Category Archives: news


I’m reading A Dance with Dragons (over 900 pages) and it will be at least five days before I finish and post a review. So, to post something between now and then, Dexter! Season six airs this October. Waiting sucks (I’ve adopted the True Blood tagline for all my favorite shows… but in truth, the wait is always worth it).

Four Year Anniversary Galley Giveaways

It’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging for four years already, almost as long as I’ve been in the Library profession. To mark the anniversary, I’m giving away a bunch of advance reader copies!

Just comment on this post for an entry, telling me your favortie children’s or YA book published in 2010 and specifying which book or books you are interested in receiving.

I will choose a winner radomly for each book this Sunday (7/25/10) so the books get mailed the following Monday. Be sure to include some way for me to contact you.

Scumble is the sequel to the Newbery Honor Award winner Savvy by Ingrid Law. It is slated to be released on August 17, 2010.

It is nine years after Mids’s Savvy journel and now her cousin Ledge is turning eleven.

But Ledger Kale’s savvy is a total dud–all he does is make little things fall apart. So his parents decide it’s safe to head to Wyoming, where it’s soon revealed that Ledge’s savvy is much more powerful than anyone thought. Worse, his savvy disaster has an outside witness: Sarah Jane Cabot, reporter wannabe and daughter of the local banker. Just like that, Ledge’s beloved normal life is over. Now he has to keep Sarah from turning family secrets into headlines, stop her father from foreclosing on Uncle Autry’s ranch, and scumble his savvy into control so that, someday, he can go home.

Plain Kate by debut  author Erin Bow is set for a September 1, 2010 release.

Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver’s daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade” — a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the town that seems set to burn her, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes that she can’t live shadowless forever — and that Linay’s designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

Girls Parts is another novel by a debut author, John M Cusick, and is slated for an August 10, 2010 release.  

David and Charlie are opposites. David has a million friends, online and off. Charlie is a soulful outsider, off the grid completely. But neither feels close to anybody.

When David’s parents present him with a hot Companion bot designed to encourage healthy bonds and treat his “dissociative disorder,” he can’t get enough of luscious redheaded Rose — and he can’t get it soon. Companions come with strict intimacy protocols, and whenever he tries anything, David gets an electric shock.

Parted from the boy she was built to love, Rose turns to Charlie, who finds he can open up, knowing Rose isn’t real. With Charlie’s help, the ideal “companion” is about to become her own best friend.

BEA: First Impression

Well, I crashed as soon as I returned home yesterday from Book Expo America. It was my first trip there. I grabbed a lot of galley copies and a lot of signatures. Reviews will begin as soon as my box arrives. Until then, here are my thoughts.

  • It wasn’t as big as ALA – I didn’t pick up nearly as many galleys
  • Hardcover books are given away at author signings. Nice.
  • Candlewick and Shadow Mountain Press had the most efficient setups with the nicest people and best giveaways.
  • There is always one publisher’s booth that gets it all wrong. The raspberries go to Harper Collins. They were stingy with their galleys, so you needed a ticket (who the heck knows how people got tickets) for a 15 minute pick-up window. Mostly, that booth was empty. Boo, Harper Collins. I won’t be reviewing any of your galleys because I didn’t care to pick any up. Making life difficult for those who spread the word on your books is a stupid business practice.
  • The food at the Javits Center was overpriced and terrible. If I attend next year (and I’m not sure I”m interested… ALA is so much better!), I’m packing.

The galley I’m most excited to read is by Wendy Mass.

The authors I met:

  • James Dashner – wonderfully kind and talkative
  • Brandon Mull – polite if not naturally cheery, he has some of the strangest young fans
  • Bonny Becker – just plain sweet
  • Greg Folley – aloof, typical NYC personality but polite

A New Jane Eyre Movie

The Bronte sisters are the new Austen. Jane Eyre has long been my favorite book. I never tire of new film adaptations. I’m hoping this one will include the fortune teller scene. Coming in 2011, Jane Eyre, directed by Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) and staring:

Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre
(Alice in Wonderland)

Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester
(Inglorious Bastards, 300)

Jamie Bell as St. John
(Billie Elliot, Defiance)

Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax
(Shakespeare in Love, The Chronicles of Riddick, Quantum of Solace)

Scholastic’s 2010 Librarian Preview Webcast

Starting with picture books and wrapping up with new YA fiction, the Scholastic 2010 Librarian Preview has me excited about several titles, among them: Captain Sky Blue and The Sea of Sleep. A novel on par with Pullman? Plain Kate. We’ll see.

