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jenkinsvrhm   , 69

from West New York

Warp Your Kid's Mind With Some Great Sci-fi This Holiday Season

Warp Your Kid's Mind With Some Great Sci-Fi This Holiday Season by Jason Sheehan Want to warp your little robots? We've got some suggestions. Charles Taylor/iStockphoto Want to warp your little robots? We've got some suggestions. Charles Taylor/iStockphoto It worried me when my daughter didn't like Star Wars. Even though I told her there was a princess in it, she was wholly unimpressed and, from the start, a little bit creeped out by Darth Vader and all the stormtroopers. Granted, she was only 6 when I first tried to bring her into the fold of my obsession, but that was twice as old as I'd been when I'd first fallen hard for the original trilogy. It was... disconcerting. My son is easier. He likes anything with robots in it. Or giant monsters. Or spaceships. He has spent weeks now bothering friends and family about their possession of ladders, convinced that if he can borrow enough of them he can climb all the way to the moon. But this is not enough for me. I believe with my whole heart in the inoculation of children against dullness and prosaic thought by early and repeated exposure to weirdness and brilliant imaginations. I believe in the transformative effects of science fiction on young brains, and so I've begun assembling a list of books made for blowing minds and sparking a love of the grand, the sideways and the strange. This is only my list. It is by no means complete, but it's a start. And as always, your mileage may vary. Books To Be Read To (Or With) The Very Young If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty and Steven Kellogg. Less science fiction than science fact, this children's book lays out everything necessary for a young boy going to the moon. There's advice on what to pack (including peanut butter and a spacesuit), a description of blastoff and, most importantly, instructions on how to get home again. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This should be on everyone's bookshelf. It begins with drawings of boa constrictors and a plane crash in the desert, and then only gets odder as the pilot meets the Little Prince, who has fallen to Earth from a distant asteroid and begins to tell the story of his life in the confusing world of adults. There is something almost hallucinatory about the entire thing, from the first word to the last, and magic in almost every word. Boy and Bot by Ame Dyckman and Dan Yaccarino. This one has everything that young nerds like: robots, adventures, a mad scientist and a happy ending. It's about a boy who finds a robot in the forest and what happens when it is accidentally switched off. Even now, it makes me want to have a robot as a best friend. For The Young, Curious And Slightly Weird Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl. Dahl? He was bonkers, man. Totally. (He was also a British spy and fighter ace, but that's a story for another day.) If all you know of him is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory , that's a good start, but the Glass Elevator is pure sci-fi — with spaceships, alien invasions, an orbital hotel full of Vermicious Knids and more. If your kid has a lid, this'll flip it. More Great Reads The Ultimate Backseat Bookshelf: 100 Must-Reads For Kids 9-14 The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem. I have two reasons for including this on my list. The first is that it's a beautiful, brilliant, funny and bizarre book of short stories, mostly revolving around the adventures of gifted robot engineers, Trurl and Klapaucius, who can make almost anything (for a price). It's perfect for young makers, or any child with a love for language and antic strangeness. And the second reason? Because Lem was a genius and everyone should be reading him all the time, so why not start young? A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. A science fiction book with a girl protagonist, two scientist parents, immortal weirdos, discussions of quantum physics and non-Euclidean geometry, and adventures that have never been matched in any kid's book? This one messed me up for years (particularly the billion-year-old Mrs. Which, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Whatsit), and I am so happy it did. If the young mind you are trying to warp happens to reside in a girl's head, buy 10 copies of this right now. For a boy, buy only eight. 'Too Young' For This In addition to believing strongly in the tonic powers of great sci-fi, I am also foursquare in favor of introducing kids to books that they are way too young for. Mostly because the idea of being "too young for" any book is nonsense, and sometimes a book's greatest impact comes when the brain it's impacting is right on the edge of comprehension. So with that in mind: A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller ought to be given immediately to any child who looks at any piece of the past (like a washboard, a VCR or a rotary phone) and wonders what it was used for. The story of monks who, in the wake of a devastating nuclear war, preserve a past that they do not understand and attempt to shepherd mankind through a second Dark Age (with mixed success), it is one of the masterpieces of post-apocalyptic sci-fi. Logan's Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson should be the 12th birthday present for every child in America who shows even the slightest yen toward conformity. In Logan's world, everyone is executed on the day of their 21st birthday. Those who run are chased down and killed. The madness of rote obedience, police states and xenophobia has rarely been better handled — and the fact that the whole story plays out like one long chase scene doesn't hurt either. You should also check out your kid's school syllabus and make sure that he or she gets a well-loved copy of Ray Bradbury's story of rebellion and book-burning firemen, Fahrenheit 451 , before the day it becomes homework. Trust me — when the time comes, they'll get the irony. And finally, leaven all this seriousness and dystopia with a little Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , please. Arthur Dent truly knows where his towel is at, and he's one of literature's great Everyman heroes. The sooner your kids get to know him, the better off they'll be. Jason Sheehan is an ex-chef, a former restaurant critic and the current food editor of Philadelphia magazine. But when no one is looking, he spends his time writing books about spaceships, aliens, giant robots and ray guns. A Private Little War is his newest book.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.npr.org/2013/11/29/247550842/warp-your-kids-mind-with-some-great-sci-fi-this-holiday-season?ft=1&f=1032

