Monday, November 30, 2015

Taking Stock - November 2015

Total posts this month: 16
Total books read this month: 17
Total books read this year: 262

Challenges:
Audio: 6/ 70
Debut: 0/8

The Good: I started the month off with a bang and the intention to read a picture book a day.

The Bad: I continue my abysmal reading rate and I didn't do too much reviewing! Ugh! 

The Books:
246. Galgorithm by Aaron Karo (11/1)
247. Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown (11/1)
248. Maya's Blanket by Monica Brown (11/1)
249. Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins (11/1)*
250. Ketzel, the Cat who Composed by Lesléa Newman (11/2)
251. I am Yoga by Susan Verde (11/3)*
252. Bird by Zetta Elliot (11/4)
253. Old School by Jeff Kinney (11/5)
254. Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia (11/8)*
255. The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin (11/13)
256. Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (11/17)*
257. Bad Kitty: Puppy's Big Day by Nick Bruel (11/17)
258. The Wild Swans by Jackie Morris (11/18)*
259. The Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs (11/21)*
260. When I was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds (11/22)*
261. Jake Makes a World: Jacob Lawrence, a Young Artist in Harlem by Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts (11/26)
262. Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (11/29)*

Saturday, November 28, 2015

What's New? Stacking the Shelves


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Hop on over there to ogle what other bloggers got this week.

For review: A nice fat package came from Candlewick this week! 



Red Ink by Julie Mayhew. 297 p. Candlewick Press, February 9, 2016. 9780763677312.

Publisher synopsis: A sharp-witted teenager discovers surprising truths after her mother’s death in a wry and heartrending novel touching on denial, identity, and family lore.

When her mother is knocked down and killed by a London bus, fifteen-year-old Melon Fouraki is left with no family worth mentioning. Her mother, Maria, never did introduce her to a living, breathing father. The indomitable Auntie Aphrodite, meanwhile, is hundreds of miles away on a farm in Crete, and she is not likely to jump on a plane to come to East Finchley anytime soon. But at least Melon has The Story. The Story is the Fouraki family fairy tale. A story is something. Balanced with tenderness and humor, this time-shifting novel offers a narrator by turns angry and vulnerable, hurt and defiant as she struggles with sudden grief—and the unfolding process of finding out who she really is.



Golden Boys, a novel by Sonya Hartnett.238 p. Candlewick Press, April 12, 2016. 9780763679491.

Publisher synopsis: With masterful nuance and vividly drawn characters, Sonya Hartnett’s novel visits a suburban neighborhood where psychological menace lurks below the surface.

Colt Jenson and his younger brother, Bastian, have moved to a new, working-class suburb. The Jensons are different. Their father, Rex, showers them with gifts — toys, bikes, all that glitters most — and makes them the envy of the neighborhood. To the local kids, the Jensons are a family out of a movie, and Rex a hero — successful, attentive, attractive, always there to lend a hand. But to Colt he's an impossible figure: unbearable, suffocating. Has Colt got Rex wrong, or has he seen something in his father that will destroy their fragile new lives? This brilliant and unflinching new novel reveals internationally acclaimed author Sonya Hartnett at her most intriguing and psychologically complex.


Dan vs. Nature by Don Calame. 375 p. Candlewick Press, April 12, 2016. 9780763670719.

Publisher synopsis: From screenwriter Don Calame comes another outrageously funny and raunchy tale of teen boys whose plans go awry — this time, on a survivalist camping trip.

Shy and scrawny Dan Weekes spends his time creating graphic novels inspired by his dream girl and looking out for his mom as she dates every man in the state of California. Then his mom drops a bomb: she and her latest beau, Hank, are engaged, and she’s sending her "two favorite men" on a survivalist camping trip to "bond." Determined to trick Hank into showing his true — flawed — colors on the trip, Dan and his nerdy germaphobe best friend, Charlie, prepare a series of increasingly gross and embarrassing pranks. But the boys hadn’t counted on a hot girl joining their trip or on getting separated from their wilderness guide—not to mention the humiliating injuries Dan suffers in the course of terrorizing his stepdad-to-be. With a man-hungry bear on their trail, no supplies, and a lot of unpleasant itching going on, can Dan see his plan through now that his very survival depends on Hank?



Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina. 308 p. Candlewick Press, March 8, 2016. 9780763674670. 

Publisher synopsis: While violence runs rampant throughout New York, a teenage girl faces danger within her own home in Meg Medina's riveting coming-of-age novel.

Nora Lopez is seventeen during the infamous New York summer of 1977, when the city is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam who shoots young women on the streets. Nora’s family life isn’t going so well either: her bullying brother, Hector, is growing more threatening by the day, her mother is helpless and falling behind on the rent, and her father calls only on holidays. All Nora wants is to turn eighteen and be on her own. And while there is a cute new guy who started working with her at the deli, is dating even worth the risk when the killer likes picking off couples who stay out too late? Award-winning author Meg Medina transports us to a time when New York seemed balanced on a knife-edge, with tempers and temperatures running high, to share the story of a young woman who discovers that the greatest dangers are often closer than we like to admit — and the hardest to accept.

What's new with you?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday Memes: Read Me Like a Book by Liz Kessler

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


Read Me Like a Book by Liz Kessler. 297 p. Candlewick Press, June 14, 2016. 9780763681319.

Publisher synopsis: In her first novel for young adults, New York Times best-selling author Liz Kessler tells a story about finding a kindred spirit and becoming your true self.

Ashleigh Walker is a mediocre student with an assortment of friends, a sort-of boyfriend, and no plans for the future. Then a straight-from-college English teacher, Miss Murray, takes over Ash’s class and changes everything. Miss Murray smiles a lot. She shares poetry with curse words in it. She’s, well, cool. And she seems to really care about her students. About Ashleigh. For the first time, Ash feels an urge to try harder. To give something — someone — her best. Before she knows it, Ashleigh is in love. Intense, heart-racing, all-consuming first love. It’s strong enough to distract her from worrying about bad grades and her parents’ marriage troubles. But what will happen if Miss Murray finds out Ashleigh is in love with her?

I enjoyed Ms. Kessler's Emily Windsnap series. She just published the last book and this is her YA debut. I'm really looking forward to reading this.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: You Know Me Well by Nina Lacour and David Levithan

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share the titles we can't wait to release.



You Know Me Well
by Nina Lacour and David Levithan. 256 p. St. Martin's Press, June 7, 2016. 9781250098641.

Publisher synopsis: Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?


Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other -- and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour, the award-winning author of Hold Still andThe Disenchantments, and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

I have loved or admired everything that David Levithan has written. I have not yet had the pleasure of reading Nina LaCour's books. The first two chapters are here. I'm in love already.


What are you waiting on?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

What's New? Stacking the Shelves


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Hop on over there to ogle what other bloggers got this week.

For review:

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan. 256 p. Random House Children's Books/ April 12, 2016. 9780553521382.

Publisher synopsis: Laura Shovan’s engaging, big-hearted debut is a time capsule of one class’s poems during a transformative school year. Families change and new friendships form as these terrific kids grow up and move on in this whimsical novel-in-verse about finding your voice and making sure others hear it.

Eighteen kids,
one year of poems,
one school set to close.
Two yellow bulldozers crouched outside,
ready to eat the building in one greedy gulp.

But look out, bulldozers.
Ms. Hill’s fifth-grade class has plans for you.
They’re going to speak up and work together to save their school.

Purchased:


East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Jackie Morris. Frances Lincoln Children's Books.165 p. February, 2013. 9781847802941.

Publisher synopsis:  From the moment she saw him, she knew the bear had come for her. How many times had she dreamt of the bear?. Now, here he was, as if spelled from her dreams.?I will come with you, Bear,? she said.It is the beginning of an extraordinary journey for the girl. First to the bear?s secret palace in faraway mountains, where she is treated so courteously, but where she experiences the bear?s unfathomable sadness, and a deep mystery?As the bear?s secret unravels, another journey unfolds? a long and desperate journey, that takes the girl to the homes of the four Winds and beyond, to the castle east of the sun, west of the moon.This beautiful, mysterious story of love, loyalty and above all, freedom, is inspired by fairy tale, and is magically told and illustrated by Jackie Morris.

