January 31, 2012

Scholarship and Book Auctions

Lauren of Shooting Stars Mag is awarding a LGBT/Ally scholarship. You can apply here through March 1st.

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To support the scholarship, she's hosting a series of auctions here. Half the current auctions end tomorrow; half on Friday. The lots available include a set of six Julie Anne Peters novels, current going for $12.

January 30, 2012

Review: Prom & Prejudice

By Elizabeth Eulberg
Available now from Scholastic Point
Review Copy

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Now available in paperback, PROM & PREJUDICE is a cute, clever update of Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Elizabeth "Lizzie" Bennet is a scholarship student at Longbourn Academy who has a disastrous first meeting with her best friend's boyfriend's best friend Will Darcy at a joint-school dance. Elizabeth Eulberg's second novel follows the original closely, but makes several wise changes. For instance, Mrs. Bennet is no longer an embarrassing matchmaking mama, but a hard-worker who made sure her daughter's talent was nurtured.

Perhaps the greatest change is that Lizzie is now a talent piano player. The musical element gives PROM & PREJUDICE its own heart. I spent my teen years in Fort Worth, home of the Cliburn. Reading the reportage in the Life & Arts section of the newspaper gave me an appreciation for piano writing.

Wisely, Eulberg does not attempt to go full vernacular. Even more wisely, she does not attempt to copy Austen's. Darcy and Colin speak the most formally, but Eulberg has enough control of the language to differentiate between Colin's pompousness and Darcy's awkwardness.

PROM & PREJUDICE won't disappoint Austen fans and will also appeal to those who find Austen too musty. (It is an unfortunate truth that that second group exists.) It won't eclipse the original, but Eulberg injects enough personality to allow PROM & PREJUDICE to stand on its own.

January 29, 2012

Welcome Back, Kotter

It's been a strange few months guys. I'm sorry I haven't been around here - but that doesn't mean I haven't been reading.

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First, you have to hear this NPR interview with Newbery Award Winner Jack Gantos. I read the Joey Pigza books in elementary and loved them. And even if the winning novel DEAD IN NORVELT doesn't appeal to you, you can probably appreciate an interview about how Gantos went from smuggling drugs to writing children's books. If you aren't familiar with the game show Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, then this is also a great introduction. (You might also want to read Wait Wait Don't Eat Me.)

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Next, I highly recommend today's Kindle Deal of the Day. BLACK LIKE ME was assigned reading that I actually enjoyed.

I'm pretty sure I've posted about this before, but if you create a Bookprint on Scholastic's YouAreWhatYouRead.com, Scholastic Book Clubs will donate a book to a child in need through Reach Out and Read.

ETA 4/29/12: Reach Out and Read has a three-star rating from Charity Navigator.


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