Tag Archive | publishers

Nine years of #books… did it!

logo of 10th April Blogging A to Z Challenge

Yesterday, I wrapped up my 9th April A to Z Blog Challenge – 26 new books reviewed in a month. Nine years in a row!

Thank you to the A2Z organizers for providing annual graphics, badges, sign-ups, and promotion for free. During this pandemic, having a scheduled daily task was especially welcome.

Every year, I wonder if I should push myself to post every April day but Sundays, forcing books to fit into that A to Z progression (X, I am looking at you), and every year I am glad that I did it so y’all have 26 more books worth seeking out.

And today marks the beginning of my TENTH year of blogging about books beyond the bestsellers as BooksYALove!

Big thanks to Michele Rafter, whose Blogathon caught my attention in late April 2011 so I could start my very first blog on May 1st and learn the ins and outs of blogging during that May and several to follow.

Huge thanks to Barb Langridge, who asked me in 2010 to join other librarians in writing reviews for her book discovery site for kids www.abookandahug.com. Building up a digital folder of no-spoiler Young Adult and middle grade book reviews to post on my new blog was a true gift.

Much appreciation to the publishers who provide review copies and who have begun bringing us more books by #ownvoices authors, people of color, underrepresented populations – still a long, long way to go, but it’s a start.

All the love to my daughter Emily who designed the BooksYALove logo, helped me move this blog to self-hosting several years ago, and is the best kind of tech support always – mwah!

Will I post every day from now on?
Probably not.

Will I seek out books that are #ownvoices or beyond bestsellers, always worth your attention?
You bet!

Will I promote libraries and independent booksellers over other options?
Always, always, always!

What’s new in your book-reading world?
**kmm

Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, by Marc Tyler Nobleman (book review)

book cover of Bill the Boy Wonder Secret CoCreator of Batman by Marc Tyler Nobleman published by CharlesbridgeGotham City,
Bruce Wayne,
The Dark Knight.

These words make us think immediately of Batman. Fans of the DC Comics series or the 1960s television show might even name Bob Kane as the character’s creator.

But Batman had two fathers – and now his co-creator’s story is finally being fully told through Marc Tyler Nobleman’s careful research. Using the “Golden Age of Comics” style, illustrator Ty Templeton presents the pivotal events in the superhero’s journey into print.

Whether you’re a fan of comics in general or Batman in particular, you owe it to yourself to get this book to learn the true story behind the legend. Available now at your local library or independent bookstore.
**kmm

Book info: Bill the Boy Wonder: the Secret Co-Creator of Batman / Marc Tyler Nobleman; illustrated by Ty Templeton. Charlesbridge, 2012.  [author’s blog]     [illustrator’s blog]     [book website]  [publisher site]    [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My Book Talk:Bill Finger was so good at crafting secret identities that he co-created Batman, one of the greatest super-heroes in comics, while remaining in the shadows himself.

He changed his name from Milton to the less-Jewish-sounding Bill to avoid the widespread anti-Semitism in 1930s New York City. Although he wanted to be a writer, he took any job available during the Depression. Then he met cartoonist Bob Kane who asked Bill to write adventure stories that he could illustrate, just after the epic debut of Superman.

Challenged by their editor to create a new superhero, Bob sketched all weekend, but needed Bill’s inventive mind to make the character come to life. Taking Bob’s drawing of a red-clad Bat-man with large wings, Bill told him to change the small mask into a face-covering cowl with slitted eyeholes and pointed bat-ears, make the rigid batwings into a swirling cape, and clothe their hero in all-black. This new superhero made DC Comics into a very successful company.

Bob took all the credit for Batman – in those times, it was common for a comic to use several illustrators and inkers to complete the drawings with just the main cartoonist being named. But even as the success of Batman grew, Bob refused to give Bill credit for being the series’ writer.

Bill’s strong storytelling skills gave Batman all the details that we recognize today – a human without superpowers, orphaned during a terrible crime, a vigilante detective protecting his city from master villains like the Joker and Catwoman. Bob called Bill a “boy wonder” because he kept coming up with ideas for the series; when Bill decided that the Dark Knight needed someone to talk to, another boy wonder came into being, Batman’s sidekick Robin.

It was widely known in the comics community that Bill wrote all the Batman comics stories, but it took decades before he was publicly recognized for his work in creating Batman’s character. Today, the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing honors the best story creators in the business.

Fittingly, the main events of Bill’s life and Batman’s origins are told in graphic novel format in this book, followed several pages of detailed information about Batman’s history and Bill’s family – a fascinating mystery finally brought to light in classic comic book style. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Happy Blog Birthday to me! (reflective)

Wow – BooksYALove is a year old today!
Nearly 200 no-spoiler book recommendations posted,
Multiple blog challenges completed,
Now it’s time for the 2012 version of WordCount Blogathon, the challenge that got me finally started in blogging and the community that kept me going the whole year ’round.

I write the recommendations on BooksYALove for readers who seek something a bit different, who want to read interesting books that aren’t just the usual bestsellers piled in stacks at the front of the bookstore or screaming from ads. And no spoilers – ever! If you want to know the exact ending of a book or whodunit or who winds up with whom, you’ll need to read reviews somewhere else.

Young adult books are not only for teenagers, of course, as today’s YA authors skillfully navigate their characters through the perils of love and loss, identity and community, dreams and disasters that folks of all ages share. While some YA books are brief reads, others go well over 400 pages in hardback. If you like historical fiction or mysteries or paranormal intrigue or science fiction, you’ll find great YA books to enjoy.

