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Showing posts from January 25, 2009

My Favorite Childhood Author

“If you have no imagination then you have no wings.”
~African Poverb
I will always be in debt to Ann M. Martin for making me a reader. Without her books to guide me through the difficult years of early reading I would have simply given up.But it is Cherie Bennett who I credit with broadening my reading world beyond the Baby Sitter’s Club. After buying Sunset Island in late elementary school I was seduced away from the babysitting life to the exotic world of an au pair. I was the first one in my grade to move away from Ann M. Martin and my copies of the Sunset series were quickly circulating around; through all the girls and even some of the boys.I admired Cherie and wrote her countless letters. The amazing thing was that she always wrote back. Just a few handwritten lines at the bottom of a form letter, but they meant the world me. (Between 1991 and 1998 Cherie received over 12,000 letters. It is an honor to know some of them were mine. It takes a special kind of author and very de…

Tags of Happiness

Here are the rules:
Link to the person who has tagged you. The ever awesome Rebecca made me very happy by tagging me…..Wait did I just use one up?
Write down six things that make you happy.
Post the rules, tag six others and let them know you did it.
Then tell the person when your entry is complete!_____________1. The way my 3 year old says, “You rock, mom!” out of the blue and all I can do is throw my head back and laugh at her. Then she does the same. Both my kids throw back their head and laugh in an imitation of me which just makes me laugh harder. Incidentally her first word was “dude” so she is all with the cool lingo!2. I bet you guys are surprised this wasn’t my first answer. BOOKS!!! More specifically when someone is talking about a book and I feel really excited about it and maybe also a little disappointed because the library doesn’t have it and I know I won’t be able to track it down and by then I will have forgotten about it but then like a day or two later I go book …

Katie and Kimble Review

I wasn't expecting much out of Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story. Okay honestly, I was expecting a lot, a lot of really bad stinky smelly poo. I don't know exactly why I expected this book to be bad. When I first staring reading it, it seemed to be confirming my suspicions. But as I moved into the story more I ended up really enjoying the story and the idea of friendship between Katie, a little girl, and Kimble, a ghost. Linda focuses on making this a non scary ghost story and I like that positive take on this type of story.

Linda Thieman had done a great job creating support materials for her books. My kids really like the cover (though I am not crazy about it myself) and would really enjoy doing coloring pages relating to the book. I have not read Katie and Kimble to them yet, but I think that they would greatly enjoy it. With all of the great things available on Linda's blog, I think the fairly low price of this book (just under $6) could easily be worth it it and…

My Favorite Book Club

I talk about my friend Chelsea quite often on my blog. We mostly met because last year she started a book club and we exchanged instant messenger IDs and have been chatting ever since. After a brief book club hiatus we are back in full swing and just completed our first chat of the year. The book club focuses on young adult literature and young adult crossovers, though the members are a variety of ages.

Chelsea is stopping by today to share a bit of the experience. I want to thank her for so accurately expressing what a fun time we had and I hope to see you guys next time. Check out her blog at

Today was our first book club chat, discussing The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson. The first half was spent talking about identity, souls, and what it means to be human. Heavy stuff. Everyone really got into it, and it was a ton of fun dissecting the book and our opinions on it. Science and it's limits was a topic that came up frequently; …

Linda Thieman Interview

Children’s book author Linda Thieman writes the Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story chapter book series for ages 7 to 10, and runs the Katie & Kimble blog. http://www.katieandkimbleblog.comWhy did you choose to write books for kids?I worked for years as an English language teacher. During that time, I wrote a lot of low-level materials for adult learners. At the same time, I was getting into fiction writing, so writing books for kids just seemed like a natural outgrowth of that.At first, in Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story, Kimble, the ghost of a ten-year-old girl, was going to be kind of impish; a mischief maker. The books were going to be more along the line of picture books. But once the story started developing, I knew I’d have to expand beyond that into the realm of chapter books. So, I did some research and chose to write the Katie & Kimble books at RL3, or reading level 3, a loose system based on grade levels. That allowed me to tell more sophisticated stories and really…

Inside The Writer’s Studio – The Working Author

Last week we were once again given a peek Inside the Writer's Studio. Author Tina Ferraro shared a picture of her writing space which is in the corner of her family room. It has been fun getting to know Tina over the past month, and knowing her really helps me to see how much of her personality shows in her creative space. Tina agrees! She told me, “It's basically organized chaos, which rather describes my brain, as well!” The amazing thing about Tina’s writing space is that it shows the life of a working author. To be a successful author you generally have to do a lot more than just write. We can see in Tina’s space all the things she is doing besides writing. She said, “You can kinda tell I'm in promo mode for my new book, huh?” and that is exactly what is so compelling about this space. A day in the life of the writer is more than lattes and laptops. Tina’ shows a real slice of life into being a true author.
So what’s the first step in book p…

Trailer Tuesday – Nineteen Minutes

Nineteen Minutes is Jodi Picoult’s 14th novel.  Jodi is a best selling author possibly best know for the emotional roller coaster she takes her readers on.  Jodi even talks about this in the trailer itself.  Is this trailer from an established and best selling author different from others we have seen? What do you like about it?While the trailer is narrated by the author herself you do not get the same peek into life as was saw in The Professors' Wives' Clubtrailer.  Do you like this approach better or worse?  Are there any weaknesses in this book trailer? Does it make you want to read the book?

Mailbox Monday

This past week brought a lot of joy to my mailbox.  Well, really, I don’t think my mailbox has feelings and I was the one filled with joy.  I got a grand total of 4 books.  Yes, count them, 4!!Today’s book was the most exciting. You want to know why? (And this will come as no surprise to you…) It used to word “awesome” in reference to ME!!!

“To Megan -(who is
awesome!)xoxoTina Ferraro”
And what book does this amazing personalized autograph adorn? Why none other than The ABC's of Kissing Boys. You may have noticed Tina’s name popping up on the blog a few times this month.  And I am sure this has absolutely nothing to do with why she adores me.  Rather she sees my inner awesome as it permeates through to interwebs into the cockles of her heart.

If you would like to learn more about this amazing young adult author please check out the profile I did on her or take a peek Inside The Writer’s Studio.  The follow-up post with answers to all your questions will be up on Wednesd…

The Sunday Salon - Epistolic

"An epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used. Recently, electronic "documents", such as blogs and e-mails have also come into use. The word epistolary comes from the Latin word epistola, meaning a letter." - WikipediaI have been reading two epistolary novels and have more sitting on my shelf. There is an interesting way in which the story unfolds through letter, a sort of slowness. Wikipedia suggest that this form can add a realism to the storytelling. I think part of that realism comes in the delay of information between letters, while writing one and not knowing what is happening on the receiving end at the moment it is being written. There is a level of spontaneity in a lot of the letter form novels I have read. Even though this might connect to the reality of life, I am not sure it totally reflects the reality of letter writin…