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Old 01-17-2013, 07:46 AM   #2501
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The school where I work (grades 4-6) held a book award contest and chose the best kids book of the year. Students who read all three nominees got to be on an awards committee, and discuss and vote. The other kids were really super excited this morning, trying to get the committee members to reveal which book had won, and cheered like crazy when the winner was announced. The winning book was...

*drum roll made by slapping your knees*...

Wonder! I'm claiming all the credit because I first told the teacher to read it, then she read it aloud in class, then everyone else at school had to read it after that The contest was pretty cool. They made up a sticker seal to go on the book, that says "Wolf Award", and all the classrooms will get a copy of the book with the sticker. All the committee members will get a special bookmark (they get unreasonably excited about bookmarks, so imagine a bunch of nerdy kids doing fist pumps of victory).

My stinky old library doesn't have Hokey Pokey yet, so I'm reading Fourth Grade Rats instead.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:08 AM   #2502
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I read WONDER while I was away. Beautiful, as all of you have been saying for ages.

Also read LOVE, RUBY LAVENDAR - a fun little MG novel.

And I read a YA novel by a brilliant AWer: MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, by Bethany Griffin. Fantastic world building. I can't wait for the next book.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:43 AM   #2503
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I didn't think I could find anything to love after WONDER, but I just finished SWAY, and have to say that I love it as much.

Gorgeous, just gorgeous. One of those books you don't forget. Gorgeous.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:50 PM   #2504
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I just downloaded the free sample of Sway, Britwriter. My library doesn't have it, but your review has me wanting to read it. I love gorgeous writing. After finishing Hokey Pokey I have started Cabinet of Earths, which I've heard good things about. May have to set it aside though.

I downloaded the free sample of Masque of the Red Death, too. Smish, you know I'm a sucker for good world building.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:04 PM   #2505
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I just started Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool (author who wrote Moon Over Manifest). It's amazing so far. Two great boy characters growing up in the late 40s. One of the kids thinks that pi (the number) is a never-ending story about a person named Pi My only criticism is that the rowing scenes and the math stuff were not very realistic. Perhaps I know more than the average 12 year old about those topics tho...
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:30 PM   #2506
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I'll have to read it and let you know, Kitty. Because I probably know the same amount of math as the average 12-year-old.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:00 PM   #2507
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So for those of you who know, was Hokey Pokey good? Our library doesn't have it yet, either, and I don't want to buy it unless it's up there on the pedestal where I put everything else by Spinelli.

I'm reading Bright Island and loving it.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:25 AM   #2508
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I just downloaded the free sample of Sway, Britwriter. My library doesn't have it, but your review has me wanting to read it. I love gorgeous writing. After finishing Hokey Pokey I have started Cabinet of Earths, which I've heard good things about. May have to set it aside though.

I downloaded the free sample of Masque of the Red Death, too. Smish, you know I'm a sucker for good world building.
I'm sure you'll love SWAY. I went back over several sentences again and again, just to revel in them. Luxurious writing. Enjoy!
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:26 PM   #2509
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I recently finished Savvy and I think it was one of the best books I've read in a long time.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:46 AM   #2510
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Okay, I am confused about a couple of things (probably not too surprising to most of you).
First:
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I downloaded the free sample of Masque of the Red Death, too. Smish, you know I'm a sucker for good world building.
Isn't Masque of the Red Death a famous short by Poe? Yes, it is, I'm sure. I love Poe and the whole store is really 'sample length'. Is there a kidlit book with the same title or something???

Second, I never made it to the library to see about picking up Wonder, but I read the online sample and while the writing is great, I have one major problem with it:
This kid is 12 and he's still sitting in his parent's laps and wants to curl up into a little ball so his parents can hug and kiss him all over?

And boys are reading this? I wouldn't be caught dead reading a book like that when I was 12. I'd be worried someone might see and half the school would start making fun of me.

I'm guessing his immaturity is part of the story-line, but the idea of 12-year-old boys reading this really surprises me.

Please feel free to properly insult and chastise me for my sexist view here. I'm just can't see boys reading this one???
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:50 AM   #2511
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Okay, I am confused about a couple of things (probably not too surprising to most of you).
First:

Isn't Masque of the Red Death a famous short by Poe? Yes, it is, I'm sure. I love Poe and the whole store is really 'sample length'. Is there a kidlit book with the same title or something???

