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Alternate Title: The Call Is Coming From Inside the House
So yesterday at lunchtime I trotted out my neat little stack of periodicals to read while I munched a ham sandwich. I picked up the latest Kirkus (1 May 2016) and there I saw the Vicky Smith article: “Unmaking the White Default”. As many of you may have noticed recently, Kirkus made a significant shift in the way that they review. Normally, a children’s or YA book review will eschew mentioning the ethnicity of a human character unless that character isn’t white. The implicit message to this is that white is the default and anything that isn’t white is the exception rather than the rule. To combat this problem, Kirkus has taken to mentioning the ethnicity of all human characters, or at least making note of their skin tones. In this article, Vicky discussed the change.
When this switch was initially made, the responses were mixed. I’ve listened to the Horn Book Podcast that discussed the decision, noted the mistake in the Kirkus review of The Night Gardener (the 2016 picture book, not the Jonathan Auxier gothic middle grade), and taken an interest in the SLJ reviewers’ online course on diversity & cultural literacy (so far they have 125+ registered).
Imagine me reading all this while twiddling my thumbs. Dum de dum. Toodle-oo. Hum hum hum. Not really thinking too hard. I review for Kirkus so, like all reviewers there, I’ve been adjusting my reviews as I write them. There’s an art to it, really. Some folks have been concerned that this sort of thing just reinforces how obsessed we are over skin color. I see that, absolutely. And I look forward to the day a Kirkus editor writes an article rescinding this reviewing method because we’ve come so far as a nation that we don’t need it anymore. At the same time, I’m pretty sure the publishing industry isn’t quite there yet. Or, for that matter, the nation.
I suppose it’s because I review for Kirkus that it took me this long to come to a very personal realization. First off, do I agree with what Kirkus is doing? Actually, I do. The white default is more annoying than the old italicize-all-foreign-languages trope and hardly less bothersome than the describe-darker-skin-tones-entirely-in-terms-of-food method.
As Vicky Smith mentioned, it’s hardly a change everyone likes. I saw that one commenter on the Horn Book podcast site wrote, “Why stop at hair color, eye color, skin color, DNA? Perhaps in the digital book future, we will move toward even greater specificity. A child could be placed at the center of each book she reads, the details customized to be about herself, the most interesting subject in all the world.” A comment placing the whole debate in the context of how personalized electronic information leads to narcissistic youth sort of misses the point. There may be kids out there that only want to read books about kids of their own races, but Kirkus isn’t doing this for them. Would you find fault in a review mentioning a character’s chosen gender? As a librarian, I need to know precisely what each book I read or need to read contains. Characters are more than their ethnic backgrounds, but at the same time your race informs your life. Not everyone has the luxury of ignoring it.
So. We come to it. If I agree with Kirkus, would I apply their method of mentioning all skin tones to the reviews I write on this blog?
Hadn’t really occurred to me before.
I mean, the reviews that I write for this blog are my brand. If this blog dropped off the face of the earth tomorrow, it would be the reviews I’d really miss writing. And in the time that I’ve been writing them I’ve settled into a nice comfortable little format. Opening paragraph, description of the book, mentions of writing, mentions of art (if applicable), concerns, closing paragraph. Easy peasy. And in my time reviewing I don’t think I’ve made an active change to the format at all.
Is white the default when I review? Yes indeed.
Could I change this? Yes indeed.
Now let me be clear about a couple things right off the bat. When Kirkus first started applying this method to their reviews, it was awkward. They got the details wrong on some books and shoehorned the mentions into some of the reviews. I have a theory, and I could be completely off, that there’s been a learning curve since then. There is an elegance to how you describe a character in any review. Done correctly and with careful consideration and the mention feels natural. Done wrong and it feels almost didactic.
In the end, and when you boil it all down, this is an easy switch to make. I’m going to give it a try and see how it goes. Plus, I have a distinct advantage over Kirkus. While they must bring up racial skin tones within a scant 225 words, I have all the time in the world in my own reviews to make the mentions. In a way, bloggers are in a better position to try out this change than professional review journals.
