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Oh good lord this is so adorable I just had to share it with you. I'm sure books by May Gibbs are very familiar in Australia, but we don't see that many of them in the UK. I've seen copies of Snugglepot & Cuddlepie and the Gum-Nut Babies in the past, but this is the first time I've seen Scotty in Gumnut Land. I'm a dog lover so anything about dogs always appeals, but this particular little dog is just wonderful! I'm sure you've already guessed that Scotty is a Scottish Terrier, but this is a terrier with attitude!
Scotty lives with his humans in a town in Australia. He’s happy enough but is bored with staying in one place, one day he manages to escape from the garden and set off on an adventure.
It’s not long before he’s set upon by two other dogs and ends up with an injured paw. Miles from home and lonely, Scotty meets a strange creature called Tiggy Touchwood who dresses in a conical black hat and scarf. Tiggy can conjure up spells that change the shape of things, bring them alive or turn them to stone. She has a friend called Mifrend (my friend), who works in a vast cavern filled with jewels. At one stage in the story, Mifrend, Tiggy and Scotty have to face a monster in the depths of the caves. But, as in all good stories the three friends end up living happily ever after!
Sometimes the covers are every bit as beautiful as the dust wrapper, and that is certainly true of this book.
Now that’s something you don’t see every day!
Further details about Scotty in Gumnut Land here
Have you read this, or anything else by May Gibbs?
BALL, by Mary Sullivan
2013)(ages 3+). In this nearly-wordless picture book, Dog is obsessed with playing fetch and Girl is happy to oblige. When Girl has to go to school, though, what's a dog to do?
BALL is hilarious fun, terrifically capturing every dog's biggest obsession (after food and sleep).
Here are a couple pics from the launch party Saturday:
|Mary Sullivan and Bethany Hegedus|
|Cyn and Mary|
|Erik Kuntz and me|
By: George Collingwood,
This afternoon we couldn’t find Lucy. We didn’t think she’d be anywhere except in the house, but one of the neighbours called over the fence to say she was out in the Six Foot, running up and down. She’d been ignoring us. We ran outside and saw Pink a few feet away, looking down from a high fence post. That little cat had been there all the time, watching and acting important and we realized that she’d tempted poor Lucy to slide under the gate and run over the lawned garden where the cats hold court; and once past that gate you can see the Six Foot through Alleycat’s hedges. You can bet Lucy didn’t hesitate when Pink showed her how to negotiate the twisted boughs and the prickly spears of hawthorn that stand guard on Alleycat’s turf. Bernie didn’t miss her daughter at all and was quite happy to be on the sofa alone, without Lucy getting in the way and demanding our attentions. There she is in the video, pleased as Punch.
By: George Collingwood,
Author: Jane Murphy & Allison Fingerhuth
Illustrator: Neal Sharp
Publisher: Mutt Media
Buy it at Amazon
Pipper’s food blog is popular, and her readers expect her to dish up some tasty morsels. But Pipper is stumped, and doesn’t know what her next topic should be. When she meets with her friends, she stumbles on the idea of finding the “secret ingredient” to the best biscuit. They help her make arrangements, and off she goes on a trip around the world.
Unbeknownst to her, Bull Bogus of Bogus Biscuits has sent out a spy, hot on her tail. Bumbles follows diligently behind, leaving chaos in his wake. But Pipper has been warned about Bumbles, and she’s watching for him. Pipper meets some interesting characters and samples some wonderful food along the way. And when she finally discovers the secret ingredient, her friends agree. Her blog is a success, as is her newest enterprise.
Pipper’s Secret Ingredient blends adventure, friendship, and food in delightful proportions. Kids will enjoy Pipper’s travels, while cheering for her to outsmart Bumbles. And everyone will agree that the secret ingredient is perfect, and well worth the search. I highly recommend this entertaining adventure.
Reviewer: Alice Berger
My golden retriever, Traffy, has been a therapy dog for the last three years and has been irregularly visiting our local school for children with multiple sensory impairments as well as a home for people with Alzheimer's. It wasn't supposed to be irregular it was supposed to be regular but last year Traffy got very sick and had to have a benign tumour, the size of a newborn baby, removed from her abdomen. She'd had the same problem three years before but the cause of the problem wasn't diagnosed then, which it now has been and so hopefully there'll be no more tumours and she's back to being her healthy, full of energy, lovely self. The first time she had the problem I was told that she should be put down as there was no hope of her getting better (there'd been complications after the operation) but I said no give her more time and she recovered and once she was fully better she became a therapy dog.
