Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Netflix Adapting Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’ As Series. From Deadline.

Finding New Voices in Children’s Books in Spanish: Spanish-Language Publishing 2014. From PW.

11 Questions for 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' Author Jeff Kinney. From mental_floss.

Focus to Develop YA Adaptation 'Scorpio Races.' From The Hollywood Reporter.

“The Giving Tree” at Fifty: Sadder Than I Remembered. From The New Yorker.

I love this book!  A Haunting Anniversary: 'Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins' Turns 25. From PW.

Dynamic Librarian Gets Apple ConnectED Grant for West Harlem Middle School. From SLJ.

Sally Gardner explains how her dyslexia didn’t (in the end) get in the way of becoming an award-winning children’s writer. From The Guardian.

Ask the author: Marcus Sedgwick. From The Independent.

Container of Hope: International Book Bank Ships 86,000 Books to Liberia. From SLJ.

The True Stories Behind Classic Fairy Tales. From The Huffington Post.

Tasty and bite-sized, short stories thrive in young adult literature. From Allvoices.

‘Freaky Friday’ author Mary Rodgers remembered at memorial service. From NY Daily News.

Monday, January 19, 2015


For Books, Print Is Back. From PW.

Five things you didn't know about Laura Ingalls Wilder. From MPRnews.

Meg Wolitzer: My Debt to Sylvia Plath. From Time Magazine.

Paddington’s Forebear: A Talk With Michael Bond. From The New York Times.

Books on Film: The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss. From SLJ.

First Look: New Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter. From PW.

Alice in Wonderland at 150: innocent fantasy or dark and druggy? From The Telegraph.

Holly Black on Her New Book, Fairies & Working With Cassandra Clare. From The Huffington Post.

'Tuck' Springs Eternal: Natalie Babbitt's Novel at 40. From PW.

John Green Is the John Hughes of Relatable YA Literature. From Flavorwire.

SLJ’s Seventh Annual Battle of the Kids’ Books 2015 Contenders Announced.

John Green Takes Fans Inside His Creative Process. From Time Magazine.

How many Black-authored middle grade and young adult novels were published in the US in 2014? From Zetta Elliott.

'TIME's "100 Best Young Adult Books Of All Time" Is Very White... And Not Very YA. From Bustle.

Philip Pullman Delivers Audible Exclusive. From PW.
Scholastic’s New Report Examines Kids’ Attitudes on Reading. From SLJ.

Books to breed tolerance: what children can read after the terrorist attacks in Paris. From The Guardian.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio by Lloyd Alexander

After years of working (and supported by) for his uncle, Carlo is on his own.  In his possession is a treasure map to the hidden treasure on the Road of Golden Dreams.  Carlo doesn't know if the map is even real, but he is willing to take the chance.  Carlo sets off on his journey picking up along the way a rag-tag group of wanders who together try and find their heart's desires.

I am a Lloyd Alexander fan.  I loved The Chronicles of Prydain series.  I read those over and over again growing up.  This is the last book of his that was published.  I had high expectations that were not met.

I just wasn't very interested in either the story or the characters.  Neither seemed to have much of a point.  The plot wandered along, seeming unsure if it wanted to be a philosophical tale or an adventure story. 

The characters lacked depth, which was very disappointing.  We don't even really get to know Carlo that well.  He seems a bit of a bumbling fool.  Is there more to him?  It's hard to say.  We learn absolutely nothing about Shira, the Kirkassi girl who is traveling with him.  He falls in love with her.  She falls in love with him.  Why do they like each other?  She's really beautiful.  He's kind of an idiot.  I have no idea what she saw in him.  We'll never know since her character is completely undeveloped.

The two others in their party are Baksheesh, the world's worst camel-puller and Salamon, a philosopher who loves animals.  Off all the characters, I thought Baksheesh was the most developed.  We learn a lot about him through his dialogue.  He's a lazy sneak who will do anything to avoid work.  He's a fast talker who can talk his way out of almost anything and is also fiercely loyal.  Salamon was another character that I wasn't quite sure why he was there.  We didn't learn much about him.  He's wise and wants to see the sea.  He's good with animals.  That's about it.

The adventure story was mixed with philosophical musings about life and dreams.  It didn't work well together.  I think this last work was meant to be a look at the meaning of life, but it doesn't really come through.

