Archive | November, 2017

She’s got Moxie

12 Nov

As soon as I read the intro, I knew I was going to enjoy Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu.

For all the teenage women fighting the good fight.

And for my twelfth-grade Current Topics teacher for calling me a feminazi in front of the entire class. You insulted me, but you also sparked my interest in feminism, so really, the joke is on you.

Revenge is best served cold, you jerk.

Moxie-cover-1

Publisher’s Summary: MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with an administration at her high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Moxie is a book about high school life that will make you wanna riot!

Although I can’t really imagine a school in which things are truly as bad as they are at East Rockport High, the news these days makes it clear that we need more Moxie Girls. The book is horrifying, witty, and inspirational. As a mature adult, I appreciate the portrayal of Viv’s mother, a former riot Grrrl who says

“The mother I thought I would be when I was nineteen wants to tell you to do it,” she answers. “And the mother I’ve morphed into wants to tell you I’m afraid.”

The book is peppered with the pages of the zines Viv creates.

A great read about burgeoning teen activism. And boys, don’t think this is a “girl book”. You could learn a lot about what it means to be female by reading Moxie.

Lest we forget

10 Nov

We get today off in observance of Veteran’s Day. When I began booktalking Monday, I was wearing a poppy I knit a few years ago. I told the kids that I will always think of November 11 as Remembrance Day and growing up, we always wore a poppy on Remembrance Day . I told them about my experiences as a school girl and Girl Guide attending Remembrance Day ceremonies in town halls and at cenotaphs. About getting weepy reciting “In Flander’s Fields” and visiting the War Museum in Ottawa.

Monday, I shared The Great War: Stories Inspired By Objects From The First World War by David Almond, Ursula Dubrovsky, Timothée de Fombelle, Michael Morpurgo, John Boyne A.L. Kennedy, Marcus Sedgewick , Adèle Geras, Tracy Chevalier (Goodreads Author), Frank Cottrell Boyce, and Sheena Wilkinson.

22747850

Tuesday, I went more local, talking about A Death Struck Year  by Makiia Lucier.

18222767

Wednesday, we looked the war from a child’s perspective in John Boyne’s Stay Where You Are & Then Leave.

18104749

And Thursday, we looked the war from a horse’s perspective in War Horse by Michael Morpurgo.

9780439796644_xlg

 

 

 

 

Nice trip, see you in the Fall

7 Nov

o

“Would you like a bag?” the cashier at Twisted, my local yarn shop asked as she rang up my order: two skeins of Knitted Wit Victory DK. I had one last Christmas present to knit.

“No thanks,” I replied. “I can manage. It was a beautiful Fall day, the sun was shining and it was a short walk to the car.

My dog, Lucy, is sometimes a little nervous in the car and I like to take her places that aren’t the vet. A trip to Twisted was a great excuse for a practice trip. Saturdays are our days together and I decided that, if I couldn’t get a parking spot out front, I would just cross my fingers and hope they’d let me bring her in. It is dog-friendly Portland.

I thanked the cashier, grabbed the yarn in my left hand, Lucy’s leash looped around my right wrist, and we were off.

Lucy is sometimes nervous on busy streets, too. She was walking quickly for a basset hound and I was hustling along at a middle-aged lady clip.

We had just crossed the street when my toe caught the edge of the curb. I was down in an instant, yarn on the sidewalk in front of me, Lucy staring at me with a perplexed look.

I got to my knees and took stock of my situation. Scrapes on my knuckles from the pavement, but otherwise okay. And, most importantly, no one had seen me fall.

I picked up my yarn, dusted them off, then got to my feet and slowly readjusted the yarn and Lucy’s leash. Without looking back, we walked even more quickly to the car and drove home where I could start knitting and nurse my bruised pride.

 

 

 

Your part matters

6 Nov

The cold and rain have returned to the Pacific Northwest. I put flannel sheets on my bed and baked cranberry-pumpkin bread this weekend. When Lucy and I went out for a walk, few people were on the street and Lucy turned right around and headed for home as soon as she had done her business.

I was warm and cozy at home when I heard about the latest tragedy.   Fortunately, the characters of Come With Me, written by Holly M. McGhee and illustrated by Pascal Lemaître, reminded me, and younger readers,  that it is important to get out of my cozy comfort zone and be a positive part of the world.

Come-With-Me-Holly-McGhee

Publisher’s Summary:

McGhee’s website has a great explanation of the story behind the book. It is worth reading.

because-as-small

 

 

Going Solo

5 Nov

Most teens question their parents’ decisions and lifestyle. Blade Morrison, the protagonist of Solo  by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess has a very complicated relationship with his father, a famous musician, who has made many questionable life choices.

510cJ4HC1-L._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_

This rich novel in verse is full of the music that is so important in Blade’s life. Lyrics from Blade’s songs and  references to songs from Lenny Kravitz, Metallica, and others let reader’s understand what Blade is thinking and feeling, in the same way that teens find music and analyze lyrics that reflect their own state of mind.

Publisher’s Summary: From award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander, with Mary Rand Hess, comes Solo, a YA novel written in poetic verse. Solo tells the story of seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison, whose life is bombarded with scathing tabloids and a father struggling with just about every addiction under the sun—including a desperate desire to make a comeback. Haunted by memories of his mother and his family’s ruin, Blade’s only hope is in the forbidden love of his girlfriend. But when he discovers a deeply protected family secret, Blade sets out on a journey across the globe that will change everything he thought to be true. With his signature intricacy, intimacy, and poetic style, Kwame Alexander explores what it means to finally come home.

 

This week’s book talks 10/30-11/3

3 Nov

I chose spooky books for Halloween week!

Monday,  I shared Thornhill by Pam Smy

41em0PPElnL._SX350_BO1,204,203,200_

Tuesday, Halloween, I went witchy, with The Apprentice Witch  by James Nicol.

9781338118582_mres

Wednesday, I talked about Neil Gaiman’s eerie The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

51c9JVAH8OL._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_

Friday is the end of the quarter, and a day without students so we can write progress reports. That meant that my last book talk was on Thursday, when I talked about How to Catch a Bogle  by Catherine Jinks.

51e4hMAcSsL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

 

 

A Girl and Her Dog

2 Nov

This is such a sweet book, even though it got me a little teary-eyed.

517RDbbGp2L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

Publisher’s Summary:Eli the dog has been with Astrid since her parents brought her home from the hospital as a baby. Now Astrid is getting older, and so is Eli. Before he slows down too much, Astrid wants to make fun memories with him. So she makes a bucket list for Eli, which includes experiences such as eating with him in a restaurant, and taking him down a slide at the playground.

But in the end, what is most important to Eli is the time he spends with Astrid, whom he loves dearly. Sisters Kate and M. Sarah Klise have created a story that reminds readers of all ages that time with our loved ones is the most precious gift of all.

This book would be a great way to approach a discussion of aging pets with young readers. It could also be used to talk to children about aging grandparents.

Randy Ribay

YA author, teacher, nerd

The Fat Squirrel Speaks

Knitting, spinning, and assorted awesomeness.

Global Yell Blog

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Jone Rush MacCulloch

Deo Writer: Musings to Spark the Spirit

Klickitat St. Readers

Just another WordPress.com site

Readerbuzz

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

PLUMDOG BLOG

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Gail Carriger

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Kate Messner

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Cybils Awards

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Someday My Printz Will Come

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Librarian Who Doesn't Say Shhh!

Opening books to open minds.

Tundra Books

Home of Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers and Friends

andrea gillespie

Inquiring My Way Forward

Kirby's Lane: A Place for Readers and Writers

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Horn Book

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The History Girls

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

%d bloggers like this: