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Bridget Heos's Website

December 21st, 2014 (07:31 pm)
Tags: , ,

Current Mood: creative
Current Song: The Librarians score music by Joseph LoDuca


I recently helped Bridget Heos add some pizzazz to her Yola website. Bridget has written laugh-out-loud picture books as well as dozens and dozens of non-fiction books for kids. Visit to learn more about Bridget's works, including Mustache Baby and the forthcoming sequel, Mustache Baby Meets His Match!

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Poetry Friday: The Graveyard by Caitlyn Siehl

December 19th, 2014 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: contemplative
Current Song: Lights On by Katy B.

In the graveyard of our hands,
we are bringing each other back to life.
In the graveyard of our hands, we are digging up the funeral and
burying it again, fresh and unmourned.
Take me to the mausoleum where
we first learned how to tiptoe over
ghosts and then make it sing.
Make the place talk like a fable.
Teach me how to be brave.
Teach me where to put the time that doesn’t heal so that it can never find me again...

- The Graveyard by Caitlyn Siehl - Click here to continue reading the poem!

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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Books to Read (Forthcoming Releases)

December 17th, 2014 (10:00 am)

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

January 2015
The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson
Parallelogram #4: Beyond the Parallel by Robin Brande
Fallout (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Embassy Row #1: All Fall Down by Ally Carter
When by Victoria Laurie
Twisted Fate by Norah Olson
Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers
I'm Glad I Did by Cynthia Weil

February 2015
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Orphan Black comics - IDW Publishing

Spring 2015
Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins (the second Rebel Belle book)
World of Payne Book 0: Ghost Dog by Tom Sniegoski and Frank Cho

March 2015
Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Fairy Tale Reform School #1: Flunked by Jen Calonita
Read Between The Lines by Jo Knowles

April 2015
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
Graceful by Wendy Mass
My Life in Dioramas by Tara Altebrando, illustrated by T.L. Bonaddio
One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart
Palace of Lies by Margaret Peterson Haddix (companion to Just Ella and Palace of Mirrors)
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before sequel)
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

May 2015
Dust to Dust by Melissa Walker
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Summer 2015
Mummy Cat written by Marcus Ewert and illustrated by Lisa Brown

June 2015
The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Tin Men by Christopher Golden
Uprooted by Naomi Novik

July 2015
All We Have Is Now by Lisa Schroeder
The Secrets She Keeps by Deb Caletti

Fall 2015
Teen Boat 2 by Dave Roman and John Green
Violent Ends edited by Shaun Hutchinson

Sometime in 2015
Edgewater by Courtney Sheinmel
Louisa Trapeze by Micol Ostow
The Summers by Aimee Friedman
Think Twice by Sarah Mlynowski (sequel to Don't Even Think About It)

Spring 2016
The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
Time Stoppers by Carrie Jones

Sometime in 2016
Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti

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Poetry Friday: A Zoo of Human Emotion by Caitlin Siehl

December 12th, 2014 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: Lights On by Katy B.

A zoo of human emotion. Anger is sleeping in its exhibit, and the security guard warns you not to tap the glass. Across the way, in a different exhibit, you can’t see inside, but a sign is hanging up that reads: "Do not feed the loneliness."

- Caitlyn Siehl

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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Booklist: If Then for Teens

December 11th, 2014 (07:54 am)

Current Mood: hopeful
Current Song: Desk Set score music

This time of year, many customers want to get the newest book in popular series for their kids. However, if the latest book in that series was released in the spring or summer, chances are that the kid has already read it and may even own it, if the tween or teen has his or her own pocket change.

Also, I like helping the kids upgrade. I like recommending new authors and series. I like giving them books that will challenge them. I am not saying one should only read classic literature or dire dramas. I like comedies and I often recommend lighthearted tales. I simply want to make sure that the kids are reading things of substance rather than only superficial stories, especially if they are impressionable. It's good to have a balance. I recommend tales of action, adventure, mystery and fantasy alongside stories which are contemporary, realistic, and dramatic, as well as those which are just plain fun.

Here are some recommendations for teens based on hot titles and popular series, with the "then" option being a similar title or series which I like better than the "if" option.

If you watch procedurals such as CSI, Rizzoli & Isles, or NCIS, then read Body Bags by Christopher Golden, the first of ten murder mysteries involving Jenna Blake, a college freshman who becomes a pathology assistant. The series is collectively known as Body of Evidence.

If you liked the romance in Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, then try Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb and its follow-up, Under the Light.

