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1. Robert Rodriguez Will Helm Live-Action ‘Jonny Quest’ Feature

The classic Hanna-Barbera TV series will get new life as a live-action feature film franchise.

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2. 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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3. Writing and Sitting

Writing writing writing.

My time has been spent sitting for long hours writing. With such a large project, it has seemed that I'll never get there. But now that I'm about 80% done, it is finally feeling ...  Can I say it? do-able.
Best of all I love it more than when I started.   Scary stuff, I know.

And as I've worked, I  have found a wonderful link with some amazing information I would like to share. Janice Hardy's Fiction University is so full of great, great things, I've bookmarked it way too many times. Thank you Janice. You rock.

Here's one to start you going-- Ten Traits of a Great Protagonist


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4. Dan Santat Interviewed by Don Tate: The #LA15SCBWI Pre-Conference Interview

Check out this great interview between SCBWI Team Blog's Don Tate and Caldecott-Winning Author/Illustrator Dan Santat!


They discuss work habits and tools, diversity, and what getting that Caldecott really means to Dan.

We also find out more about Dan's role in the Illustrator's intensive and how he'll be offering two breakout workshops and giving a keynote!

We hope you can join us for #LA15SCBWI! Detailed conference information and registration here.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

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5. Skyhorse & Salon to Launch the Hot Books Imprint

skyhorsepublishing304Skyhorse Publishing and Salon founder David Talbot are partnering together to launch a new investigative imprint called “Hot Books.” According to the press release, the Hot Books mission is to “ignite national debate on the most urgent problems facing the country, filling the investigative gap left by newspapers and magazines as they cut their budgets for in-depth reporting.”

The editorial team at Hot Books will acquire manuscripts that focus on “controversial issues” written by “fearless authors.” Some of the titles slated for release include Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Dick Russell’s Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Rebecca Gordon’s American Nuremberg, and Mark Hertsgaard’s Bravehearts.

Skyhorse and Salon will build a “co-branded digital platform” for this new venture. The Salon website will feature content from Hot Books titles such as excerpts, scoops, and author interviews.

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6. Which Image Format Should I Use? INFOGRAPHIC

Are you working on a design project and unsure which image type to use?

Companyfolders.com has created an infographic to help you discern between the different file types and decide when a jpg is better than a EPS for instance. Check it out:

You’re finally done with your design project, you go to save your file, and suddenly you’re bombarded with over a dozen possible image file types to choose from. It can be a bewildering experience if you’re not sure what you’re doing or the difference between them, but we’re here to demystify the process for you by helping you understand the cold, hard truth: There are only a handful of image formats that really matter.

We’ve got the entire graphic for you after the jump.

which-image-format-should-i-use-1

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7. Book Review: Frog by Mo Yan

Frog opens with a playwright nicknamed Tadpole who plans to write about his aunt. In her youth, Gugu—the beautiful daughter of a famous doctor and staunch Communist—is revered for her skill as a midwife. But when her lover defects, Gugu’s own loyalty to the Party is questioned. She decides to prove her allegiance by strictly enforcing the one-child policy, keeping tabs on the number of children in the village, and performing abortions on women as many as eight months pregnant.

In sharply personal prose, Mo Yan depicts a world of desperate families, illegal surrogates, forced abortions, and the guilt of those who must enforce the policy. At once illuminating and devastating, it shines a light into the heart of communist China.
Writing
There's obviously a reason that Yan is a Nobel Prize winner - the writing here is just stunning.  It's one of the rare books that may not contain much actions, but is still compelling enough to keep you from putting it down for a second.  It's definitely character-driven, and I loved the way it leads the reader to be both sympathetic with Gugu and disgusted with the choices she makes.  It's a great example of how everyday people react to living within a totalitarian regime.  While we frequently see the heroic resisters portrayed, this book takes a look at those who buy the party line - whether it's because they truly believe it's best or out of self-preservation.  As much as I hated the things Gugu does throughout the book, I really felt for her and I think it's a direct result of the way Yan develops her character through the eyes of her nephew.