Second, I never made it to the library to see about picking up Wonder, but I read the online sample and while the writing is great, I have one major problem with it:
This kid is 12 and he's still sitting in his parent's laps and wants to curl up into a little ball so his parents can hug and kiss him all over?

And boys are reading this? I wouldn't be caught dead reading a book like that when I was 12. I'd be worried someone might see and half the school would start making fun of me.

I'm guessing his immaturity is part of the story-line, but the idea of 12-year-old boys reading this really surprises me.

Please feel free to properly insult and chastise me for my sexist view here. I'm just can't see boys reading this one???
Yes, title swiped from a Poe story. It's a steampunk ish YA novel about people who wear a mask to prevent a fatal contagious disease.

About Wonder: The author sets it up so you know that if you were Auggie, you would still need parental cuddles regularly. The world basically cannot treat him like a human being, and he has no friends. And yes, the boys love it. It's about the harsh world of navigating boy friendships and the hazardous journey of changing from a needy little boy into a young man who isn't allowed to cry or get cuddles. Which many tween and preteen kids relate to a lot.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:54 AM   #2512
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About Wonder: The author sets it up so you know that if you were Auggie, you would still need parental cuddles regularly. The world basically cannot treat him like a human being, and he has no friends. And yes, the boys love it. It's about the harsh world of navigating boy friendships and the hazardous journey of changing from a needy little boy into a young man who isn't allowed to cry or get cuddles. Which many tween and preteen kids relate to a lot.
Okay, I've ordered it!

There's always at least some disconnect between what we remember it was like as a kid, verses the reality--especially when it comes to feelings. Maybe boys are more empathetic than I give them credit for--of course it could also be that they just get sucked into a good book!
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:08 AM   #2513
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I'm not reading much as I'm so busy editing, but my 8 yo is reading. Did you hear that? Reading!!

Yay! He's branched out from Capt Underpants, and is now reading Zack and Zoe's Alien Apocalypse, by MJ Ware, one of our own here!!

I read it to him a long time ago, and he loved it, but to see him reading to himself is super-exciting and fabulous.

Yay for good boy books for lower middle grade! I wish there were more that appealed to him. So far, we've been limited to Capt Underpants, Roscoe Riley and Ivy and Bean, but now he's discovered he can read Zack and Zoe for himself too.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:17 AM   #2514
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Isn't Masque of the Red Death a famous short by Poe? Yes, it is, I'm sure. I love Poe and the whole store is really 'sample length'. Is there a kidlit book with the same title or something???
Yes, and she didn't just use the title - her Amazon "about the author" section says this: "I've always loved the amazing atmosphere Poe creates," she says. "But ‘The Masque of the Red Death' is one of his shortest stories. I wanted to know more. I wanted characters and their stories within the context of this devastating plague. And that's where this story originated."

(I actually didn't love it. But there you go.)

And ditto what Kitty said about WONDER. I wasn't sure about it to start - in fact, I set it aside once. But then I read it, and it was the best MG I read in all of 2012.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:54 AM   #2515
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Yay! He's branched out from Capt Underpants, and is now reading Zack and Zoe's Alien Apocalypse, by MJ Ware, one of our own here!!

I read it to him a long time ago, and he loved it, but to see him reading to himself is super-exciting and fabulous.

Yay for good boy books for lower middle grade! I wish there were more that appealed to him. So far, we've been limited to Capt Underpants, Roscoe Riley and Ivy and Bean, but now he's discovered he can read Zack and Zoe for himself too.
OMG, you made my day!
Zack & Zoey isn't a hot seller (I think I've sold 150, at 99 cents, so far this month--my best month yet), but it is my best reviewed book.

I'm deep in revisions for book two in which the kids travel to the future and steal Walt Disney's brain from an evil scientist bent on using it to take over the world (it's more exciting than it sounds).

Editing is scheduled for Feb. 13th and I'll be sure to send you an advanced copy!

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And ditto what Kitty said about WONDER. I wasn't sure about it to start - in fact, I set it aside once. But then I read it, and it was the best MG I read in all of 2012.
I've been better at getting through non-action books recently--I even finished The Willoughbys, which has to be Lowry's worst book (which means it's pretty good). So, I should probably be able to make it far enough into Wonder to get hooked.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:09 AM   #2516
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OMG, you made my day!
Zack & Zoey isn't a hot seller (I think I've sold 150, at 99 cents, so far this month--my best month yet), but it is my best reviewed book.

I'm deep in revisions for book two in which the kids travel to the future and steal Walt Disney's brain from an evil scientist bent on using it to take over the world (it's more exciting than it sounds).

Editing is scheduled for Feb. 13th and I'll be sure to send you an advanced copy!
My son will be delighted to hear there's a sequel! He keeps asking why writers of 'good books' (of which he thinks there are only about a dozen, and Capt Underpants is 10 of them) don't write more. It's too cute, he talks to other people about Zack and Zoey as if assuming that EVERYONE in the WORLD knows this book, like they would if he was talking about Harry Potter. You have a huge fan here!
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:08 AM   #2517
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Hey, quick heads up: Redwall is free for Kindle today. I've never read it - not sure if it's my thing, but you can't beat free, right?
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:56 AM   #2518
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Thanks for the heads-up about Redwall, Joy. Got it.

And Auggie (in Wonder) is ten rather than twelve, if that helps... just entering 5th grade at the beginning of the book. That said, the line about being kissed all over kinda threw me, too, even given his situation.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:24 AM   #2519
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Hey, quick heads up: Redwall is free for Kindle today. I've never read it - not sure if it's my thing, but you can't beat free, right?
Thanks, Joy!
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:29 AM   #2520
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I didn't mind Redwall. If you read more of the series the books have a bit of a sameness to them, but I read them all. Mainly just to say I had. The first seven or eight books or so tend to jump around in time without rhyme or reason, not in the books themselves, but from book to book. After that the timeline gets a bit more consistent. Probably more info than you wanted to know. Just putting that out there.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:41 AM   #2521
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Started reading James and the Giant Peach to a kid at school. I haven't read it since I was maybe 7. I found myself getting really really excited, in the part where the man gives him mysterious glowing green grains. It was like a flash back to the excitement of my childhood. The kid being read to was like 8-O but she agreed that she would not accept mysterious items from strange men hiding in bushes.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:44 AM   #2522
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James and the Giant Peach. Ah, memories. That was my favorite book. I read it over and over and over.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:26 AM   #2523
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James and the Giant Peach. Ah, memories. That was my favorite book. I read it over and over and over.
Wow - that does bring back memories. I still remember reading that book. I can even picture the cover since I used to stare at it and wonder at what it would be like to travel in a peach. quan lot nam do ngu goi cam thoi trang be gai cao cap vay cong so nu ban buon quan ao chup anh da ngoai dep nhat
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:47 PM   #2524
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Were you guys surprised by that lack of love for Wonder at the Newbery Award ceremony? This was the first time I've actually read the winning book - The One and Only Ivan. Also, Splendors and Glooms was recognized, which I've read and really enjoyed. I picked up the third honor book, Three Times Lucky, at the library to add to my TBR pile.

Yesterday I finished Cabinet of Earths, which I really had to force myself to finish. I'm glad I did, because the ending was exciting, but the first 2/3 was really slow. Now I'm reading A Dog Called Homeless, which I didn't think I'd enjoy (because it sounded so sad), but it's really charming.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:15 AM   #2525
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Were you guys surprised by that lack of love for Wonder at the Newbery Award ceremony? This was the first time I've actually read the winning book - The One and Only Ivan. Also, Splendors and Glooms was recognized, which I've read and really enjoyed. I picked up the third honor book, Three Times Lucky, at the library to add to my TBR pile.

Yesterday I finished Cabinet of Earths, which I really had to force myself to finish. I'm glad I did, because the ending was exciting, but the first 2/3 was really slow. Now I'm reading A Dog Called Homeless, which I didn't think I'd enjoy (because it sounded so sad), but it's really charming.
Yeah, I was surprised. I read and liked Ivan, but I liked Wonder better. Thought it should have at least gotten an honor - but then I've not read the other books. Already got Splendors and Glooms at the library, though.

I started Cabinet of Earths and abandoned it, too.

I'm reading Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke with my daughter and she's loving it. We had been reading the Harry Potter books over and over and over for a year and a half. I loooove Harry, but man I'm glad to be reading something else. It took some arm twisting, too.
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