of life story on your own blog. SHARE a link to your post in the comments section. GIVE comments to at least three other SOLS bloggers.

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14. Bag signing

Signing books at artland book store: https://m.facebook.com/artland.bookstore/photos/pcb.10153128035692607/10153128026262607/?type=1&source=48&refid=17

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15. Variations on a theme...

I decided, quite by accident one day, that this ought to be a style I should try to stick with.  It's funny, since I'd deleted the original file already, but just stumbled upon an older jpeg version.

One of the things I struggle with forever is how to define figures - either with line or with just shape.  And if it's line, then what kind of line.  In a complicated way this piece answers a lot of those questions for me.

Here are some of the variations on the theme that I tried before deciding on this:


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16. The Hornbook Magazine

I read lots of blogs, I tweet, I follow #titletalk every month and I have lots of friends who tell me about new books. But I still LOVE my 6 issues of The Horn Book every year. I have been subscribing to it for years and years. It is one of the very few paper magazines I still get in the mail and it is the ONLY one I actually read every time it arrives. An hour or two with every issue and I get a ton of great reading and a lot of info on new books that I want to check out.

This week, I got the September/October issue of The Horn Book magazine.  Not only did I get to read fabulous pieces by Jack Gantos and Kwame Alexander, I also discovered lots of new books:

--I discovered a new series that looks promising for 3rd graders--Lola Levine, due out in November.

--I learned that a new book in the Ling and Ting series is coming in November!

--I am interested in reading the new Graphic novel by Ben Hatke, Little Robot.


-- I had NO IDEA that on September 1, The Full Moon at the Napping House would be released!  Can't wait to see what they did with this one!


--I was reminded that One Day the End by Rebecca Kai Dotlich is due out soon, a book I have on my TBR list


--And a sequel to Where's Walrus? What could be better. Can't wait to see Where's Walrus? And Penguin? (and from what I can tell, this book already has several starred reviews!)

--I loved My Heart is Laughing so am looking forward to When I am Happiest.


--I loved Ship of Dolls and had no idea that here was a companion book/sequel.  Interested in checking out Dolls of Hope.

--Some of my favorite reads of the year (Waiting, Crenshaw, and Sunny Side Up) got starred reviews from Horn Book this month!! Such great books!

--Two Mice looks like a great fun story told in two-word phrases. I always like the creativity in books like that!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Horn Book and highly recommend it to everyone who loves children's books. One of the best resources out there for sure!  And I'd also subscribe to the blog Read Roger for even more fun. The Horn Book is the best.




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17. Review: Zer0es by Chuck Wendig

I am a huge fan of Chuck Wendig’s Miriam Black series so when I saw he had a new book coming out I had to read it. On the surface this appears to be a cyber-thriller about hacking. But in the hands of Chuck Wendig it goes somewhere quite different. The book opens and we are […]

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18. Sale Blitz: THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE by Lauren Layne

 
THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE
Sex, Love & Stiletto’s #4
Lauren Layne
Loveswept



As Lauren Layne’s salacious Sex, Love & Stiletto series returns, a jaded columnist discovers a steamy way to get over an old flame: falling for him all over again.
 
As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.
After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.
 
EXCERPT:

“You’re looking . . . glamorous,” Camille said, as Emma crossed her legs and carefully made sure her short satin dress didn’t ride up.

“Long story,” Emma said. Though her friends had an easy relationship with Camille, Emma was newer to the group—newer to Stiletto—and she wasn’t quite secure enough in her position at the company to run her mouth.

Not that Emma was ever one to run her mouth. She was more the live-and-let-live type.

It was a natural evolution for someone who’d grown up with a twin sister who’d had more than enough personality for the both of them. And speaking of her twin, Emma had no doubt that Daisy’s southern-belle sensibilities would probably be all why, I never! if she could see Emma’s current state of dishevelment.

Emma’s perfectly coiffed sister would have found a way to emerge from a flooded apartment looking every bit as darling as she had at the daffodil parades. All the daffodil parades.

It hadn’t been easy being Daisy Sinclair’s quiet, boring sister. When they were growing up, Daisy had been the quintessential little princess. She always wore dresses, and the dresses would never have lemonade spilled down the front like Emma’s. Daisy knew exactly what to say to boys to make them fall all over themselves, whereas Emma had been horribly shy around the opposite sex.

When Emma had gotten engaged first, she’d been braced for Daisy’s resentment. Not because Daisy was generally resentful, but because everyone—Emma included—had assumed that Daisy would be the first sister down the aisle. But nobody had been happier for Emma and Cassidy than Daisy. Because as if it weren’t enough that Daisy were the charming one, she was also good. Emma would be annoyed if she didn’t love her sister so damn much.