Entertainment Value
As I mentioned above, the book is definitely character-driven and not full of action.  For me, that wasn't a problem at all.  I found the characters and their situations intriguing enough to keep me reading.  It's not a particularly difficult read, but it's not going to be a fast-paced read, especially if you're looking for something that reads quickly.  While it won't appeal to those looking for something fast-paced, I think it still has a pretty wide readership.  It's got beautiful descriptions of Maoist and post-Maoist China, but doesn't focus so much on the history that the reader is distracted from the characters.

Overall
I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be on the lookout for more by Yan, who has somehow never been on my radar before.  I think it's ideal for readers of literary and historical fiction, particularly those who aren't as keen on the romantic aspects that are typically present in historical fiction.  This is more about characters than romance, which I think is one reason it really appealed to me.  It's led me to a greater interest in China's recent history and inspired some research there, which is always a great thing to say about a book.  If you've read and enjoyed anything by Ha Jin, this is definitely one you'll enjoy.

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


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8. WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? Book Tour recap

I had a FANTASTIC time during my WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? Book Tour earlier this month. Thanks to Simon & Schuster Children's for making the book tour possible for me, and to all the schools, libraries and bookstores who participated.

For those interested, I've posted links to my photos and recap at DebbieOhi.com/2015booktour, including what I learned along the way.

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9. State Library of Queensland's Young Writers Award 2015

It's on again! The Young Writers Award is a short story competition open to Queensland residents aged 15 to 25. There's two categories - 18-25 year olds (for short stories of 2,500 words or fewer) and 15-17 year olds (for short stories of 1,500 words or fewer).

The prizes are terrific* so if you're a Queensland writer between 15 and 25 you should have a go! It'd be silly not to. And if you're not a young Queensland writer but you know a young Queensland** writer, you should tell them to enter.

Check out the website for more details and to enter (you should, you really, really should). Closes July 17, 2015.

*Including $2,000 to the Young Writers Award winner in the 18-25 category. You could buy a lot of books with that sort of money. Plus lots of other excellent prizes: memberships to Queensland Writers Centre and Australian Writers Marketplace online, an iPad, a Kindle, and more!

**I've used the word 'Queensland' so many times in this post it no longer looks like a real word to me. Queens-land? It's quite a strange name, really. What even is the letter Q?***

***P.S. I love Queensland, it's great. I most especially love the State Library.

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10. Robert Rodriguez set to helm Jonny Quest

jonny_quest_40829

A film that’s been in development hell for a number of years may have finally found its ticket to the screen. Sin City and Desperado helmer Robert Rodriguez has signed on-board the long gestating live action adaptation of Jonny Quest for Warner Bros per THR.

Rodriguez will be teaming with Terry Rossio (The Pirates of the Carribean series) on the script, and will also direct in his first outing since the poorly received Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.

Jonny Quest, the 1964 Hanna-Barbera adventure series, centered on the title character and his globe-trotting missions with his father, side-kick Hadji, and bodyguard Race Bannon, lasted only one season, but it made a big mark on pop-culture via syndication and a few revival attempts.

Without Jonny Quest, we’d have no Venture Brothers, and what a sad, sad world that would be.

Previous attempts to adapt Quest for the big screen included a Zac Efron-Dwayne Johnson starring film, directed by Peter Segal. So, at the very least, one massive bullet was dodged. We’ll see what Rodriguez, who is needs a bounce-back in a big way, can bring to the table. Given that his Spy Kids series was a big hit, this may be just what the doctor ordered.

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11. Jessixa Bagley and Laurie Ann Thompson Chat with First Book

Today’s blog post is part of our Stories For All Project series, focused on sharing the latest announcements and impact stories about our effort to put diverse, inclusive books into the hands of kids.

