Tag Archive | reading

Sword and Verse, by Kathy MacMillan (book review) – ink + paper = death??

book cover of Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan published by HarperTeen | recommended on BooksYALove.comTaught to write by her late father.
Captured, now teaching the future king,
A slave in danger… and in love.

This land where higher order writing is reserved for the monarch has indeed rewritten history after conquering her home islands, Raisa discovers, as her good memory of Father’s lessons and her terrible curiosity reveal hidden scrolls’ secrets – but no one would believe what a slave says, even if she is the heir-apparent’s tutor!

Read an excerpt here for free, courtesy of the publisher, then look for this suspenseful January 2016 tale at your local library or independent bookstore.

Love or justice – which is the better choice?
**kmm

Book info: Sword and Verse / Kathy MacMillan. HarperTeen, 2016. [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Suddenly a royal tutor in the conquerors’ land, slave Raisa must be careful not to show that she knows how to read, not to betray other Arnath slaves as they plan to escape, not to let Prince Mati see how she feels about him, even as she finds shocking information in old scrolls that could overturn everything.

Why can only the King use higher order writing to communicate with Qilara’s gods?
What treacheries are being plotted in the palace?
How can Raisa stay calm during Mati’s betrothal ceremonies?

As the slave Resistance gains strength and outside enemies threaten Qilara, Raisa must balance what she wishes for and what she has discovered in the history of the gods if she hopes to keep her head attached to her neck or any shred of Mati’s affections. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love, by Sarvenaz Tash (book review) – Romance or reality at ComicCon?

book cover of The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | recommended on BooksYALove.comPlanning the best day ever at New York ComicCon!
Telling her how he truly feels about her!
Getting cut off by a random guy…

Next-door neighbors and comic creators together, Roxy and Graham enjoy fan fiction based on the Althena universe, keep their grades up, and can’t wait to go to ComicCon! (p.s. That’s where he will tell her how much he cares for her – until Devin crashes their group!)

Don’t wait till BookCon at NYCC to pick up this June 2016 release! Visit at your favorite local library or independent bookstore today to see if Roxy and Graham get any tips from famous cartoonists and if she ever figures out how he feels about her!

Been to a Con?
**kmm

Book info:  The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love / Sarvenaz Tash. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016.  [author site]  [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Graham realizes that he’s fallen for girl next door/ best friend /comic co-creator Roxy, but his plans to tell her on the perfect New York ComicCon day are foiled by a handsome British student.

It’s a miracle that famously reclusive artist-author Zinc is scheduled to appear at NYCC, years after his legendary Althena comic went dark. It’s a tragedy that a cool Brit runs into their group and decides to tag along while flirting with Roxy!

Graham and Casey can grab those limited-seating tickets for Zinc, right?
How can Graham convince Roxy to sneak past her conservative parents and skip school for another day of ComicCon?
Is there any way to get her away from Devin without looking like a jerk?

Somehow, this real-life relationship stuff is so much more complicated than the ones that he and Roxy write and draw in their comic series or any of the romantic comedy movies that Graham’s late mother loved so much. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Hope endures – read for inspiration, with your ears!

Time to download this week’s free audiobooks from SYNC so you can read with your ears!

Remember that although these complete audiobooks are only available from Thursday through Wednesday, you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.

Bookmark the SYNC site now so you can download great audiobooks all summer long: http://www.audiobooksync.com/

CD cover of Boy Born Dead by David Ring, John Driver | Read by Paul Michael Published by christianaudio | recommended on BooksYALove.comThe Boy Born Dead: a Story of Friendship, Courage, and Triumph (download page)

by David Ring, John Driver
Read by Paul Michael
Published by christianaudio

Neglect at birth left David with cerebral palsy. Orphaned, he was rootless and abused in the foster care system until he was befriended in high school by another David who inspired him to complete his education, rise above his past, and become an international speaker to inspire countless others through ministry.