And now she's going to be going into a school as a reading dog which I'm very excited about and hope she will enjoy, which I think she will as she loves children. There's quite a few charities that provide dogs to help children read in schools and I think it's a very good idea. When I told friends about it one of them said they hated reading aloud at school and would have done anything to avoid it.
'But I'd have loved to have read to a dog...'
I would have done too. In preparation for next week's first visit I now have a special mat for her to sit on with letters on it - so she'll get used to knowing why we're at the school and I have been practising reading to my dogs on it. (It's only Traffy who's going but my other goldie, Bella, likes sitting on the mat too.) They react to being read to differently but both are happy to sit on the mat and have a cuddle. Traffy watches my face all the time I'm reading but Bella looks at each of the pictures as I point at them. Tray's also now got a special book with lots of photos and text about the things she likes to do to take with her.
We're going in with our area reading advisor and I think there's going to be some group activity as well as individual reading. I'm a tiny bit worried that they'll want long sessions and over-tire her - although so far when we've visited places if she's had enough she goes to the door and gives me a pointed look to tell me it's time to go. I'm only planning to visit once a month at first.
I think lots of schools would like visits. This morning a teacher friend told me how they'd really like a therapy dog in their school for a boy who's having huge problems making friends and very poor social skills.
'A therapy dog could help...' she said wistfully.
Maybe. I think probably. In my opinion dogs usually do help.
Anyway, will let you know how it goes. I'd love to hear if you've had any experience with therapy or reading dogs.
Ruth writes both as Ruth Symes and Megan Rix.
Ruth Symes' website is www.ruthsymes.com
Megan Rix's is www.meganrix.com
and her dog Bella tweets at puppy girl_bella.Megan's latest book 'The Victory Dogs' is published by Puffin on 4 April. It's set during the Blitz and is about twopuppies born on the London Underground.
Found another doodle from an evening at WOMAD. I think they are howling along to something or other.
I'm working on my novel, fixing up bad sentences, knitting some bits of psychology into early scenes that should help with later ones. Clearing up character motivations, checking reasons and reactions, tidying up weird metaphors. It's slow but satisfying work.
We went to ALDI today, a small island of familiarity on this side of the world, and bought things to cook. It's expensive to eat out here, but I am really enjoying our evening outings after the sun has gone down. There is live music and loads of great places to sit and eat and drink and plan and talk.
I keep thinking of things I want to do when I get back to London - sit in the British Library and write, buy some treats from Borough Market, make a big salad in my own kitchen. Then again I feel like I don't want to go back, but move somewhere more pleasant. Somewhere the houses aren't surprised when it gets cold every winter. Somewhere with more space to go around... pretty much every time I travel to a different city the higher ceilings give me slight vertigo, and I start to calculate how many bedsits each house could be broken up into, and who could afford to live there.
But London is where I live. I'll travel back to London in a few days, and see my friends, make some books, eat some salad, complain about the rent and the weather and public transport, and it will be good to be home.
Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
I’m kind of scared to read Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson because I will be worried that something bad happens to the dogs, but I am fascinated by the premise. Long wait on this one!
Hits stores February 2014
Victoria Secord, a 14-year-old Alaskan dogsled racer loses her way on a routine outing with her dogs. With food gone and temperatures dropping, her survival and that of her dogs and the mysterious boy she meets in the woods, is entirely up to her. Author Terry Lynn Johnson is a musher herself and her crackling writing puts readers at the reins as Victoria and Chris experience setbacks, mistakes, and small triumphs in their wilderness adventure.
What are you waiting on?
We had an awesome snowstorm, last week. Mom took me for a lot of walks, and each time we went out, it got deeper and deeper. Here I am trudging through the snow.
It was almost up to my my belly, but not quite. That would’ve scared me! It was deep enough to make walking slow and difficult, but FUN!
Mom is working on two new stories at once. She’s in deep, just like I was. Each day she works for a little while on one of the stories and then she works a little while on the other one. It’s slow and it’s difficult, but she’s having fun. That’s because being an author is a blast! It’s just like being a dog in the snow!
Of course, after reading Saving Zasha
, we all wondered where she really came from and who was the German soldier she was with. Well, Randi Barrow has written a prequel that pretty much answers those two questions.
begins with the September 1941 Siege of Leningrad. When German soldiers surround the city and cut off all supply lines, life becomes more difficult for everyone living in Leningrad, including Ivan, 12, and his mother, a factory worker. There is never enough food or heat and people are dying of starvation all over the city.
