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1. Day 28 of the March SOLSC! #SOL15

ANNOUNCEMENTS Please be sure you are leaving the permalink to your blog post each day (and not the link to your blog’s homepage).  You can find the permalink of your post by clicking on… Continue reading

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2. #661 – Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds by Dale Kutzera

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Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds

Series: The Amazing Adventures of Andy McBean
Written by Dale Kutzera
Illustrated by Joemel Requeza
Salmon Bay Books        10/6/2014
978-0-69202392-1
285 pages Age 8 to 12
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“Andy McBean is struggling to survive Middle School in the soggy hills of the Pacific Northwest. He’s messy, fearful of bullies, and hates the rain. And spending much of the last year in the hospital battling leukemia hasn’t helped. Then one night a meteor storm devastates the county, cutting off power and communications. One giant boulder skids to a halt right on Andy’s front lawn. The glowing meteor draws the attention of neighbors, the media, the army, and even the new girl from Andy’s art class. He is thrilled at the notoriety, but everything changes when the meteor cracks opens and a towering machine steps out. Separated from his family, Andy must fend for himself and rescue his friends. Join Andy on this thrilling adventure as he meets an alien, learns what they want on planet earth, and devises a bold plan to stop them.”

The Story

Andy wakes one morning to find an alien pod on his front lawn. Mom’s roses are ruined. The aliens are here to collect—using a Vaporizer—all the water found on Earth, including that of humans, who are more than 60% water. These creatures travel the universe harvesting water from planets without significant life. The “Big Heads,” who bark the orders, make a decision: humans are not significant. Large tripod machines crush homes and businesses with grabbers capable of sweeping up people and holding them in a cage, until it is time to vaporize them for their watery bodies.

Andy gets away and rescues Charlie from her ruined home and then his best friend Hector. They avoid the large, bulky “Thugs,” who bully the worker aliens until they obey the Big Heads’ commands, and the crushing arms of the grabbers. Andy befriends a worker alien by the name of Been’Tok. Been’Tok, Andy, Hector, Charlie, and Andy’s dad plan to shut down the vaporizer, free the hostages, and send the aliens back to where they came from. But can an eight-year-old boy, recently recovered from bouts of leukemia treatment, save his world?

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Review

Inspired by War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds actually brings the aliens to Earth. The action is fast. Andy and his friends are easy to like and fun to watch as they travel by foot. The story is believable, though Andy has several lucky escapes from the aliens (great fun!). Been’Tok is a cute, three-eyed monster with a heart and soul. He loves collecting the odd artifacts he finds while vaporizing various planets for the water his planet desperately needs. He disagrees with his commander, believing humans are significant, especially after Andy saves his life.

The cuteness of Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds reminded me of E. T., even though the two are different types of stories. Until the end, it is not clear whether Been’Tok wants to return home. He enjoys the company of Andy and his friends. The communication barriers make for some delightful scenes as Been’Tok tries to learn Andy’s language. World leaders and military might around the world meeting Been’Tok is funny. Unfortunately, there are several typos throughout the book, but I could actually ignore them—a first—thanks to the intense story that held my interest (though that does not excuse the sloppy editing). Black and white illustrations enhance the story.

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Middle grade kids, especially boys, will love the world Kutzera created.  The three-tiered aliens can be humorous and dangerous at the same time. Readers will find several surprises along the way and a happy conclusion. Andy is a terrific character from his loyalty to his best friend Hector, his desire to impress Charlie—the new girl at school—and his valiant attempts to move past his illness, despite his parents’ fears and coddling. Will Andy McBean have future adventures?* If he does, I hope Been’Tok finds a way to join him.am4
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ANDY MCBEAN AND THE WAR OF THE WORLDS. Text copyright © 2014 by Dale Kutzera. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Joemel Requeza. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Salmon Bay Books, Seattle, WA.