Words in the Dust (download page)

CD cover of Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy | Read by Ariana Delawari Published by Scholastic Audio | recommended on BooksYALove.comby Trent Reedy
Read by Ariana Delawari
Published by Scholastic Audio

In her Afghan village, young Zulaikha hopes and hopes – for a school, for cleft-palate surgery, for peace. God willing ‘Inshallah’  – her new friend will teach her, the arriving Americans will fix things, her stepmother will love her – but is hoping enough?

When has hope gotten you through the bad times?
**kmm

That’s a wrap – another April AtoZ Challenge in the books!

logo of April AtoZ blog challenge 2016I did it!

26 posts – A to Z – in April, on schedule.

That’s 22 new, no-spoiler book recommendations, plus 3 library-celebration posts and a look ahead to free audiobooks all summer.

Thanks again to the April AtoZ Challenge organizers! This is all free, a labor of love to help bloggers build up their blogging muscles and gain readership.

Since I signed up so late (#1532 on the list), I didn’t get many new followers or comments, but it was certainly worth it for me to get back in my writing groove – so many great books from debut authors and smaller presses to tell y’all about! (not enough hours in the day for me to consider covering self-published works, as my policies state)

So if you want to find your voice in blogging or just have a super list of blogs to visit and follow, look into the April AtoZ Challenge – I’ll remind you next March!

Got a favorite, unheralded YA title to recommend?
**kmm

R is for Reading Rainbow!!

Reading Rainbow Kickstarter graphic from https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/readingrainbow/bring-reading-rainbow-back-for-every-child-everywh/description

from https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/readingrainbow

I got to hear LeVar Burton speak yesterday at the Texas Library Association conference – yay!

His Kickstarter to revive and add to the classic kids’ TV show Reading Rainbow was a phenomenal success, as this photo shows.

On the new Reading Rainbow site, you can find your favorite Reading Rainbow episodes on Netflix, DVD, or iTunes, check out the subscription-based Skybrary Family online kids’ reading library of videos and books, and the new Skybrary School which offers the same for elementary classrooms and kids.

Meeting authors and discovering upcoming books is such a great part of TxLA – hearing literary luminaries speak is a huge bonus!

What was your favorite Reading Rainbow-introduced book? (and I bet that you are humming the theme song right now like I am…)
**kmm

L is for Library – Happy National Library Week!

Logo for National Library Week 2016 featuring Gene Luen Yang | BooksYALove.comHappy National Library Week!

Thanks for cartooning yourself for the celebration, Gene Luen Yang – love your Boxers and Saints  graphic novel pair (my recommendation here), plus your reimagining of the Green Turtle vintage comic (read more here).

Share how libraries have changed your life or community with the #LibrariesTransform hashtag all year long.

During #NLW16 or any week, this particular long-time librarian would love to hear your favorite library story.

**kmm

 

Literacy = a lifelong gift on #givingTuesday & every day

If you’re reading this blog post, you’re part of the literate majority, those who can navigate the modern world and all its written commands, warnings, and enjoyments.

But too many adults, worldwide and in the USA, cannot read or read well enough to fill out employment applications, understand official notices, or help their own children with homework.

On #GivingTuesday, or any day, you can donate to many worthy causes, including those working to reduce illiteracy and increase literacy. I’m a big fan of First Book (FirstBook.org) and Reading Is Fundamental (www.rif.org), which get books into kids’ hands so they can become better readers for life.

The fine folks at Grammarly.com made this infographic on global literacy and the impacts of illiteracy:Global Literacy 2015 graphic from https://dkru86weszx9t.cloudfront.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/LD@-1.jpg

Please support literacy causes locally and globally by volunteering or donating – literacy is for everyone, forever.
**kmm

Indie bookstores for Small Business Saturday & every day!

Small Business Saturday image, borrowed from ModernSalon.com

image borrowed from ModernSalon.com

It’s Saturday,
Small Business Saturday,
buy books from small business day!

