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1. Cinebook The 9th Art: The Bluecoats 08 - Auld Lang Blue


 


The Bluecoats 08 - Auld Lang Blue
Authors: Lambil & Cauvin
Age: 8 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
Paperback

08 - Auld Lang Blue
ISBN: 9781849182454
Price: £6.99 inc. VAT

Publication: March 2015

Contrary to what you may believe, even the very martial Sergeant Chesterfield didn’t always wear the Union’s blue uniform. Both he and Blutch were civilians at the beginning of the war – butcher’s boy and barman, respectively. So, how did they find themselves in the 22nd Cavalry? Well, there was a rather unscrupulous recruiting officer, a lot of alcohol, an overly eager young lady ... and a definite aversion for the infantry!

There is one thing that stands out with this series.  Accuracy.  You might think that with a "humour" title ("humour" in its broadest sense) that the historical accuracy need not be important.  But if you check your history you find out that this is not just a slapped together series or story -how Sergeant Chesterfield was "tricked" into joining the Union Army in this volume.

And things like uniform accuracy (yes, I really can be THAT pedantic!) keeps the series look going and the battle scene was well drawn -as if it would be anything else!

Have I written that it is a fun series to read?  No? Right.  This is a fun series to read and I would say it ought to be enjoyed by a universal age group -children to adults of all ages!

Wonderful.

 

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2. DreamWorks Hires Live-Action Helmer Jason Reitman for ‘Beekle’

The director of "Juno" and "Up in the Air" will make an animated feature based on the Caldecott-winning children's book.

0 Comments on DreamWorks Hires Live-Action Helmer Jason Reitman for ‘Beekle’ as of 1/1/1900
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3. Boomerang Book Bites: Girl At War by Sara Novic

Sara Novic’s writing is incredible and she completely shattered me a quarter of the way into the book. She also structures her story perfectly jumping backward and forward from the war in 1991 to ten years later and its lasting aftereffects. This is a coming-of-age story which happens far too early. It is about how […]

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4. Anime Studio Pro Targets Industry Pros with Launch of Major Upgrade

Anime Studio Pro has introduced frame-by-frame animation capabilities to complement its existing cut-out animation system.

0 Comments on Anime Studio Pro Targets Industry Pros with Launch of Major Upgrade as of 5/27/2015 7:39:00 PM
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5. Artist of the Day: Sam Vanallemeersch

Discover the work of Sam Vanallemeersch, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!

0 Comments on Artist of the Day: Sam Vanallemeersch as of 5/28/2015 12:37:00 AM
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6. Day of Dialog 2015: Putting the Chaotic Past Into Some Kind of Order

DayofDialog15

Book Expo’s a funny beastie. For years it existed for the booksellers of America.  Librarians?  Sure, they could go but we weren’t exactly encouraged to attend.  We had our ALA Conferences and that was nice and well and good.

But times, they change.  The internet appeared. The bloggers congealed (I’m trying to find a better term to describe this and honestly this is the best I’ve got). And suddenly librarians weren’t just attending Book Expo. They were being encouraged to attend.  Books is books is books.  Maybe you understand why I tend to break into near hysterical laughter when I read the whole “print is dead” argument.  Tell that to the Javits Center in May.

But before Book Expo really kicks up its heels and gets going, School Library Journal hosts a l’il sumthin’ sumthin’ called Day of Dialog.  In terms of sheer concentrated moderation and discussion and smart talking, there’s really no comparison.  For one day, the top authors with their amazing new books, many of which aren’t even out yet, do the talky talk thing.  And we get to listen in.

In writing this up I’m skipping the YA section (as is my wont) and the publisher preview portion.  The talks are always the most interesting part of any Day of Dialog (it’s not called Day of Promotion, after all) so that’s what I’ll report on.  Accordingly.

On this day in question Rebecca Miller, our illustrious Editor-in-Chief, stepped up to do the customary intro.  She was followed by Luann Toth.  And then it was time for our Keynote Speaker to start us off for the day. Whom could it be?  Well, his latest book is The Marvels, a title that I have only seen the smallest of glimpses of.  My hope was to see it officially somewhere in the course of the week. You can’t hide it from me forever, Scholastic!!  Luann, as she introduced him, also mentioned that he had a heckuva amazing exhibit at the D.C. Library’s Great Hall of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library from March 22-June 21. More details are here.

SelznickSpeaksI am talking, of course, about Brian Selznick.  To begin the day he started off with a pretty excellent intro, joking that he was going to cover all the topics that, by complete coincidence, were already being covered by the other panels today.  And here’s what a stand up and cheer dude he is.  He went out of his way to mention every single author and illustrator speaking that day.  With that in mind, he said, all he could seem to speak about at this point were cat food, marshmallows and . . . oh, yes.  Librarians.  Reading slowly: “I . . . like . . . librarians.”

Boy howdy, does he.  Because what Brian can do so amazingly is that he can name drop librarians.  Even the very first ones who loved him at the start.  Case in point,the first shout out was to the East Brunswick library, where he did his research for The Houdini Box.  The title came out while he worked at Eeyore’s Bookstore (remove your hats in remembrance, folks) and while there Brian was tracked down by a librarian who proceeded to inform him that he would be coming to her school, she would throw him a dinner party, and he’d stay at her house.  Those of us who remember Barbara Gross will believe easily that this conversation took place.  Now around this time the great (and funny) author Paula Danzinger said she’d take Brian under her wing, would mentor him, and show him the ways of the world.  So when she heard that he had already agreed to stay with Barbara she responded in horror, “You NEVER stay at a librarian’s house.”

But as Brian says, “I think it was clear that everyone in town just did what Barbara Gross told them too.”  For example, he found himself in her presence alongside Eileen and Jerry Spinelli who subsequently turned to Brian and asked, “Excuse me, why are we here?”

Brian deftly transitioned this into his first literary “win”.  Nancy Westlake in Iowa City, IA was the librarian who got in contact with him then.  The award had a name like “The Lemmie Award” or something to that effect.  In Nancy’s school, all the kids would vote on their favorite book and get deeply involved in the process.  “I don’t like to brag but I went on to win FOUR Lemmie Awards.  I’m the most winningest Lemmie Award winner in history.”  And so Brian even made a point to fly out when Nancy retired.

SelznickSpeaks2I suppose you could say that it’s easy to delight librarians by mentioning librarians and saying how awesome they are.  That’s fairly true of any profession.  The difference comes in whether or not the speaker actually believes in what they are saying.  And in the case of Mr. Selznick, his sincerity shines through.

The talk the turned to how Brian works.  As a general rule, Brian refuses to never repeat himself.  Instead, his method is to take what he’s learned from his previous books, and then build off of them in some manner.  After Walt Whitman he felt he had gone as far as he could in that format (the nonfiction picture book biography).  Hence the switchover to Hugo and its new style.

When Brian Selznick writes a book he doesn’t think about themes or big ideas.  He thinks about plot.  Cool ideas that can be incorporated into a story.  In The Marvels, his latest work, the starting impetus was a love of the theater. For him, the emotional motivation is the last thing to go into a story.  But when you’re actually reading the books the emotions are the most important part.  If you don’t care about them, the plot won’t matter.  And readers read what they want into the stories. When he was on tour for Hugo, for example, Brian was told by a reader how much they loved how it was a tale of a person creating their own family.  And really, until that moment Brian had no idea that that was what his book was about.  It is, to a large part, the readers’ job to figure out what a book is about.

Now let’s talk about book trilogies.  Trilogies of any sort are so tricky.  If it’s a movie trilogy the second film is always the weakest, unless of course it’s a superhero trilogy, and then the last film is the one to skip.  Children’s book trilogies are different.  Sometimes they don’t have to have any direct links whatsoever.  The Marvels, in a matter of speaking, is the third in Brian’s trilogy.  He cited Maurice Sendak and how he thought of his own best known picture books as a kind of trilogy (Where the Wild Things Are, Outside Over There, and In the Night Kitchen).  So too does Brian of his own books, though he acknowledges it to be, “A very heavy trilogy”.

TheMarvelsIn The Marvels there are two stories.  One story is entirely in pictures.  400 pages of it or so and it starts off the book.  Then that story ends and the rest of the book is in text, 90 years later (coming in at about 200 pages or so).  There are five generations of actors involved and theater and all sorts of stuff (I’m being vague not on purpose but because I’m not entirely certain what the plot is).  The main character lives in 1990 and pieces together the first, older story which may or may not have a connection to his own tale.

The story was inspired in large part by an old London theater.  In researching it he met one David Milne, who encouraged Brian and his husband to go off “mudlarking” with him.  Brian, naturally, didn’t know what that meant.  Down the crew walked to the Thames, finding that what at first looked like stones and rocks were not, in fact, stones and rocks.  They were little pieces of London history.  “I was haunted by this image of the detritus of history spread out upon the beach”.  In that washed up detrius there was, for him, a connection to the vast power of storytelling.  Stories make sense of the past, particularly when the past feels messy and uncontrollable.  And the ability to transform life into a story is the triumph of order over chaos, and power over powerlessness.  That is what The Marvels is about.

Brian then read a selection from the book, and in it we heard of two characters contemplating not just treasures washed beneath their feet but what in life is memorable, and forgettable, and permanent and impermanent.

In closing he urged us, each and every one, to continue putting the chaotic past into some kind of order.

Then it was time for the panels.

Panel 1:

Second Nature:

Celebrating the Natural World and Raising Awareness About How to Protect It

Moderated by Julie Roach of Cambridge Public Library.

So here we have a panel consisting of Anita Silvey (Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall), Louis Sachar (Fuzzy Mud), Paul Fleischman (Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines) (also my first time seeing him), Wendell Minor (Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue), and April Pulley Sayre (Raindrops Roll).  The books, as Julie pointed out, ranged from preschool to high school.  It was an interesting collection of folks.  Sachar was almost the odd man out since his was the only purely fictional book (speculative fiction at that) in the bunch but he worked in the context of the talks.

NonfictionFirst off, there was some talk about kids and engaging them in literature. Sayre spoke about how kids these days can really get involved in macro photography, so her latest book (Raindrops Roll) engages kids not only on a gee-this-is-pretty level but also because it’s an art that some of them (with the right equipment, of course) could do.  This transitioned gently into how each speaker was engaged by the subject matter of their books.  Silvey, for example, said that Jane Goodall begins each talk with a chimpanzee pant hoot.  “She had me at the hello pant hoot”.  As the answers went down the line, the answers morphed into how the authors became interested in environmental concerns themselves.  Paul Fleischman spoke on his picture book training as well, “In picture books Every. Word. Counts.  Nothing can be extraneous.”  He then quoted Eudora Welty saying that each book teaches you to write it and not the next one (a statement that stood almost in direct opposition to what Brian had been saying earlier about using each book to build onto the next).

Julie tied Sachar back into the conversation by pointing out the loads of science and math in his book.  When asked what he hoped kids would get out of it, he said he hoped first and foremost that they’d enjoy it.  This has always been his point about his own books.  I remember well his desire when Holes came out for it not to be forcibly assigned to kids in school.  So I was happy to see that he mentioned in his discussion of his latest novel Fuzzy Mud the whole subplot on “virtue” and how his main character is actually trying to be virtuous.  It is, to be fair, one of the most interesting elements of the book and something I hadn’t really noticed until Monica Edinger pointed it out to me.  He also said that the book says something about out of control population growth, but I’ll admit that I didn’t pick up on that element at all.

Minor was the only illustrator on board so Julie asked him about his art.  Wendell mentioned that generally speaking, when it comes to picture book publishing there’s an understanding that authors and illustrators don’t tend to talk but he and Robert Burleigh do.  Frequently.  He insists upon it.  He mentioned too that Trapped was based on an incident when a whale seemingly thanked the human divers that saved her.  I heard the story first on RadioLab myself, and if you ever have a chance to listen I recommend it.  They spend a lot of time trying to figure out what exactly the whale was doing since it wasn’t necessarily saying thank you (though that’s what we humans wish it was doing).

SilveySacharSayreAnita did a very funny recap of the difficulties of researching a subject for kids, where she mentioned the first stage (your publisher thinks you know something about the subject of your book and honestly, you don’t), the second stage (you do loads of research and now know everything – too much for a kids’ book), and the third stage (you pare it down).  During the course of her talk I was able to ascertain just how smart a speaker Anita is.  Her particular talent comes in how deftly she alternates between the serious subject matter and jokes.  Meaning and humor.  The keys to any good talk.

Julie wondered if there was a common thread that connects each individual author’s books to one another.  Their answers were:
April – The hope of getting kids to feel connected to the material.
Paul – The presence of the past.  When he was a young adult, Paul lived in a house build in 1770 and it gave him that connection to history that he’s always trying to instill in his young readers.
Wendell – A sense of place and a sense of time. “History is nothing more than stories about very interesting people.”  Also, “History is not old.  It is now.” That would be the theme of the day, it seems.
Anita – The personality of a true believer.  She feels particularly connected to those people who give their life, life’s work, and life’s blood for what they do.  “I understand that personality.”  She pointed out that she has dedicated her own life to children’s books, after all.  So there’s a connection there.
Louis – A sense of optimism.  That for each of his characters (even in his oldest books) the world is open to them.  They can do anything and become anybody.  Once they find themselves and persevere through their problems, of course.  That was the hardest thing about Fuzzy Mud.  It was written with a foreboding sense of impeding catastrophe.

Julie asked if there was a book in any of their childhoods that was a catalyst for them.  That made them what they are today.
April: Petersen’s Field Guide to Birds.  She just loves a good field guide.
Paul: Carl Jung’s Man and His Symbols.
Anita: Her teacher kept saying a swear word. “F.D.R. In my house that was a swear word.” So instead of saying something, she decided to learn more about the subject. That was a turning point for her.
Wendell: His mother would read Beatrix Potter and he fell in love with the animals. He also mentioned how many scientists he’s met that went on to do what they did because of My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.
Louis: In Our Town by Damon Runyon.

The talk closed up and I got briefly distracted by the #KidPit hastag trending at that time.  Apparently it’s a way of pitching unsolicited manuscripts on Twitter.  Huh.  Who knew?

Focus, Betsy, focus!  Next up:

Panel 2:

Middle School Confidential:

The Tough and Tender Trials of Today’s Young Teens

And we’re off!  After a quick break it was time to spend some time with Tim Federle (Five, Six, Seven, Nate!), Lisa Graff (Lost in the Sun), Luke Reynolds (The Looney Experiment), Rebecca Stead (Goodbye Stranger), and Rita Williams-Garcia (Gone Crazy in Alabama).  Essentially, the world’s greatest cocktail party, but on a stage.  Moderated by Stacy Dillon I was impressed by the fact that they were able to incorporate an author from a smaller publisher (Reynolds is with Blink) with the big boys.

I was also very excited for this panel because I, for one, have noticed a huge uptick in literature for middle schoolers.  Such books are the devil to catalog, of course.  Generally speaking there is no middle school section in public libraries so you’re stuck trying to figure out whether or not to place a book in the juvenile section or YA.  Neither is quite right.  And in a year where I’d argue that two of the three recent Newbery winners were clear cut middle school books (Brown Girl Dreaming and The Crossover), this is a conversation I want to hear people talking about.

First off, Stacy Dillon said that she was going to ask the panelists about “your middle school selves”.  But to get them off to an easy start she lobbed them a softball question of what they liked to read when they were in middle school.
31BrothersSistersRita: Thirty-One Brothers and Sisters by Reba Paeff Mirsky. Insofar as I can tell, this book is out of print so if any enterprising publisher wants to bring it back, I think I know someone who might be willing to give it a blurb.  And Love Story.  Of course.
Rebecca: Rebecca was able to come up with the most books in her answer.  She loved the James Herriott books. Clan of the Cave Bear. She loved Stranger in a Strange Land and books by Ray Bradbury. And on the younger side, there was Norma Klein’s Mom, the Wolfman, and Me.  And I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.  She even gave a shout out to Daddy Was a Number Runner, which is a book that constantly appears on NYC summer reading lists and is bloody impossible to order for my branches sometimes.
Tim: He said his family moved from San Francisco to Pittsburgh. “We were the first family to ever do that. Ever.” Books he enjoyed included Matilda and stories by Shel Silverstein (like Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back “It’s so pro-gun!”). He also said he tried to read The Shining thinking it would be something about (insert jazz hands) Shining!
Luke: Like a lot of kids, Luke had a challenge going on with a friend to read the longest book.  He checked out Crime and Punishment, got to the end, and realized he’d hardly understood a word.  Luck also recounted a somewhat surreal moment in his life when he remembered listening to The Autobiography of Malcolm X on audiobook in his suburban neighborhood while delivering papers with his toy poodle in tow.
Lisa: Like Luke she tried to read the longest books, so attempts were made on Moby Dick, The Bible, etc. So she went back to reading books by Roald Dahl, Louis Sachar, and she was obsessed with The Baby-Sitters Club.  In the end she had about sixty of them and though they were eventually donated to a school library, she likes to think that they’re still there, along with her own books today.

“Share a secret about your middle school selves”, asks Stacy and Rita lets off a sound like a full balloon emitting air painfully.
Rita: Well, when Rita was young she bonded with her best friend over their professed hatred of boys.  She would watch the local gophers with her friend and she’d name them after boys in her classroom. “So . . . we had rocks.  And we had slingshots.  It was an acceptable thing back then.  We didn’t even make them, we bought them at the corner store.  They expected us to use them on SOMETHING!”  Then they’d wait for one in particular, their main target, to poke his head out.  They’d named him after the book Chiefie.  They never got him, though.  So at school they figured they’d freak out their mortal enemies by  staring at them during reading time.  Chant: “I have laser eyes, I have laser eyes.”  At this point Rita paused and addressed the audience directly. “How many of you have figured out I had a crush on Chiefie?”
MiddleSchool1Tim: All the way up until he was 14, Tim would sneak into his parents bedroom and sleep on the floor because he was so afraid.  This is honestly why he’s so drawn to middle schoolers.  He finds the tightrope of “I know everything and I know nothing” so appealing. Around 7th grade, Tim knew he was gay and fortunately he was in a very accepting community so he didn’t feel bad or guilty about it.  Just the same, it was a secret because he knew the minute he told somebody it would no longer be his own.  He didn’t need to act on it yet.  After all, “Not all secrets are bad.”
Luke: He shoplifted quite a bit.  In a way, the revenge for this is that when he tells his kids this fact, they say, “Can you teach us?”  Really, doing it was how he processed his own fear.
Lisa: “I will tell you but promise not to tweet it.” Note that she didn’t say I couldn’t blog it.  Haha!  Back in the day Lisa was The Narrator for Joseph and the Amazing Technocolor Dreamcoat (one of six Narrators, actually).  The boy she had a crush on played the part of Joseph and, fun fact, he’s now mildly famous on Friday Night Lights now.  Anyway, Lisa peeled his name off his cubby and put the sticker on the inside of her vest so she could wear it close to her heart.  Awwwww.  And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is why I want her for Funny Girl.

Stacy directed the next question directly to Rebecca.  With Goodbye, Stranger in mind she wanted to know about those moments when you say goodbye to someone who has changed or to an old version of yourself.  Rebecca for her part said her books were about sensitizing kids to their own lives in a deeper way.  There’s this moment when you cross a line into a new kind of awareness, and there’s no going back.  For her part, Rebecca has always been genuinely moved by the fact that we change and leave versions of ourselves behind us.  The end of childhood (“which is really many ends”) is like a series of deaths (I said something similar to this in my review of her book, by the way).  That’s why there’s so much to say about those moments and that’s why we think so much about those moments.  Rita chimed in, saying she was blessed in having a character like Delphine who is a child (though she doesn’t know it) and who is often playing the role of a stoic adult.  “The death of girlhood” is a plague in general, said Rita, but certainly in the black community.  These are girls who don’t truly know what it is to have a childhood.  Rita recounted a moment when she once saw a four-year-old feeding her baby brother mashed potatoes, and there was something in the way in which was attending to her brother that showed that she’d done this very often.  This is a girl, said Rita, who will never have her childhood or that feeling of complete silliness, giddiness, wonder, and fear.  She is being set up for that cycle of being a very young mother.  For this and many other reasons, the joy of childhood is something important to Rita in her work.

After this, Luke mentioned that there was a Toni Morrison quote about what kids really want to know is whether or not your eyes light up when you look at them.  That’s what writing for middle school is really about.  Kids want someone to see not the 10% on top but the 90% below.  Lisa said that in her own book, Lost in the Sun, her character Trent is at a crossroads.  He can either become the person people think he is or he can bust out of that, which is the harder thing to do.  It’s hard for kids to figure out where the truth is and what truth you want to hear.

MiddleSchool2Stacy then turned the conversation to a popular topic.  She pointed out that different themes of bullying appear in each of these author’s books.  She asked if bullying was the impetus of the writings or if it just naturally is a part of the middle school experience.  Rita, “Well, it helps to have an older brother and sister.”  As she pointed out, we never think that we’re the bully, especially if we’re the older sibling.  After all, “We’re keeping them in line.”  You don’t think you’re the one tormenting someone since you have a different opinion of the situation.  She hoped that we see a lot more characterizations of the person who holds the power, in complex ways.  She really spoke to the complexity of bullying that is often just NOT in evidence (in books of this sort).  I’m with her on this. We gain very little from the one-sided depictions that are so popular in our fiction right now.  After Rita spoke, Tim said that when he wrote his first book (Better Nate Than Ever) he was still working with the boys of the musical Billy Elliot.  As he watched, he could see that they would bully each other.  As a result he wanted to write a kid who was teased for many reasons and then, in time, to write a sequel where even on Broadway he’s still “The last kid chosen for dodgeball”.  So when he talks to kids about the experience of being bullied he makes sure to say, “Everything that got me picked on in middle school is what gets me paid now.”  And he tells kids that bullying doesn’t stop after middle school which, rather than scaring kids, he think is really important for them to hear and offers a strange kind of comfort.  Rebecca, for her part, didn’t consider bullying at all when writing her book but after people started to read it she could see what they were talking about.  A particularly interesting point made by Rebecca was the fact that it’s not just kids who bully one another.  It’s how a school reacts to a given situation (like, in the case of her book, a sexy selfie).  Schools and administrators can BE bullies themselves.  Had she focused on bullying as an issue from the start when she was writing, she would have concentrated more on how the kids treat one another.

Stacy asked at this point, “How do you keep something for the middle school rather than YA crowd?”  It at this point in the day that I noticed that Tim is not a passive panelist.  In point of fact, he is very good at directing the questions on a panel, thereby avoiding the awkward pause that sometimes can come when people don’t want to answer the moderator.  Watch him and you’ll see that he keeps everything oiled and running smoothly.  As for this question Lisa (who has done both MG and YA novels), said that middle grade books are where kids are feeling out where their place is in the world is and YA titles contain characters figuring out who they are and what makes them unique.  With that in mind, tween is where you’re trying to figure out EVERYTHING (it covers both sides). Rita spoke at this point with a, “So, okay, I don’t MEAN to make you squirm”.  Then she brought up No Laughter Here.  Now this is the rare book that was actually challenged in the NYPL system by a patron who believed that it should be moved from the children’s section to the YA.  It was such a brave friggin’ book too.  If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s about the topic of female circumcision. Said Rita, these particular characters were her best teachers about stepping aside and remembering whose story it is.  Of all the books mentioned today, this is probably the quintessential middle school book.  Said Rita, you must filter everything you know through your characters perspective and limitations to “as far as they care to know”.  Then she knows she has to pull back and even let her characters be wrong about things.  Know everything you can possibly know and then know your character and trust your character even more.

