It’s Monday, What Are You Reading




These are two of the books on my list for the Highlights Foundation workshop. I read both of these intense books this weekend. My Book of Life By Angel by Martine Leavitt and Stop Pretending Nothing Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy by Sonya Sones are gripping, intense, and you just can’t put them down. Or at least I couldn’t. You can tell I tabbed some pages in the Sones book. I will be re-reading them over the next couple of weeks.

What are you reading? Find out what others are reading at Teach Mentor Texts

Happy Reading.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


I am getting ready for my poetry novel workshop in April by reading the work of Kelly Bingham and Helen Frost. One month from today I will be at the Highlights Foundation with them.



I have read other books by Helen Frost but am not as familiar with Bingham’s work.

I finished Don’t Feed The Boy by Irene Latham. It’s a story that gathers you up from the first page. Latham’s writing is fluid and poetic, hard to put down. A boy living at the zoo, how fun would that be? Remember there are always two sides of the coin.

What are you reading? Visit Teach Mentor Texts.
Happy Monday.

Bridget Zinn Poison Blog Tour

I feel fortunate to be a part of the Bridget Zinn author tour. d you know there are over 100 blogs getting the word out about Poison?

My first involves Poison. It is the first book I read on an ereader. I was able to download the ARC through Netgalley, a way for librarians to keep abreast of the latest soon to be released titles. I loved Kyra, the adorable pig, the action and twists of the book. Definitely could hear Bridget’s voice throughout.

BUT I also discovered that I am in love with real books. I need to have them in hand, be able to turn the pages, and smell the newness of the book. So I was very happy to have purchased Poison last Saturday at the book release party. You can read more about it HERE

20130323-163016.jpg So I am currently rereading the real thing.


Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

Purchase your copy


Barnes & Noble


iTunes Bookstore

Powell’s Books

Add Poison to your Goodreads pile!

About Bridget Zinn
Bridget grew up in Wisconsin. She went to the county fair where she met the love of her life, Barrett Dowell. They got married right before she went in for exploratory surgery which revealed she had colon cancer. They christened that summer the “summer of love” and the two celebrated with several more weddings. Bridget continued to read and write until the day she died. Her last tweet was “Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect.”

Bridget wanted to make people laugh and hoped readers would enjoy spending time with the characters she created. As a librarian/writer she loved books with strong young women with aspirations. She also felt teens needed more humorous reads. She really wanted to write a book with pockets of warmth and happiness and hoped that her readers’ copies would show the watermarks of many bath time reads.

More blog posts can be found HERE

Run out now and get your book.

The Poison by Bridget Zinn Book Tour

This is what I am reading. Just released last week. While I read the ARC from Netgalley, there is something about the real book. Come back Saturday for more on the book.


E.M. Kokie
Nyrae Dawn
Julie “Manga Maniac Cafe”
Abby Niles
Pam “Bookalicious” van Hylckama
Jennifer McAndrews “Honestly YA”

Kate Treadway “Verb Vixen”
Martha Brockenbrough
Cameron Y. – What the Cat Read
Bobbie Gould
Molly “Wrapped Up in Books”
Eileen Li

Ashley Walsh “The Quiet Concert”
Jennifer Rummel “YA Book Nerd”
Tammy Hall
Laura Kaye
Melissa Simmons
Shelley Bunnell
Kate Bourne “The Book Monsters”
Taneesha “A Diary of a Book Addict”

Caroline Starr Rose
Lindsey Loucks
Amy Alessio
Elyana Noreme
Rachel Patrick “Beauty and the Bookshelf”
Sonya “Sony the Book Lover”
Elizabeth Seckman

Sara Bennett Wealer
Amy Plum
Betty G. Birney
Elizabeth Otto
Ellen Faith
Celeste Holloway

Janet Fox
Erica “The Book Cellarx”
Amy Stewart “Simple Love of Reading”
Libby Fischer Hellmann
Melody May
Rebekah Faubion

Jon Goldhirsch
MaryAnn Oprea @ Chapter by Chapter
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Brenna from Esther’s Ever After
Lauren Thoman “The Housework Can Wait”
Annabelle Hammond “Read Write and Read Some More

Lucia “The Loyal Book”
Jessica Miller “I Read to Relax”
Melissa de la Cruz
Sara Hayet “The Page Sage”
Tara Hudson
Rebecca Lamb

Johanna Wright
Tara @ Shhh… Not While I’m Reading
Michelle “Much Loved Books”
Kristina Snyder
Zoe Dawson
Peter Salomon

Gwenyth Love “Rants n Scribbles”
Sarah Evans
Robin Bielman
Mundie Moms (Katie)
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Tamson Weston

Lucy “The Reading Date”
Carrie Ardoin “Sweet Southern Home”
Tracy James Jones
Nikki Wang “Fiction Freak”

Amy Thau “Tripping Over Books”
Ashley G. “Wholly-books”
jone “Maclibrary”
Jaime @ Twisting the Lens
Crystal “Winterhaven Books”
Allison Kirk
Jess “Book Rook Reviews”

