Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
I had a craving for Owl Moon tonight. This is a classic that I re-visit every winter. The moon has been full and shining bright over the Cascade Mountains near my home in Seattle. Below is an overview borrowed from Jane Yolen's website.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
From the author of more than a dozen New York Times best sellers and his son, comes the third installment of a brand-new fantasy trilogy written just for young readers.
After dueling with a dragon and a demon, Maimun knows he must destroy the stone that has kept him on the run for most of his life. The question now is how. With Joen by his side, Maimun journeys to the Tower of Twilight to beg famed wizard Malchor Harpell for answers. But Harpell’s help comes at a steep price.
Friends become enemies. Lost secrets come to light. And deep in the shadows, the sentinels are watching, scheming to save the stone—even if it means someone must die.
Featuring the sage wisdom of R.A. Salvatore’s beloved character Drizzt Do’Urden, this final book of the Stone of Tymora trilogy is packed with action, magic, intrigue, and a heart-stopping twist that Salvatore fans won’t want to miss.
Click here to learn more about Salvatore's books.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
We all owe a big thanks to Aaron Shepard for bringing Mouse Deer to the Web. Aaron is the award-winning author of The Legend of Lightning Larry, The Sea King’s Daughter, The Baker’s Dozen, and many more children’s books from publishers large and small. His stories have also appeared often in Cricket and Australia’s School Magazine.
Aaron’s specialty is retelling folktales and other traditional literature from around the world. His work has been honored by the American Library Association, the National Council for the Social Studies, the American Folklore Society, the New York Public Library, and the Bank Street College of Education. His stories are enjoyed by a wide range of young readers—as well as by adults—and are perfect for reading aloud.
On the Web, Aaron maintains an extensive collection of resources for teachers, librarians, storytellers, children’s writers, parents, and kids. His site has been viewed by over seven million visitors and has drawn over 25,000 visitors a week. Among its offerings is the Web’s premier collection of free reader’s theater scripts, used in schools and libraries around the world.
An acclaimed author with real kid appeal, Aaron takes pleasure in sharing the magic of story.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
So I spent four days selling books, and particularly my book, Bull Rider, with a local indie bookstore at the Reno Rodeo at the end of June. We had a great view of team roping and cutting events and the people watching was to die for. I learned more about readers there than I do at a lot of other places. Mostly because people don’t come to the rodeo to buy books – even if the books are about rodeo and the West. When I go on a school visit, kids know what they are supposed to do, and at libraries and book stores the audiences are self selected book lovers, or children of book lovers. The rodeo is different. Here’s what I observed about the boys.
Most of them won’t look at books. Those that do are often accompanied by a parent and after a little coaxing they may admit that they love to read. I think it’s a status thing. Books are academic. They are often written for girls. They aren’t necessarily cool. Many of those boys at the rodeo, if they are young teens, are sure to tell me they read “adult” books or that they follow the big fantasy series. Some of the rodeo type kids like old time adventure Westerns like Louis L’Amour’s. I don’t think a lot of those boys have read much contemporary adventure – which if they do, many of them love.
So first, hats off and a standing ovation to the librarians out there, who when an active boy appears at your desks, find them something great to read, whatever their taste – fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, nonfiction. And here’s a double cheer to those of you who will stretch those boys and offer them something new to read that you believe will suit them. You provide sustenance for their minds and support for writers like me who love writing for boys but aren’t so much into sci-fi or fantasy.
The publishing market has tightened during the recession and many of the big publishers are looking to produce big hits and that often means creating more of the same. And here’s what you already know – most block buster books aren’t written with boys in mind. It is girls who generally peruse bookstores looking for a new book to read. Boys will read, but they may need an excuse to do it. So here are some of the books I’ve read this year that I think boys would get into. Feel free to give them a gentle nudge.
About war – these are YA books and certainly suitable for any junior high or high school kid:
The Ghosts of War; the true story of a 19-year-old-GI, by Ryan Smithson, Collins, 2009
Purple Heart, by Patricia McCormick, Balzer and Bray, 2009
About military family life – these are sweeter and will appeal to boys and girls from 3rd through 6th grade
Heart of a Shepherd, by Rosanne Parry, Random House, 2009
Operation Yes, by Sara Lewis Holmes, Scholastic, 2009
Freeze Frame, by Heidi Ayarbe, Laura Geringer Books, Harper Teen, 2008 (fallout when teen accidentally shoots and kills his best friend.) YA
Home of the Brave, Kathryn Applegate, Feiwel and Friends, 2007 (African refuge boy adjusts to a new life in Minnesota, in part because of a connection with a cow and its owner.) MG
I Am Jack by Susanne Gervay, Tricycle Press, 2009 (addresses bullying in school) for young MG readers
When the Whistle Blows by Fran Cannon Slayton – (Jimmy Cannon celebrates six Halloweens between his 12th and 18th birthdays learning about the changes that life brings to his small town and his family.)
My novel Bull Rider (Margaret K. McElderry/Simon and Schuster, 2009)fits all these categories –
It’s the story of a 14 year old Nevada ranch kid whose life is turned upside down when the older brother he idealizes returns from Iraq with a traumatic brain injury and having lost an arm, Cam struggles to find a way to help. a good read for anyone ten or eleven and up, I’d say, and Bull Rider has appeared on both intermediate/junior high and high school state reading lists.