Very excited for Empty by Suzanne Weyn. A society without fossil fuels. David Levithan had me hooked with his booktalk. 

You can watch the full preview at Scholastic’s site.

In Which I Get a Grade of…

Here is the complete results of Fuse #8’s poll from #100 to #1. Those in yellow are titles I’ve read. I’m giving myself a D grade. I have a lot of catching up to do.

100. The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (1967)

99. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks (1980)

98. Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston (1954)

97. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (2006)

96. The Witches by Roald Dahl (1983)

95. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren (1950)

94. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome (1930)

93. Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink (1935)

92. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (1997)

91. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar (1978)

90. Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (1985)

Continue reading In Which I Get a Grade of…

Finding the “Good” Parent in YA Lit

Thanks to Liz B at A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy for bringing the kidlitosphere’s attention to Julie Just’s New York Times article, “The Problem Parent in YA Lit.”

Miss Print has started a campaign to locate the “good” parents in YA Literature. Head over to her site to contribute.There has been a lot of reaction to Just’s article, not just from Liz B. and Miss Print, but also from Sarah Ockler who also makes very good points in reaction to the half-baked article.

I believe there two points Just inadequately address or omits altogether (and which Sarah Ockler hasn’t already covered).

1. What makes a parent ‘good’ or ‘bad’?

As Liz B. points out, it rather weak to label a father ‘bad’ for not knowing how to cook (Sara Zarr’s Once was Lost). My father doesn’t know how to cook and he is Perfection to me.

I thought it equally absurd for Just to point to Laurie Halse Anderson’s mother figure from Wintergirls.  Our teen narrator is so severely anorexic that it doesn’t really matter what the mother has or hasn’t done. Anyone who has dealt with a loved ones eating disorder knows only frustration and helplessness. The Wintergirls narrator, Lia, made a decision that had very little, if anything, to do with her parents and whole lot to do with peer pressure and social expectations.

Many YA books deal with teens going through rough times. As Ockler points out, these book are geared toward teens and are told from a teen’s (often warped) perspective. Julie Just didn’t even consider this.

2. What are society’s expectations for children?

It is my belief (and I have heard this opinion expressed by many non-Americans) that Americans coddle their children.

In our current capitalist society, material possessions are valued above time (with our children). We work and work, so we can buy our children things to make up for the time we can’t spend with them, only to deposit them in college where they don’t know how to do laundry, cook, or clean a bathroom sink! And then we are surprised at their slovenly lifestyle when we visit. Tisk. Tisk.

So why are we shocked when teens are so completely inept at handling themselves, thinking for themselves? The reason is that society has not given them any responsibility (other than attending school… and demands there are laughable). Expectations are low. We put our star athletes and actors on ivory pedestals, idolize glamourous lifestyles (even when they are completely devoid of purpose *ahem* Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan *ahem*).

We drag these poor teens out of bed at ungodly hours in the morning, demand they perform (not just in their studies but also in athletics and extra-curriculars like Key Club and Theatre), and then yell at them when they blow off some steam with their friends on the street corner. I thought life sucked as a teenager and I can still relate to that as I approach thiry!

School Outreach

My coworker, Anna, and I recently visited a local elementary school to read stories and promote the Library. Yesterday, we received a stack of Thank You cards from the children.

We took several pop-up books including 500 Black Spots and One Red Dot, and a few picture books. The big hits were Duck! Rabbit!, The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog, Melvin Bubble, and Millie Waits for the Mail.

Here are a few of my favorite cards: