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Thread: Talk about the kidlit you're reading!

  1. #1851
    practical experience, FTW MsJudy's Avatar
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    Now that my boys are both teenagers, we've got a lot more YA stuff around the house. I've started on Alison Goodman's Eon--and, Wow. Great world-building, great use of Chinese mythology, really interesting exploration of gender roles and identities. It isn't just girl-pretending-to-be-boy. The main character has been pretending for so long, she no longer thinks or feels like a girl. And a secondary character is transgender--male dressing as female--who plays a special, unique role within the court, being able to serve as advisor to men, which other women can't, but also being able to spend time with the women of the harem without being a eunuch.

    Some really fascinating themes that take it beyond typical action/adventure dragon fantasy.

    Highly recommend it.
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  2. #1852
    careful...you'll end up in my novel RuthD's Avatar
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    I'm reading Wolf Storm (by our own Amarie). It's goooood! Right now the characters are in a really tense situation. More later, after I finish...
    My blog: Readatouille

  3. #1853
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I'm reading Understood Betsy, which was published in 1917, and has held up remarkably well! The text is available free online. I'm loving the book so much I put a review up on my blog even though I'm only at 84%. Learning about the author, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, was really interesting.

    She had a sense of humor, too. One of the chapters is entitled: "If You Don't Like Conversation in a Book, Skip This Chapter."
    Oh, I love that book so much. I'm glad to hear it's available online, because the paperback version I've had since I was a kid is in tatters, and it's so hard to find a good paper copy. Betsy's journey from wimpy to awesome just gets me every time.

    I finally started reading Dianna Wynne Jones and finished "A Charmed Life" quite witty, and fresh. I really want to read "Howl's Moving Castle" though.
    Love her books, too! All the Chrestomanci books are great, but "Howl" is superb.

    I'm currently re-reading "Magic by the Lake" by Edward Eager for about the thousandth time. No matter how many times I read his books, I find something fresh to chuckle about each time.

  4. #1854
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    I just started Because of Mr Terupt, and I can't put it down.

    I should be working, but instead, I keep thinking about the book, and disappearing to read some more.

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

  5. #1855
    careful...you'll end up in my novel RuthD's Avatar
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    Wolf Storm was great! Loved the characters and the unusual setting. It's about a boy who is in a sci-fi movie filming in Eastern Europe. When a blizzard hits, he's trapped on the mountain at an old ski resort along with three other actors (two kids and one very quirky adult) and some trained wolves. Things go from bad to worse, and ... I'll stop now; don't want to give too many spoilers. It's a very exciting disaster/survival story.
    My blog: Readatouille

  6. #1856
    writing for kids and teens Cassidy's Avatar
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    I write YA but I read a ton of MG to my son... and we're reading a fabulous book at the moment. Raider's Ransom, by Emily Diamand. So good! Two first person narrators with very distinct voices; slightly dystopian future but not too dark; very cool setting-- London is half underwater, people mining landfills left from the late 21st century; humour; suspense. I am thoroughly enjoying it- as is my son.

  7. #1857
    practical experience, FTW sissybaby's Avatar
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    I'm reading The Star Shard by Frederic S. Durbin. It's very unique - at least, for me - but I'm enjoying the world he has created in this bizarre city on wheels. I am becoming very attached to the MC, and have no idea where he's going with it. At times I feel like I should be utterly confused, but somehow it makes sense.

    I really like this author.

  8. #1858
    Alas, poor Yorick, he fed me 'nanas DavidBrett's Avatar
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    I'm reading... Invisble Fiends: The Beast, Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident and Bugsy Malone.

    Just not all at once :p

    Dave
    Mr Stuffenfluff - My FIRST attempt at horror for over a decade. Feedback welcome!

    Authors warn me writing children's books is a lot of work - signings, school events, literary festivals, a blog, etc. I always reply "I WANT THAT!"

    I don't claim to be a professional (yet). I just try and help others when and where I can.

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  9. #1859
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBrett View Post
    I'm reading... Bugsy Malone.



    Dave
    Bugsy Malone was a book?

    Was this a book the movie was based on, or a novelization of the movie?

