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1. New Web Site Helps Artists Claim Settlement Money From Wage Theft Lawsuit

The new web site explains how artists will receive the nearly-$19 million settlement fund from Blue Sky and Sony Pictures.

The post New Web Site Helps Artists Claim Settlement Money From Wage Theft Lawsuit appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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2. After Loving You Cover Reveal!

It's finally here! Cover reveal day for After Loving You, my Ashelyn Drake new adult romance. Check it out!


When Mia Thompson and Jared Grande break up before college, they think that’s the end for them. 

But two years later, Mia is stalking Jared’s Facebook page and he’s contacting her every chance he gets. Even though they’re both seeing other people, they can’t seem to say good-bye to the past they shared. 

One way or another, they’ll have to figure out how to love again. Is it time to get back together or time to move on? 

This title will release on October 3, 2016, but you can preorder your copy today here.

I'm going to be hosting some really awesome giveaways coming up soon, but you must be subscribed to my newsletter for one and a member of my street team, Kelly's Coven, for the other. If you're interested, you can sign up for my newsletter here. I only send out newsletters when I have something new to share with you and they almost always include a free book or giveaway for you. If you'd like to be part of my street team, Kelly's Coven, and help me spread the word about my books (as well as get exclusive giveaways, sneak peeks at my upcoming books, and talk to me whenever you'd like), you can join the Facebook group here.

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3. The Picture Book in 2016: Social Themes and Lessons

I recently received a very interesting, if puzzling, question.  A friend of mine needed to know, for professional reasons, what I would consider the top themes in picture books these days.  By “themes” I don’t mean trends but rather emotional or social lessons for young readers.  You might even go so far as to call them the morals we’re trying to impart upon our 21st century offspring.

This is not as easy a question. While I attempt to take meticulous notes on every picture book I read, it’s far easier to keep track of, say, movie cameos in 2016 books than overarching societal anxieties.  Still, I managed to whip up a list and then thought, why not share it widely?

Here then are the top themes I’m detecting in picture books this year.


 

  • It’s Okay to Make Mistakes – Particularly as it applies to girls in science or math, but also to how kids do their own art.  I’ve seen a lot of books where a kid is making art, messes it up in some way, and then learns how to turn it into something new.  By the same token, a lot of books are about how you have to make mistakes to get better at something.  And it’s not about failing once or twice but a LOT.  Not mention asking as many questions as possible!  Hopefully those books where someone tries something three times and gets it done perfectly on the third will be a thing of the past soon.

A Good Example Would Be:

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, ill. David Roberts

adatwistscientist

Though you might just as easily apply this to Ada’s predecessor Rosie Revere, Engineer.


 

  • Gender Roles – Most notably when it comes to boys in dresses (though no girls identifying as boys) as well as just how kids interact with one another.  Kids learn gender roles VERY early and enforce those roles with one another.  There’s a great book call NutureShock for adults that talks a lot about this.  Picture books have always liked this theme (William’s Doll came out in the 1970s, after all) but now it’s ramping up again.

A Good Example Would Be:

I’m a Girl by Yasmeen Ismail

ImGirl

I was initially going to go with the new James Howe picture book Big Bob, Little Bob, but I already mentioned that one in an earlier post.  There are remarkably few books where gender stereotypes for girls are as thoroughly knocked to the floor and trampled upon than what you’ll find here.  It even saves space to kick to the curb some male gender stereotypes as well at the end.  I’m a fan.


 

  • Economic Disparity – We’re finally seeing some books that acknowledge that not all kids have the same resources at home.  Some kids have parents who lose their jobs.  Others have single family homes.  And not every kid you know has parents who can afford to buy them a bike.

A Good Example Would Be:

A Bike Like Sergio’s by Maribeth Boelts, ill. Noa Z. Jones

BikeLikeSergios

I think what I love so much about this is the easy breezy ignorance of Sergio.  He simply cannot conceive of a world where a boy’s parents wouldn’t be able to buy their son a bike if they wanted to.  Meanwhile the character of Ruben is placed in the awkward position of having to hide his family’s economic situation from his best friend.  And this is a picture book!  We’re finally seeing this topic handled in something other than a Charlie Bucket kind of way.  I’m very pleased.


 

  • Unplug – Possibly the MOST popular theme in the past three to four years.  Very Willy Wonka in the moralizing sometimes (imagine what Mike TeeVee could have done with a personal device), but important to adults. Many is the picture book where someone turns off all their devices and discovers the wide and wonderful world.