Jessixa Bagley and Laurie Ann Thompson authored two of our 2015 Stories for All Project title selections. The new picture book authors recently joined us for a Twitter chat to discuss their books “Boats for Papa” and ”Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah” and why diversity and inclusion are important in children’s stories.

Here are some of the highlights. You can see full answers to all seven questions and questions from our audience on the Storify for this chat.

Why do you think it is important that diverse books are available to all children?jb2

 

 

 

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How can books featuring diverse voices and experiences contribute to inclusivity?

jb3a jb3b

 

 

 

lat3a

lat3b

 How have you seen your book affect a reader?

jb7 jb7a

lat7 LAT8

Find out more! View the Storify of this Twitter chat.

 

The post Jessixa Bagley and Laurie Ann Thompson Chat with First Book appeared first on First Book Blog.

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12. Vendela Vida: The Powells.com Interview

Vendela Vida is a force to be reckoned with. She's written four novels and one book of nonfiction; she's a founding editor of the Believer and a cofounder of 826 Valencia, plus she's done some screenwriting. Her newest novel, The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty, is her strongest work yet. In this moving, darkly funny, beautifully [...]

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13. Interview: Joey Stern, co-founder of Geeks OUT talks Flame Con – NYC’s first ever LGBTQ comic convention

FlameConCard4x6-PRINT

Back in November, queer nerd organization Geeks OUT launched a kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of a convention by queer nerds, for queer nerds. A month later they’d far exceeded their $15k goal, raising nearly $20,000 to make their con a reality. I spoke with Joey Stern about what led him start Geeks OUT, how that led to Flame Con, and what queer geeks and their allied communities can expect from New York City’s first ever LGBTQ comic convention on June 13.

Edie Nugent: Tell me a little about your role at Geeks OUT and how you got involved with the organization.

Joey Stern: We founded Geeks OUT in 2010 after New York Comic Con.  There was only queer panel that year and it was so packed that you had to stand in the back just to be there.

We wanted to make an organization that connected these fans, and gave them a more than once a year event to gather and see each other. We also wanted to make NYCC a gayer place, so we held events and parties as we fund raised to get enough money for a table.

It was really intense, but a year later, we debuted at NYCC with monthly queer comic/geek events and a table where people could come and find a group for themselves.

Nugent: So how did you decide to make the leap from that to putting on an entire convention?

Stern: We and the board of Geeks OUT felt like it was a natural progression and an opportunity to introduce an existing queer audience to amazing queer and ally artists and creators.

There’s so much out there now, it’s really hard to find a lot of the stuff that’s made for you, and Flame Con offers a connection for people and creators to meet and find new passions.

It also creates connections and empowers queer fandom, which is an important part of what we do.

Nugent: Why do you think comic book fandom appeals to the queer experience?

Stern: There really is no art like Comic Books. It’s not only informative, but it offers a lot more context for the writers’ words than traditional books do (or paintings offer on their own). They also have an indie experience, and like queer culture, were for a long time considered the realm of weirdos and freaks.

Comics in general are often about exploring new worlds and future tomorrows. And I think that idea is really appealing to anyone who has experiences of being on the outer edge of polite society.

For me, the X-men’s construct of creating new family, and finding friendship with people like you was really informative.

Nugent: You really leveraged queer fandom to launch Flame Con, raising almost $20k for the event. Were you surprised by how much support you received?

Stern: Yeah! Oh man, it was terrifying, we were worried the whole thing was going to fail, but people really came out to support us and this effort. It just shows how vibrant and important this community is.

Nugent: Do you think recent media attention on sexual harassment at cons, especially of cosplayers, helped identify a real need for a more progressive type of con experience?

Stern: Sure! But I think a lot of that work has been done by cosplayers coming to the media. It’s been really amazing to see people having that conversation and pushing for safer spaces (and to see cons, like NYCC respond positively to those changes).

Nugent: What are some programming highlights from Flame Con that you’re excited about?

