That's my J-scribble and the Hanklerfish in my signed copy of The Fault in our Stars, John Green's newest YA novel. Here's a great video from John and Hank explaining what a Hanklerfish is; if you haven't been converted to Nerdfighteria yet, you really are missing out.
Maggie Stiefvater wrote an interesting post commenting on the recent situation at Goodreads involving bloggers who review books and authors who apparently don't care for some of the reviews being written. I missed all the drama -- and I'm glad I did, because it doesn't sound like something in which I'd like to be involved. I've toyed with the idea of becoming more serious about reviewing books; since I'm working on my LMS (Library Media Science) certification, it's likely that books reviews will have a very real place in my future work. But I don't consider the short blurbs that I post here and on Goodreads to be "reviews." Usually what I'm posting is the same thing I'd tell my friends or students about a book -- it's my own personal reaction. I don't think that I've ever been exceedingly harsh about a book, even though there've been some (and quite recently too) that I just could not recommend for any reason to any reader. I don't consider Goodreads to be a location for "official" reviews either, not like the New York Times Book Review would be -- but then again, perhaps authors and publishers and agents are looking at sites like Goodreads from a much different perspective. What about you -- what's your opinion on the reviews at Goodreads, the reviews you post on the site (if you do), and book reviews in general?
Cami just finished reading Tuck Everlasting at school, and she loved it. I'm so glad she did -- I enjoyed talking to her each day about what had happened in the chapters they'd read that day. Cami has always been more of a reluctant reader; she is a good reader (after getting off to a rocky start), but reading is not her first choice when it comes to choosing a "spare time" activity. She enjoys reading while she's actually doing it, but picking up a book is not what she does when she has time to herself -- instead, she's playing with her rats, or her Barbies, or building things from all the bits & pieces she scavenges from our garbage cans (ha!) She's also not as interested in the types of books that Cass and I have always liked to read; Cami prefers "girlier" books, if that makes sense, like Madonna's English Roses series or the Ivy+Bean books. That's why I get excited when she really enjoys one of my childhood favorites like Tuck Everlasting. (We also had good luck with Because of Winn-Dixie.) I'm still holding out hope for The Penderwicks -- I do believe she would love them if she ever got started on them.
Speaking of Maggie Stiefvater, she did an amazing post a while back, showing what her revision process looks like. It's an amazing peek inside her writing process, whether you are a writer or a reader. She indicated on Twitter the other day that she would be sharing similar information from other writers soon, so if you are interested, you'll want to keep an eye out on her blog.
Right now, Amazon has a lot of e-books at really good prices. There are a number of juvenile fiction books available that I highly recommend, including most of Kate DiCamillo's work (all priced at $5.24 or less) and a great series by Chris D'Lacey called The Last Dragon Chronicles. Amazon's 100 e-books under $3.99 is a great place to begin searching for more books to add to your collection, if you're interested.