MiddleGrade3Rebecca said that to her mind it’s very hard to distinguish middle grade from YA because it’s so impossible to draw a strict line.  Everyone reads different things (just look at what the panelists said they read when they were middle schoolers, after all).  So she’d never tell a kid what to read at any given moment.  By the same token, she does think that middle grade fiction should include really truthful, honest stories about kids who are 12 and 13-years-old.  Maybe kids are reading lots of YA because they are experiencing many of the feelings that are fleshed out in YA books and not found in the middle grade stuff.  This ties in quite nicely to the selfie question in her own Goodbye, Stranger, of course.

And what are they working on next?
Lisa: “I’m working on a sequel to A Tangle of Knots.” *clapping comes from audience* “Don’t clap because it’s terrible.” (She’s still in the early draft phase)
Luke: “I’m working on a book that was originally called The Crossover.”
Tim: “I have my first YA novel for next spring The Great American Whatever.  And a new cocktail recipe book. It’s called Gone With the Gin.”
Rebecca: Not writing a book at the moment.
Rita: Yesterday she tweeted that she was falling in love with her latest book Clayton Bird Goes Underground (?).  Not sure about the spelling on Bird on that one.  Hope it’s my last name.  Cause that would be awesome.

Now I’m not going to write up the A.S. King luncheon speech, and this is a shame. I didn’t write it down at the time because she’s YA and I don’t cover that topic.  Still, she had many wonderful things to say about feminism and inclusion that I dearly hope that someone somewhere wrote this stuff down or, better yet, recorded it. If I hear that anyone has, I’ll link to it here.  It was a killer speech.

Panel 3:

Nonfiction Goes Graphic (In Format)

Love the parenthetical at work here. Don’t want folks worried that we have Alan Moore here to talk about Lost Girls, or something.

So here we come to our last panel.  And, to my mind, it’s a good one to end on because it closes things out with a bang.  Jesse Karp was moderating a panel consisting of Don Brown (Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans), Claudia Davila (Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War), Nathan Hale (The Underground Abductor), Maggie Thrash (Honor Girl), and Maris Wicks (Human Body Theater).

Jesse turned out to be a dude.  A loquacious dude.  So we went a bit over time, but he clearly knew the subject matter and was able to place the books on display in a great deal of context.  Right at the start he began by tying in today’s speakers to folks like Spiegelman, Satrapi, McCloud and a lot of the other greats who work in the nonfiction medium.  These people, said Jessie, exemplify the breadth and scope of this topic.  After introducing them he mentioned that he initially had been a bit worried about doing five panelists since surely one of the books he had to introduce would be a dud.  Not the case (and I believe him on this matter).

In an interesting switcheroo, Karp encouraged each person to show a page from their work as they talked about their books.  First up, Don Brown.  He’s not a strict graphic novelist in the traditional sense but his work is unique and visual.  Don mentioned that he’d been making books for kids for more than 20 years, the bulk of which were biographical picture books.  So why the switch to graphic novels?  To a large extent he was inspired by Maus, which when it came out it answered the question forever as to whether or not historical truth could be done in a graphic format.  Brown’s Great American Dust Bowl title was the first book that he tried in this format.  Come to think of it, I believe I reviewed it in the Times alongside fellow panelist Nathan Hale’s Donner Dinner Party.  With his newest book he selected a more recent tragedy: Katrina.  Brown explained with an image how the visual medium is perfect for showing moments like a couple climbing away from the water, having to claw their way out of their own roof.  “In a graphic novel you can have action across the page that will emphasize the points you’re trying to make.”  He also juxtaposed Bush’s “Heckuva job, Brownie” alongside the images of dead bodies after the flooding.  Said he, “All historians have a point of view. If they say they don’t, they’re lying.”

Jesse pointed out that one argument often leveled against comics is that they’re forcing you to see things in a specific, singular way.  But as Brown pointed out, doesn’t prose do the same thing?  After all, every book has a point of view, even if it’s not immediately apparent.  That’s just reality.  Imagery is always very dicey and Brown understands why people have a problem with it, particularly when it comes to graphic novels.  Similarly, people have the mistaken belief that if it isn’t a photograph there’s something inauthentic about it.  But don’t be fooled.  There’s no such thing as photorealism.  All the elements that make a photo up tell a story apart and beyond words.  And Don accepts that and embraces it, so he has no problem with forcing people to witness his own point of view of a historical moment.

Said Jesse, perspective is essential.  He then introduced Maris Wicks.

“Maris is great, by the way,” says Don Brown.

“Greetings, human beings”, says Maris.

NFGNsSo Maris began with the statement that she is a big nerd.  She loves the natural world and also loves making narrative nonfiction books.  Turns out, she’s the one who did the Dian Fossey / Jane Goodall / Biruté Galdikas book, Primates!  I had no idea.  The style in her latest book, Human Body Theater, is not precisely the same.  The reason for this was that Maris wanted the book to be something fierce.  “I think self care and self knowledge are really important,” she said.  In terms of the slide she wanted to show, her selected section was on cuts and scabs.  As she explained, part of the awesome language of comics is that she can go inside the skin of a papercut and there’s a narrative to that.  Though, to be honest, there’s a narrative to everything!  Whether it’s mucus in our “crazy large nasal cavities” or the beating of our hearts.  It is text heavy, but she hopes the playfulness of the writing and art will help. The pictures also help you along with the hope that you’ll be able to tap into the flow of it all.  Additional Bonus: There’s a fair amount of anthropomorphism.  Said she, “I make a lot of things that don’t talk, talk.”  A bit ironically, Maris also works as an educator at an aquarium and she and her co-workers take a bit of care to move away from anthropomorphism there.  But in a story like this one, you care more about things if you can relate to them.  It’s sort of what Brian said at the beginning of the day about emotions and empathy.  If you don’t care about the talking skeleton on the page, what’s going to compel you to keep reading.

Jesse following up on her talk, pointing out that the images of anatomy in this book have a kind of power that a photograph never could.  This raw sense of life and animation can’t be found in a photo, so the drawn medium really does contribute to a sense of engagement.  But all of that being true, the imagery must to some extent be accurate.  So how do you work with primary sources on the visual end and turn them into something “uniquely you” and yet remain accurate at the same time?  Maris responded that research is actually her favorite part of any book.  For this title, for example, she engaged the services of a lot of textbooks and picture dictionaries.  DK’s books for kids were useful, and she looked at them to see how the information on this topic had been presented in earlier children’s books.  After all, when information is presented in a different way it creates that all important “ah ha!” moment.  And since a lot of what’s in her book is information that is already being learned, what she hopes is that her book is just going to help child readers remember the facts or give them a little different information or just present it in a new way.

Next up was Claudia who confessed at the start that this was her first trip to NY.  She was also a little different from her fellow panelists because she was the illustrator of her GN and not the author.  This book is a memoir of Michel Chikwanine, a man who, when he was five-years-old, found his free and fun-loving childhood over when he was abducted by rebel soldiers.  Her main goal with this book was to honor Michel’s experience as he visits schools and brings awareness to child soldiers around the world.  A big part of the book examines his relationship to his father, an activist who was in time killed by the soldiers. In terms of the art itself, Claudia utilizes a more painterly style, rather than pen and inks. This was a conscious choice since it calms down the visuals and doesn’t glorify the violence and action.  In many ways, Claudia’s goal with this project was to create the whole book without depicting any violence.  In terms of the story’s audience she said it was for grades 4 and up, though I’m afraid I disagree with that.  I actually have read this one, since it arrived at my desk and I assumed that it was middle grade.  Yet when I read it the content, while not visually graphic, is definitely for middle school readers at the very least.

