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1. Book Review: “This Night Sucks” by Elizabeth J. M. Walker…


Not for the fate of heart…or young ears for that matter, Elizabeth J. M. Walker’s newest book made me shoot coffee out of my nostrils (painful) with this laugh-out-loud young adult vampire read. Too funny and too short, with a dash of ‘Did she just drop the F-Bomb again?’ Filled with diverse characters and a different take on those shiny and oh-so-sexy vampires, it was a refreshing read and a great escape from the real world, which lately has been filled with bad news, chaos, and tragedies.

So what’s my take on a story that’s all about the horrors of high school and surviving vampire attacks? This is what I posted on Amazon and Goodreads…

4 Star Fangs and Fun! Elizabeth J. M. Walker had me at the first bite!

“This Night Sucks” is a gut-splitting, laugh-out-loud YA vampire read, sans the shiny, sexy ones. And that’s so refreshing. Walker’s tough-in-cheek dialogue and cast of eclectic characters made for one hilarious story. From the dynamics of high school cliques to what you think you know about vampires (and what you don’t), the reader is led on a merry chase to hunt down, and hopefully kill any bloodsucker that dares enter Lana and her high school friends’ world.

If you’re ready for something completely different in the vampire literary circuit, then “This Night Sucks” is a too funny, too short book that will keep you reading till the wee hours of the morning. Just don’t forget to pack your wooden stake and garlic spray…
  
About the Book:

Lana is a high school senior enrolled in Vampire Education – a class to teach students about the very real presence of vampires in the world. Lana and her classmates don’t really expect to meet up with any undead bloodsuckers. Vampires are a lot like other scary things that supposedly exist but you hope you’ll never come across: nudist colonies, mad cow disease, and your parents’ sex life.

What is part of Lana’s everyday reality is navigating through one last year of high school while desperately trying to be less nerdy. She still loves spaceships, fantasy novels, and cat stickers, but she also recently got her braces removed, grew boobs, and is working on the makeup thing. She never expected her crush-of-a-lifetime Pete to even notice her – let alone ask her out on a date. 

The date is going great until Pete’s ex-girlfriend Katy shows up, all bloody and pissed off. Lana quickly realizes that Katy is not just her ordinary bitchy self – she has been turned into a vampire. After a near death experience, Lana learns that she is changing into a vampire too.

Lana needs answers, and the only way to get them is to find the vampire who started the chain of events – and to find him before sunrise... 

Purchase Links:

Mirror World Publishing Link:  

Amazon Link: 

Meet the Author:

Elizabeth J. M. Walker lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She has always loved books and writing. As a teen she discovered zines, which inspired her to publish her own litzine of odd fairy tales for over a decade.

She Dreamed of Dragons is her first novel.

Connect with Elizabeth J.M. Walker:

Facebook: 

Amazon US: 

Goodreads Author Page:

Publisher Website: 

Author Website: 
www.elizabethjmwalker.com

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2. Monday Mishmash 8/29/16


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. First Day of School :(  I'm one of those mothers who cries on the ride home from dropping my daughter off at school on the first day every year. It doesn't matter how old she gets or that I know she has a ton of friends. She's my best bud and I miss her like crazy.
  2. After Loving You Cover Reveal  If you missed the cover reveal for After Loving You this past weekend, here it is! You can preorder your copy today here
  3. Back to My Usual Schedule  Now that school is back in session, my writing/editing schedule is too. The days always feel so long this time of year because I'm not used to working for five and a half hours straight after breaking up my time during the summer.
  4. Editing  My editing schedule is packed from now through January. That's good though because I need to make money, right?
  5. WIP Put on Hold  I've written quite a bit this year, so I don't feel bad that I have to put my current WIP on hold in order to edit for clients. I might work on it slowly (a few thousand words a day), but we'll see.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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3. कैसे बने अच्छे इंसान-ऑडियो

  Click & listen audio of 2 mins & 12 secs कैसे बने अच्छे इंसान-ऑडियो How to be better person audio जिंदगी में हम सभी सफल होना चाहतें हैं आगे बढना चाहते है इसके लिए हम अच्छे बनना चाहते हैं पर अच्छे की क्या पहचान है हम अच्छे कैसे बने ये सुनने के लिए आपको […]

The post कैसे बने अच्छे इंसान-ऑडियो appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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4. THE FINNIGAN EFFECT: A Guest Post by Mary T. Wagner

Writing has been an essential part of my life for as long as I’ve been an adult. I’ve written for newspapers, magazines, and courts of law. Who knew that now—as both a grownup and a grandmother—writing about a kitten would let me channel my “inner child” with such total abandon?!



I can’t claim to have been one of those writers who “just knew” from the time they could read that they wanted to write and to create their own stories. 

To the contrary, I buried myself in books as a child and was quite content to immerse myself in the stories that others created—first all books I could find about horses; then mysteries featuring the teenaged American sleuth Nancy Drew; and finally “regency romances” which usually featured a very difficult hero and a plucky damsel who won his heart by the last chapter. Quite often carriages and castles were involved. I grew up with a great vocabulary…and very little to show in the way of my own imagination!

However, after drifting through my first year in college as an “undeclared liberal arts major,” I took a stab at newspaper journalism, relying on the occasional praise of others that I wrote well in my earlier school assignments to crack open the door. After sitting through my first reporting class, I was hooked. “That’s it, I’m home,” I thought, and I eagerly rolled up my sleeves to practice writing snappy leads and funneling facts into an “inverted pyramid style” of news writing.