When her apartment is hit by a bomb, an elderly neighbor, called Auntie by everyone, moves in with them and begins to teach Ivan how to survive under siege, lesson she learned in WWI. As winter comes on, and the blockade holds, the three survive on the cans of beans Auntie had hidden away. Then one day, Ivan's mother announces that her job is moving to the Ural Mountains for safety and she must go with it - but without Ivan.
It is decided that Ivan will go live with his Uncle Boris and Auntie will live with her sister-in-law, Galina, as soon as the ice road across the frozen miles long Lake Ladoga can hold the weight of transport trucks and they can leave Leningrad. In January, the ice is finally thick enough and Ivan and Auntie set out on their journey. When no one meets them on the other side of the lake, they are fortunate enough to be offered a ride by a friendly sleigh owner.
At last, they arrive at Galina's home and Ivan settles in there for a few days before going on to Uncle Boris. He meets Polina, a girl about his age, who seems to know every nook and cranny of the area. It turns out that Polina, along with Galina and now Auntie, are working as partisans under the leadership of Petr, and along with other villagers. This is right up Ivan's alley and he too joins the partisans, staying at Galina's instead of traveling on to Uncle Boris.
Not long after this, the Germans arrive. Ivan has been playing his concertina for Auntie and Galina's pleasure and as the Germans roll in, their commander, Major Axel Recht, comes to the door to listen to Ivan play. With him are two German Shepard puppies. And when Commander Recht leaves, he takes Ivan with him.
Now, basically imprisoned in the makeshift Nazi headquarters, it is Ivan's hope to discover useful information he pass on the the partisans. Luckily, the cruel animal trainer who is to teach the puppies to hate and kill Russians, gets news that his son has been injured in fighting, and leaves immediately to be by his side. Ivan convinces the commander that he has experience training dogs and can do the job. And of course, Ivan begins to plot how he can get the puppies, Zasha and Thor, away from Recht's cruelty. This won't be easy - Recht is a sadistic, vengeful man, who loves his whip. And when he forces Ivan to watch a German soldier being whipped for a minor breach, the full extent of his cruelty becomes apparent.
But Ivan's plan of escape may happen sooner that he expects when Recht and his soldiers must leave the village soon to go help in the fighting at Tikhvin where things are not going well for the Germans. Can Ivan succeed in escaping Recht with both of his prized puppies?
This is a nice historical fiction work about Russia in WW2, an area not frequently explored in novels, though lately some really excellent works have been published. Another book depicting the terrible conditions in Russia during the war and how they impacted the ordinary Russians that people this story is always welcome. And certainly all the historical facts in this novel were spot on - the siege of Leningrad, the ice road over Lake Ladoga, the fighting at Tikhvin, a battle that helped turn the tide for the starving people in Leningrad. Be sure to read the Barrow's information and timeline about these things at the end of the book.
But Finding Zasha
left me with very mixed feelings. I actually enjoyed the first part of it quite a bit, but I felt that the story was sometimes forced in order to create a history for Zasha. And I thought that the second half and the ending were rushed in order to get to the end of the war and the point at which Saving Zasha
could begin. Although the story is filled with adventure and danger, I didn't find myself holding my breath at the places where that should have happened.
Sadly, I didn't care much for Ivan, either. Rather than strong and brave, I found him to be too headstrong, impulsive and public to be a partisan. And the other partisans accepting him as one struck me as took simplistic. He was basically an unknown to them and had proved himself trustworthy yet.
Yet, at the end of the day, I would recommend reading Finding Zasha.
It is still a well written novel, and there is much to cull from this book for fans of Zasha and/or Randi Barrow. And I hear there is a third Zasha book on the horizon.
This book is recommended for readers age 10+
This book was an E-ARC from Net Galley
I found the concept of the ice road very intriguing and so I looked it up. It took Ivan and Auntie quite a long time to cross Lake Ladoga in a truck in Finding Zasha.
The ice road was almost 17 miles long and was constructed under enemy fire in the winter of 1041/42. But it lived up to its nickname The Road of Life during the Siege of Leningrad when it allowed limited food supplies to be brought into the beleaguered city and allowed others to leave if they had places they could go to.
|The Ice Road - April 1942 (you can see the ice|
starting to melt)
White Fur Flying
by Patricia MacLachlan
Margaret K. McElderry Books, on shelves March 2013
Alice and Zoe's family in White Fur Flying is involved in Great Pyrenees (Pyrs) rescue/fostering. They have enough space and time and love to take in Pyrs until the right home can be found for them. They even have a rescued parrot named Lena who is quite the talker.
