What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(from all 1546 Blogs)

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1546 Blogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
1. Friday Feature: Crow's Rest by Angelica Jackson





Avery Flynn arrives for a visit at her Uncle Tam's, eager to rekindle her summertime romance with her crush-next-door, Daniel.

But Daniel’s not the sweet, neurotic guy she remembers--and she wonders if this is her Daniel at all. Or if someone--or something--has taken his place.

Her quest to find the real Daniel--and get him back--plunges Avery into a world of Fae and changelings, where creatures swap bodies like humans change their socks, and magic lives much closer to home than she ever imagined.

Coming out May 12 through Spencer Hill Press.

Check out the trailer!



Find the book on Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads.

In keeping with her scattered Gemini nature, Angelica R. Jackson has far too many interests to list here.
She has an obsession with creating more writing nooks in the home she shares with her husband and two corpulent cats in California's Gold Country. Fortunately, the writing nooks serve for reading and cat cuddling too.
Other pastimes include cooking for food allergies (not necessarily by choice, but she’s come to terms with it), photography, and volunteering at a local no-kill cat sanctuary.

Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Photo Galleries  |  Blog  |  Website

Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

Add a Comment
2. No Landscape but...More 3/5 Challenge Art

Here are a few more of my early illustrations, moving between whimsical and more realistic.





0 Comments on No Landscape but...More 3/5 Challenge Art as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
3. Happy 100th Birthday, Disney Legend Bill Peet! (Gallery)

Happy centennial birthday to Bill Peet (1915-2002) who was born in Grandview, Indiana exactly one hundred years ago today.

0 Comments on Happy 100th Birthday, Disney Legend Bill Peet! (Gallery) as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
4. Review: Effigy #1 Burns Bright

By Davey Nieves

EFFIGY #1

Effigy 2015 001 000 195x300 Review: Effigy #1 Burns Bright

 

Story: Tim Seeley

Art: Marley Zarcone

Colors: Ryan Hill

Letters: Jared K. Fletcher

Publisher: Vertigo

 

 

Gloomy, hard-hitting, make no apologies stories have been the status quo for fans who pick up any Vertigo book. After all this is the line that gave us The Sandman, Y: The Last Man, and The Wake.  Effigy by Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash)and Marley Zarcone may only get two out of the three, but this book is a rare occurrence where that’s actually what makes it a must read.

Writer Tim Seeley crafts a story about unhealthy obsessions that feels like it could only be told in this day in age given how many cautionary tales childhood actors have turned into. Effigy follows Chondra Jackson, a once bubbly star of a futuristic kids-as-cops series called Star Cops who after a downward spiral of typecasting and an ill-advised sex tape bottoms out into the life of a far less glamorous small-town cop. The night-and-day portrayal of Chondra captures her disconnect prom prominence exquisitely. This first issue doesn’t read so much as a behind the music type story, but more of a caution as to what the world around you can become when live most of your life in the clouds then have to deal with crashing towards reality. As she goes from being a glorified meter maid to a true detective we’ll see the high price of fame take it’s toll on those close to her and complete strangers who probably want to love her to death… literally.

Marley Zarcone’s art starts strong with so much energy in telling the back story of Star Cops. Then by design it settles into a more rural style. While not quite as energetic, it plays into creating a dichotomy of Chondra’s two lives. At first glance Ryan Hill’s colors seem like such a basic job, but when you see the panels containing more visual effects; it actually works in better highlighting these moments. The art does more than just add to Chondra’s already engaging story, it buttresses the –child-star to messed up adult– dark tunnel the audience is going to be taken through.

In a week where you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a good comic, Effigy carves out a noticeable place for itself and on your pull list. Issue one sets up a world of glamour, ritual murder, and mystery that could lead to this series being one of Vertigo’s best 2015 books.


