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...have been announced.
The prize for Best Story went to Katherine Rundell's Rooftoppers, and the prize for Best Book with Facts (I find that category name both bizarre and awesome) went to Tony Robinson's Weird World of Wonders: World War II.
Click on through for more info as well as for a list of the other shortlisted titles.
Bwahahahahaha. I fell over laughing when I read that sentence.
Anyway, it's from an article at the New Yorker about Tove Jansson.
So click on through if you are so inclined!
Well, if that's the case, she started working on said fulfillment way back in Book Four, which is when it became pretty clear to me that they were going to end up together.
So really, this isn't something I feel is worth getting all worked up about:
Rowling says that she should have put Hermione and Harry together in the Harry Potter series instead of Hermione and Ron, according to the publication’s headline, which reads, “JK admits Hermione should have wed Harry.”
I mean, I don't doubt that she's being truthful about feeling differently about it now, but short of writing a sequel in which they're all middle-aged divorcees, there's really nothing to be done about it.
(Anyway, I've always LIKED Ron and Hermione together. And it should be noted that Hermione didn't HAVE to end up with anyone!)
Fresh off the record-breaking success of “Ride Along,” Kevin Hart has signed on to voice one of the lead roles in DreamWorks Animation’s “Captain Underpants” along with fellow comedy superheroes Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele and Thomas Middleditch, TheWrap has learned.
Hart and Middleditch will voice scheming fourth graders George Beard and Harold Hutchins, who love playing pranks, hiding in their secret treehouse and writing comic books. But when they accidentally bring their favorite comic book character, Captain Underpants, to life through a hypnosis accident involving their megalomaniacal principal Mr. Krupp (Helms), their elementary school life becomes anything but elementary.
Peele will voice George and Harold’s nerdy nemesis Melvin, while Kroll will voice the villain, Professor Poopypants.
I CAN'T WAIT.
I realize that it's semi-ridiculous to only now be jumping on this particular bandwagon, but...
It occurred to me last night that somewhere along the way, Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid has replaced Louise Rennison's Angus, Thongs, and Full-frontal Snogging as my go-to comfort re-read.
The books are smart, and the illustrations don't just act as punchlines or to rehash what's already gone on in the prose—as in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, they serve to forward the story and the character development. Greg is an imperfect protagonist: smart but almost entirely unmotivated, a boy who doesn't appear to have an altruistic bone in his body, who occasionally acts ABYSMALLY towards others (and doesn't usually even entirely realize it), but who's easy to relate to and is almost always likable. The secondary characters are, like him, imperfect but mostly likable (especially his mother and Rowley, but even Rodrick, who just KILLS me).
As is the case with the traditional comic format, since Kinney forces the reader to rapidly alternate between mediums, they're deceptively complex reads, which makes me all the happier that they're so popular with reluctant readers. (Very sneaky, Mr. Kinney!)
They capture the day-to-day triumphs, embarrassments, and injustices that a middle school boy experiences (and in that last case, occasionally doles out), and they're mostly realistic and believable in a tall-tall kind of way, but more than anything else, they're FUNNY. Like, laugh-out-loud, shake-the-bed-until-Josh-is-forced-to-stop-reading-his-own-book-to-see-what's-set-me-off-this-time*, read-the-books-over-and-over-and-over-again-until-they-fall-apart FUNNY.
Anyway, I'm sure you already know all of the above. So really, what all of that boils down to is this: I JUST NEEDED TO SQUEE.
*The other day, he asked me who the author is, which means that he's TOTALLY considering reading them.
I think it was probably the name of Rodrick's band that finally tipped him over the line from finding the books Amusing-by-Proxy to Actively-Interesting.
I tried to play it cool, but I might have tipped my hand by tackle-hugging him and squealing, "ARE YOU GOING TO READ THEM? ARE YOU? ARE YOU? THEY'RE SO MUCH FUN, I KNOW YOU'LL LOVE THEM! HERE, LET ME READ YOU MY FAVORITE PARTS!!"
Hopefully I didn't scare him off...
Emerald City is described as a modern and dark reimagining of the classic tale of Oz in the vein of Game Of Thrones, drawing upon stories from Baum’s original 14 books that include lethal warriors, competing kingdoms, and the infamous wizard as we’ve never seen him before. A head-strong 20-year-old Dorothy Gale is unwittingly sent on an eye-opening journey that thrusts her into the center of an epic and bloody battle for the control of Oz.
I kind of already want to skip it.
AM I THE CRABBIEST CRAB WHO EVER CRABBED?
But, fair or not, the EDGY OZ description immediately made me think of this, which ewww.
At Candlewick Press' Scribd page, they've uploaded lots of chapter samples, activity kits, discussion guides, author interviews, and press releases.
