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I have not read tomorrow's contestants in The Battle of the Kids' Books. They are Endangered! by Eliot Schrefer and Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage. The judge is Kathi Appelt.
Unfortunately for me, the two largest public libraries close to me do not own Endangered! Yeah! I know! It's a National Book Award Finalist, for golly sakes! They both own Three Times Lucky, but obviously the word is out that this is an awesome book because it is on hold at my hometown library and out at the "other" library.
(And, with huge apologies to all the booksellers out there who do such awesome work keeping literature alive, I only buy books that I have learned to love. It's a cheapster thing.)
So I have read a few reviews and I have investigated the judge. And, even though I am totally unqualified to make a prediction, I will! I predict that the small-town girl will beat out the orphaned chimpanzee.
| Who can resist a message in a bottle?|
I predict that tomorrow, Three Times Lucky
will move on to the next round. I predict this for three reasons.
Reason 1: Kathi Appelt's own work leans toward small-town and rural characters.
Reason 2: Sassy orphans beat out orphaned animals most of the time.
Reason 3: The American South is more appealing than the Congo, especially now.
But the New York Times review of Endangered!
gives me pause.
There just might be a surfeit of small-town mysteries in children's books right now. The suspense and tension of Sophie's attempt to save her small bonobo friend may tip the scales in Endangerd!'s
|He looks so frightened. I want to save him, myself.|
I wish I had a chance to read just one of these books!!!
I have nothing to lose! I stand by my prediction. Three Times Lucky
will win tomorrow. (maybe
Over at Battle of the Kids' Books, Bomb has (insert your explosion related verb here) to victory! I have already used one incendiary pun. I can not in good conscience use more.
I had a sneaking suspicion that this would happen but since I have not even been able to get a look at the cover of the winning title, I could not make a reliable prediction. I WANT to read this book.
(Person, who is reading it from my local library, please return it, NOW. Waiting is hard.)
was a gasp-producing masterpiece of enlightenment and consciousness-raising. I may have chosen it,
Tomorrow, though, fiction will win out. Titanic
is a gripping revisit to the most famous maritime disaster of all time. But Code Name Verity
is ...I have no words to accurately convey this book's power.
By: Eleanor Tylbor,
NOTE TO SELF: MAKE VACATION PLANS - WORLD IS SAFE
After reading doomsday scenarios - I'm big on these - it's a relief to read that the 2012 Mayan cataclysmic end-of-the-world scenario has been cancelled. At least according to a new textbook "Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World" (Oxbow Books, 2010). As much as this news is a relief, there is no correction or re-prediction of when the end will come.
According to the critique which I haven't read, the accepted conversions of dates from Mayan to the modern calendar could be off as much as 50 to 100 years. Good. Still time to place my bets in Vegas. Since the Mayan calendar ended in 2012, earthlings interpreted this as an omen or indication that our time was up on planet earth.
In an article published on the Live Science site: ( http://www.livescience.com/culture/mayan-apocalypse-miscalculated-calendar-101018.html) "the Mayan calendar was converted to today's Gregorian calendar using a calculation called the GMT constant, named for the last initials of three early Mayanist researchers. Much of the work emphasized dates recovered from colonial documents that were written in the Mayan language in the Latin alphabet, according to the chapter's author, Gerardo Aldana, University of California, Santa Barbara professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies."
Later, the GMT constant was bolstered by American linguist and anthropologist Floyd Lounsbury, who used data in the Dresden Codex Venus Table, a Mayan calendar and almanac that charts dates relative to the movements of Venus. There is a further explanation focusing on the rationale for reaching this conclusion in the Live Science piece.
Over the years and centuries, there have been numerous end-of-world predictions, obviously all of which have not panned out. The James Randi Educational Foundation, a non-profit organization, "aims to promote critical thinking by reaching out to the public and media with reliable information about paranormal and supernatural ideas so widespread in our society today." The Foundation offers a $1,000,000 prize to any person or persons who can demonstrate any psychic, supernatural or paranormal ability of any kind under mutually agreed upon scientific conditions. This prize money is held in a special account which cannot be accessed for any purpose other than the awarding of the prize.
The site features an impressive list of end-of-world prophecies that have failed over the centuries. For example:
- October 3, 1533, at Eight A.M. Mathematician and Bible student Michael Stifel (known as Stifelius) had calculated an exact date and time for Doomsday from scholarly perusal of the Book of Revelation. When they did not vaporize, the curiously ungrateful citizens of the German town of Lochau, where Stifel had announced the dreaded day, rewarded him with a thorough flogging. He also lost his ecclesiastical living as a result of his prophetic failure.
