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Trolls. They only exist in fairytales, don't they? Trip trap trip trap go the three Billy Goats Gruff over the Troll's bridge. The youngest goat is allowed to pass by saying that his middle brother is bigger and more tasty. The middle brother is allowed to pass by saying that his older brother is biggest and yummiest. And what does the older brother do? Why he tosses the Troll over the side of the bridge with his great big horns and watches him smash on the rocks below, making the bridge safe forever.
If only it were as easy to get rid of trolls on the internet. In case you don't know what an internet troll is, here's a basic definition:
"In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response."
Internet trolls are clever. Sometimes they use what seem like reasonable arguments to draw people in. Often they act 'hurt and wounded'. Always they have an agenda, whether it be garnering publicity, provoking other people into online fights, or just plain old nastiness. What they love best is to be fed more material (ie comments) for them to get their sharp, cruel teeth into. They are vindictive, destructive, and a part of internet life I absolutely abhor.
I have been 'trolled' on this very blog. I won't say where or when, but it was one of the most upsetting experiences I've ever had - and the worst bit was feeling so totally helpless when it all kicked off. Luckily we managed to shut it down quite quickly, but not before some damage had been done and feelings badly hurt. My mistake was to 'feed the troll' by trying to be reasonable, polite and patient with his comments for far too long. This was a mistake. I've learned from it.
So why am I writing this post now? Because in the last month two authors have spoken out about their own experiences of being trolled and cyberbullied. One is Cassandra Clare, and you can read her account of what happened to her HERE. If you don't know what cyberbullying is, here's another basic definition:
Cyberbullying is "the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm other people, in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner." Cyberbullying methods include "communications that seek to intimidate, control, manipulate, put down, falsely discredit, or humiliate the recipient. The actions are deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior intended to harm another." I would include "passive-aggressive behaviour" along with "hostile".
The other person who has been trolled and cyberbullied very recently is Debi Gliori. Her piece about the campaign against her and her newest picture-book, The Tobermory Cat is HERE.
To be honest, both these stories make me angry, mostly because I hate any sort of bullying with a passion. I'm glad Cassandra and Debi were brave enough to come out and expose their tormentors, though, because too many people are scared to come forward and say something.
This is what bullying does. It isolates, makes you feel alone and frightened, is a small, insidious whisper in the brain, telling you that no one is on your side, that everyone hates you, and if you tell, everyone will hate you more. Cyberbullying is trolling whipped up into a campaign. It's much easier to hide behind a keyboard than to physically bully someone. You can even do it across borders, across continents.
No author should have to suffer it. No child should have to suffer it (though too many do, and die because of it, as in the recent case of Amanda Todd's suicide). Not one single human being deserves to be bullied or cyberbullied. Ever. Full stop.
Although I maintain that 'feeding the trolls' is not a good idea (and by 'feeding' I mean engaging with them on a longterm basis), I also believe that we should stand up in public and support, reasonably, politely and firmly, those who have been trolled or cyberbullied. Many of us have done so in Debi's case. Nicola Morgan has written an excellent piece on the ins and outs of intellectual property law HERE, and now the Guardian has also picked the story up.
If all of us stand together and keep saying no to each cyberbully and troll as we come across them, then maybe we, like the eldest Billy Goat Gruff, can use our horns to throw them down onto the rocks under the internet bridge and defeat them one by one. Unfortunately trolls and their cyberbully cousins are very resilient. I fear it'll be a long job, but I, for one, will keep on trying. I couldn't live with myself otherwise.
New Releases is a feature I've started to showcase some of the awesome books I've been sent by publishers that I am incredibly excited about, but haven't yet had a chance to get to.
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. Hooray!! I know a lot of you have been waiting for this one too and I can't wait to read it. Just too many books on the pile right now. I've decided I'm never going to sleep again...too many good books are out.
Thank you to the awesome people at Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy!
I am an affiliate of both IndieBound and Powells and will receive a small percentage of the purchase price.
Bookstore owner and novelist Ann Patchett wrote the most quoted passage on Goodreads last year in State of Wonder: “Never be so focused on what you’re looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find.”
During the same period, City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare was the most quoted book on Goodreads. Nearly 130,000 quotes were added to the social network last year–we’ve included a Goodreads infographic linking to all the most popular quotes of 2011.
If you want to share book quotes on Facebook, you can also follow this link to enable Goodreads on your Facebook Timeline. The new app connects with your Goodreads account, making the books and quotes you read a permanent part of your Facebook memories.
Cassandra Clare has landed a deal for a new young adult series called The Dark Artifices. Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, will release the first book in 2015.
Editorial director Karen Wojtyla negotiated the deal with Russell Galen of Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. This will be her third Shadowhunters series, the same world featured in The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.
Here’s more from the release: “Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, the series follows Emma Carstairs, the fiercest warrior and most skilled young Shadowhunter since Jace Wayland, and Emma’s sworn partner in arms, Julian Blackthorn. Despite Emma’s complicated feelings for Julian, the two must band together to investigate a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.”
The Song Remains the Same author Allison Winn Scotch urged writers to set a personal deadline, even if their editors don’t give them one. She encouraged readers to break a large project into smaller components, setting a specific timeline to complete each individual task.
Here’s an excerpt from her blog post: “With the screenplays I’m working on, I actually give deadlines to my producers…they are happy to get what I turn in whenever I turn it in, but I can’t work that way. So, for example, I’ll say: I intend to get you 50 pages by X date, and then I work backwards from there. I calculate how many pages a day I’ll need to write to meet that deadline…and I write them. Often times, I write faster than I imagined but without that date looming over me, there’s no chance I would. I think this can be a really useful tool when you’re working on a spec manuscript.”
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
You know we love steampunk at readergirlz. We had a blast with Scott Westerfeld, right? Well, how about a collection of steampunk short stories by some more of our favorite, favorite YA authors? You'll recognize many from our rgz Circle of Stars, past guests and contributors. Grab your goggles, because this collection by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant delivers!
So, what will you find in Steampunk: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories? How about mystery, murders, and machines? Worlds of gears and steam in amazing new locations from the minds of 14 writers: M. T. Anderson, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Shawn Cheng, Cassandra Clare, Cory Doctorow, Dylan Horrocks, Kathleen Jennings, Elizabeth Knox, Kelly Link, Garth Nix, Christopher Rowe, Delia Sherman, and Ysabeau S. Wilce.
How fun to find new authors I hadn't discovered before among old friends, all writing speculative fiction which often left me with chills. This quote from Cory's short story "Clockwork Fagin" really captures the collective atmosphere of Steampunk!:
"For machines may be balky and they may destroy us with their terrible appetite for oil, blood, and flesh, but they behave according to fixed rules and can be understood by anyone with the cunning to look upon them and winkle out their secrets. Children are ever so much more complicated."
Perfect, right? With three starred reviews already, look for this release October 11th!
Scott Westerfeld is going to have to start writing another gargantuan book series pretty soon. I just finished Goliath, the third book in theLeviathanseries, and I am going to go into Westerfeld withdrawal by November. Also, between this series and Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series, I've become a tad crazy for the steampunk stuff. Someone pointed out to me that the Leviathan books are not technically steampunk, as the engines described in the book don't run on steam. I don't care. So, don't tell me again that I'm mislabeling the series. At Powell's Books, they put Behemoth on the shelf in their steampunk display, so hah!
Goliath begins right where Behemoth left off: World War I rages on across Europe and Asia. It's Clankers vs. Darwinists in this revisionist version of the Great War. Aleksander, the heir to the Austrian throne, has just helped lead a revolution in Turkey and is back on the British airship Leviathan with his best pal, Dylan Sharp. By now, Dylan's secret- that he is, in fact, Deryn Sharp, a girl in disguise- is no longer quite so secret. People seem to be finding out or figuring it out left and right. But as long as the crew of the Leviathan doesn't know, Deryn is fairly certain she can stay on and continue to fly, which has always been her dream. It's when Alek finds out she's not who she says she is and worse, that she's in love with him, that things get a bit wonky.
In the meantime, the Leviathan is on a mission to Siberia to rescue the brilliant scientist Nicolas Tesla, who claims to have built a weapon so powerful that merely showing it to the world will stop the war. Anxious for peace, Alek falls in beside Mr. Tesla, against the better judgement of his advisors and friends. Alek feels that ending this war is his destiny, his great legacy, and no one can talk him out of going along with Tesla's plans. What Alek refuses to acknowledge is that Tesla is a bit of a madman, and his motives may not be as peaceful as Alek thinks.
As the Leviathan crisscrosses the world from Tokyo to Mexico to New York, Alek and Deryn meet a host of historical figures: Tesla, William Randolph Hearst, even Pancho Villa. How far will Tesla go with his weapon Goliath? Is he, and in turn, is Alek, willing to raze an entire city to show the weapon's power? And how can Alek, a royal heir fall for Deryn, a commoner?
