Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Oh.My.Gosh, Or Isn't It Great To Be a Girl?

It's here! It's really here! The Daring Book for Girls, sister of sorts to this year's widely successful Dangerous Book for Boys, arrived yesterday and it's smart, feisty, sparkly, brave, and thoughtful- just like your Favorite Girl.

Inside you'll find Best Practices in climbing, how to change a tire, make a friendship bracelet, sleepover a friend's house, fashion a seine net, go to Africa, tie a sari, play the stock market, perform math tricks that will dazzle your friends, jump double dutch, put your hair up with a pencil, create mayhem with vinegar and baking soda, care for your softball glove, and do a cartwheel. You'll also learn about great women leaders, scientists, explorers, and athletes, as well as how to make a lemon powered clock or read the periodic table of the elements.

If you have a Daring Girl in your life, or are in fact a Daring Girl yourself, this is the book for you (or her)! It's proof positive that girls really can do anything.

Coloring Page Tuesday

Yay for local authors! We love Halloween here at the store, and we've celebrated with story times both creepy and fun. But we wanted to make the blog fun and Halloween-y, and our good friend Elizabeth Dulemba is helping us out!

Here is a copy of her coloring page for today. Click on it for a nice big copy you can print out. And for more great coloring pages and info on the divine Ms. Dulemba and all her great books, go to her website at http://dulemba.com/, or you can get to her blog through the above link.

Have fun, and have a happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Book Focus: The Gravity Keeper

Walker Downs, 7th Grader, writes:

Simon Bloom, The Gravity Keeper, by Michael Reisman, is about a twelve year old boy named Simon. Simon finds a supernatural physics book that allows him to do anything he wants with physics. But there is a twist: a woman with many more powers wants the book so she can have the power.

This book is interesting because it has a narrator and near the end Simon discovers the narrator's office. This book was impossible to put down. Anyone from 10 to 14 that likes SciFi would love Simon Bloom, The Gravity Keeper. Overall it was a very good book.

Editor's Note: Simon Bloom, the Gravity Keeper is not due out until next year! So why post a review now? And how did Mister Downs get his hands on this book? Does he, like Simon Bloom, have powers to defy space and time? Although that would be really, really cool, Walker has not seen into the future. We gave Walker an "Advanced Reader's Copy" (often referred to as an ARC) so he could give us this review!

So, if you would like to read a FREE book and have your stunning review published here just like Walker Downs, stop by and ask for one of our advanced copies. But remember: you gotta write a review!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Two Great New Titles are In!

Yes! We have them! Finally our copies of Jessica Seinfeld's blowout popular cookbook, Deceptively Delicious is in house to provide inspiration and relief.

More important, however, is the muy-anticipated Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones by our beloved friend, Judy Schachner. We also got in some super-cute small editions of the first Skippyjon book, which comes boxed with your own little stuffed jalepeno--er, I mean, stuffed Skippyjon Jones--just right for bouncing on your bed as many times as you want! To celebrate we'll be having a special Skippyjon storytime on Sunday at 3, right after PLAY THE HARMONICA WITH RICK day at 1:23 sharp.

We have oodles of other good things rolling in for the Fall (and, yes, the holidays), so come dodge this weekend's Decatur Beer Festival traffic (or take a break from the sampling) and enjoy your weekend with us! See you then!
Yours in books,


Friday, October 12, 2007

We Are Not Alone

We didn't get to be the cool, fun-to-hang-out-in bookstore that is Little Shop of Stories without help, and I'm not just talking about our great customers. We also have lots of friends who write and illustrate books, all of whom have given us fantastic support. And it's no surprise they're out here on the web.

So this post is a bit of a shout out, just a fat linky post of those folks who've shown us the love (and we'd like to show some back).

Holly Black-- www.blackholly.com Holly's website is stylish, has lots of info about the Spiderwick books and her YA books, and a link to her blog. When she came for the Decatur Book Festival last month, I got to interview her and she is a blast to talk to. Plus, a classy woman.

Elizabeth Dulemba-- dulemba.com Elizabeth is very local; we see her here in the store about once a week! And she's always turning us on to great new books. You can see what she's reading and talking about on her terrific blog, which you can access from her website. Plus, she has a weekly coloring page you can print from her blog AND images of books she's working on!

Alan Gratz-- www.alangratz.com Alan's first novel, Samurai Shortstop, is one of our favorites, especially Dave's, because Dave loves both historical fiction and baseball. Alan's new book, Something Rotten, comes out next week and is already on our You Must Read This list. If you like mysteries, you'll dig Something Rotten. And if you want to know more, keep checking here in the coming days because we'll have an interview with him soon!

Kimberly Willis Holt-- www.kimberlywillisholt.com How cool is Kimberly Willis Holt? She sent us flowers after her signing (for her new book Piper Reed, Navy Brat) here a little over a week ago! And her website's just as neat, with lots of interactive elements, including an awesome page on writing.

Sam Riddleburger-- sam.riddleburger.com For me, Sam is the greatest thing about the Decatur Book Festival, or any big, group event with lots of authors. You go to meet and talk to your favorite authors, and you discover a fun, great guy like Sam and his really fun book The Qwik Pick Adventure Society. If you haven't read it yet, I have just two words for you: poop fountain. His website has lots of fun links and things to do.

Deborah Wiles-- www.deborahwiles.com Yay Deborah! Have you read Love, Ruby Lavender, or her latest, The Aurora County All-Stars? If so, then you know why we shout Yay--Deborah's one of our favorite writers and a local resident. Right now, she's winding up her tour, but you can keep in touch through her website and blog.

So give these writers some love and click on the links!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Book Focus: Click

There's been some interest in this new book Click--people calling the store and asking about it (mostly I think due to this interview* with some of the authors and the editor). The plot centers around a girl named Maggie and the strange box filled with shells she inherits from her grandfather Gee, a world-travelling photographer. The story spans whole generations and whole continents, as befits a book from which the royalties will benefit Amnesty International.

What's most fascinating about this novel is that it has ten authors. That's right, 10: every chapter is written by a different person. Now, normally books like this are very hit and miss, emphasis on the miss. They can feel like they have no central plot or no core characters. But this book feels different, and the reason why is the authors involved.

You may already know some of them: Eoin Colfer writes the Artemis Fowl books, Linda Sue Park wrote the Newbery award winner A Single Shard, and Gregory Maguire has written books for adults as well as children, most famously Wicked. Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby are no slouches either, and both have written books for adults and youth.

But the reason I'm excited by Click is the presence of two authors who may not be on your radar: David Almond and Margo Lanagan.

David Almond has written some of my favorite middle-grade books, including Skellig, his most famous. It's a mysterious, moving book about loneliness and friendship, filled with beautiful writing and a wonderful main character.

Margo Lanagan is a short story writer from Australia whose only current import is her collection Black Juice. I read the stories in this and was blown away. Just great great writing, with a weird, tingly bent to them (not quite fantasy/sf, but not...not f/sf, if that makes any sense). The good news for us here in the US? Her newest collection, Red Spikes, will hit our shores this month!

So, check out Click, and check out some of these great authors.

*You should check out the interview, it's really good. Even if you don't have time to listen to it, the page has some interesting info, plus excerpts from the novel.