Friday, December 29, 2006


All of the Above, by Shelley Pearsall (Little, Brown 2006)(ages 9-12):

Most of the teachers at Washington Middle School are ready to give up, including math teacher Mr. Collins. In desperation, he proposes that his students build the world's largest tetrahedron. Told in alternating points of view of four students, Mr. Collins, and one or two other adults, All of the Above offers a fun and heartwarming look at a group and community coming together for a cause. Plus, how can you not love a book that has barbecue recipes?

Cyn has an interview with the authorhere.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Cat photo blogging

One of my Christmas presents from Cyn this year was a digital camera.

This is Blizzard. He wishes everyone a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, ill. by P.J. Lynch (Candlewick, 2006)

Okay, everyone knows the story...Scrooge, Marley's ghost, Christmas past, present, and yet to come, Tiny Tim, etc.

I haven't actually read it since freshman year of high school, so when we received the gorgeous Candlewick edition this fall, Cyn and I decided to read it aloud the week before Christmas. The art, by P.J. Lynch, is amazing, and Candlewick made the laudable production choice to make the text actually be readable. (You know what I mean -- half the problem with reading the "classics" is that they're often in this horrible edition with tiny, dense type that's almost intended to defend the thing from being read). The art and design here make you want to sink in and read it aloud (the way I imagine it was supposed to be experienced). I highly recommend this edition.

And, this'll probably be my last post before Christmas, so I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season's Greetings, and, to VS, a Merry Festivus.

"...and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!"

Friday, December 22, 2006

One last bit of Santa news

I'm very pleased that the Three Silly Chicks (Carolyn Crimi, Andrea Beaty, and Julia Durango) have posted an interview with Cyn and me at their hilarious blog. Thanks, guys!

Cynthia has a roundup of more Santa news and Santa reviews here.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Archer's Quest, by Linda Sue Park

Archer's Quest, by Linda Sue Park (Clarion 2006).

In this time travel fantasy, Chu-mong, the Great Archer of Ancient Korea, appears suddenly in Kevin's room, after having fallen off a tiger. Kevin has no idea how it happened, but knows that he must return Chu-mong to the past or history will be irrevocably altered.

This intelligent fantasy has Kevin seamlessly drawing on a wide array of knowledge as he attempts to acclimate Chu-mong to the present day and send him home. Archer's Quest is dramatic, fun, smart, and satisfying.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More Santa news!

The Children's Literature Comprehensive Database reviews Santa Knows and says, "[s]nappy dialogue makes this well-paced imaginative tale a delight to read aloud. The humor and exaggeration in the cartoon style illustrations are a perfect match for the story. The expressive faces present a broad range of feelings.. . The Christmas message. . .comes through in a wonderful, playful way."

Three Silly Chicks say "[t]he authors expertly create a fun tale that explores Santa's world and provides some very surprising answers to those nagging questions about Santa and his mysterious magic.. . .Santa Knows is a holly jolly read for the holidays."

Thanks guys!

Monday, December 04, 2006

True Talents, by David Lubar

True Talents, by David Lubar (Starscape, March 2007).

In this much-anticipated sequel to Hidden Talents, Eddie "Trash" Thalmeyer wakes up from a drugged sleep in the custody of a shadowy quasi-governmental organization bent on harnessing his telekinetic talents for their own nefarious purposes. True Talents reunites the gang from the Edgeview Alternative School, as Torchie, Cheater, Lucky, Flinch, and Martin attempt to protect themselves and their families, while rescuing Trash from his captors.

True Talents is a funny, action-packed, rollicking adventure, filled with all the humor and drama readers have come to expect from David Lubar.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Nibblecheese! Nibblecheese! Nibblecheese!

If you can say "Nibblecheese" three tmes fast without smiling, you have no soul.

C'mon, try it: Nibblecheese! Nibblecheese! Nibblecheese!

Seriously, though: The second book in the Zack Proton series (Aladdin Paperbacks) has possibly the best title of any young chapter book ever: The Adventures of Commander Zack Proton and the Warlords of Nibblecheese.

General Algernon [heh] and his ruthless horde of space mice are after the earth's moon! Leapin' leptons! Can Zack, the Omega Chimp, and Zeffie save the people of earth from a cheddar-less sky?

Cynthia interviews author Brian Anderson here.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Good Girls, by Laura Ruby

Good Girls, by Laura Ruby (HarperTempest 2006).

Sixteen year old "good girl" Aubrey is humiliated when a photograph (by an anonymous photographer) of her and Luke DeSalvio, in flagrante delicto, is e-mailed around their school. Still, she manages to find the inner strength to carry on as she is shunned by family, friends, and classmates and starts hanging around with the school slut.

Good Girls is at once funny, poignant, and thought-provoking as it explores young love, relationships, and what it means to be a "good girl" or "slut." Highly recommended.

Cynthia interviews Laura here.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Santa season!

November was a busy month for Cyn and me, as we traveled to Nashville for NCTE/ALAN, and also did some promotion for Santa Knows in College Station and at the Twig in San Antonio.

Yesterday, we finally got the inside of the house in Christmas condition, putting up the tree and doing general Christmas decorating. (I've put off the exterior lights until this weekend, which may have been a mistake, since it's only supposed to get up to about 50 - last weekend it was 80).

Tomorrow, we have a signing at the B&N Round Rock (2 PM) and Sunday, a signing at the B&N Westlake (1 PM).

This morning, Cyn and I had an interview on WEOL radio (Ohio). Also, today, Debbi Michiko Florence publishes an interview with Cyn and me on her blog.

Enjoy the beginning of the holiday season!
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