Thursday, March 31, 2011

Forecast for Saturday: 70 Degrees and a 100% Chance of Ladybugs

Here's how to make a very, very nice day even nicer.  Come to Little Shop of Stories and meet Jacky Davis and David Soman, the spousal duo behind all those great Ladybug Girl books!  Their latest is Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad.

They will be at Little Shop this Saturday at 11 a.m.  This should really be a lot of fun.  Even if we have to get out of bed a little earlier than we might want!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Book Review: The Royal Treatment

Princess for Hire: The Royal Treatment
by Lindsey Leavitt
available May 3, 2011
Review by Taylor Corley

This is a very interesting book.  It is realistic with a magic twist.  Desi finds herself in some complicated situations and dinds out some secrets about one of the places that she trusts most - B.E.S.T. - and hidden talents she had absolutely no idea about.  In this book, you can really 'put yourself in the character's shoes.'  You can relate to some of the problems that Desi and her friends encounter; some just leave you hanging on edge.

I really enjoyed this book because it is funny, mysterious, and has a surprise at almost every turn.  This book has everything you look forward to in a book.  When you read this book, you might feel like you have a connection to it that you can't describe, and that may just be one of the reasons you like it.  I suggest this book to you because it is a very unique book that I know you will love as much as I did.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Alan Gratz is Coming Saturday!!!

He's a baseball fan that always bats first in our hearts!  Alan Gratz, former Avondale resident and the author of Samurai Shortstop and The Brooklyn Nine (among other titles), has just released Fantasy Baseball.  He'll be at Little Shop of Saturday, March 26th at 4 p.m. to do some reading and signing.

As an added bonus, the city of Decatur plays a role in this book!

From Alan's website:

A flying monkey in the outfield. A toad at short. Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz on the mound. Alex Metcalf thinks he’s dreaming, but the Oz Cyclones exist here in Ever After, where storybook characters live on as long as kids in the real world believe in them.

But Alex isn't a storybook. To get home, he and the Cyclones will have to win the Ever After Baseball Tournament and earn wishes from the Wizard of Oz. Trouble is, the Big Bad Wolf wants a wish too.

To win the tournament, Alex and the Cyclones will have to defeat the wolf, play the best baseball of their lives, and find the courage to believe in themselves. But what good is believing in yourself if the real world stops believing in you?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Doreen Cronin Is Coming Tomorrow!

Autographed copies of Doreen's books are available!

Doreen Cronin came to the Decatur Book Festival back in 2008, and we had a great time with her.  She visited Mary Lin Elementary School on Friday and appeared on the Children's Stage on Saturday.  Thump, Quack, Moo, one of her great, fun picture books had just come out.

Now she's baaaaaaaaaaaaaack.  Doreen has a great new book, The Trouble With Chickens.  It is unlike anything she has written in the past.  This is a chapter book with illustrations, perfect for readers who have outgrown Junie B. Jones and Magic Tree House books.  This is longer and a bit more challenging.  It is also a really fun read-to book for kids with a longer attention span.  It got a nice review in yesterday's New York Times.

And more rewarding!  J.J. Tully is narrated by a retired search and rescue dog in a noir fiction style.  Think of a canine Dashiell Hammett who gets drawn back into work by a bunch of annoying chickens.

Come to Little Shop on Tuesday, March 15th, at 7 p.m. to meet Doreen.  She'll read from her new book.  She'll sign copies.  Bring your Click, Clack, Moo and Duck for President and all her other great picture books, and she'll sign those, too!

-- Dave

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New York Times Has a New Children's Book Editor

The publishing industry has been decimated.  The newspaper industry has been decimated.

For publishers and booksellers, one bright spot has been in the area of children's literature.  So much so that the New York Times has a new children's book editor, Pamela Paul.  One of the first things she did was to expand the on-line edition of their book section by adding a weekly review of children's picture books.  This will typically be written by Ms. Paul.

One of her first selections was The Darkness by Shane W. Evans, a truly superb picture book on the Underground Railroad.

This week Ms. Paul wrote six short reviews, including one for The Trouble With Chickens, the new chapter book by Doreen Cronin.  (Ms. Cronin will be at Little Shop this Tuesday evening at 7 p.m.; more on that in an upcoming blog post).

