"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

TTT: My favorite graphic novels

Top Ten Tuesday: My favorite graphic novels/memoirs/biographies/information books.

1. Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan...love this collection of little quirky stories by one the best in the field. Graphic 'short stories'.

2. Blankets by Craig Thompson...wonderful illustrations in this compelling coming-of-age story. Graphic novel.

3. Stitches by David Small... the artist uses illustrations to tell his own story about his horrifying childhood with a mentally ill mother and a father whose doctoring actually gave him cancer. Graphic memoir.

4. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson...more complicated than just a superhero/antihero story. Graphic novel.
5. March, Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell...actually I love the whole series about the American hero: John Lewis. Graphic autobiography.

6. Steve Jobs: Insanely Great by Jessie Hartland...I love this graphic biography of an American icon. Quirky illustrations lend to its charm.

7. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki...the best coming-of-age book I've ever read (outside of To Kill a mockingbird, of course.) Graphic novel.

8. Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang...Yang is an award-winning novelist. This collection of two books explains the Boxer Rebellion in China from two points of few. It is EXCELLENT. Graphic information book.

9. Pyongyang: A Journey Into North Korea by Guy DeLisle...the artist Guy DeLisle spent time in North Korea working on a project. This book is an enlightening information book highlighting what life is like in this closed-off country.

10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Nancy Butler...a favorite novel and a charming graphic novel.

11. Inside Out: Portrait of an Eating Disorder by Nadia Shivack...a sadly enlightening book about what it is like to live with a eating disorder. Graphic memoir.

12. The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis... wow, just wow. The illustrations in this graphic memoir are so detailed.

13. The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman...a graphic retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story with absolutely gorgeous illustrations by Chris Riddell.

14. The Arrival by Shaun Tan...this graphic novel about the immigrant experience has no words at all. Tan is one of my favorite illustrators. He is so creative.

-ANNE

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday Salon...Jan. 29th

Photo Credit: Shepherd@http://theamplifierfoundation.org/#download
Weather: coldish, grey, and sprinkling rain...in other words, miserable.

The prequel to a dystopian novel: Often in YA literature a prequel will be printed after the series is complete which goes back in time and explains how the dystopian society was set up. An example is The Kill Order, which is the fourth book in the Maze Runner series, but it explains how and why the maze was set up. This is how the USA feels to me right now. Like we are living inside a dystopian prequel. We don't know yet how the actions currently being enacted will play out but I have a pretty good idea that things won't work out well. It is a nightmare really.

"This is not a Muslim ban": As I am writing this blog post, I have MSNBC on in the background. Pres. Trump is saying the latest action is not a ban on Muslims, but it sure feels that way. And as we know perception is often reality. Trump says that he has done this action to keep Americans safe, yet it feels like it will be less safe due to this action. Here is an example of a five year old who was separated from his mother at Dulles Airport in Washington, DC for hours yesterday. A five year old! This is a huge nightmare. I can't believe this is happening in America

No ban/No wall: Unless a person is American Indian, their forebears were immigrants to America. Whatever is happening here sure makes it seems like the Trump administration doesn't remember this. They also seem to have not paid attention to who are our biggest trade partners (Canada and Mexico) when they went after Mexico this week concerning the wall and who will pay for it.  This is not only nightmarish stuff, but embarrassing, too.

Another example: just another example to show how 'out of it' the Trump Administration is: This past week during Holocaust Remembrance day, the White House put out a statement which didn't mention Jews. When asked about this they said: Other people were killed, too, so we are being inclusive." Hogwash. Trump is being advised by Steve Bannon, a known anti-Semite who previously ran an anti-Semite website. What alternative universe have I just woken up into today?

Is our president actually mentally ill? It seems obvious to me that he is but I am not a professional in the field. But after this week of Trump insisting that his inauguration was attending by far more people than attended Obama's first inauguration and then his pivot to say that at least 3-5 million cases of voter fraud occurred and all of these illegal voters voted for Hillary, it is starting to seem possible. Now professionals are starting to say the same thing. Psychiatrists are starting to weigh in with their opinions that Trump has classics symptoms of malignant narcissism. Oh boy. Things are bad.

And then there is this: Trump's choice for Education Secretary has not attended public school one single day of her life. Her children haven't either. She is not a teacher, an administrator, or have a degree in Education policy. She wants to dismantle public education, yet in her state, Michigan, where she has pushed through rules about charter schools have seen a significant reduction in test scores among the students. She also believes that people (students?) should be allowed to carry guns on school grounds. Why? Because of the possibility of grizzly attacks. Egads. See what I mean about how this is starting to look like a dystopian novel?

And now for a non sequitur: What am I currently reading, you ask?
  • Scythe by Neal Shusterman...two teens are in a contest to see who will become the next Scythe, or a person who kills people as a way of culling society. It was a Printz winner this year! 13%
  • Commonwealth by Ann Patchett...book club selection for my RHS group. Audiobook. 10%
  • My Life in France by Julia Child...a book club selection for my SOTH group. Print. 6%.
Finished this week:
  • The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner...though it took be forever to finish this book, I ended up really appreciating it for a variety of reasons. Here is my review. 

"Shine" by Pat Benatar:



Truth is the answer, love is the reason
Fairness, respect, liberty, freedom
Tireless defenders standing together
Unthinkable beauty surrounding our dreams
The call of the wild pouring into the streets
Emotional freedom means more than you think


Let's hope that some of our problems get resolved this week.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner

First, and I want to get this out of the way immediately, I want you to know I think Wallace Stegner was a genius, a literary genius.

Now let me back up before I get back to that point.

The Big Rock Candy Mountain, Stegner's fifth book, was this month's book club selection. Most of the gals in the club had read and liked Crossing to Safety and thought it was time we try another of his books. We opted away from The Angle of Repose because several of us had already read it. We selected The Big Rock Candy Mountain for no other reason than we had heard of it before, or maybe we thought we'd heard of it because we had heard the song. What we didn't know was how long and dense it is. To a person we all commented on how long and difficult the book was to read. I thought I'd never finish it. In fact, I started singing the old Sherry Lewis song, "This is the Song That Never Ends", but replaced the word "book" for "song." I wondered if I would ever finish the book. It took me a month of solid reading to get it done. I doubt most readers today would have that kind of patience. Why did I? Because, umm, Stegner's writing is brilliant, simply brilliant. It was slow-going but the experience was not negative at all. As the book club gathered to discuss the book yesterday we found out there are no discussions questions for it online. Ha! I think that is proof that even the publisher doesn't think the book would ever be selected by a reading group, though we did find a lot to discuss, and our discussion caused me to do some additional research on my own today.

It seems that all of Wallace Stegner's books dealt with a similar theme: the hard and painful process by which we gain our values as a culture. The lens with which we view these values is often within the family dynamics. Similar to Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, The Big Rock Candy Mountain is really a story which defeats the American dream.
More exactly, Stegner's novel reveals the moral and social bankruptcy of one widely held version of the American dream: the myth of raw, unrestrained individualism. This individualism attempts to conquer the land and all other antagonists, never feeling the need to conquer itself...Stegner has offered us, in the character of Harry (Bo) Mason, a man who embodies the delusory American dream in his every sinew, nerve, thought, and urge (Mason).
If you are familiar with the words to the song, "The Big Rock Candy Mountain", you know the term means a setting where there is no work, where nothing requires much effort, yet everyone can be rich just lazing around drinking alcohol from the streams and smoking cigarettes which grow on the bushes. Bo Mason seems to be forever chasing the big, rock candy mountain. And along the way, other people (his wife and children) become his victims as he chases one get-rich scheme after another. "Bo has succumbed to the myth of unrestrained individualism, and in so doing, set himself almost totally beyond the pale of 'civilized' life'" (Mason).

In direct or polar opposition to Bo is Elsa, his wife. She is kind, gentle, and steady. Where he is explosive and antsy, she is calm and nurturing. She wants nothing more to have a home for her children to grow and flourish in. As Bo gets a new bee in his bonnet, he is constantly moving his family from here to there. Bo never finds the big rock candy mountain and but the chase for it keeps Elsa from living her dream, too. "Elsa is a moral victim, and Bo is the uneasy position of moral outlaw" (Mason). He doesn't recognize that he is beaten so he never considers his misfortunes as being made by his own hand, and, therefore, never corrects his mistakes. She dies a tragic death never having her dream fulfilled.

