Monthly Archives: December 2009

Cindy in Midlife

“I never,” she once said frankly to the prime minister, “expected any of this to last. It was too sudden, you see, too sudden and too simple. Pumpkin: coach. Mice: horses. Rat: coachman. Lizards: footmen. Rags: ballgown.”

Hilary Mantel’s short story “Cinderella in Autumn” is a wistful holiday delight.  Read it here.

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The Translated Me

This was the first convention that I ‘ve been to since I got my Iphone and I travelled a trifle wild employing the camera for twirping intentions. For those not following me on chirrup what is incorrect with you? ( only kidding ) – here are those photos. By no intends a good overview of what I maked, but a couple of things withal.

So on Friday after the general session with Julie Andrews and her girl, I halted in to the jubilation for Lee Bennett Hopkins wads of playfulness to hear such distinguished poets as Jane Yolen, J Patrick Lewis, and Walter Dean Myers roast Lee. Sadly, I could n’t rest for more of them as I desired to catch a graphical novel session happing across the hallway. I came in in clip to be component of a draw-off between Flatness Holm and Jarrett J Krosoczka. The thought was for Matte to force Dejeuner Lady and Jarrett to make Babymouse, each with an audience member training them. Goodly, I certainly ran right up to train Matte so he maked Tiffin Lady functioning in my NYC schoolroom.

Don’t tell my agent or editor or the others who think I can actually write, but evidently that is from a blog post of mine. Sort of.  Actually it is, as discoverer Flatness, I mean, Matt Holm describes it, the beginning of a “translated-to-some-foreign-language-then-retranslated-to-English-stolen-blog-post” of mine. May I just say, I’m very honored to be worthy of mangling.

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Now Playing: The Exquisite Corpse Adventure Episode Seven

Baby Max said, “Lollipop.”

I’m beginning to think Baby Max could give Sunny Baudelaire a linguistic lesson or two. Read Shannon Hale’s witty contribution to the saga here.

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Awaiting An Alice

Seems more Tim Burton than Lewis Carroll, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I reserve judgment until I’ve seen the whole thing.

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Green with Envy

Because Travis over at 100 Scope Notes got the scoop about the (arguably) hottest book of the year.

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New Book Coming from Russell Hoban

One of my all-time favorite books is Russell Hoban’s The Mouse and his Child so I was delighted to learn that he has a young adult book, Soonchild, coming out from Walker UK in 2011.  You can read the luscious-sounding beginning of it here.

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Extras

Extras — acknowledgements, flap copy, and back matter — they’ve been under scrutiny of late.

Let’s start with acknowledgements.   A  couple of weeks ago Elizabeth Blumie presented her feelings about them in this thoughtful post. Over the years I have worked on my Margru book many people have helped me with the research and I’d always assumed that I’d thank them in some sort of acknowledgement.  So reading Elizabeth’s post and the many comments unnerved me at first.  But then last night I started to read a forthcoming work of adult fiction and the very first thing I encountered was a three page acknowledgment and I got it. That is, having that to read even before the novel started took me out of the world before I was in it.  A work of historical fiction, most of the thank yous were personal, only a few were for research sources.  At the very least it should have been at the end of the book, not at the beginning.  But that is how I feel now; who knows how I will feel closer to my book’s pub date (which, by the way, is a few years off).

Then there was a fascinating discussion about flap copy over at editor Cheryl Klein’s blog.   The copy in question was a direct letter to the book’s readers from “The Editors” and received many, many comments pro and con.  Here’s mine:

This puts the editors right up front for a work of fiction and I have to say it doesn’t work for me. It makes me think about what READER is being addressed and who those EDITORS are exactly rather than the book and its characters. It is, for me, distracting. Unless, of course, that is tone of the whole book (al a Lemony Snicket) in which case I’d say go for it. If not, I’d say stick with something less pulling-me-out-of-the-book-before-I-even-begin-reading-it. That is, I think flap copy should provide just enough for the reader to know what to expect, not a testimonial or endorsement which this feels like to me.

Finally, this morning I read Imogene Russell Williams on ” Why Back Matter is So Often a Waste of a Book’s Space.”  Williams describes problematic back matter from a variety of fictional works for adults and children, say this one:

And my American edition of Lois Lowry’s The Giver, a Newbery-winning stalwart of middle-school lists, demands that you choose and defend one interpretation of the magnificently ambiguous ending seconds after you’ve finished reading it. This is woeful. One of the most interesting things about the book is that it makes you deal with not knowing how it ends.

This concern about being dragged out of the story this way seems similar to me to the ones raised by Elizabeth Blumie and many of her commenters about acknowledgements.  While some seemed to feel having those at the end of the book was okay, Williams probably wouldn’t concur.

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Dreams or Sweat Equity: One Agent Tells All

It seems Stephanie Meyer is making my agent Stephen Barbara’s life more difficult.  Check out his PW essay, “How Stephanie Meyer Cramps My Style.’

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Dear Mr. Sutton,

Yesterday, while I was off at the dentist my fellow faculty advisors had our 6th grade book bloggers take a look at your post about kid reviews. Here are some of their responses. (I will add the others in as they are posted.)

c18uw wrote her response in  “‘Read Roger’ – The Horn Book

c18bf gives her feelings in “Hey! Ever Heard of the Horn Book?

c18rc titles her post, “Grrrrrrr!!!

c18km is ticked off and concludes, “DON’T READ ROGER.”

Sincerely,

The Book Blogger faculty advisor with very clean teeth

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Fantastic Mr. Fox

I took my 6th grade Book Bloggers Club to see this last week and really liked it (as they did, I believe).  The look was absolutely splendid. I was really taking right at the beginning when the Fox family is at breakfast and Mrs. Fox pours Mr. Fox coffee out of one of those cool Italian coffee makers. How the hell did they make such a tiny one?  I liked the Brechtian titles, the acting, the action, and so forth.  But I did wonder (as I did with WTWTA) about kid appeal.  So far two of my club members have posted their reviews and hopefully more will do so soon. (12/9: three more are up.)

C16uw concludes her review, “I really loved this movie and I strongly advise you to go see it. Hey, tell me about it, if you liked it or not. If you didn’t I am totally okay with that, tell me why you didn’t. I don’t like a lot of books, you can too.”  (So go let her know what you think!.)

C16bf opines, “Fantastic Mr. Fox is a mature but child-friendly movie and I think you should go see it now!”

In C16km’s review she notes, “And another really cool aspect of the movie was the way that it was made; it was like claymation, except the characters were fuzzy.”

C16rc thinks, “I thought it was really good and all, but it was SO VIOLENT.”

C16dn also is of this opinion, writing ” The plot was great but the movie itself was not. There was too much movement and violence. The book is a children’s book and the movie was for older kids.”

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