I wrote for two major daily newspapers in succession, keeping my prose short and clear, aiming to explain things at a fourth-grade reading level. After I married and started a family, I switched to freelance magazine writing, indulging in more complicated sentences and words with three or four syllables. At the age of forty, I switched careers completely and went to law school, where my early newspaper training served me well in simplifying legal issues. And when I began my career as a prosecuting attorney for the state, I quickly found that putting my legal arguments on paper could be an advantage.

At every step of the way, writing had been a tool to wield, to explain, to persuade, to illustrate. And then friends talked me into starting to write a blog, “Running with Stilettos,” where I finally began to write just for me…and to write for fun!!

And then Finnigan showed up.

Every book starts with a small idea, but Finnigan the Circus Cat started with an even smaller kitten. My youngest son and his wife called from school shortly before they came home for the Christmas holiday. They’d just adopted a kitten from a shelter. Given that my ex-husband was deathly allergic to cats, could they park the wee little Finnigan at my house for a few weeks?

I jumped at the chance! My household already held two adult cats and a large dog, but there’s nothing cuter than a kitten as the saying goes, and that window of “tiny and cute” only lasts so long. 

 Finnigan was the tiniest kitten I’d ever seen away from his mother’s side. So tiny, in fact, that I quickly realized that the standard kitten chow the kids had brought home was too large for him to eat with his tiny teeth and I raced to the nearest pet store for special food that was almost as finely granulated as sugar. 


For the next few weeks, my kitchen resembled a circus act…literally. I had fenced off the kitchen to keep the dog in there so that he didn’t bother—or step on—Finnigan. And so when it was time to give the bigger animals their nightly treats, I stood in the kitchen like a ringmaster and pointed to the far side of the gate. The cats soared over the divider like lions jumping hurdles, while Finnigan perched on my shoulder like a pirate’s parrot. Dog treats and cat treats dispensed, Finnigan and I could retreat to the living room sofa for some quality time.

Inevitably, the new semester began and the kids went back to school, taking Finnigan with. But in another year, he was back at my house for a half year while my son and his wife studied in Ireland. By this time he had grown into a sleek young feline, with a narrow face, legs that seemed a little too long for his body, and a long tail that draped like a rope behind him. There was something about his coloring—smudges beneath his nose like a mustache; grey and black stripes that resembled a leotard—and his natural swagger that reminded me again and again of a circus performer strutting around a ring.


The “circus” theme was naturally never far from my thoughts, since one of my daughters is in fact a contemporary circus aerialist, and somehow the thought of a foundling kitten in a circus setting just stayed in my imagination. Eventually, in the swirl of selling my house, moving to another, and hitting my marks in court, I began to write “Finnigan the Circus Cat.” Writing the story was just the start of the project, however, as it developed that I also drew the pictures inside the book that start every chapter. Call it a confluence of poor timing, looming deadlines, and pure cussedness, but yes, I rolled up my sleeves and summoned the vestiges of the sketching I did as a child, and drew the pictures too!!!

What I DID NOT expect, however, after getting this first book into print, was just how much the fictional Finnigan would stay in my head as a constant source of happy thoughts! 



I confess to doing “double duty” as my print deadline for the first book loomed. I brought my drawing pad and pencils and photographs of the real Finnigan with me to a law conference as time was running out, and sketched pictures of kittens and mice to my heart’s content as I trained my ear toward lectures on grim subjects such as “lethality assessments” and “drug treatment courts.” I dutifully listened to presentations about evidence and witnesses…while Googling pictures of mice in cute poses. Who says you can’t multitask?




Back in “the real world,” there are any number of sobering subjects to ponder from the time I get out of bed. Bills, car maintenance, yard work. And let’s face it, on the job, the subject matter for a criminal prosecutor is rarely the stuff of laughter. 

But I find to my delight that as I drive around town (or—gasp--as I sit in court waiting for the next case to be called!), there’s a part of my brain that’s engaged with wondering what Finnigan and his friends are going to be doing next. Just how are they going to convince a pair of con men that a circus wagon is haunted? How exactly will Leroy, the larger of the two mice (and a gentle soul quite sensitive about his size,) impersonate a rat in the next book? Which of Aesop’s fables will I work into the conversation in the third book, and how will I stage a faceoff between a circus lion and one of the villainous neighborhood cats? 

I could go on and on…and in my head, I certainly do! But for me it’s not just academic. Because as I feel the “Finnigan Effect,” it’s always with the blissful memory of just how soft that real  kitten was, sleeping in my lap, when he was absolutely, totally brand new. 


Mary T. Wagner
Award-winning author of When the Shoe Fits(Essays of Love, Life and Second Chances), Heck on Heels, and more...

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 Thank you so much Mary, Finnigan is a delight. 

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5. UK food retailing and the challenge of the ‘new retail’

And yet on exactly the same day that ASDA was confirming just how bad its sales position is, Amazon announced that it would open in early 2017 another fulfilment centre – its thirteenth – in the UK. Part—but only part—of the reason why Amazon needs more capacity is due to the initial success of its Amazon Fresh food delivery business which launched in the UK in July 2016.