Dave has never been a child star but had a childhood crush on Winnie Cooper and Stephanie Tanner here more about it @bouncingsoul217

0 Comments on Review: Effigy #1 Burns Bright as of 1/30/2015 1:11:00 AM
Add a Comment
5. Relief: The Kirkus Review of One Thing Stolen

“Rivetingly captures the destructive effects of mental and physical illness on a likable, sweet-natured teen.”—Kirkus Reviews

Something very bad is happening to 17-year-old Nadia.Ever since her family relocated to Florence for her father's sabbatical, she's been slipping out at night to steal random objects and then weave them into bizarre nest-shaped forms she hides from her family, and she's losing her ability to speak. The first section of the novel is related by Nadia in brief, near-breathless, panicky sentences that effectively capture her increasing disintegration. Switching smoothly between entrancing flashbacks of her promising past—"It was so easy, being me"and her painful, confusing present, which includes visions of a "fluorescent" boy with a pink duffle, real or imagined, Nadia relates her story in fragments. Her parents, remarkably slow to realize Nadia isn't just having trouble adjusting, finally contact wise, nurturing Katherine, a doctor, for help. The narrative switches to the voice of Maggie, Nadia's beloved friend and soul mate, who joins the family in Italy to help Nadia and to find the duffle boy, whose existence—or not—has become critically important. It is he who narrates the final brief section. With Nadia's jumbled personality slipping away, the change of narrative voice is especially disquieting, offering few guarantees of a happy outcome. Disturbing, sometimes unsettling and ultimately offering a sliver of hope, this effort rivetingly captures the destructive effects of mental and physical illness on a likable, sweet-natured teen.

0 Comments on Relief: The Kirkus Review of One Thing Stolen as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
6. Book Blogger Hop - 1/30 - 2/5

 Question of the Week:

Do you ever get comments from authors when you have posted or tweeted your review?
My Answer:

Oh yes.  I love it when I hear from the author either in a comment, in a tweet, or in an e-mail.

Authors appreciate what we have to say, and they want us to know it.

I have gotten comments from a number of authors.

What about you?  Have authors been in touch?








 




















0 Comments on Book Blogger Hop - 1/30 - 2/5 as of 1/30/2015 2:39:00 AM
Add a Comment
7. Agent Carter show runners reveal Black Widow connection

carter1 Agent Carter show runners reveal Black Widow connection

NOTE: Spoilers for Agent Carter to follow

It’s not often show runners confirm fan speculation before a plot point is revealed on-screen, but that’s exactly what happened when Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas — the team behind Agent Carter — talked with Eric Goldman of IGN. In an interview posted yesterday, the dynamic duo who helm the Peggy Carter vehicle revealed that Carter’s recently introduced girl-next-door Dottie “is a product of the Black Widow Program.” While Dottie showed off some moves that recall Scarlett Johansson‘s action-spy Natasha Romanoff in last Tuesday’s fourth episode of Agent Carter, her identity had not yet been confirmed in-story.

Butters also said that Marvel Studios and Marvel TV have been pretty open to large, impactful ideas: “It is a big idea to go and say, ‘What if it’s the last remaining sample of [Captain America’s] blood and can we put that in the show? They’ve been so excited about these ideas and so supportive. Us showing Dottie as a precursor to the Black Widow Program, Captain America’s blood, these are big things in this universe that they’re willing to let us play with.”

It’s certainly possible the Black Widow connection was publicized in hopes of peaking the interest of more MCU fans by revealing the show’s intentions to connect to the films.  Despite considerable critical success, the pastiche prequel to Captain America: The Winter Solider has seen it’s ratings drop consistently since it’s two-hour premiere on January 6: from a 1.9 to a 1.3, which represents a loss of several million viewers. While Agent Carter‘s ratings are currently comparable to those of companion show Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D., should Carter’s numbers continue to decline, it could put hopes of a second season on ice.

6 Comments on Agent Carter show runners reveal Black Widow connection, last added: 1/30/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
8. Illustration Friday: Passion


Ferdinand didn't understand why they liked to flail and scream like that whenever he wore his special hat, but he hated it with a passion.  So annoying.

Just squeaking by the IF deadline with something quick.  Have a wonderful weekend!

0 Comments on Illustration Friday: Passion as of 1/30/2015 2:09:00 AM
Add a Comment
9. Mirror Gazing review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Warren Motte's study of Mirror Gazing in literature.

