January 30, 2009


Big top thanks to Jennifer Salas, uber-librarian at the Blake Library in Stuart, for inviting me to participate in Bookmania (pdf file) last weekend!

This was the second weekend in a row that I participated in a literary event with a Big Top theme. Strange coincidence, but fun.

To begin the Friday night party, Kenny Mikey juggled, while green-haired Riley Roam greeted guests from atop stilts. "Hello, down there!" she said. There were dog acts and people acts and tiny hamburgers and hot dogs served on tiny trays. Cartoons played on the ceiling while people mingled and met the dozens of authors participating in the event.

The celebration honored the late Phil Kavanaugh (Mr. Funnybones), a man who was instrumental in bringing arts and amazing performers to the Blake Library in Stuart and a sense of joy wherever he went. Hubby and I had the pleasure of meeting his lovely wife, Meg, who is working on a new project to involve kids in doing meaningful work to help the environment.

We also met Annie Barrows, the author of the adult book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and the children's book series, Ivy and Bean.

The next morning launched the main event -- Bookmania (pdf file)!

Authors' talks were so well-received that there was an overflow room with a TV to accommodate the huge number of book lovers in attendance.

Upstairs, Kidsmania took center stage -- a mixture of author talks and performances that had kids cheering. Suzy Hammer, aka The Bookworm, performed magic, told stories and did a fabulous job hosting the day's events.

Marianne Berkes read from her picture book, Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme, and let children hear the sounds the animals made in her books.

Jan Day donned cowboy hat and whip and read from her book, Kissimmee Pete and the Hurricane: A Tall Tale.

Here's a photo of Janeen Mason, showing the children how she draws. She then let the young artists create their own masterpieces.

Then I told stories about my childhood that lead me on a crooked path to become a children's book author. After reading a section from my book that features a certain California governor -- Arnold Schwarzenegger, I signed books for the children . . . and a few adults.

Then Riley Roam and Kenny Mikey performed their interactive, audience-participation show, The Great Pizza Contest and signed copies of their new book -- The Great Pizza Contest. Riley's mom, Fyllis Nadler, created the illustrations for the fun new book.

Cathy Supran, second grade teacher at Jupiter Farms Elementary, is a big fan of Page Turner Adventures' school shows. Here's Cathy and baby Thomas with performer Kenny Mikey.

It was an honor to be part of such a wonderful event. If you couldn't make it this year, mark your calendars for next year.

And whether you're clowning around this weekend or not, here's hoping you have loads of fun!

All best,

January 26, 2009

And the Winners Are . . .

The following is a list of all ALA Youth Media Awards for 2009:

John Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature. Neil Gaiman, author of “The Graveyard Book,” illustrated by Dave McKean and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, is the 2009 Newbery Medal winner.

Four Newbery Honor Books were named: “The Underneath” by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by David Small, and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing; “The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom” by Margarita Engle and published by Henry Holt and Company LLC; “Savvy” by Ingrid Law and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group in partnership with Walden Media, LLC; “After Tupac & D Foster” by Jacqueline Woodson and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Books for Young Readers.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children. Beth Krommes, illustrator of “The House in the Night,” written by Susan Marie Swanson and published by Houghton Mifflin Company, is the 2009 Caldecott Medal Winner.

Three Caldecott Honor Books were named: “A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever,” written and illustrated by Marla Frazee and published by Harcourt, Inc.; “How I Learned Geography,” written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz and published by Farrar Straus Giroux; “A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams,” illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults. Melina Marchetta, author of “Jellicoe Road,” is the 2009 Printz Award winner. The book is published by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Four Printz Honor Books also were named: “The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II, The Kingdom on the Waves,” by M.T. Anderson, published by Candlewick Press; “The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks,” by E. Lockhart, published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group; “Nation,” by Terry Pratchett, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers; and “Tender Morsels,” by Margo Lanagan, published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

Coretta Scott King Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults. “We Are the Ship: The Story of the Negro League Baseball,” written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group. “The Blacker the Berry,” illustrated by Floyd Cooper, written by Joyce Carol Thomas and published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is the King Illustrator Book winner.

Three King Author Honor Books were selected: “The Blacker the Berry” by Joyce Carol Thomas, illustrated by Floyd Cooper and published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; “Keeping the Night Watch” by Hope Anita Smith, illustrated by E.B. Lewis and published by Henry Holt and Company; and “Becoming Billie Holiday” by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Floyd Cooper and published by Wordsong, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press, Inc.

Three Illustrator Honor Books were selected: “We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball” written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, published by Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group; “Before John Was a Jazz Giant” by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Sean Qualls, published by Henry Holt and Company; and “The Moon Over Star” by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award. Shadra Strickland, illustrator of “Bird,” written by Zetta Elliott, is the Steptoe winner. The book is published by Lee & Low Books.

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. “Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum,” written and illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker and published by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, won the award for young children. Leslie Connor is the winner of the middle-school award for “Waiting for Normal,” published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers. The teen award winner is “Jerk, California,” written by Jonathan Friesen and published by Speak, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished book for beginning readers. “Are You Ready to Play Outside?” written and illustrated by Mo Willems and published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group, is the 2009 Geisel Award winner.

Four Geisel Honor Books were named: “Chicken said, ‘Cluck!’” by Judyann Ackerman Grant, illustrated by Sue Truesdell and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers; “One Boy” written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, a Neal Porter Book published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership; “Stinky” written and illustrated by Eleanor Davis and published by The Little Lit Library, a division of RAW Junior, LLC; and “Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator” by Sarah C. Campbell, with photographs by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell, published by Boyds Mills Press.

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. Laurie Halse Anderson is the recipient of the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her outstanding lifetime contribution to writing for teens for “Catalyst,” published by Viking Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, “Fever 1793,” published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and “Speak,” a 2000 Printz Honor Book, published by Puffin Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group

Pura Belpré Awards honoring Latino authors and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children's books. “Just in Case” illustrated by Yuyi Morales is the winner of the 2009 Belpré Illustrator Award. It is a Neal Porter Book published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership. “The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom” by Margarita Engle, is the winner of the 2009 Belpré Author Award. The book is published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books for illustration were named: “Papá and Me” illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Arthur Dorros, published by Rayo, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; “The Storyteller’s Candle / La velita de los cuentos” illustrated by Lulu Delacre, written by Lucía González, published by Children’s Book Press; and “What Can You Do with a Rebozo?” illustrated by Amy Córdova, written by Carmen Tafolla, published by Tricycle Press, an imprint of Ten Speed Press.

Three Belpré Author Honor Books were named: to “Just in Case” written by Yuyi Morales, a Neal Porter Book published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership; “Reaching Out” written by Francisco Jiménez, published by Houghton Mifflin Company; and “The Storyteller’s Candle / La velita de los cuentos,” written by Lucía González and published by Children’s Book Press.

Robert F. Sibert Medal for most distinguished informational book for children. “We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball,” by author and illustrator Kadir Nelson, is the winner of the 2009 Sibert Medal. The book is published by Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

Two Sibert Honor Books were named: “Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and Rediscovery of The Past,” written by James M. Deem and published by Houghton Mifflin Company; and “What to Do About Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!” written by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc.

Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children's video. Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly of Weston Woods Studios, producers of “March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World,” are the 2009 Carnegie Medal recipients.

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States. “Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit,” originally published in Japanese, written by Nahoko Uehashi and translated by Cathy Hirano, is the winner of the 2009 Mildred L. Batchelder Award. The book is published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Scholastic.

Two Batchelder Honor Books were named: “Garmann’s Summer,” originally published in Norwegian, written by Stian Hole, translated by Don Bartlett, and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; and “Tiger Moon,” originally published in German, written by Antonia Michaelis, translated by Anthea Bell, and published by Amulet, an imprint of Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production. Recorded Books, producer of the audiobook “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” written and narrated by Sherman Alexie and produced by Recorded Books, LLC., is the winner of the 2009 Odyssey Award.

Five Odyssey Honor Audiobooks were named: “Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady,” written by L.A. Meyer, narrated by Katherine Kellgren and produced by Listen & Live Audio, Inc.;
“Elijah of Buxton,” written by Christopher Paul Curtis, narrated by Mirron Willis and produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group; “I’m Dirty!” written by Kate & Jim McMullan, narrated by Steve Buscemi and produced by Weston Woods Studios, Inc./Scholastic; “Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale,” written and narrated by Carmen Agra Deedy and produceded by Peachtree Publishers; “Nation,” written by Terry Pratchett, narrated by Stephen Briggs and produced by HarperChildren’s Audio/HarperCollins Publishers.

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences. The following winners for 2009 were named: “City of Thieves,” by David Benioff, published by Viking Penguin, A Member of Penguin Group; “The Dragons of Babel,” by Michael Swanwick, A Tor Book published by Tom Doherty Associates; “Finding Nouf,” by Zoë Ferraris published by Houghton Mifflin Company; “The Good Thief,” by Hannah Tinti, published by The Dial Press, A Division of Random House; “Just After Sunset: Stories,” by Stephen King, published by Scribner, A Division of Simon & Schuster; “Mudbound,” by Hillary Jordan, published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill; “Over and Under,” by Todd Tucker, published by Thomas Dunne Books, An Imprint of St. Martin’s Press; “The Oxford Project,” by Stephen G. Bloom, photographed by Peter Feldstein, published by Welcome Books; “Sharp Teeth,” by Toby Barlow, published by Harper, An Imprint of HarperCollins; and “Three Girls and Their Brother,” by Theresa Rebeck, published by Shaye Areheart Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House.

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture recognizing an individual who shall prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children's literature, and then present the lecture at a winning host site. The 2010 Arbuthnot Lecture will be delivered by Kathleen T. Horning, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC).

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, established in 1954, honors an author or illustrator whose books are published in the United States and have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. Ashley Bryan has been named the 2009 Wilder Award winner. His numerous works include “Dancing Granny,” “Beat the Story-Drum, Pum-Pum,” and “Beautiful Blackbird.”

William C. Morris Award. “A Curse Dark as Gold,” written by Elizabeth C. Bunce and published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc., is the winner of the first Morris Award.

January 23, 2009

All Booked Up

Last weekend, I had the joy of attending the Florida SCBWI Conference in Miami.

Here I am with Riley Roam in front of some of the decorations created by incredibly talented Kimberly Lynn.

Field trip! Friday night, we enjoyed an outing to the fab independent bookstore, Books & Books in Coral Gables. Here I am with my fab agent, Tina Wexler from I.C.M. (It took the Jaws of Life to extract us from the bookstore . . . oh, actually it was dinner at a Cuban restaurant.)

Lest you think no actual work took place at the conference, here's a shot from the "First Page Critiques" panel. Experts read and critiqued the first pages of attendees' manuscripts. From left to right: Tina Wexler, agent from I.C.M., Alexandra Cooper, editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Liz Waniewski, editor at Dial Books for Young Readers, Joyce Sweeney, author of thirteen novels for young adults and Arthur Levine, publisher of Arthur A. Levine Books and a vice president of Scholasitc, Inc.
Many talented authors, illustrators, agents and editors spoke. Mark Teague showed us his illustrations for an upcoming picture book. Lisa Yee had us laughing and learning. And Linda Sue Park taught us to "try it" when it comes to playing with your writing. Other wonderful speakers informed and inspired the crowd of 140 attendees.

Me, looking dorky, with a stack of my books.

My signing table buddy was Danette Haworth. Check out her new book -- Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightening.

Paul May and I clown around at the "Big Top" dinner party.

And a little more clowning around with Linda Marlow, Kenny Mikey, Riley Roam, me and Daniel Rousseau. (Don't I have big feet?) Thanks to Janeen Mason, fortune teller, and picture taker extraordinaire.

This coming weekend, it's off to Bookmania (pdf file) at the Blake Library in Stuart, Florida!

If you're in the area, please stop by. There will be lots of great authors who write for adults. And the children's book author segment, Kidsmania, takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and will feature: Suzy Hammer (as The Bookworm), Marianne Berkes, Jan Day, Janeen Mason, Moi and Riley Roam with Kenny Mikey as they perform The Great Pizza Contest.

I'd love it if you were able to stop by and say hi!

January 21, 2009

A Walk in the Park

If weather is keeping you from walking in your favorite park, please join me for a virtual walk in mine . . .

"Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift." -- Albert Einstein

"The world is but a canvas to our imaginations." -- Henry David Thoreau

"Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building principles which nature has used in its domain." -- Frank Lloyd Wright

"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." -- John Muir

"Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God." -- George Washington Carver

With peace, reverence and inspiration,

January 20, 2009



Today, I'm filled with awe and excitement as we usher in an era of hope over fear, diplomacy over might and intelligent compassion over quick judgement. PRESIDENT Obama carries the weight of the world's hopes and dreams on his shoulders. I wish him and his family the wisdom, strength and well-being to fulfill those hopes and dreams.

For the literary side of Inauguration Day, check out Elizabeth Wilse's blog of election/presidential themed book reviews and interviews. Thanks, Elizabeth, for the generous review and interview.

Happy Inauguration Day!

January 14, 2009

Scholarship to attend the SCBWI Summer Conference

Would you like to attend the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles this August? Magic fairy dust from five dedicated, generous children's book authors can make that happen. Details below:

fAiRy gOdSisTeRs, iNk (FGI) announces its 2nd Annual SCBWI Summer Conference Scholarship!