Not Lloyd Alexander's best.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Smek for President! by Adam Rex

Tip is frustrated.  She and J.Lo saved the world but no one knows it.  Her mom has finally decided to start acting like a mom when Tip has been taking care of herself her whole life.  So when J.Lo suggests visiting the Boov's new home planet, New Boovworld, Tip agrees, even though her mom told her no.  The two pack up Slushious (their flying car) and head to New Boovworld to clear up the whole misunderstanding about J.Lo letting the Gorg know where the Boov were and all.  Things do not go as planned.

I loved The True Meaning of Smekday and was very excited for a sequel I didn't even know was coming.  It did not disappoint.  Maybe it wasn't quite as delightful as the first one, but it was still pretty delightful.

We are reunited with all our old friends, Tip, her mom, J.Lo, Dan Landry, who's taken all the credit for conquering the Gorg, and meet lots of fabulous new characters.  We are finally introduced to the legendary Captain Smek, who's having some trouble on New Boovworld.  It seems that some of the Boov are calling for the first presidential election the Boov have ever had!  Captain Smek is in trouble.  But capturing Public Enemy Number One (who happens to be J.Lo) might make him look a bit better.  When J.Lo is arrested and put in prison on New Boovworld, Tip teams up with a friendly flying billboard she names Bill to try and set things right.

Like the first book, beneath all the hilarity and silly antics of the Boov, it's a story about family and friendship.  Tip is struggling with some growing pains and the relationship with her mom, who she knows loves her but won't get off her back.  And as much as Tip says she doesn't care if no one knows she saved the world, she does, in fact, really care that no one knows she saved the world!  I mean, SHE SAVED THE WORLD! 

The story was funny, sweet and had some great twists and surprises.  And lots of hilarious Boovian accents.

Smek for President! comes out February 10, 2015.

Monday, January 12, 2015


Pippi Longstocking Ignites a Debate on Race. From The New York Times.

A call for more teen and YA books to be set in the Middle East to help young people understand the complexities of conflict. From The Guardian.

PW and the Obamas: Meeting Up at Politics & Prose to Buy Books.
In Wayzata, Minnesota, a school spies on its students. From boingboing.

School Library Renaissance in MA School District. From SLJ.
9 Adorable Kids Talk About Why Books Are The Best. From BuzzFeed.

Why Louisa May Alcott's Morality Still Resonates With Readers. From The Huffington Post.

My inspiration: Satoshi Kitamura on why he loves Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy and manga. From The Guardian. 

School libraries are essential for learning. Duh.  From

Unbroken: The Movie, the Book, and Standout World War II Readalikes. From SLJ.

Mockingjay and feminism: The new Hunger Games movie envisions a future where women run the world. From Slate.

Publisher changes titles after seven-year-old girl’s complaint. From The Guardian.

The reality behind Laura Ingalls Wilder's 'Little House' books. From LA Times.

Q&A with Nick Lake. From PW.

Books the pass the Bechdel test.  From SLJ.

14 Facts About 'Anne of Green Gables' Author L.M. Montgomery. From Mental_Floss.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


‘This One Summer’ Tops PW Comics World’s 2014 Critics Poll.
A a study unsurprisingly finds that reading to children of all ages grooms them to read more on their own.  From The New York Times.

Nonprofit Fights Illiteracy By Getting Books To Kids Who Need Them. From NPR.

Times Magazine's list of 100 best children's book of all time.

YA Novel ‘This Song Will Save Your Life’ Heads to Stage, Screen. From Variety.

How Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places gets mental illness right. From BuzzFeed.

Josh Sundquist On 'We Should Hang Out Sometime,' Dating Disasters, and Awkward Pauses. From Bustle.

The Comics Industry Person of the Year 2014: Raina Telgemeier. From The Beat.
‘One Hundred Books Famous in Children’s Literature’ at Grolier. From The New York Times.

The Dark Origins of 11 Classic Nursery Rhymes. From mental_floss.

The Measure of Program Success? Probably not book circulation. From SLJ.

Publishers Weekly's Top Comics Stories of 2014.

Ohio libraries fear more state cuts. From The Marion Star.
The unlikely story behind Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.  From CBS News.

The Rosenbach Museum contests the value of Maurice Sendak's rare books. From

Talk, Sing, Read, Write, Play: How Libraries Reach Kids Before They Can Read. From NPR.

2014 Cybils Award finalists announced.  From SLJ.

The lives they lived: Walter Dean Myers. From The New York Times.

In defence of young adult fiction. From BBC News.

Minnesota School Board Won't Ban Book About Girl with Two Mothers. From ABC News.
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