I received The Wild Swans for review recently; fell in love with it and looked up what else Ms. Morris published. East of the Sun, West of the Moon is one of my favorite fairy tales.


Pieces of Why by K.L. Going. Unabridged audiobook on 4 compact discs; 4.5 hours. Read by Azure Parsons. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, September, 2015. 9781101917470.

Publisher synopsis: From the award winning author of Fat Kid Rules the World and The Liberation of Gabriel King comes a lyrical, middle grade gem that asks all the hard questions and hits all the right notes--perfect for fans of Cynthia Rylant and Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

Tia lives with her mom in a high-risk neighborhood in New Orleans and loves singing gospel in the Rainbow Choir with Keisha, her boisterous and assertive best friend. Tia's dream is to change the world with her voice; and by all accounts, she might be talented enough. But when a shooting happens in her neighborhood and she learns the truth about the crime that sent her father to prison years ago, Tia finds she can't sing anymore. The loss prompts her to start asking the people in her community hard questions--questions everyone has always been too afraid to ask.

Full of humanity, Pieces of Why is a timely story that addresses grief, healing, and forgiveness, told through the eyes of a gifted girl who hears rhythm and song everywhere in her life.

I sat in on a panel at AASL15 entitled Beyond Bullying to Resilience, in which K. L. Going, Tim Federle, Rae Carson and Cynthia Levinson spoke to the issue of moving on from being bullied a stronger person. 

Fat Kid Rules the World is one of my favorite books ever and I really loved The Liberation of Gabriel King. How did I miss this new one?

What's new with you?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Memes: The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle

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


The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle. 276 p. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, March 29, 2016. 9781481455480.

Publisher synopsis: From the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Five, Six, Seven, Nate! andBetter Nate Than Ever comes a laugh-out-loud sad YA debut that’s a wry and winning testament to the power of old movies and new memories—one unscripted moment at a time.

Quinn Roberts is a sixteen-year-old smart aleck and Hollywood hopeful whose only worry usedto be writing convincing dialogue for the movies he made with his sister Annabeth. Of course, that was all before—before Quinn stopped going to school, before his mom started sleeping on the sofa…and before Annabeth was killed in a car accident.

Enter Geoff, Quinn’s best friend who insists it’s time that Quinn came out—at least from hibernation. One haircut later, Geoff drags Quinn to his first college party, where instead of nursing his pain, he meets a guy—a hot one—and falls hard. What follows is an upside-down week in which Quinn begins imagining his future as a screenplay that might actually have a happily-ever-after ending—if, that is, he can finally step back into the starring role of his own life story.

First Line: I don't consider myself to be precious, necessarily, but give me air-conditioning or give me death.

Page 56: "Quinny," Mom says, her forehead in a twist. "Why would you throw away all this good food?"

     I pull out a Cocoa Krispies box out of the Hefty bag and shake it. There is a delayed response from inside, the cereal ca-chunking against the box like it's been awakened from the terrible reality of being, well, Cocoa Krispies.

     "I don't know if we can call this food 'good,' Mama."

     "But that was her favorite."
     
     I lower the box. I stick my head into the Hefty. She's right. I've just completely disrupted the museum that was Annabeth's life. Shit.
--------

It is no secret that I absolutely adore this kid and everything he writes. His visit to my school coincidentally occurred the day after he won both a Stonewall Honor and an Odyssey Honor for his debut middle grade novel, Better Nate Than Ever! He was promoting the release of its sequel, Five, Six, Seven, Nate! which was just as heartwarming. He has published several drink recipe books for adults, which includes one board book, Hickory, Daiquiri Dock, which is now my stock gift for all new parents in my life. But wait! He also wrote a picture book called Tommy Can't Stop about a little boy who can't stop bouncing and leaping. The Great American Whatever is his YA debut. I picked up the arc at AASL15 in Columbus, Ohio a few weeks ago and shared these photos in a previous blog post:



The book was blurbed by Rob Thomas, has already received a starred review from Booklist and this fantastic review from Reading Rants. Oh! I just noticed that Tim is narrating the audiobook. He is also a talented narrator, as evidenced by his two Odyssey Honors for his performances of his Nate books. This past summer I read Ann Bausum's Stonewall with my ears only because he was the narrator. I have pre-ordered both a hardcover copy and the audiobook of The Great American Whatever. Don't miss this multitalented artist.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: I Funny:TV by James Patterson

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share the titles we can't wait to release.



