Where’d Ya Go Review?

This is review is for a book I read a while ago but it is so good that I wanted to talk about it. Plus the movie rights have been acquired and I really hope this comes to the big screen.  I love it that much.  If you haven’t read this book already I highly suggest you pick it up. It is great for a summer read on the beach, lounging in a hammock, or just sitting in you back yard.  You will love this.

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Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

Bernadette is different. She is an architectural genius; an unapproachable private-school parent; a stubborn wife; but above all, a loving mother to 15-year-old daughter Bee.  Bernadette causes draws attention, and causes chaos where ever she goes, and this is a no-no in her upper class Seattle area.  Her life and her choices have made her an extreme agoraphobic and relies on a virtual assistant for even the most basic of tasks.  But when her daughter Bee claims her reward of a trip to Antarctica for acing her report card, that really sends Bernadette spinning.  One day, she goes missing and Bee complies emails, letters, notes, official documents the works, in order to try and find her mother.  The roles of mother and daughter reverse in this can’t put down read.

This book is utterly hysterical.  I was literally laughing out loud. My husband looked at me with wide eyes wondering what on earth I was reading.  I could not put this down.  I was reading it every chance I got and I was sad when it came to and end.  I highly recommend this to anyone looking for good laugh.

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Get Your eBook On

So I talk about books a lot, since well, I am a librarian and all. And I have mentioned some apps and websites to visit if you are interested in writing a book of your own.  Well here are few more, and these are super easy that not only are they great for classroom use, but those budding writers in your class or home might get a kick out of these too. These apps are perfect for both entertainment and education (well at least the eBook ones are, the comic ones are purely entertainment).  Teachers will be able to create original eBooks to use in their classroom.  Teachers will have the ability to add images, text, links, recordings and more to the eBook. Then simply share with students or colleagues to allow greater access to information.  These apps allow you to create and upload your eBook to iBooks and ePub readers.  You can access many of them through an app or online.  The prices vary but these are all well worth the look.

Students and kids will have fun with these apps as well (especially the comic ones).  They can take stories they have written and create a collection, or create a photo book highlighting a recent summer event or family function that you can share with just those who you would like. No need to put in bookstores for the world to access, unless of course you want to.  These apps are a great way to keep kids creative and writing all summer long. Heck all year long for that matter.

The comic apps are fun since you don’t need to be an artist to use.  By using pictures you already have you can add cartoon images and drawings to create funny one of a kind strips.   So check them out.

eBooks

 

book writer

 

Book Writer for iOS

 

 

IDEAL

 

IDEAL e-Pub Creator for Android and iOS

 

 

creativebookbuilder

 

Creative Book Builder for Android and iOS

 

 

Digital Comics

Comic Puppets

 

Comic Puppets for Android and iOS

 

 

Photo comics Pro

 

Photo Comics Pro for Android

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Filed under apps, Books, Cartoons, Creativity, Digital Story Telling, ebooks, education, Reading, Technology, Writing

If I Stay…or If I Go

Happy Friday everyone.  I hope that you have all had a successful work week and have a very relaxing and fun filled weekend planned.  I have a book review for you today.  Allow me to speak to you about If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

 

81UjVsGy5yL If I Stay was an amazing read.  And a fast one.  It tells the story of a teenager  Mia, who is an extremely talented cello player; has a rock solid relationship with her best friend; a family bond that any kid would dream of; and the love of a rocker boyfriend who sees only the best in her.  Mia’s life is full of ups and downs, but the worst is yet to come.  After suffering through a car accident, that leaves her parents and younger brother dead, Mia now clings to life.  However, she has been given the rare gift to choose, whether to stay or to go.   Mia is having an outer-body experience, witnessing the hospital staff, family and friends visits, and Adam her boyfriend, waiting by her bedside to see which way she chooses.  Told through flashbacks as well as actual time, Mia must decide should she stay with her family, or stay and experience life in a whole new way.

Please do not think that since it the character is having an outer-body experience that this is a supernatural like tale.  Mia is the teenager we all once were.  The one who questions her decisions.  The one who falls head over heels in love, only to be unsure if this is the one she wants.  The teenager who must decide what her future holds, and how she wants to live her dreams.  This is a story we can all relate to, on some level.

This is a must read.  Furthermore, the powers that be have decided that it would make a great feature film.  It comes out this August, please check out the trailer below.

 

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One of my Favorite Childhood Shows is Coming Back

By now you have probably heard the amazing, fantastic, great news that LaVar  Burton’s Reading Rainbow Kickstarter campaign has been fully funded. In less then 24 hours.  That is correct Mr. Burton was able to raise $1 million in one day.  That means Reading Rainbow lives.

The show originally ran from 1983 to 2006 with reruns happening until 2009.  This latest venture will be a new version of the series created for the web, a classroom version of the program for teachers, and a program that gives copies of Reading Rainbow to low-income schools for free.