If you liked the shapeshifting wolves in Twilight, then try Prowlers by Christopher Golden, a series of four action-packed thrillers.

If you like Cirque du Freak, Twilight, True Blood, etc, and want something fang-tastic for ages 16+, then try The Shadow Saga by Christopher Golden. Please note that these books were written for adults, so they are dark, daring, and definitely not for young kids. My favorite book in the series is The Gathering Dark, the fourth book in the line.

If you like stories set in boarding school, then try Looking for Alaska by John Green. Then read Paper Towns, also by John Green, and As Simple as Snow by Gregory Galloway.

If you want something like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, then read The True Meaning of Cleavage by Mariah Fredericks, which examines the changes two best friends go through during their freshman year of high school, as well as the In the Cards trilogy by Mariah Fredericks, which revolves around three best friends in middle school.

If you like the Internet Girls (TTYL, etc) books by Lauren Myracle, then try Heart on My Sleeve by Ellen Wittlinger.

If you like All-American Girl by Meg Cabot, then try the Gallagher Girls books by Ally Carter, starting with I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You, and Popular Vote by Micol Ostow.

If you like The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, then try Dead on Town Line by Leslie Connor and A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb.

If you like Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, then try Losers by Matthue Roth.

If you like Choker by Elizabeth Woods, then try Twisted by R.L. Stine.

If you want additional recommendations, leave a comment below!

Similar booklists: If Then for Middle School and If Then for Elementary School

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Booklist: If Then for Middle School

December 11th, 2014 (07:52 am)

Current Mood: thirsty
Current Song: Law & Order: Criminal Intent score music

Want something new, something classic, or something challenging for your middle school students? Here are some recommendations, with the "then" option being a title which I like better than the "if" option.

If you like The Clique by Lisi Harrison, then try The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss.

If you like Eragon by Christopher Paolini, then try The NeverEnding Story by Michael Ende. Then watch the movie The NeverEnding Story. (Note: There have been multiple films and shows made based on TNES. The first film was the best, in my opinion, and the truest to the book.)

If you like Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, then try Poison by Chris Wooding.

If you like Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, then try Call of the Wild by Jack London.

If you like The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud, then try His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.

If you like Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko, then try Tru Confessions by Janet Tashjian.

If you like The Gospel According to Larry and the other Larry books by Janet Tashjian, then try Nothing But the Truth by Avi.

If you watched the TV show Life with Derek, then read Who Put That Hair in My Toothbrush? by Jerry Spinelli.

If you watched the TV show Phil of the Future, then read I Was a Teenage Popsicle by Bev Katz Rosenbaum.

If you want additional recommendations, leave a comment below.

Similar booklists: If Then for Teens and If Then for Elementary School

Little Willow [userpic]

Booklist: If Then for Elementary School

December 11th, 2014 (07:50 am)

Current Mood: okay
Current Song: Law & Order: Criminal Intent score music

Becoming an independent reader is a source of pride for kids. Newly voracious readers will want to read anything they can get their hands on, while others might need more help finding their niche. Some readers might cling to easy reads and need help with (or coaxing!) to tackle more challenging books.

As with my other If Then lists, note that the "then" option is a title which I like even more than the "if" option.

If you like Frozen, then try Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu.

If you like Junie B. Jones, then try Judy Moody by Megan McDonald.

If you like Mary Poppins, then try Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald.

If you like Amelia Bedelia, then try The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren.

If you like Pollyanna, then try Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

If you like The Chronicles of Narnia, then try Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

If you like Pendragon, then try Magic Zero by Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski.

If you like A Series of Unfortunate Events, then try The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. (There's a film as well, but I strongly urge you to read the book first!)

If you like Holes by Louis Sachar, then try Hidden Talents and its sequel True Talents by David Lubar.

If you like The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, then try Four Dolls by Rumer Godden and Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassedy.

If you like The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, then try Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (re-released as The Secret of NIMH) by Robert C. O'Brien.

If you like Ida B. by Katherine Hannigan, then try So B. It by Sarah Weeks, The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner, and the two Amalee books by Dar Williams.

If you want additional recommendations, leave a comment below.

Similar booklists: If Then for Teens and If Then for Middle School

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Piano by D.H. Lawrence

December 5th, 2014 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Song: Cold Case score music

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

- Piano by D.H. Lawrence - Read the full poem

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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Booklist: Suggested Sets

December 2nd, 2014 (06:06 pm)

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

Searching for novels to use for a similar-stories unit in class? Want to stick to a certain theme and/or get multiple books for kids of various ages in the same household to share? Make your own boxed sets! Here are some ideas, mostly for readers aged 7 through 14.

