Tuesday, September 28, 2010

John Green at the Waupaca Book Festival Oct. 1-2

Waupaca Book Festival Oct. 1-2

  • John Green - Keynote Speaker 
    • Friday Oct. 1 Waupaca High School 3:30PM 
  • John Green with Amy Krouse Rosenthal
    • Saturday Oct. 2 Waupaca Rec Center 9:00AM

Waupaca Book Festival

Can you believe it?  John Green, the bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, will be the keynote speaker for the Waupaca Book Festival this weekend!  This is an author who usually speaks to huge crowds at conferences and conventions in big cities across the country, and you can see him for free right here in Waupaca.  No traffic jams, conference fees, plane fare, or vacation time necessary.  You won't even need binoculars to see him.

John's novels have received many awards, including both the Printz Medal and a Printz Honor. And his popular video blog Brotherhood 2.0 has been watched more than 30 million times.

He will be speaking at 3:30 at the Waupaca High School on Friday, October 1. The event is free and open to the public.  I guarantee it will be one of the funniest and most intelligent presentations you've ever seen.  John is young, relaxed, naturally hilarious, and speaks to teens through his novels better than almost any other author writing today.

His books will be for sale in the lobby before and after the program, and he will be signing books after he speaks.  You can socialize with John, and nearly all of the authors coming to the Festival, on Friday evening at the Green Fountain Inn. Then, on Saturday morning, John will join his friend and fellow author, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, at the Rec Center at 9:00 AM for a joint presentation, which could be about almost anything, but will definitely be entertaining.

John's books are available at Dragonwings right now; they will be sold at the events, at the autograph garden at the library, and after the event at Dragonwings, in case you missed them everywhere else.  Here they are:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Eight Spinning Planets

8 Spinning Planets
by Brian James illustrated by Russell Benfanti
$9.99 (Scholastic)

This appealing book is a perfect introduction to the planets for the younger set (ages 3-5).  Each planet is described in four lines of simple rhyming text, a photo detail with a single fact, and the planets spread across the sky as shiny, colorful spheres appearing through cut-outs in each exciting double page illustration.  This book grabs your attention and holds it all the way to Neptune (little Pluto is identified in the background).  I'm finding it hard to describe well, but this book is awesome! 

Puppies and Kittens

Magic Flip Book

Puppies and Kittens Now You See It! by Nicole Corse
$5.99 (Scholastic)

Every other page compares how kittens and puppies are the same or different, whether they are sleeping, eating, or playing.  Each two page spread has facts on one side and a full page photo on the other.  The surprise is that when you flip it from the top you see all kittens, and when you flip it from the bottom you only see puppies!  How can that be?  Come in and try it for yourself.  Amazing.

3-D Thrillers!

Wow! Jungle animals leap off the pages in our 3-D Thrillers!

The latest addition to the 3-D Thrillers series is Big Cats and Amazing Jungle Animals.  Learn about the jungle from gorgeous to terrifying in this action packed book.  The detailed photos come alive when you look at them through the special tiger-framed 3-D glasses included in this dynamic book!  ($4.99 Scholastic)

100 Most Dangerous/Disgusting Things on the Planet

One of our bestselling science books over the past year has been 100 Most Dangerous Things on the Planet by Anna Claybourne (Scholastic $7.99).  Do you know what to do if you are sinking in quicksand, lost in a cave, or attacked by a lion?  This is a survival guidebook that could save you from over 100 possible disasters and dangers.  Loaded with scary photos, risk ratings, and practical tips, this book could save your life!

Only one book could compete with dangerous things for popularity and that would be 100 Most Disgusting Things on the Planet, also by Anna Claybourne (I wonder about her).  Giving a yuck rating to everything from rotten eggs, sweaty feet, and roasted spiders to maggot cheese and pond slime, this guidebook is ready to prepare you for the truly gross things in the world or in your fridge!  (Scholastic $7.99)


Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
$17.99 Scholastic

If you haven't read Mockingjay, the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy, STOP HERE.

