Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Events This Week--Mac Barnett and Jory John onTuesday at the Cudahy Library, Scott Blackwood at Boswell, Storytime on Sunday, and Next Week, Amanda Hocking at the Greenfield Public Library.

Apologies: Our event tonight with Mac Barnett and Jory John is cancelled, due to weather.
We hope the authors will come back for book two, and we also hope that the weather will be better.
Mac Barnett and Jory John, authors of The Terrible Two.

Fresh off the Caldecott Honor for Sam and Dave Dig a Hole (which was launched at Boswell!), Mac Barnett is back with Jory John for their new middle-grade series. Here's my staff rec: "When Miles Murphy moves to Yawney Valley, a true cow town if there ever was one, with his mom, he hopes to take his rightful place as the class prankster, and he’s already found a suitable target in Principal Barry Barkin, the fifth generation of Barkins to rule Yawnee Valley Science and Literary Academy."

"The only problem is that there already is a prankster at work at the school and he’s got mad skillz. And when Miles refuses to bend to the new prankster’s will, he declares a prank war. Now I know you are all worried that I am endorsing a book that says it is ok to prank, but if you are worried, you obviously don’t know the true code of the Prankster, and like Miles, you have a lot to learn. A good friendship story that is also seriously silly." (Daniel Goldin)

Before their visit, kids' librarian Abby will be conducting a prank workshop. As noted: "If you are a parent reading this, we are definitely not teaching your kids pranks. It's a ... study session for a ... test. Yeah, a BIG test. No need to worry."

Here's a video of The Terrible Two, where you can learn the prankster's oath:

Thursday, February 5, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Scott Blackwood, author of See How Small.

It may be winter, but apparently I am a fan of this week's books. Here's my rec: "It was meant to be insurance fraud, but when three goons are hired to pull it off arson at a Texas ice cream parlor, you can imagine that they are not dissuaded from their task by seeing three teenage girls still there. Through the eyes of two of the parents, the fire fighter who first came upon the charred bodies, the reporter investigating the story, the lookout and getaway driver, and a bystander in the parking lot who is not quite right in the head, the gruesome incident and its aftermath are pieced together, using a darkly moody, atmospheric voice that captures grief’s lingering residue after an act of violence." (Daniel Goldin)

And here's Jim Higgins in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "Imagine a Tom Waits album, circa "Mule Variations," filled with songs about the unsolved murders of three girls haunting and unhinging people in a Texas town, half of them sung by Margo Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies. That would make a fine soundtrack for reading Scott Blackwood's novel See How Small. The murder of four teenagers in an Austin, Texas, yogurt shop in 1991, still unsolved, inspired Blackwood's novel, but this slender book is not In Cold Blood. It also is not The Lovely Bones, though some trade reviewers have been quick to link the two novels because the spirits of dead girls speak in both books."

One more take from S. Kirk Walsh in The New York Times Book Review: "Even during its stronger moments, “See How Small” compassionately examines the fragile psyches of the individuals left behind in the haunting wake of murder. Instead of a decisive close to a horrific crime, there is only remembrance; and in the case of this thought-provoking novel, remembrance fused with literary invention and at times even grace."

Congratulations should be given to Scott Blackwood for another project he worked on which received a Grammy nomination. Not only did The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, about Grafton Wisconsin's seminal label, get nominated for a Grammy for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package, they also competed for Best Album Notes, written by none other than Blackwood himself. After you kmow this, you can see the influence in See How Small. And what else led him to the project? It was a joint effort by Jack White's Third Man Records and Revenant Records, which is owned by Scott's brother Dean. Will he win? I suspect this category doesn't make the televised broadcast on February 8, so I suspect the other winners will be announced shortly.

Friday, February 6, 6 pm at the Milwaukee Public Market:
Please note that John Holl's ticketed event at the Public Market is cancelled.

Sunday, February 8, 11 am: Storytime with Jannis: Waddle on down to Boswell for Story Time! This month, Boswellian Jannis will read Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? by Eve Bunting, and other selections on a duck theme. Perfect for ages 18 months and up, this month’s Story Time is sure to quack you up!

and don't forget about next week! Monday, February 9, 6:30 pm, at the Greenfield Public Library, 5310 W. Layton Avenue:
Amanda Hocking, author of Frostfire, volume one in the Kanin Chronicles.

Frostfire is the first book in a magical new YA series from The New York Times bestselling author and self-publishing success story Amanda Hocking. Capturing the imaginations of readers and aspiring writers everywhere, Amanda garnered national media attention by selling millions of copies of her self-published novels, and landing major publishing and film deals for her bestselling Trylle trilogy. Now, she invites readers back to the beloved world of the Trylle with Frostfire, book one of the new Kanin Chronicles series. With beloved characters making cameo appearances and a new heroine readers can’t help but root for, the series explores the treacherous but beautiful world that was only hinted at in the Trylle trilogy.

Here's Hocking discussing becoming a writer.

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