Saturday, February 14, 2009

I must have this book

I need, need, need to read this book.

Tales for Little Rebels: a Collection of Radical Children's Literature by Julia Mickenberg and Philip Nel. I just read Betsy Bird's review on GoodReads and this has jumped to the top of my "must read" list. Just look at the section topics:

"R is for Rebel, Subversive Science and the Dramas of Ecology, Work Workers and Money, Organize, Imagine, History and Heroes, A Person's a Person, and Peace."

R is for Rebel - that sounds to me like a kids' t-shirt that is just screaming to be made.

What do you mean that wasn't Nellie's real hair?!

One thing you should know about me is that I LOVED the Little House on the Prairie series of books as a kid. I also loved the tv show (not having yet come into that purist tendency mentioned in my previous post). I used to secretly think that my mom had named me after Laura Ingalls Wilder (my name being Laura and all). But, she didn't.

Anyway, one of my favorite sites,, recently ran a little trivia post on the Little House tv series. My favorite tidbits were that those cute curls on evil Nellie were a wig, and that the woman who played Ma got so tired of "wrapping her hair into a bun and being subservient to Charles" that she co-wrote and starred in a gritty TV movie called Battered that dealt with domestic violence. Plus, the actress that played good girl Mary went on to star in a TV movie where she played a suburban gang-banger. Classic!

These tabs are mocking me.

A couple of quick tabs to close here, and I'll hopefully get some reviews up later today as well.

First up, the 2009 Cybils awards have been announced! Hooray for The Graveyard Book and The Hunger Games! I keep meaning to read Rapunzel's Revenge and The London Eye Mystery as well - maybe this will motivate me to actually go get them off of the shelf and add them to my stack of stuff waiting to be read.

Next, some not so good news, at least to me. I've been called a purist when it comes to movie adaptations of my favorite books. There are certain movies that I've stayed away from because I love the books so much (see: The Golden Compass). So, when I saw that there are plans to make a movie out of Beezus and Ramona my heart sunk. I love Ramona to pieces, and now my son is reading Ramona in his kindergarten class and he loves her, and I dread what this movie will do to her. My fears weren't allayed when I read this article and the young girl playing Ramona (who I'm sure is a lovely girl) described herself as wacky. There's so much more to the Ramona series than wackiness. *sigh* Thanks to Leila for the link.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Savvy - Ingrid Law

Mississippi Beaumont, or Mibs, isn't a typical twelve year old. She's got a brother who can make lightning strike, a brother who can cause hurricanes, a mom who's just perfect, and Mibs is about to turn thirteen and find out what her secret talent (or her Savvy) is. When her dad is in an awful car crash the day before her birthday she stows away on a big pink bus along with her storm-causing brother Fish, her silent brother Samson, and the local preacher's kids to try to get to her Poppa and save him. Along the way she and her band of mischief-makers learn a lot about themselves and their relationships with each other.

The most striking thing about this novel is the voice. Mibs and her brothers have to learn to "scumble their savvies" and Law describes Mibs' Grandpa as such: "When Grandpa wasn't a grandpa and was just instead a small-fry, hobbledehoy boy blowing out thirteen dripping candles on a lopsided cake, his savvy hit him hard and sudden...and the entire state of Idaho got made. At least, that's the way Grandpa Bomba always told the story." The relationships between Mibs and her brothers, as well as between the Beaumont siblings and their newfound friends are authentic and well-formed. Savvy is an extremely enjoyable read, and is a fine pick for a 2009 Newbery Honor. Highly recommended for ages 9 to 12.

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