Friday, January 30, 2009

Diversity Rocks Challenge

I am joining the Diversity Rocks Challenge. It was created by Ali from Worducpoia. This will be my first reading challenge. I don't do them because I like to be able read what I want to read when I want to and not worry about checking a book of a challenge list. Plus I am pretty lazy when it comes to keeping up with stuff like that. But I am going to give the diversity rocks challenge a go. I won't be counting books by Black authors, I would read those books anyway. I am all about a balanced reading diet and this challenge will keep me honest. Though I do suffer from non fiction deficiency.

Top of the Order John Coy

Top of the Order by John Coy Jackson, Gig and Issac are best friends. Diego, the new kid is accepted into the group. The four friends play baseball for the Panthers. A problem arises when Gig's younger sister, Sydney plays second place for the Panthers. Jackson must find a why to make everything okay with Gig, so the team can have a good season. Coy calls a great game, baseball fans will easily see the plays. Yes this book is about baseball but we also learn about the characters off the field. 10 yr old Jackson's parents are divorced. He's shuttles between two homes and must deal with his mother dating. Gig's father is in the National Guard and has been called upon to serve in the Middle East. The four friends will be going to starting middle school next year. Isaac's dad wants him to go to a different middle school from his friends. Diego must work and can't make every practice. The lunch scenes were very well done, Coy does an excellent job of showing the bond between the friends. One of my favorite parts of the book is when Jackson's learns of the futureme website. It allows people to send a message to their future self. Jackson checks it out reading different messages. It inspires him to write his own futureme message. Young sport fans will really enjoy this book. Coy has created very believable characters and dialogue that will grab hold of at least a few reluctant readers. I was pleasantly surprised at the end to discover there may be more books to come. This would be good for ages 8up. Top of the Order will be released in March 2009. Just in time for the beginning of the baseball season.

Zac Power H.I. Larry

Zac Power #01: Zac Power #1: Poison Island by H.I. Larry I read the first four Zac Power books, I absolutely loved them. This series was first released in Australia in 2007. The first book in the series was released in the States in 2008. I am always on the look out for new early chapter books especially ones boys will enjoy. Zac Power is exactly what I was looking for. 12yr Zac Power loves listening to music and playing his guitar. He wants to be a rock star when he grows up but right now he's a spy as is the whole Power family. They work for the Government Investigation Bureau (GIB). In each book Zac is sent on a new mission. He always has 24 hours to complete a mission. Zac's older brother Leon is a tech expert and is always on call for his brother at Tech Support Headquarters. Zac has some really cool gadgets. The most important is his SpyPad it looks like a video game but its a mini computer, mobile satellite telephone with voice scrambler, laser, and code breaker rolled into one. These books were really fun to read and they kept getting better. In each story Zac ends up using his Ipod to get out of a jam. Its fun trying to figure out when and how Zac will use his Ipod. The Zac Power books are a whole lot of fun with much action, and nice technology. I'll share a funny scene from book two "Deep Waters" Zac was in the amphibious submersible on the way to another mission, when he stopped to save a couple. He dropped them off on an Island. The people on the Island wouldn't let Zac land on the south side, he thought that was strange and decided to check it out. Come to find out there weren't evil people on the south side but a nudist beach for old people. I got a good laugh out of that.
Zac Power is a great series, and I am very happy they've been released in the U.S. thank you
Feiwel and Friends. This is a great recommend for age 7up, especially if the child has an older sibling. Sometimes its nice to discover a book an older brother or sister hasn't already read. Since the series doesn't read young or have too many pictures it would also work well for struggling readers. There is also a nice website Zac Power website
Fans can do a lot of interesting things, like create their own spy name and read up on all of Zac's gadgets. You can also sample the books. So I won't be sharing today you can go to the website.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Writers Contest at Color Online

In honor of Black History Month, Color Online is hosting a contest celebrating the contributions of black women writers. Submit a book review or biography sketch of a black woman writer you admire. They're looking for YA writers, adult fiction and nonfiction writers. Writers may be contemporary or historical figures.