It's great to see children's books getting more attention from our newspaper of record!

- Dave

Saturday, March 12, 2011

In Memory of Jane Saliers

Jane Saliers passed away last week at the age of 73.  Her obituary appeared in yesterday's edition of the AJC.  It is filled with family remembrances.

Ms. Saliers graced the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System for 30 years, including the Ponce de Leon Branch where she worked as a children's librarian.  I took my young sons there to hear her storytimes in the mid-1990s.  She read with love and enthusiasm.

Our condolences go out to her family, including daughter Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls and of Watershed.

According to the AJC: In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Atlanta Public Library Foundation, c/o Sherry Siclair, 1 Margaret Mitchell Square, Atlanta, GA, 30303. Gifts should be designated "for summer reading program." 

- Dave

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fantastic new picture book alert!

Patrick McDonnell (of Mutts fame) has produced yet another fantastic picture book, but this one is the best yet. It tells the story of Jane Goodall as a child: her toy chimpanzee Jubilee, her make-believe adventures, and her dreams of growing up to work with and help all kinds of animals. Aside from McDonnell's drawings, there are also photos of Jane, drawings and puzzles she made as a child, and a sketch of her camp she made when she was grown up.

This book is not mushy in the least, but is so touching that it made me tear up a little. You MUST read this book!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Congratulations to Pete the Cat!

As most of you know, Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes was nominated for a Kiddo Award in the Illustrated Books CATegory, part of the Read Kiddo Read initiative by author James Patterson to encourage young readers.  Back in our January newsletter we asked you all to vote for Pete.

I guess you did.  Thanks!  Pete won!!!  Congratulations to Eric Litwin and James Dean, author and illustrator.  (As posted last week, Pete has recently been nominated for a prestigious E.B. White Read-Aloud Award in the picture book category.)

Not only did you help Pete win a Read Kiddo Read Award, but you may have had a hand in selecting every other winner:

Rick Riordan won in the Advanced Reads category for The Lost Hero.  Rick was the star of the Children's Stage at the 2007 Decatur Book Festival, and has returned to Little Shop of Stories in 2008, 2009, and 2010.  (By the way, there was a line waiting to sign up for our Camp Half-Blood, scheduled this summer for July 11-15, which filled up in 53 minutes.)

Lincoln Peirce won in the Pageturners category for Big Nate In A Class By Himself.  Lincoln visited us last October.  Shortly thereafter, Nate hit the New York Times Best Seller list.

Matt Tavares won in the Transitional Books category for Henry Aaron's Dream.  Matt was at the shop last May to promote that book, and before in May 2008, along with author Doreen Rappaport, for the exceptional Lady Liberty: A Biography.

Check out the following video.  Be sure to sing along when you get to the 2:25 mark!

- Dave

My current favorite book....The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Oh my goodness, I am IN LOVE with The Paris Wife (Random House) by Paula McLain! This book just came out last month and it is terrific! This gorgeous novel is a fictionalized account of Ernest Hemingway's time in Paris, told from the perspective of his first wife, Hadley. I have been totally immersed in this book all week, canceling plans and curling up on my couch every night to read more about Hadley and Hem's doomed relationship.

McLain has her MFA in poetry, and she combines that background with historical facts and actual samples of Hemingway's works to create a beautiful and believable world. The writing is poetry, the characters are complexly flawed, and the overall book is just delicious. Not only does McLain give an insightful look at one of the greatest writers of all time, she also shows what it was like to be a woman in the 1920s, and portrays an interesting look at the Lost Generation. This book is perfect for fans of Loving Frank by Nancy Horan and is one of the best books I've read in a long time!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lemonade Mouth Comes to TV!

Author Mark Peter Hughes visited four years ago with what was then his new novel, Lemonade Mouth.  (It was a follow-up to his I Am the Wallpaper.)  At the time, Mark had recently quit his full-time job and he and his wonderful family were driving around the country in a wrapped vehicle promoting the book.  It was obvious that they were having a pretty fun time.

Since that time, Mark has published his third novel, A Crack in the Sky.

And now (insert drum roll), Lemonade Mouth is a Disney Chanel Movie!!!  Lemonade Mouth will debut on April 18th at 8 p.m.  Information on all things Lemonade Mouth can be found here on Mark's site.

Congratulations to Mark!!!

- Dave

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Little Shop has gift baskets!

This has been in the works for a long time, but it's finally here: Little Shop of Stories is SO EXCITED to offer, at long last, the cutest gift baskets you've ever seen. Now, whenever you're in a rush to get to a baby shower or birthday party, you can run in and grab a basket with an already-carefully-selected assortment of books. And the basket is sure to impress pretty much anyone.  They come in a variety of themes (bathtime, Beatrix Potter, you name it) and prices, and are wrapped and ribboned- all set to go!

hey! it's our feet!, or why we support TOMS shoes.

We do what we do because we love kids, we love books, and we love kids loving books.  We want kids everywhere to grow up with experiences to learn about the world, whether those experiences are found in books, at school, or just out in the world meeting all sorts of different people.

We know that you want that, too.

Did you know in many countries, children can not attend school simply because they don't have shoes?  Or, if shoes are not required for school, barefoot children have to walk miles to get to school and are prone to illness and injury that their families may not be able to afford to treat?

TOMS Shoes was founded on this premise:  
For every pair of TOMS purchased, a pair will be donated to a needy child.  A pair of shoes can make the difference in a child's life in a way that impacts all of that child's life and the lives of others.  It's a pretty awesome idea, if you think about it.

On April 5th, Little Shop, with our friends at Squash Blossom,  is participating in TOMS Shoes One Day Without Shoes to help raise awareness of efforts to meet this basic need for children in the world.  We'll be at the shop all day, barefoot and fancy free!  You are invited to attend our 11am storytime with Miss Krista sans shoes.  We'll be reading stories about doing good in the world and helping each other.  And, bring us your 10 (bare) toes, and we will give you 10% off your purchase that day.

Last week, we did a photo shoot to help promote our promotion of One Day Without Shoes.  We realized two things that day:  we love to get together just about all the time but especially for a great cause and we need to mop our floors before we invite you all in barefoot.  We hope to see you on the 5th, but please know that even if you don't come to the shop that day, you can still spend your own day without shoes and tell all of your co-workers and friends why you are doing so.  And, when you are ready to put your shoes back on, consider owning a pair of TOMS- Squash Blossom has them, or you can order them directly from TOMS!

It's simple, gang: healthy children build healthy communities.  And of course, healthy readers!!

Editor's Note:  That awesome picture you see of us above was taken by our friend, Amy Gibbons.  She's super talented- check her out!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chicago Is Neverwhere

Twice each year for the past 10 years Chicago had done a group book group where everyone in the city is asked to read the same title.  This is known as One Book, One Chicago.

Next is Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.  What a great selection!  For those of you who are willing to travel to see Neil Gaiman, and we know that a lot of you are (and we know that it's worth it), he'll be presenting at two events in Chicago next month.

There are lots of other events revolving around Neverwhere.  How cool is this!

From the Chicago Now website:

Upcoming Special Events Related to Neverwhere.

Neil Gaiman and author Audrey Niffenegger will participate in "A Conversation on Stage" at the Harold Washington Library Center's Cindy
Pritzker Auditorium.  Free event, April 12, 6p.m. 400 S. State St.

Gaiman will give a solo talk and reading from "Neverwhere" at the Rockerfeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago.  Free event, April 13, 7p.m. 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave.

A discussion of modern fairy tales between authors Lydia Millet (How the Dead Dream) and Kate Bernheimer (editor of My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales, to which Gaiman was a contributor) will take place at the Harold Washington Library on April 7. 

A full reading of Lifeline Theatre's stage adaptation of "Neverwhere" will be performed on April 11.

Physicist Lawrence Krauss will host an exploration of the possibility of "Parallel Universes" (such as London Above and London Below) on April 20 at the Harold Washington Library Center.

A Neverwhere-focused tour of Chicago's Pedway with guide Margaret Hicks, date/dates, TBA.

Courses and Contests. 
DePaul University is offering a variety of One Book, One Chicago related events, including a discussion of the rise of the graphic novel and a Neverwhere-themed art contest.

DePaul University's English Department is offering a ten-week course, "Literature and Social
Engagement - Chicago's One Book: Issues and Perspectives
," a course dedicated to the close study of the current One Book selection taught by Rebecca Johns Trissler.

Special Programs for Young Adults.
Chicago Public Library's YOUmedia will connect young adults with "Neverwhere", related books, technologies and cultural events through a series in interactive workshops.

For more information about One Book, One Chicago, please visit the website or call the Chicago Public Library Press Office at (312) 747-4050.

- Dave

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Book Review by Madison Castle!

Lark, by Tracey Porter, is a very exciting book. I can definitely see it relating to many girls stories and things that have happened to them or friends. It was telling how the closest friends to Lark had to come together and set her free. Set her spirit free. The author did such a great job on giving the perfect amount of detail and information about the murder of Lark. It was very unique how she gave 3 views of the event. It told Nyetta’s story, Eva’s story, and Lark’s description of the murder. It was almost as if Lark was describing everything in the past and the other girls in the future. It described how the event affected the girl’s, their families, and Lark’s family.

It was a very tragic event and had a lot of emotions to the book.
i liked this book!

By Madison Castle!

Lark will be available on May 24th.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Go Giovanni Go!

Giovanni Tortorici may only be 12 years of age, but he has talent AND taste.  Here's his “1,368 Frames of Decatur,” a film submitted to the Creative Loafing’s Short Cuts Film contest.

Recognition Where Recognition is More Than Due

Here's some significant local book news of note:
Laurel Snyder, who lives nearby and is a Little Shop regular, has been nominated for the prestigious E.B. White Read-Aloud Award for her newest chapter book, Penny Dreadful.  Laurel's newest picture book, Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to be Kosher, was a huge hit this past holiday season.  Bigger Than a Breadbox, her next book, is due out this September.

Nominated in the picture book category for an E.B. White Read-Aloud Award is Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes.  Pete was also a finalist for a Kiddo Award from James Patterson's Read Kiddo Read initiative.  The winner has yet to be announced, but we do know that Pete was at least a strong contender.  Author Eric Litwin and illustrator James Dean deserve all the great attention their book is getting.  Coming this July: Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes!

Philip Rafshoon, owner of Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse in midtown, is being recognized at Georgia Tech’s Founder’s Day on March 15th with the Alumni Legacy Award for 2011 by the Institute's Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.  This well deserved honor is going to Philip for creating one of the best gay and lesbian bookstores in the nation.

Finally, Doni Kay, who is our Penguin representative, has been named as a Publishers Weekly Book Rep of the Year finalist.  We at Little Shop have been fortunate to have publishers big and small send us knowledgeable and enthusiastic representatives.  Doni is certainly one of the best.  She has taken the time to get to know our bookstore and the type of customers we're lucky enough to serve.  We always look to her for recommendations.  She's always working hard to get great authors into our store.  The winner will be announced on April 25th.  Good luck, Doni!

The Secret Journeys of Jack London: My interview with Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon

Are you ready to take a journey into the wild?

Hi! If you know and love us here at Little Shop, then I'm excited to introduce you to two great authors and their fantastic new book. If, on the other hand, you're here on the Golden/Lebbon book tour, then welcome! Little Shop of Stories is an independent kidslit bookstore located in downtown Decatur, Ga, just next to downtown Atlanta. You can find out more about us here.

I am really lucky to be a contributing blogger for the guyslitwire blog, and sometimes an opportunity comes up there that I can't help but jump at. Getting an ARC of Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon's fantastic new book about Jack London fighting corrupt Yukon "stampeders"--you'll have to read the interview to find out what they are--and battling monsters of the far north was just such an opportunity. And I got to interview the authors to boot! Before we get to the interview, I just want to thank them both publicly, and invite you both to come visit the store next time you're in the Southeast! Also, I want to thank them for their patience with the interview process, and apologize up front for stupid or oddball questions.

1) All the separate elements in the novel, the “boys adventure” stuff, the history, the supernatural, and, of course, Jack London, come together really well. This is the kind of novel that, almost as soon as I heard the premise, I said, “Of course! That’s going to be awesome!” How did all these things come together for you guys? Was it the history? Jack London? Or something else?

