Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chicago Tribune Young Readers Book Reviews -- January 31

This Saturday's Chicago Tribune offers three reviews from Mary Harris Russell aimed at readers from 10 to 15 years old.

I Heard God Talking To Me William Edmondson and His Stone Carvings By Elizabeth Spires
Ages 10-14

Amiri & Odette, A Love Story Poem by Walter Dean Myers Paintings by Javaka Steptoe Ages 12-15

Ashley Bryan: Words To My Life's Song By Ashley Bryan Ages 11-14

Friday, January 30, 2009

Deborah Hopkinson Blog Tour Date and more

On February 23rd Deborah Hopkinson will be visiting this humble blog in the land of Lincoln to talk about her picture book Abe Lincoln Crosses A Creek.

I received an e-mail promo from Anderson's Bookshops featuring books to celebrate Lincoln's upcoming 200th Birthday and guess what one of the featured books was.....

Here's the book description featured in their ad:


This is a tale of two boys who get themselves into more trouble than bear cubs in a candy store during the year 1816. Abe is only seven years old, and his pal, Austin, is ten. Abe and Austin decide to journey down to Knob Creek. The water looks scary and deep, and Austin points out that they don't know how to swim. Nevertheless, they decide to traverse it. We won't tell you what happens, but let's just say that our country wouldn't be the same if Austin hadn't been there to help his friend.

Remember to stop by this blog on February 23 for my interview with Deborah Hopkinson, but you might want to go to Anderson's or your own local bookstore by February 12 and add her book to your library!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

OT: Xanadu

Xanadu is coming to Chicago. Here is a link to the article in today's Chicago Tribune. I mentioned Xanadu in my post last June.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Darcy Pattison Retreat Prep #1

I will be attending a revision retreat in very late February hosted by SCBWI-Illinois, taught by Darcy Pattison. I thought it might be nice to step everyone through the experience, which has already begun. I'll warn you up front -- I will not be sharing detailed notes from the retreat.

Let's start with a to do list:

  1. Complete a middle grade or YA manuscript and share it with the three other writers in my retreat critique group. (completed)
  2. Read the three manuscripts of the other critique group members. (shortest of the three read, started on the second)
  3. Read The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. (both purchased)
  4. Read your own MS so it is fresh in your mind. (complete)
  5. Mail first chapter/query letter/synopsis of your MS to Darcy Pattison. (complete)
  6. Fill out short critique forms on the critique group manuscripts. (Okay, I should have done the first one before starting the second book.....)

The retreat is set up for a max of twenty attendees -- as of January 12th there were still three openings. I'm looking forward to the retreat. Now, I have a lot of reading to do!

Oh, one last thing. Since I have so much reading to do, here's a little quiz I found at Writer Musings with my results:

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader
Fad Reader
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Chicago Tribune Young Readers Book Reviews

Today in the Chicago Tribune, Mary Harris Russell reviews three new books:

3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows By Ann Brashares Delacorte Press, $18.99 Ages 11-14

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed By Mo Willems Hyperion, $16.99; Ages 4-6

The Odd Egg By Emily Gravett; Simon & Schuster, $15.99; Ages 3-6

Saturday, January 17, 2009

January 17 Chicago Tribune Book Reviews

This week Mary Harris Russell reviews four books about our nation's presidents.

Change Has Come: An Artist Celebrates Our American Spirit Drawings by Kadir Nelson with the words of Barack Obama Ages 8 and up

Our Country's Presidents By Ann Bausum Ages 10-14

Encyclopedia of the Presidents and Their Times By David Rubel Ages 10-14

The Look-It-Up Book of Presidents By Wyatt Blassingame, 2008 edition Ages 9-12

Another book about one of our presidents will visit Haunts of a Children's Writer the last week in February. I am pleased to announce that I will be doing a Blog Tour interview of author Deborah Hopkinson talking about her book Abe Lincoln Crossing a Creek. Watch for the exact date which is still to be determined. (Deborah's book Home on the Range: John A. Lomax and His Cowboy Songs was reviewed by Mary Harris Russell last week.)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

January 10 Tribune Book Reviews + Wired

Gail at The Riant Writer alerted our SCBWI-Illinois listserv of an article in WIRED magazine featuring a soon to be published book by Alice McGinty titled DARWIN. Alice is the assistant regional advisor for SCBWI-Illinois and a well published author of fiction and non-fiction. The link takes you directly to Alice's book, but 7 or 8 other books about Darwin are also featured.

This week's reviews in the Chicago Tribune by Mary Harris Russell are:

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg By Rodman Philbrick Ages 10-13

Home on the Range: John A. Lomax and His Cowboy Songs By Deborah Hopkinson; Illustrated by S.D. Schindler Ages 8-11

Always in Trouble By Corinne Demas; Pictures by Noah Z. Jones Ages 5-8

The Snow Day By Komako Sakai Ages 3-5

Saturday, January 3, 2009

January 3 Tribune Book Reviews -- plus last weeks

Okay, part of the reason I decided to post the link was to make it easy. Guess what. Last week I posted the reviews from December 20 as those from December 27. What that means is this: BONUS WEEK!! I'm posting the real December 27 plus January 3 reviews.

December 27 reviews:

Savvy By Ingrid Law Ages 10-14

The Willoughbys: A Novel By Lois Lowry Ages 9-14

The Knife of Never Letting Go By Patrick Ness Ages 13-16

January 3 reviews:

Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith By Deborah Heiligman Ages 12-15

One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin By Kathryn Lasky Illustrated by Matthew Trueman Ages 8-11

Posy By Linda Newbery Illustrated by Catherine Rayner Ages 3-5

Yatandou By Gloria Whelan Illustrated by Peter Sylvada Ages 7-10

If anyone finds any links from other newspapers that they would like me to post next week, e-mail me at jdwrites4kids (at) gmail (dot) com or post them in comments.