In a parallel/opposite story, the new family next door to them consists of a stiff aunt and uncle and very scared and silent nephew, Phillip, who is staying with them while his parents work out some difficulties.
The patience and insight of the girls and the unconditional love of the dogs work together to bring all the threads of this story to a satisfying conclusion.
By: James Curtis, Nick Curtis
Publisher: CowPat Publishing
Genre: Children / Dogs
Buy it at Amazon
Woffles, a black lab, lives in the countryside near Brick Farm Lakes trout fishery. Known well by teen authors and illustrators James and Nick Curtis, he is the inspiration for Woffles – A Fishy Adventure.
Not your everyday dog, Woffles has a best friend named Pip, loves to ride in cars, and keeps company with the sheep. He especially gets excited when fishermen bring their lunches to the lake, since he likes to snatch a sandwich or two. Woffles certainly knows how to live life to the fullest.
This unique book is a great memento of a nice day of fishing at Brick Farm Lakes. But even if you haven’t visited the fishery to meet Woffles, it’s an entertaining and fun read.
Reviewer: Alice Berger
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, Environmental & Life Sciences
, Science & Medicine
, American Kennel Club
, david macdonald
, dog show
, encyclopedia of mammals
, Westminster Kennel Club
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The 11th of February marks the opening of Westminster Kennel Club’s 137th Annual All Breed Dog Show. First held in 1877, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is America’s second-longest continuously held sporting event, behind only the Kentucky Derby. The Westminster Dog Show epitomizes our long-standing tradition of domestication of dogs, but how did we arrive at such a moment in human and dog relations? The Encyclopedia of Mammals, edited by David MacDonald, offers some explanation as to how this species went from being wild prey-hunters to “best in show,” and from defending territories to defending last year’s titles.
The Dog Family
Canids originated in North America during the Eocene (55–34 million years ago), from which five fossil genera are known.
Canids evolved for fast pursuit of prey in open grasslands, and their anatomy is clearly adapted to this life. Although the 36 species and 13 genera vary in size from the tiny fennec fox to the large gray wolf, all but one have lithe builds, long bushy tails, long legs, and digitigrade, four‐toed feet with nonretractile claws.
Life in the Pack
The most striking feature of the canids is their opportunistic and adaptable behavior. This is most evident in the flexible complexity of their social organization. Remarkably, there is in this respect almost as much variation within as between species. Though African wild dogs, and possibly dholes and bush dogs, almost always hunt in packs, gray wolves, coyotes, and jackals feed on prey ranging from ungulates to berries. Partly as a result, they lead social lives that vary from solitary to sociable – gray wolves may live in isolated monogamous pairs, or in packs of up to 20 members.
These species, and some others like red and arctic foxes, live in groups even where large prey does not abound and where they hunt alone. Indeed, there are many other reasons for group living – cooperative defense of territories or large carcasses, communal care of offspring, rivalry with neighboring groups. This is clearly illustrated by the Ethiopian wolf, which lives in packs but almost never hunts cooperatively, its prey being largely rodents.
Dogs under Threat
For all their adaptability, members of the dog family cannot escape the indirect threat of habitat destruction. The small‐eared dog and the bush dog are seen so rarely that there are fears for their futures. The Ethiopian wolf numbers some 500 individuals, the African wild dog 5,000 individuals, and the maned wolf a few thousand in its Argentine and Brazilian strongholds. These species are all threatened. The plight of the sociable canids is especially intense insofar as they are victims of the so‐called Allee Effect – that is, at low numbers they enter a downward spiral to extinction. African wild dogs depend on cooperation, so packs with fewer than about five members enter a vortex of decline because they are too small to simultaneously hunt, defend kills, and babysit. Thus, the African wild dogs are even more threatened than their population of 5,000 might suggest, this being equivalent to no more than 700 viable packs across the continent.