CG: Thanks, Justin. One of the best things about collaborating with your friends is that, usually, in order to be friends you have to have some shared passions in the first place. For me and Tim, a number of those shared enthusiasms came together in a momentary spark of absurdity that turned into genius. The short version...we were out for drinks and Thai food and he mentioned he'd used vampire polar bears in his novelization of 30 Days of Night and I immediately said we had to come up with a full length novel along those lines and call it WHITE FANGS. I was joking, of course, but such jokes often lead out of the real of goofing-around and into something more serious. Within seconds, literally, we had the concepts fleshed out for THE SECRET JOURNEYS OF JACK LONDON as a trilogy of novels intertwining Jack London's real life adventures with his fictional themes and plots and with our love of the supernatural, all tied in to the legends and folklore of the different parts of the world--the Yukon particularly--where he had those adventures. The first book is THE WILD. The second, THE SEA WOLVES, will be out next year, and the third, WHITE FANGS, we're writing this spring and summer. I love the literary history and the American history involved in the story, as well as the folklore we're building into it.

TL: Thanks! That's pretty much what we thought as well, as Chris has so nicely illuminated above. It really was constructed so quickly after that throwaway remark, and I think it's the Jack London aspect that really drove that. We're both huge fans, and that meant that as soon as the idea began to gel we already had a good feeling about what these novels would be about, how they'd be constructed, and their tone. Adding the supernatural element seemed to be the real heart of the idea ... these are his secret journeys, trials that were so dreadful that he couldn't bear write about them. It was also the quickest novel sale, probably, in history. Within a minute of discussing it, a publisher at the table had offered us a quite reasonable deal. His partner later decided against it, but every cloud has a silver lining... HarperCollins have published one of the most beautiful looking books, and having Greg involved is wonderful. I couldn't imagine a better publisher to be with for these books, nor could I hope for a better editor in Jordan Brown.

2) How much were you drawn to or inspired by Jack London, both as an historical figure and an author? And did y’all read his books when you were young? I ask because the kinds of books he wrote aren’t much in fashion these days—hero versus nature, boys adventure material isn’t as big right now as much more social, magic kind of material.

CG: I grew up loving the work of Jack London and he's still my favorite "classic" writer. I read THE CALL OF THE WILD and THE SEA WOLF and others in school, and became fascinated by his work, particularly his stories of the Yukon. My father was in the Coast Guard during the Korean War and stationed on Kodiak Island in Alaska, and I've always wanted to travel there. I still hope to get there someday. Jack was not a perfect man. There are a lot of things about his mind set that I don't admire, but I certainly admire him as a writer, as a defender of the common man, and I admire him for his courage and his constant need to test himself against the wild places of the world. Maybe the best thing about THE SECRET JOURNEYS OF JACK LONDON is that it marries that social, magic, contemporary feel to the kind of wild adventure we don't get enough of anymore.

TL: I was a fan of Jack London's books as a child, but I didn't know so much about Jack London the man until we started researching these books. I loved adventure novels back then, and still do now, and I think introducing supernatural elements, while also trying to retain a realism about the time and location, makes for a compelling read.

3) Obviously you guys did lots of research on the history. How important is it that you “get it right?” Does it make the supernatural stuff more fun? Vice versa? Are there any problems with writing a supernatural story not only set in history, but starring someone who actually lived and is famous?

CG: It's everything. Whether you're basing your fiction on something historical or something entirely imagined, when you're working in the "real" world and then veering off into the supernatural, nothing matters more than making the real world feel genuine and tangible and relatable. In this case, that involved researching Jack's life and the Gold Rush and what it was really like in Dawson City and on the Yukon Trail during that period. There are things in the book that some people won't believe, but that ARE real. Jack lived an extraordinary life, so it wasn't that far a leap to make his adventures even more extraordinary.

TL: We did a ton of research, and that's part of the process I enjoyed the most. It's certainly no hardship re-reading a load of London books, and discovering stories and books I haven't read before. And researching the time period, and the Gold Rush, was fascinating. Such a brutal, incredible time, and those people would go through anything in the hope that they'd better their lives. And as Chris says above, we felt it was vital to ground the book as much as we could in the 'real' Gold Rush in order to make the supernatural elements effective. And especially because we use supernatural aspects of that particular region, I think it's worked incredibly well.

illustration from chapter 12
4) Y’all have written several books with each other, did that help with this book? Tim, you live in England—did it help to have an American co-writing this book with you? Maybe that’s a silly question, but Jack London is one of those authors, like L. Frank Baum or Edgar Allan Poe, whom I think of as somehow distinctly American. Or was it useful to you, Christopher, to have that “across the pond” perspective in this collaboration?

CG: For me, working on this with Tim was more about a shared love of Jack London and monsters, and a shared feeling that we haven't grown up yet, and don't intend to. Tim and I can both read about Jack London's real life and think of what he went through with a sense of wonder. That's what we shared with each other through this process and I think it's what makes the book work. We can both stand beside Jack at the bottom of the Chilkoot Trail or sit with him in a sinking boat going down the White Horse Rapids. We can imagine it the same way we hope our younger readers will, and that's a little piece of magic.

TL: I can't say it much better than that... I don't think me being British and Chris being American actually had much to do with the process. We researched heavily, and it was the passion we both shared about what we were doing that mattered––passion about London as a writer, the story we'd come up with, and our interest in the time period and setting. We both loved the whole idea of the Secret Journeys before we'd even put pen to paper. It was one of those stories that felt right, and getting it out there and sharing it with readers is just so exciting.

5) It’s easy enough to do the historical research from your homes, but how about the setting? Did you do any traveling to research the book? Have you ever been to the Yukon? And what’s more important, writing the “true nature” of the place, or writing the myth of the place—the legendary Yukon that we dream of when reading about the gold rush?

CG: I've never been there, but I truly hope to have the opportunity one day. As for truth vs. myth, it's my honest belief that in order for something like this to work, you have to have a little of both, and I think we captured that. But that'll be up to the readers to decide.

TL: I'd love to visit. Maybe when they're making the movie! And I think Chris is right, the mythologies we've used wouldn't work at all if they weren't rooted in the true feel of that place and era. The stampeders (as the prospectors were called) really were trailblazers, and it's such a time and place that births myths.

6) Not to give away too much, but I love your choice of supernatural beasties! They work perfectly for the setting and for the characters. You both have written other fantasy and horror books, especially ones like the Hellboy novels, that play in worlds teeming with supernatural creatures—how hard was it to get that “just right?” And, because this is the first book in a series, where do you go from here?

CG: Anybody can flip the pages of a bestiary and pick a monster. But the monster has to be fundamental to the story, has to really reflect the themes and elements of the tale. The trick is to write it in such a way that even if readers have run into versions of that monster before, it feels fresh and different to them...and hopefully, it'll scare them a little, too.

TL: As I mention above, the creature we used are integral to that region and time, and that's why I think they work so well. Jack London fighting zombies just wouldn't have meant anything. As for where we go from here .... that would be telling. But in books 2 and 3 (THE SEA WOLVES and WHITE FANGS respectively), we pay just as much attention to the level and suitability of the supernatural set against the reality of Jack London's secret journeys.

Many, many thanks to you guys, and I can't wait for the sequels, especially after having read this first one. I love how you play with both the actual history of Jack London and his "literary history," like basing the titles on his own book titles.

Anyway, all you Little Shop folk and kidlit lovers, check out this series. If you like adventure, if you like a dash of exciting history, if you like supernatural beasties, then you're in for a treat. And don't forget to check out the rest of the blog tour:

Monday, March 7th
Rebecca's Book Blog

Tuesday, March 8th
Martha Brockenbrough, author of Things That Make Us [Sic]

Download the electronic press kit for THE SECRET JOURNEYS OF JACK LONDON.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hey, check it out! We're on the blog tour for The Secret Journeys of Jack London: The Wild, by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon.

March is here, and we've got some great authors coming in this month, including one of my favorites, Alan Gratz. But some authors can't go on a brick and mortar tour, instead hitting the interwebs like frenzied lolcats. That's right, I'm talking a blogtour!

We're lucky enough to have Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon, two great fantasy and supernatural writers, visiting us for an interview on Friday. In the meantime, here's some info on the book and a bit about the tour, including links:

Are you ready to take a journey into the wild?

Bestselling authors Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon have teamed up to create THE SECRET JOURNEYS OF JACK LONDON. Jack certainly lived a wild life, which inspired Golden & Lebbon to create this new book series based on his real-life travels. They've taken his true stories and his fiction and mixed in urban legends and myths of the time. While THE SECRET JOURNEYS series is fiction, not biography, the books are extremely well-researched, and spooky elements add another level of intrigue to the richly detailed stories.

The first book, THE WILD, will be released on Tuesday, March 1st. When seventeen-year-old Jack London travels to Alaska to join the Klondike Gold Rush, the path he treads is not at all what he expected. Along the way, he encounters kidnappers, traders, traitors, and a mysterious wolf. Jack must face the wild head-on in order to survive.

The buzz for THE SECRET JOURNEYS OF JACK LONDON just keeps getting louder. 20th Century Fox has acquired the film rights to the series. Garth Nix, author of the Abhorsen Trilogy, declared: "A masterful mix of gold, cold, supernatural creatures, and dread magic makes this a great action adventure story." Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy, calls THE WILD "A great old-school adventure novel and the best use of the Wendigo legend I've ever read."

Authors Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon will launch a blog tour the day before the book's release, beginning at Bildungsroman on Monday, February 28th and traveling through the blogs of YA/kidlit bloggers who are also teachers, librarians, and/or adventurers through Tuesday, March 8th. Each tour stop will offer an exclusive piece of art from Greg Ruth, whose stunning illustrations give life to the characters, locations, and beasts throughout the book.

Here's the full schedule:

Monday, February 28th
Little Willow at Bildungsroman

Tuesday, March 1st
Kiba Rika (Kimberly Hirsh) of Lectitans

Wednesday, March 2nd
Kim Baccellia from Si, Se Puede! and Young Adults Book Central

Thursday, March 3rd
Melissa Walker, author of Small Town Sinners

Friday, March 4th
Justin from Little Shop of Stories

Monday, March 7th
Rebecca's Book Blog

Tuesday, March 8th
Martha Brockenbrough, author of Things That Make Us [Sic]

Download the electronic press kit for THE SECRET JOURNEYS OF JACK LONDON.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Book Review: An Accidental Adventure by C. Alexander London

 We LOVE when customers review books for us! Today I'd like to introduce you to our special guest reviewer, Sonia Karkare, age 9.

Review of An Accidental Adventure: We are not eaten by yaks by C. Alexander London (Penguin)

by Sonia Karkare, Age 9

The new book by C. Alexander London is called An Accidental Adventure: We are not eaten by yaks. This is a story about a set of very lazy twins named Oliver and Celia Navel. Oliver and Celia like to watch television all day, but too bad for them, their parents are Explorers. They all live at Number 7, East 74th Street, which is an Explorers’ Club. They live on the 4 ½ floor at the Explorers’ Club.

Their mother, Mrs. Navel, has been missing for quite a few years. She
disappeared while she was looking for the lost library to find the tablets which hold all the secrets of the world. The story gets exciting when Oliver and Celia’s father makes a bet with his mortal enemy to find the tablets and prove that they exist. If he loses this bet, Oliver and Celia will be enslaved every summer untilthey are eighteen. As the story develops, a mountain climber finds a note from
their mother that is in code. To find the tablets, the Navels will have to go on a
wacky airplane ride including getting pushed out of the plane. They then
encounter one obstacle after another such as an angry mother yeti and poison

Since this story does not have a very happy ending, it will be very
exciting to read the next book by C. Alexander London.
I liked this book because it is exciting and adventurous. I always found
myself wondering what would happen next and I could not put the book down.
The story showed me that C. Alexander London is very creative because the
obstacles the kids faced were very imaginative. I don’t think that too many
people spend much of their time worrying about being eaten by Yaks but this was
a concern for Oliver and Celia. Reading this book was way more fun than
watching television kind of like an adventure in my own bed!

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Thanks, Sonia!
If you're interested in hearing more about An Accidental Adventure, come on by the shop and get a copy for yourself!