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1. Reading Bingo Starts Today!

Reading Bingo

Reading Bingo Day 1

Here is everything you need to get started playing STACKS Reading Bingo.

Rules and Procedures:

  1. Print your Bingo card.
You can print as many Bingo cards as you want.Reading Bingo card
  • Easy Bingo: If you have read any books that fit in any of the squares, you can write them in. For example, A1: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. You will have to report the titles for each square to prove that you have Bingo.  If you want an extra challenge, skip this step and go to step 3.
  • CHALLENGE Bingo: When we announce a book title on the STACKS, check your Bingo card and see if that book fits in any of the squares. Write down the book title in the proper square. This is harder because you can only use the books that we call out.
  • Each square must be a different book title. No repeating the same book!
  • You must have read the book OR are currently reading the book.
  • Every day, the way to win will be different, so you could get Bingo every day. The way to win today is to get 5 squares in a row either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Tomorrow, it will be different!
  • When you get Bingo, yell it in the blog Comments and tell us which books you put in which squares. (A1: book title, A2: book title . . .)
  • The first book clue is . . . .The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm book cover

    The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer

    If you have read this book, then choose the Bingo square it fits in and write in the title.

    Check Ink Splot 26 and the Harry Potter Message Board

    all day today for more book clues. When you get 5 in row, yell BINGO! in the Comments. Good luck!

    image from kids.scholastic.com— Sonja, STACKS Staffer

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    2. BOBBEE BEE: STAND BY ME


    0 Comments on BOBBEE BEE: STAND BY ME as of 4/20/2014 7:11:00 PM
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    3. Science Poetry Pairings - African Animals

    I believe I have more books on animals and nature than any other topic in my teaching library. As a science teacher, that probably doesn't surprise you. However, my love for animals started long before I began teaching. When I was young I tried to ensure I never missed an episode of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. That show started a life-long fascination for animals of all types. However, it was a drive through Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee, Florida in 1970 (I was nearly 5) that cemented a life-long fascination for African animals.

    Today's book pairing showcases the amazing animals of the African continent.

    Poetry Book
    African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways, written by Avis Harley with photographs by Deborah Noyes, is a collection of 18 acrostic poems, each accompanied by a gorgeous photograph of the animal described. Poems cover the crocodile, rhino, kudu, lion, hornbill, elephant, stork, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, ostrich, African wildcat, lioness, bonobo, impala, hippo, bat-eared fox, and leopard. 

    Here's how the book opens.
    ACROSTIC (uh-Kros-tik)

    Welcome, all poets--both new
    Or well versed. Non-rhymers or
    Rhymers! Come,
    Dive in headfirst!

    Inviting all writers--
    Now you're just the right age.

    Explore the acrostic that rides
    Down the page.
    Get a word you
    Enjoy and would like to define.
    Write it down vertically
    And fill in each line.
    Your name is a very good way to begin.
    Surprise yourself. Find that poem within!
    The poems in this book are deftly created, with words spelled out vertically range from single words (herald, lying, poppet, outstanding) to phrases (wild stripes, cloud friends, fatherly advice, beauty in the beast). You'll find much more than simple acrostics here, with Harley including double acrostics, a quintuple acrostic (yes, that's FIVE words), and concrete acrostic. The patterns that exist within them never get in the way of the poem itself, and finding them is a bit of a surprise. 

    Here's one of my favorite poems. 
    A Croc Acrostic

    Crackerjack-attacker
    Reptile-in-my-dream
    Old-mythmaker
    Carnivore-supreme
    Open-opportunist
    Dragon-eye-agleam
    Inner-grinner
    Lizard-wizard
    Enemy-extreme!
    Poems © Avis Harley. All rights reserved.

    Back matter includes More About Acrostics where Harley describes and provides examples of the types found in the book, Nature Notes on each animal, and A Note From the Photographer describing her experiences capturing photos of the scenes and animals in the book. 

    Nonfiction Picture Book
    African Critters, written by Robert Haas, is a first person account of his experiences photographing animals while on safari in different parts of Africa. After an introduction entitled Welcome to Africa, Haas writes about observing leopards, elephants, wild dogs, lions, scavengers (hyenas), the big grays (hippos and rhinos), itty bitty critters (Oxpecker bird, purple dragonfly, dung beetles), and cheetahs. Each chapter tells a true story about the location (Mala Mala, Okavango, Sabi Sand, and other places) and the animals observed there. The first person observation of the habitats and behavior of the animals is extraordinary. Also included are several small informational boxes in each chapter that provide additional information about the animals.

    Here's an excerpt from the chapter The Scavengers of the Savanna (pp. 53-61).
         In the animal world, it is wrong to pin the label of "good guys" on certain critters and "bad guys" on other critters. Each type of animal must survive in its own way.
         For most meat-eaters, or carnivores, finding food is difficult and dangerous. It means capturing other critters who are usually able to escape and often willing to fight for their lives.
         Certain critters, known as "scavengers," will feed on the meat and bones left behind by other hunters. The best-known scavenger in all of Africa is the hyena. 
         After many safaris I had learned to respect the hyena as an animal with unique skills and a special role in the African wilderness. At first, I thought the hyena was simply a scavenger who would eat scraps from a fresh lion kill. But the hyena is also a fierce hunter who brings down prey after a chase that lasts for miles. And hyenas play an important role in their ecosystem. With a huge set of powerful jaws, they crush and eat even the largest bones left behind by lions and leopards. That way, they recycle food that others can't digest.
    And here's an example of one of the informational boxes from this chapter.
    Learning About Hyenas 
    The largest type of hyena in Africa is known as the spotted hyena. Spotted hyena cubs are all black. The coat of an adult is thick and coarse with dark spots, and its muzzle is black. Female spotted hyena are larger than males, and the clan is usually led by a female. Even though clan members often hunt as a team, once their prey is brought down, each hyena fights for its share of the carcass.
    Text © Robert Haas. All rights reserved.

