Books I am Looking Forward to Reading in 2009

I’ve been so caught up in the awards bonanza of late that I realized we are almost out of January and I haven’t posted the books I am looking forward to reading this year.  This is by no means a complete list, but just a few that caught my eye from publisher’s previews, blog reading, and reviews!

  • A Butterfly Fable (Adios Oscar!) by Peter Elwell- A monarch butterfly book? Count me in!
  • Being Nikki (Airhead) by Meg Cabot- I loved AIRHEAD so I am really looking forward to this sequel!
  • Yes, I Know the Monkey Man by Dori Hillestad Butler- I saw this at a publisher’s preview and it sounded like a great mystery. A daughter who believes her mother and twin sister are dead when they really are not? Sounds awesome!
  • Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci- As a self-professed and proud geek, I can not wait to get my hands on this collection of geeky stories from some of the greatest in YA writing!
  • The Enemy by Davide Cali- The sample F&G I saw of this book was so powerful that I wanted to take it home and share it with my class immediately. This fable is about two lonely soldiers facing each other across a barren battlefield. What each discovers, as the story unfolds, is that the enemy is not a faceless beast, but rather a real person with family, friends, and dreams.
  • The Beef Princess of Practical County by Michelle Houts- This is the Delacorte Press MG Fiction contest winner. It’s the story of a small town girl raising steers for the county fair. When she becomes attached to them, despite their eventual fate of being sold to the slaughterhouse, problems arise.
  • The Anatomy of Wings by Karen Foxlee- This Australian import was compared to THE LOVELY BONES and VIRGIN SUICIDES.
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan- We all know how much I love my apocalyptic survival stories.
  • Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner- Another apocalyptic tale. This one blurbed by Jane Yolen!
  • My Life in Pink & Green by Lisa Greenwald- A Class of 2k9 debut that really caught my eye.
  • A Mirror to Nature: Poems About Reflection by Jane Yolen and Jason Stemple- Yolen’s poetry is some of my favorite writing. I can’t wait to read this!
  • Emma Jean Lazarus Fell in Love by Lauren Tarshis- Emma-Jean was my favorite character from 2007. I had no idea Tarshis was writing a follow-up until I saw a preview in the publisher’s catalog! I can’t wait to get my hands on this!
  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson- You could tell me that Anderson was rewriting the phone book and I would read it. Can’t wait to read her latest YA!
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins- Not due out until September, I am dying to scoop up an ARC at BEA this spring. I have been waiting to find out what happened to Katniss since the end of The Hunger Games!
  • Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill- Ever since traveling to Mexico I have been fascinated by the Dia de los Muertos.
  • Percy Jackson & the Olympians: Book 5: The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) by Rick Riordan- I love Percy and am excited to see the conclusion of this hysterical series.
  • Shades of Grey: A Novel by Jasper Fforde- I don’t remember who first mentioned this on their blog, but it immediately went on my Amazon wishlist. The summary reminds me a bit of THE GIVER, so I am looking forward to reading it.
  • Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems by Georgia Heard- My inspiration when it comes to poetry, Georgia Heard really connects with kids.

 

This is just a sampling of some of the books I want to read this year, and mostly for the next season. What are you looking forward to reading in 2009?

39 Clues Live Webcast December 1st!

While checking out my Scholastic Book Clubs order, I saw the following ad for a live webcast with Gordon Korman, author of the next 39 Clues book, 39 Clues: One False Note .

Watch the Live Webcast with Author Gordon Korman!
Tune in as Whoopi Goldberg interviews Gordon Korman, author of The 39 Clues Book 2: One False Note, in a LIVE webcast on Monday, December 1, at 1 pm ET.

Kids from around the world submitted questions for Gordon Korman . . . VOTE ON THE FINAL 5! 

After the webcast, continue the conversation with Korman in an online chat. Tune in here to join: December 1, 3–4 pm ET. (To participate, you’ll need a STACKS account. Register now.)!

 

I know my students will be thrilled!  We are 39 Clues-a-holics in my classroom, so this will be great.  As most of my students will be in math during the live webcast, I am hoping that Scholastic puts the recording up online later in the day.

