Thursday, August 31, 2006

Happy Blogday

I've been tagged! Liz at A Chair, A Fireplace and A Tea Cozy recommended my for BlogDay 2006. Thanks, Liz, I'm honored to have been included.

Now I have to find five new blogs to recommend! The goal, as I understand it, is to stretch out and discover new blogs, preferably blogs from different cultures or that are different from what you would normally read. To that end, I'm going to include a mix of some old favorites and some "new to me" blogs that look interesting. So here's my five, in no particular order:

Mortal Ghost - I've been wanting to check out L. Lee Lowe's serialized young adult fantasy novel, and this seemed like a good chance. So I read the first chapter and enjoyed it. Interesting character and set-up, and very rich descriptions.

O.R. Melling's Book Blog - O.R. Melling is the author of The Chronicles of Faerie, a beautiful series of books about the relationship between Faerie and the human world. Melling has two blogs; this one is her book blog where she posts interesting tidbits about the writing of the books and some beautiful pictures of locations in Ireland that she visited when researching the books.

POD-dy Mouth - This is an interesting and often humorous look at the world of Print on Demand, by one person on a mission to find the hidden treasure

Wendy Shepherd - Wendy is a longtime online friend, although we've never met in person. She's a fascinating person: a homeschooling mother and internet enterpreneur with many interests, including books, movies, music and lots more. Basically she blogs about all kinds of things that interest her. (Disclaimer: you'll also find an interview with my husband on her blog, but I would have recommended her anyway ;-)

Scholar's Blog - This is one of my favorite blogs; partly because Michele blogs about my favorite genre, fantasy, and partly because she's just an all-around cool person. Besides, she's in Oxford, which always seems like a magical land to me.

Blog day is almost over here, and in some time zones it's over, but in case you'd like to participate, here's what you need to do:

BlogDay posting instructions:

1. Find 5 new Blogs that you find interesting

2. Notify the 5 bloggers that you are recommending on them on BlogDay 2005

3. Write a short description of the Blogs and place a a link to the recommended Blogs

4. Post the BlogDay Post (on August 31st) and

5. Add the BlogDay tag using this link: BlogDay2006 and a link to BlogDay web site at


Friday, August 25, 2006

Buy books, save money, and help literacy

First Book is a national (U.S.) non-profit literacy organization, whose mission is to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. They have donated more than 40 million books to children throughout the U.S.

This weekend, Borders is offering a special opportunity to save money on books AND help First Book. Click here for a printable coupon that you can redeem at any Borders store this weekend, August 26-27. You'll save 10% off your entire purchase of regularly priced items, and Borders will donate 10% of your net purchase to First Book.

Technorati tags: | | |

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Book Review: Endymion Spring

I enjoyed Endymion Spring, by Matthew Skelton, so much that I lent it to someone else that I thought would enjoy it. She enjoyed it so much that she lent to someone else, and so on, with the result that I had to track the book down in order to borrow it back long enough to review it. That's the kind of book it is: a book that you just have to share with someone.

Endymion Spring tells the stories of two different boys in two different times: Blake, who is temporarily residing at Oxford, in our time, and Endymion, a mute apprentice to Johann Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, in fifteenth century Mainz, Germany. The two boys are linked through a magical book, a book with no words, or rather, with words that only certain people can see. The book touches the lives of both boys in unusual ways, and both find themselves in dire peril as evil men seek to possess the book for their own ends.

Endymion Spring is a remarkable and unusual book. I loved the rich descriptions of Oxford, a place that seems so magical to me that I can hardly believe it really exists. Yet Michele of Scholar's Blog assures me that the descriptions of the Bodleian Library in this book are pretty accurate. I hope that I have a chance to visit someday! Blake's story is exciting and will keep you on the edge of your seat, trying to guess who is the Person in Shadow. Endymion's sections are no less intriguing; I've always been interested in the history of printing, and it was fun to read a fictional story that ties in with it.

I've seen several reviewers that didn't like the book because, in their opinion, it didn't live up to the hype. It is true that the publisher has hyped this book to an annoying degree, but that didn't diminsh my enjoyment of the book. I can't speak to whether the book lived up to the hype or not, because I pretty much just ignored the hype and evaluated the book on it's own merits.

Technorati tags: | |

Quills Nominees Announced

The five nominees in each category for the Quill Awards have been announced. The Quill awards are a comsumer choice award initiated by Reed Business (PW magazine) and NBC. The nominees in the kidlit categories are:

Children's Chapter Book/Middle Grade:

  • Inkspell by Cornelia Funke (Scholastic/Chicken House)
  • Flush by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf)
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)
  • The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket (HarperCollins)
  • Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud (Miramax)

I don't know if I want Inkspell or Ptolemy's Gate to win! Both are excellent books.

Children's Illustrated Book:

  • Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor, illus. by Robin Preiss Glasser (HarperCollins)
  • If You Give a Pig a Party by Laura Numeroff, illus. by Felicia Bond (HarperCollins/Geringer)
  • John, Paul, George & Ben by Lane Smith (Hyperion)
  • Walter the Farting Dog Goes on a Cruise by William Kotzwinkle, Glenn Murray and Elizabeth Gundy, illus. by Audrey Colman (Dutton)
  • Winter's Tale: An Original Pop-up Journey by Robert Sabuda (Little Simon)

I don't read many picture books, so I'm not as familiar with the books in this category. But I love Robert Sabuda's work, so I'd probably vote for that.

Young Adult/Teen:

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Eldest by Christopher Paolini
  • Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
  • King Dork by Frank Portman
  • Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Surprisingly, I haven't read many of these, either, so I'm not sure what I'd vote for.

To see all the categories, and to vote, go to

Monday, August 21, 2006

Erin Hunter Chat Transcript

On Saturday, August 19, we held a chat in the Wands and Worlds community with the three people behind the popular Warriors and Warriors: The New Prophecy series: Cherith Baldry and Kate Cary, who write the series under the pseudonym Erin Hunter, and Vicky Holmes, who created the concept, develops the plot outlines, and edits the books.

I've posted a transcript of the chat, which you can find here.. Warriors fans will enjoy reading more about the background of the series and the people behind it, as well as some information on upcoming projects.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Seventh Carnival open for submissions!

I'll be hosting September's Carnival of Children's Literature; I believe we're up to the seventh! Please send your submissions to kidlitcarnival at gmail dot com, post them in a comment here, or use this form. Submissions are due by September 15. This "Harvest of Children's Literature" will be celebrated on the equinox, September 23! I look forward to reading all the submissions!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sixth Carnival of Children's Literature

Once again, you can read some of the best posts from the kidlitosphere at the latest Carnival of Children's Literature. Mary did a wonderful job with it, so head on over to Castle of the Immaculate for the Sixth Carnival of Children's Literature.

Back from the beach

I just got back from the beach, where I read Ingo by the seaside. I can't imagine a more appropriate book to read at the beach - I could almost hear the ocean calling me! Stay tuned for a review.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

New books to read

Oh, joy! I got two new books for review from HarperCollins: Ingo, which I've been dying to read since I read Kelly's review on Big A little a, and a new Oz book, Trouble Under Oz. I've been an Oz fan since I was about 3-years-old, so I'm looking forward to reading that one, too. Life is good!