    Every chapter is packed with information about the animals and how they survive in the often harsh African wilderness. Back matter includes additional information on animals highlighted or mentioned in the chapters, an author's note on the photography and creation of altered and combined photos in the book, a glossary, extensive index, short list of references, and a nice list of books on animals by other National Geographic photographers.

    Perfect Together
    Harley's poems and Haas' observational stories offer an incredible introduction to the world of African animals. Begin with Harley's poems Moody Guy (rhino) and Sipping the Sunset (hippo). What kind of clues about them can you find in the acrostic words? Then read Haas' chapter on The Big Grays. Ask students what similarities and differences they found between the two descriptions of the animals, what surprised them, and the most interesting thing they learned. Continue on in this fashion, matching poems to the chapters in AFRICAN CRITTERS. When you're finished, consider making a class book on African animals.

    For additional resources, consider these sites.
    And just in case you're interested, here's a photo from our 1970 visit to Lion Country Safari.

    0 Comments on Science Poetry Pairings - African Animals as of 4/21/2014 12:25:00 AM
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    4. Can You Identify These Famous Animation Artists As Children?

    We're entertaining ourselves on Cartoon Brew's Instagram account this afternoon with a series of childhood photos of famous animation folk. How many can you identify? Click on the images for the answers.

    0 Comments on Can You Identify These Famous Animation Artists As Children? as of 4/20/2014 8:23:00 PM
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    5. Sinan Antoon Q & A

           In the Irish Times Martin Doyle has a Q & A with The Corpse Washer-author Sinan Antoon.
           Among his responses:

    What book would you give to a friend's child on their 18th birthday ?

    Nowadays, George Orwell's 1984.

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    6. Disney Explains Importance of Life Drawing

     

    Disnery Master Teachers teaching the crowd about Life Drawing

    Disnery Master Teachers teaching the crowd about Life Drawing

    When someone thinks of the name “Disney,” many things can come to mind; Some may think of their theme parks. Some their animated films. Some may look back on fond childhood memories. And others might think of a cartoon mouse that wears pants, gloves, and shoes. But when I hear “Disney,” my first thought is that of “quality.”

    Disney has been pushing the boundaries of films, animation, and attraction technologies for many decades. But the one thing that ties them all together is the detail that goes into them. Take for example the movie The Little Mermaid. Before then, animated movies still hadn’t found a spot in the mainstream of feature films. After seeing that film, no one could deny that it was something great. The animals and characters alike were so well done, just as the sceneries.

    Life drawing is the practice of using a model and drawing/sketching it out. Disney has done the practice consistently for many years. They’ve been known to have models come to the studio so they can sketch them and see how they move. Even a baby elephant or two has made it to their studios for study. And what of 3D movies? John Lasseter of Pixar and Disney Animation used a small camera to understand how things looked from a small perspective in his second Pixar feature A Bug’s Life. With this, he was able to have artists do preliminary drawings to later get the three dimensional effects to look realistic.

    The current masters of Disney teachers pass on the importance of the practice to the next generation of Disney designers and animators. The four that showed for the panel today held at beautiful WonderCon Anaheim were Bob Kato, Karl Gnass, Mark McDonnell, and Dan Cooper, moderated by Fast Company’s Susan Karlin. Each of these artists have been doing what they do for a number of years, and have a number of books published on the practice of life drawing.

    After a brief hiccup where an audience member (who in my personal opinion was celebrating 4/20 in hard fashion) kept interrupting to say how much he respected these men, Susan Karlin led the collective through their thoughts on the subject of life drawing. Karl Gnass explained that, “Life drawing is based understanding. When a show is over, that is your resource to go back to.” Bob Kato added, “Drawing is a language. A show may need a certain style, and you need to be able to speak it.”

    The panel then further went into that life drawing allows the artist to understand how someone can move, can bend, how it ultimately works. Art ultimately references real life in its core. “If you’re designing without a foundation, you’re designing a lie from a lie; Something from an abstract idea. And the further you get from the truth, the more it gets distorted. Like the telephone game.”

    Whether you draw, design, or whatever, you have to put the time into understanding what you are doing and how you want to convey that. “There are no shortcuts,” says the panel almost in unison. “There needs to be skill, life in it. You have to have an understanding of the infrastructure.”

    Ultimately what it comes down to is that no matter if you’re going to be a 2D artist or a 3D one, life drawing helps to teach one how to give their creation life and emotion. Having this particular skill in your artistic toolbox will keep your work real.

    ~Nicholas Eskey

    1 Comments on Disney Explains Importance of Life Drawing, last added: 4/21/2014
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    7. Monday Poetry Stretch - Tritina

    I've been working on a series of longer form poems recently, namely the villanelle and sestina. Whenever I get stuck on the sestina, I go back and work on the tritina. 

    Helen Frost has a number of helpful worksheets on poetic form on her web site. She suggests starting with the tritina since the sestina is a more difficult form. This is an idea I have taken to heart.

