Saturday, December 31, 2011

December Carnival of Children's Literature

The December Carnival of Children's Literature is up!

I hope you'll all take a moment to check it out at the Jean Little Library's blog.
That's the blog of --Jennifer Wharton
Youth Services Librarian
Matheson Memorial Library

Friday, December 30, 2011

Research or Plagiarism?

Is it research or plagiarism?
Nancy Sanders in her book,
Yes!  You Can Build a Successful Writing Career, says:
"The general rule of thumb is to use three resources for each fact you state in your manuscript. 
A rule to remember is:  If you just use one source, it's called plagiarism.  If you use three sources, it's called research."
Do check out her blog, called Blogzone. There's a link to it on her website! It's full of good advice -- currently she's doing a series about internet marketing.

Another nonfiction writer reminded me that even three sources can be reporting the same erroneous fact. She advises people to research deeper, as close to primary sources as possible -- and avoid using quotes from sources of questionable reliability, like Wikipedia.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

100 Magnificent Books

Here's your reading assignment for the rest of the year. (It's going to take me part of next year, too.)

The 100 best books of 2011 according to Betsy Bird at her blog, A Fuse #8 Production.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Books, books, books, and Festivus, too

No need for me to write a post today -- too busy with Christmas cooking. (pies/ cookies/ etc., etc., etc.) What kind of pie? Pumpkin, of course.

So rush on over the MotherReader and catch up on all her holiday ideas.
How to wrap a book.
Recommended book gifts.  (yes, you still have time)
The Airing of the Grievances

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy what?

Happy Holidays
Happy Festivas
Merrie Christmas
Happy Hanukkah (spelling optional)
(you don't pronounce the CH, so why write it?)
Happy Solstice
Happy Yule

Happy Whatever beginning-of-winter festival you celebrate.

Oh, and do check out GOOGLE today and enjoy the flashing lights and the song.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fun with Science

Science Writer, Claire Earner wrote:
 A bunch of Canadian kids' science writers have a blog called Sci-Why. It currently features a holiday quiz and book give-away. To play, promote, or just have fun, click on the link.
Happy Holidays, everyone!
Claire Eamer

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thought for the Day -- Definition of a Human Being

The science fiction author Robert Heinlein once said 
"A human being should be able to -- 
change a diaper, 
plan an invasion, 
butcher a hog, 
conn a ship, 
design a building, 
write a sonnet, 
balance accounts, 
build a wall, 
set a bone, 
comfort the dying, 
take orders,    give orders, 
cooperate,    act alone,
solve equations, 
analyze a new problem, 
pitch manure, 
program a computer, 
cook a tasty meal,
 fight efficiently, 
die gallantly. 

Specialization is for insects."

How many of these can YOU do?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas tree is up!

With the help of the 12-year old and her friends, our Christmas tree is up, a week before Christmas. In the traditional place -- in front of the window.  It's always the main and usually the only house decoration people can see from the road.  It's too difficult to put lights on a 17th century stone building, so we don't bother.

(the tree in this illustration isn't ours.  It's a generic one borrowed from the internet.)

On the other hand, we could have put up a tree like this one (below), considering all the books we have in our house:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Activate your Story!

Agent Jill Corcoran gives wonderful advice on her blog.

Last year one of her posts talked about your book's beginning chapter. She says, "I have been doing a lot of first 10 pages critiques lately, and I find myself writing…START YOUR STORY and ACTIVATE YOUR STORY on almost 100% of the manuscripts. Choosing where to start you story is so very important in grabbing your reader and willing him to keep reading, captivating him so he cannot put your book down."
To read more of this blog entry, click here on Jill Corcoran Books.  

To read her latest blog entries, click here.  
Don't be dismayed by her advertising the publication of her authors' new books, there's also a lot of great writing advice in between the book notices.  (and you might find leads to books you might want to read. I did.)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Interested in Graphic Novels? This Webinar might be of Interest


Graphic Novels and Tween Readers - Dec. 15 2pm Eastern

Searching for age-appropriate graphic novels for the your tween readers? Don’t miss YALSA’s webinar, Graphic Novels and Tween Readers presented by Robin Brenner.

