Thursday, February 26, 2009

Looking through old 4th grade pictures...

What book do you think it is?
Goofing off...

And I just had to add this one of Maya in. :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Interview with Ingrid Law

I recently had the opportunity to interview the lovely Ingrid Law through email. Her bestselling book, Savvy, recently won the Newbery Honor Award. You can read my Goodreads review here.

1. How did you come up with the idea for Savvy?

I started with the very first sentence, not even knowing what I was going to write about, simply determined to write the craziest sentence I could think of without thinking too hard about it or judging it. As the story began to develop, I decided quickly that I wanted to write a book about magical children set in out of the way places in the United States without ever using the word ‘magic.’

2. Describe your reaction when Savvy won the Newbery Honor.

It was overwhelming and very exciting—and a day I’ll never forget! My daughter was the first person I told. I had to wake her up!

3. What Savvy character are you most similar to?

I’m probably a mix of all of them. I like to find places to hide out, like Samson. When I’m anxious, my shoulder twitches just like Lester’s. And like Mibs, I’ve had to learn how to listen to my own voice.

4. What is your savvy? And if you haven't found yours yet, which savvy would you like to have?

With a savvy, there is often the element of the ideal versus the reality—what you dream about versus what you get. If I could pick, my savvy would probably be the ability to fly or to breathe underwater. But if I were to declare what my real, true, everyday savvy is, I think that I would have to say that I smile a lot.

5. What are you working on now? Are there any plans for a sequel to Savvy?

I am currently working on a follow up to Savvy. The new book explores what it’s like to grow up and experience a ‘savvy’ birthday from the perspective of Mibs’s cousin--Aunt Dinah’s oldest son. The story takes place nine years after Savvy, but, while the main character is someone no one’s met before, there will be some familiar faces along the way.

6. Any advice for aspiring writers?

Trust your own voice—trust that you have something worth sharing and that your ideas don’t have to be like everyone else’s. Write what you love and don't try to write a perfect first draft--become friends with revising.
Thank you so much, Ingrid! And congratulations on the Newbery!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Into the Wild and Out of the Wild

by Sarah Beth Durst

Into the Wild features the brave and lonely character of Julie, daughter of Rapunzel. Now most people have nightmares about scary things under their bed. For Julie, it isn't a nightmare. It's real. Welcome to the Wild.

This book was fun and entertaining. It was interesting to see how everyday fairytales were incorporated into the idea of a dangerous forest which controlled and created fairytales. The story was unique and remarkable; the views were insightful as readers could, for the first time, think about how fairytale characters might feel trapped in their own stories.


Even better. That's what I have to say.

Sarah Beth Durst took the Wild to a higher step in Out of the Wild. I was truly skeptical of another story where the Wild goes out of control...again. However, this book really managed to retain the originality of Into the Wild while hosting a completely different story.

You see, Julie once again heads off on another adventure to save the world... but this time with her father, who just arrived from the Wild and doesn't really have a clue about the real world.

Out of the Wild was dramatic, suspenseful, funny, and as Michael Buckley (New York Times bestselling author) says, "Any book that mixes fire breathing dragons and Elvis Presley is a rare treat." :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Last Olympian cover out!

Isn't it wonderful? and if you go to Rick Riordan's blog, you can find a funny dialogue he made up between Percy and Blackjack, as well as a link to a cool "The Last Olympian" video on the Percy Jackson website.

Monday, February 16, 2009

You'll have to see what Maya just found...

Borders has an exclusive Twilight shop. Very sad. I don't think they've even done this for Harry Potter.

Yet, it's kind of entertaining. I mean, seriously, Edward Cullen action figures? For $20. And here's the description:

Lifelike 7" action figure of Edward Cullen with jointed body.

Sure. Very lifelike, seeing how he's not even real in the first place. Unless they're modeling the figure off of Robert Pattinson. *shudder* And jointed body? *rips Edward action figure's parts apart and throws them on the floor* What's the use of a bunch of plastic arms and legs?

And there are keychains with the "Cullen crest" on them, magnets and stickers (for lockers and "gorgeous" decoration), lion and lamb keychains, messenger bags, Twilight pens--

Now the pens are funny too. Their description says:

Twilight inspires your musings with movie art featured on the cap and body of the pen.

Hmmm...What if you're doing your math homework with the pen? Or what if you're drawing with it? Would you draw vampires only? And even if you're just writing, it would be horrible to only write Twilight-related things.

All, right, I'm done ranting (almost). I just wanted to say one more thing--Borders is biased. Their description of Edward's movie poster "features official (smoldering) photo of Edward." What about all those Jacob fans out there? There is no "smoldering" in front of Jacob's description. Well, I guess, maybe he isn't, but still. Don't keep praising Edward.

What do you all think of this?

Sunday, February 15, 2009



There are three answers.

If I was trying to be
funny, I would say

If I was an
artist, I would say
the stain-glass window of an
abandoned chapel, dripping
colors onto the polished oak

But I am not an artist.
Nor am I trying to be funny.

I am a mathematician, and so I
carefully etch a 2 onto my
diagram of numbers.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I <3 you all!

2009 Cybils Winners announced!

Go here for the full list. Congratulations to all the panelists, judges, and lucky authors!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

North of Beautiful

by Justina Chen Headley

North of Beautiful was one of the most...beautiful books I've read. It's hard to explain it. I started reading under the impression that this book was one of those "true-beauty-is-inside-you" stories that always make me roll my eyes. But Justina's book was nothing like this. I couldn't put it down, and it left me with a happy, bubbly feeling. I felt changed. It made me appreciate life and what I have.

Anyways, North of Beautiful is just a wonderful book--very refreshing and pleasing. I would highly recommend it if you haven't read it yet.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Apologies to an Apple

My sister Maya's poetry book is OUT. Go here to buy it.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Code of the Clans cover out!!!

And there you go.

I'm not really sure what the book is about, but I know it describes the warrior code in detail.
And I'm very sad that Firestar looks overly fat on the cover.


Thursday, February 05, 2009

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You

by Ally CarterI found this book suspenseful, intriguing, entertaining, and a wonderful book to read. Before reading this book, I would have never believed that some people could speak 14 languages, but I believe it now. And by the way, on that topic, Ally Carter responds to those people who criticize that specific aspect of her book here (thanks to Anilee). It's all very interesting.

Story Summary:
Cammie Morgan is a spy-in-training at Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. She can, as stated above, speak 14 languages, kill a man in 7 different ways, has a black belt in karate, and basically can take care of herself. However, all her years of training cannot prepare her when she meets a boy named Josh while on a spy mission. Cammie sneaks out of the Gallagher Academy several times a week to meet him, until she realizes that she has to decide between being a spy or living the rest of her life in the "outside world."

What I Thought:
Just like everyone else who's read the book, I really really wanted to go to Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women by the end of the story. I first thought that I wouldn't like this book as I thought it would be too cheesy (despite all the glowing reviews), but I ended up enjoying it a lot. The story was wonderful, and the characters were great too. Bex was the typical hurt-someone-and-you're-dead super-strong girl, Liz was the usual Hermione-ish bookworm, Macey was the stereotypical "bad girl" who actually ends up not being so bad at the end, and Cammie is just a kinda normal girl in the middle (sort of like Sarah if you've read Saffy's Angel and the rest). If you haven't read it yet, I order you to put down whatever you're reading and pick this up now. Seriously. It's that good. :)