    Here are the nuts and bolts of the form.
    10-line poem made of three, 3-line stanzas and a 1-line envoi

    There is no rhyme scheme but rather an end word scheme. It is:
    A
    B
    C

    C
    A
    B

    B
    C
    A

    A, B, and C (all in the last line/envoi)
    So, the challenge for the week is to write a tritina. Won't you join us? Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

    0 Comments on Monday Poetry Stretch - Tritina as of 4/21/2014 12:25:00 AM
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    8. Alistair MacLeod (1936-2014)

           Canadian author Alistair MacLeod has passed away; see, for example, Mark Medley's obituary in the National Post.
           None of his books are under review at the complete review, but I certainly admired his work; get your copy of No Great Mischief at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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    9. Big Ass Spider! (SyFy movie)

    That movie title certainly gets your attention!  It was on the SyFy channel Saturday night, and I decided to take a look 'cause I was curious; I realized fairly soon that it was one of those comedy/horror combos with the gore kept to a minimum--well, as much as is going to happen in one of these movies.  People were dropping like flies...  I've seen this genre before; I wonder if it's the same producers.  Anyway, it was fun.  The sidekick, who lived, was Mexican and funny.

    I watched the beginning of Bigfoot after that--also on the SyFy channel; I don't usually watch Bigfoot movies; I was just curious about the beginning, which was interesting: A dragonfly lands on a plant and is eaten by a frog; the frog jumps in the water and is eaten by a fish; the fish is caught by a bear on the bank; the bear is shot by a hunter; and Bigfoot gets the hunter.  Yes, it's a cliche, but it worked.

    I caught the very end of Piranha, which was on first.  I've seen endings with teasers about surviving monsters, but I don't recall seeing an ending like that!  Oh, and I see that Sharknado 2 is upcoming (July, as I recall).  I liked where a shark jumped up and took a bite out of the letter S in the title before dropping off.

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    10. Anyone for Easter Solitaire? - Megan Rix


    Did you know that there’s actually an Easter Solitaire game on the internet? I never let myself play games on my computer because I know it'd be too easy for me to get addicted and I'd end up spending all my days playing instead of writing. l don’t switch the TV on during the day either - for the same reason. :(

    I was only looking up card games for this blog because I’d read that there are more ways to arrange a deck of cards than the number of atoms in the world!!!!?????!!!!
    http://boingboing.net/2014/04/05/there-are-more-ways-to-arrange.html

    Quite often I hear authors say: l wanted to write a story about such and such eg. vampires (lions (hedgehogs) headless zombies / Cinderella etc etc but I didn’t because so and so had already done it.

    But the thing is, I always want to say, the way youtell a story is personal to you. Even if you start off with the same characters you will end up with a different story by the end because your version is different to everyone else’s. There’s lots of lovely writing exercises at http://writingexercises.co.uk

    Every character we write about has multiple choices to choose from and every plot a myriad of twists and turns.

    There's a whole TV channel devoted to crime dramas and each of them are their own unique selves.

     

    Just like the storyteller and the story.

    Hope you all have/had a very happy and creative Easter break. I'm still dancing with joy at my first ever book award. 'The Victory Dogs' has won Stockton Children's Book of the Year for 2014. Many many thanks to all the children that voted for it. :)







    0 Comments on Anyone for Easter Solitaire? - Megan Rix as of 4/21/2014 1:35:00 AM
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    11. At the Dog House

    Visiting friends with some visiting dogs
    As well as the two of their own,
    Was to be the receiver of licks gone amok,
    The slobbiest ones I have known.

    For canines get cozy the minute they sense
    That you'll be both receptive and kind
    And then they unleash their affection as if
    You're the best friend that they'll ever find.

    So it was an evening of nuzzles and drool
    And tail thumps and smooches galore,
    More doggie love given in one single night
    Than I've ever been given before.

    When we said our goodnights, with the dogs at the door,
    We were not the attraction we'd been;
    For to them, we had passed like a ship in the night,
    Though their slobber was still on my skin.

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    12. Monday Mishmash 4/21/14



    Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:

    1. YA Fest  On Saturday, I attended YA Fest with 49 other authors. It was crazy awesome. I got to meet my Month9Books family who I've talked to online but never met in person before.
    Pab Sungenis, Jackie Kessler, Me, Jen McConnel, Janice Bashman, and Donna Gallanti












    I also finally met Jennifer Armentrout in person, which was awesome since she blurbed my Touch of Death series for me.


    Kate Kaynak photo bombed a picture, giving Lisa Amowitz bunny ears. ;)


    So, I took a picture with Kate.

    The lovely Kimberly Miller was nice enough to take a picture of me at my table.

    I got a nice surprise when my friend and fellow author, Beth Consugar, showed up. We'd never met in person before.

    Here's me with YA Fest founder, Jennifer Murgia, who happened to blurb The Monster Within for me.

    And here I am with the totally sweet Jen McConnel. Seriously, what a sweetheart!

    And that's probably way more pictures than you wanted to see, but I had an absolute blast and had to share. 

    2.  Monroe County Book Expo  I'll be at the Hughes branch of the Eastern Monroe County Library on Saturday from 10am-3pm signing copies of all my books, PB through YA, and my Ashelyn Drake title, Campus Crush.

    3.  Editing  I'm editing for clients this week along with working on revisions for two of my books. April has been such a busy month for me.