M.T. Anderson Defends Teen Intelligence

Today’s Washington Post has a wonderful profile of YA author M.T. Anderson.  As I was reading the article I found myself (mentally) cheering, “Hoo-rah!”.  

“It’s insulting to believe that teens should have a different kind of book than an adult should,” says the author of “Feed” and, most recently, “The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation.” Teens like challenges, he says. They know the world is complicated, and “they can tell when a book is simplifying life.”

Thank you, M.T. Anderson!  While he is specifically speaking about teens, in my experience this quote applies to all young readers, tween and teen alike.  Kids hate to be talked down to, preached at, and treated like babies.  All too often, publishers choose to market books that do all of these things.  My 6th graders want to think, they want to argue, and they want to learn.  They just don’t want to feel like they are being explicitly taught in a fiction book.  And to be honest, the same goes for me.  And I would assume most adults feel the same way.  We want a great story, awesome characters, and ideas we would not have thought of on our own.  Why do so many publishers and authors think that kids should  be treated any differently?  

So Mr. Anderson?  Please keep writing.  And keep treating kids like the intelligent beings that they are!  My 6th graders will someday graduate to your books, and I can’t wait until they do.  

 

Oh, and the best part of this article?  It finally pushed me to order The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party and The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves .

Busy as a Bee

It’s been a crazy last 36 hours and the insanity continues for the rest of this week.  I am loving the constant NCTE updates from those attending and can not wait to go to Philly for the convention next year!  Right now I am exhausted but just want to share some news I have gathered from the blogosphere today:

 

-Franki shares the news of a new Georgia Heard poetry book!  I need this yesterday!  Georgia Heard is one of my mentor writers and I can not wait to get my hands on this one. 

-Love Meg Cabot?  Well, for the next 30 days you can read The Princess Diaries online!

National Book Award

Congratulations to Judy Blundell, author of What I Saw And How I Lied!

 

 

*I am a bit sad, as her novel is a little tool old for my students.  Well, something for them to add to their own TBR lists!

Books, Books, and More Books!

I am fairly certain that my mailperson and USP delivery person hate me.

Why?

It might have something to do with the copious amount of books that land in my doorstep each day.  

I am currently buried beneath Cybils nominations, trying to dig my way out.

Hey, who doesn’t love living under a pile of books?  The hardest part is choosing what to read next!

Winter Blog Blast Tour!

Twice a year, Chasing Ray organizes the Blog Blast Tours.  I LOVE the tours, because I get to read interviews with a variety of authors for an entire week!  And the best part?  Most of the bloggers conduct multiple interviews, and most of the authors who participate are interviewed more than once.  I always learn so much about the authors, their writing process, their books, and random factoids from their life.  

This year’s Winter Blog Blast Tour begins tomorrow. Here is the full schedule:

Monday

Lewis Buzbee at Chasing Ray
Louis Sachar at Fuse Number 8
Laurel Snyder at Miss Erin
Courtney Summers at Bildungsroman
Elizabeth Wein at Finding Wonderland
Susan Kulkin at The YA YA YAs

Tuesday

Ellen Dalow at Chasing Ray
Tony DiTerlizzi at Miss Erin
Melissa Walker at Hip Writer Mama
Luisa Plaja at Bildungsroman
DM Cornish at Finding Wonderland
LJ Smith at The YA YA YAs
Kathleen Duey at Bookshelves of Doom

Wednesday

Ellen Klages at Fuse Number 8
Emily Jenkins at Wrting and Ruminating
Ally Carter at Miss Erin
Mark Peter Hughes at Hip Writer Mama
Sarah Darer Littman at Bildungsroman
MT Anderson at Finding Wonderland
Mitali Perkins at Mother Reader

Thursday

Martin Millar at Chasing Ray
John Green at Writing and Ruminating
Beth Kephart at Hip Writer Mama
Emily Ecton at Bildungsroman
John David Anderson at Finding Wonderland
Brandon Mull at The YA YA YAs
Lisa Papademetriou at Mother Reader

Friday

Mayra Lazara Dole at Chasing Ray
Francis Rourke Dowell at Fuse Number 8
J Patrick Lewis at Writing and Ruminating
Wendy Mass at Hip Writer Mama
Lisa Ann Sandell at Bildungsroman
Caroline Hickey/Sara Lewis Holmes at Mother Reader
A.S. King at Bookshelves of Doom

(Colleen will be maintaining an updated version of the list here, with direct links to all of the interviews as they appear.)