The biggest victims of Bo were his two sons, Chet and Bruce. Chet is a lot like his dad: reckless and outgoing. After he dies young, Bruce reflects that his brother was a lot like his father except Chet was much more fragile emotionally. When he encountered problems or opposition he would crumple unlike his father who would fight or pivot to a new project. Bruce, who was much more like his mother, ends up being the only survivor, with the hopes of all the family members weighing on his shoulders.

The Big Rock Candy Mountain is described as a semi-autobiographical book. Stegner indeed was raised a dad who was chasing the American dream with his family members becoming his victims. He mother was loving, kind, and neighborly. He came to recognize that his own family experience, especially the clash between his parents comes to represent the-
Western clash between the forces of rugged individualism on one side and the forces of cooperation and community on the other. The metaphor extends to society as a whole, its pervasive conflicts of conservative verse liberal, know-nothing verses intellectual, the doctrine of getting-rich-quick verses the belief of service to others (Benson).
As this aspect of the book started to dawn on me I came to recognize the genius of Stegner. Every character, every setting, every interaction in the book served to explain the conflicts we face every day as Americans. The Mason family represented us, the American family. I also started to recognize people I know who live their lives like Bo Mason...constantly chasing an unattainable dream of potential wealth, fame, riches. I still don't understand them but I least I recognize from where the impulse derives.

Suddenly I didn't care any longer that it took a month to read the book, every moment lead to brilliant conclusion. I suspect this will one of those books I will think about and reflect on for the rest of my worth. It was worth the time it took to read it.



 Here is the original version of "The Big Rock Candy Mountain" song. When Burl Ives got a hold of the book, he changed the words to make them more kid friendly (taking out the alcohol and cigarettes,)

Sources:
Benson, Jackson J. Wallace Stegner: His Life and Work. Lincoln: U of Nebraska, 1996. Print.

Mason, Kenneth C. "The Big Rock Candy Mountain: The Consequences of a Delusory American Dream." GPQ 6 (Winter 1986): 34-43. Print.

Stegner, Wallace. The Big Rock Candy Mountain. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1943. Print.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

March, Book Three by Lewis, Aydin and Powell

A few days ago March, Book Three was named the Printz Award-winnng book of the year. It also won the Coretta Scott King Author Award, The YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction, and the Sibert Information book of the year. Prior to winning these four awards, it had already won the National Book Award in November. Five awards for a tremendous book and an even more tremendous American hero, John Lewis.

Before John Lewis was a national politician, before he was a civil rights leader, before he was a member and a leader in SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), he was just a black kid growing up in rural Alabama. One day in 1958 he read a comic book, "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story", which changed the whole trajectory of his life. After reading the comic he decided he wanted to do something to help his people, like Martin Luther King was doing. And the rest is history. He went on to help plan and implement nonviolent actions to show the world the horrors of racism, like lunch counter sit-ins and bus boycotts. He eventually ended up marching with MLK on that fateful march from Selma to Montgomery which finally led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and a year later, The Voting Rights Act of 1965. During the course of his time as an activist he was jailed over 40 times. He had his skull fractured during one march and nearly died from his injury.

John Lewis, nearly eighty years old, has been a US Representative from Georgia since 1987. He continues to fight for the rights of all people who are down-trodden or who experience racism or discrimination in their lives. When he was approached about his biography, he decided he wanted it to be a comic, like the one which inspired him to activism so many years ago. Apparently his colleagues in Congress scoffed. Why would a man with such standing in the government want his life memorized in a comic book? The answer is clear. Lewis wanted his message to be accessible to all readers.

March is a three-book set. March, Book One starts at Lewis's childhood in rural Alabama, a life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr. and the beginnings of the Nashville Student Movement. March, Book Two covers events in Lewis's life related to the Civil Rights Movement. He becomes involved in SNCC and is eventually named as one of the "Big Six" Civil Rights leaders.

This volume, March, Book Three, starts with the bombing of the Baptist church in Birmingham which killed four young girls on their way to Sunday School. From there we are led through many of events which led to the final culmination of the March on Selma with MLK. Throughout the book there are quick flashes forward in time where we see Rep. Lewis at the inauguration of the first black president, Barack Obama, and we come to recognize the importance of this in terms of all the work that went before the event.