Submissions must be a minimum of 300 words not to exceed 750. Deadline for submissions is February 25th. Winners will be announced February 28th

If your interested in the contest click the link below.
Writers Contest

Celeste's Harlem Renaissance Eleanora E. Tate

Celeste's Harlem Renaissance by Eleanora E. Tate 13yr old Celeste lives with her father and aunt Society in Raleigh North Carolina. When Celeste father is grows ill, Celeste must move to Harlem to live with her aunt Valentina, the singer. One of my favorite parts of the book, the train ride to Harlem. Celeste talks to three people. I loved these conversation, they came across as very genuine. Celeste thinks she'll be living the high life in Harlem but her aunt lost her job. Her first night in Harlem just off the train Celeste must help her aunt clean a theatre floor. I liked Celeste a lot, she adapts quickly to her situations. Celeste was quiet and timid in Raleigh but she gains some confidence and learns how to speak up for herself in Harlem. Just when Celeste is getting used to living in Harlem she must move back to Raleigh to care for her aunt Society who had a stroke. Before Celeste leaves Harlem she plays her violin in a Harlem resturant, runs into Duke Ellington and James Weldon Johnson. Also Celeste's aunt Valentina gets a part in Shuffle Along, the first African American musical to go to Broadway Sometimes family is hard to figure out, Celeste aunts definitely fall under that category. As the book ends Celeste realizes that neither aunt is all good or bad, and to simply accept them for who they are. Tate has created a great character in Celeste Lassiter Massey. The author sites all historical references in the back of the book.
Time to share

My tears mingled with the rinse water. My back and knees throbbed. I'd scrubbed floors back home but not like this. Now I knew why Aunt Valentina walked bent over. I reckoned that I would, too, pretty soon. Just like in that book of fairy tales I loved to read at school, I felt like I was poor overworked Cinderella and Aunt Valentina was both mean stepsisters.

And if you're looking for a great young adult book about Harlem Renaissance check out

Harlem Stomp!: A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance by Raban Carrick Hill . It was a National Book Award finalist.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Satisfaction Guaranteed (NOT)

I am at check out and a customer comes in with a return in a grocery bag. 4/5 books coming back in grocery bag have issues attached and this was one of those returns. Lucky for me the other cashier got the customer. On the top of the book it says 100% satisfaction guaranteed. She took the book on her trip and wasn't satisfied. She called the number on the book and they told her to take it back to the store. While she was telling us how unhelpful the book was it took all I had not to laugh. It was a long drawn out story. I believe customers tell these long stories to wear down cashiers so we'll take the return just to shut them up. (though these stories are much easier to hear when its not your customer) I walked away when the customer proceeded to call the number trying to find the representative who told her to take the book back to bookstore for a full refund. Why would anyone think they could return a used item to a store for full credit because you didn't like it? And of course the person on the phone told you to return it to the bookstore, they just wanted to get rid of you. And they probably give you a fake name.

Guest Post Free Book

In honor of Black History Month check out my guest post over at White Readers Meets Black Authors and enter for a chance to win a free book.
Buy A Book Support Diversity - I posted it on another site because I am hoping to reach more readers. So please check it out.

I also want to thank the authors Dream Jordan and Zetta Elliott for donating their books to the giveaway.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Printz Winner Jellicoe Road Melina Marchetta

All of the children's awards were announced earlier this morning. I was pleasantly surprised and exicted to see Melina Marchetta won the Printz for Jellicoe Road. I love Marchetta's writing. I reviewed the book back in May. I am linking to it today because I think some people are asking them themselves, Melina Marchetta Who? Jellicoe Road What?
Jellicoe Road review

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bird Zetta Elliott Shadra Strickland

