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Sounds Like Me: My Life (so far) in Song by Sara Bareilles

November 21st, 2015 (11:08 am)

Current Mood: artistic
Current Song: Once Upon Another Time by Sara Bareilles

In her book Sounds Like Me: My Life (so far) in Song, Sara Bareilles proves to be just as candid and charming on the page as she is on stage. Whether it's talking about her grade school years, her anxieties, or the true story behind her hit Love Song, Sara is frank, funny, and open about her life, her career, her struggles, and her triumphs. Her very naturalistic, conversational writing style makes her comes across like a friend talking to you at the dinner table or over the phone, equal parts self-deprecating, hopeful, grateful, and humble.

Sara relates her stories in nine chapters - or essays, if you prefer - each bearing the title of a song she's written. (The section also begins with that song's lyrics, handwritten, which is a very nice touch.) As one might assume with a biography, the book begins with her childhood and ends with her current work on the musical Waitress and is lightly peppered with photographs. In-between, we get a glimpse into her early songs and shows, the year she spent in Italy in college, and her first love and heartbreak. Fellow performers will enjoy the details of life on the road, the gigs when she was just starting out as well as the times she performed in large arenas or on television shows, and so forth, but moreover, they will find connection and comfort in knowing the difficulties Sara faced breaking into the business (and the continued difficulties staying there) as well as the doubt, worry, and vulnerability she feels when writing new songs, collaborating with others, or trying to express her truest feelings in music and words.

Mid-way through the book, in the chapter Beautiful Girl, Sara writes letters to her younger self. This is possibly my favorite section of the book, and it serves as a reminder to be our own best friends, to stop putting ourselves down and to keep our chins up, because time and experience can truly make things better and clearer.

This book will be treasured by Sara Bareilles's fans. I also hope it reaches people who perhaps haven't heard her music, who find her through this book first, because what an amazing experience that would be, to be moved enough by this book and these words to go pick up her CDs. I only wish this book contained all of her albums - but, wait, I already have those. :)

Little Willow [userpic]

Booklist: Adoption in Juvenile and Teen Fiction

November 21st, 2015 (10:08 am)

Current Mood: okay
Current Song: Liberty Heights score music

November is National Adoption Month and the Saturday before Thanksgiving is National Adoption Day.

From the National Adoption Day website in November 2007:
"This year marks the 10th anniversary of National Adoption Day, a national day of celebration of adoptive families and an opportunity for courts to open their doors and finalize the adoptions of children from foster care. Since 2000, more than 25,000 children have had their adoptions finalized on National Adoption Day. This year on November 21, families, adoption advocates, policymakers, judges and volunteers will come together and celebrate adoption in communities large and small all across the nation."

From the National Adoption Day website in November 2015:
"4,500 children were adopted by their forever families during the 15th annual National Adoption Day in 2014. 400 cities participated across the United States in 2014. National Adoption Day has helped move 54,500 children from foster care to a forever family since its inception in 2000."

This booklist was originally posted in November 2007 and is bumped up annually every November and intermittently whenever I discover additional titles. As I have not actively researched non-fiction books about adoption, this booklist contains only fiction.

Picture Books
Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell
Our Twitchy by Kes Gray, illustrated by Mary McQuillan
Little Miss Spider by David Kirk
I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose A. Lewis, illustrated by Jane Dyer

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

Juvenile Contemporary Fiction
Where I'd Like to Be by Frances O'Roark Dowell
Pictures of Hollis Wood by Patricia Reilly Giff
Kimchi & Calamari by Rose Kent
Three of a Kind series by Marilyn Kaye
- #1 With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies
- #2 Home's a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn't Want to Live There
- #3 Will the Real Becka Morgan Please Stand Up?
- #4 Two's Company, Four's a Crowd
- #5 Cat Morgan, Working Girl
- #6 101 Ways to Win Homecoming Queen
Find a Stranger, Say Goodbye by Lois Lowry
Runaway by Wendelin Van Draanen
Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers

Juvenile Historical Fiction
The Orphan Train Adventures by Joan Lowery Nixon
This began as a quartet. I don't have any of the books on hand, so if this is not the proper order, please correct me!
- A Family Apart
- Caught in the Act
- In the Face of Danger
- Aggie's Home
- A Place to Belong
- A Dangerous Promise
- Keeping Secrets
- Circle of Love
- Lucy's Wish
- Will's Choice
- David's Search

Teen Fiction
The Janie books by Caroline B. Cooney
- The Face on the Milk Carton
- Whatever Happened to Janie?
- The Voice on the Radio
- What Janie Found
They Never Came Back by Caroline B. Cooney
The Last Chance Texaco by Brent Hartinger
Returnable Girl by Pamela Lowell
The Decoding of Lana Morris by Laura & Tom McNeal
The First Daughter books by Mitali Perkins
- Extreme American Makeover
- White House Rules
A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life by Dana Reinhardt
Blackthorn Winter by Kathryn Reiss
The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau (sequel: The Ruby Notebook)
The Lucky Kind by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Riding the Universe by Gaby Triana
The Other Sister by S.T. Underdahl
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Many thanks and kudos to author Rose Kent for urging folks to acknowledge National Adoption Month. Kent's novel, Kimchi & Calamari, revolves around a Korean kid who was adopted at near-birth by an Italian family. Now in middle school, when he has to write an essay about his heritage, he starts asking questions of his family and of himself. Read Rose Kent's thoughts as posted at Fuse #8.

Wikipedia offers a wide variety of adoption links, arranged by topic and country.

I dedicate this post to a little kid who once proudly and repeatedly told me she was 'dopted - just like that: "'Dopted! I'm 'dopted!" - clearly so still proud of her identity and family.

Here's a beautiful article by Kristin Chenowith honoring her adoption story. The piece closes with this:
"I have a lot of kids in my life who I love and mentor. So, in a way, I feel like I've done it, even though I don't have a child who lives with me. Whether we decide to become parents or simply volunteer our love and time, it's our job as a community to take care of our kids. On National Adoption Day, I hope you remember just that."

Related Booklist: Tough Issues in Teen Fiction

Related Post: Family: Daphne Grab</p>

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Mr. Darcy by Victoria Chang

November 20th, 2015 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: Bury It by Chvrches

In the end she just wanted the house
             and a horse not much more what
     if  he didn’t own the house or worse
                     not even a horse how do we

separate the things from a man the man from
             the things is a man still the same
     without his reins here it rains every fifteen
                     minutes it would be foolish to

marry a man without an umbrella did
             Cinderella really love the prince or
     just the prints on the curtains in the
                     ballroom once I went window-

shopping but I didn't want a window when
             do you know it's time to get a new
     man one who can win more things at the
                     fair I already have four stuffed

pandas from the fair I won fair and square
             is it time to be less square to wear
     something more revealing in North and
                     South she does the dealing gives him

the money in the end but she falls in love
             with him when he has the money when
     he is still running away if the water is
                     running in the other room is it wrong

for me to not want to chase it because it owns
             nothing else when I wave to a man I
     love what happens when another man with
                     a lot more bags waves back

- Mr. Darcy by Victoria Chang

Read the poem in its entirety here.

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]

Ballou Book Fair

November 17th, 2015 (06:03 pm)

Current Mood: accomplished
Current Song: Out of the Fog by Erin McCarley

Every year, Colleen from Chasing Ray and Guys Lit Wire sets up a special book fair connected to Ballou Senior High School in Washington, D.C. In Colleen's own words:

Every year, Guys Lit Wire lends its platform to host a book fair for Ballou. Working with librarian Melissa Jackson and her students, we build a wish list of titles they need and then ask the internet to buy a book (or 2) (or more) and send some joy their way. It's quick and it's easy and for book lovers in particular, it's a no-brainer.

We all know that books matter to kids, and we all know why buying books for teens who do not have wide access to them is a smart investment in our world's future. For Ballou, the school fund for book purchases is not large and as a Washington Post article showed earlier this year, the dollars for books in DC often go to wealthier neighborhoods. Also, when they get money schools like Ballou are often not able to purchase the sort of fun or seemingly frivolous titles that teens would really to read.

That is where the Guys Lit Wire Book Fair for Ballou comes in. We buy the books the kids ask for, plain and simple.

The mailing address is already set-up for checkout and there are nearly 400 books to choose from with a price range that starts under $5. We do hope you will find a book that you want to send to Ballou and help us fill their shelves with the titles these kids want so very much to read.

Here's the wishlist: http://tinyurl.com/BookFairforBallou

Please share the link to the wishlist as well as the link to Colleen's post at GLW via your blogs and social media to help spread the word.

Don't let it stop there. If you know of a library, school, shelter, or hospital that's in great need of books and other items, give back. Rally up your co-workers, patrons, students, and friends, gather donated items (new or gently used), and donate them to your chosen organization or charity. Share your good fortune and good spirits with others.

Little Willow [userpic]

Books to Read (Forthcoming Releases)

November 17th, 2015 (07:00 am)

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

November 2015
Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden
Joe Golem: Occult Detective issue #1 by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden
Zacktastic by Courtney Sheinmel
The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst

December 2015
See How They Run (Embassy Row #2) by Ally Carter

Late 2015
World of Payne Book 0: Ghost Dog by Tom Sniegoski and Frank Cho

January 2016
Once Upon a Kiss by Robin Palmer

Spring 2016
The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
Lois Lane: Double Down by Gwenda Bond
Time Stoppers by Carrie Jones

March 2016
Exit, Pursued By a Bear by E.K. Johnston
The Girl in the Tower by Lisa Schroeder

April 2016
The Demonists by Thomas E. Sniegoski
Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti

May 2016
Wishing Day (Wishing Series #1) by Lauren Myracle

June 2016
The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
Project (Un)Popular by Kristen Tracy
You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Summer 2016
Last Night a Superhero Saved My Life edited by Liesa Mignogna

Fall 2016
The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
Zeroes #2 by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti

Sometime in 2016
The Kindness Club by Courtney Sheinmel
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
Think Twice by Sarah Mlynowski (sequel to Don't Even Think About It)
Upside-Down Magic #2: Sticks and Stones by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins

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

Sometime in 2017
Feminism for the Real World by Kelly Jensen

Fall 2017
Zeroes #3 by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti

Little Willow [userpic]

Booklist: Multiple Narrators

November 16th, 2015 (08:10 am)

Current Mood: thirsty
Current Song: So Young by The Corrs

There are two sides to every story - or three, or four, or more. Here are more than a dozen stories for pre-teens, teens, and adults which employ multiple narrators, listed alphabetically by author:

