Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Donavan's Double Trouble - Monalisa Degross - We were first introduced to Donavan in 1998 with Donavan's Word Jar. I loved the first book and though it took awhile I was happy to see a second book. Donavan is dealing with two problems. The first is fifth grade math, and the second is coping with his favorite uncle in a wheelchair. Like many fifth graders Doanvan is having trouble with multiplying large numbers. His uncle Vic was in the war and lost his legs, now Donavan doesn't know how to act around this new uncle who can't play basketball or dance. His fears and doubts about his uncle's wheelchair come across as real. He admits what many would be afraid to say out loud. Donavan has a strong family support system, they listen to him and give suggestions. He still collects words in a jar and spends quality time with his grandmother. It was nice watching Donavan work through his troubles. Neither was an easy fix but he kept at it, and his family was there to help. Life doesn't stop for Donavan's troubles, his school is preparing for Hertiage Month. Every April the kids are encouraged to invite adults to speak. One year someone played bagpipes, and someone else acted out all the animals in the Chinese horoscope. Degross found a very creative way to add a little diversity to her book.
Time to share
Donavan sees Uncle Vic a wheelchair for first time
"But not one of them had said right out, "They cut off Vic Carter's legs." He would have remembered that. The thin bearded man sitting in the wheelchair, was not laughing, dancing, basketball playing Uncle Vic Carter. Not the uncle who got on the bus at the armory and announced loudly to his family, "I'll be back" The crowd around him had laughed and laughed. That Uncle Vic had been replaced with this almost Uncle Vic."
Donavan goes to math class
"Man oh man, it's lima bean time." Pooh shook his head. "Yup," Donavan agreed. Whenever one of them had to face something that they hated, they called it limabean time.
Degross has written another very enjoyable early chapter book. Many kids will be able to relate to one or both of Donavan's troubles. There is a great surprise at the end of the book with Uncle Vic.
check out Ms debs post http://msdebfiction.blogspot.com/2008/03/donavans-double-trouble.html
Monday, September 29, 2008
Jamie- Thanks for choosing Books are Beautiful. This is Jamie how can I help you today.
Customer- I want all the books you have on or about Madonna. I love her, she's my favorite
Jamie- Well the only book we have in right now is the one by her brother
Customer- No, I won't read anything that is anti Madonna. Her brother is just jealous she's the real talent in the family. Find me something else. I love Madonna, she's my favorite
Jamie ( planning her escape) That is the only book we have in right now about Madonna
Customer- Madonna is a singing icon and you only have one book. Shame on you. Well go ahead and order me something. I love Madonna, she's my favorite. Which Madonna do you like?
Jamie (will not engage the customer, pretends not to hear the question) Let me see what other Madonna books I can find for you.
Customer- I don't care, 80's 90's or now, I love Madonna, she's my favorite.
Jamie (this ends now) All the other Madonna books are out of print. Unfortunately we do not deal in out of print titles.
Customer- So where should I go?
Jamie (I really don't care) Try amazon
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
A few things we learn about Ida B. Wells
Yellow fever killed for parents and brother
She sued the railroad for forcing her to sit in the smoking car
Organized one of the first economic boycotts
Spoke out against lynching
Created the first voting organization for black women in the state of Illinois
There is a timeline included in the back and behind that the words of Ida B. Wells. Before reading this all I knew about Ida B. Wells is she traveled the country to speak out against lynching. Now I have a better idea of who Ida B. Wells was and how much she contributed to this country.
Also reviewed at Black Threads in Kid Lit http://blackthreadsinkidslit.blogspot.com/2008/07/ida-b-wells-let-truth-be-told-by-walter.html
Ida B. Wells Let the truth be told -Comes out October 28
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Atlanta has a serious gas shortage right now. The gas station near my apartment got a delivery this morning (saw the gas tanker) The line for gas was like 15 deep. They had someone doing line patrol, it was very orderly. From watching the news some people are ready to throw down for some gas. I passed five or six other stations with no gas or only unleaded. Some stations won't get gas delivered for another two days. There have been a lot of new riders on Marta lately.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I Promise not to Call or Write, another unfortunate skit
Michelle- Sir, what book would you like to order today?
Customer- The Big History of Rock & Roll
Michelle- Okay, give me a moment. Have you ordered from us before?
Michelle- Well I just need some information.
Michelle (damn, I choose wrong) So we can contact you when your item comes in.
Customer- I don't like giving out my information. Can't you simply place the order and I'll come back to pick it up.
Michelle- Unfortunately, not sir. We need your information to place the order.
Customer- Fine ask your questions, I'll simply answer the ones I deem appropriate
Michelle- (this keeps getting better) First name
Michelle- Last Name
Customer- Sullivan isn't my first name
Michelle- Then what is your first name
Customer- None of your business.