Die, default. Die.
Today, I'm excited to share Sarah Jude's latest book, which just released on Tuesday. Sarah is awesome and her book looks amazing! Check out The May Queen Murders.
Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.
Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.
Kerosene slopped from the rusty pail and splashed against the abandoned stable. Fumes burned my eyes but didn’t blur my father’s silhouette as he faced the building, bucket in hand. It would burn and, with it, the body inside.
“Go to hell!”
Papa’s shoulders twisted as he wheeled back, shouting, sweeping the pail around. More kerosene rained against the wood while bile scorched my throat. I was too tired to get sick on the hay, my body wasted from screaming. I wiped my hand over my mouth and something snagged my lip. My fingernail was missing, a ragged root jutting from the bloody bed. Bitten off and swallowed by someone who wanted me dead.
This ain’t real.
Yet I smelled the kerosene and felt the spring air and the dust in my nose, my feet firm on the ground. No matter how my mind ached to fly away, it tethered to a stark truth. This was real.
“Ivy, stay back,” Papa warned, and then looked to Mama, close by with an antique lantern shedding dim light. The night sky swelled with clouds like spiders’ egg sacs ready to burst, but the storm would miss Rowan’s Glen. The hay, the ground, the stable were kindling-dry, and every movement kicked up brown clouds. Mama pulled me until we were safely away. The clink of her silver bracelets racked together as she eased her arm around my shoulder.
“Don’t worry.” Mama’s still-thick Mexican accent lilted her voice, but her expression was stoic except for a pinch around her eyes. That blankness scared me.
“This must be done,” she whispered.
I wadded my fingers into my long skirt. The blue patchwork was smeared with blood and dirt. Last summer, my cousin Heather and I sewed peasant skirts together. They flared when I spun, round and round, always with Heather.
The last time I saw Heather, she was wearing a skirt with red ruffles.
Papa trailed kerosene on the ground and retreated from the stable before tossing the pail inside. I couldn’t see into the shadows. The body lying on the stone floor might yet have a pulse. A shiver tugged at my neck, my chest rising and falling with shallow breaths. One clear thought pierced my mind’s muddle, and it sickened me.
I wanted that body to burn.
“Timothy.” Mama fished a book of matches from a pocket in her apron and gave them to Papa. He took the matches and stretched one hand to hold mine. He was strong. My throat ached when I swallowed, from being choked in an attempt to silence me. Now I said nothing as Papa struck the match.
The fire didn’t whoosh to life. First, the match hit the ground and breathed. Then a blue worm of flames emerged from the earth and devoured one blot of fuel before moving to the next. Upon reaching the stable, the worm bloated into a dragon that blazed yellow and orange. The wood planks hammered by my great-great-grandfather when he was young crackled, bone-dry from drought. Fire twisted through the stable while coils of smoke erupted from the windows. The pulse of the body inside thump-thumped in my head. Frantic. Dying.
“Mama?” I whimpered.
“It’s only fair,” she said.
Papa didn’t speak. Rage had made him do the unspeakable. For me, even though I’d survived. But also for those who hadn’t. Fire was cleansing. Fire was vengeance. The flames burned red, as red as the ruffles of Heather’s skirt. As red as Heather’s hair.
*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.
SARAH JUDE lives by the woods and has an owl that lands on her chimney every night. She grew up believing you had to hold your breath when passing a graveyard. Now she writes about cemeteries, murder, and folklore. She resides in Missouri with her husband, three children, and two dogs. When she's not writing, she can be found volunteering at a stable for disabled riders. Visit her website at www.sarahjude.com.
by Teri Terry
a.k.a. the Bunny Whisperer
Part 4 in Making Things Up: a blog series about the creative process.The other day I was chatting with one of my fellow bloggers - Addy - and made a comment about Plot Bunnies, when she said....What is a Plot Bunny?
