November 30, 2010

Tween Tuesday - The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes

Tween Tuesday was started over at Green Bean Teen Queen as away to hightlight awesome books for the 9-12 year old set. AKA Tweens. Any book highlighted on Tween Tuesday does count for the In the Middle Reading Challenge.
This week I'm highlighting:

The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes
by Kelly Easton

This just sounds like a fun wonderful read full of dreams and becoming who you are.  I love middle grade books about that!
Besides isn't the cover great!

From Goodreads
Everyone has a destiny. Sometimes it takes an adventure to find it.
Liberty Aimes has spent all of her ten years captive in her parents' crooked house on Gooch Street. Her spry father, Mal Aimes, is a crook who sells insurance, while her overweight mother sits at home in front of the TV, demanding that Liberty cook nonstop. Liberty’s only knowledge of the outside world comes from the secret stash of children’s books and fairy tales she discovers beneath the floorboards. One day, Liberty enters her father’s forbidden basement laboratory. There she discovers a world of talking animals and magic potions. With the aid of one such potion, Liberty escapes into the world in search of her destiny.

November 29, 2010

Monday Cover Merriment

I love book covers, and I love sharing them. 
My cover of the week is:

The Chestnut King (100 Cupboards #3)

For some reason I'm completely drawn this cover.  I think it's the golden hues.  I don't think very many books have this coloring. 
The way the room is destroyed also interests me because I'm wondering what happened.

November 26, 2010

Holiday Gift Suggestions

Since the offical start to the holiday shopping season is today I thought I'd share my suggestions for some great books to buy for people on your list. I'm not going to go crazy and give you a huge list, instead I'll just give you my top choice(s) for a few catigories.

Best For MG Boys
The Scorch Trials - needed for all the boys who read The Maze Runner.  And if they haven't read The Maze Runner give both!
Conspiracy 365 January - action packed book that has 12 books out in the series!

Best for MG Girls
It's Raining Cupcakes - my daughter (age 11) read it, loved it and bakes tons of cupcakes now
Sister's Grimm The Fairytale Detectives-fantastic series full of adventure and fun

Best for YA Girls
Shiver and Linger - so many of my girls love this series
Gallagher Girl Series - So many of my girls tear through this series.  Fun, action, some romance. 

Best of YA Boys
Thirteen Days to Midnight - what would you do if you knew you couldn't be be hurt?
Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers - well anything by Walter Dean Myers

Best Series for Those Who Liked to be Spooked
The Devouring and Soustice! I found the second book better (scarier) than the first.  I need to read Fearscape yet.

Best for Zombie Lovers
The Forest of Hands Teeth along with The Dead Tossed Waves.  Love love love this series and again I liked the second book better.

Best for Readers Who Like to Laugh
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda - cute, funny but also a great message

Best YA for Adult Readers
Before I Fall.  I cannot say how much I loved this book!

Best MG for Adult Readers
When You Reach Me -  I adored it beyond reason :)

So those are just some suggestions I have.  Hope you maybe found something for the reader on your list.

November 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: The False Princess

This is inspired by a meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. In this post I talk about books yet to be released that I'm excited about OR already published book's I've seen that I'm really wanting to read. I also like to try and find books other bloggers aren't sharing so that more books are shared.

This week I'm waiting on: 
The False Princess
by Eilis O'Neal
I think this story sounds really good and pretty unique.  Has anyone read it yet??

From Goodreads
Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia knows her role in life. But everything changes when she learns, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess–a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city, her best friend, Kiernan, and the only life she’s ever known.

While struggling with her new peasant life, Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins–long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control. Returning to the city to seek answers, she instead uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor’s history forever.

November 23, 2010

Review and Giveaway: Ook and Gluk

Title: Ook and Gluk
Author: Dav Pilkey

About the Book
In this all-new graphic novel, George Beard and Harold Hutchins present the sensational saga of two silly caveboys named Ook and Gluk. Ook and Gluk have a pretty awesome life growing up together in Caveland, Ohio, in 500,001 BC—even though they’re always getting in trouble with their nasty leader, Big Chief Goppernopper. But Ook and Gluk’s idyllic life takes a turn for the terrible when an evil corporation from the future invades their quiet, prehistoric town. When Ook, Gluk, and their little dinosaur pal, Lily, are pulled through a time portal to the year 2222 AD, they discover that the world of the future is even worse than the devastated one they came from. Fortunately, they find a friend in Master Wong, a martial arts instructor who trains them in the ways of kung fu, so that they may one day return home and make things right again. And, like the other Captain Underpants books, The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future features the world’s cheesiest animation technology, “Flip-O-Rama,” in every chapter.