I Funny: TV by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein. I Funny series #4. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. December 21, 2015. 9780316305600.

Publisher synopsis: Jamie Grimm has hit the big time in book four of the #1 bestselling I Funny series! Jamie Grimm has finally accomplished his dream of proving himself the Planet's Funniest Kid Comic, and the sky's the limit from there. Enter a couple of TV executives with a huge plan for Jamie: a new show about Jamie and his oddball friends! But when Jamie struggles to learn the acting ropes, will it be an early curtain call for the biggest show of the decade? 

I must admit to enjoying all the Middle School books and their spin-offs. I was prepared to hate them but even if I did, my kids love them. 


What are you waiting on?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What's New? Stacking the Shelves


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Hop on over there to ogle what other bloggers got this week.

Well, AASL happened last weekend and I picked up a few books, some of which were free, many not and many are signed. This is what I crammed into a box.



From the top:
Audio books: Of course, I needed to stop by the BOT (Books on Tape) booth and buy these:
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate.
The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud. (Lockwood & Co. #3)
When I was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds.
The Rose Society by Marie Lu.
The Summer Sword by Rick Riordan (Magnus Chase #1)

Novels:
The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon
Cold War by Gayle Rosengren
Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko (finally got to meet in person!)
Liberty Porter, First Daughter by Julia DeVillers
Times Squared by Julia DeVillers
Bad Kitty: Puppy's Big Day by Nick Bruel
Project Alpha Voyagers #1 by D.J. MacHale
Pax by Sara Pennypacker (arc)
I Don't Know How the Story Ends by J. B. Cheaney
The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall
Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater
Another Day by David Levithan (arc)
Hour of Bees by Lindsay Eager (arc)

Picture books:
The Case for Loving by Selina Alko
Two Friends by Dean Robbins (fng)

Kite Day by Will Hillebrand

Not pictured but carried home with me:
Better Nate Than Ever and Five, Six, Seven, Nate signed by Tim Federle, which will be donated to Never Counted Out, an incredible non-profit organization founded by author, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo. I also, snagged an arc of Tim's YA debut, The Great American Whatever, which is due out in March. I was so involved in getting a picture of the two of us together, 
that I failed to read what he wrote in my arc:

I started it at lunch that day and fell totally and instantly in love. I set it aside for when I have a chunk of time to savor this bittersweet story. 

And finally, this arrived in the mail at school and makes me happy:

I learned at Bookfest@Bankstreet a few weeks ago that Liz Kessler is wrapping up her Emily Windsnap series and making her YA debut in June of 2016. When I got her to autograph the Emily Windsnap that I purchased to donate to my school library, I asked about arcs of Read Me Like a Book. She referred my to her Candlewick rep, who took my card. 

Read Me Like a Book by Liz Kessler. 296 p. Candlewick Press, June 14, 2016. 9780763681319.

Publisher synopsis: In her first novel for young adults, New York Times best-selling author Liz Kessler tells a story about finding a kindred spirit and becoming your true self.
Ashleigh Walker is a mediocre student with an assortment of friends, a sort-of boyfriend, and no plans for the future. Then a straight-from-college English teacher, Miss Murray, takes over Ash’s class and changes everything. Miss Murray smiles a lot. She shares poetry with curse words in it. She’s, well, cool. And she seems to really care about her students. About Ashleigh. For the first time, Ash feels an urge to try harder. To give something — someone — her best. Before she knows it, Ashleigh is in love. Intense, heart-racing, all-consuming first love. It’s strong enough to distract her from worrying about bad grades and her parents’ marriage troubles. But what will happen if Miss Murray finds out Ashleigh is in love with her?