It is a very inspiring memoir about a truly inspiring man. A few days before the book awards were announced, John Lewis once again came under attack, this time by our soon-to-be-new-president, Donald Trump, because he said he would be boycotting the inauguration. In two tweets Trump said:
“Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart.” Trump also said Lewis is “all talk, talk, talk — no action or results.”
Obviously the president hasn't read MARCH, or he would know what he just tweeted was wrong, wrong, wrong. It is unlikely there is any man alive who has done more for the people of his district and all America.

Andrew Aydin co-wrote the text of March and Nate Powell did the illustrations. They are a remarkable team. I must stress how important this memoir is. Read all three books in the set. They saved the best for last but, as with many things in life, one must embark on a journey before arriving at the destination.
Aydin, Lewis, Powell at National Book Award Ceremony. Photo credits: SLJ, Nov. 2016.

-Anne

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

TTT: Award Winning Books

Top Ten Tuesday: This is Freebie Week so I am going to talk about award winning books. Yesterday the ALA Youth Media Awards were announced. Here is a chance for me to talk about some of the winners...

1. March, Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell
This book ran away with the awards this year winning The Printz Award (best YA book of the year), The Coretta Scott Author Award (given to African American authors), YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award, and the Sibert (best information book for children or teens). John Lewis is a true American hero, having marched with Martin Luther king during the Civil Rights era and continuing a life of service as a US Representative to Congress. The format is a graphic biogrpahy. Lewis said he wanted his biography to be a comic book because he got interested in service after reading a comic book about one of his heroes as a child.

2. The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
This was the only BSD Mock Printz book to win an actual award and it sure deserved it. It was my favorite to win the Printz Award and it nearly did winning a Printz Honor. I am "friends" with Julie Berry on Twitter and it was fun to watch her Tweets yesterday, She was so excited to have won an award.

3. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Last year Shusterman's fabulous book about mental illness, Challenge Deep was overlooked by the Printz committee (and I'm still angry about it.) Not this year. His latest book, which was published late in 2016, was awarded a Printz Honor. I am currently reading the book. It is a dystopia-themed book about two teens who must learn about the "art of killing."


4. Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit, read by Allan Corduner won the Odyssey Award which goes to the best audiobook for children or young adults. Since I am such a big fan of audiobooks I always relish the books which win this award.  I did listen to book and thought that Corduner did a marvelous job with the accents and making the narration fit the atmosphere of the book. Oddly one of the honor books in the category is Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. That book is a graphic novel so I am trying to figure out how it works as an audiobook.

5. Sarah Dessen won the Margaret A. Edwards lifetime achievement award for her writing for young adults. Dessen is a favorite author of teen girls. Once they find her they often read all her books. In this day and age of teen books about teen probelms it is nice that a teen romance author gets an award. I've read several of her books, my favorite being Along for the Ride.

6. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon won two much deserved awards: a Printz Honor and the Coretta Scott King John Steptoe New Talent Author Award. This was the first book I read in 2017 so it is still fresh in my mind. Two characters meet on the very day that one is being deported. There whirlwind romance in a day has all the elements of a very good story but also hits on themes of culture, home, and family. I predict this will be popular in my library once students discover it.


7. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Not selecting The Serpent King for my Mock Printz list was one of my epic fails of the year. Since reading this book about three friends, all who are misfits in one way or another, I have been haunted by the book. The themes of friendship, religious fanaticism, and death were so clearly drawn is is no wonder this book won the Morris Award for a debut author. Now if I could just get kids past their fear of snakes to actually check this book out!


8.  Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan and If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo were co-winners of The Stonewall Book Award which goes to LGBT-themed books. I have not read either of the them yet. But I have read two of the Honor books: When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore and Unbecoming by Jenny Downham. Both are so good. When the Moon was Ours deals with the topic of transsexuality in a tender and sweet way. Unbecoming deals with many themes and the main character is just starting to explore her lesbian feelings. Both are very poignant and I recommend them.


