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Bomb by Steve Sheinkin – Fabulous Non-fiction

January 31, 2013
Bomb by Steve Sheinkin – Fabulous Non-fiction

There is a reason Steve Sheinkin‘s non-fiction book Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon (Roaring Brook, 2012) has won the 2013 Newbery Honor Award, the 2013 Sibert Medal, and the 2013 YALSA Award.  This book is AMAZING–not a word I use lightly. I just finished my first non-fiction manuscript for an educational publisher.  In my kidlit work, I write primarily fiction, so writing a non-fiction book was a new challenge.  It’s…

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Mona Lisa Smile – Donna Jo Napoli

January 29, 2013
Mona Lisa Smile – Donna Jo Napoli

If you’re a fan of historical fiction blended with romance, then Donna Jo Napoli‘s YA novel The Smile is for you.  It tells the story of fifteen-year-old Elisabetta, the girl later immortalized as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.  Monna Elisabetta hopes to marry for love but knows she’s destined for an arranged marriage.  As…

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Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett (Brett Helquist, illustrator)

January 29, 2013
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett (Brett Helquist, illustrator)

If you like The Westing Game, you’re sure to like Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett and illustrated by Brett Helquist (illustrator of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events).   The book jacket says Chasing Vermeer “is a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, disguised as an adventure, and delivered as a work of art.” A famous painting by Jan…

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It’s Election Day: Presidential Picture Books

November 6, 2012
It’s Election Day: Presidential Picture Books

  Grace for President (Disney Hyperion, 2012), written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by LeUyen Pham offers a great look into the political process. When Grace’s teacher shows a poster of the U.S. presidents, Grace asks, “Where are the girls?!” No girls?! Then Grace will run for president herself. President…

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Old MacDonald Had a What? New Picture Book by Author Ken Baker

November 5, 2012
Old MacDonald Had a What?  New Picture Book by Author Ken Baker

Every kid I know can sing ”Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”  But a farm can get kind of boring, what with the same old cows, pigs, sheep, and dogs time after time. Enter kidlit author Ken Baker who thought he’d liven things up by adding . . . a DRAGON. Old MacDonald Had…

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How to Write a Story: Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon

October 15, 2012
How to Write a Story: Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon

Ralph Tells a Story written and illustrated by Abby Hanlon (Amazon Children’s Publishing, 2012). It doesn’t matter if you are five or twenty-five—if you’re in school, you’re gonna have to write.  And lots of times you have to write stories—stories about yourself.  Maybe it’s a daily journal.  Maybe it’s a…

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Southern Charm for Middle Grade: Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom + the Challenges of Bad Hair by C.C. Payne

October 10, 2012
Southern Charm for Middle Grade:  Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom + the Challenges of Bad Hair by C.C. Payne

C.C. Payne’s novel Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom + the Challenges of Bad Hair is a bit like a middle grade version of The Help. The content is totally different, but Lula Bell has that same folksy, southern tone that makes you want to kick off your shoes, plunk yourself…

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2012 Children’s Choice Awards

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