Add a Comment
10. character names

Question: I'm having trouble naming my characters. I want something unique and different. Any advice would be much appreciated. Answer: If you want an

Add a Comment
11. Bella and the Bulldogs

BELLA AND THE BULLDOGSAre You a Bella Fan?

Bella is a head cheerleader at her middle school until her life takes an unexpected twist. Her rifle-like throwing arm takes her from the sidelines to becoming the starting quarterback in Nickelodeon’s newest live-action comedy series, Bella and the Bulldogs. Bella Dawson (played by Brec Bassinger) is a confident, caring, and talented teenager who suddenly finds herself fulfilling a lifelong dream. But she also has to navigate the world of her teammates Troy (Coy Stewart), Sawyer (Jackie Radinsky), and Newt (Buddy Handleson), without losing her two best friends, Pepper (Haley Tju) and Sophie (Lilimar) from the cheer squad.

BELLA AND THE BULLDOGS

Photo: Jim Fiscus/ Nickelodeon

Are you a fan of the new show, Bella and the Bulldogs? Let us know in the Comments.

-Sonja, STACKS Staffer

Add a Comment
12. Catalogging Consortium

Lots of great titles from lots of great small press publishers in the 2015 Consortium catalog - here are the ones that caught my eye with some catalog copy to describe them:

Three Kinds of Motion: Kerouac, Pollock and the Making of the American Highways by Riley Hanick (Sarabande Books). In 1943, Peggy Guggenheim commissioned a mural from Jackson Pollock to hang in the entryway of her Manhattan townhouse. It was the largest Pollock canvas she would ever own, and four years later she gave it to a small Midwestern institution with no place to put it. When the original scroll of On the Road goes on tour across the country, it lands at the same Iowa museum housing Peggy's Pollock, revitalizing Riley Hanick's adolescent fascination with the author. Alongside these two narrative threads, Hanick revisits Dwight D. Eisenhower's quest to build America's first interstate highway system. When catastrophic rains flood the Iowa highways with their famous allure and history of conquest, they also threaten the museum and its precious mural. In Three Kinds of Motion, his razor-sharp, funny, and intensely vulnerable book-length essay, Hanick moves deftly between his three subjects. He delivers a story with breathtaking ingenuity.

The Shark That Walks on Land....and Other Strange But True Tales of Mysterious Sea Creatures by Michael Bright (Biteback Publishing). When you dive into the sea, do you ever wonder what's down there, beneath you, poised to take an inquisitive bite? Author of Jaws Peter Benchley and film director Steven Spielberg certainly did, for below the waves lies a world we neither see nor understand; an alien world where we are but the briefest of visitors. The Shark that Walks on Land uncovers tales of ancient and modern mariners, with stories of sea serpents, mermaids and mermen, sea dragons, and the true identity of the legendary Kraken. But this book contains more than just a medley of maritime myths and mysteries for marine biologists; it celebrates wonderful discoveries by blending the unknown and the familiar in an entertaining miscellany of facts, figures, and anecdotes about the myriad creatures that inhabit the oceans. Along the way we meet the giants, the most dangerous, the oddballs, and the record breakers; and the shark that really does walk on land!

Enormous Smallness: The Story of E.E. Cummings by Matthew Burgess, Illus by Kris Di Giacomo (Enchanted Lion Books). Here E.E.'s life is presented in a way that will make children curious about him and will lead them to play with words and ask plenty of questions as well. Lively and informative, the book also presents some of Cummings's most wonderful poems, integrating them seamlessly into the story to give the reader the music of his voice and a spirited, sensitive introduction to his poetry.

In keeping with the epigraph of the book -- "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are," Matthew Burgess's narrative emphasizes the bravery it takes to follow one's own vision and the encouragement E.E. received to do just that.


