Monday, March 31, 2014


12 books that end mid-sentence.  From PW.

After a challenge to Eleanor & Park the Anoka-Hennepin School District has revised its policies on how classroom and library materials are selected.  From StarTribune.

11 things you learn when your book is turned into a television show.  From The Huffington Post.

Classic children's books that would be ruined by modern medicine.  From Discover Magazine.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar turns 45.  From CBS.

Rush Limbaugh - Children's Choice book author of the year?  From SLJ.

What we find in young adult literature.  From WBUR.

The Fault in Our Stars hasn't even come out yet, but Paper Towns is headed for the big screen too.  From PopWrapped.

Ellen DeGeneres has been highlighting school libraries!  From SLJ.

Must every YA action heroine be petite?  From The Atlantic.

Teenagers are asked to explain Divergent to old people.  From

Meet the creator of Ms. Marvel, the first female American-Muslim superhero.  From SLJ.

SLJ reviews Divergent.

SLJ's Battle of the Kid's books is almost over!  Catch up if you haven't been following.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

Have you ever had the feeling that you've lived another life? Been somewhere that has felt totally familiar, even though you've never been there before, or felt that you know someone well, even though you are meeting them for the first time? It happens. In 2073 on the remote and secretive island of Blessed, where rumour has it that no one ages and no children are born, a visiting journalist, Eric Seven, and a young local woman known as Merle are ritually slain. Their deaths echo a moment ten centuries before, when, in the dark of the moon, a king was slain, tragically torn from his queen. Their souls search to be reunited, and as mother and son, artist and child, forbidden lovers, victims of a vampire they come close to finding what they've lost. In a novel comprising seven parts, each influenced by a moon - the flower moon, the harvest moon, the hunter's moon, the blood moon - this is the story of Eric and Merle whose souls have been searching for each other since their untimely parting (Goodreads).

Midwinterblood won the Printz award this year.  I can see why.  It's certainly an interesting, engaging read.  The way it was framed was intriguing, leaving you confused and guessing for most of the book.  I enjoyed it.  It was not the best thing I read all year, but then the Printz committee doesn't ask me.

The book goes backwards.  We start in 2073, with journalist Eric Seven arriving on the strange island of Blessed with a specific task in hand - find out about a mysterious flower that possibly has the power to prolong life.  However, once he arrives on the island he begins to forget why he's there, along with the rest of his life.  But he has a strange feeling that he's met a woman, Merle, before.  As Eric is about to be killed as a sacrifice, we go back in time.

At first there was a bit of consistency how far we'd go back, the first few times it was around 50 years, but then as we got father back there were bigger jumps.  In each life, there's a Merle and an Eric.  In each life (for the most part) Merle lives and Eric dies.  Their relationships are different each time, sometimes they're brother and sister, sometimes they're lovers, sometimes they're parent and child, but each relationship is one of love.  Often, but not always, Eric would sacrifice himself in some way so that Merle could live.  It all went back to the first life, when Eric was sacrificed but promised his wife, Merle that he would come back seven times and find her, and so they keep living different lives, but each time Eric dies and they don't get to be together.

I liked the story, but the little inconsistencies bothered me.  Why did Tor (a character that often served the role of parting Eric and Merle) only show up in some of the lives?  Why, if Eric died in each of the lives, sacrificing himself for Merle in some way, he didn't die, at least not that we saw, in the second to last life?  Why, in 2073, did no one seem to know that it was drinking the tea made from the flower that was keeping people from having children?  What was the whole vampire thing?  Were the people on the island in 2073 supposed to be vampires too?  What was the thing with Eric Seven's parent's religion that was alluded to?  Was I just not reading carefully enough and all these questions were answered?  I thought there were a lot of holes.

An interesting read for a thoughtful reader.  Unlikely to have mass appeal.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


An interview with YA Renaissance woman Cecil Castellucci.  From Salon.

Neil Gaiman on why scary stories appeal to us.  From Brain Pickings. 

How closely will The Fault in Our Stars film follow the book?  From Bookish.