9. When We Collided by Emery Lord
I haven't read this winner of the teen division of the Schneider Family Book Award "for books which embody an artistic expression of the disability experience" (ALA). The themes of death, relationships, and mental illness make this book sound compelling. I should also say that I like how the Schneider Family Book Award has divisions for children, middle grade, and teen readers. I am always disappointed when an award category, like the Pura Belpre Award (Latino Author) and Batchelder Award (translated into English) only pick children selections on a certain year, like this year.

10. Alex Award winners
Each year the Alex Award committee selects ten adult book they think have crossover appeal for teen readers. I never even try to guess what books will be one of the ten selected for this award since I usually don't read adult books the year they are published. I do try to purchase of few of the books from the list to appeal to my older readers. These are the titles I will look into purchasing this year for the library:
  • The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach
  • Romeo and/or Juliet: a Choosable-Path Adventure by Ryan North
  • Arena by Holly Jennings
  • In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
       and for my own reading enjoyment (not for the library)
  • The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales
Alex Award books are usually terrific books for adult readers because they passed with teen scrutiny. 

Look for the full list of award books, even for awards I did not mention like the Newbery Medal and the Caldecott Award at the American Library Association. 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Read all the Youth Media Award Books in 2017 Challenge. Sign Up!


Join me in reading the YA Award Titles from the Youth Media ALA Awards. It is only 8-12 books and you will be reading the best of the best. Just sign up by adding your name to the comment section and have fun reading. The AWARDS will be announced on January 23rd in 2017. 
  • Read the 2017 Youth Media Award Winners Challenge
    The list of books was announced Jan. 23, 2017

    YA Titles only for the YM Awards


    1. Michael L. Printz Award (Best YA literature of the year) 
    • March, Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell
    2. Schneider Family Book Award (Teen living with a disability)
    • When We Collided by Emery Lord
    3. Alex Awards -10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences (Pick one of ten)     
    • The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst// The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales// In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero// Buffering: Unshared Tales of a life Loaded by Hannah Hart// Arena by Holly Jennings// Every Heart a Doorway by Sean McGuire// Romeo and/or Juliet: A Choosable-Path Adventure by Ryan North// Die Young With Me: a Memoir by Rob Rufus// The Wasp that Brainwashed the Caterpillar by Matt Simon// The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach
      4. Margaret A. Edwards Award (Read one book by the winning author who has made a significant contribution to YA or Children's Lit)
      • Name of author _____Sarah Dessen______________ (Choose one of his/her books)
      • Title: 
      5. Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Literature (LGBT) (There was a tie---Read One)
      • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan
      • If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
      6. William C. Morris Award (First YA novel by author)
      • The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
      7. YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults  (Since March, Book Three has been listed several times already, you can pick an Honor book instead)
      • March, Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell
      • Or One Honor Book: Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History by Karen Blumenthal// In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives by Kenneth Davis// Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela Turner// This Land is our Land: A History of American Immigration by Linda Barrett Osborne
        8. Coretta Scott King Author Award (African American Author) 
        • March, Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell
        9. Coretta Scott King Steptoe Award (African American New Talent) 
                 The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon 

        10. Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award (Since March, Book Three has been listed several times already, you can pick an Honor book instead)
        • March, Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell  
        • Or one Honor book: Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story by Caren Stelson// Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II by Albert Marrin// We Will Not Be Silent: the White Rose Student Resistance Movement that Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman
      • 11. Laura Ingalls Wilder Award (Honoring an author or illustrated who has made a substantial contribution to children's literature) : Nikki Grimes (Read any book by this author) Title: _____________________________________
      • 12. Odyssey Award (Audio Book)
        • Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit, narrated by Allan Couduner

      *********Below the line are Youth Media Award Winners which are geared towards children or middle grade students. You may read them if you like, but they are not part of this challenge 
      _______________________________________________________________________________________
      *13. Batchelder Award (Translated into English) None of the titles are YA books
      • Cry Heart But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved, translated from Danish
      *14. Newbery Medal (Best Children's Literature) None of the Titles are YA books
      • The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
      *15. Caldecott Medal (Best Illustrated Picture Book) None of the titles are YA Books
      • Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
      *16. Pura Belpre (Latino author) None of the titles are YA books this year
      • Lowriders to the Center of the Earth illustrated by Raul Gonzalez

      If you REALLY want to challenge yourself, you can read some or all the honor books in each category, too. OR you could move down and include books for the Junior and Children's Award categories like the Newbery, Caldecott, Siebert, etc. But I draw the line at YA books. That is enough for me. The full list of all winners and honor books will be listed on the Youth Media Awards 2017 Page after January 23, 2017.

