Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m psyched to head into the long weekend, and psyched to share this week’s book reviews in fifteen words or under.

1. King Rollo and the Bread by David McKee
The adorable, illustrated version of “let them eat cake.”

2. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
I like a girl with vengeance in her heart. Well crafted, lots of feels.

3. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Try not to fall in love with this one. A classic for so many reasons.

4. United States of Pie: Regional Favorites from East to West and North to South by Adrienne Kane
Fun to learn about lots of regional favorites–from shore to shore, pie’s a winner.

5. The Baby-Sitters Haunted House (Baby-Sitters Club Super Mystery, 1) by Ann M. Martin
What I think of every time I see/hear about a widow’s walk.

Friday Fifteen

Hurray for Friday! Let’s head into the weekend with a few book reviews in fifteen words or less:

1. Wild Magic (The Immortals #1) by Tamora Pierce
I never got into the Daine books like I did with the Alannas, but fun.

2. My Family Plays Music by Judy Cox
Super cute way to introduce kids to many kinds of music.

3. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
Old-school charming–love the Fossil sisters and their many talents.

4. The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England by Carol F. Karlsen
Being a woman in Salem was the worst.

5. Claudia and the Mystery at the Museum by Ann M. Martin
One of the few BSC mysteries I read. Really liked the idea of tactile art.

Wood Sculptures, Books That Make You Cry, and Writing Sympathetic Characters: A YA Panel in Barrington, RI

photo 1 (1)

The Panel!

Last night I was part of my first YA author panel, hosted by the Barrington Bookstore and the Barrington Public Library. Having grown up in Rhode Island, this was a really fun and exciting opportunity for me.

On the panel with me were Tara Sullivan, author of Golden Boy, Katie Cotugno, author of How to Love, Bianca Turetsky, author of The Time-Traveling Fashionista series, and Katie Davis, author of Dancing with the Devil. Our moderator was the wonderful Alyisha Foley, librarian and blogger and kidlit enthusiast. Alyisha had great questions, and I loved hearing my fellow panelists talk about their own experiences writing books for teen readers and about their own young reading experiences.

A few favorite moments from the panel:

  • All of us agreeing that middle/high school are so freaking hard and basically when you need books the most.
  • Also agreeing that sometimes spoken communication is hard–long live the text/email!
  • Talking about what why flawed characters are compelling and real.
  • Tara Sullivan sharing an ebony wood sculpture. (Made me flash back to all those good Habo and Kweli moments!)
  • Bianca Turetsky’s shoutout to the Baby-Sitters’ Club.
  • Getting to sign The Chance You Won’t Return for RI family and friends, including the parents of some of my friends from high school.

photo 2Thanks so much to Anika Denise and Barrington Books for organizing such a great panel, to the Barrington Library for letting us use their wonderful space, and to everyone who came out on a Wednesday night to hear us talk about the awesomeness of YA!

Links Galore

I’ve been hoarding some good links:


Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! Is it just me, or was this week about three weeks long? Good thing we’ve got the Friday Fifteen to carry us into the weekend. Here are this week’s micro-book-reviews:

1. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Marchetta book about a girl and family mental health? No way I couldn’t love it.

2. About Animals (Childcraft: the How and Why Library #5) by World Book-Childcraft International
Why don’t I remember this one at all? Maybe I was afraid of potential spiders.

3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Watcher’s Guide, Volume 1 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Watcher’s Guide #1) by by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder
Before there was Tumblr, fans had to buy books about their favorite shows. Olden days!

4. Henry IV, Part 1 by William Shakespeare
Mostly I remember the pub stuff. Probably should watch a version.

5. The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food by Stan and Jan Berenstain
I didn’t understand the problem.

Friday Fifteen

After a brief break last week, we’re back with another Friday Fifteen! Here are this week’s book reviews in fifteen words or less:

1. Jenney’s First Year Latin by Charles Jenney, Rogers V. Scudder, Eric C. Baade
Takes me back to translating sentences about Roman armies on the march.

2. Fault Line by Christa Desir
A powerful, challenging, necessary read about sexual assault and how we all respond. Love Christa.

3. The Runaway Duck by David Lyon
Another book I remember sitting with on my own, enjoying the illustrations.

4. Second Best (Sweet Valley Twins #16) by Francine Pascal
We’re siblings but we’re so different! Oh wait, we’ve heard that before.

5. Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book by Better Homes and Gardens
Lots of helpful basics. Great for beginning cooks; one I refer back to.

Children’s Lit and Literary Fiction: a New Blogging Project

I’m excited to introduce a new project: over the next several months, I’ll be a regular contributor to the Ploughshares blog, sharing thoughts about children’s/YA lit and literary fiction and how the two can function together.

As an Emerson alum, I’m thrilled to be a little part of Ploughshares. They have such a great literary tradition, and their blog features some fantastic content.

My first post is now live. This week, I’m talking about the power of children’s literature, Tuck Everlasting, books that stay with you forever, and my reaction to business school bumper stickers.

What books are yours forever? Share in the comments!

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s the Friday before Patriot’s Day/Marathon Monday (aka my favorite MA holiday) and the Friday before The Chance You Won’t Return officially hits selves. Eee! So for today’s Friday Fifteen, I’m featuring a few Amelia Earhart-ish books. Check out the latest in micro-book reviews:

1. Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming
Agent sent me a signed copy after she/Fleming were at a conference. Mid-revision inspiration!

2. The Fun of It by Amelia Earhart
Amelia talks about her own life, flying in general, and women aviators.

3. 20 Hours, 40 Min: Our Flight in the Friendship by Amelia Earhart
Earhart admits she was mostly a passenger on Friendship flight, but obvious she loves flying.

4. Amelia Earhart: Courage in the Sky by Mona Kerby
For 5th grade biography project. Thought, “If I have to read nonfiction, should pick Amelia.”

5. Last Flight by Amelia Earhart
Dispatches from Earhart’s final flight. Similar tonally to her other books, but ending still unsettling.

Friday Fifteen

Friday, I am so happy to see you. Onto the book reviews in fifteen words or fewer!

1. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Seuss’s take on environmentalism. Can we classify it as picture book dystopian?

2. The Witchcraft Sourcebook by Brian P. Levack
Another text from my college history of witchcraft class. Lots of cases from across Europe.

3. Changes for Felicity (American Girls: Felicity #6) by Valerie Tripp
If you’re kind to old drunk horse-beaters, they may do you a favor later on.

4. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
Usual lesser-known-fairy-tale-adaptation Hale awesomeness. Also dug the epistolary style.

5. The Standard Book of British and American Verse ed. by Nella Braddy, preface Chistopher Morley
A friend gave me a beautiful copy as a wedding present. Bookshelf gold!

Links Galore

All the links I’ve been hoarding: