Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus by Tom Angleberger

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share the titles we are eagerly anticipating.

Last week, I found an article about this on PW. I have enjoyed this series immensely and am sort of sad that it's ending. 


Ewmperor Pickletine Rides the Bus by Tom Angleberger. Abrams/ Amulet, August, 2014. 9781419709333.

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Characters Who Stole My Heart

TTT is a weekly meme hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week's theme is all about characters, our choice of theme. Since I am rereading one of my favorite books of all time, this time with my ears and am enjoying revisiting some of my favorite characters, I'm going to share some characters who stole my heart. Five YA and five MG. Five male protagonists, two pairs of boys and girls and three female protagonists.



We Were Here by Matt de la Peña. (Random House/ 2009) This one is on my top ten favorites of all books. I just wanted to adopt Miguel, Mong and Rondell. 



Dear Life, You Suck by Scott Blagden (HMH/ 2013) Cricket is another character I wanted to adopt. His voice still rings in my head. Impressive debut.



Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos (HMH, 2013) Another impressive debut, this Morris Award Finalist is narrated by James Whitman, a depressed sixteen-year-old Walt Whitman fanatic.



Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown/ 2009) Another all-time fave. Junior's story haunted me before it deservedly won the National Book Award. I have reread this one countless times with both my eyes and ears and sloppy sob every time.



Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (St. Martin's Press/ 2013) I read this one with my ears and found I was constantly holding my breath, worried about Eleanor's safety. No surprise when this one garnered a Printz Honor.



Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington (Little, Brown/ 2013) What do you do when your mother murders your twin brother and attempts to murder you and when you parent your alcoholic father who is quick to pull up stakes and relocate? You write letters to Atticus Finch (a perfect father) and your best friend is a plant. 



The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis by Barbara O'Connor (FSG/ 2009) When I think of authors who waste no words, Barbara O'Connor's name tops the list. Popeye is one of my middle grade favorite characters.



Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur (Random House/ 2009) Aubrey bravely tries to live life alone when her mother abandons her one day. Her grandmother comes to the rescue, thank goodness, but it takes a while for Aubrey to open up and trust. 



Chicken Boy by Frances O'Roark Dowell (Atheneum/ 2005) This one has stuck with me the longest. Heartbreaking and hopeful. I think it's time for a reread. The cover has been redesigned. I chose the original cover to post as it's my favorite.



Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage (Penguin/ 2012) Mo and Dale, two best friends, two unique and lovable characters. They return in a sequel, The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, which is just as good. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Home for Mr. Emerson by Barbara Kerley


A Home for Mr. Emerson by Barbara Kerley. Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. unpgd. Scholastic Inc., February, 2014. 9780545350884. (Review copy courtesy of publisher.)     

Truth be told, Ralph Waldo Emerson does not spring immediately to mind when pondering subjects for a picture book biography. If anyone can make the world of this 19th century thinker accessible to a young audience, this duo, who brought us the amazing What to Do about Alice? and Those Rebels Tom and John, can.

Emerson settled in Concord, Mass with his second wife, Queenie. He loved his life there. He had his books, a vibrant community and quick and easy access to nature. He and his wife also entertained the many house-guests who made their way from all corners of the globe to the Emerson's doorstep. When his beloved house burned to the ground, Emerson decided to travel the world with his daughter while his house was being rebuilt. When he returned home, he was touched to discover that the community restored his house down to every detail.

The oversized cartoonish illustrations practically leap from the pages, there's such energy in each. Notable Emerson quotes decorate the end pages and are woven through the illustrations. An author's note provides more information and source notes are included. Accessible and unique, this is not your run-of-the-mill picture book biography. 

Non-Fiction Monday: The Secret Life of the Woolly Bear Caterpillar by Laurence Pringle


The Secret Life of the Woolly Bear Caterpillar by Laurence Pringle. Illustrated by Joan Paley. unpged. Boyds Mills Press, April 1, 2014. 9781620910009. (Finished copy courtesy of publisher for review.)

The author discusses the life of a banded woolly bear caterpillar named Bella in this narrative non-fiction picture book for younger readers. Using words like undulate and accurate scientific taxonomy that is explained in text as well as in a glossary, the author describes Bella's journey, which is fraught with danger from predators and cars in her search for food to eat and, eventually, the perfect place to spend the winter. 

The colorful, mixed-media collages depict the changing seasons and the variety of other animals she might encounter. Further information about the woolly bear caterpillar, including the myth about its ability to predict the severity of the coming winter is included at the end.



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stacking the Shelves

StS is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Hop on over there to ogle what other bloggers got.

For review:



The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer. 312 p. G.P. Putnam's Sons/ Penguin Young Readers Group, May 1, 2014. 9780399163937. 

Publisher synopsis: Twelve-year-old Grace and her mother have always been their own family, traveling from place to place like gypsies. But Grace wants to finally have a home all their own. Just when she thinks she's found it her mother says it's time to move again. Grace summons the courage to tell her mother how she really feels and will always regret that her last words to her were angry ones.
After her mother's sudden death, Grace is forced to live with a grandmother she's never met. She can't imagine her mother would want her to stay with this stranger. Then Grace finds clues in a mysterious treasure hunt, just like the ones her mother used to send her on. Maybe it is her mother, showing her the way to her true home.

What's new with you?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Memes: The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer


Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader and Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice.


The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer. 312 p. G.P. Putnam's Sons/ Penguin Young Readers Group, May 1, 2014. 9780399163937. 

Publisher synopsis: Twelve-year-old Grace and her mother have always been their own family, traveling from place to place like gypsies. But Grace wants to finally have a home all their own. Just when she thinks she's found it her mother says it's time to move again. Grace summons the courage to tell her mother how she really feels and will always regret that her last words to her were angry ones.
After her mother's sudden death, Grace is forced to live with a grandmother she's never met. She can't imagine her mother would want her to stay with this stranger. Then Grace finds clues in a mysterious treasure hunt, just like the ones her mother used to send her on. Maybe it is her mother, showing her the way to her true home.
First line: All I had to do was walk up to the coffin.

Page 56: I stared forward for a few seconds, asking Mama for help to get through my day, even though I was pretty much an old pro at first days.
This debut was blurbed by the venerable Richard Peck, who called it, " a lyric novel about love and loss."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Mix It Up by Herve Tullet

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share the titles whose release we are eagerly anticipating.


Mix It Up by Herve Tullet
Chronicle Books
Fall, 2014

I learned about this one earlier this month when Betsy Bird, over at Fuse #8, posted about the Chronicle Books Fall Preview. There is nothing about it in my usual online haunts or the Chronicle Books website so I swiped the image from the post. Pop on over there to read about it and all the other interesting upcoming Chronicle offerings.

I have both Tullet's Press Here and Presiona Aqui in my middle school collection and my students adore them proving once again, one is never too old for picture books. I have a feeling the art teacher will be all over this one.

What are you waiting on?