Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Amelia Earhart

Today we celebrate what would be Amelia's 111th birthday. She broke many records regarding aviation (to read a biography, follow this link), but she is most commonly known for dissapearing while in flight. Want to see a list of her achievments and records? No problem, click HERE.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beatrix Potter

Today is the anniversary of Beatrix Potter's birthday. She was born on July 28th, 1866 at No 2, Bolton Gardens, Kensington in London. If you would like to read more about her life, follow this link. In honor of her birthday you can also play a few games based off her stories. You can pick vegatables, avoiding the flowers, of course. You can try finding Peter before Mr. McGregor does, or you can answer questions about Peter Rabit to get out of the maze, all the while collecting radishes. There are many other games, too. Simple games, yet fun:).
The following stories can be read on THIS site:

The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Cecily Parsely's Nursery Rhymes
The Story of Miss Moppet
The Tale of Johnny Town-mouse
The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher
The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan
The Tale of the Squirrel Nutkin
The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes
The Tale of Two Bad Mice

Enjoy! And have fun celebrating Beatrix's birthday!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Vocab Friday

!) "the characters seemed flat to me," the editor told the author, who exclaimed' is there nothing but animadversion for me?"

2) The mother warned her daughter not to drink the brackish ocean water, lest she become sick.

3) The desperate student may have used devious methods to pass his eight grade final exams.

4)Stories never seem to be written in halcyon times, there is always some chaos, or problem.

5)It isn't a great idea to give a box of matches to an incendiary.

6) Children seem to make myopic decisions.

7) When you are feeling angry, advice may seem a pejorative statement.

8) Although rules about handling the American Flag have become lax, sacrilege of the banner used to be a crime.

9) When asking your parents for a dog, it is important to send the most suppliant sibling.

10) It is fun to undulate at sports games, but it is even more fun to watch.

Now its your turn! Pick any of these words, or even more than one, and leave sentences in the comments:

Accost- to approach and speak to first; to confront in a challenging or aggressive way.

avid- desirous or something to the point of greed; intensely eager

celerity- swiftness, rapidity of motion or action

gambit- in chess, an opening more that involves risk or sacrifice of a minor piece in order to gain a later advantage' any opening move of this type

histrionic- pertaining to actors and their techniques; theatrical, artificial' melodramatic.

Maelstrom- a whirlpool of great size and violence and destruction

overt- open, not hidden, expressed or revealed in a way that is easily recognized

Propriety- the state of being proper, appropriateness; standards of what is proper or socially acceptable

summarily- without delay or formality, briefly, concisely

talisman- an object that serves as a charm or is believed to confer magical powers, an amulet, fetish

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bull Rider

It looks like I am well over due for a book review,
Having not posted one in a month...
Lets see, I am an not only overdue writing a review, I am overdue reviewing quite a few books. Bull Rider, by Suzanne Morgan Williams , is one of those. I actually met the author back on May ninth, and read the book soon after.
I thought Bull Rider was very well writen, and that the research Suzanne did really paid off. Suzanne has also written a lot of non-fiction, but I feel as if it proved a drawback to the story. She included a lot of interesting information to the story that sometimes seemed excessive; where I wanted to get on with the story and not be bogged down with facts.
There were a lot of serious moments, ones that a book dealing with injured marines from Iraq have to have. There was lots of food for thought, too. Cam askes Ben if he would go back, and Ben responds saying he would... topics like these come up on several occations.

Cam is the brother of an amazing bull rider, and they are both grandsons of a legendary bull rider. Bull riding seems to run through the veins of the O'mera family, but it seems to have skipped Cam who would prefer to skateboard. He is scared to death to ride a bull, and his first ride doesn't go so well...
Cam's brother left bull riding to serve America overseas. Ben had had everything going for him, but when the draft came up, he went. Cam doesn't like to think about it. One day Cam's grandpa picks him and his sister up from school early with news that Ben was in a hospital in Germany, and his parents had flown to meet him. Ben seems to get better for a while, but soon he gives up hope when he is discharged. In order to bring hope back into Ben's life, Cam decides to show his brother that even the seemingly impossible can be done.

Read more about it at the authors website, or her blog.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Music Monday

hmmmmm... I'm having lots of issues lately with embeding these videos... This week its 'Never Alone' by Barlow Girl;Enjoy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bible Blurb

I Peter 3:8-9

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you are called so that you may inherit a blessing.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

An Explanation of my Absence

This past week I have been at Cousin Camp. Every summer my three sisters and I get together with our 8 cousins and make a movie. This year was our fifth annaversary.