Brenner will discuss publisher age ratings and how the savvy librarian and library worker can demystify the variety of ratings that exist. She will also touch on where to shelve graphic novels in a library’s collection. Participants will receive a core list of available tween graphic novels as well as some up and coming titles.

Webinars cost $39 for individual YALSA members, $29 for students and $49 for all other individuals. Register here:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

See the Newbery/ Caldecott Award Announcements Live!

Catch the Youth Media Awards

ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas!Live from the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, Texas, it's the 2012 Youth Media Awards! On Monday, January 23 at 7:45 AM CT, the American Library Association gathers together to give out the most prestigeous awards in youth media including the coveted Newbery and Caldecott Medals. You have a front-row seat waiting! ALA will stream the awards live online.

Also, you can follow all of the news and events at Midwinter ALA via the ALSC Blog. The Association of Librarians who Serve Children staff will be live-blogging the conference between January 20 - 24, 2012.
You can visit the ALSC Blog right now by just clicking on that link.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Students Respond to Picture Book Biographies

At the blog, Words Not Taken, Author and elementary school teacher, Bruce Frost, is using Picture Book Biographies in his 4th grade classroom.So far they have only examined one: Wilma Unlimited, by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by David Diaz, but do check back to see what they think of others.

(Dare I hope that he'll use my Wright Brothers' book?  Other classes have.)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The last Packet of Writing (for this year)

Packet 5 is SENT!
My second semester at Vermont College of Fine Arts Writing for Children and Young Adults is done.
Done, done, done.
(except for the end of semester reports, but that's no problem.)

This has been a wonderful, eye-opening experience, this learning to write fiction. It's so very different from writing nonfiction. Writing wonderfully descriptive passages? No problem. Nonfiction writers are good at that.

On the other hand, creating a personality who is pursuing a goal and staying inside that person's head, feeling/ showing his reactions to events, etc. That's hard. (I tend to pull out into omnipotent view too often.)
Being too nice to your hero -- easy.
Putting your hero up a tree and throwing apples at him -- hard.

I could go on, but it's been an exhausting two semesters and I'm going to take a small break, now.

What did you learn you could or couldn't do when you began writing fiction?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Katherine Paterson to Speak Today

I have no idea how these phone in things work -- but you could try it:

Authors Guild announces two-week preview of its Booktalk Nation initiative to support traditional booksellers

Children’s book author Katherine Paterson, selected by the Library of Congress as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, will answer questions from writer Tanya Lee Stone at 7 p.m. tonight in a live, national, phone-in event hosted by the Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne, Vermont. Readers can sign up for the call at
A two-time winner of the prestigious Newbery Medal and the National Book Award, Paterson is the author of more than 30 books, which include contemporary and historical fiction, in settings that range from realistic to fantastical. She is best known for Bridge to Terabithia.
Paterson’s latest title, The Flint Heart, is a retelling of the 1910 fairy tale of the same name by Eden Phillpotts. Paterson’s husband, John, first tried to get publishers to bring the original back into print. But Phillpotts’s style was deemed too long-winded for modern audience, so husband and wife collaborated on a new version, picking up the pace but preserving Phillpotts’s plot, characters and tone.
“It still has that sort of old-fashioned voice,” said Paterson “It’s a charming voice; it’s a storyteller’s voice.”
In the book, a Stone Age man demands a talisman that will harden his heart so he can rule his tribe. The tribe’s magic man creates the Flint Heart, which leads to the destruction of the tribe. Thousands of years later, the Flint Heart reemerges, threatening to cause trouble all over again.
Readers from across the country can order personally-inscribed books including Paterson’s The Flint Heart, Bridge to Terabithia, Brother Sun, Sister Moon, and The Great Gilly Hopkins through The Flying Pig Bookstore will fulfill the orders after Paterson inscribes the books next week.
Booktalk Nation is a new series of phone-in author interviews sponsored by the Authors Guild, which seeks to support traditional, physical booksellers and highlight the key role they play in promoting a vibrant literary culture. Each talk in the series will be hosted by a local bookstore with ties to the featured author. The Guild is previewing the service over the next two weeks and will formally launch it in January. A few additional events for the two-week preview will be announced on Monday, along with more details on the program.
“I just hope everybody will support their independent bookstores,” said Paterson, who lives in Vermont. She said she was eager to participate because she’s seen first-hand how knowledgeable, committed booksellers help readers find just the right book.
Feel free to forward, post, or tweet.  Here is a short URL for linking:

Monday, November 28, 2011

November's Carnival of Children's Literature

Every month one of the Children's Lit bloggers hosts a roundup of the best blog offerings for the month and calls it the Carnival of Children's Literature.