Check out the trailer too!

My Thoughts
As a mother of a "nonreader" 9 year old boy I'm always on the look out for something he'll want to read.  He loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, so when I saw this one was a graphic novel I thought it might be a great fit.  Personally I giggled my way through the story.  Once again I was reading it while my students were working on an assignment.  I burst out laughing at this scene with billboards being blasted in half.  Of course they all wanted to know what was going on and see for themselves.  Many of them read the Captain Underpants books, so they knew the kind of humor the book had.  That was the scene I showed to my son, and he took off with he book!  What I liked is that it told a story.  So many parents worry that graphic novels are inferior books because they have so many pictures - that they are "just" comic books.  I didn't find that with this book.  The story was entertaining, the language wasn't simple and reading skills like inferring are practiced by using the pictures to grasp the whole story.

My one concern - the main characters are cavemen, so to keep with that they used many misspelled words.  My son has issues with spelling, so I worry that would confuse him. It's a minor concern but one still.

Final thought: Funny, fun book with a cute story

Now if you want your own copy plus more check out this great giveaway from Scholastic!

Give the gift of reading to your child this holiday season! Scholastic books make the perfect stocking stuffer for any child on your list.

We have a HUGE prize pack filled with the most popular children’s books in the marketplace to offer one lucky reader!
Titles include

Isn't this a fantastic giveaway pack!

Go to the Scholastic Store to find even more great books!

To enter fill out the form. 
Ends Tuesday Dec 7th midnight CST
Must be a US resident


November 22, 2010

Monday Cover Merriement

I love book covers. LOVE them - some more than others of course. I love hearing what others have to say about them.
On Mondays I merrily share some of the good ones I've seen, find out what version of a cover you like better or express my disappointment in a cover that could've, in my opinion, been better.

I saw the best covers for the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld.  They were the German covers for the books. 
 Loved, loved loved them!
What do you think of them??

November 19, 2010

For the Guys: The Rivalry by John Feinstein

Every Friday I highlight books and authors that are ones boys might really enjoy. I'm not saying girls wouldn't read these books, but they are clearly "guy" books.

This week I'm highlighting:

The Rivalry by John Feinstein

This book has my boys hooked! Many of them want to read it.  The football aspect is great, but I love that it has a mystery as well.  John Feinstein has written several sports/mystery books, so I'm hoping the boys that read this will be hooked and read some more of his.

Side note: the football on the cover feels like an actual football!

From Goodreads
Bestselling writer John Feinstein is back with another exciting sports-mystery, this one set behind the scenes at the storied Army-Navy football game.
Teen sportswriters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson are thrilled to be covering "America's Game." The Black Knights of Army and the Midshipmen of Navy have met on the football field since 1890, and it's a rivalry like no other, filled with tradition. But this year, the match-up is also filled with intrigue.
For weeks, Stevie and Susan Carol have been spending time at Annapolis and West Point, getting to know the players, and coaches. And the secret service agents. Since the president will be attending the game, security will, of course, be tighter than tight. As the game draws nearer Stevie and Susan Carol can tell that the agents are getting tenser.
But as usual when Stevie and Susan Carol cover a big event--nothing is quite as it seems, and the coaches aren't the only ones calling plays...

November 18, 2010

It's Harry Potter Time - With a Giveaway!

Well unless you've been living under a rock you are aware that the movie for Harry Potter book #7 comes out tomorrow at midnight.  Well, part one comes out tomorrow.  I am very very excited about this! I won't be standing in line at midnight or anything like that, but I will be getting to the theatre very quickly to see the last book brought to life. 

In honor of the movie's release I thought I'd have a quick little Harry Potter giveaway. Up for grabs is:

The Tales of Beedle the Bard and some Harry Potter "silly bands"!

Entery into the giveaway is simple.  Tell me your favorite HP character and why - or your favorite villian! I love Draco mainly because he goes through so many changes throughout the 7 books.  I did wish he'd turn out nicer in the end, but I guess he is who he is! Now who is yours and why?? Be sure to leave an email so I can contact you if you win!

Contest Rules
Ends on Monday the 22 at midnight CST
Must be a US Resident
Must reply to winning email within 48 hours or prize is passed to another winner

About the book if you don't know much about it:

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers’ attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger’s new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J. K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump,” and of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we now know and love, reading them gives new insight into the world of Harry Potter.

November 16, 2010

Tween Tuesday - The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had

Tween Tuesday was started at GreenBeanTeenQueen.  In it we highlight books that would be great for the tween set, ages 9-12.

This week I'm sharing:

The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had
by Kristin Levine

Sometimes I think there isn't enough tween books that really look at racial issues.  I know there are some really good ones, but there is not a ton.  When I saw this one I thought it sounded awesome for showing kids what the country was like at that time.

From Goodreads
The last thing Harry “Dit” Sims expects when Emma Walker comes to town is to become friends. Proper -talking, brainy Emma doesn’t play baseball or fi sh too well, but she sure makes Dit think, especially about the differences between black and white. But soon Dit is thinking about a whole lot more when the town barber, who is black, is put on trial for a terrible crime. Together Dit and Emma come up with a daring plan to save him from the unthinkable.

Set in 1917 and inspired by the author’s true family history, this is the poignant story of a remarkable friendship and the perils of small-town justice.

November 15, 2010

Monday Cover Merriment

I love book covers.  LOVE them - some more than others of course.  I love hearing what others have to say about them. 
On Mondays I merrily share some of the good ones I've seen, find out what version of a cover you like better or express my disappointment in a cover that could've, in my opinion, been better. 

Today I'm sharing my opinion of the two covers for
The Prophecy of the Sisters.

I've had this book in  my classroom library since last year.  It has the original cover.  Rarely do I have a student look at it.  They are not drawn to the cover.  This fall the book was at our book fair with the new cover.  I saw more girls pick it up than I ever saw all last year!  I told the girls I had the book, and they were suprised.  They didn't realize they were the same book!
I love the new cover.  Sorry folks, but I never did like the first one.
     NEW ONE


November 13, 2010

Remember When: Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume

In Remember When I revisit awesome books from the past.  These may be books I read when I was in school or just a few years back.  Either way they are books that need to be remembered and revisited.  I hope more of you think about doing a Remember When and spread these fantastic books around!

This weekend I'm remembering:

Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume

This was my most favorite ever Judy Blume books.  As is typical with her, she dealt with issues long before other YA or MG authors thought to deal with.  This story of a young girl dealing with the violent death of her father is touching, emotional and honest.  I remember when I read this thinking about the fact that some kids faced this for real.  I gain a bit of understand what they went through - how difficult it truly was.  It is a book that has stuck with me over the years.  I hope, if you haven't read it, you'll pick it up and read it now.  It is a story that is still relevant.

The other great news: it's being made into a movie! And Judy Blume wrote the screenplay herself.  I cannot wait to see the final product.

From Barnes and Noble
Davey has never felt so alone in her life. Her father is dead—shot in a holdup—and now her mother is moving the family to New Mexico to try to recover.

Climbing in the Los Alamos canyon, Davey meets the mysterious Wolf, who can read Davey’s “sad eyes.” Wolf is the only person who seems to understand the rage and fear Davey feels.

Slowly, with Wolf’s help, Davey realizes that she must get on with her life. But when will she be ready to leave the past behind and move toward the future? Will she ever stop hurting?

Here's the cove I remember!

November 12, 2010

Friday's for the Guys: Archvillain

Every Friday I highlight books and authors that are ones boys might really enjoy. I'm not saying girls wouldn't read these books, but they are clearly "guy" books.
This week I'm highlighting:

Archvillain by Barry Lyga

This book looks fun.  And I think boys would really get a kick out of it because how many of them can't tell the truth because it means admitting to something wrong they were doing.

From Goodreads
Kyle Camden knows exactly where he was the night Mighty Mike arrived: Sneaking around the fallow field behind Bouring Middle School (motto: "The U Makes It Exciting!"), running the electrical cabling that would allow him to dump the contents of the old water tower on the visiting football team during the next day's game.