Classic Staples (all ages)
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
Call of the Wild by Jack London
White Fang by Jack London

Collected and Myth Taken (all ages)
Stock up on mythology, legends, fairy tales and plays!
A book of Greek myths
A book of Egyptian myths
A collection of myths from around the world
A collection of Irish fairy tales
Andrew Lang's Fairy Books
Tales of Mother Goose
Grimm's Fairy Tales
Charles Perrault's fairy tales
Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Thomas Malory or William Caxton (also suitable: the version by Roger Lancelyn Green, who has additional books of myths and legends)

Fairy Nice (elementary school)
The Fairy Rebel by Lynne Reid Banks
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
In the Realm of the Never Fairies: The Secret World of Pixie Hollow with text by Monique Peterson and illustrations by The Disney Storybook Artists, designed by Elizabeth Ryazantseva and Megan Krempels
The Trouble with Tink by Kiki Thorpe and Judith H. Clarke (the first book in the line of Disney Fairies chapter books)
The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker
The Fairy Realm series by Emily Rodda
For additional titles, consult my Fairy Nice booklist.

Fantastic Adventures (for ages 8 and up)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
The NeverEnding Story by Michael Ende
OutCast quartet by Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski
The Owlboy series by Thomas E. Sniegoski
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DeTerlizzi
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs
The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring by John Bellairs
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
So You Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
I included many of these books (with reviews!) on my Fantasy Novels for Kids and Teens booklist.

Turn of the Century: The Pride of the Pioneers (for ages 8 and up)
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sidney Taylor
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Grand Jetes: For Young Dancers
The Nutcracker and Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffman
Noelle of the Nutcracker by Pamela Jean, illustrated by Jan Brett
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
Dancing Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
The Sisters Impossible by J.D. Landis
Susie and the Ballet Family by Lee Wyndham
Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You by Dorian Cirrone
Grab more titles for dancers from the I am a Dancer booklist.

Future Stars: For Aspiring Actors (for middle school and high school)
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen by Dyan Sheldon
In the Cards: Fame by Mariah Fredericks (second in a trilogy)
Dramarama by E. Lockhart
The Sisters Club by Megan McDonald
The Rule of Three by Megan McDonald (the sequel to The Sisters Club)
Snag additional books from the But I DO Want to Be Famous! booklist.

Fun Times: Cute Comedies (for ages 8 and up)
* Note that each of these titles, with the exception of Sixth Grade Secrets, is the start of a series!
Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Everyone Else's Parents Said Yes by Paula Danziger
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
Sixth Grade Secrets by Louis Sachar

Happy Hauntings: Ghostly Friends (ages 7 and up)
A Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn
The Ghost in the Third Row by Bruce Coville (first in a trilogy)
The Ghost Wore Gray by Bruce Coville (second in a trilogy)
May Bird and the Ever After by Jodi Lynn Anderson (first in a trilogy)

Mysteries, Murder, and Mischief
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (ages 8 and up)
The Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden (teens and adults; there are ten books in the series, starting wit Body Bags)
Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene (ages 8 and up; many books; #1: The Secret of the Old Clock)
The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon (ages 8 and up; many books; #1: The Tower Treasure)

Comic Relief and True Belief (ages 12 and up)
Confessions of a Closet Catholic by Sarah Darer Littman
A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life by Dana Reinhardt
Goy Crazy by Melissa Schorr
Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
Never Mind the Goldbergs by Matthue Roth

Secrets on the Homefront: World War II (ages 9 and up)
The Diary of Anne Frank
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Classic Inspiration: Love, Loss, and Jane Austen (ages 12 and up)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love by Rosie Rushton
Cassandra's Sister: Growing Up Jane Austen by Veronica Bennett
Austenland by Shannon Hale (for adults)

Communication is Key: The Lives of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller (all ages)
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller
Helen Keller by Margaret Davidson, illustrated by Wendy Watson

Newfound Strength (ages 8 and up)
Rules by Cynthia Lord
Reaching for Sun by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
Hugging the Rock by Susan Taylor Brown
So B. It by Sarah Weeks
Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff

Behind and Beyond the Crown (ages 8 and up)
Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
A Pearl Among Princes by Coleen Murtagh Paratore

Don't Believe the Bullies (ages 10 and up)
The Misfits by James Howe
Freak by Marcella Pixley
Leap of Faith by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (teens)

First Crushes (ages 10 and up)
Shug by Jenny Han
Perfect Girl by Mary Hogan
If This is Love, I'll Take Spaghetti by Ellen Conford

Good Grief: Losing a Loved One (teens)
The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson
The Alison Rules by Catherine Clark
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
The Pursuit of Happiness by Tara Altebrando
Say Goodnight, Gracie by Julie Reece Deaver
For more on this and related topics, check out my Tough Issues for Teens booklist.

