Wednesday, July 30, 2008

This Week: Drama Camp!

Our lovely and talented Little Shop drama queen Lyndsey McAdams is directing our final summer camp--Dramarama Camp! This is a week-long theater experience in which campers prepare and perform a play (based on the picture book The Littlest Dinosaur by Michael Foreman), design their and create their own costumes, design and create the sets, and visit the theater department of Agnes Scott to have an in-depth tour of a real, live theater!

Lyndsey just graduated from Agnes Scott where she majored in Drama with a special focus on children's theater. She has adapted the major play which the kids will perform under her direction, as well as guided them through the writing and performing of skits which each group will create on their own.

Yay for drama! Have you seen any of the pictured plays performed?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kid Customer Review: Amulet

Speaking of Comics Camp, comics, and graphic novels, here's a review of a new graphic novel series, Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi--

Osiris Hassan, age 11, says:

Amulet is about two kids who have to rescue their mother from a monster from another world with the help of a magical amulet and the remnants of their great-grandfather’s newly discovered magical robot army. This book has a very interesting plot with a cliffhanger ending. The notion of an all-powerful amulet is very very cool! I can’t wait for the sequel.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hello Mudder, Hello Fadder...

Here I am at

So last week I ran our comics camp here at LSOS, and we had a blast. Rather than blah blah blah-ing all about it, I'd like to post some photos from the day Andy Runton, cartoonist and creator of the great all-ages graphic novel series Owly, came and talked to everybody about how he draws comics.

Here's Owly, greeting everybody as they come into comics camp.

And here Andy drew Owly and friends hanging out in the the shop logo on the back of one camper's comics camp shirt.

Here's a closer view. What's awesome is that, despite Andy's protest that he has a hard time drawing Owly without the chance to sketch a pencil version first, this drawing totally rocks!

Auguste, awesome attendee of comics camp, sports his Owly "temporary tattoo," a personalized arm-signing by Andy Runton!

Check this out! Andy brought in some original art like the picture above (which I grabbed from his website) to show to campers. If you look closely (click for a better view) you can see the blue pencil marks where he first sketched out the page before inking it with his amazing brush pen. I call it amazing because he showed it to us and let us use it a little to see what kind of line it makes.

Finally, he brought free comics for everybody and signed them all!

Thanks Andy, you made Comics Camp awesome!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Justin Would Want You to Know . . .

Our friend and blog manager, Justin, is very busy this week teaching the fantastic Comics Camp (where kids learn all about making their own comics --and one day graphic novels!), so today I'm picking up the books-related-to-our-camps torch and telling you about a graphic novel that's recently come into our store (and Justin had some things to say about).

Seems that the prolific horrormeister, Dean Koontz, has got yet another title out on the shelves, only THIS one is a graphic novel. (Though you might not know it from looking at the cover.) Koontz has hooked up with manga talent Queenie Chan (The Dreaming series) for In Odd We Trust: the "Sixth Sense"-meets-"Sin City" tale of Odd, a nineteen year-old boy with a special talent for seeing the dead. Seems the dead want Odd to help them--get some really wicked revenge. Packed with a lot of pluck and punch (this one's not for little kiddies), Odd is edgy, dark, and intense. And if you like it, knowing Koontz, very likely there will be at least one or two more! 

--Terra McVoy, Manager 

Friday, July 11, 2008

Book groups for adults

Yes, Little Shop of Stories is the premiere kidslit bookstore in all of Greater Atlanta, but we also have books for adults, and book groups for adults. Our longest running book group for grown-ups, the Mommies Who Read group, is currently on hiatus, but please check in to see what they're up to in the future. This group wasn't restricted to mommies, just women who like to discuss a good book.

Similarly, the Guys Who Read group isn't restricted to dads, just guys who like discussing books of all sorts. The guys have tackled some big issues in the past, but this is the biggest. They will discuss if there is indeed a God as they read Christopher Hitchens' God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. They'll also be picking books for future meetings, so comes with titles. This month, they meet Thursday, July 17th at 7 pm.

Our newest group is called the Catch-All group, and it's defined as "co-ed, post-college, pre-babies." And we’re kicking off this book group with The Book of Other People, a collection of short-story character-sketches by 23 fabulous and funny authors like Jonathan Safran Foer, Nick Hornby, and George Saunders. The writers were given the instruction to “make somebody up,” and what resulted is a hodgepodge collection of liars, monsters, puppies, and average (or not-so-average) joes, edited by Zadie Smith.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Book groups for girls

Miss Terra is the mastermind behind the two girl book groups.

The first is our middle school girls' book group. Glam Girls, the previous name for this group, has been reinvented and reborn as the brand-new Page Turners: a group of adventurous readers who are more interested in mysteries than makeup! To start things off, we’re reading the funtastic Kiki Strike, by Kirsten Miller, the story of a disgruntled Girl Scout and a secret city beneath Manhattan. And oh yeah—a totally kickin’ gang of girl spies!! They meet this month on Sunday, July 20th at 4:30 pm.