This is my most favorite news in a long time and I can’t wait to see the amazing things LaVar will do with this.

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Review of the day (sorry it’s a day late)

Sorry I am a day late on this review but I was extremely busy yesterday and I ran out of time. So today here is my review. I did not, sadly, finish the YA book I was reading but I did finish the book The Love Affairs of Nathaniel PI have to say I was not overly impressed.

I found the main character to be a vain and shallow representation of every 20-30 something man who is looking for his next Mrs. Right Now. I understand that some men think this way but the way this character was presented I could not feel for him. I could not in a way root for him. I felt as though I was reading about a stereotypical Brooklyn hipster who is too cool for school. And to be honest I couldn’t feel for any of these characters. I just couldn’t get behind this book.

Again this is only my opinion so if you read it and feel a different way please let me know but I would definitely not be recommending this book.

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Now go grill something.

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It’s Harder then it Looks

As a librarian I read a lot.  When I worked in publishing I read a lot.  As a reviewer for a magazine I read a lot.  So I thought, how hard could it be to write a book.    I have a notebook that has a ton of ideas in them.  Some are just plot ideas. Some are characters.  Some are full chapters or scenes.  Some are picture books. And some are layouts for graphic novels.  So with all of these ideas,  I thought, hey this should be no problem to write a story.  Well let me tell you it is tough.

Moving the story along, using descriptive wording, having the voices sound realistic, all of these elements are hard to master.  I have tried my hand at writing only to face such terrible writers block that I abandon the story all together.  These stories soon find  a permanent place in a filing cabinet under the heading “Better Luck Next Time.”  I have had the opportunity to meet several authors over the years and to hear them speak about the writing process.  But it wasn’t until this year that it all really clicked for me.

I was able to have the incredibly talented Wendy Mass come to my school for an author visit.  While she was here she spoke about her process, and she even shared with us a form she uses to help her better create a character and develop a plot.  I thought, I have an idea, let me see how this form works. Well let me tell you, it worked great.  I was able to flush out my main character and several supporting characters. I came up with a plot and I broke down how I wanted each chapter to go to help with the flow of the story. I was going to be able to write now.

Not so fast.

It was great that I had all of this.  I felt like these filled in forms was success enough.  However, now I actually had to start writing.  And that is where it gets tricky.  So I just started writing.  A little free writing, just to see what might come out of my brain.  And low and behold, some good stuff did. Or at least I think it is good.  Now am I already on my fourth chapter.  It is no where near being the level I would like it to be at, but that is what editing is for.  I will have the chance to rework, and rewrite as much as I need to.

I thought writing a book would be easy.  Just put some words on a paper and make a story out of it. I can tell a story no problem, writing one should be just as easy.   Well I have learned that writing a story is difficult and not everyone succeeds.  But if you keep at it, you will have a product that you can be proud of.  So keep a look out, my goal is to see this published at some point (eBook or print form).  I hope to have the first draft done in the next week or so. Fingers crossed.  I will keep you posted on my progress.

Happy reading and happy writing.

PS I am currently in the middle of the book IF I STAY.  I hope to have it done by Friday for my review day.

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Friday Book Review

so I have mentioned before that I write reviews for an professional magazine (LMC or Library Media Connection).  Here are two titles that I have recently reviewed.

18656207The Meaning of Maggie
Maggie Mayfield is a pre-teen who feels has her life pretty much figured out. She is the product of a two loving parents, has two increasingly annoying older sisters, she is a straight A student, owns a small percentage of Coke stock and is working on her bid to run for president one day.  Every thing is planned accept for her father’s mysterious illness.  You see he can not longer walk and soon Maggie must visit him in the hospital.  And this is one event Maggie could not plan for.   Told from Maggie’s perspective in the form of a journal that is chronicling the past year of her life, Maggie learns that her father suffers from MS.  And it is her goal to help cure him.  This is a beautifully written inventive take on a coming of age story.  The author allows for the reader to discover along with Maggie what is causing her father’s illness.  Peppered with typical family drama, the story flows well and offers  very tender moments between daughter and parent.

MuddyMaxMech.inddMuddy Max and the Mystery if Marsh Creek
Getting dirty and muddy is part of being a kid right? So why does Max have to wear five layers of protective clothing when ever it rains?  Because for Max the mud doesn’t just stain his shoes and dirty him up, the mud gives him super powers.   Max discovers by accident that when ever he comes in contact with Mud he develops an array of super hero skills such as, super strength, speed, and invisibility.  But why did Max’s parent wish to keep this a secret.  It appears they knew about his condition all along and wanted to protect him.  However as Max learns more and more about his abilities with mud he soon learns about the family he never knew about. This was a faced paced graphic novel and is perfect for 3rd to 6th grade readers.

 

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Filed under Books, Graphic Novels, Language Arts, Reading, Reviews