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Books to Read (Forthcoming Releases)

July 29th, 2014 (07:00 am)

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

July 2014
Baltimore: The Witch of Harju by Christopher Golden & Mike Mignola and Peter Bergting
Charmed Life #3: Libby's Sweet Surprise by Lisa Schroeder
The Kiss of Deception (Book One of The Remnant Chronicles) by Mary E. Pearson
Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Stolarz

August 2014
Amity by Micol Ostow
A Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm
It Happens: A Guide to Contemporary Realistic Fiction for the YA Reader by Kelly Jensen
Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo
The Swap by Megan Shull
Wild Things! The True, Untold Stories Behind the Most Beloved Children's Books and Their Creators by Julie Danielson, Elizabeth Bird, and Peter D. Sieruta

September 2014
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (final volume in the trilogy)
El Deafo by Cece Bell
Firebird by Misty Copeland and Christopher Myers
Fractured by Teri Terry (sequel to Slated)
Girl Defective by Simone Howell
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Rooms by Lauren Oliver
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

October 2014
Charmed Life #4: Hannah's Bright Star by Lisa Schroeder
Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond
Hit by Lorie Ann Grover
In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang (read)
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins, with stories by Holly Black, Ally Carter, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Matt de la Peña, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, and Kiersten White
The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer
Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

November 2014
Sons of Anarchy: Bratva by Christopher Golden

Winter 2014
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Sometime in 2014
The Summers by Aimee Friedman

Early 2015
Orphan Black comics - IDW Publishing

January 2015
Homecoming (The Witches of Echo Park) by Amber Benson

February 2015
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Spring 2015
Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins (the second Rebel Belle book)
Read Between The Lines by Jo Knowles

April 2015
All the Rage by Courtney Summers

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

June 2015
Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Sometime in 2015
Dust to Dust by Melissa Walker
Edgewater by Courtney Sheinmel
Embassy Row #1 by Ally Carter
The Game Of Love And Death by Martha Brockenbrough
Louisa Trapeze by Micol Ostow
Think Twice by Sarah Mlynowski (sequel to Don't Even Think About It)

Little Willow [userpic]

Hope: Holly Schindler

July 28th, 2014 (05:57 pm)
Tags: ,

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Song: Wild Hope by Mandy Moore

A tiny ray of hope appears inside me, the same way a little stream of light pours from the hallway through my bedroom door's keyhole at night.

- from the novel The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler

For similar ponderings, please check out Definitions of Hope, a series of hopeful musings from various authors and other artists.

Little Willow [userpic]

Definitions of Hope

July 28th, 2014 (05:30 pm)

Current Mood: hopeful
Current Song: Phineas and Ferb score music

Hope. I try to fill myself with hope every single day, along with wonder, determination, and other important things.

In April 2009, in honor of the theme of hope at readergirlz, Hope, I published a series of posts in which I asked various people:

What's your definition of "hope?"
What makes you hopeful?

I have posted their answers at both my blog, Bildungsroman, and the readergirlz blog.

April 7th, 2009: Daphne Grab
April 9th, 2009: Melissa Walker
April 12th, 2009: Lorie Ann Grover
April 15th, 2009: Elizabeth Scott
April 21st, 2009: Holly Cupala
April 23rd, 2009: Courtney Sheinmel
April 24th, 2009: Hope is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson
April 27th, 2009: Emily Wing Smith
April 28th, 2009: Shelf Elf
April 30th, 2009: Poem in Your Pocket Day (and hope every single day!)
May 19th, 2009: Carolyn Hennesy

I continue to collect hopeful words and advice:

May 21st, 2010: Melina Marchetta
May 26th, 2010: Cecil Castellucci
January 1st, 2011: January Booklist and Playlist of Hope
January 12th, 2011: Markéta Irglová's Speech
June 15th, 2012: Wild Hope by Mandy Moore
March 28th, 2014: Hope by Gertrude Stein
July 28th, 2014: The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler

Other themed mini-interview series at Bildungsroman:
Family Ties
What Makes You Smile?

