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Showing posts from April, 2013

Tween Tuesday: Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind by Gary Ross

Rating: 3/5 Stars Genre: Fantasy/Novel in Verse Release Date: 12/13/2012 Add to Goodreads About the Book: Bartholomew is pretty ordinary and a bit bored. So when a very big wind appears outside his window, Bartholomew takes his bedsheet and soars into the sky. Flying across the world, Bartholomew meets new friends and has many wild adventures. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says:  Told in rhyming verse, Bartholomew Biddle would make a great pick for poetry month lessons. The story is broken up into seven chapters and while they all work together, each chapter also holds a small vignette of adventure that is happening to Bartholomew. The rhyming verse would make this a great read aloud for families reading together. I really appreciated that I never felt like the rhyming lines were forced. The flow was always very well done and the rhymes worked. It also gave the book a nice cadence. Bartholomew has several fun adventures along the way and I think readers who love stories full of imag

Caldecott Storytime: Week 12

I didn't get a chance to get this posted yesterday, so now Monday is storytime day! :) I'm doing Caldecott themed storytime for preschool storytime in January-April. Check out all my Caldecott Storytime plans here . Theme : Wordless Picture Books Skill : Tell Stories Open : Where is Thumbkin by The Wiggles I decided to use all wordless picture books in this storytime. I opened the storytime by talking about the Caldecott Award and how it is given for illustrations, like I do every week. Then I asked the kids what we would do if a book had no words-how could we tell the story? They said we could read the title and after a bit more asking them to look inside the book I was holding, I pointed out that the pictures help us tell the story. I told them to look at the pictures and see if they  could help tell the stories of our books this week. I wasn't sure how this would work out, but I thought I would try it and see how it went! Read :  The Lion and the Mouse

Hidden by Helen Frost

Rating: 3/5 Stars Genre: Contemporary/Novel in Verse Release Date: 5/10/2011 Add to Goodreads About the Book: When Wren and Darra are eight years old, Darra's father steals a car, not knowing Wren is in the back. While police are on the lookout for a kidnapper, Darra knows that Wren has to be hiding out in her garage. Wren manages to escape and their lives are forever changed. Now, years later, they are both arriving at the same summer camp. Neither has seen each other since those fateful days and neither is sure how to approach the other and talk about what happened to them and the events that followed. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says:  Helen Frost is a master of writing beautiful poetry. Wren and Darra's stories are told in alternating points of view with alternating poetry formats. I didn't realize until I read the author's note at the end of the book that all of Wren's poems are written so that readers can also read the last word in the longest sentences to

Tween Tuesday: Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger

Rating: 4/5 Stars Genre: Contemporary/Novel in Verse Release Date: 3/5/2013 Add to Goodreads About the Book: Sam is excited for his special fishing day with dad-that is until his annoying little sister Lucy comes along. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says : I love novels in verse and Gone Fishing is a perfect introduction to the format for young tweens. I think that while this could easily fit into the tween category, it might be the younger side of the tweens who are perfect for this one. Sam seems about eight or nine in the book. The poems have different narrators from Sam, Lucy and Dad but it's mostly Sam that we hear from throughout. He's having a rough day having his sister tag along and he's not catching any fish. The author does a great job expressing Sam's emotions throughout with his annoyance and frustration about his trip and then also his excitement and change of heart when things start to go well. What I really loved was how the author used various for

So You Want to Read YA? Guest Post at Stacked

Today I'm visiting the blog of my good friends Kelly and Kim at Stacked  to talk about my favorite YA romances. Come visit and let me know what books you would suggest for someone wanting to read a YA title with a little (or a lot) of romance in the story!

Caldecott Storytime: Week 11

I'm doing Caldecott themed storytime for preschool storytime in January-April. Check out all my Caldecott Storytime plans here . Theme : Precocious Preschoolers  I decided this week I was going to do all songs, rhymes and books and no crafts and activities.  Open : Where Is Thumbkin and Shake My Sillies Out by The Wiggles  Skill : Tell Stories & Sing and Rhyme I introduced our books as "precocious preschoolers" and I also mentioned how this week, the books had lots of humor for adults as well as the kids, which I think helped get the parents interested in the stories and laughing along with the kids. Read :  Owen by Kevin Henkes   -Since my kids were pretty young, I talked to them a lot about Owen and his blanket and what was happening in the story. I had one older brother who had read this book before and loved talking about it and telling the kids about Owen's blanket-very fun! Song : These Are My Glasses by Laurie Berkner Read : 

