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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Sherman Alexie, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 75
1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

absolutely true diary The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time IndianIn The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie tells Junior’s story with a lot of humor, but pulls no punches in depicting the brutal truths of alcoholism, poverty, and bigotry both on and off the reservation. Does humor have a place in a realistic novel about tragic circumstances? If you’ve had classroom experience with this book, how have your students responded to Junior’s story?

We are also reading Alexie’s Wall Street Journal article, “Why the Best Kid’s Books are Written In Blood.” Go ahead an comment on that article here, too.

share save 171 16 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian

The post The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian appeared first on The Horn Book.

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2. Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer Sign On as Indies First Spokespeople

Neil Gaiman & Amanda PalmerThe American Booksellers Association has recruited Newbery Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman and his rockstar wife Amanda Palmer (both pictured, via) to serve as spokespeople for this year’s Indies First campaign.

Gaiman and Palmer penned an open letter calling for fellow writers to participate. Those who answer the call will be serving as volunteer sellers at their favorite independent bookstores on Saturday, November 29th (aka “Small Business Saturday“).

National Book Award winner Sherman Alexie conceived of the idea and helped to launch this initiative last year. More than 1,100 authors participated in the 2013 event including Kelly Barson, Cheryl Strayed, and Jon Scieszka.

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3. READERGIRLZ ROAR FOR BANNED BOOKS WEEK

Adult/Teen Librarian Danielle Dreger-Babbitt from Mill Creek Library WA is here to Roar with readergirlz for Banned Books Week
Welcome Danielle.


Tell us about Banned Books Week
Banned Book Week was started 32 years ago to celebrate the freedom to read after more and more books were being challenged in libraries and schools. According to the American Librarian Association, over 11,000 books have been challenged since 1982. Over 200 of them happened in 2013! You can learn more about Banned Book Week on the ALA website.


What do you do to spread the word about Banned Books Week and Intellectual Freedom Issues?
I do a banned book display each year.  My favorite displays are the ones I did in 2011 when library patrons wrote about their favorite banned books and the 2012 display that took up a whole shelving unit. I love being able to showcase these banned and challenged books.

 
Along with each year’s display, I include Banned Book lists and pamphlets as well as bookmarks and buttons for library customers to take home. We’ve had essay contests where readers write about their favorite challenged or banned books and win copies of banned books. When I visit the middle schools to talk about books in the fall I often bring along books that have been challenged from other parts of the country and have the students guess why they might be banned or challenged.


Readers Roar: (Let’s hear what teens have to say about banned books)
“If people read the books before they banned them, they might have a better understanding of why the book is important. If you ban a book, it only makes me want to read it more.”- Jessica, Grade 11

 
Any Banned Books you would like to highlight?
Some of my favorite banned and challenged books include Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Shine and TTYL by Lauren Myracle, and 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  And my absolute favorite banned/ challenged book is Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Most teens are amazed to hear that it has been taken out of some schools and libraries!
What can readergirlz do to celebrate Banned Books Week?
Check out the activities on the BannedBooksSite . Readergirlz can celebrate their freedom to read by reading one or two banned or challenged books during Banned Book Week. Bonus points for reading these all year long, not just in September and for sharing these titles with their friends and family.
 
More ideas from readergirlz diva Janet Lee Carey: Grab your favorite Banned Book and RIP = Read in Public. Do a selfie while reading your favorite banned book and post it on your favorite social networks. Use twitter hashtag #BannedBooksWeek and @readergirlz when you post on twitter.
Use the site Support Banned Books Week  to add a temporary banner below your profile photo. Divas Janet Lee Carey and Justina Chen's photos:  

 

ONE LAST BIG ROAR from guest poster, Danielle
The best way to support libraries is to use them! Check out books and DVDs and CDs, use the databases to find information, and attend as many library programs and events as your schedule allows. By doing these, you are showing us that you think libraries are important. There are many ways to give back to your library. Consider becoming a volunteer or join the library board or Friend’s Group.  Teens can join the library’s Teen Advisory Board and help make decisions about future library programs and purchases. You can also donate books to the library for the Friends of Library Book Sale. The money from these sales supports library programs and special events!
About Danielle Dreger-Babbitt
I’ve been a teen librarian for over 10 years and have worked in libraries in Massachusetts and Washington. I’ve been an Adult/ Teen Librarian at the Mill Creek Library for over 5 ½ years. I’ve been active in ALA’s YALSA  (Young Adult Library Services Association) for the last decade and have served on committees including Outreach to Teens With Special Needs, The Schneider Family Book Award, and most recently The Alex Awards, for which I was the 2014 committee chair.