A Good Example Would Be:

Tek, the Modern Cave Boy by Patrick McDonnell

Tek

What I like about this book is that since you’ve got a caveperson with a cell phone, adding dinos to the mix really isn’t going to upset anyone.  You’ve already gone beyond the pale.


 

  • Try to See It Their Way (or, Everyone’s a Person – Even Mean People) – Picture books where you have to see it from another person’s point of view are becoming very sophisticated these days.  Some of them will also show that bullies sometimes have problems at home or at school that cause them to act out.  Though, if we’re going to get technical about it, even The Berenstain Bears and the Bully discussed this decades ago.

A Good Example Would Be:

Eddie the Bully by Henry Cole

EddieBully

Bully books aren’t going away anytime soon.  Nuanced bully books?  That might mark the second wave of titles.


 

  • Apologize When You’re Wrong – Oddly popular as a theme.  Owning up to your own mistakes is hard.  Books are making that infinitely clear, but also show the right way to do it.

A Good Example Would Be:

What’s Up, Chuck? by Leo Landry

WhatUpChuck

I think this might fall more into the “early reader” category vs. “picture books” but I care not.  The interesting thing about this storyline is that when our main character has acted like a spoiled brat for not winning a contest’s first prize medal for the first time in three years, the person who does win gives Chuck (our hero) an out.  But Chuck doesn’t take it, and apologizes like a pro.  It’s really well executed in a book this simple.  Check it out sometime.


 

  • Try Something New – Whether it’s food or school or new friends or whatever, trying something new is a big time theme.

A Good Example Would Be:

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, ill. Christian Robinson

SchoolFirstDay

So my daughter started Kindergarten this week and I figured this book might make a good gift to her Kindergarten teacher.  Turns out, it’s been a HUGE hit in the school, with other teacher vying to borrow it.  What I like about it, though, is that it takes time to acknowledge that when you try something new it isn’t instantaneously fantastic.  Things go wrong.  It takes time to enjoy something you’ve never done before.

And yes, you could argue that these are themes every year, but I feel like they’re particularly prevalent in 2016.  What are you seeing that I’ve missed?

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4. खबरदार खबरें – ब्रेकिंग न्यूज

खबरदार खबरें – ब्रेकिंग न्यूज खबरें भूकम्प की हो या न हो पर खबरों में भूकम्प earth quake जरुर ले आते हैं हमारे मीडिया वाले !! ब्रेकिंग न्यूज / breaking news .. सावधान !!  बामुलाहिज़ा, होशियार, खबरदार आप खबरें सुन रहे हैं…. वो भी एक दौर था ये भी एक दौर है … जब 24 […]

The post खबरदार खबरें – ब्रेकिंग न्यूज appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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5. PAPERCHASE - store snaps pt.2

And we end our Paperchase coverage with some snapshots from their Tottenham Court Roads shop. The first and second floors of this flagship store are full of gifts, paper goods and crafting materials. Here are some of the things I spotted on the day of the press show. Thanks to everyone who followed along with these posts for the last two weeks - Paperchase is a store who rely on surface pattern

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6. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Aubree Lane, Author of Tahoe Blues



The Culinary Delights of Tahoe Blues

From the upscale Jakes on the Lake to Rookies Bar & Grill, the food around Lake Tahoe can’t be beat. Our heroine, Cara Lee Greene, is ready to sample it all. Recently divorced from the city’s most successful casino owner, Cara’s new found freedom is severely hampered when the State of Nevada straps the most unappealing piece of jewelry around her ankle. Under house arrest for a crime she didn’t commit, Cara is forced to rely on her lawyer and private detective, David Crandall, to set her free.

With little else to do but eat, it isn’t long before Cara’s cupboards are bare and takeout becomes her mainstay. Isolated from her friends, Chinese food, French bread and her favorite wines from California are more than mere nourishment, they become Cara’s lifeline to a world she is no longer allowed to take part in.

Mrs. Grimes, a neighbor and the baker of the most delectable muffins and cookies Granite Gages Estates has ever seen, is convinced the apartment complex’s new managerial assistant is behind the infamous, Cara caper. Leaving the flour and eggs behind, Mrs. G. ventures out of the kitchen to conduct an investigation of her own.

The case unravels the moment Mrs. Grimes and David Crandall cross paths.