Picture Books

Rating : 5/5 Stars About the Book: Set in the style of a silent movie, a fox invites a goose to dinner. Add to Goodreads GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I was lucky enough to get a galley of this one at ALA Midwinter. When I sat down in my hotel room and needed a break from all my Printz meetings, I opened this picture book and it was just what I needed! The illustrations are done in the style of a silent movie, so right there I'm in love. The illustrations are hilarious with subtle hints as to what is going to happen. I also love that it gives a great talking point about silent films and what movies used to be like. Add in the little chicks repetitive refrain of "that is not a good idea" and you've got yourself a wonderfully riotous storytime read aloud. The story has a very funny plot and kids will love shouting along with warning to the goose-because we all know how these stories go-or do we? I said in January that this was my favorite picture book of the year

Adult Lit: The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston

Rating: 4/5 Stars Genre: Historical Release Date: 10/25/2011 Add to Goodreads About the Book: For graduation, Frankie receives a scrapbook and typewriter. Frankie begins chronicling her life in her scrapbook-from school, to a mysterious Captain James who sweeps Frankie off her feet, to finding old friends and making new ones. Frankie's story of a girl coming of age in the roaring 20s is told all through scrapbook pages and vintage photographs, postcards, advertisements, and more. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I first heard about this book when in won a 2012 Alex Award . When I found out it was told all in pictures and memorabilia, I knew I had to read it. Frankie's story is so whimsical and fun, yet it's also heartfelt story of a girl who is trying to grow up, become independent, and figure out who she is during that crazy time of early adulthood. I love the way the author chose to tell Frankie's story through a scrapbook. There's a sticker on the cover th

Author Interview with Bethany Wiggins

Please welcome author Bethany Wiggins to GreenBeanTeenQueen to answer a few questions about her new book, Stung.  Follow Bethany on Twitter Add Stung on Goodreads About the Book: Fiona awakes from a with  a strange mark on her hand. All she knows she must cover the mark as she's thrust into a strange future she has no memory of and a world that has separated people without the mark living inside the wall and killing those outside. As Fiona is trying to figure out what has happened, she meets a boy from her past and soon they are on the run together in this futuristic Sleeping Beauty tale. Full of action and adventure and a dash of romance. Where did you get the idea for Stung? Believe it or not, STUNG was primarily inspired by a horrible nightmare I had, about waking up in my childhood home and finding everything abandoned, and then being chased out a window by an insane beast who used to be someone I loved. That nightmare is chapter one! Other parts of STUNG were insp

Caldecott Storytimes: Week 10

I'm doing Caldecott themed storytime for preschool storytime in January-April. Check out all my Caldecott Storytime plans here . Theme : Emotions Opening Song: Where Is Thumbkin? by The Wiggles Literacy Skill: Talk & Read Read : When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry... by Molly Bang -My preschoolers really liked this one and we talked about being mad and being happy and the pictures that showed Sophie as happy and angry. Song : These Are My Glasses by Laurie Berkner Read : No, David! by David Shannon -Well, sometimes storytime doesn't go as planned. I went to get my storytime books from my storytime basket and realized that my copy of No, David had gotten checked out by a patron and the only copy available at the library that day was the Spanish version! So I made due and we had a nice lesson about how books are translated into other languages but we could still look at the pictures of the book to help us tell the story. I translated th

Congrats Natalie!!!

CONGRATS NATALIE!!!! My wonderful book friend, Natalie Lloyd , has sold her debut novel! Here's the news from Publisher's Weekly : Mallory Kass at Scholastic has acquired world English rights to a debut novel by  Natalie Lloyd , called  A Snicker of Magic . In the book, a 12-year-old girl moves to a Southern mountain town, sets out to break a century-old curse and bring back a forgotten magic, and finds a home for her wandering heart. It will be published in spring 2014. Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media held the two-book auction.  If you don't know Natalie, you need to meet her right now! Check out Natalie's blog  and learn all about how awesome she is! She loves to read middle grade and YA, loves Harry Potter, has awesome taste in music (she was the one who told me about The Civil Wars) and she has an adorable dog who helps her write!  So go befriend Natalie and tell her congrats on her book! 