*Series: The Amazing Adventures of Andy McBean
. . . . .   .    . #2: Andy McBean 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea released 12/29/2014

Purchase Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds at AmazonB&NSmashwords.
Learn more about Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds HERE
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Meet the author, Dale Kutzera at his website: http://dalekutzera.com/
Meet the illustrator, Joemel Requeza, at his website:
Find Salmon Bay Books here:
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Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 4stars, Books for Boys, Debut Author, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, Series Tagged: aliens, Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds, Dale Kutzera, Joemel Requeza, relationships, Salmon Bay Books, saving the world, The Amazing Adventures of Andy McBean

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3. Taking Things Apart* (*No reassembly required.)

We enjoy making things in the Children’s Room.  Catapults for rubber band balls and elaborate paper airplanes. Colorful chemical reactions. Louise Nevelson-inspired shadow boxes. Hand-sewn pillows stuffed with lavender.  Even sushi and super delicious doughnuts topped with cinnamon sugar.  But as delightful as we’ve found stirring, stitching, and sculpting–and designing projectiles of all shapes and sizes–we’ve recently discovered how much fun we can have unmaking.

For a recent pTaking Things Apart 1rogram we called “Taking Things Apart* (*No reassembly required.),” we collected old computer system units that we begged from a university IT department, where offices constantly update and swap out their CPUs.  With a few screwdrivers and pliers from around the library and a few others brought in from home, we set up the computers on card tables and gathered fourth to sixth graders in small groups around each unit.  And then we asked them to find out what’s inside.

This wasn’t an electronic scavenger hunt–we provided no specific objectives or procedure to follow.  We talked about safety, though, and reiterated our goal to disassemble the computers, not to break them.  (There’s a reason we didn’t give them hammers, after all.)  Because the power sources can occasionally hold a dangerous charge even after unplugging the computers, we showed the kids how those components are labeled and instructed them not to touch the batteries.  As they got further into the guts of the machines, we came around and removed the power sources ourselves.  And we’re proud to report zero electrocutions.

Once they pried open the computer casings, the kids required no additional prompting to explore the electronics.  They delicately unscrewed hard drives, unhooked data cables, and plucked segments froTaking Things Apart 2m the motherboard.  Many of the larger pieces have their own serial numbers, and when students wondered about the purpose of a part, we offered them a (functioning) computer to enter the number and read about the component’s use.  And they cooperated!  Passing around the tiniest screwdrivers and holding sections steady for each other, they rooted around in the guts and held out their micro-trophies for everyone else to admire.  “Can I keep this part?” one asked, over and over.   “What about this?  I want to take this piece home with me.”  (No one took anything.  Everything went to hazardous waste at the dump the following week.)

Near the end of the program, one girl who had spent half an hour dismantling a DVD drive plopped into her seat.  As I scooted over to check in with her, she set her tools down and yelled: “This is so much fun!”  So, we had no projects to take home.  And we spent the hour deconstructing and not creating.  But we definitely made a good time.

Robbin Ellis Friedman is a Children’s Librarian at the Chappaqua Library in Chappaqua, NY, and a member of the ALSC School Age Programs and Services Committee. Feel free to write her at robbin@chappaqualibrary.org.

The post Taking Things Apart* (*No reassembly required.) appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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4. {Indie Spotlight & Giveaway} THE SISTERHOOD by Alison Clarke

The Sisterhood is a fantastical tale about a sorceress’ daughter, and her best friend, who is a dragon. They go on an unforgettable journey to save the universe. This novel is filled with Celtic, Greek, and Ghanaian mythology. It is a magical ride, and a wonderful trip to The Fantastic. It is Book One of The Sisterhood series. This series will be a trilogy. Alison Clarke is an author who

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5. Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge: Day 28 of 31

CLASSROOM SLICE OF LIFE STORY CHALLENGE: DAY 28 OF  31 It is Day Twenty-Eight of the Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge. Hooray! At this point your kids have generated a ton of stories.… Continue reading

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6. What Did You Do This Week, Gail? March 27th Edition

What I focused on this rough week: Small things, since I could squeeze those into the time I had.