The post UK food retailing and the challenge of the ‘new retail’ appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. The OWC Podcast: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride encounters prejudice, upward-mobility confronts social disdain, and quick-wittedness challenges sagacity, as misconceptions and hasty judgments lead to heartache and scandal, but eventually to true understanding, self-knowledge, and love. In this supremely satisfying story, Jane Austen balances comedy with seriousness, and witty observation with profound insight. If Elizabeth Bennet returns again and again to her letter from Mr Darcy, readers of the novel are drawn even more irresistibly by its captivating wisdom.

The post The OWC Podcast: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen appeared first on OUPblog.

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7. BOBBEE BEE: Wrestling with politics: Playing the Trump Card

by Eric D.Graham

(BASN) North Carolina-Race has always been a factor in America.
We can’t deny that fact.
The election of America’s first African-American president showed us the ugliest part of some people’s psyche as well as  the hidden hatred dwelling in some of their hearts. As a result, we saw the rise of white supremacy theology, confederate flags, and the shouts of angry white men proclaiming that they “wanted to take their country back” become the norm.
With the world, seemingly, divided along racial and political lines, African-American voters continued to play plantation politics by pledging their allegiance not to the United of States of America but to the Clintons, who they were instructed to vote for regardless, who else ran-out of fear not strategy.
As a result, seemingly, out of nowhere, Donald Trump, who through his speeches and twitter feeds, became the anti-establishment boogeyman, while pretending to be a Constitutional Conservative Christian, fed off the fear of African-Americans and the anger of white men with promises of building a bigger and better wall to keep the Mexicans out, banning all Muslims, and bombing the hell out of Isis.
Matter of fact, Trump, it seemed, was speaking out of the Pat Buchanan’s playbook (Suicide of a Super Power), while mixing politics with professional wrestling as he offered insult after insult until he eliminated all of his opponents in Republican primaries.
Yes, in the age of the Kardashians, Fox News and Reality TV, Donald Trump’s “brand” of counterfeit politics was being applauded and cheered like one of Vince McMahon’s Monday night Raw wrestling matches on pay-per-view.
It was the “politics of fear” (Clinton) versus the “politics of Hate”(Trump).
So, I guess, former professional wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura was correct when he said that politics was no different than Vince McMahon’s WWE professional wrestling. Why? Because, “they provide you with two opposites, who pretend to be adversaries in front of the public-one playing the GOOD COP, the other plays the BAD COP, depending on whether you’re sitting in the high-priced seats or the bleachers-until ultimately, they’re both working for the same things; maintaining their power, getting richer and making sure their wealthy backers keep their control of their stakes in the government.”
But, was this political riff between Trump and Hilary real or fake? Or, simply entertainment.
Everyone seemed confused. Because, no matter what came out of Trump’s mouth, it seemed, as if, he couldn’t lose.
Sadly, Trump had successfully turned the political process into a circus, a clown show, or, simply another espoide of his reality TV program.
But, despite Trump’s tough New York trash talking demeanor and Taylor-made suits,  “it’s still was the economic stupid…”
Yes. This was the real driving force behind the anger of all these white men, who were bankrupted, jobless, homeless after foreclosures, while they found themselves swimming in debt and drowning in red ink due to stagnant wages.
So, in their desperation, they clung to their Bibles and their guns, a prayed to their Charles Manson looking saviour, that this rich, slick talking businessman, whose wealth and riches were proof enough for them that he could fix  their financial problems and political woes-swiftly and quickly and fly away in his helicopter.
Yes.
He was just like them.
So, they thought.
He wanted to make America Great Again or White Again-depending on who you were talking to.
Because, no matter what he said, he was still better than that “crooked Hilliary or lying Ted.”
Besides, they could tolerate a Black man being President named Barack Hussein Obama, who Trump claimed was from Kenya and the leader of Isis.
But, not a white woman in a pantsuit named Hillary Clinton.
Why? Because,, this is a “white man’s world” and a woman should know her place.
Eric D.Graham , a graduate from Winston-Salem State University, where he received a BA in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio & Television and a minor in History with an emphasis in African-American Studies, is a sports columnist at Black Athlete Sports Network, where his thought-provoking articles and controversial cartoon Here Comes “The Hater” appear on a weekly basis.

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8. MMGM Links (8/29/16)

Here are this week's MMGM links!

- Jess at the Reading Nook is cheering for THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH AND THE ZOMBIE PARADE. Click HERE for her review. 
- Heidi Grange is feeling warm and fuzzy for FUZZY. Click HERE to see why. 
- Sally's Bookshelf is feeling lucky for LITTLE CAT'S LUCK. Click HERE to read her review.
- Mark Baker is spreading some love for HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD. Click HERE to see what he thought. 
- Dorine White has a cover reveal for THE SAPPHIRE BLADE. Click HERE to check it out.
- The B.O.B. is caught up with THE OUTSIDERS. Click HERE to see why. 
- Greg Pattridge is celebrating MS. BIXBY'S LAST DAY. Click HERE to read his review.
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--IDA B. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Jenni Enzor is spreading some sunshine for RAINY. Click HERE to see why.  
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week 
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site. 
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time. 


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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9. ‘I’m Dead Inside’ by Dan Britt

Music and animation by Dan Britt.

The post ‘I’m Dead Inside’ by Dan Britt appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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10. SCBWI British Isles - 20-year Celebration!

SCBWI British Isles is 20-years-old! To celebrate, our Southeast Scotland division had a picnic in the Princes Street Garden just below the statue of Wojtek the Bear.

Kelly and I were the first ones to arrive - here we are with the castle in the background.
We set out my blanket and it quickly expanded with fellow SCBWIers and more blankets all around. And the weather, which was supposed to be a little dicey, was perfect.
Something nice happened this day. It was the first time I participated in an SCBWI even where I really felt like I was getting to know people - where I was surrounded by (albeit new) friends.
SUCH a nice feeling. We all talked about books and art. Three of the 6 illustrators in the group found each other.
We made plans for a future get-together at Waterstones. Our Regional Advisor, Sheila Averbuch was thrilled with that and the high attendance to report back to the main British Isles folks. (She's on the left.)
I thought I'd have time to kill before the panel I was attending at the Book Festival. But no - we all chatted for hours!
Truly, that's what SCBWI is all about - finding your peeps, a place to feel at home, you tribe. I love that I can find that anywhere in the world!

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11. Horse of Gold

HorseOfGold
"Horse of Gold" (watercolor on paper, 10" x 7"). In this piece, I'm playing with negatives even within the body of the horse. The image is not meant to be realistic. It's a symbol, a shape, representing the energy of a horse (an imaginary horse). The painting method includes wet-into-wet watercolor and wet on dry. The color is simplified because, as always in my work, drawing is foremost, color is secondary. This piece may be purchased on my website or by contacting me

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12. A new (musical) direction for healthcare?

Most would agree with the idea that music can have a powerful hold over us—our thoughts, feelings, and movements. Given this, how might music help measure thoughts, feelings, and movements in a way that allows professionals in healthcare improve client treatment? The music therapy profession seems to be experiencing a surge in developing data-measuring tools that incorporate music in the client assessment.

The post A new (musical) direction for healthcare? appeared first on OUPblog.

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13. Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine

Can one person make a difference in this world? Can one kid? If you are twelve-year-old Red Porter, you can. It may take you a while to understand that in 1970’s Virginia all it takes is one person to make a stand. Soon others will stand with you and change can be enacted. From grieving his father’s death, to defending the girl that just might be capturing his heart, to finding himself in a

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14. More Peeping on People

Here's a few more sketches of people on trains from all the recent rail trips to and from the Midlands.

Some people are contemplative.... 


...others bemused.
Activities on trains have changed over the years. There was a time when most people would be reading books or staring out of the window. Now there's an awful lot of tapping on little machines.
Though of course still plenty of dozing too...

... unfortunately he woke up before I could finish.

I've not only been drawing fellow travellers of course, whimsical doodles, experiments and so on have also been filling the pages on these journeys, though I've not been sharing my more imaginative wanderings on social media much recently. Partly because of deadline pressure, but also for reasons I outlined last week in this article for Words & Pictures.

However, maybe I'll share some of those shortly.

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15. They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel


In early 2014 I reviewed the picture book Some Bugs, written by Angela Di Terlizzi and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel. A fantastic, rhyming book, Wenzel's illustrations were unforgettable, calling to mind Eric Carle with a goofy undercurrent. I have been following Wenzel's career since then and am so excited to be reviewing the first picture book written an illustrated, They All Saw a Cat.



They All Saw a Cat is a story of observation and perspective, the idea for the book coming to Wenzel several years ago when he was teaching art classes in Nepal, noting that, "if every kid in the classroom draws the exact same thing - say, a cat - they will come up with a unique image, depending on their perspectives on and experiences with cats, that puts the animal in a different, new light." They All Saw a Cat follows a cat as it walks through the world, each person and creature who sees the cat viewing it differently. They All Saw a Cat is simple and brilliant, living up to all the praise that has been heaped upon it (see the end of the review for details of the heaps of praise.) 


Wenzel's text in They All Saw a Cat is sleekly repetitive - read it out loud and you will probably find yourself instinctively singing the words. The book begins, "The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears and paws . . ." To the child, the cat is all sweet, big eyes and happiness. To the dog, the cat is skinny and suspicious, slinking past. And to the fox? The cat is a puffy, mouthwatering, marshmallow of a morsel.




They All Saw a Cat twist and turns, just like the titular cat. How the cat looks to prey and predators, how the cat looks to a bee and to a worm, a flea and a bat, are just a few of the perspectives we are treated to as the cat walks through the world. The climax of the book finds the cat, a patchwork of all the perspectives. In the final pages, the cat approaches a pond, glimpsing his reflection, the text asking, "imagine what it saw?"



As the article in Publisher's Weekly from 2014 revealed, They All Saw a Cat was part of an eight publisher bidding war that was won by Chronicle Books, earning Wenzel a two-book deal and a six-figure deal. As the press material that came with They All Saw a Cat revealed, an editor from one of the losing houses proclaimed, "You guy have the next freakin' Eric Carle." My time working as an assistant to an agent was coming to an end just as Brendan Wenzel was introduced to him by Angela Di Terlizzi. Having witnessed a few bidding wars for manuscripts, I can only imagine what it was like in the office on the day that Chronicle prevailed. It's not often that a talent - and book - like Wenzel's comes along, and, as Ginee Seo, children's publishing director at Chronicle said, "I feel a bit embarrassed using a cliché, but as soon as I saw the proposal , I felt I was looking at an instant classic. . . the book is so intelligent and well thought-out that form the very first words and images you know you're in the hands of someone who is confident and knows what he is doing. Brendan's writing is spare and has a rhythm and pacing that is unusual for an artist to achieve. And his art has a sense of movement that is just beautiful. As an editor, I knew immediately that this was really rare." 

Source: Review Copy

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16. Full of Beans, by Jennifer L. Holm -- (ages 9-12)

Does building resilience in kids mean they have to be able to handle everything by themselves? Or that they can weather the hard times, with their sense of self intact? I adore Jennifer Holm's newest novel Full of Beans precisely for the way that Beans struggles through hard times, learning about the consequences of his decisions, yet never losing his sense of humor or his loyalty to his family and friends. It is both delightful to read and wonderful to reflect upon.

Full of Beans
by Jennifer L. Holm
Random House, 2016
Your local library
Amazon
ages 9-12
*best new book*
Beans Curry knows life is hard with the Great Depression--his dad is out of work, leaving home to look for work up north, and his mom takes in laundry, raising the family in their Key West home. Beans tries to help, sifting through the garbage looking for cans because a local con man has promised him twenty cents a can.

Life keeps throwing bum deals his way--the con man refuses to pay Beans what he promised--but Beans won't give up. He helps his mother babysit his crabby baby brother; he leads his gang of friends, challenging other kids to marbles; and he keeps his eye out new opportunities. So when a rumrunner makes him a proposition, it seems like things are finally turning up. Beans just doesn't predict how his actions might put others in harm's way. As the starred Horn Book review wrote,
Beans’s earnest voice shows a young boy trying so hard to help out and to do the right thing, but getting caught up in dubious circumstances over which he has no control.
Readers may remember Beans from Jennifer Holm's popular Turtle in Paradise (my review here), but this new story stands on its own. I think that the setting Depression-era Key West becomes even more fully realized in Full of Beans, as Holm seamlessly weaves historical details into the story. I especially like what librarian Tasha Saecker wrote over at Waking Braincells:
Holm writes with a natural ease that is deceptively easy to read. Her writing allows readers to explore Key West in a time just as it is becoming a tourist destination due to the New Deal and its workers. Beans’ personal story is clearly tied to the story of Key West with his own despair and lack of money mirroring the city’s. His own journey through to honesty and truth follows that of the city as well. It’s a clever dynamic that makes both roads to change all the easier to relate to and believe.
This would make a terrific read-aloud, either as a family or in the classroom. Terrific sayings from the 30s infuse the dialog, and short chapters keep the pace moving quickly. Readers will root for Beans, whether it's as he's playing marbles against a rival gang or as he's struggling with hard decisions that will affect his neighbors and friends.

I'm especially looking forward to talking with my students in our Mock Newbery Book Club about how Beans responds to hard situations and how he changes. I wonder how they'll envision the setting of Key West, and themes they'll identify in the story.

Join me on Wednesday -- I'm looking forward to sharing an interview with Jenni Holm. I'm especially looking forward to sharing a slideshow of images of 1930s Key West. The review copies were kindly sent by the publisher, Random House Books. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2016 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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17. BOBBEE BEE: Wrestling With Politics: The Sinister Seeds of a Trumped Up Presidential Candidate pt.2


NORTH CAROLINA (BASN)-According to Peter Wehner’s article in Time Magazine entitled The Party’s Over..”Republicans became uncreative and intellectually lazy. They placed themselves in an ideological straitjacket, trying to be more Reagan than Reagan. As a result, too many Republicans lost touch with ordinary Americans. They had almost nothing to say about wage stagnation, the struggle of working-class Americans, the lack of social mobility, soaring tuition and health care costs, and how to extend health insurance to the uninsured. They were unable to explain, let alone address, huge structural changes caused by globalization, advances in technology and automation, which had harsh effects on low-skill workers. Blue collar Americans, in particular, felt unheard, ignored, and abandoned,” which, unfortunately, led to the presidential demise of Mitt Romney in 2008, after is 47% comment went viral.

As a result, the Tea-Party was born, which bred political candidates like Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin.  But, Donald Trump, has piggybacked off their alleged anti-establishment rhetoric, conservative Constitution politics and “high jacked” their voters and  turned the American political process into a Vince McMahon inspired WWE wrestling match. Unfortunately, the only thing missing are the colorful costumes, brake away tables and a few flying elbows. (Read my article Wrestling With Politics: Playing the Trump Card on BASN)

Playing the Trump Card

Well, I ‘ll take that back…Because, now, Donald Trump’s political rallies are filled with fist fights, sucker punches, and name-calling-WORST THAN any wrestling match…
Hell, it’s  a DAMN shame legendary Hulk Hogan was stripped from WWE for using the N-word, especially after all of the foolishness coming out of Donald Trump’s mouth on his way to the White House in 2016.
Because, with no teleprompter, to guide his speeches, the reality show star and former beauty pageant promoter  has questioned the veracity of Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate, called Ted Cruz, “lying Ted” while  arguing that the Canadian-born Texas Senator, along with Cuban-American Florida Senator Marco Rubio, whom he calls “little Marco”  were ineligible to occupy the Oval Office.