Stern: We’re excited to be putting on all sorts of programming – hopefully something for everyone! A panel about writing for LGBT teens hosted by award-winning author David Levithan, a Q&A with Steve Orlando, writer of DC’s upcoming Midnighter series (DC’s first ongoing title to feature a gay man as a lead character,) a great panel on queer horror with Mark Patton, star of the infamously queer Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge and Cecil Baldwin, voice of the hit podcast Welcome to Night Vale, a panel about looking at Sherlock Holmes from a queer perspective, a discussion with some up-and-coming industry pros about costume design, and lots more. We’re really packing something interesting into every minute of this con! There’s also a performance from Sarah Donner!

Nugent: What makes Flame Con different from other cons that aren’t queer-centric?

Stern: It’s tailored to its audience. All Gender bathrooms, queer artists and creators taking center stage, and panels that are not Gay 101, but a bit more focused.

Nugent: How so? 

Stern: Bigger cons have panels focused on Gay Artists, we have panels focused on writing Gay Sherlock Fan Fiction.

Flame Con is a one-day event on June 13 in Brooklyn. Here’s a complete list of guests appearing at the con. For more information check out their website and their Facebook page.

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14. Sheep Hand Fans

Facebook Sheep Contest-01Here's a question for you, imagine you are at the County Fair and it's August and it's hot. All you want is something to cool you down while you wander through the barns looking at the animals and vendors. You come upon a seller of fiber and there are hand fans for sell. Which of these two designs would you buy?

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15. BINC Reveals Higher Education Scholarship Winners

The Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation has revealed the winners of its 2015 Higher Education Scholarship Program. The foundation has awarded $200,000 to 53 students to help fund their continuing education.

The winners were chosen from a group of 128 applicants. From PhDs in sociology to degrees in teaching, theater and library science, the scholarships will help fund the education of industry booksellers/owners or their dependents or former Borders employees or their dependents. Follow this link to see a complete list of winners.

The awards were broken down in denominations of $10,000, $5,000 and $3,500. The scholarships can be used toward tuition, school fees, books and supplies, as well as room and board.

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16. Publishing Jobs: Penguin Random House, HarperCollins

This week, Penguin Random House is hiring a designer for Random House Children’s Books, as well as a senior publicist for WaterBrook Multnomah. HarperCollins needs a senior designer, and Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group is on the hunt for an associate marketing manager. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

Find more great publishing jobs on the GalleyCat job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented GalleyCat pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

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17. #BookADay: WON TON AND CHOPSTICK by Lee Wardlaw and Eugene Yelchin (Henry Holt).

Today's #BookADay: WON TON AND CHOPSTICK, written by Lee Wardlaw​, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin​ (Henry Holt).

Synopsis: "Won Ton cat's purrfect life with his boy is changed forever when the family adopts a (gasp!) puppy." More about the book, including a Teacher's Guide & Activity Kit. Lee was kind enough to answer Three Questions for me on Inkygirl.

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More info: Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge | Archives of my #BookADay posts

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18. Review: Paper Towns by John Green

With the infamous John Green’s Paper Towns movie releasing so soon (July 16th! So close! Cue ecstatic excitement!), how about we take a small peek at the book?! I read The Fault in Our Stars first and fell completely in love with the way John Green mashes humour and angst together. Relatable? I think yes. And, pfft, you […]

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19. Ever Shown Off Your Comic Collections? If Not -Why Not??


As most people know, I like to study...people.  I watch, when I'm not working or just need to relax because I am worn out, You Tube video blogs (vlogs) from comickers -mainly from the United States because the large number of UK comic vloggers has fallen by at least 90% in the last year.

I call these "transit comickers" -basically, yes, they got into comics because it was trendy.  What they said about comics, characters and companies showed their lack of any real knowledge.  But everyone has to learn, right?  So where there were BIG errors I used to correct them and I even got "thank yous" in return. But after a year, or less, it began.

