December 1, 2012 @ 12:04 pm | Filed under: Books
Someone on Twitter was looking for suggestions. I rattled off a list…and then copied it to Facebook and thought of more…and I figured I’d throw the titles up here too, for easy access, though of course this is a mere sliver of what I’d put on my ideal Books for Ten-Year-Olds bookshelf. Later, when time permits, I’ll try to come back and add capsule reviews, but today is not that day.
(Um, it goes without saying I recommend my own The Prairie Thief for this age, yes? Because I’m totally saying it anyway. For boys and girls. Ahem.)
• Turtle in Paradise by Jenni Holm
• The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
• Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword (and sequel) by Barry Deutsch
• Smile by Raina Telgemeier
• Jane of Lantern Hill (happy sigh) by L.M. Montgomery
the Betsy-Tacy books (obviously)
• The Firelings by Carol Kendall
• The Gammage Cup / The Whisper of Glocken by Carol Kendall
• Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
• By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman
• The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston
• The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr
• Rowan of Rin (and sequels) by Emily Rodda
• Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
• The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall—the first one is my favorite
• Rules by Cynthia Lord
• Bad Island by Doug TenNapel
• Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Goudge
• The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan
• The Warriors books by Erin Hunter—Rose’s longtime obsession!
Harold Underdown suggested Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale, and I second that—my kids and I loved it (and the related Calamity Jack—both graphic novels); they love all Shannon’s books like CRAZY. Next to Betsy-Tacy and Percy Jackson, the Shannon Hale novels are the most frequently borrowed books by their friends. We basically have a Lovelace/Riordan/Hale lending library going here.
Obviously, I could go on and on here. (See the comments for more suggestions.) This truly is a just-off-the-top-of-my-head list. Also check out my master list of book recommendations!
July 27, 2010 @ 1:25 pm | Filed under: Books, SDCC
“So what do you do at Comic-Con, anyway?” a friend asked me. My con experience is generally quite different from most of my friends’ experiences there, the daytime parts at least. Most of my con pals are writers, artists, and editors who are there to work. They put in time at publishers’ booths, they sign books and do sketches, they speak on panels and meet fans and go to special events. For most pros, it’s a fun week, but a hard one too, often quite exhausting. People are usually pretty wiped out by Sunday afternoon. Even I am exhausted, and I didn’t have to work. As you know, I took a break from fiction writing with the last two babies, so I haven’t had any new books to promote in the past couple of years. (Though I suppose this is as good a time as any to tell you that I did get back to work in January, and I will have three new books coming out in 2012 and 2013. But that’s a topic for another post…)
At dinner with Babymouse author and utterly lovable person, Jenni Holm, and her delightful husband, video game developer Jonathan Hamel. My crazy gremlin smile is because that is how happy they make me.
Anyway, for me, as a pro who has been on hiatus, SDCC is kind of an ideal convention experience: I get all the fun of spending time with writer and artist friends, many of whom I only see once a year, and I get to explore the vendor hall and scout out interesting new books to read—which you know is pretty much my favorite pastime—but I am also free to attend panels all day long, if I wish. And I love the panels at Comic-Con. I love listening to other creative professionals talk about their work. The folks who speak on SDCC panels are some of the smartest, most talented, most interesting people I’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to. Comic book writers and artists, children’s book writers, science fiction and fantasy authors, cartoonists, editors…a feast for the curious mind.
So: I went to lots of panels, and when I wasn’t tweeting about them, I took copious notes in my notebook—notes I will shortly attempt to write up here, for my own records if nothing else. Here are the panels I attended; I’d love to know which ones you’d be most interested in hearing more about:
• “Once Upon a Time”—panel on high fantasy with authors Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, Lynn Flewelling, Megan Whalen Turner, Christopher Paolini, and Patrick Rothfuss. SUCH A GREAT DISCUSSION! Topics: everyman vs. superhero; role of prophecy/destiny in fiction.
• Digital comics (this one turned about to be more about marketing than the creative and technical processes)
• The LOST Encyclopedia
• Rick Riordan interviewed by novelist Michael Scott (EXCELLENT panel; I tweeted notes and took many more)
• “Entertaining One’s Inner Child”—panel of children’s graphic novel author/illustrators moderated by Jennifer Holm. The panelists were: Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules), Sina Grace (Among the Ghosts), Matt Holm (Babymouse), Adam Rex (Fat Vampire), David Steinberg (Daniel Boom), and Greg Van Eekhout (Kid Vs. Squid).
• Spotlight on the legendary comic-book writer and Batman editor Dennis O’Neil, moderated by my favorite man in comics, a handsome fellow by the name of Scott Peterson
Besides the panels, there were lunches and dinners and discussions that lasted late into the night. On Saturday evening a large group of children’s lit folks—authors, artists, and editors—met for drinks at the Hyatt and then a bunch of us drifted over to Buster’s Beach House for fish tacos and lively chat.
The lovely Raina Telgemeier, author/illustrator of Smile (the graphic novel Rose has read at least six time in the past four weeks), and her husband, cartoonist Dave Roman.
I’ll share my enticing book discoveries in another post; exploring the publisher booths occupied a considerable number of my hours at the con. And, of course, there was plenty of time simply to marvel at (and sometimes be overwhelmed by) the crowds—tens of thousands of creative, colorful comic-book fans, some of the most dedicated and passionate readers in the world.
More on SDCC 2010:
A few photos
Photos of supercool steampunk wheelchair
Awesome sketch drawn for me by the incredible Fiona Staples
Rick Riordan panel
LOST Encyclopedia Panel
Epic fantasy panel
Books that caught my eye (part 1)
Books that caught my eye (part 2)