September 06, 2006

England, Autumn, and Girls Raised by Wolves,

Via Jen Robinson's Book Page, the webpage Storybook England is an amazing site that gives you all the settings for tales which take place in England. A quiet little site, it's well-organized and nicely put together, and includes a little write-up on each book -- not a review, note, but map information about where things in the book took place, and great places to see there, should you happen to be going. Apparently, one day I should really go to Oxford, as so many of my favorite stories are centered there. This is such a nice site because it's decommercialized... I imagine if Harry Potter were written in England, there'd be a theme park or something already in the works near the town where he was ostensibly born. (Dollywood, anyone?)

I just love autumn. I'm going to pretend the dog-days of summer are nonexistent. I am roasting vegetables and baking bread, and looking forward to all the autumn releases. Bliss. Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer wrote a funny and strange epistolary novel called Sorcery and Cecelia that I reviewed awhile back. I didn't enjoy the sequel as much, but look forward to checking out The Mislaid Magician, which is being released November 1. Also, the Pratchett Countdown has begun... The UK release of Wintersmith is September 28.

The Philadelphia Inquirer knows that kids choose books their covers. And the favorite covers now? Pink, or monsters. You've got to admit, there's something exciting about monsters on a cover... or a pink cheetah skin pattern. Another round up of some great new releases for the middle grade/YA and a few pop-up books, too. If you can't judge a book by its cover, how about by it's title? New today is St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, which sounds like a funny one. It's narrated mostly by children, but it's not necessarily written for them, according to author Karen Russell. Do take a moment and read her most excellent interview -- listening to a new writer talk about her book gives me a lot of smiles!

History is now being used (gasp!) to "shed light on a baffling present." The NY Times this morning suggests that history is now being taught differently in schools around the nation, and American history is no longer being looked at as a simple package deal: the story of a country. Instead, the country is being looked at within the context of a larger world. Well... from a mind-numbing tragedy finally comes the tiniest seeds of something positive...

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