And as it turned out, Daisy had been the first—and only—twin to walk down the aisle after all. Of course, she’d also been the only sister to get divorced. Daisy always joked that the twins had two unshakable things in common: a face and a shit-ton of heartache.

Except Daisy hadn’t actually said the “shit-ton” part. That was Emma’s special profane spin on the situation.

“I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours,” Camille said.

“Sorry?”

Camille pointed a coral fingernail at Emma’s still-damp hair. “You tell me why you’re rocking the fresh-outta-the-shower look, and I’ll tell you while I’m leaving my darling magazine in the hands of one of the Oxford buffoons.”

Emma pursed her lips. Couldn’t argue about the buffoon part. Although she was pretty sure that, despite her boss’s words, there was plenty of mutual respect between Cassidy and Camille. Still, Camille always saw Oxford as a bit of an enemy. The competition, so to speak.




Grab Now for ONLY $0.99




Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren’s gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.




Start the Stiletto Series from the Beginning

AFTER THE KISS

LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH
 
JUST ONE NIGHT
 
Stiletto Spin Off:
IRRESISTIBLY YOURS
OXFORD Series #1
Coming October 6th
KINDLE | NOOK | IBOOKS | KOBO
 
 

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19. August Reflections

In August I read 55 books.

Board books:

  1. Board Book: Carry and Learn Shapes. Scholastic. 2015. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. Board Book: I Love My Puppy. Caroline Jayne Church. 2015. Scholastic. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  3. Board Book: Oh No, George! Chris Haughton. 2015. Candlewick Press. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  4. Board Book: Ten Playful Penguins. Emily Ford. Illustrated by Russell Julian. 2015. [October] Scholastic. 22 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
Picture books:
  1. Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became The Beatles. Susanna Reich. 2015. Henry Holt. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. Friendshape. Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld. 2015. [August] Scholastic. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  3. The Queen's Hat. Steve Antony. 2015. [August] Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  4. When Sophie's Feelings are Really, Really Hurt. Molly Bang. 2015. [September] Scholastic. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  5. Your Hand in My Hand. Mark Sperring. Illustrated by Britta Teckentrup. 2015. [November] Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  6. A Lucky Author Has A Dog. Mary Lyn Ray. Illustrated by Steven Henry. 2015. [August] Scholastic. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  7. Elephant in the Dark. Mina Javaherbin. Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin. 2015. [August] Scholastic. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  8. Where Did My Clothes Come From? Chris Butterworth. Illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti. 2015. Candlewick Press. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  9. Frog on a Log? Kes Gray. Illustrated by Jim Field. 2015. [September] Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  10. Where's Walrus? and Penguin? Stephen Savage. 2015. [August] Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  11. Clifford Goes to Kindergarten. Norman Bridwell. 2015. Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  12. Railroad Hank. Lisa Moser. Illustrated by Benji Davies. 2012. Random House. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  13. Peppa's Windy Fall Day. Adapted by Barbara Winthrop. 2015. Scholastic. 24 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  14. (Peppa Pig) Best Friends. 2015. Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]  
  15. Double Play: Monkeying Around With Addition. Betsy Franco. Illustrated by Doug Cushman. 2011. Random House. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  16. Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! Dr. Seuss. 1971. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]
  17. In A People House. Dr. Seuss. (Theo LeSieg) Illustrated by Roy McKie. 1972. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]
  18. Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? Dr. Seuss. 1973. Random House. 47 pages. [Source: Library] 
  19. The Shape of Me And Other Stuff. Dr. Seuss. 1973. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]
  20. There's a Wocket in my Pocket! Dr. Seuss. 1974. Random House. 30 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Early readers and chapter books:
  1. Big Dog and Little Dog. Dav Pilkey. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 24 pages. [Source: Review copy]  
  2. Eva Sees A Ghost (Owl Diaries #2) Rebecca Elliott. 2015. Scholastic. 80 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Middle grade:
  1. Milo Speck, Accidental Agent. Linda Urban. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 272 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. Walk Two Moons. Sharon Creech. 1994. HarperCollins. 280 pages. [Source: Bought]
  3. The Whipping Boy. Sid Fleischman. Illustrated by Peter Sis. 1986. 96 pages. [Source: Bought]
  4. Finding Serendipity. Angelica Banks. 2015. Henry Holt. 288 pages. [Source: Library]
  5. The View From Saturday. E.L. Konigsburg. 1996. 176 pages. [Source: Bought]  
  6. A Girl Named Disaster. Nancy Farmer. 1996. Scholastic. 320 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  7. Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind. Suzanne Fisher Staples. 1989. 240 pages. [Source: Book I Bought]
  8. Missing in Action. Dean Hughes. 2010/2015. Random House. 240 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
Young adult:
  1.  Terezin: Voices From the Holocaust. Ruth Thomson. 2011. Candlewick. 64 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. A Little In Love. Susan Fletcher. 2015. Scholastic. 288 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  3. An Ember in the Ashes. Sabaa Tahir. 2015. Penguin. 446 pages. [Source: Library]
Adult:
  1. The Life of Charlotte Bronte. Elizabeth Gaskell. 1857/1975. Penguin Classics. 623 pages. [Source: Bought]
  2. When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II. Molly Guptill Manning. 2014. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 288 pages. [Source: Library]  
  3. Gut: The Inside Story of Our Most Underrated Organ. Giulia Enders. Illustrated by Jill Enders. 2014/2015. Greystone Books. 288 pages. [Source: Library]
  4. A Bitter Truth. Charles Todd. 2011. HarperCollins. 352 pages. [Source: Library]
  5. Go Set A Watchman. Harper Lee. 2015.  HarperCollins. 278 pages. [Source: Library] 
  6. Wish You Well. David Baldacci. 2000/2007. Grand Central Publishing. 432 pages. [Source: Library]
  7. Murder at Longbourn. (Elizabeth Parker #1) Tracy Kiely. 2009. St. Martin's Press. 320 pages. [Source: Library]
Christian nonfiction:
  1. John: That You Might Believe (Preaching the Word) R. Kent Hughes. 1999/2014. Crossway Books. 528 pages. [Source: Bought]
  2. The Original Jesus: Trading The Myths We Create For The Savior Who Is. Daniel Darling. 2015. Baker Books. 160 pages. [Source: Review copy]  
  3. Compassion: Seeing with Jesus' Eyes. Joshua Mack. 2015. P&R Publishing. 48 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  4. Ladylike: Living Biblically. Rebekah Curtis and Rose Adle. 2015. Concordia. 224 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  5.  Our Only Comfort. Neal Presa. 2015. Westminster John Knox Press. 160 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  6. Modesty. Martha Peace and Kent Keller. 2015. P&R Publishing. 176 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  7. Five Minute Bedtime Bible Stories. Retold by Amy Parker. Illustrated by Walter Carzon. 2015. Scholastic. 192 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  8.  Respectable Sins. Jerry Bridges. 2007. NavPress. 192 pages. [Source: Bought]
  9. The Unbelievable Gospel: Say Something Worth Believing. Jonathan Dodson. 2015. Zondervan. 240 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
Christian fiction:
  1. Through Waters Deep. (Waves of Freedom #1) Sarah Sundin. Revell. 384 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. Lady Maybe. Julie Klassen. 2015. Penguin. 400 pages. [Source: Library]

