Monday, August 17, 2009

FADE TO BLUE by Sean Beaudoin

Fade to Blue Fade to Blue
by Sean Beaudoin

August 1st 2009 by Little, Brown Young Readers
Hardcover, 208 pages
0316014176 (isbn13: 9780316014175)

4 of 5 stars

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Book Bits #4: Middle Grade Classics


Book Bits are mini-mini-reviews of books 
that I either don't have the time or inclination to review fully.  
However, I have read in entirety the books mentioned.

Editor's Corner

"Even though my daughter Anna is entering the 6th grade, she still enjoys it when I read to her at bedtime.  We have been reading E.H.Gombrich's A Little History of the World,which is a delight to read aloud-the tone is conversational and easy, and historical figures are described in all their humanity, flaws and all. It opens up ample opportunities for us to marvel at how things used to be.

It's harder to make room for read-aloud time now, as much as Anna enjoys it, because she is also increasingly absorbed with her own reading.  Recently Anna enjoyed The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and The Compound.  I'm watching her grow more and more passionate about books, but so far-knock on wood-that hasn't diminished her enthusiasm to be read to at night!"

-Sally Doherty, Executive Editor, Henry Holt BYR

A Royal Pain (Point) A Royal Pain
by Ellen Conford
September 1990 by Point
Paperback, 171 pages
0590438212 (isbn13: 9780590438216)
3 of 5 stars
what Meg Cabot read to get the inspiration for The Princess Diaries. Conford's novel is what would have happened if Mia had been mistaken.
Running Out of Time
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Running Out of Time (An ALA Best Book for Young Adults)2004 (first published 1995) by Scholastic
Paperback, 184 pages
0439632501 (isbn13: 9780439632508)
4 of 5 stars
hard to summarize without spoiling; you should read this especially if you grew up in the Midwest
Just in CaseJust in Case
by Meg Rosoff
February 29th 2008 (first published 2007) by Plume
Paperback, 246 pages
0452289378 (isbn13: 9780452289376)
3 of 5 stars
Rosoff's dark indie humor reminds me why I'm not really a fan, but not because she's not a skilled writer
Jinx
by Meg Cabot
August 1st 2007 by HarperTeen
JinxHardcover, 272 pages
0060837640 (isbn13: 9780060837648)
3 of 5 stars
speaking of Queen Meg, this is a fun Practical Magic-meets-Gossip Girl novel with teen romance that's appropriate for younger readers (middle grade)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In Which Allison Burnett Discovers I'm Easy

If you're a regular reader, you saw my quasi-review of undiscovered gyrl by Allison Burnett.  Don't forget to see the postcript in which I explain the Salinger comparison a little more, as well as a strange connection to author Saundra Mitchell.

undiscovered gyrl made me cringe, made me angry, made me confused, made me think.  I hate when reviews say that books "make you think."  It's as though being thought-provoking is the best you can say about it (as opposed to being witty, eloquent, well-paced, etc.)

I've vacillated from anger to awe, from being impatient to being impressed with Burnett.  I think I'd jump on any bandwagon that tried to convince me one way or another.

Well, Allison got to me first.

You can submit your review to the undiscovered gyrl site, which is what I did. About a week later, I received an email from Allison Burnett.

What can I say? I'm easy.  Authors receive more of my adoration than "celebrities," so to have one engage with me feeds my bookish narcissism. And Burnett's not only an author, but also a force in showbiz; his career includes screenwriting. (How much do I love that he wrote the script for this fall's FAME?!)

The end result, anyway, is that I am declaring myself a news-bringer, a non-neutral force in the viral marketing campaign for undiscovered gyrl. Behold, two videos made by famous people.

The first, directed by Zalman King (he co-directed 9 1/2 weeks), features Burnett talking to the camera about how much he loves Katie, the main character of undiscovered gyrl. The only part that bugs me is his claim that we've all felt like Katie, at some point in our lives. I have to beg out of that one, actually. And I think Holly would agree with me. The vid, however, shows Burnett at his charming writerly best, and it's definitely worth two minutes.



The second video was made by Jordan Alan, and stars his wife Amanda Righetti. I appreciate the attempt, but right away it's obvious that Righetti is too beautiful, too old, too poised, too old, too polished, too old to actually be Katie as she retells the first pages of the book. Still, Righetti is stunning, so watch anyway:



Well? What do you think?

Copies of undiscovered gyrl have gone out to Beth and to Lorna, so if you didn't get an ARC, at least reserve this book at your library. It's definitely something you should read before school starts again - awesome lunchroom discussion that makes you seem both smart and funny, sort of like Amy Poehler.

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