Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Lull

We are in full summer lag here at our house. In the ultra hot mid-day you'll find us all inside reading, playing games, and just hanging out.  It's how summer should be.

There's less than one month before school starts and 2 weeks until the 8 year old becomes 9.  As summer '12 slips by I am happy to have days where we slow down and enjoy it.*

Here are my recent reads.

Drowned Cities - Finally finished this. I started before our vacation and had to turn it back in before we left. The story, while excellent, embraced so much sadness that it was almost a chore to read. I would see the book on the table and pass it by for later. What more could happen to Mahlia? Some pages I just didn't want to know. Tool also came off as too perfect. Yes, the ending amazed me and yes, I'll be waiting for book 3 where I will hope and pray that something decent happens to Mahlia or anyone. For once.

The Year of the Beasts - I'm not with Patti in the Printz Camp, but it is a unique and compelling read that I hope gets all kinds of attention. The graphic novel/text back and forth worked very well as did the mythology storyline. Cecil Castellucci always delivers wonderful storytelling.

Bon Appetit!: The Delicious Life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland - Oh I liked this. Almost a graphic novel biography and it reminded me of Maira Kalman. I'm not sure the 2 page spread for galantine will resonate with young readers, but I do plan on making crêpes with my boys just like we made waffles for Everything On a Waffle earlier this year.

The Great Molasses Flood: Boston, 1919 by Deborah Kops - Molasses? The stuff used to make cookies?  Yes. Two million gallons of molasses unleashed on a neighborhood leaving utter devastation in its wake. Molasses was used to make rum and in the winter of 1919 alcohol suppliers were trying to make as much as they could before prohibition. Also, because of poor inspection standards so many buildings and structures collapsed or were destroyed in the molasses flood. Really rather interesting. Plus, the lawyers for the molasses company tried to pin the disaster on a little girl (who died in the event) who could have been a terrorist bomber for the Italian anarchists. Really! The book highlights other historical events like immigration, anarchists, and women's suffrage.

Currently reading: Home by Toni Morrison. And loving it. And it's only 144 pages! Genius.

*and then I have the Olympics! I love the Olympics. And this Voldemort vs. Poppinses business just increases my adoration. Please let it be true. Perhaps throw in a Tardis? Or Hobbitses?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol

My reader and Facebook list multiple postings about the passing of Donald J. Sobol, creator of the Encyclopedia Brown mysteries for kids. I read these as a kid and my son enjoys them as well. We took off on a 2.5 week cross-country family vacation last month and one of the books on CD my son picked out was a collection of Encyclopedia Brown mysteries. (the Cracks the Case pictured)

They were so. much. fun.

The stories pause at the end where you, the reader, are asked what you think happened. We all took turns guessing and some of them were not that straight forward.

It made for a fun day, driving through Kansas and solving mysteries with my son. Thanks, Mr. Sobol.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Movie Review: Moonrise Kingdom

I saw Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" on Thursday and fell in love. It wasn't too difficult as I am already a huge fan of his movies, but this one hit me square in the glittery pink YA book nerd part of my heart.

One of the main characters is a 12 year old girl named Suzy who is a reader (and school library thief!) of YA sci-fi/fantasy. The books are all made up for the movie and we get to see their covers and hear a few passages. Brilliant. Absolutely delightful. I didn't read reviews of the movie before seeing it because I didn't want to be spoiled and I had no idea this was part of the story.

Last week That Blog Belongs to Emily Brown! published a post about the movie and the books Suzy may have read in 1965. Please go check it out and then run out to the theater and go see the movie.

Also, Kara Hayward, the actress who plays Suzy, looks like the daughter of Kristen Stewart and Emma Watson. I mean this as a compliment. I couldn't stop thinking about it while watching her on screen.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

First of all, this is Oops post 666. On Friday the 13th! Muahahahahahhaaaa!

On to the review.

Lunch Lady! How do I love thee! The 8 year old in my house is a big fan so I asked him to do this review. I gave him a short list of questions.

#1 What is your favorite part?
A: The Mutants! [of course it was]

#2 Of all the Lunch Lady books you have read, which is your favorite?
A: The Author Visit Vendetta because it has a lot of trap doors and stuff.

#3 How would you describe this book to a friend?
A: Cool and Creepy

#4 Come up with your own title for a future Lunch Lady school case.
A: Lunch Lady and the Thompson-Brook Takedown [T-B is the name of the school in the book.]

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

100 Best Blogs for School Librarians

A lovely little email came to me this week noting that Oops is included in the 100 Best Blogs for School Librarians. Aw, shucks. We're number 66. Okay, so 100 blogs is a lot of blogs, but I'll take it.