Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to spotlight an upcoming release that we're excited about. This week I'm waiting on The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater.

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after... (Summary from Goodreads)

I read this last summer and loved every aspect about it. Ronan is a fascinating character, and I'm hoping that Maggie Stiefvater delves more into who he is. SO EXCITED!

Dream Thieves comes out Sept. 17th.

Monday, February 25, 2013


John Green on copyright.  From TheDigitalShift

If you're a fan of Beautiful Creaturesbe prepared for the movie to take liberties with the book.  From SLJ.

Happy birthday, Judy Blume!  From Blogging Censorship.

Sex on the rise in YA books?  From The Telegraph.

Top 10 children's books 2013 in the UK.  From The Guardian.

Did you hear about this one?  Harrods had to pull a sexist children's book off its shelves.  The book - How To Be Gorgeous, geared to girls.  Right next to it was a one geared toward boys called How To Be Clever.  From ToyNews.

Fashion inspired by books. From Fiction to Fashion.

The connection between Maurice Sendak and Shakespeare.  From The New York Times.

Reading Rainbow might not be on TV anymore, but it's still going strong in all its awesomeness!  From TheDigitalShift.

Ten most notorious parts from famous books.  From PW.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Slated by Teri Terry

Kyla has been given a second chance.  If a criminal or gang member is under the age of 16, they can be slated which means having their memories completely wiped.  Those who are slated are placed with families and start their lives again - under the constant supervision of their Levo, a device on their wrist that can't be removed and monitors their mood.  Kyla is having a hard time adjusting.  She swears she remembers things about her own life, but that's not possible.  Is it?

This was an enjoyable dystopian novel, and one that I'm curious about where it will go.  I still have lots of questions about the world Kyla is in, but it didn't feel like poor world building was why I hadn't figured it out yet.  Things were deliberately held back.  The reader doesn't know anything more than Kyla does, and she's just starting to put things together.  I hope when all is revealed it won't be disappointing!

The first thing I was trying to figure out, right from the beginning, is why there were so many under 16-year-old criminals.  We are not that far into the future.  It's 2054.  It is still unclear what happened, but it involved some kind of massive gang uprising and violence, which was put down harshly by the government.  There are still Antigovernment Terrorists (AGT).  Do the terrorists recruit young children?  Are gangs still prevalent?  It seems that gang violence had been pretty much eradicated.  Why still so many slated?


Friday, February 22, 2013


Way to go 7th grader.  From Sentinel and Enterprise.

Wow, has it really been 15 years since the first Harry Potter?  Amazing.  The books are getting new cover art in celebration.  I like it. From The Huffington Post.

Of course, the fans jump in and take a stab at their own cover redesigns.  From Flavorwire.

Illustrator Sophie Blackwell on what makes illustrating books for children especially exciting.  From Brain Pickings.

Infographic of young adult heroines in the movies.  

Printz award winning author Nick Lake talks to SLJ.

Three whispered cheers for libraries!  From I Heart Daily.

Comics make people smarter!  From PW.

3 social media lessons from young adults and the authors who speak to them.  From co.Create.

 Roald Dah is not more popular with adults than children.  From The Independent.

If there was a children's literature movie, who would play the authors?  From SLJ.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi.

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to spotlight an upcoming release that we're excited about. This week I'm waiting on My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi.

Sixteen-year-old Lucy never thought it would happen to her. She planned on becoming a Broadway star, living out her days with her leading man, Ty. Instead, a new girl walks off with her role and her guy. Lucy flies off the rails and does something completely out of character. Something with consequences she'll have to live with the rest of her life...

What will she tell her family? Her friends? Off script and without the comforts of her simple high school problems, Lucy must figure out how to live and even embrace a life she thought was all but over.

My Life After Now comes out April 1, 2013.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Giveaway: The Culling by Steven dos Santos

Win an ARC of The Culling by Steven dos Santos, the first book in The Torch Keeper series,

Recruitment Day is here...if you fail, a loved one will die...

For Lucian “Lucky” Spark, Recruitment Day means the Establishment, a totalitarian government, will force him to become one of five Recruits competing to join the ruthless Imposer task force. Each Recruit participates in increasingly difficult and violent military training for a chance to advance to the next level. Those who fail must choose an “Incentive”—a family member—to be brutally killed. If Lucky fails, he’ll have to choose death for his only living relative: Cole, his four-year-old brother.

Lucky will do everything he can to keep his brother alive, even if it means sacrificing the lives of other Recruits’ loved ones. What Lucky isn’t prepared for is his undeniable attraction to the handsome, rebellious Digory Tycho. While Lucky and Digory train together, their relationship grows. But daring to care for another Recruit in a world where love is used as the ultimate weapon is extremely dangerous. As Lucky soon learns, the consequences can be deadly...

The Culling comes out March 8, 2013.

Giveaway ends February 24, 2013.

Monday, February 18, 2013

In Darkness by Nick Lake

 A boy lived in the Site in Haiti, a place of extreme poverty and violence.  Injured in a gun fight, he is in a hospital when the earthquake happens, trapping him beneath the building.  He remembers all that has happened to land him in this darkness, and his memories are interspersed with the memories of Toussaint l'Ouverture, the revolutionary leader who helped to free Haiti.

In Darkness just won the Printz award, so I had high expectations.  And it was a good book.  It was brutal and honest and thought provoking.  It told the story of modern Haiti, as well as telling the history of Haiti.  Despite this, it was just a good book, not an awesome, amazing book, at least for me.  It took me a while to get through it, because it just wasn't a book the grabbed me and held me riveted.  It was easy to put down.