Mischief and Malice
by Berthe Amos (Lizzie Skurnick Books).
Set in New Orleans, Louisiana, on the eve of World War II, Mischief and Malice is a brand new work from an iconic figure in young adult literature. Following the death of her Aunt Eveline, fourteen-year old Addie; who we first met in Berthe Amoss's classic Secret Lives; is now living with her Aunt Tooise, Uncle Henry, and her longtime rival cousin, Sandra Lee. A new family has just moved into Addie's former house, including a young girl who is just Addie's age. Meanwhile, Louis, the father of Tom, Addie's lifelong neighbor and best friend, suddenly returns after having disappeared when Tom was a baby. Between school dances, organizing a Christmas play, fretting about her hair, and a blossoming romance with Tom, Addie stumbles upon a mystery buried in the Great Catch All, an ancient giant armoire filled with heirlooms of her family's past, which holds a devastating secret that could destroy Louis and Tom's lives. Once again, Berthe Amoss has created an indelible portrait of a young girl coming of age in prewar New Orleans.

The Astrologer's Daughter by Rebecca Lim (Text Publishing Company). Avicenna Crowe's mother is missing.

The police suspect foul play. Joanne is an astrologer, predicting strangers' futures from their star charts. Maybe one of her clients had a bad reading?

But Avicenna has inherited the gift. Armed with Joanne's journal, she begins her own investigation that leads into the city's dark underworld. The clock is ticking, and as each clue unravels Avicenna finds her life ever more in danger.


The Keeper's Daughter
by Jean-Francois Caron, Translated by Don Wilson (Talonbooks)
. Young Dorothea is appointed by the tourist bureau to direct a documentary film re-enacting life at a lighthouse off Quebec's North Shore in the 1940s and '50s. To obtain material for the film, she is advised to interview an old woman, Rose Brouillard, the daughter of a fisherman who grew up on a nearby island in the St. Lawrence. Rose is finally tracked down in Montreal. She is now old: her memory and grasp of reality are hazy; nevertheless she tells her story and takes Dorothea back to scenes from her childhood. We see fishermen on the docks with their nets, hard-at-work villagers with shirtsleeves rolled up to the elbow, leafy gardens and tree-lined streets, all recreated from Rose's failing memory. The problem is that many of these scenes are invented, not real. Does that matter? Or are the stories we tell more important?

(This one is listed as "Finding Rose" in the catalog but "The Keeper's Daughter" at the publisher and online booksellers - not sure what it really is, though.)

Load Poems Like Guns: Women's Poetry from Herat, Afghanistan compiled & translated by Farzana Marie (Holy Cow! Press). A groundbreaking collection of poetry by eight contemporary Afghan women poets in English translation en face with the original Persian Dari text. These poets live in Herat, the ancient epicenter of literature and the arts.


The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain (Gallic Books). Bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street and feels impelled to return it to its owner.

The bag contains no money, phone or contact information. But a small red notebook with handwritten thoughts and jottings reveals a person that Laurent would very much like to meet.

Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions to help him, how is he to find one woman in a city of millions?

The Little Free Library Book by Margret Aldrich (Coffee House Press). Take a book. Return a book." In 2009, Todd Bol built the first Little Free Library as a memorial to his mom. Five years later, this simple idea to promote literacy and encourage community has become a movement. Little Free Libraries; freestanding front-yard book exchanges; now number twenty thousand in seventy countries. The Little Free Library Book tells the history of these charming libraries, gathers quirky and poignant firsthand stories from owners, provides a resource guide for how to best use your Little Free Library, and delights readers with color images of the most creative and inspired LFLs around.

Fanny Says by Nickole Brown (BOA Editions, Ltd). In this "unleashed love song" to her late grandmother, Nickole Brown brings her brassy, bawdy, tough-as-new-rope grandmother to life. With hair teased to Jesus, glued-on false eyelashes, and a white Cadillac Eldorado with atomic-red leather seats, Fanny isn't your typical granny in a rocking chair. Instead, think of a character that looks a lot like Eva Gabor in Green Acres, but tinted with a shadow of Sylvia Plath.