When Jesse was given a chance to speak he mentioned that he was amazed by the extent to which the art actually controls the reader’s experience.  The subject matter is very heavy and yet the style finds a tone that would make Jesse comfortable handing the book to his students but does not get rid of any of the immediacy and authenticity of the text.  Don Brown had talked earlier about how he placed President Bush’s panel next to one containing dead bodies for effect, but here it’s not just the placement of the panels but the panel borders that tell a tale.  What’s inside of them is still appropriate for kids to read but the borders suggest that what isn’t within these enclosed spaces is far far worse. Claudia responded that she thought it was very important that the book was written in the first person.  That way the reader can connect with the experience.  Almost every panel has Michel in it so it really is about his specific experience.  She went on to say that generally speaking, in a book like this one you never want a duplication of the art and the text or else the art will feel redundant.  The text itself is very graphic with tons of detail, after all.  And because the text was so graphic it gave her an opportunity to illustrate something “adjacent” to Michel’s experiences.

UndergroundAbductorNext up, one of my favorite comic artists, Nathan Hale.  His current book about Harriet Tubman is nothing short of amazing.  Jaw-dropping.  Spectacular.  Nathan said he thought broadly about nonfiction and graphic novels on his way here.  And as he did so, a metaphor popped into his head.  So imagine if in the 40s, 50s, and 60s in America, all sports started dying off and all that was left was pro-wrestling.  That’s what comics in America has been for a very long time.  The last 50 years have been guys in tights punching each other.  So when people ask him if he read comics growing up he’d say no.  But then he realized that he did read newspaper comics.  In fact, he was a die-hard comic page reader.  Even when Nathan speaks to librarians these days, a lot of them instantly zero in on the superhero stuff.  But that’s just not the case around the world.  Nate then proceeded to talk about international graphic novels that spanned a wide range of topics.  Series like King of Tennis, about a kid who just wants to become the best possible tennis player.  There are even comics in other countries that cover OUR history!  One that he mentioned is French, from the 1970s, and about soldiers during the Civil War (my husband says the series is The Bluecoats).

BUT!  There is good news on the horizon.  We’re starting to bring it all back.  Getting back to those newspaper comics, Nathan then talked about Bill the Cat and how Alley Oop was beautiful but neeeever funny.  His favorites, however, were the political comics because the drawings in them were so crazy.  He didn’t know what they were about but he knew they were grown-up stuff and that they were true on some level.  So he started adopting that.  Think about how he used the animals in Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood.  In speaking about his latest book, he said that there was nothing cooler than seeing the country suddenly go Harriet Tubman crazy.  She’s trending on Twitter!  There’s going to be a movie!  Harriet Tubman is one of those names that immediately makes a schoolkid sleepy so Nathan didn’t want to use her name anywhere on the cover.  As a result, she’s Araminta for most of the book and then when she changes her name to Harriet Tubman that’s a kind of gasp aloud moment.

Jesse said that humor is clearly central to what Nathan does and that this heavy subject matter is laced with humor but it works all the way through.  Yet, at the same time, and not unlike political cartoons, there’s information that needs to be conveyed.  There’s real heavy duty information.  Everything Nathan does is more interesting to him if it’s visual.  It just makes it that much more appealing than an information dump. The thing about graphic novel readers is that they can read a GN faster than a novel, but, by the same token, they’ll reread it many many more times.

Maggie was last.  Her book was basically about unrequited summer camp love.  It was also about getting your heart pulverized for the first time and now your childhood is OVER (another theme of the day)!  Unlike a lot of the other folks, she’s entirely self-taught.  Heck, her style changed between the beginning of the book and the end.  And as with most memoirs, you’re very involved in her struggles.  “You get to be with me with my frustration and my ineptitude”.  With comics all the noise of prose is gone.  As a result, what’s on the page is intense and immediate. “I’ll never go back.”  Jesse concurred, saying that Maggie so powerfully evoked her own feelings that the sense of desperation at work here is palpable.  With a memoir, unlike a biography, in some sense you have to punch through the whole idea of perspective and pull the reader into who you are.  And he assumed from having read this, it’s a kind of emotional baring of yourself.

Finally, the panel was done and it was the moment of the hour.  For the very first time, the announcement of the 2015 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards were happening at Day of Dialog.  A VERY smart move (and I’m not just saying that).  Up came Roger Sutton (“My brother-in-arms” as Luann Toth called him).  It was sort of like getting to sit in on the Emmys.  Rebecca Stead was with him as he navigated the PowerPoint.

First awarded in 1967 this particular award is given to excellence in literature for children and young adults.  The award calendar is unusual and sets it apart from the usual end-of-year lists.  Eligible books this year had to be published between June 1st 2014 – May 31st 2015.  In recent years the Globe’s commitment to the award has been considerable, says Roger.  He then pointed out the previous winners in the room.  Folks like Paul Fleischman, Don Brown, Louis Sachar.  Rebecca Stead. He even asked a trivia question: What has won the Boston Horn Book-Globe Award, the Newbery  and The National Book Award? The Answer: M.C. Higgins the Great.

And the winners are . . . .

Fiction

Honors: Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Award: Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell

Nonfiction

Honors: The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Award: The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

Picture Book

Honors: It’s Only Stanley by Jon Agee

‘Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers

Award: The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee

Friday, October 2nd the awards will be given out in person.

And that’s all she wrote with very tired, numb fingers, folks!  Many thanks to SLJ for letting me tag along and to all the folks for the great day.  And the cookies.  Seriously, where did the cookies come from?  They were amazing.  Two thumbs up big time for the cookies.

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7. I Have Been Avenging!! (sort of)

 Well, I've just spent three hours trying to sort out my Marvel Comics -specifically The Avengers and what a **** mess it is.

Straight forward we had the first volume and, no, I do not have #1 just reprints of this great comic.  A joy to read even now and ***** off Brevoort.

The seemingly forgotten volume 2 is...bad.  But volume 3 had Busiek and Perez who, while on the title made it a real Avengers book for fans. But let's have a look at what I've been going through.

Avengers #1 vol. 1
 http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20051102180359/marveldatabase/images/c/cc/Avengers_Vol_1_1.jpg

 Luckily I've already catalogued volume 1 and the distractions it caused...great covers and stories.

 Of course, due to the constant selling off and screwing about (read Sean Howe's Marvel The Untold Story) Marvel was, once again, on the very edge of ceasing publication so it tried some of the new "hot talents".

I have tried reading this short run (I think 13 issues in all) but it is just awful and, in the end, was a failure.

Avengers #1  vol. 2
 http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060319175052/marveldatabase/images/e/e4/Avengers_Vol_2_1.jpg


And that failure meant that someone at Marvel had to stress-out over what to do next.  They got George Perez who they asked to also write the book.  George had a better idea and he "strongly" suggest Kurt Busiek and Busiek accepted like a shot (see the interview on the animated film Ultimate Avengers).

The Avengers were back. Beautiful art and great stories.

Avengers #1  vol. 3
 http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20061007064901/marveldatabase/images/6/6a/Avengers_Vol_3_1.jpg

Avengers The Domination Factor (mini series tie in with Fantastric Four Domination Factor)
 http://www.h2comics.com/images/fantastic%20four%20avengers%20domination%20factor%20set%20006.jpg


Sadly, things went wrong and as Marvel jumped issue numbering again so that it continued on from the first volume, the rot set in with Avengers Disassemble.  Awful, awful, awful -by this time Busiek and Perez had been kicked off  decided to move aside for a 'better team'.  I believe 'em.

I think the last storyline was "Siege"

But then, oh my gods...it almost looked as though Marvel had realised their mistake and their titles re-launched as The Heroic Age.

Avengers #1  vol. 4
 http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100520191720/marveldatabase/images/0/0b/Avengers_Vol_4_1.jpg

Yeah, and that didn't last long before it got messy again.  Don't give a crap: Bendis ruined the whole thing and it's that simple.  **** Bendis.

Hmmm. I seem to be getting a wee bit angry.  Anyway, the Avengers Assemble movie was a big deal and Disney now owned Marvel (not to mention Star Wars) and everything has become science fiction orientated.  And to cap it all off probably the best Marvel animated series ever -Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes got ****** over by Disney.  Screw all the story lines and that fans loved the two series -I've even seen Justice League Animated fans rave about "the opposition". 

And what did they replace this great animated series with -throwing out all the storylines?  "Avengers Assemble" a piece of puerile crap -but it has the same title as the hit movie so who gives a ****?!

Avengers #1 Volume 5

http://oyster.ignimgs.com/wordpress/stg.ign.com/2013/08/Avengers_Vol_5_1_Textless.jpg


But you have to remember there was Avengers United They Stand -an animated series so awful I tried to blind myself -and the comic? aaaagh

Avengers Solo, Avengers Strikefile, Avengers Unplugged, Avengers Infinity, Avengers Celestial Quest, Avengers The Last Story, Avengers---oh. And of course....
Young Avengers   #1
http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060629014017/marveldatabase/images/8/8e/Young_Avengers_Vol_1_1.jpg

Yeah, milk it!

Young Avengers #1 vol.2


 http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121009223527/marveldatabase/images/9/91/Young_Avengers_Vol_2_1.jpg

"How can we screw more money out of the morons, Joe?"

The Initiative #1
 http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20070405174817/marveldatabase/images/1/16/Avengers_The_Initiative_Vol_1_1.jpg
"Joe -we need more and more sucker money!"

 Secret Avengers #1  vol.1
http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100527025926/marveldatabase/images/7/7a/Secret_Avengers_Vol_1_1.jpg

"Joe, I can't, you know, be a "real man" for my wife unless I see more money squeezed out of the jerks!"

Secret Avengers #1  vol. 2
http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130207235020/marveldatabase/images/7/77/Secret_Avengers_Vol_2_1_Yu_Variant.jpg

"Joe.....Jooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooe!"

New Avengers #1  vol. 1

http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060507194607/marveldatabase/images/c/c8/New_Avengers_Vol_1_1.jpg

"Uh, this is better than viagra -more sucker money! More! MORE!!!!!!"

New Avengers #1 vol. 2
http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100618165826/marveldatabase/images/7/73/New_Avengers_Vol_2_1.jpg

And to help that bunch of executives -because money spread sheets are better than porn....

Avengers 1959
http://ifanboy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Avengers-1959_1.jpg

The number of Avengers titles goes on.  I have two shelves which includes West Coast Avengers mini series and volume 1 (complete).  So you are sat there thinking I'm looking at gold.  I can ask whatever I want for these Fine to Near Mint comics, right? 

I tried to work it out but I've paid over the years a couple thousand on just these books.  Their ACTUAL value?  I'd be very lucky if I even got £100 for all of them.  Seriously, I checked it all out and the only ones asking big prices are the dealers and traders who are milking stupidity.

It's all very sobering and now I need to catalogue this lot before bed....I'm tempted to start tonight and end tomorrow.  Who knows?  My comics aren't going anywhere!

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8. Translation from/to ... Burmese

       In The Myanmar Times Nandar Aung reports on A bridge between Myanmar and international literature translation.
       Writer Ma Thida is quoted, finding: "it very upsetting that fewer and fewer Myanmar books are translated into English" -- troubling, since almost nothing has made it to the US over the past few decades anyway .....
       The occasion for the article is a five-day translation workshop, covering both Burmese to English and English to Burmese translation, Link the Wor(l)ds, that started yesterday.

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9. And in further casting news, Chris Pine is probably playing Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman

chris pine

Variety just broke the news, and it looks as though the new Captain Kirk is about to suit up for a DC Comics based role.

According to their report, Chris Pine (Star Trek, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) has entered negotiations with Warner Bros to play Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster).

Trevor is the long-time love interest of the title character, played by Gal Gadot. His current iteration in the New 52 relaunched DC Universe posits him as Wonder Woman’s U.S. Government liaison and the head of A.R.G.U.S. where he was seen in titles like Team 7 and Justice League of America.

Originally, there were rumors that Scott Eastwood would be taking on the role, but the trade also addressed that issue, stating that Eastwood had to choose between testing for Trevor or taking a guaranteed supporting role in David Ayer‘s Suicide Squad. Obviously, he ended up taking the latter option, though what role he landed on is unknown.

It seems likely that Warner Bros scoring an actor of Pine’s profile means that he’ll be signing on for a multiple picture appearance, which will surely include the first part of Zack Snyder‘s Justice League, set to release in 2017 along with Wonder Woman.

 

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10. PEN/Heim Translation Fund winners

       They've announced the PEN/Heim Translation Fund Winners, and winning projects include: "the first novel from Madagascar ever to be translated into English" and Mongolian poetry, as well as works by already well-known writers including Horacio Castellanos Moya and Olga Tokarczuk.
       Too many of these are still listed as: 'Available for publication', but hopefully most or all of them will get picked up so that we can actually enjoy them in print down the road; certainly, this honor should help bring the projects to the attention of more publishers.

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11. Sleepy Animals, Bedtime Children's Book by Gerald Hawksley

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12. Garlic Knots

A garlic knot, when nice and hot,
Is something that I like a lot.
One little bite brings pure delight
And ramps my taste buds outta sight.

The oil does ooze and helps infuse
Each bite with flavor as one chews.
It makes a mess but nonetheless,
It’s worth a stain on shirt or dress.

A health food nut will spew his gut
On why such knots are evil, but
He might just find he’d change his mind
If on one garlic knot he dined!

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13. Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

       Almost at the same time the (American) Best Translated Book Award was announced, they announced the winner of the big UK translated-fiction prize, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, which went to The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, in Susan Bernofsky's translation (one of the bigger omission-surprises on the BTBA-longlist (for which it was also eligible)); see the publicity pages at New Directions and Portobello, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
       See also Nick Clark's coverage in The Independent.

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14. WARNING: freaky ventriliquist dummy alert

If you follow my blog you may well know
that I draw anywhere and everywhere.
But where better than somewhere that combines your other interests. And I bloody love stuff. Old stuff. Which is why I love the antique auctions.
Which is why I love an antique auction house. Today I was at Adam Partridge's auction house in
Where else can you sit on an antique chair and draw surrounded  by spooky ventriloquist dummies and tiny chaise longue? 
 
And then there's the vast array of fabulous and insane subject matter. It's everything I love in one afternoon.
 And if I'm drawing I'm not bidding.
Although, I always end up bidding too. Not on the spooky dummy though. Not this time anyway.

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15. Youth and depression

Youth and depression सुनकर आपके मन में भी बहुत बातें आ रही होगीं. क्या होता जा रहा है आज के युवा को !! सोच कर ही धबराहट होने लगती है. सोनम शर्मा का बेटा पढाई में बहुत अच्छा है. हाल ही में उसका 12वी क्लास का नतीजा आया और उसने खुद को कमरे में बंद कर लिया. नतीजा मेरे हिसाब से बहुत अच्छा था 89.6 % अंक आए थे पर इस शर्म के मारे की लोग क्या कहेंगें. इतने कम अंक लाया है. आगे अच्छे कालिज मे दाखिला कैसे होगा इसी चिंता में खुद को कमरे मे बंद कर लिया और मोबाईल भी स्वीच आफ कर दिया. अगले दिन जब तक उसने दरवाजा नही खोल दिया.  सोनम की जान अटकी रही उसे  डर   सिर्फ इसलिए कि उनका बेटा कुछ गलत कदम न उठा ले.

इसके बहुत कारण हो सकते हैं  जिसमे से एक है माता पिता की  बच्चों से बह्त ज्यादा उम्मीदें  वो सोचते हैं कि बच्चे पर बहुत पैसा खर्च किया है अच्छी से अच्छी कोचिंग दिलवाई है इसलिए अच्छे अंक तो आने ही चाहिए. बच्चा उस उम्मीद को पूरा नही कर पाता और निराशा में चला जाता है. एक बात यह भी हो सकती है कि   एकल परिवार का होना और माँ-बाप, दोनों का कामकाजी होना. यही बात बच्चों को एकांकी और चिड़चिड़ा बना देती  है  आखिर विचार-दर्शन उन्हें कौन करायेगा, माता पिता अपने आफिस कार्य मे व्यस्त हैं और युवावर्ग चौराहे पर खड़ा है. वे जायें तो किधर जायें । अपनी जीवन-गति का निर्माण करें, तो किस प्रकार करें  कौन बतायेगा कौन सही राह दिखाएगा.