What's new with you?









Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Memes: The Wild Swans by Jackie Morris

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



The Wild Swans by Jackie Morris. 175 p. Frances Lincoln Children's Books, October, 2015. 9781847805362.


Publisher synopsis: This very beautiful and lyrical extended version of the fairy tale 'The Wild Swans' by Hans Christian Andersen is the much anticipated companion to East of the Sun, West of the Moon. With strong characterization of the heroine and also with more rounded characterisation of the wicked stepmother than in the original version, and with delicate watercolor paintings throughout, this is both a wonderful story and delightful gift. Beautifully presented in a jacketed edition with foiled title.

This very beautiful and lyrical extended version of the fairy tale 'The Wild Swans' by Hans Christian Andersen is the much anticipated companion to East of the Sun, West of the Moon. With strong characterization of the heroine and also with more rounded characterisation of the wicked stepmother than in the original version, and with delicate watercolor paintings throughout, this is both a wonderful story and delightful gift. Beautifully presented in a jacketed edition with foiled title. 

First Line: The day that she stopped speaking was the day she began to understand so much more about the world around her, to appreciate the many textures of silence. 

Page 56: As each axe blow fell the yew trees began to bleed, deep red sap that looked to the king's men like blood. Fear began to spread from the king to the men, and then through the kingdom, like a plague.

     The king sent a message to the tower by dove. 
              ""I come, as fast as I can."

     But Eliza, looking out across the maze from high in the tower, also knew that it would take months. She returned the dove with a message.

"I will wait. My brothers are turned to swans. I am afraid."

     And the king remembered the beautiful swans that had flown over the castle. Eleven. Now he knew that these birds were his sons.
-----

I absolutely adore fairy tale retellings and this one looks exquisite - smaller trim size, lovely illustrations and beautiful design.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Booked by Kwame Alexander

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share the titles we can't wait to release.



Booked by Kwame Alexander. 320 p. HMH Books for Young Readers, April 5, 2016. 9780544570986.

Publisher synopsis: Twelve-year-old Nick is a soccer-loving boy who absolutely hates books. In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel The Crossover, soccer, family, love, and friendship take center stage as Nick tries to figure out how to navigate his parents’ divorce, stand up to a bully, and impress the girl of his dreams. These challenges—which seem even harder than scoring a tie-breaking, game-winning goal—change his life, as well as his best friend’s. This energetic novel-in-verse by the poet Kwame Alexander captures all the thrills and setbacks, the action and emotion of a World Cup match! 

I saw this cover somewhere on social media (maybe Kwame Alexander's FB page?) a few weeks ago, but since I couldn't find anything official, I put it on the back burner. This morning, Travis Jonker of 100 Scope Notes broke the story of the official cover reveal. And there's a giveaway! Click here for the interview and giveaway.

What are you waiting on?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Goodbye Columbus and AASL15

My head is exploding with ideas I want to implement TOMORROW when I return to school! I'd say my first AASL conference was just what I needed to recharge and refocus my slightly dissipated energy.

This morning, I head to the Author Breakfast, then I'm done. I plan on cabbing down to COSI, the science museum for a couple of hours before I head out to the airport. I'm told to leave a bit of time for that cab ride as it is a busy travel day to and from Columbus. Apparently OSU Buckeyes played last night and Ohio teachers are descending for their own conference that starts tomorrow.

I shipped a small box of books home. Half were free and half were bought (deeply discounted). I look forward to reading each and every one of them.

I took notes and will try to decipher them and share some out later. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

What's New? Stacking the Shelves


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Hop on over there to ogle what other bloggers got this week.

Quiet week this week, but and exciting one! On Wednesday, I found a surprise in my mailbox and early Thursday morning, I boarded a plane for sunny, warm Columbus, Ohio for my first ever AASL conference!

For review: Imagine the happy dance I had when I spied a black bubble envelop in my mailbox at work! I guess I should've taken a picture. Not only was it black in honor of its publication, but there was a celebratory sticker. Not only that, but when I unceremoniously tore the envelop open, I was amazed to find an autographed copy.



Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney. 224 p. Amulet Books/ Abrams, November 3, 2015. 978141971017.

Publisher synopsis: Life was better in the old days. Or was it?

That’s the question Greg Heffley is asking as his town voluntarily unplugs and goes electronics-free. But modern life has its conveniences, and Greg isn’t cut out for an old-fashioned world.

With tension building inside and outside the Heffley home, will Greg find a way to survive? Or is going “old school” just too hard for a kid like Greg?

Purchased:


The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin. Unabridged audiobook read by Sarah Franco. Hachette Audio, October, 2015. 9781478907473.

Publisher synopsis: This stunning debut novel about grief and wonder was an instant New York Times bestseller and captured widespread critical acclaim, including selection as a 2015 National Book Award finalist!
After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting-things don't just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory—even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.


The Iron Warrior by Julie Kagawa. Iron Fey #7. 352 p. Harlequin, October, 2015. 9780373211357.

Publisher synopsis: The Iron Prince—my nephew—betrayed us all.
He killed me.
Then, I woke up.

Waking after a month on the brink of death, Ethan Chase is stunned to learn that the Veil that conceals the fey from human sight was temporarily torn away. Although humankind's glimpse of the world of Faery lasted just a brief moment, the human world was cast into chaos, and the emotion and glamour produced by fear and wonder has renewed the tremendous power of the Forgotten Queen. Now she is at the forefront of an uprising against the courts of Faery—a reckoning that will have cataclysmic effects on the Nevernever.

Leading the Lady's Forgotten Army is Keirran himself: Ethan's nephew, and the traitor son of the Iron Queen, Meghan Chase.To stop Keirran, Ethan must disobey his sister once again as he and his girlfriend, Kenzie, search for answers long forgotten. In the face of unprecedented evil and unfathomable power, Ethan's enemies must become his allies, and the fey and human worlds will be changed forevermore.

I admit that I bought this for a student who is just gaga over romance. She's in eighth grade now, but she came to me as a fifth grader wanting romance, romance, romance. 

What's new with you?

About That Goal: AASL Conference and other excuses


Um, so yeah, in honor of Picture Book Month, I intended on reading and blogging about a picture book a day. And I did great until November 3. November 4th was a wild day at school, followed by some more wildness at home. Why do I always leave packing till the last minute? That, and I tried to load my relatively new iPhone with audiobooks for my trip.

On November 5, I woke early after a short and horrible night's sleep to travel to Columbus, Ohio for the American Association of School Librarians semi-annual conference. This is my first time and I was pretty psyched. Still am, each day has been jam packed, exhausting and useful. Unfortunately, I've had little time or energy for reading or blogging. I did take copious notes to refer to if and when I got around to blogging. Then I managed to delete them and now have to devote some time to recovering them.

So, Picture Book Month celebration is going on without me. I will try to catch up. Happy Picture Book Month! Have you read one today?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Review: Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins


Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins. Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. unpgd. Schwartz & Wade Books/ Random House Children's Books, September, 2015. 9780385373302. (Won in a raffle.)

Three toys, Lumphy, the stuffed buffalo, StingRay the stuffed sting ray and Plastic, a rubber ball are left behind when Little Girl goes away for the day. It has snowed and the curious toys head outside to experience snow for the first time. Lumphy overflows with questions about snow, StingRay waxes poetic about the experience and Plastic spouts facts she read in a book. Together, the three explore, wonder about the change in landscape, try to build a snow man and find that snow angels are much easier. The double-page spread featuring their angels is so sweet! They play until the day fades into a glorious sunset, realize that they are wet and cold and return to the house to warm up and draw a picture about their adventures. 

I adored the trilogy about these toys. Knowledge of the trilogy is absolutely not needed to enjoy this; but older readers of the books will delight in revisiting the toys in this gorgeous and tender picture book. Surely a must-purchase book for school and public libraries. It would make a great gift book as well. This is one I want to give to my colleague at the elementary school and want for my own collections both at the middle school and at home; so I will be purchasing a few copies. The lovely cover features the three friends sprinkled with snow and invites touching. Don't miss this gem!