Today the Carnival of Children's Literature is at Wrapped in Foil.
Click on over and enjoy.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Handling Social Media when you have Too Much To Do

Here's an interesting article about writers using Social Media for the best effect,
It's a post by Darcy Pattison called, "Emily Dickinson Would Have Tweeted!"

Networking and keeping up with friends takes time. People, especially writers, have done this for ages -- only the media we use has changed.  Many 18th Century writers scheduled time to write letters, a half a day or more.  It just takes time. You have to find the balance between the need for marketing and networking and the passion for creating.

One way to keep up is to use places that gather links, like  or  which lists blogs.

Thanks to Darcy Pattison for all these ideas.  And check out the writing resources she has collected by clicking on the links to the right of her Emily Dickinson article.

Back to preparing that turkey and trimmings.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

RIP Anne McCaffrey

Here's a note about one of my favorite authors, from her son, Todd:

At about 5 p.m. Monday November 21st, 2011, Anne McCaffrey passed away. 
Mum was getting ready to go back to the hospital because she was feeling "puny" and collapsed while she was moving into her wheelchair. Her daughter, Georgeanne Kennedy, and son-in-law, Geoffrey Kennedy were with her. She was in no pain and it was over in an instant. 

She first had a heart attack in late 2000 and a stroke in 2001, so we were well-prepared and knew that we were on "golden time" with Mum these past ten years and more. She leaves behind an incredible legacy of marvelous books and a huge legion of fans. She won practically every major award in available to authors of science fiction and fantasy, including both Hugo and Nebula Awards, the American Library Association's Margaret A. Edwards award for Lifetime Literary achievement in Young Adult fiction, was an inductee into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and was a SFWA Nebula Grandmaster. 

She was also a great cook, magnificent mother, doting grandmother, ardent quilter, knitter, bridge player, horsewoman, fencer, actress, singer, and all-around nice person. 
We are blessed to have known her, just as we are blessed with the knowledge that she has touched so many lives and made such huge changes in them. Mum always said, "Don't just pay back a favor -- pass it on!" 

In light of that spirit, we ask that, instead of condolences or flowers, that commemorators make a donation to their favorite charity. 
We know that we haven't lost Mum -- that she has truly passed on her legacy of love and honor to all those who were touched by her -- and that we have only to open one of her books to find her again. Rest well, Mum, you've earned it!

Fun Ways to give Books for the Holidays

Pam Coughlan, over at Mother Reader, has collected not 100, but 150 ways to give a book as a gift this holiday season.  Click on over and check out all her great ideas.  She has combined MotherReader- approved titles with toys, trinkets, ideas, and various little extras to make gift-giving fun.

Also more suggestions by Susan Stephenson can be found at the Book Chook.
Enjoy.   -wo

Monday, November 21, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday can be found at Books Together blog today.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is at Playing by the Book blog today.
Click on over and enjoy while I figure out what I want to write in the essay for Packet 5.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Counting the days until the National Book Awards

I'm getting more and more excited about the happenings next week.

Hey everybody.  set your browser for the homepage of the National Book Award on Wednesday evening to listen to/ watch the webcast of the event!
It's at 8 pm Eastern Standard Time, but I'd suggest that you get online at least 15 minutes before that.

Actor/ author/ musician John Lithgow will host the event.
(I LOVE John Lithgow.  I've used his picture books and CDs in storytime. What fun!)

