Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wild Things : acts of mischief in children's literature

Wild Things : acts of mischief in children's literature  
by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson, and Peter D. Sieruta

Reading this book is like spending a few hours in a bar adjacent a library or booksellers conference, learning all kinds of juicy gossip about children and teen books, authors, illustrators, and publishers. From the private life of Maurice Sendak to the steamy journals of Wanda Gag, with snarky tales of celebrity authors and plenty of side-stories about controversial topics and landmark books like Annie on my Mind, Go Ask Alice, and Forever, the authors huddle in tightly to include the reader as they dish up scandal after scandal, with jaunty, conversational buoyancy.

A fun read for librarians, parents, and other lovers of books for kids and teens...but not of interest to teens and kids themselves.

Also, if you've never spent a few hours in the bar adjacent a library or booksellers conference, you should try it sometime.  

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Cress   (Lunar Chronicles, bk #3)
 by Marissa Meyer

Cress has been alone on a satellite circling earth since she was a very young child, with only her netscreens and an occasional visit from her Lunar guardian for company.  She has grown her hair very long and developed an excellent singing voice, a talent for computer hacking, and a taste for sentimental romances...and Cress longs for a handsome prince to rescue her from distress.

What comes along is not a prince exactly, but rather, a group of fugitives intent on de-throning the evil Lunar Queen Levana.  And they want Cress to help them.

This story is much more than a science fiction re-casting of "Rapunzel."  It is also a terrific, fast-paced, suspenseful and sweet coming-of-age tale.  With plenty of cliffhanger chapters and chases through deserts, underground passageways and outer space, there is much to love...including the clever but naive character of Cress.

Cress is part 3 in a series that will include at least 4 books.  Cinder starts the series, starring an unloved cyborg stepchild.  Scarlet is second, featuring a girl in red and her rather dubious lupine companion.  Winter (coming in September 2015) will focus on Queen Levana's beautiful stepdaughter.  A "prequel" to the series, Fairest, is scheduled for release in January 2015.

The book and the audiobook narrated by Rebecca Soler are highly recommended to readers and listeners ages 12 to adult.  No cussing, some violence, some blood, and a few very important kisses.