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Poetry Friday: A Pinch of Salt by Robert Graves

June 24th, 2016 (05:00 am)

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: My Hallelujah by Sweet Talk Radio

When a dream is born in you
With a sudden clamorous pain,
When you know the dream is true
And lovely, with no flaw nor stain,
O then, be careful, or with sudden clutch
You'll hurt the delicate thing you prize so much.

Dreams are like a bird that mocks,
Flirting the feathers of his tail.
When you seize at the salt-box
Over the hedge you'll see him sail.
Old birds are neither caught with salt nor chaff:
They watch you from the apple bough and laugh.

Poet, never chase the dream.
Laugh yourself and turn away.
Mask your hunger, let it seem
Small matter if he come or stay;
But when he nestles in your hand at last,
Close up your fingers tight and hold him fast.

- A Pinch of Salt by Robert Graves

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Project (Un)Popular by Kristen Tracy

June 19th, 2016 (03:43 pm)

Current Mood: okay
Current Song: Orphan Black score music

Yearbooks are designed to capture a year in a life of a school as a whole - not an individual student. So some students might assess their yearbook as a good summary of the past year, covering a lot of activities they attended and people they know, filled with fond memories and good times, while others might not see themselves reflected in those pages, and/or they might not be too keen to remember some of the events of the year.

In Kristen Tracy's new book Project (Un)Popular, Perry and her best friend, Venice, are super excited to be photographers for their middle school yearbook. They soon find themselves under the command of Anya, an eighth grader who tells them they're supposed to take pictures of the popular kids. She even gives them a list of specific students to photograph. Perry is upset - not only by Anya's directions, but also by the fact that her buddy Venice is buddying up to a boy in yearbook that Perry doesn't really like.

Can Perry stay on Anya's good side while defying her orders, regain Venice's attention, AND get the yearbook to accurately capture the experience of all different kinds of kids? Plus there's homework and history projects and quizzes and tests and lunchroom horrors and fashion fiascos on top of all that. That's a lot of stuff for her to handle. No one said middle school was easy, but no one told her it would be this hard. If only life was as happy and easy as it looked in those photographs...

I recommend Project (Un)Popular to tweens, especially to sixth and seventh graders who will really get all that Perry's going through as she tries to navigate the social hierarchy of middle school. As with Kristen Tracy's other novels, there's a levity to the narrative and the dialogue while still being very true to what goes on in school hallways and homes.

This book is the first in a series. The release date and title for the second book hasn't been announced yet. Stay tuned.

Little Willow [userpic]

Just. One. Book.

June 19th, 2016 (11:35 am)
Tags: ,

Current Mood: sick
Current Song: Right Hand Man from the musical Hamilton

Margaret at the blog Throwing Chanclas recently shared the plight of a school in her neighborhood:

The local junior/senior high school has not been able to purchase new books since the 90s. Some of the "check outs" for old books are in the 1980s. There are no books by people of color in the library. Hardly any books by women are in the few book cases except your standard Austen and Lee. It's an uninviting place. There hasn't been a librarian for nearly a decade. And volunteers weren't allowed. The last eight years students couldn't even check out books.

But all that is changing now.

Margaret is now collecting books for the library. Let's help out! You can donate books via their Amazon wishlist or by sending books directly to the address below. For more informaion, please email Margaret and visit her blog.

Greenville High School/Indian Valley Academy
Library Project Attn: Margaret Garcia
117 Grand Street
Greenville, CA 95947

If sending during the month of July, when school is closed, please send to:

Library Project/Margaret Garcia
PO Box 585
Greenville, CA 95947

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: I Dream'd in a Dream by Walt Whitman

June 17th, 2016 (05:00 am)

Current Mood: optimistic
Current Song: A Chance to Dream by Sweet Talk Radio

I dream'd in a dream, I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth;
I dream’d that was the new City of Friends;
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love - it led the rest;
It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city,
And in all their looks and words.

