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Viewing Blog: Not Just for Kids, Most Recent at Top
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1. Over at "From JA to YA"........

........I am comparing board book adaptations of Pride and Prejudice. It is not a format which seems immediately obvious for Austen adaptations, but both BabyLit books and Cozy Classics are giving it a go. You can read what I think about them here.

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2. Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

The landscape of this book is probably (hopefully!) unrecognizable to anyone who reads it: a brutal, bleak, totalitarian society in which the laws of intimidation and suspicion oversee all. It reads like a dystopian novel, yet the book is firmly dated in the past. 1956, to be exact, mentioned in a "blink and you miss it" moment. Where the story is taking place is unknown, although the singing

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3. Banned Books Week: Tintin in the Congo

Not only do I read banned books, but I buy them as well. Let me start with a story. At the end of August, on my final evening of a lovely trip to Cape Cod, I was checking out Herridge Books in Wellfleet. Herridge Books is a used book store tucked in a corner not far from Mayo Beach and Wellfleet Center. I was looking for Church Mice books, while my daughter wanted ghost stories. You could have

3 Comments on Banned Books Week: Tintin in the Congo, last added: 10/16/2012
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4. Best big word in a picture book

That honor, at least this week, will have to go to "malfeasance", from Ian Falconer's Olivia and the Fairy Princesses. As in: "I [Olivia] could be a reporter and expose corporate malfeasance." I have to confess--I can't even pronounce 'malfeasance'. Am I the only one who thinks that Olivia will grow up to be Harriet the Spy?

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5. Bring on the 2012 Cybils!

I'm excited and honored to once again be participating in the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards (but known as the Cybils among friends.) This will be my 5th year acting as a judge, my 4th year in non-fiction, my 2nd year reading for the Non-Fiction Middle Grade Young Adult (NFMG/YA) category, and my 1st year as a second-round judge in the category. Phew! I think that covered

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6. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

My review of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken is today's Retro Review over at the Nerdy Book Club. Check it out!

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7. Appropos of nothing

So....who watched Saturday's new Doctor Who episode? I did. And I immediately thought of every one's favorite Time Lord when this arrived in Monday's new book order: You can't go wrong with dinosaurs in a public library. Dinosaur books come second only to Captain Underpants replacement copies in my book order hierarchy. I personally am not big on dinosaurs. But I have a few favorites. In no

2 Comments on Appropos of nothing, last added: 9/13/2012
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8. Over at "From JA to YA............"

.........I'm taking at a look at The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love by Rosie Rushton, the first book in her Jane Austen in the 21st Century series.

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9. Over at "From JA to YA".......

........I'm taking a look at the PBS series Wishbone and their riff on Pride and Prejudice, "Furst Impressions."

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10. Over at "From JA to YA"......

.........I am examining For Darkness Shows the Stars, by Diana Peterfreund. Set for a June 2012 release, the novel is an original and successful adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasuison. Check it out here.

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11. Rave Reviews: Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

I know I'm late for the lovefest for this book, but I say 'better late than never.' I am so glad I read it. I really enjoyed The Wednesday Wars, in which the character of Doug Sweiteck first appears, but I have to admit that I don't remember much about the story. However, I am confident there will be no memory lapses with Okay for Now.  And the credit for that goes to John James Audubon. Like

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12. Celebrating Fenway Park: Ted and Me by Dan Gutman

2012 marks the 100th birthday of Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, and children's publishing is on the ball. There have been some lovely children's books published this year, focusing on the park and the team, and I plan to read and review them all! I'm starting with Dan Gutman's Ted and Me, which is the eleventh volume in Gutman's Baseball Card Adventure series. The premise of the

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13. Letting my 11 year old read The Hunger Games

Long-time readers of this blog, and people who know me well, know that there's no "letting" involved when it comes to reading. My philosophy when it comes to children and books is, "let them read what they want." Experience has taught me that children can be trusted to put down a book when it is too advanced or difficult or upsetting for them. In fact, experience has taught me that most "problems

2 Comments on Letting my 11 year old read The Hunger Games, last added: 4/8/2012
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14. Blog Tour: Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton

"Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires but by the removal of desire.....No man is free who is not master of himself." So says Epictetus, the Stoic Greek philosopher. But try telling that to a dog. A playful, rambunctious dog, who says he will be good--who hopes to be good! But who just can't help himself when tempted with cake, Cat, and dirt. Author and illustrator Chris

6 Comments on Blog Tour: Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton, last added: 3/15/2012
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15. Get ready for the 2012 SLJ Battle of the Kids Books!