Various origins have been proposed for domestic dogs, and doubtless many different canids have been partly domesticated at one time or another. Even so, the wolf is generally accepted as the most likely ancestor of today’s domestic dogs. Domestic dogs are thus known to science as a subspecies of wolf – Canis lupus familiaris. The earliest known archaeological indication of domestication comes from a single canine jawbone unearthed at a site in Germany. More foreshortened than that of a wolf, with the teeth more closely packed together, this find is thought to be around 14,000 years old. Other early remains of what are believed to be domestic dogs include a specimen from Coon in Iran, which dates back over 11,000 years. These various discoveries demonstrate that the wolf entered into domestic partnership with man before any other animal species and before the cultivation of plants for food. Indeed, recent molecular evidence suggests that dogs may even have been domesticated as much as 100,000 years ago.
The precise circumstances of domestication have been the subject of considerable speculation. Various theories have been advanced that center on our ancestors’ deliberate use of wolves for practical purposes: hunting, guarding, tidying carrion and refuse around settlements, or even as food items. However, it is equally likely that domestication simply came about by accident, with hunter–gatherer societies capturing and raising young wild animals as pets.
Adapted from the entry on the ‘Dog Family’ in The Encyclopedia of Mammals edited by David MacDonald, also available online as part of Oxford Reference. Copyright © Brown Bear Books 2013. David MacDonald is Founder and Director of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit.
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The post The dog: How did it become man’s best friend? appeared first on OUPblog.
By: Genevieve Petrillo,
Blog: Cupcake Speaks
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We had a blizzard this weekend.
The snow got really high, the wind blew really hard, and it was really cold. Even though I wore my heaviest jacket, I had to run around in a lot of circles to keep warm. And when the snow was deep enough to touch my belly, I wanted to come inside right away!
The 1st inch…
The 9th inch…
I couldn’t sniff the grass, because it was covered with snow. So I sniffed the snow instead. And guess what I found! An empty potato chip bag. It was hidden under the snow! Mom said the word, “Leave it.” before I could investigate and possibly taste some frozen potato chip crumbs, but it was an exciting find, anyway. In the morning, I tried to find the bag again, But the snow was too deep and I couldn’t even breathe in there.
Sometimes, Mom has a blizzard of ideas. But sometimes, her ideas are hidden. They’re not under the snow, or frozen, but they are buried in the back of her brain. When she studies at her online writing class, the hidden ideas start to pop out of her head. Mom says, “I’ve never tried that before.” and “That’s why this part wasn’t working.” and “Stop barking at the snowblower!”
The snow drifts are pushing the door closed so I'm staying in today and working. I actually took a couple of days to get some writing done this week, giving my eyes a bit of a break and stretching some underused creative muscles. I had three illustration to complete before I can finish Maddy, and I have one left to do. I think it'll be done by early tomorrow.
It was a pretty crazy week, really. Only looking back I noticed it was nuts. First Julie got in a car accident. She's absolutely fine but the car was written off. Also, we lost our dog Benny for a full day. i was walking the streets for hours looking for him. I guess he found his way out of the yard. We were pretty surprised because he's a really old dog and can't walk well. Turns out he was at the pound.
Also, in other dog related news, I was driving Henry to school this week on my bike and heard a commotion by the Lake. Turns out a women's dog had gotten trapped under the ice on the Lake. We called 911 and the police, a fire engine and the media showed up. Followed by a marine rescue unit who happened to be training near by.
The dog turned out to be fine, he got out from the ice and climbed up a big stick the police held out for him. He was about 20 feet out on the Lake. It was pretty uncertain for a while. Henry was super late getting to school.
Today I will ask 5 questions that have had me thinking lately.
1. Why is coffee so magical?
I think coffee makes people smart. Whenever Mom sits down to write, she always puts a cup of coffee next to the computer. I think it magically helps her brain.
2. Is a laundry basket a bed?
Bed is a good place to read books. Mom reads books a lot. A laundry basket is a good place to sleep. At least until Mom says, “OUT!”
3. Can a light chase away monsters in the dark?
When Mom writes about monsters, dragons, dinosaurs, or cats, I am afraid. I am also afraid of the dark. And balloons. And the golf cart. And pumpkins. And street signs. And soccer players. And….
4. Is a dog head good medicine for a sore knee?
This is how I help Mom when her knee hurts. I help her with her writing, too, mostly by staring at her when she’s trying to work.
5. If a chair is not pushed all the way under the table, is it OK to climb up and eat cake out of the box? I love cake.
Speaking of cake and coffee… Thanks to our friends at DogDaz for inviting us to coffee and our friends at Bumpy Road to Bubba and Angels Whisper for including us in their coffee party. Definitely take a visit to their blogs, if you haven’t already. Also, we will include ALL our blog buddies in our coffee party, so feel free to take the badge and answer the questions if you’d like to join us.