Chernobyl Strawberries by Vesna Goldsworthy (Wilmington Square Books). How would you make sense of your life if you thought it might end tomorrow? In this captivating and best-selling memoir, Vesna Goldsworthy tells the story of herself, her family, and her early life in her lost country. There follows marriage, a move to England, and a successful media and academic career, then a cancer diagnosis and its unresolved consequences. A profoundly moving, comic, and original account by a stunning literary talent.

The Surfacing by Cormac James (Bellevue Literary Press). Far from civilization, on the hunt for Sir John Franklins recently lost Northwest Passage expedition, Lieutenant Morgan and his crew find themselves trapped in ever-hardening Arctic ice that threatens to break apart their ship. When Morgan realizes that a stowaway will give birth to his child in the frozen wilderness, he finds new clarity and courage to lead his men across a bleak expanse as shifting, stubborn, and treacherous as human nature itself.

Well Fed, Flat Broke by Emily Wright (Arsenal Pulp Press). This collection of 120 recipes ranges from the simple (perfect scrambled eggs, rice and lentils) to the sublime (Orecchiette with White Beans and Sausage, Mustard-fried Chicken). Chapters are organized by ingredient so that you can easily build a meal from what you have on hand. Well Fed, Flat Broke has flavours to please every palette including Thai, Dutch, Indonesian, and Latin American-inspired recipes such as Kimchi Pancakes, Salvadoran Roast Chicken, and Pantry Kedgeree, reflecting a diverse array of affordable ingredients and products in grocery stores, markets, and delis.

Emily is a working mother and wife who lives with a picky toddler in one of Canada's most expensive cities. She offers readers real-talk about food, strategic shopping tips, sound advice for picky eaters, and suggestions on how to build a well-stocked, yet inexpensive pantry. Cooking every night can be challenging for busy families who are short on time and lean in budget; Emily includes plenty of one-pot dishes to keep everyone healthy, full, and happy.

Add a Comment
13. 50 States Against Bullying: WASHINGTON

The thirty-fifth stop on the 50 States Against Bullying campaign brought me to Washington. I got to my hotel Wednesday night, and when I looked out my hotel window the next morning, it looked like it would be a beautiful day.


But really, any day where I get to speak to students is a beautiful day!


Did that sound too cheesy? Well, too bad! Because it's true.

I entered Chinook Middle School and saw #ReasonsWhyYouMatter notecards in flag-formation.


The 7th and 8th graders filled the gym, and it was fascinating to compare the students with faculty at this school. The students had so much energy! They'd listen closely and quietly, but then laugh so easily it could take a while to bring the noise down again. Which made it fun for me! And the faculty? They were just as energetic. I don't know if they all do jumping jacks between class periods or what, but they're doing something right here.



Then I had a few hours before a signing at University Book Store, so I went to the EMP Museum, which has the best pop culture exhibits of any museum I've seen. They had an entire Nirvana exhibit, which included several recognizable Cobain sweaters.


Walking through the Sci-Fi rooms, every time I rounded a corner I thought of a different friend who would have geeked out over what they displayed. Like David Bowie's clothes and wig from Labyrinth!


But the area I was most excited to explore concerned horror movies.


They had one of those stick thingies from The Blair Witch Project...


...a panel of dials and levers used in many classic movies, like Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein...


...and a zombie suit from Michael Jackson's Thriller video, which was probably my introduction to horror.


But the scariest prop was still that wig over in the Sci-Fi room.


0 Comments on 50 States Against Bullying: WASHINGTON as of 1/30/2015 3:59:00 AM
Add a Comment
14. character appearance

Question: I have a pretty good idea of what I would like my character to look like, but it would really help to see it in front of me. I'm not the best

Add a Comment
15. What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week,Featuring Edwin Fotheringham,Juana Medina, and Stephen Savage


– From Doreen Cronin’s Smick!, illustrated by Juana Medina


 

“Monkey screeched and turned to Duck,
‘Buddy, ol’ pal, are we in luck!'”
– Spread (without text) from Jennifer Hamburg’s
Monkey and Duck Quack Up!,
illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham

(Click to enlarge)


 

– From Stephen Savage’s Supertruck


(Click to enlarge)

 
Today over at Kirkus, I write about the newest picture book from Michael Hall, called Red: A Crayon’s Story (Greenwillow Books, February 2015). That link will be here soon.