एक बात यह भी हो सकती है कि पेरेंटस हद से ज्यादा जरुरत से ज्यादा बच्चे का ख्याल रखते हैं पर इसी के साथ साथ बच्चे की इच्छा जाने बिना वो बच्चे पर अपनी इच्छा लादने या थोपनें की कोशिश करते हैं जिससे बच्चा अपना शत प्रतिशत नही दे पाता और जिंदगी मे ईम्तेहान में लगातार फेल होता जाता है.

फिर बात आती है हमारे समाज की. परीक्षा के दौरान नकल, रिश्वत खोरी, पेपर लीक आदि का होना भी युवा मे depression ,आक्रोश भर  देता है और ईमानदारी से मेहनत करने वाला युवा सिस्टम को देख कर अपना हौंसला छोड देता है.

इन सब के साथ साथ संगत बहुत ज्यादा असर डालती है. बिगडे हुए रईसों के साथ दोस्ती करके और नशे में डूब कर अपना जीवन बर्बाद कर लेते हैं.  खुद को स्मार्ट और मार्डन दिखाने के चक्कर में नशा करना वो जिंदगी का अभिन्न अंग मानने लगते  हैं  और इसके साथ साथ सबसे बडा फेक्टर है धैर्य की कमी और यही आज के युवाओं की सबसे बड़ी कमजोरी है.  धैर्य की कमी के कारण आज का युवा सब चीज बस जल्द से जल्द पाना चाहता है.  आगे बढ़ने के लिए वे कड़ी मेहनत करने की बजाय शॉर्टकट्स यानि आसान रास्ता  ढूंढने में लगे रहते हैं. कम समय में सारी आधुनिक चीजों को पाने के लालच में उनमें समझदारी की कमी नजर आती है। भोगविलास के आद‍ी  युवा में लगन, मेहनत, जोश, उमंग और धैर्य की कमी हो गई  है.

Youth  depression में होता है तो पूरा परिवार  मानों  depression मे चला जाता है. बहुत जरुरी है आज के युवा के साथ समझदारी से बात करना. उसकी मन की भावनाओं को समझते हुए उसके हिसाब से बात करना.

 

Youth depression a concern for counselors

Substantial levels of “loneliness, anxiety and depression” among Cayman’s youth, identified in a series of health surveys came as no surprise to counselors in the territory.  Read more…

New Strategies to Treat Depression in Youth

http://www.empr.com/new-strategies-to-treat-depression-in-youth-using-ssris/article/413048/Two new strategies have been developed by Johns Hopkins researchers to treat depression in young patients using serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) while mitigating the risks and potential negative effects such as increased suicidal thoughts. The strategies are published in Translational Psychiatry. See more…

 

Picvend.com

http://www.picvend.com/2015/04/blog-post_102.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

समय प्रबंधन की विशेषज्ञ एवं चर्चित किताब ‘व्हाट द मोस्ट पीपल डू बिफोर ब्रेकफास्ट’ की लेखक लौरा वंदेरकम लिखती हैं कि अगर आप किसी चीज को करना चाहते हैं तो आप उसे सबसे पहले करिए। हमारे बीच के लोग जो आज सफलता की सीढ़ियां चूम रहे हैं एवं जिंदगी की सफलता का जमकर लुत्फ उठा रहे हैं वे इसी फिलॉसफी पर चलते हैं See more…

 

Youth and depression में कुल मिला कर बात का निचोड यही है कि बजाय चिंता मे जाने मे अपने भीतर गुणों को विकसित करें. पीपल स्किल यानि नेतृत्व का गुण, अपना व्यवहार और दूसरों को प्रेरित करने की कला खुद में डालिए. खुद को एक शानदार पैकेज बना डालिए और भेड चाल और भीड से हट कर चलने का प्रयास कीजिए.  समय को महत्व देते हुए आप अपने प्रयासों मे जुटे रहिए … और वो फिल्मी डायलाग है ना कि किसी चीज को शिद्दत से चाहो तो पूरी कायनात उसे आपसे मिलवाने में जुट जाती है तो भागाईए डिप्रेशन विप्रेशन को क्या बला है ये और नए उसाह, नए जोश और नई उमंग से उठ खडे होईए

The post Youth and depression appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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16. An Unusual School Visit

An Unusual School Visitinstitution-icon

We’re accustomed to classroom visits … there’s Read Across America Day, Library Card Sign-up Month, Summer Reading Club outreach, and any other number of reasons why public librarians visit classrooms.  Last month, a colleague and I enoyed another type of classroom visit.  We were virtual guest lecturers for a university class in Children’s Literature.  The class was not for librarians, but rather, for aspiring teachers.  We spent two weeks with the students during their planned chapters on censorship and graphic texts.  We introduced discussion articles and scenarios, and participated in the discussion boards by posting topics and responding to students’ questions.

training-icon (1)

I firmly believe that librarians and teachers should be close partners in serving their constituent children.  I am fortunate that my library is located in a school district that is wonderfully cooperative, and where I have met and worked with many caring teachers.  Still, I have often ranted about things that annoy me  – particularly minimum page requirements and a frequent admonishment that picture books (and by extension, graphic novels) are “not allowed.”

This partnership with our local university, gave me the opportunity to speak directly with the future generation of school teachers.  We spoke of the importance of knowing one’s collection and being prepared to defend it; the value and appeal of graphic texts; the collection development resources available from ALSC, ALA, and other organizations in making collection development decisions; and a myriad of other topics related to censorship and graphic texts.  It was refreshing to hear what is on the minds of future teachers and to offer to them a librarian’s perspective on the same.

Kudos to Constance Chismar, Ed.D. of the Georgian Court University English Department for asking us to participate and to Ocean County Library for allowing us to attend.  If you have a local university or college that offers undergrad degrees in education,  inquire if you might participate in something similar.  It was a valuable experience for me and my colleague, the university students, and the children who will someday benefit from the partnership!

 

Images from openclipart.org

The post An Unusual School Visit appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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17. Book Review: Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings

From Goodreads:
At the age of 39, Christian theologian Todd Billings was diagnosed with a rare form of incurable cancer. In the wake of that diagnosis, he began grappling with the hard theological questions we face in the midst of crisis: Why me? Why now? Where is God in all of this? This eloquently written book shares Billings's journey, struggle, and reflections on providence, lament, and life in Christ in light of his illness, moving beyond pat answers toward hope in God's promises. Theologically robust yet eminently practical, it engages the open questions, areas of mystery, and times of disorientation in the Christian life. Billings offers concrete examples through autobiography, cultural commentary, and stories from others, showing how our human stories of joy and grief can be incorporated into the larger biblical story of God's saving work in Christ.
Writing
Billings is such a talented writer - I'm not sure why this is the first I'm hearing of him, since I pay fairly close attention to what's being published in Christian non-fiction.  He does seem to write more academically-geared titles, which may be the reason.  This book is, in my opinion, the perfect blend of academic theology and personal insight.  Billings uses his personal struggles to illustrate his theological understanding of the Psalms and Lament.  This isn't just a surface look at lamentation though, this is deeply considered and obviously written by someone who is skilled both as a writer and as a theologian.

Entertainment Value
While it wasn't always an easy read, I feel like this answered some of my major questions about how Christians should face times of lamentation.  He talks about why praying for immediate healing is fine, but not always helpful to the person who is in the midst of suffering and what is more helpful in terms of prayer.  He also does a great job of explaining how "instant" healing is an illusion - even if Billings were miraculously healed, he would still be facing a lifetime of invasive tests for a reappearance of his cancer and he would have also still have missed valuable time and experiences with his family as well as physical suffering.  His take on life in a fallen world and the legitimacy of grieving and anger in the face of the suffering that brings made a huge impact on me.