Okay, I warned you.  So, now...aside from how glad I was to get back to the Districts and find out what was happening to everyone, I have a few questions.  Why was it necessary to the plot to have Katniss and her team break away and try to get to the City Circle on their own?  They wasted days in hiding, and lost the lives of members of the team, (like Finnick!) for no particular reason that I could see.  They didn't blaze a trail, clear a path, or cause a diversion.  The rebels and even the medics ended up reaching the Circle at the same time that they did.  Was their solo effort foreseen and figured into Coin's master plan?  Also, what was Peeta doing after they separated and were trying to reach the Circle?  And later, why did Gale receive a fancy job in District 2, when his tactics were the ones used to kill the children and the medics?  Lastly, when Coin proposed one last round of Hunger Games, what was Katniss hoping that Haymitch would understand about her vote?  Was she already thinking seriously about betraying Coin, and trying not to tip her off? 

I loved the Hunger Games trilogy; I thought that it ended well and that the relationships between Katniss and Gale and Peeta evolved as they did for clear reasons, but there is still lots of room for discussion.  I think it's a mark of a good book, when you care enough to want to know more. - Ellen

A Curse Dark as Gold

A Curse Dark as Gold
by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Bunce builds this incredible young adult novel around the tale of Rumplestiltskin, creating a believable 18th century world. Charlotte Miller and her sister, Rosie are overwhelmed with loss when their father passes away. Faced with debts they must repay and a mill that seems to have a mind of its own, the girls must decide how to move forward. Everyone is telling the girls they must sell the mill and move on, but young Charlotte has other ideas, and with a stubborn nature, she fights to keep the woolen mill she loves. The challenges she faces, however, matched with her determination, force Charlotte into dark deals that later threaten more than just the mill. This novel is a successful blend of fairy tale, dark mystery, and historical fiction and was awarded the William C. Morris YA Debut Award. Readers of this book might also enjoy What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell, another excellent young adult story.


by J. T. Dutton

Kelly Louise's mom is sweeping them off to Heaven. No, not that Heaven, but Heaven, Iowa, where Kelly's grandma, Nana, and her weirdo cousin, Natalie, live. Kelly's mom has whisked them off from time to time before, so that's nothing new, but Kelly wonders what the reason is this time. Kelly gets off to a rough start spilling orange soda on Nana's white carpet and getting ditched by Natalie on her first day at Carrie Nation High. The extra strange thing about Heaven is the recent discovery of an abandoned infant in a cornfield, which has the whole town in a frenzy. When mom eventually clues Kelly in to why they happen to be in Heaven just now, she begins to realize just how deceptive people can be. Honesty forces you into the past, a place that is not always heavenly. Visit J. T. Dutton here.


by Kathi Appelt

What would lead a ten-year old girl to set out into the Gulf of Mexico in a small boat in the middle of the night? A day ruined by 10 snapping crabs, that's what! She was certain they had called to her, begged her to keep them safe from the boiling pot, but now everyone was angry with her. Keeper has decided that it is time to find her mother - a mermaid who left Keeper at the age of three. Keeper takes her dog, named BD (Best Dog), and a seagull named Captain (who is addicted to watermelons). As new troubles start to mount, Keeper begins to question if the stories that swept her out to sea are real. Maybe the blue moon isn't magic and she won't find her mother sparkling on the sandbar with the other mermaids. But then what? How will Keeper make it back home, and back to those she's known all her life?

The Lost Children

The Lost Children
by Carolyn Cohagan

Josephine is a misfit of a girl who is mostly ignored by her father (except for the new pair of gloves he gives her each week) and left out at school. One day a boy shows up on Josephine's property where he wonders into the tool shed and disappears. Josephine follows and is swept away to the land of Gulm, where an evil boy-tyrant whose bodyguards live off the energy of stolen children. While being faced with new unimaginable challenges, Josephine also creates some friends and together they desperately try to find away to get themselves, and the other children of Glum, back home.

Where the Sunrise Begins

Where the Sunrise Begins
words by Douglas Wood
art by Wendy Popp

The question of where the sunrise begins is asked with simple poetic words and elegant illustrations? The colors are are soft but striking in their beauty and Popp builds upon small details to give the reader various world views, some as close as a bird's egg in its nest, another as wide as the universe. Wood's words travel to various parts of the globe and back in a cyclical search for a seemingly basic question.