Goliath is a fit ending to Westerfeld's action-packed series.The plot zooms along, as was the case with the first two books, though the characters take more time for quie
Some awesome books are coming out today. Have you pre-ordered any of these, and are anxiously awaiting for it?
Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2), by Cassandra Clare HARDCOVER I read Clockwork Angel last year, and I loved it! I've yet to read TMI, though. And guys, YOU CAN HEAR THE 1ST CHAPTER READ BY ED WESTWICK ON GOODREADS!!! GO, GO, GO!
Deadly Little Voices (a TOUCH novel), by Laurie Faria Stolarz HARDCOVER I haven't read any of these yet. Should I?
Ruthless (Pretty Little Liars, #10), by Sara Shepard HARDCOVER I don't know if I'd like these, sometimes I think I would, other times I just find a book that I want to read more.
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18B. Hadley's in 18A.
Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.
Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world... and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
What an awesome book! Truly amazing; I'm embarrassed to say that this was my first Clare book (if you don't count her fanfiction, which is amazing as well).
The the first book in the prequel series to The Mortal Instruments is beautifull
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There's been a lot of hoopla over who will be cast as Jace in the upcoming Mortal Instruments film. ReelzChannel.com decided to get YOUR casting opinion, but not just for Jace.
Head on over to the Mortal Instruments Cast-O-Rama (click the image below) and vote for your favorite actor picks for Jace, Simon, Clary, and the rest. You can even embed the lists into your own website!
After posting a video from the episode of Community where Troy meets his hero LeVar Burton I got a penchant for a little Reading Rainbow. The universe, it appears, was happy to oblige. First off you have a woman that I would love to meet one day. If the name Twila Liggett fails to ring any bells, know only that amongst her many accomplishments she was the founder and executive producer of Reading Rainbow back in the day. In the article Just Read Anything! she writes a message to parents and teachers that’s pretty self-explanatory. If you can’t think of Reading Rainbow without the aforementioned LeVar, however, the same website Happy Reading has a lovely interview with the man. I’d love to meet LeVar myself, but I think my reaction would be a shade too similar to Troy’s.
Mmm. Critical reviews. They’re important. I don’t do as many of them these days as I used to, but I try to work in at least a couple per year. Some bloggers don’t do them at all, and while I understand that I think it’s important to have a critical dialogue in the children’s literary blogosphere. That nice Justine Larbalestier author recently wrote a post called I Love Bad Reviews that covers this. She’s a gutsy gal, that one. I hope she writes a middle grade book one of these days (How to Ditch Your Fairy came close but wasn’t quite there). And if the research author Elizabeth Fama found in the Sept/Oct 2010 issue of Marketing Science is true, then “negative reviews of books of relatively unknown authors raised sales 45%.” So there you go, oh first time authors. It’s win-win!
Along similar lines is this other snarky link. Personally I’ve nothing against Cassandra Clare. She was a lovely person that I got to meet at a Simon & Schuster preview once. Of course, I’ve never read a one of her books (she’s a YA writer) but bookshelves of doom gave a positive review to her City of Bones and I trust Leila. That said, I enjoyed Part One of the podcast Read It and Weep’s series on that same book (Part Two isn’t out as of this posting). Read It and Weep is a couple dudes and their guest host talking about books and various pop culture icons they dislike. I wouldn’t recommend the podcast for fans of the series, but if you’re curious about the book it can be amusing. Particularly since they will mention things they enjoyed, like the cat-related paging system. I think I’ll have to seek out their thoughts on Percy Jackson soon. Not Twilight, though. It’s been done.
In the Author of the Year category, teen fiction writers dominate. The nominees include Suzanne Collins for Mockingjay, Stephenie Meyer for The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner, Rick Riordan for The Lost Hero, Jeff Kinney for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth, and Cassandra Clare for Clockwork Angel.
Children of all grades are encouraged to vote for the Illustrator of the Year award. Those nominated for in this category include Loren Long for President Barack Obama‘s Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, David Wiesner for Art & Max, Mo Willems for Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion, Robin Preiss Glasser for Fancy Nancy and the Fabulous Fashion Boutique, and Nancy Tillman for Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You. Who do you want to win?