"I'm not going to do any more vlogs on comics or reviews. I do really still care passionately about comics but can't get the inspiration to do more videos....."  and then "I've managed to buy an old style record player and there is a shop not too far off where you can buy all sorts of junk -including old LPs!"

At that time "old school" records and record players were a bit trendy.  It never lasted.  It never lasted with this vlogger either as a few videos later: "I finally managed to get what I always wanted -a motorbike!" and a couple videos later.....no more.

I've not seen this just once, or twice for that matter.  I had a huge list of channels I subscribed to on You Tube of comic people. Out of 25 only 4 are still going after two years -and they were always into comics.

After writing yesterday's post about how often comickers read their comics, I decided to search around and see whether the situation was any different in Europe.  Well, for one thing, there seem to be hardly any comic video bloggers on The Continent.  I find that near unbelievable. I hope I missed links somewhere!

I then looked at the USA where, yes, comic bloggers are dropping in number.  Many seemed to think comic vlogging was a way to get further TV media work even though they all seemed to use the same nasaly, high-pitched annoying voices.  The men all seemed to be clones and ditto the female vloggers though, I only mention this, cleavage seemed highly important (the comments of "You arec REALLY hot!" as well as some less savoury ones were all greeted by "Hi! Thanx!"

Comicgirl19 is probably the only comic vlogger who has never veered from her interests -comics, TV, movies and associated media.  It would take a massive amount of commitment and work to even try to match her work.

"Geek" and "Nerds" are so easily spotted.  They MUST have large spectacles, the comic t-shirts and their rooms are almost identical in the way they have arranged their collection amassed in the last year.  Or as one put it "I decided to jump into this comic geek-schtick and got myself glasses and purchased a load of boxes of comics and comic merchandise from thrift sales!"  Oh, and I love this: "I got about a dozen issues of Hulk comic which is a spin off from the successful Avengers movie!"

There are even, some badly done, "How to spot a geek/nerd" guides online.  

Amusement of another kind is hearing that some comic shops that pushed comics as an investment have been getting some angry responses from customers who have expressed the belief that they were "conned" because their comics are not worth what they paid for them three years ago.  One shop owner enrage a fomer geek by stating the comics would need "maybe 30-40 years to accrue value!"  Sorry, has a bull defecated somewhere?

That big comic implosion is coming.

I decided that, as no one really bothers reading what I write and takes notice, I would try to look at how real comickers store their collections.  I always find this fun when discussing it with other comickers and I think I have over exposed how I keep my collection!

Europe....I cannot find any images or blogs in which comic collectors are showing off their collection.  Even fellow blogger Subzero of Tales From The Kryptonian has never shown his collection online.  After two hours of searching today I gave up.

The UK, again...a couple photographs of someone holding up a Beano or comic annual and that is it. Really? Come on you Brits -show us your collerctions!


Above -American Robert Minshall and some of his collection.   See? This is how it's done.

In the US comics are "a thing" and collectors tend to like showing off their collections -see for instance vlogs by captainstrangelife or hippycollectables (on blog roll) or even Canadian Koestenbraunstar.

In Europe, particularly France and Belgium, comics or Bandes Dessinee are a cultural thing.  They probably think it rather silly showing off their collections!

But come on, UK -show what you've got!  Prove it isn't all about play-acting a "Geek/Nerd" or cos-play but about the comics themselves!

Seriously, do not make me show off my comics again!

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20. Beach Town Joins iBooks Bestsellers List

Beach Town” by Mary Kay Andrews has debuted on the iBooks bestsellers list this week at No. 14.

Apple has released its top selling books list for paid books from i-books in the U.S. for week ending May 25, 2015. “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins remained at No. 1. “Luckiest Girl Alive” by Jessica Knoll held the No. 2 slot and “Paper Towns” by John Green was No. 3 on the list.