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

July 25th, 2014 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: thankful
Current Song: Leverage score music

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

- Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

If you can't see the video player above, click here to hear Ozymandias as read by Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad.

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]

Poetry Friday: There are two things from Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers

July 18th, 2014 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: content
Current Song: Leverage score music

There are two things:
True things.
And lies.
When you figure out
which is which
it's like you are on the inside
of the balloon
looking out,
seeing the pin coming toward you
in the sunlight
but not being able
to move away.

Or maybe,
the thing is
that all of us are two people:
the one inside
the balloon.
And the one
holding the pin.

This poem is featured in the epistolary novel Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers. Though the majority of the story is conveyed in letters and emails, one of the characters, Ruth, has a poetry journal hosted on tumblr - which, as of this posting, is not an active account in real life. (Yes, of course I checked!)

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]

Poetry Friday: If I can stop one heart from breaking by Emily Dickinson

July 11th, 2014 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: thoughtful
Current Song: House score music

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

- Emily Dickinson

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: Adoption in Juvenile and Teen Fiction

July 6th, 2014 (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."

This list was originally posted in November 2007 and is bumped up annually every November + intermittently whenever I think of 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.

Related Booklist: Tough Issues in Teen Fiction

Related Post: Family: Daphne Grab

Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: Fear is like a mountain by Lisa Schroeder

July 4th, 2014 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: grateful
Current Song: The Next Ten Minutes from The Last Five Years

Fear is like a mountain,
looming large
in the background,
taunting you with its

It seems so much
bigger than you,
and the thought of
climbing it,
of overcoming it,
seems impossible.

But it is not you
against the mountain

The mountain does
not exist simply
to make you
feel small.

It exists for purposes
beyond your

To climb it is simply
to take one step
and then another
step and then
another step;
a walk uphill.

It is all in how
you look at it.

And when you reach
the top, there is no more
Only a view that
takes your breath

- from the book The Bridge from Me to You by Lisa Schroeder

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]

Best Books of June 2014

July 1st, 2014 (08:23 pm)

Current Mood: peaceful
Current Song: Brick by Brick by Bess Rogers

June 2014: 18 books and scripts read

Recommended for ages 11 and up
The Summer I Saved the 65 Days by Michele Weber Hurwitz
Summer State of Mind by Jen Calonita
Infinite Sky by C. J. Flood
The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer

Recommended for ages 14 and up
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

Non-Fiction Pick
Making Your Life as an Artist by Andrew Simonet

Little Willow [userpic]

We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

July 1st, 2014 (07:46 pm)
Tags: ,

Current Mood: contemplative
Current Song: The World by The Family Crest

What do you do when you think the person you love the most is about to make a terrible decision?

And what's more devastating: discovering what she's done or realizing you don't know her as well as you think you do?

The most important person in Nell's life is her older sister, Layla. Less than 2 years apart, the girls are thick as thieves - or, at least, they were. When Nell begins her freshman year of high school, she is excited to be sharing the halls with her best friend, Felix, and her awesome sister, who's a junior. But gradually, it becomes clear to Nell that Layla's hiding something and is spending time with someone she doesn't want Nell or anyone else to know about - and, much to Nell's surprise, it's someone she knows, too.

Nell doesn't know what to do. She can't imagine talking to either of her long-divorced parents about what's happening with her sister -- she's much closer to Layla than either of her parents, and she definitely doesn't want to push her sister away or violate Layla's trust. But Layla's not around much, and when she is, she's not in the mood for heart-to-heart conversations with her little sis. Nell can't tell Felix what's happening, either, because she feels like it's not her secret to tell, and she can't be disloyal to her sister, plus she doesn't want to burden Felix, who has more serious things going on in his household right now. More than anything, Nell wants Layla to return to who she used to be, the role model she looked up to, the happy, dynamic Golden girl who willingly shared her secrets, her laughter, and her life with her little sister instead of keeping her at arm's length.