1) How many cups of coffee per day? Mom has 2 or 3. I have as many slurps as I can beg, borrow, or steal.
2) What is your favorite caffeine delivery system? Mom likes her Keurig. I like when she leaves her cup on the table and doesn’t push in her chair.
3) What was your best cup of coffee? They are all perfect.
4) What was your worst cup of coffee? No such thing. Even the stale, strong coffee in the teacher’s lounge at Mom’s old school, was delicious to her.
5) What does your favorite mug say? Mom’s favorite has a c-c-c-cat on it.
6) How do you take your coffee? Cream and sugar – very light and very sweet, just like me!
7) When was your first cup? Mom drank coffee flavored milk when she was little. My first taste was the morning after Mom found me at the rescue event.
8) Have you ever gone on a coffee tea date? We’re on one right now!
By: Genevieve Petrillo,
Blog: Cupcake Speaks
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Mom’s friend Bob at Northwest Photographer is an artist. He is crazy-skilled at taking pictures, and goes around to a lot of places getting amazing shots of animals and scenery and all sorts of wonderful things….including a cat named Jack! Bob is having a challenge called Frameable Keepers every Sunday at his blog. He wants to see photos that you’d love to see framed, and then he will fix them up so they look perfect.
I have begged and begged Mom to submit a picture of me. She says I can’t compete with all that beauty. That’s a good thing, ….right? I think it means I’m ….um…extra-pretty….??? And she should give me bacon….???
Anyway, I finally talked her into it, so here I am.
I hope Bob will work on my picture and make me look even cuter. (Can I GET any cuter??) He’ll fix and figure and change and correct and enhance and elevate.
Each time Mom finishes a story, she ALWAYS works on it some more, like Bob does with his pictures. I think she’s trying to make her stories even cuter, like me. She rephrases and revises and cuts and clips and elaborates and embellishes. When mom thinks her picture is frameable, then she’ll talk about it at her writing group and maybe submit it.
I wonder what she’ll do when my picture is frameable…. She framed this one, so I guess anything can happen!
By the way, check my Awards Page to see my newest bling. It’s the Shine On Award from our friends at Angels Whisper. Thanks, A.W.!
Blog: Children's Books, and Other Cool Stuff
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By: David D Bernstein,
It has been a while since I reviewed any Young Adult books so for this update I will review Three wonderful YA books that your teens would love. Please enjoy and grab them for the holiday season.
1) Starters- This book was written by Lisa Price and published by Delacorte Press in 2012. Imgine a world where a deadly war called the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between 20 and sixty years old. A young girl named Callie decides to rent her body to Enders-seniors who want to be young again. Callie's world is divided and full of danger, while teens are only second hand citizens. This book follows Callie and her survival in this detopian world full of renegades who will kill for food. As she rents her body she discovers that her renter intends to do more then just have fun. This is a great book to read. It will make you ask the question What if this can happen to us? I highly recommend this book not only for teens, but adults as well. It will take you to place that may excist one day. Who know it may already be a parral world like this already. It is a very enjoyable read and lots of fun.
2) Elsewhere- This book was written by Gabrielle Zevin and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2005. An imprint of Macmillan. "After fifteen-year-old Liz Hall is hit by a taxi and killed, she finds herself in a place that is both like and unlike Earth, where she must adjust to her new status and figure out how to "live". This book look at the afterlife in a whole new way. The writer creates an amazing world that will imerse the reader in it's content. It is full of wonderful discrptions and has a great voice. As you read the book Liz will become a part of you and you will cheer her to the end. A great page turner. Please grab this book and read it yourself or share it with your teen. A great gift for everyone.
3) The Knife of Never Letting Go. Book 1 in Chaos Walking- This book is written by Patrick Ness and published by Candlewick Press 2008. "Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about his colony's true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World." I really enjoyed this book and the world the auther created. In this world males can here what other males are thinking. Our two main Characters Todd and Viola set out on a journey running away from death. This book is full of action and intersting characters. You get to know the young teens very well. As you read the book it will be a page turner. it also has a much deeper meaning to it. I highly recommend you grab a copy for yourself and your teens. Just be warned the is very gruesome and not recommended for children under 12.
Thank you everyone for reading my blog and have a wonderful Holiday season. Look for a new update soon.
By: Ruth Symes
Blog: An Awfully Big Blog Adventure
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getting down to writing
, Ruth Symes
, Megan Rix
, TV and radio
, word count
, writer's panic
, events and school visits
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On Friday morning I realised that at my current rate of writing, about 1000 words a day, I wasn't going to make the 21st of January deadline for my next novel. I like having deadlines, either from a publisher or self-imposed, as they help me to focus on what I need to get done but realising I couldn't make it produced: A) Panic - the sort of trapped by headlights and get nothing done panic B) Action - I emailed my publisher to ask for a few weeks extension. C) More action - during the weekend that's just gone, from 5pm on Friday until 5pm on Sunday, I wrote l0,140 words. I'd already planned out the story and had the thumbs up from my publisher so knew where I was going (roughly) with it - all I had to do was get words on paper.
|Picture by Marion Lindsay for Cat Magic|Were they the best, most considered words? Nope. Does that matter? Not a bit in a first, scribble, draft. Those 10,000 words can become polished and honed later - what I have got now is a much better knowledge of my characters (including one who had a minor part but is now a major player) and most of the crucial scenes written. Friday 10 am - stared at my book writing schedule calendar and realised that writing I,000 words a day would not get my next book finished by mid-January. 10.30 am - went downstairs and told husband, Eric, my concern. 11 am – nearby Travelodge booked for the weekend. 12 pm – Eric buys food and drink that only needs a kettle (at the most) to make. I pack some clothes and my work and make sure the dogs will be OK. 4pm – arrive at Travelodge and make ‘proper’ coffee using aeropress (more details of everything I used on my website.) Just make sure you screw the bottom on really well or you might end up with coffee everywhere like I did. 5pm – start writing by longhand using my Echo pen that can convert handwriting to text. 7.30pm – first 2000 words written.
Saturday and Sunday… Write! Write! Written! 4,000 words done each day.
Tips to make your writing weekend go smoothly:
1. No TV – I pulled the TV plug out and plugged my computer into the socket instead – the TV didn’t get turned on once (although I did watch a DVD on my computer about the subject I was writing on.) 2. Use the internet only to check emails and do absolutely necessary research. I was also in contact with my husband 3 or 4 times a day via Face Time. The dogs were also very interested in me chatting to them via the screen at first but soon got used to it. Loved how one of them kept tilting her head from side to side as she looked at the screen. (I did worry it was cruel initially but they got used to it pretty quick and made me laugh when one went and got a toy and brought it back.) 3. Be in the mind zone to write and pumped up to get on – this is exciting! Having nothing else to concentrate on besides writing meant I could write like the wind and I did.What writing in this speedy fashion meant is that now I can dip in and out of the book, secure that I like how it’s working and growing. It's a good feeling. Prior to taking this action I usually manage to write about l,000 words a day - so 4,000 a day was a bit of a jump!
Three other new things I’ve tried recently:
1. Not listening to other people’s opinions unless I want to: I used to get upset by the odd bad review but now find I’ve reached the stage where I can shrug them off. I even managed a smile at an email from an irate American reader recently who’d spotted a grammar mistake in my adult book, The Puppy that Came for Christmas' and wrote a back-handed compliment of: 'If a good writer like you can make a mistake like this what hope is there for the world.' Indeed.On the reverse side I had an email from one of my editor’s this week saying she’d been so busy reading my manuscript on the bus she’d missed her stop – a very nice compliment from a person whose opinion I value highly.
2. Being Vegan:
When I said I was going to take part in November's World Vegan mouth some people reacted with horror. ‘What are you going to eat?’ ‘How will you survive?’ I was asked. The truth is being vegan wasn't any hardship at all and in fact it was a pleasure. I got to try lots of yummy foods and made friends with some lovely new people and blogged about it here:
3. Re-visit from my first book:
I had my first book 'The Master of Secrets' published by Puffin in 1997 and a few years later I got a letter to say that it was going to be remaindered. It was a horrible sick feeling being told this - at first I couldn't believe it and bought up lots of copies. But the publisher did stop printing it and I went on to write other books and my first effort wasn't forgotten about (I often give a copy as a present to mycreative writing students saying I hope one day to read their first book) but I certainly didn't expect to hear much more about it. But in the past few weeks I've had first one email and then another and another from English language students in Argentina who are studying the book and it's been great. I'm so glad that there's life in the old book yet and it's being enjoyed again somewhere. One of the students even became my first newsletter subscriber. Megan’s book 'The Great Escape' has recently been shortlisted for the East Sussex Children’s Book Award. She writes as Megan Rix and Ruth Symes and her websites are www.ruthsymes.comand www.meganrix.com
Move over Rudolph! I’m Santa’s new right hand man.