    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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    13. Hove on 'the day Zimbabwe became independent'

           In the Mail & Guardian 'Chenjerai Hove reminisces about what April 18 1980 meant for him', in Free at last: The day Zimbabwe became independent.
           The obscenity that was Rhodesia is certainly not missed; still, one wishes a bit more of the promise had been realized by now.

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    14. ~HaPpY EaSteR~

    ©the enchanted easel 2014

    just a quick sketch of a cute bunny...with his little pinwheel flower. :)

    hope everyone has/had a happy and blessed Easter!

    0 Comments on ~HaPpY EaSteR~ as of 4/20/2014 8:43:00 PM
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    15. WonderCon Anaheim 2014: The Talk Back!

     

    John Rogers looking as stoic as usual.

    John Rogers looking as stoic as usual.

    Though WonderCon has been in Anaheim for three years now, no event goes without some sort of hiccup or two. Myself being more use to the larger conventions like Comic-Con in San Diego, I was prepared to hear a pummel of negative feedback from the line gathered for this year’s Talk Back panel. A familiar face, president of Comic-Con Internation John Rogers, sat alone at the table, thick notebook at the ready. Those not in the know, this panel is geared toward hearing the thoughts and concerns of fellow convention goers to see what was done well, or what issues need to be addressed. Comic-Con’s Talk Back’s are known for some heated words and hurt feelings.

    But for WonderCon, that really wasn’t the case.

    What I thought would have been a large line actually only mounted to maybe about a dozen individuals, almost of which had positive things to say about the convention. The compliments ranged from, “easy check-in process,” “great hotel selections,” to “very well managed.” The consensus though was “please keep WonderCon in Anaheim.”

    The few meager grievances that were mentioned were the lack of chairs afforded to exhibitors, and of security. It seems that every year, despite what convention you go to, security is always an issue. Since these conventions get so large, a third party security company is needed to help. They aren’t direct employees of the convention, but of the security company, and this allows for a lot of the security personal to be unaware of certain comings and goings. “One security guard told us to wait in a line against the wall for one of the halls, and then later another security guard told us we couldn’t be there,” says one man. “It’s hard to have to listen to someone when they don’t all communicate.”

    As for suggestions for the future of WonderCon, one gentleman asked if there were plans to expand into the other halls and rooms of the convention center. John Rogers answered, “We’ve added some additional space compared to last year. We don’t want to go too crazy too fast. That’s what happened with Comic-Con, and now it’s just too hard to manage.”

    As I mentioned earlier on how everyone asked to keep WonderCon in Anaheim, the very last person in line posed the question directly; “Will WonderCon be back in Anaheim next year?” In reply, Comic-Con president said, “At this time nothing is finalized if WonderCon will be back in Anaheim next year. We are looking at a few other options, so we’ll make that announcement once we know.”

    I was happy to hear all the great things said by WonderCon attendees. The air was positive, and everyone seemed generally happy with how the convention was slowly evolving. Whether or not WonderCon will be back in Anaheim next year and keep these good vibrations, it will remain to be seen.

    ~Nicholas Eskey

    1 Comments on WonderCon Anaheim 2014: The Talk Back!, last added: 4/21/2014
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    16. Maryam's Maze review

           The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Mansoura Ez Eldin's Maryam's Maze.

           (The review appears just ...2537 days after I received the review copy. Which demonstrates that little is lost in the piles surrounding me, and there's always a chance I will still get to a title from way back when .....)

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    17. About Suzanne Lieurance, author of 'The Locket: Surviving the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire'

    Thank you for following the virtual tour for my historical novel, The Locket: Surviving the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire from Enslow Publishers. Although the tragic event that is the basis for this book happened over 100 years ago, I think it is important for children today to know and understand what life was like for the garment workers in New York City back then.

    Obviously, this book was designed for classroom use as a way to supplement the regular social studies textbooks when it comes to helping students learn about events in American history. But I think readers enjoy the book mainly because they get to know and like the main character, Galena, an eleven-year-old Russian-Jewish immigrant, who lives in New York City with her family and works at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory with her older sister, Anya. 

    When I visit schools across the country I sometimes talk to students about using real events in history as the basis for creating fictional stories. I even have a workshop about this, so I can guide students to choose historical events to research so they can create fictional characters who witnessed these events.

    I love to visit schools, libraries, and bookstores to talk about my writing and my books. I particularly enjoy helping teachers and school librarians see how they can use nonfiction to help students write better fiction. Teachers and librarians can find out more about my school visits at my website at http://www.suzannelieurance.com

    If you’re a teacher, librarian, or a parent who homeschools, download a free Educator’s Guide for The Locket here now.

    Here are a few short reviews of the book:

    "The author has done a wonderful job on character development and the description of the fire in the factory was compelling."
    "The fictionalization of a real historical event and the dramatization of early labor issues involves reader[s] in a fast-paced, gripping story hard to put down."
    "This book will serve to inform readers on the working climate of the time as well as the struggles of immigrants to conform to a new country and new society."
    "Woven together in perfect compatibility, the historical background and fictional plot give readers a clear insight into Jewish immigrants and ritual . . . and unfair labor practices, and there is excellent foreshadowing of the fire."
    ". . . brings American history to life through fictional characters and historically accurate plots."
    ". . . an insightful story that will appeal to young readers as well as providing them with a clear understanding of the working conditions at the time . . . a very well written book that will relate well to many young readers."
    -----------------------------
    Suzanne Lieurance is an author, freelance writer, writing coach, speaker and workshop presenter. She is a former classroom teacher and was an instructor for the Institute of Children's Literature for over 8 years.