Which is why he couldn't tell anyone where he was.

Or what he saw.

Those lights everyone saw in the sky weren't tiny meteors burning up in the atmosphere. They were some kind of strange, supercooled plasma that bathed the entire field - including Kyle - in alien energies, energies that boosted Kyle's intellect and gave him superpowers.

Unfortunately, the energies also brought Mighty Mike to earth.

Kyle is the only one who knows that Mighty Mike is an alien. Everyone else thinks that Mike is just some kid who stumbled into the field, got beefed up on meteor juice, lost his memory, and decided to start rescuing kittens from trees. But Kyle knows the truth. And he'll do anything in his power to stop Mighty Mike, even if it means being an Archvillain!

November 11, 2010

7's Up - What are They Reading?

Whenever a post is labele "7's Up" it's coming straight from my 7th graders.  I love to hear their thoughts on anything related to reading. 

Today I've got a list of what they are currently reading.  You can see some of my influences, but much is what they found. 
Take note authors and publishers! This is what real 7th graders are reading!

Wake by Lisa McMann
Airheads by Meg Cabot
Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Box Out by John Coy
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
ttfn by Lauren Myracle
Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz
Gone by Michael Grant (x3)
Dork Diaries by Rachel R. Russell
Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
The Light by D.J. Machale
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
When You Read Me by Rebecca Stead
Being Nikki by Meg Cabot
Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Walls Within Walls by Maureen Sherry
Plain Kate by Erin Bow
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari
The Lab by Jack Heath
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord
The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith
Mudville by Kurtis Scaletta
The Rivarly by John Feinstein

November 9, 2010

Tween Tuesday: Just Add Magic

Tween Tuesday was started by GreenBeanTeenQueen. In it we share books that would be great for the tween set, ages 9-12.

This week I'm sharing:

Just Add Magic by Cindy Callaghan

I think this looks like a super cute read. The cover reminds me a lot of It's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder. I've had several girls love that one, and I think that even thought this one is different it would have the same appeal as It's Raining Cupcakes. I plan on adding this to my classroom library.

From Cindy Callaghan's Website (click to visit it!)

When Kelly Quinn and her two BFFs discover a dusty old cookbook while cleaning out her attic, the girls decide to try a few of the mysterious recipes inside. But the ancient book bears an eerie warning, and it doesn't take long for the girls to realize that their dishes are linked to strange occurances. The Keep 'Em Quiet Cobbler actually silences Kelly's pesky little brother and the Hexberry Tarta brings an annoying curse to mean girl Charlotte Barney. And there is the Love Bug Juice, which seems to have quite the effect on those cute Rusamano boys...

Could these receipes really be magical? Who wrote them and where did they come from. And most importantly, what kind of trouble are the girls stirring up for themselves? Things are about to get just a little too hot in Kelly Quinn's kitchen.

Also, Just Add Magic is the Rockin' Reads book at Justice for the month of November.
Check it out HERE!

November 7, 2010

Book Review: The Hole in the Wall and Contest

Title: The Hole in the Wall
Author: Lisa Rowe Fraustine
Publisher: Milkweed
Pages: 212

From Goodreads
Eleven-year-old Sebby has found the perfect escape from his crummy house and bickering family: The Hole in the Wall. It’s a pristine, beautiful glen in the midst of a devastated mining area behind Sebby’s home. But not long after he finds it his world starts falling apart: his family’s chickens disappear, colors start jumping off the wall and coming to life, and after sneaking a taste of raw cookie dough he finds himself with the mother of all stomachaches. When Sebby sets out to solve these mysteries, he and his twin sister, Barbie, get caught in a wild chase through the tunnels and caverns around The Hole in the Wall — all leading them to the mining activities of one Stanley Odum, the hometown astrophysicist who’s buying up all the land behind Sebby’s home. Exactly what is Mr. Odum mining in his secret facility, and does it have anything to do with the mystery of the lost chickens and Sebby’s stomachache? The answers to these questions go much further than the twins expect.
My Review
I'll be honest and say it took me a bit to get into to this book.  It was mostly the the voice of the narrator, Sebby.   Because it's told through the voice of an 11 year old boy it could b hard to follow.  At first I had a hard time following the way this character talked and some of the ways things were described.  I found myself having to reread a few parts to get them straight.  If you've ever hung around 11 year old boys you'll know that they don't always talk in the most linear fashion! But as I got use to the way Sebby talked and the story really got going, I got pulled into it much more. 