I haven't combed through everything that's there—when I said 'lots', I meant 'LOTS'—but you'd better believe that I clicked the hell out of the follow button.
This YA deal you've probably already seen and barfed over, but just in case you haven't, I'm sharing it:
Bestselling authors James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton's ENDGAME: THE CALLING, the first in a trilogy reported to be about a world in which 12 bloodlines each produce a teen warrior champion and there is a fight to eliminate all the bloodlines except for the winners which will feature an interactive puzzle comprised of clues and riddles throughout the text and a major prize for each book in the series; the deal also includes fifteen original e-book novellas, YouTube videos, search and image results, mapping coordinates, social media, and interactive gaming, to Tara Weikum at Harper Children's in the US and Rachel Denwood at Harper Children's UK in association with Full Fathom Five, and Google's Niantic Labs, to be published October 7, 2014, by Eric Simonoff and Simon Trewin at William Morris Endeavor and David Krintzman of Morris Yorn (World English).
This middle grade deal, meanwhile, SOUNDS FABULOUS:
Jo Whittemore's CONFIDENTIALLY YOURS, about a group of sixth-graders who collaborate on an advice column and resolve all the problems of their school one anonymous letter at a time, to Andrea Martin at Harper Children's, in a six-book deal, by Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
So, I realize that I'm probably the last person on the planet to read this one.
But it just got donated to the library, so I sat down and read it, and when I got to the end, OH MY GOD, I howled.
And then I was all, "THAT WAS REALLY DARK."
And then I proceeded to sit right there and read it again, snickering away to my heart's content.
I think it's the expression on the crab's face (eyestalks?) that really kills me.
And also the various expressions on the big fish's face as he wakes up, realizes his hat is gone, and IMMEDIATELY KNOWS WHO TOOK IT.
And the rhythm and repetition of the line about the safety of the plants that "grow big and tall and close together".
The crab, though, MAN. I love him.
Oh! I just realized! You know why this struck such a chord with me? No, of course you don't. Well, I'll tell you: I've been rearranging all of our fairy tale picture books, and so I've been thinking a lot about various stories and whatnot, but especially about how Goldilocks is SUCH A JERK. I mean, she breaks into someone's house, eats their food and breaks their stuff, and somehow we're supposed to care about/root for her? NO, THANK YOU.
Anyway, I love that This is Not My Hat is kind of the anti-Goldilocks.
...which I'm sure has been pointed out before, but IT'S ALL NEW TO ME, SO HERE I AM, POSTING ABOUT IT ANYWAY.
...have been announced.
The Children's/YA winner is:
The War Within These Walls, by Aline Sax
and the honor books are:
Shanghai Escape, by Kathy Kacer
The Extra, by Kathryn Lasky
Click on through for the other categories!
...have been announced.
GET READING, ALL!
Currently free for the Kindle:
Anne of Green Gables Stories: 12 Books, 142 Short Stories, Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne's House of Dreams, Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside, Chronicles and More
So, you know: Even if you have the physical copies at home, now you can BRING THEM EVERYWHERE YOU GO WITHOUT THROWING YOUR BACK OUT.
Then don't miss this: The Definitive Ranking Of All 131 Baby-Sitter’s Club Cover Outfits.
Can someone please explain to me why there's not an apostrophe (preferably plural possessive, thanks Speak 'N' Spell!) in the title of the series? I've always wondered.
[ETA: APPARENTLY, I AM NOT ALONE IN BEING CONFUSED.]
...is ramping up:
We, the three members of the BOB Command Team, have made our contender picks. And, thanks to the hard work of our SLJ Support Team, now have fifteen eager judges waiting to receive their battle instructions.
Starting on January 15th, stop by often to find the contenders list, battle bracket, judge info, and more!
SO EXCITED TO SEE THE LIST OF CONTENDERS.
Click on through for the round-up at Marjorie Ingall's blog.
The Bellairs one is my favorite, hands down, but the commenter* who suggested that the Rainbow Fish manicuree should be required to peel one off and give it away to anyone who complimented the look WINS THE DAY.
*Oh, it was Paula. OF COURSE IT WAS. She wins a lot of days, that one.
Maybe I'm just especially weakened from this hideous sickness that my Treasured Sister gave me for Christmas (Thanks, Sis! I'M SOOOOO APPRECIATIVE!), but I'd completely forgotten what a beautiful book Skellig is: by the time I reached the end, I was full-on sobbing. Not because it was remotely sad, but just because it was so, so lovely that it made me HAVE ALL SORTS OF FEELINGS.
In it, David Almond ties life and death and love and family and friendship and hope and despair and angels and dinosaurs and owls and evolution together, and he does it in a way that celebrates the interconnectedness of all things without getting all woo-woo.
It is, as Mina and Michael would say, extraordinary.
You probably already know the storyline: Michael and his family have just moved into an old fixer-upper of a house, they have lots of big plans about renovating it, about bringing the garden back to life, about knocking down the already-dangerously-decrepit shed on the property and replacing it with a garage.
They didn't count on the baby coming so early.
Or on her being so sick.
Or on the man-who-might-not-be-exactly-a-man living in the shed.
I don't even know where to start, it's so superb. Heck, if you've never read it, you ought to just stop reading this and pick it up instead—it's less than two hundred pages long. (Were YA books shorter in the '90s? Also, would we even call this a YA book now? It won a Printz Honor, but except for the British thing, I feel like it's almost more Newbery material, age-wise.)
A few things I loved about it this time around:
Death as part of life. Death surrounds everything and everyone in Skellig—Michael's sister is fighting for her life, Mina's father died, Skellig just wants to lie down and die, Michael's new house opened up because the previous owner died—and it very definitely creates stress, poses a threat, causes emotional upheaval, and everything that loss (and potential loss) can do. BUT! Almond also shows it as a thing of beauty, in that the owls that Mina and Michael adore are predators: they kill to live. And even when an owl kills a baby bird—so similar to the blackbird chicks that Mina has been studying and protecting throughout the book—she and Michael see beyond the sadness of that life lost to the bigger picture: that bird's death is, in part, an owl's life.
OH HELL, I AM SUDDENLY SO TEMPTED TO START BELLOWING THE CIRCLE OF LIFE. (It's a good thing Josh isn't home at the moment.)
Friendship. Mina and Michael's growing connection and friendship, which very well might not have happened if not for his sister's illness. Mina, as I mentioned in my post about the prequel, My Name is Mina, could so easily have been a revoltingly wise/twee/quirky character, but she's not: she reads like a real person, a precocious kid who is exceedingly prone to moments of pure obnoxiousness. And that, for me, makes her all the more likable. They're both lonely, they're both mulling over some Really Big Stuff, they happen to find each other, and they very rapidly—and believably—develop a kinship, a trust.
Also, Michael's growing disconnect—and then reconnect—with his old friends: rather than just growing out of his old friends and walking away (which probably would have been easier to write), Almond allowed them ALL to grow up a bit. It's so nicely done.
Family. Despite the razor-sharp tension in Michael's house, it's totally, completely obvious and evident that there is a whole lot of love and affection in their family. So much that Michael never questions it, never questions his place in his parents' hearts, never questions whether or not he wants his sister in his life. Which, thinking back over the family stories I've read over the last few years, suddenly seems so refreshing, so satisfying, and so... comforting.
Skellig: I like that there's no question that he's real, just that we're never quite sure if he's man or beast or angel. Or all three.
I could go on.
But really, it's 182 freaking pages long. Just read it.
Book source: Bought.
From the Guardian:
Harry Potter is set for the West End with JK Rowling collaborating on a stage play about the young wizard's life before his arrival at Hogwarts.
Rowling, author of the seven-volume best-selling Harry Potter series, will be a co-producer and collaborate with a writer on the play, which it is hoped will hit the stage in 2015.
In a statement, Rowling said: "Over the years I have received countless approaches about turning Harry Potter into a theatrical production, but Sonia [Friedman] and Colin [Callender]'s vision was the only one that really made sense to me, and which had the sensitivity, intensity and intimacy I thought appropriate for bringing Harry's story to the stage.
London and New York producers Callender and Friedman said the play would tell "the previously untold story of Harry Potter's early years as an orphan and outcast".
Wow. If it'd just been an adaptation of the first book, I wouldn't have been particularly surprised (or all that excited, honestly), but this is INTERESTING.
From The Case of the Captured Koala:
Bugs Meany was the leader of a gang of tough older boys. They called themselves the Tigers. They should have called themselves the Heathens. They were doomed to eternal torment in a subterranean lake of fire.
I haven't finished reading it yet, but so far, it's rather hilarious.
From the NYT:
Ms. DiCamillo is required to appear at the National Book Festival and at Children’s Book Week in New York. Her message, she said, would be an inclusive one.
“It wasn’t until my fifth or sixth book where I realized I’m trying to do the same thing in every story I tell, which is bring everybody together in the same room,” Ms. DiCamillo said. “That’s the same thing that I want here: to get as many different people into the room as I can. I don’t know that I will resonate with a particular group of kids, but I want to get as many kids and as many adults together reading as I can.”
...have been announced.
And the winner of the children's category is:
Chris Riddell for Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse
Full shortlist here.
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Click on through to Noblemania for the other two segments.