You’ve seen the numbers – dollars spent at local businesses recirculate in your community much more than what goes into chain-stores’ coffers. While Small Business Saturday was started by a credit card company, it’s a great reminder of the wonderful resources in own neighborhoods and towns.

Our independent booksellers are near and dear to my heart, as they curate collections of local interest, find just the right book for that just-right gift, and bring in authors/illustrators to speak, meet, and mingle with avid fans and soon-to-be enthusiasts.

And, of course, they choose books beyond the bestsellers mass-marketed by the big-box stores – like the titles I recommend here!

Search for your local indie bookstore at IndieBound here: http://www.indiebound.org/indie-store-finder

So how can you #shopsmall if you don’t have an indie bookstore in your town?  Most indies will ship to you gladly. Two of my favorites are Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon (powells.com) and Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC (www.quailridgebooks.com) – please note, these are not affiliate links, just pointers for your convenience.

Check independent bookstores for autographed editions, wishlist-building, special sales, and shipping deals for the holidays – and year-round. And if you ever need ideas on books to buy, you know that you’ll find them here!

Happy book-buying and happy reading – what’s on your book wishlist?
**kmm

Plotted, by Andrew DeGraff (book review) – mapping literary landscapes

book cover of Plotted by Andrew DeGraff published by Zest Books | http://BooksYALove.com reviewBefore and after of Robinson Crusoe‘s island,
Moby Dick and the ship chasing him,
Huckleberry Finn‘s meandering voyage down the Mississippi with Jim…

Happy book birthday this week to Plotted: A Literary Atlas!

I liked it so much that I almost posted this recommendation well before its publication date, but rescheduled so as not to whet your appetite for these uniquely visualized story-maps before you could actually acquire this fascinating book.

Enjoy literary maps of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol  and of Richard Adams’ Watership Down  in this free preview from the publisher, then go get this book to see all the intricately detailed maps, so evocative of each of the 19 books selected while using no quotations at all.

Do you create mental (or actual) maps as you read a book?
**kmm

Book info: Plotted: A Literary Atlas / art by Andrew DeGraff, essays by Daniel Harmon. Zest Books, 2015.  [artist’s site]  [publisher site]  [time-lapse artist’s video] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Mental maps created by reading stories blossom into intricately designed maps on the page in this “literary atlas” covering 19 selections from ancient days to the present, as seen through one artist’s eyes.

Whether mapping the movements of selected characters (as in his panels for A Wrinkle in Time) or conveying a wider sense of the book’s narrative (like the Kafka story, “A Report to the Academy”), DeGraff includes numerous details from each work in his hand-painted maps.

Says the artist, “These are maps for people who seek to travel beyond the lives and places that they already know (or think they know). The goal here isn’t to become found, but only to become more lost. Like a poorly informed but over-confident urbanite, I seek to help you get more lost.” (Introduction)

Wander through Elsinore act by act with the many characters of Hamlet, travel the Mediterranean with Odysseus, and trace the complicated path of true love in Pride and Prejudice. Essays by Daniel Harmon accompany each nearly wordless map-set which brings fresh views of stories for readers to consider and appreciate.

Teens’ Top Ten – vote now!

logo of YALSA's Teens' Top Ten book programTime is running short for Teens’ Top Ten voting!

Teens ages 12-18 get to choose 3 of the 24 nominated books, but you must vote by October 24, 2015 (the end of Teen Read Week).

Here are four great books that might have flown under the publicity radar. Click on the title to read my no-spoilers recommendation:

Since You’ve Been Gone, by Morgan Matson

Kiss of Deception, by Mary Pearson

The Winner’s Curse, by Marie Rutkoski

The Geography of You and Me, by Jennifer E. Smith

Head to http://www.ala.org/yalsa/reads4teens/ to see individual book trailers for each title and VOTE!

Tell your friends, talk about books, vote so that this Top Ten list is yours!
**kmm