    Lieurance has written over two dozen published books and her articles and stories have appeared in various magazines, newsletters, and newspapers, such as Family Fun, Instructor, New Moon for Girls, KC Weddings, The Journal of Reading, and Children's Writer to name a few. She offers a variety of coaching programs via private phone calls, teleclasses, listserv, and private email for writers who want to turn their love of writing (for children and/or adults) into a part-time or full-time career.

    Connect with Suzanne on the web:


    Watch the trailer: 



    0 Comments on About Suzanne Lieurance, author of 'The Locket: Surviving the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire' as of 4/20/2014 8:29:00 PM
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    18. It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4-21-14

    Thanks to our dynamic hosts: Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kelle at Unleashing Readers.
    Head to either blog to find reviews as well as dozens of links to other blogs filled with reviews!

    Hello Vacation!  If you're enjoying a week off I wish you a wonderful, energizing and also restful break from your regular schedule.

    Books I Read this Week:

    The Quantum League: Spell Robbers by Matthew J. Kirby
    Scholastic Press, 2014
    Science Fiction
    263 pages
    Recommended for grades 4-6

    Right off I was reminded of 2013's The Ability, a story where kids are honing in on a mental power within themselves.  This time the kids are called actuators, and are able to manipulate molecules into weather phenomena or various other physical changes and manifestations.  And, like in The Ability, our main male character has to leave his single mother behind in order to pursue his training.  This time things are not as on the up and up though, creating a main character that feels no loyalty to his new trainers.
    Filled with double crossing, and double agents, young readers will never know what is coming next!  
    The book ends with a total cliff hanger, so be on the lookout for book 2.
    The only thing I found odd was that the book is set to a backdrop of reality, but departs so completely midway through the book, in a way that drastically separates the two parts of the story. 

    Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi
    Little Brown Books, 2013
    Sci-fi/Thriller
    304 pages
    Recommended for grades 4-8
    Audio read by Sunil Malhotra

    Zombie Baseball Beatdown is on the 2014-2015 Maine Student Book Award reading list, though it was one I hadn't read prior to our final voting meeting.  Why didn't I read it...well, there were so many titles on our "short" list, and this one just didn't strike me as being a contender.  Yes, I based a lot of judgement on the cover and subject matter!
    And after listening to the first few minutes of the book I thought I had been right.  Main character Rabi uses the word "suck" at least half a dozen times, which really turned me off of the story immediately.  But of course I kept listening, and thank goodness.  Not too far into the story Rabi's mother scolds him for using the word "suck."  Ok, we got that ironed out.  The rest of the story is one awesome journey through relationships, racial issues, the topic of illegal immigration, and of course, zombies!!

    The writing is great, and Sunil Malhotra does a phenomenal job bringing the book to life in its audio version.

    I'm Currently Reading:


    On Deck:

    I'm excited to be hosting a stop in The Dyerville Tales blog tour!  Be on the look out for a chance to win a signed copy of the book!  On May 6th stop by for a guest post written by M. P. Kozlowsky!



    Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful week :)


    0 Comments on It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4-21-14 as of 4/21/2014 1:23:00 AM
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    19. Writing & Poetry Contest

    tightrope

    This colorful fun illustration was sent in by Louise Bergeron Lousie was feature on Illustrator Saturday May 26th, 2012. Here is the link:http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/illustrator-saturday-louise-c-bergeron/ Take a look. Her artwork is so much fun.  website:  www.illustrationquebec.com/louisecbergeron

    Do you love to play with words, arrange them in artistic ways?  Have you written poetry or a short story?  If the answer is yes, then maybe you will want to consider The Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest. The people at Dream Quest say if you have an ability to dream, you have an ability to win. Write a poem or short story for a chance to win cash prizes. All works must be original.

    Guidelines: Write a poem, thirty lines or fewer on any subject, style, or form, typed or neatly hand printed.  And/or write a short story, five pages maximum length, on any subject or theme, creative writing fiction or non-fiction (including essay compositions, diary, journal entries and screenwriting). Also, must be typed or neatly hand printed. Multiple poetry and short story entries are accepted.

    Postmark deadline: July 31, 2014 All contest winners will be published online in the Dare to Dream pages, on September 20, 2014. Entry Form: http://www.dreamquestone.com/entryform.html

    Prizes: Writing Contest First Prize is $500. Second Prize: $250. Third Prize: $100. Poetry Contest First Prize is $250. Second Prize: $125.  Third Prize: $50. Entry fees: $10 per short story. $5 per poem.

    To send entries: Include title(s) with your story (ies) or poem(s), along with your name, address, phone#, email, brief biographical  info. (Tell us a little about yourself), on the coversheet. Add a self-addressed stamped envelope for entry confirmation.

    Mail entries/fees payable to: “DREAMQUESTONE.COM” Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest P.O. Box 3141 Chicago, IL  60654

    Visit http://www.dreamquestone.com for details on how to enter!

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: authors and illustrators, Contest, opportunity, Places to sumit, poetry, Win Tagged: Dream Quest Contest, Louise Bergeron, Poetry, Short Story contest

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    20. Edible Gardening

    Tiny scilla blooming

    Tiny scilla blooming

    It’s so hot outside! I’m not used to this thing called warm. It snowed Wednesday/Thursday during the week after all. I haven’t even dared put my winter coat away. But today it made it up to 73F (23C) and I had to bring my warm weather clothes storage bins up from the basement because I had nothing to wear. And as I type this I am barefoot. It is the first time I have seen my feet since October of last year. Crazy!

