Thursday, April 28, 2016

Scraps

Today was a Rube Goldberg day.  Instead of moving in an orderly fashion from one task to the next, I started one task, noticed something that led me to another task.  Wait!  Here's how it all worked out.

I wanted to tape the baseboard in my office so I could prime the walls (1). 
But I had to hang up two jackets (2) which made me open the closet door.
Then I remembered that I needed to fit a large bin into that closet, so I had to reorganize the floor space (3).
The bed linens that I keep on the closet shelf needed reorganizing(4), so I did that.
By then, I had several items that had to be moved to the attic. (5)
That done, I returned to the office to finish taping the baseboard. (1a).  But some plaster was loosened in the process.  So I had to clean and spackle that section (6).
Remember that large bin?  There was a smaller bin on top of it full of books that needed to be shelved(7).
While looking for space for those books, I found an old steno pad.

Ahhh!
On the steno pad were notes for a story titled "Rupert & Ivy".  The notes were fairly detailed, including three questions and rhyming answers.   Did I write these notes?  Or was I describing something I read?  Oh, to have a young memory once again!

I searched for Rupert & Ivy online but nothing came up.  And Rupert is one of my all time favorite character names.  And the ending was very vague in a "to-be-continued" sort of way.  I wrote it.

That steno pad had another story scrap -  dialogue between a brother and sister left on a new England island for the summer.

It isn't a steno pad at all.  It is a treasure chest with pieces of my memory within.  This is why I have notebooks and binders piled around me.  I might find three questions with the answers in rhyme.

BTW, I got the baseboard taped.  Maybe I'll prime the walls tomorrow - if I don't unearth another treasure.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Thanks, Conan Doyle



A Study in Charlotte  by Brittany Cavallaro   Jamie Watson gets a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a boarding school not far from his estranged father's home in Connecticut.  Charlotte Holmes is also a student there.  Jamie has followed Charlotte's exploits since they were both kids.  Jamie's father knows EVERYTHING about the Holmes family. 
When someone tries to frame Jamie and Charlotte for the murder of a Sherringford student, their families' generations long connection is reignited.  Charlotte shares her famous forebear's skills at observation and his deductive reasoning AND his skill on the violin.  Alas, that is not all she has in common with great-great-great-whatever Sherlock. 
The crimes that she and Watson - also a great-great-great-whatever of Dr. John Watson - investigate reference some of Holmes' most famous cases.  Holmes and Watson are in serious danger here.  Explosions, poisons, muggings, chases, - THIS is the beginning of a beautiful book series.

Honestly, what would modern mystery fiction do without Holmes and Watson?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The authors are coming!! The authors are coming!!!


Emily is just one of FOUR awesome children's authors at the KU Children's lit Conference

 This is the latest that I have ever gone in finishing my KU Children's Literature Conference booklist.  I am embarrassed at the lateness.  But it IS done - except for the inevitable addendum or addenda.  Maybe I'll skip those this year.  And you can find it here.

You can find the KUCLC's website here, too.  Show up early (7:30 to 8:30 am) on Saturday if you haven't pre-registered.  The cost is ONLY $50 for a day of children's book fantasticality!  This year Kutztown hosts Daniel Kirk, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Emily Arnold McCully and Jonathan Bean.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Prison life






All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook  by Leslie Connor has a good chance of being my favorite book of the year - Top 5, for sure.

Perry was born and raised in Blue River Co-Educational Correctional Institute.  His mother discovered she was pregnant after she was incarcerated.  The warden had herself named as the foster parent in order to keep Perry and his mom together.

That's the thing about Blue River.  Warden Daugherty believes in treating the residents fairly and with respect.  The residents, most of them, return the respect and work together to overcome the flaws that landed them in jail.

Perry has attended public school his entire life.  But when he enters middle school, someone decides he needs a "real" family.  Finally "outside", Perry only wants to be back with his mother and his family at Blue River.

A school project on local history gives Perry a chance to get the whole story behind his mother's arrest and sentence.   His research opens the eyes of at least one classmate.

When he suspects that someone who claims to be looking into his mother's case is talking through his hat, Perry devises a genius "trap".  

I suggest that you locate your tissues before you get too far into this book.  There are several moving melancholy scenes in here.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Princesses Don't Wear Black???

FPO ImageI just discovered The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale with illustrations by LeUyen Pham!  I'm in extreme LIKE!!!  This series for our youngest chapter book readers is funny and feeds into the princess-mania that makes some grandmothers - those who came of age in the 1960s, for instance - break out in rashes.  Princess Magnolia is dimply, pink and perfect UNTIL the kingdom's goats are threatened by MONSTERS.  And then, she and her unicorn, Frimplepants, transform into an amazing duo of monster repelling powers.  I love the name Frimplepants.  Just saying.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cats??!!

I just read a review of the book Withering-by-Sea by Judith Rossell and put it on my to-read list. (That list is so long, I will need a prolonged convalescence to ever get through it all - or possibly a life of leisure.)  And then I find this!!!