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April 15, 2014

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Let’s Have a Book Drive!

Let’s Have a Book Drive!

Here’s the scenario: Something has happened. A library (public or school) is destroyed or damaged, by fire, flood, wind, locust. “I know,” says a well-meaning person. “Let’s have a book drive!” And the books are gathered and sent to the library, so the kids have something. And the people who sent the books — whether [...]

Flashback March 2006

Flashback March 2006

A look back to what I reviewed in March 2006: Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen Headley. From my review: “Patty Ho is half-Taiwanese, half white. She was born in the United States, but she feels like she doesn’t belong anywhere. At home, there is her ultra-strict mother and overachieving going-to-Harvard [...]

Entertainment Weekly — Kid Lit’s Primary Color

Entertainment Weekly is one of my favorite magazines, so I was very excited to see this in the April 11, 2014 edition: Kid Lit’s Primary Color: White by Nina Terrero, illustration by David Schwen. A couple of weeks ago, I was doing a Skype visit with a class and the conversation turned to diversity and [...]

Round 4: The Big Kahuna

Round 4: The Big Kahuna

My prediction: “Far Far Away v Rose Under Fire v (return from grave) Eleanor & Park, Judge Jennifer Holm. And what will win here? I think Eleanor & Park.” How close was I? Boxers & Saints vs P.S. Be Eleven vs Eleanor & Park judged by Jennifer Holm Alas, I wasn’t right enough to really matter — at this point, the odds were against me. [...]

From the Grave

From the Grave

My prediction: “Return from grave guess: Eleanor & Park. See! See what I did? I didn’t pick this earlier in part because I’m convinced it’ll be the book that returns.” And was I right? WAS I RIGHT? Oh, I was. I was.  

Round 3, Match 2

Round 3, Match 2

My prediction: “P.S. Be Eleven v Rose Under Fire, Judge Robin LaFevers. I think Rose Under Fire will take this one.” What actually happened?  P.S. Be Eleven vs The Thing About Luck judged by Robin LeFevers. So, going in, half-right! Alas, the wrong half: P.S. Be Eleven moved on to Round 4. I think, much as it’s fun to read the decisions [...]

Round 3, Match 1

Round 3, Match 1

My prediction: “Boxers & Saints v Far Far Away, Judge Patrick Ness. I’m putting my money on Far Far Away.” What it was: Boxers and Saints vs Far Far Away! YAY. What advanced: Boxers and Saints. BOO. I am not booing Ness’s decision; no, I’m booing myself and luck in that I didn’t guess the right title. Ah, [...]

Round 2, Match 4

Round 2, Match 4

My prediction: “Rose Under Fire v True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, Judge Katherine Marsh. Another choice between two books I read; and so I’m picking Rose.” The actual match: The Thing About Luck vs The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp judged by Katherine Marsh. And for the third time, half-right. So all I needed was for True Blue [...]

Review: Harriet the Spy

Review: Harriet the Spy

And now, after last week’s chapter by chapter readalong, and look at essays, my review of Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. The Plot: Harriet, eleven, writes down all she observes about her family, friends, and neighbors. When her private, and honest, notebook falls into the hands of her classmates, she has to face the [...]

Round 2, Match 3

Round 2, Match 3

My prediction: “March Book One v P.S. Be Eleven, Judge Joseph Bruchac. Having not read either one, I’ll go with P.S. Be Eleven.” The actual match: Hokey Pokey vs P.S. Be Eleven judged by Joseph Bruchac And once again — I began half-right. What did Bruchac pick? P.S. Be Eleven! See, sometimes for brackets it doesn’t matter if you’re only half-right, as long [...]

Round 2, Match 2

Round 2, Match 2

Once I realized it was going to be impossible to write up and post my reactions to the various matches, it became freeing! So yes, I’m a day (or more) late. But rest assured, late as my commentary is and will be — it’ll still be here! My prediction: “Doll Bones v Far Far Away, Judge Rae [...]

Harriet The Spy: Essays

Harriet The Spy: Essays

And now, the various essays about Harriet the Spy included in the 50th Anniversary Edition! These essays are much more for the adult reader, but that is OK. Again, I’m not recapping the essay, just jotting down my reactions. Judy Blume Read Harriet as an adult, and notes how the kids in here are real because they [...]

Harriet The Spy Book Three

Harriet The Spy Book Three

And now… the final chapters of Harriet the Spy! Book Three Chapter Fifteen Back in her spy route! Which, shows both Harriet back on her route but also gives the reader some resolution. (also just in general, I kind of like how often Harriet is home from school, home sick — that her parents let her. that [...]

Harriet The Spy Book Two

Harriet The Spy Book Two

And now, reading Book Two of Harriet the Spy! Book Two, AKA Life Without Ole Golly. Chapter Seven Harriet’s father is named Harry, which explains her own name, but isn’t it weird that it’s also the name of Janie’s dad? Harriet is the onion! With improvised dances! What kind of school is this? More caustic thoughts [...]

Harriet The Spy Book One

Harriet The Spy Book One

And now, my Harriet the Spy reread! Today, it’s Book One. I’m going through chapter by chapter, doing my reactions. So, yes, this will make little sense to anyone who hasn’t read Harriet. Tomorrow will be Book Two; Wednesday, Book Three; Thursday, the Tributes; and Friday, my review. Oh, there’s a map! And this was [...]

Round 2, Match 1

Round 2, Match 1

And so Round 2! My prediction: “The Animal Book v Boxers & Saints, Judge Tonya Bolden. I’m going with “pick something I read,” so Boxers & Saints.” And I accurately predicted what the match would be: it was, indeed, The Animal Book v Boxers & Saints. And double prediction: I was also right about Boxers & Saints moving [...]

Round 1, Match 8

Round 1, Match 8

And finally, the last of the matches in Round 1: True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp v What the Heart Knows, Judge Sheila Turnage My prediction: “Having read True Blue, that’s my pick.” And I was right! Alas, I don’t think this return to picking the right decision means my brackets are saved. One thing I [...]

Round 1, Match 7

Round 1, Match 7

Match 7: Rose Under Fire v The Thing About Luck, Judge Malinda Lo My prediction: “Rose Under Fire because Lo writes young adult books.” And NOOOOOOO. Lo totally let me down by not being Team YA! What I liked best about Lo’s decision is the analytic approach she took. “I’ve decided that making this judgement call [...]

Round 1, Match 6

Round 1, Match 6

Match 6: Midwinterblood v P.S. Be Eleven, Judge Mac Barnett My prediction: “While I read and love Midwinterblood, I think it isn’t for everyone. Plus, I realized I kept on picking based on what I’d read, so this time, I went with what I haven’t read – P.S. Be Eleven.” And wow, did I turn [...]

Flashback March 2008

Flashback March 2008

A flashback to what I reviewed in March 2008: Quid Pro Quo by Vicki Grant. From my review: “Cyril is probably the youngest person to attend law school: “I started going to law school when I was ten years old.” But, wait for it – ”I love saying that. I love how people look at me like, this guy [...]