- 1665 With the Black Plague in full force, Quaker Solomon Eccles terrorized the citizens of London yet further with his declaration that the resident pestilence was merely the beginning of The End. He was arrested and jailed when the plague began to abate rather than increasing. Eccles fled to the West Indies upon his release from prison, whereupon he once again exercised his zeal for agitation by inciting the slaves there to revolt. The Crown fetched him back home as a troublemaker, and he died shortly thereafter.
- October 13, 1736 London was once again targeted for the "beginning of the end," this time by William Whiston. The Thames filled with waiting boatloads of citizens, but it didn't even rain. Another setback.
There is a whole list of failed appocolyptic prognostications listed on the
Caldecott predictions already? But, Susan, it's only August.
Yes, I know. But 2010 has been such a fantastic year for picture books that I want to get my predictions in early, before everyone else starts making them. I've seen one beautiful, poignant, funny, wonderful book after another.
Where to start? Here are some of the ones that have stood out from the crowd for me.
There's the beautiful and touching City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Williams, with amazing watercolor illustrations by John Muth.
There's the funny and spunky Dotty by Erica Perl, illustrated by Julia Denos.
There's Feeding the Sheep by Leda Schubert with wonderful text and exuberant pictures by Andrea U'ren. (Don't write this one off as just another "how something is made" book.)
There's the endearing and deceptively simple How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills. (See my review here.)
But, I'm afraid that these books (along with a few others) are going to have to slug it out to see which ones get Caldecott honors.
Because this one blows them all away.
I can hear a question forming on your lips. It sounds something like this:<
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A thought for your Friday courtesy of Def Poetry Jam and the wonderful poet Idris Goodwin.
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James McCune Smith was one of the foremost black intellectuals in America, the first to receive a medical degree and the most educated African American before W. E. B. Du Bois. McCune Smith publicly advocated the use of “black” rather than “colored” as a self-description and he, like James Weldon Johnson and other successors, treated racial identities as social constructions and argued that American literature, music, and dance would be shaped and defined by blacks.
John Stauffer, the editor of The Works of James McCune Smith: Black Intellectual and Abolitionist, has organized McCune Smith’s writings around genre and chronology. Stauffer, along with three other distinguished historians will discuss Smith’s life, work, and legacy at The New York Historical Society on Wednesday, April 18th at 6:30 pm. Below is a video from The Historical Society’s current exhibition “New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War.” The video is of letters written by McCune Smith read by the actor Danny Glover. (more…)
I popped into an actual bricks-and-mortar bookstore yesterday (I don't visit them often these days since I get dozens of free books to read and review through the mail, or else I empty the library of their books !) to get a book for someone, and I ended up having a conversation about what I think will happen in the final HP book - the bookseller had a poster up saying "How will it end?" My response of "In death, mayhem and tears" was met with a look of shock from the young bookseller. I then proceeded to make some detailed predictions - and I thought I'd post them here, for future reference - and to invite responses from anyone else who wants to join the Predictions "game" - or argue with me over my predictions (*grins*)
1 - Voldemort will be finally defeated, but Harry won't be responsible for killing him. Peter Pettigrew (Wormtail) probably will be involved in defeating Voldeort, thereby repaying his debt to Harry for saving his life in The Prisoner of Azkaban.)
2 - Harry, Ron and Hermione will all live. And Harry is NOT a Horcrux...
3 - Percy and Fred & George Weasley may all die, Percy after belatedly realising his parents were right about the Ministry of Magic and making a foolish sacrifice.
4 - Snape will die protecting/saving Harry, thereby proving Dumbledore's faith in him was not misguided.
5 - Draco will redeem himself or be rehabilitated, without necessarily joining the side of the Good.
6 - Aberforth Dumbledore, barman at the Hog's Head, will be discovered to have the missing Slytherin Locket that's one of the remaining Horcruxes. (Mundungus was caught by Harry with a lot of stuff from Sirius' house in Hogsmeade and he's known to frequent the Hog's Head pub in Hogsmeade.)
7 - Neville Longbottom may die.
I'm going to be reading Who Killed Albus Dumbledore? and What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7? in the next week or two, so I thought I'd get my predictions in before those books can influence me !
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Our second Buffalo installation today is by James Honzik. Turn on the sound!