Who says February is a bummer? Imagine my joy this morning when my sleepy eyes spied the announcement in my Twitter feed that the 2012 BoB contenders had been announced! I adore the Bob's (also known more formally as the School Library Journal Battle of the Kids Books.) I love the guest judges. I love the monkey wrench of the Undead contender. I love the debate and conversation and

2 Comments on Get ready for the 2012 SLJ Battle of the Kids Books!, last added: 2/4/2012
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16. Over at "From JA to YA"......

....I'm trying to give the Pride and Prejudice board book a fair trial.

4 Comments on Over at "From JA to YA"......, last added: 1/29/2012
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17. Reader, I despair: Jane Eyre as a board book?

After the glory yesterday of the ALA Youth Media Awards, in which we were reminded of all the quality that children's literature has to offer the world, it didn't take long to find a reminder that children's publishing at least really can be ridiculous. Last year I had a full-blown rant about plans to publish a series of board books based on great literary classics. Clearly my gnashing of teeth

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18. Over at "From JA to YA"......

.......I am discussing Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman.

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19. Cybils Wrap-up

I say "wrap-up" even though round two of the judging is just getting into gear. But for me, the work is done, and now there is nothing left to do but sit back and join those waiting to hear the announcement of the eventual winners. After months of reading, and weeks of debating, the Non-Fiction, Middle Grade and Young Adult panel chose six outstanding books as finalists. I don't envy the round

1 Comments on Cybils Wrap-up, last added: 1/16/2012
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20. YA and Jane Austen: an obvious union?

I have started a new blog over at Wordpress, entitled From JA to YA. It will be devoted entirely to my reading of young adult Jane Austen adaptations, biographies, and anything else which purports to introduce teens to the author. I hope you will stop by and either check on my progress or join the conversation. And if you are in the Boston area on Sunday 4 November 2012, I hope you will join

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21. Kiddie lit here, there, and everywhere

While on holiday, I've found some kiddie lit references in unusual places. I've come across Snowman toilet paper, Miffy and Mr. Men Kleenex, and Very Hungry Caterpillar cake. Fun!

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22. Author Interview: Krista Russell

New Bedford, Massachusetts, 1851 With the establishment of time and place, Krista Russell sets the stage for her debut novel, Chasing the Nightbird. This historical adventure for middle grade readers (or anyone with an interest in the history of whaling) tells the story of Lucky Valera, a fourteen year old boy who has grown up at sea, working on whaling ships with his father. After his

1 Comments on Author Interview: Krista Russell, last added: 11/16/2011
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23. Cybils Review: Hummingbirds: Facts and Folklore from the Americas

This striking book takes a very interesting approach to the subject of hummingbirds (which, incidentally, make up the second-largest group of birds in the Americas.) It combines factual information with folktales. And quilts! When I first held this book in my hand, I felt like I was looking at one of those trick pictures with two images. When you look at the picture above, what do you see first

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24. Why do adults read children's books?

You know, sometimes a hat is just a hat. This recent article from The Independent references Cambridge University academic Dr. Louise Joy, who puts forth the theory that adults read childrens literature to escape the stress and demands of adult living; that they yearn for a simpler way of life, like you would find in a childrens book. Must be because being a kid is so easy, right? Her

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25. Cybils Nominee: Can I See Your ID: True Stories of False Identities

It's that time of year again--Cybils time! I'm a little late getting this plug in (you know--life and stuff interfering with my writing) but I wanted to mention it all the same. This will be my fourth year with the Cybils. After a year as a Round Two judge, I am back as a Round One panelist, which means a whole lot of reading and hopefully lots of great recommendations for this blog. I am

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