Hysteria by Megan Miranda

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars Genre: Contemporary/Mystery Release Date: 2/5/2013 Add to Goodreads About the Book: Mallory doesn't remember the details of the evening but she knows that Brian is dead and she's responsible. But Mallory knows it was self-defense. She can still feel Brian's presence around her-or can she? Is it all in her head? In order to start over and get away, her parents send her off to the boarding school her father attended. But Mallory's secrets follow her-and she can't escape the past. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: The premise for Hysteria is what made me interested in the novel. Mallory dealing with a difficult situation in the past and learning how to overcome it and move on is what makes the book work. Unfortunately, the rest of story fell a bit flat for me. The writing is well done and the times the suspense is built up kept me engaged as a reader. But I found the flashes that Mallory gets as her memory is trying to come back too distractin

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Rating: 4/5 Stars Genre: Contemporary Release Date: 3/26/3013 Add to Goodreads About the Book:  Living deep in the wood where they can't be found, Carey and her sister Janessa depend on each other. Their mother comes and goes and all they know of the world is what their mother tells them. When two strangers arrive and Carey is reunited with her estranged father, Carey begins to question everything she has ever known. But as she is reintroduced into a world she has long ago left, Carey is afraid to reveal her secrets, including why her sister Janessa has not uttered a word in over a year. Is Carey's father telling the truth about her long forgotten past? And can Carey learn to open up and learn to trust again? GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I am so glad to finally see If You Find Me  on the shelf! I was lucky enough to read an early copy of this book last year and I've wanted to talk to everyone about it ever since. If You Find Me is a contemporary story that felt li

Tween Tuesday: The Key and the Flame by Claire M. Caterer Blog Tour

Please welcome debut author Claire M. Caterer to GreenBeanTeenQueen! She's currently on her blog tour to celebrate the release of her middle grade debut, The Key and the Flame. I asked Claire to share her thoughts on libraries! Thanks so much to Sarah for letting GreenBeanTeenQueen host a stop on my blog tour! Sarah asked me to talk some library love, so I’m paying homage to two special libraries I know. When I was 22 years old, I was a walking cliché: Midwestern girl with big-city dreams. Two days after receiving my college diploma, I hopped a plane to New York City, where I intended to get a job and become a famous writer. New York is a tough town to hang out in all by yourself. I knew no one, had no job, and the culture shock was extreme, though I never admitted it at the time. Still, I knew I needed to find a home base, somewhere I could feel like myself. So of course I went to the library. Even my cocky, I’ll-conquer-the-world attitude was humbled by t

Trends in YA: Persphone

Greek Mythology related YA stories have always been, but since the rise of Percy Jackson, it feels like we're seeing more and more Mythology make it's way into YA novels. But there's one myth that seems to cropping up more than others: retellings of Persephone and Hades. Maybe because there's an element of star-crossed romance, maybe it lends itself to angsty romantic plots, but whatever it is, Persephone is a popular character right now. The first Persephone book I really noticed was back in 2009. I remember reading about this one on Betsy Bird's HarperCollins preview and I knew I wanted to read it based on the cover: Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman But then the Persephone stories kept coming: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter Abandon by Meg Cabot Everneath by Brodi Ashton Coming out this year is a dystopian take on Persephone: Solstice by P. J. Hoover And Leila at Bookshelves of Doom posted about another Perse

Caldecott Storytime: Week 9

I'm doing Caldecott themed storytime for preschool storytime in January-April. Check out all my Caldecott Storytime plans here. Theme : Concept Storytime Early Literacy Skill: Play With Letters Opening Song: Shake Your Sillies Out by The Wiggles Read : First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger -The kids loved guessing what was next in this book. I also loved that the kids pointed out how the book had two stickers on the cover, which gave me a chance to talk about other ALA awards. Song : These Are My Glasses by Laurie Berkner Read : Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert -Lois Ehlert books are always a hit in storytime anyway, but this one has cut touts and animals, so what's not to love? Plus, the kids loved shouting out what animal they saw in the pictures. Song : ABCs-since our next book was an alphabet book, I asked the kids if the knew their ABCs and could sing the alphabet song. Of course they took me up on the challenge! Read : Alphabet City by Stephen T. Jo

Judge a Book By It's Cover: Hardcover to Paperback

I love looking at book covers, especially when they change from hardcover to paperback. I think the cover evolution and marketing directions books take is interesting! Here are some recent changes I've seen: Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko Hardcover -Simple, yet it gets the story across-I like it Paperback: -This one is much more simple, but it works and I really like it. I also think it adds an element of humor the first cover is missing. Little Women and Me  by Lauren Baratz-Logsted Hardcover: -I don't know what I think of this cover. I like how she's coming through the book and entering the story, which gets the plot across,but it just looks a bit odd at the same time-not sure why. Paperback:  -I really like the look of this cover, but at the same time it feels a bit historical. Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer Hardcover: -It's simple, but I like it. I also like how