Author Archive

Teen Mysteries

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

allfalldownSometimes it can be harder to find teen mysteries, so I was pleased when Ally Carter released the start of a new mystery series, All Fall Down.  Her Gallagher Girls series kept on getting better with each book and All Fall Down was a great start.

Grace is an army brat and also the granddaughter of a very powerful ambassador, where she spent summers running around the embassy. But now that Grace’s mother has died, her father sends her to live with her grandfather, and Grace isn’t willing to let the mystery of her mother’s death be classified as a tragic accident.

ghostflowerMichele Jaffe has written a number of mysteries as well, but I recently read Ghost Flower and really enjoyed it!

Runaway Eve likes to keep a low profile, but she gets drawn into a scheme to impersonate an heiress that had gone missing so the cousins can split the inheritance.  But not everything is as it seems at first, and Eve is starting to to question everything about herself and the family she is drawn into.

 

 


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Author Colleen McCullough Dies at Age 77

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Author Colleen McCullough, well-known author of The Thorn Birds, died Thursday. She was 77. The Thorn Birds, an Australian saga published in 1977, went on to sell 30 million copies worldwide and inspired a popular 1983 mini-series.

Colleen McCullough published 25 books, including a fictional series set in Ancient Rome that drew some well-known readers. Her final book, Bittersweet, was about four sisters and set in the 1920s. She was dictating a sequel, which isn’t complete, when she died.

 


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ALA 2015 Youth Media Award Winners

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

This is my favorite time of the year, at least for book award announcements!  The ALA Youth Media Award Winners were announced on Monday during the ALA conference in Chicago.  So crossoverwithout further ado, here are the winners:

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:giveyouthesun

For a complete listing of all the current and past award winners visit ALA.org.

 


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Illustrator Margaret Bloy Graham Has Died at 94

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Margaret-Bloy-Graham-300x225Margaret Bloy Graham, the illustrator of Harry the Dirty Dog (written by her ex-husband Gene Zion) and many other books, died last week at the age of 94.

Harry the Dirty Dog was first published in 1956 and is still popular today.  Harry is considered the “canine Dennis the Menace.”  Although best known as an illustrator, Margaret Bloy Graham also wrote and illustrated her own books, including Be Nice to Spiders and Benjy, another dog series.

 

 

 

 


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Teen Science Fiction Books

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

In solidarity of my son’s semester long course on science fiction cinderbooks, here are some of my favorite, recent (besides Firefight) science fiction books.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer:  What I really love about this series is that the author takes Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel and totally gives them a science fiction make-over!  And yes, these would be great books for guys too (ignore the shoe) because there is no simpering princess.  Cinder is actually part alien, part cyborg and is in way over her head.  Scarlet just wants to find out what happened to her grandmother but runs into a whole organization of wolves.  And Cress is just a lost girl who happens to be a genius hacker.  I’m excited to see where the next book takes the characters!

stupidperfectworldStupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfeld is actually a short story eBook, but I am hoping it might expand to more.  In this future world, kids are required to take a Scarcity class that teaches them about how things use to be.  For a final project, everyone in the class most pick an ancient hardship that is no longer in existence, like getting a cold or not using advanced transportation.  Maria decides to experience hormones as a teenager by stopping her hormone treatment and Kieran picks sleeping 8 hours a night, because really, it couldn’t be that bad, right?

 

 

 


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New Year, New Teen Books

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

firefightAfter a lack of really super great teen reads last year, I am looking forward to 2015 books!  My favorite book of 2013 was Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson so I am THRILLED that the sequel, Firefight, is out!  I actually re-read Steelheart so I am really excited to see where the next book takes us.  I feel like it might be a different type of book since there were some great reveals at the end of the first book which should change the way the main character, David, and the Reckoners function as a team.darkestpart

Another book that should be on everyone’s reading list is Holly Black’s The Darkest Part of The Forest.  This beautifully crafted book just came out and really showcases how great Holly Black is at world building.  Siblings Hazel and Ben are just so different and how they interact with each and the boy who sleeps in the glass coffin feels so real.  The book reads like a fairy tale but features a strong female, Hazel, as a knight.  Plus the cover is gorgeous!

 

 


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Children’s Author Norman Bridwell Died Last Friday

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

normanbridwell

The well-loved children’s author and illustrator, Norman Bridwell, has died at the age of 86. Of course, Norman Bridwell’s most memorable character is Clifford the Big Red Dog. Clifford was introduced in 1963 and has over 150 titles as well as an animated television series.

There will be two new titles released in 2015, Clifford Goes to Kindergarten and Clifford Celebrates Hanukkah.

 


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Author Kent Haruf Died Over The Weekend

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

kent-haruf

Author Kent Haruf died Sunday at the age of 71.  His last novel, “Our Souls at Night,” will be published next year.  Kent Haruf wrote novels set in the quiet fictional town of Holt, Colorado. This includes Plainsong, which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

 


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Author P.D. James Died Last Week

Friday, December 5th, 2014

pdjames

Well-known author P.D. James died last week Thursday at her home in England at the age of 94.  P.D. James wrote mysteries beloved by many readers, including her last book Death Comes to Pemberley in 2013 which paid homage to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

 


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Spooky Views for the Squeamish

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

ghostbustersOctober is the perfect time to pull out some of your favorite spooky movies and spend quality time cuddled under a warm blanket while the wind chases leaves around the yard.  But some of us have to draw the line at watching movies that make each leaf tap on the window sound like a creepy crawly coming to get us!  So here are a few DVDs that you can enjoy that still are spooky but probably will not keep you up at night!

Ghostbusters – (rated PG) Okay, so this one is listed as a Comedy, but it is the perfect creepy movie that isn’t too much for the squeamish.  Because seriously, that possession bit freaks me out, but I really enjoy the ghost hunting and humor!

warm-bodiesThe Sixth Sense – (rated PG-13)  Haley Joel Osment was such a adorable kid and he played the young boy in this movie to perfection.  But a certain pivotal scene (no spoilers) really sends a shiver down my spine.

Warm Bodies – (rated PG-13) Zombies; yep a sure way to make me stop watching, but really MOST of these zombies are not that bad!  This one really does have some finer points, so if the zombies have turned you off from it, give this one a second chance.

Race to Witch Mountain – (rated PG) Now we are moving on to aliens and lots of car chases.  Really low spooky levels but still a good one for October.

Nightmare-Before-ChristmasThe Nightmare before Christmas – (rated PG) Some of those animated characters are very freaky and overall it has a creepy storyline.  Jack representing Christmas?  That’s enough to give us all shivers!  But it is animated so really no need to hide under the covers.

Dark Shadows – (rated PG-13) Now vampires are another on the “really don’t want to watch” list, but this vampire, played by Johnny Depp, isn’t a typical vampire.  Yes, there are some gross things, but not that much, so grab that popcorn and blanket and watch some movies!

 


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