      Join me. Sign up by adding your name and an email or a hyperlink to your blog on the comment section. Then stay tuned and keep in touch. Let me know how you are doing. Happy reading. Just and paste this page to your blog and I will contact you when the titles are available! 


      Sunday, January 22, 2017

      Sunday Salon, Jan. 22nd

      Photo credits: New Yorker Magazine; Women's March NYC, Jan. 21, 2017
      Weather: grey and rainy.

      Women's March: I may have been very sad about the inauguration of Donald Trump as our 45th President on Friday but I was delighted with the obvious unity displayed on Saturday with the Women's Marches all over the country and world. In Seattle over 150,000 people marched, the largest demonstration in the city ever. All of my friends who went said they had a wonderful time and felt like they were in the right place at the right time. Our capitol city, Olympia had over 10.000 marchers. My daughter Carly marched in New York City. She said there were so many people they really were stuck in place for the longest time and never got anywhere near the speakers and the program. A sorority sister posted photos from the march in Washington, DC. My sister marched in Eugene, Oregon. The video of it showed thousands of people marching as far as the eyes could see. Another friend marched in Portland which was also swamped with marchers. Action feels more hopeful than inaction. Let us hope that the momentum stays high so that Trump and his administration hear the concerns of all these women about healthcare, racism, equal rights, and so much more.
      This is my sister, marching in Eugene. The sign she is holding is one which was popular during Vietnam War days and recreated for her by her son when he was young. "WAR TRUMP IS NOT HEALTHY FOR CHILDREN AND OTHER LIVING THINGS"
      View from my daughter's perspective during NYC March yesterday. Her friend labeled it
       "WE WANT A LEADER, NOT A CREEPY TWEETER."

      I Just Can't Stay Quiet:
      This group of women practiced this song on-line. They had never met in person before yesterday at the March. Have a listen.


      Opinion by Matthew Dowd (ABC News): Trump and his administration needs to stop with the mudslinging. Both parties need to stop with the harmful short-term tactics. He suggests that they do these five things:
      1. Use language that is inclusive and seeks unity rather than words that exclude others and divides.
      2. Appeal to people's best instincts and not the worst. Take people out of their fears and lead them courageously to a place of peace and compassion.
      3. Put country over party. Stop with the partisanship and the mode of following others like lemmings because they wear the same jersey.
      4. Rebuild trust in our governmental institutions before you seek to create new programs or expand existing ones. Make us believe again in the ability for us to come together to solve problems.
      5. Be the humble servant leaders America hungers for where we come together as citizens for a broader purpose -- serve the country, and then go home.

      Quote from the day:
      "President Trump, I did not vote for you. That said, I respect that you are our President-elect and I want to be able to support you. First, I ask that you support me, support my sister, support my mother, support my best friend and all of our girlfriends, support the men and women here today that are anxiously awaiting to see how your next moves may drastically affect their lives." -Scarlett Johansson

      Books Read this week, only the second book I've finished this year:
      • Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel---set in Molokai, Hawaii, Rani is a high school senior who has to learn to love herself after enduring the incestuous "love" from her father, and the abusive "love" from a boyfriend.
      Currently reading:
      • The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner...well-written and insightful yet this book is too long, too detailed (read: tedious). Will I actually finish it in time for book club on Wednesday? 71%.
      • Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney....I am using this book to form the outline for the adult Sunday School class I am teaching on praying from scriptures. 40%
      • Scythe by Neal Shusterman...I just started this book which has been getting a lot of love for potential YA book awards, which will be announced tomorrow. I don't think I'll get it done on time but I still want to read it.
      Recipe of the week: Pork Loin Roast with Apples. Delicious. (I used dry mustard instead of brown mustard.) The sauce was both sweet and tangy.