Having It Both Ways: Romance Books 2013 - Publishers Weekly

Having It Both Ways: Romance Books 2013 Top Christian romance authors take both paths to publishing By Paige Crutcher | Nov 08, 2013 The path to publication is no longer a simple choice between traditional publishing and self-publishing. Many successful Christian romance authors (and others) are choosing a hybrid route, continuing to secure contracts from publishing houses and going through the standard process for some of their titles, while also independently publishing others. Melody Carlson has written in a variety of genres, including romance, and going “hybrid” was the logical next step to sell her out-of-print books. “My early novels that were contracted without electronic-rights clauses eventually went out of print, and publishing rights were returned to me. I sat on these titles for a number of years, but occasionally readers would inquire about unavailable titles. Re-releasing these novels as e-books to begin with and then print books later was a wonderful way to satisfy my readers, as well as bring in some additional royalty income.” Margaret Daley, who has had 85 romance novels traditionally published, says of her self-publishing efforts, “I love knowing exactly how many books I’m selling on any particular day. I love receiving money monthly, and I love the freedom I have with my self-published books.” She carefully picks the most popular books from her backlist to reissue. The Steve Laube Agency has a number of hybrid authors, and Laube advises authors who are thinking of self-publishing to find out what’s involved in the process before taking the plunge. “Like all authors wanting to go indie, they have to determine their competency in many areas, especially in marketing. Also, [authors who self-publish] must invest in editing and cover design, both of which should not be done off the bargain shelf. If the authors are entrepreneurial and there is a clear window of sales opportunity that does not bump against their traditional releases, then the strategies are in place.” Bestselling suspense author Brandilyn Collins recently joined 1Source for her first Seatbelt Suspense indie, Sidetracked. Says Collins, “Believers Press gives indie publishers who already have a readership the chance to join a press that does have the distribution. It will be interesting to see what kind of a difference that makes in paper sales.” Finance plays a major role in choosing to self-publish. Collins notes the two most rewarding aspects: “One: I am no longer selling my assets, I own them. Two: I am paid monthly and can track sales daily.” Bestselling Christian author Angela Hunt’s decision also was largely a matter of financial stability. “The publishing industry has tightened up in all areas, and I’ve found myself scrambling to pay the mortgage. I had a wealth of titles to which I owned the rights, so it seemed silly to let them sit and molder. I will still publish with traditional publishers because I can’t match their level of distribution—and they can pay an advance, which is a boon to any writer. But the ability to publish a book I feel strongly about within days instead of months is thrilling.” Pursuing both publishing routes becomes complex when contracts are involved. Literary agent Janet Kobobel Grant, who represents several bestselling Christian authors, asks, “If you produce the same types of books for both conventional publishing and self-publishing, what distinguishes one from the other? How do you steer clear of noncompete clauses in your traditional publishing contract?” She adds, “Those who do better with the hybrid model are authors who are willing to take seriously the role of being a publisher. They have a more entrepreneurial spirit and bring strong marketing abilities to bear on their careers. Unfortunately, this type of author is rare, which makes successful hybrid publishing unusual rather than the norm.” Still, the siren song of self-publishing can be so compelling that some established authors are switching business models completely. Award-winning and bestselling romance author Tamara Leigh has seen her readership and sales grow after transitioning to self-publishing. “Since my first self-published book went up on Amazon 20 months ago,” she says, “I’ve seen my sales rise with each successive release and my connection with readers grow. It’s been—and continues to be—a wonderful, hair-pulling, rewarding, frustrating, exciting, groan-worthy, profitable, budget-stretching experience.” Paige Crutcher is PW’s Southern Correspondent.

Beowulf... The Bear's Son - By Jon Christopher

Jon Christopher LOG LINE: Raised in the wild by a she-bear, a Viking boy acquires superhuman strength and becomes the greatest warrior of all time.   Based on the oldest extant poem in the English language, "Beowulf, the Bear's Son," is Epic Fantasy, a blood-soaked, adventure saga that recounts the legendary exploits of a Sixth-Century Viking warrior who, as a child, is raised by a she-bear until fate returns him to the world of men. What "Beowulf," the original poem leaves unanswered, "Beowulf, the Bear's Son," provides for, in this gripping, one-hundred-and sixty-page novella.  