Goal 1. Mummy Book. I did some tweaking of early chapters based on some new research and found some new material for research.

Goal 2. Short Work. Worked on the new essay. Did a little bit of market research.

Goal 3. Adult version of Greg and Emma. Looked at a couple of pages. Had some ideas that I've forgotten. Did some market research.

Goal 5. Community Building. I finished the Connecticut Children's Lit Calendar for next month and passed it on to Computer Guy for fitting into the e-newsletter. It will go out this weekend. Also did a little tweeting.

Goal 6. Continue Marketing Saving the Planet & Stuff. I put in a few evenings on an annotated excerpt program I'm doing here next month for STP&S.

Things could have been a whole lot worse.


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7. Beep

Huck came to me with How to Read a Story by Kate Messner and Mark Siegel. “Mommy, will you be my reading buddy?” Of course I will!

He starts reading me the book. And then, halfway through, only a few pages after the sneaky video I took below, he…stopped reading out loud. Got sucked into the story and read silently for the first time. Thanks to this charming picture book, I got to be there for the moment of transition. It was magical. And yes, since he’s my youngest, a little bittersweet–the last one to cross the bridge to solo, silent immersion. But only a little bittersweet. Mostly just magical.

 

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8. 7 Best Ways To Get Book Reviews - Part 7 - #authorpromotion #bookpromotion

PART SEVEN ON BOOK PROMOTION

Today I have the amazingly awesome Alyssa, a book blogger and reviewer from Riverina Romantics, to share her insight and advice on author promotion, book marketing, and how to successfully get book reviews. 

How would you describe your blog? 

A group of ladies who enjoy the escape of books, the passion of reading, and the sexy hunks involved.

Reading preferences? 

I am personally a sucker for paranormal romances, but I enjoy contemporary romance and romantic suspense as well.

What inspired you to start reviewing books? Why do you continue to do it? 

I love reading books, but I often had no one to really talk to about them because I didn’t know anyone who enjoyed reading like I did, so I started reviewing books so I could reach other people that enjoy what I do. I continue to review books because I like being able to reach other readers in hopes that they will enjoy what I do and find other authors that they might otherwise never have found.

Have long have you been reviewing books? 

Oh gosh, going on 3 years now I believe.

Where do you prefer to buy your books? 

I usually buy my books through Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

What do you mostly base your decision on before offering to review a book? (book cover, blurb, or by reading an excerpt online, etc.) 
 
Book covers, for me, play a huge role in how I view a book. I just don’t feel drawn to a book if the cover doesn’t appeal to me. After that, I look at the blurb. That has to draw me in further. If both peak my interest, then I’ll usually offer to review it.

What’s your advice for authors about promoting their book? 

First and foremost, if you’re going to a blog, look at their rules. They usually have them for a reason and it does cause problems sometimes if they are not followed. Always be courteous as well. If you have a good experience with the reviewers, they are more likely to help you again in the future. Even if they can’t review the book, they will usually offer other ways they can help.

How many requests do you get on average monthly

I myself usually get around 10-15 requests a month.

Do you respond to every request? 

I do. Sometimes it might take me a while because life tends to get in the way at times. But I always make sure to try to respond to each one.

Do you review Indie or self-pubbed authors? (Why or why not?) 

I am careful with Indie / Self-published authors. I will review them, but I have run into some with a few issues. I’ve read some that I didn’t like, and some that were great. So it’s a toss of the coin. If their cover and blurb attract me, I will usually read them.

When an author requests a review, what information do you need? 

We at RR usually require all the basics, like Title, Genre, Author, book blurb, etc. Links to information about the book is also helpful. If the author wishes to put other information in there as well, it is usually a bonus.

Do you prefer to read an excerpt before accepting a book for review? 

I don’t. As I’ve said, usually a cover and book blurb are enough. But excepts help because they give us a taste of the author’s writing style, and that sometimes can push us to decide to review the book.

