Friday, October 26, 2012

Lana's Halloween Book Picks

There are so many terrific Halloween books to choose from, but I'm going out on a spooky tree limb and sharing my favorites, one for the younger crowd, one for middle grades, and one for young adults.

I love And Then Comes Halloween, by Tom Brenner, because it captures the anticipation of Halloween, the feel of this time of year and all the sensory richness of October. The lovely lyrical language evokes all the things I love about Halloween.

It may seem odd, but my middle-grade pick is also a picture book. Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, by Adam Rex, is a hilarious book that had my 11-year-old daughter in stitches. The humor in this book is really more suitable for for the 8-years-old and up reader. You absolutely MUST read this aloud and sing the little ditties for maximum monstrous fun!

And now for young adult readers. I just finished Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys and I loved it! This book has just the right amount of spookiness for me, not so much gory or frightening as deliciously eerie. Not to mention the amazing characters, the skillful mood, and a plot that's good and twisty. Maggie is an incredible writer (have you read The Scorpio Races?) and this book shows it.

Happy Halloween reading!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

PIGGIES is on StoryCub!

Brian's picture book, PIGGIES, is now a video/podcast available from StoryCub!
PIGGIES is the book that answers the age old question, what would make a piggy go, "Wee! Wee! Wee!" all the way home.
And the best part is you can download the video as an itunes podcast for FREE. Just be sure to leave a nice comment and rating - or no roast beef!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Brian Rock reads at Happy Camper Fest

Our own Brian Rock will be reading from his three children's books, DON'T PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD!, PIGGIES, and WITH ALL MY HEART, at Happy Camper Fest at the Turning Basin in downtown Richmond this Saturday from 1-2pm. Come on down and enjoy the beautiful fall weather and stop by and say "hi!"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lana's Book Launch Party!

Our own Lana Krumwiede hosted a book launch party for her terrific middle grade novel, FREAKLING, this past Saturday at bbgb's in the Fan district of Richmond. Since her book's main character, Taemon, is forced to use slight of hand on occasion, Lana hired a magician to wow the crowd with some pretty amazing tricks. Lana then answered questions from the standing room only audience and even gave a few clues about her next book. She took time to autograph copies and even provided cupcakes decorated with mini Freakling cover edible toppers!
Here are a few pics from the festivities!

Congratulations Lana!
We couldn't be prouder of you!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Brian Rock: My Fave Spooky Read

My absolute favorite book about Halloween is Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree. I have always loved Halloween and from my first exposure to fellow Richmonder, Edgar Allen Poe, I have always been drawn to tales of the supernatural. This book combines both elements as seven boys race through time and space to save the life of their very ill friend. In the course of their adventures with the mysterious Moundshroud, they learn the very roots of the Halloween celebration – past the original Hallowed ‘eve of the Catholic church, past the Mexican Dia del Muerta, past the Celtic New Year, past even the Roman fall festivals, all the way back to ancient Egypt and beyond. This is that rare blend of cultural and historical facts woven seamlessly with excellent story telling. This book precisely captures the mood of my favorite part of my favorite season.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

More Breaking News!

Our own Lana Krumwiede is going to tweet! On Monday, October 15th, from noon to 1:00 p.m. EDT, Lana Krumwiede, author of Freakling, will be available through Twitter to talk about her book and all things writing related.

Lana is one of the many conference speakers who will be in Richmond for
James River Writers' 10th annual conference on October 20-21. 
Visit the James River Writers website for details (see link above).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Breaking News!

Our own Lana Krumwiede, author of Freakling and JRW conference speaker (Oct. 19 - 20), will appear on WTVR-6's show, Virginia This Morning on October 15.  Virginia This Morning airs from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. JRW Chair Maya Smart will appear with Lana. Tune in, everyone!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Halloween Memory

Believe it or not, my favorite Halloween memory was the year I didn't go door to door to load up on treats. It was the year that I, my sister and a friend, dressed up as the Three Musketeers. (All of us read voraciously.)  We were nine or ten, one foot still in the childhood world of pretend but also growing up and delighted to be taking on the role of the gallant, swash-buckling heroes of old France. Never mind we were girls;  the three Musketeers were some of our favorite literary characters. We had capes and fake swords and boots; the hats were wonderful, complete with flowing feathers and wide brims. We went to a costume party and had a great time. We didn't even mind not going door-to-door, gathering treats!

What memory/memories do you have of favorite literary characters from childhood? What is your favorite Halloween memory/book or tradition? Leave a comment and share yours!