How will it all turn out? You must pick up a copy of Tahoe Blues to find out!



Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Aubree!



You can find Aubree here:







And Tahoe Blues here:                    Amazon US                    Amazon UK

                                                           Amazon Canada             Amazon Australia




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7. Friday Linky List - 26 August 2016

From Nightlight: How Did Children's Literature Evolve From Prim Morality Tales to the Likes of Captain Underpants?

From Muddy Colors: 2016 Sketchbook Preview: The Gryphon Hunters and Other Adventures by Justin Gerard and Fairy Tales and Folklore by Annie Stegg Gerard

From K.D. Rausin (via Emma Dryden): The Importance of Getting Up and Trying Again

From The City of Lost Books: W.W. Tarn, The Treasure of the Isle of Mist

From The Sydney Morning Herald: The Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year Awards: the winners your kids must read

From Brain Pickings: Neil Gaiman on Why We Read and What Books Do for the Human Experience

From The Scottish Book Trust: Michael Morpungo on Finding The Right Place to Write

From The Guardian: Terry Pratchett's 'artist of choice' on illustrating Discworld: As the Discworld Colouring Book is published, Paul Kidby, who illustrated the hugely popular novels for more than 20 years, recalls how attending a book signing changed his life

From Julia Donaldson at Kirkus on Going Graphic

From the Society of Visual Storytelling: 3rd Thursday Critiques (via Will Terry)

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8. Lot's of Rain, Heat and Watercolors!

The Summer of 2016 has been a great season for watercolor painting of local landmarks and houses in Tyler, Texas. Tyler has about 15 miles of red brick streets constructed in the 1930s and 1940s and I get to enjoy them every day.
Many beautiful churches, houses and public buildings are framed by the brick streets which make a pleasing, colorful foundation for my sketches and paintings.
I've uploaded several images of my paintings, I hope you enjoy them.


Brick Street Village


First Presbyterian Church


Marvin Methodist Church


Marvin Methodist


Christ Episcopal Church


Crescent Laundry


Cotton Belt Depot


First Baptist Church


First Presbyterian


Old Smith County Jail


Chilton House


Charnwood District


Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception


Rick's On The Square


All of these images are Copyright 2016 by John Randall York


Feel free to leave a tip!


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9. 10 interesting facts about criminal justice

And what is the best way to ensure an easy transition for offenders that are about to be released? Julian Roberts, author of Criminal Justice: A Very Short Introduction, tells us the top 10 things everyone should know about criminal justice, and what the chances and limitations of the Western system are.

The post 10 interesting facts about criminal justice appeared first on OUPblog.

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10. Monopolists

The Monopolists. Mary Pilon. 2015. Bloomsbury. 320 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: One day during the depths of the Great Depression, an unemployed salesman named Charles Darrow retreated to his basement.

Premise/plot: Love Monopoly? Hate Monopoly? Mary Pilon's The Monopolists is a fascinating read to be sure. Who invented Monopoly? Who did NOT invent Monopoly? Why does it matter?

The Monopolist tells the story of the woman who invented the game, a game with two very different sets of rules. She didn't call her game 'monopoly' but 'The Landlord's Game.' The general game board concept and rules of play were hers. This was in 1904. In her community, it became quite popular, even an obsession of sorts. So much so that it spread across the nation as one person--or one couple--would teach another and another and another and another. People would create their own homemade game boards. The rules were taught but not written down. For decades, people were playing this game, loving this game. It wasn't a game you could buy at the store, though. 'The Landlord's Game' wasn't the only real-estate game that predates Parker Brothers' Monopoly. The game Finance also did. It also being offspring of Lizzie Magie's original game. Though I think perhaps by that time, it had just one set of rules. Charles Darrow, the man whose name would be associated with the game MONOPOLY, was taught the game by friends. He later claimed he invented the game. The couple who taught Darrow spent a lot of time in Atlantic City with the Quakers who LOVED the game and changed their own game boards to reflect their lives. These place names would stay with the game and be the names that we come to associate with Monopoly. The rules, the layout of the game board, the place names, all were essentially handed to Darrow ready-made.

