It’s been a while since we’ve put Daleks in the library. The kidlit library, that is. So because it’s the weekend, just for fun, hold on to your sonic screwdriver because it’s about to get geeky:
Posts Tagged ‘fun’
Last year I wrote about various authors’ favorite motifs, and what you can tell about their real-world obsessions based on their books. I’ve thought of a few more, including:
E.L. Konigsburg: when I read The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World, I couldn’t stop thinking about the similarities to The Mixed-Up Files. Now I’ve picked up The Second Mrs. Gioconda, and it’s clear that Konigsburg had a real appreciation for art, and a fascination with the creators and caretakers of that art. We’d all be more art-savvy if teachers taught art history the way Konigsburg wrote her books.
Rick Riordan: This one’s so obvious it’s almost cheating, but when you consider all three of his kids’ book series are based on ancient world mythologies (Greek/Roman, Egyptian and Norse), it’s a pretty good bet that mythology is more of a hobby or obsession than a convenient plot device.
On a related note, Kathi Appelt probably has a similar interest in myth, though she’s more about folktales and legends, which she transforms to fit her stories. The mermaids in Keeper are self-explanatory, and the Sugar Man is based on the Sasquatch, but the ancient snake in The Underneath is harder to pin down. Perhaps she’s based on a local legend or Native American myth?
Jeanne Birdsall: music, of course, with a preference for classical and Broadway tunes. Now that Jeffrey and Batty are both accomplished musicians, I can’t wait to see the music referenced in the next and final Penderwicks book.
Jeanne Birdsall’s The Penderwicks in Spring is pretty much everything you could want in a quadrequal. (Okay, I know that’s not a real word, but let’s move along…)
Like all successful sequels of books with sequels, it:
1) retains the spirit (read: oodles of genuine Penderwick charm) of its predecessors,
2) is perfectly satisfying to read as a stand-alone,
3) yet builds upon the existing story/universe thus far by bringing something new
One such “something new” is Batty’s (now almost eleven!) love of music and budding passion for singing. And she, her musical mentors, and Birdsall by extension, have impeccable taste in music.
“I’m Always Chasing Rainbows,” or the song when Batty first realizes she has real singing talent. Larghetto in the key of C. (more…)
Once again, it’s time to test my non-existent powers of divination. I know so little about most of this year’s judges that it’s truly a tossup for most of the matches. So here goes:
Brown Girl Dreaming vs Children of the King, Judge: Holly Black
–the Newbery curse strikes again!
The Crossover vs Egg & Spoon, Judge: Isabel Quintero
El Deafo vs The Family Romanov, Judge: Elizabeth Rusch
–the hardest one yet. I basically flipped a coin.
Grasshopper Jungle vs The Key that Swallowed Joey Pigza, Judge: Jo Knowles
The Madman of Piney Woods vs Poisoned Apples, Judge: G. Neri
The Port Chicago 50 vs The Story of Owen, Judge: Rachel Hartman
This One Summer vs A Volcano Beneath the Snow, Judge: Nathan Hale
–I wasn’t a big fan of either book, but Volcano was too long and read at times like a textbook, so I’m counting on This One Summer’s artwork to give it the win
We Were Liars vs West of the Moon, Judge: Kelly Barnhill
Children of the King vs Egg & Spoon, Judge: Jason Reynolds
El Deafo vs The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza, Judge: Cat Winters
The Madman of Piney Woods vs Port Chicago 50, Judge: Elizabeth Wein
This One Summer vs West of the Moon, Judge: Alaya Dawn Johnson
Children of the King vs El Deafo, Judge: Kekla Magoon
The Madman of Piney Woods vs West of the Moon, Judge: Marcus Sedgewick
The Undead Revealed
I think Brown Girl Dreaming and El Deafo have high hopes of getting the most votes, with The Family Romanov as a possible runner-up. So that means the final round will be:
The Closing Battle
El Deafo vs The Madman of Piney Woods vs Brown Girl Dreaming, Judge Clare Vanderpool
And I’m giving the win to Madman of Piney Woods, for no other reason than a steadfast belief in the Newbery Curse. May it finally be broken this year…
I’m a bit behind this year on BoB contenders, but of the 13 I’ve read so far (everything except A Volcano Beneath the Snow, This One Summer, Egg & Spoon), here are the ones I’d love to see as the winner–or at least a top 3/Undead winner.
Brown Girl Dreaming, Children of the King, El Deafo: I’m always keen to see middle grade books triumph, and these three are incredible. Besides, we haven’t had a MG winner since Okay for Now in 2012.