Michelle- (are you kidding me with this,) Would you like me to put Sullivan in the first name box
Customer- Now you're catching on
Michelle- (I don't want to catch what you got) What would you like to put in the last name box
Customer- I've always liked Solo. It rolls off the tongue. Solo Solo Sullivan Solo Sullivan Solo
Customer- that you can't have, I won't even given you Sullivan Solo's
Michelle (oh bleeping bleep bleep bleep, damn) Sir we need some way to contact you, either address or phone number
Michelle- To remind you when the book comes in
Customer- I won't forget
Michelle- I can not place the order without contact information
Customer- I don't like giving out my information. That's how you get unsolicited calls and junk mail
Michelle- It's policy
Customer- Would you if you could
Michelle- (I should have let Kirk have you. Let him laugh it out now, the next one is his.) Yes
Customer- I believe you. I won't blame you for their intrusion. I'll give you a number
Michelle (random digits, a real number, or the number to the taco joint, Michelle will accept anything) What is it.
Customer- (202) 555-9865
Michelle- (three 5, where are the cameras?) I have everything I need. That number will be called when the book arrives.
http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6593578.html A co worker pointed this article out to me today. Its written by Denene Millner co author of the new Young adult series Hotlanta
I thought I'd take the time to share my thoughts on it. I agree that African American fiction is on a serious decline. The section is filled with urban and street literature, I've shed tears in the past but now I've even up hope. I also agree that there must be something done about teenage girls reading their mother's Zane books.
"Very few prolific authors have enjoyed consistent, successful careers writing about black teen life, and only a handful of publishing houses have dedicated their resources to publishing black teen books."
I agree that there are not nearly enough black authors writing YA novels but it would've be nice if a few were acknowledged by name. Why not recognize some of the authors who paved the way for Hotlanta like Sharon G. Flake, Jacqueline Woodson, Sharon M. Draper, Walter Dean Myers and Julius Lester to name a few. Giving these authors credit does not diminish the fact that there are not enough books for black teens but rather reinforces that truth because the list is so small.
At the bookstore I work at I am constantly getting teachers, librarians and parents who are searching for YA novels starring or featuring black characters. Teachers or librarians unfamiliar with new black teen authors are always willing and open to learning about them. So I happily share a few names like Coe Booth, Tia Williams Tanita S. Davis, Okorafor-Mbachu; Nnedi, Chase-Hyman, Paula ,Deborah Gregory and M. Sindy Felin just to name a few. There are not enough publishing houses geared toward black teens but if asked I am quick to point out the Bluford High series published by Scholastic or Kimani Tru novels published by Kimani press. I wish book stores carried more black YA fiction but just because its not in stock doesn't mean I won't tell the customers about it. At that point its no longer about the sale but exposing black teens to characters and situations they can relate to and possibly find a piece of themselves in.
"Houses should be publishing more books about and for African-American teens, and not tomes about slavery, the ghetto and growing up in impossible conditions."
Tomes about slavery is a tad harsh, unnecessary and inaccurate. The sisters in Hotlanta are well to do and don't live in the ghetto anymore because this stepfather is a big man in the drug game. Living in a house with a man that would hurt you to keep his secret doesn't seem like the most ideal living conditions.
"At a book conference for teachers, librarians and booksellers, many attendees cast a dismissive eye on Hotlanta, with its pretty brown girls on the cover, wearing cute dresses and fresh makeup, posed against the Atlanta skyline. “This,” one teacher huffed, “is street fiction—like Zane, right?"
Hotlanta is nothing like Zane, however the cover does have a street lit look, and people at the conference probably dismissed it for this reason. Though Hotlanta is not my type of read, but its good that black teen girls have another option. Hotlanta might be the book that turns some into book lovers.
"I can't tell you how painful it is to have my books—particularly a teen book—dismissed as street fiction because the cover features black girls.
I am offended for all the teachers and librarians I interact with on a regular basis at the bookstore I work at or blogs I visit, that Millner believes Hotlanta is looked upon has street lit. because the cover features black girls. The cover artist should be blamed for people mistaking Hotlanta for street fiction.