The Jewish Factor

He also has claimed, without any evidence, to have seen televised footage of  Muslims celebrating in New Jersey after planes crushed in the World Trade Center on Sept.11.
Unfortunately, according to BlackAgendaReport managing editor Bruce A.Dixon, “the people doing the cheering weren’t Muslims: they were five young Israelis in a white moving van, who were observed in Liberty Park ecstatically taking pictures of themselves framed against the smoking ruins of the Twin Towers. As ABC News reported, the five were later arrested at gunpoint near the New Jersey Giants football stadium. Most U.S. intelligence sources believed the men were Israeli spies, and that their “moving company” was an Israeli intelligence cover.”
With that said, with every election, every politicians must prove, or better yet, pledge their love to Israel, which Trump, in the beginning, seemed to be going against the grain when he said, he would  be “neutral” in dealing with stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiation on an independent Palestinian state as well as his refusal to denounce the support of former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke, who believes that Zionist influence every part of  American politics, during a recent interview with CNN.

Now, however, according to the USA Today report Shira Rubin, the GOP is encouraging American citizens who live in Israel-especially those from pivotal swing states like Florida-to vote for Trump.
Michal Adar, who originally from Atlanta and now lives in Raanana, Israel- is quoted as saying “We trust Trump, because we know he shares our values and that he has the right kind of worldview-that maybe not every Muslim is a terrorist, but that every terrorist is in fact a Muslim.”
Yes, this was the Frankenstein monster that the Republican Party had made and feared that they might have to destroy if he continued his destructive path throughout the American political arena.

Leading By Example


But, was Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the best leadership America had to offer?-
According to Suzy Kassem in her book – Rise Up and Salute the Sun, the American people should… “Pick a leader who will not only bail out banks and airlines, but also families from losing their homes — or jobs due to their companies moving to other countries. Pick a leader who will fund schools, not limit spending on education and allow libraries to close. Pick a leader who chooses diplomacy over war. An honest broker in foreign relations. A leader with integrity, one who says what they mean, keeps their word and does not lie to their people. Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the doctor, and the environmentalist — not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist.”
Unfortunately, the camera-loving Trump fails to meet many of Kassem’s qualifications. But, a large segment of the American pollution seems to love what he says and what he stands for.
Blaming Obama
But, the question remains-Is this all President Obama’s fault for creating this cult of personality, which “made” him President in 2008?
Did his eight years in office really destroy the fabric of American society?
Hell, white America has to blame somebody for their problems and short-comings?
But, seriously, was Obama’s MLK utopian dream  …or should  I say. His Audacity of HOPE for a better America  too much for the Washington insider’s to handle?
Shockingly, former President Bill Clinton, thinks President Obama does bear some of the blame for this years “wacky” election. Because, according to him, ” Millions of people look at that pretty picture of America he painted and they cannot find themselves in it.”
Boy, Slick Willie is back at again, saxophone and all….
Now, let’s analyze those words, “Million of people look at that pretty picture of America he painted and they cannot find themselves…..
Who could Clinton be talking about?-Especially, after this year’s Oscars, which comedian and host Chris Rock called “the white people’s choice awards,” where two sports-themed movies, lead by African-American actors, Michael B. Jordan (Creed) and Will Smith (Concussion) were overlooked.


The Silent Majority

Well, it seems, like that silent majority, is no other than the “white working class,” who are frustrated and angry because their jobs have been moved overseas to countries like Mexico, China, India, Vietnam and Thailand in exchange for cheap labor and larger wages for US corporations.
As a result, Trump’s has been ‘trumpin’ up his racial rhetoric, while feeding on the primal fears of the nation and  claiming he is going to make “America better again”by bragging boldly about  building a giant Wall and deporting all  illegal aliens and closing the borders to prevent all Muslims from entering the country and registering their names in a database.
He even, shamefully, stated that he could shoot someone in the Middle of Time’s Square and not loses voters in the poll, which was extremely foolish. Especially, when Black men, in seemed, were being shot and killed by the police on a weekly bases.
Matter of fact, after the shootings in Baton Rogue, Minnesota and Dallas, Trump, in rare form, tried to utilize those incidents to draw an even further widget between voters by using  Republican race-baiting code words like ‘law and order,’ which was reminiscent of the 1988 Willie Horton ad used by then- Republican candidate George H.W. Bush.

White Supremacy Theology


Not surprisingly, to many political scientists, Trump was simply displaying America’s greatest religion, which is not Christianity, which it confesses, but “White Supremacy….
Trump proved this when he went to Liberty University misquoting scripture when he said that “Christianity, it’s under siege…(and) We’re going to protect Christianity – and I can say that. I don’t have to be politically correct….Two Corinthians, right? Two Corinthians 3:17, that’s the whole ballgame…Where the spirit of the Lord … right? Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
Despite that, he still was able to gain the political endorsement of the president of Liberty University Jerry Falwell Jr as well as televangelist Paula White, who has been his spiritual advisor for 14 years, the 700 Club’s Pat Robertson in 1988, who ran for President in and Dallas mega-church minister Joel Osteen along with other foolish “Negro ministers and leaders (Ben Carson, included),who wished to sit a his table and eat the bread crumbs off of his golden plate.
But, despite Trump’s constant bumbling remarks, his supporters continue to support him and his brand, while rallying behind his divisive message.