    As you can imagine it has been a great weekend for gardening and this also being a holiday weekend I get one more day off tomorrow for more gardening. I wait and wait for so long and then a few nice days come and I want to be outside and do everything but everything can’t be done at once so it gets done bit by bit.

    Yesterday I attended my first ever gardening class. It was two hours and focused on edible landscaping. The person who taught the class runs a business in the Twin Cities designing and installing edible landscapes. I was very excited about the class. I don’t feel like I understand the principles of design on a large scale, I totally understand the height and color and texture mixing in a single bed, but I was hoping for tips and ideas on yard-sized design like how to decide on wear to put paths and beds and how big to make them and what shape and then how to do that big picture so when I step out on my deck and look over my backyard I see a pleasing arrangement instead of “oh we need a new bed I guess we’ll put it here” willy-nilly creation. Though I admit there is something to be said for the organic development and continual evolution of that sort of gardening, I wanted answers so I wouldn’t find myself wishing I had put that shrub over there instead of over here kind of thing.

    That is not what the class was about. What I learned for my $20 was that I already know a lot more about gardening in all its aspects than I give myself credit for. I walked out of the class thinking, gee, I could have been the one up there teaching it. It was an amazing boost of confidence.

    When class began I was really excited because the instructor had four books on the table about edible landscaping and I had read every single one of them. Let’s talk about these books and what’s in them! Let’s talk about permaculture! Let’s talk about sustainability! Those things were just barely touched on. We did talk a bit about soil and how important it is to always be working to make it better. She recommended a book called Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels and noted that if you spend more energy improving soil you spend less energy growing plants. I have a request in at the library for book and am enough of a garden geek to be looking forward to reading it.

    The instructor talked about observing your area and making notes about dry and wet and sun and shade, etc. Talked about

    French sorrel returning to the herb spiral

    French sorrel returning to the herb spiral

    making a wish list and then researching and selecting plants. And she reminded us to consider the vertical: obelisks, trellises, arbors. She mentioned some of her favorite plants to use including glow-in-the-dark peppers, okra, and artichoke as well as edible flowers. She discouraged us from growing apples and blueberries because they are so hard. I am growing both and have great success with apples and no chemicals used ever, and blueberries, well, we’ll find out this year whether I have managed to keep the soil acidic enough to get fruit (I just bought a soil ph tester!). I did learn that if I don’t manage to make my blueberries happy, honeyberries taste a lot like blueberries and don’t require an acid soil. I am, however, determined to have success with blueberries even more so now since she was so discouraging about them.

    And that was it. I didn’t take many notes because I already knew the stuff she was talking about. She showed us slides of some beautiful edible gardens around the cities but didn’t talk about how they were created. So I left disappointed because I didn’t get the class that I wanted, which wasn’t actually a realistic expectation anyway. But I was also happy because, gosh darn it, I sure do know a lot about gardening!

    Finished raised bed

    Finished raised bed

    Today I actually got to put some of that knowledge to work. Well, sort of. We finished building our raised polyculture bed. It is 4 x 8 feet (1.2 x 2.5m), took 18 cinder blocks, ten 40lb (18kg) bags of topsoil and ten 40lb bags of compost to fill it up. It took another four bags of topsoil to fill the holes in the blocks full enough for planting in. We’ve not planted anything in the bed yet, it was enough to just get it ready today. Tomorrow is sowing day for the new bed as well as other parts of the garden.

    Finally, I have come to the conclusion that I stink as a worm wrangler but I do excel as worm brothel madame. Pushing the old bedding to one side of the bin and putting new bedding in the other with fresh food and damp does not compel the worms to relocate like a worm composting website I read suggested. For the last two weeks I’ve been scooping out handfuls of compost and sorting through it for worms, putting the worms back in the bin on the new bedding side and the compost in a separate bin. It is slow, tedious work and I get worms in every handful some of them such tiny babies that they are hard to see. Before I resort to dumping the bin out onto a tarp, I will do more research to try and discover if there is a simpler, less work intensive method of separating the worms from the finished compost. Wish me luck!


    Filed under: gardening

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    21. The Little Girl Who Shined Just Right by Holly Lynn Walker

    holly

    The Little Girl Who Shined Just Right sheds light on the subconscious and energetic side effects of bullying, through the experiences of a little girl named Celeste. She lives in another dimension and is called a little Deva, which means Spirit of Light. Undergoing a series of events that leave her sad and confused, Celeste wants so badly to be accepted that she is willing to sacrifice her Light. In the end she learns that it will not bring the happiness she is desperately seeking; with the help of her family, and an inspiring tale told by her mother, Celeste learns the true meaning of friendship, as well as how to trust her feelings and love herself. She ultimately finds happiness by honoring her Light, and surrounding herself with Devas who encourage her to do so.

    Purchase at:

    Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Little-Girl-Shined-Just-Right-ebook/dp/B00JBQB3FU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397833621&sr=8-1&keywords=the+little+girl+who+shined+just+right

    B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-little-girl-who-shined-just-right-holly-lynn-walker/1118913356?ean=9781621370208

     

     


    0 Comments on The Little Girl Who Shined Just Right by Holly Lynn Walker as of 4/20/2014 10:43:00 PM
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    22. Blessed Easter

    Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life.
    He who believes in me will live, even though he dies,
    and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
    Do you believe this?"