If you want more black children's authors check out http://thebrownbookshelf.com/28-days-later/
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Sarah Dessen is a fair comparison for Anna Levine's, Freefall. Though it reminds me more of Melina Marchetta. I love Dessen and Marchetta, so either one is a very nice compliment. In Israel every citizen must give two years of military service. Abigail (Aggie) Jacobs is 18 yrs old her time to serve has come. Most women decide to take office jobs. Aggie can't she herself cooped behind a desk for two years. So even though Aggie's family doesn't believe in her (except her grandma) and she's on the small side, she enlist for combat. Sometimes I love when an author throws me into the story. The first chapter doesn't read like hello my name is, but rather like I am being reintroduced to characters I already know. Levin does just this with the beginning of Freefall. She has created a great character in Abigail. Aggie's life is changing though she's unsure of herself, she's still willing to take a chance on herself. Aggie goes to pre-basic training with nine other women. She fights through the exhaustion, pain and doubt to make it to the end. Aggie is also trying to sort out her love life, before this year she had no options, now there are two. Her friend, Ben and her girlfriends older brother, Noah. Freefall is so good because Levine doesn't try to make it anything more then it should be and she doesn't stray from Aggie. Its easy to fall in love with Levine's writing style. Time to share.
Aggie kisses Ben
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken - DiCamillo, Kate, Bliss, Harry
I gave a happy squeal when I saw this on the new release cart today. I stayed after work to read it, it was too long to read on the clock but we all know reading on the clock is wrong. However product knowledge is essential. I don't read picture books on the clock for me I do it for the parents - who ask " I am looking for a fun new picture book" and I do it for the children our future, so if reading picture books on the clock is wrong I don't want to be right. Though I am very happy I waited until I had time to read and enjoy this book. I loved it.
Louise lives in a hen house and longs for adventure. The picture book is broken up into four chapters. Louise goes on three adventures and returns home in the fourth. In the first chapter Louise boards a ship which is over taken by pirates. In the second chapter Louise joins the circus as the high wire act. In the third chapter she visits a faraway land sees a fortune teller and is captured.
I absolutely loved this this book. DiCamillo gives us a wonderful story, you can't help but enjoy following Louise on her adventures. The illustrations are beautiful. Bliss puts a lot of emotion in Louise's eyes. Each chapter is illustrated in its own color code so they fit the story being told. The text and illustrations are a perfect fit.
Time to share
From the second adventure
"However, too soon, walking the high wire with a pink umbrella became rather mundane, and Louise found herself longing for a little excitement. It was then that the lion got loose. Louise's heart beat fast within her feathered breast. Here at last was a true adventure.
Louise tells her sister hens about her adventures
The hens gathered round. They trembled as Louise told them of her adventures on the high seas. They murmured in alarm as she described the lion. They clucked in disapproval when they heard of the imprisoned chickens. As they listened, their hearts beat fast, fast within their feathered breasts.
Louise, the adventure of a Chicken is perfect for story time. I look forward to selling this book a lot and it will be a go to book for me this holiday season
received a starred PW review http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6595583.html?industryid=47141
Monday, September 15, 2008
I So Don't Do Mysteries had a few too many coincidences but they were easy to overlook because there is some serious growth potential with this series and Sherry was so much fun.
Time to share
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I enjoy everything Lippman writes and I love Tess. If you like Lehane and Pelecanos, you should try Lippman and start with the Tess Monaghan series.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Places to avoid when Apartment hunting in Atlanta
Anything with Villa in the name
Anything French sounding like de or chateau
If there is a sign posted in front of the complex that says drug free community
Luxury Apartment living
The hunt continues,
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I hate line bullies - These are the customers who come up all on top of the customer you're checking out in hopes of rushing the transaction Yea see how fast I go, back the f*c* up line bullie. I hope I am there the day a line bully gets shoved back. Line bullies never have their method of payment ready and they always want to take forever to get their s*it together to leave.
You purchased a book three months ago, don't have a receipt today, and you wonder why we won't take it back. I mean really wtf.
I love it when customers come to the help desk and can't get the title out. I am looking foorrrrrr its hmmm, its hmm a book I need hmmm, its hmmm new I need Hmmm,
All I am thinking while this is going on is what you need are a few consonants and a couple of vowels, wtf is the title
I hate explaining what Out of Print means. I do it at least once a day. I always have to explain it three different ways before they get it and a few still ask if I can order it. I mean wtf is so hard to understand about Out of Print
Now, I actually look forward to the racist and sexist customers who don't want to be bothered with me, unfortunately there aren't enough of those.
To be continued
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Two examples of Phone Pacers conversations
That bit*h is not getting a dime of my money. I don't care what she said that fu*k*ng b*tch is crazy. I got the best lawyer, she'll be lucky to get one car.
No, you listen to me we had a deal. I don't care, we had a deal. You are not listening we had a deal. No I don't want to hear it we had a fu*k*n deal. I asked you over and over again do you want to do this. And what did you say? What did you say? Exactly, so you will do it.
Phone Pacers are unpredictable and the pacing freaks me out. The angrier they are the harder their steps and the louder they get. Can someone please tell me why Phone Pacers exist? Why would someone want to have a long personal conversations in a public place, loudly.
Matt Stevens is a detective and in the seventh grade at Franklin Middle School. Matt's school is a war zone, the hallways are patrolled by Hall Monitors. Vinny Biggs is the big man on top. He controls the sugar supply, forgeries- report cards doctors notes, etc and gambling. Kids are packing water guns just waiting to put another kid in the Outs. A kid is put in the Outs when they are sprayed below the belt.
Monday, September 8, 2008
1 Jim Thorpe by Joesph Bruchac
2 Two-Minute Drill by Mike Lupica -
3 Crash by Jerry Spinelli
4 Kickoff by Tiki Barber and Ronde Barber
5 Long-Arm Quarterback- by Matt Christopher
6 Football Hero by Tim Green
7 Tackling Dad by Elizabeth Levy
8 Cover-Up by John Feinstein
8 Roar of the Crowd by Rich Wallace
9 Damage by A.M. Jenkins
10 Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
11 Deadline by Chris Crutcher
12 Knights of the Hill Country by Tim Tharp
13 Raiders Night by Robert Lipsyte
14 Out of His League by Pat Flynn
15 Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg
16. Gym Candy by Carl Deuker
17. Payback Time by Carl Deuker
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
1.Hey Batta Batta Swing! The Wild Old Days of Baseball By Sally Cook and James Charlton Illustrated by Ross MacDonald
2.We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball -Kadir, Nelson http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/blog/1790000379/post/120020412.html
3.Honus & Me by Dan Gutman
4.The Longest Season: The Story of the Orioles' 1988 Losing Streak- Ripken, Cal, Jr., Mazellan, Ron
5.Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow - Sturm, James Tommaso, Rich http://www.comicbookbin.com/satchelpaige001.html
6.Satchel Paige -Cline-Ransome, Lesa, Ransome, James
7.Heart of a Champion - Carl Deuker http://www.myshelf.com/teen/fiction/07/heartofachampion.htm
8.The Boyfriend League - Hawthorne, Rachel http://thehappynappybookseller.blogspot.com/2008/09/boyfriend-league-rachel-hawthorne.html
9.Safe at Home(Comeback Kids) - Lupica, Mike http://thehappynappybookseller.blogspot.com/2008/08/safe-at-home-comeback-kids-novel.html
10.Black Diamond: The Story of the Negro Baseball Leagues - McKissack, Patricia C., McKissack, Fredrick L
11.The Comeback Season - Jennifer E. Smith. http://thehappynappybookseller.blogspot.com/2008/06/comeback-season-jennifer-e-smith.html http://www.thestorysiren.com/2008/06/comeback-season.html
12. Six Innings: A Game in the Life - Preller, James http://thehappynappybookseller.blogspot.com/2008/05/six-inning-james-preller.html http://www.jamespreller.com/2008/08/28/ten-best-sports-books-of-the-year/
13.Keeping Score -Park, Linda Sue http://www.papertigers.org/reviews/USA/papertigers/KeepingScore.html
14.Home Run: The Story of Babe Ruth -Robert Burleigh
15.Stealing Home: Jackie Robinson: Against the Odds - Robert Burleigh
16. Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America - Robinson, Sharon
17. A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson - Green, Michelle Y., Johnson,Mamie
18.Safe at Home - Robinson, Sharon
19.Willie Mays: Art in the Outfield- Shannon, Mike This is not a children's book I put it on the list so I could share a Willie Mays story. It comes from another baseball book The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America - Posnanski, Joe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_O%27Neil, Posnanski travels around with Buck O'Neil, a Negro league baseball player and manager. In New York City they run into Satchel Paige's son. At one point they make a trip to the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negro_Leagues_Baseball_Museum Where they run into Willie Mays. Willie Mays and Buck O'Neil get to talking about old times and playing for the Kansas City Monarchs. Willie Mays ends up telling a story about seeing one of his Negro League Jersey sold on the Antique Roadshow http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiques_Roadshow, Buck O'Neil tried to get Mays to remember the good things again. (thanks wikipedia)
I absolutely loved the following two titles and they both include some beautiful baseball so they made the list
20.The Wednesday Wars - Schmidt, Gary D http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/16/books/review/Stone-t.html
21.My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins & Fenway Park - Kluger, Steve http://jkrbooks.typepad.com/blog/2007/12/my-most-excelle.html
IN THE CIRCLE
22. No Cream Puff - Day, Karen
23.Throwing Like a Girl - Mackey, Weezie Kerr http://bookshelvesofdoom.blogs.com/bookshelves_of_doom/2007/07/throwing-like-a.html
24.Screwball: An Ashley Clarke Novel - Keri Mikulski http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com/2008/08/screwball-by-keri-mikulski.html