Worldwide View

Unfortunately, those who didn’t support Trump’s brand of bigotry, which include The Bloombergs, The Bushes, The Romneys, The McCains, The Cruzes, and The Grahams, continued to feel that his poisonous rhetoric was a threat to America’s democracy worldwide.
Greg Guma, of Toward Freedom magazine, in this in an article wrote in July 2000, summed up most people thinking about the 2016 election between Trump and Hillary, in article published in July 2000 when he wrote “around the world, the message received is that, whoever wins {the U.S. election}, expect only more of the same-national narcissism disguised as altruism, corporate appeasement, and the arbitrary use of U.S. military and economic might.”
Sadly, I was agree.
The evil empire stands, whether woman or man.

Eric D.Graham , a graduate from Winston-Salem State University, where he received a BA in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio & Television and a minor in History with an emphasis in African-American Studies, is a sports columnist at Black Athlete Sports Network, where his thought-provoking articles and controversial cartoon Here Comes “The Hater” appear on a weekly basis.

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18. How to develop my ideas

Question: I have a plot in mind put it is very difficult to develop it. I don't know what to do. I have the idea but how to write about events and things

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19. Fusenews: Dem-o-gorgon or Dem-a-gorgon?

Morning, poppins!

Yesterday, for the first time in a long while, I submitted a Video Sunday for your approval.  Trouble is, I may have failed to mention one of the most fascinating videos out there with a tie-in to books for kids, so I’d like to rectify the situation today.

kidpresidentThe title of the article read, ‘Last Week Tonight’: John Oliver Turned a 20-Year-Old Kids’ Book with ‘Startling Parallels’ to Trump into a Bestseller.  Naturally I tried figuring out what book they were talking about but I was coming up short.  Turns out it’s good old The Kid Who Ran for President by Dan Gutman.  That’s a title that is consistently on New York City public school reading lists every single year.  Wouldn’t be surprised a jot if that’s how Last Week Tonight‘s writing staff heard about it (some of them must have kids).  Glad to see it getting a bit of attention here and there. I won’t give away which candidate the “startling parallels” refer to (kidding!).  Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link.


A Gene Luen Yang comic piece for the New York Times simply called Glare of Disdain?  Don’t mind if I do!


Horn Book came out with their 2015-2016 Yearbook Superlatives post once more.  Fun bit.  I wonder if they collect them throughout the year as they do their reading.


Tis the battle of the smarty-pants!  Who did it better?  Adam Rex and Christian Robinson at Horn Book or Jory John and Bob Shea at Kirkus?  The choice is yours (though Christian Robinson probably sweeps the deck with his magnificent “Black people are magic” line).


See how I’m going from a Horn Book post to a Horn Book / Kirkus post to a Kirkus review?  That’s why they pay me the big bucks, folks.  In any case, usually when I post a review on this blog I like to link the books mentioned in the review to Kirkus.  Why?  Because they’re the review journal that has the most free archived older children’s book reviews online.  Generally this is a good plan but once in a while it throws me for a loop.  For example, a reviewer of the original Nate the Great back in 1972 had serious problems with the title.  Your homework for the day is to read the review and then figure out what precisely the “stereotype” the book was faulty of conveying really was.  I’ve read this review about ten times and I’m still baffled.  Any ideas?


winniepooh01-768x512So I worked at NYPL for a number of years (11 in total).  Of those, I spent about five or six of them working in close proximity to the original Winnie-the-Pooh toys.  And in all that time I never knew them to look as good as they do right now.  Oo la la!  Goggle at that restored Kanga!  And a Piglet where his skin ISN’T falling off his body?  I don’t even know the guy now.  No word on whether or not the restoration yielded more information on the music box in Pooh’s tummy (or if it’s even still there).  Still, they look great (and appear to have a whole new display area too!).  Thanks to Sharyn November for the link.


Did you know that Cricket Media (which runs Cricket Magazine as well as other periodicals) has a blog?  I tell you this partly because I’m trying to contact someone at their Chicago location and so far my efforts have been for naught.  A little help?


Did you know there was a children’s book award for science fiction?  Yup. “The Golden Duck Awards, which are designed to encourage science fiction literature for children, have been given annually since 1992.”  And as far as I can tell, they may still be going on.  Check out their site here to see for yourself.  You can suggest books from the previous year too, so have at it, peoples.


So I give up.  Slate?  You win.  You do good posts on children’s books.  I was wrong to doubt you.  That post about how your son loves “bad guys” so you read him Tomi Ungerer’s The Three RobbersThat’s good stuff.  And the piece on how terrible the U.S. is at translating children’s books?  Also excellent.  To say nothing of all the other excellent posts you’ve come up with and researched well.  I doff my cap.  Your pop-up blog is a rousing success.  Well done you.


Question: How often has a documentary been made about a nonfiction children’s picture book about a true subject?  Once at least.


Saw this next one on the old listservs and figured it might be of use to someone:

I just wanted to pass along an opportunity that I’m hoping that you’ll hope promote for ALSC. Every year, we give away four $600 stipends for ALSC members to attend Annual for the first time. Applications are open now and are being accepted up to October 1, 2016. For 2017, Penguin Random House is including one ticket for each winner to the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet. Here is some more information.


Daily Image:

Because I just cannot stop with the Stranger Things.  This one came via my friend Marci.  Look closely enough and you’ll see Will hiding in the Upside Down.

http://charamath.tumblr.com/post/148762797238/i-know-the-internet-is-full-of-stranger-things-fan

Thanks to Marci Morimoto for the link.