- Walt Whitman

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Books to Read (Forthcoming Releases)

June 16th, 2016 (07:00 am)

Current Mood: thoughtful
Current Song: Without a Trace theme song

June 2016
Last Night, A Superhero Saved My Life edited by Liesa Mignogna
The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
Project (Un)Popular by Kristen Tracy
Tell Us Something True by Dana Reinhardt
You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

August 2016
Still a Work in Progress by Jo Knowles

September 2016
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

October 2016
Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh
The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
What Light by Jay Asher

November 2016
The Kindness Club #1: Chloe on the Bright Side by Courtney Sheinmel

Sometime in 2016
World of Payne Book 0: Ghost Dog by Tom Sniegoski and Frank Cho
Captain Marvel novel by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Sam & Ilsa by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Super Hero Girls graphic novel by Shea Fontana
Super Hero Girls novel by Lisa Yee

January 2017
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

February 2017
Grim Death and Bill the Electrocuted Criminal by Mike Mignola and Tom Sniegoski
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World by Kelly Jensen

April 2017
Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr

Summer 2017
Welcome to Hotel Monster by Gwenda Bond and Christopher Rowe

Fall 2017
Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough

Winter 2017
Snowbirds by Crissa-Jean Chappell
Sometime in 2017
The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix #5: Dawn and the Impossible Three by Ann M. Martin, adapted by Gale Galligan
The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix #6 by Ann M. Martin, adapted by Gale Galligan
Breakaway by Gale Galligan
Hazel by Gale Galligan

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

June 10th, 2016 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: hopeful
Current Song: Here by Alessia Cara

As I laid down my pen, a moment since, to think of it, the air from the sea came blowing in again, mixed with the perfume of the flowers; and I saw the old-fashioned furniture brightly rubbed and polished, my aunt's inviolable chair and table by the round green fan in the bow-window, the drugget-covered carpet, the cat, the kettle-holder, the two canaries, the old china, the punchbowl full of dried rose-leaves, the tall press guarding all sorts of bottles and pots, and, wonderfully out of keeping with the rest, my dusty self upon the sofa, taking note of everything.

- from David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Booklist: Tough Issues for Teens

June 9th, 2016 (07:30 am)

Current Mood: hopeful
Current Song: Just Enough by Aslyn

One afternoon in the bookstore, a young woman in her late teens approached me and said, "Excuse me. Can you help me? I want some books like . . . " She named a few teen fiction titles that dealt with drug abuse and anorexia. She looked slightly uncomfortable but mostly excited. I told her that I could recommend many good books. Within minutes, she was sitting on the floor in the teen fiction section, a plastic basket full to the brim with books, with additional titles in her hand and next to her knees and her feet.

We had a great discussion. I was happy on any levels: happy that she felt comfortable enough to come to me, happy that she was open-minded, happy that I got some realistic, well-written books in her hand. This urged me to make a list of books dealing tough issues - eating disorders, loss and grieving, addiction, abuse, and so forth.

Due to subject matter, many of these books are recommended for older teens as well as adults, be they parents, teachers, librarians, or simply avid readers.

I've read every title on this list, and have given each book a rating according to the United States movie rating guide - G, PG, PG-13, or R - based on content, and a number of stars - four being the best - based on quality (my personal opinion).

PARENTAL ABUSE OR NEGLECT - Physical or emotional abuse, alcoholism, etc.
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ABUSE BY OTHERS - physical or emotional abuse; date or acquaintance rape; accusations, secrets and lies
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TEACHER/STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS - be they romantic relationships or rumors or no romance, but a definite abuse of power
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POSITIVE & PLATONIC TEACHER/STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS - teachers positively influencing and educating their pupils
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PARENT/CHILD RELATIONSHIPS - reconnecting with or distancing oneself from absentee parents, dealing with restrictions and expectations
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LONG-LOST SIBLINGS - reconnecting with siblings, or meeting them for the first time
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PHYSICAL DISORDERS/INJURIES/SPECIAL NEEDS - protagonist, siblings, friends
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BODY CHANGES - growing up and dealing with natural physical changes (as opposed to health, weight, or body image issues; disorders/injuries are in a separate list above this one)
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TEENAGE PREGNANCY - may also deal with adoption and/or abortion
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DIVORCE, SEPARATION, AND/OR STEPFAMILIES - parents dating, getting remarried, etc
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CAR ACCIDENTS (and similar accidents)
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ADOPTION - Also foster care, group homes, and counseling
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ACADEMICS - cheating, excelling, or otherwise dealing with academic pressure
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SOCIAL STATUS - at school or otherwise with peers; popularity, bullying, et al.
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INTERNET SAFETY - and/or cyberbullying
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SEEKING SHELTER - family shelters, homelessness, runaways
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I hope that this list helps readers of all ages find books they may be too shy to openly discuss with a bookseller or librarian. I want those readers to know they may leave a comment here and tell me which books they have found valuable. Most of all, I want them to know they can talk to their friends or adults they know in order to get the answers and help they may need.