Just in case any other writers out there aren't in with the Plot Bunnies, here we go!And if this is all sounding rather daft to the sensible, here is the literary kudos. Although Plot Bunnies have been around since the beginning of time, Steinbeck phrased it rather nicely:
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a few and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck
Plot Bunnies inhabit your daydreams, your unconscious, your subconscious, everywhere you're not using logic or conscious thought, and they want attention. One bunny leads to another, and another, and another - and you never know where they might take you.
They can be distracting, but ignore them at your peril. They are the lifeblood of being a writer.It can be very tempting when you're deep in the writing cave to ignore your Plot Bunnies. You're a Serious Writer; you have a deadline, whether self-imposed or in a contract. You are focused, committed, and you will write 1000 words or whatever you've set yourself and you will finish chapter X. Serious Writers don't have time for the bunnies. WRONG.
Plot Bunnies are your friends, and they must be cared for and nurtured. If they are, they refuse to go away until you write them. They are those ideas that wiggle and jump inside your head for attention; they must be written. They NEED to be written. They will make your writing better. They may make you waste time now and then, true, but if you routinely quash them down, they may not be there when you need them.
So, how do you encourage visits by these shy and elusive creatures? This depends on the writer and Plot Bunnies involved.
My Plot Bunnies need the following:
Tea. Lots of tea, in mugs with interesting or inspirational messages (Don't Panic, above, is one of my favourites).
Notebooks. usually brightly coloured, with or without frogs and hamsters. Banrock - of course. As chief muse he is a Plot Bunny wrangler.
The *right* pens.
Appropriate T shirts: particularly favoured if actual bunnies are involved, as above.
Naps. Walks. Environmentally unfriendly long showers, where I'm so away with the Plot Bunnies that I can't remember whether I've washed my hair or not and have to start over again.
Sometimes, even chocolate and wine!!
|Banrock, Chief Muse and Plot Bunny Wrangler,|
has been there since the beginning:
here he is with Slated proofs - back in 2011!
No matter how important and serious your writing is to you - and believe me, mine is to me - without enough of the crazy, it just doesn't work.
|Thanks to Cathy for the photo of her bunny, Alice|
Designer and illustrator Hollie McManus is very excited to be exhibiting at Surtex this year with design collective Dot & Flow, in Booth 244. Hollie takes her inspiration from nature, animals, people and texture to create fun, whimsical, colourful patterns, typography and illustrations.
By: Roberta Baird
Blog: A Mouse in the House
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Suddenly there was a huge roar.
‘Who’s that trip trapping over my bridge?
and out from under the bridge loomed the Troll.
प्रशांत किशोर की राजनीति और सलाह सुनने में आया है कि चुनावी रणनीतिकार प्रशांत किशोर भी इस बात से सहमत हैं कि राहुल गांधी या प्रियंका में से किसी को मुख्यमंत्री पद के उम्मीदवार के तौर पर उतरना चाहिए. उनका मानना है कि इससे प्रदेश के ब्राह्मणों में अच्छा संकेत जाएगा… जबकि कुछ कांगेसी […]
The post प्रशांत किशोर की राजनीति और सलाह appeared first on Monica Gupta.
Despite the fact that children
Keep increasing as to size, If Ted Cruz had been elected Every school’d be serving fries. For while blasting Ms. Obama, With her push for “leafy greens,” Ted announced, that as first lady, Heidi’d shake up those routines. (And most experts say it is) We should thank our lucky stars
That school lunch menus won’t be his.
Melanie Chadwick will be exhibiting for the first time at Blue Print Show with her agents at Pure Illustration on 12-16th May at the Metropolitan Pavilion, New York. Melanie is based in Falmouth. Cornwall where she has her own design and illustration studio creating everything from pattern designs to brand logos. Previous clients have included The National Trust and Mollie Makes. Since January
I've been a blogger slacker; I confess. It wasn't meant to be this way.
But I've been rolling through and over rugged landscapes in these past weeks, and sometimes it's better to think and to do, rather than to speak.