Most of this book focuses on a lawsuit in the 1970s and early 1980s. Parker Brothers was trying to stop one man--Ralph Anspach--from selling his own game, a game called ANTI-MONOPOLY. Anspach was an economics professor, I believe. It would take a lot of time, effort, stamina, and courage to stay in the fight.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this one. I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would. I don't love playing Monopoly, but, I found the game-playing culture of the twentieth century to be FASCINATING. There is something to be said for people spending time together around a table and actually talking and having fun doing the same thing. This was written in an engaging way. I'd definitely recommend it.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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11. Dalriada Sunday Music Jam

So I told you about that piano on the beach? It foreshadowed the music we were about to stumble into... Up the boardwalk from our picnic is a pub in a grand old house called Dalriada.

We hadn't been yet, so today was the day. We popped in for some tea and stumbled across the Sunday ritual there.
Two tables near the window said 'reserved for band' so we got the next free table over. Silly us, the band quickly grew around us on all sides.
Turns out Sunday is jam session day for whoever wants to join in. We were in the way. But the only free seats left in the place were at an occupied table. Stan asked if we could join them. They said yes. Turned out to be the sister of the main guitarist. She and her husband were visiting from Manchester.
We had a nice conversation about the music. A few of the musicians are regulars. Many play in other bands and get pretty regular work at caleighs, enough that they don't really advertise themselves, which is why I sadly can't share a website.
     I can, however, share the short video I made when they broke into an especially fun Scottish tune. Click the image to listen on Youtube.
Ironically, the fiddle player in the video, Jo, showed up at a poetry reading we attended the next evening. (More on that soon.)
     I tell you, it's so easy to make friends here, and most of the friendships begin with the phrase, "I was in a pub..."

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12. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 210 - 8.24.16


Happy 100th birthday to the National Park Service! And the polar bear rangers are ready to go for any further expansions or additions to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Alaska's coastal plain.

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13. Let's go Nude!



  Or  actually maybe leave it to the professionals....
This week life drawing- an improvement on last week/getting back on track
but far worse on the arriving on time front  :(
Still not too bad for no warmup/sitting behind everyone etc.











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14. The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer by Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud


The premise of David Cali and Benjamin Chaud's trilogy is simple, circular and deeply satisfying. Beginning in 2014 with I Didn't Do My Homework Because . . ., Cali and Chaud have taken readers on one detail packed adventure after another, starring our young hero in his pinstriped suit, red necktie and red socks, and his faithful, bug-eyed dachshund and his bespectacled, clever teacher. 



The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer begins with the inevitable question upon returning to school, "So, what did you do this summer?" Our hero responds, "Well, you may not believe this, but . . . " On a visit to the beach, he finds a message in a bottle and inside it is a treasure map! But, a magpie swoops in and pecks it out of his hands and the adventure begins. There are pirates, submarines and time travel that finds our hero floating down the Seine in his submarine as a bucket of slop is tossed on his head as he passes under the bridge in front of Notre Dame. Turns out he didn't time travel - he just happened onto a movie set.


There are libraries, hot air balloons, the Taj Mahal, mummies, pyramids and the Great Wall. And Yetis. But I don't want to give the whole story away. The final page ends, circling back to the start of the story, with a nice little reveal that brings the teacher back into the story. Three is a nice number, but I wouldn't mind one or two more books featuring our imaginative, well dressed hero and his dog . . . 




The first two books in the trilogy and .  . .



A Doodle Book of Excuses!! How cool is that?




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15. The Taking of Temperature

When Henry's toy thermometer
Was used to check his bear
For fever, I was most surprised
That not the derriere

Nor mouth was where he placed it,
For he made it very clear
That the best place for a reading
Was inside the teddy's ear.

I was poised to thus correct him
But I realized nowadays
That we measure kids for fever
In some unexpected ways.

In my day, things sure were different.
Still, we wouldn't need a push
To insert thermometers
Into the ear and not the tush.

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16. PAPERCHASE - gift wrap

We have finally reached the end of our marathon Paperchase review. The only thing we haven't covered is Christmas - but I will save that for later as we are still enjoying the hot sun. For this final day we start with a look at some of the current designs and new arrivals in gift wrap at Paperchase.

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17. Active Bodies, Active Minds: Boost Wellness & Learning with Sports Equipment

kid with basketball

Experts say that one way to help your kids get a jump on learning is to help them, well, JUMP!  Boosting students’ physical activity not only supports health and wellness and makes kids feel better, but it turns out that it can help them learn better, too.

That’s why First Book is excited to announce a brand new addition to the First Book Marketplace lineup of resources:  sports and fitness equipment provided through Target.