The second girl group is our all-new High School Girls Group!!

If you are entering 9th, 10th or 11th grade this year and are looking for a smart, hip group in which you can read and discuss deep books with a little more mature “bite” to them, then you’ll love our new book group. We’re kicking it off with the book Great and Terrible Beauty, by the wonderful Libba Bray.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

book groups for guys!

We have two book groups for young guys, our Middle School Guys group and and the Adventure Boys group for chapter book readers.

This month, the Middle School Guys group meets on Friday, July 25th at 4:30 pm. We're reading The Black Book of Secrets, by F.E. Higgins. I picked this book because of it's opening scene: Ludlow Fitch about to get his teeth pulled by a nasty tooth merchant who is aided by Ludlow's own parents! Ludlow escapes to a remote village where he hides out and starts a new life…but what he doesn’t know is that his dark past is coming, and his terrible secrets will affect everyone around him. I picked this book because the opening scene grabbed me in a way that few openings have, and I can’t wait to read the rest!

The Adventure Boys group is reading a title provided by our wonderful rep from Harper Collins. The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner is the book and it is free to all Boys in our group! Filled with political intrigue, medieval espionage, and assassination plots, this book is an engaging look at what happens in the days and years after a young pauper rises to become king. Come by and pick up your copy!

Also, as a heads up to all of our Boys looking to get in their summer reading requirements-- Holes by Louis Sachar will be our August book, selection courtesy of Kane, Adventure Boy extraordinaire!

The Adventure Boys meet next on Thursday, July 31st at 4 pm.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Book Group Week!

This week I'd like to highlight our wonderful book groups. We have seven book groups that meet monthly at Little Shop of Stories, and they cover a wide enough range that you, yes you, whoever you are now reading this blog, will find one to suit your needs and tastes.

I'll start today with our book group that I think defines the kind of reading we like to encourage here at Little Shop. The Kid's and Companions book group is for young readers solidly into reading chapter books and the adult reader of their choice: parent, grandparent, uncle or aunt, guardian--somebody they can share their love of reading with.

This month, the Kids and Companions group is meeting Friday, July 18th at 7:30 PM to discuss Scott Mebus's debut novel Gods of Manhattan.

Gods of Manhattan takes on mythology and New York, but in a completely new, interesting, and different way. The gods here are the gods of history: Peter Styuvesant, Babe Ruth, Hiram Greenbaum and the native Americans who once populated what is now the Big Apple. Rory is the only one who can see their world, a world which runs parallel to ours, and only he can help the forces of good outweigh the growing power of the very bad that threatens not just New York City, but civilization as we know it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Guest Blog: Ranger's Apprentice

A few weeks ago I discovered one of the most fervent fans I've ever encountered! Fred S. loves John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series like a man on fire loves water! He reviewed the just released Ranger's Apprentice: The Battle of Skandia, which we present here:

"Flanagan displays his great writing technique once again in his newest addition to the Ranger's Apprentice series, Ranger's Apprentice: The Battle of Skandia. This book is filled with twists and turns and suspensful chapter endings to nerve racking chapters that keep you on the edge of your seat and make you want to read more and more. This book is a great example that Flanagan can follow up three great books with another excellent one. This new book will keep you interested from the first word to the rivetting end of the book. A great follow up to a great series."

Fred S.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Goody for these girls!

Have you heard of these great girl heroes?
Sammy Keyes
Ellie McDoodle
Daisy Dawson
They're some of my favorite recent characters, and I'm constantly recommending them here at the store.

Sammy Keyes is a series by Wendelin Van Draanen, and Sammy is like Nancy Drew's plucky, punky cousin, as much mis-adventure as adventure. Sammy is whip-smart, has a keen eye for details and clues, but is constantly getting into trouble, whether it's with her grandmother or the police, specifically Officer Borsch, the policeman who sees her as nothing more than a nosy kid. Sammy knows better, she may be nosy, but she's no kid--she's Sammy Keyes, girl detective.

Ellie McDoodle, by Ruth McNally Barshaw, is the star of her own diary, featured in Ellie McDoodle, Have Pen, Will Travel. Ellie has to spend her summer with her aunt and cousins that she hates. Visually, it's reminiscent of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: it's got a "handwritten" font, with drawings to illustrate points. Ellie's not as goofy as Wimpy Kid, but has great art and lots of excitement and drama.

Daisy Dawson is the newest in a long line of great elementary school girls. What I like best about her is that she's not precocious like Junie B., or headstrong, like Clementine. Instead, she's a dreamer. She's gentle and sweet and loves animals, and as a result she is granted the gift of understanding the speech of animals, from dogs and horses to gerbils and ants. And this is the other thing that makes this great: it's got just a touch of fantasy, avoiding the sometimes cloying, crowded fantasy of fairy tales, intead allowing this great character to come to the fore and work her own magic.