And several writer friends of mine are finalists for the Young People's Literature Award:
Franny Billingsley ("Chime") 
Debby Dahl Edwardson ("My Name Is Not Easy"), 
Thanhha Lai ("Inside Out and Back Again"), 
Albert Marrin ("Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy"), 
Gary D. Schmidt ("Okay for Now")

Ummm, one of them looks like a nonfiction book. Great! Is this the first time a nonfiction book has been up for this award?

Have you read any of these books, yet?  
Most of them are also probably being discussed for the Newbery Award. (to be announced in January)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What kind of Hershey's Chocolate are you?

I'm a cross between a Mr. Goodbar and Hershey's Special Dark.

Check out the Hershey's Miniature's Personality Indicator to see what kind of chocolate YOU are.
(thanks to David Elzey at Fomagrams for the link.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why Picture Books are Important

Why Picture Books Are Important,
And Why They Are for Everyone
(A guest post by picture book author and all around great guy,  Rick Walton )

Picture books are often seen as literary baby food, the stuff we feed children until they have the teeth to eat real food.

I would argue, however, that picture books are not baby food. They are not just for young children.

In fact, I would argue that picture books are perhaps the most important literary format that we have.

Here are 10 reasons why I believe this:

1. They are the first books that children fall in love with, that turn children into lifetime readers. Lifetime readers become lifetime learners. Lifetime learners become lifetime contributors.

2. Picture book language is often more sophisticated than the first chapter books that children read, and therefore an excellent way for children to learn language. It is here that children, and others, can learn vocabulary, imagery, rhythm, shape, structure, conciseness, emotional power.

3. The picture book is the most flexible of all literary formats. You can do almost anything in a picture book. This flexibility encourages creativity, in both writer and reader. It broadens the mind, and the imagination. And given today's challenges, we desperately need more creativity, broadened minds. Imagination.

4. The picture book, with its interaction between text and illustration , with its appeal that the reader analyze that interaction, helps develop visual intelligence. It helps us look for meaning in the visual. And since most of us are surrounded by, and inundated by visual images our whole lives, visual intelligence is an important skill.

5. Some of the best art being created today is found in picture books. Picture books are a great resource for art education.

6. The picture book appeals to more learning styles than any other format. It is read out loud for audible learners. It is written and illustrated for visual learners. It often asks you to interact with it physically for kinesthetic learners.

7. In fact, the picture book, of all formats, is probably the best format for teaching an idea, getting across a point. Because picture books are short, all messages, knowledge, ideas expressed in a picture book must be boiled down to their essence. They must be presented in a way that is impossible to misunderstand. If you want to learn a difficult subject, start with a picture book. If you want to express a powerful message, a picture book is one of the most powerful media for doing so. Many middle, upper grade, and even college instructors have recognized the value of using picture books in their teaching.

8. The picture book does more than any other literary format for bonding people one with another. As a child sits on a lap and is read to, as a parent, a grand parent, a teacher, a librarian reads to a child, extremely important connections are made, bonds are formed, generations are brought together.

9. The picture book also has the broadest possible age range of audience. Few four-year-olds will appreciate a novel. But many grandparents enjoy a good picture book. I have read picture books for upwards of an hour to groups including toddlers, teens, parents and grandparents, where all were engaged.

10. The picture book is short, and can fit easily into the nooks and crannies of our lives. Five minutes here, 10 minutes there, plenty of time for a complete literary experience.

Picture books are poetry, adventure, imagination, language, interaction, precision, and so much more.

Picture books are not books that children should be encouraged to "graduate" from.

For picture books have something important to say, to give, to all ages, all generations.

Picture books are not just books for young children.

They are books for everybody.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November is National Picture Book Month

Here's a press release I just received, and as a picture book writer, I highly endorse:

*Authors and Illustrators Team to Create Picture Book Month*


"I have always believed that literature begins in the cradle -- the poems we say to the babies, the stories we tell them -- prepare them to become part of the great human storytelling community. We humans are the only creatures in the known universe who make and remake our world with story."
--Jane Yolen from her Picture Book Month essay

The New York Times declared, "Picture Books No Longer A Staple for Children" in an article published in October 2010. The controversial article incited a barrage of responses from the children‚s book industry, many in defense of the venerable picture book. In addition, the digital age has ushered in an unprecedented amount of ebooks and, with devices like the
iPad, the color Nook, and the Kindle Fire, picture books are being converted to the digital format.

Thus, Picture Book Month was born. Founder Dianne de Las Casas decided it was time to celebrate picture books in their printed format so she created an initiative to designate November as "Picture Book Month."

Katie Davis, Elizabeth Dulemba, Tara Lazar, and Wendy Martin came on board to champion the cause and spread the word. A logo was designed by Joyce Wan. A website was created to feature essays from "Picture Book Champions," thought leaders in the children's literature
community. Each day in November, a new essay will be posted from such notable contributors as Suzanne Bloom, Peter Brown, Jarrett Krosoczka, Leslie Helakoski, Eric A. Kimmel, Tammi Sauer, Dan Yaccarino, and Jane Yolen.

Better World Books and organizations like Scholastic Book Fairs Philippines are lending their support. The website will also feature links to picture book resources, authors, illustrators, and kidlit book bloggers. In addition, parents, educators, and librarians can download the theme calendar to help them plan their picture book celebrations and access
picture book activities.

Join the celebration! Visit
The website officially opens on November 1, 2011.

"Picture books are important because they are with us for life. They are the most important books we'll ever read because they're our first. No matter how many books we've read since, they will always have a place in our hearts." 
--Dan Yaccarino from his Picture Book Month Essay. 

*Read ***** Share *** **Celebrate!*

November is Picture Book Month
Join the picture book party. Read * Share * Celebrate!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

numbers !

Today is

11 / 1/  11

National Book Awards Teen Press Conference Live!

If you'd like to see the National Book Awards Teen Press Conference Live!
on Tuesday, November 15th at 12:30 pm, streaming live from Scholastic in New York City, click on the link for more information and to register.
All five of the Young People's Award finalists will be reading from their books and fielding questions.

(This is 9:30 am Pacific time and  8:30 am Alaska time)

Why do I mention the time in Alaska?  Because it was Debby Dahl Edwardson, the author of My Name is not Easy (one of the finalist books) who sent me this tidbit and she lives in Alaska.
(Oh, that last link it to the book trailer for her book.)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Someone likes Halloween

I'm always excited when Google sends me a notice about my books.  Today, the blog for the Everett Public Library, in Washington State, reviewed their favorite Halloween books -- and mine is right up there, jokes and all!  Hurrah!  Go read their blog to see the other wonderful Halloween books they chose to feature.  -wo

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Writer's Block?

What if you sat down to write and discovered you had nothing to say? Big-Time Writer's Block.

Tim Wynne-Jones contemplates Writer's Block at the Vermont College of Fine Arts Writing for Children and Young Adults's blog, Write At Your Own Risk.
Click on over and enjoy, while I go back to working on my own work-in-progress.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Five years

Five years ago today, my husband smoked his last cigarette.
(we celebrate the small victories.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

The end of the world?

Today is supposed to be the end of the world?
I don't think so.
I don't have time for that.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

There's nothing cuter than a kid in a pumpkin patch, especially if it's your grandson.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Interview with a National Book Award finalist

Great interview with one of the National Book Award finalists in the Young People's Category.  (I refuse to call it the Children's Book category because they so seldom nominate any books for children of elementary school age for this award. -- They mainly nominate Young Adult and Middle School books.)

Debby Dahl Edwardson's new book nominated for the prize is  My Name is Not Easy.
She was interviewed by  on her blog, Writing with a Broken Tusk.

DEBBY DAHL EDWARDSON lives in Barrow, Alaska. Her first book, Blessing’s Bead, was a Booklist Top 10 First Novel for Youth, and a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection. For more information please visit Debby’s website. 

Here is a list of all the finalists.
The winner of the award will be announced on November 16th at a huge Gala event with all the finalists invited.

Franny Billingsley ("Chime") 
Debby Dahl Edwardson ("My Name Is Not Easy"), 
Thanhha Lai ("Inside Out and Back Again"), 
Albert Marrin ("Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy"), 
Lauren Myracle ("Shine") 
Gary D. Schmidt ("Okay for Now")

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Guess who came to dinner?

Guess what showed up in our dining room, yesterday?
An Eastern Hognose Snake!
It's now living down the hill in the rock pile.  Me?  I would have taken it several miles away to Gunpowder State park, but my hubby says he likes wildlife around.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Nonfiction Monday -- The Halloween Book of Facts and Fun

Despite the weather not feeling like autumn yet, (we're in the midst of Indian Summer and will reach the 80s here in Maryland today), thousands of people took advantage of the great weekend to get to their local pumpkin place (Weber's Farm) to walk the hay or corn maze, make scarecrows and buy pumpkins, apple cider, and fall decorations.

Hundreds of thousands attended Renaissance Festivals, watched shows, rode the elephant, cheered for England or Scotland at the Joust, ate food on a stick, paid to have experts put henna designs on their hands and arms (the 11-year-old wanted a dragon, again), and bought beautiful Halloween costumes. (People were still lined up for miles to get in as we left the place at 3:30 pm on Saturday.)

Although some were there just for the food and the fun, many were planning ahead to October 31 -- Halloween.

If you've been to your local library or bookstore, you'll notice displays of Halloween books set out for you to pick up. One of those books is The Halloween Book of Facts and Fun by Wendie Old (me), illustrated by Paige Billin=Frye.  Park Ridge: Illinois: Albert Whitman & Company, 2007. (available in paperback as well as hardback, and soon to be an e-book!)

Here you'll find a history of the holiday, fun facts, some halloween stories, and plans for a children's Halloween party. I LOVE the cat on the cover, don't you? Especially the way his tail curves around the moon.  (later I might tell you the story behind this wonderful cover.) And the illustrations inside are not scary at all -- not even the one where Frankenstein and Dracula are sitting side by side near a cozy fire, reading each other's book.  (Fun Fact -- did you know that there actually is a Count Dracula?  And that he runs the Red Cross blood bank in his country?)

Have fun this month. Go to your local pumpkin patch, take a hay ride. Attend the Renaissance Festival closest to you.  Enjoy these lovely autumn days.

The Nonfiction Monday list of links is located at Practically Paradise today. -wo

Friday, October 7, 2011


Friday, already?
I've been too busy writing this week to even notice that the rain has stopped and the sun has been shining for the past two days. But Packet 3 has now been sent to my advisor and I have a day or two to lift up my head, look around and notice the house cleaning and fall clothing shopping that needs to be done. (For the 11-year-old who has outgrown a lot of last year's clothes, not for me.)

I've never done Free writing before, so this semester has been full of new experiences for me. I've heard that interesting things about your character will come out in Free writing and you know what?  It's true. While I'm waiting for my Advisor's response to Packet 3, I think I might indulge in some more free writing about one or two of the minor characters. I'd like to add more humor to this book and maybe this other character can do this. He certainly puts stress on the main character and maybe these stress points could also be funny.  We. Shall. See.  -wo

Monday, October 3, 2011

Nonfiction can be Funny

Today is Nonfiction Monday and lucky for you, Laurie Thompson has collected a nice list of humorous nonfiction books for your enjoyment on her blog:

* Just the Right Size, Extreme Animals (and others) by Nicola Davies
* How to Get Organized Without Losing It by Janet S. Fox
* How To Do Homework Without Throwing Up by Trevor Romain
* Manners Mash-Up: A Goofy Guide to Good Behavior by Tedd Arnold and others
* What To Do About Alice by Barbara Kerley
* The Basher books (Physics, Periodic Table, Math, etc.) by Simon Basher
* Kathleen Krull's Lives of the... series 
* You Wouldn't Have Wanted To Be A... series
* Magic School Bus (faction)
* Fingers, FOrks, & Chopsticks by Patricia Lauber 
* Poop Happened by Sarah Albee
* Americapedia by Jodi Lynn Anderson, Daniel Ehrenhaft, Andisheh Nouraee 
* How They Croaked by Georgia Bragg 
* Bugs and Bugsicles: Insects in the Winter by Amy Hansen
* What to Expect When You're Expecting... series by Bridget Heos
* It's Spit-acular: The Secrets of Saliva by Melissa Stewart 
* The Truth About Poop by Susan E. Goodman
* Gee Whiz by Susan E. Goodman
* See How They Run by Susan E. Goodman
* Fartiste by Kathleen Krull
* Do Pigs Have Stripes? by Melanie Walsh
* What's So Funny? Making Sense of Humor by Donna M. Jackson

Have fun reading! :)
- Laurie

Laurie Thompson, Children's Book Author
Co-Regional Advisor, SCBWI Western WA
Her blog is here

And the Nonfiction Monday gathering of links is at 100 Scope Notes.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Books Boys Love to Read

If you are looking for some Middle Grade (upper Elementary and lower Middle School) books for boys, Michelle Skamene suggests you simply click on over to the Reading Rewards Blog part 1 and Reading Rewards Blog part 2.  
For even more suggestions, there's a whole blog dedicated to boys reading over at Guys Read.

Added later:
The  blog for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg library system called Boys Rule Boys Read focuses on boys.  As does another blog --  Boys Rock Boys Read. That blog has a column of Most Popular Posts and the first one is Books Every Guy Should Read.
Have fun.  -wo

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Carnival of Children's Literature

Once a month a selection of the best blog posts in the Kidlithosphere (people who blog about Children's Books -- either writing or reviewing them) is collected in one person's blog.  This month's Carnival of Children's Literature is located at the blog, Texas Librarian.
Click on over and enjoy.  -wo

Monday, September 26, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

I'm busy right now working on a new form of Critical Essay for my writing class, so there won't be a new Nonfiction Monday review here today.  However there are lots of interesting ones out there in the blogosphere.  Check out the links at True Tales & a Cherry on Top.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Blog -- Smack Dab in the Middle

Found a new blog by some Middle Grade children's book writers called, Smack Dab in the Middle. Contributors to this blog include:

Interesting, I think when I copied their names, the link to their websites came up.  I see several of the 11-year-old's favorite authors here.  Check them out.  

(added later)
Here's how they describe their blog and website:


We're a group of middle grade authors banding together to discuss our books and writing for kids. 

The publishing world has seen its share of changes recently (the closing of Borders, etc.), and in September, we'll be blogging about those changes, about where we think the industry is headed, and about how those recent changes are / aren't altering any of our writing or publicity strategies...Unless, of course, inspiration strikes, and we head off on a separate tangent...Which, let's face it, could very well happen. We're writers, after all...You can find a sampling of our work under "Smack Dab Books." For a full line-up of each author's books, check out our websites (below).

We also blog about publishing news, offer guest posts and interviews, and invite you to ask us questions about the writing process. 


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Reading, Researching, Writing

Such is the life I lead now:

Reading, reading, reading. 
Found the book I need for a critical essay.
 Began essay. 
Checked reviews of the book only to discover it's the sequel of another book. Darn. Can't use it because I need a stand-alone book.
 Back to the library. Checked out four more. 
Reading, reading, reading.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Nonfiction Monday -- My Plate and You

I haven't had any boxes of books from publishers in so long, but today what should appear on my back porch -- but books from Capstone Press!  An abundance of riches!  Which should I read first?  The pattern book from the math series? Volcano Explorers from their Landform Adventures series? Or the new nutrition book.

That's the one. (I can't turn down things about food.)
Take a look at My Plate and You by Gillia M. Olson, part of the Health and Your Body series. (illustrated by photographs)  Available now.

Unless are living under a rock, OR you don't have children, you probably have heard that the food pyramid  ( a representation of what you should eat and how much) has been replaced by MY PLATE.  What the heck is MY PLATE?  Well, right there on the first double page spread is a child on a computer looking at the website  If kids and adults go to that website, all will become clear.

The plate is divided into separate portions of fruits, grains, vegetables, and protein, with a separate circle indicating dairy right where you would place your glass or cup.  No sign of fats on this plate. Vegetables and grains are about the same size and both are larger than fruits or protein. (they don't call it meat, anymore)

With two or three easy reading sentences on each page, on separate double-page spreads, the book then looks further into each portion, talking about why a person should eat this stuff.

Ah, then the book has a spread about fats and sugars -- showing no fat, but a boy drinking a sugared drink sorta like Kool-Aid, or Bug Juice as we called it at summer camp. Shouldn't they exercise?  Didn't the previous food pyramid have exercize as part of a daily routine?  Yes, and this book folds that into the discussion, too.

Fun Facts!  Do you know that popcorn is considered a grain?  (well, we do but I bet lots of kids don't.) The average person drinks about 23 gallons of milk each year.  (not me. I can't drink milk.)

Glossary, Read More (three books listed, one of them from Capstone), Internet sites directed by the ever present Capstone Fact Hound, plus an index.

More Nonfiction Monday posts can be found at Tales from the Rushmore Kid.  Have fun looking at these blog links and please leave comments.  Sometimes comments are the only way a blogger knows that anyone is reading their blog.   -wo

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Will e-books replace print books?

If you have been on one side or the other of the PRINT IS DEAD argument, you'll find this article by Seanan McGuire to be food for thought. Click on over to Across the Digital Divide and look at the discussion from the viewpoint of about 20% of Americans -- and a heck of a lot more people in other countries.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Can Celebrities write Good Children's Books?

Here's a great discussion in Atlantic Magazine by excellent children's book writers about celebrities who try to write for children. 
Some celebrities work hard at their writing skills and succeed. 
Some fail.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Walking to school

My husband likes to tease the grandchildren by bragging he had to walk miles to school, uphill both ways, but these children are actually doing it!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

On the other hand, something to cheer you up

I hated church today.  I hate crying in public and every mention of 9-11 does that.  So, it was a relief to see Cake Wreck's offering for today -- cakes to help you to Be of Good Cheer.
Enjoy.  And if you actually have seen one of these cakes in person, I'm jealous.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Memories of 9-11

Lisa Yee asked on Facebook, "Where were you on 9-11?"
(people don't even have to mention the year -- but just in case you've been living in a cave, it was 9-11-01)
(and if you like numbers -- today is 9 - 10 - 11.  I Love it.)

This was my reply:
I was at home getting ready for work.
Since I wasn't due in for a couple of hours, I watched the TODAY show. A few minutes before they were to sign off for the east coast watchers, Mat Lauer double tapped his earpiece, as if he thought something was wrong with it. Then he announced that something was happening.
An accident.

Flash to the first tower just after it was hit. They held the show over the 9:00 hour, just talking about it wondering how such a thing could happen -- and they actually filmed the second plane hitting the second tower.

(this is now available on YouTube)  In fact, several similar videos are available there.

I immediately called my workplace and told them they needed to pull out the TV, put it in the public area and Watch, as this event was played over and over.
Then we heard about the plane crashing into the Pentagon, then the news of a plane down in PA.

For the rest of the day, for the rest of the week, for the rest of the year, we waited for the other shoe to drop.
What would  happen  next?
 I don' know about you, but I became a news-addict.
Where were you?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Packet 2 -- Sent

Busy, busy, busy the last few weeks writing and revising things for Packet 2.
I just sent it to my advisor.
I plan to take the weekend off.  Relax. ...
Who am I kidding?

 I have 2 meetings tomorrow and now have time to raise my head from my computer long enough to do a little housecleaning, family activities, and shopping.  Oh yes, shopping. Fall doth approach and the 11-year-old won't stop growing. She probably needs all new fall and winter clothing, because her shape has also gotten more "shapely" if you know what I mean.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gingerbread Cowboy news

Other Book News:
The Gingerbread Cowboy Anniversary Blog Blow Out begins today with the debut of the new Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer created by the incomparable Tina Nichols Coury and debuted at Tales of the Rushmore Kid .

She says:
To celebrate The Gingerbread Cowboy's Fifth Anniversary, I have something special for readers:

I will select one name at random from people who comment on any blog tour post to receive a $50 dollar gift certificate to OutWest Marketing, an online store for shoppers who are wild about the west. The Gift certificate will be good for 60 days and include a 10% discount and free shipping so be sure to leave your email contact information at the blog, Tales of the Rushmore Kid.