Monday, March 28, 2011

Dress for success

My 8yo begs every day to wear athletic pants to school. I used to say no, until I volunteered at his class. Now we have to clarify which days are "dress up" days. Sometimes I wonder if dressing so casually affects the students level of respect and productivity. I love to hang out in sweats, but I find if I don't get ready for the day I feel lazy and slobby. I know many authors write in their sweats but for me the way I'm dressed can have a bearing on my productivity and quality of work. What about you? Do you feel more productive when you're dressed nice or is being comfortable always top priority?
Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Children's Books Suggestions

I asked my Facebook friends for some suggestions on funny children's books and got some fabulous ideas. How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Crowell Judy Moody books by Megan McDonald Dear Dumb Diary by Jim Benton I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (I have to say that my boys adore these, but I'm lukewarm) Skippy Jon Jones by Judy Schachner Duck for President by Doreen Cronin The Pig's Picnic by Keiko Kasza (we love everything she writes) Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald (we read these and I found myself laughing then having to explain things to the boys, like what a privy is) Alvin Ho by Lenore Look Franny K. Stein by Jim Benton (I'm glad to know these are cute. I've never read them to the boys because quite honestly I didn't like the cover. We're going to have to try them out.) A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon Contrary Bear by Phyllis Root Books by Judi Barrett The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch McBroom's Ear by Sid Fleischman A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton Pet's a Pizza by William Steig Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen The Ugly Truckling by David Gordon The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death by Daniel J. Pinkwater Pizza the Size of the Sun by Jack Prelutsky Please feel free to add to the list. Thanks!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sex in YA Novels

I had to share this very well thought out blog post: Sex in YA: One Naive Mom's Opinion. Don't let the title fool you, she is not at all naive. This is one of the best blog posts I've read about the subject and inspires me all over again to try to do something about getting publishers to disclose sex, violence, and language in novels. Parental Book Reviews is a great site for revealing a book's content, but I don't want to stop and search the internet when I'm in the bookstore with a 4yo and infant trying to find something for their big brothers to read. Would any of you be willing to support some sort of petition for book disclosure or ratings, maybe on Facebook or through a blog?
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Reading for laughs

Once in a while (two or three times a day) I get irritable. My sons are usually pretty good at rescuing me from (and sometimes putting me into) these moods. Quite often we rely on funny books to restore the happiness. Here's a few of our favorites: Chicken in the Headlights - Matthew Buckley Superfudge - Judy Blume My Lucky Day - Keiko Kasza The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs - Jon Scieszka Junie B. Jones - Barbara Park I'd love some other ideas, epecially for chapter books. Please share.
Saturday, March 12, 2011

The next great idea

My brother called me last week and said, "You're a great writer, if you could just come up with that million dollar idea." I thanked him for his encouragement and wondered what he thought I was trying to do - write any crazy thought that came into my head without pondering, praying, and hoping that it was the right idea to hit the market at exactly the right time? Most writer's conferences and workshops I've attended preach to write what you're passionate about and not write to the market, but there definitely has to be a balance. Have you ever forced yourself to write (or in a different career spend your valuable time on) something because you think (or know) it's going to be a good career move? Did it cheapen the experience or was it worth it in the end?
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stephanie Black

I loved Stephanie Black's novels Methods of Madness and Fool Me Twice, but I didn't enjoy Cold as Ice quite as much. The book is very well-written, fast-paced, and keeps you intrigued from start to finish. Yet I found myself a bit depressed as I read it. For me it wasn't a feel-good kind of book. That said, I truly would recommend you read it because the theme of forgiving yourself and not making quick judgments of others really gave me a lot to ponder. Cold as Ice may not be a rosy, happy book but it definitely sticks in your mind and makes you want to be better.
Friday, March 4, 2011

The 39 Clues

My 8yo bought The 39 Clues set from Scholastic Book Order. We've been having a great time reading the books, collecting the clues, and playing the game online. I'm amazed that each book is written by a different author yet the voice feels fluid. Some of the authors I recognized were Rick Riordan, Gordon Korman, Peter Lerangis, and Linda Sue Park, but there are also authors we'd never read, giving us some new names to try out. For a list of the authors, click here. If you haven't read The 39 Clues with your children I highly recommend them.

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