Why dystopia speaks to us.  From Book Riot.

A crash course on Common Core.  From NPR.

It's almost time for the final book in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series!  So excited!  From PW.

Nebraska has a 16 year-old library board president.  From SLJ.

The Independent will no longer review anything marketed to exclude a specific gender.

Are LGBTQ books finding a crossover audience?  From Bustle.

Divergent news:

Early reviews of Divergent From The Wrap.

Divergent breaks YA curse.  From The Hollywood Reporter.

Divergent adapters walk a delicate balancing act.  From The New York Times.

The Divergent challenge.  From The Wall Street Journal.

Which Divergent faction do you belong to?  From BuzzFeed.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: (Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

"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 (Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn.

Welcome to Gardnerville.

A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.

There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.

Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.

(Don't You) Forget About Me comes out June 10, 2014. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Tana and her ex-boyfriend Aidan are the only survivors of a massacre carried out at a party by vampires. Aidan is infected, and Tana might be infected too, it's too soon to say.  Tana does the only thing she can think of - head for the nearest Coldtown, a quarantined location where vampires live and rule.  Traveling with them is Gavriel, a very strange vampire who Tana saved and is now assisting them on their journey, and who is hiding a dark secret.

What made this book stand apart from other vampire books, aside from the obviously better writing and the well-rounded characters, was that The Coldest Girl in Coldtown shows vampires to be vicious and blood thirsty.  They are, essentially, monsters, with no love or feelings for humans.  Humans are there to be used as vampires wish.

The Coldtowns are well wired, and the lives of the vampires are the most popular reality TV to the outside world.  Of course, you have people who dream of becoming vampires.  Who think vampires are beautiful and sexy.  Who think vampires are misunderstood.  These people deliberately go to Coldtowns and try to get a vampire to turn them.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Have you seen The Giver movie trailer yet?  In case you haven't, here it is.  Lots of buzz going on about it.  Thoughts?  From Slate.

Media specialists and the Common Core.  From Edutopia. 

The ABCs of information literacy.  From Book Patrol.

Campaign to end gender-specific children's books.  From The Guardian.

This DreamWorks movie is based on The True Meaning of Smekday.  I hope it's good!  From BuzzFeed.

The ten states that (really) pay teachers the most.  From

Where are the people of color in children's books?  From The New York Times.

What exactly is a middle grade book?  From SA Larsen.

Ever wondered which Dewey Decimal category you are?  No?  Find out anyway!  From EasyBib.

The most engaged library users are also the biggest tech users.  From PBS.

How many of these books have you read?  I've read 56.  Take that, BBC!  From List Challenges.

Are ebooks pricing people out of reading?  From Wired.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Andre the Giant: Life and Legend by Box Brown

"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 Andre the Giant: Life and Legend by Box Brown.

Andre Roussimoff is known as both the lovable giant in The Princess Bride and a heroic pro-wrestling figure. He was a normal guy who'd been dealt an extraordinary hand in life. At his peak, he weighed 500 pounds and stood nearly seven and a half feet tall. But the huge stature that made his fame also signed his death warrant.

Box Brown brings his great talents as a cartoonist and biographer to this phenomenal new graphic novel. Drawing from historical records about Andre's life as well as a wealth of anecdotes from his colleagues in the wrestling world, including Hulk Hogan, and his film co-stars (Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, etc), Brown has created in Andre the Giant, the first substantive biography of one of the twentieth century's most recognizable figures. 

Andre The Giant comes out May 6. 2014.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


In case it wasn't all over your Facebook feed: It's a Bunch of Years After the War, and Everything is Different.  There do seem to be a lot of tunics in the future, that's for sure.  From The Toast.

#sensibleYA.  From Bustle.

If net neutrality disappears, how will it impact services to children?  From The Digital Shift.

Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book is now a graphic novel.  from SLJ.

So you know how JK Rowling said she regretted that Ron and Hermione ended up together?  You can relax now.  From The Guardian.

Sounds like a pretty good cast for the adaptation of The Great Gilly Hopkins.  From Variety.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...