The first two years were spent on making our very own rendition of C.S. Lewis' The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Three years ago we attempted raido drama with Edward Eager's Thyme Garden. On the side we also filmed a children's version of Shakespear's Twelfth Night.

And it has been shakespear ever since.

Last year we acted a children's version of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

And this last week we made a movie of Macbeth, with yours truly as the main character.

So, my Explanation of my Absence is this: I was busy all week playing games with cousins, wearing an itchy wig, havng hands that smell like ketchup (face paint was enough for bloody hands, apperantly) and acting the part of a power hungry tyrant who goes crazy.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Eyes Like Stars~ Day 3 (a bit late...)

So, the night before last I had some weird episode and ended up going to bed hours early, and getting 13 hours of sleep. I spent almost all of yesterday sleeping, and laying around, being incapable of really doing anything. Then last night when I was almost asleep my eyes opened wide and I realized I hadn't posted day three of the Eyes Like Stars tour..... so here I am giving excuses and trying to make it up by posting on Thursday.

I believe I promised a review and tour searching tips for today... so, open the curtain:

Bertie has lived in the theater for as long as she can remember. She doesn't know who her parents are, or why she lives in the theater. There are a couple people there who run different departments of the theater( and their squabbles are fun to watch:) ) but other than that there are immortal actors and actresses everywhere. Every character from every play ever written lives in this theater, and they cannot leave- The Book has bound them there.

But Bertie is not one of them. She doesn't really fit in anywhere. She continually seems to get in the way, doing things she shouldn't and pulling pranks. And finally the Theater Manager has had enough. He tells Bertie she must leave the theater forever, or find some way to make herself indispensable.

When I first finished the book I think I had an interesting expression on my face. (Kind of like the time I first tried coffee with french vanilla creamer...) The book had not been at all what I was expecting. For one, I had had no idea that it had romance. Not that that's a bad thing, I just wasn't expecting it. Also, I had had no warning that it was the beginning of a trilogy- so count this as YOUR warning. Its a trilogy and the story will not be wrapped up and finished on page 352 when the text reads 'CURTAIN'. Another thing was that Bertie was not the cookie cutter heroine I had imagined... she smokes, and she swears, and she isn't always that nice... And like many other people in this tour I was confused the first several pages.

But somehow the book grew on me (kind of like the coffee....). There was plenty of good in the book too. (I'm a bad news first kind of person). The fairies had some pretty good lines, and did a pretty good job keeping her balanced. Well, at least they tried to. Anyway, the allusions I caught were good as well. I havn't read much Shakespeare, but Macbeth has been on my mind lately (The Cousins Drama Club starts filming our version in just four days...) I recognized a couple lines from Shakespeare's script in Lisa's novel. The rest of the writing was well written, too. Maybe a couple scenes or paragraphs seemed forced, but other than that I was lost in the world of the Theatre Illuminata.

And now for Tour Searching Tips: (hmm, I'm having a problem with the links, so I just have lists of blogs below. Please look to the upper right column for the actual links....)

Each of these blogs have reviews up:

A Patchwork of Books
Abby the Librarian
Another Book Read
Dolce Belleza
The Friendly Book Nook

Becky's Book Reviews
Homeschool Buzz
Never Jam Today
Superfast Reader
Through a Child's Eyes

A Christian Worldview of Fiction and All About Children's Books give their lists of strengths and weaknesses

For a list of the cast you can visit 160 Acre Woods and Homespun Light

For more information on Shakespeare, go to Homeschool Buzz

For some thoughts on a Midsummer's Night Dream, visit Never Jam Today
She also has a book give away open until the 17th.

For a list of other books you may like, visit Through A Child's Eyes.
She also has a list of activities and favorite quotes.

Close Curtain

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Eyes Like Stars~ Day 2

And the curtain goes up on day two of the 'Eyes Like Stars' tour.
I promised an interview for today, did I not? So, without further to do, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!
Marie: How long did it take you to write 'Eyes Like Stars' from the first glimmer of an idea to the last draft?

Lisa: I started in July of 2006 and finished the first draft three months later. Then it was editing and acquiring my agent (March, 2007) submitting the novel (May, 2007) and then three editing passes, galleys, page proofs, the Advance Review Copies, and now the final hardcover. So three years, start to finish!

Marie: Are any of the characters in your book based off people you know?