But now I'm speaking:
Following thirty years of chasing projects in corporate America I am calling off the chase. I loved what I did, the people I met, the meaty, beautiful, complex projects I was entrusted with, the client projects that still sit proudly on my shelves. But in recent years too much has changed—a disheartening disrespect and disequilibrium has entered in. It's a demand and disappear environment out there these days. It's phones ringing after dinner with early AM deadlines, nights tapping away, and the next-day news: Whoops. Sorry. We were wrong. Didn't need that project after all. Didn't need you.
I have lived my life putting my family and friends first, my students second, my corporate clients second, too, and me a distant something. I would do it all exactly the same way again; I have no regrets. But going forward I know what I want, where I am happiest, what I must be, must have. More time with books. More time with people who write and read with noble purpose. More time spent beneath a blooming, bursting cherry tree, or on a farm, or by the sea.
More time being the me I need.
Not long ago, in New York, I sat with someone I have grown to love, the great editor, Lauren Wein. Later, writing to me, she wrote words that ricocheted through me. After so much frank unkindness from corporate America, after too much time spent in the claw and crawl of it all, I had this sudden sense of being seen.
seeing you i thought again what i thought the other time---beth has such SHARP EDGES. in the very best way. your virtual presence is so much about generosity, encouragement, positive reinforcement--for other writers and artists, for your family, for your students. in person, the other side comes out. and it's equally compelling---it raises the stakes somehow, in the best way! it's still positive, lyrical, poetic Beth, but there's also a tension there--the sense of an oppositional pull. the bold, unexpected shoes to complement and subvert the elegant, basic black.
Being seen. How simple that sounds. How great the journey.
Natasha Kirby is a freelance surface pattern designer based in London and Kent. Her work is inspired by the beautiful Kentish countryside and all its flora and fauna. Natasha's designs are created using a technique of pouring, dripping, manipulating and mixing gloss paints and glues together to create a variety of effects. She recently graduated from ABSPD modules 1-4 where she learnt the
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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A new event but, sadly, can't go. But looks like it could be fun. Look for Warp Zero on Face Book!
Some of the most influential pieces of writing that have tugged at my heart and live in my soul are blog posts. As we planned this blog series on mentor texts, a lightbulb flashed above my head: Why not create a collection of mentor blog posts to help me improve my own writing? Why not create a similar collection for my students, to share with them possibilities and craft moves they could try, too?
Me: Check out paragraph 2 of this press release I just got—
May 5, 2016, Mount Laurel, NJ: Four of the leading independent comic book publishers have come together with Groupees to offer fans a low cost entry into the world of original storytelling from some of the leading names in graphic fiction!
This cross-publisher pay what you want “Bundle of Independents” features approximately $300 worth of books by some of the industry’s greatest creators from Garth Ennis, Greg Rucka, Duane Swierczynski, Andy Diggle, Howard Chaykin, Peter Milligan, Andy Diggle, Jim Starlin, Jae Lee, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Tim Seeley, Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, Brian Wood, Rick Remender, Joe Hill, Sam Keith, Charles Soule, Cullen Bunn, and more!
brilliant editing, guys
Scott: that’s so embarrassing
The all-men lineup. Lower in the press release you learn that one of the items in the bundle is Saga.
Why on earth wouldn’t you mention Fiona (and BKV for that matter) in your summary???
Scott: that’s insane.
But you know what? They didn’t mention Darwyn Cooke, either. Or Bryan Lee O’Malley, Walter Simonson.
Scott: what a perfect expression
Me: He’s the Mr. Knightley to the Emma actress you looked up the other day, the one I knew SO WELL
from, you know, Emma
Me: Also Edmund from Mansfield Park
Me: You realize this is why nothing gets done in modern civilization
By: Thais Linhares,
Além de autora de livros,
sou formada em design e produção gráfica.
Abaixo uma coleção com alguns de meus trabalhos.
As artes usadas são minhas,
assim como a maioria dos projetos.
Preparo o projetos, as artes e os arquivos para entrega nas gráficas, a partir de sua ideia original.
