Monday, January 20, 2014

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - The 14 Fibs of Gregory K.

Today's pick is on the shortlist for the Cybils. This is a very enjoyable book and one that spans a large age range in the middle grade category. Rather than duplicate what I have already written, below are my thoughts taken from the Cybils' middle grade shortlist page.

THE 14 FIBS OF GREGORY K.
by: Greg Pincus
Arthur A. Levine Books 2013

Gregory's family loves math, and they think Gregory does too, due to one of the many fibs he tells them. Instead Gregory loves to write and the only person who knows is his best friend, Kelly. He and Kelly want to go to Author's Camp for the summer, but Gregory knows he can't ask his parents unless he passes math. So he decides to enter the Citywide math contest that his dad and brother have previously won. But as Gregory gets in over his head, the number of fibs he tells to make everyone happy goes up. Filled with a variety of relationships (parents/children, brothers/sisters, friends/friends and teachers/students) The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. is a great book for kids to experience. Not everything is tied up into a neat bow at the end, with the ending real and true to itself.

For more fun, check out the book trailer on Greg Pincus' website. I hope you all have a great week!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Cybils Awards and those crazy dinosaurs!

Happy New Year! Glad to be back with you here in 2014! I'm sure many of you have already seen it, but in case you haven't, the Cybils Awards shortlists were announced. The middle grade fiction list is full of wonderful books, if I do say so myself! It includes:
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
  • Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz
  • Serafina's Promise by Ann E. Burg
  • The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. by Greg Pincus
  • Ultra by David Carroll

To see all the shortlists, including fiction picture books (another favorite), click here.

I'm sure many of you are hoping for a new MMGM today, and I promise one next week, but for today I wanted to share a fun picture book by one of my favorite authors.


DINO-WRESTLING
by: Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott
Carolrhoda Books 2013

Dino-Wrestling is another wonderful addition to the Dino sports books.  I shared Dino-Baseball a couple of years ago here. My youngest loves these books, and what boy wouldn't? Dinosaurs, sports and terrific rhyme - what a match made in heaven!

In this installment, the Dino-Wrestling Jamboree has come to town. The dinos are wrestling to win their matches, but things get a little crazy when the Ptero twins try to join in each match. Who will win?

What kids will love - Everything I mentioned above, plus the colorful illustrations. And each book leads into the next in the series, which pulls them all together. 

What I learned as a writer - Lisa is a master of rhyme, so reading her books is like a tutorial in the subject. As a past attendee of Lisa's Picture Book Boot Camp, I love reading her books with my notes alongside. She is a master in the picture book field! If you ever have a chance to attend a boot camp, I highly recommend it. Check out her website for information: www.lisawheelerbooks.com.

I'm looking forward to 2014 and sharing children's books and writing with you. See you next week!