      Christmas, New Year's, MLK Day, Winter letter: Yesterday Don and I wrote our annual end-of-year letter which we usually call our Christmas letter. We delayed so long writing, we don't even know what to call it. When we tried to order the photo cards from COSTCO we had to order Valentine's Day cards (which seemed more appropriate than Halloween, Easter, or "Save the Date" cards. Ha!) Now we have to actually write notes and get them in the mail. At this rate don't expect to hear from us until some time in February or March. Sigh.

      Prayers for: My Aunt Barbara, 92 years old, who is in the hospital with the flu. My mom, her sister, is sick so she can't go and visit her.

      Goodbye, President Obama. You will be missed. (Photo credit: Peter Souza, Jamaica, 2015)





      Anne's Picks for the Youth Media Awards


      Tomorrow the real YMAs will be announced. Here are the YA books I hope will win:

      1. Michael L. Printz Award (Best YA literature of the year) 
      • The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
      2. Schneider Family Book Award (Teen living with a disability)
      • The Memory Book by Lara Avery
      3. Alex Awards -10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences (Pick one of ten)     
      • ?
        4. Margaret A. Edwards Award (Read one book by the winning author who has made a significant contribution to YA or Children's Lit)
        • Name of author _____?_______________ (Choose one of his/her books)
        • Title: 
        5. Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Literature (LGBT) 
        • We Are the Ants by Shaun Hutchinson
        6. William C. Morris Award (First YA novel by author)
        • The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter
        7. YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults 
        • March, Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aidyn, illustrated by Nate Powell
          8. Coretta Scott King Author Award (African American Author) 
          • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
          9. Pura Belpre (Latino Author) 
          • Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
          10Odyssey Award (Audio Book)
          • The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, read by Will Patton

          Saturday, January 21, 2017

          Mock Printz Awards...Compilation of lists


          This past week the GKHS Mock Printz team selected their favorite book of the year during the Mock Printz Workshop. I instantly wanted to know what other teams have selected as their favorite titles of the past year. This is my effort to compile those list.  Check out the hyperlinks to read more about the selection process at each site.

          1. SLJ Someday My Printz Will Come:
          Winner: The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
          Honors: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
                        Scythe by Neal Shusterman
                        We Are the Ants by Shaun Hutchinson
                        March, Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Illustrated by Nate Powell

          2. Eva Perry Regional Library Mock Printz Book Club
          Winner: Scythe by Neal Shusterman
          Honors: The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne
                        Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
                     
          3. WLA/WLS Mock Awards
          Winner:  March, Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Illustrated by Nate Powell
          Honors: The Passion of Dolssa b Julie Berry
                        The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

          4. Goodreads Mock Printz 2017 (Voting open until Jan. 22, 2017) At current time the highest vote getters are:
                        The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry (13)
                        Salt to the Sea by Ruta Septys (12)
                        Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis (12)
                        We are the Ants by Shaun Hutchinson (9)
                        The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (8)

          5. Public Library at Cincinnati and Hamilton County
          Winner: The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter
          Honors: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Septys
                        Hour of Bees by Lindsay Eagar
                        True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan
                        The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan

          6. Mock Morning at Denver Public Library
          Winner: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
          Honors: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
                        The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

          7. Mock Printz for staff at San Mateo Public Libraries
          Winner: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
          Honors: Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
                        March, Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Illustrated by Nate Powell
                        Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

          8. Cuyahoga Public Mock Printz in-person and online voting results:
          Winner: Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
          Honors: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
                        We are the Ants by Shaun Hutchinson
                        The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter

          9. Littleton, Colorado Mock Printz event (small group)
          Winner: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
          Honors: Still Life with Tornadoes by A.S. King
                        Merrow by Amanda Braxton-Smith

          10. Bergan County Library System Mock Event
          Winner: Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story by Caren Stelson
          Honors: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
                        Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
                        Salt to the Sea by Ruta Septys

          11. Milwaukee Federated Public Libraries Mock Printz Program
          Winner: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
          Honors: We are the Ants by Shaun Hutchinson
                        The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork
                        The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
                        Scythe by Neal Shusterman
                     
          12. Project Yawesome: Mock Printz Sulfolk County Library system
          Winner: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
          Honors: Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
                        The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
                        March, Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Illustrated by Nate Powell

          13. Anderson's Bookshops Mock Printz
          Winner: Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel
          Honors: Kids of Appetite by David Arnold
                        Salt to the Sea by Ruta Septys
                        The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
                        The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

          14. Graham-Kapowsin HS Mock Printz Workshop (20+ teens)
          Winner: The Memory Book by Lara Avery
          Honors: Character Driven by David Lubar
                        The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork
                        The Reader by Traci Chee
                        The Rebel of the Sands by Alywyn Hamilton

          This is what I have found so far.  Many public libraries advertised online they were hosting a Mock Printz event and then never published the results of their events, which is very frustrating to readers like me.

