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Snow day confessions

What did the Horn Book staff read during their snow day yesterday? You may be surprised!

I started listening to Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood. It’s the first in a detective series set in the 1920s; here our Bright Young Thing heroine the Hon. Phyrne Fisher, bored with London, goes to Melbourne and finds herself solving a few mysteries. Light and fun, at least so far.
I read Muppet comic books. A blog post about them is forthcoming!

I was going to say, “Nothing! What I wouldn’t give for a day at home to read for hours! Grumble grumble grumble…” But then I realized that’s kind of what I did yesterday. Reading to my kids counts, right? Let’s see, there’s “Sailor Dog” by Margaret Wise Brown, a weird story about a dog named Scuppers with the sea in his blood (but not as weird as some of her other stories in this Friendly Tales collection… “The Little Fat Policeman,” I’m looking at you). Then a couple Sandra Boynton books (Hippos Go Berserk and a wake up book), Higher! Higher! (a few times), Helen Oxenbury’s Tickle, Tickle, etc., Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy, Where’s Walrus, some concept board book that my daughter got at her last doctor’s appointment (thank you, Reach Out and Read), a bunch of Karen Katz’s board books, and that’s all I remember.

I read Guide proofreading pages. And browsed Vanity Fair (Beiber issue ☺).

I spent most of yesterday making my way through a pile of forthcoming novels, most of which were disappointing. One was kinda fun, though—Jacqueline Harvey’s Alice-Miranda at School, about a kind-hearted, take-charge newcomer to a posh but rather mysterious English boarding school. It’s got spunk—and it appears to be the first installment of a series (the ARC includes a glimpse of the next adventure, Alice-Miranda on Holiday). After that I wallowed in the extremely wallowable FitzOsbornes in Exile (sequel to Michelle Cooper’s Brief History of Montmaray)—which would have been an ideal way to spend the whole snow day. Can I have a do-over?

I finished Chime—and immediately turned right back to page one to start re-reading. And I “read” Mo Willems’s My Friend Is Sad with my kindergartner, who read most of it to me, stopping midway through to say “Mommy, I’m reading! I’m really reading!” Very exciting—thanks, Mo… and Gerald and Piggie!

I started Palo Alto, a book of short stories by James Franco (handsome, dashing movie star/Renaissance Man and son of famous children’s writer Betsy Franco). The writing bug must be genetic!

I finished Holly Black’s creepy collection The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, read Fang-Tastic Fiction (a bibliography of paranormal novels), and started P.C. Cast’s The Fledgling Handbook 101 (a “nonfiction” companion to The House of Night series). They’ll all come back to haunt you (har-har) in later blog posts.

See the November/December 2010 issue of the Horn Book Magazine for snow day reading recommendations from some of our favorite authors, including Jack Gantos, Mary Downing Hahn, and Susan Cooper. Find them online in our Magazine archive, too.

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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