Bird by Zetta Elliott and illustrated by Shadra Strickland. I heard a lot of good things about this book and now I will add a few of my own. Mehkai goes by the name Bird, this is his journal. Each entry is a poem. A lot is going on in Bird's life. His grandfather recently passed. His older brother Marcus has become addicted to drugs. Birds writings and drawings give him the oppurtunity to heal. Bird remembers the good times he shared with his grandfather. He writes about his brothers artisic talent. Through Bird's words you can feel how much he loves his family and looked up to his older brother. Its not all happy, there is some anger and sadness. I loved Elliott's writing, the simplicity made it that much better. As I contiuned to read Bird and his family became more real. Marcus is not painted as a villian. He's lost but still loves his younger brother. Strickland's illustrations enhance the story. The illustrations allow the reader to enjoy Bird's words that much more. Many families are affected by addiction. Elliott has written a book that will enable the youngest family members to talk about their feelings. Young readers will easliy relate to Bird's words.

Author Book Talk

Zetta Elliott has another book out called A Wish After Midnight check out The Trailer
Elliott will be getting $20 of my refund money.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortenson

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Journey to Change the World... by Greg Mortenson. Mortenson besting selling Three Cups of Tea has adapted for middle grade readers. In 1993 Mortenson attemped to climb K2 to leave a necklace in honor of his sister. He never made it to the top of the mountain. He was lost in the mountains of Pakistan. The people in Korphe, a small village not even be enough to warrant a spot on a map, save his life. Mortenson promises to pay them back by building a school. This would be the first of many schools. This book bridges a gap, making the people in a another nation not seem so foreign, every child wants and deserves the same thing an education and a chance. This book teaches many lessons without being preachy like not to fear differences and embrace other peoples customs. Though it's a young readers edition, the book does not underestimate its intended audience ability to understand its message. The interview with Mortenson's 12 yr old daughter Amira will go across very well with young readers. There's a helpful glossary in the back, including the words- infidel, Dari and hostel. Just like the original Three Cups of Tea this would make an excellent book club selection.
Time to share

Its was an incredible speech, Greg said. And by the time Syed Abbas had finished, he had the entire crowd in tears. I wish all Americans who think Muslim is just another way of saying terrorist could have been there that day. The true core tenets of Islam are justice, tolerance and charity.

Jumped Rita Williams-Garcia

Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia Leticia overhears Dominique's plan to jump Trina. Now Leticia must decide if she will warn Trina. The chapters alternate between the three girls, the transitions are seamless. All Trina does is squeeze pass Dominique in the hallway. It seems like such a little thing but its enough to set Dominique off. This non -encounter gone wrong is very believable. Sometimes its the small things that can make a person snap. I loved the poetic writing of this novel. Each girls voice is the rhythm of their personalty. The author has created fully developed characters in Leticia, Dominique and Trina.

Time to share. Leticia in English

You know life is unfair. Bea's class has Push and I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings for winter break reading. They're reading true to life dramas. Our class has Mr Walsh's favorite, A Separate Peace. A book every high school student must read, according to Walsh. I see his point. One day I might transfer to an elite military school, befriend a bunch of losers, climb a tree, and watch a classmate fall and break his leg.
Jumped will be released February 24

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dope Sick Walter Dean Myers

Dope Sick by Walter Dean Myers A cop was shot in a drug deal gone wrong. 17yr old Lil J is running for his life a gun shot wound in his arm. Lil J finds his way into the apartment of a man with a magical remote. With Kelly's remote Lil J can glimpse his future and past. In the apartment Lil J must face his addiction, fears and failures for a second chance. As always Myers writing is beautiful.

Time to share

I just had to pee but I was so tired I needed to sit down. When I went to undo my belt, I got a sharp pain in my arm. It made me want to cry. Not the pain but just the way my whole thing was, like falling apart. Some guys my age was away at college, or working or training in the army. Here I was in some tiny butt bathroom trying to get my head together and rapping to some weird sucker.

