Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Becoming Madeleine and A Wrinkle in Time - audiobook reviews

With the movie A Wrinkle in Time, set to release on March 9th, I thought it was a great time to revisit the book and highlight the new book, Becoming Madeleine: A Biography of the Author of A Wrinkle in Time by her Granddaughters.

I recently reviewed Becoming Madeleine written and narrated by Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Lena Roy (Listening Library, 2018)

At less than 3 hours, you can easily fit this in before the movie release.  Becoming Madeleine covers Madeleine L'Engle's early years up to the point when she sold the Wrinkle in Time manuscript for publication. (It originally had a different title!)  She had always planned to be a writer, and the book relies heavily on L'Engle's own words—in addition to books, she was a prolific writer of letters, journals, and postcards.  Well worth a listen!

You can read my full review at AudioFile Magazine. []

And here's a re-posting of the A Wrinkle in Time audiobook review that I featured in 2011, on the eve of the book's 50th anniversary:

L'Engle, Madeleine. 1993. A Wrinkle in Time. Read by Madeleine L'Engle. New York: Listening Library.5 hours, 17 minutes.

It's been many, many years since I've read A Wrinkle in Time, and actually, I'm not sure that I liked it as a kid.  I was never much of a sci-fi fan.  In any case, after reading last year's, When You Reach Me, I was inspired to read it again, but forgot about it until recently, when I downloaded the audiobook version.

I remembered some of the story, but had forgotten much.  I didn't remember the religious overtones in the latter half of the book (or perhaps I never realized that Mrs. Who was quoting 1 Corinthians);  I certainly can't understand why this book has been challenged by various groups over the years.  I remember A Wrinkle in Time as a sci-fi, fantasy, time-traveling book, which, it is.  Although it was written in 1962, Madeleine L'Engle did not record the audiobook until the 1990s, when she was well into her seventies.  At first, I wasn't sure that I would like her narration - the voice perhaps too old, too flawed - but that initial perception quickly faded.  There is something special about hearing an author read her own book.  There is less room for personal interpretation, but the listener can be sure that she is understanding every nuance that the author wishes to convey.  Minor details cannot be misconstrued as important ones.  Ambiguity only exists if the author wishes it so.  It was great to revisit this old classic.

And finally, here's the movie trailer.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 12, 2018

2018 American Library Association Youth Media Awards list #alayma

I've created a complete, annotated list of all the books and audiobooks that were honored in the 2018 American Library Association Youth Media Awards in Denver, Colorado at the annual American Library Association Conference.

Flip through and enjoy!  

If you have difficulty accessing the slideshow, you may find it on Riffle Books. []

Sunday, February 11, 2018

ALA Youth Media Awards

Tomorrow morning, I'll be watching the live stream of the American Library's Youth Media Awards.  I am a proud member of ALSC, whose members make up many of the awards committees.

You can watch the ALA YMA live beginning on February 12, at 8:00am MT.

I'm afraid that I may have missed reading many of the award winners this year, so tomorrow morning, I will be placing holds and adding to my TBR pile!

The social media hashtag for the event is #ALAyma

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Wordplay - a review

by Ivan Brunetti
Toon, 2017

I've had to wait a few months until I was allowed to post this review I wrote for School Library Journal.  If you haven't seen Wordplay yet, be sure to check it out!

★BRUNETTI, Ivan. Wordplay. illus. by Ivan Brunetti. 40p. TOON. May 2017. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9781943145171. K-Gr 2–The fun begins with the title—Wordplay—a compound word for a book about compound words. Annemarie and her classmates work on their assignment to compile lists of compound words. "How about housework?" asks a boy. "YES!" responds the teacher as Annemarie quietly giggles, imagining cheery houses vacuuming and dusting. Each new word conjures up another humorous imagining—two boys playing catch with a foot (football) or a calendar page taking a nap (daydream). Brunetti's cartoon art is rendered in a modern, intentionally naive style—largely two-dimensional, with a childlike simplicity that will resonate with the book's audience. Panels vary in size but are symmetrical and clearly delineated by white borders. Word bubbles are white with simple black text. Compound words appear in red. In addition, children of many races and ethnicities are prominently featured. As with all of the publisher's offerings, this work contains tips for sharing comics with kids and is labeled with grade, Lexile, guided reading, and reading recovery levels. VERDICT An amusing language arts lesson in a comic book format, perfect for individual or small group sharing. What's not to love?

All images and content © copyright 2007-2014 TOON Books. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2017 School Library Journal, the property of Media Source, Inc.  Reprinted here with permission.

Teachers Guide for Wordplay here.

Beneath the Waves - a review

As we read disturbing news accounts of dying manatees , environmental disasters caused by toxic waste, and ocean pollution on the scale of ...