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Showing posts from February, 2010

Shakespeare Bats Cleanup and Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by Ron Koertge

This will be a dual review! Rating: 4/5 Stars Genre: Contemporary Release Date: Shakespeare Bats Cleanup: 2/14/2006, Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs: 3/9/2010 About the Books: 14-year-old Kevin is stuck at home with Mono, which means he's not allowed to play any baseball. To pass the time, he starts to write. First he writes so it looks like poetry, then he begins to take an interest in poetry and explores different types of poems. He writes about his mom's death, baseball, and life in middle school. He also meets Mira, a new girl in school that makes him not want to hide the fact that he's a writer. In Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs , Kevin is back. He's grown more confident in his writing, he's dating Mira, and he's playing baseball. But when Kevin meets Amy at a poetry reading, he can't stop thinking about her-but that's not right-he has Mira! Why should he care that Amy understands his poems and Mira doesn't? On top of his own dating confusion, Ke

Blog Tour: Ron Koertge Author Interview

Please welcome author Ron Koertge to GreenBeanTeenQueen! Mr. Koertge is the author of Shakespeare Bats Cleanup , and it's upcoming sequel Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs , as well as many other YA novels. 1. Why do you write for teens? Since I've got a few miles on me (70 in April), I never started out wanting to be a YA writer. Not many people from my generation did and not many men, for sure. And nobody from my pathetic little hometown. Poetry was bad enough, but I couldn't tell anybody about that, either. I've turned out to be a pretty good poet for alleged adults (though any high school kid would like my poetry), but I wanted to be a novelist, too. I did publish one novel foradults twenty or so years ago but the next ones were failures. Pathetic and embarrassing. Unpublishable. That's when a friend of mine reminded me what a persistent adolescent I was (I have a sort of an Inner Teen with a smart mouth), so why not write for other adolescents? I tried, and it wo

Tween Tuesday

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme where I highlight great tween reads! Share your own Tween Tuesday post in the comments! The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick Rating: 3.5/5 Stars Genre: Historical Release Date: 1/13/2009 *This book is a 2010 Newberry Honor Book About the Book: When Homer's older brother is illegally sold into the Union Army, Homer sets off on an adventure to get his brother back. His trip leads him to a traveling road show, a hot air balloon ride, the underground railroad, and the Battle of Gettysburg. Here are Homer's (mostly) true adventures! GreenBeanTeenQueen Says : We all know those tweens (or even adults!) who exaggerate their stories. Homer's story is one those exaggerator's would love. This is one I listened to on CD and I thought it worked really well as an audiobook. The narrator was great! Many times historical fiction can be bland and boring and it's not always a popular genre with tweens. The Mostly True

Dream Life by Lauren Mechling

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars Genre: Mystery Release Date: 1/12/2010 About the Book: Teen psychic Claire Voyante is back in this second installment. Claire's friend Becca has started to hang out with her old prep school friends and Andy is sending mixed signals. When Claire discovers Becca's part of a secret society-and that someone is out to get them-Claire must use her cameo necklace and dream gift to save the girls-and her beloved New York. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: The second book featuring Claire Voyante was just as fun as the first. (It is the second book, but you could read this one without reading the first book, Dream Girl since the author does include a minor re-cap) I felt the mystery storyline picked up faster in Dream Life than it did in the first one and we spent more time with Claire trying to figure out what was happening. The thing I liked the most about this one was that the rich girls were all nice. There wasn't a typical mean girl rich snob, which I thought mad

Guest Post: Laura Pedersen Plus Contest

Please welcome author Laura Pedersen: I was a slow starter, pretty much a turnip in a sleeper the first couple of years. Once I began public school, kids were separated by ability. Our first grade reading groups had cutesy inspirational names such as Cheetahs, Jaguars and Blue Jays. Still unable to form words using letters, I was classified as a Dinosaur. I tried not to read too much into it but since I couldn’t read at all that really wasn’t possible, aside from a vague feeling that I’d been marked for extinction. It was not unlike the day my teacher dropped the bomb that “y” could sometimes be used as a vowel and I was so discombobulated that I couldn’t remember more than one verse to “Kum-bi-yah” during the sing-along after lunch. And that was saying a lot since the neighborhood was 80% Catholic and everyone knew at least 18 verses and a really good elementary school teacher could do the deaf version too. So children’s books were mostly read to me. When I finally twigged on to the w

Tween Tuesday: Movie Edition

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme to highlight great tween reads. Leave a link to your Tween Tuesday post in the comments. Today's Tween Tuesday will be a movie review, since my husband and I went to see Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief over the weekend. Both my husband and I are big fans of the books, but it's been a few years since I read the first one and my husband re-read the books about a month ago. But even with his recent refresher and my lack of remembering what was from the book and what was new, we really enjoyed it! I thought the casting was great-I loved all the actors, even though they aged-up the characters and cut out some of the gods. They did cut out Ares, which annoyed my husband, and the rest of the gods didn't have very big scenes-I would have liked to see them a little more. I really loved Grover-I think he was my favorite and exactly how I pictured him. And I really loved the casting of Luke-he was perfect, which made me ha

Wherever Nina Lies Giveaway

Win Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten About the Book: Nina was beautiful, wild, and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But, one day, Nina disappeared. Two years later, everyone has given up home that Nina will return, but Ellie knows her sister is out there. If only Ellie had a clue where to look. Then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing. Determined to find Nina, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she’s got a chance—her hot, adventurous new crush. Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn’t planning on. Like love. Lies. And the most shocking thing of all: the truth. Check out the Wherever Nina Lies website. About the Author: Lynn Weingarten spends a lot of time writing in coffee shops while occasionally reading strangers’ laptops over their shoulders. In the past she has been a book editor, a barista, a counter girl at a bakery in Ireland, a waitress at a bar, and a seller of tiny homemade clay anima