Dope Sick will be released February 10

Goddess of YA passes on the news of the initiative to offer Dope Sick for free online

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mozart The Wonder Child Diane Stanley

Mozart: The Wonder Child: A Puppet Play in Three Acts by Diane Stanley - A class is on a school trip to the theatre to watch the Wonder Child in three acts. The Wonder Child covers Mozarts life from age three. I really enjoyed this biography, Stanley includes a lot of information while keeping it interesting. One thing the author did that I loved was the angel key. Stanley placed an eighth note next to something she thought needed explaining, like concerto and libretto. Then the reader simply has to find the angels holding the key with the answers. Since it's a play on a few pages you can glimpse the heads of the audience. The strings on the puppets are always visible. The illustrations are a fitting compliment to the text. They have a nice rich open feel to them. You can tell a lot of research was done to get the wardrobe, hair and furniture just right. Stanley includes a timeline at the end and explains all of Mozart's five names. This is a great introduction to Mozart and classical music for children.

A few of the things we learn
Italian is considered the language of opera
Piano is short for piano fore -it was a new instrument in Mozart's time.
Mozart wrote three of the most beloved operas of all time.

The Cabinet of Wonders Marie Rutkoski

Kronos Chronicles #01: The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski. Is a Cybils finalists for the Fantasy & Science Fiction category I really enjoyed this book. 12yr old Petra's father built a one of a kind clock for the prince in Prague. The prince thanked him by stealing his eyes. Petra is determined to get her fathers eyes back. She sets off for Praque with her mechanical spider Astrophil to do just that. I really liked Petra, she came across as the 12 yr old girl she was suppose to be. Rutkoski writing is smooth and unforced. Though I really enjoyed the book, I don't feel like breaking it down too much, I want to remember it whole. Plus I wouldn't do a good job of it. So check out Fuse #8 The Cabinet of Wonders review.

I was surprised and happy to see that I've read 9 out of the 11 books in this Cybils category. When I started working in the children's section I didn't read much fantasy and sci fi books. Its impossible to work in that section and not read it. So I opened myself up to a genre I was always closed off to, and discovered some really good stories. Though I am still one of the only people at work who hasn't read the Harry Potter books. Even Toni's read these and I can't get her to read anything besides picture books. If your looking for new books for your child check out the Cybils Finalist The categories range from Easy Readers to Young Adult.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Wreath for Emmett Till Marilyn Nelson Philippe Leary

A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson, illustrated by Philippe Leary. Originally released in 2005, this award winning book is now available in paperback. I am still moved by Nelson's words and Leary's illustrations. Though this is the first time I noticed the artist notes in the back. Leary takes the time to explain his color choice, his symbols and other techniques used. I found myself flipping back and forth between Leary's work and words.
Time to share

Your only child, a body thrown to bloat
mother of sorrows, of justice denied
Surely you must have though of suicide
seeing his gray flesh, chains around his throat
Surely you didn't know you would devote
the rest of your changed life to dignified
public remembrance of how Emmett died
innocence slaughtered by the hands of hate
If sudden loving light proclaimed you blest
would you bow your head in humility
your healed heart overflow with gratitude?
Would you say yes, like the mother of Christ
Or would you say no to your destiny
mother of a boy martyr, if you could?

When Emmett Till's body was returned to his mother, Mamie Till Mobley in Chicago, she decided to have an open casket so the world could see how savagely he had been murdered . Mamie Till Mobley became a civil rights activist, and died in 2003 at the age of 81. Learned all of that from the Nelson's Sonnet Notes in the back of the book.

Its hard for me not to think about how long Emmett Till could have lived knowing his mom lived to be 81. To remember Emmett Till is to remember all the nameless many who had their lives and futures stolen.

When I did a quick search on this book I came across some ides for class discussion of A Wreath for Emmett Till provided its publishers Houghton Mifflin Company .

W.E.B. Du Bois Tonya Bolden

W. E. B Du Bois by Tonya Bolden - There is a new Bolden book. I haven't had the opportunity to read or glance at it yet but the author as yet to release a book I didn't love. Also check out Tonya Bolden's interview over at thebrownbookshelf for 28 days later 2008. Check out the authors and illustrators to be interviewed on thebrownbookshelf for 28 days later 2009 I am very exicted by this list.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Kisses and Lies Lauren Henderson

Kisses and Lies by Lauren Henderson- This is a first and last time I will do this, post back to back series reviews. Kisses and Lies picks up were Kiss Me Kill Me left off. I won't share much from Kisses and Lies because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Scarlett is still determined to find who killed Dan. Scarlett continues to use her gymnastics ability to get out of tight jams, making for some exciting reading. Henderson has created very believable teenage sleuths in Scarlett and her partner Taylor. Their friendship is new and they're still feeling each other out. Taylor is the muscle, she's also quick on her feet, smart and wants to become a private investigator. Like any good lead sleuth Scarlett is introspective, has family issues and a love interest, Jase. In Kisses and Lies things are revealed about Dan that I never saw coming, increasing the list of suspects. Henderson writing is strong throughout Kisses and Lies, its only towards the end that it falters slightly. Though I blame my high expectations on the authors writing. I read a lot of mysteries and I've come to realize the ending is the hardest to pull off. When the killer is revealed and captured I was thinking to myself Henderson almost had me from beginning to end. I still highly recommending Kisses and Lies. I am also looking forward to seeing were this series will go. What will Scarlett's and Taylor's next case be? Will Scarlett and Jase finally get together. Will Taylor have a relationship of her own. If so will Henderson give her a boyfriend or girlfriend? I have high hopes for this series. I only hope the author doesn't get too repetitive. Scarlett mentioned Dan's dying in her arms a little too much. I know it was a traumatic event that changed Scarlett's life but still. For anyone writing a series don't think so hard about the readers who haven't read your books yet, think about readers who have. Don't penalize those familiar with your series with too many recaps or flashbacks. Plus it will make the unfamliar go out and buy the other books.

Time to share

Honestly, I could have told my aunt Gwen I was staying with a pedophile I met when he picked me up in the knickers section of Marks and Spencer's and she wouldn't have batted an eyelid. I said sourly. Yeah but your aunt Gwen hates you. Taylor pointed out with brutal frankness.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kiss Me Kill Me Lauren Henderson

Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson 16yr old Scarlett attends St. Tabby's a posh private school in London. I absolutely loved Scarlett, she's a gymnast with a mystery to solve. One day she's given the opportunity to sit with the in crowd. She takes it turning her back on a five year friendship with her two best friends. Scarlett than scores a invite to a party that's way above her school status. At the party Scarlett kisses a boy for the first time. Dan McAndrew, a handsome popular, star athlete. Its only one kiss but the author makes the reader believe in their possibly when fully drawn in Dan dies in Scarlett's arms. There is an investigation into Dan's death but nothing is revealed. Scarlett is harassed nicknamed the kiss of death and forced to leave school. Scarlett decides to find out what really happened when she receives an anonymous note saying it wasn't her fault. This is a great read, the mystery is perfectly fun. Scarlett is constantly using her gymnastics ability, the author describes the movements, which any gymnast who reads this will love. While reading I kept asking myself how I missed it the first time around in hardcover. Though now I am thinking that was probably for the best because now I don't have to wait a year to read the sequel Kisses and Lies , it was released this week.
I hope Henderson reveals what happened to Dan in the second book.

Time to Share
"The policemen, despite themselves, are looking at me with pity now. Strangely, I dislike that even more than when they were doing the bad cop interrogation routine. Pity's worse than anything. Just ask an orphan they'll tell you that. Great. How tragic is it to have policemen feeling sorry for you because you're a pathetic orphan with the social life of roadkill? I almost preferred it when they were thinking I was some kind of drug dealer."

I loved Kiss me Tell me and will be adding it to my pre teen repertiore. Fans of Ally Carter's I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You will enjoy it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Question for Parents

I don't have kids so can parents explain to me why the hell some parents let their children grab like 10 -15 books and not have them put any back? Instead of working I have to stand guard so parents know they have to watch their children. But once I leave forgetaboutit crap is every where. If you bring your child to storytime on a regular basis either buy a book every once in a while or don't let your child trash the section. Today, I had a man come in with three kids, I assume they weren't his because the kids did whatever they wanted. I saw the three kids ten minutes before I saw the man, the oldest was maybe 6. They were yelling downstairs and riding the escalator up. I was joking with my co worker about calling DFACS. Right when I am about to tell them to stop the man appears. He takes the very loud three back to kids section. I go back that way and the three kids are trying to jump over a sitting stool with a running jump mind you. I am like wtf, really. I know the very loud three didn't go to church today. Anyhow I tell them there is no jumping over furniture in my way down deep you better listen to me voice. ( I didn't even know I had that voice). And then I hear the man behind me say see kids you can't do that. When I heard the man speak I was pissed. He was watching the kids do what they're not suppose to but said nothing its not my job to parent.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Shadow Speaker Nnedi Okorafor

The Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor I could not put this book down, I loved this story. Its set in West Africa 2070. A nuclear war had taken place years before, a scientist dropped Peace Bomb in each Continent causing The Great Change. After the change some people were born with special gifts, metahumans. Ejii is a shadow speaker. She has the ability to see in the dark and hear the premonition of shadows that only speak the truth. The shadows tell Ejii she must disobey her mother. In order for Ejii to save Kwamfa her home and pervent a war she must go with Jaa, the Queen of Niger to the Golden Meeting. World leaders will gather in Ginen to try find a peaceful way to coexist since windows to other worlds are now open. The author introduces the reader to Ginen in her first novel Zahrah the Windseeker. The guilt of going against her mother keeps Ejii from leaving with Jaa. The shadows keep telling her she must go, so she does. Ejii begins her adventure with Onion, a talking camel. Along the way she runs into Dikeogu, another metahuman. Okorafor-Mbachu tells a great story. The strength of her female characters reminds me of Octavia Butler. I really enjoyed Ejii and Dikeogu relationship to me it was similar to that of Lyra and Will's from Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy The Shadow Speaker is a wonderful fantasy adventure story. I would suggest reading Zahrah the Windseeker first, you don't have to but you'll get a better feeling for Ginen and the world leaders at the Golden Meeting.

Time to Share

As she'd sat there, the shadows did something strange. They pulled in close, and she could feel them press against her cheeks and linger at her forehead. Then it was as if they were massaging her temples. She was so absorbed in this strangeness that she didn't notice the big sand-dune cat approach her.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Rock and the River Kekla Magoon

The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon - When I saw this book deals in part with the Black Panthers I knew I had to read it. It's set in Chicago 1968. 13 yr old Sam Childs is the son of a very well known civil rights activist and lawyer, Ronland Childs who has worked side by side with Dr. King. Mr. Childs has always taught his sons peaceful protest will lead to change. Sam has grown up believing in his fathers choice for change. Sam's older brother Stick joins the Black Panther movement. Now Sam must decide which is the right path for him. The decision becomes harder when Sam is a witness to the brutal beating of a friend by cops. Sam made me want to keep reading. Though there's a lot going on around him, Sam still dreams of becoming an architect and tries to work up the courage to talk to a girl. The author does a great job of imparting facts about the Black Panthers including their ten point platform, without it seeming forced. One of my favorite parts is when Sam and his mother can't go outside because reporters have the house surrounded. Stick comes by with other Black Panthers who act as security detail. To me that moment shows the Black Panthers weren't about violence rather strength. The Rock and the River will introduce many young readers to the Black Panthers, a very important part of American history. In the author notes, Magoon gives information about the civil rights movement and the Black Panther Party. I think the books appropriate for ages 10up. The Rock and the River will make an excellent addition to any library.

Time to Share

I met Bucky's gaze and he knew. He saw me standing there, saw that I wasn't coming to his rescue, that he had been betrayed. I held his gaze, which was all I could manage to do. I read each moment, each thought that passed through him. I knew the moment he gave up hope.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

11 Birthdays Wendy Mass

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass- This is the perfect book to begin the New Year. Its a book about do overs and second chances. Amanda lives in the small town of Willow Falls. She shares her birthday with a boy named Leo. They've always celebrated their birthdays together, until their 10 birthday when they have a falling out. Now its time for their 11 Birthday, they will have separate parties for the first time. Amanda and Leo are forced to relive their birthday Friday until they figure out how to stop the loop. I loved this book, it was so much fun. Each new day or same day depending on how you look at it , Amanda answers a new question or tries something new. Mass writing is beautiful and thoughtful as always. Though they're reliving the same day Amanda and Leo both try different things and this keeps the book from becoming repetitive. Mass keeps in the funny things to reminds us its still the same day- like the SpongeBob SquarePants happy birthday balloon in Amanda's room and the boy in tears in the hallway because he forget his homework assignment. Boys will enjoy this book as much as girl. It would make an excellent book club pick for a boy/girl book club. There is much to be talked about. Second chances, which birthday would you do over, how to be friends with someone of the opposite sex, just to name a few.

Time to share

I reach out to turn off my alarm, open my eyes, and scream! Someone's standing in the middle of my room. He's short and squat, and his arms and legs are waving wildly. It's too dark to see anything clearly. Safety tips run through my head. Stop, drop, and roll? That doesn't seem helpful. Duck and cover? That one's better. I throw the covers over my head and lie still. Why isn't the intruder saying anything. With one swift move, I flip on my lamp. It's not a person. It's a SpongeBob SquarePants happy birthday balloon.

There's my pen

So with my cable and television out for a few days, I picked up a story I was working on. It had been so long since I looked at it I didn't even recognize it and I almost wanted to apologize to it. For the first few days I was afraid to touch it and make any changes. I am not worried it won't be good, I worried I won't finish it. I am worried I won't live up to what it should be. I have two old rough drafts that I look back at every so often but it looks so much different now. I've never taken a writing class, I try not to dwell on this fact or the what ifs. I will simply try to focus on what I have. When I am working on my WIP I remind myself of three things - 1) its okay to keep typing, even if it sounds like the silliest thing in the world keep typing because in all of that nonsense I may find one word or if I am lucky a sentence or two I can use. -2) Its okay to delete, I try not to get to attach if its not working I must let it go. 3) It's okay not to delete- I try not to delete too early, sometimes writing is like a puzzle and if I wait long enough maybe that word or phase I was going to delete will begin to fit.

Still Busy

Sorry for the lag, its frowned upon not to pay your bill on time. Even though the holiday season is over there's still stuff to do. Especially in the children's section. A lot of holidays are coming up President's day, Martin Luther King Jr's day Black History Month to name a few. Its good to get books in early so they'll be there when kids come in search of books for reports. Also all the big children's awards are given out in January. It's not like the Grammy's or the Oscar's, authors aren't nominated for various categories so no one knows until the awards are announced who the winners and honors are. This time of year it really pays off to kidlitblog hop. I can get a very good idea about what books to get in before the awards are given out. If you're thinking why don't I just wait until the winners are announced to get the right books, well everyone is looking for winning books the day after, they become very hard to find, but its even harder to try to explain to customers why you don't have the book that just won the Newbery and why you may not get it in for another few weeks, plus with the economy the way it is it good to have the books customers will want to buy in stock .

I am going to put down my Newbery long shots on record, just in case.

Six Innings: A Game in the Life by James Preller and House of Dance Beth Kephart - extra copies of these books won't hurt, I can sell them without a medal.