To learn more about Suzanne, click here.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Alex loves magic. Since he was a little tyke, his grandfather amazed him with card tricks, magic coloring books, floating fireballs, disappearing bottle-caps, and magic crystal balls - and now its time for Alex to go to his first magic show. He is excited! Maybe he will even be chosen to come up on stage. When he arrives, however, a pair of mysterious eyes seem to be watching him from back stage and he nervously changes his mind; but fate steps in and takes him on a magical adventure with twists and turns and white tigers and gleaming, razor sharp blades designed to cut the victim in half - not quite what Alex had in mind!
This is no ordinary picture book series. This is an extraordinary adventure that teaches the art and ethics of magic. Each book includes a wonderful magic trick that the reader can do! The new trick Alex learns in each book, the reader will also learn. There are instructions in a secret section of this book, where Alex learns - and so does the reader - how to magically transform two one-dollar bills into a million-dollar bill.
Adults as well as youth will love this wonderful book series, illustrated with original art, which combines an exciting childhood adventure with the joy of learning and performing truly mystifying magic.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Nothing announces the beginning of spring like baseball. Jane Yolen has knocked the cover of the ball with her new Honus Wagner book. Wagner was known as the Flying Dutchman, and was famous for hitting, stealing bases, and speed. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Hazel Edwards, a wonderful writer from Australia has a new picture book out. Kids who love strange creatures will love Plato. Plato is a platypus and a part-time plumber with a tool kit. On call, Plato fixes watery problems like leaking taps, but he also fixes grumpy people. From his tool kit, he uses smile spray, a feather or a joke. Sometimes Zanzibar's family need a little help. Plato always comes, despite the ferals along the creek bank. Water carries secrets, stories and (yucky) stuff! An eco-warrior, Plato knows how to fix things.
Hazel is a 2010 Astrid Lindgren Award nominee, and a few of her other books are: 'There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake' (Penguin) series and ‘The Flight of the Bumblebee'(New Frontier). Her unique books have been translated into Chinese, Korean, Tamil, Auslan and Braille.
To learn more about Hazel's books, click here.
You can order Hazel's lovable Plato the Platypus Plumber by clicking here. It's also available through many independent bookstores in North America. Click here to order through Small Press Distribution in Berkeley, CA.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Students and faculty at Ocoee Middle School who made a music video to promote reading -- changing the lyrics to a song by the Black-Eyed Peas -- shared the spotlight with Diane Sawyer on the Oprah show.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
From blowing bubbles to shooting poop, the world’s insects do amazing things with their butts. Discover the wild and weird ways insects use their butts to avoid predators. Spittlebugs blow bubbles from their butts and hide under them, while some caterpillars shoot their poop far from their bodies to throw poop-searching wasps off their trail. Ants and beetles spray acid from their butts into the faces of predators, while some caterpillars and larvae build hide-outs with their poop to keep predators away.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The blue dragon, Lazuli, lives to torment the villagers of Sandon's hometown, Hartfall. He demands more and more riches until the Baron, Sandon's father, has only one thing left to give: himself. Lazuli will arrive at midnight to take the Baron away. Sandon has only one hope left: the gold dragon that sits atop a ledge above the village, silently watching. In one legendary battle Lazuli magically petrified the gold dragon, once Hartfall's sworn protector. But Sandon is sure he can find a way to awaken the beast. In the dead of night, he sneaks out onto the gold dragon's ledge. And there he stumbles onto a secret that throws everything he thought he knew about his home and his family into question. Can Sandon unlock the secret of the gold dragon in time to save his village--and his dad?
This next installment of the series inspired by The New York Times best-seller A Practical Guide to Dragons shows just how much a young boy can do when he realizes that the strength of a gold dragon may lie inside himself.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
G.M. Moore's second book in the Up North Adventure Series is now available. Boys who liked book one, Muskie Attack, will love book two, Ancient Elk Hunt. Click here to access the series. G. M. Moore is a former newspaper writer, editor and columnist. The author grew up battling game fish on the lakes of northern Wisconsin. During the summer months, you can still find the Chicago-area author up north and out on the lake.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Kingfisher Publications has two new interesting books that should appeal to most boys. Lost Worlds is by John Howe, the concept artist for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. From the world of Aratta and Mohenjo-Daro to Atlantis and Camelot, this visually stunning book explores lost worlds. Rich and stunning illustrations take you on a historical, archaeological, and mythological journey to far off lands abandoned in time. You'll find yourself flipping through these worlds over and over. Click here to watch a video trailer.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Runaway Storm, D.E. Knobbe's fast-paced adventure book is for readers ages 12 and up. It's an exciting story about a 15 year-old runaway who takes off on a kayak, but quickly sees his adventure turn into a struggle for survival. You can see an interesting video preview of this gripping story by clicking here.
The author has also launched a great summer giveaway - the right answers to a few questions can win one lucky reader a kayak! Check out the contest by clicking the above link as well. I'm looking forward to reading Runaway Storm!