Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Books coming in February

Here are the books you can look forward to reading in the Marshall Lane Library in February:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Items of interest

I have no review this week, I've been reading grown up things lately but I'll get back to the kidlit soon. In the meantime, if you are looking for something new to read there is a great website called They have a whole team of people there who read and review books. There are reviews on new books every month plus you can see what's coming soon and they have author interviews as well. It's a great place to find new things to read.

Also, I saw this on my Twitter feed this week. It's called the 90 Second Newbery Film Festival. It's a contest! James Kennedy is challenging kids to make a 90 second film of their favorite (or least favorite, or most forgotten) Newbery winner (or honor book). Here is an example:

"A Wrinkle In Time" In 90 Seconds from James Kennedy on Vimeo.

Pretty funny, huh? Neil Gaiman also tweeted that he would give a signed copy of The Graveyard Book to his favorite 90 second version of his Newbery winner. Does that get your creative juices flowing? It does mine!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Honors and accolades

The American Library Association announced the 2011 book awards today at their Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. They are as follows:

Caldecott Medal (for picture books):
A Sick Day for Amos McGee written and illustrated by Erin and Phillip C. Stead

Also honored were Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill, and (a Marshall Lane Library Favorite) Interrupting Chicken written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein.

The Newbery Medal (for children's fiction) went to Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. Honors went to Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm, Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus, One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia, and Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman.

The Geisel award (for beginning readers) went to Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGee, illustrated by Tony Fucile.

Honors went to Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same! written and illustrated by Grace Lin and We Are In a Book! written and illustrated by Mo Willems (a Marshall Lane Favorite Author).

There were many more awards given out and if you are interested, you can read about them at the ALA/ALSC website.

If you are interested in reading these award winning books, you can find the Caldecott and Geisel medal winners and honor books at the Marshall Lane Library. I will get the Newbery winner and honor books as soon as I can. In the mean time, you can look for them at the public library.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A tale of two books

I just finished listening to Airman by Eoin (pronounced like Owen) Colfer. Wow! What a fantastic adventure! This book has everything! A murderous villain, a wrongful imprisonment, a daring escape, swordfights, betrayal, flying machines, and the rescue of a princess. The story takes place in the late 1800's on the Saltee Islands off the coast of Ireland. Fourteen-year-old Conor Broekhart witnesses the treasonous murder of the King of the islands and is framed for the crime. He is thrown into prison and forced to mine diamonds by the very traitor responsible for the King's murder. But Conor has the mind of a scientist and he spends his days planning a bold escape. When he finally does escape three years later, he realizes that he must confront his nemesis before he kills again. I must say, the villain in this story is one of the most dastardly villains I have come across in literature lately. He is wicked to the core, and at the end, we have to wonder if this is the last we will see of him. If you enjoy stories like The Princess Bride or The Count of Monte Cristo, I think you will enjoy this book. It's really more of a young adult title but I think a mature, well-read 5th grader would be fine with it. This one is definitely going on my favorites list.
This is one of the things I was knitting while listening to Airman. It was kind of a long book so I knitted another thing but that has to stay secret for a bit longer.

Not long ago, I wrote about the book Swindle but it turns out, this book has another tale to tell. I make it a practice to listen to or read books that can be found in the Marshall Lane Library so when I write about them here, you know you can check it out there. Well, I realized while listening to Swindle that Marshall Lane's copy of the book was actually missing and I was going to have to buy a replacement for it. But I received a little surprise in the mail yesterday. Somehow, this book had traveled across the United States and had been turned in to a library in Buffalo, New York! Well, very kindly, the librarians in Buffalo were able to track down our address (due to 'Marshall Lane' and 'Campbell Union School District' being stamped on the inside of the book) and they mailed the book back to me. This made me very happy - and very curious as to how this book got all the way to New York! I wrote a nice thank you note to the Buffalo librarians and will pop that in the mail tomorrow. So there is the story of Swindle and the story of Swindle: There and Back Again. If only the book could talk!