         Celebrating our risen Savior, Jesus Christ!
     I pray you all have a blessed and joyful Easter.
    See you back on April 28 as we talk about
    missing out on something special.
    Has that ever happened to you?
    Dont' miss next week's post!
    Blessings,
    Sally
     
     

    0 Comments on Blessed Easter as of 4/21/2014 12:09:00 AM
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    23. AFTER THE BOOK DEAL

    Banner

    The Internet is full of great advice about how to sell a book, but what about after the sale? When my first book came out, I found it was surprisingly hard to find answers to some basic questions. Like most authors, I learned most of the answers through trial and error. And so in anticipation of the launch of my new novel, The Night Gardener, I’ve decided to write down everything I learned so I don’t make the same mistakes twice!

    AFTER THE BOOK DEAL is a month-long blog series detailing the twenty things I wish someone had told me before entering the exciting world of children’s publishing. Each weekday from now until MAY 20, I will be posting an article on a different blog. Many of these sites will also be doing Night Gardener giveaways, so please follow along and spread the word!

    THE SCHEDULE: 

    WEEK ONE: Before Your Book Comes Out 
    April 21 – “Finding Your Tribe” @ Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe
    April 22 – “Do I Really Need a Headshot?” @ Novel Novice
    April 23 – “I Hate Networking” @ Charlotte’s Library
    April 24 – “A Night at the Movies” @ The Lost Entwife
    April 25 –  “Giveaways!” @ Smack Dab in the Middle

    WEEK TWO: Your Book Launch
    April 28 – “Can I have Your Autograph?” @ Haunted Orchid
    April 29 –  “Cinderella at the Ball” @ The O.W.L.
    April 30 – “Being Heard in the Crowd” @ Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
    May 1 - “The Loneliest Writer in the World” @ The Misbehavin’ Librarian
    May 2 – “Shutting Out the Voices” @ Shelf Employed

    WEEK THREE: The Business of Being an Author
    May 5 – “Back to the Grindstone” @ Word Spelunking
    May 6 – “The Root of All Evil” @ The Compulsive Reader
    May 7 – “Care and Feeding of Your Muse” @ Buried in Books
    May 8 – “The Green-Eyed Monster” @ The Book Monsters
    May 9 – “Death by 1000 Cuts” @ Waking Brain Cells

    WEEK FOUR: Keeping Your Book Alive
    May 12 – “A Cheering Squad of One” @ So I’m Fifty
    May 13 – “This Part is Awkward” @ TBA
    May 14 – “School Days” @ There’s a Book
    May 15 – “Crowd Control” @ Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
    May 16 – “Keeping the Magic Alive” @ Tif Talks Books

     

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    24. Character Interview – Boy & Monster from Monster Needs His Sleep

    MonsterNeedsHisSleepCoverFINAL-300x300.

    .

    To help kick off the release of Monster Needs His Sleep, the second book in the Monster & Me series, Kid Lit Reviews is thrilled to have Monster and the young man who keeps Monster on the straight and narrow. This is the fourth stop on the Scarletta Kids Blog Book Tour. On May 12th, the first day of Children’s Book Week, KLR will review this new edition of the Monster & Me series and also be giving away a copy of Monster Needs His Sleep to one lucky winner. 

    together topI know you have tremendous responsibilities right now and many places to get to, so, this will be a quick interview. A mere six questions. We shouldn’t even get below the fold.

    KLR Readers, please welcome the stars of Monster Needs His Sleep! 

    Welcome. Uh, what should I call you, young man? 

    tiny monster Boy!

     

    Really? Okay. Boy, what is it like have a monster living in your house?

    tiny boyIt’s great! Monster and I are best friends, we do everything together. But he can be a handful. Like once we wanted to go camping and– 

    tiny monsterLets go build a tree house! Doesn’t that sound cool? I want to build a 20 story tree house!

    tiny boyMonster, we need to do this interview to help us sell the book. Once we’re done, we can go and build a tree house. Sorry, like I said, he’s a handful, but life is always really fun!

    tiny monster* tree house *

     .

    Let’s get right to story. Monster, why don’t you like to go to bed?

    tiny monsterThere is way to much to do at night like read books, and play games, and eat, and watch T.V. and–

    .

    tiny boyMonster… 

    tiny monsterWhat? I like to do a lot of stuff. There is only so much time during the day. When else am I supposed to write a song? Or learn about the symphony? 

    tiny boyMonster…

    tiny monsterthe dark is creepy.

    .

    Monster, you like to read. That’s terrific! What is your favorite book?

    tiny monsterWell…there is a great book out called Monster Needs His Sleep–

    tiny boyMonster! Shameless plug!

    tiny monsterWhat? You’re the one making me do this interview. I wanted to go a build a tree house.

     .

    Okay, Monster’s favorite is Monster Needs His Sleep. What is your favorite book?

    tiny boyMonster is right about Monster Needs His Sleep, but I really like The Dark by Lemony Snicket. Monster has a fear of the dark, just like Lazlo, so reading it to Monster before bedtime helps Monster relax.

    tiny monsterYou should read me Monster Needs His Sleep.

     .