There is a lot of mystery in this story.  What exactly is Mr. Odum mining out of the land that surrounds them?  Where did their brother Jed go and why? What happened to those chickens???? Trying to see where those all go kept my interest as well as trying to figure out how, if at all, they were all linked.  And as Sebby and his twin sister Barbie get some answers more questions form, so the mystery kept getting deeper and deeper.  To me the oddest mystery was what was happening to Sebby's body.  Without giving anything away I'll say the part about his back freaked me out just a little! I didn't want to see him end up like the chickens.  Another part that freaked me out and had me wishing I could control the characters and send them back to bed was the whole scene with the cuckoo clocks! I hate when characters wander outside in the middle of the night!

In the end I was satisfied with how the mystery was solved.  There were a few things that seemed wrapped up a bit to nicely but that is how fiction works sometimes.  I am still a bit confused as to what Mr. Odum expected to gain from what was being mined and what he was doing with it, but I don't think the target audience would be as bother by it.

BTW Loved Grum - their grandma.  Wish there had been more of her!

Final thought: Nice mystery that kept me thinking.
Best stick-with-you image: Those cuckoo clocks!
Best for readers who: will stick with a book that takes some getting use to
Best for ages: 10-13

I picked up an extra copy of the ARC at Kidlit Con, so if you'd like a chance to read The Hole in the Wall fill out the form. 
+1 entry for commenting on Lisa's guest post.  See it HERE.
Ends November 22.
Must be a US Resident
No P.O. Boxes

November 4, 2010

Book Review: Halo

Title: Halo
Author: Alexandria Adornetto
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 484

From Goodreads
Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings.
But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.
My Review
I've had a really hard time writing this review.  I wanted to love this book, I really really did.  I'd heard so much about it, and the summary sounded really good.  The truth is, I didn't love it.  That's not to say I hated it - I DIDN'T! I just didn't love it, and I was frustrated by some aspects of it. 

It started off strong! Hearing about the angel's adjustment to life on Earth was very interesting, and watching Bethany struggle through her first few days at school came across as very realistic.  I've watched new students come into my classroom, and I could completely buy into what was happening with her.  And the start of her relationship with Xavier was fantastic.  I found myself really pulled into the emotions and the excitement of their budding love, reading along really fast. Everything about it was new to Bethany, and the author did a great job capturing that feeling. Her lack of knowledge about human love could've been hard to capture, show and relate to, but it was well done. 

But then the whole story stalled.  I was half way through the book and "bad guy" hadn't even appeared yet.  It hit a point where I wondered if there ever was going to be a "bad guy".  I mean the romance was great and all that, but I could only read so many times how great Xavier smelled.  They had been sent to Earth of some sort of mission, but it felt like they spent the first half just hanging out.  Bethany didn't seem to be doing anything to help the people of the town. I will admit Ivy was doing a lot of things to bring the town together, but in total the mission seemed lost - like an after thought.  When the bad guy, Jake, finally does arrive the story picks up again some, but I felt like it never fully got off the ground.  This part seemed rushed.  As they confront this threat, we finally learn Bethany's "power" but to me it felt like a side note.  I wanted to know more about it and how it could be used.  I guess I just wanted to more in general about the angels and why they were there. This part of the story was lacking.

I could go into more things that bothered me, but I don't want to give away things and I don't feel the need to pick the book apart.  I just wanted to give a general understanding of what I liked best about the book (romance) and what frustrated me the most.

Final Thought: Don't get me wrong.  I didn't hate the book, and I know my 7th grade girls will love it.  I had just hoped for more.
Best stick-with-you image: Gabriel's wings.
Best for readers who: Like a romance with  bit more
Best for ages: 12+

November 2, 2010

Guest Post: Lisa Rowe Fraustino

Today I welcome Lisa Rowe Fraustino author of The Hole in the Wall talking about how this novel came to be - over twenty years!

From Idea to Here in Twenty Years

In 1990, while working on my PhD at Binghamton University, I read Ludwig Tieck’s tale “The Runenberg,” in which a man becomes caught up in a dream world. Or is it real? He discovers that plants, trees, and flowers “are the corpse of foregone glorious worlds of rock.” Gold and gems have spirits. Being tempted by their allure leads the man to a nightmare fate.