Nell never minded living in her sister's shadow. She was never jealous of her sister's personality or athleticism; she accepted early on that Layla was the superior Golden, stronger, shinier, more outgoing - that's how Nell always saw her, perfect, up on a pedestal - and since their parents didn't outright compare them and Layla never called herself better than Nell, the younger girl was content with who she was. After all, the girls were so close that they were "Nellayla." No one and nothing could break their bond. The only thing that bugged Nell was when her sister or parents treated her like a baby, like she wasn't mature enough to understand what was going on, or she wasn't old enough to participate in something.

Nell cannot imagine something major happening in her life without telling her sister about it -- but she doesn't know if Layla would say the same thing about her. When did that change, and why? In the words of Bess Rogers, "It's hard to see the shift when you're so close." (1) Though Nell has a crush and other entanglements in the book, her true heartache comes from her sister, from this strange space that's developed between them. When Nell's suspicions are confirmed, when she learns for sure what's going on with Layla, she has to decide what's more important: keeping her sister's secret (and her trust) or making sure she's safe and sound.

Layla, you know I'd happily lie for you to save your life, or to fix your life, but it's a different story entirely to lie about something that I believe is ruining your life.

We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt employs a unique and effective technique: Nell, narrating in first person, largely uses "you" when thinking about her sister, reliving memories from their childhood or considering things she wishes she could say to her:

You were so much a part of me I thought we shared a name until you told me: "I am Layla," and you tapped your chest, then reached out to touch mine. "You are Nell."

What divides us is clear to the world around us but has always been murky to me.

When alone, Nell often considers Duncan and Parker Creed, a pair of brothers she knew whose lives ended tragically - and separately, though Nell thinks they were clearly connected. If you lost a peer at a young age, you will understand how Nell feels when she says:

If Duncan and Parker Creed were still alive, they'd be eighteen and twenty years old. [...] To me they will always be fourteen and sixteen, and it's the strangest thing in the world that I'm older now than Duncan and almost as old as Parker.

The ways in which the boys left this world were sudden and scary, so even though they weren't close friends of Nell's, their deaths left indelible marks on her. She allows the thought of the Creed brothers to haunt her in a beautifully lyrical way, without ever being supernatural or a cause for concern; instead, she treats them like a sounding board, and their loyalty and perceived closeness parallels that of the Golden sisters.

You know that poster in the science lab? Albert Einstein with the quote, The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once. I'm not sure Einstein actually said this - maybe it just looks good under a picture of him with his insane hair - but I wanted to tell Einstein that sometimes time is of no use.

Everything in the world was happening at once. Every clock was ticking. Every radio station was playing. Someone has turned up the speed on the treadmill while I was still trying to walk.

The way the book begins, the way the book ends: beautiful bookends. And how Reinhardt fills what happens in-between, and her choice to tell this story from Nell's point-of-view - memorable and remarkable, how she reveals the complexities of something which seems so simple, something so many of us take for granted: love. Unconditionally.

We Are the Goldens is about the promises we make and break - promises we make to ourselves, to our loved ones, whether those promises are expressed in words or actions or simply in thoughts, because thoughts have a power all their own. It's about worries and questions and answers, the answers we didn't want but got anyway, and the answers we never get, ever. This book has love and loyalty and art and literature and a play and a party and soccer and stains and disappointments and tears and fiction and truth and windows and views and performances and breath and silence and support.

I wanted to feel without thinking. Sleep without dreaming. I wanted to twinkle underwater like the lights of the city.

(1) Bess Rogers is a singer-songwriter whose music, words, and voice I greatly enjoy. The lyrics "It's hard to see the shift when you're so close" come from her song Brick by Brick, which appears on her album Out of the Ocean. I could listen to that album every single day and never tire of it.

Related posts at Bildungsroman:

Interview: Dana Reinhardt
Book Review: A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life by Dana Reinhardt
Book Review: The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt
Booklist: Tough Issues for Teens
Booklist: Sisters

Learn more about Dana Reinhardt and her books at

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