  10. #1860
    i luv you giant bear statue AW Moderator Kitty Pryde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
    I write YA but I read a ton of MG to my son... and we're reading a fabulous book at the moment. Raider's Ransom, by Emily Diamand. So good! Two first person narrators with very distinct voices; slightly dystopian future but not too dark; very cool setting-- London is half underwater, people mining landfills left from the late 21st century; humour; suspense. I am thoroughly enjoying it- as is my son.
    Looks very exciting! I love the cover of the sequel, with the old-timey sailboat next to the half-underwater London Eye. I love any weird story set in London! Try Six Days, it has a similar setting and adventure storyline.

    Quote Originally Posted by sissybaby View Post
    I'm reading The Star Shard by Frederic S. Durbin. It's very unique - at least, for me - but I'm enjoying the world he has created in this bizarre city on wheels. I am becoming very attached to the MC, and have no idea where he's going with it. At times I feel like I should be utterly confused, but somehow it makes sense.

    I really like this author.
    I need to read this one too!

    I'm still working my way through John Bellairs' books, the latest was The Lamp From The Warlock's Tomb. And Helen Cresswell's books too. I love her stuff!

  11. #1861
    Alas, poor Yorick, he fed me 'nanas DavidBrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t0dd View Post
    Bugsy Malone was a book?

    Was this a book the movie was based on, or a novelization of the movie?
    The former, which surprises a lot of people. But it is every bit as brilliant, hilarious and downright adorable at parts (because yes, the entire cast are children in the book as well). Highly recommended.
    Mr Stuffenfluff - My FIRST attempt at horror for over a decade. Feedback welcome!

    Authors warn me writing children's books is a lot of work - signings, school events, literary festivals, a blog, etc. I always reply "I WANT THAT!"

    I don't claim to be a professional (yet). I just try and help others when and where I can.

    Follow me @symplesymon

  12. #1862
    practical experience, FTW JoyMC's Avatar
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    You guys. I gave Okay for Now another chance, and I'm sorry to say, I had to give up again. It wasn't just the depressing factor, either. It was more that I hated the voice. I'm not saying (AT ALL) that the voice is poorly written. In fact, it's excellent. I just can't stand the kid. Oh well.

    I'm reading An Abundance of Katherines now, which is YA, but I mention it because Smish (I think?) said how much she loved it and Junonia by Kevin Henkes, and both are really lovely in very different ways.

  13. #1863
    careful...you'll end up in my novel RuthD's Avatar
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    My daughter adores John Green, and An Abundance of Katherines is her favorite. Personally, the puking in the opening scene grossed me out so much, I didn't care to read on. But to each her own...

    Kevin Henkes is wonderful at picture books and thought-provoking MG novels. I haven't read Junonia yet, but I want to.
    My blog: Readatouille

  14. #1864
    Reads more than she writes. AW Moderator Smish's Avatar
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    I haven't read Junonia, but I'll add it to my list.

    I do love John Green, though, and An Abundance of Katherines is my favorite of his books.
    Revision is where you earn your money - and if you haven't made any money yet, revision is where you pay your dues. Sara Zarr

  15. #1865
    Always curious. juniper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amarie View Post
    Sheila,
    Interesting about Dead End. There was lots of debate and comments on Twitter from teachers and school librarians about the Newbery this year. I hadn't read any of the books they thought were high on the list, but it was interesting to follow.
    {reviving old post}

    Could you comment on this further? I finally got this from my library (on hold list forever) and read through it. Liked it, but didn't think it particularly wonderful. I did think the author had the MC voice down just right.

    Am curious as to why it won the Newbery. I didn't read any of the competing books, and don't usually read MG at all, so not sure what constitutes excellence in MG.
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  16. #1866
    practical experience, FTW JoyMC's Avatar
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    Okay, I finished Junonia. It's really, really lovely. It may also be inspiring for anyone writing quiet contemporary, too. I mean, I doubt a debut writer could have gotten it published. But still, it gave me a little, personal stab of vindication in response to an agent who told me my manuscript didn't have enough kids in it. (Not saying I'm as good as Kevin Henkes, just glad he wrote a story with very few kids, as I feel less nuts for having done so myself.)

  17. #1867
    i luv you giant bear statue AW Moderator Kitty Pryde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juniper View Post
    {reviving old post}

    Could you comment on this further? I finally got this from my library (on hold list forever) and read through it. Liked it, but didn't think it particularly wonderful. I did think the author had the MC voice down just right.

