( pic spam )
My copy of Claverhouse, by Gordon Daviot, finally came! It took two months and four days to arrive. This verifies my theory that the postal services of multiple countries hate me. The book isn't in great shape, but it's fine. It has a musty, used bookstore smell to it, which I like in musty, used bookstores. Not so much in the kitchen when I'm eating my lunch. But so far I'm enjoying the story very much.
I was able to place a good-sized book order recently and got all the lovely new fiction books ready to go. On Friday, a 7th grade class came in and sat in a circle. I gave each of them one of the new books. I had them talk about how they evaluate a book and what criteria they use to determine whether a book might be the right one for them. They came up with good answers--the cover, blurbs on the flyleaf and back, whether the author is one they're familiar with, whether the book is in a series they've read, the genre, how hard or easy the vocab seems, etc. All the same things adults do without thinking much about it.
Analysis and evaluation is an important skill at this age. It plays a much bigger part of their writing assignments and, in a lot of cases, thinking about it as a skill we all do is new to them. You'd be surprised how students's thinking changes about this age (12). Some of the 11-year-olds cannot understand that the hardback and pb of the same book (with different covers) are the same. I tell them that every word inside is the same, but they're just not buying it. It's weird how concretely some of them still think. At 12, on average, they become capable of doing a whole lot more.
ANYWAY, as jade would say, I told them they had 30 seconds to look at the book they were holding. At 30 seconds I said, "Switch" and they passed the book to the left. We continued switching books for 15 minutes until they'd looked at 30 books, then they got a chance to check out the ones they liked. It was pretty cool. You could have heard a pin drop while they were looking at the books. They seemed to really enjoy it. I wish they could have had longer than 30 seconds per book but we just didn't have any more time than that.
Ah, new books. How I love you.
- Thanksgiving was lovely. All the food turned out well, and was done at the same time. Yay. The rolls were to die for.
- Although I lost at Scrabble, like always, I didn't disgrace myself. And I redeemed myself a little by not sucking at Trivial Pursuit.
- I got some good bargains on Black Friday.
- A purchase on Ebay is going to make someone extremely happy at Christmas.
- I spent most of the day Saturday combing used bookstores in town, hunting for books for my library. I don't like having to do this on my own time, but I love the used bookstores, so it was ok. I also don't like buying used books for the library--it doesn't do authors, publishing companies, libraries or the students any favors--but with with such a tiny budget this year, I feel like I have no choice.
- It was wonderful having five days off work and spending the time with family.
- Today was so warm that you could go outside in short sleeves.
- Ozzie loves his new flippy cat toy. He's been dashing around like a kitten.
- The movie The Taking of Pelham 123 was actually pretty good.
- I bought a big, red Purse of Awesome.
(Arrived at random Christmas Tree lot)
Dave: Hi! Merry Christmas! (motions us over to a table and begins to put cups and ingredients together.) Welcome! Let me tell you about my business! I started selling trees 8 years ago. I didn't know what I was doing! I had no business plan! Well, one day I was drinking hot chocolate and a customer came to get a tree and said, "Gee, Dave, I sure wish *I* had some hot chocolate." So I said, "Hang on a minute; I'll go make you some." So I did. They liked it and now I make hot chocolate for all my customers. Here, have some!
Me: (Takes hot chocolate.)
Dave: Look around. Let me know when you find a tree you like!
So, Mr. checkers and I walked around, scoping out the trees and drinking Dave's hot chocolate. I was looking cute in my bright red scarf, and OMG THIS IS THE BEST HOT CHOCOLATE EVER. We found a tree we liked.
Me: (points to a tree) We like this one, Dave.
Dave: Great! Let my hunky young minion get that for you.
One of Dave's hunky young minions came over and hoisted the tree on his shoulder. He took it over to his station where he started up his chain saw to cut a little off the trunk.
Dave: You can go inside and pay my mother.
Me: (eyes glued to hunky minion) Um, go ahead. (motions to Mr. checkers)
Hunky Minion: (saws tree, shakes loose needles off, and prepares to bind it lovingly into a netting)
Mr. checkers: Dave's mom says she wants to take our picture.
Me: Huh? A picture?
Mr. checkers: A picture with our tree. For their photo album.
So, Dave's mom, who was dressed like MRS. CLAUS, snapped our picture with the tree. For their PHOTO ALBUM.
Hunky Minion: Allow me to tie this lovely tree to your car.
Mr. checkers: Here, let me give you $5 for your efforts, since my wife has enjoyed watching you so much.
Dave: Stop by anytime! I'll make more hot chocolate!
Me: We love you, Dave! I promise I'll never buy a tree from anyone else!
We now have the bestest tree in the world.
Isn't that lovely? That's how it is outside, today. Spring.
(from The Sorceress and the Cygnet)
Some of the ideas made me cringe a little, but hey, if faith can't stand up to some poking and you never examine it carefully, then what good is it?
I've also been reading Some of the Kinder Planets by Tim Wynne-Jones, which I borrowed from the mwt library. It's out of print, but he's written lots of other books, including the Rex Zero ones, and A Thief in the House of Memory and The Boy in the Burning House, both of which I've heard good things about. Can he possibly be related to Diana Wynne Jones, only with an extraneous hyphen? Anyway, the short stories are so good that they make even a non-writer like me think of writing. He makes it seem that effortless, taking ordinary situations and making them extraordinary.
Edit: Some of the Kinder Planets does not seem to be out of print, according to Amazon.
Have I mentioned that I am a champagne junkie? A champagne ho? I love love love the stuff. A surprise bottle of it showed up in the refrigerator. Woot!
Guess what was waiting for me at work? A box of books fromsdn !
Here's what she sent me:
Tam Lin - Dean
Foundling - Cornish
Truth Teller’s tale - Shinn
I am Mordred - Springer
The Son of Summer Stars - Pierce
Enchantress from the stars - Engdahl
Journey between worlds - Engdahl
The blue mirror - Koja
Tersias the oracle - Taylor
Anatopsis - Abouzeid
Moon-Flash - Mckillip
Mariel of redwall - Jacques
Wolf Tower - Lee
The dragon hoard - Lee
Intersteller Pig - Sleator
The tough guide to fantasyland - DWJ
The riddle of the wren - de Lint
The secret country - Dean
The Faery Reel edited by Datlow, Windling
Piratical II - Lee
I suppose I'll really have to get off my lazy ass, now, and start that Fantasy Book Club I've been talking about.
|What Be Your Nerd Type? |
Your Result: Literature Nerd
Does sitting by a nice cozy fire, with a cup of hot tea/chocolate, and a book you can read for hours even when your eyes grow red and dry and you look sort of scary sitting there with your insomniac appearance? Then you fit this category perfectly! You love the power of the written word and it's eloquence; and you may like to read/write poetry or novels. You contribute to the smart people of today's society, however you can probably be overly-critical of works. It's okay. I understand.
|What Be Your Nerd Type?|
Quizzes for MySpace
Two more weeks, then back to work.
A continuation from the previous post. The YALSA YA Breakfast and the Newbery/Caldecott Banquet.
Oh, and the dessert was awesome. Then I went back to my hotel room and hacked into an unsecured wireless network. Take that, Hilton!
Next post: The highlight of the conference, the Printz Reception.
Tomorrow I'll continue with tall tales of the YA Author Breakfast, the Newbery Banquet and the Printz Reception.