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20. THE GALLERY Winner!




We have a winner! According to randomizer, the winner of the hardcover copy of THE GALLERY by Laura Marx Fitzgerald is



Congratulations, Jess! Expect an email from me soon.

I'll be back next week with a new review and another giveaway!


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21. Busy Builders, Busy Week!

Guest Post & Giveaway!


I love being asked to feature new books on my blog. There is something so exciting about being part of an author/illustrator's latest work. When asked to review and feature Busy Builders, Busy Week! I was also asked if there was anything in particular I wanted the author to write about in her guest post. So I tossed out a couple of ideas, and love the one she went with. Because, you see, I have a sweet spot for truck loving kids. The post below brought a huge smile to my face and had me nodding away to my computer screen. 



WHAT I LOVE ABOUT KIDS AND TRUCKS
By Jean Reidy
When kids meet up with a crane or a digger or a dump truck, something important happens. You can tell by a kid’s furrowed brows, focused eyes and full-throated roars and crashes and beeps and bangs voiced in concert with the machine. The encounter is never frivolous. Because construction trucks mean business—serious business. They’re big. They’re cool. They’ve got the moves. And they make noise. What’s not to love? It’s why so many tots know an excavator from a back hoe. Why they celebrate a cement mixer sighting. And why a pint-sized bulldozer and a sandbox can keep kids busy for hours.
When kids have trucks, they have work to do. Important work. Call it play. But (I think) you’d be mistaken. Because trucks are powerful and purposeful and they put that power and purpose in a kid’s hands. Kids are in charge. And there’s energy. Awesome, positive energy moved from kid to machine and machine to the earth or the brick or the board. Visible, viable energy. For my kids, there was always a blurring of kid and machine. When they played “construction” you never quite knew if they were driving the truck or actually WERE the truck. Amazing!
Sure, it doesn’t hurt that when kids meet up with trucks, they’re introduced to the science of simple machines. Whether studying a construction site or working with their own equipment, kids absorb the phenomena of physics. And they’re making these discoveries on their own.
But perhaps what I love most is that when kids and trucks get together there might be an end creation in sight, but often there isn’t. Because kids can love the process—the digging, the dumping, the ‘dozing—more than the product itself. And, so, the wonder-filled work continues for another day.

Peek inside!

What a perfectly vibrant and lively cover! Take a look at some interior shots to feel the vibrations of the action, and to hear the rumbles of engines and tires! Beware, you might want to go play in the dirt after!








My thoughts on the book: I couldn't wait to share this book with my two-year-old son. My boy loves everything truck, car, construction, farm, etc. If it has wheels it's cool in his book. The latest obsession of his are traffic cones found at job sites or...anywhere. I often hear an enthusiastic "Cone! Cone!" from the backseat of the car.

I wish I had filmed the moment I showed the cover of the book to my son.
It went something like this:
"Rory, want to read this new book with me?"
"Whhhooooooooaaaaaaaaa! Whoa, whoa, wow!"
Seriously.

The text bounces off your tongue in a delightful way. Full of rhymes and vivid verbs, alliteration and (of course) onomatopoeia, the book begs to be read aloud. And just try to read it without smiling. Impossible! Follow these inner-city builders as they create something special out of a drab plot of land. Four enthusiastic thumbs up from the boy and I! 

Author Bio: Jean Reidy is a two-time winner of the Colorado Book Award. Especially gifted at
writing for very young children, Jean is a frequent presenter at national and local literacy, writing,
and education conferences and at schools across the country—in person and via Skype. She is a
member of the Colorado Council International Reading Association and the Society of Children’s
Book Writers and Illustrators, and she serves on the board of Reach Out and Read Colorado. Jean writes from her home in Colorado where she lives right across the street from her neighborhood library, which she visits nearly every day. Visit her atwww.jeanreidy.com and on Twitter: @JeanReidy.

Follow Jean on the BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! tour!

Mon, Aug 22
Tues, Aug 23
Wed, Aug 24
Thurs, Aug 25
Fri, Aug 26
Sat, Aug 27
Mon, Aug 29
Tues, Aug 30
Wed, Aug 31
Thurs, Sept 1
Fri, Sept 2

Click here for a free classroom curriculum guide and storytime kit!

Enter to win!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! (U.S. addresses.)


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22. Picture Books in Secondary Classrooms

Picture books are short, visual, and engaging, which makes them perfect for using as mentor texts with elementary AND secondary students.

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23. Taking Wing

Sitting on a branch, the hawk
Seems regular in size.
He doesn’t reach magnificence
‘Til he takes to the skies.

Potential’s sometimes hidden
With the benefits it brings
But for man or beast it’s soon released
With the spreading of one’s wings.

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24. Girls for Marriage – Matrimonial Site

Girls for Marriage – Matrimonial Site Craze for Selfie… शादी कॉम, जीवनसाथी डॉट कॉम , Jeevansathi.com. या रिश्ते ही रिश्ते साईट हो  हमारे देश में लडकी के बडे होते ही शादी के लिए उपयुक्त वर की तलाश शुरु हो जाती है. लडकी कमाती हो , नौकरी करती हो तो कोई दिक्कत नही पर अगर लडकी काम काज न करती हो […]

The post Girls for Marriage – Matrimonial Site appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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25.

A good example of the exquisite technique called sfumato.
John William Godward's Contemplation, (1903)


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