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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20. Best New Kids Stories | September 2015

Our list of the best new kids books for September highlights some amazing books from many different genres: non-fiction, reality fiction, fantasy, and even a beautiful picture book that addresses gender identity. Take a gander and let us know which titles and covers catch your eye ... Read the rest of this post

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21. Review: We Believe the Children

We Believe the Children: A Moral Panic in the 1980sby Richard BeckPublicAffairs. 2015. Review copy via NetGalley.

It's About: A look at the child abuse prosecutions of the 1980s.

The Good: We Believe the Children was the cry of the media, prosecutors, and families during the prosecutions and lawsuits of the daycare child abuse allegations of the 1980s.

I was in law school in the late 80s; I remember studying the varying ways that children were being questioned, and how their testimony was being presented in court. I remember thinking, how could children lie about such things? Why would they?

We Believe the Children gives answers to those questions, and not answers that are very comforting or easy. At this point, I think many familiar with these cases and the time know about some of the "why", about doctors and therapists and police and prosecutors and family members who, at best, weren't equipped to investigate such claims and, at worst, made it worse with leading questions, faulty science, and almost abusive questioning tactics of very young children.

Beck discusses those things, but also puts what was happening in the context of the times.Why, for example, was it so easy for people to believe? He points to fear, yes, but also the bigger context of politics -- it was easier for people to believe that the danger of abusers was outside the home (in the daycares, in places which employed those of lower socioeconomic standings), and to link those dangers to changing family structures (the "danger" came from the child being outside the home, in a daycare, so while the parent (ie mom) was not doing what she should).