 

Who am I excited about?  Melissa Walker, Ellen Klages, John Green, and Wendy Mass just name a few!  What about you?

I’m Buying Books for the Holidays

Thanks to Jen for the link to this great idea!  Amy from My Friend Amy has started a new holiday idea: Books for the Holidays. The whole idea is for bloggers to put their money where their mouth is this upcoming holiday season, and support the publishing industry by buying books as gifts.  Now, I am a huge fan of giving books as gifts- just ask my little sister who is the frequent recipient of my book-giving ways.  But now I have a reason to share my booklove with even more people this holiday season!

Interested in getting involved?  Head on over to the blog that Amy set up.  Add the blog to your feed!

 

What You Can Do:

-Sign up for the challenge and commit to buy books as your gifts this holiday season.
-Spread the word. We have a cute button you can use on your blog. Write about it on your blog. Email your friends. Twitter your heart out, tell others on facebook…GET THE WORD OUT to encourage others to buy books this holiday season.

-Subscribe to the feed. Don’t miss a single post or request for help. Don’t be shy about offering recommendations to others when they’re looking for help. Look for posts that solicit your review links. Be active in helping others find the right book

 

How awesome is this idea?!  I am so excited and you should be to!  Now get out there and get involved!

James Preller Quotes Me!

How exciting!  I just found out that James Preller quotes me on his blog!  A few days ago I reviewed his book, Six Innings, which I read for the Cybils.  Because it is a baseball-centric book, I probably would not have read it otherwise.  Thank goodness for the Cybils, because I really enjoyed Preller’s writing and look forward to picking up more of his books.

I also look forward to sharing Six Innings with my students. I already have a slew of them in mind who will just eat this book up.

Thanks again, James Preller!

Cybils!

This year I am extremely excited to be a member of the middle grades panel for the Cybil Awards.  Are you ready for the awards?!

 

Cybils Nominations Open October 1st: How Can You Participate?

Nominations for the third annual Children’ s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (the Cybils) will be open Wednesday, October 1st through Wednesday, October 15th. The goal of the Cybils team (some 100 bloggers) is to highlight books that are high in both literary quality and kid appeal . The Cybils were founded by
Anne BolesLevy and KellyHerold.

This year, awards will be given in nine categories (Easy Readers, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction Picture Books, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade Novels, Non-Fiction Middle Grade/Young Adult Books, Non-Fiction Picture Books, Poetry, Young Adult Novels). Anyone can nominate books in these categories (one nomination per person per category). Nominated titles must be published between January 1st and October 15th of this year, and the books must be in English (or bilingual, where one of the languages is English). To nominate titles, visit the Cybils blog between October 1st and 15th . A separate post will be available for each category – simply nominate by commenting on those individual posts. If you are not sure which category to choose for a particular book, a questions thread will also be available.

Between October 16th and January 1st, Cybils panelists (children’s and young adult bloggers) will winnow the nominations down to a 5-7 book short list for each category. A second set of panelists will then select the  winning titles for the different categories. The winners will be announced on February 14th, 2009.

The Cybils lists, from long lists to short lists to the lists of winners, offer a wonderful resource to anyone looking for high-quality, kid-friendly books. The Cybils team has worked hard to balance democracy (anyone can nominate titles) with quality control (two rounds of panel judging by people who focus on children’s books every day). We do this work because we consider it vital to get great books into the hands of children and young adults.

How Can You Participate?

We think that the Cybils nominations will be of interest to parents, teachers, librarians, writers, and teens. If you have a blog or an email list or belong to a newsgroup that serves one of these populations, and you
feel that your readers would be interested, please consider distributing this announcement (you are welcome to copy it). The Cybils team would very much appreciate your help in spreading the word. And if you, or the children that you know, have any titles to suggest, we would love to see your
nominations at the Cybils blog, starting on Wednesday. Thanks for your help, and stay tuned for further
news!

Jen Robinson
Literacy
Evangelist for the 2008 Cybils

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