What do you do if you’re not enjoying a book or don’t want to finish reading it? 

At Riverina Romantics, we will email the author and let them know privately that there was some reason we found that we could not review it. We are either always polite about it or express that it wasn’t to our style, or we could not rate it high enough. We never wish to give a bad review for an author and will not write a review that will in any way damage an author’s sales or reputation.

What do you include in your reviews? 

I will usually give an opening opinion, and then go into the hero and heroine as individuals before addressing them as a couple. If there are secondary characters that I enjoy, I will usually do a little thing on them as well. Then I’ll close with an overall view of the book in total.

Where do you post reviews besides your own site? 

I usually put my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. If another site is requested by an author, I do my best to do that as well.

Do you host book tours, blog hops, or guest posts? (Why or why not?) 

Yes. We like to help authors get their work out there. So we do our best to help in any way we can.

Can you tell if an author hasn’t bothered to read your ‘review policy’? 

Yes. All of the ladies on the blog have a general group where we communicate everything. If something pops up with two of us at the same time, we usually know right then and there that whoever sent the request did not look at our policy.

On your site, do you clearly state what types of books you review and what genres you don’t? 

No. A book does not necessarily need to be romance to be reviewed by us. As long as it is the main theme, we are willing to review it.

Give us an example of the “wrong” way to request a review: 

I’ve gotten requests before that went something along the lines of…
“Hi! I’m (insert author name here.)
I’d like you to review my book! Thanks!”
That’s all I would get. Requests like that don’t draw me in and I am a lot less likely to review it if I have to hunt down all the information about it.

Provide us with an example of the “right” way to request a review: 

Ones that go like this…

“Hi! I’m (insert author name here.)
I’m would be happy if you could read my book, (insert book title). It’s about…(enter small description here.) Below is the blurb and some links in case you would like more. Thank you for taking the time to consider my book.”

Usually the more information that is given, the better.

Any rants? 

I’ve had a few dealings with unpleasant authors because I did not share their opinion of their work.

Any additional advice? 

Even if you do not agree with what a reviewer has said about your work, please do not retaliate in a negative way. It is only one person’s opinion, one that you may have asked for. Responding to us poorly is the quickest way for us to refuse you in the future.

Blog: www.riverinaromantics.com
Twitter: @RivRomantics

Hopefully these will give you some ideas of creating fantastic guest posts of your own. Thanks, Alyssa!





Also, my handbook "Get Book Reviews the WRITE Way" has TONS of suggestions on great ways to market your novel!

Hope this info helps. Best of luck!




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9. the sweetest thing (from Tamra Tuller)

Those of you who thought I could not possibly get any older were wrong.

Another birthday nears.

But oh how sweet has sweet Tamra Tuller made these days of near senescence.

Tamra, I've never seen anything like this. It's a magnificent idea, perfectly packaged.

And together we have built three very pretty books.

Thank you for the years, the friendship, the stories. Honey. That's just right.

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10. Latvijas Literatūras gada finalists

       They've announced the finalists for the Latvijas Literatūras gada -- the Latvian Literary Awards.
       Always interesting to see what the local talent is doing (among the names: Inga Ābele, whose High Tide has been published in English by Open Letter) and also what the top translations into the local language are (a Curzio Malaparte and Josef Škvorecký's The Engineer of Human Souls, among others).
       The winners will be announced 24 April.

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11. Outcomes-Based Planning Discussion at the YALSA Board Meeting on Friday at Midwinter 2015

Throughout the YALSA Board meeting at Midwinter, the Board discussed some of the possible changes YALSA needs to make so that the organization can grow and change its strategic plan to reflect the Futures Report. In order to incorporate outcomes-based thinking into the strategic planning process, several things must be decided relating to the future direction of YALSA. What do we really want YALSA to look like in the future?

