Matchy-matchy

cherry blossoms

When you realize your reading material coordinates with your desktop wallpaper, mug, and water glass, it may be time to admit you have a control-freakiness problem. And by “you,” I mean me.

Magic School

PrincetonMagic

Continuing my adventures in books for boys grown big, I’m reading Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, which I somehow missed when it came out and only noticed on the recent publication of a second sequel. It’s a story about a nice boy who thinks he’s on the way to Princeton but winds up in magic school […]

Read about female pilots on National Aviation Day

Flying Solo

Today, August 19th, the U.S. is celebrating National Aviation Day. This day was first established by a presidential proclamation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939 to celebrate advances in aviation. The date was chosen to coincide with Orville Wright’s birthday to recognize his contribution, together with his brother Wilbur, to the field of aviation — […]

Snark Week

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In honor of Shark Week, here’s a list of recent YA books featuring sharp-tongued narrators with biting wit. (Thanks to WE television network, home of Will & Grace reruns, for giving us this idea for “Snark Week.”) Hattemer, Kate The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy Middle School, High School    Knopf    327 pp. 4/14 978-0-385-75378-4 […]

Why The Face? I’ll tell you.

ending

I just finished David Shafer’s thriller Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, which I read because of Dwight Garner’s NYT review. The book is everything Garner says it is–bright, popping, funny, suspenseful. And it has all the things I love: complicated heroes and heroines, smart riffs on contemporary memes, and–best of all–a global conspiracy that really is out to […]

Dragons, Book 1: Flight of the Returnwing e-book review

dragons title screen

The brand-new story told in Dreamworks’ Dragons, Book 1: Flight of the Returnwing e-book (Dreamworks Press with Genera Interactive, July 2014) takes place between the 2010 How to Train Your Dragon film (based on Cressida Cowell’s intermediate novel of the same name) and the sequel released earlier this summer. The user begins by creating a […]

What’s the media Feeding us?

feed

For the past six weeks, I have had the pleasure of teaching an English course to a group of highly motivated high school students enrolled in the summer session of an Upward Bound program. This summer’s book selection — Feed by M. T. Anderson — has spurred a campus conversation that I keep catching snippets […]

World Elephant Day 2014

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To celebrate World Elephant Day (August 12, 2014), here are some books about those larger-than-life creatures, with reviews from The Horn Book Guide Online. Picture Books Bunting, Eve Tweak Tweak 40 pp. Clarion 2011. ISBN 978-0-618-99851-7 (Preschool) Illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier. “‘Hold on to my tail, Little Elephant,’ Mama Elephant said. ‘…If you want to […]

Just a girl from where nothing really happens

isobel journal

Hipster teens rejoice! Here is your new poster child (though she would probably reject the title — which is, of course, the hipster thing to do). With The Isobel Journal: Just a Girl from Where Nothing Really Happens (Switch Press, August 2014; first published in her native UK by Hot Key Press, 2013), nineteen-year-old art […]

There’s bold but then there’s brazen.

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So much trouble in this world could be avoided if we all simply shutted up when we did not know whereof we spoke but here I go. I have never read Alfred Ollivant’s Bob, Son of Battle, but Lydia Davis’s explanation of the changes she made for a new New York Review of Books edition […]