Category Archives: Recommendations

Lists, Lists, Lists, and More Lists……

Association for Library Service to Children’s Notable Books of 2011
Amazon’s Best Teen Books

Amazon’s Best Children’s Picture Books of 2011 
Brain Pickings’ Best Children’s Books of 2011
Common Sense Media’s Kids Book Picks 
Horn Book’s Best Books of 2011
Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Fiction of 2011
Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Books of 2011
NY Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2011 
NY Times Notable Children’s Books of 2011
Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Fiction of 2011 
Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Nonfiction of 2011 
San Francisco Chronicle’s Best Children’s Books
Spellbinders’ Best Picture Books of 2011
Wall St Journal’s Best Children’s Books of 2011

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Listen to me right now!

All I want for christmas is my two front teeth and these urbanears…

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Best YA Books You Probably Haven’t Read

RUBY HOLLER by Sharon Creech

THE HOUSE OF MANY WAYS by Diana Wynn Jones

THE MAGIC PUDDING by Norman Lindsey


MORTAL ENGINES by Phillip Reeves



* Check back on this one as I will be updating the list as I remember them. 

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Nightmare and the Cat!

Talented YA’s…

Though a note to the boys on the band, your lovely co-singer is super talented and your sound is special because all three harmonize beautifully. Don’t forget to include her beautiful face (which is covered in the cat mask below)! She is your equal on stage and should be presented as such on the Website and in Press.

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Emma Stone is the Bomb

“ZOMBIELAND” – awesome. “EASY A” – completely charming!

Yes you guessed it – “BREAKFAST CLUB” is like the best movie ever. No really it’s in my top ten all time! Channeling my inner teen here, as much I thoroughly enjoyed “EASY A” and I think it’s the best-written teen movie I’ve seen in ten years at

least…that I can currently think of…nothing, I repeat nothing comes close to John Hughes’ masterpiece(s). Will Gluck, “EASY A’s” Director and Writer, Bert V. Royal, charmingly acknowledges their BC reverence with several references to the club. Nothing comes close to BC, there’s been no AD yet…

Why is that? The answer is what’s missing…which is perhaps a sign of the times that even comes up in “EASY A”. Prudes!!!!

Didn’t see that coming right!?!

Actually, it’s humiliation. Another word could be also vulnerability but let’s go with humiliation.

High school is all about humiliation and Hughes got that. Especially in BC where humiliation is raw and palpable. And it comes in the form of emotional humiliation, physical humiliation – even intellectual humiliation. It’s humiliating being a teenager with a growing awareness of life’s hardships, of being dictated to, constantly shepherded. Hughes best characters have artfully hidden their feelings of humiliation prior to the opening scene then Hughes slowly reveals them: Bender reveals a violence home life, Alison’s humiliation of being literally invisible, Brian’s humiliation at his father’s high expectations etc. It’s a confronting and recurrent theme that we all understand as teenagers. Hell everyone feels powerless at some point in their life.

Maybe things won’t turn out so good. Hughes provides a lifelike sense of the fleeting moments of life playing out like a movie. We all have moments when we are Ferris on that float singing danke shoene. But there are more moments when we turn out like Carl.

Gluck and Royal’s “EASY A” gives us a happy ending so required in today’s teen fodder…but also explained something about BC that I hadn’t seen before – that Bender’s hand in the air is his moment on the float – that one time in his life he gets the rich, beautiful girl…lovely! Both EASY A and BREAKFAST CLUB are worth revisiting.

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