    Here is the million-dollar question—no, you don’t get a million dollars—what are your plans after getting some sleep? Any new adventures? 

    tiny monster#!

    tiny boyOn September 2nd, 2014, look for Monster Needs a Christmas Tree.

    tiny monsterOh I love Christmas! But that time I got worried we weren’t going to have a Christmas tree and Santa wasn’t going to visit!

    tiny boyYeah, that was a close one. But you came up with a great idea to save the day!

    tiny monsterDon’t forget! Halloween will soon be here and I am going to need another costume.

    tiny boyAnd when spring rolls around again, its time for sports and you’re going to need to exercise!

    tiny monsterBut I really wanted to learn how to cook. Do you think Mom will let me use her apron? 

    tiny boyMaybe you’ll get one for your birthday, when we throw you a party.

    Does that mean, Monster Needs to Exercise or Monster Needs a Baseball Game and Monster Needs a Birthday Party? Count me in!

    This is the last question. Monster, what is your bestest advice to young kids about bedtime?

    tiny monsterDon’t drink a lot of water before going to bed—Not a good idea.

    And always keep your nightlight close. Remember, he’s your glowing friend!

     

    Thank you for stopping by and bringing your best friend, Monster. Good luck on the rest of the blog book tour. Stay out of trouble. And Monster, get a lot of sleep!

    .

    Here is the blog tour—with GIVEAWAYS—for Monster Needs His Sleep, now available from Amazon—B&N—Scarletta Kids—your local bookstore.

    new scarletta kids logo

    Scarletta Kids Blog Book Tour

    Monster Needs His Sleep

    .

    “Monster and boy are here once more,
    travelin’ along a little blog tour!
    So jump right in, discover a treat.
    One little click and your day is complete!”

    .

    April 8
    Carrie On…
    We hear there is going to be a really hilarious video…

    April 15
    Find Paul HERE on the Scarletta blog!
    He’s celebrating publication day by taking over the Scarletta blog!

    April 17
    Teach with Picture Books
    The first giveaway you say? Better not miss it!

    April 21  [you are here]
    Kid Lit Reviews
    Monster always has a lot to say, and this delightful character interview will be no different.

    May 3
    Lil’ Blonde Monsters
    Sneak a peek at this great images from the book while reading a new review!

    May 6
    There’s a Book
    Missed the first giveaway? Never fear, enter here!

    May 12
    Kid Lit Reviews
    We’re back! This time for a review and giveaway to celebrate Children’s Book Week!

    May 14
    Sharpread
    5,4,3,2,1… Find out the deets on Monster Needs His Sleep in this fast-paced, by-the-numbers interview to wrap up the tour.

    .

    boymonster together

    MONSTER NEEDS HIS SLEEP. Text copyright © 2014 by Paul Czajak. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Wendy Grieb. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Scarletta Kids, Minneapolis, MN.


    Filed under: Children's Books, Interviews, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Series Tagged: afraid of the dark, character interview, friendship, Monster Needs His Sleep, Paul Czajak, remedy for afraid of the dark, Scarletta Kids, Scarletta Press, Wendy Grieb

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    25. Nothing Rotten at the Rotten Tomatoes Panel

    Rotten Tomato AudienceStill upset that that movie you absolutely loved got such negative reviews? Fuming that it got a pretty rotten status on Rotten Tomatoes? Posting an angry rebuttable on a message board will just illicit people calling you a “noob,” and perhaps some other more colorful names.

    Returning to the convention is the always popular Your Opinion Sucks: Rotten Tomatoes Critics vs. Fans. The critics comprised of Tim Ryan, Christy Lemire, Scott Mantz, Alynda Wheat and Alonso Duradle, with Matt Atchity as moderator. Trolls and fans alike can argue with the panel of critics either for or against a movie of their choice, with the audience readied to voice their own opinions with paddles that say “fresh” on one side and “rotten” on the other.

    This year, the movies ran the gamut of Ender’s Game, Black Hawk Down, Frozen, and even Grave of the Fireflys. One of the movies that shocked me greatly was when The Goonies was brought up, and half the audience gave it a “rotten” status. The critics too were torn with the movie: Half for it, and half against it. I thought though that the general atmosphere kept a fun and lighthearted vibe. This type of panel is known to create one or two heated debates that almost threaten the removal of somebody, but things remained rather civil.

    Most memorable would have to be the first to voice their opinion; a small boy by the name of Gabe. The movie he so passionately argued for was Transformers, saying that the action was outstanding. He then proceeded to demonstrate the action sequences by making shooting motions with his hands and then bomb explosions, all of course complete with ample sound effects. Scott Mantz in particular tore into the boy (with good humor). When given his 30 second rebuttal, Gabe simply said to Scott, “You have no taste!” Gabe as it later turned out is the son of moderator Matt.

    Most bizarre was the last person up to pose a movie argument. Standing at the microphone, in what I can only describe as a black muumuu with large red stripes running down the sides of it, was a man who wished to be called “master.” But we’ll call him Zack for this article. Zack wanted to argue against Star Trek: Into Darkness, going as far as to say that the movie was “the worst thing I’ve ever seen.” The crowd pretty much cried in uproar, with a few people in rotten agreement, including a couple of the panel members. What ensued was a discussion on how remakes on pre-existing Star Trek movies shouldn’t happen, alternate time lines, and action sequences. Definitely a fun note to leave the panel on.

    It was enjoyable to hear the arguments that each person presented for, or against, a particular movie, even if some of them weren’t as sound as others. Thank you critics of Rotten Tomatoes for making an enjoyable evening of not-so-witty banter, and I can’t wait till next time.

    ~Nicholas Eskey

    4 Comments on Nothing Rotten at the Rotten Tomatoes Panel, last added: 4/20/2014
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