“Whether it’s dribbling a basketball, playing softball, or maneuvering through an obstacle course, physical activity can improve academic achievement, boost cognitive skills and improve concentration and behavior for kids – both in and out of the classroom,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book president and CEO.  “Thanks to Target, many more schools and programs serving kids in need will have the resources to encourage healthy activities that also foster learning.”

Through Target funding, First Book will now offer brand new softballs, soccer balls, bean bag toss games, playground balls and more on the First Book Marketplace.

If you’re a teacher serving children in need, you may be able to take advantage of special funding from Target that will provide credits that educators can use to access sports equipment from the First Book Marketplace site. So run – don’t walk – to find the sports and play equipment you need to support learning and wellness for the children you serve. 

The post Active Bodies, Active Minds: Boost Wellness & Learning with Sports Equipment appeared first on First Book Blog.

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18. Going Digital #BeBrave

Follow me this year as I try for the fifth time to go digital. Some say, "third time's the charm." It wasn't for me. Maybe the fifth time, with some extra determination, will do the trick!

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19. Stirring The Plot: Physical Obstacles

Physical obstacles prevent movement, communication, access to a person, the retrieval of an object, and necessary exchanges. 

Physical distance prevents access which increases tension.

Time limits put the tension level at full throttle.

These are the types of action scenes that leave your readers biting their nails. The harder the task, the greater the anxiety level for the reader.

1. A physical barrier, like having to break into a safe or out of a cell.


This is a key tool in every genre from thriller t0 romance. Yes, romance. In the Outlander series, there are numerous times when Jamie and Claire must rescue one another from captors. And what is a heist movie without obstacles to the theft?

2. A situational barrier, such as trying to enter an area that is off limits.

Whether you character succeeds through sweet talk or stealth, waiting for them to get past this barrier can be funny, thrilling, or heartbreaking.

3. Physical restraints, like being stuck inside a car, plane, or train. 


Or trying to break free from handcuffs or a straight jacket. Your character does not have to be a magician to use this tool. They can be tied up or boxed in. Everyone can relate to the need to escape.

4. Missing the target whether it is a boat, train, airplane, or opportunity.


This is another situation your audience can relate to. The nearer the miss, the higher the tension. Will they get another chance or have to find another way?

5. Limited mobility due to a temporary or permanent physical disability.


Self-healing thriller characters aside, when your character is shot, stabbed, or otherwise hobbled, they will have difficulty doing what comes next.

6. Misunderstanding the time frame involved or being given an impossible timeline.


The ticking clock is arguably the most intense tool in the tension toolkit. There must be an "or else" for it to work properly. Nothing is worse than setting a ticking time bomb that doesn't go off.

7. Physical distances that make accomplishing the task difficult or impossible.


Whether you character has to traverse a hall, a flight of stairs, an eighty-story building, or rush from country to country, your readers feed on the the adrenaline rush your character experiences as he tries to accomplish the impossible.

8. Being misled about the correct destination.


Friend or foe, antagonist or love interest, missing the bus gives your readers a feeling of let down. They can relate to that moment when you realize you've taken the wrong turn, the wrong plane, or walked into the wrong bar.

9. Not being able to touch.


Truly, nothing is more agonizing than watching characters who desperately want to touch each other being kept apart. It can be lovers who are forbidden to love, or a mother reaching for a child who is slipping through her hands, literally or figurative. It can be the grieving loved one trying to reach the dead or dying. This tool can gut your reader or fill them with longing.

10. Different places or times.

This tool works best in the science fiction and fantasy realms where characters are literally worlds or time periods apart. From Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series to the movie Somewhere in Time, nothing keeps people apart more effectively than being in different eras. Your characters can be placed in different planets, starships, or fairy realms. Your readers will hang on to find out how they resolve these great distances.

For more about how to craft plots using conflict check out, Story Building Blocks: The Four Layers of conflict available in print and e-book and check out the free tools and information about the series on my website.

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20. Fascinating facts about man’s best friend

Dogs have historically performed many roles for humans, such as herding, protection, assisting police, companionship, and aiding the handicapped. The tale of "man’s best friend" is a lengthy and intimate history that has lasted for thousands of years, and transcends modern cultural boundaries. Canines appear as poignant characters with symbolic meaning in mythological stories, famous works of art, and religious texts.

The post Fascinating facts about man’s best friend appeared first on OUPblog.

