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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Books - Juvenile, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 927
1. A gentle reminder about a fabulous author.

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2. Cheap read(s): Daniel Pinkwater.

Young adults Young adultsFYI: A whole bunch of Daniel Pinkwater ebooks are currently available for the low, low price of $2.99, and they're free to borrow if you're a Prime member.


I swoon.

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3. The finalists for the 2014 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards...

Sorrow's knot...have been announced.

The middle grade/YA list is:

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, by Teresa Toten

Ultra, by David Carroll

Little Red Lies, by Julie Johnston

Jane, the Fox and Me, by Fanny Britt of Montreal

Sorrow's Knot, by Erin Bow

Click on through for the picture book nominees, and also be sure to take a look at who decides on the winners: pretty cool, huh?

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4. Hogwarts Online.

So, am I the last person to realize that there is a fan-created Hogwarts website with actual online classes?

If so, carry on, nothing to see here.

(via Open Culture)

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5. Twelve Minutes to Midnight -- Christopher Edge

Twelve minutes to midnightI love this cover art. Very Gorey-esque, no?

London, 1899.

Bedlam Hospital has a disturbing problem: every night, at precisely Twelve Minutes to Midnight, the inmates begin feverishly writing gibberish—on paper, on the walls, on themselves; in pencil, in ink, in blood. In the morning, none of the inmates have any memory of their actions, and every night, the madness spreads further. Having exhausted every medical avenue*, the authorities turn to Montgomery Flinch, an author who has recently taken England by storm with his macabre tales of terror published in the Penny Dreadful.

Little do they know, Montgomery Flinch doesn't exist. The stories are actually written by thirteen-year-old Penelope Treadwell, the orphaned heiress who owns the Penny Dreadful.

But Penelope isn't going to let a trifling detail like THAT prevent her from investigating...


  • Loads of atmosphere, action, and tense moments.
  • Details like the secret door leading to the SPOILER, and the mysterious, beautiful widow are nice nods to the genre and suggest a real affection for it.
  • Edge doesn't condescend to his audience: he doesn't over-explain plot points, and he never actually spills the beans about the specific events the prisoners are writing about. Deciphering those texts isn't necessary to enjoy the story, but they'll make a nice Easter Egg for any readers with a basic knowledge of twentieth-century history.


  • I got the impression that Edge was shooting for Late Nineteenth-Century Verbose and Flowery, but there's a distinct lack of rhythm in the prose. For example: "Behind him, Alfie failed to hide the smirk on his face as he took a sip from one of Monty's discarded glasses before grimacing in sudden disgust." In other words, much of the book feels like one big run-on sentence.
  • There's nothing in the way of character arc or growth: at the end of the story, the main characters are exactly who they were at the beginning. (I suppose that could be chalked up as a nod to the conventions of the genre, but as always, I don't like that as an argument, as it suggests that genre fiction is somehow 'lesser' than 'literary' fiction. Anyway.)
  • For a smart girl, Penelope is amazingly slow to put two and two together. Also, three-quarters of the way in, a plot point requires her to suddenly possess Crazy Science Skills which she explains away by saying that she's 'always' had a strong interest in science. It was so out of left field that I wrote NANCY DREW MOMENT in my notes.

Nutshell: Plenty of atmosphere and action, but no character development or emotional depth.


*I think? Hopefully this wasn't their first choice of solution?


Book source: ILLed through my library.

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Olivia kidneyFrom Reuters:

Moonbot Studios announced today that it will acquire film rights to the Olivia Kidney trilogy of young adult books by award-winning author Ellen Potter. The series is published by Philomel (a division of Penguin/Putnam). Moonbot plans to develop Olivia’s Alice in Wonderland-like adventures as a live action film with significant animation sequences. The film rights deal was handled by David Lipman and Michael Siegel for Moonbot and for Ellen Potter by Alice Tasman and Jennifer Weltz of Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency.

If the movie happens, hopefully the books will finally get the attention that they deserve. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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7. More footage from The Giver has been released...

...and yes, some of it is in black and white:

I'm still feeling EXTREMELY skeptical. It just looks way... flashier than I ever pictured the book.

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8. Penny Dreadful -- Laurel Snyder


And, despite my difficulty with the ultra-quirk end of the spectrum—inhabited primarily by Stargirl and her ukelele—I adored this book. It's basically Hart of Dixie, if Zoe Hart happened to be a formerly affluent ten-year-old. It's got that same city-to-small-Southern-town move, that same solitude-to-community arc, the same cultural fish-out-of-water story, as well as a lot of learning about friendship and not making assumptions and working together and just plain old summertime kid fun.

THE BOOKS! Penny is a huge reader, most of her understanding of the world comes from living vicariously through books, and thus, that affects her thought process and perspective:

Duncan didn't look especially fragile or sensitive to Penny, no more so than anyone else she'd ever met. But looks could be deceiving. Maybe Duncan was like an upsetting book with an ordinary, happy cover. Maybe he was Bridge to Terabithia.


PENNY AND HER PARENTS! There is a whole lot of strife in the household, most of it due to financial woes—and that, in itself, is another plus: speaking as someone who grew up in a "scrimp and pinch" family, as much as adults try to protect them from it, economic hardship is a very real fear for kids, and it's always nice to see it addressed—but there's also plenty of love and affection. And it isn't just Penny's family. All of the various parents at the Whippoorwillows compound are loving and emotionally generous, with their own children and with the children of others, and the children have those same qualities. While that might seem unrealistic to some readers, it's important to remember that the tenants aren't random: every family living there is there by specific invitation.

FRIENDSHIP! As I mentioned above, there are lessons about friendship, about making assumptions, about working together, and about when to ask for help... but all of them are integrated organically into the story, and it's very much a story about Penny figuring things out, rather than a story created to teach the reader. Upon her family's arrival at the Whippoorwillows, Penny almost immediately finds a bosom friend in Luella. They clearly adore each other, but that doesn't prevent them from having disagreements or from—especially in Penny's case, as she's never really had a real friend before—making mistakes. 

THE ART! I love it so much when it's clear that the artist did a close-read of the text. Abigail Halpin includes so many dead-on-the-money details that I'm going to hunt around for other chapter books she's illustrated. [ETA: Well, then. That was the easiest research I've done, like, ever.]

It's warm and cozy, it's about family and friends and community, and about how you don't have to go out looking for dragons to be a hero: oftentimes, it's everyday life that brings the real adventure.


Book source: ILLed through my library.



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9. A few details about the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie.

Fantastic beasts and where to find themAt the NYT:

That is when Warner announced that Ms. Rowling had agreed to adapt for the big screen her “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a 2001 book billed as one of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbooks. Three megamovies are planned. The main character will be a “magizoologist” named Newt Scamander. The stories, neither prequels or sequels, will start in New York about seven decades before the arrival of Mr. Potter and his pals.

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10. The 2014 Little Rebels shortlist...

Middle of nowhere...has been announced.

The contenders are:

Moon Bear, by Gill Lewis

After Tomorrow, by Gillian Cross

Real Lives: Harriet Tubman, by Deborah Chancellor

Stay Where You Are, by John Boyne

The Middle of Nowhere, by Geraldine McCaughrean

Rosie Revere, Engineer, by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

The Promise, by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin

Click on through for more info.

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11. I am Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket, AMA...

...at reddit, obvs.

I haven't finished reading down through, but this answer made me howl:

[–]DunkRyder 189 points 5 hours ago

What's your opinion of the film? How did you feel about the whole thing during development, after release and how do you feel about it now?

[–]DanielHandler aka Lemony Snicket[S] 543 points 4 hours ago

"I have nothing to announce at this time."

(via Brooke)

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12. Dirtbag Anne of Green Gables.

Dirtbag anneFrom The Toast:

[The schoolhouse burns in the distance. Anne stands on the porch, face flushed and streaked with ash]

(Via my Treasured Sister, obviously.)

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13. Laurel Snyder on Twent's two moms.

Peny dreadfulFrom her blog:

I’m guessing what upset you most about the book was that you got no WARNING. There is no backmatter to inform readers that they might encounter diversity in this book. You may feel that your daughter should have had a chance to choose for herself that she was about to encounter a few lines of text in which there were gay people. I don’t know how this would work. Should I have also included a warning label: WARNING: THIS BOOK HAS SOME JEWS IN IT?

And as I haven't read the book yet, I just ILLed the hell out of it.

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14. Roundtable: People of Color Underrepresented in Children's Books.

From KQED Radio:

Ethnic diversity is on the rise in the U.S. So why are children's books still so white? Only about 6 percent of kids' books published in 2013 feature characters that are African-American, Latino, Asian or Native American. We take up the discussion with authors, illustrators and librarians. Does the ethnicity of characters in children's books matter to you?

Panelists include Christopher Myers, Mitali Perkins, and others!

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15. Trailer: The Giver.



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16. The 2014 Carnegie Medal shortlist...

Rooftoppers Rooftoppers...has been released, as has the shortlist for the Kate Greenaway Medal.

The Carnegie contenders are:

All the Truth That's in Me, by Julie Berry

The Bunker Diary, by Kevin Brooks

The Child's Elephant, by Rachel Campbell-Johnston

Ghost Hawk, by Susan Cooper

Blood Family, by Anne Fine

Rooftoppers, by Katherine Rundell

Liar & Spy, by Rebecca Stead

The Wall, by William Sutcliffe

Click on through for more info, as well as for the Greenaway list.

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17. The 2014 Sheikh Zayed Book Award shortlists...

Raghda’s Hat...have been released.

The Children's list is as follows:

Mu’jizaton fil Sahra’a (A Miracle in the Desert), by Egyptian writer Yacoub Al Sharooni

‘Qubba’it Raghda’ (Raghda’s Hat), by Jordanian Novelist Taghreed Al Najjar

‘Thalathoun Qaseedah Lil Atfal’ (Thirty Poems for Children), by Jawdat Fakhr Al Din from Lebanon

Click on through for the others!