We’ve included Apple’s entire list after the jump.

iBooks U.S. Bestseller List – Paid Books 5/25/15

1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – 9780698185395 – (Penguin Publishing Group) 2. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll – 9781476789651 – (Simon & Schuster) 3. Paper Towns by John Green – 9781101010938 – (Penguin Young Readers Group) 4. Memory Man by David Baldacci – 9781455586387 – (Grand Central Publishing) 5. 14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro – 9780316408769 – (Little, Brown and Company) 6. Fifty Shades Darker by E L James – 9781612130590 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 7. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – 9781476746609 – (Scribner) 8. Fifty Shades Freed by E L James – 9781612130613 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 9. The Forgotten Room by Lincoln Child – 9780385531412 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 10. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – 9781466850606 – (St. Martin’s Press) 11. Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James – 9781612130293 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 12. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – 9781607747314 – (Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony) 13. Gathering Prey by John Sandford – 9780698152519 – (Penguin Publishing Group) 14. Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews – 9781466872912 – (St. Martin’s Press) 15. Saved by Kelly Elliott – 9780988707436 – (Kelly Elliott) 16. The Liar by Nora Roberts – 9780698161351 – (Penguin Publishing Group) 17. Seveneves by Neal Stephenson – 9780062190413 – (William Morrow) 18. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough – 9781476728766 – (Simon & Schuster) 19. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – 9780440335160 – (Random House Publishing Group) 20. Stepbrother Charming by Nicole Snow – No ISBN Available – (Nicole Snow)

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21. ‘Song of the Sea,’ ‘Over the Garden Wall’ Win Reubens

The National Cartoonists Society has recognized the Irish animated feature and the Cartoon Network mini-series for outstanding achievement in animation.

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22. Artist of the Day: Inma Lorente

Discover the work of Inma Lorente, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!

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23. The Forgotten Sisters (2015)

The Forgotten Sisters. (Princess Academy #3) Shannon Hale. 2015. Bloomsbury. 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I enjoyed reading The Forgotten Sisters by Shannon Hale, the third in the Princess Academy series. The book opens with Miri so very excited to go back home to her mountain, to her father and sister. And she'll be traveling with the love of her life, Peder. Life couldn't really get any better for her. But. Apparently she hasn't earned her happily ever after just yet. The king has need of her, and she can hardly refuse his request. It seems war with a neighboring country is pending, and, she is needed as a teacher at a new princess academy. She'll be going away, far away, to teach three sisters--discarded members of the royal family. Swamp life is completely different from mountain life or city life. Does Miri have what it take to meet this new challenge in her life? How can she train these three when all they're concerned about is surviving: having enough food to eat day by day?!

Miri will have to be creative and brave and persistent. Readers should know by now, after having spent two books with Miri, that she is up to the challenge and that she'll always find some way to resolve things well.

I like this one. I think it's a great addition to the series. It does feel different from the others in the series, but, that isn't really a bad thing. I was quite pleased with the ending of this one. There were plenty of scenes that had me smiling. (But there were plenty of intense moments as well.)

I'd definitely recommend all three books.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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24. #700 – Jars of Hope by Jennifer Ray & Meg Owenson – CBW Winners

9781623704254
Jars of Hope: How One Woman Helped Save 2,500 Children During the Holocaust

Written by Jennifer Roy
Illustrated by Meg Owenson
Capstone Press          8/01/2015
978-1-62370-425-4
32 pages         Age 9—12

“Amid the horrors of World War II, Polish social worker Irena Sendler worked in the Warsaw Ghetto for Jews. When the Nazis began shipping Jews out of the ghetto in cattle cars, Irena started smuggling out babies and children to give them a chance to live. She hid babies in places like laundry piles, a carpenter’s toolbox, or a potato sack, and she helped older children escape through underground sewer tunnels. After the children were out of the ghetto, Irena found safe places for them with foster families or in convents. Irena kept records of the children she helped smuggle away and when she feared her work might be discovered, she buried her lists in jars, hoping to someday reunite the children with their parents.” [publisher]

Review
Irena Sendler is one of the unsung heroes of World War II. She is not in history books and few know about her work. Jars of Hope begins with Irena as a young child, hearing words from her father that would stay with her forever. She asked her father,

“Are some people really better than others?”