* * *

Last week I wrote about three new picture books, geared at very young children — Jennifer Hamburg’s Monkey and Duck Quack Up!, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham (Scholastic, February 2015); Doreen Cronin’s Smick!, illustrated by Juana Medina (Viking, February 2015); and Stephen Savage’s Supertruck (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, January 2015).

I’ve got art and preliminary images from these books below.

Enjoy.



 

Spreads from Doreen Cronin’s Smick!,
illustrated by Juana Medina
(click each to enlarge):


 



 



 



 



 

Early Roughs from
Stephen Savage’s Supertruck:


 






Eight images above: Failed covers


 

Final Art from Supertruck:


 


(Click to enlarge)


 


(Click to enlarge)


 


(Click to enlarge)


 



 

Older iterations of the title pages in
Jennifer Hamburg’s
Monkey and Duck Quack Up!,
illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham
(click each to enlarge):


 






 

Progression of a Spread
from Monkey and Duck Quack Up!
(click each to enlarge):


 

Edwin: The only spread…that was changed fairly dramatically is Monkey on the boat doing activities. This began as a boat elevation cut-away that turned into spots of individual activities. There are four iterations: 1) cut-away view; 2) activities in color blocks (notice water slide and pool in right panels); 3) activities in color blocks, version two (pool becomes food buffet); and 4) final art with activities in bouncy bubbles (water slide becomes disco). In the final version, other characters (in silhouette) were added to make the cruise less like a ghost ship.

 






 

Final Art (Without Text) and Cover from
Monkey and Duck Quack Up!:


 


“Up onstage, when it was time,
they wowed the crowd with one great rhyme …”

(Click to enlarge spread)


 



 

* * * * * * *

Illustrations from Monkey and Duck Quack Up! by Jennifer Hamburg. Illustrations © 2015 by Edwin Fotheringham. Used with permission from Scholastic Press.

SMICK! Copyright © 2015 by Doreen Cronin. Illustrations © 2015 by Juana Medina. Published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group, New York. Illustrations reproduced by permission of Juana Medina and the publisher.

SUPERTRUCK. Copyright © 2015 by Stephen Savage. Published by Neal Porter Books, Roaring Brook Press, New York. All images reproduced by permission of Stephen Savage, pictured below.


(Click to enlarge)

0 Comments on What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week,Featuring Edwin Fotheringham,Juana Medina, and Stephen Savage as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
16. Goats baking muffins ...


Goats baking muffins are just right for a children's book. I'm having fun going for a simple vintage sort of look - or at least trying for that effect. I too am a muffin baker. Oh yes, I bake up a weekly batch to take on my bike rides. I'm getting pretty good at it by now.

0 Comments on Goats baking muffins ... as of 1/29/2015 8:39:00 PM
Add a Comment
17. The ideal conditions for writing a book? Lari Don

Every time someone asks me how the new novel is going, I say the writing’s going fine, apart from all the things that get in the way. If only I could get a clear run at it, I say, I could have this book written in a month.

But I never get a clear run at it. And things always get in the way.

a week in which I did not get a lot of writing done, due to life happening
What gets in the way? School holidays. Leaking roof at the back of the house. Exam leave. Orthodontist appointments. Leaking roof at the front of the house. Promoting other books. And that’s just this month.

So I write in the gaps. In the moments of peace and quiet in the hurly burly of life. At night. Early in the morning. At bus stops. In staff rooms.

And I say, if only I could get a clear run at it… And I dream of the ideal conditions for writing a book.

Then I remember that I have never written a novel under ‘ideal conditions’. That every book I have written has been scribbled down around dentist’s appointments and ballet exams and minor household disasters. And that every book but the very first one has been written around author visits and promotional events.

So despite never writing under my vision of ideal conditions to write - long stretches of peace and quiet to think and to gaze at lovely scenery, while supportive but not intrusive people quietly provide healthy meals at regular intervals then clear up afterwards – despite that, I have already written six novels. (And more than a dozen other kids’ books.)

