Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Buckeye Book Fair October 16, 2010

Filed under: authors,autographing,books — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:19 pm

Buckeye Book Fair is going on its 23rd year, yet this is the first year I’ve heard of it. I must be living under a rock! $2 to get in to meet over 100 authors! I’m thinking it might need to be a family event! I won’t make up for not being able to attend NCTE or ALAN this year, but it might help a little.


Maybe I Should Have Looked in the Freezer… January 19, 2010

Filed under: authors,autographing,bloggers,blogs,Newbery — bestbookihavenotread @ 8:46 pm
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I couldn’t find my socks today. Perhaps like Hobo Bob from Wayside School, I should have looked in the freezer.

I do actually know that the freezer is one place the socks definitely aren’t. My freezer is empty, but my house is full of boxes. The socks lurk in one of the many unpacked boxes. I should be looking for them right now, but books are on my brain. Maybe I couldn’t find my socks, but I did take time to meet my Kidlit Book Blogger friends yesterday to celebrate the Newbery announcements with breakfast and a trip to the awesome Cover to Cover! Some would question my priorities, but if you know me….

My husband and I both grew up in the small town we live in. When we met, we both lived in the village, and when we were first married we loved the many plusses of being able to walk to the library, to school, etc. Needing more space than our home had for children and dogs, we spent the last eleven years outside of town, hoping to move back into the village at some point. I might not know where those socks are, but I am thrilled to be back in walking distance of the library, school, and have the built in exercise of dogs that need multiple walks a day. I love our 1920’s home with the old woodwork and old house charm and quirks! Today my friend told me it reminds her of the original book Cheaper by the Dozen and for me it brings back memories of illustrations from the Betsy and Tacy books for me! Yet another thing to love about our move-a house that brings back happy childhood reading memories for myself and my friends!

Back to 2010 Newbery awards! While I was disappointed to have not predicted (or read-yikes!) any of the Newbery winners, I was thrilled that Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me won! She was delightful at NCTE this fall and having a personalized, autographed copy of the book is pretty darn cool! It’s been in my TBR pile, but my daughter got to it first. She really enjoyed it and loved how the cover came together for her like pieces in a puzzle as she read.

Great job to fellow bloggers A Year of Reading’s Mary Lee and Franki, Literate Lives’ Karen and Bill, and Cover to Cover’s Beth and Sally on reading and having the winner on their short list.  Check out their blogs for the group photo.

Also in my TBR pile are Newbery Honor The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and The Mostly True Adventures of Homer Figg and Printz Honor Book Charles and Emma: The Darwin’s Leap of Faith. I picked up When The Mountain Meets the Moon. 

Printz winner Going Bovine was the 2010 Printz winner, so I’ll give myself credit for having read that one already. What an interesting, funny, quirky book. All winners can be found at ALA.

Big oops over at Random House for announcing the award winners on Twitter before ALA announced. Wonder if anyone lost their job over that faux-pas!


Chris Soentpiet Interview courtesy of Maggie, fourth grade May 20, 2009

Filed under: author visit,authors,autographing — bestbookihavenotread @ 3:40 pm
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1. How long does it take you to make all the pictures for one book?

1 year

2. What was your favorite book that you illustrated?
Jin Woo

3. What was your favorite book that you read when you were little?
Where the Sidewalks End

4. Who was your favorite teacher you had in school?

4th Grade-Mrs. Miles-I didn’t speak English because I had just been adopted. Everyday she would go to the art supply cupboard and get me a nice piece of art paper to draw on.

5. What was your first book you illustrated?

Around Town

By 5th grade he knew he wanted to be an artist

He has taught kindergarten in NYC-

He thought he wanted to be a teacher in the arts.


My Brother Martin

Christine King Farris was introducing him to a conference of 800 teachers in San Diego

She came up and said, “I have an idea for a book.”

“Okay, what is it?”

“I want to write a book about my brother.”

“Who is your brother?”

“Martin Luther King”

“You mean like the one the holiday is named after?”

6 years later her agent contacted him!


His wife has written 3 books with him. She wants it to be a hobby, not a career for her. She serves as his agent

My mom first saw him at OSU Children’s Literature Conference

He has a new poetry book coming out next year.

He has a little boy-CJ-Christopher Junior-17 month old

His room is decorated with Something Beautiful drawings

He lives in NYC in a Studio-warehouse. It has 3 floors: 2 floors office/studi0, 1 floor home


Make a family memory this year with a literary valentine! January 10, 2009

Filed under: authors,autographing,books,independent booksellers — bestbookihavenotread @ 1:35 pm
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My daughter was ready to start planning and making her Valentines for school as soon as New Year’s was over. She loves a holiday!

Today I found a great idea at Kids Heart Authors website a site I found through Twitter.kidsheartauthorlogo

“Bookstores, authors, and illustrators are teaming up to make V-Day 2009 an unforgettable one for New England families.

Bundle up your brood and head to your community bookstore on Saturday, February 14th, where local authors and illustrators will gather from 10 to 12 a.m. to sign books for kids and teens.

Bookstores will provide bunches of books, and authors and illustrators will personalize them and answer any and all questions about writing and drawing.

Don’t miss this chance to shower your pint-sized (or teen-sized) valentine with literary love. Browse by state to find the perfect destination for you and your beloved child or teen this Valentine’s Day, and check the listings in the sidebar to find websites for confirmed authors, illustrators, and booksellers.”


Well this certainly sounds like an idea that needs to spread outside of New England! I want the chance to shower by brood with books and love on Valentine’s Day.  Spread the Word!


100 Cupboards December 21, 2008

100-cupboardsimg_11862The funny guy in the photo is author  N.D. Wilson. I just finished listening to his 100 Cupboards in my car. It was one of those great audiobooks that make you want to hang out in your car or drive the long way home. The main character, Henry, has ended up living with his aunt, uncle, and 3 cousins in Henry, Kansas after his parents were kidnapped. You don’t learn much about those parents, except that they were wildly overprotective, and often not around to raise their only child (there was a nanny of course).  

In Henry’s new bedroom, he soon becomes aware that there is a hidden door behind the plaster of the wall. Through a great deal of nighttime working and some help from his cousin Henrietta, Henry comes upon not just one cupboard, but 100 cupboards. One door allows a peek into what appears to be a mailroom with a postmaster walking back and forth putting mail into the boxes. Another allows wind and rain to blow through. 

The cupboards in his room are also linked to a mysterious door that led to what was the family’s grandfather’s room. Since his death several years before, the family has been unable to open the door.  Henry and Henrietta find the secret to opening that door as well as traveling through to worlds on the other side of the cupboards. 

While there are some creepy parts, the storyline is intriguing and I can hardly wait for Dandelion Fire, the second installment of the trilogy.  

Random House has a clever little sneak peek of what might be found behind the doors.  


Hate That Cat December 3, 2008

Filed under: authors,autographing,books,KidLit,kidlitosphere,NCTE,Poetry,read alouds,school — bestbookihavenotread @ 10:32 pm
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Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech is the award-winning author’s newest book. I had been dying to get my hands on it after I happened to see an Advanced Review Copy behind the counter of my favorite children’s book store, Cover to Cover. Sharon Creech was the keynote speaker for NCTE’s ALAN breakfast. It was a double dose of goodness since Laurie Halse Anderson was there to accept an award (I need to check what the award’s title is) for her book.          


Jack is still with Miss Stretchberry.

Miss Strechberry is still introducing poetry to her students.

Jack and Miss Strechberry continue to have a special relationship.

We learn more about Jack and his family through his poetry. 


While my daughter was “Star Student” for her classroom, my husband and I needed to write something for her teacher to read to her classmates. My husband wrote a great creative piece, and I wrote a “Love That Dog” inspired poem.  

While her presentation was not as long as I hoped, getting to hear the inspiration for Love That Dog/Hate That Cat, was worth the early morning hour I had to awake.  I was also tickled by how Sharon Creech wove references to Laurie Halse Anderson’s acceptance speech (from moments before), into her own. 

Assembly on Literature for  Adolescent Breakfast (ALAN)-mark it on your calendar for next year in Philadelphia!

Don’t let the name “Adolescent” fool you! All teachers, not just middle and high school teachers would enjoy the breakfast and speaker!


September 13

I don’t want to

because boys

don’t write poetry.

Girls do.


Room 204—Miss Stretchberry

February 25

Today the fat black cat

up in the tree by the bus stop

dropped a nut on my head


and when I yelled at it

that fat black cat said


in a




I hate that cat.

This is the story of






and cat.


Who Is Jenna Fox? November 30, 2008

jenna-fox3I started reading The Adoration of Jenna Fox on the way home from NCTE after getting a copy autographed by Mary Pearson.


I had read several great reviews of the book including: Jen Robinson’s, Semicolon, The Ya,Ya, Yas,  The Well-Read Child, and The Reading Zone.  

Pam, Dana and I had plotted to have our own GMS “Finer Things” Club at lunch (a reference to the show The Office) and Th Adoration of Jenna Fox was to be our first topic. Their books are in UPS boxes on the way from Texas. My copy was in my possession and they didn’t want me to read it early and spoil the club. (Just like teachers-now don’t read ahead!)

I’m betting they haven’t had a chance to check my blog this holiday week, but now that I am done with Breaking Dawn, I’m back to reading Jenna Fox again.  Don’t tell them. I don’t think it will diminish the fun of talking about the book. It is fabulous, mysterious, and thought-provoking. 

A discussion guide for the book was being handed out at NCTE as well and referenced the following:  Who is Jenna Fox? website. It has a book trailer, an e-mail time capsule, down-loadable extras.

Here is the book trailer.