Também domino os recursos necessários para:
– restauro, alteração e retoque de fotografias;
– criação de logotipos / marcas / identidade visual;
– projetos de comunicação institucional;
– criação de projeto e diagramação de livros, apostilhas, cartazes, revistas, papelaria de sua empresa/escritório;
– criação de personagens "mascotes", para eventos, produtos, empresas;
– criação e diagramação de "Bíblias" para séries de TV, Cinema, quadrinhos – com elaboração de sinopse dos episódios, design dos personagens, descrição de universo de série, tag lines pra pitching de produção;
– criação de roteiros institucionais ou ficção;
– scriptdoctoring e leitura crítica de originais literários;
– criação de rótulos, banners, adesivos, camisetas, etc;
– criação de memes, quadrinhos, tirinhas.
Essa obra foi eleita a melhor do ano
pelo Insituto Brasileiro de Genealogia:
Esta obra recebeu o prêmio "Altamente Recomendável"
da Fundação Nacional do Livro Infatojuvel – FNLIJ:
Obra com arte, projeto e textos de minha autoria. Selecionado para o Programa Nacional Biblioteca da Escola – PNBE:
|(c) Robbie Nuwanda 2015|
mother may I
take a break
sisters may I
cousins may I
sleep and wake
in tune with moon and sun?
every day is raced away
lists are long
mother may I
fail to strive
let nature drive
for 40 days?
do breathe and rest
if anyone is asking why
why lay by?
why go slow?
"I'm the mom
and I say so."
See you all in mid-June.
The roundup is hosted today by Sylvia at Poetry for Children.
I visited four first grade classes (two visits -- two classes per visit) this week as the "visiting poet." One of the groups used the above picture as a prompt to start writing nonfiction poems. In my mailbox today, I found this:
And in this envelope was a whole packet of piggy poems!
Here are a few:
I am pink.
My nam is pig.
I am skrd you will
I liv in a farm.
And I slep in
(Stanzas!! And how about those pig balloons!!)
the pig are pink
they roll in mud
togther as a team
baby pig are piglets
snort oink snort oink
(I like how this writer improved on the "oink oink" ending!)
(never mind Cinco de Mayo...let's celebrate PIGS DAY!)
I am a pig I play in
mud and I have 2 broths
We play and play all day
but dowte get coos to me!
are I will get you dirty.
(please note the interesting contrast between
the illustrations and the poem!)
By: Betsy Bird
Blog: A Fuse #8 Production
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By Lauren Wolk
Dutton Children’s Books (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
Ages 10 and up
On shelves now.
I am not what you might call a very brave reader. This is probably why I primarily consume children’s literature. I might puff myself up with a defense that lists the many fine aspects of this particular type of writing and believe it too, but sometimes when you catch me in a weak moment I might confess that another reason I like reading books for kids is that the content is so very “safe” in comparison to books for adults. Disturbing elements are kept at a minimum. There’s always a undercurrent of hope running through the book, promising that maybe we don’t live in a cold, cruel, calculating universe that cares for us not one jot. Even so, that doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes have difficulty with books written for, oh say, 10-year-olds. I do. I’m not proud of it, but I do. So when I flipped to the back of Wolf Hollow mid-way through reading it, I want to tell you that I did so not because I wanted to spoil the ending for myself but because I honestly couldn’t turn another page until I knew precisely how everything was going to fall out. In her debut children’s book, Lauren Wolk dives head first into difficult material. A compelling author, the book is making the assumption that child readers will want to see what happens to its characters, even when the foreshadowing is so thick you’d need a knife to cut through it. Even when the ending may not be the happy one everyone expects. And you know what? The book might be right.
It is fair to say that if Betty Glengarry hadn’t moved to western Pennsylvania in the autumn of 1943 then Annabelle would not have needed to become a liar later. Betty looks the part of the blond, blue-eyed innocent, but that exterior hides a nasty spirit. Within days of her arrival she’s threatened Annabelle and said in no uncertain terms that unless she’s brought something special she’ll take it out on the girl’s little brothers. Annabelle is saved from Betty’s threats by Toby, a war veteran with issues of his own. That’s when Betty begins a more concentrated campaign of pain. Rocks are thrown. Accusations made. There’s an incident that comes close to beheading someone. And then, when things look particularly bad, Annabelle disappears. And so does Toby. Now Annabelle finds herself trying to figure out what is right, what is wrong, and whether lies can ever lead people to the truth.