Lucy Softich “Adventures in Bookland”
Stephanie “Poetry to Prose”
Caren Crane “Romance Bandits”
Lori Degman
Beth Saxton

Michael Gettel-Gilmartin “Middle Grade Mafioso”
Ruth Tenzer Feldman “Blue Thread”
Lynne Kelly
Hafsah “Icey Books”
Samanthe Beck

Becca “I’m Lost in Books”
Brook Gideon “Dead Gideons”
Natalie J. Damschroder, for Everybody Needs a Little Romance
Beth Revis
Damaris “Good Choice Reading”

Amy G. (Kissed by Ink)
Stephanie Ruble
Angie Manfredi “Fat Girl Reading”
Rachel Coyne
Chris Miller

Natalie J. Damschroder
Sara Shafer
Audra “The Society”
Laura Hernandez “Reviews at mse”
Stephanie “Love Life Read”


Visit Teach Mentor Text for more reads

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


Daylight Savings Time started in the Northwest yesterday. I probably should have listened to the experts about what to do to adjust such as getting to bed early. But I could not! I had to finish Hold Fast by Blue Balliett. I recommend this book, probably Balliett’s best. I am now going to attempt listening to books in the car and do a Balliett book study. I read Chasing Vermeer years ago but didn’t follow up on the rest.


Vancouver, WA, the city where I work is having a city all-read event with the following book. Several teacher librarians will be reading and discussing.


Find out what others are reading at Teach Mentor Texts.

Happy Monday.
Happy Reading.


It’s Monday: What Are You Reading?


I am still reading last week’s books: Don’t Feed the Boy by Irene Latham and 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do by Kim Stafford.

BUT I got side tracked by a post by sharpread. I ordered the book, Hold Fast by Blue Balliett from the library. Then when at the Scholastic Warehouse, there was the book so I had to get it. I am almost finished.


It’s a delicious read. What are you reading? find out what others are reading at Teach Mentor Texts.

Happy Monday.
Happy Reading.


It’s Monday…What Are You Reading?


In 2008, I was in the midst of taking the national boards for my teacher certification in library. In order to prepare for part of the exam, I immersed myself in Newbery Award audio books.

This meant listening to HATTIE BIG SKY by Kirby Larson. If you haven’t read it, run to your nearest library or books store and get it to read. I love historical fiction and stories of resilient young women.
Women with big dreams so this was a perfect book. I remember finishing it and wanting more. What would Hattie do next, I wondered. So I wrote the author and asked that she write the sequel. She politely responded and said she didn’t think that there would be a sequel.




I just finished HATTIE EVER AFTER, the sequel. It doesn’t disappoint. We find Hattie pondering what to do. Go to Seattle, stay in Montana or choose to do something a bit exciting? When Hattie finds herself on the road to San Francisco with a traveling vaudeville act, Hattie discovers she might have that opportunity to pursue her journalism. It’s the early 1900’s and opportunities for young women are limited. And what about Charlie?

Loved it and hope you will too.
What are you reading? Find out what others are reading HERE.
Don’t forget to for a chance to win a copy of The LATE BIRD by Greg Pincus by commenting HERE.
Happy Monday.
Happy Reading.


Poetry Friday: On the Eve of the CYBILS

It’s actually four more sleeps as I tell my grandgirls when waiting for time to pass.  I thought it a good time to interview last year’s CYBILS winner, Marilyn Singer.  Her book Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse was named best book in the poetry category.

Your Reading Life

 MsMac: What books are on your night stand?

 MS: I have different books for different reading locations.  On my night stand, for reading in a chair or in the bathtub (see below), I currently have THE CUPCAKE QUEEN by Heather Hepler, which I’m finishing, and BIRD IN A BOX by Andrea Davis Pinkney, which I’ll read next.  For reading on the subway and in coffee shops, in my tote bag I have THE UNDERCOVER ECONOMIST by Tim Harford, which I’ve also nearly finished.  The next book in that queue is HOW CARROTS WON THE TROJAN WAR by Rebecca Rupp.  For sitting outside on a lounge, once the weather gets warm, the first book I plan to read is Stephen Sondheim’s LOOK, I MADE A HAT (I read FINISHING THE HAT last summer).

 MsMac: There are some books on the list that I will need to check out. What was your favorite book as a child? As a teen?  As an adult?

 MS: That’s really hard to answer as I’ve liked so many books.  I loved Grimm’s fairy tales, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, and Sydney Taylor’s ALL-OF-A-KIND FAMILY a lot when I was a kid.  As an adult, I reread Shakespeare whenever I’m going to see one of his plays.    Some books I loved and have given often as gifts include R.A. MacAvoy’s TEA WITH THE BLACK DRAGON; SILK ROAD by Jeanne Larsen; M.T. Anderson’s FEED; Louis Sachar’s HOLES; and Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy.