          Looking over the fourteen lists I did find with results, Salt to the Sea by Ruta Septys has the most first place votes with four. It also showed up on eight of the lists. The next highest book found on the list is The Sun is Also a Star with seven mentions, though is was never selected as the winner. Several books showed up on four of the lists: March, Book Three; The Passion of Dolssa; We Are the Ants. Female of the Species and The Serpent King were listed three times though they both earned at least one first place spot. There are sixteen titles which are only listed once.

          I recognize my school's list (GKHS in #14 slot) has the most outliers of the lot. But as I said in the blog post about the events and the titles that were selects, the teens on the committee truly voted for their favorites and paid no attention whatsoever to what was popular elsewhere. You gotta love them for that!

          The actual Printz Committe announces its results on Monday morning. I know that they have a herculean task to thoughtfully consider all YA titles published in 2016. Though I haven't read all the books listed above, I think that this compilation hits on most of the highlights of the year. Only a few titles are missing, in my estimation, but I am sure the committee has surely taken a peek at them, too.

          If you have a Mock Printz list not listed above, please provide me with a link and I will add it to this list.


          Thursday, January 19, 2017

          GKHS Mock Printz winners

          GKHS Mock Printz team met this afternoon and after a very raucous discussion, which delighted me due to the enthusiasm these teens have for books and reading, they picked their favorite YA books to bestow the honor of Mock Printz Award and Honors. These titles aren't the titles that people "in the know" are buzzing about. The teens didn't care. They like what they like and they aren't willing to give an award to a book they don't. Here's the list:

          Mock Printz Award
          The Memory Book by Lara Avery

          Mock Honors:
          Character Driven by David Lubar
          The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork
          The Rebel of the Sands by Alywyn Hamilton
          The Reader by Traci Chee

          The Memory Book and Character Driven were virtually tied and the students had to debate and vote and re-vote until The Memory Book moved into a 51% majority. Students loved both books and finally decided that a book's cry-worthiness was the deciding factor. Ha!

          As we discussed all the titles we read this year, no one wanted to talk about The Passion of Dolssa. When I told them it was my favorite book, the group started teasing me about it. No one in the room had finished it except me. I didn't even bother mentioning that this book has been getting lots of love on the blogosphere because, umm, clearly they didn't. They also weren't so sure if they liked We Are the Ants, which was the favorite book of my partner teacher. We both decided to keep our mouths shut because clearly we were not influential on the process. It became a joke as the afternoon wore on.

          I was very impressed with the thoughtful comments that students made in defense of their favorite titles. Even if these titles don't win actual Printz Awards, the authors who penned these titles should feel proud of winning the GK-Mock Printz Award for 2017. You have written a book which teenagers actually love and they want others to know just how great they are.

          Now we wait to see what the Real Printz committee thinks. I bet their discussion won't be nearly as spirited and enthusiastic.

          Anne


          The Edgar Award Finalists announced

          The Edgar Award finalists (Best Mysteries)

          Young Adult titles:

          • Three Truths and a Lie by Brent Hartinger (Simon & Schuster — Simon Pulse)
          • The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group — Henry Holt BFYR)
          • Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse (Hachette Book Group — Little, Brown BFYR)
          • My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier (Soho Press — Soho Teen)
          • Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor (Penguin Random House — Penguin Young Readers — Dial Books)
          I am always looking for good mysteries to recommend to my readers. I have read the Girl in the Blue Coat. It is fabulous. I have lots of books by April Henry in the library, so I will be sure to get this new one. I have the book My Sister Rosa and think the plot sounds very intriguing.  Oh boy. I am excited about this list. Stay tuned for the winner which will be announced in April.