So here’s a toast to authors and to readers – may we share many memories together through young adult books for many years to come!
**kmm

Birthday cake clipart courtesy of http://www.webweaver.nu/clipart/birthday.shtml. Photograph of reader statue (c)Katy Manck 2011.

Giveaway Over! Cat Girl’s Day Off – feline interview, too

If you’ve read my recommendation of Cat Girl’s Day Off, by Kimberly Pauley, then you know that Rufus Brutus the Third is a feline force to be reckoned with – even if he has been dyed pink for Breast Cancer Awareness.

My cat Max (pictured at right) chatted with Rufus (see him on the book cover below). They decided to give one lucky BooksYALove reader an Advance Reader’s Copy of the book, so follow their instructions to enter the giveaway!

Max: You went through a lot in Chicago to find your person. Was it worth it?
Rufus: My person and I are an inseparable team – I inspire her writing, you know.
Max: Yeah, I help my person write by staying nearby, just in case she needs to pet me. And there’s a dog in your life, right?
Rufus: Oh, Fergie! I’ve had hairballs bigger than his wee little brain, but if he makes Easton happy, I’ll put up with him. The imposter [snarl!] was terribly mean to Fergie, but took out most of her anger against me.
Max: Chasing you with hairspray and perfume? What an awful person!
Rufus: And the things she did to other humans, like my Easton… [snarrrrlll] don’t get me started!
Max: Did you enjoy getting to meet other cats, despite the circumstances?
Rufus: It’s enlightening to travel, my person always says, and she’s right. If we’d stayed in Hollywood, how would I ever have run into Meep or PD or Queenie or Nat, the cat-fluent person? Maybe she’ll be able to convince my Easton to stop calling me Tiddlywinks and use my real name!
Max: Would you ever visit a school again, I mean, after all that craziness with the movie people?
Rufus: Certainly not! Their facilities for felines are definitely sub-par!

Max: So here’s how readers can enter to win an Advance Reader’s Copy of Cat Girl’s Day Off.
Rufus: But they have to give us their word of honor that they won’t try to sell it!
ARCs may NOT be sold!
Max: Exactly, but the winner can share the ARC with other readers.
Rufus: The giveaway is open to readers 13 years and older, with a US mailing address, since Tu Books will ship the ARC directly to the winner.
Max: And only 1 entry per human, to make it fair.
Rufus: To avoid those awful, awful spammers, write your e-mail address in the comments like this: RufusBrutusTheThird AT EastonWest DOT com.
Max: We’ll take entries through 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 9th.
I’ll be up then. Will you be up, Rufus?
Rufus: Undoubtedly! Hollywood was made for late-night cats like me.
Max: Then all the entries will go in the Randomizer to choose 1 winner. My person will e-mail the winner who must reply to her with their US mailing address by Monday, April 16, 2012.
Rufus: You DO want to get your paws on my heroic tale of bravery as soon as possible, don’t you??
Max: Just for fun, add the color of your favorite cat, too.
Rufus: So my person would put “pink” – seems a funny name for such a boring color.*
Max: Good luck, everyone, and remember that your cat knows a lot more than he or she is telling you!
—–
*Cats can’t distinguish reds from greens and browns because they don’t have cones in their retinas.

Reading beyond the box (reflective)

A new year and a new challenge: Read and thoughtfully comment on 5 blog posts a day for 21 days…

Since it takes about 3 weeks to solidly acquire a new habit, MotherReader and Lee Wind have once again teamed up to help book bloggers get into the good habit of reading what other book bloggers are reading and writing about and (most importantly) joining in the conversation about the kidlit that makes us all so happy with their Comment Challenge 2012.

And there will be prizes for folks who register their 100 comments in 21 days (with 1 day off, just in case), too! We’ll be checking in with Lee on Wednesdays to update our totals and get a bit of encouragement along the way.

So, a new year, new blogs to read, new books to discover – onward…
**kmm

The right book for the right reader

Did you ever get a recommendation for a book or movie that was just-right, that struck a chord in your heart, that you quoted from long afterward?

This blog will introduce you to young adult (YA) books of every genre, books that often take place far beyond our own neighborhood, yet show us ourselves in a new light. Many are from smaller publishers or first-time authors. All are worth your consideration.

If you’re in high school or older, every book on this blog is for you. I’ll note any significant situations of violence that may disturb sensitive readers, but will assume that you know yourself well enough to put aside any book that embarrasses or bores you. I agree with Daniel Pennac’s Rights of the Reader, seen with Quentin Blake’s illustrations at http://www.walker.co.uk/UserFiles/file/Rights%20of%20the%20reader/NYOR_ROTR.pdf

I blog about fascinating, underappreciated YA books because I’ve fallen in love with them or the characters won’t let me go or the situation portrayed is so startling that I have to make sure you have a chance to experience it, too. Many publishers send me books, and I am free to review or discard any title.

For starting me on the book recommendation path, I thank Barb Langridge with all my heart; every recommendation posted originally on her wonderful site www.abookandahug.com (where I continue to recommend great books for kids, tweens, and teens) will be tagged as such. All selectors’ notes are new to this blog, but no story spoilers are ever given!!

Please share what you think about the books – talking about what we’ve read just makes it better!