The Poison Apples by Lily Archer (classmates)
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (classmates)
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler (best friends)
Never Mind! by Avi and Rachel Vail (twins)
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June by Robin Benway (sisters)
Just Flirt by Laura Bowers (enemies)
Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough (guardian and charge)
Sweetgrass Basket by Marlene Carvell (sisters)
A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley (acquaintances become friends)
When It Happens by Susane Colasanti (classmates, then...)
Take Me There by Susane Colasanti (friends)
If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko (classmates)
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (strangers at first)
Naomi & Ely's No-Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (friends)
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (strangers at first)
Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman (relatives, neighbors, classmates)
Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis (grandmother and granddaughter)
The Fruit Bowl Project by Sarah Durkee (classmates)
To Be Mona by Kelly Easton (classmates)
Dirty Laundry by Daniel Ehrenhaft (classmates)
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles (antagonists, then...)
In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth (organ donor and recipient)
Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin (coworkers)
The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Galante (best friends)
The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George (classmates)
Split Image by Mel Glenn (classmates)
Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes (classmates)
Hit by Lorie Ann Grover (student and teacher)
Takeoffs and Landings by Margaret Peterson Haddix (siblings)
Burn for Burn trilogy by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (classmates)
- Burn for Burn
- Fire with Fire
- Ashes to Ashes
Grand & Humble by Brent Hartinger (classmates)
The Drake Chronicles (series) by Alyxandra Harvey (best friends - one's a vampire)
Identical by Ellen Hopkins (twins)
Impulse by Ellen Hopkins (patients)
Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes (classmates)
A Time for Dancing by Davida Wills Hurwin (best friends)
All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab (classmates)
After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel (classmates, then...)
Feathered by Laura Kasischke (best friends)
You Are My Only by Beth Kephart (relatives)
Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles (friends)
Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles (friends, classmates, siblings, neighbors, more)
Going Under by Kathe Koja (siblings)
The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss (friends)
The Cheat by Amy Goldman Koss (classmates)
Poison Ivy by Amy Goldman Koss (classmates)
Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney (3 generations of teen girls)
The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan (schoolmates)
Are We There Yet? by David Levithan (brothers)
How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle (friends/co-workers)
Leap Day by Wendy Mass (classmates)
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass (new friends)
The Sisters Club series by Megan McDonald (sisters)
- The Sisters Club
- The Sisters Club: The Rule of Three
- The Sisters Club: Cloudy With a Chance of Boys
The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty (best friends)
The Secret Language of Girls and its sequel, The Kind of Friends We Used to Be by Frances O'Dowell (best friends who grow apart)
Amity by Micol Ostow (residents of the same house, 10 years apart)
Jersey Tomatoes are the Best by Maria Padian (best friends)
A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic by Lisa Papademetriou (two girls connected through a book)
Harmless by Dana Reinhardt (friends)
34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues (friends and sisters)
The Bridge from Me to You by Lisa Schroeder (classmates, then...)
To Feel Stuff by Andrea Seigel (two college students at the school infirmary and an M.D.) [Note: Adult fiction]
The Swap by Megan Shull (classmates)
The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith (classmates, siblings, and friends)
This is What I Want to Tell You by Heather Duffy Stone (siblings)
A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone (schoolmates)
Give A Boy A Gun by Todd Strasser (schoolmates, teachers, etc.)
Hung Up by Kristen Tracy (strangers, then friends)
The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld (bandmates)
Afterworlds by by Scott Westerfeld (a writer and her protagonist - but the two worlds do not meet/crossover)
Under the Light by Laura Whitcomb (ghost and host)
Leftovers by Laura Wiess (best friends)
Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia (classmates)
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr (two teenage girls)
Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando (two college-bound girls)
Anyone But You by Lara M. Zeises (raised like siblings)

Note: Jodi Picoult, whose novels often have teenage protagonists but are shelved in adult fiction, typically have multiple narrators.

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Followers by Rae Armantrout

November 13th, 2015 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: Metal & Dust by London Grammar

This blank sky

between parallel wires


for penmanship


- the beginning of Followers by Rae Armantrout

Read the poem in its entirety here.

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

November 6th, 2015 (05:30 pm)

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: Accounts by Rae Armantrou

November 6th, 2015 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: Clearest Blue by Chvrches

Light was on its way
from nothing
to nowhere.

Light was all business

          Light was full speed

when it got interrupted.

Interrupted by what?

When it got tangled up
and broke
into opposite

          broke into brand new things.

          What kinds of things?

- excerpt from Accounts by Rae Armantrout

Read the poem in its entirety here.

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]

Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden

November 3rd, 2015 (08:00 am)

Current Mood: impressed
Current Song: The X-Files score music by Mark Snow

Hey horror fans: Pick up a copy (or two) of Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden. Here's the premise:

When Tess Devlin runs into her ex-husband Nick on a Boston sidewalk, she's furious at him for pretending he doesn't know her. She calls his cell to have it out with him, only to discover that he's in New Hampshire with his current girlfriend. But if Nick's in New Hampshire...who did she encounter on the street?

Frank Lindbergh's dreams have fallen apart. He wanted to get out of the grim neighborhood where he'd grown up and out of the shadow of his alcoholic father. Now both his parents are dead and he's back in his childhood home, drinking too much himself. As he sets in motion his plans for the future, he's assaulted by an intruder in his living room...an intruder who could be his twin.

In an elegant hotel, Tess will find mystery and terror in her own reflection. Outside a famed mansion on Beacon Hill, people are infected with a diabolical malice...while on the streets, an eyeless man, dressed in rags, searches for a woman who wears Tess's face.

Dead Ringers was released November 3rd, 2015.

If you're new to the world of Golden books, check out my post Where to Start: Reading Christopher Golden.
My favorite standalone novel by Golden is The Boys Are Back in Town.
His latest releases include Tin Men and Inheritance.

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