Tag Archives: Neil Gaiman

R.I.P. Ursula K. LeGuin

24 Jan

I think Neil sums up nicely why fans are mourning.

This week’s book talks 12/11-15

15 Dec

Everyone is feeling tired at school – kids and teachers – so I looked for books with some sort of visual eye candy.

MondayOdd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Brett Helquist

51Awtp4nSjL._SX304_BO1,204,203,200_

Tuesday – The Harlem Charade by Natasha Tarpley – I liked the banners on each chapter.

61ZMcjYjf4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

static1.squarespace

Wednesday – I, Funny by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

51CiGiFu9gL._SX339_BO1,204,203,200_

Thursday – Ninja Timmy  written and illustrated by Henrik Tamm

51ubr-AysnL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Friday – The Loser List: Revenge of the Loser by H. N. Kowitt

51eBUgTVMyL

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_

 

 

This week’s book talks 10/9-13

13 Oct

It is Newbery week!

Monday: The 2007 Newbery Winner The Higher Power of Lucy by Susan Patron

Higherpoweroflucky

Tuesday: The 2009 Newbery Winner The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

51tAOAlaH7L._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_

Wednesday: The 1997 Newbery Winner The View From Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg

The_View_from_Saturday

Next, I began talking about Newbery Honor books. I’d never before noticed the difference between the winner’s  medal and the honor book medal. It turns out, the winner gets the front of the medal, in gold. The honor book get a silver medal showing the back of the medal. Who knew!

Thursday’s book was Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk.

61sWF5+2frL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

Finally, Friday’s book was The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate  by Jacqueline Kelly. I noticed some similarities between the covers of these last two books.

61ug2juimvL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

 

 

 

Dancing Around Yggdrasil

24 Apr

In case you don’t know, Yggdrasil is the ash tree that lies at the center of the Norse conception of the cosmos. It is also a pattern for a blanket  I’d like to knit some day.

It would be the perfect blanket to snuggle under while you immersed yourself in Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology.

NorseMythology_Hardback_1473940163

Publisher’s Summary: Introducing an instant classic—master storyteller Neil Gaiman presents a dazzling version of the great Norse myths.

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales.

In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Once, when Thor’s hammer is stolen, Thor must disguise himself as a woman—difficult with his beard and huge appetite—to steal it back. More poignant is the tale in which the blood of Kvasir—the most sagacious of gods—is turned into a mead that infuses drinkers with poetry. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people.

Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerge these gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

I listened to the  audiobook, narrated by the author. I love that fact that Neil Gaiman is the best reader of his own books and deigns to read them for us.

Before I began, I wondered how much  license Gaiman would take with the traditional tales, but I need not have worried. He retells the tales the way a long ago skald might have done it. He tells the tale in his own style, but sticks very close to his source material.

If you know any kids reading Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, this would be an excellent source to understand all the deities, creatures and characters Magnus encounters in his adventures.

Happy Hallow Reads

31 Oct

Last week, I book talked five books with some Halloweenie connection.

The scariest book was the first one, Coraline,  by Neil Gaiman.

coraline

I admitted to the kids that I had never read the book or seen the movie. I told them that Iknew enough about Gaiman and the book to know that it twists reality in a way that seems eerily possible and that seemed to intrigue a few students.

Next up was Raina Telgemeier’s Ghosts, a graphics novel to steer us into safer territory, since I don’t really read scary books.

unknown

Many students had read Telgemeier’s other books and that was enough of a recommendation.

On Wednesday, I told them about My Zombie Hamster, by Havelock McCreely. Zombies and humor seem a perfect combination for sixth graders.

cover

Thursday, I told them about a new one in our classroom library, The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden by Emma Trevayne. This book gave me a chance to explain a little of the history of grave robbers.

unknown-1

The last book I told them about was one of this year’s OBOB books: Zombie Baseball Beatdown  by Paolo Bacigalupi.

zombie-baseball-beatdown-by-paolo-bacigalupi

I’m not yet sure what I will book talk today. I think I will decide once I am in my classroom. I will take a few minutes to leaf through the book bins and choose the 5 books of the week.

 

 

Why we read

2 Oct

In 2013, Neil Gaiman delivered a speech entitled “Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming” to The Reading Agency in London. You can watch the speech on Youtube,  listen watch and read the text on The Reading Agency’s website, or simply hold the text in your hands and read it, along with many other essays, in Gaiman’s recent collection of essays, The View From the Cheap Seats. 

unknown

I highly recommend that you make the effort to see what Gaiman has t say on this topic. You will nod your head in agreement because, if you read this blog, you are a reader.

Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston clearly believe in the same power of books and reading. His new picture boo, A Child of Books,  says the same thing as Gaiman, though in simpler language.

unknown-1

Publisher’s Summary: New York Times best-selling author-illustrator Oliver Jeffers and fine artist Sam Winston deliver a lyrical picture book inspiring readers of all ages to create, to question, to explore, and to imagine.

A little girl sails her raft across a sea of words, arriving at the house of a small boy and calling him away on an adventure. Through forests of fairy tales and across mountains of make-believe, the two travel together on a fantastical journey that unlocks the boy’s imagination. Now a lifetime of magic and adventure lies ahead of him . . . but who will be next? Combining elegant images by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston’s typographical landscapes shaped from excerpts of children’s classics and lullabies, A Child of Books is a stunning prose poem on the rewards of reading and sharing stories—an immersive and unforgettable reading experience that readers will want to pass on to others.

00082942-460x400

cob-12-web

Where will your reading take you today?

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.

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

Books Around The Table

A potluck of ideas from five children's book authors and illustrators

%d bloggers like this: