It's Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA

My reading for Week 12 of It's Monday! What are you reading? was dominated by picture books. I'm making a conscious effort to browse the picture book shelves at the library and check more of them out. I'm happy to find authors I've never heard of before, pull books off the shelf that are not brand new, and discover books that I might be able to use in my library program.

As for the chapter book I finished this week, I was told that Seraphina was a standalone book (and everyone who heard the news -- including myself -- were rather pleased with that news) but after reading it, I realize there's so going to be a sequel! I'm not complaining, really, because it was a great fantasy book with a hint of innocent romance, but I can't help but wonder if anyone will write a story that only requires one book to tell it? Please? Somebody?


 Zoe Gets Ready by Bethanie Murguia

The OK Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Huff & Puff by Claudia Rueda

The Apple-Pip Princess by Jane Ray

The Mummy and Other Adventures of Sam & Alice by Akemi Gutierrez

Big Bad Wolves at School by Stephen Krensky

Chloe by Peter McCarty

Woolbur by Leslie Helakoski

New Socks by Bob Shea

The Sleepy Little Alphabet by Judy Sierra

A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead

Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates

The Year of the Beasts by Cecil Castellucci (author) and Nate Powell (artist)
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

 (There's a new cover coming out in preparation for the publication of the sequel, Such Wicked Intent, in August 2012.)
The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein: This Dark Endeavor Kenneth Oppel


Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead


Grace Lin at {pages} a bookstore

Sunday was an action-packed book day for me. Before heading to the SCIBA event, I dropped by my indie bookstore, {pages} a bookstore, to see Grace Lin. Grace's 2010 Newbery Honor-winning book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, is a 2012-2013 California Young Reader Medal nominee so I was eager to meet her. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get my library's copy of the book signed because my time was short and, not surprisingly, it was a packed crowd.

Grace read from Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same and The Year of the Rat. Here she is reading from Ling and Ting:

Grace Lin reading from Ling and Ting

And then she treated us to a mini lesson on how to draw a dragon. Unfortunately, because I was far away from her and using an older smart phone camera, I wasn't able to zoom in while filming. I edited the footage with some additional footage of me drawing along to her explanation; the video is about 8 minutes long. So, without further ado, here's my first attempt at making an iMovie:

[click on the image above to go directly to the video on TeacherTube]

Grace's completed dragon:

the completed dragon

Keep an eye out for Grace's new book, Starry River of the Sky, which comes out on October 2, 2012.

To read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon:

And in case you're wondering, yes, I bought some books while I was at {pages}. I couldn't help it! (These are for my library.)

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SCIBA Children's Literacy Tea :: Some great new books and authors

One of my favorite events of the year is the Southern California Independent Bookseller Association's Children's Books & Literacy Dinner. You get to buy books from independent bookstores; meet authors, eat dinner with them, and listen to them make hilarious/touching/inspiring speeches; take home a whole bunch of brand new books and get them signed by the authors; and share the experience with other book lovers. (Here are my photos from the 2011 event. Sadly, I missed this year's dinner.) As nerdy as it sounds -- although I doubt it sounds that way to any reader of this blog -- it's an event I get really excited about, and I come home starstruck and extra enthusiastic about renewing my commitment to children's literature.

So, imagine my delight when I found out SCIBA hosts other children's literacy events. Last fall I attended the Children's Books & Literacy Brunch in Del Mar. And now that I'm a librarian member of SCIBA, I was invited to the Children's Literacy Tea, which was held last Sunday at Mrs. Nelson's Toy & Book Shop.

(If you've never been to Mrs. Nelson's, you must! It is like heaven for us children's literature lovers: fantastic selection, knowledgeable staff, great author visits, and fun atmosphere. I just wish it wasn't so far away from where I live!)

After daintily nibbling on finger sandwiches and scones, the event's program began with the publisher reps talking about new books they're excited about. Here are a few highlights:

  • Zoe Gets Ready by Bethanie Deeney Murguia (picture book)
  • Bird & Squirrel: On the Run by James Burks (middle grade graphic novel)
  • Sleuth or Dare #1~3 by Kim Harrington (middle grade mystery)
  • The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen (middle grade court intrigue)
  • The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to Their Younger Selves edited by Sarah Moon (YA non-fiction)
 Random House Children's:
Simon & Schuster:
  • ABC ZooBorns! by Andrew Bleiman and Chris Eastland (non-fiction picture book)
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce (picture book)
  • Zorro Gets and Outfit by Carter Goodrich (picture book)
  • Nightsong by Ari Berk (picture book)
  • Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer (picture book)
  • Lulu Walks the Dogs by Judith Viorst (middle grade 
  • The Unwanteds: Island of Science by Lisa McMann (middle grade dystopian)
  • The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse (YA dystopian)
  • When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle (YA romance)

Then it was time for the guest authors to introduce themselves and talk about their books. They're all first-time authors and their enthusiasm and excitement was absolutely contagious. Afterwards, there was a signing and we got to spend a few moments with each of the authors.

the authors at the SCIBA Summer Children's Literature Literacy Tea
The authors from left to right: Bethanie Deeney Murguia (Zoe Gets Ready); Lisa M. Stasse (The Forsaken); Lissa Price (Starters); Elana K. Arnold (Sacred); Scott Speer (Immortal City)

Since I haven't read any of the books yet, I'll let the authors/publishers tell you about their books (the titles link back to the source I got the summary from):

Zoe Gets Ready by Bethanie Deeney Murguia:
Zoe Gets Ready is a story about how one little girl chooses her outfit for the day. It is Saturday and no one tells young Zoe which uniform or pants or skirt are required. Zoe surveys her closet and gleefully imagines how each item might allow her to more fully experience the day.

While this book is covered with glittery little girlie goodness, it contains some very universal messages. Zoe Gets Ready is a story about the power of daydreaming. It is an ode to unstructured time. And in a world where we are often encouraged to fit into predefined, predetermined costumes and characters, this story is a reminder that the right outfit can make you feel more like yourself—not someone else. It acknowledges the complexity of identity—that on any given day, for example, there are moments when we choose to be bold and moments when we choose to be meek. Most of all, it celebrates the ability to believe in unlimited possibilities.
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse:
As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.
The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.
Starters by Lissa Price:
In a future Los Angeles, becoming someone else is now possible. Sixteen-year-old Callie discovers the Body Bank where teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. But when her neurochip malfunctions, she wakes up in the mansion of her rich renter and finds she is going out with a senator’s grandson. It’s a fairy-tale new life, until she discovers her renter’s deadly plan.
Sacred by Elana K. Arnold:
Growing up on Catalina Island, off the California coast, Scarlett Wenderoth has led a fairly isolated life. After her brother dies, her isolation deepens as she withdraws into herself, shutting out her friends and boyfriend. Her parents, shattered by their own sorrow, fail to notice Scarlett's pain and sudden alarming thinness. Scarlett finds pleasure only on her horse, escaping to the heart of the island on long, solitary rides. One day, as she races around a bend, Scarlett is startled by a boy who raises his hand in warning and says one word: "Stop."
The boy—intense, beautiful—is Will Cohen, a newcomer to the island. For reasons he can't or won't explain, he's drawn to Scarlett and feels compelled to keep her safe. To keep her from wasting away. His meddling irritates Scarlett, though she can't deny her attraction to him. As their relationship blossoms into love, Scarlett's body slowly awakens at Will's touch. But just when her grief begins to ebb, she makes a startling discovery about Will, a discovery he's been grappling with himself. A discovery that threatens to force them apart. And if it does, Scarlett fears she will unravel all over again.
Immortal City by Scott Speer:
Jackson Godspeed is the hottest young Angel in a city filled with them. He's days away from becoming a full Guardian, and people around the world are already competing for the chance to be watched over by him. Everyone's obsessed with the Angels and the lucky people they protect - everyone except for Madison Montgomery.
Maddy's the one girl in Angel City who doesn't breathlessly follow the Angels on TV and gossip blogs. When she meets Jackson, she doesn't recognize him. But Jackson is instantly captivated by her, and against all odds the two fall in love.
Maddy is swiftly caught up in Jackson's scene, a world of glamour, paparazzi - and murder. A serial killer is on the loose, leaving dead Angels' wings for the police to find on the Walk of Fame. Even the Guardians are powerless to protect themselves in the face of this threat & and this time it's up to Maddy to save Jackson.

book haul from SCIBA Literacy Tea


It's Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA

Week 11 of It's Monday! What are you reading? was a picture book kind of week. I only found little bits of time to read so the shorter format worked well for me. The chapter book I did finish, Three Times Lucky, is one I will be recommending to many of my 5th grade mystery lovers. It was also mentioned as a recommended middle grade book by the Penguin rep at the SCIBA event I went to yesterday.

Frida by Jonah Winter

It's Not Fair! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Sayonara, Mrs. Kackleman by Maira Kalman

Hooray for Reading Day! by Margery Cuyler

Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea

Monkey With a Tool Belt and the Seaside Shenanigans by Chris Monroe

Utterly Otterly Day by Mary Casanova

The Great Nursery Rhyme Disaster by David Conway

Princess Smartypants Rules by Babette Cole

You Can't Go to School Naked! by Dianne Billstrom

Bear Dreams by Elisha Cooper

Big Bad Bunny by Franny Billingsley

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage


The Year of the Beasts by Cecil Castellucci (author) and Nate Powell (artist)

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman


Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead


It's Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA

Good job, Me! I've continued It's Monday! What are you reading? for 10 weeks! Summer is in full swing and, although I have more time than during the school year, having both kids at home can keep me pretty occupied. Part of having my daughter at home means we spend time crafting together. We're currently really into making friendship bracelets so I've been spending more time on that than reading. This week, however, my son is out of town and my daughter is in camp in the morning so I hope I'll get some uninterrupted reading time.

Bink & Gollie: Two for One by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee

No Bears by Meg McKinlay

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Cardboard by Doug TenNapel

On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave by Candace Fleming

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 2009 by Alan Moore

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross


Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage


Seraphina by Rachel Hartman