 MsMac:  What an eclectic list.  FEED was banned at middle school in my district. Any particular genre stand out?

 MS: I don’t think so.  You can tell from my current list that I like both fiction and nonfiction, though I don’t get to read much adult fiction these days.  I also read much children’s poetry, and you can guess why.  😉

 MsMac: Where’s your favorite reading spot?

 MS: I love reading in the tub and also outdoors in natural light (I can’t wait for winter to end!), as well as on the subways.  But needless to say, a comfy chair is also good.

MsMac: Which do you prefer a real book or ebook?

 MS: I don’t read e-books—don’t own an e-reader.  I can see that they’re great if you do a ton of traveling or have to lug textbooks, though.

 Your Writing Life

 MsMac What does a day of work look like for you? Favorite time of day?

MS: I’m an owl, not a lark.  Though I do sometimes start writing immediately when I wake up, I usually do most of it in the afternoon/early evening.  Occasionally, at 2 a.m. as I’m about to fall asleep, I have to jump out of bed and write something down because I just had an idea.  Groan!

 MsMac: Writing the first draft or revising? Which is your favorite?

 MS: Well, I revise as I write, but I guess I like that first burst of creativity the most.  However, revising is essential, so I like that, too.

  MsMac: What does your writing space look like?

 MS: I write everywhere—in my house in Brooklyn (both in my office, which is a room filled with books, objects, and three live birds and in my living room/dining room, in coffee shops, on the subway, by the pond at our place in Connecticut, at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, and in the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, which has been called “Marilyn’s office.”

MsMac: What are you currently working on?

 MS: I’m working on a book of poems about the U.S. presidents and I’m doing a lot of research, both through books and on the Internet, for that.  I also have a number of poetry books coming out this year and next:  A STICK IS AN EXCELLENT THING, ill. by LeUyen Pham (Clarion); EVERY DAY’S A DOG’S DAY, ill. by Miki Sakamoto (Dial); THE BOY WHO CRIED ALIEN, ill. by Brian Biggs (Disney-Hyperion); THE SUPERHEROES EMPLOYMENT AGENCY, ill. by Noah Z. Jones (Clarion); A STRANGE PLACE TO CALL HOME, ill. by Ed Young (Chronicle) and another book of fairy tale reversos (Dial), once again illustrated by the divine Josée Masse.

MsMac: What might readers find you doing when you’re not writing?

 Taking swing/ballroom/Latin dance classes with my husband, birdwatching, walking, shopping, playing with and training my dog, going to the theatre, watching TV, eating, sleeping, and, of course, reading.

 About Your Book

 MsMac: Where did you find the inspiration for Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse?

 MS: As I mention in the back matter to MIRROR MIRROR, I was watching my cat asleep in a chair and a poem came into my head—plus its reverse.  I wondered if I could write more poems like it, so I tried.   I showed that first batch to an editor.  Among those poems were some based on fairy tales, and she suggested that I write more fairy tale poems.  I thought that was a great idea because these tales often have two points-of-view, which is perfect for the reverso form.  So I took her suggestion.  The word “reverso” was my husband Steve Aronson’s brainstorm.  I was calling them “reverse poems,” but he said, “How about something Italianate,” and presto!  Just one of the reasons we’ve stayed married for over forty years.

 MsMac: Where there any challenges during the writing of the book?

 MS: As you may imagine, there were many challenges.  It’s not an easy form to write.  A reverso is two poems in one.  The first poem has to say one thing.  When reversed, changing only punctuation and capitalization, it has to say something different.  That’s hard to pull off.  First I had to think about what things the poems would say.  I looked for stories or characters with dual points-of-view (or a point-of-view that I could MAKE dual, as with the Ugly Duckling).  I usually write on a legal pad, but I wrote the reversos on my computer so I could shift lines and words, to see if they made sense.  I think of it as creating and solving a puzzle—sometimes fun, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately satisfying if I pull it off.

MsMac: What kind of research was required before writing the poems?

MS: I read a lot of fairy tales, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  That was pretty much it for the research. 

 MsMac: How did you find out that you had won the CYBILS award for Poetry?

MS: On the web site when I woke up.  What a lovely valentine!

 Just for Fun

 MsMac: Chocolate:  white, dark, or milk?

 MS: Dark.  White isn’t even chocolate!

 MsMac: Coffee or tea?

 MS: Tea only—but caffeinated.

 MsMac: Dance: funky chicken or the tango?

MS: Just learned some American tango.  But my favorite is Lindy.

 MsMac: Favorite Quote:

 MS: Here’s my favorite quote about poetry by Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

 “Prose = words in their best order; poetry = the best words in their best order.”

Thank you, Marilyn.  We’ll have to stay tuned for who wins this year’s CYBILS Award in poetry on Tuesday, February 14. 

Poetry Friday is hosted at Writing World for Kids by CYBILS very own poetry judge, Laura Salas.

Happy Reading.