Having worked with outcomes-based planning in a school setting for several years, we were very pleasantly surprised to hear a number of board members relate their experiences with outcomes-based planning at their libraries. I think that everyone understood that this type of planning serves to focus the activities of an organization to attain measurable results. To that end, the YALSA board can look forward to many fruitful discussions between now and annual conference in San Francisco as we define and refine our goals and intended outcomes.

Is outcomes-based planning something new to you? IMLS has a section of their website that explains the process and why it is beneficial for libraries to use it. If you have more questions about outcomes-based planning and YALSA, feel free to contact Board members Vicki Emery or Carrie Kausch. Contact information can be found on the YALSA website.


Vicki Emery and Carrie Kausch

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12. Social Media Etiquette

What not to do when using social media.


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13. James Bond’s worst enemy arrives in the first Spectre teaser trailer

spectre poster

Even though filming seemingly just began about a month and a half ago, MGM and Sony have started to rev up the marketing machine for Spectre full blast.

Here’s the first teaser which gives us just enough to get rather excited about, including the debut of Christoph Waltz‘s shadowy villain(?), who is maybe Blofeld?

One thing that’s clear, much like Quantum of Solace was for Casino Royale, with Spectre we’ll be getting another direct sequel, this time to the billion dollar grossing Skyfall. I’m holding out hope that it lives up to its predecessor’s legacy (unlike QoS).

Spectre arrives on November 6th, here’s the official synopsis:

A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

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14. Tomas Tranströmer (1931-2015)

       2011 Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer has passed away; see, for example, The New York Times' obituary.

       Only one of his titles is under review at the complete review: Memories Look at Me.

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15. Rio Rancho school library review committe rules to keep Palomar on the shelves

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Gilbert Hernandez’s Palomar—a masterpiece of small town life, longing and the search for love—survived a challenge and will remain on the shelves at the school library in Rio Rancho, NM Betsy Gomez reports for the CBLDF.

The book was challenged a few weeks ago as “child porn” by a parent in a highly slanted scare TV report. A review committee has decided that the book can stay:

The Rio Rancho review committee agreed. By a 5-3 vote, the committee voted on March 16 to retain the book.

“We commend the Rio Rancho Public Schools for adhering to its challenge policy, and are pleased with the result that the review committee has retained this important book for the benefit of its student community,” says Charles Brownstein, Executive Director of KRRP sponsor organization Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

As NCAC’s original letter stated, a decision to keep Palomar would “demonstrate respect for your readers and their choices, for the professionalism of the librarians who serve the reading public, and for the First Amendment and its importance to a pluralistic, democratic society.”


5-3 is a little close, but the literary merit of Hernandez’s work is universally acknowledged and it’s a relief to see that the obvious scare quotes of the first TV report were not persuasive.

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16. What kind of Prime Minister would Miliband make?

Ed Miliband spent a year-and-a-half in the Cabinet between 2008 and 2010, and spent more than five years working as an advisor in the Treasury before he entered parliament in 2005. If he does become Prime Minister after May 7th, then, he will start the job with far more familiarity with government at the highest level than some of his recent predecessors, not least Tony Blair and David Cameron.

The post What kind of Prime Minister would Miliband make? appeared first on OUPblog.

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17. Review: The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 Is a metatextual masterpiece

2015-03-25-multiversityultracomics

 Writer:
Grant Morrison
Penciller:
Doug Mahnke 
Inkers: 
Christian Alamy
Mark Irwin
Keith Champagne
Jaime Mendoza 
Colorists:
Gabe Eltaeb
David Baron

Comics aren’t meant to make readers feel guilty, but The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 paints the fan as the individual leading the protagonist to his ultimate fate. This is it – the haunted story teased since the first installment of Author Grant Morrison’s magnum Multiversity opus. The Multiversity as it stands is my favorite ongoing series from superhero publisher DC, it’s something that’s hard to believe anyone at the Big Two could even think about publishing. Morrison has been circling a sphere of comics self awareness with titles like Animal Man for several years now, and this feels like the natural progression of all those titles. Even though the writer continues to discover new things about self reflexive superheroes, he never feels like he’s repeating himself in this work. The ideas of the Psycho Pirate and Animal Man being erased from continuity is far different from than the mechanically engineered Ultra Comics presented in this work.