May 2-8, 2011, is Children’s Book Week. Each year, during this week, The Children’s Book Council hosts the Children’s Choice Book Awards. These are the best awards because the children are given a voice! I highly recommend checking out the thirty books that have been nominated for the six categories: k-2nd, 3rd-4th, 5th-6th, Teens, and author of the year. Then, along with your kids or classroom, go and vote for their favorite(s)—you have until April 29. The winners will be announced on May 2 at the Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala.
This year’s Children’s Choice Book Award finalists are as follows:
Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year
Shark vs. Train
by Chris Barton (Author), Tom Lichtenheld (Illustrator)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 1, 2010)
Publisher’s synopsis:Shark VS. Train! WHO WILL WIN?!
If you think Superman vs. Batman would be an exciting matchup, wait until you see Shark vs. Train. In this hilarious and wacky picture book, Shark and Train egg each other on for one competition after another, including burping, bowling, Ping Pong, piano playing, pie eating, and many more! Who do YOU think will win, Shark or Train?
Publisher’s synopsis: Learn to read with this New York Times-bestselling picture book, starring an irresistible dog named Rocket and his teacher, a little yellow bird. Follow along as Rocket masters the alphabet, sounds out words, and finally . . . learns to read all on his own!
First things first, now that Clary and Jace can truly be boyfriend/girlfriend I was more at ease. Obviously their relationship didn't make me feel sick to my stomach anymore (heh heh). They are as close as ever and things are going great for them. Jace is even helping train Clary how to be a Shadowhunter. However, soon Jace starts to pull away from Clary, leaving her wonder what is going on and why he is behaving that way. Does he still love her? Does he still want her? To read more of my review, click here.
Earlier this month I headed out to see Holly Black and Cassandra Clare on tour promoting Red Glove and City of Fallen Angels at Third Place Books in Seattle. There was standing room only (see right), unless you wanted to pick your way through tightly packed knees and take the one seat deep in the middle, between the mom with the baby and the big pack of girls. I was eyeing it… but I chickened out.
A few highlights from Holly’s and Cassandra’s Q&A:
Advice for aspiring authors: Read outside your comfort zone; read a lot of nonfiction, because you’ll use it; write a lot; and find a critique partner who’ll tell you when your stuff is crazy.
For Shadow Hunter fans:Cassandra has a new trilogy in the works!
Holly’s favorite part of being an author is meeting other authors, and “not having to pretend [she's] not staring at them in a creepy way.” Love that, Holly! Except tonight, I was the one staring at you in a creepy way.
Cassandra’s favorite part of being an author is getting to talk about her characters with people who know all their quirks and foibles, just like she does.
It was amazing to see these two ladies in action -- they're warm and totally down-to-earth, with wicked senses of humor. Don't miss them if they hit your town on the tour.
See you soon, girlz! --Stephanie
Our Seattle Host, Stephanie Guerra, teaches children’s literature, young adult fiction and a seminar in writing instruction at Seattle University. She also heads a volunteer creative writing program at King County Jail, and researches and speaks about literacy instruction for at-risk and incarcerated young adults. Stephanie lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband and children. Her debut young adult novel, TORN, will be published by Marshall Cavendish in spring of 2012.
Amazon has launched The Back Story, a page promising “author interviews, essays, guest reviews, recipes, and much, much more.”
Amazon has uploaded five videos featuring author interviews with celebrity chef Tom Douglas, bestselling author Joshua Foer, teen fiction writer Holly Black, young-adult novelist Cassandra Clare, and Gossip Girl producer John Stephens. Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell revealed Carrie Bradshaw’s 1980s playlist in honor of her new title Summer and the City.
What do you think? Managing editor Mari Malcolm explained: ”We love these conversations so much that we wanted to share them with our customers. We hope that customers will take the opportunity to submit questions on our Amazon Books Facebook page or through our blog, Omnivoracious. They can also contact us at email@example.com.”
Tonight six lucky teen reviewers from insideadog.com.au will have the pleasure of some time with international award winning author, Cassandra Clare. In order to win this opportunity the six teens composed well written and thoughtful reviews of one of Clare’s titles for insideadog.com.au.
Reading a book and being swept away by the characters is a joy unto itself but it has been a pleasure for CYL to offer this chance to Australian teens. We are hoping to offer similar opportunities for regular reviewers on the website.
With summer days off from school, it’s the perfect time for students to unwind with a good book. Whether they want to dive into a serious series or just have a little light-hearted fun with a “guilty pleasure” book, Youth Advisory... Read the rest of this post