May 30, 2012

The Big Awards

A thought on the big awards (Newbery, Caldecott, National Book Award, etc.).

I remember reading a blog post from an author who will remain nameless that they would not win the Newbery award. This author seemed a bit sad about that, and my immediate thought was - they totally have the wrong attitude. Totally wrong. In my opinion, no author of children's literature should aspire to win the big awards. The winners of these are selected by adults for reasons that make more sense to adults than to children. No, children's literature authors should aspire to win awards selected by children! The children's choice awards, both by state and nationally, are the real goals in my opinion. The children are, after all, the intended audience for these books. Who better to choose what's award worthy!

I hope that the author comes to understand just how important it ISN'T to win the big awards, and how important it IS to have children as fans.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading.

May 18, 2012

RJ Palacio Interview

I can't say too much what a lovely book I thought Wonder was.  I love books and reading, but I am rarely moved by them in the way that I was by this book.

Here's two resources related to this book:

A School Library journal interview with the author.

RJ Palacio introducing Wonder.

The author's website has a long list of ineresting trivia from the book and from her writing of it.

May 16, 2012

Free Comic Book Day

I spent 2 hours Sunday reading through my haul. For the first time, my son and I participated in Free Comic Book Day.  I'd heard about it before, but I really didn't know what it was about. We went to a local comic book store soon after they had opened and stood in a line that spanned the entire store. We waited patiently, my son wide eyed at all the comics, and excited when he saw his beloved Sonic the Hedgehog. When we reached the front of the line, we asked for a pack for my son and a pack for me, and we left in comic heaven. After getting our free books (every store passes them out differently, but we got about 8 comics in each pack!), we retired to Starbucks to review and start reading our take aways!

I know some people have problems with comics, but for some of my students, it's the graphic novels that get them reading for the first time.

Free Comic Book Day is offered on the first Saturday in May every year.

If you are interested, please check out the official website after the jump:
Free Comic Book Day,

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

May 14, 2012


Crush by Gary Paulsen

Wow. The king of adventure stories with a romance! In this delightful book, Kevin from Liar, Liar and Flat Broke is trying to ask out the love of his life. However, since he's nervous, he decides to take a scientific approach and study other couples, both successful and not. He learns a lot by observing others, as much of it about himself as about love or the people he's studying. I found Kevin to be a believable, likable character who's situation will ring true to most guys who have struggled with how to ask out a girl.

This review is based on a publisher supplied electronic copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

May 11, 2012

Audio Book Sync Is On Again This Summer!

Every summer, the AudioFile, the audio book magazine, sponsors Sync. Each week they offer a free recent young adult audio book (downloaded through the Overdrive application), and a matching free classic audio book. This is a great way to introduce kids to the joy of audio books.  I've been a fan for many years. I began listening to audio books when I discovered that, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't keep up with all the books I wanted to read.  I began to listen to audio books during my commute to work. Later I listened when I was doing yard work as well.

This summers free offerings look great, and include three titles on my want to read list as well as a personal favorite - Skulduggery Pleasant.

Just make sure you download the books when they are available. If you wait too long, you won't be able to get them.  I signed up for the texting service this year, and they will text me when each new book is ready for downloading.

May 9, 2012

Small Medium Large

Small Medium Large by Emily Jenkins, illustrations by Tomek Bogacki

This is a great book to introduce young children to the vocabulary of size. With bright, colorful, and fun illustrations, this is a book kids would want to pick up and read. It is perfect for teachers, home schoolers, and anyone wanting to learn size words to use in math.

This review is based on a publisher supplied electronic copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

May 2, 2012

Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This one is definitely middle school and up for swearing and eeriness. Jacob, a normal 16 year old who thinks his grandfather is a bit eccentric, discovers that all the strange stories his grandfather had been telling him just might be true.  In an effort to find out, he travels to a small island off the coast of Wales to search for an orphanage that may or may not even exist. Scattered throughout the book are strange photographs, some clearly trick photography, that lend to the eerie feelings the story evokes. More fantasy than horror, when I reached the end of this book, I immediately wanted more.

This review is based on a library copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!