Mom saw this at her friend, John’s blog called Native Michigander. It’s the most adorable Christmas Story ever!
Merry Christmas, everybody!
Author: Jason Holder
Illustrator: Mike Sofka
Publisher: Kid America LLC
Buy it at Amazon
Agent Adams has just given Kid America an important mission. He and his friends, TJ and Lexi, must find Casper’s puppy mill and rescue the dogs. When a loud whimper alerts them to Casper’s hideout, they move into action.
Even the best superheros need super-tools, and Kid’s younger sister, Kat, has just what they need. Planning a bold, nighttime maneuver, they know Casper won’t stand a chance of stopping them. But will they be able to complete their mission?
The Great Puppy Rescue is the first volume of the new Kid America adventure series. When Casper is up to no good and Agent Adams needs help, Kid America is there to answer the call.
Reviewer: Alice Berger
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
I’m pretty sure this guy Stephen King knows a thing or two about writing. Mom believes him and takes his advice. She also forgives him for Cujo. I am not sure I do, though. *shiver*
Mom reads a lot and writes a lot every day. Well, maybe not a LOT…. But some every day. Well, maybe not EVERY day, but most days.
Mom reads children’s books, young adult books, grown-up books, blogs, magazines, websites, email, reviews, and books about being a writer. She takes some time to play bowling with me, take me for walks around the neighborhood, throw my toys, clean up piles and piles of dog hair from around the house, and dress me up.
She also works on new stories, old stories, stories about dogs, kids,and animals, stories from her November idea list, and poems. She takes some time out to cuddle with me, brush my teeth, give me treats, teach me tricks, and take me to Petco to have my nails cut.
It’s times like this that I wish she’d concentrate on her work…..
By: Genevieve Petrillo,
Blog: Cupcake Speaks
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Today, we’re counting down Our Year in Review.
My Highlights in 2012
3. My picture was in a book! Chuck Sambuchino wrote a political humor book called Red Dog / Blue Dog, and he used my picture to illustrate one of the pages! I looked adorable.
2. I learned how to dance. Mom taught me to twirl around on my hind feet for a cookie.
1. I forgot how to bowl! I learned bowling using empty water bottles…..
But then Santa brought me a bowling set, and I have no idea how to bowl. So I just take a pin and bring it on the couch.
16. I found some bread that the birds dropped in front of my house. It was delicious!
Mom’s Highlights in 2012
3. Mom’s story Fly Fishing was in the final issue of Stories for Children Magazine in November. There was no dog in the story, but there was a trout.
2. Mom’s story Waiting for Petey was in the November/December issue of Turtle Magazine. there was no dog in the story, but there was a teddy bear (I love teddy bears).
1. NWEA bought Mom’s poem Talking Goldfish to use in their online test prep program. There was no dog in the poem, but there was a fish.
42. Humpty Dumpty Magazine is holding Mom’s story Show and Tell Surprise for possible publication in the May/June 2013 issue. There was no dog in the story, but there was a hermit crab.
67. Mom completed 3 challenges this year – 12x12in’12 (3 of her 12 stories featured a dog), PiBoIdMo (9 of her 30 ideas are about dogs), and Goodreads. (about 30 of the 214 books she read had a dog in them).
2012 is in the rear view mirror. Bring on 2013. Happy New Year!
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Mom and I are counting down to the end of the month.
My January Countdown
3. Snow! We need more snow before January is finished! I love snow… As long as it isn’t deep enough to touch my belly. That scares me. Mom digs it with the shovel so I won’t be afraid.
2. Learning. Mom teaches me and teaches me every day. I am getting better with fetching, as long as there are Cheerios. I am still confused about bowling, though.
1. Work. Mom is working hard to finish her January story for 12×12. Tick. Tick. Tick. She’s really cutting it close.
Mom’s January Countdown
3. No snow! Mom doesn’t want snow because it is too much mess and trouble. But if it snows, she will have to stay home and work on her stories (and play with me). C’mon snow!
2. Learning. Mom will study at an online writing class in February. Tick. Tick. Tick. Soon, I will not be the only one learning.
1. Work. Mom will work with her writing group named DavidLaurieandOtherDavid next week. They will talk about stories and eat cookies and drink coffee. How does that count as work??