Irena’s father replied,

“There are two kinds of people in this world, good and bad.
It doesn’t matter if they are rich or poor, what religion or race.
What matters is if they are good or bad.”

In World War II, the Jews were not the bad guys and Irena decided to help those that were suffering the most . . . children. With the help of some trusted friends, the group smuggled 2500 children out of the Warsaw Ghetto. One good example was Antoni, who was allowed to drive his truck in an out of the ghetto. Together, he and Irena smuggled babies out in the back of the truck. Many cried. Antoni had a unique solution: Shepsi. Shepsi, Antoni’s talented sidekick, rode along in the front seat of the truck. With one touch of his paw by Antoni, Shepsi began barking, drowning out the baby’s cries. Eventually Irena joined Zegota, a secret group of Polish adults who helped the Jews with aid and rescue. Zegota helped Irena place children in foster homes and convents, but that association also got her arrested.

9781623704254_spd

The illustrations are emotional and stark, a reflection of the time, and yet beautiful. The images immerse readers into the 1940s and the realities of Irena’s work. I especially like the image of children climbing out of the sewer with only a flashlight shining down upon them as a guide. The young girl hoisting herself up onto the ground struck home, making the era come alive for me. The author includes an Afterword adding more about Irena’s life, a glossary, and an Author’s Note explaining why she wrote Jars of Hope.
What Irena Sendler went through to save so many others is beyond heroic. She put her life in danger every day, but thought nothing of it because others needed her help. Such a selfless spirit is rare. Irena dangerously kept a list of the children she rescued, believing every child deserves to know their real name—many received new, Catholic names upon rescue—and she wanted to reunite as many families as possible. The lists went into jars, and buried for safety.

Jars of Hope, and other books like it, should be in classrooms. Irena Sendler, her selfless aid of so many Jewish children is worth remembering. She is a hero, but much more than that, if there were just an appropriate word. Jars of Hope is a beautiful, dangerous story of hope at a time when all hope seemed lost, and of courage, in a time and place where courage barely survived. Jars of Hope is a must read for older children and adults. Jars of Hope also belongs in every school library.

JARS OF HOPE. Text copyright © 2015 by Jennifer Roy. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Meg Owenson. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Capstone Press, North Mankato, MN.

Pre-order Jars of Hope at AmazonBook Depository— Capstone Press.

Learn more about Jars of Hope HERE.
Meet the author, Jennifer Roy, at her website:  http://jenniferroy.com/
Meet the illustrator, Meg Owenson, at her website:  https://meganowenson.wordpress.com/
Find more picture books at the Capstone Press website:  http://www.capstonepub.com/

Capstone Press is an imprint of Capstone.

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Review section word count = 502

jars of hope

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Children’s Book Week Winners

Monday – The Luck Uglies (Book #1) by Paul Durham & Pétur Antonsson
Winner:  Robin Newman

Tuesday – Butterfly Park by Elly MacKay
Winner:  Lauren Tolbert Miller

Wednesday – Dress Me! by Sarah Frances Hardy
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Thursday – Fork-Tongue Charmers (Luck Uglies #2) by Paul Durham
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Friday – FRED by Kaila Eunhye
Winners:  C. L. Murphy & Mike Allegra

Congratulations to all the winners!


Filed under: 5stars, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, Picture Book Tagged: Capstone, Capstone Press, courage, heroes, Jars of Hope, Jennifer Ray, Jewish children, Meg Owenson, selflessness, Warsaw Ghetto, World War II, Zegota

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25. KidLit Author Events, May 26-June 9

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Well, my neck of the woods got a lot of rain this weekend, but we are fortunate to have made it through with no damage. The news over the rest of Texas and parts of Oklahoma is very sad, though. I hope all of you can stay safe through this rough weather.