2013 Rt Awards Nominees Celebration: Inspirational Romance

5911100735560272402.jpg/ Community / RT Daily Blog / 2013 RT Awards Nominees Celebration: Inspirational Romance 2013 RT Awards Nominees Celebration: Inspirational Romance BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 20, 2013 | PERMALINK Every year, the review staff at RT Book Reviews reads and rates more than three thousand books. And when each year draws to a close, we pick the best of the bunch for our readers to enjoy — the Reviewers’ Choice Awards. For the next few weeks, leading up to Thanksgiving, we’re going to be celebrating the nominations for many of these awards, across genres. We hope you’ll join us in congratulating all these wonderful authors, and, hey, if you find a great new book to read, all the better! Today, we'll be taking a look at the nominees for Inspirational Romance!   Murray Pura , Ashton Park What do you hope readers get from reading inspirational romances that they can’t get anywhere else? That both the world and our destinies are bigger than we know, that there are larger forces at work than just our own inclinations and decisions, that the drama of our lives and our loves is played out on a broader canvas than we could ever imagine, and that God is intimately involved in every part of what we experience here on earth. What’s your favorite line from Ashton Park? “It’s not my war, Mickey.” “Right enough it’s not, sir. Ireland will sort it out. But you’re not fighting Ireland, sir. You’re fighting a murderer.” Michael K. Reynolds , Flight of the Earls What do you hope readers get from reading inspirational romances that they can’t get anywhere else? Some people view inspirational romance to be filtered, watered down and restrained. But when properly penned, it’s a relational adventure at the deepest and most profound level. It reveals genuine intimacy and celebrates it in its most pure and powerful form.   What’s your favorite line from Flight of the Earls? “My sister,” Seamus said ashamed of his tears. “You see my father always said I was worthless. I spent my life proving him right. But my sister. She saw something in me I was never able to find.” Kathleen Y’Barbo , Millie’s Treasure What do you hope readers get from reading inspirational romances that they can’t get anywhere else? I want the reader to understand that no matter how far removed a situation might be from that hope, there is a path back.  What's your favorite line from your novel? “I am an inventor,” the Pinkerton agent said. “Finding my way into a third-floor room is not a difficult proposition." Joan Wolf , Daughter of Jerusalem What do you hope readers get from reading inspirational romances that they can’t get anywhere else? God forms the bedrock of the moral decisions made by characters in inspirational books. What a reader takes away from an inspirational romance is the sense that life is not random, that each of us is valuable, that the choices we make are important for our own moral well-being as well as for the well-being of others. What is your favorite line from Daughter of Jerusalem? My favorite line from Daughter of Jerusalem comes at the very end of the book, when the apostles are meeting to begin their ministry. First they must fill Judas’ spot as one of the Twelve, and Andrew proposes Mary. John disagrees, saying, “You stand alone, Mary of Magdala.  You were beloved of the Lord and your honor is your own, not to be shared with anyone else.” Lori Benton , Burning Sky What do you hope readers get from reading inspirational romances that they can’t get anywhere else? As a reader of inspirational romances, I am never so satisfied as when my spirit is encouraged and my faith affirmed by a character’s spiritual struggles and triumphs being lived out on the pages, while their emotional arc is capturing my heart, and a well-crafted plot is entertaining my mind.  What is your favorite line from Burning Sky? There’s a line in the last chapter that makes me teary to this day, but it contains too much by way of spoilers to share. My second favorite line is found on the first page of the book: “I am the place where two rivers meet, silted with upheaval and loss.” Beverly Lewis , The Secret Keeper What do you hope readers get from reading inspirational romances that they can’t get anywhere else? Readers will have a glimpse into the cloistered, exotic community of the Old Order Amish. I love not only cracking the door open on this amazing group, but of welcoming readers inside … to walk in bare feet, look, eat (vicariously) shoofly pie; in short, experience their daily work, their play and their faith from the ground up. What is your favorite line from The Secret Keeper? "It was as if the Amish world was a complicated tango, moving here and there in perfect rhythm, and she still didn't know the steps." Many congratulations to these authors and their books on their 2013 Inspirational Romance nominations, and check back tomorrow as we celebrate another set of award nominees. For the full list of 2013 award nominees, click here. Tags: RT Daily Blog, Inspirational
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.rtbookreviews.com/rt-daily-blog/2013-rt-awards-nominees-celebration-inspirational-romance

Reader Review: "the Girl Who Fell To Earth"

5950883612245689794.gifof 5 by Mal The Girl Who Fell to Earth The Girl Who Fell to Earth delves into cultural complexities in an honest manner in which others towing the fine line between two cultures can relate and understand. A great coming of age story all will enjoy, especially those dealing with disparity in ethnicity. Al-Maria expresses empathy and warmth to her family and her multi-cultural background. As a woman of two different cultures I found this book very appealing and sentiments relatable. I have always embraced my 'uniqueness' and have squelched those that attempted to make me feel differently. Great read and informative as well, nice to read a book that doesn't paint middle eastern culture in a suffocating negative light.   1
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.bookbrowse.com/reader_reviews/index.cfm/book_number/2836/the-girl-who-fell-to-earth