Category Archives: Book-Related Stuff

Adventure, Fantasy & Jim Dale = The Emerald Atlas

 

I love listening to audiobooks (as you may have discovered from a previous post, Listening to Words). When I found out that Jim Dale, the reader for the Harry Potter audio series, narrated a new book called The Emerald Atlas, by John Stephens, I practically squealed with excitement. I had heard great things about The Emerald Atlas (especially from Erin at Random Acts of Reading). I was excited to read the book, but learning of the audiobook I became even more excited. I was not disappointed.

The Emerald Atlas is delightful. Maybe delightful is not quite the right adjective. “Delightful” makes it sound unassuming and “nice.” The Emerald Atlas is exciting, intriguing and wonderfully written.

The Emerald Atlas is about three precocious siblings who are whisked away from their parents at a very young age to protect them from a merciless evil. Kate, the oldest, is the only one to remember their parents. Michael, the middle, is quite nerdy and loves everything that has to do with dwarves. Emma, the youngest, will be the first to bully her brother and the last–if anyone else tries to bully him then they will have to talk to her fists. The three kids are passed from orphanage to orphanage until finally landing in a mysterious town called Cambridge Falls. There they find an enchanted book, a kind of emerald atlas. This book transports them to a past time in Cambridge Falls where they must defeat a wicked Countess. The world of The Emerald Atlas involves dwarves, giants, wizards, and witches. It is a great fantasy book and if you have enjoyed the Harry Potter books then you must pick this one up. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Non and I had the privilege of meeting John Stephens at The Why Chromosome Event, hosted by Bridge to Books. Stephens was delightful; and this time “delightful” is exactly the right adjective. I told him that the audiobook is fantastic (as if he needed my validation). We spoke briefly about how amazing Jim Dale is as a reader. Stephens described a dinner outing with Jim Dale in which Dale would order food using various Harry Potter character voices. I only wish I could hear Dolores Umbridge order a burger with fries (I’m sure this is not what Jim Dale ordered).

Age Group: 9 and up
Genre: Middle Grade Books / Fantasy
Themes: Family, Siblings, Time, Magic, Dwarves
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, imprint of Random House

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Side note: Audiobooks in general are amazing. If you haven’t tried listening to one then get some recommendations from friends or myself so that you start the experience out right. There have been times when a reader has not captured the world or voices correctly (or at least in my opinion). Neil Gaiman has started an amazing audiobook production called Neil Gaiman Presents, which can be downloaded/purchased from Audible.com.  He matches readers with books and understands the importance of a well-read audiobook. See a review of one of the adult titles, The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel (from Bookriot.com).

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Another side note:

Don’t forget about the Giveaway Schmiveaway! Win a signed Andrew Smith book! The giveaway ends December 10th at midnight, PST.

   

Enter to win by subscribing to Read Schmead and by posting comments. Every current and new subscriber is entered into the contest automatically. If you happen to leave comments on posts then those will count as additional entries. Winners will be picked randomly.

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Read to Your Bunny

In Rosemary Wells’ book Read to Your Bunny, she explains the importance of reading to the little ones in our lives.  She says:

ALL OF US love our children more than anything in the world. In their first years we feed them so they grow. We bring them to the doctor so they are healthy. We strap them in car seats so they are safe.

But the most important thing in the first years of life is the growth of the mind and spirit. This is when a child learns to love and trust, to speak and listen.

After a child turns two years old, these things are very difficult to learn or teach ever again. Trusting, singing, laughing, and language are the most important things in a young child’s life.

And so they must come first for mothers and fathers, too, because we can never have those years over again.

Every day, make a quiet, restful place for twenty minutes. Put your child in your lap and read a book aloud. In the pages of the book you will find a tiny vacation of privacy and intense love. It costs nothing but twenty minutes and a library card.

Reading to your little one is just like putting gold coins in the bank. It will pay you back tenfold. Your daughter will learn, and imagine, and be strong in herself. Your son will thrive, and give your love back forever.

I love this.  Occasionally a parent or both parents will come into the bookstore and ask what they should read to their one year old. I say every story you can get your hands on. Short stories, long stories, medium size stories. Read them all to that little one year old.  I also feel that parents should not stop reading aloud, even when the child becomes a teenager. Reading aloud can be a wonderful bond (see The Reading Promise).

For more information about literacy and this passage visit Rosemary Wells website.

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The Winner of the Jeffers’ Book is . . .

JoLiao!  The winner is a subscriber and was chosen using Randomizer.org.  If you could email me your physical address (to readschmead @ yahoo dot com) I will gladly mail you the signed copy of The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers!!!  Congrats and thank you so much to all that have subscribed and made comments!  Keep checking back because I will continue to giveaway some pretty awesome books or book-related stuff.

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Hunger Games Trailer

I kind of love the trailer.  All right, I don’t kind of, I really do.  I am not skeptical about this movie.  I am very hopeful and I can’t wait to see it.  If I am disappointed when I actually get to see it then c’est la vie.  For now I am going to be super excited :

See the Hunger Games Trailer

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The Why Chromosome and Books

Post by Non T. Wels

I, along with Jessica of Read Schmead, went to the ‘Why Chromosome’ event that was held at Mrs. Nelson’s Toy & Bookshop and put together by Bridge to Books, a cool non-profit organization run by Alethea, whose blog is Read Now Sleep Later, and Alyson, whose blog is Kid Lit Frenzy. The event (full title: The Why Chromosome: Why Boys Do Love Books) was delightful. Despite my meager standing amongst the crowd of prolific bloggers and literacy heroines, I felt right at home, welcome, part of the troupe. I mean, I am a simple bibliophile. I don’t manage a book-related blog, like this one or like the blogs from Tessa or Kristen (although I do occasionally contribute to Read Schmead). I don’t teach kids the wonders of reading books, like Alyson and others. And I don’t write books, like the group of “boys” who spoke at the event.

These boys, or authors, were Jonathan Auxier (Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes), John Stephens (The Emerald Atlas), G. Neri (Ghetto Cowboy), Greg Van Eekhout (Kid vs. Squid and The Boy at the End of the World), Allen Zadoff (Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have) and Andrew Smith (Stick); all of which seemed to be just as gleeful about this event as us book bloggers, educators and, to be inclusive of my own standing, simple book junkies.

The impetus for the event was—and is—the culture of reading as it pertains to young boys. And the intent of the event itself was to be a rousing defense of boys and their evident (to us) love of reading. It was decidedly successful. Boys do love to read. They do. The hole in my blanket from the lamp I pulled under there to finish those last few chapters of the Choose Your Own Adventure series is a testament to that.

Here is a great group shot of the authors with some of us bibliophiles - Photo Courtesy of From The Bookshelf of TB, http://www.ftbotbblog.blogspot.com

Here’s some video from the event:

Jessica cut off the beginning of this next video.  The question was asked, “What kind of literary character do you most associate with?”

For more information on boys and their love for reading (as a pairing; she doesn’t blog necessarily about boys solely. That would be weird) take a gander at Kristen Pelfrey’s blog Kristen Pelfrey Writes. She does it right.

And, of course, the authors are doing it right. Support them by reading their blogs, commenting, and buying their books! Jonathan Auxier
John Stephens
G. Neri
Greg Van Eekhout
Allen Zadoff
Andrew Smith

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Don’t forget about the Giveaway Schmiveaway –  SIGNED copy of Oliver Jeffers’ book, The Way Back Home!!!

Enter to win by subscribing to Read Schmead and by posting comments. Every current and new subscriber is entered into the contest automatically. If you happen to leave comments on posts then those will count as additional entries. Winners will be picked randomly.

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Filed under Book-Related Stuff, Events, Nōn Talbot Wels

Silly Rabbit Kids Books are for Adults Too, You Know

I received this photo from the amazing Penguin Rep., Nicole.  It is very true.

Not Just For Kids

Don’t forget about the Giveaway Schmiveaway –  SIGNED copy of Oliver Jeffers’ book, The Way Back Home!!!

Enter to win by subscribing to Read Schmead and by posting comments. Every current and new subscriber is entered into the contest automatically. If you happen to leave comments on posts then those will count as additional entries. Winners will be picked randomly.

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A Few More Days to Win Brian Selznick Signed HUGO Poster!

Don’t forget to comment and/or follow for a chance to win a signed copy of the poster for the film adaptation of Brian Selznick’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret. The movie is coming out November 23rd and is directed by Martin Scorsese. If you have not read Hugo, you should. It’s quite wonderful. An illustrator first, Selznick brings to life such a magical, adventurous story with compelling and heartfelt artwork. It’s a great story both kids and adults can love.  Contest ends Monday at midnight (PST).

Also, don’t forget to pick up a copy of Brian Selznick’s new book Wonderstruck. I recently read this, and enjoyed it thoroughly! Review forthcoming.

Happy reading.

Jessica

Follow me on Twitter! @ReadSchmead

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