We are getting into the summer slow-down on autor events, but the local Houston arts organizations are stepping up!

May 27, 10:00 AMlogo-scbwi
Gentle Critique, 9:30 AM
Barnes & Noble, College Station
Glows and Grows: Tips on Giving and Receiving Constructive Critiques

Join the Brazos Valley chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for discussion, news, and encouragement. The topic is “Glows and Grows: Tips on Giving and Receiving Constructive Critiques” with Alyson Greene and Candilynn Fite. Gentle critique begins at 9:30 a.m. Bring copies of 5 double-spaced pages of your work in progress. Those who have time stay for lunch at a local restaurant. Members and friends welcome!

May 30, Saturday, 4:30 PMWritespace
Writespace
Marian Szczepanski, Writing Workshop for All Genres
Using Object and Memory as Springboards into the Past
Cost: $30-$45

Objects and memories can carry significant resonance for literary explorations into the past – from personal experiences to collective histories. Learn how to use objects and/or memories, both personal and those shared by family members or history, as prompts for imaginative rumination and writing. We’ll consider examples in fiction (“Mortality” by Pablo Medina), poetry (“Mauches” by Angele Ellis), and creative nonfiction (an excerpt from Virgin Time by Patricia Hampl). This highly interactive class also will include joint exercises in creating meaning and exploring literary possibility from a provided object and historical event. As a prompt for individual writing, each participant will be encouraged to bring his/her own object – personal memento, family keepsake, or any item (or image) that interests or intrigues. I’ll have an assortment of new and vintage objects on hand for participants who prefer to consider something unfamiliar. This workshop is intended for writers of all genres, including writers of fiction, short story, personal essay, creative nonfiction, memoir, and poetry.

May 30, Saturday, 4:30 PMTHE DEATH CODE BY LINDSAY CUMMINGS
Murder By The Book
Lindsay Cummings, YA Author

Young Adult author Lindsay Cummings will discuss and sign MURDER COMPLEX #2: THE DEATH CODE, the action-packed, chilling sequel to her bestselling The Murder Complex. With short, fast-paced, alternating point-of-view chapters, The Death Code starts several weeks after The Murder Complex ends. Zephyr keeps the secret about Meadow close that if she dies, The Murder Complex will be destroyed, too. Meadow, desperate to find her brother, father, and little sister, is determined to fight fearlessly to the end, even if it means sacrificing herself and her friends, new and old. The Death Code introduces a memorable cast of secondary characters and delivers a vivid and scary thrill ride read. For fans of La Femme Nikita, Legend, and Hanna.

June 1, Monday, 7:00 PMlogo-scbwi
Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter Dr.
SCBWI Houston: Author Workshop
FREE

Join us for the Houston SCBWI monthly meeting where YA authors Rachel Harris & Kristin Rae will discuss Agents: Pros & Cons. Members and non-members alike are welcome to attend!

Now through June 30Houston Writers Guild Press
Houston Writers Guild
Short Story Contest
Entry fee: $25 HWG members / $35 non-members / $20 students or seniors over 65
Multiple entries: $15 for subsequent entries for members / $25 for nonmembers / $10 for students and seniors over 65

DIVE INTO MYSTERY Short Story Mystery Contest:

HWG is looking for original unpublished mystery short stories; stand-alone adaptations from a longer manuscript are welcome. Authors may submit up to 3 short stories for consideration in the contest. Please see their website for more information.

And a heads up for this event:

June 5, Friday, 6:00 p.m.
Blue Willow Bookshop
Joey Graceffa, YA Memoir Author

Star of TV and YouTube Joey Graceffa will meet and greet fans as they receive pre-signed copies of his book, IN REAL LIFE. Your book purchased from Blue Willow Bookshop is your ticket to this event. You may purchase IN REAL LIFE in-store, online or over the phone. At the time of your purchase, Blue Willow Bookshop will make a color line card that indicates your place in line.

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