In my spare time I write for children and teens. I love to read YA and MG fiction and cooking memoirs/ cookbooks. I own two cats and two badly behaved (but adorable) dogs. I also love to travel and recently visited Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina.

Let’s Link:
Sno-Isle Teen Blog 

Thanks again for the terrific Banned Books post for readergirlz, Danielle!

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4. Comics Take Center Stage For This Year’s Banned Books Week Celebration

banned-comicsThe American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression will celebrate Banned Books Week from September 21st to September 27th.

The organization plans to shine a spotlight on graphic novels and comics. Judith Platt, chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee, had this statement in a press release: “This year we spotlight graphic novels because, despite their serious literary merit and popularity as a genre, they are often subject to censorship.”

The American Library Association recently revealed the top ten list of most frequently challenged books for this year. Jeff Smith’s comic series, Bone, occupies the #10 spot. Earlier this year, Smith designed the cover for Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Banned Books Week Handbook. Follow this link to access a free digital copy. Check out the entire list after the jump.

(more…)

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5. One Novel with a Perfect Ending

UnknownI finally got around to reading Sherman Alexie’s bestseller, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. There’s just times in your life when you’ve got to rectify old wrongs, and this was one of them. I had to read that book.

I’d heard that it was a great book from many sources, including some trusted friends. (A curious phrase, by the way, “trusted friends.” As opposed to all those other friends we have, with crappy taste, the friends we can’t possibly trust.)

So I took Alexie’s book out of the library and read it. Now I am a member of the club and say without hesitation: Stop wasting your life and read it already! Today I’m not looking to review a book that’s already been reviewed hundreds of times. My focus is on the book’s final two paragraphs. To me, those six sentences felt exactly right, forming a poignant, understated conclusion.

I don’t think that reproducing it here involves any spoilers, or anything that could diminish your enjoyment of the book, so here goes:

Rowdy and I played one-on-one for hours. We played until dark. We played until the streetlights lit up the court. We played until the bats swooped down at our heads. We played until the moon was huge and golden and perfect in the dark sky.

We didn’t keep score.

I love the repetition of “we played,” repeated four times, the rhythmic, accumulative power of that device, the simplicity of the word choice, the interplay between light and dark, and that great, four-word conclusion. We didn’t keep score. Perfection.

Back four years ago, I wrote a decent post titled “Best Last Lines from Books,” and I think you might enjoy it. So click away, folks. It’s absolutely free.

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6. Sherman Alexie & Jess Walter to Host a Weekly Podcast

Two writers, Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter, plan to launch a podcast called “A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment.”

The premiere podcast was unleashed on August 25th and it contains two episodes. Followers can expect a new one to be released every other Wednesday. Every now and then, the writers will share readings from their work-in-progress manuscripts.

Here’s more from The L.A. Times: “The show comes from Infinite Guest, a new podcast network from American Public Media…Basketball and other sports will be discussed on the show — slightly unusual for a literary podcast. They’ll be interviewing literary figures and also people with lives that aren’t connected to books.”

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7. Five Family Favorites with Author Maria T. Lennon

Maria T. Lennon is a graduate of the London School of Economics, a novelist, a screenwriter, and the author of Confessions of a So-called Middle Child, the first book featuring the irrepressible Charlie C. Cooper.

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8. First Book’s Summer Book List: High School

Summer_ReadingIn the last week of our series of great summer reads, we’re bringing you our favorite titles for high schoolers to dive into as the days become ever warmer.

Be sure to check out our summer book lists from past weeks for great reads for kids of all ages!

Sign up to receive more great book lists, tip sheets and summer reading facts from First Book!

If you work with kids in need, you can find these titles on the First Book Marketplace by clicking on the pictures next to the publisher descriptions of each book.

mares war“Mare’s War” by Tanita S. Davis

Meet Mare, a grandmother with flair and a fascinating past.

Octavia and Tali are dreading the road trip their parents are forcing them to take with their grandmother over the summer. After all, Mare isn’t your typical grandmother. She drives a red sports car, wears stiletto shoes, flippy wigs, and push-up bras, and insists that she’s too young to be called Grandma. But somewhere on the road, Octavia and Tali discover there’s more to Mare than what you see. She was once a willful teenager who escaped her less-than-perfect life in the deep South and lied about her age to join the African American battalion of the Women’s Army Corps during World War II.

