holds, oh holds, how i hate you

September 9, 2010 Leave a comment

A few reasons my list didn’t work:

  • Holds kept coming available that I wanted to read more than the books on that list.
  • Some of the books on that list I realized I didn’t actually want to read or re-read.
  • Holds kept coming available that I wanted to read more than the books on the list.
  • I’m impatient.

Now I have nearly all my impatient holds, so I’m going to try and have my list again. We’ll see how it goes.

I also just picked up a copy of 1001 Books to Read Before You Die and I’m hoping to knock one of those out a month… at least one of the 20th and 21st century ones, anyways… any older than that and you’ll see a post from a close relative saying “sorry everyone, emilybrary’s died of boredom.”  (Yeah, I’m that cynical about old literature.  I just can’t do it.  I never have been able to, which is why I probably haven’t read anywhere near as many books in that book as I should.  I just put it and the children’s version on my Amazon wishlist though, if you know me & like buying me presents.)


to read list sort of … didn’t work out as planned

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment

but i’ve still been reading a lot. I’ll try and get an update on here at some point soon.

let’s pause for a book review – WHITE CAT BY HOLLY BLACK

August 29, 2010 Leave a comment
The Sharpe family is full of curse workers, con artists, mobsters, thieves, and generally tricksy people.  Cassel is no different, except that out of all the members of his family, he is not a worker, and wants nothing to do with the mafia.  He’s perfectly content attending Wallingford, a private school where he runs a betting circle and keeps to himself, his secrets buried under a handsome facade of normalcy.  Cassel Sharpe has it made. But like all seemingly perfect, charming, handsome guys, Cassel has a secret.  Three years ago, he stabbed his best friend Lila (his older brother’s girlfriend) to death.

Everything changes when Cassel wakes up one night on the roof of a school building, seemingly about to jump.  He is expelled from school as a suicide risk, and has to go live in his jailed mother’s house with his estranged grandfather, a death worker.  Plagued with dreams about a white cat and reliving the murder of Lila far more often than he ever wanted to, Cassel begins to suspect that he is being worked.  As he attempts to unravel his memories and his past, Cassel begins to find out dark truths about his family’s involvement in the mafia.

White Cat is a gripping novel that you won’t be easily able to put down – and if you’re on a train reading, you WILL miss your stop.  Trust me. I did it twice.  A dark, twisting tale of magic, mobsters, con artists, and normalcy, Cassel Sharpe and his White Cat will pull you into their world with just a touch of the page.


to-read list

August 28, 2010 Leave a comment

since i’m reading so many books for so many different projects, last night i decided to buckle down and make a schedule for myself.

each week im going to read AT LEAST:

1 book of MY choosing

1 book for my Mock Newbery

15 books for my 3rd grade Book Talk

the book match books i’m doing at work (one per week at least)

so for the next 6 days (started last night) i hope to read:

My choice:

  • White Cat by Holly Black – DONE
  • The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy (backup)- DONE
  • Talking Tails: the Incredible Connection Between People and Their Pets by Anne Love and Jane Drake (backup)

Mock Newbery

  • Keeper by Kathi Appelt – DONE
  • Leaving Gee’s Bend by Irene Latham (backup)

Book Talk:

  • The Monster’s Ring by Bruce Coville- DONE
  • Chuck and Danielle by Peter Dickinson
  • Niagara Falls (or Does It?) by Hank Zipzer
  • Utterly Me, Clarice Bean by Lauren Child- DONE
  • Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr
  • Judy Moody by Megan McDonald- DONE
  • You Wouldn’t Want to Live in a Wild West Town by Peter Hicks- DONE
  • Felix on Stage by Kathryn Lasky – DONE
  • Nobody Gonna Turn Me ‘Round by Doreen Rappaport  – DONE
  • The Boy Who Invented TV by Kathleen Krull – DONE
  • Spaceheadz by Jon Scieszka – DONE
  • Ubiquitous by Joyce Sidman- DONE
  • Girl Wonder: a Baseball Story in Nine Innings by Deborah Hopkinson- DONE
  • The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

Book Match

  • Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez- DONE
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society – Trenton Lee Stewart
  • Boys are Dogs by Leslie Margolis

new page

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

I made a new page — assorted bibliographies.

Right now I’m working on a third grade book talk, so that page will be morphing in the next few weeks.

I’ve put my Mock Caldecott & Newbery blog-posting on a back burner.

In other news, Mockingjay was incredible.  What did you think?

Graph of Books Read Since 2006

August 17, 2010 1 comment

I almost miss 2007’s second summer job that allowed me to read 3 books a day.  I miss being able to read 3 books a day — but not that job.

Chalk, written and illustrated by Bill Thomson

August 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Publication Date:
March, 2010

Reviewed For:
Ages 4-8

Journal Review / Summary
SLJ – This stunningly illustrated wordless picture book tells the story of three children who find a bag of magical chalk at the playground on a rainy day. Their drawings come to life, which seems great when a drawing of the sun stops the rain, but is scary when a dinosaur stalks them. A drawing of a rain cloud inside a play tube brings the rain back and dissolves the frightening creature. This imaginative story is the perfect showcase for Thomson’s extraordinary pictures. Though they look like photos or computer-generated images, each one is actually composed using traditional techniques with acrylics and colored pencils. The artist’s clever use of light, perspective, and expression, along with the protagonists’ neat solution to their dilemma, creates a completely satisfying experience. Thomson is a master at visual storytelling.

Illustration Medium:
Acrylic and colored-pencil

Execution in the artistic technique employed:
It’s absolutely incredible.  I seriously thought it was all digitally rendered, and therefore wasn’t all that impressed with it.  But the vibrancy of each illustration and the realistic images make this book larger than life. (Har har. Get it? Because it’s about a dinosaur?)

Appropriateness of style of illustration to story, theme, and concept:
I think the realism of the images makes the story much stronger than it would have been if it was done in childish cartoons, or a less realistic way… it would have taken the serious tone away from the book (though it would have been a lot less scary.)

Delineation/interpretation of a plot through illustration:
Wonderfully done with no words to accompany the illustrations.

Delineation/interpretation of a theme or concept through illustration:
The magic of the story (shown through the bag of chalk held by the spring dinosaur) is well shown throughout each page – whether or not the bag of chalk is present.

Delineation of characters through illustration:
Some of the characters’ faces are a little creepy, and they look very old for what I think their ages are.

Delineation of setting through illustration:
Realistic playground.

Delineation of mood through illustration:
Imaginative & hopeful.

Delineation of information through illustration:

Concluding Caldecott Thoughts:

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