Friday, March 14, 2014

Book Festival Update!

 Here I am with Guadalupe Garcia McCall at the prefestival dinner at Johnny Carino's.  She was so fun!  I was expecting someone more serious after reading Under the Mesquite, but she is so fun and high energy!
 Here I am with Crystal Allen and Guadalupe Garcia McCall.  These two are a hoot!  We were all laughing so hard the rest of the people in the restaurant were staring at us, but we did not care.  Plus, Crystal Allen knows Neal Shusterman in real life, not just in a stalkery way like I do.  He is her mentor; how cool is that!?
This is Gordon Korman (OMG) and CyWoods librarian, Terrie Schexnaider.  Y'all, I had dinner with GORDON KORMAN!
 Diana Lopez was also great.  I can't wait to read Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel!  I sense a spring break read coming on.  :)
 And here is a photo of Tim Green and me together.  That's right.  Tim Green and me.  Together.  I know you're jealous!
Doesn't Wendelin Van Draanen look so fun in this picture.  I LOVED meeting her!  Y'all know The Running Dream is one of my all time favorites.  Plus, she was wearing purple Converse sneakers--my favorite shoe in my favorite color.  I knew we were kindred spirits!  :)

Divergent Movie!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Curtsies and Conspiracies

 Sophronia and friends are back with a brand new adventure at Mademoiselle Geraldine's academy.  This time the world is in an uproar over a certain valve that could make dirigible travel much faster.

But first things first, it's exam time, and even high marks can't be taken at face value when you are in a school for covert agents.  Sophronia's world is in a kerfuffle after her friends and enemies alike turn against her and her top marks.

To make matters even more tense, the whole school is floating to London to witness the first ever dirigible flight in the etherosphere.  This travel is faster and higher up than ever before.  Not only that, but they've taken on several boys from Bunson's.  This throws the girls into a frenzy, and one particular boy has set his estimable sights on Sophronia.

Did I mention someone is trying to kidnap Dimity and her younger brother, Pillover?  This is the kind of mess Sophronia will have to use all her wits and covert training to sort out!


Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Laura Line

Laura Dyson loves three things in life:  fashion and modeling, baseball, and that chunky hunky Troy Bailey!  Kids at school make fun of her because she's a little overweight, Troy barely acknowledges her existence, and she's never told anyone outside of her family about loving baseball.  She doesn't want to give them any more ammunition to use against her--a girl pitching baseball.

Despite this, Laura is pretty happy.  She has her best friend, Sage, for support.  Everything goes wrong when she has to spend two weeks with her grandmother at the farm while her parents are away at their National Guard training.  Heck to the double no!  Laura knows her grandmother will bore her to tears with all her talk about the slave shack and the Laura Line.  She doesn't see why anyone would be proud of that symbol of injustice in her family.  Plus, her grandmother knows nothing about baseball!

But Laura doesn't have a choice, and with Sage making a play for the more popular kids(doesn't she see they're just using her?), and Troy and his dad taking care of her grandmother's yard (sweet mother of chunky hunkies!), and a class field trip to the slave shack (oh, heck to the double no), her life is about to be turned upside down.

Crystal Allen's new book is about staying true to yourself and finding strength and courage in those who came before.  Don't miss the author at the book festival this Saturday!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hold Fast

Early's family is close.  They don't have much money, but they have love for each other and love for learning.  Her dad, Dash, is working as a library page at the Chicago Public Library and hoping for the day when he can become a full-time librarian.

The family lives in a tiny one room apartment, but they have dreams of owning a real home with a kitchen and bedrooms and maybe even a cat.  For now they have each other, their dreams, and rich world of reading and words, including their favorite poet Langston Hughes.

Dash is not the kind of man who would ever abandon his family, so when he disappears one day, his wife and children are afraid something terrible has happened.  But the police are accustomed to a different kind of man from a poor neighborhood.  They don't put much effort into finding Dash telling his family that this kind of thing happens all the time.

Things go from bad to worse as the little family quickly runs out of money and is harassed by violent criminals.  When they find themselves in a homeless shelter, Early mother begins to lose hope.  It's up to Early to hold fast to her dreams and her quest to find out the truth about what happened to Dash.

Blue Balliett wrote this book after learning that at least thirty thousand school children in Chicago are homeless.  This lovingly written story reveals some of the pain, fear, and hopelessness of those homeless children, but it is also a tale of hope and encouragement.