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21. Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy Hitler's Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb


While WW II was waging furiously in Europe, some countries didn't see as much action. But it didn't mean that pivotal moments didn't occur in those countries.  Switzerland declared itself neutral, but Norway didn't.  And there was one place in Norway that became very VERY interesting to the Nazis.  It was a place so obscure and rare, they would do anything to make sure they could control it. 

An interesting fact - the science behind the nuclear bomb was being explored before and during World War II.  Everyone knew that whomever developed it first would win the war.  And the race was on.  Different physicists and scientists came up with various ways to create one and there were many elements that had to be used.  One of them was called heavy water.  Hydrogen has been replaced by deuterium, which made it essential for bomb making. The unfortunate thing was that heavy water was difficult to produce and there wasn't much of it.

But there was one place in Europe where heavy water was produced.  The Vemork Hydroelectric Plant in Norway.  Difficult to access, it was the perfect Nazi situation, making it hard to infiltrate.  It was to be a huge Nazi secret that gave them the extra incentive to win the nuclear race. 

One thing they didn't count on was the patriotism of the Norwegians.  There were underground resistance groups that sprung up and when the Nazis found them out, they used scare and death tactics to contain them.  It only bolstered them to fight back even more.  Several Norwegians went to England to train with the secret intelligence service to become infiltrators, spies and saboteurs.  They were to go back to Norway and create new resistance groups and sabotage any Nazi effort.

The top priority was to destroy Vemork....but could they without getting caught or putting the small town of Rjukan in jeopardy for their lives? Even worse, their mission was to take place in winter across a vast frozen area where survival would be severely tested.

Young adult non-fiction is fascinating for one very simple reason - these are the events that aren't usually written about in history books. Neal Bascomb hit it out of the park with his newest book. Narrative in nature, Bascomb tells a riveting story as well as providing images and photographs of the main players and sites.  In hindsight, readers will see how one mistake could have changed the outcome of the war. This is the invisible part of WWII teens will find fascinating.

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22. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 211 - 8.25.16


Guardians of the Arctic. Resolved. Defiant. And in steadfast opposition to the changes they don't fully comprehend.

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23. poetry friday round-up: open house

Yes, indeed, friends--my house is open!  On Friday at 1:30 pm children and their families will crowd around the lists posted in the foyer of the school to see who has which teacher, and then the new 2nd graders will surge up the stairs to the 2nd floor for the first time to find their new classrooms, and then 16 of them will surge through my door looking for a new home away from home.  I hope they find it, and I hope you will find a home away from home here today in the community, in a poem someone has posted.  I almost always find something just right!

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24. (Soon) Headed to the AJC Decatur Book Festival

Three years ago, I was there, at the AJC Decatur Book Festival, one of the happiest book events there ever could be. I arrived alone. I stepped into the hotel lobby and I wasn't anymore. Suddenly I was in the company of Jessica Shoffel and Doni Kay, who walked me to the Little Shop of Stories (the epicenter of this event), sat with me over tea, invited me to meet Tomie dePaolo (images of all that here), to have dinner with him later. The next day I took an early morning walk and discovered the tour de force that is Diane Capriola out and about, so we talked. I needed some shoes, so I bought a pair that remain my favorite to this day. A few hours later, I sat beside the very brilliant Stacey D'Erasmo (a writing heroine, truly) and, before a packed house, we talked about memoir and intimacy as if no one else was in sight. I found Nancy Krulick on the stage after that. A long conversation with the smart DJ MacHale was had in the ride back to the airport.

Two days I'll never forget.

Next weekend I return to Decatur, this time to sit on a Terra Elan McVoy moderated panel with writers Ami Allen-Vath and Alexandra Sirowy. The topic this time will be young-adult books. I'll be talking, specifically, about This Is the Story of You.

Word is that my dear former neighbor, Shirley, will be there in the audience mix. That, perhaps, one of my favorite rediscovered friends of high school, will be there with his literary daughter. I'm looking forward to you, Decatur, and I thank Chronicle Books and Lara Starr for making it possible for me to be there.

My event is here, should you happen to be in town.

Sunday September 4
2:00 PM
Teen Stage
Aftermath
Ami Allen-Vath, Alexandra Sirowy, Terra Elan McVoy
AJC Decatur Book Festival




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25. Gateway books: Introduction to your favorite genres (link)

What book introduced you to your favorite genre(s)? Here's a list from Tor.com: Five Gateway Books

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