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18. The Independent on Sunday will no longer be reviewing books that are "marketed to exclude either sex".

Angus thongs and full frontal snogging pinkFrom the Independent:

Happily, as the literary editor of The Independent on Sunday, there is something that I can do about this. So I promise now that the newspaper and this website will not be reviewing any book which is explicitly aimed at just girls, or just boys. Nor will The Independent’s books section. And nor will the children’s books blog at Independent.co.uk. Any Girls’ Book of Boring Princesses that crosses my desk will go straight into the recycling pile along with every Great Big Book of Snot for Boys. If you are a publisher with enough faith in your new book that you think it will appeal to all children, we’ll be very happy to hear from you. But the next Harry Potter or Katniss Everdeen will not come in glittery pink covers. So we’d thank you not to send us such books at all.

Well, then. I certainly understand not wanting to use up their limited amount of book coverage space on those For Girls/For Boys books, which so often seem to turn out to be quickly cobbled together anthologies of public domain literature and artwork. However, the derision geared towards the "glittery pink" covers was unnecessary, and smacks of the annoying People Who Like Glittery Pink Things Are Lesser People Than Those Who Do Not mentality.

Also, if they skip over all of those, they could miss out on the next Angus, which would make for much sadness.

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19. Campaign: Let Books Be Books.

Gendered coloring booksFrom the Guardian:

The former children's laureate Anne Fine, added her voice to the campaign, speaking of how "exasperating" it was that "these false and stupid assumptions about what each gender 'wants' are back in force, narrowing the horizons and possibilities for children of both sexes".

"You'd think this battle would have been won decades ago. But even some seemingly bright and observant adults are buying into it again - quite literally buying into it in the area of 'pink for girls and blue for boys'," said Fine. "There are girls of all sorts, with all interests, and boys of all sorts with all interests. Just meeting a few children should make that obvious enough. But no, these idiotic notions are spouted so often they become a self-fulfilling societal straitjacket from which all our children suffer."

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20. BACA Alert: Keith Richards.

Oh, Keith.

Why do you want to break my heart?

From the Guardian:

Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar is about Richards' grandfather, Theodore Augustus Dupree, who played in a jazz big band and introduced the young Keith to music.

"I have just become a grandfather for the fifth time, so I know what I'm talking about," Keith Richards said. "The bond, the special bond, between kids and grandparents is unique and should be treasured. This is a story of one of those magical moments. May I be as great a grandfather as Gus was to me."

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21. Ever dreamed of having your artwork displayed at the Carle Museum?

What's your favorite animalHere's your chance:

For Spring 2014, The Carle is creating a special exhibition to celebrate this new book. We will showcase the original work of the 14 published artists as well as a digital exhibition from friends from around the world.

We invite Artists of all ages to submit a digital image of an original work of art depicting your own favorite animal. Your submission will be available on a digital screen in our gallery from April 8-August 31 and will be included in an online exhibition that will live on our museum’s blog.  Submissions will be accepted from now until August 1, 2014.

Thank you for your interest in this project. All royalties from What’s Your Favorite Animal?,published by Holt and Company, benefit The Carle and its educational programs!

Relatedly, there's a Harriet the Spy Turns Fifty (FIFTY!) exhibit coming up, and I'm thinking that a trip is very definitely in order for that one.

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22. Today, Eleanor & Park faces off against Doll Bones AND The Lowland...

Eleanor and park...in SLJ's Battle of the Kids' Books and the Tournament of Books, respectively.

Click on through for the results of the match-ups!

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23. Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung, children's authors.

From the Guardian:

Christopher Richardson, who is researching North Korean children's literature for his PhD at Sydney University, says the late former leaders of North Korea are both credited with writing children's stories, with Kim Jong-il the apparent author of Boys Wipe Out Bandits, "an ode to the redemptive power of ultra-violence", he writes in an article published in the International Review of Korean Studies, and Kim Il-sung acknowledged as the author behind the anti-American fable The Butterfly and The Cock.

Well, color me agog.

Happily, the author of the article predicted and answered my Number One Burning Question:

So far, Kim Jong-un has not – as far as Richardson can tell – written his own children's book, but he anticipates it won't be long until North Korea's latest leader steps into the children's literature arena.

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24. My feelings on Raina Telgemeier's Drama and Smile...

...in a nutshell:


(Minus the sentimental part. Basically just, I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU.)

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25. The finalists for the 2014 Oklahoma Book Awards...

Nugget and fang Mojo...have been announced.

The Children's/YA list is:

Vampire Baby, by Kelly Bennett

The Year of the Turnip, by Glenda Carlile

The Dark Between, by Sonia Gensler

Nugget & Fang, by Tammi Sauer

MOJO, by Tim Tharp

How I Became a Ghost, by Tim Tingle

Click on through for the other categories!

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