Overall
Obviously, this is a book for the Christian reader.  It's beautifully written and well-researched and studied, but it's appeal will necessarily be limited to those who want to read about Christianity and the Bible.  It's also a lot more academic and deep than the majority of popular Christian non-fiction. It's exactly what I look for in Christian non-fiction, but it takes more concentration to read and grasp it.  I think the reward is totally worth the effort here.  I've already recommended it to several friends and my church group is considering using it for a future study.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review.

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18. Best Translated Book Awards

       They announced the winners of this year's Best Translated Book Awards, and they were:

  • Fiction: The Last Lover, by Can Xue, in Annelise Finegan Wasmoen's translation, published by Yale University Press in their Margellos World Republic of Letters-series; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

  • Poetry: Diorama, by Rocío Cerón, in Anna Rosenwong's translation, published by Unnamed Press; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
       (I was one of the nine judges for the fiction prize.)

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19. Cardiff Independent Comic Expo 2015

Event Details

Cardiff’s only independent comic show returns on Saturday 27th June, 2015 at Cardiff Masonic Hall.
The Cardiff Independent Comic Expo (CICE) will showcase the very best in independent comic artists, writers, publishers, retailers, illustrators and more, from South Wales and beyond.

The event returns after a brief break in 2014, to build on the successful shows held since 2011, to celebrate the talent of those creators at the heart of the indie scene.  

Guests include 2000AD artists Mike Collins and Patrick Goddard, 2000AD writers Ian Edginton and Rob Williams, horror writers Wayne Simmons and David Moody.  They are joined by superbly talented indie creators including: Ana Catris, Lou Scannon, Bearded Skull, Stiffs, Razarhawk, David Broughton, Godmachine, Sarah Millman, Stu.Art, and many more…

Mike Allwood, creator of CICE and comic show producer for 25+ years, is delighted to bring back CICE:-

The independent creators are the very soul of our shows.  Every year they raise the bar on the books they produce and to this day continue to push the medium to new levels.  I’m delighted to have the opportunity once again to showcase the rich pool of talent we have in the UK with our small press creators”

The show is suitable for all ages, families are welcome, as are family friendly cosplayers
Tickets are available online from our official website priced at £5 (children under 12 go free with a ticket holding adult)

https://cice2015.wordpress.com/

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20. Neustadt International Prize for Literature finalists

       They've announced the finalists for the 2016 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and they are:

  • Can Xue (nominated by Porochista Khakpour)
  • Caryl Churchill (nominated by Jordan Tannahill)
  • Carolyn Forché (nominated by Valzhyna Mor)
  • Aminatta Forna (nominated by Mukoma Wa Ngugi)
  • Ann-Marie MacDonald (nominated by Padma Viswanathan)
  • Guadalupe Nettel (nominated by Valeria Luiselli)
  • Don Paterson (nominated by Amit Majmudar)
  • Dubravka Ugrešić (nominated by Alison Anderson)
  • Ghassan Zaqtan (nominated by Wang Ping)
       As usual, a fairly interesting list -- and what a day for Can Xue, named a finalist on the same day she wins the Best Translated Book Award.

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21. 2015 Denver Comic Con Highlights

I can’t believe the 2015 Comic Con is over! It was super exhausting but incredibly fun. It’s not every day that Lou Ferrigno hugs you, you know? I mean, how can you not love being in a place with costumes like this:

Spaceballs

Or signing books with awesomesauce authors like Amalie Howard!

Amalie Howard and Me

Or having your kids attend their very first Comic Con!

Comic Con booth

Or being told that the Barnes & Noble booth of Comic Con sold out of your book! Luckily, they found more copies for the next day!

Barnes and Noble Booth

I was lucky enough to be on some amazing panels with authors like Dan Wells, Jim Butcher, Amalie Howard, Sherry Ficklin, Tyler Jolley, Stant Litore, Gail Wagner, DelSheree Gladden, Stephen Graham Jones, Sue Duff, and many more. I met so many fantastic people from fellow authors to fans, to fellow sci-fi nerds, and I already can’t wait for next year! But first…I need a nap. ;)

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22. Translation from ... Kazakh

       In The Astana Times Daniel Massow writes: Kazakh Literature Needs English Translations, Says Kazakhstan PEN Club President, reporting on a recent Kazakh Literature Evening Reception at the embassy in Washington DC.
       I don't want to suggest we haven't all been waiting for that US edition of A Lonely Yurt, but, regrettably, it's not entirely surprising that: "English-language publishers do not typically come looking for" Kazakh literature. Of course, a bit more local publishing activity and freedom, fostering new generations of Kazakh writers might do more for the overall situation -- and might eventually help attract more foreign notice, too. But, sure:

PEN wants to use the hegemonic role English plays in international communication to make the culture and ideas of Kazakh writers available to readers throughout the world.
       Nice to see there's also the we're-so-special-defense/explanation:
Moreover, Gabdullin admits, the translation itself is a great challenge: the natural rhythmic elegance and the unique expressiveness of the Kazakh language, the distinctive ethnic 'flavour' as well as the historical context pose significant difficulty for a translator.
       But I would certainly love to see some (any !) translated-from-the-Kazakh work.

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23. PREVIEW: ‘High Crimes’ #10 is a chilling read

 

High_Crimes_10-21

The latest issue of Monkey Brain‘s digital first comic High Crimes is available at Comixology. I have read the review copy and it’s exceptional and chilling. Page one gives you the same cold feeling when you open a walk-in freezer. Christopher Sebela’s striking and circumstantial words pair with Ibrahim Moustafa’s art on various levels. Lesley Atalnsky’s colors have a Laura Allred feel, and help create the grim mood.

All the characters are detailed from their extreme weather clothing to their facial expressions, word choice, and body language. New readers will appreciate the strong pace and look forward to catching up with the back issues. BTW, I wouldn’t skip the user’s guide if I were you.

I say it’s worth the $1.

High Crimes #10
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Ibrahim Moustafa
Price: $0.99
Pages: 21
Rating: 17
A partner in distress, a team of killers, a dead body full of secrets, the roof of the world. Only a few hundred feet separate Zan from all of them, but in the last desperate stretch towards the summit of Mount Everest, they may as well be miles away.





Read the first few pages below:

High_Crimes_10-1 High_Crimes_10-2 High_Crimes_10-3 High_Crimes_10-4 High_Crimes_10-5

Click here to go to Comixology and read High Crimes.

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24. Convention Weekend - SFAL

Spent the past weekend in Kansas City at the fourth annual Spectrum Fantastic Arts Live convention.
Lots of great art, lots of amazing fabulous people. (I took lots of pictures. You can see my more comprehensive album on facebook here).

I also came back with....stuff..... (Originals here by Omar Rayyan, Greg Manchess and Scott Gustafson) and lots of great memories. And more faculty for future TLCWorkshops!

Successful venture, all in all!

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25. Tilda Swinton entering negotiations for Doctor Strange

tilda swinton

Per THR, a fellow well regarded thespian may be joining Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange, as the outlet reports that Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton, Only Lovers Left Alive) is entering negotiations to play The Ancient One in the upcoming Marvel picture.

Were Swinton to join the cast, this would be her third comic book movie role, having played Gabriel in Constantine and the delightful Minister Mason in Snowpiercer.

The Ancient One, as most of you who are up on your Marvel lore probably already know, served as Stephen Strange’s mentor in the Himalayas. When the character died in the comics, Strange began to summon him through the spiritual plane and he continued to aide the good doctor.

THR also reports that Marvel originally sought a male for the role, but that the studio eventually retooled the role for a female.

It’s hard to argue that there’s any actress (and perhaps any performer, male or female) that’s been on a more incredible streak in terms of on-screen acclaim than Swinton. The sheer diversity in her role selection also speaks volumes about her avoidance to tread the same ground or be type-cast in any way. Honestly, Swinton is one of the few “sure things” in Hollywood right now, and if Marvel secures her services, it would prove quite a coup.

Doctor Strange, directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister), will see release on November 4, 2016.

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