At that time I lived in a region of Pennsylvania altered by coal mining. Driving by a slag pile one day, I got the idea of adapting Tieck’s tale into a modern children’s fantasy.

A brother and sister travel by dream to the fantastical Land of the Adri, populated by inorganic rock spirits. The kids discover that their dreamscape is actually a real world occupying the same space as the human world, and that the strip mine in their town is destroying the inorganic spirit world. Of course my protagonists have to save the world by putting an end to the mining. This was the original dissertation idea approved my advisor, Liz Rosenberg.

Ah, but then I got another idea that I just had to write first, Ash: A Novel (Orchard 1995). In 1994 I returned to my fantasy idea and wrote a first draft. I wrote my fifth draft in 1996, several more drafts in 1999, and even more drafts in 2006 before the final 3 or 4 rounds of revision with Milkweed editor Ben Barnhart. And if you’ve read The Hole in the Wall, you know the story didn’t wind up anywhere near where it started. It’s not an otherworldly dreamscape anymore but a real-world science fantasy.

No matter what I plan for them, my characters always take over the plot. They have strong personalities and voices, and they’re constantly interrupting. When I sent Sebby and Barb to the fantasy Land of the Adri, they didn’t fit in. My story felt real when they were bickering with Grum in the kitchen, but fake when they met up with magical gatekeepers and rock spirits. So I decided instead to make the strip mine across the road a big problem for them in the real world, in their own lives.

In the first draft, Sebby didn’t even have an oasis called The Hole in the Wall. Instead, one stubborn old lady named Zoe, the Witch of Adri Gore, had refused to sell out to Odum Research Corporation. She was the gatekeeper who gave Sebby and Barb magical coins that transported them to the Land of the Adri. The first draft also had an annoying friend named Jo-Jo living nearby. He kept getting in the way so I eventually replaced Jo-Jo with Cluster Dogstar. Around that time I also added a big brother Jed, who became central to the plotline…even though he ran away from home.

I wrote the first 1994 draft in the third person, aiming for a wise, trustworthy voice to describe both the real world and the fantasy world. Nice try, but I couldn’t pull it off with Sebby and Barb butting in. Since they had different experiences apart from each other, and they were both important to the plot as I had it then, I decided to let them take turns telling the story chapter by chapter. They did that until the year 2008.

I loved writing in Barb’s voice. She was very imaginative and poetic, thoughtful and descriptive. In contrast, Sebby never slowed down. I wished I could keep both as narrators but in the end I decided that the plot needed one of them to take over. The story went to Sebby, who was more excited about the adventure (Barb would rather have stayed home reading and doing schoolwork). When I had to translate both their sides of the story into one viewpoint, their personalities changed a bit. Sebby became more imaginative, and Barb became more active. I like how that turned out. I hope you do too!

By the way, if you want to learn to write and revise better, I’m happy to share what I’ve figured out over the years. Come on over to my web site and visit “Dr. Lisa’s Class.” Today’s lesson is called “What Drives Your Story?”

Come back later this week for my review of The Hole in the Wall! (and a giveaway!)

And now check out the booktrailer

November 1, 2010

I'm Doing NaNoWriMo!

So this year I've decided to give National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) a shot.  I may be a bit crazy for doing this, but I'm willing to accept that.  I'm got an idea, writen some back story stuff, and I'm ready to jump in.  I'm not a huge planner when it comes to my writing.  My life lives in revision.  From doing my math I've learned that I need to write around 1667 words each day.  That sounds like a lot, but I've done it before.  I can write that much because, like I said, I live on revision! I know my first draft is just getting the basics down, so I can go from there.  We'll see how it goes.  My characters are pretty strong in my head right now wanting out, so we'll see how far they run.

What this means for the blog: You might see me posting a little less.  I'm going to try to keep up with my typical meme's and a review a week (I still have some from this summer to review so those are my planned ones!) but please know that I might be less noticable on te blogospher over the next 30 days.  Please stick with me though! I've got some fun ideas in the works!

Now wish me luck and if you'r doing NaNoWriMo look me up. I'm "Writing Teacher".