Right off the bat I’m going to tell you that this is a spoiler-rific review. I’ve puzzled it over but I can’t for the life of me figure out how I’d be able to discuss what Wolk’s doing here without giving away large chunks o’ plot. So if you’re the kind of reader who prefers to be surprised, walk on.
All gone? Okay. Let’s get to it.
First and foremost, let’s talk about why this book was rough going for me. I understand that “Wolf Hollow” is going to be categorized and tagged as a “bully book” for years to come, and I get that. But Betty, the villain of the piece, isn’t your average mean girl. I hesitate to use the word “sadistic” but there’s this cold undercurrent to her that makes for a particularly chilling read. Now the interesting thing is that Annabelle has a stronger spine than, say, I would in her situation. Like any good baddie, Betty identifies the girl’s weak spot pretty quickly (Annabelle’s younger brothers) and exploits it as soon as she is able. Even so, Annabelle does a good job of holding her own. It’s when Betty escalates the threat (and I do mean escalates) that you begin to wonder why the younger girl is so adamant to keep her parents in the dark about everything. If there is any weak spot in the novel, it’s a weak spot that a lot of books for middle grade titles share. Like any good author, Wolk can’t have Annabelle tattle to her parents because otherwise the book’s momentum would take a nose dive. Fortunately this situation doesn’t last very long and when Annabelle does at last confide in her very loving parents Betty adds manipulation to her bag of tricks. It got to the point where I honestly had to flip to the back of the book to see what would happen to everyone and that is a move I NEVER do. But there’s something about Betty, man. I think it might have something to do with how good she is at playing to folks’ preexisting prejudices.
Originally author Lauren Wolk wrote this as a novel for adults. When it was adapted into a book for kids she didn’t dumb it down or change the language in a significant manner. This accounts for some of the lines you’ll encounter in the story that bear a stronger import than some books for kids. Upon finding the footsteps of Betty in the turf, Annabelle remarks that they “were deep and sharp and suggested that she was more freighted than she could possibly be.” Of Toby, “He smelled a lot like the woods in thaw or a dog that’s been out in the rain. Strong, but not really dirty.” Maybe best of all, when Annabelle must help her mother create a salve for Betty’s poison ivy, “Together, we began a brew to soothe the hurt I’d prayed for.”
I shall restrain myself from describing to you fully how elated I was when I realized the correlation between Betty down in the well and the wolves that were trapped in the hollow so very long ago. Betty is a wolf. A duplicitous, scheming, nasty girl with a sadistic streak a mile wide. The kind of girl who would be more than willing to slit the throat of an innocent boy for sport. She’s a lone wolf, though she does find a mate/co-conspirator of sorts. Early in the book, Wolk foreshadows all of this. In a conversation with her grandfather, Annabelle asks if, when you raised it right, a wolf could become a dog. “A wolf is not a dog and never will be . . . no matter how you raise it.” Of course you might call Toby a lone wolf as well. He doesn’t seek out the company of other people and, like a wolf, he’s shot down for looking like a threat.
What Wolk manages to do is play with the reader’s desire for righteous justice. Sure Annabelle feels conflicted about Betty’s fate in the will but will young readers? There is no doubt in my mind that young readers in bookclubs everywhere will have a hard time feeling as bad for the antagonist’s fate as Annabelle does. Even at death’s door, the girl manages the twist the knife into Toby one last time. I can easily see kids in bookclub’s saying, “Sure, it must be awful to be impaled in a well for days on end . . . . buuuut . . . .” Wolk may have done too good a job delving deep into Betty’s dark side. It almost becomes a question of grace. We’re not even talking about forgiveness here. Can you just feel bad about what’s happened to the girl, even if it hasn’t changed her personality and even if she’s still awful? Wolk might have discussed after Betty’s death the details of her family situation, but she chooses not to. She isn’t making it easy for us. Betty lives and dies a terrible human being, yet oddly we’re the ones left with the consequences of that.