So perhaps I’m already writing under ideal conditions for making up stories. After all, what is currently getting in the way of my writing? Events (the roof!) and people (my wonderful family).

And what are my stories about? Events (the plot) and people (the characters).

So perhaps I need to be surrounded by, distracted by and infuriated by the messy and noisy business of being a human being, in order to be able to write.

Perhaps ideal conditions of peace and quiet and calmness would be far too sterile to inspire me.

Now, I must go and text the roofer, and while I’m waiting for him to get back to me, I’m sure I can write another few lines of that fight scene…



Lari Donis the award-winning author of 22 books for all ages, including a teen thriller, fantasy novels for 8 – 12s, picture books, retellings of traditional tales and novellas for reluctant readers. 


0 Comments on The ideal conditions for writing a book? Lari Don as of 1/30/2015 3:05:00 AM
Add a Comment
18. Meet Elena of Avalor, Disney’s New Hispanic Princess

Disney's hugely popular Princess brand is about to get even more lucrative with the introduction of its first Hispanic princess.

0 Comments on Meet Elena of Avalor, Disney’s New Hispanic Princess as of 1/29/2015 8:21:00 PM
Add a Comment
19. Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun - 1/30/15

Feeling Beachie
Love this meme....I hope you can join in the fun.  

Each week, Feeling Beachie lists four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs.  
The statements:
  1. Did you ___ the ____
  2. Sometimes you really need to _____
  3. If I were able to_____, I would___
  4. Different ways of_____makes_____
My Answers: 

1. Did you ever think the time would come when you would say you wish you were a certain age again?

2.  Sometimes you really need to step back and move out of a conversation.

3.  If I were able to be taller, I would like that.

4.  Different ways of thinking makes the world interesting.











0 Comments on Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun - 1/30/15 as of 1/30/2015 2:39:00 AM
Add a Comment
20. Shave

Add a Comment
21. Laureate for Irish Fiction

       They've announced that Anne Enright has been named the inaugural 'Laureate for Irish Fiction' -- selected from 34 nominees (including William Trevor, Edna O'Brien, and John Banville, among some other pretty big names).
       It's a three-year gig, and she:

will be expected to continue her work as a creative artist. In addition, over the course of her term, Anne Enright will spend one semester at University College Dublin and one semester at New York University.
       It also pays out €150,000 over the three years, which sounds pretty good, too.

Add a Comment
22. Dog likes to lay down on my #sketchbook because she wants to be...



Dog likes to lay down on my #sketchbook because she wants to be the centre of attention. #illustration #twelveprincesses #artstagram



Add a Comment
23. 2015 Mock Newbery discussions at Emerson, part 7: OUR WINNERS! + GIVEAWAY!!!

It's been an exciting journey with our students, reading and discussing what they think the most distinguished books for children have been in 2014. My students know their voices and opinions are valued--and that's made a huge difference to them. But even more than that, they've had a great time sharing their ideas with each other.

As a special celebration, I'm hosting a giveaway of one of these titles of your choosing. Please see below for full details!


The winner for the 2015 Mock Newbery at Emerson School is The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander. 

Students passionately argued that The Crossover was not just a book they loved, but the writing distinguished and distinctive. They shared examples about the characters, the plot and the language. Students from all sorts of different backgrounds connected to the themes and language in The Crossover. This is not just a sports book, but rather a book that operates on a multitude of levels. I think most of all, they responded Kwame Alexander's voice, in the way he both riffed on rap style but also wove deeper issues that made kids pause and think.

We celebrated three honor books that all received more votes than the rest of the titles. The three honor books for 2015 Mock Newbery at Emerson are:
The Swap, by Megan Shull -- a book that resonated emotionally with many students, because it captured some of the inner and social pressures kids feel today. The followed the complex plot, and found the voices clear and consistent. I especially appreciated the nuanced gender roles -- some typical for boys and girls, some less expected.
The Snicker of Magic, by Natalie Lloyd -- students responded to the lovely language, the heartfelt themes and the magical fantasy in Lloyd's debut novel. They understood how hard it was for Felicity to move every time things started to get tough for her mom. They could feel how important words were to Felicity. And they could see Felicity growing throughout the story.
The Fourteenth Goldfish, by Jennifer L. Holm -- it was wonderful to see how students responded to the layers of science, fantasy and family. There was just the right amount of depth to draw students in, but never overwhelm them. That balance takes incredible skill; Holm creates thought-provoking situations without making readers feel like they're being led into a discussion. Our readers responded to the humor, the heart and the love in this story.