Standing on it’s own merits devoid of what came before with the series, is this book good?

Yes. The story can simply be read without that context via the playful opening from Morrison and the exceptional Doug Mahnke (who’s pencils have been sorely absent from Green Lantern.) Nearly every idea within this saga is a reintroduced story beat hatched from the DC vault. Still, this hero (Ultra Comics) emerged from pretty obscure roots and builds on nearly everything that Morrison has done with the DC Universe. There is even a reference to Final Crisis directly in this title showing that Morrison takes this absurdist pillar of the DC landscape that he has built extremely seriously.

The first thing that catches my eye about The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 is the Doug Mahnke cover. The piece is elegantly designed yet filled with utter madness reflecting some of the best covers from tales long ago. The text reading “YOU MUST NOT READ THIS COMIC,” should be the first clue that this is one of the most subversive and enthralling DC books you’re going to find this side of Convergence. What follows this is stirring image complete with a warning from Ultra Comics (our protagonist) to not finish this issue for the sake of his own very life. The storytelling stakes are set in this issue, and if we the reader choose to continue reading we’re to believe that the very fate of Ultra Comics has been decided. That’s a lot to take in over the span of just one story, and my own personal guilt regarding what happens next led is my own fault.

The first issue of The Multiversity arguably mixed the most concepts and characters and introduced us to the primary threat featured in this story – it’s essential reading to anyone left scratching their heads with this issue. This can be read stand alone as mentioned earlier, but to enjoy this text to the fullest a background in Morrison DC’s work is ideal. Ultra Comics is a book was first introduced via the live dissection from a Monitor within that issue. As a result, don’t expect this comic to be an easy read without the context of the broader series. It’s tempting to say that the threat of this book will be capitalized on as the baddie for the full Multiversity event, but Morrison has trained readers not to look at his work with such a clear lens. The Gentry are not everything that caused the bleakness in Multiversity – as the Multiversity Guidebook clearly articulated.

Mahnke’s storytelling skills haven’t missed a beat. The artist perfectly captures the detailed linework and impossibly huge facial expressions that make this work something truly special. His haunting images are best utilized in the context of horror, which this series arguably falls under. The villains contained within this story are terrifying, silly, and then maddening all in the context of one issue. Mahnke is called upon to be a really versatile artist in this experience, and does a great job on the static rendition of Ultra Comics nobly glimpsing at the reader. Also called upon are several other small flashes of violence with an exploration into the brutality buried deep within superheroes. Christian Alamy, Mark Irwin, Keith Champagne, and Jamie Mendoza bring this issue to a total of four inkers in this oversized. There are the occasional moments of inconsistency here, but overall this is some admirable work from the four mostly blending into each other and not detracting from the reader experience too much. The important part of the art in this issue is that Mahnke was allowed to draw a riveting horror comic.

There are so many different ideas crammed into this one piece of writing. The self reflexive asides kept the plot from becoming too complicated or too pedestrian. The buffer of Ultra Comics explaining his bizarre inner thoughts to the reader perfectly bring casual fans into the strange world of the title. There are so many different ways in which the story engages with readers, whether it be through Ultra Comics speech patterns, inner thoughts, dialogue trees, word balloons, and even meta-commentary within the context of the work itself.

To say much more about this story would spoil the delightful surprises waiting inside for readers to engage with. The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 is the only comic that ever melted off my face and left me in charge of the fate of my new favorite superhero.

I’m sorry Ultra Comics.

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18. Tom McCarthy Q & A

       The Globe and Mail has a short Q & A with Tom McCarthy (Remainder, etc.).
       Fun to see him rag of Thomas Hardy.

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19. To Serve

In restaurants, the food is served;
In tennis, it’s a ball.
In prison, it’s a stretch of time;
To jurors, it’s a call.

We serve our country, serve our guests
And serve at someone’s side;
We serve as ushers or as maids
To march before a bride.

We’re served a summons or a suit
To answer to the law
And sometimes, justice being served
Provides a deal that’s raw.

In life, however, oftentimes
What I, in fact, observe,
Is that we rarely get what we
Believe that we deserve.

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20. Dorthe Nors on short-story-form

       Karate Chop-author Dorthe Nors 'reflects on the beauty of the short story form' at PEN Atlas, in A form close to home.
       I've always been a novel-man, through and through, but I'm surprised to find my lack of interest in the story-form has actually increased recently. I can appreciate the qualities of Nors' collection, but I can't say it really engaged me; indeed, very little story-writing has, ever. In part -- especially in recent decades -- it's a reaction to/lack of interest in the horribly dominant MFA/Carver-Lish school of writing -- all too polished, all too simple, all too reduced -- but even beyond that, stories tend generally, in some (or many) way(s), not to be enough for me (unless, of course, the reduction is complete and absolute: Heiner Müller's Herzstück (arguably a drama ?) likely would make my list of ten favorite works of literature). Those that do impress tend to be strongly concept-based: Borges' Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote is probably the story that has most impressed me/had the most lasting effect; Queneau's Exercises in Style is among the few top-rated ("A+") books at the complete review; the last story-writer I really got excited about was Krzhizhanovsky (Memories of the Future, etc.); probably the last collection I was really impressed by was Ogawa Yoko's Revenge, which I've insisted from the beginning is a novel, not a story collection .....
       Anyway, it's something I want to examine more closely at some point.

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21. Alan Rickman in BAFTA Interview and Upcoming Projects

Alan Rickman is known for not being the subject of many interviews. However, BAFTA seems to be lucky. Rickman’s interview is to be a part of BAFTA’s “Life in Pictures” event–where many big name stars (such as Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, etc.) sit down for talks with BAFTA. The event is April 15. The Variety reports:

Rickman began his acting career in theater, where his credits include a Tony nomination for his performance in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.” His feature film debut came in the 1988 alongside Bruce Willis in “Die Hard.” Since then he has appeared in more than 40 films, including the Harry Potter series, “Sweeney Todd” and “Love Actually.”

Rickman was awarded a BAFTA in 1992 for his role as the Sheriff of Nottingham in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.” In the same year, he was also BAFTA-nominated for his lead role in “Truly, Madly, Deeply.” He received two further BAFTA nominations in 1996 and 1997, for “Sense and Sensibility” and “Michael Collins,” respectively.

Rickman made his directorial debut in 1997 with “The Winter Guest,” starring Emma Thompson and Phyllida Law. He recently directed and co-wrote his second feature film, historical drama “A Little Chaos,” in which he also stars with Kate Winslet and Stanley Tucci. The film premiered as the Closing Gala at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival, and opens in the U.K. on April 17. Focus Features recently removed the pic from its release schedule in the U.S.

Rickman will next be seen in “Eye in the Sky,” co-starring Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Colin Firth and Barkhad Abdi, and will reprise his role as the Blue Caterpillar in “Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass.”

 

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22. New Adult Fiction Genre - Contemporary Romance - #WriteTip



There is a new genre emerging..."New Adult" fiction for older teens aka college-aged readers. You never stop growing up, but little in the market seems to address the coming-of-age that also happens between the ages of Nineteen to Twenty-six. Life changes drastically once high school is over, you have college, first jobs, first internships, first adult relationships…

Part of the appeal of NA is that the storylines are about characters who are taking on adult responsibilities for the first time without guidance from their parents. And the storylines generally have a heavy romance element. 

Keep this in mind as you revise your wonderful story, New Adult books are mostly about that specific time in every person's life—the time when the apron strings are cut from your parents, you no longer have a curfew, you're experiencing the world for the very first time, in most cases, with innocent eyes. New Adult is this section of your life where you discover who you want to be, what you want to be, and what type of person you will become. This time defines you. This is the time of firsts, the time where you can't blame your parents for your own bad choices. 


An NA character has to take responsibility for their own choices and live with the consequences. Most storylines are about twenty-something (18 to 26) characters living their own lives without any parents breathing down their necks, and learning to solve things on their own as they would in real life. New Adult fiction focuses on switching gears, from depending on our parents to becoming full-fledged, independent adults.

I am a firm believer that if you’re going to write a certain genre that you should read it, too. So I’m going to recommend that you start devouring NA novels to get a real sense and understanding of the genre before you write one.

Here are some great recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult-romance and http://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult and https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/new-adult-romance
 

Just as YA is fiction about teens discovering who they are as a person, New Adult (NA) is fiction about building your own life as an actual adult. As older teen readers discover the joy of the Young Adult genres, the New Adult—demand may increase. This, in turn, would give writers the chance to explore the freedom of a slightly older protagonist (over the age of 18 and out of high school, like the brilliant novel, "BEAUTIFUL DISASTER" by the amazing talents of author, Jamie McGuire) while addressing more adult issues that early 20-year-olds must face.

Older protagonists (basically, college students) are surprisingly rare; in a panel on YA literature at Harvard’s 2008 Vericon, City of Bones author talked about pitching her novel, then about twenty-somethings, as adult fiction. After several conversations, Clare realized she had to choose between adults and teens. She went with teens.

Quote from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press: We are actively looking for great, new, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.” In this category, they are looking for spunky but not stupid, serious but not dull, cutting-edge, supernatural stories.

Quote from Georgia McBride, author (Praefatio) and founder of #YALitChat and publisher at Month9Books: "New Adult is a fabulous idea in theory, and authors seem to be excited about it. But in a world where bookstores shelf by category, to them, it is either  Adult or Young Adult. Some booksellers even call their YA section “teen.” And when you have a character who is over a certain age (19 seems to be the age most consider the start of New Adult), it is received as Adult. In some cases, the designation by publishers causes more confusion than not.
Let’s face it, YA is associated with teens, and at 19, most no longer consider themselves teens. So, it would support the theory of placing these “New Adult” titles in the Adult section. However, with the prevalence of eBook content, it would seem that the powers that be could easily create a New Adult category if they really wanted to...."

There’s also a list on goodreads of New Adult book titles. These books focus on college age characters, late teens to early twenties, transitioning into the adult world.

Some popular authors of the NA category include:
  • Jamie McGuire
  • Jessica Park
  • Tammara Webber
  • Steph Campbell
  • Liz Reinhardt
  • Abbi Glines
  • Colleen Hoover 
  • Sherry Soule
http://www.wattpad.com/story/29486760-irresistible-mistake-new-adult-romantic-suspense


Would you buy New Adult books? 
Does the genre appeal to you? 

Does it sound better than YA (teen novels)? 
 
Or are you happy with YA as it stands?

Do you consider YA to include characters that are over the age of eighteen? 
 

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23. Illustration Friday: Outside



You could call this a late submission for last week's Ruckus or an uncharacteristically early submission for this week's Outside.  I prefer to call it versatile by way of serendipity.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  It promises to be very warm where we are.

Happy spring!

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24. Collecting and evaluating data on social programs

On 31 December 2014, Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution wrote a compelling op-ed piece in the New York Times entitled, “Social Programs That Work.” Haskins shared the need for our nation to support evidence-based social programs and abandon those that show small or un-enduring effects – a wise idea.

The post Collecting and evaluating data on social programs appeared first on OUPblog.

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25. ‘Harvey Beaks’ Creator C.H. Greenblatt on How to Break Into The Biz and Why Artists Should Post on Tumblr

C.H. Greenblatt, creator of the animated series "Chowder," is back with a new series, "Harvey Beaks," that premieres this Sunday on Nickelodeon.

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