Art for the Heart (Especially for Teen Girls)
Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian
A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
For additional novels with artistic protagonists, view my Portrait of the Artist as a Young Person booklist.

Comedy and Artistry (comedic illustrated novels - not graphic novels, but truly illustrated novels)
Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf by Jennifer L. Holm and Elicia Castaldi, with additional art by Matthew Holm (elementary and middle school)
- Sequel: Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick by Jennifer L. Holm, illustrated by Elicia Castaldi
So Punk Rock (and Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother) by Micol Ostow, with art by David Ostow (teens)

Switching It Up (comedies about body switches)
Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
The Swap by Megan Shull

Want more ideas? Need additional suggestions? Feel free to ask!

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Sassy Sidekicks of Children's Literature

December 1st, 2014 (10:41 am)

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: Batman score music

They are the best friends. The siblings. The next-door-neighbors.
They help solve mysteries. Stand up to bullies. Run student council campaigns.
They are the Sassy Sidekicks of Children's Literature.

They don't have to be sassy, mind you. I just like that word. However, they do have to be true sidekicks. Read more...Collapse )

Add your suggestions to the list by posting a comment with the book or series title followed by the name of the sidekick(s). I will add the suggestions of others and mark the books I haven't read with an asterisk. I put my own favorite sidekicks in bold.

The List (70 sidekicks so far)
An Abundance of Katherines: Hassan
Alice McKinley series: Liz and Pam
Anatopsis: Uno
Anne of Green Gables series: Diana Barry
Artemis Fowl series: Butler
Bartimaeus trilogy: Kitty
The Bermudez Triangle: Parker
Betsy and Tacy series: Tacy and Tib
The Book Thief: Rudy
Casson Family series*: Sarah
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Grandpa Joe
Coraline: The unnamed cat
Edgar and Ellen: Pet
Emily of New Moon trilogy: Ilsa
Enthusiasm: Ashleigh
Escape to Witch Mountain: Winkie the Cat
Freaky Friday: Boris
The Great Brain series: J.D.
Green Knowe series: Grandmother Oldknow
Gregor the Overlander*: Luxa and Boots
Harriet the Spy: Janie and Sport
Harry Potter series: Hermione and Ron
Heidi: Peter and Clara
Henry Huggins series: Ribsy
His Dark Materials trilogy: Pantalaimon
Inkspell*: Farid
Jimmy Coates series: Felix Muzbeke
Johnny Dixon series: Fergie
Keys to the Kingdom series: Suzy Turquoise Blue and Leaf
King Matt the First: Klu-Klu
A Little Princess: Becky
Little Women: Laurie
The Lone Ranger stories*: Tonto
Looking for Alaska: The Colonel
Lord of the Rings: Samwise Gamgee
May Bird trilogy: Somber Kitty
M.T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales: Lily and Jasper Dash
My Side of the Mountain trilogy: Frightful
Nancy Drew series: Bess, George, and Ned
The NeverEnding Story: Falkor
The Narnia series: Eustace Scrubb, Jill Pole
Nina Tanleven trilogy: Chris
Penny from Heaven: Frankie
Percy Jackson & the Olympians series: Annabeth and Grover
Peter Pan: Tinker Bell
Pippi Longstocking trilogy: Mr. Nilsson the monkey
Prydain Chronicles*: Eilonwy
Sabriel: Mogget
Series of Unfortunate Events: Duncan and Isadora Quagmire
Silverwing trilogy*: Kate de Vries
The Sisters Grimm series: Puck
Swallows & Amazons series: Captain Flint
Then There Were Five*: Mark Herron
To Kill a Mockingbird: Dill
Trixie Belden series: Honey
Un Lun Dun: Deeba
Under the Lilacs: Phebe
Voyage of the Dawn Treader: Reepicheep
Winnie-the-Pooh: Piglet
What Katy Did*: Clover
What Katy Did At School*: Rose Red

This list was inspired by Jen Robinson's Cool Girls from Children's Literature and Cool Boys from Children's Literature and Journey Woman's Great Antagonists of Children's Literature.

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