FGI is offering a $1500 scholarship for a SCBWI member to attend the August 2009 conference in Los Angeles. FGI awarded the 2008 scholarship to Linda Lodding of the Netherlands.

To apply for the 2009 scholarship, submit a 250-word, double-spaced essay describing what you hope to accomplish by attending this year's summer conference. Send your essay to: fairygodsistersink@yahoo.com

The application deadline is April 15th, 2009. The winner will be notified May 15th, 2009.

fAiRy gOdSiStErS, iNk. is a small, benevolent squadron of Santa Barbara children's book authors who believe in the magic of passing forward lucky breaks, bounty and beneficence, as so many have done for us. We are: Thalia Chaltas, Mary Hershey, Valerie Hobbs, Robin LaFevers and Lee Wardlaw.

If you would like to share some fairy dust of your own to help send a writer to the 2009 Summer Conference, FGI welcomes your donations!

For more information about the grant and/or making a donation, please visit the FGI website (which will be up and running SOON!) at http://www.fairygodsistersink.com or email Lee Wardlaw at author@leewardlaw.com.

Good luck!

January 9, 2009

Fellow Scribblers, Please Remember . . .

A wonderful e-mail landed in my e-mail box the other evening. Here's an excerpt:

"I think your book inspires young girls to be courageous. It has inspired me to make a difference in this world, and it gave me hope to be courageous, too." -- Lauren, 12

We writers sit in quiet spaces, day after day, word wrangling. We work alone and when we are very brave, we shout our words into the universe in the form of stories and poems and books. We shout with faith, even though we're not sure our words will be heard, understood or appreciated.

Lauren, thank you for the reminder that our words affect, influence and, when we're very lucky, inspire.

January 6, 2009


In 2007, I read a grand total of 46 books. You can read the list here.

This year, I managed to squeeze in 78 books.

I discovered that listening to books on CD makes car rides more appealing. And in the case of Stephen King's stories on CD, more scary.

I read A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban several times to learn what makes this book tick. Not a wasted word. It's full of funny and sweet and sad and wonderful. A few other middle grade gems that I read this year are: The Entertainer and the Dybbuk by Sid Fleischman, Love That Dog by Sharon Creech, The Plain Janes (DC Comic Minx) by Cecil Castillucci, Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices froma Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz, The True Meaning of Smekday -- an utterly original read by Adam Rex, Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli, The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg, Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis, Granny Torrelli Makes Soup by Sharon Creech and The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot.

This year, I included a few picture books and short stories on the list because I want to remember that I read them.

My favorite books for adults were: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down -- A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, And the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman, and Grace Eventually (Thoughts on Faith) by Anne Lamott. I also enjoyed some of the essays in Small Wonders by Barbara Kingsolver. (But I didn't finish the entire book, so it doesn't appear on the list.)

New voices in children's literature that I thoroughly enjoyed were E.M. Crane's Skin Deep and Laurel Snyder's Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains. Read 'em; you'll love 'em.

A bookseller at an independent bookstore near Philadelphia -- Children's Book World -- recommended Rash by Pete Hautman. I was so impressed, I also read Hautman's Invisible. Have you read his work yet? Not much of a reader, our youngest son devoured it.

Let's get to it . . .

(Adult titles are noted with an asterisk.)