Told in alternating chapters, half of which follow Mare through her experiences as a WAC member and half of which follow Mare and her granddaughters on the road in the present day, this novel introduces a larger-than-life character who will stay with readers long after they finish reading.

sammy_julianna“Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood” by By: Benjamin Alire Saenz
It is 1969, America is at war, “Hollywood” is a dirt-poor Chicano barrio in small-town America, and Sammy and Juliana face a world of racism, war in Vietnam, and barrio violence. Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood is a Young Adult Library Services Association Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Young Adults.

 

absolutely_true_diary_part_time_indian“Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live.

maze_runner“Maze Runner” by James Dashner

The first book in the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series–The Maze Runner is a modern classic, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade–a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up–the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

tall_story“Tall Story” by Candy Gourlay

Andi is short. And she has lots of wishes. She wishes she could play on the school basketball team, she wishes for her own bedroom, but most of all she wishes that her long-lost half-brother, Bernardo, could come and live in London where he belongs.

Then Andi’s biggest wish comes true and she’s minutes away from becoming someone’s little sister. As she waits anxiously for Bernardo to arrive from the Philippines, she hopes he’ll turn out to be tall and just as crazy as she is about basketball. When he finally arrives, he’s tall all right. Eight feet tall, in fact–plagued by condition called Gigantism and troubled by secrets that he believes led to his phenomenal growth.

In a novel packed with quirkiness and humor, Gourlay explores a touching sibling relationship and the clash of two very different cultures.

 

The post First Book’s Summer Book List: High School appeared first on First Book Blog.

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9. Stephen Colbert Challenges Fans to Make ‘California’ a ‘New York Times’ Bestseller

Due to the ongoing dispute between Amazon and Hachette, consumers cannot pre-order Edan Lepucki's debut novel, California, on Amazon. When comedian Stephen Colbert first launched his war against Amazon, he asked his followers to buy a copy from Powell's Books online shop. We've embedded a clip from The Colbert Report TV show where Colbert announced that 6,400 purchases have been made and Lepucki's book currently occupies the #1 spot on the Powell's bestseller list. Now, he has issued a new challenge for his fans; purchase California from your local bookstore and help it become a New York Times bestseller. In addition to Colbert, several members of the literary community have publicly shared their opinions about Amazon vs. Hachette feud including The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian author Sherman Alexie, The Fault in Our Stars author John Green and The Ocean at the End of the Lane author Neil Gaiman. Where do you stand on this matter? (via Latin Post)

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10. Jen Doll Responds to the Read YA Controversy with Thoughts About Nuance—

and this is one of the many things I love about Jen.

Jen's whole piece, on Hairpin, is here.

Her final words are a sweet, right challenge:
So read, read Y.A., read adult literature, read blog posts, read magazines, read your box of Cheerios in the morning. Read all you can and want to read, acknowledging the easy and unchallenging and the difficult and complicated, and form your own opinions, trying to add a little room for nuance and understanding and openness in all that you do. That’s the best you can do as a reader, a writer, and a human.
And how honored am I to have Going Over included among works by Markus Zusak, Nina LaCour, Andrew Smith, Cammie McGovern, Laurie Halse Anderson, Sherman Alexie, Aaron Hartzler, E. Lockhart, and Matthew Quick on Jen's "10 Contemporary Y.A. Books That Made Me Think (and That I Loved)."

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11. Sherman Alexie Novel Distrbution During World Book Night

truediaryStudents in Idaho celebrated World Book Night last week by handing out free copies of Sherman Alexie‘s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

The National Book Award winning title was recently banned by the Idaho school district. Members of the district that disapproved of the book called the police on the teens distributing the free copies last week.

Shelf Awareness has more: “KBOI-2 reported that ‘the police asked Kissel about passing out the book. They said they found nothing wrong with what was going on in the park.’ Case closed. Kissel said they had 350 books to give away at the park, along with 350 donated by publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Another book giveaway is planned for next week.”

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12. On the Shelf with Librarian Jessica Lee

Jessica Lee is a teacher librarian at Willard Middle School in Berkeley, California. She has also been an English teacher, a public librarian, and a waitress, but her favorite terrible-teen job was selling snacks at Six Flags Magic Mountain. She is the mom of two boys who are also students at her school, fully integrating the work-life experience.

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13. Dav Pilkey, Toni Morrison & Sherman Alexie Lead ALA’s Frequently Challenged Books List

captainunderpantsCaptain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie led the  most challenged books of the year list this year.

This is according to the Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books, compiled annually by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). The list explores books that have received the most complaints. Check it out:

The OIF collects reports on book challenges from librarians, teachers, concerned individuals and press reports. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness. In 2013, the OIF received hundreds of reports on attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves.

We’ve got the whole list after the jump. continued…

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14. ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’ Banned in Idaho School District

truediaryThe Meridian School District in Idaho has voted to ban The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie from a 10th grade English reading list.

The controversial book won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 2007. The Idaho Statesman has the story about why the book was banned. Check it out:

Trustees say they want school officials to look for a book covering Native American cultural issues, but written at a higher reading level than Alexie’s book. They also want the district to review its curriculum on cultural diversity, which has included the book. Alexie’s novel tells the story of a Native American who ends up going to high school at a mostly white urban school and faces bullying and other problems. The book makes reference to masturbation, contains profanity and has been viewed by many as anti-Christian.

According to the Kids’ Right to Read Project, book censorship in school districts across the U.S. rose last year.

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15. Required Reading: 40 Books Set in the Pacific Northwest

This round of Required Reading is dedicated to the place we at Powell's Books call home: the great Pacific Northwest. Whether you're from the area or you simply appreciate the region for its beauty, history, temperament, or legendary bookstore, these titles will give you a more nuanced understanding of this peculiar corner of the U.S. [...]

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16. Required Reading: 40 Books Set in the Pacific Northwest

This round of Required Reading is dedicated to the place we at Powell's Books call home: the great Pacific Northwest. Whether you're from the area or you simply appreciate the region for its beauty, history, temperament, or legendary bookstore, these titles will give you a more nuanced understanding of this peculiar corner of the U.S. [...]

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17. Sherman Alexie Backlist Coming as eBooks

alexie

Despite being an early critic of digital books,  Sherman Alexie will publish his backlist with Open Road Media. The books will be available on October 15th.

AppNewser has more details, including this video quote from Alexie:

At the beginning my hate was sort of global—but now it’s modified a bit. I still have serious issues with the politics and economic philosophies involved in much of the electronic book world but I’m also vitally interested in reaching more of my readers and reaching a younger generation of readers who are more technologically savvy and tech addicted, and in order to reach them I have to do this. But I’m also very excited about the aesthetic and artistic possibilities. I have an iPad—I love my iPad. I love the idea of being a part of current culture.

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18. Most Frequently Challenged Library Books of 2012

The American Library Association (ALA) has released its annual list of the most frequently challenged library books of the year. We’ve linked to free samples of all the books on the list–follow the links below to read these controversial books yourself.

The list was part of the ALA’s 2013 State of America’s Libraries Report. During the past year, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom received 464 reports of challenged books. Here’s more from the report:

In California, a school committee voted to remove the Stephen King novella “Different Seasons” from Rocklin High School library shelves. The lone dissenter on that committee was 17-year-old student Amanda Wong, who continued to fight the ban and spoke against the decision at a later school board meeting. After hearing Wong’s concerns that the removal “opens a door to censoring other materials,” the district superintendent overturned the committee’s decision and returned the book to the Rocklin High School library’s collection.

continued…

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19. Most Frequently Challenged Library Books of 2011

The American Library Association (ALA) has released its annual list of the most frequently challenged library books of the year. We’ve linked to free samples of all the books on the list–follow the links below to read these controversial books yourself.

During the past year, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom received 326 reports of “attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves.” The list was part of the ALA’s 2012 State of America’s Libraries Report.

Here’s more eBook news from the report: “The rapid growth of ebooks has stimulated increasing demand for them in libraries, but libraries only have limited access to ebooks because of restrictions placed on their use by publishers. Macmillan Publishing, Simon and Schuster and Hachette Book Group refused to sell ebooks to libraries. HarperCollins imposed an arbitrary 26 loans per ebook license, and Penguin refused to let libraries lend its new titles altogether. When Random House raised ebook prices, the ALA urged it to reconsider.”

continued…

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20. June 2012: Best Selling Kids’ Books, New Releases, and More …

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: June 2, 2012

Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review site, the most coveted new releases and bestsellers.

THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

Best Young Adult Books with Forever Young Adult

Books for Boys: 5 Funny Kids Books

How Picture Books Play a Role in a Child’s Development

Author Interview: Gary Paulsen

Where to Find Free eBooks for Children Online


THE NEW RELEASES

The most coveted books that release this month:

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

by William Joyce

(Ages 4-8)

Bink and Gollie, Two for One

by Kate DiCamillo

(Ages 6-8)

Dork Diaries 4: Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess 

by Rachel Renee Russell

(Ages 9-12)

Dragons Love Tacos

by Adam Rubin

(Ages 3-5)


THE BEST SELLERS

The best selling children’s books this month:

PICTURE BOOKS

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21. September 2012: Best Selling Kids’ Books, New Releases, and More …

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: September 3, 2012

Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review site, the most coveted new releases and bestsellers.

THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

Gearing Up for Kindergarten

Best Halloween Books for Kids: Scary, Spooky, and Silly

Review: Scat by Carl Hiaasen

How Picture Books Play a Role in a Child’s Development

Where to Find Free eBooks for Children Online


THE NEW RELEASES

The most coveted books that release this month:

Llama Llama Time to Share

by Anna Dewdney

(Ages 3-5)

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

by Eric Litwin

(Ages 4-8)

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs: As Retold by Mo Willems

by Mo Willems

(Ages 3-7)

Shatterproof (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, Book 4)

by Roland Smith

(Ages 8-12)

Caught (Missing)

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

(Ages 9-12)


THE BEST SELLERS

The best selling children’s books this month:

PICTURE BOOKS

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

by William Joyce

(Ages 4-8)

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

by Eric Litwin

(Ages 4-7)

I Want My Hat Back

by Jon Klassen

(Ages 4-8)

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

by Sherri Duskey Rinker (Author), Tom Lichtenheld (Illustrator)

(Ages 4-8)

Press Here

by Herve Tullet

(Ages 4-8)

_______
CHAPTER BOOKS

The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries

by Rick Riordan

(Ages 10-14)

Insurgent (Divergent)

by Veronica Roth

(Ages 14 and up)

The Fault in our Stars

by John Green

(Ages 14-17)

Wonder

by R.J. Palacio

(Ages 8-12)

Heroes of Olympus, The, Book Two: The Son of Neptune

by Rick Riordan

(Ages 9-11)

_______

PAPERBACK BOOKS

Divergent

by Veronica Roth

(Ages 14 and up)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky

(Ages 14 and up)

The Book Thief The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

(Ages 14 and up)

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher

(Ages 12 and up)

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

(Ages 12 and up)

_______

SERIES BOOKS

Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset Hunger Games Trilogy

by Suzanne Collins

(Ages 12 and up)

Maximum Ride

by James Patterson

(Ages 13-17)

Dork Diaries

by Rachel Renee Russell

(Ages 9-12)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Box of BooksDiary of a Wimpy Kid

by Jeff Kinney

(Ages 9 to 12)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-3)Percy Jackson & the Olympians

by Rick Riordan

(Ages 9 to 12)

This information was gathered from the New York Times Best Sellers list, which reflects the sales of books from books sold nationwide, including independent and chain stores. It is correct at the time of publication and presented in random order. Visit: www.nytimes.com.

Original article: September 2012: Best Selling Kids’ Books, New Releases, and More …

©2012 The Childrens Book Review. All Rights Reserved.

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22. The Art of Research Avoidance

Sherman Alexie's recent Writer's Digest blog entry has been getting a lot of love on facebook this week.  My personal favorite from his list is #5, but I am here to talk about item #4 -- that dreaded eight-letter word, research.

I teach college English composition, and many of my students are loath to use any resource besides google; to visit the library, to open a book, to take a note, to thoughtfully examine both sides of the issue, and certainly to develop more than the most cursory familiarity with a proposed topic before beginning to write about it.

We all live in an age where research has become exponentially easier than it has ever been.  When I began working as a writers' assistant at Days of Our Lives, our office was Internet-free.  If I needed information about crime, I called the Burbank PD; if I needed to know about brain surgery, I actually bothered a neurosurgeon at USC.  My bookshelf remains stocked with resources such as the writers' friendly guide to poisons and committing the perfect murder.  However, I have not used these in a very long time, as now the information is literally at my fingertips.

Nowadays it is so easy to take a shortcut -- to avoid talking to real-live person when it is truly necessary to talk to a real-live person.  Through the years, I have learned that research is not my forte or really my interest.   I have also gotten used to approaching it from a soap-writer angle -- yes, it is incredibly unlikely, but is there a one-in-a-billion chance that it could happen?  Great, we'll do it! 

I pretty much only write contemporary fiction (partly due to my incorporating-research aversion), but I haven't been able to avoid the exercise entirely.  Lately I've made use of the virtual Walters Art Gallery, codebreaking websites, and Google Maps. In the past, I've ridden roller coasters at Hershey Park and taken ice skating lessons to put myself in Nancy Drew's shoes.  My favorite type of research, though, comes from reading fiction (back to Alexie's item #4) and seeing how other writers have approached similar material or particular writing challenges.