You know what was really interesting?  I only realized that the main character's actual name is never given when I went to write this review and realized I didn't know what to call him.  He's called a variety of things throughout the book, but none of them are his actual name.  In the book blurb, he is referred to as "Shorty," which he is often called by the member of his gang, so I guess I will call him that too for lack of anything better.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick

Arn is young when the Khmer Rouge comes to power in Cambodia.  Along with his family and all the residents of his city, he is forced out to the countryside, separated from everyone he knows, and sent to work in the rice fields.  All around him Arn watches as people begin to starve.  When the children are asked if anyone knows how to play an instrument, Arn says he can, even though he's never played anything before.  Perhaps this will be they way that he can survive.

I'd never read any fiction about Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge, and now within a year I've read two excellent ones.  Much like In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner, Never Fall Down is a novel that is based on a true story.  Patricia McCormick worked closely with Arn Chorn-Pond to tell his story.  But just as Ratner felt, Chorn-Pond thought there were too many holes in his childhood memories to write a memoir.

Arn is not well off when the story begins, he and his brother beg for food on the street, but they used to be rich.  Arn has to make sure that no one ever finds this out, because rich people, academics, royals, government soldiers, all were systematically killed by the Khmer Rouge.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to spotlight an upcoming release that we're excited about. This week I'm waiting on Eleanor & Park  by Rainbow Rowell..

"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says.
"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen."
"What about Romeo and Juliet?"
"Shallow, confused, then dead."
''I love you," Park says.
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be."

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

Eleanor & Park comes out February 28, 2013.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Have you heard?  Beyonce hired a personal librarian.  It's only a matter of time now before we control everything...  From Yahoo!

Hank and John Green use their powers for good.  From SLJ.

It's the 7th anniversary of The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.  Yay!  From PW.

Jon Stewart uses Dr. Seuss to explain why we won't see the president with a gun.  From  The Huffington Post.

Beth Revis tells us what makes a good teen novel.  From Writing Teen Novels.

Teaching transmedia with comics.  From SLJ.

Well, I guess we can thank Twilight for one thing: it's made people see teen girls have serious market power.  From The NY Daily News.

10 of the most bizarre fairy tale adaptations.  From Flavorwire.

The Secret Garden is going to be a movie again! And it's being written by the writer of Beast of the Southern Wild.  Remember the late 80s version?  I was so into that movie.  Even though they decided that Dicken died in WWI.  That sucked.  From Deadline New York.

Mary Ingalls didn't have scarlet fever at all!  From NPR.

Google Maps Hunger Games spoilers.  Looks very cool.  From BuzzFeed.

Casting begins for the movie version of The Book Thief.  From The Hollywood Reporter.

The 7 weirdest sex stories of the ancient world.  From PW.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats

Cecily grew up at Edgeley Hall in England, but when her uncle comes back from the Crusades, her father decides, rather than acting as his brother's steward, he will move to Caernarvon in English occupied Wales where he can own his own land and house.  Cecily is less than happy about moving to barbaric Wales.  Gwenhwyfar's life was destroyed by the coming of the English.  Her people are starving around her, and she is forced to work in a house and on land she once owned.

This was heavy.  Seriously heavy.  This is a middle grade book, but I want to be clear that the violence and assault that happens is detailed.  Not in a sensationalized way, but certainly graphic.

This was another period of history I knew very little about.  In the later 1200s, Wales pretty much became a colony of England, under King Edward.  Stone cities were built that English colonists could live in, effective protected from the Welsh people by guarded stone walls.  Of course, there were rebellions, and the one The Wicked and Just details was the first one, which happened in 1294 and was led by Madog ap Llywelyn.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to spotlight an upcoming release that we're excited about. This week I'm waiting on The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.

 THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark, from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman.

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.
(Summary from GoodReads)

Why wouldn't I read this? It's NEIL GAIMAN! Let's not joke around, I've liked everything that he's ever written. The man does not disappoint. And the cover is pretty.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane comes out June 18th.

Friday, February 1, 2013


For reasons he does not understand, Lewis Black reads Goodnight Moon.  And it is amazing.  From WHAM 1180.

Stop the insulting classic books recovered for "teen girl appeal."  From The Huffington Post.

Between violence and tenderness: Aristotle and Dante author Saenz talks to SLJ.

Well, I don't know how much I agree with this article that the second book in Marie Lu's Legend series was able to beat the "middle child syndrome."  I was not a huge fan.  From Los Angels Times.

Katerine Applegate on winning the Newbery.  From PW.

Jon Klassen on winning the Caldecott.  From PW.

Nick Lake on winning the Printz.  From PW.

These are awful!  Cautionary tales for children from yesteryear.  Horrifying.  From Mental Floss.

Almost time for the SLJ Battle of the Kid's Books!

Kate Winslet is in talks for a role in the Divergent movie.  From EW.

In other movie news, Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book is becoming a movie, and Stephanie Meyer, yes, that Stephanie Meyer, is gong to produce Anna Dressed in Blood.

Adorable children from the 80s recommending books.  So cute!  From the hairpin.

ALA Midwinter 2013 in pictures.  From SLJ

12 famous writers who also wrote for children.  From Mental Floss.

The Caldecott Medal turns 75.  From NPR.

Well if Pew is saying so it must be true - library's still vital.  From Los Angels Times.

The life-changing power of The Outsiders.  From NPR.
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