    Am curious as to why it won the Newbery. I didn't read any of the competing books, and don't usually read MG at all, so not sure what constitutes excellence in MG.
    I REALLY thought Dead End In Norvelt was lousy. Usually Newbery books are much more solidly written. Many better books came out last year. I also have to say that the extremely nonjudgemental approach to serial killing doesn't really work in a kids book. I think JG is a great writer, but this book was blah. I think it won the Newbery because it has an air of literariness about it (don't know how else to describe it), and the selection committee felt fondly reminded of their childhood. I DON'T think it was picked because of its appeal or instructiveness to actual children.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyMC View Post
    Okay, I finished Junonia. It's really, really lovely. It may also be inspiring for anyone writing quiet contemporary, too. I mean, I doubt a debut writer could have gotten it published. But still, it gave me a little, personal stab of vindication in response to an agent who told me my manuscript didn't have enough kids in it. (Not saying I'm as good as Kevin Henkes, just glad he wrote a story with very few kids, as I feel less nuts for having done so myself.)
    Didn't care for that much, though I do like the 'quiet contemporary' in general. I like his picture books much better.

  18. #1868
    practical experience, FTW
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    I was reading Unwind, but I just can't get into it. I put in 122 pages but I just can't get past the writing.

  19. #1869
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    I just finished No Talking. I couldn't put it down, maybe because it brought back so many school memories, good and bad, but mostly bad.

    My main thought is that many teachers should be forced to read this book, and to give it to their 5th graders to read, then discuss it. And probably many parents, including myself!

  20. #1870
    Alas, poor Yorick, he fed me 'nanas DavidBrett's Avatar
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    I'm still reading Invisible Fiends. Or, to keep with the theme, 'Nancy Drew and the Case of the Invisible Fiends'.
    Mr Stuffenfluff - My FIRST attempt at horror for over a decade. Feedback welcome!

    Authors warn me writing children's books is a lot of work - signings, school events, literary festivals, a blog, etc. I always reply "I WANT THAT!"

    I don't claim to be a professional (yet). I just try and help others when and where I can.

    Follow me @symplesymon

  21. #1871
    practical experience, FTW sissybaby's Avatar
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    I just finished Bliss by K. Littlewood. I'm not sure if her last name is two names or one, so pardon me if I made a mistake.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, probably because it was so lighthearted and I've been reading a lot of heavier stuff lately. It's preposterous, and silly, and yet there's still enough reality to it to make it appealing in a realistic way. I did have a problem with quite a few editing problems toward the end of the book. That seems to be happening more and more lately. Not just in kids books, and certainly not only in ebook formats. I wonder why this is.

  22. #1872
    ._. karo.ambrose's Avatar
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    I'm currently reading When The Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen... it's lush and the fantasy worldbuilding makes me so jealous. I always finding myself writing white rooms everywhere I go. A beach? looks more like a white room. A big city? nah, just another white room.

    the next books on my to-read list are Wonder by R.J. Palacio and The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen. both sound right up my alley in very different ways.

  23. #1873
    i luv you giant bear statue AW Moderator Kitty Pryde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karo.ambrose View Post
    I'm currently reading When The Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen... it's lush and the fantasy worldbuilding makes me so jealous. I always finding myself writing white rooms everywhere I go. A beach? looks more like a white room. A big city? nah, just another white room.
    I want to read this! So bad!

    Quote Originally Posted by karo.ambrose View Post
    the next books on my to-read list are Wonder by R.J. Palacio and The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen. both sound right up my alley in very different ways.
    I want to read Wonder so so bad too!

    I just read a great one called Vanished by Sheela Chari. It's about a girl who plays a traditional Indian string instrument. Hers is really special and it gets stolen and then lots of interesting and mysterious things happen. Highly recommend!

  24. #1874
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitty Pryde View Post
    I want to read this! So bad!
    it's definitely different from typical YA... i've heard a lot of people expecting it to be a paranormal romance, but it carves its own niche. it doesn't attempt to be like anything that's currently out there. i'm about halfway through at the moment.

  25. #1875
    practical experience, FTW SheilaJG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitty Pryde View Post
    I just read a great one called Vanished by Sheela Chari. It's about a girl who plays a traditional Indian string instrument. Hers is really special and it gets stolen and then lots of interesting and mysterious things happen. Highly recommend!
    This one was on my list, because I saw it mentioned as a book that should have won a certain award instead of the book that did. I downloaded the sample, and it seemed a little slow to start. It sounds like I should have kept with it.

    I want to check out karo.ambrose's rec's too. And Bliss, 'cause I like lighthearted stuff.
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