1. The Opposite of Invisible -- Liz Gallagher
2. * The Elephant in the Playroom -- Denise Brodey
3. Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf -- Jennifer L. Holm
4. Skin Deep -- E.M. Crane
5. A Crooked Kind of Perfect -- Linda Urban (CD)
6. * Wonder Woman -- Jodi Picoult
7. Brett McCarthy Work in Progress -- Maria Padian
8. * America God, Gold and Golems -- James Sturm
9. * Persepolis The Story of a Childhood -- Marjane Satrapi
10. * Persepolis 2 The Story of a Return -- Marjane Satrapi
11. Spanking Shakespeare -- Jake Wizner
12. * 10 Rules of Writing -- Elmore Leonard
13. * Honey From the Weed -- Althea McDowell (self-published)
14. Thirteen Reasons Why -- Jay Asher
15. * Publicize Your Book! -- Jacqueline Deval
16. The Rules of Survival -- Nancy Werlin
17. Before I Die -- Jenny Downham
18. The Revealers -- Doug Wilhelm
19. * The Savvy Author's Guide to Book Publicity -- LIssa Warren
20. Children of the Great Depression -- Russell Freedman
21. Nightjohn -- Gary Paulsen
22. * The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches (A Practical (and Fun) Guide to Enjoying LIfe More by Spending Less) -- Jeff Yeager
23. Burned -- Ellen Hopkins
24. Allie Finkle's Girls' Rules: Moving Day -- Meg Cabot
25. The Entertainer and the Dybbuk -- Sid Fleischman
26. * I Am Legend -- Richard Matheson (short story)
27. Things Left Unsaid -- Stephanie Hemphill
28. * Grace Eventually (Thoughts on Faith) -- Anne Lamott
29. Lessons from a Dead Girl -- Jo Knowles
30. Love That Dog -- Sharon Creech
31. The Plain Janes (DC Comic Minx) -- Cecil Castillucci
32. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village -- Laura Amy Schlitz
33. * The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down -- A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, And the Collision of Two Cultures -- Anne Fadiman
34. * The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids -- Madeline Levine
35. * The Last Lecture -- Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow
36. * Change of Heart -- Jodi Picoult
37. * New Rules (Polite Musings from a Timid Observer) -- Bill Maher (CD)
38. The Adoration of Jenna Fox -- Mary E. Pearson
39. A Crooked Kind of Perfect -- Linda Urban
40. * Manic -- Terri Cheney
41. Chess Rumble -- Greg Neri
42. Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich -- Adam Rex
43. A Beginning, a Muddle and an End: The Right Way to Write Writing -- Avi
44. The True Meaning of Smekday -- Adam Rex
45. Ten Terrific Authors for Teens -- Christine M. Hill
46. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules -- Jeff Kinney
47. A Very Tight Place -- Stephen King (short story from McSweeney's)
48. Grace for President -- Kelly Dipucchio (picture book)
49. * This Land is Their Land (Reports from a Divided Nation) -- Barbara Ehrenreich
50. Tantalize -- Cynthia Leitich Smith
51. Maniac Magee -- Jerry Spinelli (CD) read by S. Epatha Merkerson
52. Shredderman Secret Identity -- Wendelin Van Draanen (CD) read by Daniel Young
53. * Stationary Bike -- Stephen King short story (CD) read by Ron McLarty
54. Supernatural Rubber Chicken Fowl Language -- D.L. Garfinkle
55. Supernatural Rubber Chicken Fine Feathered Four Eyes -- D.L. Garfinkle
56. * An Unquiet Mind -- Kay Redfield Jamison
57. The Funeral Director's Son -- Coleen Murtagh Paratore
58. Rash -- Pete Hautman
59. Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains -- Laurel Snyder
60. The View from Saturday -- E.L. Konigsburg (CD)
61. Junie B., First Grader Aloha-ha-ha! -- Barbara Park (CD) read by Lana Quintal
62. Many Moons -- James Thurber (picture book)
63. * On Teaching and Writing Fiction -- Wallace Stegner
64. Identical -- Ellen Hopkins
65. Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree -- Lauren Tarshis (CD) read by Quinn Gummer
66. * Here's the Story (Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice) -- Maureen McCormick
67. Invisible -- Pete Hautman
68. Coraline -- Neil Gaiman (adapted and illustrated by P. Craig Russell)
69. Granny Torrelli Makes Soup -- Sharon Creech
70. * The Faith of a Writer: Life, Craft, Art -- Joyce Carol Oates
71. The Princess Diaries -- Meg Cabot (CD) read by Anne Hathaway
72. A Crooked Kind of Perfect -- Linda Urban
73. The Hunger Games -- Suzanne Collins
74. * Not Guilty by Reason of Menopause -- Leigh Anne Jasheway-Bryant
75. * Water for Elephants -- Sara Gruen (CD) read by David LeDoux and John Randolph Jones
76. * Dewey (The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World) by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
77. * Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America by H. Eugene and Lillian Youngs Lehman
78. * Blood and Smoke (three short stories on CD) read by Stephen King

What were some of your favorites from 2008?

January 1, 2009


To ring in the new year, Dan and I decided to have a little party.

Everyone brought yummy appetizers and desserts and good spirits. There's nothing like celebrating with family and good friends.

It was great fun!

Just when things seemed to be winding down, the party arrived . . .

And they brought this edible work of art . . .

Good times were had by all (both small and tall) . . .

And here it is -- a brand new year!

Wishing you a year filled with hope, compassion and inspiration.

My next post will be the list of books I read in 2008. Care to hazard a guess as to how many books I read this past year? (Hint: It was more than in any previous year.)

Happy, healthy, peaceful 2009,