In talking with other people about the book, some have commented about what it a relief it was that Betty didn’t turn into a sweet little angel after her accident. This is true, but there is also no time. There will never be any redemption for Betty Glengarry. We don’t learn any specific details about her unhappy home life or what it was that turned her into the pint-sized monster she is. And her death comes in that quiet, unexpected way that so many deaths do come to us. Out of the blue and with a whisper. For all that she spent time in the well, she lies until her very last breath about how she got there. It’s like the novel Atonement with its young liar, but without the actual atoning.
Wolk says she wrote this book and based much of it on her own family’s stories. Her memories provided a great deal of the information because, as she says, even the simplest life on a Pennsylvanian farm can yield stories, all thanks to a child’s perspective. There will be people who compare it to To Kill a Mockingbird but to my mind it bears more in common with The Crucible. So much of the book examines how we judge as a society and how that judgment can grow out of hand (the fact that both this book and Miller’s play pivot on the false testimony of young girls is not insignificant). Now I’ll tell you the real reason I flipped to the back of the book early. With Wolf Hollow Wolk threatens child readers with injustice. As you read, there is a very great chance that Betty’s lies will carry the day and that she’ll never be held accountable for her actions. It doesn’t work out that way, though the ending isn’t what you’d call triumphant for Annabelle either. It’s all complicated, but it was that unknowing midway through the book that made me need to see where everything was going. In this book there are pieces to pick apart about lying, truth, the greater good, minority vs. majority opinions, the price of honesty and more. For that reason, I think it very likely it’ll find itself in good standing for a long time to come. A book unafraid to be uneasy.
On shelves now.
Source: Thanks to Penguin Random House for passing on the galley.
This month the Poetry Seven crew wrote in the form of the tritina. The tritina is composed of 3 tercets and a final line (envoi) that stands alone. Similar to a sestina, though shorter, it uses a set of 3 alternating end words instead of six. The form is: ABC / CAB / BCA / A, B, and C (final line/envoi).
The words we chose from were selected by Tanita. They were:
sweet, cold, stone, hope, mouth, thread
I think repeating words are hard, so this took some thought. However, it was the final line using all three words at once that proved to be the real challenge. I wrote two poems for this form. The first is a bit melancholy, but that always happens to me at this time of the year. My father’s birthday was yesterday (the 5th). He would have been 90 this year. And tomorrow (the 7th) is the 7th anniversary of his death, so he’s been much on my mind as of late. Therefore, the first poem is for/about him. The second is much lighter.
Without further ado, my tritinas.
My father pulled the hook from the mouth
of the bass. I touched its cold
scales, the thrill of catching it sweet.
Memories of my father are sweet,
though sometimes I imagine him, mouth
agape, my mother at his side touching his cold
hands. At the end, the world went cold.
There was nothing sweet
in death. My heart and mouth
slammed shut. Now I fish alone--no dad, no largemouth--just cold, sweet stillness.
Speed Dating Introduction ... A 30-Second Tritina
I relish the smoothness of a stone
worn by water, the sweet
smell of freshly mown grass, the cold
slide of ice cream down my throat. I long for winter cold,
summer sun, the skipping of a stone
across the lake, that first buttery taste of sweet
corn. I believe in the sweet
hereafter, going cold
turkey, that some things are set in stone.
I’m stone cold sober, so lay some sweet lines on me.
Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2016. All rights reserved.
You can read the poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children
. Happy poetry Friday friends!
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Rising young animators and filmmakers will be featured prominently in this new Cartoon Brew feature.
The post Announcing Cartoon Brew Next, A Showcase of New Animation Talent appeared first on Cartoon Brew.
Maker programming is a large trend in public libraries throughout North America. By researching kit options and planning for added costs, public libraries can develop successful steam programming.
Moose Jaw Public Library has invested in a number of Maker programming initiatives which have been well received, including MakeDo, Squishy Circuits, and Little Bits. Prior to purchasing we sought reviews from a number of sources, including communications with other librarians, makezine.com, and reviews at PLA and at other conferences. We funded our Maker programs through a grant and through donations from our local Friends of the Library.
MakeDo encourages children to explore basic engineering principles. Each kit comes with a plastic safe saw, and several pins and hinges. Each library supplies cardboard boxes and the paper supplies required by the kits. Children can build anything they wish, or follow the kit instructions. While they cannot take their creations home, they can display their works of art and turn your library into a gallery!
With electrical circuit kits, it is important to consider the actual ongoing cost of the maker kits, including replacement parts. Squishy Circuits and Little Bits are very popular, however both kits have hidden costs. Squishy Circuits offers a fun, tactile way to experience electricity. However, librarians will need to factor in the cost of extra dough, replacement wires and time for cleaning equipment. Little Bits are fun! Kids love assembling these magnetic circuits. Buy the largest pack in your budget, as you will want multiples for a larger group. Additional budgeting is a must, as some pieces at the time of our kit’s purchase were only sold separately.
The Acton-Agua Dulce Public Library has also invested in various maker kits, with special emphasis on Snap Circuits Jr. kits. Each kit comes with an instructional booklet with projects that a child could do alone or in pairs. The baseline Jr. kit comes with 100 available projects that start from a basic closed circuit where a light illuminates or a fan spins to more complicated series and parallel circuits. I used this set for a S.T.E.A.M. centered program for ages 8-14 and it was very well received. Some kids already had lessons on circuitry and knew how they worked so I allowed them to have complete freedom with the kits and focused more on those who were just learning how the circuits worked.
The Snap Circuits kits turned out to be excellent for passive programming as well as more structured, lesson-based programming. We now have a couple different types of kits at the library as part of our Homework Center, and the afterschool kids love setting them up and seeing what they can create. And don’t worry if a piece gets lost or broken because you can easily buy replacement parts through their website. The only additional cost to the kits is the use of AA batteries, two needed per kit.
Three questions you may want to ask before buying your maker kit: Will it be something that kids will ask for again, over and over? Can you do a whole program around the kit? How easy is it to get replacement parts? The biggest takeaway with buying maker kits is that you have to try them for yourself to see what will work for you and your community.
Courtesy photo from Tina Docetti
Our guest bloggers today are Amanda Cain and Tina Dolcetti.Tina currently works for the Moose Jaw Public Library as a Children’s Librarian. By night, Tina can be found in her community, mentoring an adult with a cognitive disability for the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living. Amanda is a Children’s Librarian who enjoys opening young minds with stories, rhymes and activities at the Acton-Agua Dulce Public Library.
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do
Courtesy photo from Amanda Cain
not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.
If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The post STEAM programming in Acton-Agua Dulce and Moose Jaw appeared first on ALSC Blog.
— From Kuma-Kuma Chan’s Home:“I walk into his home.It smells slightly of bear.”(Click to enlarge) — From Bear & Hare—Where’s Bear?:“There!”(Click to enlarge) — From Blocks:Note: The text here is different than it appears in the book.(Click to enlarge) Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got some new children’s lit novels on the […]
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Playing with crayons. #oilpastels #sennelier #100daysofoilcrayon
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The Occult Activism of 1960s Group WITCH is Still Relevant
This article popped up on the feed the other day, and I was reminded about the presence of and representation of witches throughout time, in a society that has pretty much commodified witchcraft into a visual and figurative only culture, i.e. Halloween, rather than a metaphoric one. The W.I.T.C.H. group was collective performance, an agitation and ripple to the world of conventionality. They aligned their ideals through direct actions, mailings, printed matter, and spoken activism. Like many other political aggregates of the time, we are fortunate to have propaganda ephemera validating action and disruption:
“We promise to love, cherish, and groove on each other and on all living things. We promise to smash the alienated family unit. We promise not to obey. We promise this through highs and bummers, in recognition that riches and objects are totally available through socialism or theft (but also that possessing is irrelevant to love)….We pronounce ourselves Free Human Beings.
W.I.T.C.H. Women’s Liberation [Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell], c. 1969, mailing list card [#9011]