My Lit Crushes

In honor of Valentines Day (and my upcoming program at work on lit crushes) I thought I'd share my favorite lit crushes. I tried to think about lit crushes from childhood, but I just didn't have any I could think of. I read a lot of Babysitter's Club in elementary school, and while Logan was a great boyfriend, he wasn't someone I crushed on. So most of these are more current. 10. Almonzo Wilder from The Little House Series -This one doesn't make much sense, since I refused to read a series out of order and never got around to reading past reading Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie . But then in middle school I went through this obsession with the TV show and I fell in love with Almonzo. So this was more a TV-fueled crush and thankfully, it was pretty short lived. 9. Laurie from Little Women -I don't think I actually ever finished the book-I got mad every time Jo rejected Laurie-but I adored the movie as a kid. I would get annoyed tha

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Rating: 4/5 Stars Genre: Contemporary mixed with some fantasy elements Release Date: 9/22/09 About the Book: All Cameron wants to do is graduate high school-and maybe get a date with popular girl Stacy. When 16-year-old Cameron is diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease, his life takes a crazy turn. An punk rock angel named Dulcie shows up and tells Cameron there's a cure with a mysterious Dr. X-he just has to go and find it. With the help of a dwarf named Gonzo (who has some mother issues) and a yard gnome who just might be a Norse god, Cameron is off on the trip of a lifetime. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: So I actually got an advanced reader copy of this one and was excited to read it, but the premise just sounded strange-and not like my typical read, so I kept putting it off. Then the Printz committee awarded this one with the Printz medal and I knew I had to read it. I actually listened to it on audiobook, which I think worked well with this book. It's a trippy book-and it's pretty

The Snarky Librarian

At my library, we have three sets of shelves in the front. The first set of shelves is shorter and has genre fiction (Christian, Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, and Western) and staff recommendations. The middle shelf is taller and hold adult fiction and mystery. And the last shelf is another set of tall shelves with the start of non-fiction. We have signs hanging above the short shelves that say "fiction." The middle shelves have no sign and we have this misplaced sign for non-fiction that hangs at the start of the shelving for non-fiction. When people walk in, the first thing they see is the short shelves with the genre fiction. They ALWAYS mistake the sign that says "non-fiction" for the middle set of shelves which contains the books they're always looking for-mystery and adult fiction. Everyday we have people ask "where are the myseries?" and "where did my Nicholas Sparks books go?" even though the shelves have been this

Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars Genre: Paranormal Chick Lit Release Date: 12/1/09 About the Book: Solange Drake is the first female vampire born, not made, in hundreds of years. There's a prophecy that Solange will overthrow the current "vampire queen"-only problem is Solange wants to be a normal teen, no crown included. When Solange is kidnapped it's up to her best friend Lucy and her brother Nicholas to save her. If only Lucy and Nicholas can stop bickering long enough to come up with a plan. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: There have been so many paranormal reads taking over YA recently that I've been feeling a little burnt out on the paranormal genre. Besides, while I enjoy some paranormal books, they're still not my favorite genre. But Hearts At Stake was the perfect book to pull me back in. It had the perfect blend of paranormal and chick lit. It's a lighter take on the vampire trend. There's romance, but the story centers around best friends Lucy and Solange. T

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Rating: 4/5 Stars Genre: Fantasy Release Date: 12/23/08 About the Book: Kelley is an actress who recently moved to New York City and is taking part in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream . When the lead actress is injured, Kelley gets her chance as Titania , Faerie Queen. Little does she know she's much closer to the Faerie world than she thinks... Sonny Flannery is a member of Auberon's Janus Guard and is in charge of patrolling a portal to the Faerie world that happens to be in Central Park. When he meets Kelley, he finds himself guarding more than he bargained for. Kelley just might have a very powerful connection to the Faerie world-one that could change everything... GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Ok , I bought this one when it came out and I finally got around to reading it-I'm so glad I did and I can't believe it took me that long! Lesley Livingston creates the perfect fantasy that's great for readers like me who like their fantasy light and fun. I rea

Tween Tuesday

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme I created to highlight great reads for tweens! Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkabe Life of Bass reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie Rating: 5/5 Stars Genre: Biography Release Date: 11/1/09 About the Book: Bass Reeves was a former slave who became a U.S. Deputy Marshal. He worked hard bringing in criminals and was respected and feared for three decades. His story may sound like a tall tale, but this is the life of Bass Reeves. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Bad News for Outlaws is this year's Coretta Scott King Author Award winner. I'm so glad it won because not only do I think this book is incredibly deserving, but I'm not sure I would have come across it otherwise. I don't know if I can express how much I loved this book. It's a picture book biography, but I think the subject and text make it perfect for tweens who might not typically be interested in non-fiction. It could also make

When Do You Blog?

Liz over at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy has some great posts up about the "should's" of blogging and the shift from a private reader to a public reader. Her posts got me thinking about how blogging for many of us is something we do on top of school, work, and many other responsibilities. I am a full time teen librarian, I'm in grad school for my Master's in Library Science and I have a husband and an adorable dog (she's my fur baby). I'll also be starting work on YALSA's Fabulous Films Committee this year. On top of all that, I blog. I love to read, but sometimes it can feel overwhelming with everything else I have going on. I don't ever want reading and my blog to feel like work, so I do make sure that I read something that's just for me, without any intention of blogging about it. Sometimes I'll end up reviewing it because I really want to share the book, and other times I don't. I'm lucky that I work in a libr