How does memory work? What does it mean, to repress a memory? What is multiple personalities, is it real, and how does that contribute to what people think about child abuse and what children say?

This book is not an easy read; and the consequences of what happened in 1980s are still ones we live with, and not just in terms of the individuals on all sides of the investigations and prosecutions. Not just the people sent to jail, or the children subject to problematic questioning. It lingers in today's reactions that demand more than allegations; look at happened the last time "we believe" became a tagline. It's also still around in how people view daycare and parenting, as well as how child abuse is viewed, prosecuted, and treated.

It also raises the questions of how people believe what is reported in the here-and-now, without reflection. Truth be told, there are some things in the book that I've read before and agree with, but other points, well, I had a bit more skepticism about. I'd want to look more into, before agreeing a hundred percent.

We Believe the Children also made me think of novels, of fiction that is based on current events and "torn from the headlines" stories. Books that used these stories as parts of plots or motivations.



Other reviews: The New York Times review; The Guardian review.




Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

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22. Vacationing in Maine

I'm vacationing in Maine
And surrounded by the sea.
As the season's winding down,
It's a lovely place to be.

There is sea food, there is beer,
Lots of ice cream, small-batch made;
Restaurants with outdoor decks,
Some where music's being played.

There are trails and boats and bikes,
Lots of stores with souvenirs,
Plus museums and historic homes
With old-time atmospheres.

It's a change of pace for me,
Some relaxing by the shore,
But of course that is exactly
What vacationing is for.

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23. CARDS - amber goodvin

P&P is back from the summer holidays and looking forward to lots of fresh new designs and designers for Autumn. We start by jumping straight back in with the colourful work of Hallmark artist Amber Goodvin. Amber specialises in painterly hand lettering and works at an artistic offshoot of Hallmark called Studio Ink. This experimental label describes itself as 'weirdness, whimsy, and whatnot and

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24. Harry Potter Name Generator

Harry Potter StampThe Hogwarts Express Leaves Today!

If you received your Hogwarts letter this year, you are probably just now getting ready to board the Hogwarts Express to start your wizarding education. Congratulations! To help you get ready for your new life at Hogwarts, I created this Harry Potter name generator so you can invent yourself as a character in the wizarding world.

I tried not to include any actual character name combos. So you can be Ginny Wizangamot, but you can’t be Ginny Weasley. (But oh my goodness, how awesome would it be to actually BE Ginny Weasley???) For first name, you have the option to choose either a boy’s name or a girl’s name that starts with the first letter of your Muggle name. There’s nothing that says you have to choose the boy’s name of you’re a boy or the girl’s name if you’re a girl, but you have the choice. I tried not to choose any evil character names, but for some letters, it was impossible. (Sorry Yaxley Umbridge! I’m sure you’re very nice in real life.)

First name choices: 

  • Albus or Arabella
  • Buckbeak or Bellatrix
  • Cedric or Cho
  • Dobby or Demelza
  • Errol or Enid
  • Firenze or Fleur
  • Grawp or Ginny
  • Harry or Hermione
  • Igor or Irma
  • James or Jewelweed
  • Kreacher or Kendra
  • Ludo or Luna
  • Mundungus or Minerva
  • Neville or Nymphadora
  • Orion or Olympe
  • Patronus or Parvati
  • Quibbler or Quietus
  • Rubeus or Rosmerta
  • Severus or Sibyll
  • Trevor or Thistle
  • Urg or Unicorn
  • Viktor or Veela
  • Wulfric or Walberga
  • Xenophilius
  • Yaxley or Yew
  • Zacharias

Last name

  • Aragog
  • Beauxbatons
  • Crookshanks
  • Durmstrang
  • Evans
  • Flamel
  • Gryffindor
  • Hufflepuff
  • Imago
  • Jordan
  • Knockturn
  • Lumos
  • Mandragora
  • Nimbus
  • Ollivander
  • Padfoot
  • Quidditch
  • Ravenclaw
  • Slytherin
  • Thestral
  • Umbridge
  • Veela
  • Wizengamot
  • Xenophilius
  • Yeti
  • Zonko

Tell us your Harry Potter name in the Comments!

image from kids.scholastic.com— Sonja, STACKS Staffer

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25. Captain No Beard Series, by Award-Winning Author Carole P. Roman | Giveaway

Enter to win a complete autographed set of the Captain No Beard series, by award-winning author Carole P. Roman; plus the PLAYMOBIL Red Serpent Pirate Ship. Giveaway begins September 1, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 30, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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