Lisa: The fairies are an ombination of my four-year-old and the wild conversations I have with my friends on the phone. And Bertie has some of my foibles and passions (like coffee.) The rest of the characters tromped in, already in costume and ready to go, just like they would at an audition.

Maire: Do you listen to music as you write? Why or why not?

Lisa: Not very often... I find lyrics very distracting, so if I listen to music, it's usually instrumental only. And I had "The Assassin's Tango" from the Mr. & Mrs. Smith soundtrack on repeat as I choreographed the Tango scene in the Properties Department.
Marie: Why did you give the main character, Bertie, the flaws that she has?
Lisa: Flaws are usually the flip-side of a character's strengths, so Bertie is persistent to the point of being pushy, tenacious until she ends up being obstinate about certain things. With the theatrical setting, I felt it was important for her to be a passionate character, so her reactions have extreme highs and lows, with lots of drama (sometimes self-inflicted.)
Marie: The ending of 'Eyes Like Stars' leaves plenty of room for a sequel, is there any information on that that you can share?
Lisa: I'm just completing a set of revisions on the second book, Perchance To Dream, which will be out in the Fall of 2010. Then the third (and last) book will be out in 2011.
Marie: Please explain the dedication in your book that says: "For my mother, who left a half-crimped pie crust on the kitchen counter to take me to my first audition."
Lisa: I was seven years old, in the kitchen with my mom, who was baking a pie for some office function. The phone rang, and it was another parent from my school who also directed the local community college musicals... he was holding auditions for South Pacific and needed more kids for the chorus. I, of course, got skippity-excited over the idea, and my mom left the pie crust sitting on the counter to toss me in the car and drive me down to the theater. I felt that moment summed up our relationship really well... my mom has shown me nothing but love and encouragement and support my entire life.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Eyes Like Stars~ Day 1

Let the Tour begin!

Today I promised a lot of information, so buckle your seatbelts; here we go!

In the past I always glased past the Library of Congress Cataloging-in Publication Data page in the front of books, but recently I have been taking a closer look at them... you can sure learn a lot about a book from this page! Let me share:

Here is the summary it gives:
Seventeen-year-old Bertie strives to find a useful role for herself at the
Theatre Illuminata so that she won't be cast out of the only home she has ever
known, but is hindered by the Players, who magically live on there, especially
Ariel, who is willing to destroy The Book at the center fot he magic in order to
escape into the outside world.

But the Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data page has more than just a summary, it also has seven basic things the story is about... seven important aspects of the novel... and those are:

Theater, Magic, Actors and actresses, Orphans, Books and reading, Identity, and Theaters

Now for that information on the author I mentioned...

Lisa Mantchev:
  • began writing as a young girl... writing short stories and even adapting Maeterlinck's The Blue Bird for May Day Festival when she was in fourth grade.
  • was an actress too... starting when she was about seven years old. She acted through high school, and even went to college to study drama.
  • not only acted in plays, but wrote them too.
  • taught English, and created an after school drama program at that school.
  • sold her first short fiction in 2002, and her trilogy in 2007
  • lives in the state of Washington with her husband, daughter, and four dogs.
  • enjoys beaches, climbing trees, making jam, and doing repairs with gue guns
And now for the last part of the first day of this tour... some websites you should deffinatly check out.

Of course you should check out the other stops on the tour... these people have read 'Eyes Like Stars' too and also have a lot to say about it... their websites can be found at the top of the side bar.

You could also follow this link to the officiall 'Eyes Like Stars' website. Here you can find a biography, a bibliography, interesting links, and even Lisa Mantchev's blog.

To find her blog, you could also click HERE.

And don't forget to come back tomorrow for an interview!

Eyes Like Stars~ Intro

Today, being Monday, as well as Tuesday and Wednesday are the days of Kids Book Buzz's blog tour of Lisa Mantchev's new novel 'Eyes Like Stars'. This is an introduction that will sort of preview what you can expect from me, a participant of this tour.

Today, I am going to give you some interesting information . We'll look at the Library of Congress Cataloging - in -Publication Data page of the book, some background of the author, and some websites you should check out.

Tomorrow plan on reading an interview I had with Lisa Mantchev.

And Wednesday I will post my review, and some tour searching tips.

If you look at the top right of the colum, you should see a list of links to the other participants in the tour. I will leave that list up until about Friday... but I will also link to them a couple times during the tour. You should check out some of their blogs this week because they will be posting some really cool things about 'Eyes Like Stars'.