If you would like for me to add more titles about a certain subject, or if you want more information about any of the books on the list, please leave a comment.

Special thanks to those who have shown their support of this list by offering me links, comments, and compliments, such as Jen Robinson, Bookseller Chick, Robin Brande, Sassymonkey at BlogHer, Daisy Whitney, Caroline, Bookstore People, and Jennifer R. Hubbard.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: The Mystic Trumpeter by Walt Whitman

June 3rd, 2016 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: excited
Current Song: Stone by Alessia Cara

Hark! some wild trumpeter - some strange musician,
Hovering unseen in air, vibrates capricious tunes to-night.

I hear thee, trumpeter-listening, alert, I catch thy notes,
Now pouring, whirling like a tempest round me,
Now low, subdued - now in the distance lost.

- the opening lines of The Mystic Trumpeter by Walt Whitman

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Little Willow [userpic]

Booklist: After Graduation

June 1st, 2016 (04:40 pm)

Current Mood: okay
Current Song: I Wouldn't Mind by Duncan Sheik

Congratulations to all of my readers who have recently graduated from high school or college. You did it!

Times of transition can be difficult. The summer following the completion of high school is typically an interesting one as teens prepare for more changes in vocation, location, education, and life.

The following books follow characters as they live through that summer...

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
- After learning that they will be roommates, two college-bound girls exchange emails and become friends before meeting each other in person.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
- Two guys go on a road trip and end up in an interesting little town.
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
- One of my favorite Dessen novels, second only to The Truth About Forever.
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
- Another Dessen novel that details one girl's summer between high school and college.
Cubanita by Gaby Triana
- A summer filled with family, culture, heartbreak, and art.
The Temptress Four by Gaby Triana
- Four best friends take a cruise together after high school graduation.
How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle, and Sarah Mlynowski
- Three girls take a three-day road trip.
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
- Immediately after their high school graduation, four friends head out on tour.
The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
- The protagonist's mother remarries, and two families merge into one.

...and/or that fall, as they make the transition between high school and college.

The Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala
- There are ten books in this series. The main character, Jenna Blake, enters college in the first book, Body Bags. The first chapter begins with the line, "It was a beautiful day to grow up." Isn't that perfect?
Cupcake by Rachel Cohn
- The third in the CC trilogy, following Gingerbread and Shrimp.
Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn
- Veronica (aka Very) has a difficult time balancing school and fun during her freshman year at Columbia University.
Rocky Road Trip (previously published as Wurst Case Scenario) by Catherine Clark
- Sequel to Banana Splitsville (previously published as Truth or Dairy).
It's Not About the Accent by Caridad Ferrer
- A girl reinvents herself upon entering college.
Finding Grace by Alyssa Brugman
- A high school graduate becomes a sort of caretaker to a brain-damaged woman.
Shift by Jennifer Bradbury
- Two guys go on a biking trip after high school, but only one starts college.
Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
- Two of Scarlett's siblings consider college and work.

Related Booklists at Bildungsroman:
Set in School and Transition Times

Little Willow [userpic]

Savage by Thomas E. Sniegoski

May 31st, 2016 (03:59 pm)

Current Mood: creative
Current Song: Once Should Be Enough by Jillian Edwards

Savage by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Hot on the heels of his new series, The Demonists, as well as A Deafening Silence in Heaven, the latest book in the Remy Chandler series, there's a new stand-alone novel from Tom Sniegoski: Savage.

In this suspenseful thriller, Sidney and her friends must race to find the origin of a storm that has hit their small island home - turning every animal into savage weapons. This story brings new meaning to the expression "it's raining cats and dogs" - and it also would make an awesome movie!

Here's the official jacket flap summary:

The future is looking bright for Sidney Moore as she as she gets ready to leave the small island of Benediction behind for one of Boston's top veterinary schools. Only a few small bumps in the road to navigate before she can go - her father's recovery from a debilitating stroke, and her own guilt for ending her relationship with her high school sweetheart. But she's always been strong willed, and she's not about to let anything stop her from achieving her goals.

Now a storm is bearing down on Benediction, a hurricane that will bring devastating winds and rain, rising tides...and something else. Something deadly; something that will transform all the things that creep, crawl, and flutter into instruments of terror and death.

The future is looking bright for Sidney Moore...if only she can survive the storm.

Savage by Thomas E. Sniegoski - Published May 31st, 2016 by Simon Pulse.

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