From what I understand, it is fairly common for writers to get mired in the research phase of a story, to use the library or the Internet as an escape from the harder work of filling a blank page with words.  I am perhaps that unique soul who suffers from perhaps an oxymoronic-sounding problem: I can avoid with the best of them, yet I still seem never to do quite enough (or quite the right) research.

In short, I definitely think Alexie has a point.  And I am eager to see what the historical fiction, sci-fi, and non-fiction writers among us have to say on this subject as the week goes on.

Also... Don't forget to enter our Guest Teaching Author Book Giveaway to win an autographed copy of Who’s Faster? Animals on the Move by Eileen Meyer.

Have a great week, and happy writing! --Jeanne Marie

1 Comments on The Art of Research Avoidance, last added: 10/15/2012
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23. Sherman Alexie, Mark Strand & Orhan Pamuk Get Booked

Here are some literary events to jump-start your week. To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.

Sherman Alexie will be speaking about his new collection, Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories at Barnes & Noble Union Square. See him on Monday, October 15th starting 7 p.m. (New York, NY)

The next installment of the Franklin Park Reading Series will feature Emma Straub, Michael Kimball and more. Hear them on Monday, October 15th at the Franklin Park Bar and Beer Garden starting 8 p.m. (Brooklyn, NY)

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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24. Best Kids Stories – December 2013

Best Selling Kids’ Books & New Releases

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: December 1, 2012

Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review and the most coveted new releases and bestsellers.

THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

20 of the Best Kids Christmas Books

Oliver Jeffers on Writing, Illustrating, and Bookmaking

Christmas Board Books for Babies and Toddlers

How Picture Books Play a Role in a Child’s Development

20 Sites to Improve Your Child’s Literacy


THE NEW RELEASES

The most coveted books that release this month:

Pandora the Curious (Goddess Girls)

By Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

Ages 8-12

Huggy Kissy

By Leslie Patricelli

Ages 1-3

The Twilight Saga White Collection

By Stephenie Meyer

Ages 14 and up

The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 5: Trust No One

By Linda Sue Park

Ages 9-12

Deadly Little Lessons

By Laurie Faria Stolarz

Ages 12-17


THE BEST SELLERS

The best selling children’s books this month:

PICTURE BOOKS

This Is Not My Hat

by Jon Klassen

Ages 4-8

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

By Eric Litwin

Ages 4-8

Llama Llama Time to Share

By Anna Dewdney

Ages 3-5

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

By Sherri Duskey Rinker (Author), Tom Lichtenheld (Illustrator)

Ages 4-8

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses

by Ian Falconer

(Ages 3-7)

_______
CHAPTER BOOKS

“Who Could That Be at This Hour?”

By Lemony Snicket

Ages 9-12

LEGO Ninjago: Character Encyclopedia

by DK Publishing

Ages 6-12

Lincoln’s Last Days: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever

by Bill O’Reilly

Ages 10-15

Wonder

by R.J. Palacio

Ages 8-12

Insurgent (Divergent)

by Veronica Roth

Ages 14 and up

_______

PAPERBACK BOOKS

Divergent

by Veronica Roth

Ages 14 and up

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky

Ages 14 and up

The Book Thief The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

Ages 14 and up

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher

Ages 12 and up

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

Ages 12 and up

_______

SERIES BOOKS

Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset Hunger Games Trilogy

By Suzanne Collins

Ages 12 and up

Dork Diaries

By Rachel Renee Russell

Ages 9-12

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Box of BooksDiary of a Wimpy Kid

By Jeff Kinney

Ages 9 to 12

The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries

by Rick Riordan

(Ages 10-14)

Matched Trilogy

By Ally Condie

Ages 14-17

This information was gathered from the New York Times Best Sellers list, which reflects the sales of books from books sold nationwide, including independent and chain stores. It is correct at the time of publication and presented in random order. Visit: www.nytimes.com.

Original article: Best Kids Stories – December 2013

©2012 The Childrens Book Review. All Rights Reserved.

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25. Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories

What a powerful collection of short stories! Alexie really stretches his wings and explores fascinating new territories, while at the same time revamping his old works by placing them in new contexts. I was completely blown away by Mr. Alexie, as usual. Books mentioned in this post $27.00 New Hardcover add to wish list Blasphemy: New [...]

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