Will any of these win the 2015 Newbery Medal? We'll all find out on Monday, February 2nd when the winners are announced in Chicago at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting. You can follow the live webcast here early Monday morning.

I'll be spending the weekend with my library "book friends", talking about favorite books we've read and new books we're looking forward reading this year. These four special books will certainly be ones I'll be sharing--because my students' excitement is contagious!

GIVEAWAY: As a special celebration, I would like to send one of these titles to a classroom or school library as a way to share a love of books. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway rulles are simple:
  1. Giveaway ends Thursday 2/5 at 12am Pacific.
  2. Winners must be to the United States shipping address.
  3. Kids & parents may enter, and present the gift to a teacher or school library.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


I want to give a special thanks to all the publishers who supported our book club by sending review copies. It made our small adventure possible. 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.

©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

0 Comments on 2015 Mock Newbery discussions at Emerson, part 7: OUR WINNERS! + GIVEAWAY!!! as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
24. Rachael Taylor joins AKA Jessica Jones as the MCU version of Hellcat

Rachael Taylor NBC 2014 TCA Winter Press Tour 01 1000x714 Rachael Taylor joins AKA Jessica Jones as the MCU version of Hellcat

Marvel’s second Netflix series, AKA Jessica Jones, has added a new cast member to join Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), and David Tennant (Kilgrave).

Per Variety, Rachael Taylor (666 Park Avenue, Charlie’s Angels) has signed on for the role of Trish Walker, Jessica’s best friend.

Here’s how they describe the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Walker:

Trish Walker, the best friend of Jessica, is a syndicated radio talk show host, former model and child television star who’s best known to her fans as ‘Patsy’ Walker, based on the Marvel Comics character who appeared under the superhero identity of Hellcat. In the series, Trish will help Jessica embark on the most dangerous case of her career.

Hellcat has recently had a nice bit of profile elevation lately in the pages of Charles Soule and Javier Pulido‘s soon to be concluding critical favorite, She-Hulk; of which, my heart remains broken.

AKA Jessica Jones, developed by Melissa Rosenberg (Step Up, Twilight), is quickly following Daredevil‘s footsteps in some great casting moves. The debut of these series can’t come soon enough. I may actually have two shows that I binge on in one year, a personal record!

Expect to see this newest Marvel offering sometime in 2015 following Daredevil‘s April debut.

1 Comments on Rachael Taylor joins AKA Jessica Jones as the MCU version of Hellcat, last added: 1/30/2015
Display Comments Add a Comment
25. Why I Can Never Benefit From Groupie Groups

Literary crushes and book boyfriends--they're a thing. I was kind of stunned when I first heard about them a few years ago. Various bloggers would carry on about their book boyfriends, a popular one being Mr. Darcy, that narrow-minded stick-in-the-mud, from Pride and Prejudice. Crushes, I always thought, were sort of shallow, not something anyone would admit to. Especially crushes on imaginary people. Especially if you were an adult.

But book people do enjoy them and do like to talk about them, and writers can talk about theirs in Special Features that will get shared on social media and everyone will love reading it. And I will never be able to be part of that because I don't do crushes particularly on imaginary people.

And when I like a really terrific character I don't crush on them, I want to be them. But not Mr. Darcy. And not Elizabeth Bennet, either. Jane Eyre, okay. Jo Bhaer in Little Men, not Jo March in Little Women. I wanted to be Sherlock Holmes when I was a kid. Not so much now.

0 Comments on Why I Can Never Benefit From Groupie Groups as of 1/29/2015 11:21:00 PM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts