Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

It's that time of year.
When masked kids pound on your doors demanding ransom, preferably the candy kind.
Are you ready?

Since we moved to a condo last year, I bought a bag of 100 candies to give out -- expecting a huge amount of trick-and-treaters.  NOBODY showed up.  (we donated the candy to my grandkid's school who sends extra Halloween candy to servicemen oversees.)

This year I wasn't going to buy any candy -- but I broke down yesterday and bought some. (types that I like to eat, naturally.  If there are leftovers, at least I'll enjoy them.)

The grandkid is planning to go out with a bunch of friends -- safety in numbers.

What are your plans?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween is coming

It's getting closer.  That time of year when you can pretend to be somebody/ something else and get rewarded by candy.  And have parties.  (Can't forget the parties.)

(picture courtesy of I am invited to a party!  by Mo Willems)

What will be your costume this year?

Whatever it is -- Have fun!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Why did you Weed that book from the Library?

I know many people are confused about library practices -- especially when they find perfectly good books being sold at a library book sale.  Why would the librarian remove that book from the library?
(My usual explanation is that new books are arriving every week and if an older book has out-of-date information or is worn out or nobody has checked it out for a few years, then it needs to be replaced to make room for the wonderful new books.)

Well, here's a great article by a Young Adult librarian at the blog Stacked explaining the Art of Weeding -- What her teens are not reading. And why.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Researching the details

Over at the YA Sisterhood: Fall into Fantasy Blog Tour, Kristin Cashore has written an excellent post about writing fantasy and actually, about questions that most writers ask themselves as they write.

You know that nonfiction writers have to do lots of research to find the facts they write about.
Did you know that even fiction and fantasy writers research the details they put into their books?  They don't just 'make everything up,' they search around to find the most logical way something could happen.

How heavy is carrying enough rope to rescue a person -- and -- can you wrap that much rope around yourself to hide the fact that you are carrying rope?
How do you disguise a boat you want to use to sneak up on people -- to make the boat invisible? Should it involve mirrors?

Just check out how Kristin Cashore solved these problems for her book, Bitterblue.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Nonfiction Monday

Just a note reminding you that Nonfiction Monday is over at Shelf-Employed this week, and she starts it off with a time-travel book.
So step into the Way-Back machine and find yourself visiting the American Colonies before the War for Independence:  Ick! Yuck! Eew! Our Gross American History.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Time to nominate your favorite books for the CYBIL Awards

It's that time of year again! 
The public nomination period for this year's CYBIL Awards (Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards, now in their 8th year) is now through Oct 15th. You may nominate one book in each of the many categories.

How the Cybils work:

Any children's or YA book published in the U.S. between 10/15/2012 and 10/15/2013 (first U.S. publication only, not reprints) is eligible for nomination. This includes self-published books. Click on this link for the Cybils nomination site to find where to nominate books.

First-round panelists will read ALL nominated books and compile a shortlist in each category. These shortlists are valuable tools for librarians and parents. (You may view past shortlists on the Cybils website.)

In January, second-round panelists will choose one winner from the shortlisted books in each category.

Since all Cybils judges are bloggers, there will be many reviews and social media discussion of nominated books along the way. That's why just being nominated can be a boost to your book: you know a team of bloggers will be reading it!

After the Oct 15 deadline, there will be a small window of time during which authors and publishers may nominate their own books.

What are your favorite 2013 books? (Or late 2012.) 

Don't be shy!
 Let's get those books in front of these smart, experienced readers' eyes!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Kelly's Curiosities are LIVE

Oh my, here's a Sunday Treat for you.
Just keep checking out Kelly's Curiosities -- online videos where Kelly Milner Halls talks about amazing, weird subjects.  This time she talks about a Pig that Saves Lives, and calls it, Lulu the Hero Pig.

Her first video is -- Is that a space rock in your gold medal?
Oh my. Did you know that Russia is putting pieces of that meteorite that exploded over their land last year into the 2014 Olympic Medals? Check it out.

There's a new one now, all about Dinosaur Poop.
All of Kelly's videos now can be found on one page -- here.

Evidently MSN knew about her and her books and asked her to do the project.  She compiled a list of 25 possible "weird" subjects and they decided which ten they wanted first. She wrote the scripts and then, in one intense day, they came to her house and filmed them. She was allocated a limited amount of time -- under three minutes -- but was amazed to discover how much you could say in that short time.
And, of course being Kelly, she had lots of fun doing them.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Common Core State Standards Explained

Confused about the Common Core?
Having trouble reading the Standards?  Not surprisingly, these were written by educators for educators.

Here's a translation by writer, Barbara Kerley, explaining on the I.N.K blog (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids) just what this is all about.
There are ten big standards, The Anchor Standards for Reading.

How nice to discover that we writers are already fulfilling most of these standards in our books.